I’m a big fan of practical exercises. As a long-time AMORC member, I’m very used to being assigned some visualization, breathing technique, mental exercise, what have you, to do for a week until the next lesson. So when I started doing Jason Miller‘s Strategic Sorcery course on the first day of this new year, I fell right into the rhythm of weekly readings and assignments. I’ve been doing this for years.

And it doesn’t matter that he starts out pretty basic, with things that veterans of the occult mostly already know (my mother’s best friend started handing me books by T. Lobsang Rampa, books on Atlantis, and books on Buddhism when I was nine, and that was — uh– 42 years ago). As a former teacher myself, I believe only the arrogant and impatient are unwilling to benefit from review.

In my experience, there are five kinds of exercise:
–Ones that don’t work at first, but start doing something after you’ve tried it a number of times.
–Ones that sort of work right away but are a lot of work to get more out of, or which only show their effect or benefit after practicing for a long time.
–Ones that don’t work at first, and don’t get any better with time (in spite of the fact that your instructors tell you it WILL work after a while).
–Ones that seem really easy right away.
–Ones that work so well the first time you try them, they rip the top of your head off and change your reality.
So, there I was, reading a printout of this week’s Strategic Sorcery lesson (in the email inbox every Tuesday!), while eating lunch at a Chinese restaurant a couple blocks from my office.

This lesson was about the subtle body, and assigned exercises in experimenting with drawing different types of energy into the subtle body and circulating them around. Jason remarked that when he drew earth energy up through his feet while walking, he got the sensation that he was standing still and the world was moving around him.

So, after finishing my lunch (stir fried tofu and veggies, if you must know) I unsuspectingly walked out onto Rákóczi street and — deciding there’s no time like the present — started practicing pulling earth energy up into my subtle body through my feet while walking back to work. I took a slow deep inhale and felt the flow go up my legs. When it hit my perineum, I pulled it up the central channel and up to my crown.
I exhaled and did the same once again. This time, when the energy was about half way up my trunk, I got the distinct, unmistakable sensation that my feet were instinctively doing the walking motions, but that I was standing still and solidly rooted in place, while the world was moving around me. And it wasn’t just that it was rolling past me front to back, it was also sort of swirling around.
The feeling was so wonderfully, sublimely absurd I had to cackle. Some passing university students cast a glance at the obviously deranged middle-aged man walking down the street. For a second I wondered if I looked like I was doing a Michael Jackson “moonwalk”. Despite the occasional snicker of glee, I held my concentration and kept the phenomenon going for a city block. Then I figured I should balance it out, and breathed down the sky through my head.
When I got back to my office building, I looked at myself in the mirrored wall of the elevator. I looked much better, much more “vital”, than I had before I went out to lunch. Hmmm.
Which of the five categories do you think I place this exercise in?
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