by Dan Donohue
As I look back on the year, there’s a theme that keeps coming up for me — the importance of community. As we emerge into what’s often referred to as the post-pandemic new normal, it’s ever more vital that we come together to support one another and work with intention to bring about the compassionate society we want to live in. The word ‘community’ is used a lot these days so I wanted to share some thoughts on what this word has come to mean for me.
When I first found my way to Buddhism and heard about the three treasures — Buddha, Dharma and Sangha — I have to admit that sangha or community didn’t really resonate with me. I came to Buddhism because I was suffering. All you other people? You’ll need to help yourselves. Well you can imagine my surprise at a ceremony for trans day of remembrance, when asked to look deep inside myself and write down what it is that I need to be resilient I had written: Community. What does that mean? How did that happen? Continue reading
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!
by Dan Donohue
On November 15th 2022, Dr. Joe Loizzo and Elazar Aslan, co-authors and co-developers of the Boundless Leadership award-winning book and program, offered a 90-minute webinar in which they shared three counter-intuitive steps (and the science behind these steps) to improving our relationships. The webinar also included a guided compassion meditation — a key ingredient to improving our social interactions. Joe and Elazar also took questions from the audience and discussed real world answers to questions such as ‘How do I feel compassion for coworkers that are mean and aggressive?’ and ‘How do I recover from feelings of shame after being put down by a coworker or boss?’
This short class introduced just a few aspects of becoming a Boundless Leader. The Boundless Leadership program was developed to help people optimize their whole being — mind, heart and body — to make better decisions, engage more deeply with others and overcome internal fears that limit their ability to realize their full potential, whether at work, or in their personal lives.
The Boundless Leadership program begins anew January 2023.
Learn more and register
Save 20% with our Earlybird discount if you register by November 30th!
by Heather Shaw
It has not been the best year of my life.
Much of it was spent with a partner battling stage 3 cancer — juggling the regular responsibilities of a family, a job and one very active puppy (which seemed like a good idea at the time) with an added dimension of constant uncertainty and unease. I tried to do everything, and yet so many things came undone. My mother passed away this summer, without a will or even power of attorney, and my father fell apart as a result, emptying their home of every last bit of everything that held a memory and announcing he was relocating from Chicago to my home in Portland, OR immediately because as an only child I was “all that was left.” My left hip was pronounced “severely, prematurely arthritic” and in need of a replacement. Sometime around January, my eleven year-old daughter stopped sleeping — period — and I found myself creating elaborate bedtime routines that invariably always ended in a campout on my bedroom floor so as not to disturb anyone else in the family (an exhausted compromise at best).
By Elazar Aslan
Who hasn’t suffered with a difficult colleague, an aggressive boss, an overly demanding client or a toxic work environment?
Our conditioned response to these situations is typically with an “us vs. them” bunker mentality where we attack and defend or shut down and withdraw, bound by the implicit rules of civility at work or the fear of financial repercussions. These common patterns cause much anguish and loss of confidence in our abilities as the results are rarely positive.
by Caverly Morgan
We all long to be happy. Not happy as in glee but deep contentment. We all long to feel at ease, to know that we’re okay, that life is okay, to be at peace. And we’re deeply habituated to look for this happiness outside us, to grasp and scramble for an experience that, at best, ends up being fleeting, then something we long for again. We forget that this experience we long for is already seated in the heart of who we are—and that it’s always here.
Have you ever touched this peace, this contentment, this deep knowing of who you truly are and then struggled because you recognized the degree to which the world around you didn’t reflect this experience of our true nature?
by Nalanda Institute
On August 21, 2022 Nalanda Institute hosted an online informational session about our upcoming offerings in the Contemplative Psychotherapy Program (CPP) starting this fall.
It was a wonderful gathering of prospective students, alumni and faculty. Dr. Joe Loizzo (founder and academic director) provided an overview of the Mindfulness, Compassion and Embodiment years and how they fit into our overall offerings.
by Nalanda Institute
On June 22, 2022, Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science along with the Wharton Center for Leadership and the Wharton Center for Human Resources hosted a panel discussion called The Great Return to Work: Ensuring Individual and Organizational Wellbeing in the New Normal.
by Joe Loizzo
Joe Loizzo MD, PhD, is the founder and Academic Director of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. The following essay has been adapted from the forthcoming 2nd edition of Advances in Contemplative Psychotherapy to be published by Routledge in January 2023. To learn more about the Contemplative Psychotherapy Program visit our information page.
Contemplative psychotherapy is a hybrid therapeutic approach that blends the meditative insights, ethics and practices of Buddhism with the theory and application of Western neuropsychology, social psychology and psychotherapy. This amalgam may invoke cognitive dissonance for some. “Contemplation” and “contemplative” — terms derived from the Latin contemplatio — have historically been used to describe a discipline of individual and group reflection considered central to introspective learning, especially the meditative and ethical learning practiced by lay and professional people in traditional Western religious communities. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, has evolved as a healing discipline of introspective learning based mainly on a dyadic method of reflection, informed by scientific views of human nature, and practiced in confidential relationships by mental health professionals and their clients in modern clinical settings.
by Joe Loizzo
As our lives return to a new and somewhat tentative post-pandemic normal, once again we find our days filled with doing. It’s vital therefore, that we greet the summer months as a precious opportunity for just being. Whether you need to recharge and refresh, or just stop and reflect, let’s make the most of this natural pause to realign our nervous systems with the energy and chemistry of thriving and well-being.