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Someone asked me a great question regarding my post titled, “More about the power of awareness”. Though I gave a quick reply, I’m writing an expanded version here.

Here’s the question, and then my (expanded) response.

Hi Bill,

I’m convinced that watching with awareness will integrate any shadow material, but I don’t understand why Ken Wilber in his many books is stating otherwise. Terry Patten, Adam Leonard and Marco Morelli wrote in Integral Life Practice [a book recently published by Integral Institute]: “If I meditate, and meditate very deeply, what can happen? I can watch my fear and sadness arise as objects in my awareness. I can relax my ‘identification’ with them. (…) But unless I do shadow work in addition to meditating, I probably won’t truly face my shadow.”

In one of the editions of Mind Chatter [Centerpointe’s now-defunct newsletter/magazine, which was replaced by this blog–hence the name, The Blog that Ate Mind Chatter] you said that you were going to ask Ken about Shadow work versus Watching with awareness, aka witnessing. You wrote that your own experience and many others showed that witnessing can resolve shadow material.

Have you ever asked that question to Ken. If you did, what was the answer? If you didn’t, will you ask it? I’m just curious about this topic. I know that shadow work can be useful, but the method you are proposing is a lot faster, easier and more effective than 3-2-1 process [a process taught by Integral Institute for re-owning shadow material] or any other type of therapy.

This is a great question. Here’s how I see it. [If you aren’t clear on what a “shadow” is, you might want to read my previous post, “What’s Hiding in Your Shadows”.]