The core teachers of the wildly successful Women’s Integral Life Practice Seminars three-years running come together to discuss one of the special topics of this September’s seminar!
Diane Musho Hamilton Sensei – Diane is Genpo Roshi’s first successor in the Big Mind Process lineage, as well as a dharma holder in traditional Zen, she is also a trained mediator. Diane has taught at I-I’s Integral Life Practice and Integral Life Practice Level 2 seminars, and has conducted her own Integral Zen Seminar.
Sofia Diaz – Sophia is a gifted teacher of yoga and sacred movement who derives her style of teaching and body philosophy from the South Indian temple arts and their accompanying scriptures. Sofia has taught at I-I’s Integral Life Practice and Integral Life Practice Level 2 Seminars, and has conducted her own Integral Body as Breath Seminar.
Willow Pearson – Willow is a psychotherapist, vocal therapist, and directs the I-I Center for Integral Sexuality and Gender Studies, and co-directs the I-I Center for Integral Psychotherapy. Willow has taught at I-I’s Integral Life Practice Seminar and Integral Psychotherapy Professional Seminar.
Together, this will be their third year leading the Women’s Integral Life Practice of Fullness and Freedom Seminar!
Relevance: The three core teachers of the Women’s Integral Life Practice of Fullness and Freedom Seminar discuss different manifestations of the Feminine Shadow, and how it can be used as an ally (a special feature of this September’s seminar!)
Summary: To give an example of the unique kind of co-creative experience they plan to offer in this September’s workshop, Sofia, Willow, and Diane engage a topic of rather extraordinary richness: what is the feminine shadow? Shadow work is one of the four core modules of an Integral Life Practice (the others being Body, Mind, and Spirit), with the term "shadow" representing the personal unconscious, or the psychological material that we repress, deny, dissociate, or disown (which can be not only the lowest and worst aspects of us, but the highest and best). Unfortunately, denying this material doesn’t make it go away; on the contrary, it returns to plague us with painful neurotic symptoms, obsessions, fears, and anxieties. Uncovering, befriending, and re-owning this material is necessary not only for removing the painful symptoms, but forming an accurate and healthy self-image, incorporating both the devils and angels in all of us.
With this general understanding of shadow in mind, Diane, Sofia, and Willow explore how some of the uniquely feminine aspects of shadow might manifest in the lives of women (not because the feminine quality or type is exclusive to women, but because most women would self-identify as having a deeply feminine essence, and so these kinds of questions are of very real concern). Willow goes on to suggest The Virgin, The Whore, The Amazon, and The Hag as four archetypes to reflect on, and how each one has a unique shadow manifestation as well as a unique feminine wisdom at its core. This second part of their three-part conversation focuses particularly on the various manifestations of, and an integral understanding of, The Amazon archetype, all the while exploring what integral feminine consciousness lived through women looks like, in all its forms and contexts.
Why Integral?: An understanding of developmental stages, it turns out, is one of the most important contributions of an Integral Feminism. In a world seemingly beset by the divisive, aggressive, and oppressive aspects of the y chromosome, the cry has often gone out that we must replace the men in power with women! Surely they have the linking, connecting, and healing qualities needed to mend this planet. Well, yes and no. As the work of Carol Gilligan—one of the most popular, and most misunderstood, feminist writers—shows, both men and women grow through four hierarchical stages of moral growth: from selfish (egocentric), to care (ethnocentric), to universal care (worldcentric), to integrated (Kosmocentric). Men traverse these stages with an emphasis on justice and autonomy, and women traverse these stages with an emphasis on care and relationship—hence the title of Gilligan’s popular work: In a Different Voice—but they both proceed through the same general waves of increasing care and concern. The problem with the world situation is not men (or the masculine mode), nor is the cure women (or the feminine mode); rather, what is needed is higher levels of both. (Elizabeth Lesser, founder of Omega Institute, found this topic so important that she and Ken spent an entire dialogue exploring the need for a "three-dimensional feminism"—a feminism that understands developmental depth. We consider this conversation required listening for anyone interested in learning about the true gifts of an Integral Feminism.)
Come Join Us This September! This is the third year we've held this seminar with the core teaching team of Diane, Sofia and Willow. We will cover the core modules of Integral Life Practice—Body, Mind, Spirit, and Shadow—and a whole lot more. The past two Women's seminars have been over-the-top incredible. The groups that have come through have had the privilege of entering into surprisingly deep intimacy and radical growth, where love and challenge meet in a practice environment where self and Self are not opposed, and girl and God are one.
In addition to the other core modules of ILP, this year we'll have a special emphasis on Feminine Shadow as Ally…. What is she, how does she manifest, what does she look like at different levels of development, and why we need our female friends to work with her.
This seminar is intended for both women new to or unfamiliar with Integral as well as those who currently have an Integral Life Practice or have joined this seminar or other ILP seminars in the past.
Women's Integral Life Practice of Fullness and Freedom Seminar
To Sign Up, see www.integraltraining.org
(For Part 1 of this one-of-a-kind dialogue, click here.)