Spiritually Transformative Experiences/Consciousness Researchers Panel
Dr. Emma Bragdon, PhD
Circle of Honor Honoree
How Brazilian Spiritists Care for Individuals in Spiritual Emergency. For 100 years Brazilian Spiritist have had psychiatric hospitals and community centers that offer special support for individuals who are having difficulty integrating Spiritually Transformative Experiences and psychic sensitivities. These individuals have had many non-ordinary, transformative experiences, e.g., NDEs, interaction with spirits, experiences of telepathy and psychic openings. Spiritists recognize that receptivity to non-ordinary states are God-given gifts, and need to be understood and harnessed to serve humanity. Spiritist offer effective and kindly training towards that end. Outcomes include superlative energy healers, psychic mediums and very compassionate people. Outside Brazil individuals wanting support to integrate non-ordinary states may be perceived as crazy and are often given anti-psychotics. Why? Most healthcare providers have not been taught to recognize these diamonds in the rough–who need care, connection, and training to harness their sensitivities. We have much to learn from Brazilian Spiritists. This brief talk will give us some pointers.
Dr. Emma Bragdon, PhD (Transpersonal Psychology) spent 6 months of each year, 2001-2012, in Brazil learning from and participating in Spiritist activities. She has written two pioneering books, and co-produced two documentary films about her activities. She was so inspired by her experiences she founded Integrative Mental Health University in 2013. IMHU currently offers 40+ courses emphasizing the positive potential of spirituality in mental healthcare. Emma has trained and certified 100 ‘Spiritual Emergence Coaches®.’ Since 1983 she has been working in the field of Spiritual Emergency and currently is a teacher for “Grof Legacy Training®” in South America.
Dr. Danny Geren, L.Ac., DAOM, MIM
My Personal Journey of Helping Spirits Cross Over Into the Light. Dr. Danny Geren will share how he first became aware of the presence of spirits/ghosts, ultimately leading him to learn how to help them work through their karma so that they could leave the earthly plane. From witnessing two Native American spirits in his house in Berkeley, California to depossessing a girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend who was stalking her, there were many moments on this journey that supported the unfolding of his work with spirits to help them cross over into the light. Through being a student at the Academy of Intuition Medicine ® in Sausalito, California, Dr. Geren honed his skills and began his own healing journey as he became aware of his own spirit possessions that were picked up as a child from his mentally ill mother.
Dr. Danny Geren, L.Ac. DAOM is an acupuncturist and Intuition Medicine® practitioner specializing in, among other things, emotional and spiritual healing. He is also passionate about education, having taught doctoral students for over 6 years at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, as well as currently at the Academy of Intuition Medicine® in Sausalito where he teaches advanced classes on spirit depossession and emotional healing. His capstone for his doctorate focused on the exploration and research of various acupuncture treatments for working with the emotions and the spirit. Coupling this with his education at the Academy of Intuition Medicine ®, he utilizes a unique blend of these healing styles.
Mona Sobhani, PhD
My Search for Proof of Spiritual Phenomena. Cognitive neuroscientist Mona Sobhani, PhD tells the story of how a series of life-changing events initiated her transformation from a die-hard materialist into an open-minded spiritual seeker. The journey started with experiences that couldn’t be easily explained and turned into a search for both scientific and personal “proof” that there’s an unseen dimension to life. Working through an identity crisis along the way, she dove into psychology, quantum physics, neuroscience, philosophy, and esoteric literature, exploring the relationship between anomalous phenomena, the transcendence of space and time, and spirituality — ultimately finding that the mysteries of the human experience go far beyond what the present scientific materialist paradigm can comprehend and that it is time to move beyond this approach if we want to engage in a meaningful way with the inexplicable Universe we inhabit.
Mona Sobhani, PhD is a cognitive neuroscientist, author, and entrepreneur. A former research scientist at the University of Southern California, she holds a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Southern California and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University with the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project. She is the author of Proof of Spiritual Phenomena: A Neuroscientist’s Discovery of the Ineffable Mysteries of the Universe, which details her transformation from a diehard scientific materialist to an open-minded spiritual seeker. In the Brave New World of Psychedelic Science substack, she writes about the psychedelic renaissance, altered states of consciousness, and the transpersonal. She is co-founder of Exploring Consciousness, a community of curious scientists who are seeking to understand consciousness, spirituality, and the nature of our reality.
An Objective Scientific Interpretation on Why People Have Distressing NDEs. Based on the book How to Escape From Hell: Studies and Interpretations of the Afterlife, the author David Gerrelli summarizes his findings from years of research where he leveraged decades of experience within technology and data science to analyze thousands of NDE reports cumulating in answers to the questions: Are you destined for Hell? If you are, what can you do about it? If you find yourself in Hell, how do you escape?
David Gerrelli is the author of How to Escape From Hell: Studies and Interpretations of the Afterlife, and a global director of technology with practical experience in the fields of innovation, data science, emerging technologies, and global enterprise platforms. With new and emerging technologies, a large part of David’s role is research and development. Winning national awards for digital innovation in Australia, David started life in the rolling hills of Surrey, South England. From there, David worked in Sydney, Australia for six years before eventually moving to the sunny southern city of Dallas, Texas. Having bad brushes with death through disease and addiction in David’s early years, he became obsessed with what would await him once he drew his final breath. Decades later, David would apply his 25+ years of experience working in a field steeped in logic and science and apply these skills to years of research in the field of Near Death Experiences. The research, tainted by David’s own guilt, would take on a life of its own, revealing a dark and sinister aspect of this surprisingly common phenomenon. What started as a journey of light would lead David down a path to the very depths of Hell. The author’s rollercoaster of fear and horror would find grounding in the universal concepts of reason, science, and logic. David would apply his decades of experience within data science and analytics to cross-reference thousands of witness accounts into cohesive observations and logical conclusions, without the basis oof religion or personal belief.