Thursday, May 06, 2010

Integral Psychology Conference (IPC) at Menla Mountain Retreat

In a unique collaboration between the California Institute for Integral Studies ( and Matagiri Sri Aurobindo Center (, the Fifth Integral Psychology Conference (IPC) is being held at Menla Mountain Retreat in Phoenicia, NY July 1st-5th. 

The first IPC was held at Matagiri, just outside of Woodstock, NY. The conference has since been hosted in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, the Cultural Integration Fellowship in San Francisco and last year in Auroville, the international community in South India.

Integral Psychology is based on the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, an Indian nationalist political leader, who later discovered the real revolution was in a change of consciousness and the further evolution of humankind. His description of the planes and parts of the being is considered by many to be the most sophisticated and complete.

In the West, Sri Aurobindo is often compared to the French Catholic philosopher Teillard de Chardin. Michael Murphy, founder of the Esalen Institute and William Irwin Thompson, founder of the Lindisfarne Association are among those who cite Sri Aurobindo as a major influence in their thinking and have themselves served as catalysts for change in our worldview of human potential and culture.

Among the featured speakers attending the conference from India are Dr. Aster Patel and Dr. Alok Pandey. Dr. Patel, a graduate of the Sorbonne, is the daughter of Dr. Indra Sen, a pioneer in Integral Psychology and coined the term. Dr. Pandey has practiced as a psychiatrist for many years in India and is the author of the new book, "Death, Dying and Beyond".

Brant Cortright, Department Chair from CIIS, and Jungian therapist Richard Stein are coming from San Francisco along with a number of other outstanding scholars who are presenting at the conference.

Local workshop leaders include author and therapist Stephen Larsen and educator Lucy Barbera, whose extensive credentials also include the use of sandplay and expressive arts for both self-exploration and therapy.

The natural beauty of the Catskills with its lush rolling hillsides, the spiritual history of the facility (now under Tibet House, NY) and its proximity to Matagiri in Mt. Tremper make Menla an idyllic setting. Attendees must register in advance. Day passes are available for local residents to attend the programs.

Two evening concerts by Karunamayee (vocal) with Ray Spiegel (tabla) and the overtone choir, Prana and one evening lecture on “Sri Aurobindo and Jung” are also open to the public. Details are on the Matagiri website: or by calling 845-679-5358.

Matagiri and CIIS are also collaborating with the New York Open Center ( on a symposium on Integral Psychology Thursday, June 29th from 4-10 pm in Manhattan. Please contact the Open Center at 212-219-2527 for reservations. Author Information Julian Lines Matagiri Sri Aurobindo Center

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