Contemplative Studies Fall Events


The Brown University Virtual Contemplative Mentors in Residence Program will make tradition-based contemplative practices available to students and faculty at Brown University and several affiliated institutions.

Our Contemplative Mentors in Residence are all skilled practitioners in their respective traditions and also PhD-level scholars who have extensive experience teaching at institutions of higher education in Asia, North America and Europe.  These practitioner-scholars are familiar with the Liberal Arts values typical of higher education and are thus able to suit their teaching to the academic environment. Too often contemplative practices, if they are taught at all in higher education, are deracinated versions removed from their cultural origins. Each of our Contemplative Mentors has extensive training in both the contexts and the methods of the practices they will be leading.

The Schedule

Our mentors will teach weekly in the noon hour Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for 12 weeks during each term of the upcoming academic year. The Fall Sessions start the week of September 19th.

Mondays: Thai Śamatha (Concentrative) Meditation: Sarah Shaw
Wednesdays: Chinese Qigong Moving Meditation: Larson DiFiori
Fridays: Japanese Rinzai Zen Meditation: Masaki Matsubara

If you are interested in seeing what it's like to develop a consistent contemplative practice, we strongly recommend -- but do not require -- that you sign up for the entire 12-week period this semester. People are welcome to "shop" the first sessions the week of September 19th and then decide. Casual participation is also possible but not recommended.  Send your decision to [email protected] with "Virtual Contemplative Mentors" in the subject line. Students in courses who are assigned to specific weeks of Contemplative Practice Sessions do not need to do this.


Tuesday, September 13th
5:30 - 7:30 pm EST
Horace Mann, Rm. 103
Welcome Back Dinner for Contemplative Studies Faculty, Students and Alumni
(Please contact [email protected], if interested)

Thursday, October 13, 2022
6:00pm - 8:00pm EST
Grant Recital Hall, 105 Benevolent St

Steve Gorn & Eric Fraser with Nitin Mitta — Flute Jugalbandhi Concert

Monday, October 24, 2022 
7 - 9 pm, EDT
Virtual Lecture by Prof. Hiro Saito on The Sociological Imagination, Contemplative Practice and Social Change.
This is a virtual event, so please register at in order to receive the Zoom link. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our administrator, [email protected].

Dr Hiro Saito is Associate Professor of Sociology at Singapore Management University and Director of Holistic Education Lab ( Drawing on his training in social science, mindfulness practice, and design thinking, he is currently pursuing educational innovations to facilitate holistic growth and collective well-being. His lecture will explore how we might combine sociological imagination and contemplative practice for social change by drawing on C. Wright Mills, Thich Nhat Hanh, Martin Luther King Jr, the Dalai Lama,
and Rudolf Steiner, among other forerunners who have advanced similar visions.

Thursday, November 3rd, 2022
6:30 - 8:30 pm, EST
Horace Mann, Rms. 102 - 103
Contemplative Studies Autumn Open House
(Please contact [email protected], if interested) 

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022
5:30 - 7 pm, EST
Metcalf Research Building, Friedman Auditorium
Lecture by Kumu Ramsay Taum on Cultivating Vital Energy in Hawaiian Wisdom Traditions of Martial (Lua) and Healing (Ho’noponopono) Arts

Kumu Ramsay Taum is the founder and president of the Hawaii based Life Enhancement Institute (LEI) of the Pacific LLC. His eclectic background and experience in business, government, and community service make him a valuable asset in both public and private sectors, as well as for- profit and non-profit business. His work in promoting sustainable, place-based, and Hawaiian cultural stewardship principles and practices is acknowledged locally, nationally, and internationally. Ramsay is a recognized cultural resource and sought after as a keynote speaker, lecturer, trainer and facilitator. Trained by respected Hawaiian elders, he effectively integrates place based, cultural based, indigenous, and Native Hawaiian cultural values and principles into contemporary business. Kumu Ramsay is helping us integrate Traditional Hawaiian philosophy and practices into our programs.

Thursday, November 10th, 2022
4 - 5:30 pm, EST
Watson Institute for Public Affairs, Joukowsky Forum
Lecture by Kumu Ramsay Taum on Indigenous Alliances and Mobilizations Moving Policies and Practices Seeking Justice and Sustainability Across the Pacific: From Root to Fruit, Remembering the Future

Sunday, November 20th, 2022
10 am - 4 pm, EST
Brown/RISD Hillel, Goldfarb Family Social Room
Workshop by Professor Larson DiFiori on Daoist Style Meditation and Qigong