Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My/Our Beloved Teacher, Murat Yagan: A Tribute

Murat Yagan, my Beloved spiritual teacher and New Horizons’ community development mentor, passed away on December 19. He left behind a rich legacy.

Murat Yagan 1915 -- 2013
In his passing, as in his life, Murat showed all of us who called ourselves his “students” a certain and highly disciplined pathway to Divine connection. With patience and persistence he guided us as to how we might live abundantly, individually and collectively, with or without material riches. At its foundation his legacy is one that is as earthbound and practical as it has been lofty in the learning.
The earthbound and practical were always prime agendas for New Horizons. Through New Horizons’ relationship with Murat and his community of students in Vernon, B.C., this organization that I founded and direct advanced its capacity as an, already impactful, community development approach. Originally focusing on overcoming relationship and personality addictions, with Murat’s tutelage, we evolved a non-chemical addiction treatment model into a broad-application, community development and violence prevention model.

We moved beyond solving problems, handling, at times, the worst tendencies such as domestic violence and threatened suicides and homicides, to reaching for possibilities. We shifted our priorities from treating co-dependency problems to guiding individuals and groups to the higher planes of human attainment.  

Training in community unity-building and conversation skills replaced Inner Child and trauma work with collective problem solving skills. Overcoming cultural divisions; interfaith disparity, racial separation, civic and political differences, as well as national and international cultural bridge-building, became our focus.

For me, personally, however, given the circumstances of my blindness, at the time Murat came into our lives, spiritual development was critical, if not primary. Blind, I was living in the realm of the seriously challenged.  An advanced spiritual life, as Murat taught it, based on his Abkhazian heritage, within the framework of a healthy community life suited me as an extraordinary gift. Most significantly, within Kebzeh community I could be a student rather than a teacher; a much needed respite at this time in my life.

The story of how these riches came to be realized can be found at this link, as excerpted from Murat’s most recent book, Ahmsta Kebzeh: The Science of Universal Awe, Volume II. We hope you will read this contribution of our’s to Murat’s final book. And, draw inspiration from it so that you can share with us the adventure to the collective potential, now, awaiting us. New Horizons’ blog site is, additionally, abundant in articles and guidance on how to apply the principles we derived from Murat’s teachings to everyday life.

We are pledged, now, along with our many Kebzeh sisters and brothers, world-wide, to honor Murat’s life by following his example, daring, fearlessly, to embrace our fullest human potential. Diane Wilson, one of Murat’s closest and most devoted students, expressed this shared commitment, thus –

….one day you (meaning Murat) will say with joy, "These are the seeds I planted and they have claimed their birthright*!"

(According to Murat, Kebzeh tradition equates “birthright” with “fullest human potential.”)

Our promise is made. The riches of the inheritance provided.

Now, how are we to realize this grand potential? 

According to Murat and the traditions of his Abkhazian heritage, I believe we will need to live it, to dance it to create it.

When I ask myself how to do this, I am reminded of Murat’s “Seven Ways To Knowledge." I will begin looking here for answers to my query. Then go on to wherever else I can find them.  

The answers will reveal themselves, if I stay open to them, I trust.

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