Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
So the basic idea is that I will have ample time to go inward, to meditate and contemplate, to observe and attune my awareness, to recalibrate my physiological systems so used to and abused by sensory overload, as well as many other things. I intend to use it as a time to go deep, deep within. To contemplate the years past happenings, and to integrate and embody as many of these powerful teachings that have come through to me in the Tao de Ching. Healing, release, renewal, rebirth.
Rebirth. Going into the darkness, going into the womb to grow and develop and emerge anew.
Though I am excited about the experience, I feel it will be quite a challenge for me! Just the other day I sat down and closed my eyes for 5 minutes, and just watched my breath and meditated, & it seemed like an eternity! But it was only 5 minutes. So I really can't imagine just what my experience will be like for some 300-something hours in pitch black, but I imagine immersing myself in the dark for such a long time will enhance the light that much more, at the very least.
So I want to tie in a few passages from the Tao De Ching to help me contextualize my experience before going in, & to give me a few things to contemplate and practice. I have chosen all the passages in the Tao that mention the word "dark" or "darkness." And perhaps on emerging from this womb I will understand these ancient phrases through my own experience, beyond any intellectualizing or theorizing. Perhaps...
1The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.
Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.
Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.
14Look, and it can't be seen.
Listen, and it can't be heard.
Reach, and it can't be grasped.
Above, it isn't bright.
Below, it isn't dark.
it returns to the realm of nothing.
Form that includes all forms,
image without an image,
subtle, beyond all conception.
Approach it and there is no beginning;
follow it and there is no end.
You can't know it, but you can be it,
at ease in your own life.
Just realize where you come from:
this is the essence of wisdom.
20Stop thinking, and end your problems.
What difference between yes and no?
What difference between success and failure?
Must you value what others value,
avoid what others avoid?
Other people are excited,
as though they were at a parade.
I alone don't care,
I alone am expressionless,
like an infant before it can smile.
Other people have what they need;
I alone possess nothing.
I alone drift about,
like someone without a home.
I am like an idiot, my mind is so empty.
Other people are bright;
I alone am dark.
Other people are sharper;
I alone am dull.
Other people have a purpose;
I alone don't know.
I drift like a wave on the ocean,
I blow as aimless as the wind.
I am different from ordinary people.
I drink from the Great Mother's breasts.
21The Master keeps her mind
always at one with the Tao;
that is what gives her her radiance.
The Tao is ungraspable.
How can her mind be at one with it?
Because she doesn't cling to ideas.
The Tao is dark and unfathomable.
How can it make her radiant?
Because she lets it.
Since before time and space were,
the Tao is.
It is beyond is and is not.
How do I know this is true?
I look inside myself and see.
41When a superior man hears of the Tao,
he immediately begins to embody it.
When an average man hears of the Tao,
he half believes it, half doubts it.
When a foolish man hears of the Tao,
he laughs out loud.
If he didn't laugh,
it wouldn't be the Tao.
Thus it is said:
The path into the light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished,
true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure,
the greatest are seems unsophisticated,
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.
The Tao is nowhere to be found.
Yet it nourishes and completes all things.
52In the beginning was the Tao.
All things issue from it;
all things return to it.
To find the origin,
trace back the manifestations.
When you recognize the children
and find the mother,
you will be free of sorrow.
If you close your mind in judgements
and traffic with desires,
your heart will be troubled.
If you keep your mind from judging
and aren't led by the senses,
your heart will find peace.
Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light
and return to the source of light.
This is called practicing eternity.
Yes yes yes! Wow. So these passages fully illustrate my main intention for the retreat. To emerge from the darkness and be able to say, "Ah yes, I don't just understand this passage, I've experienced this passage." or better yet... ----> "I am this passage." Whoa! If I can say this about any one part of any one passage, I will feel fulfilled in my ~postmoderntao~ blog journey. Either way, I'm sure whatever I experience with will be rewarding. :)
So, 2 more quick things relating to darkness that have come up for me just recently, and that relate to the retreat @ hand and the postmoderntao blog. One is that I intend to have dark field blood work done before going in and after coming out. Dark field blood work is otherwise known as "live blood work," and contrary to light field work, examines a complete, living blood cell. Last time I had an analysis done, I saw some pretty incredible stuff. One of my white blood cells looked like Florida, and I said to the Doctor, "say, what's with this?" And the Doc said, "Well, don't you have some relationship to Florida?" And I said, "Why yes, I am going to a yoga retreat there this December, and I've been trying to arrange my transportation there for the past week." ----> So me thinking about Florida caused FL to literally show up in my blood. I have other friends who have seen some pretty wild stuff in there relating to their psyche, childhood, life experiences, things they need to heal or address to move forward, etc. One friend of mine had many of her blood cells in the form of yogini ballerinas. Cool huh?
The second thing related to darkness is that I have by chance met a fellow who is opening a sensory deprivation chamber retreat center (really its a "day spa") in the Nevada City area right before I finish my dark room retreat, and we have arranged for me to be picked up from Sierra Obscura on March 4th to go to one of the Sensory dep. tanks to see what that's all about! The chambers are basically big water holding tanks that were originally used to transport Dolphins. In this case the water is adjusted to body temperature and is loaded with epsom salts, so one can't feel the water and can easily float in it. This creates or simulates the very real experience of primordial womb conditions. Some people apparently have floated for as long as 6 hours, but I think a very common time is a 30 min. to 1 hour journey.
So that will put the cherry on the Sunday of the dark field work & dark room retreat. Dolphin tank anyone?
So okay, perhaps the picture I've painted of the coming 3 weeks of my life seems rather insane, but I embrace the possibility of deep transformation and realization, and hope whatever happens will be of practical use to me and my reality--all my friends and family, all networks, all my relations!
Much love all!
Friday, January 8, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I looked back over part 1 of this 2 or ? who knows how many part series, and don't feel inclined to follow the thread I left for me to pick up again. Well, perhaps I will in part, but not entirely. The flow I was feeling then was different than the one I am in now. And I posted that some 2 or 3 weeks ago. I was a completely different being then!
I do want to continue discussing these past 9 months since I first started the blog (almost a year now, the anniversary is Feb 1st!), beginning with a powerful lesson or series of lessons I have begun to integrate into my life, all involving the art of communication.
First, I want to define a really dicey word that is often tossed around. I want to define it as I experience it, or as I use it to improve the quality of my reality. The word is Karma. or karma. It sure is used a lot, & I honor however you (anyone reading this) relates to the word or defines it for yourself. For the purposes of this posting, I will define karma as anything that pulls me away from present experience.
I am experiencing this moment now. I am simply aware. Not thinking about anything, just feeling what I feel and witnessing the simplicity of the experience before me. But wait! My stomach is gurgling. It's saying "you have been treating me pretty well, but you could do better. Don't eat so much!"
I ate a lot of food today. Nothing too crazy, but still, enough to continue to experience this karma, or the consequences of this particular action. My tummy gurgles: karmic consequences. I pass gas: karmic consequences. Both consequences pull me away from the fullness of a dynamic, multi-sensory present experience. How can I experience the plane soaring over head and the birds chirping, and the sunset, and the wind blowing, and my bare feet on the grass and the sweat on my head and the music on the radio all at once when I feel heavy with food, when I feel heavy with anything that pulls me away from this fast range of experiences all happening at once?
Karma is a vampire-like entity that feeds on the energy of our present experience. There. That's it. These karma vampires have a life of there own, and continue to feed on our present awareness until we find a way to release them. Easy enough right? Anything right now that's pulling away from your full, present experience is a karma, so just trace it back to its origin a release it!
The food karma is one that comes up for me a lot, because I'm always trying to find balance, and eat the most healthy thing, or the seasonal local, or the raw or the super or the wild, or the blah blah blah. You know? If I drink the matrix-juice box loaded with high fructose corn syrup, then my body will be thrown out of balance and I'll experience the karmic guilt of putting that in my body, and so on and so on. So I'm always seeking balance with that.
But one reason I've had difficulty with food balance is because of subtle little karmas that are still in my body, exerting their influence over my appetite, telling me to eat this or that when I really don't need it. Liver parasites would be one example. I went and visited a number of health consultants and came to find out that I had liver parasites or liver "flukes," little karmic vampire entities telling me to put crazy things in my body to throw my liver out of wack and thus give them free rein to feed on me, my energy, etc. Crazy huh? So I've done a number of liver cleanses in the past months, and continue to be very clear and careful about the things I put my liver through, i.e., alcohol, overeating, sugar, processed foods, etc. And being disciplined with these things has helped me to tune into my body more and more, and find out what it really needs, rather than what the vampires need. And thus I experience an increase in present awareness, and henceforth a fuller life enjoyment. :)
Here's an interesting concept I developed after already publishing this blog posting. I feel it supplements the notions I've been bouncing around enough to edit it in, post-publishing. :)
Karmas::Present Awareness Feeders
And how does one repel vampires?
Garlic. Do you know what happens to your skin when you eat garlic? It radiates garlic essence, and a mosquito wouldn't dare come near you. It's one of the best natural mosquito repellents.
Garlic is also a powerful anti-microbial herb that has been used to treat typhus, parasites poor digestion, cancer, low energy, and a whole host of bacterias and viruses that have plagued people for centuries.
In Chinese medicine, garlic is a Yang food, a fire food. Fire, like light, like burning up vampires in the light, like burning through little karmic vampire entities in your body, bringing in the light.
Yah, yah, yah???
Other karmas related to the body could be some sort of trauma from a past physical or emotional injury. My groin occasionally hurts and pulls me away from presence, and I injured it some 10 years ago playing soccer! Emotional trauma is also stored in the body, and these types of karmas can be hard to release. They are a subtle sort of density that pulls away from the energy I could be devoting to this vast array of Now-experience I keep describing. And this density must be released!
But anyhow, the karma thing could also be thoughts that pull me away from the present. The "you shoulds" and the various obligations of modern society. Perhaps a deadline for a school paper, or waiting to get a pay check from work so I can pay a phone bill, or trying to buy a gift for this occasion or that. Anything that I am expected to do by my culture, my friends, my family. Any agreements I may have made, or intentions that I have set for myself. All of it could continue to haunt me and pull me away from my present experience. And this is where communication comes into play.
Over the past year, I have learned that not only do I have karmas from my past that I need to release, but I can so easily continue to create karmas through my relationships with not just food or my body or my thoughts or emotions, but my relationships with people. If I don't communicate my intentions clearly with people, and make straight forward agreements from the get-go, a karmic calamity could easily ensue. Its happened to me before, and now I do my best to skirt this silliness through the simple setting of clear agreements, with transparent intentions and straight-forward, honest expectations. If something goes wrong somewhere along the way, I do my best to relate that "hey, I've done my best! I am so sorry, I will continue to laser-beam my focus on X _____ agreement." That, or I make a new agreement.
The most important part for me has been simply having the courage to communicate everything clearly from the beginning, and if things go wrong somewhere along the way, having the courage to communicate, clarify, re-agree, and so on. It can be a tough one, but it saves me the annoyance of being pulled out of my present experience because I didn't pay so and so _____ $, or I forgot to call this person or give that person whatever, blah blah. The range of agreements and intentions that can be made are endless. The point is, constantly clarifying agreements and intentions from the get-go and as the process evolves has kept my karmic relations with others pretty clean. Communication is key!
I'm certainly not perfect. I've got plenty of agreements to fulfill now, but I'm doing my best. And this keeps my field of experience free of "oh I supposed to do this," or "Oh my gosh I should be doing that or I haven't done that or fulfilled this!"
I would say that main way I learned this in the past year was through all the different work trades I did, and the hitchkiking and bumming around without any money or a phone to speak of. It can be tough! And it can be fun too. But for me it was really painful if I failed to communicate. When I was honest, and related to people my penniless situation, I was almost always received with smiles and fed and nurtured. Every time I hitchhiked I would say from the beginning just where I was going, with no funny business, and no projecting expectations onto others.
I must say it was quite a journey, and it feels good to have developed some independence and self-sufficiency. But it doesn't mean that my passion for completely transparent communication has ceased in any way.
And I'm still finding balance. I think I can be too direct and intense at times. For instance, when people "you should" me in a conversation without me asking for it, I'm usually quick to point out the utter ridiculously of the statement, or how it generally feels terrible to me to be you should-ed. Like a few weeks back I was working on an art project, and someone said "you should put more love into that." To which I responded, "Hah! I should what? What should I do? Should shouldy shouldness?"
Wow, that word just lost all meaning for a second. I'm not even sure I spelled it correctly anymore. Well, the point is, even in the simplest of communications, subtle karmas arise and I am quick to pull off the disguise. The you-shoulds, the expectations, the energies that we subject each other to can be a karma that continues to arise in our reality lest we stand up for ourselves and strike it down before it takes on a life of its own.
That we may all communicate clearly and honestly, using our word in the pursuit of Truth, Joy, Love, Gratitude, & Righteousness.
What do all these words mean to you anyways?
To me they eventually mean zero-point. No karma, just a vast, multisensory experience, all happening at once. Pure present awareness, completely immersed in the fullness of beingness, the fullness that is this life.
I can't fully express love if I'm always thinking about this karma or farting because of whatever hamburger or milkshake. It's difficult for me to be fully in my truth (or my version of truth) if I haven't taken the time to express my intentions to them! Yes, these types of things.
So Karma. That we may burn up all of the karmas that limit our experience in all its beauty. That we may become expert vampire slayers, cosmic karmic destroying warriors, battling the demons within in the full pursuit of righteousness. That we may drop all the programs that keep our operating system from running at full capacity, and that we may continue to upgrade our operating system (our awareness, our conscious experience) more and more every day. & that we may enjoy the process along the way. :)
Welp, hope it wasn't too much blah blah. I love you all. Stay free, stay clear, en-joy!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
This is one of those full circle type of posts. A summing up of one of many concentric circles that is crossing over and interweaving with other circles of experience to form the fabric that is my experience and is my reality. Where I look back over the original context and intentions for this blog, flush things out a bit, and supply a series of inspiring "ah-hahs" that help me to integrate whatever I need to integrate from the past 9 months (human gestation period, yes?), and release whatever I need to release.
I feel this 9 month rebirthing period has been the most powerful, accelerated time of growth in my life, so its a bit silly to think I can pin it all down in one concise posting. I just want to touch on a few things really. & I don't have an outline or bulleted points written down beside me, though my structuring, organizing nature feels rather inclined to do such a thing! Perhaps future postings will be guided by such a writing process. For now I will do my best to express whatever needs to be expressed, to let it come up in my field of experience & flow through my fingers, tip-tapping across these plastic Apple keys, with the grace and ease of a well-practiced street performer--juggling this and that, entertaining, working the natural magic that can only emerge in surrender to the unfolding moment. OH please oh please! Give me the strength to surrender.
Wowee! So I just read back over my first post that outlined my context and intentions, and it gave me so many chill bumps! Truly amazing. It relates to so much of my past 9 months of experience, and really brought up a lot for me.
One of my original intentions for the blog was a physical and psychological journal of my travels and experiences. I feel these two things alone will be enough to cover in this posting. To sum up my physical adventures for the past 9 months starting at the beginning of February, I have gone from New Mexico to Arizona, back to New Mexico, back through Arizona to California. I spent Feb-April primarily on Gemini Farm in Los Sangre de Cristo mountains New Mexico; mid-April in Arizona for the native elders gathering and various adventures to the Grand Canyon, Hopi, Yavapai, and Dinai land; May through early July back in New Mexico in the Jemez mountains on my friend Casey's land, the summer solstice Yoga retreat outside of Espanola, and finally the Sante Fe mountains for the Rainbow gathering. Then I was whisked away through Sedona, AZ to Grass Valley/Nevada City/North San Juan, CA, where I have been completely grounded (except for a journey to Mt. Shasta, the Redwoods, the Mendocino Coast, and Lake Tahoe) since mid-July.
So that's a rough outline. Mountains, beaches, desserts. Various trainings and workshops--two weeks of Kundalini yoga teacher training (my final week is at the end of January); an Aromatic Alchemy training (mixing essential oils and blends for medicinal/enjoyable purposes); dozens of yoga and Qigong classes on the side; so many different ceremonies and collective experiences fused with the highest intention; Mauri healers (New Zealand indigenous people), farm work-trades, loads of living food creations from smoothies to Kimchi to sourkraut to chocolate, pies, salads, crackers, fruits, etc. ; adventures to Amma the hugging saint (once in June & again in November), different hot springs, rivers, and my first view of the Pacific; and an intense daily yoga practice that has essentially been the foundation of my experience--giving me a wealth of physical, emotional, & psychological health and vitality for a smooth, enjoyable reality. Yes.
So lots of things, lots of "doings." & that's the physical side, the external experience, so to speak. Now as far as the psychological part, the maintenance and development of my "psyche," this rich & deep collection of beliefs and experiences and all sorts of programmings that directly affect the way I interact with and experience my reality--well that's another story. At this point, a few excerpts from the Tao from my original posting seem appropriate:
Not-knowing is true knowledge.
Presuming to know is a disease.
First realize that you are sick;
then you can move toward health.
The Master is her own physician.
She has healed herself of all knowing.
Thus she is truly whole
In the pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
everyday something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.
True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can't be gained by interfering.
So since February, the "program" I have been acting out, drawing directly from my blog intentions albeit seemingly unconsciously at times, is that of deprogramming. I have been playing out the program of deprogramming, of dropping things every day. Meaning the complete and utter dismantling and destruction of all preconceived concepts, notions, beliefs, expectations (cultural, familial, etc.), and so on. All the different thought forms that come between me and the fullness of my experience as it unfolds before me in raw beauty & glory. Goodbye! Thank you for your service, but I am releasing you. & much love for you!
This essentially means the obliteration of the contents of my subconscious mind, reprogramming with only the most basic, rudimentary blueprints I need for navigating reality as I know it. Here is one of those blueprints I have been using with a whole lot of success--->
Misconception: "Seeing is Believing" (What we perceive determines what we believe.)
The Actuality: "Believing is Seeing" (What we believe determines what we perceive!)
Beliefs ==> Perception ==> Interpretation ==> Emotional reaction ==> Thoughts ==> Action
This is what I call or what is called the "reality feedback loop." That is, a loop of reality constantly feeding back into itself, reconfirming and justifying beliefs, perceptions, and thus the way our thoughts and emotions are generated and play out within the context of our beliefs. The idea is that when you change the beliefs you shift the whole feedback loop. And my personal experience has confirmed that, yes, indeed, shifting beliefs pretty much changes everything.
1. Your beliefs determine the reality that you perceive. Your beliefs determine your perception of reality.
2. You then immediately, automatically, (and usually unconsciously) interpret your perception of reality.
That is, you (arbitrarily) assign, project, and "superimpose" an interpretation onto your perception of reality.
3. You then emotionally react to your intepretation of that reality.
4. You then have thoughts about this reality.
5. Then, based on your emotions and thoughts, you take action.
6. And then action reinforces the original beliefs and interpretations
So I have basically been on a path of deconstructing the subconscious mind in order to reprogram (but mainly just stay free and clear) my beliefs and thus re-create the ways in which I experience life, and the people and places I draw into my life as a reflection of my beliefs and perceptions.
Put another way--->
Every human has a true essence and form that becomes diluted through life traumas, ideologies, expectations, agreements, etc. A childlike essence, a beginner's mind in the Zen tradition. So since February, I have used every method I know of to return to this state of experiencing the world. Clearing of physical, emotional, and psychological traumas, programmings, and so on, whether through dietary cleansing, body work, emotional release, movement and meditation, prayer, affirmation, auto-suggestion, nature time (hikes, swimming in creeks and rivers or anywhere not inundated with modern development), EFT, sound healing, etc. Everything.
In this way, I feel more released from the disease, the dis-ease or sickness of "knowing" or presuming to know, and feel more at ease in the comfort of simply experiencing things as they are with as little judgment or expectation for the way I believe or feel they "should be."
"In the practice of the Tao,
everyday something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action"
Right. Less and less programming, more and more free, clear intelligence to experience a raw, full reality. Pure awareness. More and more wide-eyes like bright beaming headlights, less and less straining to see what I believe is supposed to be there, what should be there because of past conditions or recurring habit patterns/thought forms. More and more head nodding and immediate acceptance, less and less frustration when things that don't go as I believe or expect they should. And I've noticed the more & more I free intelligence up, the easier it becomes to navigate my reality, to do exactly what needs to be done in every situation, no more and no less. To manifest things that I want to see happen, and to surrender to the sychronistic flow of things as they happen, often times well outside of my expectations (Yes! I still have them. I'm doing my best). Yes yes yes. All of it. So: less & less junk programming has equaled more and more free and clear experience which has graced me with less and less headache and more and more enjoyable, simple, every day happenings. Just like magic.
So to some up part 1 of this multi-part revisiting, I just feel good. I feel light. I feel clear. My daily deprogramming has made things work for me. Everything seems to go my way. And when things don't go as I expect I cut through the pain and frustration with a light-saber of awareness and laughter so fast that I've already moved on to the next thing before my psyche has time to hold onto anything. Like magic!
In my next posting, I will go into some of the specifics of how my daily experience has changed, and some powerful tools I have used to navigate the ripples & waves of the all the changes I have gone through, as well as the interactions I have on a day to day basis. Some themes to expect (and just to remind me for my next posting) are communication, especially in reference to intentions, expectations, and agreements; the power of joy, gratitude, and surrender; the shadow side, the dark side, the Darth Vader archetype; & water. Water. Water! This is a big one. I'm excited (Excitement moves through me).
Ok family, friends. So much love.