Psymposia: "People: On Drugs," University of Pennsylvania, 2015.

Psymposia: "People: On Drugs," University of Pennsylvania, 2015.


My name is Christopher Kelley. I am a university lecturer and a self-proclaimed Buddhist “psychonaut,” or “mind explorer.” I hold a doctorate in Religion from Columbia University where I studied Tibetan Buddhism with the peerless Robert A. F. Thurman. In my teaching and research I like to adopt an interdisciplinary approach that puts Buddhism in conversation with a variety of fields such as: philosophy, ethics, contemplative studies, palliative care and dying, science and technology, ethics and human rights, psychedelics and mystical experience, dark comedy, art, and literature.

I have presented academic papers at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), The American Philosophical Association (APA), The International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, The Annual Meeting of Comparative & Continental Philosophy, The Annual Meeting of the Society for Asian & Comparative Philosophy, as well as a host of graduate student conferences.  I have been invited to give lectures at The Rubin Museum of Art in NYC, The Asia Society in Houston, TX., The Wang Center at Stonybrook University, and various other venues in and around New York City.

I am the co-founder and co-organizer of Consciousness Hacking NYC, founder of The Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy, and the creator of two international conferences on Buddhism: Mind and Reality (Columbia University, 2006) and Contemporary Perspectives on Buddhist Ethics (Columbia University, 2011). A published volume of the conference papers from the latter (including one from myself and my partner Jake Davis) is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in the fall of 2016.

I am currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the philosophy department at Brooklyn College and the religious studies program at Lang College-The New School University.  I reside in Brooklyn with my wife and two daughters.

Please select from the drop-down menu labelled "+Projects" to read more.

Feel free to email me here: christopher_at_psychonaut_dot_nyc.

Use the links below to find me on social media.