ITP Community Spotlight on Matthew Steinbach

Matt on the greens

1. How did you become involved in ITP, and are you currently a member of any ITP group?

My ITP journey begins with Michael Murphy’s seminal book, Golf in the Kingdom. As a competitive golfer, I first read Golf in the Kingdom in 2006 and found that many of the “extraordinary” experiences shared in the story were similar to events I had previously encountered on the links. Throughout the next 10 years, I followed the Murphy path, reading his fiction and nonfiction works, until finally, in 2015, I discovered The Life We Are Given

I vividly remember my first reading of The Life We Are Given and feeling a sense of connection with the ideas George Leonard and Michael Murphy were sharing -- it was more than a guidebook; it was a holistic practice, and it spoke to me from beyond my mind and body. From that moment, I was hooked, and through various ebbs and flows, I practiced ITP on my own, led by “the book.”

My ITP story comes full circle when last year I happened across a Golf in the Kingdom online auction where one of the prizes was dinner with Michael Murphy. Little did I know this would lead me to expand my ITP practice. In addition to a wonderful dinner in Corte Madera discussing True Gravity and how golf is a mirror to the soul, I had the opportunity to meet Pam Kramer, Barry Robbins, and the ITPI community. There was an instant connection, and I was called to dig deeper into the ITP world.

In January, I became a member of the ITPI community and started regular practice with the Thursday evening Zoom group. The release of the new book, Living an Extraordinary Life, coincided with my further integration into ITP, and I was thrilled to join the LAEL Workshop throughout the spring and summer. In one short year, my experience has exploded from a two-dimensional practice through The Life We Are Given to a full multidimensional experience connected through Zoom and in-person connections with those who have nurtured this practice over the last 30 years.

2. Within your practice, what insights have you experienced that have made the biggest impact in your daily life? If possible, specify what you have noticed in body, mind, heart, and soul.

The biggest insights I’ve learned through my ITP practice are patience, enjoying the plateau, and practice for the sake of practice – loving the long in long term. This has helped in my role as a coach both with my personal work and in sharing these insights with my student-athletes.

Additionally, the framing of the integral is paramount to my expression as a coach. Too often the game of golf is reduced to scores, numbers, and angles, but that is neglecting the whole of what this game can offer to mind, body, heart, and soul. 

3. What’s your experience of how your parts are interconnecting and, perhaps, giving you a greater sense of wholeness and connection to your essential being?

I’ve been particularly interested in the connectedness of past and future lives; the rebirth and reincarnation cycles; the seeming multi-verse concepts and the abilities of premonition or pre-cognition. By opening myself up to the integral as my present self, I feel my “meta-normal” capacities in this sense are expanding.

4. What ITP practice resource/exercise/quote has been most helpful in your transformative journey?

I hadn’t fully connected to the practice of GRACE while following my own path through The Life We Are Given. Over the last year, through the various Kata leaders and ITP practitioners, I have begun to discover the deep-rooted power in this exercise and employ it regularly throughout the day.

5. Have you participated in any ITP programs and if so, what resources or teachings have benefitted you most from the experience?

Living an Extraordinary Life program, in conjunction with the launch of the new book, and as a new ITP practitioner couldn’t have been more profound. I feel like I received a masterclass into everything ITP led by the “leaders” of the practice. 

6. What is one affirmation you currently have/or had that has been particularly helpful in realizing your own extraordinary capacities?

I’ve recently revisited an affirmation from my very first set of affirmations in October 2015:  “I experience a strong connection and oneness with the energy fields of this and any coexistent worlds.”

7. Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or newsletters that align with and support your practice?

Reading has played a central role in my life since early childhood, passed on through my parents and grandparents. The books that have had the most profound impact on me are the core writings from Michael Murphy and George Leonard including:

  • The Life We Are Given
  • The Future of the Body
  • Mastery
  • The Silent Pulse
  • Golf in the Kingdom
  • Jacob of Atabet
  • Living an Extraordinary Life (by Christina Grote and Pam Kramer)

Additionally, the works of Herman Hesse come to mind in weaving the extraordinary of the human experience with big questions about our existence and place in the universe.

As a Senior gift to all my graduating student-athletes, I offer them the choice of one book: either Golf in the Kingdom (M. Murphy) or Siddhartha (H. Hesse).

From a technology standpoint, Sam Harris and the Waking Up App have been important in helping shape my meditation and mindfulness practice. I would highly recommend exploring this app – to everyone from beginners to the most experienced meditators.

8. What ways have ITP and this practice supported your work/engagement in the larger community and world?

My Coaching Mission Statement is founded in the values of ITP: “I lead with passion to nurture growth in myself and others, to achieve the extraordinary through a holistic and integral model.”

9. Any additional comments you would like to add about ITP?

I firmly believe we are on the edge of a cultural transition towards integral transformative practice. My work with the younger generations leaves me full of promise and optimism. They are a group of young people who are looking for a deeper sense of connection, community, practice, and meaning. They seamlessly blend virtual and real worlds, digital and analogous technology, and they aspire to leave the world better than how they found it. The future of our collective body relies on the next generation being welcomed to the ideas, practice, and community of ITP, and I hope to play a role in this extraordinary journey.