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UC San Diego-Harvard Group Reports Significant Shift in Awareness from Weeklong Deepak Chopra Intensive Well-Being Program

06 February 2018 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers

A new study by Paul J. Mills, PhD and colleagues has shown that an intensive 6-day Ayurveda-based mind-body program led to a significant and sustained increase in self-awareness, with related mental and physical health benefits. The mind-body intervention was compared to a control group of individuals at the same retreat center who did not experience the therapeutic regime. The result is described in a study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM), a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers dedicated to paradigm, practice and policy advancing integrative health. The article is available free on JACM website until March 6, 2018.

The article, entitled "Change in Sense of Nondual Awareness and Spiritual Awakening in Response to a Multidimensional Well-Being Program," assessed spiritual awakening. It was led by Paul J. Mills, PhD, et al. from University of California, San Diego (La Jolla), The Chopra Foundation and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing (Carlsbad, CA), Duke University (Durham, NC), Sophia University (Palo Alto, CA), and Harvard University and Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA).. The primary outcome was based on the Nondual Embodiment Thematic Inventory (NETI), which evaluates qualities of what is called "nondual awareness" and spiritual awakening. Cultivating this type of awareness is a common goal of many types of meditation practices, but has been overlooked in Western clinical psychology. The participants in the mind-body program had significantly greater NETI values immediately after the intervention and at the 1-month follow-up compared to the control group.

Lead author Mills considers the study's importance to be in "showing that an intensive holistic mind-body program can cultivate a shift in perception from a predominate identification with one's personality to identifying with a more unified, transcendent and non-personal awareness."

"Fascinating to see in this research from Mills and his collaborators that, in this case at least, the mind-body interventions that enhance well-being are linked to individuals identifying themselves as less separate from, and more connected to, the world they inhabit," says JACM Editor-in-Chief John Weeks,, Seattle, WA.

Attached files

  • The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

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