Intersect: Conference on Science & Spirituality & Consciousness, 8/11 – 8/14

Intersect: Conference on Science & Spirituality & Consciousness, 8/11 – 8/14

“Intersect,” a conference on the nexus of science and spirituality, takes place at Telluride’s Christ Church starting Sunday, August 11, 5 p.m–Wednesday, August 15, 2 p.m. The 2019 theme is “Consciousness.” The event, moderated by Dr. Pat Bailey and Teresa Westman, features dynamic speakers and discussions, related activities, food and drink. All are welcome. Tickets sold in advance here are discounted to $89 (which includes two lunches and two evenings of adult libations and light appetizers!) Walk-in conference tickets are $125. (Cash or check only – no credit cards please.)

For volunteer opportunities and scholarship requests, please email Teresa Westman at

“The one you are looking for is the one who is looking,” Francis of Assisi.



The goal of Intersect is to nurture and promote the development of new perspectives and insights through the presentation of intellectual ideas, holistic learning modalities, meaningful conversation, and interpersonal interaction in a collegial, inspired, and beautiful Telluride mountain setting.

“‘Spirit’ comes from the Latin word ‘to breathe.’ What we breathe is air, which is certainly matter, however thin. Despite usage to the contrary, there is no necessary implication in the word ‘spiritual’ that we are talking of anything other than matter (including the matter of which the brain is made), or anything outside the realm of science. On occasion, I will feel free to use the word. Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual…,” wrote cosmic sage Carl Sagan just before his death in 1996.

In the prologue to his book, “The Universe in a Single Atom,” the Dalai Lama had this to say, a variation on Sagan’s theme.

“I believe that spiritually and science are different, but complimentary investigative approaches with the same greater goal, of seeking the truth. . . . Moreover, through a dialogue between the two disciplines, I hope both science and spirituality may develop to be of better service to the needs and well-being of humanity.”

“I think that both of those goals, truth and wellbeing, define what it means to me to be a spiritual leader, and I believe that both the discipline of science and the path of spirituality can serve those goals,” said Dr. Pat Bailey, pastor, Telluride’s Christ Presbyterian Church.

In that, umm, spirit, Christ Church hosts Telluride’s 2nd annual conference on science and spirituality. “Intersect” is open to all. 

“I find it exhilarating to consider that my truth is not the TRUTH in any absolute or final, last-word sense; none of our truths are. Exhilarating because it allows me to ever be open to the more that is always emerging in our universe, including in our own consciousness. Exhilarating also because, while I understand that science and spirituality are different investigative approaches, I am increasingly finding certain intersects that I think will serve both, and I increasingly am hearing about those intersects from scientists as well. That is one of the Dalai Lama’s main points. The subtitle to his book is ‘The Convergence of Science and Spirituality”,” explains Bailey, who continues:

“In my own spiritual community, Telluride’s Christ Church, we try to create safe space for this conversation and convergence. Rather than gathering around a common creed, we gather around a common journey: life’s journey, which by its very nature is both material and spiritual. We believe that to do so expands both our understanding and compassion, which are both necessary for the deeper consciousness that we are capable of.

“That is why we thought it important to offer and resource the Intersect Conference for the wider Telluride community. That is also why we sought to bring together such a great group of presenters who understand the breadth and height and depth of thought on the topics. I hope you will consider attending the second annual conference and engaging in the conversation.”

Intersect, overview:

Pre-conference – Free events (No registration necessary for this portion only.)

Sunday 8/11 (5 – 9pm): Conference begins at Christ Church with a FREE meet & greet, social hour, and movie, (title TBA), to set the mood. Movie begins at 7pm.

Monday 8/12 (9 – 11am): Event partners with Wilkinson Public Library at WPL for a FREE book-inspired discussion using Evan Thompson’s “Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy.”

Again, for this portion alone, no registration is necessary. Limited supply of books are available, (first-come, first-served).Please check at the WPL first floor service desk for your copy. NOTE: All are welcome at the discussion even if you haven’t read the book!

MAIN CONFERENCE: Christ Church, Telluride

Monday, 8/12

(Noon – 1pm): Conference Registration at Christ Church

IMPORTANT: If you plan to register as a walk-in, please Christ Church can only accept cash and checks.

For volunteer opportunities and scholarship requests, please email Teresa Westman at

Monday afternoon (1:15 – 2pm): Warm welcome from Matt Segall, moderator and Pat Bailey, Pastor, Christ Church. “Intersect: Science & Spirituality – What are the Possibilities?”

Monday afternoon (2:15 – 3:45pm): Art Goodtimes shares his thoughts on “Consciousness, Entheogenics, and the Eco Philosophy of Dolores LaChapelle.”

Monday afternoon (4 – 5pm): Juanita Ramsey leads everyone through a personal experience with the intersection of neuroscience and shamanic healing practice in “Healing Ancestral Trauma.”

Monday evening (5 – 8pm): Appetizers and drinks.

“Playshop” with Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

“Romancing the Known: A writing playshop marrying poetry with science and mystery”

Where do we turn to when we want answers to life’s big questions? Some of us to science. Some of us to spirituality. And poetry is the art of building bridges between the known and the unknowable. In this two-hour poetry playshop, participants will explore braiding facts, faith, and questions. The focus is on details. Let the great muscle of metaphor lead us deeper into knowing and unknowing this amazing world. No previous writing experience or scientific knowledge necessary.

Tuesday, 8/13

Tuesday morning (9 – 9:30am): Welcome and administrative comments, Teresa Westman

Tuesday morning (9:30 – 11:30am): Matthew Segall: “The nature of consciousness, and what to do about it.”

While in one sense it is the most obvious fact about our existence, the nature of consciousness remains profoundly mysterious. Spiritual seekers have long celebrated the impenetrability of this eternal mystery, while scientific researchers continue their struggle to explain its evolutionary origins and supposedly brain-based mechanisms. This presentation begins with a summary of the contemporary state of consciousness research in science and philosophy. It then asks, “So what?” It may be that consciousness is not another material object to be theoretically explained, but a living process that we are called to participate in transforming through spiritual practice.

Tuesday morning (11:30 – Noon): Yoga with Angela

Gentle stretches that anyone can participate in. No experience needed. We will stretch at our seats in a practical way that keeps our energy high and our stress low.

Tuesday (Noon – 1:30pm) – Lunch

Tuesday afternoon (1:30 – 3pm): Becca Tarnas, “What is Cosmic Consciousness?”

When we contemplate consciousness, we inevitably have to ask the question: Who is conscious? Human beings? Animals? All biological organisms? Could it be that the cosmos itself is conscious? This presentation explores a practice that is both ancient and modern, a discipline that some consider a science, others an art, and still others a religion—astrology. The practice of astrology offers a lens on the depths of the human psyche, and yet it is grounded in the largest movements of our solar system, the orbital paths of the planets. The correlations between the movements of the planets and the unfolding of archetypal dynamics in human history indicate that consciousness itself may not only be a human capacity, it may be a quality of the cosmos itself.

Tuesday afternoon (3:30 – 5:30pm): Olga Sohmer, “Cultivating Holistic Consciousness: Participatory Inquiry as Integration of Science and Spirit”

This experiential presentation combines a discussion of participatory inquiry and consciousness with a guided holistic meditation. First, participatory inquiry will be introduced as a promising approach to new paradigm research, transformative practice, and consciousness expansion at the intersection of science and authentic spirituality. Then, participants will be led through a meditation inspired by Embodied Spiritual Inquiry, a participatory approach to psycho-spiritual learning and research. This practice will invite multiple ways of knowing (i.e., mind, heart, body, vitality, and spirit) to inquire into a question of personal significance, followed by time for creative expression and group sharing.

Tuesday evening (5:30 – 6:45pm): Appetizers, drinks, and music with Rosemerry & Doug: “Of Mandelbrot Sets and Miracles: The Poetry of Science and Spirituality.”

Join Rosemerry for an evening poetry performance that marries what we know with the great unknown. Accompanied by guitarist Doug Fergus (aka Lucky Doug), Rosemerry will perform poems that link physics, biology, chaos theory, and math to the mystery that is life and the something greater that links us all.

Wednesday, 8/14

Wednesday morning (9 – 9:15am): Welcome and administrative comments, Teresa Westman

Wednesday morning (9:30 – 11:30am): Panel discussion wrap up: “What New Possibilities for Science & Spirituality Intersection” have we uncovered? Matt Segall, Becca Tarnas, Olga Sohmer, and Pat Bailey

Wednesday morning (11:30 – noon): Final comments/closing: Matt Segall

Wednesday (Noon – 2pm): Lunch.

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    Posted at 16:16h, 11 August

    […] region. For example, Gourds c0-hosts Art Goodtimes and Rosemerry Trommer are scheduled to appear at Intersect conference on “Consciousness” at Christ Church, August 11 – August 14. Art leads […]