Harrison A. Blum

Harrison A. Blum

Director of Religious and Spiritual Life

Harrison Blum is passionate about helping others cultivate wonder, insight, and resilience, and has worked toward that end as a religious and spiritual life director, chaplain, and meditation teacher. Harrison received a master of divinity from Harvard Divinity School and a master of education from Lesley University. He is a Community Dharma Leader in the Insight Meditation tradition of Theravada Buddhism and was among the first Buddhists to be Board Certified as a chaplain. Harrison assumed the role of Director of Religious & Spiritual Life at Amherst in the fall of 2018.

Before joining Amherst, Harrison served as Director of Religious and Spiritual Life & Campus Chaplain at Emerson College, preceded by the roles of Buddhist Spiritual Advisor and Mindfulness Program Director at Northeastern University. He has also worked as a hospital chaplain in psychiatric inpatient, intensive medical care, and cancer treatment units.

Harrison has lectured and presented at Oxford University, Harvard's Medical and Divinity Schools, and the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies. His written works include:

  • "Mindfulness Meditation and Anxiety in Adolescents on an Inpatient Psychiatric Unit" in Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 2019
  • “Buddhists, Get Your Prayer On: Reflections on Christian Spontaneous Prayer by a Buddhist Chaplain” chapter in Learning from Other Religious Traditions: Leaving Room for Holy Envy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) 
  • “Dare We Leave Our Buddhist Centers?” chapter in Still, in the City: Creating Peace of Mind in the Midst of Urban Chaos (Skyhorse, 2018)
  • Dancing with Dharma: Essays on Movement and Dance in Western Buddhism, Editor (McFarland, 2016)
  • “Mindfulness Equity and Western Buddhism: Reaching People of Low Socioeconomic Status and People of Color” in International Journal of Dharma Studies, 2014

Harrison has loved to dance since first seeing Michael Jackson’s moves in the mid 1980s, and has guided conscious dance events since 2006. He lives with his wife, toddler, and dog in Northampton.

Position: Director of Religious & Spiritual Life
Office Hours: Please email to find a time. Harrison is happy to chat informally or offer 1 on 1 spiritual counseling.
Contact Information: Harrison Blum hblum@amherst.edu