August 16, 2018

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>>>

The Climax of the Summer Festival of Love 2015: Evolutionary Relationships, Unique Gender and the Unique Self Symphony

The dharma of Outrageous Love, Eros, and Unique Self has never been more alive than during those last couple of days. Evolutionary Relationships and Unique Gender are connecting the dots between the Awakening as a Unique Self and the Unique Self symphony.

“We are the erotic mystics reweaving and evolving the source code of reality.” – Marc Gafni at the Summer Festival of Love 2015

Marc Gafni first published a version of the lines and circles teaching in his book, The Mystery of Love (Atria, 2003).

The teaching has evolved dramatically over the last 13 years. He gave a more advanced version of it in Venwoude several years ago to a small inner group at the community. The version we heard at the Festival is the deepest and most advanced version we have of this dharma.

“All forms of reality that don’t have in them
the marriage of masculine and Feminine
are no reality at all.
There is no higher form.
They have no potency and no blessing in them.”
“Blessing only flows when the Masculine and the Feminine dance in their Higher One.”
– The Zohar

Testimonial by participant David Steel:

What an incredible blessing this week has been. I have had the opportunity to study and learn with one of the great teachers of our time. I know that in many ways I will never be the same. I have truly begun to understand and appreciate my “Unique Self.”

The following is a condensed summary of the dharma of the second part of the festival with many quotes or paraphrased statements from the teachings.

[To read a summary of the first three days, click here: “Lines & Circles: A new Dharma on Unique Gender at the Venwoude Summer Festival of Love“.]

In the evening of day 5, Ken Wilber called into the Conference adding his wisdom on Gender from an AQAL perspective, engaging “in the kabbalistic process of Tzimtzum,” as Marc called it, and “contracting brilliance and light into a single point of ten minutes which communicated something profound and potent and game changing.”

At the end of his talk Ken concluded (paraphrased from his talk):

We as humanity are at such a high level of consciousness that we actually have a choice which characteristics we want to embody. Each Unique Self is a unique embodiment of lines and circles. For the first time in history we can select our own gender profile.

The participants responded with love, appreciation, and a standing ovation for him.

On day 5 and 6, a profound healing of the Masculine (or what we preferred to call the line quality) in its beauty happened, it radiated from every face of both men and women as well as from the spaces in between. We were and still are in awe of what is possible in just a few days together in devotion to the dharma, when the Unique Self symphony comes alive.

On day 7, we finally entered the circle. This is what I wrote immediately after the teaching to capture some of the essence of what happened: [Read more…]

Lines & Circles: A new Dharma on Unique Gender at the Venwoude Summer Festival of Love

We are in the midst of day 3 of 8 of the Second Annual European Integral Wisdom Conference on Love, Eros, and Enlightenment also known as the Fourth Summer Festival of Love. The whole event is outrageously rich and full on so many levels. 240 participants are here – and the “field” is shimmering with love, practice, and delight. The evolution of love is happening right here, right now. Marc Gafni is bringing down new and gorgeously alive dharma every day and the community gathered here is wonderfully receptive, playful, and committed.

The first day started with a heavy summer storm that mirrored perfectly the bright explosion of the dharma brought into the room so passionately by Dr. Marc. The Venwoude community, as well as an awesome team of contributors and volunteers, in collaboration with The Center for Integral Wisdom, welcomed the participants.

Every day Marc gives beautiful and powerful teachings on the evolutionary emergence of the Unique Self symphony, Evolutionary Relationships, and Unique Gender. There is also a whole spectrum of workshops and practice groups as well as awesome conversations and fantastic food. The participants are loving it and the energy is building. This whole event is not only truly Integral but also outrageously rich and full on so many levels.

Some gems from the Dharma quoted and paraphrased from Marc:

We need to know–more than anything else in the world–that the universe is not a fact but a story. The universe is a story–not an ordinary story but a love story–not an ordinary love story, but an outrageous love story.

Evolution is Outrageous Love in Action. The best information we have today is that the universe is a love story, an outrageous love story. We are the central actors in it and the inherent plotline is love.

Love is not hard to find. It is impossible to avoid. The universe feels. And the universe feels love.

To awaken means to realize that the universe is whispering into my ear in every moment: I love you. I need you. I choose you.

In the newness of the moment is the healing of the moment. The power of NOW is that all of the past and all of the future is right here.

You can always ask yourself: Was newness born in this moment? Or is something dying? Maybe nobody else will know the difference but you will and reality will.

A new Dharma on Unique Gender

There are five great historical stages in western culture of how people looked at gender:

  1. For most of history, people thought there is man and woman, male and female.
  2. Culture used differences as a tool for oppression.
  3. Because of that, there was a great move in culture to level all differences.
  4. Neuroscience discovered through the use of FMRI that there are differences between the sexes that are real hardwiring.
  5. At the same time, neuroscience also discovered neuroplasticity: The culture we live and participate in can shift and transform the brain. Marc called that cultural neuroplasticity.

In every moment that has blessing, in every place that has blessing, there is an inner marriage of masculine and feminine, or line and circle qualities, occurring.

As a Unique Self, I am a Unique Gender, a unique integration of line and circle qualities, which is the Divine inner marriage–Hieros Gamos.

The divine marriage is happening everywhere. In an evolutionary relationship, a Unique We is born that has unique gifts to give together. You cannot get to this outer marriage without first having an inner marriage. That’s the democratization of Hieros Gamos, the Divine inner marriage.

Human beings are Eros waking up but not yet awake. For most of history there was no conscious choice. For the first time in history there is actually a choice on how to live your unique gender. Humanity is waking up. Eros is waking up.

What if the only discerning principle for human beings was: Are you an outrageous lover? That’s what makes you erotic.

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…]

Excitement Builds for Summer Festival of Love – July 26 to August 2

Summer Festival Icon

Sometimes, people wait to the last minute, and then decide to jump into a major life event because of an inward pull and calling… an impulse that is not to be denied! If you are having this calling regarding our 3rd Annual Mystery School, and our 1st Annual European Integral Wisdom Conference… now is the time to act so you can be at the Summer Festival of Love at the Venwoude Integral Practice Community in Holland, the week of July 26 – August 2.

Many are still carrying the transformative “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment” vibe from the Summer Festival and Mystery School of last year… really fantastic reports of authentic growth and change. Promotional Flyer here—>

Loving Your Way to Enlightenment

 

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, and to a dramatic evolution of CIW teachings and workshop opportunities in the past year. The Summer Festival of Love is truly a signature event among all of the teachings for the year.

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


 

 

There are few spaces left… you may register here. Register here—>

 

 

 

 

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…]

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)

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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…]

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…]

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.

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).

 

 

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

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…]

Venwoude Retreat Center is Proud to Announce…

venwoude_winter

The pyramid at Venwoude in winter

Venwoude Retreat Center is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Marc Gafni as World Spirituality Teacher in Residence.

Venwoude Retreat Center is emerging as an important European Center for the development of a World Spirituality based on Integral Principles, Unique Self Enlightenment, The Democratization of Enlightenment, The Evolution of Love and the Enlightenment of Fullness.

All of these form core parts of the emergent teaching and transmission of World Spirituality based on Integral Principles.

This great and exciting step emerges from an unusual meeting of hearts and minds. Together Dr. Marc and the Venwoude Leadership have forged powerful shared vision on what is possible to unfold in the development of an evolutionary consciousness of World Spirituality in Europe and around the globe.

Dr. Gafni offers, together with leading Venwoude teachers, Mauk Pepier, Chahat Corten, Leon Gras and others, a full year round program.

As part of this collaboration a new set of embodies trainings and  teachings are being developed which form the basis of the emergent World Spirituality Practice. The practice combines deep study, meditation, prayer, the formation of Evolutionary We Space, somatic experiencing, chant, ecstatic practice, reality consideration and contemplation.  Together the path of practical enlightenment is unfolded which engages and evolves the life worlds in all four quadrants.

Marc Gafni, D.Phil., Scholar-in-Residence and Director of the Center for World Spirituality, is a contemporary philosopher and public intellectual who is leading the emergence of the World Spirituality movement based on what Gafni has termed the Democratization of Enlightenment. At the core of Gafni’s teachings is what he calls the Enlightenment of Fullness, the linchpin of which is Unique Self Teachings, a breakthrough technology with the potential to change the source code of the human experience.  The Unique Self teaching is now being adapted in leading treatment centers, universities, private schools and spiritual centers all over the world. In each of these fields serious work is being done by leaders in their respective fields to bring Gafni’s teaching to bear in a way that redefines the field. But three examples are: the Catstlewood Treatment Centers which are now working on what they are calling the “thirteenth step” which is a revolutionary approach to addiction and treatments based on Unique Self teaching which transcends and includes the AA 12 step work. A leading educator at what is considered the leading institution for higher education at the high school level in the United States is working on a new work called Letters to My Students, based on Unique Self teaching. A popular professor at University of Michigan just used Gafni’s teaching on Eros as the core book for his courses last semester.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Gafni has developed many educational programs and workshops rooted in traditional wisdom and yet fully adapted to the needs of the contemporary world.  His acclaimed writings and standing room only lectures are known for their unique mix of profound teaching and transmission, open hearted compassion and love, intellectual rigor and depending on the night, highly entertaining stand up comedy and storytelling.

An iconoclastic artist and provocative visionary, Dr. Gafni has led spiritual movements and learning communities as well as created and hosted the leading national Israeli television program, on Israel’s leading network, on ethics and spirituality. Now, he is focusing on bringing his passion, brilliance, and ability to transmit an open hearted presence to the World Spirituality movement which he initiated together with Ken Wilber, Mariana Caplan, Sally Kempton and dozens of other intellectual and spiritual luminaries.  World Spirituality is a new framework for meaning based on an attempt at the highest possible integration of pre-modern religions, modern scientific principles, and post-modern philosophies based on Integral principles. More than an interfaith movement, and beyond perennial philosophy, World Spirituality thinkers are blazing new evolutionary paths in discovering the New Enlightenment, a path for realizing authentic self-discovery and evolving the source code of human meaning and values. .

Dr. Gafni has written seven books including the national bestseller Soul Prints, which won awards including the NAPRA Nautilus Award for Best Spirituality Book of 2001, and the critically acclaimed book The Mystery of Love, which focused on Kabbalah and Eros. Both books were published by Simon & Schuster, and Soul Prints was also made into a National PBS special and both books were made into audio series by Sounds True. All of Gafni’s books are being re-issued by Integral Publishers. Gafni is presenting writing a major new work on World Spirituality together with Ken Wilber.  In a series of dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ram Dass, Moshe Idel, Deepak Chopra, Surya Das, Gabriel Cousens, Michael Murphy and many other thought leaders, he advanced the radical notion that all of Hebrew wisdom may be properly understood as a form of  evolutionary panentheism whose intended goal is the greatest depth of enlightenment for the greatest possible span of humanity.

Dr. Gafni’s forthcoming book – already considered a classic by all of the reviewers, is called Your Unique Self. This work challenges the conventional wisdom of enlightenment as suggests a fundamental evolution of the source code  of enlightenment thought. It is the culmination of years of research into Western and Eastern enlightenment traditions and many hours of conversations with cutting-edge thinkers and spiritual teachers from diverse lineages and traditions.

His other forthcoming books include a two volume thousand page work, Radical Kabbalah, based on his doctoral dissertation at Oxford University, Towards Integral Religion: Dance of Tears, and Between Certainty and Uncertainty: The Future of Faith, and World Spirituality Based on Integral Principles co-authored with Ken Wilber. Collectively these works set the context for and elucidate a teaching he refers to as the Enlightenment of Fullness.

The themes of Dr. Gafni’s early books have been transcended and included in a new paradigm based on Integral principles with Unique Self as its first core principle. The World Spirituality movement brings the Enlightenment of Fullness into practice in real world communities, creating a vibrant and fulfilling context of meaning for people around the globe who can no longer locate themselves in the religious traditions or who no longer feel that one religion can be their exclusive home. The Unique Self principle reconciles Eastern and Western approaches to enlightenment in an elegant, exciting, and original way. Together with Mariana Caplan, Sally Kempton and other leading teachers, he is shaping a revolutionary way of understanding the nature of human existence, a new paradigm which could very well re-make today’s spiritual landscape.

For a public figure, he has been remarkably unafraid to show his continual evolution as a thinker and in his personal life, at times facing trials to his reputation on hate-sites and in the some corners of the blogosphere. He has lived boldly the mantra of World Spirituality: wake up, grow up, show up, and lighten up. As he defied the odds to successfully overcome injustice and  obstacle, he brought his deepened awareness of personal and collective shadow to his writings in such areas as the evolution masculinity and femininity and ethics in spiritual communities.

Dr. Gafni, born Marc Winiarz, is the son of Kehath Winiarz and Claire Subar,  survivors of the Holocaust. He earned his doctorate from Oxford University in England and today he lives in the greater San Francisco area. He is the father of four children. He is the director of the Center for World Spirituality and teacher in residence at the Venwoude Spiritual Community in Holland and at the Shalom Mountain Wisdom School in New York. He occasionally forays into the corporate board room leading widely acclaimed seminars for CEO’s.

Gafni’s teaching is marked by a deep transmission of open heart, love and leading edge provocative wisdom. Gafni is considered by many to be a visionary voice in the founding of a new World Spirituality and one of the great mind/heart teachers of the generation.

For more complete information, click here.

Unique Self Process: Taught for the First Time Ever in Public — May 19 – 21, 2012

What: Unique Self Process: Taught for the First Time Ever in Public

When: May 19 – 21, 2012

Where: Venwoude Retreat Center in Holland. Inexpensive flights available.

Who: Dr. Marc Gafni and Mauk Pieper: Unique Self Process: First Three Days

Who: Dr. Marc Gafni and Chahat Corten, Pauline Botden

The Principles and Practices of Unique Self Enlightenment

The Democratization of Enlightenment Begins with You!

Principle and Practice 1: The Invitation and Responsibility of Unique Self

Unique Self: The Evolutionary Context
The Four Pillars of Unique Self
Two Tastes: Being and Becoming

Principle and Practice 2: The Glory of the Story

Personal and Impersonal Enlightenment
Live Your Story: Mythologize Don’t Pathologize
Details Matter: The Time Line and Trajectory of Your Life

Principle and Practice 3: False Core, False Self, and the Trajectory of Identity

Personality Types
False Core, False Self WHOLE WEEK ON THIS

Principle and Practice 4: Awakening: Evolution Beyond Ego

True Self, True Identity
Paths of Practice to Awaken Your Unique Self
Unique Self and Transcendence

Principle and Practice 5: Awakening: Evolution Beyond Ego

Five Differences Between Unique Self and Ego
The Democratization of Enlightenment
The New Enlightenment

Principle and Practice 6: Unique Wound and Unique Shadow

The Shadow: Three Steps Beyond Jung
Shadow and the New Enlightenment
Follow Your Shadow to Your Unique Self

Principle and Practice 7: Unique Gifts, Unique Delight and Unique Obligation

What is your Unique Self?
What are your Unique Gifts?
What is your Unique Purpose?

Principle and Practice 8: Evolutionary We Space

The creation of the Unique We
Five Principles and Practice which invoke the Miracle of We
Public Enlightenment: The Next Evolutionary Leap

Evolution of Love, Marc Gafni — Nov. 11 – 13 and Nov. 15, 2011

Evolution of Love

by Marc Gafni

Are you ready to participate consciously in the Evolution of Love?

If you are then come to study and practice with spiritual luminary Dr. Marc Gafni.

For registration Click Here

More info on Venwoude

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Venwoude Institute at Integral Spiritual Experience 2009-2010

In this video, Mauk Pieper, Alamasta Faber, Marijke Heetveld, and Lena Huisman report on their visit to the Integral Spiritual Experience Year 1. The Venwoude team contributed with practice sessions of breathwork and bodywork and traveled to Asilomar Retreat Center in Pacific Grove, California from the Netherlands.

Don’t miss Team Venwoude again this year at Integral Spiritual Experience 2: The Future of Love.

Can’t make the live event this year? Don’t miss Ken Wilber’s ISE 2 Keynote Address, plus 14 hours of the event in real time streaming and on demand video. ISE 2 online is the perfect way to experience Integral Spirituality from the comfort of home!