Dreitcer Quoted in "Spirituality & Health" Magazine

Comments by Andy Dreitcer are highlighted in an article for “Spirituality & Health” magazine about neuroscientific perspectives on how ritual functions in religions.

“The use of movement, scent, repetition of mantra or singing, and rhythmic breathing: ‘These appear again and again,” [Dreitcer] says, perhaps because they evoke a “neurophysiology that really responds to intimacy.” When one examines these practices, Dreitcer [continues], “they do the same thing in humans no matter who they are or what the context.’ And this relaxed, focused state might be a doorway to spiritual growth, he says. “If you have that capacity to pay attention without condemning ― even unconsciously ― it opens up all kinds of possibilities.'”

Co-Director Named Mind & Life Fellow

Andy Dreitcer has accepted a prestigious invitation to become a Fellow of the Mind & Life Institute (MLI). MLI was founded in 1987 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, neuroscientist Francisco Varela, and social-change entrepeneur Adam Engle. From its inception it has sought “to understand the human mind and the benefits of contemplative practices through an integrated mode of knowing that combines first person knowledge from the world’s contemplative traditions with methods and findings from contemporary scientific inquiry. Ultimately, [MLI’s] goal is to relieve human suffering and advance well-being.”

CEC Researches Meditating Monks

Staff members of the Center traveled to a Christian monastery recently to record EEG readings of monks during meditation. In recent years EEG testing of Buddhist meditators (monastics and laypersons) has been done in a number of locations around the world. As far as we know, this is the first time an adept Christian monastic has gone ‘under the EEG net.’  

A vast amount of data was collected over the course of 4 days of testing; this will take much time to collate and interpret.

CEC Goes to San Quintin Prison

CEC Executive Co-Director Andrew Dreitcer recently participated in Insight Prison Project‘s (IPP) Restorative Justice training in connection with IPP’s “Victim Offender Education Group” offerings at prisons around California.

Andy is now helping facilitate a group at San Quentin men’s prison. The group, part of IPP’s “Next Step” program, is meeting twice a month for 18 months, with a focus on issues related to how to navigate life after prison.

Over 40 International Participants Attend Weeklong Retreat

The center hosted is first weeklong retreat last month, Sept 13-16, 2012 at The Mercy Center in Burlingame, Calif.  The event, titled “The Way of Radical Compassion,” welcomed 43 participants from Canada, England, and Saudi Arabia, and the United States. The two subsequent retreats will focus on how to experience and offer radical compassion toward others, both those we easily care for and those that we experience as enemies.

Plans are underway to begin a second 9-month training program in September, 2013.