Maybe I’ll start teaching #hermetics…

Instead of marketing myself as a private yoga teacher. This came up in conversation when Sam was here, the fact that I could try marketing myself to locals who can afford a minimum of $75 an hour for private instruction. I’ve got 28 years of experience in yoga. And meditation! My introduction to both occurred at once, when I enrolled in two six-week intensive, college credit classes during the summer 1998 at Rivier University in NH. I wanted to get some non studio credits out of the way so I could focus even more on painting my junior year. I took Yoga, Meditation and Mysticism and The Psychology of Communication.

During my first experiences with basic, hatha yoga, the meditation was of equal importance.

I like the fact that with my introduction to yoga, there was a simultaneous introduction to experiential learning in meditation. We used the basic method outlined in Lawrence Leshan’s How to Meditate. See? I still remember the f-ing title. I’ve been recommending it ever since is why.

The class was taught by a couple in their early 70s, thereabouts, and met twice a week for 3-hours a session. During each class we sat for meditation for 20-minutes, and also did 40-minutes of very basic, democratic asana. The rest of the time we discussed our reading and writing assignments, the history and philosophy part.

It took awhile, but I did get the RISD liberal arts department to accept BOTH of my grade A credits. I got into a phone fight with the head of the department while I was still in NH. Must’ve gotten a notice of the rejection of that course in the mail… I’d done my homework though, and had checked to see that Rivier was fully accredited before I enrolled. I’d worked hard too! Taking two classes together was so intense I couldn’t work my normal menial summer job at the same time. I wanted my As, see… As part of Yoga, Meditation and Mysticism I’d vowed to do the 20-min sit and 40-min yoga every single day the entire 6-weeks of the program, while completing all the reading and writing assignments of course. This had a profound and lasting effect.

There were some total bullshit liberal arts classes at RISD, like one where you grew a plant and kept a journal of its progress for a semester. Didn’t waste my brain cells on that one but I’d heard about it and snorted. I’d slammed the phone down on the department head, after he said I “must be crazy” if I thought he was going to accept those credits. I decided to wear him down. When I got back to school in the fall, I brought all of my heavily highlighted course books and all my papers for the class tied up in a nice, little bundle with a bow. I dumped the lot on his desk and said, “You can’t tell me this isn’t as much real work as a lot of the classes you’ve got going here.

I got my way.


How might I market myself?

If I do this, I’ll still teach whatever yoga (cardio and strength training) would be appropriate to the client, but I’ll include the meditation and advise from the beginning that meditation takes priority. Five minutes is a good place to start for beginners.

Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self Transformation

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My new read

I’m still reading Initiation into Hermetics, but I’ll be in that for 2-3 years if I stick with it. It’s more like a bookshelf of encyclopedias crammed into one tomb of practical exercises than a mere book, and it’s not all that user friendly in figuring out the practical application of all the insanely difficult, mental exercises. As in the first chapter title of Kabbalah Magic, Though Only a Few Will Rise. And this is another set of practical exercises – “A COMPLETE COURSE” – though I haven’t gotten that far into it yet.

The first ritual detailed is the LBRP, which I already know. I wouldn’t include the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentegram in any yoga teaching program! It’s far (+1,000,000) more esoteric than any asana class or (the lite description) “relaxation exercise”.


My visitor

Figures that it’s suddenly much warmer and brighter outside, the last morning my friend is in town. She’s at the airport now… We had a last afternoon of sight seeing and hanging out yesterday. I’ll post some pictures once I get clearance.

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I’m all into archangel Gabriel still.

Stopped by New Renaissance Bookstore yesterday for a second time. She picked up some things for the kids. I got two goldstones, specifically for working with the archangel Gabriel, and a pear candle (ditto). I’d been looking for another of the inexpensive, great light & long burning apple candle. All they had was pears. Then I revisited this site and noticed that his/her “angelic thoughtform” is a pear. All right then! They’re the same price as the apple shape and probably just as good.

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1-2) Magical Schooling of the Spirit, 2) Thought Discipline #mantra #hermetics

I moved on, January 2nd, from 1-1 after an abbreviated second attempt to do things “by the book”.

Focus awareness on one thought (mental driste) while you discard / suppress other thoughts. Hmmm… “I am a well-paid, prolific Artist and Designer.” Somewhere in the middle  of the two weeks this changed to “I am a prolific, highly paid Artist and Designer.” I also pretty much accepted of myself that I’ll practice as often as I want, which is mostly just mornings, as part of my daily, seated half-hour in padmasana, meditating.


I may combine 1-3, Absence of Thoughts, some night time pranayama. Watched this clip by Psycho Sorcerer on YouTube, and I think maybe I should research the Middle Pillar ritual. It’s as involved as the LBRP (Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram). It’s kind of involved. You have to look at a lot of sources, make notes, practice pronunciations etc. It takes a little bit before you can even start practicing these things seriously.

  • Day 1, 1-2-1 √ 
    • 5min Did this first exercise in my post sit savasana. As I’ve said before, when I sit in padmasana for more than 15/20 minutes, the top foot & calf tend to go numb, from the weight of the other foot pressing on the thigh. I’d meant to grab my mala beads and “tick” off the beads for my mental mantra, but I forgot to grab them before I took my seat. So I used the alternate, finger method.
  • Day 1, 1-2-2 √ 
    • 5min Almost forgot! Used my mala beads this time. Not much to say here b/c the mind doesn’t wander so much at all. I’m including a link to a bit of dream recall. It’s an instance when I remembered a fictional element from a previous dream in a new one.
  • Day 2, 1-2-3 √ 
    • 6min Did it after my morning sit.
  • Day 2, 1-2-4
    •  6min Missed it… I did think about it but I was hiding in my room during jam night, sipping continual shots of tequila.
  • Day 3, 1-2-5 √ 
    • 8min Jumped up by 1min a day early b/c I decided to make this part of my half hour, seated meditation. There’s a certain bell that rings (within the masking sounds of Tibetan bells and rain) that let’s you know when you’re at the 22min mark. I picked up my mala beads at that point and started internally repeating my mantra. It worked excellent. You’re in pretty deep by the 22min mark, and picking up some beads does not disturb that. Therefore I will stick to 8min for the morning part of these twice daily exercises, and I hope to improve consistency in the evenings.
  • Day 3, 1-2-6 √ 
    • 7min Did it! Using the mala beads to mark reps (though I don’t count the total) is a good visual reminder. I got up to go get my phone charger in the office last night, before turning out my light, and saw the beads and remembered.
  • Day 4, 1-2-7 
    • 8min
  • Day 4, 1-2-8 
    • 8min
  • Day 5, 1-2-9
    • 9min Was planning to do the 8min, during the last part of my daily seated meditation. This is what I’d decided on! But I accidentally started the more silent, no bells or time cues track Immersion, and I didn’t notice until I was fully in! I took this as a sign I should keep my seat for the full half hour & then sit an additional 9-minutes interally reciting my mantra for this exercise. Interestingly, when I concentrated I could “hear” my voice. This is some practice for the sensory working coming… That bit’s going to be hard.I’m already bored with exercise 1-2 and want to move on. Specifically I want to get to the black & white mirror lists & get that over with. I’ll probably get to it right around my 50th birthday. Awesome! Nothing like a “reckoning”, as if I haven’t been doing enough of it the past couple years.If I have 100% consistency through day 7, I’ll consider moving to 1-3, and spending only a week there as well. What is the point of playing by all the rules if you’re the teacher? They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. This is an old hermetics thing, and of course I recognized it from the (younger) world of traditional vinyasa yoga, astanga. I used to like to say, in my last years of full-time practice, “When the student is ready, the teachers disappear.”
  • Day 5, 1-2-10
    • 9min I didn’t want to, but I remembered and did it. Putting the mala beads next to the bed (after I’m done with them in the morning) is a really good, visual cue.
  • Day 6, 1-2-11 √ 
    • 8min This was a really fidgety sit at the beginning, but boy did it get deep once I picked up my mala beads. It’s now programmed into me that the first thing I want to do in the morning, after coffee time, is Sit, and do my mantra. More here.
  • Day 6, 1-2-12
    • Missed another one! Had a little bit too good of a time last night. I’ll have to finish out the 2 weeks in that case, I guess.
  • Day 7, 1-2-13 
    • 8min
  • Day 7, 1-2-14 
    • 10min
  • Day 8, 1-2-15 
    • 8min
  • Day 8, 1-2-16
    • Willfully skipped it. This New England winter, isolated on The Hill, in the fucking snow, is NOT making me cheery. And then there was another kitchen demerit & another non placement via Creative Circle. 
  • Day 9, 1-2-17 
    • 8min Woke up morose.

      That was a hard sit today. My mind is going a dark directions, and I’m just gonna go with it. I’d prefer to stay in my office all day, honestly. Sigh sigh.anyway as soon as the blood circulation returns to my right foot and I get up off the floor again, I’m going to do the banishing ritual. I haven’t practiced that in a while, but it’s probably a good idea in light of the rehearsal magic.

  • Day 9, 1-2-18
    • Willfully skipped it. 
  • Day 10, 1-2-19 
    • Another fidgety sit. I break my seat all the time! Seated meditation is so difficult, and every time I get myself there in the morning, I think ” I should really be doing this at night too!” I’ve been trying to work on the recollection thing a little bit with the meditation, so extending the first hermetics exercise past two weeks. I think this is helping me with dream recall, and last night I dreamed I was working on a portrait in oils, the lips at the time I woke.

      My mind kept wanting to plan a yoga practice. And I was aware of a stiffness in the right thoracic.

      1. Standing & fundamentals
      2. Pinca M / upavistha konasana
      3. Pinca M / malasana
      4. Eka pada sirsa
      5. Ardha matseyendra
      6. 2nd to laghu vajrasana, EPRK, kapo B
      7. Back bending
      8. Finishing
  • Day 10, 1-2-20
    • 10min
  • Day 11, 1-2-21
    • 8min
  • Day 11, 1-2-22
  • Day 12, 1-2-23 
    • 8min Well I missed not only the evening session yesterday, but also the morning sit. I hardly ever miss that! But Charlie and I had plans to go cross country skiing up on Mount Hood, and I would’ve delayed us by 40 minutes if I had insisted on meditating. And then I was thinking maybe I’d do it in the evening, but we stopped at a brewpub in Woodstock on the way home… I think I’ll probably end up missing more than half the scheduled hermetics exercises! But whatever. It’s not like I’m in school for this, or getting graded on it.
  • Day 12, 1-2-24 
    • Skipped it even on a NB! It’d be a good idea, but I just do not like to sit at night, generally speaking.
  • Day 13, 1-2-25 
    • 8min Wow! I’m two days away from moving onto the next thing! I’m still working on the recollection bit, which is exercise 1. How do you repeatedly direct your focus but remember the thoughts that creep in? Working on this seems to help dream recall. Link
  • Day 13, 1-2-26
    • 10min skipped it! of course
  • Day 14, 1-2-27 
    • 10min Didn’t get as much sleep as I’d have liked last night, though it doesn’t matter much as I have no firm schedule here in the black hole. Henry woke me up barfing up a hairball at 5:30am. I thought about my dream for some time.I was back in NYC, and had somehow gotten into one of those low-income housing situations that in reality take 20 years on a list to accomplish. But even then I was going to have real problems paying the rent. I had a job supposedly lined up, with some professor in a school… Was in the class with a good friend (one of the ones I thought would stick with me through this phase but didn’t). I was aware she’d hooked up with him. Then he made a comment to her about the benefits. She and I were sitting on the floor, leaning against a wall. I moved closer & whispered, Did you take that job I was expecting? Yes. I grabbed my stuff, stood and left, crying all the way.The dream was basically me roaming about the city crying hysterically. There was a scene in a gym. I was just in there moping about, not exercising. But I do remember feeling that my feet knew the city SO WELL, that I could climb the steps out of a subway stop, looking down and crying, and still know the way.
    • Post meditation thoughts are here.
  • Day 14, 1-2-28
    • Skipped it, cause night time & dinner. We’d had plenty of wine & stayed up late. Watched Zombieland (he’d never seen it).
  • Day 15, 1-2-29  √
    • And I was supposed to move on today, but I forgot. No matter cause I missed so many. I wonder if I should change my numbering system to how many times I actually practice a certain exercise vs how many times I’m supposed to, according to Bardon’s instructions.Like an ass I really hurt my right knuckle, the one with all the pins in it. I was playfully punching Charlie in the chest, quite hard. Didn’t hurt at the time, but… Hurts to type is what I’m saying. I’ll have to keep this short. Memo.
  • Day 15, 1-2-30  √
    • And I did a 2nd, half-hour sit, finally using the Immersion, Holosync track! Time to post this & be done.

My #heartchakra got SERIOUSLY flooded today #meditation #masoniccompass #graveyards

I’m starting to get the hang of meditation, me thinks.

1/2 bhekasana, need to do yoga, old-fashioned magic & meditation journal, grimoire, leek pizza. I need to be an artist!! thoughtform. I’m already practicing further than the first exercise.

I haven’t added any practice from the hermetics book yet after all, except to try to make thoughts sort of solid, before returning to my focal point. I wanted to remember them later. So I’m starting off further out of the gate because it’s a 22min, formal sit in padmasana and then I go do some stuff (like putting in contacts) before getting to the remembering. I should add another session at night but the discipline is harder after beer 🙂


I did a little painting but… I think I need a bigger watercolor palette and also I’m not good at watercolor landscapes. I went a little nuts with it & had to put it away and have breakfast. I think it might look like a Rorschach test with colors.

It’d be GREAT to get my old easel from NH, but I’m not sure mom would be up to the task & it wouldn’t be cheap.


Still practicing the Lesser Banishing Ritual daily. I’m getting better at it, and the visualizations.

Yesterday Ch and I went to Riverview Cemetery and I gathered 3 different dirt samples for future years. The country’s first female cop is buried there, and she lived to be 97. Her energy would be perfect for reversals! But it was raining, at times pretty hard, and so we just wandered randomly. Didn’t find Lola but we didn’t really try all that hard.

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Took a particular liking to this tree, for some reason

I took one by a big, rough hewn monument whose name plate had fallen off without replacement. The wild card! I took a second by a huge sequoia and the last by a random guy’s marker with a Masonic compass on it. #YouReallyDOLearnSomethingEveryDay

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g

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Therefore, the letter ‘G’ in Freemasonry signifies Gnosis, Generation and the Grand Architect.Gnosis (Greek for knowledge) in its simplest form is “knowledge of thyself” or the Great Arcanum, Daath (Da’ath – Hebrew for knowledge). Philo also refers to the “knowledge” (gnosis) and “wisdom” (sophia) of God. This fact we find in the biblical passage Proverbs 2.6; “The Lord gives wisdom (sophia), from his face come knowledge (gnosis) and understanding (sunesis).”

The single most identifiable symbol of Freemasonry. Both the square and compasses are architect‘s tools and are used in Masonic ritual as emblems to teach symbolic lessons.

The SQUARE is an instrument adapted for plane surfaces only, and therefore appropriate to Geometry, or measurement of the Earth, which appears to be, and was by the Ancients supposed to be, a plane. The COMPASS is an instrument that has relation to spheres and spherical surfaces, and is adapted to spherical trigonometry, or that branch of mathematics which deals with the Heavens and the orbits of the planetary bodies.

The SQUARE, therefore, is a natural and appropriate Symbol of this Earth and the things that belong to it, are of it, or concern it. The Compass is an equally natural and appropriate Symbol of the Heavens, and of all celestial things and celestial natures.

Oh and then we stopped for lunch at a small but very charming McMenamins (Fulton Pub) that we hadn’t been to before and when I saw this I knew I had to try it. (Was delicious. I got a pint.)

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Around me burns the pentagrams and within me burns the six-rayed star.

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Thank gods for seated meditation anyway. My seat was strong today. I’m getting used to practicing khechari mudra, in my padmasana, along with the jnana mudra when kitty allows. Sir Henry was still napping during this morning’s session and I had the added “assist” of something I wanted to avoid thinking about. Therefore the mind will try to think about it, and a defensive block can be good if you’re after stillness. I went very deep at some points.

Right after meditation I practiced the banishing ritual for the 2nd time. I’d been playing around with seeing what I remembered, last night. It was a lot! I’d made this cheat sheet yesterday

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I’ll have it completely memorized soon for sure.