Presentations

Theosofest 2019

 

 

Schedule  

Time Auditorium Nicholson Hall Meditation Room Activities
Tent
Labyrinth Fire Pit Area
10:15 am Opening Ceremony: Prayers from World Traditions  
11:00 am The Quest for Happiness
with Radhanath Swami
Karma, Past Lives, and Relationships
with Dave Birr
Therapeutic Touch as a Meditative Practice
with Marililyn Johnston-Svoboda

11:00 - 11:30 Yoga Standing Poses
with Juliana Cesano 11:30 - 12:00 Yang Style Simplified T'ai Chi
with John Robertson

12:30 -1:30 p.m.

Native Americans and Their Mystic Visions
with Quentin Young
Ayurveda and Brain Health: How to Have a Balanced Mind in a Stressed Out World with Dr. Trupti Gokani Mindfulness Meditation
with Bill Epperly
Accupresure Pulse Assessment Session
with Renee Ryan
Exploring and Experiencing the Labyrinth
with Neal Harris
2- 3 pm Reincarnation: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Implications with Barbara Hebert Listening as an Act of Love
with Leslie Sann

Buddhist Meditation: Serenity and Insight
with John Cianciosi
2:00 - 2:30 Yoga Standing Poses
with Juliana Cesano 2:30 - 3:00 Yang Style Simplified T'ai Chi
with John Robertson
3:30 - 4:30 pm The Buddhist Way to Radiant Joy
with Bhante Sujatha
A Doctor's Guide to Energy Healing
with Dr. Marilyn Mitchell
The Wisdom Within: Heart Centered Meditation
with Juliana Cesano

The Native American Ceremonial Pipe

with Quentin Young
Exploring and Experiencing the Labyrinth
with Neal Harris
5:00 pm

Spirit Circle Drumming
with Karen Tlusty-Rissman
5:30 pm Guided Gong Sound Meditation
with Marian & Gabriela Kraus
         

 

Theosofest 2019 Presenters, Topics & Schedule

 

10:15 a.m. Auditorium
Opening Ceremony: Prayers from World Traditions

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PRESENTATIONS

11:00 a.m. Auditorium
The Quest for Happiness
Radhanath SwamiWe all yearn for love in its many forms. Why, then, is our desire to always live, love, and be loved so often and repeatedly thwarted by life’s realities? Might these longings point to a higher level of reality? Might exploring spirituality provide us some answers? Join New York Times bestselling author and international speaker Radhanath Swami for a riveting talk that will, through contemporary anecdotes, analogies, and analysis, reveal our truest, deepest, and highest potential.

Radhanath Swami, born Richard Slavin in Chicago, is a world-renowned speaker, life coach, social activist, acclaimed author, and a spiritual leader traveling around the world sharing the message of love and compassion to humanity. His powerful yet humble demeanor and conscious presence has transformed the hearts and minds of millions. Over the past 25 years, he has guided and directed the development of a number of acclaimed social action projects including Midday Meals, which serves more than a million plates of food to underprivileged children in Mumbai daily. He has also worked to establish missionary hospitals and eye camps, eco-friendly farms, schools, and orphanages.

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11:00 a.m. Nicholson Hall

Karma, Past Lives, and Relationships
David BirrIt is only by fully expressing our soul qualities in relationships with others that we experience our own soul. The primary purpose of relationships is to enable each soul to grow in its innate divinity. This is also the purpose of reincarnation. Explore how karmic memories profoundly affect your feelings in relationships. Examples of how karmic memory works will be presented. Karmic memories from the past can reveal what needs to be healed and what can be celebrated in relationships. How we apply our spiritual knowledge is what counts in the earth plane. How does your example of soul expression encourage others to more fully express their souls?

David Birr has facilitated weekly soul growth groups for 50 years. He has taught courses and presented lectures on many topics, including intuition, dreams, soul development, meditation, reincarnation, and karma.

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11:00 a.m Meditation Room
Therapeutic Touch as a Meditative Practice
Marilyn JohnstonTherapeutic Touch® (TT) is a healing practice of the heart, mind, and hands. It has strong Theosophical roots, as Dora Kunz, past president of the Theosophical Society, was the co-creator of TT along with Dr. Dolores Krieger. It is both an active healing practice created to help those who suffer, and a meditative practice for the practitioners. Guided by compassion, it brings a deep sense of inner peacefulness, quietude, and a sense of wellbeing. Join us to learn about this special healing modality.

Marilyn Johnston-Svoboda, RN, EdD, QTTT, is a retired professor of nursing. Taught by Dora Kunz, who created TT along with Dr. Delores Krieger, Marilyn has been practicing, mentoring, and teaching TT for over 30 years. A member of the Therapeutic Touch International Association, Dr. Johnston is currently an education trustee of that organization.

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11:00 a.m. Outside Tent

Yoga Standing Poses
Juliana CesanoJoin us for some standing yoga postures as we cultivate present moment awareness. Each practice can bring you closer to your natural state, as you expand in relaxation, flexibility, and strength. No experience necessary!

Juliana Cesano, is a certified yoga teacher, 200 CYT, and is currently the manager of the Quest Book Shop at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in America. She has been a member of the Theosophical Society for twenty years, and spent two years at the international headquarters in Chennai, India. 
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11:30 a.m. Outside Tent
Yang Style Simplified T'ai Chi
John RobertsonThrough the practice of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, your mind can achieve a stillness and clarity rarely experienced with other forms of exercise, integrating your body and mind and allowing you to achieve inner peace. Practice strengthens the immune system; improves posture, balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength; reduces blood pressure and stress; and releases tension, allowing a feeling of positive energy to flow through your body. No experience necessary!

John Robertson has nearly 20 years of experience practicing and teaching T'ai Chi Ch'uan and qigong and is a student of Taoist philosophy. He is a Level 7 Certified Qigong Instructor with the World Ki Gong Club and a Certified Advanced Instructor and professional member of the National Qigong Association. John owns Seven Stars Martial Arts in Winfield, IL. (www.7StarsMA.com).

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12:30 p.m. Auditorium
Native Americans and Their Mystic Visions
Quentin YoungThis lecture offers a look into the great visions of Wicasa Wakan (Holy Men) such as Black Elk’s Great Vision of the Flowering Tree of 1872, and Wovoka’s Ghost Dance of 1890. Learn about the contents of each vision and how these visions impacted the Indigenous people of the high plains and all people of the world for over four generations.

A book signing of Mystic Visions: Black Elk’s Great Vision Clarified will follow the program.

Quentin Young, a mixed-blood Lakota, has been involved in the Lakota spiritual way of life since the age of six. He began keeping a caŋnuŋpa (pipe) in 1989. He has participated in all Seven Rites of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) ceremonies and has Sun Danced for over twenty years. Quentin has taught Black Elk’s vision at the College of DuPage and has lectured at several colleges and universities throughout Illinois.

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12:30 p.m Nicholson Hall
Ayurveda and Brain Health: How to Have a Balanced Mind in a Stressed Out World

Gokani.jpgDo you or someone you love suffer with low energy, feeling overwhelmed, episodes of anxiety, insomnia, and/or pain? Maybe you are seeking a way to avoid brain disease and have a strong brain for years to come? Then this is a MUST ATTEND lecture to help you get to the root of your challenges. Brain disease is on the rise! We must take action to prevent it. In this lecture, Dr. Gokani, a board-certified neurologist trained in Ayurvedic and Functional Medicine, will share her 4-Step process to optimizing brain health.

Her proprietary process, which has been developed over a decade, incorporates western medical approaches alongside ancient wisdom and philosophy. Learn novel approaches using lifestyle, diet, supplements, teas, and mind work to enhance your natural brain function. You will learn about brain typing and how to use actionable steps to balance your body type, thus reducing your symptoms.

Dr. Gokani is a regular guest on the Dr. Oz Show and is the author of The Mysterious Mind: How to Use Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science to Heal Your Headaches and Reclaim your Health. She is a physician trainer and speaker.

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12:30 p.m Meditation Room
Mindfulness Meditation
Bill EpperlyMindfulness meditation is a path to enhanced spiritual awareness and, ultimately, awakening to our interconnectedness to all life. Learn an integral form of mindfulness meditation that embraces four key aspects of life: Self, Body, Relationships, and Social Engagement.

Bill Epperly, PhD, is a research biochemist who left the lab in pursuit of enlightenment. He has studied contemplative Christianity, Zen Buddhism, and Ken Wilber’s integral spirituality. He teaches mindfulness at DePaul University and serves individuals as a spiritual coach and teacher. His websites are billepperly.com and integralawakenings.com.   

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12:30 p.m. Outside Tent
Jin Shin Do ®Bodymind Acupressure® Pulse Assessment
Renee RyanHow do we? Renee Ryan will take several pulses on volunteers from the audience, and then show how to determine which meridians to work on in a session to bring balance for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. She will also show how eating and drinking water influences your pulses. Volunteers will then have the opportunity to hold different gemstones and smell essential oils to witness how they affect your pulses.

Renee Ryan has practiced the healing arts for 30 years and has studied qigong and tai ji in the United States, China, and Korea. She is an acupressure and massage therapist and a Tai Chi/Qigong & JSD Acupressure Teacher. Renee is also co-director of the Lightheart Center for Healing Arts in Winfield, Illinois.

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12:30 p.m. Outside Labyrinth
Exploring and Experiencing the Labyrinth
Neal HarrisFor over four millennia, labyrinths have been wonderful tools to enhance relaxation and intuition. They have helped people relax, meditate, make healthy life choices, and connect to their spiritual guidance. In this talk, you’ll learn about labyrinths and how to walk the outdoor labyrinth at the Theosophical, and take a guided group walk on that labyrinth.

Neal Harris, M.A., is a licensed clinical professional counselor, Reiki teacher and owner of Relax4Life, a holistic education and services center in Barrington. In 1997, he created the first permanent outdoor walking labyrinth in Illinois and has consulted on and created other public labyrinths including the one at the Theosophical Society. He also designs wood and plastic finger labyrinths and manuals for creating walking labyrinths. Neal is both a founding member of The Labyrinth Society and a Certified Veriditas Facilitator.

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2:00 p.m. Auditorium
Reincarnation: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Implications
Barbara_HebertReincarnation has been a topic of great interest to many individuals through the years. It has moved from a forbidden topic to a subject that is casually discussed in daily conversation. More than this, however, the ancient teaching of reincarnation provides us with direction for living our daily lives and offers insight into the often confusing and tumultuous world around us.

Barbara B. Hebert, PhD, currently serves as president of the Theosophical Society in America. A third-generation Theosophist, Barbara has been involved in local, regional, and national offices throughout her years of membership. In addition to her years of service with the Theosophical Society, she has been a mental health practitioner and educator for many years.

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2:00 p.m. Nicholson Hall
Listening as an Act of Love
Leslie Sann.Communication is an active art between speaker and listener. Listening is often taken for granted in communications, yet listening to another person, truly listening, is one of the most pure signs of love we can share. In this interactive presentation, you will learn to identify the distinction between listening and hearing, experience how you listen to yourself and to others, learn how listening shapes your reality, and expand your capacity to listen, and therefore, to love.

Leslie Sann, MA, LCPC, is the author of the award-winning book Life Happens: What Are YOU Going to Do About It? She is also a mentor, coach and founder of The Living by Design School. For over 30 years, Leslie has been helping people create a joyful life personally, professionally and in their relationships, guiding them to live by design rather than by default. Learn more at www.lesliesann.com.

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2:00 p.m. Meditation Room
Buddhist Meditation: Serenity and Insight
The Buddha said that nothing gives us more trouble than an untrained mind, and nothing brings more benefit than the well-trained mind. Through the practice of meditation we can explore the mind and gradually develop peace and clarity. We must take time for introspection, observe the nature of the mind, and teach it to abandon its constant preoccupation with "thinking about stuff.’ Gradually, we will begin to experience the arising of deep insight.

John Cianciosi, a student of the late Venerable Ajahn Chah, was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1972 and served as spiritual director of monasteries in Thailand and Australia. He is the author of The Meditative Path and is currently the director of Public Programs at the Theosophical Society.

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2:00 p.m. Outside Tent
Yoga Standing Poses
Juli CesanoJoin us for a few standing yoga postures as we cultivate present moment awareness. Each practice can bring you closer to your natural state, as you expand in relaxation, flexibility, and strength. No experience necessary!

Juliana Cesano, is a certified yoga teacher, 200 CYT, and is currently the manager of the Quest Book Shop at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in America. She has been a member of the Theosophical Society for twenty years, and spent two years at the international headquarters in Chennai, India.

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2:30 p.m. Outside Tent
Yang Style Simplified T'ai Chi
John RobertsonThrough the practice of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, your mind can achieve a stillness and clarity rarely experienced with other forms of exercise, integrating your body and mind and allowing you to achieve inner peace. Practice strengthens the immune system; improves posture, balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength; reduces blood pressure and stress; and releases tension, allowing a feeling of positive energy to flow through your body. No experience necessary!

John Robertson has nearly 20 years of experience practicing and teaching T'ai Chi Ch'uan and qigong and is a student of Taoist philosophy. He is a Level 7 Certified Qigong Instructor with the World Ki Gong Club and a Certified Advanced Instructor and professional member of the National Qigong Association. John owns Seven Stars Martial Arts in Winfield, IL. (www.7StarsMA.com).

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3:30 p.m. Auditorium
The Buddhist Way to Radiant Joy
Bhante_Sujatha_The ancient texts of the Buddha tell us that no external condition can be the cause of our happiness; only the mind has that ability. When people understand the root cause of their struggles and learn what to do with their minds to make things better, sustainable happiness and radiant joy are the result. Bhante Sujatha has taught many people over the years how to empower the mind and cultivate the qualities that will help them find strength and happiness, as well as a burning desire to add more love to the world. When we understand our mind, we begin to re-shape our behavior and feelings about so many things… It’s the most loving act of service we can do for ourselves and the world.

Bhante Sujatha, a Buddhist monk for over 35 years, is singularly focuses on adding more love in the world. Bhante teaches loving-kindness meditation to people around the globe for all those seeking the art of happiness and contentment. His approach to meditation is deep and simple, bringing core Buddhist teachings to everyone in a way that is practical and easy to understand. A joyful, radiant, funny, and wildly energetic monk, Bhante will help you obtain peace that can only be found in deep silence. Originally from Sri Lanka, he is the head monk/abbot of the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center in Woodstock.

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3:30 p.m. Nicholson Hall
A Doctor's Guide to Energy Healing
Marilyn MitchellDr. Marilyn Mitchell will discuss how energy healing works and how it can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions and symptoms. Learn about the inner source of vitality and healing that we all possess, and how it has been used to help many people achieve optimal health and well being, even when faced with serious and life-threatening illnesses. Whatever the dysfunction or ailment, energy healing opens you to a deeper sense of ease, well-being and purpose, and brings you back to your true self.

Dr. Marilyn Mitchell received her medical degree from Rush Medical College and completed her residency at the University of Chicago. She is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. Dr. Mitchell is also certified by the Barbara Brennan School of Healing and the EnergyTouch School of Advanced Healing. She is an educator, speaker, intuitive and health visionary and is a leader in the field of integrative medicine. Dr. Mitchell is also the founder of HealingSpace Medical Center and mission, and author of The True Nature of Healing: A Surgeon's Soul Journey.

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3:30 p.m. Meditation Room
The Wisdom Within: Heart Centered Meditation
Juli Cesano-As much as we like to depend on external sources for guidance and direction, the answers to all questions are within our spiritual heart. Books, seers, and teachers can be a source of inspiration and support, but only in the process of establishing a deeper relationship with our own inner wisdom can we create the opportunity to hear the most valid promptings.

Juliana Cesano is a certified yoga teacher, 200 CYT. Meditation and the exploration of her spiritual path have helped her develop a contemplative yoga practice. She spent two years at the international headquarters of the TS in Chennai, India and is currently the manager of the Quest Book Shop.

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3:30 p.m. Outside at the Labyrinth
Exploring and Experiencing the Labyrinth
For over four millennia, labyrinths have been wonderful tools to enhance relaxation and intuition. They have helped people relax, meditate, make healthy life choices, and connect to their spiritual guidance. In this talk, you’ll learn about labyrinths and how to walk the outdoor labyrinth at the Theosophical, and take a guided group walk on that labyrinth.

Neal Harris, M.A. is a licensed clinical professional counselor, Reiki teacher and owner of Relax4Life, a holistic education and services center in Barrington. In 1997, he created the first permanent outdoor walking labyrinth in Illinois and has consulted on and created other public labyrinths including the one at the Theosophical Society. He also designs wood and plastic finger labyrinths and manuals for creating walking labyrinths. Neal is both a founding member of The Labyrinth Society and a Certified Veriditas Facilitator.

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3:30 p.m. Outside Tent

The Native American Ceremonial Pipe
Quentin Young

A ceremonial pipe is a particular type of smoking pipe, used by a number of Native American cultures in their sacred ceremonies. Traditionally they are used to offer prayers in a religious ceremony, to make a ceremonial commitment, or to seal a covenant or treaty. Indigenous peoples of the Americas who use ceremonial pipes have names for them in each culture's indigenous language.  Quentin Young will explain the origin of the Caŋnuŋpa (Pipe), how it came to the people, and how it is used. People will be invited to join in the ceremony of lighting the pipe and sending up the prayers.

 

The prayers and living mandala of plants and flowers are ceremonially offered in a sacred fire to pachamama (Mother Earth) or water. As the despacho is released, the intentions (prayers) are disclosed to spirit and the universe for the highest good.

Quentin Young, a mixed-blood Lakota, has been involved in the Lakota spiritual way of life since the age of six. He began keeping a caŋnuŋpa (pipe) in 1989. He has participated in all Seven Rites of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) ceremonies and has Sun Danced for over twenty years. Quentin has taught Black Elk’s vision at the College of DuPage and has lectured at several colleges and universities throughout Illinois.

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5:00 p.m. Drumming Circle
Spirit Circle Drumming
Karen-Tlusty-RissmanCelebrate your spirit through music and movement! Join us in sacred space for healing rhythms and dance. Based on a blend of traditions, the drum circle draws on our most ancient roots to create expressions of love and joy, raising energy that is held in silence and then sent out in offerings of prayer, followed by grounding. Although some instruments will be available, please bring drums, rattles, or other rhythm instruments if possible. Meet outdoors at the Stone Circle south of the labyrinth.

Karen Tlusty-Rissman is a musician, artist, and celebrant of Spirit in all forms. She has facilitated sacred circles for over 30 years. Her practice, based on the belief that all beings on this planet are One, weaves together the common threads of Native American and pagan teachings as well as reiki energy work and aromatherapy. Co-facilitator of the Community Drum Circle for 15 years and currently leading a meditation class at the Anahata Center, Karen also facilitates many ceremonies honoring life passages, seasonal transitions, and for healing. Karen is available for personal consultation and musical performances.

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5:30 p.m. Auditorium
Guided Gong Sound Meditation
Marian_Gabriela_KrausThe goal in all healing, meditative, and spiritual pursuits is to raise an individual’s awareness and vibratory frequency. Following a guided meditation, Marian and Gabriela generate a colorful bouquet of vibratory sounds and energetic rhythms by harnessing the ancient power of large gongs and singing bowls. The couples' inimitable sound excursions take listeners into otherworldly realms and provide a nurturing space for relaxation, healing, and introspection - all ideal portals to personal transformation.

Marian and Gabriela Kraus have studied gongs and sound therapy with renowned master teachers and bring a colorful life history with their European and Latin American origins. Their inherent artistic and musical abilities, years of studies in psychology and metaphysics, and life experiences in health and wellness-related TV programs and international corporate settings work together to facilitate a uniquely transformational and healing experience. Visit www.delamora.life for more information.

Please bring a pillow and blanket or mat to lie on.

$25 per person in advance, $30 at the door

Register here

   

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