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Lions Roar : March 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN MArcH 2010 98 integration we can achieve a flexible flow of energy and information—an adaptive and coherent state that has the subjective feeling of harmony and vitality. When we are not integrated, we are in chaos, rigid- ity, or both. That IPnB view enabled me to finally have an explanation for why my pa- tients came for help with one of these states, now seen as impairments to integration. From the IPnB perspective, integration is health. The way we move toward integra- tion is to use mindsight to promote the necessary differentiation and then linkage of elements in the system—our brain, our relationships with other people, the larger planet of interconnected life. Mindful awareness from this IPnB per- spective can be seen as a powerful way to integrate consciousness. With kindness and compassion, we differentiate awareness from that which we are aware of. Attuning to the self is like attuning in a loving way to a friend or an infant: we are fully present and accepting with care and concern. Mindfulness also enables us to differ- entiate distinct streams of awareness that can include sensations, observations, con- structed concepts, and even nonconceptual knowing. Once we strengthen mindsight’s lens with training exercises that promote openness, objectivity, and observation, we are then given the opportunity to cultivate integration in our individual and collective lives. The unfolding of well-being, com- passion, and resilience from such practices is a wonder to watch. Reflection, relationships, and resilience can become the new “R’s” of basic educa- tion. Reflective practices that help integrate the brain, mind, and our relationships can offer new hope for how youth can grow toward health and more compassionate ways of being. In many ways, such reflec- tive practices combine the ancient wisdom of mindfulness and the contemporary dis- coveries of interdisciplinary science. With reflection, we come to see clearly that the mind is real and our interconnections with one another the vital pulse of life. Our brains can become integrated, our relationships empathic, and our minds honored as they are cultivated to develop resilience in our lives. ♦