Monday, April 30, 2007
More on all of that this week. In the meantime, here's a new poem about (what else?) how to love someone.
Aware, I realize
the way to love
how I want to be loved,
you want to be loved.
I step into loving you
the best way I can
not for me.
May I honor your love for me
by loving you
the way you want to be loved.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
What is the nature
from the universe?
This explosion of awareness?
This overwhelming blending
of the One and the many,
and the many and the One?
How blessed I am
to share a part of
this lifetime with you.
decided that you and I
should come together
in such a divine dance?
This perfect union
that fills our days and nights
with such joy,
that for those moments
when we join,
Body and Spirit,
the world is perfect,
and once again,
all is well in the Universe.
- Gary Stamper
Monday, April 23, 2007
The inspiration, or source, of this realization, wakening, and work, comes from the divine and unexpected gift of “Big Love Integral” through relationship and intimacy. It can be transformational, and this awareness of Spirit in Relationship, already alive in all of us, can be gifted to others. Relationship can awaken our finest qualities, our sense of ourselves, Spirit, and if we pay attention, can transform and change us forever.
Why not? No one else is doing it. I'm not a relationship expert. I'm not going to be teaching anything to anyone. What I am doing is facilitating a synthesis of information, knowledge, and awareness from a huge variety of sources. Special thanks go out to Bill Harriman at Integral Options Cafe, the relationship forum at Integral Institutes's Multiplex, and especially to my Beloved Goddess, Anyaa McAndrew, for her inspiration, help, and support.
I've seen the lists of integral subjects at Integral Naked, the AQAL Journal, and other sources, that talk about integral law, psychology, art, medicine, politics, spirituality, sexuality, leadership, and all of them have been incredibly valuable. Many of them have had a huge impact on my own development as a visionary salon leader. But each of these has a limited audience. Nor everyone is interested in integral law or _______ (insert your own field, here).
But everyone...everyone...is involved in relationship. There are only a few fields that have the same kind of impact on us as relationship. I'm talking about the kind of relationship that includes sexuality and spirituality, but is not limited to just those, and hence, the name Big Love integral.
Because it's in a conscious, romantic, and intimate context, it's not about work relationships...or friendship...or even the love of a parent for a child.....that would be a much., much bigger workshop and might even take a lifetime to present. I've chosen to focus on this one, earth-shattering, conscious raising miracle between two people that changes each of their lives. It will focus on developmental models of relationship, love as a practice, exploring intimacy, the dance of the Divine Masculine and Feminine, the shadow of relationship, sex (there are so many!), sacred sexuality, Sacred Union, and much, much more.
In the introduction module on May 12, it will also use the AQAL model to explain relationship, and use relationship to explain the AQAL model: Something I find fascinating and totally useful because everyone is tapped into relationship.
I see my loved ones struggling with relationship. I struggle with relationship. We want it in our lives....we want it to be better....we want it to be Sacred. I want to contribute to that happening for all of us.
Sometimes people wonder what our purpose here on earth is.....I think it's to love. I hope you'll join me.
Friday, April 20, 2007
I would suggest that with the release of Ken's latest book, Integral Spirituality, that integral has made a lot of room for accepting other practices into the integral fold (this is not to say integral is not accepting of partial approaches, it obviously is). As other spiritual practices, religions, and philosophies evolve, there is a natural coming together of viewpoints and perspectives that were not capable of truly coexisting before, even if they don't have the language of integral. The language is cognitive. Spirit doesn't need language, it is experiential, and evolved spiritualism is evolved, with or without the language.
The AQAL model graphic I created at the top of this post lays out SBW into the 4-quadrants. Now, naturally, everything arises through the four quadrants simultaneously, so that in and of itself is not necessarily an indication that a practice, such as SBW, is of an integral nature.
Notice I did not say "integrally informed," because, again, the language is different. However, what I think qualifies Shamanic Breathwork as an integral practice, is it's awareness that all four quadrants (not their language) are essential to have a "complete," or inclusive, whole, and that none of the quadrants are left out. In fact, the intentional, behavioral, social, and cultural aspects are intentionally included in the practice, leaving nothing out. From the Shamanic Breathwork (TM) Process website:
"The Shamanic Breathwork™ Process is a powerful healing process that inspires individuals to remember and reconnect with their own inner healer. As old wounds and dysfunctional patterns are released and transformed, individuals begin to regain lost soul parts and remember the magic of who they truly are. Empowerment brings wholeness and healing back into their own lives, to the lives of those they love, and to the world at large."
"This process is highly experiential and the wisdom and healing gained comes from each individual's inner experience. Shamanic Breathwork™ honors and blends the timeless wisdom of ancient traditions with the emerging new paradigm methods of healing and teaching. It functions as the rainbow bridge between these two worlds honoring the best of both worlds while creating a bridge for body, mind, heart, and spirit."
"Each person's shamanic journey is a highly individualized process and no two are ever the same. Some of the states of consciousness reported range from divine, otherworldly bliss states to the struggle to be released from negative forces in the psyche."
"The process may require the Shamanic Breathwork Facilitator's skills and attention; a variety of psycho-spiritual tools may be employed to assist the participant. Some of the most commonly used methods are bodywork, Reiki (energy work), Soul Return and extractions. The most powerful healing tool our facilitators bring to the person breathing is their open and loving hearts and minds, with a willingness to support and travel with the journeyer wherever they may need to go. This is the essence of what Shamanic Breathwork is all about. Describing the process really does not do it justice. One must experience this powerful shamanic journey and it's healing from the inside out."
SBW provides a safe container in which differentiation becomes integration and can become a new stage. Death and rebirth. Disorienting dilemma's. Creating a healthier way to be where you are, through horiziontal translation, or providing a path for vertical evolution, or transformation, SBW is a process that works.
Again, I highly recommend that you get yourself to the SeattleIntegral SBW weekend workshop June 22, 23, and 24th. The official announcements will be going out soon.
Graphic created by Gary Stamper. Click on it for larger version.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
If you're buying, I can't tell who you you are or where you're from, but thank you. I appreciate the support. If you're visiting the iBoutique for the first time, I invite you to look around. And if your group or salon would like t-shirts or other items, let me know, because I can create custom items, too.
Today's practice: Gratefulness
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
That came up time and time again during this 8-day Shamanic Breathwork (TM) intensive I've just gone through. This process is all about death and rebirth.... Dying to ourselves and being reborn.... Dying to find salvation....Creating a major disorienting dilema, pushing through it, reintegrating, and being reborn with new awareness about who we are.
"How you doin', Gary?"
Of course, "fine" is just an acronym for "fucked-up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional."
I am fucked up, but I got a little better this week. because I know a couple of the places where I've been wounded, and even how I carry generations of the wounds of my family in my DNA. I'm going to be processing what happened to me this week for a while...maybe a long while, and it means consciously making changes in my life. It also means having much more compassion and love for those who have wounded me, and for my own responsibility around those wounds.
Even as I'm writing this, I feel it all coming up, and the processing continues.
Shamanic Breathwork (TM) breaks you down, and forces the surrender of ego. And it's only when we drop to our knees, only when we totally surrender, and only when we can willingly ask for help, that we can can be reborn anew. "Help" is the most profound prayer we can express.
I don't know that Shamanic Breathwork (TM) takes us vertically to the next level of consciousness, or if it heals us horizontally so we just get better at where we are, and I suppose it can do both.
What I do know is that in order to transform the world, we have to first transform ourselves. This is truly amazing, healing work.
After I get back, I'm going to start laying out this process in the AQAL framework so you can see how this fits he model. I've been doing that all week and have confirmed what I believed before I got here, and one of the reasons I did this intensive: In my opinion, this is a complete Integral practice/process, and I'll show you why, with charts.
SeattleIntegral is bringing Shamanic Breathwork to Seattle in June.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Where Thursday's Breathwork was (for me....every one's experience is different) about showing me places that I hadn't finished healing from earlier wounds and about showing me where I had not stepped up into my full masculine power, yesterday's breathwork was about healing and reclamation. I believe I re-birthed, not once, but twice, fighting my way from the floor to standing erect, taking two men (floorwalkers) with me who were trying to hold me down and provide resistance. There was no way they could stop me. Other floorwalkers and my co-journeyer, moved to the side, afraid they'd get caught up in this powerful struggle. Sweating, screaming, crying, laughing, this was all about standing in my masculine strength, allowing it to surface to its full potential.
"I pushed through the weight of the men restraining me...they were powerless before me. But rather than throwing them off of me, I carried them with me in fearless compassion, as I stood erect, my strength unstoppable...it was as if I were a giant lingham, standing hard and erect, but as a skilled lover who knows when to be strong and when to be soft, as they are different sides of the same coin..."
There is no doubt in my mind that this second, very different, breathwork was completing the first as a direct result of the reintegration process of Shamanic Breathwork(TM). This powerful reintegration piece one of the pieces that separates Shamanic Breathwork(TM) from earlier versions, including Stan Grof's Holotropic Breathing. Without well integrating our processes, we're just left with wondering what the hell happened. It would be similar to experiencing an LSD trip (that's what it's like, without the drugs) and walking away with no understanding: not a path to greater awareness.
"Bursting out of the chaos of the black hole for the second time, I found peace in the vast expanse of the Kosmos, and the huge hands of Spirit held themselves open and loving to all...and they morphed into my hands, strong enough to hold all, but compassionate enough to know when and how to also let go..."
I want to stress that the experience is a highly altered state of consciousness, again, similar to an acid trip without the acid. This is, quite simply, the most powerful transformational work I've ever seen or experienced and highly recommend this process for anyone who is serious about transformation of themselves and the planet.
My Spirit name is Kosmic LionHeart, and I'm bringing the Shamanic Breathwork(TM) Process to Seattle in June.
Digtial image by Gary Stamper
Friday, April 13, 2007
Part of my shadow shows up through my joyous demeanor: the consummate happy, positive, enthusiastic guy...wakes up whistling. Of course, my shadow is the opposite: suppressed rage and anger...and boy, did it come out in yesterday's breathwork (see my previous blog)!
Today, we began the process of integrating our breathworks into our lives: An important aspect of breathwork not fully embraced by other versions of this work. Here's the story of my integration, just beginning to unfold with so much more processing to take place.
I'm not sure why I have repressed rage and anger, but my image of my perfect "leave it to beaver" childhood has been blown completely apart. I won't go into the details of that, because this is my story, not someone else's. Suffice it to say that this is powerful, powerful stuff that has come up.
Part of what else is beginning to be reintegrated is around relationship and intimacy and a new perspective on old habits and patterns. A lot of this had to do with the death of my college sweetheart, and how that has played out over and over again in my relationships and around my fear of loss. Consequently, I've held on too tightly sometimes, overwhelming the other. I've written a lot about relationship and am developing a workshop around conscious relationship, and this experience will be invaluable toward that end.
The last part of the breathwork integration is about my relationship with the world and the universe. I had a vision of me making love to the world, offering my heart and protection to all beings, but the mandala I drew around that vision appeared to also have a smothering aspect, something that also came up around intimacy and my fear of loss.
The work I have to do around this will take a long time, but I now know what it is, and am developing a plan to work through it. I know my relationship with my beloved depends on my doing that and I intend to step smack dab in the middle of the shit to make sure it gets done.
This is not work that I feel can be done through the 3-2-1 Shadow Process of the ILP from Integral institute. It could be done through years of serious psychotherapy, but breathwork is much, much more immediate and cuts right through our defenses and our bullshit. It sure ain't for sissies. The people who are here doing this work are courageous and bold, and not afraid to face their deepest fears.
The Shamanic Breathwork (TM) Process will be coming to Seattle in June, and we'll begin the marketing when I return. It will be a 3-day (Fri. night, all-day Saturday, and Sunday, June 22, 23, 24), and if you really want to step into the next dimension beyond the shadowplay workshop SeattleIntegral sponsored in October of last year, this will be for you.....
....if you're really ready......
For the rest of you, consider doing a Shamanic Breathwork (TM) weekend or 8-day intensive with Venus Rising. Quite simply, it could change your life.
tomorrow: we breathe again, and I expect more of the same for me as I continue to process what's already come up.
Image: copyright Disciples press
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I'm exhausted, feeling fuzzy, and definitely in an altered state of consciousness.
We started out this morning with the first half of the group being breathed along with the second half holding space for them, or co-journeying.
After setting the space and making sure everyone knew what to expect (sort of....you never know what's going to come up during a breathwork), our very capable facilitators began the first session of the day. My Love, Anyaa, went with this group and I was honored to hold space for her during her process.
It didn't take long for the breathwork to take effect: within minutes breathers began crying, wailing, screaming, laughing, you name it. For the next two hours, breathers were safely guided through all the stuff that comes up during a breathwork, the light and darkness of shadow, no difference. Imagine being in a room with about 10-12 people in a temporary state of psychosis!
One of the things about breathwork is that whatever needs to come up, comes up. Unlike traditional therapy, where you have to fight the consciousness and resistance of the client, breathwork goes right to the subconscious. No escape if you're serious about seeing what your shit is (golden or the regular variety).
In the afternoon, the second group, which I was a part of, breathed. Same routine, different music. Anyaa held space for me during my journey.
For the last two days I've been feeling my shadow stuff, my wounds, bubbling up to the surface, and I pretty much knew I wasn't going to be disappointed. I wasn't. It didn't take long before I was sobbing, and soon literally wailing in agony at my anger and pent up grief. Over the next two hours, I experienced and raged against years of old anger and grief, fought, hit (safely contained by co-journeyers, floor walkers, and facilitators....), cried, yelled, screamed, reclaimed my fierce masculine (where I had been giving away my power), and finally found myself in an embrace with Mother Gaia, making love to the entire universe and all its inhabitants, including myself.
After being brought back to our embodied selves, we proceeded to the art barn to draw our mandalas of our journey, and then to a delicious dinner of healthy comfort food.
Anyaa and I have talked about our journeys, and tomorrow we begin processing and re-integration, the death and rebirth process that brings us all the way through our journeys safely, and hopefully, more complete human beings.
Tomorrow: processing and re-integration.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
This field was clearly a "state, or "peak" experience for what seemed to be pretty much everyone there, as far as I could tell. While it did not feel as sophisticated as Insight or Bohmian Dialogue, it definitely served its purpose.
This is a very different group of people than I normally find myself around during these experiences, with attendees from what appears to be a broad spectrum of consciousness, from magic to integrated, with a lot of emphasis on shadow, and particularly that there is not much separating the lightness and darkness of shadow: both are opportunities to grow and expand, and to end addictions (to whatever). There are a lot of people here that are using this process to solve problems in their lives.
"Shamanic," as used by our charming and loving facilitators, is an integration of old and new approaches to expanding consciousness, and, while not openly using Wilber's AQAL model, are definitely tuned in to body, mind, nature, and spirit in their approach, and in that, I find I can fully support their work. Aside from the dramatic costuming, I'm not seeing any pre-personal or pre-transpersonal qualities, for which I'm relieved and grateful. Shamanism is also about death and rebirth, which perfectly correlates with moving from one stage of consciousness to another.
So far, so good. Can't wait to breathe on Wednesday!!!!
*Shamanic Breathwork (TM) is 3rd Generation to Stan Grof's work on Holotropic Breathwork, and appears to have a re-integration aspect not present in Grof's work.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
One thing is for sure, pornography is not going away. It's been embedded in our psyche "since thumbs were first opposable."
"If we could redefine erotica, restore it to the venerated place in art that it was once accustomed to, this might defuse a number of our personal and social tensions with regard to sex in much the way it seems to have done at the dawn of western civilization. Realised properly, pornography could offer us a safe arena in which to discuss or air ideas that otherwise would go unspoken and could only stale and fester in our individual dark. Our sexual imagination is and always has been central to our lives, as individuals or as a species, and our culture might be much enriched, or at least more relaxed, if it acknowledged this. There’d be no more divine pornography by any future William Blake incinerated after his demise, no future Aubrey Beardsley on his deathbed, frightened, coughing for his finest work to be destroyed. No frilly decadent or bearded Beat compelled either to cower behind a pseudonym or add to the prolific oeuvre of ‘Anonymous’."Alan Moore on Pornography
"25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom is an unedited and expanded hard cover binding of an essay that Alan Moore wrote for "Arthur" Magazine during the publication of his erotic graphic novel masterpiece the Lost Girls. The book is a light survey of humanities' obsession with sex since the dawn of time to present day, illustrated with many full page panels of titillating art and the masterful prose of Moore. Like the Lost Girls, 25,000 years of Erotic Freedom does not seek to overtly glorify "pornography" or taboo subjects, but merely brings them to light and exposes the fact that we are more drawn to that which we publicly object to than we willingly admit. Moore explores our double-sided viewpoint on all things erotic, at once trying to sweep it under the carpet while secretly pilfering guilty glances while no one else is looking; and analysis the effect that such a suppressive attitude has had on sexuality and culture in general. A wonderful read for anyone who is tired of feeling guilty for wanting to explore all that sexuality has to offer in a culture that practically buries us under mountains of sexual suggestion while slapping our wrists for getting excited. " -- Amazon review of Moore's book 25,000 Years of Erotic freedom
Friday, April 06, 2007
I'll be gone for twelve days, all told, and starting Tuesday night I'll be doing an 8-day intensive on the Shamanic Breathwork (TM) Process while I'm there.
While I'm doing this, I'm going to be blogging from North Carolina about my experiences around this amazing process that I've already written quite a bit about.
Soon after I return, I'll be announcing the dates of the workshop I've been developing over the past few months that I'm calling (for now, anyway) "Big Love Integral: A Participatory Exploration of Romantic Relationship in a Post Modern Context."
Romantic, huh? Yeah, I have to work on that name. Blessings to all.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Not just a staple of science fiction, other universes are a direct implication of cosmological observations
By Max Tegmark
Is there a copy of you reading this article? A person who is not you but who lives on a planet called Earth, with misty mountains, fertile fields and sprawling cities, in a solar system with eight other planets? The life of this person has been identical to yours in every respect. But perhaps he or she now decides to put down this article without finishing it, while you read on.
The idea of such an alter ego seems strange and implausible, but it looks as if we will just have to live with it, because it is supported by astronomical observations. The simplest and most popular cosmological model today predicts that you have a twin in a galaxy about 10 to the 1028 meters from here. This distance is so large that it is beyond astronomical, but that does not make your doppelgänger any less real. The estimate is derived from elementary probability and does not even assume speculative modern physics, merely that space is infinite (or at least sufficiently large) in size and almost uniformly filled with matter, as observations indicate. In infinite space, even the most unlikely events must take place somewhere. There are infinitely many other inhabited planets, including not just one but infinitely many that have people with the same appearance, name and memories as you, who play out every possible permutation of your life choices.
You will probably never see your other selves. The farthest you can observe is the distance that light has been able to travel during the 14 billion years since the big bang expansion began. The most distant visible objects are now about 4 X 1026 meters away--a distance that defines our observable universe, also called our Hubble volume, our horizon volume or simply our universe. Likewise, the universes of your other selves are spheres of the same size centered on their planets. They are the most straightforward example of parallel universes. Each universe is merely a small part of a larger "multiverse."
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Until the last century, at least in the west, procreation was the accepted norm of sex in a relationship. It's only been in the last 50 or 60 years that recreation began to gain some acceptance, and only now is the evolutionary meaning of sexual relationship as co-creation starting to gain acceptance.
While they can obviously overlap one another, each of these has a different meaning and purpose. and each carries its own definition of what constitutes a successful relationship.
For some of us it is relatively easy to understand how a flower grows but it is immensely difficult for us to understand and use a musical instrument. For others music might be easy but playing football is difficult.
Instead of having one intelligence it is claimed that we have several different intelligences.
One of those intelligences is based around relationship.
The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences are:
|Linguistic intelligence ("word smart"):|
|Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")|
|Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")|
|Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")|
|Musical intelligence ("music smart")|
|Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")|
|Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")|
|Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")|
Relationship seems to fall into the Interpersonal Intelligence category, but I wonder if it might not need it's own category? Some people are naturally good at relationship and others struggle with it. Like any intelligence, we can improve on our ability to hold relationship by training and awareness.
Relationship is definitely a challenge, and if you want to be conscious in your life, the proof of your embodied realization is going to be in your relationships.
Click on the chart for a larger version.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Then Bill at Integral Options Cafe, posts this series of relationship articles and commentary here. Then ebuddha responds again with what I view as a trap: we create a box to put our definitions in, and then use the limitations of that self-created box to prove our point.
"If" we assume this, and then we assume this, then this must be true. How do you define a successfull relationship? Duration? Is that the primary measurement?
Perhaps an integral approach to relationship first is part of a new approach that will constitute a new definition of a successful relationship from a higher perspective. Again, I love this conversation. Not that many people seem to be having it.