What does intelligent, new, cutting-edge, exciting and vibrant spirituality look like … let alone in New York City?
It’ll look like it always does; a group of humble revolutionaries, shaking up culture and pointing us towards a much brighter, usually hard to swallow at first (after all we do seem to keep murdering our great spiritual leaders) yet awe inspiring future.
I am pleased to post some NY based groups comprised of individuals who I believe to be revolutionary movers and shakers in our society today. I will qualify this list by saying that spirituality, as I see it, is not limited to praying, yoga or meditation practice, but is actually a higher way of relating to ourselves and to the world around us … it is a more wholesome, positive and vibrant relationship to life itself. And in that sense, the spirituality I am pointing towards encompasses all of life. In fact more and more, I am having trouble separating spirituality from living every moment with as much consciousness, passion and commitment to being here for the biggest and most important reasons that I can imagine.
I have been a practitioner of Evolutionary Enlightenment (EnlightenNext’s main teaching) for the past 10 years and I manage the development office of EnlightenNext New York. EnlightenNext is a revolution in consciousness and culture. The people involved with EnlightenNext are contagiously positive, and they have dedicated their lives to a better future. EnlightenNext’s founder and CEO, Andrew Cohen, is a relentless force for positive change. I highly recommend you check it out. EnlightenNext New York’s main events take place on Tuesdays. In fact there is a special event coming up next Tuesday (June 30th) with EnlightenNext’s director of education, Jeff Carreira called Conscious Evolution, American Philosophy and the Future.
The humorous, intelligent and modern-day-Buddhist, Ethan Nichtern, launched The ID Project a few years back and it is currently a thriving group of New York based individuals interested in deepening their understanding of a real and authentic spirituality. The ID puts on multiple events per month including a guest lecture series where inspiring people come to talk about their own spiritual practice. These people are from all different faiths, but the one thing that links them all is their passion for the Truth. I recommend going to their site and making room in your calendars for a few events. (By the way, Ethan’s blog is great too).
Evolver: See my previous blog post about them. They’re a cool online community dedicated to creating a new and improved future on and off line. They are helping solidify the structures of a new, forward thinking group of people.
Ken Wilbur Meet-Ups
If you don’t know who Ken Wilbur is…you must check him out
He has been called a national treasure and the greatest philosopher of this century. Ken Wilbur is too edgy to be picked up by academia’s radar, yet accessible enough to collaborate with people like the Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix) and Ed Kowalczyk, lead singer of Live. Ken Wilber is a very smart and very important philosophical leader today. There are New York based meet ups that discuss Wilber’s work and how it applies to our very real and complex lives. Join up and begin meeting up.
My good friend Holly Mandel created and runs this NY based Improvisation school. I recently finished the level 1 class and I can’t tell you how fun and uplifting each session has been. At the outset of each class, the day’s doldrums are left at the door as you spend the next 2 and a half, serious hours creating the most random and hilarious scenarios together out of thin air. Holly’s classes are based on very simple premises; not to deny what someone else is imagining, not to be the star, and to contribute to what the scene needs – not what you think is the wittiest. Improvolution is by far the most fun way to tune into collective consciousness that I have even encountered.
I attended a poetry event there a few years back and I fell in love with the place and everyone in it. Open minded, forward thinking and creative people can be found both on and off stage and the pretension level is at a minimum.
The New York Sports Club? Are they spiritual?
All I have to say is thank God for the gym … and one as ubiquitous as this one. The facilities are clean and the staff is friendly. Exercising is a very important part of maintaining a healthy and vibrant life. I also find that I do not push myself as hard as I do at the gym. The whole reason any gym was constructed was to get people to move it and lift it, harder and faster than the last time they did before. The gym exists to support physical growth and development. Versus doing sit ups in my bedroom – a room which I mainly use to sleep. Totally different feel and commitment level. Plus, working out is a kind of emptying of the mind that can lead to such creative thoughts. In fact, I plan to start a series within this blog here called revelations on the tread mill. Stay tuned for more and sign up at the gym!
This list is just a beginning. Keep coming back to check out future postings of events and organizations that support the development of life it self!