Contemplative Psychotherapy: Intersections of Science, Spirituality and Buddhism


In this episode we meet Joseph Loizzo, MD, PhD, who is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and Columbia-trained Buddhist scholar with over forty years’ experience studying the beneficial effects of contemplative practices on healing, learning and development. Joe shares his story of founding the Nalanda Institute, in NYC, as an intersection between contemplative approaches from Buddhism, Psychology and Psychotherapy. The discussion focuses on the benefits and challenges of the practitioner model and Joe shares his approaches to rigorous engagement between his training as an MD and his practice in the Tantric Buddhist tradition. The discussion turns to cross-cultural research frameworks and we discuss his article, "Contemplative Psychotherapy," which is the introduction to a new volume he is the editor of called, Advances in Contemplative Psychotherapy: Accelerating Healing and Transformation (Routledge, 2023). In this article Joe speaks of the central importance of transformation of the body and how it can be beneficial to start approaching the idea of embodiment through the principals of spaciousness and light, based upon the Buddhist notions of the subtle bodies.

Joseph (Joe) Loizzo is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in Integrative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he researches and teaches contemplative self-healing and optimal health. He has taught the philosophy of science and religion, the scientific study of contemplative states, and the Indo-Tibetan mind and health sciences at Columbia University, where he is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Columbia Center for Buddhist Studies.

Your Host

Stephen Julich and Jonathan Kay

Stephen Julich has worked as an adjunct instructor in History and Anthropology at the City College of New York, as a lecturer in Jungian Studies at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, and as an adjunct instructor at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he has taught classes on ensouled writing and Western Esotericism.

Jonathan Kay is a professional musician, and is currently a PhD student in the department of East-West Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr. Debashish Banerji.

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