Friday, June 18, 2010

Spiritual Disciplines for Self-Mastery

In my last post we dealt a bit with the concept of self-mastery, as illustrated in the epic tale of Ausar, Auset and Heru. This concept is, to me, the whole point of the teachings. Sure, ultimately one could achieve "enlightenment" by studying the wisdom teachings, commune with the divine and gain entry into Pet (heaven) having resolved all of one's meskhenet (karma). But that is a lofty goal to say the least. Let's say we'll work our way up to that place of ideal spirituality. Even if that is your goal, you have to start somewhere.

For me, the starting point is self-mastery. It is a goal I can gauge, plot and eventually attain. I can tell when I'm succeeding based on how I react to others (especially when they really tick me off). It's like, the more I focus on my own self-control, or as I like to call it, my own sense of "self-awareness," everything else becomes muted and I can see myself as a causal force in the center of events.

If you want to kind of play around with this idea of self-awareness, here is an exercise I do often. It is based on a simple combination of fasting and meditation, as taught by ancient Afrakan priests and other teachers of spiritual discipline.

1st Guideline:

Eat only fruit in the morning and then for at least 7 hours eat nothing, drink only water. After the 7 hours, you may eat fruit again.

2nd Guideline:

Ignore your TV, phone, friends etc and sequester yourself in a quiet and private place where you won't be disturbed. For the 7 hours you may read wisdom texts and meditate on their meanings.

3rd Guideline:

To strengthen your self-mastery, recite hekau (mantras) to focus your mind while you breathe to a specific rhythm. I use "pot belly breathing" also known as pranayama...

-Sekayi Khita Hetep

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