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Upaaya - a centre for contemplative practice, study and research

“To meet the challenges of this century, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility” - The 14th Dalai Lama

Picture Credits: Srishti Institute, Dipankar Khanna


Dipankar Khanna, Consultant and Incubator @ Upaaya


Upaaya while it encompasses the essence of Ancient Indian Awareness and Mindfulness Practices it’s offering have been contextualized to our students in their professional pursuits.

Our distinctiveness is in offering a pedagogic versatility to suit our individual students aspirations. Our programs provoke exploration towards special insights, creativity with integrity, elegance and with gentleness. The outcome that we seek are resilience, fortitude and emotional-balance upeksha

Upaaya’s Vision:

To be part of an integral universal meme with an inclusiveness that appreciates the goodness in all. It strives to create and sustain a forum of outreach, focusing on both formal and informal meditative, mindfulness retreat and contemplative lifestyle, structured neuro cognitive processes and academic curriculum up to the post-graduate level. Also to collaborate closely with the scientific community to further enable and to facilitate study, research and practice for the purpose of making ancient contemplative traditions practices available easily.

Upaaya’s Objectives:

The primary purpose is to see communicated, supported and enacted, a path to realization of the highest potential of our students consciousness. The secondary purpose is to share the benefits that arise out of this path with our students and society, including collaboration with scientific inquiry.


To achieve the Vision and Mission stated above, Upaaya – Centre for Contemplative Practice and Research offers a selection of programs in the practice, study and research of contemplation and meditation relevant to and easily practiced in contemporary and contextualized spaces.

Ongoing Programs:

I. Mindfulness & Awareness Programs under auspices of The Garden of Samadhi Mind Centre (endorsed by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche):

  • We conduct both internal and public outreach programs for both our internal and extended community in and around our Institute.
  • We provide basic meditation training in mindfulness, attention, empathy, emotional balance.
  • We contextualizing these practices in education, mental healthcare as a performance enhancing process
  • We conduct meditation retreats focusing on basic practices such as shamatha, and vipassana, the nature of the mind as taught in ancient Indian contemplative traditions
  • Also provide instruction and tools retreats, for authentic exploration of levels of consciousness via techniques and practices preserved in ancient Indian spiritual traditions in a non-denominational way.
  • Collaborating with doctors, artists, social scientists, trans-disciplinary scholars and neuro-scientists to test the effects of such meditations in day to day applications and the derived benefits to the humanity and ecosphere holistically.

Programs conducted by us under Upaaya and The Garden of Samadhi Mind Centre in the recent past:

  1. A three-day retreat by Glen Svensson “Cultivating Emotional Balance”.
  2. A three-day workshop by Dr. Alan Wallace “The Power of the Focussed Mind: Application of India’s Legacy of Samadhi in the Modern World”.
  3. Upaaya@Srishti co-hosted the 6th “Integrating Scientific Approaches to Explore the Mind” along with NIMHANS and The Garden of Samadhi Mind Centre.
  4. On invitation from The Garden of Samadhi Mind Centre and Srishti, His Holiness The Dalai Lama address the Symposium. Mr Richard Gere introduced The Garden of Samadhi Mind Centre.
  5. Dr. Eve Ekman conducted “Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) workshop the Srishti’s wellness team and other psychologists including Nimhans at Christ University. This workshop was also conducted in Delhi at IHC.
  6. We have hosted at Srishti campus talks by Venerable Ani Thubten Chodron on “Dealing with Situations When Things Fall Apart.
  7. There is a robust on-going Meditation Program based on Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s Joy of Living Level I that is offered as a NAC to students and faculty.

Picture Credits: Srishti Institute, Dipankar Khanna

Picture Credits: Srishti Institute, Dipankar Khanna

Picture Credits: Srishti Institute, Ajith Samuel

Upaaya organized various Contemplative, Mindfulness and Spiritual Lectures at Srishti for staff and students

II. Out-reach program as a formal on-going research:

'To determine if the practice of moral ethical codes (Yama & Niyama) effect crafting creativity and authentic happiness in children between 8 to 12 years of age’

  • This outreach includes 350+ students from Poorna Prajna Educational society and Delhi Public School, Bangalore North.
  • In this academic year we have conducted over 130 interventions to these students.
  • Research data has been collected based on scientifically designed questionnaires completion mid-March 2020
  • We have inputs and worked in close collaboration in this project Prof Sisir Roy (senior Homi Bhabha Fellow at IISc- NIAS, Prof. Alan Bekowitz and Dr. Satabdi Samtani, Research Scientist from College of Education University of Missouri-St. Louis and Centre for Character & Citizenship).

Students of Poorna Prajna Pracicing Trtaka, Nispandbhava nad Pratyahara Pracices

III. Vajranrithyam – An arts Research program:

Photo credit: Sanjeev Mathu

Various Vajranrithyam Dances from various parts of India

“Vajranŕtyam - an arts research program stems from an earlier film “Mount of Excellence” a documentary on a Tibetan Buddhist linage. It was one of the films selected from India at the 69th Cannes Film Festival. The voice over of the documentary was done by Kabir Bedi.


Papers and Presentations:

  • “Crafting Authentic Creativity”, NID-NIMHANS International Conference on Creativity Cognition in Art and Design (2017)
  • “Vajranrithyam – Dance as a Movement of Meditation in Space and Time”, IIAS, Shimla, National seminar of Indian Music and Dance: The Absence of Critical Analysis and Attention. (2017)
  • “Vajranrithyam - As a Meditative Movement” – World Vajrayana summit, Thimpu. (2018)
  • “Vajranŕtyam: a Phenomenological Look at the Cham or Lama Dance as a Meditative” Journal of Dharma Studies.  Springer (2019).


Opportunities are available to both students and faculty in Srishti and also to the our extended community to access our Teachings, Audio-Visual archives to learn mindfulness, awareness and aligned wellness practices. 

We are also open to collaborating with like-minded educationists and institutions on curriculum development, academic advancement and, hosting community enrichment programs.

We also offer integrative performance improving inputs to individuals and groups based on modern neuro-cognitive processes and traditional eastern spiritual traditions.

Upaaya works with:

The Yoga Institute, Mumbai
The International Board of Yoga, Mumbai
Palpung Group of Institutions and Active Peace Initiative
Joy of Living Program
The Samadhi Foundation and Garden of Samadhi Mind Centre
Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, USA