March 30, 2020

World Spirituality Unplugged: “What’s love got to do with business?: John Mackey and Marc Gafni in Dialogue, Part 1”

World Spirituality Unplugged is a regular new column on this website which will feature highlights from the Center for World Spirituality’s substantial audio and video archives which are more relevant than ever before. The short clip posted here (about 5 minutes) features an excerpt from a dialogue between John Mackey and Marc Gafni, recorded in 2010 for the Future of Love Teleseries, an online event for which CWS was a co-sponsor.

Marc Gafni, as you are well aware, is the Director and Scholar-in-Residence for the Center. John Mackey is the Chairman and CEO of a $4 billion Fortune 500 company. Mackey was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2003. John is a strong believer in FLOW principles, including free market principles and empowerment management.  He is also one of the most influential advocates in the movement for organic food. Whole Foods was the first grocery chain to set standards for humane animal treatment. [Read more…]

Love in Action: Unique Self – Unique Projects

Integral Project Development: a way to consciously and actively participate in the Evolution of LOVE

By Kerstin Tuschik

So, alright: Let’s talk about Love!

For me, Love has always been the One force that moves the whole universe: the mysterious drive behind the big bang, the cosmic glue that linked elementary particles to atoms, atoms to molecules, molecules to cells, cells to organisms, up and up the evolutionary spiral until we get to human beings. And of course it doesn’t end here, but continues to expand our consciousness and drives our social and cultural development as a species as well as on a very personal scale.

Love for me is another name for God.

Yet, if all of this is so, why is there so much suffering in the world? Why do people kill each other in wars about their respective worldviews? Why do more than 900 million people suffer from hunger worldwide while we are throwing food away, and we would technically be able to supply everyone with enough food? Why…? (Fill in your favorite Why here!)

The evolution of Love depends on us! God depends on us!

Growing up – responsibility for the creation process

The childhood of humanity is over, collectively we have approached adolescence with all the chaos this brings, and at least some of us are starting to grow into adulthood. Growing up here means to become conscious co-creators, partners of God, of Love, of evolution, and of course this also brings increased responsibility. Our actions and non-actions have an impact on All-That-Is. Let’s not become paralyzed by this, but do our homework to learn to master the creation process…

[Read more…]

Conscious Capitalism: A Paradigm of Innovation and Transformation

Conscious CapitalistExecutive Summary

In March 2012 a group of prominent business leaders—including CEOs from Whole Foods, REI, the Container Store, IDEO, and 1800Flowers.com—met at Esalen to promote a more conscious paradigm of innovation, entrepreneurship, and free market capitalism. Building on the platform of ideas already being advocated by the Conscious Capitalism movement, this was the second conference in an annual series at Esalen that is helping to catalyze a new paradigm for doing business, Conscious Capitalism, which advocates simultaneously optimizing the interests of all stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers, investors, communities, and the planet, instead of maximizing shareholder value only. Recently, this new business paradigm has been gaining traction, as major companies realize that the conscious business paradigm is not simply a morally uplifting way to do business but actually results in greater economic gains and wellbeing for all constituents as well. Increasingly, this paradigm is showing that the embodiment of moral and spiritual values in the workplace also gives rise to greater employee productivity and customer loyalty.

In addition, during the second half of the conference the participants discussed new trends in innovation and design. Because governments cannot always solve troublesome social and ecological problems, creative design breakthroughs coming from the private, free market sector are likely to be applied more broadly in society. In particular, the cutting‐edge innovation is revealing that open source and group collaborations often result in the smartest solutions that are most likely to endure.

Overall, this conference series aims to restore the nobility of free enterprise, the integration of business with society, and the spirit of innovation as the true cornerstones of capitalism. A more spiritually integrated, valueladen, socially collaborative, and ecologically sensitive—that is, conscious—form of business practice is now emerging. What follows is a summary of some of the best practices and emerging trends

Monday

On Monday morning, the Director of the Center for World Spirituality, MarcGafni, launched the week’s conversations by suggesting that the conscious business paradigm is effectively integrating the Enlightenment of the West (individual dignity and free enterprise) with the Enlightenment of the East (mystical apprehension of the transcendent unity of humanity and life). When brought together into a new synthesis, these two Enlightenments reveal that one does not need to be separate from the concerns of others when living out one’s Unique Self” (Gafni’s term). As Gafni has put it: [Read more…]

Being happy with yourself is the most important skill

Self-love

Photo Credit: LaLaLaLiza

 

By Leo Babauta (Zen Habits)

If you’re like me, you are constantly learning new skills — gardening, carpentry, pizza-making, languages, sports, and so on. And I think this is a fun and wonderful thing to do.

But what’s the most important skill?

That’s debatable. I think compassion is a huge one, as is mindfulness. I’d go with those two any day of the week.

But if I had to pick just one, it would be this: learning to be happy with yourself.

That seems too simple, to trite! Too mushy and New-Agey! And I’ll grant all of that, but I stand firmly by my pick.

Why? The answer has to do with how this one thing can affect everything else in your life. If you are not happy with yourself, or your body, you become insecure. You think you’re not good enough. You fear being abandoned and alone. You do lots of other things to compensate, and these lead to problems. [Read more…]

Don’t ever turn to stone. Take a leap to learn new things.

Photo Credit: thriol

 

By Kristen Ulmer

People ask me all the time why I started Ski to Live.

I want to tell you a story about my past you may find shocking. It explains why I started these evolutionary mindset ski and snowboard camps, and also illustrates the next top mindset tip.

When I was 22 years old I was competing in local Utah mogul competitions and generally coming in last place. Heck, I hadn’t even owned a pair of ski pants until two years prior — just competing in anything was a big step.

That summer, while my fellow competitors trained on snow at expensive camps at Mount Hood, Whistler or even South America, I decided to take a trip to Asia by myself. For 5 months. To work on my self esteem.

I had two rules on this trip. I made these rules because I realized my self worth was entirely based on the fact I was pretty, and could ski well. I realized I wasn’t going to always be pretty, or always ski well, and I thought I’d better find a way to build a more solid personal foundation. [Read more…]

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

A Place where everybody knows your Original Face?

Starbucks Olive Way

By Joe Perez

There’s a recently redesigned and expanded Starbucks Coffee within walking distance from my home in Seattle. I used to go in there quite a bit, but gradually the place has become so busy and noisy that it’s impossible to find a good seat (sometimes it’s even been standing room only), so I’ve found alternatives.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say the Starbucks was ever a “home away from home,” but it was the spot where I first attended a Seattle Integral meet-up, and where I met many business clients for a while. Now I’ve come across an article in Forbes claiming that Starbucks may be making their coffee shops intentionally a bit uncomfortable so that they drive away people who linger too long in one spot and bump up the customer churn rate. [Read more…]

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…]

Man changes name to Tyrannosaurus Rex, citing desire for distinctiveness

T-Rex

Photo Credit: Billings Productions, Inc.

 

How much is having a cool, unusual name worth to an entrepreneur? Enough to change Tyler to T-Rex. The socio-economic value of distinctiveness is highlighted in a story today by NPR:

Tyler Gold of York, Neb., is now officially named Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph Gold, the local York News Times reports.

But there’s no sign that Tyler … er, Tyrannosaurus Rex … is rethinking his choice because of any breaking news about breaking wind.

According to the News Times:

“In Gold’s official filing with the court, he said he wanted to change his name ‘because the (T-Rex designation) is cooler. Also, as an entrepreneur, name recognition is important and the new name is more recognizable.’ He verbally repeated his reasoning during the court proceedings, while on the witness stand [Monday].”

Commenting on the Good Men Blog, Joanna Schroeder adds:

Folks these days are naming their kids more, shall we say… creatively. Cracked.com has a great list of the top 20 unusual celebrity baby names that includes my favorite: Pilot Inspektor, child of Jason Lee.

Personally, I love it. I like that kids don’t get teased for their names being unusual anymore – because almost all the names are unusual.

Our names are all written together in the Cosmic Scroll, to use an image popular with Marc Gafni and other students of Kabbalah. Meaning, in other words, that the Cosmic Scroll, seen as our True Self, is only manifest in the world when it appears with a Name, with a Unique Self.

Each name is already unique, whether it is John, James, Mary, Patricia, or Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph. But T-Rex’s decision demonstrates spirit’s next move: as individuals strive to build careers for the 21st century, defining their personal brands in a crowded marketplace of individuals with impressive resumes, they are looking to milk value out of every unique, distinguishing characteristic in their portfolio.

Whether T-Rex is just a gimmick or if it will turn Tyler Gold into a mammoth entrepreneur is hard to say. But if the name captures something essential about his Unique Self that lets him be more fully who he is in the world, then let’s bless him on his journey. And then let’s get out of his way…. quick!!!

 

Consciousness is power: a lesson from pebbles

Runner

Photo Credit: Alain Limoges

By Kristen Ulmer

While a body builder, Schwarzenegger was rumored to say lifting weight 1 rep in a conscious state enhanced results more than lifting the same weight 10 times in an unconscious state.

While we wouldn’t take relationship advice from the guy, perhaps this comment deserves pondering! [Read more…]

What does a post-consumerist society look like?

Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard

By Joe Perez

One of the huge gifts that an environmentally conscious World Spirituality brings into the conversation around green living is its understanding that people are more than consumers, and that identifying with any limited conception of ourself is the bane of health spirituality. If what we value is something beyond our Self — consumer products, for instance — then we are headed away from our Unique Self. If what society values us for is something other than our Unique Self — then society is leading us down the road to perdition.

But for many of us it’s easier to see how we can change our own outlook, or progress in our individual consciousness. How can we possibly change the way that society drives, defines, shapes us? The answer, I think, begins with a twofold response. First, we are all leaders, and called to leadership. Of course there’s a role for following in some areas of our life, but we must be leaders where it really counts — in the ways that we are uniquely called into leadership. Through this leadership, we can do our own role to change the way that society squashes our fullest human potential. [Read more…]

You can’t become powerful. You can only realize you already are powerful.

Photo Credit: draculina_ak

by Kristen Ulmer

When I was on the US Ski Team as a mogul specialist, I noticed when my peers were in the gate for a competition — a mere second before they pushed off they all abruptly clacked their poles together. Every single one of them did this! So being no dummy, I tried it too.

Clack! And off I went. I’ll be damned if something in me didn’t shift.

It seems most pro athletes have a ritual; the prayer, the nose rub, a tap tap tap on the leg. I know a football player who would tie and untie his shoes 15 times before every game. What the heck are they all doing anyway?

They’re shifting from one form of consciousness into another. They’re shifting into focus, in an instant. Just like us mogul skiers, without any effort.

Imagine you’re standing on the left track of a railroad track, but you want to be on the right track. Same when you’re in one form of consciousness (the normal, unconscious self), but you want to be in another (say, the powerful, athlete self). How do you get there?

[Read more…]

The march to spiritual marketization

Owl

By Joe Perez

High in the heavens above, the Sun’s sweet sextile with Neptune suggests a universe hospitable to fantasy and the belief that anything is possible. It’s time to inaugurate a new crazy idea: a nightly column on Spirit’s Next Move which follows the hooting of the owls, listening for wisdom, however disjointed and scattered the whos and hoos and hoots may sound, amid the many boughs and branches of the World Wide Web.

Resplendent hues of Sol’s gold and Neptune’s briny green above; on Earth, hues of pastel pink and baby blue. Ever wonder if the preference of pink for girls and blue for boys is universal? Not even close. It appears to be a cultural choice that could easily have gone the other way. [Read more…]

Five stages of business and the emergence of the Unique Business

Business Group

Photo Credit: seekingthomas

 

By Marc Gafni

There is a parallel between the emergence of business and the emergence of self is both fascinating and highly instructive in understanding the narrative of conscious capitalism. Both the evolution of self and the evolution of business go through five core stages, which in large measure parallel each other. These five stages unfold in the historical emergence of the self and business even as they may also unfold in the life of the individual person or business. This highly conceptual account is necessarily quite simplified. Nevertheless, this framework is offered as a way of looking at conscious capitalism that adds to the discussion.

Level One:

At the first level, both the self and business begin in what we might call a pre–personal stage. At this stage, both form their identity in relation to the large context that holds them. In the pre-modern period, the idea of an independent business which served it’s own prosperity did not exist. Nor was there a notion of self as a self-justifying unit. For example the king (or queen) or the church formed the corporation in the Middle Ages. The corporation served the interests of the king and church. It did not have independent capital or will. Rather, it was defined in relationship to state or church. The individual was in the same situation. He was a subject of the king and vassal of the church.

[Read more…]

Top 10 rules for building a unique Online Presence

Sunglasses

Photo Credit: Brigitte Deisenhammer

Note: Adapted from content originally published in December 2011 on Awake, Alive & Aware.

Scientific research has tentatively suggested that how a person shows up online actually is very much like how they show up in real life. The same mannerisms and tics, values and qualities of character, personality traits, etc. And if you have lots of friends and are very social in the real world, you tend to also make many virtual friends, too. So we must give some credibility to the hypothesis than when we are talking about your “Online Presence” we are actually talking about a part of yourself — that part appearing, as the Integral Theorists say, in the Lower Quadrants. Put simply, your Online Presence is really YOU.

And yet there are few guidelines telling us how to navigate the waters of social media, blogging, website and to really claim our online “self” as truly part of us. There are few guides, in any case, that really grasp deeply the interpenetration of psyche and cyberspace, philosophy and Facebook, temperance and Twitter. So several months ago, I attempted my own guide for myself to follow in helping my Unique Self show up more often than my False Self.

1. I Will Not Distract Myself. I will not use social media as a distraction to keep me from doing more pressing work in the world. I will recognize that moment when it becomes a distraction because I will begin to feel that I am procrastinating on something that is more enlivening and rewarding but which requires delayed gratification.

[Read more…]

Brett Thomas writes: “Kickstarting a Movement: A Call for Integral Leaders”

Kickstart

Photo Credit: JPC24

On Integral Post, Brett Thomas writes a post which is the most important blog post I’ve seen in a long while: “Kickstarting a Movement: A Call for Integral Leaders.”

[Read more…]

The Narrative of Conscious Business (By Marc Gafni)

Meditator

By Marc Gafni

Cross-posted from Spirit’s Next Move.

Marc Gafni recently participated as a guest scholar at the Conscious Business Conclave at Esalen. Here is an excerpt from Marc’s reflections on the urgent priority of articulating a narrative of Conscious Business. In Marc’s words, there is no World Spirituality that does not include the spirituality of the workplace.

The world of business is becoming one of the great cathedrals of spirit. Businesses are becoming places in which meaning can be created, in which mutuality begins to happen, in which intimacy and trust become core values, in which the expression of one’s unique self as part of a larger context becomes a reality.

Capitalism is the force that has lifted humanity out of poverty through voluntary exchange. Communism tried to life people out of poverty through coercion, but wound up killing 17 million collective farmers in the Ukraine and countless millions elsewhere. Business has lifted more people out of poverty than any other force in history. That is so shocking and so powerful that it makes you sit up in your chair and say “Oh my God! Could it be that evil corporations are actually responsible for lifting more people out of poverty than any other single force in the history of consciousness and the history of the planet?”

[Read more…]

Walter Russell Mead: Youth today at risk of not forming a healthy relationship to work

Pizza Boy

By Joe Perez

“Young people often spend a quarter century primarily as critics of a life they know very little about: as consumers they feel powerful and secure, but production frightens and confuses them,” says Walter Russell Mead, editor of The American Interest magazine, is an insightful social commentator who isn’t afraid to make broad assessments of culture and society.

The liberal social model is breaking down in the U.S. and elsewhere, Walter Russell Mead says, but we can’t simply return to the conservative view of society, either. Calling the liberal model “blue” and conservative model “red” as is the norm among U.S. political pundits these days, he says that we need to find a way beyond blue that doesn’t try to re-create red.

[Read more…]

Olivia Fox Cabane: mindfulness is a key to being more charismatic

By Joe Perez

In “How To Reverse Your Hard Wiring For Distraction,” Olivia Fox Cabane says that personal presence is one of the three keys to cultivating charisma. She excerpts from her book, The Charisma Myth:

[Read more…]

Reverse Innovation: a way to shift the paradigm on price

By Joe Perez

Do you think not having enough money is a problem for you? Maybe you’re overestimating the power of money. By following a process of “Reverse Innovation,” you may just find a way to bootstrap your dreams.

According to “Business Lessons from a Baby Elephant,” in Fast Company:

Baby ElephantIn the U.S., artificial legs cost $20,000. In Thailand, a doctor named Therdchai Jivacate wanted to create an artificial leg for the bulk of the population, where the average person makes $2 a day. He created a $30 artificial leg by making it from recycled yogurt plastic containers. He converted waste into wealth. He found that it was lightweight, durable, and comfortable.

Two years ago, a baby elephant in Myanmar stepped on a land mine, and lost one of her limbs. Dr. Jivacate fitted a $30 artificial leg on Baby Mosha. There’s a YouTube video: Baby Mosha is very happy now. My point simply is this: He was able to create a $30 artificial leg for an elephant! Why do we assume in the U.S. that an artificial leg has to cost $20,000?

It’s not about making something “cheap.” The quality of an artificial leg in Thailand, where many people don’t wear shoes and walk on uneven roads, has to be better than in the U.S. It’s about shifting the price/performance paradigm: about offering a lot of value at an affordable price.

Read the whole thing.

Don’t let excuses like “I don’t have enough money” get in the way of giving Your Unique Gift.

Photo Credit: Arno & Louise Wildlife

Newest Thinking on Unique Self, from a dialogue with Bert Parlee and Marc Gafni, at the recent Integral Leadership Collaborative


Your Unique Self: Giving Your Gift — Dr. Marc Gafni — Audio Transcript

Bert Parlee: Marc has an incredible breadth of wisdom and knowledge, not only in the spiritual traditions, but his doctorate is from Oxford, he’s a scholar, speaks various languages, and the way he weaves stories, drawing from all streams of life that he brings into his very embodied organic teaching style. Welcome Marc. [Read more…]