Matthew Immergut, Ph.D. works as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Purchase College, State University of New York. His field of speciality is the sociology of religion as well as environmental sociology. His current research focuses on charismatic leaders and their followers. He is also making a documentary film about a group of Western converts to Tibetan Buddhism preparing to enter their first three-year, three-month and three-day silent, and for some, solitary meditation retreat in the remote desert of southern Arizona. When he’s not engaged in his own personal meditation and yoga practice, he is editing two texts on meditation and collaborating with a colleague in cognitive neuroscience to introduce meditative and contemplative techniques into the college classroom.