Last Sunday, I was joined by the remarkable Swiss spiritual teacher Annette Kaiser for a dialogue entitled “Going into the Wild: Is a Universal Spirituality Evolving?”
Something I deeply appreciate about Annette is that she is more dedicated to this universal service than to advancing herself as a teacher or expert. She has accomplished a great deal, having authored 12 books and owning and operating two retreat centers. She has inspired the heart intelligence and influenced the lives of hundreds of students, and also participated in many international teaching conferences, events and initiatives.
And still, she keeps reaching out, intending always to engender a higher cooperation among the diverse and separate initiatives of different spiritual schools and teachers, working tirelessly to help break through the glass ceiling that marginalizes the power of the human heart and spirit to shape human affairs.
This is what is behind her work to help develop a Universal Spirituality. In that overarching impulse, she is a dear friend and ally and heart colleague. Which is why I was so happy to invite her onto Beyond Awakening and to introduce her to people here in America where she is not yet very well known.
Annette completed her studies in economics and sociology, she married, had two children, and a successful career, eventually becoming a senior figure in the field of international development. Her special focus was women’s rights and intercultural dialogue. Along the way, she began meditating and her spiritual life deepened, and in 1982 she met her primary teacher, Irina Tweedie, the acclaimed Sufi teacher and author of Daughter of Fire and Chasm of Fire and became her student.
Even though her Sufi lineage is at the root of her experience, Annette now teaches Integral spirituality and inspires people in a non-dual, Kosmocentric understanding. Annette says she sees the 21st Century as a call for humanity to recognize itself as undividedly One, co-creating in collective wisdom, locally-globally in the love of One Heart.
During our dialogue, I asked Annette to describe some of the main characteristics of a Universal Spirituality. How will we recognize it? Annette says Universal Spirituality is holarchic in nature. There is no single “author” designing Universal Spirituality, there is a kind of collective authorship with many people sourcing Universal Spirituality together.
Freedom is another quality of Universal Spirituality. The spiritual guidance is always that a human being becomes free. It is a spontaneous, natural way of living.
Annette says that currently she is referring to Universal Spirituality as “Back to the Future”, and the ways she explains it does seem to describe a kind of time travel! Humanity brings with it collective shadows and if we are going into a “We” field of Universal Spirituality, coming out of individual transformation, we need to do healing and forgiveness work in a collective field. Annette says that if we do that, from the present, it will change the past!
The audio to our dialogue is available now here. Listen in to hear what Annette means by understanding with the heart of the heart. And how she sees the future as a field of all possibility rooted in unlimited love.