In this powerful podcast Steve talks to Baba Dez about Personal Power and how it has been suppressed for so long and what he is doing to help us all to step back into our Personal Power. Listen to the birds sing in the background as they talk by Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, or if you prefer to read you can read the transcript below!
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I’m here with Mr. Baba Dez Nichols who is the founder of ISTA (the International School of Temple Arts) and we’re going to talk today about many things, including consciousness, sexuality, what’s going on in the world right now and what we think is new direction of where sexuality and consciousness need to go. So Dez, tell us all about what ITSA is and why you started it.
The temple arts are teachings that serve humanity. Some people might remember or have heard references of temples of old, there are the Greek temples, the temples of Isis, the ancient temples in India and China, there’s even, of course, the temple of the Mayans in this land we’re are in here now. So, the temples have been around the planet for a long time and I think it’s significant, because the communities centered around temples, and such temples were a place for learning, for healing, for governance. The temples were seen to be important to societies and cultures that were emerging on the earth. And we’ve seen, especially in the last thousand years, a decline of temples. And they have been replaced by empires and religions which are taking over what the temples once were. I feel that temples are about empowering people and helping them live together in a healthy way. So, I think those arts and those sciences about the way we live, the arts practiced in those ancient temples, are really significant for humanity.
The International School of Temple Arts (ISTA) is really about bringing forward the wisdom from all that was lost. At the same time, we research developments of this past wisdom into a new, current one: “What are the new temple arts? What are the teachings that are serving humanity now?” That’s what the studies and practice of temple arts at ISTA are about – with an emphasis on personal power and understanding who we are and what our potential is as human beings. How do we live up to our potential and even expand our potential and increase our journey to that evolutionary edge? Humans have been evolving for thousands of years. We ask, “How can we continue to evolve in a positive way?”
Personal power is something that has been suppressed and repressed by religions and governments. Personal power is definitely something we all need to work on.
Sure, without our personal power, we can be controlled and we can be good serfs and servants, good employees, and we’re more in a place if we don’t understand our personal power, then we’re serving something else.
Do you think that without power we’re at a lower level of consciousness?
Yes, we’re at a lower level of consciousness, not that serving a culture can be a bad thing, but if you lose yourself, then you’re losing the core of what the temples are about, because the temples really start inside each person, and personal power is part of what creates collective power. However, if you’re in a culture or in a society where people are disconnected from their power, then you can have great concern for that.
I think one of the ways that religions and empires have controlled people is by disconnecting them from their personal power, which in essence is disconnecting them from their life force energy, which is intrinsically connected with sexual energy. If an entity can instill guilt, shame and fear around sex, then you are giving away great part of yourself.
Our sexuality has been one of the key things that has been suppressed. We’ve never been taught what a good sexual life is, we think we know from watching videos or speaking to our friends, but we don’t know what it is.
Yes, most people are either obsessed with sexuality or their sexuality is very repressed. And so, we really are asking a question, what is a healthy sexuality? Sexuality is going to look different for different people. And that’s healthy, because some people have different degrees of life force energy moving through them, some people channel it and use it in a different ways, but life force energy is basically that energy that animates all life, whether it is a tree, a human being or a planet. Our life force energy is something that basically is the foundations, the building blocks of our entire cosmos.
So if we can understand our energy and who we are as energy beings, then we can understand the importance of, hopefully, a healthy sexual energy. And when I talk about sexual energy, I’m not necessarily talking about how we share sex with someone else. I’m speaking more directly about how we actually move that sexual energy through our bodies and how we direct it in our lives so that we can be conscious creators and manifestors.
I believe that whether someone has a thousand lovers or whether someone is celibate and has no lovers, each one of us can master and cultivate a life with a lot of power and sexual energy. So it’s not so much about how we share it or who we share it with, the important thing is that it is running through our body and we’re conscious of it, of know how to raise that energy, know how to ground that energy. And it’s the awareness of that life force energy, which is very much connected to our sexual energy, that is the foundation of super-consciousness.
So, how can we connect better with our power?
I feel like where it’s gone wrong is that there has been a major power play, for thousands of years, that disconnected humanity from its power so that it could be manipulated and used. Like we already mentioned, we’ve learned to be good serfs and servants. And the way that it has happened has been by instilling guilt, shame and fear around our sexuality.
What I like to look at is: What are our beliefs? What are the judgments that keep us small? What are the telepathic agreements, the agreements that we unconsciously have, unspoken agreements that we unconsciously have with other people? This is where we keep each other in limited reality. So, if we can bring consciousness to the limiting beliefs, judgments, and telepathic agreement in our lives, and we shift those beliefs and those things, then what we do is we can access more power and we can access more consciousness and we can start perceiving ourselves outside of the boxes that we live in, that we don’t even know we are living in.
Can you give me an example of a telepathic agreement we might have?
There’s a classic example I like to use and that’s the example at work. When the boss gets angry, the workers get scared. So, every time that the person in power, the boss, is angry, people are going to have an automatic fear response. But if you actually look at the relationship and that dynamic, that telepathic agreement, it only takes one person to break the telepathic agreement: if I bring it into consciousness, the boss can get as angry as the boss wants, I just won’t get scared. I don’t need to be. I’m not participating in what everyone else in the office – or in whatever business – is doing, so it takes me out of the certain energetic dynamic with the controlling power.
It’s about breaking these pathways that we’re all so used to.
Yes, and they are all over the place, with our partners, with our spouses, with our children, with our parents, and our government; there are a lot of telepathic agreements everywhere. And most people aren’t really consciously aware of those agreements that are running in their lives.
That’s an example of a telepathic agreement. There’s also a lot of limiting beliefs. Beliefs around money, beliefs around spirituality, around power. One of the common beliefs regarding spirituality in the new age communities is that if I’m a spiritual being then I’m not sexual. Or if I’m a spiritual being, I can’t be wealthy.
There are many people that have a lot of unconscious fear around power. Many people have a lot of shame and guilt around money, health, and relationships. These are all things that are limiting our potential.
Can you explain what happens at an ISTA workshop?
Let me start by just saying that I’m somebody who’s come from a background of spirituality and personal growth, and I’ve done a lot of workshops over the years. This isn’t just another workshop. What we’re doing is we’re using the temple arts, and we’re using modern psychology and shamanic techniques to go back and re-pattern our neurological conditioning.
We call it the spiritual, sexual, shamanic experience, because it is all those things. And we’re delivering a lot of experiences, not just information, that most people have never had. So it’s difficult to talk about it. But we are basically wiping and cleaning our hard drives and we’re uploading a new program for power, presence and love. So much of the old programming doesn’t serve us, and what we want to do is a conscious thing, it’s not a brainwashing thing, because what we want is to support people to be in a state of total choice all the time. To be in presence and awareness and choice, so nothing ever happens that nobody wants to do.
We have this weeklong experience that addresses your conditioning, addresses your patterning. You’re able to see where you’re living at a fraction of your potential, and then we actually support you with the tools and techniques that actually wake up and connect with the life force energy that you are and step deeply into your power.
This experience, as I said, is a week long. Because there’s a journey that happens, and it’s the journey that we didn’t get when we were children. It’s the the information and the experiences we didn’t get from our parents to really become extraordinary human beings.
We do a lot of regression, and re-patterning of the things we didn’t get when we were in the womb. The thing we didn’t get when we were born, the things we didn’t get when we were three, four, five, six and seven years old. A lot of that early patterning is the foundation of how we live the rest of our lives. And if you don’t address that stuff you’re not going be able to hold power, because most people in this world do not have the foundation of power, and no matter what they do, no matter how many workshops and great things, and readings, and healings they receive, they don’t have the software to hold power. So we have to go back and reset our nervous systems and our DNA so that we’re actually capable of generating, directing and cultivating power. And that’s really what the event is about.
Having been through the workshop, it certainly is about stepping into your power. It is a sexuality based workshop, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be sexual to another person. One of the great things you do is, at the beginning of the workshop, you talk about healthy boundaries; about how to say no. For example, you could be in a relationship and have an argument, and you both know it’s not right to have sex but you do it anyway.
That’s a good example of how it plays out, as I like to say, your yeses don’t mean anything if you don’t know how to say no. If I know somebody knows how to say no, then I can also trust that they’re saying yes from a place of truth and power. The bottom line is we don’t really want anything from anyone that they’re not really wiling to share, and often times we try to coerce people or convince them to do things they don’t want do, so basically what we’re doing is we’re trying to get something from them.
There’s a lot of behavior that’s really dysfunctional. Many of the social problems around rape, unwanted pregnancy, and all kinds things, can be avoided by cultivating a certain level of consciousness and understanding who we are as powerful beings. We also have to look at all the conditioning and lack of education we have around our power, especially around sexual energy, which is very much connected to our personal power. This influences our health, our relationships, our abundance. It’s cornerstone stuff, the issues that we deal with in the workshop.
And you’re correct; we can do the whole weeklong workshop with never touching any other person. Our sexuality starts with ourselves, and as you know, to have a deeply connected experience with your own personal power and be a total choice of whom, how and when you want to interact with another person is always a great thing. The most important thing is to be at choice, and to be able to say no when you want to say no and yes when you want say yes. And that’s really honored and respected in the workshop. It’s key.
Much of the workshop is about connecting with body, a disassociation from ego and what you feel at a particular moment in time. We’re not used to feeling deeper within our bodies.
The ego is something we developed because it keeps us safe, because we don’t really have a strong presence or awareness, and one of my definitions of love is that love is being fully aware, fully present and totally out of control. The ego keeps control of our life and it’s a substitute for divine awareness or healthy awareness and presence. If we can cultivate a healthy awareness and presence, we need the ego less and less. This isn’t so much of a mental process, but it’s about the wisdom of your physical body, the wisdom of your heart and the wisdom of your emotional body. This is the thing that is deep within our being; some people might call it soul. It’s about bringing consciousness from our mind to the consciousness that already exists in our bodies, in our hearts and in our souls. Rather than figuring out what to do, we can feel what to do, because the wisdom already exists.
It’s a great thing that you are bringing these teachings back in order to move human consciousness forward.
Yes, I like the word forward. I like bringing the teachings forward. I keep a positive attitude to the fact that humanity is waking up and it’s about time, because without consciousness we’re in a really dangerous place. We’re developing scientifically and technologically, we’ve already got greed and control in the energy and nuclear industries, and without bringing consciousness to these things we’re developing as a species, we can create our own demise. We already are.
It goes back to telepathic agreements and healthy boundaries. We have to stand up to all the hellish things that are going on.
Well, it is powerless people that aren’t willing to stand up, exactly because they’ve been disconnected from their power, and somehow we give away our power thinking the governments are going to take good care of us and make the right decisions for us. But even the people who are running the governments don’t know what power is – they don’t know who they are as energy beings, and what is often moving them is greed. We all have to wake up. The more of us that consciously choose to wake up and step into our power, the more difference it’s going to make in the collective consciousness, because we’re all a piece of it. It doesn’t mean we have to convince anyone of anything else; they’re going to get there on their own. What we need to do, those who have a bit more consciousness, we have to step into super-consciousness.
This is what this workshop is all about; it’s to support people who are semi-awake or awake to actually turn on to who they are as powerful, manifesting beings and step all the way into their power. That’s what is going to help shift consciousness on this planet. I’m also excited about other teachers of consciousness coming along and seeing what we’re doing here, and realizing that we’ve created this system over the past 30 years, a system that delivers people to a place of power in just one week. I don’t know of anything else that does this. That’s why I’m so excited by other educators seeing what we’re doing. We invite anybody who understands the teachings to help evolve them to the next step, we keep evolving over the years and keep refining it, it gets better and better.
Another thing to note is that nobody works for ISTA, I founded ISTA but I don’t even work for ISTA. What I’m working for is humanity, and ISTA is a living organism of love and human consciousness. We can’t keep talking about oneness without addressing our power, and that comes from our life force energy and our sexuality. At ISTA, we delve right into it, we’re not afraid to address it – most people are.
Check out what we do at schooloftemplearts.org, we have trainings all over the world right now.
Thank you, Dez.
Thank you for all that you are doing and I wish you all the best in your ventures.
These trainings are aimed at men and women who are dedicated to the ongoing practice of evolving consciousness and deeper embodiment and who support others on this path. Central to this are presence, awareness, personal empowerment, emotional intelligence, sexual wholeness, and a lifestyle which honours the interconnectedness of all things. Acknowledging and embracing one’s shadow (or un-integrated psychological material) is the cornerstone of this work.
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