Date & Time
10/05/2019 - 10/06/2019
9:30 am - 5:30 pm
A Multi-Cultural and Multi-Religious Exploration of Meditation and Contemplative Practices
The New York Open Center is pleased to announce a 7-month, multi-cultural, and multi-faith Meditation and Contemplative Studies program, commencing in October of 2019. The program offers a offers a unique and expansive exploration of a variety of mystical and contemplative disciplines and forms of meditation from eight major religious and spiritual traditions. This broad-based inquiry offers a direct, first-hand immersion into these disciplines with the intent of inspiring participants to develop and maintain a practice for the duration of the training, perhaps leading to a life-long engagement with one or more spiritual traditions.
Participants during our comprehensive program will:
- Explore the essential wisdom teachings of major religious and spiritual traditions, while highlighting and honoring the sacredness and uniqueness of each tradition and its approach.
- Learn the essential theoretical and historical foundations of each meditative practice.
- Experience first-hand each meditative practice and appreciate how it deepens awareness, creates balance, and builds connection.
- Examine the current science and research on the effects of contemplative practices on the mind, brain, and body.
- Delve into the most up-to-date research on the health effects of meditative practices and how they cultivate resilience, wellness, and well-being.
- Consider how meditative practices are being integrated into our culture and their role in contemporary society.
The program’s masterful teachers include:
Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault
Khenpo Pema Wangdak
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, PH.D
New York Open Center
Thomas Amelio intensely studied yogic disciplines and philosophy in India, where he edited Rajarshi Muni’s classic, Yoga–The Ultimate Spiritual Path. He is a founding member of, and has been a senior teacher at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health for over 35 years, and is President Emeritus of the NY Open Center in New York City. His latest CD is Mantra Darshan–Vedic and Tantric invocations for meditative absorption.
Swami Asokananda, a monk since 1973, is one of Integral Yoga’s foremost teachers, known for his warmth, intelligence, and good humor. His teaching comes out of his own practice and experience, since he has absorbed the wisdom of his guru, Sri Swami Satchidananda, since the age of 19. While he enjoys sharing the practical wisdom of the Yogic philosophy (especially that of the great Indian scripture the Bhagavad Gita), he also loves his practice of Hatha Yoga and is one of the primary instructors for Intermediate and Advanced Hatha Yoga Teacher Training. In the past, he has served as the president of Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville® and Integral Yoga® International; he is currently the president of the New York Integral Yoga Institute.
Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader. Cynthia divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage in Maine and global teaching to spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and wisdom path. She is the founding Director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School. She is the author of numerous books including: The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, The Wisdom Jesus, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Mystical Hope, and The Heart of Centering Prayer.
Shaykha Fariha is the spiritual guide of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order, a lineage that guides the seeker of knowledge and of God in the teachings of Islam. The sacred practices of zikr, prayer, charitable living, fasting, and retreat are all embraced.
Kabir Helminski is a Shaikh in the lineage of Rumi, and co-director of the Threshold Society (Sufism.org). In 2009 and subsequent years, Kabir was named as one of the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” by the Royal Strategic Studies Center (Jordan). He has toured North America as Shaikh with the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey, bringing Sufi culture to more than 100,000 people. His seven volumes of Rumi translations and books on spirituality, Living Presence and The Knowing Heart, have been published in at least eight languages. In 2017, Living Presence is being published in a commemorative 25th anniversary edition in the Spiritual Cornerstones series by Penguin Books.
Robert Peng, founder of Elixir Light Qigong, began his qigong apprenticeship with the legendary monk Xiao Yao when he was a boy. He teaches internationally and is the author of The Master Key: Qigong Secrets for Vitality, Love, and Wisdom, and producer of The Master Key companion CD and DVD series.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, PhD, an award–winning author of over 30 books on religion and spirituality, directs the One River Foundation (oneriverfoundation.org), writes a column for Spirituality and Health magazine, and hosts the podcast Essential Conversations with Rabbi Rami.
In 1982, Khenpo Pema Wangdak was sent to the West by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen, as the first of the younger generation of Tibetan teachers in America from the Sakya School. In 1989 Khenpo Pema founded the Vikramasila Foundation. The Foundation encompasses the Palden Sakya Centers in New York City, Woodstock, NY, Philmont, NY, Englewood, NJ, Springfield, VT, Portland, ME, and Dayton OH. The Palden Sakya Centers offer courses in Tibetan Buddhist studies and meditation. Khenpo Pema is the creator of “Bur Yig”–Tibetan Braille, and the founder of Pema Ts’al (English for Lotus Grove) Schools in Mundgod, India (for Tibetan lay children); Pokhara, Nepal (monastic schools for boys); and Pema Ts’al School in New York City, with a curriculum modeled on that of Sakya College, India. Khenpo Pema was recognized with the title of “Khenpo” by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen in 2007. He received the distinguished “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” award by the National Ethical Coalition of Organizations in May, 2009 at Ellis Island for his humanitarian work around the world. Khenpo Pema is the first Tibetan ever to have received such an award. Khenpo Pema has been guiding Western students for 35 years, and he continues to travel and teach extensively to Dharma centers around the world.