Tag Archives: shamans of Ancient Mexico

A Day in a Life: The Energetics Of Intent

I greet and honor my catalpa tree every morning…

Choices, opportunities, signs and synchronicities intrigue me. What will we do with the information we receive? What choice will we make?

While sitting in meditation, gazing out over the catalpa tree in the back yard—my tree, as I call it, for it has given me such deeply resonant answers to so many moments of indecision—I pondered these questions. I noticed the branches of the tree, some thick and strong, extending heavenward, energetically vibrant, others short and thin, ending in many spiky nodes. Here, I thought, is an example of making choices in life. Do we choose the path of healing energy, the strong and upward path of heart as represented by the stronger branches, or do we choose the shorter route that energetically explodes in many directions as represented by the smaller branches.

We make the choices we make based on where we are in our lives, on our experiences and our desires. But what if we were to make our choices based solely on different messages, those that come from deep within, from our ancient spirit selves supported by what comes from without to guide us?

As many of you know, I elected to take the longer route—after many years of avoiding it—by beginning a shamanic recapitulation. Facing all that lay hidden inside, I barreled ahead into the unknown self and into a future that was equally unknown. I let the energy of the recapitulation carry me forward, shedding everything that was familiar. I let myself be supported by a strange, and at that time unknown, energy. This was the energy of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, as I began a healing practice of recapitulation. It became very clear, as I progressed on my journey, that I was fully supported by all who had gone before, those ancients whom had set the intent of recapitulation as the means to deep and evolutionary change.

Today, that intent flows through me too, energetic strands of that ancient intent interwoven now into the practice that Chuck and I bring into the world through our work. Over the years it has become clear to us—as we strive ever upward, like those long branches of the catalpa tree—how important it is that we bring the ancient knowledge of recapitulation to modern awareness. For we are convinced that recapitulation is the means to total and lasting healing from PTSD, from deep trauma of any sort. Whether this message is fully received now or later, after we are long gone, doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we have set the intent to pass it along.

Today the universe delivered a rainbow to the living room floor…

In addition, for the most part, we deliver the message of recapitulation through energetic means. Our intent, in keeping with the ancients, has been that people will find their way, that they will discover the healing power of recapitulation because it is so right. And that is just what has happened. Though we use some commercial means to publish our work—using the Internet to maintain a website and the self-publishing advantage offered by Amazon—for the most part, everything we offer is free. Even my books on recapitulation, the second to be published in the next few months, are provided at the barest minimum. We make no money on them, and yet we do not lack, for we have everything we need. This too is a result of engaging in and trusting in the power of intent.

And so, I acquiesce to the reality of the power of intent—the intent of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico and all others who energetically impart knowledge—absent of the busyness of engaging in all the buzz from outside (even the Pope is tweeting now!) for it really isn’t necessary. In absenting the self from all the outer buzz—from the greed for more connection; for the best deals, fearful that we’ll miss something; from the energy that is all consuming and over-consuming—we gain the inner calmness and the quiet that is required so we can be available to hear what the universe is telling us. In this manner, we become energetically available ourselves to channel the messages of the universe, to flow with the energy of ancient intent, to become part of a badly needed healing energy.

As I gaze out over my catalpa tree, I receive the message that now, more than ever before, it’s time for all of us to take full responsibility for our thoughts—as energetically resonant and affecting as our tweets and face-booking—for our actions, and for our own healing. Healing is truly an energetic process, and this we discover as soon as we turn inward, for here we find all we need.

As we decide upon a path, may it be a path of heart, a path of healing for the self and the world. May it be a path of ancient intent, for that is where the greatest energy lies, the deepest connection to soul, the possibility for true and lasting change. May we all choose the long branch when we come to the crook in the tree, rather than the short branch. If we pause long enough to contemplate, we will realize we’ve already taken that short and spiky branch so many times before, its end predictable. If we pause long enough to determine that it is indeed time to become fully responsible for healing the self, we will tap into the ancient intent of such healing practice and be supported and guided along the way.

A process of change, of recapitulation, of healing, is just that, a process, and so there are lumps and bumps to contend with, there are obstacles to encounter, there are challenging precipices to endure as we plunge ahead on our journeys, and yet there are also moments of great awakening and sublime experience as we open ourselves to such energy of intent. Our personal intent to embrace a practice of healing is embraced in return by the energy of ancient intent. Chuck and I are living in that embrace, and it is our deepest wish that others discover it and experience it too.

Here is Jeanne’s energy of intent as I once painted it…

Now, as we come to the end of the year, as the winter solstice is soon upon us, we see how crucial it is for all of us who inhabit this planet to come together, energetically. We can do this by consuming less, destroying less, wasting less time, resources, energy, etc., turning instead to the energetic practice of intending change. Repeatedly intending change and personally taking responsibility to enact change in our own lives means there is hope for us, and this planet that we have done such a good job of bringing to the brink of destruction. Real change can happen on an energetic level. That’s my message for today.

And so I encourage all of you to give the gift of energy this holiday season, by intending healing, love, and kindness along with your other gifts. Begin a personal practice, extending positive energy to all in your nearness, to those you love and those who challenge you the most. And don’t be afraid to talk to the trees! They have a lot to tell us. Step out onto a new branch; a new path of heart, without fear, keeping in mind at all times that energetic intent is what binds us all. Let’s use it more fully now. Let’s heal.

From within the energetics of intent, I send you greetings,
Jan

Chuck’s Place: Here Comes The Judge

Sigmund Freud called the judge the Superego. For Freud, the superego is an amalgam of the significant authority figures in our early life—taken in, internalized as an active life force inside the psyche of every human being. The superego becomes the architect and active judging force that structures our experiences of right and wrong, good and bad. This judging function has its origins outside the human psyche—it is a Not I—yet, it is taken in and experienced as a formidable character, incessantly controlling and shaping the I of everyday life.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico saw the Mind itself as the judge, an internalized entity of extraneous origin. Like Freud’s superego, those shamans see the mind as largely shaped by the socialization each human being undergoes from the moment of entry into this world.

Socialization formats perception into a uniform interpretation system. The mind shapes reality. The mind tells us what is real and dismisses, as fanciful illusion or imagination, all experience that does not fit its precepts. The mind acts quickly to reshape and dismiss any perception that defies its definitions of real and possible. In fact, the mind acts so rapidly to forget irrational experience that we are left helpless in its wake. How quickly we forget the experience of the dream upon awakening.

How dare you enter here!

The mind is actually a massive gargoyle that guards, through terror, the entry to the library of true knowing and seeing. Let he and she that transgress beyond its menacing countenance be forewarned: You are on your own! When you suspend the judge, you enter the theatre of the truly real. For the ancient shamans, the theatre of the real is interconnected energy as it flows in the universe.

I stepped out of my office on Tuesday night and into a dream. Almost immediately, a gargoyle appeared out of nowhere and embraced me, seeking my attention. I was caught off-guard by an onslaught of unrelenting intensity; the gargoyle in my face momentarily distracting me. The clock was ticking. I was aware, in some vague, deep place that I was on a mission. I had to gather my energy and maintain my focus. I stepped beyond the gargoyle.

For ten years now, I have not been able to fully recapitulate all that I experienced at the moment of Jeanne’s death. Others have dreamed that dream and reported it to me to jostle my awakening, but thus far my memory of that magical moment remains quite edited. On Tuesday night, I made the decision to go to the hospital to be with Jan. I made the decision to fully show up for death, the most meaningful encounter in life—to see what happens.

I exit the highway at the wrong Rinaldi Blvd. and enter the twilight zone. It’s dark, one way streets to nowhere appear. I’m caught in a maze with no reentry to the highway. I feel the clock ticking. I steady myself, drive the wrong way down a one-way street onto other streets that seem to lead back the way I’d come. Suddenly, I’m in the heart of Poughkeepsie and a sign appears: Rt. 9 South. Okay, let’s do it again!

This time, I exit properly and trace my way to the parking garage at the hospital. I’m met by a powerful river of cars and humanity moving in the opposite direction. I’m swimming upstream, against the current. Visiting hours are over. Will getting in pose a problem?

I enter a dimly lit, quiet lobby and proceed to the desk. Immediately a commotion breaks the silence. Gargoyle #2 is raging. His face is elongated, distorted, his eyes bulging. He cursingly demands drugs for his girlfriend, in pain, “improperly treated in Emergency!” he screamingly exclaims. The security guards and welcoming woman are pensive, seeking clarity, seeking to restore calm, unsure of his next move, seeking to avoid an explosion of lethality.

I remain completely calm. I give him no energy, simply stand quietly, awaiting my turn. Eventually, others engage the gargoyle and the shaken clerk at the desk informs me that, although visiting hours are over, she’s sure I can go up for a few minutes. A phone call is made; a pass issued.

As I get off the elevator, the sign for room 350 points to the left. I walk into a quiet dark area—Orthopedics. Something is not right.

I return to the elevator. The sign now points in the opposite direction. Though I now walk right past the room and must retrace my steps, I finally arrive.

Jan sees me. She is aglow, staring at me as if she has never seen me before.

“Oh my God! Look at you! You’re so young!”

I look back at her and think, “Her energy is amazing!”

We adjust our chairs and calmly await the miraculous. No words are needed.

I carefully listen to the breathing: I know how that works. My attention keeps being drawn to the feet: waving, jostling energy. Each time it happens, my mind wakes up and examines: “No. No movement, no activity,” it states. My perception is cursorily dismissed; my dream forgotten. But, it keeps happening! And each time the alerted mind steps in, reexamines and reaffirms its precepts: “This can’t be happening! Look again, there is no activity, only complete stillness, as expected.”

Soon enough, the final breath comes. Jan and I sit in total calmness, immediately recapitulating our shared experience of the energy body as it exited. The miraculous had occurred!

Carlos Castaneda once wrote that when he finally was able to see energy, he was amazed at the realization that we see energy all the time as it flows in the universe. But then—here comes the judge! And we remember only what it tells us “really” happened, as it rationally dismisses the magic of the real dream.

The mind persists in a steady effort to restore order, dismissing and forgetting what we really see all the time. It’s only through persistent recapitulation that we are able to change the mind, or, in reality, relativize its dominance.

The dream continues,
Chuck

See also Jan’s blog: A Clandestine Meeting, published earlier this week.

A Day in a Life: Getting Out of the Maze Before the Rat Dies

In a dream last week it came to me that we live our lives as the shamans of Ancient Mexico say, like chickens in a chicken coop, endlessly pecking away, without question taking what’s thrown to us. The image of chickens did not come into my dreamworld however. Instead the rat in a maze made an appearance, though it’s really the same thing.

The shamans of Carlos Castaneda’s lineage suggest that we train our awareness to avoid repetitive behaviors. They suggest learning how to shift, both physically and mentally, out of places that keep us caught, stagnant, and overwhelmed. By studying ourselves deeply, in recapitulation, we confront the truth of the maze we actually live in. We discover that we are indeed like rats, endlessly caught, endlessly repeating our learned lives. As Simon and Garfunkel write in Patterns:

“From the moment of my birth
To the instant of my death
There are patterns I must follow
Just as I must breathe each breath
Like a rat in a maze
The path before me lies
And the pattern never alters
Until the rat dies”

These lines perfectly describe the constructed world we live in, the one the shamans of Ancient Mexico alert us to and warn us about, that we are indeed caught in. Written at a time of great energetic change in our country, similar to the energy of now, these words alert us to the fact that we tend to live out our lives as we have been taught. We are crammed full of the lessons of this world from the moment we are born, and we follow the paths laid out for us until we die, largely unaware that there are other possibilities.

What does your maze look like?

In my dream, maze after maze appeared, alerting me to the fact that even in thinking we have left the maze we must be alert to the fact that we may fall right into another maze. I woke up wondering what I was doing in my own life that made me have this dream. Was I just repeating old behaviors? Was I fooling myself by thinking I had changed? Was I really caught in another maze?

Although the Simon and Garfunkel song ends on a hopeless note and a sense that we have no control over our lives, the shamans of Ancient Mexico offer a different perspective. They suggest what I learned in my dream: that no matter where we are in our lives we have the ability to break out of our mazes by constantly training ourselves to confront our thoughts, actions, decisions, and the choices we make. In my dream, I was being taught to stay alert and aware of the fact that yes, indeed, I am always in a maze of one sort or another and the only way I will get out is by constantly challenging myself to shift my awareness.

It’s not really that hard to remain aware. It means choosing to constantly challenge myself to note the truth of my reality. A simple question may help in creating a simple shift: Is this something I learned or is this something I truly know? Is this the way I want to live my life or can I approach life in a new way? Am I falling into an old pattern here or can I see this from a new perspective? How could I live this moment differently? How can I shift myself?

As soon as I note an old habit, an old thought, an old judgment, an old idea of self or the world around me, an old fear, an old pattern of speech, an old posture, an old expectation, an old desire, an old view of the world, I know it’s time to question myself. It’s time to refuse to walk another step in the old maze. It’s time to return to the roots of what I have learned in the shaman’s world, in the world of spirit and energy, which is, that nothing is as it appears. The world is an illusion. Everything in the world is presented to help me evolve to a new level of understanding my life and my reason for being here.

The truth is that in the end I will die, just like the rat in the maze will die. I suspect I have traveled the maze a thousand times in a thousand lives, but this time I am electing to journey differently. I am taking my journey with awareness. I am challenged, each day, to break through the walls of the maze. I am challenged, each day, to shift my thoughts and awareness to a far bigger picture.

At the same time, I know that the maze is important, that we must all travel its endless pathways until we wake up to the fact that we are doing just that, walking the same path over and over again. As the season turns soon into winter, as I look forward to the coziness of turning inward, I know I must not become the old me or turn inward in an old way. I must continue my journey of change. I must go through the seasons of life as an aware being, unafraid to change my perceptions and perspectives of the world I live in. I must constantly grow by challenging myself to constantly hop out of the maze.

Recapitulation offers a means of shifting out of the maze. It’s an endless process of training awareness, of challenging the self to change. Chickens and rats that we inevitably are for long periods of time, we all do have the energy to change. It’s what makes us human. We just have to dare ourselves to tap into it.

Our true potential is unlimited, but we may only access that unlimited potential by jumping the walls of the maze and making sure we don’t get caught in another one in the process. Here’s hoping that we may all continue to face our challenges, keeping our eyes on the ultimate prize: life on our own terms, as beings of awareness.

If we can stay connected to the truth that all things are possible we offer ourselves the opportunity to live a different life, without fear, sadness, or regret. But that often means changing the path we are on in order to actualize our fuller potential. By daring ourselves to jump the walls of the maze we may truly live.

Wishing you all good journeying,
Jan