Learn from 10 Respected Teachers as they explore the profound teachings of Buddhist Philosophy, from Mindfulness to Loving Kindness to Tantra

Speakers Include

Talks Include

An Integrated Awakening: From Separation to Seamless Reality // THANISSARA

Through 2,600 years of geographical and cultural adaptations, the heart of the Buddha’s message still remains relevant for our times. This is because it points to timeless truths, the primacy of mind as a force for good or ill, and the deeper nature of mind as indivisible and timeless consciousness. Realization of the unchanging nature of mind alleviates many of our fears, and puts the challenges  of life into perspective. However, this doesn’t preclude us from engaging a world on fire, which urgently calls for our attention. This is done through training as a Bodhisattva, one who serves the Dharma, sentient beings, and the Earth, through embodied, compassionate activity.

This talk will explore core Buddhist practices of ethics, mindfulness, wise understanding, and the transformation of suffering through compassion and authenticity.

Standing for Love: Courage and the Generous Heart // JOSHUA BEE ALAFIA

In these times of mass incarceration, police violence, institutional racism, homophobia, xenophobia, extremist politics, and on and on, how do we stand for Love and have the courage to maintain a generous heart?  Love that is fortified with the awakening of the sense of inter-being that brings all of us together.  This loving sense of unity.  Oneness.  How do we resist the mainstream's push to divide with extreme aversion and consume to fill the void of separation? 

Exploring the Buddhist practice of Metta and discussing Virya (energy), Saddha (trust) and Bhavana (cultivation, meditation), this talk follows the journey of the heart in its quest to be authentic, bold and generous.

Beyond McMindfulness // DR. MILES NEALE

Mindfulness meditation has entered mainstream American culture. While secular versions of the practice offer well researched health benefits for a wide variety of conditions, there is also a backlash against the potential dilution, commodification, and mass-marketing of mindfulness as a panacea. In this talk Dr. Miles Neale offers his critique of mcmindfulness and explores the clinical application, underlying psychological mechanisms and efficacy of secular mindfulness. He contrasts these two approaches with the way mindfulness is used traditionally in Buddhist psychology where it is combined with ethical lifestyle and a quantum view of reality for the purpose of conscious evolution and awakening.

Honey on a Razorblade : Desire as a Path of Practice // ADREANNA LIMBACH

In traditional Buddhist texts, desire and craving have a pretty bad reputation. In the best case scenario, desire is spoken about as one of our greatest obstacles to freedom. In the worst case scenario, desire is painted as the root of all of our suffering. Which makes it easy to understand why we might misinterpret desire as something that needs to be sanitized or suppressed. That ridding ourselves of wanting is the “Buddhist” thing to do. But what if playing with -and participating in- our desires was the path of practice itself?

In this talk we’ll tease out the traditional Buddhist view of desire and craving, examine how desire plays into our personal relationships and society at large, and take a fresh view on how understanding and integrating our appetite for more can inform, and inspire our practice.

How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People) // LODRO RINZLER

Most of us think that love is something out there - something to be attained - yet the Buddha taught that underneath our layers of self-doubt and criticism is peace and love within each of us. Join best-selling author and Shambhala Buddhist teacher Lodro Rinzler for an exploration of how meditation is the tool that allows us to access more love in our lives, first for ourselves and then in our dating life, long-term relationships, sex lives, and even in heartbreak. Lodro maps the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism to the way we consider relationships and highlights how the Four Limitless Qualities give us the energy to love more fully on and off the meditation cushion.

Mindful Consumption and Sobriety: The 5th Precept as a Practice in Generosity of Spirit // SYDNEY ROSE

As Buddhist practitioners, we work towards the realization of a peacefulness tha's always available and cultivated from within. The Buddha talks about this as the "happiness associated with letting go of fruitless quests." We start our meditations by closing our eyes or lowering our gaze, physically bringing our attention inwards. Symbolically, we're also letting go of constant stimulation by the world that acts on us from the outside, impacting our mood and nervous systems.

In modern society, it makes sense that many of us feel reactive when we talk about sobriety. It's common in our culture to hold associations with sacrifice and substance use that feel heavy or shaming. Believe it or not, the Buddhist texts saw renunciation of intoxication as an opportunity for deep, sustaining joy. They introduce ethical practices as opportunities to offer freedom to all living beings and consider them to be subversive, going against the grain. In this lecture, we'll explore the possibilities for abundant mind states and societal transformation that can we can open to through conscious engagement with the 5th precept.


The true nature of our mind is brilliant, clear, and joyful. But we don't experience this reality amid the swirl of stresses, thoughts, and emotions of day-to-day life. This talk will offer practical suggestions on uncovering our naturally comfortable state of mind and reconnecting with the unconditional happiness that is already within us. Using straightforward, accessible language, Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche discusses the path of Pristine Mind meditation, a practice from the profound teachings known as Dzogchen. This path is a realistic, natural process that can be practiced and experienced by anyone. 

Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation // REV. ANGEL KYODO WILLIAMS

Thrust into the Western socioeconomic framework that puts profit above all, coupled with a desire to perpetuate institutional existence, the Dharma has become beholden to commodification as inescapable and de rigueur. Radical Dharma is one that insists we investigate not only the unsatisfactoriness of our own minds but also prepares us for the discomfort of confronting the obscurations of the society we are individual expressions of.

Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, is a catalyst to initiate a long-overdue conversation: How do we have conversations about social transformation while facing the truths of racism and privilege on and of the cushion? It is an invitation to look at how the legacy of racial injustice plays out in our Buddhist communities. We are called upon to dig deeper to discover the radical dharma that truly makes room for the liberation of all.

With national attention focused on the recent killings of unarmed black citizens and the response of the Black-centered liberation groups such as Black Lives Matter, Radical Dharma demonstrates how social transformation and personal, spiritual liberation must be articulated and are inextricably linked.

In this talk Rev. angel will share her experience while exploring how the teachings that transcend color, class, and sexual orientation have been hindered by discrimination and the dynamics of power, shame, and ignorance.

The Third Wave of Contemplative Life: The Embodied Art and Science of the Tantras // DR. JOE LOIZZO

In the midst of the mindfulness revolution and on the cusp of the new age of loving kindness, many who encounter the colorful imagery, prayerful chanting, and ritualized breath-work of the Hindu and Buddhist Tantras find themselves challenged. Given the rich symbolism and complexity of these practices, they often strike us as too busy for meditation, or too religious for today. In this discussion, contemplative psychiatrist and Nalanda Institute Director Dr. Joe Loizzo explores some of the recent breakthroughs in neuroscience that help explain how these practices work, and why they may become the most popular forms of meditation in our age. Dr. Loizzo will also share his clinical research on these methods, and link them to recent work on the mirror neuron empathy system and the vagal nerve social engagement system. And he will explore the evidence that positive imagery, soothing vocalization, and intensive breathing may have deeper, quicker, and more powerful effects on the brain than seemingly more "meditative" techniques. Finally, Dr. Loizzo will address how such practices might protect our minds and brains from the barrage of digital messages and multi-tasking demands we face today, and speed the global spread of empathy and prosocial engagement on which our future depends.

Touching the Earth: The Neuroscience of Natural Awakening // RALPH DE LA ROSA

The Buddha taught that truth and liberation are to be found not in complex philosophies, but rather in our bodies, each other, and in the natural world around us. More recent discoveries in the field of neuroscience have not only confirmed this truth, but have helped further the conversation. In this talk, we will explore the origin story of the Buddha's enlightenment, the implications it contains for our own personal journeys, and what neuroscience has to say in concert about the unfolding process of our own conscious evolution. We will also explore techniques for bringing these theories into direct experience through meditation.

About the Speakers

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