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Body Mind Spirit Integration: Nothing to Do, Everything to Be

By body brilliance, body mind spirit, Mental Intelligence No Comments
Integral Map Zen Map
It might be said that the Integral Map is, more than anything else, a map of self-mastery. Offering the most comprehensive guide to human development yet assembled, it allows us to customize and refine our various practices to most effectively nourish our growth and connection with the world.
Which, of course, requires a lot of work. Self-mastery, after all, is a lifelong process—perhaps multiple, if you believe in that sort of thing. But what about the Zen ideal of there being nothing to do, and no one to do it? If we are in some sense always-already enlightened, then why bother practice at all?
What is Integral consciousness? It may seem odd to ask such a simple question, especially on a site like Integral Naked which compiles hundreds of hours of cutting-edge integral content.
 
Yet, amidst the staggering wealth of second-tier perspectives that are only now beginning to emerge, and despite the rudimentary markers of second-tier consciousness that we’ve been able to identify so far, it is absolutely crucial that we never allow ourselves to think that we have found the definitive answer to this most fundamental question.
 
We’ve only begun our extraordinary journey together toward the next phase of human consciousness—even the most profound concepts, visions, relationships, charts, graphs, practices, and artworks to spring from integral consciousness are mere relics of the future, crude petroglyphs on the walls of our own becoming.
 
We have barely begun to scratch the surface in terms of defining what living an "Integral Life" actually means—and as the pioneers of an entirely new altitude of consciousness, together we must all hold this basic question in our hearts, allowing it to unfold just a little bit more every day.
 
We ask the question "What is integral consciousness?" while Jeff Salzman described some important qualities of second-tier awareness. However, it is not enough to describe what this consciousness looks like, we must also talk about what it feels like to live from an integral perspective, the subjective contours of the second-tier space. In this spirit, Jeff shares an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road:
"From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that
would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.
I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.
All seems beautiful to me…."

Love your way,
 
Alan Davidson, founder of
 
and author of Body Brilliance:
Mastering Your Five Vital
Intelligences (IQs)’
 
 
Watch the Body Brilliance Movie
 
Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being.
 
Through Your Body
1103 Peveto St.
Houston, TX 77019
713-942-0923
 

 

Diet by the Sword: Body Mind Spirit Martial Art

By body brilliance, body mind spirit, Breath, Diet, Emotional Intelligence, Flexability, Physical Intelligence, Strength One Comment

 

Diet by the Sword: Forza Body Mind Spirit Martial Art

By MARY TANNEN
 
 
I am trying not to think what Freud would say about this roomful of mostly women brandishing big sticks. At Equinox on Broadway and 19th Street, we stand in rows facing a mirror, eyes trained on our wooden swords as well as on our leader, Ilaria Montagnani. Moving to the beat of music that sounds like rhythmic jackhammering, we squat, lunge, slice and slash. The class is called Forza. The footwork is simple, and there are only 13 sword moves. The difficulty comes in making each cut precise, putting the whole body behind the swing and controlling the stick.
Montagnani’s weapon and body move as one. Although I try to mimic the harmony and economy of her motions, I can’t help noticing that my stick is on its own trajectory. There’s an alarming amount of flailing, and I even strike some shelves behind my head. Montagnani has cautiously taken aside the neophytes before class to watch as they practice. There are no “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” acrobatics in this class, I was disappointed to discover. Montagnani explains that the movie featured an intricate Chinese style that extends over time, with much jousting. The traditional Japanese swordsmanship, iaido, on which Forza is based, is “linear, precise — one stab and it’s over,” she says. “It’s very calm, and then quick.”
Forza, Italian for “strength,” is the creation of Montagnani, who is in fact Italian. That said, there is no dolce far niente in her demeanor. With her fair hair, hazel eyes and military stance, she looks like a small, feminine Prussian officer.
“I’ve been a martial artist since I was little,” she allows, but since she was a proper Florentine young lady, she was not sent to karate lessons but for ballet and piano instruction. All that she learned about martial arts came from books until she left for the States at age 19 to study. “I was driven,” she says. “It was the entire focus of my life.” She earned her black belt in karate, then took up the sword, attracted by its “beauty, grace and power.” She had to train with a wooden sword for 11 years before graduating to the real thing. “And then you inevitably cut yourself,” she says. Because of the terminal nature of this kind of fighting, you do not practice with an opponent. You judge your skill by the sound of the blade as it slices through the air.
As her training in martial arts required that she spend hours executing the same moves over and over, Montagnani hit upon the idea of setting moves to music and of fashioning the moves into aerobic routines. She hatched Powerstrike, kickboxing against an imaginary opponent, which is now registered all over the world. Forza came next, with the idea that students could begin with one-pound swords and graduate to heavier weights. (Montagnani trains with a four-pounder, but after an hour of lifting and swinging, I felt one was plenty.)
In addition to teaching 20 hours of classes a week, Montagnani trains instructors worldwide. The sport is a hit in Scandinavia: “They’re good athletes, not soft. They like regimentation. South America and Italy don’t have the correct frame of mind. It’s not for everyone. It requires focus.”
Montagnani has made a DVD, and the wooden swords, called bokken, can be obtained in Chinatown, so theoretically you could become a sitting-room samurai (after carefully clearing the area of bric-a-brac and kids). But there’s nothing like being with other grunting, sweating, slashing acolytes to keep your mind on message.
Outside the glass studio at Equinox, people are trudging on StairMasters and lifting weights. They probably think we are the frivolous ones, but Forza, if done right, is supposed to burn 500 calories an hour, while working arms, legs, back and abs. And you can imagine lopping off heads and disemboweling enemies, which adds a certain passion you can’t bring to weightlifting.
Later, over cappuccino, I tell Montagnani that if accosted in a dark alley, I think I’ll be able to defend myself, as long as I have access to a big stick. Looking a trifle discomfited, she confesses that she was accosted by a man in a crowded subway recently. Though armed, she did not use her sword: “It would have been devastating for him.” Instead she yelled and shoved like any civilian, and no one even looked up.
Well, at least I am burning calories; I’ll be able to eat a doughnut. But Montagnani, who has no discernible body fat, is drinking a small skim and looking wistfully at the pastry selection. “I’m in training,” she explains. I’m beginning to see that it will take more than a couple of hours a week of stick waving to get to look like her. You must live by the sword.
Be Brilliant; body mind spirit brilliant.
 
Love your way, ad
 
Alan Davidson, founder of
and author of Body Brilliance:
Mastering Your Five Vital
Intelligences (IQs)
 
 
Watch the Body Brilliance Movie
 
Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being.
 
Through Your Body
1103 Peveto St.
Houston, TX 77019
713-942-0923

The Peaceful Warrior & Body Mind Spirit Integration

By Conscious, Mental Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence, Super Conscious, Unconscious No Comments

 

Many of us have been told about the spiritual life, but how do we begin to actually live it? Author Dan Millman has devoted his writing career to exploring this very question. Here he shares his own personal story behind his impulse to develop a "ground-up" approach to daily life, a wonderful reminder of how simple and practical an Integral Life Practice can be….
Dan Millman is the best-selling author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior—now a major motion-picture starring Nick Nolte, Scott Mechlowicz, and Amy Smart—and 12 other books, published in up to 29 languages.  Ken Wilber is the founder of Integral Institute and is widely regarded as the leader of the Integral movement, explored in detail in his own 25 books, which share the same kind of worldwide readership as Dan’s work.
Many teachers tell you about the spiritual life, but Dan Millman shows you how to do it, in your own life, day-to-day—and how you can start right now.  Many of us are familiar with Dan’s first book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior—which has at least 2 million copies sold, and probably 6-7 million readers.  But what many people often miss is that Dan has spent the twenty-five years since Peaceful Warrior’s publication writing 12 more books, and it is in these books where Dan lays out how you can actually take the inspiring impact of Peaceful Warrior and put it into practice.  Do you want more than just inspiration?  Do you really want to change your life?  Dan will show you how, in literally twelve different ways.
As Dan mentions to Ken, “Spiritual life, by whatever name, begins on the ground, not up in the air.”  Ken goes on to note that what Dan and Tony Robbins (another Integral Naked guest) share is an emphasis on taking physical action right now as a practical means to seeing actual change in one’s life.  Further, Ken mentions that Dan is “one of the masters of mastery,” which can be seen not only in his incredible body of work, but in the fact that Dan was a world champion in trampoline gymnastics at only the age of 18.  However, as Dan is quick to make clear, none of this would have happened without four radically different mentors he worked with over the course of two decades, who he refers to as The Professor, The Guru, The Warrior-Priest, and The Sage.  Now, Dan is a full-blown mentor himself: accessible, practical, and always moving towards a more complete, comprehensive, and indeed integral approach to living a deeply awake life.      
      
Why Integral?:  The reason an Integral Approach is so valuable is because it explains why “taking physical action right now” actually works, and it explains it with more depth, and in more detail, than any other known system.  The whole idea behind an Integral Approach is finding “the patterns that connect,” and one of the things that connects directly to the way Dan works is the Tantric traditions, and particularly Buddhist Tantra.  As Ken elaborates, Vajrayana Buddhism understands the notion that, “get your body to do something, and your mind will follow.”  But in Vajrayana (and also Vedanta Hinduism), you have at least three bodies, not just one: a gross body, a subtle body, and a causal body.  Each body literally carries and supports the three major states of consciousness: waking (gross body), dreaming (subtle body), and deep sleep (causal body).  And to round out the picture, there are also sheaths of consciousness, or actual developmental layers or structures of consciousness surrounding one’s primordial Self (and these also are supported by the gross, subtle, and causal bodies).  But in the same way that you can choose to make your gross-physical body respond to practice and intentionality, you can make your subtle-energy body and causal-emptiness body respond as well—and if you change the body, you will change your state of consciousness.  That’s the secret Tantra has known for ages, and that’s the secret—or rather, one of the secrets—that Dan is adapting and evolving for today’s world.
 
Love your way, ad
 
Alan Davidson, founder of
and author of Body Brilliance:
Mastering Your Five Vital
Intelligences (IQs)
 
 
Watch the Body Brilliance Movie
 
Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being.
 

Working Through the Body Mind Spirit Integration

By body brilliance, body mind spirit, Energy, Physical Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence One Comment
Western civilization, as a whole, has not been kind to the human body. The past 2,400 years have seen the body worshipped, debauched, vilified, denied, ignored, and mechanized. Things started well enough for the body with the Greeks. They worshipped the body. The Greek word soma means “the living body in it’s wholeness” or mind, body and spirit in unity. The Olympic Games were the ideal test of physical strength and endurance and mental and spiritual purity. 
With the dawn of the Piscian Age the shift of power moved to Rome. The Romans took their worship of the body and sensual pleasures to the extreme. The orgies of their Wine God, Bacchus, were notorious for their debaucheries. These drunken festivals would be the fodder that the Christians would rail against. The Christian Church has taught for 1,700 years that the body is carnal; riddled with sexuality and given to crude pleasures and appetites. 
The final blow came when De Carte declared, “I think. Therefore, I am.”   The Age of Reason saw the body as inferior to the superior mind.   The body became the object which transported the brain. The advent of modern medicine has, at the very least, viewed the body as a magnificent machine.
 
The past century has seen a re-claiming of the human body. The cultural merging of western principles and Oriental attitudes and spiritual practices has generated a dramatic shift in the way we experience our bodies. Somatics is a body-centered approach of many therapies which began with Wilhelm Reich. 
Reich was a student of Freud’s and stated that the clinical treatment of neurosis must include changes in the physical body. Fritz Perls, a student of Reich’s, helped to found Gestalt therapy. Gestalt in German means an irreducible experience. It has an emphasis on the organism as a whole; the mind and emotions equally connected to the body. 
Ida Rolf developed Structural Integration, a series of deep tissue massage techniques which re-align the posture of the muscular/skeletal structure. 
Dr. Randolf Stone contributed Polarity therapy with it’s emphasis on restoring energy movement through the contracted tissues of the body. Somatic movement saw such pioneers as Moshe Feldenkrais and Thomas Hanna. They used movement to re-educate the muscular system to find the most efficient ways of moving and eliminating bodily tension. 
 
There are several Asian traditions which are integrated into Somatic practice. These are Hatha, Tantra and Pranayama Yoga, Seva, Vippasana meditation and Aikido. 
Hatha Yoga is the well known stretching postures. Tantra yoga is the cultivation of sexual energy for spiritual transformation. Pranayama yoga is the control and direction of breath. Seva is a Sanskrit word which translates to “selfless service”.
Vippasana, which means “insight,” is a body centered meditation technique taught by the Buddha. 
Aikido is a Japanese martial art which teaches harnessing universal love to heal conflict, create fluidity of the body, and the strengthening of ki, or personal energy. 
 
Love your way,
 
Alan Davidson, founder of
and author of Body Brilliance:
Mastering Your Five Vital
Intelligences (IQs)

 
Watch the Body Brilliance Movie

 
Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being.

Proud Heretic: Body Mind Spirit Politically Incorrect

By Moral Intelligence, Passion, Values, Vision No Comments
 
Are you disgusted with the sickeningly sweet and coddling tone of political correctness? Multi-culturalism, often disguised as political correctness, is that suffocating piece of wisdom that demands that all people are equally talented and smart and should thus be treated equally at all times, in all ways. It’s turning the civilized world in pod people, ala Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
 
Thor Halvorssen is a human-rights activist, a free-speech advocate, an anti-communist, ant-fascist, and a movie producer. He’s a hard guy to pin down. His family is wealthy (half-Norwegian Venezuelan), yet he champions the down-trodden. And he savors a lively argument.
 
Thor’s also a conservative most often linked to liberal causes. He’s a rebel and heretic to the coma of political correctness that is suffocating the life out of debate, and free-speech…and human growth.
 
Thor’s founded the Moving Picture Institute to punch-up his controversy-stirring ideals. The latest film, Indoctrinate U points a guilty finger on political correctness on college campuses. In one scene the director of the film, Evan Coyne Maloney, saunters into a Women’s Studies Center and asks directions to the Men’s Studies Center. He is treated with confusion, icy scorn, or snide laughter.
 
Halvorssen is peaking his Moral IQ. He is choosing to STAND for his well-thought out principles; a testament to doing what’s right…as he sees it. Moral Intelligence is necessary for peaking our Five IQs: physical, emotional, mental, moral, and spiritual. It’s the pivotal core of every body/mind/spirit strategy.
 
Moral IQ is the skill to realize, as best we can, the consequences of our actions. And with that laser vision, detect our life’s core values—what’s truest for us. Our zeal for an integrated body/mind/spirit life spurs us to ACT on these convictions; to live our moral IQ vibrantly in the world.
 
The problem is most of us don’t really know what we stand for, much less have the strength, or balls, to stand up for it.
 
Try this simple exercise with a pen and paper. Imagine you are old and frail. You are surrounded by children, perhaps your own great-grand kids. They ask you, “What are the most three important things you’ve learned in life.”
 
What do you say to those kids? Write down your answers.
 
One of my core values, and that of my many friends and clients, is balancing body/mind/spirt. How to live in such away that respects body, heart, mind, choice, and spirit—each of the five IQs? How to consciuosly make a living, raise kids, exercise, eat, love, tend to spirit? When I’m faced with a hard or cunfusing choice, I simply sit very still. I calm my breath and thoughts. I imagine I hold one of the options in my hand.
 
And I ask myself, “Does this give me more Balance, more body/mind/spirit integration?” If the answer is yes, that’s my choice. If not, what’s the best option that leads gives me balance.
 
So how does this little core value exercise fit into the maisma of multi-culturalism and politacl corretness? When I get to the root of my passions, vision, and core values I find that place where I am most unique and alive. It is my state of freedom and beingness. It’s a state of being that is often at odds with the status quo. It is quite possible to repect, and dare I say love, everyone without cow-towing to platitudes. To that end I am a proud heretic.
 
Multi-culturalsim is a necessary stage of human development. It speaks to the progress humanity has made as we pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and out of the swamps of hatred, cruelty, and selfish absorbtion. Multi-curlturalism and political correctness are not the pinnacle of our growing up,they are a testament of hope, and a sign post to greater things to come.
 
Take the time to figure out what stokes your fires. Dig deep to the bedrock of what you believe and ask, “Is it true for me?” And stand…UP, OUT, and LOUD. Rock the boat. Be brilliant.
 
To quote that great philosopher Michael Stipes, the lead singer of REM, from their song “Stand,”
 
When you’re confused check with the sun.
Carry a compass to carry you along.
Your feet are going to be on the ground.
You head is there to move you around.
 
Your Moral IQ is your inner-compass. It gives us guidance to stand up for what we belive is most true for us. It gives us our courage to stand in all that is expedient, or correct, and be a heretic. Be brilliant.
 
Love your way, ad
 
Alan Davidson, founder of
and author of Body Brilliance:
Mastering Your Five Vital
Intelligences (IQs),
a brilliant body mind spirit strategy
 
 
Watch the Body Brilliance Movie
 
1103 Peveto St.
Houston, TX 77019
713-942-0923