To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 18:20:27 -0400
The Omega Workshop Oct 11 & 12.
The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is located in Rhinebeck, New York in the Hudson River Valley region. The area is mostly wooded with rolling hills and small mountains covered with deciduous trees.
The institute consists of a compound of buildings located at the end of a one-lane road in the woods. There were a few old houses turned into office or eating space, a new Main office building and more than forty small cabins. Off in the woods were the domitory and the tent camping sites. To the right of the parking area there was a large white tent that would be the location of the workshop. Omega is a "holistic studies" center. Much of the infastructure is geared towards meditation. There are no TV, VCR, radios or even telephones in the cabins. The meals (which were included in the cost of the seminar) are all vegetarian.
Saturday, Oct 11 -
The workshop was held in a very large white tent of about 50 x 100 ft and more than large enough to hold the 260 workshop participants. It was supported in the center by eight enormous 50 ft poles, set in groups of two down the length of the tent. The white canvas draped down from these poles forming wide cones which spread out to form the roof of the tent and gave it a Medieval look. The tent was set up on top of a group of tennis courts and about 2/3 of the court area had been covered with carpet pieces duct taped together. We entered from the shorter west end and walked across the uncovered courts to the carpeted area. The stage was set up near the eastern wall with a 8 ft tall backdrop behind it from behind which the Tensegrity instructors would emerge.
At 10 AM, Miles Reed and Zaia Alexander walked out to a standing ovation. Zaia took a seat in the audience while Miles walked on stage. He said that for those that had been to the workshops before he would be repeating himself, but was going to explain what Tensegrity was for the people who had never been to one before.
As he paced from side to side, he explained that Tensegrity stems from Magical Passes developed by some sorcerers who lived in ancient Mexico. Ancient for don Juan was always more than 10,000 years ago. Carlos once pointed out to don Juan that 10,000 years ago was the Pleistocene era and that there was an ice age going on in Europe at the time and that man was living in caves. Nevertheless, don Juan maintained that at that time in Mexico, there were shamans interested in exploring perception.
These shamans discovered extrodinary states of well being while they were in trances and through their investigations found out eventually that these states of well being were due to movements they made while in these trances. They developed these movements into what they called the Magical Passes and kept them shrouded in secrecy. The passes were only ever taught to shaman initiates and then only surrounded by much ritual and secrecy. When don Juan taught the passes to his diciples he decided to remove the dark ritualistic elements of the passes but still told them to practice them alone and not to tell anyone about them.
Thirteen years ago Carol came back from being away for 10 years. Miles said that "she decided to teach the magical passes to anyone interested- No, - to anyone with the guts to go through the door of perception". He said it takes guts of steel to go through that door.
We spent the rest of the morning learning the Westwood long form and then broke for lunch.
After lunch, Zaia took the stage and spoke to us from behind a podium. She introduced herself and then began to explain that in ancient times male and female sorcerers used to practice the passes for not-doing together. Then the women became all-powerful and horrible. Eventually they were thrown out of power bodily. The internal conflict that resulted lasted many years and because of this they stopped practicing together. For a man and woman to practice the not-doings together, they must be egoless, without competition or a need for control. Getting rid of self reflection, or at the very least surpressing it is required. She said that currently only a few Tensegrity instructors were able to practice the not doings as a male/female team.
Zaia said that "as you know, we never repeat ourselves. We are not teachers, we are practitioners sharing what we discover". Teachers teach the same thing that they learned years ago over and over, while practitioners share what they are discovering. She then said she knew there were dozens of teachers out there. She described one guy in California who went to two classes taught by Carlos and started teaching Tensegrity. His justification was that he had an excellent memory for movements. Zaia said "Yes, but all he is teaching is the same movements, over and over". She then talked about a woman in Mexico who claims the spirit told her to teach this one pass and that she has been teaching it for years. Zaia said she would demonstrate that pass for us, hoping she could get it right. She stepped to her right beside the podium so we could all get a good view, paused, brought up her right arm, extended her index finger, placed it in her mouth and plucked the inside of her right cheek! Zaia then appologized saying she didn't think she had perfected it yet.
On the topic of the not-doing passes she said that these passes were just for us today. We should let go and open ourselves to them without thinking. We shouldn't take notes or try to memorize the passes. These passes were for us to experience and that in this case we should act selfishly. She then told the story of a man who goes into a brothel and the woman who is going to service him takes one look at him and says,
"Who do you think you are going to satisfy with that little dick?"
The man responds, "Who?"... "WHO?"...
"Why, ME of course!"
The rest of the afternoon was spent learning the long form of Intent and the video long form, with Miles telling us to Intend inner silence for the not-doings that night when we yelled out the word "Intent". The last performance of the video passes was done in complete silence and when we screamed "Intent", that single word shouted in perfect unison reverberated loudly throughout the entire tent, piercing the silence. Outside, a group of surprised ravens cawed back at us.
We returned at 8 PM with our mats for the not-doing passes. The temperature was in the 50's and would drop into the 40's before the end of the session. The tent was being heated by large oil and propane forced air heaters which could barely keep up. There was another stage in the tent now, placed in the center of the carpeted area. Miles and Zaia entered and went straight to the stage to lie down. There was no lecture. Miles lay with his head to the south, Zaia to his left with her head to the North. The passes shown were based on On The Run, done just as they were in Denver except that we now also added foot movements from Running Man. The result was that we were now performing 3 different magical passes at the same time.
Sunday, Oct. 12 -
Sunday morning was again cold but by 10 AM the fog that had blanketed the compound before breakfast had burned off. We returned to the tent one last time. Again there was no lecture. Miles and Zaia came out and proceded directly to the center stage and led us in a review of Westwood, Intent and the video long form. We then spread out our mats and twice reviewed all the not-doing passes learned the night before in sequencial order. We then performed them twice in the order of the Sorcerer's code. The session ended in silence as we rolled up our mats and left the tent.
To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 16:20:12 EDT
These note were taken after Zaia Alexander lecture at the Omega workshop on 10/11/97.
Zaia Alexander gave a short explanation of the male female configuration known as "Awareness through harmony". She stated that it was not possible for Carlos Castaneda and Carol Tiggs to have a harmonious relationship as she and Miles Reid share because Carol Tiggs would dominate Carlos Castaneda. Zaia explained that she and Miles were very similar energetically and they had found the line that connected them. She stated that she had been going through a most trying time in her life when she found Miles. She also elaborated on the fact that human beings can find their counter parts and can discover great strength when finding that being.
Zaia also explained that in Ancient times females dominated the males and were very powerful, but because the has lost their sobriety they fell from power and the males kicked them out physically. Since that time the value of the male female relationship has never been explored. Zaia said that there are currently two pairs of practitioners who are in a position to take advantage of the "Awareness through harmony" yet when ever they are near each other they despise each other. This delights Carlos Castaneda to no end for he takes advantage of this and keeps them together for long periods of time. Zaia stated that those practitioners are so alike that they even beads of sweat form on their faces in the same place.
The shamans code is a series of 18 not-doing magical passes. Instead of naming those passes the Shamans of olden times would give them numbers and would scramble the order to give themselves great awareness.
Zaia made a comment at this point about self proclaimed teachers teaching Tensegrity. She gave and example of a man who she had heard had been to two practice groups and was now teaching Tensegrity, and of a woman in Mexico who was teaching a magical pass that Zaia tried to replicate for the audience. It involved sticking your finger in your mouth and then pulling it out making a POPING noise. Zaia's attempt was unsuccessful yet utterly funny. These self proclaimed teachers where trying to be teachers. Zaia explained the difference between a Teacher and Practitioner. A teacher is someone who teaches something they learned ages ago, but a Practitioner is someone who shows what they have learned and they themselves practice and live by. These so called teacher who were trying to be recognized as the 'best.' "No one is the best" she stated with authority "Infinity is the best!!"
She said that the Shamans Code could not be done outside this workshop. That it would be futile to replicate what we were going to do. Those magical passes were going to preformed "for our awareness only." Zaia said that one could be selfish is such situations, but it was a different kind of selfishness.