Robert K. C. Forman, Ph.D. – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview


Dr. Robert K.C. Forman is uniquely qualified, both personally and professionally, to re-imagine the spiritual goal and the path to it. Personally, Dr. Forman hasn’t missed a day of meditation in 40 years. He broke through to the first major life shift he sought during a nine-month meditation retreat, just two years after beginning Transcendental Meditation. Further developments have continued through his gaining of a Ph.D. in mystical experience from Columbia U and his 20 years as a Professor of Comparative Religions, through his lifetime of yearly solo meditation retreats, self-reflection, 18 years of psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic training, his marital work, his teaching, writing and leading of workshops, and his research into and national leadership role in the “spiritual but not religious” community.

(Quotes below are from Robert’s book, Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up To Be.)

“Do not settle,” the vastness whispers. “Do not be content with partial love. Be open here too. Be so open with this other that there is nothing left to close.” (P. 160)

His curiosity and confusion about his early spiritual breakthroughs led him to a Ph.D in Comparative Religions (Columbia U), where he specialized in the nature of and philosophical issues around mystical experiences and the spiritual life. He has often been called “one of the leading voices in the academic debates on mysticism,” because of his work in the international scholarly debate about mystical experiences, which came to be known as “The Katz-Forman debates,” the work for which he has been awarded numerous grants and, just last year, an honorary doctorate. A tenured professor of religions at Hunter College of the City University of New York and a professor at Vassar College, Union Theological Seminary and the New School for Social Research, he often taught courses on mystical experiences and spiritual goals in every tradition, and his books are used in classes around the world.

Many of his insights about the spiritual path and goal came from his work as founder and Executive Director of the Forge Institute for Spirituality and Social Change and the Forge Guild of Spiritual Professionals, a non profit dedicated to helping people from any religion or spiritual path live “soul to soul.” He routinely gives lectures, trainings and workshops around the world. He was the co-founder and is executive editor of The Journal of Consciousness Studies , which has become the principle journal in the field. He is also the author of ten scholarly books on spirituality, mysticism, consciousness and world religions.

“God save us from some bloodless “joy, joy, joy!” If we are after anything, we are after full-bodied freedom. … I want to be awake, utterly non-resistant, to pain and joy and love and loss and boredom and knowing and not-knowing, wide open to the full catastrophe that is the paradox of a whole, confusing human life.” (P. 198)

Robert’s site: http://enlightenmentaint.com/

Advertisements

After the Disillusionment, the Spiritual Path

by Robert K.C. Forman, Ph.D.
Many millions of seekers have been disillusioned by spiritual teachers who don’t live up to their lofty self-portraits: from the east Muktananda, Rimpoche, Eido-Roshi; and in the West men like Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Colorado Evangelist Ted Haggard and countless Catholic Priests. How do we make sense of their failure and what lessons can we draw from it?

Mostly it happened because of sex. Or money. And gurus.

It wasn’t supposed to happen. When the phalanx of white robed Indian gurus and soft spoken Zen Roshis came to the west, we heard they were “brahmchari,” celibate monks. Enlightened beings, we thought they had gone beyond their egos and their sex drives.

But then the rumors and accusations started flying. One of the first was Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who was, reported to have slept openly with female disciples. San Francisco Zen Center roshi, Richard Baker Roshi, lost his job over repeated affairs with female disciples. Swami Muktananda had a taste for pre-pubescent disciples.

Out of 54 Bud­dhist, Hindu and Jain teachers in the United States, according to Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield, only 15 had lived up to their tradition’s proscriptions of celibacy.Of the sexually active 39, some 34 had affairs with current students!

Western ministers didn’t talk about enlightenment, but did emphasize chastity and the sanctity of marriage. But then Evangelical preacher Jimmy Swaggart was discovered frequenting prostitutes. Colorado anti-homosexual Evangelist Ted Haggard turned out to be in a three year relationship with a gay prostitute. And Rabbi Mordechai Gafni had to resign his position in Israel’s Bayit Chadash in disgrace.

And we cannot forget the 4,392 men, some 4% of American Catholic priests, who were accused of being pedophiles.

What’s going on here?
While all these sexual mis-adventures are the fault of a few bad apples, the failure here is deeper. It’s time to say so.

Spiritual enlightenment, religious transformation, being twice born just may be, with reference to personal issues like sexuality, incomplete.

Enlightenment or being saved by God is important. It is the great clarifying, the revelation of our connection with the Divine or with an underlying, ultimate energy. There’s a good reason our traditions have been celebrating it. But for us, in our highly sexualized, post feminine liberation world, enlightenment is no longer enough.

After all, gurus, rabbis and ministers in 1150 or 1850 or even 1950 didn’t face what we must on a daily basis. They had to confront their own sexual urges, for sure. But opportunities for sexual relationships were relatively limited. The sexual urges of monks and nuns were probably more repressed, or encountered largely in the privacy of their own cells and single-gender monasteries.

Religion should make us more alive, not less, more flexible, more responsive, not less. That’s why Psalm 33 says, ‘sing unto Him a new song’, not the same old song sung in the same old way. The soul-jazz-enlightened are the most free, not the most obedient.

But of those of us today who are serious about our spiritual lives, few of us are monks, nuns or cloistered. And, with miniskirts and washboard abs on every glossy magazine page we simply cannot duck the issue of sexuality.

Frankly, I think that the spiritual challenge of today is greater than it was in traditional times. We have to confront sex overtly and publically on the streets, on the TV, in the theatres and on the internet.

And for spiritual teachers today, sexual encounters are both more readily available and much more dangerous. In ancient times a guru’s disciples would no doubt try to try to keep a sexual indiscretion under wraps, either because that was the tradition, or because they believed it to have a deeper spiritual logic.

But today, in an era of gotcha journalism, wayward priests and roshis are more likely to be outed and humiliated. Sexual peccadillos now are dangerous for your neighborhood guru.

I like to believe that most of our spiritual teachers and ministers have indeed undergone the shift into enlightenment. But clearly such shifts do not lead to transparent and healthy enough personal lives.

What then should we be after today?
The complete life, the good human life, must, to be enough for us, include both a transformed inner life and a transformed personal, and yes sexual, life. To be complete our spiritual journey must develop both a deep inner freedom and everyday self-awareness to stop our corrupt behavior. It must include the courage to actually change.

Our spiritual work must include the messiness of the everyday. Both our spirits and our psyches, our addictions and our purity must be part of it. The unconditioned infinite is not the same as the personal and conditioned:

Spiritual practice, especially mysticism, points toward a timeless trans-human reality, while psychological work addresses the evolving human realm, with all its issues of personal meaning and interpersonal relationship.

f we are to live a full, sane, complete life, we will have to heal both today.

About the Author: Robert Forman is uniquely qualified both personally and professionally to re-imagine the spiritual life. A meditator of 40 years, he became a tenured professor of comparative religions, specializing in religious experiences around the world. He is also trained in psychotherapy and an interfaith minister. He founded the Forge Institute for Sane Spirituality which offers programs to help people create fulfilling lives by weaving their spiritual discoveries into their everyday lives. For more information, go to: http://www.EnlightenmentAint.com

Robert K.C. Forman, Ph.D
Enlightenment Ain’t What it’s Cracked Up to Be: A Journey of Discovery, Snow and Jazz in the Soul

View Here

The Path to Wealth: Seven Spiritual Steps for Financial Abundance by May McCarthy

A clear path to wealth and abundance in just 30 minutes a day!

In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever to get clear about your personal and professional goals- and to commit to a plan that will get you there. In The Path to Wealth: Seven Spiritual Steps for Financial Abundance, multimillionaire entrepreneur and angel investor May McCarthy shares her own daily practice to help you do just that.

The first step on this journey is to welcome a new member to your financial advisory team: the all-knowing power of the universe that McCarthy affectionately calls the Chief Spiritual Officer, or CSO for short.

In part one of the book, you’ll learn how to set up and activate the seven-step daily practice. You’ll learn the job descriptions for both yourself and your new partner, and you’ll see that when these steps are applied on a daily basis, you will experience a complete shift in your thinking about how financial wealth and abundance are created.

In part two, you’ll go deeper into the practice to gain insight about your purpose, learn how to successfully navigate financial ups and downs, and overcome the fear of failure as well as eliminate old beliefs and behaviors that have kept you from experiencing the success you really want.

Best of all, the steps outlined in this book will teach you how to develop your own financial intuition, which is key to noticing and pursuing the opportunities that will present themselves once you are on this path.

Financial abundance can be a game of fun and prosperity, but only when you realize that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Your new partner wants to help you. Let May McCarthy show you the way.

Since 1982, May McCarthy has founded and grown several successful companies in a variety of industries, including fashion retail, domestic and international telecommunications, and healthcare software and capital equipment, which have gone on to grow to 250 employees and over $100 million in annual revenues. As part of McCarthy’s passion for entrepreneurship, she is an active angel investor and advises a variety of startup companies. She also serves on boards for philanthropic, arts, and educational service organizations.

Look Inside

The Path To Wealth Book Promotion

Announcing May McCarthy’s upcoming book “The Path To Wealth”.
http://www.thepathtowealthbook.com

May McCarthy: Beyond Abundance

Published on Jun 23, 2015

The word “abundance” has become very popular in consciousness conversations. May McCarthy makes a powerful point that most people still view abundance as attaining a big share from a limited source. It is very hard for most people to imagine that there is an infinite supply – this conversation is about cracking open our self-limiting perception about how the world works. Barnet and Freeman join the conversation to help deconstruct the false assumptions and conditions that we place on both our giving and receiving.

For more information about May McCarthy’s new book, please visit: http://www.hierophantpublishing.com/t…

%d bloggers like this: