Integrating Polarities

Integral Life Uncategorized

INTEGRATING  POLARITIES  is a revolutionary new training program by Beena Sharma, designed to teach you the higher-order thinking common to leading-edge individuals at the integral stage of development.

Hello, my name is Beena Sharma, and I am very excited to introduce my new training course, Integrating Polarities. I have devoted my life and career to uncovering the interior dynamics of ego development, and I have a deep understanding of the inner patterns and processes associated with each stage. It is from this deep wisdom that I have created the Integrating Polarities training.

This training is designed to model the higher-order thinking associated with integral stages of psychological maturity, offering you a step-by-step process to help you learn these skills and apply them to your life, your relationships, and your work in the world.



INTEGRATING  POLARITIES  will teach you more integral ways of thinking, and help accelerate your development toward more integral ways of being.

Just as we teach 'critical thinking' to help people enter the rational stage of development, and we teach 'creative thinking' to help people grow into the pluralistic stage, this training represents the next step in this unfolding, designed to help people grow into integral stages of maturity.

This isn’t just another way to use and apply the integral map. It’s a way to learn the type of thinking that produces things like 'integral maps' in the first place.

Accelerate your development toward integral stages of thinking, being, and doing by learning the cognitive processes that come naturally to integral thinkers.


Polarities describe the tensions and competing forces inside any occasion — inside vs. outside, interior vs. exterior, individual vs. collective, transcendence vs. inclusion, and on into every realm of the universe (conservative vs. progressive, masculine vs. feminine, individual freedoms vs. collective responsibilities, globalization vs. nationalism, etc.)

Notice that in the middle of each of these poles is the word “versus”. Because that is exactly what they feel like when these polarities remain unintegrated — they are in opposition, they contradict each other, they create friction with each other. And we can feel the burning heat of that friction in our own lives, in our communities, and in the world around us.

But when we have a process to identify and integrate these polarities within our own hearts and minds, the tensions and conflicts begin to melt away. We begin to understand that neither pole is inherently “positive” or “negative”, but rather that they can both produce positive or negative qualities depending on whether they are in healthy relationship with each other, or dissociated from each other.

In other words, INTEGRATING  POLARITIES  is designed to help you supplement this “either/or” mentality with a flexible “both/and” mentality that is capable of bringing vastly different and divergent views together into a more complete vision of health and wholeness. And perhaps more importantly, it helps you to take the next step — to focus upon skillful and strategic actions that can help alleviate suffering and produce a more beneficial outcome.


This training will teach you how to...

  • Recognize the fundamental polarities at play beneath the surface of any given conflict.
  • Uncover your own hidden biases, shadows, and assumptions that have prevented you from integrating both sides of a given polarity.
  • Trace the dynamic patterns and relationships that exist between these opposing poles.
  • Transform the conflicts and tensions inherent to unintegrated polarities into an ongoing source of harmony, inclusion, and deeper understanding.
  • Shift your consciousness to embrace more complexity, more empathy, more curiosity, and more humility.
  • Help liberate others from the pains and conflicts of polarized thinking, and become a genuine conduit for greater love, insight, and understanding.

"These are the mechanics of integral thinking."



Whether we are talking about politics, culture, or economics, it’s no secret that our world is more polarized today than any other time in recent history. We can see it in the world, we can feel it in our relationships and communities, and we often struggle with it in our own hearts and minds. This increasing polarization is beginning to overwhelm and paralyze our governing institutions, and tearing at the very fabric of civilization itself.

There is only one solution to polarization. And that is to learn how to skillfully manage and integrate the fundamental polarities that are driving so many of these deeply entrenched conflicts, both within ourselves and in the world around us. As integral philosopher Ken Wilber puts it, it’s either that... or it’s war. There just aren’t a whole lot of other options.

"Love Is a Riot" by Android Jones

"Love Is a Riot"

Which is precisely why we are so excited for Beena’s new INTEGRATING  POLARITIES  training — a program that is designed to help us meet the most significant challenges of our time, and to help free our minds and hearts from the violence of limited and partial thinking.

A Note for Integral Geeks

As many of you know, the integral model itself is composed of just a handful of basic fundamental polarities: interior and exterior, individual and collective, part and whole, emptiness and form, etc. All holons possess certain drives that are aligned with each of these polarities, responding to the basic facts of existence — and both individual and social holons are the most healthy and resilient when these polarities are being properly integrated and managed.

Which is why this training helps enhance your own integral thinking. It helps deepen your understanding of the integral vision and the underlying polarities that drive existence itself, and allows you to enact the model in much more dynamic ways. It takes the integral model and makes it dance, helping us move from the integral map to the living territory of embodied wisdom, skillful communication, and enlightened action.

It’s easy to say something like “everyone is right”. But genuine enfoldment — understanding which truths are more or less partial, and how to piece all of these partial views into a more complete and comprehensive view — is much more difficult.

If we're not consciously and skillfully managing polarities, we're leaving something important out. And if we are leaving something out, how integral can we be?


Polarity thinking can change the world. Our aspiration is to help you — the integral community as a whole — to learn polarity thinking and to take this skillful wisdom with you wherever you go, into your lives, your relationships, and your work in the world.


We want to see at least 2000 people enrolled into this training, so that we as a community can begin to put a real dent in the polarization problem — beginning with ourselves and our own integral community, and then expanding outward through our various networks and spheres of influence.

Which is why we are making this training available to all supporting members of Integral Life for just $50. This is an exclusive discount, and not available anywhere else.


This is a total no-brainer. Actually, it's a grow-brainer.

If you are a supporting member of Integral Life, you really need to do this training. Not only will these skills enhance your life and your world, it will also enhance your experience and enjoyment of the Integral Life website itself.

The full price of the course is $345, and is currently being made available to non-members for $145 over the next few days. Which means that, if you have an Integral Life membership, we are basically giving this away.

This training is too important to the integral community and to the world at large to keep it locked behind an imposing paywall. These are the skills that can transform the world, which is why we wanted to make it as easy as possible for our members to benefit from Beena’s teaching.

So claim your place in this emerging wave of integral consciousness and help us meet our goal of 2000 member signups by enrolling in Integrating Polarities right now!


*Not a member? Click here to become a supporting member, and then return to this page to receive your exclusive member discount.


Whether you are a leader, a coach, a professional, a parent, or just someone who is deeply interested in your own personal development, this program is for you. The skills you will learn can be applied to virtually any situation, and will help you navigate the most confusing and emotionally-charged territories of our lives.

Enrich your inner world — This training is invaluable for anyone who is engaged in deep integral practice, as it helps you more easily recognize your own hidden biases, assumptions, and shadows, and to engage the aspects of your life that are being unmet and undernourished and creating suffering for you.

Accelerate your development — No matter where you are in your own developmental path, the Integrating Polarities training will provide you with an immeasurable source of rocket fuel for your continued growth and development.

Revitalize your communities — This training will greatly enrich your relationships, culture, and community by giving you a way to deescalate conflict, increase your overall empathy and curiosity, and get to the underlying polarities at the very core of the conflict.

What You'll Receive
  • Lifetime access to 28 exclusive teachings from Beena Sharma
  • Lifetime access to 6 bonus teachings from Barry Johnson 
  • Lifetime access to the monthly Polarity Wisdom webinar with Beena Sharma
  • Built-in journaling app for notes and personal reflections

Meet Your Instructor, Beena Sharma


Beena Sharma is Founder and President of Vertical Development Academy. Beena is an International Consultant committed to embedding developmental theory and Integral approaches in human and system development. Beena brings with her significant experience in applying vertical development theory, and facilitating leadership and organizational learning and development, including designing and anchoring complex large scale change efforts. Partnering with Susanne since 2004, Beena is a certified MAP scorer, having completed a rigorous certification training. Beena actively employs the LMF and MAP in Leadership coaching and systemic organizational development.

Beena Sharma also is deeply versed with Polarity Thinking and its applications. Beena has been working with Dr. Barry Johnson over the past thirteen years in learning, teaching, applying and embodying Polarity Wisdom™, which integrates Polarity Thinking and Vertical Development. The Polarity lens is a high-leverage tool that Beena integrates with ego development theory particularly in service of catalysing the move from conventional to post-conventional levels of development.

Beena is trained in using Real Time Strategic Change (RTSC) methodologies, is a certified Action Learning Team Coach and has led several projects in Leadership Development using Action Reflection Learning (ARL) as an associate consultant with LIM LLC, and faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). Beena works with Voice Dialogue (Hal and Sidra Stone) and Clean Language (James Lawley and Penny Hopkins) in intimate ways in her coaching clients through developmental stages.

Guest Instructor, Barry Johnson


In 1975, Barry created the first Polarity Map® and set of principles.

Barry has worked with: Business and Industry – Amoco, GM, Intel of Ireland, Cargill, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Natura of Brazil, SASOL of South Africa; Government – International Atomic Energy Agency, US Department of Defense, UK National Health Service, Provincial Government of Alberta, Northwest Department of Health and National Treasury Republic of South Africa, Charleston Police Department and City of Charleston. Education – Notre Dame, Learning Innovations Lab (LILA) at Harvard, University of Cape Town in South Africa; Not-for-profit – Bread for the World, EcoSocial in Brazil, Southridge Shelter in Ontario.

He is an avid outdoorsman and intrepid traveler, and brings head and heart together in his teaching and consulting. Barry and his wife, Dana, have 5 children and 11 grandchildren.

Program Lessons
Module 1 Integrating Polarities Context
Unit 1 How does Integrating Polarities offer a way forward when we are polarized?
Unit 2 How does Integrating Polarities help us when we are faced with “false choices”?
Unit 3 What are the signs that the Integrating Polarities process is working?
Module 2 Integrating Polarities Training
Unit 1 Introduction
Unit 2 Student Introductions
Unit 3 Reflections Introduction
Unit 4 Exercise 1 Question 1
Unit 5 Exercise 1 Question 2
Unit 6 Exercise 1 Question 3
Unit 7 Exercise 1 Question 4
Unit 8 Reflections Summary
Unit 9 The Two Polarity Energies
Unit 10 Reflecting on the Selected Two Polarity Energies
Unit 11 Practice: Revisiting the 2nd Polarity Reflection
Unit 12 Basic Principles
Unit 13 Going Deeper into Polarity Dynamics
Unit 14 Exercise 2: Pairing Your Values
Unit 15 The Other Pole
Unit 16 Polarities in Conversation
Unit 17 Polarities in Groups and Organizations
Unit 18 Is it a Problem, or a Polarity?
Unit 19 Reflection: Is it a Problem, or a Polarity?
Unit 20 The Full Polarity Map: Introduction
Unit 21 The Full Polarity Map: Exercise
Unit 22 The Full Polarity Map: Reflections
Unit 23 Leveraging a Polarity
Unit 24 Conclusion
Unit 25 Group Dialogue
Module 3 Integrating Polarities Applications
Unit 1 Introduction
Unit 2 Polarities in Healthcare
Unit 3 Polarities in Organizations
Unit 4 Polarities in Politics
Unit 5 Polarities in Climate Change
Unit 6 Polarities in Poverty, Racism, and Sexism
Module 4 Polarity Wisdom
Unit 1 Episode 1: The Mechanics of Integral Thinking


This training available to all supporting members of Integral Life for just $50. This is an exclusive discount, and not available anywhere else.

Our goal is to see at least 2000 people enrolled into this training, so that we as a community can begin to put a real dent in the polarization problem — beginning with ourselves and our own integral community, and then expanding outward through our various networks and spheres of influence.

So claim your place in this emerging wave of integral consciousness and help us meet our goal of 2000 member signups by enrolling in Integrating Polarities right now!

*Not a member? Click here to become a supporting member, and then return to this page to receive your exclusive member discount.


Enroll Now!