We provide a place of refuge, reflection, and restoration for thousands of people from all walks of life. Informed by the values of simplicity, hospitality and universal welcome, we provide a home for a diverse array of spiritual teachers, students, organizations, and communities of practice from around the country and the world.
We see ourselves as stewards, in this generation, of something timeless – maintaining a place for serious spiritual inquiry, encounter, and transformation. The foundation of all our work is our commitment to deepening and nurturing the spiritual life to cultivate an unfolding, understanding, and appreciation of what is truly real.
Yet, the Institute was also founded with an intention to address more timely concerns – to be a “monastery for the 21st century” – a place not just of retreat, but of deep and ongoing engagement with the larger culture. We believe this integration of timeless and timely approaches is central to fostering a more just, loving, and sustainable world, and it infuses everything we do.
The Institute brings together an unusual mix of constituents: contemplative and spiritual teachers, highly-credentialed academic scientists, and those working on new forms of social and environmental engagement. Together, we seek to better understand the mind and the many systems it inhabits, and to develop new pathways, rooted in a mix of both spiritual and secular understanding, that lead to deep and lasting social transformation.
Holding this hybrid perspective, we work to incubate new fields, networks, and programs that alleviate suffering, foster greater contemplation and compassion, and encourage the spiritual reinvigoration of society.
In each case, we use our core skills – mapping, research, convening, network weaving, spiritual engagement, collaboration, and storytelling – to bring forth the guiding idea(s) for each new effort, to foster a body of common practice; to articulate a common language, and to shape a community of stakeholders with a sense of shared identity and ownership. Using these skills, over the years we have played a quiet but generative role in the formation of many new, successful, contemplatively-informed initiatives, in domains ranging from social action and education to criminal justice and climate change.
All of our efforts are intended to encourage a shift in consciousness – the fertile soil from which new approaches to the world’s most difficult challenges, and indeed, the transformation of society itself, might emerge. We approach this larger task with great humility – we are still growing in our understanding both of what it means and how to achieve it.
The Institute’s programs and events explore how contemplative practice and wisdom can enrich our understanding and engagement with various connected dimensions of our changing world. These range from spiritual care to social justice, and from reframing humanity’s relationship with the natural world to rethinking our relationship with technology.
From 2017-2019, many of our programs and our efforts will focus on these five major themes: