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His earliest dream memory, while sleeping in his crib in the living room of his parents’ apartment, was of floating in a bright field of quietude in a space with a black and white checkered floor, aware of his surroundings and being compelled toward a six-foot square in the floor in which turbulent fog boiled and from which worried adult voices emerged.
He remembers being compelled there and submerged in the fog into the field of fear and worry, falling. He woke up in his crib, facing left, with his left earlobe tucked into his ear and held there by the rest of his ear, flapped forward. That is how he awoke.
His consciousness of the world was greatly heightened.
He had dreams, unusual dreams.
In one, he was in the living room where a social party was in progress. He was underneath an end table next to a sofa, when he heard a female voice say something about “… college.” He didn’t know what “college” was. He woke up with that word in his mind, wondering, but charmed by the female voice.
In dreaming, he often found himself going up a brick stoop leading to a front door. Next to the door, there was a porch light fashioned as a glass fixture with triangular faces and a pointed top and bottom. Inside was a living room with a brown leather chair and ottoman with a fire in the fireplace, cozily lit. He often went to that place. It seemed that it belonged to an elderly couple. The husband had a mustache, a greying “cookie-duster”.
This was during his baby-hood.
At that time, age two-and-a-half, a neighbor boy threw a piece of glass at him, which struck and cut his nose. He ran inside and cried out for his mother, who was in the kitchen. His cries for attention went unanswered, so he went into the kitchen after her. His need to seek her out instead of her coming to him in response to his cries left him feeling uncared for.
Later in life, he experienced other occasions of “being alone” and having no one to turn to when wounded or in need. He began to resign himself to his aloneness.
At about age eight, the matter of death was up. He contemplated mortality — in personal terms — his own. He imagined himself eighty years’ old and approaching the impassable wall of death. He tried to contemplate being unconscious forever and found himself, instead of unconscious, plunged into a depth so dreamlike and so profound that it inspired awe in him. “Forever” seemed to have meaning as that deep, awe-inspired state.
In that Depth of Forever, he contemplated the whole length of his mortal life, its beginning to its end, until he could sense its span. Then, he compared that span to the Depth of Forever and found it shrink to an infinitesimal point — a point that nevertheless had intensity, a hard intensity. In his mind, he named it, “The Singleton Diamond of Being”.
The Singleton Diamond of Being
is certainly something worth seeing.
If you’re pondering death
or you run out of breath,
you might find the vision quite freeing.
During that same period, he had other experiences.
Some nights, he would feel an approaching feeling of unease.
Coupled with the sense of aloneness, he would feel the unease grow as a sensation in him, into dread. It had a motion to it, a swirling, unpredictable motion with moments of suddenness like an electric jolt. It was wild. It was chaos. It whirled. It terrified him.
Sometimes, he awoke into it from sleep in the night. It was more vivid that the waking state. Even when he awoke, he was unable to awake from it. He would cry out to his parents, “Wake me up!” They would stand around, concerned, but not know what to do. His legs would tremble and sometimes, he would vomit.
Then, the experience would slowly subside and he would eventually go back to bed.
He was eight or nine.
He was given piano lessons. He practiced so intensively that afterward, on the sidewalk in the later afternoon, he would hear the sounds of piano resonating in his mind, along with the sudden-nesses of his mother’s yelling at him to resume practicing, when he would take a rest break. Piano practice isolated him from his peers, outside at play, after school.
His family life continued along the lines of feeling alone in a home environment that was, for him, charged with anxiety and demands, absent of emotional support.
On his own, he studied science copiously: paleontology, anatomy, astronomy, biology. He had a book, “Too Small to See,” an illustrated book about the microscopic world. He learned about electricity and magnetism, the evolution of life on Earth. He created an apparatus to derive oxygen and hydrogen from water, then would combine them and ignite them with a pop that created water. He connected a radio in his bedroom to a photoelectric cell in his bedroom window and a relay, so that the sunrise would cause the radio to turn on and wake him; he would always wake to the morning light. He built a crystal radio and would listen to it in the dark of morning before school. He used his knowledge of chemistry and his ingenuity to create stink bombs. He wound electric motors with which he powered slot cars he ran as a hobby.
He also read the entire World Book Encyclopedia — all twenty-something volumes — cover to cover, along with the annual Yearbooks.
Some afternoons and evenings, he would read two science fiction novels.
At age ten, he fashioned a large corrugated cardboard box that he could up-end and fit beneath into a time machine. With magic marker, he drew dials and knobs on the inside wall. One afternoon, he noticed something unusual behind him: an inverted palm tree, not quite in focus, but in full color. Then, he noticed that there was a hole in the wall of the box, and outside was the palm tree next to the driveway.
He was fascinated with the inverted image.
He liked to darken his bedroom and project photos of the planets on his closet sliding doors. He felt transported by Saturn; fascinated by Jupiter’s Red Spot, mystified by Uranus and Neptune.
Thus, his study of outer things.
At about the same age — age ten — at the end of an afternoon as sunset approached, he stood upon the lawn of his family home gazing into the west and had a sudden perception of That Which Has Never Changed, All My Life — the formless presence of Nowness. After contemplating that intuition in wonder for a while, he turned his attention to the turn of the century, year 2000, and considered how old he would be, then. Forty-eight. He felt into being that age and turned his attention back to himself at age ten, perceiving himself from the viewpoint of forty-eight years old. After a time, he went inside to get ready for dinner.
At age thirteen, his family moved to California, and three years after that, he began his study of “inner things”.
At age sixteen, he began to explore the Human Potential Movement. He started practice of yoga and attended workshops at Esalen Institute and at other centers of the Human Potential Movement.
He attended an encounter group, just called, “Group”.
At age eighteen, he began getting rolfing sessions from a rolfer who had a hidden room above a health club — a room with seven doors (not a metaphor or a fabrication). On one of the walls was a poster of Mr. Natural (“What’s it all mean, Mr. Natural?” asks Flakey Foont, Mr. Natural’s erstwhile and resistant disciple. “Don’t mean shee-it”, replies Mr Natural.) The rolfer may be recognized by those who know him as, “The Little Italian-Polish Guy with a Scoliosis and a Wart on His Nose, whom women find very attractive”. He may not have the scoliosis, any longer.)
His rolfer told him he was, “The most contracted person he had ever seen,” and said that he was like concrete. Mr. Natural addressing Flakey Foont.
During time in the rolfing studio, after a rolfing session, he often experienced the building of a physical thrill that began with pleasurable trembling and that soon gathered him into a new alignment that he termed, “a whole-body erection”. He would walk down the three flights of carpeted stairs from the rolfing studio to the street, held in whole-body erection by the trembling thrill, in perfect balance.
His rolfer told him to get a copy of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and of The Knee of Listening. He began to study — and to practice new disciplines — mantras, visualization meditations, sitting meditation.
During that time, he read Aldous Huxley’s, The Doors of Perception, and became interested in mescaline and psychedelic experiences. He studied The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, and Tibet’s Great Yogi, Milarepa. He read Blavatsky and Alice A. Bailey. Bought a full-color-illustrated book, The Chakras, by C.W. Leadbeater — a name he found remarkable. He practiced pranayama, fire-breathing, G’Tummo (Tibetan Practice of the Psychic Heat). He made use of psychedelics for prolonged periods of meditation, during which he found the Clear Light of Consciousness to be so obvious as to seem the natural state.
He studied Do-In (a form of acupressure taught in Macrobiotics) and earned certification in Esalen Massage.
During this time, he made his living working in his father’s Quick Print shop. He did every job there was to be done in “the shop”.
Later, he took some training in Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Trager Psycho-physical Integration.
He still worked at Quick Print.
During the early 70’s, he worked in an assistant’s capacity alongside an artist whose stated intention for his work was to promote a rise on world-consciousness, and whose artistic sound works often invoked transports to dreams and a sense of Deep Time. He called his works, The Concept of Meru.
In visits to the artist’s house, his first necessary action, upon arrival, was to visit the bathroom. Then, he would often lie down on the white shag carpet and, overcome with white-hot energy, swoon away, soon to come to, refreshed, but permeated by the energy of the place.
In the later 70’s he took the est Training. In 1976, he left the artist and the Quick Print shop and joined the ashram of the controversial spiritual master, Bubba Free John (later known as Da Free John, then, Adi Da and other names). He got married. After about two years, he and his wife left to move closer to the group of six to eight people who had gathered around “The Little Italian-Polish Guy” to receive teaching from him.
He began to work as a technical writer on topics of interest to The Cupertino Crowd — things related to computers and high technology. He did this for eight years until he had had enough of that.
By 1986, a certain intensity had arisen and developed in him that had to do with the boiling up of psychic — or more properly — psychophysical content. Kundalini was a-buildin’.
In 1988, he and his wife wound up their marriage. He returned to university with a Physical Therapy major and made The Dean’s List. However, his familiarity with bodywork and yoga made the steel-and-rubber, machine-like approach of physical therapy clinics unpalatable. He began to experience chagrin whenever anyone asked what his major was. When time for selection of the new class of physical therapy students came, he sat for selection before the selection committee. The committee rejected him; he wasn’t what they were looking for.
His rejection by the selection committee freed him to enroll in the one training in Hanna Somatic Education that its developer, Thomas Hanna, lived to deliver before his sudden death behind the wheel under unusual circumstances.
That was 1990.
Concurrently (the same year), he received training and certification in The Rolf Method of Structural Integration under the tutelage of two prominent Rolfers and Rolfing trainers, Emmet Hutchins and Stacey Mills — Emmet, the first teacher-in-perpetuity appointed by Ida Rolf, and Stacey, the eldest.
In the approach to that time, the intensity was continuing to increase. At one point, during his first semester of training in The Rolf Method, he had a dream.
In the dream, he was inside an enclosed gondola of the type seen in a dirigible. But instead of a dirigible, it was a hot air balloon. Outside the window, below, one could see a carpet of white — clouds far below. The gondola was at 60,000 feet and spinning as it continued to ascend.
The intensity was still growing and had now achieved fierce proportions. He was on fire, from within. He experienced feelings of internal contradiction that he thought of as his “Gordian Knot”; for long periods, he was barely able to speak. He felt as if in the grip of a vice. Only his somatic practice kept him able to function.
In 1991, upon return from studies and training, he scheduled a public talk on somatic education at a certain spa and discovered that someone else had also been scheduled — and at the same time as his assigned time. No one showed up for either talk, so they talked to each other. Then, they learned from each other, exchanging their gifts and sharing the teachings they had received.
He discovered that her teaching lineage, The Avatar Course, connected with Star’s Edge, Inc., an educational corporation, taught, for mind and consciousness, what Hanna Somatic Education teaches, for sensation and movement. The underlying principles and procedures were exactly analogous, but operated in different spheres, and had mutual overlap in their effects.
Now, the intensity had intensified and involved a kind of breathing, a cadenced, heavy panting. It was not something he “practiced”, but something that arose in him. It involved the sense of heat, of fire coming out of his face, top of his head, his hands and his chest. His senses were intensified. Everything was stark and often threatening. Accompanying all this were dark emotional moods, feelings of being under attack, images of drive-by shootings. One good day a month was a good month.
He considered that he might not live very long and determined to preserve and leave behind, for others, what he had learned, discovered, and developed in his practice of somatic education. He wrote. He took photographs and used his technical writing skills to create a manual of practice for somatic educators. Nearly all of that manual has stood the test of time without need for improvement; some of it has been improved.
With an inheritance, part of which had used to pay for his trainings, he had purchased a synthesizer keyboard and begun to create, in sound, works that embodied the ways in which he had developed under the influence of all his previous teachers, exemplars and mentors, including the artist he had assisted in his earlier years. His classical piano training re-emerged in works that have the property of deepening and steadying attention, drawing the listener into lucid dream states, and so he named them, Gateways into Different Dreaming.
On one occasion, while listening to his own work, he had a dream of flying over a city of pink buildings. He didn’t know where they were or if they really existed. Later, he took a vacation trip to Cabo San Lucas. As the jet descended, he looked out the window, saw the buildings of his dream, and marveled in astonishment.
On another occasion, listening to his own work lying on the carpeted floor of his living room, he drifted into a dream in which he saw a glass storefront on a curving road with motorcycles parked in front. When he moved to Santa Cruz, he saw that road, the storefront, and the parked motorcycles (for sale) on the way to the wharf.
He launched a website, Somatics on the Web, and invited all of his colleagues to be listed, there, to get free referrals and to contribute articles. Many did get listed, and some contributed.
Though a correspondence with someone for which he cannot account, he learned of public workshops conducted by members of Carlos Castaneda’s party of sorcerers — workshops on a movement practice (of “magical passes”) they called, Tensegrity. He attended a number of these workshops, saw and heard Castaneda and the other, female members of his party. He practiced regularly with a group of other students in Santa Cruz, for a time, and on his own, getting a direct experience of things of which Castaneda had written.
He integrated that teaching with others that were alive in him and came up with a potent hybrid, a series of movements to awaken and define the kinesthetic (or “energy”) body, but along different lines than those of Castaneda’s lineage, lines that integrated the perspectives of Castaneda’s lineage, Rolfing and Hanna somatic education.
Of necessity due to the fire operating in him, he sought help and, as an offered answer, obtained Shaktipat (shakti-initiation or holy baptism) from two masters. In one, he had a dream of two or three dogs dancing on bandaged hind legs and of two older men in their late sixtys or seventys wearing pin-striped long-sleeve shirts sitting around a lawn table.
Shaktipat had little immediate discernable effect on the fire alive in him.
He continued his practice, studying with a number of other teachers.
He now practiced a rigorous, multi-practice discipline that operated on many fronts. He worked diligently to identify and dissolve the forms of his distress as a process of progressive recognition and dissolution-release.
After some nearly thirty years, he has passed the worst of the fire. What is left is a certain intensity in his character and possibly, presence, as well as whatever is left in him, not yet handled, but arising in the wave-play of life as it brought his issues to the surface.
Thus, he started by being subjected to the turbulent world, awakening in his aloneness, studying “the outer world”, studying “the inner world”, studying the transcendental process and the processes that accelerate personal evolution, and applying them in his own life-ordeal to clear the way, in himself, such that he may understand what may be in the way of others, to be of service to them, perhaps to ease their way.
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