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The Reason for a Personal Development and Practice Section
15 March 2012
3:37 pm
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Mark Jack
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I thought this would be a really valuable section to include as it underpins and results from the rest. Developing the practice of Integral Herbalism requires a certain level of development within an individual, and practicing Integral Herbalism well (or indeed any type of therapy), is dependent on the self development of the therapist. I certainly find it a stretch to engage in this endeavor!

So this part of the forum is for discussions on how we develop ourselves, on what practices are useful for helping us operate at a higher level, and what ultimately we bring to our practice of Integral Herbalism.

19 March 2012
3:43 pm
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owenokie
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An important subject. This was made abundantly clear in the forward by Wilber on Integral Medicine.

For my part my spiritual nature was largely satisfied by a wonder which I explored mostly in science, nature and science fiction until I discovered Zen in my mid 20’s. Meditation has since been a very regular part of my life. I’ve explored Buddhism, Vedanta, and Sufism (in particular Sufi Order International which has a universalist and integral approach).

 

Most recently I’ve been taking an on-line course with Terry Patten called Integral Spiritual Practice. Terry Patten is a wonderful teacher and his course is fantastic and I highly recommend it. Already I can sense that it will have a significant impact on my herbal practice and my counseling practice. Applying Integral theory in a way that develps a truly Integral Spiritual practice has been a breath-taking and heart-opening exploration which has only just begun to unfold. 

I think a next step is getting a better understanding (both theoretical and practical) of Integral theory and AQAL…starting this website has pointed to some holes and shallow spots in my current understanding. The ISP course has however greatly expanded the degree to which Integral is a part of my daily life and to my understanding of it in a embodied way.

25 March 2012
12:17 pm
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Mark Jack
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Your spiritual beginnings being a wonder at science, nature and the like sounds like a pretty good beginnings! Well I greatly enjoyed all those things growing up, my spiritual beginnings, if such they were, was being in a family that was very committed to Christianity and going along with that. I can’t say that it gave me any deep spiritual experiences, but now, after putting enough distance between me and it, I can see all the good things it gave, like commitment to a practice, a decent moral or ethical code, and a familiarity with not going with the flow of the mainstream.

I came in contact with Zen Buddhism when I was around 20 and from then on meditation has been my fundamental practice, and it is the thing I do with most consistency. Recently I came across the profound meditation program (similar to holosync) and now use that at the same time as meditating, and it seems helpful. If there was just one thing I would recommend people do to develop spiritually it would be meditation without a doubt. Prayer is probably my second most consistent spiritual practice, but I don’t do it anywhere near as much as meditation.

Last year I got the book Integral Life Practice by Ken Wilber and Terry Pattern, which I imagine must have a fairly similar approach to the course you are doing with Terry Pattern. It was quite revolutionary, such a brilliant approach to spiritual practice, or rather life practice. So now I also see diet, exercise (including subtle body), mental development, meditation, community, and shadow work or psychological work as part of my practice. The former and latter I have fallen out of practice with lately, but I am of no doubt of their value, I just get busy with work and other things instead (and it was recently my birthday and had lots of chocolate to eat)!

So actually the main practices I feel I need to be focusing on now are reducing the amount of sugar I eat, getting to sleep at an okay time, doing more shadow work, and bringing awareness or presence more into everyday activities.

25 March 2012
9:16 pm
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owenokie
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Lots of parallels between us!

I’ve been using the PMP tracks since november and have found them very useful. I’ve had a couple years where meditation has felt like slogging…very much a coping with stress/upset motivation…and the PMP shifted that immediately back to a place where the mind quiets more easily and even if it doesn’t I come out of the meditation feeling calmer and refreshed. My breathing deepens more naturally and without control as well. I could certainly see myself recommending them to clients.

 

The ISP is an extension of the ILP, bringing everything together more coherently into a practice, and a framework for practice that can accept multiple influences. I’m really experiencing some profound shifts. He does use a similar set of modules. A large focus around experiencing the three faces of God…well its all too much to get into!

 

The awareness to day-today activity is an important point as it applies to many aspects of the work of an herbalist. Helping a client have more awareness of their patterns for eating and mood, exercise and sleep, breakfast and energy, and so on is a large part of the gift we can give to our cients. So of course practicing such ourselves is important as well. Which makes me think it might be time to do another food diary for myself as its been a long-time since the last one!

25 March 2012
10:43 pm
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Mark Jack
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Be the change you wish to see in your client! 

 

Food diaries for me have never been very successful – I have always had the feeling that to gain anything meaningful they would have to be done for half a year then have a statistician analyse the results! Unless it is to get a better feel of what one is actually eating! Perhaps the only times I have used them was in cases where diet wasn’t really having much effect or there was a variable in the food that I didn’t analyse for. But I have been wondering recently if either sugar or chocolate really decrease the quality of my sleep (which wouldn’t be a surprising revelation all in all), and a food diary might show that up okay. But I am just reducing those anyway.

 

I would be quite interested to see Terry Pattern’s updated version. I suppose there could actually be even more integration or smoother integration than what there was in ILP. But for now I will make do with what I’ve got.

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