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Air Dancer

AIR DANCER by Sam Clark

I hatched on a high ledge above a window at Quenby Hall. Sheltered from the wind I faced the morning sun. My parents had arrived a month before, riding the jetstream on fine black wings northwards from the South African tablelands, over deserts and inland seas, up the boot of Italy, to this place, where insects rise from soft green pastures fed by gentle rain. The nest they built from a muddy riverbank sheltered me as I grew fat on the gnats, hoverflies, midges and craneflies they stuffed into my hungry mouth. At night my siblings kept me warm and snug and when we grew too big, we popped out to sit on the ledge, stretching our growing wings and feeling the movements of air, watching our parents swoop and dive and soar and turn and come to bring us tasty morsels; a fat-bodied moth caught out at dusk, a blowsy butterfly too slow! Too slow! And as I grew the sun warmed my back, the rain filled my thirsty throat, and my true home, the air, lifted and swelled and gusted about me, until one day I stepped out into it ? a high diver. I plunged. And rose.

I join my kin in a soaring dance, shouting our joy, delighting in our quickness, scything the air. We scoop water as we skim the puddles. Beneath us rolls a sea of green. Each blade of grass, each green leaf is a humble miracle, quietly turning light into food, air into wood. The slow fountains of trees pump nutrients and water from deep underground where their roots nudge and probe the bedrock. Up the goodness comes as their sap rises each spring into the fullness of this high summer leaf, to later drop with abundance on the earth, patiently, over millennia, building the rich dark loam that feeds the grass roots.

These same leaves are quietly exhaling the rich oxygen that fills my lungs. A kiss of life, it quickens my blood and drives the quick beating of my tiny heart. The air is living, nourishing. Muscular. It lifts and cradles me.

I am speck, set dancing. Not under the wide sky, but in it. I need no defences, no clothing, no houses nor money. I am always travelling. I am always at home. I need no map, no compass. I take no luggage, no timetable or clock. I know my way. When the times comes to move on, I know. We gather as the northeasterly wind rattles the browning leaves, swirling and milling, and together we rise and rise and rise, beyond the clouds.

Above me, stars turn. Beneath me, rivers run, seas churn. Deserts sleep and shift. Cities buzz and hurry. A trout noses through weed. A man closes a window. A weather front swirls. A seed pod cracks. A molecule of oxygen is released by an oak leaf. Ocean gyres turn.  

This is my family. This is my home. This is my lover. This is my teacher.

Wren teaches me pluck. Trout teaches me how to swim upstream. Worm teaches me humility. Slug, patience. Mountain, how to endure. The clouds teach me that all things pass. The busy, singing leaves teach me that creativity is not one, single god-like act of creation to be finished and complete in itself, but is born of being immersed in 'being', as one sparkling node in the great, self-creating web of life, of which I am just one, tiny, perfect expression.

Here the web has gathered itself up into a single point of acute awareness hanging in the sky ? Buzzard. Here, the web is expansive, heavy, dense ? a lake. Here the web is diffuse, a constant exchange ? rainfall and evaporation.

This web is my home. I feel its textures. It moves through me and I through it. I am a knot in its fabric, tangled together for the few moments of my lifetime and then dispersed. Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, dance their eightsome reels in the barn of my body for a short time, and then move on.

But the dancing goes on forever.

 

Sam Clark
Quenby Hall - July 2009

Ashes Of Shame

ASHES OF SHAME by Aubyn De Lisle

Stand here on the ashes of shame and regret

Soles grind at the pain as lungs breathe in the air.

Tender young fern unwinds in the mind to steady

The heart beat, pour balm on the fear.

 

To steady the heart beat, pour balm on the fear

Acknowledge the ghosts of the past, release debt.

Peel away layers like bark from the trees

Revealing white tree trunk, slender and bare.

 

Revealing white tree trunk, slender and bare,

Tender young fern unwinds in the mind.

Beating steady the heart joins groans carried on breeze

The earth provides shelter and constancy here.

 

The earth provides shelter and constancy, care

To steady the heartbeat, pour balm on the fear.

So I stand on the ashes of shame and regret,

Forged by the fire here I am, I am here.

 

Aubyn de Lisle
TS February 2009

Essence In Relationships

ESSENCE IN RELATIONSHIPS (How to get there)

Once in a workshop, a woman asked us if her longing to be in deep and intimate relationships was co-dependent. I answered that there is never a problem with longing. Our longing to be in a deep, intimate, sustained sharing with someone is natural and healthy. The problem is that the longing often lacks consciousness.

Most often, we enter our relationships full of fantasies and naiveté, like adolescents. And often, the beginning of a relationship is a wonderful time. But it is also a dream state. Sooner or later, problems arise and when they do, we naturally think that the problem lies with ourselves, with the other person, or with the relationship. Then we may move on, or become depressed and give up on the possibility of love, or even worse, we remain in the relationship, perhaps even for years as the love dies and the energy goes flat or even nasty.

We may not realize that love takes deep work and awareness of ourselves. It takes awareness that relating deeply with another person will bring up deep unconscious issues. We are not born knowing how to love. We are born knowing how to have sex and how to be spontaneous and alive. But turning aliveness and attraction into love is a totally different story.

There are four major areas where more understanding can make the difference between disaster or Deeping love.

The first involves an understanding that initially we relate to the world and to others much like a child with dreams and expectations. That child consciousness needs to be transformed into mature consciousness.

The second involves a more profound understanding for the nature of attraction and how and why dramas develop the longer we are with someone in an intimate relationship – any intimate relationship.

The third involves understanding how and why our sexuality changes as we go deeper in a love relationship.

The fourth involves understanding the roles that nearly always develop between lovers (and friends) as time goes on.

Most of us naturally have ideas how people should behave and how the world should be. We hope and even expect that we will be treated in a certain way, especially when we open and allow ourselves to be vulnerable. This is the “entitled child” inside of us. When someone close to us does not treat us in a way which feels respectful, loving, attentive and generous, we feel betrayed and our trust with that person gets frayed. Relationship, any deep relationship, is going to challenge us to drop our entitled child and come to terms with how people and life really are. 

In a relationship, there are going to be times when we feel abandoned, disrespected, ignored, not considered, not listened to, pressured and perhaps even abused.

These are times when we have important lessons to learn about life, lessons which empower us and help us to grow up. For instances, there are times when we have to accept the other person the way he or she is and feel the pain of that. Other times, we have to set limits and express our hurt or anger if we feel treated in a way which is disrespectful. Other times, we have to follow our life energy even if it causes discomfort or fear in the other person rather than compromise for harmony. Learning acceptance, setting limits, finding the courage to live our life is empowering. Staying in the entitled child hoping that the other person changes and becoming resentful when they are not as we want them to be is depressing and stressful. 

For those of you who go back a bit, you might remember that Dracula and Hannibal Lechter were monsters in two different movies. When two people go deeply into a relationship, it is predictable and guaranteed that at a certain point, they will trigger each other's deepest wounds and sore points. This is actually the sign of a good relationship, a real relationship. One person's behavior will push the other person deepest buttons and vice versa. But, at that point, each person sees the other as a monster who can not be trusted and who has to be protected against, who is abusive or insensitive or inconsiderate or selfish and who needs to change for the relationship to work. 

The wound which the other person is provoking always has its origin in some deep primal wound. And even if we are aware and have worked on this wound, when our loved one provokes it, we no longer see the other person. What we see unconsciously is an abusive or unresponsive or inattentive parent or authority figure from our past. We cannot understand how the other person can be so blind as not to see and understand our pain and sensitivity in this area. What follows in these moments is drama, conflict, hurt, misunderstandings, endless discussion, anger and then deeper mistrust and alienation. 

When we understand that this is the true nature of attraction, we can be prepared for conflict or discomfort. We can even welcome it even if it hurts. But we also need a way to work through situations when conflict or pain arises. Our experience is that if each person becomes aware of his or her own particular sore points and can recognize when the other person triggers them, we can begin to share more consciously. For instance, if we have had a controlling or overbearing parent, we can know that most likely, we are going to get triggered by a strong mate or friend. We are going to get triggered when we feel controlled, supervised, criticized or patronized. The other person becomes a monster and we become angry or shocked or some combination of both. 

On the other side, we may have had a parent who was irresponsible and collapsed. We may find ourselves in a relationship with someone who has a tendency to go into shock, space out and even “fuck up” when he or she feels stressed. But whenever we feel the other person is not being responsible or present, we feel betrayed and abandoned.

Once we know our source wound – in other words, once we know the root of these emotions, we have the awareness to do the necessary inner work and take the energy away from drama and reaction. Our work is to feel and express (when possible) our fear or pain without trying to change the other person. With this understanding, love flows. When we see the other person as the problem and focus our efforts at convincing him or her how dysfunctional they are, love dies.

Many of us long for sexuality which is alive, spontaneous, deep, sensitive and frequent. And often when two persons come together, it starts out that way. The energy is strong, the bodies are alive and open and both people feel as though they are in heaven. But with time, things change. We may become critical or mistrustful of each other, or feel inhibited or simply less interested. When change sets in, we may even try different techniques to try to bring things back to what they were – holidays, sexual rituals, drugs, porn, or whatever. Nothing wrong with any of that but, in our experience, it misses the basic point.

As two people go deeper in intimacy, vulnerability also deepens and buried fears and insecurities usually arise. When this happens, our sexuality also changes. This is what we call “second level sexuality”. “First level sexuality”, what we may have enjoyed in the beginning, is high energy, orgasm focused, passionate, and often also contains some degree of compensation for shame, inadequacies, insecurities, and fears connected to our sense of self and to our sexuality and also some degree of cover for a feelings of deep inner loneliness. In “second level sex”, our shame and fear is surfacing and we can no longer hide it or run away from it. Moving from level one to level two is healthy and growful because it invites us to know ourselves in a deeper way and it is the road to deeper intimacy as well. But we may miss the uncomplicated sexual high of level one. And we may also not understand or know how to communicate when fears and insecurities arise in love making. Often, we may not even be aware that we are afraid or in shame, but our body knows and will fail to respond or function the way we would like. Men may come fast or can't get an erection; women may have difficulties with orgasm or the problems.

If we know that this stage is most likely going to come if we decide to open more with someone and treat it as an opportunity to deepen our lover and intimacy with the other and with ourselves, we can use this development in a positive way. But it is a challenge because to recognize and to share our fears and shame around sex is difficult. For this to happen, we have to be willing to let go of our addiction to level one sex. That is also not easy. Sex can be one of the most favorite ways of avoiding deeper inner spaces. It can be just like a drug and when fears and insecurities arise, we can easily get frustrated and blame the other person or ourselves for the loss of energy. In our experience, in any relationship, both people mirror each other's state of fear, shame and dysfunction. It usually shows itself in different ways and also one person may be more successful in his or her compensations, but deep down, the wounds are equal in strength.

When we can begin to accept and even share our fears and insecurities in this area, trust grows. As trust grows and as we become more comfortable at accepting and sharing our fears and shame, we enter into what we call “third level sex”. In this level, the emphasis is clearly on connection rather than on the sexual high. There is a foundation of deep love and trust and there is space to handle whatever comes up in sex. At this point, orgasm and high energy can happen or not, or the sexuality can be more silent and non-active, dysfunction can happen or not, it doesn't matter. It is the love and connection that matters and there is a willingness to go through whatever it takes to deepen that.

A final area of understanding that adds consciousness to longing is in the area of roles people get into the longer they are in relationship. It happens very often that one person takes on the role as the caretaking parent while the other person becomes a regressed child. As a caretaking parent, we can either be giving or rejecting depending on our nature and our mood. As a child, we can alternate between being obedient and well behaved or rebellious, again depending on our mood and nature. This situation usually happens totally unconsciously and automatically. But unless these roles are brought to consciousness, they can destroy a relationship.

Many of us long to get the love and caring that we missed as a child and when we enter into relationship as an adult, we carry this longing with us. It can show itself by our becoming self-centered, demanding, lazy, spoiled, pouting, moody or irresponsible. All of this behavior is a cover for deep inner feelings of shame, loneliness and fear which need to be felt. When we play the role of the parent, we are also using the role to cover our shame and fear. It may give us some ego fulfillment because we feel needed and useful but it is essentially an avoidance and breeds resentment and suffering.

This kind of “bonding” as it is called, can be a love killer. It is exhausting to be responsible for another person and it is demeaning and humiliating to feel and behave like a child. In our experience, most relationships become bonded to some extent because we have these tendencies inside of us. But if we can notice them as they arise and begin to watch and feel as we play these roles, it makes all the difference. With this kind of awareness, we develop the power to choose not to play them. And when we know that the survival of our love depends on being conscious of these roles, we are motivated to confront them.

There are other aspects of our learning how to love, but these are four of the most important ones. Relationship is a constant challenge to learn to know and love ourselves. It is an arena where we can grow because our longing to have and share love is so strong. To bring love into our lives, we need to deepen our consciousness. To find and sustain love, we have constant work to do, understandings to acquire and feelings to move through. It's our experience that when two people want to keep their love alive, there are continual challenges. There is much to learn about ourselves and there is no better place to learn it.

I Am The Lake

I AM THE LAKE by Miss Vivienne

I am the lake,

I am the murky depths,

I am the shimmering sunlit surface.

 

I am still,

and moving

at once.

 

I can be warm,

and cold

In the same instance.

 

I can support life

Or I can drown it.

 

I am an oasis,

and an inhospitable place.

 

I am home,

Or a strange land.

 

I can be empty or full,

But I remain a lake

 

I am shallow and deep,

All at once.

 

I am welcoming,

and formidable together.

 

I am sweet relief,

Or avoided foe.

 

I am, 

At my deepest place,

Silent

Weightless and Free.

 

I carve through earth.

I make my own way,

With no one to guide me

Yet I know my path.

 

I am forever changing,

Yet constant and the same time.

 

The outside forces,

They touch my surface,

And change my shape

But in my depths

I remain

Still, Silent, Dark and Free.

 

Miss Vivienne
TS - September 2008

I Wish I Were A Fish

I WISH I WERE A FISH by Miss Vivienne

I wish I wish, 

I wish I were a fish,

So I could swim down deep

and watch the mermaids sleep.

 

I wish I wish,

I wish I were a dragonfly,

Darting between the two worlds of earth and sky.

 

I wish I wish

I wish that a tree I could be,

Less distance between god and me.

 

I wish I wish,

I wish I were a daffodil,

In yellow glory on lakesides hill. 

 

I wish I wish,

I wish I was a gentle duck,

Floating softly above the cloying muck.

 

I wish I wish,

I wish I were a wattle tree,

daubed in yellow gold,

Hearing all the secrets that the bees have told.

 

I wish I wish,

I wish I were a water sprite,

Laughing and giggling till dawns earliest light.

 

I wish I wish,

I wish I could rise with the moon,

Deep and Still and Free,

And live forever in the holiest part of me.

 

All these parts do make a whole,

And without them,

My tale could not be told.

 

Miss Vivienne
TS - September 2008
 

Essence Writing 1

ESSENCE WRITING by Katrina Roach

The wind gently rustled the leaves in the trees around her.

She felt his strong arms envelop her as she stood gazing lovingly into his eyes, deep blue pools of water.

She felt transfixed by his beauty, his simplicity, his bright light. 

His warmth was intoxicating, burning into her soul leaving a trail of ash in its wake.

All she could see before her was his magnificence...colourful shades of red, green, yellow and blue...leaving a lasting impression on her.

She took a step forward trying to capture the innocence of his smile like a butterfly in her hand. 

His eye shed a tear falling gently onto her face, then another and another. 

She put her hand up to her cheek as if to shield herself from his pain.

The breeze touched her lips kissing them with a gentleness she wasn't accustomed to, it held her close like a lover would. 

She could feel his heart beating stronger as he caressed her hair running his porcelain hand through each strand as if to dye it with his brilliance.

As she stood she could feel herself tremble with each touch, each kiss, and she gasped as his hand pulled her closer.

He spoke...a booming deep voice...asking her what she was doing here, what did she want?

As she opened her mouth to answer him a deep kiss silenced her.

She looked up into his beautiful eyes, their innocence burning into hers.

A single tear gently fell onto her cheek as she answered, 'I'll never hurt you or take advantage of your bountiful gifts....you can trust me'

 

Kate Roach

 

Essence Writing 2

ESSENCE WRITING by Lucy Coates

She dances,

passionate pilgrim, 

down each road of life;

falling sometimes

like the comical Fool

at journey’s edge.

She strides,

open, centred,

through seas of grey,

turning troubles

to radiant love.

She blossoms, 

Angel of Earthiness,

green shoots rising,

sexy curves

loving and luscious

in their beauty of breast and belly and bottom.

A healer, she,

vital essence

flowing into free air,

beautiful creativity

flowering, venturing

to unknown secret lands

of lifegiving Light. 

 

Lucy Coates
TS Britain

Spirituality

Spirituality using the Transformed Self (TS): by Loz Visser

It is important for all culture and societies to develop a sense of who they are and why they are the way they are. It is important to always validate our origins and thank them deeply for the lessons we have learned and are about to learn.

Transformed Self would rather have their partipants validated by firstly acknowledging the people of their land, the original custodians of the land, in every TS course. Also all TS facilitators begin the opening statement by validating that every person is whole and full just the way they are.

The 2 forms of spiritual belief is then explained:

1.The Many Concepts View

Over the ages may religions, new age courses, beliefs and concepts have been developed, made up, made sense of, analysed and talked about. The main aspect of all these courses is that WE have the answer to your problems. TS do not believe that the answers are outside of a person, education and learning is but not the fundamental answers to how one feels about themselves.

The light or God or Existence or whatever a person believes in is often placed outside of a participant and therefore this then states that the participant is empty and/or devoid of any natural "essence".

This conceptual understanding therefore creates a longing in a person and a craving that they need something outside of themselves.

This concept then creates greed and this greed is manifested in longing such as: More money and wealth, more connection to existence which then creates the Guru complex which is simply this: people having more knowledge about something than you and making money from it.

Guru means teacher and the main concern for teachers is to simply teach what they know and learn new concepts and place them into their skills pouch for the continued healing of their clients.

All teachers are to be healthy and I believe must have an understanding from within their own being for their theory to be sound. Teachers need to be able to take responsibility for their shortcomings and take time out when they are unable to function at their best potential. The wounded healer or teacher is archetype for a self-actualized journey. This process is important to the young teacher.  S/He undergoes a type of issue that can and will at times push them to the brink of death. This happens for two reasons: The teachers crosses over to the under world or negatively lived life. This happens so the teacher can venture to its depths to bring back vital information for the client, and the community as a whole. The teacher must become empathic to understand the problem or challenge. When the teacher overcomes his own challenges s/he will hold the cure to heal all that suffer. This is the uncanny mark of the wounded teacher and/or healer.

All teachers need to have someone who can supervise them and give them feedback and heal them on a constant and life long basis.

2.The Wholeness concept

When one is Whole they go into a non-dual relationship with existence and they are connected to all around them, there is no judgement.

This then gives the person the ability to feel divine within and not rely on anything outside of them.

This second concept is so simple that it now perplexes me why religion or outside belief structures exists at all. The reasons TS believes religion exists is that religion is made and for spiritual and financial greed. Most religious people would be horrified at what I am saying but I challenge you all to take a good long hard look at the religions of the world and see that most are cause turmoil and conflict.

I also believe that spirituality is different to religion.

Spirituality is about the breath we breathe and the need we have on all of nature to survive. This is the greed that the world is so unconscious too and it’s about time that everyone on the planet stopped and did something kind for the earth.

The Map of the 2 different Spiritual beliefs looks like this...

<2 images to be added here>

The Buzzard And The Butterfly

THE BUZZARD AND THE BUTTERFLY by Jonathan Ward

For many moons around Quenby Hall

The buzzard has ruled the skies

With feathery wing and a plaintive call

High in the sky it soars and flies.

 

On the mighty wind it glides and hunts

For mouse and rodent and vole

And if one will poke its head from the earth

It will snatch the velvety mole.

 

Seasons pass, the landscape changes

The animals come and go

The daffodils and croci in Spring

And summer brings the swallow.

 

And the bees that busy themselves making honey

And butterflies white and red

Crows that fight and shout and scream

As if they've never been fed.

 

The trees are solid, strong and wise

Are witness to all that has passed

To the might buzzard that rules the skies

That defends its terrain to the last.

 

The buzzards have young, one or two

Which must feed and feed and feed

On insects and flies while still very young

But to bigger prey this does lead.

 

From time long ago there is a sacred agreement

Between buzzard and butterfly

That in springtime when buzzard chicks need food

The butterfly is prepared to die.

 

The oak had witnessed the sacred contract

And observed how things had fared

In exchange for their noble sacrifice

Many butterfly lives were spared.

 

Thus it passed that both did prosper

For thousands and thousands of years

Until one day a new arrival

Lisped into the buzzard's ears.

 

"The butterflies are meeting en masse

And are going to break the seal

On the long held agreement between you both

Which will mean there will be no more deal".

 

But this wasn't true the snake had lied

And was up to its selfish tricks

To anger the buzzard so it would fly off in rage

So the snake could devour its chicks.

 

In vengeful mood the buzzard descended

The butterflies to destroy

And up slid the snake to the buzzard's nest

Intensely proud of its ploy.

 

The buzzard swooped and lashed and cried

The butterflies tried to flee

But the noise and the mayhem soon took its toll

And there were left but three.

 

The bird rose high to make a last dive

And finish off the lunch

The butterflies hid behind the oak

Which the buzzard hit with a crunch.

 

A broken wing, the bird lay flat

The butterflies heaved a sigh

But relief was short, as overhead

The crow started to cry.

 

"The buzzard's young are much in danger

The snake is climbing higher

To eat up your chicks, swallow the lot

The slithering cheating liar."

 

Unbeknownst to the bird the butterflies

Had learnt the power of healing

With flaps of their wings, their magical powers

Gave back the wing its feeling.

 

'The snake's almost there", came the squawk of the crow

The buzzard felt all was lost

'My precious babies are almost gone

The things I value the most'

 

But the butterflies had not given up

The bird was back to its best

With towobeats of its wings it rose in the sky

And headed towards its nest.

 

It caught the snake just in time

The chicks were safe and sound

It threw the slithery, slimy thing

Back down to the ground.

 

So trust what you know from time long ago

Instead of the voice in your ear

For the slithery slimy toxic thing

Will prey on your deepest fear.

 

love

Jonathan Ward
United Kingdom

The Old Boy

THE OLD BOY by Andrew Buxton

The old boy’s gold all year

Without its bloom its missable

Missed nothing the old boy dear

 

The southern moss, iridescent green

The old boy’s shining light

It clings and crawls and scratches life

So once, the old boy’s plight

 

The bark it litters the forest floor

The old boy’s rubbish lean

Providing nutrients to the earth and soil

Like the old boy sight unseen

 

The alluvial rocks are worn but strong

On the old boy’s shoulders ride

There is no life there but fire once

The old boy’s ebbing tide

 

But alas, the forest’s omnipotence 

Mirrors the old boy’s life’s perfection

It sings, it heals, it grows, it dies

The old boy’s love is my selection

 

But when the little seed is dropped 

The old boy is there in keeping

Please soil, sun and water bring

The old boy’s son is weeping

 

The bridge, the only artificial thing

False nothing the old boy’s plot

We must make it to the other side

Troubled water he fears not

 

The sun, it’s draped in clouds right now

But the old boy’s warmth shines through

I love you granddad with all my heart

Hope I can be an old boy too

 

Andrew Buxton
Melbourne

What is essence to me

What is essence to me? by Hayley Boss

The first gasp of air and relieved cry
The rawness you feel when saying goodbye

The wholeness you are giving birth to your first
When you feel for someone your heart could just burst

The warmth of the suns rays on your skin
When you're not judgemental of her or of him

How grounded you are when content with your life
The joy you feel when asked to be someone's wife

The sound of branches crunching beneath your feet
The intensity you feel with a person you first meet

When no challenge is too big or scary
When your Grandmother is a white witch named Mary

The gratitude you feel for just being alive
When each hurdle you're faced with just makes you thrive

The softness of a new born baby's skin
When you accept and nurture what's within

The second before falling asleep at night
Consoling a child who's had a fright

Accepting that we all live and die
Allowing yourself to be hurt and cry

The sensation you feel with a first kiss
Understanding that everything around you is bliss