The Contemplative Speaker series will feature four wonderful and diverse speakers who represent different faiths. Each will speak for about an hour on the theme of contemplative practice within their given tradition, followed by questions and meditation.
On March 26, Ryushin Sensei will give a talk titled “What is Meditation? The Zen
perspective on waking up to reality. He is the abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery, and
entered residency in 1992. Before becoming a resident, he worked as a pediatrician and
On April 2, Amer Latif will speak on the topic of Muslim contemplatives;
how they have understood and practiced the basic notions of worship/ remembrance of God in the Qur’an and Hadith. He is a professor of religion at Marlboro College, interested in questions of beauty and meaning, inspired initially by the writings of Rumi.
On May 2, Rabbi Joshua will speak. He is a rabbi, writer, and builder in Bennington,
Vermont. Recently he organized a celebration of the holiday Sukkot, including the
raising of a timber-frame structure called a sukkah. He is very interested in kindling the
role of art in Jewish life.
In late May, Brother Stavros will speak. He entered monastic life in 1966, and is one
of New Skete’s original founding brothers. He studied philosophy at Catholic University
and languages at Georgetown, and now oversees the liturgy and general order of New
Skete’s churches. He often hikes on the Appalachian Trail.
We hope that the Speaker Series will a) enrich conversation and thought on campus by
bringing fascinating people into our community and b) support a larger initiative to raise
awareness and start a dialogue concerning the role of religious/spiritual/contemplative
life on campus. We are particularly interested in providing resources and support
systems for students interested in contemplative life, including (through a different
project) a space for student refuge, contemplative practice, and reverence.