What’s the Most Effective Way to Reach Enlightenment? Dr. Jeffery Martin has an idea.

Non Dual Awareness, Enlightenment and Mystical Experiences – They’ve Been Around for A Very Long Time

“A category of human experience has been reported in the writings of philosophers and mystics since antiquity (Hanson, 1991; Stace, 1960). It goes by many names, including: nondual awareness, enlightenment, mystical experience, peak experience, transcendental experience, the peace that passeth understanding, unity consciousness, union with God, and so forth (Levin & Steele, 2005; MacDonald, 2000; Thomas & Cooper, 1980). These types of experiences, referred to collectively in this paper as Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience (PNSE), are often reported in spiritual and religious individuals; however, atheists and agnostics also report them (Newberg, d’Aquili, & Rause, 2001; Newberg & Waldman, 2006, 2009).

Virtually all information about these experiences comes from highly variable self-report data (McGinn, 1991; Stace, 1960). These types of experiences have traditionally been regarded as very difficult to examine scientifically. ” Jeffery A. Martin, A Continuum of Persistent Non-Symbolic Experiences in Adults, 2013

How Do You Get There?

In the video below, Dr. Jeffery Martin shares the scientific research with over 1,000 people who experience various forms of persistent non-symbolic experience have taught us about enlightenment, nonduality, and awakening, and how we’re able to help over 70% people reach these types of ongoing experience.

More information is at http://www.finderscourse.com, http://nonsymbolic.org, and http://drjefferymartin.com

About Dr. Jeffery Martin

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-5-22-16-pmDr. Jeffery A. Martin is a faculty member at Sofia University, as well as a CIIS and Harvard trained social scientist who researches personal transformation, and is a leading expert on non-symbolic consciousness (extraordinary well-being, enlightenment, nonduality, mystical experience, etc.). He specializes in bringing rigorous empirical research and testing to transformational techniques and theories that have previously been supported anecdotally. Jeffery’s academic focuses include: technology, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and transformative studies. A bestselling author and award winning educator, he has co-edited, authored, or co-authored over 20 books and numerous other publications; appeared in a wide variety of media; and lectured broadly in both academic and public forums.

In addition to his research and academic interests, Dr. Jeffery A. Martin is a successful entrepreneur, technologist, and business leader who has founded and sold companies in the technology, media, real estate, and wellness sectors. He currently serves in a variety of equity-based advisory positions for a range of companies within these industries.

Self-transcendent experience: A grounded theory study

by Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University alumni Albert Garcia-Romeu, Samuel P Himelstein and Jacob Kaminker

The following article shares excerpts from the full study. You may read the study in full at Academia.edu or Sage Publications.

What is Self-Transcendence?

awakening-675330_960_720The term self-transcendence has been used widely in philosophical and psychological literature to refer to a host of related concepts and phenomena (Garcia-Romeu, 2010). Early existential and humanistic psychologists Frankl (1966) and Maslow (1966, 1969) considered self transcendence a key factor in human development and meaning making.

Research among aged and ailing populations has informed a detailed nursing theory of self-transcendence as an important developmental resource in later life (Reed, 1991, 2003). Additionally, contemporary theorists in the psychology of consciousness
have treated the topic of self-transcendence as a developmental milestone related to the upper echelons of psychospiritual growth and maturity (Wade, 1996; Wilber, 2000).

For the purposes of this study, STE was defined as any instance of feeling ‘connected to something larger than or outside of your everyday sense of self,’ or as one participant described it, ‘suddenly having an awareness of the wholeness of myself and how I fit into the bigger part of the Cosmos and the universe, and what is my purpose.’

The Study

This study focused on the self-reported narratives of STE in 15 healthy adults and was purposely confined to the examination of self-transcendence in healthy volunteers, with a focus on ramifications for personal growth and well-being. This is in keeping with the orientations of humanistic, transpersonal, and positive psychology, which primarily emphasize the development of well-adjusted, high functioning individuals, as opposed to clinical approaches that generally focus on the identification and treatment of mental disorders (Hartelius et al., 2007; Jourard and Landsman, 1980; Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).

buddha-693858_960_720Furthermore, the authors’ own experiences in natural settings and during meditative practice provided an initial framework for exploring self-transcendence as a potentially beneficial and transformative phenomenon.

This study addressed three basic questions: (a) What are the contexts or situations that tend to elicit STE? (b) How do participants describe STE?, and (c) What are the perceived outcomes of STE?

The Methods

This exploratory research study employed grounded theory as the primary methodological framework (Corbin and Strauss, 2008). Qualitative data collection and analysis took place over the course of multiple iterations until the researchers deemed sufficient conceptual saturation (i.e., no novel thematic content was emerging from interview data).

Healthy, English-speaking adults (18–70 years), with some history of STE (defined as ‘any instance when you felt connected to something larger than or outside of your everyday sense of self’) were recruited locally in the San Francisco area using flyers advertising a study of self-transcendence. Exclusion criteria were substance dependence, violent criminal activity, or hospitalization for any severe physical or psychiatric illness within the past 6 months.

Accounts were collected in face-to-face interviews, transcribed, and thematically analyzed using grounded theory methodology. Qualitative results were recursively examined to construct a preliminary mid-range theory of STE in healthy adults.

 

Results

tree-569586_960_720Three major themes emerged from interview data: context, phenomenology, and aftermath of STE. Each of these was further divided into distinct sub-themes. Contextual sub-themes included set, setting, and catalysts. Phenomenological subthemes were somatic manifestations, perceptual alterations, and cognitive-affective shifts. Aftermath sub-themes included short-term effects, long-term effects, and perceived meanings.

About the Authors

albertgarciaAlbert Garcia-Romeu, PhD
Research Associate at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

He has co-authored multiple articles such as “Clinical applications of hallucinogens: A review”, “Long-term follow-up of psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation”, “Does Mindfulness Meditation Increase Effectiveness of Substance Abuse Treatment with Incarcerated Youth? A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial” and “The subjective experience of acute, experimentally-induced Salvia divinorum inebriation.”

sam-249x300Sam Himelstein, PhD: Psychotherapist, Parent Consultant, Author, Trainer

Dr. Himelstein is a licensed psychologist in the state of California (PSY25229), an author, trainer, parent coach, and researcher. His day job is as a Behavioral Health Clinician at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center (ACJJC), an institution he was once incarcerated in as a young teen. Dr. Himelstein is passionate about working with juvenile justice populations, addiction populations, and those suffering from trauma.

jkaminker-webJacob Kaminker,Ph.D  Assistant Professor College of Psychology Counseling Psychology/Holistic

Jacob is Core Faculty in the Holistic Counseling Psychology Program at John F. Kennedy University. He is also Founding Director of the Depth Psychotherapy Specialization and Director of the Expressive Arts Therapy and Holistic Studies Specializations at JFK University and Associate Managing Editor for the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, Secretary of the Association of Transpersonal Psychology, International/Regional Co-Chair for the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, and President of the San Francisco Psychological Association.

A Transcendent View of Gratitude

 

gratitude-book-cover
In transpersonal gratitude the “other” is no longer a gift or a person, but a recognition of benefit that comes from a source beyond the self or through a deep connection with nature.” John Elfers & Patty Hlava

The goal of this study was to examine the understanding of gratitude as a complex emotion that arises in response to the receipt of some recognizable benefit and to test the viability of an expanded definition of gratitude while the primary contribution of this study is the introduction of a transpersonal dimension to
the construct of gratitude. The research reported here introduces a promising assessment tool for exploring the dimensions of caring and transpersonal experience of gratitude, and points to specific areas of potentially beneficial research.

Defining Gratitude

Gratitude is a complex emotion that arises within the transactional dynamics of human relationships. A fundamental understanding, used by many researchers, is that gratitude requires three essential elements: a benefit, a benefactor, and a beneficiary (Roberts, 2004). Evolutionary theories suggest that gratitude is an adaptation for reciprocal altruism, involving the exchange of gifts between nonrelatives, and providing a benefit to human social communities (Komter, 2010; McCullough, Kimeldorf, & Cohen, 2008). There is also evidence from both theory and research that the experience and behaviors associated with gratitude extend beyond the exchange of tangible benefits. Steindl-Rast (2004) portrayed gratitude as encompassing a spectrum of experiences related to the nature of the benefit. On one end of the continuum is the feeling of thankfulness upon receipt of a gift. On the opposite pole is gratitude arising out of a peak experience of cosmic oneness that one might experience upon receipt of an undeserved gift, or in a feeling of profound connection with nature.

The subjective experience of gratitude seems to vary with the perceived value of the gift, the intention of the gift-giver, and the level of sacrifice involved in giving (McCullough & Tsang, 2004). Algoe, Haidt, and Gable (2008) discovered that two powerful predictors of gratitude were the level of enjoyment of the benefit and the perception that the benefactor was being sensitive to the receiver’s personal needs and wishes. Several researchers portray gratitude as an empathic emotion, asserting that the benefactor must be sensitive to the needs of the recipient and that the beneficiary must recognize that the gift was given freely and involved a voluntary sacrifice on the part of the benefactor (Fredrickson, 2004; Lazarus & Lazarus, 1994).

The Study

Taking a grounded theory approach to the construct of gratitude, the authors conducted a study of the lived experience of gratitude (Hlava & Elfers, 2014). Based on semistructured interviews, 68 participants shared examples of profound experiences of gratitude, as well as experiences within the context of everyday expressions of appreciation. The emotion of gratitude was described across a range of somatic descriptors and emotion labels, including feelings of warmth, joy, awakening, release, feeling blessed, and awe. The range of emotional experience of gratitude supported a prototypical approach to the construct. The intensity of affect associated with gratitude varied from mild feelings to feelings of overwhelming emotion.

A thematic analysis revealed that experiences of gratitude could be classified within the domains of personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal experience. In fact, all of the 68 interviewees shared at least one example of a profound experience of gratitude in nature or similar transpersonal context.

The Gratitude Scale

The Transpersonal Gratitude Scale (TGS) was designed and tested as an instrument that would measure the more generalized features of gratitude across several domains. The development of such a measure would support the expansion of the construct of gratitude beyond benefit-triggered conceptualizations and include a transpersonal dimension. Given the reported commonality of experiences of gratitude with a transpersonal other (Hlava & Elfers, 2014), there are potential implications for the understanding of the phenomenology and construct of gratitude within the field of transpersonal studies.
The targeted development and application of gratitude holds potential for the psychology of transformative experiences. “As an emotion, the roots of gratitude can be seen in many of the world’s great religious traditions” (Emmons & Crumpler, 2000, p.59).

The initial phase of scale development began with identifying common descriptions of gratitude experience drawn from transcripts of 68 interviews on the lived experience of gratitude (Hlava & Elfers, 2014). These descriptions were used to generate statements expressive of its various features. Most statements were edited for clarity and readability. An emphasis was placed on maintaining as much participant language and sentiment as was possible in order to achieve the goal of creating an instrument based on lay understandings. The result was a sample of 110 statements describing the outcomes, context, motivation, and expression of gratitude.

Experience-Spiritual-Gratitude-Nature-Life-1350037.jpgGratitude Expanded – The World Transformed

The elements of the traditional model of gratitude—as feelings that arise in response to the receipt of a benefit from a benefactor—were not rejected in this study. Gratitude clearly emerges within transactional and relational dynamics of all kinds. The benefits that trigger transpersonal gratitude are in response to “just being alive” or for “the blessings I have received.” In contrast to an exchange-based model, transpersonal gratitude seems to describe feelings that emerge in response to a transformed view of a benefit and its relationship to the beneficiary.

Read More

To read more about this study, you can download the article from Academia.edu.

To read the The Spectrum of Gratitude Experience, written by  John Elfers, PhD, Associate Core Faculty in the Global PhD program and Patty Hlava, PhD, former faculty in the MATP program, you can find it on the Google Play Store and through the publisher’s, Palgrave MacMillan, website. The book extends the subject to include transpersonal gratitude, a perspective often missing in discussions of gratitude in positive psychology and social psychology.and describes the development of the Transpersonal Gratitude Scale, a psychometric instrument developed by the authors to measure the features of transcendence that emerge with grateful experience.

About the Authors

imgres.jpgJohn Elfers, PhD is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist and a credentialed teacher and school administrator in California. For the past 20 years he has created programs and conducted professional development in the areas of mental health, adolescent reproductive health, drug intervention, and community building. He co-developed the Positively Speaking program for the California Department of Education, training people living with HIV/AIDS as presenters in the classroom. He was founder and director of a school-based adolescent drug treatment program called the Sober School. He is currently associate core faculty for Sofia University

patti square.JPGPatty Hlava, PhD is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Minnesota. Her research has focused on the transpersonal nature of gratitude and its dynamic role in interpersonal relationships. She is the author of Exploring the Lived Experience of Gratitude, Living Gratitude, and Cultivating Gratitude. She is adjunct faculty for Sofia University and the University of St. Thomas. She has been a featured lecturer on gratitude at universities and conferences.

 

 

 

 

Diverse Perspectives on Healing (Part 8)

by Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D.,  Program Chair at Sofia University for the PhD in Transpersonal Psychology programs

Alan Wallace, a Tibetan Buddhist scholar and practitioner, articulates the importance of the mind in healing. In contrast to Sequoyah Trueblood, whom we heard from previously in this series, Wallace ascribes great importance to the refinement and utilization of the mind during the healing process. Through the frequency of specific healing mantras on the “conveyor” of the mind Wallace believes the healer can most effectively address the ailmenets of a healee.

 

Alan Wallace.JPG

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

 

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-6-37-54-pmMarilyn Schlitz, Ph.D. is a social anthropologist, researcher, writer, and charismatic public speaker. She is currently the Founder and CEO of Worldview Enterprises. She also serves as President Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Additionally, she is a Senior Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center, where she focuses on health and healing, and is a board member of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

For more than three decades, Marilyn has been a leader in the field of consciousness studies. Her research and extensive publications focus on personal and social transformation, cultural pluralism, extended human capacities, and mind body medicine. She has a depth of leadership experience in government, business, and the not-for-profit sectors. Her broad and varied work has given her a unique ability to help individuals and organizations identify and develop personal and interpersonal skills and capacities needed by 21st century leaders.

She produced the film Death Makes Life Possible with Deepak Chopra, and wrote a companion book of the same name, published by SoundsTrue. To see her other film credits, click here. To explore her current research projects, click here.

Diverse Perspectives on Healing (Part 7)

by Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D.,  Program Chair at Sofia University for the PhD in Transpersonal Psychology programs

Rabbi Yisrael Rice offers a Kabbalistic perspective on prayer and healing in this video excerpt. In addition to invoking “blessing” as a powerful type of prayer he describes the view that the human body is designed to be a vessel that draws in divine energy. This interaction, according to Rabbi Rice, is a seamless one and when it is not this is when illness arises. Thus, healing takes place as the process through which the human vessel realigns towards a seamless exchange of flow with divine energy.

blessing.JPG

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-6-37-54-pmMarilyn Schlitz, Ph.D. is a social anthropologist, researcher, writer, and charismatic public speaker. She is currently the Founder and CEO of Worldview Enterprises. She also serves as President Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Additionally, she is a Senior Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center, where she focuses on health and healing, and is a board member of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

For more than three decades, Marilyn has been a leader in the field of consciousness studies. Her research and extensive publications focus on personal and social transformation, cultural pluralism, extended human capacities, and mind body medicine. She has a depth of leadership experience in government, business, and the not-for-profit sectors. Her broad and varied work has given her a unique ability to help individuals and organizations identify and develop personal and interpersonal skills and capacities needed by 21st century leaders.

She produced the film Death Makes Life Possible with Deepak Chopra, and wrote a companion book of the same name, published by SoundsTrue. To see her other film credits, click here. To explore her current research projects, click here.

Diverse Perspectives on Healing (Part 6)

by Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., program Chair at Sofia University for the PhD in Transpersonal Psychology programs.

Sequoyah Trueblood, of the Cherokee and Chocktaw traditions, express similar perspectives to what previous healers in this series have shared — the process of healing is one of letting the divine flow through you and that the distance between healer and healee is irrelevant. He also shares that pain and suffering are an important teacher for an individual and that the healer’s role is to help the individual understand and address the root cause of that pain and suffering. His message ultimately echoes the perspective that when we are in alignment with the Divine we can both be healers and be healed.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

 

Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D. is a social anthropologist, researcher, writer, and charismatic public speaker. She is currently the Founder and CEO of Worldview Enterprises. She also serves as President Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Additionally, she is a Senior Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center, where she focuses on health and healing, and is a board member of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

For more than three decades, Marilyn has been a leader in the field of consciousness studies. Her research and extensive publications focus on personal and social transformation, cultural pluralism, extended human capacities, and mind body medicine. She has a depth of leadership experience in government, business, and the not-for-profit sectors. Her broad and varied work has given her a unique ability to help individuals and organizations identify and develop personal and interpersonal skills and capacities needed by 21st century leaders.

She produced the film Death Makes Life Possible with Deepak Chopra, and wrote a companion book of the same name, published by SoundsTrue. To see her other film credits, click here. To explore her current research projects, click here.

Diverse Perspectives on Healing (Part 5)

by Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., program Chair at Sofia University for the PhD in Transpersonal Psychology programs.

Mitchell Krucoff, MD offers a perspective as a cardiologist who recognizes that the tools of transformation are accessible to us at all times — and in the simplest of ways. He shares a powerful story from his experience in a chaotic clinical environment and how committing to a moment of intentional pause, to a 60 second prayer, totally transformed the act of healing for him and his team.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

 

Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D. is a social anthropologist, researcher, writer, and charismatic public speaker. She is currently the Founder and CEO of Worldview Enterprises. She also serves as President Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Additionally, she is a Senior Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center, where she focuses on health and healing, and is a board member of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

For more than three decades, Marilyn has been a leader in the field of consciousness studies. Her research and extensive publications focus on personal and social transformation, cultural pluralism, extended human capacities, and mind body medicine. She has a depth of leadership experience in government, business, and the not-for-profit sectors. Her broad and varied work has given her a unique ability to help individuals and organizations identify and develop personal and interpersonal skills and capacities needed by 21st century leaders.

She produced the film Death Makes Life Possible with Deepak Chopra, and wrote a companion book of the same name, published by SoundsTrue. To see her other film credits, click here. To explore her current research projects, click here.