Hello! I’m Sally Isaacs, writing to you from Oradell, New Jersey. I’m stepping in to collaborate with the ITP team to produce the ITPI quarterly newsletters. I’m the reason that the theme of this Winter Newsletter is “ITP Essentials.”
I have been a member of ITP for many years. But I’ve stayed on the periphery. I practice the Kata alone. I write, revise, and lean into my affirmations. I skim through the emails and newsletters and assume that I do not do enough or know enough about ITP to engage in it wholeheartedly. Specifically, I’ve felt that all the other ITPI members are more knowledgeable, more committed, more evolved, than I am.
So, I’ve decided to back up and review the Essentials of ITP. I dove into the ITP website and the book The Life We Are Given to look for the basics upon which ITP has flourished. Perhaps you want to join me.
Integral Transformative Practice (ITP) was co-founded by George Leonard and Michael Murphy to help practitioners realize positive and healthy transformation of body, mind, heart and soul. Its vision is to “aim toward the creation of a society dedicated to the greater realization of the human birthright to learn, to love, to feel deeply and to create.” Today, ITP is a research-validated program that draws on wisdom from the past and research from the present, keeping the practice fresh and ever-evolving. More about ITP background can be found in the About section of the website.
We each have our own goals for transformation. Mine include keeping my body strong as I experience some symptoms of Parkinson’s. Also, I want to engage in ideas and activities that have value to me and to be authentic as I share these values with other people. Your goals will be different. Mine may change next month. All of us will follow a long, perhaps unpredictable path of practice toward our transformation goals.
Stepping on the Path
You don’t have to wait until you have learned to do every part of the practice before beginning it. Take a first step! The first step has been described as “a sort of enlightenment. It presages an evolutionary adventure, and offers inner peace. It is momentous, and it is nothing special.”
The Kata is a keystone to the ITP practice. It is a series of movements that exercise the body, mind, heart and soul designed by ITP co-founder, George Leonard. Inspired by the martial art of aikido, yoga and strength training, this moving meditation activates all muscle groups and joints, as well as stimulates deep breathing and relaxation throughout the 45-minute series of exercises. Many practitioners set their intentions to practice it five times a week, or as often as possible. There are now opportunities to practice the Kata with others via Zoom three times a week.
Affirmations are clear and concise statements focusing on transformation within the body, mind, heart and soul. The process of writing our affirmations is extremely helpful in clarifying our needs and our goals. These affirmations are integrated into our daily practice and reinforced by the visualization portion of the Kata.
Nine Core Intentions of ITP
Affirmations and Kata are just two of the Nine Core Practice Intentions of ITP.
Resources and Support
ITP is a welcoming community. You may be lucky enough to join a group of local practitioners. Or, you can join one of the gatherings on Zoom. In addition, there are many resources to support your practice whether you are an ITP member or new to the ITP community and having a look around.
Here are some free resources available:
Here are some of the resources available to ITPI Members:
- Member Digest
- Personal Inventory, Practice Design and Path Tracker
- Evolving You Bi-monthly Meetings
So what have I learned? I learned that ITP is like an ice-cream shop. There are basics (like ice cream) without which the experience is not the experience. But there’s an extensive menu that you can use to enrich and customize your experience. If warm, inviting people share the experience with you, all the better!
I also learned that I am enough. There’s no marker to notify me that I’m “tall enough to take this ride.” I can start where I am and take it from here! I hope you do that, too.