John Mackey, Co-CEO of Whole Foods, and Marc Gafni on ‘The Unique Self of Business’
Author: Michael Ellsberg
As featured on Forbes.
John Mackey, the co-CEO of Whole Foods, is the author (with Raj Sisodia) of Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business of Capitalism. Philosopher Marc Gafni, Ph.D., president of the Center for World Spirituality, is the author of Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment.
While these are very different books, the authors have been in dialogue for years now about interesting crossovers in their thinking. In this dialogue, we captured some of the new ideas the two thinkers are pioneering for the future of business, centering around their concept of “The Unique Self Business.”
In their Summer Edition, the Independent School Magazine of the National Association of Independent Schools published an article by CIW Board Member Kathleen J. Brownback on The Unique Self in a Contemplative School. In this article, Kathy clearly and eloquently articulates both the dharma of Unique Self and the need for that dharma in education.
As a teacher for religion and philosophy at Phillips Exeter Academy she skillfully weaves her experience with her students and their need for answers and meaning in the fields of Self, God, and the patterns that connect together with her deep understanding of the dharma of Unique Self as developed and taught by Dr. Marc Gafni.
She places this dharma into the context of contemplative education and mindfulness that has lately reached the mainstream and thereby speaks to teachers and educators who hold such important keys to the evolution of consciousness and love.
A longer version of her article will be published in a special edition on Unique Self of the Integral Leadership Review in Fall 2015.
As practices promoting mindfulness and embodiment become more prevalent in contemporary society, a natural set of questions emerges among educators: What role should contemplative practices play in the academic curriculum?
For much of the modern era, the answer to this question was no role whatsoever. Mind-body practice was generally linked to particular religious traditions, and so was understood to lie outside the objective goals of academic study.
But the last 40 years or so have brought a new understanding of mindful or contemplative practice as embodied self-awareness. These practices involve the movement of the mind and body in ways that are not primarily cognitive, centering on the use of the breath and the stilling of the “monkey mind.” Think of yoga or meditation, or solitary walks in nature, or dance, or the playing of a musical instrument with this focus. Their central goal is to draw us into direct awareness and experience of the present. An increasing number of people are choosing contemplative practice as a way to relate to others differently, to manage strong emotions such as anxiety and anger, to live a more centered and less reactive life, and to find a clear sense of focus and purpose. There is nothing abstract or philosophical about these goals. They emerge from the heart, from questions about human nature and direction. Students ask them of parents and teachers; teachers and parents ask them of themselves and each other. Thus the growing interest in schools.
The Center for Integral Wisdom and our core Dharma of Unique Self, Outrageous Love, and the Evolution of Love have been featured and reviewed in the media. Here are some examples:
Mackey and Marc Gafni on Outrageous Love and the Center Featured in Science of Mind
Kudos to Science of Mind for putting together such a great collection! The article on Marc is well done, highlighting his important new work and teachings on the dharma of Outrageous Pain and Outrageous Love.
Electronic versions at the moment are only available to subscribers of Science of Mind.
The Entrepreneur Fitness Podcast with Brandon Epstein “Discovering Your Unique Self”
Physical Fitness l Mental Fitness l Emotional Fitness | Spiritual Fitness
Brandon Epstein also featured Marc’s work in his new eBook Zen Dude Fitness.
Stevo’s Book Recommendations: Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism (2014) – by Marc Gafni
Marc Gafni’s book Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter was recommended by Stevo’s Book Reviews on the Internet in the May 2015 list. Steve Brock has been well-known in the book industry for over 30 years, and his recommendations are read by over 200,000 people a month.
Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter by Marc Gafni
Another Review of Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter
Paul R. Smith, author of Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve, wrote the following review:
When I look at the ten thousand books on spirituality, mysticism, and evolutionary religion in my library, I can tell, at a glance, without looking at titles, which ones were most helpful to me. They are the ones with Post-it notes sticking out from the top, marking pages that I found quite valuable. Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism by Marc Gafni is one of those few dozens with numerous colorful sticky notes flaming out from its top edge. Gafni’s previous book, Unique Self, was a breakthrough opening in understanding the Self in relation to union with God. This book continues by focusing on an opposing popular postmodern view of self and pointing out the crucial differences. With laser-like insight Gafni lets his view remain the only one I can joyfully endorse as an integrally-informed Christian mystic and scholar. This book shines with radiant luminosity and spiritual depth.
The Unique Self Coaching Training Program is a 9-month program that teaches coaches, therapists, spiritual directors, clergy and other professionals to utilize the Unique Self Coaching Process with individuals and groups. Co-developed by Unique Self teachers and Integral Coaches Barbara Alexander and Claire Molinard in close connection with Dr. Marc Gafni, the program is a practical, elegant structure rooted in the Unique Self Teachings and Integral Theory, designed to facilitate the emergence of one’s Unique Self.
In this recent interview with Conscious 2, Claire speaks about the difference between True Self and Unique Self and she reveals some of the key practices that facilitate Unique Self emergence.
The European training program begins on October 21, 2015 at the Venwoude Retreat Center in Lage-Vuursche, The Netherlands.
The US training program begins on November 11, 2015 at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California.
Program descriptions and application forms are available on the Unique Self Coaching Collective website at www.uniqueselfcoaching.com.
Contact Claire or Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. They will be happy to talk with you.
Watch the video here:
Andrew Harvey and Sally Kempton are co-teaching a 6-months online course on The Evolutionary Goddess: Incarnating the Divine Feminine in Your Spiritual Life & Our World through The Shift Network.
In a bonus session for the course they have been interviewing Marc Gafni on the presence of the divine feminine in Jewish mysticism, and how the Kabbalistic teachings on the Shekinah hold a secret mystical understanding of the evolutionary Goddess:
Andrew Harvey is the Founder Director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization focused on inviting concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired, effective, and practical agents of institutional and systemic change, in order to create peace and sustainability. Sacred Activism is a transforming force of compassion-in-action that is born of a fusion of deep spiritual knowledge, courage, love, and passion, with wise radical action in the world. The large-scale practice of Sacred Activism can become an essential force for preserving and healing the planet and its inhabitants. Read more about his biography>>>
Sally Kempton is one of the Founders of Center for World Spirituality, which is now transformed into Center for Integral Wisdom. She serves as Vice President and a member of the Board of Trustees. Read more about her>>>
Dr. Marc Gafni is a visionary thinker, social activist, passionate philosopher, wisdom teacher, and author of ten books, including the award-winning Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, the two-volume Radical Kabbalah, and the recently published Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter and Tears: Reclaiming Ritual, Integral Religion, and Rosh Hashana. Read more about him>>>
In a recent Blog-Post “Waking Up to a New Love Story” on HuffPost The Third Metric Marc Gafni wrote:
We need a new story. A new cosmos story. A new waking up story. We need to know once again and beyond anything we ever knew that the universe is a love story. Not an ordinary love story, an Outrageous Love story. We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is Outrageous Love.
The Looks and Feel of a Board Meeting
68 people gathered including staff members, supporters, Advisory Board, Board of Trustees and Executive Board members (see below*).
The purpose of the board meeting was threefold:
- To clearly unpack the core mission of the Center for the entire inner community.
- For the inner community to get to know each other.
- To commit as a larger community to play a larger game and to take direct responsibility for the evolution of consciousness in every possible way that we can.
CIW Board Member Mark Divine recently interviewed Marc Gafni for his Podcast The Unbeatable Mind–which is now available on iTunes!
Mark Divine is an honored board member of the Center. He is the founder & CEO of SEALFIT and NavySEALs.com, and Creator of SEALFIT’s Unbeatable Mind podcast – recently listed as the #1 Health Podcast and #30 overall in iTunes!
“Being SEALFIT is a way of life, state of mind and a way of orienting oneself in the world. To be SEALFIT is to embody the character traits of discipline, drive, determination, service, self mastery, honor, integrity, courage and authentic leadership.”
“Mark Divine and his SEALFIT Coaching team take on guests with subject matters that follow along with Mark’s 5 mountain training path of developing your Mental, Physical, Emotional, Intuitive, and Kokoro (Heart) self.”
Being and Becoming: Beyond Peace and Into Peace
This article by Dr. Marc Gafni was featured on patheos Public Square as part of their Best Practices for Peace in 2015 series in January 2015.
“Ignorance is not clueless; it is insightful, but only partially so. Ignorance is to take part of the story and make it into the whole.”
In Buddhism, there is a beautiful articulation of mystical realization called peace. It is called One Taste. One Taste means that underneath it all, there is a unified field of awareness. This One Taste is not only eternal, it is eternity itself. It is unchanging radical presence that is both the ground and substance of All-That-Is.
The Success 3.0 Summit, this amazing gathering from October 30th to November 2nd, 2014 in Boulder, Colorado of the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents that was co-initiated by the Center for Integral Wisdom was a wild success.
Among the speakers were thought leaders like Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos Inc), Arianna Huffington (Editor in Chief, Huffington Post), Alanis Morissette (Singer/Songwriter & Activist), Blake Mycoskie (Founder, TOMS Shoes), Barbara Marx Hubbard (Author, Social Innovator, Evolutionary Thought Leader), Casey Sheahan (former CEO, Patagonia), Lynne Twist (Global Activist & Author), Adam Bellow (Vice President, Harper Collins), Ibrahim Husseni, Business leader, Ben Jealous (former President & CEO of the NAACP), DJ Spooky (Composer, Musician & National Geographic Emerging Explorer), Tom Chi (Innovator & Founder, Google Glass), Jack Canfield (Author, Chicken Soup for the Soul), and many others.
The goal of the summit was to articulate a new, transformative vision of conscious living, innovation, and social impact and to create a new definition of Success that can lead humanity into the future. And that was exactly what happened. The partnership between Marc Gafni, the President of Center for Integral Wisdom, John Mackey, the board chair, Kate Maloney the co-board chair and Ken Wilber the Co-Founder of the Center was so clear and beautiful that it naturally manifested this powerful event which so many people in the room felt was perhaps the most powerful event of this kind that had ever attended in their lives. I want to particularly note the love and respect between Marc and Kate that was subtle and quiet in the space but clearly lit up the room.
In the Media
About 600 people attended the event live and thousands of people watched at least part of it through the live stream. The event was wildly shared through social media with many thousand tweets on twitter alone. Gaiam TV will screen the videos of it by the end of the month. And last but not least, many of the speakers and attendees were recorded alongside the event as part of a movie that will emerge from this. So, stay tuned.
Second Simplicity of Dharma
It was gorgeous to see the many ways the Dharma of Unique Self, Eros, Outrageous Love, and World Spirituality, that Dr. Marc Gafni has been articulating and outrageously transmitting for the last several years, has played a role in this amazing happening.
Most of the speakers started to use the 6-word Mantra Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up. Dr. Marc Gafni, Visionary Scholar, Wisdom Teacher, and Co-Founder and President of CIW, brilliantly transmitted these thought forms in his opening speech. He suggested that every generation needs to participate in the evolution of consciousness. And:
“It is our turn. We are here to articulate an ethics of success that is rooted in Outrageous Love. Outrageous Love demands a new vision of success.”
He also introduced one of his key terms, the word Second Simplicity. Second Simplicity is what he calls the Simplicity that comes after Complexity. After having really grasped the complex concepts, we can get to a stage where we can express them in a compellingly simple way–thereby reaching people from all stages of consciousness.[Read more…]
Last week, our initiatives were featured in different ways in two forums: Patheos.com and the Integral Church Blog.
Interview about Success 3.0 Summit on Patheos
Patheos.com is running an interview with Dr. Gafni about the Summit–on their front page. Read all about the interior vision for the Success 3.0 Summit coming up Halloween weekend in Boulder here. Patheos is the leading religion site on the World Wide Web today with seven million unique hits a month.
At the end of October, a select group of the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents are gathering in Boulder, Colorado to articulate a new, transformative vision of conscious living, innovation, and social impact. The goal? To create a new definition of Success that can lead humanity into the future.
Leo Brunnick, co-founder and CEO of Patheos.com, invited Marc Gafni—author, World Spirituality leader, and co-founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom—to share the vision of the Success 3.0 Summit.
Marc, tell me about the Success 3.0 Summit. What’s it all about?
Success 3.0 Summit is an exciting gathering of the best hearts and minds around the one central issue that affects everyone: what does it mean to be successful? We all have hidden success myths that define our lives. We have a profound need to be successful, but in general we have separated being successful from being good. We have limited the criteria of success to things like money, status, or power, but have found that these things are not fulfilling or holistic or profound or joyous or energizing. In order to evolve the real source code of culture, we needed to rework this core issue.
Center for Integral Wisdom featured as key new emergent in Integral Lineage
Center for Integral Wisdom was also featured as a key new emergent in the Integral Lineage beginning with Rudolph Steiner and running all the way through Ken Wilber’s seminal Integral work and then with Marc and Ken founding the Center for Integral Wisdom; this was reflected in an independent scholar’s Timeline of Integral Spirituality by blogger, interfaith minister, and co-founder of the Integral Church in St. Petersburg in Florida (founded in 2012) Joran Slane Oppelt.
Starting with a lecture in Paris by Rudolf Steiner in 1906 where he commented on the “integral evolution of man,” through Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Pitirim Sorokin, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Aldous Huxley, Jean Gebser, Allan Watts, Arthur Koestler, Jane Loevinger, Clare Graves, Michael Murphy, Ken Wilber, et al. to the foundation of the California Institute of Integral Studies, the Integral Institute, and CIW, this timeline tracks the emergence of many strands of Integral Thought and Spirituality.
For those of you interested in the history of the Unique Self Teaching, which is one of several–in Ken’s phrase–“evolutionary emergent teachings” for which Marc has been the lead theorist in the articulation of an Integral Spirituality, see here.
Unique Self was featured in a special edition of The Journal of Integral Theory & Practice (6:1), the two-volume academic treatise on Radical Kabbalah, the classic Unique Self book Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment and a new work on Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter.
Check out this awesome Hangout with Mia Voss and Dr. Marc Gafni about Digital Intimacy:
Mia Voss chats with Dr. Marc Gafni on The Mia Connect Power Chat about Digital Intimacy and building your intimate tribe way beyond what the word intimacy implies.
During their lively and often humorous talk they engage topics like:
- How we have exiled all of our intimacy, Eros, and all the beautiful dimensions of life into sexuality
- How we can free sexuality and use it as a model for all the rest of our life to live life to its fullest
- What our worst living nightmare is
- How we need to show up in our Unique Self and live our Unique Story to really find our tribe–online or offline
- How we can live a happy and fulfilled life and contribute our Unique gifts to reality
- How we can use the web to create real intimacy
- How Unique Self values authenticity AND context and is able to bracket his/herself
- What it really means to love
- How the self-organizing universe works and how Unique Self is the most important technology for it
On July 6, 2013 Simple Life host Cynthia Fernandes interviewed Dr. Marc Gafni, who shared with her and her audience some of the most cutting-edge teachings on Unique Self and the self-organizing principle of Evolutionary Unique We-Space.
- why people have a deeper need to start playing a larger game and stop doing business as usual.
- why people tend to close down when confronted with the huge challenges we are facing as humanity and what we can do about this.
- the path from Ego through True Self to Unique Self and what it means to be an outrageous lover.
- the clues to recognizing your Unique Self.
- how we can "unleash the symphonic creativity of every Unique Self" and how this is key to solving every challenge in the world.
- why both happiness as well as profit cannot be pursued directly - they are the natural by-product of living our Unique Self and striving for excellence.
Listen to the interview here and read the synopsis of some of the keypoints below:
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Radio Show “Vibrant Living” with special guest Marc Gafni
Hosted by Glenn Brooks and Michael Russ
9-10 AM Pacific on KSJO 92.3 FM in San Francisco
Listen online at www.u923fm.com
Tune in for a lively conversation with Dr. Gafni about Outrageous Loving, Unique Self, and much more – including his upcoming presentation at the New Living Expo:
“Actualize: Awakening Your Unique Self”
Friday, April 26 at 8pm PT
San Francisco, Concourse Exhibition Center
The Podcast of this show will be made available at on iTunes at ”˜Vibrant Living Connection’
About Glenn Brooks and “Vibrant Living” Radio
Glenn is a respected and acclaimed leader in wellness and lifestyle education. As founder and CEO of the Vibrant Living Media, he has hosted ground-breaking radio and TV programs, both in syndication and in major US markets, for over 25 years.
Supported by his co-host, Michael Russ, and an international team of journalists, he has been hosting and producing visionary radio and television for 20 years. His own acclaimed radio show, Vibrant Living, has included interviews with such diverse luminaries as Deepak Chopra MD, Ram Dass, Byron Katie, Guy Finley (author of The Way of Wonder), Richard Moss MD (author of The Second Miracle), Yogi Don Stapleton, and physicist Peter Russell.
Glenn lives his life the way he preaches — there are no rules that can’t be broken. He became a nationally recognized and syndicated radio and television host with no formal training. He was in the room when the phrase “personal coaching” was coined, and has been doing it for years. He has received no degrees, yet he’s been a successful entrepreneur for over two decades.[Read more…]
By Marc Gafni
If you stop to think even for a short moment, you realize that sex really is the great mystery of our lives. Two groups, however, suggest very different approaches to sex, and both of them are wrong.
One powerful group of forces is arrayed in culture to prevent us from getting sex. They tell us that sex is somehow wrong, immoral, or sinful. Even when we think we have gotten free of them, they pop up again inside our hearts or heads, wagging their fingers disapprovingly. And they remind us constantly of all the trouble sex has gotten the world into ”” from the Trojan War to the Clinton/Lewinsky drama. Not to mention the trouble it has gotten you and me into””emotionally, psychologically, personally, professionally, and physically. You have to admit that the sexual conservatives have a point. If you want to keep life simple, clean, and orderly, forgoing or limiting your sexual experience might be an excellent choice. If you like spiritual exercises, take a few minutes to list all the times sex has gotten you into trouble.
Lots of conventional moralists and organized religion fall into this category. Religion wants to affirm love and passion as virtues but to divorce them entirely from sex. So moralist religion works hard to erect boundaries that will protect us from the pitfalls of sex. Yet while we all know that sex requires some discipline, and that context and commitment count, most of us know in our hearts that the moralists are wrong, and that sex is ultimately””and overwhelmingly””good, and not merely a side benefit of achieving loving relationship.
To read the entire article, download it as a PDF file.
By Marc Gafni
The true nature of your values is always revealed in death. In eulogies, both in what is spoken and unspoken, there is something of the essential nature of your life and loyalties. Sometimes, however, before you die you are strangely privileged to declare where your ultimate loyalty lies.
It was September 11, 2001. The planes had just crashed into the Twin Towers in Manhattan. Victims had moments to use their cellphones. No one called asking for revenge. No one oï¬€ered philosophical explanations or profound insights into the nature of reality. People did one thing and one thing only: they called the people close to their hearts to say, “I love you.”
“I love you” is our declaration of faith. Implicit in those words is everything holy. Yet we no longer know what we mean when we say it.
It used to mean, “I am committed to you. I will live with you forever.” Or it might have meant, “You are the most important person in my life.”
But it no longer seems to mean that. And when you no longer understand your own deepest declarations of love, you are lost. You become alienated from love, which is your home. Despair, addiction, and numbness become your constant companions.
To read the entire article, download it as a PDF file.
He writes, “I started this series on powerful blogs for men with ”˜10 Powerful Blogs For Men To Learn and Grow By”˜. A man’s spiritual involvement is vitally important to his growth and development so I continue with investigating what spiritual blogs there are for men.”
His list includes publications by Arjuna Ardagh, who is a member of the Wisdom Council of CWS. Other top blogs include Wayne Dyer, Spirituality & Practice, The Change Blog, Tiny Buddha, Leo Babauta, and Jeff Brown.
Chahat Corten is a close student, friend and a board member of Center for World Spirituality and a leader of the Venwoude Retreat Center in Holland. She received empowerment from Marc Gafni as a teacher of Unique Self Enlightenment and is engaged in an upcoming book project with Dr. Gafni. She was recently interviewed for a wonderful article in a leading European magazine (pictured below).
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.
Marc Gafni was recently featured in Spanda Journal, the peer-reviewed biannual publication of the Spanda Foundation.
The Spanda Foundation offers publications related to “sustainable advancement of peace, knowledge, and understanding.”
Marc’s article, entitled “The Future of the Holy: From Sex to Eros,” begins like so:
“Sex. Is there anything else that so grabs our rapt attention, inessantly pursues us, occupies our daydreams, fantasies, and yearnings? The kabbalists state the obvious: God is trying to get our attention. Now I am not talking about the God who sends good people to burn in hell because they slipped up on one of his impossible demands. nor even the Grandfather in heaven who hands out chocolate to do-gooders. Forget that God. The God you don’t believe in doesn’t exist. Rather, the God that exists for us is the personal erotic life force that courses through reality. The God we believe in is the vitality of eros. The God we believe in is the force for healing and transformation in the world. The God who knows our name. That is the God who so clearly calls out to us that sex is the answer.”
For the entire article, click: SPANDAJOURNAL_C&D2.0_Marc_Gafni.
See: Gafni, M. (2012). “The Future of the Holy: from Sex to Eros”, Spanda Journal, ed. S. Momo, III,1: 131-139.
Finally, for the first time in history, the most profound teachings and living teachers from all the great systems of Spirit are readily available in a non-coercive and open-hearted form, not only to people of their particular religion, but to all who wish to study and practice with them. World Spirituality seeks to unite our common ground while acknowledging, celebrating, and partaking in the diversity of the world’s religions and cultures, so each religion can put forth its deepest and most profound contributions. While the idea of a World Spirituality is not new, the actualization of it remains an evolutionary leap whose time has come, and there is little more exciting than to be in the wake of a movement that is breaking ground. The yearning to articulate a World Spirituality is rippling across the globe in the hearts and minds of tens of millions of people, and this nascent urge needs to be articulated, lived, and practiced. As yet, there is no set of practices, obligation, or surrender, leaving seekers and practitioners without guidance or a formal community with whom to practice. This is soon to change, however, with the opening of the Center for World Spirituality on March 5 in San Francisco.
Read the whole aricle…