by Nalanda Institute Editors

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As this year of the Earth Dog comes to an end and we usher in the new year of the Earth Mother Pig, we are happy to look back at just a few of the amazing accomplishments of our community. 2018 has been a pivotal year in which we’ve evolved our teaching methods, deepened our community, and made our programs more widely available.

Extended captions and an elaboration of some of our programs and events in 2018:

1. Contemplative Psychotherapy Program/Toronto. Joe Loizzo traveled up North to Toronto and led a special Compassion workshop on “Two Maps, One Terrain: Yogic Science Meets Neuroscience for Mind/Body Integration” as part of the Nalanda Institute Contemplative Psychotherapy Program that is offered with our phenomenal partner, the Institute of Traditional Medicine. Joe also presided over the graduation of a class of bodhisattvas who were awarded Certificates in Compassion-based Psychotherapy. More info on CPP/Toronto.

2. Meditation Offerings. Nalanda Institute offers a “mid-day pause to refresh” with drop-in meditations, Monday through Friday, at Tibet House. Monday sessions, “Contemplative Practice as Social Practice,” are for those interested in issues surrounding social justice. We also offer drop-in meditation sessions at Tibet House most Tuesday evenings. More info on our Meditation Offerings.

3. Yoga, Mind & Spirit. Nalanda Institute’s unprecedented advanced training in Yoga, Mind & Spirit was again successfully offered this past year. The six-weekend intensive course explores the embodied science and meditative arts of Indian Yoga and Buddhist Psychology, in light of cutting-edge health science, neuroscience, and contemporary psychology. Another cycle of the program begins in January 2019. More info on YM&S.

4. Contemplative Psychotherapy Program/NYC. The New York Contemplative Psychotherapy Program (CPP) is the mothership and leading certification program in the West for integrating mindfulness and compassion-based meditation practices and Buddhist psychology with contemporary psychotherapy, and current neuropsychology. 2018 was the Compassion Year and we were honored once again to be graced by the inspiring Dr. Robert Thurman and his teaching on transforming the mind, “Lifelong Integration and Measuring Progress: Mentoring Altruism.” More info on CPP/NYC.

5. Meditation Teacher Training. We had another successful year of training meditation teachers to go forth in the world (in partnership with The Path). Meditation Teacher Training is offered in two complementary, but independent tracks. 2018 focused on Mindfulness and Loving-kindness and was lead by our phenomenal faculty members, Megan Mook, MA; Pooja Amy Shah, MD; Scott Tusa. A new season begins in March, 2019 that centers around Compassion. More info on MTT.

6. Nalanda Institute’s 9th Annual Benefit. Good vibes prevailed at our 9th Annual Benefit “Love’s Brain: The Science of Human Connection” held at the New York Academy of Medicine. The evening honored our graduates and featured a dialogue “On Connection and Contemplation” between our guest of honor Dr. Stephen Porges and Dr. Joe Loizzo. Dr. Porges is a rising star of the new neuroscience and the pioneer of the latest research on the unique role of the autonomic nervous system in human life. We also featured a dialog between the two in an earlier post.

7. Contemplative Psychotherapy Program/SF. The CPP in San Francisco presents a hybrid of live retreats, online learning, and conferences for those residing both inside and out of the San Fransisco Bay area. The program offers continuing education credits and is spearheaded by SF Director Fiona Brandon. This year Joe ventured to the West Coast for an incredible all-day retreat with our dedicated San Francisco students. More info on CPP/SF.

8. Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT). Joe Loizzo offered his innovative CBRT “Learning to Thrive with Mindfulness, Compassion and Purpose.” Joe has been developing and testing CBRT for two decades at Columbia University and Weill Cornell Hospital. This unique training introduced students to a complete, evidence-based tool-chest for building resilience and well-being of mind, heart, and body through mindful self-compassion, mentoring imagery and yogic breath-work. More info on CBRT.

9. Contemplative Psychotherapy Program/NYC. The CPP/NYC, along with our Radical Compassion Project were thrilled to host author, activist, and teacher Lama Rod Owens this past year. Lama Rod is a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation and a vital voice in today’s conversation about social justice, intersectionality, and contemplative practice. The richness of his teaching “Radical Dharma as Compassion Practice” resonated with many of the themes in the CPP’s Compassion Year: emptiness, selflessness, skillful means, and interconnectedness. More info on CPP/NYC. More info on the Radical Compassion Project.

10. Sustainable Happiness Program. Dr. Pilar Jennings offered the third course in our four-year program in Sustainable Happiness, “The Gradual Path to Freedom and Happiness: Awakening Your Wise Mind, Warm Heart and Inner Altruist Through Insight Meditation” to students both in-person at Tibet House as well as via streaming video. The course was sealed with a day-long retreat “The Hero’s Journey of the Gradual Path: Transforming Your Mind, Heart, and Life a Day at a Time Through Insight Meditation” led by Pilar Jennings and Mary Reilly Nichols. More info on the Sustainable Happiness Program.

More in 2018…

• Dr. Miles Neale taught course two of the four-year Sustainable Happiness Program “Becoming Your Own Therapist: Contemplative Psychology for Everyday Life.”

• Dr. Joe Loizzo led a twelve-session Sustainable Happiness Graduate Workshop on “The Gradual Path of Bliss-Void Practice.”

• Geri Loizzo continued to offer her Wednesday morning open meditation / course that combines study and practice.