We Are Turning 2 Years Old!

Dear friends:

Two years ago, on October 26, 2014, the Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation was born with an event that gathered over sixty people in San Francisco. This “Open Space” conversation then continued and expanded for many months online.

Our commitment was to launch the Foundation by asking everyone to identify projects and issues most important to them, and working to explore these together.

gf-launch-opening

From this conversation, several initiatives were born:

  • The Grof Foundation provided an institutional home for the US Spiritual Emergence Network, giving it needed support, stability, and friendship.
  • During the launch, Susan Logeais Hess proposed the topic “How to Use Film/Video/Storytelling to Share NOSC with a Larger Public,” which attracted a huge amount of interest from participants. Since then, Susan has worked closely with Stan to make this a reality though the film, “Journey of Consciousness.” (For more info, please see below.)
  • The Grof Foundation began a difficult, and at times controversial, process of researching collective initiatives that might improve access to, and assure the quality of, various Grof-related practices. These issues were identified as important by participants in several different conversations at the launch, as well as in the online discussion afterward.
  • Through the generous gift of Bill Melton and Meihong Xu (who was an enthusiastic participant of the launch), the Grof Foundation has been pleased to support a major program to bring Stan’s work to China. Since 2015, we have sponsored two trips by Stan and Diane Haug, which included experiential workshops, conferences, and a dialogue between Stan and Jack Kornfield at Beijing Normal University.

Given the many rich conversations at that event, with topics ranging from a Grof video game for teenagers to a holotropic doula service, we are aware that some you may have started work on projects or made connections at the launch that have been flowering since. Please share these with us by emailing contact@groffoundation.org.

During these two years, we have also said farewell to two of our founding Board members, Lenny Gibson and Ana María Aguirre. Our gratitude for their commitment and contribution to the emergence of the Grof Foundation is immense. We have also said goodbye to our founding Executive Director, Kenneth Sloan, whose dedication to Stan and Christina’s work is profound. His contribution to the birth of the Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation was enormous. Thank you so much, Ken.

We have also welcomed, onto our board, Isabel Santis and Ted Esser, both of whom were active participants in the launch. They have brought new perspectives and experience from the fields of psychedelic exploration and spiritual emergence.

This year, we also were blessed to work with Katie Mottram and Rozália Kovacs-Napier, founders of the International Spiritual Emergence Network. We are delighted to have helped build a bridge between their important work and the Grof community. They have enriched our organization, and we are grateful for their commitment and integrity. We continue to champion the growth of ISEN.

We are deeply grateful to all of you who have been helping this process spiritually, emotionally, and financially.

Please know that we are continuing to seek new ways to support and expand the many beautiful ideas that Stan and Christina introduced to the world.

Happy Birthday!

Warm regards,

 

The Grof Foundation Board of Directors

Marty Boroson
Ted Esser
Veronica Munoz
Karey Pohn
Ted Riskin
Isabel Santis

gf-launch-film-topic

Journey of Consciousness

 

 

 

Journey of Consciousness

Watch this beautiful video about the film here, and learn how you can share your memories and get involved.

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New GLOBAL Initiative for Spiritual Emergency Support

ISEN Logo

The new International SEN logo

Dear Friends:

This was Christina Grof’s vision: a global network of support for people experiencing spiritual crisis—providing compassionate care and referrals, and affording everyone the possibility to heal and transform in safe and supportive settings.

Her vision is now one big step closer to reality.

We are delighted to announce that the Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation is now providing an organizational home for ISEN – the International Spiritual Emergence Network.

ISEN was launched over the last year by a small group of dedicated volunteers (Rozalia Kovacs- Napier in Hungary, Ted Esser in the US, and Katie Mottram in the UK). They had already begun the work to raise awareness globally for the needs of people experiencing spiritual crisis.  They had also contacted many of the existing SEN-related organizations world-wide and invited them to join in this cooperative process.

Their passion is to establish a global network that coordinates support, information and shared resources for all the national and regional spiritual emergence organizations, while also helping new organizations to form and begin offering services.

By welcoming the ISEN team into the Grof Foundation – as Staff and as members of the Board of Directors, we connect them to the wider community of people inspired by Stan and Christina’s work. At the same time, by combining our perspectives, expertise, and passions we are together giving birth to a new stage of growth for the Grof Foundation.

ISEN is at the cutting edge of some of the most exciting innovations in psychiatry – where “non-ordinary states of consciousness” no longer need to be pathologized or repressed, but are treated with compassionate care and respected as containing vital information and a gateway to empowered self-healing.

We believe that ISEN’s integration into the Grof Foundation will help expand Christina’s initial vision in light of important developments in methods of care. It will also bring Stan’s original discovery of the self-healing mechanism of the psyche into greater awareness. Stan has given his enthusiastic blessing for this initiative.

We are particularly excited by the prospect of bringing these concepts further into psychiatric services. The ISEN team has already been involved in training mainstream health clinicians in the National Health Service in the UK, and we believe that with your support, this model could be replicated and expanded worldwide.

We can now envision a day when everyone who needs help will be treated with respect, compassion, and understanding— including during their very first interaction with emergency services.

>> Click here if you would like to donate to this initiative now.

Our immediate plans are to:

  1. Formally launch this initiative at the Integral European Conference in Budapest on May 5.  Stan Grof will also be addressing the full conference by skype, right after Ken Wilber and Don Beck. This will build awareness of spiritual emergency as well as the value of Stan Grof’s work concerning the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness to the growing integral community.
  1. Launch an ISEN website as the first truly global resource for people experiencing spiritual crisis to enable them to find the help they need. This multi-lingual website will also empower initiatives in countries where there are currently few if any spiritual emergence support mechanisms.

Can you help with this?

We are completely dependent on donations from individuals like you for this work. Please consider making a donation – and no donation is too small.

If your life has been affected by spiritual crisis, or your care about supporting Christina and Stan’s beautiful vision of compassionate care, please know that your contribution will go to making essential information about services available to people in need, quickly.

Please give your support now at gofundme.com/spiritualemergency

Of course, we also welcome any other kind of support you can offer – e.g. an attunement or prayer, public or private—to give this effort a truly big-hearted birth.

Yours sincerely,

The Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation
Kenneth Sloan, Interim Executive Director
for comments, questions, and offers of support please use the contact form on the International SEN website.

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Wedding Announcement

Dear Friends,

We would like to let you know that we have decided to spend our lives together and got married on April Fool’s Day, 2016, in Wiesbaden, Germany; we are delighted to share our love and joy with you.

No gifts, please, we are trying to simplify our life! Please, make a donation to our favorite charity – Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. They do an amazing job of feeding homeless people (up to 3,000 a day) and providing many other extraordinary services for these folks. (Glide Memorial Church, 330 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA, 94102)

Brigitte and Stan

Brigitte_and_Stan

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Last Chance 2B a Grof Founding Member

Just one year ago, we launched the Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation.

Based on community consultation, our goal was to protect Stan and Christina’s legacy and expand awareness about the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness.

To date, over 150 people have joined our efforts as founders. We would love to have you join this group, too.  But please note that this opportunity is closing in on December 31, 2015. 

Our highest priority now it to support the growing global spiritual emergence movement and dramatically expand the US Spiritual Emergence Network, improving access to services for people in crisis. End of year donations will go directly to improving these services.

If you would like to be recognized in perpetuity as a Founding Contributor of the Grof Foundation, you can do that now for a donation of just $100, right here.

If you would like to be recognized as a Founding Donor ($1000) or a Founding Angel ($5000), please get in touch with Martin Boroson, Grof Foundation President, by replying to this mail.

(Note that if you are a US taxpayer, your donation is completely tax deductible.)

This opportunity is only available until the end of this year, so please act now.

If you have any questions or suggestions about our work or our plans for the future, feel free to get in touch.

In the meantime, we hope you will consider this extraordinary opportunity to honor Stan and Christina … and become an official “parent” in the birth of this foundation.

Warm regards,

The Board and Staff of the Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation

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Grof Foundation Year End Gratitude

The following letter was recently sent to those who have contributed to the Grof Foundation in its first year.

With the year drawing to a close, we would like to give you a brief update on the work the Grof Foundation has done, thanks to your generous support.

Being new and relatively small, we decided to focus during our first year on just a few key areas. Specifically, we:

  • Worked to identify, with Stan, those areas in which the Grof legacy needed protection or expansion and took urgent action where needed.
  • Led a public consultation process, enabling our community to explore ways to improve the availability and quality of training.
  • Provided critical advice and support to the blossoming international Spiritual Emergence movement.
  • Most importantly, we took organizational responsibility for – and gave considerable energy and resources to – the US Spiritual Emergency Network.  Specifically, we:
    • Reduced waiting times for people in crisis from 72 to a maximum of 24 hours;
    • Worked to implement critical updates  of contact information and qualifications for the existing  database of 195 professional providers;
    • Gave Ted Esser, who had been keeping SEN alive for years on a voluntary basis, a permanent, part-time contract;
    • Secured liability insurance so that all those responding to support requests are properly protected;
    • Researched options to provide live hotline support (in addition to referrals), using staff and trained volunteers from remote locations globally;
    • Built a new website with an enhanced system for finding providers, submitting support requests, and bringing new caregivers on board efficiently. The new website supports smartphones and tablets as well as PCs, and enables users to spread the word about spiritual emergence easily on their social networks. This new platform is currently being tested and will go live in the first quarter of 2016.

    Meanwhile we continued to support the global Holotropic Breathwork community in the following ways:

    • Organized and promoted  the 4th annual Global Holotropic Breathwork Day, with 24 concurrent Holotropic Breathwork events around the world;
    • Managed the Grof-Holotropic-Breathwork.net website, which now:
      • Has over 3000 registered members,
      • Has listed over 1000 Holotropic Breathwork events,
      • Features over 1000 mandalas,
      • Provides free listings for 121 certified facilitators, and
      • Responds to vital questions about Holotropic Breathwork from participants and curious members of the public from around the world.

    Of course, none of this would have been possible without your generous support.
    And we are just warming up.

    In the New Year, with your continued support, we will:

    • Substantially expand the SEN provider network
    • Increase awareness of available Spiritual Emergence services
    • Add additional qualified staff to respond to Spiritual Emergence support requests
    • Expand awareness and applications of the core vision that Stan and Christina have given to the world.

    So, on behalf of our Board, our staff, Stan, and all those people interested in the Grofs’ work, or people in crisis who have directly benefited from your donation, we thank you.

    If you have any suggestions or questions about our work or plans, please do get in touch.

    And if you would like to make an end-of-year donation, please know that this will directly support our continued expansion of the Spiritual Emergence Network, and you can do that now, here or contact us directly. All donations from US taxpayers are tax deductible.

    Again, we thank you for your support, and look forward to working with you to expand these wonderful possibilities in the new year.

    Warm regards,

Martin Boroson, President and Kenneth Sloan, Interim Executive Director
On behalf of the Board and Staff of the Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation
www.groffoundation.org
https://www.facebook.com/groffoundation
@groffoundation

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Open Space Accreditation Discussion Update

Dear All,

We are deeply grateful to the 339 people who signed up for our online Open Space conversation, as well as to each of you who participated in our recent public conversation about accreditation and quality assurance.

We began exploring these issues because the clearest thing we had heard from the community is that there is a need for better standards, quality assurance, and expansion of opportunity across many areas of the Grofs’ legacy.

It therefore seemed prudent for us to pause before launching any major initiative to consider what all the different areas of the Grofs’ legacy have in common, and whether there might be a way to create robust systems that would support them all.

After much research, we presented a proposal that we believed would achieve this. Based on best practice in similar communities, this was a system in which publicly accountable non-profit organizations would be completely dedicated to accreditation, advocacy, and quality assurance (including ethics, continuing education, supervision, and protection of relevant trademarks).

Consistent with our ethos, however, we did not want to take any irrevocable action on this without first consulting the community as widely as possible, so we opened a space in which alternatives could be considered freely. Though we realized that this process might be uncomfortable at times, we also believed that having this kind of conversation, no matter what the outcome, could bring important ideas to light and also possibly catalyze some positive change.

In reading your responses, we noticed the depth of passion that our proposal raised for some people, particularly in relation to Holotropic Breathwork, and we considered everyone’s concerns carefully. We also learned that Grof Transpersonal Training is now developing an accreditation model in relation to Holotropic Breathwork, similar to what we proposed.

Based on the discussion, we have concluded that there is not sufficient support from the community for the Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation to pursue issues of quality assurance in the area of Holotropic Breathwork at this time.

That said, we are continuing to look at the issue of quality assurance across the other areas of the Grofs’ legacy. Our desire is to provide a space in which the diverse groups of people who are passionate about Stan and Christina’s work can join together to manifest its enormous potential.

We will also continue developing other projects where we can make a big impact, such as building a much stronger US Spiritual Emergence Network, supporting the international spiritual emergency movement, encouraging the growth of psychedelic therapy and transpersonal psychology worldwide, and championing other aspects of the Grofs’ legacy.

We truly welcome your help and ideas in advancing these efforts. If you are interested in becoming more involved, please contact us at president@groffoundation.org.

Again, we thank you for your honest participation in this process, and look forward to working with you in supporting the further evolution and expansion of Stan and Christina’s work.

The Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation

Martin Boroson, President
Ted Riskin, Vice President
Karey Pohn, Secretary
Verónica Muñoz M., Treasurer

Ana María Aguirre

Kenneth Sloan, Executive Director

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A Plan for the Future

I believe that the best way to ensure quality of training, and remove obstacles to expansion, of the work that Christina and I created is to have an open process of community consultation, such as the Grof Foundation is proposing. I invite you to join the conversation.  – Stan Grof, August 1, 2015

Over many years, through many private discussions and open community gatherings, we have been hearing from people who feel very strongly about the need to expand access to, and awareness of, the work that Stan and Christina Grof created.

Recently, there has also been renewed enthusiasm for providing assistance to people in spiritual emergency and support for clinical psychedelic sessions — two other approaches inspired by the Grofs’ work.

In short, we are aware of many people and organizations who care deeply about ensuring that all of the Grofs’ work is widely available, better publicized, more affordable, and held to the highest standards of care.

We have been considering all of your ideas carefully. And with Stan’s support, the Grof Foundation is now in a position to take action.

To that end, we have developed a way forward that, we believe, could support the expansion of all of this work, allow many different training organizations to flourish, and also guarantee quality.

Here is the essence of our plan: Rather than provide facilitator training, the Grof Foundation—a not-for-profit organization—would take administrative responsibility for the accreditation of those training organizations that wish to be part of this community of quality.

Actual decisions about accreditation would be made by an independent Quality Council, the first members of which would be directly appointed by Stan. The Grof Foundation would then be responsible for implementing the decisions of this independent Quality Council and for providing the infrastructure necessary to ensure quality, visibility and accessibility.

An accreditation structure such as this—clearly defined, transparent, and publicly accountable—is standard practice for most professional associations. As a working model, we have been specifically inspired by the structures used by many therapeutic and medical associations, as well as the comprehensive model recently developed by the International Coach Federation.

We believe this kind of structure is particularly valuable because it puts a clear division between the accrediting organization, on one hand, and the training organizations, on the other hand—a division that is vitally important for stability, continuity, ethics, and accountability.

This plan will enable responsible collaboration with existing training organizations and universities around the world, and create opportunities, quite rapidly, for many new training organizations. It would also enable affordable training to be provided around the world—meeting local needs while also ensuring consistency of quality.

Naturally, it will take some time to work out the details, but before we go any further, we want to hear from you.

We are now launching an open conversation about what this future might look like. If you would like to participate in creating this future with us, now is the time to jump in. Please join the discussion at: http://groffoundationopenspace.ning.com/

Do you have ideas about how this model could best be structured? Do you have any concerns? Do you have any great ideas you’ve been sitting on – waiting for the moment when change is possible? Do you currently offer some form of training? Would you like to offer some form of training? And what are the specific needs of your clients or your community? This first period for public discussion will be open for one month, after which we will present a more formal version of this plan for additional discussion. So please join the conversation soon.

This is an exciting moment for the work that Stan and Christina gave to the world, and we look forward to working with all of you to develop its deep possibilities.

We hope that you will join the conversation right now, at http://groffoundationopenspace.ning.com/

Warm regards,

Martin Boroson, President

On behalf of the Board of the Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation

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Stanislav Grof: the Spiritual Emergence Network joins the GF

Following is the full text written by Stan Grof  in connection with the Spiritual Emergence Network (SEN) US becoming a part of the Grof Foundation.

Since the late 1970s when Christina started sharing publicly the story of her stormy Kundalini awakening and 1980 when she founded SEN, the issues related to crises of spiritual awakening (“spiritual emergencies”) became an important part of our professional life. Over the years, many people came to us after our lectures and in our workshops and training modules and shared with us their personal experiences with these challenging episodes. Some of them succeeded in overcoming these crises without external help, others told us that the information in our books and referral from SEN made a big difference in these times their stormy transformation. Unfortunately, many others were not so lucky. They received serious psychiatric diagnoses and the potentially healing process was stymied by suppressive medication. We became aware of the fact that successful completion and integration of spiritual emergencies was important not only for the individuals involved, but also for the society. It tends to reduce aggression and engender compassion, ecological awareness, universal and all-encompassing spirituality, and inclination toward synergy and service. Such transformation on a large scale would increase our chances for planetary survival.

I am very excited that the board of the Grof Foundation decided that its first project would be to provide funding for SEN that would guarantee its revival and growth. And I know that Christina would have been very moved to see that this will be the first major endeavor of the foundation that bears our name. I hope that those of you who understand the importance of this project will consider giving it your support.

– Stanislav Grof, Mill Valley, California, January 2015

To contribute use the Grof Foundation Kick Start crowd-funding page.

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Spiritual Emergence Network now part of the Grof Foundation

Announcement 12 February 2015

I am very excited that the board of the Grof Foundation decided to provide a home for the US Spiritual Emergence Network, guaranteeing its revival and growth.
And I know that Christina would have been very moved that this will be the first major endeavor of the foundation that bears our name. I hope that those of you who understand the importance of this project will consider giving it your support.
– Stanislav Grof, M.D. January, 2015

Do you know someone who has struggled to integrate a difficult psychedelic experience or been overwhelmed by a psychological-spiritual crisis? Continue reading

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The Grof Foundation Vision Statement

In parallel to the Open Space exploration of how the Grof Foundation can be of greatest service, a Vision statement was developed through two cycles of community comment, a discussion with Stan Grof, and deliberations by the Grof Foundation board.  Here it is:

The Grof Foundation Vision:
A world where safe, powerful means for inner transformation
are widely available
to help transcend violence, foster sustainability, and enrich life.

You can read more about the Grof Foundation Vision Statement at Vision Tab on the Grof Foundation site.

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Grof Foundation Launch Event Open Space

IMG_0561On Sunday the 26th of October, 2014, in San Francisco, an all day Open Space* event launched the Stanislav and Christina Grof Foundation!

The theme for the day was: How can the Grof Foundation ensure that Stan and Christina’s work be of greatest service to the planet?

The 60 event participants came from a broad range of backgrounds and interests but were all connected through an interest in and enthusiasm for the work of Stanislav and Christina Grof.  The Open Space contributions by the participants form the base from which Grof Foundation projects will be developed.

To read through the topics introduced and read the cumulative comments so far, go to the Grof Foundation Open Space and sign up to access the Open Space area,

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