Openness to experience entails active imagination, aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for variety, and intellectual curiosity. Growing research indicates that openness is associated with a host of positive outcomes including: creativity, curiosity, intellectual humility, career advancement, and possibly even longevity. However, it also has some downsides including distractibility and recklessness. A potential antidote to the shortcomings of openness is mindfulness, which supports focus and discernment.
This program will strive to simultaneously cultivate openness and mindfulness (what we call “Open Mindfulness”) through a series of discussions, practices, and meditative sound journeys. Jonathan Schooler, the scientist, and Amanda Gregory, the opera singer, will present theories of consciousness that encourage participants to broaden their perspective of how our minds relate to the physical universe, and in particular to the resonant processes that permeate reality. Together we will engage in activities that combine the grounded anchor of a meditative set with the playful wonder of doing something novel.
Offered as 3 workshops and 2 satsangs (subject to change).
We will also participate in immersive sound experiences that pair the biorhythms of the human body in relationship to frequencies of nature with the goal of encouraging listeners to explore varied dimensions of consciousness and their relationship to the world around us. Following these experiences, participants may gain a broader perspective of themselves along with a deeper appreciation for the value of jointly cultivating wonder and wisdom.
Offered as 2 satsangs and 3 workshops (subject to change)
Jonathan Schooler, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California Santa Barbara and Director of UCSB’s Center for Mindfulness and Human Potential. His research explores topics that intersect philosophy and psychology, including the relationship between mindfulness and mind-wandering, theories of consciousness, and the potential role of subjective experience in reality.
A former holder of a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, Jonathan is a fellow of several psychology societies and the recipient of numerous grants from the United States and Canadian governments and private foundations. His research has been featured on television shows including BBC Horizon and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, as well as in print media including the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Nature Magazine. With over 250 publications and nearly 40,000 citations he has been the recipient of the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science™ Highly Cited Researcher Award for five of the last six years.
Amanda Gregory is an opera singer, sound artist, composer, and researcher exploring the nature of reality through the lens of music. Gregory’s background includes a masters in music from Manhattan School of Music, and an international career in both traditional and contemporary classical music, specializing in works that probe the relationship between math and music. She is currently a remote resident at the Santa Barbara Center for Arts, Science, and Technology and a Research Specialist at UCSB’s META lab.
Amanda is developing immersive audiovisual experiences that integrate elemental sounds and frequencies of nature with live-generated psychoacoustic vocals with the goal of encouraging listeners to explore varied dimensions of consciousness. Her projects have been featured at the Contemporary Arts Museum (Houston), Lincoln Center, Google Launchpad, SWSW, the Global Energy Conference, NeuroLeadership Summit, the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Science Meeting, Adobe’s Festival of the Impossible, Oculus Rift VR, Obscura Digital, The Awakened Futures Summit, Google IO conference, The Science of Consciousness Conference, The Upaya Zen Center’s Annual Varela Symposium, and the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute.
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