Dr. Regina Hess

Lead of MIND Amsterdam Office
researchgate

What is your motivation to contribute to MIND?

My motivation is to contribute to the MIND Foundation’s visionary initiative interdisciplinary global research and transpersonal social activism. I do this in the form of concrete projects in collaboration with individuals and organizations working in this field. My particular interest is the advancement of our understanding about the co-evolutionary relationship between nature and humans. Practically, this can be achieved through the integration of non-ordinary states of consciousness and the use of consciousness-expanding methods. This will contribute to a culture of consciousness and gradually to a health care r(e)volution, in which healing in the sense of experiencing wholeness plays an important role.

Where should psychedelic science be in 10 years?

Consciousness-expanding practices, induced both endogenously and exogenously, have been used for thousands of years by cultures around the world. They had been a key element in ritual applications for initiation, and to enhance and assist spiritual and psychological development, healing and wellbeing, as well as cultural and artistic expression. But what are their roles in post-modern societies? How can we utilize the benefits and minimize the risks of such practices? What I envision as the achievement of the interdisciplinary psychedelic science field within the next 10 years – is a revival and integration of such practices into the daily life of many people. On a societal and cultural level, the goal of such a psychedelic-science-assisted ‘life practice’ is to support the unfolding of our full human potential and to foster human development and evolution towards wholeness and balance. Growing change from the roots up takes time, patience, focus, intention, co-creation, collaboration, and a global community. It requires of all of us cooperation over competition.

What is the main challenge for an organisation like MIND?

A Western (Euro-American-centric) scientific focus has both great potential for making new contributions to knowledge and inherent limitations as a result of its overemphasis on rational and linear knowledge only and a possibly reductionist understanding of evidence-based practices. The challenge is to establish complementary ways of gaining knowledge such as mindfulness, shamanic journeying or sound-induced altered states of consciousness, and raising the understanding of such methods in the scientific community. Building an organization like the MIND Foundation involves a balancing of the rational with trans-rational knowledge in human life. It includes the critical dialogue between the academic and non-academic ways of being, thinking and communicating—and a deeper understanding and integration of a feminine perspective. Furthermore, I see a need to engage into evocative, artistic and complementary ways of disseminating scientific knowledge to achieve social impact through outreach to a general public.

Sascha Krüger

MIND Board (2017-2019, Director of Business Development and Finance (2017-2019)

What is your motivation to contribute to MIND?

When I became aware of MIND it was love at first sight, no exaggeration. I immediately felt an inner resonance between my beliefs and the agenda of the foundation. At the time my godmother died quickly and surprisingly. She spent only 14 days in hospice. The desire for humane hospice care was one of the trigger points for me at that time.

I quickly realized that my way of economical thinking can do a good job for a nonprofit organization. And that is ultimately the main motivation for me: to get a satisfying answer to the question where my abilities create the most value for the community. This is currently for me within MIND

What got you interested in Psychedelic science?

I have always felt the deep desire to look behind the curtain, to look behind the scenes. Already as a teenager, I was attracted to mind expanding experiences. These extremes have always been pure life, pure liveliness for me.

After university graduation, it was then a monk in a monastery who had again kissed alive my interest in altered states of consciousness, beginning with holotropic breathing and meditation. Since a close family member is taking antidepressants for 50 years now, I have seen the unattractive chance-to-risk ratio of these drugs. This own private experience and the intuitive feeling of having a predisposition for it myself, have left a lasting mark on my interest in self-healing and consequently in psychedelic science.

Which meaning does the psychedelic experience have for an open society?

An open society does not prescribe the solution, but only the desired normative goals. These are then achieved through evolutionary, fractal processes. Fractal, because there is always an original formula for successful processes in nature. This is often and often forgotten by people in crucial social positions. Towers of Babel are being built and the wheel reinvented to find seemingly solutions, alienating humans only from themselves and from nature. The psychedelic experience again brings intuitive order into internal and external systems that seemed lost. Returning to the essential, for me, that is the essence of the psychedelic experience.

About

Regina U. Hess, PhD, is a nurse, clinical psychologist, integrative Gestalt and transpersonal psychotherapist, supervisor, and researcher. She holds a joint PhD in transpersonal transcultural psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California, USA, and the Center for Qualitative Research and Performative Sciences, Bournemouth University, UK. She has authored various international journal articles and book chapters, and co-edited books. Regina is the founder/director of the “Ase World Forum – Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science”, which investigates ancient transcultural healing modalities and promotes their integration into modern interventions, research, and education.

She is faculty at international educational institutes (India, China, USA, Europe) and is in the core team of the International Institute for Consciousness Exploration and Psychotherapy, Freiburg, Germany. Regina is a speaker at international conferences. Her other positions include membership in the Board of Directors of the European Transpersonal Association and the International Transpersonal Association. She is co-founder of the EUROTAS Division for Transpersonal Research and of the Transpersonal Research Network. She co-organizes/co-facilitates annual global Transpersonal Symposia and Conferences, and the biennale Transpersonal Research Colloquium. She is a member of the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy. Regina is co-founder and lead of the of the ‘Amsterdam Office, NL, and head of the ‘Transpersonal Practice and Research Section’, of the MIND European Foundation for Psychedelic Science, Berlin, Germany.