For any deeper transformation to take place, there has to be an alignment of all levels, along with some energy. One way to allow this, is to engage in a form of integral or comprehensive practice.
- Takes into account bodily needs, such as nutrition and sleep
- Includes a bodyoriented practice, allowing awareness into the bodily aspect of the self, such as yoga, tai chi, chi gong, Breema.
- Allows awareness to rest in itself and bring itself into awareness, such as meditation (nondual).
- Brings awareness into the shadow, the qualities seen as “not me”, through working with projections – seeing any quality in the inner and outer world – or specific approaches such as Jungian analysis. This allows us to live more fully and more freely from the different characteristics in us, to relate to them in the inner and outer world with more awareness, and open for deep empathy, humility and joy.
- Works with human relationships, maybe through practices such as nonviolent communication or couples counseling.
- Brings awareness into one’s relationship with the larger social and ecological whole.
(a) If I work with something that is not aligned with my values, it drains my energy.
(b) If I am blindly identified with mainstream culture and not able to explore on my own, or if I see myself as opposed and separated from mainstream culture, there is a level of unconsciousness. I am both an inseparable part of this culture, and explore on my own.
(c) If I deny what is happening in the world today, and what it brings up in me, it numbs me and cuts me off from the energy in it. If I open up for it – through for instance the practices developed by Joanna Macy – I also open up for all the energy and beauty tied up in this denial. And if I open up for the beauty in this small self being part of this immensely larger whole – through deep ecology, new cosmology etc. – I find a deep source of inspiration and grace.
If we fragment these areas – if some are left out and not aligned with the whole – a deeper transformation cannot take place. Bringing awareness into all these areas allows them to transform within the larger whole.