9:30 am

Awareness in Action: The Practice of Personal Leadership

Led by Aaron Stern and the Academy for the Love of Learning

June 22-24 | Anthony Hall UC Berkeley

The Namchak Foundation is pleased to offer this workshop in partnership with our friends at the Academy for the Love of Learning. We are especially excited about the opportunity to highlight the“sangha” or community aspect of Tibetan Buddhist practice, often the most overlooked of the “Three Jewels”. We invite you to join us in exploring the ways we can cultivate awareness and grow as we engage with those around us, ultimately living happier and more meaningful lives.

About the workshop

This three-day workshop grows out of core practices in the Academy’s foundational two-year program: Leading By Being™. This program is based on the belief that in order to be fully engaged in community, whether as participant or leader, we must cultivate capacities for staying aware and in internal contact with ourselves, while also staying in contact with the other. We call this “Awareness in Action.” The intent of this Personal Leadership workshop is to support this capacity to be more fully and whole-heartedly engaged with self and each other in the daily activities of the sangha.

Of course, inevitably, we will find ourselves in challenging interpersonal situations, whether in an individual relationship, in family or in our communities. Those are the opportunities to practice awareness in action, in real time. A key question is, how do we learn to engage with these challenging moments and use them as opportunities for learning and for growing, increasingly, this capacity to be fully present with ourselves, and each other, even in the presence of fear or disorientation? 

 We must, of course, practice individually on the cushion, and begin or continue our work with meditation practices. This is essential. However, we will always come back into contact with those around us. The exercises and practices we’ll explore during this workshop grow out of immediate experience and take place in connection with others. By practicing awareness collaboratively, and reflection while immersed in experience we gain the capacity to tap into the group energy and intelligence  - inviting the emergence and support for personal leadership - rather than simply showing up with our habitual patterns. When a group develops a shared awareness and valuing of learning as a practice, and personal leadership as a real, felt possibility, it transforms into a place in which its members can become more fully present and compassionately human. These are the conditions for deep, transformative learning which, when present, constitute what we call the learning field.

What you will experience from this workshop:

  • Learning as an intentional and transformational practice for cultivating personal leadership and sustainable engagement in community

  • Creative and contemplative practices for individual and group learning and liberation

  • Understanding of the relationship between disorientation and the potential for insight and self-discovery

  • Creative forms for individual and shared reflection

  • Insight into personal approaches and beliefs relating to the roles of leading, teaching and supporting

  • Identify unconscious patterns of thought or behavior and explore changing these patterns to reveal the possibility of greater choice

  • Orientation to the ‘learning field’ through the intimacy of peer-to-peer learning and group engagement


Friday, June 22 – Sunday, June 24: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm


Anthony Hall; UC Berkeley Campus

Eshleman Rd, Berkeley, CA 94720


  • $225 general admission

  • $125 for first-time students at a Namchak weekend workshop 

  • $125 for 65+ seniors and students

Our intention is to make this workshop accessible to all. If the program costs present a financial barrier, please contact Stipends to help offset the cost of childcare are also available.


About the Academy for the Love of Learning

The Academy for the Love of Learning’s mission involves re-imagining and enlivening a shared understanding of learning as engaged awareness, or Awareness in Action – a life practice that is fundamental and essential to the well-being of people of all ages, and to our collective future. We are motivated by the simple powers of innate curiosity and the natural human urge to learn, transform and know. At the Academy, we design, facilitate and test learning methodologies and practices, and create transformational learning opportunities for a diverse range of people and contexts, ranging from public schools to senior care communities, for-profit companies to contemplative organizations and artist collectives.

About Aaron Stern

Aaron Stern, president and founder of the Academy for the Love of Learning, is a musician, teacher, and internationally recognized consultant on learning. As the Academy’s creative and educational leader, Stern designs and directs the Academy’s core curriculum and faculty, guides program development, and offers select trainings. Stern works throughout the United States and other parts of the world, and serves as a member of the Board and Fellow of the Mind & Life Institute, co-founded by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

About Marianne Murray
Marianne Murray is a member of the core faculty at the Academy for the Love of Learning and has been involved with the development of the core curriculum. She has a Ph.D. in Transformative Learning from California Institute of Integral Studies, as well as MAs in Transpersonal Psychology and Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy.

 Aaron and Marianne will be joined by the Namchak Foundation’s founder Lama Tsomo who will share meditation practices from the Namchak lineage during the workshop.