The Animal Within, by Jarrod Mayer

BY JARROD MAYER

Join Jarrod and Melody for their workshop The Animal Within - Sound Bath for the Earth at Golden Bridge Yoga NYC on Saturday, April 9th, 3pm – 6pm



My wife, Melody, and I have been on an interesting path. Our road to Kundalini Yoga began through a survival training in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey about five years ago. This training taught us how to live in any environment, in any part of the world, at any time of the year. It showed us how to track animals, make fire, use primitive cooking techniques, find wild edibles, tan hides, flint arrowheads, and much more. We were even taught how to understand the emotional state of an animal by the track that it left in the earth. 

Much like Kundalini—which puts you in direct contact with your spirit—this survival training applied awareness of the physical body in the natural world. All of these skills were passed on through the lineage to Tom Brown Jr.—a world-renowned tracker and survival expert. The teachings were given by the last of an Apache scout whom Tom referred to as Grandfather. It was an 8-day program of camping, lectures, stories, and application. His teachings of consciousness, awareness, and presence within the physical world can be directly applied to Kundalini Yoga. For it is a way of bringing us closer to our infinite self. The physical body is the vessel of spirit, so the body is the temple of God. When the body is treated with the same reverence as God itself, we begin to merge the physical with the metaphysical. When this happens, we amalgamate our finite experience with the infinite . . . and understand that the two are one culmination of the divine. How we understand our own being in the vastness of the universe can bring clarity to why we are here.

We listen, but do we know how to hear? We can see, but do we have vision? We walk, but do we feel our relationship with the earth as we do? Within Kundalini, we keep the mind focused on the breath, which brings our mind into stillness. We also focus on our drishti, or eye focus, to help facilitate one-pointedness. This is a special time where we begin to recondition our sensual experience, so that we can coalesce what we feel, hear, see, taste, and touch all into a single expression of the divine. 

How we focus can also bring us into an altered state of awareness. The techniques we learned on how to use vision, how to listen, and even how to walk, bring us into a state of increased brain activity. If we can give the same focus to all of our five senses, as we do with the breath, we can maintain a heightened vibration of brain waves throughout our lives. Some techniques can increase this in as little as three minutes.

Jon Young is the leading expert in bird-calls. Both Jon Young and Tom Brown Jr. use a meditation method called a sit-spot. You go to this place every day and sit in silence for twenty minutes, keeping the eyes open with full awareness of the physical. It is said that if one can understand the space of the sit-spot, you can understand the entire forest. All action in the sit-spot are a result of other actions. The raccoon crossing your path is thus a result of a field mouse fifty miles away. We learn that everything is connected and thus is all one experience.  

This workshop is to give gratitude to mother Earth for everything she provides. It is to bring us closer to the magic of the physical world. It is to merge Earth with Heaven and by using both techniques we can accelerate the process. With Kundalini, we understand the spirit in relation to the cosmos. Akin to being in a sit-spot, our relationship with the Earth can help us to integrate our connection to the spirit in everything we do. You will never see, feel, hear, touch, or taste the world in the same way.   

Join us on Saturday, April 9th, from 3pm to 6pm at Golden Bridge Yoga NYC . . . the Animal Within is waiting.

“If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.”  -Yogi Bhajan

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