February 2 was the first day of the two-day Magical Passes seminar in Anaheim, Los Angeles; approximately 430 practitioners from around the world attended. Approximately 50 among them were new practitioners. In Europe, February 2nd is a day for celebrating the return of the light (Maria Lichtmass) and in Los Angeles, it is the day of the groundhog, who comes out of his cave for the first time on February 2nd. If on that day the groundhog does not come out of his cave, winter will last 6 more weeks. The weather in Los Angeles on that day was unusually warm. A clear sky and a shining sun escorted practitioners on their way to and from the Convention Center, right in front of Disney World Park, with its lights and its facilities.
The lifesaver pass “ Activating direct perception
Aerin Alexander was guiding the Lifesaver exercise. We started very slowly. Aerin said that we still donâ€™t know where weâ€™re going. As magical beings we are in motion. We move the area of the lower disc. It is the source of strength. From here we move ahead. From here we look, where our feet are. The next movement is Activating direct perception.
The first movements awaken awareness in the area of our feet. We stir the awareness around our feet and we bring it up. We awaken our direct perception. This means that we give up our judgements.
During the first talk, Nyei Murez talks about the basics of the Magical Passes. The instructors present are students of the Nagual Carlos Castaneda, Carol Tiggs, Florinda Donner Grau and Taisha Abelar. They are students of the Nagual Juan Matus, who lived in Mexico with his 15 cohorts. To be a Nagual means that this being has an extra amount of energy, allowing him to guide a group of people whose intention is to cross, together, a barrier of normal interpretation of the world. This is our shared intent. This is the joy of the warrior, and each one who connects his whole being to this intent is a practitioner. Practitioners have this joy in this shared intent of crossing through the limits of perception and this is the reason why we can be here today: because you are practicing.
It is why we can dream on. It is something that each of You keeps alive. The new practitioners are bringing us a new view. We are at this seminar to become saturated with Magical Passes and with information. The energetic body absorbs everything and it is not necessary to take notes on the talks. Our energetic body is our physical body’s twin. We can trust our luminous body. If we cannot achieve something, we trust our energetic body, and it can take us beyond our limits." Nyei showed a photograph where there was a street and a view between two mountains. This photo is on the Internet along with the announcement of this seminar, and one can see a clear sky and unobstructed rock. "We see an open view." In our lives, what is it that takes away this open view? We are archeologists , we are digging and verifying this question. This is what the art of stalking means. In the new format of our time, we are practitioners of these two arts: stalking and dreaming. They are both arts having to do with moving the assemblage point.
The assemblage point is a an illuminated area on our luminous sphere, the size of a tennis ball, between the shoulder blades and behind us, at about an arm’s length away from our physical body. The art of dreaming is the displacement of this assemblage point to another place. The art of stalking means to fix this assemblage point at another position which is consciously chosen. Florinda Grau Matus, from Don Juan’s group, had the task of teaching Don Juan’s apprentices the nuances of the art of stalking. The art of removing energy from its crusts means that we can laugh at ourselves in everyday situations. Not take one’s self seriously, not feel important. With this attitude we can redistribute our energy in daily actions and that way it will return to our vital centers and be available again for our actions.
We are looking for this laughter. The Nagual used to ask us: "What is your problem?" "What is your real problem?" We are always so serious. That is how we ourselves are creating many of our problems. We follow a certain course. We are observing our neighbors: How are they doing Tensegrity? In fact, do they know the movements? Perhaps we try to do the Passes a bit faster than them. It’s a way of creating problems. Another way we concoct problems is when we don’t get the attention we want. We, the students of Carlos Castaneda were thinking then: The other person did not call me. Why? Maybe they are together, with Carlos Castaneda, and I didn’t get this attention from him. This is how we lose our energy. In a state like that, our vitality detaches from our vital centers and it accumulates on the crust of our luminous sphere.
The vital centers cannot work well after this loss. Most of the time, we begin complaining at this moment. We are not conscious of what happened to us. We call someone on the telephone to complain about a person whom we confine with our judgements. Nyei imitated one such call and said, in a rough masculine voice: I’m just feeling a bit strange today." And talking this way, she said she didn’t feel well. We make these calls to complain about another person, but what are we telling ourselves? We are not used to reassuring one another. But here we are going to dare: trust another person. While we’re doing it here, energy will be redistributed and placed on our vital centers once again. With the movements we tap on our crusted energy of our luminous sphere, a push, we breathe, we go into dreaming. A dream like this redistributes our energy.
At least we should know what we tell ourselves when we start to feel strange. That little voice with which we tell ourselves these ugly things. The apprentices would ask Don Juan: "Don Juan, you see energy all day. What’s it like for you?" Don Juan answered: "I don’t know." We perceive our world all day and we allow our interpretation to affect it. We need it, because we cannot give up our interpretation of the world. We need a minimum of guidance. But then, for a brief instance, we see how energy flows in the universe, we see what we tell ourselves. We see the energy like that. In a moment, in which we have no doubts. What keeps us from seeing energy the way it flows through the universe? It is those problems that we create for ourselves that keep us from seeing energy. Problems that have to do with differences, that emerge from our different ages, from our different gender or our culture.
One example had to do with one practitioner who is studying languages. She avoids speaking to Americans here. If she goes, for example, to the administration, she is always looking for people whose native language is not English. She always thinks: "They are not going to understand me," although she speaks English very well. But that doesn’t matter. When we polish our connection with intent, we give up the intent to lose. To have a connection with the vibratory force of the universe means that we take responsibility for our thoughts and actions. On the other hand, when we complain about another person, everything we criticize has to do with ourselves, because everything we say has to do with our own system of interpretations. But there is another view. Often we are asked "Why do you always talk about the assemblage point? We do it because when it is moved, it releases so much strength. The position of the assemblage point is not final. It can be changed."
"Intent is not a thought or an object or a wish. Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the warrior’s indulgence. Intent is what makes him invulnerable. Intent is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, into infinity." (Don Juan Matus, The Wheel of Time.)
Negligence, indulgence, these are our doubts. If we doubt on our path and tell ourselves: "Uh, I have no teacher." We all have doubts like this. Since the Cordoba, Hannover and Redondo Beach seminars, we have placed a light on these doubts, on these shadows. We are going to look at them. We won’t be healed, but we will move and light our path.
Activating direct perception “ mapping direct perception“ Activating direct perception.
Miles is going up on the platform with a ball made of rubber threads and sticks: The structure of Tensegrity. It is elastic and it bounces like a ball. All the elements of the ball are joined and are reciprocally under tension. Miles is moving this ball on the platform. He asks: "What does direct perception mean? It is a pragmatic example of how we absorb many facts directly without having doubts. The fog leaves. One sees a course of action and one does what one sees. Upon doing it, one sees lightness, and light. It is a line that does not come from the mind. But it is a line that one can grab and pull, among beings that work together as an integrated group.
Several nations, for example, have such a perception. Our body, for example. When direct comunication doesn’t work in our bodies, i.e., on the knee or in the stomach, we notice immediately. We become ill. We need a precise adjustment between our organs. We become intimately aware of all these nations and that’s how we’ll learn how to gather the blocked energy on our crust and place it on the Centers of vitality and life. Tensegrity is the modern version of the Magical Passes. "Tensegrity" is a technical word in architecture, derived from "tension" and "integrity". The creator of this word was observing, in detail, nature, even its fundamental elements, cells, which are subject to the same laws of nature, tension and integrity. If one element leaves this integrated organism, the entire structure has to reorganize again.
If we, as beings, interrupt our direct perception with skeptical thoughts, our assemblage point returns to its original position, where it was when this skeptical thought first became firm in our being’s structure. For the body of Magical Passes practitioners, this model of Tensegrity made by a colleague is a model for our time. The emphasis is on balance. The Nagual has to be in tune with our time. We want to be aware, how the collaboration among us works. Miles allows the ball to vibrate. The vibration transports the information among us. >From this point we change of phylum. Let’s send a ray of awareness to another being, feeling. We are going to the phylum of the being of the earth: the groundhog. One day of the year is dedicated to the groundhog, and that day is today, February 2nd. The groundhog is very connected to the earth.
This is its motor and its point of reference, from which all of his actions emerge. When we practice the Magical Pass for Affection for the Earth, we have caressed the earth. Here we will go deeper, now we are going inside the earth. We’ll get a glance at what it means to be a being from the earth, to find new tunnels, and not get stuck in one place. This includes communication. Miles uses the English word "under-standing" which means to "be below" the earth’s surface“ (out) of normal view. "This attitude is found in Tensegrity: Continually adjusting, moving to another setting. The is the seer’s intent. This Pass is a predilection of Taisha Abelar, as stalker. We find all our behaviors like this, carrying along, that our assemblage point stays in the same position. Taisha Abelar lived much of the time in trees and she longed for the earth. This series of the Magical Passes of the Being from the Earth changes our facial expressions. Many behavior patterns we have are shown in our facial expressions. We have a very fixed expression that can be changed.
Many times, we make a scornful sound with our lips, Phhhh. The groundhog does it the opposite way. He puts the upper lip over the lower lip and places the tongue on the palate. We imitate this expression of the groundhog when we do the Pass of the Being of the Earth. It is also difficult to change our routines, for example the habit of not breathing, especially not exhaling. This is how we fix the assemblage point. During this seminar we are going to be aware of our breathing. We exhale, so our view becomes more fluid. The Nagual told us many times about the BUT syndrome. He would tell us about an official event in which someone talked about his life, that it was fine, he had a good job, a big house, a beautiful wife, a new car¦then he would start talking about his problems. That’s what we do. So then our assemblage point moves to its former position. The being from the earth does it differently. He moves from this position, in a new direction.
The Being from the Earth. (The Groundhog)
During this seminar, in the afternoon, women and men were separated. What follows is a description of the women’s side:
Reni Murez was carrying a bag full of stuff when she went up on the platform. It is our baggage on our journey through awareness. It prevents us from perceiving directly. Women have a womb. Men have the lower disk. We have always perceived directly, and now we are going into the depths. We write in our navigator’s log the thoughts that keep us from our journey through awareness. For some of you that don’t have a thought at this time, you could imagine a situation before your boss or another being who instigates your internal dialogue. How does the internal dialogue begin?
Activating direct perception “ The womb series
We look at our entries again and we review them. Which sentences are charged with a lot of energy? Are they energetic facts? Is it something that nourishes our spirit? This that I tell myself over and over again, does it help me redistribute my energy, so that it may go back to my vital centers?
Masculinity “ The series of the womb (both on the chair)
Nyei Murez speaks:
We have a womb. With our fibers we make contact with the earth. The earth supports us and we return that support to the earth. The womb series is linked to the names of special practitioners, with the names of Taisha Abelar, Florinda Donner Grau, Carol Tiggs, and the blue scout. The names are kept because the women have a special awareness. Women have a special connection with intent through their womb. We tend to take it as normal. The masculinity Magical Passes are directed to the lower disk. We need the qualities of both sexes. Masculinity is connected with the quality of not needing anyone to take one by the hands. During one seminar, the Nagual said that the womb is generating energy. We review our entries in the log again, under these views.
Talk with Reni, Darien, Nyei, and Aerin: In the log we look for: First, energy. We are energetic beings. We have our navigator’s log. Which could be our path? Do we want to complain there? This is not a path. Our individual log is part of all the practitioners’ log. Writing it is something magical. We want to see: where is our energy trapped?
We look for another woman as witness, and we read to each other a sentence from our log.We can be our impersonal witnesses when listening carefully, without judgement, encouraging them to tell more about the matter, and find a new view, for example: "Others canâ€™t stand me." Is it an energetic fact? "Perhaps they had something else to do at that moment? Usually they do tolerate you." Everything we try during this seminar gives us an energetic push, in spite of our doubts and ideas. Everything we say today is because our assemblage point was fixed on a specific point for us during our childhood, and later we sometimes tell ourselves these things. Today, our assemblage point tends to return to this same place, to where it became fixed at the time¦Another word for INTENT is ABSTRACT AFFECTION.
The movements in this series create a connection with intent. The pushing of tendon energy creates an interruption in the interpretation of the world. It is not done with the strength of the muscles, but with tendon energy. Itâ€™s much more precise.
After dinner, men and women gathered together, and we continued practicing together.
Being from the Earth
Miles Reid and Nyei Murez give a summary of the separate practice.
We talk about the warm vibration of intent, which comes from the womb, in women, and from the lower disk, for men.
Miles speaks now. The womb and the lower disk are places where energy is collected. Both centers are centers for women and men: direct perception and not being held by the hand. Women have a direct perception because of their womb, a direct connection with intent. The disadvantage is that they think of this connection as certainty. Men have the advantage of not thinking of this connection as something obvious, so they notice it as something new that dispels their doubts. They can awaken intent through their unbending purpose and they bring sobriety. This doesn’t mean that women donâ’t have sobriety. We suppose that there are differences between men and women.
What are energetic facts? They are facts that cannot be reduced any further: Perceiving energy without interpretation.
An energetic fact is: "We are beings who are going to die." With energetic facts, differences and judgments that we believe to exist among us, disappear.
We talk about the judgments we have: I’m a loafer. (A man who is working 10 hours a day). How can we leave this judgment behind? Miles said that a warrior’s final goal is not to leave something behind, but to want to be conscious of what he is doing, of what is restricting him.
Nyei mentioned a chapter of the book "The Active Side of Infinity" by Carlos Castaneda, "Who was Juan Matus, Really?"
They asked us to check whether, the phrases we tell ourselves and others increase our energy? Do they warm our fibers and move them? Do they nourish our spirit or another person’s spirit?
We could just as well say something "good" or something "bad" about ourselves, it’s all the same. We are energetic beings. The womb dreams and unbending intent comes from the lower disk. We need both qualities.
This was truly an exquisite workshop. It seems that at every workshop, things become more and more clarified and easier to focus on and to apply to oneself, and at the same time more magical, more abstract. At the same time, I found part of me was resisting -- resisting listening, resisting new passes, just resisting. Several times, I asked people near me to tell what was being asked or said, particularly at the moment we were in separate groups and asked to write in our Navigator's Log. This often happens and I feel it is my "ME" dragging its feet, making excuses, rationalizing and protesting the need for further change. This is why I need workshops. Every one is a little kick in the ass of that resistance.
This one was held in what is fast becoming my favorite convention center designed by a more than usually inspired architect. It is a three-story building and there is a grove of very tall, elegant palm trees geometrically planted in a parterre next to it. The unusually high escalator seems to levitate one next to an acre of glass front until one is high up, looking out over the whole surrounding landscape (which is very flat). One sees layer after layer of trees, low buildings stretching away going from dark silhouettes to progressively lighter ones until they are lost in the haze. Going down the escalator, you sees the tiny figures below very clearly but foreshortened and, as you drift downward, the figures become progressively larger and less foreshortened, so there is this feeling of shifting perspective beyond our usual viewpoint.
The floor is covered by a magical psychedelic rug, many different blues with ovals of amber and yellow here and there. One part of the pattern imitates water and it actually looked so three-dimensional to me that I hesitated walking on this undulating surface. Someone else I talked to also reported the same "distortion."
We began with a new version of Activating Direct Perception after a warm up period of "life saver" passes. We were led by Aerin, Alexander (?), Bruce and Justina. Activating DP begins with raising the toes, then short scoops, ending with kicking back, then stomping with both feet and loosening the body, letting arms flop, etc.; it was much like the older version.
Nyei gave the first talk. "Hello Sentient Beings," she greeted us. She said that the theme of the workshop was "The Joy of the Warrior" and that the line we all made by meeting from one workshop to the next keeps alive the intent to dream forward as if we were passing a torch that each of us keeps alive. "We are here to examine intent,"she said. "And to bring a new view to all of us. We are enticing the energy body and the possibilities in human awareness and to examine what gets in the way of fulfilling our goal. For this we need to stalk ourselves, one of the arts of sorcery (dreaming shifts the AP; stalking fixes it in a new position)." She said that this was a pragmatic endeavor and that it takes place as we act in the daily world. We must learn to laugh at ourselves and not to ascribe importance to ourselves. "Our intent now is to create problems for ourselves. We are hooked into the default intent which is simply to create problems without end.
This process creates crust on the luminous sphere. She illustrated her own internal dialogue: "Why didn't he call me yesterday? Maybe he was meeting the nagual behind my back. I'm being left out. I'll eat chocolate to make myself feel better.'" She talked about transmitting knowledge by word of mouth. She talked about "seeing" as an impermanent thing, one sees energy only in fleeting moments. We can never really get rid of interpretation or of doubt. While at the workshop, we are here to polish our link with intent and to take responsibility. Our complaints are not about the other, but about ourselves. She mentioned "warrior's indulgences," the drive to make excuses: "I want freedom but I can't ..." or "I'm too short," or "I don't have a teacher with me every moment." We make excuses to fail but this is the situation we all face: "Our shortcomings themselves are our path to awareness."
Next we did the Being from the Ground in order to celebrate Groundhog Day.
Talk: Miles said that we're "navigators of the sea of awareness." He spoke about how we received "energetic stamps" throughout our lives and that these would send us spinning off into a particular direction. He said we should recapitulate the moment when we were stamped.
To illustrate this concept, Brandon told a story about trying to write in his Navigator's Log following a suggestion to think about someone with an annoying trait. He thought of someone who was always trying to please, who was "afraid of playing the fool." Then a memory sprang to mind about himself when he was eight-years old and was the new boy at school, trying very hard to fit in. He became a goal keeper during soccer games where he shone. Teammates were treating him well, he was popular. He went from being Nobody to being Somebody. There was a big game (with another school?) and his father took him to the game. All of a sudden, the pressure -- his teammates' expectations, his father watching -- got to be too much for him and he froze up. The ball came to the goal, but he couldn't move and it went in over and over again. That event left an energetic stamp on him, forcing him into a certain interpretation of the world. "I became unknown to myself." Once he became aware of this, he intended to change. "Intent works over time, not all at once." We were told to write in our Navigator's Log about our own "defining moment."
During the lunch break, the large square room was divided into two. Five-foot wide charcoal gray panels rolled down a track in the floor and ceiling, locking together at the other end of the room. It was hard to imagine how these panels were stored as they were rigid, several inches thick and on a track. When we returned, the men met on the right side and the women on the left. The women's began with a panel discussion (Nyei, Reni and Aerin) and we were told to write in our Navigator's Log certain phrases that recur to us in our internal dialogue which have fixed our idea of ourselves, so that we can become aware of "what baggage are we dragging around."
We wrote for several minutes and then several people talked about what they had found by doing this exercise. We were told we needed to track down these phrases and find out where they came from, how had we come to believe in them. One woman said that she believed she annoyed people. It was pointed out that these phrases were much too broad, surely the woman who "annoyed people" couldn't do it all the time, 24 hours a day -- when did she find herself "annoying people", who was she annoying. Our navigators logs were not personal logs. They are our way of recording energetic perceptions. Each log is a fragment of a the really big universal navigator's log.
A woman mentioned that she felt unappreciated by her daughter. At dinner, her daughter would say: "What, we're having chicken again!" The apprentices talked about dealing with criticism, how to turn it around.
We paired up with another woman and read what we had written to each other. I have been preoccupied lately with fact of aging and my internal dialogue revolves around that. I've found that my old trusty shield of turning all self-criticism against someone else has given way as I become aware that all my criticism was always for me alone; now I indulge in self-criticism. My partner was about 15 and her preoccupation was that people were watching her and criticizing the way she did magical passes.
We broke for dinner and when we returned, the room was as before and we all came together.
When I looked up while sitting in the middle of the room, the rounded panels of the ceiling (inset with track lighting) looked like a huge charcoal gray butterfly, its antennas shooting into infinity beyond the walls of the room..
Saturday evening, we did the pair pass ("Controlled Folly") (I think). At the end, there was a Theatre of Infinity sketch which the apprentices had dreamed. In the introduction to it, Nyei referred to the story in Tales of Power about the two cats and how Carlos had had to believe that Max, the "reddish cat" who dove into the sewer, lived and was even then making his way to Baja. (Note: On my way back to my hotel that night, I saw Aerin in the parking lot talking on a cell phone. There was a large reddish tom cat near her feet. She was not aware of it and I didn't want to interrupt her call. Then the cat ran around the side of the hotel. I pointed and said, "Look, there's Max on his way to Baja!" Although Aerin never saw the cat, she heard me saying that [proving that sometimes it takes two to apprehend an omen!].)
The Theatre of Infinity was reminiscent of a sketch from the UCLA Theatre of Infinity: some people dressed in black dragged others also dressed in black who were resisting being dragged. At the end, one of the draggees says: "My father didn't drag me past this tree." Then Bruce (? not Wagner) came on and sang a song a cappella: "Nature Boy". He sang it so well, I thought he was lip syncing until someone set me straight.
Sunday morning: We did mapping the feet ending with sweeping each foot up the front of leg and then out (Legs Rule Vitality) followed by breaths like the ones beginning the Warrior's Decision.
The panel (Nyei, Darien, Aerin, Miles) talked about the Theatre of Infinity and about different workshop attendee's reactions to it (we had been invited to write comments and put them in a box). The skit came from something Gertrude Stein had written in an epigraph to "The Orchard." Some people identified with the draggers and others with being dragged. One woman said she felt like a draggee and simultaneously wanted/didn't want to be dragged. Our own limitations make us resist the urge to attain freedom. We define ourselves by some repetitive quality. Examine that self-defined quality and get specific:
in what situations do we repeat ourselves without being able to help it.
The song "Nature Boy" represents having the energy body. We were told a story about the song writer of "Nature Boy" -- Eden Alban (?). He and his wife had knocked around L.A. as homeless people, even for a time living in the hills under the "L" in the "HOLLYWOOD" sign. When Alban wrote the song, he felt Nat King Cole was the perfect singer for it. He tried to get to Nat King Cole's agent, etc. unsuccessfully. Finally, he saw Nat King Cole somewhere and, thrusting the dirty sheet of paper with the song on it at him, he said: "This song is perfect for you. You've got to sing it."
Nat King Cole did sing it and it is now one of his biggest hits. The songwriter never wrote another song. Thirty years later, Alban said that the only words he would change in his song were in the last sentence: "... only to love and be loved in return" -- he would take out the "in return." One man in the audience said he had been listening to different versions of this song throughout his life and it always touched him, it was a "call from infinity." Another woman said she had listened to it often on the radio as a child . Amidst all the "pop schlock", she said "It stuck out as special" -- like a howl from a coyote. One of the Cleargreens said that anyone could have a line to intent once in a while as this songwriter had.
There were questions from the floor:
Q.: "Why should we care about anything if it's all the same and everything is equal?"
A.: "Get specific."
Q.: "Well, for instance, if I get fired from my job, then I would be very sad."
A." "That's too speculative. The possibility of losing your job is not about energy or about the present -- it's not an energetic fact. Always ask yourself if what you're telling yourself is an energetic fact or not. The ultimate energetic fact is You're a being who is going to die.'"
It's a very common misconception that a warrior has no feelings.' Once Nyei was watching a documentary with Carol Tiggs about a writer: The writer was asked about who he loved and how much he loved them, and he answered: "I don't measure out my love -- a little here, a lot there, none there. I give it equally." Carol's comment: "That's direct perception."
Aerin: "Don't worry about tomorrow -- don't think about the energy you're going to have. Whatever awareness I have now is all I have. What does it matter if there's more tomorrow? All I have now is all I have."
We reviewed Being from the Ground.
Q: "I believe freedom is possible, but in daily life I feel trapped, doubtful and uncertain."
A: "There always going to be doubt and uncertainty."
When Carlos made his schedules for workshops and published them, he would always add a footnote: "Schedule subject to change." And then he would shamelessly change them as new things came up or better ways to do things suggested themselves; he never felt bound to any previous plan. He would tell the apprentices: "Do your shitty best." He was always looking for a more precise path. "Do what works in the moment. If you get there and the plan doesn't work, are you going to drive off the mountain?"
Question re internal dialogue: "We want to change the tone of our internal dialogue. We're not trying to stamp out our internal dialogue. We're really trying to listen to it, to really listen. You become more aware the more you can listen.
Miles: His conversations with the Nagual would cause him to post mortem their discussions for hours afterward and to berate himself: "I didn't say it right. I should have ...."
Miles said: "So I would prepare, write everything down that I wanted to say." Then when it still didn't turn out right, he'd listen to himself go through the same internal dialogue: "I didn't say it right, etc. etc." "You use your mistakes to enhance awareness. You learn from them. There is no right or wrong."
About the movie "Groundhog Day":
Nyei: The first time she and Reni went to the movies together, it was to see "Groundhog Day." Carlos said: "Why don't you two go to the movies together?" and he suggested they see "Groundhog Day." The movie is about an obnoxious weather anchor (Bill Murray) who goes to a small town to do a broadcast about Groundhog Day (February 2nd) and finds himself reliving the same day over and over (until he gets it right). At the end he finally becomes aware of what is happening.
Q.: Re the Theatre of Infinity, someone in the audience said that it "made the possibility of change so real, I got scared and hot and sweaty." He wanted to run out.
A.: One side of ourselves want to acknowledge the possibility of change, the other side resists, doubts.
"You go back to your old habits and patterns but each time you accrue awareness/insight into yourself and this allows you to change your attitude toward your actions and behavior."
Miles: "Navigating is generally uncomfortable because you don't know where you're going. You're at the front of the train and there's no track to follow."
Carlos said: "You're traveling two roads. If something happens in nagual time, don't explain it away, don't try to fit it in."
For the next three weeks, Aerin said we were not to make any big decisions. "No divorces, don't quit your job. Make little changes, small adjustments, but be consistent."
Q. (from Valentina): "Traveling in the known is so uncomfortable that anything is better than that!"
In "Groundhog Day," the Bill Murray character finds the "unknown in the known."
We did the "Controlled Folly" pass in pairs of the same sex/height.
We did Unbending Purpose which has only one change from the original version.
Panel (Nyei, Aerin, Miles, Darien).
Q.: "What is the joy of the warrior? All you've talked about is struggle and work."
A.: "Freedom is perceiving with the body. This brings delight and joy."
Re communicating with fellow warriors: "It's a relief to talk to someone without expectations, judgments. All that is a heavy energy drain."
An example of joy - "If you are in a gardening mood, you see unusual things, you see energy, become confident and focused. Without investment or expectations, you can love the plants and they love you back." Gardening involves lots of effort but no stress or anxiety. You're not trying to fit in or to fulfill linear expectations. "Sobriety and joy are not opposites, nor are they incompatible." "Touch things lightly, don't overdo things, don't go beyond your energetic boundaries."
Two new workshops were announced: Amsterdam (6/14-16) and Mexico City (5/31-6/2), and classes at Cleargreen (check website for information).
We were told to write our perceptions about the workshop and send them to email@example.com by the end of February.
We did the Controlled Folly pass again.
Nyei said: "We are carbon dating our statements to find out when the concepts we hang onto about ourselves started."
On Monday morning when I boarded my bus back to the Bay Area, the bus driver who had a heavy Spanish accent, said: "Next stop, nagual." (His pronunciation of "Norwalk".) And then I passed a billboard for Forest Lawn which read "Celebrate Life" (pretty good advice from a cemetery!).
To add to Shelley's account of the Anaheim workshop here is my view which I deliberately wrote in a "prosaic" style (slightly modified for Tango) - particularly for Australian and New Zealander practitioners that I am in touch with, many of whom have not yet been to a workshop. (We are still working at getting one going for Australia.) This was my first workshop, as if it isn't obvious.
Anaheim - 2 and 3 February 2002
The setting was a large room at the Anaheim Convention Centre which easily accommodated the 500 practitioners who were present. About a third of the practitioners were from abroad, although I did not meet any other Australian or New Zealander practitioners there. The room, which was easily the size of a couple of basket ball courts with very high ceilings, was such that a huge partition - which was largely sound-proof - could be drawn across the room to divide it in two. This was used on the first day; more on that below.
My hotel was about five minute's walk away from the Convention Centre. I arrived just after 8.30am on the Saturday morning to register. As I drew close to the Convention Centre, which I had checked out the previous afternoon, having arrived from Australia in the morning (whizzed through customs - didn't look suspicious, I guess) I saw other practitioners making their way there, too. They were obvious because several of them carried the familiar blue rolled up mats. This was the first time I had attended a workshop and, in fact, the first time that I would practice the passes with other practitioners. The room concerned was on the second floor which we accessed by a series of escalators next to the almost all-glass facade. Outside the room were two sets of rows of tables with labels A through Z with local practioners doing the registration for those who had pre-booked. I duly fronted up to the person behind the letter "T" and obtained a tag on a string with my name on it. The tag had a hologram of rows of small luminous eggs. You needed to produce that in order to enter the room. And so I did.
At last I entered the room after what had seemed a little like a pilgramage. Inside there was a dias in the centre of the room. Quite a few practitioners had already entered and had chosen a spot on the floor around the dias and had unrolled their mats and were sitting on them either watching what was going on or making notes or simply lying on them. I moved around a bit and then found a spot which felt comfortable to me. I preferred to place my self towards an outer wall along a line forming a diagonal across the dias. Many of the practitioners present had clustered close to the dias. Only a couple of practitioners actually started practicing passes they knew - on their own. Very interesting to watch them as I recognised passes that I knew and was facinated to see both how they varied from how I did them and also how similar some were to how I practiced them.
Near the entrance to the room (I should call it a hall) was a set of tables where the sound equipment was set up. LA practitoners (I think) also occupied these and became involved in testing the sound with one person on the dias progressively testing each mike and ceiling speaker using a head-set. On the wall opposite wall was a series of tables in which practitioners were setting up books, videos, mats and the weight for inner silence to go on sale. I eventually bought a mat and the weight for inner silence when they opened up for sales and then went back to my spot. Meanwhile, more and more practitioners arrived taking up their own spots on the floor. Many recognised friends or acquaintences, so that there was lots of hugs and greetings going on all around the room. Against another wall was a phalanx of water dispensers, which I used many times over the two days.
The start of the workshop arrived. Four of the instructors, dressed in black, strode through the ring of practitioners and mounted the dias, each with headsets, to the applause of the crowd. A couple I recognised from the videos. Others were local practioners whom they also used as instructors. They took up positions near the four corners of the dias and as they did so, all the practitioners placed their bags etc against the walls or at the base of the dias so as to clear the space around the room. The position of the practitioners was designed to make them visible to all the practitioners around the dias from any direction. One of them would lead in the demonstration and the other three would demonstrate the movements simultaneoulsly so that the practitioners near them would be able to see what was being done.
The instructors introduced themselves and then began to take us step by step through a long form (integrated series of individual passes comprising a total sequence) of a magical pass called Activating Direct Perception. We progressively worked through each part of the long form, steadily building up and repeating an increasing number of individual passes to comprise the total long form. I was surprised at how easily I could keep up and move with all the practitioners around me. I was also surprised at how each individual practitioner would perform the passes slightly differently, including those who were clearly new to the passes like me.
There was no rigidly fixed way to perform them and it didn't matter that your own version was slightly different then those near to you. Many times, when I didn't quite get what the instructors were saying, I would copy those nearby. I also felt that others were copying me if I seemed to get the sequence right. In that way, there was a lot of mutual support and it didn't matter if you failed to catch on straight away. The instructors themselves sensed the need to repeat movements and to progressively build things up. Performing that long form did see us rotating collectively around the dias as the pass did involve step-wise movements. I found myself on the opposite side of the room to my chosen spot on more than one occasion.
We then took a break after about forty minutes and the instructors had us sit to one side of the dias as chairs were placed on it. Nyei Murez came out onto the dias with one or two others and began to talk to us about dreamers and stalkers, the assemblage point (AP) and the crusting of energy on the outer periphery of the luminous sphere. She talked about how we fix our AP in one spot through focussing on our problems and end up sending energy away from the vital centres to the periphery of the luminous sphere where the energy becomes encrusted. Nyei also conselled us not to make notes, but rely on our energy body to both absorb what was happening and to remember later what had happened.
We then went through a repeat session on the pass called Activating Direct Perception, this time achieving much greater fluency both individualy and collectively.
Miles Reid then took to the stage and talked to us about the concept of "Tensegrity". He brought out a spherical structure that had been made by one of the instructors that looked like a huge model of a large molecule. He had some fun setting it down on the stage flooor as it seemed to want to move by itself! He then showed how this represented the luminous sphere in that if you compressed one part of it, the whole structure flexed and adjusted transmitting both energy and "information" throughout the entire sphere. He then lead into talking about passes which crossed phylums from the phylum which is occupied by humans to those representing other creatures. He highlighted the view that could be gained by beginning to perceive a creature who burrowed through the earth in all directions, seeking new paths.
The instructors then began to teach us a long form called Being from the Earth in which we learned a series of movements that induced the feeling that we were burrowing creatures roaming throughout the interior of the earth. It even included pulling the top lip over the lower one, keeping it there, and pressing the roof of the mouth with the tip of the tongue. That, in itself induced a feeling of what the head and face of the creature would be like.
We broke for lunch with the instructors announcing that after lunch the practitioners would be separated by gender and practice for the afternoon separately. We dispersed around the area in search of restaurants or eateries nearby. I came back from lunch early and found a handful of practitioners practicing the passes from the morning. I joined them as did others, so that a small group of us worked over our collective memory of the passes and came to an agreement on the sequences. This helped me to feel more integrated into the workshop as throughout the morning I had felt isolated through not knowing anyone there. (After lunch, I did connect with a practitioner I had come to know through Tango.) When I came back from lunch, the room had been divided as announced, with a dias set up in each room.
When we started again, with males in one room and females in the other, Miles and three other male practitioners mounted the dias and began to talk to us about how our internal dialogue acquires a syntax in which we repeat underlying assumptions to ourselves that fix our AP and render it unable to move so as not to perceive other realms. They encouraged us to take out out notebooks and spend twenty minutes in silence writing down the things we say to ourselves that express our key assumptions about self and the world. Miles then directed us to try to isolate the first time in our past when we first started saying these things to ourselves and subject them to recapitulation. We also performed the passes from the morning and also passes being seated on chairs which were variants of the Activating Direct Perception pass and others from the book on Magical Passes (Masculinity Series, Womb Series from Taisha, Florinda and Carol). From time to time I could just hear the female practitioners doing similar things.
In the evening after the evening meal, male and female practitioners joined together again with the partition removed. We again practiced the passes learned from earlier in the day. Nyei, Miles Dorrien and others talked to us more about the themes during the day and also one approach to the recapitulation: focus on energetic events that stand out to us first and then revert to recapitulating using the list we have built up of those we have left. The pattern throughout the day was to alternate practicing the passes with discussion sessions which did include questions from the floor.
The evening ended with a set piece (Theatre of Infinity) performed by the instructors (at least eight of them) on the dias which they said they had developed in dreaming. This consisted of one instructor dragging another onto the dias in various ways to various positions on the dias beyond which they would not go. The sequence ended with one instructor singing a hauntingly beautiful song whose name escapes me as I write, but which contained the words: to love and be loved, in return.
The themes developed in this set piece were discussed the following (Sunday) morning.
One thing I ommited from my account of the first evening was a "taste" the instructors offered us of a pass they were going to teach us the following day - a controlled folly pass - which would involve doing the pass in pairs of the same gender. They showed us the first few movements of the long form which consisted of quite graceful movements with each partner mirroring the movement of the other, in sequence, in slow motion.
The same pattern was followed as the previous day with passes being practiced followed by rest periods in which the instructors - principally Nyei, Miles and Dorrien - talked to us about the themes developed from the first day. We discussed the Theatre of Infinity performance of the previous night in which Nyei began to elaborate on what they had intended from it. In essence it portrayed our perceptions being dragged by others influential on us into particular configurations beyond which we did not venture. The significance in the song (Nature Boy by Eden Ahbez) was to express a kind of isolation and a kind of longing which nevertheless persisted in us. The words to the song are as follows:
There was a boy
A very strange
They say he wandered
Very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he
And then one day
One magic day
He passed my way
While we spoke
Of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love and
Be loved in return"
Nyei explained that the author of the song, which was very popular at one time, had come out of obscurity with the song but quite happily returned to it afterwards. At one time, he and his partner had lived under the "L" of the word Hollywood on the side of the hills near Hollywood. Nyei reported that in later life he had stated that if he was to change one thing in the song it would be to remove the words "in return" from the key phrase: "to love and be loved in return". Nyei picked up on this theme and emphasised that this is where our emphasis should be: to omit the "in return" part. I think you should all be able to sense how very different our intersubjectivity would be with this.
In support of this theme, we also discussed the film "Groundhog Day" in which some of you will recall the transformation the main character (Bill Murray, I think) underwent as he relived Groundhog Day over and over - how his focus changed: to love and be loved.
We were taught the controlled folly pass in full which we practiced several times during the day. It consisted of graceful movements that saw same-gender pairs interlocking hand and arm movements, pirouetting with hands locked on wrists and ending facing the same direction gesturing to Infinity. In one practice the instructors divided practitioners into two halves and each half watched the others perform the pass in silence with no propmting from the pratitioners. It seemed evident to me that the famale practitioners were able to embrace this pass with greater abandon than the males.
We also praticed a not-doing pass with which we used our mats and performed a series of arm and leg movements. Otherwise, we still repeated the passes from the previous day.
As we practiced each pass there were moments when the instructors and the practitoners would pause for a moment of inner silence. This was an important feature to allow the passes, through their stirring and placement of energy, to broaden the basis for inner silence. In fact, on the first day for the first time I believe I "saw" encrusted energy during a period of silence. It really did look like dripping wax as though seen from the inside of my luminous sphere. There were also vortex like features in it and beyond it I sensed a play of energy as though "many hands" were playing on the exterior of my luminous sphere.
Another feature of practicing the passes was that as we became more confident, the instructors would progressively refrain from prompting us so that we would practice the entire sequence in silence. That was really quite something just to allow the flow of the passes to come from your body, your energy body, learning to trust it as Nyei had bid us at the beginning of the workshop. It was also quite a sensation to hear and sense all the others (500 or so) performing the passes around you in silence with only the swishing sounds of movements breaking the silence.
The culmination of the discussion part of the workshop was that Nyei gently challenged us to see that we had passed through a wall into another view. She and the others indicated that this workshop, which was a first in some ways - especially seperating practitioners in the way they had - had somehow crossed a threshold. As a result she bid us to avoid making any major decisions for the next three weeks if at all possible, implying that we would be subject to inner promptings (as I call them) that would require sobriety to manage. Miles asked us to reflect upon the themes of the workshop and to post them to a Cleargreen email address - in the form of navigators' logs.
So then, the workshop aimed at moving us to a new view in which we seek to determine what are the energetic facts of our lives, and live by them, and pointed to a kind of passion: to love and be loved - but NOT in return. (I remember that the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, inverted Christ' dictum by saying: "It is harder to receive than to give." So, in a sense, it is harder to allow ourselves to simply be loved without resorting to the economics of "being loved in return".)