A recent study titled Yoga in America, released by the Yoga Journal in 2016, demonstrated that 36 million people currently practice yoga and that number is projected to rise. The telling parameter in the study was “the top five motivations for practicing yoga” by yoga practitioners in America. These were reported as follows.
Top five motivations for practicing yoga in America:
2. General conditioning
3. Stress relief
4. Improve overall health
5. Physical fitness
Consider the intent of traditional yoga and consider what is missing from the list. Not found on the list of the top five motivations for practicing yoga:
2. Finding one’s life purpose
3. Higher consciousness
5. Spiritual awakening
Yes, missing from the list of the top motivations for practicing yoga were: enlightenment, spiritual awakening, finding one’s purpose, higher consciousness, creating a better world, transcendence, self-actualization, or personal evolution! My hope was that the study would find that a majority of students did indeed enter yoga practice with the hope of increasing flexibility or getting in better shape, but through the practice they would then aspire toward awakening, spiritual growth and evolution. Unfortunately this was not the case. What the study also found was the initial motivations didn’t change much even with long-time established yoga students.
Considering that a personal transformation that led to a union with God was the original aim of yoga, and considering that yoga is currently one of our most popular vehicles for change, does this top five list imply that we have largely given up on the possibility of transformation? Do we even really believe it’s possible anymore?
My hope is to our faith in the long-held belief that we can transcend the confines of our limited awareness and access and grow to new vistas of consciousness and new ways to ‘be and become’ in the world.
More recently developed approaches amongst modern life improvement seekers are life coaching and psychotherapy, as well as practices associated with the popular new-age notion that merely ‘thinking’ the right thoughts will lead to the life of our dreams. All of these approaches face the same daunting challenge. Changing your thoughts, goals, strategies, creating affirmations, etc….without shifting the brain’s command center from the lower primitive survival brain to the higher thriving brain, will rarely lead to rapid radical real life improvement.
Consider this, if your Higher Brain is not adequately energized and associated with new positive thoughts, goals, strategies or affirmations, those thoughts, goals, strategies or affirmations cannot be sustained and certainly not driven to right action. New ways of thinking, without being synchronized to new Higher Brain function, rarely leads to transformation. Thoughts are fleeting and ephemeral until they are anchored to the correct brain state. Life coaching, psychotherapy and positive thinking need to be introduced into your awakened Higher Brain to convert your new thoughts into new strategy, new experience, new behavior and a new life.
What all of this seems to mean is that regardless of the technique, discipline or practice, it does not appear that rapid life transformation is occurring in most, nor that the percentage of people experiencing profound spiritual transformation of any kind, or attaining an enlightened state of consciousness has increased significantly since ancient times. Due to the missing Higher Brain state, many of our new methods remain superficial and our old methods and ancient knowledge did not become sufficiently advanced in a way that accelerated transformation in the modern world. Instead we found ways to take ancient knowledge and make it accessible for the many but with mitigated outcomes. Many techniques help humanity in many ways, but genuine transformation is still all too rare.
With that said, the adepts of the past were without question on the right track, and their ancient methods and sometimes ascetic practices opened a door that we can step through today. Enlightenment today however, must happen within the context of our modern world. How can we best incorporate all the wisdom of a 5,000-year-old path, create something entirely new, and apply that to our modern lives? What I discovered is that the only way to create a sustainable awakening in the modern world is to energize the newest most evolved area of the brain, and then use that new brain state to improve the areas of our life that rob our energy and create stress (stress is a product of the lower primitive brain). Again, it’s simple: energy that is being used for the stress response (by the lower brain) is energy that is NOT being used by the higher enlightened brain.
Source Code Meditation promotes the required ‘shift of the brain’s command center’ and the 9 Summits of Transformation provide the map and means to actualize that shift in all areas of life.