Articles

07/2017

LET’S GIVE SEX OUR LOVE!

Sex has been getting a raw deal for a long time. It is in our nature to desire and enjoy it – to love sex the way we love chocolate or champagne. But few of us have been educated to give sex our love. This is hardly surprising. It’s still not so long since sex ...
06/2017

A SIMPLE WAY TO MAKE YOUR LIFE SWEETER

Twenty years ago I held an Art of Being camping vacation in the Kalalau valley on the north shore of Kau’ai, Hawaii. On the day we left, we each buried in the sand where the ocean would eventually claim it, something that we wished to leave behind. I chose to bid farewell to the thing ...
05/2017

THE TROUBLE WITH THINKING ABOUT IT!

Edited from a talk to participants in the Love, Sex and Shadows workshop for couples last week in Czech Republic. Most of our schooling – what we call education – can be summed up as “think about it”. Never mind learning to be present in your whole being, never mind really experiencing what is going ...
05/2017

DEATH DESERVES ITS PLACE IN OUR LIFE

There is a gaping hole in the education served up by our civilization. Even in the most progressive schools the subject of death does not appear on the syllabus. The way we learn about it could not be more accidental or more ill-conceived. Strangely, the only honest and personally meaningful lessons we get come to ...
06/2016

Alan’s letter about The Art of Being Summer Festival 2016

My friends, The 2016 Art of Being Summer Festival is just 2 weeks away. Through this springtime that now turns into summer, it has grown and blossomed, as you can see by visiting The Festival Programme  website. There are fresh and updated descriptions of what the main event teachers are offering, and you will also ...
01/2016

True Understanding Comes from Experience

If you, as well as many others, impatiently await the publishing of Alan’s book, you may enjoy at least this little gem about the importance of experience. It’s one of the inserts (each transcribed from Alan talking in his Art of Being workshops) that every now and then intersect the extraordinary narrative of his life. ...
02/2015

YOU AND YOUR PERSONALITY: Who serves whom?

It can really sweeten your life to be able to distinguish your natural, healthy personality attributes – your ways of celebrating your existence – from those that you have cultivated as a shield against whatever you have grown up to fear, reject and mistrust in yourself and others, or that you wear as costumes and ...
08/2014

THE ONE BEFORE GOD

In the past couple of days I have become unexpectedly engaged in a Facebook discussion about the Israel-Palestinian Gaza tragedy. I find myself moved to say something about my personal guiding perspective. Go back about 13.8 billion years and you arrive at the infinitesimally tiny something coming out of nothing – an explosion of light ...
07/2014

MUST THE SHOW REALLY GO ON?

Two years ago, on a camping trip in Hawaii, my god-daughter Inanna obliged me each evening to entertain our little circle with a few pages from my book (still awaiting publication under its new title, Dying Naked). Inanna was about to begin her 3rd undergrad year at Harvard. That is significant. Dying Naked is my ...
04/2014

GOT TO GET ME INTO MY LIFE! Personality and Being, Pt 2

(inspired by a recent conversation with a very nice guy) The personality games that people play are all rooted in fear and mistrust of being real. Take, for example, the child who learns, “If I’m not a good boy, people don’t like me. When I am a good boy, I get what I want.” The ...
04/2014

Personality and Being: Part 1 – Fear and Love

In 2002 I was the recipient of the UK’s Kindred Spirit award for my work in the field of personal transformation. It happened at a personally challenging period of my life that brought home to me how important it is to never draw a line under our own journey of awakening and healing.  This is ...
03/2014

WHERE IN THE WORLD AM I?

How time flies and the world flies with it! A month ago I was on Maui, on the other side of the planet from this Prague apartment where I’m now preparing for my first workshop of the 8-month European season that lies ahead. These past weeks Martina and I have been in Brazil, first blissfully ...
01/2014

Ride your wave!

I imagine you know these moments when it really matters to express what is going on in you. I call it riding the wave. You feel the wave coming and you know in your soul that you have to surf it, and be willing to let it take you where it takes you. And you ...
12/2013

THE TROUBLE WITH THINKING ABOUT IT!

(edited from a talk to participants in the Love, Sex and Shadows workshop for couples in Czech Republic last month) Most of our schooling – what we call education – can be summed up as “think about it”. Never mind learning to be present in your whole being, never mind really experiencing what is going ...
10/2013

Being here is really liberating!

Some words that came to me one morning as I was guiding the Art of Being meditation with which the workshop day usually begins:  “This meditation has no meaning if it does not flow into you in your day. Find the trust to live what existence brings you, not what you demand, not the requirements ...
09/2013

The Star of Being!

For many people The Art of Being is a star in their inner firmament: a light that shines something of the eternal spirit into their everyday lives, an inspiration to follow their own star wherever it may lead, and so to be guided by the trust and courage that grow in us when we dare ...
09/2013

From here to eternity: really!

What a memorable Art of Being vacation! Before I arrived in Corfu I was thinking of exploring some new Mediterranean location for next summer’s vacation workshop. Within five minutes of strolling again through the lovely grounds of Buddha Hall centre on its hilltop above Arillas Bay, that notion evaporated completely. What could be more perfect ...
06/2013

DON’T FILL THE VOID; BEFRIEND IT!

(reflections based on a talk with participants in The Universal Experience near Berlin, June 2013) You only have to endure emptiness and nothingness until you can surrender to it. Then there is nothing to endure! Annihilation – becoming nothing – is what the fear of death is really all about. When you fear the void it is ...
05/2013

The Spiritual Trip: Getting High or Getting Real?

I had three spiritual experiences during my childhood and adolescence – significant enough that I could remember each of themin full technicolour five and six decades later. But the one that changed my life was the fourth that happened at the end of my twenties. On a beach in California I experienced, for half a ...
04/2013

Our feelings are how we find each other

SHE: But I’m so afraid that what I say is going to hurt him! ALAN: You’re allowed. Okay? And the reason you’re allowed is because you don’t MEAN to hurt him, you’re not trying to hurt him. This is really, really important for all of you to hear. When you hold things back or you’re ...
04/2013

Tantra, the Music and the Mystical

The mystical is like music. Once we experience it, we naturally make room for it in our lives. Music is to be found everywhere and so is the mystical. It permeates existence. But whereas we naturally hear music, there is too much noise in our civilisation for us to sense the mystical expressions of the ...
03/2013

Why MYSTICAL Tantra?

Tantra is not about having wonderful sex. It is about becoming open and awake in our whole being – which makes sex as wonderful as it makes any experience. Much of contemporary Western Tantra is focussed on the pleasure and beauty to be found in sexual and sensual intimacy, and good that it is so ...
02/2013

I’m OK if I win, and I’m OK if I lose!

Learning to trust and learning to let go walk hand-in-hand. You can only trust if you are willing to lose. If you’re trusting on the condition that you’re going to get what you want, you’re not learning to trust. You’re learning to gamble, to take calculated risks, to make political choices. To really learn trusting ...
01/2013

Did you receive the gift?

Ah, about being what you call old! There’s a world of difference between happy acceptance and lonely resignation. If you live in happy acceptance, you are free to celebrate even if you are very, very, very old. You simply enjoy: I’m here to celebrate my nature and being from beginning to end.  For a couple ...
12/2012

Ah…if birds were neurotic!

We’re like the weather, we just keep on happening. I remember many years ago I was leading a workshop in England and there was an old lady there – she was in her 80′s. Everything was really quiet and suddenly she says, “I love weather!” Just that: “I love weather!” It’s what you’ve been learning ...
12/2012

The Heart and Soul of Gun Control

I’m posting below what I said to a participant in one of my workshops last year, because it has something important to say about what is happening in the USA this past couple of weeks – the horrific shooting of the children in Newtown, and the bizarre responses of some members of Congress who – ...
10/2012

A few words to a friend about the dark night of the soul

I posted this on my old blog about 18 months ago. Something moves me to re-post it here today. Perhaps it has relevance for someone out there who reads my blogs? “This is a really important time for you. The door that I talked about is open – that is why you feel that there ...
09/2012

Homage to my friend and soul-brother, Amitabh Robert Birnbaum

My beloved friend Amitabh, This morning, waking up in Switzerland to begin guiding people on a 3-day encounter with death, came the news of your final breath in California just a few hours earlier. I have travelled with you, heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul these past days, knowing you were on your way. It is night time ...
09/2012

The soul of longing!

No matter how much we may try to shut it down – and life sometimes pushes us that way! – our soul yearns to play its full and mystical part in our daily life. Deep down, we know this! I think this is the dearest longing in all beings. If we respond, the longing takes ...
09/2012

“What happens in your sexuality workshops?”

Everything! I create an environment in which participants can truly and authentically explore being sensual, being sexual, reconciling with their bodies and their male or female nature. And above all – the most significant element – where they can connect their sexual feelings with all their other emotions, like sadness, joy, excitement, even anger –  ...
08/2012

Reality and Fantasy

(Responding yesterday to an email question from one of my training participants) Fantasy, imagination, creativity: they all enrich our reality when we allow them to serve our presence. I would find leading my workshops a dull routine were it not for these qualities; and of course they bring gifts, sometimes quite magical, to those I ...
07/2012

If you can’t let go, you can’t be happy

(Alan guiding participants at the end of a process in the 3rd Circle of The Art of Being Training, Mar 6 2012) I see that some of you have trouble letting go. If you cannot learn this, there is no grace in the way you deal with the endings that life inevitably brings – only ...
07/2012

The Paradox of Surrender

edited from a talk in June 2012, with members of Alan’s current Body, Heart & Soul Training                Yes, the paradox again! This is why in the wild phase of the Art of Being meditation I try to give you this one guiding line – to keep your hands, ...
06/2012

Jealousy! What to do?

A lot of love relationships hit the wall because of jealousy. It helps to understand what this dark force really is. It is not an inevitable by-product of love. It is rooted in fear, not in love. It comes from being antagonistic towards feelings that you are unwilling to accept in yourself. The feelings – ...
05/2012

Even if it’s been said before, NO COMPLAINING!

I wrote this letter to participants after last week’s Body, Heart & Soul 1 workshop in Czech Republic. My dear friends, It is three days since the end of our awesome journey together in Body, Heart & Soul 1. I imagine you all out there somewhere in your own personal world and of course I ...
04/2012

Soul to Soul!

Alan talking to participants at the end of the Soul-Life workshop in Czech Republic, April 26, 2012 What happened here this last hour is my way of sharing with each of you, without the need for words, what soul-life really is. My wish, my prayer for all of you it that from now on you ...
04/2012

About Love and the Shadow

Alan talking to participants in Love and the Shadow workshop in Munich, March 30, 2012   You came here with your partner. Do you realize how rare this is?  Do you realize what you’re giving yourselves in your relationship, and how extraordinary this is? There are countless couples out there who spent this weekend doing all ...
04/2012

Being “out there” after being in the Body, Heart & Soul workshop

Going back out there to your ordinary life now that the workshop is over, I know you’ll find gifts from being here. Some of them you are already aware of, and others just emerge. You discover yourself being different in certain ways – not just in how you express yourself when you are being intimate, ...
04/2012

Wounds and Miracles in our Love Relationships

Alan talking to a couple during a Love and the Shadow workshop.  This is the miracle of The Art of Being circle.  Here you are, cradled in your man’s arms while I’m working with you. My focus is with you, with the pain and the tears that I see in you.  And then suddenly, totally unexpectedly, your ...
03/2012

Being in Love 3

On your relationship with tenderness and vulnerability.  : Of course, the session that really matters is the one that begins when the workshop ends. There are all sorts of challenges just in the way that regular ordinary life is set up. The most beautiful ...
03/2012

Being in Love 2

The second “Love and the Shadow” blog is about how partners get caught up in each other’s shadows, and what to do about this.  : You see, instead of being able to sense what is going on in him, you get caught up in your fear of him being angry. Then you project ...
03/2012

Being in Love 1

About Love and the Shadow workshop.  You came here with your partner. Do you realize how rare this is?  Do you realize what you’re giving yourselves in your relationship, and how extraordinary this is? There are countless couples out there who spent this weekend doing all sorts of interesting things, and who maybe didn’t have ...
03/2012

My book: who’s running the show?

My friends, I had wanted this New Year’s Art of Being e-letter to announce that after all these years I had finally finished writing my book. But I hadn’t. The actual story was written months ago, but it still needed about 35 excerpts from my workshop talks, and to dig them out of the 1400 ...
12/2011

Vaclav Havel, Bon Voyage!

Maui, Hawaii, Sunday Dec 18 Martina came down to breakfast this morning in tears. She had stopped to glance at her Czech website on the way, and so learned that Vaclav Havel had died a few hours earlier. I’m not Czech, but hearing the news I felt like I could be. Some months ago I ...
12/2011

Only an unreal life lacks magic!

To people who live only in the mind, magic is an illusion. To open into your whole being is to experience magic happening in your life. It comes from your ability, in being deeply open, to engage with life’s unbounded mysteries, with that which is not confined to logic and knowledge. Then you see through ...
10/2011

Love the Shadow!

Last weekend in Berlin I presented my Love and the Shadow workshop for couples, and added some follow-up homework assignments to help the couples carry the gifts they found in the workshop into their love relationships at home. Today I posted an mp3 recording I made during the workshop on a website. It is all ...
09/2011

A talk at end of The Universal Experience workshop

This is a transcript of my closing words to the people who participated in The Universal Experience workshop (an intimate encounter with your own death), at Waldhaus Zentrum in Switzerland last weekend (Sep 16-18). “I love how we change the world through changing ourselves. I really know from bitter experience how the world can hammer ...
07/2011

The death of a good man

I’m touched this morning by the news of the murder in Guatemala of one of Latin America’s greatest and most loved folk singers, the Argentinian Facundo Cabral. I want to share with you a little of what I read today, especially something that he said in an interview in 2008: “I love life so much ...