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…)

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Sometimes it seems like all we hear these days is talk of the tough economy. I actually conducted a little sociological experiment this weekend, and counted up how many times I heard people refer to the economy, and therefore current times in general, in a negative way. I got 43 hits, even though I stayed home quite a bit.

There is, of course, some objective measurable truth to all of this depressing talk. If you own a house, it’s probably worth considerably less than it was five years ago. If you own a business, you may be making less money than you were, and you may have even been faced with the difficult decision of laying off some of your employees. If you’re an investor in the stock market, you may have seen your portfolio go down in value.

But not everybody these days is having a terrible time. I’ve conducted another little amateur sociological experiment over the last several weeks. I asked a lot of my colleagues: writers, teachers, seminar leaders, how they would evaluate their year so far, not just financially, but according to a broader spectrum of measurement. How are your relationships? How’s your creativity? How’s your health? How much are you living your deepest vision? I’m a member of two extraordinary mens’ groups, one where I live in Nevada City, and another that I travel to in Marin County, and I also asked this question at the recent meeting of the Transformational Leadership Council. More than half the people I asked told me that 2010 was proving to be their best year ever, myself included.

I hear people ask a lot on the blogosphere and in the media, “How long is this recession going to last? When are we going to go back to where we were?” Well, here’s a shocking question for you now. What if we never, ever, ever go back to where we were?  What if the old game is now coming to an end, and a whole different way of relating with each other financially and energetically is emerging? (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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Jesus cell phoneIt’s been about eighteen years since my teacher H.W.L. Poonja asked me to teach awakening in the West.  At the beginning, when I first returned to Seattle in 1992, very few people would have a direct experience of being spaciousness, of being presence.  At that time, most people were primarily identified with being “seekers.”  They would project “enlightenment” onto a teacher or onto their own future, but it wasn’t accepted as part of their own now.  During the last eighteen years things have changed dramatically.  Not only in my experience, but others who spread awakening are reporting the same thing.  I’ve heard from Eckhart Tolle, Michael Beckwith, Jean Houston, Ram Dass and hundreds of other teachers that we are together witnessing an epidemic of awakening all over the planet.  It’s becoming easier and easier to relax back into your natural state and to know yourself to be limitless, the source of everything you experience.

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