March 25th, 2011 (two years ago today) is a day that I will always remember. That date marked the 25th anniversary of the day that Andrew Cohen met his own teacher, the renowned Indian mystic H.W.L. Poonja and had a profound awakening that changed the course of his life forever. In celebration of this silver anniversary, and in honor of the sanctity and transformative power of the Teacher-Student relationship, Andrew decided to "give a gift to the universe," and launch an epic 13-hour broadcast called "Awakening to Your Highest Self," which featured over 30 interviews that he did with a variety of spiritual and cultural luminaries about their relationships with their own Gurus, Teachers, and mentors.
I had the privilege of working closely with Andrew, my own spiritual teacher, throughout the process of developing the broadcast—researching the lives of the incredible individuals he would be interviewing these people about (great figures like Margaret Mead, Abraham Heschel, Swami Chidananda, and Bawa Muhaiyaddeen), conducting the interviews themselves with everyone from Roshi Bernie Glassman to Jean Houston to Jonathan Granoff, editing the recordings into a beautiful day-long broadcast, and helping to spread the word about this amazing event to as many people as possible. The sheer volume of second-to-none spiritual content that we produced for the broadcast was literally overwhelming. And after countless nights without sleep, a lot of hard work, and an immeasurable amount of spiritual inspiration from the beautiful stories we encountered, we were finally ready to start the broadcast on the morning of March 25th, 2011. It was a spiritual odyssey in and of itself.
I'll always remember Andrew's introduction to the broadcast that day (which you can hear below). I was in the studio with Andrew, listening in as he told his own tale of transformation, recounting the first time he met his teacher. I'll never forget the power of hearing him speak so transparently and reverently about that encounter with the unknown, and how that experience was still alive in him 25 years later. It was the first, and in my opinion most powerful, story in a series of testaments to the power and primacy of spirit that we heard that day, and it opened up my eyes—and those of the thousands of people who joined us—to the transformative potential that lies at the heart of the relationship with a real spiritual master.
You can listen to Andrew's introduction below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did![audio:http://andrewcohen.org/sites/default/files/00_Andrew_Cohen_introductionNM.mp3]