04 Aug Inaugural Sports, Energy & Consciousness Conference
The inaugural Sports, Energy & Consciousness Conference and all I felt is that I was meant to be here!! I flew in on Thursday June 10th and made sure I had time to settle in for the start of the conference on Friday @ 4:30PM. Friday was to start with a mountain bike ride with Barry Robbins, Vice President of ITP International. I met Barry at 8AM at we rode the grueling climb just behind Corte Madera. A great workout and a great start to the day! I then met with Pam Kramer, President of ITP International. It had been a while since we were able to spend some quality time together and bond. We ran some errands, had a nice lunch and caught up about some projects we are working on. It was then time to get prepared for the conference and Barry had asked if I’d be kind enough to help out with setup. I obliged and arrived on the beautiful grounds of Dominican University at about 3PM. This allowed me some time with many of the core members of SEC and allowed me to donate my efforts in what was essentially a dream come true event for me.
The purpose of the SEC Group and conference is to facilitate the continued evolution of the human species through sport. The foundation of the conference is built on integral practice. Integral Practice is a deeper and richer understanding of our present moment experience. It provides many methods, from a plethora of perspectives, that allow accelerated growth and development in many domains of human evolution. The focus includes a deeper sense of one’s body and feelings. This provides a much better understanding of the experience and allows someone to understand their own subjective states of consciousness and how to consistently attain those states. It may surprise you that many of the divine experiences happening in our world today, happen in the sports arena rather than the church. It is these experiences that accelerate our species forward and give rise to a new understanding of the world from the participant’s point of view. Athletes engage the world and themselves in new ways and these new ways tend to give perspective into new behaviors, worldviews and values. Experiencing unity consciousness brings one the happiness and peace we are all looking for in everyday life. Little know it is at our finger tips moment to moment to moment to infinitum.
I worked the SEC booth Friday night and it provided me a great opportunity to meet and talk with many of the 100 or so attendees. I served in that role for about an hour and then was excited for the keynote speech by Michael Murphy, co-founder of Integral Transformational Practice (ITP), Founder of Esalen Institute, Founder of the Human Potential Movement in the 1960’s, and author of Golf in the Kingdom and Future of the Body. To my surprise, as I was cleaning up the booth I looked to my right and Pete Carroll is standing right next to me!! Pete Carroll, a friend of Michael Murphy, was a surprise guest speaker for the keynote!! The keynote with these two exceptionally giant personalities was going to be great and the mood of the attendees reflected that!
The keynote started off with Michael discussing his stories around Esalen and much of the research he had collected over the years regarding human evolution, different states of consciousness, personalities who helped define the integral movement and much of his very own philosophy. This started with a discussion on the meandering of evolution and how it meanders more than it progresses. A quick reflection of my own development reveals definitely more meandering than progressing…cummulative. One cannot progress everyday, we need rest. There are times of focus and tension and time of rest and relaxation. It’s a healthy cycle of life and how we properly take care of ourselves and achieve goals. Michael also discussed many of the physicist’s view of the implicit becoming explicit which simply means things usually hidden from view coming into focus in daily life.
Michael then asked Pete Carroll to join him on stage. Little did we know the treat we were in for! Pete Carroll, for all his running around and jumping on the sidelines, is calm, present and terrifically well spoken about how he is utilizing spiritual approaches in his daily coaching activities. Pete’s message was very simple regarding his relationship approach to coaching in the NFL. He talked about really owning the relationships with his players and how to bring out the best in each player requires a commitment to each player. One could tell by his seriousness in this explanation that Pete works day and night getting into the heart and soul of each player. Pete knows exactly what makes them tick. If you absorb that fully, you realize how hard of a task this really is! He has players from all backgrounds, who understand at different levels and have different cultural values and beliefs. Pete really wants to build a strong trust with each player and have the players build that trust in each other. This is how he begins to bring out the best in each player by having them rely on the present moment. This present moment approach allows the player to control only that which he can in that moment…nothing else matters. Pete had this great talk about not chasing the high moments…i.e. don’t chase the peak states!! This was profound because if you try to attain peak states they will never come. You simply provide the environment from which they can spawn and let go.
Everything they do in Seattle is based in the spirit of fun. Pete wants to keep a very playful environment which keeps the coaches and players loose and allows them to enjoy their profession and express their full potentials. When asked about how he connects with young men who may have no understanding of what he is trying to communicate…he simply said “you gotta live it…every moment” and “you gotta draw them in”.
What an exceptional kickoff to the inaugural Sports, Energy and Consciousness Conference!! What a highlight to meet many of the participants, hear their backgrounds, what they are doing to promote our evolution and how they themselves utilize these methods in their own lives. Also, to meet and spend time with the SEC founders, Barry Robbins, David Meghessey, Greg Warburton, Michael Spino, Rick Leskowitz, Scott Ford and Kristin Ulmer!!! It is not often you attend a conference and get to meet great historical figures such as these…AWESOME! To top it off, enjoying the keynote led by Michael Murphy and Pete Carroll who had a no holds barred approach to sharing his coaching style. He also discussed his relationship with Steve Kerr and how the Warriors are coached using these same integral methods! Saturday and Sunday should be a blast!!!