Biography Igor Kufayev (short)
An artist, Advaita Tantra teacher and founder of the Flowing Wakefulness Fellowship, for over a decade Igor Kufayev has been serving as a conduit of transmission for awakening towards the new era of heart-centered consciousness. Speaking from direct realization of Oneness, he inspires and initiates the recognition of the fullest potential present in human birth. Igor’s involvement with sacred traditions expresses itself as non-intellectual, heart-based illumination. Though his teaching methods are rooted in Kashmir Shaiva Tantras, he maintains that tradition is not a set of esoteric doctrines, but a vibrant field of creative intelligence enlivened in the hearts of those who go through this transformative process firsthand. Having gone through the furnace of alchemical transmutation, Igor emphasizes the neurophysiological nature of Self-realization, seeing the process as progressive untangling of the dynamic force, which gives rise to Gnosis. With a team of companions, Igor is working on creating centers for spiritual regeneration as facilities for research in consciousness and creative self-expression, with bases in Europe and California. He travels extensively offering gatherings and retreats worldwide. Igor, his partner, Amrita Ma Devi, and their two children reside in Mallorca, Spain.
Biography of Igor Kufayev (Extended)
Early fascination with Perennial Philosophy was an integral part of Igor's upbringing. His influences ranged from German Existentialists, Pre-Socratics, Sufi Mystics, Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo in the earlier years and Advaita of Kashmir Shaivism later on in life. His spiritual quest culminated in surrendering to the Grace received from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in his childhood Igor had many episodes associated with awakening of Kundalini. Classically trained in art from an early age, he was recognized as something of a prodigy. A one time student at the St Petersburg's Academy of Fine Arts, Igor had his first solo exhibition in Warsaw at the age of twenty five and by his late twenties enjoyed a successful career in London. In less than a decade, he managed to establish his reputation as an artist with many of his artworks being in prominent collections around the world.
A personal tragedy marked his experiences unconsciously directing his inner quest: in 1991, his six year old daughter died in a road accident. Coming out of a prolonged period of grief, Igor was initiated into meditation in a dream, immersed himself into the study of yoga, learned Transcendental Meditation and practiced it diligently for several years.
In 2001 in the wake of an advanced yogic course, the TM-Sidhi Program, he went through a profound expansion of Consciousness. Surrendering to the process, he recognized Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as his spiritual guide, the guru. Despite never meeting the master, Igor maintained an intimate relationship with Maharishi on the heart level which transcended the boundaries of a common teacher-student relationship. He shared his experiences in an intimate letter, entitled “Never Meeting Maharishi”.
At the age of thirty-six Igor underwent a radical transformation of consciousness which subsequently blossomed into spontaneous unfoldment of Grace. For the next five years he continued long hours of meditation, integrating expanded state of awareness throughout his daily activities. Around that time he began sharing his insights with those who were attracted by the energy emanating in his presence.
Through the teaching of Muktananda he discovered the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism, which became the focal point of his interest. Its “transcendental physicalism” appealed to Igor’s down to earth, creative sensibility. Unique to that tradition, the doctrine of Spanda had been verified by direct experience, in perceiving the World as a Throb of Pure Consciousness in the Heart of his own…
There were episodes of spontaneous healing of those close to him and Igor consciously attended to the practice of pranic healing, successfully treating patients with cancer and other conditions. However, he realized that without the psychophysiological transformation of an individual, true healing cannot take place.
Igor’s teaching points out that awakening takes place in the body on a cellular level, and it is the body with its nervous system, that acts as a support for individual consciousness to mature into full enlightenment. Having gone through the furnace of alchemical transmutation, he emphasizes the biological nature of Self-realization, and sees the process as the progressive purification of prana, the vital force which acts as the conduit for directing and orchestrating all movements and cognitive processes in the body.
Igor’s involvement with sacred tradition expresses itself not only in scriptural exposition and metaphysical discourse, but also as non-intellectual, heart-based illumination. It could be said that Igor’s teaching methods are rooted in Advaita Tantra, and he often teaches from the platform of Kashmir Shaivism. However, having studied such diverse traditions as Vedanta, Tantra, Sufism and Zen for many years, Igor remains elusive to categorization, maintaining that tradition is not a set of esoteric teachings and techniques, but a vibrant field of energy enlivened in the hearts of those who go through this transformative process firsthand — and bring these teachings to life. He maintains that,
Abiding in a state of spontaneous absorption transcends the boundaries of any given truth based on intellectual grasp of ultimate reality…
Igor shares the view that the main prerequisite of a spiritual teacher is being fully and permanently established in the Self, explaining that it is only from that uninterrupted flow of Consciousness that the teacher can be carried to do the work that needs to be done. His teaching is delivered spontaneously, and his approaches are not limited to a certain system. A teacher of immense spiritual experience, Igor nurtures and facilitates spiritual growth using whatever means best suit the individual student — the degree of their spiritual evolution, readiness and capacity to respond — from energetic transmission to breath work, mantra work, self-inquiry, and emotional introspection.
A constant feature of Igor’s work is the phenomenon of kriyas (i.e., involuntary physical, mental, emotional, psychological movements), arising in nearly every participant at his retreats, with spontaneous yoga asanas (postures), mudras (graceful gestures, usually of the hands), bandhas (yogic “locks”), spontaneous vocalization and glossolalia (speaking in tongues) observed. Igor explains that these arise as the result of greater activation of life force, exemplified in pranic expansion and forms an indispensable part of all awakening processes. These in turn unleash powerful purification and progressive freeing of the system from accumulated stresses which have created blockages in our nervous system. Igor’s teachings are unique in delivering explanations of these phenomena, as well as in-depth knowledge of the psychophysiologic aspects of the awakening process — themes rarely addressed directly in most contemporary spiritual traditions.
Igor often refers to his teaching as this “Path of the Heart,” explaining that it is a non-intellectual and direct cognition of the essence of one’s reality — one which transcends any tradition, because by definition it cannot be contained by a set of doctrines. Here, knowledge is not mental or intellectual, nor spoken of in terms of acquisition — it is simple direct knowingness itself — beyond concepts and precepts, understanding, and language. Igor explains this:
So when I said I don’t belong to any tradition, I want to make one little adjustment to that. I do belong to a tradition and that is the tradition which could be called simply, ‘the heart.’ And don’t try to decipher it again through any ‘isms’ or spiritual traditions, because the experience of the heart transcends all traditions. And the time has come when we have to transcend those traditions that calcify to themselves...
Since 2002, Igor Vamadeva Kufayev has been sharing his insights into the nature of Being, and for over a decade has been serving as a conduit of transmission for awakening towards the new era of heart-centered consciousness. Speaking from direct realization of Oneness, he inspires all seekers of truth to recognize the fullest potential present in human birth. Many have been touched by grace and awakened in his presence, as he continues working towards building a global community to serve as a container for exploring possibilities for alternative, consciousness-based culture.
Igor is the founder of Flowing Wakefulness Fellowship, and with a dedicated team of companions, is working on his vision of creating centers for spiritual regeneration as facilities for research in consciousness, with bases in Europe and California. He travels extensively, offering gatherings and retreats for seekers of truth worldwide. Igor currently resides in Mallorca, Spain with his partner, Amrita Ma Devi, and their two children — daughter Ramana, and son Keahnu. He is currently working on his first book, a comprehensive exposition on some of Tantra’s most compelling perspectives, based upon oral transmission from his own selected discourses.
Igor’s spiritual name is Vamadeva, which translated from Sanskrit means, “the preserving aspect of Shiva in His peaceful, graceful and poetic form.”
The Teaching is the knowledge of the Self, alive and throbbing in the Heart of an awakened being, as the wakefulness of his own awareness. The essence of the teaching on the nature of ultimate reality, also spoken of as Unity, Non-duality or Oneness, is in recognition of that Union through direct cognition. The teaching, in order for it to be fruitful, requires a certain approach, a certain discipline, often referred to as the path. The timeless beauty of this work lies in its all-embracing nature. This path is universal. It transcends any tradition and cultural belonging. It is open to all wanderers in search of Truth. The ways are many to realize one's essential nature. Yet we share the most essential reality — we all are embodied. We all carry the greatest potential of life deep in our Hearts; the vibrant, throbbing potential of Consciousness to awaken to Itself. The potential to surrender to the power of Grace, to dust the mirror of our Hearts, to reach into the sky of transcendence and bring the sublime nectar of realization into the very vessel of our bodies. This is to manifest the kingdom of Heaven on Earth. This is to behold the Divine in every aspect of human life, from the most elevated states to the very ground beneath our feet.
We live in an unprecedented time of cross-pollination between various cultures when, after centuries of separation, science and spirituality are coming together to re-evaluate what it means to be a conscious human being. We've reached a point when the subjective nature of mystical experiences is being viewed from an entirely new perspective, one which is no longer bound by superstitious beliefs and superficial interpretations.
The story of individual metamorphosis is no longer an isolated event, but an integral part of global transformation on a collective level. For many though, the experience of the impact of higher states of consciousness is accompanied by shadows of doubt and fears at being unable to withstand, at times, this overpowering process. Faced with the dilemma of balancing the intensity of spiritual insights with the necessity of functioning in this world, many are left in limbo on how to deal with this process. As a result, we tend to underestimate the fact that awakening is rooted in the biological nature of consciousness, and its impact on the physiology is profound.
The essence of the inner practices emphasized in this work cannot be grasped by a linear manner of systematic understanding, for it invites intuitive interplay between subtle energies of breath, thought, feeling and speech in its totality of vibrations perceived as the emanation and reabsorption of the universe at one's innermost spiritual center. This path is not a dry affair of spiritual orientation — far from it — it’s a daring undertaking of offering oneself into all-consuming fire of the awakened Self. It aims at releasing the rigidity of contracted consciousness into the cosmic waters of universal bliss, to find oneself immersed in the perpetual ebb and flow of outpourings and withdrawals. The higher phases of the ascent are inseparable from the intensity of beatific states, when revelation of the highest wisdom is often accompanied by divine madness. Enraptured by spontaneous absorption – eventually with open eyes – one enjoys bliss and finds everything is steeped in the delight of his own Self.
The World Is as You See It
Published in its original version in "Namarupa - Categories of Indian Thought", the Summer Issue, 2013
translated into Dutch language for "InZicht" magazine dedicated to Non-Duality and radical Self-inquiry, 2013
Published in its original version in "Namarupa - Categories of Indian Thought", 2014
translated into Dutch language for "InZicht" magazine dedicated to Non-Duality and radical Self-inquiry, 2014
Origins of Yoga
Translated into German language for "Yoga Aktuell" magazine, February / March edition, 2017
HUMAN BEING – Transcendence or Psychosis
Adopted from transcription of the discourse given at the immersion “Human Being: The Gate, the Altar and the Offering” in Belgium, February 2017
Why would I need a Teacher if I have the Inner Guru?
Oxfordshire, UK, July 2018
Camatkāra - The Hidden Path of Tantra
Adapted from discourses at the immersion in Assisi, Italy, Sept 2018.
Interviews & Dialogues
Spanda, Quantum Physics, and the Role of the Teacher
Interview with Jacob Kyle for Chitheads
Awakening Together Satsang
Interview with Jay McCormick
Transcription of Interview with Renate McNay
Buddha at the Gaspump
Transcription of the Second Interview with Rick Archer - Part 1
Buddha at the Gaspump
Transcription of the Second Interview with Rick Archer - Part 2
KUNDALINI: Defining the Undefinable
In conversation with Igor Kufayev - Part 1
The Path of Beauty is the Path of the Heart
In conversation with Igor Kufayev - Part 2
“Igor is an extraordinary spiritual teacher who beautifully articulates the essence of many sacred traditions. Drawing most frequently from Vedic, Kashmiri Shaivite, Buddhist, Taoist, Sufi sources, he speaks from both direct experience and scriptural texts. He exalts the awareness of persons receiving his darshan through direct transmissions imparted during group meditation practice that enflames practitioners’ hearts into collective ecstasy. Many retreat participants report lasting transformations, including sustained higher states of consciousness...”
— Longtime student of Igor Kufayev
“I believe his voice and presence is really needed in our community. I wish I could put into words the value and importance of what he offers. Working with Igor moved me from the life of a seeker, to Life itself. And beyond my own flowering, I see Igor as part of the rising of the Divine Feminine in our world. I believe he hasn't yet been fully recognized for what is he and what he is doing, because we – collectively – are still very caught up in an outdated mindset that doesn't always allow us to know what we are seeing. We don't yet have the eyes to see or the ears to hear, although that is coming. Igor's is the voice of Shakti, rising within Shiva to enliven our awareness. The path that Igor teaches is one of deep respect for the power of the Feminine, for that infinite life force that is the source of all spiritual practices and traditions. It is a path of Grace, of beauty, of innocence – sometimes graceful and gentle, sometimes fierce and powerful – like the Mother...”
— Participant of "Divine Intoxication" Immersion, California, 2017
"Igor speaks the timeless, universal language of the Heart. His Teaching transcends the boundaries of any religion, doctrine, or even perspective. It is for the warrior, the artist, the mother, the lover, the businessman, the child… brought constantly alive through the very hearts of those who tread this path—as that uninterrupted flow within Consciousness, that river beyond time and space. All it takes is a yearning human heart..."
— Longtime student of Igor Kufayev
"The process of awakening requires protection on higher planes, and Igor knows his craft. Giving true and deeply committed guidance to all his students who are in the midst of intensified transformational processes — which sometimes can be quite messy — is like holding space for a big bunch of teenagers, only with the difference that they have entrusted their entire karmic evolution into his hands. This is a “spiritual upbringing” which requires 24/7 guidance, protection and surveillance; it happens on a soul level, which is hard to describe, but nevertheless truly felt and experienced. Igor is a teacher with tremendous integrity whose strong presence is available to his students, ceaselessly investing in others and bringing light into this world. Here is a teacher who uncompromisingly urges his students to grow up, one who guides them safely through a process of tremendous alchemical changes in Consciousness, and allows suppressed archetypal forces of the Mother to regain their territories. With that, he facilitates the reestablishment of solid foundations for promoting healthy generations to come..."
— Longtime student of Igor Kufayev
“Nothing could have prepared me for the immersions with Igor, not the website, not his one evening talks that I attended — he is beyond anything that I could have imagined. He is a true Master in every way, his healing abilities, his direct transmissions, the love which permeates all that emanates from him through his teachings, his teachings in Silence. It is beyond words to attempt to describe the experience. I was overwhelmed in the most remarkable ways...”
— Participant of "Entering the Heart" Immersion, Belgium, 2016
Quotes from Discourses and Essays
Oneness never exists as Oneness. Oneness can only be realized through fragmentation in awareness, the in- and outward swelling desire to know itSelf...
Unplugging is to rest from the burden of the idea of who we are not...
The Heart is the eye of non-dual awareness which beholds all creation with an equal vision. From here all perception ebb and flow as waves on the sea of infinity…
The path of LOVE is always about losing, never about gaining. It is about drowning in the sea of love. It is about becoming less...
Beauty is not just a concept, but the foundational, underlying quality of all experience. That sense of harmony is already sense of Oneness. Something taps into and recognizes that sense of harmony. We can conclude: God is beautiful and he loves Beauty...
It doesn't matter, what the nature of the experience itself is. The one, who can extract the essence out of it, experiences nothing but the peace of its own Self...
When Silence speaks, it tells the story of Creation…
While some stories are more profound, the story of
a human body embodies all other stories in its Heart...
‘I’ illumine my own enlightenment. ‘I’ illumine my own illusion. I AM all there is. The eye of awareness...
When we speak of this path, the path of beauty, rapture and divine intoxication, it's important to distinguish it from other methods or yogas which are based on exertion and forceful control of the body, senses, mind and vital force, or those paths that point a finger to a moon of "direct" realization — albeit as dispersed rays of mindfulness. And although the means on this path are inseparable from arousal of that supreme power —which illumines all our faculties and ultimately reabsorbs the spark of our consciousness into the inextinguishable luminosity of pure awareness — it has little in common with the techniques used by practitioners of Hatha-yoga or the enquires widespread among followers of Neo-Advaita...