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Fourth Turning of Buddhism


Like all the major religious traditions, Buddhism is attempting to expand what it includes as it seeks relevance in 21st century culture. This inquiry is particularly noted in the West, as the Eastern traditions of Buddhism are relatively new here. As we consider the role of spiritual awareness in the expansion of now and future intelligence, we offer some examples of individuals who are exploring the future of Buddhism, particularly influenced by the tenets of Integral spirituality. Buddhism has been through three “turnings” in its long history with the claim now that a fourth turning is emerging as we speak.


This section features videos I directed and produced with my team. They include Ken Wilber outlining the history, teachings and practices of each of the turnings of Buddhism including the fourth. Diane Musho Hamilton giving us an experience of a Buddhist practice that utilizes a voice dialogue process on the meaning of tradition , Andrew Holecek on the now and future of Buddhism and Patrick Sweeney tracing his path to becoming a Tibetan Buddhist linage holder influenced by the Integral framework.  The fourth turning of Buddhism is a work in progress. In the individual perspectives below you will hear the beginnings of what this fourth turning may feel like when it has stabilized in the 21st Century.

The Fourth Turning of Buddhism - Trailer

This video trailer was created for the conference on the Fourth Turning of Buddhism convened by Integral Life. It notes the themes that are part of this on going spiritual inquiry that is part of our now and future evolution of intelligence.

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Ken Wilber - The Evolution of Buddhism

In this clip, Ken Wilber first offers a historical perspective on the first three turnings of Buddhism. He illuminates how each has played a part in setting the stage for what is now considered to be a fourth turning of Buddhism currently underway, particularly in the West. In the second half of the clip Ken speculates on the qualities of the fourth turning of Buddhism that is currently emerging.

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Diane Musho Hamilton - Interview

This interview with Diane was recorded as she was preparing for the Fourth Turning of Buddhism Conference. Diane is a skillful meditation teacher and 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. In this interview she traces her path to becoming a Zen teacher from her earliest awakening experiences to becoming a noted thought leader in the Integral Spirituality community.

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Diane Musho Hamilton - The Voice of Tradition

In the clip, Diane and her Dragonheart sangha demonstrate an experimental Integral Buddhism practice utilizing the Voice Dialogue process. In this particular session Diane asks the members of the sangha to speak as the voice of tradition. What can a sense of tradition bring to the practice of Buddhism in the 21st Century?

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Andrew Holecek - The Future of Buddhism

In this clip, Tibetan teacher Andrew Holecek explores the now and the future of Buddhism in the West.  Andrew is a noted author, spiritual teacher and authority on meditation, lucid dreaming, dream yoga, and death & dying and is a valued contributor to the Integral Spirituality inquiry on Integral Life.

Click on  ARROWS  to enlarge to full screen

Click on  ARROWS  to enlarge to full screen

Patrick Sweeney - Interview

This interview was conducted with Patrick as he prepared for the Fourth Turning of Buddhism convening. Patrick illuminates his path to becoming a Tibetan lineage holder from his earliest experiences of the witnessing state to his career at the Chicago Board of Trade to his collaborating with Ken Wilber in the Integral Buddhism inquiry.  Patrick Sweeney, Trimé Lhawang, is the holder of the transmission of the Karma Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism given by Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche to his Western lineage holder, Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin, and then conferred upon Mr. Sweeney.

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