European Learning Expedition


Wisdom at Work

European Learning Expedition

An In-Depth Exploration of Our ExtraOrdinary Personal, Professional, Organizational,

& Planetary Potentials

with Joel & Michelle Levey

5 Session ~ Europe ~ Spring 2016 to Spring 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


 “A problem cannot be solved
at the same level of thinking that created it…
We shall require a substantially new manner
of thinking if humankind is to survive.”

“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

We’re moved by many sincere requests from many friends and colleagues around the globe for us to guide an in-depth personal and professional development and transformational Learning Expedition exploring the deeper dimensions of more engaged Compassion and Wisdom at Work for the benefit of all beings.

These critical times in our lives and world stretch and, at times, overwhelm us all, inspiring us to expand the scope of our capacity for learning, wisdom, mindfulness, and heartfullness to skillfully respond to the enormous challenges and embrace the profoundly inspiring opportunities offered by these times.

It’s clear that “business as usual” will not be sufficient for any of us, our organizations, or communities to thrive 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.

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!


We envision this Learning Expedition as an intimate, in-depth, on-going, reflective, embodied, and practice-oriented community made up of a small cohort of diverse yet kindred souls, coming together to form a mutually nourishing learning collaborative in the service to the many fields of influence, communities, and organizations that we serve.

Our intention is that the benefit, inspiration, and blessing that each of us receives will ripple out through each one of us into our world in beneficial ways that far exceed our imagination)))


We envision that we will meet together 5 times between April 2016 and mid 2017.  Each session-retreat will be 3 to 5 days and will include times of teaching…deep reflection… silence…and heartfelt sharing… new learning… in lovely, natural surroundings.   Exact dates for these sessions will be determined in part by a collective survey to identify the best times for the most participants.

In addition to our face-to-face Meet-Ups we’ll also connect via:  

–       Monthly meaningful digital meet-ups,
–       Weekly or biweekly reflective-dialogues with learning partners
–       Personal mentoring sessions with Joel and Michelle
–       Access to a 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.


The curriculum for this learning expedition is distilled from a myriad of ancient and contemporary sources and wisdom traditions, and reflects 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 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 widely in 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.


The final plans are still emerging, but we want to publish this draft of our invitation so that you have time to plan for this Learning Expedition. We will launch in the mid to late April of 2016
SESSION 1:  21-24 April 2016
Wisdom at Work Learning Adventure Foundation                                                                                                        
Laying a Shared Foundation for Our Journey Through Exploring
Our Visions, Voices, Intentions, Questions, and Essential Practices
Likely Sweden
SESSION 2:   30 June to July 4, 2016
5 Day Retreat – Mindfulness & Mind-Fitness Intensive:
A Deep Dive into the Sweet Territory of Silence, Discovery,
Contemplative Practice, and Awakening
SESSION 3:    30 August to September 4, 2016
5 Day Retreat
– Fierce Compassion and the Bodhisattva Warrior Spirit:
Realizing the Profound Power that Emerges Through Blending Wisdom, Compassion, and Archetypal Potentials with a Dedication For the Benefit of All Beings
SESSION 4: Late November 2016 or early January 2017                                                                                                                     
5 Day Retreat – Integrative Work That Reconnects Us to Our Wholeness:
A profound exploration of Practices and Perspectives to Thrive, Lead, Sustain and
Transform Ourselves, and Inspire Others in VUCA Times.
Location and Dates: TBD – (Likely somewhere warmer in Southern Europe)
SESSION 5:   Spring Time 2017
4 Day Deepening and Integration
Location and Dates: TBD

This learning expedition will be deeply inspired by the creative altruism of 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 Potentialsin order to inspire, activate, and awaken those latent potentials within all beings.

 OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL MEET-UPs With The Leveys  (Open to All):

September 18-23, 2015 – Mindful Leaders Retreat – Sussex, UK

October 9-12, 2015 – Mindful Leaders Retreat – Catalonia, Spain

November 29-December 12 – New Zealand Meditation Adventure

February 23 – March 3, 2016 – Hawaii Learning Expedition

March 6 – March 16, 2016 – Hawaii 10 Day Silent Mindfulness Intensive



Some of the essential themes that we envision exploring together include:

Grounding in “The Three Higher Educations” of Advance Mind Training
–  Ethical/Moral 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 Dynamic Synergy of the Quiet/Receptive Mind and the Active/Generative Mind

Sourcing Deep Wisdom and Guidance from what the Sufis call “The Holy Book of Nature”

Understanding the Varieties of Mindfulness Traditions and Types of Practice
–  Foundations of Mindfulness practice
–  Different traditions of Mindfulness
–  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

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 Warrior Path

Developing Familiarity With a Variety of Contemplative/Meditative Practices Beyond Mindfulness  Appreciating The Profound Relevance of Contemplative Science and Contemplative Practice in Modern Times

Dimensions of Wholeness and Well-Being – Coherent Mind, Integrated Nervous System, and Attuned Field of Relationships

Ways Collective Wisdom and Intelligence Can Save our World! 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, and silence…

Inspirations and Applications from Joanna Macy’s Inspired Work That Reconnects


We’re searching for a fair and reasonable way to fund this program and make it affordable for all involved.  We also need to cover our expenses for 5 trips to Europe plus the significant investment of our time and resources in making offering this learning expedition available.

Sliding Scale of $5500 USD to $8,000 (USD)

We appreciate your generosity and we welcome your creative proposals regarding ways to make this learning experience as valuable and accessible as possible to all involved.

We are offering this learning expedition on a sliding scale in order to allow this experience to be accessible and available .  We encourage to you to be as generous as possible in order to enable us to offer some scholarships to participants who have less financial resources who will still bring a bright spark to our collective wisdom and learning community and to the communities they serve through their involvement in this Learning Expedition.

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 an application questionnaire.


To register:
1)     Sends us an email affirm your intention to join this learning journey:

2) Reflect and respond to our Learning Expedition Application Form.

3) Send us your full payment – or — you 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 PayPal  or Credit card following these simple steps.  If you need an invoice from us please let us know the details.

– Mail a check to us at:   Levey    5536 Woodlawn Avenue North   Seattle, WA 98103  USA

– PayPal or Credit Cards – go :

– Click on the amount line and enter the amount of your payment.

– Indicate “Family and Friends” (to avoid service charges)


We offer:
–       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
–       Facilitation and guidance for this adventure
–       Personal mentoring sessions
–       A certificate of Program Completion

We request:
–       Your wholehearted participation in this learning community
–       In the spirit of reciprocity, that you support this endeavor with a tuition offering to the Leveys on a sliding scale of $5500 USD to $8,000 (US$)
–       That you cover your share of any program expenses for our sessions including cost for venues, food, etc. keeping in mind that our collective intention is to minimize these costs and that there will be no additional expenses for venues when we are meeting at our home in Seattle.

((( May our Journey bring boundless benefit to each of us and through us to all beings )))


Dr. Joel and Michelle Levey are regarded as pioneers in the global “mindfulness revolution,” “the international compassion movement,” and work to integrate contemplative science and contemporary mind-fitness training in leading organizations in modern times. They were among the very first people to develop and introduce Mindful Leadership, Mind Fitness, and Compassion based programs within mainstream medical, higher educational, organizational, government, and military arenas beginning in the late 70’s.

Leveys at British Parliament Presentation May 2014 066

Leveys & colleagues with the All Parliamentary Roundtable on Mindfulness at British Parliament after our briefing to them on applications of mindfulness in organizations and setting high standards for teachers.

Over the past 40 years they have worked 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; NHS; NIH; 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; and World Business Academy. They have served as Chairpersons for the Center for Corporate Culture and Organizational Health Taskforce for the Institute for Health and Productivity Management, and as core faculty for the International Institute for Organization Design. They currently serve as clinical faculty at University of Minnesota Medical School and Bastyr University’s Center for Science, Medicine, and Spirituality. The Leveys 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. They stewarded the development of some of the first “mindful organizations” in the Western world – at Hewlett Packard, Intuit, Weyerhaeuser, etc.

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.”

Joel and Michelle were fortunate to be among the first professionals in the Western world to widely introduce mindfulness, meditation, mind-fitness training, collective wisdom, and contemplative science into mainstream organizations. They offer a unique and rich blend of insights and experience distilled from 47 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 33 years.

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.


Joel with the Dalai Lama in 1981 while on staff for his teachings at University of Wisconsin.

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, 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.

Their published works are available in 12 languages and include:  Living in Balance: A Mindful Guide for Thriving in a Complex World;  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.

For more information, please explore:
YouTube Channel:


“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 [/two_thirds]

joel w:guys reading map

Checking our maps for Hawaii Learning Expedition with leaders from World Bank, HP, Petro Canada, and other organizations.

Chikung at La Bartra Retreat in the mountains of Catalonia west of Barcelona.

Chikung at La Bartra Retreat in the mountains of Catalonia west of Barcelona.


First workshop in Stockholm with Leveys’ Wisdom at Work – thanks to Karoline Klerk and Lennart Engelhardt


Mindful Leadership Masterclass – Stockholm.


Explorations of Wisdom at Work with dear colleagues on the Isle of Grinda, Sweden

Explorations of Wisdom at Work with dear colleagues on the Isle of Grinda, Sweden


Mindful Leadership w/Leveys – Stockholm.


Collective Wisdom Symposium with Leveys at Campus International Excellence Southern Catalonia – thanks to Jordi Cartanya! Ancient Roman wall to the right of photo in the beautiful hall where we met.


Brighton BICS leaders clarifying their values on a sunny spring day.

Deep reflection La Bartra 2015

Deep reflection La Bartra 2015


NHS and Health Caring Professionals workshop with Leveys in London. Thanks to Anna Betz and George Por.

Deepening connections with Evolutionary Hub Tarragona, Spain

Deepening connections with Evolutionary Hub Tarragona, Spain


Workshop w/Leveys at London Hub sponsored by Future Considerations.


Mindfulness, Meditation, and Medicine Retreat in Italy near Assisi with Leveys and friends from around the globe.


Deep reflection, connection, and humor with copresenters at the Meaning conference in Brighton.

La Bartra Retreat 2015

La Bartra Retreat 2015


Leveys offer the inaugural workshop for University of Barcelona’s new Espai-M(indfulness) program.


Celebrating and exploring “shared mindfulness” and “collective intelligence” with George Por and Jordi Cartanya.


Workshop w/Michelle and Joel at Stanford Hall during the Tribe of Doris arts festival.

Deepening connections with ourselves and each other at La Bartra.

Deepening connections with ourselves and each other at La Bartra.


Gathering with All My Relations sangha and learning community at our home in Seattle.


Exploring way to thrive as a team while working in a medical center environment – BICS in Brighton.


Joel and Michelle speaking at Meaning conference on their work developing Google’s Mindfulness and Meditation Laboratory. We were invited to develop The Lab as the “follow-up program” for Google’s highly successful Search Inside Yourself Program.


With colleagues from around Europe at Wisdom at Work workshop with us at the London Hub.

Joel Google Neurofeedback slide

Exploring the Frontiers of ExtraOrdinary Human Potential Through Biofeedback, Neurofeedback, Biocybernautic Training and Contemplative Science – a “tech-talk” at Google.


Joel and Michelle take 25 members of their Seattle Mindfulness, Meditation, and Medicine Sangha to the Mind and Life Contemplative Science Conference in Washington, D.C.


Hosting a gathering of European medical education leaders at our home in Hawaii.


Leveys and friends help launch the Compassionate Eskilstuna Initiative north of Stockholm.


Discussing the compelling data on neuroplasticity and the radical transformation of our minds-brains for extraordinary states of well being and performance – at Meaning Conference, Brighton, 2014.



Collective Wisdom Learning Symposium at Campus International Excellence Southern Catalonia at a lovely seminary in Tarragona with an old roman wall to the right of the photo.

Facilitating Faculty Wellness and Resilience Program for colleagues at MD Anderson Cancer Research Center

In Hawaii with University of Minnesota Medical students in our Meditation and Medicine course

With our Tuesday Night meditation class – going strong after 30 years!

From the Mindfulness and Meditation Laboratory that we teach for Google – 25 locations world-wide

Special workshop we led on Mindfulness and MindBody Medicine for University of Washington Medical School faculty

Special workshop we led on Mindfulness and MindBody Medicine for University of Washington Medical School faculty

Teaching graduate course on Contemplative Education and Transformational Learning for Mahidol University, Thailand

Teaching University of Minnesota Medical School course on Meditation and MindBody Medicine

Teaching University of Minnesota Medical School course on Meditation and MindBody Medicine

With some of our visiting students from Taiwan where we have a dedicated following.

Meditation retreat with the Art Monks at Joshua Tree National Park.

Leading retreats for ArtMonks from the Art Monastery Project

Leading follow-up session for medical students at Bastyr University in the Chapel and St. Thomas Center

Michelle speaking at Town Hall session on Interspiritual Views on Health Care