14th International IONS Conference

Thursday Pre-Conference Institutes
9:30am to 4:30pm

You can register for these whether or not you are attending the main conference. Each one lasts for the entire time period.

T1 Morphic Resonance, Collective Memory, and the Extended Mind—Rupert Sheldrake, PhD

Rupert Sheldrake


Exploring the hypotheses of morphic resonance, this workshop discusses the possibility that our memories are not stored inside our heads; instead, our brains may be more like TV receivers than video recorders. From this perspective, we consider ways in which collective memory links us and other species. Sheldrake makes the case that plants and animals inherit their forms and instincts by morphic fields rather than through genes. He will explain and discuss these radical scientific ideas and show how they connect with our own experience.


T2 The Healing Voice—Jill Purce

Jill Purce

Liberate your voice, heart, and mind in an uplifting exploration of breathing, chanting, mantra, sonic meditations, and sacred chants. Develop breath and sound in ways that set parts of the body and mind into resonance while discovering the healing capacity of sonic massage. Work with ancient vocal purification practices. Enter subtle dimensions of mind through Mongolian overtone chanting and magical voice techniques to experience physical health, emotional joy, and spiritual ecstasy. Work with the voice as one of the most effective ways to empower your life, balance the mind and body, and ultimately achieve enlightenment.


T3 Deep Time Work: Re-entering the Rhythms and Connections of the Web of Life—Joanna Macy, PhD

Joanna Macy

Must we be condemned to constant time pressures and hurrying? The acceleration of our lives is real, but not inevitable. It arises from the technological and economic forces of the industrial growth society and cuts us off from nature’s rhythms and the wisdom and pleasures of our own bodies. Healing our world depends on living our lives within a larger context that includes our ancestors and generations to come. This workshop will explore ways to stoke our courage, our staying power, and our sense of adventure.


T4 The Hidden Science: Healing for our Planet—Lawrence Ellis

Lawrence Ellis

In recent decades, complexity science has “discovered” that radical interconnectedness is central to fundamental systems throughout our world, spurring advances in fields from neurobiology to organizational dynamics. Yet many wisdom traditions have, for millennium, made interconnectedness central to their worldviews and lifestyles. In this session, we will use several modalities to explore the following: distinctions between material science and wisdom science; ancient and contemporary insights into practices for embodying interconnectedness; the epochal shifts in ecological and human systems our planet is undergoing; and the next steps for navigating these shifts.


T5 Big Mind/Big Heart: Opening our Greatest Capacity to Love—Diane Musho Hamilton

Diane Musho Hamilton

In this facilitated session, Zen teacher Hamilton will guide us through a journey of identity to find our most vast and unconditional love. Using the Big Mind process developed by her teacher, Genpo Roshi, Hamilton will combine the tools of psychology with the insights of Zen to give Western audiences a unique glimpse into our own true nature. The experience promises to be insightful for new meditators and deeply clarifying to those who have practiced meditation for many years.


T6 Working with Fields of Consciousness: Practical Strategies for Group Leaders—Chris M. Bache, PhD

Chris M. Bache

“For reasons we don’t yet understand, the tendency to synchronize is one of the most pervasive drives in the universe.” —Steven Strogatz, Sync

Fields of consciousness spring up whenever we engage in sustained collective activities. Knowing this, how can we accelerate and deepen this natural process? How do we harness the power of these fields to teach, solve problems, create, or heal? In this workshop, we will explore the dynamics of collective intelligence in group settings. Learn visualization tools, meditation exercises, and practical, hands-on strategies for opening and closing fields, strengthening fields, and managing episodes of spontaneous resonance—forged from 30 years of classroom experience.


T7 InterSpiritual Meditation: Aligning Diverse Contemplative Practices for the Common Good—Ed Bastian, PhD

Ed Bastian

Modern neuroscience is validating the capacity of meditation to create tranquility, focus, health, happiness, compassion, and engaged service in the world. In this workshop, we consider InterSpiritual Meditation, a seven-step process based on the shared elements of meditation found within the world’s ancient spiritual traditions. Its mission is to help practitioners to develop sustainable, satisfying, and comprehensive meditation practices that are inclusive and not exclusive; and to help meditators of diverse traditions to create engaged contemplative communities for the common good.


T8 (formerly W6) Caring Science/Heart Science: Methods and Healing Modalities for Self/System—Robert Thomas Browning and Jean Watson, PhD, RN

Jean Watson Robert Browning

This pre-conference institute will integrate the latest work in Caring Science/theory/philosophy, featuring the science of the heart and methodologies and modalities for restoring love and opening the heart to deep human-to-human caring. Healing techniques will be introduced and experienced for self-caring and heart-centered living.


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