Terry's blog

A rich discussion about spiritual teachers

For several years, something that's been "up" for me has been the evolution of practice: the actual emergence of new dynamics ("life conditions") and capacities relating to the process of growing to higher levels of consciousness.  Read more »

On Outrageous Teaching and Charges of Enabling Abuse

One of Andrew Cohen’s critics recently attacked me in a blog post. Detailing a few of the most inflammatory stories about Cohen, a group of teachers (including me, Ken Wilber and others) were accused of “enabling abuse” because we have dialoged and cooperated with Andrew, his students and his publications. None of us responded publicly to the attack. I chose not to because in the echo chamber of the blogosphere there is no way to respond thoughtfully and at length to irresponsible negativity without raising it to an implicitly equal status, and thereby validating and empowering it. Read more »

A News Flash We Can't Ignore

Yesterday’s political news couldn’t have been more important. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a dramatic departure from established law, struck down regulations limiting corporate spending on political advertising, including much of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act.

This ruling is of enormous significance to Integralists and Evolutionaries, because it is about a meta-systemic realignment of the very political mechanisms through which citizens’ choices can shape public decisions.

An Integral Analysis of Money Politics & Media

Americans live in a virtual sea of advertising and public relations messages that are structured (scientifically reverse-engineered, in fact) to influence us outside our conscious awareness. Subliminally, these communications have enormous influence over our buying decisions, attitudes, and votes, even though we think we’re aware of them and are disregarding their influence. This applies equally to commercial and political messages. They influence people up and down the evolutionary scale, but are particularly compelling at earlier levels of development. And ads cost money. Read more »

Finding Your "Yes"

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I'm writing this in the spacious stillness of Thanksgiving weekend. My life has been moving at high speed, but over this holiday break an opening appeared. The phone barely rang, and a sense of deep peace naturally blossomed. My heart has been overflowing with spontaneous gratitude (or as Brother David Steindl-Rast so beautifully puts it, "great-full-ness".)

I'm grateful for many things—family and friends, my spiritual friends and communities, some inspiring creative projects, amazing partners, and my growing, vibrant communities of integral evolutionary spirituality and service. I'm especially grateful for the opportunity to serve humankind, and our current intensifying wild ride through what is certainly a kind of evolutionary whitewater rafting.

Optimism vs. Pessimism About Humanity's Prospects Read more »

The Finance Lab

I'm honored to have been asked to join the faculty of The Finance Lab, an innovative collaborative action-oriented thinking project dedicated to envisioning redesign principles through which the world financial system can become a force for sustainable human civilization. The Finance Lab is a joint venture of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, The World Wildlife Fund, and REOS, an international consulting firm. It convenes a diverse team of individuals and institutions from business and finance, government and civil society to initiate and incubate several experiments and prototypes that will practically demonstrate aspects of a financial system that truly serves business, society and the planet. 

The first phase of The Finance Lab was held in July 2009 and brought over 200 people together to explore possible future scenarios for finance. These workshops were held in conjunction with the Scenario Planning and Futures Research Group, part of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS) at the University of Oxford's Said Business School. 

The second phase of the Finance Lab is the Open Innovation Lab process, which uses Otto Scharmer's U process in a series of facilitated workshops, stakeholder engagements and design sessions.  It culminates in an event where the Lab's work will be shared with a wider audience. Read more »

Renaissance2—The Great Shift, Oct. 2009

My last blog entry was written as Deborah and I prepared to fly to France so I could MC the 5 day Renaissance2 Great Shift Gathering in Perpignan.

I asked a lot of questions in my last post about the efficacy of such an endeavor. And my report is, I'm happy to say, essentially positive. The key principles I enumerated were very present during the gathering. And although there were certainly a range of vMemes interacting, the emphasis on creating tangible projects with business models remains a deep consideration of all involved. And I still have real hopes for what Renaissance2 can spawn in the weeks, months and years ahead. Read more »

Two Interesting New Books

I want to let you know about an important new book, by a longtime close friend. It's about effective, research-proven ways to light up the circuits in your brain that will bring you more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more inner peace.

Buddha's BrainIt's called Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love,and Wisdom. It's written by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.—a neuropsychologist and meditation teacher. (Go to www.rickhanson.net/writings/buddhas-brain for moreinformation. You can order it from Amazon here.)

Rick ably unpacks key, un-obvious implications of brain research to help us more skillfully surf the waves of moment-to-moment mental experience. This beautifully written, easy-to-read book gracefully conveys a series of epiphanies that can enable us to achieve self-compassion, balance and happiness.

Combining the latest neuroscience with the deep Buddhist understanding of the mind, Read more »

In Memoriam: Adi Da Samraj — 1939-2008

My root-guru, Adi Da Samraj, passed a year ago this Thanksgiving in Fiji. He was 69. I was a devotee of this great God-realizer from the age of 22 until I was 37. He not only profoundly transformed my life and consciousness, but, I think, helped transform the entirety of contemporary Western spirituality, even though he is not nearly as widely known as he is influential.

On this anniversary of his passing, I remember him with gratitude, and look back in amazement at his legacy. Please know, words fail here. To speak about Adi Da is to nominate oneself as one of the blind men reporting on the elephant. Adi Da was one part Jesus Christ, one part Picasso, one part Nagarjuna, one part Marlon Brando, and one part Genghis Khan. And more... Read more »

Integral Heart Newsletter #1: Exploring Big Questions in the Integral World

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This, the first in my series of monthly newsletters, is written as an open letter from The Crossings, a retreat center near Austin, where the Integral Leadership in Action (ILiA) conference has just concluded.

Tomorrow my wife Deborah and I set out for Perpignan, France, where I've been asked to serve as the Master of Ceremonies at Renaissance2: The Great Shift Gathering, a "network of world-changing networks" that aims to catalyze a whole series of high-impact practical projects in the fields of renewable energy, enlightened enterprise, integral governance, and resilient environments.

"Integral" — What's in a word?

Assumptions about Organizational Hierarchies 

The word "integral" evolved etymologically from the Latin root "tangere." This same root is also the source of words like "tactile," "tangible" and "tangent." It means "touch."  The first syllable of the word Integral, "in" is a negation. So, etymologically, "Integral" at its root then, means "that which is untouched."

Something can be untouched only if there's nothing else to touch it. That which includes everything (so that there is nothing "else") is that which is untouched. Thus, Integral means radical inclusivity. This is the essence of Integral - wholeness.

As used commonly, though, this word Integral appears has two aspects. 

One aspect can be seen in related words like "integrated" or "integrating." We use these words to describe what happens when some individual or group, some aspect, element, or idea, which has previously been excluded, is now included in a greater wholeness, and everything shifts, and all the parts then have a new and right relationship to each other.  There is integration. It's about parts coming together rightly and making a more perfect whole. They connote something like "including all the parts and rightly relating them to each other." Read more »

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