Some SAND17 Stories

Some SAND17 Stories

Hayes Mansion

This months Science and Nonduality conference in San Jose, CA was a different experience from 2015. Two years ago, we started with a large panel and spent much of the conference together. This year, 6 of those panelists were back along with some new faces. But while 2015 was dominated by peer connections, this year was more about media connections. I’m curious to see what plays out.


The conference also highlighted how much things had shifted here and how differently people were responding to what is said. I was recognized by more people too.

Kristin, Bob, and Isa
Kristin, Bob, and Isa

I arrived a little early on Wednesday. Rick Archer was off interviewing Adyashanti. On Thursday, I helped with the camera on the Robert Thurman and Isa Gucciardi interview. There I met Isa and Michael A. Rodriguez, my fellow panelists on Sunday. Bob was showing a new book on the life of the Dalai Lama called Man of Peace. It turned out to be a large graphic novel!

The main conference officially began Thursday evening. I went to Adyashanti’s talk.

Friday began with the usual group breakfast and listening to talks in the main hall. This year, they had some speakers give short intros for their longer talks held later in the conference. As before, there were often up to 8 concurrent talks and experiential sessions.

My talk was just before lunch. Most of the downstairs rooms didn’t have cameras so Rick graciously supplied his camera, introduced my talk and video’d it. (Talk here)

in the bookstore

After a quick lunch, I had my book-signing. Not as busy as the launch back home but the buyers were enthusiastic. Others wanted to get ebook versions on-line.

More Bob Thurman, then Deepak Chopra.

In the evening, Rick hoped to get an interview with Deepak (and me to give him the book) but he went to bed. I helped with Tim Freke’s interview.

Breakfast with JP

Saturday was a day with amusing things. Breakfast included JP Sears and David Ellzey. David is the mime on the Sofia panel. JP talks the same way in real life, so it’s an easy shift from serious discussion to satire. “Breakfast with JP” became a tag-line.

Later, when I was chatting with an attendee in the hall, Kristin Kirk came by. The woman raved about how you could run into amazing people in the halls. “Kristin in the hall” became another tag-line.

In the afternoon, I ran the camera for Rick Archer’s talk, then saw Jude Currivan‘s.

Airing out, I ran into Kiran on the patio. Later, a series of events unfolded, including some close questioning. Then I was invited to send the book to Deepak, with instructions. It worked out after all. Those at the table said they’d really like to hear a conversation between Deepak and I.

Michael and James
Kristin, Rick, and Craig

Dancing in the big hall completed the evening.

Sunday, I ran the camera for Kristin’s talk. Then in the afternoon I was on Rick’s panel with Michael Rodriguez and Isa Gucciardi. Our discussion ran 2 hours. (panel here and will be on BATGAP) When Rick introduced the topic of Sudden vs Gradual awakening, I was surprised to hear he was referring to 2 Buddhist doctrines, so I wondered what I was doing on the panel. But he then asked Micheal to define them, so I then knew what we were talking about. (laughs)

For the last dinner, a big group of us carpooled out for E. Indian.

I flew back home Monday morning.

Next year, the conference is moving from the mansion to the multiversity, 14-40.

Last Updated on November 6, 2018 by Davidya

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  1. Michael

    Wonderful pictures!
    I love Jp Sears videos and have read his book…..really hilarious (but with deeper meaning)!!!
    On that picture with that shirt and beard you look like an Allgäuer! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Michael
      Yeah- JP is a character. With the photo, he joked about my wanting to show his insecurity.

      I looked up Allgäuer and it’s a region in the Alps. I assume that’s named after something else? Care to explain? 🙂

      1. Michael

        right on track! 🙂
        Allgäu is the name of the region i have moved to over 6 years ago (to a village called pfronten). It is in the southern most part of Germany directly on the border to austria. Lots of green hills, nature and Mountains.
        Ah well not soo much the suspenders, but the white beard, the shirt (colour) and to some extent the suspenders….you would blend in here perfectly lol 🙂
        the traditional costume is another thing…

        1. 🙂
          Lots of snow too, eh?

          For Canadians, the costume is denim, flannel, and sandals (esp in the west). I was breaking out of standards for the conference, wearing khakis and wingtips. (laughs) Wasn’t the ideal costume for the weather… For lunches, many of us sought shade.

          1. Michael

            Well the climate is changing here as well as in every other place. The winters have become much milder and also a lot less stable. Meaning you have icey periods and then melt seasons. But in the icey periods we still have 2-4 meters of snow. 🙂

          2. We get about 2-4 inches of snow. A year. And it usually melts within a day or 2. But there is a tendency to get freezing rain and such which can be difficult.

            Some people prefer a “real” winter though. And some escape south.

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