Archived Events

Spring 2013

"Word and Sense: Contemplative Pedagogies in Academic Writing" by Naropa Professor Judith Simmer-Brown
Friday, April 26 @ 5pm, Wilson 309    Judith Simmer-BrownJudith Simmer-Brown

Judith teaches in Naropa's undergraduate and graduate programs.  Her courses cover history, texts, philosophy and practice of South and Central Asian Buddhism; religious studies; Buddhist theology; engaged Buddhism; and interreligious dialogue.  Her graduate seminars emphasize the Indian roots of Buddhism throuh the study of primary texts in translation as well as the cultural and historical context of India and its transmission of Buddhism to Tibet.  Judith also teaches first-year undergraudates in the Contemplative Leraning Seminar to introduce Naropa's unique approach to contemplative learning across the disciplines.  

Two Events with Roshi Joan Halifax, Founding Abbot of Upaya Center    Roshi JoanRoshi Joan

  • "Living Buddhism or Living Meditation: A Workshop"
    Sunday, April 21, 2013 from 11am-5pm in the Winnick Chapel, Hillel Center.  Tickets are available at

    This a daylong plunge into meditation practice will involve periods of exploration of focused attention and open presence.  Meditation has been used as well as a well-being practice.  In this day, we will explore meditation as a "ground of being" practice. 
  • The Mary Interlandi 05' Memorial Lecture
    "Principled Compassion: A New Model and Radical Vision"
    Monday, April 22, 2013 @ 5:30pm in Smith Buonanno Hall, Rm 106 
    This event is free and open to the public.  The Interlandi Fund and Lecture are made possible by the generous donation of John and Beth Interlandi in memory of their daughter, Mary. 

Roshi Joan is a Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, autho, and social activist.  She trains healthcare professionals in many parts of the world in compassionate care of the dying.   She has founded a renowed chaplaincy training program on a Buddhist perspective and systems theory.  She is the director of the Project on Being with Dying and founder and director of theUpaya Prison Project.  A founding teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, Roshi Joan's work and practice for more than 4 decades has focused on applied Buddhism.  Her books include: The Human Encounter with the Death(with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful DarknessSimplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America; and Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death.  She is a Lindisfarne Fellow, and co-director of the Fellowship as well as Mind and Life board member.  


A Lecture by Amishi Jha, University of Miami
Tuesday, April 16 @ 5:30pm in List 120

Amishi Jha is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Contemplative Neuroscience, Mindfulness Research & Practice Initiative, University of Miami. She has a Ph.D. from the University of California-Davis, post-doctoral training in brain imaging at Duke University, and was a faculty member at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania prior to her current post. Her research focuses on the brain bases of attention, working memory, and mindfulness-based training. With grants from the US Department of Defense and several private foundations, her current projects investigate how to best promote resilience in high stress cohorts using contemplative/mind training techniques that strengthen the brain's attention networks. She was selected as a Science and Public Leadership Fellow by PopTech, and serves on editorial review boards of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Frontiers in Cognitive Science, and Frontiers in Psychology. 

Two Events with Painter & Poet Kazuaki Tanahashi

Kazuaki Tanahashi, born in Japan and active in the United States since 1977, is an artist, Buddhist scholar, and peace worker.  As a painter and calligrapher, Kaz has had solo exhibitions of his brushwork worldwide.  His publications include Sky Above; Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan; Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen's Shobo Genzo; Brush Mind, Penetrating Laughter: Hakuin's Zen and Art, and Lotus.  Kaz is director of  A World Without Armies.  And you can visit his website

  • Lecture on Zen Poet Ryokan
    Wednesday, April 3 @ 5:30pm in List 120 (64 College Street) 
  • Calligraphy Workshop 
    Tuesday, April 2 @ RISD 

Mindfulness Workshops with Shinzen Young

  •  Sat., Feb. 16 and Sun., Feb. 17, 9:30am-3:00pm
    Ashamu Dance Studio (77 Waterman Street) 

  • Saturday, Feb. 23, 10am-3pm and Sunday, Feb. 24, 11am-4pm
    Winnick Chapel, Hillel (80 Brown Street)

  • Sat,, March 2 and Sunday, March 3, 10am-4pm
    Crystal Room, Alumnae Hall (194-200 Meeting Street)

Tickets are $35 general admission/$5 with Brown/RISD ID and are available at:


Please note that registration is per weekend, whether you can attend both days or not.

 A copy of the flyer is available to download at the bottom of the page.



The Science of Enlightenment 
a lecture with Shinzen Young, Distinguished Scholar in Residence

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
RI Hall 108

Shinzen Young is known for innovative, "interactive, algorithmic approach" to minfulness, a system specifically designed for use in pain management, recovery support, and as an adjunct to psychotherapy.  He leads meditation retreats throughout North America and has helped establish numerous mindfulness centers and programs.  Please click below to download the flyer for this event.  

Fall 2012

Tuesday 9/25/12,   5:30 - 7:30 

Petteruti Lounge in the Stephen Roberts '62 Campus Center 

"The Good, the Bad and the Undetermined: Reflections on the  Abhidharma Listing and Classification of dharmas".

Dr. Rupert Gethin, Professor of Buddhist Studies
Director of the Centre for Buddhist Studies
University of Bristol

Professor Gethin’s main interest is in the origins and development of Buddhist thought in the Pali Nikayas and Abhidharma. He is the author of four books and many articles in these areas including  Sayings of the Buddha: New Translations from the Pali Nikayas (Oxford, 2008), Summary of Topics of Abdhidhamma and Expositions of the Topics of Abhidhamma (with R.P. Wijeratne) (PTS, 2002), and the very widely read The Foundations of Buddhism (Oxford, 1998). 

Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, 5:30-7:30pm
Religious Studies Seminar Room (101)
59 George Street

Contemplative Studies Open House

Join us for good food and conversation!  An excellent opportunity to meet faculty and concentrators, and learn more about what we do.  


Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, 5:30-7:30pm
Petteruti Lounge

"Meditating Selflessly: Practical Neural Zen"

Dr. James Austin, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine

(co-sponsored by the Alpert School of Medicine Scholarly Concentration Program)

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 5:30-7:30*
Wilson 301

"Buddha-recitation as Koan in Chinese Chan (Zen) Buddhism"

Prof. Morten Schlütter,  University of Iowa

Dr.Schlütter holds an M.A. degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.  He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University in 1998, and joined the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Iowa.

Dr.Schlütter's research interests center broadly on Chinese Buddhism and Chinese religions (especially Chan, [Japanese: Zen]).   He is the author of How Zen became Zen: The Dispute of Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China (University of Hawaii Press, 2010) and many articles in these areas, and is the co-editor of Readingsof the Platform Sutra with Stephen F. Teiser (Columbia University Press, 2011).  

Co-sponsored with the Department of Religious Studies

**Please note this event was originally scheduled for Nov. 1, but due to travel complications because of Hurricane Sandy, the event has been postponed one week, and will occurr on Nov. 8.

 Saturday, November 3, 2012  10:30am-2:30pm

Winnick Chapel

"Rinzai Zen Practice: A Short Introduction"

Rinzai Zen Monk, Dokuro R. Jaeckel.

Rinzai Zen Monk Dokuro R. Jaeckel, ordained in the lineage of Zen Master Kyozan Joshu Sasaki-Roshi, will introduce the basic principles of practice.  The workshop will include sitting zen meditation (zazen), walking meditation (kinhin), chanting, and questions and answers with the teacher.

Tickets are $30, and $10 with Brown/RISD ID.  Tickets will go on sale at 12:oopm on Oct. 24, and availablehere: 

 Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 5:30-730pm
Smith Buonano 106

"Please Pay Attention Now, It May Change Your Brain: Neurobiological Mechanisms and he Clinical Utility of Mindfulness Meditation."

Dr. Judson Brewer, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine .

Recent evidence has suggested that mindfulness meditation may help treat a number of health-related problems, from anxiety to addictions to psoriasis.  However, little is known about the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of this training.  New research at Yale University has begun to unravel these mysteries in both clinical studies o addictions such as smoking, and more basic research involoving experienced meditation practioners.  Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, will discuss the latest findings from his laboratory at Yale, and how these might apply to our own daily lives.  

Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, and the Medical Director of the Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic.  His primary research interest is the elucidation of neurobilogical mechanisms underlying the interface between stress, mindfulness and the addictive process, and in developing effective means for the modulation of these processes to improve treatments for stress-related disorders.  

(Co-sponsored with the Alpert Medical School Scholarly Concentration in Contemplative Studies)

Our Contemplative Studies Spring Event Series, 2012, included the following:

On April 12-14, renowned contemplative composer and musician David Hykes, visited Brown to  give  a lecture and demonstration, a concert at AS 220 in Providence, and a seminar on Harmonic Music.  The events were c0-sponsored by teh Department of Music and the Office of Campus Religious Life.

On March 20, Melissa Rinne, '89, Associate Curator of Japanese Art at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, gave an enthralling lecture on the meditative art of producing Japanese bamboo baskets and sculptures entitled "The Artist's Mind, the Artisan's Hand."

On March 4, Dr. Mitchell Levy MD, Professor of Medicine at the Brown University Medical School and Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit, at Rhode Island Hospital, Acarya and Guiding Teacher of the Shambhala Meditation Center of Providence led a workshop introducing Tibetan Buddhist Meditation.  

On February 24, Dr. Jared Lindhal, visiting professor at Wesleyan University's Religious Studies department, presented a brillian and comprehensive lecture entitled "States of the Path: Buddhist Meditation from Humanistic and Scientific Perspectives."

"Still Point in a Turbulent World"
Saturday, May 25 @4pm in Winnick Chapel, Hillel 

Harold Roth, Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Brown's Contemplative Studies Initiative, and Diana Winston '88, director of mindfulness education at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center, welcome graduating students, parents, alumni and friends to an hour of mindfulness and Zen meditation.