Grof, Stanislav (1931– )
Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, known for his work in assisting
people benefit from altered states of consciousness, was born
on July 1, 1931, in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic).
He attended the Czechoslovakian University School of
Medicine from which he received his M.D. and the Czechoslovakian
Academy of Science who granted him a Ph.D. During
his early adulthood he began research on various psychoactive
drugs that would gain him an initial following.
In 1967 he was invited to Johns Hopkins University and in
1969 continued his research at the Maryland Psychoanalytic
Research Institute. Then in 1973 Grof became a scholar-inresidence
at Esalen Institute, the innovative human potentials
center in the Big Sur country south of San Francisco, California.
Over the next few years, he and his wife, Christina Grof,
developed Holotropic Breathwork, a meditative practice that
combines accelerated breathing with music and a relaxed body
state that leads to various altered states of consciousness. They
introduced the technique at Esalen in 1976 and continued to
offer regular workshops through their tenure at Esalen, which
came to an end in 1987. By this time, Holotropic Breathwork
had become a popular practice within the burgeoning New
Age community, and the Grofs founded Grof Transpersonal
Training, through which they offer a two-year curriculum to
train teachers of the breathwork techniques.
In the meantime, Grof authored a number of books including
The Holotropic Mind Three Levels of the Human Consciousness
and How They Shape Our Lives, (1993) LSD Psychotherapy Exploring
the Frontiers of the Hidden Mind, (1994) and The Cosmic Game
(1998). He was a cofounder and first president of the Association
for Transpersonal Psychology.
The Grimorium Verum Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
Grof Transpersonal Training is headquartered at 20 Sunnyside,
Ste. A314, Mill Valley, CA 94941. It has an Internet site
Grof Transpersonal Training and Holotropic Breathwork. May 23, 2000.
Grof, Stanislav. Beyond the Brain Birth, Death, and Transcendence
in Psychotherapy. Albany State University of New York
Press, 1986.
———. Books of the Dead Manuals for Living and Dying. London
Thames and Hudson, 1994.
———. The Cosmic Game Explorations of the Frontiers of
Human Consciousness. Albany State University of New York
Press, 1998.
———. The Holotropic Mind Three Levels of the Human Consciousness
and How They Shape Our Lives. San Francisco Harper
San Francisco, 1993.