About Carlos Castaneda
Dr. Carlos Castaneda was an anthropologist, visionary and author whose work continues to resonate and live on.
During the 1960’s Castaneda developed a unique relationship with a Yaqui Indian leader, who infused him with the knowledge of the shamans of ancient Mexico, a practical type of shamanism focused on the development of one’s attention and energy in order to liberate perception and regain vitality in life.
We (Aerin and Miles) met Castaneda in the mid 1990s and became his direct apprentices.
We were part of a small group who knew him personally and intimately, and from whom we learned how to adapt these ancient shamanic teachings to our modern needs, to expand our consciousness and to re-establish our link to the universe at large.
Castaneda changed completely the direction of our lives, and we are immensely grateful for the opportunity to learn to see the world in a different, more expansive and encompassing way. Castaneda taught us to shift our consciousness to the heart, a shift of the assemblage point, as he used to say. That means having our heart as the main center for perception, as a brain that communicates at a higher speed and reaches out farther than our rational mind.
An integral part of our training with Castaneda involved the daily practice of specialized movements by which the mind becomes more open and fluid and the body stronger and more vital.
“I (Miles) was a young medical doctor from Argentina when I met him, and I was trying to find my place as a healer and as a person. Serendipitous events led me to meet him and at the onset he said there was a reason for our encounter, that one day I was to bridge science and shamanism.
My apprenticeship under his tutelage was a 24/7 demonstration of what it means to be fully available to life as it is meant to be for all of us. He taught me hundreds of movements that had been part of the ancient legacy he had learned, and asked me to demonstrate and teach them to the public. My memory of him, even today, is intrinsically intertwined with the vitality he exuded and the love he had for these movements. Castaneda taught me discipline, elegance and what it means giving one’s best, and then some more.”
In body, mind and spirit Castaneda was an unparalleled role model. His curiosity, sense of humor, expansive mind, and generous heart are beyond any words we could use to describe them. What was most striking for us was that there was no distance between his actions and his words. He lived the legacy of the ancient sages with humbleness and sobriety. His unbending purpose for freedom from pseudo idealities has been a great source of inspiration for us.
“In my case (Aerin), I was in my early twenties when I met him and I felt limited by my interpretations of the world and my upbringing. I couldn’t find a way to feel connected to people; I was depressed and lonely, struggling to fit into a cold world.
Castaneda guided me to gather energy through the practice of movements and recapitulation, to suspend my negative self-talk and long-term negative habits. He inspired and supported me to educate my mind with science and literature. And he taught me to shift my center of perception to my heart by, first, learning to love the trees in his house. For four years I was invited daily to practice movements for long hours and to learn to prune and nurture his trees. By learning to care for nature, I learned to care for others and myself. That was the first step on shifting my consciousness to a higher purpose.”
Castaneda urged us to find our own way of living the teachings, to validate things through our own practice and experience; to not take anything for granted, to find what we loved and to follow and share with others the possibilities of paths with heart.
Being Energy® is part of the continuation of this legacy. As Castaneda’s students, we are compelled to share the tools, practices and deep understanding that he gave to us, and to flow and grow as he instructed.
Aerin Alexander and Dr. Miles Reid