February 21, 2019

“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

 

“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…]

From the Holy of Holies: The Pain of Intimacy

From Shalom Mountain Wisdom School teaching by Dr. Marc Gafni. Transcribed by Adael Bullock.

Photo by Julie M. Daley

Photo by Julie M. Daley

Divinity is not only the infinity of power; divinity is the infinity of pain.  It is the infinity of tears.  Divinity at its core is the infinity of intimacy. The infinity of intimacy feels your pain and doesn’t relegate it to separate self.  Is there part of your pain and my pain and all of our pain that comes from an obsessive grasping in the realm of separate self?  Of course.  Is that unnecessary pain?  Of course.  And can we liberate from that pain by awakening?  Of course. That doesn’t end the story of pain.  That ends the unnecessary pain in the world.  But then, there is the legitimate and the real pain that comes with being incarnate.  That is where the Christ consciousness got it better than the Buddhist consciousness.  The Christ consciousness didn’t say there is no pain; the Christ consciousness said, I die for your sins.  That is a very different move.  That is not the same spiritual move.  One is, “life is suffering” because your mind is fucked up, so unfuck your mind, and you will not suffer – the 4 Noble Truths.  The second is, suffering is so fucking intense, there is nothing you can do, so I am going to die for you. [Read more…]

“Outrageous Love” Poem by Cerridwen

We are pleased to be able to share with you the inspiring poem below, written and submitted by Shalom sangha member and energy healer Cerridwen following the Shalom Mountain Wisdom School in Livingston Manor, NY, October 10-13.  Dr. Marc Gafni, Wisdom Teacher in Residence at Shalom, unfolded teachings on Pleasure, Addiction, and Eros at this retreat, and the sangha celebrated together the Outrageous Love dharma. Cerridwen says the retreat experience moved her closer to this draft of her poem. [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)

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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)

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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…]

News from Shalom Mountain after Evolutionary Tantra Weekend

JB-shalom-room

The Wisdom School at Shalom Mountain: The Seven Tastes of Sexing, March 7-10, 2013

This event on Evolutionary Tantra was held last week at the Wisdom School, co-founded by Shalom Mountain and the Center for World Spirituality, which is the locus for Marc’s teachings on the east coast of the United States.

This was the 10th Wisdom School that has gathered in the last several years, each one with its own theme and exploration of a particular dimension of Enlightenment. Each Wisdom School is dedicated to the practice of evolving the Source Code of Consciousness in a particular area of spiritual practice or enlightenment inquiry. This Wisdom School shared the same theme as the recent program held at Venwoude Retreat Center in February, The Seven Tastes of Sexing. The Shalom Mountain retreat was led by Dr Marc and facilitated by two close friends and students in the private study circle, Jeff Hilliard and Shelly Reichenbach. Jeff and Shelly are Shalom Mountain leaders and have been studying closely with Marc at the Wisdom School for a long period of time.

Wisdom School at Shalom Mountain Developing Unique Expression of Unique Self Processshalom_march2013

Jeff Hilliard and Tom Goddard are leading the development of the Unique Self process, in its particular expression at Shalom Mountain. Jeff, Tom, Nance and Marc, along with a group of leaders, are very excited to be actively engaged in developing the first Unique Self process led by Shalom leaders. Marc has taught Unique Self extensively over the last few years at Shalom Mountain, and is now working together with this fabulous leadership group of teachers in transmitting the dharma and empowering Shalom to take up the Unique Self teaching in their own gorgeous Shalom fashion.

Three Unique Self Prayers

We want to thank Adael Bullock for assembling a collection of reflections and personal sharing from the recent Shalom Mountain Wisdom School fall event.

With Marc Gafni teaching at the retreat center in New York, the topic of Unique Self was at the fore. Accordingly, several of the reflections were inspired by this teaching. Enjoy “Spark of Creation,” “In Your Faces,” and “May I Suggest.” … and there’s more to follow in the days ahead.

“Spark of Creation”

A Unique Self Prayer
By Liza Braude-Glidden

Spark of Creation, Beginning of Beginnings,
Let Your Holy Embodied Love live through each of us uniquely
Help us turn every event towards its best place in love’s mandala.

In Your sweet generosity, bring me all that’s uniquely mine,
To love, heal, create, destroy —
As You were in the beginning, so You unfold through me and blossom,

You hear my laughter, pain and joy. You know the name inside my name.
All of us can rest in You as You hold each beauty and sacrifice,
And Your love, personal, intimate and divine, always begins and never ends.
[Read more…]

The weekend of loving outrageously

The Center for World Spirituality is pleased to share a spontaneous artistic creation inspired by a recent event of ours in connection with Shalom Mountain. John Tarcza tells us that a “wild idea started to stir and evolve uncontrollably” in him while editing audio recordings from the weekend. He combined a few minutes of reflections by Marc Gafni with music (Erik Satie Gnossienne No. 1, Buddha Bar remix) … and created this wonderful combination. John has graciously allowed us to share it with you.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Enjoy!

The one thing we all know is true
Every one of us in the room
Is that we live in a world of outrageous pain, outrageous pain
Beyond imagination

The world’s an outrageously painful place
And the only response to outrageous pain
Is outrageous loving

So I want to invite everyone to actually do a reset on intention
And to actually play one step larger
And say if you dare, if I dare,
That I want to be a lover
For the sake of the evolution of Love
Boldly, clearly, the evolution of Love
Depends on me

[Read more…]

The Seven Levels of Certainty and Uncertainty

Standing StoneBy Marc Gafni

The following are notes from Marc Gafni’s dharma talk given in March 2012 at Shalom Mountain Wisdom School, where Gafni serves as the World Spirituality Teacher in Residence.

Introduction

The seven levels of certainty and uncertainty tells the story of how the great religious traditions came into being and how they were challenged first by science, and then by modern and post-modern mindsets.

This is a rough sketch of a map of certainty and uncertainty.

We have forgotten what we know. Indeed we do not know whether we know or not at all. We do not know whether we know or what we know or even how to know. The general impression today is that anyone who claims to know something is lost in dogma or regressive fundamentalism. Indeed almost the definition of a fundamentalist is someone who claims to know something with is totally “true” about Ultimate issues.

A person cannot survive and certainly cannot thrive without knowing.

A generation cannot survive without its knowing. A generation certainly cannot participate in the evolution of consciousness, which is the evolution of love, without knowing what it knows.

So let’s go back to the beginning of story that led to this post-modern predicament in which all knowing is undermined and in which the only grand narrative is that there is no–and can be no–grand narrative.

[Read more…]

Introduction to The Seven Levels of Certainty and Uncertainty (By Liza Braude-Glidde)

BouquetBy Liza Braude-Glidde

An important deep structure in Marc Gafni’s teachings is his use of polarities such as Personal and Impersonal or Certainty and Uncertainty. These clarify central quandaries in the evolution of consciousness and spirituality. I might call this approach to polarities “The Art of Holy Erotic Argument.” It draws from the esoteric teachings of Marc’s Kabbala lineage.

The polarity of Certainty and Uncertainty clarifies the relationship between scientific knowledge and other types of knowledge such as spiritual knowledge. A critical mass of people the world over now see science specifically and truths of the physical and monetary world in general as the only forms of truth. While science and related truths make our lives workable, in order to connect with others and with the Whole in a deep, moral and pleasurable way, we need other forms of truth; those of culture, esthetics, morality and most of all spirit.

The following description of these seven stages is a work in progress based on a transcript of Marc’s verbal teaching given to some of the leaders of the Shalom Mountain Wisdom School. This is the beginning of the modeling of a clear structure that helps spiritual truth, beauty, and morality shine through into the twenty first century.

[Read more…]

Shalom Mountain Develops Wisdom School

JB-shalom-room

Shalom Mountain

We are delighted to announce that Shalom Mountain has developed a Wisdom School which is deeply rooted in the teachings of Unique Self Enlightenment, Eros, World Spirituality Teaching and the Enlightenment of Fullness.

Dr. Marc Gafni serves as the teacher in Residence. The next session- which will be the eight session of the Wisdom School will be March 8-11th at Shalom Mountain in upstate new york. The teaching is Sold Out however work is being done to make ten more spaces available so if you are interested register now or be put on a waiting list.

For more information click here. 

Thoughts on The Unique Self

By Thomas G. Goddard, JD, PhD

Tom Goddard is a board member of Center for World Spirituality and a senior student of Unique Self Enlightenment and World Spirituality.

The array of forces that brings a human being to this point in space at this moment in time — here, now — is infinitely beyond comprehension. If we feel beyond the obvious (e.g., I am here in this chair because I walked here from over there) into all the actions that we and everybody else has taken that has brought me here, and then try to find an end to those connections, we cannot. Certainly, without an infinitely immense number of decisions that brought my mother and father to meet each other in Boulder, Colorado in the late 1930s, I wouldn’t even exist, at least not in this form, much less be sitting in this chair on this Saturday morning in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Similarly infinite forces brought their parents together, and so on, all the way back to the beginning of time. Similarly infinite forces also brought the chair on which I sit, the computer on which I compose this, and breakfast I ate this morning, to this here-now.

And it doesn’t stop there with human activity, of course. Other forces of nature, like weather, animals, plants, even solar flares, have had their influence as well. Some of these influences are at the cellular level, expanding exponentially the array of forces at work in bringing me to here, now. Going further, these influences are also at the sub-cellular level, naturally, as it makes no sense to draw a dividing line below the cells that influence us. The very operation of molecules, then atoms, then sub-atomic particles are behind my being here, now.

This unfathomable array of influences is not limited in time and space. Because drawing a boundary within this immense fabric of causation would be arbitrary, the influences go all the way out in space and all the way back in time to at least 13.7 billion years ago, to the birth of the universe as we know it. And it’s not just the dance of things — there are energies, both detectable by humans and beyond our current awareness — that are at play in the gross, subtle, and causal realms.

And this process continues, with each new emergent here and now. We ride the crest of a wave of infinite emergence, as though we are a surfer on a wave that began eons ago.

What is astonishing is that the particular wave on which I am surfing is not your wave. It is utterly customized to my here, my now. Not one other person (or animal, plant, or thing, for that matter) has the particular constellation of forces converging on this here, this now. It is an intensely intimate and personal point in the time-space fabric of the universe that I occupy as I write this, just as it is an intensely intimate and personal point in that fabric that you occupy as you read this.

The practice underlying this realization is first a conscious seeing, feeling, even tasting of this infinitely glorious, shimmering fabric that extends throughout time and space. Once practice brings us in touch with this, practice can then lead each of us to finding our place woven into this Kosmic tapestry.

While I am not separate from this fabric, I am a unique and shimmering expression of it. This awareness of both interconnection with the All and the unique spot in space and time that each of us occupies is the awakening of Unique Self. It is a form of awakening that goes beyond the classic enlightenment’s “I am one with All” to an intimate understanding of who I am, in this irreproducible Here and infinitely unique Now.

[Deep bow to Marc Gafni, whose book, Your Unique Self (in press) and teaching, both in private instruction and at Shalom Mountain’s Wisdom School, has informed this piece to its core.]