To:   The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date:  Sat, 1 Apr 95 09:36 CST

At the risk of possibly duplicating someone else's efforts, I'm forwarding parts 1 and 2 of my notes on the Maui Tensegrity Workshop held on March 24-26. The workshop included lectures by Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar. (Carol Tiggs did not attend, much to the annoyance of Florinda, who thought she wasn't taking their project as seriously as she should have been.) Most of Saturday's sessions and all of Sunday consisted of practicing the twelve Tensegrity passes included in the video and learning several new breathing exercises and a major movement devised especially for the Maui Workshop. This report recounts a topic discussed by both Florinda and Taisha, and outlines the story Taisha told to conclude her lecture. In the second part (which I'll post as soon as I can compile it) I'll recount lecture topics that affect our understanding and practice of Tensegrity, and I'll include information given by the Chacmools for their implementation.

Voladores: The Flyers

Florinda and Taisha discussed the Voladores, or Flyers. These are a species of inorganic being whose food is human awareness. These minions of the Eagle munch on us to the extent that the only day-to-day awareness we have left is used for self-reflection. According to don Juan, the Voladores have munched us down to our feet, literally. We are like fat chickens in a chicken coop waiting to be consumed. The more egomaniacal our self-concern, the better we taste to them. However, we can produce an awareness that is rejected by the Voladores, awareness developed through discipline. Such awareness is unpalatable to them, and we can keep it. Taisha described herself as having retained enough awareness to extend from her feet to her knees, which allows her to perceive fantastic worlds. Carlos has developed even more, and don Juan's awareness covered his entire body. His ability to perceive was likewise enormous.

The Voladores are essentially impersonal energy, but predatory like all beings in the universe. In order to convince us that the Voladores are much more than mere metaphor, Taisha showed us three photos, two incremental enlargements of the first, displaying an enormous Voladore, a black shadow on the Mexican mountains, leaping between pyramids. The figure looked human with arms folded as if praying, knees bent. The occasion for the photograph was a spring festival at which hundreds of Tibetan Buddhists and Christians participated. The quantity of available awareness generated by these groups was so bountiful that the Voladores actually became visible to photographic film.

When she was a doctoral student in anthropology at UCLA, Taisha took on a research project involving old age and death. By this time, she had learned to see inorganic beings. She discovered that senior citizens homes were infested by Voladores, munching on the awareness of the residents. Funeral homes and cemeteries, Taisha added, are also popular places with the inorganic. At one point, after Taisha had been working on her assignment for some time, she came home to find her apartment overrun by Voladores that had followed her home. They flew around the room like big black bats. She had to ask don Juan to help her, and he was able to get rid of them, somehow. Eventually, she built up enough awareness based on discipline so that the Voladores were no longer interested in munching her. When she asked don Juan to explain this, he replied that she would be surprised to learn just how fast word gets around in the Second Attention.

Taisha Abelar and the Other Side of the Coin

As a young apprentice Taisha begged for the attention of don Juan and the other sorcerers. She would enter a room where they were talking and sit quietly, with a pathetic, impoverished look on her face, until someone noticed her. More often then not, none of them acknowledged her presence. She carried on like this for some time until don Juan decided to do something about it. Since she was already begging for attention, don Juan reasoned, she should assume the role of a real beggar and live on the streets, making her living by pleading for money and food. Don Juan suggested that this was the only way to cure Taisha of her neediness, and, perhaps, if she were lucky, she would find "the other side of the coin," the complement of the beggar's life. Taisha took on the assignment with energy, even constructing a mannikin with a penis on which to sew her costume. She worked on it with such obsession that it came to life. By accident Florinda found it walking around. Don Juan had to store it in Emilito's room, along with the collection of other weird things from the Second Attention.

Taisha spent her days sprawled on the steps of a local church. At one point, a woman entering the church bent over to talk to her. She offered to take Taisha home with her, bathe her, feed her, and sew her new clothes. Taisha refused, fearing that the woman would discover she was not really a beggar. Each week thereafter, as the woman entered the church, she would repeat her offer. Finally, after several months during which Taisha had truly become the dirty, mentally unstable beggar she had been pretending to be, she accepted the woman's offer. Although the woman was wealthy and could have ordered a servant to attend to Taisha (who by this time smelled horribly), the woman took care of Taisha herself. She washed Taisha, (who put up a fight, since in her looniness, she had developed a real fear of water), fixed her hair, and gave her new clothes. The woman seemed to take a great deal of time making sure everything fit and that Taisha was comfortable. Once this was done, the woman walked Taisha to the door, telling her that she had done her best for her, and that Taisha was never to come back again. Taisha remembers the woman with much affection, since it was through her that she first witnessed the impeccability that is on the other side of the coin of begging.

Following is the second part of my report on the recent Maui Workshop. Since both Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar, as well as the three Chocmools discussed Tensegrity I've combined their comments below.

Before we are social beings, we are perceivers. However, we spend perhaps 98% of our available energy on self-concern. We are obsessed with personal questions, such as: Do I look all right? Am I too thin or too fat? Is my hair okay? Do I sound all right? Will he or she like me? Will I like them? and so forth. Answering these questions, we produce plenty of awareness for the predatory beings in the universe to munch on, and we make of ourselves a delicious meal for the Eagle (the force that devours all sentient life) when we encounter it at death. Our view of the world is selective. Although the fabric of our existence is full of holes through which we might perceive fantastic worlds, we lack the energy to lift the confining grid through which we perceive. And even the things we do perceive, we do not perceive fully. For example, we can imagine a white house but we cannot smell it or taste it. Why not go all the way and learn to perceive the magical worlds that are available to each one of us? Freedom is possible with a fully grown awareness.

The Recapitulation and Tensegrity sorcerer passes are practices we can use to enhance our awareness and prepare us for the abstract flight. The Recapitulation trains us to remember more and more about our past interactions with people so that by the time we have recapitulated to age three (say), we have seen the old familiar patterns repeat themselves ad nauseum. By doing the Recapitulation we recapture all the energy we expended in past interactions. The Tensegrity passes are bodily maneuvers designed to move energy in order to increase the awareness of our energy body. Once we begin to recapture energy and reduce our overwhelmingly petty self-concerns we will have been cultivating silence, a cessation of the internal dialogue, and will encounter abstract energy.

The universe is filled with abstract, impersonal energy. The reality of what's out there waiting for us, as don Juan put it to Carlos, is "something wholly impersonal." Yet, we should not feel threatened by that. Energy, whether personal or impersonal, is energy. Several of the twelve basic Tensegrity passes deal specifically with releasing our pettiness and gathering energy from recondite sources, such as the energy the fills the universe from dead stars. They are also concerned with enticing our doubles, with which we were born, back to us. (According to the sorcerers, we may be here, but our energy doubles may be far away from us, "in China.")

Following are suggestions for perfecting the passes:

1. Each pass should be accomplished with great precision and with the whole body. For example, in "The Lobster Strike," the whole body should shake each time the arms and hands jut out. The arms and hands should be fired off like arrows. Carlos said that if we really were doing the passes correctly we'd only be able to accomplish one or two.

2. In passes such as "The Axis Breath," "Infinity Breath," and "The Antenna," when something intangible is being grabbed and released, we should concentrate on grabbing the energy and when we release it, following it out into the blackness of space. Once it has disappeared into the blackness, we should break eye contact in order not to pull it back down to us.

3. When pushing, pulling or grabbing energy we should really push, pull and grab with great force.

4. Although some of the passes have changed slightly since the video was made, it is more important to perfect what you have to work with. If we perform the passes with perfection, the energy body will take us the rest of the way, will be our teacher. The nature of sorcery is that it is always changing.

In addition to practicing the twelve basic movements, we were taught several breathing exercises designed to give us a boost our parents could not give us at birth. In the opinion of sorcerers, must of us are "bored fucks," that is to say, at the moment of our conception our parents were just going through the motions, maybe even watching TV. We lack a great deal of energy that these breathing passes may help us regain. We were also taught a major pass, "Opening the Window for Abstract Energy," that I felt was both beautiful and profound beyond words. In order to learn these passes it is probably necessary to see them demonstrated.

At the end of the workshop two Chacmools, the cousins Reni and Nyei Murez demonstrated a pass called "The Tensegrity of Affection ." Rich Jennings, in his description of the Los Angeles workshops, elaborated on this one, so I won't repeat what he wrote. My impression of this long and complex pass was that it was like watching a classical piano sonata performed by two persons instead of two hands at the keyboard. It was divided into four parts, each one with a specific intent. The end result was a display of affection that was very moving, and made a fitting formata to the weekend.

Many questions answered by Florinda and Taisha in Maui have been answered fully in recent interviews (see issues of _Magical Blend_, for example). There was only one question that I'd never heard asked before. I was so stunned by it that I forgot to write down the answer. The question was "In the parallel universe of the Second Attention are our credit cards still valid?" Perhaps the answer was a recommendation that it might be better to pay with cash.

The Chacmools will be presenting a three month class in Los Angeles, featuring the longer Tensegrity movements. Classes should be two nights per week.

Following are additional notes on the Maui Workshop held on March 24-26, and a personal comment.

Florinda Donner-Grau and the Woman With Enormous Teeth

One night, when Florinda was a student in Los Angeles, she was driving Carlos' VW Microbus, waiting for a light to change on a dark street. Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye she saw a woman dressed in black grab her driver's side door handle. The woman's eyes were wild. She grinned dementedly at Florinda, her expression distorted by enormous protruding teeth. Frightened, Florinda screamed and jammed her foot on the gas pedal. She took off down the road, but the woman ran alongside, keeping up with her. Now terrified, Florinda sped up, accelerating to 80 miles per hour. The woman kept pace, running and holding onto the door handle for a long time, until Florinda finally looked again, and she was gone.

She immediately went to see don Juan. She told him about the woman and what had happened. Don Juan seemed concerned. He thought for awhile, and then, in a serious voice asked, "Was the woman farting?"

Florinda was stunned. She made don Juan repeat his question. He asked again if the woman had been farting. Florinda was not only unhinged by the question, she was greatly annoyed with don Juan for not taking her very serious situation very seriously.

"No, no," don Juan insisted with a straight face. "A woman running that fast must have been farting."

No matter how annoyed Florinda became with him, even shouting that he was a senile old man, don Juan persisted questioning whether the woman had been farting. Eventually, Florinda gave up and told don Juan that if he wasn't going to take her situation seriously than neither was she.

"Good," said don Juan. "When confronted by the unfathomable, a warrior either makes a joke about it or he takes it seriously, and it destroys him."

The Blank Check of Sheer Affection

Florinda described the motivating force behind the behavior of people in don Juan's group, and now in Carlos'. She called it a "blank check of sheer affection" that they had given to each other. She recalled Carlos' describing don Juan as always giving 100% of his attention to anyone who talked with him -- more, Carlos' pointed out, than anyone in the social world ever gives to anyone else. The reason that sorcerers can give this intensity is because they have retained a greater amount of abstract awareness than ordinary people, who usually are preoccupied only with themselves. Issuing such a check is also a tremendous warrior's challenge. Florinda declared that she had given Taisha her check of sheer affection but, although Taisha was beautiful and brilliant, she had a horrendous side to her personality and was not the easiest person to get along with.

A Personal Assessment

I was impressed with the organization and execution of the Maui workshop, not so much by the workshop coordinators at Axiom and the hotel, as by Florinda, Taisha and, especially the Chacmools. The Chacmools put great energy into everything they did, which included not only directing the Tensegrity passes but also shepherding Florinda and Taisha in and out of the auditorium, where we surely would have trapped them for hours asking endless questions. Whatever else they discussed, Florinda, Taisha and the Chamools focused on Tensegrity and the Recapitulation. It took a six thousand mile trip and a confrontation with these people for me to realize that Carlos is now the Nagual, no longer an apprentice, and that no matter how much his early books have meant to me, he is offering a new energy and direction, and Tensegrity and the Recapitulation are the avenues to it.

Please forward any comments or corrections to my e-mail address.
-- Sandy McIntosh (DrSMac@aol.com)
       
   

To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: 8 Aug 1995 00:37:10 -0700

I guess quite a few people haven't had access to lecture notes, or perhaps there's so much to take note of that a few stories slipped through.

Here's a story that Taisha told in Maui, and at the end she was crying. She was on the topic of the different staking situations that she's been in under the direction of the group. This particular situation seems to have been under the direction of Carlos. It's a good example of Carlos' teaching technique. The story I'm going to relate combines the elements of a sustained not-doing (which is probably why the witches recommend crawling on all fours) and a stalking exercise involving a complete change of environment.

It seems that old Florinda directed Carlos, Taisha, Florinda, and another person who is no longer with the group, to become contractors. Their job was to fix up a very large and rundown house for a particular woman. The woman was quite a petty tyrant, unappreciative and bossy. The story properly includes several instances, giving a balance to the different environments used as stalking devices, but this part is just about the area under the house. There was also a shorter story about their renovation of the attic, something that Taisha offered to show the different things one could do to stalk oneself.

A disclaimer: I'm taking big liberties in my quotes around what Taisha said. I didn't take notes. It could be that I've accidentally combined different comments from different parts of the story. But I'm sure I haven't altered the theme of the story.

Taisha said that her first reaction to becoming a contractor was, "I don't know anything about contracting! You mean I have to fix pipes?"

Her disagreement didn't make any difference because she ended up becoming involved with the project. At one point in the story Taisha explained that when you're in a group like that you have to do everything, you can't pick and chose. You're part of the Nagual party and you have to do everything that's asked of you, or you're out. She also described how Carlos would never put things in those terms, it was simply something you knew without having to be told.

They'd worked in the house for a while, when one day Carlos announced that they had to clear the rubbish from under the house. It didn't seem like too big of a job until Taisha noticed that there was only a small crawlway under the house. They had to rig a cart with wheels and a rope in order to haul the stuff out. Carlos was on the outside pulling the rope, and Taisha had to go under and put the stuff into the cart.

Taisha said that the house was really big, and the area under it was huge. To make matters worse, it was near a hill and there was a stream or runoff going right under it. Each rainstorm carried such things as old couches, tree branches, bones, dead cats, rocks, etc. under the house. It took a long time to get the larger objects out from under the house.

After they got the larger stuff out (I believe it took weeks), Taisha started to crawl around and remove things. At first she wasn't very good at it, but she said that soon she got her "rodent's legs" and began to crawl around with a bit of confidence. She said it wasn't really that bad at that point, it was hot in Mexico, and it was cool under the house.

After she had removed the objects, she believed she was done. But  Carlos announced that they had to remove the rocks too.

Taisha got angry and made a bit of a fuss, but she knew she didn't have a choice. So she proceeded to remove the rocks. That took even longer. During that time she became even more proficient at crawling around. She even began to like it.

When she had removed the rocks, she felt a relief. Although she'd enjoyed it, she was ready to be done with it.

But Carlos announced that NOW they had to remove the SMALL rocks.

Taisha was about to explode. But again, she knew she was part of the Nagual's party and had no choice.

This time the crawling around was even easier and Taisha said she began to know all of the spots under the house intimately. She knew where the depressions were that allowed her to sit upright. She knew the best places to take a nap. She said that she loved to take little cat naps with her head rested on the soft dirt. She could scamper around at a fantastic rate, almost as well as she could walk around outside the house.

It took quite a while to remove the small rocks, the total time for the project had lapsed into months. Taisha said she really began to feel like a mole.

When she was done, she almost felt a little disappointed. But that didn't stop her from getting upset when Carlos announced that NOW they had to rake the dirt under the house and make it all smooth.

Taisha angrily replied, "What are we going to do, make a Zen garden!"

But she didn't have a choice. She really couldn't figure out why Carlos was making such a fuss about the underside of the house. No one would ever see it. On the otherhand, she'd grown to like it down there, so she said that her protests weren't really heartfelt this time, she crawled right back into the job.

As a result of the raking, Taisha said that it became quite smooth and pleasant under there. One day she layed down to take a nap, with her head resting on the dirt, stomach down. Halfway between sleep and waking she began to notice a tingly feeling coming from the earth. There was even a feeling of affection. As she put her attention on it, it grew and grew until Taisha said that she felt that the earth was the source of the affection.

She realized that the earth itself was alive, and that it was pouring out it's affection to her. The months of grooming, crawling and smoothing had established a bond between her and the earth. I can't remember the words that Taisha used, but they made it very clear that she had come into contact with a huge being, a being that takes care of and nurtures us all. And that being had noticed her and was paying her back for all of the affection she had poured onto it.

That's the point at which Taisha's voice cracked. She just happened  to have walked near to my seat, and I noticed that her eyes were red and there were tears running down her cheeks.

Later on she explained that the woman for whom they had fixed the house was a perfect petty tyrant. They'd done things for her for years, and they still were in contact with her to this day. She wasn't part of  the group, just someone to whom they owed a great debt for helping them learn self-control. Because of that, they still to this day have to do anything they can to help that lady.

Daniel
   

To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 1996 18:18:26 -0400

These notes were written shortly after the seminar in 1995 for my own use. I did deliberate whether or not to change some of the content but decided against it as they relect my own self reflection at the time. As they were typed, a few pertinent comments were inserted, given the developments of the year that followed, a year following what was thought, would be a one-of-a-kind event, that fortunately for us, was a beginning... VW

FLORINDA DONNER'S LECTURE AT MAUI

This lecture was given the first night of the Maui Tensegrity seminar. Because of my being so tired that night (it was Friday and I had flown in from Florida) I began to fall asleep even before she came into the lecture hall. The place was beautiful and they were playing music by Vangelis which seemed to perfectly match the mood of excitement and awesome mystery coming from the participants gathered for this extrodinary event. I was determined to remember the lecture even if I was asleep and set myself up to remember what I could the following day in my notes.

When Florinda came into the large and dimly lit convention hall, everyone started to clap so I was awake for the beginning but fell asleep again. It seemed a bit out of place at the time for people to clap for them. But what the hell else were they going to do, boo them? Florinda Donner is a very short woman who exudes a great deal of energy which tended to be on the nervous side. She used note cards and I did not really like her as I did taisha Abelar or even the Chacmools. I would later come to realize more about her and about my own stupid tendency to judge and assume. As she talked I had the feeling that this person was so far away and different. She seemed fierce and somewhat aggressive.

During the lecture Florinda made jokes about her height and how she had to compensate somewhat by being aggressive. I thought that I would not like to get her mad at me or meet her in some dark dream if she was in a bad mood. She seemed to be the type to have little or no patience for idiots. As I had these sorts of thoughs, it seemed another part of me was realizing and asserting that this being was not at all as I was judging her, that to judge her in any way, was to totally miss the boat, to occlude any truth that might come through.

The lecture began with comments made about her height, about her being short with one inch heels. She spoke her name or better, declared it. She said she had to because Florinda Donner was a dream. She indicated that she had to make an effort to maintain the situation of the lecture. This focus and need to speak their names was repeated each time one of the group giving the seminar spoke. At another time, Kylie said that they spoke their names not for our benefit but for 'It's' benefit. It, being the Intent or Intent, the Nagual, the Spirit.

Florinda talked about three rules regarding perceiving and perception. She talked about our tendency to anthropomorphasize. She said our boring patterns and our boring repetitions drain us of all our energy. These patterns are mostly set by the age of three. Florinda deferred commentary regarding stalking to Dr. Abelar and made some comments that indicated that she could become quite irritated by Dr. Abelar's manner and/or behaviors although her admiration and affection for her were most notable. She commented that practices like gazing, walking, etc. were mostly ways to trap or fixate attention, (which they are indeed). The recapitulation was discussed as a means to unveil our method of manipulating the world, socially. that is, she said that most people have but a single way of dealing with people and situations that they encounter in life. Very complicated people, she said, have maybe two ways of dealing with the world. Florinda indicated that the recapitulation was necessary for uncovering our patterns and our ways of snaring ourselves, of feeling important, and of wasting our precious energy. She said that Taisha Abelar would not agree entirely with her on some things. Florinda said that the recapitulation was, for her, a tool to see those patterns so that we could begin to free energy but she did say we had to always practice it.

She also talked about the need to suspend judgment, giving the example of how a women at a Mexico lecture came up to her to complain about the Tensegrity. The person said that they had come all the way from South America (Argentina, I believe) to learn a bunch of stupid movements. The woman's comments were mostly "I", "I", "I", "Me", "Me", "Me"!!!... her entire focus was on her self-reflection.

Unfortunately, that's how it is for most of us, at least for most of the time. i caught myslef, during the Tensegrity workshop, commenting to myself about the movements' similarities to Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Yoga, etc. etc. Having practiced these disciplines for a long time, the tendency was to just file them or categorize it into something familiar, which also served to make me feel important, yuch! So I had to repeatedly remind myslef to suspend judgement. When I did, I enjoyed the teachings much more and discovered then, that, indeed, these movements, no matter their outward or superficial similarities to other things, were in fact, as alien as they could be, beyond the comfortable "known". Even there during the workshop I could feel the effects, and by the Omega workshop in New York, a couple of months later, extrodinary things were happening.

Florinda talked about the Flyers or beings of non-organic energy, that eat us like we eat chickens. Just as chickens are totally oblivious to their fate, we go about our silly business without a clue that we are fodder for these things. We are in a chicken coup and are stupid morons, or self important apes who waste our chances. This information was shocking and true. Maybe some of the participants might have been annoyed, but upon due consideration, I found her diatribe to be refreshing and to the point as I'm sure many there did. Florinda said that she was not trying to deliberately insult us. She was only repeating what they themselves had been told by the Old Nagual, as she called don Juan Matus, to be clear on whether she was talking about him or Carlos Castaneda. This led to comments about a weird, but very funny tendency the warriors of the old Nagual's party had, to talk in a low monotone voice, like they were retarded. They would do this to repeat or to emphasize in a humerous fasion, what was being talked about. Florinda demonstrated the voice and would do it throughout the lecture with the audience really getting a kick out of it. She did it in New York too but didn't give an explanation for it so i wondered then what some of those people thought. It was very funny and provided one of many personal glimpses into their highly unique world each seeming to be like gems of sorts, for so long had there been the desire to be near any of them or to encounter them. This gathering, then, was more than was incredible, like a dream come true (no pun intended).

Florinda added that Carlos has been pretending to be retarded for the past three years and that, because of this, he would never really be retarded. In regards to Tensegrity, Florinda mentioned that Carlos taught it when he was around. She also emphasized, as the Chacmools would later in the seminar, that Tensegrity was not a fixed thing. The movements were always changing. In some of the workshops, people would ask questions about specifics such as how many times a move was repeated or about the exact wording for the move or a part of a move. Kylie and the others made the point throughout the workshop that the verbiage was, to a great degree, mnemonic devices to help one remember. When they made comments such as, for example, "raise your arms and extend out into infinity", a person might ask about how one should visualize "extending out into infinity", etc. and they would respond that, of course, words really didn't explain anything about what we were doing and to not get all tangled up in descriptions. Tensegrity is always changing, Florinda said, because Carlos is always dreaming.

However, at other times the Chacmools as well as Taisha Abelar, would say that the Tensegrity came from four strands of magical passes each given individually to the four diciples of the old Nagual. These passes, they indicated, were combined into the Tensegrity. The passes we were being taught were components or key joints from much longer passes, some being hundreds of movements in length..

So, Tensegrity had a beginning and has been growing with the efforts of the group. Really, the passes stretch back to the ancient sorcerers and to their fixations, which were on the morbid and obsessed side. When one practices the sorcery passes, then, one is hooking into the intent of all those ancient sorcerers and of those coming after them. An awesome prospect indeed!

One of the reasons, Florinda commented, for giving the seminar, was to pay back the Spirit. (I add here, after reading this, and after having been around them more, that there was something, what I though was my mind, telling me, urging me, that her statements about paying back the spirit were all lies and deceptions and to be angry, something like the 'good conscience/bad conscience tug-of-war thing, which I now realize is the flyers' mind).

Florinda said that Carol Tiggs came back after ten years and that Carlos had found her in a book store when he was giving a lecture. When he saw her there at the lecture, Castaneda reportedly just stood there babbling as he looked at her. so Castaneda gave a few lectures in that bookstore (the Phoenix Book Store in LA) to pay them back. (The owner reportedly told a friend of mine who asked - that Carlos Castaneda spent most of his time playing golf - perhaps his own flyers mind).

The return of Carol Tiggs, the nagual woman, brought a new mood to the group. During his lecture, Carlos saw Carol's glow in the back of the store. She had returned after ten years! For wo hours he just babbled through the lecture, so shocking was this development. I later would be struck by Carol's very youthful appearance. While Florinda and Taisha are strikingly vital and energetic, as is the new nagual, Carlos Castaneda, Carol appears to be actually younger. Being gone, out of our time perhaps, for ten years, could have this effect according to sorcerers' lore (see Silvio Manuel's dissapearance). This event, Florinda said, was a perfect example of what they meant when they say that the sorcerers' world is constantly changing.

Someone asked about La Gorda's eye (as described in the Second Ring of Power). Florinda siad that she didn't know anything about this. There were a few questions along these lines, that Florinda seemed to get a little bit flustered over. She did say that La Gorda died in her arms. She was apparently nervous at times but her obviously high degree of energy as well as the novel pressures of giving the lecture could have had a lot to do with her demeanor. Also, I found it more assuring, not less, that she was not trying to bullshit or to hide her feelings and reactions. She was shooting from the hip and that was for sure.

Florinda told us about Carlos being a three pronged nagual (which she pronounced "no-all" which is an aberration on the Nahuatl pronunciation of "Na-wa-'hl'.) is interested in the abstract and further, being a man, he uses words to build or cone, towards knowledge. men, Florinda pointed out, CONE towards knowledge (A), while women open up towards knowledge like an inverted cone (V). Men, she continued, are interested in and tend towards structures. women have a second brain, their wombs! They are, therefore, much better off having this extra and power-filled energetic site or center. Women dream from their wombs. Someone asked about celibacy and sex. Florinda exclaimed "Ah ha!!, I was waiting for that one!" She said that if one is obsessed with sex, wanting it, then by all means, go ahead and do it! Enjoy it! She was a bit uncomfortable talking about it, it seemed, but in a funny way, giggling, etc. Florinda did say that, if one was to have sex in the best manner possible, energetically speaking, it had to be done out of real and pure affection.

On the more serious side, Florinda said that women defend to the death something that they don't even have..... the social order. This led to comments regarding the flyers and their eating habits, which is to say....us! They eat us down to our heals leaving us nothing but our crummy self-reflection. She reported that a well off, sick, crazy young friend of theirs, was always insulted by Carlos Castaneda because he alwyas opened himself up like a balloon to be popped. This guy, however, took a picture of a flyer. It was leaping over a sea of people gathered at the pyramids in Tenochitlan. They were there to see the Dali lama at the pyramids. She said that 'intent' somehow allowed the picture to be taken. the figure was gigantic and appeared to be leaping over the crowd, from one pyramid to the other. There, at that gathering, with all of those people pouring out their emotions and self-relections/importance in the form of their devotion and longing, the flyers were gorging themselves on their awareness'. So much energy was available to them that they somehow or another crossed the boundaries of perception to be caught by the camera which was one of those that take a series of pictures with one click. That picture was the middle picture and was the only one with the image of the flyer upon it. the flyer looked to be agigantic man leaping above the heads of the crowd.

The flyers attach to us and eat the sheen of our awareness down to the ground. But Florinda asserted, for those whose awareness is regrown through discipline, that is the fluid discipline of warriorship, the flyers do not eat them. They do not like the taste of discipline. It is unpalatable to them. Following the warriors way makes us taste bad, like a dirty chicken, to them. florinda said, possibly in response to a question, that there were inorganic awareness' present in the hall we were in. Some, she said, appeared brownish, grayish, likes puffs or spirals. She said that she could see them but we could not because 90 percent of our energy went into holding up our self-reflection and self-importance (don Juan used 98% she said).

Florinda explained the three types of people or personalities: Piss (always helping and secretly loathing), Farts or Know it alls, and Pukes or persons who help but make you pay. It is important for every one of us on this path to acknowledge what we are, even if we are bored fucks on top of being either a piss, a puke or a fart. Bored fucks, which most people are, are people who were conceived during boring sex, sex without great enthusiasm and energy involved. florinda said that she'd seen just about every movie there was. She loved movies so much that the other sorcerers had a nickname for her "the Movie Whore". She mentioned that she used to practice Shotokan karate at college.

A fascinating story was told abou t an experience Florinda had when she was still an apprentice. She was driving the VW bus along a street in LA when she saw a woman just outside her window looking in at her. This being stood right outside even though the VW bus was moving along the road. Even when Florinda would speed up, she stayed right along side. The strange woman's hair was black. florinda had the idea, she knew, that it was dyed and explained our insistence and tendency, even in the face of the unknown, to judge and explain everything. The woman, in addition to her (dyed) black hair, had big crooked teeth. She appeared leathery too! Florinda said that she sped up the bus to get away but the woman remained alongside until finally, she just vanished. Florinda related other manifestations, where she was perceiving awareness' which crossed somehow into this realm. One was that of a creature that looked like a cat but had a rabbits back end and big teeth. She joked about seeing things with big teeth.

Floinda talked about old Florinda of don Juan's party of sorcerers. She would wear a robe of energy. Florinda would always see it as something like a bathrobe that old Florinda would wear with one of her breasts hanging out. Don Juan and old Florinda would jokingly ask Florinda how shw liked old Florinda's robe. She could only comment on how audacious or scandalous they were or something like that. The old nagual would ask old Florinda to take off her robe in front of Florinda. Then Florinda talked about how, one day, she saw that Florinda had never had a real robe on at all. It was her interpretation system that influenced or distored her seeing of the sheer energy robe of old Florinda. Once, Carlos talked about how old Florinda's energy was on power itself. he said that she could just tap you and bruise or hurt you very severely, she was so powerful. Related to the energy robe and seeing for women is the womb and its advantage in assisting women in dreaming and perceiving. Women can suspend judgment and belief more easily.

Florinda told us that the old nagual had four names and four different personas because he was a four compartment nagual. He was don Juan Matus for Carlos, John Michael Abelar for Taisha, marialano Aurialano for Florinda, and Dilas Grau (I'm not sure of this last name) for Carol Tiggs. Carlos has three names.

Florinda related how the women of don Juan's party would dote on him. She joked that he couldn't even go to the bathroom without them. They adored him though as the nagual, the one who brings freedom, abstract and total freedom. they were, of course, free from the mundane assertions such behavior would normally conjure in the day to day world. This led Florinda to discuss how men are more fragile than women. They are, energeticallly but alsosociety sets it up for them to be pampered needlessly. Florinda talked about how women are ingrained with the need to help the poor baby men. At the airport they saw these men in suits, business types, trying to get coffee for themselves. They were there without their wives to get their coffee for them, poor babies and Florinda described how they felt that impulse to go over there and help them! She also mentioned how, on the plane, she was cramped and had a stiff neck. She spent the time planning her speech and an ally rubbed her neck. (I noticed at Maui and at the next workshop at Omega in New York, that Florinda used cards. At UCLA she did not and was a quite nervous but ended up giving as great or even better a lecture on our state as beings that are going to die).

Florinda also descirbed ushers, those allies (or anything else i.e., omen/spirit) that usher us int any unknown or new thing. She descirbed one of her ushers. One day she was ironing, naked as was her usual custom when she felt what she perceived as a furry dog rubbing between her legs. it was an ally rubbing up against her, an inroganic being!

Florinda went on to say, in response to a question I think, that allies were not bad or good, that there really is no good or evil. We are navigators of infinity, navigators of perception. She said that Carlos Castaneda was "really out there" and that they, the women disciples were doing everything they could to keep up. Florinda described the chacmools as energetically, fierce guards and warriors. Florinda emphasized that the warriors' path was something a person really had to do alone, that no one could help us except to maybe cushion us. She talked about true love and affection. She said that we did not know how to love anything but ourselves. There is, she stressed, a need for one, as a warrior, to write a blank check to accept whatever our charges do to us. Once we stop judging, there will be nothing there, nothing for people to push against.

Florinda said that we were all petty tyrants and that mothers are the biggest petty tyrants. When asked about loosing one's edge she said that women loose more in having children than men do, but men do loose some too. And, that we can reclaim our lost energy by cutting the connection to children. In other words, we really free them too and that children don't then loose their edge but are set free. So in essence, she said we have to get it back, but in a nice way. Besides, she said, we don't love our children anyway.

Florinda seemed bubbling over with vitality. She was practically jumping up and down. Florinda had a bit of difficulty understanding some of the questions posed to her. It appeared that this was definitely a new experience for her. I fancied that she had not been among humans or perhaps not quite human herself, for some time as if she was not used to it. Nevertheless, her energy and knowledge were incredible!

Florinda said that it would be very easy for them (the four disciples of don Juan) to fly off into the unknown. That it, the whole affair is so easy and that is why ists so hard to accomplish. She mentioned that don Juan and Generaro were so focused that when one was not there, that they didn't know you existed and that used to make her mad before she knew that don juan was energetically so hard. She realized that to trust the nagual meant to trust him with one's life totally. given the chance to do it again or not, she said that, certainly, she would do it again, only with more discipline.

Florinda emphatically stated that she and her group were totally and completely given to the sorcerers way of life. She said that the reason that we the audience, were there, was because we were not happy and/or we were missing something in our lives. She said that she would be a fat wife or something horrible like that, hating her husband and her kids if it were not for this path. she said there is another side to us. That first and foremost, we are perceivers. as babies, we are and we can learn to percieve twin worlds. that we can go and live and die in other worlds. It was possible, and she was there to say it was.

Florinda stated that there were two forces (in the universe) and that the inorganics were as aware of us as we were of them, which was to say, hardly at all. She said that she now takes for granted that there are beings or awareness' such as allies and that it is possible to interact with them. Florinda stated that we are predators and we are also preyed upon. Eating meat, she said, or being a plant predator didn't matter, that one was still preying on awareness'. In turn, we are also preyed upon by the flyers.

Florinda said that sorcery changes and heightens one's awareness in weird ways, like the senses. She said that Carlos Castaneda can find chocolate anywhere. Florinda said that she loved to read as well as watch movies. She said that Carlos doen't read anything but the Enquirerer.

The double, florinda indicated, was particularly sought or achieved by nagual people who had double energy. florinda said that don Juan Matus was not of this world but could operate within it. He was a businessman and dealt with lawyers. She said that she went out socially with him. She never met the nagual Julien but heard lecherous tales about him. She said that old Florinda was very wealthy. Don Juan too, had money but she didn't know what name he had it under.

Florinda Donner told us about how old Florinda took her to this house with gold bricks in the floor. Old Florinda told Florinda Donner that the house was hers if she could find it again. Florinda said that don Juan gave them all nicknames and hers was "Greed". She said that old Florinda left her a cachet of jewelry in dreaming. She said that Carlos Castaneda was not very well off at all. She told the story about some Italian writer who could not get an interview with Carlos so he just made it up (the interview) which included scandalous deeds such as Carlos Castaneda, the California guru, living with women 'servants'. In reality, Florinda said, Carlos Castaneda gives away his wealth a lot, supporting people in Mexico as well as the rest of them. She said that sorcery provides but one must, in turn, give it away to get it once again. One must not be attached.

Florinda said that the earth will be here, or continue to be here and that we must care about it if we care anything about ourselves. In answer to another question regarding Christian Beliefs, demons and other religious ideas about demons and spirits, Florinda said that they may have been allusions to inorganics, or partial/distorted perceptions/interpretations of them. But also those concepts, she stressed, were examples of our tendency/insistence to compartmentalize our knowledge.

Someone asked about her statements in "Being in Dreaming" about the old nagual saying he would "blow you to him", in regards to Carlos. She replied that that was an example of how the spirit works, how it evolves things. Florinda responded to another question with the answer that we didn't know what true affection was. That we only liked oursleves. Florinda said that the mere presence of the nagual was enough to shift their awareness'. The slap on Carlos' back was merely to tell him that he (don Juan) was doing something. She said the rest of them did not use power plants.

Defining magic, Florinda stated that magic was in how we do or say "White House". Saying this, we don't just envision a white rectangle, but intend all kind of aspects making up its complex and relative reality. Therefore, she urged , why not use this power to intend as we do in everyday life. She said that she had learned to use intent, to intend things. This power or its use, begins with a crucial moment of silence. We must let that moment grow, she emphasized.

Florinda told the story of how she and Taisha Abelar disappeared into the nagual, or another layer of the onion, or another bona-fide other world, for nine days even though they experienced it as being onl three days. Carlos Castaneda had told them upon their return, that if they had been gone any longer, that he would have had had to do something.

Florinda misunderstood someone's question about whether she ran into other people in her dreamin. She said that she ran into people all the time because this world was only a peel of the onion and that other worlds, with people, existed in other layers, so to speak. When in those worlds, she said, she would notice that something wasn't right. Florinda said that she was being dreamed by Carlos Castaneda, Taisha Abelar, and Carol Tiggs and vice versa. She described the chacmools and their role as quardians.

Florinda described a nagual as a double man with two balls of energy, each with two compartments. the old nagual, in accordance with this energetic makeup, then had four separate personalities and the four disciples had access, each, to one of those four personalities. The four of them learned four differnt series of magical passess designed for their individual makeup. These were amalgamated into Tensegrity. The magical passes were discovered by sorcerers through dreaming. Sorcerers, when dreaming into heightened awareness, wanted to replicate the well being experienced there in their ordinary waking awareness. Originally, the passess' mood, was dark and foreboding. The passes now, Florinda told us, were filled with light and delight. She gave the definition of the term Tensegrity. She said that some passes had three or even four hundred movements. These (the 12 basic passes plus the stellar hatch/Maui gift pass) were key units of longer passes. The seminar, there on Maui, like the passes, was filled with light and delight. Here at the beginning, having no idea of what was to come (the videos and more and more seminars), or even knowing if there would even be another lecture, seminar or appearance, it was very weird when it ended.

On the final day, a Sunday, we reviewed themovements with the Chacmools. At the end they had a short question and answer period. Then it ended and they walked out and were gone. It seemed that there was a kind of stunned silence. People tried to mill about and talk but with their departure, we were left with just a room full of people. I walked out of the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hotel into the exquisite Hawaii midday. I had never been to Hawaii before and it seemed a little ironic, how the events of the seminar, Taisha, Florinda, the Cahcmools and the brush with Castaneda's world, completely overshadowed even the beauty and allure of this tropical paradise. As I began the two mile walk back to my hotel to wait for my evening flight home alone, familiar feelings of sadness of self-pity, really, began to well up. But something stopped me. for once I had the presence of being to realize that I was in a position to choose either self-pity and sadness or elation and joy of the moment. I choose the latter and held on to it.
   

To: The Castaneda Mailing List
Date: 95-05-04 12:09:06 EST

Some thoughts about The Shaking Pass -

Taisha said something interesting about the Shaking Pass at the Maui Tensegrity Workshop earlier this year. She said the Shaking Pass is similar to what takes place when a sorcerer transforms their physical body into pure energy. She said that once, without forwarning, her teacher Emilito said "Hey Taisha, look," and he began to shake. Starting with his feet and ankles, the shaking moved like a seizmic tremor up his body and as it did, his body became amorphous and transparent- until he was gone from sight.

The next day someone asked Kiley if any of the Chacmools had ever witnessed their teachers disappearing. She said that they had seen them disappear before their eyes once, but the experience wasn't anything to talk about. She said that they were there and then they weren't and the whole thing seemed afterward like a dream.

The Shaking Pass seems to be how the Chacmools like to end the tensegrity instruction. They used it in both Mexico workshops, in Maui and in Boulder. It's a fun pass- not imbued with the heaviness that some of the others have. But, it's tricky in that regard. The Shaking Pass will make you feel alien to yourself quicker and make you sorer the next day than any of the others.

-JJStoecker

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The Power of Silence

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