To move forward and be architects of change, we need to innovate and revolutionize, lead from our hearts and serve with compassion.
There is no greater satisfaction than that moment when you realize that all of your papers are complete, those long hours of studying are behind you, and you are about to celebrate your accomplishment of graduating from college. At Sofia University, the commencement ceremony is a special event honoring the academic and psychospiritual journey that our graduates have experienced.
The following is the 2017 speech from Master’s in Transpersonal Psychology alumna Jennifer Nagrath reflecting on how the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University experience helps us Move Humanity Forward.
“Distinguished guests, faculty, families, friends, fellow graduates, good morning.
I am honored and humbled to address you on behalf of the Global Masters Program in Transpersonal Psychology. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our loved ones (our parents, our partners, our siblings, our extended families and friends) who have truly encouraged and supported us in our journey. My deepest appreciation to Nancy Rowe and to the academic faculty—your expertise, insight, and wise counsel was always heartfelt and empowering. It has been a privilege to feel the Sofia love and embrace. A sincere thank you. And to my beautiful co-heart souls I have met on this journey—you all have lifted my spirit in ways so special. May your journeys be always filled with warmth and light and richest blessings.
Reflecting on this journey, we might ask ourselves how did we end up here today? There is a strong likelihood that when we began this journey we all may have wanted to seek wholeness in our lives or be able to dive deeper into self and connect more with the wisdom of our body or to reflect on the meaning of spirituality in our lives or to learn how to work with the many parts of our personalities whether it is our shadow self or our inner critic or to find a way to just reconnect with nature.
Regardless of how this passion emerged, we are here today at least partly because at some point in our lives, we made a conscious decision to move forward and embark on a journey of deep transformational growth!
In thinking about this year’s commencement theme – Moving Humanity Forward – I truly believe that in today’s world to move forward and be architects of change, we can’t just accrue knowledge, we need to innovate and revolutionize; we can’t just follow, we need to lead from our heart; we can’t just feel empathy, we must serve with compassion. This program has taught us that each of us has a unique voice and we must unapologetically move forward and unfold our own myth.
We can each do our part to awaken in solidarity to move humanity forward because we are filled not only with intuition and lived experiences but we have also learnt that deep down we all have a remarkable capacity to serve with grace and love. We can be like spiritual warriors and advance with a fearless passion and a courageous heart to be the best we can be with a kind of intelligence that truly matters – that which illuminates from within, our true self. As Sufi mystic, poet, and scholar, Rumi stated, “travel from yourself inside yourself, from such a journey earth becomes pure gold.”
As we have experienced with this program, one way to move humanity forward is to commit to a cause bigger than self. In my own journey, as a social services advocate and founder of a nonprofit organization, I have learnt that being of service to other is to truly understand the deeper meaning of transpersonal will—which is to answer the call of our heart and live out our authentic relationships with others, with the community, with the world. After all, we are all members of the same tribe – we are connected to each other.
If we can learn to give unconditional love – beyond words, beyond self, beyond ego . . . If we can allow our heart to guide us to serve and have compassion for every soul . . . humanity can soar forward. As civil rights leader, Dr. King, Jr. said, “You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”
All of us will use our gifts that we have nurtured and nourished in these programs in one form or another during the next step in our journeys. Yes, we will be challenged and experience fear as it relates to transition and change, and new beginnings. But as inspirational author, Marianne Williamson beautifully reminds us,
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
So, in closing, I would just like to share that this program has taught us that the advancement of humanity begins with you, with me – so I humbly request you, let us accept the responsibility, to move beyond our limited, conceptual, judging mind and become compassionate and empathetic souls. Let us be responsive to the people and world around us in a way that is heartfelt and pure. Let us be a blessing. Be a friend. Let us be led by the tenderness in our hearts. In speaking our truth and in dreaming new ways, we can bring peace, goodwill, and harmony, and be part of creating that ripple on the waves of humanity’s evolution.
Congratulations Class of 2017. We did it!”
Want to watch Jennifer Nagrath give her speech? Click below.
Since 1975, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University has continued to be an international leader and pioneer, moving humanity forward in the areas of transpersonal research and transpersonal education. training clinicians, spiritual guides, wellness caregivers, and consultants who apply transpersonal principles and values in a variety of settings. The Sofia educational model offers students not only a solid intellectual foundation, but an extraordinary opportunity for deep transformational growth and personal experience of the subject matter. How does Sofia University accomplish this? The university builds upon its strong, whole-person psychological foundation to give students a greater understanding of the human condition.