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On the Edge of the (Un)Known

Find the anthology of in-depth interviews with: Deepak Chopra, Alan Wallace, Scott Kiloby, Julie Yau, Sharon Ellison, Aisha Salem, Joan Tollifson, Dorothy Hunt, Amoda Maa Jeevan, Bernadette Roberts, Mauro Zappaterra and Chetan Prakash here.

Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose, CA Wednesday October 19 - Sunday October 23, 2016

Pre-conference Workshops: October 19-20, 2016
Main Conference: October 20-23, 2016

I do not negate the world; I see it appearing in consciousness, which is the totality of the known in the immensity of the unknown.
                                                                                                                                        Nisargadatta Maharaj

What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.
                                                                                                                                      ― Albert Einstein

Both science and spirituality reflect the human urge to know - that perennial itch to make sense of the world and who we are. This search is an essential part of being human. We live life supported by knowledge. However, the larger our knowledge the larger the shore of the unknown becomes.

We probe reality the best we can with our tools of understanding: structures, models, theories, myths, beliefs, teachings, etc. These tools of understanding also define the limits our knowledge. Is it possible to go beyond the limits of our tools? And what would it take?

This year at SAND we will explore that edge where knowledge meets the unknown and the unknowable. We will navigate that space where something else takes over - call it intuition, deeper knowing, trust, surrender - a place from which new discoveries in science and realizations in spirituality become possible. What is the horizon of our current knowledge, and where are we expanding the edge of the unknown?

What if science and spirituality, while responding to our collective aspiration to grow as a species in a world filled with mystery and wonder, would no longer need to carry the burden of having all the answers? What if our search is considered open-ended, rather then having to arrive at a grand theory of life or at a final state of enlightenment? What if, while we probe deeper into reality and who we are, we realize that the knowledge we gather is just a stepping-stone and not the arrival at a final destination?

Details

Date:
Oct 19, 2016 - Oct 23, 2016
Location:
  • Hayes Mansion, San Jose California
  • 200 Edenvale Ave
  • San Jose, CA
  • 95136

A. H. Almaas

Ajaya Sommers

Amoda Maa

Anthony Aguirre

Arnaud Delorme

Canela Michelle Meyers

Carole Griggs

Caverly Morgan

CelloJoe

Cheryl Abram

Chris Fields

Claude Poncelet

Coleman Dobson

Corine Sombrun

Craig Holliday

Daniel Deslauriers

David Ellzey

David Spero

Dean Radin

Deborah Rozman

Deepak Chopra

Denise Berezonsky

Devaji

Devorah Bry

Donald Hoffman

Dorothy Hunt

Edward Frenkel

Ellen Emmet

Elysabeth Williamson

Fanna-Fi-Allah

Federico Faggin

Francis Bennett

Francis Lucille

Frank Echenhofer

Gabriele Hilberg

Gail Brenner

Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Heather Munro Pierce

Frank Heile

Helané Wahbeh

Helen Eriksen

Isa Gucciardi

JP Sears

Jac O’Keeffe

Jean Shinoda Bolen

Jim Greiner

Joan Tollifson

Joe Hudson

John Prendergast

Juan Acosta-Urquidi

Judith Blackstone

Julia Mossbridge

Jérémy Marais

Jörn Kroll

Kabir Helminski

Karen Johnson

Katherine Peil

Katherine Peil

Klee Irwin

Kokyo Henkel

Kristin Kirk

Kurt Johnson

Larry Dossey

Laura Inserra

Lionel Corbett

Lipa Long

Lisa Marie Mansfield

Lissa Rankin

Loch Kelly

Lorin Roche

Lorne Rubinoff 

Lyn Hunstad

Lynn Marie Lumiere

Lysa Castro

Maria Syldona

Marjorie Woollacott

Mark Wolynn

Marlies Cocheret

Matthew Fox

Menas Kafatos

Michael Sapiro

Michaela Boehm

Mikey Siegel

Miranda MacPherson

Mukti

Nadine Kreisberger

Nick Day

Noelle Poncelet

Peter Russell

Richard Bock

Richard Miller

Richard Rohr

Richard Rudis

Rick Archer

Rita Venturini

Robert Dittler

Robert Thurman

Robin Arnott

Rupert Spira

Ryan Bush

Scott Kiloby

Shamini Jain

Shelli Joye

Sky Nelson-Isaacs

Stan Klein

Dhyana Stanley

Stephan Bodian

Steve James

Steven Nouriani

Stuart Alan Kauffman

Suellen Primost

Susan Campbell

Susanne Marie

Syamala Hari

Thomas McFarlane

Tom Bunzel

Tosha Silver

Vera de Chalambert

Vicki Veldhoen

Vivienne Verdon-Roe

Will Pye

Yasmine Sherif

Yingzhao Liu

Zoran Josipovic

Amitabh Divakar

Ariel De Lion

Annick de Witt

Bill Baird

Brianna Morseth

Brooks Palmer

Christopher Germann

Cindy Atha-Weldon

Hannes Bend

Laurie McCammon

Bonney Rega

Leo Madrid

Nikunj Dalal

Misa Hopkins

Olga Colbert

Richard Doyle

Sonya Bibilos

Peter Granger

4pm – 7pm

Guadalupe

Dorothy Hunt

Secrets of the Nondual Heart

Most of us are aware that there are certain emotions, experiences, or aspects of our personalities that we try very hard to control, deny, manipulate, fix, or be rid of. However, in the words of a friend, “In the Infinite you are, where would you send something you wanted to be rid of?” In this workshop, we will explore the secrets of the nondual Heart we share, the Heart of Awareness that is open, loving, and precise in its Seeing. This Heart is our true nature, has the power to return all things to their Home ground, and to reveal their essential qualities. What happens when that which is fearless touches fear? When what has been hidden or defended is seen without judgment based on a “self”? When the “barrier” we hoped to be rid of is experienced intimately, fully, without separation—an energy arising in absolute openness, without a story, yet compassionately seen as a portal to deeper truths? Experiencing life through the nondual Heart is not a therapeutic technique, not a psychological reframing or a spiritual transcending. Not a bypassing of reality by escaping into a belief or a spiritual thought. It is an invitation to truth, and to the liberation that is felt when all things are experienced precisely and transparently, returned to the wholeness of Being. Although transformation may happen, there is no agenda for change. Paradoxically, in dropping all agendas to change the experience of the moment, we are invited into the awake space of the nondual Heart where all moments, movements, and experiences arise undivided from the Openness that knows and loves Life as its own movement.
4pm – 7pm

Monterey

Mark Wolynn

It Didn’t Start With You— How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

Unexplained anxiety. Depression. Chronic pain. Phobias. Obsessive thoughts. The evidence is compelling: Scientific research over the past several years, now making headlines, supports what many have long intuited—that traumatic experiences can be inherited from our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. Mark Wolynn, author of IT DIDN’T START WITH YOU: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle (Viking, 2016) will share his cutting-edge approach to breaking biologically inherited patterns. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to: Become a detective of your family history, uncovering the traumas that could be affecting your health, success, vitality and relationships. Interpret the clues in your words, feelings, symptoms and behaviors, and make crucial links to traumatic events in your family history. Use dialogue, imagery, ritual and healing sentences as tools for resolution, so that you, your children, and their children, can be free from having to relive the pain of previous generations. Identify the Four Unconscious Themes that can hinder our success, health, vitality and relationships.
4pm – 7pm

San Jose

Joan Tollifson

The Freedom of Nothing to Grasp

Is it possible to simply be awake right now to whatever shows up, just as it is, without needing something different or better, without needing any final answers or any neat-and- tidy conclusions? Organic life is inherently vulnerable and uncertain, fraught with difficulties and dangers. Everything dies—the human race, planet earth, our sun, the entire universe. Impermanence is a fundamental reality. We long for a permanence and security that is untouched by birth and death. Seeking this in all the wrong places, we slide easily into belief systems and ideologies, cynicism or idealism, dogmatism and fundamentalism. We keep trying to get hold of some final answer, some enduring experience, some permanent ground to stand on. And yet, whatever we grasp turns out to be doubtful, uncertain and unsatisfying.What if there is literally nothing to grasp? What happens if we are simply open, awake to what is? Life does not always feel good. But right at the heart of what seems most disturbing and unsettling, in the very place where we would least expect it, we may discover uncaused joy. In the midst of limitation, we may find true freedom. In thorough-going impermanence, we may discover the deathless unborn. And Here / Now, as messy and unresolved and imperfect as today's weather may seem, we may discover the Holy Reality and the gateless gate to being liberated on the spot.
4pm – 7pm

San Juan Bautista

Lionel Corbett

Nonduality and Western Psychology: The Religious Function of the Psyche and Pure Consciousness

Psychological theorists from different cultural backgrounds have had a hard time agreeing upon the structure and dynamics of the mind. For example, while Western psychologists like Carl Jung have argued that the ego is indispensible for psychic functioning and conscious awareness, Eastern psychologists like Patanjali have explained that the ego is an afflicted identity, a concept or mental image we form that assumes ownership of consciousness. The differences between these Eastern and Western ideas on the structure and dynamics of the psyche are rooted in the respective theorist’s understanding of consciousness and God. While Jung sees human consciousness as an evolution from an unconscious which is ontologically real, Patanjali understands pure consciousness as the ontological reality. Jung and Patanjali both offered methodologies aimed at the transformation of human consciousness and the healing of human suffering. Notably, Jung and Patanjali both emphasize the teleological directedness and the religious function of psychophysical phenomena. This is a strong alliance between these healing traditions. For Jung, the individuation process attempts to bring the conscious and unconscious into harmony so the psyche can be directed towards its goal, wholeness. However, in Jung’s vision of wholeness suffering remains. In contrast, for Patanjali suffering is an indication that there are still unreconciled or dualistic aspects of personality or psychic process. In case we are unaware how to spot or name these unreconciled aspects in our self, Patanjali teaches us to look for the following symptoms: Pain, depression, anxiety, unrhythmic breathing, sorrow, and impurities within the heart. For Patañjali, these are clear psychophysical markers that indicate duality. Learning Objectives include: Understanding the main difference between Eastern and Western approaches to consciousness; Identifying the areas where Western psychology meets its limits from the point of view of nondual ideas; Exploring the possible meeting ground between these traditions.
9am – 12pm

Guadalupe

Richard Miller

Welcoming the Mystery: The Art of Embracing the Unknown

In order to realize our essential nature, we need to shift beyond the thinking mind that can hold us hostage in time, space, conditioning, and separation. Thus, we need to embrace not-knowing,which takes us beyond intellectual knowledge into the intuitive heartfelt knowing of our underlying nondual nature. Here we open to delight, wonder, astonishment, and intuitive insight of the Mystery that lies at the heart of each one of us, and the entire cosmos. In this experiential workshop/presentation, Richard Miller takes you on an experiential journey through direct pointing out instruction, and simple yet profound exercises that offers you the opportunity to shift you out of your conditioned thinking mind and into the realm of not-knowing, where you can directly experience the Mystery of your essential nature. He also shares insights gleaned from neuroscience research that is informing our understanding of what may be occurring in our body as we move beyond subject-object relationship into the world of unconditioned infinite possibility.
9am – 12pm

Monterey

Menas Kafatos and Neil Theise

Experience a Universe without Boundaries: Ancient and Modern Wisdom

Quantum mechanics, far from being a field for the select few who know its intricacies, gives us a profound participatory universe, where mind plays a fundamental role. Likewise, complexity theory – an approach to understanding self-organizing systems – reveals “quantum-like” aspects at scales above the quantum realm. Today, science and spirituality are converging: Both science and spirituality seek unity, one by exploring the outer world, the other by exploring the inner world. The modern wisdom that springs forward from quantum mechanics and studies of self-organizing systems is converging with ancient wisdom of the contemplative and spiritual practices. The convergence comes down to statements such as: Fundamental Awareness is the underlying total Reality. Nothing exists without Awareness, not subject to the boundaries of space or time. What appear as boundaries giving us a limited world, limited experiences and bounds within space-time are mind-dependent, and subject to veiling of the underlying Reality. In this workshop, we will explore how the findings of modern quantum mechanics and complexity theory are actually very relevant to our own everyday lives. We will study, contemplate and put into practice a few profound truths from modern science as well as from ancient systems. We will also contemplate one boundary which affects all humanity, the boundary of time. Practical exercises and sharing will be carried out in a relaxed and fun-filled workshop setting.
9am – 12pm

Morgan Hill

Scott Kiloby

Tools of insight and Realization from the Kiloby Center for Recovery, Inc.

In this workshop, Scott Kiloby will point to the all-pervading non-dual awareness as the context for all experience and then provide deeply penetrating tools to see that phenomena is empty of separate nature. Scott will explain the Living Inquiries and the state of the art energy work being done at the Kiloby Center for Recovery, Inc. These tools greatly assist these insights and realizations and help us to stabilize in the present moment, freeing ourselves from life-long stories of deficiencies and lack. Scott will also share about how unresolved trauma and addiction can keep people from stabilizing in non-dual recognition and how we must face these very real human issues, rather than trying to bypass them through reliance on nondual awareness alone. A big part of this workshop will deal with the topic of embodying nondual realization and the post-awakening nuances that very few teachers talk about. Finally, Scott will discuss life after realization and being in the world but not attached to it. This is when we come back to our human lives (having never really left). But now we find a new capacity for loving and compassionate relationships, heightened creativity and human potential, the ability to hold many perspectives at once (“integral”). Scott’s own life is an example of this integration, with his work in the trenches of addiction recovery field and his movement away from being a non-dual teacher. The hidden secret of non-dual realization is not that it brings about transcendence, but that it places us right back in the world in a completely new and different way.
9am – 12pm

San Jose

Robert Thurman and Isa Gucciardi

Embracing the Sacred Feminine

Join renowned scholar, Robert Thurman and Isa Gucciardi, author of Return to the Great Mother to explore the vast dimensions of the Sacred Feminine. In this experiential workshop, participants will examine and connect with the transformative and healing power of the Sacred Feminine. We will explore the ways this power has been misunderstood and students will learn methods of holding this power in positive and life affirming ways.
9am – 12pm

San Juan Bautista

Dean Radin, Arnaud Delorme, Julia Mossbridge, and Helané Wahbeh

The State of the Art in the Noetic Sciences

For over 40 years, the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) has been engaged in the scientific exploration of human experiences suggesting that there is more to consciousness than the physical brain. IONS was founded because this hypothesis challenges mainstream assumptions about the brain-mind relationship, making it difficult to rigorously explore within the conventional university setting. Our focus has been to study individuals - including meditators and healers - who claim extraordinary capacities that go beyond the standard physical model of the brain, as well the relationship between consciousness and physics in the quantum domain, and many other topics. We explore if such phenomena can be explained via mundane mechanisms or if they provide genuine clues toward a more expansive model of consciousness and its capacities. The seven scientists on the IONS team, most of whom also hold university appointments, have expertise spanning the disciplines of physics, electrical engineering, computer science, neuroscience, molecular neurobiology, clinical psychology, and medicine. We publish our work in peer-reviewed academic journals, including the most-cited journals in psychology. In this workshop will review some of the topics we have studied, the results of those studies, and what we are currently investigating.
2pm – 5pm

Guadalupe

Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

The True Source of Healing: How the Ancient Tibetan Practice of Soul Retrieval Can Transform and Enrich Your Life

Come home to your inherently joyful and creative nature! This workshop with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is an opportunity to learn life-transforming practices that can help you to: * Avoid losing your vitality when faced with difficult life challenges. * Revitalize your personal life, family life and professional life. * Recognize powerful internal and external sources of healing. * Experience healing on all levels—physically, energetically, psychologically and spiritually. * Bring increased happiness and well-being to others. * Progress on the path to higher liberation. Individually and collectively, we have lost our connection to the spontaneity, creativity, comfort and playfulness that are our natural state of being. From the Tibetan Bon Buddhist perspective, we have lost our soul. The practices of soul retrieval, done daily, can help you restore and nourish your soul by tapping into the true source of healing: your own inner refuge. Rinpoche’s teachings of soul retrieval are based on his upcoming book, The True Source of Healing: How the Ancient Tibetan Practice of Soul Retrieval Can Transform and Enrich Your Life . The practices draw from the ancient Tibetan Bon Buddhist teachings of Soul Retrieval, which focus only on the most essential elements of the core teachings. Traditionally, the soul (la) is understood as a balance of diverse qualities, all related to subtle energies of the five natural elements. When all these qualities come into balance within you, according to your full capacity as an individual human being, it is said that your soul is healed. You can restore a healthy balance by not only communing with the external elements of nature, but also discovering the elemental essences within. The true source of all the elemental essences is the unbounded space, infinite awareness and genuine warmth of your own inner refuge. At any given moment, connecting with this source can give you access to every quality you need for a healthy soul.
2pm – 5pm

Monterey

Deepak Chopra

Enlightened Brain: Mapping the Brain of Higher Consciousness

Science goes where reality leads it, but what happens when reality itself comes under question? Since the quantum revolution over a century ago, the solid, tangible nature of reality has been undermined. Scientists were faced with three linked mysteries that are only now being seen as inseparably linked: • What is the nature of the universe? • What is the nature of consciousness? • What is the origin of both the universe and consciousness? We are forced to rethink such basic questions as which came first, mind or matter? In Western philosophy details of the material world are “constructed” by the brain, but this perceived reality is considered incomplete and inaccurate. However, in Eastern wisdom traditions, particularly Vedanta, the scheme is reversed: consciousness is primary, giving rise to the physical universe. Experiential exploration of consciousness has been a pursuit of the sages and rishis for thousands of years. This workshop with Deepak Chopra will examine this experiential understanding of consciousness, with the aim of lending scientific credibility to the hypothesis that bringing forth the material world starting with mind is much more likely, given all the evidence, than trying to bring forth mind form inert interstellar dust. On the way to making the case for “consciousness first,”
the following issues will be considered: • Can exploring consciousness through spiritual methodologies lead to some of the same insights as science? • Can the conscious observer and ‘self’ be understood through introspection - self awareness, self reflection, transcendence, and conscious choice making and intentional self - observation? • Is there a difference between perceptual experience and fundamental reality? • Where do consciousness and conscious experience occur? • In Vedanta, reality changes as consciousness expands. What brain states in neuroscience correlate with different states of consciousness? • Enlightenment or nondual awareness also referred to as liberation (moksha), has been the ultimate goal of life in Vedanta. How does this state of unity bear upon modern science?
2pm – 5pm

San Jose

Rupert Spira

The Essence of Non-Duality

In Rupert’s workshop we will explore the perennial non-dual understanding that lies at the heart of all the great religious and spiritual traditions, such as Advaita Vedanta, Mahayana and Dzogchen Buddhism, Kashmir Shaivism, Mystical Christianity, Sufism and Zen, as well as the Western philosophical tradition of Parmenides, Plotinus and many others, and which is also the direct, ever-present reality of our own intimate experience. This is a contemporary, highly experiential approach involving silent meditation, guided meditation and dialogue, and requires no affiliation to any particular religious or spiritual tradition. All that is required is an interest in the essential nature of experience and in the longing for love, peace and happiness around which most of our lives revolve.
2pm – 5pm

San Juan Bautista

Judith Blackstone and Zoran Josipovic

Unity: Experience and Research

Many Asian traditions refer to a unified, all-pervasive spaciousness that can be realized as one’s own fundamental nature. This workshop offers both the latest scientific research into this potential, and a contemporary method for realizing it. The scientific component of the workshop, presented by Zoran Josipovic, explores the significance of a primary ground of consciousness for understanding the nature of consciousness itself, and the relevance this understanding may have for the current theories on the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC). The experiential component of the workshop presents the Realization Process, a series of original practices developed by Judith Blackstone, for facilitating direct attunement to the unified ground of consciousness. It describes the application of this realization for personal maturity, healing from trauma and embodied nondual awakening. In this work, the radical openness of nondual realization is based on inward contact with one’s own body. In this way we become increasingly whole as individuals at the same time as we transcend our individuality. In addition to the transcendent aspect of being, the realization of unified consciousness cultivates our capacity for contact with ourselves, with our environment, and with other human beings.
4pm – 7pm

Conference Registration Opens

5pm – 7pm

Silver Creek Dining Room

Dinner

7pm – 10pm

Hayes Ballroom

PL.1 The Universe and the Luminous Mind

7pm – 7:15pm

Hayes Ballroom

Laura Inserra and Ajaya Sommers

Opening

7:20pm – 7:50pm

Hayes Ballroom

Deepak Chopra

A Final Destination: The Human Universe

This session will discuss the seven universes that human beings have devised to explain existence, leading to the conclusion that the cosmos has evolved to reflect human evolution. This is not a philosophical observation but a "must be so" when it comes to such baffling dilemmas as the origin of life and the appearance of consciousness. The seven universes reflect human perceptions about reality itself. They are; Divine, Classical, Relativistic, Quantum, Uncertain, Conscious and finally, Human. The Human Universe, which is based on the undeniable fact that any universe is only knowable through the human mind's ability to think about reality. If all knowledge is rooted in human consciousness, perhaps we are viewing not the real universe but a selective one based on the limitations of the brain. This last proposition leads to the conclusion that the apparent evolution of the cosmos since the Big Bang has been parallel to, and totally dependent upon, human consciousness. We are the conscious agents who create reality in our own image. Although totally contradictory to physicalism, the Human Universe may be completely necessary if we have any hope of solving the remaining Big Questions concerning the inexplicable emergence of life and conscious beings in a cosmos that has no necessity to produce either.
8pm – 8:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Dean Radin

From Magic to Religion to Science: What's next?

Humanity's first grasp of reality was based on a magical worldview. Over millennia magic evolved into a multitude of esoteric and religious ideas. Within the last five centuries our worldview has settled upon science as the arbiter of truth. Each of these major transitions has offered more comprehensive explanations of the natural world, but each new paradigm also suppressed useful elements of previous worldviews. Based on the historical record, as well as a growing body of new experimental studies, we can now gain a glimmering of what our next grasp of reality may look like, along with its pragmatic consequences.
8:40pm – 9:10pm

Hayes Ballroom

Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Awakening the Luminous Mind

At the core of the dzogchen teachings is the view that all sentient beings are primordially pure, perfected, and have the potential to spontaneously manifest in a beneficial way. This capacity is within each and every one of us. It is our nature, and yet we often find ourselves alienated and disconnected from ourselves and others as we rush about in our day-to-day lives. If one is willing to directly and nakedly encounter the experiences of one’s ordinary life, these experiences become the doorway to the realization of one’s nature, the doorway to the inner refuge. Pain can become the path home. Join Tibetan Bön meditation master Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche as he invites you to engage in the practice of meditation and reflection, to look intimately within and discover the jewel that is hidden in your ordinary experiences. Explore how to honor and respect the three doors of body, speech, and mind, and recognize the opportunities for healing which life presents. Discover the inner refuge and the gifts of spaciousness, awareness, and warmth that bring healing and benefit not only to you but to your relationships with others and the greater world.
9:20pm – 10pm

Hayes Ballroom

Laura Inserra

Concert

An acoustic concert featuring Mark Deutsch on Bazantar (the five-string double bass with four additional drone strings and 29 sympathetic strings) and Laura Inserra on Hang (the resonating percussive sonic sculpture). This is going to be an unforgettable concert and immersive experience with ancient and modern instruments of sacred and profound sounds.
7:30am – 8:30am

Edenvale

Experiential

7:30am – 8:30am

Edenvale

Rupert Spira

Guided Meditation

7:30am – 8:30am

San Jose

Experiential

7:30am – 8:30am

San Jose

Movement Meditation - Shakti Samadhi

Shakti Samadhi Yoga is a catalytic journey through movement alchemy, where rhythmic breath guides the practice as a conduit of communion with the Life Force, while also creating the space for effortless expression through the cycles of creation, flourishing and dissolution of every asana (yoga posture). Circular, spiral and wave movements gently awaken the pathways of fluid vitality and grace in our DNA, while directing the Kundalini forces from Earth and Sky to our hearts, where we co-create our dharma individually, and together, as One. Mudra and Mantra are also central elements of this journey, sealing the dance of conscious and blissful flow.
9am – 12:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

PL.2 Exploring The Edge of the (Un)Known

9am – 9:20am

Hayes Ballroom

Peter Russell

Non-Duality and the Mystery of Consciousness

What is non-duality? What do we mean by consciousness? Does it really exist? What is reality? Is there any thing "out there"? Why don't we see consciousness in the material world? What do we mean by "I"? Why is any of this important?
9:25am – 10:15am

Hayes Ballroom

A. H. Almaas and Karen Johnson

Living at the Edge of the Unknown

We are always living at the edge of the unknown, whether in ordinary experience, scientific knowledge or spiritual realization. In the realized condition, there is certainty that we know, but we also know that there is a great deal more we do not know. It is clear that we live in an island of knowing in a sea of mystery. We are at ease living with the mystery of reality, for it gives us the opportunity to discover greater ways of living freedom. We will talk and dialogue on the skillful means of utilizing the edge of unknowing to delve into the mystery, revealing greater and deeper knowledge. Our realization deepens and expands, without having to reach an end, for the edge of the unknown is the ever-lasting call for greater realization.
10:20am – 10:40am

Hayes Ballroom

Anthony Aguirre

Is the World fundamentally information? Information about information? Information that knows information about information?

Contemporary theories of fundamental physics and cosmology have brought us to a curious place. On the one hand, our incredibly successful theories are internally consistent, quantitative, predictive, and contradicted by essentially no established experimental data. On the other hand, as we look more deeply into the foundations of those theories, and as well look at more complex systems, deep questions abound: What does quantum mechanics really mean? Is our universe just one of many, and what does that mean? How do we account for agency and freedom in a purportedly deterministic universe? Many of these questions sit at the profound rift between our personal subjective, conscious, experience of the world, and the objective, mathematical fundamental physics view of the world. After reviewing some of the elements of our contemporary fundamental physics view, I will argue for several assertions as to how we might bridge some of the gap between that view and our subjective experience. First, I will argue that *information* is as real, and perhaps more real, than the “stuff” information is generally considered to be about. Second, I will argue that from this standpoint, more “fundamental” does not mean more “real” and that macroscopic objects and laws should not be considered “nothing but” regularities that have emerged from a “more real” fundamental theory. Third, I will argue that in a cosmological context, much or all information may be “indexical” information — the type pertaining to our subjective perspective (including location in time, space, branch of the wave function, universe, etc.!) In this way, I argue that our own subjective experience — and place in a community of others — is just as real, and just as central, to the World as is the physical system described by our ultra-successful fundamental theories.
10:45am – 11:05am

Hayes Ballroom

Julia Mossbridge

Science as a Spiritual Practice

As a scientist compelled to investigate time and consciousness, I have learned that what attracts me to science as a discipline is what attracts many mystical seekers to their paths. In this talk, I will discuss the process of surrendering and not knowing the answer, posing a question, listening to the answer, and shifting our behavior in response to the answer as the basic process of science -- and the parallels to spiritual practice will be made clear. In addition, as a group I will ask for a discussion of ways in which we can shift science education toward teaching science as a spiritual practice, and I hope we will all come away with useful insights about this shift.
11am – 12:30pm

Dome

Conversations

11am – 12:30pm

Dome

Susan Campbell

Presence is the New Sexy: Embracing the Unknown in Dating and New Relationships

Many of us at this conference hold the vision that romantic partnership can offer a path to liberation from conditioned personality patterns, limiting beliefs, and addiction to controlling the outcome. Some of us come here hoping to connect with others on a similar path. The process of meeting new potential liberation partners can be an excellent learning laboratory for witnessing the habitual communication strategies we use to avoid the emotional discomfort of not knowing. What if we could learn to notice and immediately step back from such habits—pausing to experience ourselves more deeply ? What if we could learn to then revise or re-do these moments where we notice ourselves being automatic….allowing ourselves to connect from a more essential, unconditioned place? In this experiential session (primarily for singles), we will explore how to approach an initial encounter with a new person as an awareness practice. Instead of getting caught up in distractions of ego-protection (future fantasies, images, fears, defenses, and mind trips) we will practice being simply and innocently transparent and present to what is. We may then discover together that place beyond trying to look good and be in control, beyond stories and ego identifications, where trust in the Great Unknown resides within us. Join with like-minded others and see what happens when we use the truth of our own present-time experience to help one another awaken.
11am – 12:30pm

Edenvale

Explorations and Dialogues 1

11am – 12:30pm

Edenvale

A. H. Almaas and Karen Johnson

Venturing Into The Mystery

We will use a specific form of inquiry where not knowing functions as the core principle of the method of venturing into the mystery. Mystery reveals fresh knowledge, when approached with respect and love for its potentiality. We will utilize discussions and experiential exercises for the mystery to reveal its jewels of knowledge. We learn in a more intimate way the possibilities for us individually and for reality as a whole. We can begin anywhere, in ordinary experience, scientific theory or spiritual illumination and move into the mystery to discover further truths.
11am – 12:30pm

Guadalupe

Experiential

11am – 12:30pm

Guadalupe

Marlies Cocheret and Lyn Hunstad

Erotic Meditation: Using Sensuality as a Spiritual Tool

This experiential session explores the potent combination of touch and mindfulness meditation. This practice can strengthen the capacity to rest as the internal Observer. When we are neither trying to cling to or intensify a pleasurable sensation, nor push away an experience we don’t want, we discover freedom. Cultivating the internal Observer regardless of what is happening in your environment is one means of expanding awareness and finding deep inner stillness. Shifting your sense of identity from the individual ego to the vastness of the infinite is another. As we deepen into the internal stillness, we find ourselves embracing Oneness with all of life and possibly experiencing a complete awakening.
11am – 12:30pm

Madrone

C5. Creative Clarity

11am – 11:20am

Madrone

Creativity is the Opposite of Killing Yourself

Human beings are the only species that 1) truly creates and 2) chooses to end their own lives. At first glance, with creativity and so-called creative individuals being universally celebrated and suicide being nearly universally frowned upon cross-culturally, creativity and suicide may seem to have little in common. They are, however, two sides of the same coin, the creative side representing the fulfillment of our core human needs and suicide a tragic but growing solution for individuals unable to satisfy these core needs. In an effort to break through the confusion and suffering that has caused a 31% increase in the number suicides in the last decade alone, this talk will offer a simple but powerful framework for curbing this growing trend and re-establish the fundamental tenants of living a truly satisfying life.
11am – 12:30pm

Monterey Room

C1. Doorway to Liberation and Shamanism

11am – 11:40am

Monterey Room

Amoda Maa

Surfing the Heart of Darkness: Suffering as a Doorway to Liberation

In this talk, Amoda Maa invites you to consider that the darkness we encounter in our personal lives and in the world is an evolutionary driver for awakening out of the dream of separation. Very often, awakening or enlightenment is imagined to be a spontaneous transcendent state that leads to eternal bliss and peace. But what is often missed is, that if awakening is to be more than a temporary state, we are called to meet every vestige of inner darkness and that this is an ongoing journey that can happen either before or after awakening. It’s an invitation to open to all previously unmet contractive energies based on an erroneous perception of separation. Inner darkness is where we hold on to inner division, it’s a blind spot with incredible power: the power to create suffering in ourselves and in the world. Amoda invites you to meet this suffering consciously, and then to choose to open wider than this suffering. Conscious suffering is the decision to walk with resolute presence and unadulterated openness through every inner and outer landscape through Heaven and Hell and to recognize what is true beneath and beyond all appearances. In conscious suffering, every step is a crucifixion and a resurrection. It’s a death of the archaic mechanism of ego and a rebirth into the light of who you truly are. When this light is seen in and as the heart of everything, a real transformation of consciousness takes place. As the Indian saint Neem Karoli Baba, said: I love suffering, it brings me closer to God.
11am – 12:30pm

Morgan Hill

C3. Awakening, Communication & Gratitude

11am – 11:20am

Morgan Hill

Misa Hopkins

Emotions as a Doorway to Spiritual Awakening

In spiritual traditions where quieting the mind is encouraged, and emotions are not directly addressed in the spiritual journey, how do we find our spiritual center in the midst of intense emotions? Strong emotions can feel overpowering, rendering us helpless and out of control. Emotions take us to the precipice of the unknown—what we do not yet know or lovingly accept about ourselves. When emotions are intense, even quieting the mind, let alone awakened consciousness, can seem like a dream too far out of reach to imagine. By studying women’s approaches to consciousness within earth-based traditions, we discover a model where emotions become doorways to awakening. Having apprenticed with Cherokee medicine elders, and being given Guardianship of an ancient Native practice in the Sacred Feminine, I have facilitated or participated in over 300 healing and ceremonial circles for over 30 years. Through these circles, I have discovered what my elders knew: For both women and men, the ancient, Native Sacred Feminine practice of Holding emotions in compassion allows us to quickly experience inner serenity. At this point, the mind then also slows down in the grace of that compassion. Quietness and space allow us to discover the limitless depths of unconditional love for ourselves, for others, and for the circumstances we create. In the experience of that love, we shed the limited body to become the limitless self. In earth-based traditions, there is recognition of interplay between Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine natures and principles—regardless of gender. By developing a deeper understanding of these relationships, we more easily navigate this inner Divine Union. The practice of compassionately Holding emotions is one of the ways Sacred Feminine energy assists us in more lovingly engaging in the dance and opening to self-awareness.
11am – 12:30pm

San Jose

Experiential

11am – 12:30pm

San Jose

Ellen Emmet

The Awakening Body

During this session we will explore the body in its innocence. Having gently challenged the felt conditioning that "I" refers to a limited and temporal body/mind we will discover that the body in fact arises as feeling, sensation, energy and vibration within what could be called our real body: limitless openness. Using gentle movement, simple postures, visualisation, and breath exploration we will uncover and welcome the layers of tension and density that perpetuate the sense of separate being. We will encourage the felt and tactile qualities of openness, ease and friendliness, which are the sweet expressions of our true nature.
11am – 12:30pm

San Juan Bautista

C4. Transcultural Perspectives

11am – 11:20am

San Juan Bautista

Juan Acosta-Urquidi

The God molecule. Neuroshamanic explorations where science meets spirit.

The search for spiritual awakening has led many intrepid seekers to the experience of smoking 5-MeO-DMT (God molecule). My acquaintance with this remarkable endogenous molecule started in 2005 and over the years I have conducted QEEG studies to explore the acute effects of smoked inhalation of 5-MeO-DMT on the neural correlates of consciousness. A secretion from the Sonoran desert toad venom, Bufo alvarius (analysis detected 99% 5-MeO-DMT) was tested (N=11 subjects). A partial report appeared in Cosmos and History 11(2), 2005. Smoked vaporization of 40-60 mg Bufo secretion elicited a profound alteration of Bufo consciousness with onset 10-20 sec and duration 10-20 min. Statistical comparisons of baseline, treatment and post recovery QEEG metrics were carried out. A video recording of their subjective experience provided a neurophenomenological report. The time course and intensity of the subjective experience correlated with the magnitude of the observed EEG changes. These effects included: suppression of Alpha power (ave. 72% reduction, N=11) and increased Theta power; increases and decreases in Delta and Beta bands varied across subjects. Across all subjects, there was a very consistent hypercoherence in all frequency bands (especially Beta) and a very significant increase in Gamma band (38-40 Hz) power (N=10/11 subjects). Full to partial reversibility of these effects was measured at 15-20 min. post inhalation. These findings are the first to explore a link between altered brain function and the mystical experience of ego dissolution, transcendence and ultimately attainment of God consciousness with the Bufo medicine. This experience has been described as a profound soul journey into oneness. Recent Psychedelic Brain Science reports have described a transient dynamical reorganization of multiple resting state brain networks, mostly implicating the Default mode network (DMN). Striking parallels with the Brain Science of meditation will be discussed."
11am – 12:30pm

San Martin

C2. Light and Infinite Awareness

11am – 11:40am

San Martin

Peter Russell

The Quantum's True Nature: The Light Behind Space, Time, Matter and Energy

Integrating Quantum Theory and Special Relativity, Peter Russell explains how the true nature of the quantum is not energy, as commonly supposed, but a quality called action. Every interaction across the cosmos is an exchange of action. It is how the universe relates to itself. Special relativity shows that from the point of view of a quantum of light— a photon—this action does not take place across space or time. From its perspective, a photon doesn't travel anywhere, so has no need to be either a wave or particle. And what we take to be the constant speed of light turns out to be the constant ratio of manifestation of space and time. Moreover, the way light perceives itself has many similarities to the way the light of consciousness knows itself in us.
11:10am – 11:25am

Hayes Ballroom

Joe Hudson

Invitation to Wonder, Vulnerability & Empathy

11:30am – 12:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Julia Mossbridge, Edward Frenkel, Anthony Aguirre, and Federico Faggin

Panel: How Close is Science to Understanding Consciousness?

11:30am – 11:50am

Madrone

Brooks Palmer

Drop the Dogma, Cut the Crap, and Clear the Way

How are we supposed to discover the mystery of who we are and where we are going if we have stacks, piles, files, emotional blocks, and just CRAP in the way? It's a hard road, but it doesn't have to be that way. So many of us are great at having insight and wisdom in the unseen realms, but we don't feel comfortable in our own homes and offices because there's so much of the (ahem) "physical world" there. This clutter can include (gasp!) crystals and deities, as often as it can include old newspapers, furniture, dishes, and emails. This experiential workshop is led by a 15+ year veteran of clutter consulting. Brooks Palmer, the best-selling author of Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back, and Clutter Busting Your Life: Clearing Physical and Emotional Clutter to Reconnect with Yourself and Others, will help you curiously investigate, discover, and remove the impediments to experiencing your basic joy. Brooks uses humor, philosophy, and consciousness-based wisdom to help you drop the dogma, cut the crap, and clear the way.
11:30am – 11:50am

Morgan Hill

Channels of Sacred Communication: How To Grow A Conscious Community

For teachers, healers, therapists, and entrepreneurs — this presentation will offer a unique overview of how community grows around a core value of awakened awareness. Every retreat, gathering, or one-on-one meeting happens within a larger context of communication and community, which develops and deepens through a seven-step cycle. By bringing awareness and care to each stage of the cycle, your teaching or service can be more clearly conveyed, more deeply received, attract the right people, and have a longer lasting impact. Understanding the dynamic interplay of consciousness and the channels through which it flows will help you see your strong and weak points in the cycle, how to apply your strengths to support your weaknesses, and hopefully inspire you to create a more solid foundation for your truth-inspired work. This cyclic model came to light when Maja set out to document and share with others the underlying principles that make Adyashanti’s silent meditation retreats the most powerful channel for his teachings. It is Informed by more than two decades of observation, collaboration, and direct involvement with nondual teachers and their growing communities.
11:30am – 11:50am

San Juan Bautista

Transcultural Perspective on Consciousness: a bridge between Anthropology, Medicine and Physic

The Unesco Chair Anthropology of Health, biosphere and Healing System inside the University of Genoa (IT) is a unique experience inside the University of Genoa that stems from a cultural necessity to fill and a wealth of knowledge to preserve health, environment and treatment strategies considered strictly connected in modern medicine. This new, integrated approach contradicts and overcomes the traditional separation between humanities and scientific medicine and treatments. Health and approach to treatment strategies are not uniform around the worlds; the universal baseline is quality assurance of investigation in science. The need to establish connections between Medicine, especially in the therapeutic aspect (healing), and all the information already obtained from the mind-matter phenomenology has led to much experimentation and theorizing in this border and transcultural area. The research group formed by anthropologist who have studied altered states of consciousness in different cultures, medical doctors, quantum physicists and molecular biologists will try to define a transcultural perspective on consciousness merging anthropology, medicine and physics. In particular, the research field site is located in Mayantuyacu, a traditional healing center located in the Peruvian Amazon where the ancient art of ashanika healing is set. Mayantuyacu is situated on the bank of a river with thermal water at 100 ° flowing in the middle of the forest. Around the central Maloca, where is the common life, were built to accommodate malocas other people who come to Mayantuyacu to know and to seek treatment from knowing millennial ashanika and properties of thousands of plants including plants teacher. The following elements were firstly analyzed and considered the bridge from a traditional healing system to a new paradigm in medicine: 1. music called icaros, 2. master plants like ayahuasca involved during the healing ceremonies.
11:50am – 12:30pm

Monterey Room

Isa Gucciardi

The Shamanic Journey

The Shamanic Journey is a method of accessing inner wisdom through a meditative state. It is derived from a practice done by the healers, or shamans, of indigenous shamanic cultures. It is performed to gain insight and effect healing, and has been a common practice of many indigenous cultures for thousands of years. Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D., is an early pioneer of adapting the shamanic journey to a therapeutic practice. Her unique style of teaching the journey includes a process of inquiry that is transformative and helps students step fully into their own personal power. In this workshop, Isa will offer an overview of shamanic healing practices such as power retrieval and soul retrieval and demonstrate how the shamanic journey is fundamental to these methods of healing – and how these ancient methods of healing are relevant in today’s setting. In traditional settings, the journey is used as an access point to what in shamanic practice is called the spirit world. In Applied Shamanism, which Isa has developed over 20 years of therapeutic practice, the journey is used in this way as well as a vehicle for understanding and resolving personal issues. With a focused and disciplined practice, the journey becomes an excellent vehicle for the exploration of the unknown. Through the journey, students learn how to establish reliable relationships with what in shamanic practice are called “helping spirits.” Isa places particular emphasis on helping students formulate the kinds of questions that will offer the most insight – and in helping students learn how to interpret the responses they receive. She helps students understand how to use the journey to bring empirical inquiry into the world of spirit so they can establish a reliable vehicle for the exploration of even the most complex areas of their experience.
11:50am – 12:30pm

San Martin

Marjorie Woollacott

Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind

At the beginning of her professional career, neuroscientist, Marjorie Woollacott had no doubt that the brain was solely a physical entity and was controlled by chemical reactions and electrical impulses. The first time she meditated, however, she had a glimpse of another possibility—an undeniable experience of unlikely and uncharted energy. Through the next thirty years as a professor of neuroscience (on the one hand) and teacher of meditation (on the other), Woollacott led a compartmentalized life as she struggled with these opposing views on the nature of human consciousness. Then a few years ago this neuroscientist/meditator was inspired to investigate scientific research on consciousness to see if she could uncover an approach that encompassed what she knew from both of these arenas in her own life. In this talk, Woollacott presents evidence from both meditators and scientists regarding the—astonishing!—possibilities of human consciousness. She discusses scientific studies suggesting that consciousness does not require a functioning brain—some that validate the presence of clear awareness during near-death experiences (when there is no brain activity) and others that show terminal lucidity in dementia patients in their final hours of life. She also presents scientific research on the efficacy of energy healing, such as Reiki, noting similarities between the energy of healing and that of meditation. Through her integration of data from objective science and subjective spirituality, Woollacott breaks open the issue of human consciousness and investigates the existence of the non-physical and infinitely powerful human mind.
12pm – 12:20pm

Madrone

Ryan Bush

"The Book of Non-Duality": A Photographic Journey of Consciousness

In this presentation, I will show my latest body of work, which consists of 48 diptych photographs, videos, and text about the state of non-duality. Inspired by epic cycles like Jung's Red Book, the Egyptian Amduat, and Zen Buddhism's Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, I created The Book of Non-Duality as an illuminated manuscript that takes the viewer on a journey through the many states of consciousness. The series begins when our world is upturned, as my life was upturned by severe back pain for the last year and a half. The journey continues through chaos and distraction, the hell of suffering and pain, and the waters of the unconscious, before rising through visionary and transcendent states of consciousness, and finally returning to our world in the expansive state of non-duality where everything is exactly as it is, and we can finally just be. I will discuss how The Book of Non-Duality mirrors my inner process, from being an intellectually-oriented Ph.D. in Linguistics to being deeply connected with my dreams, intuition, active imagination, and visions, culminating in a powerful experience of satori or illumination. I will also mention practical tips that have been helpful in my own journey, such as decalcifying the pineal gland, and stimulating the pituitary gland with soft, high-frequency noises. While great strides have been made to understand the theory of Integral Spirituality, and how all spiritual traditions are ultimately talking about the same thing, The Book of Non-Duality strives to be a sacred, syncretic work that brings together the best from many different traditions, and shares it with people that may not otherwise come across concepts like non-duality. The time has come for open-source mysticism, where we can all share our experiences, even ones as difficult to discuss as consciousness, non-duality, and illumination.
12pm – 12:20pm

Morgan Hill

Will Pye

Radical Gratitude - A Pathless Path to Freedom

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change' - words attributed to both the founder of Quantum Theory Max Plank and Lao Tsu. In this presentation we will be guided to experience the art of alchemy, how a 'radical gratitude' can help uncover the gold within the shit and realize the truth of what we are. Will will share the '7 steps to Heaven', a simple process which has facilitated 1000s globally from suffering to freedom. Experience for yourself the power to find light in darkness and the opportunity within every challenge.
12pm – 12:20pm

San Juan Bautista

Similarities in Causal Representation and Attribution in Shamanic Cognition and Non-Shamanic Cognition

Even though contemporary investigators of shamanic practice and behavior no longer consider shamanism to reflect regressive or pathological tendencies, there still appears to be a belief that a significant gap separates cognitive processes that occur during shamanic experience from cognitive processes that occur during ordinary waking consciousness. It is argued that this gap is illusory, and that strategies and processes used in shamanic cognition are similar (or even identical) to strategies and processes used in cognition in ordinary waking experience. This similarity is especially obvious in causal representation (i.e., in beliefs regarding perceived and judged causal relationships). Causal representation in shamanic experience and in ordinary waking experience engages strategies and processes involving attribution of intentionality (e.g., beliefs, desires, mental states), heuristics (e.g., representativeness, availability, intentionality, property transmission), and magical thinking (e.g., transmutation, similarity, thought-action fusion, contagion, illusion of control, tempting fate). Such strategies and processes have consequences involving social biases (e.g., fundamental attribution error, correspondence bias, in-group/out-group differences, totemism), locus of control, authorship of actions, and supernaturalizing of social life. Similarities of causal representation in shamanic experience and in ordinary waking experience have implications for theories of mind and cognition (e.g., use of metaphor and analogy, modular processing of social information, use of behavioral criteria for mental states). Existence of such similarities should not be surprising, as shamanic consciousness and ordinary waking consciousness involve the same human mind. Rather than separate and state-specific rules for causal representation, there appear to be more general mechanisms for causal representation in different states of consciousness.
12:30pm – 2pm

Hayes Terrace

Lunch - Music with Nicco Tyson

2pm – 4:30pm

Dome

Conversations

2pm – 3pm

Dome

Rick Archer and Susanne Marie

Our Shared Spiritual Journey

We would like to facilitate a conversation on the evolution of the spiritual journey. Obviously everyone’s journey is unique, but there seem to be commonalities. To some extent, we are all exploring the same territory. The various spiritual traditions have offered road maps and signposts that seem to concur in many respects (i.e., the Perennial Philosophy). We are not scholars, so this will not be a scholarly discussion, but we have been on the path for most of our lives, and would like to share with the attendees a bit of what we’ve encountered, and have them share as well. Together, we may discover that many of us have traversed the same terrain, encountered the same roadblocks and detours, and found similar workarounds. Others may have trail-blazed in relatively untraveled areas, and may offer helpful feedback on what the rest of us may soon encounter. This will be a participatory event which should be enriching for all.
2pm – 4:30pm

Edenvale

Explorations and Dialogues 2

2pm – 2:55pm

Edenvale

Deepak Chopra

Q&A with Deepak Chopra

2pm – 4:30pm

Guadalupe

Experiential

2pm – 3:10pm

Guadalupe

Embodied Communion: Moving through Life as Love Itself

We are Spirit in body and the possibility is to live in communion with The Beloved feeling alive in every cell of our being as we move through the world and yet very often we experience a sense of separation. Much of life in the modern world entails mental activity where perhaps we are sitting in front of a computer screen and the physical body is essentially ignored until something starts to hurt and the body asks us for attention. The question is how to be engaged with intellectual pursuits or with the everyday tasks that are inherent in being human and simultaneously have the experience of resting in deep communion with Consciousness while feeling the pulsating aliveness of Consciousness moving through the physical body? This is a tall order and yet, it is possible for each one of us. In the sacred space of this experiential workshop you will be skillfully guided into subtle movement explorations and breathing practices so that you can directly experience a felt-sense knowing of what it is to awaken to the aliveness that flows through your body. The body and breath are allies for diving into the present moment and for cultivating the clarity of mind that is needed to walk consciously in the world as an agent of Love Itself. You will have opportunities for moving alone and with others, to music and in silence. This is a chance to befriend your body, come home to yourself and feel deeply integrated and energized. Embodied communion is a practice which invites devotion. Come join us as we dive into the river of Consciousness and celebrate being alive. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing. Everyone is welcome regardless of experience or physical ability.
2pm – 4:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

PL.3 Emptiness and The (Un)Known

2pm – 2:10pm

Hayes Ballroom

Music of the Mystics Short film, Introduced by Tahir Faridi Qawwal

2pm – 4:30pm

Madrone

C10. Neuroscience, Physics and Consciousness

2pm – 2:20pm

Madrone

How the Brain Unfolds: Neuroscience Reveals the Map

Approaching the nondual has a predictable pattern. This discovery is one of the most exciting stories to come out of the conversation between contemporary neuroscience, depth psychotherapy and ancient wisdom traditions. The brain unfolds in a predictable sequence of subjective beneficial states that can also be objectively observed and measured. This sequence has historically been obscured and misunderstood, because it unfolds too slowly for the mind to remember the stages. But in the neurotherapy clinic, neurofeedback induced meditation benefits can be tracked easily, because they bloom within minutes instead of decades. We now know the sequential map of how the brain unfolds. We have practical directions and guidance for staying on the nondual path. Using a few seconds of direct transcranial neurofeedback to resolve anxiety, childhood trauma, ADHD, procrastination, memory, TBI or focus issues, the clinicians at Echo Rock Neurotherapy were fascinated by how every client described their progressive healing experiences in the same order. The neurotherapists recognized this common pattern from interviews with meditators on ten day retreats, who passed through a parallel sequence of advanced meditation states (Jhanas). Separate studies by Dr Sharon Solloway at Bloomsburg University and Echo Rock Neurotherapy agree on the order of the beneficial states that arise on the edge of nondual awareness. In this presentation, the Ten Rewards of Awakening will be taught through case studies of lives changed by crossing over the edge from selfing into oneness. Treatment maps will show how clinging appears in the brain, compared to freedom and optimal performance. A live demonstration of EEG neuroAwakening on a volunteer will be followed by an interactive encounter with the Ten Rewards of Awakening, particularly Clarity, Persistence, Happiness, Calm, Focus, and Contentment.
2pm – 4:30pm

Monterey Room

C6. Ecstatic Freedom in Our Daily Lives

2pm – 2:40pm

Monterey Room

John Prendergast

Closing the Gap Between Our Deepest Knowing and Our Daily Lives

How aligned is our living with our deepest knowing? Are our public and private actions in accord with knowing who we really are? If not, how do we close the gap without getting caught in the judging mind or an egoic self-improvement project? It is one thing to recognize our true nature as open, awake awareness that is undivided from the whole of life; this is a tremendous and critically important discovery. It is equally important, however, to transpose this understanding into our daily lives, particularly into our relationships. This is a gradual process that is catalyzed by a willingness to be vulnerable and honest with ourselves and others. The process of awakening unfolds as self-inquiry deepens into the interior of the body, embracing reactive feelings and somatic contractions, and uncovering and seeing through core limiting beliefs. As the body awakens, our actions and relationships become increasingly congruent with our deepest knowing.
2pm – 4:30pm

Morgan Hill

C8. Transformative Technologies

2pm – 2:30pm

Morgan Hill

Mikey Siegel

Enlightened A.I., Transformative Technology, and the Future of Spirituality

What is the future of spirituality? If we think of it as having its own evolutionary arc, how might it morph and adapt to support the awakening of our rapidly changing modern world? The ubiquity of technology is not an option, its a crashing tidal wave. A future generation is about to be born into augmented and virtual realities so real and engaging that the 'real' world will lose relevance. If our technology landscape does not support deep and skillful transformation and collective awakening then we're screwed. What might that technology look like? What are the dangers, challenges, and implications?
2pm – 4:30pm

San Jose

Experiential

2pm – 3:10pm

San Jose

On the Edge of the (Un)Known: Kundalini Yoga and Celebration of the Nondual Heart

Teaching Kundalini Yoga for decades in the lineage of the great Sikh teacher, Yogi Bhajan, and being honored to share it at SAND since 2014, I know its practices (kriyas) offer a potent path of awakening and integrating body and soul. SAND explores the process of awakening through cosmologies (profound worldviews) and technologies (potent spiritual practices). Having taught all the yogas, I was ultimately drawn to the nondual, heart-centered, spirituality of Kundalini Yoga and its profound wellsprings, Guru Ram Das and Yogi Bhajan. Our SAND Kundalini Experiential will be one full of JOY, music (naad), movement (asana) and dance. Last year we celebrated preparing for divine alignment with Spiritual Cycles beginning in the current year, 2016. These cycles are leading cosmic evolution toward deeper and deeper realizations of We. This is a new era. What Yogi Bhajan first called the Aquarian Age is now called by many names, wherever world culture is being built from the Heart. Kundalini Yoga is one of the most powerful technologies to bring the soul to this experience. Whether a newcomer of a yoga adept, join us as we open our hearts with sacred meditation, music, movement and dance. Experience each other as brothers and sisters, co-creators united in the strength of our birthright as The Self and discovering reality of being One, birthing this new world. Through the magical practice of Kundalini Yoga our psyches expand to encompass All as we dance and celebrate the rebirth of Pure Family truly manifesting the global consciousness of One. The gift of this ancient yogic practice combines today with modern elements of lifestyle, nutrition, exercise and wellness to form a powerful tool for productive modern-day living and nondual spiritual transformation.
2pm – 4:30pm

San Juan Bautista

C9. Embodying the Unknown

2pm – 2:20pm

San Juan Bautista

The Body as the Door to the Unknown

Our physical body is a magnificent vehicle of engineering, yet most people are never trained how to utilize this vehicle. Rather than seeking separation from the physical, via altered states or medicinal doorways, I take the audience within the physical, to touch the non-physical which is the parallel experience of Being or Presence. Even as our thoughts and feelings generate the field of energy within and around us that either creates harmony in other minds, or disharmony within the world, we are also subjecting our physical body to either harmonious or disharmonious states with our beliefs, which then become our denser being - our body. All of our thought is what makes us our Self. Which means there is no way to be anything other than ourself. Our struggle against our Being is the greatest cause of stress, dis-ease and ailment. In this experience, the audience becomes attuned to touch this deeper, previously Unknown Self within, thereby attuning to the greater Self that lies within us All.
2pm – 4:30pm

San Martin

C7. Symmetry, Science and Freedom

2pm – 2:40pm

San Martin

Thomas McFarlane

Symmetry, Science, and Nonduality

We discover symmetry as an archetypal principle in our understanding of ordinary experience, physical science, mathematics, and nonduality. We begin with the rotational symmetry of a flower and the reflection symmetry of a tree. From this, we see that the principle of symmetry is in essence an invariance with respect to change, a unity within plurality. Our experience of an objective world is based on the act of identifying and reifying such invariants amidst changes in time and space. In other words, the world is a symmetry of our changing experience. Similarly, the objective features of the world described by theories in physics are invariants of symmetry groups. For example, Einstein’s special theory of relativity takes two symmetries as its fundamental postulates. Symmetry is also fundamental to defining objects in mathematics. Geometrical objects are spatial structures that are invariant with respect to rotations and translations. Euclidean geometry is defined in terms of a particular symmetry group. Similarly, topology is defined in terms of another symmetry group, continuous transformations that leave topological properties invariant. Logical deduction is a transformation of propositions that leaves truth value unchanged. Logical truth is thus a symmetry of logical deduction. This principle in fact goes all the way to the heart of nonduality: Insofar as distinction is not real, making a distinction does not change reality. In other words, reality is a symmetry of distinction. The world of apparent duality thus can be understood as a symmetry breaking, where the perfect symmetry of all distinction is ignored, leaving only an imperfect symmetry corresponding to the invariants with respect to a limited group of transformations of experience.
2:10pm – 2:50pm

Hayes Ballroom

Robert Thurman

Buddhist Science: Spiritual and Material Wisdom in the Service of Life

Many people think of Buddhism as a religion, but it is even more a science and a philosophy. In this talk and meditation, Robert Thurman elucidates how the Buddha discovered absolute relativity, 2500 years ahead of Einstein, through the rationally experimental and contemplatively experiential insight into voidness, or emptiness. The Buddha employed the truly scientific method of inquiry in the exploration of the reality of the self and the world. Turning to the nondual relative, he taught the evolutionary causality of karma as a well-evidenced, but not dogmatic, biological theory, long before Darwin and his successors. His causal evolutionary theory envisions compassion as the force that develops higher qualities in beings, intelligence, sensitivity, love, and contentment, and the bodily mutations that correspond to these qualities. Also in this session, Robert will bring the audience along with him experientially, by guiding a meditation on the process of realizing voidness or selflessness, rehearsing the entry to it through the opening of bliss awareness, and the transcending of its transcendence that leads to the embrace of the nondual relativity of love. Finally, he will critically examine the common pitfalls that seeker tend to fall into, such as the use of emptiness as a path of separateness rather than a path of union, and also the misguided nihilistic view of voidness as nothingness. He elucidates the concept of “bare awareness.” The only way to “get” reality is through a “bare,”i.e nonconceptual, awareness, which melts the boundaries between subject and object.
2:30pm – 2:50pm

Madrone

Bill Baird

A Quantum Neurobiology View of the Fundamental Synergy between Scientific and Spiritual Exploration

In this view, both scientific and spiritual investigations of the mystery of reality are creative processes that participate in the coordinated exploratory evolution of the universe itself toward more complex structures in the space of all quantum possibilities. Intuition is the murky outer range of personal awareness from which clear ideas arise. Spiritual development expands this range. Scientific symbolic insight is derived from intuition, and in return, scientific models can help direct attention in subjective spiritual inquiry just as the language of spiritual teaching does. With enough spiritual development one could learn to discern which brain areas were active during any experience, and thereby improve a brain model that can be used to direct attention differently. Spiritual technology derived from brain science may radically accelerate spiritual development at the cultural level. We consider these possibilities in a cognitive quantum biology model of the creative process. This neuropsychological model is based on an extension of the Penrose-Hammeroff molecular quantum computing theory of consciousness into the realm of cognitive and affective neuroscience. Sensory/motor cycles at all levels from femtosecond molecular vibrations to the slowest working memory planning level at the top of the motor hierarchy form a temporal and spatial hierarchy that extends the quantum molecular processing to the classical neural and behavioral level as Hammeroff suggests. Unlike noise-proof programmed digital and quantum computing that is subject to the limits of Turing and Goedel, biomolecular computing is trans-Turing non-algorithmic processing that is creative because it is open to the quantum microlevel it has evolved from. Spiritual practice is about exploring modes of attention that reveal new and eventually extrasensory ways of perception and direct knowing leading to the nondual experience of unity. Only conditioned habits of attention prevent this realization
2:30pm – 2:50pm

San Juan Bautista

Vera de Chalambert

Nonduality and Holy Darkness: Teachings from the Dark Feminine

Never underestimate the power of holy darkness to reveal the Soul of all matters. The dark is where illusions are shattered, where false certainties are broken; the dark is where the mind is cut off so that the heart can learn to dwell in Mystery. All things arise and return into Darkness. It is our ground of being, greatest fear and deepest potential. Without embracing darkness, no spiritual path can claim integrity; without touching into our own, our lives remain split, superficial and cut off from wholeness. Too often our fear, anger, despair, uncertainty, all things dark, are seen as incompatible with spirituality, yet without fully embracing darkness, without diving deeply into the black void pulsing with irreverent aliveness, the most we can hope for are false lives propping up idealized images of awakening. Must we send darkness into exile? What is the cost of living only from the light? The world’s great wisdom traditions have much to say about Divine Darkness and its central role in the spiritual life. The presentation will dive into sacred teachings of holy darkness transmitted through forms of the Dark Feminine. From Hindu Goddess Kali to the Tibetan Goddess Ekajati, the Black Madonna to the Kabbalistic Shekhina, the Divine Mother is always calling all her children back - in dark and light, form and formlessness, bliss and loss – and beckoning us out of exile, home into Mystery. She invites us to turn toward that which is difficult for us and feel it fully and deeply. She knows no spiritual bypass. There is no experience, no part of our imperfect human lives that has no place in her adoration. From the dark night of the soul to dark matter, the Dark Mother has no orphans. Our planet is in crisis, our spiritual narratives full of shiny fluff. Holy darkness might just be the medicine we need.
2:40pm – 3pm

Morgan Hill

Robin Arnott

Art as an Awakening Agent

Art offers a particularly potent avenue for awakening because, unlike wellness practices, people rarely enter an experience of art with an attachment to outcome. There is a relaxed, even casual, open-mindedness that we bring into our relationship with art that is rare elsewhere in our lives. This talk offers strategies for artists and designers who want to intentionally structure experiences that either catalyze awakening, or lay the seeds for future awakening. These strategies draw from lessons learned in designing "SoundSelf: A Technodelic" (an in-development psychedelic experience for virtual reality), but they are relevant to artists working in any medium. It requires recognizing the ways our creations summon reactivity and role-play: if we speak in a language of separation and symbolism, we naturally invite an egoic sense of self from those who experience our work. However, if our work does not lean on separation and symbolism to evoke an experience, we give people an opportunity to experience a more fundamental part of themselves. There are three broad categories of techniques we will be covering: Interfering with Egoic Functionality (anchoring a person's experience in abstraction by over-stimulating sensation so that thoughts and ideas cannot float for long, through use of rhythm and repetition); Expanding the Existing Sense of Self (using biofeedback to stretch intuitive self-identified behavior, like breath, to intuitively non-self-identified perceptual phenomenon, like the world out-there, and mirroring a person's performed behavior, but with a separation of space or time); and Exploiting the Projection of Identity to tie it into paradox (by using narrative identification with character, subverting existing assumptions and switching between first and second person). I believe that we are about to see an explosion of "toys" that offer ego-shattering experiences to people with little or no commitment of discipline or energy - not as practice, but as novelty.
2:50pm – 3pm

Hayes Ballroom

Nothing at All

2:50pm – 3:30pm

Monterey Room

Judith Blackstone

Can we Embody Nonduality?

Judith will teach practices from the Realization Process, an embodied approach to nondual awakening. She will discuss how embodiment is an integral aspect of nondual realization. When we embody nondual realization, we know ourselves as subtle, unbounded awareness, pervading our whole body and our environment as a unity. Because nondual awareness pervades our body, we become more coherent and authentic as individuals at the same time as we transcend self/object duality. As the embodiment of nondual awareness, we can heal and deepen our capacity for love, pleasure, mental clarity, subtle perception and contact with other people. When two people attune to nondual awareness together, they experience mutual transparency: a single expanse of awareness pervading them both as a unity. Judith is an innovative, experienced nondual teacher. She developed the Realization Process and has taught it for over three decades world-wide. She is author of Belonging Here, The Enlightenment Process, The Intimate Life and The Empathic Ground. She is a founding director of Nonduality Institute in Woodstock, New York. For more about the Realization Process, visit www.realizationcenter.com.
2:50pm – 3:30pm

San Martin

Kurt Johnson

On the Edge of the Known: Mainstream Science Changes its Mind on the Selfish Gene and Survival of the Fittest

For millennia the Wisdom Traditions have told of a unified nondual field of shared ideals, virtues, ethics and values-- emerging from the Heart and shared by all the world’s religions. In this time of globalization, the worldwide interspiritual movement (multiple belonging, trans-traditional, universal, global, and world-centric spirituality) is an evolutionary emergence of this vision in an urgent time. Meantime, conventional science since Darwin has championed the selfish gene, survival of the fittest, and the shark-tank competition and conflict dominating nearly all of our global politics and economics. These views of reductionist, materialist and consumerist culture, the default setting for most of the secular world, have led to dystopia, not utopia. Recently mainstream evolutionary science has changed its mind-- based on proofs from group and multi-level natural selection, epigenetics, and other new holistic data sets. In Yale/Templeton’s first book on Foundational Questions of Science, scientists conclude group and multi-level selection are real and, through them, natural selection selects NOT for the goals of self-interest groups but for processes and structures that serve the whole. No wonder nature works, but not our dysfunctional human cultures! Further, the new science declares that once consciousness and sentience are involved, cultural evolution proceeds by conscious choice, not simply random mechanisms. This is a revolution. But, does the message of an altruistic mode of evolution have time to trickle down to the roots of our current dystopia? No; information activism is urgently needed. Based on high profile programs I have been doing with Dr. David Sloan Wilson, the primary author of these evolutionary studies, I will review from the perspective of the Wisdom Tradition community the implications of this new mainstream scientific paradigm of altruistic evolution.
3pm – 3:40pm

Edenvale

Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos

You Are The Universe

In this dialogue, New York Times bestselling author Deepak Chopra joins forces with leading physicist Menas Kafatos to explore some of the most important and baffling questions about our place in the world. What happens when modern science reaches a crucial turning point that challenges everything we know about reality? We have now reached just such a point. In the coming era, the universe will be completely redefined as a "human universe" radically unlike the cold, empty void where human life is barely a speck in the cosmos. In the session You Are the Universe we explore that it literally means what it says--each of us is a co-creator of reality extending to the vastest reaches of time and space. This seemingly impossible proposition follows from the current state of science, where outside the public eye, some key mysteries cannot be solved, even though they are the very issues that define reality itself. We will briefly discuss: What Came Before the Big Bang? Why Does the Universe Fit Together So Perfectly? Where Did Time Come From? What Is the Universe Made Of? Is the Quantum World Linked to Everyday Life? Do We Live in a Conscious Universe? How Did Life First Begin? The answers offered are not our invention or eccentric flights of fancy. All of us live in a participatory universe. Once you decide that you want to participate fully with mind, body, and soul, the paradigm shift becomes personal. The reality you inhabit will be yours either to embrace or to change.
3pm – 4:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

A. H. Almaas and Robert Thurman

Conversation: Emptiness, The Edge of the Unknown

In this illuminating conversation, Hameed Ali Almaas and Robert Thurman will discuss the subject of being and nonbeing, emptiness and presence and how this is a foray into the unknown depths of being. What is meant by emptiness? What is its direct experience? Is there is only one emptiness or different kinds or degrees? And how does this combine with being or presence in manifestation? Learn whether there are differences between the Buddhist perspective and The Diamond Approach.
3pm – 3:20pm

Madrone

How the rose colored glasses effect in mainstream physics prevents us from explaining consciousness

I will discuss the implications of what might be called the rose colored glasses effect, or Sir Arthur Eddington’s Fish Story, which suggests that observer characteristics may be inadvertently assigned to the systems being observed. If Eddington’s conjecture is applicable, the most fundamental properties of nature will turn out to be the construction rules of the measuring instruments and the observer who measures nature. Since the human observer is the final measuring instrument, which collapses the wave function at the end of VonNeumann’s measurement chain, and no one knows exactly how the brain works, I will show how consistent observer characteristics have been introduced and falsely attributed to the physical world being investigated. Specifically, the interpretations of experimental results are routinely projected by scientists into the sensations of data they observe without realizing such projections are their own models and theories, which naturally include their own proclivities and prejudices. The fundamental prejudice believed by most scientists is that we are seeing the world as it is, when we actually are aware of our personal explanation of sensory stimulation caused by interactions with the forever unknowable external reality mystics tell us about. Our daily experience is more like the shadows projected on the walls of Plato’s Cave rather than the actuality claimed by Aristotle. Aristotle’s natural philosophy, which foreshadowed modern science was reintroduced by Tomas Aquinas at the end of the Middle Ages and dominated western thinking till Max Plank’s discovery initiated quantum theory. The tide is turning. Once the ubiquitous confusion between physical reality and our mental projections are clearly identified, the true nature of consciousness as a process connecting the two will become clear.
3pm – 3:20pm

San Juan Bautista

Craig Holliday

Into the Intelligence of the Unknown: Integral Yoga and Nondual Realization

Through breakthroughs in quantum physics, evolutionary sciences and a new evolving spirituality, our view of God and consciousness is growing. Yet there are many individuals still studying schools of spirituality which do not include evolution as a part of their world view, and because of this, have created an artificial limit on the dynamic nature of consciousness within their own experience. Yet to deny the evolution of consciousness in spirituality or any mode of life, is to deny the dynamic nature of God and her manifestation in our life. The great Indian sage Sri Aurobindo, was one of the first modern evolutionary spiritual minds to begin to break up the old escapist and transcendent view of spirituality, and open the doors to the direct experience of continual evolution and continual, ever deepening levels of enlightenment. Yet because of the slow merger between spirituality and science, many of us are still practicing from an outdated spirituality. If we stay stuck in these old and static views of the spiritual path, we will unconsciously limit the experience of our own Divinity and the infinite potential of Reality. Yet, what if the path had no end—no ultimate resting place? What if there was something beyond nirvana? What if consciousness evolved forever in every direction? How would our direct experience begin to change if we were to open to this new and exciting world view and movement of evolutionary grace? As we journey forward, with this new view and experience of Reality, we go forward including what we have learned in the past, integrating new potentials and expanding our experience into new dimensions—stretching the limits of Divinity.
3:10pm – 4:30pm

Dome

Music of the Mystics

Sufi Devotional singing workshop with Tahir Faridi Qawwal of Fanna-Fi-Allah. Raaga is the musical base for all Indian/Pakistani music, from village folk music to sophisticated classical. In this workshop you will learn some of the important elements that make up raga, such as voice culture, pure pitch, microtonal ornamentations & expression of sentiment. As well, Tahir will take you on a journey into the traditional culture of qawwali with special excerpts from his film: Music of the Mystics
3:10pm – 3:30pm

Morgan Hill

Hannes Bend

Mindful Transformative Technologies

Mindful and transformative technological experiences involve directing attention towards formerly subconscious mindbody regions for increased somatic awareness. The project mYndful merges contemporary and ancient mindfulness practices, science, and technology. It is inspired by EEG and fMRI studies on meditation conducted at the Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon. The project employs a virtual reality (VR) device with biofeedback including heart rate, breath, body core temperature, and EEG for open sourced and shared app versions for everyday use and people with limited personal space for mindfulness practices, e.g. in refugee camps. Bringing body regions into mental focus is linked to the recent rediscovery of the human ability to voluntarily activate the sympathetic nervous system. Attended breathing and mindful tasks are integral parts of ancient and modern mindfulness programs. We incorporate techniques explored in scientific studies to enable a conscious connection to the autonomic nervous system (Wim Hof Method in Kox et al. PNAS, 2014) and energy flow during meditation (fMRI study from Ray Lee at Princeton, 2015). It enhances self-regulation and stress-reduction using biometric data transformed into visual and audio environments, in-sync with the userâs psychophysiological condition in real time. A focus is to integrate sensory biometric shields into the VR experience to consciously connect to the body in yet unrealized capacity, to improve the immune system and re-learn human abilities (e.g. thermogenesis). Our aims are: to create the mYndful VR program with real-time, individualized biofeedback; to explore potential implementations for VR/AI/human-machine interactions for accelerated awakening/realization processes; to open new spaces to bridge AI with human (sub)conscious awareness.The project combines empirical analysis and collaborative engineering to enhance love, and the health and happiness of people and planet.
3:20pm – 4:30pm

Guadalupe

Elysabeth Williamson

Illuminated Embodiment

Illuminated Embodiment is a set of simple yet profound practices for bringing our Spirit fully into our body and our relationships. Relationships are both the most rewarding and challenging aspect of our lives, and yet, we receive very little instruction for skillful relating. This program shows us how it is through fully embodying into our own presence and posture that we are empowered to create healthy, authentic relationships with others. As a result of taking this program, participants will: shift from a thought-based, mental focus, to a heart-based, embodied one; gain greater trust and openness toward self and others; cultivate listening skills to deepen intimacy with self and others; align the body to cultivate empowered presence; gain powerful relaxation tools for gently unwinding deep patterns of pain and stress; explore tools for releasing painful physical and emotional patterns that obstruct self-compassion and healthy relationships; cultivate a resonate field of love between individuals; activate innate capacity for healing touch for use on self and others. Healthy, heart-centered embodiment is our birthright. Using both individual and partner Yoga postures and practices, Illuminated Embodiment is a path to awakening the ecstatic possibilities lying dormant within the body.
3:20pm – 4:30pm

San Jose

Richard Rudis

Gong Bath - A Dynamic Meditative Concert

A Gong Bath is a dynamic meditative concert which acoustically guides each participant via harmonic overtones into realms of spiritual well-being, emotional balance, cellular healing and spiritual awareness. Using an unique 38" Gong, toned to radiation frequency of the Earth, a multitude of octaves are created designed to entice the brain into Alfa/Beta wave-scapes of creativity, relaxation and enrichment
3:30pm – 3:50pm

Madrone

Frank Heile

A Three Agent Model of Consciousness Explains Multiple Nondual Enlightened States

A new "three-agent model" combines with Integrated Information Theory (IIT) to explain enlightened states. IIT says that the conscious part of the brain is the sub-network containing the maximum amount of integrated information. The three separate but interconnected proposed agents are the "Thinker," "Doer," and "Experiencer." Dual Process Theory (DPT) proposes two systems that correspond to two of the three proposed agents. The Doer corresponds to DPT's System 1; it may be viewed as controlling the body and is motivated by feelings and emotions to achieve its goals. The Thinker corresponds to DPT's System 2; it generates the conscious thoughts that may be experienced as the inner voice. The Experiencer can be thought of as constructing and representing both the sensory and language models of the world. The Experiencer may be implemented in the occipital, temporal, and parietal lobes of the brain (60% of the cortex); the Thinker and Doer may share the frontal lobes. The Thinker-Doer-Experiencer model proposes that transitions from an unenlightened state to one or more enlightened states could be caused by changes in the distribution of the IIT conscious sub-network among the three different agents. In the unenlightened state, the conscious sub-network could be mostly limited to the Thinker and some portions of the Experiencer. Varying the proportions of the conscious sub-network in the Thinker and Doer could explain multiple types of enlightened states. One example is a state in which the Thinker has none of the conscious sub-network (it would only be in the Doer and Experiencer). The most non-dual enlightened state is a state in which the Experiencer has all of the conscious sub-network. The Thinker-Doer-Experiencer model could explain the properties of enlightened states, how they are achieved and can make several testable predictions.
3:30pm – 3:50pm

San Juan Bautista

Canela Michelle Meyers

Form in Formlessness and Formlessness in Form

This dance we call life. Yes, form appears in formlessness - maya appears here with the non-backdrop backdrop of the Absolute. And, formlessness dances itself as form. This talk will serve to accentuate that all that appears in each moment is both form in formlessness and formlessness in form. Source appears as form, which is how we, as human beings, get to be with this form that appears here as a person. Source plays itself out as nothing and also everything - being aware of itself in complete, perfect integration. Awareness is recognized when attachment is dissolved (a subtraction of construct, however that happens) then in the open space, all that was previously attached to appears and is recognized as Awareness at play, inviting itself into expansion. The very bits that were let go of, to see and recognize Self clearly, are the bits that are available to become embodied; to dare to touch, to be with, to dance with - openly, freely...attachment no longer possible as the Truth is recognized.
3:40pm – 4:20pm

Monterey Room

David Spero

The Doorway to Ecstatic Freedom

Science does not provide a meaningful exploration of the edge between the known and the unknown, for science limits itself to quantifiable realities. The unknown for science eventually becomes the known, again and again, in a series of empirical discoveries, followed by literal articulations (conclusions), followed by more discoveries and more articulations, ad infinitum. Science thus displays an endless, indirect and piecemeal attempt at knowing. Classical Vedanta and Neo-Advaita presentations likewise cannot probe into the edge in consciousness, since they attempt to deny or transcend the known–not understand it. Non-dual theorists tell us with great confidence that “the Self is everything.” This “Self,” however, turns out to be merely the Un-Manifested aspect of the Absolute–only one side of the edge between the known and unknown. Advaita Vedanta subsumes the known into the unknown, dissolving the edge between them. Disappointingly then neither science nor advaita Vedanta can explore the mysterious edge. I wonder if it is possible to approach this subject from an entirely different angle. Could a human body-mind manifest a bridge to the unknown through its own subjective intensity and then share it with others? Neither scientific method nor non-dualistic spiritual theories can bring us to the edge of the known, but perhaps, as a direct taste, Non-Dual Recognition, Ecstatic Devotional Feeling and Activated Kundalini Shakti interacting simultaneously might function as an energetic bridge offering a thrilling sensation of entering the edge of consciousness.
3:40pm – 4pm

Morgan Hill

Physiological Complexity and Heart Rate Variability

While reductionism has proved to be an extremely powerful biological analysis method, biologists are reaching the limits of this approach. The human body is comprised of complex, nonlinear systems that defy all reductionist attempts to fully understand it and a new approach is needed. Complexity Theory provides this new approach, helping researchers understand physiology from a holistic perspective. Physiological signals are the most Complex in nature. Important information is encoded in the fluctuations of these signals and what is often considered noise is actually part of the signal and represents important information. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is one such physiological signal that is easy for anyone to measure and contains a wealth of health information. While the popular methods of analyzing the heart rhythm include statistical and frequency analysis, healthy heart dynamics also include properties associated with Complexity Theory, including Bifurcations, Fractals, Complex networks, Time asymmetry and Self-Organization. In this presentation you will learn the science of Heart Rate Variability and how the heart rhythm is mediated via the various biological oscillators, and nervous system as well as our thoughts and environment. We will discuss the various standard means of analyzing the heart rhythm and what, based on 30 years of research, these methods reveal. We will then compare the standard statistical and frequency analysis methods to methods that incorporate Complexity Theory and examine the future of these methods for providing a wealth of health information to anyone with a smartphone and off the shelf heart rate monitor.
3:40pm – 4:20pm

San Martin

Jac O’Keeffe

Freedom Framework

Freedom itself, without a context, is worth exploring. When all identification (both dual and non dual) is seen through, freedom itself remains. Freedom expresses when there are no constraints influencing the flow of consciousness. For intellectual purposes, a framework model is offered to explore this topic. This framework model helps us to recognize and understand how identification with any lens of perception modifies the experience of consciousness and objectifies freedom. It is possible to be free from our limited beliefs and mind constructs. We can also be free to embrace the human experience and all that it offers. Freedom from and freedom to are variations/modifications of a conceptual understanding of freedom. Let us explore these truths, along with the framework that incorporates the many lenses of perception, and see how freedom is not attached to nor invested in any particular lens, but uses them freely. This is what allows its full, human expression, whilst not denying the validity of what is perceived from the viewpoint of any lens.
3:50pm – 4:30pm

Edenvale

Neil Theise

Fundamental Awareness: A Framework for Integrating Science, Philosophy and Metaphysics

A proposed ontologic framework of Fundamental Awareness assumes that non-dual Awareness is foundational to the universe, not arising from the interactions or structures of higher level phenomena. The framework allows comparison and integration of views from the three investigative domains concerned with understanding the nature of consciousness: science, philosophy and metaphysics. In this framework, Awareness is the underlying reality not reducible to anything else. Awareness and existence are the same. As such, the universe is non-material, self-organizing throughout, a holarchy of complementary, process driven, recursive interactions. The universe is both its own first observer and subject. Considering the world to be non-material and comprised, a priori, of Awareness is to privilege information over materiality, action over agency and to understand that qualia are not a “hard problem”, but the foundational elements of all existence. These views fully reflect main stream wsestern philosophical traditions, insights from culturally diverse contemplative and mystical traditions, and are in keeping with current scientific thinking, expressible mathematically.
4pm – 4:20pm

Madrone

Brain to Brain Communication and Wave Function Collapse.

John von Neumann's idea of measurement and observation through the problem of the photon-eye interaction is explored, and human intention at a distance effects are investigated, assisting the hypothesis that wave function collapse in the brain is probable and that mind-to-mind communication via a single photon exists. The probability of wave function collapse as the photon enters the eye is investigated via density matrix formalism and non-linear Schrodinger equations. Simultaneously, non-local human intention is explored within the photon-eye interaction framework. Experimental assessment with optical equipment consists of a silicon avalanche photodiode, a high power light emitting diode (LED) source centered at 530 nm, a set of single and multi-mode fibers, and an attenuator. The attenuator is an optical lens device containing two convex lenses for improved efficiency of source-to-output via optical fibers, and appropriate density filters for variations of input current. The system is driven by a high power, 1-channel LED driver with pulse modulation device. The desired result is achieved with single photon generation within the range of 35 % efficiency of photodiode along with production of pseudo random generation pulse output. This optical equipment has been elaborated to produce photon pulse lengths varying in integration times of 100 milli-seconds, 10 milli-seconds and 1 milli-second. Statistical analysis of single photon production will be presented with appropriate histogram data corresponding to each integration time along with analysis of the equipment's capability. Resulting human-evoked potential associated with single photon stimulation will be discussed in relation to the possibility of wave function collapse in the brain as compared to the retinal structure. Intention effects will be further presented demonstrating significant p-value below 0.1 of mental intention presence.
4pm – 4:20pm

San Juan Bautista

Freedom in Your Hands

Enlightenment? It's a big word with many definitions, but frankly, I think a more important question is: what is freedom? Because every living being wants freedom. I am passionate about defining what freedom really is, and sharing how everyone can live that freedom right now. Even if you don't have any direct experience of your ultimate and true nature, it is still who and what you are. So, what is freedom? For me it is 'sanity';living and moving from the pure impulse of authenticity. It’s something unique to each individual, a unique blueprint of right action. This authenticity is an essential aspect of your true nature, which is another way to say it's reachable, reliable and repeatable. And THAT is what will transform your life. That is what will bring you face to face with a breathtaking aliveness and interconnectedness. That is what will bring you a stunning fulfillment and even quite possibly face to face with God. And this is available to each and every being, in each and every moment. Most of us, if we get right down to the root of it, are actually longing to simply stop all the ferocious effort involved in living...So how do we do that? How do we find and express and live this effortless? From an authenticity that is your ultimate nature. So, how do we embody this authentic nature, this innate freedom? In this talk Kiran will illuminate the pathway to change the game, and live the life you were born to live.
4:10pm – 4:30pm

Morgan Hill

Tom Bunzel

More Than Metaphor: How Software Confirms the Reality of Consciousness

What is it experientially that can lead to an inner recognition of the illusion of scientific materialism? In a 2007 TED video geneticist Juan Enriquez describes an apple as an application it processes its DNA code from top down, executing each line as an instruction. In the case of an apple, when it receives sufficient energy from the sun, Enriquez said, it executes and drops from the tree. Enriquez explained how sequencing DNA decodes its programmatic intentions through a combination of proteins, symbolically represented by 4 letters of our alphabet, A, C, T and G. When compared with HTML, the code for a web page, or any known computer program, it operates identically. As a technology writer this opened up a deeply important question: Software is a relatively recent human invention while DNA his been existing for billions of years. How could software arise by accident? We now have direct experience with many software programs; each was intentionally conceived usually by a team of geniuses. But how do we account for such an apparently immense intelligence that is billions of years old? There are really only two explanations if we eschew the non-explanation of referring to God. We can presume that some other intelligence (aliens) genetically modified us. This is a popular theme first raised by Chariots of the Gods by Erik von Daniken, held in contempt by modern science. But where neuroscience and quantum physics is headed is really the most obvious: Intelligence is not the exception in computer terms, it is the default. Life is a priori intelligent, or a direct expression of a much vaster, infinite and higher consciousness.
4:30pm – 5pm

Lawn

Break & Music Al Fresco with Nicco Tyson

5pm – 6:40pm

Hayes Ballroom

PL.4 The Unknowable Nature of Consciousness

5pm – 5:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Dorothy Hunt

Standing at the Edge of the Unknown

How long have you been standing at the edge of the Unknown, wanting to realize or consciously embody what is true, but time and again distracting yourself? You may have had glimpses into your own timeless Presence. Yet, right at the edge of shifting identity, right at the edge of awakening more deeply, the mind keeps selling its wares, its fear of the unknown: “Don’t go any further.” “You’ll disappear.” “You will die, or if not, you will go crazy.” “You will not be able to function.“ And so you keep finding ways to postpone discovering or living more fully as What you truly are by remaining attached to the stories of what you are not. You keep seeking for answers in ideas, books, teachings, in the known, and in a “self” created by thought. Yet thought, which can only operate in time and duality, can only take us to the edge of the known; it cannot take us beyond itself. However, that which is silently aware of perception, thought and feeling, holds the key to liberation, peace, and happiness. That which sees the mind of confusion or clarity, and is awake to the presence of joy or sadness, the body’s contractions or its openness, exists in/as each one of us, and cannot be threatened. In our willingness to “not know,” yet remain intimately engaged, that which is most deeply true may reveal itself, deliver unexpected insights, open our senses to the whole, and dissolve the “seeker” along with both questions and doubts. Through meditative inquiry and dialogue, we will invite ourselves to the edge of the known, and beyond. No one can give you what you truly are, but you are never separated from its infinite Presence, the true Heart of Being, beyond any idea of a separate self.
5:30pm – 5:45pm

Hayes Ballroom

Interlude with Laura Inserra

5:45pm – 6:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Rupert Spira

The Nature of Consciousness

All that is or could ever be known is experience, and all experience is known in the form of mind. Therefore, to know the nature or ultimate reality of anything that is known, it is first necessary to know the nature of mind. Whether the mind perceives a world outside of itself, as is believed under the prevailing materialist paradigm, or projects the world within itself, as is understood in the ‘consciousness only’ approach that is shared by nearly all the great religious and spiritual traditions, everything that is experienced is experienced through the medium of mind. Thus, the first imperative of any mind that wishes to know the nature of reality must be to investigate the reality of itself. Everything the mind knows or experiences is a reflection of its own nature, just as everything will appear orange to one wearing a pair of orange-tinted glasses. Having become accustomed to the orange glasses, orange will become the new norm and, as a result, the wearer will imagine that the orange colour he sees is an inherent property of consensus reality and not simply the limitations of the medium through which he perceives. In the same way, the mind’s knowledge of anything is only as good as its knowledge of itself. Until the mind knows its own essential nature, it cannot be sure that anything it knows or experiences is absolutely true rather than simply a reflection of its own limitations. Thus, the ultimate question that mind can ask is, ‘What is the nature of mind?’ or ‘Who am I?’ and the ultimate knowledge it can attain is the answer to that question.
6:30pm – 11pm

EVENING PROGRAM

6:30pm – 6:40pm

Hayes Ballroom

JP Sears

In the SAND box with JP Sears

6:30pm – 8pm

Silver Creek Dining Room

Dinner

7pm – 8:15pm

Dome

Suellen Primost and Jérémy Marais

Tea Service/ Cello & Sax with Suellen Primost & Jérémy Marais

7:30pm – 10pm

Lower Lobby

Bonney Rega, Brianna Morseth, Dhyana Stanley, Gabriele Hilberg, Jörn Kroll, Laurie McCammon, Leo Madrid, Lipa Long, Maria Syldona, Nikunj Dalal, Olga Colbert, Amitabh Divakar, and Ariel De Lion

Poster Session

8:30pm – 9pm

Hayes Ballroom

Deepak Chopra and Fanna-Fi-Allah

Devotional Poetry with Deepak Chopra & Fanna-Fi-Allah

9pm – 10:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Fanna-Fi-Allah

Sufi Qawwali Music

7:30am – 8:30am

Edenvale

Experiential

7:30am – 8:30am

Edenvale

Rupert Spira

Guided Meditation

7:30am – 8:30am

San Jose

Experiential

7:30am – 8:30am

San Jose

The 5 Tibetan Rites - Elemental Journey of Vitality & Rejuvenation

The "5 Tibetans" are traditionally made by a simple yet potent solar sequence of kryias (purification exercises) that rejuvenate the endocrine system through breath and movement, while expanding the free flow of Life Force in our bodies. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Akasha are the 5 elements in which we journey through each movement, breath and sound together as vibrational conductors of healing and transformation. In this journey, you will experience the powerful beauty and simplicity of the 5 Tibetans, with adaptations for all levels, while keeping true to the integrity of the original teachings and their nectar.
9am – 12:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

PL.5 Expressions of Heart Intelligence

9am – 9:10am

Hayes Ballroom

Laura Inserra and Ajaya Sommers

An Embodied Interlude with Laura Inserra & Ajaya Sommers

9:10am – 9:30am

Hayes Ballroom

Deborah Rozman

Heart Intelligence: Connecting with the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart

Recent discoveries have found the heart possesses its own intrinsic nervous system of sensory neurons that can feel, learn and remember, referred to as the “heart-brain.” This intelligence processes information independently from the “head-brain”. Research at the HeartMath Institute demonstrated that our intuitive sensitivities are closely tied to this heart-brain and our heart’s rhythms. A specific rhythmic pattern of the heart, referred to as “heart coherence”, has been shown to increase intuitive discernment and improve decision-making skills. I will present research on how heart coherence brings the physical, mental and emotional systems into balanced alignment for easier access to our heart’s intuitive guidance for simple or hard to make choices. Our choices are constantly determining our peace, happiness and self-security -- or the stress and decline of our well-being. Learning to utilize our heart’s intelligence is a natural gift we can refer to for moment-to-moment guidance, no matter what personal growth, spiritual path or religion we may practice. I will also present research on collective heart coherence and energetic connectivity, then teach the audience a heart coherence technique to amplify the group energetic field. I will do a live demo with a participant from the audience using heart coherence technology. Everyone will be given a worksheet and do an exercise to access their heart’s intuitive guidance in this amplified heart coherent field. The heart’s intuitive guidance can help us navigate through these changing times with more emotional poise, along with connecting us to our higher choices and untapped potentials. There is a growing global awareness that more heart and higher consciousness is needed to solve our societal problems. The potential of collective heart coherence and a deeper understanding of the intelligence of the heart is that we can co-create a heart-connected world and a better future.
9:40am – 10:20am

Hayes Ballroom

Richard Rohr

Christianity and Unknowing

Richard Rohr, as a Catholic priest and Franciscan Friar, will offer a concise history of how Western Christianity once had, soon lost, tried to retrieve, and now is roundly rediscovering its own traditional understanding of unitive consciousness (which was our word for non-dual thinking). The Christian contemplative mind was usually a subtext, and yet it was always clearly there too, and much closer to the surfact, but only for those exposed to the mystical base that was revealed in the Gospel of John, the Desert Fathers and Mothers, the Celtic and monastic traditions, and what was generally referred to as the apophatic or wisdom stream of Christianity. These were our many saints and mystics. This possibility was brought to the fore by Thomas Merton in the middle of the last century, and is now flowing in many positive directions. It is now our task to rediscover the pre-Enlightenment Christianity that reveled in "the cloud of unknowing", what some called "learned ignorance", and the very notion of Mystery itself. Only when we got into competition with rationalism and secularism, did we adopt this rather recent mania for certitude and a very limited kind of scientific knowing. Almost the entire history of Protestantism emerged in this period, and thus the contemplative mind is an utterly new revelation for them, and frankly for all of us, as we again learn to be comfortable living on the edge of both the knowable and the unknown.
10:20am – 10:30am

Hayes Ballroom

Laura Inserra and Jérémy Marais

Musical Interlude with Laura Inserra & Jérémy Marais

10:30am – 11am

Hayes Ballroom

Mark Wolynn

It Didn't Start With You— How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

Unconsciously, we relive our mother’s anxiety. We repeat our father’s disappointments. We replicate the failed relationships of our parents and grandparents. Just as we inherit our eye color and blood type, we also inherit the residue from traumatic events that have taken place in our family. Illness, depression, anxiety, unhappy relationships and financial challenges can all be forms of this unconscious inheritance. Sharing insights and case studies from his new book It Didn’t Start With You, How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle (Viking, 2016), Wolynn will discuss the latest advances in epigenetics—how traumatic experiences can be inherited from our parents and grandparents—as well as the newest research in neuroscience that supports healing, how to break the patterns we’ve unknowingly adopted that keep the cycle of suffering alive from generation to generation. Wolynn will also present his Core Language Approach, a method for identifying inherited family trauma and decoding our own personal language of trauma.
11am – 12:30pm

Dome

Conversation

11am – 12:30pm

Dome

Susanne Marie

Five Minute Buddha ~ Liberating Our Innate Wisdom

Life is evolving, asking us to rise up to embrace our inner autonomy and to meet as equals in service to the whole. The old paradigm of a few teachers serving as 'wisdom holders' is ebbing. We are transitioning from a hierarchical way of meeting others in Truth with the teacher on top, to an egalitarian one in which we meet in a circle, inviting each another to express our own knowing, gifts, and strengths. I call this meeting in Sacred Mutuality. In this experiential workshop, we will be exploring and accessing ways to connect deeply with our own innate wisdom and sharing it with one another.
11am – 12:30pm

Edenvale

Explorations and Dialogues 3

11am – 11:40am

Edenvale

Richard Rohr

Q&A with Richard Rohr

11am – 12:30pm

Guadalupe

Experiential

11am – 12:30pm

Guadalupe

Lysa Castro

Authentic Movement

Authentic Movement is an inner-directed, eyes-closed, movement practice done within the presence of a kind and respectful witness. Through mindful self-listening, participants in this experiential workshop will be invited to follow movement impulses and explore sensations, emotions, images and embodied resources. Clear and respectful guidelines will be offered to support each individual's expression and autonomy. Within this safety and support, participants can explore and expand their innate capacities to move and be moved, see and be seen, and to articulate and integrate their experience. This expressive somatic practice can reawaken essential body wisdom, creative inspiration, spiritual awareness, and empathy for self and others. Originally pioneered by Mary Starks Whitehouse in the 1950s, by integrating the Jungian principle of active imagination with modern dance improvisation, this dance therapy approach was further developed by Janet Adler, Joan Chodorow, and has been contributed to by many, many, others. Authentic Movement is practiced internationally today as a sacred and healing practice.
11am – 12:30pm

Madrone

C15. Quantum Cognition and Identity

11am – 11:20am

Madrone

Christopher Germann

Visual decision-making: A quantum cognition perspective

“In atomic science, so far removed from ordinary experience, we have received a lesson which points far beyond the domain of physics.” - Nils Bohr, 1955 First, I will present some background information concerning the basic concepts of the emerging research paradigm called "quantum cognition". Next, my currently ongoing experimentation will be described and some statistical results will be presented. Moreover, methodological issues and potential experimental confounds will be addressed, and directions for future research will be discussed. Finally, I will highlight the intrinsically interdisciplinary nature of "quantum cognition".
11am – 12:30pm

Monterey Room

C11. Unfolding Love

11am – 11:40am

Monterey Room

Marlies Cocheret

Vast Intimacy: The Marriage of Pure Awareness and Love

At the SAND Conference we gather to explore and celebrate Science and Non-Duality. This includes a deep inquiry into Pure Awareness/Shiva. Simultaneously there is a deep universal Love that is the substance of this same reality: Shakti. Over time Pure Awareness has been acknowledged beautifully. On the other hand the Shakti aspect of experience often seems to remain somewhat hidden. How about we acknowledge Shakti – Love and the expression of Her as form? Her Body is bigger than time and space. In the depth of her Belly are the qualities of vastness and the sacred tremor of the Universe, which include the world and are not of the world. She gives rise to tenderness, bravery and pure intimacy. Full realization is only true when all of Life is included - Awareness and the authentic expressive Body of Love with its Radiant Still Darkness. Are we ready to let go of a realization fueled by incompleteness and give ourselves wholeheartedly to pure Awareness/Shiva and the dance of form/Shakti?
11am – 12:30pm

Morgan Hill

C13. Wonder Beyond Doership

11am – 11:40am

Morgan Hill

Tosha Silver

Leaving the Prison of Doership

“Life begins to happen through you, not by you.” Nisargadatta Maharaj. We’re often trained by a crazy culture to think that any issue, even that of one’s own spiritual unfolding, is a complicated project for the ego to solve. Yet something utterly different occurs when a petition is made for Love to lead. Then ANY issue, spiritual or ‘mundane’, is offered fully to this Inner Divine. The burden is cast and a Divine plan can emerge. I’ve watched for years as many people struggle with the burden of their ‘own’ development or awakening. Is it happening fast enough? Am I wasting time? What if ‘I’ don’t get what I came for? One’s own unfolding becomes a laborious and sometimes deeply frustrating project for the mind to solve. Yet there’s a different way, where this holy unfolding can finally, fully, and with great and blessed relief, belong to Love Itself. There’s a sacred invitation that anyone can make, that actually changes… everything. The act of this Offering oneself fully to Love is not a mechanical gesture to just solicit help. It involves a deep and intense surrender that can at times be both terrifying and excruciatingly painful. Yet it leads to an opening where Love truly does Take Over. Especially for those who have Bhakti (or devotional) natures, this primal invitation to Love to lead is like no other. And here’s the beauty. Even if this offering is feared, through prayer we can ASK to be opened. Endless help is always available to make this jailbreak. Love is only waiting to be invited.
11am – 12:30pm

San Jose

Experiential

11am – 12:30pm

San Jose

Vivienne Verdon-Roe

Embodying Love: Wisdom Healing Qigong

Open your heart as big as infinity with Wisdom Healing Qigong.... and open to the potential to reduce stress, heal physical disease, enjoy emotional balance, release limiting patterns of thinking and reverse the aging process. And, as if that weren’t enough, awaken and rest into your true nature! Qigong gets us fully into our body. To be open to Non-Duality we have to be in our body, even while recognizing it as an appearance. All disharmony is the result of past conditioning which causes energy blockages in the physical, emotional and mental dimensions. Health and true inner happiness is the result of energy moving freely. Wisdom Healing Qigong practice connects us to the Source, the formless, invisible energy of the universe. We bring this unconditioned energy into our apparent form, dissolving the contracted energy and activating the innate blueprint of wholeness within. All dimensions of being are integrated into Oneness, into the ever-present Now. Through practice, we awaken out of our sense of separation and aloneness. We sense we’re connected to all life outside and all life inside. We feel empty of old programming, and at the same time, full of infinite possibility. We are open to life just as it is. We experience deep inner peace. Our essence is revealed. Pure Love. In this session, we will have the opportunity to experience this goodness together as I guide us through moving meditations. The standing practices can be modified or done sitting or lying down, still following the visualizations. Beginners most welcomed. Your infinite potential is waiting!
11am – 12:30pm

San Juan Bautista

C14. Not-Knowing and The Ultimate Nondual Experience

11am – 11:40am

San Juan Bautista

Kokyo Henkel

Nonduality and Not-Knowing in the Zen Tradition

The Zen tradition of China and Japan, beginning in the sixth century and continuing up to the present, has been deeply influenced by the emptiness teachings and "mind-only" teachings of Indian Mahayana Buddhism. These thorough and radical teachings were discovered by scientists of the mind, through examining personal experience in an unbiased way to discover that an external objective material reality cannot be found. The Zen ancestors of China and Japan found new and creative ways to practice and express these insights simply and directly, and these practices are more relevant than ever in our complex modern world.
11am – 12:30pm

San Martin

C12. Conscious Agents

11am – 11:40am

San Martin

Conscious Agents and the Invention of Structure in the World: Some Mathematical Theorems

The Interface Theory of Perception states that perceptual experiences provide a simplified, species-specific, user interface to the world and do not approximate properties of an “objective” world. Conscious Realism states that the objective world consists of ‘conscious agents’ and their experiences. Under these two theses, consciousness creates all objects and properties of the physical world: this is a solution to the mind-body problem. I first use evolutionary games in support of interface theory, by presenting a mathematical theorem saying that perceptual strategies seeing the truth will, under natural selection, be driven to extinction by perceptual strategies tuned to fitness. Our perceptions have evolved to guide adaptive behaviors, not to report the truth. I then give a mathematical definition of “conscious agents,” leading to a non-dualistic, dynamical theory of conscious process in which both observer and observed have the same mathematical structure. In support of conscious realism, I demonstrate two more theorems showing that a conscious agent will consistently see structures, the geometric and probabilistic structures of space, that are not necessarily in the world but are properties of the conscious agent itself. The world simply has to be amenable to such a construction on the part of the agent; and different agents may see the world as having different (even incompatible!) structures. This again supports the idea that the truth of the world is likely quite different from what we see. Thus we claim that the “objects” of Physics are akin to icons on the perceptual interface of human conscious agents; “phenomena” appear as the interactions those icons seem to be having. I then show how combinations of conscious agents can implement memory, attention and other familiar mental tasks. I finish with a provocative interpretation of the asymptotic dynamics of two conscious agents as a quantum wave function.
11:10am – 11:30am

Hayes Ballroom

The Spiritual Dimension of Trauma

Until recently, trauma was thought of as an occurrence from extraordinary events such as acts of terrorism, human rights violation, war, and so forth; yet trauma may occur from any event that overwhelms our capacity to cope, and leaves us unable to recover our sense of connectedness. Trauma is a normal part of life. Trauma often occurs in our early years when we are lacking the necessary resources to fully recover. Early trauma is the constellation that forms the limited self. This limited self continues to recreate itself throughout life, often hidden in the unconscious, until the trauma is resolved. Traumatic states have the power to throw us into deep despair, yet are also capable of radical transformation, in which compassion and expanded consciousness may emerge. The presentation will define the nature and characteristics of trauma, as well as its destructive and generative dimensions. We will also explore why somatic trauma resolution has an intrinsically spiritual core, and how it fosters the embodiment of something essential for being.
11:30am – 12:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Scott Kiloby, Richard Miller, Mark Wolynn, and Ajaya Sommers

Panel - How Generational and Early Life Trauma Shape Our Lives

Along with distorting our fundamental view about the world, and the emergence of traumatic symptoms, unresolved trauma limits our capacity to be fully present; our potential and capacity for real love and intimacy are blocked, as is the ability to feel the intrinsic aliveness, vibrancy, and joy of our being. The lifelong impact of these traumas is largely misunderstood. The panel will highlight some of the significant elements of trauma, whether experienced early in life or inherited epigenetically, that shape our lives; how trauma may continue to affect the lives of our family; and possibilities for healing. Please join us for what promises to be a rich and moving conversation
11:30am – 11:50am

Madrone

Waking Up on the Holodeck: Trekking Through Spiritual & Ethical Implactions of Quantum Science

For millennia, mystic and nondual traditions have told us this world is an illusion. Now, quantum science seems to provide empirical proof. Recent findings suggest that our universe exists within a complex computer simulation or holographic projection, much like Star Trek’s Holodeck, on which we are merely players. Are we Live or just Memorex? Using lecture, visuals, interactive discussion, humor and deep insights, this multimedia engagement program investigates how scientific models relate to traditional religions, mysticism and belief systems, as well as ethics, self and reality, without resorting to difficult jargon or mind-spinning math. The nondual and metaphysical implications of "the Holodeck Hypothesis" are immense, and impact many aspects of Morality, Cosmology, Human Rights, Care of the Environment, Free Will and the Evolution of Consciousness, cutting to the core of what it means to be human. Participants are invited to join the fun, exploring inter-religious/inter-worldview engagement, seeking practical wisdom from a wide variety of ancient and contemporary approaches, ranging from mystic Christianity and Kabbalah to Vedanta Advaita and Buddhism, from Quantum Mechanics, Star Trek and the Matrix to Shamanism, Gurdjieff and Theosophy; discovering ethical, spiritual and metaphysical dimensions of current scientific models... as well as what we as individual "Players in the Holodeck" can do.
11:50am – 12:30pm

Edenvale

Rupert Spira

Q&A with Rupert Spira

11:50am – 12:30pm

Monterey Room

Loch Kelly

The Unfolding After Initial Awakening

There are a few different definitions of nonduality. This presentation will explore one of them. In the Tibetan Buddhist Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions, nonduality does not mean only the initial recognition of no-self and transcendent awareness, but it is awareness embodied. Nonduality is also called two truths that are simultaneously not-two and not one. Nonduality from this view is ultimate reality of empty awareness arising as the relative reality of dancing energy and forms. This paradoxical mystery of awareness embodied is called co-emergent wisdom. This is the ultimate medicine that relieves the suffering of perpetual dissatisfaction. On the ultimate level there is no process happening in time but on the relative level, there seems to be an unfolding from waking-up from a separate sense of self, to pure awareness waking-in to our bodies and emotions and then waking-out to create and relate from unconditionally loving, non-conceptual heart mind. Many people who come to me report being stuck in a cul-de-sac of a detached state of pure awareness, not having a map or pointers to fullness of living from awakening. They realize they are not the person that they took themselves to be but also realize they are an awake human being. Awakening can be our next natural stage of human development. Nondual wisdom traditions are clear that consciousness can not be reduced to the brain. However, when we are both transcendent and inclusive, awareness is embodied and our brains show the changes. Most of the neuroscience studies so far have looked at mindfulness meditation but we will talk about a few recent studies that I have been a part of which look at the effects of embodied nonduality.
11:50am – 12:30pm

Morgan Hill

Lorin Roche

The Yoga of Wonder and Delight

When we encounter the edge of our knowing, there arises the sense of wonder. The mind goes silent in awe as the senses attempt to grasp the astonishing vastness of life. This emotion is cherished in the meditation traditions as a gateway to direct revelation. In this experiential session, we will be playing with selected verses from the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra that invoke the sense of wonder, while Camille Maurine performs movement sequences and will invite the audience to participate.
11:50am – 12:30pm

San Juan Bautista

Robert Dittler

The Ultimate Nondual Experience On the Edge of the Unknown

For Star Trek, the edge of the (un)known was "Space: the final frontier, to boldly go where no man has gone before." What exactly is that edge of the known and unknown? In the inner most parts of our hearts we each know and some of us are afraid to admit it. The edge is as sharp as a razor's and as exquisite as that of a diamond. And yet there is an edge much more intimate and personal. How we approach this edge is in direct proportion to how we accept unconditionally and with full and absolute positive regard our ultimate Presence in Non-presence. We know (or we think we know) to this point that we are essentially composed of the energy reformed into finite matter at Big Bang and, hence, we are composed of star dust. We also know that the energy cannot be created or destroyed. It always been in some form - eternal, one might say. We are eternally finite and finitely eternal. And what is the edge of the (un)known? Death. Some are afraid of Death as others are in awe of it. Some rush toward it, others try to avoid it at all costs. To the degree we have not accepted our own Death, to that same degree have we not accepted our Life. We live in fear - fear of dying and, hence, are really afraid to live. Given what we presume to be true to date, we are eternally finite material forms inhabiting a planet by living inhibiting lives. Join with us to discuss the edge of the (un)known in terms of our conventional day-to-day lives. Learn to let-go of the neurotic fear of death and dying and learn to live once again with the perspective of a child, unafraid to meet Life with merriment and glee. See you!
11:50am – 12:30pm

San Martin

Donald Hoffman

The Death of Spacetime and Birth of Conscious Agents

Spacetime is doomed. It, and its particles, cannot be fundamental in physical theory, but must emerge from a more fundamental theory. I review the converging evidence for this claim from physics and evolution, and then propose a new way to think of spacetime: As a data-compressing and error-correcting channel for information about fitness. I propose that a theory of conscious agents is a good candidate for the more fundamental theory to replace spacetime. Spacetime then appears as one kind of interface for communication between conscious agents.
12pm – 12:20pm

Madrone

Rita Venturini

Identity, Self and Actions

How is the way we interact with the world shaped by our perception of ourselves? How much do our beliefs about “who I am” make a difference in our lives? Our sense of identity has a clear impact on what we think is possible and how we interact with others. Remember all the times in your life when you had thoughts like the following: “I would NEVER do that.” This type of thinking starts from the process of evaluating yourself - your body, mind and actions - and therefore identifies specific qualities that define both you and what is not you, creating the concept of “other.” Can we understand and deconstruct our way of creating "other"? We will think, move and reflect on these topics.
12:30pm – 2pm

Hayes Terrace

Lunch - Music with Cello Joe

2pm – 4:30pm

Dome

Conversations

2pm – 3:10pm

Dome

The Evolution of Nondual Community

As more and more people awaken to a perspective beyond dualistic understanding, living communities deeply rooted in awakened consciousness become an unprecedented possibility. Through connections within the SAND community and elsewhere, we are seeing new potentials of healing, awakening, and living together beyond unconscious family dynamics, beyond emptiness, into whole-being awakening and embodiment. What values, guiding principles, and ways of interaction support a deep meeting of absolute truth and relative loving? What ties a consciously resonant community together without the magic glue of following a specific spiritual teacher, belief system, or religion? What individual and collective possibilities emerge when our deepest potentials are cultivated in community?
2pm – 4:30pm

Edenvale

Explorations and Dialogues 4

2pm – 2:50pm

Edenvale

Francis Lucille

Q&A with Francis Lucille

2pm – 4:30pm

Guadalupe

Experiential

2pm – 3:30pm

Guadalupe

Heather Munro Pierce

Transdance

Come engage in an embodied exploration of the delightful and divine dancing universe through music, movement and mindfulness. A TransDance journey integrates elements of tribal motion, freeform expression, moving meditation and active imagination into a potent, playful and prayer-full ecstatic dance experience. We will explore the nature of consciousness through our magnificent moving hips, heads, hands, heels and hearts awakening into enlivened wholeness. Spaciously facilitated, all movement is at your own pace and interpretation.
2pm – 4:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

PL.6 Origins of Self

2pm – 2:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Chris Fields

Being A Self: A Perfectly Ordinary, Utterly Extraordinary Experience

Being a self - being one's own self, in particular - is the most familiar of all experiences. Indeed it is one's self that is experienced as having one's experiences: one's sensations, emotions, memories, feelings of agency, feelings of thinking, deciding and acting, the very feeling of existing. Philosophical traditions encourage us to know ourselves, but also to not take ourselves to seriously and to not get too caught up with the wanting, thinking, deciding and acting "ego" part of the self. But what is this self experience, why do we have it, and what happens if it starts to unravel? I'll suggest that we should marvel at the experience of the self, and speculate as to why we have it.
2pm – 4:30pm

Madrone

C20. Qualia of the Unknown

2pm – 2:20pm

Madrone

Cindy Atha-Weldon

Covenant of Light: Between the Edges of the Ancient Unknown Past and the Anticipated Unknown Future

By diligently deciphering ancient symbols, metaphors, and beliefs, it is possible to reveal evocative truths from the edge of our unknown past that extend into modern discoveries in science that glimmer with the dawn of our unknown future. From the time of the world after the fabled yet factual Great Flood, the promise of a Covenant of Light has intrigued many cultures. The Rainbow of the Noahic Covenant, the colors of the Chakras, the Hebrew Menorah, and the Celtic Rainbow Bridge of the TuAtha de Danann reflect more than religious traditions. Interpreting several of these symbols brings to light why they have endured as such powerful metaphors as well as their common denominator. Furthermore, the process of decoding the specific sequence of distinctive figurative relationships establishes a pattern linking the spiritual beliefs to scientific principles. The main goal for SAND has been to find the parallels between religion and science, and this presentation will conclude with greater insight concerning the sacred and scientific symbol used for SAND.
2pm – 4:30pm

Monterey Room

C16. Connection and Freedom

2pm – 2:40pm

Monterey Room

Scott Kiloby

Addiction and Trauma

Scott Kiloby grew up gay in the 70s and 80s in Indiana. He was bullied repeatedly and then began a 12 year addiction to self-medicate his own unresolved trauma. After his own nondual realization, Scott began to explore his own unresolved trauma, which eventually led to the work he does at the Kiloby Center for Recovery, inc. Scott is the Co-Founder of the Kiloby Center for Recovery, Inc. which includes a Trauma First Approach. In this approach, trauma is unearthed and dissolved in the first few weeks of treatment, so that clients can then stabilize in present moment awareness and begin to embody presence and recover from a variety of conditions including addiction. Scott will speak to the fight/flight/freeze response that underlies trauma and PTSD and reveal how to work with it in a gentle, loving and effective way. Scott will discuss how the brain plays a role in trauma and how pivotal events that are emotionally overwhelming become imprinted in our bodies and minds. Many people believe they can bypass trauma and go straight to non-dual realization. Scott’s many years of experience reveals this to be a faulty and sometimes dangerous idea. This should be a lively discussion, with audience participation. There will be some pointing but mostly discussion. Scott believes that people need a context for understanding how even the smallest events from childhood and early adulthood carry an imprint and shape the way we view and react to others and the world around us. Scott’s trauma approach is deeply experiential. Scott’s trauma presentation at last year’s SAND conference was wildly popular, mainly because of the “nuts and bolts” approach to Scott’s work and his deep experience with this subject.
2pm – 4:30pm

Morgan Hill

C18. Living Presence Through the Lens of Science

2pm – 2:40pm

Morgan Hill

Michael Sapiro and Shamini Jain

Presence, Awareness, and Vulnerability: Exploring the Relational Aspects of Being that Facilitate Healing in the Clinical Realm

In order to realize our essential nature, we need to shift beyond the thinking mind that can hold us hostage in time, space, conditioning, and separation. Instead, we need to embrace not-knowing, which takes us beyond intellectual knowledge into the intuitive heartfelt knowing of our underlying nondual nature. Here we open to delight, wonder, astonishment, and intuitive insight of the Mystery that lies at the heart of each one of us, and the entire cosmos.
2pm – 4:30pm

San Jose

Experiential

2pm – 3:10pm

San Jose

Lisa Marie Mansfield

Heart-Centered Awareness, A Direct Experience

In the beginning of our human journey we experienced the world as pure undifferentiated awareness and our inherent view and being was one of pure love. However, through very early somatic experiences and later processes such as being given a name, taught “right from wrong,” and influenced by family, community, and more, a sense of “I” became further established. Growing up with that influence many of us developed habits of believing arising points of view and creating stories about who we are that separate us from living in the purity that sees everything and everyone without barrier or prejudice. Join Lisa Marie as she guides you through an experience that supports a shift in focus and a return to a resonant field that emanates our always available, heart-centered awareness.
2pm – 4:30pm

San Juan Bautista

C19. Evolution and Ecology of Awakening

2pm – 2:20pm

San Juan Bautista

Richard Doyle

The Genesis of Now: The Bible as Non Dual Script for Spiritual Evolution

What if the King James Bible, the best-selling book of all time, has been misunderstood by almost all of its readers? What if instead of demanding obedience and belief, the King James Bible offered non dual scripts for spiritual evolution? This presentation will argue precisely that despite selling hundreds of millions of copies, despite perhaps the most extensive scholarship ever devoted to any piece of writing, the Bible has been radically and catastrophically misunderstood and misused. Indeed, it just may be that we have radically misunderstood and misused the Bible precisely because it has sold so many copies and attracted so many scholars and interpreters. We have so many readers and experts working with this colossally powerful text that we become convinced that we know what the Bible has to say, and we avoid the sometimes difficult task of investigating the matter ourselves. Drawing on diverse spiritual traditions including Buddhism, Vedanta, Sufism, non duality and Yogi Berra, this presentation offers a series of self experiments informed by contemporary neuroscience designed to help activate the Bible's latent capacity to transform readers, right here and now in the 21st century
2pm – 4:30pm

San Martin

C17. Return to Self

2pm – 2:40pm

San Martin

Ellen Emmet

The Sacred Body

This open conversation will emphasize the invitation to bring the non-dual perspective into the realms of sensing, feeling and perceiving: What is the body once I understand that I am not the body, not a limited, located, temporal, solid and separate entity? How does the call of my essential nature echo as feeling, sensation, energy, tactility and emotion pre and post awakening? How can we help facilitate the natural re-orchestration of the body as it harmonises with its true source and substance?
2:30pm – 2:50pm

Madrone

The Individuation Game: Qualia and Freedom

Control Engineering and robotics gives a different starting point for understanding our development as conscious beings. We are, at least partly, robots being programmed by the experience of qualia in consciousness. Qualia shape our conscious experience and create a conditioning environment within which our neural networks take form and shape our personality, our behavior patterns. The dominant conditioning environment from early childhood through adulthood in humans could be said to be organized around a social-fear-guilt-shame axis which creates an inner environment necessary for proper socialization of individuals as they develop. Some individuals experience a transition from this socializing mode of consciousness to a less inhibited mode that carries the name nondual, among others. The change to this nondual conditioning environment can be sudden, and can be confusing if you don’t understand what is going on. It feels liberating to be released from the social-fear-guilt-shame environment, but at the same time it can be very ungrounding because there seems to be a significant loss of ability to see ones self as others see us. This less socially inhibited consciousness can be characterized by an increased experience of qualia associated with collective experience such as feeling the pain of others, love, and awe. The reduced experience of qualia associated with the social-fear-guilt-shame also makes it easier to access positive qualia such as joy and excitement. It creates a conditioning environment where curious exploration of the world and concern for others can dominate. It is a much freer and creative way of being, but it comes with a risk of becoming socially ungrounded and creating stories that will not stand the test of time. Understanding this creative but more risky subjective environment seems to be important if we want to be effective in our individual efforts to help improve society.
2:30pm – 2:50pm

San Juan Bautista

Steven Nouriani

Non-duality Through the Mundus Imaginalis

Inquiries into the soul and epistemological questions have been among the main sources of schisms between East and West for centuries. As Averroes promoted Aristotelianism in the West in the 12th century, and identified rational thinking as the true source of knowledge, Avicenna in the East integrated the Platonic cosmology into his philosophy, and proposed that Divine inspirations and revelations were the primary sources for true knowledge. Ibn Arabi and other Sufi mystics in the East further developed these ideas and placed imagination in the center of self-knowledge towards the development of the science of the soul. The concept of Mundus Imaginalis in Analytical psychology has its origins in Sufism. However, Mundus Imaginalis is conceived of much more expansively in Sufism, as it is thought to contain dimensions that go beyond the unconscious and the psychoid, to include levels of the Spirit realm, such as the superconscious, at the edge of the unknown, which are independent of the psyche. This imaginal realm exists between the spiritual or luminous realm and the corporeal world, in which spirit becomes matter, matter becomes spirit. It shares the characteristics of both the material world of perceptions and the conceptions of the mind, and the invisible qualities of the Spirit realm. This place is beyond time and exists in a space where dreams and visions are experienced and spiritual realities as the Self-revelations of the Divine are perceived through visionary experiences at non-dual states of consciousness. In this presentation, I will be exploring how deeper connections to the various levels of Mundus Imaginalis, as conceived of in the East, can be integrated into the process of Western depth psychotherapy or psychoanalysis to achieve higher states of consciousness and non-duality, towards more embodied healing and wholeness.
2:40pm – 3:10pm

Hayes Ballroom

Stuart Alan Kauffman

Mind Body Quantum Mechanics

Neurobiologists believe the mind brain system is and must be classical physics. For many, at some complexity, consciousness arises. This could be correct but faces what I will call the Stalemate: Such a mind can at most witness the world but, due to the causal closure of classical physics, cannot act upon that world. Such a consciousness must be merely epiphenomenal. Quantum biology is exploding, showing that quantum effects can and do arise at body temperature. Quantum mechanics allows a partially quantum mind to have ACAUSAL consequences for the “meat” of the brain, thus solving the Stalemate and answering the problem posed by Descartes’ Res cogitans and Res extensa: i.e. the Stalemate. Our human capacity to choose, in turn, demands that the present could have been different, thus the truth of counterfactual claims. If quantum measurement is indeterministic and real, quantum mechanics and measurement allow the present to be different. I shall discuss these issues and the newly discovered Poised Realm, hovering reversibly between quantum and “classical” behaviors, as a new basis both for the mind body system and a new class of constructable and evolvable “computers” which are not algorithmic, Trans Turing
2:50pm – 3:30pm

Monterey Room

Lynn Marie Lumiere

A Duet of One: Nonduality and Intimate Relating

True intimacy is the One celebrating itself as two. There is nothing more intimate than directly knowing that we are one Being and consciously sharing that together. Although we all long for this intimate union, it cannot be found through relationship or sexuality that is based on a belief in separation and duality. In order to experience true love and intimacy we must come to know our nondual nature and begin to embody that in our relating. This presentation will explore how to embody nondual realization in intimate relationship in practical, real life ways, such as bringing nondual understanding into communication and conflict. The root cause of all relational disharmony can be traced to the belief in duality, which leads us to seek love outside our self in others. Once the source of the problem is known and true love is awakened within us, it is possible to fully resolve relational issues related to our wounding and conditioning. When we bring the whole truth, absolute and relative, to our relating, relationship becomes a joyful meeting in our shared Being with a vast potential for further healing and awakening.
2:50pm – 3:30pm

Morgan Hill

Stan Klein

Connecting the 4 Mysteries at Edge of (Un)Known: Quantum Mechanics, Fine Tuning, Mind & Psychic Phenomena

Present science is in turmoil confronting four potentially linked problems: a) Confusions regarding quantum mechanics (QM) and the fundamental theory at the bottom; b) Our universe’s fine tuning (how a tiny change in any of a dozen values would eliminate life in our universe); c) How to account for subjectivity and mind; and d) How to account for psychic phenomena (psi)? We believe that psi may be the key, and that is the focus of our presentation. If psi continues to be found even under controlled conditions, it is likely that foundational changes will be needed for QM. Those changes are likely to account for puzzles b), c) and d). For example, the fine-tuning of our universe may be explained by a many-worlds QM framework, at the big bang’s symmetry breaking-phase transition, where the constants of nature became actualized. All possible broken symmetries would evolve with no QM collapses until the first sentient creature evolved and that particular universe would become real. At that point the multiverses without appropriate fine tunings would vanish according to von Neumann’s QM. Additionally, the carefully measured psi data would inform physicists what new properties are needed for the standard model of QM. If, for example, the carefully done psi experiments provide evidence for clairvoyance but not precognition then QM could be modified in a minor way to deal with mental phenomena. This could easily be done by converting to a Whiteheadian process framework. If on the other hand, precognition is validated, then fundamental changes to QM and process thought would be needed. The SAND conferences could become the ideal forum for discussing optimal psi experiments and methodologies that will satisfy both sides and illuminate what modifications to QED are needed. The potential payoff is high, so we anticipate developing a methodology satisfactory to both sides.
2:50pm – 3:30pm

San Martin

Jean Shinoda Bolen

Evolution of the Sacred Feminine

Cultural paradigm shifts parallel the individuation process in depth psychology. Both are preceded by rising tensions between change and resistance to change. In periods of transition or crisis, which precede psychological growth, the individual is able to hold more complexity, and often must tolerate a tension of opposites, before there is resolution. This is when forgotten and suppressed personal memories come back into consciousness; equivalent, in patriarchy, to remembering the Sacred Feminine—when God was a Woman and both the material world and transcendence existed within one another. Integration of the sacred feminine relates to women’s empowerment and equality, and to valuing both feminine and masculine in the psyche, and development of both hemispheres of a symmetrical brain. In this extemporaneous personal talk, Jean Bolen traces the acquisition of her knowledge of the sacred feminine and the goddess, as this knowledge was emerging into a world that was receptive through the women’s movement in the United States (1963 -1980s), which brought ideas of equality to social, economic, and political institutions. This was followed by the women’s spirituality movement centered in Northern California, which drew from archeological and theological discoveries and new interpretations based on ancient goddess religions (1980-2000). Knowledge of the pre-patriarchal Goddess emerged in women’s consciousness, in non-fiction and fiction, in rituals, through pilgrimages to ancient pre-patriarchal sacred sites, in women’s circles with a sacred center, and in the psyches and active imaginations of men and women who were forming egalitarian relationships, praying to mother-father God, and remembering a time when the earth and all life were part of a great mystery which is a indigenous world view, or part of the Tao in eastern philosophy. Metaphorically, through individuals and in circles, the Grail is returning to the World, hopefully in time to heal the Wasteland and the wounded patriarchy.
3pm – 3:55pm

Edenvale

Francis Bennett, Loch Kelly, and Mukti

Panel: Emptiness is also Form

Loch, Mukti and Francis will reflect together and discuss the paradoxical understanding reflected in the famous Heart Sutra’s saying, "Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Form is none other than emptiness and emptiness is none other than form.” They have noticed that many people get caught half way after an initial awakening in a kind of spiritual bypass: stuck in stillness, spaced-out, blissed-in or attached to the conceptual belief that “I am nobody." What are the pointers and supports to realize the already manifest life arising out of the unmanifest awareness? They will give examples of the fullness of waking-up from a limited sense of self to pure awareness, then also waking-in to our bodies and waking-out to relating and creating in the world. Loch, Mukti and Francis will discuss the importance the dancing emptiness of embodiment and how to live from open-hearted awareness.
3pm – 3:20pm

Madrone

Coleman Dobson

Consciousness Constructed in a Holographic Universe

How is consciousness constructed in a holographic world? What does the intersection of holographic projection and quantum entanglement mean in terms of information? And is this information quantum information? These profound questions are brought about by examining the work of Leonard Susskind and Juan Maldecena. Complementing their world as a hologram theory, ER = EPR is Leonard Susskind’s idea that every quantum entanglement is geometrically a quantum mechanical Einstein-Rosen bridge; that is, a quantum mechanical wormhole. By the holographic principle, we know there exists a strict relation between geometry and entropy; that is, between geometry and information. With this new relation between geometry and entanglement, we are stating that observed and unobserved reality is geometry is information, but information that was long ago encoded and that is highly entangled. I am presently working on how this holographic geometric idea applies to consciousness by assuming the holographic principle and considering consciousness as a supersymmetric time-independent state; that is, time-transcending. Specifically, I examine that, if observed and unobserved reality is a three-dimensional projection of a two-dimensional image, then: Firstly, is consciousness dual to quantum information? This is inspired by the ADS/CFT conjecture. So, as a conformal field theory without gravity in n-1 dimensions is dual to a theory of gravity in n dimensions, is consciousness a two dimensional, timeless dual of a three dimensional quantum information containing time? Secondly, does consciousness arise from pure quantum-complexity-emergence behind grand entanglement, such as behind the horizons of entangled black holes? Using field theory, supersymmetry, logic, and relativistic quantum mechanics, I construct cases for both questions in the affirmative. The importance of these questions is uncountable-fold! By probing these ideas and their implications, we will gain understanding
3pm – 3:20pm

San Juan Bautista

The Ecology of Awakening

As a co-founder of Open Circle, an organization that has hosted dozens of nondual teachers over the last 12 years, I have been privileged to experience first-hand a deep and wide array of nondual teachings. There are fundamental characteristics that bind these teachers and their teachings together, but there are also important differences. At first, these differences seemed contradictory, which I found very puzzling. But I came to realize that each teaching reflected a different aspect of awakening and was based in a different system within the self. Seeing each teaching within in a larger context, it became much easier to see how the teachings did or didn't relate to each other. The systems within the self have been referred to as the triune brain with three aspects: the brain, the heart/limbic system, and the reptilian body/gut/nervous system. Each of these systems has a unique awakened expression. I found that many of the apparent contradictions among teachings and texts could be resolved by understanding which aspect (or combination of aspects) they were addressing. When the self is recognized to be not a single homogenous thing, but more like an interconnected ecosystem, we can better understand awakening -- as a multiplicity, not a singular shift of identity, perspective, or experience. It is perhaps possible for an enlightenment experience to completely penetrate all 3 areas of the triune brain in extremely rare cases. But for all practical purposes, awakening is not a single event which finishes us, and leaves us perfect and complete. Instead, it comes in steps or waves over a period of time, deepening and expanding into more and more areas of our being -- with different teachers and teachings needed to supporting us along a various aspects of this journey.
3:10pm – 3:25pm

Hayes Ballroom

Origins Of Self

3:20pm – 4:30pm

Dome

Joe Hudson

Collective Heart. Brilliant Mind. Awakening from the Ground Up.

Joe Hudson’s work is all about understanding our true nature and encouraging our authentic expression. Joe facilitates the journey by bringing a unique set of tools that are grounded in many psychological, neurological, and spiritual traditions. The tools focus on unwinding our negative, underlying patterns and tapping into our natural capacity to love and fully accept ourselves. Much of the self-work available today is either about transcending through self-realization or how to go about getting what we want. It is like we have been given a choice: You can be spiritual and live at peace or you can live an outward life that is appealing. Joe takes apart this assumption. His tools give a felt sense of how the outward expression of life, from business to relationship, can be tools for powerful spiritual awakenings. In this session, Joe will continue with exercises focused on the felt sense of wonder, vulnerability and empathy. The tools will fade the hard lines of the separate self perspective and give concrete ways to make our interactions in the world more fulfilling.
3:20pm – 4:30pm

San Jose

Michaela Boehm and Steve James

The Yoga of Deep Intimacy

Join Michaela Boehm and Steve James for an hour of practical, interactive exploration in the Yoga of Deep Intimacy. This potent set of tools will enable you to accurately, cleanly, and powerfully explore the realms of sexual polarity and heartful connection in your own life and with others. Invite Deep Connection The first step in any human interaction is the ability to focus one’s attention and become intimate with the current set of circumstances. This includes feeling and awareness of oneself, which then, in turn, allows us to feel another. On an even more basic level, intimacy with the present moment allows for real comprehension and connection. Attention can be cultivated and the body can be sensitized to feel and connect intimately with oneself and another. We will explore both the underlying principles of connection and a set of exercises that foster intimacy. Relaxed Heart Opening As we experience relationship, both in our upbringing and romantically, we develop closures and safeguards against disappointment and heartache. Feeling deep love can also bring up feelings of pain and memories of loss we have experienced. Learning how to feel oneself and connect to another’s heart, combined with the ability to make oneself vulnerable and open to intimate interaction is practiced in a set of exercises that facilitate relaxation and opening internally, as well as with another human. You will engage in an inquiry into deep heart communion. Creating Strong Erotic Tension Erotic tension follows the law of “opposite attracts”. When two people (regardless of gender) engage in the play of sexual tension the strongest attraction is produced through the opposition of forces. Masculine/Feminine, Flow/Go, Penetration/Surrender, Shiva/Shakti are all terms describing those opposites. Learn how to artfully play with these opposites, without getting caught in gender stereotypes or assuming rigid roles.
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Guadalupe

Richard Bock

Quantum Light Breath

Quantum Light Breath is a guided conscious-connected-breath meditation with live music that brings participants out of the mind's chatter and into the immediacy of the present moment. Old patterns of behavior along with their accompanying emotions and physical sensations can melt, freeing the energy locked in them and resulting in a feeling of greater aliveness and spontaneity. “Satori” or deeply awakened insight into True Nature is a common occurrence for many participants. From this awakened and enlivened state, we move into a joyful experience of sounding and relating together, and this can lead to full embodiment and ease-full connection with nature and community. Richard’s guiding principle for these events is captured in the Vedic aphorism acyntia bheda abheda tattva , that the Absolute Truth is inconceivably simultaneously one and different
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Stuart Alan Kauffman, Katherine Peil, Neil Theise, and Chris Fields

Panel: The Evolutionary Origins Of Self

Microbes vigorously defend themselves against attack, distinguish friendly from unfriendly members of their communities, and approach suitable partners to initiate sex. What if anything do they experience when doing so? Do they, in particular, experience selfhood? Do fish that protect their nests experience ownership? Do crows that manufacture tools from unfamiliar objects experience planning and agency? Do dogs, elephants and horses experience themselves as related in some particular way to each of the other members of their social groups? Do chimps recognize their memories as their own? What in general can we say about the evolution of the experience of selfhood? Did the multifaceted human sense of self evolve as a unit, or did its various components develop separately?
3:30pm – 3:50pm

Madrone

Walking the Edge of Unknown in the Midst of an Epidemic

The current situation in studies of epidemics can be characterized by two trends. The first is exponential progress in developing new methods for identifying pathogens. The second is an unpredictable microbial threat evident in the emergence of novel diseases and the extensive spread of old pathogens worldwide. The situation is paradoxical because the expectation is that new information should lead to better understanding and more accurate predictions of epidemics. Biology is full of paradoxes. Not all microorganisms are harmful for their hosts and can be vital for their biological patterns. It is a context that may turn a microorganism into a pathogen. A single pathogen can manifest in different forms ranging from an asymptomatic form to a lethal disease; whereas a presence of multiple pathogens in one host population can affect significantly the dynamic of epidemic. Emergent properties of epidemics become evident when pathogens appear from the unknown side. This is not a trivial task to distinguish known, unknown, and unknowable components of epidemics. How much and what kind of information we need to value (or ignore!) for making a meaningful choice? Knowledge is NOT limited to information. The question is how not to drown in the ocean of arriving information about microorganisms and their interactions with animal and human hosts. These interactions require specific signals for a mutual recognition. A description of host-pathogen systems based on binary logic being limited to fixed alternative conditions such as infected versus non-infected hosts or pathogen versus non-pathogenic symbiont restricts a realization of the complexity of epidemic systems. A new paradigm for investigation of epidemics leads to the radical shift of perspectives in the simplicity-complexity dimension, semiotic interpretation of host-pathogen relations, and Kabbalistic logic and practice for measuring invisible parts within these complex and dynamic biological networks.
3:40pm – 4:20pm

Monterey Room

Richard Miller

Welcoming the Mystery: The Art of Embracing the Unknown

In order to realize our essential nature, we need to shift beyond the thinking mind that can hold us hostage in time, space, conditioning, and separation. Instead, we need to embrace not-knowing, which takes us beyond intellectual knowledge into the intuitive heartfelt knowing of our underlying nondual nature. Here we open to delight, wonder, astonishment, and intuitive insight of the Mystery that lies at the heart of each one of us, and the entire cosmos. In this experiential presentation Richard Miller takes you on an experiential journey through direct pointing out instruction and simple yet profound exercises that offers you the opportunity to shift out of your conditioned thinking mind and into the realm of not-knowing, where you can directly experience the Mystery of your essential nature. He also shares insights gleaned from neuroscience that informs our understanding of what may be occurring in our body as we move beyond subject-object relationship into the world of unconditioned infinite possibility.
3:40pm – 4:20pm

Morgan Hill

Menas Kafatos

Living the Living Presence

Science and spirituality are converging: Both science and spirituality seek unity, one by exploring the outer world, the other by exploring the inner world. Quantum mechanics has opened the door to the primary role of the mind. We will discuss how the following statements are the natural outcome of a unified, participatory universe. Fundamental Consciousness is the underlying total Reality. Nothing exists without Consciousness which is not subject to the boundaries of space or time. The field of pure Consciousness, exists and manifests through our own experiences in everyday life. This universal field is full of the living force, the living Consciousness. It is ever-existing. This is what I call the Living Presence. It also must be what we experience all the time, our own individual lives. The Living Presence includes our everyday lives, is not separate from them. If we consciously live the Living Presence, our lives become the very abode of eternal bliss. This bliss is not far, far away in some transcendent realm. It is right here, right now. In the presentation to the wonderful SAND community, we will explore how the findings of modern quantum mechanics are actually very relevant to our own everyday lives. The vision of such a new way of seeing what is already there is profound, yet common.
3:40pm – 4:20pm

San Martin

Gail Brenner

From Fear to Peace: Insights, Tools, and the Sacred Return to Yourself

Fear is a survival reaction built into the human body. When even the tiniest threat is perceived, in a matter of milliseconds the body is in a state of fight, flight, or freeze experienced as physical sensation. These sensations aren’t problematic until the sophisticated thinking of the higher brain functions gets involved. The mind adds in personalized stories and interpretations that breed chronic worry, anxiety, a sense of inadequacy, and more agitated, negative thinking. Mental engagement in the fear response is at the root of separation and masks the palpable aliveness of our true nature. In this conversation, we’ll untangle contraction around the fear response. The key insight is to not believe the contents of the mind, and the key practice is to withdraw attention from thoughts and sensations, allowing them to be present as is without making them real through identification. Then attention is free to rest deeply in itself, which is the sacred return to our natural state. In any moment, we know ourselves as consciousness—fully welcoming the arising of fear yet not being touched by it.
4pm – 4:30pm

Edenvale

JP Sears

Q&A with JP Sears

4pm – 4:20pm

Madrone

Is Consciousness Computation and is the Universe a Computer

Are humans computers, Turing machines made of flesh and blood, or altogether different sorts of mechanisms? The modern scientific consensus is that the Universe is a Quantum Computer and that the brains of humans are classical computers running on that hardware. I challenge this viewpoint from the perspective of creativity. When humans engage in mathematical problem solving, they appear able to solve the halting problem. This puts constraints on the boundary conditions at the origin of our Universe and gives meaning to the purpose of being conscious. Consciousness allows us to understand our Universe and shape its evolution rather than evolving in a blind deterministic fashion. We make our Universe; it does not make us
4:30pm – 5pm

Lawn

Music Al Fresco with Jérémy Marais & his flute

5pm – 6:40pm

Hayes Ballroom

PL.7 The Heart of Reality

5pm – 5:40pm

Hayes Ballroom

Francis Lucille

Innocence and Spontaneity of Not Knowing

Francis doesn't deliver a pre-planned presentation. He speaks instead in the spirit of the moment, answering questions from the audience from the innocence and spontaneity of not-knowing.
5:50pm – 6:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Francis Lucille and Edward Frenkel

A Scientist's Mind Meets the Heart of Reality

A mathematician with interest in Nonduality and a Nonduality teacher with scientific background engage in a dialogue and take questions from the audience.
6:30pm – 6:40pm

Hayes Ballroom

JP Sears

In the SANDbox with JP Sears

6:30pm – 8pm

Silver Creek Dining Room

Dinner

7pm – 8:15pm

Dome

CelloJoe

Tea Service/ Cello Joe Jam

8:30pm – 11:59pm

Hayes Ballroom

On the Edge of the Unknow Party and Live Music

8:30pm – 9:15pm

Hayes Ballroom

JP Sears and David Ellzey

Panel of 3 Gurus: JP Sears, Swami Beyondananda & David Ellzey

9:15pm – 11:59pm

Hayes Ballroom

On the Edge of the Unknow Live Music and Dance Party

7:30am – 8:30am

Edenvale

Experiential

7:30am – 8:30am

Edenvale

Rupert Spira

Guided Meditation

7:30am – 8:30am

San Jose

Experiential

7:30am – 8:30am

San Jose

5 Tibetan Rites: Mastering the Flow of Life Force through the 5 Elements

9am – 12:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

PL.8 The Science of Heart

9am – 9:10am

Hayes Ballroom

Interlude

9:10am – 9:40am

Hayes Ballroom

Kabir Helminski

The Qualitative Science of the Heart

Sufism is a discipline, a methodology, for enhancing and refining spiritual perception. The human being has a range of subtle faculties for knowing, the totality of which we can call the spiritual heart. The science of the heart is a science of qualities, not quantities. Through the heart we can know this existence qualitatively. Behind the beautiful images and metaphors of Sufi poetry lies a systematic knowledge of spiritual perception. When Rumi, for instance, speaks of the Beloved, he is describing a qualitative relationship with Being. The heart is the core of our subjective experience through which we experience relationship with other living beings, and ultimately with Being itself. Ultimately, knowledge and love are not two contrary functions, but a synergy through which we discover this communion and intimacy with the Absolute.
9:50am – 10:20am

Hayes Ballroom

Larry Dossey

Is the Soul Obsolete?

Ian Stevenson, the consciousness researcher who reported thousands of cases of children who claimed to remember previous lives, observed, “It has been wisely said that the question of a life after death is the most important question that a scientist — or anyone— can ask.” He further stated, "I believe it is better to learn what is probable about important matters than to be certain about trivial ones.” Research into human survival of bodily death has involved approaches such as near-death and out-of-body experiences, mediumistic investigations, children who report previous lives, evidence of global consciousness, and apparently nonlocal manifestations of consciousness such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis and precognition. In this presentation, physician Larry Dossey will explore the possibility of survival by examining the inadequacy of a materialist approach to consciousness, which forbids the possibility of survival of mind. He will show that a nonlocal model of consciousness implies infinitude in space (omnipresence) and time (eternality and immortality) for some aspect of who we are; and that, if unbounded in space and time, consciousness must in some sense be unitary and collective — the ancient vision of the Universal or One Mind. An omnipresent, eternal, and unitary aspect of consciousness resembles the concept of the soul in many spiritual traditions throughout human history. Generally considered a religious and faith-based idea, it is ironic that empirical science is producing evidence that is favorable toward such a view. Thus, the concept of soul is decidedly not obsolete, but may be more grounded than ever. Dr. Dossey will also discuss the ethical implications of a unitary, collective aspect of consciousness for the many global challenges that currently confront humanity.
10:30am – 10:50am

Hayes Ballroom

Corine Sombrun

Mongolian Shamanic Trance through Neurosciences

From her experience in the practice of shamanic Mongolian trance to her collaboration with researchers (Alberta Hospital in Canada, CNRS in Paris and others) Corine Sombrun will throw new light on the influence of shamanic trance on the brain’s hemispheres’ function and the capacity of any human being to reach such a state in a self-induced way.
11am – 12:30pm

Dome

Conversations

11am – 12:30pm

Dome

MAPS: Psychedelics - Tools for Exploration & Well-Being

In the West since the 1950s and 1960s, there has been an uneasy and sometimes unacknowledged relationship between psychedelics and spirituality. Many prominent dharma teachers and practitioners found their first taste of awakening through psychedelic experiences, but others express doubt as to the usefulness of these tools. At the same time, current research is demonstrating a wide body of applications for psychedelics in treating issues that remain intractable for mainstream psychiatry: healing for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, existential anxiety related to end of life, chronic depression, and a host of other issues may be approachable through the therapeutic use of psychedelics. Our conversation will explore how these different uses of psychedelics might meet—both as tools for exploring the nature of consciousness, and as facilitators in the human process of healing and living in the world.
11am – 12:30pm

Edenvale

Exploration and Dialogues 5

11am – 11:40am

Edenvale

Larry Dossey

Q&A with Larry Dossey

11am – 12:30pm

Guadalupe

Ajaya Sommers

Continuum Embodiment Explorations ~ Revealing the Soul of Eros

We are living, breathing, and walking miracles of conscious awareness. No matter how much amnesia clouds our biological experience from trauma, pain or suffering, the original "template of love" is always available to be reclaimed. Once restored, remembered and rekindled as a fire of living love in our cells, organs, bones, heart, mind -our transcendent spirit can embody. Join me in co-creating an environment where the conditions are ripe for the translucence of our biological matrix to unfold it's knowing beyond our contemporary cultural walls. Through precisely directed breath, sound, movement and awareness practices our anatomy can “lite up” to reveal the Soul of Eros- the true intelligence encoded within the dynamic and fluid forms of our bodies. Given the fact that everything is changing- nothing is stable or certain in terms of any sense of ground in the physical dimension. It is vitally important that we know how to fluidly abide in our self-referential sense of center and to live from this place of true ground.
11am – 11:20am

Hayes Ballroom

Katherine Peil

Emotional Sentience: The Nature of Consciousness & Spiritual Experience

When phenomenal experience is examined through the lens of physics, several conundrums come to light including: Specificity of mind-body interactions, feelings of free will in a deterministic universe, and the relativity of subjective perception. The new biology of “emotion” can shed direct light upon these issues, via a broadened categorical definition that includes both affective feelings and their coupled (yet often subconscious) hedonic motivations. In this new view, evaluative (good/bad) feelings that trigger approach/avoid behaviors emerged with life itself, a crude stimulus-response information loop between organism and its environment, a semiotic signaling system embodying the first crude form of “mind”. Emotion serves the ancient function of sensory-motor self-regulation and affords organisms – at every level of complexity – an active, adaptive, role in evolution. A careful examination of the biophysics involved in emotional “self-regulatory” signaling, however, acknowledges constituents that are incompatible with classical physics. This requires a further investigation of the fundamental nature of “the self” as the subjective observer central to the measurement process in quantum mechanics, and ultimately as an active, unified, self-awareness with a centrally creative role in “self-organizing” processes and physical forces of the classical world. In this deeper investigation, a new phenomenological dualism is proposed: The flow of complex human experience is instantiated by both a classically embodied mind and a deeper form of quantum consciousness that is inherent in the universe itself, implying much deeper – more Whiteheadian – interpretations of the “self-regulatory” and “self-relevant” nature of emotional stimulus. There are quite profound implications from this new biophysically informed understanding of emotion, implications that meander into nearly every social science as well as public health and criminal justice – painting a far more optimistic portrait of human nature, with promising portent for vibrant human flourishing physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.
11am – 12:30pm

Madrone

C25. Heart Knowing

11am – 11:20am

Madrone

Syamala Hari

Knowing without the Mind and the I

When we are awake and even while dreaming, the I seems to be present in conscious experience. In Hindu and Buddhist philosophies, mind is said to be the sixth sense and the I (or ego, or self) to be part of mind. The implication is that similar to the physical senses (see, hear, touch, taste, and smell), mind is also instrumental in creating conscious experiences but is not awareness itself. However, mind is subtle and not accessible to the other senses in normal circumstances. One’s thoughts are not known to others unless one conveys them verbally or by other physical means. Can we ever have a conscious experience with no I in it? We argue that selfless acts in our ordinary lives indeed begin with I-less moments. We will also describe a few experiences of one of the authors (Oliver), of a conscious state with no thoughts, called Sampatti, in which he is aware of some physical and psychological conditions of a human or animal subject upon whom he focuses attention. His subjects experienced peace as their anxieties gradually cleared during the session; some got relief from the physical cause of their anxiety later. Oliver’s mysterious experiences as well as some selfless acts we do in ordinary lives suggest the possibility of knowing without the mind and I and the limitation of physical senses. Such knowing grasps reality without any distortion. This possibility also points to two kinds of memory, which may be called factual and psychological memories; creation of the former does not involve the I/ego whereas the latter does. Samapatti is one kind of Samadhi, a state of consciousness, which lies beyond waking, dreaming, or deep sleep. It may be attained by meditation or single-pointed concentration that slows down mental activity to a complete stop.
11am – 12:30pm

Monterey Room

C21. The True Mystery

11am – 11:40am

Monterey Room

Francis Bennett

No Self/True Self: Exploring the relative and Absolute Aspects of Identity

I have come to strongly feel that all Spiritual Traditions and teachings are only partial representations of the Truth. All Traditions contain very unhelpful and unhealthy notions as well as healthy and helpful ones. Is there really any Spiritual Tradition or teacher or teaching or philosophy or religion that somehow conveys the whole Truth of any matter? Westerners from the monotheistic religions who affirm the existence of a self and the phenomenal world and self-development in that world, are partially correct and partially incorrect. They can be positively pointing to the relative importance of everyday identity and a valid, relative identification with things like culture, sexual orientation or gender, relational identity and a sense of vocation or calling in the world. These are all aspects of our lives that most of us would see as very important, but they do not really reflect who we are absolutely speaking, on the level of Pure Consciousness or Spirit. Easterners or Eastern influenced Westerners who teach No-Self or "Anatta" are describing a particular spiritual experience that, while pointing to who and what we are ultimately on an absolute, unchanging level, does not necessarily reflect our day to day reality of ourselves or others in the everyday world. Teaching No-Self as an ontological reality that could be articulated as saying, the personal me does not exist on any level whatsoever, can be quite harmful and dissociative and in denial of vast aspects of our ordinary human experience of relative identity and life in the world. But believing that we are somehow confined or limited to a personal identity can also be very limited and is not taking into account the absolute essence of who we are. Perhaps a balanced blend of BOTH perspectives is the most healthy and comprehensive approach.
11am – 12:30pm

Morgan Hill

C23. Consciousness and Sacred Medicine

11am – 11:40am

Morgan Hill

Klee Irwin

The Quasicrystalline Nature of Consciousness and the Universe

Some spiritual and scientific approaches attempt to connect consciousness to the structure of the universe. For example, Deepak Chopra posits the Vedic view that consciousness is the ground of physical reality. However, this spiritual model leaves the inquiring scientist asking the same question a child might ask a priest: How did this God-like universal consciousness come to be? A theory of everything needs to be discovered that would reconcile the outstanding disagreements between general relativity and quantum mechanics while explaining this God-like universal consciousness that has come to be. Quantum Gravity Research (QGR) deduced a theory that does just this, using a spacetime substrate of quasicrystal geometry and spin-network operations that create emergent consciousness within the system. The model holds promise of becoming the world’s only geometric first principles theory of everything. Such a theory, for example, would provide an analytical expression for the fine structure constant leaving no value in nature (such as the speed of light) unexplained by simple first principles.
11am – 12:30pm

San Jose

Experiential

11am – 12:30pm

San Jose

Aikido, the Dynamic Physical Embodiment of Non-duality

Aikido consists of Ai: universal balance; Ki: universal energy of connection; Do: Way, or universal Truth. The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, was both a deeply spiritual person and one of the most highly developed martial artists of his time. In an enlightenment experience, he saw that Budo (Way of the warrior), was “not to destroy or fell opponents, but to preserve, nurture and protect;” that “The Universe has become one family” and indeed, that “Budo is Love.” The practice of Aikido is a way of non-duality, in three stages: Coordination: of spirit, mind and body, by practicing martial arts technique. From a peaceful inner Center, we learn how to preserve both our own life and that of our attacker(s). Practicing this in the relatively safe but challenging environment of a Dojo (‘place of the Way’) is meant to enable resolution of our inner conflicts, so as to better handle the outer conflicts in our daily lives. And the art of receiving techniques while staying safe is a wonderful method of developing freedom (both of body and mind), the humility that allows self-knowledge, and the gratitude that allows healthy relationships to flourish. Connection: Aikido functions by establishing a connection with the ‘other’ that is much more than mere acknowledgement: one finds a way to join with attackers so that their mind and body of the become part of one’s own energy field. We say: “True victory is victory over one’s self.” Realization: the arts of Aikido are a pro-active expression of unity in Nature: in harmony with the deep and creative workings of the Universe, Aikido is revealed as the practice of realized truth. In this experiential session, we will practice safe physical drills with partners involving minimal physical effort and requiring no special skills. We will practice embodying the power and beauty of both internal spirit-mind-body connection and of connection with another person. We will see how, when feeling stuck, there is always another way: one that can be found not by fighting but by embodying unity.
11am – 12:30pm

San Juan Bautista

C24. Entanglement, Meditation and Synchronicity

11am – 11:20am

San Juan Bautista

How Nature Tunes itself to Use Quantum Entanglement

Does processing at the quantum level actively contribute to macroscopic biological functions, including brain function and consciousness? It is a given that at atomic scales quantum effects dominate, and at molecular scales quantum effects may have measurable influence (for example, on energy levels of molecules, on transition rates between different conformal molecular states, and on reaction rates). Recent work now suggests quantum effects not only persist in the noisy thermal environments of large biological molecules, but their transport is facilitated and enhanced by such noisy thermal environments in certain classes of biological molecules. There appears to be a fine-tuning between the delocalization due to phonons present in scaffolding protein molecules and the coherence present in molecules across which excitation (proton or electron) must be transported. In this paper we briefly review evidence (Fleming et. al.) that green sulfur bacteria utilize relatively long-lived quantum entanglement among bacteriochlorophyll molecules to enhance the efficiency of photosynthesis, and the current explanatory mechanism for environment-assisted quantum transport (Rebentrost et. al.), which is based on fine-tuning of coupling between chromophores and phonons in the environment and inter-chromophore coupling. We then give a dynamical systems view of the interplay between the relatively classical motion of atomic nuclei and the purely quantum motion of electrons to explain the origin of the fine-tuning that enhances quantum transport. In particular, we investigate the effect that regular and stochastic phase space regions of a nonlinear system have on persistence of quantum entanglement, in particular at the bifurcation from recurrent to chaotic behavior.
11am – 12:30pm

San Martin

C22. Firing God On the Edge of The Unknown

11am – 11:40am

San Martin

Rick Archer

Will the Unknown Always have an Edge, or Does Spiritual Development have an End Point?

In keeping with the theme of this year’s conference - On the Edge of the (Un)Known and in light of the overall theme of the conference Science and Nonduality , I would like to discuss the following: From Wikipedia: Science is a systematic enterprise that creates, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.�an knowledge of nonduality be systematically organized, tested, explained, and predicted? Science has not devised instruments capable of detecting the nondual nature of ultimate reality, but spiritual traditions discuss it extensively, and numerous followers of these traditions (and no traditions) claim to have experienced it as their essential nature. This experience is commonly termed awakening or enlightenment. Is there a scientific consensus among these people? Are they referring to the same thing? Is there just one awakening, or are there many degrees of it? Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian mystical traditions tend to assert the latter. If there are many degrees or stages of awakening, do they culminate in an ultimate stage we might term enlightenment, or is there no ultimate? When one’s essential nature has been clearly and abidingly realized, has one reached a terminus, or do refinement, clarification, and other facets of development continue? If we see spiritual development as never-ending, will we be forever chasing the dangling carrot, or can we rest in our true nature, the seeking energy having dropped off, and yet acknowledge that compared with what might be possible, we are relative beginners? Many spiritual teachers make statements such as This is it. You are That which you are seeking. Realize this, and you are finished. Is such advice helpful, or does it short-change spiritual aspirants?
11:30am – 12:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

The Edge of the Unkown in the Human Being

We all know what it means to be on the edge of the unknown – or the very leading-edge of knowledge acquisition – in the empirical sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, genomics, evolution, technology). But what does it mean to be on the leading edge of knowledge acquisition about human beings themselves? And especially in spirituality, what are the leading edges of our knowledge in that dimension? Unbeknownst to many, there turns out to be two major paths of spiritual understanding for humans: the path of spiritual intelligence, or how we think about spirit or ultimate reality; and the path of spiritual experience, or how we directly experience spirit or ultimate reality. The former is known as the path of Growing Up, because it follows a human being’s growth and development through its various multiple intelligences—including spiritual intelligence—as these multiple lines (including spiritual intelligence or the spiritual line) grow and evolve from egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric to integral stages of development. This is the basis of virtually all Western developmental psychology models. The latter is known as the path of Waking Up, because it follows our growth and development in practices such as meditation, contemplation, mindfulness, and so on (paths of the Great Liberation or Waking Up), as consciousness moves into deeper and higher dimensions of reality, moving from the “skin-encapsulated ego” to the Supreme Identity of individual awareness and ultimate spirit. What has only recently been understood is that these two paths are relatively independent. A person can be at a fairly high stage of Growing Up and a low stage of Waking Up – and vice versa. This understanding is not present in any major spiritual system anywhere in the world, and puts limitations on the types of actual freedom offered by the great wisdom traditions. This presentation reviews the evidence for both paths, looking at the implications for our own spiritual development in light of this new information. The conclusion: the more advanced we are in both paths, the more we stand centered in the heart of that ultimate Mystery which alone is.
11:30am – 11:50am

Madrone

Carole Griggs

iConscious: A Breakthrough Map of Conscious Human Development

iConscious provides a new framework for understanding and accelerating full-spectrum evolution from consciousness through all layers of our humanity. It offers a clear and comprehensive map of growth on five domains of our Being (Awareness, Uniqueness, Mind, Heart, and Body) through three major phases of maturation (Duality, Unity, and Singularity). The complete map further breaks each phase into chapters, and each domain into individual and relational aspects. The Griggs-Strauss Conscious Human Development Map is designed to condense a vast, multifaceted wealth of ancient and contemporary knowledge and research into a system that helps people locate their current growth edges. Once located, our map reveals the most important themes to be addressed to directly catalyze full spectrum development. This map reveals the overarching growth trajectories discovered through decades of experience, research, and observation. The depth and breadth of the map allows for the unique challenges and complexities of each person’s awakening process, while encouraging balance across all Domains, individually and relationally. Many current developmental maps lack comprehensiveness (individually and relationally in all Domains through all phases) or are not very accessible or useful for ordinary people. Most traditional psychological models end within our Duality phase, and most spiritual models end in early chapters within our Unity phase. This encouraged us to develop a model that describes growth beyond initial awakening on all layers as reported by contemporary integrated realizers. Through this and other systems and resources we are developing, our aim is to help humanity collectively awaken as rapidly as possible to realize and enjoy its full potential.
11:30am – 11:50am

San Juan Bautista

Initial fMRI Study on Neural Correlates of Conscious Flow during Meditation

Human conscious flows can alter brain states. Such brain activities modulate energy consumptions, which can be manifest in the BOLD effect in fMRI experiment. The goal of this study is to identify whether there is difference in such BOLD effects between experienced Tai Chi masters in meditation states and normal control subjects. In this experiment, both the meditator and the controls using their conscious to lead a thought flow periodically circling in their brain in axial, sagittal, and coronal orientations inside a MRI scanner. The experimental results showed significant differences between the meditator and the controls. First of all, the meditator activates frontal medial cortex and precuneous regions without any visual excitation, while the controls only utilize visual cortex and precuneous regions without any frontal medial excitation. This seems to suggest that for performing the same tasks, the meditator is in cognitive control state, while the controls are in spatial imagination state. Secondly, when asked to focus their conscious awareness on certain parts of brain, the meditator can directly activate the focused brain region, whereas the normal controls cannot; they seem to rely on a large brain network that subserves spatial coordinates. The initial data suggest that in meditation states, consciousness may bypass learned platform in brains, and directly channel energy.
11:50am – 12:30pm

Edenvale

Kabir Helminski

Q&A with Kabir Helminski

11:50am – 12:30pm

Monterey Room

Devaji

The Doorway into Freedom

With his unique approach to the nondual teachings, Devaji offers a clear roadmap to the unraveling of conditioned mind and to true freedom. The futility of trying to bypass our human suffering in an attempt to access the divine becomes evident and we find that the birthing of true love arises in the tender embrace of our deepest vulnerabilities. By inviting all phenomena to be seen by clear mind, the illusion of the separate one naturally falls away and the true heart of Silence can be realized. Devaji's incisive, tender wisdom cuts straight to the core of the egoic condition, opens the heart to the most hardened and conditioned patterns in the ego construct and facilitates a clear seeing and transformation. All effort then is released and you are led back to the one source, to the unbridled joy and love that is your very essence.
11:50am – 12:30pm

Morgan Hill

Lissa Rankin

Sacred Medicine: A Spiritual Cure For The #1 Public Health Issue Doctors Aren't Talking About

Scientific evidence is clear that loneliness disrupts the health of the body more than poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, or smoking. Yet so many in modern culture feel helpless in the face of their loneliness. What if the treatment for loneliness is not surrounding yourself with crowds of people but healing the original wound of separation? In this discussion, we'll explore Oneness as medicine as Dr. Rankin, the founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, shares some of her research for an upcoming book Sacred Medicine, for which she has been studying with shamans in Peru, Qigong masters from China, and energy healers in the United States. She also welcomes those interested in the deep inquiry of the mysterious ways the body can heal "spontaneously" as the result of mystical experiences, the open heart, and alignment with the soul.
11:50am – 12:30pm

San Martin

Cheryl Abram

Firing God: Remember the sign announcing the KKK meeting?

Many experiences shaped my life growing up as a black girl in southern Louisiana. The emotions generated by those experiences, and my understanding of them, directed my decisions. In the everyday attempt to always make the right decision, two primary goals became apparent--self- preservation and happiness. I realized living was about staying alive, and if I could be happy while alive that was even better. In time, staying alive became exhausting. Eventually, capturing then losing happiness became discouraging. Why was living so difficult? Why was happiness so elusive? Finding the answers to these questions compelled me to reminisce and recall all the ways I’d shaped this life when, suddenly, there was nothing more to remember--then the real search began.
12pm – 12:20pm

Madrone

Peter Granger

Experimental Evidence for Non-Local Heart Entrainment in Loving/Bonded Relationships

This presentation summarizes the research findings from a research project aimed at investigating heart entrainment between two people who are in a loving/bonded relationship. The results demonstrate that the heart rates measured against time of two people in a bonded/loving relationship can correlate in phase despite being separated by distances that preclude sensory feedback or other communication. To date the research has involved 120 experiments carried out with pairs of people independently recording data into laptops and at various distances of separation. Many of these experiments show significant visual correlation when the two experimenters are experiencing feelings of love for each other. Statistical analysis indicates that these are unlikely to be the result of chance or coincidence. Frequency analysis of the heart rate data reveals that phase correlations are also present within key frequency bands of the decomposed data and relate to periods where one experimenter felt love, appreciation and gratitude towards the other experimenter. The research has made use of some specially written software that allows the heart signals of two people to be displayed in real-time alongside a narration of reported experimenter thoughts and feelings. Preliminary results from these experiments show that one person’s loving intent can raise the heart rate of another at a distance and without sensory cues. Data from these experiments will be shown. Suggestions are made for further research to test if these non-local heart correlations are caused by heart-to-heart entrainment or some other mechanism. This leads to a brief discussion of how this might relate to heart communication through a connected consciousness. The presentation ends with an offer to share the research data and methods so that others might attempt to replicate the results and help take the research forward.
12pm – 12:20pm

San Juan Bautista

Sky Nelson-Isaacs

Can our Actions increase the Likelihood of a synchronicity?

We will discuss the current state of progress of an ongoing investigation into the mathematics of quantum histories and meaningful action. In quantum mechanics, the future is made of possibilities. All the possibilities of a certain object must total 100% probability. However, a given future path can be broken into an infinite variety of smaller, intermediate events, with less than 100% probability. We cannot possibly keep track of every little detail of the future possibilities, because we live in a world of vast complexity, and no system is isolated from outside influences. So we always decide to simplify our description of the world into groupings, such as system and environment. Yet this arbitrary distinction may have a profound effect. If we take an action that carries a certain intention or meaning, we divide up our future paths into subdivisions based upon our choice of action. For instance, after graduating high school, you ponder whether to go to college or get a job. This decision subdivides your future possibilities into those that match each possible choice you could make. From this subdivision, you may be more likely to experience meaningful coincidences which align with the decision that was made. I will present a mathematical model by which the likelihood of certain meaningful experiences is enhanced by the intermediate choices we make.
12:30pm – 2pm

Hayes Terrace

Lunch music with Rob Reich

2pm – 4:30pm

Dome

Conversations

2pm – 3:10pm

Dome

Devorah Bry

Embodiment: The Feminine Principle

For centuries spirituality (with the support of western psychology) has framed body as a container for the mind, an illusion to overcome, a lower or lesser experience of life, divinity, and intelligence, as a whole. Something is changing. The field of Somatics, the reemergence of goddess culture, our increased interest in community building, collaborative business models, and body-inclusive spiritual paths show us that the view is widening. Come be a part of this community conversation on the embodiment of the feminine. Your voice is welcome, wanted, needed.
2pm – 4:30pm

Edenvale

Explorations and Dialogues 6

2pm – 2:50pm

Edenvale

Nadine Kreisberger and Corine Sombrun

Trance As a State All of Us Can Access - And Tips on How to Get There

We often think of "altered states of consciousness" or trance as something reserved to a few chosen Shamans or triggered by some kind of substance. instead, Corine Sombrun's experiences and scientific research show us that anybody can get into trance. it simply is a natural capability of our brain -- a most useful and powerful one, yet for most of us, left untapped. once in that state, one can retrieve information & guidance, one can discover and process emotions and thoughts otherwise unknown (related to us, to those around us, as well as to universal "realities"). But how? In her conversation with Nadine Kreisberger, Corine will share the latest and most exhilarating research in trance states, as well as practical tips on how to access it, use it, explore it in the richest possible way.
2pm – 4:30pm

Guadalupe

Experiential

2pm – 3:30pm

Guadalupe

Daniel Deslauriers

Contact Dance Improv

This experiential workshop explores embodied consciousness through the practice of Contact Improvisation (CI). CI is a form of movement performed with a partner and in groups. In this workshop, a series of guided exercises will allow participants to learn Contact Improvisation from the very beginning, as a form of moving meditation. This creative engagement, respectfully engaging the sense of touch, gently animates centers of awareness throughout our entire body. We safely explore how to attune to others, how to engage play at the boundaries between self and others, and to create ease in the presence of the unknown. Improvisation then becomes a joyful guide to inquiry. Our felt sense, or embodied consciousness, is at the root of our metaphysical intuition about self and about the world: gravity and levity; boundaries and connections; participation and individuation. When our bodies creatively express their innate wisdom in movement, a revitalized relationship with the world naturally occurs. More of who we are becomes available to our awareness, and knowledge can be accessed from the inside out. In this way Contact Improvisation is more than a form of movement, it is a metaphor for life. Come prepared to move. No experience necessary. Best with loose and comfortable clothes.
2pm – 4:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

PL.9 Full Embrace of Life

2pm – 2:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Matthew Fox

Science & Spirituality: Together Again

Post-modern times often require some pre-modern wisdom. Pre-modern philosopher Thomas Aquinas (13th century) declared that "a mistake about creation results in a mistake about God." Obviously we depend on scientists to teach us about creation or nature so there is a deep interdependence between spirituality and science and between a recovery of the sacred and the stories of awe and wonder that science can teach us. We will explore some of these connections in this talk including a challenge from the Catholic monk Thomas Merton and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel to the world of technology.
2pm – 4:30pm

Madrone

C30. Emerging Theories of Consciousness

2pm – 2:20pm

Madrone

Annick de Witt

The Science of the Emerging, Integrative Worldview and its Potentials for Initiating Global Social Change

Changes in culture and consciousness are currently happening quickly: yoga studios pop up everywhere, purpose-oriented businesses are the next exciting thing, and managers are meditating for productivity. Worldviews in the West are changing ~ but how exactly, and what does that mean for some of the most urgent challenges humanity faces? This question has guided my research in the last decade, in which I have attempted to explore and validate unconventional perspectives by using conventional, widely accepted, scientific methods. One of the fruits of this work is the development of an elegant, empirically validated survey-tool that swiftly indicates individuals' worldviews, using the ideal-types of a traditional, modern, postmodern, and integrative worldview. While our understanding of the first three worldviews builds forth on much work in sociology, developmental psychology, and philosophy, the emerging integrative worldview is more innovative terrain. This worldview attempts to synthesize domains that in other worldviews are viewed as mutually exclusive, such as science and spirituality, rationality and imagination, economy and ecology, humanity and nature. Instead, such oppositions are seen as part of a greater, non-dual, spiritual-evolutionary whole. Learning to dance at the edge of the (un)known, and thrive in complexity, are some of the great potentials of this worldview. In this presentation I will discuss our insights and empirical findings about the emergence of the integrative worldview; how it relates to, and is different from, other worldviews; the kind of spirituality it is birthing (and how that is in line with SAND’s ambitions); and why it may have vital potential for adequately responding to our pressing, planetary issues. I conclude arguing that complex issues like addressing climate change, facilitating a more circular economy, and supporting lifestyles that generate health and wellbeing, may in fact depend on the flourishing of this new worldview.
2pm – 4:30pm

Monterey Room

C26. Living the Unknown

2pm – 2:40pm

Monterey Room

Kristin Kirk

Embodied Bliss: Living the Unknown

Spiritual seekers often desire the idea of living a blissfully awakened and embodied life. Living the Unknown is the tandem requirement. This means each radiant embodied step fully resides in Absolute not knowing. We will discuss the initial need for Trust, the subsequent falling away of Trust, and the return of embodied Trust. We will explore the embodied presence of living the unknown. To live Divine Embodiment one must walk the Unknown. To walk the Unknown, one must surrender fully into embodied being and nothing inseparably. They are synonymous. You are the living expression of this Truth.
2pm – 4:30pm

Morgan Hill

C27. Ayahuasca, Quantum Mechanics and Evolution

2pm – 2:40pm

Morgan Hill

Frank Echenhofer

Exploring the Benefits of Ayahuasca by Bringing Neuroscience and Spirituality Together

Indigenous Amazonian communities discovered the sacred uses for Ayahuasca centuries ago. Since the 1990’s Ayahuasca has spread to every continent where its set and setting has evolved within each new culture. This talk describes our Ayahuasca research since 2000 in Brazil and Peru examining how Ayahuasca facilitates healing, creativity, and spiritual development in a variety of settings. Our research set and setting unites our study and respect of traditional practices, Transpersonal psychology, and embodied neuroscience approaches. We have found that ayahuasca can be a catalyst to allow archetypal transformative experiences to arise while simultaneously altering EEG gamma and beta connectivity patterns across the entire cortex in ways similar to advanced Tibetan meditators. We also found, and reported at SAND 2014, that these archetypal transformative experiences had stages and sub-stages of the classic shamanic journey. Our current research is exploring whether ayahuasca might be catalyst for a range of different archetypal arcs of transformation.? We find that some people experience an ascending arc of transformation starting with empowerment. Others experience a descending arc of transformation starting with an underworld journey. Some of these arcs appear to be experienced more frequently by women and others by men. The impact of culture, spiritual worldview, and personality also seems to play a role. Such different arcs of transformation can easily be observed in the memoirs of many great spiritual teachers. We suggest that this implies that each of us could also be predisposed to a specific arc of transformation that is already highly aligned with our true nature. Our current study, in progress, is focused on exploring and providing initial answers to our research question: Are differences in personality and EEG responses to ayahuasca related to different arcs of transformation, healing, and embodied wholeness??
2pm – 4:30pm

San Jose

Experiential

2pm – 3:10pm

San Jose

David Ellzey

Celebrate The Body as The Gateway to The Unknown

By the end of the conference you’ll feel ready to release, move, and also know the stillness behind the mind. Come, rest, and move … In this workshop, through dance, movement, and the exploration of space, David will guide you past the perception of the body as a fixed object and into the direct experience of it as the flowing gateway to the free and present awareness that you are. However, although moving and dancing with freedom is enjoyable, this work is ultimately devoted to translating this freedom into living fluidly and consciously in daily life - amidst the many real challenges we face. David’s 30-year expertise is in supporting conscious living through awakened awareness. Using physical exploration he guides you past the illusions of the mind and body into the discovery of a quieter mind, deeper love in relationships, and wisdom sourced in awakened awareness. This workshop will be movement and dance-oriented with some inquiry to fully embrace both our humanness and our freedom. In this way the body becomes a doorway for realizing our deepest nature as an all-encompassing compassion that allows us our humanness, yet also gives us strength and grace amidst life’s often-great trials and triumphs. Since a child, the deep mystery of the body and the infinite immensity of space have both been David’s avenue of self-exploration and realization personally, as a performer on stage, as a teacher, and across continents worldwide. Come explore the body universe unbound.
2pm – 4:30pm

San Juan Bautista

C29. Shamanism, Imagination and The Mind

2pm – 2:20pm

San Juan Bautista

Psychological Shamanism

Shamanism is the practice of using specific tools and techniques to access information and affect changes, using both the physical and non-physical worlds, for the health and well being of the community. It is the oldest science of discovery, first developed when humans began questioning and exploring the world. The training and practice of shamanism is culturally based and unique to each tribe and region. Psychological Shamanism is the branch of shamanism best suited for European and Western cultures. From Descartes to Freud, from Socrates to Einstein, Western civilizations have focused on the mind as a tool to explore the world. Like all shamanic tools the mind needs to be treated with respect and care. It has the ability to both cause devastating destruction and create profound innovations and enlightenment. You are invited to explore Psychological Shamanism through stories and a brief demonstration. There will be handouts and information on how to further investigate Psychological Shamanism. This introduction will cover the basics of how Psychological Shamanism blends the techniques of creating a healthy mind with the tools of transformation. It will include: A basic understanding of shamanism; Shamanism in different cultures; Safeguards for practicing shamanism within a cultural context; Potential risks of pursuing shamanism outside of one's cultural framework; The mind as the shamanistic tool for Western culture; Global crises and the need for Psychological Shamanism
2pm – 4:30pm

San Martin

C28. Presence, Wisdom and Giving

2pm – 2:40pm

San Martin

Caverly Morgan

Presence for All: Awakening a Societal Renewal

We are one. We are whole and complete, just as we are. However, practices that point to this awareness are often reserved for the privileged. How do we make the understanding of our fundamental wholeness accessible to all? What if every teenager had access to practices of self-inquiry? What if high school students learned to embody awareness and speak the language of unconditional love? How would your life be different if you learned and practiced meditation in high school? Imagine a class in which you explore your direct experience of what it means to be alive. Seeing that you are not your thoughts. Noticing how identity is created. Recognizing the structures of the conditioned mind. The nonprofit Peace in Schools established the first for-credit high school mindfulness course in the United States. Their Mindful Studies class is currently in five high schools in Portland, Oregon with the goal to be district-wide by 2018. Caverly Morgan is the founder of Peace in Schools and teaches adults through its parent organization One House of Peace. Her passion lies in building bridges so that the understandings of awareness are accessible to all. “On this pathless path your new ground is groundlessness. The learning of unlearning, the knowing of unknowing.”
2:30pm – 2:50pm

Madrone

The Relational Blockworld: An Origin for Physics in Pure Being

Physics has long sought a theory to reconcile its two great pillars, general relativity and quantum physics. Many in the foundations of physics community believe this so-called theory of quantum gravity will yield a new understanding of quantum physics. Therefore, interpretations of quantum physics should suggest new approaches to quantum gravity. In this talk, I introduce an interpretation of quantum physics and its corresponding approach to quantum gravity called Relational Blockworld (RBW). Key to this new approach to fundamental physics is its departure from time-evolved, dynamical explanation using instead an adynamical global constraint (AGC) in the block universe. According to RBW, a classical object (CO), i.e., an object with a worldline in spacetime as governed by the dynamical laws of classical physics, can be decomposed relationally per its context of surrounding CO’s. The fundamental ontological entity for this relational/contextual decomposition of a CO is the spacetime source element that is *of* space and time, not *in* space and time, with properties determined relationally per its classical context. The distribution of spacetime source elements in their classical context is governed by the AGC. Since quantum physics underwrites classical physics and the naïve perceptions of consciousness are scripted via the time-evolved stories of CO’s per classical physics, RBW provides a very different ontology for what really underwrites naïve perceptions. In fact, if one abandons physicalism and accepts the fundamentality of consciousness, then physics is an epistemological tool for consciousness to study itself ontologically. Accordingly, that the time-evolved, dynamical stories of classical physics follow from the AGC in a block universe parallels the belief based on meditation that dynamic consciousness follows from an Absolute Principle in Pure Being.
2:30pm – 2:50pm

San Juan Bautista

Yasmine Sherif

The Case for Humanity

We stand at a crossroads. Our systems and leaderships are at stake. We have to choose between politics of intolerance and ethical politics; between structures of control and creative spaces to serve; between separation and integration; and, between desperation and inspiration. We have choices to make: do we choose ‘the will to power’ or ‘the will to humanity,’ or a new configuration of both: ‘the power of humanity.’ The ‘will to humanity’ is larger than life itself. At its best, it freely imbues our being, offering itself to alleviate suffering and to create beauty in the world. At its worst, it is overtaken by the raw ‘will to power.’ The ‘will to humanity’ profoundly differs from the ‘will to power’. Seated in the soul, it is sensitive and authentic. It yearns to be found - and can be found through a journey within. It simultaneously defines the seven billion people dwelling on earth, and the light dwelling in each of those seven billion hearts. Making the connection between the two is the ultimate goal to which we, as the human species, can aspire. Numerous attempts have been made to come to grips with our compelling experience and purpose on earth as we struggle with wars, violence and injustice. At the organizational and political level, we try to improve structures. At the other end of the scale, we seek for spiritual solutions. Although they are interdependent, seldom do these two streams meet. The point of convergence has yet to crystalize. We have to step bravely across the edge of the (Un)known and tread the path, also in our political institutions and unto the margins of our societies. Transcending the perceived duality, integrating science, politics, and spirituality, we make the connection and inspire a new agenda for humanity in the 21st century.
2:40pm – 3:10pm

Hayes Ballroom

Joan Tollifson

The Freedom of Nothing to Grasp

Is it possible to simply be awake right now to whatever shows up, just as it is, without needing something different or better, without needing any final answers or any neat-and- tidy conclusions? Organic life is inherently vulnerable and uncertain, fraught with difficulties and dangers. Everything dies—the human race, planet earth, our sun, the entire universe. Impermanence is a fundamental reality. We long for a permanence and security that is untouched by birth and death. Seeking this in all the wrong places, we slide easily into belief systems and ideologies, cynicism or idealism, dogmatism and fundamentalism. We keep trying to get hold of some final answer, some enduring experience, some permanent ground to stand on. And yet, whatever we grasp turns out to be doubtful, uncertain and unsatisfying.What if there is literally nothing to grasp? What happens if we are simply open, awake to what is? Life does not always feel good. But right at the heart of what seems most disturbing and unsettling, in the very place where we would least expect it, we may discover uncaused joy. In the midst of limitation, we may find true freedom. In thorough-going impermanence, we may discover the deathless unborn. And Here / Now, as messy and unresolved and imperfect as today's weather may seem, we may discover the Holy Reality and the gateless gate to being liberated on the spot.
2:50pm – 3:30pm

Monterey Room

Miranda Macpherson

Ego Relaxation: The Heart of Non-dual Spiritual Practice

Living from the unified condition invites us to practice unconditional allowing in the face of all that life brings. How do we embody Rumi’s reminder that “fighting and peacefulness both take place within God”, and not get caught in level confusion, spiritual by-passing and mere intellectual discourse? How do we meet the paradox of our humanity and divinity, our relative and transcendent experience, and live it as one integrated stream amidst daily life? Furthermore, how do we embody unity consciousness and walk practically through this world AS the presence of Love? In this experiential session, Miranda invites you deep into the heart of Being, through devotion, meditation, inquiry and discourse. Together, we will open into the loving awareness that welcomes everything to come home; explore what it takes to harness everything as a gateway to deeper into the Mystery; engage the practice of ego relaxation in the face of our defenses, and enter deeper into the boundless love and freedom of our true nature. At home within, we can relish the gift of life and turn our attention to being of service to our world in transition.
2:50pm – 3:30pm

Morgan Hill

The Nature of Consciousness

Is consciousness based on the material world, or is the material world based on consciousness? Western science has tried to explain consciousness from the outside by exploring the brain. But traditional societies have explored consciousness from the inside through dreams, drumming and plant medicine. When combined with insight obtained from meditation, we find that consciousness is much more than just the awareness of external stimuli – it has a rich texture of presence and understanding that goes far beyond the material world, transcending the laws of physics and space-time.
2:50pm – 3:30pm

San Martin

Yingzhao Liu

Buddhist Alchemy: Transforming Everything into Wisdom

How can we blend and integrate deep spirituality with our fast-paced lives? In this talk, Yingzhao will share her journey of integration, how the experience of presence – of beauty, meaning, and abundance – heals us organically, and we are changed from the inside out. On the surface of life, there is a lot of complexity, while at depth, things are very simple. We can practice and live from that deep source, respond with vitality and simplicity in each moment, and facilitate integration for others.
3pm – 3:30pm

Edenvale

Stillpoint: The Geometry of Consciousness

At the very heart of sacred geometry is a non-existent - still - point. Buckminster Fuller calls this geometry the vector equilibrium and 'the nearest approach we will ever know to eternity and God.' It is the Kabbalah's Kether, the Point of Creation at the top of the Tree of Life. It is the interface between the Ayn, the limitless - God, and all of manifestation. It is a doorway, an opening between worlds. It is the ‘mahabindu, the point representing simultaneously the source of creation and the transcendence of all polarities and final integration at the end of the spiritual journey.' Just as consciousness proceeds manifestation, the Stillpoint is the geometric blueprint for all that exists. It is the geometry of consciousness. In late 1999, in the most transcendent and important moment of my life, I experienced this directly and knew that what had been said about it was all true. Because of the depth and power of this experience, and because of my intimacy with sacred geometry, I decided to see if I could possibly explain the riddle of a geometric diagram that I'd first seen in 1987 that 'impossibly' included the Earth and Moon. I say 'impossible' because this phenomenon is not explained by geometry, mathematics, physics or in fact all of science, is not possible by chance or accident, and is not required by life. What I found is that the Earth and Moon . . . and Sun . . . 'impossibly' express this geometry, a geometry that does not manifest. The implications of this are vast. I believe that this is a profound, bodhisattvic message. I believe we are being asked to use this information to create an opening to this higher consciousness with the purpose of effecting a shift in global consciousness."
3pm – 3:20pm

Madrone

Sonya Bibilos

Beyond Awakening: Exploring Your Evolutionary Edge

Most people don’t realize that there is an evolutionary frontier that lies beyond awakening. As free beings without the limitations of ego, we have an opportunity to embody wisdom, love and truth in every area of our lives and thus transform our lives. By living authentically in awakened consciousness, we begin to evolve and actualize the true divine potential within us. Inevitably, we then inspire ripple effects of transformation and evolution in the communities around us. As more and more people begin to awaken, a new revolution of evolution is quietly taking place individually and collectively. This potent and powerful movement is nourished and expanded when we offer it our conscious attention and intention. This experiential program with Sonya Amrita Bibilos is a powerful initiation -- to expand our perceptions and possibilities of what it means to embody and live at our evolutionary edge. Through a talk, visualization, and shamanic experience we will contact and catalyze the real, actual evolutionary potential that we all have lying dormant within us.
3pm – 3:20pm

San Juan Bautista

Imagination as the Bridge Between the Known and the Unknown

We expand the edge of the unknown by imagining it. It is in imagination and dreaming that spirituality and science have a common home. While much is properly made of the spiritual traditions there is another, broad, domain of knowing in the scientifically unknown that continues to be underappreciated. What is going on when a women with scientific training surprises herself and becomes an evidential medium (Susan Giesemann, 1978 -), when a Harvard neurosurgeon has a near death experience that changes his life (Eben Alexander, 1953 -), when a straight laced business owner has spontaneous out of body experiences (Robert Munroe, 1915-1995), or when Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) dreams "... that the sun was just a star and the stars were other suns each escorted by other earths like our own" soon after to be known in science by Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). And what is going on when children recount in great and accurate detail past lives, and when a brother thousands of miles away without being told in any conventional way knows of the death of his siblings? These are traces of imagination that can set us meaningfully on the way to further exploration of the great mystery of existence. Sign posts of how very connected we are with all that is. These phenomenon are part of a greater intrinsically interconnected reality. This presentation, with the help of those at SAND, will assist the author in his research on a new book to explore the edge of the (un)known: as in his earlier book seeking identity and meaning, and building bridges between contending understandings, but this time not with a continental but with a universal canvas.
3:15pm – 3:25pm

Hayes Ballroom

Music

3:20pm – 4:30pm

Dome

Lorne Rubinoff 

Conversation: Living and Loving in the Unknown

Living and loving in the unknown is simply about showing up. I'm here, now what? Asking the question is beautiful, Attempting to answer it is inevitably both frustrating and futile. What does living and loving in the unknown look like? I don't know. What I do know is, it is where I want to live and love. The unknown is calling to me and to all of us; it is our true home. Perhaps it is what is often referred to as the new paradigm. Being more specific than this is the antithesis of what I do, and how I live. Defining, understanding, limiting is about the known. The known is not excluded from the unknown, it is part of it, not separate. Nothing is excluded in the unknown everything is included, without exception. My invitation to you is simply, to show up and we will live, love and create in the unknown together. This is an invitation I would gladly accept, I hope you do too.
3:20pm – 4:30pm

San Jose

Corine Sombrun

Trance Journey

3:30pm – 4:30pm

Guadalupe

Denise Berezonsky

Breema: Knowing and Being, No Difference

What is it that we can actually know? And of what use is our knowing, if it doesn’t grow to be practical understanding that can guide our life? All the knowledge in the world doesn’t give us a drop of true understanding, because Being is missing. To be Conscious, you need to be present. When you are present, your Being participates. Knowledge is form, Being is meaning. When our Being participates in our life, Conscious energy flows through our knowledge, so it can become real understanding. Consciousness is a light that allows us to see things as they are. In this experiential presentation, we will introduce Breema’s universal philosophy and the Nine Principles of Harmony. We’ll work with both individual and partner Breema exercises, ideal vehicles for bringing body and mind together and becoming present. Breema offers a tangible experience of unity and connectedness. Whenever you give someone a Breema session, you are giving Breema to yourself. But this self is not separated. It means the entirety. You’re not working on muscles and bones. You are inviting Conscious energy to manifest.
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Ellen Emmet, Joan Tollifson, Marlies Cocheret, and Susanne Marie

Panel: Embracing Life Fully

There is a paradoxical “stage” in any spiritual path, where realizations have been attained and experienced internally but haven’t yet found their outer expression. Are we witnessing a breaking down, an eroding of that classic plateau? Are the times ripe for an easier process of dropping down, in which our spiritual realizations soften and slowly begin to imbue the continuous flux of perceptions, feelings, thoughts and experiences in which human beings live? What is the taste of this dropping down, of this precious moment when our nondual understandings and realizations begin to fully penetrate our life? How does awakening then translate into daily life, responsibilities and relationships? These are some of the themes we will explore in this panel along with questions from the audience.
3:30pm – 3:50pm

Madrone

Shelli Joye

The Pribram-Bohm Holoflux Theory of Consciousness

The Pribram-Bohm holoflux theory, a model describing the topology of consciousness in the cosmos (Bohm’s Whole), addresses the issue posed by David Chalmers in his hard problem of consciousness. The theory emerges from an integral evaluation of evidence drawn from two sources: (1) the holonomic mind/brain theories of Karl Pribram, (2) the ontological interpretation of quantum theory by David Bohm. From their work emerges the holoflux theory of resonance within dark energy. The term was proposed by Karl Pribram to express the flow of the energy of consciousness characterized by David Bohm in the holomovement, a two-way flow of conscious energy-information between an explicate order and an implicate order. Extending the panpsychist paradigm that consciousness is inherent in the structure of the universe, the holoflux theory presents a dynamic energy process bridging the explicate space time domain with a transcendent flux domain located at the spatial center, everywhere. This center is hypothesized to be synonymous with Karl Pribram’s flux domain, and David Bohm’s implicate order. This hypothesis explains both local and non-local phenomena in the observable cosmos. Commonly held arguments, both philosophical and technical, dismissive of energy fields as a possible substrate of consciousness, are examined and refuted. Major theories of consciousness developed by Pribram and Bohm are examined in detail, and presented in the context of their life experiences. Extending their theories, the holoflux theory of consciousness views reality as one conscious energy, cycling mathematically, lens-like, in a process of transformation involving three modes: (1) electromagnetic energy in space time, (2) holoflux energy in a transcendent order, and (3) vibrating isospheres at the boundary gap separating the implicate from the explicate orders.
3:30pm – 3:50pm

San Juan Bautista

A Radically Different Perspective on Mind and Memory - The Biofield Anatomy Hypothesis

Eileen Day McKusick has spent the last 20 years bouncing sound, like sonar, off the human body and the area around it. She has discovered a pattern around the body that is the same in everyone - a sort of binary storage system that appears to be the record or memories of a person's lifetime, stored in what appear to be standing waves within the biomagnetic field of the body. The microtubules on cell membranes may serve as antennae that both read and broadcast these waves. McKusick's increasingly busy therapeutic practice led her to work with thousands of people, a process which revealed what she calls "The Biofield Anatomy": a precise map of mind and memory that details where specific memories, emotions, relationships, and more are stored, up to six feet away from the body. Just as the brain is compartmentalized with different areas responsible for different functions, so is the human biofield. McKusick has found that traumatic memories exist as "pathological oscillations" within this field, and that a simple tuning fork can be used to both locate and modulate these frequency patterns, leading to the immediate and often profound resolution of a wide variety of symptoms. McKusick has taught this method to hundreds of students who are able to use this map to produce the same kind of outcomes in their clients. Essentially the process seems to reduce the "noise in the signal" of the acoustic and electromagnetic systems of the body. Eileen's curiosity about the nature of the phenomena she was encountering in her practice led her on a research journey to understand and explain and also test her findings. In doing so, she has brought together frontier Biofield Science, Electric Universe Theory and esoteric tradition to form an intriguing and revolutionary perspective on mind, memory, and cosmology.
3:40pm – 4:20pm

Monterey Room

Stephan Bodian

Beyond Mindfulness: The Paradox of Practice in the Direct Approach

Mindfulness meditation, a time-honored technique drawn from the Buddhist tradition, is now being marketed as a remedy for a host of human ills, and research has indeed revealed that it has incomparable power to reduce stress, increase resilience, boost mood, enhance concentration, and grow the brain in numerous beneficial ways. In essence, it seems to make the practitioner happier, healthier, and more productive. But for those who seek to awaken to our radiant, innately happy, nondual spiritual nature, the practice of mindfulness can tend to reinforce the belief in a separate self and foster a subject-object split that can be extremely difficult to shake. The result can be thousands of hours clocked on the cushion with no appreciable increase in spiritual realization or freedom. From the perspective of the direct approach, our natural state of awakened awareness is inherently peaceful, happy, and free. There’s no need to meditate in order to cultivate some special, more desirable state—we just need to rest in what we always already are. But how do we rest? Is resting always happening, no matter what our mind state may be? Or is there a subtle art to letting go and welcoming what is just as it is, without getting caught up in artifice and technique? In this presentation, we’ll explore the paradoxical art of being who we are.
3:40pm – 4:20pm

Morgan Hill

Claude Poncelet and Noelle Poncelet

What If Humans Do Not Hold a Privileged and Superior Position in the World?

This presentation is an inquiry into unexamined assumptions that often permeate our behaviors, our thoughts, our spirituality that humans have a privileged and superior position in the world, have more value than other entities on this planet, are somehow at the center of it all. An unspoken, often unconscious anthropocentrism that permeates the way we look at ourselves. As elders compelled to raise our voice, we are proposing to open a deep exploration of this mostly unconscious dualism that remains between human intelligence and awakening, and nature intelligence and awakening. Our invitation is to ponder a number of what ifs. What if consciousness, self-reflection and spirituality were not characteristics only reserved for the human species, but were inherent in all species in nature? What if our role as humans is not to steward and protect the natural environment, but to partner with Nature and all other species in nourishing the health of planet Earth? Given the grave ecological and social crises we face today, we believe such an inquiry is essential. This presentation is not a detailed review of the scientific, eco-psychological, philosophical, and eco-spiritual literature on the subject. It is a presentation from our own inspiration that has come from shamanic experiences and explorations, personal experiences in nature, and deep exposure to indigenous teachings and wisdom. A few western thinkers have addressed this myth of anthropocentrism. We are most influenced by Robert Bringhurst, David Abram, Jeremy Narby and Carl Safina. We believe that the SAND conference is ideally suited to be a pioneer in a serious exploration of what a conscious partnership between Humans and Nature would entail and bring about for the wellbeing of the Whole, the cosmos, and our planet.
3:40pm – 4:20pm

San Martin

Helen Eriksen

The Fruit Tree Strategy - Giving While Growing

I’ll explore consciousness and share with the audience the essence and essential models of my phenomenological research through the last 25 years on how everything is connected, which first appeared in 2002 as a cosmology in my book, The Fruit-tree Strategy: Giving while Growing, a future vision that just could not hold its tongue, tales from living systems. I’ll share my findings about how everything living is universally connected via a wireless universal language consisting of scalarwaves, first mentioned by Nicolas Tesla back in 1945. He called it free energy. Scalarwaves seem to be what the universal field of consciousness is made of, created and connected by. In my talk, I will also share how this way of experiencing consciousness goes together with intuition, flow, synchronicity and intuitive timing. We will also have a look at how the sense of social responsibility comes into existence and how it might very well be a state of consciousness.
4pm – 4:20pm

Madrone

Nick Day

The Power Of Storytelling And The Arts: How Creativity Gives Deeper Meaning To Being Human

The latest in an ongoing series of talks that explore the relationship between sto-rytelling, the arts and the deeper nature of consciousness. The emergence of lan-guage and the capacity for storytelling can be considered fundamental to our be-coming human. Our brain seeks meaningful patterns — “the story” — in every-thing we see, hear or sense. Storytelling favors survival by activating a powerful inner world of association and meaning, enabling us to more successfully navi-gate the world, empathize with others, and develop abstract ideas. Similarly, the visual arts express and reflect back to ourselves our connection to nature and the cosmos in symbolic form. Thinkers since the time of Plato and Aristotle have described traits common to these forms of expression as archetypes: characters, images and scenarios that recur over time, patterns and structures that appear to be fundamental. Jung and Campbell are renowned for their insights into this rich realm of the psyche, which has profound implications for our understanding of reality. This illustrat-ed talk will offer examples and interpretations, as well as explore broader as-pects of storytelling and art throughout human history.
4pm – 4:20pm

San Juan Bautista

Vicki Veldhoen

The Power of Human Transformation

We would like to introduce an evolutionary healing and personal transformation system, created by Eliza Mada Dalian, a modern day mystic, Zen master and scientist of the human condition. She is also the award winning author of the book “In Search of the Miraculous, Healing into Consciousness.” The Self-Healing Dalian method called DM for short, is a scientific method that empowers the individual to identify and release blocked energy and trauma in their bodies that causes pain, suffering, illness and dis-ease. There are many layers of unexpressed fears, thought, emotions and beliefs that we have accumulated throughout our lives beginning with our development in the womb continuing with our birth, child hood, adolescence and adulthood. Any time you felt something and weren’t able to express, or any crisis or trauma that occurred have all been stored in our bodies, along with many of the ideas or beliefs that we formed about ourselves, other people or the world around us. These repressions run like invisible programs that block the natural flow of our energy in our bodies sabotaging our physical and psychological health and well being. If the energy doesn’t flow it blocks our life force and vitality. As we accumulate more and more layers of repression we may feel pain or discomfort in our bodies or mind. If we don’t address these repressions they eventually manifest into illness and dis-ease. The Dalian Method offers assistance by helping to discover the root cause of the ailments and issues erasing them from the body’s cellular memory. It works on all aspects of the human being physical, mental emotional, energetically and consciousness simultaneously. It is a powerful tool that helps and encourages the individual to take self - care for their health creating a new paradigm for the current health care system.
4:30pm – 5pm

Lawn

Music Al Fresco with Sweet Medicine

5pm – 6:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

PL.10 Closing Ceremony: Rhythms of the UnKnown

5pm – 6:30pm

Hayes Ballroom

Jim Greiner

Hands-On! Drumming

Experience the timeless and age-old power of rhythm to uplift and unify us in a fun and lively SAND Celebration of Life!
6:45pm – 9pm

Silver Creek Dining Room

Conference Closing Dinner

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