Updated: Mar 2
Before modern hatha yoga, the practices that make it up were spread through disparate lineages, forgotten manuscripts, and obscure hidden teachers. It was the work of several pioneering generations to make these teachings accessible to modern people, combining ancient philosophies with physical exercises to create the yoga we know today, changing the lives of millions of people.
Similarly, the techniques of Theravada Buddhism were once rarely taught to non monastics. They were brought back into public consciousness with new simplified teachings as part of the nation building process in Burma and Thailand. Later, foreign monks learned these techniques as well, which were then secularised and taught all over the world, brining about the modern mindfulness movement.
In the west, we have the spiritual training of Hermeticism, dating back at least to ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. This study of life trained countless philosophers, early scientists, and artists. While it culminated in the “Renaissance Men” such as Da Vinci, Galileo, and Newton, this knowledge too was almost lost in superstition and (later) materialism.
In my own research, practice and study under diverse teachers, I have found that there is an underlying structure to all of these methods, a structure that can be found in most meditational systems, western esoteric ritual, traditional healing, shamanic journeying, and many traditional and modern yoga practices.
This structure works because it stems directly from how humans experience the world, how they relate their experiences, and how they build their concept of self from those experiences.
In general terms it is:
1) Bring the Bodymind to Neutral
2)Energize and enter absorption concentration
3)Nondual Pure Awareness
4) Restore and Integrate
The uses for this system are as diverse as the human story.
How the system can be used to find life's purpose, reinvent oneself, move on from the old and into new ways of being:
The experience of pure awareness, in glimpses at first but soon regularly and daily, shows experientially that life purpose, destiny or higher self is not something “out there” that must be found, but rather a constant experience that is always there.
We’ve merely hidden it under old thought patterns, desires, and preconceived ideas that no longer serve us.
We can plug various sitting, walking, and moving yogic meditations into the structure, and use them to beyond thoughts and fixed concepts of self and into a space of pure awareness.
From this space we come back to re-engage with the world, no longer caught in a loop but free and open to let our natural inspiration shine through.
How the system can be used to find inspiration, overcome blocks, and heal the past:
For these goals I often use Tarot cards, not as a fortune telling device but as an intuitive tool to discover the challenges to be overcome and/or the new skills and mindsets that need to be integrated.
In Step 1 we find where blocks are stored in the body and work to break these apart through simple healing yoga techniques.
In Step 2 we enter a trance journey via repetitive drumming. Here we interact directly with the subconscious, breaking down fears and mental blocks.
We then rest in pure awareness at Step 3, bringing the consciousness beyond the present and back to it’s universal source.
In Step 4 we come back to everyday consciousness, rebuilding it with equanimity, love, compassion, and joy.
How we can use the system to enhanced performance:
Top performers, whether in business, sports, or arts know that the mental game can be the toughest. While we all have differing skills and areas where we feel that we lack, we can develop our strengths and move beyond our weaknesses in the same way. By understanding how our mind works, cutting its attachment to fears, doubts, confusion, envy and other qualities that hold us back.
To do this we use methods to observe the mind in Step 1, move beyond our chattering mind in Steps 2 and 3, in Step 4 learn how to quickly move through the process, so that we can stop negative habits before they start, and more easily become absorbed in the flow state generated by positive habits.
We then provide still and moving meditations, as well as anchoring techniques that can bring awareness back to an unencumbered peak state throughout the day.
Ultimately, liberation is the goal of all of this work. Though the methods may vary, the target is always life free of worry, negative habits, fear, anxiety. Towards constant awareness of a self that is timeless, without limits,