A choice.

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A choice.

Postby veritas_in_nox » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:30 am

I have time in my day to practice either Pranayama, or the Middle Pillar, but not both for any decent length of time. Which would you say I should focus on? I have been practising Pranayama for a little while, and have not yet tried the MP.
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Re: A choice.

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:41 am

Middle Pillar is 3-to-5 minutes. Pranayama could take different periods of time, but not less than 10-15 minutes usually, and easily up to half an hour.

Not sure what time frames you were considering, but I don't see the first adding a very high percentage of time to the second.
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Re: A choice.

Postby veritas_in_nox » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:30 am

'If the student spends about five minutes in the contemplation of each Sephirah on the middle column, the exercise will take approximately twenty-five minutes to half an hour. And surely there is no one so busy today who cannot devote at least one half hour a day to the task of self-mastery, to the cultivation of spiritual insight, and in the quest of his own divine nature.' --Israel Regardie

This is what I was working from. I generally find myself with a little under half an hour. Is there a better source for the Middle Pillar ritual?
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Re: A choice.

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:17 am

veritas_in_nox wrote:'If the student spends about five minutes in the contemplation of each Sephirah on the middle column, the exercise will take approximately twenty-five minutes to half an hour.

That may be a worthwhile training tactic for a couple of weeks, but in practice - in using it as a ritual - there's usually no need for that at ll. Just visualize the sphere, get it clear (a few seconds), then vibrate the Name (usually recommended three times).

I don't even recommend that 5 minute per approach for training. (That doesn't mean I recommend against it. I just mean that I don't include it in anything I particularly recommend during the learning process.)

This is what I was working from. I generally find myself with a little under half an hour. Is there a better source for the Middle Pillar ritual?

The form I have in 776 1/2 is quite basic and to the point but, really, with the modification I mentioned above, you're probably good.

For example, in that version the first center just reads as follows:

"1. Vizualize a bright, intense, radiant sphere of brilliant white light at the Crown center. Charge this center by intoning Eheieh (AHYH) three times. Hear and feel the vibgration of the Name coming from the very center of the sphere..."
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Re: A choice.

Postby kerlem93 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:29 am

vibrate the Name (usually recommended three times).


I have been vibrating each name 7 times. Do you think that is too much? Is that causing the light to descend too slowly?

Also, in 776 1/2 it says, "Return your awareness to the Crown center. This time, vibrating each Name only once, move through the series more quickly. As you do this, feel the clear flowing of the current through the planes as well as through the centers of light."

Am I to visualize drawing light down from the crown while doing this?

The version that I have been doing (and I can't remember where I got it from right now) says that, after you reach Malkuth, you perform a series of repetitions of inhaling and drawing energy up from the bottom, visualize it erupting out the top of the head and showering down around you, and going back to Malkuth. Regardie's instructions (I think it was from the book The Middle Pillar) even describes a process much more elaborate than this where the energy is going up one leg and down the other and up and around the body etc. But in 776 1/2 it doesn't mention doing any thing when you reach Malkuth at the bottom. All it says is to "Pause to see the five fully aroused centers." Why is this? Did time and experience show that Regardie's more elaborate method wasn't really necessary, at least not on a daily basis, or what?
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Re: A choice.

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:49 am

kerlem93 wrote:
vibrate the Name (usually recommended three times).

I have been vibrating each name 7 times.

Do you think that is too much? Is that causing the light to descend too slowly?

I think it's unnecessary. (Unless, y'know, for you it's necessary.)

I recommend three, but in practice (other than the crown and heart areas) I usually do 1 vibration at each place. Recommending 3 is "do what I say, not what I do" :twisted:

Also, in 776 1/2 it says, "Return your awareness to the Crown center. This time, vibrating each Name only once, move through the series more quickly. As you do this, feel the clear flowing of the current through the planes as well as through the centers of light."

Am I to visualize drawing light down from the crown while doing this?

At all times, in all forms of the ritual, there should always be the perception that the Crown is pouring itself forth as the vertical stream of white light that that forms and fills each of the centers in turn.

The version that I have been doing (and I can't remember where I got it from right now) says that, after you reach Malkuth, you perform a series of repetitions of inhaling and drawing energy up from the bottom, visualize it erupting out the top of the head and showering down around you, and going back to Malkuth.

That's called the Circulation of the Light. There are various ways to do it. IMHO you should end by some sort of circulation and distribution, even if it is only a Qabalistic Cross.

But in 776 1/2 it doesn't mention doing any thing when you reach Malkuth at the bottom. All it says is to "Pause to see the five fully aroused centers." Why is this? Did time and experience show that Regardie's more elaborate method wasn't really necessary, at least not on a daily basis, or what?

In a couple of particular degrees of Temple of Thelema where a similar technique is used, the Circulation of the Light is a very specific part of this. I think it's important as part of one's overall initiatic training, particularly at specific points. But in 776 1/2 the ritual was given for a different purpose: Specifically, for empowering yourself on the spot in the performance of a ritual. It was given as one of the most efficient ways to "just jerk some power through the channels and make it manifest." In that situation there isn't usually any need to do the circulation.
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Re: A choice.

Postby kerlem93 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:18 am

Thanks, Jim.
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Re: A choice.

Postby veritas_in_nox » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:11 pm

A related question on the MP: a Thelemic blogger whose work I've been reading recently, Ananael Qaa (ananael.blogspot.com) says that he finds the Elevenfold Seal from Liber V vel Regvli is a good Thelemic equivalent to the Middle Pillar. While I can see how this would work, I'm interested to know if any of you have tried this, or, indeed (& I'm going a bit off-topic here) what you think of his blog. It has plenty of stuff regarding Thelemic magick in general and Enochian magick in particular.
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Re: A choice.

Postby Mephisto » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:29 pm

:idea: !

Both. Why not incorporate breathing techniques into a Middle Pillar exercise?

I need a shirt that says "ask the Gemini." :D
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