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Martin first encountered loving-kindness meditation, one of the core elements of MSC, when he took the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2010, and from there he gradually found his way to Kristin Neff's and Christopher Germer's work. He took MSC from Chris and Kristin as a five-day intensive at Esalen, in California, in January 2013, and then took part in the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion's first teacher-training course—led by Chris, Kristin, and Michelle Becker and Steven Hickman of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness—in Barre, Massachussetts in March 2014. He co-taught the five-day intensive version of MSC with Kristy Arbon in St. Louis in August 2014, and has been teaching the eight-week version in Oberlin and the Cleveland area since then. In 2017 he co-taught, with Joel Grow, the first run of the full MSC course for men, live and online.
Martin is English, but he has now been living in the U.S. for more than half his life. He is Professor of Philosophy at Oberlin College, and has also taught philosophy at Princeton University and U.C. Berkeley. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University, and a B.A. (Joint Hons.) in physics and philosophy from Oxford University. His research is primarily in the philosophy of science.