"Follow your dreams." "Believe in yourself." "Never give up." Such were the themes of stories we heard again and again from the great Olympians who thrilled us through the first half of August. Most of us love that message—it resonates with our optimism and models strong personal leadership. Some of us are skeptical, knowing it’s much easier said than done. Judging from the numbers of Olympic spectators versus participants, on the whole, we’d rather watch others put themselves on the line than do it ourselves. Brain research tells us that watching others perform sports gives us about 20% of the neural thrill of victory (or agony of defeat) as if we were doing it ourselves.
Ginny Whitelaw talks to Ken Wilber about her new book, The Zen Leader, which offers an exceptionally simple guide to help maximize your health, happiness, and productivity. What's remarkable about The Zen Leader is that it doesn't just present useful concepts to help you think about leadership in a new way, but offers practical ways to continuously check in with your own body—right here and right now—to gauge whatever resistance and self-contraction you may be experiencing, and follows with simple practices to help you sustain a more open and creative state of mind.
Most of us stay obsessively stuck in the past or future, running our mental trains backward and forward on that track every minute of the day. We have a limited view of ourselves and our capacities. And nothing will change unless we stop the train and get off. Emaho! (That's Tibetan for "Hallelujah!") We can stop the train. Buddhist wisdom teaches that the minutes and hours of our days do not merely march from future to present to past—looming, engulfing us, passing us by forever. Rather, each moment is intersected by a realm of infinite spaciousness and timelessness, known in Tibetan as shicha, the Eternal Now. This is the precious awakened dimension that I call Buddha Standard Time, and it is available to us every instant. –Lama Surya Das
More than 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities. If for no other reason than to contemplate a statistical tipping point of the evolution of the human species shifting from rural-centred to urban-centred, we should consider what an integral perspective can bring to considering some implications of a planet of cities.
Watch as Helen Palmer sets the context for the nine-hour Patterns of Being video collection that we will be releasing early next week, which offers an in-depth exploration of the intersection between the Narrative Enneagram Tradition and Integral thought and practice. She introduces the nine ancient "patterns of being" documented in the 4th century in various monastic communities, which have since evolved into the Enneagram system that we know today.
Although the apparent confirmation of the Higgs Boson, the so-called God particle, has been attracting attention recently, the most vexing problem in science and philosophy remains the mind-body problem: What relation is there between material brain states and conscious, first-person experience? In the past few years, as we shall see in a moment, some neurosciences have now arrived at an answer that was anticipated by Ken Wilber’s version of integral theory. According to Wilber, meager versions of interiority—the antecedents of consciousness—are found at the atomic level, as Alfred North Whitehead suggested in the early 20th century.
Jeff received a stimulating comment from a regular reader who wrote, “We don’t talk enough about the ‘one step back’ that often precedes the ‘two forward’”. He writes, “Germany’s Third Reich was a nation-state’s ‘one step back,’ and illustrates the suffering and calamity that comes from lack of vigilance and courage-in-action, but also the pain inherent in progress.” There’s a lot in that statement, and Jeff attempts to address it in the following video. His basic thesis is that we probably worry more than we need to about the “one step back” that cultures sometimes take....
People with deep spiritual conviction—from religious fundamentalists to high Himalayan mystics—possess the greatest existential gift of all: certainty. But these days, it’s not a gift that we find it easy to appreciate. And for good reason. For the last 60 years or so, ever since the unthinkable devastation of the two great conflagrations of the twentieth century (World War I and World War II) certainty has been seen by sophisticated intellectuals as being inherently dangerous and a sign of blatant ignorance. Communists were certain, as were Hitler’s fascists.
In April 2012 Greg Thomas interviewed Mr. Shorter for a feature story for publication in the Daily News. He was to about to perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center with his quartet, and soon thereafter at the United Nations for the first International Jazz Day, launched by his friend, musical mate, and fellow Buddhist Herbie Hancock. As usual in instances like this, where a master musician’s life and career, past and current, has to be whittled down to less than 1,000 words for a print newspaper piece, there was great material that ended up on the cutting room floor.
We are very happy to feature a new Integral Life Art Gallery by Diana Calvario.
I started feeling the urge to use digital art as a way of expressing my thoughts and feelings in a period of my life when I discovered the integral philosophy and spiritual teachers like Ken Wilber, Andrew Cohen, Don Beck, and Eckhart Tolle. My first contact to the integral world was made via Integral Naked some 4 years ago where I had the chance to meet the most amazing people and where I definitely started not to feel alone with my thoughts anymore and I had one AHA experience after the other. My art reflects a lot of this period of my life and its main purpose is to provoke thinking and meditation. –Diana Calvario