Learning to Dance in the Subtle Energy Field with Argentine Tango

Last night I got my mind blown all over the dance floor. How? My first Argentine Tango lesson with the WWU Tango Club.

Explosive stuff, tango. The core concept behind Argentine Tango is to have your attention on your chest. You keep your chest connected, by an invisible cord, to your partner’s chest.

The idea is you are always chest to chest regardless of how close you are to each other. And that is why, as I’ll describe later, Argentine Tango has the potential to be a particularly powerful energy field meditation.

Dance Class? Really?

A month or so ago I asked my friends for suggestions on where to go to learn ballroom dancing. I wanted to get over an insecurity about dancing and have another social outlet for meeting people. I figured finding a class where I wasn’t the only one feeling awkward would help.

One of my friends suggested Argentine Tango. She thought I would really appreciate tango because of the energetic connection partners can experience while dancing and pointed me at AllBellinghamTango. As it turns out, friendly, welcoming communities of tango lovers have formed all over the US. Including, in my smallish town.

Another avenue for exploring, experiencing and expressing the subtle energetic field? Get out of the house with fun people a couple times a week to boot? Even better. Let’s do it!

Every Tuesday, the WWU Tango Club, gathers at the university multipurpose room to teach, learn, practice, and reconnect with each other through tango. And they are definitely enthusiastic!

Learning the dance is fun even though I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Not terribly complicated, either. At least, in the early stages. Though I’m going to need some practice, I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it. Oh and as a side note: Thank goodness for gracious partners!

What was difficult was putting my attention on my chest while learning to dance with another person. Usually, when I put my attention on my chest I am doing energy work of some kind or another, meditating, or going about my daily life flowing energy for no particular reason.

I found myself habitually going into meditative awareness of my chest and heart instead of focusing on the dance movements. Great learning for me! Breaking patterns is a good thing! Helps with opening awareness.

What I am not typically doing in those meditative states is coordinating my body motions with another person in such close physical proximity. Especially, when that someone is wearing spiky heels that look like they could go straight through my sock clad foot and pin it to the floor with a single misstep.

And I loved it! A little danger has a nice way of keeping one on their toes, so to speak.

After this first lesson I can see why my friend thought I would enjoy Argentine Tango. Tango is practically designed to encourage the dancers to cultivate energetic connection. The people really are friendly and get together quite a bit, too.

Granted my experience with other dance is extremely limited. Mostly, free-form or ecstatic dance. Which is very different from Tango in a number of ways.

Argentine Tango is full of tradition, clear protocols, and what some might consider sexist roles. There’s a special tea we drink before starting the lessons. Can’t say it tasted all that great but I can see acquiring a taste for it. Men are leads and expected to be confident leaders. Women are follows and expected to be confident followers. Partners have to depend on each other.

Then there is the clear potential for Argentine Tango to be a powerhouse for developing heart energy awareness and connection. What really caught my attention and why I believe there’s so much potential for developing energetic awareness and sensitivity is the high degree of focus.

Intention and energy flow to where you place your attention. This is true whether you are working in the mental, emotional, spiritual or physical realms.

The protocols and rules can act as magnifiers of your attention on heart connection. The instructors didn’t describe it that way. It is hard to miss the presence of your heart in your chest, though. Just imagine dancing three songs or about twelve with a partner. Following the music, responding to subtle shifts with your partner while you are both focusing your attention on moving from your chest is going to shift your awareness of a connection at some point.

Awareness at the physical level does provide the foundation for higher levels of awareness. One wouldn’t have to shift into these other realms but I have heard many people describe Tango in energetic and spiritual terms. I suspect the slip from physical dance to energetic or spiritual dance happens for many dancers.

There is probably a tango community near you. Check it out!

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Why Learn How To Feel Energy or Chi?

“There are guides that can show you the way.
Use them. But they will not satisfy your longing.

Keep wanting that connection
with all your pulsing energy.

The throbbing vein
will take you further
than any thinking.

Mohammed said, “Don’t theorize
about essence!” All speculations
are just more layers of coverings.
Human beings love covering!

They think the designs on the curtains
are what’s being concealed.”
–Rumi

Don’t theorize is good advice. Direct experience has been my approach to the spiritual and energetic. No amount of thinking and talking to yourself will develop awareness of energy or chi.

Why Learn How To Feel Energy?

Developing your sensitivity to subtle energy adds another sense to the customary set of five. For example, a stranger sat next to me the other day. Turning to face each other, I immediately sensed a void or blankness. The sensation was a mixture of physical feeling and something else I’m not sure how to explain.

Later, in conversation, it came out this person was feeling sad and vulnerable. In other situations, where people are in pain or ill, feeling the energy flow as a tingling sensation is common. From there, holding a healing space for them is a simple matter of intention and surrender.

Becoming sensitive to this energy is rather simple though can take practice. Your body is like an antenna for chi or subtle energy. You were born with this sense. Through cultural influences it has atrophied. Kind of like living in a dark cave and losing your eyesight.

If you wish to regain your energy sense you can starting today. Here’s how:

  • Focus on Your Breath A Few Minutes
  • Relax Your Body By Systematically Noticing Tension
  • Pay Attention To One Part Of Your Body
  • Notice Body Sensations Just Under Your Skin

If you practice this regularly, it won’t be long before you find yourself feeling an ever so slight tingle just beneath your skin. You may well feel it immediately!

A couple of tips that will help you feel energy:

  • Have a Playful Attitude – Seriousness really restricts energy flow.
  • Childlike Curiosity will also help.
  • Allow – Forcing will get in the way. Focus on your breath while being aware of the sensation beneath your skin. This may sound tricky but it works to disengage the logical mind from the process.

Pay attention, intend to feel the energy, and surrender, allowing the sensation to be noticed.

With practice you can learn to increase the flow of the energy, as well as guide it. Your body, the antenna, works both as a receiver and a transmitter. Holding healing spaces for people is a common practice for people developing the ability to work with energy. You get to practice opening to guiding the flow while helping hold a beautiful space for someone.

Overcoming Stage Fright, Reading My Own Poetry in Public for the First Time, and Talking with Women

Across an ocean in a foreign land,
Words of the guru fell into the man’s hand.

Mystery cried for him in the darkness,
Her tears, eons old, waiting for him to wake.

Feeling her warmth night after night,
Vulnerability was her power.

He would eventually learn.

Love and light is a perilous path,
Darkness may kill you but it’s the Mystery you seek.

While She grinds beneath you urging you on,
Slowly destroying you so you may be born.

–Me 🙂

Part I – First Poetry Reading

Last night was Poetry Night in Bellingham and I read my own work for the first time. Second poet in the second set if you wish to listen to the podcast. I haven’t checked to see if I am in the recording, yet. If you listen to the podcast and I am on it, please let me know as I’m avoiding listening to myself speak.

Yep, bright lights, a stage, a microphone, and an audience of very good poets. My heart was pounding and my voice trembled when I got up on stage to introduce this poem, written mid December 2011. How good the poem is I have no idea. My goals were to be on stage, share something I created, and feel my voice project from my heart as I spoke.

How did it feel when I was done? I felt like I could get right back up there! In retrospect, the nervous feeling was a mixture of excitement and not really all that much fear. Given I didn’t feel like throwing up before hand, really, the reading went very well. It may have helped that I had not planned on reading when I decided to go to poetry night. I brought my notebook to do some writing before the show. A friend persuaded me to give it a go.

Part II – Talking with Women

Afterward, the poets meet up at the Copperhog for beer and great conversation. This is where I got my second chance to deal with fear and insecurity. Between massive stress, depression, divorce, general instability in my life, and spending so much time doing the introspective work over the last 5 years, my social skills have really atrophied. Like in the toilet. Really.

Anyway, a charming, attractive woman I had never met before sat down next to me at the Copperhog. She had been at poetry night last night. I have no idea if she is in a relationship or not and it really makes no difference. The fact is, she’s the type who can make my brain shut down. Immediately following said shutdown, typically an awkward silence builds as I run screaming into myself.

Not last night though! While I still have a ways to go, I don’t feel I did terribly during the conversation last night! Woohoo! I’m relearning! Eventually, I may even be able to be the goofy smart-ass in public that I am with my kids and sisters in private.

What does this have to do with you?

The mind can get in the way of the heart. We learn to control the mind so we can experience what it is to live by our hearts. The mind is a tool. The heart is supposed to be in charge. Fear and insecurity come from the ego which lives in the mind.

Love comes from the heart. These days we spend most of our time living from the mind with no balance from the heart. Your heart whispers to you. When you quiet your mind you will be able to hear its message. Once you learn to listen to your heart it’s time to learn how to act without fear, according to its guidance. Take action in the world you were born into, as well as the inner worlds. Act with balance and ease.

Find your edges. Those place you fear to get to close to in life that are holding you back. Explore them. Your heart is waiting for you to feel the joy of being free of the limitations of the ego.

5 Tips for Turning Your Vision Board into a Reality Altering Billboard

People use vision boards to bring the changes they want into their lives. Romance, health, wealth and more. The vision board is a constant reminder and inspiration. All you need to do is paste images of what you want in your life into a collage. Check out this great post by Christine Kane on how to make a vision board.

How To Use The Vision Board – The Basics

    The vision board can work in one of two ways:

  • You find yourself getting very emotionally attached to and inspired by achieving the goals. As a result you work very hard and eventually your dreams come true. Congratulations! Your hard work paid off.
  • You can also use the vision board to attract what you want in your life via spiritual or energetic principles. You are setting an intention and allowing the Universe to fulfill it. While, of course, taking action and putting yourself into the flow of life.Caution: Emotional attachment to outcomes will interfere with fulfillment by the Universe. Because life is about learning and growing, emotional attachment adds other elements to the attraction process. The Universe is indifferent to what your ego thinks you want or need and reflects back to you like a mirror the experiences you ask for. Whether you are aware of sending the request or not.

If you’re interested in the second approach there are tools to make the process even more effective. You might want to experiment to see which you are most comfortable using. One thing they all have in common is they become more effective the more you practice with them. Repeated use tells the Universe you’re serious about your intent. The repetition brings the tools and your vision to life at an energetic level.

In “The Druid Magic Handbook” John Michael Greer describes this process in detail. Specifically, he writes about using simple symbols to attract complex situations. The simplicity of the symbol makes creating a strong intent much easier. The more you use the symbol the greater its effectiveness.

You can even reuse symbols. If Richard Bartlett is correct in his observations on guides and helpers in “The Physics of Miracles”, and in my experience he is, when groups of people use the same symbol or guide the results are dramatically improved.

In using these various tools you are imprinting on the universal life force. Whether or not the life force imprint is present in your life physically, yet, doesn’t matter. The stronger the imprint the sooner the physical representation will come to you.

How To Use Your Vision Board – Advanced Tools

  • Vision Board Meditation is the combining of the vision board with regular meditation. Body relaxation, allowing your thoughts to drift and observing yourself. Just add to your meditation the placing of your attention on the vision board with the detached, focused intent to have what it represents fulfilled.
  • Symbolism is the process of using or creating a simple symbol to represent the vision board and all it contains. Your vision board is probably pretty complex. Focusing on a simple symbol representing the vision board will allow you to concentrate your intention.
  • Symbolic Workshop Space is a workshop in your imagination. In this space you are all powerful. Create, build, attract whatever you wish in your life. Remember, from the life force or Universe perspective, it is the imprint that is important. That it is in your imagination is no different than if it was in your basement. In the workshop you are creating the imprint both of the workshop and the vision you are attracting. You can even combine the workshop space with the Symbolism process.
  • Spirit Guides and other entities, pick your favorite, are one of my main tools. You can think of them as symbols that can move, talk, and respond to you. You may find that some existed before you thought of creating them and other not until you brought them into your imagination. The principle is the same as with the Symbols. The more you work with the guides the more effective they will be.
  • Direct Life Force Imprinting is about working directly with the life force. Your body is like an antenna. While you always have life force running through you, you can learn to open yourself even more. With increased flow your effectiveness at imprinting and even guiding the life force improves greatly. This process can be subtle and forcing can be problematic. Getting a good strong buzzing flow going, though, and imprinting your intention at the same time can be very effective.

Personally, I haven’t used the simple symbolism much. Also, I’ve found Direct Life Force Imprinting can be combined with any of the other tools for improved results.

Using entities, symbolic work space, and direct life force imprinting have been a very effective combination for me. I’ve used these processes in both my personal and business life for a number of years. What I’ve found is that I get exactly what I ask for. When I ask with strong intent and a good buzz of life force flowing through my body things happen fast. The more I’ve used the techniques the faster and more accurate the results. And I get it whether I really wanted the result or not! It’s all learning and I am grateful for the growth I’ve experienced. If nothing else you will learn to laugh and enjoy the process.

Before trying any of these techniques start simple and give some thought to the request you are about to make.

For your reference here are the resources mentioned:

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Lessons Given to Me by Two Psychic Deer

I would like to share a rather unusual, true story from my life. It’s about two psychic deer that I tracked near my home one day ten or twelve years ago. What happened when I touched their tracks at the end of the trail is what this blog is about.

My first encounter with touching tracks resulted in two lucid dreams that were like visions and a series of related dreams over a number of years afterward. I had touched a track made by a mountain lion after a few days of meditating in the woods and doing awareness exercises with a group. Group work can be pretty powerful! The above photo is of a mountain lion track a friend found in Idaho. Different cat, same type of track.

The story I wanted to share, though, starts on a late spring afternoon near Bellingham, Washington. One of the practices I was actively doing at the time was going to a sit spot on a nearly daily basis. A sit spot is a place one goes to sit, watching and observing nature while doing awareness exercises with one’s physical senses. The idea is to become familiar with one spot on the Earth throughout the seasons. The act of doing such a simple thing is, in fact, so profound it will require a number of future posts to cover. This particular spot I had been visiting for at least half an hour five times a week over the course of a number of months.

My sit spot was at the edge of an overgrown field, ringed mostly by alder trees and bordered by a creek. I had encountered coyotes, deer and a number of other birds and animals over the months. Ringed by trees and a creek that ran down one side this field was actually just yards from a large housing development. The planners had done a decent job of preserving the natural environment but even so this was definitely not virgin forest in the middle of nowhere.

Yet, the animals were there despite all the people living nearby. And they became comfortable with me being present while they went about their daily routines. Coyotes would pass by me within yards with barely a glance in my direction. After a while, all the animals seemed to see me as just another part of the forest. Even the squirrels!

On this afternoon, two deer had come through the trees, about fifteen yards to my right. As an side note, there’s something you should know about deer. Reputation aside, they are not the stealthy creatures of the forest. In fact, they can be pretty damn noisy. More often than not you can find them by the stumbling and snorting that precedes them as they eat their way across the landscape. I don’t know. Maybe there’s a difference between suburban deer and rural deer. A few more mountain lions might quiet them down.

These two clowns were definitely of the suburban variety. I had heard them coming for a good five minutes before they reached the field. When they reached the field they stopped for a moment and stepped into the long grass. From there they walked down the middle of the field about 20 feet apart and parallel to each other.

After they passed I decided to follow them. They didn’t seem to mind so for the next twenty minutes or so I walked when they walked and stopped when they stopped. I kept my distance such that they wouldn’t feel threatened.

As we approached the other end of the field the two deer crossed paths. From where I was standing I could see exactly where they crossed. When they stopped to graze at the far end of the field stalked quietly up to the spot their trails crossed.

When I knelt down I could see the tracks, less than a foot apart, of each of the deer and which individual made them, clearly. Grazing fifteen yards in front of me both deer were facing away from me.

Kneeling there in the field, I recalled a story one of my mentors told me about animals being able to sense when someone touches their tracks. What a perfect time to test this idea out. With both the deer looking the other direction I touched one track. As soon as my finger touched the soil the deer that made the track lifted its head, turned and looked directly at me. When I lifted my finger the animal went back to grazing. Interesting. So, I decided to try it again with the other set of tracks. Same thing happened as soon as I touched the other set of prints. Head came up, turned, looked directly at me. When I lifted my fingers slightly, back it went to grazing.

What happened that day with the deer? What shifted in me that allowed me to be there and have the experience with them?

The answers to those questions are deceptively simple. Learning to work with the energies representing the connection felt by the deer that day as well as consciousness is also simple. Again, deceptively so.

Once you open your awareness and further develop your consciousness your world will change in a number of ways. You’ll see and feel things others are not, yet, aware of in their own lives.

You will also be challenged. Your own ego will keep finding ways to interfere. From feelings of self-importance to inadequacy. Everything will pop up at you to challenge your peace of mind. The biggest challenge is in not complicating things. Something the mind and ego are particularly good at doing.

And this is where the nature awareness routines will be so valuable. When you sit alone developing your awareness of and empathy with the various elements and life forms in nature your ego you will discover a very special mirror has been waiting for you.

Nature is the ultimate mirror for your ego. Beyond human and absolutely indifferent to your ego or even physical survival, nature is able to reflect Truth to you. Personally, I found this rather comforting. My life, until my nature meditations and experiences, seemed to be filled with rather arbitrary rules. This system which was far bigger than myself and not ruled by other humans and their whims, had very simple rules. And was completely unfazed by the whining of my ego.

What happens as you spend more time in nature and your ego has nobody to argue with other than a cedar tree who couldn’t care less?

  • Your inner dialogue will trail off into silence.
  • You will learn to hear the quiet voice of your heart.
  • Your intuition becomes more reliable.
  • Your dreams have things to teach you.
  • You begin to feel energies you hadn’t felt before.
  • You inner life becomes both richer and calmer.
  • You are attracting things into your life intentionally.

As you keep tuning in to the natural world. quieting your mind, you also notice the influence your consciousness and heart have over your life and relationships. Researchers are even able to detect these influences of the heart, brain and mind, now. There are even some fascinating developments in physics research happening that offer exciting insights into our true potential as conscious beings. Here are some links you may find interesting to explore:

Thank you for taking the time to read this far. I hope you found this first post helpful. My goals for this blog are simple:

  • Write insanely valuable posts that will be useful to you on your spiritual path.
  • Learn from each other and grow together.

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Comments welcome and appreciated!

Loving Yourself and Living Up to Your Potential

Below is a post I made this morning on my Facebook account:

Don’t let other people make you feel bad about yourself because you don’t meet their expectations of what you could be. Where ever you are in life right now is exactly where you need to be in this moment. You can not help but be growing and learning constantly. Accept and love yourself. The rest will unfold naturally as you learn to balance allowance and action.

It’s okay if you are not expressing what other people see as your potential. You don’t have any obligations to live up to their expectations of  your potential.  If you want change in your life you can have it. The process of learning to make the change itself is an accomplishment in itself! If it takes you fifty years then it takes you fifty years. If it takes you fifty lifetimes then it takes you fifty lifetimes!

Buying into other people’s judgments about your life, though, can slow you down. You can spend your years building a life that you love or one that you hate.  You will learn a lot either way.  For myself, I’ve found choosing Love is a lot more fun.

Learning to Love and Accept yourself as you are in this very moment is key. And it can feel very frustrating and slow and lonely and all sorts of other feelings. Resisting any feeling, though, just makes it stronger. Allow those feelings to pass through you without judgment. Allow life to express itself through you. As you do, you’ll learn to act within Allowance. Your life will flow and unfold with perfect timing and joy.

Feeling a Friend’s Heart Breaking

Earlier this week, I met with a friend. We talked for quite a long time about this and that. It wasn’t until we were in the parking lot leaving that he began to share why he wanted to meet up with me.

He and his partner have recently chosen not to be together. Both of these friends are each wonderful people and amazing together. I hadn’t understood what was happening with them until this moment in the parking lot when we finally got down to the heart of things.

As my friend moved beyond his rational mind into the still place, I felt his heart breaking in my chest. This wasn’t an emotional response. It was very much like opening myself to energetic flow. Typically, it’s my hands responding to someone’s physical pain. In this moment the electric charge feeling was in my chest, and I’m pretty sure my heart. And it passed through my body like a wave of energy would in a healing session.

My friends feel guided to not be together. And I was present to feel what was happening energetically with one of them as they pulled apart. This may be the first time I’ve been sensitive enough to be aware of something like this physically in my heart.

Like I said it wasn’t an emotional experience. In fact, the energetic hit took me by surprise. Afterwards there was a sense of released tension in my body.

We are all connected. Whether we are aware of the connection or not it is there. Your heart is a very real, physical connection point to the rest of humanity.