To learn Integral Deep Listening (IDL), helping others to do the same will greatly speed up your own growth toward balance, authenticity, and lucidity.

The first step is to join our IDL Sangha at “Friends of IDL” on Facebook.  (“Sangha” is a word borrowed from Buddhism that refers to a community of people who share a desire to awaken, balance, and help others to do the same.)

IDL offers a number of tools to develop life lucidity, both in dreams and our ordinary waking experience. Learning these tools will help you to get out of your own way so that you are able to listen and support others better.

These tools are centered around learning to access your unique emerging potentials, which align your goals with the priorities of your life compass, which guide you toward both balance and authenticity.

The first set of tools are about learning to get out of your own way by:

  • recognizing your own familial and social scripting and choosing what you want to keep and throw out;
  • recognizing how you get stuck in drama, in your relationships, thoughts and night time dreams, as well as learning tools for getting out and staying out of drama;
  • recognizing your emotional, rational, and perspectival cognitive distortions so that how you feel, think, and see the world no longer get in the way of achieving balance and authenticity;

The second set of tools are about learning to access your inner compass and authentic presence.

  • IDL interviewing of dream characters and personifications of life issues of importance to you provides you with perspectives that are creative, liberating, and produce concrete recommendations by which you can test the method. (For those who want to develop a high level of competence in interviewing they will learn Dream Sociometry;
  • IDL meditation uses naming to objectify both your thoughts and feelings so that they no longer control or define who you are.
  • IDL pranayama, or observation of your breath is used as a powerful meditation and life tool to center, balance, and attain heightened lucidity.
  • “Triangulation” is a form of problem solving that combines the recommendations of your interviewed emerging potentials, external authorities you respect, and your own common sense to make life decisions that stand the tests of time.
  • Interviewing others and coaching others as you work with IDL will very much speed your own growth process.

You can do as little or as much of the above as you want, and grow at your own speed and according to your own needs, with support via email as you work through various texts that explain and deepen your understanding of each of the above.

IDL is an “integral life practice” and dream yoga. It is meant to be directed by the emerging potentials that you access when you interview dream elements or the personifications of your life issues.

For that reason, you are invited to get started by doing an interview of your own.

Here is a set of interviewing instructions, with the purpose of each step explained.

Following that is an actual interviewing protocol.

We recommend you copy it, fill it out on your computer, and send a copy to us at

Joseph.Dillard@Gmail.Com.

We will then have someone contact you with feedback and recommendations about how to proceed.

Also, if you have questions about the interview procedure before you do an interview, please post them to the group, as others will have these same questions and the answers you receive will thereby assist many.

Here is the annotated interviewing protocol followed by the interviewing protocol:

Annotated, Combined Dream and Life Issue 

IDL Interviewing Protocols 

Joseph Dillard, LCSW., Ph.D. 

Joseph.Dillard@Gmail.Com

This interviewing protocol with explanations of each question is meant to serve as a guide to help you understand the purpose and function of each of the parts of the protocol. Because it contains explanations, it is recommended that you actually use just the interview protocol when you do an interview on yourself or someone else. For more information on the purpose of each question, see “Integral Deep Listening Interviewing Techniques.”

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life? 

(This question is meant to anchor the interview in concrete relevance to the current life of the subject. Extensive answers or explanations are unnecessary, but do push for three issues. It generally encourages a deeper look at what is currently important.)

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2

3

If a dream or a nightmare is the subject of the interview, continue as follows: 

Tell me a dream you remember. It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand. 

(Write down the dream, dream fragment, or nightmare)

Why do you think that you had this dream?

(Getting associations is a way to compare what comes up in the interview with what one thought at the beginning. Did they learn anything new? Have they changed their assumptions about the meaning of the dream? If so, point out that this is one test of the validity of the method. If they say, “I knew it all along, but didn’t put it in theses initial associations, point that out and also point out that of course they “knew” it; they just weren’t in touch with what they knew!) 

These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself… 

(Name characters and elements in the dream including objects like cars, rocks, cars, etc. This is to help the student recognize a full range of possible elements that could be interviewed.)

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be? 

(What dream element is the dreamer most curious about? Go with their choice to interview as long as it is not a lover or close family member. The problem there is a lack of objectivity makes it more difficult to get into role and stay in the perspective of the character. There is too much projection. Normally a neutral, observing, objective element, like a house or a rock, provides a disinterested, broad perspective.)

If a life issue is being interviewed instead of a dream, skip the above after naming three life issues and begin here:

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you? What feelings does this issue bring up for you? 

(Have the subject choose one of the three issues listed above. Have them associate it with a feeling word: happy, sad, angry, anxious, confused, envious, possessive, etc. Like dream images, life issues are personifications or manifestations of feelings. Write it down. There may be more than one.)

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be? 

(What color does the feeling remind them of? You are helping them concretize and objectify their life issue by turning it first into a feeling and then an associated color. It may be several colors or swirling colors. As with all questions, there is no right answer. Do not allow pauses; they represent the subject attempting to figure out the right answer when there is none. Instead, encourage them to answer quickly and spontaneously, without thinking.)

Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness. 

(You are continuing to help them concretize and objectify their life issue. Now, as a color, it is outside of them and has dimensionality.)

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What? 

(If they block, ask, “If the color were an animal, what sort of animal would it be?” This is because imagery and emotions naturally first favor animals when we are children, so animals tend to be easier and innate.)

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor? It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind. If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say! 

(You are not interested in their interpretations. You want them to answer as the dream character or personification of the life issue. Your job is to keep them in role and make sure that they answer in role, instead of as themselves.)

(Character), would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing? 

(This is an orienting question to help them get into the perspective of the character. You want them to look out from the “eyes” of the character or element, not look at it from their perspective. If can be helpful to ask them, “Character, is your human taking your perspective and viewpoint or are they still stuck in their own?)

(Character), what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

( You are inviting the perspective to elaborate on its positive characteristics.)

(Character), what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they? 

( You are inviting the perspective to elaborate on its negative characteristics.)

(Character), what aspect of _____ do you represent or most closely personify? 

( You are asking the element to interpret the “meaning,” function, or purpose that they have for the life of the subject of the interview.)

(Character), if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how? 

( You are inviting the element to either stay as it is or to change. If it is to change, ask it if this is what IT wants – the object is NOT for it to change in some way the subject wants it to change. If it doesn’t want to change that is perfectly OK: That indicates that there are aspects of the way it currently is that the subject needs to attend to. Sometimes a change can be avoidance, or a movement into imagined happiness, harmony, or perfection. Don’t allow such changes. Be skeptical!)

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.) 

(Character), how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing? Why? 

(These six qualities are values associated with the six stages of every breath, as explained in Seven Octaves of Enlightenment: Integral Deep Listening Pranayama. Their purpose is to invite but not require transformation. Low scores are just as valuable, meaningful and important as high ones. The object is NOT to generate high scores!)

Confidence, 0-10. Why?

(Confidence is fearlessness. A higher number means less fear of more things in more contexts; a lower number means more fear of more things in more contexts.) 

Empathy, 0-10. Why? 

(Empathy is the ability to get into role, to accurately take the perspective of another. A higher number means increased ability to take the perspective or “become” more things in more contexts; a lower number means either less ability or less interest in taking other perspectives.)

Wisdom, 0-10. Why? 

(Wisdom is not intelligence, but inner knowing. A higher number means a broader sense of knowingness; a lower number means less awareness about more things.)

Acceptance, 0-10. Why? 

(Acceptance is detachment, letting go. A higher number means an increased ability to die to emotion, ideas, plans, habits, or life itself; a lower number means more attachment and investment in all of the above.)

Inner Peace, 0-10. Why? 

(Inner Peace is harmony and freedom from stress. A higher number means greater and deeper inner peace in more contexts; a lower number means more stress toward more things in more contexts.)

Witnessing, 0-10. Why? 

(Witnessing is objectivity, the ability to watch yourself go by. A higher number means greater objectivity toward more things and people in more contexts; a lower number means more subjectivity toward more things and people in more contexts.)

(Character), if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different? If so, how? 

(The object of this question is not to encourage that the character or element to move into some idealized state but to find out what the result would be if it did. There may be no change; the character may not want to. Such responses are completely acceptable.)

(Character), how would _______’s life be different if he/she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time? 

(The character is not asking to respond as if it were “tens” in all six qualities but in terms of its actual scores for each of those qualities. You can review them: “Character, you gave yourself an 8 in confidence, a 6 in empathy, an 8 in wisdom, a 3 in acceptance…how would ____’s life be different if…”)

(Character), if you could live _____’s life for him/her, how would you live it differently?

(What would be different, if anything, if the character was running the subject’s life, living their daily routine, having their relationships, their life issues, their feelings, their thoughts, their addictions?)

(Character),if you could live _____’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle ____’s three life issues differently? If so, how? 

(Refer to the three life issues above. Repeat the first one and have the character respond. Write down their response. Then repeat with the second and third life issues.)

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(Character), what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of ______’s life? 

(The character may not want to change the life issues or it may want to change only one or two, or it may want to propose three entirely different life issues that are important to it.)

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3

(Character), in what life situations would it be most beneficial for ____ to imagine that he/she is you and act as you would? 

(Does the character recommend that the subject become it, that is, take its perspective, in specific life situations, relationships, or times during the course of the day? If so, what, when, and how?)

(Character), do you do drama? Do you get into playing the Victim, Persecutor, or Rescuer? If not, why not?

(Playing the Victim means to feel helpless, hopeless, and powerless; playing the Persecutor means to be critical in a self-righteous sort of way; playing the Rescuer means to believe you are helping others when you are really trying to make yourself feel like you are a good person. You are also a persecutor to yourself when you are self-critical and a rescuer to yourself when you indulge in addictions or avoidance.)

(Character), What is your secret for staying out of drama? 

(The character may not stay out of drama; they may like it; they may be immersed in it. If so, that is fine. However, if they do stay out of drama, this is their chance to explain how and why they do so.)

(Character), you are imaginary. Why should ______ pay attention to anything you say? 

(Skepticism is a good thing! No one is expected to accept the recommendations of an interviewed character on faith! Let them give reasons why their perspective is important. This is also important as a way to remind the subject later, when they return to their normal perspective, when they will tend to discount the value of the interview, just why it is valuable, important, and legitimate.)

(Character), why do you think that you are in ______’s life? 

(What is their purpose for appearing, instead of a cabbage, archangel, or cloud?)

(Character), how is _______ most likely to ignore what you are saying to him/her? 

(You are helping the subject to identify their resistances to using the interview.)

(Character), what would you recommend that he/she do about that? 

(You are helping the subject to defuse their resistances to using the interview.)

Thank you, (Character!) Now here are a couple of questions for _______:


If this experience were a wake-up call from your life compass, what do you think 
it would be saying to you? 

(Your “life compass” is not a thing but a process, a sense of interior direction that is pointing you toward integration.)

Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made: 

(Listing recommendations is a way to harvest value from the interview as well as areas of interest to be tested to validate the process by seeing if application of recommendations actually improves your life.)

Every night before you go to sleep read over the recommendations you choose to work on. Score yourself 0-10 on how you did on each. Read the interview over several nights a week to incubate a non-drama alternative reality in your dreams. 

(These suggestions are designed to move your dreams into greater lucidity by focusing their thematic content on enacting the recommendations that your own life compass is encouraging you to work on. By so doing, you are stating your commitment to the agenda and goals of your life compass. The more regularly and thoroughly you do so before sleep the more likely you are to incubate 1) dreams that are more lucid; 2) dreams that help you to fulfill your recommendations and resolve these and other life issues; and 3) cause you to awaken in the morning with a more positive, creative, focused perspective on making the most of your day.)

Find a partner or a support person, like another person who you exchange interviews with or an IDL Coach or Practitioner. Exchange emails. Send a report each week on how you have done on applying your recommendations. Don’t worry about perfection; just focus on making a game out of doing better! 

(We all need both support and a structure for accountability. Creating such a relationship with another person interested in IDL and who is working with interviewing and applying recommendations is a priceless support and opportunity for growth. Friends of IDL is created for that purpose! Use it!)

Applying Recommendations for Life Change from Your IDL Interview 

This is important because we change what we are aware of. We don’t change what we’re not aware of. Simply increase your awareness of something and it will tend to change in the direction you want it to: increase or decrease.

It’s also important because it’s the way you test IDL. Does it bring lasting, positive changes to your life or not?

1) Make a list of the recommendations in the interview.
2) Choose the ones that you want to work on.
3) Make a weekly chart to track your application daily, before you go to sleep.
4) Operationalize them.

To operationalize a recomimendation, write it in a way that change is measurable so that you can test the method. What will be done differently? When? How will you know that a change has happened?

Are you eating more of this, less of that? Are you thinking different thoughts? Are you feeling different things? Are you talking/acting in different ways to certain people? When? How? What is different?)

5) There will be some items you can check off if you’ve done them before you go to sleep.

6) Other items need to be rated on a zero to ten scale. How did you do? Rate yourself without criticism.

7) Make it into a game with a partner. Have fun!

If you only do a bit of this, no problem. You can come back to this format with successive interviews and over time, you will improve your ability to monitor your application of your recommendations.

(It is OK to ask follow up questions during the interview to make sure you understand or to check out some interpretation you have. But beware of attempting to infuse your agenda into the interview! Integral Deep Listening is not about you providing answers, diagnosing, or treating! It is about empowering the subject by helping them to find and listen to their own authentic answers and recommendations.)

(It is also OK to be skeptical, to ask questions like, “Character, are you sure that is what you want/think or is that your human talking?” “Character, that sounds crazy! Why do you say that??” These character are not gods! They tend to have broader, more inclusive perspectives, but that does not mean that they are “right” or “better.” That remains to be determined by testing their recommendations.)

(The entire process is a movement into lucidity, in that the subject is gaining important objectivity regarding a dream or nightmare or a life issue, including where, how and when they get stuck and how to get unstuck, or how to generate greater lucidity in their lives.)

(The more waking interviews that you do of both others and yourself, the more likely you are to find yourself having dreams in which you are interviewing dream characters or elements. This is a powerful form of lucidity and objectification from your normal identification with your waking perspective, which we normally do even when we have a lucid dream. As such, it cultivates a higher octave of lucidity, both in dreams and in waking life.)

Combined Dream and Life Issue 

IDL Interviewing Protocols 

Joseph Dillard, LCSW., Ph.D. 

joseph.Dillard@Gmail.Com

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life? 

1

2

3

If a dream or a nightmare is the subject of the interview, continue as follows. If not, skip to the bold, below: 

Tell me a dream you remember. It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand. 

Why do you think that you had this dream?

These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself… 

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be? 

If a life issue is being interviewed instead of a dream, skip the above after naming three life issues and begin here:

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you? 

What feelings does this issue bring up for you? 

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be? 

Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness. 

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What? 

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor? It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind. If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say! 

(Character), would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing? 

(Character), what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

(Character), what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they? 

(Character), what aspect of _____ do you represent or most closely personify? 

(Character), if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how? 

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.) 

(Character), how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing? Why? 

Confidence, 0-10. Why?

Empathy, 0-10. Why?

Wisdom, 0-10. Why?

Acceptance, 0-10. Why?

Inner Peace, 0-10. Why?

Witnessing, 0-10. Why? 

(Character), if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different? If so, how? 

(Character), how would _______’s life be different if he/she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time? 

(Character), if you could live _____’s life for him/her, how would you live it differently?

(Character),if you could live _____’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle ____’s three life issues differently? If so, how? 

1

2

3

(Character), what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of ______’s life? 

1

2

3

(Character), in what life situations would it be most beneficial for ____ to imagine that he/she is you and act as you would? 

(Character), do you do drama? Do you get into playing the Victim, Persecutor, or Rescuer? If not, why not?

(Character), What is your secret for staying out of drama? 

(Character), you are imaginary. Why should ______ pay attention to anything you say? 

(Character), how is _______ most likely to ignore what you are saying to him/her? 

(Character), what would you recommend that he/she do about that? 

Thank you, (Character!) Now here are a couple of questions for _______:


If this experience were a wake-up call from your life compass, what do you think 
it would be saying to you? 

Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made: 

Approach your adventure of learning to become an IDL coach with the expectation that you are going to shift your life at its core. You will still be who you are, only less so; you will become more transparent as you learn to get out of your own way. You will become more like a prism or a diamond, that lets the light of life through, and allows it to scatter into the outer world in beautiful and transformative ways.

Essentially, your study will involve growth in qualities associated with awakening and enlightenment, in very concrete, effective ways that are designed to make a real, lasting difference in the quality of your life.

This course of study is fun and amazing, but it is also a discipline. Perhaps you, like me, had to focus and work to learn math in school; this is much easier and a lot more fun, but it is still work. Any yoga is a discipline; approach learning to be an Integral Deep Listening Coach in the same way and you will be richly rewarded.

As you grow in inner peace, clarity, confidence, acceptance, empathy, balance, and wisdom you will not only be better able to avoid drama but to deeply listen, in an integral way, to your spouse, child, or boss, employees, and clients, so that you are more likely to be able to help them to do the same thing. You will find yourself having less traumatic dreams, and when you do, easily understand them and put them to good use in your life. You will find that your lucid dreams are clearer and more useful.

Here is a more detailed description of the coaching process for those who want to take IDL coaching to the next level:

To become an IDL coach you will read chapters in a series of texts on IDL dream yoga.

After each chapter, you will answer a number of questions about what you have read, to see if you are ready for the next step.

You will also:

– interview your dreams and life issues and apply recommendations from your interviews in your life.

– interview others and teach them how to apply interview recommendations.

– send your work to an IDL coach for support and feedback.

– serve as a coach for other students by email or Skype.

– practice simple, powerful and effective meditation

At the end of the process you will be awarded a certificate as an “Integral Deep Listening Coach.”

The goal is to reduce the filtering that keeps you stuck in a dreamlike, self-created delusional “reality” and to increase your clarity, wakefulness, lucidity, and enlightenment. It is to make you a self-aware, transparent, authentic example of what you are teaching others in your role as an IDL coach, because who you are will evoke the trust and respect that will inspire others to discover why you are who you are, and to give them the motivation and patience to use you as a source of accountability as they learn to find and follow their life compass.

Your first assignment is to read “Integral Deep Listening: Accessing Your Inner Compass.”

It’s available at:

https://www.createspace.com/4796982

After each chapter email Joseph.Dillard.@Gmail.Com your answers to the following questions (or you can read the entire book and answer these questions at the end, but do keep them in mind as you read each chapter:

What implications does the chapter have for your own personal journey of awakening?

What can you use from the chapter to help others to wake up?

Is there anything, based on what you have read, that you would like to test or put to use in your life?

If so, what? How? How will you monitor it to know if it makes any difference or not?

Any other information regarding what you have read that you care to share.

Also, since these books are self-published, we rely on our students  to recommend improvements.

When you are half-way through this first text you may want to order the next book in the series, so that hopefully it will be there when you are ready for your next step.

Here are some the books recommended for the coaching curriculum. Which ones you will read and in which order will depend on your own progress:

“Integral Deep Listening: Accessing Your Inner Compass.”

“Ending Nightmares for Good”

“Waking Up”

“Integral Life Practice,” Ken Wilber, et.al.

“Integral Deep Listening Interviewing Techniques”

“Transcending Your Monkey Mind: The Five Trees and Meditation

“Integral Deep Listening Practitioner”

Students are encouraged to become a member of  “Friends of IDL” on Facebook, to share your experiences, get updates on the process, and connect with fellow students of IDL.

For answers to your questions about the IDL Coach Certification Program, email Joseph.Dillard@Gmail.Com

Beyond becoming a coach, there are other in-person training opportunities.

Train to Become an IDL Practitioner

Training to become an Integral Deep Listening Practitioner occurs in four, four-day modules, currently offered at Toskana Therme in Bad Sulza, Thuringia, Germany.

In Module I you will learn the many benefits of IDL as you develop your own integral life practice.

In Module II you will learn how and why the interviewing questionnaire is constructed as it is and how to deal with challenges of interviewing.

In Module III you will learn to create Dream Sociograms and Sociomatrices of dreams and life events.

In Module IV you will learn applications of IDL to many groups and problems: youth, the elderly, the disabled, depression, anxiety, nightmares, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, and interpersonal relationship issues.

Every Module includes demonstration interviews, intensive practice interviewing and being interviewed, yoga, and instruction in meditation.  Dances, Aqua-Wellness, mask-making, clay sculpting, and masked balls are often included.

The modules can be taken in any order.

This certification is for physical and mental health professionals, coaches and the lay public. It is designed to provide powerful, effective tools to enhance the effectiveness of your current, ongoing practice or life work.  The goal is to first show you how to transform your life on an ongoing basis and then for you to teach others to do the same. Each module is 500 Euro ($680.00).

For dates of upcoming trainings, contact us at ClaudiaHahm@Web.de

For a life-changing experience with IDL and wild dolphins, look here.

Training to become a teacher of IDL is done on an individual basis and is available to IDL Practitioners and Coaches.

IDL Global Coaching and Counseling Via Skype