Author Archives: jennifer

About jennifer

I am an acupuncturist, herbalist and craniosacral therapist; mother, step-mom, and yogini-in-training. My passion is the creative process in all of its forms through healing, body movement, meditation, family, art and nature.

mythical categories

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I love the I Ching and this year I have taken it upon myself to give all of my friends I Ching readings for the New Year.  Every time I do a reading for someone else it might as well be for me.  In fact, I started wishing that all of my friends were at all of my friends readings because they always relate to everyone.

The I Ching is actually the first binary code because it takes two lines, and yin line and then a yang line and then explores all of the possible combinations.  In this way it forms a map like the topoi map of the ancient greeks (the basis of modern flow charts) showing non-linear relationships between events.  All things change into something else.  What it changes into is profoundly influenced by how we are relating to our present moment.

Ah, the present moment.  SO much more on that topic, later.

One of my favorite readings was about a sojourner exploring the four hidden worlds.  When I read it I felt an instant connection to the idea of sojourning.  I could look out into my sphere of people and guess who was sojourning and who was in a more public phase or some other phase of life.  When I recognized another journeyer, I felt an instant kinship.  All of this made me think of “mythical categories.”

Tolle says we have this world of forms and we have the kingdom of heaven, which is no forms, space, awareness, consciousness.  Mythical categories is the first “thing” I am putting into my empty space.  Once I became aware that I am on a sojourn into the 4 hidden realms, I felt instantly connected with all others on the same journey.  That connection is formless but the energy of it is highly structured and specific.  It is like a web we are all a part of that connects us with the same stream of information.  That allows us to recognize each other and organize the information we are receiving.  Another mythical category is “the Zone” that athletes experience when they bypass thought and tap into the intelligence of the body to guide their movements.  And there are so many others.

It really is the power of the Mind.  Richard Freeman says we have to use the same ground we have fallen on to get ourselves up.  The crazy mind place of stories and ego entrenchment is one side of the coin, and this incredible connection and organization is the other.  This is our “chitta” mind and the One Mind.  The One Mind gives us access to knowledge far greater than what we could know through just our life experience.

If you read my first blog entry ‘zone of convergence’ and Tera’s comment, she says first you recognize your limitation, in this case it was my disorganization, and then you give it over to be corrected. The One Mind is the place that holds that ‘correction’ or the perfection of being organized, so it has really already been done for me.  All I have to do is listen for it and let it become my current state of being.  Awesome.

Big hug to all of you sojourning (and all of you not.)

 

 

this is my story

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I have a perfect story.  If I told you, you would be engaged immediately and take my point of view.  I could easily convince you that I have been wronged and we could spend hours or years talking about all of the parties involved and their various roles.  You would have sympathy for me when I described the awful physical sensations I would get from the stress of it.  We would see the good and bad in each person, just to be more evolved in our approach, and then we could analyze all of the dynamics at play.   We could even have  a fit of compassion by talking about how the perpetrators were once victims and are just replaying their own wounded past.   You could bring up all of the relevant material in your life and how it relates to your story.  In the end, we would feel the satisfaction of having gotten to a deeper understanding of things.  We might even feel like we organized it somehow because we can now see the underlying patterns.  At any rate, we’ve become fast friends.

At one point, one of my friends tried to convince me that it was all me.  If I worked on just my part in it everything would change.  I clearly explained to her that that was not possible because in my story, I am not even the key player.  I am more like an innocent bystander being affected by the actions of others.  Plus I have been doing internal work on it for God knows how long and it doesn’t change them.

But here’s a funny thing:  as long as I was telling a story of betrayal, I kept manifesting betrayal.

One day in spite of my ego, I caught the wisdom of disengaging from the story completely.  I realized that stories were like brambles and thickets.  Instead of coming to a better understanding, things were getting more and more convoluted, to a point where no part of it made any sense at all.  So anytime I started to tell it, (mostly to myself by now because my friends were exhausted) I would reel my mind back to ground zero, to nothing, just an empty space.  And I would tell my empty space story instead.  And then suddenly one day after months of this practice, the old story began to change.  Mean people were playing nice and I no longer felt caught up in it at all.

Shortly after that, an old friend visited.  He wanted to be filled in on the details.  As I was speaking I felt all of the same physical sensations I had when I was entrenched in it.  Later,  one of the key players acted out again and then I got into an argument with another over all of the same old stuff from the past. Just telling the story, even though I was getting to the happy ending of how things had changed and how I had learned to let go, activated all of the old material and woke from the dead all of the same dynamics, as if they had never left.  WOW!

My good friend asked me:  Why did you tell that story?  It is not your story anymore.  

Please don’t ever tell that story again.

the inner council

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My half hour of yoga a day has been like wandering into a forest and not having a clue to the lay of the land.  Even though I have been doing yoga for many years, using it as a form of inner exploration is a new activity for me.  I have to systematize it someway – in a way that still allows a very organic unfolding.  But even in this lostness, I have been getting little breadcrumbs.

In the first month, for several sessions in a row, I kept seeing myself sitting with a council.  Later I realized the council was all me.  I set aside the last 5 minutes of my practice to sit still in meditation and then call on this inner council.  I asked for my vibration to be raised so I could hear them.  The first session blew me away because I could hear all of these concepts I knew already, but spoken with such conviction.  The words were like gifts to be unwrapped and then used instead of sentences that we so readily discard.  The concepts were coming through the heart rather than the mind, and that made all of the difference.

Sometimes we just lack the resolve to follow through on an idea but I believe that is because the idea came through the mind and not the heart.  When a concept or conviction comes through the heart you would rather die than fail to carry it out.  Or the failure to come through would feel like a small death.  Plus there is so much energy in the heart to support your follow through, that it happens with such great ease.  There is really no effort required at all.  I think it is most possible to live every day through the heart, and what we all came here to do.

emotion: the physical response to thought

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Eckhart Tolle just nailed my disorganized state in The New Earth.  These thoughts are from Chapter 5 on the emotions.

He defines emotion as the body’s reaction to the mind.  So you have a thought or perceive a situation and then your body responds to that stimulus with emotion.  We can become as identified to our emotions as we can with our thought, thinking that is who we are.  And in a weird way, we end up manifesting this false sense of ourselves in our physical bodies.

This is the crux of my disorder.  I worry about something.  Well, to be more thruthful, I don’t just worry.  I create in my mind every worst case scenario I can imagine.  This happens so naturally for me.  They just pop into my mind like a 80s hit or tv jingle.  And then I expound.  Exponentially.  I can burn down a whole forest with one match.

Tolle says that as intelligent as it is, the body CANNOT tell the difference between what you are thinking and what is actually happening.  So every time I told myself a worst case scenario, the stress response went off as if that were the truth and I manifested a nice case of PTSD, without ever having to endure an actual trauma!!  No wonder the war vets who have experienced primal fear and incomprehensible violence have such a hard time recovering.  Their past becomes their present every time they relive a memory, and the physical body acts as if it is still there, fighting for it’s life.

Once we give ourselves over to the emotion, or become identified with it, it disrupts the natural  movements and processes of  our body intelligence. In other words, we become disorganized.  So there it is: my life story and struggle in a few paragraphs.  It actually doesn’t feel so insurmountable reduced to that concept.  Whatever the problem is, the solution is always the same.  Peel back the layers of emotion and thought until you get to that place of presence.  Or even more simple:  Just Be.  Period.

 

recombinant play

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hasya yoga, laughing yoga

The purpose of yoga is to open up the central channels.  It is getting into the very core of your being where all of your deepest thoughts and feelings lie.  I think of how many things I have lined up in my day, my life to distract myself from sensing that deep center.  There are times that I feel I am close but then this grief arises and I turn away from it.

Last night I went to bed and in that luminous space in between waking and sleeping I felt I had “people” with me – my deceased grandmother, and other ancestors – I was in some feeling place of deep pain and feebly asked them to help with it.  They smiled gently and witnessed me in my struggle. And then I thought of Jacob wrestling with the angel all night.  And how my baby wrestles against me right before she falls asleep.  There is a tension in the body that is there as soon as we enter this human experience and a natural resistance to feel the deepest parts of ourselves.  Staying present is the only thing we can do.  When I asked my beings to help they simply witnessed – they modeled what it was I should be doing.  And by modeling, they lent their energy to me in that direction.  Even children who are “poor sleepers” will nap when they see all of the other children napping.

Einstein had this idea of recombinant play.  It is like a big pot of stew.  You add the various items and see what new thing is created.  I think it is a more creative and delicious description than “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”  Here is my stew:  I’ve got this body with its various old injuries, aches, deficiencies.  I’ve got this deep grief feeling that comes up every time I do yoga, but really not any other time.  And I have a belief that I really need to be more organized, and that the disorganization is somehow keeping me back in life.  I am going to be stirring my stew every day for the next year.  And I will be watchful for even the tiniest unfolding of my inner being.

Namaste!!

zone of convergence

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bujangasana

Why a year of yoga?

I have been thinking a lot about manifestation lately. I’ve gone to the workshops and listened to the audio cds, but I am not really wanting a new car or a better job, partner, house, etc.. The only thing I want to manifest is me. I am pretty content, but sense some unfulfilled potential, and definitely feel some nebulous desire to catapult myself into the next phase of my life.

I look around at my life and ask, what do i see that could potentially hold me back from reaching any goal that I could set for myself, and I see this generalized disorganization that is disconcerting for me. It’s the part of life where I always feel ten steps behind. I have always had this sense that if I got on top of that, I could experience my creativity without much hindrance.

Then I read a very inspirational book, Move Into Life, by Anat Baniel. The gist of it was that habituated movements, feelings and thought patterns just use the same old neural pathways over and over and over again, but as soon as there is conscious, mindful interaction with the body, new neural pathways can be formed, and new habits can be created. She broke it down in the language of organization. Neurons that fire together, wire together, says modern scientist Dr Hebbian. This concept is now a foundational principle in the field of psychology. If you are in a train station and someone mugs you, it wires together the sensory neurons that detect train station, waiting, people in line, attack, robbery, etc, so the next time you are waiting in a train station, your fear and suspicion neurons are already firing. Habituation. Now your brain is organizing information based on that set of stimuli. The yoga path has the concept of samskaras, which means “rut,” and also purports that mediation or mindfulness is the most powerful tool to smooth out our grooves of habituated behavior (thought, word, and deed).

One of my teachers always used to say, “Inside outside, same side.” On that advice I’ve decided to stop trying to organize my exterior world and focus on my interior instead. I am not going to actively work on organizing my stuff. I want to organize my mind and my heart. For me the best way to do that is through yoga, which to me is a very conscious movement meditation.

I’ve been playing with this concept of the zone of convergence. Applied to weather, it is when a strong wind meets a mountain range, and creates an upsurging. A lot of weather happens in that zone. In Geology, it happens when one plate, meets another and forms a mountain. I am applying it to the body. When the immaterial mind, meets the material body, within that zone of convergence any kind of healing can happen.

So I am committing to a year of yoga, just 1/2 hour a day, every day. I can do asanas, pranayama, meditation, or any kind of movement that feels yoga-like. I can do 1/2 straight, or break it up into 15 two minute intervals. I can do it alone, or in a class, with friends, in line at the bank, sitting in my car, or waiting at a train station. My only condition is that I create a zone of convergence. My mind absolutely must be present in my body.

Start date is 11.1.11. Just felt auspicious!