Friday, December 19, 2014

Sadhana


Sadhana




He wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.—Isaiah 50:4


The regular daily practice of yoga, meditation, and related exercise is called sadhana (pronounced SOD-nuh; rhymes with Odd-huh). The word means “self-discipline,” and sadhana is a self-discipline that allows you to express the Infinite within yourself. We practice every day because that is what self-discipline is:


We consciously choose to rise up, to exercise the body and meditate. Each day is different. Each day we are different. Every 72 hours all the cells of the body totally change. Sickness comes and goes. Motivation waxes and wanes. But through all the flux of life, through all the variations of the mind and heart, we consciously choose to maintain a constant and regular practice.[1]


Sadhana is also a sacrifice––the practice of making sacred a set time to give praises to God, who is the Great Giver.
Sadhana is best practiced in the morning, before the sun rises. Sadhana is a time each day to notice the patterns that lead away from higher consciousness and then to transcend those patterns. Many yogis practice sadhana for at least two and a half hours per day before the rising of the sun. This time represents giving one-tenth of the day to God, similar to the law of tithing. However, anyone can receive all the benefits of sadhana by beginning with a short daily practice. I usually have students begin with a seven-minute meditation and a three-minute yoga kriya each day (which means they only need to rise ten minutes earlier than normal). Then, on their own timetable, they can increase the amount of time as they wish. Even with just seven minutes a day, the results of consistent practice create what Yogi Bhajan calls spiritual fitness:


There is a dynamic triangle within each of us between practice, experience, and our experience of the experience. There is a constant cycle between these three.
If you have many beliefs and no sadhana, how are you really changing? If you believe very good things about people and serve no one, what good is that? Sadhana becomes a key. In terms of the body and posture there is one law for sadhana: “Get up, set up and keep up.” If you don’t set up for the day, if you don’t posture yourself, ready to engage the day, how are you going to keep up?
And how are you going to have a set up if things are already happening before you even get up? So first you have to get up before things are happening. Then you can set yourself in a posture, attitude, and commitment, ready to engage. Then you have the potential to keep up. If you keep up, you will start having a momentum above Time. And the effective human is timeless above Time. As long as you feel you are just at the whim of Time, you are not at the level of extraordinary human that is your normal potential. And it all starts with sadhana and posture. That’s what a spiritual posture is. It gives you spiritual fitness.[2]


The Amrit Vela


Amrit Vela means “ambrosial hours” or “nectar hour.”[3] It is the three hours before dawn, usually from three to six o’clock or from four to seven o’clock. Rising to meditate during the Amrit Vela is an ancient practice known to many cultures. The Hindus and Buddhist know the sacredness of the Amit Vela and so did the Persian Poet Rumi, who wrote the following:


The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.  
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across  
the doorsill
Where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep. [4]
As mentioned, it is best to get up before time gets up and before your story begins. Though you can do your sadhana at other times of the day, there are many benefits to morning sadhana. For one thing, there are fewer disturbances. The masses are asleep, and the global vibration is quiet and sacred. Where night and day overlap, there is a crack between worlds. At this time the veil of maya is thinnest. During these hours, the mind is less prone to worldly anxieties and thoughts. For all of these reasons, Amit Vela provides an ideal atmosphere for remembering and communicating with God.
Simply being vertical and leaning in the direction[5] at this time has profound effects on the subconscious. There are also enormous health benefits. The power of prana is more concentrated and can cleanse and revitalize your body more easily.[6] Yogi Bhajan said that doind Sadhana a “person becomes defeatless. Sadhana is self-victory and it is a victory over time and space… When you get up it is a victory on time and when you do it, it is a victory on space...Sadhana is only for you. Sadhana is self-victory.”[7] Additionally, “Sadhana is a test of self-grit. If your sadhana is more important than your neurosis, you are fine. If your neurosis is more important than your sadhana you are not.” [8]
Though I haven’t collected enough data on the subject, it is my hypothesis that when the lives of all great world leaders and game changers are examined, most will be found to be early risers. President and prophet Gordon B. Hinckley arose every morning at four o’clock, as did the prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, who was fond of telling his children, “People die in bed, and so does ambition.”[9]
I realize that rising early may be the most difficult part of sadhana for some people, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The simple way to begin is to set your alarm for one minute earlier each week. After a year of doing so, you would be rising nearly an hour earlier. If you would like to go straight for the glory, you could start by waking up fifteen minutes earlier (woah!) and doing a small daily practice. Most of my students have never meditated before and start with a daily seven-minute meditation. As this practice becomes easy and pleasurable, they begin to add more time.
Sadhana Guidelines


Here are some guidelines for starting your sadhana practice:
  • Sahana truly begins the night before, so it is best to eat early, eat light, and pray before you go to sleep so that your highest self will wake you up feeling refreshed and happy.
  • Rise during the Amrit Vela or a little earlier than you are now.
  • Eliminate.
  • Set your energy for the day by taking an invigorating cold shower (see the instructions on page xx).
  • Dress in natural fiber clothing, cover your head, and remove any footwear.  
  • Prepare the environment around you. Make sure it is as uplifting as possible. Your body is a temple of God, and your preparations should reflect your intention to cleanse, heal, and uplift yourself and others. Choose a firm but soft surface to practice on.
  • Sit on a natural fiber rug, sheepskin, or yoga mat. For those with physical limitations or injuries, sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the floor is okay.
  • Tune in with the Adi Mantra (see page xx). This step is not optional. Always tune in to begin your sadhana.
  • Warm up with the Cat-Cow Pose (see page xxx) or other exercises.
  • Complete the yoga kriya of your choice.
  • Complete one or more meditations of your choice.
  • Relax. You may want to have a shawl or blanket handy to wrap around yourself.
  • Pray.
  • Tune out with the “Long Time Sun” song and a long Sat Nam (see page xxx)


You may move the order of some of these items around and add in scripture reading and personal prayer wherever you choose, but always begin by tuning in and end by tuning out. If you do not have time to complete a full yoga kriya in the early morning hours, it is okay to do it at another time. I also recommend doing yoga kriyas in groups as often as you can. I encourage you to complete a full Kundalini Yoga class once a week in a group setting, which will provide community and the support of a teacher who can answer any questions and assist you in selecting a meditation.  


Questions to Consider


Many people ask me what they should do for their sadhana. I usually encourage people to start with one or two of the greats, like Kirtan Kriya and Sat Kriya. But over time, you might want to change your sadhana. It is best to trust your intuition when building your sadhana practice, but here are some questions that might be worth considering and praying about.


  • What Kriya would help me with my intention of ____?
  • Should my sadhana include more than one meditation? Which meditation would help me most all around? And which would help most for the specific intention of___?
  • How long should I do the meditations (minutes as well as days in a row)?
  • Should I include a pranayam as part of my sadhana?
  • What pranayam should be my go-to pranayam throughout the day?
  • What mantra should be my go-to throughout the day?
  • Do any of my Ten Bodies need balancing/strengthening. What is the priority?
  • What scripture mantras do I need in my life right now?
  • What is it You want me to know/do today?
  • What questions should I be asking?
  • What should I be praying for?
  • Is there a specific name of God I should be using as I pray for ___ intention?
  • Are there spiritual gifts I am ignoring? What can I do to develop them?


[1] Kundalini Research Institute, KRI International Teacher Training Manual, Level 1, 4th ed. (Santa Cruz, NM:  Kundalini Research Institute, 2007), 144.
[2] Ibid., 148.
[3] Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher: KRI International Teacher Training Manual, Level 1 (Santa Cruz, NM: Kundalini Research Institute, 2007), 215.
[4] Dharam SIngh, “Group Sadhana,” accessed March 24, 2014, www.amritvela.org.
[5] By “lean in the direction” it is meant that even if you can’t do a pose or a posture perfectly, just do your best.
[6] amritvela.org
[7] Yogi Bhajan lecture July 7, 1981
[8] Yogi Bhajan lecture January 22, 1991.
[9] Smith and Steward, Life of Joseph Feilding Smith, 3 (found on lds.org )

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I Fix Broken Things - A Story About Healing and Change


I Fix Broken Things
Name Withheld


I’ve always loved yoga. (My parents did yoga, which I always thought was weird and hippie-ish until I tried it and loved it—funny how that happens.) I had never done Kundalini Yoga and Meditation until I signed up for The Gift of Giving Life newsletter and saw that a Christ-centered Kundalini Yoga retreat was going to be held in a few weeks. The newsletter mentioned the need to heal to be prepared for birth (or something along those lines), and I thought it was perfect timing. I was about fourteen weeks along in pregnancy and was just finished with the being sick part of pregnancy. I was struggling with feeling prepared for another baby (my second), and my husband was trying to break a serious addiction at the time.
I thought the retreat would be a wonderful place of healing in preparation to bring a spirit to earth—but I wasn’t sure we could afford it. I was the sole breadwinner at the time, while my husband finished his studies. I prayed and tried the Prosperity Meditation. Two days later, I double-checked our account before registering for the retreat, and I saw my husband’s old employers had given my husband a bonus. The company told him it wanted to pay him during the summer even though he was no longer working for the company. We were expecting a few hundred dollars but were astounded to see their payment of fifteen hundred! I knew the retreat was where I needed to be.
Once there, I felt such amazing power in the room. The sound of so many (twenty or so) women tuning in together gave me goose bumps. For me, the entire weekend was spent removing fear and adding love in its place. I experienced the scripture “perfect love casteth out all fear” (1 John 4:18). I couldn’t make it through the tuning-out song without crying; it was all about love! I indeed felt lifted.
           One of the most powerful experiences from the retreat (and there were so many powerful experiences!) was during the Adi Shakti meditation. Felice asked us to draw on the power of our righteous female ancestors before we began, so I decided to focus on my husband’s mom, who had passed away from breast cancer when he was a young child. I’ve always felt very close to her—I felt her presence in the temple when I was getting my endowment shortly before our wedding, and I know she was in attendance at my first daughter’s birth.
Even though she isn’t my blood relative, I thought she counted as a righteous female ancestor because I was sealed to her son. And because my husband and I were facing a rough road of addiction, I thought she might have some wise counsel for me in my relationship with her son, whom I know she loves dearly. During the meditation, I had a conversation with her. I know it was her. It wasn’t a spoken conversation; it was more that our spirits were communing. She expressed love—deep love for my husband and for me. She promised to do all she could on her side of the veil to help her son, and I agreed to do all I could on my side. It was powerful. I felt so much strength knowing that the woman who brought him into this world was “rallying the troops” on her side of things. I didn’t feel so powerless, so alone anymore.
During the retreat, we also had a workshop on journaling, and one task was to write a prayer for someone. I wrote my prayer for my husband. One part reads, “Please guide him to the tools to escape the grasp of this addiction and the influence of evil. Surround him with light and guard him with angels—Your fiercest sentinels. Help him feel the strength and power to overcome evil. Please surround him with the light of love. Let him be protected until his wounds are healed. Help me be a shield for him and not a weapon.” In the days and weeks after the retreat, I would often pray for angels to protect our home and shield my husband. I could almost see warrior angels, complete with armor and sword, guarding our home and protecting him from darkness. I know my prayers were answered. I began a consistent meditation practice and felt closer to my Heavenly Parents and my Savior. I received more inspiration for myself and my family. I was filled with greater love and forgiveness. My husband began doing the addiction meditation and had a hypnotherapy session with Felice to rewrite some subconscious scripts. In the nine months since, he has regained his temple recommend and experienced the peace only available from becoming reborn and renewed by the power of the Atonement. His desires are full of light. Our marriage is stronger now than ever. Three months ago, our new baby was born into a home filled with love and light. I did not fall again into the darkness of postpartum depression as I had with my first child. I can’t help but feel a consistent practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation has inspired and enabled me to remain close to the Source of All Light and Love.  
          A few months ago, before meditating, I asked Heavenly Father to tell me what He would  want me to know specifically in that moment and for my life—what it was that I had been overlooking. Some things came to mind: forgiveness, loving “sinners,” and being reminded that Christ ate with sinners. But then the bull’s-eye answer came: “I fix broken things.” I often lose hope when something is “broken” in my mind—a person, a marriage, a heart—forgetting that Christ can heal all things. I was grateful for that gentle reminder to have faith in Him and His ability to heal, for I have seen and experienced it in my own life.
          

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What I've Been Up To


Teaching a private home in Sandy. Sorry about the butt shots. It's the only picture I have from the whole trip. 

A few days ago I got back form a week in Utah. Since my boycott on Utah ended, it seems I have spent a lot of time there in the last few months, beginning with my trip around the world that didn't happen that way exactly, and now with some short trips.

I wasn't even sure why I was going there. I just knew I had to be at one of the teacher training weekends there to support some of my students who are doing the training. I also hoped to have meetings with some people about a peer-reviewed study I am going to be doing on Missionary Anxiety. But more on that later.

Here are some cool things that happened.

Podcast
I did a live podcast with Andy where we interviewed several people in teacher training and it was soooo awesome. If you haven't heard it, their stories are inspirational.

Jesus Made a Cave In My Heart
During one of the training days we did a Divine Shield Meditation and I went into imagery state and Heavenly Mother came and touched my heart. There is an imagery journey that I love to do with clients who have been through a lot of trauma. In it, a guide comes and touches their heart, then the heart opens into a landscape. They walk through the landscape with their guide picking up all the broken parts and pieces then they take them to a place deep in the heart where all things can be healed and the guide facilitates the healing... So when HM touched my heart and it opened into a landscape I was expecting to do and do some healing. But instead she bade me look around. It was beautiful and healed. This is what you've created, she said. We walked through it joyfully and then came to the base of some very tall mountains that seemed like the Himalayas. They were gorgeous. And I knew that Jesus had walked there. She showed me a cave in one of them and said that this where Jesus goes to meditate. The beautiful awakening was that Jesus has a cave in my heart. He dwells in there. I was so full love and joy. I went in and meditated with him.

Teaching Professors
Now back to this plane of existence. While I was there I offered to teach a class a a few friend's homes for their family and friends. These were unexpectedly well attended. In Sandy 30 people showed up. 80% were new and wanting to know everything they could learn. At a home in Lindon 20 or so people came (we couldn't fit any more). There were people from all different backgrounds, men and women, young and older, experienced and non experienced, and the crown included several BYU professors. (I love BYU. It is the only school in America where the faculty is more liberal than the students.)

I wasn't sure what to teach because Kundalini Yoga can be so wild sometimes but also very gentle and basic. But I decided for the class in Lindon to give them a total immersion to the wild but ecstatic side of KY. So I got them high on Prana, we danced Bhangra, and then I gonged the heck out of them. They all left super happy and light and many have since begin their first 40-day journey.

New Year Retreat
So I decided to go back.... I had been toying with the idea of doing a retreat in Salt Lake with a New Year New You theme, and so now it is happening. January 3, 2015. I'm super excited about it. It's one day only. It will be in Little Cottonwood Canyon in a private ballroom tucked away near a creek. It will be healthfully catered and full of men and women who are also on the journey. So if you are going to be in that area, this will be the place to be. Linkage is here.

Book Party?
I am also hoping my book is out by then and that I can have a book party while there. Right now I am asking everyone to pray for that Christmas miracle. It is close. So close. The proofs are beautiful, but there are a lot of little details that have to shake out in time. I have faith, but your prayers are also appreciated.

Missionary Study
And now I promised to say more about the missionary study. I will say a lot more soon. For now, the short story is that I will be recruiting 60-80 missionaries currently on their missions, who have anxiety, officially diagnosed or self-reported, to participate in a controlled study on the effects of KY meditation and anxiety. They will need permission from their mission president, but I think that should be easy with the anticipated outcome and the evidence from studies already done on KY and anxiety. So that's it. I'm not recruiting yet, so don't send me anyone yet, but you will hear more about it soon.

Sat nam.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Body And The Temple


The Body and the Temple


What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you.––1 Corinthians 6:19




The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples.—Doctrine and Covenants 93:35




Necessities for Exaltation


Latter-day Saints who understand even the basic doctrines of the gospel are privileged in that they do not have to wonder about the purpose of life. Prophet Joseph Smith said, “What is the design of the Almighty in making man? It was to exalt him to be as God.”[1] From Joseph Smith and from the scriptures it is clear that two things are essential for exaltation: temple ordinances and bodies.
The Prophet Joseph said there were certain ordinances “which God ordained for the salvation of man, to prepare him for, and give him a title to, a celestial glory.”[2] In latter-day revelations compiled in the Doctrine and Covenants, God says, “For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:33–34).
Joseph Smith also taught the following:


That which is without body, parts and passions is nothing. There is no other God in heaven but that God who has flesh and bones. John 5:26 reads: “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” God the Father took life unto himself exactly as Jesus did. [3]


Since we believe that God himself has a body and since we are in His image and wish to become exalted like Him, then bodies must be an important key. Paul taught that the body is a temple of God. Yet what is not as often quoted is the second part of Paul’s declaration: God “does not dwell in unholy temples.” The Prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon also addresses the importance of maintaining temple-bodies, saying that we will be judged for the deeds done in the body (see Alma 5:15).


Similarities between Temple Bodies and Temples of God


The word temple comes from the Latin word templum, which has a meaning similar to observatory, a space from where one can contemplate and consider the cosmos.[4] The ancient temples of God were in fact a microcosm of the cosmos and were built to represent human’s ascension through the cosmos to the presence of God.[5] The architecture of the body is also designed with ascension in mind, with the Kundalini rising through the lower chakras and eventually to God (see the chapters on Kundalini and the yogic anatomy).
By this point in the book, hopefully you understand that the technology of Kundalini Yoga is all about unlocking the divine within, merging finite and Infinite, and purifying the mind, heart, and body in order to stand in the presence of God. And I hope you joyfully note this technology complements the ordinances of the temple.
These technologies are not only complementary; they also have similarities and motifs that are impossible to ignore. It is clear from orthodox sources that the Lord has taught a body of esoteric principles called “mysteries” to His patriarchs in every age. Many scholars agree that these mysteries included temple rites and ordinances, as well as many other things.[6]
In the temples of the Lord, sacred ordinances are performed. In the Guide to the Scriptures, ordinances is defined as “sacred rites and ceremonies. Ordinances consist of acts that have spiritual meanings.” I am not the first to suggest that there are also ordinances of a kind that occur in the temple of our bodies. As I explained earlier, the term ordinance has a meaning roughly similar to the word sacrament in other Christian denominations. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland suggests that human intimacy is such a sacrament. As he explains, “For our purpose here today, a sacrament could be any one of a number of gestures or acts or ordinances that unite us with God and his limitless powers.”[7] Elder Holland adds that all special moments of union with God are sacramental moments and that we should seek them out as often as possible and appropriate. In doing so, we “gain access to [God’s] power.”[8]
The implications here are many. The premise of my entire book The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth was that giving life is a sacrament, as is death. And the premise of this whole book is that creating a daily practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation is an act that can unite us with God and His power; therefore, this technology is a sacrament, or inward ordinance.


A House of Sacrifice, a House of Covenants, a House of Prayer


In biblical times, the temple of Jehovah was a house of sacrifice (see Ezra 6:3, 10). When I was young, I was taught that the definition of sacrifice was giving up something good for something better. I suppose these teachers were trying to keep me hooked with the idea of “something better.” I later learned that sacrifice actually means “to make sacred.”[9]
In Psalm 50:5 we learn that the Lord’s people make covenants with Him by sacrifice:
“Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” The sacrifices spoken of involved sacrificial animals (first male without blemish), but since the time of Jesus Christ’s Infinite sacrifice, believers have been required to give an inward sacrifice of “a broken heart and contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:20). That sacrifice is possible only with a physical body.
As illustrated in Psalm 50:5, sacrifice is closely associated with the act of covenant making. The temple of the Lord is a house of covenants. Matthew B. Brown explains the following:
What type of covenants were entered into in the temple precincts? In 2 Kings 11:17 we read of a covenant entered into by the Israelites “that they should be the Lord’s people.” The nature of this type of covenant is clarified in Deuteronomy where it is stated that the children of Israel covenanted to walk in the Lord’s ways and to obey His commandments, judgements and statutes (see Duet. 29:12–15; 30:1–2, 8–10, 16, 19–20; see also 2 Kings 23:3; 2 Chronicles 15:8–12; 23:16). [10]


Do we not also make covenants privately with God and agree to be obedient to personalized instructions and commandments from Him regarding our stewardships and divine destinies? Can we not renew these covenants each morning through offering prayer and praise as we meditate and chant the name of God in the ambrosial hours (see “The Word” and “Sadhana” chapters, p. xx).
The Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and modern prophets refer to the temple as “a house of prayer.”[11] It is evident from numerous scriptures that prayer is considered a temple offering, keeping in mind that “prayer,” in the scriptural context, means more of what is now considered meditation:
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:15-16; see also Psalm 119:108)
Latter-day temples are also built with this idea in mind:
And let the lower part of the inner court be dedicated unto me for your sacrament offering, and for your preaching, and your fasting, and your praying, and the offering up of your most holy desires unto me, saith your Lord. (Doctrine and Covenants 95:16)
Therefore, it stands to reason that the praises to His name offered in the temple of the body are also sacrifices/offerings, in which God is “well pleased.” As you learned in the chapter on the Word, when we repeat certain high-vibration mantras (which praise the name of God), we change our bodies by repatterning the brain to allow us to merge with the Infinite. In the temples of God, there are also grand key words[12] that, through different means, allow us access to the presence of God.
I enjoy reading about the many forms of praise that the ancients, the early Christians, and the early Saints chanted in association with worship in and around temples. It appears that group meditation and chanting praises was a happy and frequent occurrence. Just one example is found in 2 Chronicles. The Levites’ job was to stand every morning and evening “to thank and praise the Lord” with one voice:
Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them . . . being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:


It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 5:12–13; see also 1 Chronicles 23:30)


Several other similarities may exist between temples and bodies. First, a temple is a house on which the Lord has placed His holy name. In the chapter on the Word, you learned how His name can be written on a temple body. Second, a temple is a place for the Lord and his Holy Spirit to dwell in. Is your body and your nervous system strong enough to house the Lord Himself? Practicing Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations prepares the body to accommodate more energy so that your own divine self can be unlocked, ascend through the body to merge and blend with the Infinite energy, and then descend back into the body.


Gestures and Acts


Anciently, mudras (gestures with the hands or arms) were connected with prayer in and out of the temples. In Psalm 134:1–2 we read, “Stand in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless [i.e., praise] the Lord.” And Psalm 63:4 says, “Thus will I bless thee while I live. I will lift up my hands in thy name.” When King Solomon dedicated the Jerusalem temple, “He stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven” (1 Kings 8:22; see also vs. 54). There are many other examples of praying and praising in the temple with uplifted, open, or stretched-out hands.
Though we don’t know all the details of the ancient mudras, it is sufficient to note that mudras have interrelated physical and spiritual benefits and that they are used in both technologies. (See Mudras, page xxx.) Stretching forth the hands opens the heart (see Ego Eradicator, page xx). This idea is evident in Job 11:13: “Prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands towards him.”  
Due to the number of references to God stretching out His hands or arms to reach out to His children, it would seem that these gestures, when made by humans, are more than symbolic in nature.


Patriarchal Pattern


The scriptures say that Melchizedek was able to stand in the presence of God because of his faith (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:25–40). Enoch also walked in the presence of God (Gen 5:22), as did Noah (Gen 6:9) and all the other major patriarchs and dispensation heads. They each reached this level of awakening despite living in times of wickedness and turmoil on the earth.
Standing in the presence of God meant that these men had to have strong nervous systems (see page xx) and pure hearts (see page xx). This indicates that they had a practice that was physical as well as spiritual. They were high priests of both kinds of temples.
There is enough evidence (some of which is presented above) in scriptural accounts, prophetic teachings, scholarly research, and Jewish legendary material to reason that all of the ancient patriarchs[13] were acquainted with the esoteric body of teachings called the Mysteries of God, which included temple rites and perhaps other teachings such as Kundalini Yoga, though the teachings may have been called something different.
Every prophet’s role is to bring his people into the presence of God. Enoch was the only one we know of who succeeded, but all the others tried. The scriptures say Moses plainly taught the children of Israel the need for ordinances. He “sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:23). What do you suppose was the nature of the things he taught his people to prepare them for the blessings of the temple?
My answer to this question came the day after I posed it to myself. I came across a Kundalini Yoga kriya about which Yogi Bhajan has said, “Moses instructed the Jews to do this exercise before long journeys to raise their spirits, correct their slave mentality and give them the will to fight and not give in.”[14] My belief is that Moses taught them about inward ordinances.
Unfortunately, the Lord’s covenant people went far off the path at this point in history. They “hardened their hearts” and “could not endure his presence.” So, the Lord took the priesthood ordinances and mysteries out of their midst and gave them a fragmented, carnal version of the law.[15]


Jesus’s Ministry


At the time of Jesus’s earthly ministry, only fragmented versions of the ordinances were being performed in the temple. The mysteries, both the esoteric teachings and the ordinances of the priesthood, had been taken away or hidden up. As I have discussed earlier, there is evidence and I believe that God inspired Jesus to go to the East, where He could learn the sacred yogic technology that had been preserved there for millennia through a royal, priestly lineage.
When Jesus returned from India, one of His first acts was to find His cousin and set the example for all by receiving the first of the exoteric ordinances: baptism. Afterward, he did many things that are highlighted in the Gospels, as well as many more things that are not written. Though we don’t have all the details, there is ample evidence that Jesus taught His closest disciples a body of knowledge called “mysteries.” [16]
The word translated as mystery is musterion, which can mean either a “secret teaching” or a “secret rite.”[17] Scholar Robin Scroggs says the “wisdom” mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is esoteric. Scroggs suggests that if you take Paul’s words at face value, and there is no evidence not to, “He does have an esoteric wisdom teaching in which he instructs only a few and which the congregation at Corinth seems not even to have heard about.”[18] Another scholar shared the following:
That the more learned of Christians, subsequently to the second century, cultivated, in secret, an obstruse [sic] discipline of a different nature from that which they taught publicly, is well known to everyone. Concerning the argument however, or matter of this secret discipline, its origin, and the causes which gave rise to it, there are infinite disputes.[19[


The orthodox and apocryphal sources relating to these mysteries could go on for hundreds of pages. One historian says there is a cave located on the Mount of Olives and “authentic history informs us that in this very cave the Savior imparted His secret revelations to His disciples.”[20] When I read this information, I could not help but think of yogis meditating in caves. Modern revelation gives some insight that these mysteries include the fulness of the temple ordinances, as well as much more.[21]
It is interesting to note that Christ cleansed the temple twice—once at the beginning of His ministry and once at the end. He also took two forty-day sojourns—one at the beginning and one at the end.
After Christ’s resurrection, He ministered to His apostles at Jerusalem for forty days. What exactly happened during this forty-day visit? The scriptures say that He spoke to the apostles of “things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). This description is interesting when you consider Christ’s teaching that “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Further, Luke 24:45 indicates that He “opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” “Opening their understanding” could refer to their intuition and their Third Eye, as well as to their hearts, which is what He commands us to understand with (see Proverbs 8:5). He also did many other things which are not written (see John 21:25).
It is evident from the quotes above that at least some early Christians practiced the temple ordinances and enjoyed a fulness of the priesthood, but after all of the apostles had died or disappeared, the authority of the priesthood did too. And though Christianity continued to spread, the deeper teachings and “mysteries of Godliness” were lost or badly corrupted. This state of affairs led to a dark age of civilization that would last for almost two centuries.


The Restoration


Most Mormons, and by now many others, know the story of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and how he had a personal visit from God the Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees in upstate New York. Then, through divine revelation and angelic visitation, he restored the gospel of Jesus Christ. As part of the Restoration, priesthood authority and the ordinances of the Lord’s temple were also reinstituted. What many forget is that the Restoration didn’t happen all at once. As is God’s pattern, He gave babes milk and then later he gave them meat, or the deeper doctrines and principles. And He had not yet given all. Bruce R. McConkie notes:


We are in the process of receiving all that God has spoken by the mouths of all his holy prophets since the world began. Only a small portion has come to us so far; we do not, as yet, begin to know what the ancients knew.[22]


M. Catherine Thomas, a retired professor of ancient scripture, explains:


We acknowledge that even in the Restored Gospel we do not yet have a fulness. Though there has been restored to us a flood of rich doctrines and a greater access to Truth, much yet remains to be revealed to each of us. The Restoration is still going on, dependent to some degree on our preparation and diligent seeking.[23]


Despite not having a fulness, Joseph was commanded very early on to build a temple. In fact, the early Saints, poverty-stricken though they were, built a temple even before they built a proper meeting house.
Accounts about the Kirtland Temple are interesting to read from a yogic perspective, as they contain many of the previously discussed elements, such as the power of the Word and raised hands. Jeremiah Willey relates in his journal that the First Presidency, the Apostles, and and other leaders “met in solemn assembly and sealed upon us our washings, anointings and blessings with a loud shout of Hosannah to God and the Lamb.”[24] Further, “Oliver Cowdery likewise testified that ‘Anointing blessings were sealed by uplifted hands and praises to God.”[25] There were also spiritual manifestations:


This eve the Spirit of the Lord rested on the congregation. Many spake in tongues, many prophesied, angels were in our midst and ministered unto some. Cloven tongues, like unto fire rested upon those who spake in tongues and prophesied. When they ceased to speak, the tongues ascended.[26]


Despite these awesome outpourings of spirit, the Kirtland Temple seems to have been only a preparatory temple, and the full ordinances were not revealed until later, in Nauvoo. The reason the Lord did not give the early Saints the fulness all at once is because, quite simply, they weren’t ready. Elder George A. Smith said the following:


If the Lord had on that occasion revealed one single sentiment more, or went one step further to reveal more fully the law of redemption, I believe he would have upset the whole of us. The fact was, he dare not, on that very account, reveal to us a single principle further than he had done, for he had tried, over and over again, to do it. He tried at Jerusalem; He tried away back before the flood; He tried in the days of Moses; and he had tried, from time to time, to find a people to whom he could reveal the law of salvation, and he never could fully accomplish it; and he was determined this time to be so careful, and advance the idea so slowly, to communicate them to the children of men with such great caution that, at all hazards, a few of them might be able to understand and obey.[27]


On numerous occasions, Joseph Smith insinuated there was much more that he knew that the Saints were not ready for. He told Brigham Young during the Kirkland period, “If I was to show the Latter-day Saints all the revelations that the Lord has shown unto me, there is scarce a man that would stay with me, they could not bear it.”[28] At another time, he said: “Would to God, bretheren [sic], I could tell you who I am! Would to God I could tell you what I know! But you would call it blasphemy and want to take my life!”[29]
Isn’t this always the case with truth when we are not ready for it? May we use the technologies that we do have to prepare our hearts for more restoration of truth and of our true identities.


Saviors on Mount Zion


As stated at the beginning of the chapter, God’s purpose in creating humans was to exalt them to be like Him. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, opened the way and set the example. In order to become like God, we must be saviors ourselves. We can accomplish this two-fold objective through both types of temples.
In the temples of the Lord, we perform saving ordinances by proxy for our ancestral dead. But there is another kind of saving work that we can do for our ancestors, by proxy, in the temple of our bodies. This saving work is sometimes called generational healing, chain breaking, or repairing the breach. One of the things about living in the latter days (or the Aquarian Age) is that there is a lot of temple work to be done. Also, the “blood and sins” of many generations needs to be cleansed from our physical bodies, mental bodies, and energetic bodies (see Generational Healing, page xx).
By purifying our bodies, we not only save ourselves but can heal generations of ancestors who can’t, for whatever reason, receive certain kinds of healing blessings without a body. The multitude of stories about ancestors who are coming and requesting both outward and inward saving ordinances emphasizes the importance of doing all we can while in our mortal bodies to elevate and perfect ourselves, so that we may be restorers of “paths to dwell in” (Isaiah 58:12).


The Priesthood Polarity


As Latter-day Saints know, the Melchizedek Priesthood is the power by which the ordinances are administered. Ordinances are essential for eternal life and exaltation, and therefore the priesthood is essential. As we also know, mortal life is essential—without a physical body, there can be no fulness of joy.
While some criticize the patriarchal pattern of the priesthood, it is balanced when you consider the yogic teachings. Yogi Bhajan taught that woman is sixteen times more powerful than man because her Aura is sixteen times more enmeshed so that it can expand to create life. Giving life is the ultimate inward ordinance; life is a critical key. In this world, women are the stewards over giving life. Eve led the way by making a courageous choice. Adam wisely followed her lead.
So while it is women who lead us into life, it is priesthood holders who lead us into eternal life through the ordinances of the holy priesthood. I believe that the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood is the only thing that can elevate a man to the same level of life-giving power as a woman is naturally and unconditionally granted.[30]
As I hinted at in my discussion of the chakras, God (and other exalted or translated beings) are no longer subject to opposition in all things. Yet there are certain natural laws that are eternal. There is a law that says that opposites make the vortex swirl, and this swirling vortex is the most powerful force in nature. Though God is not subject to opposition, there may still be a polarity power at work. In God’s case, however, it may be the perfect polarity of the exalted masculine and feminine, joined together.
It seems that a righteous woman and a valiant Melchizedek Priesthood holder, both exalted, is the only kind of polarity that can generate the power to create worlds. Therefore, in keeping with the theme of covenants and consciousness, not only is the eternal marriage covenant critical, but it is also critical to master the marriage relationship, what the yogis call “the highest yoga.”
This image from an ancient Chinese tomb, which contains both temple and Kundalini symbology, might be instructive.


fuxi_nuwa.jpg


Hugh Nibley included drawings of this depiction of the ancient Chinese mythological gods Fuxi and Nuwa in his book Temple and Cosmos, adding the following commentary :
In the underground tomb of Fan Yen-Shih, d. A.D. 689, two painted silk veils show the First Ancestors of the Chinese, their entwined serpent bodies rotating around the invisible vertical axis mundi.  Fu Hsi holds the set-square and plumb bob … as he rules the four-cornered earth, while his sister-wife Nü-wa holds the compass pointing up, as she rules the circling heavens.  The phrase kuci chü is used by modern Chinese to signify “the way things should be, the moral standard”; it literally means the compass and the square.[31]
We see the king and queen embracing at their wedding, the king holding the square on high, the queen a compass. As it is explained, the instruments are taking the measurements of the universe, at the founding of a new world and a new age. Above the couple’s head is the sun surrounded by twelve disks, meaning the circle of the year or the navel of the universe.[32]
There is so much to ponder about all of these symbols and about the temple of the Lord’s house and also about the temple body. I hope that as you continue to do sacred work in both temples that even more mysteries unfold to you.

As the work of the Lord continues to move forward, more temples will dot the earth and the technology of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for the temple-body will continue to spread. I believe the spread of this technology is a necessary part of the restoration of all things. For my proof, I have my own growth experiences personal revelations, along with the witnesses of several hundred students who are growing exponentially in faith and purity.

[1]Times and Seasons, October 15, 1841, 578; see also Moses 1:39.
[2] Joseph Fielding Smith, ed., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 48.
[3] Ibid., 181.
[4] Matthew B. Brown, The Gate of Heaven: Insight on the Doctrines and Symbols of the Temple (American Fork, UT: Covenant, 1999), 1.
[5] Including the outer courts and inner courts, to the center, or holy of holies (the presence of God). For more about the architectural symbolism of ancient and modern temples, see Brown, The Gate of Heaven.
[6] Brown, The Gate of Heaven.
[7] Jeffrey R. Holland, “Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments” (devotional, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, January 12, 1988), accessed March 21, 2014, http://www.familylifeeducation.org/gilliland/procgroup/Souls.htm.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher: KRI International Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Level I Yoga Manual (Santa Cruz, NM: Kundalini Research Institute, 2007), 202.
[10] Brown, The Gate of Heaven, 124.
[11] Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46; see also Doctrine and Covenants 59:9; 88:119.
[12] Abraham, Facsimile 2.
[13] Adam, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus Christ.
[14] The title of the kriya is Emotional and Mental Balance and Prevention of Early Menopause. Originally taught by Yogi Bhajan on July 12, 1977.
[15] Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 34:1–2.
[16] 1 Corinthians 4:1; see also Matthew 13:11.
[17] Brown, The Gate of Heaven, 182.
[18] As qtd. in ibid., 197.
[19] As qtd. in ibid., 197.
[20] As qtd. in ibid., 181.
[21]  Ibid., 180–184.
[22] As qtd. in  M. Catherine Thomas, Light in the Wilderness: Explorations in the Spiritual Life (Salt Lake City, UT: Digital Legend Press, 2010), 199.
[23] Ibid.
[24] As qtd. in Brown, The Gate of Heaven, 235.
[25]  As qtd. in ibid.
[26]  As qtd. in ibid., 237.
[27] George A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 2:214–215.
[28]  Millennial Star, September 1, 1851, 257.
[29]  Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City, UT, 1888), 333.
[30] Though not all women may have children, women still contain sixteen times the power of men. I can't say why this unconditional power is granted to all women when men have to remain faithful to be worthy of the priesthood. This is something for you to ponder. It may be interesting to note also that women are given some temple blessings unconditionally, while the same blessings are conditional for men. I cannot cite a source for this, but you can do your own research.
[31] Hugh Nibley, Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1992), 115.
[32]  Ibid., 111–112.