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As some of you know I am heading out on an adventurous road trip on Sunday. I’m seeing friends in Asheville NC, Nashville Tennessee, and then heading west for Colorado. There is a great massage school that I am going to be attending, it’s focus is on Asian bodywork. I am very excited and a bit nervous and activated. Big transitions like this are never easy for me, and it might not help that I have put most of my stuff in storage while I am in school.

I will be back in May most likely and definitely in June if not sooner. It is an intense program, as we will be in class and training and practicums for 50+ hours a week. I am definitely looking forward to it however.

In the meantime, now that my apartment is quite spacious with the furniture gone, it is a breath of fresh air to meditate. It is so easy to forget how our environment can affect our sitting. In the future, I need to simplify or at least have a clean spacious shrine room!

Okay, back to last minute sorting and cleaning. Gotta be out of my apartment by tomorrow evening!

Thank you for wishing me well! A 2,000 mile road trip journey starts tomorrow.

May all sentient beings know vast spacious mind.

~km

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I love to read inspiring stories about the bodhisattvas of old. Patrul Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul and the great Khyentse Rinpoche etc. and recently I have gotten into looking at Ju Mipham Rinpoche, one of the great students of those aforementioned masters.

One of the last things he told his main attendant was that he was a bodhisattva, which explains why he didn’t have to study much to realize the meaning of many profound texts. And he also told his main attendant that this degenerate age was full of ignorant beings and as such he would not be taking rebirth in this world again

When I hear stories like this, it makes me sad. To have such great masters among us is an amazing blessing. It is rare, precious and so difficult to find. For me reading their life stories is very inspiring, however spending actual time with them in person is the most transformative experience we can have.

I have heard that for most of us, due to our karmic predispositions, we are only able to attend teachers Who are in human form. There are some stories of nuns and monks who receive teachings from dakas and dakinis, but their level of realization is quite far along. Therefore when these great bodhisattvas make statements that they are not reincarnating here again, that is extremely inspiring for me in my practice.

Sure there are a number of bodhisattvas still among us here today, But we never know how many chances we will get to attend them. Therefore make effort now. Try not to waste time today. Of course there is a time for resting there’s a time for working and there’s a time for saying prayers and meditating, just make certain to allow time for The latter. And don’t forget self-care, practicing kindness to self is the basis of a spiritual path.
Thank you for reading!

~km

Four Types of Food

I am about to embark on a grand adventure – heading out West for an Asian Bodywork inspired Massage Therapy training at a school in Crestone Colorado.

And I am very fortunate. I have many friends and well-wishers who support and treat me with kindness. So in this spirit, several people have thrown little parties for me (I am abashedly grateful!) and they have wished me safe journeys and great learning and growing.

At one particular gathering, an old yogi friend wished that I would receive all four forms of food – which he also explained.

According to some Tibetan Lamas, the four types of food are this:

  1. Physical food – the nurturance and sustenance that we need, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc
  2. Sleep – we need to rest and integrate and digest what has happened in our full and busy days, so relax and sleep are necessary – and sleep is a form of sustenance as it were
  3. Massage and Bodywork – there is something to be said about caring, compassionate, appropriate touch; something nurturing, vital and it makes us more robust. An important part of sustenance if you ask me.
  4. Finally, a form of food not many people here in the West truly taste: Samadhi – a state of intense focused concentration often only attained by great meditators; I believe that some Tibetan Lamas (like Garchen Rinpoche) radiate vast auras of samadhi as they rest in that state on a constant basis – that is their reality, the union of wisdom and compassion. For the rest of us, we would be lucky to get to that state for a second while we are on a ten-day retreat. 🙂

I love this though. So many people are looking for sustenance from food alone. They are seeking better nutrients, better vitamins, better balance from their food. But maybe they are not aware of the methods available to help them work through emotional knots (which may very well be obstructing their physical digestion in the first place!).

But there is certainly such thing as emotional food – unconditionally loving, compassionate, kind, caring, welcome, appropriate, boundary-laden touch. ❤ There is psychological food of working through our Double Binds – see birth process work or Pre- and Perinatal psychology. There is obviously spiritual food – working with authentic spiritual teachers who know our karmic predispositions and who can lead us to a direct experience of our innate Buddha-nature, the natural state, clear light mind.

May all sentient beings taste the silky deliciousness of all levels of food. May they revel in the bliss of spontaneous joy and effortless being-ness!

Thank you for reading!

~km

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Thank you for visiting this site and enjoy your time here!

So on the way back from retreat, I was very fortunate to stop over in Portsmouth. Not only did I not have to drive as far (it was a nice little cushioned landing after a deep retreat-mind-that-was-not-quite-ready-to-drive), but I also got to visit a beautiful Yoga center – actually calling it an Ayurvedic center is more accurate. Here is a link:

A Link to the Sattvic Space

My friend, an experienced and wizened yogi who lives in that area, helped to start and found this center. I am very glad I got to visit it and get a tour!

It was built entirely by volunteers and small donations (which is really rather miraculous considering how large it is)!

Also, I asked my friend if I could share a little meditation I learned on retreat. Knowing that I was all charged up with potency after retreat, and that my heart was probably more open than it would be for a few months, I knew that this was a good time for me to be sharing something.

He said “Sure.” After chatting about it, he said he could give me 15 minutes, which I said was fine.

It was a 6 am class that he leads 3x / week. That would normally be pretty early for me, but on retreat I was waking up between 3 and 5 am most days. I was quite surprised to see 9 students there so early.

The teacher introduced me (and considering I was sitting next to him in the front in a position of teacher, it would make sense to acknowledge me!) and he had very high praise for what I do – working with the Vagus system, working with trauma resolution, craniosacral therapy, etc.

He actually gave me 35 minutes to work with which was a pleasant surprise! But it worked out fine.

We did a meditation which involves our very slowly, gradually and mindfully moving our hand from about 18 inches away from the heart, toward the heart. It takes at least 5 minutes for hand to reach heart because first we feel into the heart, to feel our longing, our yearning.

What does the heart yearn for?

When is it that we feel the yearning to touch and be touched?

Then we bring our presence back and forth from hand to heart and back. At times, we even explore moving the hand away from the heart. What is that like?

We really got into some subtleties. It was fantastic.

Because this was a mixed group – some seasoned yogis and some beginners and I believe some people who have never encountered this level of slowing down and being kind to ourselves…

Once we touched our hearts and experienced what that was like, I tasted a metallic taste in my mouth. This is a sign that someone (or more than one!) in the group has done enough. I sensed it was time for a nap.

So we got to explore what it was like to rest the heart back. What is it like to rest the heart down?

I did a little bit of teaching and direction from a prone position, and then I sat back up and waited until I sensed that the energetic field of the group was ready for me. I think they took a 10 minute nap. It was so great.

We wrapped up and then at the end, people came up to me with questions and they loved it. Several said how they felt this magnetic pull from heart to hand – like it was difficult to resist touching their heart. I said, “That is very good!!” ❤

And guess what? It turns out that I will be leading a workshop down there in May. If you are in the Tidewater area – you should come and join us! (I will keep everyone posted)

It will be an Introduction to Working with the Vagus system – during which we will also have some time for more loving-kindness type meditations like I just went through above.

Thank you for reading!

~km

Donation to Kirby’s blogging efforts

Hi dear Readers, Help me buy tea so I can continue blogging. So if you enjoy what you are reading, please make a little donation. Thank you very much!

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A friend told me this recently.. It sounds like an extreme perspective. But I am starting to believe it is true.

Of course it is not that close to death (not that I can say I remember what it is like to die…) but in terms in having a whole body / whole brain re-orientation about where I stay, where I drive to go home, where I park, where I learn my short cuts, where I go shopping. It is like hitting a massive reset button.

In the past, moving wasn’t that terrible. I think I averaged moving once every two years for most of my adult life. That is pretty crazy!

So as it stands now, my attempting to get ready for massage school (an intensive, 600 hours of training in 12 weeks) while I am down-sizing and moving out of my apartment. Is insane. Just nuts.

Next time, I am going for the sub-leasing option (I did not discuss this, but next time, I will at least try!).

I have some home study books to be reading, but I have barely read three pages in the month of January. Kind of need to finish that work soon (not going to happen). At least the massage school allows us to finish up to a month after we graduate (thank goodness!!!).

Note to self. Try to find a grand apartment to rent that I love. OR start saving again for a down-payment on a nice small house.

Thanks for putting up with the raving of a crazy moving adventuring massage student!

~km

P.S. if you want to contribute to my massage training costs or to my blogging efforts, please feel free! 🙂

Donate to Kirby’s blogging efforts

For every $25 you donate, Kirby will write a blog post (article) on the topic of your choosing, within his areas of knowledge. Thank you!

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Another experience from retreat: (I am not tagging this in a slight effort to keep it tucked away – only so dedicated readers might find it)

The yogini who organized this beach retreat, her father passed away about a week or two before retreat started. It was expected, after he wrestled with Alzheimer’s disease for many years. But deaths in the family are never easy – they almost always bring up something. Not to mention too much personal info, let’s just say, she was glad that she had the time in retreat to work with her father and repairing their relationship which she never could in real time (due to his dementia and other reasons).

Anyhow.. she asked me if I had the Phowa text in my small collection of pechas – or practice texts. Sure enough I did.

She asked if I wanted to join her in performing Phowa during a lunch break one day. Sure, of course. It is a powerful practice where we connect with the Lineage Lamas and ask for their blessing, for ourselves, the deceased and all sentient beings. It is a complicated practice and one that requires that we receive a special transmission of the technique of how to do Phowa from a qualified Tibetan Lama. Therefore I won’t go in depth.

There are many stories of high Lamas performing Phowa and then the deceased manifests signs of having gone on to a higher rebirth or even a Buddha’s Pure Realm. There apparently are signs that the body can manifest to indicate that something like this has occurred. So far, I don’t think I have personally seen any. But I have heard that the crown of the head can change – enlarge slightly – if the person’s consciousness exits that way (toward higher realms). Again though, I am not an expert.

However, at one point in the practice, there is a section where we practice ejecting our consciousness from our bodies, to be ready for the time of death. When we are doing this practice as a healthy, breathing person, we have to visualize a certain deity sitting on the crown of our head, with his big toe closing the “blow hole” as it were – closing the exit from the central channel, so that we don’t accidentally eject our consciousness in a way that we can’t come back from. (I’m not an expert here, if you have questions about this, find a qualified spiritual teacher who knows Phowa really well.)

In case you did not get this from that last paragraph above: Phowa is a serious practice with significant ramifications. You have to receive the Phowa transmission from a qualified Tibetan Lama before attempting to practice it. Not to mention the special instructions about how to actually do the transference of consciousness.

The Phowa transmission is given all around the United States from time to time, and throughout Europe and South East Asia. So if you look around, you can probably find a Phowa teaching happening somewhere nearby!

With this disclaimer out of the way… this retreat was extra clarifying for me. I believe this is because I quit my full time job six months earlier. Now I had the time to practice true self care outside of retreat – slowing down, doing yoga most days, sitting on my cushion most days, taking refuge most days, etc. This allowed me to encounter levels of clarity I had not seen before, on retreat. (see previous posts)

So sure enough, even doing Phowa brought an unusual experience.

Nothing special.

Just when we got to that section on ejecting our consciousness, I may not have been visualizing the deity sitting solidly on my crown or my visualization of his big toe covering my “blow hole” was not very clear. When I pushed my consciousness up my central channel, and up to the top of my head, it kept going… And suddenly I found myself in a dark space of living voidness – it was like being in a moving, coagulating spaciousness. If I were sitting in a nebula with a new star forming nearby, that might come close to what I experienced. Only for a few seconds, and then I came back into my body.

That is it. Nothing too crazy!

Go back and read about my other retreat experiences if you have not already.

I will post more about my thoughts on this retreat in a day or so. Now that I have had about ten days to let the 10-day retreat begin to integrate.

Thank you for reading!

May all of our New Years 2018 be auspicious!

~km

Donate to Kirby’s blogging efforts

For every $25 you donate, Kirby will write a blog post (article) on the topic of your choosing, within his areas of knowledge. Thank you!

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Another experience from time recently on retreat…

Sitting in front of the large picture windows, gazing out at the sea, for at least one to two hours a day meant that after a few days, the waves literally permeated my mind stream.

I would be sitting with my eyes closed, and I could feel waves moving through my body. I could nearly see with my inner eye, the waves moving through my tissues, through my fluids, up my spine.

And then most mornings there was a brilliant sunrise. There were a couple of stormy and heavy overcast days when the sun did not seem to rise – there was not a hint of the magentas, the oranges, the chartreuse, yellows and definitely none of the sun beams streaming through the clouds that we got most mornings.

The wild thing was, that in the middle of the retreat, we did a smoke offering practice – the Mountain of Burnt Offerings – Ri Wo Sang Cho. In this practice, we visualize Guru Rinpoche above and in front of us (unless we have certain initiations or empowerments, then the instructions would be different) and he is blazing with splendor. Like a sun rising.

When we did the smoke offering in the cold crisp morning air (it was seriously cold – several people complained about having toes going numb – it was as if I had an inner sunrise opening up and creating light inside of me.

This was the first time that had happened. It was opening, it was soothing, it was radiant, it was easy and comfortable, I was becoming a larger container, filled with light and loving-kindness.

Pretty darned amazing!

Thank you for reading,

~km

Donation to Kirby’s blogging efforts

Hi dear Readers, Help me buy tea so I can continue blogging. So if you enjoy what you are reading, please make a little donation. Thank you very much!

$10.00