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New Age/Ancient Wisdom
by wah!

The teachings of yoga are from ancient times. Reflecting knowledge from an age of Golden Enlightenment, they carry jewels of wisdom which draw the Self back to its complete innate nature. Civilizations have come and gone, but there are usually trace remains left behind. For the great beings who lived in civilizations of pure wisdom, it was most important to save the teachings, even beyond saving human life. Teachings were saved in scrolls, stored in caves, written on cave walls, etc. in an effort to preserve the wisdom and evolution of the people.

We have been given many of these teachings now, through teachers, masters and books. The internet has allowed us to share the information like never before – mantras that were given only to a few precious devotees are now posted online for all to learn. How to digest all this information?

Even when presented with the rudiments of ancient knowledge, it can be difficult to actually use. Many of the teachings are written in code to preserve their integrity. For example, a teaching might say, “the moon rose over a thousand blossoms.” This by itself might not be usable, but with the added knowledge that the moon is the left nostril (Ida) and the thousand petaled lotus is the top of the head (Sahasara), could lead one to practice left nostril breathing and focus the eyes and attention on the energy center at the top of the skull.

Many of the yogic teachings are written in code. As well, most ayurvedic knowledge of medicine and curing disease is written in poetic verse, for easy memorization – the American equivalent could be “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” However the ayurvedic teachings are also coded, with references to different plants and roots which only a knowledgeable practitioner could decipher.

The ancient teachings have been preserved, either in whole or in part, and handed down to future generations. We are the recipients of these teachings, and require help in using and understanding them. Enter the linguists: they help us to understand the language and translation of the teachings. Enter the scholars: they help us to understand the symbolism used in ancient artifacts. Enter the scientists and mathematicians: they calculate and recalculate theories and formulas to update our understanding of the cosmos. Enter the saints and sages: they carry the energy of God into our hearts.

Enter the messengers – teachers and people like you and me: we carry the message of ancient wisdom in modern packages. We are yoga teachers, health practitioners, and massage therapists. We are filmmakers, promoters, and business owners. We are taking small pieces of ancient wisdom and packaging them for use and sale in the marketplace. This is the New Age business frontier.

The marketing of ancient wisdom in pretty new age packages might seem at first like commercial or capitalistic gimmicks. But if you look behind the product, and indeed you can often do the research online, you often find an authentic story from its originator. Anny’s video on yoga came from a life-changing illness which led to her study and subsequent teaching of yoga. The maker of the miracle green powder drink researched and created the formula for his ailing daughter. Many of the products are a way of sharing something which had a positive impact on their lives.

What I love about the new age market is its ability to point people in the right direction. A Sanskrit chant won’t change your life, but it can be a useful tool for creating peace in the mind. A plastic backrub tool might not be a full body massage, but it will encourage us to give each other back rubs, to offer healing and help one another. For many people, a small change towards personal wholeness and integration will be a starting point for other changes. A yoga class may lead to a change in diet, or a class in meditation, or a volunteer job helping others. The tools are not going to take you all the way to enlightenment; they are designed to point you in the right direction. A morsel of wisdom can change your mind. An hour of yoga can change your breath. It’s all about small changes.

Decoding the wisdom of ancient ages will take all of our efforts – the scholars, the saints and sages, the messengers, and the masses. We are destined to evolve as a humanity, learning to care for our environment, our selves and each other. Other civilizations have surpassed our level of awareness; there are keys to unlocking their level of understanding and functionality. The keys are hidden in the ancient texts which are being brought forward by new age teachers, scholars and science. Each new healing technique brings forth more knowledge of the human body. Each new yoga video brings more possibility for the practice of yoga in the modern household. Each new talk show, TV show, music CD brings forth more knowledge and awareness into society as a whole. The change cannot happen overnight. We don’t jump from the Kali Yuga (Dark Age) into the Satya Yuga (Golden Age). There are years of evolution between them, thousands of years in fact. As the ancient teachings come forward we uncover their wisdom in a seemingly new way. Our understanding of thought technology, science, prayer and religion change as we learn new ways to use them. The new age frontier is our way of rediscovering the ancient wisdom of ages past.

Wah! is a musician and spiritual seeker who travels the world singing and expanding sacred intention. Nutone Records released her new CD Love Holding Love in September 2008. www.wahmusic.com