Lansing guides others to awaken their innate healing abilities. He is both the founder and principal of the Center for Integrated Awareness in Petaluma, California, a healing and teaching center devoted to that purpose. He teaches and models a healer’s most important duty —to recognize and respond to the whole person.
Q: What is Integrated Awareness?
A: Integrated Awareness describes an inherently possible but usually inhibited state of consciousness in which all aspects of the person are self-aware and actively cooperate. It refers to a quality of living in which the mind does not have precedence over the brain and body, in which spirit is as tangible as skeleton, where emotions are recognized as the source of creativity and in which the energetic fields of the human body and soul are as immediate and as tactile as the skin. In such a state, you may simultaneously sense any of those levels in another person as well.
Q: You have spoken of deriving your work from your observations of what is common to all humans, and that the body is the most basic component of human experience. What are the other basic common elements?
A: The physical body is not only the most basic, it is the means through which all of the other aspects are appreciable by consciousness. The ones immediately troubling to most people are the emotional and mental bodies. The emotional self operates across a very broad band of highly reactive, highly polarized energies and has an orientation biased towards the past. The mental body primarily utilizes narrow band energetics, not very charged, but very rigid. It focuses towards the future.
There are many enerery body frequencies higher than the mental body, ranging all the way up to spirit itself. Your soul definitely has a characteristic vibration. The one part of ourselves that remains permanently in the present is our physical body. All the other elements tend to move along the temporal axis as well and not to occupy the present moment only.
Q: Can you tell me more about the temporal axis?
A: In practical terms, what most people call the mind is really a small portion of the total mental body—specifically that portion which does two things: it describes itself as “I”, and it is primarily concerned with creating predictive models of reality. Given those two characteristics, it’s not surprising that the mind regards both present and past moments as data blocks enabling it to predict where pain is likely to be in the future and act to avoid that. The emotional body’s highly charged and polarized nature tends to produce relative fixations in its own field, so it tends to pull the attention and the self towards the past, the same way the mind pulls it toward the future.
Q: What does that mean in relationship to healing and how would you define healing?
A: Healing is not limited to restoration of a previous state. It also acceptance embodied in the present moment and space. Healing is accomplished when there is no longer resistance in the self to the current condition. Many people with outward limitations do not experience themselves as diminished at essence. That condition has healed for them. Plenty of others continue to inflict present suffering upon themselves in relation to long past events. In spiritual terms, learning, healing and accepting are ultimately the same thing.
Physically, I would define healing as a bodily state in which you are capable of doing what you want without fear of pain. Emotionally, healing is responding to present moments instead of recreating past hurts. Mentally, healing is quiet. Energetic healing is the habitual condition of congruence between the physical body and the various energetic bodies. Ultimately, “healing” is the “self” merging into the Self, Most of the time on earth, the closest we come to that is compassion. You might define “healed” as a state in which all parts of you are present and that no part of you wishes it different than it is.
Q: What is the relationship between healing and learning?
A: Learning is acceptance. Healing is the effect of acceptance throughout our system. In a spiritual sense, they are indistinguishable in the end. Healing occurs as a direct result of the overlap, the intersection between the two.
Q: How are the lessons encoded so that we get to experience them again and again until we learn them?
A: They are encoded in the binding consciousness which surrounds and interpenetrates genetic endowment and are predisposed by DNA itself. The processes of creating a physical body and teaching it to adapt to the earth then ensures that we will have the most opportunities to experience certain lessons. We pattern our body language, imprint our energy fields and define our structure. This results in powerful attractive and repulsive polarities which draw the other players we need.
Q: If we keep repeating experiences over and over, what is the best approach to increasing our understanding and incorporating the lesson?
A: Increase your conscious acknowledgment and usage of the information already coming from the physical body. Embrace your experiences. In terms of Integrated Awareness it means preferring to physically relax the muscles, habitually orient the body to be open, move the emotional field toward the present from its habitual dwelling in the past, pull the mind back to the present moment from its hangout in the future, restore mobility to the energy fields where there have been imprints and fixations, and willingly draw to the self the consequences of your choices. Stop insisting that what you experience is created primarily outside of yourself—as long as you do pretend that the experience is externally generated, you will continue to have it.
Q: Can you speak of how the quality and ease of movement of the human body reflects the state of permission or lack of it as experienced by the individual?
A: All aspects of the Self must rely upon and utilize the same physical body for manifesting their various purposes. Often they require the same specific part. To the degree that internal desires and intentions conflict, competing instructions are given to the body. This is perceptible as a decrease in ease of movement, an increase in effort and tension and a dis-congruency among the various states of consciousness—mental, emotional, physical and energetic.
Q: You speak of healing by presence. Can you comment?
A: By presence, we mean congruence—spatially, temporally, and intentionally. If no part of yourself is off doing something else, then you are, in that moment, operating in a state without judgment. The most intransigent portion of anyone’s consciousness is the mind, and it is usually the last to yield. When people interact with one another, they are often inspired into better health when they encounter someone who is operating in a state of compassion and degraded further into ill health by their responses to the judgments of another. Presence offers both a model of how to be healthy and a mirror in which others can see themselves. It gives energetic support and permission for their own innate courage, desire, and choice to come to the fore, and it calls for them to live this embodied life more as their divine Self.
Q: In closing, would you speak of the relationship between healing the Self and healing the planet?
A: We certainly believe the best way to learn to clean house is to start with your own room. We also believe that people are entitled to see an example of both process and result before deciding that here is a path attractive to them. Unlike conventional modes of teaching, one of the things required in IA® is to give up control. If we wish a change in the consciousness of the planet to a higher level, it cannot be accomplished by coercion, demanding of performance, insisting that our way is right, or any of the other well-documented (and historically boring) examples of how to pretend change while actually perpetuating the status quo.
On a spiritual plane, we find that most people who are highly motivated to contribute to the world at large and want a life of service to the planet are actually carrying more than their individual share of the karmic responsibility for resolving a particular lesson, whether that be violence, or gender confusion, or shame, or not deserving or hatred of others. We think that people will follow along side, not behind, a good example.
Founder of Integrated Awareness, Lansing Barrett Gresham, now nearly 70, studied early on with some of the greatest teachers of the last century before developing Integrated Awareness. He credits Moshe Feldenkrais (Feldenkrais Method®), Dr. John Upledger (Craniosacral®), Dr. Jean Pierre Barral (Visceral Manipulation®), Dr. Fritz Smith (designer of Zero Balancing®), June D’Estelle (The Illuminated Mind®), and many other inspiring innovators with guiding his searches and on-going discoveries. He continues to bring forth new material and strives to afford insight and healing opportunities for the entire spectrum of human experience.