Various aspects of Eros – Video with Dr. Marc Gafni

Eleven video excerpts from the Summer Festival of Love 2018, in which Dr. Marc Gafni discusses the term Eros from several different angles.


Stay tuned for the new Online Course with Dr. Marc Gafni to be launched soon: Our First Steps as “Homo Amor”. The course was recorded during the last Festival of Love in Holland and is being produced right now. It will be launched on our CIW Programs Platform. Snippets of that course were used for the video above.

Transcript

What is Eros?

So in A Return to Eros, we tried to define what eros means. And we got almost there. It was one of the more depressing moments. We got like, just about there, then we published it, and then I realized it was one tad off. Right? And I just like, killing myself, calling the publisher, “Stop, stop, stop!” And he said, “Fuck you, don’t talk to me. No one cares.”

But here’s the best definition of eros. This is what eros … right, we got almost there in Return to Eros. And I apologize, we’ll correct it in the next edition.

Eros is … and listen. Try and look like, wildly excited about this, because this took me 20 years, this very simple sentence. So just look … just, even if you don’t get it, just like look, like, “Wow, that got so amazing. Like, that’s so fantastic.”

Okay, ready? So Eros is … eros is … Eros is the experience of radical aliveness moving towards ever-deeper contact and ever-larger wholes. W-H-O-L-E-S. And those of us who are hanging out with Joost someplace in France, we did that sentence over there, right?

Eros is the experience of radical aliveness which desires. It’s filled with dripping desire to make ever-deeper contact and create ever-larger wholes. That is the quality of eros. Eros is all the way up and all the way down.

Eros and Desire

Every single person in this room, and every single person in the world has some experience of our basic needs, the dignity of our desire, being fundamentally degraded. Desire is the quality of finitude. It’s not just the shame of aliveness, it’s the shame of finitude. It’s the shame when my basic needs are shamed. My fundamental desire for the first scene, food, and the second scene, touch. Your Need is My Allurement restores the dignity of personal need, which is not a psychological category. It’s not an existential category. It’s not even a spiritual category. The word’s too narrow. It’s not even just a scientific category, but it’s the essential structure of reality. The structure of reality is eros, desire, is the intimate Universe, and the entire intimate Universe lives in me.

What Whitehead called the Lure of Feeling for the primordial One, which drives every quark and atom, which is how we describe prehension, which moves atoms to come together, is alive in me all the way up and all the way down. When you have a structure of reality in which there’s no sexual narrative, and there’s no narrative of touch, and there’s no narrative of desire, and there’s not an understanding that I am a unique expression, a unique set of allurements, that allurement guides my life. Allurement is clarified allurement. I wrote 1000 pages on that. How do you clarify your desire, the clarification of desire? The distinction we’ve made between eros and pseudo-eros. Of course, that’s all in place. But, remember that all desire is the source of ethics.

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From Pre-Modernity, through Modernity, to Post-Modernity – Video with Dr. Marc Gafni

In this video excerpt from the Summer Festival of Love 2018, Dr. Marc Gafni paints a historical overview of how humanity landed in this critical moment, where we have all the power in the world but lack a story to give it meaning in a way that evolves us all.


Stay tuned for the new Online Course with Dr. Marc Gafni to be launched soon: Our First Steps as “Homo Amor”. The course was recorded during the last Festival of Love in Holland and is being produced right now. It will be launched on our CIW Programs Platform.

Transcript

Dr. Marc Gafni:

We’re ready? We’re ready? Yeah? We have a little drum roll in the house. Drum roll in the house. Yes, drum roll in the … oh my God. Here we go, and…

You think by the way, what we’re about, the conversation we’re about to have all week, you think this conversation is happening everywhere, it should be. It should be happening at the best conservative think tanks, and the best liberal think tanks of Europe, and Asia, and America. It should be happening at the leading university departments all over the world. But it’s not.

This is the conversation that everyone knows needs to happen, but it hasn’t happened in a real way since the Renaissance. That’s a very big deal. When I make an assertion like that … So, I’m trust able on some things. I don’t make casual assertions. I’ve spent my life hanging out way too many wild central nights with books. Till 5:00 in the morning I’ve plowed through thousands and thousands of volumes in my life. This conversation is not happening. It’s the single most important conversation we can have, which is after all of the deconstruction, Postmodernity. How many people have heard the term Postmodernity? Anyone?

Postmodern, postmodern means really simply. This postmodern moment which says that all the earlier stories of the past were wrong. Postmodernity says that pre modernity meaning up to the Renaissance. The great traditions, the great religions, up to the Renaissance these guys got it wrong in a really bad way. Voltaire leads modernity with the cry: remember the cruelties. The great evil of pre modernity that was unleashed through the power of sanctioned official religion. So, Postmodernity critiques the hell out of pre modernity, but forgets to make a distinction.

[Read more…]

marc gafni, gafni, Dr. Marc Gafni, Summer Festival of Love, Mystery School of LoveOur sixth Summer Festival AKA Mystery School of Love in Holland ended about four weeks ago and we are all finding back into day-to-day life.

What a fantastic time we had.

For me personally, the Festival and Dr. Marc Gafni’s beautiful teachings reminded me again of the urgency of our work in the world. There is still a narrow window of time where we, as humanity, have a choice between, as Marc put it in the Festival, “the dystopian world à la Homo Deus/ Hunger Games/ Blade Runner and the realization of our beautiful vision of a Planetary Awakening in Love through a Unique Self Symphony or the emergence of the New Human, Homo amore.”  As Barbara Marx Hubbard likes to say, “crisis is an evolutionary driver.” In Marc’s language, “a crisis in intimacy generates new emergence” or “emergency creates emergence.” And yet, we need to wake up NOW.

Mystery School gives us an embodied sense of how it looks and feels like when the “Unique Self Symphony” comes alive and “Homo amore is born.”

The articulation and naming of new memes* like “Unique Self Symphony,” “Homo amore,” “Homo amore universalis,” and what we are calling “Cosmo-Erotic Humanism” emerge from a deep attunement with what Marc refers to as, citing Gabriel Marcel, “a memory of the future.” These dharmic terms carry a kind of gravitas. They act as what is known as a pointing out instruction in Tibetan Buddhism for the new memetic structures that have the potential to create that envisioned future.

Mystery School is the place where the dharma is clarified, where new dharma is “coming down”, brought down masterfully by Dr. Marc Gafni, our master-weaver of the dharma. He transmits into the space a field of enlightened consciousness that is so filled with outrageous love and insight that in that field people literally wake up to their own highest potential. And yet, Marc makes the center of the field not himself but the dharma. In that sense, it resembles the lineage that formed, as he reminds us again and again, not only around the teacher but rather the dharma and the community. Mystery School is a central sacred function of the Center’s and Foundation’s mission. From that all else flows: books, courses, personal and collective transformation.

The Festival of Love shows us that this awakening IS possible and it can happen in almost no time. Seven days of studying and practicing the dharma and living and creating together really IS enough for that to take place. The last day I found myself looking into people’s eyes and saw the new openness, the beauty, and love that were present. I heard it in every word that was spoken. I heard it in testimonials. I felt it in my body. I was home. We were home. Homo amore was born and taking its very first steps.

That’s the transformation in all four quadrants** that is so desperately needed. It is the only transformation that can really take hold. It is one of the “small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos” that, according to Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine, “have the capacity to shift the entire system to a higher order.”

That’s what we are working for. Being in this embodied dream at least once a year is essential to renewing our spirits. Our work serves the emergence of more and more of these islands that can then connect and shift the whole system.

What is needed for these islands, these embodied Unique Self Symphonies, to emerge, is exactly what is present during the Festival:

  1. marc gafni, gafni, Dr. Marc Gafni, Summer Festival of Love, Mystery School of LoveThere is a sense of allurement and urgency that brings people together and a sense of celebration and yearning for fulfillment. Marc has been introducing new core teachings on allurement for the last several years and they reached a scientific and mystical crescendo this year at Mystery School.
  2. We all stepped outside of our resignation, our comfort zone, and the ordinary limitations of what we think is possible.
  3. A core model Marc has articulated in a forthcoming book with Barbara Marx Hubbard and in the Homo Amore Manifesto with Dr. Zak Stein and Barbara Marx Hubbard, is the three levels of relationship: role mates, soul mates and whole mates. Dr. Warren Farrell, our esteemed colleague, friend, and board member talks about role mates and soul mates in sociological and psychological terms. Marc talks about these three levels in existential, evolutionary, and mystical terms. Marc’s particular focus is on level three, evolutionary relationships, or what he and Barbara are calling whole mates. At the Festival we engaged all three levels of relationship with each other.
  4. We are role mates: Everybody has a role to play and is fully committed to that role. We know that every role is necessary, everybody is recognized and appreciated for all they bring into their roles, the instruments they play in the symphony.
    • There is real expertise and longtime experience that people bring to their roles. No one person could create the whole Festival without relying deeply on the expertise and experience of many others.
    • To give but one example: Our awesome chefs not only know how to cook, create delicious meals, and take care of many special needs of the participants, they also know how to create their kitchen, order the right amount of high quality food for everybody, and hold a team of scholars who assist in the kitchen as their practice of outrageous love. And last but not least, they are deep in the dharma. For them, cooking IS the embodied dharma.
  5. We are soul mates: We see each other, we recognize each other, and we stand for each other’s greatness and full emergence as Evolutionary Unique Selves. We hold each other’s wounds and vulnerability even as we see each other’s greatness.
    • We all have our moments of contractions but, unlike in our regular lives, it never takes long until we bump into another person who gives us a hug, looks into our eyes, reassures us that we are not alone, and gently but firmly invites us back into the interconnectivity of the whole, the intimacy that Marc has defined as “shared identity in the context of otherness.”
    • That is the We-Space that is needed if we really want to live a transformed life. Without it, living our transformation can often feel like an uphill struggle.
  6. We are whole mates serving a shared evolutionary purpose. Without that, all of the above would not be sufficient. What makes the whole work is that – as Marc often says – “this is not a personal transformation seminar; we come together to change the source code of culture; we come together to serve the emergence of the New Human, Homo amore.”
    • The Unique Self Symphony comes alive because it serves a purpose way greater than itself. That’s what makes us overcome obstacles that couldn’t be overcome without it. It makes us grow beyond our small ego selves. We are not serving anyone’s ego. We are in devotion to that shared purpose, that new emergence, that new dharma that makes the new emergence possible. That itself, the new dharma, is, in the language Marc began using in Evolutionary Church this year, “a new configuration of intimacy.”  And yet, the dharma never trumps the individual. We are always in devotion to the Unique Self of every single person in the room, on this planet, and greater still, every sentient being in this whole universe.
    • marc gafni, dr. marc gafni, summer festival of love, mystery schoolPerhaps what moves me most about Marc’s teaching is not the brilliance or the dazzling quality it has – although that is awesome – and not even his radical devotion to the dharma and to each one of us – although that is also pretty awesome – but rather, when people enter the field he is creating through the dharma and his own devotion and transmission, they become bigger, more beautiful, more powerful, and more kind and devoted to each other than anyone would think is possible. Everyone becomes more, and once Marc has generated the field, he quietly slips out of it to return to his study.
    • Because of that devotion to our shared evolutionary purpose, our own transformational process is fueled by the whole. We know that through our own transformation we participate in the evolution of the all. It is exactly through this that every single person’s transformation is much greater and more profound than in any other personal transformation seminar I know of.
  7. We have a shared dharma, a shared framework or narrative that gives us shared values and a language for our deep conversations. Together, we are in devotion to and serve the evolution of that dharma. It is not a teacher-centric community. Rather, the dharma, the teacher, the community, and the multiple leaders in the community all interact together and form what Marc calls, drawing from cosmology, “the multiple centers of our Unique Self Symphony.”
  8. We have shared practices and actually practice together. We practice in dyads, small groups, guided practices, and workshops, while listening to the dharma with full devotion is a practice itself.
  9. There is lots of space for participation. Everybody is included. Nobody is excluded. If only one person steps out, even just internally, it is felt by the whole room. We invite each other back in, all the time.
  10. There is self-organization and real leadership.
    • marc gafni, gafni, Dr. Marc Gafni, Summer Festival of Love, Mystery School of Love, chahat corten, Claire MolinardWhile Dr. Marc Gafni is creating the dharma, holding the whole system, and weaving it all together as the master-weaver he is, Claire Molinard and Chahat Corten are in the field, connecting with everybody, and holding both the organization and the energy.
    • This year, Kristina Kincaid, James Bampfield, Micky Masset, Thomas Jaggers, and myself, along with an incredible staff of teachers and leaders, held key parts of the space.
    • There are countless contributors holding their specific pieces and stepping into leadership in their fields, all of which are brought together in a daily contributors meeting that is essential in connecting the dots.
    • Everybody is held and seen. Everybody is adored, recognized, desired, chosen, intended, and needed.

These are the ingredients for a Unique Self Symphony come alive, for the New Human, Homo amore, to be born.

The imaginal cells are coming together in a field of resonance.

Let’s go and create these new communities, these islands of coherence, these Unique Self Symphonies.

As Jesus said, so often quoted by Barbara Marx Hubbard, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

Or as Marc would say, citing the ancient text: “The God voice dwells from in between the Cherubs above the Arc of the Covenant.”

That is the space in-between that is felt whenever we meet in, what Martin Buber has called, an I-Thou relationship, where everyone embodies their full unique eros, where a We is formed larger than the sum of the I’s, while every I is fully honored and held.

Let’s come together to study and practice, share our lives, our insights, and transformation with each other, and contribute to a higher evolutionary purpose. Step by step, breath by breath… we participate in the “evolution of love.”

Kerstin Zohar Tuschik


*Merriam-Webster defines a meme as an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. “Memes (discrete units of knowledge, gossip, jokes and so on) are to culture what genes are to life. Just as biological evolution is driven by the survival of the fittest genes in the gene pool, cultural evolution may be driven by the most successful memes.”—Richard Dawkins

**For more about quadrants in Integral Theory, see our Integral Theory Portal.


Join Our Evolutionary Church Collective

The Evolutionary Church Collective is our response to these times of global uncertainty, crisis and breakdown.   

We are a group of pioneering souls who are committed to activating a new set of potentials within ourselves and within humanity so that we can cross the evolutionary threshold into a viable and sustainable solution for a radically new way of living in symbiotic relationship with each other where we all become agents of personal and social change.

>>> You’re Invited to Join the Collective <<<

We are happy to announce our new Courses Site: CIWPrograms.com.

Eight wonderful courses are ready to be taken. Whether we are new to the dharma or deeply cooked in it, these courses offer a fantastic opportunity to deepen our understanding and engage in our own transformation from the comfort of our homes.

Learn more about the courses by clicking on the graphics or links below!

The Evolution of Love Course ImageThe Evolution of Love: Activating Evolutionary Relationships & Unique Gender

An 8-Week Online Video Course with Dr. Marc Gafni

The Evolution of Love, Relationships, & Gender in 8 Steps

  1. Session 1: The Principles of Transformation, The Evolution of Love, & The 3 Levels of Relationships
  2. Session 2: Unique Self & Unique Self Symphony, Love Languages, The Six Big Bangs, & The Emergence of Evolutionary Relationships
  3. Session 3: From Man/Woman through Genderqueer to Unique Gender – Lines & Circles All the Way Up & All the Way Down
  4. Session 4: Light & Shadow, Hierarchy & Status, & the Beauty of the Line
  5. Session 5: The Universe: A Love Story – Entering the World of Lines
  6. Session 6: Take Responsibility for Your Own Arousal & Embrace Your Unique Risk
  7. Session 7: The World of the Circle: Enlightenment Is Intimacy with All Things
  8. Session 8: Potent Precision, & Spacious Expansion: The Higher Integration of Lines & Circles – Liberation from Loneliness through Evolutionary Relationships

>>> Learn More about The Evolution of Love <<<


Becoming a Future Human Course Image 02aBecoming a Future Human: Changing the Source Code of Reality

A 9-Week, Self-Paced, Online Video Course with Barbara Marx Hubbard, Dr. Marc Gafni, and Daniel Schmachtenberger

A Gift and a Call To Play Your Full Role in the Birth of a New Humanity

Who do we need to become in order for humanity to make it though its current dangerous technological adolescence and to create a world that is truly commensurate with our full human, scientific, social, spiritual, and technological capabilities? If you are here to embody your unique gift fully for the benefit of all life and play your role as a steward of the cosmos and the birth of a new humanity, then welcome! This course is for everyone that knows humanity is at the brink of an epochal shift, that believes we can create the world the great sages knew was possible, and that wants to be a part of co-creating that world together.

>>> Learn More about Becoming a Future Human <<<


God is Eros Course ImageGod Is Eros: Seven Tastes of Sexing

with Dr. Marc Gafni

In order to create the bright future that we yearn for, we need a bold vision of the deepest and most Outrageous LOVE that will prompt us to “be and become” the greatest possible version of ourselves.

The key to our joy and personal fulfillment is to engage erotically in all areas of our lives…

Discover the Secret of Eros in Order to…

  • Experience pleasure, adventure, and freedom in your life
  • Live passionately in your life, all of your relationships, and the work you do in the world
  • Return to innocence but on a whole new level
  • Cultivate an enlightened sexuality that enhances your ability to live more powerfully in all areas of your life
  • Receive the power to live epically & be powerful in the face of challenge

>>> Learn More about God Is Eros <<<


Reclaiming Eros Course ImageReclaiming Eros

with Dr. Marc Gafni

Imagine being fully expressed with an unstoppable life force that aligned you with the will, the desire, the knowledge and the creative impulse to engage ALL areas of your life full-on; without fear or shame stopping you from moving forward. Imagine the transformative power and positive impact you’d have on your personal relationships and potentially be a major influence in the world.

Uncover the Secret Powers of Eros in Order to…

  • Become fully alive, fulfilled, and at home in your own life
  • Live a life of passion, purpose, and integrity to fulfill your most important goals
  • Discover a new relationship to sexuality as teaching you how to live erotically in all the non-sexual dimensions of your life
  • Enrich not just our personal existence but our whole society
  • Find the power to kindle radical Outrageous Love in your life for your loved ones and beyond
  • Reimagine your life and all of the reality to create the world that works for everyone
  • Find joy, vitality, and success in every area of your life

This is the ideal companion to our think tank book A Return to Eros by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid.

>>> Learn More about Reclaiming Eros <<<


loving your way to enlightenment Course ImageLoving Your Way to Enlightenment

with Dr. Marc Gafni

In this video course, professionally filmed on location during the First Festival of Love in Holland, you will learn in just 8 weeks, how to

  • Live an epic life of passion and purpose
  • Play a larger game in your life and your relationships
  • Find healing in the embrace of the Divine Mother
  • Move beyond loneliness
  • See with God’s Eyes in order to Love and keep your heart open under all circumstances
  • Experience deep connection and shared purpose in your relationships

Participate in the evolution of love itself and become a force of healing and transformation in the world

>>> Learn More about Loving Your Way to Enlightenment <<<


Pleasure Map Course ImagePleasure Map

with Adam Gilad and Dr. Marc Gafni

The universe is sending you unique gifts of pleasure every second!

Are you receiving them?

With The Pleasure Map, you will not only gain the skills of experiencing pleasure completely, but also you will discover how this allows you deeper love, purpose, inner peace and impact on the world beyond your dreams.

This program, delivered in over 50 short video lessons, gives you both a Map and accompanying practices to help you re-chart your life from pleasure. In the end, this opens for you a whole new integrated dharma of love.

>>> Learn More about the Pleasure Map <<<


Awakening Your Unique Self Course ImageAwakening Your Unique Self

with Dr. Marc Gafni

In just 10 weeks, learn a simple step-by-step process to awaken and activate the full potential of your life. The program takes you on a journey of waking up, growing up, and showing up as your most gorgeous Unique Self.

In order to do that, the course uses one of the most powerful psychoactive technologies to facilitate your awakening.

Through that, you discover your life’s purpose and learn how to bring an awakened, heart-centered intelligence to the sobering challenges facing our rapidly evolving world through world service and lived purpose.

>>> Learn More about Awakening Your Unique Self <<<


WakeUp GrowUp ShowUp Course ImageWake Up – Grow Up – Show Up: Up-Level Your Consciousness

A 4 Week Online Self-Study Course with Dr. Marc Gafni

In this course, Dr. Marc Gafni takes you through a psychoactive process to up-level your own consciousness. By participating in this short course you will be directly participating in the evolution of consciousness which is the evolution of love.

>>> Learn More about Wake Up – Grow Up – Show Up <<<

Today is the first day of Chanukkah and we, the team of the Center for Integral Wisdom with our President Dr. Marc Gafni, want to give you a little gift.

Get a little taste from our Reclaiming Eros Self Study Online Course

Listen to the Story of the Holy Snuff Box


>>> Learn More about Reclaiming Eros Here <<<


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Marc Gafni has also told the Story of the Holy Snuff Box on his blog:

marc gafni, gafni, dr. marc gafni, holy snuff boxEverybody knows that Holy Beggars hold the world together. Thus would one modern master introduce the following sacred story. Never, never pass by a holy beggar, and they are all holy. Walk across the street. Go out of your way! Who knows who he really is? Who knows what great soul lays hidden in that tattered beggar? You never know… You never know. All you can know that is if someone asks, they must certainly need.

One day a beggar came to see the Holy Israel, Master of the Name. He was angry and depressed. “What kind of a God do you have. I used to be rich – I helped many people. But now look at me – I have lost everything. It’s not fair. How did such a fate fall upon me?!” And with that the beggar broke down into tears.

“Sweet Yossele,” said Israel, Master of the Name. “All the mysteries are in your own life. Think back to Yom Kippur six years ago.”

And now the master Israel had Yossele’s complete attention. For how did he know that his name was Yossele – and how could he know what he had done six years ago? Master Israel continued. “It was a fast day, the holiest day of the year. A day when we pray all day long. People on that day are at their weakest, but also at their highest. You remember, Yossele, that you brought the snuff box to the prayer service?” For although on this fast day eating is proscribed, fragrance is permitted. Often, as in the prayer fellowship I grew up in, snuff boxes would be passed around, to offer fragrance to revive the spirits for prayer.

>>> Read the whole story here <<<


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

>>> Learn More about Reclaiming Eros Here <<<

RE-Product-Course-Image_FINALImagine being fully expressed with an unstoppable life force that aligned you with the will, the desire, the knowledge and the creative impulse to engage ALL areas of your life full-on; without fear or shame stopping you from moving forward. Imagine the transformative power and positive impact you’d have on your personal relationships and potentially be a major influence in the world.

This is what you will learn and become through taking this 9-week video course, professionally filmed on location during the First Festival of Love in Holland.

Uncover the Secret Powers of Eros in Order to…

  • Become fully alive, fulfilled, and at home in your own life
  • Live a life of passion, purpose, and integrity to fulfill your most important goals
  • Discover a new relationship to sexuality as teaching you how to live erotically in all the non-sexual dimensions of your life
  • Enrich not just our personal existence but our whole society
  • Find the power to kindle radical Outrageous Love in your life for your loved ones and beyond
  • Reimagine your life and all of the reality to create the world that works for everyone
  • Find joy, vitality, and success in every area of your life

>>> Learn More about Reclaiming Eros Here <<<

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

This course is the ideal companion to our wonderful think tank book A Return to Eros:

>>> Buy A Return to Eros Here <<<

Buy A Return to Eros on amazon

by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik

Marc Gafni, Summer Festival of Love, Mystery School of Love, A Return to Eros, Shame, Sexuality, Evolution of Love, Enlightenment of FullnessA couple of days ago, many of us returned from the fifth annual Mystery School with Dr. Marc Gafni in Holland. Still basking in the aftertaste of it, we are in the process of integrating it all into our bodies and our lives.

At the Center for Integral Wisdom, our mission is to evolve the source code of culture by evolving the memes and distinctions that govern both our personal and collective lives. The Mystery and Wisdom Schools are our Dharma labs for the new distinctions that we are developing and learning how to deploy into culture to evolve the source code.

As our Academic Director Dr. Zachary Stein has stated so beautifully in a previous blog-post:

“Across the centuries, mystics have convened mystery schools on the edges of civilizations and worldviews. Intentionally small and remote, peopled with trusted initiates, these schools have been the storehouses of innovations in consciousness, sourced in ancient traditions, guided by a memory of the future. Off stage and out of sight, a few have always been preparing seeds for planting in the compost of the rapidly degenerating culture of the so-called civilized.”

Mystery School is where we come together as evolutionary mystics, the Wheel of Dharma turns, new dharma is coming down, SHE dances, and we can literally feel the source code shift.

Mystery School is not a personal growth seminar. And yet, paradoxically, personal transformation happens at much higher rates than at any personal transformation event. All of us committing to evolving the source code of culture, to the conscious evolution of the all, is exactly what fuels our own transformation with the power of the all.

Once we realize that we are not separate from, but unique embodiments of, the Evolutionary Impulse it all starts to make sense.

As long as it is about MY transformation, I separate myself from the all and I am narcissistically lost in ego. Once I begin to serve the evolution of the all, that same impulse becomes alive in me and my own transformation becomes a byproduct of the evolution of the all.

When you read my testimonial below and the ones of my colleagues linked to at the end, keep in mind that they are written with great delight from within the energy of the Mystery School. They are not 3rd person accounts but rather 1st person mystical testimonials.

Each year at the end of the Festival we say: This cannot get any better! And then it does get better. And OMG, we did it again! This was the most awesome Mystery School of Love EVER!!!

Deepest bow to CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni, our dharma teacher, who opened the space again and again, every morning, every moment with open heart, penetrating insight and clarity, deep humility, devotion, purity, and holy audacity. He has been more humble, devoted, pure, open, and audacious than ever, serving the dharma, serving the Goddess, serving the collective field and the awakening of every single human being in the room and on this planet while dancing with us to the end of love, the end of shame, and the leading edges of culture.

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by Dr. Zachary Stein – after the 15th and final Wisdom School at Shalom Mountain, which concluded a 10 year cycle

marc gafni, wisdom school, shalom mountainIn a popular culture that has re-packaged the great cultural revolutions of the 1960s we have to ask exactly where and what a “counter culture” could be in today’s world. One answer is that the counter culture has gone mainstream, it’s everywhere now—massive numbers are marching for women and the Earth, even more are engaging in political critique and ethical activism on social media. Cultural evolution proceeds via the center metabolizing the periphery; the fringes of culture move to the core. What was a rare view becomes common and identity formation and cultural production follow suit. Whole industries spring up around ideas and practices that used to be tucked away in obscurity. As the mainstream drifts to accommodate and commodify cultural innovations for the masses, true cultural innovation continues underground, as it always has been, articulated first and raw in some place off the map.

Across the centuries, mystics have convened mystery schools on the edges of civilizations and worldviews. Intentionally small and remote, peopled with trusted initiates, these schools have been the storehouses of innovations in consciousness, sourced in ancient traditions, guided by a memory of the future. Off stage and out of sight, a few have always been preparing seeds for planting in the compost of the rapidly degenerating culture of the so-called civilized.

The Catskills seem to be trying to hide Shalom Mountain in clouds and endless back roads, making it feel secluded enough to shout secrets into the air through a megaphone. The mystery school displaces the center of self and knowledge, shifting us to the surrounding realms of imagination, memory, instinct, and revelation. Everything is on the table, as Gafni becomes a trickster, weaving Tantric Kabbalah from ancient texts, modern science, and depth psychology. Paradox and laughter co-emerge in the dissolution of culture-wrought truncations of self, world, and God. Audacious sovereign greets audacious sovereign in a dance of co-empowerment and natural hierarchy. Gafni is repeatedly moved to tears by sacred texts, so much so that a late June thunderstorm is easily felt as God moved to tears by reading the book of Gafni’s life. So much was taught that I might only select one lesson—one from the calm in the morning after the storm.

T’shuvah means literally “to turn” and is usually translated as penitence or repentance, meaning roughly to turn towards one’s sins and mistakes, to understand them, and to fix them. This is exemplified in the tears shed by King David before the profit Nathan, followed by the King’s humble admission, “I have sinned.”  He had sinned, and would sin again. David, like others in the line of the Wisdom of Solomon, is identified as one whose greatness is intimately bound up with flaws and error. The finitude, limitation, and darkness of the human being have long been the mystical keys that open the heart of Tantra. We are exactly (precisely nobody but) the ones making mistakes, taking risks, landing in failure, illness, and shadow. Religions are built around the core idea of a fall. From Adam and Eve to maya and samsara, humans are destined to make mistakes and live with them. You and I will make mistakes again and again. On one view this is terrible—the fall is our shame, and it means that no one is innocent, no one is really truly good. On another view—the non-dual view—the fall is great news because everything is grist for the Divine Mill. The Good is not some static absolute innocence of non-action. The Good is making mistakes in the right direction. We can only learn and evolve by virtue of the mistakes we make and how we respond to them.

T’shuvah is a practical answer to the idea that because humanity is destined to make mistakes we are all tragically flawed. T’shuvah is a practice for turning mistakes into insight and transformation. The practice is clear, simple, and could not be any more radical in a broader cultural where mistakes in some areas of life are enough to mark someone as untouchable for life. What could be more radical than a practice allowing for an individual and collective turning toward sin, failure, and mistakenness? We can all lose face together, abandon the moral high ground together, and turn then toward each other before God, seeking only learning and transformation through and within our own and each other’s mistakes. Individually and as a culture we must turn towards our mistakes and thus toward our Unique Selves, which are fumbling toward actualization, making mistakes in the right direction.

Importantly, the situation and dynamics in which we make mistakes have occurred before and will occur again. History repeats itself, both personally and culturally. T’shuvah becomes a kind of mystical fixing when practiced as way of life. By turning towards the dynamic that caused us to fall, seeing it, and committing to change it into something new, t’shuvah liberates the memory of each person and culture, destined as they are always to carve a unique path of mistakes. History itself must be unwound from the trauma of repetition and freed from the faltering stutter of eternal return. Beyond and after the total reciprocal forgiveness of each and everyone there is a new planetary culture that is possible. The mystery school felt like a living visitation from the future of humanity, transformed from the fall, moving up from Eden.

from the Mystery School of Love 2015 and the forthcoming Online Course “God Is Eros”


Some Statements by Dr. Marc Gafni in this video:

Guilt means I did something wrong. Shame means that I am wrong. Shame is the root of all evil.

Click to Tweet:

Until we can get to a place of sex without shame, we will live in a world of violence and depression.

Most violence in the world is in fundamentalist world, where sexuality is most repressed. The highest suicide rates in places with most sexual freedom, yet, no dharma, no sacred story of sexuality.

In best sexual moments, the meaning of life is self-evident.

Sexual shame is the experience that I cannot come home in the sexual.

The start of the Irak war was directly related to our sexual confusion.

The video ends with an invitation to a practice:

Explore how the sexual has influenced your life by writing your own sexual sacred autobiography.


God Is Eros: Seven Tastes of Sexing with Marc Gafni

God is Eros Course ImageIn order to create the bright future that we yearn for, we need a bold vision of the deepest and most Outrageous LOVE that will prompt us to “be and become” the greatest possible version of ourselves.

The key to our joy and personal fulfillment is to engage erotically in all areas of our lives…

Discover the Secret of Eros in Order to…

  • Experience pleasure, adventure, and freedom in your life
  • Live passionately in your life, all of your relationships, and the work you do in the world
  • Return to innocence but on a whole new level
  • Cultivate an enlightened sexuality that enhances your ability to live more powerfully in all areas of your life
  • Receive the power to live epically & be powerful in the face of challenge

>>> Learn More about God Is Eros <<<

Watch this teaching by Dr. Marc Gafni as our special gift from our Online Course on Reclaiming Eros:


Some of the themes Marc Gafni covers in this video:

  • The lineage of the “Einstein’s of Consciousness”
  • King Solomon, his wives, and the Temple in Jerusalem
  • The Raiders of the Lost Ark – The Ark of the Covenant
  • The Practice of Jewish Yoga
  • The Talmudic Story of the Poisoned Cookies
  • Temple Consciousness and Sexuality
  • Eros in Exile
  • Reclaiming Eros = Reclaiming Temple Consciousness

>> Download the Transcript of the Video Here <<


Reclaiming Eros Course ImageImagine being fully expressed with an unstoppable life force that aligned you with the will, the desire, the knowledge and the creative impulse to engage ALL areas of your life full-on; without fear or shame stopping you from moving forward. Imagine the transformative power and positive impact you’d have on your personal relationships and potentially be a major influence in the world.

This is what you will learn and become through taking this 9-week video course, professionally filmed on location during the First Festival of Love in Holland.

>>> Learn more and register here for our online course Reclaiming Eros <<<

Watch this beautiful teaching from the Summer Festival of Love 2012 “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment” by Marc Gafni on Dharma and read the transcript below:

Transcript of Marc Gafni’s Teaching on Dharma

Marc Gafni: When I say going into the Dharma, what do I mean? Do I mean that we are going to be in a university class? No. What I mean is Dharma. So what does it mean? Anyone?

PERSON: Teaching.

Marc Gafni: Okay, which might be true in a university class as well.

PERSONS: Deeper calling. / Vision. /Wisdom. /Transmission. /From the heart, from within. /A path. /Coming together in the Dharma.

Marc Gafni: There’s a deeper calling in the teaching, and wisdom, yeah. Who said transmission?            The Dharma comes from inside, your inner-self response to it, right? And there’s a coming together in the Dharma. The Dharma is spirit, living spirit, in the same way that love is living spirit, that chant is living spirit, that Shikantaza and meditation are living spirit.

Marc Gafni - DDharma is not Dogma, but the best take on reality we have based on pre-modern, modern, and postmodern insights, weaving together what we know about the patterns that connect.Dharma is not words; Dharma is not about the mind, even though we’re using the mind. There’s this crazy New Age idea that spread through the Western world that “wow, we’re having an experience, but for now, we’re just using the mind.” That’s nonsense, right? Dharma is the mind part, the embodied expression of spirit. So you respond to Dharma not just with your mind; your body knows whether Dharma is true, your body can feel it. The book of Job: “Through my body I vision God.” Your body knows if a Dharma’s true, your heart knows if a Dharma’s true, your mind can respond.

So when we engage in Dharma, like these mornings, we’re not doing a university lecture, we’re doing Dharma. We’re engaging whole heart, body and mind in getting a sense of the story of reality, of the grand narrative of reality, of the meta picture, of the patterns that connect. Do you begin to feel that? Let me give you a sentence, tell me if this sentence works for you: “One of the great yearnings in the year 2012 is a yearning for the patterns that connect.” Does that sentence make sense to you?

[Read more…]

In October 2016, a powerful Unique Self Tantra Training Program starts at our CIW Partner – The Institute of Integral Evolutionary Tantra – that offers profound personal growth through an in-depth experiential and conceptual learning matrix.

The program is a combination of the ancient art of Tantric wisdom traditions, the best of Integral and Evolutionary Theory, along with cutting edge transformative embodiment practices.

Wake Up to your Outrageous Lover, become an Outrageous Eros Practitioner, and support others in full bodied erotic living.

The Institute of Integral Evolutionary Tantra in New York City is led by CIW Board Member Dr. Kristina Kincaid. IET teaches, coaches and mentors individuals to take the next step in self-transformation. IET was created to develop cutting edge Leaders, Projects and Initiatives of conscious collaboration in the world. IET understands that in order to respond to the challenges that face our planet today, it is imperative to create a WE-space, where we as individuals and individual systems realize that enlightened consciousness is beyond ego, and is the essential next stage of self-transformation.

For more information go to www.IntegralEvolutionaryTantra.com or call 1-917-734-2197

From Mystery of Love by Marc Gafni:

The greatest crisis of our lives is neither economic, intellectual, nor even what we usually call religious. It is a crisis of imagination. We get stuck on our paths because we are unable to reimagine our lives differently from what they are right now. We hold on desperately to the status quo, afraid that if we let go, we will be swept away by the torrential undercurrents of our emptiness.

The most important thing in the world implies wisdom master Nachman of Bratzlav, is to be willing to give up who you are for who you might become. He calls this process the giving up of pnimi to reach for makkif. Pnimi, for master Nachman, means the old familiar things that you even hold on to, even when they no longer serve you on your journey. Makkif is that which is beyond you, which you can reach only if you are willing to take a leap into the abbys.

Find your risk and you will find yourself. Sometimes that means leaving your home, your fathers’ house, and your birthplace, and traveling to strange lands. Both the biblical Abraham and the Buddha literally did this. But for the Kabbalist the true journey does not require dramatic breaks with past and home. It is rather the journey of imagination.

“If I don’t live on my edge, I lose my aliveness. If I don’t take my Unique Risk, I will take risks that are not mine to take.” – Marc Gafni at the Summer Festival of Love 2015

Words of Appreciation from the Summer Festival of Love

After the Summer Festival of Love, some of the contributors shared their experiences in a private email thread. We are happy to have their permission to share these Outrageous Love testimonials with you!

Dr. Kristina Kincaid, Director of the Outrageous Love Project at the Center for Integral Wisdom and the Director of the Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute in New York City, wrote this Outrageous Love Letter about the Festival:

Hello Outrageous Lovers!

I had the profound honor and wild pleasure of participating with a most astounding team of Holy Rockstars standing audaciously together supporting Marc as the Living, Breathing, Alive, Aflame, Awakened, Dharma as he liberated Eros, in front of a crowd of over 250 people! WOW!

This is not a polite essay or an endorsement, but a mystical testimony…

Read the whole first part here>>>

Read the second part here>>>

Some time ago I was blessed to participate in a workshop in New York City with Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid about “The Radical Path of the Outrageous Lover.”

Before the actual workshop, there was a beautiful evening dialogue between Stuart Black and Marc Gafni diving into the depths of “The Future of Love, Sex and Eros.”

I was deeply touched by the vulnerability and respect both of them showed in their dialogue.

Stuart Black has been Director of the New York Institute of Core Energetics since 1989. He is the author of A Way of Life: Core Energetics, is an instructor in the international training classes, and has been leading groups for over 25 years. Stuart has been a teacher of the Pathwork in Mexico and in Phoenicia, NY, where he was both a member of the Board of Directors and spiritual leader of the Pathwork Studies program. He has been an instructor to both faculty and students of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing.

Marc Gafni is the co-founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom as well as 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.

Watch the dialogue here:

[Read more…]

Next weekend Dr. Kristina Kincaid, Director of the Outrageous Love Project at CIW and Co-Founder (together with Dr. Marc Gafni) and Director of the Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute, is going to teach a workshop on “MEETING YOUR DARK ATTRACTION AND AWAKENING TO THE DIVINE NATURE – AN EXPLORATION OF FANTASIES IN SEX AND LOVE” in New York City. The Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute is a division of the Center for Integral Wisdom.

Bicyclist do it with ten speeds, Scuba Divers do an in depth exploration , Rock Climbers do it against the wall, Rockstars do it loud and Politicians do it to everyone. What exactly is this thing we do called Sex and why are we so obsessed with it? What makes it so pleasurable, titillating, frightening or shameful? Most of us think the other is satisfied, while we feel frustrated in our own desire and longing.

The primary processes of sexuality are energetic patterns, which are then mediated through the body. Most of us are not even aware of these energetic habits, such as the difference between being separate or merged or even our own preferences and those of our partners. Unencumbered from such habits, sex can become fresh, alive and open, an art form, a physical prayer, naked, unafraid and raw. Beyond self union, lies a greater union, a total orgasm with the whole, with the Universe, with Source.

This journey will be an exploration of how to gain a conscious choosing over what and how your sexual energy moves. From pleasure to sharing, to heightening the Spiritual embodiment of your sexuality, we will be in conscious exploration and discovery of these energies in you and how they affect your relationships. The Outrageous Eros, Awakened Sexuality Project is for participants who are longing for a deep spiritual journey and a strong willingness to venture where angels fear to tread. We will be working in the deep unconscious, uncovering where you turn away from some of your greatest gifts by delving into what has been deemed unspeakable and taboo. Through exploration of sexual fantasies, untamed passions, conscious play, body work, breath work, movement, intimacy, connection, respectful service and a deep honoring of our unique and individual way of loving.

Sunday August 30th, 2015 10:00am-5:00pm at 150 W 28th St. #1803, NYC

Read more>>>

The dharma of Outrageous Love, Eros, and Unique Self has never been more alive than during those last couple of days. Evolutionary Relationships and Unique Gender are connecting the dots between the Awakening as a Unique Self and the Unique Self symphony.

“We are the erotic mystics reweaving and evolving the source code of reality.” – Marc Gafni at the Summer Festival of Love 2015

Marc Gafni first published a version of the lines and circles teaching in his book, The Mystery of Love (Atria, 2003).

The teaching has evolved dramatically over the last 13 years. He gave a more advanced version of it in Venwoude several years ago to a small inner group at the community. The version we heard at the Festival is the deepest and most advanced version we have of this dharma.

“All forms of reality that don’t have in them
the marriage of masculine and Feminine
are no reality at all.
There is no higher form.
They have no potency and no blessing in them.”
“Blessing only flows when the Masculine and the Feminine dance in their Higher One.”
– The Zohar

Testimonial by participant David Steel:

What an incredible blessing this week has been. I have had the opportunity to study and learn with one of the great teachers of our time. I know that in many ways I will never be the same. I have truly begun to understand and appreciate my “Unique Self.”

The following is a condensed summary of the dharma of the second part of the festival with many quotes or paraphrased statements from the teachings.

[To read a summary of the first three days, click here: “Lines & Circles: A new Dharma on Unique Gender at the Venwoude Summer Festival of Love”.]

In the evening of day 5, Ken Wilber called into the Conference adding his wisdom on Gender from an AQAL perspective, engaging “in the kabbalistic process of Tzimtzum,” as Marc called it, and “contracting brilliance and light into a single point of ten minutes which communicated something profound and potent and game changing.”

At the end of his talk Ken concluded (paraphrased from his talk):

We as humanity are at such a high level of consciousness that we actually have a choice which characteristics we want to embody. Each Unique Self is a unique embodiment of lines and circles. For the first time in history we can select our own gender profile.

The participants responded with love, appreciation, and a standing ovation for him.

On day 5 and 6, a profound healing of the Masculine (or what we preferred to call the line quality) in its beauty happened, it radiated from every face of both men and women as well as from the spaces in between. We were and still are in awe of what is possible in just a few days together in devotion to the dharma, when the Unique Self symphony comes alive.

On day 7, we finally entered the circle. This is what I wrote immediately after the teaching to capture some of the essence of what happened:[Read more…]

We are in the midst of day 3 of 8 of the Second Annual European Integral Wisdom Conference on Love, Eros, and Enlightenment also known as the Fourth Summer Festival of Love. The whole event is outrageously rich and full on so many levels. 240 participants are here – and the “field” is shimmering with love, practice, and delight. The evolution of love is happening right here, right now. Marc Gafni is bringing down new and gorgeously alive dharma every day and the community gathered here is wonderfully receptive, playful, and committed.

The first day started with a heavy summer storm that mirrored perfectly the bright explosion of the dharma brought into the room so passionately by Dr. Marc. The Venwoude community, as well as an awesome team of contributors and volunteers, in collaboration with The Center for Integral Wisdom, welcomed the participants.

Every day Marc gives beautiful and powerful teachings on the evolutionary emergence of the Unique Self symphony, Evolutionary Relationships, and Unique Gender. There is also a whole spectrum of workshops and practice groups as well as awesome conversations and fantastic food. The participants are loving it and the energy is building. This whole event is not only truly Integral but also outrageously rich and full on so many levels.

Some gems from the Dharma quoted and paraphrased from Marc:

We need to know–more than anything else in the world–that the universe is not a fact but a story. The universe is a story–not an ordinary story but a love story–not an ordinary love story, but an outrageous love story.

Evolution is Outrageous Love in Action. The best information we have today is that the universe is a love story, an outrageous love story. We are the central actors in it and the inherent plotline is love.

Love is not hard to find. It is impossible to avoid. The universe feels. And the universe feels love.

To awaken means to realize that the universe is whispering into my ear in every moment: I love you. I need you. I choose you.

In the newness of the moment is the healing of the moment. The power of NOW is that all of the past and all of the future is right here.

You can always ask yourself: Was newness born in this moment? Or is something dying? Maybe nobody else will know the difference but you will and reality will.

A new Dharma on Unique Gender

There are five great historical stages in western culture of how people looked at gender:

  1. For most of history, people thought there is man and woman, male and female.
  2. Culture used differences as a tool for oppression.
  3. Because of that, there was a great move in culture to level all differences.
  4. Neuroscience discovered through the use of FMRI that there are differences between the sexes that are real hardwiring.
  5. At the same time, neuroscience also discovered neuroplasticity: The culture we live and participate in can shift and transform the brain. Marc called that cultural neuroplasticity.

In every moment that has blessing, in every place that has blessing, there is an inner marriage of masculine and feminine, or line and circle qualities, occurring.

As a Unique Self, I am a Unique Gender, a unique integration of line and circle qualities, which is the Divine inner marriage–Hieros Gamos.

The divine marriage is happening everywhere. In an evolutionary relationship, a Unique We is born that has unique gifts to give together. You cannot get to this outer marriage without first having an inner marriage. That’s the democratization of Hieros Gamos, the Divine inner marriage.

Human beings are Eros waking up but not yet awake. For most of history there was no conscious choice. For the first time in history there is actually a choice on how to live your unique gender. Humanity is waking up. Eros is waking up.

What if the only discerning principle for human beings was: Are you an outrageous lover? That’s what makes you erotic.

AN EXPERIENTIAL WORKSHOP ON SHARING AND EXPLORING YOUR SEXUALITY

When we experience ourselves as sexual beings, open to our full flow, with energy pulsing through our bodies, we become more creative and feel more deeply connected to ourselves and to others. In this dynamic, interactive evening combining individual work with group process, you will learn techniques to liberate this energy and access more pleasure in your life. These techniques will be demonstrated through individual body readings with select participants who choose to take the risk of revealing a sexual issue and are willing to work through it in a supportive environment with expert guidance.

Dr. Kincaid uses the teachings of Dr. Marc Gafni, Integral Evolutionary Tantra, and the principles of Core Energetics to open up physical blocks and places where life energy doesn’t move. In Core Energetics — a powerful body-based process — sexual energy and life force energy are one and the same. Join us with Core Energetics techniques, body readings, deep truth, wild goodness, radical personal transformation and, if you dare, the evolution of your own personal enlightenment.

Kristina-KincaidCropped-300x300 Dr. Kincaid is the Director of The Institute of Integral Evolutionary Tantra, New York City. Kristina is on faculty at The Institute of Core Energetics and holds an M.A. in Energy Medicine and a Doctorate in Theology from Holos University. A graduate of the Institute of Core Energetics and the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, she also holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Texas, Austin.

SPACE IS LIMITED. REGISTER NOW! TEL 917-734-2197

REGISTRATION FEE: $20.00

SATURDAY JULY 11TH 2015

7:00-9:00 PM

150 WEST 28TH STREET SUITE 1803

NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10001

IN CONJUNCTION WITH DR. GAFNI & THE INSTITUTE OF INTEGRAL EVOLUTIONARY TANTRA

Wisdom for Your Week

Watch this beautiful excerpt from a Sermon with Dr. Marc Gafni at the Pacific Coast Church in 2014.

By listening to this rich talk that uses storytelling, inquiry, and sacred text reading to transmit the deep wisdom of the lineage masters, you will learn:

– Why God is not only the Infinity of Power but also the Infinity of Intimacy

– What it means to live in an Intimate Universe

– How Christ incarnated to be an expression of that Infinity of Intimacy

– Why Being God’s Unique Intimacy is our greatest Joy and deepest Obligation in our daily lives

[Read more…]

CIW and Shalom Mountain leaders Adael Bullock, Tom Goddard, Jeff Hilliard, & Shelly Reichenbach are offering a retreat on December 4-7 that they have been developing over the past year under the guidance of Marc Gafni based on his Unique Self Dharma. This post is from Shalom Stories, a publication of Shalom Mountain Retreat Center.

Awakening As Your Unique Self –
A Shalom Mountain Retreat
December 4-7, 2014

Shalom Winter View

Sandie and Gerry in Sedona

Sandie & Gerry Rumold in Sedona, AZ

Sandie writes of her ‘Awakening’ Experience:

My journey into the Unique Self retreat began at the end of last summer as several of us were finishing up leading the couple’s intimacy camp retreat. I got a casual invitation that went out to ten folks to be included in the pilot that Tom, Adael, Jeff, and Shelly had created melding Shalom process with Marc Gafni’s teachings. Having attended many of Marc’s Wisdom School weekends at Shalom and a few brainstorming sessions with this group of leaders and Marc, I was deeply curious and in full support of what my friends were creating. The answer to the invitation was a resounding, “yes”!

The weekend turned out to be a journey into a deep and personal map of my history of wounds and life experiences that have formed the images I hold of who I am. It was fascinating to uncover some profound yet underground judgments I have held about myself for the better part of my life. It was actually kind of fun discovering it all. The remarkable part for me came as we each had our individual space with the group as witness and the guidance of one leader.

The format was similar to our beloved mat trip, but this was a new process with a clear and deliberate map to illuminate the way through the old image. What happened for me, as Tom led me through, was unexpectedly and genuinely altering. The session reached into a hard and unforgiving place in my being and broke it wide open. Tears come to my eyes months later as I remember the impact of the work. It is rare that I come away from a weekend where I feel something imperative has shifted. I call myself back to the learning again and again as I work to make it a permanent part of me.

The group of leaders set out to create process around Marc Gafni’s sangha teachings. They did a remarkable job of bringing Marc’s work into the body, psyche, and cells! I am truly and gratefully changed.

Awakening As Your Unique Self –

A Shalom Mountain Retreat

December 4-7, 2014

What would it be like to live your life as the unfolding of Love itself, refracted through the unique prism of your embodied being? This is possible, not just as a metaphor or as a reframing, but as an enactment of reality itself. In this process-based retreat, rooted in Shalom Mountain’s Skills and Principles of Loving and the Wisdom School teaching of Marc Gafni, you’ll have a chance to reweave your life’s story. Through teachings, journaling, small group exercises and individual process work, you will make the journey from the feeling of separation to the discovery of the Unique Self that you are, utterly essential to the evolution of Love.
Led By: Jeff Hilliard, Shelly Reichenbach, Tom Goddard, Adael Bullock

“Would that you could
know yourself for a time,
You will be shocked by your delight.”
~Rumi

Kai Carol Jud Writes …

“Run, don’t walk to this invitation to your evolutionary edge. The time is now!”

Mapping Consciousness for our Unique Selves

For many years, I have been awaiting a retreat that would be the next initiatory step after the Shalom Retreat. I am delighted to say that this evolutionary leap has come to Shalom Mountain. I found that Awakening as Your Unique Self was a powerful retreat, designed for those of us who are ready to move even deeper into our hearts and into the expansion and unfolding of our Unique Selves into a world that desperately needs the gift of our Unique and Outrageous Love.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the beta version of this retreat in October. Although some of the elements of this retreat may be familiar to many Shalomers, the focus and depth of this retreat were centered, not on healing the wounds, but on helping us to bring our whole being — wounds, gifts, essence and experience to a fuller embodiment of our Unique Selves. Even after years of leading Shalom Retreats, I experienced many aha moments and months later, I am still digesting.

A richly textured offering of individual, group, small group and dyadic processes helped us walk through various states of consciousness — the False Self, the True Self and the Unique Self so that we could more easily navigate our way through these new passageways. The container was safe and deep and allowed intimacy, vulnerability and fellowship to develop.

It is clear that we need each other in this new world that we are entering and that we need new tools for the challenges ahead. I left this retreat feeling that my toolbox was overflowing and that I had good companions to walk this new path with me. I am grateful to Jeff, Shelly, Tom, and Adael for inviting us to stretch into our Unique Evolutionary selves in this way.

Run, don’t walk to this invitation to your evolutionary edge. The time is now!

THE CHOICE TO LIVE FROM UNIQUE SELF instead of merely ego is the only true choice a human being ever makes. Every other choice flows from this pivotal point in a person’s life. It is in this moment, which recurs again and again at deeper levels, that you choose to say Yes or No to life. You can choose to identify with your Unique Self instead of your ego.Emerson said, “Love is the universe shouting out a joyful yes when our names are called.””Yes” is the ultimate affirmation of our integrity.The question for your existence is whether you can say “Yes” to the unique destiny and adventure that is your life. That is self-love! From the place of ego you remain perpetually unsatisfied. Located in Unique Self, everything fills you.From Marc Gafni’s Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment
winter 2011

Editor: Adael Bullock – Graphic Design: Rosemary Tarcza


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