Integral Life Practice

The idea behind Integral Life Practice (ILP) is simple: the more dimensions of the human bodymind that are developed, the more transparent to the Divine they become, and thus the more likely integrated development and awakening become. ILP therefore attempts to exercise the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions of the self, and to do so in relationships with others and with the larger world (including community and nature.)

In the physical realm this may include practices such as: nutritious organic diet, various forms of exercise, and preventative health care. Practice in the emotional-sexual realm might involve hatha yoga, qi gong, open-heart sharing, music therapy. The cognitive or psychological aspect of our practice might have things like visualization, affirmations, various types of psychotherapy and reading of sacred literature, as well as engaged explorative dialogue. The contemplative or meditative dimension might include practices such as centering prayer, vipassana, self-inquiry, meditative chanting, retreats etc. The community realm might have various types of community service, and any sort of relational, compassionate care and engagement with others, and nature might have recycling, protection and rehabilitation work, nature hikes and nature celebration, and so on.

The idea of ILP is simple: pick at least one practice from each area and practice them concurrently. The more dimensions you practice, the more effective they all become, nurturing, stimulating, balancing and enhancing each other. In this way the soul becomes ready to receive and make use of grace offered. And the bodymind vehicle becomes more able to hold and integrate whatever awakening does occur. The idea in designing your personal ILP program is that you engage cognitively, physically, emotionally, interpersonally and spiritually.

ILP acknowledges that strictly speaking, spiritual awakening or realization is not caused by how much we meditate or pray or engage in any of the myriad forms of spiritual practice. However, it is based on the experience that there are certain factors that seem to facilitate this awakening and make it more likely. ILP is one of these.

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