December 11, 2018

Elliott Ingersoll: How Do We Make This Real?

Dr. Elliott Ingersoll, Associate Academic Director of the Center for Integral Wisdom, gave a talk at our recent board meeting in Texas about how the Dharma of Outrageous Love and Unique Self is going to transform the field of psychology.

Dr. Marc Gafni introduces Elliott as the Integral psychologist (according to Ken Wilber) and the most popular professor for psychology at Kent State University.

In his serious, yet humorous way Elliott talks about his work at the Metro Health Medical Center and how through collaborative interdisciplinary efforts people’s lives have been changed because their stories have been heard. By having their stories heard people feel seen and loved.

“In being loved they are experiencing a wholeness that for whatever reasons they didn’t get in other parts of their lives… and their recovery is progressing at a pace that far outstrips what we were doing before…” Elliott reports.

He shares about his hope that Unique Self Psychology will transform the field: Students learning how to hold space and to really see the other person and experiencing themselves as being seen will carry that experience into their therapy sessions. This –although a little scary in the beginning–is pretty contagious and it is what will transform the field.

“Nature loves diversity–genetically, psychologically and spiritually. Every one of us has a plate. Every one of us has a way to deal with our plate. And that’s the piece of Unique Self that we want to bring into psychology.”

Listen to Elliott as he takes us on a journey from the flatland psychology that has “physics envy” through the effects of psychotropic medication to the possibilities of a psychology transformed by Outrageous Love and Unique Self:

 

Some interesting statements and questions Elliott raises in his talk:

  • Who will be a voice for those people who don’t have a voice?
  • Outrageous Love is missing in so much of our health care.
  • The uniqueness of people is muted with psychotropic medication.
  • There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the brain. We don’t have one physiological marker for any mental disorder.
  • You cannot medicate anger out of a person.
  • WHEN psychotropic medication works, we don’t know how.
  • Outrageous Pain cannot be held by ego. Unique Self can hold it and can deal with a piece of it and be excited about what’s on “my plate.”
  • When people are being seen they stay and get the treatment they need to get better.

To listen to Dr. Marc Gafni’s teaching during The Shakti Summit 2015 on Outrageous Love and a new vision for the Masculine and the Feminine Beyond Venus and Mars, click here>>>

Unique Self and the Future of Medicine

Our Board of Directors members Venodhar Rao Julapalli, M.D. and Vinay Rao Julapalli, M.D., F.A.C.C. have written an exciting white paper about Unique Self and the Future of Medicine and we have just published it on our website.

Credit: http://www.glsciencesinc.com - /images/Word_Collages/

Credit: http://www.glsciencesinc.com – /images/Word_Collages/

There is a dire need for the integration of the art, science, and morality of medicine. This paper explores the deep implications of the Unique Self in integrating medicine. Co-authors and physicians Venu and Vinay Julapalli call on their extensive understanding of the promises and pitfalls of modern health care to reconceive the practice of medicine. The paper provides the framework to evolve medicine through the emergent Unique Self insight. At stake is no less than the future of how we care for ourselves and each other.

Read the introduction and download the whole article here.

 

True Self Meditation for People with Dementia

by Steve Raymond

 

I met a lovely woman not much older than me in a coffee shop. She said something humorous, and we began a conversation that emotionally moved me because she was quite open with the fact that she is in Early Stage Alzheimer’s disease. She carried it well and very lightly, and shared her personal story with me quite eloquently.

In Monterey, I volunteered for too-short-a-time with the Alzheimer’s Association as a facilitator for a support group for people with Early Stage Alzheimer’s. The people in our group were mostly younger, ranging from 54 to 78, with three younger than 60. So, they were not just Early Stage, but also Early Onset. I say “too-short” because life changes brought me away from that work, and I felt very incomplete about it.

Photo by Julie M. Daley

Photo by Julie M. Daley

There are lots of sobering statistics and valuable information that are readily available at the National Alzheimer’s Association, with great advice for PWD’s (People with Dementia), and their caregivers. I have a somewhat different perspective to share.

Everyone in our Monterey group had clearly life-altering diminishment in their functional capacity. And yet, each person could be so acutely Present emotionally, and so aware of what was happening in their life and to their life.

One common thread in our conversations was the perceived stigma attached to the dementia. Very painfully, each described the experience of being stigmatized by the disease, as though they were now second-class citizens that are essentially written off by society as a hopeless case. This was what always brought forth the most visceral emotions, almost more than the experience of loss of abilities.

This prompted me to teach meditation to our group. In guided meditations, I would begin by having us find a place of calm centered Being-ness that existed separately from the false perceptions and judgements of others, and we would focus upon breathing in Self-Love, and owning the Truth that the dementia is a disease that is affecting their life, but that they could experience the Essence of Being entirely separate from the disease. I was always surprised that attention-span was not a problem. The group settled in comfortably for 20-minutes, and would emerge feeling a very peaceful and gentle sense of True Self Realization.
[Read more…]

Defining the Enlightenment of Fullness

 

(c) 2012 photo courtesy of photoexplorer.

(c) 2012 photo courtesy of photoexplorer

In a recent dialogue over Unique Self, thought-leaders Marc Gafni and Rob McNamara discussed the overlapping topic areas in their recent books, Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment and Strength to Awaken/The Elegant Self.

They discussed…

  • Whole-hearted engagement.
  • The full richness and depth of every moment as the way in to Unique Self.
  • The interrelationship of their books.
  • The ego’s basic habit.
  • The three traits of the Enlightenment of Fullness: Embodiment, Uniqueness, and Creativity.

You can register for the full dialogue on this page.>>>

Below is a partial transcript from their dialogue in which Marc Gafni elaborates on his definition of the Enlightenment of Fullness. [Read more…]

Wisdom for Your Week: Marc Gafni and Rob McNamara in Dialogue over Unique Self

imgres-1In this dialogue below, thought-leaders Marc Gafni and Rob McNamara discuss the overlapping topic areas in their recent books, Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment and Strength to Awaken/The Elegant Self.

They discuss…

  • Whole-hearted engagement. What does physical strength have to do with your awakening and well-being? Rob McNamara describes his approach to the robust integral practice of whole-hearted engagement in the body-mind moment. We all have jobs, family, relationships, friendships, and our well-being to look after. Rob says, here, “Day to day, we tend to push the fundamentals off the table, and they tend to slide.  And, I think there’s a way that we can integrate all the major faculties in to a really robust engagement. And, that’s what I get really excited about around Strength to Awaken.” [Read more…]

Unique Self in the World – “Slight Inklings: First Steps Towards a Celebration of Unique Self in Hospice”

It is a special privilege and delight this week to bring you an audio essay on Unique Self in hospice by Rev. John Hughes, entitled “Slight Inklings: First Steps Towards a Celebration of Unique Self in Hospice.”

John Hughes

John Hughes, founder of Integral Earth, ordained Episcopal priest, and Hospice Chaplain in Wisconsin.

Rev. John Hughes is known as “grandpappy” by two sweet little boys in Kentucky, he is known as “Dad” by two beautiful young women, and he is known as “dear husband” by a woman of vast integrity, in Wisconsin.  His cat doesn’t call him much.

By trade a spiritual caregiver at a hospice, John has had a checkered past, which included somehow becoming an ordained Episcopal priest and offering up his notions to two deeply merciful congregations.  He practices meditation, yoga, and immersion in Integral theory, while sometimes wallowing in confusion, and often rocking out to it in his car.  He is equally thrilled by Beat poetry, a swim, or a game of tennis, the sublime performance of the Green Bay Packers, and an incantation from Bob Dylan.  He is an earnest newcomer to Unique Self.

John has also recently launched the organization Integral Earth. He writes, “Integral Earth is my new organization promoting environmentalism, human rights, and spirituality, from an integral perspective.” You can check out more about this project on Facebook or Twitter.

(The transcript of the essay with supplemental interview follows the embedded audio.) [Read more…]

Free Dialogue on Feb. 21: Rob McNamara and Marc Gafni

RobMcnamara_0The Center for World Spirituality is pleased to share with you a letter we received from Rob McNamara, an author, performance coach, psychotherapist, and professor based in Boulder, Colorado. Rob’s book, Strength to Awaken, An Integral Guide to Strength Training, Performance & Spiritual Practice for Men & Women (2012) is a definitive work which is reshaping the integral spiritual approach to embodiment and physical fitness.

Dear Friend,

In my work and teaching, I am committed to helping people resolve their persistent painful limitations to become more powerful, proficient and aligned with what matters most in life. Becoming more elegant and aligning yourself with your largest excellence is the most important action we can take right now. Creating, refining and stabilizing your larger abilities as a human being is my passion.

That is why I’m confident that you will love this free dialogue with myself and Marc Gafni, one of the most brilliant minds in spirituality today. We will be discussing the rich intersection of our books Strength to Awaken and Marc’s new book Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment.

strength-bookThis Free Call is this Thursday, Feb. 21st at 6pm PT / 9pm ET. To join us reserve your place as soon as you are able:

>>> RESERVE YOUR PLACE

Our call will be about an hour long. This conversation will highlight some of the central teachings Gafni’s new book outlines and we will explore fitness and spirituality in a way that simply is not available anywhere else. We will close with a short Question and Answer session to field some of the biggest questions you have regarding spirituality, awakening and it’s intersection with strength, fitness and embodiment.

Looking forward to connect!
Rob McNamara
author of Strength To Awaken and The Elegant Self

PS: You can get Your Unique Self HERE and Strength To Awaken HERE if you haven’t already.

Addiction recovery methodologies in search of more comprehensive perspectives

Where are all the four-quadrant, all levels of self (egoic self, True Self, Unique Self) approaches to addiction and recovery? The Center for World Spirituality has taken one of its core projects books and applications of integrally-informed, Unique Self-inclusive approaches to addiction and recovery (for more, see our projects underway by Lori Galperin of Castlewood Treatment Centers). Meanwhile, researchers and thinkers are continuing to advance the cutting edge in recovery from various perspectives that are important parts of the whole.

Writing recently on Huffington Post, Wray Herbert looks at the physiology and psychology of addiction (upper-left and upper-right quadrants), summarizing the findings of Jessica Tracy and Daniel Randles of a new University of British Columbia on the connection between shame and alcoholism. He describes the UBC Emotion & Self Lab’s study methodology in detail, noting that it used videotaped body language of alcoholics over a span of time to measure the connection between shame and propensity to relapse. He writes:

This is the first scientific evidence to bolster what alcoholism counselors and recovering alcoholics have long known: Shame is a core emotion underlying chronic heavy drinking. Shame is what gets people into the rooms of AA — it defines the alcoholic “bottom” — but it’s a lousy motivator for staying in recovery. The power of AA is that it offers something to replace the negative emotions that most alcoholics know all too intimately.

[Read more…]

Is no one in charge inside our heads?

By Joe Perez

Everyone knows the human individual is autonomous, a separate being in itself. Not so fast, says evolutionary biologist David P. Barash of the University of Washington, writing recently in “Who’s in Charge Inside Your Head?” for the New York Times. Drawing on research into parasites which alter the consciousness of their victims, Barash says:

It may be distressing to those committed to “autonomy,” but such manipulators [as Echinococcus and Dicrocoelium] have inherited the earth. Including us.

Take coughing, or sneezing. It may be beneficial for an infected person to cough up or sneeze out some of her tiny organismic invaders, although it isn’t so healthful for others nearby. But what if coughing and sneezing aren’t merely symptoms but also, even primarily, a manipulation of us, the “host,” by influenza viruses? Shades of zombie bees, fattened mice and grass-blade-besotted ants. [Read more…]

Why discipline and will power are completely outdated, and an evolutionary alternative

Workout

Photo Credit: jontunn

By Kristen Ulmer

This may surprise you, but discipline, perseverance, setting an intention, drive, the will; all those celebrated states usually taught by sports coaches, are completely outdated. Same with goal setting.

Here’s why. I remember having to perform a difficult ski photo shoot while still recovering from an injury. I wanted to maintain status and sponsors so I “sucked it up” “did it anyway” “refused to give up” “pushed through the pain and fear.” Sounds powerful right?

Such willed effort is fine in a pinch: I skied great that day, but here’s the problem: doing something I didn’t feel like doing was the first step toward future burn out and ultimately resenting my sport.

There’s a better path. [Read more…]

In the blogosphere, attacks on alternative medicine from questionable sources

Accupuncture

By Joe Perez

At first, I saw no reason that I should link to this blog post by a pseudonymous blogger who calls himself Orac. He claims to be a surgeon/scientist, and I have little doubt that he is. He is skeptical about all complementary/alternative medicine, which he likens to The Secret and New Age woo-woo nonsense.

At his Respectful Insolence blog, he writes:

…CAM [complementary alternative medicine] is nothing more than placebo medicine. It makes it easier for me to remind people that intentionally practicing placebo medicine is unethical (because it requires lying to the patient) and paternalistic, just like 60 years ago when conventional doctors did actually order placebos for patients. In a perfectly Orwellian turn of phrase, advocates of “health freedom” and CAM advocates are in essence advocating a return to that sort of paternalism. As I’ve pointed out before, CAM cloaks itself in rhetoric suggesting that it “empowering” patients to “take control” of their health. In actuality it denies them the most important tool to do that: A appraisal of the rationale behind a proposed treatment, along with an assessment of its potential benefits and risks based on science, not fantasy. Instead, it substitutes tooth fairy science, pre-scientific vitalism, and utter faith in the practitioner for science and reason.

So calling advocates of alternative medicine unethical peddlers of fantasy with Orwellian delusions is “respectful insolence” now? [Read more…]

Consciousness is power: a lesson from pebbles

Runner

Photo Credit: Alain Limoges

By Kristen Ulmer

While a body builder, Schwarzenegger was rumored to say lifting weight 1 rep in a conscious state enhanced results more than lifting the same weight 10 times in an unconscious state.

While we wouldn’t take relationship advice from the guy, perhaps this comment deserves pondering! [Read more…]

Robert McNamara: more integrated muscle building gets better results

Muscle

Photo Credit: ccdoh1

 

Robert McNamara’s approach to resistance training, as described in his book Strength to Awaken, is grounded on integral principles… and he views muscle building as a spiritual discipline. On his Embodied. Evolution. blog, the author explains why people over the age of 22 to 24 need to build muscle:

Muscle strength cannot be reduced to a “macho” thing that you may or may not not be attracted to. The larger truth relevant for everyone is this: You need muscle strength, this is a pragmatic fact. If you don’t believe me go volunteer at a nursing home for a week. It will dramatically change your perception of strength and what happens to your quality of life when you can’t move around freely. Muscle strength determines freedom of movement perhaps more than any other single factor and science tells us that strength is positively correlated with quality of life. When you lose strength you also lose quality of your life. It’s that simple.

One of the questions everyone must address is this: Does your day to day lifestyle increase your capacity to move about freely with greater ease and more flexibility? If you can not say yes to this, consider breaking out of your conditioned lifestyle that presently holds you. If you are not moving towards becoming more, then you’re slowly, or perhaps not so slowly, eroding the quality of your life.

Strength and metabolism do not have to decline with age. In fact, it appears that these decline more in concert with lifestyle than with your chronological age. Strength training is a massively (perhaps the most) powerful way to reverse both of these measures as you grow older.

Strength To Awaken is the most integrated approach to strength training you will find on the planet. Greater integration means greater results. Train smart, learn to engage whole-heartedly into the discipline of strength training as this book does and you will enjoy multifaceted adaptations that will likely serve every facet of your life.

Read the whole thing.

 

Social inequality is a cause of disease in itself, scientists say

Macques

Photo Credit: Yodels

By Joe Perez

Despite thousands of years of prophetic religious teachings telling us to lift up the poor and identify with the outcast, and hundreds of years of Western Enlightenment teaching about that all people are created equal, we live in a world of massive social inequality. When we aren’t completely ignoring the problem, scientists research the phenomenon to shed light. In “Why Low Social Status Causes Health Problems,” on Big Think, comes word from the study of macaque monkeys that inequality leads to disease:

[Read more…]