The third form of awakening: Integration


Most of what I write about here these days is the third form of awakening, a reorientation of the patterns of our human self so they align more closely and more consciously with reality, with what’s revealed when images and thoughts are examined.

And this can be referred to as integration. It’s an integration of parts of our human self, in a more conscious way, into reality as it’s revealed to us, our true nature, all as Spirit, or all as love. These parts of us were formed as images and thoughts were taken as true, often early in life, and continue to live and function in and through as as if these images and thoughts are true.

During and within, and sometimes before, the two other forms of awakening – an awakening (a) out of what images says is who I am, and an awakening (b) as all there is including these images – life invites in this third form or aspect of awakening. Whatever is not aligned with all as awakeness, all as love, comes to the surface to align more closely and consciously with this.

How can “I” support or more consciously align myself with this process?

Most simply, I can met and welcome whatever surfaces – whether they are emotions triggered by images held as true, or these images and thoughts held as true. I can notice they are awakeness itself, the play of awakeness. They are love. They are devoted to me. They are there to support me. They are there to protect me. They are worried love.

I can inquire into my thoughts about these emotions and images:

It’s overwhelming. It’s too much. Another experience is better / easier. It’s easier / possible to escape this experience.

It’s fear / sadness / anger. It’s an image. It’s a memory about the past. It’s a scenario about the future.

This emotion / image is mine. This emotion / image is separate from me. This emotion / image is other than me.

I can inquire into the images and thoughts behind and associated with these emotions:

I lost out. She abandoned me. I made a mistake. I am unlovable. (etc.!)

I can notice and welcome emotions and images/thoughts as awakeness/love, and also as an energy, a vortex keeping itself in place. I can allow it to spin, unwind itself. You are welcome here. You are allowed here, as you are. This is a safe place for you. (Noticing it’s already allowed, it already has a safe place, independent of how it’s met at a human level, and also my intention to notice this, and consciously welcome and provide a safe place for it.)




In the tradition of looking at turnarounds of teachings, I thought I would look at integration.

The main teacher at Center for Sacred Sciences would sometimes say that Enlightenment has nothing to do with integration.

So in what sense is the reverse true? In what way is integration integral to Enlightenment?

One example is quite obvious. When everything is recognized as Spirit, there is a reorganization of the human self within this new context. A reorganization at physical, energetic, emotional, and mental levels, and how this human self functions in the world. In this sense, there is an integration within Enlightenment. The human self realigns with reality, and this is an ongoing process. It integrates into this new context of Spirit recognizing itself as all there is.


Inner and Outer Integrations


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.

Streams meeting

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.

I am still curious to see if the Universe Story, Process Work, Byron Katie’s inquiries, or Breema will meet at our collective level in a significant way 🙂

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.