Sponsored by Naropa University and Shambhala Mountain Center, Awake in the World: An Interreligious Dialogue on Livelihood and the Spiritual Journey. Host: Roland Cohen
A dialogue, exploring commonalities and differences from five unique religious perspectives with Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Pir Netanel Mu’in ad-Din Miles-Yépez, Sreedevi Bringi, Stephen Hatch,
Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University. She was trained at Cornell College (BA), Florida State University (MA), Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary (ABD), and Walden University (PhD). She teaches Buddhist scripture, ethics and philosophy, as well as interreligious dialogue and contemplative education. She is an Acharya (senior dharma teacher) of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and performs Upadhyaya (Buddhist ministers) ordinations for Shambhala.
Pir Netanel Mu’in ad-Din Miles-Yépez is the current head of the Inayati-Maimuni lineage of Sufism. He studied History of Religions at Michigan State University and Contemplative Religion at the Naropa Institute before pursuing traditional studies in both Sufism and Hasidism with Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and various other teachers. He has been deeply involved in ecumenical dialogue and is considered a leading thinker in the InterSpiritual movement.
Sreedevi Bringi brings a brain-mind-consciousness perspective into her spiritual work, integrating her training in the sciences with deep study and practice in the spiritual/religious traditions of India . She received training in hatha yoga, raja yoga, meditation, Sanskrit and spiritual practices from her family elders, and from swamis and yoga teachers at the Bihar School of Yoga and Vivekananda Kendra in Bangalore , India. She has graduate degrees in Chemistry, Atmospheric Sciences and Education. Sreedevi has also served on the science faculty at Colorado State University , Front Range Community College and the Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colorado
Stephen Hatch, MA, is a contemplative thinker, photographer and writer. He represents the Contemplative Spiritual branch of the Radical Reformation, the contemplative wing of the movement that also produced Mennonites and Amish and which flowed into Quaker spirituality. In the 1980s, Stephen trained with Thomas Keating and the Catholic mystical tradition of Centering Prayer at the Trappist monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. He lives as a sort of ‘monk in the world,’ combining family life with meditation, silence, solitary time spent hiking and camping in the wilds, a simple lifestyle, and mindfulness. Stephen has a BA in Philosophy and Religion (with a minor in Natural Resources) from Colorado State University, and an MA in Spirituality from Iliff School of Theology. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, and teaches in the Religious Studies Department at Naropa University, where he specializes in Christian Mysticism.
Friar Alan Hartway, PhD Candidate, University of Colorado, MFA Writing and Poetics, The Naropa Institute, BA, St. Joseph College. An ordained Catholic priest in the Society of the Precious Blood, Alan has served as a pastor for twelve years, director of publications for his community, and director of formation for priesthood candidates for five years. He taught at St. Mary of the Plains College of Dodge City, Kansas, and worked with the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, a lay Catholic missionary organization grant funding projects in developing countries. Alan has studied with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and is currently engaged in graduate degree work at the University of Colorado in classics and Greek.
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone is a rabbi, Jungian therapist, and author of The Receiving: Reclaiming Jewish Women’s Wisdom, (hailed as the non-fiction companion to The Red Tent); With Roots in Heaven, and The Woman’s Kabbalah: Ecstatic Practices for Women. Ordained by R. Zalman Schachter-Shalomi in 1992, Tirzah is widely known for her groundbreaking work on the confluence of Kabbalah and psychology and the re-integration of the feminine wisdom tradition within Judaism. She lectures and teaches throughout the United States.