Atlantic University is a small online graduate school in Virginia Beach, Virigina offering a Masters of Arts in Transpersonal Studies. Last year (a year and 13 days ago), Carlos S. Alvarado and I were hired by AU and started an entirely new phase of our lives.
We've been working on a number of things this year, but one of the most important is the inauguration of a new series of annual conferences to highlight various aspects of the work and interests of Atlantic University. Since 1985, when Atlantic University was a residential school, Doug Richards (known to a lot of PA members) has been teaching a course called 'Principles of Parapsychology." This year, between October 14th and October 16th, 2011, Doug, Carlos and I, and other Atlantic University faculty members Henry Reed, Bob Van de Castle, Loyd Auerbach and Christine Simmonds-Moore are taking part in our conference, "Parapsychology and Consciousness." David McMillan of the Meridian Institute and Kevin Todeschi, the CEO of both Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. and Atlantic University will also be taking part.
We're really excited about all of the folks who will be joining us to give papers: Julie Beischel of The Windbridge Institute, Dean Radin of IONs, Ed May from Laboratories for Fundamental Research, Roger Nelson of the Global Consciousness Project, Steve Braude of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, John Palmer of the Rhine Research Center, Jim Carpenter in private practice in Chapel Hill, Frank Pasciuti in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Ginette Nachman of Durham, NC. The topics range from "Biomedical Aspects of Psi" (Nachman) to "How Do the Synesthesias Relate to Anomalous Experiences" (Simmonds-Moore) and "Before the Tipping Point: Reconsidering the Nature of Consciousness" (Radin), among many others.
The conference starts at noon on Friday October 14th and continues through 6pm on Sunday October 16th. Of course we think "Parapsychology and Consciousness" brings together a unique and unprecedented mixture of some of the best speakers in the field, as well as some of the most interesting aspects of the varied research in scientific parapsychology.
The Visitor's Center at Edgar Cayce's A.R.E., where the conference will be held, has a great large auditorium and a number of function rooms we'll be using as well, plus a bookstore, a top floor meditation room with a view of the ocean and tons of parking. The campus of the A.R.E. is very unique. It's a block from the Atlantic Ocean (the reason for the great view from the meditation room). The campus also includes a meditation garden, a meditation labyrinth modeled on the one at Chartres, and the A.R.E. Heath Center and Spa. The spa is on the ground floor of the "Headquarters" Building which also houses the Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy, Atlantic University, and a variety of units of the A.R.E. Two other buildings complete the campus, and by the time of the conference, construction will have started on the new Educational Building. The campus backs up to First Landing State Park. (Virginia Beach is a very interesting place and we have fallen completely in love with it. More on that in another blog.)
The conference hotel, the Wyndham Oceanfront, is 10 blocks away from the "Parapsychology and Consciousness" conference venue, south of the A.R.E. on Atlantic Avenue. We have rooms blocked off for the conference there. The hotel has a great restaurant, the Surf Grille, with beautiful views of the oceanfront. The Wyndham runs a shuttle to the A.R.E. We also have rooms blocked off for the conference at the Holiday Inn Express, another oceanfront hotel down in the "strip", an area full of hotels and restaurants. The Holiday Inn Express doesn't have a shuttle but the HRT bus is close by, and if you're coming in by car, it's a quick trip up Atlantic Avenue to the A.R.E. The closest airport is Norfolk International Airport. Carlos and I love this airport (having been in a ton of airports over the years); small, easy to get around, with a shuttle.
Anyhow as time goes on, I'll write some more about the details. We're putting together the best experience possible and really looking forward to having all these great speakers in town. If you go to Atlantic University's home page -- http://www.atlanticuniv.edu -- you can find a link to the conference description, and to biographies and abstracts, plus a page for registration (there's an early bird price at the moment) as well as reservation pages for the two conference hotels.
Carlos and I have been involved in a lot of great conferences over the years, but we're really looking forward to this one and hope you'll all be able to join us this October 14th to 16th in Virginia Beach!