Summary: Behind the scenes with the most provacative thinkers in today's world.
Steve Whitmire - It's Not Easy Being Teal. Part 1. The Performer Behind the World’s Most Famous Frog Recounts Coming to an Integral View. click here for free sample! (right-click to download) The Muppet famous for saying "It’s not easy being green," carries on the creative tradition founded by Jim Henson in Steve Whitmire’s puppeteering of this international figure with a decidedly more Integral tilt. Who Steve Whitmire is one of the few individuals who has carried on the whole-hearted legacy of Jim Henson, and the mastery and development of puppetry through Jim’s unique Muppets. Since the passing of Jim Henson in 1990, Steve has served as the animating force and puppeteer for beloved characters such as Kermit the Frog and Sesame Street’s Ernie. Summary Steve Whitmire spent 14 intense and creative years with the extraordinary Jim Henson before his passing. As of 2008, Steve has been the animating force behind, most notably, Kermit the Frog for nearly two decades. This was not something Steve planned for in any way. Jim passed away at the age of 53 from an infection that no one could have seen coming—although it later became revealed that Jim had been considering Steve for the puppeteer of Kermit, so that Jim could explore other creative endeavors. However, their connection had started decades earlier. When Steve was a scant 10-years-old, he wrote Jim a letter to express his appreciation for his work, and to ask if he had written anything on the construction of puppets. In fact, Jim had not written anything on the construction of puppets at that time, but responded personally to Steve’s letter, and directed him toward some simple Muppet patterns that had been published a few years ago in a magazine. Thus started the career of a life-long Jim Henson puppeteer, aided by Steve’s mother’s sewing machine. As Ken comments, puppeteering can be, and has been, looked at by the world’s great Mystical Traditions as a metaphor for ultimate Spirit being the transcendental Puppeteer of all worldly phenomena. And there is much truth in that observation. Spirit, if nothing else, inhabits a massive number of multiple perspectives, and in order to perform puppeteering successfully, one literally inhabits, and becomes one with, the puppet’s personality. It is a minor re-enaction of what Spirit does moment-to-moment spontaneously, throughout the entire Kosmos. As with Jim Henson, Steve Whitmire is a very humble soul. If nothing else, Steve is honored to carry on a tradition started by a modern-day master, by whatever name. Jim’s productions have been among the most successful television series in history: Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and Fraggle Rock were all international sensations. Sesame Street alone has aired more than 4,100 episodes over a 38-season run, winning 109 Emmy Awards in the process—and it’s still going. To say that Steve is a modern-day backbone of the Muppet tradition is in no way an exaggeration. You may not see his face, but you can see Steve animating Kermit the Frog in a musical duo with Kylie Minogue on YouTube, along with many other notable appearances. Kermit the Frog was, and is, a public, (inter)national expression of the pluralistic, green worldview—but always with a subtle reminder of how multicultural expressions can be reconciled and brought together with an Integral View. It may not be easy being green, but it’s ever harder being teal (where an Integral understanding begins and expands). With the spirit of growth that Jim Henson embodied and intuited, and that Steve Whitmire carries on in an evolutionary context with a clearly Integral perspective, we invite you to celebrate this artistic and creative dimension of puppetry, and “taking the perspective of other” that it implies, in this one-of-a kind-dialogue…. "Jim walked into the room and said, ‘I want to do a show that will change the world and end war'—and the writers said, 'Well that’s great Jim, how could we possibly do that?' We didn’t know, but Fraggle Roc
Ken Wilber - An Interview with Myriades 1. Part 3. Taking Perspectives on the Culture Wars. click here for free sample! (right-click to download) In an interview for Myriades 1, an Argentinean cultural magazine, Ken discusses the difference between modernity and post-modernity, and how an Integral Approach exposes the difference between flatland pluralism and a truly developmental, Integral view on growth and distinctive maturity.... Who Gaspar Segafredo, Editor-in-Chief of Myriades 1, an Argentinean cultural magazine with an integral approach. Summary Gaspar and Ken engage this last section of their dialogue with vigorous inquiry. Gaspar begins by asking if democracy, the United Nations, and human rights fundamentally stem from "pluralism." The answer, as the evidence shows, is yes and no. Modernity, starting with the Western Enlightenment, attempted to free itself from dogmatic mythic religion, and declare that all humans are equal. In fact, enacting that impulse has been more of a progressive movement—not a historical moment in time—that continues to this day. First it was that all (white) men are equal, then including all African (black) men, then including women, then including children. In a very real way, postmodernity finished the Enlightenment project that modernity started, wherein all human beings—regardless of race, religion, creed, sexuality, etc.—should be accorded the same fundamental human rights. But postmodernity and the pluralism it encourages can, and has, often gone too far in its impulse to equalize. It has even gone so far as to deconstruct nearly all meaning whatsoever, which reveals the narcissistic and nihilistic core at the center of a glorious impulse taken to its pathological limits. This is where an Integral Approach comes into play. An Integral Approach takes the many gifts and insights of pluralism, and then finds the patterns that connect. All views have their right to exist, but that doesn’t mean that all views are equal. Here, Gaspar and Ken explore developmental studies, and how—universally, research shows—people move from egocentric (I, me), to ethnocentric (you, us), to worldcentric (all of us), to (all sentient beings) Kosmocentric. This is not merely an academic consideration. This is a reflection of the world we all live in, where 70% of the world population is at ethnocentric or lower (to put it bluntly, Nazis or lower). Here, Gaspar and Ken discuss developmental stages in terms of the ability to take perspectives. For example, egocentric can take a 1st-person perspective, ethnocentric can take a 2nd- person perspective, worldcentric-modern can take a 3rd-person perspective, worldcentric-postmodern can take a 4th-person perspective, and integral-Kosmocentric can take a 5th-person perspective (and beyond). All of those stages of development, and stages of perspective-taking, are allowed, included, and embraced in an Integral Approach. The question is, how can we help people grow into more mature, complex perspectives? This is one of the many fascinating topics that Gaspar and Ken explore in this introductory, yet leading-edge, dialogue…. (Click here for full dialogue.)
Sally Kempton - Religion in the Modern World. Part 3. Designer Spirituality or Discipline Disaster? click here for free sample! (right-click to download) A deceptively profound and skillful pioneer in more Integral forms of spirituality explores what the future of spiritual practice might look like, and perhaps even more importantly, who is going to teach it—the narcissistic offspring of boomers and modern culture, or the growing number of young stars shooting for an ever-brighter tomorrow? Who: Sally Kempton, also known as Swami Durgananda, is among the most dynamic, insightful, and sought-after teachers of Siddha Yoga, and is author of the celebrated guide to spiritual practice, The Heart of Meditation: Pathways to a Deeper Experience. Summary: Sally Kempton is one of the most extraordinary pioneers in more integral, comprehensive forms of spiritual teaching—but my oh my, she’ll be the first to tell you it isn’t always easy, for her or her students!For anyone walking around the modern spiritual marketplace, one of the largest challenges is simply not knowing what the “right” thing to do is anymore. With unprecedented access to all the great Wisdom Traditions from across the world, one is left with several very difficult questions. For students, which tradition should I pick—or should I pick more than one? For teachers, should I continue to pass on my spiritual knowledge in the way it was passed on to me—or should I add in some complimentary techniques from other traditions? This is an exploration requiring equal parts courage and humility, and it’s about this journey of exploration that Sally and Ken discuss, in nuance, with passion, and always with humor. Who will be the next generation of teachers of explicitly Integral spirituality, in each tradition, or as a tradition in itself? Who is going to train those teachers in the first place? Will the teachers of tomorrow help personalize spiritual practice to each person, a kind of “designer spirituality,” or will they forget entirely the importance of discipline, and simply have a bunch of “designer egos” walking around instead? Can teachers of today and tomorrow hold both “unique fit” and discipline in their minds simultaneously? As Sally and Ken discuss, studies have shown that the twenty-somethings of today are even more narcissistic than their boomer parents (a rather frightening achievement), and yet within that generation is an eerily high number of young people who seem to have shot right to the top of the evolutionary wave, and are ready to keep riding higher! So what on earth does that mean for the future of spirituality? A bunch of “be-here-now,” don’t worry about practice, you’re already enlightened so just go play video-games teachers? Or a crop of teachers looking to synthesize and integrate the best that the traditions have to offer, within a framework that understands developmental structures, ever-present spiritual states, but also understands that those higher states won’t stick without diligent practice? At the leading-edge of consciousness, where these questions are being pondered from an Integral view by both teachers and students, we are the ones who have to answer our own deepest questions, through trial and error, with support from others on the same path of discovery, and with the courage to let the exhilarating birthing pains of a more Integral form of spirituality come into the world through you. Why would anyone embark upon such a path? Because their own Highest Self is telling them “walk this way.” It is the call of Eros and evolution itself, which is precisely and only the gesture of Spirit-in-Action—your own I AMness asking you, personally, to help divine truth shine brighter, and embrace more, than what has come before. Sound like a commitment to egoic self-aggrandizement? A Messiah complex perhaps? Not at all. Because if you truly realize what you have just devoted yourself to, humility will knock you flat. In a post-metaphysical Integral spirit
Sally Kempton - Religion in the Modern World. Part 2. From Bohemian Rebel to Integral Swami.. (click here for free sample) One of the most nuanced, courageous pioneers of Integral forms of spirituality shares her own story of leaving her place among the liberal feminist elite, spending three decades plumbing the depths of Siddha Yoga, and "coming back to the marketplace" with a more comprehensive, integral vision for the meaning of living a spiritual life…. What Sally and Ken discuss in this dialogue is nothing less than the very future of spirituality, what it might look like, and who is going to lead the way. Sally’s perspective on this topic is incredibly nuanced, based on a lifetime spent delving into the depths of what is problematic about religion and spirituality, what the fundamental core of Liberation is in each tradition, and what isn’t even addressed by most forms of spirituality—like psychological shadow work, which Enlightenment per se literally doesn’t touch. Born to socially-conscious parents, Sally describes herself when she was a young woman as an "ultra-leftist bohemian rebel" with a powerful feminist bite—who then abandoned the progressive cultural elite of New York City to go to India and become a devotee of Swami Muktananda. This, shall we say, was a radical change. Not only was she embracing spirituality and religion (a Leftist no-no, being seen as "the opiate of the masses"), but she was also submitting herself to a male guru in a distinctly hierarchical society (unthinkably anti-feminist, certainly for her peers). But this was not giving up, and this was not regression. This was an incredibly important step in Sally’s life, and a bold move towards integrating truths about human existence—not deconstructing and dividing them, as was (and is) so popular. Sally spent nearly three decades in the Siddha Yoga community as a highly-regarded senior teacher, under the traditional name bestowed on her by Swami Muktananda: Swami Durgananda. Then, in 2002, Sally saw clearly that she could no longer continue to deepen and evolve her teaching methods while remaining in an ashram setting. So, with the community’s blessing, she laid aside her monastic robes, and started teaching independently. She is currently working with a small community of students on developing a four-year curriculum based on the best of what Siddha Yoga has to offer, and informed and fleshed out by the Integral Model. Sally is a founding teacher at Integral Spiritual Center, and a true gift to anyone lucky enough to cross paths with this astonishingly wise, humble, and courageous spiritual pioneer. We invite you to listen in and enjoy…. "Back in the 60s and 70s, there was an anticipation that Realization would take care of everything—and when it didn’t, there was substantial disillusionment. But all that’s needed is an Integral Approach to spirituality, and we’re seeing that more and more…." click here for full audio
Joe Perez - Soulfully Gay. Part 1. Out of the Closet, Into an Integral Embrace. (click here for free sample) The author of one of the most searing, courageous personal memoirs of our time shares how an Integral Approach helped him reconcile a life of fierce inner struggles with what it means to be a gay man in today’s culture, the difference between genuine spiritual experiences and psychotic episodes, and the thorny intersection of homosexuality and Christianity. In the foreword to Soulfully Gay, Ken Wilber writes: "Joe Perez’s book is perhaps the most astonishing, brilliant, and courageous look at the interface between individual belief and cultural values that has been written in our time. By a homosexual, or a heterosexual, or any other sexual I am aware of." Ken wrote this foreword without even having met Joe—probably one of the strongest complements one writer can give to another—and Soulfully Gay is the second offering from our Integral Books imprint at Shambhala Publications. In this dialogue, we are introduced to this "rip-roaring wonder of a writer," and hear Joe share the first part of his journey towards reconciling and integrating a life very nearly torn to shreds. This rather extraordinary chronicle unfolds around several conflict-inducing facts, one of which is that Joe is indeed gay; another of which is that Joe was raised Roman (homophobic) Catholic; another is that Joe tested HIV positive at age 24; another is that he often has authentic mystical states; and yet another is that Joe is, but only occasionally, clinically psychotic. It is the jolting collision of those items, held together by Joe’s courage in the face of them all, that makes his story so incredible in so many ways. But all those items didn’t merely collide; they coalesced, through agony, and euphoria, and sheer determination into a deeply Integral life. Joe’s story is a shining example of why an Integral Approach is far more than "just a map," or "just cognitive head-stuff." Integral helps one find a place for everything in one’s life. Integral helps find the patterns that connect. In an Integral life, there’s room for everything... even all the things that one has disowned, shoved into the shadows, pushed away; and because all these parts of one’s own being are held at arm’s length, one can never feel truly whole. As Ken so beautifully summarizes, "Joe’s life is being artfully lived in the very fact of its truthfulness, its deep embrace, shadows and warts and worms and all, woven unhesitatingly into the tapestry of a lustrous display, a deep peace, an abiding love... and therein, surely, a lesson for us all...." We invite you to meet this extraordinary man, and listen in to this extraordinary story.... "I didn’t know who I was anymore. Any sense of meaning or purpose had come crashing down around me. Then, one ordinary day, I was preparing for bed, and I became overwhelmed by this sensation of euphoria and bliss that permeated everything in my awareness...." click here for full audio
Dan Millman - The Peaceful Warrior's Way. Part 2. The Highest Teaching. (click here for free sample) It is one of the remarkable blessings of the 21st century to have such unprecedented access to all the world's great spiritual traditions. While navigating this rich ocean of wisdom, how can we determine what the "highest" spiritual teaching really is? How does it relate to day-to-day life? And how can we begin to claim this truth as our very own, right now? From the philosophy of tennis to the highest spiritual teaching in just a few short sentences—such is an example of the tremendous value of Dan Millman. He brings us from a place we understand, a place we are comfortable with, to a place where we might be able to see something new: something bigger, brighter, and more embracing than what we had seen before—and all from the familiar comfort and safety of our favorite pair of tennis shoes.Perhaps that's a silly example, but this really is the kind of skill that Dan has developed over the course of a dozen books and countless teaching engagements. As he relates, most of the time, people aren't asking him about the ultimate nature of reality—they're asking him about how to deal with their boss, their finances, their lover, their health, their career. Quoting a famous Indian mystic, Dan says, "I give people what they want, so eventually they will want what I want to give them." Here, Dan is referring to the core wisdom in all the great contemplative traditions, the wisdom that liberates, enlightens, and transforms. What follows is a truly inspiring—and, indeed, enlightening—conversation about the nature of reality, the meaning of spirituality, and what the "highest teaching" really is. To say anything more would be doing this dialogue a disservice, because the extraordinary interplay of subtlety, profundity, and skillful means displayed by these two teachers is more than a paragraph can summarize. We most humbly and earnestly invite you to listen in for yourself, so that this transmission of hard-earned wisdom is direct and unfiltered…. "The act of 'exchanging self for other' is one of the most profound spiritual practices of all time. In a sense, with every breath you live the life of Jesus and the life of Buddha...." click here for full audio Integral Naked continues to be an excellent source of stimulating content and provocative conversations with the world's greatest thinkers, leaders, artists, and visionaries. Be sure to stay tuned to the IN Podcast for more weekly audio updates....
God in the 21st Century. Part 2. A Better Set of Skillful Means. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ken Wilber Click Here for Free Sample! Two of today's most accomplished "wise men" discuss the essential ingredients of an integral spiritual path, and the importance of knowing how to communicate that knowledge with clarity and compassion. Who: Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal and Spiritual Eldering movements, and Ken Wilber, founder of Integral Spiritual Center and author of Integral Spirituality. Relevance: What use is the liberating wisdom of contemplative spirituality, such as Jewish Hassidism and Kabbalah, if those who know the secrets of these traditions don't have the skillful means—the upaya—necessary to communicate those truths to all sentient beings in a way that they can hear? How might a more Integral Spirituality, in any tradition, create a more effective upaya? Summary: Continuing their conversation about "God in the 21st Century," these two long-time friends and founding members of Integral Spiritual Center bring their attention to the question of what is most essential to the spiritual and integral path, and how best to share those truths. For an Integral Life Practice, what is most essential is the Body, Mind, Spirit, and Shadow dimensions of any person (with "auxiliary modules" such as sex, ethics, relationship, and more). And yet, as Reb Zalman so eloquently states, even if you know a deep spiritual or integral truth, if you don't have the upaya, the skillful means, necessary to communicate the importance of such a truth—we have a real problem. Since most traditions agree that spiritual enlightenment reveals the universal Spirit-nature of all beings, those who have come to know their own Spirit-nature have an obligation to help share, reveal, and point out that truth to all those who may not yet have recognized their own True Nature. It is not enough to say that everyone, exactly as they are, is in perfectly union with ever-present Ayin, and Ultimate Reality. That is absolute truth. However, relative truth is that it is necessary for that reality to be a conscious understanding for each individual. The means by which a spiritual teacher—by whatever name—helps make this understanding truly conscious in another human being: that is the realm of skillful means. As Reb Zalman and Ken agree, skillful means must be adapted to the four-quadrant dimensions (intentional, behavioral, cultural, and social) of any given situation. Such is the nature of a truly Integral Spirituality, a vision with which Reb Zalman clearly resonates. As this wise elder Rabbi has publicly stated, "The Kabbalah of the future will rest on Ken's work." Why Integral?: An Integral Approach to spirituality is the first approach to explore in detail the difference between states of consciousness and structures of consciousness, and how development can unfold in each dimension of human experience. This is quite possibly the most significant contribution to our understanding of human nature in decades, because the explanatory power of the Integral View as a whole is simply unrivaled. Integral doesn't change the content of human experience, it helps contextualize and explain the content that is already there. Particularly when it comes to the realm of spirituality, religion, and ultimate concern—even if that ultimate concern is scientific materialism—the possibilities for division and strife are nearly endless. An Integral Approach shows how there really is room in the Kosmos for everyone, and how the Good, the True, and the Beautiful actually evolve and develop into ever-more inclusive, complex, and radiant forms. To learn more about how an Integral Approach can be applied to spirituality, see the essay "What Is Integral Spirituality," the book Integral Spirituality, and the learning community at Integral Spiritual Center (where Rabbi Zalman is a founding member and teacher). ***** (To check out Part 1 of this conversat
Alex Grey - Integral Art. Part 4. Anchoring the Seed of Liberation. (click here for free sample) Alex Grey and Ken Wilber explore an integral approach to art, how visionary and spiritual art can plant a seed of liberation in the mind of the viewer, and how one can recognize and anchor that realization in one's own life. Alex and Ken begin the conversation by discussing a question that's fundamental to the success of any visionary and spiritual artist: how do you "plant a seed of liberation" in the mind of the viewer? If you are interested in getting to know your own higher dimension of being, seeking out this kind of transcendental art can be one important practice in your own integral life—and if you have some kind of understanding of what's happening when a piece of art pops you into a higher state of consciousness, the more likely that realization is going to "stick," and stay with you longer.What Alex has had the good fortune to discover, and the skill to express, is that portraying—as he puts it—"transcendental light in relationship with the body" is a very effective way to help people resonate with a piece of transformative art. As Ken goes on to mention, all states of consciousness are supported by their corresponding bodies, and by depicting some of the higher and more refined bodies, Alex has been able to elicit and anchor some of the higher and more refined states of consciousness in viewers. An example from more traditional sacred art helps make clear what all of this actually means: when Christian artists paint halos around the heads of saints, they are depicting a subtle-body aspect of a saint's higher state of consciousness—and if you gaze upon the image of a saint long enough, you may start to feel saintly yourself. What's extraordinary about Alex's work is that he has taken this general concept and brought it into the modern world, always drinking deeply from the world's wisdom traditions, but then expressing those visionary insights with astonishing creativity, detail, and clarity.What follows is an in-depth discussion—carried over from Part 3 of this dialogue—of how entheogens (psychedelics) have played a pivotal role in Alex's development as an artist. One reason we are always eager to explore this topic with Alex is that he is one of the very few people who have, over a lifetime of experience, used these powerful substances in a genuinely responsible and growth-oriented manner. Entheogens are a controversial topic in spiritual practice, but experiential evidence from various practitioners suggests that use can have a powerful impact on one's spiritual perspective. Whether one is personally interested in using entheogens on one's own path or not, this is an extremely enlightening part of the dialogue, simply because this topic is so rarely spoken about in a healthy, rational, and transparent manner. "For example, when viewing art from a truly enlightened Zen Master, there can be four simple brush strokes for a stalk of bamboo, and BOING—Big Mind." click here for full audio Integral Naked continues to be an excellent source of stimulating content and provocative conversations with the world's greatest thinkers, leaders, artists, and visionaries. Be sure to stay tuned to the IN Podcast for more weekly audio updates....
Dan Millman - The Peaceful Warrior’s Way. Part 1. “This Is How to Do It.” (click here for free sample) Many of us have been told about the spiritual life, but how do we begin to actually live it? Author Dan Millman has devoted his writing career to exploring this very question. Here he shares his own personal story behind his impulse to develop a "ground-up" approach to daily life, a wonderful reminder of how simple and practical an Integral Life Practice can be.... Many of us are familiar with Dan's first book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior—which has at least 2 million copies sold, and probably 6-7 million readers. But what many people often miss is that Dan has spent the twenty-five years since Peaceful Warrior’s publication writing 12 more books, and it is in these books where Dan lays out how you can actually take the inspiring impact of Peaceful Warrior and put it into practice. Do you want more than just inspiration? Do you really want to change your life? Dan will show you how, in literally twelve different ways.As Dan mentions to Ken, “Spiritual life, by whatever name, begins on the ground, not up in the air.” Ken goes on to note that what Dan and Tony Robbins (another Integral Naked guest) share is an emphasis on taking physical action right now as a practical means to seeing actual change in one’s life. Further, Ken mentions that Dan is “one of the masters of mastery,” which can be seen not only in his incredible body of work, but in the fact that Dan was a world champion in trampoline gymnastics at only the age of 18. However, as Dan is quick to make clear, none of this would have happened without four radically different mentors he worked with over the course of two decades, who he refers to as The Professor, The Guru, The Warrior-Priest, and The Sage. Now, Dan is a full-blown mentor himself: accessible, practical, and always moving towards a more complete, comprehensive, and indeed integral approach to living a deeply awake life. “You’re one of the masters of mastery—you have led a life of world-class action, and, as you know, if you can get the body to do something, the mind will follow….” click here for full audio Integral Naked continues to be an excellent source of stimulating content and provocative conversations with the world's greatest thinkers, leaders, artists, and visionaries. Be sure to stay tuned to the IN Podcast for more weekly audio updates....
Sharon Stone - Like a Fine Diamond, This Stone Shines in All Dimensions. Part 2. (click here for free sample) In this captivating and deeply personal dialogue, Sharon Stone shares her experience as a high-profile actress turned international activist, and how an integral impulse has guided both her personal and professional life. Her story is truly an inspiring one, because through it all, people have said "You can't do that,"—and all along, she's done it anyway, literally saving thousands of lives in the process.... Why, in the broader scheme of things, would it matter that an award-winning actress has been living an intuitively integral life? Because, not only will an integral approach make one a better actor, but it will inform all of one's off-screen activities—and if you're Sharon Stone, that includes raising $1 million in five minutes to help prevent malaria in Tanzania, publicly supporting an AIDS research institution back when that would have been a career-killing move, and becoming a minister so that she could help her homosexual friends gain access to their lovers in the hospital. For Sharon, celebrity has been a tool that she's used to help as many people as she can, both in her local community and across the globe—and because she has approached each situation from an integral, comprehensive, and embracing viewpoint, she has done admirably at "touching on all the bases" for each endeavor, and therefore helping each one succeed as much as possible. And she was doing it years before activism became chic amongst the Hollywood elite, almost a full decade before Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie, and Brad Pitt began making headlines for their philanthropic work around the world. After exploring how an integral approach has manifested in her public work in the world, Ken asks her about the more personal dimensions of how she's brought together and integrated all the aspects of her own being. First of all, Ken offers, Sharon is living proof that a stunningly beautiful woman can have a heart, a mind, and a spirit to match. Then, in perhaps the dialogue's most revealing and touching moment, Sharon shares that perhaps the one area of her personal life that needs the most healing and integration is with her intimate relationships. Having had several failed relationships, including a divorce in 2004, she mentions that she hasn't really allowed herself to even consider that there might be, somewhere, a "perfect partner" for her—not, as both Sharon and Ken laugh, another "fixer-upper."Finally, Sharon and Ken talk with excitement about the third Integral Spiritual Center gathering coming up this October 29 -31, where along with Sharon, Michael Crichton, Scott Glenn, and Chantal Westerman have been invited to come, with most of them planning to do so. Integral Spiritual Center brings together thirty of the world's finest contemplative teachers, all of whom are actively applying an integral approach in their own tradition or lineage, and then has "teachers teaching teachers," so that the wisdom of each and all comes together in an integral framework and embrace, co-creating a "trans-path path" to the future of spirituality. "In Tanzania, we know we've caused a third less deaths from malaria by something I specifically stood up and did at the World Economic Forum—when they were all saying 'Sit down Miss Stone, this isn't the time or the place.'" click here for full audio Integral Naked continues to be an excellent source of stimulating content and provocative conversations with the world's greatest thinkers, leaders, artists, and visionaries. Be sure to stay tuned to the IN Podcast for more weekly audio updates....
Deepak Chopra - Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment - Part 2 (click here for free 10 minute sample) After discussing the presentation and criticism of Buddha in detail in Part 1 of the conversation, Deepak and Ken move on to explore some of the most central tenets of the Buddhist tradition, as well as Vedanta Hinduism. Mentioned first is the trikaya or "three body" doctrine, whereby all sentient being are said to have a nirmanakaya (gross body), samboghakaya (subtle body), and dharmakaya (causal body). These three bodies are said to literally support, respectively, gross-waking consciousness, subtle-dreaming consciousness, and causal-deep-sleep consciousness—all of which are states of consciousness, which everyone experiences every single day, because everyone wakes, dreams, and sleeps (it is through contemplative practice that these states reveal their deeper nature, and one can begin to Witness all states, and then find nondual Union with all states). In addition to bodies and states, Ken reminds us that both Vajrayana Buddhism and Vedanta Hinduism posit sheaths—or koshas or structures or levels—of consciousness, such as annamayakosha (material), pranamayakosha (emotional-sexual), manomayakosha (middle mind), vijnanamayakosha (higher mind), and anandamayakosha (bliss mind). Together, states, bodies, and sheaths/structures paint a very sophisticated picture of what contemplative, trans-rational spirituality is all about (and to which we would add, in an AQAL and Integral Approach, quadrants, lines, and types. "Once you realize the world is a dream of creative play, you can do as this Zen koan suggests: If you see a boat on the horizon, pick it up…."