Contemplative Studies Initiative Spring & Summer Events 2014

Summer 2014

Contemplative Studies Summer Intensive Film & Concert Series

  • 7/01 Video: "The Heart of th Dragon: Belieiing" 7pm, Smith-Buonanno 201 (BBC Hear of the Dragon Series).
  • 7/08 Video: "The Footprint of the Buddha" 7pm, Smith-Buonanno 201 (BBC Long Search Series)
  • 7/10 Concert: "An Evening of Classical South Asian Contemplative Music" 6pm, Smith Buonanno 106 (See listing below for more details)
  • 7/15 Video: "Monte Grande" 7pm, Smith Buonanno 201
  • 7/22 Video: "The Land of the Disappearing Buddha" 7pm, Smith Buonanno 201 (BBC Long Search Series)
  • 7/29 Video: "Enlightenment Guaranteed" 7pm, Smith Buonanno 201

These events are free and open to the public. 


"An Evening of Classical South Asian Contemplative Music" featuring Srinivas Reddy on the sitar and Ajit Acharya on the tabla.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 
Smith Buonanno 106

This event is free and open to the public.  It is made possible by the generous support of the Hershey Family Foundation.   

Spring 2014

"A Call to Care," a lecture with Brooke Dodson-Lavelle, Mind & Life Institute

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Smith Buonanno 201

In 2012, the Mind & Life Institute launched its Ethics, Education, and Human Development Initiative to advance the cause promoting human flourishing around the globe.  Inspired by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's call to design a curriculum of pedagogy in "secular ethics," we identified an opportunity to join the growing movement of educators, scientists, and contemplatives engaged in this work.  Over the course of the past year, we assembled an interdisciplinary team of educators, contemplatives, and developmental psychologists to develop a framework for comprehensive Pre-K-12 curriculum and pedagogy for students and teachers titled, "A Call to Care."  In this talk, Brooke will share the overarching framework that grounds the program and explore questions regarding the integration of so-called secular contemplative practices in educational settings.

Brooke Dodson-LavelleBrooke Dodson-LavelleBrooke Dodson-Lavelle is the senior program officer for the Mind & Life Institute's new compassion and secular ethics initiative.  She is also completing her PhD in the graduate division of religion at Emory University.  Her work focuses on the confluence of Buddhist conteplative theory and cognitive science, as well as the cultural contexts that shape the  transmission, reception, and "secularization" of Buddhist contemplative practices.   



Two events with Dr. Andrew Dreicter, Ph.D.:

Practicing Radical Compassion: A Workshop

Sunday, March 2, 2014, 11:00am-4:30pm
Winnick Chapel, Glenn and Darcy Weiner Center
Brown/RISD Hillel
80 Brown Street
Tickets: $5 with Brown/RISD ID; $15 General Admission
Tickets are available at

This event is made possible by the generous support of the Hershey Family Foundation.  Proceeds will go towards the continued programming of the Contemplative Studies Initiative.

Loving Our Enemies: A Contemplative Christian Approach to Compassion The 2014 Mary Interlandi '05 Lecture

Monday, March 3, 2014, 5:30-7:00pm 
Petteruti Lounge, Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center
75 Waterman Street

The Mary Interlandi'05 Lecture Fund on Contemplative Studies is made possible by the generosity of Elizabeth and John Interlandi in memory of their daughter.  

Andrew Dreicter, Ph.D.Andrew Dreicter, Ph.D.Andrew Dreicter, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Spirituality at the Claremont School of Theology. Dr. Dreitcer has been the co-founding director of a seminary program in spiritual direction and served 15 years as a Presbyterian pastor. A year spent at the ecumenical monastic community of Taiz√© significantly shaped his own spiritual life and his perspective on both the role of spiritual formation in theological studies and the value of contemplative studies in academia.

Dr. Dreitcer's current research and teaching interests lie in the exploration of the nature and experience of contemplative practices across religious traditions, the relationship between spiritual practices and neuroscientific understandings (, the ways in which contemplative practices form compassionate actions and attitudes of living, and Christianity as a spiritual path of engaged compassion ( He is also Director of Spiritual Formation at Claremont School of Theology and co-director of the Center for Engaged Compassion. 


"The Impact of Meditation on Emotions" a lecture with Sara Lazar, Harvard Medical School

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
5:30pm in Smith Buonanno 201

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction has been shown to be highly effective for reducing stress as well as for lessening symptoms associated with numerous psychopathologies.  In this talk Sara Lazar will present data concerning the impact of meditation on amygdala structure and function, both in healthy individuals and in patients with anxiety disorders.  She will then present data on the impact of meditation on the insula in relation to pain and depression.

Sara LazarSara LazarSara W. Lazar, Ph.D. is an Associate Researcher in the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School.  The focus of her research is to elucidate the neural mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of yoga and meditation, both in clinical settings and in healthy individuals.  She is a board member of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and also the Insititute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is a contributing author to meditation and Psychotherapy (Guilford Press).  She has been practicing yoga and mindfulness meditation since 1994.  Her research has been covered by numerous news outlets including The New York TimesUSA Today, CNN, and WebMD, and her work is featured in a display at the Boston Museum of Science.  

This event is made possible with the generous support of the Hershey Family Foundation. 

Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
Joukowsky Auditorium, Watson Institute
Register at: 

Every act we undertake cultivates something -- essentially there is no such category as "extra-curricular."  Each opportunity, each action forms our character, while affecting all of those around us. Higher education, through the use of modes like contemplative pedagogy, can create the environments for us to inquire and challenge what is most deeply meaningful so that we integrate our learning into meaningful action.

This session will explain what we mean by "contemplative pedagogies."  We will discover the ways in which first-person critical inquiry can cultivate better discernment and attention in students, provide the means for deepening their understanding of the material they are studying, and foster environments to inquire about and live meaningfully.  We will see how contemplative pedaogy can be a powerful way in which we can work together to reclaim the transformative nature of education.  

Dr. Daniel P. Barbezat is Professor of Economics at Amherst College.  He

Daniel BarbezatDaniel Barbezat is also Executive Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, which serves as the national hub for contemplative teaching and learning in higher education.  The Center is committed to the positive transformation of the higher education system by supporting the use of contemplative/introspective practices to create engaged learning environments.  Dr. Barbezat has lectured and led workshops on contemplative learning and pedagogy throughout the United States and Canada.  His latest book (co-written with Mirabai Bush), Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning, will be released this winter by Jossey-Bass.