Date & Time
10/05/2019 - 10/06/2019
9:30 am - 5:30 pm
A Multi-Cultural and Multi-Religious Exploration in Meditation and Contemplative Practices
The New York Open Center is pleased to announce a 7-month, multi-faith Meditation and Contemplative Studies program, commencing in October of 2019. This training will be a unique exploration of a variety of mystical and contemplative disciplines and forms of mediation from 8 major religious and spiritual traditions. This broad-based inquiry will focus on giving participants a direct, first hand immersion into the meditative and spiritual disciplines with the intent of inspiring students to develop and maintain a practice for the duration of the training and, perhaps, for their whole lives.
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.
Participants will explore four major components of meditative practice:
- Essential theoretical and historical foundations
- Firsthand experiential and historical foundations
- Study of current science and research into meditative practices and its role in contemporary society
- Study of current science and research into meditative practices and its effect on mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being
The program’s masterful teachers include:
Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault
Khenpo Pema Wangdak
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, PH.D
Additional information will be available shortly.
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.
Itzhak Beery is a leading shamanic teacher, healer, speaker, community activist and author. For the last 21 years he has read palms for thousands around the world.. Itzhak teaches internationally and leads groups on expeditions to the Amazon of Ecuador. The founder of ShamanPortal.org and co-founder of the New York Shamanic Circle, he received the ‘Ambassador for Peace Award’ from The Universal Peace Federation/the UN. 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. 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.