Spiritual Awakenings International®
"Bringing Us Together"
Raising Awareness • Networking • Sharing
Spiritual Awakenings International’s® mission is to spread awareness globally of Spiritually Transformative Experiences.
Aims and Ideals
Spiritual Awakenings International® (SAI) is a non-profit worldwide network of individuals and groups who are interested in collaborating to raise awareness, network, and share personal experience relating to diverse types of Spiritually Transformative Experiences, to raise global spiritual awareness.
The phrase “Spiritually Transformative Experiences” (STEs) was first coined by Dr. Yvonne Kason MD in 1994, in her ground-breaking book, A Farther Shore, and she expanded upon STEs in her later books, Farther Shores (2000), and Touched by the Light: Exploring Spiritually Transformative Experiences (2019).
Spiritually Transformative Experiences, STEs, include: Near-Death Experiences (NDEs); mystical experiences; psychic/intuitive experiences of many types; spiritual energy/kundalini awakenings; inspired creativity; other death-related STEs such as deathbed experiences/end-of-life experiences, death-watch/shared-death experiences, After-Death Communications; and more. STEs are sometimes referred to as “extraordinary experiences”, “exceptional human experiences”, “spiritual emergence syndrome”, samadhis, siddhis, ascension experiences, and other terms.
All types of STEs tend to transform experiencers’ values in a more spiritual direction and propel an increased desire to be loving, ethical, and of service to others.
Spiritual Awakenings International recognizes the interconnectedness of diverse types of STEs. An experiencer might have one type of STE as their initial “spiritual awakening” experience, and later find their consciousness more open to other types of STEs. For example a near-death experiencer or kundalini awakening experiencer may later have more psychic/intuitive experiences and mystical experiences.
STE experiencers often feel isolated, misunderstood, might feel they are mentally unstable, and fear being labelled as “crazy” by others. SAI is striving to build a safe, supportive, and informed community amongst STE experiencers and spiritual seekers, and to increase understanding of STEs worldwide.
Spiritual Awakenings International is multi-faith, multi-cultural, non-aligned, and is open to anyone peacefully seeking a higher understanding. We promote respectful and supportive dialogue of diverse views and perspectives on STEs. SAI was previously known as iSee, the International Society for Extraordinary Experiences.,
To raise awareness of STES of all types and our true spiritual nature, and the fact that STEs are a normal and healthy occurrence in human consciousness which often occur as part of a spiritual awakening process.
To facilitate networking globally, building bridges and community between diverse groups and individuals who share an interest in raising awareness of STEs through: regional group meetings; a newsletter calendar of affiliated groups’ events; and by listing affiliated groups websites on the SAI website.
To provide a sharing forum where STE experiencers, counselors, friends, and researchers can share experiences and information in a safe, supportive environment: at local affiliated group meetings; through online events; and at SAI conferences internationally.
About the Founders
Dr. Yvonne Kason MD, MEd, CCFP, FCFP, is the President and a Founder of Spiritual Awakenings International. She is a family physician and transpersonal MD-psychotherapist [retired], previously on faculty at the University of Toronto. She is an internationally renowned medical expert on Near-Death Experiences (NDEs), Kundalini Awakenings, and other Spiritually Transformative Experiences (STEs), with 40 years’ experience researching STEs and counseling persons with NDEs and other STEs. Propelled by a powerful kundalini awakening in 1976, and a Near-Death Experience in a 1979 medevac plane crash, she began to research NDEs and other spiritual experiences. In 1990 she became the first Canadian medical doctor to specialize her medical practice in the research and counseling of patients with diverse types of STEs. Dr. Kason is the person who first coined the phrase “Spiritually Transformative Experiences” in 1994, in her book, A Farther Shore. She has had five Near-Death Experiences herself, two in her childhood and three in her adult life, as well as multiple STEs.
Dr. Kason has been a pioneer in the field of Spiritually Transformative Experiences for over 40 years. In 1990, Dr. Kason was a Founder and later a long time Board member of the Kundalini Research Network (KRN). She was Chair of the KRN Questionnaire Research Project – with final study results published in Explore in July 2020. She was also the Canadian Coordinator of the Spiritual Emergence Network, and in 1992 the Founder of the Spiritual Emergence Research and Referral Clinic in Toronto. In 2000 she was a Founder and then served as Coordinator of the Spirituality in Health-Care Network, and in 2002 she was Chair of the University of Toronto’s first ever conference on Spirituality and Health-Care. 2019 to 2020, Dr. Kason served as President of IANDS, the International Association for Near-Death Studies. In 2019, Dr. Kason also Co-Founded Toronto Awakenings Sharing Group, (TASG), and continues to serve as TASG Group Leader.
Dr. Yvonne Kason has six published books, her most recent, Soul Lessons From The Light; How Spiritually Transformative Experiences Changed My Life, (2022), and Touched by the Light: Exploring Spiritually Transformative Experiences, (2019). Dr. Kason has extensive media and public speaking experience worldwide. She has been a keynote speaker at many conferences internationally, and has made hundreds of professional presentations both live and online. Dr. Kason has been an invited guest on many TV talk shows internationally, including: The Dr Oz Show (2020 and 2021), and radio shows including Coast to Coast (2020). Her 1979 plane crash Near-Death Experience was re-enacted on Sightings and in two documentaries. Dr. Kason retired from the practice of medicine because of a disabling 2003 Traumatic Brain Injury (and NDE). 12 years later, following a dramatic brain healing STE in 2016, a “miracle of brain neuroplasticity and the Grace of God”, Dr. Kason has now resumed writing, public speaking, volunteer work on Boards, and giving media interviews about all types of STEs. Yvonne Kason lives in Toronto, Canada, and enjoys “snowbirding” during the winter months, in Encinitas, CA, and Florida, USA. Dr. Yvonne Kason MD has been recognized for her groundbreaking STE work, including the coining of the term “Spiritually Transformative Experience”, as an Honoree on the Spiritual Awakenings International Circle of Honor.
Robert Bare MPA, PhD is the Vice President and a Founder of Spiritual Awakenings International. He attended West Valley College, San Jose State University, the University of California Santa Cruz and The University of San Francisco where he graduated with Bachelor and Masters degrees in Public Administration, a PhD in Business, as well as obtaining two teaching credentials.
His former employment included working for the Santa Cruz Police Department and then joining the California Highway Patrol from 1970 to 1992. His work assignments prior to retirement included South Los Angeles (Watts), East Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland (twice) and Santa Cruz (twice). After retiring from law enforcement, he worked a variety of positions: an Adjunct Professor, a General Manager/City Administrator for three communities, the Executive Director of a Community Resource Center, the Tribal Administrator of a Native American Nation and a Staff Executive/Consultant for an International Consulting Company. Additionally, he is still continuing his work career as a grant and technical writer.
He has always volunteered for several community programs. He coached Little League baseball and girls softball, Pony League Baseball, Pop Warner football and American Legion Baseball. Additionally, he coached a women’s fast pitch traveling tournament team for 18 and under girls and was also President for a Pony League in the Santa Cruz area. He attended Professional Umpire School in Florida and umpired baseball at all levels.
He was active in the communities he resided in by serving on the City Planning Commission, a County Drug Free Coalition, and the Commission on Children and Families. He also served on the California Special Districts Board of Directors and the California Special Districts Workers Compensation Board. He received recognition when selected as “Peace Officer of the Year 1976”, and nominated as “Special Districts General Manager of the Year 1997”
Robert is an almost-textbook case of someone whose life and values were forever changed by his NDE. You have to have a tough mentality to be a police officer, and Robert spent more than two decades as a California Highway Patrolman. Robert admits that “I saw lots of death, and I became callous,” he says. Spirituality or religion played little role in his life.
Robert’s Near-Death Experiences shook him to his core. They occurred shortly after he boarded a plane in March, 2009. He had a massive heart attack and was deceased for approximately 45 minutes. His second NDE was for approximately 10 minutes. His NDEs were profiled in the TV show, I Survived Beyond and Back, and he was a featured case study by author Debra Diamond in her book, “Life After Near Death“. Robert has also interviewed for an upcoming episode on William Shattner’s show “Unexplained” on the History Channel.
In regards to his NDEs, Robert has said, “Accompanied by loving beings, I gravitated toward a beautiful bright Light,” He recalls. “I saw some colors I had never seen before. I remember being in the presence of a “Higher Power” who talked to me. I had a “life review” and saw everything that I had experienced in my life. He calls the review “the reckoning of my life a humbling experience.” He further emphasized, “I could see everything in my life, but I was also in it, and I could read everyone’s mind. I realized that I could have done better, and I did not want to judge or hurt anyone anymore.”
After taken to a hospital, he had a second NDE this time, floating above the operating room, observing what was transpiring below. This NDE included a pivotal moment: he could hear medical staff talking about him while he was unconscious. Later, the doctors verified that he had indeed heard their conversation. “I’m a different person now,” Robert says after his NDE experiences. “Now I only want to do good in my life.”
Robert currently lives in a home on the beach in Oregon, where he has been a past Commissioner on his Community Planning Commission for 9 years and past President of a local Humane Society. Robert served as Vice-President of IANDS, the International Association for Near-Death Studies, 2019 to 2020. He was nominated as the “Citizen of the Year” twice in different communities and received other community recognition as well.
Meet Our Board Members
Anne Archer (Butcher), MA, is an author and international speaker who has traveled the world presenting the stories of her Spiritually Transformative Experiences. She and her husband, Alden are award-winning producers, marketing consultants and book editors, and they have helped multiple authors reach the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Their marketing client list includes celebrities, fortune-100 corporations, and non-profit organizations and they focus on projects that uplift, educate and inspire.
Anne has led a very spiritually adventurous life. She was rescued by dolphins from a shark attack, survived a Near-Death Experience, and had an out-of-body journey that revealed the true nature of death and allowed her to save her sister’s life. She has had myriad spiritual experiences and the greatest of all is captured in her new book, Five Blue Rings. Interestingly, Paramount Pictures offered to turn this story into a blockbuster film, but only if presented as fiction. Instead, that story will be published in 2023 as the true epic love story that it is—a saga of spiritual intrigue, drama, and mysticism that promises hope for the consciousness of our planet (fivebluerings.org). Anne is appreciated for her personal stories of inner guidance, extraordinary spiritual experiences, and the universal spiritual laws in action.
Anne is from South Carolina, attended high school in France and Germany, and has a Master’s Degree in English and Education from Indiana University. She is an Advanced Placement Scholar and earned an endorsement in journalism from Dow Jones. Anne and Alden have three daughters and a grandson and reside near San Diego. Anne’s book site: www.FiveBlueRings.org When Hollywood Came Calling: https://fivebluerings.org/hollywood/
Why I am excited about SAI: More and more people are having Spiritually Transformative Experiences (STEs) — experiences that many do not understand and cannot easily integrate into their lives. It is important to have an organization dedicated to acknowledging these experiences, offering education, resources and opportunities to participate with like-minded individuals. Spiritual Awakenings International is not about any spiritual or religious teaching or lack thereof, but is about individual, personal spiritual awakenings and is available to everyone around the globe. As the consciousness of our planet is shifting and transitioning to a higher level, SAI exists to serve those who are aware and experiencing that quickening—and to open the door to those who wish to learn more.
Dr. Brian Sackett, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist previously in private practice in San Jose, CA and is a recent Toronto, Ontario resident. He specializes in working with clients dealing with trauma and abuse, spiritual emergence, anxiety and couples’ communication issues. Prior to becoming a therapist, Brian worked for years in high tech in a variety of sales, marketing and engineering positions, mostly in the semiconductor industry. His undergraduate degree is a bachelor of sciences in mathematics, from Stanford University, and he has a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
He has meditated and studied meditation since he was 21 years old and has had many strong Spiritually Transformative Experiences that have motivated him to do this, including a childhood Near-Death Experience, a Shared-Death Experience, and a spiritual emergency following an encounter with Baba Ram Dass and Swami Muktananda twenty years before the Grofs defined spiritual emergence.
Brian has presented to the Spiritual Awakenings International first annual conference in 2021, local IANDS groups, the annual IANDS conference in San Antonia, TX, and the Toronto Awakenings Sharing Group, He facilitates an online meditation/self inquiry group and does spiritual guidance and coaching.
Why I am excited about SAI:
I believe strongly that one of the main challenges facing experiencers of Spiritually Transformative Experiences and events is the lack of information to help navigate through self-awakening, as well as competing materialistic world views that prevent normalization of these experiences. This leads to confusion, self-doubts and anxieties about being considered insane. My own experiences probably led to my becoming a psychotherapist in order to better understand what I have gone through in my life. The combination of spirituality and psychology is helpful to clarify and ground disorienting spiritual experiences. SAI provides education, support and the opportunity to share one’s own experiences with others who have undergone similar experiences. I really appreciate that SAI has broadened the scope of what’s considered useful and challenging spiritual experiences and provides help to a much broader range of experiencers.
I view myself as primarily an inner explorer, a person who directly investigates experiences, inner bodies and dimensions and with the help of a few awakened teachers, like Adyashanti and Pia Ma from Australia attempts to put the ineffable into simple words or pointers that may help others follow and integrate their own inner self-explorations. My hope is that this is of use to others.
Meet our Advisory Board Members
Dr. Nicole Gruel PhD, comes from a long line of samurai and is on a mission to support people in creating optimum wellbeing on all levels—body, mind, spirit, relationships, planet—so they can become the Agents of Awesome they were born to be. Nicole’s books have been featured in leading Australian wellbeing magazines and she’s been published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Her newest book, a finalist in the prestigious INDIES Award, is The Power of NOTEs: How Non-Ordinary Transcendent Experiences Transform The Way We Live, Love, and Lead.
Nicole has a PhD in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology, is a Mentor for Life Coaches at ACISTE (American Centre for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences), Gifts Compass™ Advisor and Training Facilitator, past NSW/ACT President of the Australian Association of Psychological Type (AusAPT), certified Counsellor, and certified Life Coach with Strategic Intervention and ACISTE, a past Board Member of IANDS, and a Co-Founder of ISGO. She has also trained in various healing, movement, and energy psychology modalities. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
Why I’m excited about SAI. It’s an incredible time to be alive on this planet. Never before have more people been reporting awakening experiences of all varieties. Never before has there been such urgency to put one’s gifts into action to co-create a more just, wholesome, sustainable, and connected planet. Never before have we had so much technology and ways to share and implement wisdom. Our spiritually transformative experiences are the secret sauce to our greatest potential — they’re the life-force driving creativity, innovation, love, healing, inspiration, grace and magic. And so, I’m excited to see a greater collective awakening take root in my lifetime. Together we are capable of phenomenal things that we haven’t even skimmed the surface of. To assist people step powerfully on their path towards this end gives me endless joy. Onward we go!
Ana Cecilia González, MEd, writer and public speaker, lives in Monterrey, México. Ana Cecilia was born with a congenital heart problem with the medical prognosis that she would not live long. Despite this, her parents gave her unconditional love and the same opportunities as the rest of their children, always hoping that Ana would survive, and inexplicably she did. At 8 years of age, Ana Cecilia discovered that she would not live forever, as children generally think. She had repeated encounters with what she called a “Death Ghost”, but later found out it was an angel taking care of her. She never talked about this until she wrote her book in 2015.
Ana Cecilia always did her best to live a normal life, fighting for life until her heart indicated its limits. But, at age 24 years (1989), after an open-heart surgery, Ana had a respiratory arrest and a cardiac arrest. During two critical months in intensive care, she had a fascinating Near-Death Experience, as well as several encounters with angels. The love and messages she received during these events, changed her life completely. A year later, trying to understand what had happened to her, a doctor helped her check her medical records. She found out then that there was a period (around 30 to 40 minutes) where she had arrested and was resuscitated. They did CPR on her. Everything she had told the doctors that she remembered, was written on those records.
Since 1990, she has had several NDE after-effects: out-of-body experiences, and communication with beings through her dreams. She has received more than 100 different important messages through her dreams, and after sharing them, she has confirmed the information was true and had a meaning for those who got the messages.
Ana graduated with a degree in Law, and has an Masters of Education, with emphasis on Counseling. She has devoted much of her career to teaching at various universities. She has two children Ana Paula and Daniel
In 2015 Ana Ceclia published her book “When Life is not Forever” (Spanish- “Cuando Vivir no es Para Siempre”) where she shares her life experiences as well as her NDE. The book´s name comes from her memories as a little girl when she thought she would die soon. Today, Ana Cecilia encourages others to live a full life.
Ana is very active on social media networks and has reached more than 84,000 followers through one of her pages. She shares everyday messages on Instagram and on Facebook. She is a lecturer on issues of self-improvement and awareness including a weekly broadcast with guests discussing many different topics. Ana promotes the value of life, and the desire to live life well despite any adversities.
Ana has spoken about her book and her life experiences to many groups in Mexico, the USA, and internationally. She was the invited spokesperson for the “Cardio Chavitos” Association, was invited to Houston Texas to be recognized as an “Admirable Woman” by “Mi familia Magazine”, was a speaker at the “GoRed for your heart” event, and has participated in many television programs in Mexico and the United States. She has also been invited to several schools inside and outside the country to speak with young people and their parents.
Ana is the Chair of the Spiritual Awakenings International Spanish Language Committee.
Why I am Excited about SAI: I feel honored and blessed to have been invited to be part of the SAI Advisory Board. Having people like Dr. Yvonne, Robert, Linda and the rest of the group in my life, just makes me feel I am a part of this great project of awakening as humanity. Spiritual Awakening International gives us an open door to understand the world in a different way, to realize that there is much beyond the obvious. It is a wonderful group that will grow like never seen. I visualize it with all certainty. I´m exited because this a wonderful place to assist others and give the message of love and spiritual understanding we all need. A place to be heard, understood and loved like I had never felt before. I received a message many years ago during my NDE: “Be calm and go in peace and do everything I have asked of you”. I have found the best place to do this: Spiritual Awakenings International.
Dr. Ingrid Honkala PhD, is an author, scientist, Light Worker, and international speaker, sharing the Light of loving-awareness of her soul’s purpose. Ingrid is a marine biologist, former NASA oceanographer, and international speaker, who has had multiple Spiritually Transformative Experiences, including two Near-Death Experiences in childhood and adulthood, and many other close encounters with death.
Ingrid was born in Bogota, Colombia, where she grew up with her parents and three sisters. From the moment of her first NDE at the age of two, Ingrid was aware of other dimensions of life than those most of us normally experience. She was also gifted with the wise input of Beings of Light who gave her invaluable insights and assistance as she faced the challenges of growing up and finding her professional destiny as an oceanographer and now as a giver of light.
In her autobiography, “A Brightly Guided Life: How a Scientist Learned to Hear her Inner Wisdom,” – available in English and in Spanish, Ingrid details her amazing journey with the Beings of Light. Throughout her life journey from her native Colombia to Europe and her eventual home in the USA — and from a deadly war zone to underwater explorations and a NASA research center — Ingrid shares how any human experience can be illumined from within when we are in alignment with inner-guidance.
Ingrids’s links are: https://www.ingridhonkala.com
Book English https://www.amazon.com/dp/1976058368/ref Book Spanish https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Ingrid-Honkala- Ph-D/dp/B08FP7SM1R/ref
Why am I excited about SAI: I am deeply honored and blessed to have been invited to be part of this beautiful organization. One day the Beings of Light said to me: “Your purpose is to be the Light, and your mission is to shine that Light.” And what a best way to shine my Light than surrounded by wonderful Lights like Yvonne, Robert, and everyone else who is supporting the spiritual awakening of all beings around the world. To me Spiritual Awakenings International is a symbol of the commitment, courage and compassion required to share and shine the Light Awareness which is vital in the process of awakening and achieving Unity. One candle in the wind flickers but many candles together can form a big fire. The fire needed to enlighten the world.
Francisco Valentin is a Death Experiencer, a Near-Death Experiencer, an Out of Body Experiencer, a Spiritually Transformative Experiencer, and an Inward Traveler. Francisco is the author, publisher, and custodian of The Transcripts. The Transcripts are insights of Higher Truth that he receives, perceives, and transcribes from a group of Ascended Masters known as “The Collective Forces of Knowledge and Wisdom.”
Francisco was born in Puerto Rico, and now lives in Florida. He first became a Death-Experiencer in 1979 in a car crash that took his life for some time. What led Francisco to public speaking, however, was an event on July 7, 2011. A Spirit of Light manifested through his then twenty-year-old son’s voice to remind him of an agreement that took place in 1979 in return for his life. During this event, the Spirit of Light answered all his questions, and granted Francisco access to Higher Truth, which made him recall many spiritual lessons he was given throughout this lifetime:
- In 2000, a Spiritual Experience he had with his dying mother to learn that there IS divine intervention.
- In 2002, a Near-Death Experience where he saw the light, learned how perception works, and understood the reason why there is no consensus on what’s on the other side.
- In 2010, a prophecy he received that came to pass on July 7, 2011. Later, he experienced “The Dark Night of The Soul”, and in November 2012, a close encounter with spiritual forces of ill intent leading him to almost commit suicide. In 2013, he was led on an inward journey by a Spirit of Light into Oneness, to an understanding of our true nature and destiny.
Today, Francisco receives, perceives, and transcribes insights of Higher Truth from the “Collective Forces of Knowledge and Wisdom.” There are currently over five-hundred Transcripts to help everyone become more aware of the long-forgotten Concept of Oneness. Francisco publishes these Transcripts on his website, TheTranscript.org.
Francisco’s public speaking began in 2014 in local restaurant meeting rooms then to the Metaphysical Society of Sun City Center, Florida. In 2015, Francisco became a lecturer and workshop facilitator at The Spirit University in Sarasota, Florida. He later spoke on the first Spanish NDE panel at an IANDS Conference, to Colby Memorial Temple. and at Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. In 2018, Francisco presented at the Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial and Extraordinary Experiences, Consciousness & Contact Experiencer Conference, and later became an Advisory Board Member.
As if by destiny Francisco feels, in June 2021 he was invited as a Spanish panelist for the Spiritual Awakenings International first Online Conference. Later he was invited to become a member of the newly created “SAI Spanish Committee,” and in November 2021 was the featured speaker at the launch event of SAI En Español. Francisco was then interviewed on the Seeking Heaven: The Near-Death Experience and Other Phenomena Show and spoke at The Shift Network 2021 Beyond the Veil Summit. As Francisco’s message began to cross boundaries into the Spanish community, he was interviewed by Roxana Rios in her program En Sintonía con Tu Presencia. Today Francisco speaks regularly of his STE experiences and the message he brings about our origin, our true spiritual nature, and our ultimate life purpose – all without theological ties.
Why I’m excited about SAI: In the past ten years of learning about different platforms to bring spiritual awareness to humanity, I found Spiritual Awakenings International (SAI) to be most suitable for understanding the different paths to reach spiritual enlightenment. SAI’s mission resonates very intimately with the core message I bring to humanity. The friendship of Spiritual Awakenings International, the camaraderie, the harmony, and the selfless desire among the Board of Directors, the Advisory Board, and committees to assist us all through our interpersonal, spiritual awakening is one I have not found anywhere else. This is why I am committed to supporting and helping SAI expand worldwide as a speaker, Advisory Board Member, Spanish Committee Member, and SAI Experiencers Sharing Circle facilitator.
Solange Monette is originally from Quebec, Canada. She lived in seven countries and traveled in sixteen more. She left Quebec in 1991, and has been a resident of Arizona, USA, for many years. She earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Montreal. She played the violin for ten years, three of these years in the orchestra of the Music Conservatory of Montreal. Later in life, she started and managed drumming ensembles giving public performances playing African music in Canada and in Arizona. She is the owner of Rhythm for Change LLC, facilitating drum circles in many different settings.
She is a published author of two editions of a Dictionary of Food. Solange has been interested in spirituality, alternative medicine, and avant-garde science and research most of her adult life. She studied and practiced diverse healing techniques for a few years. She was previously a member of the Steering Committee of Tucson IANDS, and was a cofounder of IANDS Consejo Hispano, Tucson IANDS en Español, and ISGO.
In December 2021, she started volunteering for SAI. Since November 2020, Solange has been facilitating a Spiritual Awakenings International Affiliated Group, Groupe de partage en français en ligne, a weekly international sharing group in French for experiencers of Spiritually Transformative Experiences, and people interested in STEs.
Why I’m excited about SAI: I am excited to be a part of Spiritual Awakenings International for many reasons. The organization is part of the quantum leap of evolution happening on Earth, it encompasses a wide variety of spiritual transformative experiences, and it reaches people all over the world.
Spiritual Awakenings International is helping people on different levels, many crucial, like loosing their fear of dying, and removing doubt of their sanity and the validity of their spiritual experiences. SAI creates a safe and welcoming place, where people are finally able to share their experience, often after many years of silence. Whether or not one is an Expeeriencer, there is much to learn about these diverse experiences.
I am also very excited by SAI’s project to offer the French speaking people worldwide the same information and services it is now offering in English and in Spanish. I look forward to be involved in this project.
AJ Parr (Alvaro Parra Pinto) is a journalist, comparative religion researcher, and author. He is a multiple-STE experiencer with numerous mystical episodes, including two major Unitive Experiences (the first at age 18 and the second at age 34), after which he developed a holistic understanding of the spiritual roots behind the world’s main religions. He hosts the AJ Parr YouTube channel, a Spiritual Awakenings International (SAI) Affiliated Network, presenting NDE and Afterlife interviews as well as the “SAI Highlights” videos. He is a member of the SAI Spanish Committee and Chair of the SAI Marketing Committee.
AJ was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and is presently living in Colombia. He attended the University of Oklahoma and the Catholic University Andrés Bello (Caracas), where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication. He worked for several decades in advertising and journalism, before establishing an online publishing agency for independent authors in 2011, serving writers across the globe.
AJ has published over 20 spiritual books, including his new journalistic research, Stairway to Heaven: 25 Near-Death Experiences about Encounters with God, Jesus, and Paradise. He also authored a three-book series on the secret teachings of early Christianity, plus a twelve-book series about the non-dual teachings of the world’s main ancient religions.
Why I’m Excited About SAI: Before I met Dr. Yvonne Kason, President of Spiritual Awakenings International, I had never shared my spiritual experiences with anyone (other than close relatives). However, when I interviewed her for my YouTube channel, Dr. Kason casually asked me if I had ever had a Spiritually Transformative Experience. I told her I had had a few and she invited me to meet privately with her and Ana
Cecilia González, Chair of the SAI Spanish Committee, and share my experiences. For the first time in my life, I was able to speak freely about these STEs. This made me feel I had finally found a “home.” After that, I started attending the SAI Experiencers Sharing Circles in English and in Spanish and got hooked. At last, I had found the right community with whom to openly share my experiences and obtain the right support to give start to a new and more exciting phase in my life.
History of SAI
Yvonne Kason — Why I Co-Founded Spiritual Awakenings International
For many years I thought it important that an international organization be created to raise awareness about the whole range of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (STEs) that are happening to people today. I saw that many organizations today focus exclusively or primarily on only one type of STE.
But my observation of STE Experiencers I counseled over the years and in my own spiritual awakening process is that following the awakening STE, the Experiencer usually goes on with time to start having multiple types of STEs repeatedly, most commonly diverse types of psychic or intuitive experiences. I therefore came to think that diverse STEs are somehow interconnected, and we needed to look at all STEs together and examine their relationship.
As a multiple STE experiencer myself, I am also acutely aware of how difficult it is to find a safe place to share the stories of one’s own STEs. Too often doctors, friends, family, or counselors may incorrectly label STEs as “imagination”, a hallucination, or a sign of mental illness.
For over 30 years now I have been advocating for STE Experiencers, and loudly stating “STEs are real! They are not a sign of mental illness.” Then, in the last few years I felt strongly called by Spirit to provide a “safe space” for STE Experiencers, to share what I have learned about STEs with the global community, as well as to bring diverse groups together for dialogue to deepen our understanding. Now, the launch of Spiritual Awakenings International is a beautiful realization of this vision. I am delighted and grateful to play my part in the birth of SAI!
Robert Bare — Why I Co-Founded Spiritual Awakenings International
As someone who on March 22, 2009 has been deceased and revived, my life forever changed. As an “NDE Experiencer”, I had difficulty understanding what really happened to me when I was deceased, and all the emotional upheaval that as a result affected me in everyday living. I had no idea if I was normal, and if anyone else had ever experienced what I did.
At first, I could not discuss my 2009 NDE with anyone, including family and friends. Usually, someone had to engage me in the conversation regarding my NDE, and even then I was very guarded in what I discussed or said. Years later, after being interviewed for the TV show “I Survived Beyond and Back“, I met with the show producer and asked her what others like me had told her. It was nice to hear her tell me that what I experienced was not unusual. Then I just dropped the topic and tried to not think about it, which was not possible.
After the TV show aired, I started to get invitations to speak to different groups about my NDE. After speaking to an Arizona IANDS group, a person queried me about my corporate skill set. One thing led to another and he asked me if I wanted to become an IANDS Board member. After thinking about it, I agreed, and later was selected as a Board Director in February 2019. My corporate skillset was something that I felt I could contribute to IANDS and I did my best to work hard to help the organization.
It didn’t take too long for me to think about the direction of the Board, its mission, and objectives. In July, 2019, I had a long conversation with fellow IANDS Board member, Dr. Yvonne Kason. Yvonne had been nominated to run for the IANDS President, and she had called to ask me if I would want to run as a “slate” with her as the Vice President nominee. We discovered we were like-minded, and I knew my corporate skillset was needed for the organization. I accepted her invitation. We started to talk about our values and visions, and we both expressed an interest in possibly starting another non-profit group, that would bring everyone together, and addressed both NDE and STE experiencers concerns. I subsequently had several discussions with Yvonne about our multiple NDE and STE experiences. One of the items we repeatedly toyed with was the concept of starting another nonprofit that could be a global organization, and would address the needs of diverse STE “experiencers”. In one conversation with her in August 2019, she coined the name “Spiritual Awakenings International – SAI” and I immediately thought that this was possible.
Yvonne and I were subsequently elected as President and Vice President of IANDS and Linda Truax was the Secretary. We became Executive Committee colleagues and worked hard in our positions on the IANDS Board. Occasionally, I would bring up “SAI” to Yvonne and we would leave it for a future project if it were to materialize. Then came my 72nd birthday on March 21st and the 11th anniversary of my NDE on March 22nd. At this stage in my life, I don’t think about putting things off and the more I thought of “SAI”, the more I wanted to do it.
On March 27th, 2020, I submitted my resignation as Vice President of the IANDS Board and that same day secured the Corporate Registry name of “Spiritual Awakenings International” and the domain of “www.spiritualawakeningsinternational.org” intending on starting this new nonprofit. I decided to devote all my skillset to create something new that would become global. Yvonne Kason had decided to resign from the IANDS Board that same day. Linda Truax’s term on the IANDS board had finished end of February. The succession of events culminated with the former Executive Committee of IANDS (President, Vice President, and Secretary) all assuming the same leadership roles in Spiritual Awakenings International: Yvonne Kason as President; Linda Truax as Secretary; and myself as Vice President.
I have felt strongly called to start this organization with these trusted colleagues. Additionally, Diane Willis of Chicago IANDS and Nicole Gruel of “Agents of Awesome” from Sydney, Australia are now involved. Nicole and Diane are also former Board members of IANDS.
Spiritual Awakenings International is being created to raise awareness about the whole range of Spiritually Transformative Experiences and not just one type of STE. We are creating this organization to bring diverse groups together for dialogue to deepen our understanding of all these types of experiences. As of this writing, SAI is expanding rapidly worldwide, with several groups and individuals in all parts of the world affiliating with SAI.
The launching of “Spiritual Awakenings International “-“SAI” is the realization of a vision created by its founders. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring the organization into reality to benefit all who desire and need its resources and networking. I hope you will join us and share with us in this worldwide endeavor.
Diane WIllis - Why I founded iSee and came to Spiritual Awakenings International
In April, 1995, I had an intense STE (Spiritually Transformative Experience). It was very much like a NDE, but I didn’t die. At first, I had no idea what had happened to me. It was before the internet was available for research, so I scoured the Library, looking for answers. The closest I could come to an answer was information about the Kundalini Awakening.