Some years ago we met Ingvar Villido at one of his workshop sessions in Germany – and we were super impressed by his work and his personality. Everyone who has experienced him live knows the energy that emanates from the Estonian. We were now able to talk to the wisdom teacher about his views on the good life and work and his community Lilleoru.
Dear Ingvar, what was your job in your first life?
My first job was in car service where I worked as a car repairman. Later I co-owned a construction company.
And after this first professional career you came to Kriya Yoga? How did that happen?
I came to Kriya Yoga much later. Already from childhood, I was interested in nature – in how it works. We lived in the countryside and all my childhood went hand in hand with nature. I learned a lot from my grandmother, who was an agronomist, and my grandfather, who was a geologist. They both had a university degree and were also very practical, using the gained knowledge throughout their lives. I received my fundamental education from them. In addition, during my childhood, I read a lot of science magazines and nature encyclopedias, alongside fairy tales.
Later on, my interest in life grew even more, arising such questions to what even science couldn’t provide answers to, and that made me go even deeper. In this way, I came into contact with spiritual teachings. I researched them diligently and practiced, but more and more I began to realize that they lack a system and a deeper understanding of the actual essence of these topics and things. It took a few decades before Babaji Kriya Yoga found it’s way to me.
It happened so, that I was given a book „Babaji and the 18 Siddha Tradition“ and as I read it, I came across a five-line section that compiled all my previous knowledge and experience. It was a description of the yogic five-body system. Although I had heard about the five-body system before, it was at this moment that all the pieces of the puzzle came together and formed the whole picture. I began to understand spirituality and esotericism as a wholesome system, all those pieces which today are scattered throughout the various teachings all over the globe. The next logical step was to start learning Babaji Kriya Yoga.
Can you explain to us what is special about Kriya Yoga?
Babaji Kriya Yoga (BKY) is a holistic system that dates back to the ancient 18 Siddha Tradition, to perfected masters and ancient scientists. BKY practical system encompasses all aspects of the human being and the means to develop all of our potentials. It spans from exercises for the physical body to self-realization samadhi techniques. In total BKY consists of 144 techniques.
Being a complete system, it covers virtually every need of an advanced practitioner. When one uses the system of BKY, there is basically no need for other alternatives. However, prior preparation is necessary, otherwise, the techniques simply will not work. As prerequisites, a capacity for sustained awareness and freedom from emotional-mental automatisms is needed. For this reason, a person who is interested in Babaji Kriya Yoga needs preparatory knowledge and practices. To enable this, I have developed the Art of Conscious Change (AoCC) method, consisting of five courses in total.
Kriya Yoga today is also part of your vocation as a Wisdom Teacher. What is a Wisdom Teacher and what does he exactly do? And what do you offer to your students and clients?
Teachers can be divided into several categories. Some of them are scholars, that is, they convey to others what they have read, simply believing that or relying on evidence. Some are practitioners with hands-on experience and they rely on their empirical discoveries when they teach. I am a practitioner and belong to this latter group. And then some just put on a good show and play tricks on others.
The more a teacher has gained hands-on experience and is able to relate that experience with real-life and problems, the greater the help that such a teacher can provide.
A lot of students reach me, already more than 16 000 people have been in contact with these inner-technologies. The Art of Conscious Change is for everyone off the street, helping people to make their lives trouble-free and have more progress, ease, and happiness. To many, this is already good enough and they are content with having received a practical toolbox for life.
Some of them, however, want to go deeper, for example undertaking the path of Babaji Kriya Yoga. This path is usually chosen by those who are seekers like I was. Or maybe those looking for more fundamental solutions. Those who are after short-term experiences or merely collect knowledge usually do not stay with me for long.
In principle, I offer my students and clients a safe and positive continuous change.
All phases of your life seem to merge into each other. Together with your yoga students you have built an ecovillage, although you only wanted to build a house for yourself and your family. How do you make your decisions?
My own development has been organic and due to that the students also initially developed like that. At first, I had no knowledge of how to help students become free from everyday problems i.e. suffering – the negative aspects of the ego. For this reason, people’s interest was short-term.
But gradually the world revealed its secrets and real help became possible. Real changes in students‘ lives gave them the confidence to stay around. Together with them, we built. Of course, we have always had volunteers. And I am very grateful to all of them!
How do I make decisions? There are some qualities in my nature that allow me to make decisions quickly. Natural ethics, justice, a sense of right and wrong, seeing things in perspective, trust, confidence, benevolence and seeing through selfish tendencies are the main qualities that I rely on. Sometimes if a topic that I need to decide upon is unfamiliar to me, I’ll investigate the matter myself or consult with others.
What is the guiding idea of the Lilleoru community and how do you live together as a community?
As a community we are still evolving, the unifying idea to merge everything into one wholesome system is starting to unfold. The core principle in Lilleoru is the use of consciousness to foster change that makes people better. Practical change, that is where the teachings begin. In my vision, I see people who in their daily life are guided primarily by consciousness rather than automatism. It is the process of teaching people who as a result not only gain clarity about what is going on in their life but also start to direct their lives consciously. To such a person the prospect of practically endless possibilities or development opens up. This is the unique path we cultivate.
Caring for nature is also very important to us. We learn the principles of how it works and apply them on the spot. Benevolence is an important keyword. But of course, each person develops at his or her own pace, so therefore even here not everything is always very beautiful and nice. I see this as the next issue or task for which I can search lasting solutions.
Actually, in Lilleoru there are not so many people living together as a community. We have a large village near the Hub, but those houses are private. The large schoolhouse opened in 2018 is the “homebase” of The Art of Conscious Change and Babaji Kriya Yoga, offering a wide program to learn practical consciousness. It is attended by members of the NGO, people from the village as well as from other parts of Estonia and other countries. There we also organize lectures and workshops led by various specialists in their field.
The schoolhouse is also popular among different organizations, who like to organize their meetings there. We also have an elementary school for children where in addition to the official curriculum children learn the inner-technologies that help them to maintain their awareness i.e. usage of the intellect, and how to independently release negative emotions to stay normal. Together we do work in the forest, take care of our permaculture garden and practice kriya yoga. There are many activities and it is not possible to list them all here. However, you get at least a brief overview of the community life. Learning and practicing are what unites the whole community.
What is the value of work in your community?
The value is unique. Together we have built many facilities that have previously never existed in Europe or are very few. Such as probably the world’s largest man-made “Flower of Life“ park, the largest reed-pack public building as a schoolhouse, several yogic buildings, a large permaculture garden. Together we conduct various land reclamation experiments, do research on nutrition, conduct various workshops, etc. All of this sums up like an organic research center that explores not only nature, but also the nature of human, her/his abilities, and finding harmony between all aspects. The value here lies in leading by example and sharing our experience with other seekers and those who are concerned about preserving nature.
And how can a single person contribute to changes in the world – or let’s say to changes in his own organization or company?
Every new insight, opportunity, idea or solution typically occurs in the head of one person. And this is where its further journey begins. If the insight solves a small problem, it does not spread very far. It can be kept to oneself. And sometimes such things spread like wildfire. However, the knowledge that can change the whole of humanity is never disseminated so easily, because it brings about many changes in the whole society and its members are reluctant because everyone has found their place and does not want to leave that. The possibility of big change always faces opposition.
It is easier for organizations or businesses because the scale is smaller and the individuals are mostly known. You can negotiate with them. And there will still be someone who is against change.
Associations are formed based on interests or needs. These are typically called motifs and usually, do not last long. Motives are emotional needs, but each person also has deep personal values that are so deep that even people themselves are usually oblivious to them unless pointed out specifically. Those who have discovered these, however, mostly no longer need these emotional motives. Anyone who knows these motives well can also manage the organization well, possessing the skill of finding the exact and most suitable role for each person. If one is also able to learn quickly and can overcome problems due to misunderstandings, you get a very good result. An organization is good when it can self-improve.
What do you think communities must look like in the future to meet the challenges of the present?
It may be slightly far-fetching for the reader’s own practical experience, but once a person has discovered his or her True Self, many problems are already solved. It’s because of the natural and lasting benevolence that appears. Another important factor lies in bringing forth true wisdom. To do this, one first needs to identify the qualities that are the building blocks of wisdom, of which there are 7, including the ability to concentrate. Next, to reform the way one uses their thinking so that it would support with the correct information at the correct time remaining adequate, relevant to the chosen topic. One must learn how to permanently release damaging emotions. If we sum these principles up, it results in a very good type of human being who doesn’t endanger the community or the environment. I see enormous potential in this. Such a person could be called Human 2.0 – a better, transformed person and everyone have all the prerequisites to become that.
Ingvar Villido, is a modern wisdom teacher, master of kriya yoga, researcher, and best-selling author who combines ancient yogic traditions with scientific knowledge and empirical research to be accessible, logical, and practical for everyday people. He is the founder of Estonia’s largest and oldest education hub Lilleoru, teaching practical consciousness through his signature method Art of Conscious Change as well as Babaji kriya yoga. After incubating his research and developing his teachings in Estonia, Ingvar is on a mission to help people gain permanent freedom from their problems and reach their highest conscious potential.
More information: ingvarvillido.com