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This might be a little sacrilegious…  but I want to share these thoughts nonetheless.  I want to preface what I am going to say with the fact that I am, deep in my heart, a Buddhist practitioner.  I have a strong connection with Tibetan lamas from the Drikung Kagyu, Nyingma and Gelugpa lineages.  Also, I am not expert, so it might be good to take my opinions with a grain of salt.

With that said, I have been practicing Tibetan Buddhism for 12 years now, in addition I have also studied trauma resolution and Craniosacral Therapy (a form of therapeutic touch and bodywork) for about the same amount of time.  More recently I have spent time exploring and studying Pre- and Perinatal Therapy (Birth Process work) which looks at the world from a baby-centric perspective.  Therefore I have a number of tools at my disposal for working with the body / mind.

I am presently doing a limited retreat.  I am withdrawing from stressful situations, from stressful people and from stressful patterns within my own being.  I am seeking to cultivate loving-kindness, joy and openheartedness.  And overall I think I am doing pretty well with this intention.

Of course I need to make ends meet, so I am working a couple of part-time jobs and I am seeing bodywork and astrology clients when they set up appointments.  But for the most part, my days are full of juicy Svaroopa yoga (gentle supported yoga which focuses on loosening tension in the spine and opening the pelvis), heart opening Zapchen exercises, beautiful walks by the river, spending time with good company and doing a little bit of meditation and Dharma practice.

One pattern I am looking at within myself is my tendency to be hard on myself if I miss a day of Dharma practice.  Nearly everyday I sit on my cushion.  But I have a commitment to finish my preliminary practices – to say the refuge mantra along with doing prostrations.  So when I miss doing that, I feel a little guilty.

However, I need to be aware that this pattern may be something I inherited.  Who in my energetic field (when I was very little) was hard on themselves?  Who might have had a guilty conscience when I was young?  Did I pick that up from Mom or Dad or another care-taker?

The stress of living in this fast-paced, rat-race-inducing, technologically advanced culture leads to my feeling a lot of compression.  Physical compression of my heart and spine, emotional compression of my heart’s generosity and capacity to experience joy and lightheartedness, and energetic compression as I notice any stress in people around me.  Yes, I am a bit sensitive.

I am also vitally aware of how much I need good unconditionally supportive company around me.  I don’t want to spend time with people who are incredibly judgmental or critical.  People who are stuck up in their heads, logically analyzing and discriminating about everything around them.  No, I want people who have discovered a balance between the compassion of the heart, the potency of the pelvis and the clarity of the head.

I have been studying Pre- and Perinatal Therapy (PPN) over the past few years.  And last summer I had the good fortune to go up to Nelson, Canada for 2+ weeks for an intensive workshop.  And I have since discovered that the incredible levels of safety and trust which is cultivated has made for a container of support and good company which I have NEVER experienced anywhere else.  And I mean anywhere else.  When I go to my Dharma center, the majority of the people there are not exactly embodied.  They mean very well and they have excellent motivation and intentions.

But the Sangha (group of students and practitioners) which I have experienced around this PPN work is something extraordinary.  To come together as a group of equals who are all seeking to open our hearts compassionately to the terrible knowledge which existed for many of our childhoods, to build in solid resources and new kinder ways of being with ourselves.  To work through psychological double-binds together and to touch each other in platonic, professional and unconditionally loving ways, is something extremely difficult to find.

The reason I mentioned this might seem kind of blasphemous earlier is that I am looking to see how I can build in more of this second Sangha in my life.  If Buddhist practitioners do not work with their bodies and merely spend time focusing on the bigger picture (which is extremely important of course – looking to purify karma, planning for future lifetimes, and deepening their levels of renunciation), then I’m not sure I want to spend that much time with them at present.

How can I find a balance between Dharma practice (focusing on refining the subtle consciousness and moving toward Buddha-consciousness) and embodying kindness-inducing practices which move us toward greater compassion toward ourselves and others?  The amount of kindness I want to practice toward myself is radical, basically not talked about in any circles of mainstream society.  And I want to spend time with people who practice radical kindness toward themselves.

This is what I am sitting with at present.  I might go up to the Dharma center next week, and I might choose to stay here in town and sit in my semi-retreat of kindness toward self.  Because I am really looking at doing things differently.  Being differently.

I don’t want any judgmental stuff coming through others, even if it is being projected through a Buddhadharma lens.  I don’t want to spend lots of time with people who are repeatedly hard on themselves with no end to this pattern in sight.  (Sometimes people beat themselves up and maybe they even use their meditation practice as a way to continue this trend..)

Wish me well in walking this fine line.  I will continue this discussion soon.

Thank you for visiting!

Gratefully,

~km

 

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Hello dear ones,

I haven’t posted here for a while due to technical difficulties at home.  (I am currently limited to an iPad at home which makes posting quite tedious.)

However, if it were easy, I would have posted one or two pieces about astrology.  I am getting back into doing more interpretations which I enjoy doing.

I am actually planning a class on Spiritual Astrology that includes embodiment exercises.  It is my intention to go slow.  To allow people to feel their feet, to slowly come into their hearts and pelvises, to ground and to discover some innate joy Before they approach the astrology chart.  I want this because so often my clients come to me and they are locked into hyper-arousal (anxiety / fear) or they are locked into hypo-arousal (freeze / depression).  I want seekers to have more choice, to experience more joy and to not be approaching astrology with trepidation and worry – rather it is a tool, it is a glimpse at our psyche, but our psyche is flexible and malleable.  We can slowly change our minds.  🙂

So far I am looking to offer this class in Charlottesville.  But if it goes well, I will look beyond Central Virginia.

These days I am continuing to not work full time.  I am mostly recovered from ending a serious relationship back in late January (my heart is finally starting to open more fully and stably).  And I have not decided whether or not I want to get back into nursing school.  It is still a little activating to consider it, so I am withdrawing and allowing myself to rest as deeply as I know how.  I am doing more outdoor activities – gardening, kayaking on a local river, walking near the Rivanah River behind my abode and hiking occasionally.

As I mentioned, I am seeing more clients as a result and I am loving it.  I am assisting with two bodywork classes – Craniosacral Therapy and a Vagus class (Polyvagal trauma resolution bodywork).  This is rewarding and a great reminder of the many tools and tricks in my toolkit as it were.

If you want to schedule an astrology interpretation let me know.  I do Skype sessions, phone, Google Hangouts and Zoom calls.  Also if you live in Virginia, we could always do a session in person!  Plus the bodywork that I practice is very efficacious and resourcing.  My website here: Kirby’s Website

Thanks for reading and I hope to post more soon!

~km

So whether I want to or not… I have been asked to lead group meditations for a couple groups in the past week.  I am reluctant for a number of reasons.  And I am expressing my objections / resistance and moving forward with a one of the groups.

A friend and teacher put my name forward as a potential meditation teacher (we are simply talking Buddhism 101 or Meditation 101) for a group of UVa students.  A 2nd year level course involves the students doing a survey of Buddhism from Theravada (Hinayana) traditions all the way through Dzogchen / Mahamudra (Vajrayana) traditions all in one semester!  That is quite a lot of ground to cover!

I learned that these students take a class-room section of this course where they receive a lecture, then they go to a weekly discussion group where they talk in small groups.  And then they have a meditation lab where they meditation 50 minutes / week.  What an interesting immersion in the study of meditation / Buddhism.

However, I also learned that the students have been pushing pretty hard.  As in less-than-kind immersion in meditation.  (I believe that starting off slowly – like 2 to 3 minutes at a time at first and slowly working our way up from there – is important and kind.  Because a part of us does not actually learn if we are objecting to the activity.)  I plan to offer something radical – how about we make meditation fun and joy-inspiring?  How about we cultivate warmth and enthusiasm for the thought of sitting on our cushions?  Well that is my intention when I go to lead one of these labs.  I hope my style is not rebuked – but is not loving-kindness a critical ingredient on the Buddhist path?  Radical kindness.  What a concept!

Also, my mentor, Janet Evergreen and I are going to be giving introductory teachings (for Dharma practitioners) on the Common Preliminaries – the 4 Thoughts and basic teachings on Refuge.  Contact me if you are interested by the way!  It is happening in Charlottesville, April 29th and 30th.  9 – 12 and 2 – 5 pm both days (Saturday and Sunday).  You can email mkirbymoore [at] gmail . com for more info or to register.

I am definitely reluctant to call myself a meditation teacher.  I am an embodiment coach (meditation is one way to get there).  I do have permission from my Lamas to teach basic meditations and intro Buddhist concepts.  So that is all to the good!

Thanks for reading and wish me luck!

~km

 

Hello to all my dear readers, seasoned and new!

I have been slowly and delicately describing my transition from old self – feeling stuck in certain areas of life and not doing anything about it – to new self: making necessary changes and reforms with mindfulness and kindness to self.

So to recap: I left my partner of three years in January – some elements of that relationship were not healthy and it was time to change it.  I left nursing school in February (again).  This was very complicated because due to a health crisis last year, I also left nursing school.  So I re-entered it this January only to discover that due to my working late nights at my full time job, I could not sustain a healthy body and mind and attempt to complete nursing school the way things were.  Let’s just say I hid my head in the sand for a few weeks after that stomach churning decision!  And just this month, I have put in my notice at my restaurant job (where I was feeling stuck and listless) and I am ready to move forward!

I am feeling better about my transition now.  At first, resting in “I don’t know” mind was very difficult.  I think change is difficult for anyone – and the transitions I am going through this year are staggering.

I have applied to numerous jobs at UVa in clinical research and I am applying to the local community services organization here in C’ville.  So hopefully something will pan out shortly.  I am okay with a couple weeks of not working – enjoying nature, hiking, sitting by the river, doing some writing and reviewing old Dharma teachings.  But I would rather be working by May 1st!

I am also excited about an opportunity to give some basic Dharma teachings myself.  Not that I am at all qualified!  But I have been asked to do the majority of the teaching at a weekend retreat at the end of April – two days of teachings on the common preliminaries – the Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind toward Enlightenment and basic teachings on taking refuge – what to visualize, when, how to do prostrations, why we do them, etc.

So that is where I am at.  I finish up my long relationship with the food and beverage industry this coming week.  And that is all to the good.  I am so relieved to be saying that actually – I feel like it is years too late..  But enough with beating myself up.

I am realizing (through dream guidance) that nursing may actually be the best way for me to move forward.  I am disappointed I could not complete this semester, but I had to take care of myself.  Hopefully they will let me back in, or if not, I will transfer to another school.  Nonetheless, clinical research or offering community services type work will both be good as they are in alignment with nursing.

Thank you all for wishing me well and continuing to read my random missives!

~km

I had a much better day today (than yesterday).  This could be the effects to two (different modalities) bodywork treatments in two days.  It could also be that I spent time with more good company today as well.

The most fascinating aspect of today is this: I quit nursing school recently.  A part of me is nervous about hanging out, direction-less, purpose-less, less-goal-oriented-than-I’m-used-to…  It is tough to unhitch the horses and just rest.  It is difficult for me to quiet the heart for more than an hour / day!

But with that said, I am doing a fine job of adjusting to this new change of pace.  I am even doing pretty well coping with resting in not knowing.  I don’t know if I am going back to nursing school.  I don’t know if I am choosing a different type of schooling to plunge into.  I don’t know if there is an option “C” that I am not even aware of yet!  Or option “D” just in case Midwifery is on the table.

Speaking of Midwifery, a friend drove me to dinner and a play tonight.  It was entertaining, the food was so delicious (Zenodoa’s restaurant in Staunton) but it was on the way back that surprised me most.

Somehow we started talking about birth and how my personal birth mirrors my present predicament, and then how Nurse Midwives differ from Certified (Home birth) Midwives, etc.  And of course I was stating the virtues of home birth and natural birth and what babies need.  Somehow she talked me into considering midwifery as a possible career.

But then I started to decompress from the long evening and I asked the I Ching about this possibility and it gave me Kua 5 (Waiting, Calm Abiding, Confidence, Relaxed Anticipation) with lines 2 thru 5 changing.

So basically I am not in a good place right now to plunge forward boldly into the unknown. Rather I need to abide patiently, knowing that things are working under the surface and that they will work out fine in the end.

My favorite words from the lines are from line 3 – “You have altogether missed the point of this time.  You have shrink-wrapped your attention to a reality much too small for you. …  If you can, change the shape of your mind – greater spaciousness brings greater opportunity.”  This is from Julie Henderson’s interpretation of the Yi Jing – the Somatic I Ching, revealing story, training mind.

Sounds like that is much easier said than done…(!)

So back to the drawing board.  And back to resting in awareness.  Time to put up my feet and rest my kidneys!  And calmly and patiently abide.

Thanks for reading!

~Kirby

It is my birthday today.

38 years old.  Young.

I went to look at an office space downtown (Charlottesville).  Not knowing what to expect.  I met someone who I think I will learn a lot from.

No names, unless I get her permission, yet.  She does shamanism and process-oriented psychotherapy, hypnotism but she is outside the box in all of these areas I think.

We started talking about being energetically conscientious.  Cleaning up after a session.  Clearing the room of any residual energies or emotions.

Somehow we chatted about celestial realms, angels, Dharma wisdom beings, vortexes and animal spirits.  Energies all.  And in spite of being so grounded in the spiritual realms as it were, she is the manager of the healing space and she works with corporate clients doing executive development.

So…  I want to emulate some of that.  I am a spiritual being have an off-and-on difficult time with my human experience.  She seems to be a similar spiritual being, having discovered a way to work with her human experience.  To be grounded in both worlds.  That is something uncommon to say the least.  To really be in alignment with our heart and mind and body and to be empirical about both worlds – very rare indeed.

At one point in the conversation, it seemed like, while she talked, I was having a separate conversation with her in my mind.  Uncanny but not unexpected somehow.  Bizarre and edifying at the same time.

Needless to say, I am most likely going to take the space.  If nothing else, I will learn a lot energetically.  Just by meditating in the space.  I have a feeling that this 38th year is going to be a great one.

Thanks for reading!

~Kirby

 

Thomas Jefferson was of course a politician, a diplomat and a scholar, but he was far more than that.  And I think it is the lesser-well-known modesty and wisdom about him that is most pertinent in these days of extremism and intolerance.

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This is me at Monticello, with a new friend from Toronto Canada, a Tibetan refugee whose family Canada took in and made a permanent resident and then citizen!

It was an incredible day for a tour – in the 70’s, clear blue azure skies, a light breeze and the daffodils and even some tulips are blooming.  (Although it is supposed to be cold next week with the possibility of snow, so these flowers are dreadfully confused by our warm winter weather!)

But I am most struck by what Jefferson put on his grave: 3 things.  1) He was the author of the Declaration of Independence, 2) he came up with the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, and 3) he was the father of the University of Virginia.

No where on his grave did he want that was President of the U.S. or Vice President, nor did he want it known that he was the Governor of Virginia or even the Ambassador to France!  Jefferson it seems was basically a modest farmer, and inventor, and creator, and philosopher and plantation owner.  Yes he had slaves, but it seems, after going on the Slavery section of the tour, that he gets a bad rap for that – if he had the power, he might have attempted to fight and end slavery during his lifetime.  But the powers that were in the South at that time were definitely not ready for that!

(And it should be known that he had children with Sally Hemmings after his wife died.  Yes she was a slave, she was of mixed races, and who knows if she gave consent, but I would have to suspect that to give birth to 6 children, there may have been some…  And Martha Jefferson made Thomas Jefferson promise to not get married again after she died, despite the fact that he would outlive her by 40+ years.  So he kind of kept up his end of the bargain, along with siring 6 children with Hemmings.)

It was the Statute of Religious Freedom that really caught my ears and eye and heart today.  Way ahead of his time, Jefferson needed the corrupting influence of religion out of the government.  It needed to be in writing!  Too often, there were priest kings (Popes) dominating the political landscape in Europe.  And Jefferson even went so far as to separate the UVa chapel away from the other campus buildings at his dear University!  This was a radical departure from most schools of the time!  The chapel is literally separated and in a different direction than the scholastic buildings.  School is separate from religion.  The State is separated from religion.

In this current time of religious persecution and intolerance, (read: realizing that Donald Trump is our current President and that he seems to be anxious to keep Muslims out of the United States), it is the simplest wisdom that can reach the farthest.

It is the simplest wisdom that can be understood by the most people.  The Virginia Statute states that no one can be persecuted or thrown in jail due to their practicing a certain religion or not practicing one.  And that fact that Jefferson valued that above the fact that he was the President says something.  He was a wise and powerful man, inventive and a man of vision.  Yes there are one or two controversial areas of his life, but taken as a whole regarding the epoch and society he was living in, I think we must conclude that he was a very special being.  One who was years ahead of his time.

Let us celebrate and honor Jefferson’s memory today by accepting and being tolerant toward all people, regardless of their race or religion or social status.

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May all beings realize that when our neighbors are happy, then so are we!  And accept and practice generosity toward all beings!

Thanks for reading!

~Kirby