A 21st Century Koan: Why Swallowing Fish Has Everything to do with the Evolution of the Dharma. Part 2. At Play with Perspectives.  
Diane Musho Hamilton Sensei
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Diane Hamilton is one of the most skilled and popular presenters at our Integral Institute five-day seminars, and as anyone who has been lucky enough to see her work will tell you, she's a total star. An authorized teacher of Genpo Roshi's Big Mind process, she and Genpo have been introducing seminar participants to some of the extraordinary aspects of enlightened being and awareness that are available here and now, to anyone willing to inquire into their existence.

Stuart Davis, a Zen practitioner and musician with 11 full-length albums to his name, comments that part of what the Big Mind process and art have in common is their ability to freely inhabit perspectives. Artists have the license to engage more parts of the human experience than nearly any other profession, and he goes on to explain that often it’s in fully inhabiting the shadow elements of one’s personality that those elements can self-liberate. Likewise, in the Big Mind process, Diane will ask to speak to different aspects of the relative self, or ego, before asking to speak to any of the transcendent voices.

In many enlightenment traditions, Zen certainly being among them, the ego is often demonized as the one obstacle to Awakening, and as such is almost literally sentenced to death. Part of the incredible skillful means of the Big Mind process is that instead of trying annihilate the ego—a rather fruitless endeavor in any event—the entire choir of “egoic” voices are recognized as fundamentally important to the process of waking up. In fact, Diane and Genpo report that they have yet to find a relative, dualistic voice that didn’t ultimately yield a transcendent wisdom counterpart.

For example, Diane shares that she’s interested in how we as a culture can learn the art of fighting well. In the traditions, the wisdom aspect of anger is often characterized as penetrating clarity, and so instead of leaving everyone bruised and broken, how can we engage the wakeful energy of conflict in a compassionate, enlightening manner?

Diane goes on to comment: “We’re so firmly convinced of the difference between you and me, that we spend a lot of time in negotiation… and I am so interested in that mutual leap where we’re not interested in negotiating, we’re interested in manifesting together.” Of course, the million-dollar question is, what are we going to manifest together? Diane suggests that the true test of dharma is how well it jumps from culture to culture, because then we find out what is indeed universal truth, and what was an interpretive shell.

As Diane and Stu agree, this is an enormously exciting time for anyone involved in studying any of the great contemplative traditions, east or west. Along with Genpo Roshi and twenty of the finest spiritual teachers in the world, both were present for the inaugural gathering of Integral Spiritual Center, June 24th-26th in Denver, CO. This dialogue is a fantastic taste of things to come, and we invite you to listen in on this warm exchange between these two incredibly endearing souls….

(To find out, “why swallowing fish has everything to do with the evolution of the dharma,” check out Part 1 of this exciting dialogue….)
transmission time: 31 minutes
keywords: autonomy and communion, Genpo Roshi, Zen, Big Mind, koan practice, Abraham Maslow, 8 fundamental perspectives, voice dialogue, Hal and Sidra Stone, cultural Big Mind voices, Republican mind, Democratic mind, ego, art, “What Is Integral?,” White Plum Asanga, Integral Spiritual Center, fourth turning of the wheel, conflict resolution.
most memorable moment: “Did you notice that? The ego has since decided it was Big Mind, in fact. Happens all the time….”

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