There are a number of practices that could be done to cultivate each of the four stages in the System of Meditation. However, this is not a rigid system — most meditation practices could be used to cultivate the whole system. For example, although Mindfulness of Breathing is usually the first practice taught to cultivate ‘integration’, it can in fact be used to cultivate all four aspects of the system. The same is true of Metta Bhavana, and so on.
Integration implies bringing mental and emotional ‘energies’ together so that attention is not fragmented or divided. This is usually achieved by bringing attention to an object (say, the breath, a visual object, a sound), or using that object as an anchor for awareness. In everyday life, as well as in formal meditation, integration is also developed through mindfulness practices such as walking meditation and body awareness. Mindfulness can be cultivated in any circumstances whatsoever.
Listen to talks exploring the theme of Integration.
The Buddhist Centre: buddhism for today