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Invited Speakers & Facilitators

CPHE banner 2022

Thursday Keynote Speaker – Arawana Hayashi

Opening Keynote address on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 6:30 pm

Friday Keynote Speaker – David Loy

Closing Keynote address on Friday, March 4, 2022 at 5:15 pm

Saturday Retreat Facilitator – Ramaswami Mahalingam

Retreat facilitator on Saturday, March 5, 2022 from 9:15 am to 12:15 pm

Invited Speakers

Arawana Hayashi


Arawana’s pioneering work as an innovator, performer, and educator is deeply sourced in both improvisation and traditional Japanese dance. She is currently on the core faculty of the Presencing Institute where she heads the creation of Social Presencing Theater. She brings her background in performance artmaking and meditation to the creation of an embodied presence practice that makes visible both current reality and emerging future possibilities within organizations, schools, and community contexts. Arawana teaches meditation and creative process in Shambhala, a community committed to the creation of enlightened society. She is the author of Social Presencing Theater: The Art of Making a True Move published by PI Press.

The title of Arawana's keynote address is, Embodied Knowing: The Heart of Education.

Meditation and contemplative practice can deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world we live in. It brings heart into our intellectual pursuits. It brings our aspirations down to earth, providing a foundation for wise actions that benefit this world. But often we need confidence to step out into the challenges of this world. Embodied presence practices, a form of contemplation, are a bridge that joins clear seeing and emotional sensitivity, with engagement in the messy, often frightening, business of helping out this world.

David Loy

david loy

David Robert Loy is a (retired) professor of Buddhist and comparative philosophy, a prolific writer, and a teacher in the Sanbo Zen tradition of Japanese Buddhism. His essays and books have been translated into many languages, and his articles appear regularly in scholarly journals as well as popular magazines such as Tikkun, Tricycle, and Lion’s Roar. His dozen books include Nonduality, A New Buddhist Path, and most recently Ecodharma: Buddhist teachings for the ecological crisis. He is especially concerned about social and ecological issues, and co-edited A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency (Wisdom Publications, 2009). In addition to offering lectures and workshops and leading meditation retreats, he is one of the founders of the new Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, near Boulder, Colorado.

In June 2014, David received an honorary degree from Carleton College, his alma mater, during its 2014 Commencement. In April 2016, David returned his honorary degree, to protest the decision of the Board of Trustees not to divest from fossil fuel investments.

The title of David's keynote address is, Does This Change Everything?

Right now is the most dangerous time in human history, according to Noam Chomsky. What we do (or don’t do) in the next few years will have important repercussions for many generations, perhaps many centuries. What are the implications for education (at all levels)? For the mindfulness movement? For the very meaning of our lives? How might contemplative practices help us respond appropriately?

Ramaswami Mahalingam

ram mahalingam

Ram Mahalingam is a cultural psychologist, award-winning researcher, teacher, mentor, artist, and filmmaker (

Ram developed a social justice-focused mindfulness framework, Mindful Mindset, foregrounding dignity. He teachs two undergraduate courses using this framework: Mindfulness and Engaged Living; Mindful leadership and creativity. His current research concerns nurturing a caring and compassionate workplace that treats its workers with dignity. Ram is committed to developing passionate leaders with a mindful commitment to promoting workplace dignity and well-being. Ram's research examines dignity in three organizational contexts: (a) Janitors and cleaning; (b) Dignity in Healthcare settings; and (c) Dignity, Gender, and Technology.

In addition to several journal articles, he co-edited/edited two books – Multicultural Curriculum: New Directions for Social Theory, Practice and Policy (Routledge), and Cultural Psychology of Immigrants (Psychology Press).

Ram has won several awards for his research, teaching, and mentoring. He is the Director of the Barger Leadership Institute (BLI) and the Barger Leadership Institute Professor at the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. At BLI, Ram developed a Mindful Leadership program for undergraduates. Ram also developed a Global Mindful Peace Leadership program for BLI students to create a personal vision and commitment for personal and global peace by listening to the personal narratives of Hibakushas and Peace activists from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ram is also an award-winning filmmaker. He practices Sumie-a and has collaborated on a significant multimedia art installation — Being Brown in Michigan: Narratives of South Asians — at the University of Michigan.

The title of Ram's retreat is, Mindful mindset: Cherishing life with Dignity.

We live in a hyper-connected world, yet we feel more disconnected and alienated. We yearn for a deeper connection to ourselves, others, and nature. Paradoxically hyperconnectedness undermines our capacity to form deeper connections. Our attention is digitally distributed and fragmented. Consequentially, we often fail to recognize and pay attention to human dignity.

In my workshop, I present a holistic, mindful mindset perspective to foster personal, social, and ecological connectedness with a specific focus on dignity. When we are fully alive, our awakened attention opens our hearts, which helps us overcome our restricted view of ourselves and others with a commitment to dignity. We will recognize the humanity in others to genuinely relate to others with a deeper appreciation of the interdependent nature of our lives. Cultivating a mindful mindset will enable us to cherish life with dignity. I will present the seven features of my mindful mindset framework that help promote personal, social, and processual dignity.

Thursday Pre-Conference Workshops

Applying Contemplative Pedagogy in Teaching and Learning Workshops

Over the past several years the planning committee has received requests to offer workshops that provide guidence to educators and practitionairs on how to apply contemplative practices to his or her teaching and learning environments. At this years event, we have added two pre-conference workshops on Thursday, March 3, 2022 around the theme of Applying Contemplative Pedagogy in Teaching and Learning.

Each individual workshop will be three hours long and cost $45/workshop. The two workshops will be offered from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. There will be a lunch break from 12 pm to 1:30 pm.

One lunch voucher will be included with a pre-conference workshop registration. 

Contemplative Pedagogy


Contemplative Pedagogy: Managing Stress, Embracing Change, Nurturing Resiliency, and Maintaining Balance

Facilitated by Alan Forrest

Contemplative pedagogy is an approach to teaching and learning with the goal of encouraging deeper level wisdom through focused attention, reflection, and heightened awareness. Regardless of discipline and educational context, contemplative techniques can complement more traditional classroom activities to transform the way students learn about and understand the world. The benefits of a contemplative pedagogy and integration of mindfulness with both undergraduate and graduate students can have the following benefits:

  • Enhanced cognitive capacity including focus and creativity;
  • Improved stress management and coping skills;
  • Increased community, connection, and awareness;
  • Increased self-inquiry, resiliency and overall well-being;
  • Cultivation of a clear mind and an open spacious heart; and
  • Improved work-life balance.

The past several years students have been profoundly challenged by racial and social injustices, climate change, economic instability and stratification, and of course the pandemic; events that have resulted in anxiety, depression, and emotional dysregulation. Additionally, students at all levels, have their own personal challenges: relationships, loss, suffering, self-doubts, uncertainties, inadequacies, insecurities, and so forth. The purpose of this experiential and interactive pre-conference workshop will be to introduce, explore, and examine how contemplative pedagogy can support students to help themselves to manage being a better college student and human being during these interesting times.

Alan Forrest is a Professor in the Department of Counselor Education at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. Alan is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. In addition to his personal mindfulness meditation practice, Alan leads, and co-leads, mindfulness retreats for college and graduate students, medical and nursing students, human service and mental health professionals, educators, young adults and others. He is actively involved in infusing mindfulness into both his counseling practice and into the college classroom. Alan is interested in contemplative pedagogy and facilitates weekly mindfulness practice groups at Radford University for faculty, staff, and students. He has served as a conference committee member for various mindfulness-based conferences in Southwest Virginia. Alan is a founding Board Member of the nonprofit organization InStill Mindfulness of Southwest Virginia. He is affiliated with the private practice, Life in Balance: Counseling & Wellness Center in Christiansburg.

Bringing Mindful Practices to the Classroom


Bringing Mindful Practices to the Classroom

Facilitated by Ray Manyoky

This two hour workshop will focus on Bringing Mindul Practices to the Classroom and will be comprised of two modules:


  • Present Moment Awareness
  • Neurobiology
  • Power of Silence
  • Practical Tools/Skills

Mindful Dialogue

  • Presence
  • Attention
  • Intention
  • Listening
  • Practical Tools/Skills

Each module will incorporate lecture, practice and skills building, and time for self-reflectino and group sharing. Ray's intention is to teach through listening, doing, and reflecting.

Ray Manyoky is a certified mindfulness meditation teacher through Tara Brach's and Jack Kornfield's 2-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certified Program (MMTCP), a member of the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA), and the Owner of the Frederick Meditation Center.