September 23, 2018

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:

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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…]

The World is a Waiting Lover

Audio and Transcript of a dharma teaching by Marc Gafni for the Circle of Venwoude in Holland through Skype (Easter 2012)

The Story of Krishna

We’re going to finish with a holy story that I will read you from my heart, from the mirror of the heart. It’s the great story of the goddess Radah.

You know that many mortal women make love to Krishna, and Krishna is the sensuous God, the child, the lover. He was often caught stealing butter. He would walk among the villages in the hot, moist, Indian land, and he called the women to join him for an afternoon of lovemaking. Age didn’t matter, the rolls of the belly didn’t matter, gray hair or black hair didn’t matter, curve of the breast didn’t matter, marital status didn’t matter. Krishna loved all women and all men, and Krishna wanted to be loved in turn.

Stream Audio here and read further below:

[Read more…]

3rd Annual Mystery School and 1st European Integral Wisdom Conference on Love, Eros and Enlightenment

Summer Festival Icon

Spring has arrived, and we are excited to announce our 3rd Annual Mystery School, and our 1st Annual European Integral Wisdom Conference, both to occur during the week of our Summer Festival of Love at the Venwoude Integral Practice Community in Holland, the week of July 26 – August 2.

Being a scholarly think-tank, we do like to exercise a certain amount of restraint in describing our events, but honestly, we are still carrying the “Holy Buzz” from the Summer Festival and Mystery School of last year. We have received enthusiastic reports from all participants throughout the year, and clearly, the Summer Festival of Love has become a signature event for the Center for Integral Wisdom. Promotional Flyer here—>

Last year, 150 participants attended, filling all of the accommodations. This year Venwoude has promised room for 200 participants, and an early registration is recommended. Register here—>

Mauk Pieper, Chahat Corten and Dr Marc at the 2013 Summer Festival of Love

Mauk Pieper, Chahat Corten and Dr Marc at the 2013 Summer Festival of Love

 

With Marc Gafni leading, our previous Mystery Schools have attracted many participants from all over Europe and the Americas, contributing to the expansion of our European Center for Integral Wisdom faculty. Our faculty members in both Europe and the Americas are vital links in evolving the source code of human consciousness in all of our cultural and professional spheres.

[Read more…]

Special Community Lineage Days at Venwoude and Conscious Capitalism Event at Nijenrode University

We just completed a very special series of events at our Teaching Center at Venwoude in Holland. Dr. Marc Gafni taught two Valentine’s Day events in a very beautiful church in Amsterdam. This was followed by a wonderful and very intimate two-day retreat at Venwoude on Saturday and Sunday. Capping off the 4-day weekend, we had an outstanding presentation at Nijenrode University on Conscious Capitalism with Prof. Dr. Paul de Blot, Dr. Marc Gafni, and Ken Wilber (via Skype) in front of 150 enthused Entrepreneurs.

Valentine’s Day at Vondelkerk Amsterdam

Marc Gafni at Vondelkerk AmsterdamA packed house of people celebrated Valentine’s Day in an old beautiful Church in Amsterdam with Dr. Marc’s Dharma on Outrageous Love. It was a day of profound new dharma, deep practices, and a stunning community of Outrageous Lovers. Dr. Marc took us deeply into a practice space with dyad practices, chanting, and intimate sharing. The evening session seemed to explode–after a very quiet and subtle beginning with hearts meeting in Chant and Meditation and finally and melting open into the Inside of the Inside–with a fireworks of Dharma on Outrageous Love and Unique Intimacy. [Read more…]

First Circling Weekend Immersion in New York – 26th to 27th October 2013

John and Sean

John Thompson and Sean Wilkinson are board members at the Center for World Spirituality and Europe’s leaders in the practice of Circling.

Are you wanting to bring your Unique Self deeper into your relationships? Are they truly finding more intimacy, play, growth, and fulfillment your deep longing knows is true?

Then circling is a practice that can breath new life into spiritual work and a great vehicle for those wanting to express their unique gifts with others.

What is Circling?

It’s relational group meditative practice that develops our capacity to skillfully bring our attention and appreciation into connection with others. With careful guidance and group presence, individuals can start to develop a deeper trust in the inherent intelligence in themselves and other. Circling Europe has been deeply inspired by Unique Self teaching and has found this practice to be one of the premier ways of deepening into this great dharma. [Read more…]

We are a Community of Virtual Presence and Evolutionary Love Gatherings

To register for our Wisdom School at Shalom Mountain Retreat Center, October 10-13:
“Evolutionary Intimacy and the New Enlightenment”: (more information below)

Register Now Icon JPG
To register for our 4th Annual World Spirituality Retreat, October 18-20:
“Falling in Love with the Divine – Devotion and Tantra of the Heart”: (more information below)

Register Now Icon JPG
Venwoude Summer Festival of Love 2013 © Chahat Corten

Venwoude Summer Festival of Love 2013 © Chahat Corten

The Center for Integral World Spirituality is a vibrant community of Virtual Presence and Evolutionary Love Gatherings. We share tremendous Holy Purpose in bringing Unique Self teachings into the world. The Eros that unites us is grounded in simple truths of Unique Self teachings with which we all deeply resonate. [Read more…]

Two Recent Letters following the Venwoude Mystery School/Summer Festival of Love with Marc Gafni

Letter from CWS Board Member and Unique Self Teacher Chahat Corten.

chahat-corten-100x100Dearest friends and partners,

How can I even start to describe to you the shower of Grace and Love, Deep Dharma transmission from Spirit via Marc that has happened here last week in the eight days of the second gathering of the CWS / Venwoude Mystery School of Love at Venwoude in Holland.

Some 150 people gathered, indeed from all over the world, to create together a field of Outrageous Love, visioned, held, loved open, and sustained in the most profound and wondrous way by Marc.

There was an unwavering stream of teaching, that was deepened and embodied in many afternoon workshops and musical & dance happenings in the evenings. The level of synchronicity that I experienced between the core morning teachings of Marc, the afternoon workshops, and all the other offerings was so magical that it sometimes took my breath away.

Many of us who have been studying with Marc now for more than three years experienced an enormous deepening in the transmitting of the teaching on the 12 principles of Eros. [Read more…]

Wisdom for Your Week: A Gift for You from the Summer Festival of Love at Venwoude

Marc Gafni teaching at Venwoude

Marc Gafni teaching at Venwoude

The second annual Mystery School of Love has begun and is already in full swing. More than 150 people have come to celebrate with us this year’s theme: “Reclaiming Eros.” Many participants were here with us last year and are excited to be here again!

The festival revolves at its core around Dr. Marc’s several hours of Dharma transmission each morning. In the beginning of the day, spiritual teacher Chahat Corten — a leading luminary at Venwoude and a direct dharma student of Dr. Marc — begins the morning with a day-opening ceremony. Dr. Marc then meets with the twenty or so teachers gathered on the faculty of the Mystery School. Included are leading teachers who are each in their own right bright stars and key leaders of the Venwoude community where Dr. Marc serves as the World Spirituality Teacher in Residence. We will post a bit later a special piece about all the the wonderful teachers, each worthy of note and great appreciation.

The center of the emergence is the field of radical dharma and outrageous love that is woven and rewoven by Dr. Marc. The attendance at the festival has doubled in the last year and we expect that to keep doubling every year. Dr. Marc weaves a field of precise and powerful–truly “source-code-changing”–teaching, which transforms minds and explodes hearts. Dr. Marc’s mind and heart seem to merge as one and he lives for everyone as an overflowing and brilliant weaver of meaning, meta theory and grand narrative—even as he opens up spaces of genuine enlightenment that seem to shift the earth beneath people’s feet. It is an enlightenment teaching pure and simple, and the process is, as Dr. Marc calls it, Loving Your Way to Enlightenment!

To give you a little taste of it, we want to share with you just the first few minutes of Marc Gafni’s opening dharma talk, where he sets the frame by giving us 6 principles and commitments for the upcoming week. This is before any of the real dharma got started – this was the first hello:

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Unique Self and Shadow: An Introduction

Naked Female On Rocks Facing Lightening by Victor Habbick

©Victor Habbick, www.freedigitalphotos.net

 “Any part of your story that you do not live,
lives in darkness…
part of your story is in shadow.
To come home you must recover and
embrace the memory of your fullest self.
Until the story of your life is lived
you will go on yearning for it.”
Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self

 

It is so exciting to be on this journey together with all of you, our readers and participants in courses and retreats, my wonderful colleagues and friends, and my beloved teacher and friend Dr. Marc Gafni, who has invited me to team up with him in this sacred endeavor of writing this series of articles, which will ultimately become a book, as well as in this holy adventure of Integral Wisdom, World Spirituality, and Unique Self.

[Read more…]

Center for World Spirituality Mystery School of Love (aka Summer Festival of Love) Venwoude International Retreat Center, Holland

The following video gives you a small taste of the Center for World Spirituality Mystery School of Love (aka Summer Festival of Love) run in partnership with Venwoude International retreat center.

The Mystery School is an annual eight day event which takes place at the end of July and the first week of August. The morning dharma teaching is by Dr. Marc Gafni with an all star team of teachers leading breakout sessions in the afternoon.

The Mystery School is a profound enlightenment teaching intensive where the practices revolve around awakening to what Dr. Marc calls Your Unique Self. This awakening to your true nature and to the sacred activism that is the invitation of your life is rooted in a powerful realization of the unique love beauty and love intelligence of all that is, that lives in you, as you and through you.

Many students report profound enlightenment experiences during mystery schools. Those experiences however are but pointers towards a stable and integrated awakening to your unique self that has the potential to literally change everything even as you deepen and transform from where you are. This is the path of what Dr. Marc calls the evolutionary lover or the outrageous lover. At the core of the dharma is Dr. Marc’s core mantra: We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love.

Next Venwoude Festival / Mystery School:  July 27th – August 3rd, 2013
Info here: http://www.venwoude.nl/summerfestival.htm

 

Reporting on Stunning Tantra Teachings in Holland

haertmeditation_markgafniNews from The Seven Tastes of Sexing program at Venwoude Reteat Center, Feb 8-10, 2013

We are delighted to report that The Seven Tastes of Sexing Tantra Weekend (Feb 8-10, 2013) at our retreat center in Holland, the Venwoude Retreat Center, was simply stunning. Marc taught eight major dharma sessions with exercises and intimate move teachings offered beautifully by Leon Gras and Sujata van Overveld. Sujata and Leon did a wonderful job deepening the space through the practice of intimate moves, taking the dharma and making it embodied and alive and breathing in the very cells of all the participants.

Marc transmitted a dharma that he has been working with for the last four years which provides what we think is the most advanced dharmic understanding of the nature of sexuality. venwoude_winterMarc outlined eight major forms of sexing, and led us on an embodied visionary journey to access the unique contours, tastes and substance of each of these forms of sexing. The net result of this tantric immersion was a profound transformation of the nature of the sacred sexual experience for every one of the participants.

Our Unique and our Authentic Self (Tom Steininger and Sonja Student in Dialogue; Translated by Kerstin Tuschik)

WakingUp-225Note: The following article is an English translation by Kerstin Tuschik of an article by Tom Steininger and Sonja Student regarding perspectives of a new spirituality for our times. It was first published in the German magazine EnlightenNext Impulse

TOM STEININGER: Of late we have spoken a lot about the Authentic Self and the Unique Self. [The Authentic Self teaching is widely associated with spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen among others and the Unique Self teaching with Marc Gafni and his book Your Unique Self.] This discussion is about how we can find a new understanding of spirituality in the 21 century. Is there also a new self-perception emerging through this new spirituality, a new spiritual self-concept?

SONJA STUDENT: Yes, at first we realize that in a new spirituality the evolutionary perspective plays a very important role. In the spirituality of today it is not only about realizing the timelessness or the primordial ground of being. In our inside we have to attend to other dimensions as well. This exceeds the classical terms of enlightenment. In these matters we cannot rely exclusively on the mystical traditions or the great world religions any longer. This is why the Integral Theory says that it is not only about waking up, but simultaneously about the process of growing up. We have to take care of becoming adult and developed personalities as well.

TS: Yes, we need both. The mystical teachings are about waking up, enlightenment. Many integral or evolutionary interested people forgot how important the dimension of the Absolute is, how important transcendence is. This dimension however takes center stage in all the traditional, mystical paths. In the East one speaks about the experience of Being, in Buddhism about the emptiness, the Christian mystics called it the direct experience of God. [Read more…]

Congratulations, Chahat!

Chahat Corten is a close student, friend and a board member of Center for World Spirituality and a leader of the Venwoude Retreat Center in Holland. She received empowerment from Marc Gafni as a teacher of Unique Self Enlightenment and is engaged in an upcoming book project with Dr. Gafni. She was recently interviewed for a wonderful article in a leading European magazine (pictured below).

 

 

Love in Action: Unique Self – Unique Projects

Integral Project Development: a way to consciously and actively participate in the Evolution of LOVE

By Kerstin Tuschik

So, alright: Let’s talk about Love!

For me, Love has always been the One force that moves the whole universe: the mysterious drive behind the big bang, the cosmic glue that linked elementary particles to atoms, atoms to molecules, molecules to cells, cells to organisms, up and up the evolutionary spiral until we get to human beings. And of course it doesn’t end here, but continues to expand our consciousness and drives our social and cultural development as a species as well as on a very personal scale.

Love for me is another name for God.

Yet, if all of this is so, why is there so much suffering in the world? Why do people kill each other in wars about their respective worldviews? Why do more than 900 million people suffer from hunger worldwide while we are throwing food away, and we would technically be able to supply everyone with enough food? Why…? (Fill in your favorite Why here!)

The evolution of Love depends on us! God depends on us!

Growing up – responsibility for the creation process

The childhood of humanity is over, collectively we have approached adolescence with all the chaos this brings, and at least some of us are starting to grow into adulthood. Growing up here means to become conscious co-creators, partners of God, of Love, of evolution, and of course this also brings increased responsibility. Our actions and non-actions have an impact on All-That-Is. Let’s not become paralyzed by this, but do our homework to learn to master the creation process…

[Read more…]

A Report from the Summer of Love Festival

An update from this great place Venwoude in collaboration with the Center for World Spirituality, our Summer of Love Festival.

We are creating a mystery school of LOVE here.

Working the first day with our Holy yes and letting ourselves be seduced to give up the habits that keep us caught in small self. And instead letting us be seduced by our Greatness.

After Falling in Love deeper and deeper, going through the Separation and finding the Sweetness after we do the Work of LOVE.

The Practice is that we all see each other through Gods’ eyes.

Each day we add a new level of that practice and you see people sitting in couples all day, doing the Practice.

This morning in a Grace filled Dharma-talk everybody realizes their Unique Puzzle Piece.

Which of course already quickly appeared in a piece of Art from the Art class.

In more and more and more trees LOVE-tokens are appearing……….. and we are only half way through the festival!!

All LOVE from the Festival of LOVE at Venwoude, ‘We are Loving our way to Enlightenment.’

I’ll have pictures to post very soon.

Notes from the Venwoude community days event (part 2)

Holland

By Chahat Corten

Hello friends,

First pardon my English. I will do my best to share with you what wonders happened here in the last two weeks at Venwoude, our world spirituality community and center in Holland.

The visioning process at Venwoude Integral Practice Community at first presented itself as an impossible and complex painful challenge, which we really did not think we could meet. This was a key moment in our community in which things might have begun to go down and the community would begin a slow downward process or maybe just maybe a miracle would happen. But no one knew how it would happen. It truly did not seem possible.

And it happened!!! Wow did it happen!!! These last two weeks have been an enormous success! What Grace how all of our paths came together in this way. The miracle has many parts to it but at the center of it all it had a name: spiritual teacher and artist Marc Gafni.

To many of us it occurred that it had to be precisely Marc that wove the magic of these days. When Marc walked in it seemed that there was really no way out. The complexity of the personal issues, and financial issues and emotional structural issues just did not seem workable. We had worked with other people and tried ourselves to work this and it just seemed impossible to come to a major breakthrough. But we were sure ready for one.

What happened here with Marc in a period of two weeks is really difficult to describe but I think it is fair to say that he almost worked a miracle. His tools were a brilliant clear mind, what he called loving outrageously, deep skills at facilitation, beautiful dharma talks and many individual meetings and deep listening. All of that was woven together in a kind of magic weave that — truly and absolutely transformed the community at some very deep levels in these two weeks.

A structural breakthrough was set in a legal form: a board and wisdom council were created, working for a committed period of three years. And it is now clear in a way that was totally unclear two weeks ago that this will be able to sustain this community to be here another 25 years.

In the first night Marc had everyone state their intention and what special medicine had to be given to the process. Everybody’s intention and medicine was hung on the wall. And all gave their commitment in the first evening to holding this intention during the process.

It seemed like a simple start, but many times my commitment, to submit and serve, to stay on track those days was of staggering importance. The amount of goodness in the room allowed for blunt criticism of all leaders, which is of course in the end is always quite relaxing 🙂

In day two Marc led a four hour process  in which the room would talk and he would listen to all the voices and then from the voices he would express a core value with each time woven perfectly all the voices in the room, each time he wove the voices into a core value and it happened almost twenty times the whole room would just sit back and say Wow!! Yes Yes Yes!! The Core values are formulated!

A miraculous process in depth and subtleties, like clear, clear, clear … in one extended morning session! This usually takes places weeks or days but it was like Marc has brought a clarity, light and transmission to the process that just opened everyone’s heart and mind.

A lot of old issues appeared, were touched and fell off the table, right in the heart to be held in the process, where each contribution appeared to be exactly the right one…..! There was a lot of grace available at the time.

And Marc in his obvious and clear mediating role between the worlds, picked up the expression of all necessary contributions, no matter how covert and we phrased it accurately and precisely in words that reflect the depth, the heart and the clarity that we looked for. So we formulated the most wondrous core values, both in English and in Dutch. Then the very next day — in a two hour process that Marc created we chose a board of directors who would be responsible to those core values.

So just to see the whole trajectory. Marc did two days of deep teaching with the whole community, then one day of individual meetings with communal leaders and then four hours of core values and then two hour of elections and it was done. There is a sense of deep breakthrough and elation in the community now. What is so amazing is that Marc did it in a way which increased the autonomy of the community. He poured deep love and light and wisdom into the community without in any way moving to take it over. If I never believed in second-tier consciousness I do now. Marc was deploying, as it seemed in a very relaxed way, a range of intelligences — from emotional intelligence to social intelligence, to dharma intelligence, to systems intelligence — all woven like an art form. I guess this is what people mean by second-tier. When you really see it in action it is quite amazing.

deep deep bow

Then we concluded last night with a festive and ecstatic evening with the wider community in wich the Wisdom Counsel was initiated and held by the whole community. From there the wisdom council invested the board members and they gave there commiment for three years.

Marc in his awesome dharma talk and story telling-mode invited us to create a community of ‘Messiahs’ or ‘9-cow-girls’. It was a beautiful talk on what it means to create an evolutionary WE space based on wisdom and outrageous loving. He talked about the Unique Self of the Venwoude community and how our work with sexuality gave us special gifts and special respsonsilbity and special ability and how this will probably become THE major and important technology in evolutionary WE-space development in the next age on this planet 🙂

An invitation to LOVE each other outrageously! There is magic, pure magic on the threshold of Venwoude’s 25th year of existence!

Thank you, thanks to our founder Ted Wilson, thanks to all patriarchs and matriarchs, thanks our world spirituality teacher in residence Marc Gafni, thank you all loving supporters, thanks all participants.

Thank you beloved friends,

Chahat

Exploring the Unique Self and beyond …. Searching for God’s place (Part 3)

Fribourg

 

By Hans Jecklin

This post continues from Part 2.

On my walk around the old pitoresque city of Fribourg, I suddenly got struck by an inspiration: The old images of God have been de-mistified long ago — I started to talk in my head – but many of us still experience a fear of being judged or even punishment by an unconscious authority that is being projected to the outside of ourselves: if it is not God whom we fear, it is society with its threat of exclusion, if we do not fit expectations.

But where could we imagine or locate God or — if we prefer — that all-encompassing force of eternal love and wisdom that is the origin of all that is? I believe to know a spiritual map with only “my” Unique Self and the Prior Unity of all cosmic potentials between myself and the ONE. But there is no room for God, especially if I understand my experience of the ONE as merely the state of oneness at the edge of that huge black (w)hole from which the cosmos manifests and where it might collapse into in a far ahead future; maybe manifesting a new cosmos on the backside of the hole? [Read more…]

Exploring the Unique Self and beyond …. Dialogue and Guidance (Part 2)

Child in Light

Photo Credit: Mara ~earth light~

By Hans Jecklin

This post is continued from Part 1.

Whenever I wish to enter into dialogue with the Unique Self or ask for its guidance, I first feel an impulse to bow to its all-encompassing wisdom and love. It seems important for me to always remember that the Unique Self is not a useful tool of my ego but that I am its manifestation at this moment, with a determination to become an ever more transparent instrument of its unique potential.

When I thought about writing this blog in the middle of the night, I had a vision of the eternal and undivided ONE from which all potentials and probabilities ready to manifest as and in this cosmos keep arising from moment to moment; my Unique Self being one single aspect of what I understand as Prior Unity of all manifestation. Allowing myself to be taken in by this vision, I immediately experience a state of absolute stillness, like having come home. [Read more…]

Greetings from Venwoude’s community days event

Venwoude SquareBy Chahat Corten

Hello dearest friends,

Sending you all love and blessing from Venwoude in Holland. This is the first blog post from the Venwoude community days in Holland. In the first couple of days, we had an ecstatic evening with chanting, a teaching on chanting, and storytelling. Ecstatic and passionate ending!

Simply said Marc Gafni has been working round the clock since he got here. First, he created a new World Spirituality process which he called “Growing Up,” which was four four-hour sessions in which he guided the community in a brilliant and beautiful exploration of what he called Evolutionary We Space. [Read more…]

Exploring the Unique Self and beyond … Discovery and Gratitude (Part 1)

Hands Reflection

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks

 

By Hans Jecklin

When, more than 40 years ago, I undertook my first steps into the cosmos of Jungian psychology, I was soon confronted with the opposition of an “I”, the person I am in this life, and the “Self” that Carl Gustav Jung understood as both the source and fulfillment of the “I” or as the prior source of potentials for the “I” to manifest in life. Jung was aware of the danger for the “I” to identify with this “Autonomous Reality” or “Divine Archetype” and warned of ego-inflation when a person would – even unconsciously – try to occupy or control that higher reality.

This mostly intellectual differentiation of “I” and “Self” accompanied me for a long time after I started my spiritual search. The longing for the direct experience of God had not only led me beyond psychology, but also to quit the reformed (Christian) church that had been my parents’ choice. I then spent nearly twenty years of practicing Zazen, Tao Yoga and Kashmir Shivaism and went through many dis-illusions, having mis-taken the impermanent for the eternal, until finally grace took over. [Read more…]