December 18, 2017

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>>>

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…]

A Personal Invitation from Sally Kempton and Marc Gafni

Falling in Love with the Divine: Devotion and Tantra of the Heart, Oct. 18-20, 2013

Click to Flyer Enlarge

Please join Sally Kempton and Marc Gafni at Esalen October 18-20 for an astonishing weekend experience of Evolutionary Love Practice.

There are two practical inquiries that will sit at the core of all of our sacred play:

What does it take to live your life in love?
What does it mean to be lived as love?

The 4th Annual World Spirituality Retreat
“Falling in Love with the Divine: Devotion and Tantra of the Heart”
October 18-20

During this weekend, we (Sally Kempton and Marc Gafni) promise to help you discover some real answers to these questions, which are rich with potential to transform the rest of your life.

Back in the 70s, a little book called The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment swept the spiritual world. Its message was simple: Enlightenment does not require heavy effort and asceticism. It only requires that you choose love in all circumstances. Making this simple insight alive and real in your life is the change that changes everything.

We each individually realized this insight during times when we were searching for light in the complexity of our own lives, and something deep within us recognized that choosing love in all circumstances is the secret. We also both knew that just deciding to love in all circumstances is not enough.

You can’t just decide to love. You need to find out how to kindle love in yourself. You need to practice love. You need to understand the different forms and levels of love. And you need a way to keep kindling your love-core — through meditation, through chant, through contemplation, and through “outrageous acts of love” that change not only your relationships, but you yourself.

That’s what this weekend retreat – Falling in Love with the Divine – is about: Loving Your Way to Enlightenment.

[Read more…]

Programming Change in Evening Dialogue “The Future of Love, Sex, and Eros”

Click on Flyer to see an enlarged version!

Click on Flyer to see an enlarged version!

We are excited to announce a programming change to start off the weekend workshop, “The Radical Path of the Outrageous Lover.”

On Friday, October 4th, from 7:00-9:00 pm, Stuart Black replaces Warren Moe in the evening dialogue with Dr. Marc Gafni, entitled, “The Future of Love, Sex, and Eros!”

Stuart Black was the Director of the Core Energetics Institute for over two decades and is currently serving as President. He was also the creator of many classic Core Energetics events such as Take A Risk and the Core Spiritual Service.

Mr. Black and Dr. Gafni will spark a spirited and entertaining dialogue on The Future of Love, Sex and Eros!

[Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: Being an Insider

(c) 2011 photo courtesy of Exsodus

2011 photo courtesy of Exsodus

To be a person of Torah, to be enlightened, is to live from the inside. To be an insider, to feel — oh my God — I have a place. It’s important that I exist. I am called uniquely to do something in the world that nobody else in the world is capable of doing except myself. The experience of my irreplacability is the beginning of my joy. The experience of my replacability is the beginning of my depression. Life is about finding out, disclosing, revealing that I am an insider. [Read more…]

The Radical Path of the Outrageous Lover! A weekend workshop with Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Kristina Kincaid Oct. 4-6 in NYC

HeartAt this key time in history we are called to evolve and embody Love, Sex and Eros! The sexual is the ultimate spiritual master. Deep understanding of the sexual is the ultimate guide to accessing the spirit in every dimension of our reality. To be a great Lover — an Outrageous Lover in all facets of your being — you must listen deeply to the simple yet elegant spirit whisperings of the sexual.

This event is a co-production with our Teaching Center Institute of INTEGRAL EVOLUTIONARY TANTRA in New York City.

Workshop: Oct 4 – 6, 2013
Fri 7–9 (free evening session)
Sat + Sun 10–5:30

Free Dialogue Evening! LOVE, SEX & EROS
Friday, Oct. 4 from 7-9 pm between Dr. MARC GAFNI
and WARREN MOE, Director, Inst. of Core Energetics

Please download the Flyer here for info on how to register.

[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:

[Read more…]

4th Annual World Spirituality Retreat at Esalen

“Falling in Love with the Divine: Devotion and Tantra of the Heart”

October 18-20, 2013

Buddha Sunset

Photo by CIW Board of Trustees member and Managing Director Steve Raymond

Prepare to transform your relationship to the divine!

Two of our beloved and transformational World Spirituality heart and wisdom masters and teachers will merge their gifts to help you unfold your own secret heart-tantra. Awakened Heart meditation teacher and author Sally Kempton joins Dr. Marc Gafni, Unique Self author and Kabbalistic lineage holder, for this ecstatic and unique offering at Esalen. Last year, we were joined by many outrageous lovers, some seeking expression for the divine through their primary love partnerships and some seeking to deepen their own heart mysteries for themselves. Esalen is situated on the breathtaking Pacific Coast, and the organic, healthy offerings there will rejuvenate your body, heart, spirit, and soul as you fall in love with the Divine and awaken to your soul’s destiny. Register soon for this wonderful retreat/workshop before it fills up! [Read more…]

Eros or Grasping: Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #9

Eros Cupid Statue London by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, www.freedigitalphotos.net

Eros Cupid Statue London by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

 

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

The ego is not erotic. Unique Self lives in Eros. To live in Eros means to live with fullness of presence and with a felt sense of wholeness. It is to yearn urgently and ecstatically, without grasping and to experience interiority, the feeling of being on the inside. This is the experience of Unique Self. The ego lives with the feeling of always being on the outside. It fragments, grasps, and never shows up fully present to other. Unique Self lives in Eros.

 

For further discussion:

What is Eros? And what does it mean to live an erotic life?

Well, clearly: It is not sex! [Read more…]

Enlightenment of Fullness — Yetzir and Yetzirah, Part I

Looking for more on the wisdom tradition that aligns you with your deepest creativity? In a three-part excerpt from the long version of Soul Prints, Marc Gafni writes that we can transform and raise our passion and artistic creativity into a powerful drive for the sensual and the holy, realizing that, in a redeemed world, they are one and the same. As long as our spirituality remains vapid and empty, we indeed need to repress the more primal, creative passion, lest it overwhelm us. Primal passion unrealized is soul print or Unique Self destiny unrealized.

You can view Part II of this essay in full by clicking here>>

You can view Part III of this essay in full by clicking here>>

Yetzer and Yetzirah: Raising the Primal Sparks of Creativity and Passion

by Dr. Marc Gafni
from The Way of the Dragon in the long Soul Prints.

 

Part I.colorful
In biblical spirituality, information about God is relevant for one reason only. Information about God is information about us. We are commanded to be little Gods – to imitate God. Just as God stood at the abyss of darkness and said let there be light, so are we commanded to stand at the abyss of our darkness and say let there be light. A little bit of light dispels so much of the darkness. Further, just as God is a creator – creating, sculpting, painting, composing a gorgeous physical world – so, too, are we invited to create, to sculpt, to paint, and to make music. [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

 

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.

[Read more…]

Ethics is an erotic expression of our deeper divinity

imgres-4If we come to understand that ethics is an erotic expression of our deeper divinity, we are truly moved to the ethical. For at that point we realize that it is an expression of our deepest selves, a  response to the call of our own voice. Ethics, to be compelling and powerful, must be an expression of your erotic divine nature and not a contradiction to it. So when the prophet insists that God and the God within you is beyond nature, and can therefore act ethically against nature, they are referring only to your first nature, not to your deeper second nature. Your deeper nature is God.

The marriage of the erotic and the ethical, when it takes place not merely intellectually but in all of your being, makes you the greatest of lovers.

Dr. Marc Gafni
The Erotic and the Holy

Your Unique Self: What It Means to Be a Lover … from God’s Eyes

buddha-lilyBy Marc Gafni

Note: The following article appeared in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Common Ground Magazine.

The true nature of your values is always revealed in death. In eulogies, both in what is spoken and unspoken, there is something of the essential nature of your life and loyalties. Sometimes, however, before you die you are strangely privileged to declare where your ultimate loyalty lies.

It was September 11, 2001. The planes had just crashed into the Twin Towers in Manhattan. Victims had moments to use their cellphones. No one called asking for revenge. No one offered philosophical explanations or profound insights into the nature of reality. People did one thing and one thing only: they called the people close to their hearts to say, “I love you.”

“I love you” is our declaration of faith. Implicit in those words is everything holy. Yet we no longer know what we mean when we say it.

It used to mean, “I am committed to you. I will live with you forever.” Or it might have meant, “You are the most important person in my life.”

But it no longer seems to mean that. And when you no longer understand your own deepest declarations of love, you are lost. You become alienated from love, which is your home. Despair, addiction, and numbness become your constant companions.

To read the entire article, download it as a PDF file.

DownloadButton

Daily Wisdom: Longing is the matrix of God’s revelation to us…

imgres-4We long for something deeper; something more, a higher and more noble authenticity. We masquerade in the mask of our wholeness knowing all along that it is but a charade; that we are part of larger whole with whom we yearn to be re-united. A shard of a shattered vessel whose hidden sparks seek to be uplifted and absorbed into the one even as they retain their sacred separate identity.  “As the gazelle yearns after the stream of clear water, so does my soul long after you, my God.”

Kalonymous  Kalman of Piacezna teaches in his book Holy Fire, “in response to our yearning for God, God longs and draws closer to us.” [Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: Swords – On Thrusting and Receiving

imgres-5By Dr. Marc Gafni

The symbol of the line is the sword. In biblical Hebrew the actual word for  sword, often a phallic expression, is cherev. The sword and the lance are male symbols of thrusting forward, combat and conquest. The goal of the sword is to affirm which line (sword) is higher in the hierarchy. The sword is goal-oriented. It does not have conversation; instead, it takes control. The sword cuts  through and analyzes. The sword is the discriminating intellect which divides, categorizes and conquers.  Clearly the sword/line is both a powerful force of the spirit as well as a scourge.

The circle is not about thrusting forward. It is about receiving. In the sexual image the circle always receives the line’s forward movement. Whatever position one might take, it is always the circle which must receive the line. The circle listens, opening herself up to receive the line. She is able to absorb the line’s thrust – develop it, unpack it, and give birth to something entirely new. [Read more…]

What is the difference between presence of absence and presence of fullness?

bad-first-dateBy Marc Gafni

The following text is a transcript of a short video, part of “Awakening to Your Unique Self,” originally published in May 2010.

(Silence.)

So that’s how a pointing out instruction works.

If you feel into the silence, pointing out instruction, I distinguish between silence of presence and silence of absence.

As we open our eyes and step back into the personal space, the personal that’s now been breathed on, infused, touched by by the transpersonal. We would talk about it in Integral language as a state-stage. Or in Sufism, the distinction between hakim and makim. It invites us in. We engage in what Luria called “I see God from behind.” Aftertaste.

Watch the video and read the transcript:

[Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: What is “Temple Consciousness”?

imgres-3To be in temple consciousness is to be in God. Eros pure and simple. This shift in consciousness is hidden within the folds of biblical myth text itself. We have already seen that the biblical term lifnei hashem, usually translated as “before God,” can be more fruitfully unpacked as “on the inside of God’s face.”

This allusion plants the seed for the much more radical move made by mystic Isaac Luria in the 16th century. In Luria’s graphic and daring vision, the world is not formed by a forward thrusting male movement which creates outside of itself. Quite the contrary – Divinity creates within itself a sacred void in the form of a circle. This is the Great Circle of Creation. The circle, unlike in the original biblical image, is within God. It is an act of love which moves God to withdraw and make room for other – paradoxically – within God. [Read more…]

Dailly Wisdom: What do I really want?

what-do-i-wantDaily Wisdom from Sally Kempton’s Awakened Heart:

In this wild new year, I’ve been finding that asking the right question is even more useful than making a resolution. Here’s one I’m working with: ‘What do I really want?’ I notice that when I ask the question deeply, moment to moment, the answers are often surprising. What your personal, historical self wants is often different than what your impersonal self–the soul–wants. What your heart wants is often different than what you think you should want. So, asking this question at deeper and deeper levels can help you recognize the pull of the soul’s longings, while also honoring the wants of the personality-self. As you keep asking the question, and bringing to consciousness the different layers of longing inside you, they begin to integrate.

See more updates from Sally on Facebook.