Importance of Integration

Inside of plant medicine spaces, the entheogenic spaces, the spiritual community, and now even within medical model psychedelic assisted therapy you will hear much about the need for integration. You might hear this so much, it becomes too broad and vague to understand what is this "integration process?" This is a very general term thrown around and often can sound like parrots calling back to you. I 100% believe that integration is talked about yet rarely guided into effective and applicable integrative practices. Here at Shamanic Ananda, we approach Psilocybin "magic mushroom" psychedelic / entheogenic experiences just as serious as you would an Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Peyote, DMT, 5MeO-DMT, MDMA assisted ceremony. The route and avenue to take may shift as each sacrament contains it's own energetic expression of teachings and lessons of the divine. Integration for us is the multidisciplinary approach to navigating and mastering the insights and downloads received from your session. Integration is an ongoing process and will require you to participate long after your initial session. Integration could be likened to a set of “after-care” procedures like mindset tools, energy clearing, grounding, or gratitude practices to name a few.


In the days, weeks and months following your session, it is important to be aware of common occurrences and sensations you may experience as well as these powerful techniques which will assist you in digesting and absorbing as much value from the experience as possible. Below are the realms of integration I utilize to create wholeness and to bring these realms/domains into awareness on what can be focused on specific to the individuals needs and necessities, yet all domains become a place of mastery overtime.

Realms of Integration

Finding and Creating Balance



Mental and intellect


Are there new intellectual pursuits that you may be interested in? Go back to school? Take a course? How do you mentally challenge yourself?


Relationships


One of the biggest parts of integration is developing and cultivating healthy relationships that support growth. How can you work on your relationships?


Mind-body


This realm of consists of balancing the physical health and emotional health. Are you exercising regularly? Eating healthy? What are you doing for your mental health? And how are you connecting the mind to the body?


Environment


What is your physical environment like? Do you need to change the scenery? Our environment can have a big impact on our health and well-being.


Spiritual life


Do you have a spiritual practice? Developing a sense of spirituality can support bring meaning to life. You may be able to answer the deepest questions you can ask yourself like “who am I” and “what is my purpose for being here?”


Lifestyle


What is your work/life balance like? Are you creating enough time for fun and hobbies? In search of a new career?


Physical


● Exercise daily and regularly

● Eat healthy

● Doctor checkups and visits

● Get massages

● Acupuncture

● Dance and move

● Sing

● Get outside in nature

● Make time away from telephone

and technology

● Get outside in nature

● Taking a bath or cold shower

● Walk, run, swim, play sports, or physical

hobbies

● Sexual life / needs: with your partner or

with self

● Get enough sleep

● Take vacations

● Plan day trips


Psychological / Mental


● Exercise daily and regularly

● Personal therapy

● Read a book

● Decrease stress in your life

● Cut out toxic energy

● Make changes in your schedule

or routine

● Pay attention to your inner world

● Attend to those feelings, emotions,

dreams, or visions you may be

experiencing

● Expand your horizons and explore

something new

● Live music, workshops, sporting events,

museums, nature hikes, something that

you would not normally do

● Stay curious and open to your

experience

● Setting boundaries on different areas

in your life

● Just say “no”

● Self-reflection and meditation

● Yoga


Emotional


● Spend time with friends and loved ones

● Limit time with toxic people and

situations

● Reach out to someone important in

your life for a talk

● Stay connected with nourishing /

supporting relationships

● Affirmations, self-love, praise, and

positive self-talk

● Spa night (paint nails, facial, hot bath)

● Aromatherapy

● Reading favorite books

● Create space to process emotions

(allowing yourself to cry)

● Laugh! Or learn to laugh a little more ☺

● Spend time with children

● Breathwork

● Yoga

● Meditation

● Allow yourself to be vulnerable and to

take healthy risks

● Set boundaries and limits

● Turn off the cell phone and social

media

● Therapy

● Healthy food

● Comfort food

● Somatic — get in touch with your body


Spiritual


● Meditation

● Self-reflection

● Astrology

● Continue to work with the plants

● Spend time with nature

● Find and connect with a spiritual

mentor or community

● Be open to inspiration

● Be aware of nonmaterial aspects in

your life

● Try at times not to be in charge or the

expert

● Ask questions and be open to not

knowing

● Identify what is meaningful to you

● Pray

● Sing

● Stay open to new experiences

● Volunteer and contribute to your

community

● Find a cause to back up

● Read inspirational literature

● Listen to inspirational talks and music

● Aromatherapy

● Sage / smudge

● Dream work

● Trust the process


Workplace & Professional


● Take a break during the workday (e.g.,

lunch)

● Connect with co-workers

● Set limits with colleagues and clients (if

you can do so respectfully)

● Can you negotiate for your needs? (pay

raise, benefits, time off)

● Supervision and consultation with your

employer

● Organize and prioritize your tasks /

projects

● Can you say no to projects or work?

(e.g. taking on new projects outside of

work)

● Take advantage of time off / sick time

● Identify nourishing projects or work

that are exciting, fun, and energizing

● Make quiet time to complete tasks

● Balance your caseload

● Arrange your workspace so it is

comfortable and comforting

● Develop a peer support group

● Attend a training or workshop

● Go to a conference

● Network with others



Meditation and Silence

Meditation is a simple strategy that can help obtain better health and a happier life. It takes time to master, as does any other skill. If a person sticks with it and is willing to experiment with the different methods, they are more likely to discover a meditation style that suits them.


Loving-kindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation is also known as Metta meditation. Its goal is to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness toward everything, even a person's enemies and sources of stress.


While breathing deeply, practitioners open their minds to receiving loving kindness. They then send messages of loving kindness to the world, to specific people, or to their loved ones. In most forms of this meditation, the key is to repeat the message many times, until the practitioner feels an attitude of loving kindness. Loving-kindness meditation is designed to promote feelings of compassion and love, both for others and oneself.


It can help those affected by:

• anger

• frustration

• resentment

• interpersonal conflict


This type of meditation may increase positive emotions and has been linked to reduced depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress or PTSD.


Body scan or progressive relaxation

Progressive relaxation, sometimes called body scan meditation, is meditation that encourages people to scan their bodies for areas of tension. The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to release.

During a progressive relaxation session, practitioners start at one end of their body, usually their feet, and work through the whole.


Some forms of progressive relaxation require people to tense and then relax muscles. Others encourage a person to visualize a wave, drifting over their body to release tension.


Progressive relaxation can help to promote generalized feelings of calmness and relaxation. It may also help with chronic pain. Because it slowly and steadily relaxes the body, some people use this form of meditation to help them sleep.


Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that urges practitioners to remain aware and present in the moment.

Rather than dwelling on the past or dreading the future, mindfulness encourages awareness of a person's existing surroundings. Crucial to this is a lack of judgment. So, rather than reflecting on the annoyance of a long wait, a practitioner will simply note the wait without judgment.


Mindfulness meditation is something people can do almost anywhere. While waiting in line at the grocery store, for example, a person might calmly notice their surroundings, including the sights, sounds, and smells they experience.

A form of mindfulness is involved in most kinds of meditation. Breath awareness encourages practitioners to be aware of their breathing, while progressive relaxation draws attention to areas of tension in the body. Because mindfulness is a theme common to many forms of meditation, it has been extensively studied.


Research has found that mindfulness can:

• reduce fixation on negative emotions

• improve focus

• improve memory

• lessen impulsive, emotional reactions

• improve relationship satisfaction


Some evidence suggests mindfulness may improve health. For example, a study of African-American men with chronic kidney disease found that mindfulness meditation could lower blood pressure.



Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation is a spiritual form of meditation where practitioners remain seated and breathe slowly. The goal is to transcend or rise above the person's current state of being.


During a meditation session, practitioners focus on a mantra or a repeated word or series of words. A teacher determines the mantra based on a complex set of factors, sometimes including the year the practitioner was born, and the year the teacher was trained.


An alternative allows people to choose their mantra. This more contemporary version is not technically Transcendental Meditation, though it may look substantially similar. A practitioner might decide to repeat "I am not afraid of public speaking" while meditating. People who practice Transcendental Meditation report both spiritual experiences and heightened mindfulness.


Breath Awareness Meditation

Breath awareness is a type of mindful meditation that encourages mindful breathing. Practitioners breathe slowly and deeply, counting their breaths or otherwise focusing on their breaths. The goal is to focus only on breathing and to ignore other thoughts that enter the mind.


As a form of mindfulness meditation, breath awareness offers many of the same benefits as mindfulness. These include reduced anxiety, improved concentration, and greater emotional flexibility.


Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is a physically active form of meditation that blends movements with deep breathing and mantras. People usually learn from a teacher or do a class. However, someone can learn the poses and mantras at home.


Similarly to other forms of yoga, kundalini yoga can improve physical strength and reduce pain. It may also improve mental health by reducing anxiety and depression.


A 2008 study of veterans with chronic low-back pain, for instance, found that yoga reduced pain, increased energy, and improved overall mental health.


Journaling

Journaling is the practice of writing down your thoughts and feelings for the purposes of self-analysis, self-discovery, and self-reflection. As one of the oldest forms of self-help in the world, journaling is about exploring one’s own thoughts, feelings, impulses, memories, goals, and hidden desires through the written word. As such, journaling is often prescribed by therapists, counselors, and spiritual mentors as a powerful way of developing more self-understanding and compassion.

Primarily, journaling is about exploration: exploring who you are, what you think, how you feel, and the way in which you process life’s daily events.


As a byproduct, more clarity and insight is gained about your mind and emotions, leading to heightened self-awareness. The more self-aware a person is, the more well-adjusted, grounded and balanced they will feel, despite what is going on around them. Therefore, journaling helps us to find inner stability and gives us the ability to untangle ourselves from self-destructive forms of behavior and negative thought patterns.


Grounding

Grounding or Earthing is the process for reconnecting to the Earth. This connection to Earth balances your present moment awareness between body, mind, and spirit. Groundedness is the state of experiencing a harmonious connection with Earth energy, which is our natural state, but sometimes the physical body and our connection to Earth energies gets neglected.


Your connection to Earth is essential for the health and wellbeing of your physical body. The energies of the Earth replenish and nurture your physical, mental and emotional bodies. In addition, a strong grounded foundation (healthy root chakra) is essential for opening the higher chakra energy centers, and experiencing and working with higher vibrational frequencies.


To open your upper chakras, psychic senses, and to experience the angels and higher realms in a safe and effective manner, it is essential to first allow your energy to connect to the Earth, and the Earth energy to flow up through your root chakra. One of the best ways to do this is to breathe, and ground.


How do you know if you need grounding? The most common sign of being ungrounded is feeling a bit drained, unbalanced, or spacey. Getting absorbed in the realm of thought, or getting caught up in drama, is almost always a sign you'd benefit from taking the time to ground.

Being ungrounded can lead to feeling out of sorts, spaced out, overly sensitive, or out of touch with reality. In many cases ungroundedness is the root cause of anxiety, worry, fatigue, depression, and lethargy… In these cases, simply taking the time to consciously ground or to complete a grounding activity, can restore a feeling of peace and calm by bringing your energy back into balance with the Earth.


While everyone can benefit from grounding it is absolutely essential for those on an ascension or spiritual path. Grounding is a powerful practice to implement after connecting with the higher realms, or doing energy work of any kind.





Emotional Awareness

The first level of emotional awareness is knowing when feelings are present in ourselves. We become "aware" of the feeling when we first think about it or realize we feel something at that moment.

Emotional awareness is a key to leading a happier and more fulfilling life. To really "know oneself," as the Greek philosophers urged us to do, requires that we know how we feel in all of life's many situations.


When we know how we feel we know what we enjoy doing and who we enjoy doing it with. We know who we feel safe with, who we feel accepted by and understood by.

Emotions are important pieces of information that tell you about yourself and others, but in the face of stress that takes us out of our comfort zone, we can become overwhelmed and lose control of ourselves.


With the ability to manage stress and stay emotionally present, you can learn to receive upsetting information without letting it override your thoughts and self-control. You’ll be able to make choices that allow you to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.


Reconnecting with the Body - Physical Activity

More important than any physical results, you engage in your fitness practice because it helps you to be happy and feel alive, because it helps elevate your state of being, because you know that the better you feel physically, the better your spiritual life and sense of well-being. You are grounded in your practice. As a result of your physical practice, you make other healthy decisions. Your fitness is part of the foundation of your healthy lifestyle, the practice of living a healthy life.


You use your workouts as a time to reflect. These are precious moments you spend with yourself and your inner world. You think about things. You work out problems. You process. You tune in to where you are in your heart and mind. In fact, self-reflection is likely what led to your physical practice in the first place.

Exercise:

• Mobilizes and reduces stress hormones

• Decreases tension and inflammation in the body

• Improves heart rate variability and physical resilience to stress

• Boosts positive endorphins that encourage an optimistic mindset

• Supports focus on the present moment, gratitude and appreciation


The mind-body connection is very subtle and is, in fact, the focus of a practice like yoga, where we use our intellectual capacity to align with the already intelligent processes of our human body. The sensations of grief, sadness, disappointment, fear, or any other strong emotional response can be intensely uncomfortable, even threatening, which is exactly what our brains are wired to avoid. Think of the sensations that accompany terrible news about a loved one; there is a shortness of breath, a tightening of the chest, and a sense of internal collapse. 


Through embodiment practices, we can learn to use our awareness to notice an emotional experience as a sensory experience as well as an emotional one. Simultaneously being aware of the sensation and the mind’s response to said sensation allows for some degree of presence in the moment as opposed to a more reactive response such as mindlessly engaging in an activity to numb the feelings. We acknowledge that while strong emotions are occurring, so are sensations which are temporary and manageable through movement or breath.


Breathwork

We have a variety of resources available to increase contact with divine powers, from which there is an important instrument — the power of our breath, because even through the breath, the cosmic energy in the form of pranic energy (soul power)enters the body. The more the brain receives the cosmic energy … its ability to communicate and contact to the super natural powers increases. When the inhalation is deep then the body gets more energy. Similarly when the breath is small then less spiritual powers enter into the body.


Physical and emotional discomfort takes energy to maintain. Without some amount of attachment to it, we'd drop back to total rest after any action or triggering moment. Thus, breathing into discomfort is naturally combined with seeking ego attachments that want to hold on and keep us stuck in a level of discomfort.

There is a wide variety of breath work techniques at our disposal. Find one that suits your situation and lifestyle.


Connecting with Others

After your session, it is helpful to seek a community with which you can share your experience and growth. If you don’t have one, connecting with a spiritual community on Facebook or through your neighborhood yoga or meditation class could be helpful. Connect with friends and family. Any human connection will help you integrate into your new reality and help to solidify your integration.

High Performance Mastermind designed for creating extraordinary results, team, and enrollment

We offer a High Performance Mastermind that goes in depths with the integration process. We share intellectual and philosophical lectures that create a deeper context for the experiential exercises, games, and other parts of the training to alter one's experience of reality to that of their authentic or true self. Throughout the discovery, breakthrough, and embodiment components of this mastermind, you will see parallels that come up in the contemplative entheogenic experiences. We share principles and awareness tools that support creating rapid transformation and processing of difficult or "negative" emotions. To learn more about this training, click here. To check out our ceremonies and retreat offers, click here.


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