Join us in exploring human consciousness:

The most compelling frontier of our time.

Friday Monthly Meetings—the Heart of IONS Tucson. Our local community group meets on the first Friday evening of the month at 6:30pm. Speakers focus on issues important to IONS: complementary healing modalities; research on the physical responses to music, meditation, homeopathy, and water; the exciting field of Consciousness Research; and much more.

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+++October’s Speaker+++


M Pirtle

With Dr. Mark Pirtle

Friday, October 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM
Open to the Public — Admission cost: $5
Unity of Tucson, 3617 N. Camino Blanco
off River between Swan & Craycroft

Dr. Mark Pirtle presents evidence from his upcoming documentary film “Is Your Story Making You Sick?” that supports the premise that “attentional fixation” on one’s self-narrative, or story, is a primary factor in the perpetuation of all manner of stress-related illnesses, including addictions, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, auto-immune diseases and more. Additionally, he makes that case that meditation and mindfulness are effective in healing stress-related illnesses. Basic therapeutic meditation and mindfulness techniques are taught and practiced. Participants leave empowered to work more skillfully with their own triggers, thoughts and sensations in ways that bring relief.

Dr. Pirtle is at the forefront of integral thinking in recovery. He is a filmmaker, author, public speaker and true “innerpreneur.” His colleagues regard him as an extremely well informed generalist who connects the dots between science, spirituality and wellness. Pirtle has practiced mindfulness meditation for nearly two decades and spent months abroad in retreat in a Buddhist monastery. Synthesizing the disciplines of living systems theory and mindfulness meditation, he developed an evidence-based program for people suffering with stress-related conditions he calls Skillfully Aware®. His curriculum was used to develop the first ever chronic pain program at Sierra Tucson, a world-renowned psychiatric hospital. Subsequently, he joined the faculty for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine Fellowship Program. Currently, he is writing and producing the feature-length documentary film, Is Your Story Making You Sick? The film has a projected release date early 2017.

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+++November’s Speaker+++



With Dr. John Fitch

Friday, November 4, 2016 at 6:30 PM
Open to the Public — Admission cost: $5
Unity of Tucson, 3617 N. Camino Blanco
off River between Swan & Craycroft

In the first part of his talk, Dr. Fitch will define sustainable and regenerative building and why the concept is so important to society, natural environments, and the Earth’s Biosphere. He will then outline the steps and technologies of sustainable, regenerative building, using the solar-powered home he built in Redstone Canyon, Colorado, as an example. Lastly, he will discuss the environmental, economic, and societal advantages of this type of building including the spiritual benefits.

Dr. John H. Fitch has a long-term interest and career in ecology, wildlife biology, ecosystems conservation, animal behavior, environmental policy, and sustainability.  He has worked on these topics in government, academic, and nonprofit organizations. He received a BA in anthropology and zoology from the University of Kansas and a MS and PhD in ecology and zoology from Michigan State University.

> In government, he has been a Smithsonian Institution scientist and later a White House Fellow in the Carter Administration.  His work with Smithsonian Institution included three years as a scientist and assistant field director conducting a biological survey of the central South Pacific pelagic and island ecosystems.  As a White House Fellow, he worked on environmental policy issues, environmental legislation, and assisted on the Global 2000 report.

> In academics, he has been a faculty member at the Michigan State University, University of North Dakota, Tufts University, and Florida Gulf Coast University.  At Michigan State University, he developed courses in the Biological Science Program, School of Veterinary Medicine, and published his award winning doctoral thesis as a monograph on evolutionary and ecological changes on an Upper Peninsula forest ecosystem impacted by logging and forest fires.  At the University of North Dakota, he directed the Biological Science Program.  At Tufts University, he taught courses in sustainability and ecosystems conservation as well as animal behavior for veterinary students.  At Florida Gulf Coast University, he was a founding faculty member planning, developing, and teaching in environmental science, interdisciplinary studies, and MPA programs.

> In nonprofit organizations, he has been chief scientist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society; founding president and senior fellow for the Mainewatch Institute; and president and CEO of The Conservancy of Southwest Florida.  At Mass Audubon, he developed an environmental scientific department working on acid rain, ocean and estuary pollution, ecosystems conservation, energy conservation, and endangered species research.  At Mainewatch Institute, he launched major projects investigating Maine’s progress toward a sustainable future, conservation of the Gulf of Maine’s marine ecosystem on a transboundary level, and conservation of Maine’s forest resources. At The Conservancy, he expanded conservation, education, and sustainability efforts while building a substantial endowment and a more effective and professional organization.

Dr. Fitch has a special interest in fostering regenerative and sustainable futures at local, state, bioregional, and international levels.  As a way of personally demonstrating what he advocates, he lives and works in a sustainable house in Redstone Canyon above Loveland and Ft. Collins, Colorado that has been visited by more than 400 people since it was built in 2010.  He is president of the Sustaining Tomorrow Today Institute, LLC and is presently working on a book describing planning, building, and living in a sustainable home.  John’s hobbies include hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, biking, outdoor photography, camping, forest mitigation work, kayaking, travel, writing, reading, history, and nature study.