New England Daoist Assembly – Daoism Philosophy and Practice in Daily Living

Aug 24, 2023 - Aug 27, 2023

Keynote :
Josh Paynter, << Liturgical Text as Connection : Lineage, Cosmos, Divinity, and Dao>>

Daoism has always been engaged with community. Already the Daode jing speaks of small states with limited numbers of people who remain self-sufficient and dwell in contentment. The first organized school of the Celestial Masters created large-scale communities, with intricate ritual and administrative structures, that prepared members for the impending arrival of a new
millennium. Even sages who rejected officialdom and hermit-like alchemists lived in connection with others, engaging in various ways with both peers and outsiders.

Today, we need community more than anything. The world being torn apart by political power plays and pandemic panics, we have to come together in new and creative ways to engage on innovative levels, both receiving and giving support. At the same time, we are also challenged to find different modalities of joint living and working, integrating online structures while strengthening immediate, direct, and personal bonds. What Daoists have done with community in history and how they are working with it today can bring inspiration and guidance to this project.

Keynote :
Josh Paynter, << Liturgical Text as Connection : Lineage, Cosmos, Divinity, and Dao>>

Chairs: Yingxing Wang, Eastover Estate; Livia Kohn, Boston University.
After arrival in Lenox on Thursday, August 24, the Assembly begins with check in and
registration at 4 pm. Dinner is at 6:30 followed by a brief opening ceremony and keynote
speech at 7:30. The event ends with lunch on Sunday, August 27.
–Panels: Three 25-minute or four 20-minute individual paper presentations on the panel
theme, followed by open discussion (1.5 hours).
–Workshops: Emphasis on the experience of Daoist cultivation, martial arts (taiji quan),
and forms of Daoist medicine (1.5 hours).

FEE: The assembly is free of charge, but participants must be in residence at the Eastover
Estate and Eco-Village. Rooms come in many different forms and price ranges.
Book room and board at
Send name, email, institution, paper or workshop title, and an abstract of no more than 200
words to Livia Kohn at liviakohn
Abstracts due: August 1, 2023
Program on website: August 10, 2023
There will be a limited number of tables available to distribute fliers or pamphlets and sell
books, CDs, and other materials.


FRee/$0/ Day



Aug 24, 2023

Arrival Day

4:00pm arrival

Days In Between


Aug 27, 2023
Check Out Day

12:00pm check out


Livia Kohn is Professor Emerita of Religion & East Asian Studies at Boston University. Her specialty is Daoism and the study of Chinese longevity practices. She has written and edited numerous books and articles. A long-term practitioner of taiji quan and meditation, she is also a certified instructor of yoga and qigong. A top Daoist scholar, she is expert at outlining the details of all kinds of practices and placing them in a relevant context, both historically and as relevant for our lives today.

Livia earned her Ph. D. in 1980. After six years at Kyoto University in Japan, she joined Boston University as Professor of Religion and East Asian Studies in 1988, then returned to Kyoto twice more for two-year stays. She has also worked variously as visiting professor and adjunct faculty at Eötvös Lorand University in Budapest, the Stanford Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, San Francisco State University, and the Taoist College Singapore. She retired from active teaching in 2006 and now works as a freelance researcher and lecturer.

Her specialty is the study of the Daoist religion and Asian long life practices. Having lived in Kyoto for close to ten years, she is also an expert in Japanese religions. She has written thirty-four sole-authored books and over a hundred articles, as well as edited eleven volumes and translated five works from the German, French, Chinese, and Japanese. Since 2008, she has served as the executive editor of the Journal of Daoist Studies, editing a 250-page volume every year. She also manages Three Pines Press, the Western voice of Daoism (

In addition, she serves on numerous committees and editorial boards, leads Daoist qigong and Core Health workshops worldwide, and is the lead organizer of a series of major international conferences on Daoism: the next one will take place at Belmont University in Nashville in June of 2023 (join the Facebook group Daoist Conference for updates). She also guides study and hiking tours to Japan, the next one of which is scheduled for October 2022 (


Our menus are based on group preferences and budget. We offer delicious, balanced vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals which typically include raw salads and hot vegetable dishes. Upon request, we will gladly prepare unseasoned blanched or steamed dishes for lunch and dinner. We easily accommodate gluten/dairy free needs, and many of our seasonings and oils are provided on the side for guests to season meals to taste. Several rooms have refrigerators, so guests are welcome to bring food that suit their needs if they have issues we cannot accommodate. Please note that we are unable to reduce meal costs due to food allergies.

Payment Policy

A $50 non-refundable deposit is taken at the time registration occurs.
The full balance is collected 7 days prior to arrival.

Cancellation Policy

Other than the deposit, no fees are incurred if cancelled up to 7 days after reservation date.
50% of the total cost is retained if cancelled less than 4 days prior to event.
The $50 deposit given at registration is non-refundable.