The monthly Paradigm Explorers meet-up in London, organised by the Scientific and Medical Network, invites post-graduates and graduates in science, psychology and other related fields to explore different topics presented by participants. Alef Trust graduate Lucy Sam shares her experience of facilitating the December event, which focused on shamanic journeying.
As Dean of the Alef Trust I welcome discussion on the subject of research methodologies appropriate to advancing the goals of transpersonal psychology. As Harris Friedman writes in the previous article, methods are “tools” in our toolbox, and choosing the appropriate tool for a specific objective is always critical. The question I wish to raise is whether the thrust of Harris’ article is constructive in the context of the discussion I would like to see emerge.
In the last Alef Trust’s “Transpersonal Community Newsletter” (October, 2019), there was a position statement made with which I want to quibble. As one of Alef Trust’s directors, I found this statement problematic, as it appears to privilege one research approach, namely “qualitative” (which would include the different methods named) as being less “reductionistic” and “enabling a deeper appreciation” of certain transpersonal phenomena.
The Alef Trust workshop in London brought together about 30 students and faculty for a day of getting to know each other as we explored transpersonal practices. We returned to the appreciative inquiry initiated last year, asking: “What can support us and nourish us as we work within a transpersonal paradigm, and what can transpersonal practices bring to the world?” and “Where do we want to go from here and what do we want to create?”
During this essay, I will discuss the potential of transformation through crisis. Reflecting on my own experience, I will examine the relationship between psychological turmoil and sudden awakening, exploring whether crisis is a symptom or catalyst for self-realization—or both. According to researchers, Steve Taylor and Egeto-Szabo (2017), the term awakening refers to an expansion or opening of awareness where our perceptions, ways of being, and vision of the world are transformed. This brings a new sense of harmony, meaning, clarity, and connection.
The fourth Transpersonal Research Colloquium (TRC) was held last month, with the mission to engage researchers world-wide in dialogue and training related to research methods and procedures that further the study of transpersonal, spiritual, and related topics. Jevon Dängeli from the Alef Trust faculty shares some insights.
Over the summer, we connected with colleagues active in research for social change in the Social Field Research Summer School hosted by the Presencing Institute which facilitates research platforms at the intersection of science, consciousness, and social change. During the event the need to evolve and advocate for sophisticated research methods which can illuminate the deeper dynamics at play in social change became strongly apparent.
The 20th Annual European Transpersonal Association (Eurotas) Conference touched down in Paris from the 25th-29th September, bringing together transpersonal specialists from the fields of psychology, research, spirituality, art, philosophy, ecology and related disciplines. Its packed agenda included presentations, workshops, off-spaces, early morning activities and an evening of Brazilian live music that kept the dance-floor heaving until late.
Creative Alternatives is an arts and health programme led by the Alef Trust to support adults experiencing stress, depression and anxiety – some of the most prevalent mental health conditions of our time.
In her ground breaking intuitive inquiry into the psycho-spiritual impact of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) on adult women, transpersonal psychologist Jacqueline Linder (2014) described how CSA can affect a woman’s body, heart, mind, and soul for many years after she experiences the initial trauma. Indeed, survivors of this type of primal wounding frequently experience decades of chronic shame, self-loathing, and contamination of their identity, and may also develop patterns of dissociating from their bodies in order to escape their worst moments of psychological and somatic pain (Linder, 2014).