Learning Lab - colored brain - md

"What education has to impart is an intimate sense for the power of ideas, for the beauty of ideas, and for the structure of ideas, together with a particular body of knowledge which has peculiar reference to the life of the being possessing it."
~Alfred North Whitehead

Transforming Education for Ecological Civilization

At the Institute Learning Lab, we think that more important for students than learning to do research is personal growth and wisdom. We think that more important for the world than teaching everyone how to do value-free research is having millions of people studying how to create an ecological civilization without which the human future looks very bleak. We hope we can find ways to involve local educational institutions individually and collectively in serious discussion of their responsibility to students, humanity, and the entire world.

Learning Lab - Courses - 540x540

Our courses provide students the opportunity to learn in a way that is open, exploratory, and transformative. Each one is taught by an expert in the topic, who can communicate the concepts in a way that is accessible to any interested learner. They range in length from three-session mini-courses to ten-session in-depth treatments.

Learning Lab - Learning Circles - 540x540

Learning circles are small groups that share a common interest in a topic, text, or activity. In a mode that is informal and conversational, they are typically made up of five to fifteen people who gather together to learn from one another. A learning circle might be a book study group that only explores a single text, or an affinity group that meets for an indefinite period of time.

Learning Lab - Workshops - 540x540

Workshops are informative presentations by one or more instructors on a focused topic. They can be one session or several sessions, but the format is usually one in which the presenters focus primarily on sharing information rather than interacting with attendees.

Upcoming Offerings

The Process of Dying - featured image - title only

Two Sessions Examining the Harmful Impact of Modern
Views of Death and Proposing Wiser Alternatives

In this two-session workshop, the Reverends Joelle Johns and Kathleen Reeves will critically examine the denial of death by medical technology, problems with the for-profit death industry, its negative impact on the environment, and offer healthy alternatives for the environment and our psyche that are based on the insights of Buddhism and process thought.

Four Sessions Exploring a Variety of Ways
In Which “God is Being Reborn”

In this four-week course, the Reverend Al Gephart will invite participants to respond to the ways that John Philip Newell perceives concepts of God in the Christian community undergoing a seismic shift, reorientation, and rebirth.

Eight Conversations With Tim Eastman
About His Recently Published Book

In this series of conversations Tim Eastman will engage with other scholars about his new book, Untying the Gordian Knot: Process, Reality, and Context.

Meets on the second Saturday of each month, beginning June 12th.


Suffering & Meaning banner - wide2

Three Sessions Exploring the Impulse to Find Meaning in Suffering and Seeking Healthy Alternatives

In this three-week mini-course Dr. Bob Mesle will examine the human impulse to find meaning in suffering, explore the ways in which people with good intentions often offer comforts which can lead to an unhealthy denial of life’s problems, and consider more healthy alternatives.

Six Sessions Covering the Core Concepts in Whitehead's Magnum Opus

Six Sessions Covering the Core Concepts in Whitehead's Magnum Opus

In this six-week course Jay McDaniel will guide students through important passages in Process and Reality, and, along with way, give everyone a basic understanding of sixteen key ideas. Each week he will invite participants to turn to particular passages and offer his understanding of their meaning, followed by open discussion.

A Six-Session Course Introducing Alfred North Whitehead’s PROCESS AND REALITY

A Six-Session Course Introducing
Alfred North Whitehead’s PROCESS AND REALITY

In these lectures John Cobb will provide an introduction to one of the most compelling and challenging philosophical texts of the Twentieth Century. Process and Reality is a notoriously difficult text, but the goal of this course is to enable students to not only skim the surface but probe its deeper dimensions in a way that's accessible to anyone.

Healthy Future or Planetary Catastrophe? Might Process Philosophy Help?

In this course Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr. presents a series of ten lectures that critically examine our current condition and constructively propose an alternative for the future, informed primarily by the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. Students will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from one of the world's foremost experts in process thought, and together think through some of humanity's greatest challenges.

Learning Circles

Process and Coffee - featured image - 940x788

A Discussion Group About Books That Foster An Integral Spirituality

Process & Coffee is about spiritual integration and exploration. We meet weekly to dive into books by mystics and sages. The discussion that follows helps to deepen our own spiritual lives.

To learn more or join, send an email to learninglab@cobb.institute.

Women in Process - crop - 940x788

Exploring Process Philosophy From a Feminine Perspective

Women in process provides a space for women who want to explore their "becomings" and "possibilities." The group meets on the third Thursday of each month.

To learn more or join, send an email to learninglab@cobb.institute.

EcoCiv Discussion Group - crop

A Discussion Group Pursuing the Possibility of an Ecological Civilization

In this book and discussion group, we meet monthly to read, discuss, and learn together about what needs to be done and what we can do for our common home.

To learn more or join, send an email to learninglab@cobb.institute.

Past Learning Circles

Beauty and the Spirit - featured image

Four Sessions Exploring John O'Donohue's Concept of Beauty

Join a group of clergy as we explore how John O'Donohue's idea of Beauty can serving as portal to the Spirit and provide meaning in everyday life.

Breakfast with Whitehead - featured image 2

Four Sessions Exploring Whitehead's Concepts of Peace & God

Facilitated by Jay McDaniel, a group of clergy explored how Whitehead’s ideas can meet us in our own religious traditions and become fertile ground for theological reflection and pastoral ministry.

Process of Opening the Mind

Exploring the Possibilities of Psychedelics From Multiple Approaches

In this discussion group, we explore psychedelics from a variety of vantage points. We will have guest speakers on the political, philosophical, spiritual, clinical, medicinal, experiential, and sociological uses of psychedelics. Meets on the second Thursday of each month.

Process Buddhism-600x394

Four Sessions Introducing Basic Concepts and Practices in Zen Buddhism

Dr. Jay McDaniel introduced participants to some basic concepts and practices in Buddhism as approached in a Zen way: the primary of the present moment, the problem of cloning, the value of letting go; the limitations of verbal discourse; spontaneity of the here-and-now; the wisdom of no-self, the universality of impermanence, the illusion of isolated existence; the ultimacy of inter-becoming; mindfulness, reincarnation, and in Mahayana Buddhism, the promise to be reborn again and again until all living beings can be saved. Along the way, Dr. McDaniel discussed connections between those ideas and ideas in process philosophy, thus introducing a Buddhist process philosophy.


Process of Gardening - featured image - v2 - 650x250

An Introduction To Gardening From a Process-Relational Perspective

In this series of four presentations, you will learn from experts about planning, planting, composting, and harvesting your own food-producing garden.