Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mythic Imagery and Embodied Storytelling for Psycho-Spiritual Development

Mythic Yoga Imagery and Embodied Storytelling for Psycho-Spiritual Development Sydney Solis
Gustav Klimt The Tree of Life 1905
I performed my version of a Jewish folktale from India I call "The Tree of Gold" on the main stage Sunday Morning Closing Concert at the Florida Storytelling Festival April 3.

It's part of my personal Mythic Yoga repertoire of stories that have a significant spiritual value for me personally as well as collectively that have themes of reconciliation and renewal.

The imagery in this story pertains to many psycho-spiritual elements contained in yoga and yoga philosophy. When we listen to this story, we connect via the metaphors and archetypical images that re-link us to ourselves via the mythic dimension of our beings, largely forgotten in favor of the intellect.

Listening and creating these images internally within with our imagination activates the neglected feeling and intuitive functions of our psyche that is found and felt in the body.  Healing and answers are thus provided to our questions and ailments. "...myths are also profound dramatic descriptions of our interior emotional and spiritual experience as human beings, says Jeremy Taylor, and these myths also show up in our sleeping and waking dream life.

We become the characters, images and elements of the story, as we progress in the narrative structure and through the ritual of listening have a conscious participation in the story. We live the myth. We are the foolish king, who sends his young queen away. We are the queen abandoned and sent to the forest to live with an old man. We are the old man, those feminine qualities in masculine psychology that are expelled from our patriarchal culture. We are the tree of gold, which is constantly flowing liquid gold but always holding its shape of a tree.

Mythic Yoga: Mythic Imagery and Embodied Storytelling For Psycho-Spiritual Development Sydney Solis
The Cottonwood trees of my youth
growing up in Boulder, County
 Colorado have strong meaning for me.
Native Americans saw the tree as
sacred and was at the heart of the Sun Dance Ritual
These images activate the yoga within and reminds us something about the ineffable. That's the purpose of a mythic image, Mythologist Joseph Campbell says. It has one foot in reality and one foot in the transcendent. That is the Mythic Yoga, as stories and myths have that ability to wake us up and help us reach the goal of yoga, union with the divine.

When we act the story out with out body or take a position of a tree, I can feel immediately the Shakti, the kundalini, the chakras, the tree of life. I am at the center point, the axis mundi. I am the whole world. Tat Tvam Asi. Thou Art That. I am at one with the cosmos, the divine. My body is the container, just as the tree is, for cosmic intelligence and consciousness. The body's intelligence knows the way, we just have to realize it by hearing the stories and participating in the myth via the ritual of yoga.

For that is the purpose of myth, to help us live in accord with nature. We become Solis, the Latin word for sun. I am the sun. That is my personal mythology. And I am always amazed at the images and opportunities that present themselves in my life all because I dared to take a risk and follow my bliss. Dared to extract myself of the commodified trap American yoga has become.

 I feel the image resonate within me and it grounds me when I think of it or move with it. The Cosmic Tree is a powerful archetype of cosmic renovation. The Asvattha is the chief of trees and typifies that tree of life which is rooted in God. Great reminders during our secular life to handle all that arises and be rooted in myth and yoga in a world flattened out with just economic and political concerns rather than ecstasy and spirit.

Yama while instructing Naciketa describes the eternal Asvattha tree with its root upwards and branches downwards, which is the pure immortal Brahman, in which all these world are situated, and beyond which there is nothing else (Katha Upanishad Verse II.vi.1). But Krishna tells us that the Asvattha tree having neither end nor beginning nor stationariness whatsoever has its roots upwards and branches downwards whose branches are nourished by the Gunas and whose infinite roots spread in the form of action in the human world which, though strong, are to be cut off by the forceful weapon of detachment to seek the celestial abode from which there is no return (Bhagavad Gita Chapter XV Verses 1-4).

This tree my father bought at an end of season
 sale at K-Mart in Boulder in 1981 for .25.
 It now grows and has an uncanny look of a woman!
Folklore says that when you cut down
 a tree, you cut down a woman. 
Powerful medicine. That's the power of the oral tradition. That's the power of storytelling and listening and the oral tradition, especially when you act out the myth as ritual with yoga and it becomes the yoga. Something reading won't get you (now will following a guru. Look within for your own sat guru. It's right here all the time, like a jewel in the middle of your forehead.

Forget expensive trainings and workshops by flying all over the world. America, always trying to make a buck. Simply sit down and mediate every day and get to know thy self!  For yogic wisdom for thousand of years has been passed down in such a manner, for the transmission is a psycho-spiritual knowing via the energy of the image that guides us to knowledge and liberation. It's perfect for modern times. Just to re-acquaint yourself with this silent aspect of your being.

For this is our yoga. Mythic Yoga, using images and symbols to find union. "To transcend profane time and re-enter into mythical Great Time is equivalent to a Revelation of Ultimate Reality. Reality that is strictly metaphysical and can be approached in no other way than through myths and symbols," Mircea Eliade says in his book Images and Symbols studies in religious symbolism.

Join me May 14 at Yoga Circle and Dance in Ormond Beach for a Mythic Yoga Workshop to discover your personal mythology. Or join me online starting September 12 for the Mythic Yoga Online Training and discover your myth through dreams and journaling, yoga and the global community. Amazingly we start dreaming together, experiencing the synchronicity that arises when we connect to our depths and share our hearts. We are all one!


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