The One Year Manual: Twelve Steps to Spiritual Enlightenment

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Explains how to progress from the physical disciplines of body awareness, relaxation, and rythmic breathing, through concentration, developing will, mantra-practice, to the ultimate awareness that All is God.
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Overview

Explains how to progress from the physical disciplines of body awareness, relaxation, and rythmic breathing, through concentration, developing will, mantra-practice, to the ultimate awareness that All is God.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877284895
  • Publisher: Red Wheel Weiser & Conari Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1990
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 92
  • Sales rank: 715,888
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.22 (d)

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The One Year Manual


By Israel Regardie

Samuel Weiser, Inc.

Copyright © 1976 Israel Regardie
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-87728-489-5



CHAPTER 1

THE FOUR ADORATIONS


In former great ages, man realized intuitively his relationship to nature and to the living universe in which he lived and was a part. He felt his unity with all the elements. In the fullness of his life he worshipped the Sun as a visible symbol of the unknown God in whom we live and move and have our being. It is axiomatic that light is life and both are dependent upon the Sun —which thus becomes a vital symbol of God.

In our modern scientific age of gadgets and things, with our unnatural way of life divorced from contact with the dynamic root of things, we have lost this essential wisdom. In order that we may once more progress towards the full awareness of the source of life and love and liberty, we make ritual gestures of affirming a link between the Sun and ourselves. Upon the basis of these gestures of adoration, every act in life may be dedicated in such a way that living itself becomes sanctified and transformed.

Though God is a unity, the Sun, as a symbol of God, appears differently at each of its four daily stations — dawn, noon, sunset and midnight. Therefore an adoration is directed towards the Sun at each of these four stations.

At dawn, or upon arising, he should perform whatever ablutions are customary and then turning towards the East, say audibly:

Hail unto Thee who art Ra in Thy rising,
Even unto Thee who art Ra in Thy strength,
Who travellest over the Heavens in Thy bark
At the Uprising of the Sun.
Tahuti standeth in His splendour at the prow
And Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm.
Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Night!


Much of the symbolism inherent in this act of simple adoration may be missed by the student for some considerable time. It does not matter just yet. But this should not be permitted to serve as an obstacle to daily practice, nor to deter him from adoring God in the form of the rising Sun every day of his life.

At noon, wherever he may be— at home, in the office, on the streets, or in a factory — let him adore God. It will help in some measure to bring God into his life. Face the South and say:

Hail unto Thee who art Hathor in Thy triumphing,
Even unto Thee who art Hathor in Thy beauty,
Who travellest over the Heavens in Thy bark
At the Mid-course of the Sun.
Tahuti standeth in His splendour at the prow,
And Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm.
Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Morning!

At the eventide, when the Sun goes down, let him face the West and adore the Lord of the Universe in these words:

Hail unto Thee, who art Turn in Thy setting,
Even unto Thee who art Turn in Thy joy,
Who travellest over the Heavens in Thy bark
At the Down-going of the Sun.
Tahuti standeth in His splendour at the prow
And Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm.
Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Day!

At midnight or upon retiring, turn to the North and say:

Hail unto Thee Who art Khephra in Thy hiding,
Even unto Thee who art Khephra in Thy silence,
Who travellest over the Heavens in Thy bark
At the Midnight Hour of the Sun.
Tahuti standeth in his Splendour at the prow
And Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm.
Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Evening.


This particular practice should be made a regular part of everyday life and should be persisted in until it becomes a part of your way of life. Other exercises described here may be performed for limited or varying periods of time, but these particular Fourfold Adorations are to be integrated for all time into the daily pattern of living.


Step I

BODY AWARENESS

One of the major goals of any system of self-development or spiritual growth is the acquisition of sensitivity or self-awareness. There is only one way of acquiring this awareness — and this is to become aware.

Sitting comfortably in a straight-backed chair, or lying flat on one's back in bed, one merely attempts to observe what is happening, as it were, "under the skin." You simply watch your body, its sensations and feeling here and now. This only — and nothing more. Do not try to relax or to breathe in any unusual or special way, or to try to control the thoughts that float through the mind. All these processes and methods will be dealt with later. For the time being, merely become conscious of any sensation that arises anywhere in the body.

I suggest you wriggle around for a moment or two to find that one position which seems most comfortable. Having found it, stay in it, and do not move from it in any way. There should be absolutely no voluntary muscular movement for the rest of the practice session. Not even a wriggle of a toe, or a wiggle of a finger. The session should last not more than ten minutes at first, but gradually by the end of a month should be extended to half an hour. For many people this will seem an eternity in which every instinct will cry aloud for a wiggle of some kind to ease the tension. This should be resisted. Other students will find the ten minutes to pass, as it were, in a flash.

It is important to develop your powers of concentration while practicing these awareness exercises. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back. Your power of concentration will improve each day.

As you sit or lie quietly, you may become conscious of an itching of the scalp. Leave it alone. Do not do anything about it. Do not scratch. Just watch. In a moment or two, it may die down and disappear, or else your attention will be distracted by a tingling somewhere else. Presently, you may become conscious of the back settling down into the bed or chair. Just watch this process. Try only to become exquisitely aware of the accompanying body sensations without in the least trying to ignore them or change them.

Make no judgements about what you observe. Merely notice. Do not criticize nor reject any of these sensations. They may be comfortable or uncomfortable, pleasurable or otherwise, but they are your own. Accept them just as they are. They are you!

Sensations in different portions of the body will come and go, without apparent rhyme or reason. Watch them. It is often a good idea to verbalize audibly just what you do feel. It is a procedure I often use in my office, where I encourage the patient, lying on the couch, to express audibly enough for me to hear his description of exactly what he is presently feeling, and where.

The outcome of this is that a profound relaxation of nervous tension develops merely on the basis of watching. You do nothing else but observe the rise and fall of sensation without attempting in the least to modify whatever phenomena may occur. But day in and day out practice will heighten enormously this function that is called self-recollection, mindfulness, self-awareness, and many other names. Without this self-awareness, very little can be accomplished on the Path. All other exercises and complex procedures actually begin from this heightening of self-awareness.

Start it now. No special time need be set apart for this exercise. You may pursue it wherever you happen to be, at any time, in any place. Certainly, in bed when retiring at night, or when arising in the morning; these are excellent periods of time to practice this art of self-recollection.

While performing one's daily ablutions — bathing, washing, shaving, evacuating, applying makeup, dressing, etc. — one can sharpen one's perception of what one is doing to become conscious of the most minute and hitherto insignificant sensations.

This art can be extended enormously in a variety of different directions as familiarity with practice makes one aware of more of what is going on inside. For example, if Carl Jung's definition of psycho-therapy is that thereby one becomes conscious of what hitherto was unconscious, then the pursuit of this method will result in the heightened consciousness of a large number of inner sensations of which previously one was totally unaware. And to this extent, one's horizons of one's self will have become enlarged. The Path has been entered upon.

This exercise should be pursued for at least one month. Two practice periods should be set aside at the very least every day, no longer than ten minutes at a time. This altogether apart from the momentary cessation of activity at varying times during the day in which to observe what is going on inside.


Step II

RELAXATION

There are well-defined techniques for developing the process of relaxation, and we can use the gains derived from the preceding exercises. Whatever position has been employed previously should be continued now. Either a supine or upright position may be used. If the latter, a stiff-backed chair to support the erect spine is undoubtedly best. If lying down on a couch or bed, the mattress should be moderately firm: but if not, the best alternative is a well-carpeted floor. The reason for this latter recommendation is that the floor will not yield, so it will have to be the practising student whose body yields to relaxation.

Before lying or sitting down, there are a couple of movements that I recommend to patients in the office. First of all, spend a minute or two, skipping with an invisible rope in a stationary position. This is not merely an exercise to enhance the blood circulation and stimulate deeper breathing, but by virtue of the alternate contraction and relaxation of muscles, it will go far towards providing the right somatic basis on which to proceed with these psychological relaxation techniques.

Following this, stand upright, with legs about a foot apart, and having inhaled, expel all the air as you let yourself fall forward from the waist, limp like a rag doll. It is similar to a calisthenic exercise of trying to touch the toes without bending the knees, falling forward completely relaxed. We are striving to produce relaxation however, not to do calisthenic exercises. Let the body above the waist fall down with the exhalation, with the fingers and hands dangling near the feet for a second or two, then, as you inhale, slowly rise up to the standing position. Repeat this process a dozen or more times. It will help you to get your wind back, after the skipping exercise and also to relax many of the muscles of the torso. The head and neck too should be permitted to drop limp as you exhale, while letting the upper body drop from the waist. This will relax the neck musculature.

Keep your mind attuned and focussed on your body sensations. Think only of what you are doing. Observe and concentrate on the various sensations of the body.

Now you are ready to begin the relaxation exercise proper. Take a few very deep breaths and, as you exhale, heave some very deep sighs. If the diaphragm and abdominal muscles relax, the greater part of the musculature and other tissues supplied by the involuntary or vegetative nervous system, too, will loosen up with it. Lie quietly in this position for a few seconds, observing yourself all the time. Become familiar with the body; learn to notice what the body feeling is like, becoming even more aware. The former exercises will have acquainted you with this method and its sensations.

The next stage of the process actively employs the imagination to extend the boundaries of your awareness. There is a well-known physiological law that an increased flow of blood to any part of the body can be produced by concentrating on that part of the body. Whether it is merely becoming conscious of the blood already in the vessels there, or that nervous impulses are conveyed to the muscular wall of the arteries and vessels in the area contemplated, thus relaxing those walls to permit an enhanced blood-flow, does not matter; either explanation will suffice. That this can be done is an actual experience you can demonstrate to yourself.

By knowing that there are tensions in a certain limb or organ we can, by using the imagination, stimulate vasodilator fibers which relax blood-vessels enabling the blood to flow there in larger quantities. A surplus of blood—a congestion—will cause a degree of heat which in turn will induce the relaxation of muscular fibre and tissue that we desire. This is the theory; it leads directly to practice.

It calls for the active use of the imagination. First of all, visualize your brain. Everyone has seen diagrams and drawings of the brain frequently enough to know what it looks like in the main, without naming the technical neurological details. It is a mass of white and gray substance, convoluted and twisted in upon itself, divided by a long fissure into two lateral hemispheres, with a front and rear portion. Picture it, as you have seen it in the drawings. Hold the picture firmly in your mind until you begin to sense a warm feeling spreading out from the center of the skull. Sometimes it may be accompanied by a gentle tingling, a pins-and-needles sensation. Facilitate this process by imagining that the blood-vessels within the brain have dilated enough to hold larger amounts of blood, thus turning the brain pink, and that this congestion has produced the warmth that has already been sensed.

From the brain proceed to the eyes, imagining that these are like two balls, each hanging from four tiny muscular chains. Manage this picture as you have the previous one. By building the imaginative picture, the lumen of the blood vessels in the muscles become enlarged and hold more blood which warms the surrounding musculature. They then relax, yielding the sensation of the eyeballs sinking back into their sockets.

It is important to develop your powers of concentration while practicing these relaxation exercises. Do not allow your mind to wander from what you are doing, or more particularly, from the area you are relaxing. Concentrate. Think only on what you are doing. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back. Your power of concentration will improve each day.

Pursue a similar procedure with regard to the rest of the head—that is, visualize the warm blood flowing through widened blood-vessels to the temples, the ears, the cheekbones, then to the nose, mouth, lips, tongue, jaws and chin. In much the same way, after having made the mental constructs, you will feel warmth and tingling build up in the areas imagined, with the gradual emergence of the relaxed feeling.

By the time you have gone thus far — and at least ten minutes should have been spent in this action — the greater part of the body will reflexively have undergone a relaxing process. No matter how greatly relaxed you felt after the first exercise of merely observing your body — this merely prepared the pathway. The current exercises carry them tremendously further.

The remaining part of the half hour — and the exercise for this month should take not one minute less — should be devoted to dealing with every part of the body in much the same way as described above. The whole neck should be dealt with thoroughly. Work down easily through the shoulders and the arms until the abdominal area is reached. Give this then a thorough working over. The more you relax this middle area of the abdomen, the more likely it is that the whole of your body will respond with massive "letting-go". Dr. Georg Groddeck, the father of modern psychosomatic medicine, called this area the "middle-man" of the body. In the beautiful imagery and psychological symbolism that this physician employed, this middle part of the body was conceived to be endowed with a species of intelligence even as is the breast and the head — this belly-mind being often opposed to the cold inclinations and rational activities of the head-mind. It is the seat of the instincts, feelings and passions, and all the dynamic forces inherited from the past that we attribute to the Unconscious.

Finally, visualize the stream of blood separating from the aorta into two powerful arterial streams, two rivers of warm blood descending from the pelvis into the thighs, legs and feet. Be very attentive here, too; visualize all the tight, stiff, taut thigh and leg muscles thoroughly in order to relax them under the stimulus of the imagination and the warmth of the blood. In this manner, proceed until the toes are reached. Then pause.

You have completed a great cycle in the relaxing process. Pause to consider and observe. Note how you feel. Your previous work should have heightened your ability to sense what is happening somatically. Record your feelings. Permit the sense of real pleasure and enjoyment and freedom to make an indelible impression upon your mind.

If the memory of this experience is well-recorded, it can be evoked at any moment from your storehouse of memories. It doesn't matter if you are riding in the subway or driving your car, at home reading or listening to the radio, you have only to remember the pleasure of relaxation and forthwith the memory is evoked from your psyche to impact itself upon all the tissues and fibres of the body. Relaxation then follows.

It is well to enjoy this feeling of deep relaxation. Impress it thoroughly upon your mind. Get the feel of complete relaxation as vividly and as strongly as you can, because henceforth, when you need to relax, you can restore this state of calmness, serenity and complete relaxation merely by thinking of it.

When you next want to relax, all you have to do is take a deep breath and as you exhale, think of the word relax and remember this wonderful serene feeling of complete relaxation and once again it will be immediately restored to you. Inhale and as you breathe out, mentally command yourself to relax. Soon this conditioned reflex will be immediate, automatic and complete.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from The One Year Manual by Israel Regardie. Copyright © 1976 Israel Regardie. Excerpted by permission of Samuel Weiser, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface          

The Four Adorations          

Body Awareness          

Relaxation          

Rhythmic Breathing          

Mind Awareness          

Concentration, Use of the Mantram          

Developing the Will          

The Rose Cross Ritual          

The Middle Pillar Ritual          

Symbol of Devotion          

Practice of the Presence of God          

Unity—All is God          

Invoke Often! Inflame Thyself with Prayer          

Epilogue          

Recommended Reading          

Bibliography          


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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2003

    A spirtual jewel and must read!

    I have read this book for my own spiritual growth. It is a must read for any one on any path regardless what faith it is. The book is in a simple English and to the point. However understand it does not treat spiritual growth lightly. It will take the most advance seeker a while to learn and operate the twelve steps to succession Regardie has laid out in this little spiritual jewel. I can can not say enough good things about this book You miss this read, it could set you back spiritually.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 23, 2010

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