How do we live an authentic spiritual life in a deeply secular culture?
Joining Andrew Cohen at Manifest Nirvana this week for a unique dialogue session, we extend a very warm welcome to our special guest Andrew Sweeny of Parallax Coaching.
Andrew Sweeny is a writer, editor, Youtuber, podcaster, poet, musician, and teacher who spent 25 years practising different forms of Buddhist meditation, including Zen and Vajrayana. You can read more about Andrew and Parallax Coaching on his website, linked above.
In this inspirational meeting of minds, our speakers will consider and discuss a metaphysical question that is arguably the most urgent and important of all – a question to which, perhaps more than any other, we need to find a radical and enlightened answer.
We live in a highly sophisticated but largely secular culture that doesn’t recognise the primacy of spirit, and regards any kind of religious expression with deep suspicion. When spirit does show up, it is usually in its archaic, mythic or fundamentalist forms – or in the endless marketplace of the New Age, where spirituality is merely commodified.
How does one live an authentic spiritual or devotional life in such a setting? What would it, or could it, even look like in this heavily secular post-postmodern context? In Western culture, we have as yet tragically failed to answer this question.
Yet simultaneously, so many sensitive and intelligent people intuit the need for an urgent and fundamental shift of values towards a higher, more awakened engagement with life. For those who feel this deep longing, it can often seem that there is nowhere to turn.
Are there any contemporary vessels that can hold this essential human yearning? Can we uphold the deep mystery of spiritual awakening, while simultaneously embracing the very real advances of science, and the gifts of postmodernism?
Cohen and Sweeny explore the primal spark of the divine that still illuminates and animates the human heart, asking how we can begin to address this fundamental need to restore our relationship with spirit. What steps can we take, at both a personal and cultural level, that would lead to the emergence of new and more appropriate vehicles for the devotional, the sacred and the mystical?