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February 28, 2008


Tim Driscoll

Dear Elizabeth, I am happy that you mentioned the spirals of the Golden Ratio because I learned about that somewhat in Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe, and it reminded me of something I recalled in terms of spirals that affected my practice this week. While doing pigeon, I thought of the energies spiraling out from my sacrum, tail, and sitbones behind me spreading out to the sides. I set up the pose geometrically and with the clocking, but I gained the most freedom when I visualized what was illustrated in Beginner's Guide in showing how a moving vehicle leaves spiraling waves behind in it's wake, which become visible in the way the dust flies. I also thought of the way water on a lake leaves a v-shaped wake behind a speedboat. It changed my pose profoundly, and the insight I received related to the word wake being what describes these spiraling energies spreading out. Within a wake, one can awaken. More later, Tim

Tim Driscoll

Dear Elizabeth, Thank you for articulating about standing waves and relating them to the types of arcs that are the elements. It seems so simple, but I never put together that archetypal would relate to types of arcs (arc types), so that is extremely eye-opening, but you relating them to waves gives me more access to understanding archetypes partly because I think of the spinning energies of the paired places in the body (hands, pits, femurs, hip joints, sacroiliac) as being a type of arc and that they enhance as well as are enhanced by the arcs that make up the wave that is the central singular (as opposed to paired) flow of the spine. For instance, I think of the spine as a wave with arcs of ribs spinning or whirling off of it. This relates to what I commented on previously in terms of the v-shaped wake on a lake behind a speedboat. One summer, I visited my aunt in Minnesota (Land o'Lakes)and witnessed my cousins (who are very young) astonishingly adept at being pulled by tubes or on skis (there's a kind of standing on a wave). My eleven-year-old cousin knew how to ride the particular part of the wake behind the boat, his less-than-one-hundred-pound body being pulled at enormous speed, and his sister, my eighteen year old cousin, knew how to drive the point of the boat into oncoming waves running perpendicular to the direction we were travellng in so that the boat didn't spill us. All at great speed. I thought the strength in my arms connected to my back would give me great staying power to be pulled, but I wore out or got tossed so much sooner than little Mitchell who could cross back and forth from one side of the wake to the other without spilling. I valiantly (and with much humility) attempted again and again, (although I would never have attempted driving the boat, and was astounded at my young cousin's ease in this) and while I ascertained that they had all grown up around this lake and the energies inherent in speedboating and tubing, there was also something that my body simply didn't get in terms of lining up my body with the force of the pull and the way the wave spread off of the wake. I hadn't studied with you at that time, and would be fascinated to know if I'd handle it differently with all that I have experienced with spiraling forces now, but recalling that experience and picturing the spiraling waves as my sit bones and the powerful wake being the energy of my sacrum and picturing my pubis as the tip of the speedboat is all a very fun exploration that gets me out of perceiving that I just have tight tendons and a compacted butt that are screaming for release when I do pigeon. I go through moments when I begin to spin my perineum within all of this exploration, but I also give myself space just to come to a deeper realization of the expansion of my pelvic floor and trust that eventually it will lead me to using it (as you say) as a launching pad. I believe I am a little bit beyond the perception of my perineum as just a better base for my pose, and I trust that receiving this information through your written teachings, and then putting my own spin on the images and esoteric concepts you present is leading me more and more into being able to spin my perineum as second-naturedly as I am at spinning my femurs and shins. Speaking of spin, I just remembered that the handle that you hold that is attached to the cord that pulls you through the water - the handle has an attachment that spins it on the cord. Oh, if I had just known something of what I know now about spinning my palms and pits, how well I could have navigated my pubis through the wake on the lake! That elemental wave and wake of lake water would be in the face of the standing wave of my self, instead of the water just being sprayed forcefully in my face. Thank you for deepening my perception of spin and arc by presenting this work with archetypes. Love, Tim

Tim Driscoll

Dear Elizabeth, I wish to share on a more profound aspect of how the thought of standing wave has affected me lately. I have been crying quite a bit recently, but gloriously. Last Sunday morning, my crying came on with the thought of me being a standing wave (even though I was laying down). I thought of being in samastiti - in mountain pose - and rather than my perception being of standing upright or lifted or even standing, I thought of being a wave, a ribboning, subtly rippling force, not on my own, but in a vast ocean of undulating waves. The thought removed me from spinal perceptions of rigidity or straightening or trying to be right or held up or aligned or separate in my efforts to change or become better or even of having to do, and the thought of being a wave allowed me to just really be and relate to wave forces in front of and behind me. I believe because you mentioned in the teaching that we must use these energy systems relationally, I had a very different experience than I have had in the past when I have felt energies begin to flow through me and I have, without realizing it, isolated myself. Many times when I am with Eduardo on the weekends, either upon looking forward to experiencing class on Sunday or in recollecting the processes I have involved my self in during the week, energies are released within me or energies are conjured forth from without, and while I am with him, I sometimes do not share with him what is going on with me because it is difficult to articulate, or I have an hour or more private time while he is doing laundry or something that I go into meditative states. When our relationship began, and I was newly experiencing waves of sensation flowing through me, we would be eating, and my composure would change , and he would describe it as me "going to the moon," so I stopped allowing myself to have these experiences in front of him, although I realize now that although I felt free and comfort enough with him to allow these energies to come on while I was with him, I still was in a state of semi-isolation. On this Sunday morning, I lay there a little bit away from him while he was still sleeping, and my thought of being a standing wave began a welling up of tears inside of me. As the tears began to surface, I began to make soft noises that I realized could turn into increasing levels of sobbing, and I was faced with the choice of whether to allow this experience to wake him or to contain it or to take it to another room. I thought of him being a laying-down standing wave also, and a sob escaped from me, and he stirred. "What's wrong, papi?" he said with a soft genuine concern. I have cried in front of him many times, mostly in restaurants which he has gotten upset about because my crying makes him sad and disturbs the enjoyment of eating, perhaps because we are conditioned to perceive the act of crying as coming on from sadness, and are led to feel shamed to exhibit this emotion in public, and to feel embarrassed to witness someone else in public crying. I thought to explain my crying to him, but my tears and sobs became a rolling wave, and I asked him to hold me, although part of me felt strangely that this simple request was expressive of neediness, and also a little maudlin or even dramatic, or like a cliche movie moment. I worried that I was making him uncomfortable by continuing to cry, but I also felt that I was at a place in which I could courageously allow my crying to be whatever it was coming to be, and that I did not have to be in a situation in which a state of uncontrollable sobbing would offer me the excuse to ask for him to hold me. I was crying from the thought of being a standing wave, not alone from waves around me, and I asked him, "Abrasame mas duro," which means "Hug me harder," because I do not know the words in Spanish for hold or close, and for some reason I wished to extend my desire in his language, maybe still because I felt somehow false in saying "Hold me close." The word abrasame to me has such a sense of enfolding, and I believe that language is key to the way an experience can be engaged or encouraged to unfold. Somehow the phrase "standing wave" really resonated on a deep level for me, and began the unfolding of an experience that I could enfold someone close to me within. I felt his heart when he abrasamed me, and then rather than my face scrunching up so much, I felt unobstructed like the crying was not having to force it's way out, but being drawn up from the deep well of me, in a very clear channel. I ascertained my crying, not as a release, but as an assurance or affirmation of my process of change, like my body was telling me, "Yes, your thoughts of being a wave are right on". If I can witness within myself a change in the quality of crying, which so often is confusing or relegated to isolation or completely submerged, then I feel that within the changing quality of my crying, I am the change. When I went to class, I felt further affirmed when you began the class by saying, "We are starting today standing..." and I felt my body not just as a wave on it's own but a wave among other waves, unfolding seemingly separately, but with the potential to enfold within a common sea of energy. I realize the ocean is like that, with waves that we momentarily perceive as having almost personality, saying things like, "That wave is enormous," but then all these seemingly separate waves we realize all eventually and continuously enfold back into the vastness.

Elizabeth Andes-Bell

Salt water seems to be nature's cure for everything: sweat, tears and the sea. You're showing signs of a fruitful Winter/Kidney practice when you cry like that. The kidneys that are responsive to our psyches and somas filter the salts BOTH ways. They go out with the urine but they also filter salts from the urine back into the body. Some is used and some is excreted out again via our tears.
Thank you for sharing the story of your surrender of one state and birth into another. This is such a fine example for us because you model this transition for us. You are what conscious evolution looks like. You are living on the cutting edge of transformation to a higher structure of awareness. We go back and forth, like tuning a radio dial, until we find the station. This is the point in time we share with one another. Your story is our story.

Tim Driscoll

Dear Elizabeth, I am grounding my self in the depth of what you have to say about my conscious evolution in several ways. Even before you wrote about these aspects of transformation which I have been brought to, I wrote a long letter to my father detailing aspects of this work along with perceptions I have of myself as a writer and the writing process which have changed dramatically within the course of this blogging. I also told him of insights I have received in listening to the recording of stories that he made several months ago especially about his relationship to his father who died when I was five. I believe that opening a dialogue with my father about his father could be key to getting me grounded and rooted through my right side. I called him to say that the letter was on the way, and spoke to him about what I am going through, telling him about the standing waves, archetypes, and my crying experience. He told me that he once wrote a brochure for an artist who painted Native American women with woven fabrics flowing over them. He said that very evident within the paintings were waves within the drape of the fabrics and how the waves flowed through the weave of the fabrics. I since re-read about the dyad in A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe and Michael S. Schneider writes about the polar tension manifested between warp and woof, and I realize my birth into another state is partly because I embodied this creating principle somehow along with all that I have experienced through your teachings. I realize how my use of language within blogging my perceptions is a form of the working out of dualities, and I am very happy that in your comment to me that you say, "Your story is our story." I have been sharing this story with others as well, my mother, my osteopath, my accupuncturist, my colleagues, a couple of my students, and I believe that it grounds me into the experience, and within the thrill of having experienced transformation and relating it to others who care for me, it also brings me to an everyday sacredness in the dual aspect of that. I had a session with my craniosacral therapist yesterday, and read him what I had written and your response to it so that I could ground it into my session, and also drew for him two intersecting monads, and a dyad line between. He told me that the pelvic basin is like a vesica, and I told him that I had been using a figure eight between my pubis and tail bone. I asked him to do a very deep pelvic release technique he had done for me once before which involves the fingers of the practitioner going into my groins. He did one at a time, and then both with one hand, and the left side resisted more, but when I thought about using a figure eight around my pubis and likened it to gently tugging on the reins of a horse, each time I visualized and intended that, he said, "That's it," or "There it goes." I also incorporated the ujayji breath through out the groin deepening. He told me, "Hey, this is fun!" and when he worked on my head and I used the breath, he was amazed at the releases, which I felt like the engines on an airplane. When I dialogued about the reining in of my pubis, he said that when you slacken one rein you at the same time are firming the other rein in order to direct the horse, and that helped me to reconcile the differences between my two groins, and my sacrum released as well as my glutes. He said he could feel the energy going right through my pelvis. I imagined the vesica in my pelvic floor and perineum, since you clued me into the vesica having to do with standing waves, and I thought of the cross that can be drawn within it because you mentioned the cross being the meeting of God and man, and that led me into realizing the potency of the Easter season in which the symbol of the cross came about, and that you speak of tuning into a station, or the difference between a station and a state and how one Easter, I went to a mass in which the celebrants led us through the stations of the cross. I realize the richness of tapping into these archetypal energies, and I am grateful for having been led by you into symbolic geometry. I feel that Easter means something very different to me within this newfound understanding of the power within the symbolism. Thank you also for making me so aware of how to tap into the elements of a seasonal practice in a way that makes me feel that my organs are working for me in ways far beyond their physiological functions. I look forward to what you write next, but I have many rich things to explore in my practice tonite.

Mariamne Wulfsohn

Thankyou Tim and Elisabeth, you have both given me a lot of food for thought. I am teaching Yoga in Capetown, South Africa, and will work on myself to find the concept you speack about in the sitzbones/sacrum. I have been only using the more Alexander technique & Feldenkrais Method to communicate the spacial possibilities for the floating spine which alterntly grows in each direction, to the sun, and to the matrix earth. I had not thought about fundanmental spirals in poses, except in twists. I will look within my body, to see if I can explore what bone you have given me to chew!

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