Oct. 23 - 27, 2013 SAN JOSE, CA

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Speakers Bios

Stanley Grof
Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.
Psychiatrist and one of the founders of Transpersonal Psychology

Stan Grof, M.D., Ph.D. is a psychiatrist with more than fifty years experience researching the healing and transformative potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. His groundbreaking theories influenced the integration of Western science with his brilliant mapping of the transpersonal dimension. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of Transpersonal Psychology and received an Honorary Award for major contributions to and development of the field of Transpersonal Psychology from the Association for Transpersonal Psychology in 1993. Dr. Grof is also the founder of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) and its past and current president. He has organized large international conferences throughout the world and continues to lecture and teach professional training programs in Holotropic Breathwork and transpersonal psychology. Currently, Dr. Grof is Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in the Department of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness, and teaches at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA

A.H. Almaas
Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas), ph.d.
Founder of the Diamond Approach®

Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas), was born in the Middle East, but at age 18 he moved to the USA to study at the University of California in Berkeley. Hameed was working on his Ph.D. in physics, where he was studying Einsteirn's theory of general relativity and nuclear physics, when he reached a turning point in his life and destiny that led him more and more into inquiring into the psychological and spiritual aspects of human nature. Hameed is the founder of the Diamond Approach® - a spiritual teaching that utilizes a unique kind of inquiry into realization, where the practice is the expression of realization. Freedom is living our realization, a dynamic enlightenment where our transcendent nondual truth lives personally in the world. This inquiry opens up the infinite creativity of our Being, transforming our lives into a runaway realization, moving from realization to further realization. Almaas' books include: The Inner Journey Home, Essence , The Pearl Beyond Price , Luminous Night’s Journey , and The Unfolding Now.

Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing

Deepak Chopra, M.D is the author of more than 70 books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and an adjunct professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University Columbia Business School, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, Columbia University, and a Senior Scientist at the Gallup organization. For more than a decade, he has participated as a lecturer at the Update in Internal Medicine, an annual event sponsored by Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education and the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Cassandra Vieten
Cassandra Vieten
President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences

Cassandra Vieten, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Scientist at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, and Faculty Member/Psychologist at California Pacific Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry. She received her PhD in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She completed her pre- and post-doctoral research training at UCSF, working primarily on the biological and psychological underpinnings of addiction and alcoholism. Cassandra is co-author of Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life and author of Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child's First Year.

Menas Kafatos
Menas Kafatos
Professor of Computational Physics and Director of Excellence at Chapman University

Dr. Menas Kafatos is The Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics and Director of Excellence at Chapman University. He received his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University in 1967 and his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972. After postdoctoral work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, he joined George Mason University and was University Professor of Interdisciplinary Sciences there from 1984-2008.  He has authored and co-authored numerous books including The Conscious Universe, The Non-local Universe and Principles of Integrative Science.  He is a recipient of the Rustum Roy Award from the Chopra Foundation, which “honors individuals whose devotion and commitment to their passion for finding answers in their field is matched only by their commitment to humanity” and the IEEE Orange County Chapter - Outstanding Leadership and Professional Service Award.  He has been interviewed numerous times by national and international TV networks, newspapers and radio programs.

Susana Martinez Conde
Susana Martinez Conde, Ph.D.
Director of the Martinez-Conde Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience at the Barrow Neurological Institute

Dr. Susana Martinez-Conde is the Director of the Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. She has published articles in Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and writes the "Illusions" column for Scientific American: MIND. She is a member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood and the Magic Circle in London, author of the international bestselling book Sleights of Mind, and producer of the annual Best Illusion of the Year Contest ( Dr. Martinez-Conde is among the premier science communicators in the United States.

David Pruett
Dave Pruett

By profession, Dave Pruett is a former NASA researcher, an award-winning computational scientist, and a lauded emeritus professor of mathematics at James Madison University (JMU). By nature, he is a contemplative, a student of mysticism, and an admirer of Native American spirituality, particularly in regards to reverence for the Earth. His professional and personal attributes merged in late career in two meaningful endeavors: the development of “From Black Elk to Black Holes: Shaping a Myth for a New Millennium,” an acclaimed honors course at JMU that received a 2002 Templeton Foundation Science-Religion Course Award; and the recent publication of Reason and Wonder: A Copernican Revolution in Science and Spirit (Praeger, 2012). Twelve years in gestation, Reason and Wonder--“a love letter to the cosmos” that synthesizes modern scientific insights with ancient wisdom--recently garnered an American Library Association’s CHOICE Award. Dave lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with his wife Suzanne Fiederlein and daughter Elena.

Dean Radin
Dean Radin, Ph.D
Senior Scientist at the IONS

Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University. His original career track as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a BSEE degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude with honors in physics, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then an MS in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. For a decade he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories. For over two decades he has been engaged in consciousness research. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, and several Silicon Valley think-tanks, including Interval Research Corporation and SRI International, where he worked on a classified program investigating psychic phenomena for the US government.

He is author or coauthor of over 200 technical and popular articles, a dozen book chapters, and several books including the bestselling The Conscious Universe (HarperOne, 1997) and Entangled Minds (Simon & Schuster, 2006). Both of these books are in print, and so far they've been translated into six foreign languages. A new book will be published in 2013.

Donald Hoffman
Donald Hoffman, PhD
Cognitive Scientist and Author, Department of CognitiveSciences, U.C. Irvine

Donald Hoffman is a cognitive scientist and author of more than 90 scientific papers and three books, including Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See (W.W. Norton, 2000). He received his BA from UCLA in Quantitative Psychology and his Ph.D. from MIT in Computational Psychology. He joined the faculty of UC Irvine in 1983, where he is now a full professor in the departments of cognitive science, computer science and philosophy. He received the Distinguished Scientific Award of the American Psychological Association for early career research into visual perception, and the Troland Research Award of the US National Academy of Sciences for his research on the relationship of consciousness and the physical world. He was chosen by students at UC Irvine to receive a campus-wide teaching award, and to be included in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Hoffman studies visual perception, visual attention and consciousness using mathematical models, computer simulations, and psychological experiments. His empirical research has led to new insights into how we perceive objects, colors and motion. His theoretical research has led to a “user interface” theory of perception—which proposes that natural selection shapes our perceptions not to report truth but simply to guide adaptive behavior. It has also led to a “conscious realism” theory of consciousness—which proposes a formal model of consciousness and the mind-body problem that takes consciousness as fundamental.

Donald Hoffman
Elissa Epel, PhD
Associate Professor, UCSF Department of Psychiatry

Elissa Epel, Ph.D is an Associate Professor at the UCSF Department of Psychiatry. She examines how stress processes lead to early disease precursors, focusing on overeating, abdominal obesity, and immune cell aging, and whether meditation and mindfulness interventions can reverse stress related habits and damage. Epel studied psychology and psychobiology at Stanford University (BA, 1990), and clinical and health psychology at Yale University (PhD, 1998). Epel received the APA Early Career Award), Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research Neal Miller Young Investigator Award, and the Chopra Foundation Roy Rustum award.


Master Puppetji speaks to all. His insightful and useless “Socksangs” are light-hearted reminders that help us open our eyes to a new way of SEEING. A master at squashing illusion with Wizdumb, humor and meaningless insights, Puppetji cuts through the spiritual mumbo-jumbo and gets right to The Truth: According to Puppetji. Considered to be one of our last great enlightened masters, Puppetji selflessly delivers his meaningless words of Wizdumb to anyone who will listen and even those who don’t. Puppetji’s message is simple: “You take life too seriously…Enlighten-up”.

Lothar Schäfer
Lothar Schäfer, Ph.D.
Professor of Physical Chemistry (emeritus) at the University of Arkansas

Lothar Schäfer is a Distinguished Professor of Physical Chemistry (emeritus) at the University of Arkansas. His research in the areas of Physical Chemistry, Electron Diffraction, Applied Quantum Chemistry, and Computational Chemistry led his team to develop the first real-time gas electron diffraction instrument in which diffraction data are recorded on-line, enabling the first pulsed-beam, Time-Resolved Electron Diffraction studies of laser-excited molecules. Additionally, they performed the first quantum chemical geometry determinations of peptide molecules, predicting structural trends in proteins a decade before they were experimentally observed. He is the author of the book, "In Search of Divine Reality - Science as a Source of Inspiration which has been translated in Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Since 1998, Dr. Schaffer has given more than 160 public lectures in the US and abroad. He has been a guest on CUNY-TV and Chopra radio.

Francis Lucille
Francis Lucille
Advaita Teacher

Francis Lucille is a spiritual teacher of the tradition of Advaita Vedanta (non-duality). He became a disciple of Jean Klein, a French Advaita teacher whom he met in 1975. This was the beginning of a close association that lasted until the death of his friend and spiritual master in 1998. Jean Klein's own guru, "Panditji" Rao, whom he met in India in the nineteen-fifties, was a college professor in Bengalore who taught Sanskrit and belonged to a lineage of traditional Advaita Vedanta teachers.

James Austin
James Austin, PhD
Professor of Neurology, Author

James Austin is Emeritus Professor of Neurology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. His formal Zen training began in 1974 in Kyoto with Nanrei Kobori-Roshi, an English-speaking Rinzai master. Since then, his quest as a Zen practitioner has been to clarify how brain research can help us understand the meditative transformations of consciousness. His earlier MIT Press publications include: Zen and the Brain (1998), Zen-Brain Reflections (2006), and Selfless Insight (2009). In the latest book Meditating Selflessly (2011), he presents a simplified approach to everyday meditative practices summarized in terms of many do’s and don’ts.

David Loy
David Loy
Zen teacher

David Loy, PhD, was the Besl Family Chair Professor of Ethics/Religion and Society at Xavier University in Cincinnati from 2006 to 2010. His books include "Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy" (Yale University Press, 1988). He is an authorized teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan lineage of Zen Buddhism, where he completed formal koan training under Zen Master Yamada Koun Roshi. For more information:


Richard Lang spends most of his time working to make more available the Headless Way – a modern, experimental way home to who we really are. Richard discovered headlessness in 1970 when he met Douglas Harding, author of On Having No Head. They became friends. Since then he has travelled widely giving hundreds of workshops, written two books and produced a CD and videos that share the headless way experiments. He is part of a world-wide community of friends who value headlessness. Richard set up and is encouraged by the growing numbers of people who visit, do the experiments, and see who they really are.

Peter Russell
Peter Russell
M.A., D.C.S., F.S.P.

Peter Russell is a fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, of The World Business Academy and of The Findhorn Foundation, and an Honorary Member of The Club of Budapest. At Cambridge University (UK), he studied mathematics and theoretical physics. Then, as he became increasingly fascinated by the mysteries of the human mind he changed to experimental psychology. Pursuing this interest, he traveled to India to study meditation and eastern philosophy, and on his return took up the first research post ever offered in Britain on the psychology of meditation. He has written several books in this area -- The TM Technique, The Upanishads, The Brain Book, The Global Brain Awakens, The Creative Manager, The Consciousness Revolution, Waking Up in Time, and From Science to God.

Artist and Non-duality Teacher

From an early age Rupert was deeply interested in the nature of Reality. For twenty years he studied the teachings of Ouspensky, Krishnamurti, Rumi, Shankaracharya, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta and Robert Adams, until he met his teacher, Francis Lucille, twelve years ago. Francis introduced Rupert to the teaching of Jean Klein, Parmenides, Wei Wu Wei and Atmananda Krishnamenon and, more importantly, directly indicated to him the true nature of experience.

Rupert’s first book is "The Transparency of Things," subtitled "Contemplating the Nature of Experience,". His second book, "Presence Volume I The Art of Peace and Happiness and Presence Volume II The Intimacy of All Experience" has been currently released by Non-Duality Press.

Christopher A. Fields, Ph.D.
independent scientist

Dr. Chris Fields is an independent scientist interested in both the physics and the cognitive neuroscience underlying the human perception of objects as spatially and temporally bounded entities. His particular interests include quantum information theory and quantum computing on the one hand, and creative problem solving, early childhood development and autism-spectrum conditions on the other. His recent papers have appeared in the International Journal of Theoretical Physics, Information, International Journal of General Systems, Advances in Cognitive Psychology, Frontiers in Perception Science and Medical Hypotheses among others. He is currently editing a Research Topic titled “How humans recognize objects: Segmentation, categorization and individual identification” for Frontiers in Perception Science.

Dr. Fields began his career as an experimental physicist, obtained his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science (University of Colorado, Boulder, 1985), and was an early developer of automated DNA sequence analysis tools and systems for the Human Genome Project. He has published over 130 refereed papers in nuclear physics, artificial intelligence, molecular biology and cognitive psychology. He holds U.S Patent # 5355435 (1994) for an integrated circuit chip that simulates a mammalian cortical neuron. Dr. Fields was the founding Scientific Director of the National Center for Genome Resources (Santa Fe, NM) and the founding Chief Scientific Officer of Molecular Informatics Inc.

Peter Fenner
Mark Matousek

Mark Matousek is the author of two award-winning memoirs, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story (an international bestseller) and The Boy He Left Behind: A Man's Search For His Lost Father (Los Angeles Times Discovery Book), as well as When You're Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living. A featured blogger for Psychology Today (where his Ethical Wisdom column appears weekly), and the Huffington Post, he has contributed to numerous publications including The New Yorker, O: The Oprah Magazine (where he was contributing editor), The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Yoga Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Details, AARP, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review (contributing editor), and many others. A popular lecturer and writing teacher, he is the Creative Director of V-Men (with Eve Ensler), an organization devoted to ending violence against women and girls, and has just published a new book, Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life.

Fariba Bogzaran
Fariba Bogzaran, Ph.D.
Visionary, Professor, and Artist

Fariba Bogzaran, PhD Scientist/Artist is a faculty member and founder of the Dream Studies Program, JFK University; co-founder and Creative Director at Lucid Art Foundation.  She is one of the pioneers in the field of dream studies and has received recognition of outstanding contribution to the International Association for the Study of Dreams. She has written and taught the spiritual aspect of lucid dreaming, awareness methods and creativity internationally since 1984.  She conducted the first major scientific research project on the transpersonal experiences in lucid dreaming in the 1980’s (Experiencing the Divine in Lucid Dream State, UMI, 1989) and a phenomenological studies of visual vocabulary in lucid dreaming (Images of the Lucid Mind, UMI, 1996). She has an in-depth background in contemplative practices, arts, East-West and somatic psychology. Among her publications are: Extraordinary Dreams and how to work with them (SUNY Press, 2002); Lucid Art and Hyperspace Lucidity, (Human Sciences Press 2003) and Integral Dreaming: A holistic approach to dreams (SUNY Press, 2012).

Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox (b. 1940) is an internationally acclaimed theologian who was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. He holds a doctorate, summa cum laude, in the History and Theology of Spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. Seeking to establish a new pedagogy for learning spirituality that was grounded in an effort to reawaken the West to its own mystical traditions in such figures as Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart and the mysticism of Thomas Aquinas, as well as interacting with contemporary scientists who are also mystics, Fox founded the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality.

He is author of 28 books which have sold more than 1.5 million copies in 42 languages. His bestselling works in the U.S. include: Original Blessing (350,000 copies sold); A Spirituality Named Compassion (150,000 sold); The Coming of the Cosmic Christ 100,000+ sold) and Prayer: A Radical Response to Life (formerly, “On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear—160,000 copies sold). His books have received numerous awards and he is recipient of the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award of which other recipients have included the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks and Maya Angelou. He is also a recipient of the Ghandi-King-Ikeda Award from Morehouse College International Chapel that is awarded for dedication to peace, unity, non-violence and justice. He has led a renewal of liturgical forms with “The Cosmic Mass” that mixes dance, techno and live music, dj, vj, rap and contemporary art forms with the western liturgical tradition. Many people have been trained in celebrating these post-modern forms of worship. Canadian television filmed the Mass and ran it on prime time and 800,000 persons saw the presentation. Brazilian television also ran a segment on the Mass.

Teacher and Author Unmani points very directly to who you really are beyond all the words and concepts. If there is a readiness to hear this, then there is a possibility to investigate the reality of everything that you have ever believed in. Realizing more and more that your whole life is based on an assumption of who you think you are, there is a total freefall into not knowing. Unmani travels around the world offering spontaneous and uncompromising nondual Meetings and Retreats in 'Not-Knowing'. These Retreats have an intensely intimate flavor as Unmani invites you to wake up to the way it actually is beyond all your hopes and fears. In having a dialogue with Unmani there is no escape from the unknowable reality of life.

Unmani is the author of two books ‘I am Life itself’ and ‘Die to Love’ and is now writing a third book.
Rudolph E. Tanzi
Rudolph E. Tanzi
Professor of Neurology, Harvard University

Dr. Rudolph Tanzi is a Professor of Neurology and holder of the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Neurology and Mental Retardation at Harvard University; Director, and author – “Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease”. My research is primarily aimed at identifying and characterizing Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-associated gene mutations/variants with the ultimate goal of defining the molecular, cellular, and biochemical events leading to neuronal cell death in the brains of AD patients. A significant portion of AD is caused by the inheritance of defective genes, while specific gene variants can increase lifetime risk for the disease. To date, four different genes have been implicated to play a role in familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD). My lab has been involved with the discovery of three of these genes, including (the amyloid ??protein precursor [APP], presenilin 1 [PSEN1], and presenilin 2 [PSEN2]) that harbor defects causing “early-onset” forms of the disease with virtually 100% certainty usually under 60 years old. Our studies are targeted toward determining the pathogenic mechanisms by which defects or variants carried by these genes contribute to the neurodegenerative process in the brains of patients with AD. For this purpose, we are employing cell-based and animal models including Drosophila. An in-depth understanding of the normal function of the AD genes and how mutations and variants of these genes can lead to ?-amyloid deposition, neuronal cell death, and dementia will be invaluable for the development of novel treatments for AD. Along these lines, our current focus is to translate knowledge gained regarding genetic mechanisms of neuropathogenesis of AD into drug discovery. We are also searching for genes that cause autism and related disorders.

Shauna Shapiro
Shauna Shapiro, ph.d.

Shauna L. Shapiro, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University, and previously served as adjunct faculty in Andrew Weil’s Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Shapiro’s research investigates the clinical applications of mindfulness meditation in psychotherapy and health care. She has published over 50 book chapters and journal articles, and is co-author of the forthcoming book, The Art and Science of Mindfulness. Dr. Shapiro is the recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies teaching award, acknowledging her outstanding contributions to graduate education in the area of mindfulness and psychotherapy.

Jaime A. Pineda, Ph.D.
Jaime A. Pineda, Ph.D.
Professor of Cognitive Science and Neuroscience, UCSD

Dr. Pineda is Professor of Cognitive Science and Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, having served on a number of NIH committees and as reviewer for several scholarly journals. He is the author of over 100 articles, books, and reviews on the interdependency between brain and mind. In his research, Dr. Pineda uses multimodal brain imaging techniques, as well as behavioral, psychological and pharmacological methods to understand normal and abnormal cognition. As principal investigator on a project studying Autism Spectrum Disorder, he is interested in developing strategies to reduce cognitive, behavioral, and neurofunctional deficits through self-directed neural plasticity. He has published many widely cited papers in animal and human cognitive and systems neuroscience.

Jac O'Keeffe
Jac O' Keeffe

Jac O’Keeffe was raised in rural Ireland. In 1997 her life
 changed dramatically when she experienced a spontaneous 
inner awakening. Her quest ultimately led to That, which 
is beyond the mind and transcends dualistic thought. Jac’s
 satsang style is to respond to each person individually 
since there is a unique life to be lived while one’s true
 identity unfolds. She places things in context while point
ing to the unlimited movement of consciousness—and
 beyond; prior to consciousness itself. She has the unique 
ability to pinpoint where people are stuck due to identified thought. Jac now spends her time between Ireland and North America, facilitating spiritual meetings and dialogues. Jac has published 'Born to be Free' as a hard copy book, eBook and in audio format in addition to 2 DVD's 'Going Nowhere' and 'Going Nowhere - The Building Blocks of Consciousness'. She sings for fun and has released a chanting CD of original music.  Jac has established and moderates a Virtual Satsang Community™ called FliHi which operates through her website

Ellen Emmet
Ellen Emmet
Movement Therapist Ellen is a psychotherapist and dance movement therapist in the tradition of non-duality. She received her MA in Transpersonal psychology at JFK University in California and has studied the yoga of non-duality for many years with her teacher Francis Lucille.

John Hagelin
John Hagelin, PH.D.
President of the David Lynch Foundation
President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace

John Hagelin, Ph.D., is a world-renowned quantum physicist, educator, public policy expert, and leading proponent of peace. Dr. Hagelin received his A.B. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, and conducted pioneering research at CERN (the European Center for Particle Physics) and SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). His scientific contributions in the fields of electroweak unification, grand unification, super-symmetry and cosmology include some of the most cited references in the physical sciences. He is also responsible for the development of a highly successful Grand Unified Field Theory based on the Superstring. But Dr. Hagelin is unique among scientists in being the first to apply this most advanced knowledge for the practical benefit of humankind. He has pioneered the use of Unified Field-based technologies proven to reduce crime, violence, terrorism, and war and to promote peace throughout society—technologies derived from the ancient Vedic science of consciousness.,

Charles Eisenstein
Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His books (The Ascent of Humanity and Sacred Economics) as well as his other essays and blog posts on web magazines have generated a vast online following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events, and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts. Writing in Ode magazine’s “25 Intelligent Optimists” issue, David Korten (author of When Corporations Rule the World) called Eisenstein “one of the up-and-coming great minds of our time.” Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, and spent the next ten years as a Chinese-English translator. He currently lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife and three sons.

Stephen LaBerge
Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D.
Founder of The Lucidity Institute

Stephen LaBerge is the first scientist to empirically prove the existence of the phenomena of lucid dreaming. His work has developed this technique into a powerful tool for studying mind-body relationships in the dream state and he has demonstrated the considerable potential for lucid dreaming in the fields of psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine. His book on the subject, Lucid Dreaming, Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming and his more academic Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain have received enormous popular interest. He is the founder of The Lucidity Institute, an organization that promotes research into lucid dreaming, as well as running courses for the general public on how to achieve a lucid dream.

Catherine Pépin
Catherine Pépin, Ph.D.
Theoretical Physicist, Institute of Theoretical Physics, Saclay, France

In 2005, she received a strong spiritual call which told her that in addition to the wonders of Scientific endeavour, there is an unmistakable Otherness, a presence impalpable to the mind. She was exposed to a number of spiritual teachings and experiences, starting in June 2006 with the meeting of late Stephen Jourdain'. In 2007, she went through  a Shamanic initiation involving Iboga and Ayahuasca, the African and South Amazon sacred plants known to open doors of the Spirit. She also joined Andrew Cohen and his  teaching on Evolutionary Enlightenment, for several years. Today, she is developing her own path, and is convinced that the spiritual call she received in 2005, while she was still a fundamentally materialistic scientist, was not an accident . It was an experience of a universal longing in the human Soul for a deep and uncompromising re-union of Science and Spirit.

Marilyn Schlitz
Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D.
President Emeritus IONS

Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D. is a social anthropologist, researcher, writer, and charismatic public speaker. She is currently the President Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, where she has also served as President and CEO. Additionally, she is a Senior Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center, where she focuses on health and healing. For more than three decades, Marilyn has been a leader in the field of consciousness studies. Her research and extensive publications focus on personal and social transformation, cultural pluralism, and mind body medicine. She has a depth of leadership experience in government, business, and the not-for-profit sectors. Her broad and varied work has given her a unique ability to help individuals and organizations identify and develop personal and interpersonal skills and capacities needed by 21st century leaders. She is currently producing a feature film with Deepak Chopra.

Isaac Shapiro
Isaac Shapiro

Isaac Shapiro is an internationally known facilitator, fascinated with life lived in alignment with the world's wisdom traditions. He enjoys exploring with and assisting those who share this interest. At nineteen, he had a recognition of unconditional love and peace and became passionately interested in living like that. This interest was the springboard into looking fresh at many of the aspects of life that we take for granted including our thinking, emotions and beliefs, how the body, mind and nervous system function, and the subtleties of the building blocks that show up as a sense of “I”. He explored, communal living, growing food organically, mind clearing using biofeedback, Feldenkrais bodywork, group energy dynamics and awareness and attention work. In 1991, he met the Master of Advaita, HWL Poonja (Papaji). Since being asked by Papaji to be available for those that have this interest in Truth/love, he has been holding meetings worldwide. Over the years, Isaac saw the extent that trauma pervades human functioning, making the felt sense of the Truth of who we are difficult to live. He now includes a somatic approach, to facilitate that this love affair becomes available to all.

Pamela Wilson
Pamela Wilson

Pamela speaks the Truth of advaita, non-duality - that the universe is one undivided whole. For the last twelve years she has traveled widely in the United States, Canada and Europe, holding satsang and giving private sessions. Week-long retreats have been held in Mexico, Costa Rica, France, the United Kingdom, Canada and the USA. She has endeared herself to many through her lighthearted humor and compassion, and deep understanding of what it is to be human. She lives in Napa, California.

Pamela Wilson
David Ellzey
Global Entertainer

After receiving standing ovations at the last few conferences, David is glad to be a part of this important event once more. Often called, “an alchemist of space”, David is a performer, humorist, and #1 best-selling author, who has inspired a quarter of a million people worldwide to laugh and uncover a boundless sense of being. At an early age, he studied how to create universes in space and silence through the ancient art form of pantomime under the teaching of a Kabbalah master. David is known for his side-splittingly funny physical performance skills, humorously enlightened characters, and astute commentary on this human journey of awakening. His new book, The Ocean of Now, focuses on the joy and potential awakening found only in the present moment, even as your eyes rest upon these words.

Karen Johnson
Karen Johnson
Co-founder of The Ridhwan School/Diamond Approach

Karen Johnson participated in the development of the Diamond Approach with Hameed Ali since 1970’s, She has been teaching in the US and Europe for 35 years. She has an MA in Psychology, and trained as an artist and dancer. She has an interest true spirit of scientific investigation based on the love for truth. The underlying truth that manifests through the beauty and order of the physical and spiritual universe has been a motivating force in her life.

Kazuaki Tanahashi
Kazuaki Tanahashi

Kazuaki Tanahashi, born in Japan and active in the United States since 1977, is an artist, writer, and worker for peace and the environment. Kaz’s one-stroke paintings, multi-color Zen circles, and calligraphy have been in solo exhibitions throughout the world. His publications include Brush Mind, Penetrating Laughter: Hakuin’s Zen and Art, Lotus, and Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen’s Shobo Genzo. Also, The Heart Sutra: Exploring Wisdom Beyond Wisdom is forthcoming from Shambhala Publications. He is the founding director of A World Without Armies and a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. For more information:

Robert Burton
Robert Burton
Neurologist, Novelist

Robert Burton, MD is a neurologist, novelist, and most recently, the author of A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves. A graduate of Yale University and University of California at San Francisco medical school, he was formerly Chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital and Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. Burton’s work has appeared in Salon and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others, and he frequently is invited to speak about the brain, the mind, neuroscience, and philosophy of science. Previous books include On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not, and three novels addressing the question of personal identity (including when cloned). Website:.

David Shannahoff-Khalsa
David Shannahoff-Khalsa
Director of The Research Group for Mind-Body Dynamics at UCSD

David Shannahoff-Khalsa is the Director of The Research Group for Mind-Body Dynamics at UCSD’s BioCircuits Institute, and a member of the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine. He has discovered a novel step in the evolution of the nervous system that gives new insights to mind-body states and their control. He has published widely in scientific journals and conducted clinical trials using Kundalini Yoga meditation techniques for treating OCD, and pioneered the use of magnetoencephalography to study these techniques. He has taught Kundalini Yoga meditation at the American Psychiatric Association since 2003 for a wide range of psychiatric disorders, and written four books that include 100+ different meditation techniques and disorder-specific protocols for all of the major psychiatric disorders. His 3 books published by W. W. Norton and Co include: Kundalini Yoga Meditation: Techniques Specific for Psychiatric Disorders, Couples Therapy, and Personal Growth, 2006; Kundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric Disorders: Techniques Specific for Treating the Psychoses, Personality, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, 2010; Sacred Therapies: The Kundalini Yoga Meditation Handbook for Mental Health, 2012. And Psychophysiological States: The Ultradian Dynamics of Mind-Body Interactions, Academic Press,

James Fadiman
James Fadiman, Ph.D.

James Fadiman, Ph.D. author/editor of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic Journeys (Park Street Press, 2011), has been guiding and researching entheogenic journeys for decades. He cofounded The Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, does management consulting, has taught at Stanford, Brandeis and San Francisco State and has written textbooks, a psychedelic novel (The Other Side of Haight), a self-help book and a play. Currently he is researching ways to use extremely low doses of psychedelics and amassing profiles of present day psychedelic drug users.

Mystic Birinder
Mystic Birinder
Mystic, Messenger, Guide, Author, Engineer

Mystic Birinder, the author of the award winning book "The Supreme Being” was born in the Himalayas. At the age of 6 he was awakened to previously lived lives where he realized the Supreme Truth. Mystic Birinder graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked in Research & Development. With a scientific background he can reason and clarify present day minds about The Ultimate Reality of the Self to inspire seeking. His teachings are revealing, deeply transformative, and individualized to bring out the uniqueness of every Self. He shares a path of love, which he followed as a seeker.

Diana Reed Slattery
Diana Reed Slattery, Ph.D.
Novelist, scholar, and video performance artist

Diana Reed Slattery is an novelist, scholar, and video performance artist. Slattery’s science fiction novel, The Maze Game, tells the story of a game played on mazes made of the psychedelic language, Glide. She received her Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Plymouth, UK, for research in psychedelics, language, and the phenomenology of altered states of consciousness. States of extended perception were used in the conception, design, and implementation of her LiveGlide video performance software. Psychedelics provided the means to emerge from the cocoon of natural language into what could be understood as both a pre-linguistic state of direct apperception of the world around and inside us, and as a post-linguistic realm of evolutionary forms of language.

Igor Kufayev
Artist and Advaita Tantra Teacher

Igor Kufayev has been sharing his revelations into the essence of Being since 2002. Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and classically trained in art from an early age, he was recognized as something of a prodigy. A one time student at the St Petersburg's Academy of Fine Arts, he had his first solo exhibition at the age of twenty five and by his early thirties enjoyed an international art career in London. At the age of thirty six Igor had undergone a radical transformation of consciousness which subsequently blossomed into spontaneous unfoldment of Grace. He abandoned his art career and for the next few years continued long hours of meditation, integrating expanded state of awareness throughout all his interactions. Igor points to the integral process of Self-realization where all cognitive and mental processes are orchestrated by awakened Latent Energy - the Creative Potentiality of Pure Awareness - and it is the physiology with its nervous system, that acts as a support for individual consciousness to mature into full Enlightenment. It could be said that his methods are rooted in Tantra, having studied such diverse traditions as Vedanta, Tantra, Sufi and Zen he remains elusive to categorization. Saying that: ”Abiding in a state of spontaneous absorption transcends the boundaries of any given truth based on intellectual grasp of ultimate reality…

Jay Kumar
Professor of Comparative Religion, Chapman University Jay Kumar, Ph.D. is a professor of comparative religion, Yoga philosophy, global healing traditions and neuro-cognitive studies at Chapman University and at Loyola Marymount University. His research interests encompass mind-body medicine, contemplative neuroscience, and the neuropsychology of health and happiness. He is also a certified Yoga and meditation instructor, motivational speaker, author, and appears as a weekly contributor on national radio. His forthcoming book Brain, Body & Being will be available in 2014. Learn more at

emmanuel drouet

Emmanuel Drouet, is professor of Virology at the University of Grenoble (France), and previously served as a biomedical pathologist in the Institut Pasteur (Lyon, France). As scientist in EMBL laboratory (European Molecular Biology Laboratory), Dr Drouet’s research investigates the persisting viruses in human (RNA and DNA viruses) and the balance with our host immune system. He focuses on their effects on humans (both their impact in pathology and their symbiotic relationships in humans). Relying on clinical observations, Drouet pioneered experiments about the positive role of some viruses (human herpesviruses, human endogenous retroviruses) on human health. His studies shed a new light on microbial agents, behaving alternatively in a cooperative or destructive way depending on the environment they find themselves in. Drouet explains how this shows us the same life living the 'universality' of biological patterns manifesting in nature throughout all the magnitudes. He says the deeper he looks the more he sees a similarity between the “viral” world and ourselves; he will try to demonstrate that the play of life is what it is before the labeling of good or bad. He has published over 65 book chapters and journal articles in clinical microbiology and immunology as well as fundamental biology.

Meriel Gold
Meriel Gold

What Meriel Gold (Hoare) finds she loves about drawing and painting is the “stop” as her brush or hand touches the canvas or paper, like a kind of rest. It seems in this pause or rest that we are, as it were, drawn home into the quietness of ourself, which she feels is what we are all really yearning for, and which infact, is always here, just waiting to be noticed!

Meriel has been painting and drawing all her life. She studied at the Slade School of Art in London, with Oscar Kokoshka in his School of Seeing in Salzburg and with Cecil Collins.

Allan Combs
Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA

Allan Combs is a Professor of Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. His background is in consciousness studies, neuropsychology, and systems science. Professor Combs is author of over 100 articles, chapters, and books on consciousness and the brain, including The Radiance of Being (2ed), winner of the best-book award of the Scientific and Medical Network of the UK, and Mind in Time: The Dynamics of Thought, Reality, and Consciousness, with Mark Germine and Ben Geortzel and the recent book, Consciousness Explained Better.

John Prendergast
John Prendergast, ph.d.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies
Senior Editor of The Sacred Mirror and Listening from the Heart of Silence

John J. Prendergast, Ph.D., is a retired professor of psychology at CIIS and the senior editor of The Sacred Mirror (with P. Fenner and S. Krystal) and Listening From the Heart of Silence (with K. Bradford). He is currently at work on a book about the sense of inner knowing for Sounds True Publications. He is in private practice in San Rafael, Ca., and facilitates two ongoing self-inquiry groups. His main teachers have been Jean Klein and Adyashanti. Dorothy Hunt, a teacher in the lineage of Adyashanti, has recently invited him to share the dharma.

Robert Dittler
Robert Dittler, ph.d.

Once upon a time there was a guy named Robert M. Dittler. He entered this realm in San Francisco, California, USA and has since lived in many parts Earth. The universe is his home. He earned a Classical Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, making him somewhat "competent" till the 12th Century CE or so. Later, he finished a Masters of Arts program in Counseling and Guidance. Finally, he received a Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophical Psychology. He has taught in many different levels and settings: Home-Hospital, US Navy Air Craft carriers and ships at-sea, typical classrooms (high school and college), serving the Learning Handicapped as well as educating in Latin, English, and Psychology. Currently, when not visiting India or Nepal, he may be found in a seminar room facilitating a communication workshop for the general public or corporate types. He is a Yoga and Soto Zen practitioner. His main interest is belief systems: their creation, reformulation, and replacement in the service of increasing one's own integrity. Robert's wide and varied experience and his personable manner make his workshops challenging, memorable and delightful.

Marlies Cocheret
Marlies Cocheret de la MoriniEre

Marlies Cocheret de la Morinière, MA: With love, directness, and humor, Marlies invites our spirituality down from the clouds right into this human body experience. For more than 15 years she has been ushering seekers into the mysteries of living the divine in the body. She has been offering satsangs and retreats since 2000 when Adyashanti asked her to teach. Marlies works as a spiritual teacher, psychologist, a certified Hakomi therapist and a certified tantric educator internationally. She has spoken on different subjects at many non-dual conferences. Marlies is interviewed in Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Wisdomby R.M. Robinson.

Seán ÓLaoire
Seán ÓLaoire

Fr. Seán ÓLaoire has a B.Sc. degree (major in Mathematics). Ordained a catholic priest in 1972, he spent 14 years working in Kenya. He is multi-lingual and has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology; he is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice. He is co-founder and the Spiritual Director of a non-denominational community called “Companions on the Journey” based in Palo Alto. He is the author of four books: 1. “Ukweli ni Nini?” (What is truth?) – written in Swahili 2. “Spirits in Spacesuits - A Manual for Everyday Mystics” 3. “Souls on Safari” 4. “A Sensible God”

bentinho massaro
Bentinho Massaro
Founder of Free Awareness

Bentinho has founded the Free Awareness Foundation, which aims to tailor and package these teachings in such a way that they can become integrated into the different pillars of our society, by being made available for free to, and then presented by inspired people around the world (wisdom going viral) into our education systems, corporate worlds, troubled youth programs, prison programs, etc.
To get a taste of these teachings for yourself, go to:

Laura Inserra
Laura Inserra

Laura Inserra is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and artistic director. She is a classically trained musician with a strong improvisational background. A native of Sicily, her work in Italy is well-known, including integral participation in the composition of numerous movie scores and the artistic direction of innovative live productions. Inserra performed internationally in prestigious festivals and theaters in Italy and the US that include: The Colosseum (Rome), Auditorium Parco della Musica (Rome), Teatro Olimpico (Rome), The Chapel of the Chimes (Oakland), CounterPULSE (SF), NOHSpace (SF) and San Francisco City Hall among others. An internationally acclaimed Hang player, Inserra has collaborated with various artists globally. The Hang has been dubbed as "the new instrument of this Millennium". Her performances are infused with a unique blend of musical inspiration and melodic harmonies which deeply resonate with audiences worldwide. In 2007 she moved to the Bay Area and she founded Samavesha, a non-profit multidisciplinary performing arts organization. Audiences worldwide are not only mesmerized by this woman but also captivated by her virtuosity, profound musicality, and the passion that she brings on the stage. More info:

Tom Zelle

Anasuya Krishnaswamy

Anasuya Krishnaswamy, Ph.D/M.F.A., a scientist and writer, has done research in experimental solid-state physics, earned a yoga teacher certification, and is a graduate of the Peruvian based Light Body School of the Four Winds Society.

Damien Rose

Damien Rose

Damien Rose has been adding the magic of his Tibetan Singing Bowls to the Chopra Center, Yoga Conferences, Deva Premal in concert, GATE, BhaktiFest, and Agape Spiritual Center. His extensive set of bowls, which he collected over ten years, had their recording debut in 2008 with Damien's highly acclaimed CD, Liquid Bells. The CD was featured nationwide on National Public Radio. Damien has been deepening his sensitivity to sound for many decades leading him to work with vibrational Tone as a direct connection to our own healing and spirituality. It is a special treat to be able to experience Damien playing these beautiful instruments live, absorbing their sound through the openness of body and soul.

Kenny Johnson
Kenneth D. Johnson

For thirty-one years Kenny Johnson's most fervent desire was to hear his name "ringing in the streets" as a hustler, thief, and pimp. Beginning in his early teens, he was arrested thirty-seven times and spent the majority of those years in prison. Running parallel with that desire was a persistent seed of spiritual longing that would not leave him alone. In 1995, while still behind prison walls, Kenny experienced a spiritual awakening so profound that it transformed not only his prior conditioning as a criminal but his very field of consciousness. In the vast stillness that overwhelmed his mind and heart, he witnessed with intimate clarity the bondage the entire human experience is subject to and exactly where eternal freedom can be found. As a speaker and an author, he now shares that understanding intimately with his audiences. Kenny is currently the founder of "This Sacred Space," a non-profit organization that facilitates meditation and self-inquiry groups both in and out of prisons. Kenny is the author of the newly relsead book "The Last Hustle".

Gail Brenner
Gail Brenner, Ph.D
Clinical Psychologist and Writer

Gail's work as a therapist emanates from aware presence overflowing with possibility. Problems are seen as opportunities; the illusion of the separate self as a doorway to enduring happiness. Stories are honored, while fierce and loving investigation invites their dissolution. Gail has special expertise working with older adults and their families, bringing clear seeing and compassion to the transitions of aging, death, and dying. As a member of the clinical faculty at University of California, San Francisco, she helped physicians develop communication skills and learn to address psychosocial issues with their patients. Gail has authored many published articles on coping with stress and chronic medical illness. She consults with staff of assisted living and skilled nursing facilities about aging, dementia, and caregiving and has given numerous presentations to the community at large on these topics.

Gail blogs at where she invites readers to see through the confusion of separation and discover reality, which is true, alive, and undeniable. Her core offering is to bring non-dual understanding to the moments of suffering in everyday life.

Theresa Bullard, Ph.D.

Theresa Bullard, Ph.D. is a pioneer in the integration of science, consciousness, and transformative technologies. Theresa obtained her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington, where she conducted interdisciplinary research in neutrino physics, crystal chemistry, nanotechnology, and origin of life studies. Theresa then went on to found QUANTUM LEAP ALCHEMY, has become an accomplished change agent, with a solid background in personal and process development, and a strong track record of achieving sustainable results that rest on a core shift in conscious awareness. For the past 12 years, Theresa has been an international speaker, facilitator and consultant in Brazil, Canada, Japan, and the United States.

Thomas J. McFarlane
Author of Einstein and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings Teacher, Center for Sacred Sciences

Thomas J. McFarlane is the author of Einstein and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings and is a teacher at the Center for Sacred Sciences, a spiritual organization drawing from the teachings of the nondual traditions of the world. His research focuses on the foundational roots of science and its compatibility with nondual reality. Thomas graduated in physics with distinction from Stanford University and also has graduate degrees in mathematics and in philosophy and religion. He has presented at numerous conferences and has been the keynote speaker several times at the annual Franklin Merrell-Wolff conference.

Emma Devi
Emma Devi

Emma is a professionally trained dancer however her favorite dance has always been the free style trance-dance experienced beyond the steps and routine moves.  She sees dance as a tool to embrace and rekindle the inner radiance and how to allow the body to realign within. Emma's spiritual quest began in her late teens when she was introduced to meditation and holistic way of life. She is a certified kids yoga teacher, nutritionist and a mother of two. Emma is a keen chef who implements her interests in Ayurveda and conscious eating, which she skillfully combines with her daily chores whilst traveling Central Asia, Europe and Central America with her spouse and teacher Igor Kufayev.

Dj Dragonfly
DJ Dragonfly

As one of the West Coast’s most notable and sought after DJs in the festival scene, Dragonfly brings his deepest selection of bass-bumpin’ trans-globalized grooves, featuring smoldering rhythms and beats that reference the Gypsy, Balkan, Afro-Latino and Indo-Arabic sounds, samples and idioms. Integrating Bass Music's sound design and the steadfast genres of Glitch, Dubstep, Drum n Bass, House, Breaks, Funk Dragonfly's sets are one-of-a-kind around the global journey on a dancefloor!

meike schuett
Meike Schuett

My passion is the freshness that lies in the exploration of this moment. What excites me is Living This with everything I AM.

 All that matters to me is how we are with each other, how we are
 with everything, in this moment.

Gary Weber
Gary Weber

Gary Weber has a Ph.D. in physical sciences and worked in national labs, industry, and academia in R&D and management. Simultaneously, he completed over 20,000 hrs of self-inquiry and yoga, culminating with the sudden falling away of the “I” and the loss of self-referential thought, desires and fears.  Since then, he has taught, authored “Happiness Beyond Thought: A Practical Guide to Awakening”, a blog and several articles and made many presentations on nonduality and neuroscience at various conferences and universities.  He has been a subject and collaborator in cognitive neuroscience and meditation studies at Baumann Institute, IONS, CSNSC, Yale and NYU.

Francis Bennett

Francis Bennett was a Roman Catholic, Trappist monk for a number of years. He lived in two monasteries of the Trappist Order in the US and was also a member of an urban, contemplative monastic community originally founded in Paris, France in 1975. He has lived in France at several monasteries, and in Canada at a small monastic community in Montreal Quebec. He received a five and a half year monastic/spiritual formation with the Trappists before he made his vows as a monk at Gethsemani Abbey in 1983. He graduated from the Pontifical College Josephinum with a BA in Philosophy and completed a two year residency in Clinical Pastoral Education with Ohio Health Hospital System in Columbus, Ohio. He has worked in ministry in the area of spiritual Care in the hospice movement, as a hospital chaplain and in spiritual care of the sick and dying in parish settings. He has lead retreats in both the Vipassana Buddhist Tradition and in the Christian mystical/contemplative Tradition. In 2010, while in the middle of a Church Service in his monastery in Montreal, Francis suddenly experienced what he has come to call, “a radical perceptual shift in consciousness”, in which he discovered the ever present presence of spacious, pure awareness. He came to see that this awareness is actually the unchanging essence of who he really is and always has been; the Supreme Self, talked about by many sages and saints from many spiritual traditions down through the ages. He also came to see simultaneously, that this vast, infinite sense of presence at the center of his being (and at the center of the being of everyone else on the planet) is actually not at all separate from the presence of God, which he had been looking for during his many years as a monk and spiritual seeker..

. Kurt Johnson
Kurt Johnson
Dr. Kurt Johnson has worked in science and spirituality for over 40 years. His book The Coming Interspiritual Age, endorsed by leaders from across the spiritual and transformational communities, appeared in late 2012. As a Christian monk he founded (with Br. Wayne Teasdale) InterSpiritual Dialogue ( for discussion of contemplative experience across traditions. He also works with The Contemplative Alliance ( and Integral communities ( In 2005 Kurt began giving “Satsang” associated with Pamela Wilson. In science Kurt’s PhD is in evolution, ecology, systematics and comparative biology. Associated with the American Museum of Natural History (30 yrs.) he published 200+ articles on evolution and ecology, the bestselling book Nabokov’s Blues (2000), and (as a co-author) the 2011 Harvard DNA sequence study vindicating Vladimir Nabokov’s views of evolution.
Dorothy Hunt
Dorothy Hunt, LCSW
Spiritual Teacher and Director, Moon Mountain Sangha, Inc.
Founder, San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy
Licensed psychotherapist in practice since 1967

Dorothy Hunt, Spiritual Director of Moon Mountain Sangha, teaches at the request of Adyashanti. She has practiced psychotherapy since 1967 and is the founder of the San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy. Self-inquiry, as taught by Ramana Maharshi, led to the first of a series of awakenings. In meeting Adyashanti, she was invited to see beyond identification with the Absolute, allowing dualities to collapse. Dorothy is the author of Only This!, a contributing author to The Sacred Mirror, Listening from the Heart of Silence, and the on-line journal Undivided. For more information, visit

Yasmin Bar-Dor

Yasmin Bar-Dor, artist and Certified Breema Instructor at the Breema Center in Oakland, California, has been presenting “Breema: The Art of Being Present” for the past thirteen years at conferences, universities, and to different groups all over the U.S. and internationally.   When Yasmin discovered Breema in 1998, she found that this teaching offered her a road map to truly enter into the essential questions she had been exploring all her life.   As a lifelong student of Self-understanding, Yasmin is enthusiastic about introducing Breema’s practical philosophy and working with others in an atmosphere that’s supported by Breema’s principles of No Judgment and Mutual Support.

Alexandra Cherrington

From british and german descent Alexandra Cherrington spent her childhood between Lake Constance and the wild landscapes of Wales. Free child from Summerhill, she started her career as a fashion model and followed up as a singer. As a confirmed stage performer she has been seen around the world. Being a prolific songwriter with her partner Tony Ballester, she wrote and composed all the songs for her new album to be released this autumn. Alexandra is very sensitive to environmental preservation matters, delivering a positive atmosphere in every lyric and music she performs.

Robert Jesse

Robert Jesse is convenor of the Council on Spiritual Practices ( CSP's interest in non-ordinary states focuses on the betterment of well people, in contrast to the medical-model treatment of patients with psychiatric diagnoses. Through CSP, Bob was instrumental in forming the psilocybin research team at Johns Hopkins University, and he has co-authored three of its scientific papers. He also lead the writing of an amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the União do Vegetal's use of a sacramental tea containing DMT, a controlled substance. A unanimous Court upheld the UDV’s right to its practice. Bob has long participated in the development of a Bay Area spiritual community that draws liberally from the non-creedal, non-hierarchical ways of the Quakers (the Religious Society of Friends). His formal training is in electrical engineering and computer science.

Wes Nisker
Wes Nisker

Wes `Scoop’ Nisker is a teacher of Buddhist meditation, an author, radio commentator, and performer. His books include the underground classic Essential Crazy Wisdom; Buddha’s Nature; and Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again! Wes is also the founder and co-editor of the international Buddhist journal “Inquiring Mind.” He is an affiliate teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and does regular workshops at Esalen Institute and other venues. For the past several years Wes has been performing a comic monologue entitled How to Be an Earthling, which was recently staged at the esteemed Berkeley Repertory theater. Wes’s famous tag line is: “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.” Website: or


Internationally acclaimed world music ensemble Stellamara premiers new electro-acoustic sets emphasizing their signature passionate rhythms and eastern melodies with dramatic orchestral sections, otherworldly ambience and deep bass grooves. Evolving for over a decade of recording and performing, Stellamara unites world-renowned musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds in a shared devotion for folk and classical music rooted in Turkish, Arabic, Balkan, Medieval European and Persian traditions. With their world-renowned discography, film score placements, and unforgettable live performances, Stellamara is regarded as being at the forefront of contemporary world music, giving new life and a fresh, modern expression to the beautiful and mysterious qualities of ancient modal music. Stellamara will be presenting a very special quartet concert for the SAND community.

Trio Garufa

Trio Garufa is an international ensemble dedicated to performing authentic Argentine music. They have performed across Argentina, Columbia, Canada and the US at world-renowned venues such as Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Chicago Symphony Hall, and La Viruta (the largest Tango club in Buenos Aires). Trio Garufa performs Classic Argentine Tangos from the golden era (30's- 50's) as well as Argentine Folklore Music, modern Tangos from Piazzolla, Electro-Tango as well as their original compositions. The Trio's music is exciting, virtuosic, and rooted in the dance. They are the only Tango ensemble in the US to have performed extensively in the Milongas (Tango dance clubs) of Buenos Aires. The group includes Guillermo Garcia, guitar, (Argentina) and Adrian Jost, bandoneon (Switzerland) and Sascha Jacobsen, string bass, (California).
"A fabulous trip through the history of tango"
People en Español Magazine


Joey Chang aka CelloJoe is an anomaly in the world of cellists. By combining cello with beatboxing, he has created a unique genre: Classical Hip Hop. CelloJoe records live on stage with a loop pedal and produces intricate tapestries of harmony, melody, and rhythm. His beatboxing (vocal percussion) and funky cello grooves form a rich soundscape for intelligent lyrics and his music spreads love, joy, laughter and conscious vibrations. By beatboxing, throatsinging, singing, plucking and bowing the cello, CelloJoe can mimic many styles of music from dubstep to folk to rock to classical to hip hop. CelloJoe is the world's first long distance musical bike touring cellist. He has ridden his bike over 10,000 miles in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia.

Heather Munro Pierce

Heather Munro Pierce is the creator of a form of movement meditation/ecstatic dance called TransDance® which she leads both nationally and internationally at events dedicated to nurturing awakening and igniting joy.  As well as producing her own workshops, circles and retreats, she leads events for many groups and organizations, including Esalen, Spirit Rock and the Omega Institute.  Her passion and commitment springs from her own experience with dance as a path to healing, health and wholeness. She is the producer of the dance-meditation CD, Embodied Awakening Through the Elements.


Shovelman is a junkyard beatnik and shovel guitar wielding surrealist folk superhero. Armed with a collection of pawnshop effects, pedals and an old barn-shovel turned slide-guitar, Shovelman plays ol’ fashioned folktronica grooves looped straight out of the ground. The sounds of Mississippi delta blues from the electro-psychedelic future collide with the antiquated rubble of lyrical one-man-band hoboetry. Shovelman has become infamous in San Francisco where he currently resides, as well as on the West Coast festival circuit (Lightning in a Bottle, Burning Man and The Oregon Country Fair), opening for bands including Primus, Beats Antique, Sean Hayes and Reggie Watts. (

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