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Architecting the Experiential Learning Environment

What would it take to bring the worlds most cutting edge and influential tools, resources and perspectives to bear on the evolution of consciousness and the actualizing of latent human potential?

As I see it, this happens through relating with ourselves (e.g. meditation), relating with others (e.g. intimate relations, work relations, family relations), relating to culture (e.g. people who love human potential vs those who don’t), relating to systems (e.g. how I relate to our government), and in many, many more ways.

We learn and cultivate these capacities in workshops, trainings, through books and videos and through interfacing with our experience, our relationships and even with technology, more and more.

The following is an example of a workshop architecture for in person, immersive study and practice I have been nurturing as a passion project.   My most current project is the Integral Inquiry App, where I take a lot of these elements and distinctions and attempt to systematically apply them to a moment in an ever more intelligent fashion.   This workshop architecture is, however, a lovely example of my passion and skill for crafting and delivering educational and experiential training curricula.  Please let me know your thoughts and interests.



This is an expression of Applied Integral Theory in that it is intended to bring forth tools, resources, themes and methods that cross disciplines for inquiry, self exploration, the maturation of the psyche and the blossoming of the human spirit.

Themes

  • Intrinsic Connectivity with the Essential vs Becoming Whole
  • Explicit vs Implicit Context
  • Content vs Context
  • Radical Curiosity vs Assumptions, conclusions and certainty
  • Theory vs Embodiment
  • Being vs Becoming
  • Posturing vs Collapsing
  • Healthy Boundaries vs Relational Exhaustion
  • Trust vs Solidity
  • Projection vs Self Authorship
  • Victim vs Villian vs Hero

Methods

  • Group Inquiry
  • Embodied Inquiry
  • Dyadic Inquiry
  • Multiple Perspectives
  • Stretching Time
  • Diamond Heart*
  • Clearness Committee
  • Intersubjecitive Inquiry
  • The Enneagram
  • Applied Integral Theory

Access Points

  • Intimacy with the Moment (allowing contact with our immediate experience)
  • Mutuality (welcoming mutual intent)
  • Curiosity (assuming nothing)
  • Appreciation (welcoming our immediate experience)
  • Honoring Discomfort (leaning into our edges)

More info

Themes

  1. Intrinsic Connectivity with the Essential vs Becoming Whole
    1. In the study of the Enneagram, there is an assumption that the essential is intrinsic and accessible through awareness alone.
    2. In Joanna Macy’s work the courage and preciousness of others is taken into awareness and this seems to elicit awareness of the courage and preciousness of the self.  I want to explore this mysterious phenomena in a group setting as a doorway to discovering and cultivating intimacy with our essence.
  2. Explicit vs Implicit Context
    1. In many experiential trainings, the shared intent of the group is named and utilized as a foundation from which collaborative explorations can arise.  Without this, collaborative ventures seem to fail or find significant challenge.  In relationship, common intent can be a common ground from which to move, providing a sense of stability for navigating uncertainty as it arises.   I want to explore this and am curious about Access points as a doorway.
  3. Content vs Context
    1. In circling, hakomi and body-centered psychotherapy body-intelligence is demonstrated through small arisings… more to come
  4. Radical Curiosity vs Assumptions, conclusions and certainty
    1. What would it take for us to all see through each others eyes?  What would be the implications of that?  Would it be possible to fire a gun at another person if you could see through their eyes? In terms of a goal related to global harmony, I posit that one of the fundamental ingredients would be to cultivate our capacity for empathetic resonance.  In terms of a path of relationship as a  spiritual path, I posit that empathetic resonance can activate our capacity to adapt and evolve in an ever changing context (how we feel, see, relate changes in each moment).   Borrowing from the Zen Koan practice and Ken Wilbers radical inclusivism in terms of perspective taking, this theme is aimed at fostering the integration of worldviews.
  5. Theory vs Embodiment
    1. What would it take for us to walk the talk of our ideals?  If we wish to “be the change we wish to see”, in our global activism, in our relationships, in our own lives, a fundamental ingredient lies in who we are being.   In Joanna Macy’s work this element shows up in the “Going Forth” element of her workshop architecture.  Samantha Sweetwater hones in on this in her Dancing Freedom Practices.  And this is one of the most vital and alive edges for me personally as a practitioner and in terms of how I wish to grow in giving my gift unto the world.
  6. Being vs Becoming
    1. Every spiritual tradition points to who we are being in a given moment… the qualities of being, in terms of its aim and orientation.  Coaching, skillbuilding and making major life changes tends to rest in the “becoming” domain.  Ghandi points to the intersection between being and becoming with the statement “you must be the change you wish to see”… and if we imagine this process of being that we wish to see the world  become as a bridge, this theme examines that process… what does it take to build that bridge?
  7. Posturing vs Collapsing
    1. Posturing is what I do when I want to be seen a certain way.  Collapsing is what I do when I am giving up.  In between these polarities there may be a centerpoint, a resting point, where I allow my intrinsic aliveness and intrinsic vigor to show up for what is present.  This theme explores that balance point.
  8. Healthy Boundaries vs Relational Exhaustion
    1. If I don’t want to have coffee with you and I do, I seem to lean into my posturing a bit, or to collapse a bit inside.  What does it feel like to navigate what I actually, truly resonate with, and to find, with you, what were both interested in.  In service to minimizing exhaustion that comes from “faking it” and to minimizing walking away feeling like I was not seen for who I truly am in our interactions, this theme explores navigating our authentic YES and NO and discovering what is mutual.
  9. Trust vs Solidity
    1. To the extent that I choose to trust you I am choosing to be with the consequences of my vulnerability.   To the extent I choose not to I get the apparent safety of my solidity.  But, am I really solid?  Am I really protected by my own protections?  Does it seem so?  Consider “that which I flee from pursues me”, am I not fixing to that which I want less of in defending myself against it?  Is my defense system set up to respond to reality or past triggers?  Is it serving me when its built upon unconscious associative “stuff”?  This theme explores this.
  10. Projection vs Self Authorship
    1. When I dont identify with what is so I project it outwards onto you.  While this inhibits my view, my clarity, my aliveness and my vitality, it fuels my criticism, my resistance, my judgement and my condescension.  What does it take to reclaim that which I have dis-owned, and to author myself from my conscious awareness?  This theme explores this.
  11. Victim vs Villian vs Hero
    1. Our psyches tend to oscillate in specific patterns between these three poles.  Awareness in how this shows up for us can provide shifts in consciousness that can awaken us and bring us in deeper connection with the essential.  This theme explores this.

Methods

  1. Group Inquiry
    1. Borrowing from Circling, Council and Emergent Educational systems, this method brings an inquiry into a group setting.
  2. Embodied Inquiry
    1. How can our body-intelligence inform our inquiry?  This method aims to tap that resource.
  3. Dyadic Inquiry
    1. Borrowing from Ramana Maharshi Yogi, this method aims to draw from the capacity of sentient beings to be a mirror for each other in process of our unique unfoldment.
  4. Multiple Perspectives
    1. Borrowing from Applied Integral Theory, this method provides an experiential integrative context for revealing the complementary nature of our distinct perspectives.
  5. Stretching Time
    1. Borrowing from Joanna Macy’s Deep Time rituals, this method provides very distinct perspectives on that which we are interested in becoming aware of, specifically exploring our intrinsic care for the fate of humanity or our own lives and path in a refreshing context.
  6. Diamond Heart*
    1. Bridging Inquiry and the study of the Enneagram with its own philosophy as well, diamond heart is intended as a method for inquiry.
  7. Clearness Committee
    1. Bringing the quaker tradition forth into our practices aims to access our contemplative group intelligence to reveal our clarity around a given topic of choice.
  8. Intersubjecitive Inquiry
    1. Drawing from our capacity for presence, curiosity and owning our experience, Intersubjective inquiry makes foundation our empathetic resonance as context for the blossoming of our souls.
  9. The Enneagram
    1. Exploring patterns within patterns of the psyche, the Enneagram provides a means for discovering layers of unconsciousness, bringing massive amounts of conditioning and patterning into conscious awareness at once, and reveals leverage points for discovering our intrinsic essential nature.
  10. Applied Integral Theory
    1. What does it take for the evolution of consciousness and the distinct worldviews of each other to be recognized for how they complement each other?  Integral Theory is aimed at revealing just that.  It is just a map, but in application can reveal our blindspots and allow us to see through each others eyes.

Access Points

  1. Intimacy with the Moment
    1. (allowing contact with our immediate experience)
  2. Mutuality
    1. (welcoming mutual intent)
  3. Curiosity
    1. (assuming nothing)
  4. Appreciation
    1. (welcoming our immediate experience)
  5. Honoring Discomfort
    1. (leaning into our edges)

 

 

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