Mark Stavish, director of the Institute for Hermetic Studies, and I recently had a far reaching discussion on the importance of body centered practices, psychic centers, and mind training for Western students. As Mark mentioned in a post on Facebook:
“A conversation with Craig Williams reminded me of the impact several swamis had on my view when I had extensive contact with them in the 1980s and early 1990s. These were mainly from the Ramakrishna Order and were in New York City, Providence, and Boston, and were very old school. My wife and I attended many sessions at their domicile on Thayer Street, and I would regularly go and speak to the Swami in charge.
By old school I mean they themselves were old when I knew them, placing their birth in the early 1900s to maybe late 1920s at the absolute earliest. They were brought up in the traditional manner. There were several others, but it was the power and presence of mind exhibited by these Swamis that was most impressive – as well as their no nonsense approach.
The role of persona discipline, mental discipline, and with it is rarely found in many Western esoteric groups. Old AMORC is the closest as its methods can easily be described as a sort of “Raja Yoga”, particularly its Ninth Degree.
As a result, Craig has agreed to to a lengthy interview-class session on the importance of body centered practices, psychic centers, and mind training along the lines of Raja Yoga that is important for Western students. Ritual is very good indeed, however it alone is still what we would call an “Outer Tantra” and requires a strong mind for success.”
It was an honor to join Mark in exploring these areas, I think that you will enjoy our conversation and find much to consider for your own practice.
For more information on the Institute for Hermetic Studies visit:www.hermeticinstitute.org