Spiritual Teachers / Education
Eckhart Tolle is best known as the author of the books “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose”. Since then he has written many other books and he continues teaching to this day, making an effort to reach larger audiences through video and online methods. In 2011, Eckhart was listed by the Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world. Kim Eng is his partner in teaching and living.
I was thrilled to discover Eckhart Tolle’s book, the Power of Now when it was quite new, back in the late 90s. I was living in Vermont at the time and I soon discovered that in those years, he was giving annual 5 day retreats at the Omega Institute in upstate New York. I attended the one in October of 2002. There were 400+ other people at the retreat, so a large room full of people. I guess I was particularly open or something, because his transmission during that time has deeply affected my life ever since. That was the turning point for me – the When I left at the end of the five days, I still had never met Eckhart personally, never had a conversation. I never even asked a question. But my life and psyche felt upside-down and inside-out but I also knew with great certainty that I had just received the precious spiritual gift that I had been seeking so long. In the following days I tried to put myself back together, to reconfigure some new sense of things, re-establish a new motivational structure (the old one had vanished), a sense of why I was doing things, how to relate to people and so on.
So Eckhart Tolle was the One for me. I still have never spoken with him – he’s too big and popular to have any personal followup with people. But hey, his transmission worked in amazing ways, even in a crowd, and that’s what matters, isn’t it? Now I will just take the rest of my life to learn how to live this gift I have been given.
Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.
What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment was written in 1997.
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose in 2008.
Both were amazingly and wonderfully well received, spending many years on the best-sellers lists.
Thomas Hübl is a young German spiritual teacher and is the one I am currently studying with myself. He teaches a lot of online courses which are composed of video talks and meditations at various intervals and in-between his organization helps you come together with “triad” partners to work on the material you are learning together. I enjoy the people that also study with Thomas very much and find over time that I am developing a larger and larger group of people with whom I resonate deeply and LOVE having conversations with. These are not ordinary surface-level conversations. We explore the deepest areas we can reach together and we never have any idea about what is going to happen in our meetings before it happens. We just get curious together and explore new dimensions of what spiritual development is about, what it means to be in relation with each other and so much more. Thomas has a lot of his sangha in Europe and in Israel, but he is getting more well known now in the US.Thomas Hübl was born in Vienna in 1971. As a 26-year-old medical student who was also very interested in bodywork and related therapies, he felt a strong inner calling. He took the radical step of following this inner wish, abandoning his studies and spending the next four years in retreat in the Czech Republic. During this time he did almost nothing except meditate and explore the spaces of inner consciousness. Looking back on this time, Thomas speaks of a fundamental opening that took place.
After returning to Vienna, he started offering one-to-one sessions. His ability to touch people very deeply and encourage them to take a look beyond what they usually see soon led to invitations to lead larger workshops.His popularity then grew further and he became known internationally. Since 2004 Thomas has been active worldwide, organizing talks, workshops, trainings, tonings and larger events such as the popular Celebrate Life Festival or his Healing Events which have brought together thousands of Germans with many Israelis to acknowledge, face, and heal the cultural shadow left by the Holocaust. When he is not traveling, he lives in Berlin and Tel Aviv together with his partner, the Israeli artist Yehudit Sasportas and has one young daughter.
I will give you some of my background, although the intense transitions of the last few years have left me feeling like a new person. Hmm, I wrote that sentence two years ago, and it is still true today. I was born in 1967 and was a very sensitive, intellectual and dreamy child. I was always consumed by questions like, “Where did I come from?””Why am I here?” “Where am I going?” so of course, embedded as I was in a culture that sees science and reason as the source of truth, I tried to “figure out” the answers. I graduated from Yale University with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, but my development of reason and intellect brought me no closer to any truth I really cared about.
I didn’t know what I was searching for, but I knew that none of the usual options life presents a Yale graduate attracted me. I went to Taiwan, learned Chinese, and soon found myself working as a translator. I spent most of my 20s there, educating myself broadly (though not at all rigorously – it was more through osmosis) in Eastern spiritual traditions. I also read voraciously: books on health, nutrition, globalization, physics, and biology. Translation led to other business opportunities, and I became familiar with this dimension of the human experience. In Taiwan, I met my dear friend and ex-wife Patsy, with whom I have three children, all boys.
In my late 20s I entered what was to be a long period of intensifying crisis. It started when all my professional work became intolerable. It became excruciating to do work I didn’t care about. Even though a million reasons told me why it was irresponsible, impractical, and foolish to quit, I eventually could not make myself do it anymore. An irrepressible feeling, “I am not here to be doing this!” took control of my life. So I entered a long period of searching. I spent time teaching yoga, learning about herbs, and teaching at Penn State’s department of Science, Technology, and Society. All of these endeavors have contributed to my present and future, but none were really me.
The next five years were much like a birthing process. The old world dissolved, and the contractions birthing me into the new took the form of a collapse of all that I once held onto. Crises in health, marriage, and money forced me to let go of a “life under control.” In my helplessness, I accepted help, discovering a generous universe that has always met my needs, somehow, in unexpected ways. I have never made much money, but I have become rich in connections to other people. Friends and strangers from all over the world write to tell me how my books have affected them; they sustain my faith and nourish my passion for my work.
In addition to writing books and essays, I have been doing a tremendous amount of public speaking. Sometimes, especially when I am tired from traveling, I wonder if the world needs yet another man performing “speaker up in front of an audience.” Why not stay at home and use technology? But I find that something happens in person that is irreplaceable. For one thing, at live events I can see the expressions on people’s faces, and I respond to that in real-time, engaging in a sort of dialog. Secondly, my speaking is not just about conveying ideas. Something else rides the vehicle of the words, even if the topic is something mundane like steady-state economics. I sometimes describe my experience as a speaker as being plugged into a field that is not my creation, but is generated by the audience and by something beyond the audience. Besides, I find that my thinking stagnates and my heart atrophies when I am in front of my computer too much. I need to interact with real people, face to face. That’s why I travel and speak.
On the other hand, I am increasingly drawn to developing the non-verbal, embodied gifts that I’ve neglected. Like many people, I have a feeling that there is a Next Step about to happen, in my work and beyond. I don’t know what it is, but I do know its revelation will come through transforming experiences that reveal and heal things I was blind to. My work, my play, my family, my deep soul connections, my wholeness, my wounds… all of these are bound up together, evolving as one.
I am now remarried as of 2011 and have a baby, my fourth son, Cary, with my wife Stella. Besides mothering, Stella practices Chinese Medicine and other healing modalities. The two teenagers, Jimi and Matthew live with us too; the 9-year-old Philip only sometimes. My favorite moments are watching Jimi and Matthew play “pass the baby” with Cary, who thinks it is the funnest game in the world. Of course we have our challenges and I have occasional moments of seeing my whole life as a father as a collision-course of errors, but overall I feel extremely lucky to have such amazing, sensitive, talented, kind children.
Lately people sometimes treat me like a celebrity, which makes me feel uncomfortable, because I know I am just me. On the other hand, it has become impossible to answer every email and say yes to every offer to interact. I have to turn down most offers to speak, travel, write blurbs for books, and so on. Also the attention focused on me can get overwhelming. I understand why real celebrities need to insulate themselves. Even receiving appreciation can be too much to handle sometimes, although it has sustained me too through periods of setbacks and doubt. I do my best to stay accessible and answer as many contacts as possible.
I can’t really tell you my plans for the future; it all depends on what is revealed to me in the next phase of my personal exploration. Besides, the world is approaching a state of flux that could easily render most plans irrelevant. I will continue writing and speaking for at least another year or two. My main interest now is in exploring the boundaries of what is “possible” according to our received beliefs, received habits, received technologies, and received ways of knowing. For humanity to take that Next Step, we are going to have to violate what is politically practical, socially practical, and even technologically practical. The same holds on the personal and relational level. I have caught glimpses of the impossible in all these realms and I am excited about what lies ahead.
Esalen is the most spectacularly beautiful retreat center you could ever imagine. It is a place for spiritual healing, growth and renewal and it is also an educational institute focused on topics including human potential, developing positive futures and planetary transformation. It is right on the ocean in Big Sur, California. At Esalen you normally will sign up for a class during the day and have time in the evening to soak in the natural hot springs which overhang the Pacific ocean along the Big Sur coastline. The hot springs are phenomenal!! The hot water runs right out of the cliff and into the ocean as you perhaps get to watch the sun or moon set over the ocean or see the grey whales going by. They are “clothing optional” but don’t let that keep you away. If, like me, you are a pretty iffy about public nudity, then just go after dark or wear a bathing suit or both. You might get the star show of your life, or maybe get to watch the moon set over the Pacific, all while listening to the crashing surf just below you.
Esalen specializes in their own particular massage technique and massage is available at the bath-house, adding to the overall healing effect of a visit there. The subject matter of the many weekend and weeklong workshops offered ranges across innumerable personal growth, relationship, healing, spiritual awakening, alternative lifestyle or spiritual teachings workshops and much more than I can list here.
Grounded in the wildly alive but delicate Big Sur landscape, Esalen enjoys a deep relationship with the elemental forces of nature. Not only the power of the ocean, but also the streams, the gardens, the night sky there is so wonderful. There is also the most wonderful community of people who have built and sustain community there and they add immensely to its specialness. Oh and the food! They serve really great meals with plenty of options during your time there, and you don’t have to do the dishes (unless you really want to!)
Esalen is a place not to be missed.
Sounds True is a wonderful company that has been around for a long time and is owned by Tami Simon. They have a beautiful website which is easy to use and a fabulous collection of downloads and CDs and DVDs that you can purchase for support for your process no matter what you are working on or with.
I downloaded their iphone app, so now all my downloads from Sounds True are all easy to get and easy to find when i want to listen to them. Soo easy. This is a company you can really feel good in supporting.
Tammy Simon is also one of the most gifted interviewers I have personally experienced. She was the one who introduced Eckhart on the stage at the Omega Institute when I went on retreat with him in 2002. She has felt like a special person for me ever since.
Sounds True was founded in 1985 by Tami Simon with a clear mission: to disseminate spiritual wisdom. Since starting out as a project with one woman and her tape recorder, we have grown into a multimedia publishing company with more than 80 employees, a library of more than 1500 titles featuring some of the leading teachers and visionaries of our time, and an ever-expanding family of customers from across the world.
Sounds True exists to inspire, support, and serve personal transformation and spiritual awakening.
The mission of Sounds True is to find teachers and artists who serve as a gateway to spiritual awakening and to produce, publish, and distribute their work with beauty, intelligence, and integrity. We treat our authors, vendors, and partners in the same way we would want to be treated. We work flexibly and efficiently together to create a cooperative, loving environment that honors respectful authenticity and individual growth. We maintain a healthy level of profitability so that we are an independent and sustainable employee-owned organization.
Eckhart Tolle TV
Sounds True is a partner in Eckhart Tolle TV, an online television service that offers members new monthly video teachings from Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now and Creating a New Earth. Eckhart Tolle TV offers free teachings by Eckhart Tolle and his teaching partner Kim Eng, plus a premium service for members that includes monthly meditations with Eckhart Tolle that are broadcast live, question and answer sessions, special opportunities to purchase tickets to Eckhart Tolle TV filmings and retreats, and a chance to dialogue with other Eckhart Tolle TV members. For a free trial, please visit EckhartTolleTV.com.
I first heard Adyashanti’s name when I was still living in Vermont. I had already had an enormously transformative change-point at Omega Institute in the presence of Eckhart Tolle, and I was floundering around trying to figure out how to live my life all over again. There was nowhere left to go, nothing to do, and all my old goals and ways of being in the world no longer worked for me.
I read a quote from Adya on an online Eckhart Tolle forum, and I loved it but I didn’t look into it any more fully.
Then I went back to Omega a year later to be on retreat with Eckhart for another five days and I was one of those people who would wait in line in the frosty morning of upstate New York in October for hours, just for the hope of sitting in the front. The person behind me was reading “Impact of Awakening”, Adya’s book that has a picture of his face on it. Somehow his face caught my attention… those awake eyes maybe. Anyway I had to say “what book is that you’re reading?” and when the woman said Adyashanti, that was it, two points make a line and I went home a few days later, searched for him on the internet, found his website and ordered books and tapes.
His talks and writings spoke so incredibly directly to the heart of what I was dealing with. He clearly named what had happened to me with Eckhart as “awakening” and talked about it as something familiar and normal. What a relief! It felt as if he knew me personally because of the way he talked about what was going on with me. I was glad I wrote that “identity switch” essay about my experience before running into Adya because he was describing my experience so exactly that I had to look back at my own writing to verify that I wasn’t a copycat of some sort.
Then I came out to California to go on retreat with him. I asked him to be my teacher and he said it was my decision not his, so I said he was my teacher. Then I said how on earth do we do that from thousands of miles away, and he just didn’t have any answer at all.
The next thing I knew I was moving to California. It just happened, what can I say. I never even decided to move. As I write this I’ve been in the Bay area for over two years already, and living a rather charmed life, working at a place called the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology as an administrator, and Adya gives all of his Palo Alto satsangs directly halfway between where I work and where I live. I don’t think I could have managed that if I’d tried to plan it! I enjoy the companionship of the wonderful Open Gate Sangha folks, and the support of a community of people like me, as I got used to this new life that I’ve stumbled into. I went to almost every bay area satsang that Adya gave for many years, mostly serving as a volunteer involved in setup, greeting people etc.
After being with Adya’s sangha for many years I started to feel like the message was repetitive and I was getting more from living my life and from sitting listening to Adya. I told him I was going to stop volunteering and going to all the satsangs and he was so lovely about it and seemed to say that I was a graduate. No holding on whatsoever. I love Adya. He is one of the most wonderful human beings I know.
For more info about Adyashanti and his teachings, go to his own website at www.adyashanti.org . He has numerous books, CDs, DVDs, retreats, intensives, and satsangs, and is traveling more and more these days. He is even doing internet radio sessions and is generally making his teaching conveniently available to people who live anywhere. I find his message can be received very well through tape, CD, DVD etc.
Called by Love Institute is a new organization in 2016-17. It has been established to support our collective evolution in consciousness, coming from the Christian perspective within the Unity Church. It has particularly grown from the life experience of Marj Britt and her Unity Church community in Tustin California, where Marj minister for many years. Before joining the ministry she was deeply immersed in a career in public education. It will be exciting to see this new organization grow to fulfill its wonderful mission combining a deeply spiritual viewpoint with educational expertise.
The educational programs they will be offering spring from the Christian tradition, but they will definitely be on the most open minded and freethinking end of the Christian spectrum we see in the world today.
The Mission for Called By Love Institute is:
“To harness the Power of Love as a Revolutionary and Evolutionary Force in Healing Lives, Building Dreams, Realizing Purpose, Destiny, and Legacy, Connecting ordinary and Extra-ordinary People to their fullest potential, Bringing Awareness and Light into the world.”
It was inspired by a quote that Dr. Marj Britt read on a card during her first year in seminary:
“Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity, We shall harness for God the energies of Love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.” ~ Teilhard de Chardin
Called By Love Institute supports an evolution in consciousness and a Vastness in understanding creation. It’s an exploration of God as Love, seeing Love in All, and responses to being Called By Love. Join our Worldwide Campus of Consciousness and help create a Field of Abundance that sustains and benefits us all.
CALLED BY LOVE
Called By Love supports the evolution of consciousness using a unique step by step methodology that explores ‘What it means to live from love and as an expression of love.’
LIVING, LOVING, LEGACY
Living, Loving, Legacy brings you together with some of the most significant explorers of the maps of consciousness on the planet, people who have devoted their lives to their own transformation and that of the world. They will model for you how to manifest these qualities in your own life.
Evolving Wisdom is a global e-learning community specializing in transformative education.
Their virtual courses, online workshops and events with today’s leading transformational teachers and authors don’t just inspire you with new possibilities or fill your mind with big ideas—they guide you through a process of deep transformation, so that you can begin to LIVE the extraordinary, awakened life you’ve always sensed was possible.
The Mission at Evolving Wisdom…
We are committed to serving the evolution of consciousness and culture on the planet by building and nurturing a global, transformative learning community that brings visionaries and wisdom teachers together with passionate learners for the purpose of creating deep transformation at all levels.
Whether you’ve been on a transformational journey for decades, or are just stepping onto the path, you probably know that real change, lasting change rarely happens overnight. It doesn’t come from simply reading a great book or attending an inspiring talk. And even powerful epiphanies or spiritual experiences—as inspiring as they might be—are insufficient to transform deeply rooted emotional patterns and habits having a lifetime of momentum behind them.
So, what is the difference that makes the difference when it comes to human transformation?
At Evolving Wisdom, we’ve found that to truly step into a new way of being and embrace our full potential, most of us need four things:
A step-by-step transformational program
A structure of ongoing guidance and support from a teacher or mentor
Ongoing practice and reflection
A supportive community of kindred spirits who are on the same journey
We call these the Four Pillars of Transformative Education. And these pillars are the design principles for every course we offer.
In these pages, you’ll find descriptions of each of our course offerings. You’ll also find links to the websites of our different programs and links to our free audio seminar events. We invite you to have a look around. And, if you find a program that resonates with your soul, take a moment to register. Each of our courses has a 14-day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose and a whole new life to gain.
Since Evolving Wisdom started in 2009, hundreds of thousands of people have participated in our course offerings and millions of people have engaged in our free audio seminar events.
This is only the beginning. As more and more people are discovering the power of transformative education, our faculty is expanding to include many of today’s most sought-after teachers.
In 2017, we’ll be announcing several exciting new programs. To make sure you receive these course announcements, sign up in the box provided in the top right part of the page.
We hope you’ll join us on the journey!
The Evolving Wisdom Team
Otto Scharmer, a well known MIT professor, colleague of Peter Senge and author of “Theory U” is offering a series of massive online courses called transforming business society and self. Otto tackles all the big issues in the world and does his best to cultivate people’s leadership capabilities and to move them into prototyping the emerging future that we wish to see. The course I took with him on his MIT Ulab platform had over 40,000 people from 182 countries. It was an amazing experience.
Otto has a very wonderful website for the Presencing Institute at www.presencing.com and the MIT Ulab platform for the course I took is at https://www.edx.org/course/u-lab-leading-emerging-future-mitx-15-671-1x Otto offers all his courses free of charge.
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Through innovative educational experiences that awaken the best in the human spirit, Omega provides hope and healing for individuals and society.
Omega’s History: A Pioneer in Holistic Studies and the Personal Growth Retreat
Founded in 1977 by Stephan Rechtschaffen, MD, and Elizabeth Lesser, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies was inspired by scholar and Eastern meditation teacher, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. Together, they envisioned a dynamic “university of life” designed to foster personal growth and social change. The name “Omega” came from the teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a renowned 20th-century philosopher, who used the term “Omega Point” to describe the peak of unity and integration toward which all life is evolving.
In 1981, Omega expanded from rented facilities in New York and Vermont to our current Rhinebeck home on the former grounds of Camp Boiberik, a popular Yiddish camp. Over the years, we have lovingly restored the campus while maintaining its simplicity as it has grown to 250 acres and more than 100 buildings, including the Sanctuary, the Ram Dass Library, and the new Omega Center for Sustainable Living.
Today, Omega is the nation’s most trusted source for wellness and personal growth, welcoming more than 23,000 people to our workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck and at exceptional locations around the world.
A nonprofit organization, Omega has consistently been at the forefront of human development. From nurturing early dialogues on the integration of modern medicine and natural healing; to designing programs that connect science, spirituality, and creativity; to laying the groundwork for new traditions and lifestyles, Omega continues to be a place where people from all walks of life come for inspiration, restoration, and new ideas. Our mission guides us to help people find health, happiness, and community while living gently on the Earth.