I describe myself as a Guide of Integrated Spirituality
I’ve never been one to adhere to one type of discipline or philosophy, they always seemed a litte partial to me. I used to think it was a problem and that I was being a “jack of all trades”, these days I recognise that I’m more of a “big picture” type – and I thrive in living in the creative space of what I call “cross-fertalization” – where seemingly disperate parts of the cosmos suddenly awaken to be in previously un-dreamed of mandalic unison.
Why Guide and not Teacher?
The deeper I move on my own spiritual journey, the more I honor what incredibly unique and complex beings we are, all of us with our own truths and gifts to discover. At some point it becomes clear that spiritual truths imposed from outside do not work. I distrust the idea that there can be a fix all technique, magic formular or all encompassing spiritual philosophy that is right for everybody. or that someoneelse can know on our behalf. Your soul has it’s own unfolding and it will look different to everyone else.
What I can say is that I have walked certain paths in life, I can share my experiences of them, create supportive environments and offer some of the tools that helped along the way. We can share as friends but it’s your path and adventure – why let someone else try to walk it for you?
These days I am walking the path together with my beloved Riya – you can find out more about the cool things she does here: www.riyasokol.com
My Background & Inspirations
AWAKEN AS LOVE
I founded Awaken as Love in 2018 as a vehicle for evolution. Bringing together the disparate worlds of Tantra, Biodanza and Shamanism all held together by the glue of the Integral AQAL Map. It grew and evolved quickly to spread over multiple continents and to gather many other amazing beings who share the same passion to Awaken as Love!
My inspiration towards tantra started with Osho and Meditations from the Vigyan Birav Tantra and slowly spread out towards taoist tantric arts, buddhist tantra, baul mysticism, neo-tantric therapies and most important the initiations of relationship!. These days I love how much of modern tantra is linking in from other disciplines.
Having done my own Vision Quest in 2010, I got a hunger for it. I apprenticed with the foremost guide in the UK at the time – David Wendleberry in Wales. I then did further training out in desert landscapes with the School of Life in California. I’ve now taken close to a hundred people to experience the land in this deep ceremony of reconnection – all came back safe. Myself and my partner are the guides for the School of Life – which takes teenagers onto the land – as well as taking Adult Groups though this rite of passage.
I began offering Sweat Lodge ceremonies in 2008, using some of the tools and symbolism I learned from Lakota and Chippewa native traditions but clear in this being a western form of the ceremony integrating transpersonal psychology to create a powerful re-birthing experience that works with the unconscious mind. After creating a relationship and privately working with Ceremonial grade Cacao in 2012, I began to offer small Sacred Cacao Ceremonies to groups in Scotland. Now I host these ceremonies all over the world – sometimes with over 250 participants!
I love to geek out on the brain and the body! In the late 90’s I studied Neuroscience as an honours degree at University, it felt like a completely different world from myother interests in Spirituality at the time – now I really appreciate how much science is being integrated in our understanding of spiritual experiences and it’s an important part in grounding those experiences in the manifest world.
I first came across Integral Theory and Spiral Dynamics in 2011 and having studied deeper into the subjects these fantastic maps inform my work in many fields, especially my Tantra offerings. In 2013 I wrote a Monograph on the cross over between “Biodanza and Integral Theory” and now teach Integral Theory as part of the Awaken as Love trainings.
I’ve been dancing Biodanza since 2003, now well as being a teacher of Biodanza I’m also qualified as a didactic trainer which means I can train other teachers – my vision for this is to open a School in India to bring this system to that part of the world. I loved sharing this system of personal and collective growth in weekly classes for some years and now in festivals that I create – especially as it’s allowed me to re-visit many fields of previous study including neuroscience, psychology, philosophy and physiology.
I created the first Tantra festival in India back in 2013 which is now in its 8th year! Since then I co-founded another 4 Tantra Festivals in California, Holland, Goa and Portugal as well as dance festivals in Ibiza and India. I love breaking new ground and brining together community in new places.
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF TEMPLE ARTS
I taught on the faculty board of ISTA – The International School of Temple Arts and I was the Regional Organizier for Asia. This school offers various week long trainings to dive into the world of Sprituality, Sexuality and Shaminism – I birthed the first trainings for them as organizer in India, Ibiza, Bali and Scotland. I parted from ISTA with love in 2019 so I could focus on Awaken as Love.
I studied at the humaniversity with Veeresh in 2006 and became an AUM meditation leader – it was an intense marathon experience with very little sleep and some radical therapy and bioenergetics. It works! Since then I have been leading these meditations in small and sometimes large festival groups.
This is my first love. I used to run weekly Osho Active Meditations for many years in Edinburgh which use various techniques to first move one’s energy creating a space for meditation to “just happen” instead of “doing it”. Since then I have taught and practised many different forms – from vipassana to guided visualisations to satori exercises.
I first started DJing at a conscious club called “Awaken” which I created in Edinburgh in 2009, and co-organized the first morning dance club called Morning Glory there. I call this experience “Hi-Frequency” clubbing – where we can reach natural highs from our own body chemisty and through connection to others.
My first trainings in subtle energy were becoming reiki master in 1999 from a very direct lineage, for a short period I initiatied many others into this. Since then I developed deeper into energy work using other forms such as sourceSTAR. My first trainings in massage were with Kusum Modak creator of Ayruvedic Yoga Massage in 2004 followed by trainings in Tantra Massage, Taoist Massage and De-armouring – now I combine these techniques working with the physical body, the subtle body and the space of deep silence in fullbody orgasmic. I also work with in the water using techniques from Watsu and Liquid Flow combined with my own techniques.
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© James Stevenson 2020