Friday, March 24, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0120 - Integral Life Practice

Tools for the Healing Journey is ostensibly about ordinary people finding ways to help themselves regain a sense of control and peace of mind in the face of a sometimes overwhelming sense of loss of control brought on by a diagnosis of cancer. It is also, if Alistair Cunningham's research is as solid as it appears, a proven program of self-healing.

As I've gone through the first four of six standard sessions at HopeSpring, the material has seemed familiar. And good as it is, I think I've seen even better resources, not specifically about battling cancer, but in establishing life practices that involve the whole person. Integral Transformative Practice and Integral Life Practice are two examples.

Cunningham describes 5 levels of the individual by using a series of 5 concentric circles. Ken Wilber has what I consider to be a far superior model consisting of 4 quadrants and many levels. Because I am familiar with Wilber's model and philosophy and because I find it conceptually persuasive, I will continue my battle with cancer focusing more on it than Cunningham's model. They are compatible in any case.

Wilber has created something called the ILP Starter Kit. The kit is both a set of practices involving body, mind, spirit and shadow and a framework within which the practices are contextualized. This will be my focus for the duration of my cancer treatment. That doesn't mean I will no longer utilize insights from the Healing Journey, just that the program will be supplemental to the core framework and materials of ILP.

Personally, I think even Cunningham would approve. Maybe someday I'll get to chat with him, perhaps make a few suggestions about Wilber's integral model, and somehow participate in extending the reach of his efforts to help cancer patients.

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