Paul Overman, Ph.D.
Paul Overman, PhD, East-West specialist, author, and lecturer, specializing in Spiritual-Life Guidance. Paul is an expert in transpersonal-guided imagery, insight meditation, and mind-body-spiritual transformation.
Paul has guided individuals for thirty years in heart-and-soul issues, including extraordinary dreams, spiritual energy-healing and eco-spirituality. Paul assists aligning life direction with spiritual direction.
Presenting at international dream conferences and conducting seminars, classes and retreats on Shamana Dreamwork, Integral Dream Yoga, Inspired Creativity, Inner-Healing, Meditation and Transformation, Paul is recognized as a gifted storyteller and integrator of East and West spirituality, creativity and integral healing traditions. Of special interest is his work in eco-spirituality – nature's way for healing and fulfilling the soul's desires and goals for life.
Paul is a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), International Transpersonal Association (ITA), and Spiritual Directors International (SDI).
Paul formally studied Integral Counseling Psychology and Eastern philosophy in 1978 at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). As studying traditional Western, Jungian and Transpersonal Psychology approaches to dreams at CIIS, he was drawn to Eastern dreaming knowledge and practices to understand his deepest, most profound dream experiences. These early studies culminated in his doctoral degree in 1982 from CIIS and with East-West and Integral Yoga Dream theory and principles being a major focus. At the time of his graduation, Paul traveled to India (summer, 19820 to study yogic-meditation under a spiritual-meditation master, and grew this initiation into a life long connection and practice.
Paul made East-West dream theories and principles, and the dreaming method of “samadhi-of-the-dream” of Integral Yoga by Sri Aurobindo the basis and a specialty for Paul's approach to transformational dream work. Paul had his first experience of samahdi of the dream in his childood, and his first dream initiation in his adulthood, after a formal spiritual initiation (shaktipat) through a kundalini yoga Master. As a child and adolescent Paul also first experienced, spontaneously, shamanic journey dreaming, later to receive initiation into two healing traditions, one rooted and within a shaman tradition.
Paul's Integral dream research and yogic dreaming evolved into his first formal presentation on Integral Yoga and dreams, an East-West Perspective at Klamath Falls Mental Health Center in 1981. He later presented this work for the general public in Ojai, CA, in 1983 at a healing retreat center; and then again at his first presentation for the International Associaiton for the Study of Dreams' (IASD) 2nd International Conference. Since then, Paul has been working with individuals, small groups, and giving further presentations on various applicaitons of Integral Dreamwork for lay persons and professional therapists and counselers. Over the years, Paul has presented at IASD integrating principles of East-West dream theory, rooted in the work of Sri Aurobindo and other yogic traditions, integrating.
Paul presented an Integral theory and principles of healing dreams, Healing Dream Trance, at the IASD 2013 Conference in Berkeley, CA, in a panel on Dreams and Health.
Since his work is rooted deeply in the work of yoga master Sri Aurobindo, Paul calls his research and approach Integral Dream Yoga, or as Paul also calls it, Shamana Dream Yoga, due to Paul's dream healing work synthesis of tantra yoga, veda yoga, Integral Yoga and dream shaman traditions. An Integral Dream Yoga is a spiritual-life transformation practice embracing all of life and its transformation, assisted by dreaming under guidance of the inner being, the soul. The name Shamana Dream Yoga suggests a deeper integration and systhesis of dreaming practices with meditation practices and eco-spirituality, an approach to life Paul calls "samana" or “shamana” – for harmonizing mind-body-spirit, aligning life direction with spiritual direction.
Shamana dreaming, soul aligment and integrated meditation techniques are discussed in his forthcoming book, an expanded edition of his The Shamanic Dream. Paul has authored a number of audio programs including Inspired (currently out of publication) , and his CD-series Peaceful Retreat. His guided meditations—taught in groups, mentored individually, and recorded in his audio programs — are based on universal mind-body-spirit contemplations called, in the East, dharanas.
Brief Education Background
Paul Overman's Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology is from the University of Dayton. His Ph.D. in Integral Counseling Psychology – under mentorship and directorship of Paul Herman, Ph.D. – is from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco. Dr. Herman, founder of Integral Counseling Psychology, became one of Dr. Overman's key professional mentors in guiding and mentoring others.
Paul's studies at CIIS of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo became a life long inspiration for the understanding consciousness, dreams and the yoga of health and longevity, from an eco-spiritual perspective. At CIIS, Paul also studied Theravada-Vipassanā meditation under Rina Sircar, currently Professor Emerita of Asian and Comparative Studies, through her classes, with particular focus on healing meditations and assisting the dying. During his studies at CIIS he was greatly influenced by the pioneering consciousness work of Stanislav Grof, MD. Paul's pre-doctoral internship was under mentorship and directorship of Abdul Dalal, Ph.D., editor and author of numeroutes books on Integral Psychology and Integral Yoga, including The Yoga of Sleep and Dreams.
Other Select Presentations & Publications
Paul introduced his research and integral approach to lucid and mutual dreaming in his presentation “The Shamanic Dream” at the 27th Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams in June 2010 at Asheville, NC. In June 2012, in his presentation on “The New Dreamer: Traveling on the Waves of Consciousness” in Berkeley, CA at the 29th Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, he introduced his research, work and method of The Five Directions™, a waking dream protocol for receiving insight; creative-inspiration; and inner-guidance, based on ancient Eastern and indigenous traditions of contemplation and guided consciousness expansion.
Paul's presentations on cross-cultural studies of yogic and indigenous dream theory and principles have the intention and purpose of bringing, into modern circles, modern approaches of time tested dreaming practices, integrated with insight-depth meditation. To this goal of integrating and sharing Eastern, Western and indigenous dream principles and potentials for the general public he wrote his ebook The Shamanic Dream.
Paul provides educational programs, mentoring, training, publications and eco-spiritual retreats, within an Integral approach to the fields of creativity, dreams, meditation and eco-spirituality. The “educational principle” embraced is that nothing can really be taught by another, since true teaching is assisting the other to discover their own "knowingness" or insight of self, nature and inner powers of consciousness to transform one's life and the world.