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Scheduled for Sunday, July 31, 4:15 PM – 5:30 PM

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  1. Inci ErkinYour Body is Trying to Talk, Are You Listening?
  2. Chinmoy GuhaSpiritual Practice of Meaningful Life
  3. Diwanag A. LaguraA Different Meaning of Easter for Females Above 60 Years Old: An Emerging Spirituality
  4. Geok Ling LeeFocusing on Self-Transcendence in Spiritual and Palliative Care
  5. Johnathon NedaThe Experience of Living Spiritually (Existential-Phenomenological Perspective)
  6. Irina PeresetskayaEvolution of Will to Meaning in Own Life, to Will to Harmony of All Living Things
  7. Aryeh SiegelMan’s Search for Divinity: Self-transcendence in Logotherapy and Kabbalah

Paper Presentations

Inci Erkin graduated from the Ege University School of Medicine in 1977 with Clinical biochemistry. She is the first Turkish Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Master and has been accepted by the Association for Advancement of Meridian Energy Techniques (AAMET) as an international trainer in the field of EFT and EmoTrance. She has given training sessions in the US, Australia, and England, and also trains people in Phytotherapy and Aromatherapy courses at Ege University’s ArgeFar.

Your Body is Trying to Talk, Are You Listening? A Different Approach to Diseases & Symptoms

Our bodies are trying to talk to us using many symptoms, mostly physical, and, usually, the medical world tries to stop them just with medicines, ignoring the core issues. If you look at the disease labels, such as panic attack, fibromyalgia, PTSD, GI problems, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, phobias, sleep disorders, you can easily see the link between emotional issues and physical ailments If you had an accident, if you are beaten, betrayed, humiliated, exposed to mobbing; your cortisol levels skyrockets. If we are not resilient at the stress impact, then we have a problem. About % 85 of chronic diseases is stress related, we are born with a natural hard-wired response, fight or flight, to stress and anxiety.

At the stone-age, we needed this raised level of awareness and caution. Now that we are in the 21st century, modern times, this same survival mechanism that was meant to protect us before can cause nervousness and anxiety for no reason. Energy Psychology techniques—along with the proper medical treatments—instantly reduces or fades away the symptoms. These techniques can shorten the time spent at psychotherapy also. Every professional can use these techniques if it is at their toolbox.

Chinmoy Guha, yoga practioner for over 30 years

Spiritual Practice for Meaningful Life

We know that most of us desire a pleasurable, comfortable, peaceful, and happy life. We think our achievement, good relationship with family and society, engagement in good for self and society can give us a meaningful and happy life. But one cannot make it sure that one’s business, relationships, or power shall serve one continuously for one’s whole life. The downfall of all the above measures can bring all types of pain and sorrow. The ancient Indian philosophers have discovered the spiritual path of real meaningful life and have explained briefly and their philosophy.

The ancient Indian philosophers have discovered the spiritual path of real meaningful life and have explained briefly and their philosophy. In the journey of spirituality, first of all, we should know the answer to the question, “Who am I?” “Who created me?” “Why is there sorrow?” “What is the permanent solution?” “How we can get rid of all kinds of sorrow and pain?” “What is the real path of getting peace and happiness?” In the journey of answering these questions, we should know the structure of the body first. Our body is governed by the soul, which is consciousness and mind. The soul is pure and all positive emotions are within it. The soul receives the body with a desire to gain experience and enjoy the creation of nature, so nature provides consciousness to guide the soul and mind to serve the soul as servant. But in real practice, the soul goes under the influence and custody of the mind. The mind is full of negative and impure emotions such as ego, prejudice, temptation etc. We always desire the result of our work based upon those above mentioned negative emotions and so the result we get, gives us sorrow and pain. To set free the soul from the custody of mind and fasten it with the pure consciousness is called lightening of soul. By the practice of Yoga we can achieve that goal. There are different types of Yoga for mental peace and physical wellness, like (1) Sahaj yog for mental peace, (2) Urja Yog for physical disorders, and (3) Bhav Yog for receiving the essence and blessings of God.

Diwanag A. Lagura, MA Educational Psychology, University of the Philippines

A Different Meaning of Easter for Females Above 60 Years Old: An Emerging Spirituality

Non-common spiritual practices and beliefs at Easter time were studied through participant observation and interviews of three ladies who joined small spiritual groups not belonging to major religious practices in the Philippines. The ladies, all above 60 years old, found no conflict in attending at least two entirely different, unrelated spiritual gatherings not anchored to any major religion. This ethnography was limited to the ladies’ association with the spiritual groups they attended. They were open, non-judgmental, accepting and/or accommodating of different religions or spiritual beliefs and practices and have “superficial” regard of Easter as a Roman Catholic tradition while seeing it with deep symbolism. They ascribed the symbolism of Easter as awakening the Christ Consciousness or the Buddha within, becoming aware of the divine being in each one.

They found these different spiritual groups to be non-restrictive, inclusive, encompassing, accommodating, non-judgmental, transcending of religious boundaries, without strict rules to follow wherein sanction is imposed if not followed; allowed them to decide on their own and to have deeper understanding about life from their own experience and not as what is told to them; gave deeper connection with the divine; and allowed them to be aware, consciously reflective, and to go with the “flow” of their day. They were in unison that in this time of their lives, this spiritual practice was very practical and convenient and did not give them pressure. “Members” or attendees of these spiritual gatherings came from different religions, age, gender, and social backgrounds.

Geok Ling Lee, Ph.D., R.S.W., C.T.; Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, National University of Singapore; Executive Editor, Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development

The Quest for Meaning in Life: From the Perspectives of Patients Receiving Palliative Care

Meaning is central in human life, and this centrality comes into view when individuals are challenged by traumatic life-events such as terminal illness. This present paper, based on an ongoing study, aims to examine aspects of finding and making meaning and significance in times of struggle in patients receiving palliative care – what troubled them and what made life worth living for them, how they grew spiritually in their journey, to be congruent with themselves as they faced the impending death.

Using purposive sampling, 11 patients receiving home hospice care were recruited. Serial interviews at three different time-points were conducted with each patient, using a semi-structured interview guide. Despite the small sample size, the initial data analysis suggested that meaning making is a dynamic process, which could change with the changes in the needs and life experiences as the condition deteriorated. One suggestive learning point is that death and loss may not be optional in human life, but how we make meaning of them is. Thus, it is essential for practitioners to explore innovative ways of doing grief work that helps a patient to process and integrate the meaning of illness so that one can “live well”, while also validating the need to “die well”.

Johnathon Neda

The Experience of Living Spiritually: An Existential-Phenomenological Perspective

This qualitative research study investigated an aspect of the spiritual dimension of human existence from an existential-phenomenological lens.  It addressed the question, What is the experience of living spiritually? A review of the relevant literature was conducted with a specific focus on the works of spiritually oriented psychologists. The methodology used for this study was Moustakas’ (1994) transcendental phenomenology.  This investigation utilized open-ended interviews with twelve participants who self-identified as individuals who live spiritually and who endorsed the definition of spirituality as described by the researcher.  The findings were presented in accordance with Moustakas’ methodology utilizing textural and structural themes and descriptions of lived experience.  The five textural themes are: connecting with connectedness, attunement to present moment experience, openness to the mystery of being, a call to service, and contemplating meaning. The structural themes, which are the existential underpinnings of the textural themes, include: temporality, spatiality, bodyhood, relationship with self, relationship with others, materiality, and causality.  The findings of this study have positive implications of strengthening a bridge between the social and natural sciences and also bear significant personal, clinical, socio-political, and environmental relevance.

Irina Peresetskaya, Candidate for M.A. in counselling psychology and personality studies, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

The Evolution of Will to Meaning in Own Life, To Will to Harmony of All Living Things

Evolution is a never ending process, synonymous with growth. This process includes preserving new items and absorbing them into an entire system or network. The evolution of life drives started with instincts and ends with the meaning of one’s life—going through will to power, will to self-actualization, and happiness. However, what if the meaning of one’s life is not the finishing line? Maslow raised the question, “What fully functioning person is motivated?” I will propose that the next level of life drives is a will to harmony of all living things (including even the cosmos). I mean here that the person is included in a much greater network (i.e., the network of awe) than simply his or her everyday life. If a person is always open, acting with three levels of trust—trust in our body (in form of organismic trusting), trust in oneself (in form of inner consent), trust in the world (to people and situations and in the form of fundamental trust)—choosing values, and being involved and active in each situation (sense of being alive comes when all what you do is included in a greater network of meaning), then he or she finds more possibilities that were not expected earlier, just through openness, communication, saying yes, and helping others. These new possibilities help the person feel full life-satisfaction. Each person is unique, but by communicating with each other this way through feeling awe and experiencing flow state as a direction, he or she becomes a part of something bigger than possible in everyday life. Such trusting network of possibilities is ‘harmony’. Helping others helps you be engaged in this network with much more possibilities and opportunities. In this way, each person relies on the uncertainties rather than his or her own expectations, and life becomes an adventure.

Aryeh Siegel, Ph.D., is a Diplomate in logotherapy (Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy) with a Ph.D. in philosophy of logic and metaphysics (M.I.T.). In the past, he has been employed as a lecturer in philosophy and logotherapy and worked for many years as a computer software project manager. Although not currently associated with any institution, he continues to give lectures and classes on kabbalah and logotherapy in the framework of what he has named “Joy of Life Seminars.”

Man’s Search for Divinity: Self-transcendence in Logotherapy and Kabbalah

Can we conceive of self-transcendence as somehow going beyond the noetic dimension to the religious dimension? This would constitute connecting to the divine transpersonal reality within the self. Frankl seems to negate the significance of this form of self-transcendence when he states: “I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system.” However, I believe Frankl would agree that discovering the divine realm beyond the noetic dimension is not to escape from the world, but to tap into the ultimate purpose of life.

In the context of Kabbalah, self-transcendence is the miraculous state that is made possible through the process of noetic self-transformation and constitutes the completion of that process. The spiritual work of reducing self-love and increasing love of the other is the preparation for receiving the gift of the divine attribute of selfless love. Thus, the process of self-transcendence as ordinarily perceived in logotherapy is subsumed in the process of uniting with God, which is seen as the ultimate purpose of creation.

Frankl taught us that man is a being in search of meaning even if he is unaware of this, and I believe he would also agree that the search for meaning is a search for ultimate meaning (divinity) even when the individual is not aware of seeking God. Self-transcendence is indeed the essence of existence.

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