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Posts Tagged ‘dancing’

Everything’s working out for me.

I had initially told my employer I could stay for one more year. I’d thought it through carefully and come to the conclusion that the money was good and I could keep pumping my business ventures. But when it came time to sign the contract, I got sick about it.

Actually, the truth is, from the moment I told her I’d do it, I had this feeling of loss of good breath, like I was literally, subtly suffocating. Then when the day came to sign, I felt like shit. My heart was pounding, I kept having to go to the bathroom. I just couldn’t do it. Contextualize this within a year and a half that’s been mostly in good states and you’ll see how much this was fucking up my groove.

So I decided to try to make the move South, to the middle of Taiwan, a much nicer place. But I needed to know if the money would work out. I’d already asked MaZu if my business would still be prosperous if I made the move to TaiChung and she’d said yes, but I wanted to be sane about it all.

So, I put the numbers down on paper and realized that I had plenty of money. In fact, if I am a bit careful about my spending during the month of August, I’ll be able to complete my contractual payment obligation to my Engineer, visit Thailand for more or less than a month, and land back in Taiwan with about four times as much cash as I started with this last time I landed here.

So, I told my employer today that I just wasn’t willing to sign on for another year. I apologized if I’d misled her and I explained that I was getting burned out and I was trying to make the best decision for my own sense of well-being. She actually said if I ever change my mind, she will be happy to sign another contract with me. Wow…..  a better outcome than I could have reasonably hoped for.

What do I notice with all of this? I had grown stagnant in ways I hadn’t imagined. And the need to organize things and pare stuff down is already breathing energy back into my rutted oxcart.

I plan to do a 10 day long Vipassana meditation retreat in Thailand, and I’m nervous about whether I’ll have the courage and the metal it takes to actually get the practice to work. Some part of me flirts with certainty that I’ll end up in the bottom 10%, some lack of courage or wherewithal preventing me from getting much out of it, forever thinking of it as “meh” while my inner knowing of my own failure in the matter gnaws at me forever — only to go back and try again years later, and get only some scant success with it then.

But I’m hoping that’s not the case. As much as all this fear of failure and inadequacy is bugging the shit out of me, I’m excited to move towards some progress, at least waking me up to an extent. Insight, clarity, growth and inspiration are worth a lot more than money in most cases.

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“The method is medicine”

“Method is not the truth, once you get the feeling, get rid of the method.  But even feeling can become a method at some point.”

“It’s okay to take medicine when you’re sick, but if you keep taking the medicine after you’re better, it becomes dysfunctional.”

So I started noticing major gaps in my perception.  For instance, why was I willing to gloss over major issues in the film “Eat, Pray, Love” when almost every human in the free world seems to realize that movie was hollow, vapid, and patronizing.  Even as I watched it and felt the vapidness of the spirituality portrayed, some of the underlying spite in the main character, and got pissed at the way she treated her teacher, I sort of set that at the edge of my consciousness and thought, “well, she’s being braver than most people I’ve met.”

Likewise, I’ll admit, for a long time, in a tough situation I will sometimes not trust my feeling when I listen to someone.  Instead of intuition, I look to one of two things, “What is this person REFUSING or TERRIFIED to consider?” and “What is irrationally pissing this person off?”  Normally one of those two things will reveal where someone is stuck.  They’re quite effective.  But of course, resorting to those two methods every time has a deadness to it.  This is rooted in my fundamental lack of trust in myself.

Frankly, I’m refusing to and terrified of trusting myself, or of trying to step out and move and live and flow in the reality of the moment, instead leaning back on method to avoid taking the tougher steps.  This has been showing up to me for months in my Qi Kung.  When I get to a certain particular spot, it’s like I’ve absolutely done as much as I can with the Qi Kung I’m comfortable with, and I start needing to do some new excercises, specifically some that are challenging or even scary for me….  I can even go into that to a certain extent…  but there’s something, a blind spot, a space where I turn away and distract myself as rapidly as possible.

So I got wrapped up in studying Chinese.  On top of that, I started obsessing over it.  And then being a coward about it on top of that.  Moreover, I was taking every mistake I made too personally….  even making it into a wedge between my girlfriend and I.

And lately, I’m blocking something so drastically that I’ve nearly had four or five motorcycle accidents this week.  That’s from “nearly having” ZERO for the whole year I’ve been here.  I’m a good driver folks, and I can speed around on one of these things with major margins of error to play with….  now, suddenly, I’m almost running into people because I’m not looking?  What gives?

More spelling errors and such… The kinds of things no one else would notice (except some of my kids), but they reveal to me that I’m just thinking differently.  Why?  How?  Well, three things come to mind that I might be avoiding::

Something to do with Cheryl.  Obviously it’s intimidating to build a close relationship with somebody.  I do catch myself blocking my own energy and not making as free and easy of a connection sometimes in the days leading up to when I’ll see her.  I don’t know if it’s a pattern or something I can deal with with her, or what.  I’ll see her this weekend and just be honest about it when I’m talking to her.  At least we’re both honest about our intentions and how we feel….  that should be helpful.

Something to do with my business.  Obiously I’d like this to be successful.  But of course there’s a lot of hard work.  It’s easy to want to obscure innaction and laziness with “patience.”  I think I actually know how to manage this effectively and I seldom don’t know what the next step or two is that I should take….  yet it’s easy to not want to do anything.

My Qi Kung, and meditation….  okay, I’m sure there IS something here.  First of all, I haven’t been meditating very much for the last couple of months.  Maybe when I ended my previous addiction, it left me with a big space…  like, wow…  what do I do?  I know that sounds kind of stereotypical, but there is something to it.  Also, I get scared sometimes when my meditation connects me with a sense of eternity or timelessness…..  And my Qi Kung.  It’s easy to not want to go past a certain point, like I said above.  But not just because the excercise is scary, but because the results, like the meditation, can also be difficult to deal with….  Some part of me wants to settle into what I’ve learned and just stay there forever.

I’m reminded of how it seems like things always go the smoothest with Cheryl when I am constantly aware of the truth that everything changes.  So I never expect to sit our relationship down on one spot and keep it there forever.  It’s nice when things have a predictability for awhile, but I always proceed with the awareness that things evolve and change.  I never know exactly where they’re going, or when they’ll shift, but all I can seemingly do is observe all this peacefull.  That’s been a very fruitful attitude to have.

Maybe I should start applying this to my business, meditation and Qi Kung…. After all, Wujifa is nothing but Daoism in Practice.  “In the Dao, Everything Changes.”  What did you expect?

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Self-inquiry.  “Who am I?”  I have asked the question and looked for the answer.  I have found the feeling of “I.”  I finally dropped the idea that I am looking for an altered state of consciousness in finding the answer….  or that I am looking for anything to “feel” a certain way.  Releasing this attachment made a major shift for me.

Also, I realized how much stupidity was in identifying myself as being “right” or “wrong” about anything….  my students showed me how much an impediment it is to learning.  I went to the sense of “I” and realized instantly how many of the things I do have nothing to do with anything inherent to myself.

My internal dialogue almost ceases, yet I am able to maintain an intention, to make very directed actions….  it’s not like I’m in outer space or anything.  Quite…  powerful.  For the first time in my life I think I can be a warrior.  I have always trained, with guns or other weapons, or just my hands, or with Kung Fu tea even.  But always during training there was a part of me thinking about intentions, thinking ‘about’ being a warrior.

However, with this way ….  I simply AM doing my intention.

But, I still have to bring myself to this awareness again and again.  Today I noticed that I don’t have to remind myself as often once I “let go of the rudder” and stop trying to figure out what decision to make in every instance.  Thinking through decisions is not nearly as powerful as stripping it all down to me and my intention…  and letting actions follow.

Also, of course, I remind myself of the folly of thinking I’ve “arrived” and I continue looking further.  While trying to make this way of being a “base”…. I am still looking to find “who is it that is noticing this.”

Honestly though, the purpose of all this….  I really want to know the answer.  It seems to supersede every issue of gender, or petty little things I can get caught up in.  I mean, what will survive when my body is dead?  And *who* *am* *I*?

I must know!

Wujifa continues to be a technology that allows my body to relax, and gives me a good way to notice when I have clear intention and verify that I am moving towards my intention.  Kung Fu is good in this way!  So generalizable.

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For some time I have noticed my mind will spin around, like a little dust devil, like leaves in the wind.  For some time I’ve noticed it’s mostly irrelevant, unimportant patterning and manic grasping.  Yes, this can feel depressing and dark, or frightening, or can feel like nihilism….  Much of the time it feels like I have a mouth full of novacaine and my real meaning and feeling is muted and fucked up.

However, recently I find that sense of all my thoughts being as a dust devil can also feel liberating and joyful.

In Tantric quest, Devi repeatedly puts Daniel’s focus on his heart.  She suggests the meditation of feeling the breath pass through the heart.  So I started working on this meditation.  I like it because it’s simple and clear.  I think it gives my attention a place to focus, besides the wrongness, repetitiveness, and uselessness of my thoughts (not to say that thoughts cannot often be useful — at best the mind can learn to recognize patterns and join in accord with intuition to make great leaps).

I started placing my attention on my breath through my heart and didn’t notice much at first.  The shift was subtler than I thought it would be, but over a couple of days I came to see it’s very grounded and clear.  Easier than I’d expected, actually.  Partly I had long been deceived about what lies within my heart — thinking it the seat of emotions, or certain attachments or sentiments.  Now I see it’s a place of unity.

My experience at the club on Saturday was mixed enough to explore equanimity with several different situations.  First, almost immediately after I walked in I felt a little out of place.  But breathing through the heart — I felt deeply at peace.  Beautiful.  Suddenly I could walk around the club and have fun very freely, while everyone else obsessed over their image or insecurities.  I stopped to watch some amazing dancers.  One of the regulars at the club is even frequently on “So You Think You Can Dance?”

Next a really cute Asian lady starts talking to me, then pulling me closer, then hugging and brushing her lips against my cheeks as she talks.  Everytime I stepped away, she pulls me back towards her — we did the dance well, and we both enjoyed each other.  Then my friends came, and pulled me elsewhere.  Nice places to practice…  throughout the night I reminded myself, anytime I felt elated or depressed, to simply go there, attention on my heart chakra.  Again and again I felt equanimity, peace for no particular reason.

I danced a lot.  I had the blessing of being able to drop attachments enough to dance joyfully immediately after moments of depression, or moments of elation.  To dance well, I cannot hold to any moment.  I felt blessed as well because I hardly drank at all that night, only a little to share socially with my friends.  Yet I still felt very free, moment to moment.

Then I went home.  I practiced some more as I walked to my car, and as I drove.  I was very tired, yet able to maintain the same equanimity by placing my attention on my breath passing through my heart.  My heart is clearly full of peacefulness and compassion, and it transcends whether I’m working hard to drive carefully while feeling tired, or whether I’m getting blown off by some boy that’s not interested, or pulled in close by some girl who is.  I don’t believe I’d ever tasted equanimity like this before.

And this finally balances my awareness of my mind, so I don’t feel nihilism from that sense of my thoughts just being leaves in the wind.

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“Forgiveness is is letting go of the idea that someone should have done something differently, or that things should have turned out differently.”

–Carolyn Myss

I had wondered about this before.  I had always thought that forgiveness was feeling goodness towards someone who had wronged me, or that I thought had wronged me.  As Jubal Hershaw says in “Stranger in a Strange Land” I just thought that was something that the human nervous system is utterly incapable of feeling, and people were being disingenuous when they suggested it.

However, now I see that the goodwill is an after effect.  I’m reminded of all Jed McKenna says about spirituality and people try and do the things that enlightened people do without actually being enlightened.  Trying to be Buddha-like prior to achieving enlightenment is just rigidity and rules.  Likewise, attempting to have goodwill towards someone in spite of the fact that I believe they treated me wrongly actually often does just lead to being disingenuous.

But Myss’s idea is so much simpler.  Just let go of attachment to the idea that someone should have done something differently or that things should have gone differently.  The idea is to not put my energy there.  Nothing more.  I mean, the past is the one and only thing that is always carved in stone and cannot be changed, no?  So why am I going to put any energy into it?

I’ve been observing this.  Yesterday I was able to apply it to my grandmother.  Now some of the other things Myss says in her videos about healing and Chakras are really useful.  Having some understanding of where someone is coming from can help me to let go of thinking they should have acted differently towards me.

So I thought about my grandmother, someone I’ve been able to have more kindness towards than ever before, and was able to really let go of thinking she should have ever treated me differently.  It’s not the same thing as saying everything she ever did was good, or that I feel good towards her for those things, or anything weird like that, just that there’s no part of me, no thoughts, no energy, nothing invested in the idea she ever should have acted differently towards me.  I accept it, it’s done and I don’t have malice, blame or any wish to change it.  And I notice that I feel very kind and pleasant towards her now.

I was able to apply the same thing towards my mom and some other people.  I felt so energized afterwards!  Like that little finite piece of my thoughts that gets burned up in the back of my head if my brain ever drifts to her, or those other people, can now be dedicated to something else!

YAY!

It’s SUCH a nice and empowering feeling.  And today, I’ve been tempted, and gone back and forth a bit, with my ex, who I had to ask if she still had any of those photos of me from Taiwan, and whom I’m trying to send the rest of her stuff.  Basically just trying to settle physical accounts out with her.  I got upset at the way she treated me…  I went back and forth.  I actually had a neat opportunity to notice the difference between being invested in she should have done something differently and not having any energy going there.

So different.  So much easier.  So damned much nicer.  Even logically, there’s nothing I or ANYONE can do about whats in the past, so obsessing over it, feeling angry or sad about it, or resentful or whatever…  it’s all just absolutely senseless, bordering on completely insane.  I cannot think of any purpose it could possible serve to do anything other than accept the past.

This is in no way to say I wouldn’t learn from the past.  In fact,I think I can look back and forward clearer, and choose what I want now much more effectively without so much invested in times long gone.  I think before I would have been more likely to recreate the same situations and try and do them better, all because of something that happened years ago.

Now I can be like, “well I won’t do that again” without a lot of energy being on “damn it, this time I’ll do it right!”  And being attached to the past is like some part of me would have that notion of doing it better or right..  which could very easily draw me into building the same situation again.  Now I don’t need anything to be different, I don’t need to fix anything or change anything, so I certainly don’t need to be in a similar situation.  Such a different attitude.  Such a better way to learn from the past.

I’m very thankful for having learned this.

I’ll even toss this out there.  Voice training for transsexuals is typically very hard.  Yesterday I wanted to do some, and I caught myself feeling bad about times I’d screwed up, and upset with myself for not practicing since I left Taiwan.  Then I was like, “okay, okay, it’s all in the past… no need to put my energy there, or think I should have done something differently, or think things should have turned out differently.”

In other words, I deliberately brought all my intention and attention into the present moment.  Then I started having fun and enjoying myself, noticing things clearly and freshly…  I really nailed my femme voice, in a way I seldom have before without a LOT of practice.  You would have thought I was just a normal lady with a nice voice on the phone.

I’m looking forward to applying this to everything from dancing (where every moment needs to cease for the next to blossom), to Qi Kung, to target shooting, to pulling cuties, to just reading a book.  Forgiveness is truly powerful and life-changing.

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I have become frustrated at how quickly any truth or virtue can become a shackle as soon as I crystalize it into a method or a concept to be held onto.

In Wujifa we talk about this.  If someone is committed to pushing me in one direction, it’s amazingly easy to throw them.  The more in the moment with their movements a person is, and the more they don’t resist, but flow with, their opponent’s movements, the better one can push hands.  We say that the opponent’s resistance then provides simple guideposts to show us how to reach our target, be it taking their balance, or touching their throat or their heart.

In the example of Kung Fu, adherence to much of anything is actually a detriment.  The person who has overarching principles will absolutely beat the person relying on specific methods.  The person who has a really big generalization like, “do unto others appropriately” will even win against the person with strong principles and a specific intention.  In that case, the one who means only to treat others as the situation calls for will play around and go back and forth with friends who want to push hands, attached to nothing.  Meanwhile if anyone attacks to hurt, the appropriate response, to defend and stop the attacker, just shows up.

For me, as someone who does not fight, the most practical examples are when I want to accomplish something.  I have a goal or an intention in mind, and the more specifically I am committed to doing it a certain way, the more easily circumstances can block me.  If I’m pretty flexible, then I can do things faster and easier, obviously.  Taken further, if I don’t even worry about specifics until they come, but maintain action towards my intention, I’m even more effective.

Yet further is to drop methods and concepts, principles, even philosophy.  If anything, at that point I would simply be following a spark of life, of something I know no name for.  Then I could be the smiling and wise old Kung Fu master who responds in an appropriate way with love.  On that joyful day, I’ll open a school and you’re all welcome to come drink my tea.

Yet I title this post “slavery.”  Someone pointed out to me that my “Rule Number 1” is more of a defense against the world than anything.  I hoped to use it as a method, like a medicine, to allow myself some space.  As it’s evolved into “it’s okay” I think it still serves a purpose to me, for now.

However, though I am not on a path to enlightenment, the saying “kill the Buddha” reminds me all the time what I have to do.  I find it disgusting how quickly I can take something pure and true and in the moment, something that gives me more freedom, and try to turn it into a technique, to crystalize it into a concept, like a touchstone to return to.

It’s also pretty easy for me to get sentimental and think I’ve put something behind me or embraced a new freedom, sit down and start staring at the scenery, only to discover that I only went half way to letting go of that thing I did not need or I only touched the edges of that new freedom.  Today is today.  I cannot make rules of the things that got me through yesterday.  Today might be entirely dissimilar (it usually is).

And the other thing I’d like to compare freedom too now is dancing.  I had not danced in a long time, but enjoyed rocking it out to some techno the other night.  I feel I’ve probably never danced so well in all my life.  The thing that sticks out to me is how much each moment just disappeared as if it never existed, and I was in the next…  I couldn’t hold onto anything at all or I would stop dancing.  In this way, I had no mistakes to make, nothing to anticipate, and nothing to refer to but the moment.

That’s even closer.

Yet now I feel I am still walking through life holding onto thoughts, concepts, methods, and rules.  Even my principles or philosophy, when I cast them in concrete, leave me as stilted as a dancer who thinks of the previous verse, the last six drumbeats, and the misstep he just made, and then afterwards, keeps thinking of the well executed step right after it.  Amidst all that, he loses the beat entirely.  Or like the Kung Fu fighter who is planning what will surely be a successful strike as her opponent throws her onto the floor decisively.

I referenced my “rule number one” not because there’s anything inherently wrong with an imperfect step towards more freedom but because I was already starting to feel it was smothering me.  I even allowed myself to call it a “rule” to remind myself that it’s just B.S. and could lead to further imprisonment (as I detest rules).

This tendency to try to hang on to something that was liberating to last week’s situation has been driving me insane lately.  I think it is absolutely identical to being locked into pushing someone one way during Kung Fu…  it seems to put me in a force-on-force battle against myself, lacking ease, whereas if I could maintain more openness then I would experience more freedom.

I make this post with an attitude of hopefulness that I will find a way.  Almost like a prayer.

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