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Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra and Andrew Cohen Talk Creating a Spiritually Inspired Future
deepak Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra and Andrew Cohen Talk Creating a Spiritually Inspired Future This past Sunday, the Urban Zen Foundation hosted an amazing event with Deepak Chopra, Andrew Cohen and Arianna Huffington where we discussed the complicated and invigorating topic of co-creating a spiritually inspired future.
The sold-out event was truly a testament to how necessary honest spiritual conversations are and how invested our community is in adding their voice to the dialogue.
Journalist Alison Rose Levy attended the event and wrote a compelling piece for The Huffington Post’s Living section.
The following is an excerpt of her coverage:
The straight talk that has set the pace on The Huffington Post also has a personal side, as Arianna revealed this past weekend at “How to Co-Create A Spiritually Empowered Future,” an afternoon event with Deepak Chopra and Andrew Cohen, which she moderated. Donna Karan, a long-time friend of all three, hosted the event, which was organized by Gerard Senehi, a “transformative philanthropist.”
“We’re in a time of transition. One culture is dying. Another is being born. How do we move from struggle to grace?” Arianna posed the question to Chopra and Cohen as an audience of several hundred people gathered in Karan’s welcoming Urban Zen Center in downtown Manhattan, with other participants watching via live stream. “Let’s focus on what brings us together rather than what tears us apart,” she urged.
Arianna revealed that she had her own moment of truth when long work hours and too little sleep blended into a state of bone-deep exhaustion that lead her to nod off and fall face forward on her own desk, smashing her face. After the broken bone mended and the stitches healed, Arianna recognized the wake-up call and turned to yoga, longer hours of sleep, and mindfulness in order to help her to “get enough rest and enjoy life while achieving.”
Arianna recalled the words of her late mother, who once took her to task for opening her mail while speaking with her children, emphatically saying, “I hate multitasking.”
Deepak Chopra pointed out that all of us are multitasking all the time, navigating the four levels of ourselves: being, feeling, thinking and doing. Doing it consciously makes all the difference.
Andrew Cohen, the founder of EnlightenNext took up the question of how to live in the midst of great change, saying, “Our shared values all too often propel us towards competition, aggression and narcissism. The rate of change is not slowing down. The traditional solution offered by spirituality and meditative practices, offered a safe haven of calm and primordial peace.” (Cohen teaches meditation.)
“But that’s not enough,” he contended, explaining that in observing his students, he saw that once they came out of meditation and stepped into what he called “the world of chaos,” they were unable to retain their calm. “They were always looking for a way out of here because the world is imperfect.”
The goal, he felt, was not to use meditation to escape from the world but to connect with it wholeheartedly. In contemplating this, he reported that he came to recognize that “saying we want to retreat reveals that we have a core ambivalence about life on earth.”
He invited the audience to contemplate the question, “Is life on earth good enough?”
Cohen pointed out that there are three possible answers: yes, no, and I’m not sure. He encouraged the participants to contemplate, get to the roots of their doubt and ambivalence, and discover the way to say a “big ‘yes’ to life.”
To read the entire article, please click here.
To continue the conversation, please join us on Twitter and Share Your Voice on our community site.
Huffington Post | www.huffingtonpost.com
Deepak Chopra | [deepakchopra.com]
Andrew Cohen | www.andrewcohen.org
billyen: I was dismayed to learn that Arianna Huffington and the
Commented 4 months ago in Living
“I was dismayed to learn that Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post were participating in a forum at which spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen was one of two main speakers. ("Creating a Spiritually Empowered Future"; organized by Gerard Senehi.)
Apparently Andrew Cohen's background was not fact checked. The record is clear that Cohen faces numerous serious allegations of abuse over a 20 year period: There are now three books by former students documenting harmful treatment and a blog exposing Cohen. The allegations, by many former students, include physical, emotional and financial abuses - and to date none of the abuse has ever been apologized for or satisfactorily addressed in any way.
I was a 13 year student of Cohen's during which time I was a community leader and member of the Board of Directors. The book I've written, along with contributors, documenting the history of abuse is titled American Guru: A Story of Love, Betrayal and Healing. www.americanguru.net
Another book is by Cohen's own mother who was at one time his student: The Mother of God by Luna Tarlo.
Many articles exposing abuse are posted on the blog WhatEnlightment??!.
[wha]tenlightenment.net/ Authors of the articles posted include 3 former editors of Cohen's EnlightenNext magazine.
It would behoove the Huffington Post to investigate more before supporting an event like this one.
Next Comment Previous Comment
Peter Bampton 12:05 PM on 12/25/2010
If you are wondering what these so-called "allegations of abuse" are really all about then I suggest you do a bit more "fact-checking" regarding William Yenner and company at [www].guru-talk.com
Peter_Bampton: If you are wondering what these so-called "allegations of abuse"
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letsgetrealnow2010 11:21 AM on 12/27/2010
By all means read both Bill's and Peter's websites. And then notice how Peter's site only allows comments and posts from those who agree with him and his group, and how far the truth needs to be stretched to fit their version of events. It's pretty ridiculous coming from people who claim to only be interested only in the truth.
letsgetrealnow2010: By all means read both Bill's and Peter's websites. And
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Peter Bampton 05:34 AM on 1/02/2011
In fact the main reason why Guru Talk was created was because Yenner, and some other former students who have seen fit to publicly portray Andrew Cohen in such a distorted manner, refused to allow the other side of the story to be told by many other former students who witnessed the same events.
So yes the Guru Talk articles give a context for their critiques you won´t find Yenner and company wanting to acknowledge, and as for the truth, we ain´t stretching anything, it is as it is. Respectful critical comments are welcomed btw.
Peter_Bampton: In fact the main reason why Guru Talk was created
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massattack1994 02:50 PM on 1/07/2011
I don’t know too much about Andrew Cohen and all these so called “allegations of abuse”, but I must say, after checking out both William’s and Peter’s site, I really don’t understand what the fuss is all about. So what if he insulted a few post-modern egos by slapping a few students around, or poured a bucket of paint on some woman’s head, or “forced” people to give a bunch of money? Are we all such spiritual wimps that we can’t take a little ego downsizing? Besides, these students knew what they were getting themselves into when they joined Andrew’s group, and look how long they hung around! These whiners make me laugh. As any true spiritual aspirant knows, the real function of the guru is to insult you. I assume this also means hitting you and taking your money.
I can relate, because I’ve been in a similar situation where I had to smack my wife a few times. Now, I took no pleasure in doing it, and of course I didn’t hurt her, but she was being immature and selfish & I was forced to do it. I was helping her to see her flaws. In fact, if you ask her, she’ll tell you how much she needed it, and how it helped her out of the victimization she was stuck in. I keep telling her that she needs to learn to start pointing her finger at herself and her own shortcomings that lead to me smacking her.
massattack1994: I donâАЩt know too much about Andrew Cohen and all
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massattack1994 03:27 PM on 1/07/2011
(cont) I’m sure there are some people out there who would call this “abuse”, but if she was being abused, why would she still be with me after fifteen years? Besides, she’s completely free to leave whenever she wants to. No one is forcing her to do anything.
It’s all about context. My wife and I are trying to live according to a higher standard, and unless you’ve tried to do that, you have no idea how truly insidious one’s ego can be. Filtered through this standard, I ask you, do I really “abuse” my wife? Or is what I do rather outrageous acts of love intent on saving her soul by holding her to her stated intentions?
So much of the post-modern spiritual scene is all about “human sensitivity” and “respecting others.” It’s all a bunch of feel-good, PC nonsense! As Peter says, real gurus kicks ass! This is the new truth I’ve been waiting to hear from a REAL guru. And it seems that there are those out there who simply can’t hack it, so after they get smacked around a little bit and all their money gets taken away from them they respond from their bruised egos and attack the person who gave them everything. This is outrageous!
As Ken Wilbur says, new truth will always be attacked. So very, very true.
massattack1994: (cont) IâАЩm sure there are some people out there who
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Read the story:
It's a challenge to face the news of the day without occasionally experiencing anger, a sense of being overwhelmed, compassion fatigue or just plain old-fashioned burnout. And if you doubt that, just click from this article to Huffington's front page. Arguably, day in and day out, few people pay as close attention to the troubling news of our times as Arianna Huffington. As it turns out, the straight talk that has set the pace on The Huffington Post also has a personal side, as Arianna revealed this past weekend at "How to Co-Create A Spiritually Empowered Future," an afternoon event with Deepak Chopra and Andrew Cohen, which she moderated. Donna Karan, a long-time friend of all three, hosted the event, which was organized by Gerard Senehi, a "transformative philanthropist." (See photos from the event below.) "We're in a time of... MORE
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At Hillcrest's Espresso Roma Cafe, Lane confides, "The people who scare me are John-Roger's people, not Eckankar's."
John-Roger Hinkins, founder of the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (M.S.I.A., pronounced "Messiah") has gotten a lot of bad press lately. Last year former cult member Peter McWilliams published a scathing tell-all, Life 102: What to Do When Your Guru Sues You, November's Vanity Fair linked Arianna Huffington's allegiance to M.S.I.A. to her husband's unsuccessful Senate campaign, and the March issue of Playboyran a detailed exposé. But Lane had the jump on all of them when back in 1984 he wrote, The J.R. Controversy: A Critical Analysis of John-Roger Hinkins and M.S.I.A.
Lane pays for my coffee and his Coke, and we sit down at a small dark table. The walls are covered with Andrea Zuill's dramatically lit oil paintings of monstrous chalky-fleshed zombies. I imagine them as the tormented souls of all the cultists who have lost their faith because of Lane. "John-Roger was a follower of Eckankar," begins Lane.
"In '68 he was a 'convener,' which means he held ECK satsangs [classes] in his home in Rosemead, California. After a year or so, he branched off and started his own group, M.S.I.A., claiming that in 1963 he had a kidney stone operation and that after nine days of being in a coma he had been commissioned to be the Mystical Traveler Consciousness."
At first Hinkins thought it was the legendary Rebazar Tarzs who came to him on the inner planes and passed on the "keys" to the Kingdom, but, later, after seeing a photo of Radhasoami guru Sawan Singh, Hinkins decided that it was really Sawan Singh who had given him the mantleship.
Browsing in a bookstore, Lane stumbled upon one of John-Roger's books and noticed it was a "rip-off" of Eckankar. "You can imagine how I felt," exclaims Lane. "This was in '76 or '77, and I was twenty years old, so it's like All the President's Men.I wrote to him, and he wrote a real nice letter back, saying that we should get together and talk. This guy's pretty smart, because he knows that if he pays attention to me, that's a good way of buying me off, so he can spin-doctor my research. He invited me to his house in Mandeville Canyon, a beautiful house, a mansion....'
Read the rest here.