Antique New World copy

The basic concepts of Integral Deep Listening are summarized in a statement of intent. A short explanation of each component is followed by the entire statement.

You are asleep, dreaming, sleepwalking,

You don’t know who you really are.  As long as you continue to believe that you do your decisions and life will continue to be the product of delusional groupthink.

lost in the drama of your life script.

Most of who you think you are is a product of social conditioning. You have taken elements of your culture and used them to assemble your identity, which Integral Deep Listening calls your “waking identity.” Most of this was done out of your awareness when you were a child. Your name, ethnicity, language, preferences, beliefs, thoughts, and allegiances are largely internalized from your family and culture. What you call “intuition,” “conscience,” “dharma,” “soul purpose,” your “higher self,” “God’s will,” “destiny,” or “divine order,” are almost entirely the internalized preferences of those you admire or fear. Your identification with these keeps you from waking up to your inner compass. As a consequence, most of what you do think, and dream lies within the misery of the Drama Triangle, the three interchangeable roles of victim, persecutor, and rescuer.

Stuck in the perceptual realities of your physical, mental, cultural, and social filters.

Mystical, drug, and near death experiences can be transformational precisely because they strip away many of the normal and natural filters that keep you solidly oriented in time, space, and identity. Your perceptions create your reality, as Berkeley, the Scottish idealist philosopher saw, but as Kant demonstrated, the reality created by the filters space, time, causation, and other inherent framings of experience, makes no comment about what lies beyond those filters. The problem with the radical freedom associated with the premature or spontaneous stripping of these filters is that it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to integrate relatively “unfiltered reality” with normal, everyday filtered reality. It is more likely to overwhelm you or to be dismissed due to its irrelevancy to the needs of your everyday existence. The solution is to slowly outgrow identification with your filters, which means that they still exist when you need them, instead of blowing them away, as happens with drug, mystical, near death experiences, and death itself. Such slow, evolutionary developmental changers are a major function of Integral Deep Listening.

You are here to wake up.

Waking up is a prosaic way of talking about becoming enlightened. Both refer to getting out of your own way, to becoming transparent, and growing into the recognition that who you are is a temporary tool that life has created and uses to wake up to itself. Life is not about you. You exist in the same way that a glove and a cloud exist. But before you become no one you must first become somebody. Transpersonal levels of development transcend yet include personal levels of development; attempts to bypass “becoming somebody” by going directly to non-filtered experience merely reveals pre-personal states, not transpersonal development.

You do so as you ask, “Is this a dream?”

It is equally true to say that life is real and that life is a dream. Given a particular context, there are facts and realities within that context. For example, within the framing of a game, a dream, and a life, reality depends on the framing. It creates what is real and largely determines what choices arise as possibilities. We can see this principle at work with Newtonian physics; once you recognize its context by relativizing it, say with quantum mechanics, its facts and realities, such as gravity, velocity, and inertia, are seen to be interdependent rather than absolute. IDL does not say life is a dream to promote idealism or to deny reality, but to encourage you to question contexts, moment to moment, every day. The purpose of this questioning is to develop objectivity, one of the six core attributes of enlightenment.

see everything as a wake-up call,

IDL does not claim that everything is a wake-up call or a “message,” only that this assumption leads to productive conclusions. When you see something as a wake-up call you are not labeling it good or bad, right or wrong, true or false. You are simply saying, “If this were a wake-up call, what would it be saying to me?” Interviewing some aspect of the wake-up call using Integral Deep Listening is one way to approach answering that question.

re-frame your cognitive distortions

How you think determines how you feel. Consequently, it is not wise to believe or trust most of what you think. Change how you think and you will change how you feel. More importantly, in the process, when you replace emotionally-based distortions with logically-based reasons, you objectify your emotions. This moves you from the belief that your are your preferences and that emotions determine your happiness to a belief that you are your thoughts and that how you think determines your happiness. While it is not true that you are your thoughts and that happiness is finally determined by how you think, it is both more true and more helpful to your development than to remain submerged in your emotionally-based cognitive distortions. Therefore, a major function of Integral Deep Listening is to help you to recognize your cognitive distortions and to substitute realistic and useful true statements. The three types of cognitive distortions, emotional, logical, and perceptual, and what to do about them are discussed in detail in Waking Up. 

remember your priorities and those of your life compass today

Instead of doing what most people do – assume that your priorities and goals reflect “God’s will” or the “”divine plan” for your life, – IDL checks that assumption against the priorities of multiple perspectives that are facets of your own intrinsic life compass. This allows you to re-calibrate your priorities and set ones today that are less in conflict with life and therefore are more likely to be supported by it. The clearer you are in those priorities and the clearer that you set them today, the more directed and meaningful your life will be. Because you are more specific and directed in what you are looking for in your life, you are much more likely to get the specific feedback you need from life in order to cybernetically correct your course. While your priorities will always differ from those of your inner compass, they can become increasingly similar, a clearer reflection of the priorities of life itself being born within you. This is another core function and purpose of Integral Deep Listening.

moving you from delusion and  mental fuzziness

This is another way of describing your normal, everyday state of being asleep, dreaming, sleepwalking, lost in the Drama Triangle, cognitive distortions, and pursuing dead-end goals.

to clarity

Think of clarity as the space between your eyes and these words. This is an empty, invisible space, which is full, but contains nothing that impairs your ability to see. This is a metaphor for the type of space you can attain and live out of. Other analogies for sun clarity are a pure diamond, a prism, the sky, or space.

and thence to luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance.

These are three “higher octave” attributes of life. Luminosity refers to the plenum of creativity that is non-filtered experience. It is called sunyata in the Buddhist tradition and is the empty fountain or source of all forms. However, it is no different from common, everyday experience, just as the pause after exhalation is not only part of every breath but generates every other stage of each breath. Cosmic humor refers to the joke of thinking you are “somebody” and that life is about you. Integral Deep Listening does not deny the self; it merely contextualizes it by understanding that from the perspective of life it is one more tool for its awakening. Once you “get” this recognition, life and the dramas you create about your life become very funny!  Abundance refers to the extraordinary generativity of life. The more you dissolve your sense of self, the more you move out of fear; the more you move out of fear the more you experience your life as a sea of abundance. The normal and spontaneous response to this realization is massive gratitude.

You are addicted to the past and the future

This, along with your belief that you are somebody, is your core addiction. You think that time is real because you depend on it to function in your everyday life. However, to relativize time and recognize that its existence is conditional and not absolute, is not to deny its reality. Living in the past and the future generate powerlessness because the past is over, so it cannot be changed, while the future does not exist except as a set of delusional expectations and fears you have created. Depression is closely associated with living in the past and feelings of regret, guilt, shame, and self-criticism. Anxiety, worry, fear, and phobias are closely associated with living in the future out of a futile attempt to control what cannot be controlled.  Integral Deep Listening recommends that you spend no more than five percent of your time every day in the past, learning from it and figuring out how you can do better next time, and that you spend no more than five percent of your time in the future, setting practical, realistic, attainable goals for yourself.

You are addicted to your feelings, thoughts and sense of self

Your feelings are generated by your ongoing moods which you are probably usually unaware of. Together, your moods and your feelings addict you to drama and the roles of persecutor, victim and rescuer which keep you on an emotional roller coaster and prevent inner peace. Your thoughts, like your feelings, are important tools, but if you cannot turn them off, and if they are based on untrue assumptions, they are cognitive distortions that create both anxiety and depression that destroy your ability to create a happy, fulfilling life. Your sense of self first supports you and defines you so that you can make important contributions in the world. However, if you think your identity is who you really are, or let it define you, it becomes a cage, prison and barrier to transpersonal development.

You move from anxiety, drama and depression

Anxiety is a product of living in an imagined future which you are powerless to change because you are not there yet. Drama is the misery you create for yourself when you take your self-created delusions seriously. Depression is a product of living in hurts, regrets, failures in an attempt to learn from them and not forget them so you will not repeat them. But all you do is make yourself  sad and impotent, a victim in the Drama Triangle, because you cannot change your past. All three are forms of distress, which is to be distinguished from eustress or healthy, normal stresses like exercise and productive work. Distress is physiological, an over-reaction of your innate fight-or-flight protective system.

into the here and now

The other ninety percent of your time needs to be spent in the here and now. Learning how to do so is a core function of the approach to meditation taught by Integral Deep Listening. This is because the only place where you can be alive, powerful, and effective is in this moment. The farther away you move from it the less effective you become. The more you recognize that everything you experience, including your thoughts and feelings, are in the past in relationship to the unconditioned spontaneity of this moment, the more you move yourself into a space of radical freedom and clarity.

as you name the contents of your mind,

This is a core IDL meditation teaching. It is based on the fact that you cannot change what you are not aware of. When you name the contents of your awareness you do two things: you objectify them and interrupt the normal flow of your thoughts. Naming the contents of your awareness “uncouples” the elements in your train of thought. Instead of one thought seamlessly flowing into the next, as normally occurs, naming both stops that process and moves you out of subjective enmeshment with your cognitive processes. It is a very powerful and effective meditation tool, and is explained in more depth in Waking up. 

stop monkeying around in the Five Trees,

The “five trees” is an allusion to an East Indian metaphor which compares the mind to a restless monkey, hopping from one branch to the next. In Buddhism there are five categories of things that can be objects of attention and distraction: sensations, feelings, images, thoughts, and states of consciousness. For IDL, meditation is not about any of these five. It is about recognizing when your awareness becomes fixated on any of them and to wake up out of it. That does not mean going into trance or unconsciousness, because those are themselves states. Instead it is to enter a space in which you witness or observe all five “trees.” This process is described in more detail in Transcending Your Monkey Mind: The Five Trees and Meditation.

become the seven octaves of the round of your breath,

The seven octaves are awareness of the cycle of your physical breath, associated processes, qualities, transformational affect, ineffable consciousness, emptying your self, and breathing as life. These are explained in the text, Seven Octaves of Enlightenment: Integral Deep Listening Pranayama.

When there is nothing to name, one’s awareness in meditation goes to observation of breath.

The relationships among stages of breathing, processes, qualities, and stages of day and life are as follows:

abdominal inhalation – awakening – confidence – waking up – birth

chest inhalation – aliveness – compassion – productive work – growth

pause after inhalation – balance – wisdom –  maintenance – life stability

chest exhalation – detachment – acceptance – unwinding – retirement

abdominal exhalation – freedom – inner peace – going to sleep – death

pause after exhalation – clarity – witnessing – sleeping, dreaming – post-death consciousness

Building these associations when you are not meditating to deepen the process of observation of breath is recommended.

moving you from personalization

The cultivation of objectivity and witnessing by using the above processes thins the self and makes it increasingly transparent. This is a movement away from personalization without moving into depersonalization. Eliminating personalization is eliminating psychological geocentrism; the center of the universe is no longer your perspective and consciousness. The remaining points explore what takes its place.

cosmic humor, abundance, and luminosity.

When you no longer take things personally, you no longer take a reactive, defensive, protective stance toward life. When you are no longer someone, you are no longer someone that can die. The result is that you can either laugh or observe in a disattached way things that used to bother you, like the criticisms of others. This relaxing of your self-sense opens you to greater abundance, because fear is on longer blocking you. With cosmic humor and abundance, a sense of clarity and objectivity naturally arises as you get more out of your own way, allowing a growing sense of sacred formless creativity to take your place.

You have lost your way.

If you do not think you are lost, you don’t need to go home or find your way home. You will have no need to wake up. However, to have lost your way does not mean that you are lost, but merely that you humbly recognize that you don’t have all the answers or else you would be enlightened. You need help; you need direction. Integral Deep Listening believes this is best supplied by the process of triangulation, explained below.

You find and follow your inner compass

While the external world is full of authorities and experiences that have valuable insights and strong opinions about how to live your life and how to find your way, these sources are not you. They only know you in limited ways. By all means, consult them. However, what you need are subjective sources of objectivity with which you can compare the advice and recommendations of the outside world. If “intuition,” “conscience,” “dharma,” and “divine purpose” are largely internalized social scripting, what might provide genuine subjective objectivity? Integral Deep Listening provides these as perspectives that may be considered to be facets of the diamond of your inner compass. By listening to them you find a consensus sense of direction, which implies the priorities of your inner compass.

as you amplify your sense of inner peace

The more inner peace you experience on an ongoing basis in your daily life the more you dissolve barriers to enlightenment and open yourself to direction by your life compass.

as you remember, become, and deeply listen to  your emerging potentials,

The dream characters and the personifications of your life issues that are interviewed using the Integral deep listening protocols are called “emerging potentials” because they reveal perspectives that include, yet transcend your own. They know who you are, because they are parts of yourself, and they add something more – their own point of view, which is independent of yours, which means that they are more than parts of yourself. It is both a misunderstanding and discount of this autonomy to dismiss it as a “self-aspect” of one’s “personal or collective unconscious” because this is not how these interviewed perspectives view themselves. Such terminology is a projected interpretation of your waking identity. These perspectives or wake-up calls, are attempting to rise into your awareness, to be born into expression in your life. You get to decide which you will water and which you will ignore. You water them when you remember them and become them. You deeply listen to them when you become them and answer questions from their unique perspectives in IDL interviews.

applying their recommendations in your daily life with triangulation,

Such application is how you test the method. To do so you need to operationalize the recommendations that are made in the interview. That means they need to be put in a form that says what is going to be measured at what times and in what ways, and the measuring has to be something objective. Otherwise, how will you know if the method works? How do you know that you aren’t simply deluding yourself and wasting your time? “Triangulation” refers to the need to check the recommendations of interviewed dream characters and the personifications of life issues with external authorities and your common sense, just as you need to check the advice of external authorities with interviewed emerging potentials and your common sense.

integrating your inner and outer worlds

Microcosm and macrocosm co-create one another. Neither is prior. Therefore, both must be cultivated. What is realized in the inner realms must be put to some use in the outer world; the ramifications of what is done in the outer world on your inner world need to be recognized, balanced, and integrated.

moving you from fear-based scarcity

The more that you deeply listen, become, and apply the recommendations of interviewed emerging potentials the more you identify with perspectives that are not afraid. This process will slowly but surely move you out of fear. With the death of fear comes the end of a sense of scarcity.

to abundance, luminosity, and cosmic humor.

What takes the place of scarcity and fear is a growing sense of abundance. As it grows, it supports the amplification of luminosity and cosmic humor.

Here it is:

An IDL Statement of Intent

You are asleep, dreaming, sleepwalking,

lost in the drama of your life script.

Stuck in the perceptual realities of your physical, mental, cultural, and social filters.

You are here to wake up.

You do so as you ask, “Is this a dream?”

see everything as a wake-up call,

re-frame your cognitive distortions, and

remember your priorities and those of your life compass today,

moving you from delusion and  mental fuzziness

to clarity, and thence to

luminosity, cosmic humor, and abundance.

You are addicted to the past and the future,

to your feelings, thoughts and sense of self.

You move from distress, anxiety and depression

into the here and now as you

name the contents of your mind,

stop monkeying around in the Five Trees (sensations, feelings, images, thoughts, and states), and

become the seven octaves of the round of your breath,

moving you from personalization to

cosmic humor, abundance, and luminosity.

You have lost your way.

You find and follow your life compass as you

remember, become and deeply listen to  your emerging potentials,

applying their recommendations with triangulation in your daily life,

integrating your inner and outer worlds and

moving you from fear-based scarcity to

abundance, luminosity, and cosmic humor.