Contemplative Studies Fall Events 2013

Fall 2013

Sitar & Tabla Recital
with Srinivas Reddy|Ajit Acharya|Indrayudh Shome
December 3, 2013 @ 7:30pm
Smith Buonanno 106

Srinivas Reddy
(Brown '98) met his guru and menot Sri Parth Chatterjee and has dedicated himself to Indian classical music.  He has 3 albums to his credit: GITA (1999); Sitar & Tabla (2001); and Hemant & Jog (2008).  He received his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley  in South Asian Studies and is the author of Giver of the Worn Garland: Krishnadevaraya's Amuktomalyda.  He is currently Assistant Professor of South Asian Studies at ITT Gandhinagar.  

Ajit Acharya is a New England based tabla player, who has studied with Sri Sheshagiri Rao of Bangalore, India; Dr. Rajan Sachdeva; and Pandit Saar Saha.  Ajit has given workshops all over the country and performed extensively with jazz, fuision, and experimental musicians.  

Indrayudh Shome graduated from Brown in 2012 with a concentration in Music with a Contemplative focus.  He is a musician who's been active in various music scenes around the world, including the "metal" scene in Hong Kong, where he was very prominent with his band Queen Elephantine.  He currently resides in the Providence area teaching music in elementary and middle schools, and tours with his band on the weekends.


Harold RothHarold RothMindful Brown: The History and Philosophy of Contemplative Studies at Brown University a lecture by Harold Roth, Director of the Contemplative Studies Initiative and Co-founder of the Alpert Medical School Scholarly Concentration in Contemplative Studies; and Professor of Religious Studies

Monday, 11/18/13
The Purple Palace
Room 202 in BioMed Center 

Contemplative Studies Open House
A chance for Brown undergrads to learn more about the concentration. 

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013
Third World Center, Formal Lounge 1 & 2
(68 Brown Street) 

Join our faculty and students to learn the answers to the following burning questions:

  • What is "Contemplative Studies?"
  • What is "Contemplation?"
  • How do I concentrate in Contemplative Studies if there is no formal "concentration?"
  • Doesn't contemplation involve "concentration" anyhow?
  • What courses will the Contemplative Studies Initiative be teaching next semester?
  • How do I find out about CSI events?

"Refreshments of substance" will be served.    

Two Events with Sharon Salzberg, Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2, 2013

  • "Lovingkindness in the Face of Adversity" a lecture & book signing on Friday, November 1 @ 5:30pm in Smith Buonanno 106 
    Admission is free, and seating is first come, first served. 

    In this workshop we will explore the power of lovingkindness when we face our own physical challenge or illness, emotional upheaval, negativity from others, or unfairness in how we are being treated.  We will look at lovingkindness and compassion as strengths rather than as submissive states, and talk about joining them with discerning action, wisdom, and our often untapped capacity for resilence. Suitable for both new and experienced meditators, the workshop will consist of a few guided meditations, talks and time for questions and answers. 
  • "Lovingkindness" a meditation workshop on Saturday, November 2 from 11am-5pm in  Alumnae Hall Auditorium. Tickets are $60 General Admission; $30 Brown/RISD Faculty/Staff; $20 Brown/RISD students.  Tickets are available at:  
    *****TICKET SALES ARE NOW CLOSED****** Tickets will not be available at the door.  

Information for Attendees:

  1. The Workshop starts at 11am promptly and ends at 5pm.  Please arrive 15 minutes early so that IDs and registrations can be checked.
  2. We will take a lunch break for 45 minutes at the midway point in the workshop.  In case you don't know the area, Alumnae Hall is on the "Pembroke" Campus at Brown, just off Meeting Street and only a hald block West of Thayer Street, which has many restaurants for eating in or taking out.
  3. We have about 50 sets of meditation cushions on which people may sit during the workshop.  We will also have chairs set up.  If you have your own favorite set of cushions, please bring them; we will make space for you on the floor. 

There is a small outside elevator for wheel chairs at the entrance to Alumnae Hall.  
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

  • Lovingkindness is a meditation that cultivates our natural capacity for an open and loving heart.  It is traditionally offered with meditations that enrich compassion, and joy in the happiness of others, and also deepen our own sense of peace.  These practices lead to the development of concentration, connection, fearlessness, and genuine happiness.  Sharon Salzberg will introduce these teachings and support us in our own experience and cultivation of these qualities through direct instruction and guided meditation using classical techniques in a modern idiom.  There will also be opportunities for questions. This workshop is suitable for both new and experienced meditators.   

Sharon SalzbergSharon SalzbergSharon Salzberg has been a student of meditation since 1971, and leading meditation retreats worldwide since 1974.  She teaches both intensive awareness practice (vipassana or insight meditation) and the profound cultivation of lovingkindness and compassion (the Brahma Viharas).

Sharon's latest book is Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier, co-authored with Robert Thurman.  She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books including the New York Times Best Seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program (2010), Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (2002), and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (1995).  

Sharon Salzberg is co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts.  She has played a cruicial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West.  The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work.  "Each of us has a genuine capacity for love, forgiveness, wisdom and compassion.  Meditation awakens these qualities so that we can discover for ourselves the unique happiness that is our birthright."  For more information about Sharon, please visit:  

"Painting as a Spiritual Odyssey: Confessions of an Itinerant Artist" with

Michael Hoffman, Wednesday, October 9 at 5:30pm in Wilson Hall 102

Painter Michael Hofmann reveals both the aesthetic technique and spiritual lessons learned from his long apprenticeship with Japanese master brush (sumi-e) painter and Zen priest Jikihara Gyokusei.  Through a combination of slides and video, Hofmann will share inspiring moments of his life and studies in Kyoto, including footage of his 91-year-old teacher painting a large mural in a Japanese temple.  


"Zen Master Meets Contemporary Feminism: Reading Dōgen as resource for feminist philosophy" 
a lecture by Professor Erin McCarthySt. Lawrence University 

 September 27, 2013 @ 5pm in Smith Buonanno 106

To view the work of a 13th century male Zen master as a resource for feminist philosophy in the 21st century is apt at first glance to seem revisionist.  However, careful reading of the work of  Dōgen reveals that his philosophy is rich with insight for contemporary feminists to draw on.  Dōgen's views on the equality of men and women were not only radical for his time but for ours.  What is more, his philosophy of practice-enlightenment, his notion of body-mind and his philosopy of nodualism can help us break down gender barriers and patriarchy without reducing difference sameness.  In particular, Erin analyzes resonances between  Dōgen contemporary feminist philosophers such as Luce Irigaray discussing how his work can support and amplify the nondualist frameworks these philosophers seek.    

Erin McCarthyErin McCarthyErin McCarthy is Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies at St. Lawrence University.   In her work she compares Japanese philosophy, ethics, feminist and continental philosophy.  She is the author of Ethics Embodied: Rethinking Selfhood through Continental, Japanese and Feminist Philosophies (Lexington Books 2010), as well as several comparative philosophy articles that have appeared in both French and English journals and anthologies.  She has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of ASIANetwork and is currently co-editor of the ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts.  She is founding member of CoZen, a group dedicated to the cooperative integration of contemplative practice and academic study.  Currently, she is looking at ways in which Contemplative Education can be enriched by incorporating feminist philosophies, as well as pursuing her work on 13th Century Zen Master Dōgen and feminist philosophy.  

"Drawing Flowers in the Sky: Anecdotes of Tibetan Buddhism in China and Nepal" 

a lecture by Ani Sangye Chodron (Heather Daniels) 06'Ani Sangye ChodronAni Sangye Chodron

Thursday, September 19, 2013
Metcalf Auditorium

Ani Sangye Chodron (Heather Daniels) graduated from Brown with an independent Contemplative Studies BA in Holistic Health Studies in 2006 and received an Arnold Fellowship to study meditation in Nepal, where she has lived ever since.  Now a nun, ordained in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, she is currently completing a Master's in Buddhist Studies from Rangjung Yeshe Univeristy in Katmandu, Nepal.  By devoting this life to the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism, she hopes to help others find their own path to genuine health and happiness.   

Check back frequently for up to date information.