Date & Time
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
This new and unique training explores a variety of contemplative practices and forms of meditation from seven major religious and spiritual traditions, guided by highly regarded and authentic teachers from each tradition. Participants will gain direct, firsthand experience of many meditative disciplines providing a deep grounding within the framework of a cross cultural interreligious approach to meditative practice.
The essential wisdom teachings of these major traditions will be explored, while highlighting and honoring the sacredness and uniqueness of each tradition and its approach. The program’s masterful teachers will guide participants through a deep exploration of each tradition and its main meditative practices.
Participants will explore five major components of meditative practice:
- Essential theoretical and historical foundations
- Firsthand experiential practice of different forms of meditation
- Study of current science and research into meditative practices and its role in contemporary society
- Ethical and moral guidelines and precepts for the practice, development, and facilitation of meditation
- Hands-on clinics in facilitation and presentation skills, guided and taught by authentic practitioners from the major traditions
- Introduction to Meditation and Contemplative Studies—Andrew Vidich, January 19
- ISHTA Meditation Training—Yogirajas Alan Finger and Sarah Finger, January 20
- Sound, Mantra and Yogic Meditation Training—Thomas Amelio, January 21
- Program Clinic – February 16
- Timeless Stillness: Theosophy and the Cultivation of the Mind—Tim Boyd, February 17 & 18
- Program Clinic— March 16
- The Journey of the Seeker in Sufism: From Presence to Heartfulness to Intimacy— Kabir Helminski, March 17
- Reaching the One Who Dwells in the Hearts— Shaykha Fariha al-Jerrahi, March 18
- Program Clinic—Thomas Amelio, April 20
- Awakening Your Mystical Heart: Making Direct Contact with the Spirit Within— Father Thomas Ryan, April 21
- Be Still and Know: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Christian Contemplation and Meditation— Carl McColman, April 22
- Awakening the Natural Buddha Within: Awakening the Mind, Opening the Heart & Teaching Young People How to Discover Wisdom and Compassion in Action Through Uncovering Love, Acceptance, and Serenity within Themselves—Lama Surya Das, April 28 & 29
- The Way of Illumination: The Method of Self-Transformation and Self-Inquiry of the Sant Mat Tradition, the Path of the Spiritual Masters—Andrew Vidich, May 18
- Interspirituality: The Future of Spiritual Practice as our World Goes Inevitably Global and Multicultural— Swami Shraddhananda, Dr. Nitin Ron, Loch Kelly and Rev. JoAnn Barrett, Moderator- Kurt Johnson, May 19
- Effortless Mindfulness Embodied— Loch Kelly, May 19
- Program Clinic— Mikaela Bradbury, June 8
- To Listen and to Love: The Theory and Practice of Jewish Meditation—Rabbi Rami Shapiro, June 9 & 10
- Program Graduation—August 4
In addition to the weekend modules students will have access to our mentorship program and ongoing Pod Casts:
E. Supervision meetings with a Mentor 1 hour, 3 times per training. (See description below)
One on one mentoring session are designed to give critical support and guidance on personal challenges and obstacles that may arise in the course of the study.
Mentoring sessions are provided to establish a personal supportive relationship which encourages and helps sustain a ripening and deepening of one’s self inquiry and self-reflection.
Pod Cast call:
To ensure students have an opportunity to connect and bond with fellow cohort members, develop supportive relationships and discuss theoretical and practical ideas with fellow participants.
Program Facilitator—Andrew Vidich Ph.D.
Role of Facilitator:
- Will provide and assist in bringing context and continuity between each tradition.
- Will assist and provide an integrated and inter-spiritual perspective to the understanding of each of the sacred traditions.
- May provide detailed historical or cultural information to help understand each tradition.
- May at times encourage discussion around important topics including, meditation and near death experiences, meditation and contemporary science, meditation and physical wellness.
- Finally, the facilitator will help stimulate, encourage and deepen the process of self-inquiry and self discovery so essential to any form of contemplative practice.
Who Should Enroll?
This certificate program for anyone seeking to deepen and strengthen their personal meditation practice, as well as those seeking to integrate meditation or contemplative practice in a variety of professional settings, such as healthcare professionals, psychologists, clinicians, educators, clergy, yoga instructors, and bodyworkers.
Click for Details to the: Certification Documentation – Contemplative Studies Program Certificate
Click here for a list of reading materials
Registration and Fees
An 8-Month Certification Program
January 19 — August 4, 2018
7 weekends, Saturdays & Sundays, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
6 Friday evenings, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Plus monthly meetings and mentoring sessions.
January 19–21, February 16–18, March 16–18, April 20–22, April 27–29, May 18–19, June 8–10, August 4
$2,995 (No Member Discount)
$2,595 Early bird rate by December 11, 2017
$3495 Payment Plan
To register for payment plan, call 212-219-2527, Ext. 2.
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.
Reverend JoAnn Barrett is the founder of Gathering of Light Interspiritual Fellowship. She is the current co-chair of Interfaith Anti Bias Task Force of Suffolk County, a member of the Huntington Clergy Association, a past Member of Peace Island Institutes Center of Interfaith Studies advisory board, collaborator for Religions For Peace Long Island (a local branch of a world-wide NGO at the United Nations) and a prior Member of the “Dignity for All Students Act” Committee which helped this bill pass in New York. Rev JoAnn is also a published author and poet. Recently she is one of the collaborating authors of the book Mature Interspirituality.
Lama Surya Das is an authorized lama and lineage holder in the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism, and a close personal disciple of the leading grand lamas of that tradition. He is the founder of the Dzogchen Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and its branch centers around the country, including the retreat center Dzogchen Osel Ling outside Austin, Texas, where he conducts long training retreats and Advanced Dzogchen retreats. Over the years, Surya has brought many Tibetan lamas to this country to teach and start centers and retreats. As founder of the Western Buddhist Teachers Network with the Dalai Lama, he regularly helps organize its international Buddhist Teachers Conferences. He is also active in interfaith dialogue and charitable projects in the third world.
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.
Kurt Johnson, PhD, a scientist, comparative religionist, social activist, and former monastic in three spiritual traditions, is widely regarded as the closest associate of Brother Wayne Teasdale, founder of the modern “interspiritual movement,” and works with the Contemplative Alliance and Father Thomas Keating, founder of the Centering Prayer Movement.Kurt Johnson, PhD, a scientist, comparative religionist, social activist, and former monastic in three spiritual traditions, is widely regarded as the closest associate of Brother Wayne Teasdale, founder of the modern “interspiritual movement,” and works with the Contemplative Alliance and Father Thomas Keating, founder of the Centering Prayer Movement.
Loch Kelly, M.Div., LCSW is the author of the award-winning book Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness. He is a nondual psychotherapist and Buddhist teacher of awakening affiliated with Adyashanti. Loch has worked in community mental health, addiction recovery and counseled family members of 9/11. Loch collaborates with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn and NYU to study how awareness training enhances compassion and wellbeing.
Carl McColman is a Christian contemplative writer, speaker, retreat leader and spiritual director. He is a life-professed Lay Cistercian, a layperson under formal spiritual guidance of Trappist monks. His books include Befriending Silence, Answering the Contemplative Call, and The Big Book of Christian Mysticism.
Nitin Ron is a neonatologist (baby doctor!) and loves high altitude trekking and mountaineering. He is an associate professor of pediatrics at New York Methodist Hospital, and loves to use innovative methods to teach medical students. He is often humbled and amazed by what love and compassion can do to heal little premature and sick babies! He has been leading a research project in the Himalayas, including the Mt. Everest region, involving ultrasound of the eye (optic nerve) and the body, to predict mountain sickness, and have also looked at the effect of meditation in acclimatizing the body to high altitude. he also volunteers as an art guide at the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art in New York City, and this is a reminder to him that medicine is so much of an art as well as a science!
Thomas Ryan is a Catholic priest, author, and member of the Paulist Fathers, the founder and director of the Paulist North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, and co-founder of Unitas, an ecumenical center for spirituality and Christian meditation in Montreal.
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.
Swami Shraddhananda heads Slate Branch Ashram in Kentucky, home of Sacred Feet Yoga. A professor of literature, classics, and comparative world religions for 35 years, she holds a doctorate from Emory University. The “Mature Interspirituality” retreat was held at her ashram, and she spearheaded as well as edited a collection of essays based on the retreat entitled, Mature Interspirituality: Wayne Teasdale’s Nine Elements–and Beyond. Her most recent book is a collection of poems entitled Are You Dancing with Me, Shiva? (Sacred Feet, 2018).
Andrew Vidich, PhD, is an award-winning author, educator, and international speaker. His books include Love Is a Secret, Light Upon Light: 5 Master Paths to Awakening the Mindful Self and Let There Be Light: Experiencing Light Across the World’s Sacred Traditions. Andrew has been an adjunct assistant professor of religion at Manhattan College and Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. He is a founding member of The Interfaith Council of New York and a member of the council of trustees of The Temple of Understanding. He is the public relations director and board member for the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center in Amityville New York.