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Bill answers your questions…plus an update on last weekend’s Genpo Roshi workshop…

by / Friday, 15 February 2008 / Published in Uncategorized

In this post I’m going to answer some of the questions you’ve asked me, and make a few other comments I think you’ll find interesting. Then, in my next post (honest) I’m going to talk about the developmental levels after those we’ve already discussed.

First, though, I want to give you a report on the 2-day workshop Zen master Genpo Roshi and I taught last weekend in Los Angeles. Quite frankly, I was blown away by what happened. We had about 220 people, from all over the world, and they clearly had a series of mind-blowing and life-altering experiences.

Toward the end Genpo asked if anyone had failed to experience the transcendent states we’d promised were possible with the Big Mind process, and not one person raised a hand (on the previous day, a handful of people did raise their hand and confessed that they were having trouble, but Genpo worked with them and once helped, each of them did have an experience of unity consciousness).

There is more to the Big Mind process than just accessing transcendent or “oneness” states of awareness, however (though that would certainly be enough!). A lot of the transformative power of the Big Mind process is in its ability to dissolve unresolved shadow material–the stuff we’ve been dragging around for a lifetime that makes us feel bad about ourselves and keeps us from being happy and fulfilled, or keeps us from taking the actions we know we need to take to be successful. Big Mind is probably the fastest and most potent method I’ve ever seen for getting rid of this shadow material, and a LOT of people got rid of a lot of it last weekend.

I’ve been with Genpo many times, and I’ve seen him work with a lot of people, but this time was beyond anything I’d ever seen. Truly, Genpo is the real thing, a fully enlightened human being. The amazing thing is that he is SO normal, so available to everyone, so clearly not coming from an “I’m better or higher than you” egoic place. Not at all. I’ve never seen anyone (and I’ve been around quite a few enlightened beings over the last 30+ years) so totally comfortable in his own skin, so unflappable, so totally “with” people–and so effective in helping them. This workshop may have spoiled a lot of people for other less-effective workshops.

And the people who attended really did rave about what happened. I do a fair number of public appearances, and people are ecstatic over what happens at Centerpointe retreats (which are quite amazing). Still, I’ve never seen anything like what happened at this workshop. A lot of people shifted some extremely deep stuff, right before our eyes, and it was, well, incredible. There’s really nothing I can say that would do it justice. Nothing.

I have to say that I feel very flattered that Genpo wanted me to be on the same stage with him, because of all the teachers I know (and there are few in this “business” I don’t know), he is at the pinnacle of effectiveness–and, of course, consciousness. I’m pretty sure that Ken Wilber, who also knows most of the top teachers in the world, feels the same way.

Some of you who read this blog were there. If you were, please write a post giving your impression of the workshop so the other people reading this can get an impression of what it was like from someone other than from me.

Genpo and I will be doing another workshop in Seattle on May 3-4. Since the LA event sold out in about 10 days, and we’re about to begin promoting Seattle, I’m giving those of you who read this blog a chance to register before the rush I know will happen once we mail to our entire list. If you want to be with us in Seattle, and have an experience similar to what those who came to LA had, go to right now and sign up now, before this one sells out, too.

And, you can get a $200 “early sign-up” discount by registering before March 15. For the LA workshop, EVERYONE signed up so quickly that everyone received this discount–which also means that the Seattle workshop could very well fill up long before March 15th. If you want to be there, don’t wait. Sign up now. Seattle is beautiful in May.

Okay, let’s look at some of your questions. I wish there was a way to answer all your posted questions, but there just isn’t. I just don’t have the time to answer them all and get my other work done. If you have questions about your experience with Holosync, instead of posting them here, call our support coaches at 503 672-7117 between 9:30 and 5:00 Pacific time, M-F, or email

Okay, let’s get started. Several of you have asked how to apply this material about human development to your own life. A good question.

First of all, I’ve come to realize in the last few years how important understanding the developmental process is in understanding myself; in seeing the next step in my own growth; in understanding other people, including how to motivate them, manage them, help them, or even how, in some cases, to protect myself from them; and in understanding the many conflicts going on all over the world–most of which are conflicts between groups at different developmental levels and based on developmentally different ways of seeing things.

Though Piaget’s work is universally accepted (despite what a few posters have claimed, other than a few minor details here and there his work has been proven over many decades, up one side and down the other, in every human culture), and though development has been studied at prestigious institutions such as Harvard for many years, not many people outside the field know that much about it–despite that fact that it reveals more about a person than pretty much anything else I can think of.

So, as a person interested in your own growth, it’s valuable to know where you are developmentally. Growth IS development. Your developmental level reveals how you tell right from wrong, how you make sense of your life, what your perspective is on the world and other people, how you will respond in different situations, what you are not seeing about yourself and the world, and a lot more. It will tell you what you are likely to be unconsciously immersed in (and therefore have no control over) right now. It tells you what you could begin paying attention to, so as to move from being unaware and unconscious to a place of having greater control over your life.

For example, a lot of people who come to Centerpointe are immersed in (unconscious of, caught up in) their emotions or their thoughts (or both). If you are immersed in your thoughts and beliefs, but then begin to observe these things, something amazing happens. Your perspective expands. And, you gain control over the most potent tool you have–your own mind. There is no such thing as total control over life, but when you control your mind you gain enough control that you can pretty much create whatever you want. Those who are truly successful have gained this control; those who struggle generally have not.

Knowing where other people are developmentally is helpful, too. You know where to meet them, how to talk to them, what is important to them. You also know that expecting them to see things from another developmental perspective is unrealistic (in fact, impossible), so you stop wasting your time assuming they will think like you or understand your perspective. You meet them where they are.

This is also important is dealing with children. You can’t expect children to operate from a developmental level they have not yet attained. Knowing this, you can provide a supporting framework, a container, an environment, that helps them successfully make the next developmental shift–instead of inadvertently doing something that gets in the way (as many people unknowingly do, creating all kinds of problems and dysfunctions in their children). The details of this are beyond the scope of this post, but Robert Kegan of Harvard has written a great book, The Evolving Self, discussing this.

I could say a lot more about how understanding development will serve you, but in the interest of answering some other questions, I’m going to move on.

I was asked was how one can make the transition from concrete operational to formal operational. The majority of people in Western countries are at a concrete operational level of development. This means they deal with the world is a very concrete (as opposed to abstract) manner. They accomplish the daily tasks of life, using a concrete understanding of how cause and effect works: if you do this, you get this result. 

In fact, such people can become incredibly skilled. Such a person might be, for example, in charge of the entire electrical grid of a major city. The concrete operational person, however, is unlikely to examine his basic premises about the world, or about himself–he is immersed in these premises. He is also not likely to think abstractly, to do “as if” thinking, to futurize, or think about possbilities. These are types of abstract thinking associated with formal operations. In terms of knowing what to do or who to be, the concrete operational person is guided by the rules of his group, and his identity is based on his role in that group.

To move to formal operational, he has to begin to “think about thinking,” to look at his premises, his ideas, his methods of navigating the world, to step back from his concrete operations and observe them. This is one of the major things I’m teaching in my first online course, the Internal Map of Reality Expander. I ask you to look very closely at your own internal processes, and to notice what is being created when you do things (internally) in certain ways. Instead of being unconscious of what is going on in your mind, and how it affects what you create and experience, you begin to observe these processes.

In doing so, your learn to “have” (and interntionally use) these processes rather than just allowing them to operate unconsciously and automatically. This new perspective takes you into formal operational thinking. (For more information about my online courses, go to To listen to a free preview lesson, go to www.centerpointe.comn/life/preview.)

A college education often puts a person in a position to develop formal operational thinking. Any situation where you have to examine your thinking, examine your premises, create, utilyze, and observe theories or mental models, or look at the theories and mental models of others, will increase your ability to use formal operational thinking.

I want to make one point, however. You will only move to the next developmental level if and when you need to. If and when your enviroment changes in a way that places new demands on you, you will at first struggle to adapt. (An example of such a situation might be going off to college.) Then, if conditions are right, and if there is some sort of support structure that supports your ability to develop the new skills and new perspective you need, you will probably develop the abilities and perspective of the next developmental level.

Sometimes this support is not available, and you either need to get out of the environment you’re unequiped to deal with, or remain in a situation in which you’re “in over your head, as Robert Kegan has described it, where you are expected to deal with a situation requiring skills or perspectives you do not yet have.

I have a son who is stuggling to make a developmental transition (a transition before concrete operational) and he is so resistant to giving up his current perspective that he’s in an almost constant state of struggle. It’s all he knows, and the perspective of the next level might as well be a different planet. I’m about to get him some structured help from people who know how to help kids make this transition–one he should have made when he was a lot younger.

Remember that there are two kinds of development–horizontal and vertical. When you move to the next higher developmental level, you are moving vertically. When you develop more skills and abilities at your current level, you are developing horizontally. Everyone wants to move vertically, but in my opinion, and in the opinion of most of the experts in this field, what is needed in most cases is more horizontal development–a higher level of skill and integration at one’s current level. When vertical development is necessary, it usually happens by itself (unless the conditions that would facilitate the transition are unavailable–another reason for understanding development, so you can spots such situations and work with them, if necessary).

Another question: I was asked if one can revisit previous developmental levels to increase one’s horizontal development at those levels. Yes, of course. If you improve your motor skills, for instance, or further develop your sensory abilities, you are revisiting the very early sensorimotor level. I play several musical instruments, and am always improving my motor and sensory abilities in that regard. If you further master concrete skills (driving, flying an airplane, using a computer, woodworking, installing electrical or plumbing fixtures, etc., etc.) you are improving your horizontal development at the concrete operational level. So yes, people can (and hopefully do) grow horizontally at all the levels they have so far attained.

Another person asked if we can be a different levels at the same time. Yes, we can, and usually are. Ken Wilber talks about different “lines” of development, including cognitive, ego or self-image, emotional, moral, aesthetic, kinesthetic, and several others. Daniel Goleman has written extensively about multiple intelligences, each of which is subject to development. You could be highly developed cognitively, but at a low level morally (think of Nazi doctors, for instance). You could be at a lower level cognitively, but at a high level aesthetically (you have great artistic skill, or a great eye for decorating), at another level morally, and at still another kinesthetically (your ability to use motor skills, balance, and so forth to ski well or dance or do tai chi, or perform some other physical skill).

A few people asked if there are tests one can take to determine one’s developmental level. Yes, there are. The best such test, with the greatest amount of data to back it up (going back to the 1950s) is a sentence completion test initially created by the famous developmental researcher, Jane Loevinger (google her). My friend Susanne Cook-Greuter, while she was at Harvard studying under Robert Kegan (mentioned above), noticed answers to this test that did not fit any of the profiles of the various levels Loevinger had identified (her levels mirror Piaget’s in many ways, except that she was measuring ego development, the development of one’s sense of self, rather than strictly cognitive development). Dr. Cook-Greuter realized that these unusual answers indicated developmental levels beyond those identified by Loevinger (levels I have yet to discuss in this blog).

She has now spent many years researching these higher levels (which I will explain in another post), expanding upon Loevinger’s original work. She is, in my opinion (and the opinion, I think, of most people in this field), THE expert on mature adult ego development (and she knows plenty about the earlier developmental levels, too). I just attended a workshop with her to improve my own understanding of human development, and was extremely impressed with her.

At any rate, if you want to test your own developmental level, take her testing instrument. Because it is hand-scored, it isn’t cheap, though: $325. You can take it online at When you get there, click on the link labelled SCTi. I have taken this test myself, and found it to be very valuable.

Another question: I was asked about the difference between “being immersed” and “being in the zone.” Being in the zone is another term for being in a flow state, a mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing, characterized by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. The big expert on flow states is psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and I highly recommend his books, including one called Flow.

Being immersed in something, as I have used the term in these posts, is completely different. When I use this term I mean that you are caught in something, doing it unconsciously, without ever having been conscious of it, as when a person is caught in his or her emotions. You are like a fish in water, so immersed in something that you don’t see it, or see that there could be anything else.

Though they may not be using their linear, analytical mind to think their way through what they are doing, person “in the zone” is fully conscious of what they are doing. They are immersed in the sense that they are fully involved and do not have to think their way through it, as when a jazz musician improvises, or a race car driver drives at 250 miles per hour. Such have consciously mastered something to the point where they can now do it without consciously attending to it as they do it, at least with the linear mind. This is often called being “unconsciously competent.” Being in the zone involves awareness but usually without linear thinking. It is immersion in the sense of full involvement in what one is doing. Immersion as I have used the term means doing something automatically, without awareness, because it’s all you know.

Another question: How does Holosync affect horizontal and vertical growth? If I had to describe what Holosync does in a word, I would say that it increases awareness. Since becoming aware of that which one was previously unaware (i.e., achieving a new and broader perspective) drives vertical development, the increased awareness created by Holosync tends to move people more quickly to higher developmental levels.

Holosync does this by increasing your ability to observe yourself, your internal processes, and your relationship to and interaction with the rest of the world. After a certain amount of Holosync use, for instance, you are more able to stand back and observe your emotions. In doing so, you gain more awareness about your emotions, more control over them, and more choice. The same could be said for your thoughts, or how certain ways of thinking create your feelings, your behaviors, and what and whom you attract into your life. Once you can step back and observe these things, those aspects of what you are doing that do not serve you tend to fall away.

This is why people have such dramatic shifts, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, as they use Holosync. You can continue to do something that does not serve you as long as you do it unconsciously, but when you do something with awareness it becomes very difficult to continue doing it if it is not resourceful. For this reason, the ability to observe yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, your beliefs, your premises about life, how you create your sense of who you are–and anything else–naturally selects what does serve you and weeds out what doesn’t. And, in this process, you develop to higher developmental levels.

And, by the way, if development continues to the highest levels, you eventually step back and observe your own sense of being a separate self. They begin to see that what they thought was “me” is really just their IDEA of “me.” Instead of “being” a separate self, which is how 99% of people feel, you “have” a separate self–but realize that this separate self isn’t really the totality of who you re. This is the beginning of a shift to a perspective where one feels a unity with the entire universe–where the actual locus of “self” is not inside, but everywhere. (This is, by the way, how it feels to be in Big Mind.)

Ken Wilber has noted (after several years of his own Holosync use, and after knowing a number of people who have used Holosync) that Holosync does, indeed, accelerate vertical growth.

I have noticed that Holosync also increases horizontal development. For example, many therapists have told me that clients who use Holosync move through their issues much faster than those who aren’t using it. Many musicians have told me that their musical abilities increased significantly after they started using Holosync (mine certainly did–I was much more able to access the necessary flow state, for instance). Students have told me that their ability to succeed in school increased. In fact, over the years I’ve noticed that just about anything a person is doing, they do it better when they are using Holosync.

Another person asked me about how one can let go of the roles one assumes during the concrete operational level of development. I’ve mentioned that concrete operational is very much about rules and roles. As a group member, your identy is determined by your role in the group. In fact, this is a good example of what I mean by being immersed in something. At this level you ARE your role in the group.

When you move to levels beyond concrete operational, beyond a conventional level of development, it isn’t that you stop having a role in the world, or in your group. Your perspective of who you are expands, however, to include more than just your roles, but you still have them. I have several roles: teacher, business owner, father, board member, friend, and so forth. However, my identity is not defined solely by these roles–and I can shift from role to role as needed (something that is difficult for the concrete operational person to do).

For some people, at some point, a sense of self based solely on one’s role in the group doesn’t work anymore. Your circumstances change, and defining yourself by your role doesn’t allow you to make sense of you life as it once did. If that happens, you begin to create a more individual and more independent sense of self, based on a point of view independent of what the group thinks. Instead of living based on rules, you begin to see how certain principles can sometimes override the rules (as when, for instance, the rule to not kill is overridden by a threat to one’s family).

If, for some reason, the role you have in your group is no longer fulfilling, or the world no longer makes sense when viewed through that lens, I would suggest that you stand back and observe it, that you think about it, question it. Investigate the underlying premises regarding who you are and what your role is. When a person moves beyond his or her current level it is always because he or she has gained more awareness–a greater perspective–regarding the way things are. And, this almost always happens because it needs to happen, because you are in a position where you are forced to notice and allow for something that you previously were immersed in and unaware of.

To do this, you have to step back and observe yourself. I’ve said that we are always immersed in something. In this case, it is your identity as defined by your role in the group. If you stand back and observe that role, how it defines who you are, and examine the underlying premises or reasons for it, you will begin to move from being immersed in it, from “being it,” to having it.

another question: I was asked if narcissism is “curable”–and, if one can be in a relationship with a narcissist. I don’t really like the word “curable,” but a person certainly can grow beyond narcissistic developmental levels. I was an adult narcissist well into my 30s, and I overcame it. And, I might add that meeting the world from a narcissistic perspective, particularly as an adult, puts one directly in the path of a lot of trouble. Because a narcissist cannot see the perspective of others, they end up getting themselves into all kinds of trouble. I certainly did. “Why does this always happen to ME?” was my constant question.

We expect children to be narcissistic, and make allowances for it–mostly because they aren’t powerful enough to enforce their narcissistic desires. We even see childlike narcissism as charming. A narcissistic teenager or adult, however, can be very annoying, or worse, because they have a lot more power to act on their narcissistic impulses.

For a narcissist to develop to the next level, they need new environment stimuli. Robert Kegan discusses a young man (a narcissist) who was sent to a jobs program. The participants in this program made boats and sold them. For their work, they received a portion of the profits, so they were motivated to do the work, and to cooperate with the others in order to do a good job. They were put in a position where in order to succeed they had to work as a team (in other words, be a functioning member of a group).

This moved them from thinking only of themselves to thinking in terms of how the group could best build each boat. In this environment, they learned the benefit of being a group member, which moved them from the preoperational, narcissistic level to the concrete operational, conventional level of development. They learned to trade their “it’s all about me” perspective for the rewards of being a functioning group member.

Can you have a relationship with a narcissist? It depends on how you define “relationship.” I was in quite a few “relationships” during my narcissist days, but none of them really worked. In fact, they were a constant source of suffering–for me, and for those in relationship with me. Narcissists don’t really have a defined sense of self because they have no perspective on themselves–despite the ironic fact that they are very self-focused. A true sense of self, along with the ability to see and appreciate the perspective of another, is necessary for a relationship.

Narcissists have little if any ability to see the perspective of the other person, so their associations with others aren’t relationships so much as they are opportunities to meet their own needs, or dependencies (as a child is with his or her parents). They are busy trying to meet their own needs, and are only willing to meet those of the other person to the degree that doing so helps them get what they want. This does not make for intimacy or real love.

If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, however, you have to realize that there’s a reason why you chose that person. You may be one yourself, or you may have some other psychological problem that led you to that person. If, for instance, you’re afraid of intimacy (perhaps your first intimacy, with your parents, was painful, or you were in some way abandoned, and you’re guarding against getting close to keep that pain from happening again), you’ll probably choose a partner who also can’t be intimate. This protects you from what you’re afraid of–getting too close and then losing the person, or being hurt in some other way. My advice if you are in this situation is to find a good counselor or therapist and work on your own issues–and, of course, keep using Holosync.

That’s probably enough for now. I’ll answer more of your questions in another post.

Be well.

45 Responses to “Bill answers your questions…plus an update on last weekend’s Genpo Roshi workshop…”

  1. Hi Bill, I was one of the 220 participants in the two day workshop of Big Mind/Big Heart. I can attest that all you say is true. It is a mind blowing experience, and like the gift that keeps on giving – days after I am still basking in the glow. I came away with the full understanding of how important it is to be a total transcended human being (transcendent and material combined to transcend into a normal, fully integrated human being). How delightful and freeing it is to give yourself permission to be. Genpo Roshi is a testament to living life large and small, a paradox of the cosmos. My meditations since have been expanding and expanding : )
    Please be sure to mention that we had two amazing surprise artists to join us, Erika Luckett and Zayra Yves. Zayra has a guiding prose that will waken parts of yourself that are certain to never be suppressed again. Erika sang an invocation to spirit before each performance that was truly the pinnacle of merging oneness. The combination of which sent us heavenward.

    Please tell me if Erika records her pre-performance mantra. I would love to hear it as I awake daily.

  2. Lucia says :

    Hello Bill:

    Recently I purchased your holosync program. I am beginning to feel the effects. Thank you. Just before I joined the program I asked if you had any spanish literature and support programs, and the support team answered that you are not ready for that yet.
    I am beginning to recommend the program because I am also a therapist and have worked with some interesting techniques for many years and as you state in one of the first articles “So please join me in creating deep and positive changes not only for yourself, but for the whole world”, I also have this interest in helping as many fellow humans as possible.
    I am ordering another program of yours for a good friend and I will be helping her with translating most of the material to spanish… (we live in Cancun, Mexico)
    What is required to do the whole support in spanish? could we work this out in a near future? Maybe I could help, my native language is spanish and I speak fluent english due to my upbringing and relationships, and have 20 years working with alternative and holistic therapies.

    Thanks for your program and your time… Lucia

  3. Richard McGonagle says :

    Hi Bill,
    I just wanted to respond to your request for comments from those attending the weekend with you and Genpo Roshi. I too have been on a seeking path for many years (all 61 of them actually). I have been in the audience of many wonderful teachers, but nothing in my experience compares with this last weekend. I had no expectations really (except my usual nagging feelings of self doubt ie “I won’t be able to get this.”). I must admit that my mind is still trying to figure out what took place. However, my true self my “Big Mind” is now very aware of the change. The absolute simplicity and ease of it is stunning. It often makes me laugh out loud as I experience it. As you often talk about its really a change in perspective, and not an addition of knowledge. I find myself in each day being brought back into alignment, when I drift into old behavior, by this new understanding or view of reality. Its still hard for me to put into words, but I can say the experience and clarity is beyond any doubt. I have been reading Genpo’s book and watching his DVDs every day since to further establish this wisdom in my experience. I must truly say that this is THE most extraordinary experience of my life so far. I cannot thank you and Genpo enough for offering this amazing experience to me.

  4. Jim says :

    Bill, please talk more about children and their developmental states. I also have a son, age 15, who I would like to help make the jump to the next develomental phase. We think he is resisting because he has enjoyed his present phase so much but most of his peers have moved on and he is being left behind.
    We have not exposed him to holosync (thinking he’s too young?) and are relatively new users (1 month+) ourselves.
    We enjoy the product and all of the related materials and this site very much.

  5. Laureen Rene' says :

    My husband & I attended the Los Angeles big mind/big heart seminar on Feb. 9th & 10th. Before we went I purposely didn’t read a lot of information about Genpo so that I could learn about him @ the seminar. (I knew about you through holosync, but hadn’t heard of him)
    On the first day we were both resisting his methods & wondering about the sanity of some of the audience members. By the second day we started getting into it and I reached a place in me that I didn’t know existed. Many audience members had powerful experiences and were very honest and emotional. (I was among them who cried during the two days). As you promised, I did get many AHA’s during the weekend. We purchased Genpo’s DVD and watched it this week. Our experiences from watching the DVD were very similar and we both ended the tape and floated through the rest of the day. The sheer simplicity of it all is what threw us at first. You don’t want to trust it because it is so simple. Genpo is a genius and I hope he sees this so I can thank him from the bottom of my big heart. I know that I am just starting on this new journey, but through his generosity of sharing his knowledge with us, I feel that I am on my way to greatness. Thank you Bill & thank you Genpo!

  6. Nate says :

    Words can express what happened on the Big Mind weekend. Genpo is channeling something very powerful through him. His energy is so strong that he pulls the shadow voices out of you. I am a person that doesn’t like to participate but during the weekend I couldn’t wait to raise my hand. I was like an excited little kid. That is how I feel about life right now like an excited little kid on christmas. I am glad Bill is using his gifts of synergy and bussiness to get someone like Genpo out to the world. I apprectiated Bill and his part of the workshop, he is a humble guy. He was also very patient with people after he spoke. Erika Luckett did this mantra before she sang that sounded like a gypsy tuning their voice in flamenco to get into duende. She filled the room with he energy and floored everyone. Her music was so powerful she brought me to tears. I felt massaged by her music to get me relaxed for Big Mind. This Workshop was more than what Bill promised. In Genpo’s book he has a powerful line that sums it up for me he says “We’re at the point in our evolution that we all have to become conscious. This is a time of revolution. There’s no holding us back. So I’m about tearing down the monastery walls and seeing the whole world as the monastery, as the practice as the spiritual temple. What we’re all working on is this very being, this very life. This is the temple it has no walls.” Thank you Genpo and Bill. I am different person

  7. Richard McMillan says :

    Thank-you Bill, for your generosity and guidance, your thoughts on Cognitive Development were truly transformative for me. My gratitude goes to you. God’s Peace and Blessing be with you.

  8. Julie Heminsley says :

    Thank you so much Bill,f or finding time to write your blog. I really get excited when I see mail waiting for me from you. You bring clarity to many concepts I have analysed, and discussed with others who are I now know at different developmental levels to myself. Your explanations resonate with me in a simple way. I find it easier to be patient now with people who dont see my point of view. I see that we are all
    living our lives to the best of our abilities at the level of consciousness we are currently at. I feel a deeper
    connection to all of life as my consciuosness expands. I feel united with everything.It doesnt matter what
    choice I make, because through the discernment, awareness via the witnessing prescence, I make better
    informed choices. I feel an innate trust in the process of life, and because of this I feel safe in my choices, because I feel a greater force, call it God/unconditional love/an abiding inner peace.
    I am so grateful for everything!!! I am here now and all is well, always,and all ways. I love you, Bill.

    Big bear hug……..feel it!!


  9. Vicki says :

    WOW…that is all I can say to comments in regards to Big Mind with Bill and Genpo…Sounds really powerful…I was especially moved by what Nate said…in particular seeing the whole world as the monastery…What we’re all working on is this very being, this very life….I took that to mean This Life is the Very Being…This Life is God and we are working on that recognition…the recognition of the wholeness that we are within this very being…we are the facets of this very brilliant, glistening diamond…

  10. Don Wingate says :

    Hi Bill,

    You say: “You could be at a lower level cognitively, but at a high level aesthetically (you have great artistic skill, or a great eye for decorating) …”

    Ken Wilber says cognitive development is necessary but not sufficient for all other lines of development. (Integral Spirituality, 113) This might be a minor point in the context of this blog, but I am still curious, were you intentionally disagreeing with him when you wrote that? Or is it no more than a matter of semantics? Ken’s definition of cognition is “the capacity to take perspectives.” Cognitive development, he says, is “an increase in the number of others with whom you can identify and an increase in the number of perspectives you can take.” His argument is that growth in ANY line requires taking more perspectives, hence requires a correlative growth in the cognitive line. Do you disagree? Would you define the word cognitive differently?

  11. Hello, I’m a reader intrigued about the next Big Mind/Big Heart event. Can someone who went to the one in Los Angeles more accurately describe the “mind blowing experience” mentioned? I’m curious both as to what collectively happened, as well as what individually occurred for someone. Perhaps the experiences mentioned were the achievement of a state of what is called in Eastern traditions darshan – the falling away of the world of form and experience of everything as white light and love and of melting into that unity? So far that’s been the transcendant and life-changing experience of my life so I’m just wondering if that’s what you’re all referring to. If it is then yes, it is an amazing experience to have, and yes it will permanently change your perspective and the rest of your life.

    For those who attended the last event, would you do it again and why? Or having experienced what you have, would there be no point in repeating it? Thanks in advance for as much detail as you can provide.

  12. mark baillie says :

    My wife and I were at the Genpo/Bill Bigmind workshop. Frankly, I will never be the same again.
    I’ve spent the last 20 years searching for “something” because of the experience of “something missing” in me or my life. I have done many courses, workshops and Self-help books, tapes etc. Over and over, my experience has been one of dissapointment.
    By the end of the workshop, my search was over. I feel like I have come home. I feel deeply peaceful for the first time in decades.
    Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou!

  13. Santiago says :

    Thank you man you rock!!

  14. Emilia says :

    Hi Bill,
    May I, please, take the libery to answer Don’s above question for you :
    Don – there is NO contradiction what-so-ever ( maybe of semantics, but not necessarily … ). Let me explain to you :
    Bill is trying to explain to us – spelling to us like to kindergarden (which is ABSOLUTELLY GREAT ! ) – what Ken already settled in accurate language definitions.
    Bill did not yet explain to us – did not come so far yet – to lines(which can vary) within the development cognitive stages (permanently attribute). Once Bill and us do not have yet ‘officially’ explained-line-terms, then ”level estheticaly” instead of ”line esthetically” doesn’t mean Bill’s contradicting Ken.

    Let me give you an example : In Spain there is a music contest now, ”Jihos of Babel” – where a romanian simple-worker ”low-cognitive-stage” is singing like Pavarotti without ANY musical education! This is a good example of low-medium cognitive stage (probably he is in-btwn preoperational and conop). But his artistic line is v.high. Very soon his cognitive stage will be dragged-up by circumstances (he has HUGE success) occured by his musical gift : his musical line will force-up his cognitive level… He doesn’t know now what hit him, probably.. He probably never thought he will be rich , but now circumstances will oblige him to consider this obvious route of new life/new much wider PERSPECTIVES.

    In Ken’s Integral L.P. kit, there is a representative graph of how level can be low, while certain skill-line can be high…

    Don, You know what? I don’t think you really ‘missunderstood’ Bill, you just like to ‘chat’!! – and I don’t think I needed to clear-it-up to you (bcs you knew it! ) – but I also like to CHAT here with you, my friends !

    And talking abt ILP and of Big mind/Big heart, in same ILP, even on DVD Genpo’s presence is mind-blowing… I can imagine what is ‘live’ !! And I’m looking forward some european conferences, Bill ?

    Best to you all, my friends,

  15. Ianne Lavigne says :

    This article is just the best! Incredibly helpful! It answers some of the questions that have been hanging around in the corners of my mind which I had not yet put words to. Thank you so much!

  16. Sandy says :

    For Karen, asking for more details:
    First of all, A Huge Thanks to Bill Harris for blazing the trails you blaze…

    The technique that Genpo Roshi has discovered to help people to see themselves as Big Mind or Big Heart is so simple and so elegant. It is a way of acknowledging and shifting between the varying “voices” or identities that reside within each of us, such as “The One Who Knows”, “The Protector”, “The One Who Seeks”, etc. These voices each have roles to play and usually they play them well. However, some of the voices either overdo or underdo their roles. With Genpo’s guidance, we began to shift quickly between these identities and acknowledge them for their positive qualities. Once acknowledged, some of these identities seemed to relax a little. Then, just as easily as he guided us into these identities, Genpo guided us directly into Big Mind, a state of Mind where everything is balanced. There is no need to seek or to grasp, everything is perfect.

    In day one I was skeptical. I felt that these voices were not coming from my authentic self, because I didn’t have time to fully feel into the emotional state of each voice. Genpo addressed that in day two, as he transported us into Big Mind. I realized that the sum of myself is not just my emotions. What seems to happen is that the voices are able to talk without bringing along their emotional baggage. For someone who lives in their emotions, this may seem phony at first. But actually, it is quite liberating. It freed up a lot of stuff for me, just to see that it was possible to live in a different way.

    Would we attend another conference? Absolutely. Why? Because it’s a great thing to participate in: the group dynamic, Genpo Roshi, Bill Harris. Did anyone mention that Bill and Genpo are funny together? They can almost go on the road with a standup routine.

  17. jan romine says :

    Will there be a Big Mind/Big Heart workshop on the East coast in the future?

  18. Jani says :

    I attended the Bill/Genpo BigMind workshop, and in response to Karen I’ll Try to give a more concrete description of my experience. I knew very little about Zen or Genpo Roshi; signed up intuitively. I’ve been meditating, attending growth seminars, workshops, studying, seeking, for 40+ years and most recently Holosync-ing, which I Love! AND I was completely amazed to be ‘in’ Big Mind, experiencing the Transcendent State, feeling Bliss and One With Everything–completely out of ego state within the first 5 or 10 minutes of Genpo’s Process.

    Genpo said we would get as much out of it as we put in–to the degree of our participation; I raised my hand immediately when he asked to speak to a certain ‘voice’, unsure of what we were doing but willing and excited to play this game. A few people spoke from the voice he requested and when I was called on, the ‘voice’ was shame. I said, “I am the voice of shame,” thinking ‘I’ve already got my shame stuff dealt with bla bla bla,’ and tried to describe what shame felt like, what it was doing to my ‘self.’ As I spoke this huge emotion welled up and I was truly feeling, speaking, as shame. I actually stopped breathing in the pain, overwhelm of it, until Genpo said “Breathe,” and quickly moved on to the next person.

    I sucked in a deep breath–suddenly my body felt taken over by ‘breath’ — ‘freedom’ — an exquisite letting go of everything I had been conscious of–the people around me, everything I had known as solid receeded and I was everywhere, everywhen; all at once “I” was Everything. My consciousness had just expanded to include it all–complete absense of thought, superaware focus as Everything, encompassing, Being, All. There was no sense of time (or awareness of anything around me, I think.) At some point later I ‘came back’ so-to-speak, to rejoin the group, tears of joy streaming down my face, continuing to experience the blissful feeling at the same time. Slowly I was able to participate again tho not wanting to leave the Bliss, I could join/feel each ‘speaker’ in their voice and soon realized I could switch my internal state to whatever was called upon. Exhilerating!

    Such an elegant, simple process, masterfully facilitated by Genpo Roshi and also Bill…at the end of the 1st day I realized a lifetime of shame and accompanying shallow breathing had been releasted — my body still feels very light and fully ‘breathed,’ effortlessly, with an added measure of Happiness, Joy; Far less ‘grasping’ at what I thought was “Reality”

    I read Genpo’s book, listen to the included meditation CD and I’m THERE when I say, “May I please speak to the voice of Big Mind?” “Yes, I am Big Mind.”

    Karen, I hope this attempt using the limited medium of words to describe a Transcendent Experience helps you. Even if it doesn’t, Sign Up Now and Go. All My Love, Best Wishes for an Amazing Experience, Jani Bennett

  19. Darin says :

    After reading your Biography, I have some concerns about you rclaim to knowledge in the area of human development (Psychology). It is nice that you have a thirst for knowledge and NLP training but seem to be lacking professional credentials in the field of Psychology. How can you claim expertise with no clinical training to back it up!


  20. Daniel S. says :

    Hi Bill,

    Have you ever considered creating a sister program for conscious parenting? So many of us have come to Centerpointe looking for help because of problems somewhere along the line of our development. Although the combination of Holosync and the LPIP courses does have the power to put everybody back on track over time, it seems inefficient to wait until we are all neurotic adults to try to transform ourselves. For one thing, it can be a lot of lost time, and it also takes a lot more effort, since our dysfunctional patterns have cemented over time.
    Jim’s question above made me think: if even parents that use holosync and read your blog don’t necessarily have the knowledge and tools to raise their children optimally, then maybe we are fixing our problems but not necessarily learning from our mistakes.
    I’d like to apply your incredible knowledge and insight into human development and successful living to give families the tools they need to have their kids grow up peaceful, healthy and successful as they go along.
    I envision a program that involves a course for the parents to understand different developmental models, benchmarks to look for for each developmental stage, advice to instill positive beliefs and values in their children and so on. It would also include a program for the child, catered to the age, that introduces some elements of consciousness, spirituality, and keys to happiness and success in a much more gradual and entertaining way. It could also include a much more gentle and gradual entrainment program, like Holosync, but one that would be safe for developing brains, and mild enough not to cause upheaval.
    This program would probably require, among other things, getting a team of developmental psychologists together, and more extensive study on the safety and efficacy of entrainment for children and teenagers. But the effort and investment would be worth it. This program could even reach the mainstream, since one doesn’t need to want to transform themselves dramatically in order to be motivated to use it.
    Let’s not wait until the next generation comes to Centerpointe. That is too late. Let us use your wonderful gifts to empower the next generation as they grow.

    Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll consider it.
    With great respect,


  21. David says :

    Very interesting stuff! Thanks Bill. The workshop sounds amazing, I’ll have to attend one at some stage. Keep up the fantastic work :O)
    Best wishes,
    David :O)

  22. Mike says :

    Great article. By the way, a couple days ago I was having a pretty bad bout of the hiccups when I tossed on my headphones and started listening to Holosync. Hiccups instantly went away. It could be a coincidence but I still thought it was pretty cool. One more thing to add to the list of Holosync benefits, eh?

  23. Mark says :

    Thank You Bill for answering my question after part 2 of difference ” being immersed ” and ” being in the zone ”
    Wonderfull explanation that you can describe “being in the zone” as unconsciously competent.

    Warm regards, Mark

  24. Jill says :

    Yes, please, something on the east coast would be really great… and, as a retail florist, my request would be to schedule a workshop at a non-holiday time! The last one was right before Valentine’s Day (the absolutely most brutal time for anyone in my industry) and the next is right before Mother’s Day… Gee, have a little mercy! (LOL!)

  25. ZenworldsJen says :

    I was not at the retreat, but you can bet I’ll keep myself in the loop for the next. The concepts of concrete and formal operational is new to me, but completely make sense and just give explanations to how I felt when I made the difficult transition myself years ago. It’s a very difficult leap of unwavering faith that people make when they are ready. Sometimes, like in the case of your son, need a push because people don’t realize that there is another way to live and they don’t have to feel stuck in a horizontal holding pattern. Thank you for blogging about these topics to bring awareness to a greater audience. Namaste.

  26. Kurt says :

    a question about Genpo’s big mind seminar…

    i am starting to think that maybe i have some negative subconscious programming around money issues… finances are really the only part of my life that are lacking. i’ve been putting in extra time and effort the last 2 years and have made addressing my career and career change my main priority so i can get this handled… but results haven’t followed even though i’ve changed a lot of my actions and activities… same old same old…

    would the releasing of shadow material you talk about in the big mind process deal with this kind of problem ?… or is there something else more applicable ?… i’m sure you are going to suggest holosync use… i’ve been using holosync for 10 months now and coming to the end of awaking level 1… i haven’t seen any changes yet… some of the phone line support people have told me that the changes can be small and incremental and other people might notice them in me before i would… one support person even told me that if i hadn’t had much trauma when i was a child (which i don’t think i did… i had a pretty good childhood) then i might not see any big changes until a couple of years of holosync… okay, fine… if that’s the best there is out there then i guess waiting that long is worth it if the results are what you say they will be… but i don’t want to wait that long… is there a faster way ?

    thanks, kurt

  27. Mark Evans says :

    Hi Everybody,
    I attended the workshop, and while I won’t say the experience was ineffable, not a lot of words come to mind or fingertips (not that I’m such a great writer anyway), but I’ll take a stab at it since people are asking for more details. Let me start with the right hand quadrants… There were 220 people there. When asked who had come from Holosync, it appeared to me that everyone raised their hand. When asked who was there from Genpo’s work, about 15 of us raised our hands.

    Most of the people at the workshop were at the Orange/Achiever stage. Bill said that Centerpointe announced the workshop before Kanzeon Zen Center and it almost filled up before Genpo even announced it to his group. Oops.

    Genpo and Bill started with soliciting from participants what we’d like the workshop to be about and they took notes. It was your garden variety of problems people want help with. The most common one being voiced was the transition from Achiever/Orange to Pluralist/Green. Bill answered questions and Genpo did Big Mind for a few hours, personally helping people who were stuck (it was nothing like his tidy, sequential recorded versions). Eventually we worked up to transcendent voices and then on to “the voice of the Integrated Free Functioning Human Being.”

    I wish I could give you a fascinating, blow-by-blow account, or tell you of some ground-braking experience I had, but I guess you just have to to be there yourself and I will go again. I am happier and calmer and while in Big Mind I spoke out a purpose for my life that came from within me and not the formulaic life purposes other workshops have produced.

    I’ve always thought I was supposed to have some big agentic purpose in life, but what came out was “Mark is here to play in the gross realm.” So I’ve relaxed on thinking I’m supposed to do something big and signed up for a beginner’s motorcycle riding class. I’m also going to fly an ultra-light airplane when it get warmer (those are two things I’ve always wanted to do and haven’t). When I told a friend what I had expressed, she said she “had always though I was here in this lifetime for a vacation.”

    You would not need to be a holosync user to get the full benefit from the workshop.

    All the attention to the Achiever stage made it a bit less interesting to me. That said, the workshop was no less valuable because the workshop was about states and shadow issues, which we all have.

    Love to all,
    You should go too,
    Mark Evans

  28. Peter says :

    Hi Bill!
    I am submitting Richard McMillan’s comment again as I really could not
    have said it any better myself! Thanks Richard!

    (Thank-you Bill, for your GENEROSITY and GUIDANCE, your thoughts on Cognitive Development were truly transformative for me. My GRATITUDE goes to you. God’s PEACE and BLESSING be with you.)

  29. Theresa says :

    Thank you to everyone who wrote about the workshop. Much apprecriated.
    How about holding one down here in the South Pacific?
    To Darin who asked about clinical psychology background as a prerequisite for understanding human devleopment. In my experience of working for many years with other people in the community and in custodial settings in a number of countries, a clinical psychology training does not of itself provide the understanding or skills or expertise to change ones own life or be with others in a meaningful way. It can be a very helpful tool, it can also be a handicap to a broader perspective and to having compassion for others. hope this helps. And it is worth remembering that clinical paychology is western in origin and training is still primarily from that perspective. arohanui

  30. David Sandison says :


    I have not had the privilidge or opportunity to attend a Big Mind seminar but I use Holosync and Integral Institute’s ILP kit which contains among other great assets the Big Mind DVD. I have also partcipated in and am revisiting the 3 LPIP courses.

    However I am also keenly interested as to how I help my 14 year old son in his development. My son has Asperger’s syndrome and part of that involves some great difficulty in processinf verbal communication i.e. a serious of instructions. This together with him being now like any other typical teenager.

    A lot of time is spent working on ourselves, but you in particular have an equal interest and passion in working to help others develop spiritually (if you don’t feel that is too strong a word for it).

    I am not sure how to assist my son or even approach using Holosync for example to help him. Any observations would be useful. Asperger’s (and more specifically autism) tends to lock individuals into themselves so that development is locked into the egocentric state – and as AQAL also illuminates clearly having an integral approach to development – and in this case for each of the 4 Quadrants is particularly important.

    I have always found your writing and explanations (both from LPIP. MInd Chatter and now the ongoing Blog) to be incredibly useful and thought provoking – and above all helpful in my own ongoing development but have not really thought about how I can also use this to help my son’s development (and if indeed I should be trying to do so given his tender age).

    Apologies – it is slightly off topic but any observations you have (or readers of this blog) would be most welcome.

    Keep being who you are.

    David S

  31. Dave says :

    My wife and I attended the Big Mind/Big Heart weekend in L.A. We were both very excited to be going, after hearing Bill’s zealous description of the process (and expected results) in his announcement email. I, however, came away disappointed.

    The first day I was surprised and disappointed to witness what appeared to be a lot of people looking to work through their psychological and emotional injuries. Well, we certainly all have our share of those. However, I’d been looking forward to more time focusing on the ‘oneness’ goal of Big Mind. Instead, it seemed that we spent a lot of time witnessing a lot of people’s personal pain.

    As soon as Genpo started asking to speak to the voice of x, people instantly responded with deep-sounding, wonderful answers. I had to wonder where they were getting them. Were they just really good at this? Or just saying what they thought were the ‘right’ answers? Perhaps — as Genpo explained the next morning that sometimes it’s okay to ‘fake it till you make it’. Well, okay. But, I guess I would’ve liked to have known that going in. ;^)

    More and more I was feeling frustrated by a distinct lack of whatever we were aiming for. I voiced that to Genpo and the group. After a break, one of the participants came up to me, shook my hand, and thanked me for voicing the feeling that he (and perhaps others) were feeling, but weren’t comfortable bringing up to the group. I had to wonder how many others there were.

    On Day 2 we got more into the “traditional” Big Mind/Big Heart process (Day 1 was kind of an experiment in a new way to ‘jump in’, we were told.) I still didn’t get any kind of “one with the universe” experience. And so, I was ultimately very disappointed, especially in the light of Bill’s invitation pitch, where he was essentially promising the oneness experience within a few hours, if I recall it correctly.

    At the start of this blog article, above, Bill mentions that Genpo asked for a show of hands at the end of the retreat — the hands of all those who “had failed to experience the transcendent states we’d promised were possible”. I remember starting to think about raising my hand — and then it was on to another subject. D’oh! Oh, well. I guess ya gotta be on your toes. :^) I do wonder how many others just weren’t quick enough, or, like my compadre the day before, just weren’t comfortable being ‘exposed’. Maybe there was an element of that for me, too, having played the sole role of the ‘frustrated guy’ with the microphone on at least a couple of occasions during the weekend.

    My wife and I did register for the weekend, book the hotel and flight, with the attitude of ‘Well, it sure sounds good. Let’s go for it. Worst case — we get a pretty good handle on the veracity of Bill’s signature, verbose, enthusiastic rhetoric — something that’s been a bit of an enigma to us from the beginning (been Holysyncing for about seven months, now) — and have a nice weekend away and meet some new people.

    So, I did come away with all that, even if no experience of oneness.

    Having the weekend fall short of what I felt I was ‘promised’ did create a secondary issue for me, though. I find myself wondering, for the first time, really, if the rhetoric surrounding Holosync’s effectiveness should be considered as suspect as that announcing the Big Heart/Big Mind weekend in L.A. And that makes me sad. :^(

    Gotta say, though, regardless of my disappointment with the weekend, I did come away with a genuine like of Genpo, and I look forward to giving his book and CD some personal attention. I haven’t given up. Perhaps I’m just not a ‘group therapy’ kind of guy. ;^)

    Thanks for listening.

    Bill’s response to Dave:


    I understand that you feel disappointment that the Big Mind weekend was not what you expected. When I saw your post I happened to be with Genpo, and showed it to him. We both thought it would be a good idea if he emailed you personally, which he did. Then, the two of you spoke by phone, and he offered to work with you and your wife together, by phone, to make sure you did experience the transcendent. He even invited you to a one- or two-day workshop with him at some point, at no charge. Both Genpo and I want you to experience the benefits that were promised, and I hope you can see how we are going the extra mile to make that happen.

    I want to be clear, though, that you have a responsibility in whatever did or did not happen for you at the workshop, and I’d like to explain what I mean by that. There are always a few people who come to Centerpointe saying that “nothing works.” I’ve spent years pondering what it is about such people that leads them to receive no benefit from all the personal growth programs they try. Now, perhaps everything other than this weekend has worked for you. I don’t know. You do, however, remind me of such people. If I have you pegged incorrectly, I apologize. I am writing this in this spirit of helping you, and I hope you take it in that spirit.

    After giving this question (of why some people have trouble getting the benefits) a lot of thought over many years, I finally realized that all the people I encountered who said that nothing works shared one characteristic: they had not bought into what I believe is THE most fundamental requirement for making progress in personal growth, that somehow, even if you don’t know how, YOU are creating your life. Your internal processes–which for most people are ENTIRELY unaware of–directly create how you feel in each moment, how you behave, what you attract, what you become attracted to, and how you interpret what is happening.

    The tone of your post makes me suspect that you haven’t really bought into this point of view. So, if you didn’t have the experience you expected at the Big Mind weekend, is it possible that you bear some responsibility for what you experienced? Is it possible that what you did inside during that weekend created your experience of it? Or is the responsibility for your experience all on Genpo, or on me? You may not know how you created your experience, but still, your internal processes created your experience. We provided the stimulus, in the form of the workshop, but YOU provided the response. Yes, we have a responsibility to provide the very best and most effective stimulus, but at that point you have to take responsibility for what you did with it.

    You decided that the psychological work we did was old hat, and not valuable. In doing so, you put yourself in a position to not really participate fully in it, and for that reason you missed some or all of the benefit (which has a lot to do with a persons’s ability to have the transcendent experience you sought). I very clearly said in my promotional material that there were two main aspects to the Big Mind process–the ability to very quickly and easily experience transcendent states, and the ability to work with and get rid of shadow material. You were focused on getting the first benefit, which caused you to miss the benefits of the second. In fact, you negated those benefits.

    The ability to experience the transcendent is, in fact, possible to the extent that you are able to distance yourself from the self, the ego. By speaking from these other voices of the self, these shadow voices, you gain a new perspective on them. You see them in a new way. Instead of being immersed in them (a phenomenon I’ve discussed at length in various blog posts)–instead of “being them”–you gain the ability to “have them,” to be more in charge of them.

    When you speak as one of these voices, you are at that moment not the self, but rather that one other voice. As you go from voice to voice, each time you speak from one of them you are not the self, but rather than one voice. This loosens your identification with the separate self, which later allows you to drop the self, at least temporarily, when asked to go into a transcendent voice. The transcendent is always there, but as long as you are identified with the self, you cannot experience it. Get some distance from the self, and there it is. In other words, the transcendent isn’t something the self experiences. Instead, it is what is there when the self is out of the way.

    So by negating the shadow work, and not entering fully into it, you did the one thing that might keep a person from successfully experiencing Big Mind when Genpo finally asked you to speak from it.

    The other benefit of speaking from these shadow voices is that they are, by definition, disowned parts of yourself. They are there in every person, but we have decided that they are not okay, and have repressed them, stuck them down in the basement. The one thing we know about disowned voices is that even when repressed they will express themselves anyway. Their expression, however, turns out to be dysfunctional.

    Any voice can appear in a spectrum from healthy to unhealthy. When repressed, a voice expresses in an unhealthy manner, which means it comes out in ways that create suffering for us, and often for others. When you speak from these disowned voices, however–when you allow them expression–the shadow is healed. You stop repressing them, which ends any dysfunctional expression.

    The voice–that aspect of you, as a human being–is transformed into a more healthier version. This creates HUGE positive changes. A person who allows such a disowned voice to speak feels as if they have shed a huge load. This happened for many people during the weeked. You interpreted this as those people faking it, but I’ve seen this happen enough times and have been in this business long enough to be able to tell the difference between faking and real breakthroughs.

    Certainly people are able to go into these shadow voices to varying degrees. They, after all, ARE, in most cases, disowned voices. Some people at first can only skim the surface, while others allow themselves to go more deeply. The more deeply a person can go, the more they get from it. I suppose some people could have been “faking,” as you assumed. If so, they were taking the first step. Most people were authentically doing their best to speak from these shadow places, and I applaud them for taking the risk to do so. I don’t think it’s really fair that you make a blanket accusation of fakery just because many people were having powerful experiences and you were not. My suggestion would have been to do your best to speak from these voices in yourself, and ask for help if you needed it.

    I would guess that another reason you didn’t see the value of the shadow work is that you came with such a strong expectation for what you wanted to happen at the workshop. That expectation kept you from seeing that there was a method to the way things unfolded. Because it didn’t unfold the way you expected, you to some degree dropped out of full participation–which hurt your chances of getting what you wanted.

    Your expectations may have appeared in another form, as well. Most people involved in spiritual growth have an idea of what “Oneness” will be like, even if that idea is a vague one. Then, if the experience of the transcendent isn’t what they thought it would (or should) be, they don’t recognize it. As someone who learned (if that is the word) to experience the transcendent many years ago, I’ll tell you that when I first did Big Mind with Genpo, I instantly recognized that his process definitely does allow you to experience it, and pretty easily, too.

    If, however, you think it’s going to be a certain way, you might just miss it. Now I have no idea what you did or did not experience, because I’m not inside your skin, but it’s possible that you DID experience it, but it wasn’t what you thought it would be, and for that reason you missed it. Or, because you didn’t fully participate in what led up to it (the shadow work) you did not have the objective distance from the self at the point where you were asked to shift from the self to the transcendent.

    I do understand that for some people it’s difficult to raise your hand and say “I’m not getting it”–especially when most of the other people seem to be. Your willingness to do this, if you aren’t getting it, though, is crucial. How else can Genpo or I help you if you don’t tell us you need help? One of the first things genpo said at the beginning of the first day was to raise your hand if you got stuck or felt like you were getting behind. Then on the second day he asked if anyone had not experienced the transcendent the day before. A half-dozen people raised their hands, and he worked with those people, all of whom expressed their satisfaction. When he later asked if anyone still had not had the experience, no one raised a hand–including you. I can see how it could be embarassing to raise your hand in such a situation, but you can hardly blame Genpo if you didn’t. And, I commend you for at least “raising your hand” later by posting your concerns here. As you can see, as a result you’ve received some personal attention from Genpo–and, in this answer to your post, from me.

    And, I apologize for not approving your post sooner, since you wrote it last week. I was with Genpo, in 5-day intensive, thought your post deserved an answer, and really didn’t have the time to write one until I returned to my office.

    My main point here is an important one: you have to take responsibility for what you get from any situation, and though you may feel like blaming someone else (I know I do sometimes), the only power you have to shape your own life and your own experience is to look for what YOU are doing to create how you feel and what you experience.

    So, I hope you will get with Genpo by phone, and that you will accept his offer to come see him again in person, as his guest. Knowing Genpo, I suspect that this whole thing may turn out to be a huge blessing in disguise for you and your wife.

    Be well.


  32. Lynn Fabry says :

    Hi Bill, I’m reading Genpo Roshi’s book and experienced a session of his on line.
    At the same time, i’m taking your course, doing Holosync and reading another book that is quite popular ‘out there’, which to me is in so much contrast to both of you.
    i’ve been involved with many modalities.
    You and Genpo Roshi offer by far, the ‘safest’ environments, with the healthiest, most ‘neutral’ boundaries i’ve ever experienced. And you are both oh so very human!!! You both compliment one another and have approaches that help east meet west, helping us to integrate our spiritual natures into everyday life. i appreciate all this so very much!!!
    Best, Lynn

  33. Bill Rice says :

    My wife Catherine and I attended the Big Mind session in L.A. Our impression is that Genpo Roshi is a guy who gets down to work. It’s kind of an intense rock and roll experience. While we didn’t feel moved to ‘participate’ by taking the microphone, we had no trouble experiencing various states of mind — including Big Mind. The surprise is that it’s really an ordinary experience, part of your natural mind. At one point, Genpo asked us to experience the mind of Maha Vairocana Buddha. Afterwards, he said that he had given us “an empowerment.” This is no small statement for a Zen Master to make. Genpo Roshi is a revolutionary teacher, and a remarkable man. We would say that anyone would benefit from spending time with him. But be prepared for something quite ‘ordinary’ — that is, a glimpse of your natural mind. And to answer one of the questions above, we would do the workshop again. We doubt Roshi ever repeats himself, and every experience is going to be different.

  34. Jeff Harrison says :

    To Karen,
    Last question first. I probably would not go again to a two day EVENT! (expressing a Big WOW and thank you!) (but my wife is going to Seattle in May; I’m not sure why, she won’t even try Holosync; does she sense something?) We’re both long time meditators-SRF- and that’s certainly one way; Teresa is more traditional. Personally, I think a longer workshop would allow deeper recognitions to occur and if it can happen I’ll do it. Based on my experience of Genpo’s gift there is so much there that the only limit is ones own depth to receive. Fun to plumb I bet.
    My experience was a wonderful losing/forgetting of the self, for both short and long durations, and a resonance that continues today. The book and DVD’s are a good way to continue to realize what was. As we were told, you could just remember a beautiful experience or you can keep it growing. My cynical/skeptic voice is still surprised. Just to experience the closeness and warmth shared intimately, but with beautiful respect, realizing, I think, that no matter what voice spoke or what it said, it was our own.
    I went with no real agenda except to experience. When I was there for a few hours I thought/decided that my agenda was just, ha, to Be Here Now. That was achieved and then some. If you can, please go see for your self.
    I think, too, that Darshan comes in many flavors and probably can’t be gotten tired of no matter how many times it’s received.
    Glad that I met you Genpo, your light dispels much darkness. Thanks so much Bill for bringing this our way. You da Man! Welcome to the conscious party all.

  35. Bil,
    good to see you bloggin’ more. Yes, it’s a bit of a thing being out here and talking about these magical things.

    It’s tough to create a life you want when so much of your life is mostly compulsive. This uncracking the head out of it’s own spinning patterns is a challenge, people take things personally.

    The message is always the same. Your delivery is always perfect, when it comes right down to it. I say you’re doing your job when people get riled up.

    They’re reading and they’re listening and all you’re doing is your favorite thing: loving, educating, writing and sharing. You got it goin’ on man!

    keep up the fire, passion, and position you have on the infinite possibilities of fantastic, freer and sweeter life.


  36. frank says :

    hi Bill i lost the quitetude and oasis cd soundtrack and in the participants
    section of the website under more centerpointe products you dont have the quitetude and oasis cd soundtrack to order can you please add it in the products so i can buy the quitetude and oasis cd sound track

  37. Evelyn says :

    Hello Bill,

    I have been enjoying your blogs sooo much. My husband and I have been through several years of difficulty that resulted in us seeing that he was displaying the traits of Borderline Personality Disorder. You mentioned in your blogs that trauma at the preconventional stage can result in BPD. Can you discuss a bit more how being unsucessful at transitioning through the levels can result in a diagnosed emotional/mental disorder. We can see that the description of many preconventional traits are the same traits as found in a description of BPD. The oportunistic level describes a narcissist and/or a sociopath. Can you also describe what could cause a sociopath and what developmentally is the difference between a narcissist, a sociopath and someone with BPD? I think a blog like this where you describe mental disorders in detail would be amazing and provide so much help and enlightenment for people dealing with mental illness. Reading what you have written so far has been so interesting for me and my husband. It is helping us understand the roots of BPD and thus help my husband get past it.

    Bill’s comment:

    I have written a little bit in previous posts about pathologies that can develop as a result of failure to successfully make the transition from one developmental level to the next. Borderlines generally feel as if their boundaries are constantly being invaded, which is because they don’t have very good ones. These boundaries are generally created when we are very young, and if we don’t complete this process, even though we may develop in other ways (cognitively, for instance) we constantly feel invaded.

    Another characteristic of borderlines is that they often idealize a new person in their life, especially if that person is kind or caring. But the slightest slip-up that reminds them of being “invaded” changes this person into an enemy.

    Effective therapy would involve creating the clear boundaries between self and other than were not created earlier in life. Thiough I suspect that Holosync can help with this process, this type of work is beyond what we do at Centerpointe. My suggestion would be to find someone who specializes in working with borderlines and get into therapy. Borderlines are famous for not responding very well to therapy, because they have a pretty high fear level. With Holosync use, however, it’s very possible that progress can be made.

    Thank you again!!!

  38. Kyrill says :

    Dear Bill,
    Thank you for having organized and done the Seattle big mind big heart workshop with Genpo Roshi. I got a totally new level of awareness on my different inner voices and how some voices are crushed and pushed aside. I realized how unbalanced inner voices are and that I sometimes live only with a couple of them. It was certainly very insightful and very worth attending and I would deffenitly recommend it to everyone that is into self growth. I have gone to your retreat, done your online courses, I do every day Holosync and attended now this big mind big heart workshop – still, I find myself powerless in opening myself more up and overcoming and getting rid of disfunctional patterns that come with it. I did your time line exercise and tried to install new patterns, but still, when I get into certain circumstances, this voice of probably the immature protector keeps on coming back and steps on other voices. Are these patterns or a combination of voices and patterns? It was nice seeing you again and I hope that the next time we meet, I can be free of this. Thank you so much for all your help you have given everybody.

  39. Diane Arcaro says :

    To Whom It may Concern,

    I wanted so badly to attend the seminar with Genpo and Bill when it was in New York and was unable to get in. I am in so much need to go to this seminar as I am a cancer survivor and am struggling with my past.
    Can you please tell me if he will ever come into New Jersey? He will sell out if he was in Atlantic City or Northern or Central New Jersey.
    Please let me know and try to get closer to my home.


  40. George Baker says :

    The Eckhart Tolle series:

    Integral Life Practice is no doubt one of the most powerful transformational tools available to individuals seeking personal growth in all aspects of being. Having used ILP for more that a year, I can attest to its effectiveness in even this short period of time. One could only expect deeper awakening and realization with years of practice and study of those affiliated with the Integral Institute. I am also grateful to the work of Eckhart Tolle whose work I have supplemented into my ILP. It is for this reason that I became quite interested when I heard Bill Harris was going to be interviewing the heavy hitters at II in regards to Tolle’s work. I listened to Ken Wilber and Genpo Rosh who are both individuals that can only be greatly respected for their obvious contributions. Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder why they are seemingly pointing out what is described the shortcomings or incompleteness of Tolle’s message while discussing their own work. If for example, you look at Andrew Cohen’s teaching you will find a quite similar messages to Tolles although Cohen favors words like “narcissism” and “authentic self” over Tolle’s “unconscious or egoic mind” and “conscious presence.” Why does Wilber give Andrew Cohen a ringing endorsement as the rude boy of spiritual transformative teachers, but suggests Tolle’s power of now message is not enough to transform people? It can be said that Tolle’s message is ostensibly simple but actually goes beyond this and points to the recognition of ones ego, pain body (shadow), and compulsive thinking pattern that arise in ones mind through an illustrative method. In this sense, we can easily see how shadow work and meditation can compliment and fit nicely into Tolle’s suggested practice(s).
    Eckhart Tolle also uses a great number of effective pointing out methods to take you to the witness. Reading sections of Tolle’s New Earth and various sections of Wilber’s Simple feeling of Being ring very similar at moments while Wilber’s writing is as shockingly beautiful as Eckhart’s is simple. Where Andrew Cohen’s rudeness didn’t really have its desired effect on me personally, Tolle’s writing brought me face to face with my original face as Wilber would say (and as Wilber’s writing did momentarily). I found that Tolle, like Genpo Roshi, spoke to and coaxed my ego into letting Big Mind, One Taste, or consciousness spring forth although the state I experienced with Big Mind was far more brief and fleeting that the profound satori I experienced after reading through A New Earth for the first time. My thought is that perhaps the Big Mind process simply allowed for the ego in me too much for there to be a complete witness and then One Taste, although I can’t say for certain. It is also true that some writing will resonate with people more than others. Lama Suyra Das’s Buddha is as Buddha Does also fits nicely with Tolle’s practice as does all of David Deida’s teaching.
    I think a study and practice of Eckhart Tolle is a great addition to the entire Integral faculty and that he perhaps could be asked to participate in the critique of his work. I have not yet identified the shadow in me that gets the feeling that these talks are all steered back at the participants and their take on transformation and less about the details and workings of Tolle’s books which are well worth examining in relation to ILP. I look forward to learning more. Many blessings.

  41. George Baker says :

    A final word on the Eckhart Tolle interviews With Genpo Roshi and Ken Wilber and I apologize to the moderators of this blog if these postings are misplaced or appear redundant as I do not know where else to post my comments.

    Ken Wilber and Genpo Roshi seem exclusive in the discussion of Eckhart Tolle’s teaching with Bill Harris. They are undoubtedly elite individuals, but it was disappointing that they did not go into any detail of his meditative methods or pointing out exercises which are frankly not dissimilar to many of the practices that individuals at the Integral Institute have included in the ILP kit. Tolle’s books first speak to the ego in us and have us recognize it as an aspect of our awareness. He uses descriptive methods for us to see both the pathological and otherwise normal functions of ego where it becomes an object in our awareness like all other thoughts in meditative practice. Once we can clearly recognize and see it, like in the Big Mind process, then we are able to go deeper into our witness state and bring forth a One Taste meditation. Using his methods for present moment awareness are highly effective which in my own experience have allowed the awareness and recognition of shadow as it occurred. I was then able to later go and do the shadow work to get a clearer picture of my own projection. The difference is that previously, the shadows might overtake my thinking where I would become completely identified with them, while present moment practice allowed them to arise and be in my awareness without the compulsion to act on them. This I can say is “the power of now” as Tolle describes. Wilber and Genpo Roshi spend little time discussing how Tolle’s mediations and practices work in a transformative way and spend a great deal of time discussing how their own methods and ideas as more complete and Integral. Tolle is not associated with the Integral community and he doesn’t use that language or viewpoint for his teaching. This is perhaps why Wilber and Genpo Roshi feel the urge to bring their integral perspective to the discussion which is fare enough, however they didn’t discuss how Tolle’s methods can fit into transformative practice. I found the discussions a little disappointing in that those familiar with Ken Wilber’s and Genpo Roshi’s work learned precious little in relation to Tolle’s practice. Genpo Roshi focused on reintegrating the ego with the triangle illustration and warned against getting stuck outside the ego and Wilber focused on state experiences that individuals would experience at various levels in relation to Tolle’s “now” message (and that overall this wouldn’t have a transformative effect on humanity as Tolle suggests.) He states that without an understanding of developmental stages, Tolle’s work it was essentially handicapped. This may be the case. If one is familiar with AQAL then it is apparent that Tolle is not teaching from that perspective, but then again neither are Ramana Marharishi or Adyashanti or even Andrew Cohen who are considered important spiritual teachers and highly recommended in any transformative practice. While Wilber and Genpo Roshi acknowledge Tolle’s message overall, the discussions seemed to overlook a lot of the details in Tolles books and almost patronize Tolle as naive in his teaching of present moment awareness. Simply stated, integrating Eckhart Tolle’s methods into Integral Life Practice is remarkably simple and further enhancing to both the spiritual and shadow modules. Thanks to all. Many blessings.

    FROM BILL: Why reiterate what Tolle has already said? I wanted the various teachers to elaborate on further ways to “get” the same thing Tolle is talking about, not go over the same ground. As you will see in my contribution to the course, I do bring up some of what Tolle says, in order to describe it in my way–as a way of hopefully creating a few ah-has for those who have trouble understanding what Tolle is talking about (and there are a lot of people in this category).

    And, I’ll just say that there are a few things in Tolle that ARE a bit naive, if you want to use that term. He is not from any particular tradition, but rather had a spontaneous awakening, which means he doesn’t have a method. His pointing out instructions are not what he used to wake up, but rather come from his readings. He does understand them because he is in the transcendent place, but they are not tools he has used, as far as I can tell from his personal story.

    He also is, in my opinion, stuck in the transcendent, the lower right of Genpo Roshi’s triangle. A good place to be stuck, but still a place of stuckness. MANY Hindu gurus are and have been from this place, even highly regarded saints. One of the best things about the Zen tradition is that it takes you past that, back into the integration of the relative and the transcendent. In the Hindu tradtions you can stay in the transcendent all the time because most gurus are taken care of by their followers, which allows them to ignore cause and effect for the most part.

    Finally, Ken Wilber is correct that transcendent experiences ARE experienced from one’s developmental perspective, and this is an additional and important ingredient. One needs state enlightenment AND stage enlightenment (this is a powerful and relatively new contribution made by Integral theory).

    That having been said, I (and the other teachers in the series) have great respect for Tolle. He is a very clear teacher and an excellent example of living in the transcendent and his pointing out instructions are well put and very clear.

    The purpose of the course wasn’t so much to expound on his teachings, though, as to present OTHER ways of getting to the same place, the idea being that some will get it from Tolle, while others might get it from me, or Genpo Roshi, or Ken, or Saniel Bonder (or whomever).

  42. George Baker says :

    Thanks for your response Bill. I think you have made your perspective clear. Much appreciated.

  43. Abraham Kovler says :

    Hi Bill,
    I would like to know, and I think many others would like to know if there are any plans to improve or enhance the Holosync technology processes involved in the recording, perhaps video stimuli, appropriate music, new discoveries in mind tools, etc. Well, has Centerpointe come up with any new discoveries in mind tech?

  44. John says :

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for a great blog post. I will be ordering the next level of Holosync, which I believe will help build my coaching business, as well as other areas of my life. Thanks for making a difference with your work!



  45. donna says :

    what is the differece between this and deep zen.

    FROM BILL: I don’t know what “this” is, and I don’t know what “deep Zen” is, either.