Holistic Practices for Integration: Part 1
Being a part of thriving COMMUNITY is one of the key pieces of integration of our journey work. Fun and connection are foundational to spiritual growth and healing. Please join me for this seasons first Hiking event 🍄 April 16, 2PM! Check it out here and read on for ideas for integration.
In Ralph Metzner’s book “Allies for Awakening,” he suggests that people should spend as much time on prep and integration as they do during their medicine journey. Hence, if you have a five-hour journey, you should spend five hours preparing and five hours integrating your experience. I would argue that integration should become your way of life, incorporating holistic practices into your daily routine that help deepen your newfound wisdom and way of being in the world.
I have found the following seven holistic practices to be real game-changers in incorporating medicine work into my daily life. I wanted to lay them out for you here and then I will expand upon these concepts more in the coming months.
Meditation – The Sages were on to something here! Science is slowly catching up to spirituality and finally proving what the seekers knew all along. Quieting the mind and moving into the ever present now, helps open us up to possibility and supports the rewiring of neural pathways in the brain, to promote greater health and happiness. Meditation is an invaluable resource that can be implemented in various ways and styles. Some people enjoy downloading apps such as Headspace, while others may dive deeper into practices from a particular spiritual path and lineage.
I personally have had the pleasure of being taught in the Sri Vidya lineage for the last 18 years, and graduated from a 3-year teacher training course in 2022. I am excited to post more about this in my upcoming blog series, and share with you the power of mantra and meditation.
While medicine work is not necessarily a meditation, it is meditative. I find that people who already have a meditation practice are able to more easily surrender and allow the dissolution of the ego, as we are on our way to integrating ourselves into more wholeness.
Mantra – “Mantra is a syllable, a sound, a word, or set of words found in a deep state of meditation by the great sages.” (Rajamani, Mantra the power of initiation) Mantra literally translates to “the word which protects by being repeated,” (Rajmani) but can also be translated as the subtle sound of vibration.
Mantras have been used for thousands of years and are based in Sanskrit seed sounds, which act as vibrational medicine. These vibrations help us to unlock the doors to a deeper knowledge and allow us to access greater peace and happiness.
The repetition of a seed sound helps you enter a deep meditative state, clearing your mind of thoughts and connecting you to your higher self and the divine. Chanting these sacred sounds affects the energy channels in the body called nadis and is calming to the mind and spirit.
A wonderful example of a mantra that has given me great peace is –
Translations vary, one example of its meaning is –
As within so without, as above so below
For Westerners, we are more familiar with affirmations, which are often confused with mantras. Affirmation is a positive statement that you repeat to yourself. They are a tool that assists us in modifying our way of thinking, which in turn helps in changing our actions and behaviours.
When I first moved to Asheville, I noticed many of the local restaurants have stickers in the bathroom that says – You are beautiful. I thought, how wonderful! There are certain pivot points in the day when we can notice our mind travelling to old negative thought patterns. We can shift into a new awareness by using our affirmation. Try it and see what subtle changes this makes in your emotional and energetic body!
If you are interested in Mantra, learning a mantra, or attending my upcoming mini workshop on Mantras. Please reach out!
Journaling – Putting pen to paper and releasing thoughts and emotions onto the page can be really cathartic. It’s also a powerful tool for excavating deeper material. If you have not read the book “The Artist’s Way” yet, I would highly suggest you check it out! The author lays out a daily writing routine called Morning pages, which asks you to write three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. It’s a really powerful practice to clear your mind of clutter and to get more focused for your day ahead.
Again, i’m excited for the Hikerdose event on April 16th from 2 pm – 5 pm EST just outside Asheville. When you sign up, I will send you the location details. This will be a beautiful day out in nature with a light sacrament offering and a chance to connect with a community of spiritual seekers like yourself. Hope to see you there!
Stay tuned for part 2 of Holistic Practices for Integration