The idea behind the Integral Transformative Practice (ITP) is that to achieve higher levels of well-being in a person's physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of living, he/she has to consciously and regularly practice. Living well is a skill that can be acquired through practice. Thus, practicing one's living skills is analogous to the way that a musician must continually practice in order to achieve higher levels of performance on his/her instrument. Furthermore, practice in each aspect of living must support and nourish the other aspects which--when all are practiced together--can transform the life of an individual--and through individuals, humanity, and the environment.
We (albeit erratically) follow the practice pioneered by George Leonard and Michael Murphy, which is described in their book "The Life We Are Given." Below are summarized the key elements of the ITP, a long-term program for realizing the potential of body, mind, heart and soul. Aside from achieving life goals, there are many benefits to be enjoyed simply from engaging in the practice--in much the same way that a musician enjoys practicing his/her instrument.
Bill and his friend, Jean Matlack, started an ITP group in January, 1999, with 8 participants, including Pat. The group met weekly for 1½ hours for 6 months. (These meetings began at 5:30am every Monday morning in one participant's living room.) It was this process that resulted in Pat's completing a marathon as her first road race, at the age of 60. Anyone who wishes to engage in this ITP practice should read "The Life We Are Given" first. The eight ITP commitments that each participant in an ITP group is asked to make are described below. While it is possible to work on an ITP alone, it is much more powerful with a group component.
- I take full responsibility for my practice and for all transformations of my body and being that flow from it. While respecting my teachers and fellow practitioners, I fully understand that I am the final authority.
- I seek to join in community with other ITP practitioners. While maintaining my individual autonomy and authority, I commit myself to my ITP community in vision and practice.
- I do the ITP Kata at least four times a week. I understand that, time permitting, I can lengthen any part of the ITP Kata, and that extended periods of meditation at the end of the ITP Kata and at other times of the day are recommended. (Details for doing the Kata can be found in The Life We Are Given)
- I accomplish at least two hours of aerobic exercise every week in increments of no less than 20 minutes. (Three hours a week in increments of no less than 30 minutes are recomended.) Three sessions of strength training a week are also recommended, but there is no commitment on this.
- I am conscious of everything I eat. I am aware of the many benefits of a diet low in fat and high in fiber.
- I develop my intellectual powers by reading, writing, and discussion.
- I open my heart to others in love and service. I stay current in expressing my feelings to those close to me, and take care of my emotional needs in appropriate and healthy ways, seeking counsel when needed.
- For each six to twelve month period, I make at least one affirmation having to do with significant positive change in my own being. I also make the following commitment: "My entire being is balanced, vital, and healthy." I include my affirmations in my ITP Kata and seek in appropriate and healthy ways to realize those affirmations. (Details for making affirmations can be found in The Life We Are Given)
This is a session of stretches and exercises lasting from 30-50 minutes. These exercises are primarily taken from Yoga and Tai Chi. Pat has developed a daily routine she's done consistently since October, 2005. She does this on rising every Monday through Friday and almost never misses. She's taken the Kata, added a bit more Yoga, some pushups, and excercise from Brain Gym
and Touch For Health
. It takes her about 30 minutes to do this routine. She dropped the Kata's meditation and imaging component since her goal for this morning routine is primarily to maintain body flexibility and comfort.
- Balances and centers the body and psyche.
- Provides a full body warm-up.
- Articulates all the joints.
- Offers a comprehensive course of stretches.
- Includes three essential strength exercises.
- Presents numerous opportunities for deep, rhythmic breathing.
- Provides a session of deep relaxation.
- Includes a period of transformative imaging for making positive changes in body and psyche.
- Concludes with a short period of meditation.
Bill Dillon (KG4QFM)
Pat Watt (KG4QFQ)
This page was last modified on
August 9, 2009
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