Date & Time
9:30 am - 5:30 pm
A Multicultural and Multi-Religious Exploration of Meditation and Contemplative Practices
The New York Open Center is pleased to announce a 7-month, multicultural, and multi-faith Meditative and Contemplative Studies program, commencing in October of 2019. The program 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.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
The Meditative & Contemplative Studies certificate program is suitable for anyone interested in exploring meditation through a beautifully designed and layered landscape. Whether you have a current practice, are seeking to cultivate one, and/or feel called to cast a wide net and dive into a multi-faceted exploration of meditative and contemplative studies, this program will provide the perfect platform, structure, and support, led by highly regarded and authentic teachers from each tradition, to expose you to an inclusive and expansive experience.
CERTIFICATE STUDENTS WILL EXPERIENCE:
- Six Weekends of Live, In-Person Trainings
- The support and guidance of our Program Facilitator who will be present each weekend and accompany students on their 7-month journey
- A dynamic curriculum that integrates lecture and experiential exercises
- Study Groups to convene (virtually/live) between class sessions
- An enriched training that offers additional assignments (readings/contemplations)
- The insights and wisdom offered by a variety of Bonus Material
- 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.
Thomas Amelio intensely studied yogic philosophy and its meditative practices in India, where he edited Rajarshi Muni’s classic, Yoga–The Ultimate Spiritual Path. He is a founding member of, and a senior teacher at Kripalu Center for over 40 years, and is President Emeritus of the NY Open Center. The original visionary for the Meditative and Contemplative Studies program, he also helped launch the Open Center’s Sound and Music Institute, and was Program Facilitator in its early years, and still teaches Sound Meditation there.
“Some years ago, as I saw how meditation was becoming part of mainstream culture, I felt the Open Center had a unique calling to offer a program that gives an in-depth understanding of meditation, as practiced throughout the world’s time-tested meditative traditions. I’m excited to see this vision realized in our Meditative and Contemplative Studies Program, and serve as its facilitator. I am honored to lovingly support its participants as we explore together!”
THE PROGRAM’S MASTERFUL TEACHERS INCLUDE:
Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault
Khenpo Pema Wangdak
Shaykha Fariha Fatima al-Jerrahi
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, PhD
Please note this training has already begun but you can still register for each individual module by clicking on the link below where you can also get more information about each workshop.
•To Listen and To Love: The Theory and Practice Jewish Meditation — Rabbi Rami Shapiro, October 5-6, 2019
•The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity — Cynthia Bourgeault, November 16-17, 2019
•A full-day of yogic teachings & practice — Thomas Amelio, December 7, 2019 (Open only to certificate students.)
•Deconstructing Meditation — Swami Ashokananda, Saturday, January 18, 2020
•Sound, Mantra and Yogic Meditation Training — Thomas Amelio, Sunday, January 19, 2020
•The Power of Patience — Khenpo Pema Wangdak, February 8-9, 2020
•The Journey of the Seeker in Sufism — Kabir Helminski, Saturday, March 21, 2020
•Dance of the Soul: Sufi Zikr & Whirling — Sakina Nur, Sunday, March 22, 2020
•The Shamanic Foundations of Mindfulness Practices — Itzhak Beery, Saturday, April 18, 2020
•Cultivate Your Awareness of Wisdom, Love, and Vitality through Xi Breathing — Robert Peng, Sunday, April 19, 2020
*Program content subject to change.
Note this training has already begun but you can still register for each individual module by clicking on the link below where you can also get more information about each workshop. To be placed on a list for when information for the next session of this training program is available email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 40 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, president of the New York Integral Yoga Institute, and one of its foremost instructors, is known for his warmth, intelligence, and good humor. His teaching comes out of his own practice and experience, since the age of 19, when he absorbed the wisdom of his guru, Sri Swami Satchidananda. 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, Swami Asokananda has served as the president of Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville® and Integral Yoga® International.
Itzhak Beery is a leading shamanic instructor, healer, speaker, community activist, and author, with 21-years of experience reading palms around the world. Founder of shamanportal.org and co-founder of the New York Shamanic Circle, Itzhak received the Ambassador for Peace Award from The Universal Peace Federation. His work has been featured in the New York Times, films, and TV.
Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader. 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.
Kabir Helminski is an author, a translator of the works of Jalaluddin Rumi and others, and a Shaikh of the Mevlevi Order which traces back to Rumi. His books on spirituality, Living Presence and the Knowing Heart, have been published in at least nine languages. Among his most recent books are Love’s Ripening, Rumi on the Heart’s Journey, and Holistic Islam. Kabir is especially interested in finding a contemporary, creative approach to Sufism without compromising the authenticity of tradition. In 2009 Kabir was named as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. He has toured as Shaikh with the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey bringing Sufi culture to more than 100,000 people. He speaks widely on Sufism, often in an inter-spiritual context.
Sakina Nur, born in Spain and based in New York for the past 20 years, is a member of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order of dervishes and has trained intensively in Sufism and in the discipline of whirling. She has lead whirling workshops for the past two decades, including a monthly class at Dergah al-Farah, in NYC and regular professional whirling training at her studio.
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.
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.