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by Marilyn Schlitz & Elizabeth Valentina Introduction Great strides have been made in the study of whole person healthcare. Integrating body, mind and spirit has become a key dimension of health education, prevention and treatment. Despite many advances in a wide range of holistic approaches, however, our health care system remains primarily disease-centered rather than focused on the well-being of the whole person. To thrive as individuals and as communities of caring, we are called to develop an appreciation for both the inner wisdom of direct personal experiences of illness and health (your own and your patients), and for scientific and technological developments that...

Lisa Reagan of LILIPOH Magazine interviewed Deepak  Chopra and me about the upcoming Death Makes Life Possible film for their Winter 2013 edition. Download the PDF of the full article here: Death Makes Life Possible LILIPOH Spring 2013 This article will soon appear in Mandrin. Science is very influenced by the dominant paradigm of materialism, but it is now being informed by spiritual insights. One of the extraordinary things of our times is that never before have so many ways of approaching reality come into contact.  - Marilyn Schlitz This article also appeared June 10th on the Kindred Community website, including a Soundcloud link...

Before the rain drenched winter was over, I got the spring itch. I made my way to the Petaluma Seed Bank, eager to begin my small backyard garden again. This wondrous Seed Bank, housed in an historical building from the days of the California gold rush, specializes in heirlooms, free from genetic engineering and artificial anything.  Truly home grown. I wandered through the thousands of seed possibilities, feeling a sense of promise that awaited me over the months to come.  I found a packet of Squash Connecticut Field pumpkins. Reading the package, I learned that these seeds were a source of...

My days are spent researching and writing non-fiction. But when I want to expand my horizons, I'm a complete devotee of good fiction. Reading authors who have great facility with words, and to create images beyond imagination, offer great doorways into new ways of thinking. Three books that have just crossed my reading window include: The Ghost Writer, by Philip Roth, The Lost Daughter of Happiness, by Geling Yan, and The Banquet Bug, by Geling Yan.     A great gift was discovering Philip Roth. Just finishing reading The Ghost Writer, I found his erudition and spellbinding narrative making me hungry for more.           Geling Yan's capacity to translate her cultural experiences...

Humans have always been fascinated by the possibility of a "larger reality." Especially in times of transition -- a sudden illness, a failed relationship, the death of a loved one, an unplanned shift in career -- we may sense that there is more being to our everyday world, more dimensions than we usually comprehend. Such moments often carry the signature of grace, for so often they leave us aware of ourselves in relation to things beyond. Many report that their sense of "I" becomes part of a larger "we," and that they recognize connection as the true basis of reality. For...

Can we glimpse the future? Is there any truth to people’s belief in premonitions? Such provocative questions have largely been ignored by scientists, many of whom argue that claims of precognition can be completely explained away as superstition or delusion. But a small group of scientists continue to tackle these questions head on. In a laboratory at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in Northern California, psychologist Dean Radin approaches human experience with an open mind and experimental rigor. In a series of experiments that Radin describes as “presentiment,” participants are invited to see and feel into the future. Sitting in a...

What happens when we die? Can people communicate with those who have passed on? Efforts to answer such questions using science have been underway since the late 1800s. Over the years, the methods have varied, some more convincing than others. One area that is both promising and amenable to rigorous science involves the study of mediumship, or “spirit” communication. In a standard mediumship “reading,” a client (or “sitter”) asks questions about a friend or relative who has passed away (a “discarnate”). The medium reports that he can connect with the friend and offer reliable insights. An important but unresolved question about such...

As I live into my own process of aging, my worldview has been informed by the depth and insight of many great teachers. These include masters from different wisdom traditions, health care practitioners, friends facing end of life, and researchers studying the transformative nature of death, dying, and beyond. For decades, the team at the Institute of Noetic Sciences has conducted research, created educational programs, and engaged in conversations on transformations in consciousness. We have been led to an ever-expanding appreciation for the aging process and its transformative potentials. We also have found ourselves moved by a great calling to...

What happens when we die? And how does asking this question imbue our lives with greater health, happiness, and pro-social behaviors? Thanks to the support of over 550 of you, we have been able to dig deeply into these questions and more through the 'Death Makes Life Possible' project. Here’s what we’ve been up to: Our multi-talented team of experts has been working tirelessly over the past year on 'Death Makes Life Possible.' This project includes a feature-length independent documentary that we're co-producing with The Chopra Foundation. It explores explores a subject that touches everyone and everything on the planet, and offers...

What does it mean to be part of a greater whole? How does our worldview, or model of reality, impact what we understand about who we are and how we relate to others? And how can we become more aware of all the ways we are part of an interrelated, global community? Recently my colleagues and I explored these questions in a report titled “Worldview Transformation and the Development of Social Consciousness” for the Journal of Consciousness Studies (Schlitz, Vieten, and Miller; 17, no. 7–8 (2010): 18–36). Based on decades of research on consciousness transformation, IONS researchers have developed a theoretical framework for...

An important unresolved question in scientific research in general, and in psi research in particular, is the effect that the expectancy of the experimenter has on experiment outcomes. I am pleased to report that two distinguished colleagues and I have received funding to conduct a new experiment to test the hypothesis that the expectancy of the experimenter will have an impact on the outcome of a psi task. We are now recruiting teachers to help us recruit student experimenters. Here is a brief history of this field of investigation to give a sense of what we're investigating. I'll conclude with...

Marilyn Schlitz joins Deepak Chopra to explore the idea of nonlocality.  Marilyn discusses some recent experiments and research protocols for looking at psychic healing and seeing how the mind can be used to effect physical changes in ourselves and others. How is this possible? Why is this type of research relevant to more mainstream medical practices? [embedplusvideo height="365" width="600" standard="http://www.youtube.com/v/IpuYRWptJuQ?fs=1" vars="ytid=IpuYRWptJuQ&width=600&height=365&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=" id="ep6237" /]...

I just returned from an exciting conference held at the biotech company, Promega. The meeting was entitled Final Passages: Research on Near Death & the Experience of Dying. This eleventh in a series of bioethics forums was held in Madison, WI, April 26–27, 2012, and focused on scientific research into social and ethical issues around dying and near-death experiences. A stellar lineup of global experts addressed a wide range of topics as well as the implications of current research for understanding consciousness. The conference was introduced and chaired by Bill Linton, the founder and CEO of Promega. In his opening remarks, Linton...

A few days ago, on March 7, 2012, Jeanne Achterberg, PhD passed on to the next phase of her spirit journey. Jeanne was a dear friend for decades. Her work with IONS was foundational; she and Dr. Carl Simonton received one of the first IONS grants for her pioneering clinical research on psychoneuroimmunology—then an emerging new field. She helped map the inner mechanisms of the healing response, always eager to understand the links between body, mind and spirit. Her fascination with cross-cultural perspectives on healing led her to a life of integration between cultures, psychology, and science. Jeanne was a faculty member for...

The world is changing before our eyes. As we dip our toes into the 21st century, you and I are watching a full tidal shift in world order. The old order that built civilizations, industrialized nations, and developed world economies, is faced with perplexing challenges – those economies collapsing, those industries capsizing, populations exploding, and increasingly severe problems with health care and the environment. Clearly we have moved on to a new experience of the world. As Francis Cholle, the intuitive intelligence expert, said, “In times of evolution, we can either resist change or we can assist change.” In our business of “assisting...