One of my favorite zen stories is that of the overflowing cup. An affluent man comes to visit a zen master, requesting knowledge about enlightenment. The master invites him to tea and begins to pour a cup. As the cup fills, the master doesn’t stop pouring. Tea spills and the visitor yells, “Enough! Can’t you see that the cup is full!”
Of course, this is the master’s intention and he responds: “You are like this cup. Your mind is full and nothing new can be added. Come back with an empty mind.”
Early in my entrepreneurial career, I was often eager to impress others with how much I “knew”. It has taken years to unlearn this habit and a conscious effort to learn a new way of being that is ok with not knowing. The hardest part is stepping into that territory in front of and with others. Collective not knowing takes courage and practice.
My guest today is Martin Winieki, who leads Tamara’s Institute for Global Peacework. Tamera is a peace research village with the goal of becoming “a self-sufficient, sustainable and duplicable communitarian model for nonviolent cooperation and cohabitation between humans, animals, nature, and Creation for a future of peace for all.” Located in south western Portugal, the Tamera social experiment was seeded in 1978 and continues as a research center dedicated to discovering how human beings can live peacefully among themselves and with nature.
Martin and I go deep into exploring the unknown between people and how radical transparency builds trust. He shares:
That which separates us from one another is the belief that if I show that which is repressed, or angry, or destructive in me, this will be it – they will cast me out. But if you really come to the level of truth, it always generates acceptance and love. There you get a sense of not just a therapeutic leap for an individual, but an idea for how a society needs to be constructed. One where people don’t co-exist in peace by suppressing their shadow side and how a transformation can happen when we go through the shadow as a transformative, peace building process.
Our conversation ranges from collective and ancestral trauma to the meaning of truth in intimate relationships. This interview is a deep dive into the “Tao of peace”. Please enjoy.