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David Deida's Biography(Books)(Photos)

David Deida
David Deida is an American author, independent researcher, and teacher. He writes on spiritual practice, nondual sexuality, and sociocultural evolution. He has published ten books in more than 25 languages. Deida's early scientific research includes psychobiology, human evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, and mathematical modeling of the immune and nervous systems. Since 1975 he has trained in hatha yoga, tai chi chuan, various forms of meditation, and sexual yoga. For over two decades, Deida has been writing books on spiritual-sexual growth, practicing in solitary retreat, and traveling internationally to present his work to a wide range of audiences

David Deida was born David Greenberg in Cleveland, Ohio on March 18, 1958. His name was later legally changed to his childhood nickname, Deida, which his family called him since birth. After writing several privately distributed books, receiving the 1974 National Writing Award, as well as various awards in journalism and drama, Deida was granted early college admission in 1975, before his final year of high school. He was accepted into the Florida Scholars Program for "gifted and unusual" students at the University of Florida. As an undergraduate student, Deida founded and directed the Plexus Interdisciplinary Center, researching medicine and consciousness in affiliation with the teaching hospital Shands at the University of Florida. At this time, he also began practicing and teaching hatha yoga, tai chi chuan, and meditation as prescribed by his mentors.

In the mid '70's, Deida started his first apprenticeship in hatha yoga with Michael Geison and Jacqueline Wurn, students of the iconoclastic teacher and author Joel Kramer who oriented Deida's approach to hatha yoga. At this time, Deida also began practicing tai chi chuan in the lineage of Cheng Man-ch'ing. Throughout his undergraduate years as a Florida Scholar, Deida was mentored in physics and consciousness by Joseph Rosenshein, Ph.D. and in world religions by Rabbi Shaya Isenberg, Ph.D.. Deida also immersed himself in study with British mystic Douglas Harding and Indian philosopher Dr. R.P. Kaushik.

In 1982, the same year he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree (BA) in Theoretical Psychobiology (combining psychology, biology, neuroscience, and computer science), Deida was granted a Fellowship at the Laboratory for Theoretical Neuroscience at the University of California Medical School, San Diego. As a graduate student at UCSC he conducted research with Robert Tschirgi, M.D., Ph.D. in the ontogeny of self/non-self boundaries and the evolution of the nervous system and its relationship to space-time dimensionality.

Awarded the Regents Fellowship at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1983, Deida began conducting research in sleep and dream states (with Ralph Berger, Ph.D. ), evolutionary psychology (with Robert Trivers, Ph.D., one of the leading figures pioneering the field of sociobiology, noted for his work in parent-offspring conflict and deceit and self-deception), and gender-based behavior and somatic anthropology (with MacArthur Award winner Shelly Errington, Ph.D.).

While conducting research, Deida taught psychobiology, neurophysiology, evolutionary psychology, and hatha yoga at University of California, Santa Cruz. Deida also was an instructor in Artificial Intelligence at California State University, San Jose, and was elected as a Fellow of the Lexington Institute, a privately funded think-tank in Boston, Massachusetts.

From 1976 to 1989, Deida engaged in ongoing study with biologist, philosopher, and neuroscientist Francisco Varela, Ph.D. (1946-2001). Along with his teacher Humberto Maturana, Ph.D. , Varela is best known for introducing autopoiesis, organizationally closed self-creation, to the study of biological and cognitive systems. In addition to joining with Varela in scientific research, Deida was mentored by Varela in Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism as transmitted by Varela's spiritual teachers, meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (founder of Vajradhatu and Shambhala Training) and Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (a Nepalese meditation master of higher tantras).

From 1983 to 2000, Deida practiced and developed work in partnership with Devadasi Sadir dancer and yoga teacher Sofia Diaz, focusing on the yoga of intimate relational communion. From 1986 to 1988, Deida was a student of the controversial American spiritual teacher Adi Da Samraj, founder of the religious movement Adidam.

Deida advanced to Ph.D. candidacy after passing qualifying oral exams for his doctorate and completed a thesis research paper on the autopoietic computer simulation of human immune and nervous systems, for which he was awarded the Chateaubriand Fellowship by the French government in 1988. In France, Deida conducted research with Varela at the Pasteur Institute and Ecole Polytechnique. Deida also conducted his first of many long-term solitary meditation retreats, at Karma Ling monastery (founded by Kalu Rinpoche) in Southern France. Subsequent to this retreat and prior to completing his final thesis, Deida began writing non-academic books for publication (see Principal Themes). He departed university before handing in his final doctoral thesis papers, which he never completed. For his work in France and the United States, Deida was awarded a Masters degree in biology from the University of California in 1989. Since then, Deida has not returned to institutional academic study.

From 1989 to present, Deida has been writing, teaching, and practicing independent of traditional academic or spiritual institutions. He has developed a non-sectarian training program for spiritual practice, utilizing an integral approach to nondual sexuality that he teaches worldwide.