November 17, 2017

Integral Wisdom Blog: Mile-high Manjushri

Ken Wilber, Integral Theory, and The End of The World as We Know It

by Dr. Zachary Stein

zakThese are some reflections on the work of Ken Wilber. I’ve been studying his writings for almost half my life. We’ve met a couple times (that is Ken, Rollie, and me pictured), talked at some length on the phone, and exchanged countless e-mails. Ken’s got vocal critics and Kool-aid drinking followers. I’m neither of those. I’m more of what is sometimes called an “integral kid,” meaning I’ve been reading Ken since before I could drink legally. There is a unique kind of indebtedness to those teachers who brought you out of adolescence. But it also means I’ve grown up with, in, and out of this way of thinking. So I have a special kind of distancing and even reactivity and withdrawal from it, again, like one also has with one’s best teachers. All things considered, I think you gotta love and be fascinated by all his books…

Anyway, this is mostly just me yawning at all the simplistic and pedantic Wilber haters….

Theorizing at the edge of history

If we are going to take a step in the transition from civilization to planetization, we will need a map. Each of us carries within, an image of space and time, and this cognitive map tells us who we are, where we come from, and where we are going…. [This map is] an imaging of personal values and cultural forms…. A culture provides an individual with a mapping of time and space, but as the culture goes through a period of change and stressful transformation, the [map] becomes distorted. In periods of intense cultural distortion, the [map] becomes so changed as to be almost obliterated. Then the individual becomes lost, profoundly lost in the ontological sense of not knowing who or what he is, where he comes from, and where he is going. For some this can be a moment of terror, for others, a time of release. In a moment of silence in which the old forms fall away, there comes a new receptivity, a new centering inward, and in an instant there flashes onto the screen of consciousness a new re-visioning of the [map]. There in the receptive silences of meditation the new possibilities of time and space announce themselves, possibilities that lie beyond the descriptions of the old institutions of the old culture. This is the prophetic moment, the annunciation of a new myth, and the beginning of a new culture.

—Thompson (1977 p.14)

Philosophers work in socio-cultural contexts, under historically specific conditions, with access to certain communication technologies, libraries, and media. Ken Wilber has been publishing books since 1971, producing a corpus that spans well over 10,000-thousand pages. He has worked with the changing times, from pen and paper to word processor, to the personal computer, and eventually to Internet facilitated multi-media educational initiatives. Moreover, Wilber has worked in response to a dynamically transforming American culture during a period of tremendous global change.

Popular philosophical movements are especially symptomatic of their times. In retrospect historical moments are often best understood in terms of the ideas that thrived during them. Athenian Democracy and the Sophists and Socrates, Medieval Europe and the Church, The American and French Revolutions and the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and Darwinism and Romanticism—no trick of critical historiography could disentangle these groupings of ideas and events, these civilizational eras. What ideas will be associated with the past 60 years, the era since the start of the so-called American Century? What have been the popular philosophies in the post-industrial social systems that emerged after World War II? This question is complicated by the dynamics of the era, which witnessed explosive advances in informational technologies that enabled an unprecedented diffusion of ideas before a growing global public. It is too soon to tell, but the culture of late capitalism—post-modern culture—may very well be defined in terms of its having lacked dominant comprehensive doctrines (Habermas, 1990; Jameson, 1992). This has affected all aspects of life, from the media-saturated textures of our action-orienting self-understandings to the economic policies that structure national geographies.

[Read more…]

Unique Self Psychology and the New Enlightenment Blog: What Is “Mind?”

By Elliott Ingersoll, Ph.D.

The word “psychology” was coined in the 16th century from the modern Latin psychologia which in turn is taken from the Greek psykhe meaning “breath, spirit, soul.” If these words signified similar things to the 16th century Greeks as they do to us you’d never know it. To sign up as a psychology major in any of the world’s mainstream universities in the early 21st century “psychology” is still described as “the science of mind and behavior.” As all historians of psychology know most of the emphasis in the last 200 years has been on the “behavior” piece. We are still “fuzzy” on the “mind” piece. If by “mind” we mean our mental experiences, sentience, and the field of awareness that these arise in we still come up short. There is growing evidence that “mind” is also a social phenomenon being sculpted dialectically by our interactions with other creatures and the environment. Also there is mounting evidence that at least the experiences of “mind” may be more affected by things like our gut bacteria than ever thought possible even 20 years ago. This may be thought of as another “interactional” dynamic. We carry more DNA for the bacteria that symbiotically work with us than the DNA of our own cells. All these interactions affecting our mental experience and what we call our “mind” seem to suggest more of a field effect than a solitary reality.

In physics, the field effect refers to modulating the electrical conductivity of a material by the application of an external electric field. I try to be very cautious about using similes from physics to discuss psychology. Here I want to relax my caution to use the simile two ways implying the “material” in the description of physics field effects is akin to our solitary experience of “mind” and the “field” in physics akin to the cacophony of situations and stimuli we are immersed in from cradle to grave. What I am pondering is whether what we colloquially refer to as “our mind” is possibly only one aspect of a vast and potentially infinite array of interactions, influences, and overlapping fields.

Ok so back to the two ways I am playing with the simile of field effect: First we know that much of our being relies on electrical activity including our brain. And we know that human brains electrically (and otherwise) entrain with other brains in the presence of certain stimuli. Some stimuli (experiences) are more entraining than others. Drumming and all music have the potential for strong entrainment as do physical activities done in groups like dance, sports, sex (imagine a dyad if the group thing bugs you here), and various “crowd phenomena like so-called “mob psychology” (and “no” this is not psychoanalysis of Vito Corleone but rather how people will do things in crowds they won’t do alone and where the increase of energy is almost wave-like in a so-called “mob happening.”).

Second I feel playing with the simile of field effect to describe “mind” is valid because we are all immersed in a series of fields whether you think of them concentrically or as an overlapping cacophony of potential influences. Part of training “mind” is discerning, focusing, and choosing from among those influences. Some are such that we can make them objects of awareness then “choose” to focus on them (for example choosing those people we will allow emotionally closest). Others are things we are totally immersed in and necessary for survival (like gut bacteria) or characterized by chaos patterns that make them more variable (crowds, things that happen to us, elements in the environments we physically inhabit).

In Personality Psychology or Psychotherapy Theory it is common to hear people describe themselves as a “community of selves.” Mind seems a similar phenomenon in that it is a seeming solitary experience that is one aspect of a vast and potentially infinite field of influences, interactions, symbiosis and accidents. In future blog entries I will discuss levels of the field of psychology in the context of Unique Self Psychology. We will also explore why “soul” keeps popping up in etymological explorations of the word “psychology.”

Integral Psychologist and Associate Academic Director for CIW Elliott Ingersoll, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and clinical counselor in Ohio. He is professor of counseling/counseling psychology and “Distinguished Faculty Member” at Cleveland State University. His research interests span a broad spectrum including psychopathology, mental health diagnosis, psychopharmacology, and spirituality in counseling and psychotherapy. He has authored or co-authored six books and dozens of peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on mental health related topics.

Elliott has been inspired and influenced by the Free Thought movement of the late 19th century and particularly by Robert Green Ingersoll, a leading freethinker of that time. He believes the most important skill for a human being is critical thinking seasoned with compassion. Elliott also is a singer/songwriter and creator of “FreeThought Folk Music” which he performs throughout Northeast Ohio. His CD “American Infidel” was released in 2013.

He has worked with Ken Wilber and the Integral Psychotherapy Team at Integral Institute since 2004 developing the Integral Psychotherapy approach. Integral Psychotherapy draws upon all validated psychotherapeutic approaches to help clients deal with psychological symptoms or live more fulfilling lives by removing barriers that come from living unconsciously. As an Integral Coach, he helps clients take action through motivation, methods of inquiry, and assisting clients in using the Integral Model to achieve their goals and improve their lives.

We wish all our readers a good and sweet year: L’Shanah Tovah U-Metukah. Read more about the cosmocentric rereading of the ritual of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year holiday, by Dr. Marc Gafni, here>>>
In Evolutionary Love,
The Center for Integral Wisdom Team

A Crisis of Imagination

From Mystery of Love by Marc Gafni:

The greatest crisis of our lives is neither economic, intellectual, nor even what we usually call religious. It is a crisis of imagination. We get stuck on our paths because we are unable to reimagine our lives differently from what they are right now. We hold on desperately to the status quo, afraid that if we let go, we will be swept away by the torrential undercurrents of our emptiness.

The most important thing in the world implies wisdom master Nachman of Bratzlav, is to be willing to give up who you are for who you might become. He calls this process the giving up of pnimi to reach for makkif. Pnimi, for master Nachman, means the old familiar things that you even hold on to, even when they no longer serve you on your journey. Makkif is that which is beyond you, which you can reach only if you are willing to take a leap into the abbys.

Find your risk and you will find yourself. Sometimes that means leaving your home, your fathers’ house, and your birthplace, and traveling to strange lands. Both the biblical Abraham and the Buddha literally did this. But for the Kabbalist the true journey does not require dramatic breaks with past and home. It is rather the journey of imagination.

“If I don’t live on my edge, I lose my aliveness. If I don’t take my Unique Risk, I will take risks that are not mine to take.” – Marc Gafni at the Summer Festival of Love 2015

Words of Appreciation from the Summer Festival of Love

After the Summer Festival of Love, some of the contributors shared their experiences in a private email thread. We are happy to have their permission to share these Outrageous Love testimonials with you!

Dr. Kristina Kincaid, Director of the Outrageous Love Project at the Center for Integral Wisdom and the Director of the Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute in New York City, wrote this Outrageous Love Letter about the Festival:

Hello Outrageous Lovers!

I had the profound honor and wild pleasure of participating with a most astounding team of Holy Rockstars standing audaciously together supporting Marc as the Living, Breathing, Alive, Aflame, Awakened, Dharma as he liberated Eros, in front of a crowd of over 250 people! WOW!

This is not a polite essay or an endorsement, but a mystical testimony…

Read the whole first part here>>>

Read the second part here>>>

Dr. Kristina Kincaid: The Awakened Sexuality Project

Next weekend Dr. Kristina Kincaid, Director of the Outrageous Love Project at CIW and Co-Founder (together with Dr. Marc Gafni) and Director of the Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute, is going to teach a workshop on “MEETING YOUR DARK ATTRACTION AND AWAKENING TO THE DIVINE NATURE – AN EXPLORATION OF FANTASIES IN SEX AND LOVE” in New York City. The Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute is a division of the Center for Integral Wisdom.

Bicyclist do it with ten speeds, Scuba Divers do an in depth exploration , Rock Climbers do it against the wall, Rockstars do it loud and Politicians do it to everyone. What exactly is this thing we do called Sex and why are we so obsessed with it? What makes it so pleasurable, titillating, frightening or shameful? Most of us think the other is satisfied, while we feel frustrated in our own desire and longing.

The primary processes of sexuality are energetic patterns, which are then mediated through the body. Most of us are not even aware of these energetic habits, such as the difference between being separate or merged or even our own preferences and those of our partners. Unencumbered from such habits, sex can become fresh, alive and open, an art form, a physical prayer, naked, unafraid and raw. Beyond self union, lies a greater union, a total orgasm with the whole, with the Universe, with Source.

This journey will be an exploration of how to gain a conscious choosing over what and how your sexual energy moves. From pleasure to sharing, to heightening the Spiritual embodiment of your sexuality, we will be in conscious exploration and discovery of these energies in you and how they affect your relationships. The Outrageous Eros, Awakened Sexuality Project is for participants who are longing for a deep spiritual journey and a strong willingness to venture where angels fear to tread. We will be working in the deep unconscious, uncovering where you turn away from some of your greatest gifts by delving into what has been deemed unspeakable and taboo. Through exploration of sexual fantasies, untamed passions, conscious play, body work, breath work, movement, intimacy, connection, respectful service and a deep honoring of our unique and individual way of loving.

Sunday August 30th, 2015 10:00am-5:00pm at 150 W 28th St. #1803, NYC

Read more>>>

TAKE A RISK: SEX – An Interactive Workshop in Embodied Eros with Dr. Kristina Kincaid

AN EXPERIENTIAL WORKSHOP ON SHARING AND EXPLORING YOUR SEXUALITY

When we experience ourselves as sexual beings, open to our full flow, with energy pulsing through our bodies, we become more creative and feel more deeply connected to ourselves and to others. In this dynamic, interactive evening combining individual work with group process, you will learn techniques to liberate this energy and access more pleasure in your life. These techniques will be demonstrated through individual body readings with select participants who choose to take the risk of revealing a sexual issue and are willing to work through it in a supportive environment with expert guidance.

Dr. Kincaid uses the teachings of Dr. Marc Gafni, Integral Evolutionary Tantra, and the principles of Core Energetics to open up physical blocks and places where life energy doesn’t move. In Core Energetics — a powerful body-based process — sexual energy and life force energy are one and the same. Join us with Core Energetics techniques, body readings, deep truth, wild goodness, radical personal transformation and, if you dare, the evolution of your own personal enlightenment.

Kristina-KincaidCropped-300x300 Dr. Kincaid is the Director of The Institute of Integral Evolutionary Tantra, New York City. Kristina is on faculty at The Institute of Core Energetics and holds an M.A. in Energy Medicine and a Doctorate in Theology from Holos University. A graduate of the Institute of Core Energetics and the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, she also holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Texas, Austin.

SPACE IS LIMITED. REGISTER NOW! TEL 917-734-2197

REGISTRATION FEE: $20.00

SATURDAY JULY 11TH 2015

7:00-9:00 PM

150 WEST 28TH STREET SUITE 1803

NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10001

IN CONJUNCTION WITH DR. GAFNI & THE INSTITUTE OF INTEGRAL EVOLUTIONARY TANTRA

Marc Gafni at FreedomFest 2015

FreedomFest is the most unusual and exciting liberty conference of the year, and this year Marc Gafni will be there – meeting with thousands of attendees as well as hundreds of speakers and fellow exhibitors…all to share in the intellectual feast about freedom, prosperity, individual rights, and much more.

You’re invited to join FreedomFest 2015, July 8-11, at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas for three and half days that could change your life.

What’s FreedomFest All About?

Philosophy, history, science & technology, geo-politics, money and business, art and literature, healthy living, music and dance…..and to learn, network, socialize and celebrate liberty. Click here for the Conference Agenda.

FreedomFest has gathered the best and the brightest — experts, authors, professors, scientists, philosophers, artists, musicians, and first rate thinkers – over 200 speakers in all with hundreds of breakout sessions, panels and debates. All the major think tanks and freedom organizations will be there in the “Trade Show for Liberty.” Click here for the list of this year’s FreedomFest Speakers.

Dr. Marc Gafni of the Center for Integral Wisdom will be among a number of featured speakers. The event, which is billed as “The World’s Largest Gathering of Free Minds,” is held annually and will run from July 8 through July 11, 2015. He is scheduled to speak twice on Saturday, July 11, first participating in a philosophical debate at 10:30 a.m. and then appearing again as a featured speaker for a lecture scheduled for 4 p.m.

Known as a visionary in a number of fields and a highly regarded philosopher, teacher and social activist who is the author of 10 books and the co-founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom, Dr. Marc will be taking part in a debate titled “Spirituality vs Materialism,” which will also feature Ronald Bailey, John Mackey and Dr. Michael Shermer, with the debate being moderated by Alexander Green. He and John Mackey will take one side of the issue, while Michael Shermer and Ronald Bailey will represent the opposing viewpoint during the debate.

Later that afternoon, he will be the featured presenter while giving a keynote titled, “The Erotic and the Ethical: Next Steps in Libertarian Awakening.” The content of the 50-minute lecture will draw on the dharma of Unique Self, Eros, and Outrageous Love that is front and center at CIW and is elucidated in his award-winning book, Your Unique Self, as well as in his book The Mystery of Love.

Please join us!

Join Dr. Marc Gafni and Sally Kempton at the Shakti Summit

Do you want to increase your ability to receive pleasure and deepen your intimacy in all your relationships? Would you love to have the courage to love fully with an open heart, and be in action according to your Unique Gifts?

To do this, the key is to align with your sacred feminine life force—your Shakti.

Unfortunately, our fast-paced, busy lives can leave us depleted, burned out, and disconnected from this essential source of energy, passion, creativity and delight…

That’s why we’re excited to share an online event that CIW co-founder Dr. Marc Gafni is a part of, called The Shakti Summit, a free online event taking place July 8-9, 2015.

The Shakti Summit – July 8-9
You can sign up for free here!

Dr. Gafni will be joining some wonderful colleagues — including host Lisa Schrader and inspired teachers such as Sai Maa, Jeff Brown, CIW leader Sally Kempton, Sheri Winston and others — who will share their takes on how you can live the wisdom of the feminine face of essence by accessing the Shakti fire that is available to you.

During this summit, you’ll also learn how to:
• Speak your truth, set boundaries and ask for what you want
• Revison your relationship to sexuality
• Learn to embrace your embodiment and heal old body-image issues
• Fuel your creative gifts with sacred erotic energy
• Discover the joy of living each moment as sacred

Register for The Shakti Summit now — and learn to embrace your Shakti as “the primal life force of the feminine face of God.”

To listen to Dr. Marc Gafni’s teaching during The Shakti Summit 2015 on Outrageous Love and a new vision for the Masculine and the Feminine Beyond Venus and Mars, click here>>>

CIW at Summit Powder Mountain

Summit Powder Mountain, July 3-6, 2015 in Eden, Utah

Marc Gafni and Kate Maloney (CIW Executive Director) are attending Summit Powder Mountain, where Marc was invited to offer a special presentation at 2pm on July 5 on “Beyond Venus & Mars: The Next Step In Masculine & Feminine”.

This invitation only event quickly sold out. During the weekend attendees will see and hear a series of discussions on on a variety of topics – from maintaining a strong company culture to cyber security. We’re thrilled that the work of the Center will be a presence at this event, with Marc’s teachings on the evolutionary masculine and feminine adding an important voice to the mix. Among the speakers and contributors at Summit Powder Mountain will be Eric Ryan & Elliott Bisnow, Brian Vickers, Sarah Jones.

Summit‘s mission is to build community, catalyze entrepreneurship, address global issues, and support artistic achievement, in an effort to make our world a more joyful place. The mission of the Summit Series, Summit’s flagship event series, is to unite the leaders of today and tomorrow in surreal settings and immersive experiences designed to catalyze positive personal and collective growth.

Summit Powder Mountain is one of the events in the Summit Series. Summit Powder Mountain aims to rethink the great American mountain town around a community focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, arts, and altruism. Tucked on the southern side of Powder Mountain, in the town of Eden, Utah, it’s a new kind of neighborhood, where friends, family, and the change makers of today and tomorrow gather in an environment created to catalyze personal and collective growth.

Unique Self Coaching Featured on Conscious 2

Integral Coach and Co-Founder of Unique Self Coaching Claire Molinard has been interviewed by Alex Howard on Conscious 2.

The Unique Self Coaching Training Program is a 9-month program that teaches coaches, therapists, spiritual directors, clergy and other professionals to utilize the Unique Self Coaching Process with individuals and groups. Co-developed by Unique Self teachers and Integral Coaches Barbara Alexander and Claire Molinard in close connection with Dr. Marc Gafni, the program is a practical, elegant structure rooted in the Unique Self Teachings and Integral Theory, designed to facilitate the emergence of one’s Unique Self.

In this recent interview with Conscious 2, Claire speaks about the difference between True Self and Unique Self and she reveals some of the key practices that facilitate Unique Self emergence.

Applications are now open for the fall training programs in the United States and in Europe.

The European training program begins on October 21, 2015 at the Venwoude Retreat Center in Lage-Vuursche, The Netherlands.

The US training program begins on November 11, 2015 at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California.

Program descriptions and application forms are available on the Unique Self Coaching Collective website at www.uniqueselfcoaching.com.

Contact Claire or Barbara at info@uniqueselfcoaching.com with any questions. They will be happy to talk with you.

Watch the video here:

[Read more…]

Exciting Food Debate with John Mackey at Junto

Have you ever wondered which diet is the best for you, looked into all the different opposing approaches (vegan vs. animal foods, low carb vs. low fat, raw foods vs. cooked meals, all natural vs. supplements, etc.) and ended up more confused than before? Then, maybe this debate is for you.

At a Junto meeting in New York City in March 2015 John Mackey, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, and Nina Teicholz, the author of The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, held a debate.

The proposition:

“An animal foods/low-carb diet is unhealthy compared with a 90+% plant diet that excludes sugar and refined grain products.”

The debate:

Mackey spoke in favor of the proposition and Teicholz against.

Nina Teicholz is an investigative journalist who has written on food and nutrition science for Gourmet and Men’s Health magazines. She was a reporter for National Public Radio for years, covering Washington, D.C. and Latin America. She has also contributed, on a variety of topics, to the New Yorker, the Economist, the New York Times, and Salon, among other publications. In addition, she served as the associate director for the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at Columbia University. Teicholz studied biology at Yale and Stanford Universities and earned a master’s degree from Oxford University. She lives in New York with her husband and their sons.

John Mackey is Chairman and CEO of Whole Foods Market, a $4 billion Fortune 500 company which has been named a Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For every year since 1998. John Mackey was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2003.

John is a strong believer in FLOW principles, including free market principles and empowerment management. He is also one of the most influential advocates in the movement for organic food. Whole Foods was the first grocery chain to set standards for humane animal treatment.

View the entire debate here:

[Read more…]

Clinical Somatic Education: A New Discipline in the Field of Healthcare

Mary Ann Gray VoorhiesPresenting Clinical Somatic Education

(Otherwise known as Hanna Somatics, created by Thomas Hanna, Ph.D.)

by Mary Ann Gray Voorhies, Clinical Somatic Educator

Clinical Somatic Education, according to Thomas Hanna in his article of the same name, is as follows. These are his words:

The flowering of a series of developments that have led to a discipline that is as consistently effective as any branch of medical science … This type of somatic education is the use of sensory-motor learning to gain greater voluntary control of one’s own physiological process. It is somatic, meaning that the learning occurs within the individual as an internalized process. Prior to the advent of this teacher/learner form of somatic education, the same self-transformatory events have been commonplace in human history.

“Miraculous” cures and healings and radical changes in physical skills and health are the common lore of martial arts and religious history. Because the mechanisms of such healings performed by shamans across the globe were hidden within the internal process of individuals, they have always (heretofore) had the aura of mystery — the mythology of “good” and “bad” spirits or “good” or “bad” energies. It is this same hiddenness that causes the work of 20th century somatic educators to be “miraculous” in the same mysterious way that the pre-scientific world viewed shamanic work. In a series of articles it will be my task to reveal to the reader an understanding of the somatic world in general — and of somatic education in particular, so that the mystery and mythology can be dispelled. [Read more…]

“Shalom Stories” Features “Awakening As Your Unique Self” Retreat

CIW and Shalom Mountain leaders Adael Bullock, Tom Goddard, Jeff Hilliard, & Shelly Reichenbach are offering a retreat on December 4-7 that they have been developing over the past year under the guidance of Marc Gafni based on his Unique Self Dharma. This post is from Shalom Stories, a publication of Shalom Mountain Retreat Center.

Awakening As Your Unique Self –
A Shalom Mountain Retreat 
December 4-7, 2014

Shalom Winter View

Sandie and Gerry in Sedona

Sandie & Gerry Rumold in Sedona, AZ

Sandie writes of her ‘Awakening’ Experience:

     My journey into the Unique Self retreat began at the end of last summer as several of us were finishing up leading the couple’s intimacy camp retreat.  I got a casual invitation that went out to ten folks to be included in the pilot that Tom, Adael, Jeff, and Shelly had created melding Shalom process with Marc Gafni’s teachings.  Having attended many of Marc’s Wisdom School weekends at Shalom and a few brainstorming sessions with this group of leaders and Marc, I was deeply curious and in full support of what my friends were creating.  The answer to the invitation was a resounding, “yes”!

     The weekend turned out to be a journey into a deep and personal map of my history of wounds and life experiences that have formed the images I hold of who I am.  It was fascinating to uncover some profound yet underground judgments I have held about myself for the better part of my life.  It was actually kind of fun discovering it all.  The remarkable part for me came as we each had our individual space with the group as witness and the guidance of one leader.
     The format was similar to our beloved mat trip, but this was a new process with a clear and deliberate map to illuminate the way through the old image.  What happened for me, as Tom led me through, was unexpectedly and genuinely altering.  The session reached into a hard and unforgiving place in my being and broke it wide open.  Tears come to my eyes months later as I remember the impact of the work.  It is rare that I come away from a weekend where I feel something imperative has shifted.  I call myself back to the learning again and again as I work to make it a permanent part of me.
     The group of leaders set out to create process around Marc Gafni’s sangha teachings.  They did a remarkable job of bringing Marc’s work into the body, psyche, and cells!  I am truly and gratefully changed.

     Awakening As Your Unique Self – 

A Shalom Mountain Retreat

December 4-7, 2014

What would it be like to live your life as the unfolding of Love itself, refracted through the unique prism of your embodied being? This is possible, not just as a metaphor or as a reframing, but as an enactment of reality itself. In this process-based retreat, rooted in Shalom Mountain’s Skills and Principles of Loving and the Wisdom School teaching of Marc Gafni, you’ll have a chance to reweave your life’s story. Through teachings, journaling, small group exercises and individual process work, you will make the journey from the feeling of separation to the discovery of the Unique Self that you are, utterly essential to the evolution of Love.
Led By: Jeff Hilliard, Shelly Reichenbach, Tom Goddard, Adael Bullock

      

“Would that you could
know yourself for a time,
You will be shocked by your delight.”
 
  ~Rumi

Kai Carol Jud Writes …

“Run, don’t walk to this invitation to your evolutionary edge.  The time is now!”

Mapping Consciousness for our Unique Selves

For many years, I have been awaiting a retreat that would be the next initiatory step after the Shalom Retreat. I am delighted to say that this evolutionary leap has come to Shalom Mountain. I found that Awakening as Your Unique Self was a powerful retreat, designed for those of us who are ready to move even deeper into our hearts and into the expansion and unfolding of our Unique Selves into a world that desperately needs the gift of our Unique and Outrageous Love.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the beta version of this retreat in October. Although some of the elements of this retreat may be familiar to many Shalomers, the focus and depth of this retreat were centered, not on healing the wounds, but on helping us to bring our whole being — wounds, gifts, essence and experience to a fuller embodiment of our Unique Selves. Even after years of leading Shalom Retreats, I experienced many aha moments and months later, I am still digesting.

A richly textured offering of individual, group, small group and dyadic processes  helped us walk through various states of consciousness — the False Self, the True Self and the Unique Self so that we could more easily navigate our way through these new passageways. The container was safe and deep and allowed intimacy, vulnerability and fellowship to develop.

It is clear that we need each other in this new world that we are entering and that we need new tools for the challenges ahead. I left this retreat feeling that my toolbox was overflowing and that I had good companions to walk this new path with me. I am grateful to Jeff, Shelly, Tom, and Adael for inviting us to stretch into our Unique Evolutionary selves in this way.

Run, don’t walk to this invitation to your evolutionary edge. The time is now!

THE CHOICE TO LIVE FROM UNIQUE SELF instead of merely ego is the only true choice a human being ever makes. Every other choice flows from this pivotal point in a person’s life. It is in this moment, which recurs again and again at deeper levels, that you choose to say Yes or No to life. You can choose to identify with your Unique Self instead of your ego.Emerson said, “Love is the universe shouting out a joyful yes when our names are called.””Yes” is the ultimate affirmation of our integrity.The question for your existence is whether you can say “Yes” to the unique destiny and adventure that is your life.  That is self-love!  From the place of ego you remain perpetually unsatisfied.  Located in Unique Self, everything fills you.From Marc Gafni’s Your Unique Self:  The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment
winter 2011

Editor: Adael Bullock –  Graphic Design: Rosemary Tarcza

 

Loving Your Way to Enlightenment: A Personal Invitation by Sally Kempton

An Esalen Weekend with Sally Kempton and Marc Gafni, November 21st-23rd

Dear Ones,

Loving Your Way to Enlightenment is an annual weekend workshop that Marc Gafni and I do each autumn at Esalen. Though the topic is always love, each workshop is different, and each is a unique combination of talks, discussions, partner work, chanting, and of course, meditation. This year, the theme is the multi-leveled experience of love as the union of masculine and feminine–both in our inner world, and in the structures of our experience of the many forms of personal and transpersonal love.

We’ll discuss the masculine and feminine as inner principles, and how they function uniquely in each of us. We’ll access the inner Beloved as a personal archetype and as a form of the inner Self. We’ll unfold the principles of subtle Eros as a cosmic principle and as a personal experience. We’ll open the powerful evolutionary field of mutual awakening through dialogue and partner meditation. We’ll meditate deeply, invoke deity energies, and chant.

And, most of all, we’ll awaken our hearts.

My co-leader, Marc Gafni, is a dynamic and inspired teacher of evolutionary wisdom, a scholar of Jewish mysticism, and a master of chant. He has a gift for empowering community, opening hearts, and creating innovative paradigms that give us new ways of looking at our experience. And, he’s funny.

[Read more…]

“Shalom Stories” Featuring Wisdom School

In their September newsletter Shalom Stories CIW Partner and Teaching Center Shalom Mountain Retreat Center has been featuring  the Shalom and CIW Wisdom School with a series of articles, testimonials, a musical creation with soundbytes from the recent Wisdom School in March as well as the announcement of the upcoming 11th Wisdom School. Enjoy!

Loving your Way to Enlightenment: The Path of the Evolutionary Lover
Wisdom School October 9-12, 2014

*For this special event, Tuition Assistance may be available to those who qualify,
as well as use of accrued Retreat Credit.

 

Loving your Way to Enlightenment: The Path of the Evolutionary Lover

Reclaiming Your Own Awakening As the Primary Desire in Your Life:The Ten Tenets  and Ten Practices of the  New Enlightenment

by Marc Gafni

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. If you are ready for a bold leap into the future of God and the future invitation of your life, join us at this extravaganza of mind, body and spirit.We are used to thinking about enlightenment as the precise opposite of evolution. Enlightenment is thought to reveal the permanent, eternal, unchanging nature of being while evolution addresses the shifting, unfolding world of change and becoming. Not so!!

This is the old understanding of enlightenment which invited you to move beyond the busy world of becoming into the world of being. It is this old enlightenment that writers like Ecckart Tolle and Byron Katie address in their teaching. The only problem with the teaching is that it is not true. Or better yet it is a partial truth masquerading as a whole.

Enlightenment means to understand not only the joy of your being but also the ecstasy of your becoming.

In this retreat, we will unpack the ten tenets and ten practices of the New Enlightenment.

The next stage in the evolution of God, in the evolution of all that is, is directly connected to your understanding your specific and clear role in the evolutionary context. What this might mean is one teaching in a cluster of teachings which we call the Evolutionary Unique Self Enlightenment.

This is not a spiritual aphorism but a core principle of evolutionary awakening, the next great edge of spirit’s revelation, both in your life and the life of the planet.

In the teachings and practices of Biblical Mystic Luria, to the realized Hindu teacher Aurobindo, to the Idealist thinkers Fichte Schelling and Hegel, to Teillard de Chardin, Gerard Heard, and Abraham Kuk, we find the greatest breakthrough of spirit and enlightenment in our time. This is the path of Evolutionary Unique Self Enlightenment. This is the largest game there is. Awakening as an Evolutionary Lover and participating in the Evolution of Love. [Read more…]

Embodied Eros: Board Member Kristina Kincaid Taking the Teaching to New York City

Flyer Process Group Embodied Eros 2014Board Member Dr. Kristina Kincaid and Cynthia Kagoshima are starting a new  Experiental Process Group in New York City on Embodied Eros: The Path of the Outrageous Lover.

This committed group begins October 1st, 2014 and meets bi-monthly Wednesday evenings from 7-9 pm.

It is presented by our Teaching Center in New York, the Institute for Integral Evolutionary Tantra, founded a year ago by Kristina Kincaid in collaboration with teacher-in-residence and founder of CIW Dr. Marc Gafni.

For more information on the Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute click here.

From the flyer: [Read more…]

New Thought Leader Dialogue: Ken Wilber & Marc Gafni Discuss the Topic of Evil

Ken WilberMarc Gafni teaching at Venwoude

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.

An excerpt:

Marc Hello everyone. Mega-Pandit Ken Wilber, it is a delight to be with you, sir.

Ken Yes, sir.

Marc Yes, sir, and we are here for our Thought Leader Dialogue Series, and I’m here with Ken Wilber who is an initiating thought leader of world spirituality based on Integral principles, and the thought leader in the Integral Movement, and a deep partner and visionary and really active in charting the course of the Center for Integral Wisdom. And we’re here to talk about the word that is live spelled backwards, evil, evil, which is a topic that, friends, doesn’t come up often. And, Ken, I think it would be fair to say that even in Integral Theory it hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, although it’s implicit in many, many conversations, but it’s not that often that it’s explicit, and, of course, it’s one of the great questions. So, Ken and I are going to just go back and forth and really have what may be the first major Integral dialogue on this topic.

Any number of people have told me, Ken, that you and I spoke about this, and I went back to see it before we talked today, that you and I spoke about this in 2005 with Patrick Sweeney at the Integral Spiritual Center, the first meeting. If you remember, the last day was an open day for the public?

Ken Right.

Marc And a number of people asked us questions about evil, and you and I had, what people said to me, was really one of the very rare Integral exchanges on this topic. So that was way back in the day.

Ken Yeah, well, evil dropped out basically with modernity.

Listen to this vibrant dialogue and read the whole transcript>>>

 

Dharma Jam Outrageous Acts of Love – Apr 19, 2014

Dharma_InviteTbird Luv and Dr. Marc Gafni have teamed up in the creation of a new series of Dharma Party events, during which she and Marc bring dharma, music, empowerment and outrageous calls to action to awesome crowds of movers and shakers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Some of you may know board member Tbird Luv from some of the Center’s events over the past year (such as Eben Pagan’s Actualize, the 2013 World Spirituality retreat at Esalen, and the SF Dharma Circles), where she has brought her unique music to Dr. Marc Gafni‘s teachings, and her collaborative brilliance to other projects with the Center.

A Dharma Party is Not just another event that leaves behind GREAT memories. Instead, those present have a chance to get inspired, and to strategically design the future with aligned relationships and projects that have the potential to make the world a better place.

Here is the invitation to the 2nd Dharma Party – coming up next week on April 19 which was sent to a list of Bay Area locals who attended the 1st one. If you want to be invited to this Dharma Party – or any of the next ones! – let us know here. We want you there!

[Read more…]

The Age of Digital Intimacy and the Movie “Her”

In a new installment of the Digital Intimacy Dialogues, evolutionary mystic Marc Gafni and embodied artist Megwyn White explore the seven levels of intimate evolutionary emergence in the recent movie Her. In it they explore the relationship between digital and dharma, the nature of intimacy and the post-conventional possibility in relationship as hinted at in this culture evolving movie on intimacy and possibility.

Listen to the audio and/or read the transcript here>>>

by Marc Gafni and Megwyn White

Marc Gafni, Dharma, and Lineage artwork by Megwyn White

Marc Gafni, Dharma, and Lineage
artwork by Megwyn White

The World of the Web would seem to be the place for connection. Its very name -Web – means the very same. And yet paradoxically the Web seems to bring with it a great loss of intimacy. We are no longer face to face. There is an ever more confusing terrain of gadgets and gizmos. Never before in history have we been so “connected” yet desperately seeking contact.

The gap between connection and authentic contact seems to be an ever widening chasm.

Are our Facebook friends really friends? Is their depth, commitment and meaning in our connections on line?

Does the virtual have virtue in its web of values. Can connection yield true contact? Can digital information and method of connecting birth new intimacy? [Read more…]

The Nature of Loneliness by Joe Perez

By Joe Perez

“For most people, the move beyond loneliness requires us to share our story with a significant other. For the spiritual elite, the receiving of our own story — and the knowing that it is an integral part of the larger story of All-That-Is — is enough. But for most human beings, loneliness is transcended through contact with another person.”

– Marc Gafni

Your Supreme Identity is calling to you from the essence of all things. It is your own dwelling place, your unique life story not only told but lived and constantly recreated. It is the force which not only remedies loneliness but gives us solace in our solitude.

Paul Tillich once wrote: “Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.”

Researchers tell us that loneliness may be painful, but it also associated with spiritual experiences and creativity. When being alone is freely chosen as an artist’s duty, it becomes a normal part of life. Indeed, being alone is part of the human condition in which we are often at our saddest, full of shame or fear or anger. It does not require us to be physically isolated; we can be desperately lonely in a crowd or amid loved ones if we have been prevented from being our true selves. [Read more…]

Political Spirituality is Not a Politicized Spirituality by Joe Perez

By Joe Perez

At least since the early writings of Karl Marx, many public intellectuals have acknowledged some variant on the phrase “the personal is political”. Not only that, but by implication it is held that “the spiritual is political”. This notion actually is a reversal of the truth and invites a closer look at the connection between politics and spirituality.

Traditional religion is often intertwined with government. And various conservative, liberal and liberation theologies in the twentieth century across a spectrum of religions spelled out new ways in which religious teachings seek to influence the public sphere in secularized societies. [Read more…]

Rethinking Materialism by Joe Perez

By Joe Perez

(c) 2013. Photo courtesy of patpitchaya.

(c) 2013. Photo courtesy of patpitchaya.

Every holiday season the cultural discourse includes an especially heavy dose of anti-materialistic messaging. The excesses of consumerist culture are especially visible in distorted forms, such as the spectacle of shoppers at Black Friday and Boxing Day creating mobs which are so fierce they have resulted in violence and the trampling of shoppers. It appears to be a truism that materialism is bad.

Psychological research into materialistic values is sparse but surprisingly uniform in that the studies by and large find materialism harmful and detrimental to measures of mental health and well-being. It appears quite likely that as people have less materialistic values the happier they get. But it is not clear that researchers have gone far enough in elucidating the connection between wealth and wellness.

Informed by an Integral perspective which considers the level of consciousness at which value combinations occur, it is striking that materialistic values are concentrated at an Achievement-oriented level (orange) which is highly individualistic and acquisitive, and post-materialistic values are concentrated at a Pluralist-level (green). It is likely that existing studies of materialism have not paid attention to the importance of considering distinctions between different levels of consciousness, and therefore have come to inaccurate or at least partially true conclusions. [Read more…]