The following technique is one I developed (or was taught by the spirits, or made up in me own head – you pays your money, as they say…) following some mindfulness meditation in my garden. (Which at this time of year is a riot of flowers and vines and burgeoning fruit.) The method uses an asana which is held for a few minutes. In this sense it is similar to the techniques I’ve encountered in Kundalini yoga (specifically in the Longevity Kriya). Kundalini yoga is a fascinating form of practice which I was introduced to by the awesome Kwali, and one that is well worth exploring.
As well as being a physical exercise this method, which I call the ‘108 Breaths for Baphomet’ (108 BB), provides an opportunity to connect deeply with our somatic experience, our bodies, the biosphere aspect of who we are. While it’s possible for attention to drift, the effect of being in what amounts to a stress position helps keep the mind concentrated on the body. This technique deeply connects the conscious, linguistic awareness to the physical self. In this way it provides an opportunity for the body to ‘speak’ to us. Often the body may only may appear to communicate to us when something is wrong, when we feel pain because of an injury or other problem. This simple method allows the body to establish a close relationship with the conscious mind (taking aside for the moment the perspective that the mind arises from the body itself) and in doing so it (the body) can alert the mind (the self that imagines the body as a vehicle) to needs that may not be being addressed. Flashes of insight can come in the moments after the technique ends about changes that the body would like to see in terms of diet, exercise, light levels, supplements required and so on. This technique can also be imagined as bhakti yoga with the practice being dedicated to Baphomet and/or offered to some particular intention.
108 BB works nicely when deployed after some free-form movement work, yoga, tai chi or other similar practice.
Begin by sitting in a cross-legged position. This can be done on a chair but sitting on a cushion or the floor is what I generally do.
Breathe deeply and relax.
With a deep, slow inhalation raise your hands. Now gently move into the classic Eliphas Levi Baphomet asana. Left hand down, showing the mudra with three fingers extended, right hand pointing up with two fingers extended.
Hold this position for 108 breaths.
Keep counting the numbers in your head. This is partly so you know when you’re done but mostly so that you give your conscious monkey mind something to do. If you like a spot of gematria you can also enjoy the various groovy numbers as they float by – 11, 13, 15, 23, 27, 31, 56, 72, 81, 93 etc etc.
Soften the face, keep a gentle smile on the lips. Relax the shoulders, don’t lock the arms. Relax and open the body as you hold the asana. As tension arises notice and focus on breathing into it, keep the limbs in place. Breath as slowly as is comfortable. Play with the practice and explore it for yourself.
As you reach 100 begin to visualise a chaosphere. Use the arrows of the sphere to help you count off the final eight breaths. Here you can switch from silently saying the numbers to simply following the eight arrows around (or in whatever pattern works for you) until the final breath is taken. (Personally I imagine a chaosphere with the arrows coloured in the directions given in the Chaos Craft model, starting my first of the final eight breaths with the point nearest to the season I’m in when doing the practice.)
As you breathe out the final 108th breath bring your hands down to your dan tien (or across your body in the ‘Osiris Risen’ position and then down to rest on your belly).
Keep still; deploy your motionless, no-mind technique. See if anything bubbles up into attention from the somatic level. Often this will appear as a linguistic flash (you might for example get a word suggesting what food or other attention your body would like).
Relax, stretch and go and do something else.