Integrate Your Spiritual Journey into Your Life

We are members of a broader spiritual community rooted in ceremonial practices. We actively court the transcendent religious experience.

A Shala member describes a recent religious experience”

I lay on my mat, struggling with the same cycles of thought that I experience every day.

I went to the quiet room.

t was cold. I took off my sweater and my socks.

I let the cold come into me. I let myself feel the sensation of cold without attaching suffering to it. As I stared at the door in the wall, I could feel my thoughts empty out.

Sensory information began to fill my awareness.

The rectangular structures.

The sound of the city at night.

The feel of cold concrete on my bare feet.

My thoughts emptied, and I became filled with my senses.

I was no longer a man in the room. I was a room in the man, and I realized the impermanence of my body and the permanence of my conscious mind.

Conscious Shala member – February 24, 2024

We have these moments of vast insight through our spiritual practice, but how do we take that into our daily lives? That’s the focus of the Integration Circle, which meets on the third Thursday of the month. The next one is on Thursday, March 21, 2024, running from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The meeting is facilitated by Stephen Franz, who sits on the board of directors for the Shala. Integration, in its essence, refers to the process following a psychedelic experience, where the insights and revelations encountered are woven into the fabric of one’s daily life. This process is critical; without it, the profound awakenings catalyzed by psychedelics risk fading into the background noise of routine existence. Integration is where the true work begins, turning fleeting moments of enlightenment into lasting pathways of growth and transformation.

Yet, what does integration truly entail? It is a multifaceted process that involves revisiting, making sense of, and applying the insights and lessons from the psychedelic journey. It is about grounding the often ineffable into the tangible realms of behavior, relationships, and personal growth. Integration is an active, ongoing effort that demands intentionality and support, whether through professional guidance, community, or self-directed practices.

This active engagement with the psychedelic experience can unfold across various dimensions of human existence. The Synthesized Model of Integration proposes a holistic approach, encompassing the mind, body, spirit, lifestyle, relationships, and a connection with nature. This model suggests that integration is not a linear process but a dynamic interplay among these domains, seeking balance and harmony within the individual and in relation to the outer world.

The myriad practices associated with integration—ranging from artistic expression and somatic practices to meditation, nature engagement, and community involvement—reflect the diversity of pathways through which individuals can navigate their post-psychedelic journey. These practices offer a scaffold upon which the insights gained can be explored, understood, and embodied.

As we stand at the cusp of a new era in psychedelic understanding and application, the importance of integration cannot be overstated. It is the bridge between momentary revelation and lasting change between the depths of the psyche and the lived reality of our daily lives. Through the thoughtful, intentional practice of integration, the potential of psychedelics to heal, enlighten, and transform can be fully realized.

The journey of integration is as varied and unique as the individuals undertaking it, yet it is bound by a common thread—the pursuit of a more integrated, harmonious existence. As research and practice continue to evolve, so too will our understanding of this critical process, offering new insights and methodologies to support the psychedelic journey from momentary insight to enduring transformation.

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