H. Adam Ackley to Speak


The Meditation Room Lecture Series will feature a dialogue with writer, speaker, consultant and educator H. Adam Ackley Monday, Feb. 17, 2014.

“A Journey of Healing from the Inside-Out” will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Casa Loma Room, and is co-sponsored by the Meditation Room, Campus Diversity and Inclusion, Religious Studies, Johnston Center, Women and Gender Studies, and Psychology. It is free and open to the public.

“He is coming to share his unique life journey of being transgender, Christian, and a lifelong yoga practitioner,” Fran Grace, professor of religion at the University of Redlands, said. “It takes great courage to be oneself, especially when who you are doesn't fit into a neat little box. Adam is able to speak in a heartfelt and articulate way about what it's like to be a transgender person, from the inside-out.”

Ackley has spent nearly two decades teaching philosophy, history, and spirituality as a full-time college professor. His talk will touch on a variety of topics, including transgender identity, yoga, religion, psychological development, and sexuality.

“[The audience] will learn about personal growth and self-discovery, religious and transgender identity, spiritual life, overcoming addiction and psychological barriers to happiness, having grace and compassion toward oneself and others, the benefits of yoga and meditation, and more,” Grace said. “How do we heal? How do we attain body-mind-spirit balance? What is the source of true happiness? His journey offers a practical and inspiring response to those questions. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions as well.”

Grace met Ackley for the first time 15 years ago as professional colleagues.

“At that time, I knew him as Heather, a topnotch theology professor at a local university, a married woman with children,” she said. “Recently, I had the chance to see him after he came out as transgender, and I listened to his story of personal transformation.”

She is looking forward to having Ackley share that same story on campus.

“My heart was deeply touched,” she said. “I have had little understanding and education about transgender life, so he illumined me. I am grateful for Adam's courage to be who he is and to share his experience with others. His life testifies to the healing and harmonious effect of yoga, meditation, and spiritual principles of compassion, forgiveness, self-knowledge, and unconditional love.”

Posted: Jan. 20, 2014
Written by: Catherine Garcia

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