Five Wisdoms = Evolutionary Intelligences for Sustainability of the Human Hive

The Experience Integral Conference incorporated powerful practitioners and technologies into its design for the Embodying Integral Sustainability Conference. Five Wisdoms was a new approach for Integral City to working with spiritual practice, energy and collaboration. Five Wisdoms lead us to a place where we could apply it to the Roles in the Sustainability Leadership Meshwork that we developed (along with Souls, Goals and Wholes).

Introduced by Irini Rockwell, a student of Trunga Rinpoche, Irini has translated the Five Wisdoms of Buddhist tradition so that westerners can understand, practise and apply them to practical situations like leadership, organizational development and sustainable cities.

Irini used our five days together in a two pronged approach each day. Every morning (after Anouk Brack  (co-founder of Experience Integral, guided us in (Wendy Palmer-inspired) embodiment centering practice), Irini guided us into meditation and the Buddha pose. The Buddha pose (associated with the colour White and Space)  invites Spaciousness  and opens you up to Being in a simple, receptive contemplation. It enabled a day full of potential and ease.

In our after breakfast session in the following mornings we were introduced to the other four wisdoms, first in contrasting pairs and then in I/We explorations.

First we learned Vajra Wisdom (associated with the colour Blue, Water and the sense of Sight). This energy combines the paradoxes of clarity, precision with big picture and perspective. It expects integrity and invites brilliance.  In contrast Padma Wisdom (associated with the colour Red, Fire and the sense of Hearing) engages warmth, magnetism and charm with intuition, subtleness and sensuality. Vajra tends to masculine energy and Padma to feminine energy.

Next we learned Karma Wisdom (associated with colour Green, Wind and the Kinesthetic sense). This energy is full of positiveness, timeliness, and synchronistic action. It was contrasted with Ratna Wisdom (associated with colour Yellow, Earth and the senses of Taste and Smell) which connected us to expansiveness, resourcefulness and potential while extending hospitality, generoisty and appreciation. Like Vajra, Karma tends to masculine energy and like Padma, Ratna tends to feminine energy.

In the conference everyone was invited to notice their dominant and sub-dominant energies and any masks that we borrowed for adapting to our life conditions. Moving from one Energy pod to another Energy pod, our group formed and re-formed in waves that broke into lively exchange as we discovered when each Energy first showed up in our lives? How do we use that energy in our life/work now? What other Energy (s) is it connected to? This inquiry helped us to notice our natural affinities to other participants and our relationship to each of the Five Wisdoms as we activated them in our lives.

Finally on the last day, we moved into the emergence of our Sustainability Meshwork with an invitation to notice how the Five Wisdoms contributed to three nodes of organizational goals as defined by the Integral City Master Principle: Take care of yourself (I); Take care of each other (WE); take care of this place (It(s)).  Each peron’s Sustainability Business Canvas self organized into one of  these three nodes. The work goals we had defined for organizations that supported Individuals became the I-focused organzational node; those that supported Groups became the WE-focused organizational node; and those that supported Systems became the It(s)-focused organizational node.

Applying the Five Wisdoms to each of these nodes we discovered that each cluster of potential organizations used the Five Wisdoms in different combinations and different sequences (more to follow in further Blog postings.) Five Wisdoms proved a deeply Spacious, Integrative, Rich, Activating and Resourceful frame in which to notice how five universal energies contributed to Roles in the emerging Meshwork.

It appears that like most other principles of Integral City, Five Wisdoms is a fractal design that has emerged from ancient spiritual tradition and is now available in service to the evolutionary impulse. It was most satisfying to recognize Five Wisdoms as an Evolutionary Intelligence for the Human Hive and we were all deeply appreciative of Irini Rockwell as the  Wisdom Leader who guided us to awareness, practise and application.

Click here to link to a flash exploration of the Five Wisdoms.

About the Author:

HI I am the Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc. and Chief Blogger. Working with cities and eco-regions, I ‘meshwork’ or weave people, purpose, priorities, profits, programs and processes to align contexts, grow capacity and develop strategies for sustainability and resilience in the Integral City. You can read more details about me here http://integralcity.com/about/about-the-founder/


  1. Janet Vickers September 8, 2011 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    Thank you to the Five Wisdoms. Ways of integrating our actions with the larger global powers is very helpful to me.

  2. Irini Rockwell September 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Marilyn,

    Thank you for your brilliant grasp of the Five Wisdoms! and putting them in the context of meshwork, integral cities intelligences and sustainability.

    Let’s do some more together!

    Wisdom blessings,


  3. Miriam van Groen September 10, 2011 at 8:03 am - Reply

    Even though I was there, and have been thinking (and feeling) about the conference a lot since we left, it is great to read your integrative thoughts about what went on. It puts our experiences in a wider (fractal) perspective. Thank you so much!

  4. […] Five Wisdoms = Evolutionary Intelligences for Sustainability of the … The Experience Integral Conference incorporated powerful practitioners and technologies into its design for the Embodying Integral Sustainability Conference. Five Wisdoms was a new approach for Integral City to working … Source: marilyn.integralcity.com […]

  5. […] We found that the wisdom energies we practised from Irini Rockwell’s Five Wisdoms gave us a picture of how our skills and capacities could be […]

  6. […] of our conference, we used a number of processes to explore shadow including the masks of Five Wisdoms, Sustainability Leadership Competencies, Sentence Completion Dyads, and  Generational […]

  7. […] Five Wisdoms = Evolutionary Intelligences for Sustainability of … The Experience Integral Conference incorporated powerful practitioners and technologies into its design for the Embodying Integral Sustainability Conference. Five Wisdoms was a new approach for Integral City to working … Source: marilyn.integralcity.com […]

  8. […] how these five tenets might be related to the five wisdom/energies we explored recently from Irini Rockwell’s ”Natural Brilliance“? Perhaps the morphogenic field of Enlightenment Traditions are converging on the patterns or […]

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