Embrace of the Earth Conference
Acharya Shunya Pratichi Mathur
Thus Spoke the Sages: Ayurveda on Environment and Dharma
Ayurveda, humanity's oldest medicine tradition, taught an amazingly perceptive lesson in environmental science: The root cause of the derangement of seasons is loss of Dharma or unrighteousness. If dharma is lost, over time, the sun and the moon will behave unpredictably, the seasons will change course, rivers will become violent and change course, meteorites will appear frequently, earthquakes will shake the terrain and in this natural and human created mayhem, diseases will thrive and multiply, and cause mass scale destruction of all living beings. (Charaka Samhita, 2 BC)
Thus, the Ayurvedic sages offer a deeply insightful understanding of the relationship between macrocosm (environment) and microcosm (human being). Ayurveda teaches us to benefit our entire planetary ecosystem by suggesting measures that guide the human consciousness to walk only the path of dharma. Through Ayurveda, humanity has the potential to dwell in profound harmony with all of nature and her creatures.
Join Vedic Scholar Acharya Shunya as she expounds on the rare teachings of Ayurveda sages from ancient texts, and highlights Ayurveda's stand on environment, consciousness, and health.
Existential Crisis and Psycho-Social Transformation
As the environment and humanity become mere resources and appendages of technology and the global economy, we face an existential crisis of what it means to be human in nature. Instead of domination and subsumption of society and the environment within the logic of unbridled economic growth, the economy and society must be redesigned to serve the needs of environmental sustainability and human well-being. This calls for a balanced path of human development based on the transformation of consciousness: from dualism, separation and domination, to unity, interdependence and partnership. This psychological transformation requires moving beyond surface political-economic critiques to a reorientation of the much- neglected ethical dimension in modern economy and society. This Presentation will explore these issues synthesizing research-based social science analyses with perspectives drawn from contemporary global environmental and social movements, the field of Consciousness Studies and Buddhist teachings on the Middle Path. Expanding on the Presenter's latest book, Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy (Palgrave MacMillan), this Session will engage participants in an exploration of the existential crisis and our challenge of psycho-social transformation.
The Body as an Embedded and Co-relational Reciprocity with Nature and Cosmos
We are faced with a whole series of complex and interrelated crises, both human and other-than-human, suggestive of a deep systemic incoherence with life. Humanity has cosmic origins, and reimagining our techno-industrial presence on Earth means entering into a renewed participation in the story of the universe. We must learn to understand how we as humans fit into the natural world that produced us. A theoretical framework is proposed that is fully holistic, naturalistic, and deeply participatory, so that we can continue to influence and shape not only ourselves, but all other life forms and the environment into one mutually beneficial, constitutional whole. I suggest that a participatory -process- ontology of body that is embedded and co-relational with Nature and cosmos can invigorate the human imagination, transcend binaries, and tie us to the Natural world as a source of co-creation. I begin by exploring the concepts of embeddedness and reciprocity with Nature, autopoiesis and the biosemiotic view of life to provide a theoretical framework for this task- thereby establishing a link between the two alienated sides of our existence - humanity and nature.
Creativity and Destruction
Recently as I was walking down a sidewalk here in the San Francisco Bay area, I happened to read the headlines of an atrocious act of war. Before my mind had a chance to think, I found myself swimming in images of a strike force that would eliminate the evil-doers. As soon as I did stop to reflect, I realized I had already become one of them. Deeply discouraged, I wished I could mark the occasion by bursting into tears. Unable to express my distress in that way, I began to wonder about my own cosmology concerning annihilation. Had I unconsciously demonized it? Had I unconsciously convinced myself annihilation needed to be eliminated?
Our knowledge now extends from the BICEP-2 experiment concerning the first instants of the universe's existence all the way to EO Wilson's announcement that we are in a mass extinction event. Does this knowledge of fourteen billion years offer us insights into annihilation? Is it possible to imagine a more complex, more interesting, more scientific view of the relationship between creativity and destruction?
Daniel Deslauriers and Kerry McKee
Exploring Awareness Through Contact Improvisation
Contact Improvisation (CI) is a dance of spontaneous moment-to-moment awareness, with a primary focus on body experience, yet present to mindful cognition. As we allow our thinking to become more quiet in the dance, we witness body attunement becoming more easeful and creative, and distinctions between self and other beginning to dissolve. This embodied practice of mindful presence can lead to a very full and pure intimacy with experience, and open a wide range of psychological and spiritual inquiries. What habitual beliefs or patterns do arise and how does this change the dance? What new ways of being are available to be explored? Does impulse come from the mind or is it simply experienced? Who or what am I if the conventional experience of being a separate body or mind begins to drop away? This workshop will use an exploration of the fundamentals of Contact Improvisation, suitable for beginners (to this, or any form of dance) and experienced dancers, to inquire into the nature of awareness
Heart in the Trees: Sustainable Education for Children
Who I am and why I am connected to the issues that have led to my research? Our children are our promise for a bright future for generations to come. Humankind is living in a toxic environment with little respect for self, nature and each other. This presentation explains a transdisciplinary approach to sustainability and a green education for middle-school children. It further examines current research that bears on this topic and which might contribute to the existing body of helpful literature, as well as its implications. The presenter explains what she has found on this topic to date, and how she has utilized educational resources to build her approach.
Improvisatory Ecologies: Music, Creativity, Consciousness, Sustainability
This talk draws upon my work in appropriating principles of Integral Theory to music, with a focus here on my concept of "improvisatory ecologies." The basic idea is that the kinds of interaction that characterize peak improvised performance, as exemplified by but not limited to music, have much to teach us about the kinds of peak improvisatory creativity that is required for humanity to address the various ecological crises it confronts. Music improvisers spontaneously adapt to, transform, and transmit information within their musical environments as they forge multidimensional relationships with those environments. These include relationships between musicians, musicians and performance space, and musicians and the broader time and place in which they live. Improvising musicians invoke heightened states of consciousness and recognize that their relationships to their social-physical surroundings are more vital, meaningful, and mutually productive in these optimal moments. Important to these peak episodes are experiences of enlivened intersubjective or collective consciousness, which may shed essential light on the nature of consciousness. Building from my theory of a "higher order" hard problem of consciousness, I pose the question-does intersubjective mind emerge as a byproduct of individual consciousness, or might individual consciousness be epiphenomenal to collective mind? The improvised music model suggests the second to be a viable avenue of exploration, and also sheds light on practical ramifications.
Cultivating Resilience for Addressing Ecological Change
While confronting ecological degradation requires "external" socio-political responses, ecological transformation also demands "internal" revolution. Negative states of mind arising from ecological concern include denial, despair, burnout, and grief. Emerging neuroscience research, however, demonstrates how contemplative practice can shift consciousness and promote resilience, thereby helping scholars, students, and activists re-engage with their ecological work. Contemplative practices are those that consciously direct calm, focused attention. Such practices can build internal resilience, by promoting a greater sense of calm and well-being, decreasing stress, and sharpening focus and concentration. In addition, contemplative practices improve relationships with other people, through increasing compassion and flexibility in thinking. They also strengthen relationships with the nature and the surrounding world by increasing our ability to question, explore, and cope with rapid change and complexity. In the environmental studies classroom, contemplative practices can strengthen engagement and focus. Drawing on classroom experience and a survey of the literature, this talk shows how contemplative practices, including mindfulness exercises, creative expression, and meditation, cultivate the well-being and resilience that are essential for sustainable ecological engagement in the face of daunting global ecological change.
Emerson Adrian Gale
The Current Revolution in Soundscape Ecology
This session shall consist of an exposition of how emergent combinations of sound systems are redefining our capacities to attune to networks of life-generating species as well as the behavioral ecologies of our cells, organs, and cultures. Insights will be shared from fields such as cetology and plant bioacoustics on what we are learning from the musical communication of other species. Research on how harmonic components of our languages are informed by their biospheric contexts shall also be offered. A brief history of humankind's creativity for playing in concert with the rhythmical motions of our planet's many biomes shall be presented. We shall touch on the fruits of vibrational science lineages seeded by Nada yoga and the Pythagorean chromatic traditions. Concordantly, we will explore how all these studies of resonance equip us with life-enhancing ways to participate in the unfolding epic of transformation within the Earth's micro, meso, and macrocosms. A range of experiential exercises shall be included which provide practical tools for participants to nourish their sonic intelligences. Ultimately, this workshop addresses how ecopsychological sound modalities can provide an essential contribution to the evolution of individual, interpersonal, and collective consciousness during this pivotal age.
On the Fringe of Creation and Destruction
Life is woven inside a web of entanglements. Awareness of the interconnectedness of this complex web is an unfolding practice. We are not apart from nature. The dualistic approach to nature, as "I" and "It" has caused disconnection thus destruction of our ecology. We participate in this movement of connecting, disconnecting; creation and destruction. Once we become part of nature's rhythm, as our ancestors', then there is a chance of progress. This ecological harmony assists the exploration of
the subtle nature of our consciousness.
This presentation introduces an embodied mediation called "Fringing." Through an on-going pilot study and research, participants have reported a sense of slowing down, stillness, connectedness and calmness. This presentation discusses the history of this method and invites participants to partake in fringing a raw artist canvas. The goal of this action is to focus the mind and bring forth an intention to connect with the fabric of our inner web perchance to bring awareness of subtle changes, insights and realization. The presentation ends with group discussion.
Carl Jung believed that some archetypal dreams, that he called "big dreams", served the purpose of providing numerous individuals with profound guidance for the creation of a new collective vision when a culture faced unprecedented challenges. The Amazonian psychoactive brew ayahuasca has been widely reported to facilitate personal transformation as well as the kinds of profound "big dreams" reported in many cultures throughout history. The Western Africa Jamaa people called these kind of dreams "mawazo," or "holy dreams" while the American Southwest Mohave Indians called these dreams "sumach ahot," or "lucky dreams". In some Hindu traditions these dreams were referred to as "dreams under the influence of a deity" and some Islamic scholars considered them to be "clear dream visions" sent directly from God (Bulkeley, 2000). From the published literature and from the author's own qualitative research, this talk will present a rich sample of "big dreams" facilitated by ayahuasca about the crisis our culture is facing and the guidance provided for dealing with our crisis.
Geneen Marie Haugen
Imagination as Green Gateway to Animate World
Intentional acts of imagination can shift consciousness and open perception to a wildly alive, intelligent Earth. If we engage with the wilder Others in an attitude of praise or wonder, or if we engage in conversation as if redwood and stone, clouds or creek are purposeful participants in a psychic field shared by all of Earth's inhabitants - including human beings - we might destabilize our own habits of consciousness enough to allow for the cries and longings of the Others to reach our awareness. What we "hear" from the wilder ones, or from the planet itself, may present through unbidden image, or felt-sense, or other stirrings of the deep imagination.
This presentation will offer some illustrations and imaginative practices for opening perception to an animate Earth.
Radical Embodiment for Navigating Deep States of Consciousness
Embodied mind has become a popular topic in neuroscience, where it has a different meaning than its use in a field such as somatic or transpersonal psychology. The difference can be described using a new concept of attention, which considers not only where attention is pointed, but where it arises within the body. Conventionally, attention is directed only from the head, where the brain and most of the sense organs are concentrated. But in deeper states of consciousness, there is evidence that attention arises in other areas of the body as well, not just in the head. By comparison with ordinary definitions, this might be called radical embodiment. Identifying and mapping the location of attention in deep states of consciousness offers a way to map these states that is not dependent only on qualitative reports by practitioners, and may allow for better comparison across practices and traditions. This may lead to a more useful description of such states. In addition, this offers neuroscience a potentially novel way of understanding the concept of embodied mind, so that embodiment can be understood not only as biological signals sent from body to brain, but as conscious awareness that can potentially extend through the whole person.
Ile' Mo Ku O: Earth I Greet You: Black Gods of Nature Saving Black Lives
African Traditional Religions are experiencing a renaissance in the Diaspora. Millions of persons around the world of diverse ethnicities are being called to the healing power of the Oricha, who are deities of nature. From Brazil, Trinidad, Cuba, to New York, Houston and Oakland California many African American descendants of Slaves have been practicing the diverse lineages of the Oricha tradition for over 60 years on U.S. soil. Oricha devotees have practiced resistance to White Supremacy for hundreds of years and through this devotion have created pathways for healing, restoration, and resiliency. Phoenix will share the Earth principles of the Oricha she uses in her work as a leading Ecotherapist and initiated Priest of Aganyu the Oricha known as the spirit of the wilderness, to work with local social justice communities and communities of color here in Oakland through teaching, ceremony, and mentorship, including leading 2 years of water ceremonies around the Bay.
The Psychological Depths of Climate Change
Our insatiable desire for energy in support of the dominant myth of unbounded growth has placed the planet in a precarious state. Our reliance on fossil fuels is causing the planet to warm at an unprecedented rate. It is imperative that we address this situation as soon as possible for the longer we wait, the more we commit future generations to unfathomable disruption. Current approaches to address this problem have relied solely on technological solutions. In essence, we have chosen to treat the symptom and not the deeply rooted causes of climate change. Depth psychology provides a unique perspective on the problem of climate change for it recognizes the importance of the unconscious in affecting our perception of and actions in the world. Listening to the unconscious opens us to new ways of understanding and addressing climate change. In this presentation, we explore how the structure and dynamics of unconscious processes relate to climate change and how these processes provide pathways to addressing the problem. We consider the archetypal presences that pervade our relationship with the natural world and how our conscious disconnection from these archetypes has led to the myth unbounded growth and exploitation of natural resources.
Art, Vision, and the Embrace of Ecological Consciousness
This talk will take the audience on a visual journey to see how artists are embracing ecological consciousness. It draws mostly from three epic art shows in 2015: the Venice Biennale "All the World's Futures," Burning Man, and museum and civic arts expos and events in Paris during the UN COP 21 climate conference. The show includes: Banksy in Calais, Olafur Eliasson's "Ice Watch" and A Gift for the Earth's "Blue Whale" in Paris, and at the Venice Biennale, Chiharu Shiota's "A Key in the Hand," and Christian Boltanski's 1969 film "The Man Who Vomits."
Recovering the Earth Mind
Session description: The anthropocentric mode of consciousness constructs reality in terms of subjects and objects and is predominantly human focused. This "tool-making" consciousness enabled homo sapiens to accumulate knowledge, found religions, establish an ego, build civilizations, and develop technology and science. It also created the Anthropocene Era of climate change and mass extinction.
Standing in contrast is an Earth-centered mode of consciousness that survives from Paleolithic times. This integrative mode experiences the Earth as a mother, the stones, clouds, insects as "relations." Its integrated perceptions of nature are evident in the art of Ice Age caves in Europe and in the living testimony of worldwide indigenous cultures.
Although the two mind modes interpenetrate and are equally the creative inheritance of our evolution, the anthropocentric mode has rendered the Earth-embodied mode almost invisible. If we rely solely on our anthropocentric mode of consciousness to solve the climate crisis - managing nature - we risk introducing new technologies that will generate new problems requiring new technologies, driving us further from the natural world we're trying to save.
Illustrated with images of cave art, this presentation will invite a discussion of how we might recover our ancient Earth-centered mode of consciousness and find a new balance with nature.
Jovelyn D. Richards
Embracing the Earth: A One-Woman Improvisation Written and Performed by Jovelyn Richards
Jovelyn Richards takes her audience on an authentic journey through the journey of the varies ways our earth speaks and guides us past and present. Her story will start on a southern road in Arkansas with an abundance of plant life seen through the eyes of a five year old girl. Her performance brings to life the ways in which many broken spirits where healed by the very earth they walked. Where the smell of honeysuckle flowers come into the dreams of the many characters Ms. Richards evokes on stage. Her audience will be entertained, uplifted, and inspired and ultimately engage viewers in a thought-provoking self-examination of life, love, and commitment to the earth we share.
Jovelyn is occupied on stage with her musicians integrating original songs grounded in Jazz and Blues this music is often heard as the voice of our ancestors.
Narratives of Abstract Phenomena in the Age of Multiple Media
"Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either." -Marshall McLuhan
We live in an unprecedented time wherein all who are born in the developed world will be exposed, on one level or another, to technology and multimedia platforms, general, from birth. This reality creates and fosters unique perceptions about what it means to share, communicate and take in information. This lecture/presentation will explore the divide between Gutenberg derived means of imparting information and that which embraces information and creative technologies of today.
Mindful Media-Consciously Programming the Future
This brief presentation will highlight the powerful role multi-media plays in informing perceptions of reality and consequently in the creation of the world in which we live. With the understanding that the observer is inseparable from the observed, one's state of mind has a continual effect on the world itself. Media - including video, art, music and writing - has long shaped our needs, fears and desires. But it can also inform and awaken. This is evident in many works, from ancient spiritual texts to modern-day films including The Matrix, Tomorrowland and Lucy.
I propose the creation of more media that is mindful, to be used as a tool to inform and uplift humanity. We can consciously choose what media we absorb, and what we share with others. We no longer need the support of big Hollywood studios, record labels, art galleries or publishing companies to share our vision and create a better world. We live in a world full of digital options and social media, and now have greater opportunity to positively affect all of creation through conscious work that can help reshape the future.
Furthering an Ecology of Mind by Embracing Quantum Inseparability
Most of our personal, socio-political and planetary challenges and crises are due in large part to what David Bohm called fragmentation of thought. Seeing reality through the filter of dissected parts has us create the very havoc that we seek to cure and conquer. Fragmented thinking leads to incoherent communications, ruptured relationships and a default into either/or thinking that results in a naive over-simplification that fails to resolve the very problems that it creates. As a result we lay waste to our lives and one another. Schwartz will share the approaches and methodology he hass developed to foster a mastery of thinking, allowing us to overcome the disruptive and fragmentary tendencies of our beliefs and thinking. The underlying theme of this methodology for ecological thinking demands a participatory relationship with our thought.
Planetary Consciousness and Humanity's Destiny
Humanity is at a pivotal stage in our evolution: Homo Sapiens Sapiens has been on Earth for some 100,000 years, some millions of years if we count our ancestor species. These are mere time flickers in an Earth and its life stretching to billions of years. The last years have seen an unprecedented development of technological and scientific advancements, an awareness of human rights, a globalization of economic systems and an awareness of the Earth as our common home. Along with these, we witness major ecological challenges, famines and poverty, extinction of countless species, societal strife, a breakdown of human values, increasing frequency of wars, and even the threat of nuclear annihilation. It is time to realize we are at crossroads and as planetary citizens make our choices: Either we move forward with the awareness of the sacredness of all life, the brotherhood/sisterhood for all humans on Earth, a higher spiritual purpose; or go down the path of more of the same, the relentless rise of the ego, the source of all evils, until perhaps we annihilate ourselves. From the point of view of the Conscious Universe, the freedom to choose is ours. If we realize the unity of all life, under an undivided Awareness, we will fulfill our planetary and galactic destiny. I hope we do.
Hidden in Plain Sight: How Storytelling and the Arts Leave a Trail of Clues to the Deeper Nature of Consciousness
The emergence of language and the capacity for storytelling can be considered fundamental to our becoming human. Our brain seeks meaningful patterns - "the story" - in everything we see, hear or sense. Storytelling favors survival by activating a powerful inner world of association and meaning, enabling us to more successfully navigate the world, empathize with others, and develop abstract ideas. Similarly, the visual arts express and reflect back to ourselves our connection to nature and the cosmos in symbolic form.
Thinkers since the time of Plato and Aristotle have described traits common to these forms of expression as archetypes: characters, images and scenarios that recur over time, patterns and structures that are fundamental in nature. Jung and Campbell are renowned for their insights into this rich realm of the psyche. What does all this evidence reveal about the deeper nature of consciousness? This talk will offer some interpretations, as well as explore broader aspects of storytelling and art throughout human history.
The Profound Ecology of Consciousness of Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi
A profound ecology of consciousness can be found in the work of the great 13th C thinker, Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, known as the "Greatest Master" and often acknowledged as the most influential thinker, theologian, philosopher and mystic in Islamic spirituality. According to Ibn 'Arabi, there is nothing in the cosmos that is not conscious - every thing participates to a degree in its own self-disclosure which is inseparable from the self-disclosure of the one real being. While humans occupy a privileged position in this cosmic order, as the reflection and embodiment of the imago dei, everything, including imaginal beings, stones and animals, is an expression of a conscious emergence of potential. Being and finding are seen to be two aspects of the non-dual reality Ibn 'Arabi called unity or oneness; in his view, epistemology is inseparable from ontology, since every thing knows itself, and is known, according to its original nature.
Referencing several metaphors that Ibn 'Arabi himself often resorts to, this paper explores his worldview and his ideas on consciousness, including the fullest expression of consciousness, Ibn 'Arabi's notion of the complete human.
Environmental Melancholia: Uncovering our Reparative Capacities
What does psychoanalytic research offer to environmental advocacy, policy, education and advocacy? While much attention is given to the gravity of our ecological crises and the lack of response and action, we often overlook the integral role our unconscious processes at the individual and social levels have in how we make sense of, and respond to our most urgent challenges. In our efforts to communicate, educate, advocate and engage communities and groups to 'wake up' and respond, we often inadvertently venture into highly charged psychic territory, resulting in 'resistance,' disavowal or 'splitting.' Theses responses are what are most commonly described in the news and commentary, as if they are the full story. However, they are only the symptoms of the deeper dynamic at play. Understanding reparation at the deepest levels possible - how we can cultivate the optimal conditions possible for facilitating and accessing our capacities for reparation and creativity in response to ecological devastation - requires us to look directly at the ways in which we engage in strategies for managing distressing information and awareness. Drawing on the recent work, Environmental Melancholia, this talk explores insights into the nature of reparation, drawing on both psychoanalytic understandings of reparation, and contemporary approaches in climate, energy and environmental circles to address and engage.
Restoring the Earth to the Center of Our Universe
The Copernican revolution was by all accounts one of the most brilliant, vast, and consequential of all paradigms shifts in the history of human thought - indeed, for Kuhn, it was the very paradigm of paradigm shifts. It was also one of the most complex, filled with paradoxes both leading to and unfolding from its dramatic concrescence in the 16th and 17th centuries. Two of these paradoxes in particular may hold special relevance for our current evolutionary crisis. Unpacking these may offer us unexpected diagnostic insights and help point toward a potential path through the great threshold of transformation humankind now faces.
Eugene Taylor, Rudolf Steiner, paraphilosophy, and Earth
The first half of this talk will pay tribute to the late Eugene Taylor, who like his role model William James, was a philosopher, parapsychologist, and psychical researcher. Taylor wrote on Emmanuel Swedenborg's contributions to 19th-century American esotericism and on William James's contributions to psychical research. The second half will make a case for the esotericism of Rudolf Steiner as the fulfillment of the thought of Swedenborg, James, and Taylor. Steiner's esoteric ecology includes his lectures on the evolution and significance of Earth, Biodynamic (BD) Agriculture, and Earth as the locus of transformation of matter and spirit, as well as humanity and divinity.
Beyond Help? Psychoanalytic Thought and the Environmental Crisis
In therapeutic practice, Freud came to recognize the futility of seeking to treat a patient simply by interpreting their unconscious conflicts. He also stressed that focusing on the notion of "cure" is detrimental to the course of treatment. Insights of this kind might be employed to challenge assumptions regarding the environmental crisis. While the concerns of environmentalism may seem distant from those of analytic practice, both domains are often significantly preoccupied with the question of what is "natural". Examining various responses to the environmental crisis, it will be argued that solutions-focused thinking runs counter both to the underlying assumptions of much environmentalist literature, and to basic psychoanalytic insights concerning the nature of change. It will be suggested that the theme of adaptation is fundamentally opposed to a more substantive shift in consciousness.
Gaia and a Second Axial Age
I propose that an emerging Gaian consciousness is the radiating center of a possible second axial age. While the great achievement of the first axial age was the bringing to consciousness of the universal in its noetic, cosmic, and ethical dimensions, the several axial epiphanies of the universal remained rooted in the exclusive (ethno-linguistic) particularities of their respective culture spheres, and in this sense the universal remained abstract. A central task of the second axial age is the articulation of a concrete universal which could mediate between the particular culture spheres and help them confront their shared predicament: the threat of planet-wide ecological and civilizational collapse. However else we might conceive of the universal-whether in cosmic, religious, or metaphysical terms-it now stands incarnated before us as the planet itself in all its mysterious and numinous complexity. The real-ideal of the concrete universal guides my vision of the global commons and of Gaia as our planetary Common Temple.
Dreaming in Sacred Sites: A Content Analysis of Dream Reports
Paul Devereaux, as a part of his work in consciousness and archaeology, enlisted two dozen volunteers to sleep in three reputed "sacred sites" in England and Wales. Each brought along another volunteer to awaken them during rapid eye movement sleep and request a dream report. These reports were compared with those obtained while the participants were at their homes, sleeping in their familiar beds. Significant differences were observed when both sets of dream reports were subjected to content analysis. Future research needs to incorporate a third setting into the study, namely a group of "control sacred sites," locations the participants are told to have been visited over the centuries because of their reputed healing and visionary qualities but, in actuality, lack any such record.