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|August 13 - 19, 2009
Best-selling authors offer workshop at Shambhala
by Gene Ira Katz
The new way of evolution requires changing yourself rather than changing others.” Gary Zukav, along with his spiritual and professional partner, Linda Francis, describe some of the underlying concepts behind the weekend-long workshop they are offering at Shambhala Mountain Center, Living Courageously in Difficult Times.
Zukav, alone and together with Francis, has authored several best-selling books, including the 1979 sensation The Dancing Wu Li Masters, winner of the American Book Award for Science, which seeks to unite Western scientific concepts of physics with Eastern mystic philosophy. His 1989 release, The Seat of the Soul, makes a case for promoting the next phase in human evolution and adopting a new paradigm of consciousness, which is referred to as authentic power.
This forms the basis of the ongoing work Zukav and Francis have been doing through their Oregon-based Seat of the Soul Institute.
Speaking from their Pacific Northwest headquarters, the couple starts off the phone interview about the upcoming workshop with a moment of silence, exemplifying the focus and intention of their teachings. Often completing each other’s thoughts, Zukav and Francis present some of the ideas and expectations behind the weekend event at Shambhala.
“Authentic power is the alignment of the personality with the soul,” says Zukav, adding that the time to adopt this new paradigm is now. “Never before has the evolution of humankind [so] required authentic power.”
“The old way of evolving was to pursue external power,” explains Francis. “If you’re trying to change everyone else, that’s external power, the ability to manipulate and control external circumstances. Authentic power means: I’m trying to change myself rather than change everyone else.”
To achieve that awareness of authentic power requires a person to be willing to undergo a process of self-transformation. As Francis puts it, “It is very important for people to be able to create authentic power if they choose.” This is what workshop participants can expect: “to gently face their fears, move beyond one’s comfort zones, to look at themselves and life’s challenges clearly, while remaining positive and allowing themselves to make healthy conscious choices.”
As stated in the book, Seat of the Soul, “Every person has a soul, but a personality that is limited in its perception to the five senses is not aware of its soul, and therefore, cannot recognize the influence of its soul… As a personality becomes multi-sensory, its intuitions — its hunches and subtle feelings — become important to it… We are leaving behind exploration of the physical world as our sole means of evolution. This means of evolution, and the consciousness that results from an awareness that is limited to the five-sensory modality, are no longer adequate to what we must become.”
Zukav explains, “Some of the things that people can get from this workshop are the tools to create authentic power, emotional awareness, responsible choices, consulting intuition, and trust in the universe.” Francis adds, “They will come away with practical ways for how they can change their lives for the better. We’ll offer experiential exercises, practical tools and guidelines on how to use those tools.” She notes that they want people to be able to make good choices consciously, in love, rather than unconsciously, in fear. “It’s important to know that we’re not always aware of this fear in ourselves, because it’s so familiar to us… Each of us has gifts to give. We cannot give these gifts when we are controlled by fear.”
“We teach people to be aware of their bodies, the physical sensations of their energy centers, also called the charkas,” explains Zukav, “so they can recognize when fear is present in them and when love is present in them.” Francis follows up, “This is living courageously, to recognize the fear and recognize the love and then choose the love, especially when you’re upset, or angry, or jealous, and so on — despairing, resentful or feeling overwhelmed or stressed out — to choose love, even when you’re feeling any of those things.”
Taking on this new evolutionary pathway, Zukav asserts, individuals can expect numerous positive changes in their consciousness, including more “harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for life… being grateful for your life, being excited to be alive, knowing your life has a purpose and what you are doing serves that purpose.”
On the Bill:
On the Bill:
Gary Zukav and Linda Francis will present Living Courageously in Difficult Times Aug. 14-16 at the Shambhala Mountain Center, 1-888-STUPA-21, www.shambhalamountain.org/programs/1205.
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