When He Turned His Eyes In My Direction, All In Me Went Blind

Testimonial

One month today I was roaming down the streets of Barcelona with a heavy bag on my shoulders and a bigger inside of me. My body was tired and tense the same time.  My mind was running, unstoppable, like a always on radio broadcast. That has been my situation for most of my late teen and adult life so far. 
There is not much to say about: drama in my mind, feeling of being a stranger in my body.

All of this was with me the first day I sat in the workshop. We were in a old and strong building with large windows, high ceiling and a wooden floor with round circles of bright colors. Then, while I was scouting he environment, losing myself in thoughts, I began to be reached by waves that stopped whatever I was thinking.

Something seemed to expand from Lujan’s silent presence. There a double feeling occurred: I was warmed and drained at the same time. Something was pushing to me, like a nourishing. For no better words, I was feeding. At the same time something was pulled inside of me, like coins move to a magnet. Away for being physically unpleasant, it was certainly new and unstable. I was moving from stopping it or let go.

 When I recall this moment, tears coming automatically to me.

I cannot say anything more, being afraid to lose it or give any interpretation. Much more had happened in me in his presence, from frequent bursting of shame and fear to feeling of warm, still these few seconds wrap all of that experience.

Opening the Tao is a series of exercises which came to us apparently with no order. At least this is my experience at the moment. Until the very end I wasn’t sure either about what we were performing, both in terms of sequence, both in single gestures. Still now, practicing, I’ve to go back to the notes (thank you) and then to the class around to go through the whole training. 

Many things were presented.

The concept of having a dantian in my body was replaced to the certainly that this is something physical, that we can feel and work with. I understood we were building a neural network around it, finding another intelligence in me. My mind decided to take this last sentence as just words, but in three days from there I understood I was wrong, for something since there feels, reacts between my chest and my lower abdomen, and – even if somehow ‘closed’ – it was there with me since the beginning.

I’ve also been presenting with dark matter around us and how to grab it with movements, especially rotations. While I don’t know what is this energy and why it binds us , but I certainly feel it in the practice. There happens to me in a specific moment in the series, within “The Kiss exercise”, between “Lower Flicking Fingers of Light” and “Gathering Energy ball”. While feeling it, I’m surrounded by something. For awkward as it sounds to me, it says “you are not alone”.

Physical benefit of Opening the Tao training is evident, and it is found in many testimonials. I think I was already seeing in some people around me back in Barcelona. 
My experience is showing good results. Since one year I was turning around my diet and starting to exercise frequently and measure my body, but after Barcelona I recorded the most significant results. Since the workshop I dropped in fat level from 13% to 10% of my body.

My 66kg weight remained stable, but the muscular mass took the place of the fat one, with a measurable exchange between the two matters in the upper torso. The shift is giving me the sensation of being more “together”.

 Also the muscular mass directly connected to skeleton saw andincrease, and – not that Lujan didn’t state it, for he said very clearly – the bone mass is now higher too. For slightly that this last shift is, I never recorded any movement in this area at all (honestly, I didn’t even think this area could do anything but decrease in time. I was wrong again). Being 35 my metabolic age is stable at 20 and I feel this practice can help me maintain or even improve this level.

Along with the physical one, exercising affects psychological, perceptive and social side of me. Even if it will be easier for me to deal with them once at the time, they come all together. Before Barcelona my desire was to start a path to reach a new body and a clear mind. 
This wish however – very consciously – was also to control this change according to my timing and my please, virtually with no effects in me or the people. I think you can refer to this like just going to a store, buy a new yourself and just place this purchase on top of all the rest in your life.
 It is nonsense and still I noticed that is my predisposition in many things in life.

Now I find this connected to what a friend of me told me few days ago, asking me to go back to the chapter about sexual energy in The Art of Stalking Parallel Perception, with reference to responsibility. Along the many parts I skipped in Lujan’s books – and talk – this is a huge one. Is a deeper connection to the haunting question: “Can you be trusted and are you trustworthy?” and to integrity.

This question was a reference point. The first time I heard it, a dull answer in me came as a mighty yes. In two days from that moment I found myself in the apartment in Barcelona, crying with a sound I never heard before coming from me. 
New things demand space from some old habits, they requires them to go away. 
It might be as essential as the leaking of sexual energy compromising the feeling of the dantian or it might get to a level where is a whole set of things to be removed. 
I’m far from doing it. It requires attention: a lot more than I usually put in my days.

This can be shown in simple things, like my dictionary and understanding of words. Expression like “true”, “integrity” or “kindness” are in me with a meaning that find no reference to what i heard there. Same words, different meaning. I recognize the one I usually give as incoherent and anchored to nothing. 

I think that this is part of the difficulty to stand Lujan’s sight, I was standing to my presence and weakness. Still, his eyes burned me down looking at me after the very last conversation of the day:

“Did you make yourself this way or circumstances made you?” – he asked to a student – and then, while he turned his eyes the direction I was sitting with this question in my mind, all in me went blind.

This is just an example of how being together in the workshop is everything but a circumstance. It is highly needed to me: it seems the only way I can learn. Even if I could not engage, all questions and interactions became very relevant to me just by being there together. Countless times I was finding myself with a confused question that found answer in somebody else’s talk, sometimes even before getting fully formed.  “Be kind with others”, this is something I relate to that situation as a consequence of the fact that we are here together, we can see what is missing in others and silently give and receive.

There is a lot to take in. Still now things come to me in waves, all together. 
But when they overwhelm me I go back to the kindness and simplicity that I felt there and I want to practice it in my days.

Thank you,
Thomas
Italy

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2 Comments
  1. This feels very raw, as well as sincere and open. That takes courage. What a gift you took away with Lujan’s glance! He opened a gate for you as he does for us all but (as you know) each of us must walk through alone.

    Lujan’s question: Did you make yourself this way or circumstances make you? What is the answer I wonder. Isn’t it both? Isn’t it about the way we respond to the circumstances we find ourselves in? Isn’t this the gravity we’re presented with in every moment?

    I enjoyed reading this, Thomas. Thank you for sharing.

    Lots of love,

    –Liz

  2. “There is a lot to take in. Still now things come to me in waves, all together. 
But when they overwhelm me I go back to the kindness and simplicity that I felt there and I want to practice it in my days.”

    This is so heartwarming beautiful, pure poesie and touched me very deep. All I can say is:
    May your heart be filled with kindness and love also towards yourself. Annette from Germany

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