Six Streams of Competence


The ability to make observations in a particular field of activity (e.g., business, philosophy, cooking) and then to synthesize the observations into a coherent understanding. “Understanding” means that possibilities for action are seen, accurate predictions can be made and potential breakdowns foreseen.


The ability to discern your own emotional states, what are you feeling at this moment, what is the background emotional tone of your life, what emotions are present when you experience difficulties, etc. Also, the ability to discern the emotional state of others, even when they themselves may be oblivious to it or denying it. This includes the ability to stay present and available in relationship and in communication in the midst of strong emotional events, be they yours or others.


The ability to observe what is happening in your body, e.g. energized, tired, heavy, open, tight, etc., and to include what you observe into your understanding of the current moment. It’s being able to tap into the wisdom of your body that may have a different insight into what’s happening than your intellect or your emotions.


The ability to initiate and sustain mutually satisfying relationships. This competence includes being able to listen deeply and communicate profoundly with a wide variety of individuals and groups. Also included is the ability to compromise, see the world from different points of view, and be supportive of others’ intentions. The ability to set aside one’s own desires for the sake of the relationship while maintaining a sense of one’s own worth and dignity.


The ability to create a life dedicated to the benefit of everyone, not only for the advantage of yourself, family, company or clan. This means the competence to initiate and sustain practices that strengthen your bond to the wide web of life connecting all people, all living systems and all things. This also includes developing ourselves into an active member in communities dedicated to compassion, wisdom and service to others.


The ability to eliminate all the ways you compartmentalize your life so that your commitments, learning and values are present in all your words, thoughts, actions and relationships. Requires that you confront what you’ve been denying, avoiding and justifying and that you be open to continuous learning and input from others.

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