Most Recent Blog-Posts
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.
At 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.
Center for Integral Wisdom featured as key new emergent in Integral Lineage
Center 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.
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.
The story of the holy snuff box
A beautiful story retold by Marc Gafni
Everybody knows that Holy Beggars hold the world together. Thus would one modern master introduce the following sacred story. Never, never pass by a holy beggar, and they are all holy. Walk across the street. Go out of your way! Who knows who he really is? Who knows what great soul lays hidden in that tattered beggar? You never know… You never know. All you can know that is if someone asks, they must certainly need.
One day a beggar came to see the Holy Israel, Master of the Name. He was angry and depressed. “What kind of a God do you have. I used to be rich – I helped many people. But now look at me – I have lost everything. It’s not fair. How did such a fate fall upon me?!” And with that the beggar broke down into tears.
And now the master Israel had Yossele’s complete attention. For how did he know that his name was Yossele – and how could he know what he had done six years ago? Master Israel continued. “It was a fast day, the holiest day of the year. A day when we pray all day long. People on that day are at their weakest, but also at their highest. You remember, Yossele, that you brought the snuff box to the prayer service?” For although on this fast day eating is proscribed, fragrance is permitted. Often, as in the prayer fellowship I grew up in, snuff boxes would be passed around, to offer fragrance to revive the spirits for prayer.
”Do you remember, asked Master Israel, how you went around to all the congregants giving snuff to everybody?” Yossele, now spellbound, could only nod silently. “Well there was a beggar in the back of the room, lying lifelessly on a bench. You said to yourself – just for a second, ‘Why should I walk back there for him? He can come up to me to get his snuff.” Yossele was overwhelmed as he recalled for the first time that fleeting thought. “Well,” continued Master Israel “that beggar hadn’t eater for three full days. If only you knew how much he needed that pinch of snuff! He was so inside of his prayer that the heavenly gates were wide open… listening to his every word, his every sigh.
“When the holy angels saw that you did not walk back and give this holy soul some snuff, that was it – they were enraged! They decreed you should lose all your money and that the beggar should become wealthy instead of you. Well, that beggar is now the wealthiest man in your town.”
At this point, Yossele’s contrition turned to anger. “You mean that beggar has all of my money? What chutzpah! How do I get it back?”
“Actually, you can get it back,” answered Master Israel with a twinkle in his eye. “If you can find a time when you ask him for a pinch of snuff, and he refuses, at that moment all of that lost wealth will be returned to you.”
Archives of the CIW Spirit’s Next Move Blog
Many of the most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders are coming together to share how they are creating their business success – and also doing it in a way that makes a positive impact on the world.
In short, we are all trying to redefine what it means to be successful, and figuring out together how to do it in a way that’s good for everyone.
The Success 3.0 Summit is an independent movement which was created to bring together dozens of the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents to articulate a new, transformative narrative of conscious business and success.
The Summit, co-directed by our very own Integral Wisdom co-board chair Kate Maloney, is a collaboration with co-board chair of the Center John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, our co-founders Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni, along with Arianna Huffington, Tony Hsieh, Alanis Morissette, Eben Pagan, Dave Logan, Raj Sisodia, Lynne Twist, Michael Beckwith, and many others, to create and explore a new model of Success for individuals, business and society.
This is going to be the most powerful gathering of successful entrepreneurs and business people this year, and we thought you might want to join us for it!
Attendance to this event caps at 350 attendees, but as co-initiators of the event, we have access to some special tickets for members of our list.
Success 3.0 Summit
St Julien Hotel, Boulder CO
October 30, 31, November 1 & 2, 2014 [Success3Summit.org/upgrade]
Please join us at Esalen in beautiful Big Sur, CA for our annual West coast retreat.
The Center for Integral Wisdom presents an extraordinary weekend of Evolutionary Love Practice…
The 5th Annual World Spirituality Retreat
“Loving Your Way to Enlightenment: The Path of Outrageous Love”
with Marc Gafni and Sally Kempton
November 21-23 at Esalen Institute
Every one of us wants to be a lover.
We want to love the people in our lives. We want to love ourselves.
And we want to love the world. What does it really mean to live as a lover?
Is love something we can practice?
In this retreat we will take a radically immediate and awake dive into evolutionary intimacy, allowing us to meet the world from our deepest place of love and our deepest integrity.
The principles of evolutionary awakening will forever change the way you live, love, be, become and make choices in life, ranging from your relationships, employment, spiritual practice, sexuality and just about everything else. In this retreat, we will take a bold leap into the evolution, meaning and practice of love.
Dr. Marc Gafni and Ken Wilber meet by phone regularly to discuss new thought on a wide range of topics, including the future unfolding of the Center and its initiatives. At the core of their work is key book that is slated for release in the Summer of 2015 on World Spirituality Based On Integral Wisdom Principles. This will be the source code book which their other books will emerge from and reference.
On this note, we’d like to share a dialogue that will appear in a different form in the book: a beautiful conversation about how the evolved and awake human being engages evil and suffering.
Listen to this vibrant dialogue and read the transcript below:
John: Well, thanks Marc. It’s good to tune in with you guys today. I’m going to talk a little bit about where I think the integral framework, one of the things that it’s largely missing, is if you think about each of the Spiral Dynamics Model or the integral integration of that, each of the frameworks has got sort of a vision of success.
It has a vision of the ideal human being. It has a vision of the ideal society. If you think about, say, the blue meme framework, say, in Europe, if you have something like it particularly in maybe England, you have something like — or in America, you have the Bible as a guide. You also had Pilgrim’s Progress as a text where the ideal human being would be pious and would be striving to ensure their salvation through good works, so you had this vision of what success looks like and that framework would be obedience to God’s word and following the divine path that’s been laid out for you that will lead to your salvation.
As we move into more modernistic consciousness, modernistic framework, you have one of the early … texts, so that would be Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, as well as his way to wealth. And much of the success literature of the 19th and 20th Century is very much in sort of a modernistic framework or consciousness. It could force sort of a vision of the ideal human being, which in this case is very individualistic and oftentimes striving for wealth, for prosperity, through hard work and through savings and frugality, and through having a strong ethical code of fair trade and honesty.
Continued below the video…
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.
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
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.
This 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).
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
In 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...]
Working 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 Love – A 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.
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.”
There is a dire need for the integration of the art, science, and morality of medicine. This paper explores the deep implications of the Unique Self in integrating medicine. Co-authors and physicians Venu and Vinay Julapalli call on their extensive understanding of the promises and pitfalls of modern health care to reconceive the practice of medicine. The paper provides the framework to evolve medicine through the emergent Unique Self insight. At stake is no less than the future of how we care for ourselves and each other.
Unique Self and the Future of Medicine
Medicine is at a critical crossroads in its evolution from antiquity to our modern age. This article aims to reconceive the future of medicine. Key to this conception is an understanding of the evolution of individual development. To this end, the discussion will first outline the stations of the selves, on the path to what has been termed the Unique Self by spiritual thinker Marc Gafni. Next, the discussion will distinguish between two poles of development and outlook, in order to understand how the insight of Unique Self integrates these dualities. It will then view the Unique Self from three perspectives, or four quadrants, of reality and also illustrate how Unique Self appreciates the balance between part and whole. The discussion will subsequently correlate the stations of the selves with the history of medicine and further examine dualities in medicine that parallel those of the self . It will then elucidate how an understanding of Unique Self fundamentally shifts our envisioning of the practice of medicine. This shift renews the unique calling that is the art and science of healing.
Universal to the human experience is care of our health. Medicine is defined as “the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure ofdisease.” The topic of medicine is therefore relevant to all of humanity.
In the United States, the practice of medicine has reached a critical crossroads. National spending on health care has been estimated to total $2.8 trillion in 2012, which is 18% of the gross domestic product (GDP). It is projected to increase to about 25% of GDP and 40% of total federal spending by 2037. Few dispute that this trajectory is unsustainable.
The dispute begins in how to alter this trajectory. The debate has raged on from multiple perspectives. Some have focused on the structures of payment for health care, while others have investigated the sources of health care pricing. Some have proposed the standardization of health care delivery with an emphasis on maximizing value through evidence-based medicine, while others have highlighted the role of the social determinants of health in influencing the rising costs of medical care. The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010, expanded health insurance coverage for Americans and introduced programs designed to slow spending on health care. However, there is no clear consensus on its ultimate effect in bending the health care cost curve down.
Abstract & Introduction
In this article, I want to elaborate on the concept of “Dharma, Lineage, Transmission, and the Student-Teacher Relationship” in the specific way these words are used in my World Spirituality community and specifically by the initiating teacher of the community, Dr. Marc Gafni. Marc has infused the word “Dharma” with a series of meanings which have become self-evident in our community. Because Marc has not yet written about his expansion upon the meaning of “Dharma” for the broader public, I have felt that it is necessary to do so.
The Unique Self teachings that Marc has brought into the conversation are now changing the way that enlightenment is experienced and taught around the world. In my perception, the power, love and clarity of his teaching and transmission of Unique Self enlightenment has been so profound that now, in many enlightenment circles around the world, Unique Self thinking under a host of names is virtually a given. And that although ten years ago, Unique Self Dharma was still unheard of in the enlightenment world. While this (often unconscious) adoption of the core teaching of Gafni’s Unique Self Dharma is an excellent achievement and a necessary and gorgeous step for a cogent meme to become mainstream, I find it—for the many reasons that I will discuss in this article—very important to give honor to Marc Gafni’s original inseminating work and transmission as well as to the lineage(s) that he is part of and whose wisdom he is embodying and evolving.
I, myself, have come a long way from studying cognitive concepts and maps, methods of self-transformation and healing, to studying and embodying a comprehensive dharma. The insights and discoveries I want to share with you in this article have also occurred along with the transition from being a devoted and passionate student of the Dharma to becoming more and more a teacher and lineage-holder of the Dharma myself. Specifically, I have been teaching, sharing and representing Unique Self Dharma in the German-speaking world, which in turn has deepened my own studies. So, let me share the frameworks that I have encountered and that have worked or not worked for me in relation to the teacher-student-relationship and in relation to the “Dharma.” These discernments are I believe critical for what my teacher Dr. Marc Gafni calls the “post-postmodern integral reconstruction project” which is so profoundly needed in our post-postmodern world.
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