Authentic Games Everywhere

With Sara Ness and Michael Porcelli

Sara Ness, the creator of Connection Corps in Austin Texas is on a mission to bring Authentic Relating Games as far and wide as possible. From her completion of The Integral Center’s Train-the-Trainer (T3) program in 2013, she has been on a mission developing facilitator trainings for Authentic Relating Games, and fostering the network of Authentic Relating community leaders around the world.

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Circling Europe — with John and Sean

With John Thompson, Sean Wilkinson, and Michael Porcelli

John and Sean share with Porcelli about:

  • When John and Porcelli Circled together at the first Aletheia
  • Their innovative approach to Circling called “All There Is”
  • How they collaborate in an “always circling” relationship
  • Learn about Circling Europe’s 6-month training course
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The Circling Summit and the History of the Integral Center

What is the Circling Summit?

With Robert MacNaughton and Michael Porcelli

Does the Summit sound interesting, but you’re not exactly sure what’s going to be happening there? Listen to Robert and Porcelli give you more detailed information.

Circling at the Integral Center in Boulder

With Robert MacNaughton and Michael Porcelli

Robert MacNaughton, the Executive Director and co-founder of The Integral Center in Boulder, played a key role in bringing Circling and Authentic Relating to Boulder, the creation of the first Aletheia weekend intensive, and the impact of Circling on the wider Integral community. Listen to this interview and hear Porcelli and Robert talk about:

  • Robert’s initial encounter with the Circling practice and how that changed him
  • How the first Aletheia came about
  • Authentic World goes to the Integral Spiritual Experience
  • What makes Circling an Integral practice
  • How Circling and Authentic Relating have impacted the Integral community
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Deepening Relationship with Ourselves, Each Other & Our Planet

Why spend our lives supporting communities to accelerate the evolution of its members?


I figure we’re always growing and evolving anyway, whether we intend to or not, and when we backslide even our darkest moments will ultimately serve our deepest realizations, in this lifetime or another.

To intentionally accelerate this process of evolving towards ever-increasingly happy and loving persons…the only reason to go out of my way to do that is that…

  • The survival of our species and many, many others likely depends upon it.
  • The facilitation of our evolution can be enjoyable for it’s own sake (i.e. a uniquely exhilarating ride, satisfaction guaranteed… eventually).
  • The impulse to evolve is so intrinsic to us that we ultimately can’t help ourselves (the eternal impulse that ushered in the capacity to destroy our own home is the same impulse that urges us to now protect and restore it).

So the next leg of your journey might be most enriched by withdrawing from interpersonal dealings altogether as you delve into your individual process, and hats off to my modern-day-monk buddies who own nothing and will give up anything to deepen their love for this world and everything in it. But many of you will find that real, raw, uncut and in-the-moment relating is exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you feel a bit stuck, or are feeling restless and ready for the next chapter of ‘you’, and you have a hunch that profound community is the crucible you’re looking for, glad you’ve found us.

We eat, breath, sleep relationship as spiritual practice.

Decker_Trent03We see the waves of evolution throughout society and history coming in cycles, and this wave towards embodiment and connection is…Due. Putting less emphasis on insightful abstraction as we move towards intimate and raw connection with our lives and our environment…this movement is only one side of the evolutionary coin and it’s not the wave that got the first man on the moon, but for now it is the wave that’ll inspire us to leave this planet more inhabitable for my son.

Astonished at & Grateful for this Life,

Decker Cunov & the Integral Center Team

Our Biases:

* Self-Awareness: It is “better” to be aware than unaware of my own experience.
* Self-Acceptance: It is “better” to fully feel and express rather than repress or deny my own experience.
* Self-Determination: It is “better” to create my values, rather than take on the assumptions/judgements of others, inspired by my own experience.
* Self-Love: It is “better” to play this game as right with ourselves as we can possibly be (even as we are also a masterpiece in progress).
* Self-Transcendence: It is “better” to play this game in constant discovery of ourselves, rather than filtering/rehearsing, as a moment-by-moment dance.

Our Promises:

* Keepin’ it Real: 0% tolerance for unexamined ‘woo woo’ – Unless it Works.
* Keepin’ it Integral: All distinctions grounded in highest-level transcendent frameworks we’ve found anywhere, while maintaining down-to-earth results-oriented attitude.
* Keepin’ it Legit: Our marketing will always be an exploration of how to motivate positive change by Saying what we Actually Mean & Actually Delivering what we Offer (even if it costs us sales).
* Keepin’ it Humble: Our cultish’ness stays in check to the degree that we own our opinions as Our Opinions and insist that your opinions remain Your Opinions.
* Keepin’ it Authentic: Finally, no pomp to ‘establish legitimacy’: our credentials are based on one thing – the Value You Receive.

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A Pre-History of Arete with Guy & Porcelli

Hear Porcelli continue his investigative interviews on the history and roots of Circling with Guy Sengstock of The Circling Institute, as Guy recounts his contribution, with Jerry Candelaria, to what came to formally be known as Circling, and eventually the first weekend intensive course based on Circling, called The Arête Experience. Guy tells about his early development, his naturally curious personality, through to their meeting at Sterling Men’s Division.

Learn of several tributaries and influences on Circling practice from 12-step culture, Holotropic Breathwork, The Landmark Forum, and The Welcomed Consensus (and more) leading to an unforgettable milestone in Circling at Burning Man. In this conversation, Porcelli & Guy trace the development of Circling connecting it to a larger ongoing human conversation about what’s meaningful, truthful, spiritual, or of ultimate concern.

As Guy recounts early proto-Circling conversations, he describes some hallmarks that naturally started emerging

  • Awareness moving to what’s actually going on in the relationships in the present
  • Attention naturally settling on an individual
  • Someone’s unique essence showing up, and “The Look” that comes with it

Listening for these, and other, fine moments in this rich and in-depth conversation

  • A moment where Porcelli gets crazed
  • Find out about the Beavis & Butthead of the transformation world
  • A possible moment when the term “Circling” came to be the name of our practice
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Circling Summit Partner Announcement—The Circling Institute

Circling Institute

We at The Integral Center are proud to announce our partnership with The Circling Institute for the Circling Summit. Guy Sengstock and Alexis Shepperd are long time practitioners and trainers in Circling and offer weekend workshops, individual coaching, and advanced trainings. Together, Guy & Alexis led courses at The Arête Center for Excellence and created and taught the Transformational Coaching and Leadership Training (TCLT), a year-long circling and coaching training program. Currently, they are the founders of the Circling Institute, LLC, and have been training people in the art of circling since 2001. They are Burners (as in Burning Man), consciousness geeks, and long-time friends. Check out The Circling Institute here!

If you’re still on the fence about coming to the Summit , have a listen to the recording below and get your ticket soon because we are SOLD OUT of our first-tier pricing, and expect the second tier to sell out soon.

If you’d like to make your own contribution to the Circling Summit, please review our Request for Proposal (RFP) here. We are extending the deadline for submissions to the end of July!

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Erin’s Mix’s%20Mix_-%20Tnure%20(Ishe)%20Live%20at%20Pink%20Mammoth%2BFucking%20Unicorns%20%40%20Apogaea%202014.mp3

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An Aletheia Moment ~ Damien Bohler

JoyThere are those moments in life where, for some reason, the veils get drawn back a little and we are thrust into a deeper experience. Perhaps we are struck by seeing more of ourselves, perhaps we get a glimpse of some aspect of another person, or we see some subtle facet of reality itself. Often times we may have intuited these things and when the insight comes it’s almost like a slap on the forehead. Of course we may say, it makes so much more sense now. Once we see these things, the world seems to expand and change and with right kind of nurturing we grow to fill this new space.

In a practice called circling these moments are fondly called Aletheia moments.

The word Aletheia is a greek word and means “the state of not being hidden; the state of being evident”. It is used to represent a disclosure or truth, that something in the background is brought into awareness.

We are incredibly complex creatures, so complex that there are many things about ourselves that we do not know or see. One of the purposes of life, for those of us with a spiritual disposition, is to discover who and what we truly are. This process seems to be facilitated by consistent work to reveal more of ourselves, to become more conscious of our inner workings and to see our own inner matrix as well as that of the reality we inhabit.

An ancient Hindu proverb states that the three greatest mysteries are “a fish unto water, a bird unto the air and a man unto himself”. This proverb states that as humans our own selves are a mystery, that in fact the way we are is so often unconscious to ourselves that it is much like water is to a fish. We are in it all the time yet never really see it for what it is.

Through many great and ancient traditions we have been handed down a variety of tools for this personal unveiling. Practices like meditation, yoga and chi kung have become widespread and accessible to all as a way of working with the personal, subjective experience. Through these practices we are presented with the opportunity for seeing more of ourselves from the inside and some form or another is highly recommended for anyone seeking to become an increasingly ‘better’ and conscious version of themselves in this life.

664774_4929008424174_1768682895_oFrom an Integral lens, however, this domain is only one facet of working with the subjective experience. These practices are about turning inwards and deepening relationship with ourselves yet we do not live in isolation and for most of us retreating to a cave or monastery to live out our lives is not a feasible option. We live in relationship with others almost all the time. Interactions with friends, family, partners and lovers, colleagues and our general community are usually part of our daily experience. Acknowledging the inevitable relationship with others there is an opportunity to practice here, with others, in relationship as a form of increasing awareness. To create deeper connections and intimacy with those in our lives and to have these connections add more to both us and them. Like the fish swimming in the water, it can’t see the medium it is moving through… yet the bird, from an outside perspective, can. It is this way with others in our lives. Many of the people closest to us can see, or with the right circumstances can begin to see, aspects of ourselves that we may not be fully aware of. When we are with them we are impacting them constantly in subtle ways, as they are to us. This is where the practice of circling comes in.

Circling can be considered as an intersubjective meditation. This means that it is not just ourselves turning into the experience, rather we are entering it through interaction. The invitation is to become more fully present, here now IN our relationship with another. Through putting our attention on the relationship as it is occurring in the moment a possibility arises to see more of ourselves, more of an other and more the space or reality that we all inhabit. Our differences and similarities are drawn out and celebrated, we become increasingly present to our shared humanity.

297178_2352529333807_1267378766_32933725_2790341_nAletheia as a weekend intensive is a deep dive into this shared space between us. Through circle after circle we are revealing and revealed. The experience of several people sitting with us, wanting to know us, allowing us to show up as we are whatever that is can be exhilarating and opening. From a participant’s perspective having an experience like this changes us in beautiful ways. Most of all we may realize that we are truly not alone.

Anything more about the weekend has to be experienced first-hand to truly know what a gift it is to enter relationship as a practice for growth and awakening.

Learn more about the Aletheia ~ Integral Relating Intensive here.

Damien BohlerAbout Damien Bohler
Damien Bohler is a nomadic soul sometimes confused and other times delighted by his existence on this strange and wonderful planet. He enjoys writing, climbing trees and being barefoot. You can read more of his stuff on his blog.

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The What & Why of Circling

We know the power of gaining new perspective on ourselves and our lives, and how circling can so powerfully deliver this experience. Listen to this recording between Decker Cunov and Michael Porcelli where they unpack how rare the kinds of experiences are that happen in circling, even though they seem so fundamentally simple.

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The Inaugural International Circling Conference and Gathering,
The Circling Summit, is now open for registration and proposals.

From the earliest formal coursework in Circling with the Arete Experience in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1999 to the Men’s Circle on the beach, The Authentic Man Program, The Authentic Woman Experience, and Aletheia at The Integral Center in 2011, the community of Circling, Authentic Relating, and Authentic Relating Games has grown worldwide with events as far and wide as New York, D.C., Malibu, Oslo, Phenom Penh, Phoenix, Toronto, Austin, Portland, LA, and more. 2014 to date has seen more Circling-based deep-dive weekend experiential intensives worldwide than there have been weekends! We stand together near the beginning of a worldwide flourishing of our community of practice. Please join us at The Integral Center for the first gathering of these tribes at the first ever global Circling Summit, September 4-7th, 2014, Boulder Colorado.

To Co-Create This Event We Want Your Help! What should we do?

We’re in the process of curating the schedule format with presentations, workshops, panel discussions, play opportunities, and of course loads of circling with your global family! Do you want to lead one of these? If so, please see our Request for Proposals outline and submit your ideas ASAP!
Proposals for segments must be received by June 30th, 2014.

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Relationship as a Path

How do your relationships compare to your other practices?
What’s possible when we welcome the challenges that arise in our partnership as opportunities for growth?

In this conversation with Jayson Gaddis, we discuss the ways in which we can treat our relationships similarly to how we hold our personal development and spiritual practices. Since our relationships are so much a part of our daily life (what else is there?), the more we give attention to them, the more we can grow, find peace, and be of greater service to the world.

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Jayson Gaddis

If you enjoy this recording, I recommend you check-out the video of Jayson’s recent presentation at the Integral Center here.

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The Power of Practice

I recently had a great conversation about practice with my friend and Integral mentor, Terry Patten. Terry was part of the core team at the Integral Institute that developed Integral Life Practice, which distills ancient and modern practices into an intelligent contemporary transformational lifestyle. He co-authored a book on the subject as well as leading week-long ILP workshops for years. In this conversation Terry and I discuss what practice is, how we can develop a lifestyle of practice, and the power of choosing to enact our practice even in simple conversations–as Terry demonstrates on the call. We then discuss the challenges and rewards of developing a community committed to practice and how important that is these days.
Terry will also be joining us for our New Years gathering, Scenius (think Scene plus Genius), and if you want to learn more about Terry’s work, I highly recommend hearing his recording on the 5 Spiritual Myths that Sabotage Your Conscious Evolution.

Terry Patten
Download Recording

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You Are Not Alone

A Truly Integral Space for a Community that Keeps Waking-Up and Growing-Up in Service of a Better World

Our community was started by people who care deeply about connection and relationship–as a path to better lives, and ultimately to inspiring a healthier world. It’s a radically simple view: more loving people create more loving families and neighbors, which creates more loving communities, more loving cities, and ultimately a more loving world. It may sound simple, but like most essential truths it’s not as easy as it sounds and relationship is the place where our least loving and aware tendencies get highlighted *fast*.

Why We Need Your Help

We were one and a half years into our lease when we got hit hard by the epic Colorado floods in September. The pipes in our building backed up and filled our first level (7000 square feet, half of our entire space) with toxic water and sewage. The water destroyed all the flooring, carpeting, furnishings, plumbing, boiler and other property on that level. To make things more complicated, our insurance policies denied us without even looking and forced us into a back and forth battle with no end in sight.

Become an Integral Center Angel by contributing to our flood rebuild campaign.
Click here to see our new video:
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Celebrate the New Year with iCommunity

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 4 Days of Integral Practice & Play

The Integral Center presents:
Scenius ~ The More Integral the Community…
the More Genius for the World

Join us in Integral Practice & Play for four days in the Rockies, in the company of an international blend of do-gooders, intimacy geeks, Integral nerds, a few Burning Man gypsies & all manner of community leaders!

Conscious Community =
1. The Most Potent Catalyst for Evolution OR
2. A Hugely Expensive/Distracting Drama Fest
…It all depends on how fiercely we hold Integral standards and practice them together.

We’re proud of our center in Boulder transmitting the Integral Meme to broader and broader audiences, and though we took a *major* hit this Fall as a flood destroyed half of our building and supplies, our community is emerging stronger than ever.

If you spend the New Years with us, you’ll be exploring Integral approaches to:

    • Balancing Being & Becoming, Autonomy & Communion
    • Metabolizing Conflicts into Opportunities
    • Power & Exclusivity (Integral Cliches)
    • Sexuality & Romantic Relationships
    • Generational Richness – Parenting, Eldership & Rites of Passage
    • Blending virtues of discipline & loyalty with enjoying our lives together
    • Walking a path of the ancestors while being uniquely yourself 

*Brian Eno coined the word “Scenius” to capture an extreme creativity that groups, places, or ‘scenes’ can sometimes manifest. In places like Boulder, the Integral scenius continues to develop…and it’s time again to gather the tribes.

Throughout history, small groups brought together for a common purpose generate a collective magic inclusive of each individual’s contribution, yet far greater than the sum of individual contributions they possibly could’ve created: Building 20 at MIT, Camp 4 at Yosemite, the Inklings at Oxford, Burning Man. Ken Wilber reminds us of the significant role that Salons in Europe played in the emergence of the Western enlightenment. Today intentional communities worldwide come together around spiritual, social or ecological values.

Perhaps you consider yourself part of an emerging Integral Scenius. Perhaps you’re simply passionate about fostering more loving and real community on our planet. In either case, please get yourself to the Integral Center in Boulder for this New Year’s 2014.

    • Experience our favorite interpersonal practices for fostering deep in-the-moment authenticity

    • Meet fellow integral practitioners, facilitators, and community builders from around the world

    • Harness the power of the collective through a guided series of experiences together

    • Celebrate another year of kosmic evolution

Your Hosts:

tdecker2           JeffSalzman-321

Decker Cunov, Co-Founder of The Integral Center
Diane Hamilton Musho Sensei, Two Arrows Zen
Jeff Salzman, host of the Daily Evolver, and general integral-man-about-Boulder



We will be kicking this off at 3pm, December 28th, 2013. You’re welcome to arrive as early as 2pm for registration. The evening meal break will be from 6-7:30pm. We will be completing at approximately 9:30pm that evening.

For the full-day sessions, Sunday the 29th through Tuesday the 31st, we will have morning practice sessions from 7:30-9am. We will have a breakfast hour from 9-10am with some simple food options available, including coffee and tea. (We recommend you handle your own special dietary requirements if any.) The mid-day meal break will be approximately 1:30-3pm and the evening meal break approximately 6-7:30pm. Each evening, except the 31st, will conclude at approximately 9:30pm.

On the night of the 31st you are welcome to bring 2 personal guests with you to the evening session for $15 each. This New Year’s Eve event will not be open to the general public.
You’re welcome to join us for some informal New Year’s Day relaxation and conclusion together from 11am-1pm, January 1st 2014.

Seats 1 – 20: $345 SOLD OUT!!!
Seats 21 – 40: $395
(Payments plans available)



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Is AMP Integral men’s work?

AMP-logo-200If you follow The Integral Center, I am sure you have heard some buzz about the Authentic Man Program.

As a subsidiary of our newly merged partner company Authentic World, AMP is now the men’s work arm of The Integral Center. Given that, you may be wondering: How integral is AMP?

I’ll share how AMP is informed and expressed in an integral framework but first a little backstory about me, Casey Capshaw.

authenticman-c7491532-49e7-46a3-9c3a-b8de2e4a3393-v2I moved to Boulder 8 years ago to take a job as Assistant Managing Editor for, then the media outreach project of Integral Institute.

I had the opportunity to work very closely with Ken Wilber for 3 years on all manner of Integral initiatives and this is where my curiosity for men’s specific personal development began.

My journey led me from Ken, to David Deida, to Robert Bly and eventually landed me in an AMP Intensive workshop as a “Research Project” for The New Man Podcast, a project I was producing with long-time integralist Tripp Lanier.

This AMP workshop absolutely rocked me and changed my life. Every single relationship I have been in since that workshop has been profoundly more emotionally intimate and rewarding. AMP showed me the “water I was swimming in” and that water involved a lot of emotional unavailability as a by-product of self-protection.

I have taken up the role of Executive Director for AMP as a way to give a little back for the gifts that I received from that workshop back in 2008 and as a brilliant opportunity for me to express my unique self in service of the evolution of men.

So, how is AMP Integral?

authenticman-6a0282ed-1380-4863-8eba-145e171c9fcb-v2As with anything, the answer is complex. At AMP we work a lot with the masculine/feminine polarity, increasing awareness and capacities in both directions through practice. We start with an acknowledgement of the difference in the male and female experience of being human and work with these differences.

AMP is the only program I know that brings in women to work with the men–not as therapists or coaches, but in their full expression as women–to give honest reflection in service of men’s potential.

AMP also fundamentally accepts whatever level of values these men are bringing at any given moment. Our bias is towards transcendence and inclusion by making the subject of a man’s experience into an object in his awareness, including desire, power, darkness, and shadow elements in a male-specific container.

This “spiral wizardry” is what makes AMP special in the world of men’s work and is supported by an integral framework and perspective.

I would love your support in bringing AMP to the men of the Integral community and beyond.

Help us make the Inaugural AMP Workshop at the Integral Center a success by joining us or sharing this event with the men in your life.

More info here

I am also hosting a weekly AMP Men’s Circle by donation (free to IC members) every monday evening at 6pm for any man interested in trying a men’s group for the first time, dropping in for support, or looking to form a more committed men’s group.

Find the Men’s Circle on Facebook

I look forward to continuing in this journey with you.

Yours in service,

Executive Director
Authentic Man Program

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Sexy, Smart, and Spiritual

A Lotus Lounge Weekend for Evolving Women.
With Diane Musho Hamilton, Wah!, Alexis Shepperd, Brooke Gessay, and More.
October 10-13th, 2013

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