Chris Grosso – Episode 18 – Diane Hamilton



Diane Hamilton has been a practitioner of meditation for almost 30 years. She began her studies at Naropa University in 1983 with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and became a Zen student of Genpo Roshi’s in 1997. In 2003, she received ordination as a Zen monk with her husband Michael Zimmerman, and received dharma transmission from Roshi in 2006. Diane facilitates Big Mind Big Heart, a process developed by Genpo Roshi to help elicit the insights of Zen in Western audiences. She has worked with Ken Wilber and the Integral Institute since 2004.

For the Soundcloud version of this episode click here.

Episode Outline:

  • Tragedy/Spirituality – Diane discusses her early years on the spiritual path, losing seven of her friends to a series of accidents at the age of seventeen, which became a very significant catalyst in her spiritual life, studying with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and more.
  • Conflict Is Good News – In her book, Everything Is Workable, Diane writes, “To learn to transform conflict, we must let go of the notion that something or someone is wrong or bad,” which she elaborates on.
  • Scary, Yet Exciting – Diane talks about relating to fear directly rather than trying to get rid of it. She explores what becoming aware of it looks like, tastes like, and feels like in our mind and body, and developing fearlessness in the process.
  • Three Perspectives, Three Truths – It has been said that there are three sides to every story; yours, mine, and the truth. Diane discusses individual participation with the three perspectives that are constantly happening, which includes the first person “I,” second person “you,” and third person “it.”
  • Everything and Nothing – Diane discusses what in Zen is often referred to as Big Mind. Others have given it different names including Eckhart Tolle who calls it Presence, Ken Wilber who calls it Ever-Present Awareness and Byron Katie who simply calls it Reality. Call it what you will, Diane talks about the importance of cultivating our experience of Big Mind and elaborates on what that actually is.
  • Integral Life – Diane talks about meeting Ken Wilber in 2004 and how his work and that of Integral Life has influenced her own life and work.




Diane’s Website

Diane’s Book: Everything Is Workable

Other Books: The Integral Vision by Ken Wilber, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, No Mud, No Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh

Music: Krishna Das – Kirtan Wallah, U2 – The Joshua Tree, Saul Williams – Inevitable Rise & Liberation of Niggy Tardust

Movies: Awakening World, Crazy Wisdom, Brilliant Moon



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