Are you trustworthy and can you be trusted?



Sometimes we don’t fully realize the impact of an experience until later. In point of fact, nine times out of ten, this is true. What was the impact on your life of that first love? The loss of a loved one? Or even that falling out you had with your boss or family member or friend? Sometimes it takes years for us to fully comprehend the full ramifications of the events of our lives.

I am still processing my experience in Barcelona, the class, the teachings, the people I met. But it was the events that have unfolded from the time I left the class that have confirmed the power of that period.

The series of movements we learned in Barcelona are not particularly complicated but the entire sequence is very lengthy so there was a lot to remember. For the first couple of days, I felt fairly lost, but having taken classes with Lujan before, I did my best to relax, knowing that clarification would take place in due time. And that did indeed happen. Lujan somehow manages to weave all the threads together in a magical fabric of totality. With the help of Naomi’s fine organizational and note-taking skills, we were soon handed a detailed summary that outlined the series of fluid movement we were learning and which provided the all-important detail and sequence to this wonderful practice.

My intention going into the class was to practiced intense concentration, letting go of the personal, and fishing with a straight hook. I, too, felt the inner knock when Lujan asked, “Are you trustworthy? Can you be trusted?” and I searched my heart for the answer. Lujan’s teachings always touch the deepest part of me.“You can’t realize what’s in front of you,” he said at one point, “when your self-importance is in the way,” and “Let go of any realizations because it all changes in the next instant.” And later: “If you want to lose the illusionary self that is so strong, so pervasive, you must be willing to give up your alignment.” Wow. This one resonates deeply but my mind seeks clarification. Anyone?

So how did it all settle with me? In many ways and many turns. Here are just a few.
On the flight home, I knew the middle seat of my row had not been taken when I had picked my seat at the last minute. I had hoped that it would remain that way because I was one of the last to board and no one had yet sat down. But then suddenly a tall young man strode down the aisle, stood looking down at me with kind eyes and took the seat. After watching a brief animated film on meditation, (an app on Air Canada’s website), he promptly fell into a deep sleep. When he finally awoke, about an hour before landing in L.A., we had the most incredible conversation about his work with meditation, consciousness, and with the founder of that application, whom he was on his way to meet. We walked off the plane together, exchanged hugs and information and I felt blessed.

I had a happily uneventful but long shuttle ride from LA to Santa Maria and another hour in my car to my home. It was 1:00 AM when I finally parked in my garage. I had noticed something in Santa Maria—a kind of swaying but chalked it up to flight lag. But as I walked around my house, I kept having the same feeling, my body kept swaying, almost like I was dizzy but without that sickening feeling one gets from dizziness. No, it seemed my body just wanted to tick-tock on its own! This feeling was so strong and so strange.

Then after giving my cat his requisite pets and hugs, I went out onto my patio into the warm evening and looked up into the nighttime sky to view my favorite summer constellations shining from their home in the South. And there from Sagittarius’s spout came a thick cloud of “steam,” the magnificent Milky Way, a swarm of starlight rising slowly up to the zenith. And it seemed to me that I had never seen the stars shine with such brightness, such clarity, and there too between the Teapot and the heart of the great Scorpion, Saturn shining bravely (some would say stubbornly) with its steady yellow light. And I thought of Lujan and how before my flight from Barcelona, as I wondered in the small cafe looking for a place to sit, I saw him, motioning for me to come over…

Why am I sharing this? After all, there is a voice that whispers I may lose the power of my realizations from having shared them, and my fleeting confirmations may slide into heavy validations, my ego-seeking self raising its ever present head like a snake up to no good. So my intent is to share for two reasons that I can name—one, to show the way, the force of Lujan’s teachings, and also to codify the experience for myself so that I can continue to integrate what I experienced and am still experiencing into a totality. For after all, these are only the immediate effects!

Especially to those of you who are new to these classes, know that the movements Lujan shares have power, a power that must not be used for personal gain, but rather to open one to true knowledge of the self and to the beauty of others, of life. Don’t give up if you don’t seem to “feel” anything when completing the movements, don’t get discouraged over the time it takes, don’t listen to the little voice that says, “You’re wasting your time. Get on with your day.” Instead just keep practicing: every day, every week, every month, every year.

Words are paltry substitutions in this terrain we are walking now: the landscape of the unexplored, the unexpected, this journey to consciousness, yet we use them to connect to each other, to communion, and I know you realize that what I’m trying to say is know that the results of these practices are powerful and incremental, subtle but cumulative. In short, Lujan’s teachings work.

I write for you, my friends, that your journey will continue to unfold in untold ways without end. We are all so blessed to be a part of this family. Life can be so hard, and yet, Lujan has found us. We have found each other.

Again, a big thank you to Naomi and also to Jana who made sure that the event ran smoothly. And of course, my profound gratitude to the incomparable master teacher, dear Lujan. My heart is your heart.

Stay true, my friends. Until next time.

P.S. Bend your legs! ; )

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  1. This one resonates deeply but my mind seeks clarification. Anyone?

    Poignant testimonial Elizabeth. The thing about Lo Ban Pai is that it is a modality that extends oneself, firstly to the hands, and all extremities. Then there is an expansiveness of feeling that erupts around these gestures.

    The only way to really understand what I am saying is to jump into a body of water and move your hands, perform your gestures. At this point one realizes that the water does not try to convince anybody of anything. It is just convincing onself to feel the emptiness as if it had exponential volume around their physiology.

    It is all about feeling. Firstly magnifying it within the body, then allowing the expansiveness to gaze upon you as you realize it through the weight it presents.

  2. Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing so deeply in your testimonial. And thank you, Lujan, for your reply.

    “Expansive” is a word I always find myself coming to when people ask me how my trip to Barcelona was. It helped me to see how much I am still buying in to social programming. Wow! What a shock!

    I, too, Elizabeth, came back home and saw everything and everyone differently. They all seem to be seeing me differently, too. It is an interesting phenomenon.

    I feel that I came back from Barcelona more expanded, with deeper roots, with more stability, and a greater sense of purpose, but at the same time, I seem to have less patience for the stupidity. It doesn’t make me angry, I just call it out—like someone with Tourette’s, when sometimes maybe silent compassion might have been the better choice.

    After returning, in all aspects of my practice and my life, the mind kept (and keeps) throwing up roadblocks and obstructions and reasons why I can’t practice today or have to cut the practice short, or why I should have lunch with So-and so, etc. I find that when I discover myself succumbing to those promptings, I am suddenly asking myself “Can you be trusted? Are you trustworthy?” and then is is easier to get back on track, to push the reset button that brings me back to whom I AM.

    All I have to do is to start Opening the Tao (or Golden Lotus or Dragon’s Tears) and then I am soon in a place of Emptiness—it is strange, because it does not seem devoid of anything, but rather overflowing with the fullness of Creation. In that place, the Empty Force surrounds and fills me—until the mind kicks in and tries to sabotage me for whatever reason. It is really subtle, like, “You really need to stop and go to the bathroom NOW! Of course, if that is really true, I will do it, but most of the time, those things that the mind throws up are just temptations to break the flow. At least I can see them and am more aware of them now.

    And that alone is a gift worth its weight in gold. For that, dear Lujan, and for all the other gifts you are bestowing upon the world, Thank you. And thank you, Elizabeth, for helping me to see all this more clearly through your writing.

  3. I libri del dott. Lujan sono molto interessanti, ma non conosco l’inglese.
    La domanda è quando verrà pubblicato qualcosa in italiano?

    The books of Dr. Lujan are very interesting, but I do not know English.
    The question is when will something in Italian be published?

    • I have no idea at the moment whether that can occur.
      Thanks for the inquiry.

  4. Thank you, Stephen, for your reply. “It helped me see how much I was buying into social programming.” This is something I’ve been thinking about lately–how to shed the life-learned”fake” social programming, how to release oneself from the same old social imperative we’ve been taught while still cherishing the friendships one develops in life, remaining true and close to others in an authentic way, cultivating the affection one feels for certain individuals while remain utterly true to oneself and one’s personal, silent inner directive, one’s moral code. In some ways, it seems no easy task, in others, as simple and natural as breathing. Perhaps it’s related to that expansiveness of feeling Lujan talks about. I feel it while performing the movements. How to retain that expansiveness while performing our daily tasks, our interactions with others–that is what we must practice. “The water does not try to convince anyone of anything.” I love this. It reminds us of that emptiness which is nonetheless filled with this same expansiveness. “It is all about feeling,” Lujan says, “Firstly, magnifying it within the body, then allowing the expansiveness to gaze upon you as you realize it through the weight it presents.” Yes.
    Thank you, Lujan, and again, thank you, Stephen. Best wishes.

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