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Tomorrow Talks | How Out-of-Body Experiences shape our understanding of Consciousness

Tuesday, January 16, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Common House, 206 W. Market St.

This workshop is presented with UVA’s Division of Perceptual Studies and sponsored by Common House.

The research around out-of-body experiences (OBE’s) is a growing inquiry that challenges many scientific assumptions around the material world and our understanding of consciousness beyond the physical brain.

Join Dr. David Acunzo, Dr. Marina Weiler, and Pat Belisle, researchers and facilitators at UVA’s Division of Perceptual Studies, for a comprehensive exploration of what out-of-body experiences entail, and how they can change a person's life.

Using the latest insights from neuroscience and psychotherapy, this workshop will delve into OBE’s conceptual essence and the current state of scientific insights surrounding them. The workshop will also actively engage the audience by introducing exercises designed to facilitate the induction of OBEs.

All tickets are donation based on a sliding scale ($15 - $35). Please pay what you can to support the series.


Marina Weiler PhD, is a neuroscientist specializing in the field of medical sciences. She holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Neurology at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil. During her doctoral studies, Marina focused on utilizing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to gain insights into the alterations occurring in the brains of individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease. In recent years, Marina has shifted her focus toward studying human consciousness. Her current endeavors involve investigating fascinating phenomena that imply the mind’s independence from the physical brain, such as mental mediumship and out-of-body experiences.

David Acunzo PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. After a degree in telecommunications engineering from IMT Atlantique (France), David obtained his PhD in neuroinformatics from the University of Edinburgh (UK) and then occupied research positions at CIMeC – Center for Brain/Mind Sciences, University of Trento (Italy), and the Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, UK. His current research interests include abnormal perceptions, response to hypnotic suggestion and extraordinary experiences including mystical and psi experiences.

Patrick Belisle Patrick Belisle is a practical mystic; a nonprofit executive, teacher, hypnotherapist, and world traveler. For decades, Pat has been lecturing and raising funds for the Hoffman Institute, Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) in Virginia Beach, and the University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS), which is researching the nature of consciousness, and dozens of other excellent charities. Pat enjoys nothing more than sharing his wisdom and love of life with everyone he meets.

Paul Beyer is the founder of the Tom Tom Foundation and Tom Tom Festival, and in his role as executive director, is responsible for its strategic vision and community partnerships. Beyond Tom Tom, Paul works on a variety of gatherings and events ranging from festivals, dance parties, dinner series, meditations, men's groups, conferences, seminars, and concerts.


UVA Division of Perceptual Studies (UVA DOPS), founded in 1967 by Dr. Ian Stevenson, is a university-based research group. It is devoted to the investigation of phenomena that challenge mainstream scientific paradigms regarding the nature of human consciousness. The core research mission of DOPS is the rigorous evaluation of empirical evidence for exceptional human experiences and capacities that bear on whether the mind and brain are distinct and separable and whether consciousness survives physical death.



This year-long series picks up critical themes from our April Festival and continues the conversations to create an impact in Charlottesville. Each Tomorrow Talk session is facilitated with an emphasis on participation, connection, and new collaborations.

Tomorrow Talks begin with a connection exercise or meditation and proceed into a presentation and breakout activities. They aim to impart knowledge that is practical and relevant to people's lived experience; combining academic or theoretical insights, alongside pragmatic tools, and experiential and somatic learnings.


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