Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Yaniv Cohen

Who am I? When that question hits, there's often nowhere to run. Sometimes it compels you to quit your job in a dying economy. Sometimes it takes you on a four month tour across three continents, through the rickshaws of India and fine chocolate in Switzerland. Sometimes it opens you to mind-blowing experiences that simply can't be processed rationally.

If you're Yaniv Cohen, it was all of the above. And then some. Yaniv recalls, "My good friend asked me if I have changed these last few months. The answer is yes, no doubt I have changed. There was no choice but to change; yet paradoxically - I also feel more like ME than ever."

On Wednesday, June 11th, Yaniv will share stories of his amazing encounters with people (and his own self), a captivating slideshow of his digital pictures, and the inspiration of many "miracles" he witnessed with his own skeptical mind. Robin Sukhadia will also accompany him with sublime tabla tunes! This event is hosted in our home and there is no cost to attend; please RSVP for more details.

Traveller in Life

When intuition strikes, he listens. Last time it hit, Yaniv packed up his bags in New York and moved to California, soon after his Computer Science degree at Cornell. This time he quit his job and travelled.

"My first morning in Boulder Colorado, I remember waking up and feeling like I have never been anything but a traveller in this life," he recalls.

That was just the first morning. Over the next several months, he ran into, and stayed with, a group of sixty prominent world peacemakers in Israel, visited sacred spots around India, felt instantaneously connected to random people on railway platforms, had random astrologer tell him his entire life history based on a simple leaf, played face-to-face with slum children, lived on cheese and chocolate in Switzerland, encountered holy men like Sai Baba, stayed in Auroville (a place that "belongs to nobody"), and was blown out of his mind by a beggar on the streets.

After a while, those seemingly synchronous events are no longer coincidences. They're miracles that demand an unmitigated reverence of life, an awe of the present moment, a deep humility to accept what can't always be understood immediately. And that's just what Yaniv had.

Waking Up (poem on the first day of his trip)

Long have I wandered in the desert of delusion,
Chasing mirages of temporary sense pleasure.

But now through deepening meditation I have found an
oasis filled with the living waters of Nectar-Bliss.

Daily I dip in these waters, washing away anger,
jealousy and greed, refreshing myself with peace,
light and joy. May I plant seeds of goodwill along
its banks, and may the trees of life growing hence
provide nourishing fruit for all thirsty souls.

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