Dr. Ian Baker - Outer Pilgrimage, Inner Yogas, and Secret Elixirs | Wisdom Keeper E4

DR. IAN BAKER is a Tibetan scholar, yogi, explorer and author with more than 40 years experience studying and teaching Tibetan Buddhism. He is an international fellow of the Explorers Club and was honored by National Geographic Society as one of six ‘Explorers for the Millennium’ for his ethnographic and geographical field research in Tibet’s Tsangpo gorge and his team’s discovery of a waterfall that had been the source of myth and geographic speculation for more than a century.

Ian is the author of seven critically acclaimed books on Himalayan and Tibetan cultural history, environment, art, and medicine including The Heart of the World: A Journey to the Last Secret Place, The Tibetan of Art of Healing, and The Dalai Lama’s Secret Temple, a collaborative work with His Holiness The Dalai Lama that illuminates Tantric Buddhist meditation practices. Ian’s latest book, Tibetan Yoga: Secrets from the Source. Ian has also written for National Geographic Magazine and has contributed to academic journals in the fields of Tibetan yoga in Vajrayāna Buddhism. Ian also leads pilgrimages to sacred sites in India, Tibet, and Bhutan.

In this episode of the Wisdom Keeper podcast Ian and Miles trace his own Hero’s journey from his childhood expeditions in mountaineering, to his first pilgrimage to Nepal at 19 where he met some of the most celebrated Tibetan masters of the last century, to his first experience of awakening, kensho, during meditative retreat, and to his pioneering efforts to practice the Tibetan yogas under the advise of His Holiness the Dalia Lama in solitary retreat in a secret cave. The conversation cuts to the heart of dzongchen, where we dance between illusion, the self-imposed limits of mind, and the boundless luminosity of our own true nature. This is one pilgrimage you won't want to miss.

In this episode Dr. Ian Baker and Miles discuss:

・His childhood interest in adventure and mountaineering which helped him learn to push beyond self-imposed mental limitations and would later inform his yogic practices.

・His college junior year abroad that took him to Kathmandu and changed the course of his life when he meet some of the greatest Tibetan masters of this century.

・Ian discusses his first break through meditative experience into the nature of mind during a college retreat and its residual impact on the course of his life.

・He describes his return to Nepal for intensive meditation retreat in a High Himalayan cave practicing the advices given to him personally by the Dalai Lama. 

・We frame Ian life as one that converges the outer, inner, and secret forms of pilgrimage. 

・Ian discusses the union of wisdom and bliss found within the nervous system and accessed through Tibetan Yogas. 

・We discuss the intersection between psychedelics Greek and Tibet mysticism, including a new research project of his exploring the use of soma in a very secret Tara cult in India.

・Finally we reflect on what it means “to go back in order to go forward.”

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