In February of 2011, Genpo Roshi stepped down as a teacher of Zen Buddhism after admitting to numerous extra-marital affairs. Since then, Genpo has been taking a long, hard look at his own culpability and his own personal demons, while trying to find his own way forward on the path of redemption — a fascinating case study in the importance of bringing together the paths of Waking Up, Growing Up, Cleaning Up, and Showing Up, all of which are necessary to be an effective spiritual teacher in today’s world.
A crucial aspect of any integral practice is a way to be profoundly honest with ourselves about our shadow, or unconscious, or false self, or dishonesty, or disowned self. The 3-2-1 Process is a simple and effective tool for working with the shadow — any part of ourselves that we unconsciously repress or deny.
In this fascinating New York Times Op-Doc, noted photographer Phil Toledano takes us on precisely this 3-year journey within himself, confronting all the various ways he can grow old, disease, wither, and die. At first blush it seems like Mr. Toledano’s project was custom-designed to address only his deep fears and neuroses. But don’t blink, or you might miss the ways his project speaks to what is universal in each of us.
The brighter the light, the darker the shadow. The “Darth Vader move” is what happens when someone with an exceptionally high level of development uses the skills and capacities of that level for purposes generally deemed to be “wrong” — often the result of a highly developed cognitive intelligence combined with a poorly developed moral intelligence (Nazi scientists being the classic example). What happens when our higher angels get hijacked by our lowest demons? What is the cause of the Darth Vader move, and how can we prevent ourselves from being seduced by the Dark Side of the Force?
From the lowest depths to the highest peaks, there is no place our shadow will not follow us, even into the heart of nonduality itself. Listen as Ken Wilber offers a guided tour through the major states of consciousness described by all the world’s spiritual traditions, while pointing out the many ways that our shadows can impede or even sabotage our efforts to contact and stabilize these states.
Exploring the full spectrum of disassociated shadow material in our lives (pain, shame, guilt, dark emotions, sexual shadows, spiritual shadows, etc.) and the ways that we can begin cleaning up and reintegrating these splintered pieces of our psyche, Robert Augustus Masters talks to Ken Wilber about his recent audio course, Knowing Your Shadow.
Ken Wilber offers what’s got to be one of his most hilarious teachings to date. His focus is on shadow, but this time he adopts a more practice-oriented perspective, offering examples of shadow at each of six levels of development—featuring conversations with a stripper, a monster, a man burning in eternal flame, a radiant being, an oil tanker, and Gaia. As for what these conversations entail, you’ll just have to experience them yourself….