You are an awakening human being. You know it because you are serious about embodying your full potential. Personal growth is not just a hobby for you. You know you cannot pass from this lifetime without having revealed what is inside of you. You feel an insistent pull to become more yourself, as if your self-actualized future were enticing you to become everything you were capable of becoming.
You are an evolving person in an evolving universe. You know that humanity is at a crossroads and you sense that you have a unique part to play in the evolution of our world. You experience a deep calling to awaken the embryonic potentials in both yourself and our species.
But something seems amiss, when far too often, you find yourself just going through the motions, trying to get through the day. You find that you can no longer ignore the gap between the life you're currently living and the life you could be living.
Perhaps, like so many others you feel...
- You are capable of greater patience, equanimity, love and passion in all your relationships, but struggle to manifest these qualities consistently.
- You're capable of taking your career to another level but struggle to find the courage and confidence to unleash your creative potential.
- You're capable of living life from your spiritual center, yet struggle to embody the spiritual insights you've gleaned over a lifetime.
- That the world requires all of our creative gifts to face the global challenges before us, yet you get overwhelmed even thinking about where to begin.
Does this describe you? You are serious about personal growth and are determined to make the world a better place. You feel a strong calling to step up your game with increased authenticity and courage to initiate transformations both personal and planetary. But you find yourself without a map, in uncharted territory, looking for a pathway to lasting transformation.
What if there were a single critical concept that would assist you in making sense of your life? I believe that if the Mystery could speak only one word to help set us on the right path, then that word would be wholeness.
The key to both personal and planetary transformation is learning to awaken the three distinct dimensions of wholeness:
1. Enlightened Awareness: the weightless clarity of transcendence, the freedom associated with the enlightenment of the Buddha.
2. Awakening Joy: developing your natural capacity for happiness and well-being.
3. Embodying Soul: knowing the essence of your specific life purpose, the very reason Spirit has taken shape as you.
Let's take a brief look at the last of these three dimensions of wholeness: soul.
Embodying Soul: the meaning of purpose and place.
You are meant to occupy a unique calling in this lifetime. You were born to engage a very particular niche in the ecology of life. Just as every species has its unique environment, you too have a habitat for which you were intended. The habitat I speak of isn't primarily physical, rather, its the terrain of your soul that is calling you to occupy it.
Like a fish out of water, you feel displaced when you aren't dwelling in your natural environment. The persistent tug at the center of your being isn't for the usual suspects (money, power, fame, comfort, security) nor is it even the desire for transcendence, enlightenment or God.
The ache in the center of your being is to live in accordance with your purpose. What you want more than anything is a sense of belonging to life, belonging to a higher purpose. It is through communion with your soul that purpose is revealed. What do I mean by the word "soul?"
Soul is the essence of your specific life purpose. Soul is the reason the Mystery has taken your unique shape. Soul is the creative intelligence of the universe expressing itself through you. Soul is the body of your gift that fills up the garment of your life.
Most of us feel separated from our distinct divine beings. It's as if we feel alienated from ourselves at a soul-level. There is a persistent feeling of disconnect from the gifts that we were meant to give. We come into adulthood knowing we want to contribute, but not knowing where we fit in. We feel the energy of devotion and dedication, but can't quite make out what the object of that devotion is supposed to be.
The key to becoming clear about your life-purpose is engagement with soul work.
Soul work is a descent into your deep mysterious interior. Soul work is a dive into your incarnate uniqueness. Soul work is initiated by your longing to live a larger life and by the desire to make the world a better place.
Soul work gathers momentum through your willingness to receive the soul's guidance, rather than letting your thinking dictate all your decisions. Soul work is the profound act of letting your life speak. Soul work is the proven path for disclosing your life purpose.
For thousands of years humans have sought their innermost purpose. While a few of have succeeded, many more have left this life without having recognized the fullness of their deepest calling. Why is that? Why are so few people able to fully embody their purpose?
The three biggest obstacles to knowing your purpose.
Obstacle #1: Finding your soul's purpose is difficult to do by yourself.
Solution: Seek a soulcentric community for support.
> Let's face it, the journey to living your purpose isn't always easy. First, we need guidance to learn techniques of soul-encounter. Then, we'll want help in understanding what we've learned after our dialogues with soul. Finally, we need support to courageously live the truth of what we've learned about our purpose.
Obstacle #2: We fear what soul might tell us if we were to listen.
Solution: Address the fears regarding finding your purpose.
> Recognizing your true purpose sounds exciting at first. But then the doubts arise: "Will I like my purpose?", "Am I worthy of my purpose?", "Is it safe to live my purpose out in the open?", "Will living my purpose cause me to go broke or lose important relationships?" These fears can be addressed in ways that produce a win-win for all the parts of you.
Obstacle #3: There are parts of ourselves that have other agendas.
Solution: Seek agreement between internal competing agendas.
> We become stymied when we don't explore purpose in the context of our wholeness. Sure, you crave your soul-stirring, life-affirming, self-actualizing, and culturally transforming life purpose. But you also desire two other things: freedom and joy.
Freedom: You desire the weightless ecstasy of transcendence, the freedom associated with the enlightenment of the Buddha.
Joy: You don't only desire the sublime spiritual joys of enlightenment and purpose, you also desire commonplace, everyday, ordinary well-being and joy!
If the problem is feeling like we aren't living up to our potential, and the solution to this problem is living from our wholeness, then, is there a practice path that could help?
IAG supports: Spiritual Awakenng & Finding Your Life's Purpose
The mission of the Integral Awakening Group (IAG) is to support adults to live the “triple purpose of life”: the integration of soul, spirit and ego, for the benefit of all beings.
What is this group? We are a group of about 20 men and woman who come together two Wednesday evenings a month to explore the triple purpose of life: Spiritual Realization (being fully present) Ego integration and differentiation, and Soul Embodiment (finding and living our deepest soul's purpose.) Jonathan teaches about 2/3 of the classes and the other 1/3 is taught by the guest teachers below.
What can I expect when I come to group? We start each meeting with a 20 minute guided meditation, followed by a discussion about the practice of meditation. Next, we have "check-ins" and discussion about how our practices are proceeding. The last hour of each class has a fresh content piece that includes both lecture and discussion and an experiential exercise component. Topics include: How can I experience being fully present? How can I work with my shadow? How can I discover my soul's purpose? How can I discover what my "delivery system" for my sou'ls purpose is? How can feel less stressed? How can I have increased intimacy in my relationships?
Commitment: Integral Awakening Group is an ongoing practice community, more like a Buddhist Sangha than a program with a start and finish (like a college degree.) At least one year of participation is highly recommended. Many participants stay with the class two years or more. Participants may attend a single meeting to determine if the group is a good fit. If the group isn't for you, you will receive a full refund (minus $50.)
Complete List of Guest Teachers: Bentinho Masarro, Andrew Harvey, Micheal Dowd, Carter Phipps, Pamela Wilson, Adyashanti, Andrew Cohen, Joanna Macy, Mukti, Leonard Jacobson, Duane Elgin, Bill Plotkin, Diane Timberlake, Diane Hamilton, Bert Parlee, Terry Patten, Sean Hargens, John Prendergast, Mark Coleman, Steve McIntosh, Richard Miller, Dorothy Hunt, RIck Hansen, Tim Kelley, Susan Cook-Greuter, Don Beck, Rupert Spira, Thomas Huebl, Matthew Fox, Carter Phipps, Peter Baumann, Patricia Albere and Joseph Goldstein.
THE THREE WORLDS MODEL OF INTEGRAL AWAKENING :
a) SPIRIT: The upperworld journey is a path of transcendence: where we transcend the boundaries of our everyday personalities to experience non-separation from all of existence. In the upperworld dimension of our being we experience ourselves as the Spirit that moves through all things. Through the practice of meditation we can attain spiritual realization: the recognition of the limitless/timeless dimension of our being.
b) SOUL: The lowerworld journey is a path of decendence: a burrowing down into our depths where we encounter soul, which depth psychologist Bill Plotkin describes as, “The deepest core of your human nature, the reason spirit has taken shape as you , and the essence of your specific life purpose.” Through soul work practices we can become soul embodied human beings, thereby fulfilling our deepest longings while serving others.
c) BODY/MIND: In the realm of the body/mind we engage in multiple practices: shadow work to restore emotional balance, relational work to bring harmony to our interactions, physical exercise to strengthen our bodies, and reading/lectures to stimulate and expand our minds.
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Integral Awakening Group
The Integral Awakening Group is a crucible of cross-training for all three of these vital areas: enlightened freedom, soul-stirring purpose and everyday joy. The power of the IAG group is that it sees you as a whole instead of a fraction.
You are warmly invited to join the Integral Awakening Group this Summer-Fall. You are welcome to "test drive" the program by joining the group on Wednesday July 8th. If after the first meeting you are not completely satisfied with the course, you will get a FULL refund (minus $50) So...there is no risk!
Location: San Francisco (2169 Union Street - at Fillmore)
Evening Meeting: Wednesday's 6:45pm - 9:15pm
Wednesday Tentative Summer-Fall dates:
July 8, 15, 29
Aug 1 (note: this is the one meeting which falls on a Saturday...its a daylong.)
Sept 2, 16, 23
Oct 7, 21
Nov 4, 18
Dec 2, 9, 16
What if I can't make a few of the meetings?
No worries: we have periodic reviews to help members stay current. We also record the essential experiential exercises if you cannot make it to a meeting.
NO RISK FOR FIRST-TIMERS! If you aren't completely satisfied with the IAG after attending your first meeting you'll receive a full refund (minus $50.) So...there is no risk!