Alef Trust is a globally-conscious non-profit organisation offering online graduate education programmes, validated by UK universities, and open learning courses for academic, professional and personal development.
Our transpersonal – beyond ego – programmes and courses are derived from a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural and holistic philosophy which integrates science and wisdom from Western and Eastern perspectives in psychology, consciousness and human potential. Through exploration of the interplay between mind, body and spirit, we offer an integral education to meet the evolving needs of our interconnected human community in order to foster harmony and transformation in individuals and communities.
The programmes and courses offered through Alef Trust are a response to the growing need to create sustainable and ethical development, social and ecological harmony and opportunities for individual growth and community transformation.
Our programmes and courses flourish through a culturally diverse, globally distributed student body and are delivered by acclaimed instructors across a broad range of academic disciplines, research backgrounds and wellness philosophies.
The story of the Alef originates as a glyph depicting an ox in the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet, and may have roots going back to the Egyptian hieroglyph of an ox’s head. The modern letter A derives from these origins, with the ox’s two horns having become inverted over its long evolution.
The connection to the ox for this, the first letter of the alphabet, emphasises the raw, untamed energy of creation and the journey towards channelling this energy into constructive directions. The spiritual connotations of this journey are exemplified by the famous ox-herding images in the Zen tradition, based in turn on an older Taoist story.
In Hebrew, the Alef becomes a silent letter mystically depicting the nothingness from which all derives. It is this profound dynamic between the silence of our innermost being and the potent energy underlying all creativity that the Alef Trust seeks to foster in all its work. The Alef depicts the infinite potential that facilitates individual and collective transformation.
We educate through a unique online approach, providing 1-to-1 virtual tuition and guidance. We focus on the areas of transpersonal psychology, consciousness studies, spirituality and the application of transpersonal principles in academic, professional and personal development. We collaborate with the International Transpersonal Association and the Scientific and Medical Network to deliver a holistic and integral learning experience to the widest possible audience.
Our online postgraduate programmes bring together people from around the world who work in diverse professional arenas. Our international learning community includes coaches, therapists and counsellors, as well as health and education professionals and people from many other professions.
We also provide Open Learning opportunities to people around the world who want to study purely for personal enrichment. Our Open Learners have access to the same high quality resources as our postgraduate students and they form an integral part of our learning community.
In all our educational programmes we cultivate dynamic, practice-oriented learning, honouring intellectual as well as experiential knowing, and we aim to enhance opportunities for those who otherwise would not be able to benefit from programmes for personal or professional development.
We embrace transpersonal research methods which acknowledge lived experience and altered states of consciousness (e.g. as engendered by meditative or ecstatic practices).
Such methods not only provide valid sources of scientific data, but also increasingly express the aspirations of our changing society.
We believe that the human mind should be unimpeded by rigid adherence to existing paradigms. This principle is based on the recognition that reality is infinitely more complex than any one scientific theory can describe.
Whilst theoretical models can usefully integrate the data known at a particular time, they are at best only temporary approximations of the structures and processes to which they relate.
They can never provide an accurate, exhaustive, and final description of ‘objective’ reality.
Any notion of a boundary between personal and professional development has long been dissolved. Without a grounded sense of self, a healthy psychological perspective, compassion for others and an awareness of the emotional and psychological needs of your co-workers and colleagues, your professional life will suffer as a result.
Over recent years there has been increasing recognition not only of the personal, psychological and health benefits of transpersonal and contemplative practices like meditation and active imagination, but also of their value in business, education, coaching and other professional areas. These trends have been guided by extensive research, and reflect a major reorientation of our society and business practices. Companies like Google, Target and General Mills support their staff using meditative and other practices that promote mindful and other transpersonal states. Business schools like Harvard University are offering mindfulness classes, and new business structures are evolving based on a transpersonal worldview. And academic journals are publishing a growing number of studies around Organizational Mindfulness. At the Alef Trust we provide holistic and integral learning programmes which support these, and other examples of transpersonal methods in business and professional development.
We are living at a time of seismic shifts taking place in our society, with the values traditionally associated with religion and spirituality impinging potently on all walks of academic and professional life. Through the Alef Trust we are helping to lead these shifts – our mission is to nurture the potential for transformation in all our programmes to make a better world. We engage in spheres that we believe genuinely make a difference: creativity for wellbeing and growth, transpersonally-oriented therapy, ecological psychology, transformational and mindful leadership and transpersonal coaching.
Personal development is in some sense a misnomer, for any work on the self will lead beyond the personal. As we pursue transformative practice and study, we are challenged to perceive the transient nature of our ordinary ‘I’, and we are drawn to engage with the collective and archetypal dynamics and patterns which shape our lives – an engagement which can lead to a profound expansion of our sense of self, who we are and why we exist. From this vantage point we recognize that the individual and the collective are two sides of the same coin. Spiritual practices which embed our individuality within larger transpersonal frameworks thus play a key role not only in the psychological growth and fulfillment of individuals, but in the evolution of groups, communities and our society as a whole.
At the Alef Trust we draw on the insights of wisdom traditions alongside cutting-edge research in such diverse areas as cognitive neuroscience, medical humanities, anthropology and psychology to enhance creativity, individual and collective well-being, social and ecological harmony as well as personal and professional performance. Our fundamental goal is to provide accessible learning opportunities which not only facilitate personal, academic and professional growth, but which also lay the foundations for a sustainable and harmonious global community. We invite you to join us on our journey to build these foundations of a sustainable future which will meet the evolving needs of our interconnected world and foster harmony and transformation for individuals and communities.
| The Alef Trust Team
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