To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 01:25:59 -0400 (EDT)
LA WORKSHOP, August 23 to 27, 1997
by Vincent Sargenti and Randy Stark
DAY ONE (morning)
(Note: The following recollections are far from complete and certain to contain errors. We have endeavored to keep as much interpretation out of this account as possible and to stick to the facts, but can only hope for partial success. Imperfect lenses project imperfect pictures.)
Saturday . . . Florinda's Day
Saturday morning, August 23rd, the weather was picture postcard perfect in Los Angeles as roughly 850 workshop attendees and hardcore Tensegrity practitioners converged on the LA Convention Center from all over the world. The Los Angeles Convention Center loomed dissonantly against the southernmost area of the downtown skyline -- a gleaming white tubular steel and smoked-glass abstraction, a monument to the Calculus of man's technological madness as expressed in architecture. The workshop was held in this newer portion of the complex of enormous buildings. The old complex is a huge, mammoth rectangular building next to Interstate 110. Everyone who didn't already live in Los Angeles seemed to be staying in hotels on Figueroa street. The Hotel Figueroa and the Holiday Inn were both almost completely taken over by the Tensegrity Workshop crowd with their rolled up blue mats and black foam rubber Wheels of Time.
The crowd of mostly familiar faces were buzzing around the registration tables (as much as two hours before showtime) where the work-study people were seated by the dozen to have paperwork signed and hand out the transparent green ID badges that were the key to the magic kingdom. Before going through security (four large, dark-clothed men with black, metal-detecting paddles, a gauntlet of no less than 10 super-conscious guards, and 10 more inspectors at tables for searching bags.) On the other end of the gauntlet, were the most familiar and wonderful faces one can see, the two ladies who look at your badge and let you in. Once through their formidable doorway, one entered a huge rectangular room that seemed as large as a football field, and very possibly was. It had large honeycombed squares of recessed lights in the thick beamed ceiling and four gray and black-trimmed platforms, about a foot and a half high, spaced evenly down the center of a blue carpeted floor. Of the two central platforms, one, the southernmost, had a podium on it. People gathered in front of it, sitting on the floor.
Eventually, Grant walked up and welcomed everyone to Los Angeles. The room went wild with anticipation. He made a few announcements, and said that the schedule had basically been thrown out the window. He said that it was very difficult to plan months in advance for an event of this nature because the energetic configurations that the sorcerers operate within the context of make it impossible to say what's what from one day to the next. He stated emphatically that we should all try to bear with them and to make an attempt to be as patient and fluid as possible. He said that regardless of the scheduling, they had quite a treat in store for us.
Florinda Donner-Grau soon came out of a side door. She was dressed in a light blue shirt, dark blue slacks and thick-soled black rubber-looking sandals. She started by saying that 9am was way too early for her to read from the wall. It was the first time she had addressed us in the morning, and since she wasn't worth a damn in the morning she had written something to read to us.
There were translators for Italian, Russian, French, German and Spanish. (People using this service had portable earphones and were able to receive translations even while doing passes.) One benefit for the translators of her reading, she said, was that she didn't talk as fast.
The microphone kept feeding back periodically, but Florinda was in good spirits, tapping the toes of her sandals on the floor behind her as she talked. Before going to her notes she joked about something someone had said earlier as she walked into the convention center. "Oh Florinda, you look tired." But she didn't look tired in the least as she stood at the podium, short blonde hair impeccably brush cut around her flawless white skin and beaming face.
She told us the old nagual, don Juan, had given them his very best. He hit them with everything he had. When he realized that Carlos didn't have the energetic configuration or temperament for anything but ending the lineage, he put Big Florinda in charge of pulling them back together and recovering after he and the rest of his party left. They weren't worth a plugged nickel, Florinda said. You couldn't have made a whole person from the four of them put together.
She digressed into to speaking about Carlos and said that he has a particular fondness for several Hollywood filmmakers whose movies he watches over and over. She said that among them, one of his favorites is Woody Allen. She humorously said that he has poor taste in her opinion. (Florinda is quite a filmgoer herself, but she never mentioned that.) She told the story of a particular film and asked if we might remember it. It was the one where all these men are dressed in white with big white helmets and are preparing to jump out of the back of an airplane. They are supposed to be sperm and right as they are getting ready to rush out the back of the plane, the leader in front yells, "Go back, it's a blow job!"
What happened to them reminded her of that scene in the Woody Allen movie. "That's what happened to us," she said. They had been trained and were ready to jump when suddenly they were told, "Go back, it's a blowjob!" Regrouping afterwards was not easy, especially with Carol Tiggs having disappeared to god knows where.
Not long after this, Florinda talked about the sheen of awareness that has been eaten down by the Flyers, and how don Juan described it as El Condoncito, the little condom. The vulgarity of this description annoyed Florinda and she asked him if he couldn't just as well describe it more like a pillow and a pillow case. He said no, it was much tighter than that.
Florinda joked that Carlos has made a lot of mistakes in his life and that, over the years, she has been witness to most of them. One of the more recent, and according to her 'imbecilic', things he did was create what came to be known as the Sunday Group, a local LA practice group that Carlos worked with intensively over a period of more than a year. Carlos' temperament is not like don Juan's. She humorously described Carlos Castaneda as the 'ultimate hit-and-run artist'. She said that over a year ago he decided he would try to influence this small group of people and attempt to mold them into serious warrior-practitioners with the force of his charismatic personality, his ability to talk about anything, and his superior energy.
Florinda told the Los Angeles crowd that Carlos had made a monumental error in judgment because all he succeeded in doing was to make himself into their 'Guru'. So the Sunday Group was immediately abolished according to Florinda. Her statement signaled the end of the group, much to the surprise of some workshop attendees who were members of it. Later in the week, Florinda's tale of the demise of the group would spark speculation as to whether or not Carlos would be showing up for the workshop at all.
Florinda went on to talk about some of the favorite songs of Juan Tuma and Silvio Manuel. She described Silvio Manuel at length as an incredible dancer of tremendous flair and physical prowess. The other sorcerers often preferred not to look at his antics, which were in response to the Dark Sea of Awareness, because they were so outrageous -- like his ability to squeeze himself through a knothole. She said that the songs they were going to play for us were particular favorites of Silvio Manuel and Juan Tuma. She told everyone that when they were apprentices they had heard these songs over and over and over again while in the company of Silvio Manuel. Florinda stated that these same songs were going to be played for us again and again throughout the course of the workshop until we were, "Steeped in the mood of Silvio Manuel and don Juan's generation of sorcerers."
The three musical themes of the workshop were available on a CD at the Tensegrity Bookstore during breaks. All of the songs are sung in Spanish by Daniel Santos who, according to Florinda, has a unique vibration in his voice. All three are poignant and moving songs of love and longing. Florinda described how all human beings sense this immense longing for something they cannot completely define. She said that sorcerers maintain that this sense of longing for something indefinable is something that human beings mistakenly project onto other people as a longing for love and companionship, when in fact it is a longing for the boundless affection we would feel in the presence of our energy body. She said candidly that, "It is really a longing for the energy body we feel."
Florinda ended her lecture by translating the lyrics to the song she was about to play for us. She said it was one that Juan Tuma especially liked. She admiringly described him for us, her eyes filling with light as she did so. She became charged with a strange energy and awe as she described him as a handsome giant Indian man who sang and danced like thunder!
As the song began to play, she walked out of the room to a standing ovation, gesturing for us to be quiet so we could absorb the mood of the music.
by Jose Sabre Marroquin
Through the palm trees
That sleep peacefully
The silvery moon
Cuddles with the tropical sea
And my arms
Hungrily stretch out
Searching for you
In the night
A flowery perfume
Evokes your enrapturing breath
And the sweet kisses
Of your mouth,
And my lips thirstily wait
For a kiss from you
I feel that you are next to me
But it is a lie, an illusion
Oh! I spend hours like this
And nights like this
For the miracle of being next to you
And perhaps not even in your dreams
Do you remember me
DAY ONE (afternoon, evening)
After Florinda's first half hour lecture, the Elements came out and we began learning the new long form of the Westwood Series, a section at a time, repeating it from the beginning after each new part, until we had the whole thing as one long flowing sequence. What were previously taught as individual passes were slightly rearranged in places, and many repetitive moves reduced to three-counts. After practicing the whole thing several times, we moved on to the Masculinity Series, again learning previously individual passes as one long flowing form. We repeated the entire series several times, then broke for lunch.
In the afternoon, Florinda strolled back out in a white shirt, cream colored slacks and matching tan sandal-like heels. She said she wanted to demonstrate to us what it 'looked like' to move the attention to another position other than the ME position between the toes, yet still within the fringe of awareness that runs no more than anklebone high around the bottom of our luminosity. She said that we could move our attention anywhere within that fringe and that this was preferable as long as we were able to move it away from the ME position between the toes. She also made an important distinction between moving the assemblage point and moving the 'beam' of attention that comes from the assemblage point and fixates on a particular area or spot within the fringe of awareness.
As a word of warning, before her demonstration, Florinda related how she had fallen back and banged her head in a hotel room while squatting on a bed doing this. She explained how we should be very careful when we attempt to do this and she explained herself further by telling us the story of the first time she succeeded at doing it. She was told to sit up on her knees somewhere soft, like in her bed, so that when she fell forward she would not hurt herself. Well, when she finally moved her attention away from the ME position between the toes she fell not directly forward or back but kind of sideways and bashed her head open on a sharp marble-slated night stand. So she admonished us to find somewhere safe to attempt this.
She then introduced Miles, telling us that he is an actual MD. She flirtatiously and affectionately teased him calling out, "Oh, Doctor?" as he came up on stage to 'spot' her. Florinda took a second or two of quiet as she leaned her head forward and down, then she went limp and began to fall forward. Miles supported her, of course, and as she became alert once again she spoke with feigned, breathy, feminine passion, "Oh, THANK you, Doctor!" and smiled her classic mischievous smile.
She did the same thing again, all the while playfully having loads of fun teasing Miles. It seemed as if she were doing this maneuver for another level of the audience's awareness and not necessarily for their linear minds. There was something horribly incongruous about her demonstration that everyone in the room just allowed to hang in the air. It was obvious that this was an energetic shift of attention and intent that she was making and for now the audience would fail to apprehend anything of it but her falling forward and being caught by Miles. It was kind of like Carol's eye thing where you know something is going on but all you see is the physical first attention side of the event.
She repeated the demonstration several times facing different sides of the audience. Her point being that even though our awareness has been reduced to toe level, there are still a multitude of points to shift attention to in that area other than the one we're currently fixated on.
With regard to self-importance and the Flyers, part of a story was related about an elderly couple who were friends of both Taisha and Florinda. They are both presently in a nursing home. They were quite wealthy and prominent citizens of Los Angeles at one time. It was mentioned that the couple paid one million dollars a year to be attended to and to live at this facility. Despite their wealth, however, when someone wanted to give the woman a rose bush, the nursing home administrator refused to allow it. Later when a family friend put pressure on the administrator he seemingly acquiesced but still there was no rose bush. Florinda, upon hearing of this, aggressive and German as ever, had someone drive her up to the Santa Barbara area where she had words with the administrator.
"Why don't you let her have her fucking rose bush?" she asked.
"Well, you don't have to be so crass about it," the administrator replied.
"And you don't have to be so fucking stupid!" Florinda shot back.
She said the administrator didn't think it mattered all that much because her friend was so elderly and not all there. He was hoping Florinda's elderly friend would die before they ever got the rose bush to her. He didn't want to have to make a decision or get off his behind and do anything. He actually assumed that she would die before he had to, but she didn't, and now the rose bush issue had come back to haunt him.
She used the administrator as a metaphor saying that we are all like him to some degree. We all believe that we have more time than we really do. We are all like that administrator who doesn't want to have to make a decision one way or the other about anything.
She went on to speak about the Dark Sea of Awareness and the force of Intent, how the two comprise the entire universe as is perceivable to man. A subject that was returned to again and again in the workshop. She gave a fresh and formidable description of the assemblage point and how zillions of filaments of energy converge on that spot to give rise to our perception. She mentioned that we each have a line into the Dark Sea of Awareness through the assemblage point.
After Florinda's short lecture, the long form of the Series for Preparing Intent was taught by the Energy Trackers. After many repetitions, we broke for dinner.
In the evening, Florinda returned. She was wearing a thin white sweater this time with the same slacks and shoes as in the afternoon. She talked about the different ways don Juan referred to the Flyers, depending on his mood. 'Panchito' in lighter moments, 'Paco' at other times, and 'St. Francis' if he was feeling morbid and morose, "As only a Nagual can be," she said.
Flyers are not intelligent or superhuman, they're just there, and they're just like us. All of our ME characteristics are a reflection of them. But once we throw them off, once our sheen, our condom of awareness, rises back up to waist level we see them for what they are. Then, because we live in a predatory universe, yet another entity enters the picture, a type of being that she would only refer to as Seymour; a lean, mean, intelligent and nasty creature.
When Carlos was feeling morbid and morose he would sit for hours watching a line of ants on a wall. When someone would ask where he was, the joking reply would be, "Probably out gazing at ants."
Florinda gave graphic examples of the two ways in which human beings, children, are conceived. The great orgasmically passionate way (she imitated a woman having a monstrous orgasm), and the hyper-civilized, bored couple way. She gave a hilarious rendition of how the couple would sit in bed reading about politics, perhaps something on taxation, when suddenly the man would notice he has an erection (but only when he happened to look down). He would say, "Hmmm, what do we have here?" Then he would crawl on top and proceed to make love to his wife while she, all the while, is doing bills in her head and thinking of other things.
Sadly, most of us are conceived under similar circumstances. We are bored fucks, but the practice of Tensegrity can level the playing field.
After Florinda's lecture, the long form of the Heat Series was taught by the Energy Trackers, and day one of the workshop came to an end.
To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 09:41:40 -0400 (EDT)
LA WORKSHOP, August 23 to 27, 1997
by Randy Stark and Vincent Sargenti
DAY TWO (morning, afternoon)
Sunday . . . Taisha's Day
A bright, breezy southern California day greeted workshop participants as they made their way back to the abstract edifice of the LA Convention Center. Streams of attendees flowed down Figueroa Street or emerged from various means of transport. The general mood seemed to fit the day. There was an upbeat anticipation in the air despite some sore muscles and perhaps a little uncertainty. Would they pound everyone into the ground once again, saturating participants with an internal dialogue stopping number of passes?
Would Carlos show up?
What follows covers Taisha's morning and afternoon lectures. After the morning lecture, the Energy Trackers taught the long form of the Womb Series (with lots of hissing in the wrong places at one point), and reviewed the Preparing Intent and Heat Series.
After a lunch break, the Elements reviewed the Westwood and Masculinity Series, then went through, The Series For Devices Used In Conjunction With Specific Magical Passes, which is the sixth in, THE SIX SERIES OF TENSEGRITY.
Taisha entered the room in the morning smiling very sweetly as she stepped up onto the small stage. She greeted everyone and stated her name. Florinda had done this as well before each of her lectures, jokingly saying in the afternoon that, "Yes, I am still Florinda Donner-Grau." Taisha mentioned, as had Florinda, that she wasn't quite sure who she was, but that she was still Taisha Abelar. She said that this was because of circumstances that would have to be addressed later. She told the audience that Carol would address this issue. In Pasadena they were having an energy crisis, and now in Los Angeles they were having an identity crisis. They weren't sure who they were any more, but it seemed to be due in part to the energetic mass of this workshop.
Taisha went on to talk about what her life was like as a little girl growing up in a house with two brothers. Like Florinda, she said that she too had a substantial amount of German in her background, so Florinda wasn't the only person among them to suffer from it. She said that her brothers were always allowed to play outside and do whatever they wanted to do most of the time. She said that that had made her rather envious on occasion because she wanted to play outside too. Being a girl, she said, certain things were expected of her. She explained how, from a very early age, she had been raised to conform to a life of servitude and how her brothers were not imposed upon in this way.
Her brothers were outside all the time, playing and swimming in the river. They had certain privileges she didn't have and wished she did. She wanted to be able to play outside and go swimming in the river, but she had to be inside doing housework and helping her mom. She explained how she was given the typical girls toys, toys that socialized her towards being somebody's servant. Taisha said that her brothers had bats and balls and gloves and things that looked like they'd be a lot of fun. But she was given, like all little girls, toys that were designed to make her a good little homemaker. She was given little miniature cookware sets and little kitchen utensils, little pots and pans, domestic items. She was being told, indirectly, to be a servant.
She wanted to go outside and do the types of things her brothers did but she was required to be inside helping her mother get dinner ready, helping with the laundry or sewing socks. She was brought up to believe that her life was for the sole purpose of serving the men in her family, without ever being told that directly. That's just the way it was, and hence, because she couldn't get out and about much, she ended up becoming a scrawny, weak person.
Taisha mentioned that the old nagual detested servitude. She spoke of her own adolescence and how human beings are mesmerized at this age and programmed by songs from very early on. That's one way in which Bobby drums his social patterns into us. We are caught by social themes, by social constructs that lock us into set behavioral patterns. We are given a very limited range of possibilities and never suspect that it's all set up from the beginning by our dubious friend, Bobby. We fall right into his trap without a struggle and accept, without so much as a whimper, an agreement we were not parties to.
Taisha spoke of her favorite singer when she was a young girl, of the songs that wooed her over. She said she fell hopelessly in love with this singer, who had became her idol. She would not name him for fear of dating herself (Paul Anka , but said she would listen to his records over and over again. Anything that had to do with him was all she wanted to talk about, all she wanted to think about. He became her whole world.
She touched on the subject of working in a little pizza parlor, or some such place, and talked about how love really does make you blind. She mentioned her pimply-faced boyfriend and how there was really nothing at all attractive about him. She said that one night in the back of the kitchen area they were talking and he said, "Oh, you like that singer? He's my favorite too." He began to sing the singer's songs to her word for word, note for note, and that was all it took. She fell head over heels in love with this guy. "So much so . . . well that's another story!" she laughed.
Taisha used that story as an onramp to discussing how we are drawn in by Bobby's social structures, how we are trapped by them. We are easy prey because we don't know any better. We can't see any other possibilities. We get caught in the social themes of our time, in the trappings of relationships and love, and never learn to look beyond them for other possibilities.
Taisha somehow worked her way onto the subject of the assemblage point. She said that through the assemblage point we have a connection, or a line, into the Dark Sea of Awareness. She explained how the Dark Sea of Awareness is an entity unto itself, that it is self-aware. She called it Spirit, saying that as we progress on the evolutionary path as energetic beings, the Dark Sea of Awareness gives us the things we need to continue evolving, and it responds to those needs based on our degree of discipline. According to our own energy, it nurtures us through that connection. She said the shallow stream of awareness around our feet is where we first begin to dip into the Dark Sea of Awareness.
Taisha indicated that it takes immense dedication and determination to have the necessary discipline that is required to be subtle enough to acquiesce to our connection with the infinite. The Not-Doing passes were the key element that finally broke her.
She returned to the subject of not feeling like herself. She said that something had happened recently that rendered all four of them unknown to themselves. She said that she wasn't the person whom she knew herself as, more and more, and that that was what most would call senility. She began to elaborate on the subject -- what it is, what it does to people -- which lead into another story about her and Florinda's affluent friend in the convalescent home. This man, by the way, had a dam named after him.
"It was a small dam," she laughed, "but still, that's something."
Taisha said the man was 84 years old, but he was no longer aware of who he was. He would just sit and stare out the window, or at TV all day. At one time he was a very successful boss. He would tell everyone what to do. He would handle all the money and tell associates and family how much to spend, and on what. He would tell them what to do, where to dine, what the best vacation spots were. He would even demand that people go to the places he recommended for dinner or vacations. She said he was the type of person who would make reservations two years in advance and keep calling back to confirm them.
So this man was senile and living in a nursing home that cost a million dollars a year for him and his wife to live in. And he was quite handful at times, apparently. A number of psychologists had been unable to work with him. But one psychologist, who thought of him as an interesting and challenging case, decided he would have a go with the old Boss. He explained to Florinda and Taisha's friend who he was, and that he wanted to study the old man. He said that other psychologists would charge $150 to $175 an hour, but since he was especially interested in this case he would only charge $90 an hour.
The old Boss became somewhat lucid at this moment and his eyes began to clear. He looked at the psychologist and said, "If you're so interested in my case, you should pay ME $90 an hour god damn it!"
Even in his terminally senile state, the old man's sense of self-importance could be aroused. Self-importance and life-long social patterns die hard.
Taisha went on to tell the audience how don Juan would sometimes imitate an old man in an utterly convincing way. She said he'd wheeze and cough and start to look really old and feeble, as if he were going to kick the bucket any minute. He enjoyed poking fun at senility and self-importance.
Don Juan and his companions were constantly revamping themselves, Taisha said. They maintained that they were on a journey to infinity, and that they had to travel light. She said that when she was younger she would always make fun of the sorcerers' journey to infinity because she never really understood what it meant to be involved in such a journey. She would jokingly say, "Well, I sure hope they pack enough underwear."
It was precisely because they were on a journey to infinity that they were constantly revamping themselves, remaking themselves, taking themselves down to their bare needs and starting over.
"They always had great stuff," Taisha said. Whenever they revamped themselves she'd pick up some of their things. She mentioned a few of the exquisite items she had picked up at their 'garage sales' -- a vase, a few other small items. Taisha and company also revamp themselves often and have 'garage sales'. It's a crucial part of staying fluid and untethered by self-reflection.
Taisha went on to talk about the nagual Lujan, who was four generations removed from don Juan -- Julian, Elias, Rosendo, Lujan -- and explained that Lujan's cultural background was Chinese. He was encountered through an accident with the nagual Santisteban. As the nagual Santisteban was walking briskly around a corner, the two collided terribly, knocking heads and both of them to the ground. Since an accident of this nature is not something that normally happens to a nagual, Santisteban took the accident as an omen and made Lujan his apprentice.
Lujan's name was not originally Lujan. It was a longer Chinese name that Santisteban and his warriors eventually rendered into Spanish as the shorter, more pronounceable name of Lujan.
Taisha continued to talk about old Lu. She said that his cultural background, being Chinese, was very influential to the way the magical passes were handed down from then on. In his culture, martial arts were a part of everyday life for everyone, no matter what age or social class. It was something they were raised with, something that was part of the daily life and culture in China. So Lujan's influence on the transmission of the magical passes was substantial.
Taisha then told a story about how, when she first came around, the witches of don Juan's party would not give her the time of day. She would try to approach them to express an interest in something, or to ask questions, and they would simply dismiss and rebuke her.
"What do you want? You look like a toothpick! Look at you! You're no good for anything except fucking! And you're not even good for that! You're too weak and frail. Go away!"
To her chagrin, when she went to don Juan seeking solace, and complaining about her dilemma, he sided with his cohorts. He told her that she needed to take a martial arts course to toughen her up.
She wound up finding a class on Judo and told the audience a humorous tale of her days practicing it. Her classmates, mostly large men, liked to use her to practice throwing an opponent to the mat because she was so light. They would fling her effortlessly through the air, often into walls. She despaired about Judo being a full-contact form of martial arts, and receiving an inordinate amount of bruising to her legs and arms.
When Taisha showed her bruises to don Juan he nearly died laughing, but was nevertheless concerned for her well-being. He told her to choose a different form of martial arts, one that was not so hard on her body.
She decided to enroll in a Karate class, then ended up having trouble with the outfit (the wide, stiff, baggy pants especially). She tried sprucing it up by wearing the belt to one side and a scarf around her neck, but there was no way for her to look good in it. No matter what she tried, it was uncomfortable, and very unflattering.
She had decided to choose a Karate class in the first place because it was supposed to be softer than Judo. She explained that the word Karate meant 'empty hand' and that her classmates considered it to be like Zen, because Zen was about being empty.
Well, Taisha related how she was caught up in internal dialogue the whole time, how she would watch these guys practicing their katas and making their high kicks, and would say to herself, "Oh, look at that guy, he thinks he knows so much."
One time her sensei (teacher) sat her down in his office and tried to explain that his dojo was different from most Karate schools because they saw Karate as a form of Zen, and that Zen was about being empty, void of the self, etc. At which point she thought, "Boy, if this guy could only meet the old nagual."
Taisha laughed at this, then went on to explain how she used to use her internal dialogue to pick other people apart. She would look at her sensei and say, "He's just so . . ." this or that. She would do it to anyone, people driving by in an old beat up car or pick-up truck. She'd observe them and think, "They aren't very nice looking," or, "They sure look strange." She would find fault with just about anyone, then pick on those faults with her internal dialogue. But she confessed that all she was really doing was trying to find ways to make herself feel superior to those people, when in fact she wasn't.
One day Taisha's sensei was having her do high kicks. When he saw that she was not doing them correctly, he came up and told her to put her leg on his shoulder. He began to work with her on the proper method of performing high kicks. As she struggled to get her leg up in the air the way he wanted her to, she noticed that his eyes were looking up her big baggy pant leg.
Needless to say, she was very disillusioned that someone she saw as being centered in Zen and integrity, this 'spiritual' guy, would be so sexually oriented, and towards a student no less. In the end it fueled her feelings of superiority to all new heights!
At the conclusion of her afternoon lecture, Taisha introduced the second musical theme of the workshop -- Thinking About You. As it began to play, she left the stage and walked to the side door Florinda had used the day before. There she stopped and stood motionless, looking out over the audience as they listened to the music.
The song eloquently evoked a powerful mood that carried with it a chilling sense of wonder and boundless affection. The image of her standing there with an incredible shine and longing in her eyes was one of the moving moments of the workshop.
THINKING ABOUT YOU
by Alfonso Torres
I thought that this new love
Could push you out of my mind
Calming my pain
But these caresses from a stranger
Are killing me
They are not your lips
They are not your kisses
Two unknown arms embrace me
And I close my eyes thinking
About you, only about you
And I feel your soul very close to mine
I live thinking about you, about you.
DAY TWO (evening)
Short half hour lectures conducted from notes, that's what workshop attendees were getting used to by now. The rest of the time was spent learning passes, lots of passes in long forms taught for the most part in total silence. Besides basic cues, there were few comments, only brief demonstrations, that was it. Just do it. True to the mood of 'less talk, more action', the sorcerers seemed intent on getting down to brass tacks. Endless questions were not encouraged.
After the dinner break, a smiling Taisha Abelar strolled in to applause, mounted the platform, signaled for quiet, stated her name, and began to talk about Bobby again (or Robert, which she used interchangeably). This time she did so in more detail. She discussed how we are a reflection of the Flyer's mentality. All our systems of socialization and conduct are examples of their influence.
"All of our attributes, all of them, every single one, come from Robert."
Taisha spoke of the big caches of energy that are like two columns on either side of us. She said that to seers, these two caches of energy have the appearance of two giant melting candles, one on either side and to the front of us. She said that if we could access that energy alone, it would be sufficient to throw off the bonds of the Flyer's socialization and move away from the position of ME.
"But the Flyers prevent us from even perceiving them, let alone getting at those caches of energy and accessing them," Taisha continued. "If we could access the two huge caches of energy that are on either side of us, we would then be capable of gaining access to all the zillions of spots that our awareness could move to within the fringe of awareness, within the shallow stream. One could choose to move the beam of attention to other positions besides the point between the toes."
Taisha went on to say that she was going to address certain points of interest, points that are repeated endlessly because that's the only way human beings are able to learn, by having things relentlessly drilled into them over and over, again and again. Which is precisely what don Juan and his party did to her and her cohorts.
She emphatically stated that, "If it's not part of our cognitive system, it's never registered. People will say, 'Oh sure, I know what you're talking about.' We use to say to say the same thing. When something comes from outside our cognitive system we THINK we can understand it, but since it's not part of our system the data is completely disregarded, it completely bypasses us."
Taisha made an over-the-head gesture with her hand. "We never apprehend it. Our cognitive system is total. It completely seals us into itself. The magical passes are not part of our cognitive system. The Dark Sea of Awareness revealed them to the ancient sorcerers who lived thousands of years ago, probably because of their immense sense of discipline and sobriety."
The task of the Tensegrity practitioner is two-fold:
1. To prepare themselves to be affected by the full force of Not-Doing through the practice of magical passes.
2. To elegantly acquiesce to the Dark Sea of Awareness, to the point of being able to use Tensegrity as a vehicle to infinity.
Taisha explained that the current instructors of Tensegrity form a 'shamanistic unit' of ten women and six men. She said that they were brought together for a specific purpose. Its primary concern currently is getting free from Bobby. Some of them were brought in by Carol Tiggs ten years ago when she returned from her absence, others were brought in as few as two years ago.
She further explained that because of the advent of numerous Tensegrity students, 'mass' had had a direct effect on all of them. She said that as result of Tensegrity students 'coming along', the newer instructors, ones who had arrived in the last two years or so, were capable of covering a tremendous amount of ground in a relatively short period of time.
Because of the energetic mass that Tensegrity student-practitioners represent, newer instructors, "Have been capable of tremendous leaps of cognition." The instructors who were around before all the mass of students came along had had to work twice as hard to cover not even half the cognitive ground.
Taisha stated that the most difficult problem is our socialization, and the most deeply ingrained and subtle social issue concerns the fact that we are brought up to be 'property'. Since man drew his model of the world from Bobby, almost everything in that world is a reflection of what she called, "Bobby's Paradigm of Ownership."
Take our predilection for pets. We love our pets to death. We go to great lengths to keep them close to us. We even mutilate them when necessary. Taisha talked about the different kinds of extravagant leashes that are being made these days. She told the audience about a particular leash she saw where the owner carried a little box in his pocket that had control buttons on it and a cable attached. If the owner wanted to give his pet a little more length he would push one button, and if he wanted to reel the pet in he would push another. The thing would actually drag an 80 pound dog across the street.
Taisha said that Bobby has us on a similar system, "Where do you think we got the idea?"
From here Taisha moved into less comfortable territory saying that, "Our parents own us." This leaves us with the problem of what to do with our 'owners'. She said that parental influences are devastating to those who are attempting to break free of social boundaries.
Warrior-travelers, however, demand elegance in dealing with such issues. She used Florinda as her example of someone who has a supreme sense of elegance. "She's one of the most elegant beings alive," Taisha said. She runs circles around her parents. They actually fight over her -- over who gets the most attention from her. If one doesn't get equal time on the phone when she calls, the other one has a fit. So Florinda will play one against the other, and say she has to run before the other has had equal time. It drives them crazy, yet Florinda just tiptoes around them, never allowing either to have control over her. In this way she sidesteps Bobby's Paradigm of Ownership, and does so with the flair and elegance of a true warrior.
Taisha, on the other hand, humorously admitted that she is the poorest example of elegance in this regard. In order to be free of her 'owners', she bluntly confronted them and fearlessly beat them both -- actually stood on a chair to beat her father. She asked the audience to imagine this giant German man being attacked and beaten by his skinny-as-a-rail daughter. Her mother couldn't believe it was happening and was so offended that, in the end, Taisha was disinherited.
"That's not a good example of what to do," Taisha laughed, "but it worked!"
She had become free of her owners.
"Still, it's better to elegantly slip away."
Returning to the 'shamanistic unit', Taisha said they were currently under siege. Their owners do not want to let them go, so they have to devise methods to be free of them. Owners will never let their property go, they will try to possess it beyond this world. They will enlist the rest of the family in group humiliation and guilt. They will recruit relatives and friends to feel sorry for them in their failure as parents. They will go to the ends of the Earth to bring their 'property' back into the fold.
Taisha spoke again of how she was raised from a very young age to be a servant. She related several examples of how parental influence holds one inside the parameters of socialization, the predetermined agreement to conform with patterns of social behavior. These patterns of behavior imprison us, hold us down energetically, and blind us to other possibilities. We are trapped in a scenario that holds our cognitive system forever in place. We can't be free of it without terrible repercussions. Those familiar with us would rather see us dead than let us go.
A favorite device of parents is to ask, "What's the matter with you? Why are you doing this to us? Why are you running around with that cult? They're brainwashing you!"
"It's not a cult."
"Oh yes it is, dear. It most certainly is a cult. Next thing you know we'll find you dancing at the airport, or even worse, dead in some mansion beneath a purple shroud."
"You know, whatever," Taisha said, waving her hand in the air in mock despair.
"Why don't you take your rightful place in this family? Look at your brother," Taisha paused, ". . . Robert! At least HE'S married and has a family."
Even though Robert is a hopeless alcoholic who beats his wife, he conforms to his owner's basic wishes.
"He's okay, we know where he is and who he is. Sure, he's drunk out of his mind most of the time and can't hold a job, but at least we know he's our Robert."
That's the insanity of our socialization.
The old nagual was dismayed that there was no way to be free -- to break Bobby's Paradigm of Ownership. Only extremely exigent discipline could give one the possibility of having 'a square centimeter chance'.
Taisha concluded her short lecture and left the hall to warm, if somewhat stunned, applause.
The Energy Trackers came out after a short break and the long forms of the Womb Series and Right/Left body passes (from the Heat Series) were reviewed till 10:00pm.
If participants had any doubts, they were dispelled as day two came to a close. The sorcerers intended to pound workshop attendees into the ground with magical passes. The first two days combined were grueling yet strangely invigorating. There was an abundance of energy oozing through the LA Convention Center as people made their way out. Participants, sobered by the immensities being offered and the effort involved to cover such a huge mass of new material, had a certain silent quality about them.
As work-study and Cleargreen folks closed up shop for the night, attendees dispersed like lines of ants into a calm and pleasantly warm LA night.