is a philosopher, teacher, activist, consultant, social entrepreneur, and author. Over the last fifteen years he has devoted his efforts to the evolution of consciousness by facing, examining, and aiming to heal our global crisis through the marriage of spirit and activism. He co-wrote Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening
with Ken Wilber and a core team at the Integral Institute. The book provides a framework for individuals to “wake up” and to grow in awareness, presence, and care by offering time-tested practices from the ancient spiritual traditions together with the most powerful practices and principles discovered and validated by modern science.
Terry’s new book, A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries –A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change
, was recently released in March 2018 (free excerpt and audio available here
). It offers more integral approaches to activism, and has been hailed as “a stunning marriage of wild heart and cool mind,” and as “combining brilliant social commentary along with a step-by-step blueprint for catalyzing whole-system change from the inside out.”
As a social entrepreneur, Terry led a team at the HeartMath Institute that developed their first heart-rate variability monitor. He founded the consciousness technology company, Tools For Exploration
(now Tools for Wellness), and currently is involved in businesses engaged in restorative redwood forestry, developing fossil-fuel alternatives, addressing collective trauma, and creating new currencies for a sustainable economy. As a community builder, he founded Bay Area Integral
, a central gathering place where people engage in conscious inquiry and find community in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a consultant, he has worked on four continents.
As a philosopher-activist, Terry has long been a leading voice for facing, examining, and healing our global crisis through the marriage of higher consciousness and activism. Creator and host of the webcast “Beyond Awakening,” he has explored the biggest questions of our time in over a hundred public conversations with some of the world’s most prominent and dynamic thought leaders. As a teacher and coach, he has introduced thousands of people to Integral Practice in person and over the web where he created and taught the online courses, Integral Spiritual Practice, Living the Integral Heart, An Integral Soul Journey,
and Awakening Your Revolutionary Heart.
Raised in the York Center Community Cooperative outside Chicago, Patten was mentored by co-op aunts and uncles, a group of people who deeply believed in a social stand. This was expressed as a stand for peace and justice that Terry enacted as an anti-war protestor in the 1970’s. From this time onward, for the first 15 years of his adult life, he became a student of Adi Da Samraj
. During his period, he learned that we face challenges that cannot be solved at the level of consciousness without cleaning up our own “stuff.” Yet this attitude, too, has its drawbacks as one can focus so much on the inner-work and not have an impact on the outer work needed to effect change. Patten believes that to focus exclusively on one’s subjective experience today is morally indefensible. He explains that we are in a lifeboat that has sprung a leak and we need each other. The connection, heart to heart, is urgently needed and that is what is informing his work.
Patten states that we are losing our ability to have an honest conversation in a heart-felt way, to see what is in front of us. The total intelligence that is necessary is integrated and in the very center of our being — in the heart. Today there are a lot of distractions, misleading information, and conspiracy theories that are not optimal for holistic health; therefore, meditation is part of one’s holistic hygiene. His book, A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries–A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change
, is a deep meditation on what has been revealed to his heart. Terry states we must become brothers and sisters in a community of practice like a super organism, where awakening people in conversation with one another can allow our practice to ripple forth on an amazing level.
Terry received his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he received three coveted Hopwood Awards for his fiction and poetry. He has taught at the University of Notre Dame, Columbia University, San Francisco State University, John F. Kennedy University and Meridian University. He currently serves on the board of Dr. Rick Hanson’s Wellsprings Institute
for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, is chief strategy officer for Thomas Hübl’s Academy of Inner Science, is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice
, and belongs to Deepak Chopra’s Evolutionary Leaders
Join us in conversation with this pioneering leader!
Five Questions with Terry Patten
What Makes You Come Alive?
The beauty and wonder of this amazing world, and of every human soul, are what most bring me alive and I'm especially enlivened to contemplate the profoundly consequential nature of our current historical tipping-point moment!
Pivotal turning point in your life?
Recognizing and meeting my spiritual master was an enormously consequential turning point. Paradoxically, leaving his ashram was almost equally remarkable. Recently, the publication of my book, "A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries" has been a remarkable tipping point moment, arriving me in the work I was born to do.
An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
I'll never forget the way we were all so startled and gladdened by Nelson Mandela's choice, as apartheid was crumbling, to bring forgiveness, magnanimity, and a commitment to mutually workable solutions that included the white South African minority. Historically significant kindness wow!
One Thing On Your Bucket List?
I don't really have a "bucket list" because I trust the process of my life. But when I imagine the things I hope might happen before I'm gone, I find myself imagining larger scale opportunities for joyful healing encounters that make a difference in people's lives.
One-line Message for the World?
Things are far too serious for us to lose our sense of humor!