Thomas Amelio (Shivananda) has been a leader, teacher, and facilitator in the field of contemplative education and practice for over forty years. A founding member of, and senior teacher at, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, he was one of the early members who helped grow the original Kripalu ashram (monastery) into the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, programs center, in Lenox, Massachusetts. He worked with the organization for almost twenty years, including a one-year sabbatical in Kripalu, India, where Swami Kripalvananda (lovingly called: “Kripalu”) did his spiritual practice and writing for decades. Read the rest of his Biography here.
At Kripalu he received many of his teaching certifications and trainings. While living in India, in 1990-91, he edited the book Yoga: The Ultimate Spiritual Path –a comprehensive work on yoga philosophy, by Swami Rajarshi Muni, published in 1994. In India he was privately mentored, daily, by Rajarshi Muni in the deeper teachings and practices of yoga philosophy—some not easily found in writing, but transmitted via oral teaching only.
Kripalu Center U.S remains the largest center of its kind in North America with over 30,000 guests a year, 700 rooms and 600 staff. During the years Kripalu was offering its annual Yoga and Psychotherapy Conference, Thomas was on the small team of long-time yoga practitioners and psychotherapists (including author, Stephen Cope) that helped illuminate what “transformation” is, in light of yogic and modern psychological terms.
He continues to lead programs at Kripalu, including the long-running New Year’s Spiritual Renewal Retreat, and others.
After his service at Kripalu, he moved to New York City where he was Director of Special Projects for Deepak Chopra’s Infinite Possibilities Media, and then, Upaya/Tommy Boy music, moved on to other media projects for prominent authors in the field of wellness and consciousness—such as Andrew Weil, Thomas Moore, Deepak, and others.
From 2000-2002 he was the first director of the Ross Institute Center for Well-Being in East Hampton, NY— founded by Steve Ross (who famously merged Time Inc. and Warner Bros.) and his wife, Courtney Ross, with whom he worked directly to evolve the Center’s vision.
The Center brought the best in wellness, spirituality, and global culture from the Eastern, Western and indigenous traditions, to the Hamptons community, and is a grand setting for learning and, along with the Ross School, hosted such presenters as Thomas Moore, Prof. Amit Goswami, Stephen Spielberg, Spalding Gray, Houston Smith, Mehmet Oz MD,Ram Dass, Quincy Jones, Billy Joel, Deepak Chopra MD, Andrew Weil, MD, Larry Dossey MD, Peter Matthiessen and many others.
He has been faculty at The New York Open Center for twenty-four years, and for thirteen years served first as its Managing Director, then President/CEO. The Open Center has been, for nearly forty years, New York City’s premier educational organization for programs and classes in the field of holistic learning and world culture, offering over 500 classes a year. As part of his role he helped to launch a number of professional trainings, such as: Coaching for Transformation; Sound and Music Practitioner Training; Meditation and Contemplative Studies Training; Building a Thriving Practice; The Art of Dying Institute, and many more. He also helped build affiliations with the New York College for Health Professions, Pacifica Graduate Institute, The New York State Department of Education for Proprietary Professions, Maria Shriver’s Architects of Change, and many others. He is a Licensed Proprietary School Director with the New York Department of Education.
Thomas’s organization— Contemplative Solutions, LLC, offers the time-tested core wisdom and practices from the Eastern mindfulness and yoga traditions in a way that complements the best in modern psychotherapeutic mind-body developments. He has taught thousands in the areas of meditation, mantra, Self-Inquiry, Vedic understanding, personal development, and Yoga Philosophy. He has offered programs, trainings, and consultations with organizations-for-transformation such as Kripalu, Omega, 1440 Multiversity, NY Open Center, Maria Shriver’s Open Field, Becoming Safely Embodied Institute, Ross Institute, East Hampton, Modi Academic International Institute (MAAI—New Delhi), Dream See Do, and others.
Thomas is A Certified Professional Coach (CPC) whose clients include those who are seeking values fulfillment; spiritual emergence issues; building a private spiritual practice; seeking spiritual mentoring; and overall specific strategic support in all aspects of building a transformational business–including, vision, mission, marketing, community building, etc.
He is a musician, Certified Integrative Sound Practitioner, and proponent of sound for integration and healing, with a solo CD, Inner Quest, and the jazz-pop-World-Music fusion CD: Shakti Fusion, put out by the 8-member band of the same name. His more recent recordings include a CD of mantra invocations for deep meditation: Mantra Darshan. His new music, The Infinite Om is now available.
Thomas Amelio intensely studied yogic disciplines in India, where he edited Rajarshi Muni’s classic, Yoga–The Ultimate Spiritual Path. He is a founding member of and has been a senior teacher at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health for over 30 years, and is President Emeritus of the NY Open Center in New York City.