Highlights from SAND 2011 Conference
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
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.”
*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!
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!
*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
3. Numerous unpredictable encounters that bring joy, insights, humor, harsh
reality, new information, friends, and opportunities to serve each other.
1. Meeting Rupert Spira
2. Hanging out with Scott Kiloby
3. Giving my talks
Jeff Foster, Unmani, 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.
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.
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.
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!