Sunday, December 21, 2008

Set in Our Ways: Why Change Is So Hard

Millions of us dream of transforming our lives, but few of us are able to make major changes after our 20s. Here's why, author Nikolas Westerhoff claims:

Studies of personality development often focus on traits such as extroversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism and openness to new experiences. In most people, these traits change more during young adulthood than any other period of life, including adolescence. Openness typically increases during a person’s 20s and goes into a gradual decline after that.

This pattern of personality development seems to hold true across cultures. Although some see that as evidence that genes determine our personality, many researchers theorize that personality traits change during young adulthood because this is a time of life when people assume new roles: finding a partner, starting a family and beginning a career.

Personality can continue to change somewhat in middle and old age, but openness to new experiences tends to decline gradually until about age 60. After that, some people become more open again, perhaps because their responsibilities for raising a family and earning a living have been lifted.

More from Scientific American

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Lieberman Path To Change

I received the email below from CREDO (formerly Working Assets). While I support CREDO in many ways, I have to disagree with them on this issue, and explain even further down:
Sen. Joe Lieberman should not continue to serve as Homeland Security Chair

Next week, Senate Democrats will vote on whether Joe Lieberman should continue to chair the powerful Committee on Homeland Security.

Sen. Joe Lieberman supported the war in Iraq from the beginning, and he has continued to support it in the face of tremendous failure, in the face of evidence that we were misled into war, in the face of increased security threats resulting from that war, even in the face of troops from his home state of Connecticut respectfully asking him to take action to bring them home. Lieberman has used his chairmanship not to improve our homeland security, but to keep our nation mired in pointless, endless war.

Lieberman has also undermined our security on the domestic front by supporting the vast expansion of President Bush's powers to subvert the Constitution. As a strong proponent of FISA, Lieberman saw to it that his committee did absolutely nothing to stand in the way of Bush's schemes to spy on Americans - nor did he lift a finger to stop the many practices undertaken by Bush which approach - if not outright cross - the line between investigation and torture.

Committee chairmanships are positions of immense power. They should go to responsible leaders who will use those positions to serve the American people and protect the Constitution. Our government was designed as a system of checks and balances - but Lieberman's leadership of the Committee on Homeland Security has been unbalanced, to put it mildly.

We need a Homeland Security Chair who understands the real threats facing our nation and who will hold our government accountable for fighting those threats in a sensible, legal manner. Sign this petition today to tell your senator to do the right thing: vote to strip Senator Lieberman of his chairmanship.

to CREDO:

Thanks for caring about this, but I think there's a better way to approach Lieberman.

Without a 60% majority in the Senate, Dems are not filibuster proof. Therefore, doesn't it make much more sense not to censure Lieberman, or pull his chairmanship, but, rather, use the threat of losing his chairmanship as a leverage to make sure he votes as needed to effect the change that must come? Lieberman has consistently shown that his primary concern is Lieberman. Why not use that egocentricism to effect the change we want to see in the world?

Let us not cut off our noses to spite our faces. There are much bigger issues here than getting revenge on Lieberman for his despicable actions.

We have a country and world to save.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The S***'s Already Hit the Fan: Here Comes the Shift

It's already started. Call it what you want, 2012, prophecy, consciousness rising, cognitive dissonance, whatever...In my opinion, the shift has begun.

First. let's talk about what's going on, and then we'll talk about how that shifts us.

The current economic crisis has just begun, and is nowhere near the bottom. Consider derivatives: Derivatives are financial instruments, thanks to Greenspan, whose values depend on the value of other underlying financial instruments. The main types of derivatives are futures, forwards, options and swaps (
Wikipedia). The problem here is that derivatives now total more than the sum total of the global economy! If their value depends on the value of other underlying financial instruments, and the market continues down, we're toast.

It will continue down, because
"the level of consciousness that created the problem cannot solve it." The bloated, greedy system that has become the financial markets is no longer sustainable, and heading down the tubes, fast. The power elites who created this situation are largely going down with it. They have no idea what to do about it, except throw money at it. Yours and mine. These are people who believe they know what's best for you, and that the best citizens are ignorant citizens.

It should be obvious to all of you who have watched your 401K's shrink that this system doesn't work. Thank God Social Security wasn't dumped into the market as some wanted, not that it will make much difference in the long run. Nothing less than a total revamp of the financial system and structure could have saved it, but it's too late for even that, now. Welcome to the second Herbert Hoover era, created by
neo-conservative ideology that even some on the right are now admitting doesn't work (McCain, 'tho not in so many words, certainly by action, even as he matters not as his virulent melanomas give him a one-in-three chance of living eight years, for the real power lies with Sarah Palin, the frankenstein-like creature born of Bush and Cheney).

There's going to be a lot of pain for a lot of people. Paradigms don't die easily, and the patriarchal paradigm that spawned the current crisis will be no exception. For the first time ever, the US military is deploying an active duty regular Army combat unit for full-time use inside the United States to deal with emergencies, including potential civil unrest (link).

What all this does is place people in a position where they are more or less forced to wake up. Cognitive Dissonance: an uncomfortable feeling or stress caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a fundamental cognitive drive to reduce this dissonance by modifying an existing belief, or rejecting one of the contradictory ideas (link). By resolving the dissonance, new belief systems are adopted, usually a a higher level of consciousness than before, but not always (consider US regression after 911).

As the power elite self destructs, the opportunity for a new level of thinking arises. This will be the challenge. if it doesn't get too rough, where we're struggling for our very survival, and for some it will, indeed, be that struggle, then we may come out of the other side with new perspectives, a different world market financial structure that is based on the good of mankind as opposed to the profit of a few. Yes, a hope, but what will we have if not our hope and our determination not to repeat the mistakes of the past?

Meanwhile, my advice is to prepare as much as possible, at a minimum, a couple months of food and supplies, lay low, and surrender into the moment, knowing that our petty wants and needs will serve a larger consciousness. You are the change we have been waiting for, and I, for one, want as many of you as possible around on the other side.

I'm amazed that these issues are not being talked about in Integral Communities and on their websites. Our collective integral shadow surely revolves around our fear of being labeled postmodern by expressing political opinions. Too bad. Only integral consciousness can solve these problems...and Steve McIntosh's Global Governance is the only body that will have a chance of governing global markets.

PS: I make no apology for the picture of Reagan. He started it and we're all complicit in our apathy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reagonomics is dead

Even in the midst of the biggest financial meltdown since the great depression, the pathological mythic-fundamentalist consciousness running the economy struggles to stay alive. Congressional Republicans are trying to push through financial rescue legislation that contains no oversight and no limitations on CEO compensation....with our money!

So far, to their credit, Dems are saying 'No."

Can there be any doubt that the trickle down philosophy of economics absolutely does not work? An integral approach must include consideration of home buyers caught up in this unethical series of ponzi schemes, where values are artificially raised, profits taken, and screw everyone else. After all, if socialism is good enough for congress (see health care) and corporations, why not the average person who has been caught up in this?

We saw these ponzi schemes in John McCain's S&L scandal (remember the Keating 5?), the dot-com bubble bursting, and now the financial scandals, in schemes similar to how the mafia buys businesses, leverages them out taking all the profits and leaving them to fail. It's highly unlikely that those responsible for for the toxic growth and ultimate meltdown should be held accountable is probably not going to be addressed.

Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman of the Senate banking Committee, said "we may be only days away from a complete meltdown of the financial system" (Source: AP) just as the world's biggest financial institutions are being fed into wood chippers, all of a sudden people realize the information presented here and other "doom" sites has not been an exaggeration or some type of joke.

This is one of the reasons I moved to North Carolina earlier this year: to be in conscious community when the poop hit the fan (it has). We had hoped to get our house built before it all came down. We managed to get the construction loan done just before it hit the fan, and start breaking ground on Thursday.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Radical Knowing: Understanding Consciousness through Relationship Christian de Quincey

Christian de Quincey

Rochester, VT: Park Street Press ©2005

Review by Jill Jensen

If you have ever wondered about the nature of consciousness or how different ways of knowing lead to different realities, the new book from philosopher Christian de Quincey will reveal some surprises. Most of all, Radical Knowing: Understanding Consciousness through Relationship presents a novel approach to philosophy by focusing on the power of story. A brief summary might be: "It offers a new philosophy for life," or "It shows us why and how we are our relationships."

Anyone concerned about the current state of the world and what humans are capable of doing to each other and to the rest of nature will find value in reading de Quincey's newest book, the second in his "radical consciousness trilogy." (The first, Radical Nature: Rediscovering the Soul of Matter, makes the case that consciousness "goes all the way down," like the turtles in the story about what holds up the world. His final epic will posit a Radical Science to tackle the final frontier of consciousness itself.) Radical Knowing asks us to appreciate the interconnectedness of everything—fully realizing that the entire universe is an intricate web of consciousness and energy. If we can grasp that concept—and de Quincey masterfully gives us the information we need to do so—it should ultimately help us avoid further desecrating our world, burning it down, blowing it up, or polluting and poisoning it to the point of ecological collapse.

Dr. de Quincey has been one of the pioneers in the decades-long push to develop a true "science of consciousness." He makes a compelling case for the inability of materialist science, which focuses exclusively on measuring 'things,' to explain consciousness, which is not material, or a 'thing,' and is not measurable. In order to truly understand (to "feel") consciousness, we need to start from a different premise than the one used in contemporary science, the method that followed Descartes' splitting of mind from body. We need, instead, to "feel our thinking," as de Quincey puts it. And he ably offers the rational, philosophical, and—dare we say "scientific"—underpinnings for this 'new' approach. Would that all professors of philosophy were as articulate, readable, and full of interesting stories as de Quincey. In fact, he encourages both science and philosophy to make a place for the storyteller.

Radical Knowing proposes that the only way humans can apprehend anything is "in relationship." We can know ourselves or the world only when reflected in the consciousness of other sentient beings. Although most people in Western cultures have been conditioned to cultivate language and "intellectual intelligence," de Quincey reminds us that words are not the things they stand for—all the while eloquently using these symbolic devices to illuminate his ideas. His contention is that we must regain our capacity for knowing-through-direct-experience.

One of the more inspiring messages from this book is what de Quincey calls "the Four Gifts of Knowing." He takes us on a journey to explore the Scientist's Gift of the senses, which reveal the forms of physical reality; and then to the Philosopher's Gift of reason, which we use to analyze data gained through our senses. But these ways of knowing are not enough if we wish to explore the domain of consciousness. Next, he introduces us to the Shaman's Gift of feeling and altered states, which works by engaging and participating with the world around us. Finally, he takes us into the paradoxical realms of the Mystic's Gift of sacred silence, where direct experience allows us to transcend and integrate all the other ways of knowing.

In both Radical Knowing and Radical Nature, Christian de Quincey offers a thorough grounding in what might be called "Philosophy of Mind 101" or "Consciousness for Zombies:" in-depth explanations of the need to develop a new science of consciousness and more than enough reasons why we should care.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Palin: Wrong Woman, Wrong Message

This is being posted here because the Obama campaign represents a higher level of consciousness than theMcCain campaign. Not that there aren't things wrong with Obama...there are, but while I support everyone's right to be who they are, I also support evolutionary consciousness - Gary


Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

By Gloria Steinem

Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.

But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.

Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."

This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.

Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, "I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?" When asked about Iraq, she said, "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."

She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she's won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn't know it's about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on "God, guns and gays" ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.

So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

I don't doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn't just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn't just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn't just echo McCain's pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child.

So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, "women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership," so he may be voting for Palin's husband.

Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from this contest.

Republicans may learn they can't appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the wombs of women.

And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.

This could be huge.

Gloria Steinem is an author, feminist organizer and co-founder of the Women's Media Center. She supported Hillary Clinton and is now supporting Barack Obama.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Water Wars Part One

Back to my "the shit's about to hit the fan" mode for a moment. This is reposted from Uber index: A new theater in the Water Wars opens on the golf courses and strawberry fields of southern Spain.

By Uber Index Editors

Nothing freaks us out over here at the Uber Index like news of the impending Water Wars. Of course we're not freaked out enough -- yet! -- to flee the doomed, water-thieving metropolis of Los Angeles, but stories like the one below about the impending conflict over water rights in southern Spain make us think about packing up and heading for damper pastures.

The problem here is a simple and stupid one: Humans don't seem to understand the concept of "limited resources" in any context. Is "stupid" too strong of a word? In a semi-desert region previously known for figs and date palms -- hearty plants that produce plenty of fruit without massive irrigation needs -- farmers are planting super-thirsty crops like lettuce, corn and strawberries. Which is bad enough. But Spain's aquifers are drying up and the area is being "Africanized" -- a term that surely strikes mortal fear into the hearts of resort developers for its racial implications more than it's ecological ones -- by people cheating their way into water for swimming pools and golf courses. It is for these markedly stupid reasons that up to a third of Spain may end up a desert. Read on for more of the dystopian details.

"In Spain, Water Is a New Battleground"
Source: New York Times
By Elisabeth Rosenthal

FORTUNA, Spain -- Lush fields of lettuce and hothouses of tomatoes line the roads. Verdant new developments of plush pastel vacation homes beckon buyers from Britain and Germany. Golf courses -- dozens of them, all recently built -- give way to the beach. At last, this hardscrabble corner of southeast Spain is thriving. There is only one problem with the picture of bounty: this province, Murcia, is running out of water. Swaths of southeast Spain are steadily turning into desert, a process spurred on by global warming and poorly planned development. Murcia, traditionally a poor farming region, has undergone a resort-building boom in recent years, even as many of its farmers have switched to more thirsty crops, encouraged by water transfer plans, which have become increasingly untenable. The combination has put new pressures on the land and its dwindling supply of water. This year, farmers are fighting developers over water rights. They are fighting one another over who gets to water their crops. And in a sign of their mounting desperation, they are buying and selling water like gold on a rapidly growing black market, mostly from illegal wells. Southern Spain has long been plagued by cyclical droughts, but the current crisis, scientists say, probably reflects a more permanent climate change brought on by global warming. And it is a harbinger of a new kind of conflict. The battles of yesterday were fought over land, they warn. Those of the present center on oil. But those of the future -- a future made hotter and drier by climate change in much of the world -- seem likely to focus on water, they say. "Water will be the environmental issue this year -- the problem is urgent and immediate," said Barbara Helferrich, a spokeswoman for the European Union's Environment Directorate. "If you already have water shortages in spring, you know it's going to be a really bad summer." Dozens of world leaders will be meeting at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters in Rome starting Tuesday to address a global food crisis caused in part by water shortages in Africa, Australia and here in southern Spain. Climate change means that creeping deserts may eventually drive 135 million people off their land, the United Nations estimates. Most of them are in the developing world. But Southern Europe is experiencing the problem now, its climate drying to the point that it is becoming more like Africa's, scientists say. For Murcia, the arrival of the water crisis has been accelerated by developers and farmers who have hewed to water-hungry ventures highly unsuited to a drier, warmer climate: crops like lettuce that need ample irrigation, resorts that promise a swimming pool in the yard, acres of freshly sodded golf courses that sop up millions of gallons a day. ... The hundreds of thousands of wells -- most of them illegal -- that have in the past provided a temporary reprieve from thirst have depleted underground water to the point of no return. Water from northern Spain that was once transferred here has also slowed to a trickle, as wetter northern provinces are drying up, too. ... "The model of Murcia is completely unsustainable," Mr. Gil said. "We consume two and a half times more water than the system can recover. So where do you get it? Import it from elsewhere? Dry up the aquifer? With climate change we're heading into a cul-de-sac. All the water we're using to water lettuce and golf courses will be needed just to drink." Facing a national crisis, Spain has become something of an unwitting laboratory, sponsoring a European conference on water issues this summer and announcing a national action plan this year to fight desertification. That plan includes a shift to more efficient methods of irrigation, as well as an extensive program of desalinization plants to provide the fresh water that nature does not. The Spanish Environment Ministry estimates that one-third of the county is at risk of turning into desert from a combination of climate change and poor land use. Still, national officials visibly stiffen when asked about the "Africanization" of Spain's climate -- a term now common among scientists. "We are in much better shape than Africa, but within the E.U. our situation is serious," said Antonio Serrano Rodríguez, the secretary general for land and biodiversity at Spain's Environment Ministry. Still, Mr. Serrano and others acknowledge the broad outlines of the problem. "There will be places that can't be farmed any more, that were marginal and are now useless," Mr. Serrano said. "We have parts of the country that are close to the limit." While southern Spain has always been dry and plagued by cyclical droughts, the average surface temperature in Spain has risen 2.7 degrees compared with about 1.4 degrees globally since 1880, records show. Rainfall here is predicted to fall 20 percent from this year to 2020, and 40 percent by 2070, according to United Nations projections. ... While Mr. Almarcha has gradually moved toward less thirsty crops, the government's previous water transfer plans have moved many farmers in the opposite direction. The farmers have shifted to producing a wide range of water-hungry fruits and vegetables that had never been grown in the south. Murcia is traditionally known for figs and date palms. "You can't grow strawberries naturally in Huelva -- it's too hot," said Raquel Montón, a climate specialist at Greenpeace in Madrid, referring to the nearby strawberry capital of Spain. "In Sarragosa, which is a desert, we grow corn, the most water-thirsty crop. It's insane. The only thing that would be more insane is putting up casinos and golf courses." Which, of course, Murcia has. In 2001, a new land use law in Murcia made it far easier for residents to sell land for resort development. Though southern Spain has long had elaborate systems for managing its relatively scarce water, today everyone, it seems, has found ways to get around them. Grass on golf courses or surrounding villas is sometimes labeled a "crop," making owners eligible for water that would not be allocated to keep leisure space green. Foreign investors plant a few trees and call their vacation homes "farms" so they are eligible for irrigation water, Mr. Pérez Gracia said. "Once a property owner's got a water allotment, he asks for a change of land use," he explained. "Then he's got his property and he's got his water. It's supposed to be for irrigation, but people use it for what they want. No one knows if it goes to a swimming pool." While he said his "heart goes out to the real farmers," he did not have the personnel to monitor how people use their allotments. With so much money to be made, officials set aside laws and policies that might encourage sustainable development, Mr. Gil, the journalist, said. At first, he was vilified in the community when he wrote articles critical of the developments. Recently, as people are discovering that the water is running out, the attitude is shifting. But even so, people and politicians tend to regard water as a limitless resource. "Politicians think in four-year blocks, so it's O.K. as long as it doesn't run out on their watch," said Ms. Montón of Greenpeace. "People think about it, but they don't really think about what happens tomorrow. They don't worry until they turn on the tap and nothing flows."

Read more in the New York Times.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pictures from the Sedona Daka/Dakini Conference


"Sri Goji" with Anyaa above,
Temple Gardens below

Temple gardens

Red Rocks Cathedral

Self made Man
Anyaa and Dez

Body painting TayloreAnyaa Presenting with Dez

Sedona Red Rocks

Beautiful Cacti

The Temple Pools

Temple gardens

Gary and Anyaa



Monday, May 26, 2008

Rewriting Civilzation's History: 9500 Year Old City Found

4500-year-old HarappanThe civilization of Ancient Egypt occurred in a past so remote that today it seems mystical. The pyramids and other temples, with their hieroglyphics depicting a flourishing civilization, have a mysterious, almost magical appeal. It seems inconceivable that people of an advanced society could have walked those ancient streets.

Now, it was announced in January, a civilization has been uncovered that would have appeared just as ancient to the people who built the pyramids as the pyramids seem to us.

Chalk up one for those who insist our planet has hosted many lost civilizations that existed long before Mesopotamia. "This news completely contradicts the position of most Western historians and archaeologists, who (because it did not fit their theories) have always rejected, ignored, or suppressed evidence of an older view of mankind's existence on planet Earth. Human civilization is now provably much more ancient than many have believed."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Another Approach to Shadow

Besides being a transpersonal Psychotherapist, My partner Anyaa is also one of the better-known Shamanic Astrologers in the US, having studied with Daniel Giamario, the acknowledged creator of Shamanic Astrology.

She's written a powerful blog about how Shamanic Astrology knowledge tells us about what going on in our divine connection to ourselves and the awareness around the practice that connects us with that Divine, and she's been inundated with responses from others who say they've been feeling the same thing in their lives.
Read it here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Sedona Daka/Dakini Conference Wrap Up

It is good to be back home in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. We arrived in Asheville at 9pm on Wednesday night, picked up by our good friend, Pam. She brought Anyaa's other Beloved, Miss Lily, The Shamanic Girl Dog, a vibrant 14 year old Westie Terrier, and Pam's own Yorkie, Molly. Miss Lily and Molly are the best of friends.

It's been cloudy with sporadic rain since we arrived home, and for the first time, it appears we'll have sunshine today. The mountains have again exploded with green while we were gone for 10 ten days, My inner feminine loves the rebirth going on as you see the difference day by day. A stark contrast to an also beautiful Sedona.

The Daka/Dakini Conference held at the Sedona School of Temple Arts was actually quite good. The 70 percent of the offerings that were "consciouness-light," or new-agey, were offset by the 30 percent that was really good, powerful and important curriculum. Anyaa is stiill getting a lot of response from her presentation and it appears there will be a women's circle, "Awakening The Sexual Priestess," in Vancouver, BC, that will emerge because of it. This the work of her conference presentation, Stages of Healing the Wounded Feminine.

I had an opportunity to speak further with David Cates, a presenter I talked about in an earlier Sedona blog. David is well aware of the other paths to awareness, but only had time to focus on the masculine path of emptiness, eros, or what some call "up and out." I wish he would haave made that distinction in his presentation. As it was, he appeared to championing the masculine path.
If you are, or have any interest in being, a Sacred Sexual Healer, then this is the conference for you, especially the pre or post conference intensives, perhaps even with an apprenticeship with the Sedona School of Temple Arts. I really miss all of those participants. Deep bonds form quickly through authentic sharing.
Coming soon: Stepping Into Our Power: or, the art of do-be-do-be-do....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Last Day, Daka/Dakini Conference

Sunday was actually the last day of the official Daka/Dakini Conference and Monday night began the post event: A five-day intensive designed to assist sexual healers improve their skills. This is primarily about helping healers increase their manual skills as well as their awareness around shadow issues, primarily their own, thereby developing more empathy with their clients, and assisting the healers in becoming more authentic. This is critical to better serve their clients.

Anyaa and I were here through Tuesday as she facilitated the opening circle on Monday evening and an all-day Shamanic Breathwork (TM) for the 16 attendees. Others will facilitate the rest of the week.

Monday night's opening circle was pretty amazing. First we did a check in on why we were there and what our intentions were for the week. Most of the attendees were Sacred Sexual Healers, a concept that scares the crap out of most Americans, but given the nature of shadow around sex, especially in the US, extremely important work. The amount of sexual abuse, repression, birth trauma, guilt and shame are epidemic, and they affect every aspect of our lives.

Of course there are sexual healers who are frauds and seriously damaged and do harm, but the people who are attending this post conference event are authentic in helping others reclaim their sexuality, and sometimes, their lives. A lot of Sacred Sexual Healers come to this work because they've been damaged themselves, and helping to heal others has become a passion, as well as part of their healing process.

Anyaa became seriously involved in this movement because of her passion as a psychotherapist working with rape victims after getting her master's degree in the 1970's. She's been doing women's work ever since, helping women integrate the healthy masculine and reclaim their full power as women. She continues that work in her role as a Sacred Sexuality Educator.

Back to Monday Night: After checking in, we were introduced to Shawn Roop, a Tantra teacher from San Diego. Shawn did a presentation on Tantra that was amazing and completely unlike any I had ever seen (in my somewhat limited experience). Shawn is not merely a presenter and facilitator. He has extraordinary presence and ease, and is one of those rare individuals who provide a transmission to his audience. His talk and experiential demonstration of Tantra, especially as it applied to the Chakras as a diagnosis tool, has absolutely nothing to do with sex. In fact, he pointed out that Tantra is not about sex at all, but an all-encompassing ancient wisdom that includes sex, as it does all aspects of life. I do believe I've found one of my next teachers.

Shawn's website offers free Tantra talks and I highly recommend him.

Tuesday was breathwork day. Many of the participants had done different types of breathwork, but this was their first exposure to Shamanic Breathwork (TM). I've written here before about the Shamanic Breathwork (TM) Process and how I consider it to be a truly powerful integral process, so I won't go into that here.

Anyaa is a gifted breathwork facilitator of 20+ years and all of the 16 participants had powerful and evocative experiences. Breaking into partners, one person breathed in the morning while the co-journeyer held space, keeping the breather safe and looking after their needs, with the roles reversed for the afternoon. That night, after dinner we came back and Anyaa skillfully led us through the process that allows us to integrate our journey into our lives. This is truly life changing transformational work!

This is a wonderful group of people, some of whom have powerful visions of how they want to change the world, starting with themselves.

Anyaa and I got into bed very late Tuesday night, after she and the facilitators for the rest of the week downloaded all that was happening, and on two-and-half hours sleep, we crankily got in our rented convertible (a choice of cars we really loved in the Sedona sun) to drive to the Phoenix Sky Harbor to begin our journey back to North Carolina. Exhausted.

A great ten days. A wrap-up on the conference comes next.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sedona Daka/Dakini Conference Wrap Up

I'm not going to have time to post today. This is Anyaa's and my last day in Sedona and we have a full schedule. Anyaa's facilitating an all day Shamaanic Breathwork (TM) journey and we have to pack and be on the road to the Phoenix Sky Harbor at 6am tomorrow morning.

I plan on writing on the plane back to Asheville, telling about Monday's events, todays' breathwork, and a wrap up of the entire conference.

Meanwhile, blessings to all.

Gary

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 7: The Sedona Daka/Dakini Conference

We missed the first presenter this morning because Anyaa had a therapy session with a client. I could have gone alone, but welcomed the chance to just hang out around the temple,talking with people.

We arrived at Future Studios about 10:30am, where the morning sessions were taking place, in time to hear David Cates, another keynote speaker.

David Cates is now an elder in the sexual healing revolution. Thirty years ago he worked his way through college as one of the first male strippers in New York (five years before Chippendales hit the scene!). In the San Francisco underground, he was turned on to the sacred dimensions of sex, and shifted his private counseling practice to full-time daka work. He has shared his healing gifts with thousands of clients in the US, Europe and Australia, keeping his work fresh by constantly incorporating new bodymind modalities and leading-edge science into his profoundly intuitive understanding of the ancient temple arts. All the tricks boil down to this: Pay Close Attention, Be Fully Present, and Let Go!

A quote from David:

“The universe is fucking ALIVE! And ego is NOT the vehicle that can carry any of us to ecstasy. Aligning our multidimensional bodies with the present moment allows full penetration, bliss and conscious co-creation. At the oscillation rate of atoms – where Source pops through the quantum field into form – we are birthing our bodies 40 million times each second. Get in harmony with THAT!“We can’t muscle through or control it; we can only surrender…“Luckily, white tantra shows us how to relax into the tremulous vibration at the heart of matter. We don’t DO the Sacred Union; we ARE the Sacred Union. Realizing this at our core awakens us to the infinite, eternal,
ongoing orgasm of life. Identity bursts into flames. Everything else falls away."
By itself, really good stuff. However, during his presentation, David also seemed to be saying stop all the practices, stop working on yourselves and just let go into surrender.

At later stages of development, this can happen. But at survival, tribal, power, mythological, achievement, and egalitarian stages of consciousness this could be a disaster. Again, the problem is that letting go gets interpreted at the level of consciousness of the particular individual.

Some one at amber/mythological (Wilber's model) is going to have a completely different experience than someone at Spiral Dynamics' (Don Beck's model) orange/achiever levels.

The better known names in developmental psychology, like Susanne Cook-Greuter, Bill Torbet, and Bob Kegan, know that most adults are not actually developmentally ready for most of the intervention work that is commonly offered in the helping professions....nor are they capable of having anything but peak (state) experiences of higher levels of consciousness.

So the question becomes, is telling people drop what they're doing and just let go good advice? It depends on an individual's level of development. David Cates can do it, and that's his truth, but he's been doing the prep work that he seems to be asking others to stop for thirty years.

In addition, what David is describing is the masculine path of emptiness, or eros. There's also the feminine path of embracing the world, coomunion or agape. And beyond that is the path of both/and: doing the work and releasing it to the universe. No attachment.

Later that day

We took the afternoon off to get out on the land of Sedona. We visited a vortex and stood for five minutes for all of the women of the world. What an incredibly beautiful place!

At 5:30 we attended the Tantric Circus: a group of about 6-7 performers who do live and multimedia performance art based on the tantric perspective. This was erotic, delicious, funny and beautiful. The Tantric Circus performs all over the west coast and if you get a chance, I highly recommend it.

More tomorrow.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 6: The Sedona Daka/Dakini Conference

I'm finding myself somewhat amazed that the majority of teachings here at the conference are so basic and elementary. So much so, that I'm left with the conclusion that the majority of these attendees, sex workers, tantra teachers, healers, etc., simply have not done their own work.

As Anyaa, my Beloved, so eloquently pointed out in her talk, Healing the Wounded Feminine, and referring to Wilber's state/stages model, people can get a taste of higher stages of consciousness through ecstatic, or altered, state experiences, and "spiritually bypass" (as she calls it) their present stage. They think they've moved to a higher level of consciousness, when all they are really doing is interpreting that glimpse of the next stage from their own level of consciousness.

What's worse is, if they haven't completed the personal work that needs to be done translatively, that is, horizontal development, the widest and healthiest perspective possible at a particular stage, they tend to disassociate from what they haven't completed, leaving unhealthy aspects of that stage in their psyches that will come back and kick their ass later. It's unavoidable. It becomes shadow.

It's not until one attains the widest and healthiest perspective at their present stage (translation), that they're ready to move into the next stage. This is transformation, or vertical development, where one transcends and includes the previous stage, being able to call on that stage's particular qualities as they are needed. If those qualities aren't healthy, pathologies will develop and a healer can wind up doing more harm than good.

Beside....it can make for really boring presentations.

Although Anyaa's presentation was about Healing the Wounded Feminine, both men and women have been coming up to her, some crying, some ecstatically happy to have these realizations pointed out to them. Many of them have said that they recognized themselves in her presentation and have committed to seeking out the personal work they need, many of the women with her. Some have called her presentation profound and deep. I agree.

I am so honored to love and to be loved by this woman.

For more on transformation and translation go here: The Nature of Translation: Stop and LiveIt's the third video down.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day 5: Trapped by Naked Yoga! and a whole lot more!

After a late night, Anyaa and I were awakened by the sound of people rustling about in the temple space outside our door. "Oh, no," I said, "Naked Yoga's in the temple!" Since the exit to rest of the house was through the door to the temple, we felt trapped. Fortunately, we also have an outside door that requires us to go around this huge house....Naked Yoga....That's cool. My non-participation is more about my newness to yoga than nudity.

Today kicked off the actual conference, and it was much more powerful, significant, and conscious than my experience yesterday. After a welcome by Baba Dez, the conference organizer, the three keynote speakers each did a 45-minute presentation.
The first was a couple from Chicago, Dr. Elsbeth Meuth and Freddy Zental Weaver, who teach Tantra to couples to enhance relationships. They did a piece on the Showtime "Sexual Healing" special they were featured in last year that was excellent. They do great work.

My partner, Anyaa McAndrew, was the second keynote speaker. She spoke eloquently about Stages of Healing the Wounded Feminine. Anyaa's a psychotherapist who has been working with women's issues for thirty years. Today's presentation was part one, about identifying the shadow aspects of the feminine, describing the wound and it's archetypes in detail. Both men and women kept coming up to her all day, telling her how much her talk meant to them. Tomorrow she'll do part two, about the healing processes needed.

The third keynote speakers were Dr. Sasha & Janet Lessin, a polyamorous couple who were to speak on Adoring Aphrodite, but their talk seemed more personal about their own journeys, heavily laden with stories of sexual healing. Dr. Sasha seemed rushed and wound up (sacred sacraments?) but the message was good.

There other good workshops that afternoon, including teachers from Charles Muir's Tantric Source School in Hawaii on Sacred Spot Massage. Charles Muir is pretty much the acknowledged leader of the American tantra movement.

Great stuff, today, including a wonderful concert ....no new age fluff. All important work.

More tomorrow.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Day 4 at the Daka/Dakini Conference: The Green Hits The Fan.....

At any large gathering of people where consciousness and awareness is in the forefront, including the integral movement, there's going to be a certain amount of "new-agism." This Sacred Sexual Healing conference is no exception.

Today I attended a 4 hour workshop with 20 other people on "conscious manifestation," one of dozens events taking place at this conference. At $100 a person for the session, I was expecting a lot. I already knew that I need to cut away and get rid of my self-limiting beliefs (I couldn't do that, I'm not good enough, etc.), and what I was looking for was how to do that: good tools that would help me learn how to better draw in the energy of abundance through my passion of service to men and couples, what's called "God-Money.
To begin, one of the two facilitators of the session was almost an hour late. There was a veiled apology (an excuse, really, with no apology) that he had been meditating and lost track of time. Ka-ching.
We then began an energy based meditation, that lasted an hour, with the intention of creating a vortex in the center of the room where we could deposit all of our self-limiting beliefs, having them disappear down the vortex. As the meditation proceeded, people began moaning and squirming, some coming together in the middle of the room, climbing all over each other (in the vortex....).
After a short break, the facilitators took us through an hour of very rudimentary teaching around self-limiting beliefs. Because I'd heard so much of this before, I felt like I was in a total beginner's class, including the facilitators, and found myself somewhat amazed that everyone seemed so taken with what I considered obvious and basic information. During a question and answer period, people asked questions that, in my opinion, weren't answered. What kind of conscious work had these people been doing?
In the last hour, we were guided back into another meditation, this one about releasing the things that holding us back, then taking our power, placing it in the middle of the room, with everyone then using every one's power to enhance their own. All the time I'm thinking, WTF? This time, at the end, almost the entire group was rolling around the floor with each other, grouping, humping, touching, and now I'm thinking about how many sex workers use what they're doing as a disguise and cover for their own sexual addictions.
As I continue to step into my own work with men and couples, I realize, once again, what a bunch of shallow new age stuff there is out there, how many people take advantage of others, and how gullible people can be. In my opinion, there was nothing in this workshop that was of value, and that it was appealing to people who think they're moving through or toward more self aware stages, when in actuality, they're having state experiences that they're interpreting as higher consciousness, spiritually by-passing the actual work that has to be done to get there.
In fairness, both facilitators have manifested a lot of abundance in their lives, but abundance is not the measurement of higher stages of consciousness. Sorry, Charlie...this was way too new age for me.
I'm going to try to find the primary facilitator and ask him if he's open to feedback, and then try to discover just what his intentions were. Maybe he was trying to reach them at their particular level of development, but that is not my sense. I want to make sure I'm not wrong about this.
Tomorrow: trapped by Naked Yoga

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Day 3: A Profundity of Paradoxes

This morning I woke up feeling both profound sadness and joy: Sadness around my inability to heal others and joy at the richness of blessings in my life. Realizing that these feelings are a spiral, and that, like the ocean, they come and go, kissing the shore and leaving their mark. The sadness felt like a wave, the joy like the ocean, and tho' they appear to be separate, they are not.

The workshop today was about gender healing within each of us. Anyaa led the workshop, which consisted of us pairing off in gender pairs, each holding space for the other as we travelled through the process.
We each brought a crystal that was anointed with spikenard, the purest of essence oil, which is said to be used by Mary of Magdalene to wash and anoint Jesus' feet. Using the crystal to pass through the chakras, beginning at the crown chakra, each of us passed through both the masculine and feminine essence of our selves, as Anyaa led us through an amazing healing process that allowed us to let go of all of the gender wounding that has haunted us through the ages. The end result was as if a huge weight of guilt, sadness, and pain had been lifted from each of us. I highly recommend the process if you ever have an opportunity to experience it.
That night we each did a presentation on our gift to the world. I have discovered that I am a gifted stand-up comic, as I became, in costume, Sri Goji, who was berry, berry happy to be there. The group of 16 cracked up as I explained that I was so enlightened that instead of an aura, I had a Corona. I then channeled the enlightened spirituality of Gomer Pyle and Jimmy Stewart, who proclaimed that it was A Wonderful After Life.....After taking some questions about spirituality (some of the dumbest questions I ever heard). In the future, I'll wrap it up channeling Louie Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World.
Like so many groups I've been in during the past few years, the connections with the others are fast and deep, and I've made some wonderful new friends.

We have Thursday off and the actual conference begins on Friday.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Day 2: Sedona Daka/Dakini Conference

We began today by spending some time in the Watsu pool at the beautiful Sedona Temple. This is a magnificent house with beautiful gardens, pools, and rock streams surrounded by towering red rocks.

After shopping for some groceries, and finishing settling in, the pre-conference group of 14 had a catered lunch together before kicking off the afternoon session, the beginning of the pre-conference. A lot of the other attendees are apprenticing with Baba Dez, Anyaa's co-facilitator in this process.
We began the afternoon session with some movement and ecstatic dance that was sensuous and altering. After that, Anyaa and Baba Dez led about an hour long "puja," a lovely heart-to-heart sacred intimacy building guided meditation process, with people moving from person to person, about claiming our inner masculine and feminine selves. We then had a sharing circle about who we are and why we're here.
Why I'm Here
Well, first I'm here because my partner, Anyaa, is one of the major presenters at the conference, and I'm here to support her in that process, and to enjoy her and our time together. But more, I'm here because I believe that healing between the masculine and the feminine is one of the most important issues facing humanity. Again, the wounds on both are so massive and they affect every aspect of our lives. For my part, healing the masculine, and moving men from David Deida's second stage to third stage, is the work I am choosing to do. A huge portion of that healing has to do with our sexuality.
After dinner, we gathered in separate circles, men and women. I can't speak to what happened in the women's circle, but we began by talking about our experiences of the afternoon. My sense was that this part was pretty lightweight work, but then I'm usually facilitating this work. The best part of the evening was the experiential process of healing our father wounds by being able to lie with each other and just be safely held by the masculine with no agenda. To do this, all six of us "spooned" in a line, holding each other and allowing ourselves. The importance of this work, besides the healing of our wounds, allows us to hold our children, our loved ones, and each other, just being present, and amazing gift that so many of us cannot do.
Tomorrow we're supposed to go much deeper with Anyaa facilitating the day.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Sedona Daka/Dakini Conference, 2008

Monday, May 05, 2008

On Monday, Anyaa and flew to Sedona, Arizona, to attend what will be my first Daka/Dakini conference. What’s a Daka/Dakini conference? This one, consisting of 10 days with pre and post events, is one of the largest in the US, and will consist of about 185 sexual healers and practioners from around the world.

The conference is hosted by Anyaa’s long time friend, and sometimes teaching partner, Baba Dez, at the beautiful Sedona Temple, his home. Anyaa will be one of the major presenters and will be speaking on the Stages of Healing the Wounded Feminine, based on an article of the same name she wrote especially for this conference.

While here, I’ll be body painting for the attendees for donations. I brought a small compressor, my body paints, brushes, and my airbrush. Hopefully, we’ll have some photos, too.

Since I’ve never attended a conference quite like this, I’m not completely sure what to expect, in spite of reading the schedule of presenters, and being told some of what it will be like.

There are some things happening at the conference that I won’t be participating in. For instance, there’s Naked Yoga every morning, but Anyaa and I have our own practices that we’ll be adhering to. At one point in my life, I would probably have participated, but not today, even though I’m really in the best shape I’ve been in years. It’s not about that.

I’ll write some about it every day, including how I feel about it from an integral perspective. Given the number of sexually wounded people in this world, to a degree that I’ve only realized since my relationship with Anyaa began a year and a half ago, I expect there will be some really important work and learning going on, but I also expect some new-age fluff….and a lot of narcissism. No surprise….it happens in “integral” communities and gatherings, as well.

Monday, April 28, 2008

You Are The River: An Interview with Ken Wilber

Here's a link to an interview with Ken on Salon.com, giving a great overview of who he is, and what "integral" is.

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/04/28/ken_wilber/index1.html

PS: at some point, I expect this to be removed by Salon.com, so I've saved a copy in my files

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Great Rebate Debate Conundrum

I received the joke email posted below from a friend, and promptly passed it around to some of my friends, initially thinking it was pretty funny:

Dear friends and family,

The federal government is sending each of us a $600 rebate.
If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money will go to China .
If we spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs. If we purchase a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico , Honduras , and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Japan. If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy.

The only way to keep that money here at home is to buy prostitutes, beer and cigarettes, since these are the only products still produced in the US . Or you can send it all to me and I will be sure to put it back into our economy.

Thank you for your help.

But the more I thought about it, the more seriously I began taking it. It represents so much that is wrong with the U.S. today.

One of the first things I thought of is the Chinese proverb, "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day...teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." That this is "feeding" those of us who will receive rebate checks for a day, surely cannot be disputed. Worse, it's buying us off. it's a short-term feel-good sugar placebo that does nothing for us in the the long run, except put us further in debt.

Oh, you thought it really is a rebate, that we're being refunded money we sent in to the IRS? Silly you! Every cent we pay in taxes goes toward interest on the federal debt! We're making minimum payments on a maxed out credit card.That bring us to the next problem with the rebate.

If it's not a refund of tax dollars, then where's the money coming from? remember that Chinese proverb above? Well, proverbs aren't the only thing we're borrowing from the Chinese....Our government is taking us further into debt. Worse, as the email points out, most of us will probably spend it on electronics, or clothing, made in ....you guessed it: China.

But, you're gonna get it, whether you agree with it philosophically, or not.

So.....what's a good way to spend the mastur.....oops, rebate that you're going to get, that doesn't include prostitutes, beer, and cigarettes? I'm glad you asked....


  • Buy local produce and food stuffs from a farmer's market in your area. After all, all economies will soon be local (what's left?), might as well support them now so they'll be there when your really need them;

  • Better still, rip up that worthless water guzzling lawn abomination and invest in a garden and start growing your own organic fruits and vegetables;

  • Put a down payment on a tankless on-demand hot water heater, so that when energy prices climb out of your reach, you'll still have hot water;]

  • If you don't already own one, buy a bike...maybe an American made motorized bike (okay, the engines aren't homegrown).....but how can you argue with 250 miles to the gallon?

  • Consciously choose to spend your dollars locally and in the US. Search out and find websites like www.madeinusa.com/ - "There are 293 million people living in the United States. If each one would shift $20 a month in spending from foreign made products to American made products, that would create 5 million new jobs."

  • Want to save your rebate? Stashing your cash in a locally owned bank is one more great way to keep money circulating in your local economy and to support your local businesses and community endeavors.

  • In the new home Anyaa and I are building, we're going to put in greywater systems and composting toilets that turn human waste into an organic compost and usable soil,. Yeah, I know, but read about 'em, first...it's a crime to use drinking water to flush waste when people are dying because they don't have clean water.

My list took less than half an hour to develop. Perhaps you can turn me on to some of your ideas. Phew! I feel so much better!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Response to the "Non-Dual" Posting

I'm posting a response I got from my blog of a few days ago, "An Experiential Realization of the Non-Dual." My new friends, Chuck and Thea, own the property next door and are also building a Deltec, and we plan on sharing geothermal heating and cooling and a well to reduce costs.

Thea wrote this beautiful response to my post, and then gave me permission to post it. The words speak for themselves,
Gary

************************************************
Dear Gary,

I Read your blog and have had the experience of weeping after sex from the feeling of being in total ONENESS. Of Opening to a love so big (you know that one!) that it just cracked me open.

I have also experienced the presence of a "third." I have equated this to the souls of future children approaching or coming close, attracted by the energy of lovemaking, who would be being conceived were they coming into body at this (or that particular) time. I believe that evolved souls who are not in physical form can be conceived and birthed within our consciousness.

In other words, they are our children (ie: souls of our creations) walking with us on the other side.As a parent I know how powerful it is to conceive a child (especially consciously) and how much they have to teach us. Perhaps these more evolved souls don't need to take on a form to teach us about our evolution into the other dimensions. And obviously we are teaching them as well -- perhaps we hold the piece of readiness to co-create with them so we can all move on. It feels very compassionate to me to co-create with these beings without having the need to bring them into physical form.

As we ascend up the Chakras we conceive on higher and higher levels, and the form changes. The feelings of ONENESS and LOVE are what are guiding us there. Our physical children are fragmented parts, or extensions, of ourselves, and now the tables are turning -- we are returning. WE have loved each other so many times before, and now we get to go home -- back to the light of which we are made of at our core. The light of LOVE.

Thank you for allowing yourself this opening.

XOXO

Thea

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Soon-To-Be Infamous Grilling Ceremony

Almost two years ago, as my partner, Anyaa, was starting to seriously consider calling in a Beloved, she was gifted a Grilling ceremony by two of her closest friends.

Knowing Anyaa was frustrated at not being able to find a life partner, her friends, Dennis and Judith – mostly Dennis, who apparently devised the ceremony – came up with an idea: They bought and assembled a barbeque grill for her, and created the “grilling ceremony.”

While visiting Anyaa at Isis Cove – they bought the lot directly behind Anyaa’s current property, and will be building next year right next door to our new property – Dennis set up the grill and instructed Anyaa to create a list of everything she wanted to bring forth in a man.

Inviting Brad and Star Wolf, the founders of Isis Cove, the five of them added and threw out qualities and items to Anyaa’s list, until she had just what she wanted, the ideal man to call in.

As the charcoals reached the ready point, they had Anyaa throw the list into the coal fire, sending the intentions on the list out to the universe, and then proceeded to cook the evening’s meal on it, including meat.

2700 miles away, my nose hit the air and thought, “what is that?” I’d like to think it was about the same time I wrote this blog, finally getting serious about finding my own Beloved.

Since meeting Dennis, he’s become my new best friend, and I love his wife, Judith, as well!

So now it’s my turn to pay it forward for another. So, next month, I’ll be doing a grilling ceremony for another single woman at Isis Cove, Sarah Jane, who is an extraordinary cook. She’s already started her list, and a bunch of us will gather at her house overlooking Isis Cove, add to her list, burn it on the new grill, and call her beloved in…..

I’ll be calling in the upper left quadrant for the sweetest, most thoughtful and compassionate man, the upper right quadrant for the strong physical attributes she’s looking for, the lower right for the systems to all be in place and in good working order to enable them to connect, and the lower left that will help them further develop the kind of community they’ll both want to be a part of.

We’ll be honoring a universe that wants us to happy and of service, and that thrives on life’s abundance.

Oh, by the way….we will be cooking meat……unless she wants a vegetarian.

Friday, April 18, 2008

An Experiential Realization of the Non-Dual

I’ve long understood, like David Deida and Robert Augustus Masters before me, that relationship has the potential to be a powerful tool toward self-actualization , or increased consciousness, but it wasn’t until I read Jenny Wade’s book, Transcendent Sex, that I first became aware of the possibility of a non-dual experience through relationship and sex.

Note: I'm often surprised, when I use the term, "non dual," that many people don't know what I'm talking about. Non dual simply means not apart from, not separate.

Wikipedia: Nondualism may be viewed as the understanding or belief that
dualism or dichotomy are illusory phenomena. It is accessible as a belief, theory, condition, as part of a tradition, as a practice, or as the quality of union with reality, and is sometimes referred to as the ultimate understanding.
I also understand that relationship, whether successful or not, tells us exactly where we are consciously and unconsciously in our lives, if we have the capacity to listen to what our inner voices tell us about ourselves. If you want to know the depth of your own actualization, it is in your relationships….especially romantic relationship, but certainly all relationships.

A fascinating read, Jenny Wade writes about people’s sometimes shattering experiences with non-dual realization during, or immediately after, sex. Sometimes characterized as the feeling of an overwhelming presence in the room, the “oneness” of everything, and even the presence of a “third.”

Some of the interesting things about these experiences are that they usually happen to only one partner, that the sex can sometimes just be casual – that is, not with a significant other – and that almost always, the person who has the experience, cannot find a way to tell the other person about their experience. Some who experienced the phenomena were religious, or spiritual, but just as many were not. There seems to be no rhyme or reason about whom this can happen to.

Fascinating, yes, and I felt jealousy for never having experienced this amazing phenomena.

Until last week.

Lying in bed after a particularly tender Sunday afternoon love making with my Beloved, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a presence all around us. This “presence,” or “feeling,” was that that of a third being, not separate, but rather a part of us, and yet not a part of us…the feeling was that of pure love…..as if we were enveloped in some sort of divine caress, loving us, and allowing me to not to just experience this, but to be the experience itself!

As it continued to caress us, surround us, and encompass us, I told Anyaa what was happening, and while she did not personally experience it, except through my description as to what was holding us, I began to weep out of pure joy and the realization that I was being offered the most amazing gift! Plus, I had the extra benefit of being able to share it with my partner as it was happening! While she had not experienced it, she understood what was happening and provided a completely safe container for me share my experience as it was unfolding.

It lasted, I guess, five or ten minutes, and then softly released us, leaving a lingering presence and awareness behind. It took, maybe, another fifteen minutes for me to regain my composure and come fully back into the physical room, and yet I still hold the awareness of the experience in my consciousness.

Why was this gift bestowed upon me? Is it because of the work I’ve been doing around conscious relationship? My own amazing relationship with an incredible and conscious woman? The Big Mind/Big Heart meditations I’ve been facilitating? All of it? None of it?

I may never know the answer to that, and I feel no need to search it out, or to understand it. I only know it happened, that I felt it, I experienced it, and I can relive it….and that’s enough.

Body Painting image by an unknown artist