Announcing Living an Extraordinary Life: The Magic of Integral Transformative Practice

Living an Extraordinary Life book

After over three years in development, ITP is proud to announce a new book that describes the genesis of ITP, its evolution and future aims. Living an Extraordinary Life: The Magic of Integral Transformative Practice, co-authored by Christina Grote and Pam Kramer.

Enjoy this interview with Pam Kramer as she answers some questions about the new book.

Sally Isaacs: How did you come up with the title Living an Extraordinary Life?

Pam Kramer: Christina and I searched for the right title the entire time we were working on the book. We reached out to community members for suggestions as well. We were stumped until one day, while looking through archival materials on ITP, I found an article written by George Leonard and Michael Murphy about ITP (back in the day) entitled Living an Extraordinary Life. We both agreed this title reflected the essence of the practice and what we hoped to convey about its evolution. Finally our title found us!

SIThe Life We Are Given has been the reference guide and source of information and inspiration about ITP. Why another book?

PK: When George and Michael created ITP, their intention was that it be a dynamic and evolving practice. We wanted to demonstrate how we, along with countless practitioners, have unpacked and shaped the practice and contributed to its growth, while honoring the original principles and its essence. 

SI: How is Living an Extraordinary Life related to The Life We Are Given? How is it different?

PK: The new book honors and also builds on the philosophical frame of The Life We Are Given and emphasizes and expands upon the power of integral development. The emphasis on body or somatic awareness, with its foundation in Aikido, is reinforced and developed further in Living an Extraordinary Life. We describe new interpretations of original practices along with their influences, primarily from scholars and researchers associated with Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory and Research, and we share new insights about extraordinary human development that are being portrayed in our current cultural space through fantasy films, extreme sports and encounters with the unseen.

SI: How will ITP programs use the new book?

PK: We have a new program starting in March, Living an Extraordinary Life, that takes participants on a journey through the book - its ideas, multiple practices and extraordinary human capacities or superpowers, such as intuition, clairvoyance and imagination. A workbook is included in this program on how to design your personal practice and bring it to life with support of fellow practitioners. In addition, Michael Murphy, Christina Grote and I will be speaking about ITP’s past, present and future, at our quarterly Seekers and Sages series on March 8. All are invited to attend and learn more about the new book and ITP. Join the adventure!

Enjoy this excerpt from the Introduction of Living an Extraordinary Life: The Magic of Integral Transformative Practice.

What to Expect

In this book you will learn about the vision and practice of ITP, your many-sided nature, and your vast human potential. We will guide you in exploring your own unique genius and your extraordinary nature.

We will share practical ways to stay grounded and resilient in your daily life, to better process energy coming to you in all forms—joyful as well as stressful—and to write a new story for yourself and who you would like to become. We will explore conditions for awakening our hidden (and maybe not so hidden) talents through grounded practice, learn how scientific research validates the reality of our latent capacities, and celebrate the power of unconditional love in community with each other and the natural world.

Whether you are curious, just starting out, or a long-time practitioner, our aim is to provide you with the guidance and inspiration to engage with ITP in whatever way suits your life best at this moment and into the future. We provide a comprehensive introduction to the nine ITP core practice intentions and include numerous exercises and reflection questions so you may engage with the book as a participant, rather than simply as a reader.

The book is comprised of four parts. Part 1, Vision, will introduce you to the vision and foundations of ITP and unpack the name, as each word contains multitudes—Integral, Transformative, and Practice. We will discuss what we mean by body, mind, heart, and soul, and will introduce the evolutionary vision that guides the practice—a vision of the vast untapped potential that exists in all of us. You will also find reflection questions where we suggest you pause and consider what you have read as it relates to your own understanding before you move on.

Part 2, Practice, leads you into the exploration of the nine ITP core practice intentions which form the framework of the practice and serve as a launchpad for personal transformation. Each will be described in detail. The aim here is for you to learn how the practice is put together and then, if you choose, to experiment with and shape the pieces to your liking to create a practice that works for you and your lifestyle. In the last chapter of this section, we offer a flexible roadmap and suggestions for designing your own practice and tools for keeping it fresh and alive.

Part 3, The Further Reaches, ventures further into the exploration of the extraordinary human potentials that exist in all of us and offers ways to orient yourself and your practice toward developing your own extraordinary nature. We delve more deeply into the big vision upon which ITP was founded—a perspective that places our developing human capacities in an evolutionary context. We will explore the world-shaping capacity of the imagination, and in the last chapter we offer a beginning foray into the evolutionary edges of ITP, a practice we are calling ITPx.

In the last part of the book, Personal Practice Resources, we provide a variety of resources, such as the Personal Inventory and Practice Design Workbook where we offer questions about your current relationship with your body, mind, heart, and soul that can help you tune in to how you might pursue greater balance and greater growth. This inquiry will bring important learnings, a touchstone for you to refer to as you progress through the book. If you are ready, complete the Personal Inventory before proceeding to part 2. If not, you can complete it when it feels right.

In this section you will also find resources for the ITP Kata (a mind-body practice), including detailed descriptions and images of the movements, as well as information on Leonard Energy Training with two in-depth exercises. Lastly, there is information on the authors and ITP International.

As you read through what follows, notice how your body, mind, heart, and soul respond. We suggest that you keep a journal to record your reflections as there will be opportunities to pause and reflect. Take it at your own pace. You may wish to read through the text and skip the reflection questions and exercises and come back to them later. Or you may wish to engage with those opportunities as they are presented. It’s up to you.

We believe that ITP has great value not only for those who engage with it but for society as well. Balanced, healthy people with a positive vision for their own lives, as well as a dedication to service, bring great benefit not only to themselves but also to their families, their communities, and our planet. With this book we hope to bring ITP to a new audience and to re-energize those of you who are already practicing by offering a simple roadmap for both ordinary and extraordinary transformations in your lives. In the chapters ahead you will find the tools you need to create and sustain a practice of your own, providing a foundation that will nourish your dreams. Our existence is far stranger and more magical than we may realize. The door is open. We invite you to walk through that door and join us on the ultimate adventure.

Get your copy today!