The Art of Thinking: Awakening Your Genius Through the Science of Mindfulness

September 27 - September 29, 2019

Shaun Nanavati

Erica Saccente

Dr. Christopher Kelley

Join Shaun Nanavati, Erica Saccente, and Dr. Christopher Kelley at Menla Retreat and Dewa Spa in Phoenicia, New York for "The Art of Thinking: Awakening Your Genius Through the Science of Mindfulness", an All-Levels Weekend Retreat.“The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.”- Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo (1939)Do we know if our thinking is precise, and if our cognitions are valid? Do we know when we are imposing on reality or recognize when our view is accurate and realistic? Can we reliably make good decisions? We all want to be successful in a difficult situation, and that depends upon clear thinking.In an age of kindergarten psychology dominating public discourse and even our views of ourselves and others, valid cognition has never been more important, and the means to attain that level has never been more needed and precious.The Art of Thinking presents advanced teachings on the nature of clear effective thought, based upon the Buddhist mindfulness tradition and Indo-Tibetan cognitive studies, utilizing chapters from the Foundations of Buddhist Practice by the Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron. Within the context of the emerging Third Wave Mindfulness movement, in which the four foundations of mindful awareness provide context, we will explore the art of thinking in depth, examining the insights on gaining accurate nondeceptive knowledge.Participants will walk away with knowledge of the Maha-satipatthana Sutta (Great Discourse on the Foci of Mindfulness), the four foci of mindful awareness, and specific teachings on the nature of memory and mind. This retreat will emphasize dialogue and reflection, and application of the Buddhist Three-Fold Analysis will be practiced along with guided meditation.Recommended Text: "The Foundation of Buddhist Practice" by H.H. Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron.
ScheduleFriday, September 27th
  • 3 - 6 pm Check-in
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 - 9:30pm Introductory Talk: Science of Mindful Awareness
Saturday, September 28th
  • 7 - 8 am Yoga
  • 8 - 9:30 am Breakfast
  • 10 am  - 12 pm Workshop: The Maha-Satipatthana Sutta and the Four Foci of Mindful Awareness
  • 12 - 1 pm Lunch
  • 1 - 3 pm Free Time for Nature Bathing, Spa Treatments, and Creative Development
  • 3 - 6 pm Workshop: Gaining Non-deceptive Knowledge
  • 6 - 7 pm dinner
  • 7:30 - 9:30 pm Live Classical Indian Music Concert
Sunday, September 29th
  • 7 - 8 am Yoga
  • 8 - 9:30 am Breakfast
  • 7 - 11am Check-out of Rooms
  • 10 - 12 pm Reflection and Discussion: Real-Life Applications
  • 12 - 2pm Lunch and Departure
  • 2 - 5pm Optional


Shaun Nanavati

Shaun Nanavati is a neuroscience researcher, professor and clinician with a lifelong interest in Eastern philosophy. He is on the faculty at the Nalanda Institute, Menla Retreat & Spa, and visiting teacher of Cognitive Science at CUNY. His research interest is in authentic Mindfu...

Erica Saccente

Erica Saccente, PMHNP-BC, is a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who has been studying yoga and Buddhism for over a decade. She has a BS in Neuroscience, Lafayette College, a BS in Nursing and a MS in PMHNP, Columbia University. She is a 200-hr Yoga Teacher and also te...

Dr. Christopher Kelley

Christopher “Doc” Kelley received a PhD in Religion from Columbia University where he studied Indo-Tibetan Buddhism with Robert A. F. Thurman. He is a scholar of Buddhism and an adjunct professor in religious studies at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School Univ...


375 Pantherkill Road, P.O. Box 70 Phoenicia, NY 12464
845-688-6897 ext 101