Moustafa Abdelrahman, MBA, RP, is a meditation teacher and Contemplative Therapist. He is certified by the University of Toronto as an Applied Mindfulness Meditation Specialist and holds a Certificate in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Nalanda Institute/Diploma from the Institute of Traditional Medicine. Abdelrahman teaches a variety of mindfulness certificate courses at the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto and has facilitated mindfulness workshops for a wide range of corporate and nonprofit organizations, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He is a Senior Teacher for the Meditation Teacher Training at X-Hale Meditation & Wellness Centre and leads the Mindfulness Meditation program at the 519, a City of Toronto agency supporting the LGBTQ2S communities.
Mar Aige, BFA, MA, RYT, is a painter, art educator, meditation and yoga teacher specializing in therapeutic breathwork and self-massage. She received her BFA from Universitat de Barcelona and her MA from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and is a certified kundalini and Tibetan yoga teacher. At the Nalanda Institute, Mar graduated from the Yoga, Mind & Spirit and CBRT Teacher Training programs, where she teaches yoga and breathwork. Mar co-directs the Contemplative Psychotherapy Program in Spanish and Portuguese, where she also coordinates translations and teaches contemplative practices. Mar started teaching art to children over 20 years ago in museums and schools. Inspired by progressive education approaches like Reggio Emilia, Montessori, and Waldorf, she has taught at the Guggenheim Museum, The Met Cloisters, St. John the Divine, and the Brooklyn Historical Society. She started The Rubin Museum’s Family Programs department, which she managed for 5 years. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband Isaac and her pup Tara.
Fiona Brandon, MA, MFT, is the Director of the Nalanda Institute’s CBRT and San Francisco-based Contemplative Psychotherapy programs. She is a psychotherapist in private practice who draws upon Buddhist psychology, depth psychology, expressive arts therapy, dream imagery, and Sensorimotor psychotherapy in her work with adults and couples. Fiona is a graduate of the Masters program in Counseling Psychology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her research focused on the meditative practice of Authentic Movement, the use of symbols and dream imagery in psychotherapy. She has taught mindfulness practices at the UCSF Chronic Pelvic Pain Center and has been a teaching assistant at both the California Institute of Integral Studies and the Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Joseph (Joe) Loizzo, MD, PhD, is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and Columbia-trained Buddhist scholar with over forty years’ experience studying the beneficial effects of contemplative practices on healing, learning and development. He is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in Integrative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he researches and teaches contemplative self-healing and optimal health. He has taught the philosophy of science and religion, the scientific study of contemplative states, and the Indo-Tibetan mind and health sciences at Columbia University, where he is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Columbia Center for Buddhist Studies.Continue reading
In 1998, Dr. Loizzo opened the Center for Meditation and Healing at Columbia University’s Presbyterian Hospital, the first mind/body medical center in a major academic department of psychiatry, and the first in the West to offer programs in stress-reduction, self-healing, and lifestyle change integrating compassion practice, role-modeling imagery, and advanced breath-control skills with basic mindfulness and yoga.
The Center for Meditation and Healing joined the Center for Integrative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in 2003, to better test and refine the effectiveness of programs. Dr. Loizzo founded Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science two years later, to make these programs more available to professionals and the public at large. In 2007, the Institute was incorporated in New York State as a not-for-profit educational foundation. Since then, its programs and community have been steadily evolving to meet the exponentially growing demand for neuroscientifically informed training in contemplative practices and their integration into contemporary healthcare, business, education, and daily life. Beyond the Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT) and Contemplative Self-Healing Program (CSHP) offered since 1998 at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Institute’s main programs include its comprehensive Four-Year Sustainable Happiness Program, its historic international Contemplative Psychotherapy Program, its cutting-edge Mindful Business & Leadership Program, and its popular Mindful Families & Schools Program. The Institute’s contemplative teacher training programs include Meditation Teacher Training in Mindfulness and Loving-Kindness, and Yoga, Mind, & Spirit Advanced Yoga Teacher Training.
Raised in Switzerland and educated in a Marianist Catholic boy’s school in New York, Dr. Loizzo was graduated summa cum laude in Independent Study from Amherst College. He completed his medical studies at New York University and his post-graduate training in psychiatry at Harvard’s Cambridge Hospital. His Columbia Ph.D. is in Indo-Tibetan Studies. He also holds an M.F.A. from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.
His academic honors include phi beta kappa; the Father Chaminade Awards for English and Religion; the first Mosely Prize in Philosophy and Religion; the Herman Wortis Prize in Neuropsychiatry and Medicine; a Mellon Faculty Fellowship in Indo-Tibetan Studies; and a Columbia University President’s Fellowship in the Scientific Study of Religion.
Beyond his teaching at Harvard, UC Davis, Columbia, and Cornell, Dr. Loizzo has lectured internationally on the health benefits of contemplative practices to a wide range of professional and public audiences. He gives frequent talks at Tibet House US on his work weaving humanity’s timeless contemplative sciences and healing arts into modern medicine, psychotherapy, leadership, and education.
Dr. Loizzo’s research has taken him from Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute and Cambridge Hospital westward to the Psychiatry Training Program at UC Davis, and eastward to Drepung Monastic University in India. Now at the Weill Cornell Center for Integrative Medicine, he has completed four studies on the impact of mindfulness, compassion, imagery, and breath-control skills on the lives of women recovering from breast cancer. The positive findings of these studies–marked reductions in stress, traumatic avoidance, and intrusive thinking combined with clear gains in social-emotional functioning and quality of life—have been published in peer-reviewed journals including Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, and Biomed Central.
Beyond his clinical research, Dr. Loizzo has published numerous scientific articles and scholarly chapters on contemplative approaches to psychotherapy, leadership, and education, the role of contemplative self-healing in healthcare, and the Nalanda tradition of mind and health science. This includes seven review articles on contemplative neuropsychiatry and psychotherapy published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychiatric Association Press, and Oxford University Press. His translation study, Nagarjuna’s Reason Sixty with Candrakirti’s Commentary, was one of the inaugural volumes in the American Institute of Buddhist Studies Translation Series distributed by the Columbia University Press.
Dr. Loizzo’s comprehensive textbook, Sustainable Happiness: The Mind Science Of Well-Being, Altruism, and Inspiration was published by Routledge in 2012. He is executive editor of Advances in Contemplative Psychotherapy: Accelerating Healing and Transformation, a groundbreaking collection of essays by pioneers of a fast-emerging and highly promising new field (Routledge, 2017). The meditation manuals and CD’s used in his programs on stress, healing and life-change are available through the Nalanda Institute.
Dr. Loizzo lives in Manhattan with his wife Gerardine and sons, Maitreya Dante and Ananda Rowan, where he maintains a private practice of contemplative psychotherapy.