Mystics Without Monasteries:

The Chairs of Wisdom University

At the heart of Wisdom University is the commitment to provide a home for the wisdom teachers of our time. At a time when our attention is directed to infotainment, war and sensationalism, it is critical that we listen to the voices in our midst that direct us to a deeper resonance with the created order and with each other. While in traditional times, mystics largely resided in the monasteries and the cloisters, today, most of the wisdom teachers and the mystics live and work in the world, coping with the same issues and challenges that we all face. This only accentuates the gravity of their messages and the importance of their presence. To date, Wisdom University has attracted several "Mystics Without Monasteries," a term coined by Caroline Myss. to join the University as Chairs:

Angeles Arrien (Cultural Anthropology)

Angeles Arrien is an anthropologist, educator, award-winning author, and consultant. She received her master's degree from the University of California – Berkeley, and her doctorate from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She lectures nationally and internationally; conducting workshops that bridge cultural anthropology, psychology, and mediation skills.

She is the founder and president of the Angeles Arrien Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research. Dr. Arrien’s research and teaching have focused on values and beliefs shared by humanity cross-culturally, and on the integration and application of multi-cultural wisdoms in contemporary settings. She teaches universal components of leadership skills, communication, health care, and education. Her work reveals how indigenous wisdoms are relevant in our families, professional lives, and our relationship with the Earth.

She is the author of The Four-Fold Way™: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary, published by HarperCollins, San Francisco and Signs of Life: The Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them, winner of the 1993 Benjamin Franklin Award. In addition, she has written numerous articles and teaching modules on a variety of topics and has received three honorary doctorates.

Lauren Artress (Labyrinthian Mysteries)

B.S., Ohio State University, 1967
M.A. in Education, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1969
Analytic Training, Institute of Religion and Health
DMin, Andover Newton Theological School, 1986
Certified Pastoral Counselor
Clinical Member, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists
California License as Marriage and Family Therapist

The Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress serves as a Canon at Grace Cathedral. In 1996 she created Veriditas, a non-profit dedicated to introduce people the healing, meditative powers of the labyrinth. The labyrinth is a twelfth century mystical tool symbolic of the Path of Life that is re-introducing the walking meditation back into the Christian tradition. She travels worldwide offering workshops and lectures on the labyrinth and on Hildegard of Bingen. She offers a
yearly program in Chartres, France, called Walking a Sacred Path that nurtures spiritual maturity. In addition to her ordination as an Episcopal priest she is a spiritual director and licensed MFT psychotherapist in the State of California. She is the author of Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool.

Alex Grey (Sacred Art)

Alex Grey is best known for his paintings which “X-ray” the multiple dimensions of reality, interweaving the physical and biological anatomy with psychic and spiritual subtle energies. Grey’s visual meditation on the nature of life and consciousness, the subject of his art, is contained in the monograph entitled Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey, published in five languages. His second book, The Mission of Art reflects on art as a spiritual practice. Grey’s art has been exhibited worldwide including a mid-career retrospective at The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Sao Paolo Bienniale, The Grande Palaise, Paris, and solo exhibition in Tokyo to accompany the Japanese translation of his book Sacred Mirrors. Grey previously taught for ten years at New York University as well as teaching at Rhode Island School of Design and Philadelphia College of Art. Grey’s art work has been used as album art for such multi-platinum bands as Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Tool (Grammy award winner), and String Cheese Incident where the album art recently won a Jammy Award.

With his wife, artist Allyson Grey, Alex co-founded the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, a cultural and non-denominational spiritual center, now in its temporary location in New York City. The future Chapel of Sacred Mirrors will provide a permanent public exhibition of Alex Grey's most outstanding and widely appreciated works of transformative art, fostering a vision of the fully awakened human potential. The Sacred Mirrors speak to our highest aspirations as a species: universal compassion, respect for all life, a deep appreciation of all cultures and wisdom traditions, awakened consciousness and a full flowering of our human potential.

Stanislav Grof (Transpersonal Psychotherapy)

Stanislav Grof, M.D.,PH.D., is a psychiatrist with an experience of over fifty years of research in non-ordinary states of consciousness. He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he also received his scientific training -- an M.D. degree from the Charles University School of Medicine and a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine) degree from the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences. His early research was in the clinical uses of psychoactive drugs conducted at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague. There he was Principal Investigator of a program systematically exploring the heuristic and therapeutic potential of LSD and other psychedelic substances.

In 1967, he was invited as Clinical and Research Fellow to the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. After completion of his fellowship, he remained in the United States and continued his research as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. In 1973, he became Scholar-in-Residence at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where he lived until 1987. He spent this time writing books and articles, giving seminars and lectures, and developing with his wife Christina Holotropic Breathwork, an innovative form of experiential psychotherapy. He also was invited as special consultant for the Hollywood movie Brainstorm.

Stanislav Grof is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology and founding president of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA). At present, he is Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), teaching in the Department Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He lives in Mill Valley, California, writes books, conducts training seminars for professionals in holotropic breathwork and transpersonal psychology ), and gives lectures and seminars all over the world.

Among his publications are over 130 articles in professional journals and the books Realms of the Human Unconscious; LSD Psychotherapy; Beyond the Brain; The Adventure of Self-Discovery; Beyond Death; The Stormy Search for the Self (the last two with Christina Grof); The Holotropic Mind; Books of the Dead; The Cosmic Game; The Transpersonal Vision; The Consciousness Revolution (with E. Laszlo and P. Russell); Psychology of the Future; When the Impossible Happens: and The Ultimate Journey. He also edited the books Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science; Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution; and Spiritual Emergency (the last one with Christina Grof).

Christina Grof (Transpersonal Psychotherapy)

Christina is an author, teacher, artist, psychotherapist, founder of the Spiritual Emergence Network, and co-creator of Holotropic Breathwork. She is past-president of Grof Transpersonal Training, vice-president emeritus of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA), and an advisor to the board of the Spiritual Emergence Network. For almost thirty years, she has been active in the field of Transpersonal Psychology, which includes the spiritual aspects of human nature, as well as the emotional, mental, physical, and social aspects, as essential to a full understanding of the whole person.

Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Christina is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied with mythologist Joseph Campbell and poet Muriel Rukeyser. A mother and wife, she is a former teacher of art, writing, and hatha yoga. Since 1976, she has given workshops and lectures in North and South America , Europe , Australia , and Asia. From 1976 until 1988, Ms. Grof was in residence at The Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California, where she and her husband coordinated and led a series of 28 experimental month-long educational programs, as well as numerous workshops.

Christina is the author of The Thirst for Wholeness: Attachment, Addiction, and the Spiritual Path, the forthcoming memoir, The Eggshell Landing, and is currently working on a book of her paintings. Her other books, written with Stan Grof, are Beyond Death; Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis; and The Stormy Search for the Self. Each of her books has been translated into many languages.

Jean Houston (Social Artistry)

Jean Houston is a scholar, philosopher and researcher in Human Capacities, is one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time. She has long been regarded as one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement.

Along with her husband Dr. Robert Masters, Jean founded The Foundation for Mind Research in 1968. She is the founder and principal teacher of the Mystery School, a program of cross-cultural, mythic and spiritual studies, dedicated to teaching history, philosophy, the New Physics, psychology, anthropology, myth and the many dimensions of human potential. The Mystery School is now in its third decade. She is also the founder of the Institute for Social Artistry through which she works all over the world to enhance leadership capacities.

Jean is a prolific writer and author of 19 published books including "A Passion for the Possible," "Search for the Beloved," "Life Force," "The Possible Human," "Public Like a Frog," "A Mythic Life: Learning to Live Our Greater Story," "The Passion of Isis and Osiris,” and “Jump Time.”

A powerful and dynamic speaker, she holds conferences and seminars with social leaders, educational institutions and business organizations worldwide. Jean has worked intensively in 40 cultures helping to enhance and deepen their own uniqueness while they become part of the global community. She has lectured in over 70 countries and is the recipient of many awards. She works at all levels of leadership.

She holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a Ph.D. from the Union Graduate School. She has also been the recipient of honorary decorates.

Caroline Myss (Energy Medicine)

Caroline Myss began her professional career as a journalist in 1974. She received her M.A. in Theology in 1979 and her Ph.D. in Energy Medicine in 1996. Caroline began her career as a medical intuitive in1984 when she met C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., a Harvard trained neurosurgeon, who had an interest in the science of medical intuition. They began a colleagueship that continues to this day. During their early years together, Norm helped Caroline to develop her skills by having her conduct health readings on his patients. During Norm's interview with a patient in his office in Springfield, MO., he would phone Caroline for her assessment of the patient's health. The only information Caroline requires is the name and age of a patient and his/her permission. From that data, Caroline is able to profile the physical/psychological/emotional/and family history of the patient.

Through this research, Caroline developed the field of Energy Anatomy, a science that partners specific emotional/ psychological/ physical/spiritual stress patterns with the specific diseases that they create or influence. This research proved so accurate that it became the subject matter of a book co-written by Caroline and Norm: The Creation of Health. Eventually this ground-breaking research became standard classroom material for students studying the principles of holistic health, psychological stress patterns, and the alternative methods of healing.

In 1996, Caroline compiled her years of research in medical intuition with her work in the field of human consciousness, releasing the book, Anatomy of the Spirit. This book became a New York Times bestseller and has been published in 18 languages. Her next book, Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can also became a New York Times bestseller as did her fifth book, Sacred Contracts.

In 2003, Caroline, opened CMED (Caroline Myss Education), her own educational institute. CMED offers two programs per year, each three sessions long. The first is on Sacred Contracts and the second is on Mysticism, Intuition, and Healing. The Institute draws students from nineteen nations as well as across the United States. In 2004, Caroline released her sixth book, Invisible Acts of Power, which also became a New York Times bestseller.

Paul Ray, Chair, Emerging Wisdom Culture

Paul H. Ray, Ph.D. is Director of the Institute for the Emerging Wisdom Culture at Wisdom University. He designed and ran the original survey research that identified the Cultural Creatives, covering 15 years. Cultural Creatives are the core customer base of the $230 billion LOHAS industry. In business, government and academe, he has headed research on over 100 major research and consulting projects, and written reports on them all. Sponsors and clients include many government agencies and large corporations. His current research includes surveys on developments beyond left and right in politics, "the New Political Compass," and theoretical and practical work on the design of a wisdom culture, working with NGOs, with new political groups and governments, and with green and socially responsible businesses.

Paul H. Ray was Executive Vice President of American LIVES, Inc., a market research and opinion polling firm specializing in surveys based on the Lifestyles, Interests, Values, Expectations and Symbols of Americans. He was previously Chief of Policy Research on Energy Conservation, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources of the Government of Canada. He was previously Associate Professor of Urban Planning and a Faculty Associate of the Institute for Social Research, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A selected list of his publications include:

The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World, (co-authored with Sherry Ruth Anderson), Harmony Books/Random House, NY, 2000;
• "The Emerging Culture" American Demographics, February, 1997.
• "The Rise of Integral Culture" Noetic Sciences Review, Spring, 1996;
The Integral Culture Survey: A Study of the Emergence of Transformational Values in America, Research Monograph, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Sausalito, CA, 1996;
• "Altruism as Value-Centered Action" Noetic Sciences Review, Spring, 1993;

Paul received a BA, cum laude, in Anthropology from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan. He is a Fellow of the World Business Academy, and a Creative Fellow of the Club of Budapest.

Gabrielle Roth (Sacred Dance)

For the past thirty-five years, Roth has taken thousands of people on a shaman's journey through the rhythms of their bodies and into the rhythms of their souls. Her books, workshops, and music recordings provide a context in which the spirit and flesh come together as one and dance like lovers upon a stage. Through the 5Rhythms™, her self-styled form of ecstatic trance dance, Roth uses movement to reignite shamanic ecstasy in a culture and people that have become trapped in a kind of physical and emotional inertia. Roth guides her students on an adventure into the often unexplored, sometimes daunting, region of their own psyches, and brings them back into alignment with the rhythm of their own souls.

Gabrielle Roth is the author of Maps to Ecstasy, Sweat Your Prayers, and her latest book, Connections. She is the artistic director of her dance/theater/music company, The Mirrors; and through her recording company Raven Recording (cofounded with her husband, Robert Ansell) she has produced more than twenty music compilations, considered to be on the cutting edge of shamanic trance dance music.

Rupert Sheldrake (Evolutionary Science)

Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 75 scientific papers and ten books. A former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize. He then studied philosophy at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow, before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, where he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells. At Clare College he was also Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology.

From 1968 to 1969, based in the Botany Department of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, he studied rain forest plants. From 1974 to 1985 he worked at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, where he was Principal Plant Physiologist. While in India, he also lived for a year and a half at the ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths in Tamil Nadu, where he wrote his first book, A New Science of Life. In September 2005, he was appointed to the Perrott-Warwick Scholarship administered by Trinity College, Cambridge.

Rupert’s books include: A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation (1981); The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature (1988); The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God (1992); Seven Experiments that Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science (1994) (Winner of the Book of the Year Award from the British Institute for Social Inventions); Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (1999) (Winner of the Book of the Year Award from the British Scientific and Medical Network); The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (2003); Trialogues at the Edge of the West With Ralph Abraham and Terence McKenna (1992); and Natural Grace: Dialogues on Science and Spirituality (1996) and The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science and Spirit Meet (1996) with Matthew Fox.

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