Grof, Stanislav (1931-)

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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-in-residence 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.

Grof Transpersonal Training is headquartered at 20 Sunny-side, Ste. A314, Mill Valley, CA 94941. It has an Internet site at


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.

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Grof, Stanislav (1931-)

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