During our apprenticeship, Carlos Castaneda emphasized practicing sequences of movements to regain focus and alertness.

“When paying attention, not only to what movement comes next in the sequence, but even more importantly to ‘how’ you are practicing each movement,” he said during a class break, “you align your mind and body, working in unison with a clear purpose. That is what don Juan called energy redeployment— bringing back one’s energy flow to the center of the mind-body unit.”

It was a hot, dry summer evening in LA; my mind was meandering and inner thoughts jumping while I watched myself performing movements in the mirror, trying to not mess up the sequence. For several months, I had followed the practice of not watching myself in the mirror, even when brushing my teeth or applying facial lotion. It was Castaneda’s suggestion, and I found it very liberating. Looking at myself in the mirror had become torture—I couldn’t stop judging myself. However, in the yoga studio in Santa Monica were Castaneda used to teach his classes, there was a long mirror and it was difficult to avoid watching myself as I practiced and getting lost in thoughts such as, “I am good at this move,” or “Oh, I can’t get this move like he is doing it”—an endless comparison.

“Energy redeployment is required to meet It,” he said, interrupting my thoughts. “LO Infinito,” he added, with piercing eyes looking towards me. A shiver ran through my sweaty spine.

He went on to say that seers of his lineage described “Infinity” as a field of infinite energy where we can expand and evolve as beings of awareness. Infinity, the universe or source, as named by other traditions, is where our lives originate, and where we return after our journey of awareness on earth has ended.

Castaneda came closer and almost whispered in my ear, “redeployment of energy beings about your energy body.” I didn’t understand it and felt a bit spooked by the idea of another body that resembles me, but is not really me.

He then continued telling the rest of the class that there are caches of energy that exist within the self. Don Juan told him that these caches are composed of energy that originates in the body itself and becomes displaced, pushed out of reach by the circumstances—the wear and tear—of daily life. In this sense, the practice of movement sequences with focus, precision and alertness, gives us a means for redeploying our unused energy.

“In the alignment of mind and movement, pay attention to your breath,” he said to all. “That is when Spirit whispers you.”

Redeploy your energy to bring daring and purpose to your actions and allow the Spirit to speak through you.

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