Toward a Science of Consciousness 2014

Film Session

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Marriott Hotel Ballroom

10:30 pm

Film Viewing and Discussion with Linda Cherry

Press Pause: Reset Your Life

Have you ever wondered if there was some magic spell, some grand recipe that could reshape your life,

or some way to just start over?


Press Pause: Reset Your Life takes the viewer on a brief journey into how I overcame stress and confusion in my life, through

the help of western technology and ancient spiritual wisdom, relaxed my mind and my body, shifted my perception and reshaped

my experiences.

Press Pause: Reset Your Life offers a glimpse into how this is possible. The gift of a strange city and challenging circumstances forced the filmmaker to retreat into stillness and find her way back to herself.

This film is a brief journey into how she and others have been able to shift out of the stress and chaos of life by simply taking time to pause, feel and be.


“There I was, wet, naked, in the dark in the middle of Downtown Vancouver… 

in a sensory deprivation tank at the Float House in Gastown I was floating in stillness, but screaming inside - no one to hear me - except me, so I listened, and I felt.  Wrestling with my thoughts, random pain intermittently ran through my body; anxiety, an occasional tear, and then stillness, only to repeat the sequence over and over again. Yet after the 90-minute session I emerged calmer, clearer, and somehow things did not seem as bad as they did before I arrived. This experience was familiar to me, as I have encountered it in Mindfulness-Based/Buddhist meditation.  One practice was inspired in the west and the other in the east, but both practices enabled me to “re-set” my mind.”

The Filmmaker

After arriving from the U.S., with my hope, dreams and six pieces of luggage, to continue my Ph.D. studies in Vancouver, B.C., everything seemed to go wrong. The housing I had secured fell through. I could not find new housing on such short notice and was starting a full-time program in two days.  Having limited funds and knowing virtually no one in Vancouver, I resorted to hotels and my American Express card. Three weeks of living out of suitcases, going to class, moving from hotel to hotel, eating out everyday and trying to find a semi-permanent living situation, now added $4,000 to my $160,000 student loan debt. I was an insomniac and stressed beyond belief.  I was angry, tired, inconsolable, and possibly on the verge of going crazy. I realized that if I did not get a hold of myself, I might spiral out of control, never to return.

 For years I tried to blame the failures and mishaps of my life on others, until I came upon teachings that began to turn the responsibility of my life back on myself.  At first the idea that I was creating my experiences and my life seemed far-fetched, and it seemed much easier to blame others for my misfortunes. The idea of creating my life or manifesting my dreams, expressed in books such as Creative Visualization, The Secret or The Attractor Factor, not only smacked of new age pseudo-philosophy, it also had the potential to set one up for failure if one could not conjure the Ferrari or the big house on the hill.

So taking a simpler approach, I looked into how I could possibly reshape a moment or possibly a day, which could eventually lead to reshaping my life. Science, as well as personal accounts, demonstrates that one’s state of mind affects the state of one’s day. Highlighting certain tools, such as Western-Floatation/Sensory Deprivation Tanks and Eastern-Mindfulness-Based Meditation, results show that these, like other practices that allow one to pause, can help center and calm the mind and body, allowing for a shift in focus and consciousness.


Elements Include…



Dr. Peter Suedfeld-Psychology Professor and the University of British Columbia and with over 30 years of experience and research in the field of R.E.S.T.-Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique.

Margaret Callaghan: Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Instructor, Psychotherapist and Art Therapist. Footage will focus on her expertise regarding the benefits of meditation for adults and children, such as mental and physical health, as well as enhanced creativity.

David Marshall Ph.D.: Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Instructor who holds a Doctorate in Physical Chemistry. Footage will give a scientific perspective into how perception creates reality. Dr. Marshall entertains the idea that “life is a holographic projection,” that we have the ability to shape reality based on our thoughts and projections.

Mike Zaremba: owner of The Float House in Gastown, Vancouver, B.C. He calls floatation, “A temporary temple for Consciousness expansion.” Footage will emphasize Mike’s motivation to open up the center, his own floatation experiences, and those of his clients,

the work of flotation tank pioneer Dr. John C. Lilly, and the many benefits of a floatation tank experience.

Magdalena: Filmmaker, Ph.D. Candidate in Department of Philosophy and Religion at California Institute of Integral Studies: area of research-Evolution of Consciousness. Masters Degree in Religious Studies from Naropa University.


Shambhala Center-Vancouver, B.C.-a center for mindfulness meditation instruction based in the Shambhala Buddhism, which focuses on the goodness in all beings and on compassion. 

The Float House-Sensory Deprivation Tank Center in Vancouver B.C.

University of British Columbia-Graduate Psychology Department.

Shaughnessy Village-Short and Long Term Rentals, Vancouver, B.C.