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Tag: "spiritual revolution"

11 Days at the Edge (Think About This #66)

by Megan Cater

11 Days at the EdgeMany of us at EnlightenNext are now on our way to Italy for the first “Being and Becoming” retreat lead by EnlightenNext founder and spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen. It is difficult to convey the transformative experience of such a retreat–the consuming bliss of meditative stillness coupled with the thrill of evolving consciousness–but California author Michael Wombacher’s compelling account of a 2005 retreat in Spain, 11 Days at the Edge, does just that: Continue reading…

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Vimala Thakar: Liberation Beyond Gender

by Elizabeth Debold

Vimala ThakarWhy don’t we know more about Vimala Thakar? I’ve just written a memoriam for our next issue about Vimala, a fiercely independent enlightened sage who pioneered a truly integrated form of inner and outer transformation, and the more I think about who she was and what she stands for, the more strange it becomes that she is so little known. There was almost no mention in the Western press that Vimala had passed away at her home in Rajasthan in March. In fact, even in her native India, the details of her passing were scarce. How could the world have missed the fact that perhaps the most spiritually enlightened woman on the planet had passed away? You would think, given the popularity of women’s spirituality, that she would be a well-known and widely revered figure, particularly among women. But she isn’t, which I think speaks volumes about us, as postmodern women, and how our preoccupation with ideas of the feminine and masculine can blind us to the truly revolutionary. Because Vimala Thakar courageously took an evolutionary leap beyond identification with being a woman and opened a whole new path for us all beyond gender as we know it. The question that comes to me is: why aren’t we following in her footsteps?

First, some background. Born in 1923 to a middle-class Brahmin family, Vimala had a powerful pull toward God or the Divine from a very early age. At the age of five, she ran away into the forest, calling and calling for God to come to her, because she had heard that God was in nature. (A friend of her father’s found her and dragged her back home, kicking and screaming.) Her father was an unusual man—a member of the Indian Rationalist Society who rejected Hinduism and the caste system—noted his daughter’s spiritual desire and encouraged her by giving her teachings from all of the religious traditions. Admonished by her father to find the Truth for herself, Vimala passionately pursued ultimate freedom, spending time in a cave in the Himalayas for months at the age of nineteen until she finally had a breakthrough in which “consciousness where there is no ‘I-ness,’ no sense of ‘me-ness’” began to pierce through her. Continue reading…

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