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Who is Andrew Cohen?


Andrew Cohen has been a teacher of enlightenment since 1986. Widely recognized for his original contribution to the emerging field of evolutionary spirituality, Cohen is the author of numerous books on the spiritual life, and founder of the award-winning magazine What is Enlightenment? Through his talks, retreats, publications, and ongoing dialogues with the leading philosophers, mystics, and activists of our time, he is becoming a defining voice in an international alliance of individuals and organizations who are committed to the transformation of human consciousness and culture. 

Cohen's original spiritual teaching for life in the twenty-first century, Evolutionary Enlightenment, places the traditional realization of enlightenment in the context of fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution. As a vocal critic of the extreme individualism that characterizes much of contemporary spirituality, Cohen is awakening in people around the world a purpose for living that far transcends egoism: namely, a moral obligation to wholeheartedly participate in the evolution of consciousness itself. He travels extensively each year, lecturing and leading retreats on Evolutionary Enlightenment throughout the United States, Europe, India, Israel, and Australia. In his pursuit of a contemporary redefinition of the spiritual life, Cohen has sought out religious leaders and spiritual teachers around the world to inquire into many of the most pressing issues facing humanity today. He was a featured speaker on the future of religion at the 2004 Parliament of the World’s Religions, has given talks on authentic leadership to major corporations, and is a founding member of Ken Wilber's Integral Institute. 

Cohen was born in New York City in 1955. Raised as an atheist, his life was irrevocably changed by a spontaneous revelation of “cosmic consciousness” at the age of sixteen. Haunted by the experience, Cohen eventually abandoned his dream of becoming a jazz drummer and, at the age of twenty-two, began seeking spiritual enlightenment. Moving from the study of martial arts to Kriya Yoga to Buddhism, Cohen’s search finally came to an end in 1986 when he met the Indian master of Advaita Vedanta H.W.L. Poonja. Shortly after this life-transforming encounter, and with the encouragement of his guru (with whom he later parted ways philosophically), Cohen began to teach. 

Spiritual mentor to hundreds of students worldwide, Cohen founded EnlightenNext in 1988, a nonprofit educational and spiritual organization dedicated to pushing the edge of progressive culture. In addition to an expanding network of individuals and groups around the world, EnlightenNext has public centers in New York, Boston, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, and Rishikesh, India. The main center for EnlightenNext is a 220-acre retreat venue in western Massachusetts, where Cohen and his largest body of students currently reside.

Cohen's written works include:

Living Enlightenment
Andrew's latest book is a spiritual handbook for evolutionary transformation.

Embracing Heaven and Earth
An original contemporary expression of the timeless wisdom of Enlightenment. The fruition of Andrew Cohen's fifteen years as a spiritual teacher, this acclaimed book includes his seminal writings on what he calls the "Five Fundamental Tenets of Enlightenment," followed by eight powerful teachings on pivotal aspects of spiritual life.

Enlightenment is a Secret
This timeless collection of meditations on the spiritual life illuminates every aspect of the path and goal with the disarming simplicity of a wisdom beyond the mind.

Freedom Has No History
Andrew turns upside-down some of our most cherished notions about spiritual life in this passionate call to awaken. In short yet penetrating chapters, he explores the meaning of true integrity, conscience, love, and intimacy; challenges us to let go of cynicism and all that is known; and leads us into the mystery of the enlightened experience.

An Unconditional Relationship to Life
Autobiographical in style, this unique book contains some of Andrew's most profound and subtle enlightenment teachings, revealed through the kaleidoscope of his own ceaseless inquiry.

Andrew has appeared on Integral Naked:

Watching the Shadow12/18/2006
Karma in All Four Quadrants12/11/2006
Seeing with the Eyes of God12/4/2006
A Choice for Eternity11/20/2006
The Future is Up to Us11/13/2006
God Needs Our Help11/6/2006
The Paradox of Pop Spirituality: Searching for Depth Where None Is Allowed.4/10/2006
Immortality and Enlightenment2/27/2006
Conflict, Creativity, and the Ethics of Enlightenment8/8/2005
Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Teacher?4/18/2005
The Two Drives of Evolution: Negation and Preservation11/29/2004
Evolutionary Spirituality. Part 2. The Dangers of Homeostasis.5/17/2004
Meeting Top-Down Transformation from the Bottom Up4/26/2004
Evolutionary Spirituality. Part 1. Incarnational Nonduality.10/13/2003
Authenticity and Trust in Spiritual Teachers6/9/2003

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