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Carlos de León Interview:

A Spiritual Vision of Prosperity


Carlos de León is the founder Ontogony Evolution. He is a spiritual teacher and visionary, known for his unique ability to integrate diverse religious & spiritual traditions, martial arts, chi kung, meditation, shamanism, paranormal phenomena, and alternative healing. In this interview, Carlos spoke with Banyen about his aims and influences, and about the role of prosperity and abundance in the spiritual life. Carlos will be presenting a free public talk at Banyen on Thursday, January 21, plus a weekend workshop January 30-31 on "A Spirtiual Vision of Prosperity".
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Banyen: You have PhDs in Clinical Psychology and Holistic Medicine. You are the founder of the Mexican Association for Psychotherapy and Transpersonal Development, and I understand you are also a Swami and the head of one of the lineages of Kashmir Shaivism. Can you tell us a bit about your unique background and training?

Carlos de León: I was fortunate to be born and raised in Mexico City, which has a very particular heritage of being a cultural bridge between many cultures. This reflected in my upbringing in a very open education, where I was exposed to a large number of various trends of thought, paradigms, and as a result, created the perfect environment for universalism.

For example, the university where I studied was one of the first academic institutions which promoted the study of ‘Transpersonal Psychology’ in the general academic world. Also, in the 1980's, at a time when Parapsychology was on the brink of being accepted as a science, the Parapsychology Institute in Mexico City offered a unique training for research and development in this field of study.

I was brought up in a family belonging to a religious minority in Mexico, we were Presbyterians, and the teachings of the Bible was a significant part of our life. At 15 years old, I expanded my horizons and started training in Karate with a Japanese Master who was a close friend and disciple of the Zen Master Ejo Takata Roshi. Through these contacts, a great interest was awakened within me, not only for Martial Arts, but also for Chi Kung, Acupuncture, and Meditation, which I continue to research and study to the present day. 

As my father's family had a strong tradition in the shamanic, esoteric and psychic world, it was quite natural for me to join the Parapsychology Institute where I actively participated in the areas of research. When it came time to choose a career, I opted to study Clinical Psychology, because at this time, there was no option for Consciousness Psychology or Transpersonal Psychology, except for the program conducted at the John F. Kennedy University, in California.

At this time, the strong current in Psychology in Mexico was the Analytical, but the Body-Mind approach was emerging, and I was very fortunate to study under the three therapists which were the key pillars of the inception of this movement in Mexico.

The next logical step for me, was….India!, where in my first trip I was blessed in meeting my root Gurus in Hindu Tantra (Swami Shankarananda of the Ananda Namah Lineage, Kasmir) and in Vajrayana (H. H. Gyalwang Drukpa), which practices I have cultivated to this day.

This trip was the starting point for a journey; which has lasted over the duration of my life, studying with different teachers, in different countries and traditions which include: India, China, Nepal, Korea, Israel, Bali, Thailand, and several places in America and Europe.

Banyen: As the founder of 'Ontogony Evolution' which includes the areas of religion, martial arts, chi kung, meditation, spiritual traditions, shamanism, paranormal phenomena, body-mind therapies and alternative healing. Can you enlighten us, as to how, these diverse traditions fit together?

Carlos de León: I created the word Ontogony from the Greek roots of 'Self-Realization', or 'Becoming of the Self', which holds the vision for a unique discipline that encourages the search for, and attainment of, complete self awareness. It is a multi-faceted field that brings together scientific research, ancient teachings, and spiritual traditions, many of which are being changed or lost to the world of today. Through the last thirty-five years, the following points came to my understanding, and influenced the evolution of Ontogony, as it exists today:

First, many of the ancient traditions within minor lineages are disappearing because they have not been able to re-interpret their teachings and adapt them to a modern-day mentality.

Secondly, some of the strong remaining traditions are trying to preserve their teachings and transmit the knowledge of the tradition in ways that have not been adapted to the global cultures of today.

Thirdly, many of the living traditions are really not interested in a universal model of reality. They respect other points of view, but they are not willing to transform and create a new experience for the humanity of our modern day world.

These points inspired Ontogony to pursue interests such as: to rescue the wisdom lineages around the globe which are disappearing, and also, to create new models, new explanations. And this of course involves the re-interpretation of traditional teachings, which in many cases is not appreciated by some of our great spiritual Teachers.

I often joke at times that Ontogony’s mission is ‘spiritual hacking’, because we openly teach many ‘secret teachings’ without having ‘to belong’ to any tradition. And, from this point of view, we believe that all models and their explanations have to be improved, to evolve and transform, to be more inclusive and unified paradigms. If a model cannot be improved, it should be disposed of. This is the basis of evolution. The time is now, to strive to find universal models of spirituality.


Banyen: What is the aim of the Teachings of Ontogony and embarking on this path of evolution?

Carlos de León
: Through the years of research and teaching many students, I came up with a simple conclusion: it doesn't matter which path you are on, or what your tradition is, for the development of our full potential, we need to include in our practices of evolution and growth these three areas:

Energy; because to create transformation we need it, and most of the energy we have is already invested in our daily life, which for a great part is very neurotic. Chi kung and Shamanism, for example, are excellent means to develop and manage our energy.

Clarity; dealing consciously with our neurotic patterns, which maintains a waste of energy and a limited understanding of reality. Therapy and Psychotherapy are effective ways to expand clarity and transform our neurosis.

Awareness; we need to expand consciously our observation of ourselves and the world around us. Without being aware, it is impossible to create any change in our lives. Meditation is the royal path that develops awareness and cousciousness.
I realized that the Body-Mind approach was an excellent field to focus all my interests; the Body, the Energy, the Emotions, the Mind, Spirituality, everything could be placed in a beautiful Gestalt.

In Ontogony, the ultimate goal is to practice in the Divine Grace and to consciously experience the true nature of the Self and the constant flow of discovery, research, practice and sharing.

Banyen: At your Banyen talk (January 21, 2016) and the weekend workshop (January 30-31, 2016); you will be presenting a “Spiritual Vision of Prosperity”. Can you share what is your “Spiritual Vision of Prosperity and Abundance?

Carlos de León
: Over the years I have encountered many serious practitioners who suffer from material limitations, even though some can be quite accomplished in their path. And of course, in general, many people also have this limitation.

From a Tantric point of view, the belief in Grace, limitations are not necessary. Similarly, accumulation of wealth for the sake of greediness, or false security are not necessary and mistaken points of view.

Prosperity and abundance in a spiritual life, is to have means to have a comfortable life, which can give you the possibility to enjoy, learn, practice and to help others to do the same.

In Tantra “Wealth” (Artha), is one of the four goals to achieve, together with Liberation (Moksha), Virtue (Dharma) and Bhoga (Joy and Pleasure). But ‘Wealth’ is about wealth in the experience of learning, friendship, family, and material conditions.

Banyen: How does one cultivate this sense of abundance?

Carlos de León
: One of the key points is to purify our view and interpretation of reality, especially the material aspect and the concepts of money. This begins with understanding the karmic conditions which have created our patterns of living, and our experience of richness in every sense.

In addition, cultivating the presence of Grace in our daily life, and practicing 'skilful means', or techniques for modifying our conditions in a compassionate manner, can offer assistance and guidance to transform and shift our paradigms of abundance.

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To find out more about Carlos de León visit his website at ontogony.com. Full details about his upcoming Banyen Talk (Jan 21) and Workshop (Jan 30-31).

Interview © January 5, 2016 Banyen Books & Sound