Research Topics Chosen by Consciousness and Transformative Studies Students

The Consciousness and Transformative Studies students presented recently on their chosen research topics! Here are some of the highlights!

Moving through the Dark Night of the Soul
Karen Parrish


The Dark Night of the Soul, is akin to the deep sea journey where one loses their moorings in life. The layering of multiple losses, such as loss of a loved one, of home, of work, of health, of family stability and financial security, can activate the dark night of the soul. The DNS demands surrender and ego death, whereas resistance to letting go perpetuates suffering. Tools that assist in moving through the dark night include: practices for dropping from the head into the body, adopting a meta-perspective, and shifting from isolation into community, and connecting with the natural world.

PlAyFuLnEsS: It’S NoT JuSt 4 KiDz!
Becky Hobbs

Adult playfulness is an exciting topic in psychology that is finally getting the attention it deserves. Play stimulates the imagination, relieves stress, boosts creativity and is a lot of fun too! It can help you to improve the relationship with your own inner child, your partner, family and friends, or even someone who you might not get along with. Using current theory as a jumping off point, this research focused on finding techniques that liberate playfulness in adults according to four main qualities: other-directedness, lightheartedness, intellectual, and whimsical. Bring your inner child with you as you come and learn what we discovered.

When Spirituality Works: Karma Yoga in Contemporary Western Work Settings
Andy Sechler

Karma yoga, rooted in the rich spiritual traditions of India, is the yoga of work and action in the world. It is based on the belief or realization that spiritual awakening can and does happen in the midst of everyday life; one need not renounce the world or retire to a cave to meditate in order to wake up. Though practiced in India for at least two millennia, karma yoga only began to spread roots in the United States in the 1960’s. This co-operative inquiry research uncovers the role of imagery, the somatic benefits, and the spillover effects experienced in karma yoga, as well as the relationship between practitioner and organizational context. If you, too, are interested in learning about the experience of quietly bringing spirituality into contemporary western work life through the practice of karma yoga, please join me for this upcoming presentation!