Contemplative Study and Embodied Understanding

Contemplative Study & Training

Within our continually evolving lives, many people long to find a deeper way of being. Information and inspiration are important parts of the search, yet do not necessarily lead to embodied understanding. Embodied understanding can be described as a felt sense that you know what you know, and that you can express your knowledge through who you are.

Likewise, while we may glean helpful new scientific understandings of the body and mind, and benefit from our access to diverse cultural & spiritual perspectives, it is challenging to make these operational in the midst of our own lives.

The Latin root of the word contemplation, templum, literally means a place for observation, what might also be called a keystone, mainspring, core, or heart.  To contemplate is to take time and space to explore important questions, to go to the core or heart of the matter, to potentially find what you seek.

Our contemplative study programs provide this needed place for observation.

Our processes draw from the contemplative Yoga and Mindfulness traditions, as well as wisdom traditions across cultures, the evolving paradigms of mind/body science, and the global secular/spiritual ethics movement.

Our teachers, presenters, and faculty are highly qualified in their field, and are chosen especially for their dedication to their inner work and how they are expressing that in their lives.

Even more important than being with our experts, our programs provide a larger context for your personal path exploration and create a learning community.

Rather than being content heavy, the programs emphasize the individual and group process, affirm wholeness and connectedness, and strengthen your ability to link your unique existence to a greater good.

In the spirit of simplicity, there are a variety of options for engagement.

Contemplative Study is for those of you:

  • Seeking a deeper way of being in your life, work, community, and world.
  • Who want more than information and inspiration; who want experiential processes that foster embodied understanding.
  • Those who have some form of body, mind, or spirit practice and want more sense of what it means to integrate it all.
  • Want to develop a body, mind, spirit practice that suits the reality of your life.
  • To heal, grow, and learn personally and relationally.
  • Exploring how your inner being and outer life, or personal and professional worlds can be more cohesive.
  • Who identify as spiritual but not religious, secular humanist, agnostic, or nothing. Yet, sense you are nonetheless on a personal path and want more context and community.

Program Options:

Second Sunday Seminar A monthly gathering to explore diverse topics relating to spiritual perspective, path, and practice in an experiential and conversational format. On the Second Sunday afternoon each month, the Second Sunday Seminar Schedule can be found here.

Fourth Sunday Study Group  The study group builds on the themes of the Second Sunday Seminar with deeper study. The format will be retreat-like with teaching, practice and discussion periods. Comprised of 4 community learning modules, facilitated by Natasha Korshak, that are three months each in length:
Global Spirituality
Contemplative Healing
Modern Spiritual Path
Contemplation in Action

$300, which includes the Second Sunday Seminar and a between session group forum. Meetings are the Fourth Sunday of each month from 2:00 to 5:30.

Sol Center Contemplative School  This fully immersive program links the above, and includes: a monthly spiritual direction session and the full menu of Sol Center practice classes.  It has been designed as such, to support those active in the Sol Center to have a more cohesive practice path. Available as three month increments or as an entire year.

$600/Module or $2021/Year   

I. Global Spirituality               

The concept of global spirituality emerges from various fields such as religious studies, comparative religion, cultural anthropology, psychology, mythology, philosophy and even ecology. In this module our key text will be “Emerging Heart: Global Spirituality and the Sacred,” by Beverly Lanzetta, an important articulation of the historical and personal relevance of the pull towards the sacred. We will also have guest presenter Cliff Berrien of the Center for Contemplation and Action joining us to speak about his work there and to share his practice ReSounding Joy. As well as guest author and writing teacher Nancy Linnon, who will facilitate a special writing retreat focusing on your own experience of the sacred.

Monthly Second Sunday Seminars

January -Global Spirituality, Natasha Korshak

February -ReSounding Joy:  Opening the Spiritual Heart, Cliff Berrien

March -Spiritual Biography & Autobiography, Nancy Linnon

II.  Contemplative Healing       

Contemplative healing works from the perspective of wholeness, compassion, humility, and mystery. While we do know much about how to better our health, extend our lives, lessen our physical and mental suffering, we also know the limitations of what we know and the complications that can arise personally, relationally, systemically, and globally. Contemplative healing explores the borders between knowing and unknowing, curing and healing, self and Source; what is referred to as liminality. This exploration invites and generates a non-dualistic perspective that is the hallmark of the world’s wisdom traditions and links us to the needed wisdom for our time.

Monthly Second Sunday Seminars

April -Active Hope on an Ailing Planet, Scotty Johnson

May -Making Peace

June -Self Compassion, Erin Galen

III. Modern Spiritual Path   

This module explores the evolution of both Yoga and Mindfulness as health and lifestyle practices, as well as spiritual practices. Why are we wanting and needing this? What are we getting from this that we are not finding in our own culture? Does this have anything to do with globalization in general? Does having a modern, personal path mean I can simply pick and choose what I like and want? We will hear from Mira Murphy, a wonderful national teacher of Yoga and Ayurveda. Natasha will discuss the rise of mindfulness from its roots to the present. And Teresa Cowan Jones, founder of Sacred Space will share her understanding of the need to create new paradigms for spiritual practice and community. We will also look deeper at some of the source texts of the Yoga, Buddhist, and Christian traditions.

Monthly Second Sunday Seminars

July -Yoga Past, Present, Future, Mira Murphy

August -The Mindfulness Revolution, Natasha Korshak

September -Paradigms for a Spiritual Path, Teresa Cowan Jones

IV.  Contemplation in Action   

This last module builds on all the themes of the year to explore questions of application, action, values, contribution, and legacy. What does it mean to bridge one’s inner and outer life more cohesively? What is the proper balance of doing and being, giving and receiving, equanimity and activism? How do I want to be remembered? Our 3 speakers are women who have worked in health and humanitarian organizations, and have also pioneered new ideas for how to sustain themselves and others in those fields. Elements of this module will also emerge as a result of the prior studies. Those that have completed all four modules will be invited to teach and present on a topic of interest the following year.

Monthly Second Sunday Seminars

October -Healing Healers & Families, Shay Bider

November -Building Somatic Stamina, Emily Saunders

December -The Power of Ceremony, Kristina Bentz