Healing The World One Relationship At A Time — A Conversation with Robert McNaughton

Robert McNaughton and Lauren Barnett

Next month it will be two years since Robert McNaughton took over The Integral Center in Boulder and he, along with Decker Cunov and a lot of devoted practitioners and friends who share their vision, have breathed fresh, new life into the place.

The Integral Center serves two missions: one is to create a community center for the local integral practitioners, and the other is to serve as a conference center for the international integral community.

In the last two years the Integral Center has been right at the heart of the emergence of the second-person spiritual practices that have become so popular in the integral and evolutionary communities. Key to the Center’s success is a core community practice called Circling.

Jeff Salzman

Circling is a homegrown, group meditation usually done with five or six people. It’s the practice of “seeing and being seen,” and responding in real time to what is arising in the intersubjective space of the moment. It is deceptively simple, yet a profound antidote to the despair that arises inescapably from the conception of ourselves as discrete and separate subjects in a world of others.  As Robert says, “the practice is green, but the container is integral.”

Small groups at The Integral Living Room

The biggest challenge to the Integral Center came unexpectedly in the third week of September, when Boulder received a year’s worth of rain in three days, creating flooding and devastation throughout the region. The bottom floor of the center was flooded and virtually everything was destroyed. Most impressive, though, was the response of the community. For two weeks teams of Integral Center members joined forces with a professional remediation company to remove everything that was damaged: carpet, cabinets, furniture, even drywall, and to sanitize and recertify over 7,000 square feet of space. Several furnaces, hot water heaters and the main boiler had to be completely replaced. It’s been expensive.

Terry Patten, Jeff Salzman & Diane Hamilton lead an exercise at The Integral Living Room

But the community is considering it a blessing in disguise. A tenant that stored medical records in the largest downstairs room has since vacated and now the Center has to decide how to use all this new space. It’s very exciting but of course it’s going to cost money to embrace this next step in it’s evolution. Robert has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds.

Group hug!

I sat down with Robert last week to record a conversation about the challenge and promise of The Integral Center, and to share it with readers of The Daily Evolver. Have a listen, and if you’re able to donate to the cause, you can do that here. Thanks!

Listen or download here:

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