I completed a doctorate in Religion at Columbia University in 1972. I have taught at New York University, Hunter College and SUNY Purchase College. I periodically give talks, lecture series and classes in local libraries, museums, churches, yoga centers and other venues. At Purchase I developed a variety of courses, listed below, that address contemporary concerns. I now teach as an emeritus at Purchase, and lecture in the Philosophy and Humanistic Studies program at Western Connecticut State University.
--Buddhist Ideas & Practice explores practical Indian, Tibetan and Zen teachings and their relationship to meditation, somatic awareness, ethical engagement, and personal and collective well-being. Students evaluate how people learn, know and do what promotes individual and collective health and happiness.
--Cultural Survival & Environmental Action explores indigenous cultures of North America, Central Asia, Africa and Australia, examining the challenges faced by native traditions from forces of colonialism and globalization that impact their sense of place and ecology, and the environmental actions they take.
--Enlightenment East & West focuses on Greek and Indic traditions that integrate contemplative practice with a search for wisdom. What are the similarities and differences among their definitions of and reported experiences of enlightenment? How do they picture the nature of the mind and the purpose of human life? To what extent are their teachings and practices alive and of value for us today?
--Environmental Sustainability & Spirituality examines the writings, actions and spiritual traditions of nature activists in the context of global climate change, food sustainability and other environmental issues. How do people's values affect their thinking about nature and their actions in the natural world?
--Gods Goddesses & Demons examines the psychology and spiritual significance of mythopoetic images and the theme of human crisis, individual and communal, in selected epic poems and spectacles from ancient Greek, IndoTibetan and contemporary cultures.
--Healing & the Arts: IndoTibetan Traditions investigates the meditative philosophies and practices shaping traditional Indian and Tibetan arts and healing, and explores how they might be applied now to live in harmony with nature and attune to the elemental energies of life.
--Shamanism & Native Cultures explores Native American, Central Asian, African, and aboriginal Australian testimonies and techniques of shamanic experience and their relationship to other native cultures of the world. It draws attention to the contemporary global contribution of these cultures to ecology and spirituality, and tp the challenges faced by native cultures today.
--Spirituality & Nature looks at writings, cultural traditions, activities and lifestyles that involve spiritual interaction with nature. Through appreciating models of nature-consciousness, the goal is to deepen and sustain our human awareness of the natural world, to develop actions and voices for expressing and clarifying that awareness in the present environmental context, and to modify environmentally destructive habits.
-- Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy examines Tibetan philosophy’s unique development from its Indian roots, its present role in Tibetan cultural survival, and its practical application to perennial questions of identity, moral choice and human purpose and to current ethical, social and psychological issues. (This course is part of a summer study abroad program on Tibetan Philosophy, Art & Culture at Norbulingka Institute in Dharamsala, India.)