Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mark Whitwell's New Book, The Promise


Here is my review of Mark's wonderful new book on

The Promise Delivers

The Promise is a deceptively simple, yet extremely powerful, spiritual practice. This technique has been called "advanced yoga for perfect beginners" because it is equally beneficial for experienced yogis and for complete beginners. Don't let the simplicity fool you. Yoga adepts can incorporate this technique into whatever system they are already doing and take it to the next level. After 35 years of a serious yoga practice, a few minutes into doing the Promise my entire reality changed. This is how yoga was supposed to be all along!

Mark purposely avoids using the word "yoga" or any other Sanskrit terminology in this book, except in the "Afterward" where he explains why. His intent was to distill down the essence of the ancient hatha/tantra tradition and present it in religiously neutral modern language, so as to make the practice accessible to EVERYONE and indeed, it is. Unlike the modern notion of "yoga" as acrobatic contortions attainable only by athletic skinny people and/or celibate monks in a Himalayan cave, if you can breathe, you can do the Promise! I have taught it to beginners, "special needs" kids and wheelchair-bound persons and it works great for them.

In addition to providing step-by-step instructions on the basic technique, this book also does a wonderful job of explaining very simply and directly the nondual philosophy of tantrism, a much-needed antidote to the insidious influence of gnostic dualism, "spirit is good, flesh is evil" which has unfortunately pervaded the religious traditions of both East and West. This divorce of body and soul has resulted in estrangement from ourselves, from God and each other. The Promise offers healing, and can be used by people of any religion and all walks of life to re-connect with their faith and realize their spiritual ideals in a tangible manner.

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