- Cohen, Andrew
- (1955– )teacher of spirituality and evolutionary enlightenmentCohen is an American spiritual teacher in the tradition of H. W. L. POONJA. His influential pub-lications and lectures focus on the evolution of consciousness.Born in New York City on October 23, 1955, Cohen experienced a deep spiritual awakening at age 16, without the help of any spiritual path. Beginning in his early 20s, he studied and prac-ticed martial arts, KRIYA YOGA, and Buddhism. He met his guru, H. W. L. Poonja, in Lucknow, India, in 1986 and experienced a life-changing awaken-ing in his presence.Cohen’s teaching centers around trying to guide aspirants to a place in which the ego is tamed, and each individual is more passionate about the evolution of world consciousness than about his or her individual liberation. According to Cohen, the energy of enlightenment wants to express itself as a force of evolution. Each indi-vidual can and should serve as a portal for that energy to express itself.In 1986 Cohen began giving teachings in London. He then moved his headquarters to Marin County, California, and now resides in Lenox, Massachusetts. He travels the world giv-ing public talks and holding retreats. His stu-dents have formed the International Fellowship for the Realization of Impersonal Enlightenment; it has centers in Europe, Asia, and the United States and runs a retreat center in the Berk-shire mountains in western Massachusetts where Cohen lives.Cohen’s magazine What Is Enlightenment?, founded in 1992, features interviews with spiri-tual and cultural leaders of the age and addresses questions of ecology, spirituality, and psychol-ogy. Since 2000, the magazine has sponsored a speaker series with presentations by evolution-ary thinkers from around the world. Known as EnlightenNEXT since September 2005, it has become a major publication in the spiritual com-munity in the United States.Further reading: Andrew Cohen, Autobiography of an Awakening (Corte Madera, Calif.: Moksha Founda-tion, 1992); ———, Embracing Heaven and Earth: The Liberation Teachings of Andrew Cohen (Lenox, Mass.: Moksha Press, 2000); ———, Freedom Has No History (Lenox, Mass.: Moksha Press, 1997); ———, Living Enlightenment: A Call for Evolution beyond Ego (Lenox, Mass.: Moksha Press, 2002); ———, An Unconditional Relationship to Life (Larkspur, Calif.: Moksha Press, 1995); Moksha Foundation, What Is Enlightenment? (Corte Madera, Calif.: Moksha Foundation, 1992).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.