Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science
When the Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary
A Brief Contemplative Reading Group led by Elizabeth Rovere, MTS, PsyD, RYT
Tuesdays, May 4, 11, and 18. Online from 6:30–8:00pm ET.
One of the keys to contemplative learning in both the Indic and Western traditions is the process of contemplative reading, reflection and discussion of seminal scriptural and philosophical texts. Unlike the exclusively rational, analytical approach to reading that dominates learning in the modern West, this timeless practice—known as cintya-bhavana in India and lectio-divina in the West—works to stimulate and share the process of experiential and intuitive learning.
Within the rationalist paradigm of our day, we tend to neglect the contemplative. For Plato, Plotinus, and within the original Nalanda, topics such as alchemy, visions, unique experiences and questions regarding the nature and origins of being were commonplace. Today we overemphasize the deductive/inductive, sequential thought processes and, sadly, one of the casualties has been a diminished regard for our intuitive capacities and sensibilities.
To reawaken our intuitive learning as a group, we will read selected passages together, take a moment for meditative reflection, and then share our deepest response—feelings, associations, and broader implications for our lives. The book we will read is The Flip, a fascinating recent work by religious studies scholar Jeffrey Kripal, about non-ordinary experiences that transform people’s way of understanding themselves and the world.
In this group, we are excited to revisit the style of contemplative practice and deliberation that was once shared in our collective ancestral past, and inquire how it may offer a compelling gateway to knowledge, meaning and purpose.
This course meets online via Zoom.
Group members will need to have their own copy of The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge to participate. Feel free to get started reading. After registering, look for an email from Elizabeth Rovere with the assigned reading for the first meeting.
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If you have any questions about this course, please contact Elizabeth Rovere
Thank you for your interest. Registration has closed for this reading group. Please sign up for our email list to receive information about upcoming offerings.
Elizabeth Rovere, MA, MTS, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist in New York City where she has a private practice of group, couples and individual therapy. She is keenly interested in faith and spirituality as a profound path of psychological transformation. Current work interests include the neuroscience and metaphor of the human heart, climate justice and esoteric religious history. Elizabeth is a RYT-200 BodyAwake Yoga Teacher (December 2020), trained in somatic approaches to trauma. She holds an MA from Yale in Russian and East European Studies, an MTS from Harvard Divinity and a PsyD from William James College. Her clinical training was at Harvard University and NYU Medical Center. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their 2 daughters, and 2 cats.
Image (detail) of Nagarjuna by Robert Beer