This Sunday, January 25th at 10am Pacific please join me for another conversation with the renowned mystic, scholar, poet, and activist Andrew Harvey entitled “The Ways of Passion and Illumination.”
Andrew and I have always been able to converse frankly and passionately and catalytically. And yet over the last year our practice of “sacred conversation” has begun to venture more and more boldly, wildly, and fruitfully into edgy unknown territory. We’ve been ecstatically “riding the wave” of what is organically emerging in the moment, allowing it to guide us. This is why we decided to start recording these conversations, and even to soon begin to teach together.
This latest recording is in part an exploration of the true nature of Love. I shared with Andrew my belief that the task of our lifetime is to grow in our capacity to love. Love is the sternest master and asks everything of us. This apprenticeship is never going to end, but paradoxically this makes me feel incredibly loved. Andrew resonated with this idea and added that we can’t begin this love affair with the Love that is creating everything and think that we’re going to remain in control or even know who we are by the end of the love affair. An essential surrender is what is being asked, which can be terrifying to the ego.
We also discussed the (mostly) not talked about spiritual controversy between the ecstatic mystery teachings of intense spiritual feeling, passion, emotion and arousal vs. the “cooler” nondual and mindfulness approaches. Unhealthy expressions of the cooler practices can be disembodied, operating out of a kind of transcendent arrogance. While the “hotter” expressions out of balance can spill over into florid emotionalism. We both agreed that a tremendous opportunity exists in recognizing that these schools are “not two.” In fact, this reconciliation could be the key to addressing our world in crisis—compassion and agency united in sacred activism.
We spoke about our own practices and our latest insights, and what is becoming available in our teaching. It’s no longer about the traditional exchange of wisdom or knowledge between teacher and student. A whole new model is emerging. We’ll be feeling into this new model at the March events that we’ll be co-leading. Andrew captured our vision for this gathering beautifully, reflecting that the teaching that is needed at this moment is not about sharing information; it’s about living the experience together to inspire each other. Profoundly liberating transformation is not merely subjective; it is enacted in relationship, and ceremonially “made real” in community. You can find out more about our early March events in Northern California here.
I feel blessed to be having these conversations with Andrew and to be teaching together. There’s a wildness and a joy in our human connection as two passionate mystics and activists who feel called to convene a sacred, ceremonial ritual at this time and in this space.
I hope you’ll listen in. You can follow along with Andrew’s gorgeous recitation of the Rumi poem below my signature, which he says exemplifies the prime power of love as the way of illumination and knowing.
To our evolution,
Love does not live in science and learning,
Or in any careful order of pages and letters.
Whatever people chatter about is not the way of lovers.
The branches of love are in pre-eternity
And its roots in the post eternal.
This is a tree that does not exist on any support
Of heaven or earth.
We have dethroned reason
And imprisoned desire.
For the majesty of divine love cannot live
With such fools and their habits.
So long as you hunger after anything
What you long for will be an idol.
When love decides to love you back
You will not longer exist.
Old sailors totter on planks of fear and hope
But when planks and sailor have vanished
What remains but drowning?
Shams-i-Tabrīzī you are sea and pearl
The mystery of your being is the secret of the Creator.
My soul, the first time I saw you
My soul heard wonders from your soul
And when my heart drank water from your fountain
It drowned in you
And the river swept me away.
– Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
Tr. Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey is an author, speaker and founder/director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization focused on inviting concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired, effective and practical agents of institutional and systemic change, in order to create peace and sustainability.
He was born in south India in 1952 where he lived until he was nine years old. At the age of 21, at Oxford University he became the youngest person ever to be awarded a fellowship to All Soul’s College, England’s highest academic honor. He became disillusioned with life there and returned to his native India, where a series of mystical experiences initiated his spiritual journey.
Over the next thirty years he plunged into different mystical traditions to learn their secrets and practices, including deep extended study and practice of Hinduism, and Tibetan Buddhist practice. He collaborated with Sogyal Rinpoche in writing the classic Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. He did deep study of Rumi and Sufi mysticism, and produced what are in my opinion some of the most magnificent and luminous translations of Rumi’s poetry.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Sunday, January 25th at 10:00am Pacific; 11:00am Mountain; 12:00pm Central; 1:00pm Eastern
*Find Your Local Time
Please Note: There will be a limited number of lines available on the live conference call, so we encourage you to listen online if possible. To make sure you can get through by phone, we encourage you to dial in early.
- To listen live by phone, dial: 425-440-5100 (alternate #: 501-707-0312)
- Then, enter Access Code: 272072#
- To listen live online go to: TO BE ANNOUNCED
- To download the audio after the teleseminar is complete go to the Beyond Awakening Audio Page
The Beyond Awakening Team