Monday, March 29, 2010
The meeting described below is (to my knowledge) the only national meeting on the topic of Kundalini in the United States. Though the description might lead you to think of it as a dry, unexciting conference directed primarily to scholars and researchers, that is not necessarily true. The group of presenters are people who have themselves all experienced deep spiritual transformation, so they are able to speak from a personal as well as an academic perspective.
Kundalini people are a lively bunch. Everyone has an interesting story to tell, and this, like all conferences, offers an opportunity for each of us to meet and share with others with whom we have much in common. Years ago, I met my friend Jeannine at one of the KRN conferences, and since then, we have become very close friends, even though we have actually only seen each other once since the initial meeting. She is my primary "spiritual buddy," the one to whom I can confide my most personal experiences in the Kundalini process and she also with me.
I will be presenting a paper on "Kundalini and the Elder" describing some of the differences in quality, tone, and frequency of Kundalini episodes in the lives of those who have lived with the phenomenon for many, many years. I will also include some examples of those who have experienced Kundalini awakening in their later years, even in their nineties.
When I went to my first KRN conference many years ago, one of my friends said to me, "Stay away from the researchers--look for those who are levitating." Sometimes these turned out to be the same person. Indeed, attending the conference is (for me) a rare opportunity to "come home," to be with "my own kind," folks who have been through the process and survived to tell the tale, and others who are novices and eager to learn more about this strange phenomenon that is transforming their lives.
P. S. This conference is cheaper than many. And the location is fairly accessible. If you can't drive there, you can fly into the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton airport in Pennsylvania (or airports in other cities), then go by cab or rental car to the ashram of the Himalayan Institute (near Honesdale, PA) for a truly inspirational and exciting weekend.
I hope many of you will take advantage of this rare offering.
Kundalini Research Network Presents
Perspectives on Kundalini:
Clinical, Research and Traditional Views
Spring Conference: May 14th-16th, 2010
Friday 7:30-9pm, Sat. 9am-5pm, Sun. 9am-noon
Registration Fee: $150
Register on or before March 15, 2010 for only $125!
To register for the Kundalini Research Network Conference
and for accommodations please contact the Himalayan Institute
by clicking on their name below or calling them directly. Directions to
the Himalayan Institute can be found on their website.
The Himalayan Institute
Please check the website for updated information as program is subject to change without notice.
This conference will offer participants and presenters the rare opportunity to gather and discuss the powerful impact that yoga and meditation practices, spiritual emergence, transcendent experiences and the transformative power of Kundalini have on individuals. Through keynote presentations and panels of experts we will explore what the process of transformation and change looks like from clinical, research and traditional spiritual and yogic perspectives.
The conference will be held at the wonderful retreat setting of the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, PA. People attending the conference can also participate in the yoga classes, make use of the relaxing and healing services of their spa and stroll the hiking trails that cross their hundreds of acres of hills and forests. Delicious vegetarian meals are included in the modest accommodation fees for those staying at the Institute. There are also hotels nearby that people can stay at while attending the conference. Accommodations at the Institute and conference registration can be done directly with the Himalayan Institute.
Presenters' Biographies (alphabetical order, additional presenters will be added in the weeks ahead)
Teri Degler has been giving workshops for more than twenty years on Shakti—the divine feminine force sometimes called Kundalini—and what Tantra and Hatha yoga have to teach us about its role in creative inspiration. During this time, she has also been uncovering and researching the stories of the highly creative women mystics found in virtually every spiritual tradition. Perhaps even more importantly, she has been interviewing and collecting the stories of contemporary women who have experienced inspired creativity in their daily lives. In addition to her decades-long research on Shakti, she has spent four years in scholarly research on Sophia and Shekinah and the history of the divine feminine before writing The Divine Feminine Fire. She is the author of nine books including The Fiery Muse: Creativity and the Spiritual Quest (Random House of Canada). For more information please visit Teri Degler.
Lawrence Edwards, Ph.D., LMHC, BCIAC EEG Fellow is the President of the Kundalini Research Network. He is on the faculty of New York Medical College and maintains a private practice in Bedford, NY providing biofeedback, psychotherapy, peak performance and meditation training (optimalmind.net). He did his doctoral research on Kundalini in the early 1980's at Temple University where he was honored as a University Scholar. He was the director of a private Jungian psychiatric treatment center in Connecticut. He prepared to become a monk under the guidance of Swami Muktananda and spent years teaching and studying Kundalini yoga in India as well as in the US. He has run ashrams, meditation centers, meditation programs and retreats internationally. He has served 5 terms as President of the Kundalini Research Network. His critically acclaimed book, The Soul's Journey: Guidance From The Divine Within, (www.thesoulsjourney.com) brings together his professional background and his extraordinary personal experiences of mystical states unfolded by Kundalini. It enables readers to grasp their potential for the direct experience of Divine in their own lives. He is also one of the authors in the new anthology published by Sounds True titled Kundalini Rising. This is a compilation of the writings of 24 leading authors in the field of Kundalini, several of whom are also part of the Kundalini Research Network. He also authored "Meditation as Medicine" in the May 2003 issue of the journal ADVANCE for Nurse Practitioners in which he discusses the many health benefits of meditation and his research on the practice of mantra and its effects on heart rate variability. He is the founder and director of The Anam Cara Foundation, a non-profit 501 (C) 3 educational organization dedicated to teaching meditative practices to all. He also serves currently as President of the Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society. Dr. Edwards helps people from around the world dealing with Kundalini processes and spiritual emergence. He created a support website: Kundalinisupport.org in addition to all the information and resources made available on Kundalini through his website thesoulsjourney.com.
Penny Kelly is a writer, teacher, consultant, speaker, publisher, and Naturopathic physician. She is the owner of Lily Hill Farm and Learning Center in southwest Michigan where she teaches courses in Developing the Gift of Intuition, Getting Well Again Naturally, and Organic Gardening. She has a small publishing company, Kelly Networks LLC, that publishes books on the subjects of spirituality and health, and she is one of the founding members of the Tipping Point Network. Penny holds a degree in Humanistic Studies from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. a degree in Naturopathic Medicine from Clayton College, Birmingham, AL, and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in nutrition from the American Holistic College of Nutrition. She is the mother of four children and has written several books including: The Evolving Human; Robes - A Book of Coming Changes and Consciousness and Energy, Vol 1, Multi-dimensionality and A Theory of Consciousness. She is a contributing author to Kundalini Rising, published by Sounds True. For more information please visit: www.pennykelly.com
Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Associate Neuroscientist, Division of Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital. Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Ph.D. has been involved in the practice of a yoga lifestyle for over 35 years and is a Kundalini Yoga instructor. He has conducted neuroscience research for over 25 years and is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and is also the Director of Research for the Kundalini Research Institute and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. His current research is on the effectiveness of yoga and meditation practices and includes studies on yoga for insomnia, music performance anxiety and public schools among others. He has traveled internationally meeting and collaborating with yoga research scientists and assists in coordinating the research component of the annual Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. He is the author of a comprehensive review and analysis of yoga therapy research and he also teaches an elective course at Harvard Medical School in Mind Body Medicine. Dr. Khalsa is also a contributor to the new anthology, Kundalini Rising, published by Sounds True.
Russell Park, Ph.D. is a transpersonal clinical psychologist and neurotherapist in practice in California. He is deeply experienced in working with people going through Kundalini processes and works with his wife, Jyoti Prevatt, Ph.D., running a healing retreat center, Kayumari, in Columbia, California. Dr. Park is co-author of The Power of Humility: From Conflict to Peace (written with Charles Whitfield, Russell Park and Jyoti, HCI 2004). He has been on the faculty of the institute of Transpersonal Psychology for 18 years and integrates biofeedback and neurofeedback into his life-transforming work with people. He teaches internationally along with his wife Jyoti. He is on the board of directors of the Kundalini Research Network.
Dale Pond has been involved in Kundalini Research for more than 30 years and is the corresponding secretary of The Institute for Consciousness Research.
Paul Pond, Ph.D. is Director of Research for the Institute for Conscoiusness Research, has a doctorate in physics and has been involved in Kundalini experience and research for more than 30 years. He has written and spoken extensively on the subject. His focus has been on lifestyle issues and their impact on individual spiritual experience. Ever since he was first introduced to and experienced the concept of Kundalini, Paul was struck by the fact that there are laws of consciousness just as there are laws of physics. These “mental” laws operate on a much more subtle level than the physical laws of everyday experience and are contained in the basic tenets of traditional religious and esoteric thought. Kundalini is held to be responsible for mystical experience, genius and other exceptional states of mind.
Jyoti Jean Prevatt, Ph.D is an internationally renowned author, spiritual advisor and psychological consultant. She is one of the founders of the Kundalini Research Network. Her Ph.D. is in Transpersonal Psychology and her training includes two and half years of postgraduate study at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She is a former director of the Spiritual Emergence Network and co-founder of Kayumari, a healing retreat center in Columbia, California. She experienced Kundalini awakening and subsequent transformative processes that continued for many years. She shares her experience in her book An Angel Called My Name. She and her husband, Russell Park, Ph.D., who is a clinical psychologist and author work with people going through Kundalini processes and spiritual transformation. For more information on Jyoti please visit her website: mothersgrace.com.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D. is the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute. He has two doctoral degrees, one in Sanskrit from the prestigious University of Allahabad, India and the second from the University of Pennsylvania in oriental studies. He is the successor to Swami Rama and an accomplished yogi deeply learned in the practices and the yogic texts related to hatha yoga, pranayama, Kundalini, tantra, meditation and more. He is the author of numerous books on these subjects and is thoroughly committed to living the ideals and practices of yoga in the world through humanitarian projects, eco-friendly agriculture and renewable energy programs, Ayurvedic medicine and more.
Dorothy Walters, Ph.D., experienced a dramatic and totally unexpected Kundalini awakening in l981,at age 53, while serving as a professor of English literature and women’s studies at Wichita (Kansas) State University. She shared her ongoing experience with almost no one for some 15 years, but kept a journal of her process. This event totally transformed her life, and since then her focus has been on exploring the Kundalini process through her own and others’ experiences. In l988 she took early retirement and moved to San Francisco, where she remained for the following 21 years. While there, she published three books based on her own spiritual awakening: Unmasking the Rose, A Record of a Kundalini Initiation;Marrow of Flame, Poems of the Spiritual Journey and A Cloth of Fine Gold, Poems of the Inner Journey. Dr. Walters also contributed an essay to the anthology Kundalini Rising. She has her own blog, Kundalinisplendor, featuring poetry, writing, photography and creative expressions related to the power of Kundalini in all Her forms. She hears from many people who read this blog and are seeking advice and counsel as to how to proceed on their own Kundalini journey. She serves as unofficial advisor and mentor to many of these, who often have no one else to turn to or are located in remote areas where no qualified teachers or counselors are available. She collaborated with Dr. Edwards in creating the Kundalinisupport.org website.
Barbara Harris Whitfield, RT, CMT is a researcher, therapist and author. She shares a private practice in Atlanta, with her husband Charles Whitfield, MD helping adults who were traumatized as children. She presents workshops on near-death experiences, thanatology (the study of death and dying), and spirituality. Barbara is the author of many articles and books including Full Circle: The Near-death Experience and Beyond (Simon and Schuster 1990), Spiritual Awakenings: Insights of the Near-Death Experience and other Doorways to Our Soul (Health Communications Inc 1995), Final Passage: Sharing the Journey as this Life Ends (HCI 1998), and The Power of Humility: From Conflict to Peace (written with Charles Whitfield, Russell Park and Jyoti, HCI 2004), and The Natural Soul (Muse House Press, January 2010). These books are the result of interviewing hundreds of people on the after effects of their near-death experiences and spiritual awakenings in general. Barbara is also one of the contributors to the new book Kundalini Rising (Sounds True 2009). Barbara has been interviewed on Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Unsolved Mysteries, Oprah, Donahue, CNN Medical News, etc. and appeared in many documentaries for Japan, Germany, France, Belgium, Canada and American Television. She is member of the Board of Directors of KRN and has sat on the executive board of the International Association for Near-Death Studies. She is a consulting editor and contributor for the Journal of Near-Death Studies. For more information please visit www.barbarawhitfield.com.
Charles L. Whitfield, MD, is a pioneer in trauma recovery, including the way we remember childhood and other trauma and abuse. A physician and front-line therapist who assists trauma survivors and spiritual seekers in their healing, he is the author of fifty published articles, and ten best-selling books on trauma psychology and recovery including Healing the Child Within and Alcoholism and Spirituality. He lives and practices addiction medicine, trauma psychology, and holistic psychiatry in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Whitfield is one of the authors in the compilation, Kundalini Rising, published by Sounds True. For more information go to www.cbwhit.com.
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