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Photography by: Reuven Kapuchinski

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Amir Freimann

I was born in 1958 in a kibbutz and grew up in a small village in Israel. At the age of 17 I became deeply interested in spiritual-existential questions about the nature of consciousness, freedom, self and the Whole. Served in the Israeli army and became a pacifist after participating in the 1982 Lebanon War. Studied medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem but at the end of the 5th year of my studies decided to devote my life to spiritual awakening.

I then spent 2 years meditating in a Zen monastery in Japan and over 20 years doing intense spiritual practice in the community of EnlightenNext in the USA. In 2009 I left the community and moved back to Israel.

Between 2009 and 2018 I co-authored two books (in Hebrew) on the connection between formal education and philosophical-spiritual inquiry and wrote (in English) Spiritual Transmission: Paradoxes and Dilemmas On the Spiritual Path, based on interviews I did with about a hundred spiritual teachers and students from around the world about their relationships.

I currently live with my wife Ruti in the village where I grew up, earn a living by translating clinical and pharmaceutical papers from Japanese to English and grow vegetables. I am a doctoral student at the University of Haifa, writing my thesis on the subject of Living Transcendence: A phenomenological study of spiritual exemplars, based on multiple interviews I did with 36 spiritual exemplars of the Abrahamic, Eastern, shamanic / indigenous and humanistic / transpersonal psyhcology traditions around the globe.

I am planning my postdoc research, which will be either on the topic of the experience and cultivation of love in and around spiritual exemplars or on persistent self-transcendence as a stabilized altered state of consciousness, or on both. My long-term plan is to create a documentary film on these topics.