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Archive for June, 2010

Maybe the Self-inquiry has led to this.  Just below all the surface chatter, habits of my mind and little distractions and entertainments, only a couple of questions keep pulsing, and a few truths.  I continue to watch my thoughts like leaves in the wind and ask, “who is it that is thinking all this?  Who is it that enjoys this?”  It feels, in a way, as if that’s the only real question I asked my whole life.  Doesn’t that simply take “what is your intention” that much further?

Last night I was engaged in my deep orgasmic breathing, my favorite fruit of all the Qi Kung I’ve ever studied.  I lay for a great long time amidst the continual pleasure, so personal and so specifically mine, in both emotion, feeling, and thought (and pleasure is a lot like pain in that way, so individual, so incredibly and deeply intimate, and quite unique at high levels of intensity).  As I was sort of gradually coming down, I remembered a feeling — one I have only thought of occasionally in the past decade.

The feeling was from a dream I had more than a decade past.  I think it was a dream from 13 years ago.  In the dream, I was a leader of a group of nature loving rebels and we overthrew our mechanical opressors, using old technology and such.  There was an assassination, and all that.  But above all, at the beginning of the dream, the beginning of my life in this tribe, I was joined to one of two sisters.  These sisters danced a bright dance of light, being two green lights that flew through the darkness, they danced a long goodbye with each other, a sad parting for two that were so close, and immediately one of them flew directly into my chest, and was with me, I could feel her being coursing through me entirely.  Throughout the dream her presence gave me power, strength, and insight.

Only in something like devoted religious ecstacy, immense sexual pleasure, the highest moments of dance, and when I am with the lovers that only dreams can provide, have I felt this kind of presence, fulfilled and united with something that fills me so purely.  Of course, it is the way we dream lovers when we are only children.  So last night I remembered this feeling and started to really focus on it, remember it, turn it around in my hand as well as I could, grasp it and feel it.  In my state of ecstacy and pleasured fulfillment, I could hold it sometimes for an interval.

And it occured to me, this feeling of  “presence” could well be a part of myself I’ve symbolized and externalized.  That or it could genuinely be the divine wishing to be united with me.  Perhaps both are true, but I am entering into the realm of stories now that I cannot yet verify either way.  However, I decided to plunge myself wholly into the feeling, emptying myself and becoming the very presence I cherished, my hollow eyes like the sides of a glass in which this spirit dwealt.

And I felt it again, similar to that dream so long ago.  Then I felt a change in me.  I ceased to be one who was experiencing the presence, and fully became the intelligence of that being itself, that being touching the world, moving in my body.  A part of me or a part of the divine which is a part of me, or something else, I cannot say.  I don’t know these things very well, but the closest answer is it seems to me to be both.  But I feel truer myself, and more able to live myself authentically and powerfully.  Where this will go, I have no idea, all I can do is continue down the path.

However,  it is another step in things I care greatly about, something deeper beyond all those surface floating thoughts.  Something deeper than the rustling leaves that make the same sounds again and again.  Even though all that wind continues, I can still choose to devote myself to the deeper part, no?  Just because I hear the habitual self dialogue doesn’t mean it owns me, or I am it.  For now it’s just a habit that remains, something that seeks to entertain something.

Typing all this, I can see so many judgement people might make about me right now.  However, I remain grounded and clear-minded.  From this standpoint I choose to be courageous enough to discover these mysteries, whatever their true nature may be.

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Change

My apartment now has great open windows that overlook the city from the 14th floor.  The sky seems endless.  Those of you who have spent a lot of time with me will know that I almost never use artificial lights, so the outside seems to fill my home, lending a sense of dwelling in a vast space.

So many memories are flowing through my mind right now unbidden as I watch the fireworks, or the lightening, or the changing clouds.  My dreams seem so laden with tensions and resolutions.  Past loves either damning me from the recesses of time, or swelling with the kindness that grows between us as the months or years pass.  Old friendships, times I’d thought were long gone.  My beautiful days in Vienna, drunk on the Rubens’s, the Greek Busts, the Venus of Villendorf, and a tear comes to my eye as I type my favorite’s name, Van Eyck.  Even those days as a child in the no longer farmed land of my family in Georgia.  All memories, all presenting resolutions or bits of my personality I carry with me, dialogues I still have, but all past, all fading or long gone.  None of it will last…  this I know.  Everything changes, and looking into my past is gazing at a reflection of things already changed.

And I know this is because of how much change I feel happening these days.  It’s like my conscious and subconscious mind are taking inventory, selling or throwing away the things we no longer need, and making a vast move.  Even in the midst of adjusting to yet another new life, in a new dwelling place, making new choices, I feel the things I cling to out of habit.  Some I’ve let go of entirely.  No one might notice but me the subtler choices I make, how little I indulge in impoverished or desperate thinking, how I no longer feel trapped by money.

The oldest struggle of mine kicks around, screams a little here and there, but the truth is, I think all transgendered people have some sense of the transitory nature of gendered life.  Whether the focus be roles, or sexuality, or vauge “identity,” if too much energy is poured in, one will quickly find that promethean efforts only yield measured little results, and those results change as rapidly as they do for anyone else.

In other words, as the choices feel easier to make the wisdom of their transience tugs at my mind all the more.  And like any real desire, passion, craving, or burning “need” within a person, being transgendered is fundamentally unsustainable, no matter how many bulwarks I’d built over the years to keep this fact from my mind.

I believe the true part is that deep within one’s soul, a person like me probably feels a profound androgenaity or else ease within another role or body.  Beyond that, how can a transgendered person that insists that social roles and body modifications are necessary to them really answer the Buddhists’ koan, “if I cut off your hand are you still you?”

No matter, really, those are other people’s riddles to solve.  I have placed my attention on things that are sustainable.  The more I practice self-enquiry, and focus on my heart, the more I find myself driven towards sustainability instead of transience.  Also, I find myself focusing deeply on the essential, and desiring to hold onto nothing that isn’t fully honest. 

As I half spoke above, for years I’ve held onto being transgendered, thinking I could acquire that dream if I only held it long enough…  even through times I would have as soon let it go.  Now I see that’s all true, but I wonder why I held with such tenacity?  Maybe it’s easy to want something to identify with, to brace myself against change.

Yet change is inevitable.  And it always has a surprise inside it.  Truly, everytime I embrace true change inside myself, the result is a consciousness I am unfamiliar with.  Like when I first started learning Wujifa, and everytime I made a breakthrough in it, my body changed, my mind changed, my perception changed.  Or when I started passing away from my dark night, my ways of thinking, of dealing with people changed.  And now, as I learn choice and equnimity, my passions have changed, my mind has changed, even my body’s habits and structure are changing again, as surely as they changed when I started learning Kung Fu.

The bigger the change, the more alien the territory.  Yet there is always some part of me that half expects that I’ll acquire new skills and new ways but maintain my old sense of self.  That I’ll walk into deeper truth with the naivete and mindsets I knew before.  Thus far, that has never happened.  Change always surprises me.

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I have read that masculinity resides in the capacity for wonder. Devi says it in Tantric Quest. I never really grokked this before. However, as I roam the streets of Taipei, I feel it a bit. When I realize my invention, my keyboard lies in a trunk in a little Japanese-style hostel room, and I now have a design for a much better one, I feel it more.

I feel it at the moment because my cup is full. Not because of great wealth or anything else, but because I’m going out and living fully right now, as wholly and truthfully as I can. I’m drawing new inventions, from a lovely safety device a friend passed on, to a surfeit of synthesizers and music controllers. I will have the money to file provisional patents in a month or two.

But of course, it is in none of the details. What matters now is just living, fully. My story right now is the same as plenty others. How many have you ever read about someone in a little tenent house in a big city, loving every second of their life as they play their music, or get gigs as an actor? It is common to discover wonder when pursuing life very fully (though it is probably uncommon to pursue life very fully). 

In living this way, I can sometimes allow every person I pass, every beautiful word I read, every cup of tea I drink, to touch a little place inside of me. It is almost as if at the core of this sense of wonder, each experience, everything in the world is a tiny brush dragged skillfully, carefully, in great detail over something that appreciates infinite nuance, and needs not hold to any of it. This must be what is meant by “wonder.”

I know that as I type such romance, there’s a little puff of breathlessness about it, but I hope I am grounded enough to appreciate the inspiration without losing my footing. People live, and make choices, stand poised to seize chances when they appear before them, and they always appear. It is wisdom to look for these opportunities and to see them and to take them!

I used to be so cynical about all this, very cynical for a youngster. Perhaps my heart was broken by my lifetime of dashed hopes stemmed from being transgendered. Sometimes I was cynical to play a role (thus I was pretty cynical about my cynicism sometimes). By my early twenties, I thought that most beautiful experience lie in death, dissolution, decay and destruction. I thought of everytime I turned the stereo up as a moment of trading a little death of my ears, permanent damage for beauty and pleasure of experiencing the music.

When I didn’t feel like drinking death I could live like a miser. My favorite Shakespeare was Julius Caeser. Sure, Faries in a Baccanalia in the forest was alluring, as was Orlando dressing up like a man and gayly seducing an army officer, but I always loved Caeser’s murder best. I thought it was so poignant, and cried everytime I talked about it, the human tragedy of it.

Finally I see the whole beauty of it wasn’t in the “tragic human drama” of deception and betrayal, but in Caeser’s love for his friend. He’d fight tooth and nail thirty men with knives, but if his friend wanted him dead, he’d yield. Shocked by the betrayal, yes. Mind reeling, yes. But his heart still filled with love for Brutus. Living fully as himself. How could a caeser be otherwise?

So now I’m working to help improve whatever school I’m working at for little kids while learning license negotiation of patents on the side. And I love Shakespeare because his Caeser never stopped loving his friend (and because I’d join Puck and Oberon on a June night without any intoxication, gladly, of my own free will, just in case they’re reading this). Again, all the details are irrelevant, the choice behind them, the attitude is what matters, what lends tremendous wonder, often with laughter and beauty to the simplest act of walking down the road, or riding the packed subway.

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