In teaching, I use transformative educational model, applying it to different subjects and teaching environments (link here) .
Comparative World Religion (Hult International Business School, 2016-)
This course will serve as a general introduction to the basic religious concerns of humanity, exploring the ways in which religions have developed in Eastern and Western history, giving intellectual, moral, and institutional expression to the meaning of human existence. It will survey the major religions of the world, both Eastern and Western, outlining their beliefs, central tenants, and histories.
“Thank you for an amazing class! This class was a little different from the most of the classes I took in Hult. I learnt a lot and overall class was interesting! LN.
Qualitative Research as Applied to Health (2016- )
This course provides an overview of approaches in qualitative research as applied to health. The students will be introduced to philosophical foundations and paradigms of qualitative research, and phenomenological, heuristic, hermeneutical, intuitive, narrative, and grounded theory methods, as well as case studies, action research, ethnography and feminist research methods. Special attention will be on the techniques of interviewing and on focus groups. The course will draw on peer-reviewed qualitative research done in social and behavioral health, nursing, and various areas of medicine, including program evaluation and assessment of the transformative aspects of leadership. Course also includes hands-on training in research skills useful for professional advancement and personal development.
The Phenomenology of the Body (2013- )
This is an introduction to the phenomenological philosophical understanding of the body and materiality in Husserl’s approach to hyletics, Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception and flesh, and Henry’s material phenomenology and critique of Husserl’s method. Along with the study of philosophical texts and concepts, students will engage in the analysis of their lived experience with regard to the bodily aspects of the constitution in embodied subjectivity. Class in this course is a learning community with transformative pedagogy and mnemonic techniques to build the qualifications necessary for further studies, research, and application of the method in one’s dissertation work.
Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy and Method (2004- )
A major development in the twentieth century world philosophy, phenomenology maintains that direct intuition of the structures of the first-person consciousness is the true means of philosophical knowledge. Phenomenology offers an alternative to analytic philosophy and philosophy of language in the study of human consciousness, and connects with the fields of knowledge as diverse as contemporary metaphysics, applied research in psychology, nursing, management and engineering, clinical work in psychotherapy, cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience of religion. Along with scientific aspect of phenomenology, another set of comparisons will be examined, between the phenomenological method and the introspective practices of Vedanta, Sufism and early Christianity. This course introduces students to phenomenological philosophy and psychology, including the major aspects of Husserl’s theory of intentionality and transcendental phenomenology. The experiential part consists of exercises which expand consciousness and develop direct intuition as means of self-knowledge and a personal practice of awareness.
This is a course in mind-body training in which students can achieve individually established transformative goals as well as a general development of consciousness. The training is based on visual and somatic meditative exercises from various traditions, which were arranged into an integral system of Hridayam® (“I am the Heart”, Sanskrit) Method. Created by a group of Russian scientists in 1980s, this training was later adapted for the use in higher education as a tool enhancing educational effectiveness and optimizing personal potential of the students. Offered in the past at UC Berkeley Extension Program, Graduate Theological Union, Esalen Institute, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and Mercy Center, Hridayam® Method is suitable for many cognitive styles and character types. The outcomes of the training indicate optimization of attentional strategies, increase of flexible intelligence, enhancement of self-regulation, increase of optimism, well-being, personal stability, friendliness, and productive conflict-resolution strategies, and improvement of self-reported health.
Sufism (2013- )
The course aims at presenting the phenomenon of Sufism in its full complexity, covering its history in Islamic societies and its impact on “Perennial Philosophy,” transpersonal psychology, and New Age subculture. The topics include theories of origin, stages of Sufi history, prominent personalities and the structure of the tradition, Sufism’s role as a political and social reform movement, the nature of mystical gnosis, Sufi psychology of personal transformation, the murshid-murid relationship, phenomenology of mystical experience verified against Qur’anic exegesis, and the metaphysics of Sufism. Sufism will be viewed both emically, as it interprets itself within the organized forms of Sufism in the South Asian and Near Eastern regions, and etically, as a subject of scholarship in non-Islamic academia. The course will use both original Sufi texts in English translations and secondary research literature from the early works of Massignon, Mayer, and Nicholson, to the Teheran school of philosophy represented by Corbin and Nasr, to the present-day textual studies inspired by the work of Gutas, anthropo-psychological research, and postmodern comparative studies of the oral tradition. Experiential dimension of the course includes transformative practices and rituals, the art of ṣuḥbat (Turkish sohbet) and the various forms of dhikr. Other topics will include the somatic aspects of Sufi discourse important in the oral tradition, such as the mysticism of the Divine Names, the mysticism of the Heart, and the mysticism of descendants of the Prophet of Islam.
Biological Correlates of Mind and Spirit (2011-2015)
This class overviews neurobiology in relation to the subjective human experience, including the spiritual states. It brings together the experiential understanding of consciousness with scientific knowledge of behavior and cognition, with the special attention to philosophy of neuroscience. Students will consider topics such as the relationship between the brain and experience of meditation or other spiritual states, neuroscientific theories of religious cognition, and contemporary research perspectives. Students will also learn how to interpret scientific findings which concern religious cognition, consciousness and spirituality.