Choose Growth

Shaun Dippnall
4 min readOct 7, 2019

Ken Wilber.

A child prodigy.

The most widely translated academic writer in America.

The most published philosopher alive.

The Founder of Integral Theory.

An IQ of 180.

The ‘Einstein of Consciousness’.

There’s no doubt that Ken Wilber is smart.

But lots of people are smart. Smart is easy. You are given smart when you are born.

The really valuable things you need to earn.

His Work

At 20 he dropped out of University to study his own curriculum. He spent ‘5 years staring at a wall’ binging on Eastern Spirituality and Western Philosophy.

At the age of 25 he published ‘The Spectrum of Consciousness’, the first work to integrate Western and Eastern Philosophy in a systematic manner.

He’s written 27 books since then. Each one a treatise. Each one a work that has shaken the universe. It’s difficult to describe how expansive, powerful and fundamental his writings are.

I believe Integral Theory is the most important body of work today.

His Practice

He lives a monk’s life: bare, alone, simple. Every morning he meditates from 4am — 10am, then spends the rest of the day reading and writing.

He’s worked with the major Zen Masters of our time — Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Penor Rinpoche, Alan Watts.

He can stop his heart from beating at will. He can switch through seven types of brain activity without difficulty.

He has mastered the mind/body given to him.

Grace and Grit

He met the love of his life — Treya — and married her 6 weeks later. He was 31, in the prime of his life, widely published, prolific, unstoppable.

7 days after their marriage she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

For 6 years he walked beside her. For 6 years he was her care-giver. Every day there for her. Every day. For 6 years he gave up his first true love — writing — for a greater, more enduring love, Treya.

2 years after she died he published a book — Grace and Grit — that shared their journey, their journals, their process. Two broken hearts crushed by life, devastated by disease.

I have never cried like I have cried reading that story.

He carried her frail, crumbling body to her grave. He stood over her as she slipped out of this world. He lost half of himself as she passed.

Sometimes you are given your mat. Sometimes you do not choose where or how you sit.

Sometimes you have no choice but to sit through pain.

If you want to learn about growth; true, real, hard, gut-wrenching growth, read Grace and Grit.

The really valuable things you need to earn. There are no shortcuts.

Grit. Grace. That’s how it works.

That story changed my life.

Ken Wilber 1949 —

Ken Wilber is an intellectual mountain. He’s an ocean of spirit. You won’t find many beings as realised as he is.

He’s done the work. Every day of his life he’s done the work. He hasn’t just thought about it, he’s done it. Every day.

Thinking is easy. Doing is hard.

He’s dedicated his life to Growth. The study of it, the teaching of it and the practice of it. Full, inclusive, transformative growth.

The kind that moves the person. And then the world.

He taught me to find my mat. To sit on it. To do the work.

Ken Wilber.

An Artist. A Scientist.

A Warrior. A Sage.

A Master.

Be fearless. Find your mat. Do the work. Every day. Do the work. Let go of yourself. Cry a lot. Follow your truth. Laugh with your belly. Reach for the stars.

Choose Grit.

Choose Grace.

Do the work.

Choose Growth.




Shaun Dippnall

Father, husband. Dodgy author. Founder Chairman of EXPLORE