Playful Somatics Group

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You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

Dear readers, I got to lead a Somatics group yesterday on Zoom, and it went quite well! After completing a 90-day meditation retreat, I love how swiftly my body comes back into alignment and remembers what it is like to be comfortably in my head, heart and pelvis – in my clarity, compassion and potency! I say “comes back into alignment” because I am in the midst of moving… and due to unforeseen circumstances, I only had two weeks to get everything done. So that was a bit jarring. And now I am remembering who I truly am.

I can put down roots (anywhere – Qigong training), I can notice the resource of gravity – whether sitting or standing or lying down. Feeling the effects of gravity on the body is a grounding resource. My breath is always with me (until it is not). And I have many tools at my disposal to open my breath, to get in touch with my mediastinum (the fascia around the inside of the ribs, surrounding the heart and lungs and even going up into the throat) and to scan my body. I can be present as a body, as energy and as awareness itself. Rejoice! Because even in the midst of stagnant conditions, we can do something, we can gradually move toward well-being!

It is so beneficial and comforting to lean into a group for support. As the leader, I am more holding space and offering support, however I get to remember my humanity as my heart opens to what is being shared. Compassion springs from interacting with others, noticing other’s suffering and having empathy and desiring to benefit those who are having difficulty.

We did a grounding bodyscan meditation to start. Followed up with some Zapchen – Yawning and Egg Laying Breath, along with discussing how our relationship to resistance can change and shift for the better. We also did some creative opposition and we ended with a beautiful Mother Earth / Father Sky meditation. Wow that last one really shifted the energetic field – so much more settling and ease in spite of everything!

Thank you for the opportunity to teach Zapchen Somatics and other techniques from Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Somatic Experiencing! (Yes, it is a dynamic group.) I love feeling into the heart of the group to see what the Field says is needed for that day. I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us!

By the way, you can join us if you want. The class is on Tuesdays at 11 AM EDT (Washington DC time). You can join our Zoom group by going to this site and clicking the link to join a live class: https://www.jaydemaio.com/qigong

Also Jay’s other Qigong classes are awesome! He is a fantastic teacher! If you are new to qigong, start with his Sunday class. Maybe I will see you there!

May all sentient beings find inner resources for stability, kindness and clarity. May we be willing to look at the truth, to own what is ours and to lean into support to repair, release and heal old stuff.

Thank you for reading!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Retreat themes: Introduction

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to make a donation, that would be most appreciated as I have almost entirely disabled the ads (I found them annoying). Even just $2, $5 or $10 goes a long way – helps me pay for tea to keep the ideas flowing: click here – paypal

You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

As my followers and regular readers may know, I recently completed a 90-day meditation retreat. It was a rich, rewarding, insight filled, stretching-to-grow and increasing-one’s-potency type of retreat. On the retreat, we did Qigong daily, along with prostrations, purification practice (one of the Tibetan Buddhist preliminary practices), metta loving kindness, somatic processing and vipassana. Plus twice a week we did dream play (will explain in a future post). Four sessions / day. It was awesome! And it has now been over two weeks since re-emerging. I had a good week to process and integrate and digest and continue to do daily practice and self-care.

With that said, I am gearing up to move residences, which is a bit inconvenient. Not moving far, I am glad for this change. I am excited to be moving in with my girlfriend; we had been seeing each other for a while prior to retreat, and we stayed in touch via letters during retreat. This feels good in my heart. She has a 5 year old daughter, who I have also grown close to over the past year. And on reflection, the retreat was preparing me for this move. It had some gritty days – once or twice a week (for a month or so) I was forced to grind away at self-grasping and the resulting resistance.

Can we sit in the fiery cauldron of transformation for weeks on end and allow ourselves to be touched, to be changed, to be transformed? I think most of us were forced to do this! Can we hatch from a potential (baby) dragon into a fledging teacher, community-builder and social justice advocate? Can we peer deeply into the inner machinations of our nervous systems and realize that our meditation success is intimately woven together with the state of our autonomic nervous system? Can I use this newly realized refined innate wisdom (not a lot mind you! It was only 3 months) to benefit others – whether through process-oriented bodywork, or Western Astrology or Somatic Experiencing sessions?

And just to share, we were receiving weekly updates on the Covid 19 response, progress and stay-at-home requirements, not to mention learning news about deaths and numbers of cases both in the U.S. and internationally. This helped me for a number of reasons. First, it increases our compassion if we hear about other’s suffering, or at least there is certainly that opportunity! Second, it helped me (us) know what kind of world we would be re-emerging into. I realized that most of my post-retreat plans would have to be re-evaluated and if nothing else, the timing would have to be changed. We came out of retreat and were forced to stay at a relatively slow pace – which is just fine with me!

For at least two weeks in the retreat, I was a little numb to the news though. I don’t think it really hit home until April how bad certain parts of the world had been affected. It was difficult to process so much inner stuff with this overwhelming news (about Italy or India or Ecuador, etc).

In upcoming posts, I will be reflecting on thoughts / themes from retreat. Maybe these themes were actually apart of retreat, or perhaps I reflected on wisdom I brought into the retreat, and got to deepen and appreciate more fully. I plan to publish at least ten theme posts over the next couple of months – no rush. Get settled, continue moving slow, connecting with the health (within) which is never lost, appreciating the beauty of spring around us, spending quality time with family and when possible (social distancing) with friends, leaning into support, and continuing to keep my foot dipped in the deep well of healing wisdom – practicing Dharma and self care on a regular daily basis!

Thank you for reading!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Venus retrograde deception

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to make a donation, that would be most appreciated as I have almost entirely disabled the ads (I found them annoying). Even just $2, $5 or $10 goes a long way – helps me pay for tea to keep the ideas flowing: click here – paypal

You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

Venus is currently retrograde (it began to slow down back in late April and then officially went retrograde (Rx) around May 10th. The point at which it went Rx is 21 degrees of Gemini (aka its shadow). Venus will go direct June 25th of 2020 and that point is 5 degrees Gemini. Then it will take another four – five weeks until Venus crosses its shadow. At this point (in late July), we will be in the clear around Venusian issues.

Venus rules money, luxury items, comfort, what we want / what we desire, sexual needs, sensuality, intimacy and relating in general (particularly romantic relationships). All of these areas could be affected during this time. The primary advice I give clients during Venus Rx is be discerning about how you view potential romantic partners – especially anyone new you meet during this phase! Rose colored glasses are out in full force!

And yes, Venus Rx can strain existing romantic relationships – but often in a good way. We want to be clearer about expressing our needs, we want to be seen and heard in relationship (ideally!) and we want to be able to express and get our sexual needs met. When Venus is Rx, if there has been some sweeping some of these needs under the carpet, beware – those dust bunnies are going to come out!

In particular, for those of us who were born between 1975 and 1982 – when Neptune was around mid to late Sagittarius (opposite the current Rx transit of Venus), this could be an even more trying and deceptive time. For those years, be extra discerning about the rose colored glasses! Get second opinions! Lean into support. If you meet, “the person of my dreams” during this time, introduce them to friends and really ask your friends to tell you what they think – don’t hold back.

For these years, this can also be a time of being deceived around money. Any financial dealings should be scrutinized and possibly slept on for a day and night. If something feels fishy or like you need to rush to get it done, be careful. This will also be true about purchasing luxury items – be discerning or else in a couple months you will regret the massive credit card bill of that expensive (substitute your luxury item of choice) infrared sauna you purchased!

What are some potential ways of ameliorating Venus retrograde confusion / delusion? 1) Being in the body – doing techniques / somatic work to be in your body; 2) once we have done some work to be in our bodies, then meditation will be efficacious and very beneficial; 3) get second / third opinions – lean into support!; 4) know yourself

  1. Being in our bodies – according to research in the last 20 years, the Vagus nerve, which is basically the primary mediator of the autonomic nervous system, is 80% afferent (and only 20% efferent). This means that 80% of information traveling through the Vagus nerve is going from the body to the brain. Why is this important? Because this means we have 4 lanes of traffic, a virtual superhighway of information coming from the body going to the brain, and only one lane of traffic from the brain down. Therefore, if we try to figure everything out through the brain only (top-down processing), we are vastly limiting our resources. When we work with an appropriate professional to do somatic processing type work – to clear up the obstacles to being in our bodies – then we start to gain access to that superhighway of information. The term “I had a gut feeling about it” has so much more meaning than most people know! See my recent post about leading a Gentle Somatics class or click here for more info: https://www.jaydemaio.com/qigong
  2. Only when we have cleared up some of the inner obstacles to nervous system regulation (one way of accomplishing this is by doing embodiment / somatic exercises especially with a practitioner who is able to self-regulate themselves) are we able to meditate with ease. Unfortunately, the deep dorsal vagal response of freeze / shut down / collapse is pervasive in our society – whether due to early developmental stresses (birth trauma, neglect, abuse, etc) or due to chronic unresolved lighter stress. Therefore, if I am stuck in a pattern of freeze / dissociation / collapse and I go to meditate, my body-mind is going to swiftly bring me back to show me that pattern. It is my intention to move toward well-being AND when I try to meditate, all that happens is I zone out, check out, start day dreaming, feel my anxiety etc. If this is happening, we could use more support for our nervous systems.
  3. Lean into support! Whether we talk with a skillful therapist, or have a circle of close friends or family members, get second and third opinions! If something seems too good to be true, have a healthy dose of skepticism. If someone seems too good to be true – Venus is retrograde, look out! So lean into support, phone a friend, chat with that buddy who you haven’t spoken with in months, etc.
  4. Know Ourselves. I could write about this for thousands of words… and it is a gradual process. The more “work” we do on ourselves, the more we will learn about our habitual tendencies, about how our nervous system’s react to different situations, about patterns that we seem to recapitulate (do over and over again), etc. Whether we use the Enneagram, or Astrology, or working with a good system like a Course in Miracles, or a skillful counselor, etc, the more we understand ourselves, the more consciousness we bring to our subconscious patterns stemming from early stuff, the more we will heal, repair and release old out-dated material. So start getting to know yourself better today! Even simply finding a self-help book that resonates with you and reading 5-10 pages a day is a great start!

May all beings have clear heads, be discerning during this time, still figure out ways to get their relationship needs met and know happiness and contentment!

Thank you for reading!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Leading a meditation and somatics group

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to make a donation, that would be most appreciated as I have almost entirely disabled the ads (I found them annoying). Even just $2, $5 or $10 goes a long way – helps me pay for tea to keep the ideas flowing: click here – paypal

You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

In this new world we find ourselves in, things have been turned upside down. As His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon says, (I’m paraphrasing) “Samsara (our world of deluded grasping and aversion) is always ruled by confusion and uncertainty. It is only now in the midst of this crisis that we cannot avoid seeing it.” And with uncertainty and confusion comes greater stress. In this time, it is very important for us to have additional resources, to be able to lean into each other for support and to have tools to come down out of our heads and comfortably land back in our bodies!

In this class, we will do Zapchen Somatics, some techniques to resource and sooth the nervous system along with 10 – 15 minutes of meditation. I will explain a little about the autonomic nervous system and its reactions to stress and overwhelm – according to up-to-date research with Somatic Experiencing and the Polyvagal Theory. And do exercises based on requests from participants. Exercises which are sneakily powerful and yet easy and playful. I hope you can join us as we yawn our way back toward well-being!

We are doing this class on Zoom (online for now) on Tuesdays at 11 am Eastern Standard Time (Washington DC time). It is an hour long class – ending by 12:15 at the latest. There is a link to join these classes here: https://www.jaydemaio.com/qigong

You should check out Jay’s other Qigong classes as well. He is an awesome teacher – in the lineage of Master Wu. Those descriptions are on that same page.

Let me (or Jay DeMaio) know if you are planning to join us. We are hoping for a group of about 8 – 12 participants. If we have 5 or 6, or as many as 14 or 15, that will be fine. But a larger group might be challenging to track. You can email me at kirby [at] mkirbymoore [dot] com to let me know if you plan to attend.

We are asking for a $10 – 15 donation if you are able. We know these are trying times financially for many people! So I want to see your (soon to be if not already) smiling face more than anything. If you appreciate these teachings and are able to donate more, that would be most welcome! You can use the paypal link above to donate or send it via Venmo: kirby-moore-2 is my username there.

Photo from the last day of retreat, Kirby Moore

I am just over a week past emerging from a 3-month meditation retreat, like a meditative butterfly gradually emerging from its potent-cauldron-of-transformation chrysalis. On this retreat, on a daily basis, we did Tibetan Buddhist practices (mostly Ngondro), Qigong, metta loving kindness, Zapchen Somatics, Dharma protector practice and shamatha (calm abiding) and vipassana (special insight) meditation. It was Awesome! Stretching me to grow, filling my container, granting many and unique insights, and leaving me with much to integrate and digest.

I am looking forward to sharing some of the insights I gleaned. We will go slow, sticking with the sneakily powerful yet basic exercises for a few weeks. I am committed to leading six to eight classes.

Let us know if you plan to join us! Look forward to seeing you Tuesday (May 26th). Join us as we lean into support and lean into the innate wisdom already present in the body. Learn how to tap into the health which is never lost. May all beings benefit!

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Food on retreat

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to make a donation, that would be most appreciated as I have almost entirely disabled the ads (I found them annoying). Even just $2, $5 or $10 goes a long way – helps me pay for tea to keep the ideas flowing: click here – paypal

You can also visit my site here: http://www.mkirbymoore.com to see what else I offer as far as Western Astrology interpretations, Somatic Processing work (in-person or long distance sessions) and other bodywork options.

For the next week, I will give half of any donations I receive to my local food bank. May 14 – 21st. I realize that writing this post now, in the midst of this pandemic might be a bit insensitive. We have compassion for all those beings who are suffering from hunger or cold or lacking in shelter or other forms of suffering. On retreat, we all went several meals where we ate less and dedicated the merit to beings who were hungry. I also took the 8 Lay Vows (temporary 24-hour vows where one of the vows is to not eat after mid-day) on several occasions.

The main shrine from our retreat

I mentioned that I am keeping the teachings, my process and insights bundled for a few weeks – bundling the medicine as indigenous teachers recommend. Allowing these seeds planted to begin to take root and hopefully sprout!

In the meantime, here I will discuss what I cooked on retreat. We each had one day every week where we cooked, took a bath, cleaned and had a bit of rest. It was called our House Day – where we did some cleaning, laundry and cooking for all the retreatants. I got to have some fun with creative recipes (usually that I made up or modified). Considering we pushed pretty hard on those other 6 days / week (4 sessions of practice most days), this was a very good system.

We tended to eat light to moderate breakfasts, had a good-sized lunch and then a very light dinner. I do want to add that we always acknowledged how fortunate we are – to have access to organic food! I know that due to not working, some people are being forced to make the horrifying choice of eating or paying their rent. And local food banks are being stretched to the brink – donate to your local food bank if you can! Prayers and compassion go out to all beings – may all sentient beings be fed, be comfortable and be safe.

On to the food descriptions:

Fudge – one day I wanted to create a better chocolate. I had some 100% cocoa chocolate bars – a.k.a. bitter dark chocolate – which is very difficult to swallow on its own. So I added some more cocoa powder, a little bit of cocoa butter, even some carob powder… then pureed clementines with pistachios, along with one clean (organic) clementine rind – orange zest anyone? And finished it with shredded coconut on top. One person in the retreat could not do sugar, so I flavored half the batch with stevia and the other half with a touch of honey. Oh and I added almond milk. Stuck them in the freezer, and two hours later when I took them out for lunch… it was fluffier than regular chocolate – almost like incredible dark chocolate orange fudge! Whoa. Those were decadent meals! And each passing day, the orange flavors coalesced even more with the chocolate – Wow!

Soup – we ate soup at least every other dinner. It was easy to digest, easy to warm up and clean up. So that meant I made chicken soup or a vegetarian (veggie) soup every House Day. It was fun to play with soup ideas. My personal favorite (although I suspect I might be deficient in one of the minerals in coconut milk due to my body craving this soup so much!) is a dairy-free coconut cashew curry broccoli soup! Yum. (!)

Peanut butter almond coconut cookies – on a couple of occasions, I made an interesting (new?) cookie – peanut butter plus shredded coconut cookie. Macaroon meets classic peanut butter. Except ours (or at least half the batches) did not contain sugar – it is always an interesting experiment when baking with honey instead of sugar. Often the first batch requires a change in the cooking times! But they turned out well. Oh – and they were always gluten free. I tended to use almond flour.

Almond / miso combinations – I also had fun making some vegan or vegetarian sauces. One of my favorites, along with a delicious spicy peanut sauce, was a miso, almond butter, mushroom sauce. Whoa! Delish!

I was talking with my girlfriend recently about creativity. She has her process around it and for me, at present, a lot of creativity comes out in the kitchen. Give me ten ingredients and I will probably create something unusual and usually delicious! ūüôā

Thank you for reading and visiting and I hope that you are able to have some fun in the kitchen!

Kirby

konchog chakchen

Retreat video (photo montage)

Video montage (photos and beautiful music) from 3-month retreat. Such an opportunity is rare indeed, and this timing was unique. So glad to be able to offer light and love to the planet and all beings during this time!

Three retreatants, one door keeper (the main retreat assistant, cook, grocery shopper, organizer of outside activities and more). Very precious! Much metta and gratitude to be able to be in a chrysalis of healing wisdom for 3 months. Now gradually emerging.

Well wishing to all beings!

Thanks for reading,

Kirby

konchog chakchen

Coming back from retreat

Kirby March 2020

Wow! Just wow and I have big compassion for all those who are suffering and have suffered through this current frightening and unprecedented time. What a time to come out of retreat! And what a good time to be in retreat saying prayers for all sentient beings.

It is my intention to re-emerge gradually – they say taking at least 2 – 3 weeks after a 3-month retreat is best. Thankfully this situation will make that easier. I do plan to start seeing on-line clients again soon – possibly as soon as the 25th. Let me know if you are interested in having extra psycho-spiritual support and / or if you want to work through some anxiety / emotional piece. I definitely emerged with increased clarity and refined skillful means!

Also, the wisdom is to nurture the retreat teachings, insights and processes in a sacred medicine bundle and to take a month or two (at least) to allow these seeds just planted to begin to take root. So I will share a little about the retreat schedule or describe the beauty of the spring unfolding in slow motion around us, but will not share much deeper insights until the middle of June (in case you ask).

I will slowly begin to work on more Astrology videos. This is a new project for me – so the learning curve on editing videos is quite steep! We can probably get out one video / month to start and then see if there is enough interest to invest more time and energy! I am excited about these – will do basics topics first and then I plan to get into teaching classes on the intersection of Western Astrology and research-based Trauma Resolution / Autonomic Nervous System resilience building. In other words, I intend to gradually go deep into Astrology and Trauma work. From what I have seen so far, authors and presenters have just brushed the surface of this profoundly beneficial arena.

Leave me comments. Ask me questions. Let me know if you want to discuss your astrology as well!

Thank you so much for reading and may all beings be fed, be comfortable, be content, free of illness and in harmony!

Enjoy these before (above) and after (below) pics from retreat! (note how the beard has grown!)

Kirby May of 2020

If you want to donate

If you want to make a donation to my blogging or astrology (or scholarship) efforts, here is the link: http://paypal.me/mkirbymoore

I am currently on sabbatical, recharging my batteries until May 15th, 2020. However, when I return, I am excited to offer new projects having to do with Spiritual Astrology, Trauma Resolution, Healing Facilitation and Medical Astrology.

Therefore, if you donate $50 or more, I will write a 1000-word blog post about a topic of your choice. (basically an article for you – I will keep the rights to it, but you would tell me exactly what it is on)

If you donate $108 or more, I will create an Astrology video on the topic of your choosing. My friend Elizabeth will probably also be involved, as she has been interviewing me for several videos up to this point (they are not live yet – will be when I return in May!).

Thank you! Love you, wishing you well, may all beings know the causes of happiness and put them into practice!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Away from computer, bodywork & psychotherapy colleagues covering for me

From Feb 7th to May 10th, I will be away from my computer / phone, doing quality self care (3 month off-the-grid sabbatical). This includes not seeing clients for three and a half months. It is an exciting time for me to reflect, work on other projects and recharge my batteries! In the meantime, these colleagues have agreed to see my clients while I am away: (I highly recommend all of their work)

Jackie Emm¬†–¬†www.charlottesvillecranio.com/about

Dana Wheeles –¬†www.deerhawkhealing.com/about-us

Jessica Newlyn –¬†Biodynamic Massage and Craniosacral Therapy, Prenatal and Postnatal Massage:¬†434.465.0264

Naila Baloch –¬†Licensed Professional Counselor, Somatic Experiencing (Intermediate): 617.868.1386

Jay DeMaio –¬†www.jaydemaio.com/about-professional-licensed-massage-therapist

Morganne Ashlie –¬†www.yourbodybalanced.com/staff.htm

Alison Downey – Acupuncture, Spiritual Healing (Charlottesville, Va)

Jeanne van Gemert – www.jeannevangemert.com