The Summer Festival of Love is an event that you will experience on many different levels: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually… Dr Marc Gafni passionately brings the dharma, and gives you the very best of his heart, mind and being. His teachings have their roots in cutting-edge scientific knowledge and developmental theories. The mind, soul and body work that you will do throughout the day will help you digest all the impressions. This personal story gives you an idea of the effect the Festival can have, helping you to discover and live your Unique Self, and create a better world. Philippe Joannis, former Head of Education at Apple Africa, from Paris, France, shares his experience…
How did you hear about the Summer Festival of Love?
“Half a year after I discovered Marc Gafni’s book Your Unique Self – The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, I met Chahat at a conference in San Francisco. She told me about the Summer Festival of Love and Marc’s teachings there and suggested that I should come.”
Is the Festival different from other events that you attended before?
“Compared to other Festivals and workshops, I feel that the Summer Festival of Love is offering a lot. It has a dimension of personal development, that you rarely find at a festival. But it is a special kind of personal development, as it has a purpose to serve the whole as well. Also, it is not just personal development in the field of knowledge or personality.
My first time at the Festival, I was touched by the depth of the experience at every level. It was an intellectual experience, with Marc’s teaching being both profound and very grounded in science, philosophy and spiritual traditions. It was a relational experience, creating a new openness of the heart, bringing more authenticity into my relationships. It was emotionally touching me too, first giving me hard times, but then I felt a larger spaciousness inside me opening up. And finally, I felt it was a spiritual experience, providing me deep insights and taking me through unusual states of awareness that awoke a larger vision of reality within me.”
What did you get out of the Festival?
“When I came back the second time, I had a very special awakening experience for two nights. I find it hard to describe, but it feels very similar to what mystics describe. This really changed my relationship to reality and created a faith that is always with me, also in difficult moments.
I became very aware of the ‘whispering of the universe’ and am now paying much more attention to that what Is… Somehow, I am now very often able to read reality as if it were a sacred book, full of wisdom, messages and love. That gives me the faith, that I can always find my way back in, even if reality often feels ‘opaque’ and if I am stressed.
Coming back home from the Festival, I stopped eating meat and started a number of practices to stay in the spirit of the festival. I am praying, meditating, writing and even published an audio book on awakening your Unique Self in French (‘De l’ego au Moi Unique’). Based on that, with Claire we launched and facilitated a workshop in French ‘de l’Ego au Moi Unique’ (“from Ego to unique Self”) , based on the Unique Self Emergence process that Claire co-created… Also, I have eliminated many ‘distractions’ that were not aligned with what is important to me. I feel that the Festival has changed my relationship with my family and friends. I am much more present now. I feel more acceptance and can better see the beauty in others.”
What advice would you give to a person who is considering to go for the first time?
“Go and trust the experience. Accept that it might be challenging at moments, but try to be as open as possible, connect with other people, connect with yourself. Let go of all the layers of armour that you have created. The Summer Festival of Love is the safest place I have ever been to!”