Week 5 – Crossing the Threshold
Neo is pulled into the mirror and wakes up in the real world in The Matrix. Jason Bourne discovers a safety deposit box in his name filled with
money, passports, and a gun in The Bourne Identity. Sarah Connor watches the Terminator get up after being knocked down by a shotgun blast to the
chest in The Terminator. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy go through the wardrobe and arrive in Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
When the Hero Crosses the Threshold, he or she passes from the Ordinary World into an extraordinary one. The rules to which the Hero is accustomed no
longer apply and a new framework comes into play. Sometimes a choice, sometimes not, Crossing the Threshold is the true start of a Hero’s adventures on the
If you are following the program, at this point you’ll have four weeks of meditation practice under your belt. You’ll start noticing changes in your
internal state, your relationships, and your life. You may feel calmer and more confident, you may be thinking about things differently, and you may find
the little things that irritated you previously are not as bothersome. Your health will also improve as meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure,
reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and improve sleep.
You may also be more emotional and more likely to get angry or fly off the handle. This is a positive sign as well. Meditation can reconnect you with your
emotions and release repressed feelings. Outbursts are normal and will pass as your meditation practice regulates your emotional state and balances your
Meditation is like disconnecting the motor that runs the flywheel of your mind. As your mind slows down, you become aware of thoughts and feelings that
were hidden by your frenetic day-to-day mental activities. Becoming aware of these hidden events allows you to process them, and as you do, the flywheel of
your mind slows to a stop and gives you access to true peace.
Feel free to allow your meditation practice to evolve. You may want to try meditation without the audio tracks, utilize different postures, or experiment with your own techniques.
Like meditation, exercise, or laughter, yoga is one of those activities that seem to have almost magical results. Yoga has physical, mental, and spiritual
components and can provide the following benefits:
Increased strength and coordination
Just look at Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sting. All practitioners, they manage to keep looking young and healthy using yoga as a fundamental part of
their fitness routines. It relaxes the mind, tones the body, and replenishes the spirit.
Although a primer on yoga is outside the scope of this book, there are ample resources available for starting a yoga practice. You’ll find a list of styles here and if you live in a major city you’ll have no trouble finding a class that suits you. If not,
or you’d prefer to start at home, there are many superb instructional videos. I’d recommend A.M. and P.M. Yoga from Gaiam as a great beginner’s video, and if you’ve
started your martial arts practice, Introducing Yoga for Martial Arts from Grapplearts is excellent.
Biofeedback devices allow the user to become aware of bodily processes of which they are not normally conscious. Heart rate variability, skin conductance,
blood pressure, and other functions can be measured and communicated to the user through sensors and user interface devices such as computers. These
devices can be used to reduce stress, manage health, and increase relaxation.
Most biofeedback devices are expensive and not intended for consumer use, but there are options available for the committed mind/body explorer. The Journey to Wild Divine (The Passage and Wisdom Quest) by
Wild Divine is a hardware biofeedback device that measures heart rate variability and skin conductance and displays the results through a video game
interface that runs on PC and Mac computers. It is set up as an adventure game and takes the player through a series of exercises that increase internal
energy and promote relaxed and meditative states.
Similar to the meditation audio tracks that you’ve been using with Living the Hero’s Journey, The Journey to Wild Divine can help you
regulate your internal state so that you feel calm and centered. I’ve used this biofeedback system myself and have found it invaluable, but it does require
commitment as the exercises can be difficult. I’ve discovered involuntary nervous system reactions to excitement and stress that keep me from feeling calm,
and it’s a long process to change my internal wiring so that calmness is my default state. I’m highly motivated to continue, though, and The Journey to Wild Divine makes the process fun.
Keep in mind that this biofeedback system is in no way required for Living the Hero’s Journey and is presented here solely as an optional training
Week 5 Exercises and Resources
- Continue your weekly meditations. Once a day this week, listen to Week 5 - Crossing the Threshold.
Continue meditating for the rest of this course and beyond.
- You should be comfortable with your meditation practice, so feel free to experiment with different techniques. Meditate without the audio tracks, in
different postures or locations, or for longer periods of time. Keep in mind that you cannot meditate incorrectly.
- Try a yoga class or video. Pick a
style that interests you and take a class at a local school. If
there isn’t an appropriate school nearby, buy, rent, or borrow an instructional video with a routine in your chosen style. Your local library may have a
great selection of yoga videos.
- Take a look at the Wild Divine
website. The products are not cheap, but if they are
within your means and you have the interest, be sure to consider them as a potential option.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
A.M. and P.M. Yoga
Introducing Yoga for Martial Arts
The Journey to Wild Divine