Our Work

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A Deeper Look at Bystander Behavior

by Magda Beatriz Berkowitz, M.A. and Alan Berkowitz, Ph.D.

You see a situation that bothers you and you wonder if you should do something. You are now having the experience of being a “bystander.” Where does this desire to act come from? To answer this question we must ask yet another question – a question that is often overlooked because we think that we know the answer. “Who am I?” In other words, to know where our deepest impulses come from – our desire to help others, to do the “right thing”, to not be a bystander, and in many cases to go against what we have been taught from parents, family and culture – we must look deep within ourselves to seek their origin.

The Phenomenon of Crop Circles

by Alan Berkowitz (Micha-El)

The world’s sacred traditions speak of multiple levels of existence above our three-dimensional world, and to beings within each of these levels that populate them. This is a common feature of many systems, including Hinduism, Neo-Platonism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Christianity. These beings from higher levels are capable of intervening in the life of humans and of assisting the evolution of Planet Earth. For example, in the Western religion (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) scriptures and mystics speak of Angels and Archangels, with many recorded instances of their presence and influence among us.

Spiritual Service and the Inner Meaning of “Temple”

by Alan Berkowitz
Presented at the World Brotherhood Union Panel
November 1, 2007 – Istanbul, Turkey


Dear Brothers and Sisters:

It is a great honor to stand before you as fellow “Spiritual Searchers” here in this land that has been home to so many sacred traditions, temples, and lovers of wisdom – teachers and teachings who have inspired my search and shaped my thinking.  Today I want to talk with you about the inner meaning of “Temple” and what it means to be a world-server.  To serve the divine plan we must become temples where the divine lives.  By temple, I mean any place where the sacred dwells.  I will also introduce you to the work of my own spiritual community – Wisdom’s Goldenrod Center for Philosophic Studies, in the United States.  I offer you my sincere thanks for inviting me to be here with you now.

The Multi-Dimensionality of the Human Being

by Beatriz Berkowitz

“Healing is always linked to the expansion of consciousness” - Jose Trigueirinho Neto

The human being is a very complex being composed of many levels and dimensions.  We could even say that it is a mysterious being, as is the macrocosm that surrounds it.  The human being as a microcosm reflects in itself the macrocosm.  They are interconnected and in relationship to each other.   From this interaction life is created and the human being has the opportunity to discover itself as a cosmic being, resolving in this way the enigma of human existence.

The History of Being a Philosopher - A FABLE

The Higher Self Conscious States - from being a tourist to being a philosopher

By Gran


One day in our lives - we go every vacation to the beach. Another day of our lives - we decided to surf the Sea, so we bought a board. In another phase of our lives, we put the board aside and go diving in the waves. And then - this is no longer enough - And then, we go deeper and deeper, into the silent Ocean and become one with it, we get lost in its depths, we "stun" with its silence.

And one fine day, after this identification and union had reached a sufficient degree - we returned to the surface and returned to our daily lives - the vacation ended.

But we will never be the same - we can now return - to return to life, to our activities, but we take the Ocean with us - we are an Ocean walking, that is, the Philosopher / Philosopher.




In the first stage - we are like tourists in life - we go to the beach to walk on the sand and get distracted by what is going on around us, but we have no intention, nor any idea, to relate to the Ocean.

In the second moment - the Ocean already calls us - it already attracts us, we want this intimacy with it - we wake up to this idea. So, we bought a board - MEDITATION - to get closer to him, this is our support, our yoga.

So, we really enjoyed this board - this phase - and started to "taste" the delights of getting lost in that sublime wave energy, which elevates us - and makes us have mystical experiences of union with Nature and our interior.

So, we decided to experiment without the board - and, we realized, that one day the waves are calm, but the next day, they are agitated. So, we are unable to maintain our high state of Peace.

So we decided to dive deeper, deeper and deeper. And, as we do, we realize that there is another Reality below the waves, below the surface - a very rich Reality and a very deep and mysterious silence.

And when we leave there, and when we return to the surface and meet again with the others, we realize that we are no longer the same - part of us keeps that silence, part of us no longer comes back to the surface, but stays there, immersed in that silent depth.

So, we decided to go back there, to the beach - now, not just on vacation. But often ...

And, one day, we realized that the Ocean came with us to the city - for Our daily life. This silence permeates our activities, our minds. And, we no longer need to go there - there is no “go there” - everything is ONE - we are one with “that”. And, "that" is us.

We become Philosophers / Philosophers. And, living in this world, without being of this world, we walk. And in this journey we are transforming those who are open to Grace. We become an Instrument of the Divine. And, after Blessed, Bless!




Well, let's look at it from another point of view.

-Were you separated from the ocean? From the deep?


But, in order to return to this lost consciousness, that we are ONE - it is necessary - then, to follow these steps of approximation:

- Go on vacation to the Sea;

- Walk on the beach;

- Use the surfboard;

- Dive in the waves;

- Go to the deepest of the Ocean;

- Swim there in the deepest;

- Return to daily life;

- Return to the beach, as many times as necessary;

- Bring the ocean with us;

- Be the Ocean.

What will happen? You will transform little by little ... What will happen to the environment around you and your ego? People will think you are strange and will ask or complain that you are not the same anymore.

You, in turn, will feel that you no longer want to do what you did before, that you no longer want to do the same way. The ego, used to a daily routine - will want you to stay that way. And, your tendency will be to leave the deep Ocean, return home and “forget” the peace that lived there - as if it were just something from summer, from holidays.

This is the first MISTAKE, because what you experienced there is what you are and have always been - you recovered your lost memory.

So, the first step is not to let this experience be just “a vacation memory”. But make it incorporated into your daily life.

This first moment will require some attention and effort - but the continuation - will become a habit, as it was that old habit, in the past.

Remember that everything is rhythm in life - the sun rises every day and dusk comes every night.

So, when you notice that the "old routine" is trying to take you to automatic control - stop, turn to yourself, inward - even if it is just for a minute - sit back, relive the silence of the Ocean.

With this daily practice - what could become “a pleasant vacation memory” - it will become your life - and this time - your real life, because this is your true life - that of the Higher Self.

That is - existence, knowledge and beatitude! (sat, cit, ananda)


The Union with God

By Gran


The union with God is achieved through the gradual “approaching” of the being towards the Higher Self, that is, as the individual advances in regard to conscience, s/he begins to perceive that there is a substratum that permeates everything, that when elevated their mind reaches levels of consciousness where Peace, Beauty and Joy reign.

This Light envelops all of their bodies, like a protective  Aura, and the being lives in full consciousness, detaching from the outer events – although the outer events continue to exist, to taking place.  Nonetheless, the individual no longer reacts to them, they will not identify themselves with them, they will see those events as images of a movie, acting in a neutral manner, only when necessary.

The "approach" is a gradual process because first the person has to detach to become the “witness” thereof, the observer, untie themselves from the event – and watch from a distance. On a second stage, the being elevates their consciousness – to the Highest and get connected with that Light. On a third instance, they must learn to hold this connection steadfast and permanently. That will be the moment when s/he will reach what we call “Illumination” – the perennial state of union of with the Oveself – or “Sahaja Samadhi”.


The Play of Meditation in Our Daily Life

by Beatriz Berkowitz, Transpersonal Therapist


"Come as you are and learn to be who you are."

You might ask: What is Meditation? Why it is important? How to do it? We can turn to the words of a spiritual philosopher named Paul Brunton to answer these questions:

"Meditation is merely a form of simple practice...   What could be simpler than saying this: If you look into your heart and mind deep enough and long enough to penetrate beneath the tumult of desires that daily distract your attention, you may then discover peace."

Or from Eckhart Tolle:   "True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and the solution to problems are found."


In other words, there is a mystery about our own selves that can be unveiled or revealed only in the stillness, the stillness which is our essential nature which we may reach through the practice of meditation. In this stillness lies the answer to all of our problems and struggles, and it contains the energy of healing and has the wisdom that we need for our Journey in this Life.


Normally our minds are like a "monkey mind" jumping from one thought to another with a very little rest in between. Returning again to the words of Paul Brunton, "The mind is a machine which produces thoughts and it is out of control." With the practice of meditation our thoughts can slow down and we can become aware of our own nature free from the emotions and thoughts that disturb us.


In the beginning it is important to concentrate on the breathing. One can even count the out-breaths from one to ten, in order to fix the attention on one point. Sitting in a relaxed and straight position is important in order to be comfortable and focused. When thoughts arise, we do not follow them, do not suppress them and do not feed them, but only observe them and let them go. To just be aware of what you are thinking and bring the attention back to the breathing. This is exactly the practice - to bring back your attention when your mind becomes distracted over and over. This takes time and patience but in the end the result is peace, because the gaps between the thoughts become larger, and in them dwells the stillness, our own nature, WHO we are.


Finally, "The truth needed for immediate and provisional use may be learned from books and teachers, but the truth of the ultimate revelation can be learned only from and within oneself by meditation."  (Vol 4: 1.14 from The Notebooks of Paul Brunton)




Published  in “Mountain Fitness Newsletter”,  Mt. Shasta, CA, February 2016

Meeting between Trigueirinho and Paul Brunton




Excerpted from the book “Conversas Sobre Trigueirinho” (Conversations about Trigueirinho) – Volume 2, by Ana Regina Nogueira (published by IRDIN Editora), which contains an overview of the life of Trigueirinho, including meetings of his students with PB as well as of his own meeting with PB, excerpted here.


Two masters of insight and free spirits - Trigueirinho (1931 -2018) and Paul Brunton (1891 -1981) - had an infinitely creative relationship. Brunton, the English journalist, writer, and philosopher – with eleven books published during his lifetime – was a Fifth Initiation Adept of the Brotherhood of Sirius. According to Trigueirinho, Paul Brunton was one of the most cultured contemporary philosophers because he was inspired by the level of the Adepts, that is: “A being who, having crossed the thresholds of natural and human evolution, becomes a Master, a member of Celestial Hierarchies.”

After exchanging letters between May and June 1980, Brunton (also known by the name of PB) agreed to meet Trigueirinho, who then went from Brazil to Vevey, Switzerland. There something wonderful but hidden, happened. During the ten-hour meeting on July 20, Trigueirinho received absolute self- confidence to continue his journey of spiritual instruction and for his work forming spiritual groups with those who sought him out.

At the end of the meeting, a student of Paul Brunton accompanied Trigueirinho to the train station1. Along the way, he heard the memorable statement: "Today was the most important day of my life."

At the age of 22 (in 1953), Trigueirinho was drawn to Italy, where he remained until 1958, with the aim of studying at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma (the Center of Experimental Cinematography of Rome), in order to advance his work as filmmaker. But far beyond that, he aspired to a greater existence.

Each situation has the exact moment in which it is to be activated. In 1955, a friend introduced him to someone who became his instructor, Maria Luisa Peretti. He was 24 years old. Between 1962 and 1963 he returned to Italy for a second time, attended a school for hotel administration, and deepened his studies with Luisa. He worked in Brazil and visited her five times until 1972, the year in which he had a powerful experience with the one who had been guiding him for 17 years2.


At the age of 49, that is, in the fifth decade, which represents a cycle focused on universal and humanistic issues. Trigueirinho met Paul Brunton. In the following months, he remained from August 16th to October 25th at Findhorn, and then he visited Sara Marriott from September 22nd to 26th.3

In a recording of one of his lectures, he reported that it had been 25 years in 1955, since he became aware of the planetary impulse called Casa do Sol, in Italy.

In one of his recorded lectures, Trigueirihno stated the following: “In 1980 I had the clarity that I should temporarily stop the coursework and awareness work that was being done on the physical plane to spend an indefinite time in Europe again. There I came into contact with a great Force on the physical plane which, until that moment, I had only known on the subtle planes. I had felt this union, this help, but I had not yet contacted it as strongly as I did in 1980. This was in my meeting on the physical plane

with Paul Brunton, which for me synthesized a number of situations and clarified many things. At the meeting, self-confidence was worked on, although it was not mentioned, but it was what was being clarified and stimulated. By this I do not mean psychological confidence in personality, but self- confidence in the sense of trusting the Divine and trusting my spiritual task.”


Alan Berkowitz was with Paul Brunton at his apartment where the meeting with Trigueirinho took place. There the young American also met Trigueirinho. We exchanged a few emails, and in one of them Alan writes: “Paul Brunton lived in Vevey, in an apartment overlooking Lake Geneva. Across the lake, in France, was Mount Blanc, which reminded PB of the Himalayas. I assisted him as a secretary, as well as in personal health care – as he had been operated on for a hernia - and in practical day-to-day matters”.4

At that time Alan was studying at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He was also on a spiritual quest: “I became a student of Anthony Damiani and attended his lectures at the American Brahman Bookstore. Anthony was a devout student of PB, and later he and his students built the Wisdom’s Goldenrod Center for Philosophic Studies in a rural town, where I resided for two years, and which PB once visited. As PB was elderly, Anthony proposed, and he accepted, that the four residents of Wisdom’s Goldenrod could take turns coming to Switzerland to help him.”

Here is the text of a letter that Trigueirinho wrote Alan (in English) describing their meeting. Dear Alan,

In these days some people who are always in my heart and soul wrote to me. Among them, you have a very special place in my deep thoughts. To see your photo in the excellent consulting brochure that you send to me with your fraternal letter of March 20th, was a glad opportunity to remember the beautiful hours that we passed with PB in 1980. That encounter was very important in our lives, and for always we will be linked by the more pure connection. If you have the disposition to come to Brazil to spend some days with us in these farms, this would be the best signal of our spiritual union in all levels.

Fondly, Trigueirinho

More than 20 years later, Alan Berkowitz received the spiritual name Micha-El from Trigueirinho. Here is what he wrote about his meeting with Trigueirinho in PB’s apartment.

Paul Brunton and Trigueirinho – A Sacred Encounter

M i c h a - E l. At that time, PB was giving very few interviews, from half an hour to an hour at most. When José arrived at 10 am, I opened the door for him and led him into the living room. The two sat by the window. They talked all day, with pauses of silence. PB did not speak Portuguese, and José did not speak English at the time; so, they spoke in basic French.

It was dusk when the interview came to an end. I walked with José to the nearest train station. On the way he explained to me that this was the third time he had requested an interview with Paul Brunton. In the previous two he had been denied. The first time, PB said no through a letter. On the second occasion, José had gone to Vevey to see him and, while waiting in a cafe, a letter from PB was delivered by another assistant5, saying that he could not be with him [José] on that occasion. When given the letter, the assistant said to PB: "But PB, he has come so far to see you, how can you refuse?" Normally PB spoke in a very soft voice, but on this occasion he replied, very forcefully: “It is not the right time!”

At the end of our conversation, José added: “This was the most important day of my life.” After returning to the apartment, PB shared a number of very positive comments with me about Trigueirinho and his spiritual work.

Years later, one of Trigueirinho's oldest students, Germano, said that in their meetng, PB had validated his spiritual task, which was to with spiritual groups in Brazil.

Germano said:6

Over the years, Trigueirinho referred often to this meeting. I received letters from him in which he wrote about the deep connection between the two of them, at the Regent7 level, and that PB had guided him on the spiritual work to be done by him. That day, PB also showed him manuscripts of the Notebooks, his yet unpublished books. Knowing how much PB's work would interest his students and would need to be disseminated, from 1986 onwards José dedicated himself to having the Notebooks of Paul Brunton translated into Portuguese and Spanish.8

Alan continues:

Because fate had arranged the meeting between PB and José at the moment that I was present, my life took a different course from then on. It resulted in a task given by José himself, which I share with my wife Gran, another follower of his, with him authorizing us to translate and publish his work in English. We also work to translate Paul Brunton's work into Portuguese. For this purpose, a non-profit organization titled “The Shasti Association” - which is an affiliate of the Fraternity International Humanitarian Foundation - or FFHI, was created in California, USA.9


1 This student was Alan Berkowitz, who is now known as “Micha-El” (a name he received from Trigueirinho years later)
2 This is a reference to Trigueirinho’s meeting with PB
3 Sara Marriott was a spiritual teacher from Europe who in later years was invited to Brazil and co-founded with Trigueirinho a spiritual community named Granja Viana, which he later left to found Figueira.

4 ‘We’ here refers to Ana Regina Nogueira, the author of the book.

5 This was Timothy Smith, another student of Anthony Damiani, who spent a period of time with his then wife Devon, assisting PB in Switzerland.
6 This quote is excerpted from “Conversas Sobre Trigueirihno” (Conversations about Trigueirinho), Volume One, which contains accounts of students who were close to Trigheirinho, including Germano (p.34-49).

7 The Regent represents the highest level of the individual soul.
8 As a result of this effort, the first three volumes of the Notebooks were published in Spanish and Portuguese.
9 The FFHI is an umbrella organization which links all of the spiritual communities, the Monastery, humanitarian work, and other non-profit activities, including publishing, initiated by Trigueirinho during his career as a spiritual instructor (www.fraterinternacional.org/en/).