The Third Narrative: Corona and the Collective Psyche. Les Lancaster

The Third Narrative: Corona and the Collective Psyche. Les Lancaster

The way in which the majority on our planet arrive at their understanding of things is dominated by one or other of two master narratives. The narratives are probably best characterised as the mechanistic and the magical. The question I wish to address concerns whether we need a third narrative that overcomes limitations associated with these two, and can be supported by evidence that may rightfully be classified as scientific.

Les Lancaster introduces The Kabbalistic Embodied Movement Project

Les Lancaster introduces The Kabbalistic Embodied Movement Project

Under the “Alef Applied” menu item on the Alef Trust website we have uploaded the “Kabbalistic embodied movement” project. You can see videos showing the movements and a more elaborated version that includes words and music. LesLancaster uses this blog post to give more background, especially about his own involvement in this project.

Introducing 5 New Tutors and Courses to Alef Trust

Introducing 5 New Tutors and Courses to Alef Trust

We are delighted to welcome five new tutors who will be delivering a range of new courses starting in February 2020. These courses are part of our MSc programme in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology, and you can also enrol as an Open Learner, for personal and professional development, without needing to fulfil academic requirements.

Paradigm Explorers: A Shamanic Journey

Paradigm Explorers: A Shamanic Journey

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.

On “Methods” in Transpersonal Psychology: Reply to Friedman. Les Lancaster

On “Methods” in Transpersonal Psychology: Reply to Friedman. Les Lancaster

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.

Avoiding Transpersonal Methodolatry and Scientism, Harris L. Friedman

Avoiding Transpersonal Methodolatry and Scientism, Harris L. Friedman

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.

Alef Trust Workshop Day Nov 2019

Alef Trust Workshop Day Nov 2019

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?”

Could Psychological Crisis be a Symptom or Catalyst for Awakening Experience? Donna Thomas

Could Psychological Crisis be a Symptom or Catalyst for Awakening Experience? Donna Thomas

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.

Active research for social change

Active research for social change

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.

Eurotas 2019: Being human in a world in transition

Eurotas 2019: Being human in a world in transition

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. 

Alef Applied: Creative Alternatives

Alef Applied: Creative Alternatives

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.

Revealing Spirit: Healing, Growth and Transformation in the Wake of Abuse. Lorraine Clewer

Revealing Spirit: Healing, Growth and Transformation in the Wake of Abuse. Lorraine Clewer

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).

Alef Applied: Introducing Creative Alternatives

Alef Applied: Introducing Creative Alternatives

As you know, the Alef Trust delivers postgraduate education in the areas of consciousness studies and transpersonal psychology. It is perhaps less known that we also lead and support applied projects, tackling some of the major challenges of our time. Creative Alternatives is an arts and health programme supporting adults experiencing stress, depression and anxiety – some […]

August Conferences: The Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society (BPS)& Breaking Convention

August Conferences: The Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society (BPS)& Breaking Convention

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.

Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Counselling Rooted in Traditions

Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Counselling Rooted in Traditions

Within this essay, I argue for the added value of transpersonal psychotherapies that are rooted in spiritual traditions, and I also consider the importance of psychotherapy and counselling for individuals engaging in contemporary spiritual practices outside of spiritual traditions. I draw on examples of transpersonal therapies that are based on practices found especially within Eastern spiritual traditions, which I propose support a balanced approach to whole person development. I base my understanding on the premise that transpersonal psychotherapy aligns with the beliefs of mystical and spiritual traditions, and consists of the common goal of moving towards wholeness or a higher Self.

Open Awareness – The Game Changer. Jevon Dängeli

Open Awareness – The Game Changer. Jevon Dängeli

In this essay I will introduce the skill and practice of open awareness, outlining the phenomenology that is associated with this distinct state and mode of perception. I will describe how it can be used to counteract the serious issues that are associated with its counterpart, tunnel awareness, which is always present in the trigger events that lead to stress, anxiety, performance issues and burnout. The work will also address how open awareness skills can help to resolve the escalating problems that are associated with excessive use of mobile digital media devices, resulting in a generation of digital zombies.

Why Transpersonal Psychology is in Demand. Johnny Stork

Why Transpersonal Psychology is in Demand. Johnny Stork

The time could not be better, more auspicious, than right now to pursue an education or career in transpersonal psychology and transpersonal principles. Cultural, academic, scientific and even political shifts are taking place around the world in the areas of spirituality, happiness & well-being, holistic or integrative medicine, consciousness, the merging of science and spirituality and the recent explosive growth of interest into the therapeutic, psychological, spiritual and transformational potential of psychedelics (The Third Wave), are all converging with, or increasing the relevance of, the field of transpersonal psychology.

The Interplay Between the Unconscious and Conscious (and Why It Matters). Chantal le Roux

The Interplay Between the Unconscious and Conscious (and Why It Matters). Chantal le Roux

In order to grasp the nature of consciousness, the scope of exploration needs to include our experience of everyday reality and the material realm, as well as the realm of the unconscious and the dynamic forces that are hidden from—yet fundamental to—consciousness. This essay explores various theories that explain the dynamics between the “outer” world, the “inner” realm and consciousness. This exploration may serve to better understand ourselves and the influences that affect our perception and behaviour. Carl Jung, from a psychoanalytical starting point, and Wolfgang Pauli, from a background in quantum physics, demonstrated the ways in which these seemingly distinct paradigms in fact frame a spectrum of various models of the nature of reality and our understanding of consciousness (Main, 2014).

A Journey of Transformation Through Learning

A Journey of Transformation Through Learning

On November 3, 2018, Dagmar Suissa, MSc presented A Journey of Transformation through Learning at the Beyond the Brain conference in London, UK. Ms Suissa’s research originated from her observation that there was limited research on how transformation occurs through academic online learning. Additionally, as Ms Suissa experienced her own inner transformational process as she went through Alef Trust’s MSc course in consciousness, spirituality and transpersonal psychology, she wondered if her fellow students in the MSc programme were also experiencing a similar transformation.

Towards a Transpersonal Psychiatry. Nir Tadmor

Towards a Transpersonal Psychiatry. Nir Tadmor

Modern psychiatry is in a state of crisis. 450 million people around the globe are affected by mental illness (1 in 10 adults). Looking at Europe and the U.S, over 40% of the total burden of disability is related to mental illness, and over 10 million Prozac prescriptions were issued in the first 5 years after its introduction into the pharmaceutical market (Powell, 2007). In 2013 and in England alone, over 53 million prescriptions were issued for antidepressants, a 6% increase on the previous year and a 92% increase since 2003 (Rose, 2016). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year approximately 800,000 people commit suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of one death every 40 seconds, and it is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds (WHO, 2014).

Alef Trust Participation at the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP) 50th Anniversary Conference

Alef Trust Participation at the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP) 50th Anniversary Conference

Alef Trust directors, faculty, staff, and students attended the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP) 50th Anniversary Conference which was held at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, April 12-14, 2019. The theme of the conference was “The Future of Transpersonal Psychology: Acknowledging the Past, Honoring the Present, and Envisioning the Future.”

On The Relationship Between Cognitive Neuroscience and Spirituality/Religion. Markus Gern

On The Relationship Between Cognitive Neuroscience and Spirituality/Religion. Markus Gern

This essay will initially suggest a definition for “sacred science” by establishing what may be understood respectively as sacred and science. Then, it will offer a view into what makes science sacred; also, critically evaluating if a modern “sacred science” is feasible, and if there is already evidence to support such idea. It will also discuss some points of view arguing against sacred science, or positing an approach that would narrow, impoverish, or limit the cooperation and creation between spirituality/religion and science.

The Transformative Potential of NIA

The Transformative Potential of NIA

On November 3, 2018, at the Beyond the Brain conference in London, UK, Chantal le Roux, MSc, MEd, virtually presented ‘The transformative potential of Nia as experienced by six advanced Nia instructors: An interpretive phenomenological analysis’ from her residence in Cape Town, South Africa.

Alef – Kabbalah in Movement

Alef – Kabbalah in Movement

Embodying the “secrets” of each Hebrew letter in a series of movement forms is a challenge that has engaged me over several decades. The challenge is not simply to enact the letter shapes, but to use ritualized movements to convey the inner teaching of each letter. Working with these movements brings a way of knowing that goes beyond what can be achieved with words. Words strain under the burden of conveying meaning. Through the movements the body embraces that meaning and opens us into a transformative ritual space … the dance of creation.

Transpersonal Coaching Open House

Transpersonal Coaching Open House

Join Dr Jessica Bockler and Jevon Dangeli for the Transpersonal Coaching Virtual Open House at Alef Trust. We will be discussing the value of transpersonal and spiritual perspectives in professional coaching. We will also tell you more about our 1-year certificate programme in Transpersonal Coaching Psychology.

Alef Trust Workshop Day

Alef Trust Workshop Day

On the 2nd November a group of thirty Alef Trust students, alumni and faculty including directors Les Lancaster and Jessica Bockler transmuted from the digital realm of our online community to meet in London for a workshop day.

Beyond The Brain – Nov. 3-4 2018

Beyond The Brain – Nov. 3-4 2018

Beyond the Brain is the world’s premier conference series exploring new research on whether and how consciousness and mind extend beyond the physical brain and body. This year’s event covers the power of intention, transpersonal psychology, consciousness in relation to the brain and the universe, lucid dreaming and out-of-body experiences.

Transpersonal Orientation in Therapy

Transpersonal Orientation in Therapy

The aim of this paper is to consider to what extent a transpersonal orientation is necessary in therapy for conscious development. Consideration will first be given to definitions of ‘transpersonal orientation’ and ‘conscious development’, followed by arguments for and against traditional behaviourist, psychodynamic and transpersonal approaches with a view to address the assignment question. Before concluding, consideration will also be given to the importance of scientific world view and how it impacts the term ‘conscious development’.

Transpersonal Activism: Transpersonal Rights as Human Rights

Transpersonal Activism: Transpersonal Rights as Human Rights

In our increasingly complex and interconnected world, a growing global community of transpersonal activists feels that access to practices and therapies which support transpersonal states should be recognized as a basic human right. The term “transpersonal” may not be familiar to everyone (yet) but what it means is something pretty simple and familiar to most. “Trans” means “through” or “beyond” and so transpersonal implies experiencing and understanding life, the world and cosmos through or beyond the limits of personal identity or self, or, beyond the ego.

Interview With Dr. Olga Louchakova-Schwartz

Interview With Dr. Olga Louchakova-Schwartz

For 25 years Dr Olga Louchakova-Schwartz taught at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She started at ITP in 1992, as adjunct research professor, and worked her way up to being Founding Director of Transpersonal Education and Research Specialization (2004-2014), of the World Wide Learning Exchange Program (2007 -2013), and of the pioneering Neurophenomenology Centre, the first of its kind (2007 – 2015). She is now Professor Emerita of Psychology and Comparative Religion. Dr Louchakova-Schwartz has authored more than 150 papers and book chapters in various areas of neuroscience, philosophy, and transpersonal psychology.

The Evolution of Coaching Psychology

The Evolution of Coaching Psychology

The practice of Life Coaching arose out of athletic coaching in sports and is broadly defined as a collaborative process of helping someone improve performance or satisfaction in some aspect of their lives. In contrast with psychological counselling or therapy which is often focused on pathology rooted in past experiences or flawed thinking processes (cognition), Life Coaching is focused more on the hear and now by working towards improving the present as well providing guidance and tools for achieving future goals in a client’s professional, relationship, creative or even spiritual aspects of life. Although distinct from the field of counselling psychology or psychiatry, Life Coaching is still fundamentally grounded in models and approaches from psychology and so the evolution of Life Coaching is closely tied to the evolution of the science’s behind human psychology and flourishing.

Parapsychological (PSI) Phenomena – Interview With Etzel Cardeña, PhD

Parapsychological (PSI) Phenomena – Interview With Etzel Cardeña, PhD

Following Alef Trust’s participation in the 2017 International Transpersonal Conference in Prague, we are excited to offer 3 NEW Open Learning Courses which begin December 2017 (please enrol by October 31st, 2017 to ensure your seat). These new courses are being offered by conference presenters David Lukoff, Paul Grof/Mary Pearson & Etzel Cardeña who will be exploring cutting edge topics in transpersonal psychology:

Summer Residential 2017 – Approaching New Paradigms

Summer Residential 2017 – Approaching New Paradigms

The fourth Alef Trust residential retreat from the 26th – 30th August 2017 was attended by alumni, students and faculty of the Master’s in Professional Development: Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology, who ventured to explore the theme of “New paradigms in psychology and spiritual practice”.

Congratulations to Professor Emerita Rosemarie Anderson!

Congratulations to Professor Emerita Rosemarie Anderson!

We at the Alef Trust would like to congratulation Rosemarie Anderson on her wonderful achievement in being awarded the Abraham Maslow Heritage Award! Rosemarie’s work in opening significant new methodological approaches has benefited not only those wishing to research transpersonal phenomena but also many in other branches of psychology. She has generously provided profound guidance to our students in their journeys into research in transpersonal psychology.

The Psychology of Spirituality

The Psychology of Spirituality

Some people define “spirituality” as going to church and believing in a monotheistic God. Others may define spirituality along the lines of one of the Eastern non-theistic traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism or Hinduism. Others still, may define spirituality simply as becoming a better person, quiet reflection, meditating or going for a walk in the woods. However you define “spirituality”, the vast majority of people in the world either believe there is something more which goes beyond our immediate experience of the world, or at the very least are seeking some way to grow as a person and to become the “best”, and the happiest, they can become in their careers, hobbies or relationships. Studies have also shown that higher levels or spirituality or religiosity are strongly associated with a greater sense of meaning in life as well as higher levels of psychological and emotional well-being. In other words, people who hold a belief in some form of “higher power”, something “bigger” than who and what we are, whether defined as “God”, “Energy”, “Source”, “Collective Consciousness” or “Spirit”, tend to be happier, healthier and even live longer.

Transformative Learning

Transformative Learning

When you think of “learning” or “education” you may think of acquiring practical skills, scientific knowledge or simply factual or historical information about the world. How to build a house; how to fix a car engine; mathematics; human psychology; history of ancient Greece etc. But what if you could obtain an education which is not only professionally, scientifically or practically useful – like helping to create a new career – but also personally and spiritually expansive in that your life is transformed in some meaningful and permanent way. This is a type of education known as “transformative learning”.

Transformation in Transpersonal Coaching

Transformation in Transpersonal Coaching

This article outlines how transformation occurs in transpersonal coaching – a specialised form of psychological coaching that involves a dialogical relationship between a coach and client with the intention to resolve issues in the client’s life, by engaging in processes that serve to transcend the client’s self constructs and limiting beliefs.

Sacred Science Circle

Sacred Science Circle

Alef Trust is pleased to announce the public launch of its latest collaborative project: Sacred Science Circle. The Sacred Science Circle gathers a sacred circle of individuals and groups that honor the “fires” of transformation implicit in all scientific, scholarly, and artistic endeavors. Its mission is to further that profound route to knowing, wisdom and enrichment […]

Myth-Busting Mindfulness

Myth-Busting Mindfulness

Tamara Russell, a lecturer with the Alef Trust and the Director of the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence, London, an organization dedicated to the wider dissemination of mindfulness training alongside support and training for teachers of mindfulness from all backgrounds and disciplines was invited by Watkins Books to host a class on mindfulness. In this session […]

Alef Trust introduces Transpersonal Coaching Psychology

Alef Trust introduces Transpersonal Coaching Psychology

Alef Trust is happy to announce the expansion of its Open Learning courses through the introduction of the course: Transpersonal Coaching Psychology. Jevon Dangeli, an MSc graduate of Alef Trust, developed this course and is course leader. This course explores: What is the value of a transpersonal approach to coaching? Can coaching processes lead to […]

Police Force Celebrates Spirituality!

Police Force Celebrates Spirituality!

It is November 2016. Following the vote for Brexit, racial tensions, discrimination and hate crimes in the UK are running high. During these volatile times we are heartened to see the efforts of Dyfed-Powys Police in Wales, working to unite the community and celebrate spiritual diversity. The event was supported by one of our MSc. […]

Lucid Dreaming for Healing and Spiritual Awakening?

Lucid Dreaming for Healing and Spiritual Awakening?

Lucid Dreaming for Healing and Spiritual Awakening? In lucid dreaming the dreamers become conscious whilst they are dreaming. They are aware that they are in the midst of a dream, and some are also able to exert control over the content of the dream, shaping the environment and dream narrative at will. What may be […]

Beneath The Cracks: A Transpersonal View of UK Post-Referendum

Beneath The Cracks: A Transpersonal View of UK Post-Referendum

Beneath the Cracks: A Transpersonal View of UK Post-Referendum As we write, nearly two weeks after the referendum, there can be little doubt that the UK is facing challenging times. Yet any time of upheaval and crisis also yields opportunities for positive change. During this time of uncertainty, when so many diverse opinions are being aired, we […]

Transpersonal Psychology Blossoms in Brazil

Transpersonal Psychology Blossoms in Brazil

Transpersonal Psychology Blossoms in Brazil From 4th – 7th September our directors Les Lancaster and Jessica Bockler attended and presented at the 9th International Transpersonal Conference organized by Alubrat (the Portuguese and Brazilian Association for Transpersonal Psychology), in partnership with the ITA (International Transpersonal Association), and many other transpersonal organisations from around the world. They […]

We Celebrate the Achievements of our First Master’s Graduates!

We Celebrate the Achievements of our First Master’s Graduates!

We Celebrate the Achievements of our First Master’s Graduates! On 17th July 2015 we accompanied our very first group of students to their graduation ceremony at Middlesex University in London. It was a tremendously satisfying moment, seeing some of our very first cohort of the MSc programme in ‘Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology’ complete their […]

Residential Summer Course 2015

Residential Summer Course 2015

Residential Summer Course 2015 From 6th -11th July this year we hosted our third annual residential summer course for our student community, exploring ‘Psyche and Sacred Space’. The theme gave rise to rich experiential and expressive explorations: We intuitively conceptualise and model the psyche by drawing on spatial metaphors. Spatial representations of the mind are […]