Maybe I’ll start teaching #hermetics…

Instead of marketing myself as a private yoga teacher. This came up in conversation when Sam was here, the fact that I could try marketing myself to locals who can afford a minimum of $75 an hour for private instruction. I’ve got 28 years of experience in yoga. And meditation! My introduction to both occurred at once, when I enrolled in two six-week intensive, college credit classes during the summer 1998 at Rivier University in NH. I wanted to get some non studio credits out of the way so I could focus even more on painting my junior year. I took Yoga, Meditation and Mysticism and The Psychology of Communication.

During my first experiences with basic, hatha yoga, the meditation was of equal importance.

I like the fact that with my introduction to yoga, there was a simultaneous introduction to experiential learning in meditation. We used the basic method outlined in Lawrence Leshan’s How to Meditate. See? I still remember the f-ing title. I’ve been recommending it ever since is why.

The class was taught by a couple in their early 70s, thereabouts, and met twice a week for 3-hours a session. During each class we sat for meditation for 20-minutes, and also did 40-minutes of very basic, democratic asana. The rest of the time we discussed our reading and writing assignments, the history and philosophy part.

It took awhile, but I did get the RISD liberal arts department to accept BOTH of my grade A credits. I got into a phone fight with the head of the department while I was still in NH. Must’ve gotten a notice of the rejection of that course in the mail… I’d done my homework though, and had checked to see that Rivier was fully accredited before I enrolled. I’d worked hard too! Taking two classes together was so intense I couldn’t work my normal menial summer job at the same time. I wanted my As, see… As part of Yoga, Meditation and Mysticism I’d vowed to do the 20-min sit and 40-min yoga every single day the entire 6-weeks of the program, while completing all the reading and writing assignments of course. This had a profound and lasting effect.

There were some total bullshit liberal arts classes at RISD, like one where you grew a plant and kept a journal of its progress for a semester. Didn’t waste my brain cells on that one but I’d heard about it and snorted. I’d slammed the phone down on the department head, after he said I “must be crazy” if I thought he was going to accept those credits. I decided to wear him down. When I got back to school in the fall, I brought all of my heavily highlighted course books and all my papers for the class tied up in a nice, little bundle with a bow. I dumped the lot on his desk and said, “You can’t tell me this isn’t as much real work as a lot of the classes you’ve got going here.

I got my way.


How might I market myself?

If I do this, I’ll still teach whatever yoga (cardio and strength training) would be appropriate to the client, but I’ll include the meditation and advise from the beginning that meditation takes priority. Five minutes is a good place to start for beginners.

Kabbalah, Magic & the Great Work of Self Transformation

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My new read

I’m still reading Initiation into Hermetics, but I’ll be in that for 2-3 years if I stick with it. It’s more like a bookshelf of encyclopedias crammed into one tomb of practical exercises than a mere book, and it’s not all that user friendly in figuring out the practical application of all the insanely difficult, mental exercises. As in the first chapter title of Kabbalah Magic, Though Only a Few Will Rise. And this is another set of practical exercises – “A COMPLETE COURSE” – though I haven’t gotten that far into it yet.

The first ritual detailed is the LBRP, which I already know. I wouldn’t include the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentegram in any yoga teaching program! It’s far (+1,000,000) more esoteric than any asana class or (the lite description) “relaxation exercise”.


My visitor

Figures that it’s suddenly much warmer and brighter outside, the last morning my friend is in town. She’s at the airport now… We had a last afternoon of sight seeing and hanging out yesterday. I’ll post some pictures once I get clearance.

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I’m all into archangel Gabriel still.

Stopped by New Renaissance Bookstore yesterday for a second time. She picked up some things for the kids. I got two goldstones, specifically for working with the archangel Gabriel, and a pear candle (ditto). I’d been looking for another of the inexpensive, great light & long burning apple candle. All they had was pears. Then I revisited this site and noticed that his/her “angelic thoughtform” is a pear. All right then! They’re the same price as the apple shape and probably just as good.

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Writing & studying in the morning is relaxing / my latest read

On my creative slacker existence & a little on my personal artistic process

Another late start today! I did a NB¹ yesterday. Despite that I wasn’t out of bed in time to see Ch off for work. I was gathering up my stuff for coffee time (glasses, phone, laptop, snot rag) and saw him drive off in the van. I waved. Toodles! So what will the renunciate hermit occupy herself with today? I’ll sit. I’ll repeat my mantra. I’ll work on The Deck, the latest thing.

I drag my heels when it comes to the “finishing”. I don’t want to commit. It’s not as fraught with danger as it used to be, when I was in art school and would sometimes “kill” a piece. I’d be going along and the composition would be balanced and healthy, and then I’d over work, realize things had gone wrong, keep working (with increasing desperation) until it was truly dead and then continue to flog it for some time.

Now it’s different. For one I’m not doing anything for approval or validation (“winning” the group critique, the solid As I pursued so vigorously). Now that I’m older and somewhat wiser I see all of the marks as valid in a way. I’m not so much making something as I am forming a record of my observances and actions. I’m also mixing media at will. Hardly anything I do is just one media. This is very new. There are no rules! This is because nothing really matters, anyone can see…

I’m finally ok-again with really working on something. After an intense session, it’s best to put it away, and not look at it at ALL, for a week. Even just 24 hours is hugely beneficial though, if your deadline doesn’t permit such a leisurely pace.


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I did make it to Powell’s yesterday, after having stopped for a vegan high school lunch at Veggie Grill and a new hoodie at Gap. I was looking for another historical, non fiction title actually, but this is about another student of Hermes Trismegestus, named and translated (saved) by the Greeks in 2 or 3rd century BC / also known as the ancient Egyptian god Thoth.

The star of our biography: Acarat, Count Cagliostro, otherwise known as Joseph Balsamo to the French, lived 1743 – 1795. Sentenced to life in prison at the end, by the good, old Inquisition. I’m pretty sure Franz Bardon got harassed by the god police at the end as well, but I haven’t found a bio of him yet.

Whatever you call him, our Count Cagliostro lead an amazing life. He seems both highly shady, and spiritually talented, in healing and other occult arts like very accurate psychic predictions. (I’m only on page 30 but I’m taking notes. When I read to study, I require physical books, as well as a pen and highlighter, lol.)


¹ no booze

Book recommendation: The Permanent Pain Cure

I kept hardly any books when I moved cross country to Portland. If I kept this, you can bet I found it particularly useful.

IMG_9632.JPGEven people who aren’t OCD Ashtangis and/or HIIT athletes get pain! I have a long history of fixing various tweaks and injuries, and I bought this back in January 2011. I love how you can look up old purchases on Amazon, I’ve gotta say. It’s keeping a no-effort diary of interests. I’m pretty sure it was when my 3rd year of full third series finally started to shred what’d been my impervious knees. (People used to describe me as “indestructible”. For a couple glorious years of expansion it certainly felt that way.)

Impermanence and injury are closely related

Had a rest day yesterday, I got the book out this morning because for the second time within a week and a half, I’ve tweaked out the left side of my neck by sleeping wrong. That’s right. How annoying! I try to be careful not to fall asleep in any overly neck-stretched position, and still… I have to admit, though, I haven’t been very good about practicing my easy-ish yoga as often or thoroughly as I know I should. I can get little minor tweaks in my weaker left arm & just ignore them…

There are specific sets stretches per area of pain, so I looked up neck pain & will try out a set tonight. Some of them I’ve done before, of course, having worked on issues with: shoulder, mid back, both knees. Ashtanga! I remember when I was learning just the beginning of second series and I did a Manju week at Shiva Shala, its lower First Ave location. That was the era of the throbbing right shoulder. I pointed to it before a back bending assist, I think, and let him know I had an injury. And he made a joke! Oh yes, yoga is a cure for everything except that which is caused by the yoga. Then he guffawed merrily. I was completely taken aback, confused and truthfully a bit scandalized. Still in my rose-colored glasses phase. How can you say that??? is what I was thinking. Later on of course I would greatly appreciate that early irreverence.

It’ll still take me probably 20/25 min at first because I have to skim through all the instructions. I’ve picked out 7 moves, but all but 2 of those are 2-sided. And I’ll work out today but I’ll leave the weighted vest out of it for a few days. I don’t need 8lbs of dead weight bouncing around on my shoulders at the moment.


Tomorrow’s the new moon (in Sagittarius I believe) ! I already set up the coffee maker in my bathroom, so when I get up just past 4 I can just hit the start button. There are preparations for the ritual!

 

 

 

 

 

Word of the day is #tonglen. Thank gods for #meditation

The start of my day needed a near immediate do-over

But at least I deleted the screen shots of the nastygram from my mother. Just did my morning meditation, which was a bit difficult, and did the banishing ritual which comes right after the sit.

I wasn’t in a great mood last night and came to a section on tonglen in a current reread, When Things Fall Apart. You can practice breathing in pain that you are feeling & exhaling relief of the suffering to all those experiencing the same.

“On the in-breath, you breathe in whatever particular area, group of people, country, or even one particular person… maybe it’s not this more global situation, maybe it’s breathing in the physical discomfort and mental anguish of chemotherapy; of all the people who are undergoing chemotherapy. And if you’ve undergone chemotherapy and come out the other side, it’s very real to you. Or maybe it’s the pain of those who have lost loved ones; suddenly, or recently, unexpectedly or over a long period of time, some dying. But the in-breath is… you find some place on the planet in your personal life or something you know about, and you breathe in with the wish that those human beings or those mistreated animals or whoever it is, that they could be free of that suffering, and you breathe in with the longing to remove their suffering.

And then you send out – just relax out… send enough space so that peoples’ hearts and minds feel big enough to live with their discomfort, their fear, their anger or their despair, or their physical or mental anguish. But you can also breathe out for those who have no food and drink, you can breathe out food and drink. For those who are homeless, you can breathe out/send them shelter. For those who are suffering in any way, you can send out safety, comfort.

So in the in-breath you breathe in with the wish to take away the suffering, and breathe out with the wish to send comfort and happiness to the same people, animals, nations, or whatever it is you decide.

Do this for an individual, or do this for large areas, and if you do this with more than one subject in mind, that’s fine… breathing in as fully as you can, radiating out as widely as you can.”[7]

I practiced a little bit of that… This morning brought a new challenge! And I failed to maintain equilibrium. Whatever! I’m going to eat some delicious leftovers and get to work drawing.

I think I’m pretty well versed in groundlessness 

Some notes from: When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron.

Trying to get a lasting security* teaches us a lot, because if we never try to do it, we never noticed that it can’t be done.

We can drop the fundamental hope that there is a better “me” who will one day emerge

Hopelessness is the basic ground. Otherwise, we’re going to make the journey with the hope of getting security. If we make the journey to get security, we’re completely missing the point.

Begin the journey without hope of getting ground under your feet. Begin with hopelessness. (✅)

This is the beginning of the beginning. Without giving up hope – that there somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be – we will never relax with where we are or who we are.🆗

* Or any security whatsoever in some cases. 🔚

#RadicalAcceptance & today’s #HIIT & #yoga workout

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I have finally “moved on” into this stage & the term Radical Acceptance popped into my head. I think I first encountered it reading Pema Chodron during my silly yoga TT in 2004. I can figure out the year easily by looking at my resume. It was the 2nd year I worked at my first hosiery design job. I didn’t save ANY of my old yoga books except for a single item, Matthew Sweeney’s Ashtanga Yoga As It Is. So I don’t remember which Pema I read. Downloaded a sample. Currently reading, and enjoying, How to Be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto.

Also started working on lists of dystopian fiction I’ve read. This was all inspired by an email from Powell’s.


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This is a bit of a complex & lengthy routine to do just from notes, with the preview occurring the day before yesterday. But I needed that Saturday rest day. I got through most of it pretty well. I had to up the transitions / rests to 15-seconds for a couple sets and I also simplified / swapped out some of the moves. It DOES go by fast, like Julia says at the end of the video. You wouldn’t think so, but it does.

I might wanna repeat the first set sometime – Ten minutes of burpees – with skipping before each round. That’d be a solid, 20min set.

Julia’s bday workout

Daniela’s Cardio (10/50×2) 10 min

  1. 2 Jugglers burpee + clap push up
  2. diamond pushup burpee with squat jumps L-center-R-center
  3. wide arm burpee, 4 lateral hops
  4. I-inchworm hop tricep push up burpee + heel grab + 180 hop hands together out to plank. Burpee then heel-touch jump & 180 jump
  5. double A**kick explosive pushup burpee

Jori’s Legs: 13 min

(15/50) for all

  1. Hip Thrusts (shoulders on bench)
  2. Hyperextensions on Bench Belly on bench, legs hanging off. Tap toes to floor and then lift up, moving quick & swinging high as possible.
  3. Curtsy Lunge RL to Side Lateral Lunge (straight leg), come to stand keeping leg in lunge position, SL Deadlift. 30lbs omit deadlift part next time
  4. Same as above on the LEFT.
  5. Leg Matrix: Squat, Forward Lunge both sides, Squat Jump,
  6. 3-Way One DB Weighted Squat (Squat overhead press, squat right press out, squat left press out)
  7. Side Lateral Lunge Right to Knee Up + Traffic Director Arms standing leg arm in forward & raised knee arm lateral lift.
  8. Side Lateral Lunge Left to Knee Up + Traffic Director Arms.
  9. Kneeling Double Arm Clean + Press, 30lbs Squeeze ass to hammer curl weights up & again to press up. Squeeze back again on the way out.
  10. Double Pulse + Squat Jump 10lbs Squat real low, come to half way, drop ass to calves and then pop up.
  11. Goblet sumo low jacks 15lbs
  12. Bear Crawl Fire Hydrants Alt. R/L. On hands and toes, knees off ground. Pivot to each side & hydrant to kick out

Kelly’s arms (50:10 x1) 10 min

  1. Around the world 10lbs
  2. Weighted touchdowns 8lbs Lateral hops touch down to floor with opp hand
  3. 10 Weighted punches + 4 Hooks 8lbs
  4. Clean and press right arm, 20lbs
  5. Clean and press left arm
  6. Chest fly to narrow press On bench. Fly & put weights together on chest & then press up.
  7. Surrender down (weights overhead) 4 cross punches from knees, (weights back overhead) surrender up 2 side kicks 8lbs
  8. Weighted arm circles forwarded for 10 backwards for 10 (stand on one leg and switch ½ way) 5lbs
  9. 2 spiderman + 2 plank walk + 4 frog jumps
  10. Inchworm to 4 pushup knee tucks Pushup knee tuck, pushup other knee tuck

Christine’s Cardio

Changed to 10/50 with simplified rounds 10min

  1. high knees
  2. wide leg frogger
  3. switch lunges
  4. alternating switch kicks
  5. rocket lunges Lunge back to SL hop with knee up. Alt sides.
  6. 4 weighted jacks / 4 weighted skaters, 10lbs
  7. 2 plank jack shoulder taps + 2 cross body mountain climbers + 2 knees to elbow
  8. handstand
  9. wheel at wall
  10. pinca mayurasana

Lenula’s Legs (15/50) 13 min

  1. Weighted Side Step Up w. Side Kick, step down to Back Lunge (R) 20lbs
  2. 5 Squats / 5 Jump Squats / 2 Tuck Jumps 10lbs
  3. Weighted Side Step Up w. Side Kick to Back Lunge (L)
  4. 5 Squats / 5 Jump Squats / 2 Tuck Jumps
  5. RL Forward lunge and press, 20lbs – 3 pulses w. weights overhead – L SL leg deadlift
  6. 5 In and out Squats, starting wide, jack legs, jumping, touching floor w/ fingertips / 5 Plie Jumps / 5 Heel Grabs
  7. LLForward lunge and press – 3 pulses w. weights overhead – R SL leg deadlift
  8. 5 In and out Squats / 5 Plie Jumps / 5 Heel Grabs
  9. Side lunge & return. Sit to heel down w. sit / stand up + front kick (R)
  10. 5 goblet Squats / 5 Heel Clicks jump up & click / 2 Wide Tuck Jumps
  11. Side lunge & return. Sit to heel down w. sit / stand up + front kick k (L)
  12. 5 goblet Squats / 5 Heel Clicks / 5 Wide Tuck Jumps

Kristin’s Back and Abs (50:10 x2) 10 min

I changed most of this one b/c I don’t have a ball

  1. Superman / Swimmers
  2. Plank row 15lbs Pick up weight & kick back & squeeze opp leg, alt
  3. Goodmorning + Side Sumo Crunches R&L 10lbs Rest weight on shoulders & keeping back straight bend straight forward & then return to sumo squat. Lean left shoulder toward left knee & alt.
  4. Plank to Alt T-Stand Dip & top toe touch I like to stack my feet, aka yoga, so I changed the foot.
  5. Pullover on bench, 20lbs, with reverse curl

Yoga

The HIIT took 1:19 and then a couple minutes to clear the space, so I did a minute’s passive back stretch on the rack & then straight to Urdhva D and 3 drop backs. Rough! It’s been awhile but no matter. Did a few poses of finishing and a 1min savasana.

I was almost 2 dispirited 2 sit today, but I did it anyway #meditation #poetry

I record notes with voice memo in the post sit savasana that’s necessary to let blood flow restore itself in the topmost leg and calf, though the more often you sit the less pronounced this transition.

Meditation is a mostly passive activity which requires the utmost in active will to maintain the discipline. After all, it’s not going to change anything. This is what I was thinking before I commenced this morning. When I first learned meditation – during a course called Yoga, Meditation & Mysticism, taken the summer between sophomore & junior year at RISD – it seemed to almost magically revamp me internally. It was a six week course during which time I kept the promise to do 40-minutes of easy yoga and a traditional 20-minute sit daily. The effects became obvious in my level of focus the next year at school, and the positive effects lasted the full year even though I’d mostly stopped meditating. But then I was young and hopeful. I was a star student at (supposedly) the best art school in the country.

This morning I asked the facade.com tarot if I would ever earn a living wage again. I got the 9 of cups reversed. Facade’s interpretation was really negative, but I just googled it and got this. I think I’ll stop there. I like this interpretation.

Introduction: The 9 of Cups, whether reversed or upright, is one of the most uplifting and pleasant cards to receive in a reading. Known often as the “wish card” it can mean that what you are hoping for or dreaming about most is very likely to be yours. The reversal says that the wishes for you will go even deeper; these are not superficial wishes that are at play now. That’s a good thing.

General: The reversed 9 of Cups is a signal that things are looking up. Make a point to really stop and think about what it is that you want in your life. You may be pleasantly surprised by how quickly it can come about. Dream.

Work: When you pull the reversed 9, it can signify that you will soon be finding, and feeling, deep fulfillment in your work. There is a lot more loyalty to you there than you would expect. If you’re looking for work, this means that you are going to find something much more suitable, much sooner than you would expect. You will feel drawn to the position. Follow your gut, and take it.


I might well start practicing more yoga asana again, if only because physical activity is important and I really need to spend some money on new cross trainers but really shouldn’t and thus don’t want to.

I finally broke down and got a 6-month subscription to the Vegan Cuts beauty box. I’d been wanting it since last winter. Once a month, for a little while, I’ll be getting a “surprise” delivery. This will mean a lot even if it’s frivolous. The other thing I’m wondering about is a Kindle unlimited. I should read more. I find video less satisfying these days, unless we’re talking vegan activism on YouTube. I need to find out if all titles are featured in the program or if it’s just a curated selection. This is important. My reading interests are highly selective. I just finished Reasons to Stay Alive and now I want to read The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals.

So anyway… ya… my right knee has been a bit achy lately as has the outer edge of the same foot, in bunion territory. Also the HIIT has been seeming a bit pointless. I don’t have access to heavier weights which I could use to build more strength & muscle mass. It feels a bit like treading water. We’ll see… I just don’t want to get attached to asana as physical and some twisted kind of moral validation again. It really helps that I haven’t been a part of “the scene” for years, but even if I practice a little too semi-regularly, the beast reawakens. I don’t want it.

No workout today, as far as the physical exercise thing goes. It’ll be a psychological endurance test instead.