The Academy for Living in Harmony

The Academy is a self-paced program made up of 17 courses that draw on the three schools at the Earth & Spirit Center:  the School of Meditation and Spirituality, the School of Earth Literacy, and the School of Social Compassion. Each school has a Spiritual Integration Community, which is a core feature of the Academy.  The Spiritual Integration Community in each school provides a personal experience of formation, deepening and discernment in a small group setting focused around the themes of each school.  The primary feature of the Spiritual Integration Community is group spiritual guidance, but also integrates meditation, group dialogue, and other reflective practices.


Academy Course Descriptions


MODULE 1: School of Mediation & Spirituality


Meditation 1: Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

Cultivating an Awakened Life

This ten-week course offers step-by-step guidance for developing a personal meditation practice using mindfulness. Each class offers: basic instruction in the techniques of mindfulness meditation that come from various spiritual traditions; the psychological principles and scriptural underpinnings of the practice; and clear guidance for bringing the fruits of the meditation practice into everyday life.


Introduction to the Enneagram: A Tool for Self-Discovery and Spiritual Growth

This workshop presents the Enneagram as a tool of self-discovery and an aid to spiritual growth. It will introduce participants to the nine personality types described by the Enneagram – offering a detailed explanation of how each type thinks, feels and relates to others. It includes the history of the Enneagram; analysis of how personality is formed; information on the three centers of perception; the difference between personality and the Inner-Spirit; and how to use this knowledge as a tool for finding new strengths, destroying illusions, and growing personally as well as spiritually.



MODULE 2: School of Meditation & Spirituality


Meditation 2: Insight Meditation

A Balanced Mind, Growing in Wisdom

This ten-week course presents the theory and application of mindfulness for four dimensions of life: body, feelings, mental phenomena, and spiritual dynamics. It focuses on the wisdom, insights and happiness that can be achieved through meditative experiences. The simple but powerful techniques of mindfulness can help sharpen attention, deal with tumultuous feelings, overcome mental reactivity, and ultimately put life in a balanced perspective.


Integral Spirituality

This five-week course employs the work of Ken Wilber to offer a multidimensional perspective on how meditation enhances the evolution of consciousness and personal transformation. It presents an easy-to-grasp map of human consciousness. Content includes: the integral vision, spiral dynamics, four corners of reality, stages of human development, the formation of the self, and integral life practices.


Embodied Spirituality                                   

This Saturday workshop explores how to embody the Spirit.  It focuses on how you can be present with the Divine as it is expressed in and through our bodies. 


Emotional Balance

This Saturday workshop offers skills and practice for facing challenging emotions with courage and compassion.  You will explore a pathway through difficult emotions, noticing ways to allow these parts of yourself to move into friendly relationship with awareness and eventually dissolve into an opening loving spaciousness.


Spiritual Integration Community-School of Meditation & Spirituality

This five-session formation experience will be primarily a group spiritual guidance process that holds sacred intention for the exploration of personal and collective spirituality.



MODULE 3: School of Earth Literacy


Meditation 3: Contemplation and the World           

Embracing the Life We are Given

This ten-week course probes three fundamental spiritual questions: “Who am I?” “What does it mean to be part of a human community?” “What is the nature of the world in which I live my life?”  This course uses cutting-edge science to illuminate the spiritual path of meditation. It examines the shift that is taking place in our understanding of the world, the opportunities it presents to the human community, and the implication it has for those on a spiritual journey.


The Great Work: Recovering a Sacred Community

This five-week course explores how we can make a transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to one in which we will recognize and celebrate the sacredness of all creation and find our place within the web of life. Drawing primarily upon the work of the cultural historian and theologian Thomas Berry, the course examines the current ecological and cultural crises and considers the values and vision we need for the healing of our world.


Voices of the Earth: Field Trip at Falls of the Ohio

This Saturday workshop combines a tour of natural and cultural history features at the Falls of the Ohio State Park with mindful meditation. In addition, attention will be given to how water (ancient seas, glaciers, rapids, marshes) has dramatically affected and shaped life for the original “Falls cities” and the life forms that originated here nearly 400 million years ago and continues to influence the lives of the human and natural community.


Living Simply: Simplicity as a Spiritual Path

This Saturday workshop will explore the spirituality of sustainability and intentional living, rooted in Gospel values of the Christian tradition. 


Spiritual Integration Community-School of Earth Literacy

This five-session formation experience will be primarily a group spiritual guidance process that holds sacred intention for the exploration of your spiritual connection to the Earth.



MODULE 4: School for Social Compassion


Meditation 4: Contemplative Compassion                       

Cultivating a Boundless Heart

This ten-week course explores the methods of meditation for cultivating compassion, loving-kindness, and empathy that enable us to be agents of healing in a wounded world.


Engaged Compassion

This five-week course explores how to draw on the wisdom and practices of meditation in order to create a more just, equitable, and compassionate world.


Community and Kinship Workshop: Eyes Wide Open Pilgrimage

This Saturday workshop will use pilgrimage as a mobile meditation through downtown Louisville.  This pilgrimage uncovers both boundaries and bridges to facilitate a deeper appreciation of the city and a greater awareness of historical and current injustices.  


Environmental Justice Tour

This Saturday workshop introduces the range of environmental health concerns affecting all residents of the Metro Louisville area and describes specific actions we can take for our collective well-being.  The workshop includes classroom activities and a tour of Louisville’s most problematic environmental sites, which are disproportionally located in Louisville’s low-income neighborhoods.


Spiritual Integration Community-School of Social Compassion

This five-session formation experience will be primarily a group spiritual guidance process that holds sacred intention for the exploration of your spiritual journey around issues of justice and social compassion.