March 30, 2020

Prayer is not a dogma. Prayer is pointing-out instruction for God.

Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev

Pictured: Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev

By Marc Gafni

We are all despearate for communion. It is what makes our lives worth living. Communion is the movement from loneliness to loving. It is the experience of being held and received.

We are all systematically mis-recognized. To be recognized is to be seen. To be seen is to be loved. To be love is to be in communion. It is only when we are seen that we are called to the fullness of our glimmering beauty as unique incarnations of the the divine treasure. It is only when we are seen that we feel moved the personal evolutionary impulse that lives in us to give the unique gifts that are only ours to give and that are desperately desired by the all that is.

To be in communion is to know that Your deed is God’s need. It is the realization of communion that gives us joy and calls us to evolutionary responsibility.

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A hidden danger of high states and structure stages: unkindness

DeerBy Marc Gafni

There is great danger in both in the New Age idolization of state experiences and the excessive premium that much of the Integral community places on complex levels of cognition. As I have pointed out in many teachings, higher levels of cognitive complexity do not a better human being make. It is not by accident that we rarely see posts in the blogs of persons at higher stages of development about kindness.

Kindness is a value that all to often is relegated by writers and thinkers to the lower levels of amber (AQAL) or blue (Spiral Dynamics Integral) consciousness. It rarely appears as a value in many Integral contexts. Or worse still it is given lip service even as it is ignored in practice when the real gods of cognition and power are worshipped.

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Daily Wisdom: One Love

To really get the great esoteric teachings of one love, to know love as the strongest force in the Uni-verse, we first have to understand that love is not just a feeling. Rather, love is the motivating force driving and animating the entire Uni-verse. Love is not merely a human emotion. Love is both the currency of connection between human beings and the essential Eros that drives the evolutionary process as a whole. Love is the Eros of all relationship even as it is the very Eros of evolution itself. Personal and impersonal love are one. One Love. Evolutionary Love.”

 

Your Unique Self
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 10

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

Daily Wisdom Post: Being Held in Love

The experience of being held in love by the gaze of the divine feminine can be accessed in three primary ways. First, the gaze of another’s love can hold you in the gaze of the divine feminine. Second, in meditation, your own Big Heart/divine feminine can consciously hold your small self in the gaze of the divine feminine. Third, the gaze of the divine feminine is the experience of being held by the personal God who knows your name. This is what we referred to earlier as “God in the second person.” This is what Solomon alluded to in the Song of Songs when he wrote of the divine embrace, “Your left hand is under my head and your right hand embraces me.”  This is the experience that you are resting in the divine embrace, held in timeless time and placeless place.  This is the deep knowing that wherever you fall, you fall into the hands of God. It is precisely the knowing that you are thus held in love that affirms your goodness. Chant and prayer are the two major spiritual practices for this realization.

Your Unique Self
(In Press)
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 275

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

The Five Great Awakenings ~ by Dr. Marc Gafni

Marc GafniBy Dr. Marc Gafni

The following is a condensed excerpt from the forthcoming volume Your Unique Self: The Democratization of Enlightenment.

There are five great awakening of the human spirit. Each level of awakening is to a deeper and more expanded sense of identity and consciousness.

1) Prepersonal to Personal Awakened Self. The first great awakening takes place when the human being emerges from the slumber of immersion in the Great Mother. In the dawn of human existence, the separate self has not yet emerged. This self was, to varying degrees, identified with nature and the immediate environment with no sense of an individuation. At this level, there is no sense of larger frameworks of time beyond the immediacy of the present moment or present day. This is awakening to separate self, or level-one personal. You experience this awakening in your life in the beginning of your journey as your baby self awakens to an individuated identity as a separate self ego. This is the move from the prepersonal to the personal. It might also take place when you free yourself from any pre-personal context, such as a cult or a family system which crushes individual emergence. One expression of this awakening crystallizes in Hebrew mysticism, which affirms the human being as a homo imago dei, a separate dignified self, rooted in the divine, possessed of infinite dignity, value, and adequacy. [Read more…]

Inner Revolution ~ by Sally Kempton

Sally-Kempton-100x100

Feel like all hell is breaking loose? You might be experiencing a radical transformation that could change your life for the better.

Step by Step
These are the seven steps of radical transformation.

The Wake-Up Call
You realize that something needs to change.

Holding Uncertainty
You search for methods to help you change, explore teachings and avenues, all the while being willing to live with the insecurity of being in a process of identity-shifting.

Asking for Help
You approach teachers and mentors, and you strongly appeal to the power of grace itself.

Grace, Insight, and Awakening
Grace opens the situation, creating a breakthrough, inner shift, which may manifest as new gifts or insights.

Honeymoon
Enjoying the new situation, you live in the breakthrough. It may feel like being in love.

The Fall From Grace
You lose touch with the new gifts, experience the consequences of over-confidence, and a sense of dryness or loss of contact with your Source.

Integration
You bring insight to bear on the contractions that have caused you to lose contact with grace, you apply spiritual insights to the nitty-gritty actions of life, and you experience the ripening of your breakthroughs over time. [Read more…]

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

[Read more…]

Fierce Grace: The Boons of Kali ~ by Sally Kempton

(c) August 2011 By vudhikrai

(c) August 2011 by vudhikrai

“You need to find your Kali side,” I told Annie. You may know someone like Annie. She’s a production manager at a local tv station, a single mom with a busy schedule, and a really nice person. She values yoga as a doorway into peace and well-being, teaches it to troubled teens, and always stresses the importance of equanimity and other yogic virtues — non-violence, surrender, contentment, detachment.

But Annie’s approach to yoga is like her approach to life: she is so conflict averse, that its hard for her even to admit that she has negative feelings. She rarely raises her voice, and she once told me that she can’t remember the last time she felt anger. But at this moment, mired in a family conflict that involves missing money, elder abuse, and shady lawyers, Annie senses that her carefully cultivated tendency to seek peace over conflict is not helping her. She’s called me for advice: she wants to be told how to keep a good relationship with her brother and sister, and still stop them from cheating her mother out of her property. In other words, she wants me to give her a prescription for non-violent conflict from the yogic playbook.

Instead, what pops out of my mouth is, “You need to find your Kali side.” [Read more…]

Falling in Love with the Divine: Devotion & Tantra of the Heart — October 14 – 16, 2011

Falling in Love with the Divine:

Devotion and Tantra of the Heart 

Sally Kempton  &  Marc Gafni

For many contemporary spiritual practitioners, devotion is a missing ingredient in their practice. Yet part of what gives practice its juice and excitement is the living relationship with the personal face of the divine—the Being-Intelligence of all that is—by which you are personally addressed, loved, challenged, and held. Devotion, heart practice directed toward a divine other, or the divine other in a beloved, is a secret of inner awakening, and a key to emotional healing and evolutionary transformation. It’s no wonder that some of the greatest sages and teachers of all time, from Rumi to the Hasidic masters, were also followers of the devotional path. [Read more…]

Finding the Vulnerable Heart, Part Two

By Sally Kempton

Originally posted on Patheos.

In Part One of this series, we began to explore vulnerability as a path, and to look at what it takes to feel safely vulnerable. My meditations on vulnerability began during a conversation with a student named Roberta. Roberta had noticed that she often felt over-sensitive, too open to other people and even the pain of the world around her. In the last article, I discussed where vulnerability comes from, and the different types of vulnerability. Mainly, I tried to distinguish between the vulnerability that comes from weak boundaries, and mature vulnerability—based on real inner strength. That kind of vulnerability, what we might call radical vulnerability, is really only possible for someone who has established both strong personal boundaries, and a deep connection to her own core, the Essence, or inner Self. Here are some conclusions, along with a couple of exercises: one for creating energetic boundaries, the second for deepening your relationship with your own vulnerable self. [Read more…]

Psychology and Spirituality: One Path or Two?

 

by Mariana Caplan

Originally posted on the Huffington Post.

There is great debate, and in many cases a sharp divide, between practitioners of psychology and those of spirituality. On one end of the spectrum, most of mainstream psychology does not concern itself with issues of consciousness and spirit and rejects what is not scientifically quantifiable. On the other end, many contemporary spiritual traditions view the psyche as an unreal construct and believe that psychological work is an indulgent reinforcement of the story of the false self. [Read more…]

Finding the Vulnerable Heart, Part One

 

by Sally Kempton

Originally posted on Patheos.

Roberta approaches me during a break in an urban workshop. Retreats and workshops, she explains, leave her feeling so wide-open that she’ll often find herself picking up other people’s energy and moods. She’d left the workshop the night before, gone out on the street, and felt overwhelmed by the Saturday night energy of the city. Not just the cars honking and the music, but the people who passed her by, and even her own boyfriend.

I look at her—tall and blonde and thin—and asked her if in general she feels vulnerable. She burst into tears. “I want to be open,” she said. “But I feel so raw!” Raw, in this case, is another word for vulnerable. And Roberta’s struggle is a real one.

If you’ve done much yoga, meditation, or even deep psychological work, you may have felt something similar. When I was first spending time around my teacher, the energy generated in meditation would sometimes leave me feeling weepy and irritable, hypersensitive, even overwhelmed. No one had ever told me that the first (and many subsequent) stages of opening the heart could feel like exposing a wound, or like taking the lid off of a Pandora’s box of old, unprocessed griefs and fears.

Nor did I realize, until years later, that fielding these feelings of vulnerability is not optional, nor even personal to me, but an actual part of the yogic process. Yoga, after all, is not an escape from life, but a way of taking yourself into life’s pulsing heart. As you do that, you will inevitably meet your own vulnerability. Just as vulnerability and rawness are synonymous, so are vulnerability and openness. In other words, to find your way to true openness of heart, you need to pass through the forest of vulnerability.

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Five Principles for Navigating the Post-Conventional Territory of Love with Daphne Rose Kingma

Daphne Rose Kingma, author of The Future of Love, gave an inspiring keynote address at Integral Spiritual Experience 2. After our annual week-long practice retreat, Dr. Marc Gafni and Daphne Rose Kingma came together again to discuss the next step of the journey—how do we navigate the post-conventional territory of love?

The postmodern revolution raised our expectations for love and intimacy—now many of us want to find a “soulmate”, not a mere spouse. The sexual revolution changed the context of commitment in relationships—a series of monogamous relationships is the new norm for many of us. And spiritual awakening changes the very definition of love—if you love everyone, how is your love for your beloved in any way “special”, and how does it meet his or her need to be adored and cherished? Human love dwells in the in-between zone of human paradox, yet it needs a spiritual and an evolutionary context. Love is not only about fulfillment, it is also about self-sacrifice and giving.

So what are the five principles for navigating the post-conventional territory of love? You’ll just have to tune-in to find out!

Listen to: Five Principles for Navigating the Post-Conventional Territory of Love

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Integral Love Meditation – Audio

Love is more than just a feeling. Enlightened teachers through the ages have told us that love is the dynamic ground of all reality. If that’s true, then love can be seen as the actual force that drives evolution—the force the Greeks called Eros—as well as the enlivening joy that opens the heart.

So what is love, when we see it from both a personal and an evolutionary perspective? How do we find it, nurture it, and sustain it?

In this Integral Love Meditation, Dr. Marc Gafni guides us through the heart-gate of love and invites us to engage in a new Integral Love Practice.

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Series Finale: The Future of Love – Walk the Talk of Love with Ken Wilber & Marc Gafni- Dec. 18th!

The Future of Love: Walk the Talk of Love
with Ken Wilber and Dr. Marc Gafni
Rescheduled
Saturday, December 18th
11-12:30pm PT, 12-1:30pm MT, 2-3:30pm ET
Find your time zone here

Hi friends,

Doesn’t it feel like we just started the “Future of Love” conversation? And here we are, already wrapping up our 6-month series on December 18th with our favorite pandit, Ken Wilber, dialoguing with Dr. Marc Gafni. During these past six months we’ve heard from some of the world’s leading Lamas, Rinpoches, Swamis, Rabbis, Pandits, Zen Masters, Fortune 500 CEO’s, Artists, Musicians, Couples Experts, Yogis and Yoginis, and more—all discussing the Future of Love with our Integral Evolutionary community.

On behalf of Integral Spiritual Experience, Integral Life, and iEvolve: Global Practice Community, it’s been an honor to host and participate in this global We-Space of Love. We are humbled and gratified by the influence our Future of Love teleseries has generated in the larger spiritual community. It could not have happened without your full participation.

Since the inception of Integral Spiritual Experience over two years ago, we have seen a beautiful evolution of Integral discourse and community. Initiated by Ken, Marc, Diane, Sally, and Robb, ISE has reshaped the Integral conversation with the teachings of Unique Self, The Future of Love, and more. Love has become a central part of the evolutionary conversation and in reality we have together realized that love and integral are one and the same. Again, we thank you deeply for your participation.

For those of you who are interested in taking a deeper dive into the Future of Love, you are personally invited to join us at Integral Spiritual Experience 2: The Future of Love – Evolutionary Integral Relationships. Nothing can top our last six months together like getting offline and practicing with one another face-to-face and heart-to-heart.

Let’s take theory into practice at Integral Spiritual Experience 2!

We hope you join us Saturday, December 18th for the series finale of the Future of Love teleseries with Ken Wilber and Dr. Marc Gafni. In this dialogue Ken and Marc will pick-up where they left off, discussing Love as the very Eros of Evolution. They will explore the deepest meaning of Love and provide a theoretical framework for Integral Love Practice, as well as offer a guided meditation to move the climax of our series from talking about Love to engaging Love as a spiritual practice. This is a dialogue not to be missed!

With love,

Kelly Sosan Bearer
Executive Producer
The Future of Love Teleseries

 

 

 

Surrender to Your Beloved – A dialogue between Marc Gafni and Terry Patten

Surrender to your beloved in this lively dialogue with Terry Patten and Dr. Marc Gafni as they discuss The 2nd Face of God. There are innumerable ways to conceptualize God, Spirit, or the Divine. These can be broken down into three basic perspectives – first-person, second-person, and third-person views of God, Spirit, or the Divine. The recognition that manifest reality is fundamentally comprised of perspectives, or different lenses from which to view reality, does a great deal to transform our relationship to religion and spirituality. Here, Terry and Dr. Marc focus on the second-person perspective of God as they discuss intimacy with your own beloved. Tune in and share your perspectives. How do you surrender? How do you surrender to your beloved? And how do you discern when it is appropriate to surrender?

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The Future of Love

It seems like just yesterday we gathered at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California for year one of the Integral Spiritual Experience. If you attended or heard about what transpired, you know that the collective intention of the 500+ participants led by teachers like Ken Wilber, Dr. Marc Gafni, Sally Kempton, Lama Surya Das, and Jean Houston raised the energetic roof on a new era in Integral Spirituality gatherings, diving deeply into our Unique Selves. It’s a tough act to follow, but in this extraordinary dialogue, Ken and Marc set the context for the Integral Spiritual Experience Year 2 exploration entitled: The Future of Love – Evolutionary Integral Relationships.

Who doesn’t want to transform their love lives with husbands, wives, partners, family members, and friends? In this dialogue Ken and Marc explore “The Miracle of We”, the space of mutuality that so defines our human experience. When we look into the eyes of love, who is really looking back at us? Are we just separate selves desperately seeking companionship, or are we perhaps each a unique expression of Spirit itself?

In this lively exchange Ken and Marc dive into the following questions:

•    What is love?

•    How do we find it, nurture and sustain it?

•    How does our conscious participation change the evolution of love?

•    What are the structural patterns in the Evolution of Love?

•    What are the evolutionary Integral skills of love and relationship that have the power to deepen our realization and to liberate our true and unique self?

•    What new gifts for the world can emerge from this evolution?

Click here for more information on Integral Spiritual Experience Year 2: The Future of Love.

Ken WilberKen Wilber is the most widely translated academic writer in America, with 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages, and is the first philosopher-psychologist to have his Collected Works published while still alive. Wilber is an internationally acknowledged leader and the preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development, which continues to gather momentum around the world. His many books, all of which are still in print, can be found at Amazon.com. Some of his more popular books include Integral Spirituality; No Boundary; Grace and Grit; Sex, Ecology, Spirituality; and the “everything” books: A Brief History of Everything (one of his largest selling books) and A Theory of Everything (probably the shortest introduction to his work).  Ken Wilber is the founder of Integral Institute, Inc., the co-founder of Integral Life, Inc., and the Senior Fellow of Integral Life Spiritual Center.

Marc-Gafni Color-300x224SquareDr. 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.

*Originally posted on Integral Life

Loving Your Way to Enlightenment with Dr. Marc Gafni and Sally Kempton — Oct. 14th – 16th, 2010

This is a weekend of heart-awakening practice—powerful teachings and methods for opening up your hidden capacity for relationship to the Beloved—both within yourself, in the people in your life, and in the world.

It’s been said that the path of love is the easiest of all paths to enlightenment.  Relational spiritual practice—devotion– has been part of every spiritual tradition.  But there are skills to be learned if we want to walk the path of love, and we need to know how to apply them not only in ecstatic moments or times of intimate connection, but also in the moments when love seems far away and difficult to access.

In this workshop, guided by two powerful teachers, we’ll practice at the cutting edge of enlightening love.

We’ll begin with a pragmatic post-traditional perspective on the devotional path, how to practice it in our relationship to spirit, and also in our intimate, ordinary, and difficult moments with lovers, friends and family.

We’ll find out what it means to be held by the divine, and to hold the divinely human in others. We’ll explore how we can let love transmute pain and confusion into light. We’ll look at insights from two great traditions about surrender to the divine.

We’ll practice entering into divine presence for uncovering and healing emotional wounds.

We’ll explore how to love through your wounds, love in the crunch, love as perception, and love as an energetic experience.

The weekend is layered with deep meditation, ecstatic chant, transformative partner work and contemplation—offered with Marc’s loving visionary wisdom, power and humor, and Sally’s sublime transmission of expanded states of the heart.