Posts tagged “Science and Nonduality Conference

SAND13 Conference Time!

Yes – it’s that time of year again folks. What time is it? Time for the Science and Nonduality Conference in California (starting this week). SAND is one of the best yearly gatherings and this will mark its sixth year. This years theme is “The Nature of Perception” — an exploration of the phenomena of perception from the perspective of modern science, ancient traditions, philosophy, phenomenology and direct experience.

This year theme is “The Nature of Perception” – an exploration of the phenomena of perception from the perspective of modern science, ancient traditions, philosophy, phenomenology and direct experience.
  • At SAND13 there will be two days of pre-conference workshops: Wednesday Oct. 23rd & Thursday Oct. 24th.
  • Each pre-conference workshop will last four hours & led by an individual presenter.
  • The main conference will start on Thursday Oct. 24th at 7pm & will continue until Sunday Oct. 27th 6pm.
  • There will be a closing dinner with some of the speakers, organizers & the participants Sunday evening.

 

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This years lineup is excellent

What is SAND all about?

The Science and Nonduality conference is a place where preeminent scientists, philosophers, teachers, artists and a large, international community gather to explore and advance the new paradigm emerging in spirituality, that is both grounded in cutting-edge science and consistent with the ancient wisdom of nonduality — the deep understanding of the interconnectedness of life. SAND honors and nurtures the exploration and experience of nonduality as a pathway to greater wisdom and well being in the context of the unique challenges of the 21st century

Ultimately, SAND is a playground where people come together to explore and share insights or simply reflect on what is emerging in consciousness. Knowing defines life, not-knowing reminds us of the mystery and perfection of each and every moment. At SAND, you are invited to stop resisting what is happening right now and surrender to the not-knowingness. Let life and this amazing mystery unfold!

 

 

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*Science and Nonduality is now a non for profit organization and your support goes directly towards continuing the development and expansion of the SAND community and vision.

 

Can’t make the event this year?

SAND13 will be broadcasted [streaming live] from the Hayes Ballroom at Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose, California. The broadcast will start on Oct. 24th at 7pm PST and end at 6pm on Oct 27th at 6.30pm PST. Please see detail schedule or to register for the live stream.

Here is a [partial] list of speakers (related to the theme of our site):

  1. Rupert Spira
  2. Francis Lucille
  3. Jac O’Keeffe
  4. Pamela Wilson
  5. John Prendergast
  6. Ellen Emmet
  7. Igor Kufayev
  8. Richard Lang
  9. Gary Weber
  10. Kenny Johnson
  11. David Loy
  12. Isaac Shapiro
  13. Dorothy Hunt

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Christianity and Nonduality – Richard Rohr [Video]

 

This is an excerpt from the interview with Father Richard Rohr (Franciscan friar ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church) at the Science and Nonduality Conference 2011 featured in the 3 DVD set Science and Nonduality Anthology Vol.3.

 


Is the next Buddha the Community? Interview with Maurizio and Zaya Benazzo

Pic Emily Goodman

 

According to the founders, “the Science and Nonduality Conference was created to provide an arena where various aspects of nonduality can be explored, discussed, and experienced.  Part seminar, part festival, part conference, this event also explores science and combines meditation, philosophy, art, music, dance, and entheogens to point the way to nondual experience, to aid in integrating nonduality into daily life, and to deepen the understanding of a fundamental nondual reality.

The conference opens up these experiences for further exploration. It places each attendee face-to-face with each other and with individuals living from the life-spanning varieties of non-dual expression.

This gathering is also a celebration of the bottom-line truth of our existence: that in our distinct and individualistic arisings and turnings, we are truly not limited, bound, or separate.”

 

Who are the conference founders?

When Zaya and Maurizio met in 2008, it immediately became clear that they could make a lot of noise together in this illusory world! They discovered that the only book they had both been reading for the past several years was “I Am That” by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Almost immediately, they went to India together to shoot The Legacy of Nisargadatta Maharaj. The rest, as they say, is history…

Maurizio was brought up in Italy and went through many incarnations, always looking for answers under every stone. In 1986, he came to the USA on a 98 year-old sailing boat. He started working as an actor, model, and then filmmaker, but his thirst for knowledge was never satisfied, until he encountered I Am That in 2001 while shooting the documentary “Short Cut to Nirvana” in India.

Zaya hails from Bulgaria and has degrees in Engineering, Environmental Science, and also Film. For many years, she worked as an environmental activist in Holland and Bulgaria. She later produced and directed several award-winning documentaries in Europe and the United States. Her life long passion for science and mysticism finally came together with the emergence of the conference.

The team known as Maurizio and Zaya Benazzo are truly inseparable!

I sent over some interview questions and they proceeded to knock them out “tag-team” style. Let me explain: First Zaya answered [while M was driving!] and then they switched and Maurizio answered [while Z was behind the wheel]. They were read aloud once more and the finishing touches were added and sent. I thought that was adorable! Enjoy the interview.

Matthew: Congratulations on starting one of the most interesting conferences of the last decade! SAND is one of the few public events that make it possible for non-dual thought to emerge. It’s a great coming together of teachers, scientists, authors, musicians etc. I think such a “meeting of the minds” helps to facilitate in-depth discussion, fresh material and a genuine [in-person] way for folks to network in the community. 

 

What’s your take please?

Yes, this year the feeling of community was palpable. Walking in the hallways you could feel the invigorating energy that only a like-minded, creative, mature community can spark. The combination of scientists, teachers from all traditions, philosophers and artists created an explosive mix that is still reflected in the feedback we are still receiving. “The next Buddha is the community” became the mantra of the gathering this year.

 

 

 


What would you say sparked your first interest in the connection between Science and Nonduality?

Both of us have always been interested in science and mysticism and for us somehow they were never separate. When we first met we went to India to film a movie about Nisargadatta Maharaj and one of the translators told us that Nisargadatta used to say: “…this is a scientific knowledge. One day scientists will come to understand all this very easily. It is scientific…” A few months after we found ourselves organizing this event. But, this is just another story! We do what we do and that is what it is.

 

Do you believe it is necessary to convince scientists of the non-dual nature of reality and vice versa?

We don’t believe that it is necessary to convince anybody about anything. We see our work more as a reflection of what “is” rather then having a mission or a goal to meet. The beauty is that many scientists do know and touch through their work the essential nondual nature of reality but most likely will not use the language the nondual teachers will use to describe it.

 

Do you believe it is important to help “nondualists” pay more attention to scientific theory?

Science today can tell us quite accurately about the body mechanisms from which the mind and the ego emerge, so, in a way, it becomes easier to understand things mystics have said for centuries like: “the ego is an illusion”.

Today you no longer have to believe the mystics blindly as you can also study the mechanisms through which this illusion manifests.

For example, teachers from all traditions have said: “you are not the doer.” Now mainstream neuroscience proves, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the sense of “I” comes later, after our actions have been performed. And up to six seconds later!

 

It would be interesting to know, which events were typically drawing greater numbers of participants – sessions with the prominent scientists and or spiritual leaders?

We asked that question in the evaluation form this year and to our surprise we discovered that the community has an interest in both aspects of the conference and they enjoy the balance.

 

 

What might a match between nonduality and science look like or does there need to be a match?

There is no need for a match.

We simply offer different fingers pointing to the same moon. Science can help us understand [more deeply] the wisdom teachings and vice versa. There is no “absolute” truth out there. Neither science nor spirituality can give us “final, absolute” answers.

At SAND, we simply invite our audience to experience thing by themselves and take nothing for granted. There is no absolute truth out there… There is only what is and how you perceive it is your point of view of it, your personal truth.

 

I applaud you guys for inviting more exploration of entheogenic studies as there are a lot of misconceptions about their usage. They can be a portal or “opening” in Consciousness [albeit temporary] and or successfully used to treat some patients with responsible administering etc. What’s your view on this?

Entheogens are another portal, a large [for some] finger-pointing to the moon, it’s very potent and direct portal that many have had the opportunity to explore at some point in their path of discovery of what is. These “substances” allow us to perceive our reality in a slightly different way opening the space for questions and deep insights.

That is why we have created a partnership with MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies). MAPS organize a session every year on entheogens as portals to non-dual awareness. Next year we will have even more sessions designed to inform and discuss this topic along with more dialogues about social justice and ecology.

 

It appears you are growing rapidly. Did you expect such a great turnout—so fast? Now in its third year, what are your future goals for the conference?

We didn’t expect such a fast growth. We thought this was a very niche, extravagant, subject in which not many will be interested—but clearly there is a deep longing and need for this conversation. Again, we don’t have “goals.” We believe the moment we create goals it is easy to get disconnected from what is in front of us needing to be expressed. What we do is listen to our community, encourage feedback and suggestions while, we share what touches and inspires us personally.

And more and more communities around the world are requesting to bring the conference on the road.

 

 

The event is also attracting folks from all over the world, what do you attribute that too? Flying halfway around the world for a single conference is an amazing testament!

Yes the audience is not local as we expected it to be at the beginning. This year we had people from twenty-one different countries and thirty-five states in the US. Evidentially “this understanding” spreads all over the globe regardless of boundaries and socioeconomics. It’s a movement trickling from every corner of the globe. The next Buddha is the community!

 

I’ve heard you might be taking the conference to Europe next year, is that true and what are your expectations for that locale. How do you think the European mindset differs on such material and speakers vs. the U.S.?

Yes, we will have the first SAND European conference in Holland May 31st-June 2nd, 2012. Since both Zaya and I were born in Europe and choose to move to the USA to work it is quite tingling to get back in there with a project.

We have a local organization helping us with the logistics and they are giving us a lot of advice and our European SAND community is already quite large (due to social media channels and the many Europeans that came to SAND already). It’s going to be a lot of fun! We are exploring a new format and most likely we’ll have less speakers and longer sessions. The goal, as in California, will be to involve the audience and reduce the separation between speakers and audience. Again: “The next Buddha is the community”.

 

You’ve always put out a very attractive 3-DVD set for purchase. I’ve enjoyed the mini interviews and questions you ask some of the key speakers at each event. This is a great way to experience the depth of the speaker(s). Kudos on that! How did that come about?

We are both filmmakers and before we started the conference we were already creating media, film, DVD’s, etc. on topics related to the conference, so creating a DVD series was a natural evolution of what we do. But this project is also pointing at the evolution of the event; the interviews become a way to document the evolution of the conference.

The interviews are made primarily by Zaya together with our good friend Nick Day and the two of them are an awesome production team.

 

I noticed for this year’s event, you added a streaming video option for folks who could not attend and or perhaps in another country. Tell us about the ForaTV service.

All the sessions from the conference are available now on ForaTV. We were looking for a way to make the conference available to everyone who couldn’t afford to travel. They’re a great channel and allow many people to be with us without traveling half way across the globe.

But, [if we wish to be picky], the issue with ForaTV is that it is not free and it is becoming clear to us that this material, this knowledge, belong to the community and it should be available for free. Next year we will have a different arrangement and we have some great ideas about our internet presence that will be unveiled very soon!

 

I have to ask, it seems folks are buzzing about the commercialization of nonduality and or the “spiritual marketplace” as some call it. What are your thoughts on this subject?

Does anyone complain about people charging money to design, promote or sell solar panels or items that will reduce our carbon footprint? I don’t think so.

It is great to see professional people devoting their time and energy in creating “dreams” designed to make the world a better place instead of thinking about money as a motivator.

To us the only factor is where your motivations are. We don’t see what we do as a commercial product. It is a sincere labor of love which financially doesn’t make sense at all. We have no financial partners, foundations or universities behind us. As long as there is an inspiration and energy we probably will keep doing it.

 

 

Is there a way to promote responsibly?

Surely there is a way to promote responsibly and the line is drawn by your motivation! We do very little promotion because we don’t have the resources to do more and in any case we see our community growing more from word-of-mouth which is way better than advertising.

We can only do what we can and look at what happens next.

 

I read some of the feedback on your blog from the first event (that took place back in 2009). This a summary of what the participants requested:

  • less speakers
  • longer talks
  • more integration between talks and experiential
  • a science closer to our day-to-day experience
  • and better coffee…

 

Were you able to meet the challenge and offer that in 2010 and how about 2011? At least for better coffee?  Haha!

Since the first year we have 30% less speakers, “only” one hundred and twenty or so.

We shortened the talks and the integration is slowly happening but it is not as complete as we would want it to be. We definitely got better coffee…we seem to have solved that issue at least!

There are so many little issues that are solved every year.

Don’t forget we are not conference organizers and volunteers mostly run the event. By-the-way, our volunteers need a huge thank you for their hard work and commitment! They are an amazing group of committed people.

 

I really appreciate being asked to moderate a panel this year on behalf of Non-Duality America. Although I could not attend, I am honored to be asked.  The fact that gatherings like this exists is such a blessing for all.

Thanks again for hosting such a fun + creative experience and for your service and dedication…very inspirational!

 

Is there anything you would like to add?

Matt, really, without you there will be no conference. It is people like you devoting their time to “this” that are creating the foundation for such an event to materialize. And it is people like your readers [yes, I am talking about you], that are making all this happen.

Thank you both for being who you are and for doing what you do.

 

“THE NEXT BUDDHA IS A COMMUNITY!”

Love, Maurizio & Zaya


Highlights from SAND 2011 Conference

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Since it seems that the general public is obsessed with lists these days, I thought it would be interesting to compile some “Top 3′s” or highlights from this years Science and Nonduality Conference (SAND). I sent out the short questionnaire to various folks in the spiritual community who either attended the event and or were a featured speaker.

Interestingly enough, some of the individuals couldn’t come up with three, and or decided to relay their “highlights” or observations in other ways—which is cool too. Thanks to all for sharing. N-Joy!

*all photos Emily Goodman

Kenny Johnson:

1. This years conference was so amazing, the love kept building, it never really waned. That blew me away. The LOVE.

2. The Premanator was an answer to my inner prayer. To be introduced with song. Took me back to the church. It was the choir that set the tone for the message, the pastor was going to deliver.

3. The highlight of course was to meet so many beautiful humans that came and supported the event, the gurus, scientists of walks of life, but at the end I was afforded the honor to introduce Gangaji the woman who came into prison and saved my life and other men’s lives. “I want to introduce, my sister, mother, friend, teacher, and everything, Gangaji.”

Mariana Caplan:

*I loved every minute of my time there!

1. Hanging out in the hallways on the floor playing with the baby meeting visionaries of the highest caliber while just chilling out

2. Seeing my friend Kenny [Johnson] rock the house.

3. Feeling Maurizio and Zaya‘s European pizzaz behind the often stoic and dryer nondual vibe!

James Waite:

1. A rare and delightful gathering in natural ease and enjoyment of Self.

2. As a first time presenter, I spoke to several “experienced” presenters earlier about my deep disinclination to prepare and otherwise organize for my presentation. They all confirmed my inner feeling about this need to remain open and (largely) unscripted…to embrace the reality of not knowing, of living in uncertainty, and to speak or not speak from there. One said: “Just get up there and die!”…another said: “you never get used to it…so get used to it!”

3. SAND provided an opportunity for many of us to speak simply from truth to truth, from love, to love. And to laugh a lot!

Peter Baumann

Jerry Katz:

 *I can’t really select the top three talks or events as I tend to appreciate each one
for what it is, so here are some observations.

1. The seeing that the Conference is Community.

2. The great abundance of quality offerings including talks and experiential
opportunities.

3. Numerous unpredictable encounters that bring joy, insights, humor, harsh
reality, new information, friends, and opportunities to serve each other.

Bentinho Massaro:

1. Meeting Rupert Spira

2. Hanging out with Scott Kiloby

3. Giving my talks

Jeff Foster, Unmani, Scott Kiloby

Scott Kiloby:

1.  Meeting with the many attendees and presenters

2.  David Ellzey‘s unique way of presenting comedy and wisdom

3. Watching Maurizio and Zaya enjoy themselves a lot.

Unmani:

Even though it seems completely paradoxical and surreal to have a conference in the name of ‘non-duality’ (or in other words, absolutely nothing), my first experience of the Science and Nonduality Conference was wonderful. Such a mixture of unique flavors and expressions, spiritual teachers, spiritual seekers, scientists, authors, artists, musicians, bishops, rabbis, and so much more… all under one roof, with the intention to see beyond the usually assumed boundaries of separation. Wow! 

We are all explorers of reality, no matter what we call ourselves.

Peter Dziuban:

1.  Overall, just the underlying “atmosphere” of Oneness and love—despite the many different expressions and even sometimes, disagreement.

2.  One particular incident for me “personally,” but this is something I’m sure all speakers/presenters have had happen to them, too:

I was waiting outside one of the meeting rooms, a few minutes before I was going to give my Sat. talk.  A young rabbi named Olivier [Benhaim—ed] from Seattle walked up and introduced himself.  He said that at last year’s SAND, he received a free DVD with his registration kit (along with all the other free stuff they give you).  The DVD was a video interview I did with Chris Hebard a couple of years ago.

Olivier said he shows the DVD over and over to a group of friends and congregation members in Seattle who are interested in nonduality.  Olivier said, “I can’t tell you how much that has meant to us,” etc.  In the DVD there’s also an example of deconstructing an “apple” to show why there really is no such separate object apart from sensations/or “mind-stuff”—and thus, by extension, there really is no separate world, no separate others, no separate ANYTHING…and he said that really blew the lid off the whole illusion of separateness.

*Anyway, it’s very “satisfying” to hear that kind of feedback sometimes, and I’m sure all speakers have similar experiences.  It’s what seems to make all the “work” worthwhile.

David McConville:

1. The memetic mantra of “The Sangha is the Buddha”

2. Leslie Combs connection of the ecological and cosmological via Thomas Berry

3. The epiphanized expressions of delight in the GeoDome

Interview with founders Maurizio and Zaya coming soon on NDA!


Short Post from: SAND Conference 2011

Joan Tollifson, Jeff foster, Chuck Hillig and Scott Kiloby enjoy lunch together.

The Science and Nonduality Conference (San Rafael, California) is taking place this week.

This is a very unique gathering. Where else and you going to find more than 70 spiritual thinkers, philosophers, artists, teachers and psychologists in one locale to explore the concept [and paradox] of time? Nowhere that I know of —esp. from the perspectives of modern science, ancient traditions, philosophy, phenomenology, psychology and, of course, direct experience!

The conference, now in its third year, is well underway and features presentations of world-renowned quantum physicists, scientists, lecturers and authors like Jeff Foster, Stanislav Grof, John Hagelin, Menas Kafatos, Lynne McTaggart, David Peat, Dean Radin, Scott Kiloby, Rupert Spira, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Chuck Hillig, Joan Tollifson, Fred Alan Wolf and many more.

Stay tuned for more pic’s and event coverage.

www.scienceandnonduality.com


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nonduality (But Were Afraid to Ask)

 

For the latest Aural Audio category post we have a rather candid and down-to-earth talk with Jeff Foster and Scott Kiloby, two of the freshest and most accessible voices in modern nonduality teachings!

(pic Emily Goodman)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff and Scott reconvene in their ongoing dialogue about freedom. They don’t purport to be experts as there is no ultimate authority. But they are experts in their own experience, like everyone else!

In this discussion, they speak about their experience, running the full gamut between notions of Absolute and Relative and all things in between.

N-Joy!

*Click Here to Listen or Download the Audio

You can also right-click and Save As to download or import into your preferred player

 

This pair held a great 5 hour workshop recently @ the Science and Nonduality Conference entitled:

Before the “I” thought (time and feelings)

The workshop was about the relationship between our embodied human experience (sensations, feelings, emotions) and time itself.


Kenny Johnson – This Light Won’t Die

 

by Matthew King

Although I was not able to attend this years’ SAND (Science and Nonduality Conference) in California this past October, several of my friends and colleagues went and a few were even guest speakers. So right after the conference, I asked them what was the highlight? or what stood out? Pretty much the unanimous answer was always: KENNY JOHNSON.

Hmm, Kenny Johnson —I had never heard that name before and did not remember seeing his name listed on the [rather extensive] speakers list or from the many scheduled workshops that were to take place at the week-long gathering.

So, I was wondering if Kenny was a Scientist or nonduality speaker or perhaps a teacher?

It appears Kenny was just a “regular Joe” that had found peace or awakened, while serving what was to be a 40 year prison sentence (after a life of crime)! His awakening came while in meditation with Gangaji, who was working for a non-profit organization to bring compassion to the life of those incarcerated.

Yes folks, this is a pretty amazing story and I am happy to share this with you, but I think it’s best if you listened to some words from Kenny —straight from his heart…


 

 

Kenny, on going back into the penitentiaries to speak:

“All I wanted was for those young men to find happiness in their heart in such a difficult situation —the same thing that I had experienced. Prison is a great place for a person to have an awakening.”

 


 

The full story (or the “story of Kenny” —whichever you prefer).

Kenny Johnson, 59, devoted his life to crime beginning in his early teens, and served over twenty years in various city, county, state, and federal prisons. During his early years in prison, he spent most of his time participating in all sorts of religious and substance abuse groups. It was his inner desire for freedom that led him and a band of truth-seekers to a meeting in the prison chapel.

Gangaji, a spiritual teacher, answered his most pressing question: “It is my understanding that we have to wait until we die before we can receive God’s Grace.” Is that so?” She replied, “Kenny, God’s Grace is here now! Kenny you think you are a convict, you think you are your name, you think you are a black man. Kenny you are none of these things.”

This was a turning point in Kenny’s life. Paroled from prison in 1997 and successfully discharged from Federal and State supervision, Kenny now resides in Sonoma, CA. He visits inmates weekly at San Quentin State Prison and the San Bruno County jail for men, facilitating spirituality groups, and has a spirituality program in the San Francisco County Jail for women.

Kenny’s insights, as well as those of other spiritual teachers, have been published in the book, The Awakening West, by John Lumiere-Wins and Lynn Marie Lumiere. He is in the process of publishing his memoir, entitled The Last Hustle.

*Stay tuned for an upcoming special feature as well as a sneak-peak from his unreleased book.

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One Presence, Many Perspectives

(It takes two to vibrate)

by Peter Francis Dziuban


That just about sums up the Science and Nonduality Conference for 2010.

Whose conference was it, really? The One who was really present, the One whose show it truly was, definitely showed up! There weren’t really many of “us” all experiencing Presence at a conference called SAND. It’s the other way around. Presence was “doing its thing”—which appeared as a lot of people at a conference.

That was the most noticeable (and beautiful) thing about SAND —a pervading Love or Oneness, despite the many perspectives being offered.

*“The Science and Nonduality Conference was created to provide an arena where various aspects of nonduality can be explored, discussed, and experienced. Part seminar, part festival, part conference, this event explores how science combines with meditation, philosophy, art, music, dance, and entheogens to point the way to nondual experience. Also to aid in integrating nonduality into daily life and to deepen the understanding of a fundamental nondual reality.”

At times there were differences of opinion (between science and nonduality, and even within each group), but for the most part they were mutually respected. SAND is growing (and it’s to be expected that the very bringing together of such seemingly diverse groups results in lots of viewpoints. That’s the whole idea. That also makes it a word-fest. There were so many perspectives at the conference, at times it seemed “all over the place.” But it was as if no one really cared because the Love underlying all the words was so full, so simple and beautiful.

The instant there’s an attempt to express Presence in words, it opens the door for differences of meaning. Particularly when it comes to the “c” word (consciousness), the differences really kick in—not only between science and nonduality, but even among nondualists. Perhaps at upcoming conferences there could be more emphasis on meaning or definitions. Maybe even a panel discussion. This has come up before, but it’s an ongoing issue, and at a very basic level it would really help—especially for those who are new.

Without getting overly intellectual or conceptual, what might help is just a simple, “Whaddya’ mean specifically, when you use the word ‘consciousness’?” It keeps everyone on the same page and prevents misunderstandings—all of which helps to minimize the “I’m right, you’re wrong” syndrome.

A few concrete examples: At conferences, emotions and enthusiasm can run high, so it’s easy to be enthusiastic when there may not always be a valid reason for enthusiasm. One of the more well-known speakers was A.H. Almaas, who gave a sobering (but honest) assessment in his closing talk. He pointed out that scientific terms such as nonlocality and interconnectivity (which refer to atomic particles) are sometimes hazily linked with nonduality. In other words, Almaas is being very specific by what he means when using such terms. Linking those terms together implies some sort of relationship, a sort of intersection between science and nonduality. But does such a thing really exist?

Anything in the so-called realm of interconnectivity or nonlocality involves energy, which is essentially vibration. However, it takes two to vibrate. Non-duality ain’t two. When you stop to consider it, non-duality really is another way of saying non-vibration! What’s more, all vibration occurs in time. Almaas aptly pointed out that a basic notion of nonduality is that it is “outside” of time. So if you agree with what Almaas means by nonduality, then energy, interconnectivity and nonlocality aren’t really part of nonduality—though it may appear as if they are.

 

Meanwhile, isn’t it great that Love goes right on being Love. Presence goes right on being Presence.


 

Art by E. Resendes

Now for the “c” word. One well-known scientist, Robert Lanza, spoke about his new theory (and book of the same name), called Biocentrism. This is oversimplifying, but basically he’s addressing the issue of which came first—the universe or consciousness. Traditional materialist science says it was the universe that came first, and that life and consciousness then gradually evolved on earth. Lanza’s theory is pointing to the reverse; there’s enough evidence to consider the possibility that consciousness, life (bio) came first, and everything else is centered around it.

 

Some scientists are now willing to equate matter with what is called “consciousness.” What Lanza and perhaps (some of the other scientists) mean by the word “consciousness” is what many nondualists would call “body-mind.”

Whaddya’ mean by consciousness or body-mind? It is an experience that is inseparable from the five sensations (or mentations), as well as thoughts, emotions, and other phenomena. But that kind of phenomenal experience is very different from what some nondualists take pure consciousness or awareness to mean.

If you push it further, anything said to be in the matter/mind realm is finite. It involves time, constant change, form, energy, cause and effect, observer and observed, etc. Even if something is understood to be only a mental form instead of a physical form, the very fact that it can be observed as a mental form means it’s finite. It is not formless, timeless, changeless, infinite—which is how consciousness is often defined in nonduality (same as Being). So, again, they’re very different things. Needless to say, some nondualists might have a hard time calling this “consciousness” or awareness.

Maybe the topic of “which came first” is going down a wrong path—asking cause/effect type questions based on an old “model” that is fast becoming obsolete. And here’s where a nondual perspective can offer science new insights. Some nondualists would say Awareness, Being, is timeless, thus not in the realm of cause and effect. From this perspective, it’s clear that neither the universe nor “body-mind” came “first”—but that both seem to arise simultaneously. And this seems to hold true from a deep investigation of direct experience.

The arising universe is like a coin with two sides. Look at the coin from one side and it seems to be material. Look at it from the other side and it can just as readily be called mental. But both sides of the coin are there simultaneously—so “first” is a moot point—both are equally valid if one is talking about finity. And again, either way, material or mental, it’s all finite (call it the coin of finity). Only when “seeing” from an Infinite perspective of nonduality, is one completely “off the coin” of finite arisings, and able to see both sides for what they are. Imagine trying to see both sides of a coin clearly when looking from only one of the sides, from finite mind or finite matter. Can’t do it.

This is not to imply that there’s anything “incorrect” with finity or body-mind. It’s not only a big part of everyday experience—it IS everyday experience! It’s also the workplace of science—so it’s simply a matter of recognizing and appreciating the difference in perspectives.

 

Meanwhile, Love goes right on being Love.


Then, from a strict Advaitan perspective, one might say, “Wait a minute. Being is not an arising. And to Being, when is it the case that Being is not all that is being? Never. So, to Being, do finite arisings whether called material or mental, really even occur? No. To NOW, does not-NOW ever occur? So does time and its finite arisings ever really occur?

And from the perspective of some nondual Buddhist Emptiness teachings, one wouldn’t even necessarily agree there is something called “Being” or “Awareness” as if it were some underlying permanent state.

It’s fine (in fact, unavoidable) to have the many perspectives—but let’s all put clarity to work for us. The beauty of whaddya’ mean? is that it’s an asking for further clarity, it’s remaining open—rather than a rush to judgment in disagreement. It forces a closer looking by everyone, to see what common ground there really may be—or not. And if not, well, at least we know. So the quest for a common ground continues…regardless, Love goes right on being Love.


*excerpt from the SAND website.


Peter Francis Dziuban is the author of CONSCIOUSNESS IS ALL - Now Life Is Completely New. He was a speaker at the recent SAND 2010 conference. Peter also lectures and holds meetings regularly on nonduality and the Infinite, and is available for personal consultations.

For more info please visit: Consciousness Is All


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Science & Nonduality 2010 Conference Speakers PT.3

Nonduality is the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific understanding of non-separation and fundamental intrinsic oneness. For thousand of years, through deep inner inquiry, philosophers and sages have came to the realization that there is only one substance and we are all part of it. This substance can be called Awareness, Consciousness, Spirit, Advaita, Brahman, Tao, Nirvana or even God. It is constant, ever-present, unchangeable and is the essence of all existence.

The Science and Nonduality Conference has been created to provide an arena where various aspects of nonduality can be explored, discussed, and experienced. Part seminar, part festival, part conference, this event explores how science combines with meditation, philosophy, art, music, dance, and entheogens to point the way to nondual experience, to aid in integrating nonduality into daily life, and to deepen the understanding of a fundamental nondual reality. The mission is to bring these ideas to a wider community through conferences, an ongoing workshop series, films, DVDs, and podcasts.

In the last century Western scientists are arriving at the same conclusion: The universe does indeed comprise of a single substance, presumably created during the Big Bang, and all sense of being —consciousness, subsequently arises from it. This realization has ontological implications for humanity —fundamentally we are individual expressions of a single entity, inextricably connected to one another, we are all drops of the same ocean.

Science and Nonduality is a journey, an exploration of the nature of awareness —the essence of life from which all arises and subsides.

Speakers and Bios

*this week we are highlighting six nonduality speakers in this post

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Francis Lucille

Advaita Teacher

Francis speaks about one thing: awareness, our true nature, the Absolute. This is the ancient teaching of nonduality, the common ground of Advaita Vedanta, Ch’an Buddhism, Zen,Taoism and Sufism, the same common ground which is at the core of the message left behind by the founders of all great religions.Website: www.francislucille.com

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Scott Kiloby

Non-duality Author/Teacher

Scott Kiloby is a Non-Dual author/teacher from Southern Indiana (USA). He is the author of “Love’s Quiet Revolution: The End of the Spiritual Search” and “Reflections of the One Life: Daily Pointers to Enlightenment.” He is also the creator of a revolutionary addiction recovery method called Natural Rest. His book, “Natural Rest: Finding Recovery Through Presence,” is scheduled for release in early 2011. Website:  www.kiloby.com

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Pamela Wilson

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

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Chuck Hillig

Author

Chuck Hillig is a modern spiritual teacher, author and licensed psychotherapist whose clarity of expression has earned him the admiration and praise of many notable writers and lecturers in this area. Chuck writes personally and directly about the essence of non-dual spirituality and presents its astonishing truths to the average reader in ways that are unique, completely accessible and absolutely life-changing. Using his studies in both eastern philosophy and western psychology, Chuck’s five unique books present a world view that shows his readers how to fully live a truly enlightened and authentic life in the 21st Century by waking up to who they really are. His books and interviews about non-dualism have been published in nine languages. Chuck appears in the new Leap 3.0 movie as well as in many recent videos on YouTube. Website: www.chuckhillig.com

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Carol Whitfield

Advaita Vedanta teacher

During the 1970s, Radha studied Advaita Vedanta and Sanskrit with Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Since her return from India, she has taught Vedanta extensively on both coasts and was one of the founders and the administrative manager of Sandeepany West, Institute for the Study of Vedanta and Sanskrit, located in Piercy, California, and later, of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Institute for the Study of Advaita Vedanta and Sanskrit, in Pennsylvania. She currently teaches Advaita Vedanta and Sanskrit in California. She is a faculty member of the East West Psychology Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she teaches Advaitia Vedanta and Spiritual Counseling.

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Jerry Katz

Jerry Katz received an M.S. in biology from the University of New Mexico where he conducted the University’s initial research into the pineal gland. In childhood he had initiations into his existence as “I Am.” In his late twenties he spent two years attending to “I Am” while working a stressful job. At age 45, the “I Am” dropped away. At 48, in 1997, he was moved to present nonduality in a way that was accessible, and started nonduality.com. He is also the editor of One: Essential Writings on Nonduality, and publisher and co-editor of the Nonduality Highlights. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where he organizes regular nonduality gatherings.

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There will also be many worthwhile workshops taking place all week long:

WORKSHOPS

2 DAYS PRE CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

Selected presenters offer an exciting opportunity to engage and discuss their ideas in an interactive workshop setting. I think there are still some one day event passes available.

REGISTER NOW


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Science & Nonduality 2010 Conference Speakers PT.2

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Nonduality is the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific understanding of non-separation and fundamental intrinsic oneness. For thousand of years, through deep inner inquiry, philosophers and sages have came to the realization that there is only one substance and we are all part of it. This substance can be called Awareness, Consciousness, Spirit, Advaita, Brahman, Tao, Nirvana or even God. It is constant, ever-present, unchangeable and is the essence of all existence.

The Science and Nonduality Conference has been created to provide an arena where various aspects of nonduality can be explored, discussed, and experienced. Part seminar, part festival, part conference, this event explores how science combines with meditation, philosophy, art, music, dance, and entheogens to point the way to nondual experience, to aid in integrating nonduality into daily life, and to deepen the understanding of a fundamental nondual reality. The mission is to bring these ideas to a wider community through conferences, an ongoing workshop series, films, DVDs, and podcasts.

In the last century Western scientists are arriving at the same conclusion: The universe does indeed comprise of a single substance, presumably created during the Big Bang, and all sense of being —consciousness, subsequently arises from it. This realization has ontological implications for humanity —fundamentally we are individual expressions of a single entity, inextricably connected to one another, we are all drops of the same ocean.

Science and Nonduality is a journey, an exploration of the nature of awareness —the essence of life from which all arises and subsides.

Speakers and Bios

*we will be highlighting six speakers in each post

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RUPERT SPIRA 

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

Rupert’s first book: The Transparency of Things subtitled Contemplating the Nature of Experience was published last year by Non-Duality Press. He is presently working on his second book It is what I am. www.rupertspira.com

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Steve Lehar
STEVEN LEHAR, P.H.D.
Scientist/Independent Researcher

Steven Lehar is an independent researcher with a radical new theory of mind and brain, inspired by the observed properties of perception. These observations are confirmed by some peculiar anomalies in phenomenal perspective that appear to have escaped the notice of one and all. The implications of these observations are that the foundational assumptions of neuroscience are fundamentally in error , and that an alternative paradigm of neurocomputation will have to be formulated to account for the properties of consciousness and perception.

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Nassim Haramein 

NASSIM HARAMEIN
Physicist, Director of Research at The Resonance Project

Nassim Haramein’s lifelong exploration into the geometry of spacetime has resulted in an exciting comprehensive Unification theory based on a new solution to Einstein’s Field Equations. This groundbreaking theory, which incorporates torque, Coriolis effects and the nonlinear mathematics of fractal systems, has been delivered to the scientific community through peer-reviewed papers and presentations at international physics conferences. His research into a variety of fields including theoretical physics, cosmology, quantum mechanics, biology, chemistry and ancient civilizations has led to a coherent understanding of the fundamental structure and model of the Universe. This new view leads to an in depth change in our current perception of physics and consciousness.

Weaving together the sciences of advanced physics, cosmology, chemistry and biology as well as the wisdom and codes of the ancients, Haramein creates an exciting unified tapestry of spacetime which may prove to be one of the most important scientific, philosophical and technological discoveries of our time.

Haramein is the Director of Research at The Resonance Project, a 501(c)3 public charity dedicated to the exploration of unification principles and their implications in our world today. The foundation is actively developing a research park where science, sustainability, green technology and permaculture come together.

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Jeff Foster
JEFF FOSTER
Nonduality author


Jeff Foster graduated in Astrophysics from Cambridge University in 2001. Several years after graduation, following a period of severe depression and illness, he became addicted to the idea of “spiritual enlightenment”, and embarked on an intensive spiritual search which lasted for several years.  The spiritual search came to an absolute end with the clear seeing that there is only ever Oneness. In the clarity of this seeing, life became what it always was: spontaneous, clear, joyful and fully alive, and Jeff began to write and talk about “nonduality” (which he often calls “the utterly, utterly obvious”). He holds meetings and retreats in the UK and Europe, clearly and directly pointing to the frustrations surrounding the spiritual search, to the nature of mind, and to the Clarity at the heart of everything. His uncompromising approach, full of humor and compassion, shatters the mind’s hopes for a future awakening, revealing the awakening that is always already present, right in the midst of life. www.lifewithoutacentre.com

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Elisabeth Sathouris 

ELISABET  SAHTOURIS P.H.D.
Evolutionary biologist, author

Elisabet Sahtouris, Ph.D —internationally known as a dynamic speaker and media personality —is an evolution biologist, futurist, author and consultant on Living Systems Design. Dr. Sahtouris shows the relevance of biological systems to organizational design in businesses, government and global trade. Her books include A Walk Through Time: from Stardust to Us, Biology Revisioned, co-authored with Willis Harman, and EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution. www.sahtouris.com


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Cassi Vieten
CASSANDRA VIETAN P.H.D.
Associate Director of Research, IONS


Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist, a Associate Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, co-director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, and co-president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology. Her research focuses on spiritual practices and health, and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the State of California, and several private foundations. She is co-author of Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life (New Harbinger/Noetic Books 2008), and author of the forthcoming “Mindful Motherhood: Practical Ways to Stay Sane During Pregnancy and Your Baby’s First Year” (New Harbinger/Noetic Books 2009).

There will also be some excellent workshops taking place:

RECOMMENDED WORKSHOP

2 DAYS PRE CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

Selected presenters offer an exciting opportunity to engage and discuss their ideas in an interactive workshop setting.

REGISTER NOW

 

Rupert Spira 

RUPERT SPIRA

The Dissolution Of The Separate Self
Thursday afternoon, October 21, 2010

2:00-6:00pm
Santa Rosa room

The essential discovery of all the great spiritual traditions, is that experience is not divided into a perceiving subject, an entity known as ‘I,’ and a perceived object, other or world.

There will also be some excellent workshops taking place:

WORKSHOPS

2 DAYS PRE CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

Selected presenters offer an exciting opportunity to engage and discuss their ideas in an interactive workshop setting.

REGISTER NOW

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Recommended Workshops: SAND 2010

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If you are attending this years event you may want to check out these two pre-conference workshops. Jeff and Scott never fail to deliver! Register here nowspace is very limited.

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Workshops

Wednesday morning, October 20, 2010

9:00am -1:00pm
Santa Rosa room

Jeff Foster

JEFF FOSTER

Using simple language and drawing on both personal experience and age-old wisdom, Jeff shares the possibility of waking up from the dream of separation.

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Wednesday afternoon, October 20, 2010

2:00-6:00pm
Ross room

SCOTT KILOBYScott Kiloby

Natural Rest: Finding Recovery Through Presence

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After a 20 year drug addiction, Scott began looking into non-dual presence and found that it holds the key to releasing the cycle of addiction. In this workshop, Scott will share simple ways to recognize presence.

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WORKSHOPS

2 DAYS PRE CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

Selected presenters offer an exciting opportunity to engage and discuss their ideas in an interactive workshop setting.

REGISTER NOW



Science & Nonduality 2010 Conference Speakers

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The Science and Nonduality Conference has been created to provide an arena where various aspects of nonduality can be explored, discussed, and experienced. Part seminar, part festival, part conference, this event explores how science combines with meditation, philosophy, art, music, dance, and entheogens to point the way to nondual experience, to aid in integrating nonduality into daily life, and to deepen the understanding of a fundamental nondual reality. The mission is to bring these ideas to a wider community through conferences, an ongoing workshop series, films, DVDs, and podcasts.

Nonduality is the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific understanding of non-separation and fundamental intrinsic oneness. For thousand of years, through deep inner inquiry, philosophers and sages have came to the realization that there is only one substance and we are all part of it. This substance can be called Awareness, Consciousness, Spirit, Advaita, Brahman, Tao, Nirvana or even God. It is constant, ever-present, unchangeable and is the essence of all existence.

In the last century Western scientists are arriving at the same conclusion: The universe does indeed comprise of a single substance, presumably created during the Big Bang, and all sense of being —consciousness, subsequently arises from it. This realization has ontological implications for humanity —fundamentally we are individual expressions of a single entity, inextricably connected to one another, we are all drops of the same ocean.

Science and Nonduality is a journey, an exploration of the nature of awareness —the essence of life from which all arises and subsides.

-

Speakers and Bios

*we will be highlighting six speakers in each post

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RRobert LanzaOBERT LANZA, MD
CSO at Advanced Cell Technology
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Robert Lanza, MD is Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, and a professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has hundreds of publications and inventions, and over two dozen scientific books: among them, “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe.” Others include One World: The Health & Survival of the Human Species in the 21st Century (Foreword by former President Jimmy Carter), and “Principles of Tissue Engineering” and “Essentials of Stem Cell Biology,” which are recognized as the definitive references in the field. Dr. Lanza received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was both a University Scholar and Benjamin Franklin Scholar. He was also a Fulbright Scholar, and has worked with some of the greatest thinkers of our time, including Nobel laureates Gerald Edelman and Rodney Porter, Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner (the “Father of modern behaviorism”), Jonas Salk (discoverer of the Polio vaccine), and heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard. www.robertlanza.com

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Adyashanti

ADYASHANTI
Nondual Teacher
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Adyashanti dares all seekers of peace and freedom to take the possibility of liberation in this life seriously. He began teaching in 1996, at the request of his Zen teacher with whom he had studied for 14 years. Since then many spiritual seekers have awakened to their true nature while spending time with Adyashanti. The author of The End of Your World, Emptiness Dancing, and True Meditation, Adyashanti offers spontaneous and direct nondual teachings that have been compared to those of the early Zen masters and Advaita Vedanta sages. However, Adya says, “If you filter my words through any tradition or ‘-ism’, you will miss altogether what I am saying. The liberating truth is not static; it is alive. It cannot be put into concepts and be understood by the mind. The truth lies beyond all forms of conceptual fundamentalism. What you are is the beyond—awake and present, here and now already. I am simply helping you to realize that.”www.adyashanti.org

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Peter Baumann

PETER BAUMANN
Founder of the Baumann Institute
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For many years, Peter Baumann has focused on the exploration of well-being and quality of life from a philosophical, conceptual and experiential perspective. In the spring of 2009, Baumann established the Baumann Institute a nonprofit educational and research corporation. “We want to find out whether or not non-dual awareness can be instrumental in the alleviation of suffering and the experience of well-being,” Baumann states. “The results of scientific research were instrumental in exploding meditation into mainstream awareness and acceptance over the last 35 years. We’re hoping over the coming decades our work may lead to similar results with non-dual awareness.” Peter Baumann has brought to all his endeavors, a satisfying balance of natural, free-flowing intuition and rational, businesslike precision. Most recently, he’s focused this innate approach on finding the secrets to “the highest quality of life.” Baumann is a happy, fulfilled human being. “We all like to share what has made a difference in our lives,” he notes. With this in mind, he’s now intent on discovering if what he’s realized for himself can be of service to a broader humanity. www.baumanninstitute.org

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Ravi Ravindra

RAVI RAVINDRA, PH.D.
Professor Emeritus, Dalhousie University, Canada
Professor of Physics and of Comparative Religion at Dalhousie University
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Ravi Ravindra, a native of India, emigrated to Canada following his early education, and, in 1977, was made Member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton. He served from 1978 through 1980 as the Founding Director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge and, in 1989, was the pilot Professor of Science and Spirituality at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Dr. Ravindra now holds the position of Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where he has served as Chair of Comparative Religion, Professor of International Development Studies, and Adjunct Professor of Physics. In addition to his study of the world’s great traditions, Ravi Ravindra’s spiritual search has involved him in the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, G. Gurdjieff, and Zen. The author of many books on religion, mysticism, and spirituality, Dr. Ravindra lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Stuart Hameroff

STUART HAMEROFF, MD
Professor Emeritus, Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology
Director, Center for Consciousness Studies
The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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Dr. Hameroff’s research for 35 years has involved consciousness – how the pinkish gray meat between our ears produces the richness of experiential awareness. Studying anesthetic gas mechanisms, he focused on how quantum effects control protein conformational dynamics. Following an interest which began in medical school in the computational capacity of microtubules inside neurons, Dr. Hameroff teamed up with the eminent British physicist Sir Roger Penrose in the early 90s to develop a highly controversial theory of consciousness called orchestrated objective reduction (Orch OR). Dr. Hameroff began the international, interdisciplinary conferences on consciousness (Toward a Science of Consciousness) as Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona. He has published five books and well over 100 research articles, and appeared in the film What the Bleep do we know!!??www.quantumconsciousness.org

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A.H. Almaas

HAMEED ALI (A. H. ALMAAS), PH.D.
Founder of the Diamond Approach®
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Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas), was born in the Middle East, but at age 18 he moved to the USA to study at the University of California in Berkeley. Hameed was working on his Ph.D. in physics, where he was studying 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 uses 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,EssenceThe Pearl Beyond Price Luminous Night’s Journey , and The Unfolding Now.

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There will also be some excellent workshops taking place:

WORKSHOPS

2 DAYS PRE CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

Selected presenters offer an exciting opportunity to engage and discuss their ideas in an interactive workshop setting.

REGISTER NOW
-

The Science and Nonduality Conference has been created to provide an arena where various aspects of nonduality can be explored, discussed, and experienced.

Part seminar, part festival, part conference, this event explores how science combines with meditation, philosophy, art, music, dance, and entheogens to point the way to nondual experience, to aid in integrating nonduality into daily life, and to deepen the understanding of a fundamental nondual reality.

Our mission is to bring these ideas to a wider community through conferences, an ongoing workshop series, films, DVDs, and podcasts.

Share