As a teacher of Agni Yoga Meditation for over 40 years, I experience its benefits daily. I recently spoke to one of my former students, Genie Joseph, to find out how the meditation training affects her. Genie, who lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, learned Agni Yoga meditation at the School of Actualism, in New York City where I was one of her teachers. The School's version of Agni Yoga was formulated by a teacher and healer named Russell Paul Schofield. I hope you enjoy this Agni Yoga interview. Jon Terrell
Jon: What motivated you to get involved in meditation?
Genie: I had been looking for a form of meditation that was a “match” for me. I wanted the benefits of meditation I had heard of. I liked the idea that you could have really sublime experiences even as a beginner. In Actualism, even at my first Agni Yoga meditation session I felt I was really connecting with something greater, a big field of pure energy. I didn’t have to wait for years to have profound experiences.
Jon: Why did you choose Agni Yoga Meditation?
Genie: I also liked the idea that the work was independent of a “Big Guru.” I don’t like the idea that someone else has to be the intermediary for my spiritual experiences. I want to feel a deep and personal connection with the divine, and to feel that that experience is up to my own efforts and willingness to receive.
Jon: What specifically attracted you?
Genie: I was attracted to the idea of working with Light, working with energy directly. It seemed to bypass “religiousity” or stories about what was right or wrong, or who God is. I really respond to energy so this was a method that validated that experience. Everything is energy, and Agni Yoga meditation allows you to experience higher and higher octaves of energy as you have direct encounters with spiritual realms of consciousness.
I also liked the fact that there was a certain structure in the sequence of meditations. We weren’t just “vibing out” on higher energy, but there was a sense of Light “Work” in that we were actually moving energy, shaping energy and using energy to alter experience. The School of Actualism also had a very important concept of “grounding” meaning that we weren’t just trying to “get high” on energy, but we were tapping into higher frequencies and then learning how to bring those energy fields down into our human, physical experience.
Jon: Was there a particular experience early on that affected you that you can talk about?
Genie: In terms of my own personal healing, I remember one early experience I had when I was told I had a virus by my doctor. I decided to see if I could “unify” with the virus and experience the consciousness or intention of the virus. As odd as this may sound to those not used to thinking of everything as alive and as a frequency of energy, it made sense to me because of what I was learning in my Agni Yoga mediation training. I was able to energetically “connect” with the consciousness of the virus. I was able to “listen” to what it had to offer me. I remember it as a kind of inner negotiation. I was able to get the lesson and let it go. I was then able to clear the virus out of my system.
Jon: Wow! That must have really been a confirmation of the power of this form of meditation. Do you have other examples of the benefits of meditation and specifically how Agni Yoga meditation helped you?
Genie: Of course there were many experiences of healing myself and others. I do remember one that stood out in my mind. A TV director and I were editing a commercial on the sixteenth floor of a building where the elevators had been shut down for the night. The director said he felt ill and he lay down on the floor. He was very cold, had little pulse and seemed in a deep sleep. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t think ambulance men would walk up sixteen flights or carry him down. I began doing the inner healing work I had learned in my meditation classes. It also put me in a deep state, and I was almost asleep. About a half hour later he sat bolt up and said “Why are you sleeping? We have to finish editing!” He was fine, and acted as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
Jon: Now looking back over your years of meditation experiences, how is it integrated into your life?
Genie: Later in life I often use an energetic approach as an additional method to problem solving. When there is a problem with something or someone in my life – meaning they are not behaving in the way that I want them to behave – I remember that there is an energetic component to my feeling of disturbance. I am able to work on cleaning up my own energy patterns. This often results in a change of attitude on my part. I am not as upset as I was before doing this inner work. This gives me a clearer perspective as to what action to take (if action is needed). It helps me release judgment about the other person. Many times things change outside as a result of my shifting my personal energy field. This method of dealing with issues is the kind of discipline I learned in Actualism. I feel very grateful for this approach to living.
Jon: Thanks Genie!