With our abundance of traditions, approaches, techniques etc. for exploring ourselves (as individuals and Big Mind), there is a natural integration that takes place as well. Maybe not in terms of changing each approach, but at least in terms of the cross-training they talk about in integral life (transformative) practice. We engage in several different practices, since they each have their area of focus and leave something else out. And this takes place both in terms of integral practice, and also over time – something is helpful at one period of our life, and other approaches at other times.
And this exploration takes place on both individual and collective levels.
For instance, I got into Ken Wilber’s framework in my teens, a few years before living at Kanzeon Zen Center, and then learning the Big Mind process developed some year later. Since then, I discovered Waking Down in Mutuality and (apparently? possibly?) went through the second birth some weeks later.
A little later, Genpo Roshi got involved with the Integral Institute and Ken Wilber, and Big Mind met the integral approach. Today, I found an email in my inbox from Genpo Roshi recommending Saniel Bonder’s latest audio publication, and indirectly the Waking Down approach.
So what I had explored on an individual level later became connected on an outer and more collective level.
Ways of meeting
I can think of three ways this type of cross-fertilization take place.
One is in our own integral practice. I do some sitting practice, some Big Mind, some shadow work, some inquiry, some Breema, and so on, and although each approach retain their integrity they cross fertilize in my being. Each one remains as they are, yet cross fertilize through our integral practice.
Another is how each of these approaches may organically change through this cross fertilization. A Big Mind instructor may also have experience with Process Work, find something valuable in process work to integrate in the Big Mind process, and this may gradually transform how the Big Mind process is done. Or a Process Work trainer may learn the Big Mind process, pick up useful aspects of that approach, and integrate that in how she or he does and teaches Process Work.
And yet another form of cross-fertilization may be the most risky and least organic. This is to have an idea of creating a hybrid out of two or more distinct practices. In doing this, the unique contributions of each may get watered down or lost.