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SAND15 Italy Retreat Program SAND15 Italy

At the SAND15 Italy retreat, the selected presenters offer an exciting opportunity to engage and discuss their ideas in an intimate and interactive setting.

The retreat will start on Sunday May 24th with dinner and will continue until Friday morning May 29th at 10am.

The program is subject to change. Additions and modifications will be made until close to the conference date.

24 May 2015
Sunday
7:00pm – 8:00pm
Dinner
 
Evening
8:00pm9:40pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
8:00pm – 8:40pm
Peter Russell – The Primacy of Consciousness
8:50pm – 9:30pm
A.H. Almaas – Consciousness: Universal and Individual
Peter Russell – The Primacy of Consciousness location: In Piazza Wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, the collapse of the wave function, and entanglement all point to awareness being an intrinsic aspect of reality. Yet we are still trying to understand these phenomena within a worldview that assumes the real world to be that of space, time, and matter, and relegates consciousness to some artifact of brain processes. Yet the one thing of which we are certain is that we are aware. And it is the one thing the current worldview cannot account for. This profound anomaly will ultimately lead to the full paradigm shift to which contemporary physics is, unwittingly, pointing. With consciousness as primary, everything remains the same and everything changes. Mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry are unchanged. What changes is our assumption as to what they are describing. They are not describing the unfolding of a physical world, but the unfolding of a universal self-aware field. We are led to the conclusion that the entire cosmos is a vast field of knowing, knowing itself, and in that knowing creating for itself the appearance of a material world. Why then don’t we see it that way? Why does the material world appear devoid of consciousness? Looking for consciousness in the material world – the world that appears in awareness – is like searching a map to find the paper on which the map is drawn. The closest we can come is a sign saying “You Are Here.” The world you perceive is made of consciousness   what you call matter is consciousness itself. Sri Nisargadatta
A.H. Almaas – Consciousness: Universal and Individual location: In Piazza What is Consciousness; its nature and direct experience? We will discuss the relationship of consciousness and the brain, and how consciousness is more fundamental than the physical existence. Consciousness, the transcendent ground of being, becomes individual experience. Awakening to pure universal consciousness manifests in our personal experience as qualities that can be expressed by and as body, heart and mind. Consciousness is the nature of experience, and hence of everything, but also expresses itself as love, joy, clarity, pleasure, intelligence and so on. We will explore these pure qualities of the presence of consciousness to understand and access them, and how to live them in our lives. These pure qualities of consciousness form the ontological bases of our cognitive and affective capacities. They are also indispensible for expressing our spiritual realization in our relationships in life, both intimate and professional. To learn to embody and express these qualities makes our awakening a living of realization. We will present how these qualities intersect with our ordinary psychological life, and how they aid the inner journey towards awakening and its actualization. This detailed structure of consciousness will be presented in a series of four meetings, developing the theme as a coherent view of consciousness, both universal and individual. This presentation is the first of a series of 6 talks, which will include discussions and experiential exercises.
25 May 2015
Monday
7:30am – 8:30am
Meditation led by Peter RussellCellar
 
8:00am – 9:15am
Breakfast
 
Session 1a
9:30am11:00pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
9:30am – 11:00am
Rupert SpiraThe Nature of Consciousness 1
Session 1b
9:30am – 11:00am SHOWHide
Experiential Room
9:30am – 11:00am
Paolo ProiettiTantra – The Dance of Energy – Perception and Uses of Subtle Energies
11:00am – 11:30am
Break
 
Session 2a
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
11:30am – 1:00pm
A.H Almaas and Karen JohnsonQualities of Consciousness
Session 2b
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
Cellar
11:30am – 12:10pm
Helen EriksenFrom Food to the Transfer of Consciousness
12:20am – 1:00pm
Riccardo IngoniMovement-based embodied contemplative practices for regulating autonomic nervous system function
Session 2c
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
Experiential Room
11:30am – 1:00pm
Fabio Lo CascioTango Gestalt
1:00am – 3:00pm
Lunch Break
 
Session 3a
3:00pm4:30pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
3:00pm – 3:40pm
John FureyTime ~ The Ō mega
3:50am – 4:30pm
Emmanuel DrouetMore Than Meets the Eye
Session 3b
3:00pm4:20pm SHOWHide
Cellar
3:00pm – 3:20pm
Jan PilottiConscious Spacetime and Nonduality
3:30pm – 3:50pm
Alon RetterAstronomical Nonduality
4:00pm – 4:20pm
Wolfgang LukasShifting the Paradigm in Consciousness Research and Beyond: Neurophenomenology, Cybernetics, Buddhism, and General Semantics
Session 3c
3:00pm6:30pm SHOWHide
Green Room
3:00pm – 6:30pm
Meriel Gold – Exploring the Ground of Being Through Life Drawing
Session 3d
3:00pm4:30pm SHOWHide
Experiential Room
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Rita Venturini and Paul BushThe Discovery of the Myth of “I Am”
5:00pm – 6:30pm
Peter Littlejohn Cook – Grace-Flow: Meditation deconstructed. Breaking the “Effort Habit”
Session 4
5:00pm6:50pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
5:00pm – 5:50pm
Mark DyczkowskiThe Pulse of Being: the Sacred Life and Wonder of Universal Consciousness
6:00pm – 6:50pm
Pier Luigi LuisiScience Facing the Problem of Consciousness
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Dinner
 
9:00pm – 10:30pm
Sitar Concert with Mark Dyczkowski and tabla player Stefano Grazia In Piazza
 
10:30pm – Midnight
Sufi Whirling Workshop, with Sarah C. Retta, Sufi Dervish Experiential Room
 
Rupert Spira – The Nature of Consciousness 1 location: In Piazza All experience appears in, is known by and, ultimately, is made of Consciousness. Therefore, our knowledge of anything is only as good as our knowledge of Consciousness. But who or what has knowledge or experience of Consciousness? Only Consciousness itself. Consciousness knows itself as ever-present and without limits, that is, eternal and infinite. It knows itself in itself, as itself, by itself. Everything appears in accordance with our understanding of Consciousness. Thus, to know the true nature of anything ­— such as the mind, the body or the world — it is first necessary to know the nature of Consciousness itself. That is why all the great spiritual and philosophical traditions state that in order to know the ultimate reality of the universe, one must first know the nature of oneself. For this reason, the science of Consciousness is the ultimate science, and it is one that humanity can no longer afford to ignore. Once we have realized the eternal, infinite nature of Consciousness, all experience — that is, the mind, the body and the world — is discovered to be a modulation or vibration of Consciousness alone.
Paolo Proietti – Tantra – The Dance of Energy – Perception and Uses of Subtle Energies location: Experiential Room In practice, getting in touch with the Tibetan Tantra and Tantric Siddha Nath, I found that the physical work of Yoga is a way to connect to the “so-called radiance of the stars”, they call Marici or rays of creation. Each asana is actually a constellation and each sequence is an astral map. Connect with the stars turn probably means the ability of the brain to produce new neurons, astrocytes and then new synapses transforming the perception of reality and the whole Body Mind Word. The work will be based on a series of seemingly simple exercises to perceive the “subtle energies” and the use of these energies in the practice of Hatha Yoga.
A.H Almaas and Karen Johnson – Qualities of Consciousness location: In Piazza What is Consciousness; its nature and direct experience? (See Previous) This is the second presentation in a series of six talks, which include both discussions and experiential exercises.
Helen Eriksen – From Food to the Transfer of Consciousnesslocation: Cellar If we assume that everything is created from the universal creative fields of consciousness, then light is consciousness. When light photons through photosynthesis are absorbed by fruits, vegetables, berries, herbs, cereals, seeds etc. they become bio-photons ‚ consciousness in matter.  But as all gifts of nature are very different, so is the consciousness transferred to us, when we eat them. I have spent 20 years of phenomenological research (a term from anthropological psychology) where I meditatively with my psychic/intuitive competences have tuned into their beings of consciousness, finding out in detail what kind of nuanced consciousness, kind and loving support they all offer us to inspire us to unfold our own implicate layers of consciousness.  At the same time I have built a bridge between science and consciousness, underlining my work and theory with the scientific explanations of Nobel prize winners as Erwin Schrödinger, Prigogene, and the German scientist professor Popp, who has specialized in biophotons.
Riccardo Ingoni – Movement-based embodied contemplative practices for regulating autonomic nervous system functionlocation: In PiazzaA non-dualistic view of mind and body postulates that mental function cannot be fully understood without reference to the physical body and the environment. New research underscores the importance of cultivating interoceptive and proprioceptive awareness in the context of contemplative practices and somatic therapies.
Fabio Lo Cascio – Tango Gestalt location: Experiential Room Self-consciousness needs experiences to form itself. The human being has a natural impetus to relationship, context in which not only identification and free will arise, but even the ego and his neurosis. Each of these principles is in fact a ‘phenomenon’ that happens within a stream and that only apparently is repeated identically. An organism always develops within its context, which is the secondary cause of his manifestation: often the encounter with the other, intended as an individual but also as a social group, determines our psychological phenotype. The experiential grammar through which we write our consciousness moves between polarities: encounter and separation, contact and retirement. In Gestalt we said that consciousness is a phenomenon that occurs at the edge of the contact. In this zone, starting from our past experiences, passing through our cognitive, emotional and corporal schemes, we come to “living the distance”, in a sort of dance between individualities finding and leaving each other, in the background of an emotional world that make this dance full of sense. In this workshop I propose a short and intense metaphoric and analog path about contact and retirement, meeting and separation, through the practice of Argentine Tango. This dance, with its existential aspects, has always been a vivid metaphor for the encounter between our active and receptive poles. Meeting with each other in a group context, summarizes and repeats the experience of the self-construction with all its emotional and existential aspects. There is no need to know the steps of the dance to participate; you just need to be curious and open to an intense experience, emotionally engaging and often therapeutic.
John Furey – Time ~ The Ō mega location: In Piazza Space and time (space-time) cannot exist without mind. Without mind, there is no past, no present, and no future. All biological organisms exist and interact in space-time; thus all biological organisms have minds, no matter how rudimentary. These minds manifest as perceptual/cognitive/emotional/motivational patterns, which we refer to as Past Mind, Present Mind, and Future Mind. All organisms’ minds are oriented toward survival. These survival mechanisms are oriented toward avoiding negatively valent stimuli (avoidance motivation), approaching positively valent stimuli (approach motivation), and protecting itself from immediate threats (fight/flight). All methods of survival, no matter how rudimentary or advanced involve awareness of the past, present, and future, in some fashion, as temporal realities. Over time, life evolved ever more intricate and complex methods of survival including complex nervous systems involving memory and information processing. The human brain manifests the highest level of complexity known at this time. It creates a separate being from source consciousness; it creates a dualistic self-concept, I/me relative to it/you. Past Mind, Present Mind, and Future Mind—collectively known as MindTime—influence how organisms (individuals) perceive ‘out there,’ process, store (encode), and retrieve information; their preferences; and their behaviors. The inner spatiality created by these three temporal constructs is the home of our self-concept, our story interacting with ‘out there.’ Over the past 22 years we have learnt to map the mind in time and these maps reveal extraordinary insights and learning. From the individual to the cultural they tell a story of how we conceptualize a world separate from our source consciousness, how we create the Māyā of our daily experience.
Emmanuel Drouet – More Than Meets the Eyelocation: CellarPredations and camouflage, mimicry and parasitism: the observation of living beings often gives the impression of a vast enterprise of pretense. Instead of pretense, we could say acquisitiveness. Whereas in fact nothing is anything in itself; everything seems to be part of a process, which is transforming and morphing into a different something. Whereas actually it is simply transforming into the next step in a chain of events, which for the moment seems to have become the race called Human Beings. This is where my main interest lies at the moment with the activity of “friction”. “Friction” is a part of the stage of transformation. For the French writer and Nobel Prize laureate Bergson, there is no mechanistic interaction of matter, but a friction or resistance between matter and life. A certain creativity, not found in either matter or life alone emerges in their relationship. As Bergson stated, “The movement it starts is sometimes turned aside, sometimes divided, always opposed; and the evolution of the organized world is the unrolling of this conflict”. Looking at the role at a biological level it is easy to see that acquisitiveness is the Name of the Game! Everything is on the move!!! Or What is NOT on the move?! So, as we inspect and contemplate this more deeply it seems he was equating space as the Rest and Life as the movement which takes place within it. The only thing that is unmoving is the space in which everything that is manifest does move. Being a virologist becomes much more interesting because on the one hand we’re studying a part of a process which seems like a something and, on the other hand we’re seeing the movement of nature changing according to its molecular structure and the circumstance in which it finds itself. The evolution of the organized world is the unrolling of a conflict (in the friction), it is exactly that which is more than meets the eye.
Jan Pilotti – Conscious Spacetime and Nonduality location: Cellar The mind‚ body problem seems not to be empirically answerable because the empirical content of existing mind-body‚ theories‚ is inadequate, in that no ‚theory, seemingly can predict which experiences are possible and which are not. A model to illustrate this point is the ‚experiences of a Flatlander, for whom, within the context of Flatland, it cannot be empirically decided if the phenomena exist only in two dimensions or are projections of higher dimensions. But if the Flatlander had a direct experience of the third dimension, he‚ would then know, even if it is not possible to prove it in Flatland science to the other still flat Flatlanders. My first conclusion is then that the mind-body problem is inconclusive within existing science. Taking existence as absolute, that is independent of the observe, it can rigorously be proven in Einstein’s theory of relativity that space time is ontological four-dimensional. So in physical reality all events past, present and future exist at once. It is also argued that when persons near death experience their whole life at once this can be interpreted as that 4D space time is open for direct experience. Yet we ordinarily experience each now separately and chancing. There are arguments to extend Einstein’s theory of relativity to six dimensions three space and three time dimensions and it is here argued that phenomenal experience taken as fundamental can be described in 6D space time which, in contrast to 4D, also allow many possible futures. In this view sensory experiences exists outside the brain and memories, fantasies thoughts etc. exist in space time outside the now and the past, the now and the future exist at once an is open for conscious experience.  This seems to contradict that time is an illusion and that the now is all that exists. Here it will be argued that this can be solved by seeing the difference between the ordinary now and the ETERNAL NOW.
Alon Retter, Astronomical Nonduality location: Cellar Non Duality implies that there is no detachment in the universe, that we are all connected. Thus, a relation between astronomical objects and people seems natural. Indeed, an amazing correlation between Astronomy and human society has been found. A star corresponds to a person, and there are hot and cold stars similar to women and men. Planets are compared with children, and gas and solid planets resemble boys and girls. A binary stellar system with planets corresponds to a family. White and black holes represent birth and death and a supernova is equivalent to a suicide attempt. Simulations of stellar encounters show strong resemblance to people. The extensive  structural and qualitative similarity is also expressed by numbers and distributions, and it is 99.9% statistically significant. Moreover, many predictions of the Astro-Sociology model, which was suggested 5 years ago, have already been verified.
Wolfgang Lukas – Shifting the Paradigm in Consciousness Research and Beyond: Neurophenomenology, Cybernetics, Buddhism, and General Semantics location: Cellar On our quest for understanding the “Nature of Consciousness” it proves beneficial to adopt a scientific attitude and to apply its method rigorously. We can also complement our inquiry with contemplative and spiritual practices, which provide immediate, embodied understanding. Both stances can mutually support each other, and together lead the path towards our systematic disillusionment – but we must remain cautious, lest our inquiries and insights be distorted by metaphysical speculation, hidden assumptions, or cognitive and other biases. We must collaboratively elucidate and reduce such influences while cultivating our ability to provide accurate (and structurally adequate) evaluations. I will explain why and how a radically interdisciplinary approach will be required to make essential advances in the field of consciousness research that stand the test of rigorous science as well as contemplative wisdom, using relations between Neurophenomenology, Cybernetics, Buddhism, and General Semantics. Neurophenomenology combines first- and second-person accounts with the third-person perspective that currently dominates experimental cognitive science. This approach can be generalized via Second-order Cybernetics. Its successful application requires the cultivation of our ability to provide accurate evaluations in our scientific and contemplative practice and everyday life. That goal can be supported by non-dual wisdom traditions such as Buddhist philosophy-and-practice, and secular practical approaches as found in General Semantics, which increases consciousness of abstracting. Both disciplines strongly emphasize non-identity and impermanence, and advise that we focus on processes rather than metaphysical speculations. When these systems are applied together, deconstructing our own habitual patterns of evaluation may thus lead to a meta-paradigm shift and the emergence of a trans-disciplinary “yoga science” as we embark on a lifelong quest of steady rigorous practice.
Meriel Gold – Exploring the Ground of Being Through Life Drawing location: The Green Room “The fact that ‘Being’ is our true and basic nature is not always obvious to us until we have tasted the flavour of it, so to speak. The Ground of Being offers an exploration with hands and simple materials such as brushes, quills, reeds, Chinese ink, clay and water, with which we can touch out on paper our feeling responses to the living models, who find their poses through music, thereby moving through a vast range of human experience and pathos, prior to there being any verbal interpretation. This way of approaching drawing mirrors back to us the taste of being here as ourselves playing, as it were, and knowing it.  As Paul Cézanne said, “It must give us the fragrance of our Eternity”, in which our activities and circumstances can be seen as the stories of our lives, while the eternity of Being is the mystery in which they/we are played and by which they/we are experienced and known.”
Rita Venturini and Paul Bush – The Discovery of the Myth of “I Am”location: Experiential Room Most people think they are a body and a mind, however many spiritual teachers tell us that this is a false identification, and this implicit separation of the world into me and other is responsible for all of our problems. How can we start discovering what is behind our illusion of identity and separation? We propose to explore this question starting from the experiences of witnessing and moving. These experiences will show that our thoughts and actions just happen, and we can simply witness them, if we are not attached to the outcomes.
Peter Littlejohn Cook – Grace-Flow: Meditation deconstructed. Breaking the “Effort Habit” location: Experiential Room coming
Mark Dyczkowski – The Pulse of Being: the Sacred Life and Wonder of Universal Consciousness location: In Piazza India has gifted the world an amazingly vast number of visions of Oneness. Three are the most widely known, namely, the Buddhist oneness of Emptiness and Mind Only and the Hindu Advaita Vedanta’s oneness of the Absolute Brahman and the Self. Despite the many fundamental differences between them, they all agree that the universe, ourselves and our experience are all an illusion. Non-dualist Shaivism offers another perspective. The universe is not the product of ignorance. It is the play of the energies of the One reality which is the sacred wonder of consciousness. No other vision of oneness in India perceives the universe, vast and minute, physical, mental, and cognitive to be made of energy. Consequently, only this one allows for the real existence of a universe, the empirical examination of which yields pragmatically effective knowledge. The One is free to be as things are, each in their own place in the dynamic economy of the Whole, perpetually changing and yet perennially at rest within its own infinite Being, without deviating from its oneness. A conjunction of opposites, free of contradiction, it is the dynamic stillness of consciousness. The two presentations will explore its salient features. This first session is concerned with ontology and cosmology.
Pier Luigi Luisi – Science Facing the Problem of Consciousness location: In Piazza This presentation will offer an overview of some of the unanswered questions posed by the notion of consciousness on the scientific inquiry. The situation, in terms of scientific analysis, is confusing, despite some books and articles that offer an “explained consciousness”. Part of the problem is that the term consciousness has different meanings. There is the level of intentional, consciously clear consciousness- when we talk about ecological, ethical, or political consciousness, or simply when we purposely do an action or ponder a thought. However, there is also the level of subjective consciousness, the feeling of fear, the feeling of the color blue, the empathy towards someone or something else-a waterfall, music, and a flower. Then there is the self-reflexive consciousness, the knowing that you know– the knowing that you feel. These are all different aspects of cognitive science, and often the authors writing on consciousness do not make clear which kind of level of consciousness they are taking about. The general view of most neuroscientists about consciousness is that is an emergent property of the brain. There are different mechanisms and explanations, with a lot of specific terminology and definitions. But the basic tenet of the largest majority of scientists in the field, is that consciousness is a kind of byproduct of the brain- it is secondary to the brain, in the sense that first comes the brain, then the consciousness. Opposite to that, some philosophers hold that consciousness is primary. They regard consciousness as a blind spot of science, in that via the common tools of science, including our own mind, we probably cannot come to an answer to the question: what is consciousness.
26 May 2015
Tuesday
7:30am – 8:30am
Meditation with Rupert Spira, The Nature of Consciousness Cellar
8:00am – 9:15am
Breakfast
 
Session 5a
9:30am11:00pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
9:30am – 11:00am
John HagelinHigher States: The Neurophysiology of Enlightenment
Session 5b
9:30am – 11:00am SHOWHide
Experiential Room
9:30am – 11:00am
Emma DeviTrance-Dance
11:00am – 11:30pm
Break
 
Session 6a
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
11:30am – 1:00pm
A.H Almaas and Karen JohnsonWaking up within Personal Relationships
Session 6b
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
Cellar
11:30am – 12:10pm
Mark DyczkowskiThe Rythym of Perception and Time
12:20am – 1:00pm
Shantena Augusto SabbadiniLaozi and Quantum Physics
Session 6c
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
The Green Room
11:30pm – 11:50pm
Alison TinsleyMeditation: If You’re Doing It, You’re Doing It Right
12:00pm – 12:20pm
Adriano BorgnaMacrohealing: Healing Yourself While Healing Humanity and Planet Earth!
12:30pm – 12:50pm
Nick DayFrom Hitchcock to Penrose: How Movies and Storytelling Connect Our Consciousness At The Deepest Level of Reality
Session 6d
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
Experiential Room
11:30am – 1:00pm
Ellen EmmetNon-Duality and The Awakening Body
1:00am – 3:00pm
Lunch Break
 
Session 7a
3:00pm4:30pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Eric BaretQuestions and Answers on the Adaptation of Kashmir Shaivism Approach to Today’s World
Session 7b
3:00pm4:20pm SHOWHide
Cellar
3:00pm – 3:20pm
Gerard BlommestijnExplanation of a Mandala Expressing the Interaction Between the I-essence that Experiences in us all, and Particles and Fields in Space-Time (of Neurons)
3:30pm – 3:50pm
Joel WeddingtonScientific Definition of Consciousness as Observerless Limitless Beingness
4:00pm – 4:20pm
Louise Lee HansenThe Psychedelic Experiential Experience in a Husserlian Transcendental Phenomenological Perspective
Session 7c
3:00pm6:30pm SHOWHide
Green Room
3:00pm – 6:30pm
Meriel GoldExploring the Ground of Being Through Life Drawing
Session 7d
3:00pm6:30pm SHOWHide
Experiential Room
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Riccardo IngoniBodyfulness
5:00pm – 6:30pm
Session 8
5:00pm6:50pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
5:00pm – 5:50pm
Menas KafatosUndivided Wholeness and Natural Laws
6:00pm – 6:50pm
Karen JohnsonEssence of Personal Consciousness
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Dinner
 
9:00pm – 10:30pm
Film: Nataraja: The Dance of Life and Q&A with Filippo Carli Followed by sitar music with Luigi Ara In Piazza
 
10:30pm – Midnight SHOWHide
Experiential Room
10:30pm – Midnight
Sarah C. Retta, Sufi DervishSufi Whirling Workshop
John Hagelin – Higher States: The Neurophysiology of Enlightenment location: In Piazza Since ancient times, the cherished goal of yoga and yogic meditation has been the attainment of Enlightenment. Today, scientific research on long-term meditators is starting to report a fascinating—and extremely important—result of sustained meditation practice: higher states of consciousness. These are inherently natural states of consciousness beyond waking, dreaming and deep sleep, which bring a completely transformed experience of the world, together with expanded mental and physical capabilities. The discovery of higher states—and their universal accessibility through specific meditation techniques—changes radically our understanding of consciousness and the limits of human potential, with far-reaching implications for the individual and society. Dr. Hagelin unites breakthrough discoveries in quantum physics and superstring theory with cutting-edge developments in neuroscience to forge a unified understanding of consciousness and the physical universe—revealing a profound connection between our inner and outer realities—mind and matter. This emerging paradigm presents a more complete and cohesive “Theory of Everything” in which the individual is truly cosmic.
Emma Devi – Trance-Dance location: Experiential Room This is an experiential workshop in dance as a tool to unveil your soul’s desire for self-expression, to unlock your creative impulses. Whatever we may name it; a holy spirit, kundalini or cosmic consciousness, is that sacred potential waiting to be actualized. Based on the insights gained in the path of Tantra Emma encourages freedom of expression through the movement of the body to unlock what has been contracted through stress and tension.  This invites greater fluidity in our daily activities, while connecting us with our inner wisdom. She feels dance can lead to freedom from the constraints of the mind, while deepening our connection to Being.
A.H Almaas and Karen Johnson – Waking up within Personal Relationships location: In Piazza What is Consciousness; its nature and direct experience? (See Previous) This is the third presentation in a series of six talks, which include both discussions and experiential exercises.
Mark Dyczkowski – The Rythym of Perception and Time location: Cellar India has gifted the world an amazingly vast number of visions of Oneness. Three are the most widely known, namely, the Buddhist oneness of Emptiness and Mind Only and the Hindu Advaita Vedanta’s oneness of the Absolute Brahman and the Self. Despite the many fundamental differences between them, they all agree that the universe, ourselves and our experience is all an illusion. Non-dualist Shaivism offers another perspective. The universe is not the product of ignorance. It is the play of the energies of the One reality which is the sacred wonder of consciousness. No other vision of oneness in India perceives the universe, vast and minute, physical, mental, and cognitive to be made of energy. Consequently, only this one allows for the real existence of a universe, the empirical examination of which yields pragmatically effective knowledge. The One is free to be as things are, each in their own place in the dynamic economy of the Whole, perpetually changing and yet perennially at rest within its own infinite Being, without deviating from its oneness. A conjunction of opposites, free of contradiction, it is the dynamic stillness of consciousness. The two presentations will explore its salient features.  This second presentation focuses on epistemology and perception.
Shantena Augusto Sabbadini – Laozi and Quantum Physics location: Cellar Ancient and primitive cultures conceived the whole cosmos as alive and sentient. The mainstream current of our culture has moved towards an ever greater separation of matter and mind and today’s dominant scientific world view is based on an essentially materialistic representation of reality, in which consciousness is considered an epiphenomenon of purely material process. Yet it can be argued that the obstinate persistence of the so called measurement problem in quantum physics is a symptom pointing to the need to radically rethink the way in which we represent reality. This talk will propose an understanding of the quantum measurement process in which the embodied nature of the observer plays an essential role. And it will show an amazing congruence between this world view and the cosmology outlined in the first chapter of Laozi’s Daodejing.
Alison Tinsley – Meditation: If You’re Doing It, You’re Doing It Right location: The Green Room There are lots of guides describing how to meditate, but hardly anyone tells you what it feels like. My husband, Chris Fields, and I decided to ask people of different backgrounds, levels of experience and styles of practice why they meditate, what they specifically do, and what it feels like for them. The answers were surprising. No two people reported exactly the same thing. It seems there are as many kinds meditation as there are people. This session will be an open conversation about the experience of meditation.
Adriano Borgna – Macrohealing: Healing Yourself While Healing Humanity and Planet Earth! location: The Green Room Thanks to science, particularly environmental medicine, evolutionary psychology and neuroscience we now understand that a lot of pain and suffering in our adult life originates in our childhood and the environment (physical-chemical-psychological) we grow up in. As holistic healers we have the same obligation to report a pattern of a low thyroid function due to exposure to plastics, pesticides, etc. or a pattern of OCD due to childhood toilet training, or child abuse due some misguided belief like the classic:  He who withholds the rod hates his son; as a medical doctor would if she identified an epidemic of a gastroenterocolitis due to a batch of contaminated meat. In modern times we have approached disease mostly at the individual level… We focus on the individual and try to relieve her pain and suffering as if it were possible to disconnect the individual from the environment and ecosystem that surrounds, feeds, and nurtures it, the same environment that also poisons, and frustrates, and corrodes.  So we fix his problems and send him back into the same environment expecting that he will thrive again. This short-sighted approach is generating an ever-increasing sophisticated medicine that is prohibitively expensive and not very successful because it has lost track of the larger picture. There is a desperate need to reconnect our self with the environment, the ecosystem and our true nature as humans to prevent the majority of pain and suffering, but this can only be achieved when we understand and we feel we are an integral part of the complex ecosystem that allows life on earth to thrive. It is time to adopt a new paradigm. Macrohealing is the attempt to create this New Paradigm.
Nick Day – From Hitchcock to Penrose: How Movies and Storytelling Connect Our Consciousness At The Deepest Level of Reality location: The Green Room BRIAN: “You’re all individuals!” (NONDUAL) MAN IN CROWD: ”I’m not!” ~ Monty Python’s Life of Brian. We’re all individuals — or so it seems. Certainly no two lives are identical; our personal story unfolds through a unique cascade of actions, choices, changing circumstances, impulses and desires. But there are times when we gather for performances, such as theatre and movies, and our sense of individuality somehow dissolves into the background. As an audience, we effectively become part of one single process, not only engaged in the story unfolding on the big screen, but also bound together with others sharing the experience. The active, analytical part of our minds goes quiet and we enter an altered state where boundaries are dissolved. In this way, a film becomes something akin to a collective waking dream. What might be going on behind the scenes of our own consciousness as we are engaged in the film’s spectacle and story? Is there a scientific way to gauge our shared experience? How does a master cinematic storyteller such as Alfred Hitchcock command our attention more effectively than others? What is the role of archetypes in storytelling, and how might archetypes connect us to the deepest level of reality, according to the quantum consciousness theories of Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff? This talk will explore these ideas as well as the broader role of storytelling throughout human history, illustrated with film extracts.
Ellen Emmet – Non-Duality and The Awakening Body location: Experiential Room This ancient approach is an invitation to know the body directly in and as the spontaneous light of Awareness. We begin with tasting our body free of memory or concept:  a flow of sensation, energy and vibration unfolding within the limitless openness of Awareness.  Using guided meditation, simple postures and movements, breathing, visualizations and dialogues, we reacquaint ourselves directly with our body’s true language. Resistances and chains of bodily contractions, the habits that create the illusion that our identity is limited to a physical envelope, located inside a body and separate from others and the world, are revealed and articulated, in pure welcoming and openness.  As this blossoming of the body unfolds completely, we come to see and feel that our true identity is in fact this pure vibrating openness, limitless and ever present.  Gently and effortlessly, the body is slowly realigned with this felt understanding.  It flows and vibrates with natural ease and transparency and reflects and expresses the joy and relaxation that is its source and substance.
Eric Baret – Questions and Answers on the Adaptation of Kashmir Shaivism Approach to Today’s World location: In Piazza The meeting will be a dialogue and a series of questions and answers on the subject of Kashmir Shaivism and adapting it to our everyday lives.
Gerard Blommestijn – Explanation of a Mandala Expressing the Interaction Between the I-essence that Experiences in us all, and Particles and Fields in Space-Time (of Neurons) location: Cellar In this presentation, I would like to show and explain a mandala that I am making using mixed painting and mosaic-like techniques. This mandala expresses the ontological status and interaction between the essence of mind on the one hand and the physical world on the other; in the Perennial Now Realm according to Vedantic and Platonic principles, and in the Space-Time Realm according to present-day Quantum Mechanics. Hereby the long-standing Quantum Reduction Process functions neatly as the contact, the communication between these two realms. Different artistic objects represent specific principles, processes and substances. Examples in the Perennial Now Realm are: a round white stone in the center representing the Self; nine ray-like pieces of stone in 3 colors representing the birth of all the concepts by the ‚fire of intelligence‚; a multi-colored string of beads representing these concepts or Platonic ideas. Then at the border between the Perennial Now Realm and the Space-Time Realm we have the Quantum Reduction Process represented by a circle of glass squares of different colors. In the Space-Time Realm we have space-time curvatures represented by blue waves‚ London van der Waals forces represented by Feynman diagrams of virtual photon exchange, and amino acids represented by their molecular structure diagrams of colored beads.
Joel Weddington – Scientific Definition of Consciousness as Observerless Limitless Beingness location: Cellar Consciousness is the subject of philosophical discussions over millennia as well as an increasing number of scientific investigations. However, a working definition for consciousness that could bridge a divide in the way scientific, philosophical, and nondual theorists think is elusive. A thought experiment is introduced to define consciousness and conceptualize it in a way that may be scientifically useful. By intentionally producing a moment of awareness without cognition of objects or observer, the presence of beingness without definable characteristics can be determined, and conceptualized as ‚observerless limitless beingness, (OLB). This is similar to words used in a spiritual or nondual context such as absolute reality, totality, the universe, and primordial or undifferentiated consciousness. Based on the premise that thousands of observers over millennia have reported similarly on the same realization of beingness, there is a basis to establish inter-observer reliability that can be externally validated and be determined as useful for doing scientific work. Defining consciousness as OLB may contribute to investigations in several ways: 1. Defines consciousness in a way that is all-inclusive. 2. Reduces ambiguity with words such as awareness, mind, and intelligence by defining them as properties of consciousness. 3. It does not contradict scientific investigations currently underway such as those of cosmology, quantum physics, or neuroscience. Offer additional insight to cosmology theories such as the Big Bang. 4. Provide an understanding of consciousness that can conform to natural laws of entropy, which has many scientific advantages. 5. By introducing reliability and validity, can consciousness amenable to mathematical expression.
Louise Lee Hansen – The Psychedelic Experiential Experience in a Husserlian Transcendental Phenomenological Perspective location: Cellar In order to change our contemporary mechanistic rational society, Humanity needs to surrender to a shift in consciousness- this is an a priori precondition if entering a time not conditioned by the reductionist mechanistic Cartesian epistemological paradigm of science. We are all connected- interconnected. We need to wake-up from this collective sleep of perceiving our own self, as being a separate entity, separated from the rest of the world. My proposal will be anchored around my research study which explores the subjective experiential experience of subjects who have applied the use of psychedelics, the effects of Ayahuasca, a psychoactive Shamanic Amazonian Plant medicine, and the implicit implications these experiential experiences implies at a psychological emotional, cognitive and physical level. Psychedelic experiences are being explored and investigated within a frame of Husserlian transcendental phenomenological epistemology. In therapy, and in everyday life, emotional processes are conceived as difficult for the subject to access qua difficult emotions and self defense mechanisms. This is considered in the study when investigating the subjective experience and the consciousness states in which subjects enter during the use of ayahuasca, as a mean to work with personal psychological, inter-subjective and life challenges. This proposal will direct attention to entheogens and ‚The War on Drugs‚- questioning if this campaign is a War on Consciousness itself. Is it not our human right to decide how we make use of our own consciousness? How can we ever be free, have freedom, without the right to choose what we do with our own consciousness? This is the importance of legalization of Ayahuasca.
Meriel Gold – Exploring the Ground of Being Through Life Drawing location: The Green Room(See Previous)
Riccardo Ingoni – Bodyfulness location: Experiential Room Never mind mindfulness – let your body teach you a thing or two about letting go and being in the present. TRE is a set of six exercises that help to release deep tension from the body by evoking a process of self-regulated muscular tremors.
Contact Improv (open session) location: Experiential Room Contact Improv
Menas Kafatos – Undivided Wholeness and Natural Laws location: In Piazza The question of whether universal Consciousness, which we term Awareness is fundamental in the universe has no answer in any system that assumes the absolute division of subject and object. In addition, there is considerable disagreement on the meaning itself of “consciousness”. We advocate a reasonable, common sense approach that is based on the findings of quantum mechanics and relativity: Quantum theory opened the door to consciousness through observation, but it cannot account for consciousness. Simply put, we cannot remove subjective experience from the practice of science. Science presupposes sentient scientists. In the end, it comes down to the ontological assumptions of a system of thought or the metaphysics that is always present but rarely discussed.  We present arguments that philosophy or science cannot provide a comprehensive account of existence without accounting for the awareness that is creating that ontology. As Max Planck explains, “I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” As such, science and ancient monistic systems of thought will again converge. In fact, they were never really separate. The missing link is Consciousness. We will explore the common ground, statements from both modern science and monistic schools, particularly Shaivism, and the fundamental natural laws that operate at every level and in both. These laws are more basic than any physics laws while their framework can be put in mathematical logical statements. The qualia of object – subject relationships, which link science and philosophy through Awareness, are at the core of this framework.
Karen Johnson – Essence of Personal Consciousness location: In Piazza What is Consciousness; its nature and direct experience? (See Previous) This is the fourth presentation in a series of six talks, which include both discussions and experiential exercises.
Sufi Whirling Workshop, with Sarah C. Retta, Sufi Dervish location: Experiential Room The dervish whirling dance is a prayer in movement. It is about finding your peaceful unmoving center, along the axis that connects you with the Absolute, to God, the Creator and the Origin, while the world around keeps on its speedy crazy run. The heavenly planets turn in praise, so the dervish does. When Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi could not hold any longer his mystical love ecstasy, he used to turn while holding himself to the lapis lazuli pillar in the middle of his prayer room, singing and declaiming mystical poems. After his death, his son formalized the dervish turn, in the style known nowadays, as the Sufi Mevlevi order main form of connection with the Unseen. In these days with the complicity of the intimacy of the night and the mystical poems of Rumi, in the middle of the concentric circles of the participants swinging and singing the dhikr (sufi chanting) opening like a flower on a carpet of Sufi music, everyone will have the chance to experience the ecstasy of the traditional turning dance of the dervishes.
27 May 2015
Wednesday
7:30am – 8:30am
Meditation with Rupert Spira, The Body of Vibration Cellar
 
8:00am – 9:15am
Breakfast
 
Session 9a
9:30am11:00am SHOWHide
In Piazza
9:30am – 10:10am
Chris FieldsWhat Can Physics Tell Us About Consciousness?
10:20am – 11:00am
A Conversation with Chris Fields on the cosmological constant and other quantum riddles 
Session 9b
9:30am11:00pm SHOWHide
Experiential Room
9:30am – 11:00am
Paolo ProiettiTantra – The Dance Of Energy – Perception and Uses of Subtle Energies
11:00am – 11:30am
Break
 
Session 10a
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
11:30am – 1:00pm
A.H Almaas and Karen JohnsonLiving Consciousness and its Pure Qualities
Session 10b
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
Cellar
11:30am – 12:10pm
Alexander J. GraurA Clinical Case Of Dissociative Identity Disorder Treated With Music Integrative Neurotherapy
12:20am – 1:00pm
Paolo ProiettiTantra – The Dance Of Energy
Session 10c
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
The Green Room
11:30am – 11:50am
Akuma SaningongSpiritual Consciousness Useful in Processing New Information ‚ An Approach for a Successful in Life
11:55am – 12:15pm
Dongzhe SunNot Knowing Is Most Intimate
12:20pm – 12:40pm
Tuaca KellyMultidimensional Consciousness, Healing and the Domain of Miracles
12:45pm – 1:05pm
Edith Papp-Hanscom, Ph.D.Consciousness as a tool for controlling reality
Session 10d
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
Experiential Room
11:30am – 1:00pm
Eric BaretKashmir Shaivism
1:00am – 3:00pm
Lunch Break
 
Session 11a
3:00pm4:30pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
3:00pm – 3:40pm
John HagelinConsciousness: Down the Rabbit Hole: Entanglement, Space-Time Wormholes, and the Brain
3:50pm – 4:30pm
Menas KafatosUndivided Wholeness and Natural Laws 2
Session 11b
3:00pm4:30pm SHOWHide
Cellar
3:00pm – 3:40pm
Isaac PortillaThe Trinity Experience of Consciousness
3:50pm – 4:30pm
Will PyeTingling Moments of Enlightening Entanglement – Synchronicity as Purposeful “Glitches in the Matrix”
Session 11c
3:00pm4:20pm SHOWHide
Green Room
3:00pm – 4:20pm
Meriel GoldExploring the Ground of Being Through Life Drawing
Session 11d
3:00pm4:30pm SHOWHide
Experiential Room
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Fabio Lo CascioTango Gestalt
Session 12
5:00pm6:50pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
5:00pm – 5:50pm
Igor KufayevTruth be Spoken: Four Levels of Speech – Consciousness Expressing Itself as Sound, Language and Form
6:00pm – 6:50pm
Mauro BergonziThe Bottomless Pit behind the Word “Consciousness”
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Dinner
 
9:00pm – 10:30pm
Emma Devi, Trance-Dance Party In Piazza
 
10:30pm – Midnight SHOWHide
Experiential Room
10:30pm – Midnight
Sarah C. Retter, Sufi DervishSufi Whirling Workshop
Chris Fields – What Can Physics Tell Us About Consciousness?
location: In PiazzaPhysics and particularly quantum physics are often invoked in discussions of consciousness.  But what can physics actually tell us?  I will first discuss what physics does not tell us: physics does not provide any criteria with which to distinguish conscious systems from non-conscious systems.  As far as physics is concerned, consciousness is like free will – it characterizes either nothing or everything.  Since we are conscious, it is reasonable to regard everything else as conscious, too.  If we make this assumption, the question of interest becomes: what systems are conscious of what?  Physics is fundamentally a theory of interaction, so it can tell us a lot about this.  The first thing it tells us is that being conscious of something requires expending energy.  How much energy a system can expend determines how much it can be conscious of.  This energy requirement has surprising consequences, some of which I will describe.
A Conversation with Chris Fields on the cosmological constant and other quantum riddles location: In Piazza
Discussion
Paolo Proietti – Tantra – The Dance Of Energy – Perception and Uses of Subtle Energies location: Experiential Room (See Previous)
A.H Almaas and Karen Johnson – Living Consciousness and its Pure Qualities
location: In PiazzaWhat is Consciousness; its nature and direct experience? (See Previous) This is the fifth presentation in a series of six talks, which include both discussions and experiential exercises.
Alexander J. Graur – A Clinical Case Of Dissociative Identity Disorder Treated With Music Integrative Neurotherapy
location: Cellar
Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, reflects a failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory and consciousness. The essential feature of DID is the presence of two or more distinctive identities that recurrently take control of behavior; there is an inability to recall important personal information; the disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition.? (DSM IV TM).The clinical case presented in this work is one of my patients (private practice) in Northern New Jersey, USA, between May 2001 and November 2004. The method applied in helping to cure the patient was Music Integrative Neurotherapy TM, a method I developed since 1978, a registered trade mark in New Jersey, USA. An applied neuroscience therapy, Music Integrative Neurotherapy TM is an interdisciplinary method involving Music as a Science, Medicine (Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuro- pharmacology, Psychiatry), Molecular Biology (the non-linear transmission of the information) and Quantum Mechanics (the basic quantum model elaborated for this neurotherapy). The basic principle of Music Integrative Neurotherapy TM is that in order to really heal, the music used for therapy must be composed based on the medical data of each patient and must act beyond the psychological conditioning and cultural background of the patient. The ultimate goal of the therapy is to transmit to the mind pre-determined information to be stored in the long-term memory banks for to be used as reference for future decisions. (Rewiring the mind to rewire the brain and organism). (Graur, 1998,2003) The presentation will feature: the case, the specific therapy composed and applied; the results and a written statement of the patient regarding the results, with audio examples of the therapy material.
Paolo Proietti – Tantra – The Dance Of Energy location: Experiential Room (See Previous)
Akuma Saningong – Spiritual Consciousness Useful in Processing New Information‚ An Approach for a Successful in Life location: The Green Room Consciousness is a state of knowing or science together with something or someone. Our results are an expression of our awareness. The only way to improve our results is to increase our spirituality, which is our progressive journey of self-awareness. There are four steps in processing new information. These are: Unconscious Incompetence: At this stage, you don’t know that you don’t know. According to the Mystic Tilopa, you have to have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing to transcend this stage of consciousness. Conscious Incompetence: This means you know that you don’t know. What is your teachability index? Your willingness to learn and your willingness to accept change are crucial for you to move to the next level of consciousness. Conscious Competence: You know that you know. This is where Buddhist Mindfulness gets in. It means you are conscious and paying attention to your thoughts and emotions because they are responsible for your actions and results.
Dongzhe SunNot Knowing Is Most Intimate location: The Green Room Discover self motivation by practicing the Zen koan‚ not knowing is most intimate, the creation lied down since 2009 in California being a panel speaker at SAND in San Rafael it has evolved into an architecture structure aimed for a concept between uncertainty and comfort by playing a duality concept between a casino and an Zen monastery also with a carefully crafted into a film concept, Dongzhe wants to build the simulation this year within and without the Titignano castle to examine the user experience journey before she can proto her doubters and skeptics. The project draws on many disciplines from perceptual psychology, cognitive science, architecture and environmental design,haptics, product design, theatre, information design, information architecture, ethnography, brand-strategy, interaction design, service design, storytelling, technical communication and design thinking. The project demands challenging, experimental, open-ended and multi-disciplinary responses. Something that is difficult but also a huge interest of mine, is to approach an design problem as part of my spiritual practice, that is the anchor of this project, which is an attempt to bring a presence into a game with rituals where people can see things the way they really are: to not only master the game but to master themselves. and develop awareness and insight through direct experience. On the other side, I am also interested in experimenting based on the zen concept of beginner’s mind, a state of openness that lead to artistic exploration. The pieces predate the more modern concept of ambient. However as music descended from the temples and designed to ease the mind to a state of higher consciousness, It follows many of the same directives.
Tuaca KellyMultidimensional Consciousness, Healing and the Domain of Miracles location: The Green Room Individuals from all over of the planet regardless of economics, cultures, beliefs, or occupation share the core desire to feel happy, healthy, nurtured and in alignment with their purpose in life. What happens when they have the opportunity to experience new realms of consciousness? During this experiential presentation, Tuaca Kelly will conduct a multidimensional energy healing transmission to clear discordant influences, assist the ability to discern, and facilitate direct contact with the divine. This will grant participants to have greater insight into human/divine relationships; the dynamic interface of consciousness and the body and to explore the space in-between where we are all connected. (Participants are asked to refrain from consuming caffeine at least 4-hours prior to this healing event. Questions welcome.)
Edith Papp-Hanscom, Ph.D. – Consciousness as a tool for controlling reality location: The Green Room Synopsis to follow
Eric Baret – Kashmir Shaivism
location: Experiential Room(See Previous)
John Hagelin – Consciousness: Down the Rabbit Hole: Entanglement, Space-Time Wormholes, and the Brain
location: In PiazzaWe present an extraordinary breakthrough from String theory that explains the “spooky action-at-a-distance” nature of quantum entanglement, and ties this long-distance phenomenon directly to space-time wormholes—tunnels through space.We also present cutting-edge evidence that human consciousness originates deep within the physical realm—in quantum gravity and M-theory (unified field theory). Some scientists (e.g., Penrose) have made the radical proposal that consciousness originates from Planck-scale mechanisms rooted in quantum gravity. We put this radical hypothesis to the test, using the rigorous but bizarre new principle from M-theory known as holographic duality (a.k.a. the Holographic Universe.) We explain how these core, Planck-scale mechanics of consciousness relate to brain-scale cognitive functioning. That is, we explain the bridge between the Planck scale (the unified field) and the brain:  How does Consciousness enter the brain. We explain the key difference between content-free consciousness (Samadhi) and waking consciousness (awareness of content), and provide the key to experiencing both Samadhi and perpetual Samadhi—Enlightenment. We map the growth of experiences from waking to Enlightenment, citing inspiring experiences from renowned saints and seers, as well as contemporary seekers. We present proven, powerful, timeless techniques to effortlessly experience Higher States of Consciousness.
Menas Kafatos – Undivided Wholeness and Natural Laws 2
location: In Piazza(See Previous)
Isaac Portilla – The Trinity Experience of Consciousness location: Cellar When we look at the spiritual testimonials of the mystics and awaken individuals of different traditions, we find three types of experiences: some report a feeling of returning to an eternal Source; others ‚ the sense of recovering a personal inherent freedom; while yet others ‚ an evolutionary impulse, a sense of discovering new frontiers in humanity’s spiritual journey.  We may ask, thus, the following question: Are we returning to the place‚ we came from, recovering something that we lost, or simply evolving toward new ways of perceiving reality? This apparent incongruity (return vs. recovery vs. discovery) does not appear problematic from the point of view of the Trinity experience of Consciousness.  According to this experience, the Spirit-reality has three aspects: the feeling of return refers to the realization of the non-dual Absolute (the Father); the feeling of recovery refers to the actualization of the personal spiritual light-form (the Christ); and the feeling of discovery refers to the evolutionary function of the spiritual energy (the Holy Spirit).  These three aspects constitute the foundation of all spiritual phenomena, as they represent the most fundamental realities: consciousness, light and energy.
Will Pye – Tingling Moments of Enlightening Entanglement – Synchronicity as Purposeful “Glitches in the Matrix” location: Cellar A look at the other first law of the universe, less well understood and thus less well utilized than cause and effect, from a predominantly experiential perspective. We will explore how such phenomena encourage the fearful separate self to loosen, guide our journey, expose the illusions of typical perception and offer an answer to what  Albert Einstein defined as the most important question – ‘Is the universe friendly?’. Will shares the most profound synchronistic phenomena from his experience and their role in the process of awakening. We will explore how to increase the prevalence of such experience and consider that this misunderstood phenomena can be seen as nothing less than a means by which consciousness evolves itself via human awareness. Free portions of loving presence and contagious laughter will greet all attendees – please don’t hurry, this offer is unlimited!
Meriel Gold – Exploring the Ground of Being Through Life Drawing location: The Green Room(See previous)
Fabio Lo Cascio – Tango Gestaltlocation: Experiential Room(See Previous)
Igor Kufayev – Truth be Spoken: Four Levels of Speech – Consciousness Expressing Itself as Sound, Language and Form location: In PiazzaThere is an intimate relationship between a spoken, or written, word and the way this World comes into being. The flow of speech follows the same progression as the flow of Consciousness through four stages towards manifestation. It rises from that transcendental field of pure Silence, through to the finest feeling as an intuitive perception before manifestation. To become  cognized on a mental plane as an idea and finally expressing itself as vocalized speech (or form of any kind). This view of unfoldment, from unbounded, abstract level as it becomes progressively  more concrete – exemplified in the waves collapsing as particles – is in resonance with Quantum Physics as well as with the Biblical – In the beginning there was a Word. Yet this perspective takes dimension and depth of its own, unique to the traditions of Vedic and Tantric Sciences. This gathering is an invitation to delve into the origin of Sound and Form, which gives birth and expresses itself as all spoken and written languages.
Mauro Bergonzi – The Bottomless Pit behind the Word “Consciousness”
location: In PiazzaThe common use of the word ‘consciousness’ easily tends to narrow its meaning only to the subjective side of the total range of our experience.Yet, since both non-dualism and some philosophical implications of Quantum Physics regard reality as an indivisible whole, the words ‘consciousness’ and ‘world’ are just two different descriptions of one and the same reality (respectively in terms of the ‘first’ or of the ‘third’ person), while the alleged separation between ‘subject’ and ‘object’ is nothing but an illusory mental construct. Actually, a deep exploration of what we call ‘consciousness’ in our direct experience beyond words is tantamount to a free fall into a bottomless pit of awe and wonder.
Sufi Whirling Workshop, with Sarah C. Retter, Sufi Dervish location: Experiential Room (See Previous)
28 May 2015
Thursday
7:30am – 8:30am
Meditation with Rupert Spira, The Way of BeautyCellar
 
8:00am – 9:15am
Breakfast
 
Session 13a
9:30am11:00am SHOWHide
In Piazza
9:30am – 11:00am
Session 13b
9:30am11:00pm SHOWHide
Experiential Room
9:30am – 11:00am
Corky QuakenbushLove as a Response to Violence: Somatic Consciousness in Conflict Situations
11:00am – 11:30am
Break
 
Session 14a
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
11:30am – 1:00am
A.H Almaas and Karen JohnsonAwakened Consciousness in Everyday Life
Session 14b
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
Cellar
11:30am – 12:10pm
Igor KufayevTransformative Power of Beauty
12:20pm – 1:00pm
Georgi Y. Johnson & Bart ten BergeWe are Here for the Here
Session 14c
11:30am1:00pm SHOWHide
Experiential Room
11:30am – 1:00pm
Ellen EmmetNon-Duality and The Awakening Body
1:00am – 3:00pm
Lunch Break
 
Session 15a
3:00pm4:30pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Rupert SpiraThe Nature of Consciousness 2
Session 15b
3:00pm4:20pm SHOWHide
Cellar
3:00pm – 3:20pm
Bonney RegaLife After Life, Archetypes and Nonduality
3:30pm – 3:50pm
Mark ScorelleNonduality and the Philosophy of Plotinus
4:00pm – 4:20pm
Thomas RomlinLiving Dead…Does Memory Create Conscious Zombies?
Session 15c
3:00pm6:30pm SHOWHide
Green Room
3:00pm – 6:30pm
Meriel GoldExploring the Ground of Being Through Life Drawing
Session 15d
3:00pm6:30pm SHOWHide
Experiential Room
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Riccardo IngoniBodyfulness
5:00pm – 6:30pm
Contact Improv (Open session)
Session 16
5:00pm6:50pm SHOWHide
In Piazza
5:00pm – 5:50pm
Shaykh Burhanudan HermannThe Sufi Path In Modern Life
6:00pm – 6:50pm
Peter RussellThe Art of Letting Go: The Path of No Effort
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Dinner
 
time? SHOWHide
Experiential Room
time?
Sarah, Sufi DervishSufi Whirling Workshop
9:00pm – 10:30pm
Sufi Concert with Shaykh Burhannudin and Andrea PiccioniIn Piazza
Panel: A.H. Almaas, Menas Kafatos, Chris Fields & John Hagelin – The Nature of Consciousness location: In Piazza An Open Discussion on the Nature of Consciousness.
Corky Quakenbush – Love as a Response to Violence: Somatic Consciousness in Conflict Situations location: Experiential Room Martial arts originating in the East have long pre-supposed the existence of ki or chi as the life-force which can be utilized through intention.  Martial arts have specifically sought to utilize the physical manifestation of ki flow, despite its incapacity to be defined and measured and its nature being cloaked in mysticism. Aikido was developed in Japan for individuals to have a non-violent response to violence in the 1930’s around the same time that Mohandas Gandhi was developing methods for non-violence in civil justice movements.  This marked the first time in human history in which technologies for employing principles of non-violence were created, demonstrating that the evolution of group consciousness had progressed to a point that limbic system responses to the perception of threat (fight/flight/freeze) could be overridden by a prescribed behavior that was related to higher consciousness goals such as compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, etc. At present the expanded consciousness across the globe is producing a congruence of ideas related to species survival instead individual survival.  The practice of Aikido works in several ways to bring about the cessation of violence and an end to war.  First, it is a cooperative practice rather than a competitive one.  The help of a partner is necessary to learn and practice aikido, so unification is essential to the art from the start.  Next, the practice of aikido demonstrates that there are movements one can make to eliminate the ability of an attack action to be destructive.  This serves to cultivate the courage necessary for the transcendence of lower brain responses when the body is under duress from attack or the threat of attack. In yet another way, Aikido practice increases the consciousness of non-duality because in the selflessness of seeking the “loving protection of all things” it becomes more effective the more a state of mushin or wuwei (no mind) is attained during connection with another.
A.H Almaas and Karen Johnson – Awakened Consciousness in Everyday Life
location: In Piazza
What is Consciousness; its nature and direct experience? (See Previous) This is the sixth and final presentation in a series of six talks, which include both discussions and experiential exercises.
Igor Kufayev – Transformative Power of Beauty
location: Cellar
In the myriad of ways to realize our essential nature the way of Beauty is perhaps the least obvious, yet most mysterious. The sense of beauty is not an aesthetic concept or sentimental feeling but a powerful throb within consciousness, a reflection of its own magnificence. And although some traditions dismiss creativity as nothing but volitional activity and therefore causal in its nature, if we are opened to another possibility we might uncover the inner artist and the very reason behind existence. Extreme sensitivity to beauty–with harmony as underlying structure of all formations–stupefies the mind of its entanglement in dual structure of the brain, even if momentarily, giving one direct and palpable experience of unity amidst diversity. This, when cultured enough and brought to the level of one-pointed recognition – from cathartic experiences in the arts of various forms, to most mundane of encounters in daily life – culminates in a highest state of Aesthetic Rapture. At ones, an outpouring of creative impulses and bathing in the light of one’s own self-recognition. This is an invitation to re-evaluate the nature of experience and to reclaim your divine status. The only quest here is in beholding life awakening through you as existence itself. This is the Path of Beauty…
Georgi Y. Johnson & Bart ten Berge – We are Here for the Here location: Cellar “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh. At the core of being human is the miracle of being here. Awakening is based on an ability to allow perception to expand through all layers of form. It is based on the “Here” which is a container of the “Now”. The “Here” offers a bridge to freedom in form, and as such can bring a liberation into relative perspectives within unity. Yet, there can be difficulty in staying “awake” or in remaining ‘Here’ as an open channel of consciousness or awareness. Instead, we see a living circulation of perception, between denser layers of form, and ‘awakened’ perspectives. Where is the difficulty in becoming fully “here”, as an embodied miracle of life? Is it in the mental superhighway of many thoughts? Is it in the emotional forest of contracted energies and unprocessed emotion? Is it in a fundamental rejection of physical incarnation? Nonduality is based on an affirmation of inherent unity – on the science and wisdom that nothing is born and nothing dies, that even physical matter continues to exist, albeit through constant transformation. The narrowing of perception is a result of rejection: rejection of the physical dimension as “other”; rejection of the energetic dimension of feelings and emotions; and rejection of mental dimensions through the exclusion of unwanted thoughts. The dynamic of rejection is based on duality: the belief that one is able to ultimately reject the ‘other’. This dualistic movement leads to entanglement and a narrowing of perception. A core rejection is rooted in the illusion of separation from the physical dimension. Another fundamental duality is in the division between male and female. In this experiential inquiry, Georgi & Bart show how THAT which is beyond polarity, beyond perspective, and beyond perception can also be THAT which is the master-key of embodiment.
Ellen Emmet – Non-Duality and The Awakening Body location: Experiential Room (See Previous)
Rupert Spira – The Nature of Consciousness 2 location: In Piazza (See Previous)
Bonney Rega – Life After Life, Archetypes and Nonduality
location: Cellar
I am a spiritual midwife who guides dying patients through their second birth into the next level of existence.  Sitting in vigil with people about to cross the great divide creates a sacred container where patients and their grieving families share their most profound experiences.I’ve published these stories in my book, “Everyday Miracles, Tales of Life Beyond Life.”  Departed souls appear in dreams and in visitations, they manipulate matter, and, rarely, appear fully embodied as Jesus did to his disciples.Recently departed friends or relatives may appear with previously unknown (and later verifiable) information, or simply to say “I’m Okay.” Depending on their religious background and orientation, people experience angelic beings, golden chariots, Jesus, Mary, Gods and Goddesses. These stories show us the creative ways departed ones choose to communicate in this rich, multi-dimensional universe. What’s clear is that consciousness continues, and that Love, transcending time and space, is the heavenly cord connecting us to our departed family and friends. I’ll offer examples of these stories in my presentation, and then open it up for discussion.  Participants will have an opportunity to share their experiences, and come to their own conclusions.  I am most interested in exploring how consciousness relates to spiritual background, quantum physics and life after life.
Mark Scorelle – Nonduality and the Philosophy of Plotinus location: Cellar Plotinus (204/5‚270) was the greatest of the Neo-Platonic Philosophers (and lived in Italy) and I was studying him with a dedicated group until the Non-dual teachers caught my interest.  Then I thought Plotinus really didn’t fit, his levels of Being, formless otherworldly trances, etc. put me off.  After ten plus years of studying the Non-Dual teachers, Advaita and Buddhism, it was only after a personal experience of Oneness that Plotinus’ philosophy fell into place.  What I found was that his distinguishing levels of being (One, Nous, Soul) was useful in answering a lot of key questions that arise around the current non-dual teachings.  Certain statements and teachings are true only at a certain level.  The truths of Soul are not the same as what is true of the Nous (Divine Mind) and also what is true of the One doesn’t necessarily apply to the other levels. Plotinus main work is The Enneads.  There is a biography of him by Porphyry and numerous books by scholars.  Plotinus also spans many traditions, being referred to in Platonism, Christianity and among Muslim saints and scholars.
Thomas Romlin – Living Dead…Does Memory Create Conscious Zombies? location: Cellar The living dead seminar is an invitation to a listening dialogue where the participant reflects on, and contributes to the topic. In the north its icy conditions. To come to a conscious level in Sweden we invented a way to melt the ice between people; called iScafé!  Ice = iS in Swedish. Normally an iScafé! offers “that” which continues even after seminars, so welcome to this session!
Meriel Gold – Exploring the Ground of Being Through Life Drawing
location: The Green Room
(See Previous)
Riccardo Ingoni – Bodyfulness location: Experiential Room (See Previous)
Contact Improv (Open session) location: Experiential Room (See Previous)
Shaykh Burhanudan Hermann – The Sufi Path In Modern Life location: In Piazza Sufism cannot be explained. Simply because it has to do with Life itself. How can you explain Life? Sufism tries to reflect Life in his totality, truth, simplicity, and is based on love, knowledge, wisdom. It has to do with forgiveness, praising, in remembrance of what is the purpose of our life and of our situation on Earth. Sufism is not a philosophy that you agree with and you adapt to your life style; it is a radical life style you adapt to. It is hard work to surrender. This is why the dervishes call the path, ‘the Work’, because it will radically change you. In the moment that love and truth, grab your heart, you cannot remain the same. It is a life matter and again, it is a Love affair. It is a colour you take. Sufism is the colour of Love.
Peter Russell – The Art of Letting Go: The Path of No Effort location: In Piazza If we let go a little, we have a little peace.
 If we let go a lot, we have a lot of peace,
 If we let go completely, we have complete peace.
 — Ajahn Chah. The Dalai Lama once said that “In the final analysis, the hope of every person is peace of mind.” Why then, despite being such an intelligent and creative species, are we seldom at peace? As numerous teachers have pointed out, we are looking in the wrong direction. We are caught in the ego-mind’s thought system, which tells us that peace comes from what we have or do. Seeking for happiness in the world around focuses our attention on wants and needs, hopes and fears, choices and plans. This focus veils the peace found in the natural, unperturbed state of mind. To open to our true nature we do not need to do or attain anything. We have simply to let go of the seeking that keeps the mind busy and tense. The beauty of this approach is that nothing needs to be changed or eliminated. It is simply taking the tension out of attention, and surrendering to the simplicity and ease of our true nature.
Sufi Whirling Workshop, with Sarah, Sufi Dervish location: Experiential Room (See Previous)
29 May 2015
Friday
7:30am – 8:30am
Meditation with Peter RussellCellar
 
 
7:30am – 8:30am SHOWHide
Experiential Room
7:30am – 8:30am
Paolo ProiettiTantra – The Dance Of Energy – Perception and Uses of Subtle Energies
8:00am – 9:00am
Breakfast
 
9:00am – 10:00am
ClosingCellar
 
Paolo Proietti – Tantra – The Dance Of Energy – Perception and Uses of Subtle Energies location: Experiential Room (See Previous)
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