Embracing Embodied Wisdom: A Deep Dive into Heart, Mind, and Body Interconnection – Event Recap

Embracing Embodied Wisdom: A Deep Dive into Heart, Mind, and Body Interconnection – Event Recap

Posted by Sofia University on

August 15, 2023

To watch the recap video of the event, please access the link here.

On Sunday, July 23rd, at the Sofia University Costa Mesa Campus, a compelling panel discussion laid the foundation for our annual Global Conference on Advancing Mental Health. The discussion was anchored around the triad of transpersonal psychology – the mind, the spirit, and the body. The panelists, each a luminary in their field, ventured to decode the enigmatic concept of Embodied Wisdom, creating a tapestry of ideas that resonated with the depth and breadth of human experience. The focus was heavily tilted towards holistic methods, the influence of our ancestors, and the power of integrating disciplines that unify the body and mind. 

Dr. Dorote Lucci kickstarted the conversation, noting, “The themes are just as interesting. They’re ranging from whole person education, a whole person research on psychotherapy, on transpersonal. We have the values for transformation and growth, and we also have narratives for resilience.”

Building on this foundation, Dr. Dale Gooden delved into the intrinsic connection we share with our ancestors. He reflected, “When I think about embodied wisdom, I think about the wisdom of the ancestors and those that came before us.” He further delved into the significance of embracing the whole person in healthcare, stating, “When practitioners are examining, diagnosing, and ultimately treating a patient, it’s about seeing that person as a whole and integrated entity, not disconnected from society, but fully embedded in the community.”

Dr. Gooden’s observations flowed seamlessly into Dr. Steven Gold‘s discourse. Steven, with his analytical philosophy background, lamented the West’s historic sidelining of embodied knowledge. As he traced the journey of Western thought from Descartes, he drew attention to the essential need for a holistic approach, echoing Dale’s sentiments about our ancestors.

Dr. Ted Esser brought an intriguing perspective to the table. He pointed out a fundamental critique of the initial generations of transpersonal psychology. “Transpersonal psychology is both young and old,” he said, highlighting how it’s a dispersed field of study. He noted how age-old rituals have been addressing PTSD way before the term existed, emphasizing, “The entire community is involved in the healing.” Esser also elaborated on the central component of music in African rituals and how lucid dreaming connects to this broader theme of connection.

In the midst of deep discussions, panelist Josh Gold combined tradition with innovation. As Chief Instructor of Ikazuchi, a renowned Aikido dojo in Irvine, he embodies martial arts’ age-old discipline. Yet, his role as CEO of Budo Accelerator drew significant attention. This nonprofit, bridging martial arts with leadership and social capital, partners with UC Irvine to offer undergraduates academic credits. For Josh, wisdom isn’t just about knowingit’s acting, especially under pressure. Reflecting on his journey, he said, “With martial arts, my approach transformed. My ability to handle situations, not by force but with confidence, allowed me to build wisdom, embodied wisdom, because you’re physically open to it.” He and Setsuko Okumura enriched the discussion further by offering an interactive Aikido session, transitioning the dialogue into a tangible experience.

The Q&A that followed further expanded the horizon. Participants delved into the intriguing dance between the evolving human brain and technology, culminating in a collective acknowledgment of the need to strike a balance between the allure of the digital age and the age-old wisdom of embodiment.

In essence, this panel discussion showcased the richness of the concept of Embodied Wisdom, harmoniously blending the mental, spiritual, and physical facets of existence. And as the curtain drew on this enlightening session, there was palpable excitement for the revelations the Global Conference on Advancing Mental Health held in store. 

The Sofia University Global Conference on Advancing Mental Health will be a three-day online event that unites mental health professionals, researchers, educators, practitioners, and graduate students from all over the world in diverse fields to explore innovative approaches for cultivating mental health and well-being. Starting from August 18th, 2023, 12:00 PM PDT to August 20th, 2023, 11:00 PM PDT. To learn more about the conference and how to register the conference please visit https://sofiauglobalconference.sofia.edu/  


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