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The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom

A multimedia e-book exploration of the Seven Pillars process



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Seven Pillars

Tag: sacred

The Gift of the Call

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.

Becoming What You Gaze Upon

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.

Sacred Ecstasy

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.

My Sacred Garden

I am sitting here waiting for the words for this blog to appear. A quote from Neruda is the first sign of what is to come as it brings to my awareness the ones who watch over me. No longer are they unknown to me, for I have been learning how to allow them to guide me on this journey through life. These knowers of Truth—the prophets, prophetesses, saints, and mystics of all traditions, whose words appear in the scriptures and texts that make up our sacred heritage—have become the gardeners of my soul.

Que suis-je?

“What am I?” As a young child growing up in Kenya, I was magnetically drawn to the rich, red soil. My love for its sandy softness was a bane to my mother who constantly had to stop me from putting it in my mouth. Returning to the country I was born in after 20 years, I am struck once again by the beauty of the soil, so different from the stony, dark clunks of mud that I find in my garden in England.

Listening to the Hidden Heart of Seeds

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.”

Gould Farm Cookbook Recipes

Gould Farm Cookbook Recipes

Agriculture and the Sacred

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.

An Exclusive Seven Pillars Interview with Robin Becker

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.

In the Time of the Sacred Places

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.

Hungry Ghosts

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.  

The Practice of Presence, Part Two

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.

Vanishing Art: Water Element

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.

The Odor of the Gods

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.

Confluence: An Interview with Dr. Ashok Gangadean

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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