July 1, 2015

Most Recent Blog-Posts

In the Media: The Unique Self in a Contemplative School

In their Summer Edition, the Independent School Magazine of the National Association of Independent Schools published an article by CIW Board Member Kathleen J. Brownback on The Unique Self in a Contemplative School. In this article, Kathy clearly and eloquently articulates both the dharma of Unique Self and the need for that dharma in education.

As a teacher for religion and philosophy at Phillips Exeter Academy she skillfully weaves her experience with her students and their need for answers and meaning in the fields of Self, God, and the patterns that connect together with her deep understanding of the dharma of Unique Self as developed and taught by Dr. Marc Gafni.

She places this dharma into the context of contemplative education and mindfulness that has lately reached the mainstream and thereby speaks to teachers and educators who hold such important keys to the evolution of consciousness and love.

A longer version of her article will be published in a special edition on Unique Self of the Integral Leadership Review in Fall 2015.

As practices promoting mindfulness and embodiment become more prevalent in contemporary society, a natural set of questions emerges among educators: What role should contemplative practices play in the academic curriculum?

For much of the modern era, the answer to this question was no role whatsoever. Mind-body practice was generally linked to particular religious traditions, and so was understood to lie outside the objective goals of academic study.

But the last 40 years or so have brought a new understanding of mindful or contemplative practice as embodied self-awareness. These practices involve the movement of the mind and body in ways that are not primarily cognitive, centering on the use of the breath and the stilling of the “monkey mind.” Think of yoga or meditation, or solitary walks in nature, or dance, or the playing of a musical instrument with this focus. Their central goal is to draw us into direct awareness and experience of the present. An increasing number of people are choosing contemplative practice as a way to relate to others differently, to manage strong emotions such as anxiety and anger, to live a more centered and less reactive life, and to find a clear sense of focus and purpose. There is nothing abstract or philosophical about these goals. They emerge from the heart, from questions about human nature and direction. Students ask them of parents and teachers; teachers and parents ask them of themselves and each other. Thus the growing interest in schools.

Read more>>>

 

 

Zak Stein on the What, How, and Why of Metrics

Zak Stein, the Center for Integral Wisdom’s Academic Director, held a great talk at our 2015 Board Meeting about his main research subject of metrics. The talk was introduced by Marc Gafni and followed by a Q&A session. Questions were asked by Board Members Eben Pagan, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Peter Fiekowsky.

Some questions he addressed:

  • The surprising ways that metrics influence our everyday lives
  • How metrics enable or eradicate uniqueness
  • How simple metrics can support our personal evolution

Listen here:

Also enjoy this brief talk about the Mystery School of Love at Venwoude (Holland) by Board Member Chahat Corten. Join us for the Mystery School coming soon!

The Center for Integral Wisdom in the Media

The Center for Integral Wisdom and our core Dharma of Unique Self, Outrageous Love, and the Evolution of Love have been featured and reviewed in the media. Here are some examples:

Mackey and Marc Gafni on Outrageous Love and the Center Featured in Science of Mind

ScienceOfMind-May2015-coverMGDr. Marc Gafni & John Mackey shared their innovative views in the May issue of Science of Mind magazine, on sale now at Barnes & Noble!

Kudos to Science of Mind for putting together such a great collection! The article on Marc is well done, highlighting his important new work and teachings on the dharma of Outrageous Pain and Outrageous Love.

Electronic versions at the moment are only available to subscribers of Science of Mind.

The Entrepreneur Fitness Podcast with Brandon Epstein “Discovering Your Unique Self”

Physical Fitness l Mental Fitness l Emotional Fitness | Spiritual Fitness

Marc Gafni and podcast host Brandon Epstein explored “Discovering Your Unique Self.” The conversation was a deep dive into Unique Self & Outrageous Love.

Check out the podcast here>>>

Brandon Epstein also featured Marc’s work in his new eBook Zen Dude Fitness.

Stevo’s Book Recommendations: Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism (2014) - by Marc Gafni

Marc Gafni’s book Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter was recommended by Stevo’s Book Reviews on the Internet in the May 2015 list. Steve Brock has been well-known in the book industry for over 30 years, and his recommendations are read by over 200,000 people a month.

Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter by Marc Gafni

Edited by board member Heather Fester

Buy SELF on Amazon!

Another Review of Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter

Paul R. Smith, author of Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve, wrote the following review:

When I look at the ten thousand books on spirituality, mysticism, and evolutionary religion in my library, I can tell, at a glance, without looking at titles, which ones were most helpful to me. They are the ones with Post-it notes sticking out from the top, marking pages that I found quite valuable. Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism by Marc Gafni is one of those few dozens with numerous colorful sticky notes flaming out from its top edge. Gafni’s previous book, Unique Self, was a breakthrough opening in understanding the Self in relation to union with God. This book continues by focusing on an opposing popular postmodern view of self and pointing out the crucial differences. With laser-like insight Gafni lets his view remain the only one I can joyfully endorse as an integrally-informed Christian mystic and scholar. This book shines with radiant luminosity and spiritual depth.

Buy on SELF Amazon!

Archives of the CIW Spirit’s Next Move Blog

 

Featured Blog-Posts

Success 3.0 and Second Simplicity: Unique Self Dharma Goes Mainstream

The Success 3.0 Summit, this amazing gathering from October 30th to November 2nd, 2014 in Boulder, Colorado of the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents that was co-initiated by the Center for Integral Wisdom was a wild success.

Among the speakers were thought leaders like Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos Inc), Arianna Huffington (Editor in Chief, Huffington Post), Alanis Morissette (Singer/Songwriter & Activist), Blake Mycoskie (Founder, TOMS Shoes), Barbara Marx Hubbard (Author, Social Innovator, Evolutionary Thought Leader), Michael Franti (Lead Vocalist of Spearhead & Activist), Casey Sheahan (former CEO, Patagonia), Lynne Twist (Global Activist & Author), Adam Bellow (Vice President, Harper Collins), Ibrahim Husseni, Business leader, Ben Jealous (former President & CEO of the NAACP), DJ Spooky (Composer, Musician & National Geographic Emerging Explorer), Tom Chi (Innovator & Founder, Google Glass), Jack Canfield (Author, Chicken Soup for the Soul), and many others.

The goal of the summit was to articulate a new, transformative vision of conscious living, innovation, and social impact and to create a new definition of Success that can lead humanity into the future. And that was exactly what happened. The partnership between Marc Gafni, the President of Center for Integral Wisdom, John Mackey, the board chair, Kate Maloney the co-board chair and Ken Wilber the Co-Founder of the Center was so clear and beautiful that it naturally manifested this powerful event which so many people in the room felt was perhaps the most powerful event of this kind that had ever attended in their lives. I want to particularly note the love and respect between Marc and Kate that was subtle and quiet in the space but clearly lit up the room.

In the Media

About 600 people attended the event live and thousands of people watched at least part of it through the live stream. The event was wildly shared through social media with many thousand tweets on twitter alone. Gaiam TV will screen the videos of it by the end of the month. And last but not least, many of the speakers and attendees were recorded alongside the event as part of a movie that will emerge from this. So, stay tuned.

Second Simplicity of Dharma

Marc Gafni 2014It was gorgeous to see the many ways the Dharma of Unique Self, Eros, Outrageous Love, and World Spirituality, that Dr. Marc Gafni has been articulating and outrageously transmitting for the last several years, has played a role in this amazing happening.

Most of the speakers started to use the 6-word Mantra Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up. Dr. Marc Gafni, Visionary Scholar, Wisdom Teacher, and Co-Founder and President of CIW, brilliantly transmitted these thought forms in his opening speech. He suggested that every generation needs to participate in the evolution of consciousness. And:

“It is our turn. We are here to articulate an ethics of success that is rooted in Outrageous Love. Outrageous Love demands a new vision of success.”

He also introduced one of his key terms, the word Second Simplicity. Second Simplicity is what he calls the Simplicity that comes after Complexity. After having really grasped the complex concepts, we can get to a stage where we can express them in a compellingly simple way–thereby reaching people from all stages of consciousness. [Read More...]

In the Media: Success 3.0 Summit and Center for Integral Wisdom

Last week, our initiatives were featured in different ways in two forums: Patheos.com and the Integral Church Blog.

Interview about Success 3.0 Summit on Patheos

Patheos.com is running an interview with Dr. Gafni about the Summit–on their front page. Read all about the interior vision for the Success 3.0 Summit coming up Halloween weekend in Boulder here. Patheos is the leading religion site on the World Wide Web today with seven million unique hits a month.

success3-logoAt the end of October, a select group of the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents are gathering in Boulder, Colorado to articulate a new, transformative vision of conscious living, innovation, and social impact. The goal? To create a new definition of Success that can lead humanity into the future.

Leo Brunnick, co-founder and CEO of Patheos.com, invited Marc Gafni—author, World Spirituality leader, and co-founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom—to share the vision of the Success 3.0 Summit.

Marc, tell me about the Success 3.0 Summit. What’s it all about?

Success 3.0 Summit is an exciting gathering of the best hearts and minds around the one central issue that affects everyone: what does it mean to be successful? We all have hidden success myths that define our lives. We have a profound need to be successful, but in general we have separated being successful from being good. We have limited the criteria of success to things like money, status, or power, but have found that these things are not fulfilling or holistic or profound or joyous or energizing. In order to evolve the real source code of culture, we needed to rework this core issue.

Read more…

 

Center for Integral Wisdom featured as key new emergent in Integral Lineage

integralchurchCenter for Integral Wisdom was also featured as a key new emergent in the Integral Lineage beginning with Rudolph Steiner and running all the way through Ken Wilber’s seminal Integral work and then with Marc and Ken founding the Center for Integral Wisdom; this was reflected in an independent scholar’s Timeline of Integral Spirituality by blogger, interfaith minister, and co-founder of the Integral Church in St. Petersburg in Florida (founded in 2012) Joran Slane Oppelt.

Starting with a lecture in Paris by Rudolf Steiner in 1906 where he commented on the “integral evolution of man,” through Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Pitirim Sorokin, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Aldous Huxley, Jean Gebser, Allan Watts, Arthur Koestler, Jane Loevinger, Clare Graves, Michael Murphy, Ken Wilber, et al. to the foundation of the California Institute of Integral Studies, the Integral Institute, and CIW, this timeline tracks the emergence of many strands of Integral Thought and Spirituality.

Click here to read more…

For those of you interested in the history of the Unique Self Teaching, which is one of several–in Ken’s phrase–”evolutionary emergent teachings” for which Marc has been the lead theorist in the articulation of an Integral Spirituality, see here.

Unique Self was featured in a special edition of The Journal of Integral Theory & Practice (6:1), the two-volume academic treatise on Radical Kabbalah, the classic Unique Self book Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment and a new work on Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter.

Unique Self Coaching Collective Evolves

Barbara Alexander-2013

Barbara Alexander
Master Integral Coach

A new certification program in Unique Self Coaching designed by Integral Master Coaches Barbara Alexander and Claire Molinard at the request of Marc Gafni launched its first training in June 2014 as the Unique Self Coaching Collective. The program will run over a 9-month period, with three intensive meetings and nine months of both personal coaching and supervised Unique Self Coaching of volunteer clients.

Claire Molinard

Claire Molinard
Master Integral Coach

The foundation of the training is Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and Marc Gafni’s Unique Self dharma. The process facilitates one diving inward to clarify the front edge of their development and engaging in practices that connect to Creative Source to engage one’s unique potential and embody the stabilized emergence of Unique Self consciousness. Unique Self Coaching Collective Training Brochure 2015-16

U-S Collective PhotoCropped

Front to Back: Sam Alexander, Kristen Ulmer, Adael Bullock, Christine Martin, Barbara Alexander, Lynn Reifsteck, Ritu Ebsjorn, Steve Raymond, Sheila Denton, Claire Molinard, Heather Fester, Margot Andresen

The first participants are all experienced in varying degrees of Integral Theory and Unique Self teachings. I am profoundly delighted to be among this professionally diverse, talented and accomplished group of thoughtful and heart-expanding evolutionaries. We are collectively full of praise and gratitude for the elegant and comprehensive program designed and taught by Barbara and Claire.

Future programs are scheduled to begin in the U.S. in June 2015, and in Europe during July 2015. Claire and Barbara recently joined Marc and the amazing Venwoude community for the Summer Festival of Love in Holland. They were honored to be one of the workshop contributors and appreciated the opportunity to introduce their upcoming training to be held at Venwoude starting in July 2015.

Unique Self Coaching website

 

 

A Summer Festival of Outrageous Love

Summer Festival of Love 2014This Summer Festival of Love at our Teaching Center at the Integral Practice Community Venwoude in Holland has again exceeded all expectations. More than 175 participants came to love and be loved open, to break the boundaries of their smallness, and to participate in the evolution of love itself.

On a personal note, I, Kerstin, have been thoroughly cooked over the last 20 years with intense spiritual experiences at all kinds of events, retreats, and seminars. None of them have prepared me even vaguely for what I have found in retreats with Marc Gafni over the last 3 years: the depths of the dharma transmissions, the openings of hearts, minds, and souls, the embodiment of outrageous loving, the humility and audacity of his teachings, his passion and devotion that is deeply infectious, and the depths of community I have found here again and again. And although each time I think this is IT, that it cannot be any better,  it always gets better. It deepens, opens, connects us to the greatest depths and highest heights, and opens the gates to heaven, flying higher and higher and higher.

In this Festival, everyone could feel the Goddess dancing among us again and again. And Marc danced her all the way, taking every one of us with him. And the wonderful community of Venwoude and of Center for Integral Wisdom created such a clear, warm holding container that new people could dive into it immediately with almost no resistance. Wow!

Let’s hear from two participants:

Blog post by Stefan Schoch: A Summer Festival of Love

“Actually” I just wanted to relax for 2 days, when I drove to Venwoude at the 4th day of the Center for Integral Wisdom/ Venwoude Mystery School of Love Festival (following a personal invitation).

On the other hand, I already suspected (after the experiences with Marc in 2011) that it might touch me deeper. [Read More...]

Unique Self & Reincarnation with Marc Gafni & Michael Murphy – Final Part 9: A Meditation from the Vast to the Personal in Powers of Ten

The dialogue between Michael Murphy and Marc Gafni ends on a contemplation of the vast, infinite complexity and beauty of an ever-expanding Universe expressed also as the infinite complexity and beauty of each soul… of each irreducibly Unique Self… ever-evolving… ever-expanding.

From Deconstruction to Reconstruction: Marc Gafni and the ‘Unique Self’ – A White Paper by Kathy Brownback

Kathy  BrownbackIn her recent white paper from January 2014 Kathy Brownback, Instructor in Religion and Philosophy at the highly respected Phillips Exeter Academy, discusses how the Unique Self teaching goes to the heart of the deepest questions that students have asked her throughout the years. In her words:

Most likely you’ve asked yourself some of the same questions I’ve been asked by [...] students:

  • “People keep telling me to be myself, but I don’t really know who that is. I feel pulled in so many directions.”
  • Do we have free will, at all? Or are we totally determined by our genes, and conditioned by our environment?”
  • “Why, in the midst of all they have, are so many people angry and dissatisfied? Can I hope to avoid this? Why is there so much addiction? Why depression, among people who have so much to offer?”
  • “I haven’t found any kind of God I can believe in, yet I somehow feel there is something more to life. Your thoughts?”
  • “Are science and religion looking at the same world? They seem so contradictory. Your husband is a physicist. Do you argue about this?”
  • “Is there such a thing as truth? Is there anything I can be certain of?”
  • “Do you think life has some kind of point, or meaning? Or is it, as Shakespeare said, ‘a tale told by an idiot’? It really feels that way. Then all of sudden, even though I have no real answers, the feeling goes away.”

She also asks what role contemplative practices should play in education and academic life and what they might have to do with the study of science, or the humanities and the arts.  Should they have a place  in the curriculum? [Read More...]

New Article on “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment”

annie_lalla-60x60Marc-Venwoude2013Working on our exciting new Web-Plex that is soon to be launched, we have just published a brand-new article by Annie Lalla & Marc Gafni about the spiritual path of “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment.” It will be a part of our new World Spirituality Portal as well as the book project by Chahat Corten Loving Your Way to Enlightenment  which organizes Marc Gafni’s World Spirituality teachings on love as both the path and goal of spirituality.

And don’t miss Annie Lalla and Marc Gafni teaching at Kripalu Retreat Center on June 6-8, 2014 on Loving Your Way to Enlightenment: The Path of Outrageous LoveA weekend workshop with Marc Gafni & Annie Lalla: Through a set of powerful teachings, insights, meditative transmission, movement, chant, and partner work, Marc Gafni and Annie Lalla explore the path of the outrageous lover and teach you how to ignite the experience of outrageous love within yourself.

Loving Your Way to Enlightenment

by Marc Gafni and Annie Lalla

We have killed all the Gods except for Aphrodite. Aphrodite is the goddess of True Love. True Love is the altar before most of us still worship. Our new sacred credo is “I love you.” Our true sacred credo is usually revealed when the stakes are the highest—at our moment of death. When planes hit the World Trade Center and people had a few seconds to live, they called home and recited the credo, I love you.

And yet somehow our spiritual world of practice has become separated from our world of love. Our enlightenment studies seem to often point us beyond personal love, which is viewed as the realm of attachment and separate self.

It is for that reason that we want to invite you to a new spiritual path: The path of Loving Your Way to Enlightenment.

Time For Love by Stuart Miles

Stuart Miles, www.freedigitalphotos.net

Enlightenment is knowing your true nature. Your true nature however is not just one taste as some are wont to say. It is two tastes. In Yoga terms we might say that your true nature is Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is being. Shakti is becoming. Shiva is your deep sense of being. It is the deep impersonal unchanging essence that lives in and as your deepest identity. Your Shakti nature is more connected to the dynamic dance of becoming. Shakti is the love intelligence that lives awake in you and as you. The impersonal enlightenment of Shiva may be available sitting in meditation alone. But if you awake to the realization that your true nature is personal Shakti love, then just sitting meditation will not get you there. This is not the personal before the impersonal but the personal beyond the impersonal. You will have to awaken to your true nature as personal love. Or said differently you have to “love your way to enlightenment.”

Read the whole article here>>>