I just got back from six weeks traveling and teaching in Europe. I worked on my book in Greece, traveled through Italy with my son and his girlfriend, and taught the Change Agents University retreat with my friend Luis Diaz. My time away culminated in the Awakening Coaching Training in Germany with 44 people from German speaking countries.
Every time I gather with a new group in this way, I am amazed, inspired, and overjoyed by the miracles that happen.
These were people from all kinds of backgrounds and ages. A psychiatrist from Berlin, a literary agent from Munich, a mother with young children from Cologne. Songwriters, musicians, computer programmers, and coaches (lots of coaches).
Many of these people had little or no previous experience in working with people.
By the third day they were able to guide each other in a process called “radical awakening,” where each participant would guide another into the direct recognition of their true nature; as limitless, silent, free, the source of all well-being, as love itself. The moment when we gathered back together in the circle was extraordinary. I want to share it with you on video so you can see what happens to people.
It is really important to understand that this kind of deep and radical opening was not the result of meeting with a “enlightened spiritual teacher,” nor was it the result of any kind of mystical initiation into an ancient tradition. These were ordinary, innocent people with open hearts and curious minds who were able to facilitate the shift in consciousness with each other.
It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Perhaps the age of the guru has really come to an end.
We did lots of other great things too in this week. We learned Radical Releasing, which allows you to dissolve contractions; limited points of view, tensions in the body, emotional reactivity in a very short time. But I think the most powerful thing about this kind of an approach to spiritual awakening is that we can move from a “one size fits all” approach to spiritual practice to the notion of tailor made practices suited to each person.
Over the last couple of decades, in Awakening Coaching we’ve come to recognize some reliable principles which guide the art of giving practices. What might be incredibly helpful for one person, helping them to break through barriers and step into new realms of freedom, could be extraordinarily unhelpful for another.
Right at the heart of this is the understanding of the difference between practices which cultivate masculine energy, and practices which cultivate feminine energy.
Silent meditation, like Vipassana or Zazen for example, were developed in old traditions by men for men. When a man sits still for a long time with his spine straight, his testosterone reserves are rebuilt in his body, causing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to reduce and he has the experience of coming home to himself.
For the feminine heart, the whole process is completely different. Women have about one thirtieth of the testosterone in their bloodstream than men do, and they alleviate stress through the release of oxytocin, which also balances the stress hormones. So while a man might really benefit from the practice of Qigong or silent meditation, a woman might get much more benefit from dance, from moving into her feelings, or spending nurturing time with her close women friends.
This is just one example of many of the importance of tailor-made practice. I’m going to explain the fundamental principles which guide giving these kinds of practices in a seminar this Thursday, August 8th.