Dr. Ashok K. Malhotra, distinguished teaching professor at the State University College at Oneonta, has received a three-year grant from the Metanexus Institute to establish a group that will use yoga and meditation as a link between spirituality and science.
The Yoga and Meditation Society for the Scientific Study of Spirituality will bring together faculty, staff, students, community members and scholars in a series of annual events at the college to explore the interactions between science and spirituality.
The society plans to offer several types of events to promote the dialogue:
• Weekly guided yoga/meditation sessions for community members with occasional special sessions to address needs of specific groups such as students and professionals.
• Eight meetings annually at which members will discuss literature or research dealing with science and spirituality.
• Three annual seminars with presentations by visiting scholars who have conducted research on the relationship between science and spirituality.
• An annual lectureship featuring a distinguished national or international scientist or author in the area of science and spirituality.
Topics that will be explored include scientific research on yoga, meditation and spirituality; the meaning and significance of life; globalization; consciousness; the individual and society; and nature.
The society plans to share information through the creation of a resource library, videotapes of guided yoga and meditation sessions, and an annual publication of the proceedings.
A member of the SUCO philosophy department since 1967, Malhotra received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1994 and was promoted to SUNY’s highest rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2001.
Malhotra is the founder of the Indo-International Schools, which provide educational opportunities for children in impoverished villages in India.
The grant to establish the Yoga and Meditation Society for the Scientific Study of Spirituality came from the Metanexus Institute, whose mission is to advance research, education and outreach on the constructive engagement of science and religion.
The institute, officials said, seeks to create an enduring intellectual and social movement by collaborating with persons and communities from diverse religious traditions and scientific disciplines to promote a balanced and exploratory dialogue between science and religion.
Malhotra will represent the Yoga and Meditation Society for the Scientific Study of Spirituality at the Metanexus Institute’s annual conference next month at the University of Pennsylvania.
More information about the society is available from Malhotra at 436-3220.