with Apollo Grace, core-light.com

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Self-Evolving Students and the new Awakening

There’s a major shift happening in the nature of spiritual development right now. What I see in workshops I attend, in workshops I lead, and in my own experience as a seeker, is that students of awakening are taking more responsibility for the shape of their own growth and evolution. This has led to an appropriate change from rigid teacher/student hierarchies to a community of equals. Collectively, we are emerging into a new level of autonomy.

We don't need to project our deepest gifts on to others; we know that if we can’t find awakening in our own heart, we won’t find it anywhere else. And yet, teachers and coaches are still extremely useful; there are skills, techniques, perspectives, and information that we can get from others that can advance our journey. So we direct our growth by choosing the influences we see as helpful.

In schools – in the workshops, the retreats, the tele-courses and intensives that make up the collective experience of spiritual seeking - we find students arriving with greater and greater sophistication. Spiritual teachers and facilitators in schools everywhere are realizing they need to up their game if they’re going to have a hope of keeping up with the amazing students coming in. We are also refining the use of hierarchy. We need a functional hierarchy, where for this class, one of us is facilitator, and the others are participants; it serves our common purpose to drop in to those roles as deeply as we can. But we need to recognize that this functional hierarchy is based on a more fundamental equality; I’m not teaching you because I’m better than you in any fundamental respect, simply because I have skills or perspectives that are useful to your growth right now. Perhaps next time, you’ll be the teacher and I’ll get to be the student.

This demands great responsibility from each of us, as we steer ourselves past ego to find the deepest truth. But where it takes us is tremendously exciting. It creates the conditions where we can begin to answer the big question for the next phase of human evolution: What is the nature of group awakening? What happens when the spiritual awakening properties of deep truth, bliss, and compassion begin to emerge in small groups? What emerges in that group consciousness that's different from individual consciousness? Such a question can only be answered by a group of self-directed spiritual equals.


If you're a man feeling called to develop your skills around relationship and intimacy, join Ed Fell and myself on Maui, January 18-20, 2013, for a journey into "The Authentic Lover".