Collective Awakening


I’ve spent a good deal of my time in India over the last several decades. There’s a common saying in India that if a teacher charges money for “the dharma” (which loosely translated means “teachings about the truth”) that he or she will go to a special section of hell set aside for spiritual entrepreneurs, an area cornered off and designed to be much nastier than the areas for axe murderers, rapists, and the like.

My primary teacher in India, H.W.L. Poonja, for example, never asked money from anyone for anything. There was no donation basket in the back of the room, even.

At the same time, there is another, equally well-established tradition in India, called “dana.”  You never go to a teacher empty-handed. If you want the blessings of the teacher, you should come equipped with baskets of fruit, cloth, and all other kinds of goodies.

In the last several decades, there have also been some immensely successful teachers making huge contributions to millions of people who have worked from exactly the opposite mentality. A good example is Harry Palmer, the creator of the Avatar training. He is a genuinely deep and awake guy, highly motivated to help people experience freedom.  “People will only actually integrate insights that they have come to regard as valuable”, he stated back in the early ’90’s. “And the way that people create value in Western society is by paying money.”    Consequently, a couple weekends with an Avatar trainer would cost $2,000. The Avatar training was immensely successful for a long time. Other similar examples of huge, culture-charging movements that have charged high fees are EST, Tony Robbins Seminars, The Sedona Method, and many more. (more…)

Just as you might have given up hope of ever hearing from me again, just as you’re on the way to buy flowers for the funeral, we’re back. Did you miss me? As you might have noticed, I’ve been keeping an extremely low profile the last months. Hardly a blog post or a tweet or a chirp or a facebook post since February. But I’m back, and ready to play again. Here’s a little summary of what’s been going on.

Back in January, we started having a few problems in our office with being able to communicate effectively with our list of friends. Some people were not getting their emails on time. Things were bouncing back that shouldn’t: you know how it goes. So my office manager discovered a super-duper enhanced new alternative for delivering email to our friends.

“How long will it take to implement?” I asked.
“Oh, two to four days,” came the reply.
“Okay,” I said. “If it’s going to make things easier, let’s do it.”
Four months later…

The situation has been a bit like I needed to go down to the store to buy some butter for our family meal (sending news is the butter, and you are the family). So I’ve been driving down to get the butter in a slightly clunky car that doesn’t always start. I call the mechanic to ask what to do, expecting perhaps a little tune-up. A few days later I find a jet plane parked in my driveway. When I climb in the cockpit to go buy butter, I’m faced with an overwhelming array of knobs, panels, gauges, and LED displays.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” I ask. “It’s overwhelming.”

“Yes,” comes the enthusiastic reply. “But it will get you down to the grocery store in one thousandth the time of driving.”
It looks like we’ve finally figured out how to switch on the engine of the jet plane at least, and now we’re able to communicate again.

During this time, there’s been other stuff going on too. About 18 months ago, I met a charming fella named Vishen Lakhiani who read my book the Translucent Revolution and loved it. He suggested we make it into a multi-media home study course called “Living Awakening.” In the last months I’ve been putting the final tweaks on that course.

So many of us these days are having strong glimpses of awakening: of the dimension of ourselves which is limitless, spacious, free, which is love itself. The challenge is not in the access anymore, but in how we live it. Living Awakening is based on video interviews with some of the most successful people alive on the planet whose contribution to the world has been grounded in awakening of consciousness. You may be surprised to find out about the secret lives of some of the people you see regularly on Oprah.

Chameli and I have also been putting our Deeper Love intensive into a course that you can do at home as well. I’ll tell you a little more about that in my next post.

And the last thing that’s been inspiring to me is what’s been happening in our Awakening Coaching Training. For thousands of years, if you felt the longing to drop more deeply into yourself, to feel the divine, most of what was on the menu was hierarchical and patriarchal. That means if you had a longing for greater depth, you would go find a teacher, usually a man and often of oriental origins, and surrender completely to his beliefs and guidance. The more deeply you subjugated your will to that teacher, the more  your ego would die and “enlightenment” would theoretically bloom. Theoretically.  As you may be aware, these kind of scenarios often involve a crash landing.

Something completely different is happening on the planet today. Friends are able to help friends to wake up from the trance of separation. I’ve been training facilitators of awakening since 1995, and the results in the last months have become even more inspiring. I’d love for you to join me this Thursday at 6pm to hear about what’s been going on. A number of awakening coaches will be on the line with me to share their experiences as well. If you miss the live event, the call will be recorded and you can listen to the replay. If you’d like to join us, click here to register for free.

I just got back a few days ago from what feels like the most incredible week of my life.  I was attending and speaking at the Integral Spiritual Experience conference in Asilomar near Monterey, California.

Wow, wow, and wow.

The conference was attended by over five hundred people from 33 different countries.  Unlike many conferences of its kind, it followed an evolutionary path.  It traced the development from personal story: the circumstances of our birth and conditioning, to the development of personality, or what the organizers called “false self.”  From there the conference moved into awakening: the  shift from personality based living to the realization of our true nature as limitless, unborn, undying and the source of everything.  (Guess who facilitated that part?!)  And from there we moved into uncharted territories: what Ken Wilber describes as an evolutionary emergence.  We explored how the more we rest in true self, in limitless consciousness, and subjectively experience emptiness, the more other people experience the flow of a unique gift.

This is the paradox. By resting in oneness we deepen our uniqueness, and in the cultivation of unique gifts we deepen oneness.

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Happy Holidays to all our friends.

Chameli told me last night that it was the longest night of the entire year, which means that we have officially shifted from a phase of turning in, dying and withdraw, to a new phase of rebirth, regeneration, and fresh beginnings.  By now the last of the brown leaves have fallen from the trees and become mush under our feet on the wet ground.  And deep beneath the surface of the earth, the first stirrings are preparing themselves for next year’s spring.

These cycles of death and renewal have always been part of our lives, but I get the sense that this year it is more poignant than ever.  For most of us 2009 has been quite a year.  Most of the people I have met with this year have been facing, in a personal way, what we are all facing in a collective way: the old habits by which we live our lives are no longer sustainable.  We are being presented with a wake-up-call to try something completely new.

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Dear Friends,

I’m in the middle of a whirlwind European tour here, and so this post will be shorter than others have been.

We had a wonderful evening event in Oslo last week, hosted by Peter Svenning, one of our certified Awakening Coaches.  Great people, mostly from professional backgrounds, quickly “got” what this approach is about.  Many will now be coming to the Awakening Coaching Training in Stockholm, February 20-24th.  Next day I saw some very inspiring people in Oslo for private sessions.  I’m constantly amazed by how regular people with relatively little background in “spirituality” can easily drop out of the mind and into the mystery of presence.

I took the train from Oslo to Stockholm, which took most of the day, and was a great treat.  When was the last time you took a really long train ride?  It’s great.  The carriage sways back and forth like the rocking of a cradle, massaging you into letting go.  You pass through small villages, larger towns, and then endless forest and fields put to rest for the winter.  I could spend my life on European trains!  The buffet car serves great food, the internet connection allows you to get things done, and the rest of your life seems far away.

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One of the most inspiring things about this new time is the emerging spirit of co-creation.  I can remember only a few years ago being invited to speak at the Whole Life Expo in Altanta.  All of the big names were there.  On evening we had a party where all the speakers attended. I still remember scanning the room and noticing that half of the New York Times bestseller list was in the room.  The other thing I noticed at that party, back in the early 90s, was how much talking was going on, and how little listening.  Everyone had a pitch to sell, and noone was very interested in buying anyone else’s.

Times have changed!  What I love about these new times is not just the diversity of wisdom and grace that is showering on all of us from every direction, but the ways that we are open to listen and to hear each other with respect.  We come to recognize that our wisdom is made visible in our openess to listen more than our capacity to speak.

I was invited recently by a new friend named Linda Pannell, to participate in a new teleseminar series.  It started on October 21st, but has hardly got started yet.  Every Tuesday and Thursday at 4pm through February 2010, Linda has invited some of the planet’s most inspiring, provocative, and visionary scientists, healers, spiritual leaders, and wisdom keepers to explore ways to navigate the immense individual, societal, global, and universal change toward creation of a  New Shared Future.

The series is titled Science, Spirituality, and the Sacred:  Ancient Wisdom, Modern Miracles.
Take a look at the line up of speakers here
These are all  Free, live events which you can join from your own home.  They are all recorded, so you also will have the chance to buy mp3s of the whole series.

RESERVE A SPOT AS MY GUEST

listAs another year approaches, imagine looking over a list of the things you’ve accomplished and other goals not yet attained.  In reflecting back over your year, the things you’ve done and the challenges you’ve faced, can you see on your list the undertaking of a life-changing spiritual journey?   If not, I would like to personally invite you to mark off a few days from your calendar to begin this journey on the Pacific Coast of California with me and the Integral Spiritual Experience teachers, along with hundreds of like-minds and friends from all around the globe.
I am honored to have been invited to be a part of Integral Life this coming December.  We will be looking at what it means to lead lives of deep and essential spiritual practice in the 21st century.  Often our lives are hectic and leave little time for us to do this sort of reflecting on our growth as human beings, our truest longings, and the gifts of our heart that we want to share with the world.  Attending the Integral Spiritual Experience is a second chance to add to your end-of-the-year list of accomplishments. We will be meeting new people who share our visions, learning about our unique self, loving and celebrating the New Year as a symbolic renewal of the amazing life we have been given.  We will be celebrating this yearly rebirth on the Asilomar property wildlife refuge right on the Pacific Ocean.  During this time there is a gray whale migration and the monarch butterfly, which the area is known for, is just beginning to hatch.  It will be an exquisite unity of nature’s offerings and our inner gifts that will be coming forth for this time together.

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