The Joy of Living III: Vulnerability, Equanimity, Intuition

Vulnerability, Equanimity, Intuition; Traveling in an Awakened Way


Dates: TBD (Check back with us for future offering dates & times.)

In The Joy of Being I, you ignited the life embers inside of you into a fire and brought those embers into the light of day, designing and manifesting a life (and are, as yet, designing a life) that gives in-the-world expression to your Soul. You, yourself, know, that were those embers to go out, it would “signal some kind of inner death”.  So, the necessity of sustaining that fire, while the world relentlessly goes its own way, and building that fire so that your next “epoch” of fulfillment may arrive, is critical for our pilgrimage, our journey, our Way.  What is the inhabitation of your life calling for from you now to sustain (and, possibly, expand) its exhilaration? Who are you, now, and what is critical for you to bring to bear, to live as the creative artist, ripening your own life into its next stage?

Again, O’Donohnue speaks:

The nature of the calling can change over time, taking a person down pathways never anticipated. The calling opens new territories within the heart; this in turn deepens the calling itself.  The faces of the calling change; what at the beginning seemed simple and clear can become ambiva­lent and complex as it unfolds. To develop a heart that is generous and equal to this complexity is the continual chal­lenge of growth. This is the creative tension that dwells at the heart of vocation. One is urged and coaxed beyond the pale regions into rich territories of risk and promise.

This graduate level of The Joy of Being conversation is a threshold crossing conversation, a retreat, into these regions of rich territories of both risk and promise and enables a living from and living with and being called by one’s calling.  We engage the question: What are the essential principles, distinctions, and stands, that are critical to cultivating “a heart that is generous and equal to the complexity” of life?

Within Vulnerability, Equanimity, and Intuition live: senior inquiries, explorations, exercises, dialogue, and engagement with wisdom tradition distinctions that live along the path, some of which are — 

  • Faith
  • Fierceness
  • Fluidity
  • Surrender/ Trust
  • Intentionality
  • Grace and Gratitude
  • Courage/Wholeheartedness
  • Divine (unending) Love
  • Patience (in the Unfolding is the way)
  • Crossing Thresholds ongoingly; living at our edge
  • Generosity; Forgiveness
  • Curiosity; Beginner’s Mind
  • Humility
  • Acceptance
  • Community/ Belonging
  • Compassion
  • Meaningful practices
  • Lighting the spark of possibility for others
  • Radical internal Simplification 

Through these inquiries, practices, exercises, dialogue, self reflection, writing, and coaching, this conversation will take a deep dive into each of these, enabling us to live from, inhabit, and embody these distinctions in such a way that our course stays true, attending to our soul’s calling to keep dancing and listening to the Thread, the Original Presence that doesn’t change. 

If one asks, “What does vulnerability provide as a source of power?”

I say:

  • Vulnerability dispenses the hold that arrogance and pride can have on us when we get “really good” at what we are doing. Vulnerability lends an air of credence to the story, as it makes real that those of us in development are truly IN development.
  • Vulnerability as a stand insures that telling the truth/authenticity is a key component of our life design.
  • Vulnerability allows our life itself to be the journey that informs us and teaches us.
  • Vulnerability allows for the Presence of “sangha”, the spiritual community of committed human beings, being in honest development together. 
  • Vulnerability makes for stories that make a difference, stories that contribute.

I invite you to address the following questions.

  • What “advantage” does vulnerability have for you?
  • Is it in your company?
  • How do you insure its existence?
  • Where is it missing?
  • Where could you supply it?  

As Teddy Roosevelt said,

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows the triumph of high achievement, and at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly. 

The next, graduate Joy of Being course could, indeed, be called “The Joy of Living”, as it is all about “livingness.” It is not ONLY about vulnerability, it also is an entrance into both Intuition and Equanimity.  In Callings, John O’Donohue prepares us for our work, when he shares that “to develop a heart that is generous and equal to this complexity is the continual challenge of growth.”  This has been our work, this development of such a heart.  

 As I begin to inquire into Intuition and Equanimity, I have seen that there are harmonies and resonances, already previously visited, but which become sharper, clearer, more robust in color, more three dimensional, as Equanimity and Intuition are added to the palette of Faith, Fierceness and Fluidity.  Intuition moves us into the world of Connectedness, Universal Oneness, Faith, quantum thinking, and eludes the rational sense.  “I never discovered anything with my rational mind”, Albert Einstein said. And Peter Senge, in The Fifth Discipline, notes, “people with high levels of personal mastery do not set out to integrate reason and intuition.  Rather, they achieve it naturally — as a by-product of their commitment to use all resources at their disposal.” 

What is your access to Intuition?  What is the transit you take to “get there”? (Einstein described how he discovered the principle of relativity by “imagining himself traveling on a light beam!”) Imagine THAT!

Then, there’s Equanimity, that spacious, free flowing, infinite, non-attached space of Mind and Heart, which leads us into Middle Path, the Even Keel, Acceptance, and Full Presence. Equanimity is so often missing and yet, again, critical for bringing the sense of timelessness into the world.  How can you tell when it’s missing?  When is its presence required? To what extent are you well developed in this area? What does this allow for?

I have also been thinking and inquiring into the following:  

  • What is the relationship between Faith and Intuition?
  • Between Fluidity and Equanimity?
  • Between Fierceness and Vulnerability?
  • Peculiar as that sounds, one might ask, where and on what grounds is vulnerability “fierce”? 

 All of this, at first blush, cannot be seen, as it lives within the Hidden World, but when thought about, allows for a depth beneath the topside ripples of the conversation.

 So, with all of this said, I heartily invite you into The Joy of Living, the graduate level conversation to The Joy of Being a Life Worth Living, or, as the last Joy I course called it: The Joy of Living: Intuition, Equanimity, Vulnerability: Traveling in an Awakened Way.




The Joy of Living: Intuition, Equanimity, Vulnerability: Traveling in an Awakened Way, takes place in the gracious setting of The Clearwater Resort Hotel and Spa on the Agate Passage, dates to be determined. The program is for graduates of The Heart of Leadership and The Joy of Being a Life Worth Living I, who are engaged in inquiry as a distinction of development.  

The cost of the program is $1450.00. Participants are responsible for their own lodging at the Clearwater. If you are intending to be in our conversation, and you are clear about that, please fill out the enclosed registration form as soon as possible, or, latest, by the end of June.  You can also let me know by when you will, or by when you will know. As always, our programs are based on demand. I am very much looking forward to beginning and continuing our inquiries and explorations and readings in earnest.  

And, so, we move forward from here.


Previous Participant Comments


Joy of Living plays out in my life every day.

Professionally, I now innovate my destination consciously aware of integrating the power of choice into my career. A key phrase that sticks with me is that everything is temporary and everything is just for right now. When I’m triggered I fall back on temporary as my grounding equanimity and when I’m thriving I fall forward into loving it right now. A major shift away from living life in my head to living life in the world. My journey to a board upon which my game is played continues. Sometimes crazy days it feels like a game of Go Fish, other times a fulfilling challenge of Stratego combined with fast paced Slap Jacks.

Personally, the graduate Sangha was transforming for me as I felt love and acceptance in a group I had just met. Feelings that I historically would have dismissed as unauthentic from anyone I was just meeting. The experience enabled me to break down barriers to vulnerability & to take a more proactive approach to intimate relatedness and seeking the connections to people that fulfill me. My steps closest in here have been amazingly rewarding. I’m excited about the next steps and continuing my relationships with members of this Sangha.

Thank you for the opportunity to share and re-engage. Best wishes and love,

–Cari Dorsch, Manager, Hewlett Packard

Here is what previous participants have articulated about their own work in The Joy of Being II: Faith, Fierceness, and Fluidity, a graduate level program The Joy of Being I.                                                

By exploring three words—Faith, Fierceness, and Fluidity—this course brings the conversation into the fiery center of our lives. It is at the heart and the root, a more directly spiritual course than the others I’ve taken, with a lot of room for shared discovery. The biggest takeaways for me were a deepening access to Presence and a deepening wisdom into the ongoing nature of Development. This is meaty, graduate-level stuff. Highly recommended.

–Ryan Joy

I have been living fully into my unique expression and purpose since taking the Joy of Being I nearly two years ago.  I have used the powerful openings and rigorous framework to hone my domains and stands and most importantly eliminate activities that diminish my expression.  The Joy of Being II was truly a master level conversation with Amba and the other participants as we plumbed the depths of faith, fierceness and fluidity.  These distinctions and the profound sharing from the community opened a tremendous amount of space for me “to stride deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing I can do — determined to save the only life I can save.”

–Rich Duncombe, Hewlett Packard

My experience was that it was a natural progression of conversation from Joy I.  It is deeply personal work but enveloped and nourished in the space of a loving community of people.  Together we journeyed and discovered new territory that gave us access to reexamining our domains and lives with more intention and clarity.  I learned that everything is right in front of me or within me.  However, there are layers of “stuff” that I need to whack through in order to see the simplicity of living with my stands and commitments as my North Star.

 –Susan Allen

For me, Joy of Being II was a deep and rich conversation into faith, fierceness and fluidity. The knowing of these things…the knowing of them, in the sense of being faith, of being fierce and being fluid, experiencing an intimate relationship and awareness of them was an opening for me into wholeness, into being One with everything that exists. And a realization that oneness is love. I’d like to express my appreciation and gratitude to my retreat mates, to Amba and to Ruth for a transformational experience.

–DW Green

For me, Joy of Being II was less about learning distinctions, and more about living deeply within them. Ever more present, ever clearer about my intentions, ever more focused in what I will and will not allow into my life. It’s a gift to find a place designed to clear the debris of your life and shore up your foundation.

Thank you.

–Ron Nakata

May you travel in an awakened way,

Gathered wisely into your inner ground;

That you may not waste the invitations

Which wait along the way to transform you.



Join Us!

Subscribe to receive my weekly blog, news, updates & more.

Join The Joy of Being Wait List

Subscribe to Amba's Bi-Weekly Blog and Poetry Email