It is based on the body of knowledge of the Enneagram, on the vision of Ken Wilber’s Integral Approach and on the experience of somatic research and movement. It integrates the academic studies in religious ethnology and cultural anthropology, the study and deepening of human nature with the Enneagram, the training and experience in the somatic area, the passion for dance and the practice of meditation that are in my life.
It is a proposition that offers support for awareness of our position and movement in life and in the world. The orientation of this approach is to move the sense of ourselves and our identity from projection, from emotional reactivity and from the automatism of our instinctual drives toward the inner space of presence and support that allows to our resources to emerge. Traditions often call this space our true nature. Integrating the empirical knowledge of our differentiated inner aspects and of the many dimensions of reality, our daily life may also express and manifest all the variety of true nature. Idries Shah affirmed that a man is really free only when he has the choice of the dimension of the reality he’s giving attention to, instead than being trapped in the sole one he is capable to recognise.
From this perspective, crisis and the automatic aspects of personality are considered doorways towards our natural talents and abilities. What we experience as difficulty, impasse or confusion is often a situation we do not really recognise or accept in all aspects, a context only partially considered.
The moments of radical inner transformation of vision and perception of ourselves are moments of integration. They happen when the experience is ‘integral’ and ‘integrated’, not partial or fragmentary as the automatic way we interpret the events.
When the body experiences itself from within, when awareness of the dynamic and the patterns in movement in their physical and social environment emerges, then body, mind and emotions are experienced as one. Gurdjieff attributed great importance to the integration of three intelligence centres mental, emotional and instinctive and to their active involvement in the evolutionary process.
If we want to investigate reality, relative or absolute, it is necessary to include that integral and dynamic human consciousness revealing itself in all the dimensions we can experiment through senses and also in the dimension preceding the experimental and interpretable.
In this process, intent, support and direction are fundamental. Practices that open up to a wider perspective than the usual one allow us to unlearn what we believe about ourself and, God willing, to remember ourself.
“What is ‘Integral’? It means simply more complete, balanced, comprehensive and connected. Using the Integral Approach, in business, in personal development, art, education, or spirituality (or in any other numerous areas), we may include more aspects of reality and of our own humanity, to become more completely and efficiently conscious in all we do. […] We cannot realistically honour the various methods and fields without exposing as they fit together. This is the way to treat in a genuine way the philosophic world.”
– Ken Wilber –
With the Four Quadrants Model Wilber suggests that almost everything can be observed using four intrinsic prospectives: the individual interior and exterior perspectives and the interior and exterior perspectives of the collective.
Another nuclear vision for which Wilber has become well known is the recognition that human development, individually, and up to a certain point also culturally, passes through specific levels or stages of consciousness. For example, there are cognitive stages, moral stages, cultural stages, spiritual stages, the stages of the Spiral Dynamics model and many others. Taken as a whole, they have a powerful message to the integral mind.
These two concepts, quadrants and levels, are the foundations of Wilber Integral Model called AQAL (all quadrants, all levels). They represent the fundamental structure of its “theory of everything” and the basis of his philosophy called Integral Operating System with invites to a perspective that includes all quadrants, all levels, all lines (of development), all states (of consciousness) and all kinds (of awareness).
We all can experience all states of consciousness and the way we interpret them depends on our stage of awareness. While we can all have experience of non-dual reality we will evaluate according to our level, not we all can know all the stages. While it is possible to pass from one state to another, we cannot jump levels in our evolution.
The common principles are the holistic conception of the subject in which body, emotion and thought are an inseparable continuum, the wide and sophisticated availability of gestural and manual techniques, and the construction of subjective experience through the constant and in-depth practice of listening and sensitivity, especially proprioceptive and kinesthetic.
In the common scientific language, somatic it is what refers or belongs to the body or the organs of living beings, while in anthropology it refers to the features of the body characteristic of a human type or an individual. However, since the 1960s the American philosopher Thomas Hanna has coined the term somatic to define the field of study of the body through the perspective of individual experience. He began to use the term soma to define the body as a subject that experiences, as opposed to the body considered as an object.
Among the other somatic approaches and methods, Body-Mind Centering® – developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen in the Seventies – specifically explores the relationship between body and mind through movement. It is an experiential study based on the embodiment and application of anatomical, physiological, psychophysical principles and the knowledge of the development of movement from conception to the first year of life. It explores the physiological body systems and their expression, the evolutionary patterns of movement, the development of the senses, primitive reflexes, balance and relationship with gravity and space. It uses movement, touch, voice and images and pays attention to the person as a whole and to individuality.
One of the most interesting features of this approach is somatization, the cenesthetic experience, as opposed to the visualization that uses the use of images. With the somatization and the utilization of a body‑based language to describe movement and body‑mind relationships it, the transmission of information takes place from the body’s cells to the brain and vice versa. This allows a natural repatterning, the acceptance and appreciation of how we express who we are, how we perceive the world, others, ourselves, and how we learn.
The mind is like the wind and the body like the sand: if you want to see how the wind is blowing, you can look at the sand.”
– Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen –