Psychospiritual Death and Rebirth: A Visionary Journey with Stanislav Grof, M.D.

Monday, April 19, 2010. 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, with morning, lunch and afternoon breaks (food is not included).

$130, pre-registration is required.

In this slide-illustrated seminar, we will use the paintings from depth-psychological work with psychedelic substances and Holotropic Breathwork ™ to explore the new extended map of the psyche that has emerged from modern consciousness research. We will put special emphasis on the process of psychospiritual death and rebirth. The understanding of this process throws a new light on emotional and psychosomatic disorders and is essential for any serious approach to the ritual and spiritual history of humanity – shamanism, rites of passage, healing ceremonies of native cultures, ancient mysteries of death and rebirth, the great religions of the world, and the mystical traditions of all times and countries.

The insights from this work also offer new insights into two forces that have been driving human history – insatiable greed and unbridled violence – and into sociopolitical psychopathology, such as wars, bloody revolutions, terrorism, suicide bombing, concentration camps, and genocide. In a series of slides, we will demonstrate the remarkable similarities between the symbolism of posters and cartoons from the time of wars or revolutions and the visions accompanying the reliving of birth and the experience of psychospiritual death and rebirth.


    1. To describe – with the use of paintings of individuals undergoing therapy and self-exploration in non-ordinary states of consciousness – the vastly extended model of the human psyche that has emerged from this research and explore its implications for psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy.
    2. To discuss the relevance of this new cartography for the understanding of the ritual and spiritual life of humanity and for conducting assessment of non-ordinary states and therapy.
    3. To show that unbridled violence and insatiable greed – have their deep roots in the domains of the unconscious as yet unrecognized by mainstream psychiatry and psychology (the perinatal and transpersonal domain) and explore the implications of this finding for the current global crisis and its alleviation.
    4. To illustrate the political relevance of the new findings by comparing the symbolism of political posters and cartoons from the time of wars, revolutions, and societal crises with painting of persons depicting their perinatal experiences in non-ordinary states.

Dr. Grof is a psychiatrist with over forty years experience of research into non-ordinary states of consciousness (induced by psychedelic substances and various non-drug techniques) and one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology. Dr. Grof ‘s early research in the clinical uses of psychedelic substances was conducted at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, where 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, Baltimore, MD. After completion of this two-year fellowship, he stayed in the US and continued his research as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Henry Phipps Clinic of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. In 1973, Dr. Grof was invited to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where he lived until 1987 as Scholar-in-Residence writing, giving seminars, lecturing and developing Holotropic Breathwork with his wife Christina Grof. He is the founder of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) and its past and current president. At present, he lives in Mill Valley, California, conducting training seminars for professionals in Holotropic Breathwork and transpersonal psychology and writing books. He is also Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco and at the Pacifica Graduate School in Santa Barbara and gives lectures and seminars worldwide. In 1993, he received an Honorary Award from the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP) for major contributions to and development of the field of transpersonal psychology given at the occasion of the 25th Anniversary Convocation held at Asilomar, California.