In 22 books, Ken Wilber has put together a full-spectrum model of stages of human growth and development, integrating the systems created by psychology with those of the contemplative traditions. The result is a blend of ancient wisdom and modern science. In this thought-provoking work, Wilber deepens his integral approach with a theory of spirituality that takes within its embrace the truths of modernity and postmodernity along with the insights of the great religions. He shows how individuals can use the consciousness raising techniques of Eastern enlightenment in tandem with the transformative techniques of the West via developmental and psychodynamic psychology. What is so fascinating here is the openness to these different paths of spiritual unfolding. Wilber also points to the contributions the world's religions can make to the role of spirituality in everyday life, proof of Spirit's existence, stages of spiritual development, the practice of contemplation, and much more.
Wilber spells out his complex vision of integral spirituality in chapters on integral methodological pluralism, stages of consciousness, states of consciousness, states and stages, Boomeritis Buddhism, the shadow and the disowned self, a miracle called "we," the world of the terrible obvious, and the conveyer belt. Readers are free to spend time on the subjects that interest them most whether dealing with philosophy, psychology or religion or a mix of them all.
The section that interests us most is on "Integral Life Practice." It consists of four core modules along with five auxiliary modules:
• Body (Weightlifting, Aerobics, F.I.T., Diet, T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Qi Gong, Yoga, 3-Body Workout)
• Mind (Reading and Study, Belief System, Integral Framework, Mental Training, Taking Multiple Perspectives, any worldview or meaning system that works for you)
• Spirit (Zen, Centering Prayer, Big Mind Meditation, Kabbalah, Compassionate Exchange, TM, Integral Inquiry, the 1-2-3 of God)
• shadow (Gestalt therapy, Cognitive Therapy, 3-2-1 Process, Dreamwork, Interpersonal, Psychoanalysis, Art & Music Therapy)
• Ethics (Codes of Conduct, Professional Ethics, Social and Ecological Activism, Self-discipline, Integral Ethics, Sportsmanship, Vows & Oaths)
• Sex (Tantra, Integral Sexual Yoga, Kama Sutra, Kundalini Yoga, Sexual Transformative Practice)
• Work (Right Livelihood, Professional Training, Money Management, Work as a Mode of ILP, Karma Yoga, Community Service & Volunteering, Work as Transformation)
• Emotions (Transmuting Emotions, Emotional Intelligence Training, Bhakti Yoga (Devotional Practices), Emotional Mindfulness Practice, Tonglen (Compassionate Exchange Meditation), Creative Expression & Art)
• Relationships (Integral Relationships, Integral Parenting, Communication Skills, Couples Therapy, Relational Spiritual Practice, Right Association (Sangha), Conscious Marriage)
Wilber says of these choices: "Pick one practice from each module and exercise them concurrently. This transformational cross-training accelerates growth, increases the likelihood of healthy development, and vastly deepens one's capacity for transformational living." For more information check out Integral Institute, which offers seminars, workshops, online materials, and home-study kits in each of these modules.