Author Archives: Geri Loizzo

Co-Creating Community: Celebrating the Arts of Compassion (And Learning How to Be Hybrid in a Changing World)

by Geri Loizzo


Editor’s note: Read on and then enjoy all of the videos from this special in-person event.


The laws of impermanence teach us that things are changing all the time — a teaching that has been especially apparent in the time of covid. Like all institutions of learning, Nalanda Institute has had to adapt to the change from in-person contact to online classes. For many of us, keeping a feeling of connection and intimacy in the little square boxes of Zoom has posed a challenge, even as the benefits of becoming more accessible to new friends connecting around the globe have been felt and greatly appreciated. While not IRL (in real life), you could say this new accessibility has provided more opportunities to experience a wider variety of the courses and daily meditation offerings IRT (in real time). Still, for some, the yearning for an in-person experience has been brewing for quite some time!

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May We Get There Together

By Geri Loizzo

Another week, another shooting. Just in the past two weeks, we have seen unspeakable killings — of children and their teachers finishing their school year in Uvalde, of cherished elders and guardians shopping in a Buffalo grocery store, and of churchgoers sharing community in Laguna Woods. It has become a common occurrence for us to witness precious lives cut short in an instant by rampant, toxic masculinity and the glorification of gun violence. Dr. King warned us about the afflictions of greed, hatred, and racism. Where can we begin to fathom a way forward in our personal lives and our collective society?

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Straight to the Heart: A Weekend Retreat with Sharon Salzberg

by Geri Loizzo

Sharon Salzberg Contemplative Psychotherapy Program


Editor’s Note: For those who couldn’t attend the retreat with Sharon Salzberg, Nalanda Institute is pleased to announce that she’ll be speaking at our forthcoming Community Gathering on February 18th. This online event is freely offered. We hope you’ll join us….find out more here.

Find out more about the Contemplative Psychotherapy Program


I was quietly blow away at recent weekend retreat in the Contemplative Psychotherapy Program with core faculty Sharon Salzberg. Reflecting on exactly how the weekend hit home for me, I found myself thinking about the author Kurt Vonnegut. In describing the art of writing, Vonnegut often talked about the powerful impact of a well-placed short sentence. To me, Sharon is the Kurt Vonnegut of Mindfulness and Loving Kindness. In one short phrase, she can bend the mind and heart toward a whole new understanding.

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Noble Struggle

by Geri Loizzo

The Noble Eightfold Path
1) Right View, 2) Right Intention, 3) Right Speech, 4) Right Action, 5) Right Livelihood, 6) Right Effort, 7) Right Mindfulness, 8) Right Concentration

As I sit down to write this reflection on the Noble Eightfold Path, my wandering mind searches for a point of connection to the here and now. The Buddha’s ancient guidelines seem to map the path as a clear straight line to be traversed step by step by anyone and everyone committed to following in his footsteps. But it’s not so clear how those of us struggling to live more mindfully in today’s stressful world can best apply that map in our own everyday lives.

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I Want That!

by Geri Loizzo

One of my favorite stories found in the Jewish tradition was told to me by my dear teacher, Yogini Mary Reilly Nichols. It’s a story of a young man who goes to see a famous rabbi and is asked by a friend, “are you going to hear the rabbi speak?” “No,” replies the young man, “I am going to watch the rabbi tie his shoes.” He did not mean this as a joke, and he understood that the embodied qualities of enlightenment which the rabbi exuded in his very being, could offer powerful inspiration that he could intuit.

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What’s Not to Love about Compassion?

by Geri Loizzo

There’s a reason why I’m so excited about our upcoming Meditation Teacher Training in Compassion. Though we benefit greatly from Mindfulness as the way of personal freedom, or the vehicle for not getting caught up in the stresses of everyday life, it is compassion practice that takes us back to Mindfulness’ ethical roots. Historical Buddha, after all, declared that every mind is noble regardless of race, class or gender. In that sense, his remarkable insights, the four noble truths, were radically compassionate at their very core.

Students and teachers gather for graduation photo at the conclusion of our last training. Congratulations everyone!

Compassion Training is a treasure of practices that have the potential to soften the heart, protect from stress, and bring us closer to our fellow human beings in an ever-widening circle of kin. They are a social gift that keeps on giving.

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