What is Radical Amazement?.

The methodolgy underpinning Radical Amazement guides us into a relationship with ourselves and Nature that then allows us to open to a self arising joy that will make every human a safe custodian of our beautiful planet and turn Humanity around from the disasterous tragectory we are now on.

The wonderful thing is once you see why we have lost it, the aha can take very little time following a few simple steps and exersizes and you will see it was sitting there right under our noses all the time. Elusive qualities like stillness, inner peace, joy , connection, love , compassion are all there waiting for us.  I teach it through the medium of food as that is my backround and actually serves as a great metaphor in our lives. It is also one of the profoundest ways we connect with NATURE every day without being terribly conscious about the wonderfull experience we could be having in the process. The reclaiming and honouring of this relationship which was trained out of us as children growing up in a Patriarchal, Reductionist, Post Industrialist Culture, brings a joy that in the great spiritual traditions is known as cultivating the state of ‘No Mind’ and allows us to re-experience what E.F. Schumacher refers to as ‘Participation Mystique’ or the pure blissful joy of what Titch Nat Hanh speaks about in  'interbeing'.

To help me understand my experience and help explain it to others and teach it , ive managed to find a few references in our culture to what it is and where it fits in in the awakening landscape or our journey of seeking and finding happiness.

Albert Einstein " Education can be defined as the growth of Wonderment ".

A.H.Almaas connects experiential beauty with the most profound truth.

"We live in a world of mystery, wonder and beauty.But most of us seldom participate in this real world, being aware rather of a world that is mostly strife, suffering or meaninglessness. This situation is basically due to our not realizing and living our full human potential. This potential can be actualized by the realization and development of the human essence. The human essence is the part of us that is innate and real, and which can participate in the real world.(Almaas, 1987, p.i).

"Rabbi Martin Levin, of the congregation Beth-El, says a wonderful description of spirituality;  " to be spiritual is to be constantly amazed"

"To Quote the words of Pofessor Abraham Joshua Heschel, a wonderful teacher of our times,

"He said, "our goal should be to live in Radical Amazement".  He would encourage the students to rise each morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted "Everything is phenominal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed."

Wordsworth's poetry describes it.

              "There was a time when meadow, grove and stream

               The earth, and every common sight,

               To me did seem

               Apparelled in celestial light"

Mingyur Rinpoche from the Tibetan tradition talks of the experience like this :

"In the same way, in waking life, transcending the distinction between subject and object is equivalent to recognizing that whatever you experience is not separate from the mind that experiences it. Waking life doesn't stop, but your experience or perception of it shifts from one of limitation to one of wonder and amazement". 

Brian Keenen in his book "An evil cradling" which won the Irish literature prize for non-fiction writes of his experience of it whilst in prison.

Another day. The Shuffling Acolyte and i take part in our daily ritual,that long short walk to the toilet. That same walk back and i am home again. I dont look any more at the food,knowing its monotony will not change, not even its place on my filthy floor. The door closes, the padlock rattling and its over again for another day. I look at this food i know to be the same as its always been. But wait. My eyes are almost burned by what i see. There's a bowl in front of me that wasn't there before. A brown button bowl and in it some apricots, small oranges, some nuts, cherries, a banana. The fruits, the colours, mesmerize me in a quiet rapture that spins through my head. I am entranced by colour. I lift an orange into the flat filthy palm of my hand and feel and smell and lick it. The colour orange, the colour, the colour, my God the colour orange. Before me is a feast of colour. I feel myslef begin to dance, slowely, iam intoxicated by colour. I feel the colour in a quiet sonambulant rage.Such wonder,such absolute wonder in such an insignificant fruit. I cannot , i will not eat this fruit.I sit in quiet joy, so complete, beyond the meaning of joy. My soul finds its own completeness in that bowl of colour. The forms of each fruit. The shape and curl and bend all so rich, so perfect. I want to bow before it , loving that blazing, roaring, orange colour...... Everything meeting in a moment of colour and of form, my rapture no longer an abstract euphoria. I feel the smell of each fruit leaping into me and Lifting me and carrying me away. I am drunk with something that i understand but cannot explain. I am filled with a sense of love. I am filled and satiated by it. For days i sit in a kind of dreamy lethargy, in part contemplation and in part worship. The walls seem to be singing. I focus all of my attention on that bowl of fruit. At times i lift and fondle the fruits, at times i rearrange them, but i cannot eat them."