Does Judaism have an end goal for spiritual growth? Is Buddhist enlightenment the same as Hindu liberation or Christian mystical union?
Religions are both traditions and innovations. Their innermost spiritual expressions change over time. In our culture, we embrace newness in technology, science, business, and the arts, but we leave spiritual innovation largely unexplored—at least openly. Religions are storehouses of tremendous wisdom that originate in ancient civilizations. However, to fully actualize their potential, we must take even their most transcendent lessons, and juxtapose them to today's needs.
InBeyond Enlightenment, Rabbi Matt Ponak will explore different forms of spiritual realization—the end goals of meditative schools—from a multitude of mystical traditions. In so doing, he will paint a picture of what contemporary forms of enlightenment could look like. Contrary to the common view, the later stages of mystical progression vary quite dramatically from system to system. Could it be that new forms of spiritual development are waiting to be discovered?
Rabbi Matt Ponak is a teacher and student of embodied transformation. Rabbi Matt has studied with many of this generation’s leading teachers of Jewish mysticism including Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, R. Arthur Green, R. Zvi Ish-Shalom, R. Tirzah Firestone, and R. Rami Shapiro. Also holding an MA in Contemplative Religions from the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University, Rabbi Matt weaves world wisdom with ancient Jewish insights.