Episode 17: States of Consciousness Part 2 – Waking Up to our True Nature

Episode 17:
States of Consciousness Part 2
Waking Up to our True Nature

What does it mean to “wake up”? Have you ever thought about it?

For those in recovery, the more pressing question is usually: “How does insight into the true nature of “the self” and “the kosmos” help keep me sober?”

It’s a fair question. The answer lies in the second part of our exploration of states of consciousness.

We’re all familiar with the states of conscious that commonly appear in our day to day lives. These states of joy, sadness, energy, fatigue, anger, gratitude, and more, both affect and are affected by our brains and our bodies. The interactions of electrical firing of neurons, hormones, neurotransmitters – not to mention the incoming data from our senses and its interaction with our memories and our habitual thoughts patterns – profoundly shapes our experience of the world. And as any addict (or any human with a pulse) will tell you, it’s not always a pretty picture.

The Integral Recovery practice of meditation gives us a tool to observe our experiences with mindful awareness. This simple act of nonjudgmental observation shifts our perspective, allowing us to look “at” our thoughts, emotions, memories, and traumas, instead of “through” them. This “witnessing” perspective is a shifted state of consciousness – a step on the path to awakening. And in a very real and immediate way, this witnessing perspective, cultivated through meditation, helps relieve our suffering. It helps us make better choices. It helps us prevent relapse into addiction and depression. It helps us create better lives for ourselves, our people, and our world.

Daily meditation confers countless benefits to the recovering addict: on a physical level, it lowers our blood pressure, strengthens our immune systems, and improves our heartrate variability. Meditation allows us to work skillfully with our difficult emotions, traumas, and shadow material, as we move toward healing and growth.

But most importantly, meditation is the practice that leads to waking up. Through meditative states of awareness, we transcend the “controlling I” of the “small self” or “addict self” and accelerate our growth through the developmental stages of spiral dynamics. (The complex relationship between states and stages would take a book to explain. Fortunately, Ken Wilber wrote one.)

The good news is that we don’t need to fully grok “enlightenment” for meditation to be effective in recovery and in life. We must, however continue to practice. As long as we continue to show up daily, practicing with proper guidance and strong intention, we are on the path. Every step changes our understanding of what came before, and we continue to evolve, grow, and live in the infinite possibility of our expanding potential.

Episode Resources:

Stealing Flow: Complete Brainwave Suite for Flow State Mastery (by iAwake Technologies and Douglas Prater)

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
The Religion of Tomorrow: A Vision for the Future of the Great Traditions-More Inclusive, More Comprehensive, More Complete
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
Seth Godin – When Does the Water Get Hot?
Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction (SUNY series in Integral Theory)
Deep Recovery – a guided meditation from iAwake Technologies

In this episode:

[1:35] Is there a relationship between stages, states, and structural development theory?
[3:48] How can we manage our feelings of “disequalibriation” as we move from one stage to the next? Are there any tools, exercises, or mediation practices to help improve our affect tolerance (ability to manage unpleasant states)?
[6:35] The two things we need to establish a solid recovery practice (this is worth memorizing)
[8:35] An introduction to Ken Wilber’s take on the relationship of stages and stages as they relate to integral theory and integral practice
[9:30] Why affect tolerance the ability to manage our unpleasant states is essential to our recovery and continued growth as we begin to access the insights and self-knowledge of deeper meditative state work
[12:27] What is the deeper purpose of meditation? Why does meditation need a deeper purpose than seeking states of non-dual bliss?
[14:48] A vivid image of having the persistence to stay on the path and sticking with our practice
[16:16] A brief tour of meditative states in Waking Up and Integral Recovery practice:
Gross, Subtle, Causal, Witnessing (Turiya), and Non-dual Unity (Turiyatita)
[19:26] Nagarjuna’s teaching on non-duality and the unity of samsara and nirvana
[22:02] Can the states serve as an impediment to growth and recovery? What if the “monkey mind” and unresolved trauma creates anxiety and depression?
[25:43] Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the final dimension he added towards the end of his life
[26:09] Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and the flow state – how we can enter a felt sense of nonduality and transcendence through our meditation, music, and art. The repressed emergent unconscious that can only be accessed through discipline
[28:18] Killing butterflies – the evanescent beauty of our states is given, not taken.
[29:45] Unpacking stages and states on the unfolding journey of self-transcendence and evolution, and how to honor the wisdom, work and contributions from different traditions of thought as we add to, not diminish, by transcending and including
[31:52] Leaping into a flash of Satori, and the pitfalls of attempting a description of the ineffable
[34:43] What does it mean? (A metaphorical description of enlightenment)
[36:35] “Scruting” the inscrutable; a glimpse of enlightenment
[37:56] What truly makes us happy isn’t what we think: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow and flow states as a method of self-transcendence and living non-duality
[40:00] Peeking into a “peak” experience, and developing our ability to reach them more frequently through the daily practice of meditation
[42:01] Arjuna Ardagh’s cycle of experience, and the cycle of work, flow, and recovery, and learning to utilize our “fertilizer” for growth by viewing it with mindfulness
[44:04] How does learning to view the natural cycle of growth, on our journey of evolution, with mindfulness help to ease the discordant pain of transition?
[46:25] Ascending through the stages of recovery and the importance of a supportive community to help you on your journey
[47:27] Escaping the tyranny of the “controlling subject” as we learn to transcend and include, viewing the integrated parts of our ever-expanding self-identity with love, compassion, and often, humor.


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06/16/2017, 49.20, 33.88 mb (Audio)

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