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Integral Life Practice Thread! (not limited to the ILP kit!)

Last post 07-22-2006, 2:35 PM by worldshaman. 14 replies.
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  •  06-01-2006, 3:57 PM 87

    • gail is not online. Last active: 08/24/2008, 9:48 PM gail
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    Integral Life Practice Thread! (not limited to the ILP kit!)

    How do you apply AQAL to living practice, to life? 
    What advice can you offer others about living in a way that's Integrally Informed?
    What questions do you have that you'd like suggestions on?

    Post in reponse to this thread, and let's share the wealth of insight out there!

    For conversations specifically about using the ILP Kit, please go to www.myILP.com and the IT links in your kit!

    PS:  Forum Facilitators wanted - email gail@integralinstitute.org
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  •  06-23-2006, 11:57 AM 361 in reply to 87

    • bobcvitkovic is not online. Last active: 2008-07-26, 6:52 AM bobcvitkovic
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    psychographically-challenged white male

    Hi

     

    Wanted to get some feedback or comments from others about what’s been coming up in my practice because I have no one to talk to about it where I am in Japan. My wife will listen patiently as I babble on about Wilber this and integral that, but she is just being polite, bless her soul. Some of my friends who I have introduced integral to think it’s interesting but they either don’t follow up on it or are not really serious, and none of them really know much about integral practice or theory other than what I babble on about. The closest thing I have to a spiritual friend is my Christian coworker down the hall, who has returned to the roman catholic flock after 10 years of indulgence in the lower bands of life (red) and to tell the truth I almost like listening to and discussing healthy blue mythic religion (up to a point) than getting nothing at all and being spiritually alone. Not sure if this post belongs here, but here goes. All comments and advice welcome.

     

    For the most part my practice seems to be going well but one thing that I have noticed recently is that I have this fundamental desire that won’t go away: money. Yep money. And related to that is the amount of time needed to make it. I have noticed that I get nervous or edgy if think that I am not going to have enough money or time to do the things I want. Let me explain that last sentence. About 6 years ago my two kids were born and about the same time I went through a series of job changes which essentially left us struggling to make ends meet financially for the 5 years. Just recently we have been able to get comfortable again. During the struggling 5-year period, I had been working sometimes 3-4 part-time jobs, sometimes nothing, scraping together money working long hours and commuting to different locations around the city (I live in Japan). It really wasn’t all that bad but here’s the thing: It wasn’t so much the money as the amount of time I had to spend to make it. I would work 6-7 days a week from morning to night just to pay for basic necessities like rent, kids stuff and basic needs. Now, I not complaining (well, just a bit) about the work, except that it makes me really really really tired which means that I don’t have time to do anything else like meditate or exercise. So, in sum, not enough money means I need to work more, which takes a lot of time, which cuts into my Practice time.

     

    About 12 years ago I was a penny-less recent graduate with tons of time to do whatever I wanted. I used to hang around the bookstore and read and stuff. And that is when I discovered Wilber. I spent several years leisurely reading Wilber, I started my meditation practice and life was great. I felt great too after practicing for several years and learning about integral theory. Life felt great. At that time 12 years ago I didn’t have much money but it didn’t bother me because I had lots of time to do what I wanted: pursue meditation and spiritual study. Then life changed. I got married, pop, pop, two kids, then the job issues, lack of money, more responsibility, oh my my, no time, no time, life changes. Which brings me to the difficult 5-year struggling period I mentioned earlier. However, luckily just last year things have gotten better. New full time job, kids are older, relatively easier to take care of, wife is great, (same one I started with – thank God, Buddha, Jehovah, Shiva, Mohammad, Spirit, man this integral stuff makes it difficult to curse or praise the Lord, Buddha, Shiva… ) more money, and a bit of time for myself and my practice. So here it is again, picking up where I left off: I have noticed that I get nervous or edgy if think that I am not going to have enough money or time to do the things I want. Although life is getting back to manageable, my finances are better than before, and I am starting to have some time to myself so I can meditate again, I still get anxious because it all seems so fragile. Like the other day I was planning on getting in an hour of meditation when my 6 year old daughter gets an ear ache, so out goes the sitting and in comes a 2 hour visit to the doctor. I think anyone with kids knows what I am talking about. Time. I want some time to myself. I enjoyed the time I spent with my daughter but I want some time to myself too.

     

    I am reminded of several references which I can only paraphrase:

    All the quadrants have to be harmonized and in your favor, it’s pretty difficult to meditate when there is a war going on around you and you don’t have enough food to eat. You can’t just tough it out on the cushion.

    Or

    You just can’t get rid of the lower levels; they are fundamental and exactly because they are fundamental they are that much more important for the reason that the higher levels use the lower ones as subcomponents, the higher can’t exist without the lower.

    Or

    The health of the entire spiral is the prime directive, not any one level.

    Or

    Once you get off the cushion the clock starts ticking, it’s interesting to see how long before your meditation buzz wears-off.

    Or

    You have to experience emptiness first, otherwise you are just french kissing the shadows in the cave and calling that light.


    One more thing before I summarize and finish. I noticed that wherever I have spend significant amount of time meditating, (daily practice for about two years when I first started or for some brief intense periods at rare other times) that I have been better able to deal with my daily life (Oookkaaaay, no surprises there). Which reminds me of a catch 22 of getting your first real decent paying job after graduation: to get the job you need experience, but how can you get experience without a job? Similarly, my life seems hectic and out of control, however, through meditation space opens up and life becomes manageable then vibrant then beautiful, but how can I meditate when my life is hectic and out of control? I just wish I had time to retreat for a week or a month (or a year) to train intensely. Because on the several occasions that I was lucky enough to do so, the mediation buzz lasted quit a long time.

     

    Ok, so where am I going with this? Let me just say anyone who has read this far, thank you; you are truly kind. Ok, I am worried that my quadrants are going to fall apart and I won’t be able to practice as much as I want to. It’s taken my 36 years to get this far and I want to practice. What if were to die tomorrow? S#!t, I can barely remember to breath normally when I’m having sex, how am I ever going to stay lucid in the bardo without heaps more training? I feel that my quadrants are held together with gum tape and chewing gum and that the whole thing is going to fly apart sending me down the spiral into the red again (creating a karmic debt that will take several lifetimes to burn-away). Because without a solid base and all the quadrants working together in harmony, there is no traction, no growth or development. i want to transform! Oh the manifest realm, I-I witness this pitiful existence, which is perfect, but so what, who wants to witness a pitiful sorry-ass psychographically challenged white-male floundering in first-tier all the time. Healthy red, healthy blue, great if you’re a 4 year old, or you just turned 12, but to see a 36 year old man with the morals of pond scum, emotions of a crayon, and interpersonal skill of highly developed African toad can even make the Witness flinch (well not really but, well, you know…).  It’s time to Witness some second-tier action. I want to Witness some second tier action and third tier bliss…

     

    Uhhh…., sorry about that. I feel better now. I think I will do some 3-2-1 first, then go sit…


    bob (coffee) cvitkovic
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  •  06-23-2006, 1:24 PM 367 in reply to 361

    Re: psychographically-challenged white male

    Hello in Japan,

    Don't have time to fully respond now, but I just wanted to say it's easy to relate with  most of your experience, although I only have one son from a previous marriage that is now 24, in the U.S. Army, and was recently transfered from a year in Iraq back to Germany with all his bodily parts intact....

    I'm 53 and a Branch Manager for a Consulting Engineering firm here in Tucson, Arizona, married, and usually busy...busy... busy...

    Sometimes it's easy to confuse the 'map' with the 'territoriy' - and since the TOTALITY of our lives = the 'territory' I think that it helps to see that our 'practice' involves precisely that....

    Regardless, for now I just wanted to let you know your not alone 'out there', welcome to I-I and we'll talk more later....

    Best Regards,

    Justin


    "Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink".

    SHUNRYU SUZUKI
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  •  06-23-2006, 8:26 PM 403 in reply to 361

    Re: psychographically-challenged white male

    Hi,

    I love that you wrote so passionately and directly of your frustration and your desire to get "quality time" to yourself for spiritual practice.

    From where I sit, life IS the primary practice. That's the good news (I never need to look for time to practice) and the bad news (Oh dear, ME again?).

    Some great souls manage to be mindful, present, awake in the moment (in the doctor's office, sitting in traffic, eating dinner, at the computer). I'm not one of them. My path is more a path of inquiry, observing my stressful thoughts and attachments and questioning them. I've done this in a variety of ways since I was quite young, and in recent years have found The Work® of Byron Katie to be an elegant and rigorous method.

    Even Katie's work takes time, and it may or may not be useful to you. Whatever practice you choose, may you find bliss and peace in brief moments of practice as well as in the extended periods for which you long.

    Molly Gordon, MCC
    Shaboom Inc., Life could be a dream...
    Blog

    "I want God to play in my bloodstream like sunlight amuses itself on water." Elizabeth Gilbert
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  •  06-26-2006, 11:18 PM 528 in reply to 361

    Re: psychographically-challenged white male


    Hi Bob,

    I don't know if I can give you the feedback you were looking for, but the effort you've obviously put into this message cries for response.

    You've taken an important step here, I feel, just getting all this out. It gives you the chance to look at the subject you were when you posted this, but now as object that you've gone beyond to form a new subject that can look back somewhat independently, however small the transformation, on that object. From my own experience I would guess you were already beginning to do this as you wrote the message.

    I think the anxiety you feel about your financial vulnerability is real, something that from an integral perspective you don't want to dismiss (exclude) nor over emphasize (to the exclusion of other things that are very important to you). Just observing that you're not in control is a step toward gaining more control.

    Keep it up! Ralph



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  •  07-04-2006, 7:02 AM 897 in reply to 87

    Re: Integral Life Practice Thread! (not limited to the ILP kit!)

    I asked this question elsewhere already, but see that this may be even more appropriate a place to ask...

    Is there anywhere that I can go to find out the basics of ILP aside from the (too expensive for me right now) starter kit? I'm happy to have just a basic list of the stuff and ideas and then do more research from there. I've got lots of time on my hands right now, but not much money, since I'm unemployed. I'm paying the $20 right now to have access to the Multiplex for a month or so, so I'd like to get as much of the essentials as I can before my month is up. I've already found the excellent (in concept, if not in audio quality!) Big Mind workshops on the Big Mind website. Is there anywhere, on Integral Naked perhaps, where I can find all the ILP info in summary? Or maybe a book, I could ask for at my library?

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  07-04-2006, 7:11 AM 898 in reply to 403

    Re: Byron Katie

    I love Byron Katie and her inquiry process. It has helped me immensely. I haven't had a disturbing thought, since I found her website, when I couldn't say, "Well, no, actually, that's not entirely true." It looks to me a lot like Wilber's shadow work (though I'm still learning about that and haven't gotten to the "3,2,1" or is it "1,2,3" bit).

    On a side note, I'm trying to find a way to encourage myself to create a set of children's books based on BK's inquiry process. I think that might be a really good idea for helping kids find their shadows and work on them. I've done a little prep work on one book (with a mock up of the story done), but I really need to get myself in a mood to actually dive in and do the illustrations. One of my biggest problems is not feeling qualified yet to start something big like this!

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  07-07-2006, 1:50 PM 1102 in reply to 87

    • edison is not online. Last active: 08-20-2008, 4:22 AM edison
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    Weightlifting vs. Yoga

    Hey gang,

          I understand that FIT strength training is an "endorsed" (I don't remember the exact terminology) ILP practice and as such, I've been pumping iron for the last 5 months.  Upon recommendation of my Roshi, I am currently trying yoga  (the "style" that fits my schedule is Bikram) and it is kicking me much harder physically, mentally and psychically than weight lifting.  So I'm curious of other's experiences and any theories, speculations, opinions on why weight lifting is more likely to accelerate development than yoga. 

    Regards,

    BT
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  •  07-07-2006, 9:50 PM 1116 in reply to 361

    Re: psychographically-challenged white male

    Hi Bob,

    I really identified with your story. I am 42 years old. I have two daughters, 7 and 9 years old . My wife is wonderful. The joke, lovingly shared between us, is that if she needs to get to sleep quickly I could talk about Ken Wilber's materials. I have been reading Ken's stuff for over twenty years. Currently, I am a fifth grade teacher in LA, California. Before that I had an Marriage Family Child Counseling practice - that is before the Northridge earthquake. Paid little, I was a good therapist, but not too successful as a business entrepreneur. My wife and I wanted a family and more stability (fancy way of saying more money) so I went back to school and got a teaching credential.

    What I have found helpful to my practice is listening to Pema Chodron and engaging the the Lojong practice. Particularly, I listen to her tapes (6 of them), I think they are called "Awaking Compassion, for difficult time" from Sounds True. It is a practice that needs some foundation in a sitting practice, but I find that I can take the practice and use it throughout my day. An additional resource for me has been Ken McLeod's book "Wake Up to Your Life"

    I bought the Kit, and I am still working at trying to get a more complete practice. This is a nice way of saying I'm somewhat lazy about it - particularly the "body" practice. However, I am more at easy than every before. I believe in part, because of some of Pema's teaching. One that stands out for me, though there are many insights she provides, is the idea about being too loose or too tight (I teach my students this by drawing a bell shape curve - on the vertical axis is "performance" on the horizontal axis I write

    "too lazy                                             too freaked out"

    "don't care                                           overly concerned"

    "no worries                                            stressed out"

            only in the middle is ^ our highest performance (I wish I knew how to draw the picture on a post.)

    Also, with my students, I practice with them every morning for about 3 minutes "focusing" or "paying attention" practice. We sit "sitting straight up, feet flat on the floor, hands in your laps, and count your breathing - in out, to 10, when you get distracted 'I don't want to do this' 'I want to go to the beach, Disneyland, mall, anywhere but here' bring your attention back to the counting" I explain to them whether you are a surgeon, goalie in the World Cup, or flipping hamburgers if you don't pay attention you'll burn the hamburger, miss the penalty shot, or cut of  the wrong body part off.

    I guess what I am saying, I am finding small ways to include my practice in my "everyday" life.

    My best to you, and lets keep talking, so much more could be said about the "practice" specially in the context of  raising children - among many other contexts.

    p.s. I just found a Lojong site http://lojongmindtraining.com/  . I don't know much about it. It might be helpful. Again, my best to you and all.


    Love, Light, Life
    Equanimity, Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy to all
    Rocky
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  •  07-08-2006, 8:00 PM 1161 in reply to 1116

    Flow

    Bookrock, the graph you show your students is similar to one that I learned in a Postitive Psychology class recently that used the, somewhat common term "flow" to describe the peak perfomance level between the two extremes of effort/thinking/emotions. Here's a little diagram I made of this that I thought you'd appreciate:



    Peace, Love, and Bicycles
    Turtle
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  •  07-08-2006, 9:14 PM 1170 in reply to 1161

    Re: Flow

    Turtle, that is great and I do appreciate it. I use this curve to show many ideas - from too much food to too little food  - to too much play to too little play etc. I guess I want my students to understand the idea of staying open and aware in the middle. 

    Turtle how did you make the diagram - if you don't mind. I would like to put some of my ideas in a four quadrant diagram and post them. Thanks

    Also, I understand about funds. And if it comes to it, I would very much enjoy keeping the conversation going by email bookrock@gmail.com. I have the Kit and would be happy to converse with you about it or any other practice. My background is in psychology BA and a Masters in Marriage Family Child Counseling. I only mention this because of the recent class you took - "Positive Psychology" and a possible shared interest.


    Love, Light, Life
    Equanimity, Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy to all
    Rocky
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  •  07-10-2006, 11:17 AM 1244 in reply to 1170

    Re: Flow

    Yeah, the bell curve is a pretty good model of many different aspects of life!

    As for making my diagram, I'm a graphic designer-ish type and have all the fancy software for creating maserpieces such as that amazingly creative (yes, I'm being sarcastic!) diagram. You could probably use any basic drawing program, too, though. Most computer operating systems have basic "paint" programs. My Mac has Appleworks, which has a drawing program, I think. Oh, and once you've made the file, you might need to find an external host for the image (I used my own website) if you want to post it in forums. I don't know if I-I hosts images for us visitors.

    And I will try and e-mail you at some point soon! Feel free to e-mail me (my address should be publicly viewable on my info page somewhere) if you like as well.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  07-15-2006, 6:55 AM 1461 in reply to 87

    • DKeienburg is not online. Last active: 04-16-2008, 4:18 AM DKeienburg
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    Pocket Big Mind

    11.30 p.m. CET riding the bus, sun shining from an infinite blue sky, child screaming and beating at the window... I'm the controller, because I threw myself out of bed this morning. I'm the controller, because I just corrected a typing error. I'm the controller, because I want to control the screaming child. I'm the controller and that's good and I'm more than that I'm also the critic. I'm the critic, because I question everything. I'm the critic, because I don't accept answers. I'm the critic, because I correct mistakes. I'm the critic and that's good and I'm more than that. I'm also the hurt child. I'm the hurt child, because I fell on my face. I'm the hurt child, because life is a fight. I'm the hurt child, because I got scars. I'm the hurt child and that is good and I'm more than that. I'm also the healer. I'm the healer, because I want to heal the world. I'm the healer, because I want to close any wound. I'm the healer, because I want to dry every tear. I'm the healer and that is good and I'm more than that. I'm also the seeker. I'm the seeker, because I seek wisdom. I'm the seeker, because I go for the next mountain. I'm the seeker, because I follow the tracks. I'm the seeker and that is good and I'm more than that. I'm also big mind. I'm big mind, because the door has no bolt. I'm big mind, because I'm the coastless sea. I'm big mind, because my mind is like water running everywhere. I'm big mind and that is good and I'm more than that. I'm also big heart. I'm big heart, because I was born from an endless sea of love. I'm big heart, because I'm all rays of light. I'm big heart , because love shines through everything. I'm big heart and that is good and I'm more than that. I'm also the master. I'm the master because I laugh about myself. I'm the master because I'm an absolute beginner. I'm a master because I am the art. I'm the master and that is good and I'm more than that. I'm also also the integrated mind. I'm the integrated mind, because I embrace all of that. I'm the integrated mind, because I climb down from the mountain. I'm the integrated mind, because there is monday morning... Thank you genpo :) If you want to create your own Pocket Big Mind Process you can do so by the structure I used. Just ask an unfinished sentence like "I'm (fill in the part you are speaking from) , because" towards your higher self. Welcome any answer / completion how mundane or holy it might be. Repeat that 5-10 times for each part. Then use the transition phrase "I'm (the part you chose) and that is good and I'm more than that. I'm also (next part)" The Big Mind DVD from the ILP Kit is also highly recommended. Plus Genpo Roshi has some very good audio files on his page. www.bigmind.org. You can download by right-click. Best wishes Dirk
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  •  07-18-2006, 1:34 AM 1548 in reply to 1461

    • ats is not online. Last active: 09-24-2008, 4:23 PM ats
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    Re: Pocket Big Mind

    Hey randomturtle, if KW can write Boomeritis, you can surely finish your book, and it'll be a wonderful work of art.  Big Smile [:D]  Don't let that boomeritis ego of having to make a perfect vision before trying stop you.


    myspace.com/zentaimusic
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  •  07-22-2006, 2:35 PM 1762 in reply to 361

    Re: psychographically-challenged white male

    Hi Bob,

                    I can definitely relate to your dilemma. One of the things that came to mind as I read your entry was a teaching that comes from Dr. David R. Hawkins (author of Power Vs Force and Transcending the Levels of Consciousness). One of the things he teaches is that it is beneficial to realize that having the desire to practice and evolve is itself a manifestation of the Self drawing "you" unto itself. He uses the example of nonlinear dynamics (i.e. chaos theory), where there is a definite Attractor Field (or Context) drawing upon the Content of an open system. In this case, the Context (that is, the Self) is acting upon the Content (i.e. you, the "small self"). When this is deeply contemplated and understood, it gives way to surrender and a mode of allowing, enabling the freeing of egoic struggle and worry as to how the outcome will turn out. The ego (i.e. the belief in a limited, body-mind self) wishes to calculate, worry and manipulate "things" in order to somehow begin a use of Force and thereby control outcomes, whereas the Self, being the context in which all Content arises, is simply itself: Power, or genuine Integrity. Dr. Hawkins uses the example of a magnet on metal filings; when the filings (Content) move and rearrange themselves, they do so as an innate consequence of the overall field (Context) of the magnet. In this case, the infinite Power of the Field is drawing the ego into itself. Therefore the work relies not upon the ego (Content), but upon the Self (Context, the Field, Infinite Organizing Power).

    I hope I'm not making this too technical. In other words, Bob, you and I both can relax a little, if we so choose, knowing that the Infinite contextual Power of the Self is simply "drawing" us into itself. This, in essence, is Grace. As Dr. Hawkins teaches, this understanding helps facilitate genuine surrender and trust in the process. And as Ken Wilber teaches, this is an outcome of relationship to God in the Second Person: Thou. This 2nd Person relationship seems necessary, as it facilitates the ego surrendering its illusion that it can actually "do" anything. A good example of this is in Christ's words:

    "I [i.e. the Self; Spirit; Context; the Infinite Field of Infinite Organizing Power] am the vine and you [i.e. Content; ego; apparent limited self] are the branches. Apart from me you can do nothing."

    I hope this helps, as it seems to be helping me even as I write. Hang in there, Bob, you're coming along great.

    Best Wishes,

    Eric

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