Ralph Waldo Emerson deemed the “Intuitive Faculties” as the mysterious powers of the mind and/or body. In Curriculum AUM, the phrase “faculty” refers to the "felt sense" resources that make up our field of awareness. Sentient phenomena like reason, memory, feelings, faith and perception are difficult to define but nonetheless are the backbones of Intuition. All of the 22 Faculties in Curriculum AUM are organized by the following governing template: A.tmatypes, A.natomical Assessments, U.nits, U.nconscious Utilities, M.ovement, M.editation, M.andala, M.eta-Map.
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“Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor any of these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.”
Life pushes our buttons and how we choose to respond shapes how our story unfolds. Knowing who (within) holds the lens may be a first step in understanding our reactions to any given situation. Luckily, we need only tap into the Wisdom Seat of our Essential Self to make authentic decisions that reveal our true nature.
Created by Curriculum AUM, Atmatype is a hybrid word, combining “Atman” (Hindu for the individual soul in reflection of Brahman) with “archetype” (a Jungian psychology phrase depicting the facets of the subconscious personality that re-appear again and again as universal characteristics). Atmatypes allegorize things like thoughts, moods, emotions and actions in order to highlight the re-occurring themes in humankind. Each one maintains a distinct voice & style and reflects aspects of our character that may be recognizable within our neighbors near and far.
According to Curriculum AUM, there are 19 Atmatypes in the Essential Self to reflect the similar patterns of the lunar and solar cycles which harmonize every 19 years: The Secular Self, The Observologist, The Wounded, The Philosopher, The Seeker, The Warrior, The Practitioner, The Artist, The Renunciate, The Diviner, The Agent, The Liaison, The Channel, The Healer, The Shaman, The Awakened, The Enlightened, The Teacher and The Student.
There are also 3 Brahmatypes: The Coach, The Muse and The Prophet, who serve as the Wisdom Seat for the realization of the Essential Self. The Brahmatypes embody the L.aw O.f V.astness E.xpressing (Love) to elucidate lessons of I.lluminating T.ruth manifesting I.n t.ime. Ultimately, the connection between the Atmatypes and the Brahmatypes asserts a profound influence on how we write our life story. Just like any good relationship, communication plays an instrumental role in building intimacy and trust. The Mind + Body Dialogue section of Curriculum AUM focuses on strengthening rapport between the Wisdom Seat and the Essential Self.
“There are over 70 trillion cells in a human body. And each and every of the cells functions separately in the body. If we expand them, they would reach beyond the scope of the universe.”
- Rev. Sun Myung Moon
To understand the psychology of being human, Curriculum AUM examines gestures, stances, ambulation and overall postural alignment as a philosophy of movement. Exploring what our body has to say is anything but new age. Discussions about the nature of the Mind + Body organism date as far back as The Classical Period. Our body tells our story and to fully appreciate what it's like to be awake and alive requires a vigorous investigation of the biographical and biological aspects of form.
Organized in 22 Faculties, each of the Atmatypes (aspects of the mind) partner with a corresponding Anatomical Assessment (aspects of the body) to initiate an on-going conversation and sanction a series of locations for the Mind + Body Dialogue to take place. To honor all the parts within the whole, each Anatomical Assessment is visualized by a model of points and represented by a main marker point(s) which acts like a state capital for the region. Focus begins with the infrastructural framework ascending from the feet to the crown of the head, down the spine in to the organs, spiraling inward to the intrinsic musculature and outward to the fascial networks, moving full bodied with the breath to the chakras, heart and beyond.
For example, in the Core and Inner Stories (F1-12), we take a bottom up approach to align the foundational elements in the bones. We proceed in a modular system of exercises to invoke a safe environment for inner work as if custom-designing a bamboo scaffold to protect the renovation process. We begin with microcosms of the hands and feet to set the intention of wholeness in a process based in incremental immersion. One- by- one we re-configure the architecture of the legs, hips, ribs, shoulders, arms, neck and skull in order to purify the vessel in preparation for more visceral energies to follow.
Each of the 22 anatomical assessments function like a tool kit and include a tag phrase slogan like "Enliven the Hand” s to set the overall goal for the Mind + Body Dialogue, a mobilization exercise called a "Purposeful Fidget" to cultivate Mind + Body Awareness, Fitness and Healing. Ranging from the silly to the serious, Anatomical Assessments are an experiential exploration of the human body in a profound and personal course of study; we call this AUM on the go!
“All learning has an emotional base.” - Plato
In the spirit of A.pplied N.eo Y.ogic A.wareness, good decision making depends on sensory, verbal and nonverbal learning but most importantly, it requires real life practice. Each of the 22 Faculty Units highlights the necessary framework for the development of sentient skills to cope with life’s challenges. Sentient skills are a form of social intelligence that enriches our ability to feel and perceive subjective experiences based on attitudinal discretion. Chapters of study in a course called Life, Units are the conceptual building blocks for an I.ntuitive A.lignment M.ethod designed to expand consciousness and cultivate wisdom, compassion and grace.
Following the guidelines of person-centered therapy, each unit includes themes of unconditional positive regard, genuineness and rapport building. The units are progressive by design and cover the following topics: Acknowledging, Witnessing, Defining, Conceptualizing, Clarifying, Patterning, Shaping, Shifting, Sensing, Transitioning, Interfacing, Synchronizing, Calibrating, Releasing, Realizing, Essentializing, Empathizing, Surrendering, Processing, Harmonizing and Authenticating.
Each unit creates an interior classroom for the experiential art of Life as a parable; each day a new lesson. To spark insight, each Unit poses a Sutranym and Polarity Pair for continued discussion, study and exploration. A Sutranym is a Sutra (Pointer to Truth) embedded with acronyms to layer meaning and depth. It functions as the keynote slogan of each unit. Whereas Polarity Pairs promote the research of opposites for the purpose of discerning midpoints within a full spectrum of options.
In the words of one of the greatest electric guitarists in music history, Jimi Hendrix: “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Curriculum AUM agrees, and each Unit considers speaking, listening and good communication skills as instrumental players in the promotion of keen judgment and overall resilience. What if peace, patience and presence expressed action-oriented states of being? Dig (D.oing I.T G.ood) in and study the Units to find out more...
“The soul always remains unpolluted, like age-long buried gold. All one has to do is wash off the dirt and spiritual rays will shine forth through one’s joy.”
- Paramahansa YoganandaThe word “unconscious” takes on different meanings depending on domain. In Freudian terms, the unconscious mind is the underground storehouse for repressed emotions, memories and desires. Cognitive Behaviorists and Neuro-Linguistic practitioners, however, define it as a highly adaptive resource and function of human orientation. From both perspectives, the unconscious mind represents a mysterious realm of influence, also known as the autonomic nervous system.
The autonomic nervous system is the behind the scenes magician who governs and facilitates the most miraculous creation of all time -the human being/doing. Unconscious Utilities strengthen our ability to interact with the subtle realm in ways we can observe and measure. For example, long before the advent of bio-feedback mechanisms and neuro-imaging techniques, Yogis and Buddhist Monks used meditation as a vehicle to explore the unconscious mind in order to expand conscious awareness. Illuminating the dance of form and formlessness, Unconscious Utilities are the chariot of A.ttention/I.ntention to shed light on our timeless potential for change and healing.
Freud proclaimed that “dreams are the royal road to the unconscious”. We agree, but choose to shape this royal road as a series of pathways to be traveled in an awakened state. Employed as micro-adjustments, the Unconscious Utilities create a network of choices to optimize natural assets. Like the particles to the waves and the details to the themes, Unconscious Utilities bring us closer to a translation of mental concepts into action-oriented precepts.
Like a hardwired hook up, The Unconscious Utilities (also known as blueprinting techniques) are a secure and stable connection to a powerful source of energy called “soul-force”. As the fundamental building blocks of decision making, these sensory soothsayers make the essence of things more tangible. More practically, they function like the maintenance crew to clear road blocks, sweep away the dust and keep things operating smoothly in the body. There are three Unconscious Utilities in each Faculty accompanied by a Toner exercise to provide an investigative platform for the Curriculum Aum course work. Each Toner piggybacks of the Purposeful Fidget exercise to pattern pathways for embodiment though the cultivation of Mind + Body awareness.
"I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired." - Martha GrahamOur bodies provide an ideal forum for experiential learning. To unlock the meaning of existence -- explore what it feels like to be alive. Investigate substance. Witness the breath. Listen to the sounds of movement. Touch the surface and stir the depths to gather evidence in support of the 70 trillion cells at work in any given moment. At the threshold of human evolution, is the understanding that the body itself is a vehicle for the expression of grace. Encoded in the palms of our hands is the wisdom to sculpt perfection. This is a journey to discover and reveal the magic and beauty of the human form.
The movement component of Curriculum AUM consists of over 500 uniquely codified exercises organized in dynamic routines. Better known as Signature Classes: Mods, Anya, Soft, Firm, Core and Lila provide a learning lab for the development of breath and muscle control through the cultivation of our 66 mindfulness techniques. As a method for wholeness, all of our choreography acknowledges the total person, Mind, Body, Spirit & Soul. Integrated exercises inspired by Yoga, Pilates, Reiki, Dance and Thai Massage are hand selected and time tested by the Studio Anya Teaching Community. We make sure that every move has a purpose. Activating core strength, increasing flexibility and inspiring overall feelings of peace and well-being are but a few of our vigorous standards.
We consider mindful movement to be sacred medicine for the Soul. Curriculum Aum offers countless techniques to enter the inner world -- yielding results in the outer world that are both immediate and far reaching. Our signature classes set the stage for the practice of A.pplied N.eo Y.ogic A.wareness as the primary defense against the decline of vitality. As a philosophy of movement, Curriculum AUM offers a variety of ways to get in shape from the inside out while acquiring the necessary tools for positive change and healing. Be up and doing! Learn AUM by practicing AUM and discover the J.ewel O.f Y.oga as the perfection desired
"When you meditate long ... the glory of the Divine shines forth. You realize that all along there was something tremendous within you, and you did know it." - Paramahansa YoganandaAt our core, we are dynamic and resilient creatures but a global decline in physical activity threatens our overall well being. Recent studies suggest that one-third of adults, and close to 80% of adolescents worldwide, are at increased risk of disease as a result of physical inactivity. The age of automation has got us in a big slump. How is it possible, given these stats, that Meditation -- a practice requiring more sitting would be an essential component in a campaign to get us back in to shape? Curriculum AUM takes the sedentary out of the equation and puts the vigorous pursuit of stillness at center stage.
Sages of all sorts herald Stillness as the holy grail. Some would go so far to suggest the stillness will save the world. In order to understand all this buzz around a word that could easily be misunderstood as meek or even lazy, we need to know what stillness feels like for ourselves. (In Curriculum AUM, this is called making a "somatic file" on stillness). Part of the lure may be that pure stillness is largely unattainable. Our bodies regenerate over a billion cells per hour and at any given moment, even while asleep we are alive with activity. Luckily, there are many traditions over the course of history that have shed light on this kind of exploration.
With thousands of years of success, meditation has been known to download stillness as an internal technology. To calm the turbulence of the mind and alleviate tension in the body requires the soft discipline of surrender. Learning to get quiet while purposefully do nothing are challenging feats. Beneath the surface of the meditative pose, is the fastidious construction of new strengths. The meditative state of mind instills a deep sense of connection with our true nature. Like a subconscious switchboard to turn down the noise and dial up the subtle rhythms of the mind + body connection, meditation injects a pause into our fast paced lives and reminds us of who we are and what we care about the most.
To re-capture an organic cadence of physical activity it's not enough to "work out". We need to come alive in the gift of being alive. Training our bodies merits on-going responsibility and action. As such we have a duty to respond to all of the sensations and shifts inherent to our working systems. To translate the enormity of this calling in to practical doses, requires presence or a moment to moment non-judgmental awareness, often called mindfulness. We simply, pay more attention to our thoughts and feelings and align our movement as an expression of unspoken intention. In practice this plays out as "dynamic stillness".
Movement and stillness are inexorably linked counterparts. Curriculum AUM offers guided meditations based on each of the 22 Faculties to outline a course of action. From saging the space to staring at candle flames to fortify single point focus, AUM meditations pave the way for daily stillness without slowing us down. Through a systematic series of rituals like memorizing mantras, practicing hand mudras, counting mala beads and scanning the mind + body, we change our whole way of being and doing in the world. The ultimate paradox: Knowing how to access stillness within allows us to perform our best in all of our activities.
“The mandala is an archetypal image whose occurrence is attested throughout the ages. It signifies the wholeness of the Self. This circular image represents the wholeness of the psychic ground or, to put it in mythic terms, the divinity incarnate in humankind.” - Carl JungFrom Stonehenge, to the lost city of Atlantis to How did life evolve on earth, mystical conundrums attract the greatest minds. It seems even the most preeminent physicists, mathematicians and philosophers, however, fall short in solving the most profound riddle of all time: What is the purpose of human existence? A long lineage of masters reach the end of the road without knowing for sure where the path will lead from there. For example, in 1927, Werner Heisenberg, the father of "quantum mechanics", dubbed the phrase "the principle of uncertainty" to define interplay between the known and unknown. The 17th century French Mathematician, Blaise Pascal, proposed the ultimate equation called Pascal's Wager -- a summation of his final thoughts on whether to believe or not to believe. And, way back in the day, Socrates said it straight --- "The only true wisdom is in knowing nothing."
All this scholarly searching aside, we needn't look further than our next breath to encounter the grandeur of reality. The Body is proof that miracles exist beyond our wildest dreams. With 206 bones, 640 muscles, 70 trillion cells and 30,000 miles of nerves with impulses traveling at 270 mph, we are high volume machines made of pure energy. It's no surprise that the human form has been an endless playground for poetical musings about the mystery of creation. But there are no words to capture the inscrutable brilliance that lies beneath our skin. From here we are left with the ultimate Zen paradox - "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form."
Known as containers for the primordial AUM, mandalas have been implements of worship for thousands of years. In Sanskrit, Mandala is translated as Circle and Yantra is translated as instruments, together they can be understood as ancient guides for the discovery of wholeness. A Mandala is sacred A.R.T (A.bstraction R.eveals T.ruth)-- emanating beyond form as a portal to the emptiness (liberation from habituated heaviness and inordinate attachments). They do not promise hard fast theorems but, rather, lay the foundation for the revelation of our own truth. Similar to a hologram, this geometric configuration mirrors our own Soul as if whispering in the words of Lao Tzu, "At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want."
Mandalas generally have one identifiable center point, from which arise an array of symbols, shapes and forms. For instance, Tibetan monks are required to spend hours each day chanting mantras while constructing shapes into full scale representations of sacred themes. This contemplative exercise guarantees that each disciple engages the process of materializing essence. According to Buddhist scriptures sand mandalas spread positive energy into the surrounding environment. They, literally, craft alchemy one element at a time-- putting the pieces of the puzzle together -- threading the dimensions of continuance with their own two hands upon the earth.
Curriculum AUM presents the ANYA Mandala as a symbolic diagram to inspire insight through the practice of reconciliation. There are 17 yantras that build the Anya Mandala, one image at a time. Similar to the Tibetan Sand Mandalas, the gifts of insight lie in the construction of the shapes. Images from Facutlies 1-4 come together as the Core Star, faculties 5-12 form 8 Harmonics, faculties 13-15 manifest cosmic circles and faculties 16 and 17 harvest AUM petals to mark the path of enlightenment. All in all, the Anya Mandala weaves together the many concepts of Curriculum AUM. Each sovereign part nourished by a dynamic flow of mutuality represents the complexity of the Mind + Body connection. Layers of symbols, much like the pages of our memories, suggesting new pathways in the timeless discovery of the magic within.
"The field is the only reality" - EinsteinSomewhere in the space between transcendentalism and realism, the humanist poet Walt Whitman waxes lyrical: "If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred." The Meta Map empowers the mind to fully grasp the meaning of this sentiment as a philosophy of movement. When thoughts and feelings align with grace, the human figure transforms into a unique force of nature -- unifying the sacred and the mundane harmoniously together.
The mystery of the Mind and Body connection represents a profound example of the unlimited potential of our personal and collective existence. On any given day, we think upwards to 70,000 thoughts and each one travels at hundreds of mile per hour to deliver commands to the body. Our feelings and sensations reflect this endless conversation and present immediate opportunities to explore the here and now reality of embodiment. To integrate the facets of our constitutions requires "getting in touch" with the many elements at play within the field.
The Meta Map outlines pathways through the bones, nerves, muscles and organs --connecting the dots in a series of "Marker Points" organized by anatomical assessments. To bridge the gap between form and formlessness, each physical marker point has an ethereal counterpart and links together energetic passageways. (For example, the cross-connection between the balls of the femurs and the sit bones sets up the plexus for the foundation of the base chakra.) Step by step, the Meta Map illuminates an intricate blueprint to navigate thousands of miles of inner terrain.
Like a world within worlds, the outer matrix of reality indicates that we are all intrinsically connected. Despite this notion of union, however, our experience remains localized to our own field of awareness. Similar to Aristotle's articulation of "Metaphysics" as "Being Qua Being", The Meta Map investigates formlessness in it's capacity to exist within form. Utilizing focused intent, visualization, breath and sound (mantra) techniques to tap into the interstitial rhythms of the body, the imagination takes the reigns to embark upon a strategic campaign to befriend all the parts within. Thoughts become chariots. Vision takes on resonance. Intention shapes direction. And, the felt sense becomes a mission-driven vehicle for a profound journey of discovery and healing.