FOUNDATIONS OF ZEN 7: Spiral Dynamics

Instructor: Peg Syverson
May 12-June 2, 2016

Location: Appamada

People think in different ways. A brother and sister, husband and wife, manager and employee, corporation and client company might have very different world views and values. People in adjoining cubicles or families living right next door to each other sometimes don’t seem to be inhabiting the same neighborhood. Colleagues in an organization have wide ranging ideas about vision, mission, and purpose. Countries sharing one planet often seem to be in totally different worlds with their policies. Why?

Spiral Dynamics is a way of thinking about these complexities of human existence and bringing some order and predictability to the apparent chaos of human affairs. It provides a framework for tracking the evolution of worldviews and a scaffold on which to stand while analyzing situations and planning the most appropriate actions.

Based in the original research and theory of Dr. Clare W. Graves, this point of view describes how waves of consciousness emerge and flow through individuals and groups. It describes bio-psycho-social systems along a continuum that form an expanding spiral.

This class explores how our values determine our worldview, and the worldview of others. The brilliant research of psychology professor Clare Graves over three decades has been called a “theory of everything.” The class will introduce participants to Graves’ model of human development, called Spiral Dynamics, and its uses on the path of Zen. 

It is an excellent complement to the previous courses on Hakomi and Internal Family Systems.

Resources and Handouts


Text: The Neverending Quest, 2005. Edited by Christopher C. Cowan and Natasha Todorovic.
Available at Please do not buy used copies unless you can find them at a lower cost than at the website. They tend to be much more expensive. You do not have to have the text for the class, but you are likely to want it.

Class Recordings