Roger Walsh

Roger Walsh

Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D., has spent nearly a quarter century researching and practicing in the world's great spiritual traditions. His critically acclaimed book, Essential Spirituality, is a summary of that wisdom, outlining the seven spiritual practices common to the world's major religions.

Roger Walsh graduated with first-class honors from the University of Queensland with degrees in psychology, physiology, neuroscience, and medicine, while he worked as a circus acrobat and held world records in high diving and the trampoline. He went to Stanford University as a Fulbright scholar and passed licensing exams in medicine, psychology, and psychiatry before moving to the University of California at Irvine where he is currently professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology. His initial research and writings were in the area of neuroscience and received multiple national and international awards.

Initially extremely skeptical of all things religious and spiritual, he found his attitudes challenged and changed after he tried meditation for himself. He began to research meditation and related areas and to write extensively on topics such as spirituality and psychological well-being. His text on meditation received the "Outstanding Academic Book of 1984" Award, while his book, Paths Beyond Ego was a "Transformational Books" finalist and was listed among Common Boundary's "One Hundred Most Influential Psycho-spiritual Books of the Century". All told, his writings and research have received over twenty national and international awards, while his teaching has received one national award and he has been six times voted "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" by students at the University of California.

Posts by Roger Walsh

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The Source and Heart of Judaism and the Great Religions

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In this remarkable conversation, Zvi describes how he found ways to map and interpret his own profound mystical experiences, how the teachings arise from the ground of being, about how they might become accessible to us all, regardless of religion or spiritual tradition, and how they are especially relevant for young people today, seeking to find a structure for their spiritual journey.

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Vertical Development’s Many Gifts

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Beena Sharma, president of the Vertical Development Academy (VeDA), gives a beautifully cogent explanation of the 8-stage, full spectrum model of adult psychological development, Vertical Development — illuminating us not only to the characteristics of each stage of development, but the implications and ramifications of each stage, the process of human development as a whole, and how this model can help us face our current metacrisis.

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How to Heal a Culture That Has Lost Its Soul

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Rebel Wisdom co-founder Alexander Beiner has his finger on the cultural pulse of our times. Here he explores key challenges we face as a global community: sensemaking and truth finding in an culture that has lost its coherence as well as its sense of the divine, and what role psychedelics might play both therapeutically and spiritually in healing our culture. He discusses the need to go beyond the intellectual to find clarity and coherence, using embodied practices like meditation and inquiry, and explains how modalities such as these are an essential container for therapeutic psychedelic experiences.

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From Bodhisattva to Ecosattva: Integrating Personal Practice and Global Activism

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David Loy, Zen teacher, scholar, and prolific author, reveals his acute understanding of the crises we face today, the psychology at the root of the problems, and how we can make our way forward in this in-depth discussion. He has adopted the term ecodharma to focus attention on the challenge Buddhism faces now: integrating personal transformation with global activism and social transformation. As David points out, the focus needs to be on this world, with transcendence being a metaphorical understanding but not an excuse to abandon the problems we and our planet face today.

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Healing Collective Trauma: We Are All Shareholders in a Traumatized World

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Thomas Hübl, renowned spiritual teacher, author, expert on collective trauma, and creator and facilitator of The Collective Trauma Integration Process, shares fascinating, life changing information about the dynamics of collective trauma — how it is embodied and perpetuated in the language we use, and how we are bound together in a sort of “mutual collusion” that predisposes us to repeat our past, and to repeat over and over the things we would much rather leave behind.

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The Moral Imperative to Help Ukraine

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Integral leaders Kateryna Yasko, Vytautas Bučiūnas, and Bence Gánti illuminate many of the most poignant and pressing questions of our time, brought to the fore by the ongoing war in Ukraine: Can postmodern people embrace a warrior consciousness when necessary? Are Russians who explicitly support the war worthy of compassion? Can people remain sane and humane while at the same time taking up arms? How can we handle the effects of the psychological trauma that will cascade over generations? And how do we prevent the mass delusion and psychosis that is so easily propagated via modern media technology?

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Beyond the Culture War: Consciousness Evolves, Politics Can Too

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Steve McIntosh outlines an extraordinary framework to make sense of our political conflicts—extraordinary in that it points to ways through and out of our persistent polarity consciousness. Steve convincingly argues our opportunity is right now: to create a synthesis, a cooperative agreement space, that transcends and includes thesis and antithesis, left and right, individual and community.

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The Essence of Zen: One Heart, One Mind

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Zen teacher Diane Musho Hamilton brings us home to the simple essence of Zen: to practice as one, without reference to past or future. This heartfelt conversation covers many topics: waking up to our true nature, grief and practices that help us work through it, the tension of “difference,” healing the rift between female and male, the role of ayahuasca and peyote, the ever more subtle process of purification, and a beautiful recitation of 14th century Sufi poet Hafiz’s poem, “I Have Learned So Much.” Allow yourself to be reminded how simple things can get if you let them and how, as Diane says, “We’re all just growing up together.”

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Facing the Metacrisis: Conflict, Metamodernity, and Construct Awareness

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Jonathan Rowson, brilliant, driven, articulate, shines a bright light of understanding on the metacrisis we face today, what feeds it, and what could help us find our way through. What is metamodernity and what does it have to offer? Is the ecological crisis fundamentally an educational crisis? Can we grow into our problem rather than thinking of ourselves as “failing beings” as the climate collapses around us?

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Facing Death: A Call to “Get Real”

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An extraordinary, heartfelt conversation with spiritual practitioner, teacher, activist, Integralist, and author Terry Patten, who was at the time facing his own mortality following a recent diagnosis of a rare and aggressive cancer. An inner radiance shines forth as Terry, with much graciousness and candor, discusses the call to “get real”—not only personally but also collectively; his deepened perception of the “amazing grace of existence;” the directionality that has guided much of his life; and action inquiry: working on becoming next-stage human beings by experimenting with being the best people we can be. A touching and transformative talk, Terry conveys the deepening understanding coming from living on the edge and transmits a “radical okayness” with everything.

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Responding to Suffering and Evil: Integral Principles

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Suffering and evil challenge us all, but several principles may help Integral practitioners to respond effectively. These include appreciating the role that unrecognized, limited perspectives (and corresponding worldviews) play in creating suffering and evil, and learning to recognize and release such limitations into more integral stances. Doing this skillfully requires taking up effective, authentic psychological and contemplative disciplines, and especially the disciplines of awakening service or karma yoga, whose central elements are described.

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Ramping Up Human Evolution in Time to Avert Disaster

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In this riveting, mind opening (and bending) conversation, philosopher and peak performance expert Jamie Wheal takes our existential metacrisis head on, asking and often answering the biggest questions we, the human race, face today. More than inspirational, this conversation is like an infusion of the energetic, coherent, transpersonal potential of human beings. Guaranteed, you won’t see things the same way after listening.

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Polarization, Being Woke, the Universal Agenda, Mindfulness Going Bad, and the Integral Vision

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Culture wars, polarization, discernment versus condemnation, how our psychological development determines political attitudes and values, and how Integral perspectives help us understand them all. A candid conversation, ranging from global current events to personal spiritual turning points, with endearing, brilliant, and optimistic Integral pundit Jeff Salzman.

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Calling All Integral Practitioners! Responding Effectively to the Crises and Craziness of Our Times

We are in a race between consciousness and catastrophe, and the potential catastrophes keep multiplying. But the outcome is not predestined and our fate is in our hands. As integral practitioners, the question becomes: How can we use our integral skills to contribute most effectively? Of course, beneath this lies another question: How do we discover our most effective contributions?

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Life as Practice: Karma Yoga and Awakening Service

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Anyone who is deeply committed to contemplative practice and to cultivating the qualities it enhances—such as empathy, compassion, clarity and insight, to name only a few—will want to practice as continuously as possible. This means finding a way to use our daily activities and work as part of our practice. Fortunately, such a way is part of the world’s major religious-spiritual traditions, and it is formulated most explicitly in Hinduism as karma yoga.

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Cultivating Wisdom

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In an era drenched in data, a desire for wisdom has been reborn. Where can we go to learn about wisdom? This ILP module offers distillations of the world’s accumulated wisdom — ancient and modern, religious and scientific, philosophical and psychological.

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Searching for Wisdom in the 21st Century

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Climate change, wealth inequality, ideological polarization, terrorism, religious radicalization — these are some of the truly wicked problems of the world. And none of our most pressing global challenges can be navigated or overcome without a momentous leap of collective wisdom, as well as a commensurate increase in our ability to recognize and leverage that wisdom. But what exactly is this wisdom that so many of us are searching for? Where can we find it? How do we cultivate it in our own lives and make it available to more people?

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Living an Ethical Life

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How do you live your life free of regret? How do you take the wisdom of the Integral vision and exercise it in your day to day life? How do you move beyond the blame and guilt that so often festers in the basement of your psyche? And why can it be so hard to simply be good? Roger discusses this and more in his presentation on Integral Ethics, delivered at the 2010 Integral Theory Conference.