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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Dec 15 2007 :  3:35:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hi All:

Looking out into the future, it becomes clear that creating a long term institutional home for the new field of Applied Spiritual Science is a priority. Major universities appear to be the best candidates for this.

In AYP we are helping lay some of the ground work for this new science by addressing the following key points through experiential analysis:

1. There is such a thing as Human Spiritual Transformation, and its characteristics can be mapped.

2. There are known practices (ancient and modern) which advance spiritual development in any individual who undertakes them.

3. Practices can be integrated and optimized in a variety of ways to enhance the process of cause and effect in promoting Human Spiritual Transformation.


Where Applied Spiritual Science goes from here will depend largely on the public continuing to come on board, both individually in the form of practitioners, and collectively in the institutions.

We do not need another religion or sect. What we need is continuing non-sectarian research and development on the remarkable capabilities inherent within every one of us. The above three points offer a lot of territory for exploration and discovery.

While AYP will continue to be an open resource for use by pioneering spiritual practitioners, in order to reach the public at large it will be necessary to find a permanent home for this kind of approach to spiritual practice and investigation. It obviously works, so we have every reason to be optimistic that this kind of knowledge will continue to find an increasing presence in the public awareness. As it does, programs will eventually be established on the university level. We'd like to help this process along in any way we can.

So, as a long term plan, I'd like to move toward establishing a department at a major university for the sole purpose of researching and teaching the subject of Human Spiritual Transformation. If such a department could be created and funded, then AYP and similar forms of spiritual teaching would find a long term ally, and perhaps even a permanent home.

Obviously, such a university department would be multi-disciplinary, intersecting with neurology, biology, psychology, all the spiritual traditions, and a range of other disciplines. This is why a major university would be ideal, since the many supporting disciplines are already present.

Funding will be a key element. If the money can be found, universities will certainly have interest. There are currently several hundred million dollars in USA grant funds being spent at universities each year on "Complementary and Alternative Medicine" (CAM). So there is precedence for the funding of non-sectarian spiritual research. (Research methodologies for this field have been developed also.) It is only a matter of expanding it from healthcare to also cover the subject of human spiritual transformation.

Only a tiny percentage of present CAM grant money would be needed to launch a Department of Applied Spiritual Science at the university level. Within that institutional structure, course and degree programs could be created, along with a comprehensive research program leading to the publication of many studies on human spiritual transformation. If successfully launched, interest in such a program could become contagious, leading to the formation of Applied Spiritual Science departments at other universities. And then we are on our way.

Getting this together is obviously a very long term project, one that reaches far beyond my lifetime. However, it is certainly worth getting started on. Our successors will thank us. Once the AYP writings and community have achieved a stronger critical mass, this is where I hope to be focusing attention.

It is being broached here now mainly for information, mulling over, discussion, and for identifying possible resources going forward.

All ideas and support leading in this direction are welcome. Thanks!

The guru is in you.

emc

2072 Posts

Posted - Dec 15 2007 :  4:14:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I have not gone into the results of alternative medicine research, but my guess is that if alternative methods start to show regular and stable results in meta-analyses, there will naturally be an increased interest in the origin of those treatments, which is the spiritual evolution.

I know that the Karolinska Insitute has recently opened up an Osher Institute for alternative medical research after a donation. Luckily it's one of the most rigorous professors who is in charge. That will give plenty of credit if they find positive results.

http://www.ki.se/ocim/EN/index.html

There's a wide range of research, from (IMHO) silly projects like trying to create sensations of OBE's:

http://ki.se/ki/jsp/polopoly.jsp?a=...8&d=469&l=en

To more promising projects:

http://www.ki.se/ocim/EN/research.html

A randomised controlled trial on the effects of Mindfulness Meditation and stress management on quality of life, anxiety and stress in cancer patients
quote:
A cancer diagnose may have substantial impact on peoples psychological wellbeing, health related quality of life, and many patients suffer from long lasting post-traumatic stress symptoms. Mindfulness-based meditation techniques have shown promising results in reducing stress related complaints and increasing quality of life for several patient groups. Mindfulness-based stress reduction training has become increasingly used in medical settings over the last decade. It has been shown to have the potential to decrease stress, anxiety and depression. This study aims at examining the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction training, delivered in group sessions, among cancer patients. The effects of the mindfulness-based stress reduction training will be studied in a randomized controlled trial and outcome measures will include: post-traumatic stress symptoms, anxiety, depression, and health related quality of life. The intervention involves eight 1.5 hours sessions and consists of theoretical, experiential and group exercises. Meditation is trained in class and at home. Training involves body scan meditation, sitting and walking meditation and hatha yoga. At the end of each course there is a full-day meditation retreat. Approximately 140 patients will be recruited to participate in the study. The study is open to patients with varying cancer diagnoses and they will be invited to participate in the study at their one-year-follow-up visit. At baseline the patients is randomised to either the intervention or the wait-list control condition. After the follow-up at 6 months the control group will be offered to participate in the program. Studies to date indicate potential positive effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction training for cancer patients. However, more and better designed studies are needed. This study will give an important contribution to the understanding of the potential beneficial effects of mindfulness-based meditation training among cancer patients.


I don't know if there's any chance to stretch the area of research in the Osher Centre, but I see it as a great step forward that a conservative world leading university like Karolinska Institute has taken this step to open the Osher centre, and it seems plausible that they would be open to further expansion of topics - IF results from current projects are promising.

Edited by - emc on Dec 15 2007 4:17:26 PM
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Dec 15 2007 :  4:53:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi EMC:

Yes, the Osher Foundation looks like a major player in funding Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) around the world. http://www.osherfoundation.org/inde...p?foundation

One of their big projects here in the USA is the Osher Center at U of California San Francisco School of Medicine. http://www.osher.ucsf.edu/

San Francisco is also where the Osher Foundation is headquartered.

Two other major institutions who fund CAM and spiritual-related research are the US National Institute of Health, and John Templeton Foundation.
http://nccam.nih.gov/
http://www.templeton.org/

The grants and projects are all over the map, as you say. However, other than the oddities, the money goes pretty much for major ailments of society, as it should: HIV, cancer, neurological and psychological diseases, etc.

The real question is: Is any anyone taking the step beyond healthcare, and funding research and education on a large scale covering the process of human spiritual transformation? That is who we are looking for, and, of course, anyone who is actually doing that kind of research and education in non-sectarian mode already.

The more we can hook up with people and organizations doing that, the better. Eventually it can crystalize into something that is primarily about human spiritual transformation. Of course, there are many health benefits (physical and psychological) spinning off from that.

It is getting the horse of spiritual development in front of the cart of body/mind health. There is a lot of cart repair effort going on out there, which is fine. The horse needs attention too, or the cart will never be right.

Thanks much for the feedback. This is a very important subject, because if we are going to help facilitate a major shift in world consciousness, large scale institutional programs will have to be addressed.

The guru is in you.
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Dec 15 2007 :  6:49:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
PS: Harvard has an Osher Institute also: http://www.osher.hms.harvard.edu

Both U of California-SF and Harvard Osher institutes are linked on the Karolinska Osher Institutet (Sweden) main menu, so they must be affiliated.

EMC, would you be comfortable introducing AYP to Mats Lekander, Director of Karolinska Osher Institutet? It would be a start, and might filter back this way eventually through Harvard and UCSF. We will find ways to work it from this end also. These are the kinds of universities we are interested in for this project, since they already have their feet wet to some degree in studying spiritual practices.

I'd love to do something in Florida (U of FL is close by), but these others seem to be much further along, and have the prestige as well.

It should be pointed out that many universities are doing grant-funded research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) these days, but few have formed entire colleges for the purpose. Those that have gone that far seem the logical places that will eventually move beyond CAM studies only to add direct research on the processes of human spiritual transformation.

Of course, a nudge from the funding foundations will help a lot, so they have to be approached also.

If we keep doing our homework here, AYP will be in a position somewhere down the road to make a favorable impression on the institutions, and hopefully help inspire them to develop a broader view on spiritual practices and their far-reaching consequences in all fields of human endeavor.

The guru is in you.
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emc

2072 Posts

Posted - Dec 16 2007 :  1:03:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I could give it a try. Actually, I have thought of approaching him, since the only thing that could drag me back into science is doing research in this area. Or better up, perhaps I could voluntere and they could use me as a case study!?

I just got an idea - I know about a well known quantum physicist who gets published in journals like Science, who also is a potential healer. What if I could create a meeting with them both and do something cross disciplines? Ah... exciting!
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Dec 16 2007 :  1:28:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by emc

I could give it a try. Actually, I have thought of approaching him, since the only thing that could drag me back into science is doing research in this area. Or better up, perhaps I could voluntere and they could use me as a case study!?

I just got an idea - I know about a well known quantum physicist who gets published in journals like Science, who also is a potential healer. What if I could create a meeting with them both and do something cross disciplines? Ah... exciting!


Whatever works!

Thanks much.

The guru is in you.
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scottfitzgerald

USA
65 Posts

Posted - Dec 20 2007 :  7:45:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Why not approach an online university first?

Perhaps an acceptance of classes in this field may be a first step. I'm not an academic, and have zero knowledge of how a new department is created within a university, but my guess is they follow the money, and money comes from demand by students or other institutions. Very open to the idea of figuring out how to help.

Maybe a radio show??? I know a host, and I know a man with plenty of content...

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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Dec 21 2007 :  10:19:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Scott:

Your thoughts on this are much appreciated.

The main motivation here is to expand the effort of developing and promoting applied spiritual science to the large research and educational institutions, i.e., major universities. Essentially, this is leveraging the concept of our little AYP research and education project into the mainstream of the academic world, where so much more can be accomplished.

We are not able to do it ourselves with the present limited resources of time and money. Neither would an existing online university be able to take it on. A lot of preexisting talent, prestige and financial resources are necessary to pull it off.

That is why I think the leading Universities already doing grant-funded research and coursework in Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) are the best place to focus. Expanding beyond CAM to research and education in human spiritual transformation is the logical next step for them. This would have far-reaching consequences in healthcare and many other fields. Because of the many positive spin-offs, I think ongoing grant funding would be possible.

It is a paradigm shift in the field of spiritual knowledge that is inevitable -- going from from esoteric teachings to wide open applied science. If we don't do anything, it will happen eventually. If we do something, it will happen sooner.

Regarding radio, while doing a show would be great, there just isn't time available here now to support ongoing broadcasts. However, I am available to do occasional phone interviews anytime for radio or print media. So bring it on!

What we really need is an "AYP PR Manager" who can arrange interviews with radio and print media outlets, and much more ambitious PR undertakings later on. Any volunteers?

Once the writing is better in hand (a year from now), I hope to be able to spend more time on PR activities.

The guru is in you.
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Juliet

43 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2008 :  04:47:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit Juliet's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Perhaps the William A Tiller Foundation for New Science (Dr. Tiller is at the Stanford School of Engineering) could be a connection here:

http://www.tillerfoundation.com/biography.php

http://soe.stanford.edu/research/la...tid=07098155
contact

http://www.tillerfoundation.com/papers.php
papers

He is also somehow connected with the HeartMath people.

Just a thought, perhaps worth researching.
Juliet
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2008 :  10:07:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Juliet:

Thanks much for that.

Are you (or anyone here) in a position to introduce AYP (and the gist of this forum topic in particular) to Dr. Tiller?

Increasing awareness in the academic community (and funding foundations) on the concept of Applied Spiritual Science for Human Spiritual Transformation is the first step in the process of moving it into the mainstream of institutional research and education.

All the best!

The guru is in you.
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Juliet

43 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2008 :  12:32:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit Juliet's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't currently know anyone directly connected with Tiller--but I will keep my ears open.

The Institute of Noetic Sciences is another one that's local here:
http://www.noetic.org/

I do know someone with some sort of connection there, which I can explore if there's an interest.

Juliet



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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2008 :  12:40:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Juliet

I don't currently know anyone directly connected with Tiller--but I will keep my ears open.

The Institute of Noetic Sciences is another one that's local here:
http://www.noetic.org/

I do know someone with some sort of connection there, which I can explore if there's an interest.

Juliet

Hi Juliet:

Please do, and thank you.

Ultimately, we are aiming much larger than the Insitute of Noetic Sciences (to major university programs), but entrees at every level in the research infrastructure are desired. All are stepping stones to mainstream research and education. AYP is a stepping stone too.

All the best!

The guru is in you.
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Alvin Chan

Hong Kong
407 Posts

Posted - Jan 15 2008 :  10:57:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Some thoughts:

Is there actually a plan of what is to be done? E.g. kind of research to be conducted, methodology...... Ultimately it could be quite broad, covering the historical and mythological aspects. But that doesn't seem what you guys have in mind, and clearly it's something too grand to begin with? Do we mean some research on, say, the effects on the consciousness of yoga practices? Along that line, much could be done if we could somehow predict what kind of observable effects they would have within a lab setting. Just follow Dalai Lama or Swami Rama's example. (the latter is more contraversial as to the legitimacy of the so-called scientific findings..... but Dalai Lama and his disciples certainly showed scientists something observable)

What I can think of, that could be done right away, is the brainwave and other physiological parameters of those who can enter a deep meditative state here. But 2 problems here: 1. these has already been done many times and will interest very few researchers. 2. we won't be pushing forward the entire AYP systems in that way, and deep meditation alone doesn't distinguish itself from other mantra meditation very much.

What I've in mind is the cause-and-effect of kundalini-stimlating practices. Currently this is not yet studied carefully. Yes there may be some documents recording subjects that have some kundalini symptoms, but there's no scientific evidence of what kind of things lead to that. That's the missing part that I'm sure would be of interest to the scientific community and doesn't need much from us.

As for the connection, if we can't get through the big way, contacting research students who're desperate to find research topics is an easy way. They're available, cheap, and very often don't mind so much whether their research topic is "normal". When I was a research student, the room next to ours is the students from the psychology department. We can easily have some chitchat. But now I left the University, and afterall I'm a beginning Yogi with very little physiological changes, so I won't give it a shot for now. But that's certainly the easiest way I could think of.

Edited by - Alvin Chan on Jan 15 2008 11:05:55 AM
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Jan 15 2008 :  11:35:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Alvin:

Great suggestions. These stike me as the kinds of discussions that would be occurring every day within a universtiy department devoted to Applied Spiritual Science.

Obviously, such a department in a major university does not exist yet (that we know of), and how it eventually forms may be by baby steps through individual research projects (like you are suggesting), or by a big leap through foundation funding and a commitment by a major university to get into it. Probably a combination of both.

From our persepctive in the AYP community, all we have to do is keep doing what we are doing -- facilitating maximum safe progress for the process of human spiritual transformation on the individual practitioner level, and build a community of such individuals able to provide ongoing support for the same process in many others.

In other words, if we can demonstrate the process of human spiritual transformation through causes and effects in a repeatable way, then that demonstrates the essential charactereistics of science, yes? My hope is that our efforts will eventually be noticed by large research/educational institutions, who will then pick up on it and run with the ball.

I don't think we want to be designing the research projects as a central activity here in AYP -- it could be a distraction. It is best left to professional scientists and full time students, and the institutions that can support that kind of work. We'd like to stay focused here on optimizing individual practices and results and, in doing that, hopefully inspire the institutions to take a closer look. The idea is to expand the discussion on human spiritual transformation into the mainstream.

We are not starting from scratch in this, because many universities are already doing research on "Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)," i.e., researching spiritual methods in healthcare. We know of three major universities that have formed entire departments devoted to that -- Harvard, U of Calif/San Francisco, and Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) -- all supported by the Osher Foundation -- see links in early posts above. So there are some pretty big guns involved in spiritual research already. It only needs to be expanding to the broader frontier of human spiritual transformation. It will happen with or without an AYP in the picture. But I think we can add resources and many datapoints that can help hasten the process when considering any institutional undertaking in Applied Spiritual Science.

So we will just keep doing what we are doing, and making connections into the research and education mainstream wherever we can. Any help you can provide for that on any level will be all for the good.

All the best!

The guru is in you.
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brushjw

USA
191 Posts

Posted - Mar 02 2008 :  8:46:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit brushjw's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The Sanctuary Spiritual Science Congregation & School in Reisterstown, MD might be something to look into.

"As a religion, spiritual science is a metaphysical expression of the universal truths revealed in all world religions. All religions are acknowledged as having value in their teachings. In spiritual science you are likely to hear quotes from The Buddha, Jesus, Matthew Fox, Deepak Chopra, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mohammed and Confucius.

As a philosophy, spiritual science is a practical, easily applied way of thinking about the nature of the universe and our relationship to it. When we understand ourselves to be both creations and co-creators of the universe, we are then capable of expressing the unlimited potential within us."

aum namaste,
Joe
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2008 :  2:53:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Joe:

Thanks much. It is an interesting site and inter-faith organization doing important work in the community.

However, it is not exactly what I mean by "Applied Spiritual Science."

I mean more the kind of experimental science that will gain attention and acceptance in the mainstream scientific community, and society in general, through large institutions. For that reason, the more well-known the institutions the better. That is why we are targeting existing related programs at Harvard, U Of Calif, the National Institutes of Health (Federal funding), and other large institutions and foundations.

Smaller organizations we approach in this endeavor must have the ability (and goal) to boot-strap non-sectarian spiritual R&D to the large national institutions, including bringing the funding to pursue the necessary research. The highly regarded Institute of Noetic Sciences, founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell, is an example of a non-university organization that can increase the visibility of applied spiritual science to universities and funding organizations.

Btw, this is not about directly funding and expanding AYP. We'd prefer to maintain our independence as a dynamically evolving open resource on spiritual practices, and not be beholding to any large research institution or funding foundation. But it sure will be nice to have some big mainstream collaborators out there. I am for anything we can do to help that along, except sacrificing our independence...

All the best!

The guru is in you.
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brushjw

USA
191 Posts

Posted - Mar 03 2008 :  8:47:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit brushjw's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yogani,

Almost 30 years ago my brother (a Vietnam vet and published author) wanted to teach a class on the Vietnam War. During the late 70's and early '80's this was not yet taught at the university level. My brother had to compose a syllabus and teach it at any accredited university he could (prisoners on release at the local community college) before it would be considered at the state university. You might want to consider this, if you haven't had success with well-known institutions. First get established, then move up the ladder.

I live near the University of Vermont, which is pretty highly regarded.

"The University of Vermont is one of 71 colleges and universities selected for "Making a Difference Colleges," an annual guide to schools preparing students to make a better world. UVMís "green campus" and programs combining education with service are highlighted along with a university culture that "instills a combination of pragmatism and idealism necessary to have a positive impact on the world."

If you want to come visit I'll be happy to serve as your guide

aum namaste,
Joe
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Mar 04 2008 :  12:21:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Joe:

I don't expect AYP classes to be taught at the university level any time soon. Outside the AYP writings themselves, what little planning has been done for AYP classes has been with yoga studios in mind. That is where it appears we will have our first structured classes. And we can expand from there.

As you know, there is a large amount of written source material on integrated practices being prepared here, which can be useful for both individuals and classes over the long term, including in university programs at all levels. But that is for much later. The materials will be ready long before the university programs are. That is okay. Writings can wait a very long time.

Note: The AYP books have managed to find their way into prisons, university bookstores and libraries, and other interesting places, but it all takes time, and needs a lot of help from many who are interested in making the materials widely available. It can't be done by only a few people, and certainly not by one person.

What I do think we can help with in the near term is to inspire more mainstream research on spiritual practices at the university level -- not do the research ourselves. To accomplish this, we only have to become more visible in our present activities. That's all.

If the Universtiy of Vermont has anything going on in research on spiritual methods, we'd certainly like to know about it, and make the appropriate parties aware of the AYP open source materials and community. I see they have a medical school, which is important because most of the grant-funded research on spiritual methods these days is going on in healthcare.

I believe the fast-growing field of reseach in "Complimentary and Alternative Medicine" (CAM) will become one of the main springboards leading to scientific research on Human Spiritual Transformation, because this is where the resources are already substantial, and increasing every year. As soon as we step outside the medical/scientific community, the resources for research shrink to near zero.

Conclusion: The "glass ceiling" has to be broken from the inside. Or, to put it another way, appied spiritual science has to follow the money. For that, it means informing the university programs that have the most funding for research (and education) on spiritual methods.

Several large universities are already into it to the point of having established departments for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. This is a big deal. Bigger still, full-blown Applied Spiritual Science is the next logical step for them, which covers health and all aspects of human potential.

One look at what is going on in the the AYP community can offer enough evidence on the possibilities to inspire more scientific research. That is what I hope we can contribute, simply by continuing to do what we are doing here, steadily expanding the open source knowledge-base, and making sure those who are in positions to take the next steps in the scientific community are kept informed.

So, if you can point to anyone in the field, please do so. It is about each of us taking the initiative in our own sphere of influence, and reaching beyond. That is what independent practitioners do.

Thanks!

The guru is in you.
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Lili

Netherlands
372 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2008 :  09:03:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Maybe the AYP program can also be connected to existing applied anthropology programs. I mean anthropology is by now mainstream discipline to be found in most places. At Jonhns Hopkins uni there is also a program called neural science that sounds quite close also. Quite likely there is neural science elswhere too. Perhaps we can write someone about AYP as a promising research subject the only question is what is the research question going to be

Edited by - Lili on Mar 06 2008 09:14:30 AM
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2008 :  10:17:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Lili

Maybe the AYP program can also be connected to existing applied anthropology programs. I mean anthropology is by now mainstream discipline to be found in most places. At Jonhns Hopkins uni there is also a program called neural science that sounds quite close also. Quite likely there is neural science elswhere too. Perhaps we can write someone about AYP as a promising research subject the only question is what is the research question going to be


Hi Lili:

Good suggestion. Does anyone have contacts in these fields?

The question can be: "What do you think about the phenomenon of Human Spiritual Transformation, as discussed here?" -- www.aypsite.org

Well, a bit more than that, but you get the idea. They will know it when they see it, and will want to research it. Who wouldn't?

Thanks!

The guru is in you.
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Nancy

USA
71 Posts

Posted - Mar 29 2008 :  12:16:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit Nancy's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
A smaller scale that can bring us to a higher scale. I know the Dr. & founder of the Neuro-Psychological Group of Southwest Florida where they do mainly research in medicine, however they also have weekly counsel sessions - unlike the normal psychologist / patient session - the sessions are similar to "what do you want out of life?" - then they give you homework and you report back your feelings and being - dont see how AYP wouldnt fit in.
From there is our tie in with the Florida University Fort Myers, Fl recently built our own university probably 4 years ago. I have been in this town a while and can probably find someone I know who knows..... Actually my husband's cousin is the RN Director there, and sits on the board - she may be able to at least direct us.
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Hannah

38 Posts

Posted - Mar 29 2008 :  03:23:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hannah's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The University of Missouri - Columbia, highly regarded for their School of Journalism, has a school of metaphysics. That is where I received my last degree - the University, not the School of Metaphysics, but if there is anyway you could find someone there, it might open some avenues. I no longer live in the vicinity, so I can only provide info and leave the rest to someone else.

Best of luck
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Mar 29 2008 :  09:16:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Nancy and Hannah:

Thanks much for those leads. Any follow up by you or others will be much appreciated. The network is still a bit thin, but growing steadily.

We'll get there.

The guru is in you.

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YogaIsLife

641 Posts

Posted - Jul 11 2008 :  6:56:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit YogaIsLife's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi,

First of all I didn't read the whole topic, just the first post by yogani and a few other lines of posts below. Hope this post is not so irrelevant...

I am a scientist by profession and a kind of skeptic by nature (I would like to say healthy skeptic but sometimes I think I even hurt myself being so hard-headed! ) .

Anyway, I read this post and it sounds wonderful and all but, being kind of new at all this, I have a question in my mind for some time now and this is a good place to put it and could help in you finding a perspective on how to put AYP in an university department.

First off, what is Human Spiritual Transformation? In a more specific way, what is Spirit? From my point of view, science is kind of a closed modality nowadays in the sense that it only cares about hard facts and concepts they can "touch", handle, measure and experiment with. And with stuff that they feel matters (the funding comes from this). Science is an objective, outward drawn, measuring tool and in yoga we are very much in the inward, subjective realm. Of course I can feel changes in myself from deep meditation (calmer etc.) but can this be measured? How? And, especially, why?

That brings me to the second part of the question. Supposing there is such a thing as a spiritual nature (note: this does not mean I don't believe it exists, I am playing the devil's advocate here! The scientific skeptic), what is the relevance and importance of a spiritual transformation of the human being? In order to get people interested in it this has to be clearly stated. For example, it is easy to sell tons of things that are good (or believed to be good) for you: beauty creams, medicines, tvs for entertainment, cars to move and show off, etc. I can say that in my case I came to AYP as I have been having troubles with my health, troubles I don't understand, troubles that are subtle and the conventional medicine doesn't understand and it seems to be related to energies in the body (I started reading stuff like that because it was the only thing that resonated with what I felt) and I seek alternatives ways of finding some balance. My point is, if you want to get the masses interested (and hence universities, because I believe nowadays science is a kind of new religion, people only believe if there are scientific studies in a given subject) you have to give them something that they feel they need. I mean, from my point of view, every human strives to be happy, to feel good. That's what we do. That's why we move, work, etc. Can't we be happy WITHOUT a spiritual transformation? Aren't there methods of just being happy some other way or is it evolutionary necessary to "spiritually transform"? If a good point is made that this is so then science will be more than willing to dig into it. I know, I am a biologist

I know a lot of people (most people that surround me) that don't care at all for spiritual matters and even look sideways to people who do (the idea of sects etc. comes to their minds). Maybe you are different but I do find this. But good marketing, like yogani says, seems indeed to be important to show to people that they do need this and this will make their lifes happier, even if they will have to leave all prejudices and world views behind...are people ready for this?

So, could you please define (also for my sake and understanding if possible!) what is spirit and spiritual transformation and whether we could live without it or not?

Thank you and sorry for the hard head!! Just thought could be helpful in being kind of a bridge between the cold-headed and skeptics academics and the soulful spiritual seekers
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yogani

USA
5161 Posts

Posted - Jul 11 2008 :  9:30:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi YogaIsLife:

It is probably best to read the lessons and hang around the forums for a while to get a feel for what human spiritual transformation is. And keep practicing daily. Then you will be sure to find out.

Here is a lesson with some basic milestones: http://www.aypsite.org/35.html

Why would anyone want to do this? It is first for the reason you gave: Happiness. But beyond fleeting happiness, transcending everything that could ever go wrong, up to and including death. So it is permanent happiness that the transformation offers, regardless of our external circumstances.

More basically we should ask, why do we do anything in life? Why does nature do anything? Obviously there is a lot of evolution and growth going on everywhere. It is inherent in all living things. We do it because it is in our nature. Why do we climb the mountain? Why do we fly into outer space? Because these things are there, and it is in our nature to do and know more. Or maybe we do it for more selfish reasons -- self-defense. Whatever. The point is that spiritual development gradually frees us from the burdens of this life, while we are still here. Wouldn't we all like to have that? It cannot be achieved by tangible means alone. So we must travel to inner space to have it, into spirit.

Is this for everyone? Well, who wants to be left off the train of evolution, especially if the conductor is calling, "All aboard!" The conductor is that voice inside all of us.

This is also where research comes in, to make the call more clear. It will reveal to us with more certainty the truth about the process of spiritual transformation that lives in all of us. And then we will know. As Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." This is the purpose of science, yes?

I have a scientific background also, having spent more years in universities than I care to remember, so I know this is where the scientific battles about human spiritual transformation will be fought. These will be the penetrating inquiries and eventual conclusions that will really matter to the public. It is happening already in healthcare at prestigious universities, as described above. There is also some more discussion on research over here, touching on the tangible aspects of measuring results from meditation, etc: http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....OPIC_ID=3511
(see the link to scientific research on Transcendental Meditation in particular -- getting measurable results from intangible practices)

It is an ongoing discussion and evolution in knowledge. I don't see AYP becoming part of a university program. We'd like to maintain our independence. However, we can hopefully inspire those who are in that world to look beyond the physical outcomes of spiritual practices (there are plenty in the health field), to psychological wellbeing and further beyond to how spiritual development can produce tangible positive influences in the world around us. It is a long slow process, but it is happening nevertheless. Awareness of it in the academic and research communities is rising gradually. And more funding is coming for this kind of research every year, spring-boarding from the field of healthcare.

Eventually this kind of research will be recognized for what it is -- applied spiritual science. Maybe not in our lifetime, but in time. We are planting seeds that will sprout and grow to maturity in time. The more self-directed practitioners we have producing perceptible results in their lives, the more seeds will be sprouting. That is what we can keep doing in AYP -- keep planting seeds and helping them sprout. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

The guru is in you.

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YogaIsLife

641 Posts

Posted - Jul 12 2008 :  03:53:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit YogaIsLife's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Yogani says: But beyond fleeting happiness, transcending everything that could ever go wrong, up to and including death. So it is permanent happiness that the transformation offers, regardless of our external circumstances.



I guess that is where my personal psychological barrier lies: the idea that we can transcend the relative physical plane and that this is a good thing. I have some kind of block for that. It is like fleeting from life itself (in my - maybe primitive - perspective). All my life I believed that the wise is the one that understands the physical plane and lives in peace with it, but not necessarily by transcending it. It was just a kind of easy acceptance, still understanding that we cannot know everything about the workings of the universe. But now, with all this, people say that we can experience this directly! This is overwhelming (and honestly a bit scary for me). Well, that is some work I have to do personally and I guess I can find out by practicing. But I do recognize similar blocks in a lot of people around me. Hence my questions above.

All the best.
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