The weekend of May 31st 2019 Yale Divinity School and The Graduate Institute co-hosted the Consciousness & Spirit Conference for The International Society for Consciousness Studies.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Deepak Chopra who was as authentic in real life as he appears to be in his inspiring books and projects.  A lively discourse with Deepak Chopra, Leslie Allan Coombs, and Menas Kafatos was one of the highlights of the weekend where open-ended questions were welcomed in real time.

When I asked “What is intuition?”- Dr Chopra offered:
“Intuition is the most reliable of the senses and requires cultivation.”

Pictured below is Dr. Chopra on the left with me asking questions and commending Dr. Chopra on his bravery for supporting a conscious and integral approach to evidence-based medicine.

Dr Menas Kafatos added that most scientist use intuition to come up with their theories even if they do not talk about it and there is a trend to become more transparent with this scientific process and noted that Einstein was known to close his eyes for long periods of time when coming up with his theories.

In regards to his theory of relativity,
Albert Einstein said:

“It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition.  My discovery was the result of musical perception.”

NOVA has a video of the inside story of Einstein’s masterpiece. “The story begins with the intuitive thought experiments that set Einstein off on his quest and traces the revolution in cosmology that is still playing out in today’s labs and observatories.”

Dr. Kafatos’s presentation on Physics and Nondual Consciousness was eye-opening and answered a question about how we can navigate technology in a conscious manner. He wrote an article with Jay Koumar. Including nature in the equation of health and healing is also important. In this article he writes, “While religion and spirituality have always extolled the glory and healing potential of nature, science, specifically brain science and principles from quantum theory, is preaching the same message — humans need time in nature for enduring health and ultimate happiness.”


Pictured above is Dr. Charles Silverstein, academic director of The Master of Arts in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology at The Graduate Institute, Dr Artemis Morris, co-academic director of The Masters in Integrative Health and Healing at The Graduate Institute, and Dr. Menas Kafatos, Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of computational physics and co-author of the book You Are The Universe with Dr. Chopra.

Dr Askoa Bandarage brought an important piece to the conversation with her lecture on Ecological Consciousness and the Middle Path: Linking consciousness and social change. In her lecture she brings up the essential point that an ecological approach to economics, science, and technology is necessary for our survival. “We can not deny that there is an interdependence of human and non human nature according to the law of dharma.”.

Have you heard of evidence-based medicine? The sad thing is that, up until now, evidence-based medicine only meant evidence that was supported by the empirical, reductionistic, patriarchal method with the “gold-standard” randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Any other method was throw out with the proverbial bathwater, so-to-speak (poor baby). Well, it is finally time that evidence gained through the scientific method included all of our senses and the role of the observer be included in the method. It is an exciting time to be a scientist and to learn, especially at programs, such as, The Graduate Institute (link to webpage) and The California Institute for Human Science (link to webpage) where education is a conscious process and development with you at it’s center. Other research worth noting are those based on the biofield and sound healing.

Throughout the conference, I observed that what separates a conscious scientist from other scientists is that conscious scientist’s have beautiful minds and hearts.

There were so many other speakers worth noting, including

  • Tiffany Barsotti: The Physiology of Presence and Spiritual Transcendence: The Reticular Activating System, vagus Nerve, and Alta Major Chakra Axis.
  • Paul Mill’s: Nondual Awareness, Wellbeing, and Integrative Health. Both Dr Tiffany Barsotti and Dr Paul Mills are doing pioneering research for the Chopra center.
  • Rick Barrett‘s: Chinese Internal Martial Arts aka Developing Body-MInd- Spirit Integration to Access Supernormal Abilities and Superconscious States of Awareness.
  • John St Claire‘s presentation where he was able to use sound frequencies to re-materialize DNA across space and time.
  • Magdelena’s film on Grace and Grit.
  • Melanie Vallee is a phD candidate that is doing a project on healing trauma.

For a full program list see:

Finally, none if this would be possible without Dr Leslie Alan Coombs, the president of The Society for Consciousness, who is hanging up his hat on the position this year.

So at this point, you may be wondering – What is consciousness?
In the words of Deepak Chopra:
“Live the questions and not the answers”

If you are reading this article, it may be time to find out for yourself.

Resources and explorations: