Monday, February 8, 2016

From Sedona to the Uintahs

In January I taught two retreats. A short one-day retreat in Sedona Arizona, and a 4 day Snow Queen Visionquest retreat in the mountains above Park City. Here are some pictures from both amazing and intimate retreats.  There was no official photographer for either of these so these are just snapped by me or other attendees. Many moments could never be captured on film. And some that were captured might not be appropriate to share here. He he. Let's just say it was a break through and a rebirth for all involved. 

The view from right outside.

I call him bliss boy.

Bridge for seasonal stream.

Many faces.

come join us next time! There's room for you right here.

Preparing for a rebirthing. Looks like a big slumber party I know. 

And now for a change of scenery.

Our retreat cabin. it was very retreaty... as in remote.

I decided I like snow ok. Especially when the sun is out. It's so white!

Our view from the cabin

She wanted me to take a before and after picture. This was the before. Her eyes look super wide. I never got the after picture. She was really relaxed and totally a new person.

A few of us  made snow angels in our bathing suits... Then jumped in the hot tub.

In the kitchen

Wolf Moon. We might have howled at it.

Drum making

Making a drum is not just a craft. It is a journey. Remember to breathe.

Buffalo medicine.

Deer medicine.

Horse Medicine.

Alison and I drumming. We used our drums a lot. They were a great tool. 

Drums are medicine for the heart. They help you connect with and back on rythmn. We used them to let go, forgive, manifest, refocus, get into journey and more. 

Walking down the road.

Her last name is Snow. She had to come. 

Alison arrived but had to walk the last half mile. Lots of cars kept getting stuck.

A little yoga...

A little gong. I borrowed this gong so I didn't have to travel with mine. Wahe Guru for more gongs in the world. 

It snowed on the day we left. We were lucky to get off the mountain. But so pretty.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

When I was in Hawaii I did some creative recovery.

What do you mean by that exactly? 

Well, recovery is a word often used by people who are healing from addictions. And that's basically what I was doing. And being on a remote island, it was almost like being in rehab. I had not other choice but to kick them and heal.

So you were creatively healing from addictions? And what kind of addictions. I thought all this yoga kept you pretty addiction free.

I was healing from the all the things that I have allowed to kept me from reaching my full potential as an artist and a creator. Many of those things would count as addictions, though most people wouldn't think of them as addictions--but they are! And in freeing myself, I was finally able to unblock my lovely, lively, joyful inner artist. The mantra I have been chanting for most last year was also a big part of my unblocking...

I wouldn't have thought of you as blocked. You get so much done.

Getting things done is a wonderful way to stay blocked from the things you really want to do. Must do, or you will die like a crushed flower....

That was dramatic.

Yes it was. But true... Anyway... I wasn't all blocked, but I was partially blocked for a few years and not as alive as I could have been.

You do seem different now.  Lighter. And you look a lot younger.

I feel 16 going on 17! It's crazy! I burst into song outside the Hawaii temple on the hill where they have some benches set in a circle. It reminded me of that scene from The Sound of Music where Liesel sings and jumps from bench to bench. Nancy took a picture of me and I look like I am 16.

I also don't feel tired all the time, or much at all anymore. And I actually enjoy playing with my daughter.  She was a little surprised at first to see me climbing trees with her but it just comes naturally now. I want to climb the tree.... 

Do you think creative recovery will solve my energy crisis?

Yes. Most people are creatively blocked, and it requires a lot of energy to keep being blocked, but it's scary and vulnerable to unblock, so we tend to prefer the stressful known. It's sad...

So what have you created?

It's not about the end result, although things have been created.... It's about the joy in the process. it's much more fun be writing a novel than to say I wrote a book a few years ago. 

It's cool to have written a book a few years ago....

But the magic is in the moment. When I look at a the translucent skin of the pear and think how I will describe its specific angle of repose. Or when I notice the way the bees buzz around the statue of Quan Yen under the oak tree. Or when I use my camera to make an image of something strange and beautiful--like the dog next door who looks like an old man. It makes me giddy. Sometimes it makes me sad too, to think of all the people missing this joy. And all the years I missed it.

So how is it spiritual?

Well, in recovery, the first step (usually there are 12) is to admit you are powerless on your own to overcome the things that are plaguing you, and you turn it over to your higher power. And that higher power is a creator and happens to love artists.... even though many of us have not been trained to think of God as an artist and have often been fed a load of garbage about how artists are irresponsible or they starve or they should be doing something more productive with their lives...

Sounds like my father talking...

And my father, who is also a blocked creative. The truth is that there is nothing the world needs more than people being creative for creativity's sake. The energy of it is amazing. I believe it is the only antidote to war, and also for sexual healing or any second chakra issues. It's the power of God. Love. Creation. It's atomic power--times a billion. If just a few people wanted to join me in an experiment and whole-heartedly commit to creative recovery, the energy generated would spread over the whole planet like a hundred atomic bombs... except that the mushroom clouds would be purple and pink and aqua blue and would drop happy fairy dust instead of radiation. The whole destiny of the planet would shift. As is it already did this summer.

What happened this summer?

We changed time streams. I'll tell you about it another time. Or maybe I'll write a sci-fi novella about it. No one will believe it otherwise. Sometimes only fiction can approach spiritual reality.

Like imagery....


So what do I have to do.

Well, I don't recommend trying it on your own. It can be a roller coaster. That's why I am making a support group to go along with my 12-week series called Kundalini Yoga and The Artist's Way. It's an online yoga class series. But i's gonna be way more than yoga...

Support groups sound stiff.

Think of it as a play group.

Ok. I'm in.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Practical Application of Unusual Spiritual Gifts

Before I left for Hawaii I took a spur of the moment trip to Chicago and to Michigan to see two friends I really wanted to visit before I left mainland and before it got too cold.

It was so much fun. In Michigan I visited Alison who is a kundalini yoga momma and also a shaman and a Mormon and mother of 9 and living her dream (and sometimes nightmare) homesteading on a farm about an hour outside of Ann Arbor. 

While I was there I made my own shamanic drum. Making a drum is a deep experience. It is beyond description at this moment but I'm sure one day I'll write a poem about it. I chose deer hide because deer medicine is all about the heart center. The whole night after I made it, I felt like I was running with deer. But this isn't about me and my drum. So let me begin again. 

I really love people. I love getting to know them up close and personal. They always surprise me. I love having all my expectations and stereotypes blown away. And I love to share this with others and to show that Kundalini Yoga is for all people. 

Lately I have been having lots of fun interviewing people. So while I was in the midwest I did lots of short video interviews. Below is one that I made about Alison. I also took a few of her kids and her husband, which you can see more of on my youtube channel. It was so much fun.

I love what she says about the practical application of spiritual gifts. Alison is a great Shaman (one who sees in the dark) and is going to be holding space with me at my Vision Quest retreat in Solitude Utah coming up in January. FYI there are only a few spaces left for this... (and only one left for overnight accommodations) so if you have been on the fence, register here now.

The Utah Vision Quest Retreat will by last retreat outside of California or Hawaii for a long time. I'm happily back in California and need to put down roots.

Love to all. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Do You Know The Snow Queen?

It’s no secret that I don’t like cold. That’s why most of the retreats I have taught have been in warm seasons or places. But there is a part of me that keeps coming back to the snow queen. 

She is an image that keeps showing up. She looks like me in a Galadriel sort of way, long hair flowing down, standing on top of a mountain in a long white dress, surrounded by snow. But she is warm. She doesn’t need a parka or a knit hat with a puff ball on top. Or leg warmers or fleece lined tights. Her skin and eyes and lips all look like she is standing comfortably in the tropics, as every snow crystal radiates its unique brightness around her. 

This is the Goddess. The goddess in me. That carries warmth and radiance no matter where she is. And this must be the driving image behind the women’s retreat I will be co-hosting with Heavenly Mother in the lofty peaks of Utah in January. Otherwise, why would I go back to that snowy place? 

What better place to break the frozen lake within, enter and learn from the 7 layers of the heart, heal the voice, and allow the goddess—your own true self goddess image to arise in you. 

Join me and other women in warm community on this vision quest rebirth and make this coming year the best ever. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Starlight Navigation

I haven't blogged much in the last few months because I have been practicing being more and saying less. It is like living in haiku. It has been challenging. The last few months have burned away everything I thought I was. Which means I now get to expand the limits of an identity or a definition. I am. I am.

The one thing that hasn't changed is that I still rise before the sun and put 10% of my day on the altar. Here is a poem I wrote about it in Kauai.

Morning Sadhana

My boat knocks gently against
The other shore of the night
Long before first light shines
On the blue faced doves.

I am writing another one called Starlight Navigation. Did you know that that the north shore of Kauai is pitch black at night? There are no streetlights and the St. Regis Hotel has to black out all their windows with shades at night to prevent light pollution. This is because of the albatross and the shearwater, protected birds, who navigate by starlight.

The albatross and I are more alike than different. Navigating long distances by starlight. Half asleep.

Sometimes I look up at the stars and feel like I might fall into them. Like perhaps they are just their own reflection on water.

And I think about the new star, shining brighter than the rest.

Jesus Christ came to earth to redefine our navigation system.

He is the Light of the world and He is not limited to anyone's definition of him. He is an artist, a lover, a warrior, an engineer, a destroyer, a creator, a friend, a brother, a mentor, a gardener, a God, a human, a yogi, a Jew, a savior, a rabbi, an astronomer, a sailor, a fisher, a builder, a traveler, a healer, a bridegroom. And more. But primarily, He is Love.  Love is not something He said or did, it is just what He is. And what I am. And what you are.

But how can you remember this when you do not get up before the sun rises? The 4th watch is when Christ will come to you. I encourage you to spend time in the early nectar hours meditating on Him in the glow of your tree lights. Or if you are lucky enough to live in a place where you can see stars, turn out all the lights and navigate by starlight.

Happy holidays and lots of love from me and Amarjot Kaur this season.

Monday, December 14, 2015

What is Alchemy? Shamanism? Vision Quest?

Alchemy is the process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.

Some people would call this magical. Of course it is. Magic in the sense that Jesus is magic, and God is magic. And God is within all of us so we all have the capacity to turn our impoverished life experiences into something of great value.

So that's what I mean when I talk about alchemy.

What is a Shaman? Well a Shaman is a light who helps others to see in the darkness. Shaman are guides, often with spiritual gifts, who are able to help others see better. Shamanism is a confusing thing these days because anyone can call themselves a shaman. There are no certifications or licensing procedures and there are people out there with sketchy behaviors calling themselves Shamanic practitioners--such a giving people hallucinogenic drugs and calling it "medicine." I aim to give the title of Shaman back its grace--with the help of a few friends who will be with me at my upcoming retreat, which I should mention is a women's only retreat.

Women's Shamanic Alchemy Vision Quest Breakthrough Rebirthing Retreat - Click to learn more or register.

What is a vision quest? This is also confusing. There are two kinds of vision quests. One was a traditional Native American Ritual- When an adolescent boy was approaching manhood, he would go out into the wilderness alone without food and water and fasted and prayed for several days and called on God to give him a vision of what his future destiny or life work should be.

The other kind of vision quest was when a shaman needed an answer to a question and couldn't get it by other means and so went into a shamanic journey (similar to an advanced imagery journey they way I have trained people to do them, though slightly different) and commune with the spirit world through visions.

So basically, if you are into imagery, meditation, and elevation, you are already into all this stuff. We'll just be adding some new levels and including the Divine mother more and Mother Nature. This retreat will also continue to unfold the sacred feminine and heal the heart center of the world which is women.

I look forward to all of our alchemy together in the future. Sat Nam.

Monday, December 7, 2015

New e-Book: Mormons Explained For Kundalini Yogis

I did it. I wrote this e-book I have been joking about. It's a real book now. So far it is only on my online store. It's free if you want it as a PDF and consent to be added to my newsletter list. If you prefer to read ebooks on your reader, you can wait till it comes out on Kindle and pay a few bucks for it.

Click to download from the store