The Most Sensational Talks At The S.A.N.D. Conference
By Autumn Feldmeier
S.A.N.D. stands for ‘Science and Non-Duality Conference’ which they describe as both "a forum where preeminent scientists, philosophers, teachers, artists and a large, international community gather to explore and advance the new paradigm emerging in spirituality," and "a playground where we come together to explore and share insights or simply reflect on what is emerging in consciousness."
Luckily for you, reader, I chose the playground.
S.A.N.D. offered talks from such heavy hitters as Deepak Chopra, Robert Lanza (head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine, one of the fathers of the field of applied stem cell biology and one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the world) and my personal favorite Robert Thurman (professor of Indo-Tibetan studies, first American to be ordained as a Tibetan monk and father of Uma Thurman), as well as many other informative and inspirational talks.
My favorite talk was Radical Intimacy & the Play of Relationship by Michaela Boehm and the Guru Viking, where we did a lot of eye-gazing and an honest breakdown of infatuation (the recognition of unresolved childhood issues) and love. In their workshop, I found myself bonding with a few men who I found later at the conference and I realized that a few minutes of pure connection with breath is a powerful thing.
There were so many powerful workshops, some of my favorites were the movement workshop Embodying the Feminine-Masculine Continuum led by Devorah Bry and Ayaja Sommera, Akido with Chetan Prakash who combines math and reality, and Elemental Eroticism by intimacy coach Darshana Avila. This was all followed by a great dance party by DJ Dragonfly showing us how Music is Medicine
Sunday took advantage of our open minds and hearts with several powerful lectures. I loved A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman a professor and activist who talked to us about microdosing L.S.D., and a talk by a female shaman, PhD Talia Espinoza who tackled Elevating Spiritual Practices With Psychedelics: Unveiling The Mystery Of Money, Sex, And Power For Integrative Transformation. She talked about misogyny in shamanism and her struggle to find a female teacher in North America.
I also really enjoyed the panel on Kundalini which talked about having grace in dealing with trauma. We finished the conference with a human mandala to seal the energy that we had all created over the weekend.
S.A.N.D. felt like Burning Man for geeks and scientists, where theory meets tantra and psychology meets play.