By Suma Varughese
Master Charles Cannon is an internationally recognised spiritual teacher best known for bringing technology into the meditative experience.
Master Charles Cannon is known worldwide as a master of meditation, contemporary spiritual visionary and holistic educator. He is the originator of the Synchronicity Experience and author of the spiritual autobiography, The Bliss of Freedom. Born in New York, Master Charles experienced visitations of the Blessed Mother (the archetype of the Divine Feminine) since his childhood and had many profound spiritual experiences. In his 20s, he came to India and became one of Swami Muktananda’s closest Western disciples. When Swami Muktananda passed away, Master Charles returned to the United States and founded Synchronicity®, Foundation for Modern Spirituality, promoting what is known as the Synchronicity Experience, Contemporary High-Tech Meditation and Holistic Lifestyle. His approach is a combination of high-tech musical CDs that create meditative vibrations within the listener, and a holistic lifestyle to bring balance to the physical, emotional and mental. He does these through advocating a balanced diet, aerobic exercise for the body, encouraging love-based feeling for balancing emotions and healing the mind through affirmative thinking. He will be coming to Mumbai and Bangalore in late January / early February to introduce the Synchronicity Experience in India.
Excerpts from an email interview:
You first came to India to receive wisdom and now you are coming to give it. Does not India have enough wisdom resources of its own?
First of all, I want to thank you for inviting me to be a part of your fine publication, which is one of the very few of its kind that is so consistently focused on the positive in these increasingly negative and polarised times. I honour India as the ultimate source of authentic spiritual wisdom on the planet. By spiritual wisdom, I am referring not only to philosophical wisdom, but most importantly to the highest wisdom of spiritual experience… the experience of unified consciousness or what I call holistic awareness. This is what my guru, the renowned Paramahansa Muktananda, always emphasised… experience over concept. As to my coming to India, it is not that I presume to have wisdom that is not already there, but rather it is my particular focus, as directed by my teacher many years ago, to update and contemporise the ancient wisdom of India and bring it into the world of today. After all, we are evolving and updating our science, education, socio-cultural values and everything else in our world… why then do we leave our spirituality in the past?
What is your USP?
Referring to the previous question, what I am offering specifically is a modern form of spirituality based on the cutting edge of technology. Everything that India has already evolved in its rich spiritual heritage is complete and perfect – it only remains to update it and include what modern technology has to offer to bring precision and acceleration of results. India is fast becoming a world leader in technology… why not apply this to the meditative journey? Could you explain what the Synchronicity Experience is and how it delivers on its promise of wholeness? The Synchronicity Experience is a modern system of high-tech meditation and holistic lifestyle utilising precision sonic technology that balances the brain hemispheres, and delivers holistic awareness (or wholeness), in accelerated time frames. Synchronicity technology is embedded within musical meditation CDs that are listened to with headphones. The technology operates on the basis of vibrational entrainment that acts like a tuning fork for the brain. As you listen, the CD literally meditates you by entraining brainwave frequencies corresponding to more holistic states of awareness. We have a variety of CDs that target alpha, theta and delta frequency ranges for light, medium and deep meditation. Are you suggesting that these technological soundtracks can actually bring a person to enlightenment? Insofar as what may be termed “enlightenment” is an ever-evolving process rather than an end point, these soundtracks certainly facilitate that process to a remarkable degree. For many years, I have observed very consistent states of holistic awareness as delineated in the ancient scriptures in many Synchronicity practitioners. Does it preclude the need for other spiritual practices or for a guru? Meditation is a primary balancing technique, but I have discovered over many years that one must simultaneously address what I refer to as the “Primary Trinity” of mind, emotion and body that represent the three densest dimensions within human experience. That is part of the “holistic lifestyle” component of the Synchronicity experience and together with Synchronicity High-Tech Meditation, actualises an ever-increasing integrative wholeness. As far as the role of the guru is concerned, that remains central to the human spiritual journey, for the guru provides the guidance and empowerment that is essential. But this precision system of high-tech meditation and holistic lifestyle makes the guru’s job a lot easier because it delivers to him or her a disciple who is more substantiated in wholeness, and therefore less challenging for the guru to work with. How did your experiences in India as a follower of Swami Muktananda change your life? In India, I was extensively trained in the orthodox contexts of the Vedic / Tantric wisdom that was my teacher’s wisdom tradition. It was there, under his guidance and through his example, that my life was transformed into one which is consistently focused in wholeness. From him, I came to understand that for me, the only worthwhile endeavour in life is to live consciously and holistically. My teacher was a perfect embodiment of wholeness as evidenced by the palpable power of his presence. As many are aware, he was highly acknowledged for the energetic transmission (or shaktipat), that he gave so freely. Has the fact that you are in touch with both the East and West brought about wholeness into yourself? I would say that a cross-cultural perspective has added depth and richness to my experience of wholeness. To witness the actualisation of the classical experiences recorded in the most ancient scriptures through the use of this modern empirical system has been most rewarding for me, as you can imagine.
Standing as we are today in the cusp between a dying world order and an emergent one based on spiritual laws, what does the world most need today?
Your assessment of the current state of the world is very accurate. In a word… what the world needs most of all is balance. What we have is extreme imbalance. Imbalance of what? Of the negative over the positive… objective over the subjective… fear over love… concept over experience… illusion over truth…separation over wholeness. When there is such imbalance, humanity suffers individually and collectively. There is conflict, dysfunction, misery, and confusion everywhere we look. When balance, positivity and love emerge, experience replaces concept, truth becomes available, and wholeness is restored. Humanity begins to live with a greater awareness of its unity while celebrating its diversity.
What do you see in future for mankind and the world?
I see humanity at a crossroads. In one direction, there is the possibility of global sectarian conflict on a scale never before imagined – conflict that could result in the end of life as we know it upon this planet. In the other direction, there is a greater possibility for humanity to open to the awareness of its innate divinity. I believe this is what you referred to in your previous question when you said, “the cusp between a dying world order and an emergent one based on spiritual laws”. Human beings are unique in that we create our future based upon our choices in the present. How would you sum up your philosophy? My philosophy, based on my experience, is one of inclusion, which means that in truth, all and everything is an expression of the same One Consciousness. There is nothing that is not Consciousness and therefore, everything is appropriate and all experience is valid. The great diversity of unity is a delighting Play of Consciousness, the magnification of its own bliss through myriad forms of itself. When this becomes our moment to moment reality, we experience everything in our world as an appropriate reflection. We may choose to agree or disagree, but we do not invalidate or negate anyone because given the context, everyone is doing the best they can. We can acknowledge the experience of another even if we do not choose it for ourselves. Again, this is not mere concept, but is based upon the experience of unified consciousness in which this is the truth of life. Since the Blessed Mother has been a source of inspiration for you, what do you have to say about the role of women in spiritualising the world? It is the nurturing, harmonising and creative power of the feminine that is missing in our world today and especially in our dominant models of reality as exemplified in the three Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. This is reflected in the way that women in general have been marginalised and relegated to a less than powerful position in many cultures. The result has been the dominance of an aggressive, rigid and reactive authority that exemplifies our spiritual life. So, I think women play a very key role in re-defining what it means to be human in a spiritual age.
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