(14 minute read)

CISL501: Integral Psychology & Spiritually: Work-Life Balance (Year 1 Aug-Sep)

Suppose we took everything that all the various world cultures have to tell us about human potential—about psychological, spiritual, and social growth—and identified the basic patterns that connect these pieces of knowledge. What if we attempted to create an all-inclusive map that touches the most important factors from all of the world’s great traditions? The Integral Vision provides such a map. Using all the known systems and models of human growth—from the ancient sages to the latest breakthroughs in cognitive science—it distills their major components into five simple elements, and, moreover, ones that readers can verify in their own experience right now.

In any field of interest, such as business, law, science, psychology, health, art, or everyday living and learning—the Integral Vision ensures that we are utilizing the full range of resources for the situation, leading to a greater likelihood of success and fulfillment. With easily understood explanations, exercises, and familiar examples, The Integral Vision shows how we can accelerate growth and development to higher, wider, deeper ways of being, embodied in self, shared in community, and connected to the planet, which can literally help with everything from spiritual enlightenment to business success to personal relationships.

Integral theory provides us the most complete map of human psychology and spirituality that is available to date. The map is not the territory and it provides us ways to explore the territory. The integral perspective provides insight into human development along types, multiple intelligence, stages, internal and external, individual and cultural, and states of consciousness. The integral approach provides flexible methods to practice in each area of the map thus creating and sustaining work-life balance.

Topics: Mind-Body-Spirit-Shadow, Body awareness, Well being, Spiritual Practice, Consciousness


CISL502: Contemplation: Love Infused Wisdom (Year 1 Oct-Nov)

Developing the contemplative mind is the change that changes everything. The lens through which we see changes the way we see everything. The contemplative mind is capable of incorporating the negative without labeling or excluding, it always us to see things in the wholeness without judgment. The contemplative mind enables us to include and transcend the rational; once we perceive with love and wisdom them we are able to act with love and wisdom.

Contemplation is discovering a way to observe yourself from a distance and learning how to return there in moments of negative—and positive—emotional turmoil, until you can eventually live more and more of your life from the contemplative mind. You will find yourself smiling, sighing, and “weeping” at yourself, more than either hating or congratulating yourself. This knowing of self must be compassionate and calmly objective, without the need to praise or blame your reaction to it. This takes away your reaction’s addictive and self-serving character so that it no longer possesses you. Now you have a feeling instead of a feeling having you. It gives you a strong sense of “I,” because there is now no need to eliminate or deny the negative; your full self is accepted. Ironically, the truly destructive part of the negative is exposed and falls away now as unnecessary. To see the negative is to defeat it.

Contemplation is meeting reality in its most simple and immediate form. The only way to do that is to change the mental habits of judging, critiquing, and comparing. You do not fully process the moment by judging it, analyzing it, differentiating it; you must use a different processor. Contemplative Interbeing provides the education to help organizations and individuals develop that new processor; the contemplative mind. Every spiritual tradition, at its more mature levels, offers a path to the contemplative mind.

Contemplation is a change in consciousness. It brings us to see the big picture. It brings us to see beyond our own boundaries, beyond our own denominations, beyond even our own doctrines and dogmas and institutional self-interest, straight into the face of a mothering Ultimate Reality from whose womb has come all the life that is. To claim to be aware of the oneness of life and not to regard all of it as sacred trust is a violation of the very purpose of contemplation, which is an immersion in the Fullness of life. Transformed from within then, the contemplative becomes a new kind of presence in the world who signals another way of being. The contemplative can never again be a complacent, non-participant in an oppressive system.. From contemplation comes not only the consciousness of the universal connectedness of life, but the courage to model it as well.

Topics: Contemplation, Meditation, Mindfulness, Presence, Transformation


CISL503: Spiritual Intelligence: Developing Spiritual Capital (Year 1 Dec-Jan)

Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) enables us to understand the neuropsychology of nondual awareness. Understanding the brains role in our spiritual life allows us to better engage it. This is the path to developing spiritual capital. Our capitalist culture and the business practices that operate within it are in crisis. Capitalism as we know it today—an amoral culture of short-term self-interest, profit maximization, emphasis on shareholder value, isolationist thinking, and profligate disregard of long-term consequences—is an unsustainable system, a monster set to consume itself.

A critical mass of individuals acting from higher motivations can make a difference. This a radically new philosophy for governance, meaning, purpose and a values-based culture that focuses on the accumulation of “spiritual capital” rather than material capital. Thus benefiting the whole human race, present and future, and the planet itself. Spiritual capital nourishes and sustains the human spirit.

Similar to our rational intelligence (intellect) and our emotional intelligence, we can develop our spiritual intelligence. Reliable and valid scientific research from the past decades provides practical methods so that we can deepen and enrich the meaning and purpose of our life; to feel connected to something larger than ourselves, to contribute, and to become more in touch with our True Self. Spiritual Intelligence is the intelligence with which we (1) address and solve problems of meaning and value, (2) place our actions and our lives in a wider, richer, meaning-giving context, and (3) assess that one course of action or one life-path is more meaningful than another. Spiritual Intelligence is a set of mental processes used to encounter, discover, create, and synthesize meaning, purpose, values, and motives in our life.

Topics: Aware-apy, Spectrum of consciousness, Spiritual Intelligence, Awe, Wonder, Gratitude, Humility, Reframing, Motivation


CISL504: Sacred Listening & Deep Dialogue (Year 1 Feb-Mar)

One of the most precious and powerful gifts we give another person is to really listen to them, to listen with quiet, fascinated attention, with our whole being, fully present. This sounds simple, but if we are honest with ourselves, we do not often listen to each other so completely. Listening is a creative force. Something quite wonderful occurs when we are listened to fully. We expand, ideas come to life and grow, we remember who we are. Some speak of this force as a creative fountain within us that springs forth, others call it the inner spirit, intelligence, true self. Whatever this force is called, it shrivels up when we are not listened to and thrives when we are. The way we listen actually can allow another to bring forth what is true and alive to them. 

Deep Dialogue is a freely flowing group conversation (not discussion) in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgmentally. This can lead to new and deeper understanding. The purpose is to solve the communication crises that face society, and indeed the whole of human nature and consciousness. It utilizes a theoretical understanding of the way thoughts relate to universal reality. Dialogue is aimed at going into the whole thought process and changing the way the thought process occurs collectively. We haven’t really paid much attention to thought as a process. We have ENGAGED in thoughts, but we have only paid attention to the content, not to the process. Why does thought require attention? Our thought, too, is a process, and it requires attention, otherwise it’s going to go wrong.

Topics: 3rd Alternative Mindset, Dialogue Groups, Sacred Listening


CISL700: Radical Self-Care / Sabbath / Self-Assessment (April in Year 1 & Year 2)

In April of each year, course participants dedicate time to self-assessment as the look at course progress, growing edges, and self-care including time for silence, solitude, and Sabbath.

Topics: Sabbath, Solitude, Simplicity, Darkness, Self Assessment