My Experience and a Heartfull of Invitations to Yours
Exstasis is the experience of connection that takes you outside of your limited sense of self.
Most of us live in a quite contracted sense of self. It is the conditioning of our culture. We are taught to define ourselves by our aesthetics, our interests, our ideals, etc…. We are told that we should “just be your self”. This might lead one to think that they should only have one way of being. We are taught even more indirectly, but possibly more impactfully, that there is not enough for everyone.. that we are separate. Our whole culture often seems to be built around the idea that you had better “get yours” before someone else does.
I grew up in a survival oriented family. There was not much treasuring or celebration of life. My self was squelched. I suffered the struggle and was silenced often in my self expression with violent actions and language.
I experienced a taste of exstasis in church while singing in the choir amongst the stained glass light streams. I experienced tastes of exstasis while playing in the woods and hearing the natural world speak. These were my escapes.
I had my first fully ecstatic experience in a circle of people gathered together to get well. At the end of a 12 step meeting people connected in a circle, held hands and said the serenity prayer. I saw myriad colors of light coming from all of them, raising up to the sky in a point. It felt like a great prism or teepee. It was charged with an incredible energy. I felt the presence of the divine charge through me like lightning and I was startled awake. I had never seen/ felt people supporting each other in such a way before. I clearly heard, from a voice beyond words in that moment, my life purpose. I understood that I was alive to be a part of this and to cultivate and expand this sense of connection and support. I felt all of those people as one, myself as part of this one. I saw that this is truly how the world becomes a better place - with connection, togetherness and intention for the highest good.
I have since felt exstasis on many occasions; in performance, ritual, prayer, playing music, in yoga, chanting, breathwork, dancing, making love, living life…. Really, I feel it daily and more and moreso as a natural state of being. I feel like each welcomed experience of this openness and connection to all beings, all nature, to the divine and formless Self adds onto itself to create an ever more accessible and ‘normal’ state of being awake, fully alive, connected.
The most continuous ecstatic states I have experienced have been in nature; being in yoga w/ nature, climbing mountains, standing under waterfalls, swimming and singing with the whales or dolphins… I know no place better to do these things than in Maui - I feel Maui as the womb of mother Earth and as a great lover. Sometimes Maui is out of reach. Nonetheless, there are countless breath, sound, meditation, awareness, and movement practices that can take us out of the mundane in any moment, anywhere. These practices are how I find true joy and ease day to day no matter where I am. These, I would like to share with you.
Please join us if you can in Oakland this Fall/ Winter for an 8 week series of ecstatic practices @ Mohari on Grand Ave. Eenor & I, w/ special guest teachers, will be guiding you to your natural state of well being, to your bliss body, to your YES! To all of life!
You might also consider joining us in Maui February 12-18, 2018. We are leading a carefully curated, Ayurvedically catered ecstatic practices retreat w/ Yoga, meditation, Tantrik philosophy & practice, ritual and ceremony for healing and connecting deeply to yourself, others, nature, and spirit. As we cultivate & find ourselves in flow states, we heal ourselves and charge ourselves up to bring that healing back to the rest of the world.
with ecstatic breaths,