Practice as Service
August 15, 2006 23:30
The last three weeks have been one hell of a ride. With two 5-day seminars on either end of a week of helping Ken convalesce, I don’t know what could have posed a greater challenge to my practice. Nor can I think of a greater honor in the world. The opportunity to serve at seminars and to help Ken through his recent tribulations—despite the consistent lack of sleep and almost nonexistent time for myself—has afforded me the opportunity to walk the intimate contours of my path within the Integral vision. Through periods of service such as this, I am faced with choice to either walk this path as the truest manifestation of my practice or to feel burnt-out after three 120-hour work weeks. I portray this as a choice because it appears to be no more complex than making the decision to relate to my work as merely work or to treat each moment as another step on the path of forgetting who is actually doing the walking
Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t really been easy, but with this three week intensive commencing with Integral Life Practice Level 2—a gathering of over 40 seminar alumni along with Fred Kofman, Diane Hamilton, Terry Patten, Huy Lam and Sofia Diaz—it is difficult to distinguish practice from anything but your truest expression. The seminar was nothing less than extraordinary. The environment was intense; a crucible of engagement at the deepest level. The participants—all of whom had previously attended an ILP seminar—came with open hearts, a tangible commitment to their own growth and a genuine openness to share their experiences in an effort to deepen the we-space. Weaved together masterfully by Fred, the seminar took the group through a deepening of Big Mind, work with transmuting emotions, holotropic breathwork and beautiful meditations on the 3 faces of Spirit. Culminating in a closing experience singularly worth the price of admission, this seminar gave way to a week spent at the loft assisting Ken. Stay tuned to this site for an upcoming blog entry on what it has been like hanging with Ken since his fall.
After making a quick stop at home to pay my rent, the team and I were loading in for The Integral Leader—a 5-day professional development seminar designed for business leaders, coaches and consultants. In attendance were 70 professionals from over 10 countries on five continents, thereby making it our largest and most diverse seminar ever. Led by Brett Thomas and Bert Parlee, the group was guided through the foundations of Integral leadership. From a vision for the integral leader, to discovery of the AQAL matrix arising in self and other, to the specific tools an integral leader uses to dynamically steer an organization the seminar traversed this relatively uncharted territory with grace.
Last Saturday, as it all came to a close, I headed home for what felt like the first time in 2 months. That night, I engaged in the most integrative of meditations—that of sleep—for about 15 hours straight. In reflection, I would do it all again tomorrow if I could. No work that I have ever known brings me to my knees in the service of God in every being quite like this.