Posts Tagged: Agape International Spiritual Center
An embodiment of evolving consciousness
“We are on the planet to be and express the Divine Love of God that is alive in every fiber of our being, waiting to be released through us onto our world. Living as love is a way of life that brings heaven on earth.”
Michael Bernard Beckwith, Founder and Spiritual Director
The essence of Agape is best described by its founder, Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith: “When I founded the Agape International Spiritual Center and community in 1986, we “visioned” it as a movement that would take a stand for love, for peace, for being a beneficial presence on the planet. That’s why it was named “Agape,” which in Greek means unconditional love. Agape’s vision is fueled by the love of God, the One, indefinable yet unmistakable Presence whose vehicle on earth is the human heart and soul. My aspiration is that every individual who is touched by the vibration of Agape is inspired to cultivate a heart of love as wide as the world.”
Since its doors opened in 1986, Agape’s active teaching and practice of the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality has expanded into a trans-denominational movement and community of 9,000 local members and 1,000,000 friends worldwide. Through Dr. Beckwith’s weekly services, Agape’s University of Transformational Studies and Leadership classes, ministries and other outreach programs, the heart of Agape reaches deep into local and global communities teaching individuals about the transforming, healing power of prayer, meditation, and selfless service.
We invite you to explore Agape’s Website and learn more about our dynamic, intentional community and the broad scope of opportunities we offer you for enhancing your life-experience from a foundation of personal spiritual empowerment. We especially direct you to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) link where you may learn about the universal principles found in the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality.
Testimonial: “If it is so as Emerson stated that every institution is but the lengthened shadow of one person, then the Agape International Spiritual Center is indeed an extension of Dr. Beckwith and his vision of a world joined together by humanity’s highest spiritual and social evolution.”
– Dr. Lawrence E. Carter, Dean of Morehouse College International Chapel
About 10 years ago, Michael Beckwith, Ken Wilber, and Marc Gafni came together to discuss the three Faces of God, the many dimensions of ministery, perceptions, perspectives and the love of God. In doing so, they are “Touching the Face of Tomorrow.”
Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, the Founder and Spiritual Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, a trans-denominational spiritual community whose Sunday services in Culver City, California regularly draw 4,000 people: “My aspiration is that every individual who is touched by the vibration of Agape is inspired to cultivate a heart of love as wide as the world.”
Marc Gafni, now President of the Center for Integral Wisdom was then the Founder and Spiritual Director of Bayit Chadash, an international holistic movement rooted in, though not limited to, the Jewish Tradition. As Rabbi Marc shares, Bayit Chadash is “A new home for ancient souls.”
Michael begins the dialogue by sharing some of the history of Agape, as well as a few memorable anecdotes from his college years. It was, after all, as a young man studying psychobiology that his spontaneous recognition of “the Presence” first appeared—not to mention a host of other things that you wouldn’t want to tell your professor about. Now, decades later, Rev. Michael is redefining the term “higher education,” and he goes on to give some of the latest updates about the brand-new Agape University.
Marc then turns the dialogue towards love. As he shares, the popular notion is that love is something that “happens to you”—like getting hit by lightning. Going on, he introduces the Kabbalist notion that love is not simply an emotion that happens to you, but is a deep spiritual perception that one can enact. Specifically, Reb. Marc is referring to a very high form of love, where one can perceive the nondual interconnectivity of all things, and all persons. As he points out, not only can this perception spontaneously drop upon you—”arousal from above”—but it can be actively engaged through practice (thereby transforming a state experience into a stage competence).
Ken takes a moment to situate the conversation in a kind of broader theoretical (AQAL) framework. As he explains, one of the great contributions of postmodern thought was its understanding that there is no such thing as perception, only perspectives. In the manifest world, there is no such thing as “pure perception,” because all perceptions are necessarily situated in the perspectives of the sentient beings in which those perceptions are arising. And, not only can one take a first-, second-, or third-person perspective on any given occasion, but the level of development of the individual taking those perspectives will fundamentally determine what the content of that occasion will be. Bringing it back to the current conversation, if someone isn‘t able to perceive, say, Divine Love, it‘s because they either aren’t open enough to access that perception as a state, or they aren’t developed enoughto access that perception as a stage.
Make no mistake about it, these three souls are exploring today’s spirituality; and in so doing, are touching the face of tomorrow. From the leading edge of Spirit’s own unfolding, an edge that appears to be nothing less than integral, what does it mean to describe the contours of Spirit?
Touching the Face of Tomorrow. Part 1. Perspectives, Perceptions, and Loving God.
Touching the Face of Tomorrow. Part 2. The Many Domains of Ministry.
Touching the Face of Tomorrow. Part 3. The Three Faces of God.
Listen to the first dialogue here:
In January 2015, Michael Bernard Beckwith and Marc Gafni had a delightful and yet deep conversation covering the topic of "Outrageous Love - What Does It Really Mean?" They explored things like belief vs insight/revelation, the self-organizing universe, operationalizing the meme of outrageous love, Unique Self as a psychoactive framework, and the empirical study of the deepest parts of reality. Some of our Board Members called in as well to share about their work with the Center.
Listen to their call:
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Agape International Spiritual Center is a progressive community enacting gorgeously many of the core Integral Unique Self values of the Center for Integral Wisdom.
We are delighted that the founder and spiritual director of Agape, Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, has joined the Executive Board of the Center for Integral Wisdom.
We are also delighted that Dr. Marc Gafni, President of the Center for Integral Wisdom, has been invited to talk at the Agape International Spiritual Center.
Or watch the recording of Marc’s talks here:
Listen to Michael Bernard Beckwith’s Keynote on Envisioning Success from the Success 3.0 Summit:
In January 2015, Michael Bernard Beckwith and Marc Gafni had a delightful and yet deep conversation during our montly CIW Board Call covering the topic of “Outrageous Love – What Does It Really Mean?”
Listen to their dialogue:
Michael Bernard Beckwith on the Four Stages of the Evolutionary Journey from the Board Meeting 2015