Ethics is often discussed in terms of fixed rules and principles, but it can also be understood as a set of guidelines for growth and self-transformation. In this lecture series offered by the Center for Ethics in Society, we explore some of these guidelines as offered by the world’s great spiritual traditions. Whether we understand spirituality as deepening of our relationship with the divine, growing our compassion for one another, or simply as an awakening of our innermost potential, we can learn from those teachers who have walked the path before us.

Second Session: 

Stefan Reynolds

Living for Others, Finding Space for Oneself: Insights from Benedictine Spirituality for Everyday Life
Dr. Stefan Reynolds
October 18, 2023

Dr. Stefan Reynolds is slated to visit campus on October 18, 2023, to present insights of Benedictine spirituality. His talk will draw from the tenets of the Irish Monastic tradition and of contemplative prayer to show how we can create a balance of self-discipline and inter-connection with others in our spiritual practice. One of the treasures of Irish monastic life is its witness to contemplation in the ordinary, by finding God by living a simple and balanced life and by being open to the needs of others in hospitality and service.

Additionally, Dr. Reynolds will explore the applications of Benedictine wisdom to marriage and friendships. Attentiveness, the monastic tradition tells us, is the purest form of love. Through these works we discover dignity and purpose, and through relationships we discover that we are lovable and able to love.  

About the speaker:
Dr. Stefan Reynolds is the Retreat Director at Mount Melleray Abbey, Co. Waterford, Ireland. He has a PhD from London University in Christian Spirituality and two MAs in the History of Christianity and in Inter-Religious Dialogue. Dr. Reynolds is also the Irish national coordinator for Benedictine Oblates, who practice Christian Meditation, and he is a lay associate of the Irish Cistercians. An avid author and researcher, Dr. Reynolds serves as the editor of Via Vitae, the Benedictine Oblate newsletter, and has written books on poetry, scripture and Christian meditation.

First Session:
Yoga as a Way of Life - Thriving in a Chaotic World

Sarah Guglielmi
May 4, 2023

The Wisdom Lecture Series kicked off in spring 2023, with Sarah Guglielmi presenting a discussion on yoga as a way of life. 

Sarah Guglielmi presenting a discussion on yoga as a way of life.

Millions of Americans practice yoga. They understand yoga to be an ancient practice that combines postures and breath awareness to relieve stress, reduce aches and pains, and transform their mood. Yoga is that, and much more. Yoga postures, called asanas, are one part of an 8-limbed spiritual discipline that is ultimately designed to help you reach your fullest potential. Yoga offers a path to connect with your intuitive self and gradually transform your limitations, including the overwhelming fear and uncertainty that is pervasive at this time. 

During her presentation, Sarah explored the many facets of yoga, which included the cultivation of a yoga mindset, daily practice and the yoga lifestyle. Her research offered specific tools to survive and thrive in our chaotic world. This event ended with a lively Q&A session with students and faculty. 

About the speaker:
Sarah Guglielmi, MS E-RYT500 C-IAYT, is a Professional Yoga Educator and Certified Yoga Therapist who has trained in the yoga lineage of the Himalayan Masters for the past 20 years. A former mechanical engineer, she was drawn to yoga looking for relief from chronic stress and illness. Sarah not only regained her health but discovered a spiritual dimension of life that was richly rewarding. This led her to 20 years of traditional study and practice with the Himalayan Institute under the guidance of Pandit Rajmani Tigunait. She spent 10 years in residence at the Himalayan Institute Ashram and Retreat Center in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, and has been in residence at the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo, New York, since 2013. For the past 15 years, Sarah has taught classes and workshops on yoga practice, yoga philosophy, and ayurvedic lifestyle. 

She's been a teacher trainer for the Himalayan Institute's Yoga and Ayurveda Professional Certification programs and an Adjunct Professor at Daemen University. Sarah also works with private clients through her business Yoga Lifestyle Design. Whether she is training yoga teachers, college students, or private clients, Sarah strives to make the healing power of yoga both accessible and transformative so her students can directly experience yoga's life-changing effect.