What does Ascension mean? A literal definition is to climb or soar upwards. Our spiritual evolution also ascends, as we raise our consciousness and awareness of the source of all.
Ascension works on many levels, breaking through deeply-held stresses and tensions, making permanent clearings through the psychic debris that has accumulated through many lifetimes. You are encouraged to be gentle with yourself, and contact the deep peace within. There is no strict discipline or striving, but a recognition that we are meant to be happy and at ease, and that this condition is our birthright. With Ascension, the techniques which are based on the attitudes of praise, love, gratitude and compassion are specific cognitive methods that balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain. When they are used regularly with “innocence” or non-judgement, their mechanical nature is initiated. The Attitudes gently but permanently break up our “samskaras” or negative programming. They are imbued with spiritual power; far from being so esoteric to render them inaccessible to the majority of people, they are beautifully simple and direct. Even children can learn to use them. Secrecy has preserved the Attitudes until a time when humanity is ready to receive them.That time is now. They are a gift to all, a tool for recognition of our divine nature. In a spiritual sense, Ascension Attitudes give us a vehicle, and a navigation system to guide us toward enlightenment.
The first four Attitudes are introduced in the First Sphere course, held over a Friday evening and weekend. These take place at different centres around the world and are led by experienced teachers of the Ishaya order. Each aspect of the course is carefully and thoroughly explained. Questions are encouraged at all times, and other Ishaya teachers are available during the course for personal guidance.
A first-hand experience of the First Sphere course was of being accepted into a warm loving family. Being welcomed into their UK headquarters in Oxfordshire is like entering a family home. On the Friday evening I, along with three others, received our first Attitude and were asked to use it at home for 20 minutes before bed, and again the next morning before returning. Using an Attitude is simplicity itself. You simply repeat it to yourself with the eyes closed while relaxed. You then drop it and wait; observe thoughts or impressions, and then repeat it.
On the Saturday we received the next two Attitudes, and then students and teachers together sat and Ascended using the first three techniques. The deep peace is almost tangible in group Ascension. Time melts away, with a sense of comfort, acceptance and love. Ascension is exactly how it feels, as you are lifted to a space of clarity, stillness and tranquillity. Strain or effort to achieve falls away as you settle into the silence. Leave your ideals of a perfect lotus meditation posture outside the door, you can now “let go and let God”. On the Sunday, each person is given the fourth Attitude individually in a very moving ceremony. There is a wonderful opportunity to repeat the first sphere course as many times as you wish for free. This is highly recommended as more insights are gained each time.
As someone who has practised yoga and meditation for decades, nothing I have worked with before has given me such immediate and profound peace as Ascension; the under-lying power at work in the attitudes unravels the negative programming of our body/mind.
It is recommended to also use the Attitudes with the eyes open at times, during the day. This is a vital part of the practice, as using them this way is a conscious choice to bring the divine into our present moment, to melt away stresses and strains before they impinge on our nervous system. Using the Attitudes with the eyes open is like drawing a matrix of divinity into our waking experience. In the Ishayas’ literature, twenty-seven Ascension Attitudes are listed. Each sphere of techniques is more powerful that the previous one. The first four mentioned above are designed to clear root stresses and establish clarity of mind. After having taken the First Sphere, more attitudes can be requested from the Ishayas. The more advanced techniques develop subtle alignments in our energetic structure, propelling us towards unity consciousness, and self mastery.
Coming to Ascension: 4 stories
Brihas Ishaya, an experienced teacher of Ascension, makes regular visits to the UK headquarters. He has a unique eloquence in expressing subtle spiritual meaning,despite English not being his first language.Coming from Germany with his wife Jayama, they teach the First Sphere course together. Formerly, Brihas worked as a shaman,and instructed courses where he took people on shamanic journeys. On the journeys they explored spiritual meaning and “played with consciousness”. This was not completely fulfilling for Brihas. However,as he longed to be able to give more to people. He wanted to give them their power back.
His soul-searching led him to Ascension where he found what he had lacked. He had found the “perfect tool”. The Ascension Attitudes were a turning point, and after some time of using them, his wife also decided to take the First Sphere course. The effect on her was immediate and she decided straight away that she wanted to make Ascension her life and teach these methods. Together they took the self-mastery course which had such a strong impression on Brihas that he felt “completely in bliss”. He then felt that the spiritual knowledge that his intellect held from years of searching and shamanic training,had become less important for him, as he was experiencing it and living it, rather than knowing it. He wanted to pass on the spiritual empowerment of Ascension to others. Brihas and Jayama abandoned a business venture of teaching shamanism to devote their lives to Ascension.
Atidevi Ishaya from Norway had always had a painful longing for something from childhood, like an ache in her heart. Trying to fill a void she searched for a fulfilling career; when she couldn’t find one, she tried traveling, but felt no better. Striving harder and harder, she became a perfectionist in everything she did. Subsequently, her life became more and more limited.
Ascension came to her as a Christmas present from a friend. She found every excuse not to do it, as she thought she wouldn’t do it perfectly. Her friend wouldn’t let her off the hook however, and eventually she took the First Sphere course.“Ascension made my heart light up,” said Atidevi. “The deep ache went away. My soul knew it had come back home. This is what I came here to do.”
Satta Devi found Ascension in a dramatic way. Her soul-searching started at the tender age of 15. Her fervent questions of “Who am I? Why am I here?” were not answered by the time she went to university. She dropped out after a year as she wasn’t being taught what she desperately wanted to learn. She then traveled across the USA to Arizona. Here, she climbed to the top of a mountain and screamed to the sky,“God, I’m ready. I want to be free, show me what my purpose is here.”
After having climbed back down the mountain she discovered that her traveling companion had stolen all her money. She now says that this was the best thing that had ever happened to her, as another friend immediately gave her a copy of the book Ascension and offered to pay for a 17-day Ishaya retreat for her. “The moment I showed up, I knew,” said Satta Devi.“Every person looked familiar, and as soon as I closed my eyes to use the first Praise Attitude, I knew that this was it. I jumped in head-first. I immediately enrolled with the Ishayas. I took vows one month later. I have been an Ishaya now for over 11 years, and have taught for 10 years in the USA, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Greece, Brazil, Ireland and the UK.”
Arjuna Ishaya decided to learn to meditate at a time in his life when he felt lost. Despite having a wonderful house in New Zealand, the perfect job and a great group of friends, he had a deep sense of dissatisfaction and disconnection. He felt that there was a “hole where his heart should have been”. Going to the Ishayas gave him reconnection with a deep part of himself that he had forgotten how to access. He soon immersed himself in the practice of Ascension by going on a 6-month retreat in Canada. He found it to be a path of commitment to this moment, tempered by unfailing gentleness and love.
When he took vows and was given the name Arjuna, he felt like he was stepping into a familiar pair of shoes. “I don’t feel like a teacher,” said Arjuna.“Every time I share my experience of how life can be so deeply rewarding, my own presence blossoms. Every moment we have a choice where we put our attention, and it is this choice to experience‘Being Now’ that sets us free, free from all suffering, free to truly soar. Life never has to be hard or difficult!’
Many of us have asked the same questions of ourselves as the Ishayas in their former lives. We may at times have wished to be able to change the world for the better, but probably realised eventually that the place we need to start is with ourselves. If we raise our consciousness, we become like tuning forks that lift the consciousness frequency of the rest of the planet and everyone on it. With enough people choosing to live in love and joy through Ascension, we can literally change the world.