Stephen Cope, MSW

Stephen Cope, MSW

Stephen is Senior Scholar-in-Residence and a Kripalu Ambassador. He is a Western-trained psychotherapist who writes and teaches about the relationship between Western psychological paradigms and the Eastern contemplative traditions. Stephen holds degrees from Amherst College and Boston College. He did graduate and postgraduate training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the Boston area, where he practiced for many years before joining the staff at Kripalu. In its 25th anniversary edition, Yoga Journal named him one of the most important innovators in the developing field of American yoga.
Posted on January 23rd, 2014 by in Words from the Wise, Yoga

The Second Pillar: “Do It Full Out”

An excerpt from The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling In his new book, the Director of Kripalu’s Institute of Extraordinary Living uses Krishna and Arjuna’s dialogue in the Bhagavad Gita, as well as the stories of “ordinary” and “extraordinary” lives as lenses through which to explore […]

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Posted on May 25th, 2013 by in Words from the Wise

The Gift: Living a Life of Purpose and Meaning

Each of us is born with a unique gift—and a sacred duty to fulfill its promise. Do you have a clear sense of your purpose in life? I’m asking all my friends this question these days. I guess I’m preoccupied with it because I’m going through a phase—at midlife—of wondering about my own life. You’d […]

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Posted on February 27th, 2013 by in Words from the Wise, Yoga

Waking Up Is Hard to Do

The following excerpt is taken from Stephen Cope’s well-known book, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. In it, he guides the contemporary reader through the philosophies and practices of yoga in a thoughtful way that demystifies them and brings us to a greater understanding of ourselves. You see, I want a lot. 
Perhaps I […]

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Posted on December 24th, 2012 by in Conscious Living, Yoga

The Wisdom of Yoga: The Spirit of the Strivers

An excerpt from The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Wisdom (Bantam 2006).

In this book, Steven Cope, MSW, investigates the wisdom tradition of yoga from the point of view of six contemporary characters—modern yogis struggling with issues of love, work, addictions, careers, and unfulfilled longings of many varieties. Weaving together narrative story and expository teachings, the book brings alive the rich, and very relevant, applications of yoga’s ancient teachings.

The following piece, “The Spirit of the Strivers,” is taken from the prologue. 

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Posted on November 19th, 2012 by in Yoga

Coming Home to How It Is

In this piece, Stephen Cope, Director of Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living, investigates how and why practices like yoga and meditation create a sense of well-being and ease.

Recently, I was talking on the phone with my friend Sandy, who had just gone through an unexpected relationship meltdown. Her partner, Tim, she said, had suddenly developed “intimacy issues” and had fled the relationship “like a rat off a sinking ship.”

For an hour or so, we talked about the difficulties of her situation. She expressed her sense of disorientation and sadness. Toward the end, she said something interesting: “Thank God I have my yoga practice.” I could feel the gratitude in her voice. “It’s a little island of sanity. Like coming home. That hour between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. has become the most important hour of my day.”

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