Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coming in for a Landing

Well, the flying goat I've been riding seems to be finally coming in for a landing. Today is the most normal I've felt since sometime last Wednesday. Last big hallucinations were Sunday afternoon; all the leaves on the trees around my house were waving at me. Scratch that; it was actually only the yellow and gold leaves that were waving. Guess the red, orange and brown leaves aren't my biggest fans.
For awhile I was totally mesmerized by the feeling of my pants against my legs - I was aware of each hair and skin cell as the fabric moved against them. I was as close to just completely freaking out as I could be about that time. Even last night I could see beams of light from all the lightbulbs in my house. I'd just burst out laughing and Lori would ask what was so funny, but I could never explain it.
Apart from that sort of hyper-awareness, everything is still rather amazing. Whatever I do or see feels like it's the first time. Yesterday my office phone rang (Thank God, I work from home or I'd have to take this whole week off probably) and I was just blown away. I didn't know what to do. Just noticed colored lights on the phone that I'd swear weren't there before and I was dumbfounded as to what to do next. Granted this phone is a little different, I could answer with the handset or pick a set of headphones, but I had to think and notice it all before I could decide how to answer the phone. Almost everything has been like that. The first time I answered an email yesterday... I was thrilled! I was as proud as if I'd just completed some major research paper or something. Just so... wild.
But it is settling down. This morning I was taking Homer for a walk. In the driveway it started raining and I though about going back inside. Then I realized, I didn't feel wet. I could see and hear that it was raining rather hard - but not on me. So we walked on and of course it was amazing. At one point I thought someone was behind me, I turned and a single gold leaf was falling and twirling right past my face. It reminded me of the dancing plastic bag in "American Beauty". I thought that scene was so stupid with the kid in tears about how beautiful the trash was. Needless to say, I don't feel like that anymore. :)
I even 'synced again last night for first time since Friday, later Lori shook me awake because my whole body was lurching, jumping to catch some missed breath like when I did the circular breathing at the retreat. Bizarro.
So beyond the occasional communicating with leaves, every thing's back to normal.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Awareness or Acid?

Well, I'm back home safe and sound. Been up since before 5am which was quite a surprise since I'd only slept 3 hours the night before. Still don't feel quite "right" or "normal", but maybe this is the new "normal". It's like I'm on some low level acid trip - everything is noticeably brighter, sharper, deeper. Flying yesterday was fantastic and thrilling. It was like it was my first flight ever, at times I was staring out the window gawking at the clouds and sky in amazement with a big shit eating grin on my face. And music, God, music is just so much more moving - every lyric is stunning. The only poor schmuck sitting with me who had to put up with my smiling, singing and tears was me - luckily I had a row to myself on the first flight. Second flight was a different story, but I didn't care by then. I was in my own space and enjoying the madness. Not sure if people didn't notice me or were too scared to look my way.
When I landed at Logan, nothing seemed familiar. It was like I was landing in some new city. Lori picked me up for the drive home. I didn't even try to speak to her until a few minutes passed and even then could only spit out a couple words. I was mesmerized by the lights, it seemed like Boston had turned into Las Vegas while I was away. There were amazing bright neons everywhere that I had never noticed. It was as if I'd flash forwarded fifty years and was seeing some blazingly vibrant city of the future. As we got closer to home the wind really picked up and all the leaves being blown across the road were dazzling. I'd swear some of the them were alive; little critters scurrying across the road -- I was pretty close to freaking out at this point. But they were just neat to look at, it wasn't anything frightening.
I'm now thinking this is just raised awareness - feelings that were always here but buried. Now I really get why so many people do drugs -- it's to feel this. But it's always been here, waiting to be found. Not everyone had such an experience from the circular breathing; some people simply had a relaxing time, others had frightening visions of demons, rape, and death, some had very physical reactions even lashing out in violence. So this isn't to be taken lightly and I'm very grateful for my experience. I can't imagine having some horrifying vision last week only to return home to neighborhoods decorated for Halloween. I look forward to trying it all again, soon.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

An Amazing End to An Amazing Week

Good God what a day. Today alone felt like it was a week long. The Centerpointe Retreat officially ended tonight with a celebration and impromptu talent show (that I actually participated in!). Considering that at 11am this morning I was standing on that very stage sobbing uncontrollably in front of 60+ people and then managed to hopefully entertain them from the same spot with some of my Hollywood tales and bad acting displays tonight is almost beyond my comprehension. This is the final retreat Centerpointe is doing, so it was extra emotional for all the staff too. I feel so grateful for having been here.
I tried to come into this week with no expectations; with one goal to force myself to fully participate and go beyond my comfort zone. Believe me there were plenty of times I just wanted to run away. Some of the exercises we did just flat out sucked - but the fantastic group here made them suck less. I'm leaving with so much more than I ever dreamed. Along with just an astounding, mystical experience Wednesday night, I've got a second mom down in Kentucky, and many new powerful life-long connections with people I didn't even know a week ago. There is one person I can't even look at without breaking into tears because they are so amazing, and I've known them for all of 48hrs. I'm even friends with a Lakers fan (ugh!). Most of the day I was on a hair trigger, crying without warning at any moment. By dinner people were telling me I was glowing. Bill Harris even called me Buddha.
I'll see most people again at breakfast, which is just a few hours away at this point, then it's back home to Boston via Washington DC. I'm supposed to go to the Patriots game Sunday, but I can't see caring at all about that. As I said (in tears of course) at the goodbye ceremony, I feel sorry for the poor schmuck sitting next to me on the flight home.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Holy Shit!

I've passed the half way mark of my Centerpointe Retreat week. We've done hours of Holosync each day, much more powerful levels than I have at home and each session has been totally unique. Sometimes I fall asleep and almost fall out of my chair, other times I'm running thoughts and song lyrics in my head the whole time and others I'm just in this wild, blank zone of emptiness. We also do some Big Mind voices each day, which has been very cool. Tonight we did a different sort of meditation, one based on circular breathing for two hours. You breath very full and deep and don't pause at any time, so air is constantly circulating through you and it can result in some altered states.
It sure worked for me. Tonight was the most amazing experience I've ever had in my life - and I've done some wild stuff. It was a total out-of-body, flying around experience seeing all sorts of crazy shit and totally freaking out for a three hour ride. It was so bizarre and awesome; thrilling and scary all at once. It was like jumping out of an airplane on mushrooms.
There were points when I even forgot to breath and my whole body jumped to catch that stolen breath. I was so blissed out and joyous, I didn't want it to end. Then seconds later, tears were streaming down my face. I kept bouncing like that, between smiling like a psycho and crying. It was the ultimate roller coaster ride. In fact I went three hours long like this when it was supposed to be just two. They played some wild tribal music and I traveled to all the cool places I've been and saw the Samburu and Masai people of Kenya, the Rappanui of Easter Island, the Yagua of the Amazon and all the cool spiritual people in Nepal. This photo in particular kept coming into my mind, I have to go back to Nepal and find this dude. When I finally opened my eyes, I had staff on both sides, and all the other participants were gone. It took me a long time to be able to speak and get up. I think the first words I managed to get out were "I've forgotten how to sit up." I'd been laying flat on the floor for three hours and they said I hadn't budged. They told me it was 11pm and I'd gotten my money's worth.
It was just the most outrageous and beautiful experience I've ever had. I pray at least some of it sticks with me and I'm hoping I can do it again tomorrow!

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Retreating to a Retreat

Tomorrow morning I'm flying off to Kansas City, Missouri for a week long meditation retreat with Centerpointe at some place called Unity Village. I've meditated daily with Centerpointe's Holosync CDs since last July and have really been impressed. It's done all the many things they claimed it would do for me. You can order a free demo CD from their website if you are curious. Centerpointe used to have a retreat twice a year, but this is the final one they are doing so I figured I'd better give it a shot now. I decided to do it after the Big Mind weekend in Seattle in May proved to be so cool. It's gonna be weird travelling without Lori or Larry The Lizard, not to mention sharing a room with a stranger for a week, but I'm psyched to see what comes of it. I'm going in with no expectations and intentionally don't know a hell of a lot of what will be happening all week.

I just hope there is access to a TV so I can catch the Pats on MNF and the resurgent Red Sox who are attempting ANOTHER miracle playoff comeback after being down AGAIN 3 games to 1. They made history Thursday night coming back from being down 7-0. Let's hope it holds for tonight. Go Sox!

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Big Mind - Seattle

Wow. That is about the only word that comes to mind when I try to sum up the weekend of Big Mind with Centerpointe's Bill Harris and Zen Master Genpo Roshi. You can read about it, you can even watch it, but unless you experience it there is no way to get across just what it is. Lori and I both felt and experienced things we never did before and can't really describe. The whole weekend was entertaining and hugely interesting with moments that were hilarious, emotional, gripping and awe inspiring. First off, my ideas of what a Zen Master might be were totally blown apart. Genpo is just a regular beer drinking, swearing, funny bastard. The segments that feature Bill Harris and Genpo together were like stand-up comedy routines with each of them busting the balls of the other. When the Big Mind process started I first thought it was a total crock, then I started feeling things - full body energies rolling through me - and answering in all the "voices" that Genpo asked to talk to - it was so wild. You can buy CDs, DVDs and even see some clips of Big Mind on YouTube - but nothing comes close to experiencing live with Genpo. He tours the world running people through it - so be on the lookout and try it. It was also very cool to meet other Holosync users (I'd say 90% of the 230 participants were Holosync people) and people who came from as far as Romania and Sweden for the workshop.

We spent Monday and Tuesday running around Seattle. We did The Underground Tour - which was primarily a hilarious history of the stupidity of Seattle, then of course the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the Seattle Aquarium, which was much more fun than we expected.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Hanging With the Zen Master

Lori and I are headed to Seattle for a weekend retreat with Zen Master Genpo Roshi. We'll be doing something called Big Mind/Big Heart - I intentionally know very little about it. I want whatever the experience is to be a surprise. I got the offer to attend this through Centerpointe (I've been using their Holosync meditation CDs daily since last July) and as I like trying new things and especially cultural/spiritual ones that I don't know squat about, I jumped at the chance. Once its all done and assuming I can put it into words, I'll do my best to document just what the heck happens. If you take time to surf around and read up on Big Mind - you'll know more about what is in store for us than I do.

After that we'll be kicking around Seattle with some of Lori's cousins whom I've yet to meet. Then we'll drive down to Oregon to see her brother Bruce and his spoiled brat kids (that's just in case they are reading).

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