July 23, 2018

“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…]

Introducing “Storytelling with Cheryl Rae Fidelman”

The Center for World Spirituality is thrilled to present the first column in a regular series by one of today’s most exciting literary artists. Cheryl Rae Fidelman’s new video column will explore a variety of topics informed by World Spirituality from her unique poetic perspective.

Cheryl’s first offering is “Satchi n Me.” We are confident you will enjoy and be enriched by her storytelling quality of voice and facial expressions which invite us all into her Unique Perspective in solemnity and laughter. This is a poetic reflection on “Emptiness” which is well worth a look.

Storytelling with Cheryl Fidelman #1 – Satchi n Me

Poem: “Nativity”

nativitystar5Nativity
By Li-Young Lee
(1957 – )

In the dark, a child might ask, What is the world?
just to hear his sister
promise, An unfinished wing of heaven,
just to hear his brother say,
A house inside a house,
but most of all to hear his mother answer,
One more song, then you go to sleep.

How could anyone in that bed guess
the question finds its beginning
in the answer long growing
inside the one who asked, that restless boy,
the night’s darling?

Later, a man lying awake,
he might ask it again,
just to hear the silence
charge him, This night
arching over your sleepless wondering,

this night, the near ground
every reaching-out-to overreaches,

just to remind himself
out of what little earth and duration,
out of what immense good-bye,

each must make a safe place of his heart,
before so strange and wild a guest
as God approaches.


Li-Young Lee is an American poet.

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…]

Marc Gafni on Post-Postmodern Art: A New Article in Parabola Magazine

By Marc Gafni

Artist Claudia Kleefeld is not the first person to see the symbol of the spiral as being a portal to a vision of a coherent cosmos. She is original in that she is a first-rate, old-master-style artist with thirty years of training, who paints the spiral as an expression of an Eros of certainty that asserts the utter meaningfulness, depth, and order of the cosmos. Kleefeld’s paintings emerge from her own opened eye of the spirit and speak directly to the higher spiritual intuition of her viewers. Finally, Kleefeld is unusual in that she is part of an emergent form of art, which seeks to reveal the enchantment of a cosmos — a cosmos that is good, true, and beautiful.

I am delighted to present an article which celebrates the work of Claudia Kleefeld, one of the brightest shining lights in the universe of art today. My new article, “Post-postmodern Art: A Return to Belonging,” is now published in the latest issue of Parabola Magazine.

[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…]

Daily Wisdom: It’s All Art!

Whenever we keep eros confined to one narrow frame of being, while de-eroticzing the rest of the picture – the Shechina remains in exile. Sex is only one of the places where we exile the erotic. There is a wonderful Balinese saying which goes something like, “We do not have art – we do everything as beautifully as we can”. When we build ugly cities where beauty is abused and people are depersonalized and then build a beautiful art museum, the Shechina is in exile. We exile the eros of beauty to the constricted precincts of formal art.

The same is true of music. Music is not limited to symphonies or rock concerts. We are all musicians and life is overflowing with music. Remember the Broadway show “Stomp”? There was no dialogue; it was all music and dance. The catch was that no musical instruments were used. The instruments were adapted from the fabric of everyday living. Pots, pans, brooms, sinks, faucets, garbage can lids, bottles, bags, newspapers, hands, feet, virtually every part of the body – all of these became instruments of music. The implication is stunning; what we usually do is limit art to formal work by people we call artists, just as we limit music to formal instruments. Formal music and art need to model the erotics of sound and beauty in all of our lives and not just in their narrow provinces. Music and art need to pervade all of living. Every moment is a canvas and is possessed of its own melody.

Rumi knowingly instructs us:

Let the beauty that we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the Ground.

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Beauty is the most erotic of gifts, the ecstasy of love

Art Museum

On a discussion of Emerging Integral Art and Aesthetics, a comment by Fareed Artist:

We can also experience states of consciousness where the phenomenal world which forms, truly appears as an illusionistic art-working. We find that Divine Reality is always ever present. Is speaking through all of us, to each of us. Yet for some reason, that presence leaves our consciousness, it passes, and we forget the colors of truth. It is as if we are walking by the most wondrous of all artistic creations, and talking on our cell phones. We don’t recognize the God is right before us.What we find beautiful is that feeling of wholeness, transcendent re-contextualization, that is felt in the heart, and then so in the mind. That is called exquisite beauty, and is transformative. It may speak to us alone, or may be talking to all of us at once, or to each person, one person at a time. It causes us to feel and thereby see, all of life as continually and significantly meaningful. In fact it is always there.It is experienced. It is the most erotic of gifts. It is the ecstasy of love, being lived, within life and death.

Death then, no longer is a matter of importance, as it is held in that exquisite state of beauty. So it is then, most beautiful, most complete and most whole – as in the end of a song. In this way too, our actions are divinely meaningful, as a worship of all-ness, casting no thing aside.

It is this state of being that is captured, signified in a work of art, or the gesture of a master, for our small minds, so that we can know that big mind, in all her unfathomable, ever changing complexity.

Beauty can be formed from that which we feel is un-harmonius and alienated. Rather, that which is believed to be alienated, can be known in the real. We must learn to turn that pain into life. This is the truth in art.

That it is all of its parts, and is greater even than the sum of all its parts. That it is whole, perfect, even in its separateness, in darkness, in its limitation of delusion. That it is all illusion. It is all art.

(Inspired by Marc Gafni – Spiritual Teacher)

Joe Perez and Stuart Davis in Dialogue, Part 1: The Future of Art and Integral

Stuart DavisBy Joe Perez

Last month, I engaged in dialogue with Stuart Davis, a contemporary American musician, actor, and stand-up comic. With over 10 full-length music albums to his credit, including the brand new Music for Mortals, Davis has bravely brought depth and spirituality into popular culture — including the topics of God, sex and death — crafting them into lyrical and memorable pop songs.

This is the first of a three-part series of posts. In this section of the interview, I speak with Stuart about the topics of the future of Integral, spirituality, celebrities and popular culture.

Part 1: The Future of Art and Integral

(or: What if Kim Kardashian Endorsed World Spirituality Tomorrow?)

Joe Perez: As an introduction to this interview, let me say that I did a board retreat for the Center for World Spirituality last month [February] and met a couple of dozen of people contributing to World Spirituality in different fields working in this area that nobody even knows about. The more I am exposed to that, I think, there really seems to be something bubbling up in the world right now. And then there is the article by Terri [Patten] and Marco [Morelli], “Occupy  Integral!” that people are talking about… Did you read that?

Stuart Davis: I think I did read that, a couple weeks ago.

Joe: Their basic idea being that there is something about Integral that hasn’t completely entered the cultural consciousness yet, and so there’s a discussion around what needs to happen, where are we at, what is this moment, and how can we best rise to the potential of the moment. What’s your take on all that, Stuart?

Stuart: I couldn’t agree more for starters. To go back to the initial, for me when this first started, the passion about integral entering the public consciousness at large, however you want to frame that, let’s say crossing over the threshold into something that’s bigger than our own private club, whatever that means in different domains. When I first encountered Integral, I encountered something that many people probably do, and I didn’t realize what it was. But when you get that initial hit of Integral and you begin to crackle alive in that regard, you have this sense, almost tactile, not just an idea or a promise, but you can feel it in your gut. And that promise is Integral taking its place and inhabiting its portion of the body of humanity, growing, being a truly emergent, novel dimension coming to life. And we all sense that. [Read more…]

Nick Georgiou’s art, inspired by the death of the printed word

Our Names writ, writ in Kosmic scroll,
Our cosmic names turn and turn,
Books they are written in, burn and burn,
Ever Our Names are writ, rewritten.

— Joe Perez

 

Nick Georgiou:

My art is inspired by the death of the printed word. Books and newspapers are becoming artifacts of the 21st century. As a society we’re shifting away from print consumption and heading straight towards full digital lives. My sculptures are products of their environment — both literally and figuratively. As often as I can, I use local newspapers to add authenticity, and the form the sculpture takes is a reflection of the personal connection I feel to that particular city. [Read more…]

Eros Audio Series: What is Divine Speech?

Listen to this free audioclip by Dr. Marc Gafni from his Erotic and Holy audio series.

The breakthrough to the other side happens in every facet of existence. It happens in an erotic conversation, when time stands still. To be engaged erotically, means the same as to be holy: being in the inside of an event.

The Maggid of Mezritch, a great Hassidic master once said, “If you can hear yourself talking, sit down”! That is the exile of speech, Galut Ha-dibbur, in Hebrew. In this speech is the Goddess Divine, Shekinah. The exile of the divine is when you can hear yourself talking, because you stepped outside.

The Zohar, the book of Aramaic Hebrew mysticism says “a river flows from Eden” – to be in that river is to be in the flow, which is exactly the Eros space. In another Kabbalist story, Hanoch the cobbler stitches his shoes, and the text say “the heavens begin to move and transform.” What is he doing when he stitches his shoes? Nothing else, but stitching his shoes. He is totally one with that action: he is in the inside of it, and so he becomes the Shekinah, the erotic itself. The divine is in exile, when the inside and the outside are disconnected. [Read more…]

Meet Your World Spirituality House Band!


On Saturday, May 7th, the brand new Center for World Spirituality House Band is going to rock the house, raise the roof, seep into your soul, and burst open your heart!

The songs and stunning vocal delivery of Jami Lula have moved tens of thousands worldwide. As Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith of Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles can attest, “Jami Lula is a rock star for God. His music is more than a shiver-inducing experience in sound, it is inspiration itself and an offering just to you.”

Percussionist David DiLullo will be bringing rhythms from around the world into this “First Saturdays” Service & Celebration. Using drumming and guided meditation to transform the mind, body, and spirit, “more than a drum circle” describes David’s capacity for bringing people directly into the presence of the Global Heart that connects us. As Marianne Williamson experienced, “Dave’s drum circles are a perfect way to get out of your head and into your heart!”

Fronting the emergence of this musical world-spirit endeavor is artist Marcy Baruch. A lifelong lover of the question “What is it to know, embody, and unfold the Divine,” she is known for infusing live concert spaces and human-yearning places with songs and a voice that make people “want to weep, pray, and make love.” Her song “This Inner Space” won the emPower Music & Arts Posi Award in the Healing category in 2009. Writes producer Steve Avedis, “You have got to hear this woman. Her voice drew me in right up front with its silky-smooth quality. She is like no one else I have ever heard.” Marcy Baruch, Jami Lula, and David DiLullo are thrilled to be joining forces as a part of “Spirit’s next move,” in this “yearning to articulate a World Spirituality that is rippling across the globe in the hearts and minds of tens of millions of people.”

More about the music: On May 7th, between 6 – 10 p.m., we will hold you in song after meditation with Mariana Caplan, raise the rafters in chant during Marc Gafni’s presentation “GOD is a Verb,” and allow the evolutionary impulse of love to rock on in concert after experiencing Decker Cunov’s intersubjective practices. The Center for World Spirituality’s “First Saturday” Service & Celebration will be held in San Francisco’s new East Bay practice center. The Voice Loft in Emeryville is the perfect intimate space to hold the depths of such an occasion. Space is limited. To register, to view the evening’s updated schedule, and for directions to the Besler Building, which include the access code as well as parking information, click here. Would love to be at the event but live in another city, state, or on another continent? We’ve got you covered! Join in with others around the world online through the complimentary webcast stream. We are truly connected, and look forward to celebrating with you!

With Love,

Marcy, Jami, and David

Marcy Baruch is a lifelong lover of the question, What is it to perceive, embody, and unfold the divine? Her work as a musical artist invites listeners into spaces of communion and grace. As a vocal coach of ten years, she brings a highly skilled awareness of the body’s sound-making mechanisms to her support of speakers and singers who wish to merge with, and emerge as, the full, life-affirming resonance of their unique voices.David DiLullo is the founder of Global Drum Circles (www.GlobalDrumCircles.com), the largest activity of its kind. Marianne Williamson calls Dave’s drum circles “the perfect way to get out of your head and into your heart.” Dave was the percussionist on Ann Licater’s “Doorway to a Dream,” awarded Native American Album of the year and one of Amazon’s Best Albums of 2010. He brought world percussion to “No Place Like Home,” winner of the Billboard World Song Contest. David is the music director at Center for Spiritual Living in San Jose.

In 1987, Detroit native Jami Lula moved to Los Angeles and attended Musicians Institute (MI) in Southern California. By the spring of 1989, Jami joined the staff of MI where he continues teaching voice, songwriting, stage movement, creativity workshops and performance. His soulful eclectic groove musical quartet LULA obtained much recognition, leading him to his current solo career. Also his contribution as a featured soloist with the choir group TAG through the Agape International Center of Truth serves as an extension of Jami’s commitment to inspiration through music.

 

Get a Taste of Your World Spirituality House Band

 

World Spirituality Service & Celebration

GOD is a Verb

Saturday, May 7th • 6pm – 10pm • Emeryville, CA

Click here for EASY DIRECTIONS to the EAST BAY

Join your World Spirituality guides Marc Gafni, Mariana Caplan, Decker Cunov, Dustin DiPerna, Marcy Baruch, Jami Lula, & David DiLullo for an intimate and deep evening of practice, love, and relationships as we explore GOD is a Verb. Can’t make the live event? No problem, we’ve got you covered. Just click here to gain access to our complimentary webcast stream. We’re so passionate about World Spirituality, Relationships, and Love that we don’t want you to miss a single moment!

Creativity as Unique Expression – Dialogue Dr. Marc Gafni with Alex Grey

How do our unique perspectives of the world color our relationship with beauty, creativity, and transcendence? Join Alex Grey and Dr. Marc Gafni for a cutting-edge dialogue on Creativity and Unique Self.

Alex Grey has become one of our most iconic and immediately-recognizable artists, and somewhat of a poster-boy for a genuinely integral approach to art, life, and spirituality.  Many of his prolific works have been featured and reproduced all over the world, ranging from magazine covers, party flyers, and blotter acid to high-profile album covers for Tool, David Byrne, the Beastie Boys, Nirvana, and Michael Hedge.

In this discussion, Alex shares his own personal path to Unique Self, describing how his creative process is directly informed by an intimate realization of radical and unqualifiable emptiness, combined with his unique and irreducible perspective of the world.  Alex talks about how his passion to create springs from an almost Bodhisattva-like yearning to serve, and how this devotion to service is one of the defining characteristics in the emergence of Unique Self.

Only by cultivating a path for ourselves that honors the paradoxical simultaneity of emptiness and perspective can we discover the real potential of our artistic gifts.  In Alex’s case, this path has allowed him to fully and fluently express a deeply personal vision of the universal—illuminating a spiritual anatomy that is common to all of us, but uniquely recognized and rendered through Alex’s distinct perspective.

Whether you are an artist trying to carve out your own creative path, or just a casual admirer of beauty in its many effulgent forms, you will not want to miss this intimate and insightful discussion!

Alex Grey, a renowned visionary and spiritual artist and author of The Mission of Art. In the foreword to The Mission of Art, Ken Wilber stated: “Alex Grey might be the most significant artist alive. One of his most well known works is the Sacred Mirrors series of 21 life-sized paintings, taking the viewer on a journey through body, mind, and spirit. The Sacred Mirrors present the physical and subtle anatomy of an individual in the context of cosmic, biological and technological evolution. After painting the Sacred Mirrors, he applied this multidimensional perspective to such archetypal human experiences as praying, meditation, dying, kissing, copulating, pregnancy, birth and nursing.

Dr. Marc Gafni holds his doctorate from Oxford University. He is a rabbi and an iconoclastic teacher of Kabbalah and World Spirituality. He is the director with Ken Wilber, Sally Kempton and Diane Hamilton of the Integral Life Spiritual Center and core founder and faculty member of iEvolve: Global Practice Community. He has written seven books, including the national bestseller Soul Prints, and The Mystery of Love, an exploration of the relationship between the sexual, the erotic, and the sacred. Gafni’s teaching is marked by a deep transmission of open heart, love and leading edge provocative wisdom. Gafni’s path of personal evolution, in both the agony and the ecstasy of what he calls “sacred autobiography,” woven together with profound reverence and reading of sacred texts have formed the context for his teaching. It is from this place of broken-hearted humility, radical joy and sacred audacity that he teaches. Gafni is considered by many to be a visionary voice in the founding of a new World Spirituality.

[Read more…]