Awakening & Integration

Whenever there is an awakening – in any area and to any degree – there is a period of integration. There is a period of familiarizing ourselves with it and aligning our lives with it.

It seems that all spiritual traditions include both. They have to. Awakening without integration has no juice – it is not brought into life, not tested and clarified in the messy situation of our lives. And there can’t be integration without awakenings.

And – in line with the delight in variation and diversity that this Existence seem to show – there is different emphasis on one or the other, and many different approaches to this.

Indian gurus seem to often (although not always) emphasize awakening. There is often less emphasis on integration, on living it in daily life.

Zen brings people to awakening and then back as quickly as possible. The awakening is often not emphasized so much, almost taken for granted, and the real emphasis is often on integration and living it. On rehumanizing.

Tibetan Buddhism seems to emphasize integration along with awakenings, in a very systematic way. In a certain sense, the integration comes before the awakening…!

And in the west today, there is more and more an emphasis on both – through a more integral and comprehensive approach. We use whatever tools are available for awakenings, and whatever tools are available for integration.

The former includes sitting and mindfulness practice, pointing out instructions, Byron Katie’s inquiry process, the Big Mind process, etc. The latter includes bodyoriented practice, relationship practice, various therapies, etc. And as a context for all this, we have beginnings of more integral frameworks such as Ken Wilber’s AQAL model.

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