Category Archives: Magick

Midlife Crisis

” . . . I thought, well I could have a mid-life crisis and just bore everybody to death by going on about, what’s it all about, what does it all mean? Or I could sort of just go spectacularly mad, which would at least be more entertaining for those around me. And more worrying. And that’s good as well. Because I’ve started to run out of ways of worrying people. You should have seen the look on their faces when I said, I think I’ll become a magician. Half of them were frightened because they thought id probably gone mad, and the other half were frightened in case I hadn’t.” – Alan Moore


Yoga News – Fundamentalist Yogis Emerge

Betty Handley
For EternallyBlissfulYoga Super Magazine


A new phenomenon is developing within the American Yoga world; the rise of Fundamentalist Yogis. These practitioners have started appearing at Yoga studios a little over a year ago and have become a distraction according to Yoga studio owners, teachers and students.

The Fundamentalist Yogis (they refer to themselves as True Yogis) apparently grew out of a reaction to the overly commercialized and trivialized contemporary Yoga scene today. These Yogis have not only taken on the beliefs and dress of the sadhus of India but are also doing Yoga according to the first recorded ancient text of Yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. They have begun appearing in Yoga studios sometimes wearing nothing more then loin cloths and carrying tridents. They feel that the pastel colored Yoga mats and expensive chi-chi Yoga clothing is an abomination of the practice of Yoga. Some of these Yogis have an ashen tone to their skin from the ashes that cover their bodies which they claim are the ashes of the dead. When one of the Fundamentalist Yogis was asked if the ashes were from humans, that Yogi only smiled.

Cathy Freeman, a yoga student, whose yoga class has been visited by a Fundamentalist Yogi commented, “The ashes are weird but the trident he was carrying gave me the creeps.” She added, “He did have a nice ass though”. Jasmine-ji, the owner of the Laughing Buddha Yoga studio which has also been visited by Fundamentalist Yogis said, “I know, as Yogis, we are suppose to be accepting of all Yogis, but these guys are freaking my customer out. It’s bad enough that they don’t bring Yoga mats to practice on, but the fact that they leave all those ashes all over the studio floor has become a nightmare to clean up after. Plus”, she added, “they’re kind of smelly”.

EternallyBlissfulYoga Super Magazine

Shamanic Trance Postures

An interesting take on posture and stance, adds a whole new level to stance training. Find entire article @ Voodoo Who Do


Shamanic Trance Postures – A Visionary Path To Esctastic Experience
By Howard G Charing

Shamanism offers a way for people to become aware of their potential, and begin to explore their spiritual relationship to the universe, to other forms of life, and to each other. The experiences which come from shamanism help a person to evolve a deeper bond and respect for all of creation, and from this perspective you are likely to lead a life which is vibrant and full in harmony and balance, and which encourages understanding and optimism. The Shamanic path is a way to experience this expanded view of universe.

One of the central practices of shamanism has been defined as the Spirit or Trance journey. One of the ways to embark on this experience of expanded consciousness is what is called ‘the shamanic journey’. In this Journey the shaman journeys to the Spirit world, (commonly referred to as Upper & Lower Worlds), to directly commune with the spirits who reside in the other realities. This is done for many reasons, for example to receive guidance for healing, maintaining both our own and by extension our communities spiritual wholeness.

There are a number of ways to embark on a Spirit journey; these can be through dance, dream, using teacher plants, and by assuming certain specific physical postures. The latter is known as Shamanic Trance Postures, and are a method for achieving ecstatic trance and entering that place of both personal and collective vision.

The word ecstasy and ecstatic is used in its original meaning, which is based on the Greek ex-stasis, meaning ‘outside of yourself’, outside of the everyday world. The ecstatic trance brings with it a shift in our perception, a way of becoming aware of a reality outside of the world of the ordinary, and the mundane. The trance makes us able to perceive the continuum of life, from what has been called non-ordinary reality, a reality which has been known to co-exist with our physical reality throughout time. Black Elk, the Lakota medicine man and great visionary whose life was recorded by John Neihardt in the 1930’s, tells of “the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. This is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that world”.

There are certain works of ancient art, glyphs, carvings, rock paintings which are more than creative expressions of their culture. They are visual teachings for a specific ritual. These paintings and statues from the ancients depict people adopting distinct bodily postures. Many of these bodily postures are ways to an altered state of consciousness, visionary experiences, and a way to embark on a spirit journey. There is an extensive geographic distribution of the Trance Postures, and indications are that they belong to all cultures and traditions. These postures have been rediscovered by Dr Felicitas Goodman after years of extensive research, and a full account has been documented in her truly outstanding and remarkable book ‘Where the Spirits Ride the Wind’.

When a person adopts a specific posture as shown in one of the ancient artefacts, with an accompanying rhythmic sound e.g. Rattle or drum, the person may experience a vision which although is personal , is also specific to the posture. It is as if, however personal the vision, it will conform within a consistent framework.

Ritual has great power in this reality; it is a way of combining, the heart, mind, spirit, and body in a single physical action and intention. Religions from all over the world have long recognised the importance of ritual. Ritual is a means of communication between the Spirits and ourselves, it is a way that the Spirits can cross over from their world into ours. In Western society we have forgotten that the ordinary and other reality belong together, they are two halves of one whole.

Ritual is a way to empower and enhance the trance state, and is a gateway to contain, translate, and safely guide an altered state of consciousness into a spiritual experience. Another way of saying this would be that a ritual carries an innate intention, a purpose.

Each of the Shamanic Trance Postures is in itself a ritual, and it is a ritual with such intrinsic qualities of exactness and power, that its objective is achieved outside the original cultural setting. This means that we in contemporary Western society can also successfully participate in the Shamanic Trance Postures. To understand the Shamanic Trance Postures they should be directly experienced, no amount of words can compensate for this. The best place to experience the ecstatic trance states is in a workshop environment. This brings with it the guidance and support of the workshop facilitator, and the collective energies of the group. The power of the group is important in that it helps in terms of the focus of the ritual, and provides indirect and direct feedback. Feedback is the way to obtain the ineffable quality of trust. Trust is one of the pillars of this work, and the group provides validation of your own experience. Another important factor is that the power of the trance postures is magnified, as each person supports and is a part of the collective visionary experience.

Read the rest . . .

Be sure to revisit earlier posts on stance training in light of this post . . .

Exploring Tantric Buddhism Association 


“My compassion will never change or fade – to see me as gone is an eternalist viewpoint. I have not died, I have not gone anywhere. Pray to me – even if I do not appear in person, I will give the desired siddhis to those with one-pointed devotion.” – Khandroma Yeshé Tsogyal

“Devotion and compassion are at the heart of the Tantric path. Traditionally, it is said that one should have devotion towards enlightened beings and compassion for unenlightened beings. These are like the wings of a bird and together, both allow us to fly into the sky of natural wisdom. Often people will attempt to use the Secret Mantra methods but will have no success – even after years of diligent application of the techniques. Why is this? It is because techniques cannot liberate. If we reduce the path to the mechanics of methods then we have very narrow commercial mind where enlightenment is a thing which can be obtained by buying techniques. Really, the techniques are a magnifying glass through which we focus the wisdom rays of devotion and compassion.” – Traktung Rinpoche


“What the warrior renounces is anything in his experience that is a barrier between himself and others. In other words, renunciation is making yourself more available, more gentle and open to others.” – Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Shambhala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior

“One way to understand moods is that they are just the habit patterns of our mind continually playing themselves out in different scenarios. According to the view of dharma, we don’t need to understand them or consider them so much as we need to replace them with new habits. This is where practice comes in. When we practice, we involve our body, emotions and mind in a new habit which is much more “real” in the sense that it is in line with the reality of enlightenment. This is the definition of purification.
The problem with paying much attention at all to emotional states is that we must on some level believe that they are real if we are considering them at all. We reinforce our sense of egoic reality by examing and exploring them, much in the way Narcissis was enamored of his reflection. When we come to practice from that place, we create extra obstacles and encounter even greater resistance.” – A’dzom Rinpoche

Khandroma Yeshé Tsogyel

“If we have the vast intention to be sublime yogis, to create the limitless uncreated wisdom mandala, then we must escape from complaining ordinary women to join with the desireless great bliss qualities of the fullbodied wishfulfilling Dakini. Then drunk with wisdom wine, we can sing realization’s song and awaken wandering beings from heavy elements’ ignorance to the light of their natural mind with the sound of the drum and bell.” – Dungsé Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, Magic Dance

“If enlightenment comes first, before thinking, before practice, your thinking and your practice will not be self-centered. By enlightenment I mean believing in nothing, believing in something which has no form or no color, which is ready to take form or color. This enlightenment is the immutable truth. It is on this orginal truth that our activity, our thinking, and our practice should be based.” – Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

8 Auspicious Symbols

“Instead of being hopeful, you develop another attitude, which is that of the warrior. If a warrior lives within hope, that makes him a very weak warrior. He is still concerned with his success. If the warrior no longer has the hope of achieving success, he has nothing to lose. Therefore enemies find it very difficult to attack him. The warrior will also regard a defeat as a victory, since he has nothing to lose.
This approach is called “luring an enemy into your territory.” You lure enemies into your territory by giving in to defeat constantly. The enemies finally find that there is nothing to attack, and they feel they have been fooled. They keep on conquering more territory, but their opponent places no value on the territory and does not put up a struggle. This eventually causes the enemies to lose heart.” – Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, The Lion’s Roar

“If you want to sin, sin wholeheartedly and openly. Sins too have their lessons to teach the earnest sinner, as virtues the earnest saint. It is the mixing up of the two that is so disastrous. Nothing can block you so effectively as compromise, for it shows lack of earnestness, without which nothing can be done.” – The Wisdom of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Remember the example of the old cow: She’s content to sleep in a barn. You have to eat, sleep and shit – that’s the unavoidable – anything beyond that is none of your business. Do what you have to do and keep yourself to yourself.” – Patrul Rinpoche

“In horror of death, I took to the mountains – again and again I meditated on the uncertainty of the hour of death, capturing the fortress of the deathless unending nature of mind. Now all fear of death is over and done.” – Milarepa

“The beauty of practicing refuge is that it requires us to put our moods and feelings in a less central place in our lives than practice. We practice every day, regardless of how we are feeling. On days when no obstacles are obvious, we practice because we understand that they are there nonetheless. We know that they will reappear in their illusory fashion because we are not yet free of delusion.
The essence of refuge is that we put the practices in a central place in our lives and move all of our delusion to the periphery. We know it is there-we still see it- but we are more attracted to the bliss and joy of the Yidams than by the tedious, repetitive and destructive habits of our deluded emotions.” – A’dzom Rinpoche

“Why is it that whatever we touch we turn into a problem? We have made love a problem, we have made relationship, living, a problem, and we have made sex a problem. Why? Why is everything we do a problem, a horror? Why are we suffering? Why has sex become a problem? Why do we submit to living with problems; why do we not put an end to them? Why do we not die to our problems instead of carrying them day after day, year after year? – Krishnamurti, On Love and Lonliness

“Emotions come from frustration. The meaning of emotion is frustration in the sense that we are or might be unable to fulfill what we want. We discover our possible failure as something pathetic, and so we develop our tentacles or sharpen our claws to the extreme. The emotion is a way of competing with the projection. That is the mechanism of emotion. The whole point is that the projections have been our own manifestations all along.” – Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, The Lion’s Roar

“When Lord Buddha spoke about suffering, he wasn’t referring simply to superficial problems like illness and injury, but to the fact that the dissatisfied nature of the mind itself is suffering. No matter how much of something you get, it never satisfies your desire for better or more. This unceasing desire is suffering; its nature is emotional frustration.” – Lama Yeshé

“Tantra is the hot blood of spiritual practice. It smashes the taboo against unreasonable happiness; a thunderbolt path, swift, joyful, and fierce. There is no authentic Tantra without profound commitment, discipline, courage, and a sense of wild, foolhardy, fearless abandon.” – Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Shakyamuni Buddha
“I manifested in a dreamlike way to dreamlike beings and gave a dreamlike Dharma, but in reality I never taught and never actually came.” – Shakyamuni Buddha

“Some people think only one tradition of Buddhism is right and others are wrong. This kind of sectarianism, which depreciates other Buddhist traditions, shows that wisdom has not been realized. If mind is not used to create wisdom, strong dualistic ego obsessively rejects and accepts, causing hatred toward others who are different and attachment to one’s own way, which is the basis of sectarianism. Of course, it is good to have loyalty and faith in one’s own tradition, but only without devaluing and having hatred toward other traditions that are suitable for those with different phenomena.” – Dungsé Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, White Sail

Wheel of Dharma

“Awareness is the uncontrived, unattached recognition of the experience of movement – the movement of the arising and dissolving of thoughts in the continuum of Mind, the appearance and disappearance of phenomena in the vastness of intrinsic space. There is only the sheer exquisiteness of this movement. This is what we actually are.” – Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, – Spectrum of Ecstasy

“The true man or woman of religion is a rebellion, a profound revolution, a whirlwind in the midst of all that tends toward stagnation, fixity, deadness. The true force of spirituality is a cool breeze blowing down from the mountain heights bringing new and fresh air into the world of mediocrity. It awakens, enlivens, and makes the heart bold and courageous. The awakened heart intervenes in affairs of ordinary men and women provoking one and all with an invitation. Only the one swooned in the Vajra Heart Essence of wisdom and compassion has a deathless joy that can truly afford courage.” – Traktung Rinpoche

“Each of you should examine your own mind, to see how you have squandered your lives on your needs and desires. Thoughtless maidens, get hold of your minds!” – Princess Mandarava

“O love, O pure love, be here, be now. Be all. Worlds dissolve into your stainless endless radiance. Frail living leaves burn with your brighter than cold stars. Make me your servant, your breath, your love.” – Rumi

“Increase and widen your desires till nothing but reality can fulfill them. It is not desire that is wrong, but its narrowness and smallness. Desire is devotion. By all means be devoted to the real, the infinite, the eternal heart of being. Transform desire into love. All you want is to be happy. All your desires, whatever they may be are expressions of your longing for happiness.” – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Mountain Stupa

“The way of cowardice is to embed ourselves in a cocoon, in which we perpetuate our habitual patterns. When we are constantly recreating our basic patterns of habits and thought, we never have to leap into fresh air or onto fresh ground.” – Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Shambala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

“Happiness is sorrow; sorrow is happiness. There is happiness in difficulty; difficulty in happiness. Even though the ways we feel are different, they are not really different; in essense they are the same. This is the true understanding transmitted from Buddha to us.” – Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

“Wisdom teachers can assume any aspect that will benefit, appearing to us in whatever way will open us to our inherent wisdom qualities. For example, sometimes wisdom teachers may appear to criticize and disagree with their students while revealing the wisdom of discernment, and sometimes wisdom teachers may appear to accept and agree with their students while revealing the wisdom of equanimity. We can never judge sublime teachers with dualistic mind, since their activity is beyond ordinary understanding.” – Dungsé Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, White Sail

“When you sip a glass of Brunelo; savor a piece of chocolate; wash the dishes; vacuum the carpet; take a shower; call on a friend; flirt with a new and tantalizing person; cook food; make love; go shopping for a suede shirt or silk underwear; or, hit your thumb with a hammer – enlightenment is there. We are never separated from it. There is no need to look for enlightenment in any place other than where we are.” – Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen

Khandroma Yeshé Tsogyel
“When you arrive at the extinction of reality
There is nothing but the spontaneity of pure potential
There is no other way to dance in the sky.” – Khandroma Yeshé Tsogyel

“Discipline, courage, hard work and intelligence are required because that is what any quest of the heart demands. Tantra, which molds the power of creation and ego into skillful means cutting through delusion, requires careful preparation. We don’t expect someone who just wants to play around now and then on a keyboard to become a concert pianist. We don’t expect someone to be able to get up off the couch one day and run a four minute mile. Great tasks require great effort.” – Traktung Rinpoche

“Love is reckless; not reason. Reason seeks a profit. Loves comes on strong, consuming herself unabashed. Yet in the midst of suffering love proceeds like a millstone, hard surfaced and straight forward. Having died to self interest, she risks everything and asks for nothing. Love gambles away every gift God bestows. Without cause God gave us Being; without cause give it back again. Gambling yourself away is beyond any religion. Religion seeks grace and favor, but those who gamble these away are God’s favorites, for they neither put God to the test nor knock at the door of gain and loss.” – Rumi

“Suffering in hopefullness is the eternalist. Suffering in hopelessness is the nihilist. Beyond both hopefulness and hopelessness is the Buddhist.” – Dungsé Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, Magic Dance