George Leonard

George Leonard

George Leonard, the co-founder (with Michael Murphy) of Integral Transformative Practice (ITP), is the author of numerous books on human possibilities and social change, including Education and Ecstasy, The Transformation, The Ultimate Athlete, The Silent Pulse, The End of Sex, Mastery, and The Way of Aikido. The 1995 book, The Life We Are Given, co-authored with Esalen founder Murphy, reports on a two-year experimental class in ITP created by the authors for realizing the potential of body, mind, heart, and soul. ITP Groups are now practicing not only throughout the U.S., but also in other countries as well.

From 1953 to 1970, Leonard served as a senior editor for Look magazine. He produced numerous essays and special issues on education, science, politics, the arts, the Civil Rights Movement, and foreign affairs. A collection of his Look essays was published in 1970 as “The Man & Woman Thing and Other Provocations”. His articles on education have won eleven national awards. Articles by George Leonard have also appeared in such magazines as Esquire, Harper’s, Atlantic, New York, Saturday Review, and The Nation. During the 1980’s, he wrote 42 pieces for Esquire, more than any other writer.

Leonard holds a 5th degree black belt in the martial art of aikido, and is the co-founder of an aikido school in Mill Valley, California. He is also the founder of Leonard Energy Training (LET), a practice inspired by aikido, which offers alternative ways of dealing with everyday life situations. Leonard has introduced LET to more than 50,000 people in the U.S. and abroad.

George Leonard received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Noth Carolina (1948) and Doctor of Humanities degrees from Lewis and Clark College (1972), John F. Kennedy University (1985), and Saybrook Institute (2003). He is a past president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology; during his tenure, the Association’s membership reached its all-time high. He is President Emeritus of esalen Institute. Leonard's adventures along with the human frontiers of the 1960's are described in his 1988 memoir, Walking on the Edge of the World. He is married and has three daughters and six grandchildren.

George Leonard - Informal Notes/Background

George Leonard has been called, "the granddaddy of the consciousness movement," by Newsweek, "the poet-philospher of American health is its broadest sense" by American Health, and "the legendary editor and writer" by Psychology Today. While serving as senior editor for Look magazine (1953 - 1970), he won an unprecedented eleven national awards for education writing. His coverage of the Civil Rights Movements (praised in the February 10, 2003 New Yorker) contributed to Look’s being awarded the first National Magazine Award in 1968. His harrowing 7,000-mile journey around the Soviet border with photographer Paul Fuscojust after the Berlin Wall went up provided the first reportage showing that the Iron Curtain was an actual barrier of barbed wire, mine fields, and watch towers rather than a mere figure of speech.

In a sense, Leonard discovered the Sixties. While other media were still decrying the silent or cautious generous, he produced a special Look issue called “Your of the Sixties: The Explosive Generation” (Jan. 3, 1961) which foretold the idealism and turmoil to come. His special issue on California (Sept. 25, 1962) was the first to put forth the thesis (later adopted by all media, to become conventional wisdom) that what happened in tha state would happen laterthroughout the nation. In the 1960’s, Look had a readership of 34 million won more national awards for excellence than did any other magazine.

Leonard coined the term “human potential movement” and first used the term “The Transformation” in a book of that title to describe a shift in the way industrial culture deals with matter and energy, organizes social forms, and shapes consciousness. His bestselling 1975 book, The Ultimate Athlete, helped shape the fitness boom. His 1983 book, The End of Sex (the cover article for the December 1982 Esquire and several other magazines) was the first published requiem for the sexual revolution.

 

His scenarios for the interactive multimediaeducation in Education and Ecstasy and Esquire are still considered state of the art by educational technologists. Dr. Alfred Bork of the Educational Technology Center at the University of California at Irvine has stated that "Many of the features that Leonard describes seem to me likely to characterize almost any school of the future that uses computers effectively as tools for learning."

Leonard's more recent books, Mastery (1991), The Life we are Given (1995, with Michael Murphy), and The Way of Aikido (1999) have helped create a nationwide movemnt towads long-term practice, as opposed to the quick-fix mentality. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "Leonard has been right so many times about prevailing zeitgeists that you have to wonder if he has a third eye."

During World War II, Leonard served as a ttack pilot in the southwest Pacific theater, and as an analytical intelligence officer during the Korean conflict.

He also enjoys a lifelong devotion to music and occasionally plays piano with jazz groups. He wrote the music for two full-scake musical comedies, which were produced by the Air Force, and another, Clothes, based on "The Emperor's New Clothes," which was produced at Marin County's Mountain Play Theater. 

Balancing and Centering

Bring your entire being into balance during this guided ITP exercise led by co-founder George Leonard. Using the foundational practices of ITP and Leonard Energy Training, you’ll gain an understanding of why being centered sets the course for a harmonious and balanced life, and how to return to your center during life’s challenges.

Inspiring Words From "The Life We Are Given"

Get a deeper sense of the core practices that form the foundation of ITP in this 24-minute audio excerpt from the book, The Life We Are Given, read by co-authors and founders George Leonard and Michael Murphy.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Winter 2022

Personal, community and global evolution This first issue of our 2022 quarterly newsletter touches on the theme of personal, community and global evolution. Our integral transformation inevitably inspires a ripple effect to include our relationships and beyond.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - December 2021

Experiencing the Extraordinary Happy holidays! We wind down the year with our final issue of the ITP practice resources newsletter by focusing on the extraordinary in everyday life. These past weeks are so often a blur of to-do lists and year-end tasks. We hope that the content below offers a gentle reminder to slow down and inhabit a sense of awe in the life we are given.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Autumn 2021

The power of inquiry and research In this issue, read about the spirit of possibility that launched ITP's first experimental class and the research our co-founders employed to verify ITP efficacy, along with subjective findings.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - November 2021

This month's newsletter features a number of resources to support a practice embodied in gratitude, for ourselves, each other and the gifts and "hits" we experience each day. We hope the tools below inspire you to approach this transformative journey with a sense of this heartfelt joy.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Summer 2021

In our Summer issue, we honor ways community nurtures our ongoing growth and breathes new life into us. Enjoy viewing the videos and reading the articles about the riches found in our community. This may be an ideal moment to pause and reflect on what community means to you and to experience gratitude for the blessings of it in your life.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - June 2021

Exploring the Power of the ITP Kata – This month's newsletter features a number of resources to explore the power within our ITP Kata practice. We hope the tools below offer ways to deepen your connection to the Kata in its entirety, the physical movements and the imaging and meditation segments. For so many of us that have not been able to enjoy being guided through the Kata this past year, you'll also enjoy a video from ITP president and Mastery Teacher, Pam Kramer, leading us through the Kata in its entirety.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - April 2021

Transformative Power of Affirmations – This month's newsletter features a number of resources to support you throughout your own affirmation process and ways to keep your affirmations alive in your daily life. We hope the tools below can empower you in your practice and purpose. As always, thank you for your wholehearted participation in this community. Your own journey has a profound ripple effect on our ever-evolving global family.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - March 2021

Extending Our Practice Outward in Service – This month's newsletter features a number of resources to inspire you to find your own unique way to extend your practice outward into the world. Whether it is stepping on a path of Mastery in deepening your relationships or nurturing a collaborative community endeavor, we hope the tools below can empower you in your practice and purpose. As always, thank you for your wholehearted participation in this community. Your own journey has a profound ripple effect on our ever-evolving global family.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Winter 2021

This Quarterly issue focuses on the power of vision and the worldview that informs our practice. The stories below honor our roots and illustrate how the four legs of ITP - Vision, Practice, Community and Research - continue to inform and evolve our pioneering endeavor.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - December 2020

Moments of Stillness and Peace – This month's practice resource hopes to inspire you to "open yourself to the magic of grace, that mysterious, seemingly unearned mediation that often comes when least expected." In a time of year that can often be a frenzy of to-do lists and obligations, we encourage you to lean in to your practice and enjoy the extraordinary that comes from exercises like Focused Surrender, transformational imaging and immersing yourself in the beauty of nature.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - July 2020

The miracle of the human body in motion – We hope this month's newsletter offers motivation in a renewed commitment, not just to exercise itself, but to also experience the sense of awe that comes with inhabiting our body in motion.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - May 2020

Stepping into GRACE – In this month's practice resources newsletter we honor the core of our practice, the ITP Kata. Enjoy a guided video segment on stepping into GRACE, revisit George Leonard's guidelines for the practice and listen to an ITP original song inspired by this powerful series of movements.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - April 2020

Our extraordinary potential – In this month's practice resources newsletter, we share an article written by our Stanford University partners on the significance of affirmations in realizing our personal evolution. We also explore the emergence of supernormal capacities in history and ways we can notice and embody our extraordinary potential.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - March 2020

Changing The World By Changing Your Own Heart – In this month's newsletter, we share inspiration for integrating this service element into your daily practice and offer a sense of hope in what feels like very dark times. Each of us has the potential to create a positive ripple effect, often by just being present and listening deeply to each other. As an anonymous, but very wise person reminds us, "In a world where you can be anything, be kind."

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - December 2019

"Expect nothing. Be ready for anything." – This month we honor the soul and our extraordinary capacities waiting to be realized on this exciting path of practice. As ITP co-founder, George Leonard said; "Expect nothing. Be ready for anything." In honor of the 10th year since his passing, the resources below are inspired by his belief in the human potential. We hope that this season surprises you with a sense of awe as we walk this path of practice together.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Summer 2019

This newsletter features the mental aspects of the integral, with our contributors sharing personal takeaways from their recent learning experiences at ITP events. Enjoy soaking up gems for your practice.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - August 2019

Your integral nature through mindful movement – Step on the path and enjoy your practice! This month's theme focuses on the body and your integral nature through mindful movement. We hope you find the information below helpful and inspiring.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - July 2019

Your integral body and ongoing transformation – The summer season is an ideal time to enjoy a deeper focus on your integral body and ongoing transformation. This month's issue of resources puts this awareness into action with tips for moving past any resistance to change, key questions for reflecting on your integral fitness and an LET exercise to go deeper in your practice.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - June 2019

Your integral nature through mindful movement – Step on the path and enjoy your practice! This month's theme focuses on the body and your integral nature through mindful movement. We hope you find the information below helpful and inspiring.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Spring 2019

This newsletter showcases the physical aspect of the integral and ways to explore body-based fitness through our practice. Enjoy reading articles from our contributors on the power of Aikido, strength training, aerobics and ways to nourish the body.

ITPI Practice Resources for Lasting Change - May 2019

The body - "a handy model of the universe" – This month's theme focuses on the body - what George Leonard calls "a handy model of the universe." We hope you enjoy this first issue that highlights the physical aspects of your practice and that the information below is both helpful and inspiring.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Winter 2019

This issue shines light on the Heart aspect of the integral and the vast power of love - the central impulse of our practice. Our contributors take us on a journey to explore the meaning of love and the challenges we may face opening our hearts.

Redefining Aging

Challenge your beliefs about aging in this interview with George Leonard, first published in the 1997 issue of Delicious magazine.

The Human Potential Chronicles

Stay inspired by the power of practice with this series of short essays focusing on the development and unrealized potential within our body, mind, emotional capacity and spirit.

Crystalline State

In this guided exercise led by co-founder George Leonard, you’ll experience how the Crystalline State can provide a means for temporarily setting aside expectations and judgements to offer clarity for a balanced and centered state of being.

Homeostasis and Resistance to Change

Learn why we’re wired to resist change and how we can negotiate with resistance in order to grow and transform in this audio presentation by co-founder George Leonard.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Winter 2018

In this winter issue, we focus on "the budding limbs and organs of our supernature," as Michael Murphy describes our supernormal capacities in The Future of the Body and other works. Enjoy what our writers have to say about our evolving nature.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Spring 2017

This issue features articles on the powers of practice. From creating your vision, to crafting intentions that are strengthened through conscious practice, we are able to navigate life's challenges with greater effectiveness, creativity, ease - and joy.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Summer 2016

Read about the "extraordinary" in this issue as well as "Spirituality and the Sporting Life," the making of the LET video, George Leonard's "In the Beginning" in which he talks about the evolution of the human brain.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Fall 2014

In this issue, we focus on ways to nurture the body----to honor its wisdom and what it needs to recharge and be nourished. Please take a few moments to learn from our inspiring contributors about the interplay of LET and tango, sustainable fitness, integral practices in the field of sport and a special feature on the wisdom of the body by George Leonard.

ITPI Newsletter Articles - Spring 2014

In this issue, we feature how our extraordinary nature is built right into our animal bodies and how our evolving practice sets the stage for realizing our budding supernature. Read how ITPI chair Christina Grote offers a glimpse of the vision of human development outlined in Michael Murphy's The Future of the Body and how George Leonard profiles the human brain in his 2008 Human Potential Chronicles. Also, enjoy learning how Leadership Transformed 2014 presenters Penney Peirce and Rachel Hamilton impart inventive and playful ways to greet others with curiosity, empathy and compassion - all extraordinary capacities at our fingertips.