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.
by Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD
Today’s confluence of breakthrough neuropsychological research and diverse methods of mind/body health and well-being has coalesced in a new multi-disciplinary consensus and a historic confluence of distinct therapeutic approaches. Centered around a positive new science of human nature and a radically optimistic framework of plasticity, learning and change, this watershed has prompted a dialogue about mental health and well-being that not only crosses the lines between distinct schools of psychotherapy, but also the lines between Eastern and Western, ancient and modern, scientific and spiritual approaches to mind/body healing. Nowhere is the promise of this watershed more apparent than in the surprising convergence of the latest neuropsychology and embodied approaches to trauma with the timeless embodied contemplative psychology and transformational arts of the Tibetan Buddhist Tantras.
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?
By Katherine Jamieson
Editor’s Note: Katherine Jamieson will be leading a 3-session contemplative writing course, Contemplative Writing: Uncovering the Writer Within beginning June 6th. Find out more and register today.
I talk to a lot of people who want to be writers, but are struggling. Something is in the way. They think: What should I write about? Am I good enough to even be doing this? Who would want to read my work? They sit down to create and 10,000 distractions rise up: text messages, appointments, pressing errands. Soon they are doing something else, something urgent, which is actually a relief. Anything is easier than writing.
The act of writing is very simple: just put one word after another. But this simplicity is also anxiety-provoking. There is no hiding behind an instrument, tools or fancy technology. All you have is a pen or pencil, maybe a computer. Writing is a very exposed art. You are sharing your thoughts on the page, laying your mind bare for all to see. You are offering your view on what it means to be alive. What could be more amazing, or more terrifying?
by Anita Anandan
Editor’s Note: If you’re inspired by Anita’s story, please check out Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT) / Teacher Training and become a certified CBRT Teacher. Find out more and register — the training begins May 25th!
In December 2021, I had a chance to teach Nalanda Institute’s Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT), in a local prison. CBRT is an 8-week curriculum covering mindfulness, insight, compassion, mentor imagery along with breath and posture practices, complimented by Western scientific validation of these ancient practices.
Out of safety concerns during the pandemic, the prison arranged for me to communicate with the men remotely. The men gathered in a common space, and a video conference was used for the almost 80 men and I to communicate with each other. From time to time announcements reverberated through the space. Some of the men spoke Spanish, which I did not, and did not speak English, the language I used. But unwilling to let that deter them from fully participating, they brought a friend who interpreted between us.
by Nalanda Institute
On February 18, 2022 Nalanda Institute was honored to host an online Community Gathering with one of our favorite faculty, Sharon Salzberg, in dialogue with Nalanda Institute’s founder and academic director, Dr. Joe Loizzo.
It was a remarkable evening filled with mindfulness and loving-kindness meditations guided by Sharon Salzberg. Sharon also shared recollections and lessons from her life-long practice and teachings of loving-kindness.
(Video and audio documentation in English, Spanish and Portuguese may be found below)
by Geri Loizzo
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.