Integral Life Practice

I’m sitting here with my very first bowl of miso soup and a cup of peppermint chai. The soup isn’t bad, but I think the taste will take some getting used to. Seaweed isn’t something I can appreciate the texture of immediately. It sure looks nice, though. The chai is a nice contrast, with a complex and multilayered flavour. It’s very invigorating.

Now, on to the amethyst amid the rock of this post. For a while now I’ve been taking small steps toward having an integral life practice. I learned of the stance that combining practices in various aspects of our lives increases the effectiveness of each and have tried to apply it to my life as best I can.

Integral Life Practice is not just a combination of practices, it is an integration of practices, the ultimate in body-mind-spirit cross training. This radically unified approach multiplies the effect of any practice you choose to engage. Besides optimizing time and energy, ILP delivers deeper results because it is individually tailored. Integral practice broadens the “practice field” with as many options as there are disciplines. It helps you avoid the dead ends and burnout common to stand-alone exercises, and is exponentially more interesting, since so much more of yourself is awake and on-line in the process. You will see more clearly and feel more deeply into the texture of your own being. This in turn leads to actualizing greater capacities of your body, mind, heart, and soul, opening up entire new ways of living and being in the world.

Want to have more success in meditation? Start working out. Want healthier relationships? Start eating more mindfully. Health and unfolding may happen in different lines, but they do mesh together in overall wellness and evolution.
What I hadn’t done was actually take on reading or otherwise learning of a comprehensive system such as Integral Transformative Practice or Integral Life Practice. I had recognized the value of this, but kept putting off that final dive. Of those two approaches, ILP, seems the stronger, because it includes elements such as Big Mind that I’ve come to appreciate and largely because it’s a product of Integral Institute, an organization I have had nothing but the best of experiences with, it is no doubt expertly produced. That said, I’d still like to read ITP founders George Leonard and Michael Murphy’s book The Life We Are Given, which I hear is an excellent read.
So, in the mood for diving into change, Monday night I placed an order for Integral Life Practice‘s starter kit. It’s offered as a breakthrough in “evolving body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature” and offers some techniques I’m very excited to work with. Included in the package are DVDs dedicated to Big Mind (“an elegant integration of Zen and western psychology”), meditation, body work (“integrating strength training (physical body), energy practice (subtle body), and releasing to infinity (causal body)”), shadow work (integrating hidden elements of psyche), and AQAL (an explaination of Integral theory, “the most comprehensive map of human awareness available”), and CDs and books presenting various parts of ILP and providing help in customizing a practice. I’m thrilled to be starting to deepen my efforts in unfolding and to have the direction to make it as effective as possible. The change I’ve witnessed in the past six months has been wonderful, and I look forward to seeing where more efficiency takes me.

I talk a lot about integral and the importance of evolving both as people and as cultures. This is one way I’m working on that. If you’d like to hear a bit about why there is a danger in the course we are on without evolving, listen to Ken Wilber speak about his new book, The Many Faces of Terrorism in this recent podcast.

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