About Us


Nalanda Institute is a diverse contemplative learning community of people devoted to transforming their lives, supporting others in changing themselves and working together to better care for the world we share. We recognize that a fundamental shift is needed in the way we live, from a culture of scarcity and domination to one of abundance and community. The Institute’s programs facilitate this transformation in the personal, interpersonal, institutional and communal domains.

Our mission is to support people from all walks of life to cultivate an open mind, warm heart and altruistic way of being by infusing timeless contemplative science and practice into contemporary life. 

Our vision is to be a vital partner in a global movement of personal and collective liberation through transformational programs, exemplary faculty, compassionate community, and a culture of social engagement.

What We Do

Nalanda Institute offers a variety of short and long courses designed to improve the key ingredients of well-being: Aware Mind, Engaged Heart, Energized Body and Purposeful Life.

  • Aware Mind. Current neuroscience confirms that our brains and genomes are far more plastic (and powerfully shaped by the mind) than we believed. Through mindfulness meditation, we learn to control our attention and expand our awareness to cultivate greater clarity, flexibility and optimism.
  • Engaged Heart. Positive psychology confirms that empathy, love and compassion are traits that can be developed and strengthened with practice. Compassion-based meditation helps foster the capacity to more fully accept and care for ourselves and others while promoting a greater sense of social connection, well-being and belonging.
  • Energized Body. Research on the autonomic nervous system shows that stress and trauma strain our body’s health and well-being. Embodied practices can train the autonomic system to calm stress-reactivity, balance positive energy, and sustain well-being.
  • Purposeful Life. By engaging mind, heart and body in these practices we are empowered to make wiser choices and build healthy habits which opens a whole new way of being and living—one that is more joyful and socially engaged.


The Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science grew out of the founder’s research in contemplative science at Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical College from 1996 to its founding in 2007. It was inspired by the ancient University of Nalanda, the world’s first university, which flourished in North India from the fifth to the thirteenth centuries, and influenced all Asia. It offers a paradigm of a human-centered culture of learning that puts contemplative science and practice at the heart of learning in the physical and social sciences, humanities and the arts, with the aim of fostering a way of life that is fully embodied, compassionate, equitable and sustainable.

Preserved in the colleges and medical schools of Tibet, the Nalanda curriculum stands as a time-capsule of one of the world’s most highly developed systems of contemplative science and practice, compassionate ethics, integrative healthcare and positive psychology.

We acknowledge the many generations of teachers that have refined and preserved this rich human legacy so that today we can integrate it with the latest developments in neuroscience, psychology, and social ethics into programs that help us all transform our contemporary way of life.

We welcome all people to come learn and change with us.

Read an excerpt from the Invocation by HH the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama greets Nalanda Institute Founder & Director Joe Loizzo.

The seal used in the ancient Nalanda University.