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I confess...

Last post 10-15-2006, 2:13 PM by victoire. 28 replies.
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  •  07-02-2006, 9:47 PM 775 in reply to 751

    • perera is not online. Last active: 10-18-2006, 11:43 AM perera
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    Re: I confess...

    Dear Jay,

    You wrote: "My integral practice could be compared to a bipolar rollercoaster ride."

    I know the difficulty so well and yet, of course, you cracked me up!! Thank you. I resonate Big Smile [:D]

    So many wonderful posts here. I feel like i am getting to know some of you and along the way, i see that we all struggle and yet, you are all SO inspiring. 

    And Jay, thanks for dropping in to my little contemplative art show. I really need to make my art a conscious practice.  Still trying... Your kind words about my art touched me and will help me towards my goal.

    Again, Thanks to you and All!

    Keep Posting Y'all.

    Nomali @ ISC  


    Nomali @ ISC
    Project Manager

    ~Save the Earth- it's the only planet with Chocolate!

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  •  07-03-2006, 9:51 AM 802 in reply to 752

    • jaysyouruncle is not online. Last active: 10-13-2006, 8:26 AM jaysyouruncle
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    Re: I confess...

    Kelly, I totally enjoyed reading your response, and it got me thinking.....(and I think can see you're a writer btw, you write beautifully and fluently)

    But I guess what is so challenging is not letting this wandering take over all modules of my life., you said.

     just holding that question/problem in my consciousness provides a stream of answers, insights and further questions

    part of it that comes clearly to me is the essentialness of, for the most part, not avoiding true intimacy with the "bad stuff" When you avoid unpleasantness, pain, dullness, fear, boredom and so on, by zoning out and distracting yourself as a matter of habit, you're not really exploring the juicy stuff, you're just frittering away your time---you're pretty much closing your eyes, turning away from the mountain and any view it might provide..So I'll say it again, I feel it more clearly than ever before, the importance of allowing whatever arises within conciousness to be, accepting,  loving it---as any good Advaita teacher would tell you, I think....

    but then there's also the possibility of being obsessively drawn into contemplating, mulling over the unpleasant stuff, which is another sort of stuckness...hmmm. It's sort of like when you're trying to get to sleep and you can't get your mind off of its current track of thoughts even though you  know it's leading no-where. Perhaps in that case, a bit of judicious use of track jumping can  be called for---read a story, watch a show, something that takes your mind on a different journey. I know that works for me and it's a great alternative to staying up all night:) Save waiting around for the obsessions to run their course for another time.

    perhaps that's where a good sitting practice and some techniques to go with it can come in handy----I've tried some great ones that Sally Kempton introduced to me, and was intrigued by the fact that I was able to most fully engage in mourning my mom's death during meditation....

    (she also withered away from cancer)






    Back to the question of art as a practice:

    Let me follow my mnd here and see where it goes:: part of the thing about being creative involves constantly stepping back to see the big picture---if you're a painter, that means physically stepping back, looking at how everything is coming together. If you're a writer, a composer, this stepping back is a bit more abstract, internal, perhaps it takes the form of reading/listening to your piece over and over, or forgetting about it for a while nd then coming back to it...
    But what's happening is a highly intuitive, powerful process of constantly trying to see things as they are, as they sit in contrast to whatever you define as the background, as not the art, or as not good art, or as not the ideal that shines somewhere underneath it all and is trying to work its way to the surface--- tryinng to see them anew, as if you've never looked at them before. In that obsessive pursuit, and I think can be called a practice, artists are used to zooming about from perspective to perspective in search of the ultimate perspective.

    the great thing about looking at this integrally is it gives us a bit of a framework for our perspective jumping. as well as a map that tells us we might want to look in some entirely different territory for an essential element we were ignoring.

    there's a certain wonderful thread that I notice on these posts, that of re-identifying things that we already do as practices, and then perhaps figuring out how to make them more  of a practice.

    I noticed Nomali said I really need to make my art a conscious practice  and to that I'd say that Art IS a practice, a true practice, because it's driven by a true impulse---the desire to truly see and the desire to communicate this seeing. And what's more, these two desires are one desire for the artist,  because the art they create is a a record of the attempt to make the practice externally visible, (which is actually what moved me in viewing your presentation, Nomali---the very thought that came to my mind on seeing your paintings was that they looked like a practice made visible)

    that's not to say that this practice can't be made more concious, much more concious, of course....I struggle with that question all the time too. But what does that really mean, more concious? Does it mean somehow trying to enter a meditative or altered state every time you work on your art? I'm not so sure about that, to tell you the truth, although that can certainly happen and can result in some pretty cool stuff. It can also result in some absolute trash, IHMO.

     Perhaps we need to start an integral art thread....

    Love, Jay





    "I always try to get up every morning..." Jimi Hendrix
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  •  07-03-2006, 9:07 PM 815 in reply to 802

    Re: I confess...

    Hey Jay,

    Love this conversation. 

    I went and sat this morning, did a little Big Mind, and then just sat, and it is always amazing to me how when I detach from all the *** that swims in my mind, I am actually able to just be with myself and love it all.  What is so funny is that when I REMEMBER to do this, I am always relieved of the ego bullshit.  My feelings may still be in the soup, but there is a clarity about them that makes them tolerable and just there.  When I am stuck inside my storyline about the feelings, then I suffer.   

    And what always makes me laugh is how often I forget that I can care for myself like this in every moment of the day.  My veil of illusion comes back so quickly that I really forget.  I suppose that is the purpose of the DAILY practice.  What also confuses me is that I have this knowledge adn experience, and it just goes into my unconscious again, and I walk around like an abandoned soul.  And yet it is only me that has done the abandoning, over and over again.   How the wiley mind of ego. 

    When you mentioned the avoiding vs. wallowing in the shadow stuff, I thought of how this is kind of the definition of depression vs. anxiety.  When we avoid our feelings, we tend to get depressed, and when we obsess on them, anxiety can arise.   It seems that our modern life has set us up for a uncomfortable dance between the two which makes the chocolate cookies and American Idol look that much more like the answer in the moment.
     
    Your take on art as a practice got me thinking too.  When I write or perform it is always a dance between what Jung would call the Ego and Self.  It is the embodiment of the sacred.  It is a trance, it is a skillful dance between all the forms that I have collected and encountered in this mind/body being infused with spirit.   It is Eros and Agape.

    Hey Nomali - is there a link to your art?  Did I miss it in another thread?

    Also, yes I would love to start an Integral Art thread.  I am assuming it would be a groovy thang.

    Peace Out Bros....

    Kelly



    It's ALL soul. Junior Wells
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  •  07-03-2006, 10:07 PM 836 in reply to 815

    • perera is not online. Last active: 10-18-2006, 11:43 AM perera
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    Re: I confess...

    Hi Kelly,

    First of all, thanks so much for being at ISC.  You and All here are just SO totally inspiring me and the rest of us here at II and ISC trying to create a beautiful and amazing online community. 

    I do love your idea of starting an art thread. I can start that...Shall we call it Altar of Art???

    I guess Jay caught my art and you asked for a link....here it is http://in.integralinstitute.org/avantgarde/gallery_perera.aspx . Hope you like it.  As Jay was pointing at, yes, art just simply IS! I cannot really 'make' it into a practice, so to say. IT practices me. And so, sometimes all i can do is wait.... 

    Again, thanks for being at ISC!

    Nomali


    Nomali @ ISC
    Project Manager

    ~Save the Earth- it's the only planet with Chocolate!

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  •  07-04-2006, 10:13 AM 902 in reply to 836

    Re: I confess...

    Nomali,

    Wow, beautiful stuff.  Truly moving.  The more abtract stuff had me out on the edge of the universe and inside the most microscopic inner space.  Haunting, expanding and connecting.
    And thank you for sharing. 

    I love calling the thread Altar of Art. 

    And yes, my art, my writing, practices me too.  But there is a way in which I try and approach it like I do my sitting practice - unattached to what may come up while in the being in the space with myself and my writing.  But more on this later.

    I guess we are ready for the Art thread.

    Best,
    Kelly

    It's ALL soul. Junior Wells
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  •  07-04-2006, 10:22 AM 903 in reply to 902

    • perera is not online. Last active: 10-18-2006, 11:43 AM perera
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    Re: I confess...

    Hi Kelly,

    Thanks SO much for amazing feedback. I am deeply touched.

    So, I think we are ready to explore 1-2-3 of God via Altar of Art (1-2-3 of Art??)

    Let's get started!

    ~Nomali


    Nomali @ ISC
    Project Manager

    ~Save the Earth- it's the only planet with Chocolate!

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  •  07-04-2006, 11:28 AM 907 in reply to 621

    Re: I confess...

    Well, Mick, it appears you found the right button.  Welcome!

    Thank you for introducing the work of Parker Palmer. I am not familiar with it, but anything holding the centrality of paradox speaks to me. I look forward to learning more. I also appreciate your linking your running experience with Fr. Keating's work. For sometime, cycling has been a similar experience for me, especially on rainy days. Riding in the rain and sweating like crazy, I am water within, water at the boundaries, and water all around; breath within; breath at the boundaries; breath all around.

    Joy and peace,

    Molly

    Molly Gordon, MCC
    Shaboom Inc., Life could be a dream...
    Blog

    "I want God to play in my bloodstream like sunlight amuses itself on water." Elizabeth Gilbert
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  •  07-09-2006, 4:41 AM 1194 in reply to 184

    • maryw is not online. Last active: 10-19-2006, 11:22 AM maryw
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    Re: I confess...

    Hey all – I’ve been meaning to return to say some more about my integral practice, as I’ve been poking around here and there and enjoying everyone’s sharings . . . But: well, okay -- here is my confession: I find myself oddly afraid and hesitant to write on this forum! So I’ve been trying to put my finger on why that is. I mean, for at least 2 years I’ve been posting at the Integral Naked (IN) forum – which can be a rough place at times – but somehow I’m able to gab and babble and type till the cows come home over there. I’ve even been one of the volunteer facilitators for the IN forum since the beginning of this year – a bit of a baptism by fire in itself Tongue Tied [:S]. What’s more, I’ve been so so so so so so eager for ISC to start blooming – enthusiastically anticipating this flowering ever since it was announced on IN. . . . but here I am, feeling like I’m walking into the fancy ballroom sporting a shabby dress, bad hair cut, acne, and newly tightened braces. I don’t know: maybe I’m intimidated by those Road Rules. Not sure I can speak enough turquoise, perhaps. Wondering if I’m just sneaking in, a lemonlime womanchild playing dressup with second-tier adornments, hoping the true adults won’t catch me as I pilfer a glass of integral champagne . . .

     

    And I even know some of you ISC posters – I’ve been lucky enough to actually physically meet – several of you!! (Balder, Paleblueiris, UnrulyJulie, Casey, Rollie …) Smile [:)] And you are all wonderful! I don’t know . . . could it be simply that writing on a white screen (rather than on the black screen at IN) actually makes me feel more nekkid?Embarrassed [:$]

     

    Okay. Back to the subject: Integral Life Practice. Body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature...

     

    After a long period of agnosticism lasting from high school until my mid-thirties (about 10 years ago), I had a series of experiences, including one very disquieting dream encounter with something numinous, that led me into exploring mysticism and world religions.  I was deeply hungry for something I could not name. I was attracted to Buddhism because of its compassion and its stance on suffering, and on my own began to practice Zen breath counting. I read Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism and works by Thich Nhat Hanh, Kathleen Norris, Jung, Matthew Fox, and others. Drawn to sacramentals and perhaps needing to get my purple ya-yas out, I toyed with Pagan and light voodoo-esque rituals. All of these wanderings led me to ask: why had I so thoroughly rejected the religious tradition of my childhood? Might there be something there worth re-examining? When I came across writings by Christian contemplatives involved in interreligious dialogue—especially Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating—I saw that the answer was “yes.” So I returned to Catholicism—encouraged and nourished by certain progressive, ecumenical, and universal strains within it that I had not seen before—and I took up the practice of centering prayer.

     

    After nearly a year of practicing centering prayer all by my lonesome, I discovered a local chapter of Contemplative Outreach, the hub of the centering prayer movement spearheaded by Keating and his Trappist brothers, and began participating in a weekly centering prayer group and attending retreats. Eventually I became trained as a facilitator, which gave me the opportunity to lead a centering prayer group at a local church and to assist in introducing newcomers to the practice. So for me, centering prayer, church involvement, and attending various interfaith workshops and conferences exercises both the UL and LL …

     

    In 1998 or so, while doing research for a high-school level anthology on “culture wars” (I used to edit and write books for an educational press), I came across an article by Ken Wilber entitled “Boomeritis” in Rabbi Michael Lerner's Tikkun magazine. It intrigued me so much that I xeroxed a copy to keep in my files. A few years later, I heard KW’s name mentioned again in Thomas Keating’s Spiritual Journey video series. His name kept coming up – in a priest’s recommended reading list and in a friend’s e-mail announcing that this KW was interviewing Keating on some funky new website (IN). Just who was this bald white philosopher-Buddhist getting published in Jewish journals and interviewing Christian contemplatives? Thus I started listening to the interviews on Integral Naked and reading KW’s books.

     

    Eventually I began joining in on some of the discussions at the IN forum, and over the course of 3 years or so, developed online friendships with some repeat posters. This led to more LL happenings: meeting and communing with others interested in integral theory. Through the IN forum, I discovered  a local group that meets monthly to discuss integral ideas. In addition, several IN posters planned a summer 2005 meetup in Boulder, Colorado, drawing folks from Canada, Scotland, California and the U.S. Southeast. It was a beautifully intense week – an exhilarating and exhausting combo of slumber party, gabfest, meditation sangha, and thanksgiving feast. There was another incredible meetup in June 2006 in Vancouver, Canada, which included workshops and salons with two recent IN guests, Robert Augustus Masters and John Ince.

     

    It has been such a delight to get to meet integrally-interested folks face-to-face – and it brings to mind something I heard in a presentation about interspiritual dialogue by Benedictine sister Meg Funk. She has been involved with Catholic-Muslim dialogue for a decade or so, and she emphasizes how significant simple friendship is to such endeavors. Dialoguers first need to become acquainted with each other as humans, break bread together, share personal stories, play. Be present to each other. And dance! (Thank you, Vernice Solimar!). This helps to create a foundation for the sharing and comparing and contrasting and integrating of spiritualities. My hope is that people on this ISC forum will find ways to do this – by actually meeting each other if and when possible, and by bringing presence and kindheartedness and caring to our online interactions here.

     

    My ILP is expressed through the LR quad with recycling, lowered energy consumption (well … sometimes), support of organic farmers and manufacturers, charitable contributions. My UR practice, which at the moment consists of walking and hatha yoga, needs to be stepped up. Largely because my overly inclusive diet sucks.

     

    At the moment I’m between jobs and am taking a little time to finish a book – a kind of semi-fictional spiritual memoir / coming-of-age story. So I probably won’t be posting all that much right now – though I do check in here quite a bit – lots of compelling reading here! And if you’ve read all of this, thanks for humoring my confessional ramblings, peeps.

     

    Namaste, peace, shalom, and ciao for now,

    Mary


    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    ~Rumi
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  •  07-24-2006, 5:00 PM 1838 in reply to 815

    Re: I confess...

    Hi Kelly: I like your interpretation of anxiety and depression here Smile [:)]...fits with my own experience of those states, and brings the issue back nice and clearly to needing to find ways to be with, accept, and express difficult emotions...
    Durwin Foster, M.A.
    Doctoral Student, Counselling Psychology Program
    University of British Columbia
    Vancouver, Canada
    durwinfoster@gmail.com
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  •  07-25-2006, 8:38 PM 2024 in reply to 1838

    Re: I confess...

    Hi All,

                 It's great to read of the different ILPs and experiences with transformation. Having delt with bipolar disorder and severe depression for much of my life, I was graciously motivated to deepen my ILP so as to not only find some relief, but contribute to the world as much as possible. Within the last two years, a major transformation has taken hold and not let go. Neither depression nor bipolar disorder interrupt daily life any longer, and without the use of pharmacology. Thankfully, though I still experience times of sadness occasionally, I'm able to kiss the feelings lightly and allow them to process and dissolve. Without going into the whole story, it is sufficient to say that the change has been profoundly life altering and a blessing. Though I see my ILP deepening throughout the year, it currently includes:

    • Meditation with Holosync, a binaural-beat sound technology that uses sound to not only induce deep, delta-wave brain states, but also systematically uses progressively deepening carrier frequencies to stimulate the neuroplasticity of the brain and nervous system to make profound structural changes over a period of months and years. Profound personality shifts, integration of the shadow, letting go of positionalities, the falling away of dysfunctional behaviors and deep-seated addictions, a deep sense connectedness to life and surroundings, and a higher threshold for stressful situations are some of the changes that have emerged. And as a long-term treatment for severe depression and bipolar disorder, I've found Holosync to be unsurpassed.
    • While meditating with Holosync, I have also just begun using the following meditation, as taught by David R. Hawkins (author of I: Reality and Subjectivity) -  rest in peripheral awareness, without specific focus on any one thing, until "After a period of time, one suddenly becomes the witness and then becomes awareness itself, which is functioning spontaneously and impersonally, with no 'you' even involved.... there is no goal to be achieved. All programs, such as 'reaching satori,' are abandoned. There is, in essence, an abandonement to the mere 'is-ness' of All That Is, without mentation." I also find myself practicing this during various times during the day, usually when detailed focus (like driving!) isn't required.
    • The pathway of the heart: simply making a decision to be unconditionally loving to all that is encountered, including myself.
    • Making amends: although a major shift has taken place over the last two years, I've had my share of hurting and disappointing others in the past. One of my major ILP imperatives has been to make an honest, open and heart-felt attempt at making apologies and amends where appropriate. It's been quite freeing, actually.
    • Whenever I notice myself making judgments of others, I make an effort to turn the judgment in on myself and see how I'm actually projecting my own defects onto others. This is done without being critical, just honest.
    • Nutritional supplementation: E3 Live Renew Me (Emerald Blend), a blend of  MSM, spirulina, camu-camu, vitamin E complex from soluble rice bran, organic cayenne, organic aphanizomenon flos-aquae: aka AFA (blue-green algae from Upper Klamath Lake), organic aphanin & phycomin PEA (amazing blue green algae extracts that have been called "love molecules" because their tremendous effect on well-being, as well as powerful, clinically proven anti-depressant activity), cystalloid electrolyte sea minerals (organic copper, iodine, manganese, zinc, potassium, cobalt, sodium, selenium, chromium, silica and boron). In short, this stuff is amazing. It seems to have had a strong positive effect on just about everything, including meditation.
    • Bibliotherapy: Ken Wilber, David R. Hawkins, Ramana Maharshi, Ribhu Gita, Yoga Vasishta, Adyashanti, various schools of psychology, etc.
    • Spiral Dynamics
    • David R. Hawkins' "Scale of Consciousness" studies.
    • Increasing intimacy and openess in close relationships.
    • My evolving relationship with my daughter, Laken.
    • The Sedona Method: a wonderfully simply method of letting go of attachments and aversions, as taught by Lester Levenson.
    • More to come.........

    Best Wishes,

    Eric

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  •  07-28-2006, 8:41 PM 2324 in reply to 2024

    Re: I confess...

    Just a few words on two of the technologies I'm currently using in my ILP:

    1) Holosync: obviously, since it induces meditative brain wave states within the brain, this technology has an Upper Right Quadrant emphasis, particularly in the gross body, with its unique ability to encourage the brain and nervous system to actually restructure at higher and higher levels of efficiency over a period of months and years. And since the participant tends to spend extended periods of time in the Delta state, which, according to Ken, seems to be closely associated with the Causal body, it's probably fair to say that the Causal body is getting a fair amount of exercise (which seems to result in a pronounced ability to identify and remain as the Witness, allowing subject to become object, which also links this technology with the Upper Left Quadrant). My own experience with Holosync has seemed to open me up to becoming more open and willing to fully engage the other Quadrants in Body, Mind, and Spirit. So there's more conscious gravitation to engaging the Lower Left and Right Quadrants.

    2) 5D Sound Energized CDs: Containing computerized signals of special Life Energy Amplification technologies. These CDs really work. Again, they pertain to the Upper Right Quadrant, but the emphasis here is on the subtle body. Whereas I notice a pronounced non-attachment and profound sense of peace (the male/transcendent aspect of consciousness) with use of Holosync, the 5D Sound CDs really energize the joyful and gracious engagement with life (the female/immanent aspect of consciousness). This has certainly proven to be life-changing technology. Obviously, this also gives rise to subtle states of consciousness: the Upper Left Quadrant. And again, there really seems to be a stronger conscious pull to fully engage the Lower Quadrants as a result of using this technology.

    Blessings,

    Eric

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  •  08-26-2006, 8:45 PM 5537 in reply to 184

    Re: I confess...

    Attachment: P8143296.jpg
    THank You ,
    I thank myself for creating this experience with you All. I am practicing the Art of seeing myself in everyone and anything that happens in my interior/ exterior states and stages of my individual and collective awareness of you.
    You All are my Divine creative practice as it happens...

    innermost Holographically Nothing in Everything,

    Lightfield (Antonio) reflecting you.
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  •  09-14-2006, 5:49 PM 7855 in reply to 907

    • mickcourt is not online. Last active: 09-14-2006, 6:10 PM mickcourt
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    Re: I confess...

    Thanks for your response Molly :)

    I stopped following the material, I think I expected a response of some description - which is certainly not coming from my best self :) ..   I have a little spare time, and I went exploring things again - and found your response.  Thanks for that Molly.. and I am interested in how another has used a strong physical exercise as an experience on all levels; the gross, subtle and causal levels - I appreciated your images pointing to those levels. 

    Blessings and life,

    Mick

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  •  10-15-2006, 2:13 PM 11227 in reply to 2024

    • victoire is not online. Last active: 10-16-2006, 9:26 AM victoire
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    Re: I confess...

    Heartfelt Salutations!
    I feel quite touched reading perusing, I confess I wish I had more time to! Its getting near my bedtime...but I want to say hello and share a little. One thing I realized was a shyness & sort of modesty appeared at the thought of presenting myself naked, to this community, but really, with our Highest Aim in sight, All will be revealed! And I wonder..what would be helpful? What has helped me? Somewhere I ran into the idea of just simple friendship as ILP..simplicity is a wonderful..quality. As a type #6 in the enneagramme (I am a gifted doubter) that helps me to step out of exclusive identification with the invisible labyrinth of the (my) mind..into Faith, which is for me an unshakeable feeling of Being, Vast & True & Good. But the interface with the little shell and persona is often ruffled by objects banging into "me" ( who banged first!?) Journaling is great for that (3-2-1!!), and "conversing" with the Beloved. I teach and therefore practice daily, a form of integral practice, which "goes at it" from the body angle, it includes Tai Chi movements, crawling (on of the most comprehensive exercises you can do--seriously!--as it touches on both childhood, animal/instinctual/shamanistic energies and simple neuromuscular coordination) Egyptian Yoga, guided relaxation and such..I've been having difficulty with formless meditation which is nevertheless such nourishment to my soul! Because of timing lately, after lunch, and because I've not been getting enough sleep...which reminds me, bedtime. I hope I've not taken up too long here (shyness & modesty-the better term would be the french word "pudeur" I think) You know, I trust, how HUGE I AM, ho ho, and I pray to practice and play in this sacred space here, full of so much REVELATION! I hope the words I typed speak to you & make sense, and I do plan to read & write more..in the meantime, I offer UP my unconditional friendship & gratitude & reverence to THEES!
    Yours,
    Victoria
    ps I feel a bit blinded in the cyberspace, am trying to get a handle on how to post and navigate and such on these forums, would like to put an image up!!:)
    Omitakuyé Oyasin...To All My Kin
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