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Great Awakenings: Spiritual Books & the Art of Collective Inquiry

Amy Edelstein

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

Great Awakenings: Spiritual Books & the Art of...

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12 Month Program Ended $848.00 $0.00

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Emergence Education Presents

Great Awakenings

Deep dialogue inspired by profound
contemporary spiritual writings

~ with Amy Edelstein & Chris Parish ~

Do you remember one book that set you on your spiritual quest?
Was there a mystic who ignited your passion for a truth beyond reach that still felt closer-than-close?
Did you ever have a conversation that you transported into a different world of possibility?

For many of us, the great awakenings of the world’s luminaries have fueled our own devotion to Spirit. Their examples inspire us and compel us to want to realize higher consciousness in our own lives. Coming in direct contact with a breathtaking spiritual vision of radical Love stirs something in us. It touches us from somewhere beyond our reach, while all the feeling like it is coming from our very own heart.

When we encounter the words of great realizers, we feel them echo in our own being. They call to us and inspire us to reach higher. They fill us with optimistic confidence about enacting real change in the world around us. Seeing how the illumination of great souls uplifted the culture they lived in, we see how our own transformation can contribute to the evolution of our world.  And that compels us to reach way beyond what we assume is possible.

Absorbing the vision of great luminaries is crucial to spiritual life, but when was the last time you made space for this in your own life?

Many of us have great books on our shelves, but it’s hard to carve out the time to immerse ourselves in contemplation. The days click by. We’re busy and overwhelmed, and  feel pressured to keep up with the world around us.

Spiritual Inspiration

So how do we carve out time for spiritual study and contemplation?

Over 30 years ago my very first yoga teacher gave me some critical advice I still follow today.

She said, “The best discipline is company.”

On our own, we often don’t find time for important reflection, but if we engage together with others we find the inspiration we need to make it happen.

That’s why Chris Parish and I have created the Great Awakenings collective inquiry series.

We are making it easy to engage deeply in the practice of profound spiritual inquiry and contemplation.

Here's how it works

Great Awakenings - spiritual book course➤ The course runs for 12 months with 12 great spiritual books that will be the focus of inquiry during the year.

➤ At the start of each month you receive a one-hour MP3 recording of a talk given by Chris and Amy discussing one of the books. You can listen to the recording at your convenience and use it to supplement your own reading of the book.

➤ At the end of each month there will be a three-hour discussion workshop (conducted via conference call) where you have the chance to explore a few key inspirational ideas from the book with Chris, Amy and other course participants in small group inquiry sessions.

➤ It’s simple and designed to make space for profound and transformative spiritual contemplation in our busy lives.

In this course you will find yourself in the company of a great cohort of other individuals who share a passion for growth, development, Spirit, transformation, and the thrill of the unknown.

You will follow a path of intriguing and illuminating questions that create a passageway to the soul. In this course you have full permission to explore - and to catch fire.

Great Awakenings will create the kind of spiritual company that makes it easy to drop into your own depth and experience the inner confidence that inspires us to change the world.

Through Great Awakenings, you’ll fall in love with new mystics and time-honored figures. This intimacy, which comes alive as you share your discoveries with others, will open and integrate your own mystical experience into your life.

In Great Awakenings: Radical Visions of Spiritual Love & Evolution every month, you will:

  • Delight in the opportunity to let go, supported by just enough structure and guidance to bring you to true spiritual insight.

  • Connect with others who are committed to traveling beyond the known.

  • Experience the “kalyana mitra,” (spiritual friendship) that the Buddha said was an essential element of the spiritual path.

  • Enter into a ready-made spiritual and evolutionary space where you can start engaging exactly where your spiritual journey has brought you to so far. That is the very place where we transform, grow, and evolve.

Gentle & Expert Guidance
Helps You Grow in Strength & Confidence

Amy and Chris have over 70 years of combined experience in spiritual practice. Their contemplative and transformational practice is just as active today as it ever was. In different ways they both continue to inquire, debate, discuss, evolve, integrate, and explore deeper truths.

Chris and Amy will share the edge of their own inquiry with you, bringing out the most significant insights from the works you will read.

You will be exploring such questions as:

  • What is nonduality in an evolving world?

  • How is the relationship between form and emptiness re-interpreted in our time?

  • What’s collective spiritual practice?

  • Can writing lead you to the same depths as meditation?

  • Is there a difference between philosophers and mystics?

  • What’s the interplay between psyche and Spirit?

  • Are evolution and awakening two different things?


Spiritual books learning course

What Others Have Said
About Chris & Amy’s Work

[columnize]“Thanks again for a great training. I've spoken with quite a few of the participants and across the board you made a strong impact. Everyone is really trying to apply this in their lives and work and seeing some results. Pretty cool that it’s possible to do that via the internet!" Karl, Alaska

“Amy’s own history was very inspiring because she both showed what is possible for everybody and what it really takes to find your own way and stay true to it - to be a living expression of it. And that what it takes is not something that we first have to get, but something that we already have, that we have to learn to listen to and cultivate. At the same time she did not hide the fact that it takes a lot of courage if we want to make ourselves available to the spiritual impulse and the radical freedom and insecurity that comes with it.” Helle, Norway

“I have always thought that a true teacher had the capacity to teach on many levels at the same time, speaking to the place each person listening was able to hear, therefore expanding the awareness of everyone listening in some way.  You certainly do that each and every time. You are incredible models for all of us who teach in any capacity.” Donna, Ohio

“When Chris talked about his own practice, and how he’s changed what he does, it challenged my thoughts about meditating. It reminded me that even though practice is very important, it cannot become a goal in and of itself. This inspires me to approach my meditation for the right reasons and to check in with my goals regularly so there’s always freshness and depth.” Alan, Sweden

"Chris and Amy have been my teachers for years.  From my first session I recognized a quietness and depth in their listening and connection.  I feel such supportiveness and empathy, without compromising how far we can go, that it brings a lightness and makes outrageous things seem possible." Maura, Spain

“Amy and Chris both transmit a deep meaningfulness and satisfaction of life. They are so in touch with what it means to live in alignment with the evolutionary impulse, with cosmic conscience, and they demonstrate a purpose that reaches far beyond the personal all the way back in history and forward into a future that we can not even imagine yet!” Poul, Denmark

Much More than Just Study

Though you’re guaranteed to learn a lot, Great Awakenings is more than a study course. It’s a monthly opportunity to engage in collective spiritual practice and inquiry around some of the books that have changed millions of lives.

Online spiritual book course

➤ 12 Great Books

➤ 12 Cultural, Historical, Spiritual, & Biographical Audio Lectures

➤ 12 Three-hour Collective Spiritual Inquiry Practice Sessions


Why Do We Call It Great Awakenings?

We’ve taken 12 great spiritual works written by great luminaries pointing to profound spiritual illumination.

We’ve designed a monthly workshop series that you’ll experience as a collective spiritual practice.

We’ve created a framework that makes profound spiritual inquiry accessible and easy.

Each month, you’ll look through a different mystic’s lens, opening a new portal to the infinite.

Finally you’ll have the time (and the excuse) you need to read or re-read those great works that have been on your mind.

You will be guided through collective inquiry in small groups to explore that single sentence or short paragraph that magically opens up the deeper meaning of the entire work.

Chris and Amy will use their extensive experience with spiritual practice and collective inquiry to guide you into a field of conscious communication. This profound level of dialog gives you access to perspectives and understanding that we would never come to on our own.

You’ll practice subtle techniques that lead to the experience of Oneness and the emergence of a higher order intelligence that seems to come from you and from the whole at the same time. 

Spiritual illumination

Do I Have to Read An Entire Book Each Month?   

No, you don’t.

We hope everyone will be able to use this series as an excuse to rediscover the spiritual nourishment that comes from the intimate reading of mystical works, but we’re also realistic.

We appreciate how busy everyone is – and more is not always better. So we’ve made this series deep, transformative, and manageable.

Each month, you’ll receive an hour-long talk from Chris and Amy that you can listen to at your convenience. We’ll take you into the heart of each classic. You’ll find out why they were so visionary and how they stepped beyond their own times.

You will see these authors through Amy and Chris' intimate experience. We will share times we spent personally with some of these masters and mystics as well as times these same books came alive for us.

At the end of the lecture, you’ll have a felt sense of why these mystics and their great awakenings have influenced people for centuries and even millennia after they passed from this life.

Next, we’ll post some shorter passages so you can get your own taste of these Great Awakenings.

Finally, when it comes to our shared inquiry practice you will receive one single phrase, sentence, or short paragraph from the studied work. Just enough to take you down the rabbit hole to emerge somewhere you could never imagine. As you go from classic to classic, you’ll experience the differences of faith, era, or tradition and appreciate the variety of authentic pathways to illumination.

Deep and transformative online course


The Great Books You'll Work With


September 2014:
Freedom from the Known, J. Krishnamurti

October 2014:
For Love of the Dark One: Songs of Mirabai, trans. Andrew Schelling

November 2014:
Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead, edt. Lucien Price

December 2014:
I Asked for Wonder: A Spiritual Anthology, Abraham Joshua Heschel

January 2015:
The Divine Milieu, Teilhard de Chardin

February 2015:
An Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire, Lama Yeshe 

March 2015:
Nature, Oversoul, & Other Essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson

April 2015:
Chasm of Fire, Irina Tweedie

May 2015:
Blossoms of Friendship, Vimala Thakar

June 2015:
Be As You Are, the Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, edt.David Godman

July 2015:
The Life of the Buddha: According to the Pali Canon, trans. Bhikkhu Nanamoli

August 2015:
Be Here Now, Ram Dass


Program Details

Monthly 60-minute Audio Presentations

Amy and Chris will bring to life the book of the month, illuminating central themes, historical and cultural significance, and how we might benefit from these insights in our own spiritual practice.

Presentations will be available for download the first Sunday of each month.

Monthly 3-hour Workshops

In these practice sessions, conducted by conference call, you will be guided through a workshop format, with small group inquiries on short illuminating passage from the book of the month.  The small group discussions will be interspersed with Q&A and instruction Chris and Amy..

Virtual collective spiritual inquiry sessions will be held via conference call the 3rd Sunday of each month from 10 AM US ET - 1 PM US ET.

2014 – 2015 WORKSHOP DATES

3rd Sunday of each month, 10 AM US ET – 1 PM US ET

21 September
19 October
16 November
21 December
18 January
15 February
15 March
19 April
17 May
21 June
19 July
16 August [/columnize]

[/column][column type="one-half" last="true"]

eBook about each of the 12 mystics and their work.  

Great Awakenings 2014

Join Amy & Chris and other spiritually-minded, future-oriented individuals for a great journey. Experience how far you can go & create a vibrant, strong, potential-rich spiritual collective!

If you have further questions about the course or need help registering, please email us at:

We fully hope and intend that this course will exceed your expectations. We are committed to supporting your development and providing a program that express excellence, integrity, consistency, and value. If within 30 days of the start of the course, you are not satisfied with the program, you may request a refund of 100% of your payments to date. Please submit your refund request by email to or by post to Emergence Education, 230 Stampers Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147. Refunds will be processed within four weeks.

Immerse yourself in spiritual inquiry 01

Immerse Yourself in the Joy of Collective Spiritual Inquiry


About Chris & Amy


Chris Parish is a leading voice in the emerging field of evolutionary spirituality and is a popular speaker, workshop facilitator and cultural commentator, teaching in various countries. Having begun his path as a meditator in India in the 1970s, Chris has spent over forty years immersing himself in the practice of individual and collective spiritual transformation and philosophical inquiry. Twenty years ago, he cofounded and directed the educational charity EnlightenNext UK in London. His background was originally in ecology and nature, a subject still close to his heart. Chris teaches nonduality and meditation as well as evolutionary emergence. He is currently writing a book about evolving British culture entitled The Creative Thread.

Amy EdelsteinAmy Edelstein, cofounder of Emergence Education, is a gifted educator, writer, and spiritual mentor committed to individual transformation and the evolution of our shared cultural values. She is a clinical pastoral chaplain, the first Evolutionary Spirituality interfaith minister ordained by the Council of Interfaith Churches, and holds the OUnI Wisdom Keeper chair in Evolutionary Spirituality. Amy has a background in Judaic philosophy, and also studied with a number of preeminent Vedantic and Buddhist teachers in Asia in the early 1980s, before meeting Andrew Cohen in 1986 and beginning her practice of evolutionary spirituality. She is the author of the Love, Marriage & Evolution and is working on a second book about evolutionary spirituality, including a new liturgy that responds to the needs and life transitions from a contemporary, evolutionary spiritual perspective.

A Rich Background of Practice

Chris began his meditation practice in 1973 in India, and Amy began her dedicated spiritual work in 1979 in Israel. They bring with them knowledge of time-honored spiritual paths, contemporary evolutionary spirituality, and their personal insights, gleaned by clocking many hours of practice and persevering through enormous challenges to experience the liberating breakthrough of spiritual insight and the humbling wonder of self transformation.

The spiritual teachers and meditation instructors they have studied with in person include (more or less in chronological order) Lama Yeshe, Douglas Harding, JK Krishnamurti,  Munindra, Christopher Titmuss, School of Advanced Jewish Studies, Eido Roshi, Yogi Amrit Desai, Lama Zopa, Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche (One of the Dalai Lama’s Spiritual Advisors), HH the Dalai Lama, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche (one of the Dalai Lama’s Senior Tutors), Geshe Sopa Rinpoche, SN Goenka, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Swami Krishnananda (from Sivananda Divine Life Society), Swami Chidananda (from Sivananda Divine Life Society), Metropolitan Anthony (Orthodox Christian leader), Vimala Thakar, and both practiced evolutionary spirituality with Andrew Cohen for over twenty five years. 


Join Amy & Chris and other spiritually-minded, future-oriented individuals for a great journey. Experience how far you can go & create a vibrant, strong, potential-rich spiritual collective!

Have questions about Great Awakenings: Spiritual Books & the Art of Collective Inquiry? Contact Amy Edelstein

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