Welcome to Integral Life Practice.
Integral Life Practice is a new approach to well-being, awareness, and transformation. Rather than focus on merely one aspect of the self, ILP brings a whole and balanced approach to realizing the full spectrum of your being, providing you with the very best and most effective practices to help you Wake Up, Grow Up, Clean Up, and Show Up in your life, your relationships, and your work in the world.
That’s what we mean by Integral: comprehensive, balanced, inclusive. By Life we mean, well, the whole enchilada of love, consciousness, the body, relationships, work, emotions, and the mystery of existence.
Practice means something we do, usually to improve ourselves in some way — to make ourselves happier, stronger, smarter, more capable of loving and helping others. We practice in order to fulfill the potential of who we really are.
Thus, Integral Life Practice is a whole and balanced approach to practicing for life — our individual lives, the lives of others, even the life of the planet.
ILP contains specific practices within a framework that holds them together. The practices and the framework are equally important. The practices ensure that you’re actually doing something, not just thinking about it. The framework makes sense of what you’re doing, giving everything a place.
We’ve designed ILP to be as easy and flexible as possible. We know how busy most people’s lives are, and how important it is to work with your busy schedule. But we’ve also included as much as possible, so you can go as deep as you wish. An ILP can take as little as 5 minutes a day—or it can expand up to many hours. It’s up to you.
Starting Your Integral Life Practice
Though ILP is a comprehensive system, starting your own ILP is simple and easy. We certainly don’t recommend that you try to work on every potential growth area, in every dimension, on every level simultaneously. Instead, start with the Four Core Modules, which represent the most essential areas of practice, and then add Auxiliary Modules if you wish.
An ILP module is a set of practices that applies to a specific aspect of your being. A module could address your emotional life, your relationships, your spiritual awareness, or your conception of reality.
Picture modules as rooms in a house. A typical house contains at least a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen. Take away one of these fundamental rooms and a structure could hardly be called a “house.” Likewise, one of the “integral” parts of Integral Life Practice is that it includes four essential rooms or modules: a Body module, a Mind module, a Spirit module, and a Shadow module. With just these four core modules, you can build your ILP house. Of course, a house can have more than four rooms, just as your ILP can have more than four modules. We simply recommend that you start with the Four Core Modules, and then build from that strong foundation.
WAKE UP with the Spirit Module
There are many ways of defining “spirituality” and what “spiritual practice” means. Some people refer to spirituality as a special state of consciousness, some as a level of development, and some as its own developmental line. Others consider spirituality to be an attitude—one of love and tolerance, for example. And many feel that spirituality relates to an ultimate concern, or to an Ultimate Being or Condition.
Integral Spirituality includes all of the above definitions, and lets you determine how you most feel called to embody your spiritual nature at any given time. That said, the Integral Framework recognizes at least three basic perspectives through which we can experience Spirit: as 1st-person, 2nd-person, and 3rd-person. Integral Spiritual Practice attempts to include all three perspectives, regarding them as simply three dimensions of the Divine. And we have a number of spirit practices to help you awaken to all three.
GROW UP with the Mind Module
How does all of this fit together? This is where the Mind or Framework module comes in. To know, love, and serve our complex world, we must be able to see it from many perspectives. Expanding to a more comprehensive worldview or framework does exactly this. This is made immensely easier if we have a solid theoretical map, and we believe the Integral Framework is the current state-of-the-art. Thus, we recommend you learn Integral and develop the ability to skillfully apply it to any and all situations. But the Mind module does not only involve an intellectual study of Integral. It is more significantly expressed when AQAL is effectively utilized as a means of integrating all kinds of knowledge. Then, you’ll develop a feel for the many perspectives that enable us to engage and comprehend our multidimensional world.
CLEAN UP with the Shadow Module
Shadow module practices help integrate unconscious thoughts and emotions into conscious awareness. They clean up the basement of the mind: those parts that you’ve disowned, buried, or projected onto others. Often, these are unpleasant aspects of yourself you’ve deemed unacceptable or unlovable. Sometimes, however, they’re your best parts you don’t feel worthy of or willing to own. Both your lower and your higher self can be hiding in your shadow. Shadow work helps you befriend them both, so you can be more healthy and whole, and have more free energy for development.
SHOW UP with the Body Module
ILP recognizes at least three forms of bodily existence, with practices to work on all three: a gross or physical body of flesh and bones and physical body practice; a subtle body of energy flow and subtle energy work; and a causal body of vast spaciousness and the practice of feeling to infinity. Although these bodies are interwoven, without hard and fast distinctions, we often subdivide the Body Module into Physical Exercise and Nutrition (for the physical body), and Energy Work (for the subtle and causal bodies).
Pressed for time? Try a Short Practice.
Your ILP can be as extensive or involved as you want it to be. However, if you’re on the run, we’ve created a series of short practices that you can do very quickly. These short practices offer a number of remarkably effective exercises that takes almost no time to complete.
Once you’ve learned a new practice, you might only do the extended version on an as-needed basis, while the short practices serve to more frequently evoke similar benefits. By utilizing the short practices you can do your full ILP, realistically, in about 10 minutes a day. Of course, you can also practice for hours every day, if you are truly moved to do so. Or you can do something in between. As you deepen your ILP, you’ll learn to intuitively feel how much practice is appropriate at any given time.
Now Get Started!
We hope you enjoy learning and practicing ILP. This is a special time in human evolution, when so many have the opportunity to work on themselves—to make their lives better, for their own sake and for the world. We hope this technology serves you toward that noble end. We hope you practice diligently, with love, and with humor. May you find growth, well-being, and new awareness through your Integral Life Practice.