Beena Sharma, president of the Vertical Development Academy (VeDA), gives a beautifully cogent explanation of the 8-stage, full spectrum model of adult psychological development, Vertical Development, illuminating us not only to the characteristics of each stage of development, but the implications and ramifications of each stage, the process of human development as a whole, and how this model can help us face our current metacrisis. Beena describes how “each stage is a way of seeing the world and oneself, a constellation of our beliefs and assumptions,” and we discover that our development takes form in patterns of evolving worldviews, a progression of capacities with which we make sense of the world.
On an individual level, Beena asks, “Where is your foot nailed to the floor? Where are parts of you still ahead of you? How can this framework help you make a shift?” And collectively, “What does it mean for the human being to evolve? What makes us think humans at this time are at the end of the evolutionary ladder?” Vertical development focuses on the evolving ego, and interestingly, takes us to the stage where we realize the ego itself is only a construct—and beyond. As well as a brilliant unpacking of the vertical development model and map, this is a profound, warm-hearted conversation, about human evolution and possibility, the dance of the dual and the nondual, the infinitude of the psyche, and what it means to come home to oneself. Recorded July 13, 2022.
“Everything is a dance of the dual and the nondual.”
Topics & Time Stamps – Part 3
- Keeping the question in mind: “Is this framework getting in the way of me connecting with the person in front of me? (02:54)
- What light does this model of adult development shed on religions and spiritual leaders? (04:33)
- The core of Integral yoga—integrating the spiritual and the material (09:00)
- Everything is a dance of the dual and the nondual; either/or thinking manifests all the way up (09:59)
- What are Beena’s personal practices to stay sane in our confounding world today? (11:08)
- Implications for our metacrisis: who are the players who have power? (14:50)
- Solutions come from within small groups who can collaborate (17:17)
- Paul Hawken, climate change, and the philosophy of regeneration (18:38)
- What does it mean to be “life minded?” (19:49)
- How the state of the world, the current metacrisis, is a direct reflection of our individual and collective consciousness (20:16)
- Corporate investment in leadership is a $161 billion dollar annual industry; leadership design is key (23:48)
- Central polarity in Beena’s life: Am I doing? Or am I being done? (31:16)
- How can transformative practices be scaled? Cultivating people who are both wise and politically involved (32:34)
- The deliberately developmental organization—and the deliberately developmental civilization (34:42)
- How do we make developmental programs more effective? (35:30)
- Harvesting technology for good: a design issue and an issue of expanding the designers’ abilities (36:46)
- Encouraging people to grow; 50-70% of people are at the conventional stages (37:32)
- Recognizing the war within (42:12)
Resources & References – Part 3
- Brian Daizen Victoria, Zen at War*
- Sri Aurobindo, sage of modern India
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That*
- Jean Klein, The Book of Listening*, The Ease of Being*, I Am*
- Susanne Cook-Greuter, international authority on adult ego development and creator of the Maturity Assessment Profile (MAP)
- Tomas Björkman, social entrepreneur, author, philosopher, The World We Create*, Cultivating Psychological Maturity (Deep Transformation Podcast Episode 36)
- Paul Hawken, Project Drawdown, Drawdown: The Most Extensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming*
- Paul Hawken, Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation*
- Duane Elgin, The Living Universe*
- Daniel Schmachtenberger, founding member of The Consilience Project aimed at improving public sensemaking and dialogue
- The anthropocene age, Age of Man: Enter the Anthropocene
- Aldous Huxley, Island*
- Chaos Theory
- The Third Patriarch of Zen, Hsin Hsin Ming by Seng T’san
- Tomas Björkman & Lene Andersen, The Nordic Secret*, Cultivating Psychological Maturity (Deep Transformation Podcast Episode 36)
- Bildung, linking philosophy and education for both personal and cultural maturation
- Robert Kegan & Lisa Lahey, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization*
- Ken Wilber & Dustin diPerna, Toward a Deliberately Developmental Civilization (free download)
- Beena Sharma, founder Vertical Development Academy (VeDA): facilitating leadership maturity
* As an Amazon Associate, Deep Transformation earns from qualifying purchases.
Beena Sharma currently stewards Vertical Development Academy (VeDA) as its founding president, with a vision to enhance the practice of human development. Beena has a passion around helping individuals and organizations orient themselves to the path of the evolving human being across the various stages of maturity as revealed through empirical research and sound theory. She sees the progressive unfolding of maturity in adults as a process where the narrow, the limited, and the conflicting open to a more comprehensive, a more real, a more complete intuition and perspective—each stage of human maturity a temporary station of a more adequate understanding of the human condition.
Beena is a gifted master coach, consultant, teacher, and thought leader. She has been recognized nationally and internationally for her achievements in successfully conceptualizing, developing, and delivering systemic leadership development initiatives. Beena has led efforts as an executive and consultant for various agencies of the U.S. government and leading private-sector companies in healthcare and other industries in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, and India. Beena is committed to designing and delivering exceptional learning experiences to build deep capability in individuals and organizations in service of creating a sustainable future for our civilization.
Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell
Presented by iAwake Technologies’ innovative, sound tech infused, brain wave entraining audio track
“The soundscape was all encompassing and drew me into its realm. It almost felt like psychedelic flow.“~ E. Z.
“This program is spectacular. The feelings of the meditation stay with me without any effort to maintain. It feels like the energy is flowing up from my base chakra, like an endless fountain that comes out at the top of my head. As a trained hypnotherapist, I was impressed with how eloquently she quickly took people to a deep place. Beautifully done, and effective for me. These are some of the best iAwake programs ever.”~ M. H.
iAwake Technologies was founded in 2010 with the mission of helping the world to heal, wake up, and evolve, through creating and offering cutting-edge, transformational technologies and promoting and inspiring their skillful use in our daily lives.
iAwake’s unique approach to session design entrains both our nervous and our subtle energy systems by combining traditional entrainment methods with newer applications based on the power of resonance. In addition to increasing intelligence, creativity, flow, and skillfulness in practically any activity that requires the human body-mind, with iAwake Technologies, we enter into deep healing brainwave states almost immediately while listening to these audio tracks.
To see what we are talking about, download a free sample of Stealing Flow’s Warm-up track here for a 25-minute, full-spectrum, whole-brain workout.
“I have enjoyed many [meditation technologies] but my VERY favorite meditations come from a company called iAwake Technologies. The science behind their technology is impeccably researched and I don’t think I have ever gone so deep into my practice as when I use their meditation tracks. Actually I bought so many and sent so many people to their website, they wrote to find out who the heck I was!”~ Colette Baron-Reid, world-renowned intuitive counselor, psychic medium, author, TV personality, and radio host. They call her the Oracle.