Audio Teachings from the World Spirituality Retreat in Manitoba (Canada)

This World Spirituality Retreat with Marc Gafni (and Co-Teacher Mariana Caplan) was held in Manitoba (Canada).

Topics were:

  • The Second Face of God
  • Reclaiming Prayer at a 2nd tier of consciousness
  • The Masculine and the Feminine

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Integral God

In these dialogues, Dr. Wyatt Woodsmall and Dr. Marc Gafni were talking about how God appears differently at different stages of consciousness.

Dr. Marc Gafni starts the first dialogue by setting up the meta-question:

As we’re trying to develop a world spirituality based on Integral principles, one of the key ideas we have is this distinction between what we call ‘wake up’ and ‘grow up’. Wake up refers to waking up, the way we use the words, waking up to states of consciousness. I wake up to a higher state of consciousness, for example, a state of consciousness in which I realize that I’m not separate from everything, but I am part of the seamless coat of the universe. I move beyond my limited identification with what Gregory Bateson called “my skin-encapsulated ego” and I access a larger sense of my identity. And that has all sorts of implications in terms of how I look at the world, etc.

This is material that you are all, of course, very familiar with, and Wyatt has taught many times, I’ve taught many times, and we’ve lived in our lives. That’s waking up, and that is what’s often called enlightenment. That’s classical enlightenment. So Shankara, the major teacher of Vedanta, particularly Advaita Vedanta, is all about this kind of awakening. And whenever you hear terms like liberation, awakening, selfinquiry, who are you really, it’s always about this. So that’s waking up.

But one of the things we’ve realized is that waking up isn’t sufficient. You also need to grow up. To grow up refers not to higher states of consciousness, but to higher structures of consciousness, to higher stages of consciousness, to higher structure stages of consciousness, of the kind that were so beautifully described by Jean Gebser in his kind of breakthrough work, by James Mark Baldwin in his earlier work where he talked about the different stages of consciousness in the three major lines of the aesthetic, the moral – the good, the true and the beautiful – and the scientific. Baldwin talked about the aesthetic, the moral and the scientific, and about clearly different emergent levels of consciousness in each one, much like we would use the terms from Kohlberg’s research – egocentric, ethnocentric, worldcentric, cosmocentric – which are different levels of moral consciousness, Piaget, who talks about different levels of cognitive ability, from concrete operational to formal operational, which is his highest level.

So the other part of world spirituality is not just waking up, but growing up, growing up to higher and higher levels of consciousness, and at each level of consciousness God appears differently. So if we would take, for example, the model of Spiral Dynamics, which is one model that you and I have talked about before, which is the Graves model which is the source of it, that Dr. Woodsmall who is with us is really one of the world experts, not only at this model, but he’s actually evolved it, deployed it, integrated it with other material which gives it an enactment, but which is all beyond this conversation. Dr. Woodsmall is one of the leaders in the world in evolving this material to a whole new level, which we’ll get to hear about in the coming weeks.

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Venwoude Circle 2011: Three Faces of God

This recording is from Marc Gafni's teachings with the Circle of Venwoude.

What the Circle is... from the Venwoude website:

You have to do it yourself, but you don’t have to do it alone. The Circle is the group of people living at, or connected with, Venwoude Integral Practice Community. They have chosen to be on the Path together, to continuously deepen and evolve their Practice. Some are together for more than 15 years, others joined in recently. There is openness, support and involvement and deep gratitude. We look for cutting edge teachings and teachers and we invite them to study with us as teachers in residence.

In Dr. Marc Gafni we found both the greatness of vision and the depth of LOVE, that challenges us and inspires us. Below you will find a series of fantastic and challenging sessions that Marc Gafni offers monthly to the Circle. What you'll hear is the unplugged rendering of this beautiful material.



Enjoy this unplugged Skype Teaching for the Venwoude Circle here:


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World Spirituality Retreat Berkeley

The goals of this event were simple and clear: to practice love and relationships in an evolutionary context.

Everything we do in the Center for Integral Wisdom context serves the activist intention of reconstructing a context of meaning, commitment, and profound pleasure, which is a sustainable path of joy and responsibility for the hundreds of millions of people in the world who can no longer find their exclusive home in one of the old religions.

The explicit intention for our seven days together was to create a space of deep practice and community which facilitates significant spiritual breakthroughs for individual participants, for the collective intelligence of the World Spirituality community, in the evolution of consciousness for the sake of all sentient beings.

Emerging from the deepest insights and practices of the great traditions, merged with leading edge insights from neuroscience, psychology, and all the modern and post-modern ways of knowing, we are enacting a trans-lineage World Spirituality.

The Enlightenment Practice method we deployed was what we refer to as the Three Faces of Love or sometimes we call it the Three Faces of God. We practiced being God in the first person (Buddha), God in Second Person (Sangha, Relationship), and God in the third Person, through unfolding the largest map of reality that connects all the dots (Dharma).

This practice fosters profound personal transformation at the same time as it participates in weaving the meshwork of transformation for the larger context of local, global and kosmic community. As a commitment to compassion and care for all beings, our practices seek to help everyone be as healthy as possible at whatever evolutionary stage they are at while simultaneously creating the conditions for positive growth through both horizontal and vertical enlightenment.

Listen to this recording of the Live World Spirituality Retreat in Berkeley in 2011 with Marc Gafni, Mariana Caplan, Sally Kempton, Terry Patten & Warren Farrell.

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Esalen 2012

This Weekend Workshop with Marc Gafni and Sally Kempton was held on November 9-11, 2012 at the Esalen Institute, Big Sur, C. It was called Falling in Love with the Divine: Devotion and Tantra of the Heart.

It was 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. 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.

Through talks, meditation, chanting, partner practice and contemplation, we’ll unfold a series of practical steps to an awakened love practice.


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Audio Blurb Ken Wilber on World Spirituality

Ken WilberListen to Ken explain why CWS is one of the most important organizations in the world today.

Note: As of 2014 we have changed the name of our organization from The Center for World Spirituality (CWS) to Center for Integral Wisdom (CIW).

“The emergence of a World Spirituality based on integral principles is one of the great and urgent invitations for the evolution of consciousness in our time. The Center for World Spirituality is leading the way in this bold adventure. I am honored to be active as part of the leadership of CWS. I am convinced that over time CWS has a pivotal role to play in the evolution of consciousness through the development and dissemination of a World Spirituality based on Integral principles.”


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Ken Wilber Keynote Board Meeting CWS 2013

Listen to Ken's Keynote from the Board Meeting 2013 of Center for World Spirituality based on Integral Principles (now renamed to Center for Integral Wisdom).


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Integral Love Meditation

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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A Prayer for Haiti

How do we respond to the suffering in the world?

How did God allow for the earthquake in Haiti?

How did human beings allow for it?

Listen to this prayer that Marc Gafni offered as response to the suffering caused by the earthquake in 2010.

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Terry Patten & Marc Gafni: Surrender To Your Beloved

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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