Dan Abella invited me to spearhead the programing of two film screenings at The New School. I curated and moderated two post-screening panel discussions—including one with comedian Shane Mauss.
Our mission is to create a "space of difference" for misfit Buddhists and freaks who found the Path by way of psychedelics, (or the aptly dubbed "Paisley Gate"), and who also wish to see the greater development of “Psychedelic Buddhism."
We are a spiritual collective of Buddhist practitioners who share a commitment to tradition, but also the nontraditional belief that psychedelic substances like psilocybin (or “magic mushrooms”), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD, also known as “acid”), mescaline, ayahuasca, and N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) can facilitate bonafide mystical or religious experiences.
In 2016 Consciousness Hacking NYC teamed up with Cabaret Cinema at The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City to celebrate films that transform the way we think and feel about the world around us. For this event we crowdsourced film nominations in three categories: 1) Psychedelic Journey, 2) Contemplation, and 3) Technological Innovation. We believe our community choose an excellent lineup of films that exemplify the the aforementioned three principal dimensions of consciousness hacking. And apparently others liked it too because we sold out every night!
Consciousness Hacking NYC is a grassroots forum for learning and sharing new ideas and technologies that empower an individual to "hack" into their own consciousness in order to effectuate spiritual transformation. I co-organize the NYC chapter of the consciousness hacking movement that started in Palo Alto and is the brainchild of Mikey Siegel. We convene monthly Meetups at Brooklyn Yoga Club in Fort Greene and The Alchemist's Kitchen in the East Village. In the fall we will also be curating a special Consciousness Hacking film series at the Rubin Museum of Art.
In 2011 I won a grant from The John Templeton Foundation to produce a conference on Buddhist ethics. This event has been hailed as the first academic conference solely devoted to the topic of Buddhist ethics. A published volume of the conference papers (including one from myself and my partner Jake Davis Ph. D.) is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
The Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy (CSCP) is a University Seminar that is dedicated to supporting discourse that draws on both western and non-western philosophy. The CSCP meets monthly on the campus of Columbia University and occasionally also hosts conferences. As co-founder I conceived the idea of creating the CSCP, I composed the original proposal to University Seminars, and I assembled the team of founding members.
With faculty leadership from Professor Gary Tubb (Sanskrit), and graduate student support from Andrea Borghini (philosophy) and Roy Tzohar (religion), the University Seminar on Comparative Philosophy #721 was established in 2007 as the Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy.
Shortly after the CSCP was formed, professor Tubb accepted a position at the University Chicago. Mark Siderits, a veteran from the Mind & Reality event, stepped-in as chair and spearheaded a year of groundbreaking meetings oriented around the theme of personal identity. In 2008 professor Siderits relocated to Seoul National University and handed the chair over to Jonathan Gold at Princeton University. Since 2011, Hagop Sarkissian of Baruch College (CUNY) has shared the chair with Professor Gold.
In 2006 I received a grant to produce a two-day international symposium with twenty-four remarkable scholars from fields as diverse as neuroscience and Sanskrit literature. The event was convened in the historic Low Rotunda of Columbia University in order to discuss the "problem of consciousness." As project director I composed the original grant proposal, selected the participants, directed the development of all media related to the event, and managed the budget.
This event was hosted by The Columbia Center for the Study of Science and Religion with financial support from The Fetzer Institute.
Ned Block, Ph.D. (philosophy)
Susan Carey, Ph.D. (philosophy)
Georges B. J. Dreyfus, Ph.D. (Buddhism)
Jay Garfield, Ph.D. (philosophy)
Piet Hut, Ph.D. (physics)
Geshe Thubten Jinpa, Ph.D. (Buddhism)
Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D. (neuroscience)
Joseph Loizzo, M.D., Ph.D. (psychology)
Stephen H. Phillips, Ph.D. (Hinduism)
Robert Pollack, Ph.D. (biology)
W. Teed Rockwell, Ph.D. (philosophy)
Mark Siderits, Ph.D. (philosophy)
Evan Thompson, Ph.D. (philosophy)
Robert A. F. Thurman, Ph.D. (Buddhism)
Gary Tubb Ph.D. (Sanskrit)
Robert Van Gulick, Ph.D. (philosophy)
William Waldron, Ph.D. (Buddhism)
Christopher Kelley M.A. (Buddhism)