About Us

Our work in the area of Fundamental Wellbeing (i.e.: persistent awakening, nonduality, enlightenment, the peace that passeth understanding, and so on) is widely recognized. It's been presented for over a decade at leading scientific conferences and prominent academic institutions, well known and highly regarded public events, featured in countless video segments, articles, and interviews, mentioned in leading books, and much more. You'll learn more about some of that on this page, as well as meet the staff behind the 45 Days to Awakening Challenge.

Referenced by Leading Experts

Our work has been referenced in popular books such as Ken Wilber's "The Religion of Tomorrow", Deepak Chopra's "Meta Human", and Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal's "Stealing Fire".


Buddha at the Gas Pump

Jeffery's interview on the highly popular and influential BATGAP podcast is consistently in their top 3 most watched episodes, with over 200K views.
New Thinking Allowed

Jeffery has done multiple episodes for the popular New Thinking Allowed podcast. The most recent one about this project is below, followed by two of his other most watched interviews on this topic.

Jeffery has been interviewed three times for this influential podcast. The most recent one, below, covered this project. It's followed by a very comprehensive interview from 2019 and the original interview from 2015.
We do many interviews every year, you easily find them through a major search engine like Google. Some can also be found on our research website.

The Finders

Dr. Martin's bestselling book, The Finders, is a widely regarded authoritative work on Fundamental Wellbeing.

What Other Leaders in the Field Have to Say About The Finders:

“If a Nobel Prize existed for Psychology, the work done by Jeffery Martin and his team and described in this book would be a strong contender. The book is about people who have managed to fulfill one of the most sought after but rarely achieved human needs—true happiness, a deep fundamental sense of wellbeing.”
Dr. Peter Fenwick
Internationally renowned neuropsychiatrist and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
"In The Finders, Dr. Martin has made a real contribution. First he's defined a whole new class of folks' experiences: the enlightened, the illuminati, the deeply fulfilled, which is oft discussed and little understood. So, a careful and traditional transcending study of it is long overdue. While we've heard of these folks, by looking carefully at their experiences, he's been able to categorize their experiences, with clear, albeit complex and flexible, categories. To do so his interviews were thorough and have led to intelligible analyzes. This is a decade-long project and well worth his time and our study. An important book!"
Robert K.C. Forman
Ph.D., D.Hon., founding editor of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, author of Enlightenment Ain't What It's Cracked Up To Be
"I’ve devoted most of the last 50 years of my life to practicing and teaching meditation, and for the last decade, interviewing people who report having experienced a “higher” state of consciousness, or a Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience as Jeffery likes to call them. When I first learned to meditate, some friends accused me of self-indulgence, mistaking my daily periods of inner-directedness for escapism. I soon proved them wrong by becoming much more outgoing and productive though my daily practice of “recharging my batteries”. I now feel that the world’s problems are symptomatic of humanity’s general failure to tap the unlimited source of energy and intelligence that lies within. This may have been tolerable in other ages, but we have now reached the point where credible voices warn of global societal breakdown, if not the extermination of most life on earth, including our own species, unless radical changes are made. Nothing can be more radical than spiritual development. The Latin root of “radical” means root. Working with the root or cause of a thing is much more effective than tinkering with symptoms and effects. Genuine spiritual development is an experiential exploration of the root of our existence. If a significant percentage of humanity were to undergo such development, our world would be transformed. This appears to be happening. Interest in spirituality and profound spiritual breakthroughs are epidemic.
But who is to determine what is genuine? Science endeavors to do so regarding everything external instruments can measure but has generally dismissed the experiences of mystics as fancies unworthy of their attention.
Can subjective states be scrutinized empirically? Are people experiencing these states more fully aligning with nature’s intelligence? If so, could sufficient numbers of them transform our culture and our technologies and reverse the destructive trends that threaten us all?
Jeffery Martin has made and continues to make a significant contribution to answering these questions, and in the process, enabling others to answer them for themselves. He is bridging the unnecessary and unproductive gulf between science and spirituality and devising practical applications for his research as it unfolds. I think his work is among the most significant taking place on the planet today.
Rick Archer
Co-Producer and Host, Buddha at the Gas Pump podcast, which has interviewed hundreds of Finders
"Dr. Jeffery Martin’s work on Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience is among the most promising recent developments in contemporary consciousness research and I am thrilled that it is beginning to see the light of day. Both coherent with age-old wisdom yet also stretching prevailing boundaries and assumptions about the manifestation of these developmental stages, Fundamental Wellbeing needs to be an essential component in any 21st century consciousness studies curricular or research program. I look forward to incorporating it in my own work."
Ed Sarath
Professor of Music and Director of the Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies, at the University of Michigan; author of Improvisation, Creativity and Consciousness, and Black Music Matters
"This easily readable, yet profound, book is based on in-depth interviews of people who have managed to see through their “narrative” selves, the made-up drama which gives a sense of coherency but also too often is mistaken for the actual living person experiencing much more than any mere story could ever tell. Those free from the limitations of believing that their own narrative is all they are, including free from the all too often incessant-inner clamor that continually constructs and reinforces their personal stories, along with the concomitant suffering attached to these stories, are labeled as “Finders” for having seen through this fundamental delusion endemic within the modern world. They are, instead, enabled to experience the suchness of themselves and the world more directly without the clouding of words. Freedom from being encapsulated in such isolating-individualistic self-stories, however, does not always come without cost -- and this book courageously faces both the upsides and downsides of finding oneself one with verbally unmediated experience of what is. Reminiscent of Alan Watts’ 'The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are,' but speaking to a new generation and grounded in people’s actual experiences, this book provides a useful guide for those seeking, as well as those already living in ways congruent with, such radical freedom and its related responsibility."
Harris L. Friedman
PhD, Co-President of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology; Research Professor of Psychology, University of Florida; co-editor of the Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology
"Dr. Jeffery Martin's work on non-symbolic states of awareness has helped create the most lucid map for understanding higher states of consciousness. I have personally gained a deeper understanding of the universality of human sacred experience from his research and have been able to replicate and publish it. For anyone who is interested in getting scientific knowledge of the range and evolution of human experience in the direction of expanded awareness and ultimately that which wisdom traditions call 'enlightenment' Jeffery's book and research are must reads."
Deepak Chopra
MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, author of over 85 books including dozens of best sellers
"The Finders is a fascinating description of the ways in which people can find their greatest sense of well-being. The research is fundamental to understanding how experiences of fundamental wellbeing occur and provides new insights that will propel ongoing investigations. Essential for anyone striving for this type of well-being."
Andrew Newberg
M.D., Professor and Director of Research for the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University, author of How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain
"Jeffery Martin’s “The Finders” distinguishes itself from all other treatments I have read on the subject of “advanced / enlightened consciousness” via its straightforward, matter-of-fact and relentlessly empiricist approach. The key question at hand is, roughly speaking, “what the heck is going on with these people who claim or appear to have unusual states of consciousness characterized by extraordinary levels of well-being, consciousness and insight,” and two primary sources of data are brought to bear on this question: Extensive interviews and studies of people from around the world who apparently occupy such states of consciousness, and experimentation with combinations of various ancient and modern techniques for effecting such states of consciousness among the participants in early incarnations of the author’s “Finder’s Course” experiments.
Via creative but mainly bottom-up analysis of these data sources, Dr. Martin arrives at a rough ontology of “advanced, non-ordinary conscious states” — which he refers to as a whole by the blanket term “Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience” (PNSE) — arranging them into a series of numbered types 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., each of which is viewed as a cluster of experiential and behavioral characteristics. Differently from nearly all religious/spiritual approaches to the same themes, in Dr. Martin’s perspective, more advanced types are not viewed as morally “better”, and the pathway from lower to higher stages is not viewed as rigid or universal — the whole scheme is viewed as an approximative theory that explains the currently available data better than anything else presently available.
The style of the book is straightforward and information-rich, eschewing both detailed data analytics (which can be found in the author’s more technical materials on the topic) and the evocative story-telling that characterizes most popular works on similar topics. The Finders should be of deep interest to anyone with more than a passing degree of curiosity in the extraordinary (and in many senses extraordinarily positive) persistent states of consciousness that some humans have found themselves in, and also to anyone who is interested in potentially exploring such consciousness-states themselves. The author’s “Finders Course” is mentioned in an appropriate way, but in no way heavy-handedly; the findings described in the book are intriguing independently of the existence of this program.
As one would expect from an early-stage scientific investigation of such a large and subtle topic, many questions are raised. The psychological, cultural and circumstantial factors on which an individual’s path into PNSE depends are touched on but only in a preliminary way. There is not yet a detailed cognitive model of what may be going on inside the minds and brains of individuals experiencing various sorts of PNSE — though various clues are given. The extent to which insights and perspectives characteristic of different types and stages of PNSE may be viewed as extraordinarily truthful versus in some way delusional, is also not systematically addressed. But these lacunae are not criticisms of the book — rather, Dr. Martin should be congratulated for treating the topic in a way that makes these followup questions so easy to formulate in precise ways."
Ben Goertzel
Ph. D., World-renown artificial intelligence researcher and theorist, founder of the Artificial General Intelligence movement
"A wonderful introduction to just how different our minds can be."
Chris Fields
Ph.D., Renowned consciousness theorist and researcher with over 120 peer-reviewed academic articles
"The Finder's project is at the forefront of individual and societal transformation. Dr. Jeffery Martin put together an accessible, evidence-based, guide that can help you explore, understand, and finally realize your full human potential."
Tal Ben-Shahar
PhD, creator of the most popular course in Harvard's history, Positive Psychology (which was Jeffery's first course at Harvard); author of several bestselling books including Happier, and Even Happier
"In this book Dr. Martin takes his place beside William James and Abraham Maslow to give us one of the most important and ground-breaking works on consciousness and human potential in recent memory."
Allan Leslie Combs
Ph.D. CIIS Professor of Consciousness Studies, author of The Radiance of Being and Consciousness Explained Better
"Dr. Jeffery Martin and his colleagues have produced a landmark study, one not only relevant to transpersonal psychology but to psychology in general. Maslow wrote of "self-actualized" persons. Dr. Martin goes a step further, describing the phenomenology of Maslow's highest level, namely the self-transcendent or enlightened. This book contains a schema by which its readers can more deeply appreciate the development of these men and women. It is not often that rigorous research can be inspirational, but Dr. Martin has come through. Indeed, readers on a spiritual path are now able to chart their own development on a continuum of experiences, one that many writers once pathologized."
Stanley Krippner
Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Saybrook University; past-President of two and Fellow in five divisions of the American Psychological Association, and winner of its lifetime achievement award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology; 50+ year veteran researcher and pioneer in the scientific study of consciousness
"Dr. Jeffery A. Martin has written a highly readable, enlightening account of his groundbreaking research into the Fundamental Wellbeing. His Finders Course is among the most universally accessible methods for introducing one to nonduality to emerge in years. It can help one with the initial and perhaps the most difficult step in realizing nonduality, that of experiencing oneself free of the incessant subconscious gossip of one's narrative self. His work contributes to the ongoing transformation of human society from the fear driven egoism, nationalism and prejudice, into the global culture of compassion, wisdom and happiness."
Zoran Josipovic
Ph.D., Leading neuroscience of consciousness researcher, adjunct Assistant Professor for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience at New York University
"The Finders is a riveting, ambitious and fun account by Dr. Jeffery A. Martin of some basic realities in our world, that human beings are seeking what he terms Fundamental Wellbeing and fulfillment, beyond labels, philosophical leanings and what many claim a unique spirituality that they possess. Jeffery has carried out a lot of work and in his book provides fascinating details that will appeal to many, even to their own surprise when they find out that what they are seeking is commonly sought out by many others. I highly recommend it for those of us who feel that there is something common in all of us, yet that our own uniqueness should be honored and celebrated."
Menas C. Kafatos
Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics at Chapman University, and author of The Conscious Universe and You Are The Universe
"One would never enter a wilderness without a map and compass or a competent guide; Dr. Jeffery A. Martin is all those things for explorers of the psycho-spiritual domain. The Finders is simply one of the best descriptions of the process of personal growth and maturation to appear in recent years. The importance of this book extends beyond the individual, personal dimension, for it is likely that our survival as a species will depend on the degree to which we take the implications of The Finders to heart."
Larry Dossey
MD, founding editor of EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing, author of ONE MIND: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters
"It is a rare find to see a rigorous and well-designed, global longitudinal study of the transpersonal territory of human experience. This one explores the people called Finders, the folks who are inherently happy no matter what the circumstances. The report is written in a lucid, caring and accessible style. It never claims insights that have not been validated as of yet. Moreover, it introduces several novel and crucial distinctions and clarifications in the field of ongoing non-symbolic experiences and lasting, profound wellbeing.
Are you a Seeker or a Finder, for instance, and how can one tell? Where are the Finders and what makes them different from most people who struggle to navigate life. Are there levels of “finding?” How come we get so attached to our Narrative-Self and what is life like free of stories?
This is a must read for all those who explore the transpersonal field from whatever perspective, including any spiritual or religious leaning as well as atheist and agnostics. Dr. Martin’s overall thesis challenges much received knowledge and many widely-shared assumptions about how to “achieve” lasting contentment.
It is also a life-affirming read for those skeptical of any belief system no matter how ancient. We, too, can become Finders as faith in some higher being or post-death salvation is not a requirement. The study shows that benevolence and total inner calm can be found in people across the globe and in all walks of life."
Dr. Susanne Cook-Greuter
Internationally renowned authority on adult development; author of the landmark study on the characteristics and assessment of highly developed and influential individuals and leaders, as well as Postautonomous Ego Development; author of Creativity, Spirituality, and Transcendence: Paths to Integrity and Wisdom in the Mature Self, and Transcendence and Mature Thought in Adulthood; creator of the term "non-symbolically mediated consciousness.

The 45 Days to Awakening Challenge Staff

Jeffery A. Martin, PhD
Course Creator and Research Project Director
Dr. Jeffery A. Martin is a CIIS and Harvard trained social scientist who researches personal transformation and the highest forms of human wellbeing. 

He is a leading expert on persistent non-symbolic consciousness, known publicly as Fundamental Wellbeing (i.e.: awakening, enlightenment, nonduality, mystical experience, etc.). He specializes in bringing rigorous empirical research and testing to transformational techniques and theories that have previously been supported anecdotally. 

A bestselling author and award winning educator, he has co-edited, authored, or co-authored over 20 books and numerous other publications; appeared in a wide variety of media; and lectured broadly in both academic and public forums. 

He's currently the Director of the Center for the Study of Non-Symbolic Consciousness, Dean of Research and incoming President at California Institute for Human Science, a Director and Professor at the Transformative Technology Lab in Silicon Valley, an Adjunct Professor and Lecturer at Stanford University, and Vice President of the Society for Consciousness Studies. 

He was formerly a Distinguished University Professor, the William James Professor of Consciousness Studies, and Dean of Research at Sofia University and a visiting professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University among other appointments.
Rod Pennington
Executive Director
Fundamental Wellbeing Foundation

Rod has spent decades working behind the scenes in the personal wellbeing space. He has crafted multiple international bestselling novels with a gentle undercurrent of the concepts and practices of fundamental wellbeing. In 2022 Rod formed the Fundamental Wellbeing Foundation to support the work of others and provide guidance to seekers of inner-peace.
Sanjay Manchanda, PhD
Senior Research Scientist and Chief Clinician

Sanjay Manchanda, Ph.D. is the project's chief clinician. A practicing psychotherapist, Sanjay has over 25 years of experience with a wide range of spiritual and religious traditions and practices that focus on Fundamental Wellbeing. He is a leader in the use of Neurofeedback and Brain Stimulation technologies to help people to reduce anxiety, improve mood, enter meditative states, and reach and stabilize in Fundamental Wellbeing.
Annemiek Meyer, BSc
Research Associate

Annemiek is project's participant success manager. She has been a teacher and counsellor supporting people in their pursuit of well-being, freedom, and the highest states of human awareness for many years. She has a BSc (honours) in Psychology from the University of Derby, where her research projects on transpersonal psychology and states of nondual consciousness.
Marissa Ericson, PhD
Research Scientist

Dr. Marissa Ericson is the project's chief data scientist. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Neuroscience and Quantitative Psychology from the University of Southern California. Her research interests and current projects span a range of theories of consciousness, mindfulness, brain-body dynamics, and neural synchrony. 
Toqueer Qamar, BCom
Research Associate, Accountant

Touqeer Qamar has a degree in commerce with advanced work and certification as a chartered accountant and audit manager. He manages all participant data collection for the project, as well as the project's accounting.
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