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The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom

A multimedia e-book exploration of the Seven Pillars process



CD: The Seven Pillars Soundscape


Music and meditations to take you on the Seven Pillars Journey

 
Seven Pillars

Articles

An Invitation from the Board of Trustees

Darakshan, Shahana, Halima and Robert
December 12, 2016

Greetings dear friends -- Every day we hear in the news that we are a country and culture riddled with division.  We are admonished that we are living in a time of unfettered and historic divisiveness. We are told that we are separated by politics, religion, race, gender, nation and generation. Yet, how can we recognize divisiveness if we have not known and experienced its counterpoint - unity?  With every story of hate, we can find one of love, kindness and compassion.

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Belonging to Life

Robin Becker
December 12, 2016

"Throughout my life I have been drawn to contemplation, meditation and movement.  As a child, my love of movement carried me into the world of dance, where I have developed and worked as a dancer and choreographer for many decades.  If you had met me as a five year old child, and asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have responded with full confidence that I planned on being a dancer and a nurse.  I never became a nurse. However, a fundamental interest in healing, and serving the larger world shaped and guided my journey over the years."

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Liberation Metaphysics

Zachary Markwith
December 12, 2016

"Liberation Metaphysics" is an unpublished volume of prose and poetry that I sent to a few colleagues and friends, including Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, who kindly expressed interest and encouraged me to share a few excerpts with readers of Seven Pillars. It is hardly a systematic expression of liberation or metaphysics, but it came from the heart in moments of reflection and inspiration.

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The Heart of Violence

Shams Kairys
June 21, 2016

Seven Pillars' submission guidelines say: "We especially welcome pieces that address issues of the day (environment, terrorism/war/violence, inequality, religion and tolerance, etc.) from a wisdom perspective." The articles and poem included in this update are amongst the grittiest we have yet published, each touching on the anguish at the core of violence with heartbreaking yet uplifting insight and beauty.

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Excerpt from “American Icarus: A Memoir of Father and Country”

Pythia Peay

June 21, 2016

The following excerpt describes my research into my father’s service during World War II as an airman for the Army Air Force Air Transport Command—a massive operation that supplied the troops abroad with ammunition, medicine, bombs, and money, and that ferried German prisoners and wounded soldiers—and how learning about this period in his life changed my perception of him and his wartime service.

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A Poem from “Monsoon Blues”

Elijah Imlay
June 21, 2016

I located a close friend, Jim Birdsall, nicknamed “Bird,” 25 years after the end of the war in Vietnam. He had the same nightmare every night until we reconnected. He wrote about them and asked me to turn them into a poem, out of which came healing and forgiveness. Here is the poem...

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Excerpts from “The Alchemy of Combat”

Larry Decker
June 21, 2016

Our goal, as therapists, is to help veterans expand their belief systems, through the construction of an ideal self, to integrate the traumatic information of combat and discover new inspiration. Combat changed how veterans perceive the world. As a result of combat, veterans have new information regarding life’s possibilities and actualities. However, their belief systems often aren’t able to integrate the information. The new knowledge is too big; it won’t fit into their existing ways of understanding.

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Excerpts from “BOY: A Woman Listening to Men and Boys”

Hathaway Barry
June 21, 2016

Everywhere I go now, I see men differently. I have loved and appreciated and felt exasperated by men in many ways —father, brothers, relatives, playmates, friends, lovers, mentors, colleagues, husband, ex-husband, son, long-term partners. I know the goodness of men. And yet, after more than a half century of living with them, I realize I am still mystified by much of their behavior.

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Does the Universe have an Inner Life?

W.H.S. Gebel
February 10, 2016

According to Sir Arthur Eddington, a prominent astronomer who confirmed Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, 1927 was the year when it became possible to reconcile science and religion. It was the year of the Solvay Conference in Belgium where leading scientists met to discuss the newly emerging field of quantum mechanics. In marking that year as a milestone, Eddington was referring to the replacement of the strict determinism of classical physics by the indeterminacy implied by the uncertainty principle inherent in quantum physics.

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Spiritual Principles in Action

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
February 10, 2016

I grew up in an England still dreary in the post-war years. Rationing only ended the year I was born. In my childhood there was religion but no spirituality. I went to church every Sunday, sang hymns and recited prayers. But nowhere was there the suggestion of spiritual states of consciousness. Spiritual bookstores did not exist. Christian mystical writings were present but just as historical texts rather than experiences to be lived. It was a grey world aspiring to middle-class materialism—a TV, a washing machine, even a car! Then in the mid- to late-sixties, another color entered the spectrum.

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Happy Holidays & Your FREE Gift

December 15, 2015

Like you, we at Seven Pillars House of Wisdom share a deep concern for the future of humanity and the life forms of this planet. As we approach the end of 2015, we see signs of progress in the agreement in Paris on climate change. Yet acts of terrorism, racism, fear and calls for exclusion continue, challenging us to act from wisdom. Our hearts are moved. The issues that speak to us most deeply invite us to respond, to take one step toward new possibilities.

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Spiritual Inquiry, Part Two

Sirr al-Basir/Lee Irwin
November 4, 2015

In my first reflections on this subject, I explored the aspects of spiritual inquiry that are most immediately of concern, primarily in our relationship with others in the context of our developing global world. Now I want to explore those aspects of inquiry that are perhaps less obvious but equally important. In our encounters with others, we discover our differences and learn to negotiate those differences in mutually respectful ways. However, self-inquiry requires us to turn inward toward unexplored depths where certainty is less clear, and at times, painfully absent. There is a very profound reason for this absence, which will be revealed if we are courageous enough to fully acknowledge our own lack of insight or understanding, and to recognize our own limits.

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What is Possible When People of Faith Work Together?

Deborah Rabia Povich
October 14, 2015

Three Seven Pillars board members will journey to the Parliament of the World’s Religions taking place in Salt Lake City from October 15-19. We will join 10,000 people from 80 nations and 50 faiths to celebrate the ways our faith traditions can build bridges across divides of enmity, and to collaborate on actions that promote peace and heal and sustain the planet. The theme of the gathering is “Reclaiming the Heart of Humanity, Working Together for a World of Compassion, Peace, Justice and Sustainability.”

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From Vision to Action: How We Can Fulfill Our Call to Higher Service

Christina Sophia Stellarum
October 14, 2015

"God: Please Use Me. Let me be an Instrument. Let my Life be for Something. Reveal my purpose to me!" I found myself down on my knees, uttering one of the deepest, most treasured prayers of the human soul. And I refused to get up until I had an answer. You see, I was on a quest...

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The Gift of the Call

Christopher Bamford
August 25, 2015

The call comes gradually, or so it seems. We must be called over and over until we hear its whisperings. Then we begin to notice, we begin to respond. Unconsciously, hesitantly, we start to listen. Incrementally, our response deepens. Finally, we realize that call and caller are one in life lived in obedience to the gift of the call; that we ourselves are the call. We come to recognize that we were called from the beginning, "from the foundation of the world," as St. Paul says. Yet, looking back, we cannot remember a "first" call.

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The Source of Beauty

As told by Netanel Miles-Yépez
August 25, 2015

Long ago, in a forgotten sultanate of the east, there was a group of young men who used to hang out in the "suq," the open market near the gates of the palace. These were young men who hadn’t yet found their way—some of them not even sure that they wanted to find a way—so they hung out in the "suq," gambling and joking with each other, and when necessary, getting an odd job to earn enough to buy a little food and gamble with later that night. One day, as they were sitting near the gates of the palace, a little bored with the usual fare and with each other, one of them who was most bored noticed a sedan chair—the kind used for carrying the women of the court through the marketplace—approaching the gates.

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Discover Living Wisdom…Inquire Within

"The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom" e-book is Now Available on iTunes, Kindle and More
July 29, 2015

When the Seven Pillars House of Wisdom team asked me to help promote a contemplative toolkit for the social and ecological needs of our time, I realized that nothing matters more than people having a way to consider the world. Throughout the ages, the wise have left clues about wisdom telling us that if properly considered, contemplative questions could produce realizations that transform the world.

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Becoming What You Gaze Upon

Naomi Rose
June 29, 2015

I have heard the phrase said in spiritual circles, “God is not our parents.” This I have understood as meaning that the full, nothing-withheld devotion and trust we give to our parents when we are born not only gives to them the power of God (when in reality they are “only human”), but also sees in them the God they cannot at that time see, or remember, in themselves. And also that God is much, much more than this.

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Supplication


Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
June 29, 2015

"As a form of prayer, supplication involves sifting through variegated impulses to find our true desires. The intensity of focused feeling that is the mark of meaningful prayer endows desire with a powerful magnetism. Thoughts take wing and fly toward their destination. The desires that are discovered, articulated and empowered in prayer become extensions of God's own desire. When we bear our heart in supplication, we know that we are heard, and that a response will reach us—though it may not be the response we expect." – from "The Prayers of Hazrat Inayat Khan" by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan. Within this offering, you will find a prayer of supplication created by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan.

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For the Love of All Created by Thee

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
June 29, 2015

Within, you will find a short video from Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee telling the story of a miraculous gift of a prayer found in the foothills of the Himalayas.

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Bowl of Soul

J. Ruth Gendler
April 29, 2015

For years I have been inspired by images of the body as a vessel, an earthenware pot filled with varying qualities, elements, and energies, the bowl of soul. It is an image with echoes from many ancient cultures. Soetsu Yanagi, who pioneered a movement to appreciate the crafts of everyday life in twentieth-century Japan, emphasized the beauty of the natural, genuine, and simple.

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Sacred Ecstasy

Yuval Ron
April 29, 2015

I could hear the seagulls’ calls and smell the salty air of the Sea of Marmara from the small café by the grand Blue Mosque of Istanbul. An old man pushed a cart loaded with freshly baked round bread covered with sesame seeds. I felt at home. It was a beautiful warm day in early June 2011, and I was getting ready to start a Peace Mission tour of Turkey.

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Sacred Geography Gallery Series

Paul Devereux
April 29, 2015

GALLERY THREE: PONY HILLS SHAMANIC LANDSCAPE :: In this 5-part series of galleries, we will look at a range of sacred geographies, the mindscapes of past times that can still speak to our souls. The power of sacred place. (Image: Paul Devereux.)

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Join the Campaign to Revivify Wisdom

Wendy Jehanara Tremayne
April 7, 2015

You're Invited . . . Though I am just now introducing myself to you, it is my hope that we’ll soon know one another well. We have a common wish – wisdom in our time. To this end, Seven Pillars House of Wisdom has created a multimedia workbook titled *The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom,* that I signed on to promote far and wide.

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Initiatory Rites

Carolyn North
March 9, 2015

Standing there on that hillside, I knew this could not be a burial site but was probably an ancient place of initiation. The ‘feel’ was of life, not death. As I come from a culture that does not prepare its young for enlightened adulthood with initiation rituals, I wondered if perhaps I’d been called to Brittany to do my own version. Otherwise how explain the undeniable pull that had brought me across a continent and an ocean to climb this particular hill to this ancient pile of stones?

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Heaven Is Not a Zip Code

Omid Safi
March 9, 2015

What if we have gotten Heaven all wrong? Many Christians, Muslims, and some Buddhists imagine a heavenly place as an eternal reward for the faithful. While this 'place' is often described as a garden of serenity and tranquility, we often see many faithful arguing about who can and cannot have access to this place in ways that are in no way serene and tranquil. Not only do we argue about the place, we also argue about who can get in, and who is locked out. What if we have it all wrong?

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Spiritual Inquiry

Sirr al-Basir / Lee Irwin
December 31, 2014

One challenge in spiritual development is finding a path, a dedicated way through a thicket of possibilities in a social context of pluralism and remarkable diversity. Such a path is a combination of beliefs, practices, and personal relationships that lead to a meaningful way of life, one that fully supports one’s deepest values and desires.

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Listening to the Hidden Heart of Seeds

Angela Fischer
December 31, 2014

Initiated by physicist and environmental leader Vandana Shiva, and compiled and edited by The Global Peace Initiative of Women, Sacred Seed offers contemplative essays from 34 spiritual leaders and practitioners on the sanctity of the seed. "Every seed carries a secret. We will never come to fully know this secret, because it belongs to the mystery of creation. Yet we can learn again what hundreds of generations did before us, namely to live with the secrets, to use them as gifts, and to honour them as a source of life on this planet."

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Inviting Your Participation in the New Year

Rabia Povich
December 31, 2014

As we move into a new year, I want to express deep gratitude for the many people who have brought Seven Pillars to this stage. Thanks go to the people who have generously offered their time and talents to build bridges and establish partnerships to support our collective exploration about the meaning of wisdom in our time. Thanks to all those who have facilitated conversations, written articles, offered artwork, attended gatherings and made financial contributions.

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The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom multimedia e-book

October 22, 2014

AVAILABLE NOW :: Our groundbreaking eBook, "The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom," has been officially released in the iTunes Bookstore and on Amazon! Inspired by the revolutionary illuminated manuscripts of the 5th and 6th centuries, this cutting edge, "multi-touch" eBook not only combines text and image, but also original music, narration, video, and graphical animation.


 

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Coming Soon!

“A Multimedia Odyssey of Discovery"
October 20, 2014

Our forthcoming eBook, *The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom* is in the final stages of development and will be coming soon to iTunes! Our multitouch electronic book leads readers on a multimedia journey toward wisdom through audio, video, text, imagery and animation that has been designed specifically for the eBook! Stay tuned!

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The Power of Community

Thank You for Supporting Seven Pillars!
August 8, 2014

Our eBook campaign on Indiegogo closed at 11:59pm Pacific time last night, having raised $8800 from 140 donors! In addition, we have received some donations via mail over the past few weeks. These additional gifts bring our total to approximately $9500. Wow! Thank you so much to each and every one of you who showed your support by making a donation!

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ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT!

Please help us reach our goal!
August 5, 2014

Seven Pillars' Laurie Lane-Zucker and Corin Lee Girard, aided by a great (and furry) poet, provide a video update on our "21st Century Illuminated e-Manuscript" indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, now in its final days. Please watch and share today!

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29 Voices of the eBook

Meet the Editorial Team & Contributors
August 4, 2014

To help give you a sense of the expertise that has been tapped to execute this extraordinary project, we would like to tell you a little about some of the members of the Editorial Team and other luminaries who have helped bring our "illuminated e-Manuscript" to life. Whether it be contributing to the eBook text, creating original music, laboring over the graphical animations or engineering the overall eBook design, these individuals are worthy of your support!

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What does it mean to be an “eBook Angel?”

Add your name to this growing list!
July 31, 2014

Here in the office, we are calling campaign donors our "eBook Angels." We believe that eBook Angels are wisdom seekers and mystics at heart. They find the intersection of science and spirituality ripe for discovery. They care deeply about initiatives that support the global family, and are the first to offer a smile, a kind word and a pledge of support when they believe in something. These are the change-makers of the world! Will you add your name to this growing list and let us honor you by featuring your name on the Donors page of the eBook?

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Astounding *New* Audio Soundscape for You!

Receive an exclusive download!
July 17, 2014

We are thrilled to announce the forthcoming release of an astounding, new half-hour audio production, entitled *The Seven Pillars Soundscape: A Contemplative Journey Toward Wisdom* -- featuring lyrics from our upcoming Seven Pillars eBook text, narration by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, music by Kane Mathis and vocals by Bisan Toron. For a limited time, receive an exclusive, pre-release download of the full soundtrack by supporting our eBook Indiegogo campaign with a donation of $10 or more. Experience the captivating, mystical soundscape of The Seven Pillars through this truly extraordinary, original audio journey!

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*UPDATED:* Introducing the “Illuminated e-Manuscript!”

Support Seven Pillars' New Crowdfunding Campaign!
July 14, 2014

Over the past year, Seven Pillars has been working on a major new project: *A Groundbreaking Multimedia Electronic Book!* Inspired by the revolutionary illuminated manuscripts of the 5th and 6th centuries, this cutting edge, "multi-touch" eBook not only combines text and image, but also music, video and graphic animation. We are excited to announce the launch of a new crowdfunding campaign that seeks to raise $15,000 in 45 days. We need your support to bring this extraordinary book into the world!

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Corin Says: “I want to make a paper crane for you!”

*From Now Until Sunday*
July 10, 2014

Corin Girard tells about her inspiration for making paper cranes, the subject of our new perk for The Seven Pillars Illuminated e-Manuscript crowdfunding campaign. Want a handmade paper crane? All campaign donors between now and Sunday at midnight (11:59pm on 7/13/14) will receive a handmade crane as a thank you! As a bonus, each crane will contain a hidden, handwritten wish that you can choose to uncover by unfolding the crane...or leave in mystery.

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PRESS RELEASE: Seven Pillars Launches Indiegogo Campaign

For Groundbreaking “Illuminated e-Manuscript” Project
June 23, 2014

New Lebanon, New York — June 23, 2014 — During the Fifth and Sixth Centuries A.D., books appeared for the first time that merged writing with imagery. This revolution in publishing created an entirely new reading experience, stimulating different parts of the reader’s brain. No wonder, then, that the “illuminated manuscript,” as it came to be called, became the preferred vehicle for books with deep wisdom and spiritual content.

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Lay Down Your Vow

Our New Theme Song by Yuval Ron
June 11, 2014

This evokotive theme song is a beautiful, musical representation of The Seven Pillars, which was created by Yuval Ron and a team of musicians for the forthcoming Seven Pillars eBook, titled The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom.

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Announcing Wisdom Weekends & Salons

Summer, Autumn & Winter
June 3, 2014

We are pleased to announce our upcoming slate of Wisdom Weekends and Wisdom Salons for summer and autumn 2014 and winter 2014/2015. We hope you will join us for one or more of these exciting events, to be hosted and facilitated by extraordinary members of our Wisdom Council and extended community. The Wisdom Weekend has early bird registration pricing available, so consider taking advantage of this opportunity to explore and grow with us!

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Creativity Unleashed

e-Notebook: March 2014
March 24, 2014

In this comprehensive web feature we explore *Creative Expression,* one of Seven Pillars' three Pathways. Within, you will find pieces by Tobin Hart, Denise Boston and Lee Irwin. Also included is a rich multimedia presentation highlighting how the performing arts community in Los Angeles has imaginatively explored the process of The Seven Pillars. Lastly, we are delighted to announce the first of a series of weekend programs that explore The Seven Pillars at the Abode conference center in New Lebanon, New York this summer.

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Song of Creation

Tobin Hart
March 18, 2014

The drive to express ourselves, to create in the world, is an innate need like beauty, love, and the search for truth. It seems almost biological, like the need for food and water. In the Nazi concentration camps of World War II, deprived of nearly every- thing, many prisoners composed songs, wrote poetry, and even found ways to paint. A concentration camp survivor himself, Victor Frankl suggested that these were meaning-making activities but ones that were not so much consciously planned as spontaneous outpourings from that deep current, that creative impulse.

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Expressive Arts Therapy

Denise Boston
March 17, 2014

As a little girl growing up in Baltimore, MD, I loved using dance, music, reading, and dramatic play to express myself.  At the age of twelve, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Bedridden with my knees filled with fluid, swollen, and painful to touch, I spent months in the hospital unable to be the energetic and vibrant child I was known to be. What I owe my recovery to was a supportive family and community, and my creative resources. I used movement and dance as my physical therapy to strengthen my inflamed limbs; and music to heal the sad places deep inside.

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Creativity and Love

Lee Irwin (Sirr al-Basir)
March 16, 2014

What is the relationship between love and creativity? Why is creativity important in our relationships with others? How is love a source of inspiration for creative action? In my view, each person is a creative center...whose health and well-being depends upon meaningful relationships with others. Further, our health as individuals depends upon our abilities to relate to others in a context of wholeness, a wholeness that includes our living relationship to nature and other beings, be they humans, animals, plants, angels or spirits.

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Exploring Pillar Two: The Living Universe

January 7, 2014

On Tuesday, January 14th, Seven Pillars, in partnership with the Sufi Order International, hosted a special screening of the award-winning documentary, Journey of the Universe, followed by a conversation between Guiding Voice and guest Sister Miriam MacGillis & Seven Pillars' Founder and Sufi teacher Pir Zia Inayat-Khan.

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2013 Season of Giving

Support Seven Pillars Today
December 18, 2013

While there exist a number of holistic, social transformation organizations that feature a core of spiritual inquiry scattered around North America, Seven Pillars is distinguished for having over the past several years painstakingly developed a potent framework and methodology for such “change-making.” This past year we have launched The Seven Pillars Process, as well as The Seven Pillars Pathways. This giving season, I am writing to ask for your year-end support toward the work of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom. Please give generously today. Every donation, regardless of size, provides us with extremely valuable financial and moral support.

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Bless This Food

Adrian Butash
November 27, 2013

Food blessings provide a window to the profound spirituality that we all share and that connects us to all humankind, nature, and the infinite. Saying a blessing before a meal can bring us closer to our brothers and sisters, parents and friends. Asking a friend to choose and recite a food blessing is a wonderful way to welcome that person into your family setting. The occasional gathering for prayer, no matter how brief, keeps the heart and mind in touch with the most fundamental of joys: belonging.

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Gould Farm Cookbook Recipes

A Hundred Years of Good Food
November 27, 2013

Gould Farm Cookbook Recipes

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Agriculture and the Sacred

Robert Karp
November 27, 2013

In ancient times agriculture was intimately connected with the sacred. We find evidence of this in a host of texts and in many traditions which survive to this day. We know, for example, that for the indigenous people on the American continent, the corn plant is believed to have come into being through a long process of cooperation between human beings and the gods, and to grow corn is still a sacred activity for many Native American people today.

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Sacred Harvest

e-Notebook: November 2013
November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! Are there two words more welcoming and heartfelt? In this edition, we take a look at what really lies at the core of this holiday with an exceprt from "Bless this Food: Ancient & Contemporary Graces from Around the World," a gallery of recipes from "Grould Farm Cookbook & Recipes: A Hundred Years of Good Food" and an article by Robert Karp titled "Agriculture and the Sacred." We would also like to invite you to Seven Pillars Holiday Open House!

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Soldier of the Stage

e-Notebook: October 2013
October 2, 2013

This special multimedia feature explores Robin Becker Dance troupe's commitment to peace and spiritual activism through the universal language of dance in their expressive piece, titled "Into Sunlight." Within, you will find an exclusive interview with dancer and choreographer Robin Becker, a video interview produced for Seven Pillars with the dancers of "Into Sunlight," inspirations for the production and an evokotive gallery of images from the performance. See the performance schedule inside, and join Seven Pillars staff and Board at the upcoming show. Also, only 5 days left to support Seven Pillars Journey fo Wisdom!

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An Exclusive Seven Pillars Interview with Robin Becker

The inside story of her powerful dance piece "Into Sunlight"
October 1, 2013

Recently, Seven Pillars’ Laurie Lane-Zucker and Corin Girard sat down with dancer and choreographer Robin Becker to discuss her original production, "Into Sunlight." In the interview, Robin spoke of what inspired her to create this poignant work, the "chaos theory" behind her artistic process, the company's upcoming New York City performances and the creation of an eagerly anticipated documentary film based on the production.

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From Battlefield to Stage

Inspirations for Robin Becker Dance's "Into Sunlight"
October 1, 2013

When I read They Marched Into Sunlight, David Maraniss' powerful book on the Vietnam War, I immediately responded to the timelessness and universality of the themes and events he documented. I was deeply moved by the integrity, honor and commitment of both those who fought the war, and those who fought against it. I embarked upon the creation of this dance, Into Sunlight, hoping that the universal language of the body would reflect and offer the same sense of healing that David's words evoked in me. ~ Robin Becker, Artistic Director

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The Seven Pillars in 3D!

Please support Seven Pillars' first crowdfunding campaign!
September 9, 2013

Introducing the "transformance:" An immersive, multimedia experience that connects us with our own living wisdom, and with one another. We want to share this journey far and wide. With your support, our first full-scale transformance will launch in October in the Vortex Immersion Dome in Los Angeles, California.

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Pathways to Wisdom

e-Notebook: July 2013
July 3, 2013

In this edition, we begin an exploration of the paths to wisdom, inspired by our recently launched Pathways. We invite you to experience a "snip" of Wendy Jehanara Tremayne's creative life as "a maker of things;" bear witness to Winona LaDuke's passionate invocation of the spiritual "presence" within, and ongoing imperialistic threat to, sacred places; and drink in Lee Irwin's soulful meditation on heart-centered conversation.

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A Maker of Things

Wendy Jehanara Tremayne
July 3, 2013

In 2006 I quit my career job, left New York City, and headed to rural New Mexico to discover a life less reliant on money. I wanted to become a maker of things instead of a buyer of things. As in most escapades, I advanced step-by-step. Curiously I lifted veil after veil, allowing myself to be shape-shifted by the journey’s demands. I became the maker of things I imagined I could be while still living in Brooklyn.

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In the Time of the Sacred Places

Winona LaDuke
July 3, 2013

In the time of Thunderbeings and Underwater Serpents, the humans, animals, and plants conversed and carried on lives of mischief, wonder, and mundane tasks. The prophets told of times ahead, explained the causes of the deluge of past, and predicted the two paths of the future: one scorched and one green, one of which the Anishinaabeg would have to choose.

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Heartfelt Dialogue

Lee Irwin (Sirr al-Basir)
July 3, 2013

The mystery of heartfelt dialogue, of truly heart-centered conversation, is discovered in the inflow of presence and in a willingness to uncover the desires of the heart, as inspired by an atmosphere of loving concern. As a process of discovery, such dialogue is energized by patience and receptivity to what arises spontaneously and genuinely from the heart.

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What Change Looks Like

e-Notebook: May 2013
May 20, 2013

Seven Pillars would like to bring our community's attention to the inspiring new documentary film, "Elemental." Global Oneness Project, the producers of this film, use the printed word, video and photography to explore the threads that connect culture, ecology, and beauty. "Elemental," which is now showing in select major cities, is a poignant expression of this mission and its connection to transformative change. Inside this edition you will find an exclusive interview with Co-Director, Co-Producer and Co-Composer, Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee and a gallery of images from the filming and production.

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Elemental

An Exclusive Interview with Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
May 15, 2013

In this exclusive interview with Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, the Co-Director, Co-Producer and Co-Composer of the documentary Elemental, we explore the persistence of hope and other questions relating to the creation, filming and mission of the film.

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Finding Purpose in Spirituality

e-Notebook: May 2013
May 8, 2013

This meaningful web feature includes a dialogue between Zachary Markwith and Adam Bucko on the role of religion in modern time, icons of compassion and service by Br. Robert Lentz, the prologue of Adam Bucko and Rory McEntee's manifesto on New Monasticism and a gallery of images from Reciprocity Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by Taz Tagore and Adam Bucko to help homeless, runaway, and foster care youth from all five boroughs of New York City to realize their full potential.

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One Path, Many Paths

Adam Bucko and Zachary Markwith
May 7, 2013

Seven Pillars’ founder and board member, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, recently sent a letter to Adam Bucko and Zachary Markwith, two individuals with “a deep sense of the sacred, but…quite different approaches to religion and tradition,” inviting them to participate in a dialogue about the relationship between religion and spirituality. Pir Zia was inspired to send the invitation after reading the recently published manifesto, “New Monasticism,” written by Rory McEntee and Adam Bucko. Both Adam and Zachary embraced the opportunity to discuss this question and the first installment of their correspondence is published herein.

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New Monasticism

Adam Bucko & Rory McEntee
May 7, 2013

“We assert that new monasticism names an impulse that is trying to incarnate itself in the new generation. It is beyond the borders of any particular religious institution, yet drinks deeply from the wells of our wisdom traditions. It is an urge which speaks to a profoundly contemplative life, to the formation of small communities of friends, to sacred activism and to discovering together the unique calling of every person and every community.”

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My God Lives on the Street

Adam Bucko
May 7, 2013

It’s nighttime. I am walking outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal, that depressing brick behemoth on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue that is the main hub for buses arriving to and departing from New York City. I am looking for homeless kids, trying to spot new arrivals who might still be hanging out, unsure of where to go.  I want to reach them to offer help before they disappear into the Manhattan sinkhole. But I am not the only one looking for them.

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“The Seven Pillars” Come Alive

e-Notebook: April 2013
April 16, 2013

It is officially spring in the northeast, and this is the time of year when we awaken to new life! In that vein, "The Seven Pillars" are coming to life in many exciting ways. Within this intallment you will find an update on Seven Pillars, an evocative visual exploration of "The Seven Pillars" by Said Osio, a gallery of images from our recent Pillars of Sophia Benefit Concert in New York City and a letter of gratitude from friend and Benefit attendee Lori Hanau. You will also find a comprehensive list of our upcoming events.

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Our “Something Extra”

Laurie Lane-Zucker
April 15, 2013

Spring has nearly sprung here in New Lebanon, New York. It is a time of year when we awaken to the blossoming of new life. It also offers an opportunity to take a fresh look at the challenges we face on the path ahead. Often, when one begins to experience the aural tingling of migratory birdsong, the visual enticement of budding greens, and the caress of sunlight infused with first warmth along the nape of the neck, it can be jarring, indeed despairing, to be reminded of life’s requisite loss and pain. Its unbearable lightness of being.

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A Letter of Gratitude

Lori Hanau
April 11, 2013

In early January, I was invited to a Benefit Concert to support Seven Pillars House of Wisdom. As soon as I opened the beautiful invitation at my mailbox, I felt a strong, clear call to show up.  When I walked through the loft door and entered the Benefit on January 30, 2013, I became even more connected to a deep sense of honor and gratitude for being there.

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Following the Old Indian Path

Laurie Lane-Zucker
December 19, 2012

Several months ago, on an exquisite early autumn morning, I dropped my children at the school bus before beginning my first commute to the Seven Pillars House of Wisdom’s office in New Lebanon, NY, where I had recently accepted a staff position. As they crossed the parking lot, I watched closely to make sure they were being wary of the other cars, and that those drivers were wary of them. Trailing his twin siblings, my youngest turned back, waved and smiled before he disappeared up the bus’s first step.

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Sacred Investing

Charles Eisenstein
December 19, 2012

In a sacred economy, investment has a meaning nearly opposite of what it means today. Today, investing is what people do to preserve or increase their wealth. In a sacred economy, it is what we do to share our wealth. Excess wealth, whether inherited from family or from an earlier time in one’s own life, is a dharma, a call to service. To squander it on baubles, to give it away senselessly, or to devote oneself to its increase are all ways of refusing that call.

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Reflections on the NYC Peacewalk

Jack Kornfield
December 19, 2012

On a misty Sunday afternoon, Central Park became a temple of Peace for the many hundreds who joined or observed the NY Silent Peacewalk in support of peace in the Middle East. There were intermittent soft showers, the smell of autumn leaves, lovers holding hands, homeless people on park benches, and beside them a stream of nearby traffic and taxis. In the midst of it all we walked as peacewalkers carrying a palpable, reverent, dignified and joyful silence.

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Poetic Offerings

William Irwin Thompson
December 19, 2012

"The Dragonfly and the Hummingbird," "Mystcism and Science" and "The Dark Winter Afternoons in Portland"

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Seven Pillars Receives $15,000 Matching Grant for Holiday Giving


November 14, 2012

As momentum propels us toward more possibilities for innovative, collaborative programming, our budget must also grow to support this expansion. We need your help to make this happen.
To realize our exciting plans for scalable and sustainable activities, one of our funders has offered a Matching Grant of $15,000 that will be applied dollar-for-dollar to all contributions received by December 31, 2012. Your financial investment is key to the success of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom in this pivotal year.

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Introducing “The Seven Pillars”


November 12, 2012

After five years of exploratory salons and other gatherings that have involved diverse members of the Seven Pillars' community, the publishing of poignant and probing articles by our thought leadership, and much collaborative work between our Staff, Board, Wisdom Council, and Guiding Voices, Seven Pillars has reached a pivotal moment in our evolution as an organization with the unveiling of "The Seven Pillars." 

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Hungry Ghosts

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
October 23, 2012

For thousands of years the purpose of different civilizations was to look after the Sacred Substance of Creation through rituals, ceremonies, prayer, and sacred music—so that the souls of people could be nurtured, they could have a meaningful life and their souls could evolve. If this Sacred Substance becomes lost the soul will no longer find nourishment here. The worst-case scenario is the whole planet becomes a Hungry Ghost.


 

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Saracen Chivalry

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
October 23, 2012

From the Introduction to Saracen Chivalry: Creed matters, but deeds matter more. In the annals of valor, courtesy and courtly love, Christians and Moslems figure as friends as often as foes. Harun ar-Rashid and Charlemagne might have been pillars of competing faiths, but it pleased the Caliph to send the Emperor the gift of a white elephant.

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Announcing New Leadership Team

Rabia Povich
September 19, 2012

It is with great pleasure that we announce two new developments at Seven Pillars—developments that will help build a stronger organization to galvanize momentum for the unfolding of a living wisdom in our time.

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A Planetary Consciousness

David Spangler
August 6, 2012

In this excerpt from his book, Apprenticed to Spirit: The Education of a Soul, David Spangler, a Fellow since Lindisfarne's inception, writes of his initial meeting and soul connection with William Irwin Thompson, founder of the Lindisfarne Association, and the early years of the Fellowship. 


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The Lindisfarne Association

Jennifer Alia Wittman
August 5, 2012

Several years ago we made a new friend. Pir Zia Inayat-Khan had been reading the writings of William Irwin Thompson, the oracular cultural historian, and invited him to visit. This was in 2007, at the very beginning of Seven Pillars’ life, and it quickly became evident that our work descends from a long lineage of individuals and groups dedicated to the realization of a new planetary culture.

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Remembering Lynn Margulis

Dorion Sagan
August 4, 2012

Lynn Margulis, my mother, had a stroke on November 17, 2011 and died five days later in her own bed. The following text is slightly modified from a reading, written for my nieces and nephews, given before scattering her ashes in a private family ceremony at Puffers Pond in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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Seven Pillars Open House, a Beautiful and Fun Evening!

Corin Lee Girard
June 24, 2012

On Friday June 15th, nearly fifty people joined us for Seven Pillars' first official Open House at our headquarters in New Lebanon, New York. The purpose of the Open House was to orient an ever-growing, extremely supportive local community to Seven Pillars’ physical location, as well as to provide a more concrete outline of our plans for the remainder of this year, and into 2013. Of course, we were also excited to have time to just be together with so many wonderful friends and fellow wisdom seekers!

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A Hidden Treasure

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
April 19, 2012

Imagine yourself floating in space with outspread limbs. Thus suspended in midair your recumbent form gives itself over to a delicious languor, and one by one your senses close down. The eyes cease to see and the ears cease to hear. Smell and taste go dormant. Afterimages linger for a time, but in the absence of new stimuli the eidola that haunt the halls of memory slowly fade into oblivion. The void that surrounds you now pervades you. You are dead to the world—and yet you live.

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The Practice of Presence, Part Two

Lee Irwin
April 18, 2012

The mystery of the human experience is inseparable from our capacity to recognize the multiple fields of awareness that infuse our day-to-day consciousness. This flow of consciousness is the experiential ground of Being and Spirit, and as such this flow is the participatory medium through which our capacity to be “a light unto the world” is actualized.

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Goethe in Marienbad

Christopher Bamford
April 17, 2012

Appropriately, if only by name, the legendary Bohemian Spa of Marienbad is a place of alchemical associations, harking back as it does to the legendary alchemist Maria the Jewess, “divine Maria” or Maria Prophetissa, the supposed sister of Moses, who was the inventor, among other alchemical apparatuses, of the celebrated balneum Mariae or the bain Marie: the double boiler.

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Seven Pillars Update & News

January – March 2012
April 14, 2012

Spring has sprung, and with the energy and inspiration of rebirth that accompanies this time of year, we have been very happily up to our eyebrows in exciting new projects! As we wrote about in our 2011 Year-End Review, everything we do from this point forward will focus on the “seven pillars” – The Journey of Life, Universe Story, Cloud of Witnesses, Unity of Being, The Cry, What May Be and The Pledge.

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Vanishing Valentines for You

Introducing Floetry
February 14, 2012

Seven Pillars' Vanishing Art Festival last August experienced some unexpected weather issues, particularly with Hurricane Irene. Consequently, we never developed an envisioned (non) manifesto on art and wisdom. We have our chance now, through Floetry. We invite you to create a poetic (non) manifesto with us.

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Reimagining the Arts in a Material(ist) World

Christopher Bamford
February 7, 2012

Do we live actually in a dualistic world, a world of matter and spirit, mind and body? To treat matter as separate already makes it so. Matter, as we know it, is the matter of materialism (egotism, dualism). Yet it really didn’t come into being until Descartes divided the world into res cogitans and res extensa, thinking things—minds—thought of as spiritual, and extended things—bodies—thought of as mechanical.

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Vanishing Art: Water Element

Consecrating the Pond at the Abode of the Message
February 5, 2012

Each day during Seven Pillars’ Vanishing Art event in late August 2011 a “poetic action” was planned related to one of the elements, Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Nature, in the form of Hurricane Irene, as well as other unforeseen factors, intervened, leaving the poetic action for Water undone.

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Seven Pillars Year-End Review 2011

December 1, 2011

All along the primary question we’ve been asked is “What are the seven pillars?” During the spring of 2010, with this question vivid in our consciousness, the seven pillars revealed themselves in a dream and a new vision for Seven Pillars was born.

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The Practice of Presence, Part One

Lee Irwin
October 11, 2011

The practice of presence is no easy task and, spiritually, it is perhaps the most elusive of all practices. Imagine for a moment being fully present to yourself and to your situation. That is, imagine being fully aware of all that passes through and within you and also simultaneously aware of all that impacts you from the surrounding environment—people, places, atmosphere, sensory sensations, integrated with inner thoughts, feelings, memories, and bodily reactions.

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Dispelling Ignorance and Developing Harmony

Sister Joan Kirby
October 10, 2011

What ignorance are we addressing here? I am considering ignorance here from the point of view of a westerner. We live in the global village, we share the same roof, we are interdependent and co-responsible for care of the Earth. And yet, we still think of ourselves, and our religion, as separate, distinct, and unique.

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Reflections on the Life of a Mystic

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
October 9, 2011

When I first met my teacher, Irina Tweedie, I sat in her small room, looked into her blue eyes and I knew that she knew. From that moment, without knowing why, more than anything, I wanted what she had. Much later I understood this as the knowledge that can only come from direct inner experience, which for the Sufi is imaged as Khidr. Khidr is the most important Sufi figure, the archetype of direct revelation.

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The Odor of the Gods

Christopher Bamford
July 19, 2011

Smell is the oldest, most magical sense.
In 'In Search of Past Time,' Proust tells how, returning home for a visit one cold winter’s day, his mother offered him a cup of lime blossom tea with some plump little cakes, called “madeleines,” molded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. At first, he declined, but then, for no particular reason, he accepted. As the lime-tea-soaked crumbs touched his palate, a strange emotion overcame him. The world stopped, and an exquisite, transcendent pleasure, like the effect of love, filling him with joy, suffused his senses.

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The Wall

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
June 14, 2011

In deep meditation I come to a wall. I know this wall. I have seen it many times before in meditation and waking visions. It is a high brick wall. I know what is on the other side of the wall: a world of light. But there is no way through; there is no doorway, no ladder, no break in the wall. When I come to the wall I walk along it, and then I have to turn away, back to the narrow streets of this world.

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The Iron Rules, Numbers Nine and Ten

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
June 14, 2011

My Conscientious Self: Seek not profit by putting someone in straits.
My Conscientious Self: Harm no one for your own benefit.


Though we live in a world that habitually conflates them, money and happiness are two different things. Money is an object—a useful object often, but still only an object. Happiness is a state of being.

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From Shamanism to Religion

William Irwin Thompson
June 14, 2011

When I was living in Toronto in the late sixties and early seventies, I had the good fortune to go to the University of Toronto’s Coach House where Marshall McLuhan performed for one evening a week. I say “performed” because McLuhan was a brilliant aphorist and artistic master of what he called “probes”—a kind of blast-off into outer space that most academics could not manage, and one that gave us a new look back at life on Earth.

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A Physics of Peace

Victor Mansfield
April 7, 2011

Middle Way Buddhism describes a dynamic synergy between its primary pillars of thought: emptiness and compassion. When we understand and experience our deepest, fundamental nature as empty and as interdependent intersections in this vast web of the universe, a natural tendency for compassionate action arises.

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Confluence: An Interview with Dr. Ashok Gangadean

Gary Null
April 7, 2011

I want to introduce my guest, Dr. Gangadean, who is Professor of Philosophy at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. His lifelong study and passion has been to clarify the common ground at the heart of human reason and to promote a deeper dialogue to bring forth a more integral and holistic global consciousness to remedy the apocalyptic fervor associated with our fragmented world.

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The Broken Chain

Ralph Abraham

April 7, 2011

With the advent of modern science, the spiritual side of the pre-modern paradigm was cast aside. The cosmology of the great chain of being, our heritage of 5000 years from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, was broken. The main advantage of the great chain is its vision of the interconnection of all things in the universe, and the intelligence manifest in the evolution and animation of all beings on the great stage of life.

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Report on Sufi-Yogi Dialogue

Kavita Byrd, Global Peace Initiative of Women
April 7, 2011

On Feb. 7, 2011, the fourth in a series of Sufi-Yogi Dialogues organized by the Global Peace Initiative of Women was held at the burial shrine, or dargah, of Hazrat Inayat Khan in New Delhi, India. The gathering, entitled “A Sufi-Yogi Dialogue: The Nature of Oneness,” brought together fifteen leaders from the Sufi and Yogi traditions to deepen exploration of the nature of ultimate reality as represented by these two ancient traditions, and its relevance in meeting the critical global challenges facing us all today.

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