Zen Master Doshin Roshi: Personal Responsibility, Jordan Peterson, Integral, and Nonduality

I'm on with Doge in Nelson Roshi founder of integral Zen known as a poet a troublemaker and teacher thanks for coming on it's wonderful to be here so I wanted to start with thinking about kind of broader cultural moment that were embedded in right now specifically around the idea of victimhood I interviewed a couple of sociologists about what they called the rise of victimhood culture and the idea that they had was that morality is shifting from something that was based on human dignity as the fundamental moral virtue to how much of a victim one is as being the fundamental moral virtue and I felt like there was something there that that spoke to our times so I'd love to hear from your perspective where do you think we're at with victimhood in this culture this idea of dignity the dignity of man is a really recent development that showed up in the philosophy of history of philosophy in 1495 by an Italian philosopher by the name of Pico who wrote an essay called the dignity of man it was a revolutionary new idea that human beings could have dignity only Kings had dignity only royalty had dignity the common people would have dignity was radically new interesting huh was a page and a half essay google it it's fascinating to read to look at the virtue of dignity and compare it to victimhood is a disconnect to me I don't see any correlation between victimhood and dignity human dignity I see what I see as the archetypal factor is the rescuer which is even more recent than big nathie it has just appeared since the 60s this idea that we could be a rescuer we could be a hero now if you look at it in this framework and you look at the the polarity between the victim and the rescuer then it automatically draws in a third thing the perpetrator the rescuer is going to protect the victim from the perpetrator now this triad we all if we look deep inside have a rescuer do you ever rescue anybody yeah are you ever a victim are you ever a perpetrator the question is not are you do you fill these roles but are you consciously aware that you are now in our our current cultural Malou where rescuers are very prominent and everybody wants to rescue the victims there's a there's an unseen activity going on the rescuer actually is unconsciously in shadow being a perpetrator hmm let's talk about that they're keeping the victim in victimhood they're robbing them of the ability to take responsibility and step out of being a victim that's that's it breaks my heart when I see this happening on the scale that it's happening in this postmodern culture could you give me an example sure um there are just thousands of examples it's so hard to get someone to take responsibility in the business world everybody wants to play the victim and the rescuers are always trying to rescue the victim so they don't have to take responsibility I mean you go into any business and it's a real problem that's interfering with the flow of business you have to be able to take responsibility to fulfill your duties your responsibilities in a particular job you know and I think Jordan Peterson seems to be keying in to that sense of responsibility as an important thing that specifically men but every human being has not just a duty to but also derives meaning from so when we are when we take responsibility for our lives I think this is Jordan Peterson's message we find meaning and we actually bring our best to the world and make the world a better place how do you feel when you're a victim powerless you are how do you what is your emotional state when you feel powerless unless empty or sad so empties a loaded word with me I'm a zen guy being careful with that one let's take sad how do you feel empty what emotion is feeling empty that's not an emotion what is the real emotion when you say you feel empty what are you really feeling yeah it's probably sadness underneath that you feel like you're powerless you know do you like to be powerless do you enjoy feeling powerless mm-hmm so how do you feel when you take responsibility for something and you accomplish something yeah well empowered but excited excited and POW maybe a little fearful too but excited because there's a possibility of change fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin if if I'm afraid I'm a victim if I've taken responsibility I'm no longer afraid and I'm excited so this is so prevalent everywhere we look in this postmodern culture people being victims and avoiding taking responsibility and feeling huge amount of shame and self-loathing because they can't get anything done this is epidemic in our culture and it makes everybody feel depressed you know that the the whole field of Psychiatry is is prescribing psycho psychotropic drugs to deal with the rampant depression and feeling of toxic shame that's so prevalent in our society and the medicine for this is so simple it's encouraging people to take responsibility and not be victims so what's the block when people don't take responsibility why not fear if you're failing is it fear of also not being worthy not being good enough so this shame this toxic shame this story that I'm not worthy I'm not good enough this is a really relative recent development in human culture the Dali Lama when he discovered that Westerners feels shame and self-loathing was stunned he couldn't believe it he stopped the interview and he consulted with his translators he just couldn't understand how anyone could experience self-loathing it's not possible to experience self-loathing not in Tibet at least before the Chinese invaded yeah self-loathing is the result of this relatively recent more recent than dignity addition to our culture of the idea of progress mmm so instead of coming along with modernity yes with progress you get modernity you get the age of reason you get the idea of success hmm and you get parents that push their children to excel you get this idea of perfection hmm now here is a real interesting way to look at that Jordan Peterson who I really enjoy I mean he's one of my heroes because he does something that I don't always do one of my students named it they named it skillful in flexibility he takes a stand and he doesn't budge and he doesn't let anybody trigger him I'm not so good at that part more volatile I'm really working on practicing the skillful part which is the non reactivity and he has mastered that you know I've watched his videos just how the hell does he do that yeah I mean that Kathy Newman interview and just took it in a very nice way I mean it push back but it didn't when trilemma he did not budge right and he didn't get riled up as you say this is really significant yeah so that's admirable one of the things I love about Jordan Peterson is he really is a student of Carl Jung and Young's most brilliant student was a gentleman by the name of Eric Newman Eric Newman escaped Berlin in 1934 and moved to Tel Aviv was a very wise move for a German Jew he was disconnected from Carl Jung during the war so he was left out on his own and he really innovated Jungian psychology he brought in a developmental perspective he wrote a book called conscious human consciousness the history and origins of conscious the origins and history of human consciousness yes I'm a cop table yes it's an excellent book he wrote a book before that one and in that book he he really brought forth the first Union perspective that include developmental theory to any degree Young was not a developmentalist Eric Newman is Ken Wilbur's favorite union for that reason other than the fact that he's brilliant well the book that he wrote before that book was called depth psychology and a new ethic and it was shunned by the whole Union community even though it had a foreword by Carl Jung himself saying that it was a brilliant work in this book it's just an incredible book it's finally become popular but in this book he proposed that the old Fe is the ethic of perfection and the new ethic is the ethic of wholeness now these are ethical issues if if I have to be perfect I have a moral obligation to be perfect I take this very seriously you know when it gets to deep moral obligations some people are willing to die for them and some people are willing to kill for them this is one of the the drivers of war moral morality so if I take this and put it in a broader integral context with the philosophy of Wilber mmm-hmm Wilber is saying that that we are on the precipice of a transformation in culture like the human race has never seen the transformation from traditional culture to modern culture that happened about the Renaissance 500 years ago is gonna be nothing compared to the transition that we're facing now so are you an advocate of the position that post-modernism is in a way a kind of the death knell of modernism it isn't necessarily its own stage its kind of the end of modernism and then whatever comes next is integral I can see that perspective but we don't really know there's not enough data yet we're not going to know until looking back after the transformation should the transformation happen I can certainly build an argument that green or this postmodern belief system that Jordan Peterson is taking a stand against that Ken Wilber wrote a book called boomer itest showing the some of the problems of this postmodern belief system system of beliefs and values I can certainly build an argument that this is unsustainable when I I look at all the organizations that are founded with these principles and they all take on the rescuing of victims yeah none of them allow the taking of responsibility yeah so there's this interesting dynamic in the the work that I was talking about earlier the sociologists they were saying the victimhood culture arises in situations where there's actually high equality and high diversity so when some of the main aims of the modernist project which is dignity for everyone equal opportunity when those kinds of aims have actually been obtained it's actually precisely under those conditions that a victimhood morality comes on the scene because in situations of high quality and high diversity people are in the mode of trying to make things more equal trying to make things more diverse because it really was worth worrying about that when things weren't very equal or weren't very diverse but they're sort of still going right and so in a way the engine that created a more diverse more equal environment is the same engine which will undercut that environment by sort of the green or postmodern you're implying some causal relationships yeah and I look at it more synchronistically tell me it's all one thing it's one whole movement in in to explain that let me go back to what Norman was pointing to if you look at the evolution of culture and you can follow the same evolution in individual psychologies when when let's let's just take the individual development of personality sure when you're born you really are a victim you're helpless there's nothing you can do about it and if you don't have parents to look after you you will simply die all of a sudden you start acquiring language you start you know many more things happen of course you're learning 10 million things a day yeah but what language comes to the development of a sense of self this really begins with the terrible twos so what you're really doing is you're going through a helpless stage where survival is it then you're moving into a stage of magic mm-hmm and then you're moving into a stage of self referencing ego as language really takes root the infant says no mine all of a sudden there's um there's there's a me here to get attached to things and to avert things there's liking and disliking that are behaviorally expressed then that continues and tell the beginning of of enculturation into the belief system of your parents this happens around five or six this is all of a sudden I'm here and you're there and there's a relationship so the first person perspective would be the development of self a second person perspective would be extending this sense of self to a family in an ethnocentric group this is a second person relationship and then the third person relationship happens around puberty if you're in a Western civilized culture all of a sudden you start thinking for yourself you start being able to differentiate objects that are separate from you and I from good and bad from right and wrong from a dualistic perspective all of a sudden the scientific method becomes possible all of a sudden you start thinking rationally and that will continue until you go to college and become more worldly and you begin saying oh my god other people have different beliefs now this is in a civilized first world Western culture if you don't get stuck in a traditional religious church not like me yeah and it happens very naturally right on cue so if you look at those things perfection is important you know in first person perspective a perfect sense of volition mine yes no all of a sudden clearly a sense of self that can make a decision volition comes online and is perfected under ideal conditions the second person perspective adherence to rules is perfected and it's beaten into you or rebellion is beaten out of you I was raised in a German Catholic family boy they they you know physical punishment was the rule spare the rod spoil the child that was how I was raised so perfect adherence to rules then in the third-person perspective about you know the age of rationality it's perfect reason it's perfect objectivity it's perfect success this is what creates the problem of not good enough if I have to be perfect at my reasoning and my success then the fear of failing comes online and the beating myself up comes online then the fourth person perspective adds in an understanding of the systems systems theory all of a sudden we can see the environment and we can see how science is degra gating the environment a third-person perspective scientists can't see that a Trump can't see that therefore it's just a blind spot and someone with the fourth person perspective doesn't understand why they can't see that because so self-evident to them and that's where the culture war starts so perfect reasoning perfect knowledge this is modernity this is the age of reason then postmodern what comes online is the ability to see the environment in the systems and the whole and the emotions come online because they're rejected and third-person so this idea of perfection all of those stages are what Ken Wilber would call first here none of them have moved into the the second tier structure which is this theoretical change that were right on the precipice of and it will be a massive change so this is okay great have a an objection a challenge or question something like that based around my understanding of hegelian ISM so integral theory seems to me to be a kind of neo Hegelian as I'm in the sense that Hegelian ism was a developmental theory and ultimately underwrote much of Nietzsche's thought and correspondingly people who try to implement nietzsche very dramatically and you ended up with the third reich you ended up with now you ended up with societies trying to force the coming of the next thing right it's my view of a galleon ISM anyway so my question about integral is if are we forcing the next stage like how do we make sure that we don't artificially create some some integral stage that falls afoul of trying to change human nature the way that that so your your whole argument is assuming that cultures are intelligent they're not they're not intelligent the overemphasis on our ability to think it's our arrogance and lack of humility and our narcissism that is causing this problem it's not culture culture is just trying to keep the status quo the same that's what culture does this is where I remember Jordan Peterson so many models so so this is a really important thing but you're you're really attributing some intelligence to societies and cultures that they do not have its people its leaders yeah now there's a lot going on in shadow in collective shadows that drive so much of this but that's a different conversation mm-hmm if we'd look dialectically we have the emergence of this idea of progress that leads to an industrial revolution which leads to the explosion of Technology and science which leads to huge problems that marks the antithesis sees if you want to criticize my capitalism right look read Marx exactly yeah it's and it wasn't Marxism really isn't that related to compromise right exactly yeah sure I mean Marxist thinking isn't necessarily what you studied a lot of Marx right right my fears are the same thing might happen with it it already has happened it's called post-modernism it's not called integral it's called post-modernism this is the reaction to Mont modernity post modernity yeah this is where Jordan Peterson is really criticizing and ik weighting postmodern a Galit Aryan relativism which is the ideology that's driving the symptoms of victim this is an ideology as dangerous as communism was hmm it's not the integral now from my perspective so many of the people that say they're integral are really quite postmodern this really complicates things so I I'm gonna ask a question and I think you're gonna give me a straight answer to what do you see is integral what is the next stage and beyond just the fact that I can see all other stages and appreciate them integral is the medicine for the disease of postmodern a Galit Aryan relativism it's the medicine for the conflict that is crippling our culture and our society it's it's not just one simple thing it's actually a total re-education of the Social Sciences at minimum what differentiates Ken Wilber from every other Western philosopher that I've ever read is he spent 15 years studying Zen he spent 15 years studying Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism he this differentiates him from any other Western philosopher it puts him in a school all to himself so there are actually five different things that you have to study and you have to elevate yourself understanding an evolutionary perspective when it comes to personality development and cultural unfolding is one understanding the differences between the different states of mind from a state of sentience to a state of enlightenment is to and I mean viscerally understanding I don't mean intellectually understanding it that is not gonna cut it certainly not with a Zen master and three it's understanding the different lines of intelligence like the cognitive line of intelligence that each human being possesses the emotional line of intelligence a spiritual line of intelligence the the culinary line of intelligence the kinesthetic line of intelligence we can identify about 20 different lines of intelligence that all have the tendency to evolve along the same levels the most commonly referred to levels of consciousness as Maslow's hierarchy of needs this is one of about 20 different developmental theorists and you have to study them all to really get a sense of what we're talking about Wilber has done this and he summarized it incredibly so that's just three one is the levels of consciousness the evolution of these levels two is the states of awakening of consciousness three is the intelligences four is the different type ologies Jung's theory of types is a wonderful way to type people and understand them more deeply the Enneagram is one that's very popular the nine different personality types masculine and feminine is one the DAO the yin and yang is one these type ologies really increase our ability to understand and predict human behavior and the fourth one is quadrants the fifth one thank you the fifth one is quadrants there is an interior space behind my eyes between my ears there is an expert exterior space that begins my skin and extends to the the outer reaches of the universe there is an eye space in both of those inside and outside and a wee space a collective space in inside and outside to me this is a way to organize everything that exists and put it into its proper perspective this has never existed in the history of man we now have a conceptual framework that includes everything that human beings are capable of experiencing done that seem arrogant to think you know the totality of at least the categories of things that can be known it would seem arrogant if that's what he's saying that's not what he's saying okay what is he saying that that's a projection of what he's saying so where would we look for the arrogance there I didn't use the exact words that no but but slow down this is really important mhmmm that's how you're interpreting what he's saying that's not what he's saying the truth is you don't know what he's saying because you're not listening to what he's saying this is the problem we have with qohen training there's an enigmatic question that thinking mind can't answer nobody bothers to hear the question the mind automatically moves to what's next and tries to think of an intelligent answer to the question you miss the whole question so that's what I'm witnessing your mind doing right now you're not hearing what I'm saying you're you're trying to think of something to say next and you're missing the whole point and you're misinterpreting what I said and I'm not going to let you get away with it fair enough so what what what am I missing it I was just trying to get the idea that you for the first time in human history yes we have a conceptual framework that is big enough to an food everything humans are capable of experiencing right there's no arrogance in that it just seems like a big claim I don't care if it's a big claim I just I thought I think that may be an objection that people might have when they if they don't understand it I I want to share with you something that happened to me early in my understanding of Ken Wilber this was a very humbling experience and I'm so glad somebody had the balls to confront me on this I was trying to fit everything Wilbur was saying into the wineskins of my understanding of Carl Jung and guess what it was far bigger than what young was saying and somebody did me the favor of looking me in the eyes and saying you're criticizing something you don't understand don't criticize what you don't understand and you don't understand Wilbur whoa I am so grateful that person did that to me because I was the one that was arrogant I was arrogantly thinking that I understood what he was saying and I had no clue and I didn't know it I didn't know it and he he he really held up the mirror to where I had to take the responsibility to really study what Wilbur was saying and I saw for myself that I was clueless I was arrogant I was assuming I knew things I didn't know I hadn't read Wilbur I haven't studied Wilbur and that is the moment that my studies of Ken Wilber began and reading Wilbur is difficult for me it's like reading economics my mind doesn't think that way I have to read Wilbur five times I have to sort through it it's difficult reading EULA is like cutting butter for me that's the way my mind think so I have little patience for people that criticize Wilbur without knowing what he's talking about in the same way I share the gift that was given to me okay fair enough all right so I want to kind of shift gears here I just I think I'm calling out something that I think many people would think and they're all projected yeah fair enough I mean if that's the it's not one of those people has really studied Wilbur and if they have studied Wilbur if they have an intellectual understanding I'll guarantee you they haven't studied Zen for 15 years and Vajrayana for another 15 years therefore they really have no clue what Wilbur's really saying yeah so let's get to the Zen stuff because I think this is this is fascinating and it really speaks to the cultural moment were in my favorite topic you are Zen teacher so in my own I'll just put a little bit of my own story on the table here please in my own story I I was raised Christian evangelical and spent a lot of time in that traditionalism and then I left the faith had a very angry theist phase and that lasted I don't know any the half a decade or something like that then I did spend more time Union time telling the story in the integral levels because once I encountered integral theory it helped me organize my own story isn't that interesting yeah makes sense and give meaning to your own story it does yeah exactly yeah that's when it comes alive for you yeah and so then then I spent some time with thinkers in in the more like critical theory space Foucault Butler thinkers like that and then and then I started to be able to appreciate Christianity and my own my own experience of Christian as something that wasn't all bad just because it was irrational right yes and then when I in in the last year or so I've encountered while specifically Zen and there seems to be embedded in Zen this experience this kind of mystical experience that's I think you referred to it as the subtle and non dual that experience for me when I when I touch it it's not that I'm that I haven't left levitated on my cushion yet but when I touch it it feels very much like the experience I had as a kind of quasi coal or quasi-mystical Christian and this the experiences are somewhat it feels like it's touching the same thing and what was fascinating to me about the way that Zen seems to interpret that is yeah if you're in a traditional framework you're gonna interpret the experience of non-duality as traditional but if you're in a different framework in whatever a green framework I'm actually sure what it would be interpreted as there or in an integral part do a holiday not into whether it's not really non duality so I thought maybe we could talk a little bit about non duality a really a easy topic so we're gonna jump into an exciting topic yeah and the very small topic of non duality so I'm gonna read you something Alan Watts wrote the most impressive fact in man's spiritual intellectual and poetic experience has always been for me the universal prevalence of those astonishing moments of insight which Richard book called cosmic consciousness there is no really satisfactory name for this type of experience to call it mystical is to confuse it with visions of another world or of gods and angels to call it spiritual or metaphysical is to suggest that it is not also extremely concrete and physical while the term cosmic consciousness itself as the unpoetic flavor of a cultist jargon but from all historical times and cultures we have reports of this same unmistakable sensation emerging as a rule quite suddenly and unexpectedly and from no clearly understood cause so did you have a question well yes tell me about non duality in zag how important is it on the Zen path to experience that it's essential but there's nothing you can say about it this is am I gonna meet interesting topic that about guess the best you can do is poetry your play I am applying my favorite poem about the experience in you know this word non duality is thrown around so loosely it's become meaningless in this postmodern culture what is non duality it's it's not if you can't talk about it if you can't understand it how the hell can you know what it is without practicing Zen for thirty years and that's not always a guarantee my favorite description of what I would consider an awakened mind is Dogen 13th century Zen master the empty boat is flooded with moonlight hmm I was raised Christian as well and Catholic worse than of angelical Christian I just got through doing a keynote at the integral European conference and my keynote fathered brother David Stein de lost a Trappist monk beautiful man in his 90s lives in Austria in a monastery gratefulness org is his website he and I just hit it off beautifully now in a conversation I wanted to have a conversation with him just to make sure that we would flow from his keynote speech into mine and a term came up in our conversation that he grabbed and became the subject of his keynote which he breathed life into the crowd with the sacred secret of silence this sacred secret is the key the way that Jordan Peterson talked Saddam that unlocks the lock that's in the unconscious of silence Anthony de Mello who's another one of my favorite enlightened Christians a Jesuit priest died in the mid-80s and a plane crash on his way to Denver to do a retreat he said our deepest longing as human beings is for unity with God now I prefer Godhead or emptiness or silence but I can understand and coming from him I can accept unity with God because he knows what God is he doesn't believe in God he knows God he's become one with God he says our deepest longing is for unity with God and how do you attain unity with God he asks and his answer is silence and what is silence you ask and his answer is meditation and what is meditation you ask and his answer is silence the sacred secret of silence if you undertake this journey and never stop until you become one with God or Godhead that's all you need but it's a most difficult journey and it's somewhere the sense of self with all its likes and dislikes all of its narcissistic ideas and opinions that's not what to go because the empty boat is flooded with moonlight so do you think that think you're asking is it why would I do that do you think that we're climbing the same mountain bloomer on different different traditions so the Christian tradition is climbing the same mountain of maybe silences at the top this the same mountain that Zen is climbing the same mountain that the Baha'i faith is climbing that Islam or do you think Zen is getting to something different the only water that will quench our deepest thirst is silence all finders find one thing all seekers are seeking deities they're seeking bliss States they're seeking high subtle experiences they're seeking to feel good especially in the postmodern age that's not what finders find finders when they become Finers they find the silence they find that emptiness the darkness that's darker than dark and as soon as they move and surrender to the darkness they find the sacred secret of silence the silent emptiness is not empty there are two things here in this sacred silence that are not things at all that can be directly experienced and must be directly experienced they have any idea what non-duality is it's unity with God that's what non-duality is in this silence the two things that aren't things that are here and accessible are pure naked awareness unpolluted by a sense of self or an ego perspective and a sense of pure potentiality the essence of creativity itself the essence of all creation is here neither one of these are things but this is the sacred secret of silence this is the lock that's unlocked when you practice enough to become selfless when you practice enough and I think there's something interesting about the way that Jordan Peterson in particular has reanimated religious interest because it seems to be more concerned with the practice rather than the metaphysics or the theology theology is just thinking thinking well you can't think your way into non-duality a Zen master Suzuki Roshi said it wasn't Sasaki it was beginner's mind I had a quote right here wondering that buck wonderful before you read it yes he said think no thinking thinking will not get you to the deepest truth of who you are thinking is slow it happens at the speed of thought to penetrate through into the mystery into the sacred secret of silence occurs at the speed of light not the speed of thought you'll never get there at the speed of thought think no thinking isn't this so I'm just brought back to my own memories of Christianity and I think on the one hand I'm like kind of picking up what you're putting down like it makes sense makes sense to me I can feel something there and in my own phenomenology my own experience there seems to be a truth to that that that thinking isn't the path that's gonna get me to my deeper self I think is what you said and that seems to resonate on the other hand it brings up all kinds of fears for me because I was part of a tradition where the thought was if the thought was don't think that much right and just trust me and give me 10% of your income or whatever it is right just do what I say just do what I say yeah that just follow the rules right yeah that I put in place in the traditional way okay so the traditional way won't cut it any more you can't go back as much as I like Jordan Peterson and what he's saying his solution to the problem he equates postmodern egalitarian relativism to communism it's an ideology it's a problem it's it's not gonna rest until it spreads its ideology all over the world that's the problem with postmodern thinking and beliefs they are relentless they will not rest until everybody thinks the same way and has the same values his solution to that seems to me to be to go back to more traditional family values now you can't ever go back short of a catastrophe you know the only way I could go back to a survival mode of thinking is to have a brain injury the only way you could go back to not thinking and believing everything that somebody told you is to have a brain injury that's not likely to happen so I'm not saying don't think I'm saying don't get confused don't believe that thinking can see don't confuse insight and thinking thinking is the most valuable tool that we have we don't want to get rid of the ego we want to drain it we want to trade it to do the bidding of pure selfless awareness and compassion that is what non-duality is that the Benton word is bodhichitta absolute clarity at the speed of light and the selfless caring that arises the first thing that arises in that absolute clarity this is non duality but it must be experienced and it must be lived it must be realized to be real and to be anything more than full of sound and fury signifying nothing just empty ideas and not empty in the good sense so I want to appreciate your thinking I don't want to make fun of it but I do want to to help you see the limitations of thinking you know thinking is wonderful we have we have all the medicine that we have we all the technology that we have because of thinking it's the most valuable tool the human race has ever been given or ever developed so it's not that we want to get rid of thinking but thinking will not help you answer a CO on thinking will not help you awaken thinking will not help you cultivate compassion thinking won't save us now so on that front when I tell some people that I'm interested in Zen one of the things that I hear back is I kind of common refrain is well those guys they just want to sit in a cave and meditate they're not going out doing stuff the world they don't know any specifics and people it's just it feels like something inherent in the practice or the way of being that is then this seems to lend itself to this kind of closed off Ness if I mentioned how I feel about people that like to have opinions about something of which they know nothing I think I read you say something on that front did you feel and this is a criticism that I really direct toward myself you know everybody's got an opinion they're like assholes and that's one of the problems of this media circus of the internet you know anybody can get a camera and become a YouTube guru I'm not and even though you have the best intentions if you do it just you know it when I did this interview with rebel wisdom it was amazing the comments from people who had no idea didn't know anything about me had a lot of things that they thought about Zen that they were projecting onto me when I I you know just off the top of my head I would say about 40% of the comments were favorable about 40% of the comments were horribly critical and about 20% of the comments where it's just weird right that that's yeah how I was about it yeah so I looked at that and I was amazed you know they have no idea who I was the comments showed that they knew nothing about Zen or about any of the work that I've done but yet I really took the comments to heart knowing that they were all projections I mean it's like Byron Katie says we don't talk to each other what we do is we talk to each other's projections but only 98% of the time so I just was stunned by everybody had an opinion everybody had a like in a dislike it was all ego projection especially the ones that liked me was clearly projection they don't know they were all projections now what I do with projections is I look at them and I think oh my goodness they have this crazy idea that they're projecting onto me that means there's something in me a hook to hold the projection so I immediately start looking for those hooks you know I had just come off a really intense German retreat where I had called these Germans on something really important I had violated the taboo it was one of the most intense retreats I had ever led and I went right into this interview my energy was and it was interesting because so that I could attribute some of the the weirdness to I was in a weird state of mind right went right into this interview after that so I really looked at the comments and I look for what is it about me that allows them to hang that pretension on so there was gold in there for me both positive and negative projections but they're all projections you know unless someone has studied with me unless they really know me unless they know what our practices are and what we do and where we're really our intentions really are and what are our successes and our failures are it's all projection and a lot of collective projections the most interesting one to me well there were two that we're really interesting to me so people thought I was inauthentic because I laughed oh my god if you wake up to any degree the first thing you do is look at how ridiculously you hold yourself you know I think that I'm so important isn't that hilarious everybody can see that but me and when I finally see it I can't stop laughing so that the laughter was weird to them because they don't get the joke that they're not as important as they think they are it was hilarious he said you make me laugh and the second thing was the way I was attacked for being against Jordan Peterson I'm not against Jordan Peterson I'm a fan like I said his ability to to not be triggered I study what he does because he's the he's a model for me how can I do that more skillfully that I am currently doing it so I really like Jordan Peterson I just I I think that Ken Wilber has a little deeper insight into what the solution is gonna be for the problems that Jordan Peterson is calling out so clearly from a modern perspective you know from an integral perspective you can see a little bit more of the territory but I'm a fan of Jordan Peterson I was blown away by the people that attacked me for criticizing Peters I just didn't get that and I also thought I said something about the the the kinds of people who would feel so much loyalty to Jordan Pearson that if he was all criticized it was wrong they took it very personally yeah so that's what mechanism is interesting in a very traditional perspective hmm when you categorize somebody as black or white and they're either for you or against you this is a very traditional ethnocentric mentality and Jordan Peterson is attracting a lot of those same people that Trump is attracting for many of the same reasons but Jordan Peterson is much deeper and much more sophisticated and much more knowledgeable and you know he's he's got such depth but it's really interesting to see the the people that are being attracted to that and the people that see it is black and white so what would you say to those people who are attracted to Jordan Peterson who are interested in the message of personal responsibility because that's the camp I find myself in I'm not in the traditionalist camp but for me Jordan Pearson saying clean your damn room you know really spoke to me is like I guess I should you know you remember how we started this conversation yes yeah how do you feel with your victim right how do you feel when you take responsibility and you start being empowered right you know a quick story my wife bless her heart she's a saint married 39 years and I'm not an easy person to live with she decided she was gonna get a black belt when she was 45 years old and she chose one of the top and toughest kick him in the head Olympic style of Taekwondo schools in the country and five years later two major ACL surgeries later she had her black belt and scared the hell out of me when I watched her breaking wood you know I'm thinking oh my god her dad but not that long but I was so delighted in what happened she took responsibility for her physical health and it did so much to bolster her confidence that taking responsibility and accomplishing something she is no longer a victim it is the most amazing transformation that I've ever seen in 35 years of 39 years of marriage so help me layer in some Zen this on top of this idea of taking responsibility for yourself because I feel like there's something about at least my ego that when I take responsibility for myself yes I feel more empowered and so on but that does seem to be in tension with the notion of doing that from from emptiness or from clear deep art mind seems like it's maybe my ego just going and and taking over and getting the next thing and taking responsibility as opposed to I don't know a more Zen approach help me understand that so you use the terms in goodness and I have to admit I kind of got stuck there I'm not sure what's in goodness but I'll do my best to answer your question so if I am going to practice meditation the practice is very fragile in the beginning my ego will make up any excuse to not have to sit there and be in pain and be bored to tears and to focus and be disciplined make up any excuse and my practice suffers it's very fragile so going to a seven day retreat greatly enhances that making the practice more robust joining a group where people are helping each other maintain the discipline and maintain a more robust practice is very helpful and eventually your practice becomes less and less fragile your ego can make up fewer and fewer excuses not to sit now when you look back and your practice has become stable and robust who do you think's responsible for that emptiness to the ego in a way it's the ego the volition this first-person perspective me I cleaned my room i sat there I chose to discipline myself and clean out all these opinions and likes and dislikes which are causing most if not all of my suffering I cleaned my room I cleaned my room and once your practice is robust you can't even imagine having a dirty room having a dirty mind having a dirty art cluttered with opinions and prejudices and addictions and allergies oh why would I do that so Zen goodness is cultivating the discipline to clean your mind in your heart of all the pollution of self somebody has to choose to do that if you got rid of the ego who would make that choice we don't want to get rid of the ego we don't want to get a bit rid of your ability to think and ask intelligent questions and question everything this is your greatest asset right now where you are in your life we don't want to we want to encourage that you know Zen is where skeptics go I heard somewhere in the Zen requires great faith and great doubt absolutely the greater the doubt the greater the awakening oh boy little encourage but anyway it does seem like in the in the integral Zen tradition there's this there's like two I'm sure there's more than this but there's two axes of development one is on this kind of awakening thing which is independent of the taking responsibility I don't know what exactly what you'd call that is that is that roughly correct I would call it growing up and cleaning up yeah so that involves two things that it involves learning to set to get clear to get clean in your what you see in your insights to cultivate insight this is the waking up the growing up is to begin to look at all these developmental levels and the different carrier character traits that are added each developmental milestone each developmental level and there are good ones and bad ones we want to optimize the good ones and we want to minimize the bad ones arrogance for example arrogance is important if if controlled anger is important its energy and clarity if control and not allowed to just vomit out yeah on this front this is as I've been been interested in Zen this is one of the most interesting we just shift gears a little bit okay chef there's at least one of the most interesting things that I have discovered is this teaching I guess it originated with Jun PO this idea that anger can be clarity and it doesn't have to be violent to me based on my own history that was a revelation I'll just read a quick one one paragraph that Jun Pro wrote on that too would it surprise you to learn that anger from a deeper realization perspective is sacred the reason that's shocking to many is that we've linked anger with violence anger is absolutely not violent violence is a Chosen intervention a Chosen reaction to anger and so I think is so audacious to claim that anger could be a choice at least violent anger could be a choice and it's liberating at the same time because that means I might actually be able to experience an event that would trigger anger and respond with clarity and compassion and intensity as opposed to violent reactivity slow inside I got ya it's liberating is that it so this is not an idea that jump o originated but it is one that he absolutely did wonders with it it is the essence of a process that he brought into the world called the mondo Zen process it is the most transformative process I personally have ever experienced I've been with him since he first rolled it out in fact he looked at me on that first retreat where he introduced it and he said I want you to be our first Zen coach and the reason he wanted me to do that was because I had burned the boats on the beach I didn't have a day job I had decided that I was going to follow this man I finally found a teacher that had jobs and he was not gonna get rid of me and he didn't still has it so this process started out as a simple four-part process we called it stop and drop so you would imagine a time when you got angry and you would call it up in your mind and you would let the anger arise and then the person sitting in front of you would go are you ready here comes some big energy you ready so think of some something that makes you angry what makes you angry got it got it what is it parent yelling at me criticizing you telling you what to do judging you it's what disagreeing with me disagree we didn't we oh I'm gonna disagree with you are you ready you're wrong you're just for all yeah yeah yeah anger is it coming up yeah and drop into silence did you notice in that moment of shock that your emotional reactivity was interrupted and now let's second there was absolute clarity so what that simple process does is enable you to interrupt your emotional reactivity and drop into the silence of absolute clarity Zen mind and then from here look what would be a more conscious compassionate response then the anger was the reactivity and the violence that you are just about ready to unleash can you see a more compassionate conscious response than that violent reactivity yeah okay now imagine yourself doing something that benefited the circumstances and not poured gasoline on the fire right and now that you're imagining yourself doing it find a time to do it and report back to me when it's done so simple so that is the simple first version of the mondo Zen process which evolved into ten cones and it had to include more than anger now anger worked perfectly for me because I had an anger problem that was where I was stuck I suspect it would work well for you I can smell but we discovered quickly that it didn't work for everybody so while I was screaming at you interrupting your anger I was traumatizing the person over here there was collateral damage so we had to include shame collapsing into victimhood not being good enough we had to include Association which is really all three of these are forms of violence violence outward if the anger can't get out if we have a parent that's angry and it won't let you get angry then the anger gets stuffed it goes inside that becomes toxic shame and self-loathing the anger can't get directed outward so it gets directed towards self and if neither one of those things happen if you just freeze and you dissociate you go into your thinking mind or into your fantasy world then it's it's violence against the relationship this is a powerful transformative process so there are 10 cons to deconstruct the ego to stop the thinking and the feeling and the stories and drop into the absolute silence of nonreactive witnessing mind and then from this clarity the first thing that arises is selfless caring not idiot compassion we're talking real compassion selfless compassion and then now that you're fully awake and have attained this clarity of Zen mind so what how are you gonna bring it into your life what are you gonna do with it how we're gonna use it to improve your relationships and the quality of your life this is the mondo Zen and it is a dialectical dialogue between teacher and student between facilitator and facilitating it's a game that we play I'm a judo guy we play judo this is how I dealt with some of my anger I learned to play judo kind of ironic isn't it so I have to play Monda it takes the edge off I don't have to get it perfect you don't have to get it perfect we play Rondo and we see when our eyes sparkle like yours are sparkling right now now there's one more thing I want to say about Ankur relative to the process we just did okay so if you look at the anger what's beneath the anger what's driving the anger in this case for me it's definitely fear okay so wonderful so so you're afraid and then the reactivity that the fear drives the reactivity of anger your violence mm-hmm so what's beneath the fear sadness yeah fear and sadness sometimes the sadness is underneath sometimes it's alongside but it's always kind of connected to the fear you notice that what's way below the fear and sadness yeah it's caring yeah this was a teaching of jump Oh that changed my life I never at once realized that the reason I was afraid which drove the anger was because I cared deeply this insight that underneath the fear was deep selfless caring changed my life I no longer had to get violent I could just tell people how much I cared if you hurt that child I'm gonna have to intervene and hurt you to keep you from hurting that child I won't do it as an angry man I will do it with great intensity clarity and at the speed of light rent a story once it's about a Japanese warrior who went to go kill someone who had he wouldn't his avenging his father's death and as he was about to kill this guy the guy spit on him and he became angry and he lay disappearing walked away because he didn't want to kill him for personal reasons an angry warrior is a dead warrior friends I said this form of sin it's the samurai tradition Soto Zen is the Zen of the farmers of feudal Japan Brens Aizen is the Zen of the samurai so rinse I sang is the tradition you're in yes so if somebody's interested in Zen why would they – or why should they choose Ren's iover Soto or I think some of the audience that might be watching this might not know how to get what's the next step was entering so I always advise people to follow their heart to follow their gut knowing their deep intuition now soto zen is a zen of the farmers the instruction in soto zen is that just sit there's a cushion just sit that's it no more instructions how homes are going to take you to figure out how to how to meditate doesn't work very well with Westerners Renzi's n we on the other hand say we teach people how to meditate with Cowen's what is the sound of one hand what is your fright true face before your parents were born is it possible to just simply listen and then we give you 20 years to actually answer the go on so Soto Zen the Zen of the farmers their their cultivating patience hmm Renzi Zen doesn't cultivate patience were impatient they call us impatience in they call Soto Zen patient Zen the Zen of the farmers so one of the things you can do is it are you a patient person Soto Zen try that first are you an impatient person friends ICF try that first the only problem is you know the sitting around waiting for things to grow you have to just sit for 20 years to wake up that's if you really work at it with a good teacher so 20 years boy I'm an impatient guy you know how long it takes to impatiently answer coatt takes about 20 years but what does matter is pick your teacher very carefully it's like picking out a spouse you're gonna spend that hell of a lot of time with them make sure you pick the right one so that's where I would I would say really focus on who the teachers and what the chemistry is between you on a broader cultural level how what is the vision of how Towson saves the world does NZ how does n save the world does it I mean is that because like in Christianity division is like get the message out to enough people right and Bill you know before anybody starts worrying about saving the world first save yourself take responsibility for your own awakening when you've attained absolute clarity and selfless compassion you'll know exactly what to do so she and Roshi thanks for coming on it's been a pleasure it's good fun

  1. Yuk. I found both these guys creepy. The master is so smarmy, slimy, condescending. The interviewer is so fawning. Yuk.

  2. It's clearly observable that the interviewer is not ready for the interviewee… Must be hard to interview someone who is not stuck in the lower mind by words as this zen master. And, as Doshin says, unless you have experienced the "thinking" and overcome it with silence, it will never be understood.

  3. He speaks with such powerful insights, especially about victimhood which I admit I am guilty of at times. Very powerful words from after 1:12:00

  4. Stop thinking about nonduality. You are measuring it. Stop thinking about it. It will come. Listen to the Dao De Ching every day.

  5. 44:00 it hasn't clicked in for you yet. He is aying stay silent because you/we/I lack that meditation at this point. You will see that when you hit the unity.

  6. I love it when a person assumes I am stupid, tells me how much I don't understand, and then fails to even begin to explain anything or make any effort to use common language rather than jargon to support their world view. If one takes a word, such as "Integral," and uses it ineffectively over and over to mean anything and everything, we are essentially using jargon which weakens rather than strengthens rhetorical efforts to share understanding. A lack of ability-the poet's ability, to turn the faceted thing and explain it differently with new inventions within common language at each perspective- reveals a lack of intelligence much beyond any that I may show in not understanding your jargon.

  7. Master needs to brush up on his renaissance history.


  8. 31:50 Doshin making grand claims without explaining them further.

    Doshin "For the first time in human history, we have a conceptual framework that is big enough to include everything that humans are capable of experiencing. There's no arrogance in that."

    Andy "It seems like a big claim … I just thought it would be an objection that people might have."

    Doshin "Only if they don't understand it"

    Doshin then explains a humbling experience in which he failed to understand Ken Wilber's work as he was trying to shoehorn it into the view of Jung, and someone revealed to him that he was being arrogant about criticizing him. He also implies that Andy is being arrogant for the exact same reasons

    The key difference is that Andy was simply applying scientific skepticism and not accepting claims entirely on their own merit, as opposed to shoehorning it into the view of another theorist. Big difference. Andy's skepticism was in fact a means of questioning which sought deeper understanding from Doshin, but he was instead schooled on having no place to comment as he did not understand.

    Sure, in zen you have to suspend thinking to get to the heart of the matter, but these rules do not apply to philosophical thought. This would not hold with a more experienced interviewer.

  9. Tell Plato that thinking cannot get you to non-duality.

    I think that there is some wisdom in the integral community, but it seems clear that they are getting ahead of themselves and trying to run before they can walk.

    Every integral thinker I have come across has given me one of the following intuitions: cheesy, arrogant, and/or utopian. This is serious as there is something foundationally missing in their system. His use of psychological terms such as 'ego' and 'projection' seems particularly loose. An intuition and a projection are two different things which should not be confused. This whole game about everything is 'projection' is very strange and actually seems to be a projection itself: why is he so concerned about saying everyone else does not understand?

     I think a big part of it is that they do not understand the Western tradition: this is something that JBP really does. They understand the Asian tradition much better, fair enough, but the main thing the Asian tradition has to offer is inner work – almost everything else must come from the West. To not understand Western thinking properly is a huge flaw.

    In fact, I think they are in danger of not understanding the Eastern system either, despite having "studied it for 15 years." Statements like this last one are very non-Zen. When I have seen someone who truly understands Zen it is completely non-contrived: it is spontaneous. They have not achieved this, it is clear. The mannerisms such as the laugh, the hand movements, etc, they are just not spontaneous, that's why people are saying he is not authentic. If he has the great non-dual & integral perspective why does it even concern him?

    Spiritual materialism.

  10. I'm so glad he said, "media circus on the internet where anyone can get a microphone and be a guru even with the best intentions". Jordan Peterson fans take note. The ignorance shown on these outlets is rife.

  11. 55:50 what was the taboo he poked? Oh come on. We must know.😂 This guy always leaves me hanging. No reference to hooks intended.😂

  12. The dignity of man is not a radically new idea. It is evident in Genesis 1. Imago Dei.
    The rescuer / hero is not new since the 1960's, it's also in Greek Myths and Old Testament Judges.

  13. Interesting Talk, but a keen question remains. Im sorry for some mistakes i might have made while writing, english is not my mothertounge.
    Around min. 6:00 They talk about how the Savior keeps the Victim in his Victimhood and being a perpetrator because of that (without realizing it because he is blinded or caught by his own shadow that tells him he shall be the savior (to save himself from being a victim)). I find this great thought but wonder how we can fit space in here for the "helper". I think about "saving" someone and the difference to "helping" someone. "Saving" kind of implies that the one who is saved does nothing, and the savior does everything, so the victim cannot learn how to mobilize his own Power to integrate Savior, Perpetrator AND Victim in one person and free himself from a victim-position. There must be fine but very important difference between those two (helping and saving) because helping is necessary, saving is not necessarily necessary. Because where were we without Help (aka Love from our Parents to give us a save harbor where we can rest in a save space from the world while "learning" to deal with the world by our selves without our Parents). So my Question: How would a savior be a helper, that knows when the time has come, that helping more than necessary would be actually bad for the "victim"??? 
    Thanks for the Talk and the wise words from u two guys 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *