Sara Lewis

Dr. Sara Lewis is Associate Professor and Chair of Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology at Naropa University. She is author of Spacious Minds: Trauma and Resilience in Tibetan Buddhism (Cornell, 2019). This ethnographic study in Dharamsala, India explores trauma, memory, and resilience in the Tibetan diaspora where the social and religious landscape encourages those exposed to violence to see past events as impermanent and illusory where debriefing, working-through, or processing past events only solidifies suffering and may even cause illness. Resilience in Dharamsala is understood as sems pa chen po, a vast and spacious mind that does not fixate on individual problems, but rather uses suffering as an opportunity to generate compassion for others in the endless cycle of samsara. In addition to her research, Sara is a psychotherapist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado and is also faculty director of the newly established Naropa Center for Psychedelic Studies, which will offer training in psychedelic-assisted therapy for clinicians and chaplains beginning in 2022.