Sustainable Happiness Program

Sustainable Happiness Program

Four years of training in contemplative science and practice to thrive in our interdependent world.


The Nalanda Institute’s Sustainable Happiness Program offers the college-level education everyone needs but never gets in a modern university: four years of intensive training in the contemplative sciences, practices and life skills a person needs to break free of stress and thrive happily in our interdependent world.

Continue Reading Overview

This is our most extensive training, as well as the leading program of its kind, combining time-tested contemplative insights and methods from the scientific curriculum developed at Nalanda University in India, preserved in Tibet, with evidence-based contemplative practices informed by the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience and positive psychology.

This program unfolds as a comprehensive, systematic yet gradual path. Each class integrates all three core disciplines of contemplative learning: knowledge; meditation; and action, offering:

  • Essential mindfulness and compassion-based insights and methods to stop stress and facilitate self care
  • Compassionate insights and methods to manage the social stress of others with care
  • Altruistic vision and inspiration to build more caring institutions and inclusive communities
  • Dr. Pilar Jennings inspiring a Sustainable Happiness class.

Who is this program for?

This four-year program is for those who have interest or experience with meditation and are seeking the skills and resources to support lifelong learning, to develop a strong practice, and to belong to a community that helps sustain personal transformation.


The curriculum is taught step-by-step over four years to provide the time, guidance and supportive community people need for transformative learning and higher human development. Students are systematically trained to develop the contemplative insight and skills for sustainable happiness, as well as others, based on Dr. Joe Loizzo’s comprehensive guide, Sustainable Happiness: The Mind Science of Well-Being, Altruism, and Inspiration.

Continue Reading Curriculum
  • Year One: Contemplative psychology and mindfulness practice
  • Year Two: Social psychology and compassion practice
  • Year Three: Heroic psychology and visioning practice
  • Year Four: Embodied psychology and breath-flow practice

The training weaves together divergent teaching methods, including lectures and class discussions, meditation practices, community support, regular retreats and peer group processing, as well as optional private mentoring. Lecture topics progress sequentially each week along with the associated meditative skills and practices. Each class is supplemented by a syllabus of readings, guided meditations, and Q&A.


Attend by the class, by the semester or for the entire program. A certificate of completion is granted to those who attend all four years (in person, online or in combination) and complete a written capstone project at the conclusion of each semester. Participate in person at Tibet House US in New York City or online. Some of the courses are also available via realtime streaming.


Director: Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD

Core Faculty: Pilar Jennings, PhD; Geri Loizzo; and Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD

Guest Faculty: Desirée Caban and Mary Reilly Nichols

View all Sustainable Happiness faculty

What people are saying

“I don’t have words to express my gratitude to Miles and all at the Nalanda Institute for allowing me the opportunity to participate in the four-year training in Sustainable Happiness. This introduced me to a depth of Buddhist philosophy, psychology and practice that I did not even know existed. It gave me techniques to change my life and that of others. It made me see the world differently and more clearly. I would recommend this program to anyone who is serious about evaluating their minds, interactions, actions, relationships, reactions. In short, I would recommend this program to anyone who is serious about improving their lives and those of others.”

—Rene Herlong, MD

Continue Reading What people are saying

“To say that the training offered by Nalanda Institute was a ‘life-changer‘ could sound banal or clichéd to those who have yet to experience it. The curriculum was a unique distillation of the thousands of years of mind-science with which Buddhism has gifted the world yet skillfully filtered through a western psychological contemplative map, making it both accessible and practical—no easy task.

—Hillel Greif

“Nalanda Institute obviously blends East and West, but just as importantly, it blends practice with discourse. I’ve come out of it with a practical toolbox and a beautiful Sangha. More prepared than ever to address the tough questions and tough times as well as create the world and compassion around me. We all know the strain NYC puts on the heart and mind, but I know with just a dose a week Miles or Pilar, devoted, wise and caring teachers, my frame of view is lifted. I’m better for it and so are the people around me.

—Matthias Schmitt

“The four-year program was absolutely life-changing. Miles dedicated his heart and intellect to the course and led his students on a journey down the Buddhist Path with compassion and clarity. As a result of my studies with Nalanda Institute, I’ve come to appreciate the preciousness of my life and how our every thought and action in the moment helps determine and shape the quality of my life in the future. The course helped me heal from my own personal trauma and empowered me in ways that I never thought possible. I’m a better parent to my children and a better friend to others and myself.”

—Julie Flynn Badal

“Thanks to the Nalanda Institute’s four-year training and its faculty, especially Dr. Neale, I was able to understand the cyclic and compulsive behavior that has shaped me in the first 40 years of my life. Where I was anxious and afraid, I am now calm and brave; where I was reactive and ignorant, I am now responsive and mindful — even though the New York City cab drivers still drive me crazy — but at least I am more selective in my hurls of insults and won’t discount their karma. In any event, with my new view of reality, I see people suffering that need help but also an abundance of support, relationships and resources that we can use to shape a better future for our planet and all sentient beings.”

—Alan Gilbert

“The Nalanda Institute four-year training did nothing short of changing my life. I came into the program with a general interest in Buddhism and a desire to get rid of my push-pull reactivity that left me alternately wired and exhausted. I walk around with a quiet contentment as my companion. I’ve learned to find joy in the midst of what feels like disaster, and I’ve learned to make friends with my emotions and, frankly, with myself as well. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing of all was the unexpected friendships that developed over the four years and the contemplative community that has emerged to become a reliable refuge in the midst of the confusion of modern, materialistic life.

—Megan O’Leary

“The four-year training in Sustainable Happiness offered by Nalanda Institute, based on Joe Loizzo’s book with the same title, is a transformational experience. This life-changing course combines the teachings of the science of traditional Tibetan Buddhism with the practical tools to practice a mindful way of life in a stressful world. We have the choice to live either a self-centered life in an on-demand culture, or be a force for good.”

—Stew Cohen

Online learning

Some Sustainable Happiness classes are available via real-time streaming. Watch this space for details.


Geri Loizzo,

The curriculum was a unique distillation of the thousands of years of mind-science with which Buddhism has gifted the world yet skillfully filtered through a western psychological contemplative map, making it both accessible and practical—no easy task.

— Hillel Greif