Integral Living Room 2017

“A Shout from the Heart”*

Boulder Colorado, The Integral Center

November 9-12

Your Hosts

Terry-Patten Diane Musho Hamilton Sensei Jeff Salzman
Terry Patten Diane Hamilton Jeff Salzman
Ken Wilber

Special Guest Ken Wilber!

There are three ways to approach the mystery of the divine. The first practice is prayer. The second is meditation. And the third, and most important, is conversation. ~Rumi

A Message From Your Hosts

Thanks for your interest in the next Integral Living Room! Our fifth gathering in November of 2016 was a great success, but it was emotionally intense. We began the event the morning after election day, and our conversations unfolded amidst the shock waves of the election. After many exchanges regarding our hopes and fears about the outcome, the three of us kept talking. We took some time to contemplate direction the of the next Integral Living Room, and after several months, we decided on the theme of:

A Shout From the Heart!

We want to pick up on Ken’s injunction to wrestle with our moral obligations in this time.
We want to explore how we “speak out, to the best of our ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine our headlights into the eyes of the complacent.”

We are excited to do it again, to explore what we have learned about taking action built on spiritual practice and enacted through a developmental lens. The Integral Living Room is a gathering where we come to talk, explore, and learn from each other’s work in the field. At the Integral Living Room, we are always catalyzed to a whole new level of intimacy, vulnerability, and mutual trust. There is nobody we would rather learn from than you.

We hope you can join us in Boulder November 9-12, 2017, to hang out with some very special friends, old and new, in a space that lets us all go as deep and wide as our hearts and minds allow.

In the meantime. scroll down for five years of Integral Living Room community podcasts and blog posts on topics ranging from politics and religion to science and culture.

Diane, Terry and Jeff

What participants are saying...

There was an amazing immediate safety in the space and a freedom to show up as who I am, not who I make myself up to be. With that layer of my ego set aside, I found myself participating, experiencing and learning much more deeply than I have in any of the conferences I have previously attended.

–Jim Luebbers

Just spending time with Diane, Jeff and Terry is delightful, but to be in practice with seventy-five beautiful souls with shared desires to continue the evolution of Love and Consciousness is a gift beyond measure.

–Shay Pausa

The Integral Living Room is an opportunity to meet your family members from all over the world. It’s beautifully facilitated with plenty of time for open conversation. I left there feeling loved and held and supported, and educated in practical ways.

–Roshana Ariel

I think the Living Room setting is very important for the growth of Integral. I am really glad that Ken could be there.

Get yourself to the Integral Living Room in October! They keep getting better! Here is where Integral is growing Big Heart as well as Big Mind and every one of us matters!

Thank you for the curiosity, inquiry and vulnerability.

–John Mariner

This gathering will restore your hope in the future.

–Rich Tafel

A great experience, especially the interpersonal moments of Integral we-space. This has already helped me in my interactions with my patients.

–Jeffrey L. Tate, MD Psychiatrist

How Loving! What Community! How Healing and Refreshing! How Unique!

I appreciated the chance to actively, personally, effectively dialogue about how to expand integral throughout the culture and embody integral more fully in ourselves in the world, the discussion on how to apply integral to the crises present and ongoing on this planet, and the chance to celebrate and share the mystery, delight, love, challenges, terror, relationship, and exquisite beauty of this existence!

This particular embodiment of the Integral We was the very best integral gathering I have attended, in large part because it was small enough to allow for deep exchange on many levels, with an amazing diversity of personalities, backgrounds, and skills to share.

The Integral Center is a beautiful, functional, diverse, and intimate physical space to dwell in for a few days, (place matters!).

The Presence, in an intimate setting, of Ken Wilber, which allowed for experiencing his heart and compassion and bodhisattva field and the opportunity of a few minutes of direct dialogue with him also made this Integral event unique and I hope will be a feature each time.

It is a much fuller, deeper and altogether different experience being with Ken than simply reading his works or hearing a recording or video.

It is the first integral event I’ve attended that offers the chance to network in a meaningful way, which I trust will be invaluable in my work in chosen fields ongoing. All of this and more makes this the one integral gathering I intend to make each year.

–Thomas (Taom) Heady, Musician, Counselor/Educator/Political Activist

This was my second Integral Living Room and I’m going back for more next October!

I love these evolved people, many traveling here from all over the globe. They are lifelong learners like me, drawn to a weekend filled with passion, connection, and deep friendship… and all of it embedded in evolutionary and integral principles.

–Leila Bruno

I appreciated the opportunity to bring the AQAL map alive in person. Navigating the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person terrain in a supportive container was fantastic.

The Integral Living Room was a creative cauldron of evolutionary potentiality. Theory came to life as the AQAL model was lit up and made real experientially…and we were it! Highly recommended!

–Grant Hunter

Your Hosts

We’re thrilled to announce that Integral pandit extraordinaire Ken Wilber will be joining us in the Integral Living Room! If, like most of us, you have been inspired by Ken’s brilliant insights and writing, you will love the chance to hang out with him in this informal setting. Ken is a delight in person, and will share his latest thinking (including his up-to-the-minute writing on Volume II of the Kosmos Trilogy), answer questions, and schmooze on any topic the group is engaging.

It’s a rare chance to get up close and personal with the man who has sparked the modern integral movement and is still its leading light.

Ken Wilber is the most widely translated academic writer in America, with 25 books, translated into some 30 foreign languages, including the recent Integral Spirituality. Ken is an internationally acknowledged leader and the preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is the founder of Integral Institute, Inc. and the co-founder of Integral Life, Inc.

Ken Wilber is a national treasure. —Robert Kegan, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Ken Wilber is one of the most important pioneers in the field of consciousness in this century. I regard him as my mentor. He is a source of inspiration and insight to all of us. —Deepak Chopra, M.D. author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
Ken Wilber is one of the greatest philosophers of this century and arguably the greatest theoretical psychologist of all time. —Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D.

Diane Musho Hamilton Sensei is a gifted professional mediator, facilitator, and teacher of Zen and Integral Spirituality. She has been a practitioner of meditation for more than 25 years. Diane facilitates Big Mind Big Heart, a process developed by Genpo Merzel Roshi to help elicit the insights of Zen in Western audiences. She has worked with Ken Wilber and the Integral Institute in Denver, Colorado, since 2004. She is also the co-founder of Two Arrows Zen, a center for Integral and Zen practice in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband Michael Mugaku Zimmerman.

Diane is a very special person, compassionate, caring and wise. Her facilitation and teaching skills are beyond question. I very much appreciated and recommend her timeless and timely integral zen work. —Lama Surya Das
Diane is a gifted and profound facilitator. Just to be in her field is healing. Her capacity to lead a group is very gentle, and yet she is able to bring out broad perspectives from Big Mind to Deep Shadow. Her work is very transformative. —Marcelo Cardoso

Terry Patten has worked with Ken Wilber and I-I since 2004, and was the senior writer and co-author of the book Integral Life Practice. He created the acclaimed 8-session online course, Integral Spiritual Practice. He writes and coaches, and also speaks and teaches internationally, and he hosts the acclaimed online teleseminar series Beyond Awakening: The Future of Spiritual Practice.

Working with Terry lifts my heart, while strengthening and clarifying the evolutionary impulse within me. If you study with him you will be empowered, uplifted and inspired into your own next level of conscious evolution. —Barbara Marx Hubbard, author of Conscious Evolution
Terry Patten is one of the most clear-thinking and articulate people I’ve ever met and his big mind is held firmly within a very big and awakened heart. —Andrew Cohen, author of Evolutionary Enlightenment
Terry Patten is an incredible spiritual teacher: articulate, possessing amazing depth yet highly accessible, humble, skillful, of the highest integrity, thoroughly grounded in Ken Wilber’s work yet offering an original synthesis that is uniquely his. —Paul McHugh, Minneapolis, MN

Jeff Salzman has worked in adult education and transformation for thirty years. For three years Jeff worked side by side with Ken Wilber developing the Integral Institute, an international center for integral theory and application. Jeff spent the last few years as co-founder and a lead teacher at Boulder Integral (now The Integral Center). These days he travels, teaches and comments about current events on Integral Life and on his blog, The Daily Evolver.

Jeff explains current events better than anyone I know. He always makes me feel better and more hopeful about our world. —Maria Aarons, Denver, Colorado
Ok, here is integral in action. Jeff doesn’t just know integral, he transmits it. I feel like I’m flying at a higher altitude just from being around him. —Brian DiPospero, Los Angeles
The Garrison Keillor of Integral. —Steve McIntosh, author of Integral Consciousness and Evolution’s Purpose

A Shout From the Heart

And therefore, all of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe, wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout from the heart—perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example—but authenticity always and absolutely carries a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you.

Ken Wilber
One Taste: Daily Reflections on Integral Spirituality, (p. 35)

The Conversation So Far

A series of community calls has been our way to stay connected between gatherings. We had great conversations in our trio, with Ken Wilber, and with you over the years. We are delighted to be able to share those calls. Each community call leading up to the five Integral Living Room gatherings is posted here. Please have a listen to any and all that interest you!

Previous Calls

Integral Takes on Trump
Recorded 5.25.2017

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What Is Integral Activism?
Recorded 3.16.2017
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Preparing to Die: An Integral Conversation
Recorded 8.4.2016
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An integral relationship to grief and loss
Recorded 5.26.2016
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Death Denial and the Immortality Project
Recorded 3.17.2016
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Spiritual Bypass of the Soul?
Recorded 9.10.2015
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Magical Thinking Vs Real Psychic Phenomena
Recorded 6.25.2015
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A Discussion of Subtle Energy
Recorded 4.9.2015
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Subtle Energy, the Soul & Life Purpose
Recorded 1.22.2015
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Join us in beautiful Boulder, CO | Nov 9th 7pm to Nov 12th 1pm


Integral Takes On Trump

Recorded May 25, 2017

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Integral Takes on Trump

Can Integral consciousness help us navigate the stormy era of Trump?

The theme of this year’s Living Room is Integral Activism (see previous post). While activism can take many forms, in this podcast we focus on developing a more integrally-informed approach to President Trump and his supporters.

As we scan the political landscape we can clearly see the responses to the rise of Trump by the three primary worldviews that are currently dominant in American culture:

We see that the traditionalist (Amber altitude) response is to support him. Traditionalists (social conservatives) are deeply motivated by Trump’s rhetoric bashing modernist globalism and postmodern political correctness.

We see that the modernist (Orange altitude) response is to resist his autocratic tendencies with investigations into his potential malfeasance and judicial blocking of his executive orders. Modernist Republicans in Congress are holding their fire (and noses) in hopes of passing their agenda of tax cuts and conservative reform.

The postmodern (Green altitude) response to President Trump is … well, revulsion. Green liberals are repelled by both his personality and his policies. They see him as an autocratic buffoon who is a danger to the country and world, and who must be resisted at every turn.

So what is the integral (Teal and Turquoise altitudes) response to Trump? Is there a way of integrating the “pieces of the truth” that each of the previous stages hold?

For instance:

  • How might we support Trump (or at least Trump’s people) as well as be part of the Resistance?
  • How and when do we tune in and tune out to the ongoing drama?
  • How do we talk – and listen – to our loved ones and friends? Can we move the conversation beyond tired left/right tribalism?
  • How can a developmental view help to keep us from getting stuck in confusion and upset? What other integral insights support our involvement in the political process.

And how do we hold it all in the context of a greater unfolding of innate perfection?

In this podcast Diane, Terry and Jeff each share how they are making sense of this bizarre moment in history. Plus we hear from members of the Living Room community in an enlightening “popcorn round” where a wisdom arises out of the many perspectives shared. We hope you enjoy the call and are inspired to develop a worldview that is more friendly, flexible — and effective! — in our challenging new era of Trump.

What is Integral Activism?

Recorded March 16, 2017

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What Is Integral Activism?

The whole world, including integral community, has been stunned and captivated by the spectacle of Trump’s election and new presidency. Feelings range from shock to grief to a renewed sense of energy and engagement. Until this moment, most of us have been able to trust that we could live our lives in a free, prosperous, open, liberal democracy without having to do anything to protect or defend it, and now all that seems to have changed. It seems that the price of our future freedom may be much greater engagement with the political process. Many of us are going through the various stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) because we really don’t much want to engage the dirty “low” business of popular politics, and are sensing that now, we may have to, and perhaps we will have to for the rest of our lives.

We set the stage for our conversation with Ken Wilber by pointing out that a truly integral strategy for activism must draw upon our intuition of prior freedom, our optimism, and our faith in the dialectic of evolution. And it must also be able to take a strong and timely stand. (Even though it will honor any temporary adversaries with respect.) It must embody many virtues, including some that are apparently in tension. It must have the strength to counter Trump. And it must have the spaciousness to rise above the first-tier food fight. it must bring the integral analysis of the dynamics among Red, Amber, Orange, Green, Teal, and Turquoise down to earth, so that it translates into a very smart and powerful basis for our own timely direct activism. But how?

So we asked Ken Wilber about integral activism. And he began his response by laying a foundation, speaking to the way an Integral Consciousness sees the world. This is the first clip from Ken that we shared on our Integral Living Room Community Call on Thursday, March 16, 2017.

Ken pointed out that you can’t understand Trump without an Integral framework. It’s comprehensive, inclusive, all-embracing, and it illuminates so much about what’s going on under the surface of our culture wars. But 99.9% of the population has no clue that such a framework even exists. But, as they say in Silicon Valey, “Garbage in—Garbage out.” Most people have no idea of Quadrants, Levels, Lines, States, or Types. They don’t even understand growth and development. Most people know nothing about states unless they’ve meditated. Even psychology doesn’t. The experience of being one with God is almost universally disregarded.

When we have a general understanding of AQAL integral theory, we have a 4 dimensional textured reality. With practice we can see it all as expressing the vast all-pervading spaciousness of everpresent awareness, the simple feeling of being. If you look at any particular thing, you can see in your minds eye, you can see the four quadrants of everything, like the crosshairs in a sniper rifle. Most people are totally ignorant of them, even though they’re crucial. You can see the developmental stages that made the rational, competitive orange businessman possible, as if that developpmental history were radiating off of it into the past. You see the subtle & causal forms supporting gross forms, all merging into the great perfection of nondual awareness. You have a basis for such a vivid visualization of the texture of every moment.

None of the AQAL integral elements can be seen with the senses. This richly textured reality is how the world appears to the indigo mind. Even if they’re not visualized, they’re all directly felt—and in the context of the freedom and clarity of Big Mind. You can taste the fullness of the universe, as if it were dipped in chocolate. Not a disjointed clutter of separate things like the senses perceive, but a deeper unity. That understanding is the necessary ground for understanding Trump, contemporary politics, the culture wars, and even for understanding your own personal life choices. It’s Human 101, or Universe 101. On its basis we can live consciously in the context of interwoven evolving interiors and exteriors. Even if this integral consciousness doesn’t provide a solution immediately, it will at least provide a context so that we can see it clearly.

Ken went on to say that educating people to awaken to integral structure stages of consciousness is a hugely important form of integral activism. Because it will be possible to enact important changes in our political and economic system when 10% of the population is operating from a truly integral structure of consciousness. So we should not overlook the critically “activist” implications of integral education and integral practice.

Later in the conversation Terry pointed out to Ken that many integral activists are hesitating because the path forward isn’t 100% clear. On one hand, integral practitioners resonate with the fundamental spaciousness of integral consciousness, especially its intuition of radical equanimity. Since everybody across the political spectrum is championing a (partial) truth, we are examining the ways in which our perspectives may not have adequately accounted for egocentric and ethnocentric values that are asserting themselves now. In this mode, we’re interested in doing a lot of listening to Trump voters, and to ratcheting down polarization and re-knitting the social fabric, and calling attention to the importance of human development. In this mode, we’re sympathetic to the spirit of Barack Obama’s anti-polarization campaign of 2008 (no red or blue states, just the United States, etc.) From this perspective, we mainly want to turn down the temperature, sensing that we would only empower pugnacious, well-armed extremists on the left and right if we participate in an intensification of polarization.

On the other hand, Trump’s obvious authoritarianism, psychopathologies, lying, environmental malfeasance and general moral failures alarm us and clearly need to be countered. When ‘mainstream Republicans’ are largely cooperating, normalizing and legitimizing behaviors that would always previously have been roundly condemned, the left, the press, the courts, and the people are left to perform that function. Otherwise a gradual erosion of our freedoms seems inevitable. We notice that nobody has feared or reckoned with Obama’s or even Hillary’s moderate modernist restraint, so many of us resonate with the Bernie Sanders coalition’s desire to actively engage the Democratic Party, thoroughly reject big-money donations, and create a clear choice between Democrats and Republicans—making corruption, via the influence of money in politics, the defining issue.

But these two approaches seem to be contradictory, one turning down the temperature, and the other willing to turn it up.

Ken responded by first pointing out that it’s possible to oppose Trump without possessing an integral consciousness. Modern and Postmodern people can do that based on their limited worldview. But if you want to do effective trans-partisan work, an educational and developmental component is necessary. Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey write about “deliberately developmental organizations.” Integral activism can work to engender a deliberately developmental culture.

He painted the picture of the possibility of explicitly developmental political parties arising in parliamentary democracies. This will eventually occur, and it will be something truly new and potentially transformational.

Diane, Terry, and Jeff responded to each of these recordings, and then the whole community participated in sharing, rapid-fire, for one minute each, answering the question “what is integral activism?” And a rich conversation emerged.

Diane offered something worth communicating here—8 markers of an integral consciousness:

  • Ability to hold complexity
  • A lifelong learner with a growth mindset
  • Belief in abundance instead of scarcity
  • Reduction in levels of fear
  • Ability to easily move across cultural boundaries
  • Ability to inhabit diverse identities, including diverse practices
  • Valuing both interior and exterior experience—wanting to be satisfied emotionally while being productive
  • Seeing the world as evolutionary—appreciating the dynamic tension between innovation and preservation

This blog post shares only the rich thinking that “set up” the call. The conversation was far-ranging, going deep and wide. We encourage you to listen and comment.


Join us in beautiful Boulder, CO | Nov 9th 7pm to Nov 12th 1pm