Posts tagged #magic

TheDelight of Non-Volition

Do you think you have free will? Most of us do. It's a rather pervasive belief amongst humans, I've noticed. Well - what if you didn't? And what if that was like, super great? In my last essay I talked about sacred outlook, which is a magical practice that's reputed to very efficiently lead to enlightenment and at the very least, in my own personal experience makes life way more fun.

Sacred outlook is actually just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from straight-up nondual perception. In Tibetan Buddhism, sacred outlook is part of the tantric path, which is one rung below the "pathless path" of nondual contemplation known as Dzogchen ("The Great Perfection").  Nondual contemplation is considered the highest, quickest, and most difficult route to awakening.

The past few weeks I've been spending a lot of time reading about Dzogchen, because - Capricorn that I am - if something is the fastest, best, and most difficult I absolutely must know all about it and do it!

Well, bummer for me - turns out traditional Dzogchen practice requires the reception of an official transmission from an enlightened guru which are in slightly short supply on the Southside of Pittsburgh where I reside.  Of course the amazing Buddha Brats folks are happy to tell you how to do naughty, naughty guru-less Dzogchen if you're into it. And I am.  Also, if you'd like to read a scholarly discussion of Dzogchen (and who wouldn't?), you should definitely check out Secret of the Vajra World by Reginald Ray.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, nondual contemplation in the Dzogchen tradition is slippery business, and I was finding it hard to get into.

The Union of Compassion and Emptiness

But while googling "the union of compassion and emptiness" (like you do) I came across this really neat, thoughtful and exhaustive site on nondual thought, A Course in Consciousness, by Stanley Sobottka, who is a bald and rather serious-looking fellow who happens to be an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Virginia (i.e., not a no-good slacker hippie slouch like me and my friends who sit around giving each other half-assed explanations of quantum mechanics primarily in order to help us justify to ourselves our obscene over-use of Nag Champa and negligible interest in wage-earning).

As I read his very rich site, I discovered that Professor Sobottka (or just "Professor Stanley" as I like to affectionately think of him) is a big fan of Ramesh Balsekar, a former President of the Bank of India who became enlightened after studying a book called The Open Secret by an Irish aristocrat who went by the somewhat silly-sounding (for an old white dude) nom de plume of Wei Wu Wei.

I swear, you can't make this stuff up. It's too funny. Divine consciousness has a really goofy sense of humor.

But right now I'm just about gushing with enthusiasm for the perceptive reading of The Heart Sutra (my favorite!) that Mr. Wei Wu Wei offered in The Open Secret.

abeherenowhailthegoer

abeherenowhailthegoer

 ("Therefore Prajnaparamita is the Great Magic Spell, the Spell of Illumination, the Supreme Spell, Which Can Truly Protect One from All Suffering Without Fail")

What I find really compelling about The Open Secret, and what Mr. Ramesh Balsekar and subsequently our pal Professor Stanley must have found really compelling - is the doorway to nondual contemplation that's opened with the very simple and radical idea that we actually have no free will, and thus no responsibility or control over our thoughts and actions.

I know that I've heard this idea expressed before - but for some reason this week it's hit me at a great depth and I just about can't think of anything else. Or rather, I'm not thinking about it. I'm being thought.

Now the notion that we have no responsibility, control, volition or free will may at first glance just sound scary, creepy, or like another hippie excuse for not working and burning a lot of Nag Champa.

The thing is - the more I reflect on it, the more I find that my own personal sense of volition and responsibility doesn't really bring me anything other than guilt, pride, and anxiety - i.e., suffering.

And of course - when I'm suffering, I'm way more likely to shirk work, act bitchy to self and others, and generally be a jerk.

So weirdly, the more I relax into the notion that I'm not an independent, separate volitional individual but rather just  a choiceless wave in the ocean of the universe whose thoughts, decisions, actions, and perception occurs without any will of my own - the more I notice myself becoming cheerful, kind, and productive.

I know this sounds paradoxical.

I was a teenage junkie

It's a paradox that I'm familiar with from my years in 12 step recovery groups.  You see, at one point in my tender young life I spent a lot of time shooting heroin.

These days I'm mostly so goody-two shoes and wholesome that no one would suspect it of me, but yes, friends - I was teenage junkie. And no, it was not as fun or glamorous as it sounds.

The thing about my shooting heroin was this:  as long as I told myself that I had any choice in the matter - that I could stop when I wanted to - that I could use less - that "I" was in anyway in charge of my substance use - well, the less capable of stopping I was. It was almost as if my thought that I had choice in the matter kept me hideously stuck.

200px-Junkieace

200px-Junkieace

The first step in 12 Step Recovery programs is "We admitted we were powerless over [fill in the blank - alcohol, addiction, over-eating, emotions, codependence, sexual acting out, gambling, debting, etc. etc. etc.] and that our lives had become unmanageable."

So finally when I was beat-up enough by my addiction to be willing to accept spiritual instruction from chain-smoking yinzers in church basements, I accepted that I actually had no choice about my addiction, and no control. I couldn't stop, I couldn't use less, I was not in charge, I had no way to halt myself and would just keep using until it killed me.

move-ya-jagoff-song

move-ya-jagoff-song

 (This is an illustrative sample image of a chain-smoking yinzer, in case you do not have the great good fortune to be from Pittsburgh and have not encountered this phenomenon)

Basically, I admitted that I was really and truly fucked.

My only hope was that something a lot more powerful and benevolent than my own will and choice (something known as a "Higher Power," or, more generally, "God") would be so kind as to cosmically intervene and stop me from doping myself to death.

As it turned out, this Higher Power did indeed intervene - and I stopped getting high. But it was immensely evident to me that it was not "me" who got myself clean. "Me" was an idiot who relentlessly and compulsively sought drugs every day of her life even when she knew she wanted to stop and hated herself and what she had done to her life. "Me" was not capable through her own will of going two hours without a hit, let alone going through withdrawal, attending meetings, and talking to a sponsor.

However, when I admitted the totally screwed uselessness of the "me" - i.e., that I had no choice in the matter of my using - that admission was enough to open the way for a Higher Power to come in and take over and make my life much, much better than I was making it.

I'm pretty happy that I don't exist

With the help of this Higher Power thing, I've been clean for almost 10 years now.

So having had this rather dramatic experience of how admitting my powerlessness and volitionless-ness actually made my life way way way way better, it's not too hard for me to understand that the more I'm willing to generalize this state of non-control, probably the better my life can get.

I begin to detect that the sense that I have any control or volition AT ALL is itself the core of the disease of addiction - because as long as I imagine I have control, I usually am constantly "proving" to myself how very in charge of my experience I am by seeking to maximize my pleasure and minimize my pain in life.

And, clever dove that I am, I can find ways to maximize my pleasure with career success, drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, cookies, men, money, accomplishment, shopping, self-righteousness and just about anything else that can ring my neurochemical bell. None of which are bad in themselves - but all of which get to be pretty whack when I attack them with my self-will.

This compulsive seeking to maximize pleasure and minimize pain is what the Buddha called "attachment" or "clinging" and told us was the source of all suffering.

Meanwhile, when I let go of the illusion that "I" am in charge of my thoughts or actions, this compulsive pleasure-seeking and all its accompanying guilt and anxiety falls away. Hence, it becomes a lot more easy to accept the simple joys and pains of the present moment. As a bonus, all the jerk stuff I do to get my own way and all the damage I do to my health falls away, too.

So, ironically - the less I believe myself to be in charge of my own thoughts, decisions, and actions, the more kindly and "responsibly" I behave.

Perhaps this is because to be "responsible" is to be "able to respond" - and when I'm not in the delusion that I'm a separate ego, this bodymind that I am is able to respond a lot more efficiently to the unfolding happenings of the world.

Posted on February 6, 2014 and filed under Uncategorized.

Outlaw Magic 101

Outlaw magic is electricity, sublimity, grandeur.  It's the fire of god, the breath of life, the orgasm of the universe. It's the magnetism of non-attachment which is fully engaged at the same time that it's fully non-grasping. Red_tara_01d-210

(This is Red Tara, the Buddha of Awake Desire - she's fully non-attached and fully magnetic - an archetypal Outlaw)

To touch it, you only have to do the hardest thing in the world.  To wield it, you only have to surrender. To let it course through you, you only have to die.

You have to die to the finite game you're playing with such great seriousness: the fight for security and comfort and the approval of others. You have to drop the story you've got about how you're out to prove something.

No matter if you win or lose in that finite game - no matter if you end up with your security and your comfort and your respectability - you've lost as long as you've taken it seriously.

You've lost because the seriousness crushes everything true in you.  It either inflates you or it deflates you.  But either way you're sunk. The most inflated finite player in the world is still not free, she's bound by the game she's attached herself to.

Because she's not free, the finite player is empty of passion.  Passion is the province of the free.  To be impassioned, you have to touch other people and liberate them.  You can't liberate anyone if you're regarding everyone as a competitor in the game.  The intimacy of touch requires total unconcealment.  Unconcealment is the one thing that the finite player cannot afford, because it kills her seriousness and wakes her up out of the game.

To be serious means you suffer if it looks like you're losing, and you exalt if it looks like you're winning. To play the finite game with seriousness means you try to make finite ends mean infinite things like approval and love.  It means to place limits on approval and love, to constrain them.

"I will only approve of this world and myself and everyone else when I succeed in getting this specific finite thing," is the unspoken rule of the serious finite player.

The outlaw is an outlaw because she's stopped playing the finite game with any seriousness.  She's outside of its rules, outside of its laws.

The outlaw decides to give herself total approval at all times.  She decides to regard herself as already having won in life, no matter what her circumstances look like, no matter how other people respond to her.

No one gave her the authority to do this.  No one can give her that authority.  She gave it to herself, because she fucking felt like it. Because she noticed that no one else was doing it. Except for maybe the power that runs the universe.

And a strange thing happens in that decision to be in approval of herself without condition: she gets free.

And her freedom is magnetic.

In all of her interactions with people - whether she's selling something or flirting or nurturing or arguing or teaching or dancing - there's a ringing clarity and ease.

The clarity is the absence of a covert agenda.  She's no longer asking for validation in anything she does.

This means that when she asks for something she's always asking cleanly and directly: for money, for attention, for sex, for surrender, for truth, for fun.

She's not secretly pulling for you to be in approval of her right to ask, of her right to her desire. She fucking doesn't care because she already fully approves of her right to ask and her right to desire.

Outlaw magic kicks into high gear the moment you decide that your's and everyone's liberation is more important to you than winning, looking good, or being comfortable. It's the magnetism of non-attachment and the freedom to be present in each moment without a secret agenda.

To access the magnetism of non-attachment, you have to first forgive yourself for how very very attached you've been. Forgive yourself for how much you've made yourself suffer over your finite games, and how you've used that suffering to hurt and disconnect and distance yourself from others.

When you forgive the attachment and suffering in yourself, you forgive it in all of us. And we need that. We need you to be able to see us struggling and deluded and lashing out in pain and anger or hiding in cowardice and fear and for you to stand in the presence of your freedom, regarding us with tremendous love, knowing the truth that we're also utterly free.

Outlaw magic is the ability to be playful with your darkness and terror and with ours.  It's the willingness to cast off the tyranny of our judging and alienating egos and to step into the throbbing electric current that links us all, all the time.

outlawmagiclightning

When you're standing wide-open in that current, strange and wonderful things happen.  People are dramatically changed by their encounters with you and you with them.

You wind up in far-flung corners of the earth or in fascinating nooks of your own hometown that you've never seen before - and you discover that miracles are in progress there: a man in a brocade coat with a high collar is playing a guitar, the full moon is pulsing, oil is being poured into your hands, children are inventing new languages.  The world is unfolding in its fullest imagination of itself, alive and weird.

You don't control the electric current of outlaw magic- but it asks for your participation.  You play it out, you dance with it, you move, you fall flat on your face. It hurts, you're bloodied - and you get up and go into the dance again.

A bit about me, Carolyn Elliott

coach magical, creative people to live turned-on, ecstatic lives rich with genius and electricity.  I’m the author of Awaken Your Genius: A Seven-Step Path to Feeing Your Creativity and Manifesting You Dreams (North Atlantic / Random House).  I also lead the Outlaw Court, a secret Facebook group where outlaws are hugely supported in rocking their magic and bringing their Things into the world – if you’re magic and you know it, you’re welcome to to join the Outlaw Court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on November 2, 2013 and filed under Uncategorized.

The Outlaw Court - where magic becomes power

We  magic people all know what it's like to feel downtrodden, misunderstood, and woefully disheartened by the  slog of life in conventional muggle society.

The muggles (DISCLAIMER: no one is truly and permanently a muggle.  Every living being is actually intensely magical - but if  someone is in denial about her magic, then she's functioning as a muggle and there's really no other way to say it, sad as it is)  have about a zillion means of raining on our ecstatic enchanted parades.

I've seen dear friends of mine locked up for weeks in institutions simply for expressing too much raucous joy while in a state of kundalini awakening.

I've also seen  fabulous magic people descend into addiction or depression because they just don't know how to make a sustainable living from their magic gifts in this muggle-dominated world.

I'm not going to sit idly by while the Nothing destroys my people.  I'm committed to bringing magic back to its rightful place at the center of our culture and helping magic people to flourish.

The Nothing =  the conditioned negative feelings and beliefs within all of us fear, self-pity, anxiety, self-doubt, resentment, worry, ignorance  in all its forms -- and the relentlessly boring, violent, ugly, consumerist world that springs up when people put their trust in the Nothing instead of in their magic. The Nothing is also the source of all the Static that slows us down in working on our Things.

In the Outlaw Court we're sparking a large-scale Rebirth of Magic (i.e., a Renaissance - from the French "naissance" meaning "birth" and the prefix "re" meaning "again").  And I'm inviting you to bring your fuel to the Renaissance-ing Fire at the cozy and dangerous outpost I'm founding for magic renegades who have a dear Thing that they want to bring forth into the world.

A Thing = a masterpiece, a business, a project, a calling, a relationship, a comedy troupe, a family, a dog show, a knitting group - could be any or all or none of these or something else.  Magic people just have Things they need to bring forth.  That's how the Nothing gets dissolved and how the Renaissance thrives. Through the Things magic people do.

The Nothing is practically impossible for us each to fight alone.  Many of us magic people have tragically gone crazy or gotten addicted to drugs or other numbing agents in the effort to survive the fight solo.  

Yet together - we can dissolve the power of the Nothing in our own hearts, thereby liberating ourselves and those around us.  Eventually we can reclaim this whole green globe  for the reign of  Magic, Imagination, Hotness, and Love - all while staying sane and thriving in the material realm.

So what exactly is the Outlaw Court?

 

The Outlaw Court is a (virtual, imaginal) ramshackle-yet-strangely-opulent outpost in a primeval forest  presided over by a benevolent-yet-also-unspeakably-wicked fairy queen  (ahem, c'est moi) where  magic people from all over the earth (and some other planets and dimensions too, to be honest) band together around a roaring hearth to outwit the soul-crushing Nothing and make GIANT progress on the projects that matter most to  us.

theoutlawcourt

(image: Court of the Faeries by James Christensen)

It's the place where we take our magic and turn it into power - power to make stuff happen while feeling easeful and grand.

In other words, the Outlaw Court is a  secret Facebook group where you get massive support for your magic and your Thing.  To find out more about the forms in which that support manifests, read on.

Yeah, but what's the vibe like?

The vibe is playful and weird and sexy and intimate. It's very fun and smart and quite intensely wonderful.

The Outlaw Court, unlike it's vast mega-festival of a sister group, The Dreamer's Tantra (7000+ members and counting! all of whom you are certainly welcome to join if you haven't already!) is a limited-membership, private, adults-only (18+) affair dedicated to serious magic, serious business, and serious fun. Seriously.

At the Outlaw Court, you don't need to downplay your strength or your vulnerability at all.

You can show up in  your full radiant regalia or just lay in a pile of misery on the floor.  Either way you'll get love and attention for all the parts of yourself and your dreams that need it.

The Outlaw Court proudly shelters and supports magic people of all stripes and flavors:

  • techno-shamans
  • intuitives
  • empaths
  • music-makers
  • dreamers of dreams
  • psychonauts
  • mad artists
  • tantrikas
  • cyber-punks
  • visionary poets
  • shape-shifters
  • dakinis
  • Taoist sages
  • wild beasts
  • gods
  • goddesses
  • muses
  • courtesans
  • witches
  • warlocks
  • everyone else who is awesome
  • - and obviously! - every sort of fairy

What You Get as a Courtier in the Outlaw Court

 

In 2013 - 2014 Outlaw Courtiers receive:

-  free access to frequent Courtier-led  Conjurings

Conjurings = we Courtiers gather in a Google hangout, review our progress on our Thing, celebrate our advances, brainstorm,  and decide on one action step we'll each complete on our Thing before the next Conjuring.

- free access to weekly Coaching Circles offered by  me (these Coaching Circles will cost more than $25 a pop for non-courtiers).

Coaching Circles = intimate group events wherein I give exquisite attention to individual Courtiers to individually to draw out their deepest desires and alchemize that desire into love and power.

- eligibility for the Magical Monthly Gifting

The Magical Monthly Gifting = each month, it's my good pleasure to choose a different Courtier to gift with a lump sum that I've decided to set aside by earmarking a $3 portion of what comes in from each Courtier's subscription fees.  So for example - when we get up to 1000 Courtiers in the group, the Magical Monthly Gifting I'll be able to award will be $3000.

NOTE: for official purposes, I need to mention that the Magical Monthly Gifting is not a lottery or even a guarantee.  It's just me telling you about something I happen to plan to do with a part of each subscription fee that I receive. The subscription payments, once I receive them, will be legally mine (as in, I'll be taxed on them as income). It just so happens that I like to give, so I plan to give.  And I'm letting you know that.  It could also be that I get taken over by a non-gifting virus and decide not to do the Magical Monthly Gifting at all. Very unlikely, but possible. And that non-gifting, though tragic and lamentable, would be my legal right, because it's my own personal taxed income that I can choose to gift or not gift.  So, just a heads up, folks.

- access to an ever-growing, brilliantly-curated Magic Library of rare books, music, and video resources.

The Magic Library = a page in the Files section of the Outlaw Court secret Facebook group with links to astounding riches to fuel your growth.

- and last but certainly not least: a vibrant, intimate, and loving forum full of magic people from around the world who've been self-selected for their willingness to dissolve the Nothing in themselves and others and bring about the Rebirth of Magic.

What Will Happen in the Outlaw Court

Multidimensional breakthroughs. Explosive revelations. Dissolution of blocks and fears.  The shrinking of the Nothing. The nurturing of businesses and the makings of the monies.  The healing of battle wounds. The births of tantric dragon bodhisattvas. The fulfillment of goals and wishes.  Much rejoicing.

WARNING

 

The Outlaw Court - though very friendly and cozy - is not for everyone.

We're about the pragmatic practice of real-life emotional alchemy and gritty, bloody, sexy,  fierce compassion - and not so so so much about  "love & light!"  and feel-good memes (except, you know, when we are).

This means that the Outlaw Court is best for magic people who are self-responsible adults (18+ only - sorry, kids) and who have a general tantric orientation towards life (i.e., you embrace all phenomenon- including passionate desire and anger and heartbreak as part of your path).

"So how much does this cost?"

 

Pioneer Courtiers who join in the months of October, November and December 2013 will enjoy a subscription rate of just $13 a month, and just so you know -  $3 out of each payment I'll be setting aside to my Magical Monthly Gifting.   The Pioneer Courtiers will continue to enjoy this same $13 per month  subscription rate throughout their stay at the Outlaw Court.

Courtiers who join after 2013 will enjoy a higher subscription rate. 'Cause thems the breaks.

"What if I sign up and then change my mind and want out?"

 

Mind-changing is cool.  Plus, I only want you to be in the Outlaw Court if you really want to be there.  So if you decide it's not for you, send me an email at carolyngraceelliott@gmail.com and I'll cancel your subscription payment for all future months and then take you out of the group and wish you very happy magic travels.   I won't be offering refunds for subscription payments that have already processed, though.  So if you join us, you'll be at least paying for one month's subscription.

"Okay, I'm in. Where do I join?"

Initiation into the Outlaw Court has four steps.  Three of which you do - one of which I do.

Please allow up to 72 hours for the whole process to happen - right now I'm a one-woman show who handles all administrative stuff solo.

NOTE: In addition to being a one-woman show, I'm also a tad absent-minded (kind of like Merlin - so many potions to brew, so little time!).  So if it seems to you like there's a snag in the process or it's taking longer than 72 hours for your add to the group to go through - please don't stress.  Just send me lots of love and another email and / or Facebook message to remind me to add you. Thank you.

1) Click the PayPal "Subscribe" button below and enter your debit, credit card, or PayPal account information.  I'll receive an email verifying your subscription payment.

2) After you enter your payment for subscription, send me an email at carolyngraceelliott@gmail.com with the subject heading "I'm ready for the Outlaw Court."  Include in the email your name on Facebook (very important so I can friend you and add you to the group!).  Also include in the email your answers to the following three questions so that I can introduce you to the group:

  • a) How has magic evidenced itself so far in your life?
  • b) What is your Thing, or what might your Thing be?
  • c) What are your super-powers?

3) Accept my Facebook friend request (very important - this step has to happen in order for me to add you to the group!).  My Facebook friend request should appear for you within 48 hours.  You can also get proactive about it and send me a friend request.  Oooh la la! So exciting! My name on Facebook is Carolyn Elliott.  Same as my actual name.

NOTE: If we're already Facebook friends it's a very good idea to send me a Facebook message and be like "Hey, what's up Carolyn? I subscribed to the Outlaw Court! Yay! Add me to the secret group!"

4) I add you to the group, introduce you to the gang of Courtiers using the answers to the questions you sent me , and the adventure begins!

The Incredibly Alluring and Delicious PayPal Subscribe Button

 

Oooooooooooh.  Isn't it so golden and shiny?

Posted on October 2, 2013 and filed under Uncategorized.

Sacred Feminine Rising 2013 with the Grand Water Trine - also, Tidal Waves of Awesomeness and Consciousness Shift

My consciousness is very much shifting with the Grand Water Trine of 2013 into a major awakening of kundalini and the sacred feminine. grandwatertrine2013pretty

I am still deep in the wondrous throws of it.

I feel the divine feminine roaring in me big time, and see it roaring in the people all around me too.

I have a feeling that this is the actual arrival of the Age of Aquarius.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9oq_IskRIg

I've been experiencing

  • non-stop synchronicity
  • exponential psychic growth
  • prophetic states of apotheosis with the Goddess
  • an inability to enable or protect falsehood in myself and others
  • a huge sense of empowerment in my femininity combined with a flow-ness that makes it tough to navigate practical life
  • a really intense impatience with cowardice in myself and in others, especially men
  • a huge fascination with creating a new imagination of sacred alchemical chivalry
  • a giant interest in the battle to dissolve the Nothing, which I feel becoming more intense everyday

... and I've been having people from all over the world, especially women and folks who highly identify with their own feminine energy reporting the same thing.

If you've been experiencing these things, please write to me and tell me about it: carolyngraceelliott@gmail.com.

Here are some things that I believe precipitated this giant kundalini awakening / Goddess apotheosis state in me recently and in past years:

  • aspring to and then taking Bodhisattva vows / cultivating bodhicitta
  • doing intense metta and Brahmavihara practice
  • taking the Shambhala Everyday Life classes at my local Shambhala Center with Acharya Adam Lobel
  • practicing Tonglen avidly as part of my Bodhisattva / bodhicitta practice
  • studying and practicing Higher Worlds and How to Know Them by Rudolf Steiner
  • talking to Dr. Andrew Harvey of Sacred Activism about the Cosmic Christ
  • reading and practicing A Course in Miracles for many years
  • being involved in 12 step recovery also for many years
  • doing tons and tons of The Work of Byron Katie
  • re-reading Plato's Symposium recently with an erstwhile philosopher lover of mine
  • watching tons of Die Antwoord videos (they're enlightened tantric masters doing lots of shadow integration work, I've decided)
  • watching tons of Lana Del Rey and Rihanna videos (ditto as for Die Antwoord)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bag1gUxuU0g

  • doing community work with Evolver, Transition, Shambhala, the Unity Center, and the magical community in Pittsburgh in general
  • watching Baz Lurhman's The Great Gatsby (which is all about desire) and listening to the soundtrack - especially to Jay-Z's and Kanye West's No Church in the Wild which is of huge importance to me now:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJt7gNi3Nr4

  • writing my book, Awaken Your Genius
  • writing my novel, The Arcana
  • finishing my dissertation, Poetic Inquiry
  • committing to being truthful
  • getting lots of feedback on my ideas from Facebook friends - also, if you'd like to keep up with me easiest, please friend me on Facebook, that's where I do a ton of my writing these days.
  • committing to refraining from taking or coveting anything that isn't naturally mine for my life journey
  • experimenting with the Six Yogas of Naropa especially tummo meditation
  • having my very painful personal apocalypse in 2012 of getting married to a deep love of my life and then unmarried
  • undergoing alchemical transformation within that marriage / unmarriage
  • recovering from my deep despair this spring via Bodhisattva aspiration, EFT, and lots of socializing via a club I helped to found in town called Weekly Walking Club which takes long walks in all weathers on Sunday afternoons and often parties before and after.
  • talking a lot to other magical people in the Dreamer's Tantra Facebook group that I facilitate (come join us!)
  • leading a giant Summer Solstice ritual to create sacred alchemical chivalry between the masculine and feminine in all of us ona big plateau and playing the Fairy Queen Titania throughout that night
  • receiving lots of insight from very wise men including the astrologer Adam Elenbaas of Nightlight Astrology and the all-around creative dynamo Matthew Stillman of Stillman Says

 

 

And also being supported by a lot of other magical people in Pittsburgh including my dear friends

 

 

 

All of which is to say - creating and raising little Kundalini awakening Dakini Buddha Babies like myself takes a village - actually a whole damn city.

I also just realized that here in Pittsburgh, our gorgeous Three Rivers + our underground Fourth River which fuels our lovely fountain (which was recently fucked by rainbows) is itself a kind of Grand Water Trine - and probably the sacred geography has something to do with why we here in town are experiencing this shift with such marked intensity.

And I'm sure I'll have more to say about it soon - especially on Facebook - please hook up with me there if you're interested.

How about you? What's up with your shift?

Come tell me and lots of us magic people all about it in The Dreamer's Tantra.

Love and tantra,

Carolyn

The Evolver Convergence: A Report

I was privileged to help organize (along with Sophie Batchelor, Annie Derek, Chad Mosesso, all the fab people at Evolver HQ and a ton of volunteers) the first Evolver Convergence which happened in Pittsburgh this past weekend.

Since I'd been sporeganizing for the past year I thought I knew all about the wonders that can come from bringing together gorgeous geniuses. I figured that the Convergence would be lovely and I'd have a great time and meet some grand people and business as usual, etc. etc.

What a vast, vast underestimation. By the end of the Convergence on Sunday, our outpouring of love and wisdom synchronously brought us an astounding quadruple rainbow which we all rushed out to see.

So how did we do that?

Energetically speaking - with so much deep heart opening and harmonizing. I felt not only that we were talking about evolution, but actively bringing it about just by being with one another in such an environment of intention and deep thought and beauty. I've been to a lot of spiritual retreats and festivals and parties in my lifetime, but I've never experienced so much optimism, joy and deeply personal connection at an event. From talking to others, I gather that this was a shared sense. I'm still so awe-struck.

Here's a loose summary:

On Friday at the Wherehouse (a freaky visionary art studio made extra-special with extraordinary and unique-to-the-Convergence art installations by Sophie Batchelor, Zev Rechter, Laurie Shapiro, Hannah Thompson and North Star), Jonathan Talat-Phillips activated our chakras and loosened us up with his own bold story of spiritual awakening and extra-terrestrial encounters. Then we heard the meltingly strange music of Ivory Weeds and Dean Cercone Jr.

First thing on Saturday, Charles Eisenstein led us to speak freely and deeply to one another of our most cherished dreams for the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible and also to name our own gifts and the gifts of the person next to us. And all of this occurred in the auspiciously super-golden and angel-crowned sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church in Shadyside (a very progressive church and community center that we in Pittsburgh are so blessed to have). With this help, we were vibrating and resonating and open at all levels, most especially at the heart level.

Throughout the day on Saturday we enjoyed workshops and panels from truly gifted leaders, teachers and healers that continued to ground us in our bodies and sense of connection to the cosmos and each other.

Daniel Pinchbeck anchored the day with a talk on enjoying the transformation of our world. What I got from Daniel's talk was a momentous sense of possibility and inspiration.

On Saturday night we returned to the Wherehouse Art Studio decked out in eye-popping costumes for the Inner Divinity Costume Party. I saw incarnations of Kwan Yin, Venus, Sai Baba, Adonis, Freya, Odr, and Artemis. Also present were Kabuki demons, wild wolf women, forest nymphs and glow-stick elves from the future. I was thrilled to hear a sumptuous spectrum of sounds throughout the night - everything from mind-bending electronica to progressive rock to conscious hip hop to psychedelic gypsy accordion brass!. I was most excited by Lungs Face Feet (the gypsy-ish brass band) who performed in red Mandarin suits and took us fully into another dimension.

The talks and panels resumed on Sunday at a leisurely pace as we were all recovering from the grandness of the party. For me the highlight of the day on Sunday was getting to participate in the Evolver Network Roundtable wherein sporeganizers from around the country spoke about what they've been doing in their city and what Evolver means to them. It was beautiful to realize that so many of us doing this deep work are brilliant and powerful women. Daniel and Jonathan-Talat both mentioned the need for us ladies to step up and do speaking engagements in more places and I could so feel the need for that.

On Sunday night we sporeganizers managed to get ourselves over to the lovely Verde Mexican Restaurant for a fantastic meal together (we totally took the place over and Evolver'd it up! I loved our raucous toasts!) and then, by a miraculous feat of spontaneous organization, got it together to have a bon fire over on the other side of town at the magnificently beautiful Bandi Shaum plateau. Bandi Shaum is a spot not many in Pittsburgh know about. It overlooks the city's downtown and it's also a quite glorious wilderness. Professional musicians from Chaibaba showed up and drummed for us.

Sitting on a blanket cuddled up with old friends and new ones I felt continually dazzled - between the beauty of the bright brilliant full moon, the fire itself, the vista of the city, and the faces of the incredible beloved evolvers all around.

On Monday we gathered together once more, now just the sporeganizers, to talk about our dreams and get help with our challenges. That conversation was so energizing - and so glorious for me as the lucky Pittsburgh sporeganizer deluged with new talented volunteers!

After the Sporeganizer's Summit I was treated to a dream massage by two pairs of loving and gifted hands. (Thank you Jeanine and David!!) Those of us still in town were treated to a beautiful dinner at Verity Grace's place in Highland Park.

Today I quite unexpectedly and synchronously ran into Verity again while getting lunch in my neighborhood (she's a Pittsburgher but I'd never met her before the Convergence) and she took me to a Venus Transit Viewing party.

I can tell the synchronicities are just beginning to super-speed up for me. I'm starting to feel that Terrence McKenna was really really really right on when he talked about how the interconnections just start racing together in 2012. I can feel the shift evolving into presence - how about you?

I hope that everyone will write about their experiences with the Convergence - I've just scratched the surface with this summary, I could go so much deeper into my own personal reflections and processing - and I know I'll need to soon.

In the meantime, here's a video of us prepping the Wherehouse for the festivities - gives a sense of the scope of the amazing art present:

httpv://youtu.be/17sHWVrEGik

Alan Moore is a world-class sorcerer worth studying, and so is your dreaming mind...

Dear Wonder, Here are the gems I dug up a few weeks ago. If you'd like my discoveries fresh in your inbox, sign up here.

THE GEMS

 The Mindscape of Alan Moore - free online documentary 

 

I've enjoyed Alan Moore's amazing graphic novels for a long time, but it wasn't until just the other day that a friend posted an interview with him on facebook that I saw his wild-man visage and heard his intense working-class British accent. Just watching Alan Moore speak feels like its own graphic adventure. This documentary gives ample opportunity to listen to Moore explain himself and his creative ethos in-depth. Which is grand. Here's a bit of Moore's dark, dry humor on his own career trajectory: "I found myself working at a skinning yard and tannery, at the bottom of Bedford road in North Hampton, which was probably the bleakest place I've ever been in my life, waking up at seven in the morning and dragging huge heavy dripping sheep skins over vats of urine, water, blood, excrement....I was expelled from that job for smoking dope in the bathroom.... the next job I could get was that of a toilet-cleaner at a hotel... it more or less went down hill from there until I finally ended up as a comics writer."

Stephen LeBerge's Lucidity Institute

 

I've been contemplating making Love & Anarchy more about dreams and dreaming-- and in my researches I came across Stephen LeBerge's wonderful resource. LeBerge is one of the pioneering researchers into lucid dreaming, and has published a number of classic books on the subject. The Lucidity Institute page features excerpts from the books and pretty much everything one could need to get started with becoming conscious within one's dreams.

Ithaca - Michael Guy Bowman (free streaming album)

My weekly stroll around bandcamp uncovered the quirky, upbeat and delightful pop genius of Michael Guy Bowman. Listening to this a lot like listening to early 90s Top 40, with all the earnest weirdness of that genre underscored and inflated. Bowman has done for the 90s what the Modern Lovers did for the 50s -- revved it up again with fresh, bouncy enthusiasm and unironic joy.

UPDATES

I interviewed one of my favorite folks, Matthew Stillman, about creativity and living in the gift. Part one of that interview is available now.

Abigail Amalton offered a beautiful guest post on Art, Love and Transmutation.

I've been thrilled to have coaching sessions with amazing folks all over the world. After one session, a client told me that she felt she'd had a bigger shift from talking to me for 45 minutes than she would have from years of therapy. So, that was rad. Wanting your own breakthrough? Why not schedule your own session with me today?

Soul Sustainability + the Temples of Humankind + the English Opium-Eater

[Whenever I send out a new letter full of gems and updates, I post an old one here.  Sign up now to get the gems hot and fresh as I find 'em.]  

Hello wonders,

This week we've got a deep meditation on soul sustainability, a tour of the Temples of Humankind, and the first best-selling addiction memoir ever.

THE GEMS

Soul Sustainability (pdf)

 

Soul Sustainability from Evolve Deep

Rhina Ju is a dynamic visionary artist and lifestyle concierge (the word means "keeper of the candles"!). This week she offered a beautiful meditation on her philosophy of sustainable soul culture. Check it out if you need some nourishment.

Damanhur - The Temples of Humankind (youtube series)

Damanhur Temple Dream Intentional Community

Deep beneath the earth in Northern Italy, an intentional community has built an astounding, gigantic network of chambers dedicated to honoring the fullest potential of humanity and divinity in concert. Built over decades by dedicated artisans as a labor of devotion, hese halls and temples are visually stunning and profoundly inspiring.

Confessions of an English Opium Eater - Thomas de Quincey (pdf book)

 

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

"I am too much a eudaemonist," the erudite Thomas de Quincey lamented. He meant, "I really want to feel good ALL THE TIME." This, of course, is a hallmark of an addictive personality. De Quincey shocked the world with his loopy, brilliant, and touching memoir of his opium addiction -- the first that the genteel world had ever seen. De Quincey, a prolific and well-respected political economist, suffered terribly during his youth as a homeless orphan in London. He began taking opium first to ease the horrible stomach pains he acquired after too many years of hunger damaged his digestive system. After a time, he noticed opium's entertaining side effects and began taking it for visionary exploration. Sadly, his fondness for the drug led him into terrible despair and paranoid delusions. (He came to believe that a Mongolian warrior was visiting him at his cottage in the cotswolds and threatening the purity of his maidservant.) As far as I'm concerned, one of today's addiction memoirs touch De Quincey's for sheer lyrical wonder and emotional intensity. Read it to better understand the addict in all of us.

THE UPDATE

My first low-cost coaching sessions ($25 each) have been going amazingly well. Here's a testimonial from the brilliant Abigail Amalton, artist and photographer at The Silent Infinite:

"Carolyn’s approach spoke to my soul directly. When I spoke of my difficulties with finding my audience, she knew exactly what I had to heal in my own psyche in order to connect better with others through my work. I’ve had negative past experiences in the field of life coaching that have left me feeling condescended to, being forced into a specific ideology and like I needed to be fixed. Not so with Carolyn: she spoke to me as a friend and kindred soul on the same path, extending a hand and rooting for me. I experienced total acceptance in her presence and as a result of the compassion she extended me, I learned how to be kinder to myself. In my conversation with Carolyn, I felt truly appreciated, listened to and valued as an artist and a human being. Months later, I’m still amazed at how just one experience of true compassion can so positively shift one’s self-perception."

Thank you, Abigail! You can schedule your own soul-shifting session with me here.

Also, Part 4 in the series Surrender Your Addiction to Suffering is up.

Love!

Carolyn