The Heart of Conversation

Diane Musho HamiltonAudio, Communication, Conversations, Emotional, Interpersonal, Leadership, Perspectives, Spiritual, World Affairs Leave a Comment

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ave we as a society ever been so divided? From partisan polarization to the politicization of the Coronavirus, to rampant unemployment and the #BlackLivesMatter protests erupting all over America, it seems increasingly clear that we are arriving at some important inflection point in our culture. We are living in a time when many of our deeply-embedded intersubjective biases and blind spots are more and more becoming objects of awareness, and we seem to be witnessing an entire nation that is struggling to confront its own history so that it can take the next critical steps toward growing up, waking up, and cleaning up as a society.

In the meantime, the gaps continue to widen between us, and virtually all of our attempts to create new shared realities get lost in those dark spaces. How can we begin to cross those divides and heal as a community, as a nation, and as a single human family?

This is why we are so fortunate to have awakened leaders like Diane Musho Hamilton who are helping to train an entire new generation of healers, mediators, and peacekeepers in order to carry the promise of a more compassionate (and more integral) world into the future. Listen as Diane talks to Ken Wilber about her new book, Compassionate Conversations, which takes an intimate look at many of these cultural fault lines — power, privilege, identity, systemic racism, political correctness, collective shadows, etc. — and suggests a more skillful, artful, and heartful way to facilitate these conversations, to honor our unique differences, and to reaffirm our underlying unity.

And be sure to check out Diane’s monthly show, Integral Justice Warrior, hosted every month right here on Integral Life!

As you listen to this conversation, you can use the Notes app in the bottom-left corner of your screen to record any reflections that may come up for you.


Compassionate Conversations: How to Speak and Listen from the Heart

The definitive guide to learning effective strategies for engaging in open and honest conversations about divisive issues.

When a conversation takes a turn into the sometimes uncomfortable and often contentious topics of race, religion, gender, sexuality, and politics, it can be difficult to know what to say or how to respond to someone you disagree with. Compassionate Conversations empowers us to transform these conversations into opportunities to bridge divides and mend relationships by providing the basic set of skills we need to be successful, including listening, reframing, and dealing with strong emotions. Addressing the long history of injury and pain for marginalized groups, the authors explore topics like intersectionality, power dynamics, and white fragility, allowing us to be more mindful in our conversations. Each chapter contains practices and conversation starters to help everyone feel more prepared to talk through polarizing issues, ultimately encouraging us to take risks, to understand and recognize our deep commonalities, to be willing to make mistakes, and to become more intimate with expressing our truths, as well as listening to those of others.

Purchase Compassionate Conversations: How to Speak and Listen from the Heart on Amazon.

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Power, Privilege, and Fragility: Leveling Up Our Conversations About Race and Racism

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Diane and Corey are joined by guests Greg Thomas and Mark Palmer in this groundbreaking discussion about racism, anti-racism, and racial integration, highlighting a number of critical views that have been largely missing from the larger conversation that’s been taking place culturally in recent weeks, months, and years.

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In light of the recent violent deaths of three black Americans — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd — at the hands of current and former police officers in the United States, we wanted to deepen our discussion of race and racism and how we as Integralists can contribute to change.

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“A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.” This mix was created in the spirit of the great protest songs of the 1960’s, channeled through one of the most (r)evolutionary art forms of our time: socially and spiritually conscious hip hop (don’t worry, there are plenty of rock and roll touch-points scattered throughout for the uninitiated). This set covers a very wide range of emotional content, from frustration to optimism to outrage. I also attempted to weave a variety of perspectives together, from premodern to modern to postmodern, as a demonstration of how these different points of view can all “fit together” into a single cohesive experience.

Diane Musho Hamilton

About Diane Hamilton

Diane is a uniquely gifted, playful, and awake group facilitator, consultant and teacher of Integral Spirituality and Zen. She is a lineage holder in the Soto Zen tradition, and has collaborated with the Integral Institute and Ken Wilber since 2004, developing the Integral Life Practice seminars and the Integral Spiritual Experience global events.

Ken Wilber

About Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.