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Crosstraining for Body, Mind & Spirit; Integral Life Practice: Interview With Terry Patten

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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.

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One theme has run through my work for the past 40 plus years-- a desire to play a role in waking people up, raising their consciousness and empowering them. I was the organizer founder of the Winter Brain, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology and StoryCon Meetings and president of Futurehealth, Inc., with interests in (more...)

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