The Renaissance was a pivotal period in human history. It was a movement that bridged art, philosophy, literature and humanism in spurts of astounding inventiveness that can only be described as a quantum leap, a push of tremendous creative energy that took form in some of the greatest works of art ever know to the human species on this planet.
- That now is the time for a spiritual renaissance, a movement that will bridge art, spirituality and education with an inventiveness that supersedes what happened from the 14th to the 17th century in Europe.
- That it is here in the Americas, both north and south, that this is happening.
- That the US is the main laboratory for the spiritual prototypes of the next millennium to being fashioned for it is here that technology and ancient wisdom are converging in the most innovotive ways imaginable.
What began in India, China and the Middle East in the first Axial period culminated in Europe in the Middle Ages. Now it is America! And it does not leave out previous breakthroughs, but includes them.
About ten years ago, I wrote about this in the epilogue of my book Jesus in the Lotus. Now, I am inviting my students to converge in Austin, Texas to explore what this means for us. It is a critical moment. As we stand poised on the brink of nuclear war along with the high probability that life, as we have known it for so many billions of years, may be drastically altered in any given moment, the spiritual traditions of the world remain too divided to offer any meaningful solution to our metanoia, our change of heart that can turn this process around.
But that is precisely the point. We need new spiritual prototypes that draw from the various traditions of the world in a way that is neither exclusive nor superficial. The tensions in our world offer us the eye of the needle that we must pass through, not as individuals, but as a collective. And we are, above all, a community of being, a collection of soul energies. We are not mere mortals prone to death and decay but sparks of an eternal flame that needs to be roused into a roaring fire that can burn our collective illusions of separation and small mindedness.
Just as, as a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed the innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, the spiritual renaissance of our time will encompass the integration of Yoga and ancient Sanskrit mantras with the positive psychology and powerful visualization techniques of the New Thought movement of our times. The music of this renainssance is kirtan, the carrier wave of a new consciousness. And the reinvention of speech will include mantras. In other words, that we will rediscover “sacred speech”.
There are three powerful systems that I have been involved with over the past three decades that offer phenomenal platforms for the revisioning of human spirituality.
1) THE YOGA OF SOUND: The first is the Yoga of Sound. While this path includes music and kirtan (call-and-response chanting) to a degree, there is so much more to it. The rediscovery of sacred speech, for instance is crucial. The reinstatement of the divine feminine is also very important. This means learning to listen, more specifically to learn to listen with a quiet and receptive mind that is not busy analyzing what it is hearing.
2) THE SECRET LIFE: Second, there is “The Secret Life”. This deep, inner process involves going beyond meditation. Unfortunately, so many people are stuck in the techniques of meditation practice. As a result they are not discovering Divinity as a presence that is alive. Meditation is so often about learning to control the mind instead of learning how to surrender it in love. Our typical methods of meditation are most often skills to develop instead of being a vocabulary that fosters a deeper relationship with the Divine. This short shrifts our spiritual awakening.
3) THE TANTRIC PATH: Finally, there is the Tantric Path. Unfortunately, the beautiful word “Tantra” has been hijacked in the west to mean only one thing: sacred sex. While Tantra is indeed about intimacy that, to a degree, embraces our sexuality; traditionally, it is not about human to human sexual intimacy. This is why the western usage of the word Tantra has distorted its deeper meaning. Tantra is about the human to divine intimacy. It certainly involves our sexuality, but as a means to engage with the invisible rather than the visible. It requires a more involved and substantially deeper approach to this path.
If all this intrigues you, join us in Austin, Texas this November for three, power-packed days that will explore the Spiritual Renaissance of our times. Appropriately, it will take place at the Renaissance Hotel in central Austin. We have a number of different packages, some of which allow you to get all three days of this retreat absolutely free. You can also engage the process online from anywhere in the world. Ideally, we recommend combining the two, which is why the retreat becomes free when you enroll for related online programs!