Embodied mind has become a popular topic in neuroscience, where it has a different meaning than its use in a field such as somatic or transpersonal psychology. The difference can be described using a new concept of attention, which considers not only where attention is pointed, but where it arises within the body. Conventionally, attention is directed only from the head, where the brain and most of the sense organs are concentrated. But in deeper states of consciousness, there is evidence that attention arises in other areas of the body as well, not just in the head. By comparison with ordinary definitions, this might be called radical embodiment. Identifying and mapping the location of attention in deep states of consciousness offers a way to map these states that is not dependent only on qualitative reports by practitioners, and may allow for better comparison across practices and traditions. This may lead to a more useful description of such states. In addition, this offers neuroscience a potentially novel way of understanding the concept of embodied mind, so that embodiment can be understood not only as biological signals sent from body to brain, but as conscious awareness that can potentially extend through the whole person.
Glenn Hartelius is an internationally known scholar in transpersonal psychology. As editor of the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies (IJTS), he has developed this publication into a leading transpersonal journal, bringing it from fewer than 25 subscribers to 80,000 unique visitors per year. As co-editor of the Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology he has helped envision, organize, and produce the most current and most comprehensive scholarly overview of the transpersonal field; there are current efforts to translate this work into Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and Chinese. Through IJTS he has edited book-length volumes on Psychedelic Ketamine as Antidepressant, Transpersonal Medicine, Transpersonal Sociology, Transpersonal Anthropology, Shamanism, Parapsychology, Ecopsychology, Transpersonal Feminism, Relational Spirituality and Developmental Spirituality, Further Steps to a Metatranspersonal Philosophy and Psychology, and Approaches to Transpersonal Psychotherapy. He has also co-edited volumes on Perspectives in Spirituality and Applied Quantitative Research Methods in Transpersonal Psychology. His papers have appeared in Mindfulness, the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, The Humanist Psychologist, and the Journal of Consciousness Studies, among others. Through these projects and his work in developing a historically rooted definition of transpersonal psychology, he has developed relationships with many of the scholars in the field. As Secretary of the International Transpersonal Association and member of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology Board of Directors, he is active in the world-wide development and promotion of the transpersonal field. As the leader of an initiative for a Consciousness, Phenomenology, and Neuroscience Laboratory at the California Institute of Integral Studies, he is committed to the development of transpersonal scientific research. Glenn serves as Associate Professor for the East-West Psychology department, and is the founding Director of the online Ph.D. degree in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA, where he also teaches. He has taught graduate-level courses at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Naropa University, Saybrook University, and Middlesex University. As a scholar he has published professionally in both psychology and Near-Eastern archeology, and garnered over 140 citations in the literature. He has presented at conferences and workshops in North America, Europe, and Asia. In his own research, Glenn has developed a novel, pragmatic way of describing attention and states of consciousness that reflects direct inner experience yet can be measured and described in terms that simplify access to quiet meditation, clear focus, and leadership presence. He is working toward a practical, presence-based transpersonal model of mind that may be useful in bridging the gap between psychological theory and lived experience.