||Who is Andrew Cohen?|
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: