Andrew Harvey

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Andrew Harvey is a poet, writer, teacher, and mystic. He is a former fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and has taught at Cornell University, Hobart College, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is the author and editor of many books, including Hidden Journey; The Return of the Mother; A Journey in Ladakh; The Essential Mystics; The Son of Man and his latest book, The Direct Path.

Author photo © David Sutton 2012

Listen to Tami Simon's in-depth audio podcast interviews with Andrew Harvey:
The Shadow Course, Part 1 »
The Love of Divine Rebels »
Evolutionary Mysticism »

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Andrew Harvey: The Shadow Course, Part 1

Andrew Harvey is a prolific scholar, poet, and teacher whose work spans television appearances, audio teachings, and more than 28 books. Working with Sounds True and Caroline Myss, Andrew has created the upcoming online course The Shadow Course: An Eight-Week Journey to Know Yourself and Bring Light to the World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Andrew examine the concept of the Shadow and why it is so important that we learn to work with the greed, fear, and lack of conscience that it contains. They speak on how the Shadow can affect our sense of physicality, as well as how we can work with our Shadow self to truly embrace every aspect of our bodies and sexuality. Andrew comments on “the golden shadow”—innate inner strengths that we displace or deny—and its affects on our social interactions. Finally, Andrew and Tami talk about collective Shadows that exist on the societal level—especially the Shadow of human extinction and the imperative lessons it holds. (65 minutes)

Andrew Harvey: The Love of Divine Rebels

Tami Simon speaks with Andrew Harvey, a poet, writer, teacher, and mystic. Andrew is the founder of the Institute for Sacred Activism, and is the author and editor of many books, including The Direct Path and Son of Man. He has created several audio programs with Sounds True, including the 13-part audio series with Caroline Myss called Divine Rebels: Saints, Mystics, Holy Change Agents—and You. In this episode, Tami speaks with Andrew about why we need both the fire of devotional practices as well as the coolness of contemplation, how there are actually two dark nights of the soul on the spiritual journey, the importance of shadow work, and what is “the whole mystical truth.” (72 minutes)

Andrew Harvey: Evolutionary Mysticism

Tami Simon speaks with Andrew Harvey a poet, teacher, writer, mystic, and sacred activist. His work is deeply involved with the transformative nature of the spiritual path and the call in our time for mystics to become what Andrew calls, sacred activists—sacred activists in a world that needs us. He has created several powerful audio programs with Sounds True including Radiant Heart, Song of the Sun, and The Direct Path. Andrew discusses the birth of universal mysticism, the dark night of the soul, and the transfiguration of the body that occurs as we progress on the spiritual path.

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How to Bloom in the Dark: Self-Compassion, Compost, an...

Compassion is the magic ingredient that turns our personal “compost” into personal evolution.

 Some time ago, I found a strange bloom in the kitchen. It was elegantly twisted, like a dragon at a Chinese New Year celebration. It was frilled, purple, and pungent. This exquisite thing grew out of a chunk of purple cabbage that I’d put under the sink to go out for compost. Instead of fading quietly however, it burst into new life in the dark grotto of my cabinetry. It blossomed into something unexpected, unusual, and fiercely beautiful.

Reflecting on the discovery of this “flower” in the shadows, I’m reminded of, and heartened by, the fertility of dark times. Many people are feeling a collective spiritual darkness now, exhausted and frustrated, maybe also angry and scared. Having compassion for ourselves and others is especially important in times of literal and metaphorical darkness. How can we do this if we already feel overloaded?

Nature is our ultimate model and guide—in the light, in the dark, and in the most surprising and gorgeous ways. Cue the weird, glorious cabbage flower which came to life in the dark. What was being shown there?

There is the clear compost metaphor. Compost is the stuff we reject, the moldy, wilted, too hard, too soft, nasty bits that don’t make it to the table. It’s also the leftovers from delicious things we appreciate and enjoy, silky mango skins, green tea leaves, dark coffee grounds.

It all transforms into a rich sloop that eventually nourishes future plants. Our personal work includes processing our own “dark” sides, the parts we’d like to hide or discard. Self-compassion (and compassion for others) holds both the rejected and respected parts of who we are. Like composting, it isn’t always pretty, but it’s potent. Research shows self-compassion helps us stay present and kindhearted without sinking into absorptive empathy, which can lead to overload and burnout. This meditation is part of the toolkit in the audio course Shining Bright Without Burning Out.

The cycles of the natural world, into which we are interwoven, take time. It’s hard to be patient, to let everything, both scorned and enjoyed, stew in our symbolic personal compost piles. The speed with which that brew changes from nasty to nourishing varies widely with the internal and external conditions. Sometimes all those different elements take a long time to dissolve and break down. Sometimes it turns around faster than we think possible, like time-lapse photography of a log rotting on the forest floor with new green shoots springing to life overnight. Compassion is the magic ingredient that turns our personal “compost” into personal evolution.

The dark supports transformation. Times of literal darkness are needed for regeneration. Roots, seeds, and bulbs prepare. People and animals sleep. Times of symbolic darkness are also helpful. In darkness, transformative processes happen without spectators, often below the level of our conscious awareness. These are periods of catharsis, healing after trauma, cocooning in preparation for the next version of ourselves and our world.

We sometimes feel hopeless and helpless in the dark. Our society avoids sinking into it. Instead, we gravitate towards purveyors of easy “love and light!” spirituality, shying away from the deep, gooey work that happens to the larval versions of ourselves (and those around us) when we’re in the darkness of the cocoon. Self-compassion is most needed when we’re a mess.

The dark is a vital part of the wheel of our days, our years, our lifetimes. We need it to survive and be healthy in the long term. So, let’s embrace it, explore it, and be gentle with ourselves as we confront our fear of it. From this darkness we are nourished to bloom into the light.

@ 2021 Mara Bishop MA

Preorder Shining Bright Without Burning Out now! 

Mara Bishop has over 25 years of experience helping people find spiritual health and well-being. Her Personal Evolution Counseling™ method blends shamanism, psychology, intuition, energy healing, and nature-based practices. She lives in Durham, NC with a beloved family of people, animals, and plants.

More information about Mara is at www.WholeSpirit.com

What We Long For

Becca Piastrelli is a writer, speaker, ancestral folk medicine keeper, and women’s group facilitator. She is a leader in women’s empowerment and earth wisdom, teaching women how to cultivate a greater sense of belonging. With Sounds True, she has authored the book Root and Ritual. In this podcast, Becca joins Tami Simon to discuss the lifelong journey of reclaiming our sense of belonging, with a particular focus on four areas: land, lineage, community, and self. Becca and Tami also explore the concept of loneliness as both a personal and a systemic challenge, humbling ourselves to the natural world, confronting the pain and grief of colonization, listening to the soul of your home, healing the “great severing” of our root systems, the Indigenous concept of the “ever happening” and receiving the support of our ancestors, the somatic experience of ritual, the importance of being witnessed in our journey of transformation, and much more.

Rewriting Your Food Story

Elise Museles is on the board of directors for the Environmental Working Group, a holistic health expert, and the host of the podcast Once Upon a Food Story. With Sounds True, she’s released the new book Food Story: Rewrite the Way You Eat, Think, and Live. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Elise about the concept of “food stories”—your personal relationship with food and eating, defined not only by your own experiences but by the familial and cultural messages you grew up with. They discuss the different kinds of food stories, their origins, and what it takes to “rewrite” your own food story. Elise details different ways you can shift your attitudes toward food, including mindful eating, acceptance of your body’s needs, and cutting screens out of your meals. Finally, Tami and Elise talk about the therapeutic quality of food prep, how to tailor recipes to specific moods, and why “emotional eating” isn’t always a bad thing. 

 

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