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June 30, 2022

Virtual Fellowship Forum: Reimagining Loneliness and Grief through Liberatory Practices

The Garrison Institute Fellowship Forum is a series of conversations with extraordinary leaders with expertise and experience in awareness-based contemplative wisdom, the science of interconnection, generative action, and collective healing.

This special Forum invites you to co-explore with authors Ashon Crawley, Lama Rod Owens, and Rashid Hughes as they reflect on how their commitment to embodied living has revealed radical ways of understanding loneliness and its potential to inspire liberatory practices of intimacy, compassion, and joy.

They will step into this conversation understanding that, for many people, the pandemic has drawn us closer to vulnerable parts of ourselves and society. At the same time, this global health crisis has pushed us further from our social and contemplative communities of refuge which serve a crucial role in supporting our sanity and well-being. Indeed, many of us have been forced to face feelings of isolation, grief, and loneliness for the first time.

Moderated by Dr. Angel Acosta, this discussion will be an insightful and generative experience to process this current moment in community. Audience members will have a front seat to this compelling discussion and have the opportunity to engage in the dialogue by asking questions. These gatherings will be a rich and inspiring opportunity to hear updates on the GI Fellowship, while also joining a community of people who are interested in exploring the aforementioned topics.

This forum will be a live meeting, which will be conducted on Zoom at 6:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 30th. The meeting link will be emailed to participants within twenty-four hours of your registration. Registration closes one hour before the event. Please email us at events@garrisoninstitute.org with questions.


Lama Rod Owens is a Buddhist minister, author, activist, yoga instructor and authorized Lama, or Buddhist teacher, in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism and is considered one of the leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School and is a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation. Owens is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community. Has been published in Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle and The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and offers talks, retreats and workshops in more than seven countries. For more information on Lama Rod Owens’s work, please visit: https://www.lamarod.com/

Rashid Hughes (he/him) is a writer, meditation teacher, yoga instructor and a restorative justice facilitator. He is the co-founder of the Heart Refuge Mindfulness Community, a Mindfulness Community in Washington, DC that is dedicated to inspiring Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to live with love and courage. Rashid is an Affiliate Teacher for the Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC and he is also a teacher of the Presence Collective. He holds a Master of Divinity Degree from the Howard University School of Divinity and has two recently published articles in Mindful Magazine “R.E.S.T.-A Guided Practice for the Tired & Weary” and Lions Roar Magazine “When Aggression Masquerades as Compassion.” For more information on Rashid Hughes’s work, please visit: https://www.rashidhughes.com/

Ashon T. Crawley is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and African American Studies at the University of Virginia. He is author of Blackpentecostal Breath: The Aesthetics of Possibility (Fordham University Press) and The Lonely Letters (Duke University Press). All his work is about alternatives to normative function and form, the practice of otherwise possibility. For more information on Ashon T. Crawley’s work, please visit: https://ashoncrawley.com/

Dr. Angel Acosta works to bridge the fields of leadership, social justice, and mindfulness. He completed his doctorate in the Curriculum and Teaching Department at Teachers College, Columbia University, and has supported educational leaders and their students by facilitating leadership trainings, creating pathways to higher education, and designing dynamic learning experiences. After participating in the Mind and Life Institute’s Academy for Contemplative Leadership, Acosta began consulting and developing learning experiences that weave leadership development with conversations about inequality and healing, to support educational leaders through contemplative and restorative practices. As a proud member of the New School–based 400 Years of Inequality Project, he designed the Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Project. Acosta is currently the director of the Garrison Institute’s Fellowship Program. He also is the creative director at the NYC Healing Collective, a community initiative amplifying people and insights at the intersection of healing, wellness, and societal transformation.

Your support helps to expand the Fellowship’s program offerings. Our vision for a more just, compassionate world has never felt more urgent. We are committed to a shared practice of social and spiritual care. We are thankful for the support.

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