Barcelona - June 1997
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To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 03:21:01 -0400
Tensegrity workshop of Barcelona
20 to 22 June 1997
Before going on, I have to mention that I was influenced by three factors when writing this report.
First, it was my first workshop, a workshop I waited for years. The expectation of participating to one, when I first heard about it in 94, has evolved from urgency, along with personal obligation, to a quite expecting hope. Now, I do no longer put an emphasis on the idea of following a workshop. Consequently, I started here in Barcelona with the intention of not doing. No notes, nor attention to the schedule or other printed papers. Just enjoy being here, and let other personal concerns hidden.
Second, I did somewhat doubt how time had evolved during the seminar. It was like being out of time. I'm not sure anymore when exactly this or that were told. Therefore I will try to arrange the different speeches and explanations in the order we attended them.
The third thing, is the way our ego do filters our experiences. This account is in fact more my personal view of the workshop.
The workshop was taking place in a huge sport hall, located near the beach. Around 700 people were attending the seminar. I was dazzled to notice that they were coming from all horizons. It was like looking at crowd in the street: a mixture of young, old, fat, slim, outsiders, cultivated, distressed, fortunate. No common sign linked to nagualism's interest. We were really representing the human races. At least half were Spanish, many Italian, and people from all of Europe, including Russia. I met some American veterans as well.
I noted that most of the workshop participants weren't aware at all of the companions of Castaneda, the books of Florinda and Taisha, nor have they heard about former Tensegrity workshops in USA. Some of them were a little confused, and were looking for some link from the content of CC books to the actual teaching trend (end of lineage, new sorcerer paradigm, etc...). I can understand them. We already found much contradiction in the whole series of CC books. Their moods are implacable, frightened and somewhat somber. And now, the witches told us different things. Like, we can do it by our own, even with our family, and Sex is not strictly forbidden. If the workshop had started with some explanation of the current affair, many attendees could have better followed it. Seminar language was Spanish. Translation was available, in form of small personal devices, linked by radio to the translator. It was the first time I used such devices. I spent the workshop half hearing French with my left ear, and the right one interpreting the original Spanish. It gave me some dual sound's view of the workshop. Thus, I enjoyed this new sensorial dimension a lot.
Organization was a la American, enough staff to coordinate pragmatically the seminar. Security guard were controlling access with metal detector. I do not forget, the Information desk, the shop selling T-shirts, books and videos, sandwiches and drinks during breaks. All the staff was smiling and willing to help. They all were very concerned of the good timing of the workshop, crunching time from lecture, if we were late.
The workshop was evolving in four phases: small lecture, teaching of Tensegrity movement, breaks and show of the Theater of Infinity. The Element (3 young men, Brandon, Miles and ?) and the Energy tracker (6 women, divided in three group of two, Talia, Kylie...) were teaching us Tensegrity movement. To follow them better, they were divided on three small platforms. Each session was lasting between 1hr to 1h30, and sometimes more. Florinda and Taisha were never present during the practice. The two witches were holding lectures between the Tensegrity session. The Element and Energy tracker got also timeslot for short speech. They were performing certainly most of the seminar work. It seems that the Castaneda group is putting on the new young breed of sorcerers. The Element and the Energy tracker seem to be confident for explaining us sorcerer truth.
Florinda was apparently the real figure, fading out Taisha Abelar's appearance. They are both small, very thin and chest less. Florinda is both young and old, full of energy, stepping back and forth across the small platform, staring at us, smiling, punctuating her story with mimics and humorous expressions. Taisha performed in total two lectures seated in front of a table, which was put for the occasion on one of the platform. She's as smiling and as easy in words than Florinda. After having read many workshops accounts and heard friends talking about her, I believed that she was younger looking and energetic. Maybe, she was here in Barcelona not really with us, doing some witches tricks....
The Nature of the Magical Passes
"My name is Florinda. I know that you know my name. I'm not silly. Sorcerers state their names out loud when facing the unknown. We are beings who are going to die. By stating our name. We build a bridge to eternity. This bridge, or link to the infinity is built with the intent of the sorcerer. This act implies taking total responsibility, building an inflexible intent. There is nothing personal in this act. It's a pure statement."
"We are a group, not a group sharing personal concerns. We are a unit linked energetically. We do have the same goal, the same purpose, a common embedded intent. It's not linked to everyday life, where people think as individual. We are a group, but we live apart. We only come together to practice."
"Castaneda is empty, he's here and not here, most of the time in the second attention. He's acting like a channel. 30 years ago, when we were under Don Juan influences we witnessed the same emptiness of the Nagual. He was an Illusion, not existing in the daily life. For some of us, it was likewise a ghost. We were afraid of this reality. It was above our comprehension. Nowadays, we do experience it, and realize and experiment what Don Juan has accomplished. It took us 30 years."
Florinda then explains us the truth of the energetic cocoon and the assemblage point (I will shorten this part, as it's already well explains in CC's literature)
"We are a luminous cocoon. The outside border is roughly at arm's distance from our physical body."
Florinda moves her arm around her to virtually display the cocoon.
"Seers see on the surface of the cocoon a bright spot, the size of a tennis ball, the assemblage point. This spot is where the perception takes place. Everyone has the assemblage point at roughly the same spot, an arm distance behind us, at the level of our shoulder. The assemblage point allows us to perceive a consistent world. It collects and assembles the filament of energy that flow through the universe."
She added that awareness is a glow shinning along the luminous cocoon. Ideally the whole luminous sphere should be shining, like the sorcerer's ones.
Socialization, language and our ego do keep awareness at a minimum. The awareness shine at the level of our feet (it means at the lower portion of our luminous cocoon). The inner dialogue is the most responsible factor. It makes us perceive a limited world. A consequence is that understanding is not enough. Everything is filtered through the Me. What we understand, think or judge is our inner talk. As long as we rely on Me, there is nothing to talk about, nothing to understand. Real understanding is a matter of raising our energy level. Everything in sorcery is a question of energy level.
"Sorcery is in fact to navigate. We aren't gurus, nor masters, even not spiritualists. Spiritualists are people working through the Me. We are perceivers. We don't know where we are going, it's above our intellectual level. We are after Freedom, something very abstract. We are navigators of the unknown."
"We have summarized the sorcerer practice into Recapitulation and Tensegrity."
"The goal of Tensegrity is to simply attain inner silence. The numbers of movements saturate our memory, which help us stopping our inner dialog and attain inner silence.
We do have to cumulate many inner silences, until a threshold is reached, where our energy level raises. This stage is stopping the world, where the assemblage point starts to move. Then we are able to see the energy, as it flows through the universe. As we practice this awareness, we enhance manifold our capacity to evolve. Direct knowledge is a gift available, which gives us the real potentiality to evolve by our own, without any help from teacher or master."
Florinda then talked about the Eagle, this universal forces which lead everything and specifically life. Florinda continued that the Eagle is only an representation.
"For sure something exists out here, an abstract forces which dispense life, and disintegrate it when we die. This force dispenses life, and is after the growing awareness or experiences. However, the disintegrating force doesn't need the vital energy. The way to separate the vital energy from experience is recapitulation.
"Recapitulation is to relive the life experience, and in remembering, repeating and reliving them, to give to the force what it wants, the experiences."
A woman asked about how to breathe for the recapitulation. Florinda said it is not that important.
"Do not attach at details. Do it ! Recapitulation can be done at every moment, everywhere. It's a huge task, which never end."
"The recapitulation is mandatory. Another good point is that it forces the assemblage point to move slightly, to the place where it was in the moment you are recapitulating. It's a good exercise to dislodge the assemblage point."
Recapitulation is a way to attack self-importance. The Recapitulation and Tensegrity sorcerer passes are practices we can use to enhance our awareness, our energy level. The Recapitulation trains us to remember more and more about our past interactions with people. We then see our old familiar patterns, our behaviors, which are endless, repeated throughout our life. Being aware of these patterns help us to remove the Me, to be more fluid and free. Recapitulation does as well recapture all the energy we spent in past interactions. When practiced together with Tensegrity passes, which are body manoeuvers intended to move energy, we begin to realign our energy and reduce our self-concerns, then we will be able to attain inner silence, and see how the energy flow through the universe. Mini-lecture entitled the effect and the mood created by the Magical Passes.
This lecture was very short. The Element told us the same topics, when teaching us the movements, which were completed during this talk by Florinda.
"We are insular energy beings, born with a certain amount of energy. This energy is what we have all our life. We don't loose this energy, nor do we gain more. Nothing in our daily life can steal us energy. When we feel tired, it is not that we loose energy outside, rather our energy leaves our vital center, then disperses to the inside border of our cocoon, at the extreme limit of it. For seers it's looks like orange peel or wood bark. This happens mainly due to the activity of our current daily life, and definitely due to our self-importance and our inner babbling. The more we loose energy from our vital center, the more it agglutinates to the inside border of the luminous cocoon. With time, this energy forms a hard membrane. After a while during the course of our life, it causes decrepitude of our physical bodies. We then become more and more weak until we die."
One of the Tensegrity goals is to bring back the external energy to were it belongs, into our vital center. Tensegrity movement breaks down the crust of the energy accumulated to the border of the cocoon and brings back this energy to our vital center. Punch or shot with hand, motion's style breaks the outside energy. Massage or incoming movement to the body release freeing up energy to our center.
The six vital centers are:
-- The womb, only for woman. (The man's sexual organ is not a center)
-- Around the pancreas and the spleen
-- The liver
-- Around the kidney and adrenals
-- The V-spot which is the small indentation at the base of the throat
-- And the top of the head
I didn't understand if the organs are the vital center, or if they are linked to it. I heard as well that we have other vital centers, which are minor, and mostly linked to the six mentioned above. Tensegrity does not deal with the center on the top of the head. The energy on this center moves back and forth. I know from previous workshop notes, that this center is in possession from entities, named fliers. At the Barcelona workshop, this subject wasn't brought up.
We are no longer evolving. They decided to give us Tensegrity and Recapitulation to give a chance to the humanity to evolve. Humanity will disappear, because we do not evolve anymore.
One of the reasons for humanity not evolving anymore is that we are bored fucks and because woman has lost the second function of her womb. By bored fuck they mean that most of the humanity was born during annoyed conception. Our parents, we, all humans, do not take love as a magical act. The mother should have an orgasm during the love act, in order to conceive high-energy children.
This theme was expressed many times throughout the workshop and apparently applies not only to Tensegrity. We were taught around 200 movements. I have been completely saturated with these numerous passes, most of them short. Complete attention was required. This is by itself a good sorcerer practice, not easy for us, poor baby shrouded in our concern and our ego. I confess to have completely loose my attention the last hour on the first day, thus I apparently missed the Serie of Left and Right body. Saturation was the main topics of this workshop. We were taught that learning a huge amount of movements do flood our memory. This constrains the inner dialogue and helps to interrupt it.
I do understand what they mean with this concept. We were taught so many movements, which induce at least, to me, a complete saturation of my capacity to keep my mind in control. I stopped to try remembering the good order and orchestration of the 6 Tensegrity series. At the end of the workshop, during the exercises, instead of being somewhat upset not being capable to keep up with the movements, I let myself go, release my inner dialog and feel very good. I was very frivolous, ready to laugh when looking at other participants, imitating, as they were able the passes. I saw how we were all concerned with our ego. I saw frustration on some people's faces. I was like them the first day. I do understand why Lectures are so short. Practice is more important. I believe this workshop was not intended to hear what is already in books or to ask questions. It was intended to give us a glimpse of Inner silence through saturation.
Anyway, I have now (back at home) real sorcerers challenge : Since my mind does not remember, I rely on my body knowledge to recover the passes we learned during this stupendous workshop.
Lecture: The role of dreaming and stalking in the discovery and development of the Magical Passes.
Taisha started her talk with the interpretation system, which is also designate as the human mould. This system allows intersubjectivity to take place: we, all humans perceive the same world, because we share the same position of the assemblage point. The assemblage point moves in sleep, but always returns to the same spot, unless you practice the art of dreaming, which is the utilization of dreams as an practice to enter other realms.Taisha continue on with the origin of the art of Tensegrity:
"10000 years ago, the old sorcerers discovered during journeys in Dream that certain movements, involving positions of the arms and legs produced a feeling of well being. These movements came spontaneous without any act of will from them, induced by some direct link to knowledge. The old sorcerers spent a stupendous effort to reproduce these movements in the daily awareness. After many efforts they succeeded. These passes were very powerful, so effective, they named them: The Magical passes."
"From generation to generation, they began to surround the Magical passes with a somber mood, with mystery, with ritual. They kept this practice very secret. As time was passing, more and more ritual and ceremony was shrouding around this secret knowledge. The original mood of the passes was lost."
Taisha told us that women did most of the movements, men were not allowed to assist these ceremonies. Only recently men started to practice Tensegrity.
"The new practitioners have removed the rituals, refined the movements to meet modern mood. Modern sorcerers are seeking purposes, efficacity and pragmatism.
That's why we decided to teach Tensegrity to anyone who wanted to learn. What is necessary is not ritual, somber manoeuver but agility of the body and the mind.
The original intent of the magical passes is intact and here, present, available to all who practice to produce well-being, harmony and strength, and to achieve the highest goal to enter other realms."
Florinda talks about strategic choices in the shamans world. She first tells us a story. She explained that in Venezuela she was very adulated. Not only she was delightful and intelligent, but in addition she was a woman driving cars like men. She loved cars. She was the best concerning driving. She raced with one of the best race champion of her time. She didn't want to say her name so not to figure out her actual age (this was a joke, to punctuate the woman's age obsession).
She said : "I was the best. I received from my father a Porsche, and I was very good at it. I was very touchy concerning car. I never wanted Castaneda or friends to drive me, for I didn't want them to know where I was going. I was told that I didn't have to use a car in LA. There were buses. Buses are pussy, slow. How can we travel in the city of LA ? We need a car in LA....!!"
"One day, I bought a new car, didn't have the time to take an insurance, and went to the old Florinda. We drove together to the nearby mountains. The old Florinda asked me if she could have a try. Reluctant, I gave her the key. The old Florinda managed then to run off the road down a small ravine. The car was completely destroyed."
Florinda told us she was so ill to see her new car useless, no insurance to get her money back. And no more money to buy a new one.
"I was crazy, upset. My life broke down. After a while, something happened to me. I began to use collective transport, to be driven by other, abd not drive anymore. I saw the life in another angle. Since then, I never drove again. 15 years now. This was a strategically move. This is an example of what we have to do to move out from our daily preoccupations. Each one of us has something, which can be used as a strategically manoeuver."
After the workshop while waiting for my airplane to return home, I recollected this talk; and an inspiration suddenly came to my mind. Personally, I never wear watch, an old habit fostered when I was an adolescent outsider. Watch is for people glued in the active life. I'm cool. Clock is not for me. Clock does influence the energy as it flows along our arms. During the workshop, I was internally reproaching people to do movement with their big watch. How can they do Tensegrity with watch, was I asking. Years ago, when I started to work, I was always looking after the time. I have not to be late at work, may not forget a rendezvous. Unaware, I spent a lot of energy seeking for the time. When I left the workshop Sunday afternoon, I decided to buy a watch. I've found a tiny strategically manoeuver.
Men and Women
We have 6 main energetical centers. Men lack one, the sixth one, the womb, which belongs to Women. This center gives women a better link to the Spirit, therefore it is easier for our sisters to progress. Men have to give a lot more effort to be a shaman than women. This gives them in balance, when reaching the shaman level a definitive advantage, due to the effort to be put on. Men have more awareness of the different steps it takes to evolve. Florinda told us that Men spent their time on details to understand. That's why they build marvelous things found in our daily world. Men are overwhelmed with what they have built. Women due to their facilities to understand (to have a direct link to the knowledge) have more and more hidden this facility, because it's easy for them. With time, they have completely lost their talent. Socialization does restrict women to use the second function of their Womb.
Florinda was very humoristic on this subject, as well as with other topics. She spoke in small sentences, often punctuating her talk with a succession of single words, like a burst of image. I remember when she was describing herself under the time with Don Juan:
"I was the most important person. You know how women are ! I'm beautiful. Nice ! The best ! Once, I thought that Don Juan was impotent. I was very concerned for this. He was strong, still good looking despite his age. He was always alone, no girlfriend. I decided to advise him. With my best knowledge, very confident, proud of myself, I asked Don Juan to see a psychanalyst, a doctor, who could take care of him. Don Juan laughed a lot, he put his pants down to show me his attribute, which were apparently very functional (he was able to erect his penis immediately). I was so upset, so angry ! Furious ! He put me really in place. Afterward I started to change about what women think of themselves."
Florinda told us that the second function of the womb is to a great extend very active during menstruation. Traditionally, in our society, the woman is isolated during that period. Some culture fasten women in a dark room. Women are dirty, they do smell bad. Women are bizarre, and those men throughout ages have alienated this cycle feature of women. During this state woman have an enhanced capacity to Dream, to move their assemblage point, a direct link to knowledge. Certain cultures in some ways admit this truth, like for example the Yaquis, when a group of women were having menstruation at the same time, they came together to decide important matters of the tribe.
The two youngest girl made two performances of shamanistic theatre, in which they danced, among others, some Spanish folk songs with spanish dresses and, executing magical passes in such an volatile manner that the passes were the dance itself. This performance was very appealing, funny and ingenious. The rest of the Trackers, Brandon and Miles, in pairs, performed long magical passes, one particularly was exceptional, an exhibition with knives. Tensegrity does reveal many aspects, this one was very warrior like.
At the end of the workshop, just after the show, Florinda started to dance as well, quickly followed by all the audience. The workshop ended with an explosion of joy, people dancing all over the place.
Throughout the workshop, we were told many remarks and comments, to reiterate concept already explained during lectures, or to punctuate many facets of the art of Tensegrity. Saturday night, Florinda and two young men belonging to the Element were as well available for a short Q&A session.
One of the girls of the Energy tracker told us that Castaneda has already finished his new book. Translations are currently ongoing. Date release should be end of 97 or early 98 (what I understand is that they wait until the translations are done, in order to release the new book).
I noticed that water supply got significant rules during orations. Before any speech, they drank a gulp of water. Water supply in bottles or cans was available everywhere in the area of the workshop. And if during a talk water was absent the witches asked by sign to the Tensegrity staff for it. During discourse, when concluding a topic, or moving to another point of the discussion, they paused to satisfy their thirst. It was done naturally, remarking their action with diverting comments about being thirsty or droughty. I heard somewhere at the end of the workshop, that drinking water often is important. It's very important for sorcerers. I surely agree, seeing them by my eyes pursuing this rule.
"You can remember all the moves you have learned if you reach inner silence. Do the passes as you remember, don't look for details. It's not that important. Do it each day. Extreme concentration should be applied. Passes should be performed with great precision, with the whole body. Movements involving strike, blow or a la karate kick, must be done with great force, hence the move should stop before the end of the course. Harm can result if we do not pay attention."
You must avoid the exercises to become routine. You can practice in group, however, however be careful of socialization.
"Do not wait for results. Change is a slow process. The body with time, will grow up, be more flexible and stronger. The passes do give a well being, a better concentration, vigilance and attention."
Some movement's deal with the left energetical body, these passes are done with the left arm or legs. Someone asked what about left-handed. The reply was very clear, we deal with the left area of the energetical body. What counts is the physical interaction with the left area, so I do understand that left and right-handed doesn't matter with Tensegrity.
One question was what should we eat. Florinda replied that sorcerers eat everything. We aim not to eat sugar, alcohol, tea, coffee, etc...
"Everyone should find his own balance. It's up to you to take yourself in charge, to find what is good for you. Don Juan from time to time used to drink a beer. Well, we don't have to get drunk... Alcohol is bad, coffee is bad, sugar is bad, ... chocolate is good!"
A woman asked in an hysterical and laborious manner, what about the Eagles devouring us, children being killed in accidents, war devastating many innocent. Why they have not a chance, etc... Florinda laughed, and just passed by to another question. Later, to a similar question, Brandon told us, it us up to us to experiment how the Energy flow through the Universe. Then we will be able to interpret on our own the universal forces, which dissolve us when we die.
Someone else asked if we could manage with our relationships, families, etc... while pursuing sorcery ? Florinda said absolutely not, just start where you are.
"Do Tensegrity during one year, then start recapitulation."
A woman asked what happened with women that had been operated on and the uterus removed. Florinda answered that those women have to follow the same long and laborious way as men, who also do not have a womb.
Another woman asked how Brandon and the other Elements and Energy Trackers are here and now involved in sorcery ? If they are entail completely in Tensegrity and sorcery. Florinda, which was in the middle of the two young men, replied:
"No, all of them do work and live like anyone. They don't live together. I don't know were these young men do live, and what they do, which jobs. They do Tensegrity, and because they do it impeccably, they are here with us in this workshop."
"We do need an interpretation system. We are perceptors, and such without an interpreting system we would not be able to assemble a complete world. When seeing the energy flowing through the universe, we would not be able to arrange our perception. Perception will be chaotic."
Tensegrity due to it's nature can heal sickness and pain.
I met an old friend at the workshop who abandoned everything for Tensegrity. This person moved out from Europe and settled in LA. I was impressed of such a radical choice. After what I heard at the workshop I do understand that the Elements and Energy Trackers have done more or less similar choices. The possibility to reach the level of CC's clan, is not an illusion, it's real. We can attain Freedom. We can intent to be like the new followers, and be like them.
I would like to perform similar moves. Hence, my life has taken another turn: I have a family in charge, and such move implies being selfish ! I struggled since years with this paradox: How to evolve in Nagualism and be responsible for a family ? During the workshop, due to a rise of my energy level I found a solution: why to not use my life as it is actually ? This is a form of stalking. Others can say Controlled Folly. I do not like this term. I prefer to say I want to enjoy, learn and be aware of what is happening around me, or be aware how I'm acting or re-acting with my fellow men. I intent to be aware of my inner structure in order to perfect my act, to temper my mood and to better look after my family. Florinda once said acting impeccably is to pull your energy out of the social order. I find another answer in Taisha's book: When you act impeccably you aim to your energetical body, because perfection is already a quality of our double. If your act is impeccable then your action in the society doesn't affect you: the energy balance is at your side.
Everything is possible. We are born in a magical world, and we are already magicians !...
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