You are invited to join us as we synthesize the wisdom, practices, teachings, meditations, and techniques of two Eastern and Western philosophical traditions, fused with experiential shamanism, including Drum Journeying, Breathwork, and Dance. Our focus and foundation will be a deep immersion in the Yoga of Non-Dual Shaiva Tantra and in the pragmatic ethical philosophy of Stoicism.
We will supplement these traditions with important contributions from Tibetan Dream and Sleep Yoga, the Bhagavad Gita, Qi Gong, Medicine Poetry, and Ecstatic Movement.
“The Obstacle is the Way.”
- Marcus Aurelius, Stoic Philosopher, Roman Emperor
“Wherever the mind goes, whether towards the external or the internal, everywhere there is the state of Siva, the Supreme Consciousness. Since Siva is all-pervading omnipresence where can the mind go to avoid Siva?”
- The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra
Navigating A Rapidly-Changing World
We are now repeatedly being told by media, politicians, and even doctors that we are fighting the Third World War. How are we to embrace our current world pandemic if we perceive this Virus as a threat rather than an invitation, as an enemy rather than an opportunity for evolution?
The perspective of Non-Duality, coupled with the commitment to act rationally and virtuously can heal this rift, and allow us to merge with the situation of the present, instead of fight against it. In order to act with intention, while fully surrendering into our current circumstances, we need a return to Philosophy, which means “the love of wisdom,” and practices to daily embody this wisdom.
~ Three key ancient wisdom systems stand out to guide us at this time ~
(1) Shamanic & Indigenous Traditions
In the mystical traditions of the East and West and in the Shamanic and Indigenous traditions, the idea of inside and outside, Us and Them, does not apply. Instead, Interdependence, Interconnectedness, and Unity form the foundation of these most transformative and powerful of spiritual practices and philosophy.
A shamanic worldview senses everything on the earth as animated, alive, and vibrating with Spirit, from the most caring of mammals down to bacteria and viruses. All are extensions of the global Gaian consciousness. Even the most devastating disease is a messenger from the Higher Self of the Planet to all the many species and individual souls, the cells of this one planetary being.
(2) Tantra Yoga
India and Tibet have cultivated Non-Dual Awareness for millenia, notably in the paths of Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism and Kashmiri Shaivism, also known as Non-Dual Tantra Yoga. The lineage of Shaiva Tantra, dates back more than 1000 years to the Golden Age of spirituality in Kashmir and the Indian Sub-continent when the ruling classes supported sages and gurus in their paths of focused meditation and deep spiritual cultivation. What these sages brought back was a series of profound teachings, contemplations, and meditative practices attributed to the Light of Consciousness itself — dialogues from the Supreme Awareness, Shiva, to his consort Shakti — the vibrating play and pulse of all forms. These holy scriptures, the Tantras, are filled with exercises, techniques, practices, and revelations aimed at aspirants who desire to live every day and each moment in enlightened awareness.
The word “stoic” is likely one of the most misinterpreted words. Stoic has come to mean ‘without feeling,’ almost connoting a numb state void of emotions. In actuality, Stoics were lovers of humanity, as centered in their heart as they were in rational interaction with the world. The Stoics’ primary goal was to live the Virtuous Life — to build one’s character, to experience each day with ultimate vitality, all while contributing to the well-being of humanity and the earth as a whole. As slave turned philosopher Epictetus put it, “No matter what my goal is, may I always remember that my number one goal is to remain in harmony with the will of Nature…..”
In recent years, Stoicism has seen an upsurge in popularity primarily due to its pragmatism — we can apply stoic principles and practices in our daily life — with family, partners, friends, colleagues, and our relationship to work and recreation. Stoicism is less a metaphysical philosophy, but rather a philosophy of ethics — how to live virtuously and be in right and healthy relationship. As we integrate Stoicism into our daily life, a slow alchemy starts to evolve us — our impulsive reactivity, our negative judgments, our envy of others begin to cease, the weight of our opinions and attachment to desires decreases, and a light-hearted approach becomes our dominant perspective as gratitude carries us through the days, gratitude even for the challenges and hardships, whose lessons test our character and invite us onto the more virtuous path
With our current worldwide pandemic, it is easy to fall into states of fear and grief, to judge our governments and policies, to become self righteous in how we should or should not behave, to blame, and to rabbit hole into conspiracies and dramatic opinionating.
In no other time in our lives have the Shamanic, Stoic, and Tantric perspectives and practices been more important. That’s why I created this experiential training called
Return to Essence: Wisdom Practices to Awaken the Shaken Heart
You are invited to join us as we synthesize the wisdom, practices, teachings, meditations, and techniques of two Eastern and Western philosophical traditions, fused with experiential shamanism, including Drum Journeying, Breathwork, and Dance. Our focus and foundation will be a deep immersion in the Yoga of Non-Dual Shaiva Tantra and in the pragmatic ethical philosophy of Stoicism. We will supplement these traditions with important contributions from Tibetan Dream and Sleep Yoga, the Bhagavad Gita, Qi Gong, Medicine Poetry, and Ecstatic Movement.
CHAKRA 3 -
Tending the Fires of Consciousness - Willpower, Energy, and the Soul’s Magnet
The World Fire Meditation Cathartic Breathwork
Transmuting Victimhood with Self-Responsibility
Reversing the Thrust of Anger and Frustration
Priming and the Cultivation of Confidence
Conquering both Aversion and Attachment
The Daily Review and Integration Medicine
How Return to Essence: Wisdom Practices to Awaken the Shaken Heart will support you.
You will be guided by the Stoic Masters — Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus — and a number of sacred Tantric Scriptures including the Shiva Sutras, the Doctrine of Recognition, the Spanda Karikas, and most notably the exquisite Vijnana Bhairava. Each week you will be given small assignments to integrate the material in body, mind, heart, and spirit. For those who are completely reorienting their purpose and professional life at this time of transition, this class will also create space and contemplative practices to connect to the next stage of your work which is grounded in a path of spiritual fulfillment, and centered in knowing your Essence and rooting your sacred work in that profound knowing. This program has been created both for beginners and intermediate students of meditation, philosophy, and consciousness. Also, some of us are busier now than ever before, juggling family and working from home. These practices and teachings can act as a support for this and not another task. They are also teachings to return to again and again through the video recordings, deepening in repeated study.
For Individuals Committed to Spiritual Growth /Personal Development:
To increase one’s vocabulary for conscious navigation during crisis
To amplify and enhance gratitude
To clarify new goals and priorities in a rapidly changing paradigm
To transcend attachment to outcomes and tendencies to judge, while allowing instead every moment, every thought, emotion, and sensation to invite an experience of awakening
Your duties have multiplied, your responsibilities increased. How to bring more compassion and wisdom to yourself and your children amidst these new pressures?
These practices can then be adapted to fit a scenario common to families or situations that both kids and families face, such as dealing with anger and frustration, or understanding what is and what is not in one’s control.
It is especially difficult for couples now — you may be at a distance, unable to visit your partner, body and soul screaming for affection. You may be “too physically present,” with a loss of a job and now always around each other, or having to manage your love life while raising and educating children who are constantly around.
Stoic and Tantra teachings can be a new way to meet each other on both a more Rational and more Spiritual plane, often a difficult journey for couples who can too easily emotionally trigger each other. Many of these practices can be shared between couples to enhance intimacy, live from unconditional love, and experience more joy and pleasure together.
"I’ve learned so much from you! You’ve opened up a part of me that had been hidden and reminded me to see bigger, go bigger, share my voice and wisdom. The time is Now! Everything I’ve worked for and the life I’ve lived, brings me to this point in time to share all I know and BE the wise woman that I am."
~ Diane Fleck
"Thank you for sharing your teachings with us!! Over the past year, I have learned so much about myself, my family, and my clients through Human Design. It has helped me have a better understanding about where they are coming from or how they process information; which has give me an excellent tool for greater communication, connection, and compassion with myself and others."
~ Nicole House
“Your extraordinary, in-depth knowledge of a broad range of esoteric languages & systems, was very helpful for me to receive profound insights & clarity in my life & work. I especially loved the breathwork, past-life regression, and astrological guidance — It all opened up new channels & possibilities I wasn’t aware of prior.”
~ Kate Ballo
“What I appreciated most was the space you held to facilitate surrender, vulnerability, and growth.”
~ Anonymous attendee at the Divining Your Destiny Retreat, Nov 2019
We have been told repeatedly in the last months and year to focus and move only on the ‘essential.’ Thus these teachings remind us that Living from the Heart — from the light of compassion — requires a devotional commitment to recognize in each moment who we truly are, and to act, speak, and share in sacred service, with LOVE. Please join our community.
Return to Essence: Wisdom Practices to Cultivate the Awakened Heart in Times of Turmoil