Hayes Mansion is completely closed at this time and expects to reopen at the end of June, but there is no firm date set as of yet. SAND attendees that reserved a room at the Hayes will not be able to get a refund on their deposit until the hotel is reopened.
Pre-conference Workshops: Wednesday Oct. 21 – Thursday Oct. 22
Main Conference: Thursday Oct. 22 (evening) – Sunday Oct. 25
Join Science and Nonduality Conference (SAND) for a 5-day immersive experience with leading scientists, philosophers, artists and spiritual teachers. SAND is a place for an open-hearted, authentic connection with a community of people who are drawn to explore together what it means to be a human being, standing at the intersection of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts. Hosted in the beautiful Hayes Mansion in San Jose, you will enjoy daily meditation, yoga, dance, science talks, dialogues, somatic modalities, sharing circles, sacred storytelling and evening concerts. More than 100 leading teachers, scientists, facilitators and artists from all the world the world come together to share their wisdom and passion.
Join us for 2 days of pre-conference workshops followed by a 3-day conference filled with talks, panels, meditation, performances, music and dance. This year, we'll be adding Community Conversations, a forum to freely share with the help of a facilitator.
Our explorations unfold across the themes of:
• The Science of Consciousness
• Embodied Spirituality
• Trauma and Healing
• Relationships and Sexuality
At SAND we celebrate a new relationship to spirituality, free from religious dogma, inspired by timeless wisdom traditions, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in our own direct experience.
This year’s gathering is centered around the theme of Living and Dying. Nondual teachings assert that our essential reality—pure consciousness—is ever-present, undivided, and never comes in or out of existence. In itself, it knows no separation, no birth and no death, no beginning and no end. Yet birth and death are no abstract concepts; they are at the heart of manifestation and thus of our human existence. Mystics of all traditions have pointed to death as one of the ultimate teachers. It is through the contemplation of, and the surrender to death that we come to fully embrace, not only life, but reality itself.
"Death is our friend precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love."
— Reiner Maria Rilke
On our spiritual journey, we may come to recognize that birth and death are more than two opposite poles; they are the very dance of our shared reality. Unperceivable to us in its absolute totality, reality takes the shapes of all that is experienced: the subject and the object, the thought and the thinker, the perceiver and the perceived, the personal and the impersonal. Death is the unveiling part of this dance: the sacred dissolution that returns all seemingly separate things to the totality. Each form revealing itself as emptiness, each personal expression revealing its impersonal intelligence, each cycle of life and death a blossoming of consciousness. Living a life in this recognition—that Samsara is Nirvana—is the longing at the heart of all mystical paths. Thus reclaiming the blessings of death—death as ally, death as wisdom, death as guru—is part of the work of our time.
Scientists all agree that there is no definable boundary between life and death; we can't tell exactly just when life begins, or when it ends. Moreover, the now is but an ever-renewing, bubbling, churning cycle of birth and death, decay and regeneration. Before you finish reading this paragraph, millions of cells in your body will have died and been replaced. From galaxies to atoms, everything constantly births, dies, and transforms. We are made of elemental stardust, and to stardust we return.
Modern society conditions us to believe in conquering every limit, down to the ultimate one—death. But for indigenous cultures all over the world, the law of life is the exact opposite. As Stephen Jenkinson says in Lost Nation Road: “it is the limit that gives us the opportunity to practice being human.”
In the West, death is a taboo carefully shrouded within plush mortuaries and well-groomed cemeteries. Our culture is obsessed with youth, with new beginnings, exciting development and expansions, new partners, new jobs, new homes… and has perfected its denial of the dying processes. We no longer know how to be with transitions and endings. We are deeply disconnected and fearful of those liminal spaces, in which the objects we have attached to—including our own bodies—begin to fail and in which old structures and belief systems crumble and no longer support us. Yet those transitions, in which the old has not fully died and the new has not yet emerged, are the very womb out of which every cycle of life arises.
The contemporary spirituality we are exploring at SAND embraces the absolute and the relative, celebrates beginnings and endings, acknowledges that we are here to love and to lose. There is no light without shadow, no life without death, no love without grief.
At SAND20 we will explore:
"When the future disappears, we are brought home to the immediacy of here-now. Whether it is a personal death that awaits each of us, or the inevitable planetary death in which the earth itself will be no more, or even the end of the entire known universe, death is the single reality that most clearly informs us that the future is a fantasy and the world and everything that we have been concerned about are all fleeting bubbles in a stream."
— Joan Tollifson
Join our journey as we share knowledge, wisdom and experience and explore how to embrace loss, trust the wisdom of disintegration and welcome the unknown that awaits us at the next corner, in life as in death. There will be talks, community circles, panels, workshops, dance, drumming, art, and more.
More speakers will be added in time
Shakti Caterina Maggi
Pir Netanel Miles-Yépez
SAND Supporters: click here to get a 15% discount
|Early Bird: until March 1||$449 (includes 3 Lunches, all fees included)|
|Perfect Timing: Mar 2–Aug 1||$549 (includes 3 Lunches, all fees included)|
|Just in Time: Aug 2–Oct 20||$649 (includes 3 Lunches, all fees included)|
|On site||$699 (includes 3 Lunches, all fees included)|
$65 per workshop (Does not include meals, all fees included)
|$75 per workshop (Does not include meals, all fees included)|
|Day Pass - Advanced||$TBA per day (Includes lunch, all fees included)|
|Day Pass - On site||$TBA per day (Does NOT include any meal, all fees included)|
|Livestream before Sep 20||$TBA|
|Livestream after Sep 20||$TBA|
All room reservations should be made through the portal reserved for SAND.
The main conference registration ticket includes 3 lunches. All other meals need to be purchased separately (see Venue page for rates). We invite you to purchase additional meals when you register to keep the momentum and camaraderie going by staying onsite. Lunches are served outside, in the hotel’s lovely patio area. The hotel can accommodate any food restrictions. Come enjoy one another’s company while satisfying your taste buds. If you are not staying at the Hayes Mansion, and wish to have breakfast when you arrive at the conference, breakfast is available 6:30–10:00am. Breakfast packages and all meals can be purchased on the registration site.
SAND Presenter Cancellation Policy
If your talk has been accepted and you have registered at the discounted rate, the registration fee is non-refundable after Sep 1, cancellation before that date is subject to a $100 cancellation fee.
Deepak Chopra, M.D is the author of more than 70 books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and an adjunct professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University Columbia Business School, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, Columbia University, and a Senior Scientist at the Gallup organization. For more than a decade, he has participated as a lecturer at the Update in Internal Medicine, an annual event sponsored by Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education and the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. www.choprafoundation.org
Originally studying mathematics and theoretical physics, Peter became increasingly interested in the nature of consciousness, and in the late sixties traveled to India, to study meditation and Eastern philosophy. On his return he established a meditation center in Cambridge, England, and went on to pioneer the introduction of personal growth programs to corporations. He is the author of a dozen books, including The Global Brain, Waking Up In Time, and From Science to God, and Seeds of Awakening. At SAND conferences he has led morning meditation sessions that people have found very helpful.For more information on Peter visit: https://peterrussell.com
Christina D. Bethell, PhD, MBA, MPH
Dr. Bethell is a Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she advances a new integrated Science of Thriving to promote early and lifelong health of children, youth, families and communities. Dr Bethell is an avid student of human potential for flourishing amid adversity and focuses on promoting research and innovation in health, education and social systems, policies and practices to promote the social, emotional and relational roots of well-being. She advances a positive construct of health that places mindfulness and mind-body practices as key public health strategies, especially to address the developmental and collective trauma held by the majority of people, families and communities today. Her work is focused on implementing a widely endorsed national agenda to address childhood trauma and promote healing and flourishing through research, advocacy and teaching. She writes poetry, dances and believes that attuned connection with ourselves, life and others is the source of our creativity and joy.
Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas), Founder of the Diamond Approach, was born in the Middle East, but at age 18 he moved to the USA to study at the University of California in Berkeley. Hameed was working on his Ph.D. in physics, where he was studying Einstein's theory of general relativity and nuclear physics, when he reached a turning point in his life and destiny that led him more and more into inquiring into the psychological and spiritual aspects of human nature. Hameed is the founder of the Diamond Approach®—a spiritual teaching that utilizes a unique kind of inquiry into realization, where the practice is the expression of realization. Freedom is living our realization, a dynamic enlightenment where our transcendent nondual truth lives personally in the world. This inquiry opens up the infinite creativity of our Being, transforming our lives into a runaway realization, moving from realization to further realization. Almaas' books include: The Inner Journey Home, Essence, The Pearl Beyond Price, Luminous Night’s Journey , and The Unfolding Now.
Bayo Akomolafe (PhD) changes diapers, loves ghee dosas with coconut chutney, and is ecstatically in love with his 6 year old daughter, Alethea, and 2 year old son, Kyah. He is the grateful life-partner of Ijeoma, author of These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to my Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home (North Atlantic Books, 2017), and Chief Curator of The Emergence Network – a postactivism project concerned with responsiveness in precarious times. www.bayoakomolafe.net
Charles Eisenstein is an author and speaker focusing on the transition in the narrative/mythological underpinnings of civilization, as these affect ecology, economy, science, politics, technology, medicine, and spirituality. He is the author of several books, including Sacred Economics, The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible, and Climate—A New Story. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and children. www.charleseisenstein.net
Caverly Morgan is a meditation teacher, nonprofit leader, and visionary. She is the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Presence Collective, dedicated to igniting personal transformation and collective awakening. She is also the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Peace in Schools—a nonprofit which created the nation's first for-credit mindfulness class in public high schools.
Caverly blends the original spirit of Zen with a modern nondual approach. Her practice began in 1995 and has included eight years of training in a silent Zen monastery. She has been teaching contemplative practice since 2001.
Caverly leads meditation retreats, workshops, and online classes internationally. She has been a teacher and presenter at the Science and Nonduality Conference, 1440 Multiversity, Worldwide Insight, Esalen, the Mind and Life International Symposium for Contemplative Research, Buddha at the Gas Pump, Open Circle, the New York Zen Center of Contemplative Care, and many more.
Orland Bishop works within a global social network of individuals and agencies engaged with the Ecology of Nature and Human Consciousness within the realms of life and death. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Shadetree Multicultural Foundation, a Los Angeles based social agency focused on youth development and social capital development. Shadetree serves in the development of peace processes for urban conflicts, capacity building for economic enterprises in communities and cities, systemic and collaborative leadership development and creating frameworks for emerging economies. Since 2002, he has served as the Presiding Priest of the Aquarian Gospel Temple, founded in 1941 in the City of Los Angeles which supports independent Spiritual Science Research within the US, Africa and other countries linked to their global networks. He is passionate about the power of agreements and intentions for a shared reality among Human Communities.
From an early age Rupert Spira was deeply interested in the nature of reality. At the age of seventeen he learnt to meditate, and began studying and practicing the teachings of the classical Advaita Vedanta tradition under the guidance of Dr. Francis Roles and Shantananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of the north of India, which he continued for the next for twenty years. During this time he immersed himself in the teachings of P.D.Ouspensky, J. Krishnamurti, Rumi, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta and Robert Adams, until he met his teacher, Francis Lucille, in 1997. Francis introduced Rupert to the Direct Path teachings of Atmanada Krishnamenon; Jean Klein and the tantric tradition of Kashmir Shaivism; and, more importantly, directly indicated to him the true nature of experience. Rupert is author of several books: The Transparency of Things; Presence; The Light of Pure Knowing; The Ashes of Love; Transparent Body, Luminous World; The Nature of Consciousness; and Being Aware of Being Aware.
Gia is a PhD Candidate in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, with a focus on child and adolescent development, health equity, trauma, and translational research. Growing up in a low-income, trauma- and adversity-affected family and community fueled her passion to ameliorate suffering and promote thriving. She has directed programs for at-risk youth, advanced human rights in the US and abroad, served as a Public Health Analyst at the National Institutes of Health, conducted health equity research, and taught mindfulness and yoga. Gia recently received the US Excellence in Public Health Award from Johns Hopkins University for her research assessing the impacts of the Peace in Schools mindfulness program on adolescent health, with an emphasis on trauma-affected and marginalized youth. She holds Master’s in Public Administration and MA in International Relations degrees from Syracuse University, and a BA in Political Science with a focus on human rights from Columbia University.
Maleda is a gifted evolutionary healer, feminine mystic and midwife of the soul. She has practiced and taught in the field of feminine awakening and spiritual transformation for over 18 years, including intensive training in women’s yoga and as a lead teacher in a monastic ashram.
In 2013 during an extended solitary deep retreat, she experienced a life-altering shift into Great Mother Consciousness and was shown the processes that have become the evolutionary work of the Womb of Life School today.
A healer of healers and pioneer of consciousness, Maleda’s powerful transmissions and healing pathways awaken a feminine template for true and deep spiritual realization. Moving through the spiral of soul healing we access a direct experience of the Omnipresent Mother through the natural gateways of our hearts and wombs.
She offers global healing activations, retreats, and practitioner trainings. www.WombofLifeSchool.com
Richard Schwartz began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called “parts.” These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with. He also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence and compassion. He called that inner essence the Self and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients. From these explorations the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s.
IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely-used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and more recently, corporations and and classrooms.
In 2013 Schwartz left the Chicago area and now lives in Brookline, MA where is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Rick Hanson, PhD is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books have been published in 28 languages and include Neurodharma, Resilient, Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture - with 900,000 copies in English alone. His free weekly newsletter has 150,000 subscribers and all of his online programs are available for free to anyone with financial need. He’s lectured at NASA, Google, Oxford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. An expert on positive neuroplasticity, his work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, NPR, and other major media. He began meditating in 1974 and is the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. He loves wilderness and taking a break from emails.
Dr. Sará King is a mother, a UCLA-trained neuroscientist, education philosopher, political scientist and critical theorist who will begin a neuroscience post-doctoral fellowship in the department of Neurology at OHSU this fall. She is an internationally recognized thought leader in field of mindfulness and social justice in schools, and enjoys public speaking and advocacy work at the intersection of these fields.
Sará is also an author, entrepreneur, and yoga and meditation teacher who founded MindHeart Consulting, a company dedicated to creating cutting edge research projects and community healing experiences through the framework that she personally developed called "The Science of Social Justice" - which involves the use of an intersectional understanding of the biopsychosocial impact of systemic oppression on marginalized populations, combined with the application of the science of well-being to understand how to create research and healing projects that serve the aims of social justice in underrepresented communities.
She has studied and practiced hatha yoga and Buddhist philosophy for the past 14 years, and has completed a 500 hr. Mindful Yoga and Meditation teacher training at Spirit Rock. She is also an artist who uses poetry, contemplative photography, creative writing and painting as her favorite forms of exploring self expression, and blends these into her personal contemplative practice and professional mindfulness consulting work. mindheartconsulting.com
Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone is a Jungian psychotherapist, author, and a spiritual leader in the international Jewish Renewal movement. Widely known for her work on Jewish feminism and the modern applications of Jewish mystical wisdom, Firestone teaches nationally on ancestral healing and the common boundary between ancient wisdom traditions and modern psychology. Dr. Firestone's publications include With Roots in Heaven: One Woman's Passionate Journey into the Heart of Her Faith (Plume,1999), The Receiving: Reclaiming Jewish Women’s Wisdom (Harper San Francisco, 2003), Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma (Monkfish Press, 2019). Drawing from neuroscience, depth psychology, and ancient Jewish sources, her latest work, Wounds into Wisdom, offers a roadmap for people of all backgrounds who wish to break free from limiting historical narratives, seize their power, and transform the future. Rabbi Firestone lives with her husband David in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Sonali Sangeeta Balajee is an independent creative consultant and founder of Our Bodhi Project, which focuses on the intersection of Belonging, Organizing, Decolonizing, Health and Interconnectedness. Bodhi stems from her research as a Senior Fellow with the Othering and Belonging Institute with UC Berkeley. Prior to her work with the institute, Sonali spent 13 years in U.S.-based government as a senior policy advisor on equity and empowerment, and as manager of a health equity program and of a City-wide community-visioning project. Sonali has spent over 10 years of community organizing in the areas of youth organizing, arts, HIV/AIDS issues, and environmental justice. She served as a healing practitioner with the W.K.Kellogg Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing Initiative, and serves on the boards of Worldtrust and Bioneers. Sonali has 20 years’ experience in performance art and arts-and-justice collaborations, and also integrates into her work her deep study of yoga, world indigenous health practices, and holistic health.
Rick is the creator and host of the interview show Buddha at the Gas Pump. Since the Fall of 2009, he has since interviewed over 380 “spiritually awakening” people, from the well-known to the unknown, from a variety of backgrounds and traditions. He conducts a new interview each week. Rick learned Transcendental Meditation when he was 18, was trained by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a TM teacher in 1970, and served in that capacity for 25 years, teaching hundreds of people, lecturing around the world, helping to train TM teachers, and serving at the international headquarters of the TM organization in Switzerland. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vedic Studies from Maharishi International University. Rick is no longer associated with the TM organization, having become too eclectic and independent in his perspective to affiliate exclusively with any organization. https://batgap.com/
Ellen’s deepest intuition was confirmed when she met her teacher, Francis Lucille. In his presence, she recognized the eternal, limitless and universal nature of our shared reality. Over many years, her understanding deepened to touch all levels of experience. The process of aligning and stabilizing all aspects of her life to this understanding has continued to unfold since then.
As a child Ellen loved to move and dance. She knew without words the joy and limitless transparency that the body dissolved into when it was free and alive.
As an adolescent and young adult, she acutely felt and enacted suffering through her body.
Thus, the experience that we call the body has always been central to all of Ellen’s experiences, both in the ignoring and in the recognition of our true nature.
Today, Ellen offers meetings and retreats in The Awakening Body, sharing a direct exploration of reality sourced in the tradition of Kashmiri Shaivism and self-inquiry.
In addition, she has a private practice as a Psychotherapist, and facilitator of Authentic Movement. Her background of Dance-Movement Therapy and Transpersonal Psychology is shaped by the non-dual understanding.
Ellen lives in Oxford with her husband Rupert Spira, also a teacher in the tradition of non-duality.
Will Siu, MD, DPhil, completed medical and graduate school at UCLA and the University of Oxford, respectively, before training as a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. He remained on the faculty at Harvard for two years prior to moving to New York City to further pursue his interest in psychedelic medicine as a practitioner and public advocate through speaking, writing, and social media. Dr. Siu has been trained by MAPS to provide MDMA-assisted therapy and maintains a private practice in Los Angeles where he provides individual psychotherapy and ketamine-facilitated psychotherapy.
He approaches his work with the goal of lasting, patient-centered healing—using his skills and experience to help his clients find healing within themselves. As part of that process, Dr. Siu manages psychiatric medication—including medication discontinuation for those who are ready—and provides integrative psychotherapy. For interested patients, this involves meditative and spiritual work and, in some cases, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy by oral lozenge or intramuscular injection. He also offers integration services for those who have experienced ayahuasca, LSD, psilocybin, or MDMA.
Alua Arthur is a death doula, attorney, and the founder of Going with Grace, an end of life planning organization that exists to support people as they answer the question 'What must I do to be at peace with myself so that I may live presently and die peacefully?' From private end of life consultations to online coursework to train death doulas, she is tirelessly committed to bringing awareness to death and dying which she believes can inspire the way people live. A jewelry addict, Alua is also a life lover, bicycle fanatic, and developing nation enthusiast. She is inspired by LIFE, the little joys we can find even in dark times, the freedom of authenticity, and the power in the word YES.
Jim B. Tucker, M.D. is a child psychiatrist and the Bonner-Lowry Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is Director of the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies, where he is continuing the work of Ian Stevenson on children who report memories of previous lives. He is the author of two books that together have been translated into twenty languages, Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous Lives (2005) and Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives (2013), a New York Times bestseller. He has published numerous papers in scientific journals and given talks to both scientific and general audiences. He has also discussed his work on such programs as Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, and NPR Weekend Edition.
Chief Oluwo Obafemi Fayemi Epega is a world-renowned Babalawo and the founder of O.I.D.S.I. (Obafemi Institute for the Divine & Universal Study of Ifa). He was initiated as a priest of Obatala in January 2004, and received his Tefa in February 2005 from the late Oluwo Dr. Afolabi Epega at the Epega Compound in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. He strongly believes that the restoration and preservation of African divine sciences and traditions can restore psychological balance and personal empowerment to all people.
In addition to overseeing more than 400 ceremonies and rituals, Baba Femi has either directly facilitated, or served as the principal liaison for the initiations of more than 50 Ifa and Olorisha priests. With the blessings of Olodumare, his ancestors, and Ifa, this life has allowed him to fully embrace and experience that which his heart has chosen. He is proud to be an African American man, native Houstonian, descendant of slaves, priest of Ifa, teacher, author, mentor, son, a friend to many, a loving husband, and most importantly, an honorable father.
Steve travels internationally teaching somatic practices, meditation, yoga, as well as leading explorations in contemplative, mystic, and relational realms. Known for his direct, grounded approach and his dedication to first-hand research he has extensive experience in elite athletic performance, contemplative and spiritual disciplines, the arts, extreme outdoor survival, and human behaviour. In addition to private client work and international public workshops, Steve has recently released a DVD/download of his movement approach called the Movement Koan® Method, a fusion of joint-nourishing movement and body-based mindfulness. Steve's current private clients range from pioneering entrepreneur CEO's and multi-billion dollar fund managers to multiple Grammy-winning musical artists and Oscar-winning actors. www.guruviking.com
Zvi Ish-Shalom, Ph.D., is an ordained rabbi, a professor of wisdom traditions at Naropa University, and the founder of Kedumah, a universal mystical school that teaches a step-by-step approach to spiritual awakening and personal development.
He is the author of the book The Kedumah Experience: The Primordial Torah and the forthcoming Sleep, Death, and Rebirth: Mystical Practices of the Kabbalah.
To find out more about Zvi's upcoming events, books, and programs, visit: www.kedumah.org
Victoria Santos has a passion for inclusive, sustainable community and creative approaches to learning and growth. Victoria’s commitment to social justice, racial equity and compassionate service has expressed itself in many forms over the past 30 years, including non-profit leadership, consulting, facilitation and guiding rituals in the U.S. and internationally.
Victoria has a strong affinity for leading group processes and exploring the ways that grief and trauma express themselves in systems, cultures and individuals. She embraces the challenge of sensing energy and opportunities, and facilitating authentic communication to support individual and collective healing, discovery and change.
Shakti Caterina Maggi has been sharing a message of awakening to our true nature as One Consciousness since 2003, with workshops and meetings held in Italy, Europe, and around the world. “The opportunity to meet what we are, and to embody it in everyday life, is the very meaning of life itself – not as human beings who seek God, but as the Divine itself experiencing itself through the human experience.” Shakti shares a very contemporary approach to self-realization and reveals the real possibility of seeing what we are and embodying it in our everyday life with clarity, wisdom, and humor.
Shakti points directly to the essence of what we are and invites you to rediscover the divine Self in the core of one's own humanity. Overcoming fear and illusion is to wake up to extraordinary beauty of the moment and be the true embodiment of Consciousness itself in human form. She has been sharing a message of awakening to Life since 2003 with seminars and retreats hold mainly in Italy and Europe. www.shakticaterinamaggi.com
Judith Blackstone, Ph.D, is an innovative nonduality teacher and psychotherapist. She developed the Realization Process, an embodied approach to psychological and relational healing and nondual realization and teaches workshops and teacher certication trainings throughout the United States and online. She is author of Belonging Here, The Intimate Life, The Enlightenment Process and The Empathic Ground and a six CD series of the Realization Process from Sounds True. Her latest book is Trauma and the Unbound Body: the Healing Power of Fundamental Consciousness.
Ven. Dr. Pannavati, a former Christian pastor, is co-founder and co-Abbot of Heartwood Refuge & Retreat Center, an intentional Buddhist community (monastic and lay), retreat center and training institute in Hendersonville, NC; and Embracing Simplicity Hermitage Contemplative Order. Ordained in Theravada and Chan traditions, Venerable continues Vajrayana empowerments and training with Rinpoche Zhaxi Zhouma and received Zen Dharma transmission from Roshi Bernie Glassman, Zen Peacemaker White Plum Asanga. Pannavati offers Dharma and meditation retreats nationally and internationally, sharing living truths that are profound, yet accessible. She serves on spiritual boards and lead humanitarian projects, including the first Thai nuns' ordinations, educating India’s Dalits (“untouchables”), homeless youth advocacy and serving as Global Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association’s VP for the US (a council of 300 contemporary female masters). Both contemplative and compassionate, she advocates meditating when things are good; when they are not, we are compelled to get off our pillows and do something.
Michael W. Taft is a maverick meditation teacher, bestselling author, and podcaster. As a mindfulness coach, he specializes in secular, science-based mindfulness training in retreats, groups, corporate settings, and one-on-one sessions. Michael is the author of several books, including the bestselling The Mindful Geek, and Nondualism: A Brief History of a Timeless Concept.
From Zen temples in Japan to yogi caves in India, Michael has been meditating for over thirty five years and has extensive experience in both Buddhist Vipassana and Hindu Tantric practice. Michael is a senior facilitator in Shinzen Young’s Unified Mindfulness system, and is a regular teacher at the San Francisco Dharma Collective.
JP Sears is an emotional healing coach, international teacher, speaker at events, world traveler, and curious student of life. His work empowers people to live more meaningful lives. JP presents classes, workshops, online seminars, and leads retreats at numerous locations around the world on inner healing and growth. He is also very active on his YouTube channel, AwakenWithJP, where he encourages healing and growth through his entertainingly informative and inspiring videos including his hit Ultra Spiritual comedy series. You can learn more about JP and his work at www.AwakenWithJP.com and www.YouTube.com/AwakenWithJP.
Lucia Horan was born and raised in the Esalen community. She has been teaching since 1998. Lucia received life-long direct training with Gabrielle Roth in the 5Rhythms® method. She is formally empowered to teach Buddha dharma in all capacities. Her unique perspectives on insight have been published in the book “Dancing with Dharma: Essays on Movement and Dance in Western Buddhism” edited by Harrison Blum, Published by McFarland & Company. Lucia currently resides in The Turks & Caicos.
Lucia is also currently a speaker for Tony Robbins worldwide Life Wealth Mastery seminars. Additionally, she leads focus groups co-teaching with masters in the fields of Buddhist meditation, trauma, yoga, addiction, grief, woman’s empowerment, Motion Theater® & wild dolphin excursions.
Jeffrey Long, M.D. is a radiation oncology physician practicing in Louisiana. Dr. Long has investigated over 3500 near-death experiences (NDEs), which is by far the largest number of NDEs ever scientifically studied. The results of his previous research were published in the New York Times bestselling book Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences. Millions of people have seen Dr. Long discuss his research on shows including the NBC Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, National Geographic television, History Channel, The O’Reilly Factor, and on television broadcasts around the world.
Pir Netanel Miles-Yépez, D.D., is the head of the Inayati-Maimuni lineage of Sufism, fusing the Hasidic teachings and practices of the Ba’al Shem Tov with the universalist Sufi teachings and practices of Hazrat Inayat Khan. An artist, philosopher, and scholar of comparative religion, Netanel studied at Michigan State University and Naropa University before pursuing traditional studies with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and various other teachers, including Father Thomas Keating. Deeply involved in ecumenical dialogue, Netanel is considered a leading thinker in the InterSpiritual and New Monasticism movements. He is the translator of My Love Stands Behind a Wall: A Translation of the Song of Songs and Other Poems, and co-author of God Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown: The ‘Contraction’ of God in Different Jewish Paradigms. Netanel is currently co-director of Charis Foundation for New Monasticism & InterSpirituality, and teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.
Mariana Caplan, PhD, MFT, E-RYT 500, is a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, and the author of eight books in the fields of psychology and spirituality that have been translated in more than a dozen languages, including the Yoga & Psyche: Integrating the Paths of Yoga and Psychology for Healing, Transformation, and Joy , Halfway Up the Mountain: the Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment , Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path, and The Guru Question. She has been teaching workshops and trainings in universities, major retreat centers around the world, online, and in yoga studios since 1997. Dr. Caplan also developed innovative programs as a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Naropa University, John F. Kennedy University, and Sophia University, and she is the founder of the Yoga & Psyche Method and the Yoga & Psyche Conference.
Across four continents, as a transformational speaker, performer, teacher and author, David has inspired nearly a quarter million people to see behind the veil of the mind’s illusions and seriousness. The late Norman Cousins called David “an accomplished court jester to humanity.” At age 14 David sensed the boundless presence behind all life—and at 17 he studied how to fashion universes out of emptiness on the theater stage through the ancient art form of pantomime under the tutelage of Kabbalah master Samuel Avital. Seeing our body and being as an expression of the infinite is the foundation of all his workshops, coaching, and performing. David is a regular contributor to non-dual magazines and has authored his recent book, The Ocean of Now. You can see his inspiring and humorous videos on his youtube channel.
After a conventional upbringing in England (although she did work for the Beatles at Apple Records!), Vivienne came to the San Francisco Bay Area at age 27 and became an instant full-on activist.
She co-founded two non-profit organizations and produced 5 documentaries about the nuclear arms race and peace, winning 25 film awards, including an Academy Award. She has addressed the U.S. Senate, the British Parliament and the U.N. and many international symposiums. She was awarded an Honorary Ph.D. from Ball State University.
In the 1990s, Vivienne contracted Lyme disease and by 2005 she could no longer work.
In 2008, she was introduced to Wisdom Healing Qigong and studied with Master Mingtong Gu. Qigong cured her of Lyme as well as the effects of early childhood trauma.
Vivienne is known for her ability to activate a tangible unified qifield, experienced as deep relaxation and unconditional love. With compassion and a gift for healing, she guides us back to our true nature and infinite potential.
She is a Senior Teacher with Mingtong, teaching at his retreats and also in Bolinas, Ca.
Her website is embodyinglove.us
After decades as a physician and teacher at Harvard Medical School and elsewhere, renowned academic neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander thought he knew how the brain, mind, and consciousness worked. A transcendental Near-Death Experience (NDE) during a week-long coma from an inexplicable brain infection changed all of that – completely. Memories of his life had been completely deleted, yet he awoke with memories of a fantastic odyssey deep into another realm – more real than this earthly one!
Since his 2008 NDE he has been reconciling his rich spiritual experience with contemporary physics and cosmology. We are conscious in spite of our brain. By probing deeply into our own consciousness, we transcend the limits of the human brain, and of the physical-material realm. His story offers a crucial key to the understanding of reality and human consciousness.
Dr. Alexander’s most recent book is Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness (co-authored with Karen Newell.)
Karen Newell has spent a lifetime seeking wisdom through esoteric teachings and firsthand experience exploring realms of consciousness. As an innovator in the emerging field of brainwave entrainment audio meditation, Karen Newell, co-founder of Sacred Acoustics, empowers others by demonstrating how to connect to inner guidance, achieve inspiration, improve wellness and develop intuition.
In workshops presented with best-selling author Dr. Eben Alexander, Karen demonstrates key practices of consciousness exploration: heart awareness, intention, maintaining neutrality, emotional management and cultivating internal knowing. She is co-author with Dr. Alexander of their latest book, Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness.
Musician, Mythologist and Cultural Historian Kayleen Asbo, Ph.D, is the Artistic Director of Mythica, a company dedicated to creating community through story, ritual and the arts. A faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for nineteen years, Dr. Asbo lectures for the Department of Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at UC Berkeley, Dominican University and Sonoma State University and is a Master Teacher for the Veriditas Labyrinth Organization. Kayleen is the cultural and music historian for the Santa Rosa Symphony, and a preconcert lecturer for the San Francisco Opera and Mendocino Music Festivals as well as a consultant for psychological and spiritual organizations around the world. She offers sacred journeys in Europe each year that weave together art, music, story and poetry with restorative and embodied rituals that promote inner reflection and transformation.
Maya Luna is a poet and teacher of Feminine Gnosis. She belongs to a lineage of untamed feral women who transmit the primordial core of the Tantric wisdom streams.
Her work is focused on the lost Feminine ways of knowing. Her spoken word poetry album Holy Darkness: a Tantric Opus is available at mayaluna.bandcamp.com
Omega: Feral Secrets of the Deep Feminine is her first book of poetry. She is the creator of the Deep Feminine Mystery School.
Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader, Cynthia Bourgeault divides her time between solitude at her coastal home in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative path. She is the founding Director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School.
Cynthia is the author of seven books: The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, The Wisdom Jesus, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Mystical Hope, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, Chanting the Psalms, and Love is Stronger Than Death. She has also authored or contributed to numerous articles and courses on the Christian spiritual life. She is a past Fellow of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural research at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and an oblate of New Camaldoli Monastery in Big Sur, California.
Cynthia continues to contribute to The Contemplative Society in her role as Principal Teacher and advisor. She passionately promotes the practice of Centering Prayer, and has worked closely with Thomas Keating, Bruno Barnhart, Richard Rohr, as well as many other contemplative teachers and masters within Christianity and other spiritual traditions.
Mark Gober is the author of An End to Upside Down Thinking: Dispelling the Myth That the Brain Produces Consciousness, and the Implications for Everyday Life. He will be discussing the findings that have led him to the conclusion that changed his worldview 180-degrees: consciousness is the basis of all reality rather than matter. He explores independent areas of evidence, including quantum physics, psychedelics, savants, remote viewing, telepathy, precognition, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, communications with the deceased, and children who remember previous lives. The implications are immense for science, technology, and medicine as well as happiness, life/death, relationships, and even world peace. The shift to a consciousness-centric picture of reality is regarded by some as the next “Copernican-scale revolution.” Mark’s thesis has been endorsed by well-known thinkers such as Jack Canfield, Dr. Eben Alexander, Dr. Dean Radin, Dr. Ervin Laszlo, Goldie Hawn, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Dr. Larry Dossey, and others. Mark is a Silicon Valley technology strategist, a former Wall Street investment banker, and former Princeton University tennis team captain.
Betsy Polatin, an internationally recognized teacher, is currently a Master Lecturer at Boston University's College of Fine Arts. She has been teaching for forty years and has training in music, dance, yoga, trauma, meditation, and the healing arts. Teaching experience includes; Music Schools, Meditation Centers, the Psychotherapy Networker, Performing Arts Medicine Association, Bessel van der Kolk’s International Trauma Conference, and many other classes in the US and abroad. Betsy is currently co-teaching a class with Dr Peter Levine, international trauma expert, called, "Trauma and the Performing Artist.” Her unique combination of work, The Actor’s Secret, blends the Alexander Technique with Carl Stough’s Breathing Coordination principles and Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing. Having been involved with meditation since 1966, her work is greatly influenced by spiritual, and meditation masters. As a breathing and movement specialist, she has had numerous articles published in the Huffington Post. Her new book, Humanual, is a manual for being human.
Alfred K. LaMotte (Fred) is the author of three volumes of poetry: Wounded Bud, Savor Eternity One Moment At A Time, and The Fire of Darkness: What Burned Me Away Completely, as well as I Became, a coffee-table art book with mandalas by Hawaiian artist Rashani Réa. Educated at Yale University and Princeton Theological Seminary, he is an interfaith college chaplain and instructor in World Religions. Fred lives near Seattle WA with his wife Anna. He loves to hike in the mountains, play tenor sax, wrestle with dogs, and gather circles for poetry and meditation.
Brenda Salgado is founder of Nepantla Consulting, and is currently in the process of establishing the Nepantla Center for Healing and Renewal. She holds degrees in Biology (BA), Developmental Psychology (BA), and Animal Behavior (MS). Brenda has over 16 years of experience in leadership development, nonprofit management, spiritual teaching, movement building, women’s health, and environmental and social justice. She has received training from indigenous elders in traditional medicine, limpias and healing ceremony. She serves on the boards of Movement Strategy Center and the Lion’s Roar Foundation (Lions Roar and Buddhadharma magazines), and is a Founding Member of WisdomWomen. In the past, she has served as the Director of the East Bay Meditation Center, and as a Senior Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center where she contributed to transformative movement building in the social justice field and was co-author of Out of the Spiritual Closet: Organizers Transforming the Practice of Social Justice. In November 2016 she released her first book, Real World Mindfulness for Beginners: Navigate Daily Life One Practice at a Time.
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