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Gary's Blog Integral in Seattle
Living an Integral Life, part 1
look for this Spirit,
Ken Wilber, The simple Feeling of Being __________________________________
'Who is it that is
seeing this moment?"
To understand how my life has changed because of my introduction to Wilber's Integral Theory, I suppose I need to address what my life was like before I read A Theory of Everything, my first Wilber book.
Professionally successful, and regarded by myself, and others, as a happy, positive person, I found I had time and resources to seek out why I still felt something was missing from my life. After a mildly upsetting life event, I began a meditation practice to quiet my mind and to help me slow down and relax. Little did I know that the practice would begin to open new doors to consciousness that I had only heard about but had dismissed as "new agey.".
I didn't start to meditate to expand my consciousness, but I found myself much more relaxed, not reacting to the negative things in my life, and sudden re-awakening of a spiritual element in my life. A friend, who was a borderline Buddhist, recommended I read Ken Wilber, and I quietly added his name to a growing list of books I wanted to read.
It took me a year to finally getting around to reading Wilber's A Theory Of Everything, and by the time I was reading the second chapter, I was hooked! Why? Here was someone elegantly articulating things I somehow already knew, deeply knew, but sorely lacked the ability to articulate it for myself!
"The integral approach offers a comprehensive, multi-dimensional philosophy as well as a set of tools with broad applications, from an academic structure of analysis to a framework for vital personal practices. The Integral Approach unifies East and West, past and present, and helps inject meaning into existence, with it's focus on Spirituality and human development. Presently, there are a number of global initiatives that are formulating a "big picture" of the extensive knowledge presently available to humanity. from the traditional to the innovative. This "big picture" strives to bring together all voices and traditions to craft a vision for both problem solving and enlightened living." - (from Matrix Integral)
Okay, I digress. But an overview is important. So, how has being introduced to Integral Theory changed my life? You mean besides the nuclear mind-meltdown by having my brain pushed to it's absolute maximum capacity? Read on >>>>>>>>>
an Integral Life part 2
One of the first things people start asking themselves, after reading a couple of Ken's books, is "now that I have this growing knowledge, what do I do with it?" I've heard time and time again from others that "if you deeply understand this stuff, there's no going back". It's like you've been running on a depleted oxygen source, and all of a sudden you can breathe this pure oxygen.....how could you go back?
I started looking for others. I looked on the internet, on Frank Visser's "The World of Ken Wilber" (now Integral World) website, and other places. I found a couple of others around the Puget Sound, and we began sporadic communication. Eventually, I found the "Meetup.com" sites and volunteered to be an organizer and put up notices all across the internet, inviting others. They came.
From there we eventually expanded into SeattleIntegral, and as we grew, we realized different people came for different reasons. Some wanted the cognitive stimulation of the upper right quadrant, the "what" of integral, others came for the "we space" of the lower left quadrant and being around others who shared their worldview. Still others came for a sense of self and contemplation of the Upper left quadrant, and some came because they liked that there was social structure, the lower right quadrant, developing around integral.
Some of us, myself included, came for it all! We eventually started an Integral Transformative Practice group because it allowed us to consciously practice in all 4 quadrants. we formed more interest groups. They kept coming. Today, SeattleIntegral is over 100 members, and is the largest integral salon in the world.
In 2005, I joined Pacific Integral's program "Generating transformative Change in Human Systems." It was there, along with all the other stuff I was doing, that I started going deeper into my integral practice. GTC is an intensive learning experience for integral change leaders that helps develop one's capacity to lead and to support change in ourselves, and others, and in the various systems in which we work. This was an amazing experience and was my first really intense exploration into gross, subtle, and causal states.
The program helps participants
So, again, now that one has all this knowledge, what does one plan to do with it? That will be covered in "Living an Integral Life, part 3".
Seattle, Jan 2., 2006
Go to "Living an Integral Life, part 3".