Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Integral Perspectives: More Than One Path

Recently, I've been thinking, doing, living, and exploring the many, many different paths to living an Embodied Integral Life. Ken Wilber, who continues to popularize this movement that is both a philosophy and a stage of consciousness, has masterfully built upon on those integral souls who came before and created a framework (the philosophy) that allows the expansion and explosion into Integral Consciousness (the stage).

One of the ways I've been able to step into the embodiment of Integral is through George Leonard and Michael Murphy's Integral Transformative Practice, which created a framework on living an Integral Life that included diet, exercise, meditation, intentions, service, cognitive development and more. A friend and I co-founded the northwest's first ITP group, which lasted for 2-1/2 years.

A couple years ago, Integral Institute introduced the new Integral Life Practice, which has become their branded version of the original ITP from Murphy and Leonard. Well and good.

But these are only a couple of versions of ways to practice the embodiment of Integral. Since then, I've become aware of paths to other Integral practices.

There's the Shamanic approach from the Total Integration Institute in Tucson, Arizona, founded by Diamond and River Jameson, who originally came up with Ken in Marin County in the 70's, and who have developed their own unique and powerful approach to what it means to embody integral consciousness. River and Diamond's process is intentionally integral as they have an embodied understanding and teaching process that is life changing.

There's another Shamanic approach offered from the founders of Venus Rising at Isis Cove in the Smokey Mountains, a conscious community in North Carolina, founded by Starwolf and Brad Collins, who use, among other practices, Shamanic Breathwork as a shadow process which I've written extensively about on this blog. Isis Cove, while not intentionally integral, nevertheless embodies integral practices.

The point of all of this is, that there are many paths to living an Integral Life. Ken's All-Quadrant-All-Lines (AQAL) model and framework puts a philosophical and spiritual construct around what it means to be integral that can be applied to any practices and path. For that, I am eternally grateful.

And now, on with my path.....

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