To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 18:53:52 -0400
Santa Monica Workshop, May 2, 1998
The workshop was again held at the Pavillion at Santa Monica College. The crowd was definitely smaller than last month. I asked how many people were there and was told "about 300". There was only one stage set up this time, but other than that everything was exactly the same as last month.
Carol was the speaker this time and even though she was scheduled to talk a half hour she only spent 10 minutes on stage. Before she came out we were told to all move closer to the stage. Then we were told to move closer... then closer. We were finally told that they wanted to create a compact energetic mass as close to the stage as possible. We all moved even closer...
Carol was dressed in a beige V neck sweater with beige knit pants and beige low healed sandals. Her hair seemed just ever so slightly lighter and she had a very attractive short haircut. Her features seemed less severe to me this time, I believe her makeup was lighter, but it could have just been the lighting or the fact that I was closer to the stage than I've ever been before. (Heck, everyone in the room was closer to the stage than ever before!) She looked very attractive. Her demeanor was calm and serene as usual, but also genuinely friendly and encouraging.
Carol started out by slowly looking over the crowd, starting on her left and sweeping her glance slowly all the way around to the right. She then turned her head to the center, paused and took 3 noticeable, moderately deep breaths and then said "I am Carol Tiggs. That name is my link with infinity" She talked for a minute about names. Pretty much the same stuff as usual.
Then she spoke about how after don Juan's party had left, an "event" occurred that caused them to decide to teach the magical passes to people. She went into the secretive nature of the passes in ancient times and explained how they had been cloaked in ritual up until don Juan's time and how they had further removed all the rest of the ritual and superfluous detail in the passes, making individual passes generic and suitable for teaching to the public. Then she talked about "big Florinda". She was called "big" because she was so tall and elegant and packed an incredible "wallop". Carol's voice cracked while saying the last few words and she had to pause for a very brief moment to compose herself. I thought she did so incredibly fast. It was like she turned on a switch and "bang" all trace of emotion was gone. She said that big Florinda was left behind after don Juan's party left to fine tune the four of them. Carol then said that one of the reasons that they brought Tensegrity public was to search for something that big Florinda had foretold about before she left.
Big Florinda had said that if the four of them had enough "gall" to continue to pursue the path of the warrior with all they had that someday a time would come when the mood of the ancient sorcerers would be completely removed from the passes. Instead of being heavy, cold and detached, they would find a new mood, one that was light and very precise. Precision would replace cold detachment and lightness would replace heaviness of mood.
Carol then paused and looked at us and said, "That time has finally arrived. It occurred right here in this room last month at the last workshop." She said that she had been here doing all the passes with us and had witnessed it for herself. She ascribed it to a combination of the energy of the participants combined with the energy of the instructors. She said that a new mood had begun and would prevail from now on.
Carol then made some remarks about the new members of the Awarness through Harmony team, Gavin and Darian and then about the Heat Series and Westwood. Then she said she wanted to cut her talk short so we had as much time as possible to practice. She said that she had a great deal of gratitude to the participants for all that they have given her and ended by saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
The instructors for the afternoon session were Gavin and Darian. They both did a superb job, continuing the excruciatingly detailed instruction with Heat that Marcos and Brandon had begun last month with Westwood. The precision that these passes were executed with by the group was truly amazing. Gavin and Darian reminded us constantly of the proper postion of our bodies ("Bend your legs!", "Elbows out!") and how to execute the passes ("Engage all your muscles!", "Stop the blow with your stomach!") Nearly all of the participants already knew the series so the instruction went fast and I think everyone was able to benefit from the nitty gritty details that were offered. After Heat, we did the Westwood long form for about 45 minutes. It wasn't taught with the same detail as Heat, it really was just a review, but it was an intense practice.
The evening session was taught by Zaia and Miles instructing us in On the Run with the sorcerers' code. They came out dressed in grey pants and hot pink V-neck shirts. It immediately struck me how socialized I am to never expect to see a man dressed in hot pink, but Miles carried it off with aplomb. We were given details for the precise execution of the passes and constant reminders about the proper position to be in or the need for tensing a particular muscle or limb in order to execute the passes as perfectly as possible. Carol returned for the evening session and performed the not doings with us.
The mood of the workshop, was more relaxed and at ease than it has been in the past, very much like last month's mood. The precision thing is definitely happening too. In fact, I'm sure that if we had one more day to all work together on the same passes again, the entire room would become one precise, perfectly synchronized, energy generating mass. It was already close to that on Saturday afternoon.
To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 06:05:50 EDT
Recollections from Santa Monica May 2nd 1998:
This workshop took place in the Santa Monica College gym. There was only one stage this time and it was set up with a podium and everyone gathered around it in a semicircle, sitting on the floor (about 350 participants). There was the usual period of sound checking, then Carol came into the gym and everyone stood up and applauded. It took a bit of time for her to get situated on the stage and people stood and applauded for a while, though some sat down early. Carol quipped, "I saw the ones who sat down early!"
She was dressed in beige - a beige sweater blouse, beige slacks, and beize shoes that were kind of chunky - the whole outfit was sort of casual, but elegant.
Because of the podium she stood behind, I could only see her left side and the first thing I noticed was her hand shaking. I thought she must be nervous. Later, however, during the dinner break, a friend of mine said that what she saw was that Carol was putting her thumb and index finger together very forcefully, then her thumb and ring finger together forcefully - so forcefully that her hand shook. My friend thought Carol was doing some sort of pass with her hand. In retrospect, I did remember that her hand had that shape (finger/thumb connection).
The theme of Carol's talk was about the "new mood" of "clarity, lightness, and precision" - a mood which "carries a punch." Later in the talk she also referred to the new mood as "intense." Carol also said that his new mood was apparent at the last Santa Monica workshop and it's a mood that differs radically from that of the old sorcerers. This new mood is in part related to the changes that have been made in the magical passes - the fact that the ritual and the secrecy (that had distinguished the passes in the past) have been eliminated. The magical passes are now more generic - more for the public (since the old passes were individualized depending on whom they were for). Carol also said that "superfluous" movements had been eliminated. At one point, she began to talk about old Florinda. She said that Old Florinda had predicted that if Carlos and the witches continued pursuing sorcery, it was inevitable that a new mood would develop that would be specific to them and their endeavors. Initially, when Carol began to talk about old Florinda, and the fact that old Florinda had stayed behind to help them, she started to tear up a little with emotion.
Near the end of her talk, Carol talked about the Awareness Through Harmony teams. She told us that there was a new Awareness Through Harmony team. [I'm not sure of the names but believe they are Darien and Gavin. Darien is the young woman who, dressed as a Bedouin/Arab woman, did that magnificent dance, incorporating the magical passes, at the Theater of Infinity.] From the stage, Carol looked at Gavin and Darien with admiration and affection (they were sitting in the audience in front of the stage) and [I think] she said that they perform the magical passes with abandon and delight. She then talked with equal admiration and affection about Zaia and Miles, calling them the original Awareness Through Harmony team. She talked about how well they are able to work together without one trying to be superior or "be the Boss."
At the end of her talk she seemed to get a little emotional again while she was talking about how much she had been helped and how glad she was that she could offer something back in return for all the help she had received. Her whole talk had that aura of appreciation - it had a heart felt sense and made me wonder if I'd see her again. [There has been this feeling, especially with Carol and Florinda, lately that they are saying their thanks.]
For the next part of the workshop, Darien and Gavin, got up on the stage. They were wearing bright lime-green shirts, beige slacks and beige shoes. (The shoes were a cross between tennis shoes and street shoes - sort of like walking shoes). Gavin started and taught us the first part of the Heat series. Gavin, who tends to have a rather serious demeanor, was quite different than I've ever seen him. He was lighter - enthusiastic - smiling.
Darien led the second half of the heat movements and she was also enthusiastic. But more striking was how very forceful and self-assured she was (given her young age). Before starting to teach us, she made a comment about time and how it was running out. [Time running out was one of the themes that seemed to permeate the workshop.]
After teaching the Heat series [and, by the way, there were numerous subtle refinements - actually bringing the way we now do the movements closer to the descriptions in the book], Darien and Gavin had us do the long form which they taught in sections. Finally we did the Westwood long form which they described as a review.
Gavin and Darien, as unlikely as it seemed (the two of them as a team) - were very compatible - a really fine team.
[Nyei, Reni, and Rylan(sp?), were doing the movements with us - on the outskirts of the group. It was hard not to turn around and gape at them - they looked stronger and more vibrant than ever. I didn't have a good view of who came and went, but don't think the witches were around - also didn't see Kylie, Haley or the Blue Scout. Rosa and Margarite were the door-keepers as usual. Brandon, Welby, Grant, and Fabricio were there for the whole workshop and Tracy came later - didn't see any of the others but heard Lorenzo was there.]
We next took a dinner break and were told to come back 15 minutes earlier than planned (though I think we finished 15 minutes early so there was still a 2 hour break). We were asked to be back at 7:00pm sharp so that we could be on our mats and ready by 7:15.
We were all settled on our mats and Zaia and Miles came in. They were wearing exceedingly bright pink shirts, and [I think] white pants and white shoes (the shoes were very light weight - almost no sole - maybe gymnastic shoes). They got up on the stage, sat on their mats, and each talked to us for a little while. I don't remember a lot of what Miles talked about other than the fact that time was running out. Zaia, [I think it was Zaia] told us that she and Miles were going to intend to compress time so that we would have enough time to learn the movements. Just before they began, the last thing that was said (said by Zaia) was really stunning. In a heart-felt manner and with a great deal of forcefulness, she said that she and Miles were going to "give it their all" and were not going to "cut corners." She said that this was their way of saying thank you for all the help they had received [this acknowledging of help received was another theme that permeated this workshop]. Then, Zaia said [and these were not her exact words, but close], "And, as sorcerers know, when you give it your all, you get back quite a bit more than you give. And then, at the end of the day, you can look back on your day and know that you fully enjoyed yourself. And you say, as sorcerers are apt to do, 'It was a splendid day.'"
Zaia and Miles truly did give it their all! They went through the 18 movements, the openings and closings (there were some refinements), and then the Code, all of which we did numerous times.
It was a splendid day!