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Speaker Series and Past Events

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Past Mindfulness at Ramapo College Events

Chris Germer, Ph.D
“The Power of Mindful Self-Compassion to Enhance Emotional Well-Being”
September 23, 2019

“Thoreau and the Contemplative Tradition” with Professor Mark Howenstein
October 24, 2018

Daniel Barbezat
“What is Education For? A Contemplative Inquiry.”
October 19, 2018

Pandit Dasa Mindful Leadership
Ramapo faculty and staff event
October 4, 2018

Short interview


Full presentation


“Using Mindfulness to Get at Sustainability” with Professor Ashwani Vasishth
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Creating a Mindful Classroom with Linda Lantieri and faculty panel members, Erin Tahian, Joe Kiely, Mary Duffy and Julie Cheshire
March 20, 2018

“Learning to Let Go” Parallel Mini-Retreats for Teens and Parents of Teen with Beth Sandweiss and Arlene Gordon
February 24, 2018

“Mindful Yoga in the Classroom” with Lisa Flynn
Thursday, November 16, 2017


“Living an Authentic Life” with Dr. Maria Sirois
Tuesday, October 3, 2017, Trustees Pavilion

More Information on Dr. Maria Sirois' Living an Authentic Life

Authenticity is a crucial element to a thriving life, yet it requires both courage and vulnerability and the willingness to stand tall in the values and virtues that sustain us. Moving toward a more authentic life, and an ideal sense of self, brings great reward: serenity, wisdom, clarity about who to spend time with and who not, elevated optimism, passion and creativity.  And, as we shape our days toward our ideal selves, we begin to draw toward us like-minded and like-hearted people.  The journey is not without its costs, however.

In this interactive conversation, Dr. Sirois articulates both the perspectives and tools from the fields of positive psychology and resilience that enable us to develop an inner true north, and the risks to choosing to live without authenticity.  We’ll explore what matters most on the journey and how to let go of myths that keep us attached to living into other people’s beliefs about who we should be and what our lives ought to look like.  By choosing such a journey, we choose a life that is genuine, healthful and sustaining.

Learn more about Maria Sirois here.

9-Day Fundamentals Professional Education Teacher Training in collaboration with the Center for Mindfulness UMass with Lynn Koerbel and Margaret Fletcher
August, 2017

Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation Workshop for Educators and Administrators with Carol Bowman and Joe Kiely
September 14, 2017, ASB  420

Academic Conference: Mindfulness and Phenomenology

Interdisciplinary Coalition of North American Phenomenologists (ICNAP) Ninth Annual Meeting hosted in collaboration with the Mindfulness at Ramapo CollegeRamapo College of New Jersey
May 26–28, 2017

More Information on the MIndfulness and Phenomenology Conference

This conference explored the congruence between mindfulness meditation practices and the field of classical Phenomenology. Mindfulness generally refers to the contemporary application of ancient Asian contemplative systems of thought to health and well-being whereas phenomenology is here understood within the philosophical tradition inaugurated by Edmund Husserl at the beginning of the last century. While the two systems of knowledge arose from vastly different cultural and historical contexts, the commonality between their respective methodologies and approaches can be remarkable. Many mindfulness practices are inherently phenomenological and many aspects of phenomenological scholarship and research share profound similarities with Asian mindfulness techniques and applications. The goal of this conference to explore, in an interdisciplinary spirit, the many shared latencies between these distinct yet cognate systems of knowledge and their applied practices.

Featured Husserliana speaker:

Michel Bitbol, Director of Research, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Husserl Archives, École Normale Supérieure, Paris

Other invited speakers:

Shaun Gallagher
The Lillian and Morrie Moss Professor Department of Philosophy, University of Memphis page1image12848

Richard Kearney
The Charles B. Seelig Professor Department of Philosophy, Boston College

James Morley
The Contemplative Phenomenology of Thomas Merton (see below video)

“Creating a Mindful Classroom” featuring Linda Lantieri, MA
leading a panel of K-12 educators-Nikki Van Ess, Erin Corcoran, Lisa Sargenti, and Kathryn Hess
March 2017

More Information on Creating a Mindful Classroom Workshop

For Local Educators and Administrators presented in collaboration with TMI Education.This workshop provided educators with the opportunity to expand their understanding of mindfulness practices andl introduced hands-on strategies for use in the classroom.

This workshop featured mindfulness in education expert, Linda Lantieri, MA, author of Building Emotional Intelligence: Practices to Cultivate Inner Resilience in Children and Director of The Inner Resilience Program. Linda gave a presentation and led a panel of local educators who have integrated mindfulness into their classrooms.Panel members were Nikki Van Ess, Erin Corcoran, Lisa Sargenti and Kathyrn Hess. A question and answer session  followed.


“Tools for Coping with Anxiety” with Frank Sileo, PhD
April, 2017

More Information on Frank Sileo's Tools for Coping with Anxiety

In our increasingly hectic and demanding world, we can find ourselves struggling with feelings of stress and anxiety. The pressures of school, parenting, work and life in general, contribute to making anxiety disorders in children and adults more widespread. Join Dr. Sileo as he discusses the types and prevalence of anxiety disorders in children and adults. He will provide an introduction to mindfulness, practical strategies that can be of great benefit in reducing stress and anxiety, and how to boost natural healing.

Dr. Sileo will engage the audience in some mindfulness exercises that will help cultivate a mindful way of being. A question and answer session will follow.

This lecture is geared toward adults and older students, but there will be a book signing of Dr. Sileo’s children’s book A World of Pausabilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness (available for purchase) winner of the Gold medal at the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards, before the lecture.

Location: Student Center Lounges, Ramapo College
Cost: $15

For registration and to receive your parking pass, please click here.

About Dr. Frank Sileo

Frank J. Sileo, PhD, is a New Jersey licensed psychologist and the founder and Executive Director of The Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He received his doctorate from Fordham University in New York City. In his practice, Dr. Sileo works with children, adolescents, adults and families. Since 2010, he has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s top kids’ doctors. He is an author of six, soon to be seven children’s books. His books are: Toilet Paper Flowers: A Story for Children About Crohn’s Disease, Hold the Cheese Please: A Story for Children About Lactose Intolerance, Bug Bites and Campfires: A Story for Kids About Homesickness, Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing and Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town: A Story About Self-Confidence. His books Sally Sore Loser and Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town are His book Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town also won the Silver medal from the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. In February 2017, Dr. Sileo had his sixth children’s book published, A World of Pausabilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness, Gold Medal recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards.. He will have his seventh children’s book on a type of bullying published in October 2017. Dr. Sileo speaks across the country, locally and does school author visits. He has been published in psychological journals and is often quoted in newspapers, magazines, podcasts, webcasts, radio and television. Learn more about Dr. Sileo on his website,

“Self-Healing for Caregivers” with Dr. Michael Kearney and Dr. Radhule Weininger
November, 2016

More Information Dr. Michael Kearney and Dr. Radhule Weininger's Self-Healing for Caregivers

In this one day seminar for clinicians and caregivers of all disciplines (including parents and those caring for the elderly or chronically ill as well as healthcare professionals) who are interested in formulating an ongoing practice for resilience and self-care, Drs. Kearney and Weininger will examine the different occupational stress syndromes–burnout, vicarious traumatization and moral distress syndrome.

Participants will explore ways to experience healing through the inner-path of mindfulness meditation and the outer-path of sensory engagement with nature. They will formulate their own customized self-care plan and discuss how to bring these insights back into the clinical setting.

Copies of A Place of Healing: Working with Suffering in Living and Dying, Spring Journal Books (2009) and Mortally Wounded: Stories of Soul Pain, Death and Healing, Spring Journal Book (2007)

About Michael Kearney, MD., FRCPI

Michael Kearney has over 30 years experience of working in end-of-life care. Having trained at St Christopher’s Hospice, London and St Thomas’ Hospital, London, he worked at St Christopher’s Hospice, London and later at Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, Dublin. His particular interest is in integrated whole-person healthcare and in psychological and existential aspects of end-of-life care. He has written two books, which explore these issues. He has worked with Professor Balfour Mount as Visiting Professor at McGill Medical School, Montreal helping to develop teaching programs on Healing in Medicine in the undergraduate curriculum. He is currently based in Santa Barbara, California where he works as Medical Director of the Palliative Care Service at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and Associate Medical Director at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.

About Radhule Weininger, MD, Ph.D

Radhule Weininger was trained as a physician in Germany and as a clinical psychologist in North America. She has worked for the past 20 years as a psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Barbara, California. Since staying in a monastery in Sri Lanka in 1981, she has been studying Buddhist philosophy and Mindfulness Meditation. She has a special interest in bridging Western and Buddhist psychology. Radhule teaches meditation and dreamwork in individual as well as in group and retreat settings and has just completed a book entitled, “Heartwork: Practicing Compassion in Daily Life.”

“Forgive For Good” with Fred Luskin, Ph.D, Stanford University
October 13, 2016

More Information on Fred Luskin's Forgive for Good

The 9 steps of forgiveness from the Stanford Forgiveness Project will be highlighted. This ground breaking approach offers insights into the healing powers and medical benefits of forgiveness. Dr. Fred Luskin offers a powerful method in which the emphasis is of letting go of hurt, helplessness and anger while increasing confidence, hope and happiness. Through these powerful techniques individuals can learn how to release unwanted hurts and grudges. Gratitude and compassion will also be explored as aspects of human goodness that can be developed and nourished.
Dr. Fred Luskin has completed extensive research on the training and measurement of forgiveness therapy. His research demonstrates that learning forgiveness leads to increased physical vitality, hope, greater self–efficacy, enhanced optimism and conflict resolution skills. It also shows that forgiveness lessons the physical and emotional toll of stress, and decreases hurt, anger depression and blood pressure.

About Fred Luskin, Ph.D

Dr. Luskin is the author of the best seller Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness and Stress Free for Good. He has worked with many organizations and has trained lawyers, doctors, church leaders and congregations, hospital staffs, teachers and other professionals to manage stress and enhance forgiveness all over the United States. Dr. Luskin’s work has been featured in Time magazine, O magazine, Ladies Home Journal, U.S. News and World Reports, Parade, Prevention as well as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, U.S.A. Today and the Wall Street Journal.

Frederic Luskin, Ph.D. is the Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects and an Associate Professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He also serves as the Co Chair of the Garden of Forgiveness Project at Ground Zero in Manhattan.

What Attendees Have to Say

“I wanted to relay how much I enjoyed the speaker on Forgiveness and his insights. I actually put him on YouTube driving home to keep the peace he created in the lecture. I will look forward to other events at the center.” -Participant at “Forgive for Good”

Day of Mindfulness with the Blue Cliff Monks
September, 2016

More Information on Day of Mindfulness with Blue Cliff Monks

The Mindfulness at Ramapo College hosted a Day of Mindfulness for Ramapo faculty, staff and students on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 with activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a meditation open to Ramapo and the local community at 5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. The monks from Blue Cliff  joined the day of mindfulness and led a guided meditation, a talk on mindful living and a mindful walk.


“Cultivating Presence in Relationships” with Florence Meleo-Meyer, M.S.,M.A, Center for Mindfulness UMass
September 2016

More Information on Florence Meleo-Meyer's Cultivating Presence in Relationships

Mindfulness, the innate human capacity to be aware in the present moment, with interest and curiosity, can be directly experienced and cultivated with meditation practices. Mindfulness meditation, is practiced both formally and informally. Formal practice includes setting aside time on a regular basis with the specific intention to be present and awake, moment to moment. Informal practice is an invitation to pause many times in a day and choose to be present. Mindfulness, also known as “heartfulness”, is present in all moments of a day, and all days of a life. The potential mental stability, awareness, and greater ease that are associated with the practice of mindfulness can be integrated with intention in relationships with other people. Many people share that, for them, relationships are a source of great joy and, at times, stress. Interpersonal mindfulness offers a means to experience greater freedom as we interact with others.

In our evening together, you will be guided with mindfulness practices, sample a practice of relational mindfulness, explore how we as social beings, long for connection and also can infuse our interactions with greater awareness and compassion, which can enhance quality of life.

About Florence Meleo-Meyer, MS, MA
Florence Meleo-Meyer, MS, MA, is director of Train the Trainer Program in Oasis Institute, Mindfulness-Based Professional Education and Training at the Center for Mindfulness, in Medicine, Healthcare and Society, (CFM) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in Worcester, Massachusetts. At the CFM for twenty-two years, her work has focused on training MBSR teachers for over 18 years. As director of the Train the Trainer Program, she is dedicated to the development of trainers of MBSR teachers with the intention of extending the potential benefits of MBSR to future generations, and across cultural, and socio-economic groups.

She has taught and presented at medical centers, clinics, non-profit and private sector organizations around the world. She has consulted and collaborated on mindfulness-oriented healthcare provider education programs with colleagues at the Drexel College of Medicine and the University of Rochester Medical School. She is author and narrator of a DVD for young adults, Living Awake™, a contributor to the books, Mindfulness in the Therapeutic Relationship, The MBSR Workbook for Anxiety, and author of a book chapter about teaching MBSR to be published in the summer of 2016.


Half-Day Silent Retreat with Jon Aaron

September 24, 2016

More Information on Jon Aaron and his silent retreat

Jon Aaron is a meditation instructor based in New York City, offering courses and workshops for individuals, groups, communities and organizations. Grounded in a long-standing exploration of meditation, he is trained in both traditional Buddhist practices and modern mindfulness-based interventions. Jon teaches in a wide variety of settings, while he continues to deepen and investigate his understanding of the work.

Bio from his website

“Mindfulness for Your Health and Well Being” with Dr. Nancy Cotter
May 2016

More Information on Dr. Nancy Cotter's Mindfulness for Your Health and Well Being

Join us for an interactive lecture that will provide an overview of the body of research supporting the use of mindfulness for your everyday health and well-being. Learn how mindfulness can positively impact many areas of your life; such as work, relationships, sleep, physical health and nutrition. Participants will begin to create a more “mindful me” as they experience and learn different techniques for inviting mindfulness into their everyday lives.

About Nancy Ann Cotter, Ph. D.

Nancy Ann Cotter is the Lead Physician for Integrative Medicine at the Veterans Association in New Jersey. She is also a Physician for the VA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation and is helping to guide the implementation of Integrative Health throughout the United States.

Dr. Cotter is a graduate of McGill University and SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine. She is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Integrative/ Holistic Medicine and Medical Acupuncture, and holds certifications as a Nutrition Specialist and Functional Medicine practitioner. Dr. Cotter also has training in herbal medicine, osteopathic manipulation and energy medicine. She is a fellow of the American College of Nutrition. She uses nutrition, acupuncture, herbal medicine and lifestyle modification as first line tools in her practice.

Dr. Cotter was the founding Medical Director of the Integrative Medicine Program at Atlantic Health in New Jersey. She has authored over 20 publications in Integrative Medicine and pursues research interests in the use of Integrative Medicine modalities in the conventional setting.

“Practicing Self-Compassion to Connect with Others” with Sharon Salzberg
April 2016

More Information on Sharon Salzberg's Practicing Self-Compassion to Connect with Others

We yearn for connection with others, but often our minds get in the way, making judgments that alienate us from one another. Our assumptions, distractions, fears, expectations, and personal sense of unworthiness can contribute to this feeling of separation. Core mindfulness and lovingkindness techniques can help us find a truer meaning of love for ourselves and others.

With mindfulness and lovingkindness techniques, and other meditation exercises, as mentioned in her upcoming book Real Love, Sharon Salzberg will guide participants through the process of seeing through layers of habit – whether rooted in fear, self-condemnation or other mental conditioning – to find a truer meaning of love for themselves, for their loved ones, and for all beings and grow this sense of connection. There will be a book signing of the book, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation (available for purchase), before the lecture

A sincere thanks to the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation who partially funded our bringing Sharon Salzberg to the community.

About Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg is a meditation teacher and New York Times best-selling author. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. Sharon has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding retreats worldwide since 1974. She is a weekly columnist for On Being, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, former contributing editor of Oprah’s O Magazine, and the author of many books including “Real Happiness,” and “Lovingkindness.” She has appeared in Time Magazine, Self, More, Real Simple and on For more information please visit her website at

Sponsored in part by the Lenz Foundation.

“Conscious Eating” with Dr. Jacqueline Ehlert
March 2016

More Information on Dr. Jacqueline Ehlert's Conscious Eating

Using an evidenced based scientific and hands-on approach, you will learn about the intertwined connection between mind-body and eating. Dr. Ehlert will take you through a full sensory eating experience and guide you through the process of making life-long changes that will benefit your health.

Traditional weight loss and weight management methods are ineffective because they do not address the biological, neurological and psychological reasons that drive us to eat. Becoming fully aware of what, where and why we eat the foods we choose is at the core of “Conscious Eating”.

About Dr. Jacqueline Ehlert

Dr. Ehlert, holds a doctoral degree in eating behavior from Teacher’s College Columbia University and received her registered dietitian certification from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada. She has a nutrition practice in Bergen County and has taught nutrition for the past 22 years at different colleges and universities including the faculty of dentistry at the University of Western Ontario and has run the nutrition programs for students at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She is also a research fellow at Ramapo College and lecturer in the Master’s of Nutrition Program at Montclair State University and the Masters of Diabetes Education at Columbia University.

Her strength lies in her ability to communicate and synthesize complex nutrition information so that it is easily understood.

“Deep Listening” with Pauline Oliveros
November 2015

More Information on Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening

Deep Listening is a practice that encourages heightened awareness of the sounds in our environment. In this experiential workshop we will explore the difference between involuntary hearing and selective listening. Pauline Oliveros will engage the audience in her sonic (sound-based) meditations followed by a concert with composer, performer, Seth Cluett and Trumpeter, Ben Neill.

Pauline Oliveros is a composer, performer, humanitarian and senior figure in contemporary American music. She has influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual. Oliveros is the founder of Deep Listening practice. Her most recent publication is: Anthology of Text Scores; Deep Listening Publications.

“Meditative Practice and the Breath” with Petri Berndtson
October 2015

More Information on Petri Berndtson's Meditative Practice and the Breath

A free workshop offered Tuesday, October 27, 7-8:30pm in the Trustees Pavilion at Ramapo College.A philosopher and former lecturer at Lahti University of Applied Sciences in Lahti, Finland, Petri Berndtson will speak on meditation and the profound significance of the function and meaning of breath in mindfulness practices and everyday life. He is currently editing an interdisciplinary book of essays on the philosophy, science and symbolism of breathing. His research is focused on the connection between philosophy and breathing, thinking and respiration.  Petri has lectured throughout the world.

He was one of the Invited Speakers at the Life of Breath Project’s Official Launch Event (University of Bristol, UK) ( and he is one of the Invited Speakers at the 3rd Annual Breath Immersion 2015 Conference (Kripula Center for Yoga and Health, MA, USA.

“Meditation and Writing: The Stories We Carry” with Dani Shapiro
October  2015

More Information on Dani Shapiro's Meditation and Writing
Dani Shapiro

Best selling Author Dani Shapiro

An acclaimed literary novelist and nonfiction writer, Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of three memoirs, Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life (2013); Devotion; and Slow Motion: A Memoir of a Life Rescued by Tragedy. Her five acclaimed novels include Family History and Black & White, both of which are in development as feature films.


Dani was chosen by Arianna Huffington to speak at the New York City “Thrive” conference. She spoke about the role of mindfulness and meditation and the creative process and led an experiential workshop that includes meditation and generative writing exercises that explore the stories inside us.

“Mindfulness in Everyday Life” with Dr. Donna Rockwell
September 2015

“Neurology of Addiction” and “How Mindfulness Can Help Us Change Habits and Live Happier, Healthier Lives” with Judson Brewer
March 2014

More Information on Judson Brewer's Presentations

Judson Brewer, M.D., Ph.D., the Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness UMass Medical School has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, spoken at international conferences. You can read about his work in Time magazine, Forbes, BBC, NPR Businessweek or view his TEDx talk or 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper.

First Presentation The Neurology of Addiction –Psychological and neurobiological mechanisms of addiction and how these are targeted by mindfulness meditation.”

Second Presentation-How Mindfulness Can Help Us Change Habits and Live Happier, Healthier Lives.


To request disability-related accommodations, please contact

Mindfulness at Ramapo College of New Jersey Mindfulness at Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Rd
Mahwah, New Jersey 07430
(201) 684-6855