Of course, Marie, who was old enough to know something, knew nothing when the world changed, and everything flipped. Nothing was for certain, and almost everything could change, especially if you're a young artist, musician, or visionary tripping through the Santa Cruz community instead of at a 9-5 job.
Upon arrival back to Santa Cruz, all she said to me was, “Oh I hardly recognized you. You still always go to Cafe Gratitude, right?”
“Cafe Gratitude?” I asked, feeling like an exception to the rules. The rest of Santa Cruz has been adrift; everyone flipping out of the past or future into the present here and who knows where. After 10 years in the same place, everything goes on. Nothing gets lost. That’s what’s important. “Of course, we’re heading over there right now.”
“Really,” said Marie, as she drapes her prayer beads around her neck. “Who do you know that’s still around?”
I find myself spending more time at Divinitree chanting kirtan and at Staff of Life market drinking tea than anywhere else here in Santa Cruz, but standing still with Marie I could not help but remember. "They come and go", I add, "Maybe a Rasputin or a klezmer from the future will take their place." Standing with Marie she looks like a new age yogic time traveller, wearing yoga ayahuasca print clothing and gemstones. We sit, sip tea, and eat raw vegan pie.
The world goes on, business almost as usual. The weekly Wednesday farmers market outside is a carnival; filled with strange faces, and a variety of jewelry makers, organic farmers, acupuncturists, shamanic priests, University students, etc. There is a thick, rich patina of sophisticated culture here. People whirl around us. The community here is a kaleidoscope of colors, melting into different characters as the people stroll through the market.
Marie and I move through the crowds. Marie is spending more time on the streets, and was putting the world together, seeing where it was, where it might be, and might not be. Sometimes people momentarily run free, only to trip somewhere else where they are again grabbed and worked until they can trip again, and again and again until old logic falls apart. The Beach flats were a bad part of town. The city parks and green belts have been turned into havens for squatters.
Therefore, Marie did nothing but pray. She spent most of her time on the beach praying for a sign and tripped over a book of apocrypha stories that was stuck in the sand. Before her was the ocean. Time is a hole, she thought, and she could feel it’s pull. Nighttime was no longer dark. Everything circled with the crystal light and prayer. A closer look at the cliffs by the shore revealed caves and hideouts cut into the sandstone. Where else was there to be?
Perhaps tomorrow she’ll do crystal healing or play the flute, finding old friends in communal houses. Today, she’ll sit and connect with the ocean.
In between the California coast and the greater San Jose area is a huge wildlife corridor that is perfect for a romantic getaway from San Francisco, Santa Cruz, or San Jose.With millions of inhabitants, the San Francisco Bay area has apparently has better things to do because there are relatively few visitors. Most of the area has been preserved as state or county parks down to the coast, and staying through an entire weekend will no doubt include camping at one of the several state parks, or at Stillheart, a retreat center that also holds yoga and meditation classes. There are several places I can recommend as great destinations in the Santa Cruz mountains to have tea, take a hike, and have dinner all while intermittently enticing your date.
1.In the morning, visit Hakone Gardens for the Urasenke traditional Japanese tea ceremony 9am-1pm Friday and Saturday morning. There is a five dollar entrance fee to enter the gardens. Located in the foothills outside of Saratoga, and established in 1915 is this unique and beautiful Japanese garden and cultural center. In fact, it’s one of the oldest Japanese gardens in America, and they have pruning and maintenance of the Japanese plants as a community classes as well. Hakone Gardens is often the site for weddings, banquets, and other special events, because it is so scenic and idyllic. There are also several special events including Japanese Opera, Film events, and annual festivals. If you’re looking for a place to have a deep zen romance, this is the place. The koi pond, zen gardens, tea rooms, bamboo, and art galleries can induce a reflective meditation where you don’t need to express love or even say anything to each other.Be in each other’s presence; honor the present moment and when the moment calls recite a romantic haiku.You can be reserved and not let your emotions spill out all over the place and create a romantic deeper meaning, like a bonsai, condensed and potent.
2.In the afternoon, take a hike and pick flowers along Russian ridge Open space preserve. Take a picnic, bring water, and stop by a winery on your way up and pick up a bottle of Santa Cruz mountains wine. There are several wineries on the way from Hakone Gardens to Russian Ridge, and usually have wine tastings if you feel so inclined. Russian ridge is up on the ridge and looks down to the ocean. There are several springs and waterways in this area that create a lush environment. These gorgeous rolling hills are cartoonish and surreal because of the shapes of the hills and the dispersion of the meadow vegetation.Follow the winding trails and around every bend there are stunning views of these picturesque grassy hills.There are 8 miles of mostly uphill trails in this part of the park, and let’s make exercise romantic. At certain moments, I feel like I'm hovering above clouds when the mist fills the canyons.The wildflowers on Russian Ridge are diverse, unique to this area, and explode in the spring and fall. Some favorites include lupine and california poppy, gumweed, mules ears, farewell-to-spring, and brodiaea. Who needs a flower shop when you can pick a few native wildflowers for a native flower bouquet. Russian Ridge is a popular site to view raptors, and we saw several while we were out there including one gigantic Red Tailed Hawk.
3.In the evening, make reservations and enjoy gourmet dining at The Mountain House in Woodside. It is a long wooded drive from every direction, and nestled deep within the protection of ancient redwood trees. With a bar and fireplace in the front of the building you can enjoy a casual evening of drinks or venture sit in the formal dining area. If you get there before dark you can enjoy the earthy ambience of a redwood view in the back forest room, and they also turn on viewing lights after hours to highlight and enchant. If I were to recommend a dish, any of the specialty wild game dishes will serve your interests well. This unique restaurant has a wild game special that makes this place exotic for the area, and people drive for over and hour to dine here all of the time. At the table next to me, one woman had driven from Fremont and frequents the restaurant often. She mentioned the warm lighting and beautiful location as reason enough to visit. The weekly menu ideas coupled with culinary expertise make this place stand out. Also, waitstaff dresses to impress and they deliver on class and quaint elegance. While waiting for your food, this is the perfect time to engage in friendly conversation, hold hands, and write romantic poetry about your romantic Santa Cruz mountains visit on your placemat.
Now that the evening is coming to a close I suggest driving to nearby Skeggs point for an after dinner make-out. The lookout overlooks all of San Jose. Since you are far outside of any city, you can see the entire sky and sky gaze, or gaze into each others eyes.A visit to the Santa Cruz Mountains doesn’t happen by accident, and neither does romance.
At dawn, I awaken and hear people still sitting around the campfire. I am unable to recognize their voices, and some are playing guitar. A while later, I step out of my tent and venture towards the strangers. The magic of the fire brings us together, so I greet them and relish the beauty of the morning. This time of morning is perfect for gathering morning dew for sacred altar water because of the alchemy of the subtle morning lights. The campfire and campsites were beautifully situated, deep in an old growth redwood grove with a spring flowing through them. The Pagan Celtic festival celebrating fire, light, and fertility is situated at the halfway point between spring equinox and summer solstice. The festival is called Beltane. The pleidies star cluster rose before sunrise this Beltane morning. By the saffron-hued morning light, the festivities of last night seemed merely something I had dreamed.
We had arrived the previous evening for the heart song circle around the campfire, or formally "Beltane Eve". There was a new moon, and the darkness thoroughly enveloped everything but the fire. In the old days, on Beltane Eve, the Celts would build two large fires lit from sacred woods. These fires are an invocation to Bel (the Sun God) to bring his blessings, and is symbolic of the burning away of the winter. It is also said that on Beltane Eve, the Queen of the Faeries is said to arrive on her white horse, and entice everyone to come to Faerieland. Now in the vibrant summery morning light, the songs I heard around the campfire last night were still echoing on the land and in my ears.
The spirits of Beltane are slowly awakening out to play. The rumor was that the preparations for the ceremony would begin at 11am. Two boys approach me with small snakes, with one in each hand. They were up early, crowing with the roosters, at the top of their lungs; literally yelling as loud as possible. Dragon, my partner, found a sleeping spot out in a meadow where he is sleeping in the sun half naked. There are white cattle jumping about freely in the meadow. I let my gaze wander from the west to east, from the meadow to the cabin. Black smoke from the campfire curls lazily into the sky. There are faeries and goddesses and phantasies everywhere about. Several of the travelers that I had met the night before are awake eating breakfast, and preparing for the ritual. Everything is here, and all of it perfect, the cauldrons for the fire, the shrines and groves, the flower petals scattered about by the children: a splendid Beltane village.
Once again, I find myself swept by admiration for the magical way these people carry out their creation of the ceremony here in Santa Cruz, California. I've been to several different celebrations here, and they are very ceremonial, and traditional. Santa Cruz has a large pagan community that stems from the influx of 60's bohemian hipppies, and they used to hold pagan plays where the roaring camp train station is today. I met several people from other countries last night, including Mexico, UK, and Israel, each of them wandering from city to city as the whim took them, and surprisingly happened upon this celebration. I imagine that around the Middle Ages in European countries, a newborn village would congeal for the Beltane festival, and travelers would visit from hundreds of miles away. Back then, every village had it's own maypole , and it is traditionally a revered symbol. Dragon wakes up when presented with an orange, and tea. He gets dressed in a shiny red shirt, pants and a royal gold robe. He is dressed like an emperor, and carrying a demeanor to match. Catching him lightly by the wrist I draw him towards me, meaning to brush my lips lightly and affectionately against his. Many people arrive with flowers and ribbons to begin preparing for the festivities this afternoon; which includes facepaint, transclucent faerie wings, and flower garlands made from calla lilies and roses. We prepare our flower crowns using bits of wire to secure the flowers. Dragon's crown gets named the "DMT stag" because of the flower horns coming off the side. The musicians begin playing elfin music with mandolins and flutes, and dancers swirl in the preparations. Everyone seems to be transformed into a mythical being.
The Beltane ritual is about to begin, so a large conch shell is blown to bring everyone together around the campfire. The high priest and high priestess in royal ceremonial attire begin the ceremony, and several speakers tell stories of Beltane symbology and meaning. From someone close at hand came a sound of a drum, and steady insistent chanting. We all sing along. The group hiked out to the location for the ritual, walking through the redwood grove, past a small wetland pond to a meadow. We all form a circle, have introductions, and call in the four directions. The ceremonial Beltane fire is brought over via a torch, and several candles are lit, one for each direction. These candles are passed around so each person can connect with the Beltane fire.
Beltane is a fertility festival as well, and relationships are honored at this festival. A young sultry lady begins singing a song of her desire for her lover, and she weaves in between the members of the circle. One of the men follows her, chasing her. Her lover is trying to catch her. They continue this frolick for a moment until at the height of her song, he tackles her and wrestles her to the ground kissing her. This couple is the May King and Queen. They are a young and attractive couple together for several years, and announcing their wedding date. There is time to give announcements, including weddings, births, deaths, new projects including asking for empowerments for the coming year. Sparkling nectar is served in small cups which we pass around the circle, and drink in the hot sun. Inwardly, I'm celebrating the union between my partner and I. We've been together for 2 1/2 years already, there are the sweetest moments of love and joy that makes enduring the difficult times a gem worth coveting. Everyone shouts and exclaims their blessings together in unison "Ya-Fatah" after every announcement.
After honoring the circle with an OM, the men and women separate into groups to prepare to bring in the Maypole. The ladies group huddles together. There are about twelve women gathering together. This is the time to speak of what we are thankful for as women, such as motherhood, and to sing folk songs. We are sitting around the hole where the Maypole will go, and it's decorated with garlands and candles. The women finally call the men to bring in the maypole. The Maypole is symbolic of uniting the three worlds. It is also a phallic symbol that is meant to bring the energy of the three worlds down into the womb of mother earth. This pole is 16ft long, and all of the men assist in bringing it over to the place in the Earth where it will be set.
Uniting the Three Worlds blurs time and space, clearly this is another realm. Everyone ties a multi-colored ribbon to the pole and the pole is pushed into place, ready for the Maypole dance. Beltane songs are sung while weaving the Maypole, and everyone walks in and out, weaving the ribbons together. I dance in trance while singing, and find myself getting the flower crown on my head flipped up in the ribbons, and the metal wires holding the crown together dig into my head. Everyone is dodging in and out to weave the ribbon, and we get crammed together. People are jammed, someone's confused about the weaving, or going too slow. Dragon's smiling, standing off to the side not participating, but watching this event take place of the faerie, elf pileup. Finally, the maypole dance is flowing, and everyone singing. A drum circle forms off to the side with djembe and doumbek drummers. The drummers drum louder and louder. The maypole is weaved together in a rainbow. I stand back from the maypole, admiring the lacy fantasy of slender pastel -hued webwork everyone created around the pole, and celebrate an abundant year ahead. The maypole dance lasted a lot longer than we had expected, and now with the sun gently dimming the skylight we are reminded to honor the fire once again.
The next step in this ritual is to jump across, or to circumambulate the fire three times. Meditate on fire for transformation of energy, to burn away things from the past and cleanse the body, physically, and spiritually. This step is to bring good luck in the year ahead, and to also become purified. This makes me very nervous because the fire seems too high to jump over. Some of the ladies begin dancing, giggling, and circumambulating. Others stand aside and watch the fire. It's a difficult task we're undertaking, best done naked? I'm standing there thinking about all of the bad habits that I want to get rid of, and all of the residue from the previous year that I'd like to leave behind. I jump. The secret to this part of the ritual is that the moment your feet hit the ground you're a new person for the year ahead. The darkness of the sundown is filling the forest with shadow, and I try to make it back to the cabin by myself, winding through the trails.
Back at the camp, the campfire from last night is still lit. Musicians gather and play a mix of banjo, persian clarinet, and guitar, and the music is mystic. Sitting by myself near the fire, I'm reminded of the countless fireside circles I've been a part of that have touched my heart. The mystic solitude I feel while listening to the sounds around the fire remind me of the blessings that fire brings. Fire is sacred to the Beltane festival, and honored for the many transformative qualities it brings into our lives.
Dragon smiles. After staying out at the campfire last night, he’s finally feeling awake by the campfire. We’re singing songs, and he seems more vibrantly alive than ever. He reaches for my hand, kissing it lightly, offering to bring me another cup of chai.
Santa Cruzians enjoy themselves in a very vertical and horizontal landscape including the structure of 200 ft. tall Redwood forests the vast views and beaches along the Monterey Bay. There are a number of beaches and natural areas of interest along the coast. In addition to the coast, other points of interest include spiritual retreat centers, sauna and spa houses, tea houses, wine bars, numerous music and night clubs, dance, yoga and qi gong classes, and plenty of lodging choices.
Santa Cruz is considered part of the southern San Francisco Bay area, but actually sits on the nortnern edge Monterey Bay. Santa Cruz is well secluded because the Santa Cruz mountains dissect it from San Jose.When one is beginning in San Francisco, driving along Highway 1 South along the Pacific Coast, and nearing the boundary of Santa Cruz County one enters a scenic route to many State park excursions. The State Park system sprawls east of Highway 1 until the Santa Clara/San Jose boundary. South of San Francisco there are nearly 60 miles of state park along the coastal zone.
The beaches right before boundary for the Santa Cruz county line include Ano Nuevo State Park (with annual Dec-March. Northern Elephant Seal breeding) and Gazos Creek, which both border the Butano state park property that goes deep into the Redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Continue south deeper into the forest and Big Basin Redwoods State Park is the last remaining old growth redwood forest of the county, as well as 18,000 acres of second growth pine forest.
According to the University of California, Santa Cruz, there are several hundred mountain lions living in this area. There is a Skyline to Sea trail from the mountains to the coast and reaches Waddell Creek Beach, where hang-gliders and wind surfers pepper offshore with colorful parashutes. Following Hwy 1 south past agricultural fields along the marine terraces, one reaches Davenport, a small town with a few local restaurants and inns.
Once entering the greater Santa Cruz metropolitan area, Wilder Ranch State Park has beautiful walking trails and meadows, and following a few turns Natural Bridges State Beach is the off Hwy 1 towards the coast. Natural Bridges in the Santa Cruz suburban area, and hosts monarch butterflies in the Eucalyptus groves migration every October to March. A few miles from Natural Bridges visitors can find the Seymore Aquarium and Marine Laboratory full of educational exhibitions and docent led tide pool viewings.
Driving along West Cliff drive, with suburban homes backing up to beachfront properties with large open windows, the low cliffs give way to the beach and is accessible at various pullouts via stairways and trails.
The Lighthouse Field State Beach hosts a Surfers Museum, annual surfer festivals, and boasts of 40 acres of scenic beachfront meadows, and viewpoints that serve as a greenbelt to the suburban surrounding areas. This area can become quite crowded as it is in the middle of a populated area, but never the less this area is full of wildlife such as Brown Pelicans, Red-Tailed Hawks, Double Breasted Comorants, Bottle Nosed Dolphins, Grey and Humback Whales, Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Sea Otters, and Sea Lions can be spotted from various picnic tables and benches.
The San Lorenzo River flows to the beach through a long valley in between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the coastal mountains and reaches downtown Santa Cruz providing a walking trail along the riverine corridor .
The oldest amusement park in California, the Beach Boardwalk is near the end of the San Lorenzo river, and has multiple roller coasters and arcade buildings on a sandy beachfront.
Adjacent to the Beach Boardwalk is the Santa Cruz Fishermans Wharf, with fresh seafood restaurants and elephant seals living on the wooden rafters below the decks which howl and groan throughout the evening.
Recreation activities such as beach sports, fishing trips, boat rentals, scuba diving, kayaking, and surfing are popular via the various equipment rental outlets for exploration of the Monterey Bay.
Within walking distance of the Boardwalk, Pacific avenue is the main street of downtown, where one can easily stroll into various stores holding imported treasures from all over the world, peruse the Wednesday farmers market, or engage the highly active nightlife at bars and clubs. Artists, liberal activists, environmentalists, alternative healers have practice here since the hippy movement of the 60's, and the social culture is lively with music and art events. The Santa Cruz neighborhoods have prominent Victorian homes, where no detail is spared on elaborate historical house painting or upkeep.
Student culture is about one tenth of the population and the University of California, Santa Cruz is a large spread out campus with buildings nestled within the Redwood forest on the hilltop overlooking Santa Cruz. Annually in the Summer, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, performs two to three plays in the Redwood grove ampitheaters at the campus. Also worth visiting is the large UC arboretum and sustainable agroecology farm on the campus.
South of Santa Cruz downtown, the City of Capitola is a quaint seaside resort and boutique shopping area with many craft galleries, family owned wineries and restaurants, reminding one of an esplanade in the South of France, or Italy.
On the outskirts of the Santa Cruz metropolitan area, the Sunset Beach State park is a 7 mile long beach that contains the gigantic 200ft tall Pajaro Dunes, surrounded by seasonal farmland. At the Southern edge of the County, Elkhorn Slough is one of only 17 National Estuarine Research Reserves, and is the largest of protected coastal wetlands in California. It has a varienty of habitats including tidal mudflats, freshwater ponds, tidal sloughts, salt ponds, among others. There are numerous professional charters, and guided tours available to view the spectacular bird and wildlife viewing in this area.
Underneath the waters of Monterey Bay, beginning roughly at the boundary between Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, there is a deep submarine canyon equivalent to the size of the Grand Canyon. The canyon supports abundant food web via coastal upwelling of cold waters and nutrients from deep inside of the canyon that support the phytoplankton. It is also one of the largest kelp forests in the nation. This canyon is roughly 6000ft deep, and 95 miles long, and is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary which is the largest Marine Sanctuary in the United States stretching from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.
This is an opinion that may cause throbbing of veins and empurpling of complexions but here goes: being a healer is a path of dimensions. I feel that this is something I should qualify now. I therefore urge you to understand that I’m not about to engage that bodywork sessions need to have divine intervention to have healing, and I’m not saying that a spa with a bathroom bigger than your entire apartment isn’t marvelous for healing (it is). The energetic of physical healing is a given. It’s recognizing the problem, and breaking bad habits to heal that is tricky. Mantak Chia’s Universal Healing Tao system integrates a system of therapeutic energy bodywork and meditations designed to invigorate the energetics of the physical body by slapping, exercising, massaging, and meditating deeply on the organs and their functions. I attended a two day Chi Nei Tsang Workshop and also a third day of darkroom meditation during his North America tour through San Francisco Bay Area. His center is in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at the retreat center called Tao Garden Health Spa and Resort, where there are Universal Healing Tao courses and workshops.
Right now, I’m pretty healthy. My body is slim and somewhat muscular, and a metabolism which doesn’t really let me gain wait no matter how much I eat or drink. Every now and again I notice beneath the surface of my body there are rubbery dendritic knots, lumpy organs, and clusters of dead cells. I turn twenty nine years old next month, and it’s time to shake it off!
I’m talking specifically about what has become energetic therapy as you generally see- or, I’m willing to bet, far more often ignore- in the depths of your physical body. To an even greater degree than other visualizations of an increasingly healthy society, Mantak Chia’s works are beholden to the idea that energy in the body called Qi, which gives your organs direction and fluids movement, is the root cause of disease in the body when it becomes stagnant, deficient, or blocked. The workshop ties everything into a general theme that macrocosmic Qi that enters the body and dynamically flows through the tips of the extremities and expands to form a river into the internal organs via channels. These Qi channels receive the cosmic influence and transmit it throughout the body.
In addition, medical practices of Mantak Chia’s Life Force Massage in Taoist healing are firmly dissected into medical books on Chi Nei Tsang, Qi Gong, Acupuncture, etc. Hearing him give a seminar was reminiscent of my experiences in the biology department at the university learning anatomy and physiology, with many informational slides showing direction of the lymph, the soaz muscle, or the organs and the corresponding Chi Nei Tsang points.
The differentiation was made between the upper brain in our head, and a lower brain in our abdomen. This lower brain can upset the upper brain. Emotional experiences are recorded in the second lower brain. The small intestine has many neurons. Liver is connected to anger. The gallbladder is linked to jealousy/envy. Anger produces more cholesterol that overloads the liver. Hatred is a block in the pericardium and can collect into the bone. Pancreas rooted in worry. Massage in the abdomen is beneficial for uncovering blockages that are binding the chemicals of the emotions to our bodies.
During the seminar we practiced the Chi Nei Tsang massage techniques on each other. The first day was abdominal massage focusing on techniques for clearing blockages in the intestinal tract, and massaging the rib cage. We started by pulling the feet away from the body, rocking the body, shaking it loose, and rocking the hips. The massage began at a heart point between the solar plexus and belly button, and finding a pulse on the left side. Rocking and spiraling that pulse point to get it loose. It will often have tangles, tension and knots. Sometimes the knot is as hard as a rock. Different rhythms of massage will release the pulses. A full detox program will release toxins from deep inside. The Tao Gardens program has a full detox program, and recommends 4 colonics before beginning Chi Nei Tsang massage therapy. There is another pulse in the upper thigh for the femoral artery, and it can be deep. Hold these pulses for thirty six counts. Close and open the pulse points. The entire purpose of doing this is to open the Wind Gate. The Wind Gate is called king of the navel because once it is open everything moves. So there are pulses in the belly button that radiate energy out to the left kidney, heart, right kidney, sexual center, intestine, stomach, spleen, liver/gallbladder, and intestine. These pulses are each massaged around the navel, working the area in between the solar plexus and navel, kneading it and rubbing it. In the diaphram, we massaged the ribcage with a one finger technique, going through the ribs one by one.
The blood that oozes beneath my veins was being visualized into beads which moved through my body like a handful of scattered rubies. I closed my eyes and my mind was going through the depths of flesh, within through to the organs, throat, eyes, inner thigh, and femoral arteries. Travelling through the dimensions of my body in my mind to heal and focus on any disease manifesting, and inside, the sphincter muscle at the top of my intestine dialated, looking remarkably similar to a waiting toothless mouth. The dark tube inside palpitated slowly. Being kneaded by my massage partner like a piece of dough, moving around the organ walls beneath muscle membranes, and sending radiant fingers probing down through the navel cavity. The navel cavity radiates out to all of the other organs. These were the organs which produced the various nutrient fluids circulating through the ducts, sustaining the layers, and glands of the body.
The second day we got into going deeper into abdominal massage by going through the naval and massaging the reproductive and area around the sexual organs which is called karsai nei tsang. First we started with a 5 finger technique of squeezing the hands together at the fingertips and sucking in the face, and putting the fingers in an okay mudra in front of the face and pulling energy in through the hair. The naval is a sensitive area and will remind us to our birth experience, which for most people is traumatic because they cut the umbilical cord so directly. In Asian forms of medicine, the mother bites off the umbilical cord, it’s burned off, or the mother and baby stay connected for up to 10 days and all of the stem cells go back into the bodies and the cord falls off. This is called lotus birthing in many circles. The navel goes into 360 degrees connecting to every organ and gland. We were using our thumbs to pull away the belly button in all directions. We were trained to relieve the tightness of this area, and use our elbow technique to relieve the tension there. We were using our hands and scooping the area of the reproductive organs to clear the blood vessels. We were following the major veins that flow through this area on the right and left of the groin area. We were scooping inside and outside of the hip. This can invigorate a frigid impotent reproductive system. Mantak Chia was telling us that blockages here feel like sand. The penis has abundant blood vessels and the erection comes from blue blood. Blocked in capillaries we see heavy metals in the vagina. Testicles get blocked. Blocked blood vessels cause a lot of trouble including loss of memory, impotence, back pain, prostate gland contraction. Apparently, Dao Gardens has a reproductive massage program that deeply works the reproductive organs in all of the orifices.
Afterwards, the practice Mantak Chia gives for letting energy go into the ground by putting the hands on the tree. The tree can take sick energy out. Thai like evergreen tree. Sitting like the Buddha next to the tree and the energy cycles between us and nature.
We also participated in a dark room meditation which at Dao Gardens is a 9 month program of complete darkness. There is a strong release of Melatonin, DMT, and feeling a separation of the soul and physical. In dark room meditation, the moment of death, the pineal gland releases DMT. He’s saying that during this time the inner child can be reborn, and there is a lot of sleep, and calming the mind and heart in the dark. There is a dark violet light that is projected on you, which is the highest frequency light. See past life with indigo child, through this reincarnation. Similar to an ayahuasca journey in South America, there are similar patterns and with dark room meditation there is the same effect and drawing and pictures look like a God in South America.
Mantak Chia’s lectures involved a practice session where he begins talking about how saliva activates our hormones, blood, and sexual energy. He emphasized that chewing food for a long time is beneficial to get the qi of the saliva. Beginning with a grounding exercise with the dragon tail down to bring energy up to the sacrum from the earth. Activate the sacrum and breathing. Earth energy comes up, and wraps around the sacrum and breathing into that activate the cranial pump by slapping at occipital bone. When the third eye opens meditate on the heart. We began holding the energy around our perineum and holding it like a ball, spinning around this perineum collection point. We then started to activate the kidney fire by gathering the jing energy down in the pernium, and the essence of the jing is stored there. Activating the heart and lung fires also and feeling the courage, righteous feelings, joy and happiness. This process involves steaming the organs, various sphincter muscles being expanded and gripped, producing tight seals directing the energy up the spine. The temperature of burning a “fire” and creating “steam” inside increased, burning like a magnesium flare, consuming muscles, organs, and bone alike. Following by balancing it with a water element, I felt my muscles slacken, an indrawn breath reveals the water element washing over my body quenching the thirst which gave vitality to every cell. Sensations flowed in my mind, light energy working through in perfect fusion. I arise and my entire body is tingling with a golden light suspended in the crystal room. I could feel my facial muscles shifting into a small smile, now my energy level was high.
This observation is like everything else I write about, rooted in a strictly personal preference- it may well be that millions of people enjoy meditating and massaging their organs and focusing their minds on relieving the physical blockages in their body. I find it to be a great practice to do on everyone. The knowledge that Mantak Chia is revealing about energetic physiology is real, and it works to heal.