Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics, & the Way of the Ancient Future by Richard Power (2016) was my daily morning nourishment. It drip fed me universal truths through the tongue of a seasoned yogi and wordsmith.
This is why I love independent media. In this book of "yoga," you will not find a neatly organized curriculum of poses and philosophy that seeks to package and sell the Great Mystery. God knows we don't need another one of those. Rather, you will walk hand in hand with Richard as he shares his awe, known to be the highest state in tantra yoga, chamatkar. He shares his intimate journey as a spiritual warrior, examining politics, human rights, racism, classism, sexism, creativity, the earth—and the awareness of the humans that tread over Her.
No, you will find no linear path here. You will find a magical labyrinth, with surprises of situational awakening and serendipitous art around every page. The book itself could be a system of divination, as you could turn to any page for an auspicious transmission. You will find ancient artifacts and the nectar of his practice. You will find the mythic spiral of Creation that he lovingly extolls in the book. And you will find an experience, for this book does not just talk about awakening, it actually facilitates it.
From within the perfect triangle of the Sakti Yantra formed by the growth of three redwoods, on a fire trail in the Tamalpais watershed, I will tell you the story of my first encounter with their kind.
Decades ago. I stretched out to meditate in a redwood grove in Muir Woods. I soon fell asleep (i.e. into that state deeper, purer and more direct that what we imagine we are doing in "seated meditation"). And then as I came back into "waking" consciousness, in the space in between, the Redwoods spoke to me.
They said that long ago they were going to learn "human language" but that they only went as far as the vowels. They said the vowels were powerful and sacred to them. But that they chose to go no further. Because the consonants and all that stretched out beyond them only lead to madness.
So they showed me how to speak with them. Aaaaaaaa. Eeeeeee. Iiiiiiiii. Oooooh. Uuuuuuuu.
Some years later, I met their elder sisters the Giant Sequoia, and ...
Well, I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who talks to trees... There is a certain sweet solace in this solidarity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Power teaches me the art of honoring people. He continually pollinates the beauty and divine gifts of everyone—by being the student of everyone. He is a master with the genuine beginner's mind. Catch him at a live event if you can! The tone of his voice alone is an instrument of healing.
Richard Power is a writer, speaker and yoga teacher. He offers workshops, classes and private instruction in yoga and meditation. He is the author of ten books.
His blog, Words of Power, focuses on exploring new language for the truths of the ancient future, and reflects insights into Vajrayana Buddha Dharma, Kashmir Shiva-Sakti philosophy, Hatha and Tantra Yoga, the Shamanic path, and other aspects of the world's collective mystical heritage. It is also a source of commentary on human rights, progressive politics, and vital sustainability issues such as coming to grips with Climate Crisis.
For much of his life, Power worked in the fields of security and intelligence. He has delivered briefings and led training in forty countries, and was an adviser to governments and corporations. His views on security, risk and intelligence have been featured in interviews on CNN, PBS, NPR and the BBC, and quoted in mainstream news media, including Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters and Associated Press.
Power grew up in New York City, and lives in San Francisco.
Author Photo Credit: Brenna Geehan
Power's digital stream of consciousness is also accessible via
Amazon author's page
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