by Zochi “ Integration: an act of combining into an integral whole” At the beginning of this journey, I established that intentions are actions. They act as a wave of vibrations and are essential to our ability to evolve. A single intentional thought activates reasoning for our internal movement (such as form (MU-i)) and supports our collective movements while we are transformed to manifest new and unique possibilities. In our training e.g. what we do to prepare ourselves – we speak our affirmation aloud and within so, both the inner and outer universes are galvanized together. In this moment our intentions and efforts are in alignment. Thus, solidifying our sincerity and reminding ourselves of the path we have chosen. We ignite the inner spark and unfold a hidden destiny that lives within our hearts. No matter what internal vehicle we have chosen (be it; Meditation/Mindfulness, Yoga, Qigong, or Taiji etc...) they alone are not enough to break through the paper cuts of years social conditioning and trauma we have experienced. No matter how good we feel, how motivated we believe we are. If we do not deliberately and intentionally apply the principles and practices in our communities and in all aspects of our daily lives we will find ourselves still wanting and caught in a state of illusion. Now, from the many conversations I have had with my students and colleagues some have initially disagree with this point to some degree or another. I understand their perspectives and the immense amount of research that every is emerging but for the most part they are looking a the branches and not the root of the tree. Yes, I can agree that there are benefits and fruits of these practices for those who have a vehicle for training. These individual feel more relax and focus in there lives and are even more productive because of these disciplines. There are even medical, psychological and physical benefits. However, my core question is how do we evolve as a people and a society and what I have witnessed when people are under extreme conditions of uncertainty, conflict, and chaos these facades fall apart – and are quickly replaced by their emotional defaulting demons and egos in their defense. After all, as my one of my teachers would tell me “ these practices were designed to transform our habitual behavior and to return us to our natural state of being.” But this seem to imply that we know our natural state without ever experiencing it directly or there is a container that reflects back to us our values or holds us accountable. There is also our homogeneous nature of adaptation to the most uncomfortable conditions and finding comfort in them. Where we do not realize we are off balance or unaligned, even when we are in a mirror or someone to points the imbalance out to us. In someways this is not entirely our fault or the fault of our contemporary instructor’s. In our busy and distracting societies we are pull in many directions all at the same time. This require an extreme amount of bandwidth which most of us do not believe we have. So, we simple sample a little bit of everything. In addition, some of vehicles we have chosen to learn were birth out of isolation away from the greater society or, in cultures different from our own. Some sprung out of temples and monasteries in which the environment were controlled and life was and is regimented to a particular homogeneous set of values and culture. Historically, we have lost context with was once natural in our original indigenous habitat. So we struggle to stay afloat or conform to the new artificial norm. Even our learning situation do not allow for more traditional transmission from mouth to ear for inside students only. There are many allegories, ancient tales and books that tell us what it is suppose to look and the attributes we are suppose to live and given a series of rule books we are suppose to follow. Yet, when we look out into the world there are more dysfunctional communities than there are modern everyday positive examples pointing to a evolve future. So, how do we bridge this divide in a contemporary society that steadily give us permission to act out of our egos and loose compassion for our humanity. What is the final element to the alchemy of change and the transformation of our practice. In my personal experience and in my teaching with my students I have found that there is another layer of practice outside the training halls, studios and temples. There is the need to challenge oneself thought a process of integration and practicums related to real and everyday life To relearn how connect, speak, listen, and act. To have empathy both under relax conditions as well as in chaotic and possibly difficult situations. We do this one foot in front of the other fearlessly in small chucks to build our capacity to navigate the chaos in our lives. Our intentional integration of training and real life practice is the final level. Even as a teacher, I too must remind myself what I am teaching applies to me too. So it is important to stop and get out of the busy flow of momentum. Integration is “an act of combining into an integral whole” One example of integration might be after training with the affirmation and physical movement (MU-i) of “moving obstacles out of the way and advocating for what you want without aggression”. It easy when we are not challenged and the elements of fear and emotions do not intervene in what we consider safe spaces, but what do we do now? How do we sit in this discomfort and practice all that we have learned? What happens when we find our emotions off the chart, adrenaline pumping? To be able to manage this we begin with making an intention and a commitment to this praxis. Begin at a level of comfort where there is a low resistance and fear to apply one principle in our relationships and/or work everyday until it is truly apart of our toolbox. This is step one. Step two is take it to the next level of intensity until you can reach a level of inner stillness, calm, and still able to engage and connect in an uncomfortable situation. Eventually, you will be prepared should you find ourselves in a spontaneous unexpected situations were someone is just begins to dump on you for no apparent reasons. Thus when you are face to face with your worse scenario these practical extensions of the training and practice will kick in. In return you will discover yourself maintaining presence, staying engage, connected and staying in the flow without harm. Even when situations are jarring and unexpected in the unfolding moment. Things to Remember Our conflicts are just another form of conversation that has been heighten by emotional content and sometimes false conceived narratives. In our primal fight, flight and freeze responses to these situations we become defensive immediately. There narrow windows for true listening because our cognitive system has been turn off. Breathe As we learned in our training and principles you must center ourselves and breathe. In this way, you can take advantage of this hypersensitivity status, instead of it controlling you. Remove Obstacles Out of the Way We can sometimes be our own obstacles to resolving our conflicts and chaos. To remove obstacles out of the way it is important to maneuver ourselves. In a way where we are no longer our own obstacle and letting go of our personal filters, experiences and traumas as much as we can. Breathe in and out as you step outside of the ego as well as removing yourself from immediate and direct path of harm. At this point, you can regain connection, able to clearly assess the situation at all levels, question and hear the value, seek clarity and then in return advocate for yourself while standing in your own power without aggression. Now you are in relationship of what is and can listen to the possibilities that may not have been obvious. Listening Listening is both a kinesthetic and audio level. Silence the chatter within. This active meditation allows you to hear what is needed and what is being asked for or at the very least you are able to lead the energy in a direction that is not harmful by discovering the intention and core value that is both parties may agree upon that will defuse the initial tensions. This is not easy and we can expect to fail and fall on occasions and we must remember that this is the true nature of our practice and the alchemy of change. Thus through our commitment, integration of effortless action, and courageously allowing that has been learned to marinate into ones soul. The transformative intention of practice assist us to live the future in every breath and action so we may evolve and break free of the patterns that hold us in place.