Practice, Damn It! Practice!
I am writing from the train station in Berlin, nearing the halfway mark in my month long trip to Germany. It seems like I have been gone from Utah much longer than 2 weeks. I have felt lonely at times, but the depths of the experience have more than compensated for the occasional bouts of homesickness, for my wife, my community, the wonder of the Wayne County landscape, and the dog that I don’t have :( Be that as it may, maybe I can share some of the impressions and learnings that I am seeing and processing.
First, there seems to be too much talking about Integral Life Practice in Integral circles and not enough practicing. For about 4 years now, Integral Practice has become the axle that my life turns on. In other words it has become central—the center around which my life and work revolves—and it has made all the difference.
The core vision of the Integral revolution is to work body, mind, spirit, and emotions/shadow in an ongoing lifetime practice. This is where the rubber meets the road, where the transformation happens, where the Holy Grail is found, and where the Grail Knight Parsival’s koan is answered. “Whom does the Grail serve?” The Grail serves the healing of the world.
This leads to the next point: what is needed is a “culture of practice.” This culture of practice means that our lower left communion, just as our upper left and right quadrants do, centers around practice. When we are together, we hit the gym together and we sit/meditate together. (80 or 90% of the time using Holosync or some other binaural meditation technology. And if that disgruntles anyone, or the purists out there, I’m sorry. Do it for 6 months and then tell me I’m wrong.) When that is done, the conversations deepen, the love and connection deepens, meaning emerges, relationships become stronger and more translucent. We laugh more and we cry more. We are more profoundly human. In fact, this whole spiritual consciousness revolution has been brought about and sustained by those of our human family who had the courage and eye-of-the-tiger determination to practice and practice some more, didn’t stop until they got it, and then they practiced some more.
In my humble opinion, any conference or workshop that calls itself Integral and doesn’t feature space and time for the element of practice is missing the mark and shouldn’t call itself Integral. And how do we birth this culture of practice? BY PRACTICING TOGETHER! Try it—you will absolutely love it. The juice that makes life worth living is found in our depths, and our depths are accessed again and again by our ongoing practices that work our body, minds, hearts, and souls simultaneously. Individually we practice. Together we practice: with our friends, with our communities, with our sanghas, churches and temples, with our families we practice. Will this cure many of our individual and societal ills? I think it will. Will it free us us from our life-destroying addictions, and unconscious compulsions? I believe it can. Will it keep our young people from becoming addicts? I think it will. Will it release the love and creativity we need to bring us into a future that is worth effort? I believe it can. And to quote that guy who is making waves and spreading viral hope... “Yes we can!”