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A Brief History of Education and Training at EnlightenNext

The education and training efforts of EnlightenNext began in the spring of 2006 when I created a five-week course that was called “The Liberation of Consciousness in the 21st Century: An introduction to Andrew Cohen’s teaching of Evolutionary Enlightenment.” At that time, I was acting as Andrew Cohen’s personal assistant and, following a powerful experience that I had with him on retreat, felt compelled to create a course that would help people better grasp the full scope of his teaching.

During that spring, I taught the first version of the course in Boston, New York and at the EnlightenNext world headquarters in Lenox, Massachusetts, and my friend, colleague and fellow senior teacher Chris Parish, taught it in London. At that point, Andrew Cohen and I had a series of conversations to determine what characteristics were necessary to be able to communicate the depth and subtlety of Evolutionary Enlightenment We talked about the many qualities-depth of experience, enthusiasm, clarity of understanding, and ability to communicate, that would be required to make a successful teacher. In the end, Andrew realized that a person’s ability to transmit this teaching ultimately rested on the degree to which they themselves were authentically engaged with their own development.

Once that was determined, I started planning to train teachers and by August I had updated the course and trained twenty-five students of Andrew Cohen as instructors of the course. That fall those instructors taught in twenty-eight cities in ten countries spanning three continents. At present, there are sixty trained instructors, the original five-week course has been completely redesigned and is now called “Living Enlightenment: An introduction to the path of Evolutionary Enlightenment.” We also have two one-day seminars, four advanced one-day seminars and two presentations that students of Evolutionary Enlightenment can train to teach.

Why Education and Training?

The realization that compelled me to design the original course was the recognition that for humanity to survive and thrive into the future we must work together to facilitate our own evolution. I became convinced that as individuals we all needed to be both evolving and helping others to evolve. That is why I wanted to create a course that would help people understand the perspective of Evolutionary Enlightenment, and then teach the course to people and train others to do the same. I wanted to create a movement of people who were changing, developing, and evolving in visibly obvious ways. That meant that their understanding and perspective on life was growing and the impact they had on those around them was increasing. To accomplish this, I felt that it was essential to educate a larger and larger group of people about our unique and precarious place in evolutionary history.

Beyond Education and Training

Education is an important part of developing an evolutionary movement, but it will only be effective when it is integrated into the lives of those involved. If learning is to become more than merely intellectual expansion, it is critical that people be given the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned and seen.

For this reason, EnlightenNext’s efforts in education and training have merged with our membership and engagement activities. This powerful combination creates a platform to create systems and opportunities to facilitate individual and collective growth, and begin to create a global movement-a worldwide learning community-which evolves, grows and develops together.


  • About Andrew Cohen »
  • About Evolutionary Enlightenment »

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