New Research Offers Insight Into How To Lead A More Meaningful Life by Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, PhD, Tina Amorok, PsyD, & Cassandra Vieten, PhD

Living Deeply Offers Tips And Real Life Examples

From A 10-Year Study On How To Make And Sustain Positive Life Changes

PETALUMA, Calif. — We live in a stressful, fast-paced world that can leave us feeling unfulfilled, scattered, and disconnected from ourselves and others. But there are some among us who, in the midst of it all, find ways to experience deeper, more authentic lives and are better able to cope with life’s challenges. They have found a way to transform their lives — from reactive to proactive, from narrow and constricted to broad and deep, from fearful to exuberant, from disconnected to engaged. Who are these people and how do we learn what they know?

These questions and more were explored for more than a decade in the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the subject of human transformation. The results of this research are now the focus of a new book (and companion DVD) titled Living Deeply: The Art & Science of Transformation in Everyday Life from New Harbinger Publications/Noetic Books. Living Deeply will be available starting January 3, 2008 in bookstores and online.

With a foreword by Buddhist Scholar, Robert A.F. Thurman, Ph.D., Living Deeply was researched and written by acclaimed scientists from the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and weaves together science and wisdom from the world’s transformative traditions to explore and better understand what it takes to make the positive and lasting changes required to lead deeper, more rewarding and contented lives.

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“The goal of Living Deeply is to make what we have learned through research about the transformative process accessible and immediately applicable to the lives of everyone,” said Living Deeply Co-Author and Vice President of Research & Education at IONS, Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Ph.D.

“Living Deeply is a brilliant synthesis of science and wisdom from the world’s greatest spiritual traditions, both ancient and modern, translated into practical tools for anyone who is seeking more depth and meaning in their life,” added Deepak Chopra, M.D., one of the world’s most respected leaders in the field of mind- body medicine.

Research Details

The AuthorsFor more than a decade, Living Deeply co-authors and IONS’ researchers Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Ph.D., Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D. and Tina Amorok, Psy.D. studied transformations in consciousness, which they define as “a profound shift in your experience of consciousness, resulting in long-lasting changes in the way you understand and relate to yourself, others, and the world.” Their research team interviewed 60 thought leaders and teachers from psychology, sociology, and physics, as well as a variety of spiritual traditions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sufism, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Interviewees included forward thinkers and beloved figures in the movement to unite Eastern philosophy with Western psychology that started in the ‘60s such as Ram Dass, George Leonard, Lauren Artress and Sharon Salzberg, and other spiritual teachers including a Catholic priest, Hindi swami, Jewish rabbi, Zen roshi, Himalayan yogi, a Wiccan practitioner and a priestess/chief of the Orisha faith from West Africa. In addition, the researchers surveyed more than 1,000 people as well as collected and synthesized hundreds of personal stories from individuals who have experienced significant positive changes in their lives.

Key findings from this extensive study as well as personal accounts and practical tips on how to create and sustain positive changes in our lives are included in Living Deeply. The book presents a model of transformation that is based upon the commonalities observed among the widely diverse people and traditions they surveyed, making it applicable to individuals from all walks of life. It also includes cutting-edge scientific findings and leading theories and research relevant to the subject of life transformation from such diverse fields as cognitive neuroscience, human development, evolutionary biology, and social psychology.

Some key insights from Living Deeply include:

We have a lot in common – There is a common set of truths and values among diverse peoples, cultures and religions. Transformation is an ongoing, natural process that is available to everyone in each moment – Transformation is something you can work with in large and small ways, every day of your life. Both painful and joyful experiences can be transformative.

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Consciousness transformations happen more often than you might think – Knowing more about what stimulates transformations, how they work, and what supports the process can help you jump onboard rather than be just pulled along. Don’t wait for “Aha” moments, the little things can be profound – We may yearn for those breakthrough moments when ‘lighting strikes’ or something dramatic happens to trigger change. We can become addicted to those moments and disappointed if they don’t continue to happen. If we can instead appreciate and learn from the simpler moments in life, a new awareness and thoughtfulness is developed. Intention and attention determines your perspective – One of the most crucial cultivators of positive transformation is intention — transformation is something we choose, nurture and cultivate into being and where we direct our attention and awareness determines our perspective on life. Change your perspective, change your life – This most essential change, the one from which all other changes arise, is a shift in how we view the world and our perception of what is possible. Transforming your consciousness may be the most important thing you can do for yourself and the world. Practice is needed for lasting change – Once you make a change don’t rest on your laurels, find the tools that are right for you (examples such as yoga, meditation, prayer, chanting, reading scripture, expressive arts and movement, time in nature and more, are offered in Living Deeply) to help you continue on a path toward lasting change. Think “We” not “Me” – Transformation brings about the realization that everything is connected and all is sacred so we begin to quite naturally orient ourselves toward protecting and preserving all life and from this place comes profound joy.

For more information on Living Deeply, its authors, IONS and how to get a copy of the book, go to www.livingdeeply.org

by Megan McFeely
The Institute of Noetic Sciences was founded in 1973 by Apollo 14 astronaut and scientist, Edgar Mitchell. IONS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research, education, and membership organization whose mission is to advance the science of consciousness and human experience to serve individual and collective transformation. For additional information go to www.noetic.org