For Review – Goal Statement

This post is the current working draft of the Goal Statement required as part of my Ph.D. admissions package.  I appreciate you taking the time to look it over and to offer any suggestions or corrections you may have.  The current page length is approximately 3 pages, so I don’t really have a lot of runway for additional material – but does what I have here read okay?  Does it flow well?  Am I misspelling words or names, using terms incorrectly, presenting any typos?  Have I made any grammatical errors or misused any punctuation?  If you find anything that stands out, please ping me with your notes at bradley@awakeningintolife.com.


Goal Statement: A one-to-three page (typed, double-spaced) statement of your educational and professional objectives. Include how you will use the resources of the curriculum to advance your chosen inquiry.


Goal Statement (Cover page)

Bradley H. Bemis Jr.

Winter Park, Florida, United States

Author Note

Bradley H. Bemis Jr. is applying to the School of Consciousness and Transformation, California Institute of Integral Studies, to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology with a focus on Consciousness Studies and Contemplative Neuroscience, starting in the fall of 2022. 

Questions concerning this submission should be directed to Bradley H. Bemis Jr. @ address (removed) @ email (removed) @ phone (removed).  

Goal Statement (Body)

Hello, my name is Bradley and I am an applicant for the Ph.D. program in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology.  My primary area of interest is Consciousness Studies and Contemplative Neuroscience.  It is my firm belief that this program, and this focus area, are in direct alignment with what I want to accomplish through my life’s work.  I’m equally certain that CIIS, and this program, are an essential part of the path that I find myself on.  In fact, two of the biggest questions I’ve been asking myself lately, since finishing my master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling this August, is “where do I really want to be in 10-years’ time?” and “what does that Bradley need from this Bradley in order to accomplish these things?”   This feels like a fantastic starting point for a goal statement. 

When I look out, 10-years from now, I want my life to revolve around embodied nondual teaching, guidance, counseling, and coaching work, just as it does today – but in a continually evolving and growing capacity.  I’d like to have earned my Ph.D., delivered a dissertation that furthers the cause of nondual contemplative wisdom as an evidence-based therapeutic modality, and contributed, in a significant way, to the collective body of knowledge that brings embodied spirituality into mainstream academia, society, and life.  I’d like to serve as a voice for wisdom and compassion in the search for truth, while continuing to research, develop, and publish objective scientific studies that quantitatively and qualitatively support the subjective realities and infinite potentiality of experiential nondual insight.  Furthermore, I want to push the boundaries of the research approaches used in these efforts, finding new and novel ways to measure what cannot be ‘measured’ in the traditional sense.   I also want to be on the front lines of neuroscientific inquiry into altered states of consciousness; demonstrating the healing power of psychedelics, breathwork, and hypnosis, in ways that are complementary to inner inquiry and nondual contemplative wisdom.  These are just a few of the specific areas of interest that I believe align directly with the mission, vision, and goals of CIIS. 

Expanding on these themes, I also want to focus on changing the conversation, in academia and in clinical practice, around counseling psychology and contemplative spirituality.  When I was going through my own initial awakening experience, there was quite a bit of it that could have landed me in a psychiatric unit at any point – and it nearly did.  Thankfully, my girlfriend at the time had a master’s degree in transpersonal psychology from Sophia University and was able to advocate for the authenticity of what was really happening to me.  She was able to keep me out of a system that would have done me a great deal of harm, likely subjecting me to unnecessary psychoactive drugs and the ‘treatment’ of ‘psychosis’.  As a clinician in training, working within a nondual clinical context, one of the most common questions that my clients would ask me is “am I crazy?”.  I find all of this deeply unfortunate!  We are not a culture that values the seeker, the mystic, or the ascetic; nor do we value the systems and structures that support a devotional life.  The system that exists today habitually pathologizes what it cannot explain as ‘normal’ and adds a tremendous amount of suffering to the lives of those who it purports to help.  My heart suggests to me that this is unacceptable, that changing the system is a worthwhile endeavor, and that becoming a Ph.D. researcher, professor, and advocate is a necessary part of this process.   

Finally, I see myself using every means at my disposal to champion inner inquiry, self-discovery, and embodied awakening.  I envision building and leveraging a holistic, integrative platform that allows me to speak, write, teach, mentor, supervise, and collaborate on all things nondual in nature – with an intentionality that reflects a saying of mine “it’s always ‘just this’, completely undefinable, yet absolutely inclusive”.   I want to finish my post-graduate certificate in Teaching Adult Learners with UC San Diego, complete all of my post-graduate licensure requirements to become a fully licensed mental health counselor, progress through the ranks of the International Coaching Federation to achieve the designation of a Master Certified Coach, follow-up on my Ph.D. work with certifications that support my primary areas of research interest, and am even considering the pursuit of an M.Div. degree with Naropa University later on down the road.  From there, I foresee opening up a training academy of sorts, probably in the domain of psychospiritual coaching, that offers something unique and meaningful – drawing from everything I’ve learned, experienced, and realized to promote the professional pursuit of nondual counseling/coaching for those who see the value and benefit of bringing nondual wisdom into their own healing and helping work.  In other words, I really mean it when I say that my whole life is now dedicated to this course of service!  I simply can’t imagine doing anything else. 

Going back to my second question, “what does that Bradley need from this Bradley in order to accomplish these things?”, well that Bradley needs me to push, to press, to pursue, with all of my heart and with all of my being, a course of action that will lead there.  At some point, this Bradley and that Bradley will meet, in time, and I want to be able to bow my head in acknowledgment of a dream fulfilled, a calling completely honored in every way.  This is what allowed me to stay on track during the completion of my master’s degree – and this is what writes these words now!  I have spent considerable time watching what CIIS does; reading through its programs, researching its methods, and seeing its impacts.  What I’ve witnessed, in every situation and in every interaction, is an institution that is just as dedicated to this work as I am!  I see an organization that stands at the edge of an impossibility, doing everything it can to make the impossible possible despite the significance of the challenge.  That’s what I bring in my dedication, and that’s where CIIS and I meet in our shared intentionality.  I know that CIIS is the right place for me, that the Integral and Transpersonal Psychology doctorate program is exactly what I’m looking for, and that this is a match literally made in heaven.  I’ve never been more certain, or more passionate, about anything in my life before – and I’m ready, willing, and able to start this new chapter together with a deep appreciation for all that CIIS is, can offer, and will do!  Together, let’s transform the world – or at least our tiny corner of it.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Thanks again for your help reviewing this.  If you find anything that stands out, please ping me with your notes at bradley@awakeningintolife.com.

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