Crossposted from FutureHealth.org
This is a transcript of my Jan 24th, 2010 interview with Terry Patten, co-author, with Ken Wilber and others, of Integral Life Practice; A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. Terry was, on an earlier leg of his journey, founder of Tools for Exploration. Download the podcasthere if you'd prefer to listen to the interview.
Rob Kall: And welcome to Rob Kall Futurehealth Radio, WMJC 13:60 a.m. Tonight, our first guest is Terry Patten, coauthor of "Integral Life Practice," who has a blog at integralheart.com/blog. Terry, we've known each other for a couple of decades.
Terry Patten: That's right.
Rob: And when I first met you, you were involved with Tools for Exploration, which was about technology for helping people to find out more about themselves, take more control. How would you describe what Tools for Exploration was?
Terry: Well, it was a unique category of consumer products. I think we were sort of a cross between The Sharper Image and catalog as Dada Art. We were really trying to stretch people's minds to a whole different level by bringing consciousness technologies and subtle energy tools, things that broke the current scientific paradigm completely and made use of mindbody connections in unique ways, and also subtle energy possibilities in interesting ways. So we built a pretty decentsized catalog. It had over 100 pages, over 1000 SKUs, during the decade that I built it up until I sold it.
Rob: And it was based, to some extent, on the work of Michael Hutchinson, right?
Terry: Well, Michael Hutchinson wrote the book "Megabrain," and "Megabrain Power," and he was a friend and associate. And he and I worked on a newsletter, a "Megabrain" newsletter, back during the late 80s and early 90s together. And he really popularized some of the early consciousness technologies in some important ways, and so the energy that surrounded his work was an important part of tools. But he actually had a separate business before that and then again later, afterwards, but we ended up being a much larger concern.
Rob: Now, that was twenty years ago?
Rob: Something like that, right?
Terry: Part of it was as long as twenty years ago, that's right.
Rob: And, I think I could say there's been a lot of integral water over the dam since then.
Terry: I sold the company. I think that there was a tremendous surge of energy in the consciousness technologies during those years, and a lot happened. And through your good work with the Winter Brain meetings and the whole surge of interest in neurofeedback, there have been a lot of advances in the whole state of the technology. It's really transformed, particularly in the area of neurofeedback.
Rob: But you've gone in a different direction. You've got this new book out, "Integral Life Practice," which you coauthored with Ken Wilber, Adam Leonard, and Marco Morelli. Tell us a lot about it. I want to hear a lot about this because I've read a little bit of Ken Wilber, and I've been delving into the book a little bit, but I'd really like you to share with our listeners what it's all about.
Rob: The subtitle for the book is "A 21stCentury Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening." And the blurbs you have recommending this book -- Andrew Cohen, Brother David SteindlRast, Elizabeth Lesser, Michael Murphy, Zalman Schachter Shalomi, Lama Surya Das I mean, it's an incredible list of people. And there's more too, that I just skimmed.
Terry: Yeah. Yeah, Tony Robbins is on the back cover, yeah.
Rob: Let me read Tony Robbins' endorsement here on the back cover:
"At once challenging and uplifting, tender yet assertive, this provocative and accessible book is the source text for a new movement in postmetaphysics and life transformation. This book is the definitive roadmap for your journey to an awakened life."
Anthony Robbins, author of "Awaken the Giant Within" and "Unlimited Power."
That's an amazing endorsement.
Terry: Yeah, it made me feel good when we saw that comment. Well, you know, Rob, what happened for me, after I sold the Tools For Exploration company, was that, I felt some frustration. You know, I had really come toTools with a mission of a right livelihood, really to do good in the world through my business activity, and I felt that I had done a lot of good in a lot of ways. But I didn't feel like I was hitting quite the center of the bull's eye that my heart was set on. I wanted to help people really live more conscious lives, and I felt that the tools that I was selling through that catalog company were very helpful. And for the right person, each one of them could facilitate breakthroughs that really could be of transformative value.
But very often people related to the tools in a way that imagined that the special machine was going to do something for them. They were going to find the magic frequency, ... And it was a positive thing of something outside oneself that was going to do it for oneself, and a little bit of a passivity in terms of one's own responsibility. And I felt more and more frustrated about that.
And it was really that that caused me to want to move on, to... That's why I sold that company even though, on some levels, it was a very fulfilling time in my life.
Rob: Like... Kind of like, consciousness couch potatoes.
Terry: [laughs] Well, you know, It didn't say that. I always encouraged people to meditate, I always encouraged people to exercise and eat a right diet, I always encouraged people to do all the different elements of a conscious lifestyle. But very often, the tools would end up being used as a substitute for the basics, and that frustration led me to want to make a change. And not only that, there was a, I think, two different aspects of what inspires my heart were coming to the fore. One of them has to do with practice, and the book "Integral Life Practice" is the expression of that. And the other has to do with activism.
And another book that I've written that has not been published yet, but which I'm excited about and returning to, and will be crafting soon, is called "The Terrible Truth and the Wonderful Secret: Answering the Call of Our Evolutionary Emergency." That is really more of an expression of that activist side of me.
To talk more about Integral Life Practice, which has been the primary focus of my work for the past several years, it's really a way of talking about the ancient wisdom of all religions combined with the insights of modern science. And even the recontextualization of modern science that we have gotten through postmodern insights and bringing all of that together in a way that offers the best with the attitude that in our life we don't have time. We don't have time for anything. So we really need to get a lot of bang for our buck in the sense of our buck being our 10 minutes or 20 minutes or half hour or hour of time.
So the time invested in a method of meditation that was right for people growing up in an agrarian society in India or China a 1000 or 2000 years ago might not be the most efficient way for contemporary westerner to practice.
Integral Life Practice is a way of bringing the most efficient high leverage practices from all time periods together in a program for cross training of body, mind, spirit, and shadow-- because shadow is an important dimension of practice that really wasn't included in the ancient traditions in the way that it has been possible since Freud.
Also offering a catalytic way that all those different kinds of practice can help us grow in our capacity for awareness and for care and for presence. That growth and awareness and care and presence are front and center so that although you might use all kinds of tools. You might use all kinds of techniques. Nothing is put between you and your personal responsibility right now to wake up.
Open your heart to show up and not only to do those things but then to bring all that to bare on behalf of other people. You know, with an open heart, in a spirit of love, in the interest of offering something better for the world around you.
Rob: Sounds really good. So, this is a thick book. There's a lot in here. It seems to me as a very practical pragmatic book with detailed instructions on how to do things and how to think through things.
Terry: Absolutely. It was intended to...
Rob: As compared to Ken Wilber's writings, which tend to be very theoretical, philosophical, integrating philosophy and science brilliantly I think he is one of the smartest people around, but it seems like what you have done, as one of your reviewers said, is you created a kind of a GPS for consciousness, for traveling the journey, almost for exploring the idea of waking up, opening your heart, and showing up to the full extend that you have the potential.
Terry: Yeah. This is really, you know, when people ask Ken 'what can I do in my life,' he tells them doing Integral Life Practice. That is the single answer. His theoretical works are marvelous orienting generalizations that I think have really redrawn the best maps we have as to the territory of the inner and outer world so that we can have conversations of the leading edge of consciousness and culture at a level of specificity and rigor and insight and intensity that I thing have been possible before. But when it comes to my life, whatever my abstract understanding of things is, what do I do? This is the first book that Ken has been involved in writing that really addresses that question.
...you do not have to be interested in Ken Wilber or even never have heard of Ken Wilber to be interested in living the fullest life you can and in being all that you can be. You know, not that army slogan. But what is this life and how can I really fulfill the potentials for joy, and for awareness, and for aliveness, and for service to others?
How do I really fulfill the potential of this birth? Everybody is interested in that. People realize that you do not just do that by meditating and you do not just do that by physical fitness, you don't just do that by studying books. You know, some of it is kind of to be an integration of all these aspects of yourself.
Something comes on line when you do it all. It does not happen if you only pursue one of those lines. And that's what Integral Life Practice is about.
Rob: We are going to talk about it a little bit more after our station ID and sponsor information. So this is the Rob Kall Futurehealth Radio Show, WNJC 13:60 a.m. interviewing Terry Patten, coauthor of Integral Life Practice and the show was sponsored by Futurehealth.org. Futurehealth.org is a news and opinion site for consciousness, for biofeedback, for neurofeedback, meditation, different approaches to healing with the mind. It's also a website that offers products for professionals and for laymen having to do with stress and relaxation and check it out. Futurehealth.org or do a search for Futurehealth products on Amazon where we also offer a good number of products.
OK. Terry, back to Integral Life Practice. So Integral Life Practice sounds like something that everybody should want, yet I know a whole lot of a people never get there. You know why, part of what I do on another one of my websites OpEdNews.com is I have a quotation database on there.
I was uploading some quotations from Henry David Thoreau yesterday. He talks about how so many people go through their lives without ever getting it. Without ever doing anything but just working at ordinary jobs, figuring out that there was something more than that. Integral life is all about first understanding that there is more of it and then how to get there. Right?
Terry: Yeah. What I would say is I think everybody, we all come with the raw equipment. We have this amazing human body/mind. You know, if you look at our nervous system and these medical book diagrams, I mean, it is like an amazing tree. This is amazing that the raw equipment of the human being is capable of the tremendous ecstasy of writing poetry, building cathedrals, and of standing on the earth with kind of dignity, simplicity, intelligence, and clarity that is really moving. So everybody has got that. Everybody is doing it to some degree. Yeah, people tend to get dragged down. Life can be discouraging.
People end up in these low moments, feeling close to suicidal sometimes, certainly the postmodern act is something that everyone has had to deal with. I think that everybody yearns for something more, at least, in many moments. Many people find a way to make steps towards that, even if they are not very systematic, even if they are not very consistent in the ways they do it. Just by trying to be a good person, just by loving, just by reading good books, just by maybe opening their hearts, in a simple way, or praying or meditating, even a little bit here and there, maybe just doing Yoga, whatever.
They find ways, maybe running. For many people, their sport becomes kind of a spiritual practice for them. Everybody has got a little drib or drab of this going on.
I say to people, don't take up an integral life practice. Integral Life Practice is a way to understand what you're already doing and can fill in a lot of the missing pieces and help you come into a kind of wholeness and have more success, really get traction, really get results or the things that you aspire to most in a more powerful way.
But ultimately, not just so that you'll feel better, ultimately so that you'll become freer and freer of the things that are dragging you down so that you can be of service to the world around you, to other people, to be a contributor.
And I think that's the ultimate meaning of practice is to be a presence of love. I mean, you know, one aspect of Integral Life Practice is spirituality. And what is your spirituality if you don't love?
So, there's a way that our body practice, our mind practice, all the rest of it comes to bear in service of us being able to be just more, more juice, more able to face down our own demons and to come up with a smile, to come up with that extra energy, to come up with enough juice to meet the moment with whatever class we can, you know, with compassion because everybody's got their own unique set of challenges. It's not always easy.
I joke with my wife. It's hard to be a person. Anybody who wakes up, brushes their teeth and walks out the front door, you know, they're just looking for trouble. Life is not easy. And, with an appreciation for that, without kind of closing our hearts and saying, oh, you're a loser if you don't become enlightened. I mean, forget it.
In some ways, higher consciousness is a luxury. We have a lot of things we have to deal with in our lives. It's not easy being a person. But, everybody can get more results for the little bit of free energy and attention that they've got. They can invest that in a way that has a cross training synergy.
I'll tell you what, if you meditate and you do a real physical exercise, your meditation will move forward twice as fast as if you just meditate.
Rob: Can you explain that? Could you explain? I didn't understand. If you meditate, you do it at the same time or do them one after the other?
Terry: No, no, you do them at different times. But, if you are in training in terms of body and mind and spirit and shadow all at once, there are cross training synergies. That's one of the premises of Integral Life Practice. You know, you're a complete person. Your body doesn't exist separate from your mind, separate from your spirit. And when the patterns that you're living are fixed, you know, your trying to break up one kind of pattern but the others all stay the same, the system doesn't move as fast. When you break up a lot of patterns at once by actually anchoring some intentionality in different areas of your life, it makes a huge difference.
And the way we try to make this doable for people is with what we call a one minute module. In other words, some people have very busy lives. They might not have more than 10 minutes some days to devote to practice. But, with simple techniques that you can do in just a minute or two minutes or three minutes you can anchor kind of intentionality and you can kind of shift your energy and shift your attention and shift your intention in a way that can really turn things around.
And that flexibility is so important because it lets me and lets anyone kind of face the fact that, you know, there are no excuses. Even if I don't have time, I have time for something. And I'll tell you what, if you sit down and you open your heart to spirit as you understand it, in whatever way that is, and you expand out of the kind of contraction of your own lonely, tormented journey through the difficulties of life, and you contact something that's already OK and that's an endless source of resource, and you do that for two minutes a day, your life is different.
And you do that and you do stuff that engages your body in a way that makes you healthier and you pay attention in a way to sharpening your mind and expanding your capacity to take perspective and release perspective so that you become more flexible, less stuck in your way of thinking and understanding reality.
I mean, you'll begin to really change and it doesn't mean, you know, you don't have to go into an ashram and do practices for eight hours a day. Integral Life Practice is for busy people.
Rob: So, you said you could do something for one or two minutes every day and it will change your life. What's an example of that?
Terry: Well, let's see. We have a one minute module in what we call the three faces of God. And when we use the word God, first of all, we're talking about the mystery of existence. We're talking about that which is the source of our intelligence, our life energy, it's that which is always present. It's that which... you see I'm interested in the spirituality that works for atheists, you know, for materialists, because that's where I came from. I was raised by very post-modern people. And I've encountered spirituality in different context.
So when I use the word God, it's kind of a punchy word, but as a force of being that we can contact that is essentially graceful, that is the fiftyone percent of the way that life is wired that's kind of just generous in some fundamental way. It's difficult in the face of the earthquake in Haiti, all kinds of catastrophe that people experience. It's hard. But, it's a little more graceful than it's hard.
And so, that fundamental quality of the mystery of existence is the source of all, really all joy, all intelligence, all insight, everything that breaks us out of the box. And that is not something that we can know. I mean, it is the mystery of existence.
There's a saying in Taoism that it's unspeakable that those who speak don't know, those who name the Tao, those who say what it is obviously don't know it and those who know it don't speak because it's beyond what can be spoken.
Rob: We got a little of track. You were going to give me an exercise.
Terry: I am, but I'm giving you context for the exercise.
Rob: Good, good.
Terry: So, God is beyond perspective, but human beings are perspective taking machines. We can't help but take perspectives on that unknowable thing. And so, human spirituality generally takes three forms first, second and third person, just like our language, just like our pronouns. There's first person which is I or me, second person which is you or thou in the old fashioned way of doing it, and then third person which is he or she or it or them.
And we take perspective on God in that way, like there's a third person perspective like me talking about all this stuff. When you look at the nature or you look at existence in a philosophical way, you look at it. You look at that mystery and you can sometimes, particularly in brilliant philosophy, particularly with nature in a more sensate way, you just feel like you're looking upon the mystery of existence itself. You get those goose bumps. It moves you. It takes you to another level.
And you can also, what most people do with meditation most meditation's become popular in the last 25, 30 years has been in forms of first person spirituality where you go to the root of attention, you become the witness of everything that is arising, the subjective source, the self of all.
You open your eyes after meditation, you look out and what you see and who you are they're nonseparate. You are the I am of all things. You are I amness itself. And that's first person spirituality.
And second person spirituality is where you notice that you are always in the presence of something loving and loveable. The otherness of all arising things in the universe, all people, whatever your eyes are beholding at any moment, but that, in some sense, is your intimate beloved.
Now, you can get in touch with all those three perspectives in every day. You can anchor them. You can say, I and then I'm just improvising. We actually have some written out phrases that I use in more internal process so I'm kind of going to make up my own phrasing right here right now but let me offer it. "I look upon, yet the mystery and I am moved. I open my eyes as the I'mness of all things and I am complete. I meet your eyes, beloved; you who are never distant and I am in communion, I'm connected."
If you do that in a real feeling like it's a real sincerity, you take a minute and a half to really feel those invocations and you speak to yourself everyday, your day is different.
Rob: OK. You kind of gave me a feel of Rumi, the second part of it.
Terry: Yeah, Rumi is a wonderful poet of second person spirituality. He's always talking to the beloved, the guest, with gratitude and joy and tenderness. But that's always so beautiful and instructive.
Rob: But we've got two or three more minutes for the radio show part of the interview and then we're going to continue. So, look I'd just want to, let me just do another. This is Rob Kall Futurehealth Radio, WMJC 13:60 a.m. I'm speaking with Terry Patten, coauthor of "Integral Life Practice: The 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening." Terry's blog is http://www.integralheart.com/blog.
Terry, anything you want to say to wrap up for the radio listeners?
Terry: Well, I would like them to know that I'm... anybody who's listening from the Bay Area, I'm doing a course that's starting in March. On my website, you'll see the events that I'm doing, including an awesome event in early February in New York and Boston, and I will... And please if you respond to what I've said, please go onto my website and sign up for my email list. I'll be in touch with you, I'm gonna be offering some instructive courses on Integral Life Practice and other related topics. So if people respond to this sign, I want them to know how to reach me.
Rob: Great. Do you want to give your email?
Terry: Well, add terry@integralheart, it will reach me, but if you just go to the website, integralheart.com. That's right.
Rob: OK. We're going to continue this on the other side on the podcast and my next guest will be Joe Kamiya coming up in a moment on my radio show. OK, Terry so and now we continue on a... I've got a couple of questions for you.
Rob: The book is a kind of collection of a lot of different technologies in schools on how to find yourself, how to reach higher states and what have you. And I love this course training idea with different elements that you describe mind, body, spirit, and shadow. Are they the four that are the primary ones?
Terry: Yes, those are the four core modules, but equally important are effects in service and relationships. I mean nobody in a marriage would say that the work of their relationship is secondary to these other things. Nobody who raises kids would say that it's secondary part of their practice. So, all that stuff, the mind, body, spirit, shadow, that's you; that's kind of an individual side. And you need to do that to build a vehicle that's capable of entering into relationships in the highest way, but practice is your whole life. It's awareness, it's caring, it's service, and presence sense so it activates in those other areas. These are the core modules, our foundation and at that limit of practice.
And the book is meant to be a manual for practice like if somebody was dropped off an desert island and they had only one book to practice out of, this would be enough that you could do a profound practice that you could grow in for years and that is... That was a lot of work, but that was our ambitious goal, and that's what we're trying to do to have a really comprehensive manual for Integral Life Practice.
Rob: It is very comprehensive. So I got another question for you: Juice. You've mentioned Juice a couple of times and I've read it in some of your writings. What's juice?
Terry: [laughs] Well, it's energy, really. Rob, you know it's like we talked about turning out the juice, you now, turn on the lights, you know, you got to have the juice. And in a way, in life we got to have the juice. I mean, our world got to have a lot of problems right now and you know as you saw from my recent blog post, I was pretty upset about this recent Supreme Court ruling about, you know, saying that corporations can buy elections and I don't agree with that.
Well, how do you meet the challenges like this? It takes a lot of energy to maintain a kind of basic positive attitude and optimism and juice, in the face of often challenging or discouraging development.
So that's why spirituality is so important. It's really our spirituality that plugs us into the big generator. You know, there's an album by the rock band Yes, you know, 20 years ago called The Big Generator. I think that's they were talking about. The big generator is that source of inspiration, enthusiasm, enlivenment, you know that which can let you say "glory hallelujah" that which opens our heart, really raises you up. You know we need that; we need that sense of inspiration and our spirituality can be the place we can plug in.
Rob: Interesting. In my talking about positive psychology and positivity training over the years, I've talked about juice too, and to me it's like the net dirt; it's sweetness, it's the really good stuff that we get.
Terry: Yeah, absolutely.
Rob: Which comes in a lot of different ways, doesn't it? There's a lot of flavors, colors, textures, and shapes that to choose.
Terry: Absolutely yeah. In my belief, it's what we're getting juice it's when you have those positive experiences, those peak moments; that's what gives you the inner strength to do anything important in your life, to face challenges, to love, to deal with adversity. It's all about, at some point, getting the juice and then having a reservoir of that and what it came with it in your life. Yeah, well put, Rob I totally agree.
I think that's one of the points, you know, one of the important distinctions that Rob makes that people would appreciate it philosophically is the distinction between states of consciousness and stages of consciousness.
And in the simplest way of understanding the difference one might say that a state of consciousness will come and go, whereas the stage of consciousness is a developmental benchmark that you don't regress from. Once a kids learns to ride a bicycle, he doesn't forget how on a bad day. Once you develop an ability that understand what another person is feeling, you don't lose that capacity just because you got a cold or a flu. So you don't regress in stages typically.
Well, you will get a little bit nuanced. You begin to realize that most of the spiritual paths of mankind anciently helped people reach exalted high states of consciousness and those states of consciousness might change a little, you know; they... Bad weather wrecked the crop after you finished meditating, you know, the Zen monk probably felt upset about that, so his state might have changed.
But there was a certain access to that higher state into the sense of freedom and expansion that came from that state, that he may have stabilized a kind of access to, so that even when something feels bad, there is still an ability to return to a contact with that state. So states don't just come and go. There is the cultivation of what can sometimes even call state stages whereas you stabilize access to higher states.
Well, the biggest thing that happens from stabilizing or even just visiting a higher state of consciousness, is that it provides a kind of a turbocharger to the theological pole, the evolutionary driver, the thing that is in you the kind of the ultimate Rob Kall oak you know that you may be an acorn or a sampling version or you know a younger, smaller version but there is a bigger potential, even bigger that is vying to find expression.
What is that pole from that omega point that is active in you? That gets turbocharged. You go into a meditative state or a high state, and you wake up and you're one with all existence. Your heart is streaming with love and you're just almost crying with gratitude just for a moment of being alive.
I'll tell you what, you know that just puts you in touch with the possible you, that could be like that more of the time, that could be more fully forgiving and loving and smart and grounded and really present and really show up in life.
Rob: Well, well. Sorry.
Rob: The good stuff but we are going to run out of time soon, and I want to cover another issue that you have not touched on that's the shadow. Talk a little bit about that.
Terry: Sure. Well, the thing that Freud really put on the map is the fact that the human psyche will get rid of disconfirming, disturbing, dissonant experience, particularly drives and emotions that feel like they're a threat to our survival. So a baby who becomes serious with his mother because perhaps she has not attended in certain ways or whatever, he is neglected or not treated well, maybe absolutely enraged, but she is his only contact with food and warmth you know. "I hate Mommy but if, and I want to kill her but if I did...," then they just can't do it. Then the system goes to tilt, and the rage just disappears because it doesn't work.
But it doesn't fully disappear. It goes under the rug. There is this mechanism of repression into the unconscious. And these ideas of repression and the unconscious really were discovered by Freud. Even though the ancient spiritual traditions talked about dark nights of the soul, wrathful deities, hell drums, all kinds of things that had to do with dark energies, they didn't understand repression and the unconscious.
So one of the implications of that is that all of us are involved in doing some repression into the unconscious all the time, and so there is an important question that we need to live like almost living a question all the time. It is like, "OK, what is it that is going on here that I am committed to not knowing? What is it that I don't see, that I don't want to see that is part of what is going on with me?"
And then the kind of way if I really ask that question with sincerity, I become trustable, I become less arrogant, I become somebody who's engaged in a process of really, really trying to go beyond my limitations in a whole different way and I'm much less stuck, and it is a core module of personal practice.
People who don't do shadow practice are just, you know, they're not trustable. They're not really curious to see how they're making themselves blind because of attachment, because of emotional closure, and it's that kind of...
Rob: Only the kind of people... When you say people don't do shadow practice, you mean people who don't face their shadow?
Terry: Yeah, I think people who...
Rob: When you think shadow attractive, talk a little bit more about what kind.
Terry: Well, the core of a shadow practice is basically a kind of living life as an inquiry into what it is that you are suppressing? What you are repressing? What it is that you are driving into the unconscious? What it is that is tending to be outside your awareness? So that there's a kind of healthy skepticism at the stories you're telling about how it all is. And there is some concrete practices such as the threetoone shadow practice that we outline in the "Integral Life Practice" book where you essentially face your shadow projections and you resonate or dialogue with them, and then actually take their position, become them and discover how that catalytically shifts your perspective and opens up inside, or energetic shift that can free you from a pattern that otherwise was dominating you.
Rob: OK now, because we are almost out of time, I just want to ask you a couple of quick questions, OK? You had a lot of experience with the technology, the Neurofeedback and the AVS and the sound/light mind machines. Do they set into Integral Life Practice at all?
Terry: Absolutely. All those things are completely legitimate aspects of practice that can be used skillfully. I've shifted in terms of not emphasizing them whereas before they were the main thing I was emphasizing with my company, and now I don't generally talk about them that much because I see them as being auxiliary tools that can empower somebody's meditation or somebody's holistic health practice and maybe working around certain patterns of, you know, whatever ADD or other kinds of things that one might want to use them for. I think they are completely legitimate and perhaps really good. I just...
Rob: Are there any in particular that you now think about that didn't most effectively, most nicely with Integral Life Practicing?
Terry: You know, I wouldn't really privilege one over another, Rob. I know you have worked really extensively with neurofeedback and I have a lot of respect for that. In my own personal practice, I have a float tank. I float regularly. And I use bile circuits which I wrote a book about, you know, at the beginning of 'Tools for Exploration' which are simple energy balancing tools sort of like acupuncture without needles that I used to even manufacture, and I continue to use those. At times I will use binaural bead tongs.
And occasionally a little bit audio visuals stimulation, but they are less frequently a part of my practice because my meditation is pretty deep without any training wheels.
Rob: Training wheels. Interesting. And training wheels are tools that you use after a while you don't need them anymore, which is the ideal way that these technologies should be used, I think. So we've really got to kind of come to the end of this. Do you have any message that you would like to give to the listeners?
Terry: Well, I think the core is that the world needs us all right now. We live in a time that is bewilderingly strange. It seems as though some of the threats that are going on could extinct us. And yet, there are breakthroughs going on in consciousness and awareness and even community and a kind of care and an opening of the heart that could, you know, if they could fulfill their highest promise almost usher in a golden age. And it is wild to have your own lifetime coincide with the time when the whole evolutionary history of the planet is going through a major squeeze. What we do matters.
So what I would want to say to people is what you do matters, and practice, therefore, matters. So take it seriously to wake up, to become more aware to open your heart, to open your circle of care, to show up, to be present, to cultivate your own capacity. Because if you live in that way, you can make a difference on a scale that's almost unimaginable.
Even though there're six billion of us and it seems like each one of us doesn't matter, you are at a chaos point in a chaotic system that is ready to make a leap to a higher order. You lean in and you make a difference.
Rob: All right, Terry. Terry Patten is the coauthor of "Integral Life Practice." His website is integralheart.com. This is Rob Kall, Futurehealth Radio. Terry, it has been wonderful. Thank you so much. .
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more