The Cafe takes place in the Royal Seven Stars, Totnes. Participants are seated around candle-lit tables and hot and cold drinks are available from the bars in the hotel.


The cafe opens at 7:30 and runs from 8:00 to 10:00 pm, usually on the last Thursday of the month—but see each advertisement for precise dates.


The invited speaker introduces a topic for discussion that might potentially illuminate an understanding of consciousness for around 30 minutes.  This is followed by around 30 minutes open discussion with the speaker involving the whole cafe.  Participants then break for restocking of drinks, etc. and engage in round-table discussions of issues arising from the prior talks, or on whatever themes they feel to be important, for around 30 minutes. Participants around the tables may or may not already know each other, so this is also an opportunity for introductions. Our experience has been that this informal part of the proceedings is much valued as it provides an opportunity for everyone to engage with the issues and to share thoughts and experiences.  For the final 30 minutes or so the cafe comes together again and participants can raise any further issues that they would like the speaker to address or that they want to share with others. The consciousness cafe is then formally closed, but for those wishing to stay on, the Seven Stars remains open (until bar closing time).


The Cafe provides a forum where human consciousness and our relationship to the world can be openly explored in ways that may be relevant to the urgent crises of our time.  Potential contributions range widely from philosophy, science, and the arts to more direct, eastern and western techniques for investigating and transforming consciousness.  Our experience over a few years has been that this open ethos combined with the above format works well, and might be usefully incorporated into similar cafes, set up for similar purposes in other communities.

Entrance: £5 at door


Prof Max Velmans is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London and a Visiting Professor of Consciousness Studies at the University of Plymouth. He has been exploring consciousness through many avenues for over 40 years and views the Cafe as one enjoyable, hopefully useful extension of this exploration. He lives with his family in Totnes.
Dr Wendy Stayte is a retired children's psychiatrist and psychotherapist, living in Totnes, and is involved in many local community projects that support the future of life on earth, including those that may prompt a change of heart and mind-set.

For more details contact:Wendy Stayte <>

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