To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: 15 Nov 95 22:37:54 EST

On Friday, Nov. 10, Bob P. and I walked slowly across the Culver City High School campus toward the cafeteria. We were early arrivals and no one else was visible. It was twilight, almost dark. As we approached the cafeteria, I saw two women standing about 5 feet apart. As I drew near, I had the uncanny feeling that I was about to cross a threshold, and these women were the guardians. They were expressionless, but as I came close they smiled. I relaxed, taking that as a good omen as I passed them.

For the rest of the workshop, I felt that I was participating in some ongoing mythical drama, protected within the bubble marked by the sentry positions. Friday night we had a lecture followed by Tensegrity practice, a pattern that repeated during each of the following morning, afternoon, and evening sessions. As about 150-200 people sat on cushions surrounding a small rectangular platform, an entourage entered from the entrance on the left. Up leapt a beaming Carlos Castaneda to the stage. I could hardly focus on his face. He was not at all what I expected. He was very short, lean, grey-haired, almost 70 years old. In contrast to the Carlos in the books, he was warm, jovial, funny, and confident. He looked like a huggable old man. Several people did hug him after he left the stage. He was very enthusiastic about these workshops, full of praise at the progress being made by the participants. He weaved through the crowd as we began the Tensegrity instruction, urging us on with expansive hand movements. It occurred to me that for us, Carlos had become don Juan.

I won't go into the content of the lectures in this article, just briefly sketch what happened. We were to hear Carlos lecture 3 times that weekend. We also heard lectures by Florinda Donner-Grau, Taisha Abelar, Carol Tiggs, and the Blue Scout (her first appearance at a workshop). FDG looked like a little pixie, very diminutive and very short, almost white hair. Taisha looked the oldest by far, and a deep sadness was etched in her face. I learned the reason when she related the story about Manfred the dog warrior, and how most of her being crossed over to serve as a beacon, leaving only a shell behind in this world. She is a woman of great inner passion. Carol was a big surprise - she looked no more than 35 years. In contrast with the other witches who spoke in slow, deliberate, and academic terms, Carol was a motor mouth who seemed totally ordinary - her speech could have been that of any average person at work or perhaps a neighbor. The only difference was that the content of her speech was totally outrageous by ordinary standards. The Blue Scout was about 23, who at times was nervous and other times confident and eloquent. All had short hair.

The Chac Mools were magnificient in their various uniforms and total dedication to their task. Every session they wore different matching uniforms. They worked me very hard in learning 3 major passes (Recollecting dispersed energy with the hands and feet, Two energy circles, and Sending and Receiving energy) as well as eight minor passes arranged by Silvio Manuel. Many people had been to many previous Tensegrity practice sessions, and I had to struggle to keep up with the rest, who seemed to perform the movements at a dizzying pace. Taisha said that while we were practicing the Silvio Manuel passes, that she saw a huge boulder face pressed against the glass double doors at the cafeteria entrance. Taisha identified the face as the spirit of Silvio Manuel, looking in on us.

During the last session Carlos showed up in a suit and talked for two hours. This time chairs were on the floor, and many people dressed up for the occasion. I still was wearing my sweat shirt and pants.

Carlos said on the last night that they hit us with every thing they had. It is the job of the Nagual to crack the sealed chamber in which we reside. They applied constant pressure on us by keeping us long hours, demanding our attention during long lectures, and pushing us to learn complex movements. They taxed our bodies and minds in alternation. These people are totally serious practitioners. They live a life that is totally outside the rules of ordinary social life. It was weird and exciting to come into contact with that kind of wild energy.

The key to the workshop is full participation and attention to what is going on. Some people go to hear the lectures and give lip service to the Tensegrity practice. This attitude falls short of what they demand and will leave one only on the periphery of the action. One of the witches said that the discipline of a warrior demands that one place their full attention on whatever is in front of them. Carlos honed his attention during a period of one year when he had to listen to a drunk talk to him every morning for an hour as he left his apartment. He had to give the drunk his full attention.

Certain themes were stressed again and again in the workshop. Attention is one theme. Another big theme is the relentless attack on the ego. There are many opportunities for ego to manifest during the workshop, and the Chac Mools know them all.

As we filed out after the final session I passed again through the boundaries marked by the guardians, and barely felt the sorcerers world recede, as the normal world again asserted itself.

I spent much time having great discussions with Bob P. and Mark G. They were the most wonderful companions to have at the workshop. After the last lecture, Bob P., Mark G., Rich J., Janie , Greg S., and Carl J. came to our large motel room and we went through the movements, writing down the component actions.

I didn't buy one of the many Tensegrity T-shirts on sale alongside the videos. Maybe next time.

It was one of the most remarkable weekends of my life. I continue to feel the pressure generated by their actions. Now I gotta go and practice the Tensegrity movements before I forget them.


[Added note: This was the weekend Rich J. approached Bob P. to have a mailing list created for Cleargreen and the practitioners of Tensegrity. After some discussion they decided to call it the Tango mailing list. Bob would set it up and run it for a few months and then hand it over to Rich.]
To: The Ixtlan Mailing List
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 1995 03:30:13 -0500

Here are my notes for "Two Circles of Energy" and "Redistributing Energy with the Feet and Hands."

Two circles of energy

Left palm up/Rt. palm down (Rt. above left) perform three alternating inward circles in front of the body (hands held between navel and solar plexus level), starting with left hand.

Perform one more small circle with left hand in close to the body (on left side @ hip level).

Circle Rt. hand down back around and up over right shoulder ending in front about navel to sloar plexus height wrist flexed, palm flat.

As soon as right hand stops moving, circle left hand down back, around and up to front. When arm is in back, hand is open but as soon as you bring it down in front, clench fist. Open hand again on backward portion of circle. Perform this circle three times ending with fist clenched in front, elbow slightly bent at same height as right hand.

Flip right palm up, left palm down and repeat sequence above to opposite side. (start circles with right hand).

Starting with left, scoop, swing arm parallel to floor from right side around to back. As arm gets to approx. fully extended to left side, straight out from left shoulder, begin clenching fist as arc begins to move to back. The fist is fully clenched by the time the time the arm has finished the swing to the back, ending about the level of the adrenals. Fist is parallel to floor, fingers facing the floor.

Alternating arms, repeat this movement three times with each arm.

Figure eight scoop--scoop with left arm right to left, parallel to floor (hand in claw position). Continue scooping motion around to back. When arm is fully extended to back (elbow still slightly bent) rotate palm forward and bring arm back to the front in close to the body. As arm gets to front, rotate hand up and over clockwise until it's in the position you started from. Continue scooping around to left, bending elbow and rotating hand around so that wrist is bent, fingers pointing back at the body, palm pointed up. You are standing as if holding a large boulder under your left arm about at your hip, elbow pointing straight out away from body.

Repeat this figure eight scoop with the right hand, leaving the left as it is holding the boulder of energy.

Standing straight, with energy boulders under each arm, twist slightly to the left and heft the boulder under your left arm in preparation for gently throwing it over your right shoulder.  As you twist to the right, gently hoist the left energy boulder over right shoulder (should feel pressure on the adrenals here) and let the energy run down your back. Slowly bring the left hand back down diagonally across the torso ending with left palm flat, facing the floor, hand extended out away from the body on the left side about hip height.

Repeat this boulder hoist move with the boulder under your right arm.

With both hands held palms flat, facing the floor, extended out away from the body about hip height, begin foot movements.

Raise left knee almost parallel to floor and perform a snap rotation of the lower leg/foot 1 1/2 times clockwise.

Repeat this motion on right side (counter-clockwise rotation). Alternating legs, perform three rotations with each leg/foot.

Raise left knee again almost parallel to floor and perform a snap rotation of the lower leg/foot 1 1/2 times counter-clockwise (inscribe the number six in the air with your left foot).

Repeat this motion on right side (clockwise rotation, inscribe an inverted number six with your right foot.)

Alternating legs, perform three rotations with each leg/foot.

Scoop-kick inward toward groin three times each foot starting with left.

Foot is kept pointing straight forward, pivot bottom 1/2 of leg inward raising knee slightly. Try to keep this motion under the body as much s possible, not out in front. Inside edge of foot aims for area between anus and genitals.

With palms flat, facing floor against body at the hips, circle both palms out together and around to back (counter-clockwise for left, clockwise for right) and back to starting position. Circle both hands out and around to front and back to starting position (clockwise left, counter-clockwise right).

Alternating back/front, repeat three times each direction.

Scoop hands up in front of body up to about shoulder level and back down front of body, palms facing body. Repeat scoop up to face level and down again.

Repeat scoop up to top of head, wrists limp and bent, palms facing top of head, elbows pointing forward.

Pause with hands dangling over head then lean back (elbows still pointing straight ahead) and shake hands with fingers pointing down the back as tho you were shaking water off your fingertips down your back. Continue for 3-5 seconds.

From this position, shoot hands straight up over head, palms flat, facing front. Come up on tip toe as hands shoot up.

Bring hands down front of body (come off tip toe as hands start moving down). Circle hands around and up just in front of armpits and then shoot hands up over head again, coming up on tip toe as you do.

Bring hands down front of body (come off tip toe as hands start moving down), circle around and up just in front of armpits and then shoot hands up over head a third time, coming up on tip toe once again.

Bring hands slowly down the front of the body.

Redeploying Energy with the Feet and Hands

1.) Lean left/Rt., Left/Rt., Left/Rt., Left/Rt.

2.) Grab front (fists perpendicular to the floor) Left/Rt. 3X

3.) Bring left knee up, toe (pointed down) Rt. hand up together (palm flat and facing in toward the body). Alternate knee/arm up 3X each side

4.) Grab front starting w/left, circle wrist 5X and strike forward on 6th count. Alternate Left/Rt. 3X each side.

5.) Left knee/Rt. hand up (as in #3), grab front w/left hand circle left wrist 5X and strike front on 6th count (as in #4 above). Alternate Left/Rt. 3X each side.

6.) Grab both fists in front (simultaneously) fists perpendicular to floor. Circle left foot inward (clockwise) 6X. Circle right foot inward (counter-clockwise) 6X. Lower hands, then grab forward w/both fists again. Circle left foot outward (counter-clockwise) 6X. Circle rithg foot outward (clockwist) 6X.

7.)  a) Sweep hands down back, around, up above shoulders and back down in front. Grab two imaginary rails parallel to the body, hands extended in front, about hip height, and slightly more than shoulder width apart.

b) Braided step forward Left/right/left; Braided step back Left/right/left; Repeat 3X total.

Bring Rt. foot behind right; Braided step forward Right/left/right; Braided step back Right/left/right; Repeat 3X total.

Bring hands down to sides

c.) Repeat rail grabbing motion but close to body, hands right beside the hips.

d.) Tango step forward Left/right/left; Toe-heel step back Left/right/left; Repeat 3X total.

Bring Rt.foot behind left; Tango step forward Right/left/right; Tango step back Right/left/right.

8.) Trace figure 8 in front of body 3X starting with left arm (make infinity symbol in air w/arm). The cross of the figure 8 should should be a bout solar plexus level. Keep the crossing point at the same spot. Repeat figure 8 with Rt. arm 3X.

Repeat this Left/Rt. sequence 3X.

9.) Squat down and with palms up scoop energy starting at floor level (like you were scooping up bundles of fibers). Continue scooping as you stand (Inhale). Bring arms up,bend elbows and pour energy down your back.

Exhale as you bring hands slowly down the front of the body.