General Attendance Interest & Registration: GEBSER AND ASIA:THEORY, PRACTICE, ENGAGEMENT
Below is a description of the theme for the upcoming Gebser Society Conference at Naropa University (You can discover more about the Gebser Society at Please fill out the form below (or email us at if you would like the conference organizers to contact you with details leading up to the event. We look forward to meeting you the weekend of Oct. 12-14, 2018!

Please note that we ask for your email address below in this form for purposes of contacting you for the conference; however, we will never share your email or other information without your permission.


It is my pleasure to invite you to attend the 48th annual Gebser Society Conference, which will be held at the Nalanda campus (room 9235) of Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, from Oct. 12-14. There is no fee for attending, which means faculty, students, staff, or members of the public who wish to attend are invited to drop in for the full or part of the weekend. However, we do invite you to fill out the form below (optional) so we can contact you with details prior to the event. We will also post an event page on Facebook for communicating with conference attendees.
The Gebser Society is an academic society dedicated to exploring the life, work, and interdisciplinary contributions of the Swiss-Austrian scholar Jean (Hans) Gebser (1905-1973). In his time, Gebser was interested in transformations of culture and the phenomenology of consciousness, drawing from a multitude of disciplines, but always stemming from his background in the humanities as a scholar of Rilke’s poetry. Our conferences tend to blend poetic explorations and consciousness studies with rigorous academic presentations across academic fields. Members of the Gebser Society often arrive from different areas of study: communications, economics, law, architecture, religious studies, and philosophy, to name a few. Membership is open to anyone who wishes to join and involves a small fee (discounted for graduate and undergraduate students). You do not need to join the society in order to attend the conference.

Our theme for the 2018 conference is “Gebser and Asia: Theory, Practice, Engagement,” a theme that we chose in conjunction with Naropa’s tradition and contemplative education vision. In fact, the event is being co-sponsored by Giovannina Jobson and Naropa's Contemplative Practices Office. You can view the full conference description below or by visiting If you would like to view past conference proceedings, you can access them at as well (click on the "Conferences" link).

Thank you!


The Conference Planning Team


48th Annual Jean Gebser Society Conference
Naropa University // Boulder, Colorado // October 12–14, 2018
Available online at:

In 1961, Jean Gebser’s peregrinations in consciousness led him to visit parts of Asia, including India, Nepal, Pakistan, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, and China. While in Sarnath, India—the place where Buddha delivered his first sermon some 2,500 years ago—Gebser had an unexpected and significant experience of satori, a kind of Buddhist awakening experience which resonated with his previous writing on aperspectival consciousness. At the same time that Gebser was experiencing and integrating this awakening in Sarnath, the Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was in exile in Northern India teaching Buddhist monks. While Gebser was heading toward further journeys in the East and writing a book on Asia (Asien Lächelt Anders / Asia Smiles Differently), Trungpa was heading to the West to study at Oxford University, which propelled him into an innovative career of teaching and writing about Buddhism in North America. In 1974, Trungpa founded Naropa University, a Buddhism-inspired center of learning which draws from both Eastern and Western traditions and aims to integrate rigorous academics, contemplative practices, meditation practices, experiential learning, artistic expression, social justice, and cultural creativity.

You are invited to attend the 48th Annual Conference of the Jean Gebser Society, which will explore theoretical, practical, and engaged approaches to Gebser, especially in relation to Asian thinkers and traditions. The 2018 Conference will draw on the resources of Naropa University to bring together the uniqueness of our Colorado location along with joining Asian and western approaches and methodologies.

Here are some themes conference presenters and experiential activity facilitators will address:

• How are we to understand the relationships between the awarings of Gebser and various Asian traditions and thinkers, such as Buddhist traditions, Taoist philosophers, Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, D.T. Suzuki, Trungpa Rinpoche, Georg Feuerstein, Anagarika Govinda, and others—in the 21st century?
• How might Asian meditative and contemplative practices help us access, explore, and integrate the Gebserian structures of awareness? What methodologies might help us to access what Gebser expresses as aperspectival awaring, diaphainon, synairesis, and achronon?
• In 1963, Thích Nhất Hạnh developed the notion of Engaged Buddhism. The essence of Engaged Buddhism is the integration of insights from meditation practice and dharma teachings with actions taken in fields of environmental, social, political, and economic injustice and suffering. What are some of these insights? What does Engaged Buddhism bring to life in the aperspectival world? What does an Engaged Gebserian approach look like? How can Buddhist approaches benefit from Gebser’s work and vice versa?
• Presentations reflecting complementary or other themes in Gebser’s work and life

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