The Cultural Integration Fellowship is a non-profit, non-denominational religious and educational organization that promotes multicultural understanding and harmony, universal religion and creative self-development.
The Cultural Integration Fellowship was founded in 1951 by Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri, philosopher, educator and humanist. Dr. Chaudhuri was born in May 1913 in India. He came to the United States at the nomination of the great Indian sage, Sri Aurobindo, and at the invitation of Dr. Fredric Spiegelberg of Stanford University, to teach at the American Academy of Asian Studies. Prior to coming to the United States, Dr. Chaudhuri was a member of the educational service of the Government of West Bengal, and the Chair of the department of philosophy at Krishnagar College, Bengal. Dr. Chaudhuri also founded the California Institute of Integral Studies, then known as the California Institute of Asian Studies. Dr. Chaudhuri passed on in 1975 and Mrs. Bina Chaudhuri served as president and guiding presence of CIF until her passing in 2006. Rita Chaudhuri Pease is now serving as CIF president.
Philosophy: Inspired by the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo which brought the highest values of the East and West together in a creative synthesis, the Cultural Integration Fellowship brings together people from diverse cultural backgrounds and religious faiths to share in a rich array of lectures, seminars and cultural events. Seeking a dynamic integration of the cultural and spiritual values of all people, the Fellowship teaches the complementarities of the world’s great religions and philosophies and shelters the spiritual search of its members. The Fellowship’s highest goal is a world in harmony. In the words of Dr. Chaudhuri, the Cultural Integration Fellowship looks toward, “… a new form of humanness-one where world citizens evince loyalty to the welfare of all human beings, transcending former barriers imposed by national, ethnic, religious, doctrinal and cultural differentiations.”
Main Tenets: The three main tenets of the Cultural Integration Fellowship are 1. Intercultural understanding and harmony; 2. Nonsectarian universal religion; and 3. Creative self-development and self-fulfillment. Dr. Chaudhuri perceived intercultural understanding as one of the most important steps toward the goal of world peace and harmony and felt that misconceptions about East and West were causes for the persistent rift between the two. Dr. Chaudhuri elucidated these misgivings in his article on Western Theology and Eastern Mysticism. Dr. Chaudhuri firmly believed in the efficacy of spiritual practices such as meditation as tools of self-development and creative self-fulfillment. His talk on Supramental Meditation is one of the many works in which Dr. Chaudhuri explains the importance of spiritual practices
The Cultural Integration Fellowship is located in San Francisco across from the Golden Gate Park and is in a walking distance from the Japanese Tea Garden, the California Academy of Sciences and the Conservatory of Flowers. CIF has offered its services at its Fulton Street facilities since 1956.
Address: 2650 Fulton Street at 3rd Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118
Buses: From downtown San Francisco, take 5 Fulton or 31 Balboa