Why is the whole big picture—everything, the universe—part of our conversation? It’s because we’re evolving the human brain, which means we’re evolving consciousness. I don’t know of anything more important going on right now, because everything else flows from that. There’s not a problem in the world that I can think of offhand that is not created by what we human beings do. And everything we do proceeds from our consciousness.
We need to be aware of this and do our best to get to the highest, most functional level of consciousness that we possibly can; so that we can evolve as a species collectively, and respond from the greatest level of intellectual brilliance, of deep compassionate caring, wisdom, and skillfulness that we are able to achieve; we need to take as many perspectives as possible.
We want to include this awareness in everything we do, because it really has to be a win-win-win-win-win-win situation; not just for humanity but for all sentient beings, and all of the children and species who will come after us. We’ve got to behave in a way that is evolutionarily integral; in other words, behave with integrity from our highest level of capacity, wisdom, and development.
One of the ways that we can do this, and probably the most effective way that we know of at this time, is to adopt an Integral Life Practice (in Ken Wilber’s words), or an Integral Transformative Practice (in the words of Michael Murphy and George Leonard), or what I talk about with my recovery students, an Integral Recovery Practice. This means working all the essential aspects of ourselves, because if we don’t, we develop pathological conditions and symptoms that will collapse the whole house of cards or our individual, personal house of cards. Of course, we do not live as isolated islands of beings; we’re all connected. So, when we fall apart, essentially the universe falls apart, and when we evolve and achieve, it is the universe evolving and achieving. We can actually consciously do this work by adopting these practices.
The Profound Meditation Program is a godsend when we adopt an Integral practice, as we have to work our bodies; we have to work our minds; we have to work our emotional lives, which include traumas from the past, the stuff that’s happening now, and perhaps even fear of future events, such as our eventual, physical demise; and we have to work our spiritual lives. When we put these four things together, and we work on them together, they function synergistically. The cognitive or mind capacity increases our spiritual capacity, which increases our emotional capacity, which is increased by our overall health. When we start doing this rather than working on one isolated aspect of ourselves—in other words, rather than becoming an Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has the body aligned but maybe hasn’t done the emotional work—if we put it all together, then we really have a road map for our individual and collective evolution.
It’s a very positive psychology that leads us to authentic happiness. It’s something that we can do not only for ourselves, but we can also teach this to our children and those who come after us: if you really want to find out what your life is about, if you really want to find your purpose and meaning, and get into the creative flow of expressing your own unique part of this huge, beautiful, evolutionary story that we’re part of, this is what you can do. And it will feel really good. It will work. It will be effective. It will change your life. Your practice can become the axle that the whole story of your individual life revolves on; and then it starts contributing to the great field of existence and the universe itself.
How do we do it? We do it by working on ourselves, evolving ourselves, finding out what our gifts are, what our path is, what our contribution will be, and looking at old, insoluble issues in new, creative ways where we integrate all that we know about life and the world (all four quadrants, as we say in Integral) and bring it together in new ways that offer hope and innovative solutions for the future.
We do it by showing up and working daily on it. In the case of the Profound Meditation practice, we put on our headphones, we shut up, and we sit on our cushion or our couch or a chair, and we sit there and practice. Then we expand our field of awareness, and we allow our hurts, our wounds, our prejudices, our conditionings, and our ego structures that we’ve outgrown (but that we’re still living out unconsciously)—we allow all of these things to come into our field of awareness. Here they can percolate, they can release, and they can finally be transformed and transmuted into higher energy—for growth, for compassion, for love, for joy, for creativity—for the highest aspects of being human and part of this journey.
When we’re doing our practices, I think it’s really important to have a big, overall, universe-inclusive, strategic viewpoint or perspective, that takes account of all the different perspectives that come from all the different sentient beings. But it’s also important to dial it down: “Okay, this is me. What can I do to manifest my best self, to optimize who I am, to bring forth my gift, to be the best father, the best mother, the best son, child, leader, worker, co-worker, president, politician, artist, businessperson?”
All that to say, our meditation practice, this deep, interior, meditative, contemplative space or zone, which is facilitated so brilliantly and powerfully by the Profound Meditation Program, is terribly important. Times are pretty desperate at the moment. There are a lot of us on the planet. There is a lot of conflict, a lot of hatred, and a lot of confusion. So we need to learn to wake up and, as John Lennon said, start becoming part of the solution and not just part of the problem.
Paintings by David Holladay of Boulder, Utah.
Adapted from iAwake Technologies’ free, weekly teleconference call on October 10, 2012.
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