The 40th Annual Conference of the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies begins today at the Sheraton Chapel Hill, 1 Europa Road.
The academy’s mission is to discern, develop and disseminate knowledge of how paranormal phenomena may relate to and enhance the development of the human spirit. The conference will focus on three themes:
▪ Spiritual Mysticism and the Spiritually Transformative Experience – This topic examines the mystical attributes of enlightened individuals of many religions and the profound spiritual awakening experiences encountered by many people today
▪ The Afterlife and the Survival of Consciousness – These speakers address research and experiences of individuals who have had near death experiences or communication with deceased loved ones
▪ Mind Body Medicine, an Integrative Approach – These speakers address complimentary and alternative medicine with a focus on the integration with conventional medicine and evidence-based research
One of the sessions that might have special relevance to the faith community is titled “A New Perspective on Christian Scripture based on Science of Human Soul or Spirit.”
This is a lecture/workshop that includes demonstrations where individuals can personally experience new understandings. Topics included are the Science of Prayer, the Mechanics of Forgiveness, Understanding Communion, the Born Again Experience, Why the Humble, Meek and Poor Shall Inherit the Kingdom and How Jesus Healed.”
The Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies, Inc. aims to offer an arena where those with an interest in the study of consciousness and the fringe sciences can gain access to articles, links and other research to educate and interchange ideas in the zone where spirituality and scientific research interface.
Its main event is its annual conference, which runs through noon on Sunday. People may attend the whole conference or only certain days or lectures. For fees and other information go to the conference link: ascis2.ning.com/conference.
Free Sunday talks
The local New Thought spiritual community, Unity Center of Peace, is offering a series of Sunday talks now through Aug. 16, in which participants will explore the steps along the path toward a spiritually abundant life.
The inspiration for the talks came from the outdoor Serenity Meditation Trail that surrounds the center's building and is open to everyone, according to the Rev. Rosemary C. Hyde, a co-minister.
“Summer is an ideal time to find inner peace in nature and each of the 10 “stations of peace” along the trail invites (walkers) to pause, connect with nature and focus on time-honored practices to enhance present-moment-awareness and heartfelt peace,” she said.
The Rev. Victoria Loveland-Coen, the other minister at the center, said walking a spiritual path alone is never easy because of the constantly busy and outwardly focused nature of life.
“Having the support of others on the path ensures a more successful outcome, and it's more enjoyable,” she said.
All are invited to the services that begin at 11 a.m. each Sunday throughout the summer. After each service, participants may walk the trail individually or in a small group, to provide a regular opportunity to release the stress of modern living and to experience a mini-retreat in the beautiful woods.
Unity Center of Peace, located at 8800 Seawell School Road in Chapel Hill, is part of the New Thought movement that embraces a positive path for spiritual living and is LGBT-friendly.
Kai Ji Jeffrey Schneider, a priest at the San Francisco Zen Center, where he has worked and practiced since 1978, will give a Dharma Talk at 7 p.m. Monday at the Chapel Hill Zen Center, 5322 NC Hwy. 86 North.
A period of Zazen (silent meditation) is set from 6 to 6:40 p.m. preceding his talk. All are welcome. At 7 p.m. Tuesday he will give an introduction to Recovery and Buddhism in which he will address the differences between the Buddhist approach and the traditional 12-step model of recovery from addiction. All are welcome.
Bring your boa
Durham Women’s Connection will have its “All That Jazz” luncheon beginning at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, June 20, in the Commons Dining Room at Croasdaile Village, 2600 Croasdaile Farm Parkway.
The event will feature jazz and blues presented by Tempe Brown, a former nightclub singer. She is also the featured speaker who will sing during her talk as she presents “Putting the Puzzle of Life Together Without the Box Lid.”
A hot buffet lunch will follow the program. Cost is $10.
Those attending are encouraged to wear their jazziest outfits, complemented by boas, dangling earrings, necklaces and sequins.
Register by June 17 by calling 919-384-2073 or by emailing email@example.com.
Durham Women’s ConnectIon is an affiliate of Stonecroft Ministries.
The Take and Wear Clothes Closet at Lystra Baptist Church, 686 Lystra Road, will be open from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Everything is free.
There is no advantage to arriving before 8:45 a.m.
Send your faith news to Flo at firstname.lastname@example.org