Do you recognize the inseparability of the “inner work” and the “outer work”?
Have you experienced a calling to go deep, and a resonant awakening into action — and yet are clarifying the forms of your expression, and finding the support necessary to bring your gifts fully into life?
If ever life called us to come together in friendship, practice, and activism —with enough coherence and depth to propel us into a different reality—it is now.
This is a time when many of us feel called. What are we called to? It’s something new, but it resonates with the kinds of “calls” people have responded to in the past. The call to join a monastery. Or to set up camp with the revolutionary cadre hunkered down in the mountain jungle. Or to participate in a circle of activation and practice.
I invite you to join with me and a band of brother and sister citizen-practitioners as together we “up our game,” develop and launch our projects, deepen our practice, and forge deep, lasting friendships as we discover what it takes to inhabit a new republic of the heart.
For the past six years, I’ve taught and practiced in circles of mutuality. These small groups of 9-16 people have offered a unique opportunity to be supported in our practice as we deepen and grow, building intimacy with ourselves and one another and a sense of what it’s like to have true companions in the deep territory of our inner work.
We’ve prayed together, speaking with “the tongue of the heart” on the very edge of wonder, grief, and love. I’ve watched people’s lives and consciousness develop and transform — often in beautiful and unexpected ways. I’ve come to deeply love many of these people, and powerful friendships have formed among us. It’s been incredibly rewarding.
Now, as our global and national crises have quickened, this mutuality practice has evolved further to include a tangible bridge between the inner and outer work in the form of social impact projects developed within the container of our circles.
The deep inner work and interpersonal intimacy I teach has always been inseparable from the outer work of service, citizenship, and sacred activism. As we enter an unprecedented time, this relationship becomes even more crucial. The true inner work must inspire, empower and support us in our service as we make a difference — not as disconnected individual activists, but as fellow citizens of an emerging new nation — a new republic of the heart.
The work I have been doing in Circles of Mutuality has evolved over the years. In the earliest groups, I taught Integral Spiritual Practice. Over the last two and a half years, I have focused on Integral Soul Work. I have offered teachings, but what’s proven most powerful and alive is when I share, spontaneously and authentically, what I am exploring in my own growth and learning.
What began as experiential learning courses that included personal coaching, has evolved into sacred hermeneutic circles of deep friendship and mutual awakening practice, more and more spontaneous, alive, and current. Over time, I’ve shared myself more fully, vulnerably, and candidly, communicating the growing edges of what I’m learning, and how I’m challenged and inspired, to activate others into a transparent community of practice and citizenship. The next turn of the spiral will take that work into more robust outward expression.
2017 promises to push those growing edges even further. Our ecological and political crises are telling us something. It’s not unlike an intervention with an addict — all of us, ultimately the whole human species, are being told, “You must change your life. You (like all of us living middle class lifestyles) are addicted to unsustainable habits. You are ruining your home, the living earth, and hurting your human and non-human family. It’s time to go into recovery — Now!”
The twist is that there’s no rehab facility and no proven therapeutic protocol. We must pull ourselves out of our past patterns “by the bootstraps” in the raw light of day. We must pioneer something genuinely new. We will need each other to do it. That’s what this offering is all about.
Current events are so triggering that we easily get caught in an eddy, circulating between horror, grief, and pain on the one hand, and on the other hand, a resurgent, faithful, calm, joyous optimism, grounded in our spiritual understanding. But each of these, by itself, is incomplete. And in fact they work synergistically, dialectically, to power our growth. They “true each other up” in an evolutionary synergy that deepens, empowers, and activates us, layer by layer, level by level, in a series of revelatory steps, that gradually confer ever deeper wisdom and power.
This year, I expect to be intensely engaged as a citizen of this world-in-crisis. I’ll be working within the system, against the system, and around the system to transform our human future. In these crazy times, I feel inspired — and required — to “make stuff happen” while going deep into practice, fellowship and leadership. I hope you’ll join me.
Recently, my circles of mutuality have included 3 primary elements:
(1) Circle meetings with me every 2-3 weeks
(2) Structured bi-weekly meetings among Pods of 4-6 people
(3) Weekly meetings with a partner, practicing evolutionary mutuality
This coming year this will evolve further. Our Circle meetings, mostly via online video, will offer an opening prayer and dharma talk, then we’ll break into small groups. I will participate directly in those settings as part these groups.
We will “boldly go” to our limits, endeavoring to call one another to what Alain Gauthier, a veteran of this work, calls “Evolutionary Co-Leadership”. I look forward to us establishing a vision of possibility first, and also a clarity about what holds us back.
Then we’ll undertake an archetypal sequence, a bit like that described by Otto Scharmer in his “U Theory”, an elegant model of how groups and individuals break through stuck places, creatively advancing into new evolutionary territory.
That will bring forward 3 additional formal elements this year:
(4) Once we have established our intentions and container, each of us will engage, with integrity and seriousness, a period of discipline, of surrender, and of purification. Each of us will design our particular form of “prayer and fasting”. I will lead off. We will share our regimes with each other (this might be a regime of more intense exercise, of a more disciplined daily schedule, or a juice fast, or a purifying diet, or the giving up of certain foods or drinks). In our own ways, we will “press the reset button” on our metabolism, even as we attempt to participate in the much greater reset of our collective world. We will also track our progress, learn together and support one another. By doing this will each make ourselves a “pleasing offering,” as fit, clean, conscious and clear as possible, so that we can “knock on the door of the monastery” and apply humbly to become responsible citizens of a new republic of the heart.
(5) Having arrived in a state of profound receptivity, each of us will be opening to a vision of practical expression. At this point we will each create or bring forward a personal project, one that can impact the future in real ways. We will workshop our personal projects in small groups. The project will be on a scale appropriate to you — from self to family to community to city to nation to world. In this way, we will each put a stake in the ground, one that will require us to grow. And we will give and receive mentoring and support. We will go beyond our attachments and social faces, coming to a new understanding of what we are capable of, and redefining what we can enroll others in. Some of us may join together in our projects. We will see where our energies are flowing , and we will allow them to synergize and multiply.
(6) When not meeting, we will stay in touch with a simple group chat, a place where we will briefly and quickly share our wins, challenges, inspirational resources, personal updates, and support.
If you’ve experienced any of my larger virtual courses, featuring the teachings of Integral Life Practice or Integral Spiritual Practice, The Integral Heart, or Integral Soul Work, you know how profound, paradoxical, and multidimensional the path is. It invites us to grow in every possible way—awakening, deepening, opening, softening, showing up, listening…and more.
I’m very proud of those teachings and the life of practice they make possible. They contain a tremendous amount of rare, deeply nuanced, practical transformational wisdom and support into an affordable and highly time-efficient package. But there’s one thing they usually don’t include—I don’t get to know participants individually, and to offer live, personalized support. This kind of deep work in mutuality is a forum where that more intimate relating is possible.
If this opportunity resonates with your inner calling, I’d like to welcome you to apply to participate in this sacred circle. Below, you’ll find out more information about practical details and how to apply.
What to Expect
- An intimate human-sized circle of 9-16 practitioners
- Live 2-hour sessions with Terry every 2-4 weeks—mostly video, but sometimes via audio link
- Support in developing your individual social impact project
- A group chat forum for spontaneous sharing and connecting
- Prayer and communion
- New dharma talks
- Intimate sharing
- Integral We-Space practices
How You’ll be Asked to Engage
- Weekly practice sessions of mutuality and awakening with a partner (at mutually convenient times)
- Small group pod meetings between sessions
- Occasional supplemental readings
- Coaching and support for your project, while you report your progress and milestones
- 10 months: March – December 2017
- 1-3 hours per week. Each week consists of:
- a 30-minute session of dyad practice with a partner (partners will change regularly)
- a group meeting (either with Terry or with your small circle “pod”)
- sustaining daily practice & readings
After 30 years of searching and experimentation, it was Terry Patten’s powerful Integral Spiritual Practice course that finally helped me evolve from being a spiritual seeker to being a spiritual practitioner. Terry helped me metabolize many of the deep spiritual truths I had only glimpsed before, transforming me in the process.
—Grant Hunter, Silicon Valley, CA
After studying with Terry I had a completely different view of the events of my life. I no longer saw my life as a victim story, but rather as the soul journey of a heroine. The loving encouragement of Terry and my fellow students was instrumental to this change of heart. Best of all, some of the others on the course had similar experiences to mine.
—Maria Baes, Ontario, Canada
I’ve been a student and practitioner of Integral Theory and philosophy for 15 years, and Terry´s teachings are for me by far the most “integral” I’ve ever seen. They cover Spirit, Heart, Soul, Mind, Body and Shadow from multiple perspectives with the aim of shift and enactment in daily life. Especially his Heart-Teachings, which have brought me a new level of understanding, perception and practice. They are what my soul was deeply asking and yearning for—for 51 years.
—Jochen Becker, Dusseldorf, Germany
Through Terry’s skillful facilitation, our group bonded quickly and we were able to do very deep soul work together while having a lot of fun. This experience was highly integrative for me. The caring invitation to do deep work in a safe and loving we-space birthed new awareness and shifts for me that I will be mining for some time. It naturally evolved to new awareness of needs of others in the world and what I need to be doing to address some of those needs. I found Terry’s dharma talks to be soul nourishing, highly instructive, deeply inspiring and very encouraging.
—Barbara Kinney, Arlington, VA
How do I apply?
To apply, click the button below and fill out the application, and submit your deposit.
What happens next?
Terry will personally review the applications. His assistant, Rebecca Baum, may contact you via email or phone to schedule a 20-minute interview. During the interview, we will determine if you’re a “fit” for the circle. If you are approved, we will send you a confirmation.
When will the meetings take place?
Since we have participants in many time zones across the world, we’re asking applicants to pick the times that would work best for them from among a list of times that work for Terry. On the application form, you’ll be able to pick all the times that could potentially work for you, and we’ll simply choose the time that works for the most people.
What if I can’t make any of the times that are ultimately chosen?
No worries. Just let us know within a week and we’ll process a full refund for your deposit payment.
How can I find out more?
Please email Terry’s assistant, Rebecca Baum, at [email protected]
Terry Patten is the founder of Bay Area Integral and a key voice in integral evolutionary spirituality, culture, leadership, and activism. He co-developed Integral Life Practice with Ken Wilber and a core team at Integral Institute and was the senior writer and co-author of the book Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. He hosts the acclaimed online teleseminar series Beyond Awakening where he has engaged leading-edge conversations with many of the world’s most renowned thinkers and teachers. He speaks, consults, and coaches on four continents and via the web. He is completing a book on the awakening activist and a new republic of the heart that is expected to appear in late 2017 or early 2018.