Understanding Personal Transformation
Human beings have long been captivated by stories of transformation. Whether it’s the ugly duckling, Harry Potter or any superhero, practically every story speaks to the journey from ordinary to extraordinary.
We gravitate towards these stories because they help us feel less “stuck” in our lives. We may feel helpless to change our situations because of a job, family, or other responsibilities.
Fortunately, we are all in fact capable of tremendous internal change and even making our dreams come true.
The path towards personal transformation begins with building and developing your own spiritual practice.
It helps to think of spirituality as having both horizontal and vertical dimensions. The horizontal dimension is the one we are most familiar with. It means memorizing teachings (whether it’s the Vedas, Qur’an, or the Bible) and following certain rules and regulations (the Ten Commandments, the Noble Eightfold Path).
However, if we want to truly go deeper on our spiritual journey, we must go up the mountain. This is the vertical dimension, the path of realization, the path of transformation and transcendence.
There are many paths to get to the top of the mountain but the view at the top is the same. Whether it’s through meditation, asana, prayer, mantra chanting, devotional song, ritual or medicine journeys, all these practices are designed to allow us to go beyond our thoughts and deeper into our actual experience.
Embodiment in Nicaragua
This December, I’ll be leading a week long yoga retreat designed to go deeper into these paradigms of transformation, exploring many of the practices listed above.
We’ll be doing a lot of yoga too. Yoga is often translated as Union. But yoga is not unifying disparate parts of ourselves. It is coming to the realization that we are already whole, already perfect, already connected to all things.
Like the ugly duckling, we’ve been the beautiful swan the entire time, it was only a matter of seeing our true reflection.
As any mystic will tell you, once we discover our own light and our connectedness with all things, an undeniable, overwhelming incomparable LOVE enters every fabric of our being.
While we may never achieve such exalted status, what matters less than “getting there” is simply taking steps along the path.
Zach studied paradigms for personal transformation for three years while getting his Masters in Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Zach completed both his 200hr and 500hr teacher training at School Yoga Institute, which specializes in Mystical Yoga, or the path of realization.