“Falling in Love with the Divine: Devotion and Tantra of the Heart”

October 18-20, 2013

Buddha Sunset

Photo by CIW Board of Trustees member and Managing Director Steve Raymond

Prepare to transform your relationship to the divine!

Two of our beloved and transformational World Spirituality heart and wisdom masters and teachers will merge their gifts to help you unfold your own secret heart-tantra. Awakened Heart meditation teacher and author Sally Kempton joins Dr. Marc Gafni, Unique Self author and Kabbalistic lineage holder, for this ecstatic and unique offering at Esalen. Last year, we were joined by many outrageous lovers, some seeking expression for the divine through their primary love partnerships and some seeking to deepen their own heart mysteries for themselves. Esalen is situated on the breathtaking Pacific Coast, and the organic, healthy offerings there will rejuvenate your body, heart, spirit, and soul as you fall in love with the Divine and awaken to your soul’s destiny. Register soon for this wonderful retreat/workshop before it fills up![Read more…]

from Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni

Money, power, and pleasure, when experienced at the level of ego, appear separate from the divine field and trap you in the clutches of grasping and striving. When experienced from the level of enlightened consciousness, money, power, and pleasure are expressions of your Unique Self touching the divine. Pleasure from the place of Unique Self is experienced as a divine caress reminding you that the world is sane and good. Ego pleasures feel narcissistic, and solidify the coiled contraction into small self. They never satisfy; you are constantly driven to get more and more, and someone else's pleasure makes you feel your own lack. The same pleasure experienced from the consciousness of Unique Self expands your heart and consciousness into the love-intelligence, love-beauty, and love-pleasure of All-That-Is. You are satisfied by even the simplest pleasure, and you delight in the pleasure of others.

Similarly, power and money grasped by the ego seek to support the false belief of the separate self that it will live forever. Power and money are used to accumulate goods you do not need, and to acquire superficial control over others in order to assure yourself that you are valuable and worthy. Money and power experienced from the consciousness of Unique Self are gracefully and skillfully deployed with delight for the greater good of all beings.

Separate from the divine field, money, pleasure, and power appear as foolish and even grotesque identity enhancers for the ego. This becomes radically apparent whenever we encounter death. The ego is confused. It fails to discern between separateness and uniqueness, and so the goods of existence are hijacked to serve its own impossible goal of survival””separate from the larger field of love-beauty-pleasure-intelligence from which it was never separate and never can be separated.

Correct intuitions that are hijacked and misapplied by the ego are contextualized and reclaimed at the level of Unique Self. These include eternity and the finite goods of the world, the goodness of pleasure, the divine aspect of power, and more. All of these are reclaimed without grasping at the level of Unique Self.

Further Discussion:

One of the things Dr. Marc teaches us to recognize about pleasure is that it is not pain's opposite. In fact, he teaches:

The opposite of pain is comfort. To achieve pleasure you must be willing to bear the discomfort of being displeasing to yourself, of feeling worthless, inadequate, depressed. It is only by sitting in the pain that you can find the pleasure. (p. 282 of Unique Self)

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

Dark Tunnel With Light by pakorn

©pakorn, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

The ego strives for immortality it can never achieve, and therefore displaces its grasping for eternity onto projects of control and conquest. The Unique Self experiences authentically what the ego longs for mistakenly””namely the recognition that it is divine and therefore eternal.

This distinction is essential and therefore deserves a brief clarification. The separate self emerges at a certain stage of human history and at a certain stage in the development of the individual human being. As the sense of separate self solidifies, so too does the terror of death. The person feels correctly that death is wrong, that they should not have to die. They feel that they are eternal and should live forever. They are right. The core intuition of immortality could not be more correct. But locked as they are in separate self ego awareness, they mis-apply that core intuition in two ways.

First, because they are utterly identified with the ego, they apply their intuition of immortality to the egoic separate self. They think that the ego will live forever. Second, because they are identified with the now-eternalized ego, and yet at the same time are gripped by the fear of death, which is oblivion to the ego, they seek all sorts of Viagra-like identity enhancers. They make the finite goods of the world into infinite goods. Money, surplus goods, power, accumulated pleasures””all become identity enhancers for the ego. Their purpose is to give the ego a felt sense of its immortality. But since the ego is not immortal, all of these death-denying immortality projects are doomed to failure.

Even though the ego does make these two essential mistakes, the ego's intuitions are not wrong. When the mistakes are corrected at the level of Unique Self, the truth behind those intuitions can emerge. After you disidentify with your separate self, your Unique Self appears as a distinct and indivisible part of the eternal one. It is in your Unique Self that you realize your immortality. The Unique Self expresses correctly the mistakenly applied, but inwardly correct, intuition of the ego.


Further discussion:

A 2012 article in The Guardian has gone viral and is still circulating in social media: “Top five regrets of the dying.“ An Australian nurse in palliative care, Bronnie Ware, had for many years questioned her patients during the last 12 weeks of their lives about any regrets they might have. She has recorded their answers in a blog and eventually wrote a book about them.

When looking at these responses from a Unique Self perspective, we read of the patients regretting not having lived their Unique Selves: “I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me” was the most common answer.

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

From Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni.

(c) 2013 photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong

©2013 photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong

The isolated ego is the root cause of murder, war, and virtually all human suffering. The ego feels its own fragility, its limits, and its ultimate powerlessness. As a result, the ego grasps for ways to assert power and experience aliveness. This causes the acting out of all forms of shadow. When you deconstruct your mistaken identity with the separate-self ego, and instead identify with your distinct path in the seamless quilt of the Uni-verse, the fear dissipates and the love returns. When the contraction of ego uncoils, your Unique Self experiences all of the good—personal love, responsibility, compassion, ethical action, activism, and all the rest—that you previously thought was accessible only through your assertion of a separate self.

The choice between personal love and immersion in True Self is a false choice. There is no contradiction between them whatsoever: The West—motivated by love and the desire to end suffering—affirmed the separate self because it thought this was the only way a person could gain the goods of the encounter, namely personal love, responsibility, contact, intimacy, accountability, compassion, and care. This was a mistake; all of those goods may be realized through the encounter between two Unique Selves who are not separate from each other, but consciously part of the same seamless coat of the Uni-verse. Personal love does not require two separate selves.

Further Discussion:

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Marc Gafni’s writing on the relationship between personal or relative love and absolute love.  As he says above in this distinction, “The choice between personal love and immersion in True Self is a false choice.” Elaborating on this further, Dr. Marc says:

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

Corporate Social Responsibility In Word Collage by David Castillo Dominici

©David Castillo Dominici, www.freedigitalphotos.net

Listen to Richard Barrett, founder and chairman of the Barrett Values Centre and author of many books””e.g. What My Soul Told Me, The New Leadership Paradigm, and Building a Values Driven Organization””and Marc Gafni as they talk about an exciting new role that nations and our democratic systems can play in the evolution of consciousness, when they awaken to their Unique Selves, and what that might mean.

You can also listen to the first two parts of the dialogue and read a summary or partial transcript here:

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

Exclusive Rubber Stamp by Stuart Miles

©Stuart Miles, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

Your ego always seeks the “special relationship”””in the egoic sense””to cover the pain of your emptiness, and thinks the “special relationship” is better than all the rest of your relationships. The Unique Self does not limit love to one person, even though the traditional definition of marriage or a committed relationship can limit you to one partner at a time. The Unique Self lives open as love in the world.



Further discussion:

VIP by Salvatore Vuono

©Salvatore Vuono,
www.freedigitalphotos.net

Our ego, which is our contracted self-sense of being merely a separate self, separate from the All-that-is, feels the pain of that separation and contracts even more. It wants to cover up that pain. It wants to cover up that nagging feeling of emptiness. So, it always looks for that one “special” person who is worthy of being connected to, that “special relationship” that will make “me” special, too. And because no one can ever do that, it will leave a trail of unhappy and often failed relationships.

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

2010. Photo courtesy of jscreationzs.

©2010. Photo courtesy of jscreationzs.

This week’s audio wisdom meditation with Dr. Marc Gafni comes from Week 7 of the Awakening Your Unique Self 10-Week Telecourse, themed “Unique Self: A Paradigm Shift in Loving.” This beautiful meditation, created by Dr. Marc for the course, takes us into the embodied taste of our own openings and closings, teaching us to recognize each moment and our relationship to it.  In this meditation, Dr. Marc says, “Your true destiny unfolds freely when you live every moment open as Unique Self and shine as your unique offering of outrageous love.” So, to become Unique and Outrageous Lovers, we can learn to recognize how love is a “perception-identification complex,” which allows us to see with God’s eyes.  In living from an open rather than closed place, we access our purpose and greatest offerings of love.

Please sit back, relax, and prepare to experience the tastes of living open as love as part of this Wisdom for Your Week offering. You can also access the transcript to accompany the meditation below.

[Read more…]

arztsamui, www.freedigitalphotos.net

©arztsamui, www.freedigitalphotos.net

In the second dialogue of this 3-part series, our two leaders, Richard Barrett and Marc Gafni, speak about how the teachings on soul and Unique Self can be applied to organizations and lead to more success of the organizations as well as the individuals.

Listen to this wonderful and insightful dialogue and read the summary of their discussion below.

To read more about the extensive work of Richard Barrett and listen to the first dialogue on “The Unique Self and Soul Activation: The Path of Personal Transformation” you can click here.

The third part of the series “Unique Self, Organizational Leadership, and the Destiny of Nations” on “The Unique Self and Societal Development: The Path of Societal Transformation” will be held on June 15th, and you can still register for it here.

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

File With Excuses Word by Stuart Miles

©Stuart Miles, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

The ego very rarely takes substantive responsibility. When the ego attempts to take responsibility, it creates a painful, virtually unbearable contraction in the self. So the ego becomes the master of the excuse. The Unique Self is able to take responsibility spontaneously, lightly, and with full gravitas. The Unique Self holds with equal measure of gravitas and ease its own responsibility and its rightful anger at injustice. Usually, the ego advises the other person to “take responsibility,” while the ego itself wallows in the real and imagined offenses that it has suffered.



Further discussion:

Just hearing words like responsibility or obligation often lets our ego contract in pain and sometimes anger. From our separate selves the idea of taking responsibility often seems like pure impertinence. Finding the balance between taking the right measure of personal responsibility and being gentle with ourselves seems to be an important issue for most of us.

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

(c) 2011 Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono.

©2011 Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono.

by Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self.

The ego is angry at what is done to it. It very rarely feels the same outrage at what is done to someone else. The Unique Self is not merely outraged against injustice done to its own person; it is hurt and outraged by any and all injustice. The ego often fights large causes of injustice as a way to bolster its grandiosity. Unique Self fights the battles of injustice in its own backyard, even when there is potential collateral damage to its own power and status.


Further Discussion:


One of the things this distinction reminds us of is the importance of responding to real hurt in the world.  In one call from the Living Beyond Complexity telecourse Dr. Marc Gafni co-taught with Clint Fuhs, Nicole Fegley, and Zak Stein, Marc spent one entire phone call expounding upon the “problem of evil” in the world, also referred to as a “theodicy.”  In the course of the call, he explained that the level-three response to enormous suffering in the world is to cry out “Why?” in pain, to feel the pain, and to question the injustice behind it, which is part of the tikkun, or fixing, of the injustice.  In one of his earlier manuscripts entitled Uncertainty, (a book that will be rereleased along with his manuscript for Certainty), Marc explores the Talmudic teaching on this.  An excerpt of that discussion is reprinted below from the chapter entitled “The Path of Wrestling”:

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self.

2012 Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

©2012 Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles


Your ego is always contracting and saying, “No.” Even when your ego says, “Yes,” it is only because it is afraid to say, “No.” Your Unique Self is always expanding and saying, “Yes.” Even when you say, “No,” it is only to make room for a more authentic “Yes.”


Further Discussion:

The following is excerpted directly from Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment (pp. 357-59), Chapter 25, “Say Yes”:

In Hebrew the word “yes”””kein””means “integrity.” Yes is the ultimate affirmation of our integrity. The question of 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.


Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

Baby's Hand Holding Mother's Finger by gubgib, www.freedigitalphotos.net

©Baby's Hand Holding Mother's Finger by gubgib, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

When you are in ego, people feel smaller when you walk into the room. They feel invisible before you. The result is that they feel depleted and in danger. When you are in your Unique Self, people feel bigger when you walk into the room. They feel seen by you. They feel your desire to love and give to them.



Further discussion:

Don't we all recognize that? Somebody walks into a room, and we immediately feel smaller? And in somebody else's company we feel great, empowered, seen, and loved?

But why is this so? Aren't those feelings of smallness and our dependency on other people's acknowledgement related to our own bad self-esteem, as much of the New Age popular psychology makes us believe?

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

2011. Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici.

©2011. Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici.

By Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self.

When you are in ego, you might help friends who are successful and even friends who are down, as long as it does not threaten your position. But you are not capable of truly delighting in your deepest heart in a friend's large success. When you are in Unique Self, your deepest heart delights in your friend's success, even if there is nothing in it for you at all.




Further Discussion:

When two Unique Selves are in friendship or any kind of interpersonal relationship, significant transformation often awaits them, whether that means gaining deeper insight into themselves or being change agents for each other and sharing a purpose together in the world. This potential for transformation we sense in through the other may at first feel threatening to us because we could be drawn to a Unique Self who holds or demonstrates in some way a missing piece of our personal story. We intuit the missing piece, such as a talent he or she can help us nourish or see in ourselves, and it can often be painful for us to rise to the full invitation of this gift until we are ready to receive its message. In an article on the CWS website on Unique Self relationships, Dr. Marc Gafni writes:

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

Heart Rotto by Idea go, www.freedigitalphotos.net

©Heart Rotto by Idea go, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

The ego betrays. The Unique Self is loyal. When you are in your ego, and things go bad, you are willing—in your fear—to betray virtually anyone. Your ego is easily identifiable by the shallowness of its integrity. If you live in Unique Self and things go bad, you find your way, through thick or thin, to a deeper center of spirit.





Further discussion:

Betrayal: Isn’t this something from the soap operas on TV, but not something that we would ever do to another person? Can’t we all just relax and say: look at how advanced I am in living my Unique Self?

On the other hand: Haven’t we all had experiences where we felt betrayed? How do we react when we feel betrayed?

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

Eros Cupid Statue London by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, www.freedigitalphotos.net

Eros Cupid Statue London by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee


by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

The ego is not erotic. Unique Self lives in Eros. To live in Eros means to live with fullness of presence and with a felt sense of wholeness. It is to yearn urgently and ecstatically, without grasping and to experience interiority, the feeling of being on the inside. This is the experience of Unique Self. The ego lives with the feeling of always being on the outside. It fragments, grasps, and never shows up fully present to other. Unique Self lives in Eros.


For further discussion:

What is Eros? And what does it mean to live an erotic life?

Well, clearly: It is not sex!

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

John Mackey

John Mackey is Chairman and CEO of Whole Foods Market, as well as the Co-Chair of the Center for World Spirituality Board of Trustees.

In this week’s video wisdom post, Marc Gafni, author of Your Unique Self, and John Mackey, co-author of Conscious Capitalism, revisit the moment of their first meeting when John made a lasting impression on Marc with the words, “Love is not weak. Love is strong." With this as a starting point for this fourth topic in the seven-part dialogue series between these two visionary leaders, they discuss “love coming out of the closet” as a real force in business. This force can enable greater workplace bonding, creativity, and innovative business practice that lead to competitive advantage. They discuss masculine and feminine relationships to love as an emotion, as a guiding principle in the work world, and as a gravitational force. And, they consider how love relates to power. Don’t miss this or any of their other discussions from this series, which are available on our website and at the Whole Foods blog.

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

By Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self.

(c) 2012 Courtesy of Stuart Miles

(c) 2012 Courtesy of Stuart Miles


When the ego’s heart breaks, then the heart closes and contracts. When the Unique Self’s heart breaks, the heart opens through the pain into greater love. For your ego, the interior face of the kosmos is at best a concept. For Unique Self, the interior face of the kosmos is the infinity of intimacy.







Further Discussion:

Read more...

This content is restricted to site members, you need a FREE membership to view the full content.

If you are an existing user, please login Click here.

New users may register below Click here.

A 3-Part Web Tele-Series with Richard Barrett and Marc Gafni

Thought Leaders Marc GaRichard Barrett2fni and Richard Barrett will engage in a free, 3-part monthly tele-series in April, May and June. See below for dates, times, full descriptions of each session, and how to register.

Do not miss this provocative and complementary series of dialogues between two globally recognized transformational thought leaders, Richard Barrett and Dr. Marc Gafni. Richard and Marc will share their latest thinking and technologies for transforming yourself, your workplace and the larger community or society in which you live.

Combining theory and experiential learning, they will show how personal transformation, organizational transformation and societal transformation are driven by the same core principles, and how the application of these principles leads to transformative change. Understanding these principles gives you the keys you need to implement sustained change in your own life and in the lives of the organisations and communities/societies you lead.

Richard Barrett (FRSA) is an author, speaker and social commentator on the evolution of human values in business and society. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Barrett Values Centre and an internationally recognized thought leader on values, culture and leadership. He is the creator of the internationally recognized Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT) currently being used in 60 countries to support more than 4,000 organizations and leaders in their transformational journeys. He is a Fellow of the World Business Academy, and Former Values Coordinator at the World Bank.

[Read more…]


Join us in our response of Outrageous Love to Outrageous Pain

Join us as the Integral World Spirituality Community gathers to talk and act in Response to Outrageous Pain Anywhere and Everywhere in the World.

We live in a world of outrageous pain. Boston, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Congo, Kenya, Jerusalem, Manhattan, Bangladesh. Outrageous pain is everywhere.Broken HeartSquare

The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love.

There is an outrageous act of love that the worlds needs from you. No one else but you is capable of addressing that unique corner of Un-Love and healing it into Love.

This is why, in light of the recent tragedies in the U.S., we are holding a special, live, Public Square Phone Event next Tuesday, April 23, with Dr. Marc Gafni and Riane Eisler.haertmeditation_markgafni

Full information here—>

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_brooksGlenn 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…]