About Original Wisdom
is a pathway for those wanting to experience the inner teachings of mantra and yoga philosophy for themselves through an immersion into sound, meditation and scholarly precision. It is the labour of love of a Sanskrit journeyer, of someone who was ‘got’ by a need to know the inner teachings of yoga, ‘the word’ and sound.
The teachings of Original Wisdom weave a precise and clear roadmap of the Sanskrit language through an experience of the sound of the language: as we hear the subtleties of resonance we learn to trust the authority of our own experience. Taught through the sounds of the bhagavad gītā, the yoga sūtra, the veda and other spiritual texts. Our live and online classes, workshops and retreats blend finely honed, ancient oral teaching traditions with modern learning methods for the western mind. It is a place where sound and space meet structure and form.
Original Wisdom creates the space to enter the cosmic vision held within each letter of the Sanskrit language. And for those wanting to walk the path of intellectual illumination, Original Wisdom offers the teachings of Pāṇini, the great visionary of the Sanskrit language whose breathtaking exposition breaks open the understanding of our own language so that we begin to speak every utterance and hear every murmur of the mind as a whisper of the reverence of life herself.
LUCY CRISFIELD founded Original Wisdom to add depth and precision to the modern teachings of the ancient yoga lineages, inspired by her own desire for awakening and intellectual illumination. She shares her love of language with the intent of it opening spiritual doors and insights, weaving the teachings and sounds of the tradition to deepen understanding.
After studying the violin and piano at the Royal College of Music, Lucy received a first class honours degree in mathematics and Music and left London to travel solo through 17 countries over three years in her quest for a deeper understanding of life. She then worked for a tour operator designing and taking tours in the Middle East for four years during which time she discovered the magic of how the spiritual expresses itself through the word, studying Arabic in Damascus, Yemen and East London and Hebrew and Sanskrit at SOAS in London.
Lucy designs and delivers unique classes which fuse the intellectual rigour of her mathematical background and Sanskrit studies with her deep connection with sound received through her classical music training, and later through the teachings of the Krishnamcarya Yoga Mandiram and finally Peterji Harrison who initiated her into the advaita vedanta tradition.
OUR LOGO is a merging of the Sanskrit sound ‘aim‘, ऐं, and the hourglass shape of śiva‘s ḍamaru drum. ‘aim’ places us directly into the original flow of creative wisdom; the light of consciousness known as saraswatī and śiva‘s ḍamaru drum creates the powerful sequence of letters known as the Sanskrit alphabet. Imagine sounding these sounds each morning, feeling your tongue dance along the articulation points of the Sanskrit language? Your mouth will sing with vibration as the sounds re-enact the cosmic dance of creation as you sink into the timeless transcendence of the moment.
Most of these early students became life-long friends; spiritual comrades connected by our shared love of the Sanskrit language and its cosmic capacities. At this time my income came mainly from teaching the piano and violin which created the freedom for me to dedicate large amounts of time to my practice, and to share this, whatever this was, just because I loved it.
After many years children arrived, people moved, and these groups gradually disbanded. Then new groups formed and workshops came and went. And I realised that as people immersed themselves in the resonance of these sounds, their beings were able to sink into a deeper recognition of the true depth of their being.
I saw that people wanted to know the deeper meanings of yoga, a tradition presented entirely in the Sanskrit language, and that an experience of these sounds was able to provide this. I also realised that the Sanskrit words of the yoga community have lost a clarity about their true essence.
And then chance meetings created more workshops and courses evolved, and I realised that I needed a container to hold the vision of the teaching that was materialising. So ‘Original Wisdom’ was formed: a pathway for those wanting to enter the cosmic vision held within the teachings of Sanskrit; a container through which to offer people the opportunity to study and experience the magic of Sanskrit, as a vortex of light that illuminates our intellectual capacity and conjures creativity. It is the labour of love of a Sanskrit journeyer, of someone who has been ‘got’ by a need to know the inner teachings of ‘the word’, ‘sound’ and ‘yoga’.
And I may have taught over 1,000 hours since I first begun, but it continues much as it was when I started teaching beneath a butcher’s shop in West London; a pure expression of my own studies and practice. We start now as we did then, by closing our eyes and entering a place of stillness, then listening for the Sanskrit sounds that appear to sound, and then collectively enquiring into the teachings that arise.
If you feel inspired to make your own journey into the Sounds of Sanskrit, then Original Wisdom is a platform inspired by the intent to open spiritual doors and insights, weaving the teachings and sounds of the tradition to allow a recognition of the timeless transcendence of the moment.
We look forward to welcoming you onto one of our courses!