Crystalline Resolutions

If you know me at all you know that any universe in which I would willingly consume even a teaspoon of crystalline white sugar could only be some sort of twilight zone, yet that is exactly what happened this morning after practice. As a rule I avoid refined white sugar like the plague, but I do occasionally allow sweeteners like jaggery or coconut sugar to creep into my diet, a tendency which I believe I should eradicate. On day 2 of the new year, after mentally but not formally acknowledging my own clear internal imperative to resolve not to consume any sugar other than what is found in whole foods such as fruit, I out-of-the-blue decided to add a teaspoon of sugar to my usual organic black tea with unsweetened almond mylk ( I make the mylk in the blender with almonds and water, this is fucking gulag-style chai), something I literally never, ever do. I do believe it was the first time I’ve ever taken from the canister of sugar that has been there on the shelf, for years.  It was the only sweetener in the house! Still I must have been flouting the resolution I wanted to make but to which I was hesitating to actually commit. Due to……addiction? It is a white powder, after all.  And I do feel like I’m cracked out now, 10 hours later.

15841845_967659890032728_1672318102_nThe thing was, the tea tasted strange. I wondered if maybe this is what sugar tastes like to me now and my taste buds have changed, but of course I ruled that out. White sugar will always taste like sugar. It took me a minute to realize and confirm that it was indeed off, and I did take a few swallows of the liquid. It wasn’t bad per se, just odd.

In any case, this afternoon there arose a sudden commotion, and the pronouncement was made, “There’s ground glass in our sugar!” What the fuck? First step, clarify if it is really glass, and have we indeed swallowed ground glass. This could be another miscommunication like the “tiger” that was spotted last week two doors down, which later turned out to be just a “big dog.” Mani and Rita, the wonderful Indian ladies who live in the house, have discovered that our sugar has been cut with something cheaper than sugar, which Mani now explains is an Ayurvedic medicine that is made through a process that includes frying, boiling, and powdering to create an eyewash for red eyes, or can be put in a small cut to dry it out, but if taken internally is bad for the stomach. No wonder everyone was saying the coffee tasted weird.

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The name for the medicine I think is “spadhiakaram,” which turns out not to be a Hindi word, but from the language of Mani’s native Kerala, Malayalam. I realize this whole excited and animated now 5-way conversation is being conducted in a combination of Malayalam, Hindi, Kannada, and English and maybe even some Marathi? I don’t even know. How am I supposed to learn Hindi if they’re talking to me in Malayalam?? At one point she’s just loudly repeating at me some words which we somehow figured out means “MSG,” which was the other theory on what it was that someone had used to cut the sugar. Apparently 1kg of white sugar is 40 rupees, and the Ayurvedic medicine which no one but Ayurvedic medicine-makers uses is only 10kg for a half kilo. There you go.

So we think we are going to be all right, and not die or shit blood or anything. Although I do feel strangely jacked up. I managed to obtain assurances that it is not poison, and is a natural substance of some sort. So that methamphetamine feeling I am currently experiencing is certainly due to the 1/2 tsp of sugar I consumed. And all the tea.

This morning as I was drinking the spiked tea I was thinking to myself “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” which is from Mary Poppins, whose name was also randomly invoked yesterday in some inexplicably creepy way.  There may be some deviltry at work.

Morals of the story:

“NO ADDED SUGAR. ZERO. NONE.” With determination resolve not to consume added sugar, in accordance with your clear internal imperative; heed the intuitive and physical messages you have received. Stop being hesitant, wishy washy and weak! This goes for other resolutions as well; clarify and set your resolve and don’t stray from your decided and chosen course, even though you may be tempted by forces seemingly outside of yourself. Raise the boundaries and the barriers against such influence, and always keep in mind what you have willed to do.

Ease off on the stimulants, for crying out loud! A few cups of green tea will do. Sleep more.

This morning I was envisioning black silk saris and tons of kohl eyeliner, thinking “Fuck it, I’m just going to live in India and go native.” Well, if that’s true, for one, I should learn how to speak a few more languages. Also I’ll have to embrace the fact that sometimes I’m bound to imbibe the bad with the good, even if that means a little MSG or ground glass or spadhiakaram in my tea. But better not to take too many chances.

Mary Poppins – A Spoonful of Sugar

 

 

 

 

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Death Dreams

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I just awoke from an amazing dream. I was working a new job in a restaurant, with a bunch of cool girls in crazy outfits. The waitress who was to replace me arrived, so I no longer had to serve the customers. I suggested I go to the kitchen to help run food, and my co-worker agreed, saying “I would like that.”

As I entered the kitchen I saw its floor puddled with water and realized that I had taken my boots off. I went in search of my boots and came into a room with a large swimming pool and lots of people, including specifically this one guy who was a drunk in the first bar I ever worked in, named Garr. I told him, my boots are over there, on the far side of the pool. Then two people dove in and swam to the piles of boots; when they jumped the people went “Ahhhhh,” and I called “get the black Fryes!” but they were concerned with getting their own boots. It seemed I could not reach mine without getting soaked, and as I looked at the water I saw it was full of icy slush. At that moment a big air bubble glugged up and it seemed the level of the water rose instantly. The people said “uh-oh,” but the next second I felt a vacuum pulling at me, and saw an immeasurably huge wall of water, a tidal wave sucking me in and lifting me up and covering me. I saw the people far below, watching me become engulfed, and thought that they too would probably not be able to escape. I realized there was no way I would not die, and that I had indeed foreseen that it would happen this way. I thought, “This is it!” and wondered, “What should I do?”

I immediately began chanting Om Mani Padme Hung Om Mani Padme Hung, and was glad I remembered and felt peaceful. I also remembered to visualize and focus upon the Buddha, which I did at my third eye, chanting all the while.  It all happened very quickly. It seemed that I saw a substance released in my pineal gland and recalled that DMT is released at the moment of death. Still chanting Om Mani Padme Hung I gradually came back in my bed, not dead but back here in this reality, alive…of which I was glad.  I was only scared for the first instant; after that I chanted and accepted…

This dream is very auspicious, albeit quite foreboding; but I hope it goes down like that when it really goes down…

thangka036lgIt’s good practice to remember it in dreams!

Dreams, Serpents, and Roses…

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I dreamed last night of a potentially deadly snake. I was in a crowd and there was no place to put my foot down; I accidentally stepped on the snake. Its eye looked smashed and pale, and its body was limp. I put it between two dinner plates and it became hard to contain. I felt badly about hurting the snake and wanted it to live, but as it regained its strength it became harder to control and I saw that this was one of the most dangerous snakes it the world. I wrestled it into a cage, but the cage had a hole and the now strong serpent came out straight towards me, steadily moving horizontally through space, coming directly at me.

I reached out and snatched it at the base of its head, by its throat, with my hand in some strange mudra. I held on strongly; I thought the snake could not bite me so long as I did not let go. I put it back in the cage, but the gaping hole remained…I must find a way to block the hole and keep the serpent from killing me.

This supermoon, solstice dream was a clear message to me that I must mend my ways. The excuses I’ve been expending so much energy making to justify an array of addictive and self-sabotaging behaviors must come to an end. The behaviors themselves must stop now.  This is my decision and action of the Solstice.

Time to get serious with this kundalini shakti. Nadi Shodana. Pranayama.

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On other fronts, I’ve become thoroughly determined that I’ve found my true high calling and to follow through with its birth process. I see that there is so much potential for growth in the new facet of ELIXIA Raw Chocolate – that being, Elixia Medicinals. What I’m making is so inspired, so beneficial, so lovely and so luscious. A slow, warm infusion of the finest organic herb into extra virgin coconut oil and raw cacao butter, then blended with a variety of life-enhancing and incredibly tasty superfoods. I want to take this far…

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And then, the tattoo renovation has begun. The overhaul, the makeover, the new physical version of L. I started with the first tattoo I ever did, in that huge garage room in  DC, just after receiving my “kit” in the mail. I recall taking a pot of Turkish to my head, and also a huge bowl, before declaring myself Hell Bent for Leather. What a shitty tattoo! Amazing (dumb) that I just left it like that for years! Dumb!

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I wiped off the stencil and just freehanded it. But much better than I did 12 years ago.

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And that is just the beginning. Next will be to cover and redo the tattoo on my arm, that I’ve had for well over a decade, and that I’ve never liked.  Roses, roses, and more red and black roses…

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And lastly, just to note, it is always a pleasure to spend an afternoon with an interesting and attractive man. Until next time…

the beautiful things that surround me

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Altars of gratitude for the beauty that is passing in such quick transition. Breath in the times of chaos, the fear has nothing to hold on to. All manner of things will be well.

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Omega 3 Blissballs. Possibly the key to salvation. Planning to imbue some with the special magick goodness, extracted at low temps over a long time into raw virgin coconut oil. BOOM!

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My new oil-black Fryes fit and look like they were made for me. Score!

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I made a Whole 30 compliant frittata. Johann chopped the onion.  We got the eggs from the farmer’s market around the corner, from my favorite Christian mother and daughter team. Their label says “With God’s love from our garden to yours.” They like to chat with me and they have amazing honey and bee pollen.

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I love turmeric with a passion.

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O, the joy of eating animal products! Thank you, meat!

Speaking of which, I’ve been making noticeable gains in strength since eliminating grains and sugars from my diet and including meat. My practice has improved and I feel much better. I know that yogis practice ahimsa and vegetarianism, but I’ll have to take the vama marga for now, for the sake of my own well-being.

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And speaking of my well-being, there are things which I love beyond all measure and things which I just cannot abide, and some people embody all that and then some. Perhaps a bit of distance is advisable.

Then there are things that are all good…

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Monoatomic gold in raw chocolate. You can see where the white powder jumped the quantum barrier and passed through matter.

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Exciting things are happening, fresh energy is flowing!

Viranchyasana, Karandavasana? and Practicing Detachment in the World of L

I’ve recently had some what are for me rather big breakthroughs in my Ashtanga practice. I don’t want to get too into the asana chatter, so I’ll just say, Viranchyasana C, bitchezzzz! But Karandavasana? Did the impossible just enter the realm of the possible? Am I dreaming? I mean, I definitely brought my lotus up from my pincha arms, but I was also totally pushing the crown of my head against the floor. Still, these are firsts for me.

On other but of course related fronts, I am being forced to practice detachment in order to not freak the fuck out. Or rather, I got loaded and threw a fucking fit. I guess I got it out, because now I am enjoying a state which borders on santosha.

The gory details:

My bus is being sold out from under me. My perfect home that I’m in love with and is the answer to all my questions and the solution to all my worldly problems. My security, my peace, and my future. Given to me and then so quickly taken away. DAMN!

So once again, I walk the line of homelessness and utter destitution….Really I’m sure the next months will see me cozily ensconced in a lovely bedroom with a wooden floor. Another bus will come…

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Projekts and Practices

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Settling in to my new home; it is comforting to be surrounded again by my beautiful and magickal items. Gunther is here, my gift from Mr.K years ago, straight from Orr’s Trading Post. My mala of bodhi beads, a sprig of mistletoe, and a singing bowl of poppy seeds, pinecones, and amber. Lots of black leather and fringe. My books and my gear.

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Yesterday did my first inking in the bus. My little studio suits me perfectly.

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It was good to recall this message today, after the companion both most torturous and most dear to me pushed my button. I was tempted to torture him back, but decided instead to kill him with kindness…you know who you are….

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Practice. My Ashtanga practice is practically nonexistent these days. Instead of a warm walk down the manicured jungle path of yore, this morning’s route would have had to involve a chilly bike ride through the pouring rain, on city streets. I chose instead to stay in and rest, and nourish myself on grass-fed animal fats and kraut. I need this time of renewal before beginning to teach a Mysore program, the first class being in just a few days. I feel unworthy! But I intend to transform and elevate myself in the process. This will be my life now.

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Come June, I must arise at 4am, on the dot, 6 days a week. Tea, seated meditation, and japa. Ablutions and jump on the bike to the shala at 5:30am. Teach. And then I must work on my own practice. My goal is to get back to doing 3rd series 4 times a week. complete with ticktocks and pranayama. This will require 3 dedicated and energetic hours. Bed by 9pm. Strict Whole30 diet, lots of water and teas. All of this must be my absolute priority.

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I feel as though a great change is underway within me and my external reality reflects this. I am reshaping my very person. I am making a new person, not just bodily but in all ways. According to my will and my desire. This is a period of maturation.

It is also a period of doing the work. The work has begun, and is now foremost in my thoughts and efforts. The support and signs of the universe attest to its value.

Hari OM!

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shakti padmasana

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(yoga pics by Sorcha Hannah)

Transition, Manifestation, Practice

Somehow the first section of the blog I just wrote just disappeared, and my exposition of my magickal processes was deleted. It was a perhaps simple-minded re-iteration of basic law of attraction principles. But it worked! So I’ll try, briefly, again.

I made a declarative statement to the universe and received exactly what I asked for, and the Universe actually did me one better, and went beyond my best imaginings of what was really possible. I have the sense that this flow is continuing and that I will see my blessings grow.

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Essentially I looked around at the situations of my present moment and understood that I am not only provided for but blessed, and even guided. I’m not just “saved in the nick of time,” I am experiencing abundance and well-being in the present moment. Gratitude for what is right in my world now fuels the creation of the present that becomes the future. Fear of the future must be dismissed, and recognition and appreciation of the benefits of the immediate situation are emphasized.

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I looked around and saw that not only were my needs met, but that I am actually in a somewhat ideal situation AT THIS MOMENT.  If I renounce the need for ownership and security for even the next moment, but look around me now, I see that all is well. This is the energy that can be used to create a happy future.

I should not neglect to mention that I also had to navigate a small abyss of despair. The Nomad guy took me over the edge and A and H helped me through it. The tarot that night gave the most auspicious omens, though I gazed at the cards through tears.

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So my needs were met, and more, and today I’m moving into my perfect home.

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While I was in India and contemplating my next step, I realized that it matters not where I go on the planet so much as what I am doing while I’m there. And I thought “I need to be teaching.” Then a face-to-face with the real world made me see, I DON’T need to teach, I must work on self-practice. I must discipline myself to re-establish and maintain daily asana practice in a way that reflects what I want to teach. For me this means early morning 3rd series, and don’t skip the drop-backs and the tick-tocks.  Friday Primary, Sunday Intermediate, etc etc. The traditional way. This means that Ashtanga takes precedence over so much else.The fire of tapas is fueled with sacrifice. Am I willing to do this?

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And now it looks as though I will be able to start a Mysore program. So I must center my life around that. And then I must keep returning to India and go further along this path. I must have true devotion. Many musts.

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Viranchyasana

Meanwhile I’ll just read my Bhagavad Gita and study Sanskit on the city bus, and try to understand why or how I can experience compassion for the people I see there, some of whom seem to me like shocking monstrosities, not really people at all. I am reminded to practice the Chod. Cutting away attachment. Feeding the very demons my own precious flesh.

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ELIXIA is also a priority. Things are moving along at a good speed and once I get the situation sorted  I’ll be making some sales. What I want to do is legally make and sell medicinal marijuana superfood chocolates. I feel this is an entirely noble calling which also somewhat satisfies my love of subversive behavior.

So, the order is…

Move into the new home and make it mine.

Start teaching an Ashtanga program while maintaining my own daily practice.

Ground and relax and detoxify. Be ultra-healthy and fit. Meditate. Clean diet.

Tattoo. Make and sell chocolate. Make art.

Satisfying relationships with friends and lovers.

Practice, practice, practice.

First Post- the end of the season and wanting to go home

I’m feeling the urge to share some of my thoughts and experiences of the past 5 months in India, even though it is past my bedtime and I am doubtful I will make it to class on time tomorrow; I’d rather sleep in.

I am eager to return to the world outside of Goa and unrelated to Ashtanga yoga. I have spent a full year in India out of the past 18 months, intensively studying and practicing Ashtanga the whole time. I practiced the full 3rd series for the first time ever here at PV, under the guidance of David Garrigues, and then again and again with Kino and Tim, Petri, Matthew Sweeney, and Tharik. I broke bones and shed tears for it! I achieved a goal that I did not know if I would ever reach, that I worked toward for years, with discipline and devotion. This fact in itself falls short of satisfying me; I have years of practice ahead of me to give it meaning. But now I just want to relax and drink a glass of wine in the western world, with friends clad in black, and talk about other matters.

Rajakapotasana with David Garrigues

Rajakapotasana with David Garrigues

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I made some wonderful friends here and lived closely (too closely sometimes) with them, and also helped to destroy one of the friendships that meant the most to me. It seemed an unavoidable path and once we started down it, it was as though forces beyond us determined we would not be able to turn back. All sorts of angers, mean spirits, miscommunications, and various regrettable thoughts and emotions arose and swayed us past the point of salvation of our friendship. Alas, once trust is broken it is hard to find anew. This has been an opportunity for my perceived shortcomings to become glaringly obvious to me. It has been painful for me to be continually confronted with my neuroses, failures, and lack of compassion. My own ugly meanness, and weakness. I hate it. I have felt torn between not just contradictory ideologies, but true feeling of them has been warring within me. I’m still unsure how to reconcile my own beliefs, how to extract what I believe from what others believe or what I want to believe, or even if that is necessary. Samsara. I’ll study the sutras further but I also need to read some Kenneth Grant.

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full moon sunset

I’ve been super-lonely. I threw my heart out again and watched it fall on the ground. In the dirt, how apropos. So I wasted? months bemoaning and suffering from that. Boring. I watched too many vampire movies and did not practice my meditations at all. I wasted so much time, it’s truly shameful. Well, all I can do is start now. Again.

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cookies are NOT the answer

Now I’m preparing to go home to the Pacific Northwest, ostensibly to teach Ashtanga in Seattle, to make a fortune selling chocolate and my cookbook, and to become a much better tattoo artist. I may return to India next autumn for Mysore, but I’ll cross that bridge later. For now I am looking towards just getting back to the states and my life there. This, my fourth time in India, has pretty well kicked my arse. I know that once my body catches up with my spirit together at home, I will have a lot to process of this time and its journey. Not too much, but probably as much as I can handle. I’m glad to know I have friends who will be there during my transition. I look forward to happy reunions and many good times!

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Looking forward to green juice, high-heeled black leather boots, witches and warlocks and artists and freaks galore, in the cool dark of night. To a hot shower with water pressure (haven’t had one in moons) and my black jeans. May I land in a soft place!

Boom!

Boom!