All My Relations Contemplative Community
Hosted by Dr. Joel & Michelle Levey
“The more you listen, the more you will hear. The more you hear, the more and more deeply you will understand.”
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.” ~Teilhard de Chardin
AN EXTRA-ORDINARY LEARNING OPPORTUNITY:
These potent times in our lives and world stretch and inspire us to expand the scope of our capacity for learning, wisdom, mindfulness and heart-fullness, in order to skillfully respond to the enormous challenges and embrace the profoundly inspiring opportunities we are being offered.
As the circumstances of our lives, world, society, economy, and environment become ever more disrupted in these “VUCA” times of increasing Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, it is becoming increasingly clear that to thrive – in what is also being called “The Time of the Great Unraveling” and “The Time of the Great Turning” – that “business as usual” will not be sufficient for any of us, our organizations, or communities.
As Einstein reminds us, the solutions to the complex challenges in our lives and world will not be found at the same levels of thinking or consciousness that created them! A substantially new level of consciousness is needed if humanity is to survive – and thrive – and the means to personally and collectively realize these new levels of consciousness are available for anyone sufficiently motivated to learn and practice them.
We envision guiding this learning community as an intimate, in-depth, on-going, reflective, embodied, and practice-oriented learning community made up of diverse, caring, kindred souls coming together to form a mutually nourishing community of practice dedicated to bringing benefit to the fields of influence, communities, movements, and organizations that we serve.
Given the rich mix of complex forces, challenges, and opportunities at play in our lives and world at this time, this learning expedition will be inspired by the principles and practices of creative altruism associated with a fierce dedication to awaken to our True Nature and Highest Potentials in order to inspire, activate, and awaken these latent potentials within all beings. The deep science and universal principles and practices at the heart of this curriculum provides inspiration and clear guidance for how to deepen our wisdom and move beyond the barriers of our isolating self-concern, by expanding our frame of reference to care for the welfare of all beings. This is the Bodhisattva Spirit.
Our vision is that the benefit, inspiration, and blessing that each of us receives on through our practice together will ripple out into our world in beneficial ways that far exceed our imagination)))
COMMUNITY PRACTICE & RESOURCES:
“Self-awareness has been empty and rootless from the very beginning. Like space, it is completely transparent throughout; it has no outside, inside, or in-between. Vivid, clear, and pristine, it is unestablished by its very essence, yet at the same time its radiance is unimpeded. This is original purity at its most fundamental, the bare empty awareness of the dharmakaya.” Longchenpa
After more than 40 years of offering teachings and retreats in the Seattle area, Hawaii, and around the world, we’re continuing to respond to the diverse needs of individuals, Dharma communities, and organizations by offering these precious ancient teachings in creative adaptive ways suited for individuals and communities in these complex times.
All My Relations Sangha in Seattle
Many of you know us as founders of the All My Relations HumanKind Clear Bead Sangha in Seattle, (http://wisdomatwork.com/allmyrelations/) and the WisdomAtWork.com programs for people in many walks of life. On a more human level we’re Joel and Michelle Levey, a couple inspired by the Bodhisattva Spirit, who for the past 36 years have offered a wide array of inner transformational teachings in the Pacific Northwest and with communities and organizations around the globe.
In Seattle we offer a weekly Tuesday evening “Meditation and Dharma Dialogue” at our sanctuary near Green Lake in Seattle. We meet from 7:30 p.m. to about 9 p.m., welcoming a widely diverse group of dharma friends including many elders and young people, people of color, and members of other local meditation groups and contemplative communities.
Our Tuesday evening meditations in Seattle usually include periods of guided and silent meditation, readings or teachings of dharma texts, dharma dialogue, integrative small-group reflection circles and other relational practices, announcements and networking, and dedication of merit. Our sangha is very Rime (pronounced Ree-May) – a Tibetan tradition signifying “non-sectarian” – which draws inspiration and teachings from diverse dharma lineages. Our style of practice, teaching, and dharma exploration weaves together views, practices, and insights from our study with many respected teachers from all three yanas (vehicles) of the Buddha’s teachings.
The “All My Relations Sangha” has a unique place in the mandala of Northwest dharma centers, in that we strongly encourage our dharma friends to attend teachings by many other teachers, and to bring what they are learning back to our sangha for reflection and integration.
We helped to establish many of the local dharma centers and also taught there. As elder dharma guides with between us a century of intensive study with many great teachers from different lineages, we often weave insights and anecdotes into our teachings that help to illuminate essential dharma teachings.
Our sangha also hosts occasional “Deepening in the Dharma Salons” on weekends, to provide more in-depth dharma studies and to build community.
We also lead a yearly family-friendly, partially silent, five-day retreat every summer at Indralaya on Orcas Island, north of Seattle. This is a chance to explore the connections between meditation, nature and community.
We are delighted that our dear dharma sister, Lama Samten Bryn Dawson, has kindly stepped in to lend her wisdom and support to guiding the Seattle sangha. Lama Samten, a wise, young, Western woman lama, completed a traditional three-year retreat in the Karma Kagyu tradition, and has recently returned to the Seattle area after years of serving as resident teacher at the Natural Dharma Fellowship at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in New Hampshire.
The Meditation and Medicine Sangha we co-founded in Seattle 15 years ago continues to flourish. Composed of contemplatively oriented health care providers, this sangha originally emerged from a program we offered at the University of Washington Medical School, for physicians interested in meditation and clinical practice.
With travel in mind we have recently formed a partnership with friends who founded Seattle-based Ponte Travels to guide dharma-based wisdom adventuresto Bhutan and Thailand.
Many of our Northwest students have accompanied us to explore these inspiring dharma realms, and these adventures have offered a wonderful expansion of our dharma activities and teachings.
We are fortunate to have taught in, and have teachers from, both Bhutan and Thailand where the dharma is so vibrantly alive within their cultures.
The Dalai Lama has been very supportive of our dharma efforts. In 1985 he said, “You are presently engaged in work that has great prospects for bringing the Dharma to a very wide section of people who may not under ordinary circumstances come into contact with these teachings. I am very pleased about the work that you are doing and send you blessings and prayers for your success.”
All My Relations Sangha in Hawaii – Dorje Dechen Ling
While our primary sangha is in Seattle, for the past 22 years we have also been developing a most precious eco-dharma mandala of practice on the Big Island of Hawaii. Our region is fortunately far from the recent lava flow, and in an extremely beautiful, safe, culturally rich and beloved part of the Big Island.
After sitting Hawaii’s first vipassana/insight retreat in 1975, with Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, and Steven Smith, we have been blessed to lead practice at many centers around the Hawaiian Islands. While we guide weekly practice when we are on the Island, we also offer guided sessions of intensive dharma practice in numerous locations around the island including Wood Valley Temple, Vipassana Hawaii, and Paliaku Peace Gardens.
We also guide adventure-based Dharma practice intensives exploring the wide spectrum of natural wonders that the Hawaiian Islands and wisdom traditions have to offer.
We also have close circles of students in communities in Taiwan, India, Thailand, Catalonia region of Spain, UK, Dubai, and Toronto.
COURSE OF STUDY CURRICULUM
See events link above – and our Revolution in Consciousness Learning Expeditions – at https://learningexpedition.work
INSPIRATIONS FOR OUR JOURNEY:
“Our sorrow is the other side of love, for we only grieve what we deeply care for.” ~ Joanna Macy
“In this era, to become a spiritual inquirer without social consciousness is a luxury that we can ill afford, and to be a social activist without a scientific understanding of the inner workings of the mind is the worst folly. Neither approach in isolation has had any significant success.” ~ Vimala Thakar
“To be attentive requires tremendous love of living. The total revolution we are examining is not for the timid or the self-righteous. It is for those who love truth more than pretense. It is for those who sincerely, humbly want to find a way out of this mess that we, each one of us, have created out of indifference, carelessness, and lack of moral courage.” ~ Vimala Thakar
“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self…. A problem cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created it…We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.” ~ Einstein
“When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other.” ~ Margaret Wheatley
Joel and Michelle Levey are regarded as pioneers in the global movements exploring the themes of contemplative science, mind-fitness, mindfulness, compassion, and collective wisdom and intelligence. They’ve been fortunate to be among the first professionals in the Western world to widely introduce these disciplines into mainstream medical, higher educational, business, government, and military arenas beginning in the 70’s. The broad spectrum of their inspired work spans many disciplines, cultures, and traditions.
The Leveys offer a unique and rich blend of insights and experience distilled from 50 years of intensive contemplative study/practice, and the seamless integration of their work in leadership and contemplative science through multiple roles as: clinicians in medical centers; corporate trainers/consultants working with leaders and executive teams around the globe; mindfulness and meditation teachers (in numerous traditions – including study with very respected teachers from many different “mindfulness lineages” and authorization to teach); mentors to leaders in government, business, medical, and military arenas; faculty at universities around the world; mind-fitness coaches for world-class and Olympic-gold athletes; and contemplative science researchers. They also have the unique distinction of having done this work together as a couple for 35 years.
Their work draws insights from deep work with thousands of leaders in hundreds of leading organizations around the globe including: NASA; Google; World Bank; British Parliament’s All Parliamentary Roundtable on Mindfulness; World Government Summit; NHS; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Clinton Global Initiative; Stanford Research Institute International; Intel; M.I.T., Prime Minister’s Office of the U.A.E; U.S. Army Special Forces; Surgeon General’s Office; MindLab; International Campaign for Compassionate Cities; EarthSave; Compassionate Action Network; and World Business Academy. They have served as Chairpersons for the Center for Corporate Culture and Organizational Health Taskforce for the Institute for Health & Productivity Management (IHPM), charter members of Mind and Life Institute’s Academy for Contemplative and Ethical Leadership, and as core faculty for the International Center for Organization Design (ICOD). They stewarded the development of some of the first “mindful organizations” in the Western world – at Hewlett Packard, Intuit, Intel, Weyerhaeuser, etc.
Joel and Michelle serve as clinical faculty at University of Minnesota Medical School and also taught at Bastyr University’s Center for Science, Medicine, and Spirituality. They helped design the Contemplative Education and Transformational Learning Graduate program for Mahidol University in Thailand, and taught a post-graduate MBA course on Mindful Leadership and Resilience at IIM (Indian Institute of Management) in Ahmedabad, India.
Nobel Peace Laureate, the Dalai Lama, an advisor on a number of the Leveys’ projects once wrote in a letter to the Leveys: “You are presently engaged in work that has great prospects for bringing the Dharma (the inner sciences of human transformation) to a very wide section of people who may not under ordinary circumstances come into contact with these teaching. I am very pleased about the work that you are doing and send you blessings and prayers for your success.”
The Leveys were invited by Pentagon leaders to develop the “Jedi Warrior Program” for the Special Forces, where they led the advanced “biocybernautic training” (integrating neurofeedback, “mind-fitness training,”and a month-long, silent Mindfulness style Vipassana-retreat) for this once secret, six-month, full-time program. Military leaders described Jedi as, “The most exquisite orchestration of human technology we have ever seen.” Advisors Michael Murphy and George Leonard called Jedi, “the most advanced leadership development program to be offered in modern times.” Jedi’s profound success opened the way for their work with leaders at: NASA, Navy, NOAA, Surgeon General’s Office, NIH, NHS, West Point, and Prime Minister’s Office of UAE.
Michelle and Joel have been fortunate to study closely with many remarkable teachers in the diverse foundational mindfulness traditions including: Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Dipama, Rina Sircar, Anagarika Munindra, S.N. Goenka, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ruth Dennison, and Robert Hover. They’ve also studied closely with many of the world’s most respected leaders in fields of interpersonal neurobiology and contemplative science teachers and researchers including: The Dalai Lama, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Otto Scharmer, Daniel Goleman, Daniel Siegel, Robert Thurman, Kalu Rinpoche, Krishnamurti, Karmapa, Lama Yeshe, Chagdud Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and Joanna Macy. The Leveys have devoted nearly 2 years to silent contemplative retreats including sitting the historic first Shamatha Project – a year-long silent retreat and research project that was sponsored in part by the Dalai Lama.
Joel and Michelle have been actively involved in many global learning communities related to this work including: Mind and Life Institute; Academy for Contemplative and Ethical Leadership; Presencing Institute; Institute of Noetic Sciences; Contemplative Mind in Society; The International Campaign for Compassionate Cities; Compassion Games International; Society for Organizational Learning (SoL); World Cafe; Art of Hosting; Meaning Conference; and International Center of Compassionate Organizations. Joel and Michelle are also contemplative mentors and advisors for the Art Monastery Project and the ArtMonks, an international network of artists dedicated to blending contemplative practice, creative endeavor, and social transformation.They have taught at Esalen, Omega Institute, Mount Madona Center, Hollyhock, Banyen Books, Luminous Ground, CoSM, Burning Man, Beloved Festival, Natural Dharma Fellowship, Dream Valley, Dorje Dechen Ling, and Indralaya, and have guided eco-Dharma retreats in Bhutan, New Zealand, Hawaii, Taiwan, and North America.
Their published works are available in 13 languages and include: Living in Balance: A Mindful Guide for Thriving in a Complex World (Winner of Nautilus Book Award); Mindfulness, Meditation, and Mind Fitness; Wisdom at Work; The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern; Focus! Mastery of Mindfulness and Attention; The VUCA Savvy Leader; Corporate Culture and Organizational Health; Intuition at Work; Community Building in Business; Learning Organizations; and The New Bottom Line.
To learn more about the Levey’s inspired work, please explore:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/wisdomatwork
PRAISE FOR JOEL & MICHELLE’S TEACHINGS AND WORK IN THE WORLD:
“The work of Joel and Michelle Levey has long been a luminous thread in the fabric of the Great Turning. They embody in many ways this epochal transition to a life-sustaining society….Their book (Living in Balance: A Mindful Guide for Thriving in a Complex World) like its luminous authors, brings refreshment to mind and heart. It open us to our inner wisdom, and brings us tools, visions and whispered counsel that restore the blessed balance we deserve.”
— Joanna Macy, Ph.D., Author, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy
“Joel and Michelle Levey have skillfully woven together contemporary insights into the value and need for mindfulness and mind-fitness training with a large number of evocative suggestions for practice. Joel and Michelle clearly have a great deal of experience teaching a wide range of different settings and this is reflected in the precision and vividness of their instructions. There is strength in the simplicity of their explanation of the value of these mindfulness and mind-fitness disciplines and their clear instructions for how to practice.”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus& Founding Director The Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Author of many books on Mindfulness
“The Leveys’ work and writings offer a skilful blend of time proven antidotes to the stress of modern life.”
— Dan Goleman, Ph.D., author, Social Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, and Focus
“The Leveys teachings and their beautiful book Living in Balance brings wisdom and love into a world that longs for balance.”
— Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center
“The Leveys’ book is an absolute treasure, filled with an abundance of insights and practices that lead the reader into depths of peace. But with all these riches, I was most affected by the love, compassion, and wisdom of Joel and Michelle present in every page. Their embrace of the reader is the best testimony that these practices lead to lives of wholeness and harmony.”
— Margaret J. Wheatley, author of Leadership & the New Science and coauthor, A Simpler Way
“Michelle and Joel Levey demonstrate–in a style that is graceful and gentle and personal and inspiring–how balance in our individual minds and lives is both the key to healing the world and the source of our greatest happiness. Their invitation to awakening makes the spiritual journey clear enough to be accessible to everyone while preserving the profound sanctity of its purpose….Michelle and Joel Levey have done such a graceful, personal and inviting presentation of the profound necessity to devote/dedicate oneself to as full a practice of living in balance as one can, without at all trivializing it and making it less profound than it is, but making it sound like everybody can do it–like it’s just normal–which is what it is!”
“I’ve really enjoyed Living in Balance–I found I didn’t want to skim it because it had so many wonderful things in it. So thanks a lot for it!”
–Sylvia Boorstein, author of: It’s Easier Than You Think; and Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There
“Today more than ever modern society makes demands on an individual for which evolution has not prepared us. Living in Balance gives each of us tools that not only allow us to navigate through a complex world but allow us to thrive. By gaining insights into ourselves and learning techniques that fundamentally allow one to rewire their brain, Joel and Michelle have given us a wonderful gift…the gift of transcendence.”
– James R. Doty, M.D., Founder and Director of Stanford’s Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), part of the Stanford Institute of Neuro-Innovation and Translation Neurosciences and Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University
“Joel and Michelle bring tremendous and rare wisdom and experience to the work of developing more mindful and wisdom-informed workplaces. I recommend their trainings whole-heartedly.”
– Chris Cullen, Oxford Mindfulness Center (UK)
“Michelle and Joel Levey are probably the only mindfulness teachers capable of engaging and inspiring any audience, and of helping especially hard-nosed businesspeople grow in awareness, resilience, and compassion. This is no mean feat; mindfulness is still considered “pink and fluffy” in many workplaces, but the Leveys bring such a great deal of experience, wisdom, good humour and calm confidence to the work they do in organisations that I’ve always found it an absolute joy to watch them in action in any mindfulness workshop, retreat or keynote presentation. They are pioneers in finding effective ways to bring age-old contemplative practices to 21st century workplace settings, coupled with a keen understanding of what modern workers and leaders need. No doubt Joel’s and Michelle’s expertise is based on the countless successful mindfulness programmes they have developed for high-profile clients, honed over more decades than their youthful smiles would let you believe.”
– Jutta Tobias, Senior Lecturer, London City University Organizational Psychology Department (UK)
“What was unique for me in working with the Leveys is, that Michelle and Joel where able to see the need for each one of the participants and provide the trainings each one of us needed to make a profound personal development. That they have so much love and patience with all our differences. That they have a toolbox that is vast and a respond to whatever comes up. The incredible long experience and profound knowledge that they both offer. It is very safe and they are very trustworthy….What I value the most from my work with the Joel and Michelle is the practice and learnings made it possible for me to break free from my conditioned “psychology” or monkey mind and to realize that I don’t have to believe everything I am thinking and by that I was able to tap into the source of my creativity. My decisions and actions now come from passion and not from fear to not be good enough. They have given me the resources I needed and never would have found myself to continue on my path.”-Christel Kinning, Served as CEO RnB Retail & Brands AB and sat on the Boards of Directors in over 20 companies in Scandinavia and Russia including: Vasakronan AB, Stadium AB a sportsretailer and Zoundindustries AB.
“The Leveys’ Learning Expedition gave me inspiration and focus on my personal journey. To dedicate time to my inner journey as well as to meet and share experience with other mindful leaders was a true gift, both for me as a person and as a professional. It has deeped my personal practice, and has made me more confident in sharing the practice with others. I use the tools in both my private and professional life. The importance of inspiration and guidance from teachers you trust in the process of the inner journey has been profoundly valuable. I treasure and admire the Leveys dedication to wisdom and the teachings, their deep knowledge of many different traditions and their strong drive to contribute to a better future, with more compassion and awareness. Joel & Michelle’s work is truly inspiring, and they lead by example, from the heart.”
– Marit Finch-Westin has worked in senior leadership positions in both the private and the public sector, and is now running a small consultancy firm based in Sweden.
“What has been most special for me in working with Michelle and Joel is the beautiful evolutionary schemes and forces that are in play in their work. There is not a goal to reach, there is a path that emerges moment to moment, retreat to retreat, contact by contact,… and life unfolds and expands, easily, and the connectome is enriched, between us and between those touched us, without pressure, only emergence. Belonging and becoming.”
– Jordi Cartanya, Executive Director of the Campus of International Excellence Southern Catalonia he co-founded the Coevolution Hub of Southern Catalonia. Former director general for research and innovation policies, Government of Catalonia
“Joel and Michelle Levey bring a distinctively warm, wise and very human face to the teaching of mindfulness or heartfulness as they sometimes call this path. From decades of deep study and practice in the Buddhist, contemplative science, personal development and organisational fields, they have refined a unique way of sharing this knowledge and encouraging others to discover and live a path of wisdom and joy.”- John Watters, Managing Director, Living Leadership; Associate at Future Considerations (UK)
“Living in Balance is the wisest, most practical and inspiring book that I have read in years. Joel & Michelle Levey are consummate teachers because they live the teachings, humbly and compassionately laying out a roadmap that anyone motivated to lead a happier, more balanced life can follow. The simple exercises and questions they ask were like lightbulbs that helped me see my own life more clearly. This is one book that really does have the power to help you change your life.”
–Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, and A Woman’s Book of Life cofounder and former director of the Mind/Body Clinic, New England Deaconess Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
“The Leveys’ Living in Balance invites us to return to the inner source of serenity and wisdom within. Never before have we so urgently needed the clear, compassionate teachings that are so lovingly described in this book.”
— Larry Dossey, MD, author of Be Careful What You Pray For, Prayer is Good Medicine, Executive Editor, Alternative Therapies