When Shadow Meets the Bodhisattva

IEC Conference: 2023

Ever since Eastern spirituality was introduced into the West, numerous spiritual teachers and gurus have fallen from grace – plagued by scandals, and failing to live up to the teachings they themselves advocate. As a result a crisis of trust has engulfed the spiritual world.

In this presentation spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen will explore the collapse of his own community in 2013, which left his students lost, bitter, angry, and confused.

After his very public fall from grace Cohen vanished from view and underwent a dark night of the soul. After 10 years of intense soul-searching, he will now share his insights into the reasons for the failure of his organization EnlightenNext, including his own responsibility for its downfall.

He will speak with transparency and vulnerability about the lessons he learned about the need to deal thoroughly with one’s shadow; the way he enacted his role as a guru; and the means he used to implement the teachings of Evolutionary Enlightenment.

He will also share how some of the issues he had to work through are profoundly relevant to the spiritual community as a whole, and explore how they could contribute to the evolution of the buddha, the dharma and the sangha into a more integral expression – which is an indispensable part of a planetary awakening 2.0.

COHEN, Andrew

United States

Andrew Cohen is a spiritual teacher, cultural visionary, and founder of the global non-profit EnlightenNext and its award-winning publication EnlightenNext magazine. After the collapse of EnlightenNext in 2013, and his very public fall from grace, he vanished from view and underwent a dark night of the soul. In his latest book When Shadow meets the Boddhisattva, he explores his responsibility for the collapse of his community as well as a new vision for modern spirituality based on the wisdom of the lessons he learned.

In 2020, he and a small group of collaborators launched the online project Manifest Nirvana, a virtual ashram and “monastery of the future” which Andrew has called a Home for Sovereign Souls, Radical Spirits and Integral Pioneers.

In his three decades of teaching and lecturing, he has developed a unique and powerful vision for a truly contemporary spirituality, combining evolutionary theory and integral developmental practice with the timeless wisdom of the perennial philosophy.

Andrew’s pioneering dharma Evolutionary Enlightenment calls not for transcendence of the world, but for a deep and heroic responsibility for its evolution.