North American Learning Expedition:
An Exploration of Contemplative Science, Personal Transformation, Professional Development, and Social Engagement
5 Sessions ~ Beginning August 2017
“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
“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.”– Joanna Macy, Deep Ecologist, Activist, and Scholar
In response to the success of our recent European Learning Expeditions, we’ve been moved by many sincere requests from friends and colleagues for us to guide an in-depth transformational personal and professional development Learning Expedition in North America exploring the deeper dimensions of engaged Compassion and Wisdom at Work.
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” – “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 this Learning Expedition as an intimate, in-depth, on-going, reflective, embodied, and practice-oriented learning community made up of a cohort 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, and organizations that we serve.
Given the rich mix of complex forces at play in our lives and world at this time, this learning expedition will be deeply inspired by the principles and practices of creative altruism associated with the archetype of the Bodhisattva ideal – a universal orientation embodied and expressed through the Dalai Lama’s shining example of a fierce dedication to awaken to our True Nature and Highest Potentials in order to inspire, activate, and awaken those latent potentials within all beings.
Our vision is that the benefit, inspiration, and blessing that each of us receives on this Learning Expedition will ripple out into our world in beneficial ways that far exceed our imagination)))
MEET-UPS & RESOURCES:
We envision that we will gather together for 5 sessions between August 2017 and Autumn 2018. Each session-retreat will span 4 days and will include times of teaching and co-learning…deep reflection…silence…heartfelt sharing…and time in beautiful natural surroundings.
In addition to our face-to-face sessions we’ll also deepen in our learning via:
– Monthly meaningful digital meet-ups on a Zoom platform
– Weekly or biweekly reflective-dialogues with learning partners
– Personal mentoring sessions with Joel and Michelle
– Access to a Slack-site-based treasure trove of mind-stretching and heart-opening curriculum of deep reflective questions and inspiring media that will inform, inspire, and expand the scope and dimensions of our explorations together.
COURSE OF STUDY CURRICULUM
The curriculum for this learning expedition is distilled from a myriad of ancient and contemporary sources and wisdom traditions, reflecting our best sense of the most relevant inspirations, accessible resources, skillfull methods, and illuminating perspectives available to inspire our lives and work in these threshold times.
Like all expeditions that begin with a clear and thoughtful plan, we anticipate that this learning expedition will be shaped through our collective intentions and engagement, and that it will also morph, adapt, and emerge in its form and content as we share this Journey together and come to discover the wisdom, gifts, strengths, and needs of our fellow-explorers.
We are fortunate to have studied deeply and widely with beloved and esteemed mentors from many different modern and ancient wisdom traditions, and we’ll offer our best blend and integration of these enlightening, liberating, life-affirming traditions with extreme relevance, profound practicality, and deep meaning for our lives, work, leadership, learning, and activism in these profound times.
We plan to launch the North American Learning Expedition in August 2017 at our home in Seattle.
SESSION 1 – August 25-28, 2017: Establishing a Strong Foundation for Our Journey Through Exploring Our Visions, Voices, Intentions, Questions, and Essential Practices
SESSION 2 – Early October: Exploring the Arts & Sciences of Mindfulness & Compassion: Contemporary and Ancient Perspectives
SESSION 3 – TBD: Blending Wisdom & Creative Altruism Regarding our Profound Interrelatedness: “Expanding the Circle of Our Compassion to Embrace All Living Beings and the Whole of Nature in All of Its Beauty”– Einstein
SESSION 4- TBD: Exploring Archetypal Potentials & the Work That Reconnects Us to Our Wholeness
SESSION 5 – TBD: Becoming Evolutionary Architects of Personal, Organizational, and Social Transformation: Integration, Applications, and Celebration!
ESSENTIAL TEACHINGS WE WILL EXPLORE:
Some of the essential themes that we envision exploring together include:
A Whole Systems View Grounded in “The Three Higher Educations”:
– Ethical Intelligence
– Mental Discipline and Mastery of Attention
– Sourcing Deep, Clear Intuitive Wisdom Regarding the True Nature of Ourselves and our Multidimensional Universe
Embracing Our Profound Potentials for the Synergy of Mastery and Mystery in our Lives and Work
Establishing and Deepening Personal Practices of Inner Cultivation and Awakening
The Dynamic Integration of Our InnerWork and Work In the World
Intuitive and Creative Intelligence: Refining Our Access to Wisdom Through Cultivating A Dynamic Synergy of the Receptive/Quiet Mind and the Creative/Active Mind
Sourcing Deep Wisdom and Guidance from “The Holy Book of Nature”
Understanding the Varieties of Mindfulness Traditions and Types of Practice:
– Foundations of Mindfulness practice
– Appreciating the Many Diverse Traditions and Styles of Mindfulness Practice
– The Seamless Integration of Mindfulness in Daily Life-Work
– Keys to Developing Mindful Organizations and Mindful Leadership
– Expanding the Mindfulness Paradigm with other Mind-Fitness Disciplines
Dimensions of Wholeness and Well-Being – Coherent Mind, Integrated Nervous System, and Attuned Field of Relationships
Living and Working in the Zone of Optimal Performance: Increasing Our Personal and Collective Capacity for ExtraOrdinary Wisdom, Wellness, and Accomplishment
Fierce Compassion and the Bodhisattva Path
Developing Familiarity With a Variety of Meditative Practices Beyond Mindfulness: Appreciating The Profound Relevance of Contemplative Science and Contemplative Practice in Modern Times
Collective Wisdom and Intelligence: Learning ways to encourage the development and deployment of these skills with the organizations and communities that we serve
Embodying a Wider Spectrum of Archetypal Potentials: Exploring Themes of Ego Strength/Illusion/Vulnerability, The Power of Selflessness, and Universal Identity
Grounding Our Explorations in Evidence Based Research: (Neuroplasticity, Contemplative Neuroscience, Interpersonal Neurobiology, the varieties of meditation practice, etc.) – while also acknowledging and honoring the profound mysteries of our lives that defy measurement and are best affirmed thought poetry, music, symbology, movement, and silence…
Inspirations and Applications from Joanna Macy’s inspired Work That Reconnects
FUNDING AND RECIPROCITY:
We are offering this Learning Expedition on a sliding scale and encourage to you to be as generous as possible in order to enable us to offer some scholarships to qualified participants who, though they have less financial resources, will bring a bright spark to our collective wisdom and learning community, and to the communities they serve through their involvement in this transformational journey.
Sliding Scale $3700 to $5200
In order to encourage the participation of young leaders, we encourage each participant to consider sponsoring/supporting the participation of a young leader in your community or organization. If you are interested in funding a specific person for a scholarship, please let us know the details.
If you are interested in a scholarship, contact us for a Scholarship Application.
1) Sends us an email affirming your intention to join this learning journey: Levey@WisdomAtWork.com
2) Send us your full payment – or – your deposit of $500 USD to confirm your participation. You can make your offering in person if you’ll see us soon, mail us a check, or send your deposit via credit card or PayPal.
Our mailing address is: Levey 5536 Woodlawn Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103 USA
Please make your check payable to “Michelle Levey”
To pay via PayPal or Credit Card follow these simple steps.
– Type in the amount of your payment on the line that has the $0.00.
– If you see the option for “Family and Friends” please use this. Thank you.
Full Payment is requested 45 days before the first session. Deposits and payments are non-refundable after July 20th, 2017.
Note: To keep tuition as low as possible we are happy to host the sessions at our lovely home/sanctuary in Seattle. Depending on where our Learning Expedition participants hail from, we are also open to exploring the possibility of holding some sessions in other locations. There is also the possibility of hosting session 3 or 4 at our Sanctuary on the Big Island of Hawaii. We’ll make final decisions on these arrangements in collaboration with expedition members during our first session together. If we collectively decide to hold sessions anywhere other than Seattle, then we’ll ask expedition members to cover any additional expenses that may be involved.
3) Reflect upon and respond to our Learning Expedition Application Form
- Wisdom and insights distilled from decades of research, study, and experience in support of your learning, capacity development, and in service of your awakening to your own True Nature and Highest Potentials
- A wealth of resources and a treasure trove of digital links and resources to inspire and support your learning journey
- For participants coming in from around the country, we’ll recommend places to stay near our home in Seattle, and also see about arranging home-stays with local participants.
- Facilitation and guidance for this adventure
- Personal mentoring sessions
- Wholesome lunches, snacks, and beverages
This learning experience is for people…
- who are curious, self-motivated learners and leaders seeking to deepen in their personal and professional development.
- with the courage to open their hearts and minds to the complex and often overwhelming circumstances of our lives and world.
- who are enthusiastic about engaging wholeheartedly in our learning community and curriculum.
- who have awakened and suffered sufficiently to sincerely value kindness, compassion, and dedication to a higher purpose for their lives and work.
- who are learning how to listen deeply to themselves… and to others…
- with the maturity to appreciate and respect teachers, colleagues, and the natural world….
- who yearn to understand the complex forces at play in our world and to respond to them more creatively, courageously, and compassionately.
- who are seeking to become a greater “force for the good of all.”
This Learning Expedition is likely not ideal for individuals
- who are considering participating with a friend or spouse, but who are not personally inspired to engage wholeheartedly on this expedition.
- who lack the motivation, time, or capacity to dive deeply into new learning at this time in their lives.
- who are locked into a particular frame of reference and hesitant to explore a broader range of views at this time in their lives.
- who are uncomfortable with silence or deep reflection…
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 WORK:
“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, Ph.D., 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 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
“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
“Living in Balance is a beautiful book that brings wisdom and love into a world that longs for balance.”
— Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center
“This 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
“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
“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.
“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
“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