Many of you have seen Rowan at the Tea Lounges, or received insight into your life as he read your cards over a cup of tea. He’s Samovar’s tarot shaman, and he is writing a series on modern-day shamans. Here, he introduces us to Archimedes Deleon, Hanuman Shaman.
Rowan – How did you get started on your spiritual path?
Arch – I was born into a very spiritually dedicated family and they studied everything under the sun. The foundation of my spiritual journey was my grandfather from my mother’s side. His name is Calixto Miranda and he founded the Spiritista Movement in the Philippines, which has about 250,000 members.
It was laid down for me at very early age as I saw my father, who is one of my grandfather’s students, preaching at our center, next door to our house. I was fascinated with how he spoke and handled himself in his daily life. I was so impressed with how he helped people. It was embedded in my mind, and since then I haven’t wanted to do anything else. I have focused and dedicated my life now, to pretty much the same thing, helping others through the spiritual journey and knowing myself through the spiritual practice as my grandfather did.
But, I am here in the west and here we study yoga, so I have expanded this practice from my grandfather’s teaching. I trained at the Integral Yoga Institute in San Francisco and became a yoga teacher. I learned the traditional Hatha form, and I expanded from there. I also became a body worker, a healer, and a teacher of many metaphysical perspectives. I founded The Hanuman Center to expand these services.
Rowan – Can you tell us about the Spiritista path that your grandfather founded?
Arch – The Spiritist path, they call it “Spiritista” in the Philippines, came from France. They studied philosophy, science, and the Bible. They are energy healers and they can talk to the other side. I love the fact that it is not a religion, they are not a church. It is a center to study oneself. I was so impressed with them, they really opened my mind to the fact that there is not just one spiritual path, there are many! My approach became integral, it’s so broad. The more tools you have in your box, the better. The only thing I felt was missing from the Spiritista tradition was the body based practices of yoga and bodywork. I really felt that it was not just about talking – that’s the old format. Nowadays it would need to be hands-on because the human being is many layered: spirit, emotion, and body too. I thought if I expanded from my grandfather’s foundation, my practice would be more enriched.
Rowan – What are the practices you teach at The Hanuman Center?
Arch – We teach yoga, many different kinds. I love Kundalini, it is all about the nervous system. Some of the teachers at The Hanuman Center are also healers, so we do healing work in the back of the center for people who want to look at themselves more deeply. We offer Ayurveda, Reiki, Acupressure and more. We also offer our Integral Studies classes because there is so much to learn. At the beginning, you need a daily physical practice, but that is not all! The human being is so complex and there are many paths to self-knowledge. I have workshops on sounds, and dance and even TAROT! I think it is very important to provide these different avenues to different people. The purpose is not to find an answer but to ask powerful questions that open our consciousness so we can really look at ourselves. At Hanuman Center we don’t give answers, we create a safe place for people to open up. The danger in this business is that people are quick to give easy answers and what I’ve learned is that when you give an individual an answer, they don’t keep it. An individual needs to find the answer themselves in order to keep it. As teachers, we need to put aside our egos and help people to find their own answers.
Rowan – How did you discover Samovar Tea Lounge?
Arch – I have been a fan of Samovar from the beginning. I appreciate their values and their sensitivity. Jesse, who is the founder of Samovar, is amazing. He is mindful of the entire experience. Drinking tea is a doorway to looking at oneself! Being at Samovar is a ritual for me. When I was creating Hanuman Center’s vision, I was at the Castro Samovar almost every day. If you do healing work you become very sensitive to your environment, and to what you put in your body, the food you eat and the tea you drink. I needed to be in a place that supported and grounded me. Samovar was and still is that place!
Rowan -What are your favorite Samovar Teas?
Arch – It depends on the weather, on a hot day I love their cold teas; right now I’m drinking Jasmine Lemonade, but on a cold day, their Masala Chai is the best!
Rowan – Can you give our readers a one-minute meditation to get a taste of your teaching?
Arch – Simply close your eyes, because the outward senses need to be calmed down. Go inward. To do that you have to concentrate, take a couple of deep breaths. Next, you “internally smile”, it’s very important because breath with an internal smile calms down the nervous system, activating the serotonin and opiates in the body. Now, relax the muscles of the chest and shoulders. Slowly expand the breath, and focus on the out-breath. Simply allow. The key is to allow the breath to breath you. Bring your internal smile all the way down to your toes. Meditation for me is just allowing ones consciousness to be taken by the spirit of breath, it’s complete surrendering. The mind has to trust this process.
Archimedes is the founder of The Hanuman Center in San Francisco. Find out about their classes, workshops and events at www.hanumancenter.com.
Stay tuned for next month’s Samovar Shaman: Shambhu- Metaphysical Musician! http://www.shambhumusic.com
Rowan Cutler is the “Tarot Shaman” for Samovar Tea Lounge. He is a sought after SF Psychic who has been in private practice for 15 years. He is a published author and wrote for an Emmy nominated TV show. Let him lay out the cards and read the story of your life! Join him at Samovar for an only-in-SF experience to compliment your contemplative teatime.
See Rowan’s scheduled readings at Samovar’s Tea Lounges at www.wowtarot.com. Drop in during Rowan’s hours for a reading, reserve a spot ahead of time – or purchase a Tea and Tarot Gift Certificate for a great gift, date, and out-of-the-ordinary adventure with friends!