Friday, April 20, 2007

Shamanic Breathwork: An Integral Process

During my 8-day Shamanic Breathwork (TM) Process experience, I wrote that I thought this process was actually an integral process, even though the language and the culture is very different from what most of us "integrally-informed" people experience. These differences will undoubtedly have the effect of turning many integralites off. That would be a mistake, in my opinion. At the very least, no one should make a judgement on the process until they've experienced it, or at least studied it carefully.

I would suggest that with the release of Ken's latest book, Integral Spirituality, that integral has made a lot of room for accepting other practices into the integral fold (this is not to say integral is not accepting of partial approaches, it obviously is). As other spiritual practices, religions, and philosophies evolve, there is a natural coming together of viewpoints and perspectives that were not capable of truly coexisting before, even if they don't have the language of integral. The language is cognitive. Spirit doesn't need language, it is experiential, and evolved spiritualism is evolved, with or without the language.

The AQAL model graphic I created at the top of this post lays out SBW into the 4-quadrants. Now, naturally, everything arises through the four quadrants simultaneously, so that in and of itself is not necessarily an indication that a practice, such as SBW, is of an integral nature.

Notice I did not say "integrally informed," because, again, the language is different. However, what I think qualifies Shamanic Breathwork as an integral practice, is it's awareness that all four quadrants (not their language) are essential to have a "complete," or inclusive, whole, and that none of the quadrants are left out. In fact, the intentional, behavioral, social, and cultural aspects are intentionally included in the practice, leaving nothing out. From the Shamanic Breathwork (TM) Process website:

"The Shamanic Breathwork™ Process is a powerful healing process that inspires individuals to remember and reconnect with their own inner healer. As old wounds and dysfunctional patterns are released and transformed, individuals begin to regain lost soul parts and remember the magic of who they truly are. Empowerment brings wholeness and healing back into their own lives, to the lives of those they love, and to the world at large."

"This process is highly experiential and the wisdom and healing gained comes from each individual's inner experience. Shamanic Breathwork™ honors and blends the timeless wisdom of ancient traditions with the emerging new paradigm methods of healing and teaching. It functions as the rainbow bridge between these two worlds honoring the best of both worlds while creating a bridge for body, mind, heart, and spirit."

"Each person's shamanic journey is a highly individualized process and no two are ever the same. Some of the states of consciousness reported range from divine, otherworldly bliss states to the struggle to be released from negative forces in the psyche."

"The process may require the Shamanic Breathwork Facilitator's skills and attention; a variety of psycho-spiritual tools may be employed to assist the participant. Some of the most commonly used methods are bodywork, Reiki (energy work), Soul Return and extractions. The most powerful healing tool our facilitators bring to the person breathing is their open and loving hearts and minds, with a willingness to support and travel with the journeyer wherever they may need to go. This is the essence of what Shamanic Breathwork is all about. Describing the process really does not do it justice. One must experience this powerful shamanic journey and it's healing from the inside out."

SBW provides a safe container in which differentiation becomes integration and can become a new stage. Death and rebirth. Disorienting dilemma's. Creating a healthier way to be where you are, through horiziontal translation, or providing a path for vertical evolution, or transformation, SBW is a process that works.

The last thing I want to point out is that this process works at whatever developmental level the journeyer is at. It is stage independent. It provides the journeyer with what they need, at whatever developmental level they are at.

Again, I highly recommend that you get yourself to the SeattleIntegral SBW weekend workshop June 22, 23, and 24th. The official announcements will be going out soon.

Graphic created by Gary Stamper. Click on it for larger version.

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