Back at the end of June, I posted a piece called “Charging Money for the Truth.” It generated 47 comments, which are really worth taking the time to read. This is a hot topic, a juicy topic, and one which opens up all kinds of important questions. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been able to go much deeper into these questions with some fascinating people.

Marc Gafni, for example, has been an ordained rabbi most of his adult life. Until a few years ago, he was living and practicing in Israel. Now that he’s teaching in the United States in a more “secular way,” he finds himself dealing much more with questions of making the books balance. He had some fascinating observations about the relationship between money and “dharma.”

Diane Hamilton was a “starving artist” and a single mother for much of her life. She took Zen Buddhist vows under Genpo Roshi, and is now a widely recognized Zen teacher, as well as one of the senior instructors in Ken Wilber’s Integral Institute.

Sally Kempton started out as a professional journalist and a writer for Esquire, the New York Times, New York magazine, and the Village Voice. She was an early voice in the second wave feminist movement. Spirituality was the last thing on her agenda.  After a powerful spiritual opening, however, she became a “sadhu” monk, and was known for many years as Swami Durgananda. (more…)

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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