What is Alaya?

Alaya-vijnana is a “storehouse consciousness,” a potential that makes you feel the creation and destruction of the universe inside of you.   I call that feeling “Alaya,” one that you can feel when you’re dancing with a thousand people, fighting for your life, or drinking good wine with friends.  “Alaya” is when you lose all thought and control; when you feel completely in the moment.  It can be absolute bliss or absolute pain, but it is always pure, powerful, and undeniable.

How do we find it?

We’ll do whatever it takes, across the world, from the strangest hideaways to the most mundane street corner, to find Alaya wherever it’s buried.  Maybe it’s in a party, or a temple, or even a cult.  But it’s there, and it’s waiting.  And if we can’t find it?  We’ll make it.

Why now?

Because no matter what networks we create or what virtual spaces we inhabit, there’s an undeniable beauty to our bodies and being in the moment.  We face rampant depression, dissatisfaction, aimless ambition.  If we can rediscover what our ancestors practiced, and what it really meant to them, then we can build a brighter future.

Where to next?

India – To see the ritual bathing in the waters of Sangam, the power of the Sarasvati river, and the many festivals that celebrate the links between people and nature.  What’s waiting on the other side of the world?

Crete – The ancient island of the Minoans, where an easygoing island life has ancient Gods, kings, even pederasty.  How does a slower lifestyle change us, and how does the past remain?

Turkey – A center of the world where all corners of the Earth collide, and political unrest has created a new group of young intelligetsia.  Sufi spiritualists practice dances and rituals said to bring feelings of divinity, and traditional healers still work in the shadows.  What can one of the world’s most dynamic cities do to bring us higher?

Malawi – “There is no motion without rhythm.”  Ngoma drumming, group dances and healers form a vibrant culture where an entire community dances together.  Do they go further, feel more, when they let themselves feel the rhythms of our world through their drums?