Inhabit: Your Life Purpose

Ryan Oelke Cognitive, Editor's Picks, Free, How can I feel happy and fulfilled in my life?, Inhabit, Intrapersonal, Lifestyle, Needs, Perspectives, Spiritual, Spirituality, Values, Video, Volitional 13 Comments


atch as Ryan and Corey explore the many ways we can create meaning for ourselves, introducing the concept of “Integral Ikigai” to help us find and fulfill our deepest life purpose.

“Ikigai” is a classic Japanese concept that basically translates as “a reason for being”, which invites us to look at our own life purpose from four different angles — what we love, what we are good at, what the world needs, and how we make our living. Ryan and Corey take this tremendously insightful model and add a few new layers, enacting it through the lens of integral metatheory in order to find a path of meaning and purpose that can meet you wherever you are in your own developmental arc.

What is especially powerful about the Integral Ikigai is that it can help to reveal a path of integration that allows you to further align your inner sense of meaning and volition with your outer expressions and actions in the world. It encourages you to discover your own unique calling, while also helping you to better identify where you are challenged, where you need to place more of your attention, and where the opportunities for growth are waiting to be discovered.

Whether you feel like you are already living a purpose-driven life, or you are struggling to find meaning in a world that can sometimes seem bereft of it — the Integral Ikigai can help you find ways to further enrich your inner world, to discover an inexhaustible source of inspiration and motivation within yourself, and to bring more skill, passion, and presence to your livelihood.

Written by Corey deVos
Music by Justin Miles and Stuart Davis

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Embodied Success is an innovative new coaching program by Ryan Oelke, designed to help you — evolutionaries, change-makers, and co-creators — to discover your own radically full and unshakeable success.

This training integrates all four essential paths of personal development — growing up, waking up, cleaning up, and showing up. The inner lessons are designed to help you with the first three, while the outer lessons help you leverage all of this inner work through innovative management and marketing strategies that will allow you to show up more fully in your life and in your work, fully aligned with your deepest passion, purpose, and embodied wisdom.

Learn how Embodied Success can help you deepen your own Integral Ikigai
Ryan Oelke

About Ryan Oelke

Ryan Oelke is a co-founder of Buddhist Geeks and founder of Awakening in Life. He has an MSEd in counseling psychology and is contemplative teacher of awakening, healing, and embodiment. He has 18 years experience in meditation, particularly in the Tibetan Buddhist and Dzogchen lineages, he is a Buddhist Geeks teacher, and is a fully certified teacher in Judith Blackstone’s Realization Process. Ryan teaches meditation and a way of living dedicated to revealing natural presence and awakening in each moment of our lives, regardless of how it appears to us. He lives in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC with his partner Alyssa and stepdaughter Fiona.

Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is Editor-in-Chief of Integral Life, as well as Managing Editor of He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.

Notable Replies

  1. Cool show guys. Very relevant to the meaning crisis we are experiencing.

  2. I have been enjoying your talks together as they relate very closely to what I am working on at the moment. One thing that tends to disempower what you are saying is that your speaking is filled with so many fillers: “sort of”, “kind of”, “like”, “you know”, etc. that it seems to me that your message becomes a bit diluted. I wonder, have you had an opportunity to work at deleting these from your speaking? What you have to say is vitally important and could be delivered more powerfully without these “killer fillers.”

  3. Avatar for Marcus Marcus says:


    what a great talk and topic. A lot of the mentioned thoughts and especially the personal (hero´s) journeys are really good starting points of a discussion of meaning in live. I have a few people in mind that desperatly need some form of meaning.

    Ryan mentioned that you were going to add a link to a guided meditation to prepare for some of the questions mentioned, just to be able to answer them not only from the top (head).
    Maybe it´s there and I did not find it, if not please put it on the website.

    keep up the great work Corey and Ryan.

  4. A quick thought on the topic of public speaking and fillers, after doing shows and recording video and audio for 10 years+, including hosting Buddhist Geeks:

    Having a sound engineering and musical background, I’ll always have an artistic preference for polished video/audio production…BUT…

    My experience is that focusing on what you’re saying, trying to curate and edit your speech is counter productive and simply makes one either more self-conscious in speaking or too constrained in dialogue, both of which limit the breadth, depth, and organic impact of what one is trying to say.

    Better is to focus on from where we speak, from where our words arise. For example, the more at ease I am in my body, in my environment, and in relationships, the more easily words will flow out without self-conscious censoring, fillers, etc. This includes working with unconscious narratives and relational wounds that might be operating that our speech arise out of. Work with these things, our speaking changes.

    In the end, what we noticed over at Buddhist Geeks is that, while we use to edit the shit out of everything to make it polished, that very act also sterilizes some of the organic, relational, conversational magic that we normally experience every day. I also decided personally to switch from using a teleprompter and scripts in my monologue video recordings to instead simply having basic talking points and rolling with what arose spontaneously inside that structure. There will always be pros/cons to taking a more intentional, polished, edited approach to speaking vs. more free form, organic speaking. Monologues lend themselves more to polishing, conversations to free form.

    Now, while I recommend focusing on the inner/relational work to free up our speaking, secondarily obviously how informed we are on a topic will impact how articulate we are. Along with that we can focus on cultivating a larger vocabulary which will give us access to more nuances and words, which fillers are a stand in for. However, more often to not, these two secondary fillers are just that: secondary. People usually experience significantly more progress in how they sound in a video/podcast conversation by working with the inner/relational bits than focusing on more exterior aspects or knowledge acquisition, which when done on top of a lot of unconscious constrictions happening, only make the challenge at hand harder.

    A couple final notes:
    -The focus of content greatly dictates how articulate and sharp one needs to be. If you’re presenting detailed instructions on how to do brain surgery, you’d better not have a bunch of f’n fillers in your speaking lol. On the other hand, in guided meditation, it’s often missed that, if you are trying to help guide others in feeling more at ease with whatever is arising, a too polished, contrived audio recording implicitly does the opposite. Instead, the specific words are not what is transmitting, it is from where the words are spoken. If a teacher is incredibly present, I don’t care of they use less articulate language and let out a huge fart - transmission happens. But dear lord, I have heard many a recorded meditations that are so polished they sound autogenerated. In any case: context matters on how much we need to focus on improving our speech.

    -Last: people are way more forgiving than we think :wink: As long as we are genuine, enthusiastic, and caring, we forgive each other tremendously in our imperfections. But be contrived and a giant dick, no matter how perfect you are, you’ll be told to fuck off in way or another lol.

    Just my thoughts from my experience, and of course, I imagine I will always have a perfectionist in me that wants to improve how articulate I am, with a desire to achieve eloquence of angelic order, and a vocabulary that would make JRR Tolkien rise from the dead and invent a new language. But alas, I’ll have to continue being ok with some fillers in my speech taco meat :wink:

  5. Hahaha why does this not surprise me in the least?

    I googled “how to pronounce Ikigai” before the show and got this result:

    So thank you for setting me straight :slight_smile: And I am glad you enjoyed the episode!

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