June 17, 2019

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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Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #24 – Pleasure: Delusion or Divine

from Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni

(c) 2012 photo courtesy of domdeen

©2012 photo courtesy of domdeen

Money, power, and pleasure, when experienced at the level of ego, appear separate from the divine field and trap you in the clutches of grasping and striving. When experienced from the level of enlightened consciousness, money, power, and pleasure are expressions of your Unique Self touching the divine. Pleasure from the place of Unique Self is experienced as a divine caress reminding you that the world is sane and good. Ego pleasures feel narcissistic, and solidify the coiled contraction into small self. They never satisfy; you are constantly driven to get more and more, and someone else’s pleasure makes you feel your own lack. The same pleasure experienced from the consciousness of Unique Self expands your heart and consciousness into the love-intelligence, love-beauty, and love-pleasure of All-That-Is. You are satisfied by even the simplest pleasure, and you delight in the pleasure of others.

Similarly, power and money grasped by the ego seek to support the false belief of the separate self that it will live forever. Power and money are used to accumulate goods you do not need, and to acquire superficial control over others in order to assure yourself that you are valuable and worthy. Money and power experienced from the consciousness of Unique Self are gracefully and skillfully deployed with delight for the greater good of all beings.

Separate from the divine field, money, pleasure, and power appear as foolish and even grotesque identity enhancers for the ego. This becomes radically apparent whenever we encounter death. The ego is confused. It fails to discern between separateness and uniqueness, and so the goods of existence are hijacked to serve its own impossible goal of survival—separate from the larger field of love-beauty-pleasure-intelligence from which it was never separate and never can be separated.

Correct intuitions that are hijacked and misapplied by the ego are contextualized and reclaimed at the level of Unique Self. These include eternity and the finite goods of the world, the goodness of pleasure, the divine aspect of power, and more. All of these are reclaimed without grasping at the level of Unique Self.

Further Discussion:

One of the things Dr. Marc teaches us to recognize about pleasure is that it is not pain’s opposite. In fact, he teaches:

The opposite of pain is comfort. To achieve pleasure you must be willing to bear the discomfort of being displeasing to yourself, of feeling worthless, inadequate, depressed. It is only by sitting in the pain that you can find the pleasure. (p. 282 of 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

 

Monterey Peninsula Events March 15 – April 5

shalom_march2013We have two exciting teachings on the Peninsula coming up on March 17 and April 5.

Marc and Sally are now in the third class in their series of nine monthly classes at Pacific Coast Church, “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment: Living the Way of the Lover.” Last month, Sally shared her wonderful wisdom on Hindu feminine deities based upon her newest book, Awakening Shakti, and led us in a deeply warm contemplation and communication with our Inner Beloved.

On this Sunday, March 17, Marc will be returning from teaching at the Wisdom School of Shalom Mountain, and leading us along the “The Path of Outrageous Love.” Deep Loving Your Way To Enlightenment flyer for March 17thanks to Dr. Bill Little and the staff and members of Pacific Coast Church. (click flyer to enlarge)

We are delighted that Marc has been invited to share an evening hosted by The Pilgrim’s Way Bookstore on Friday, April 5th, 7;00pm, with the talk held across the street at the Carmel Art Foundation, on Dolores between 5th and 6th. The title of the evening talk is “The Seven Levels of Pleasure in Unique Self-Realization.” Life is meant to be pleasurable, and we will explore Pleasure as Spiritual Practice. Marc’s recent book, Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, won the 2012 USA Best Book Award in the General Spiritual category.

Your-Unique-Self

USA Best Book Seal 2012

From Sex to Super-Consciousness: Unique Self and the Future of Love

evolver1Marc Gafni and Adam Gilad in Dialogue
Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 12pm San Francisco • 3pm New York • 8pm London

Unique Self: “To be awake is to be a lover: alive, aflame and open as love. Therefore, at its heart, to be a lover means to be willing to participate in the transformation of consciousness.”

Sex is play. Sex is surrender. Sex is profound and dangerous and exhilarating discovery – of our truest selves and the selves of our lovers.

After all, the ancient Hebrew mystics didn’t say, “And Adam banged Eve.” They wrote, he “knew” her.

How can your sexual self be the crucible of knowing yourself anew? Of knowing your lover with both profundity and lightness, with both fierceness and the tenderness of a newborn’s touch?

Sex can be entertainment, distraction, obsession — or it can be revelation of our truest selves, our most infinite consciousness. Through our bodies touching, we can touch the divine.

And we can feel – when we drop our anxieties, our bills, our status, our egos – what we can be as human in the act of “becoming.”

Few speak on this subject with Adam Gilad’s remarkable insight and infectious enthusiasm. The 50,000 followers of Adam’s dating and relationships newsletter already appreciate his unique mix of global wisdom traditions, spiritual cheekiness, advanced education and expansive practices. His legendary audio trainings and special programs cover topics like: learning the “language” of the other gender; cultivating a dance of the sexes rather than a battle; playing the spectrum of sexual polarity; and always, always, always, opening to fearlessness in self-awareness, self-evolution, compassion, forgiveness and really good wine.

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What is pleasure? A short dharma talk with Marc Gafni

By Marc Gafni

I want to share with you a little dharma talk I gave earlier this year in response to the question, “What is pleasure?” If you’re accustomed to the standard answer which says that pleasure is Hedonic, you are in for a surprise.

Listen to the audio below (about five minutes) and follow along the transcript provided.

What is pleasure? Pleasure is the universe caressing us. Pleasure is the feeling that the personal face of essence intends me to be held and loved and pleasured.

Pleasure reminds me that the world is sane, that the world intends and holds my pleasure.

In fact there’s this gorgeous 3rd century Aramaic text that talks about the moment of transition, the moment we move from this life to the next life. There’s the tunnel and the light and in all the cross-cultural appearances of this story, there’s judgment. There’s life review that happens. [Read more…]

A Teaching on Love ~ by Dr. Marc Gafni


Life as Practice and the Three Stations of Love

by Dr. Marc Gafni
The evolution of states and stages of consciousness are explicitly discussed in the great traditions. We are using the terms states and stages in the classic sense that they are defined in integral theory. By states then, we refer to experience of expanded or altered forms of awareness. These states are not permanent or stable levels of awareness, but are induced through various means, including but not limited to, spiritual practice. By stages of consciousness, we refer to stable levels of development which take place within the interior of an individual or culture, and which refer to stable achievement of new levels of consciousness. An example of stages of consciousness might be the evolution from pre-, personal–, personal to transpersonal or in a second example from ego- to ethno- to world- to kosmocentric consciousness. In this latter example, at every ascending level of consciousness there is an expanded sense of both awareness and identity. A second example might be the six to ten structure stage of interior consciousness within the life of the collective and the individual that are described in many developmental systems, one example of which is the Spiral Dynamics theory of Clare Graves. [Read more…]

If You’re Still Lonely, Call Lola by Marc Gafni

 

By Dr. Marc Gafni

I actually began to re-think the whole “meaning of life” question some years ago when I was in a hotel in Denver, Colorado. You know how hotel rooms work, there is a television, bed, a lot of towels, and if you look in the drawer next to the bed you will almost unfailingly find, at least in the United States, a Gideon bible. My suitcase with my own set of books had missed its connecting flight and I was at the hotel tired, without books and not feeling that great. And you know empty hotel rooms far from home can be the loneliest places in the world. So I open the Gideon bible. [Read more…]

Living Comfortably Numb? by Marc Gafni

Hello, hello, hello…is there anybody out there?

Dr. Marc Gafni points out in this week’s wisdom nugget, that the opposite of pain is comfort.

As Pink Floyd reminded us so many years ago, you can live your entire life comfortably numb. Then you’re left wondering at the end of your life, where was all the pleasure?

Pleasure always embraces one essential element that is necessary for transformation and growth. What is it? Tune-in to find out… Watch the video…

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