connecting psychotherapy and spiritual growth for human awakening
the deepest compassion that has always existed in humanity
I have sent out a detailed document about the Arhat Project—a proposal for a spiritual community based on the Three Stages of Human Awakening, an innovative psycho-spiritual model, philosophy, and methodology which describes how we can progress though layers of personality and character, free ourselves from the limitations and restraints of ego, and live the life of authenticity and heart-centeredness in preparation for the single-focused ascent, in-turning, expansion, and final liberation through spiritual, transcendental, and divine realms of human existence.
The response has been very heartening, because we have no time to waste. From people in individual therapy to spiritual practitioners one of the most potent, insidious forms of resistance that results in personal and spiritual entropy or stagnation is complacency: the idea that we have all the time in the world. The other is psychological and spiritual materialism: the idea that when we have done enough work, read enough, trained enough, meditated enough, we will get there.
Both of these opposing views are identical; they get you nowhere. You must act, you must practice, but you must do both wisely with guidance and profound intelligence. Thinking you have all the time in the world or never enough time to do all you have to do (which is never ending) are both forms of self-sabotage.
You know this already, I am sure, and, since you do, you probably also know that you have been inwardly enthused, deeply inspired, and spiritually excited by the Arhat proposal. I believe it is the way to our sacred future. Communal living, spiritual collective living, combining physical, spiritual, creative, and energetic resources for an expanded effort in sacred living is the way, because we must revolutionize the way we live together.
If you want to defeat an enemy, you divide and conquer it. People have individually and collectively been doing that to themselves for a long time now. That is why ego-forces have risen to the present saturation point. The human race has created a world of gross ignorance and the result is we feel dead, fearful, benumbed, angry, and unclear.
People have written with many inspiring comments about Arhat—thank you from my heart and soul! I am encouraged that you have felt the meaning of what I have put forward; so, we have begun. Now I ask you to start. What you can do now is become familiar with my work, so that you can initiate a Human Awakening Group (see second attachment). This is where we will start. Currently there are easily enough people to form an Arhat community. However, you are spread around the world. In time we will see how this may resolve. Most importantly, the community should start from the right basis. The basis of Arhat is spirituality, liberation, and divine fulfillment. The way is through the false strategies and complexities of character and personality into the life of authenticity.
What I am proposing is not like other approaches. It is not Zen, not an encounter group, group therapy, or Buddhist meditation. It is an entirely new, integrated approach that goes further than most existing approaches. It is an innovative, profound, and serious way of addressing the unique circumstance we find ourselves in at the beginning of the 21st century.
If you become involved with Arhat, you will face your very deepest challenges and you will go further in your inner exploration, and beyond, than you have ever imagined. You will be set free and only you will be the decision-maker of this fate. You will come to a place where nothing and no one stands between you and happiness, bliss, and peace.
So if this meets your deeper aspiration for your life, please act now and gather a group to practice The Three Stages of Human Awakening. Progress with this group for a while and then contact me to share how it’s unfolding.
Reading and studying my present body of work will provide you with all you will need for the now: psycho-spiritual philosophy, practical applications, and abundant exercises and practices. Your group for human awakening might develop into a center as it grows or it may remain as a group. The human awakening groups may develop into Arhat communities. In the meantime I will be here to encourage, guide, and inspire your efforts.
To read or refer people on to my Arhat proposal give this link to the Therapy & Spirituality website at: http://www.therapyandspirituality.com/articles/. As a result of your feedback and important suggestions, I will be producing further editions of the proposal at this link over time.
If you, or anyone you know, is interested in donating to the Arhat Project, please go to offering http://www.therapyandspirituality.com/offer-support.html for full details of how you or they can offer support or donate.
I am sending these out to you with your permissions, because I feel strongly that the way ahead is to connect, with yourself, with each other and, in time, with and as community. Please therefore feel free to send this document to others who you think may be genuinely interested. Refer them to my website (particularly http://www.therapyandspirituality.com/human-awakening.html which summarizes the Three Stages of Awakening).
Each email response begins with a summary heading taken from the email and is followed by a contact email address for you to write to if you wish and the person’s location. In some cases my response also follows.
… the deepest compassion that has always existed in humanity…
Once again you have commanded my attention as your words are honorable and important to the world at this time. Usually when I read these types of plans there are several red flags due to what will inevitably come across as inconquerable judgements. Alas, how could anyone wish to involve themselves in something that would bring ethical confusion? You however have precisely organized the very thing I wish to see more of… the very thing the world’s inhabitants must do to bring us into the new age of enlightenment. Preaching to your choir... For you must know that I feel this plan is perfection and will certainly put its participants at ease to help them shine. My faith in you and your work abounds. I see you and know what you are doing. It would be a pleasure to help you in any way with your plans. Please take my love and faith in the deepest compassion that has always existed in humanity with you wherever you go because I believe. Thank you for your divine attention!
Respect lives forever in my heart, Kristen
Director of SARPANA, Yoga/Meditation Instructor, Dance Instructor, Writer and Presenter
Pennsylvania, North America
A way forward for my life…
I have read through your Arhat project quickly. It makes perfect sense to me. It is however, “a tall order,” but that is prescribed by the current state of humankind. I believe I could become part of such a movement. I still seek a way forward for my life. It sounds totally exciting and suited to our time.
Retired, Student of the Three Stages of Awakening
… a better alternative lifestyle free from social constraints… the world would be a better place
Thank you for sharing this with me. I think it is a great idea and something that is very much needed. If only more of us could live an example of a better alternative lifestyle free from social constraints, the world would be a better place for sure!
…aarrgghh I can’t get it out of my head now! What an interesting concept, I have just been looking online at other communities although most are religion-based, I like the idea of having a community set up and run by like-minded people with also the possibility of opening it for respite for people in crisis. There are many grants available now for all sorts of projects. We have land and are in the process of converting an old barn. There would be scope there to share resources and buildings. We have woodlands that we are in the process of getting grants for to maintain; the possibilities are there for sure, however our land is green belt, so accommodation may be a problem, unless they are not classed as permanent fixtures, i.e. timber-framed. The root cause of my suffering is my annoyance with the world as it is, but hey that’s how things start… I definitely see the possibilities here for a centre.
Reiki Master, Life Experience
It has been my dream too…
Richard my dear, I was very delighted to read about the Arhat community that you envision. It has been my dream too, for some years now, to contribute to the development of a sacred, joyful space like the one you describe. A place of metamorphosis, creativity, sharing and celebration, within the nurturing womb of Mother Nature. I feel honored by your sharing the seeds of this project with me and would very much love to be a part of it. Do you have any more details already decided upon, such as location, architectural design, utilities, funding and sustainability, members of the core group etc. or are you just sketching them right now? Please let me know.
Thank you very much for facilitating this connection to other beautiful people, together with whom we can make this project grow. Please keep me posted about Arhat. I foster this community in my heart. A warm hug, Gabriela
PR and communication specialist, MA in intercultural communication, yoga instructor
Any group of people who are inspired by my Three Stages of Human Awakening and who would like to live together in sacredness and spiritual discipline and celebration are welcome to initiate an Arhat community. I myself, as I have said before, would not be involved in the practical issues, except insofar as they are or become spiritual issues. I would provide as much support and guidance as is needed, or as I am able to provide, to enable the community to flourish.
I am very encouraged by your interest in the Arhat proposal and hope that I can be of service to a spiritually fruitful community in which you are involved.
Love and blessings
P.S. Please encourage your friends and acquaintances to follow Robert Meagher’s lead and become “Loving Supporters of the Arhat Project.”
You have clearly laid out what the project involves…
I have carefully reviewed your MAGNIFICENT proposal for the Arhat Project. Richard, you are an inspiring writer. Well done! Bravo! You have clearly laid out what the project involves and how to get involved. I think you have covered off all the essential information and provided answers to most peoples’ questions (although there is always one person in the crowd who will find something to ask about).
I have many comments on the proposal and share them in the attached, know that all comments are extended as an expression of love, best wishes, and good will. I release the comments to you in love, light, and peace. Shanti.
Namaste, Agape, Robert
Rev. Robert Meagher
Inter-Faith/Non-Denominational Minister, Spiritual Guidance
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Robert’s enthusiasm has led to his instigating the “Loving Supporters of the Arhat Project” on his Spiritual Guidance website http://www.servingyourjourney.com/
Some very important points have been raised in correspondence on the Arhat proposal. Here is a brief sample with my responses:
Sexuality, Hysteria, and Devotion
Sexuality should be neither repressed, nor encouraged, as a substitute for spirituality. Relating and real relationship without separation is the basis for effective and authentic spiritual life, not relationships in themselves—sexual, emotional, dependent, or otherwise.
The sexual axis and devotional-hysterical response of many Christian mystics to Christ is an over-intensity of the heart or fourth chakra response when it is not balanced with the rest of the bodily energy system Through right breath practice and leading a balanced life in support of serious spiritual practices and discipline this, like other relative experiences, can be “seen through” by the serious spiritual student. In fact all experiences, phenomena, relationships, and material body-emotional based life can be “seen through” while living an intelligent spiritual practice.
Modern Spirituality, Withdrawal, and Ego
All reactive withdrawing from the world and from inner and outer experience is simply that—reaction. In the first stage of The Three Stages of Awakening your predisposition toward reactivity should become clear through a detailed examination of your early life experience through infancy, childhood, and adolescence. This form of resistance to real spirituality like so much modern “spirituality” is merely an extension of psychological states of egoic limitation and should never be confused, or even compared to, genuine spirituality.
Human Awakening Groups can definitely be created over the internet, yes.
Among other helpful issues that have been raised are aging, ill health, and dying in an Arhat community; massage and yoga; costs and finances; work and remuneration; not fitting in and having to leave the community, and further working positions that need to be filled to ensure an efficiently run community. I will endeavour to respond and/or act on each of them over time in a further document.
It's a wonderful vision… it's constantly in my mind
I've read the attachment on the Arhat project several times this past week and have passed it on to a couple of friends whom I think may be truly interested and am waiting for their feedback. I find it fascinating and appealing. The 'desire' for spiritual discipline has always been high on my list and many times I have craved to be in a monastic setting so I could dedicate this life to awakening. I have always believed this was the only way. I'm still not sure however about monastic settings! I do know for sure inner work is the primary concern for me and everything else is secondary. I am learning that everything in life has spiritual meaning and dharma is everywhere. I accept and admit it has been a slow process in gaining insights and the idea of accelerating the process with like-minded people in a community is very appealing and there's an excitement just thinking about it. When I was having Mahayana Buddhist teachings there was this yearning to go beyond the 'world' in order to ultimately become a Bodhishattva. That was the definition of leading a meaningful life in the world!
The fear of commitment arises and the doubts and the questions. What is neo-monastic for example? Do we need communities to make us whole and complete? This has always been a dilemma for me. The discipline and daily rhythm of when I was on long retreats was always welcoming, but egos were still rampant.
Who would be responsible initially for financing the community? It's a wonderful vision and I realize it's constantly in my mind. The image I have is getting stronger each day in my reflections. You have planted the seed! I'm wondering if you're getting positive feedback? I certainly hope so and would be happy to hear of any moves towards manifesting the Arhat project!
With Love, Maggie
Diplomas from the Purple Flame School of Aromatherapy, M.I.P.T.I., Reiki 2 Cert, Crystal Therapist Diploma, Spiritual Venturers Association
The advantage of the community is that it powerfully intensifies and accelerates you to grow beyond ego-identity and separateness, by magnifying opinions, prejudices, conflicts, and collusion. Also it directly supports your spiritual practice and potentially reduces the sense of self-identity in that too because spiritual practice is collective and shared.
Your fear of commitment is like everyone’s, merely the ego’s need to dominate. Community living reflects the reality of human life. The nuclear family, the alienated individual in society, relationship exclusivity, fear and desire have been reinforced in the modern era by commercial enterprise, advertising, politicians, and religion creating societal norms and inculcating fear in you to bring about conformity—blind conformity which depends on gross ignorance: Hardly anyone knows what they want, if they want it, and why they want it. Hardly anyone knows who they are, what their deeper purpose is, and anything beyond desire and fear, expectations and assumptions, and pleasing the conformist/rebel within.
About dilemmas—there are none. You simply follow your intuitive sense of truth toward reality and the divine or you stagnate, procrastinate and wait it out!
Finances for the community are the responsibility of the collective and the individuals involved. Giving or donating to support a community like Arhat is highly appropriate and not without precedent, because the intention behind the community extends outward toward humanity and for the good of all.
Maggie, I suggest that the reason Arhat is constantly in your mind is because it is so sane, such an intelligent response to the contemporary, human predicament. Please start by creating a Human Awakening Group. As a lesser commitment this will enable you to gauge how you could go further and allow yourself an expanded vision of your life from now on as a free individual.
Love to you
The Arhat Project—a residential spiritual community where the processes of personal inner enquiry and transformation are accelerated through a neo-monastic but engaged schedule and life style. Based on the practices inherent in The Three Stages of Awakening, a communal living project where personal and spiritual development is accelerated, intensified and potentized.
If you would like to become involved in this project, please write via the contact form on this site.
“Do not settle for less than everything—the transformation of the human heart and the courage to demand and bear the responsibility
of leading a spiritual life in the world.”
This article was published on this site in 2013.