Meet Our Mentors – Jayendra Hanley

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Learn more about Jayendra Hanley in his mini interview below!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I began practising hatha yoga in 1977 at the age of 23. That led me to the meditation path of Siddha Yoga, so I’ve been devoted to these practices most of my life.  In the early 1990’s, I met John Friend at the Siddha Yoga ashram, and I became inspired to practice and teach Anusara Yoga.  

From 2005 to 2019, I lived in Europe and offered Anusara Immersions and Teacher Trainings all over Western Europe.  More recently, I moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania (USA). I’m now teaching classes and 300-Hour modules online.  

I met Paul Muller-Ortega in the early 1990’s, and now I am an ardent practitioner and teacher of Neelakantha Meditation, and love offering Initiation into Neelakantha Meditation for those who are interested in a deep, Tantra-based mantra meditation, and several times a month, I lead online group meditations with friends and students who all say how powerful it is to meditate together in that way. 

I’m intensively studying Shaiva-Shakta Tantra with Paul, and in the last two years, helped create and teach courses about the Pratyabhijñāhṛdayam, the Śiva Sūtras, and the Vijñānabhairava Tantra.  

Why did you choose to become a mentor?

Looking back, I realize that I’ve always searched for meaning in life, and I recognize that I found that meaning along with great joy through practice, teaching, service, and community.  I do lots of Seva for Paul’s Blue Throat Yoga organization, and since the Anusara School of Hatha Yoga began [in 2021], I have served in the curriculum and licensing areas.  Two ways I find fulfilment are through teaching and service, perhaps because they have led to connection with wonderful communities, and so I look forward to sharing my love of meditation with members of our Anusara community during this session.

Tell us about your session. What is it about? What will teachers learn?

Meditation is the most direct path to what we call the Heart, the inner Self, or the Light of Consciousness that is our Center. Nondual Tantra teaches us that meditation, and other practices, can transform and uplevel our experience of all of life.  In this session, we’ll talk about a few core concepts, such as how meditation works, about the two (actually three) main flows of our awareness, why our minds can seem so active, and how the Śiva Sūtras explain how meditation works, how a meditation mantra works, and why with regular practice, life expands!  We will meditate two times for ten minutes each, using two different “universal” mantras, and have time for questions and shares.  I’d also like to briefly share how I usually teach meditation in all of my Anusara yoga classes.

What is your inspiring message for our students and members?

Once after teaching an Anusara yoga class, I was having tea with a few friends, and we were talking about meditation.  One of my friends said, “Meditation is such a gift.  I really like how, when I’m meditating, there’s that moment of peace, ah, I love it. And then the rest of the day seems to go so much better.”  

I like to share that story because it summarizes the two general reasons why we meditate.  In Anusara yoga, we talk about heart qualities.  In meditation, we enter that space where the heart qualities live, we sort of soak up their flavour, and then eventually, that rasa, that flavor, transforms our body-minds so that everything shines as that Light of Consciousness.  And we all are experiencing that when we meditate together online, ahh, that Shakti can be so strong, and then the day goes so much better. So join us for two meditation sessions during this session.

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