Integral Practice Group Start Up

HERE WE GO!

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Never before, in the course of human history, have we understood enough about human progress and development that we could actually participate in and take responsibility for our own development. Thanks to the work of such people as Ken Wilber, Don Beck and Chris Cowen, Said Elias Dawlabani, Genpo Roshi, Michael Murphy, Howard Gardner, Robert Kegan and many others we now know that we can do just that – participate in our own development – our evolution. Regular participation in practices designed to develop mind, body, psyche and spirit, can accelerate one’s development. That’s the goal of an Integral Practice.

We are happy to announce that the interest has been quite good for the proposed Integral Practice Group. Over the course of six months, participants will experience together a number of practices that when combined create an integral approach.  Each participant will choose which practices they want to incorporate into daily life. As mentioned in previous articles, the practices will include practices to help us to:

  • Grow up – stimulate us mentally
  • Wake up – spiritual practices
  • Clean up – shadow work (the darker side of our self)
  • Show up – become more of who we really are
  • Kata – a daily practice that taps into the body, mind and spirit

Not every session will address every area, since that would allow only 30 minutes per area. In addition, some of the information to be shared may be done in advance via email or video.

There will be an informational meeting on Thursday, January 25 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss starting date, best day of week and time for the meetings.

Please click here to register for this free informational meeting.

Investment: $780.00 for 13 meetings over six months. A limited number of partial scholarships will be available based on need.

15 Exercises to Save Your Back in the Kitchen

Cooking projects in the kitchen can be a day-long workout. In fact, standing for long periods can be challenging, period.

The 15 Feldenkrais exercises in this free video can help tremendously, and not only in the kitchen. This video can help you in any place or situation where long-term standing is involved, such as waiting in line or standing for long periods at work.

 

 

What is Feldenkrais?

Whether you are new to the Feldenkrais Method or not, this video can be a very helpful aid to understanding.

You can participate in your own improvement more than you may know!

 

Integral Practice Group: What it includes

We have had some positive responses to the idea of an integral practice group, and some have asked for more information. In the previous articles we spoke of: grow up, wake up, show up and clean up, in addition to some form of physical practice. Specifically, we anticipate including the following in each of those areas.

In addition to theory and other processes, the physical practice will include: Qi Gong movements, strength building/muscle toning exercises, and Feldenkrais for flexibility and quality of movement.

Growing up: We will begin with learning Ken Wilber’s AQAL model and Don Beck’s and Christopher Cowen’s Spiral Dynamics. Both of which claim to be a theory that explains everything.  These theories of human development are not just for the individual, but for cultures and nations as well. They are useful for learning where we are in the process and what comes next.

Wakeup: Guided imagery, meditation, contemplative prayer and several other practices including one called, The 1-2-3 of Spirit.

Show up: This will include exercises for discovering personal passions and life mission. We will learn how to remove barriers that keep us from doing what we want to do, and being whom we want to become. The exercises or practices are Neuro Linguistic Programming processes.

Clean Up: We dig into working with the shadowy parts of ourselves, those parts we want to deny are a part of us and which we project onto others. We will learn how to be free of them by acknowledging and claiming them. One process is 3-2-1 of Shadow. Others will include a variety of journaling processes.

We anticipate announcing full details about the application process, costs and beginning date very soon. Are you interested? I’d love to hear from you.

Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine

Your meridians are the channels through which your life energy (Chi) flows, including your emotions. The natural and free flow of Chchi-balance-essential-oilsi and balanced emotions moving throughout your meridians ensures your good health.

While blocked or suppressed emotions result in imbalances and clogged meridian channels, we can restore the five element balance. The harmonious flow of Chi is the heart of the purpose of Chinese medicine. The five elements are the five categories of Chi related to the various organs, body systems, emotions and psychological states of a human being.

Essential oils can be used to safely and effectively balance and restore health to the five element system through the meridians. Using the direct application and inhalation of your essential oils is especially effective for restoring the flow of chi.

Also, diluting your favorite essential oil, or blend of oils, with a vegetable carrier oil for skin application is advised. Applying a blend along a blocked meridian channel or acupuncture point before needling is effective for stimulating the flow of chi.

Universal essential oils to consider using are lavender and frankincense. They can be used alone or blended with other oils. I have a selection of natural blend formulas that can help bring the meridian channels and five elements into balance. Some conditions that can be treated are: headaches, insomnia, stress, hormonal, and stomach imbalance too. By applying these oils on the temples and on the affected area, essential oils can help bring greater grounding too.

Spiritual But Not Religious – What Next?

We received quite a lot of response to the previous article about SBNR, for which we are grateful, especially to those who sent comments or spiritual-but-not-religiousspoke to us about it in some way. Thank you.

Now what? It’s one thing to challenge one another to Grow-Up, Wake-Up, Show-Up, and Clean-Up. It’s quite another to answer the question of “How?” or even, “What does that mean?” I will address the second question first.

By grow-up I mean adding breadth to our depth and depth to our breadth. One of the marks of personal maturity is the ability to take multiple perspectives. I know someone whom I greatly admire because she has the capacity to listen and learn from those who hold opposing understandings of almost any issue. Rather than try to convince them her view is correct, she experiences these interactions as learning opportunities. That does not mean she is swayed by their comments, but she learns. We know that an individual’s behavior makes perfect sense in their model of the world. She wants to know about their model. The great peace makers of the world do not try to win compromises. They try to reconcile differing models of the world. They try for win-win-win solutions (each of the parties involved win and the overall well-being of the “world” wins.) To do that one must expand their breadth of knowledge and deepen their understanding of motivations.

Let me begin the “wake-up” explanation by recalling a story I once read (I think it is from the Talmud): The Rabbi was riding his donkey through the village shouting, “Has anyone seen my donkey? I can’t find my donkey!” Someone finally said, “What’s wrong with you? Why are you looking for your donkey? It’s right here with you.” To which the Rabbi responded, “So why are some of you trying to find God?” It’s not that the God/Spirit is absent, it is that our experience of and with God/Spirit is absent. To wake-up is to engage in practices that do more than give us information and understanding of Deity, God or Spirit, but those practices that give us direct experiences of and with God/Spirit.

We begin to show-up when we quit focusing on what or whom we should be and just be whom we’ve been created to be. We all fulfill roles, but we also live roles. We find it difficult to just be whom we are. In fact, I suspect most of us don’t even know how to just be whom we are. Most religions have done a super good job of letting us know we do not and cannot measure up. They have been wrong. I am what and where I am because I must be here to get where I’m going. We’re still growing-up and waking-up and it’s about time we showed up. We can’t get where we’re going while pretending to be what we’re not. As one child put it, “I know I’m good because God don’t make no junk!”

Finally, let’s talk about cleaning-up. I’m a peace maker. On the Enneagram, I’m a Nine; a person who easily sees both sides of an argument and wants to reconcile and make room for everyone. Every person is worthy of being treated with dignity and respect. But, I still have my prejudices (mostly about those that don’t want to include everyone!) We need a practice that will help us to love even our enemies, and to forgive those who offend us. We do not do this for their sake. We do it for our own sake. Anger, hatred, and resentment are heavy burdens to carry around. They wear us out and keep us awake at night. We give away too much power to those people. They can push our buttons in a heartbeat. The fewer buttons we have, the more peace and harmony we experience.

So, now to the first question: “How?” Perhaps it was 15 years or so ago Future Life Now initiated an Integral Practice Group. This group met for two and a half hours, three Saturdays a month and planned on meeting for a year. It turned out to be longer than that because of scheduling issues.  Today, we still hear from members of that group about the profound impact it had on their lives.

I will be starting a similar Integral Practice group although on a smaller scale. What I envision at this point is a twice-a-month meeting for six months with the option to extend, if the group desire is there. As before, this will not be a come-and-go group or a show-up-when-you-want group. Those who choose to participate will commit to attending. There could be some wiggle room in scheduling if group needs are sufficient. As before, there would be an application and interview process. The group may choose to meet on some day other than Saturday. Besides myself as faciliator, there will be periodic guest speakers.

Each meeting would address each of the areas discussed above and would also include some form of movement designed to promote better body health. It would be exercise but not aerobics or strenuous strength exercises. No running or jumping.

Here’s my call to action: If you might be interested in participating in such a group, please contact Future Life Now, or email me at larrywells@futurelifenow.com. I am not currently asking for a commitment. This is a request for a show of interest only. We need a minimum of 10 to commit, and could not accommodate more than 18 (maybe 15). My expectation is that we would begin shortly after the first of the year. The fee for the program has not yet been finalized but we will do our best to keep it affordable.

 

Feldenkrais Method and Chronic Pain – New York Times

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