al. Diane Musho Hamilton draws on her years of
experience as a professional mediator, ZEN practitioner, and student of Ken Wilber's Integral
Philosophy to present a spiritual approach to conflict resolution, providing teachings along with
practices and exercises that can be applied to any sort of relationship in which conflict is a factor.
Few people would say they like conflict. Most of us try like heck to avoid it. If we take up meditation
practice, we often expect that to make conflict go away. But . . . surprise! It never does. We still
disagree with each other, argue, get hurt, say things we didn't mean to say. It's at the very least
inconvenient. It's often also destructive. We're stuck with conflict as long as we're human beings
with jobs, relationships, or dry cleaning to be picked up.
Meditation practice enables us to touch the inner source of clarity, understanding, compassion,
and peace - yet the equanimity that we cultivate on the cushion does not always translate into
skillfulness in the way we handle conflict in our personal lives. Interpersonal conflict ends up
being the most difficult and painful part of our path. Though meditation is incomparably helpful,
it doesn't make the sticky interpersonal issues go away. Conflict resolution skills are needed.
Diane Musho Hamilton suggests that we make conflict resolution a valued part of our practice.