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Integral Life Practice

Spirituality & Health Magazine
reviewed by Kristine Morris

A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening
By Ken Wilber, Terry Patten, Adam Leonard, and Marco Morelli
Integral Books, $19.95

“Integral Life Practice is a way of organizing the many practices handed down through the centuries — along with those developed at the cutting edge of psychology, consciousness studies, and other leading fields — using a framework optimized for life in the twenty-first century,” say authors Wilber, Patten, Leonard, and Morelli. It calls for a “free and fearless exploration of the terrain” of one’s own being and awareness and honors the individual in its realization that one’s practice does not have to be as described by the traditions in order to be effective. “Practice by nature is extremely alive,” the authors say. “It continually reinvents itself . . . We continue the tradition of . . . breaking with tradition, while still drinking deeply from the deep wisdom of the past.”

Those who have left traditional or mainstream religious practices behind and who feel the lack of some of the elements that these supplied — such as a sense of direction, prescribed rituals, and community — may find all these in what Integral Life Practice (ILP) has to offer, without the restrictions that made leaving necessary in the first place. Described as “the ultimate in cross-training,” the authors state that ILP “works synergistically on body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature.” It allows practitioners to mix and match practices and to adjust them to the amount of time available, even as little as one-minute modules; it can be customized and allows for changing practice modules as one’s needs change. ILP is a wise and practical guide to practice that engages the whole human being in the process of awakening. It lays out a path that rational, “post-postmodern” minds and hearts can follow, recognizing and utilizing the powerful spiritual technologies of the ancient wisdom traditions without the encumbrances of cultural overtones and restrictive dogmatism.

Ken Wilber is the author of more than twenty books, including A Brief History of Everything. Terry Patten an author,  consultant, coach, teacher, and conservationist. Adam B. Leonard is an educator, business consultant, author, and entrepreneur who specializes in applying the integral approach to individual, team, and organizational development. Marco Morelli is a scholar, writer, and poet. 

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