To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: February 1997
Accounts from the Long Beach Workshop:
Here are some accounts of participants in the Carlos Castaneda’s Tensegrity workshop, which took place in Los Angeles/Long Beach on February 15th and 16th 1997. The workshop was organized by Cleargreen, Inc. Thanks to all writers.
A booklet was sold...
This was the first time I got to see...
Experiences of Long Beach workshop...
I didn't actually take notes...
Mon Feb 17th, 1997:
A booklet was sold at this workshop, written by Carlos, describing all the passes we performed and prefacing them with dialogues he had with Don Juan.
One of the most relative things Carlos said at the workshop, was that our mind is a foreign installation. Maybe I never got it before??
So basically, almost everything we ask, every dialogue we have, every thought (!) we have, and every dream we have isn't coming from us.
He said sorcerers see the energy of all our internal organs (liver, spleen, etc.) moving in a circular pattern. The energy on top of our heads moves in a back and for the pattern like a pendulum. This is the gift from the flyers. This is why we see the world the way we do. Everything is a dichotomy. We can change our minds easily, back and forth.
So all these questions we ask aren't even us. They are them.
Think about that next time you open your mouth. and get the book!
Tue Feb 18th, 1997:
This was the first time I got to see Carlos and Carol in person (they were not at Omega) and I always hoped someone would describe them, so I could imagine what they looked like. As if they are real people. To make them more real to me more accessible. Now I know it doesn't matter. They are real people, for themselves, not for us. The passes are for us, and it is enuf. Still, to the curious soul (like me), the desire to see will always be there. So my advice do it!! Go to a workshop!! My descriptions (and everyone else's) will never be enuf.
And do it soon, before he leaves.
PS: I just remembered something else about my desire to see them. I believed that they represented the nagual purely, and meeting them would be meeting the nagual. And it would catapolt me, or something, into another attention. Well, actually, it did do those things, but what really happened was my internal silence was triggered my dialogue was cut off when they spoke, and so I was able to execute the passes with more focus (less flyer!!). But the nagual I wanted to meet is all around us. They really are JUST PEOPLE! But they are the people that we are supposed to be that we were meant to be perceivers of the awareness that flows into the universe. It is our destiny and our right!! And it has been stolen from us to feed a species that somehow manipulated our energy to serve them. We carry their mind in our heads spend our lives doing what they want, saying what they want, thinking what they want. To get angry is useless it is a predatory universe. To get even would only feed them fuller. We need only to get well.
Sat Feb 22nd, 1997:
I didn't actually take notes, preferring to just get blasted and store the memories in my AP.
Weeks before the workshop I had been reading some astrological reports which talked about a powerful alignment of planets during the 14-16 of Feb 1997. Apparently, this may be the most powerful alignment of planets this century, according to some astrologers. Basically, most of the planets are in Aquarius, and the gist of it is that there couldn’t be a better, more auspicious time for everyone, it indicates a time of pure magic, where what is set in motion during this brief period will have long long reaching effects.
The workshop was MIND BLOWING, literally! I was familiar with the three videos and the westwood series (from print) previously but I was surprised at how easy it was to learn most of the new movements, I guess that's mass.
Carlos was great, I was surprised at how thin his legs were, in fact, most of the them, the witches etc. seem to have very slender/sleek builds. It made me wonder if that wasn’t a product of the movements.
Carlos at once seemed so normal yet the delivery of his words was extremely powerful. Carol Tiggs was truly awesome. At one point she was talking about how we are always surrounded by infinity even though we are not aware of this. As she was talking about this the room we were in started to look and feel very fake to me, as if it were a movie set, and I had a feeling that outside those walls was an infinite black void, was nothingness.
As I listened to the Blue Scout talk I began to get a sense, like in a lot of sci-fi movies where aliens are disguised as humans, that she wasn't human at all, but rather an insect, it gave me a bit of a sick feeling in my stomach. Perhaps I was tapping into the alieness of her energy. It was only after I got back home that I realized that the passes that deal with the Blue Scout involve making a pincer-like insect formation with the hand, and making a slight buzzing sound with the mouth!
Generally, it's hard to put a lot of what I feel into words, I feel very bottled-up. However, by the time I left for home, and over the last week I have felt quite changed, at a very deep level. One of the things I feel is a great sense of urgency, like, there is a wave out there, and I can ride it if I want to, it's a real possibility, so I can't afford to waste time, I can't even afford to lose this feeling. I was surprised to read today in Carlos opening to the new book that this is in fact, one of the main things he noticed was the effect of mass: Urgency. It's like so many things that may have been slight issues for me previously are now definitely non-issues: like a career for example. I don't know if it would be accurate to say that I have changed directions, but that's what it feels like. It's like my life has been silently re-prioritized and simplified. There is a road ahead, with no turns or offshoots, and it leads to Freedom.
My sense is that one of the most important effects of a workshop is that, in comparison to the Social Order, there is an opposite peer-pressure on the AP. You really get a feel for the milieu. I would urge anyone who hasn't made it to a workshop yet, to go, not to hear and see Carlos, but to get blasted. I know for myself it was a minor miracle that I was able to get to this one, with costs and timing etc... but in retrospect that almost seems like a test of sorts. In any case, I like most of you, had been doing the passes and recap for some time now on my own, which ultimately is the most important thing, to DO IT, but after the workshop, I feel that there are opportunities that mass can offer us that would probably take a long time to make available by just working by oneself.
Another thing that I was left with was the certainty, for myself anyway, that doing the passes and using the paperweight and balls are the most efficacious way to achieve inner silence as opposed to any variation on eastern meditation. The balls are great, I mean, now I don't need an excuse anymore to play with my balls!
The thing that Taisha talked about which left the deepest impression was her saying that resolutions, decisions etc... are useless, in fact, utterly useless, that they are externals. What you need to do is to turn the screwdriver a half-a-notch, which really means reaching some kind of threshold in clearing our link with intent. When we do this, there is a domino effect, and then things just start to change without any doing on our part. The way she talked about this, something really got through to me, and I am left with a sense of short-term purpose: to reach that threshold, or turn the screwdriver half-a-notch, and let the dominoes fall, which means don’t worry about your job, where you’ll be in two years and so on. Just mash that Intent, and at some point things will start to really change.
Another thing Taisha said was that at some point doing Tensegrity will, ...make you want to SCREAM!... And that if you do you have lost your sobriety. I found this comment very odd, it really piqued my curiosity. And sure enough, the next day, on the way home, I had this feeling that... I WANTED TO SCREAM!!!! And it was so powerful, and very wild, and also hard to contain, which I guess means sobriety is something I need to work on, which is no surprise to me. But I do find it somehow surprising that Tensegrity makes me want to scream, I don't know...
That's about all I can seem to formulate into words at this time so I'll end here.
Thu Feb 20th, 1997
Experiences of Long Beach workshop
It was my first Tensegrity workshop. When I saw that it was announced exactly at the date of my birthday I felt the urgent wish to go there. But first it seemed impossible because of financial limitations, but suddenly somewhat like a door opened, and everything fit well in my birthday wish to be there...
A big blue pyramid... This was the place where the workshop happened. The pyramid stands free in CSULB campus, a huge region of different buidlings, schools, libraries, fountains, sport fields, parking areas, lawn, flowers and many different wonderful trees. Los Angeles a town with no winter nearly unimaginable for a central European, who is used to long cold winter seasons, seeing no flowers in nature for some months...
The entry to the workshop started on Saturday early at 7 a.m. up to 9 a.m. I had to fill a blank with name, address, age, experiences, health, and I had to sign that I am responsible for everything happening to me during the workshop. Then I was checked with an electronic tool for camera or tape recorder. There was already a little line of workshop visitors when I arrived at about 7.45. I felt attentively guided from Cleargreen staff people from step to step by this check-in procedure. I got an identification card with name and number.
Then I really could enter the workshop are a huge sport field under the roof of a high blue pyramid... On one side of the huge room was the bookstand, where between video tapes, T-shirts, Tensegrity balls, paperweight and other books, a new book of Carlos Castaneda was sold: Tensegrity the magical passes of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico, edited by Cleargreen.
I read most of this book in my airplane home, and it was really a great pleasure to read it. Carlos tells in his well known style how Don Juan told him the passes, how don Juan thought about them, how they should be practiced, and about their expected effect on a warrior. And I had such a pleasure to read this. It was as if I was so familiar with the style as it was the same style in which Carlos wrote all his books telling stories about his being together with don Juan so that my last reservations against Tensegrity fell down. It nearly seemed as if I only had not accepted Tensegrity because I had not heard about it in this well known style of don Juan talking with Carlos in the other books...
And the description of each pass is really amazing. There are plain words for the moving of the body as well as an explanation about the intended effect of each pass. It was mostly easy for me to remember the passes as I learn to practice them now at home. At it is really a pleasure to read it! I am very thankful to have this great guide.
Well, and the workshop started with a lecture of Carlos Castaneda himself... I was finally very happy to see him in person. He is a small man with grey hair, but he looks so agile, so vivid, so powerful and these both levels of his being not only what meets the eye I could also realize in his talking. He brought words, and in his first lecture I understood less than half of his English. It was my first time in an English speaking country, and I haven't learned English at school very well. Carlos seemed to have a hard South American accent in his English for me, and it was very exhausting to try to understand the meaning of his sentences. Later on Saturday he gave a second lecture, and I understood again much less, but I felt really touched, and I nearly slept away...
On Sunday he gave the last lecture in the afternoon. And it was amazing: I understood each word that he said. I had no problem with his accent, with the speed of his talking and with my attention to listen. It was as if Tensegrity had brought me in his time...
Taisha Abelar also gave 3 short lectures. She looks very vivid and young, thin, kind, with short cut hair as they all have. I was told that the short cut hair is a sign to leave personal history behind. Taisha talked about the passes, about self-indulgence, and many other topics which I can't remember. For me it was as if her words (and also the words of the other lecturers) were brought into the actual presence there, and there they were exactly put how they should be. So later there is nothing to speak about, as they have nothing to do with another time.
Carol Tiggs gave 2 short lectures. She is amazing. For me it was as if she plays the roll of the warrior who has escaped social order to perfection. I remember that she talked about Shanty-town, the place where people usual are stuck: Oh, this is nice of you-effects Oh, you are ugly!-effects and so on.
So she showed how we are triggered by words from other people... and how we move from one triggered reaction to another, but we always stay in Shanty-town, being triggered by other people unless we start to live like a warrior, practice controlled folly and recapitulation as a constant battle. She also does her recapitulation daily, she or Taisha said. This is a daily fight with no end... as long as we interact with other humans...
Well, and in between there were the passes. A real great number of passes! And it was my first workshop! But it was not so difficulty. There were 4 stages on the ground, and on each stage stood 2 energy trackers from time to time alternating the 8 men and the 8 women. One of them showed a pass, explained it, and the other trackers showed the pass too, so that all people round the stages could see them and follow them.
It was really amazing. I guess that there were about 600 people around, but everybody could see to a stage, and moving after the call of an energy tracker at the same time was no difficulty. It was really amazing for me how these people from all over the world worked on their bodies, teaching their bodies the passes, following the instructions of the energy trackers...
I didn't talk to many people there, but I had the impression that there were mostly real interested people there who really took the chance to learn, to fight their laziness and stupidity, to open to a door to freedom and they were ready to bring their full engagement as a blank cheque for freedom...
On Saturday evening the energy trackers showed some long magical passes, partly also using real knifes. There were 2 women showing the same pass, and it was amazing how they performed it together in the same speed... I felt impressed by the power of intent and the courage to move by the hell of it... And I again noticed that those sorcerers only have the time of one life to escape death...
Another highlight of the workshop was the evening lecture of the Blue Scout. She is a very slender young woman, maybe in her early twenties, with reddish-blond hair and glasses. She is also one of the energy trackers, and she performs the passes with amazing brilliance and plainness.
In the evening she read for a long time from the new book of Carlos Castaneda Memorable Events, which is not printed up to now. For me her reading was put in an amazing hall of inner silence word by word. As if a great space of eternity was created where she placed each word... It touched me very deeply, and it seems to be stored directly like a big treasure in my bodyâ€”where no words can express what this means...
To: The Tango Mailing List
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 16:28:33 PDT
This is what I can remember from the Long Beach seminar: Feb, 14-15 1997.
A stage had been set up against one wall which everyone gathered around. The Nagual Dr. Carlos Castaneda took the stage greeted with a standing ovation. He wore a button up shirt, blue jeans, black shoes and a black leather jacket. After announcing his name the opening lecture began with a review of the basics, such as, the body as a conglomerate of energy fields, the assemblage point where "zillions and zillions" of energetic filaments converge to create perception, the art of dreaming, and the discovery of the magical passes.The passes help a warrior to be ready to grab that cubic centimeter of chance when ever it should pop up. "One needs to be alert and agile to grab it an make use of it". "My knees are like those of a kid!" His fathers knees were locked and he showed us how he walked.The Nagual told us how don Juan use to take him for long walks in the desert. He would walk at a fast pace for hours and Castaneda would beg "Don Juan, don Juan! I need a little break" and he'd sit down lighting a cigarette "to catch my breath" as he inhaled the smoke. "Crazy!" we walk around trying to hold up this idea that we're the greatest. always worrying "what do they think of me" and "how do I look" as he mimes looking into a hand mirror. We love ourselves yet at the same time we're poising ourselves. The boost of energy Tensegrity gives us helps to see that contradiction.
Each of the four of them all had magical passes which were suited to their personal needs. In order to do the Nagual's passes one would have to be his size. They started thinking what a waste it would be to go and take all this information with them. So over the years they made the movements generic so that anyone can do them and achieve magical results. It took years because "We are not hacks." it had to be prefect.
We took a little break to get ready for the passes. In that time Dr. Castaneda was hanging around chatting with Kylie.
About half way through learning the Series For Preparing Intent Kylie announced that there was going to be a lecture. And once again the chauffer took the helm. "You see how I work" Now that you've moved a bit,now we can talk. Questions. (The reverb was terrible making it extremely hard to hear what was being said.) One man asked about holes in the energy body. "What" Holes in the energy body?" Oh, what holds the energy body together." He then went into an explanation of intent that was almost word for word as it is in the newsletter. There was some mention of syntax and how when someone mentions spoon we automatically think knife, plate, fork and so on. Finally "I've run out of things to say," but he managed to talk about how he's a talker until he was dragged from the stage.
Because we were in the middle of learning movements people had surrounded the stage and he stepped down into a crowd of people. Some Cleargreeners came in to usher him out of the chaos.
Taisha Abelar was the next to talk to us. She told us how that in back there had been a pie for everyone so she had a piece, then after no-one came for a while she thought why not have another but still no-one showed up and eventually she ate the whole pie; much to the delight of the audience. Don Juan once told her that she needed to make a bridge. So, Taisha was immediately picturing this giant suspension bridge. "No, no, no," he said. It's much smaller than you think. now she was thinking of your average stream crosser. But it was even smaller still. It's the size of your nose. "Oh well that's just a Teensy weensy little thing, no problem."It turned out to be the most difficult thing she has ever had to do: bridge the two bodies.
Taisha spoke twice,however over time everything she said has blurred together. I can see her from floor level as well as looking down from the bleachers and it's hard to tell what happened where.
Ms. Abelar talked about when they first sent her to the cave to do recapitulation. Instead of recapitulating she would sit and try to raise the Kundalini force. She found a nice flat river stone to sit on and every day, using books, she would meditate. One day the old Nagual got feed up with her actions and said "cut the crap! Recapitulate!" So she did. She told us we don't need a cave or a box to recapitulate in, just do it.
On breathing: As we do the passes that involve the breath we should make the breaths as deep as possible. Sorcerers see that some people are B.F.'s (she didn't seem to like the term Board Fuck). But as people practice the passes breathing to their fullest eventually there comes a time when even to the eye of a sorcerer they don't seem like B.F.'s; it becomes impossible to tell.
She also mentioned something about the second attention. Doing the passes, recapitulating, maybe through some not-doings in. These are the ways to reach the Other and the second attention. At some point during her first lecture a beautiful women came out from the "back stage" area, walked up and sat at the edge of the stage tapping her fingernails until Tiasha turned to look. The women then sat down with the energy trackers.
That women was our next speaker. In the evening Carol Tiggs strolled onto the stage telling us how they all love to look for omens. Tonight's omen was a bumper sticker they saw in the parking lot which read "I love myself just the way I am". So they were going to concentrate on self-importance. (Ms. Tiggs' lectures blend together in my mind even more so than Ms. Abelar's)
Carol Tiggs mentioned how the sorcerers of ancient Mexico learned to see energy as it flowed in the universe and that when a human being was "seen" it was an egg or more properly now is a ball. This ball had at on time a a golden sheen which covered the whole cacoon, however for modern man the plastic like golden cover was now only toe high. "Shanty Town" she called it. That place is the pits, the lowest we can go. If she were to get mad she thinks " Oh no! I'm in shanty town again"
Carol Tiggs is not some holier than now goddess that just comes down off her throne to see how her "little babies are" (at this point her performance was an absolute riot!). Impeccability is a constant struggle, every minute of every day she is fighting. We all must be impeccable. Even if you've done all your Tensegrity and recapitulated you can't start whining about having to do the dishes - impeccablity is a way of life.
Don Juan had her make a list of things that were of an unordinary nature. When she went to see him with this big long list, thinking how proud he would be with her, all he did was look at it and say "cut out the sugar". At that time in her life she loved muffins. In the middle of telling us about this she made a big sweeping motion with her hand across what would be her horizon as she inhaled. Silence for a moment. She explained that that was an example of recapitulating on the go. One descent need a cave or a box to recapitulate. And one neednt''be compulsive about it either. "Get out of my way! I need to get to my box and recapitulate!"
Songs are a major obstacle when trying to reach inner silence. The Nagual woman used to always have songs running through her head. Not even songs just the general tune. For years she was going around singing "orange soda" instead of "Arizona". We gloss over the words just to have something running through our heads.
The Womb Series: These movements help women rediscover their direct link with the spirit. Since women have this direct link they tend not to care. They have no trouble seeing energy and because it's so easy they blow it off. Men have to struggle life times to see energy. This causes them to have more sobriety and a longer, sustained view of energy. They balance each other. That's what these passes do. For women it makes them more open to their direct link to INTENT and makes men more sober and have a clearer purpose; the coning to the spirit.
Masculinity: These movements are short powerful blows to the "crust" of the cuccoon. This crust is seen in some people as something like an orange peel or thicker like the bark of a tree. We break up this crust and it automatically comes back into our centers of vitality.
Also on the first night she was the one to introduce the Energy Trackers as they preformed their long forms. Then the Blue Scout read a chapter from Carlos Castaneda's forth coming book.
The Nagual came back the second day for one more lecture. Basically our society is fucked. We all go around stressed out worrying about this or that. When he was in school his advisor would ask him "How are you today Carlos?" And he'd answer, "Great, I couldn't be better!" The advisor would turn his back walking away muttering "Piss off shithead" or something." But if he would respond, "Aggh! do you have to ask? Why do you have to ask? Look at me!" (he made himself look like a total waste) his advisor would be, "Come here, Come into my office I have some interesting matters we should discuss." In don Juan's world being happy was of utmost importance. Laughter was key. In the western world if you laugh your crazy. Carlos Castaneda once had a graduate student who was as perfect as can be. Always serious and in deep thought (at this point in his story he gave us his scalar impersonation, eyebrows pinched together and protruding lower lip). This kid went to the west indies (I think) to study some tribe. When he came back all the chap did was smile and laugh. He had this little bell he'd ring instead of talking. Who knows what happened to him but he sure was happy. To summarize: western society is fucked and don Juan's world was wonderful.
Carlos Castaneda would always be perplexed about the dates don Juan gave him. 7000-10,000 years ago was impossible from an anthropological stand point. At that time people weren't thought to be on this continent. So bbbzzzz thumbs down on western science/mind. He said that there were several hundred language families in the state of California alone. (I think I heard him wrong. Several hundred is unbelievable to this western mind) A language family is a large grouping of similar tongues. For instance all of Europe except for Basque and Finnish but including Sanskrit are all in the same foamily. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, ect are another family. You get the idea. For western man to come in and try to understand the views and philosophies of cultures with such vast differences was impossible. They didn't even try. When they came they killed. They whipped out staggering numbers of people and cultures and systems of knowledge.
The mind is a foreign installation. Because of the predatory nature of the universe something has taken control of the vital center on top of our heads. It now has a tick tock motion instead of a spiralling one like the others. This movement is quite disgusting for sorcerers to look at. He mentioned that some of the predators that feed off the sheen on our luminous cacoon resemble the patterns some people see when they close their eyes (I think that's what he said).
"Has anyone here been to an A.A. meeting? Go, it's a riot." If you haven't been here's what happens. Some one will get on stage to announce to every one that they're an alcoholic. Usually on the first try they can't do it. They mutter something and leave the stage. On the second try maybe they'll whisper really quickly "I'm an alcoholic." and the leader will pat them on the back "Good job Rick, Ya' did good." (this whole time the Nagual was acting this out keeping us giggling). Now when the person finally was ready to tell the world his problem it would come out something like this... "I'M AN Alcoholic!" and the person would burst into tears. Why is it so hard? Because they're so full of them selves to admit any little flaw.
A sociologist told Carlos Castaneda that when people rub their eyes it's a sure sing that they're bored with what's going on. "And by gum, it works" (starts mimicking someone bored with talking to their wife) "Huh? (rubbing eye) What was that honey?"
And one last thing. I recall him talking about when they leave the blue scout was going to be the one to lead them. Her energy is more resilient. Some man in Colorado had died. The man was Carlos Castaneda and the authorities called up Cleargreen to find out if it was the Nagual. Talia answered the phone and in a demanding voicesaod "NO! CARLOS CASTANEDA IS NOT DEAD!" Carlos Castaneda thought that was not a good way to react. What if he really had died? Talk to these people a little before hanging up. The coroner calculated that the Nagual Carlos Castaneda was about 75 while the man in Colorado was in his fifties. Don Juan told him that he could go at any time so always wear shoes you like. "I like my shoes," he said.