Continuum: Orbital consciousness

Continuum: Orbital Consciousness

Spring 2010

with Emilie Conrad – founder. [Her dad was a Tesla guy, she grew up reading frequencies. Combine this with time in the West Indies – where wave motion is prayer]

? How do we become self-limiting?

The fluid system is the inquiry of Continuum – the resonant stream: no boundaries, no time/space differential

-slowing down the wave – all the information is in the interval

it is “health assurance”

We soften the inhibitors to begin to expand capacity to resonate

*At the Water’s Edge – Karl Zimmer

*On Becoming Human – PBS documentary – what Darwin didn’t know

*Life on Land – Emilie Conrad book on Continuum

*CSI: Cosmic Scene Investigator


-Our fluid is adjusting to the rhythm of the computer

-modern life= electricity and speed

-in speed, you cannot feel (speed as a coping strategy for folks who don’t want to feel)

-consolidation of fluid molecules can actually lock us in to space


-The dominator model destroys sensation:

disconnect from body

God is elsewhere

-you cannot be self-referential under oppression

(self-referential: to claim our own authority)

The tissue is the versatility of the organism – its ability to manage /adjust and adapt to its environment

“I don’t care what the diagnosis is – the first stage of anything is isolation”

Empathy as the growth of intelligence

How do you get the compression to move?


the more variance/ nuance in sounds, the more refined dexterity in the tissue

GEL/SOL Phase Transition

water absorbs the energy and vibration of the land – it is carrying the reflection of its context

Gel: semi-solid, “body”, activity, bound in time, inhale

Sol: aqueous, “wave”, fluid deconstructs itself, no longer bound in time, exhale

*as we increase aquiosity, the system re-organizes itself at a more complex level of coherency

Breath: Low E (yin)

wrapping the sound around your neck, one way and then the other


then your chest, then your solar plexus, then your hips

using your fingers as tuning forks on the place where you are working – tone each action

Ees are lateralizing sounds – widen the focus of the eyes

Breath: Puffed O   (yang)

-lips closed, cheeks puffed out, move the sound and around your cheeks

Breath: Blurs

-vibrating vocal cords in the back of the throat

-leave an interval of silence – the main part of the Blur is Silence


-lazy, slow, wide, inside front of spine

-use it with hands on places that hurt, in healing, Blurs spread tissue immediately


Baseline Breathing: check in, lying on back

3 Ees, wrapping and circling x face, chest, solar plexus, hips

open attention

Legs up, Roll from side to side using Blurs, legs at 45 degrees

play at creating micro-traction, extending legs, using elbows for leverage

Go back to Ees, see what happened.

The nervous system is a pattern addict, (associative brain)

The Blur is so early, there is no associative brain, so you are out of the pattern altogether

The way that fluid communicates is in shapes

-We’re merging our consciousness with the fluid system – softening the inhibitors, making way for the bio-intelligence

Thanks, Betsy –

SMOKEY THE BEAR SUTRA by gary snyder
Once in the Jurassic about 150 million years ago, the Great Sun Buddha in this corner of the Infinite Void gave a discourse to all the assembled elements and energies: to the standing beings, the walking beings, the flying beings, and the sitting beings–even the grasses, to the number of thirteen billion, each one born from a seed, assembled there: a Discourse concerning Enlightenment on the planet Earth.

“In some future time, there will be a continent called America. It will have great centers of power called such as Pyramid Lake, Walden Pond, Mt. Rainier, Big Sur, Everglades, and so forth; and powerful nerves and channels such as Columbia River, Mississippi River, and Grand Canyon. The human race in that era will get into troubles all over its head, and practically wreck everything in spite of its own strong intelligent Buddha-nature.”

“The twisting strata of the great mountains and the pulsings of volcanoes are my love burning deep in the earth. My obstinate compassion is schist and basalt and granite, to be mountains, to bring down the rain. In that future American Era I shall enter a new form; to cure the world of loveless knowledge that seeks with blind hunger: and mindless rage eating food that will not fill it.”

And he showed himself in his true form of


A handsome smokey-colored brown bear standing on his hind legs, showing that he is aroused and watchful.

Bearing in his right paw the Shovel that digs to the truth beneath appearances; cuts the roots of useless attachments, and flings damp sand on the fires of greed and war;

His left paw in the mudra of Comradely Display–indicating that all creatures have the full right to live to their limits and that of deer, rabbits, chipmunks, snakes, dandelions, and lizards all grow in the realm of the Dharma;

Wearing the blue work overalls symbolic of slaves and laborers, the countless men oppressed by a civilization that claims to save but often destroys;

Wearing the broad-brimmed hat of the west, symbolic of the forces that guard the wilderness, which is the Natural State of the Dharma and the true path of man on Earth:

all true paths lead through mountains–

With a halo of smoke and flame behind, the forest fires of the kali-yuga, fires caused by the stupidity of those who think things can be gained and lost whereas in truth all is contained vast and free in the Blue Sky and Green Earth of One Mind;

Round-bellied to show his kind nature and that the great earth has food enough for everyone who loves her and trusts her;

Trampling underfoot wasteful freeways and needless suburbs, smashing the worms of capitalism and totalitarianism;

Indicating the task: his followers, becoming free of cars, houses, canned foods, universities, and shoes, master the Three Mysteries of their own Body, Speech, and Mind; and fearlessly chop down the rotten trees and prune out the sick limbs of this country America and then burn the leftover trash.

Wrathful but calm. Austere but Comic. Smokey the Bear will Illuminate those who would help him; but for those who would hinder or slander him…


Thus his great Mantra:

Namah samanta vajranam chanda maharoshana Sphataya hum traka ham mam


And he will protect those who love the woods and rivers, Gods and animals, hobos and madmen, prisoners and sick people, musicians, playful women, and hopeful children:

And if anyone is threatened by advertising, air pollution, television, or the police, they should chant SMOKEY THE BEAR’S WAR SPELL:


And SMOKEY THE BEAR will surely appear to put the enemy out with his vajra-shovel.

Now those who recite this Sutra and then try to put it in practice will accumulate merit as countless as the sands of Arizona and Nevada.

Will help save the planet Earth from total oil slick.

Will enter the age of harmony of man and nature.

Will win the tender love and caresses of men, women, and beasts.

Will always have ripened blackberries to eat and a sunny spot under a pine tree to sit at.


…thus we have heard…

(may be reproduced free forever)

Go get right with god, girl –

Take your pent up wishes
and shape them in your form
live em out and embody
what you stand for.

Get your ass up off that porch
and start working it –
put your arms to use in the field
to feed your self.
Come into being, as a person.

Send your fears flurrying
with a breath of hot air
from your lungs. Push yourself.
You gotta get right
in relationship
to yourself.

Speak true words
and mean them.
Don’t let people play you
and cut them some slack.
Don’t sweat your off days neither.

Just come round again
to yourself. let your eyes
shine with it and give it on
because the people need it
right now.

They need you to be clear
about who you are, to make it easier
to reflect themselves in your eyes.
They need to be able to shine some too.
You can give them that grace
and it don’t cost you nothin.
It builds.

Build the people up
and stay out of the bog down shit.
Plant your seeds of all kinds
and play some more. Thrive on fun
again for a while – but use it,

turn it like mulch in the soil
of your heart and then
grow and harvest your fuel.

starting the morning off with a little reading on Dakinis

I’m reading a book about the feminine principle in Tibetan Buddhism called Dakini’s Warm Breath by Judith Simmer-Brown, who is a professor at Naropa – and I’m using my favorite approach when it comes to dense and complex but well written tomes: opening at random and reading a few pages.
Here’s from last night’s exercise, p.90.

“In Vajrayana meditation, the practitioner becomes accustomed to the vast openness of this experience of the ultimate nature.
This is the true meaning of “kha” in “khandro”. The wisdom dakini is of the essence of emptiness, understood in Vajrayana language to be pure space. The images used to express this ungraspable experience are, in the inner tantras, those of sky (namkha) or space (kha). This is not ordinary space; it is Ying (dhatu), which is the unconditioned, ineffable ground of all experience. Ying does not refer to a philosophically derived conclusion concerning the lack of inherent existence of all phenomena, as one might find in the Madhyamaka schools of Mahayana. Instead, it refers to a direct experience of primordial vastness out of which all other experiences arise. While this vastness is in the realm of experience, it is not accessed by any method or experience of anything other than itself, for it is inherent in the nature of mind.

One can understand Ying through the analogy of a cloudless sky, but one realizes Ying through the practice of actually contemplating the cloudless sky. Such a sky is ideal for practice because it has not support and contains nothing upon which to fixate. When one gazes deeply into a cloudless sky there is tremendous capacity to experience the nature of mind, the inner Ying. Perceiving the simultaneity of the cloudless sky and the nature of mind is the real discovery of space. There is no arising, dwelling, or ceasing in what one observes; neither can these be found in the mind that observes. When the practitioner receives transmission from the guru, the inseparability of Ying and Yeshe is recognized experientially as nondual awareness.

From this point of view, the quintessential dakini is not merely space itself, but simultaneously wakefulness that realizes space. Calling this the mind is too narrow, for its nature transcends the mind, yet because it is an experience we speak of space and wakefulness as the ultimate nature of the mind. Because there is space, an all-pervading vastness; it is possible for nondual, self-existing wakefulness to arise, which is Yeshe. If knowing were separate from what it knows, we could not know. The moment space is known in our experience, Yeshe is there. They cannot be separate. Space is likened to water, wakefulness to wetness; space is the flame, wakefulness is the heat of the flame. There is no space without wakefulness, no wakefulness without space.

Wakefulness radiates uninterruptedly and illuminates all experience. For this reason, a favorite image of Yeshe is the dawn, the rising sun that illumines ignorance and confusion. The ultimate feminine principle is this inseparable space-wakefulness, ying-yeshe.”

Yin is a principle which I’ve only ever half-understood, for all that I tattooed a ying/yang infinity on my skin when I was 19. (I guess I’ve only ever half-understood yang as well, and since they are each a part of the balance, perhaps I do get it afterall…) This concept of yin-yeshe is interesting to me because I’ve had a hard time getting past the notion of yin as a vacuum, a magnetic void – and this way of understanding the sentient aspects of yin helps me place awareness again smack dab in the midst of all that is arising. As it should be…

Queen of May

A Long Ways from the Queen of May

Two years ago in the meadow at the Outback Farm, we gathered the clans for a maypole celebration. The kids took turns on the tree swing and the violin danced our feet in circles, the over-under winding of ribbons. Last year I met the first rains of the season on the dunes of a beach in the Yucatan, during a late dusk storm. Today I spent the morning steaming the last of the DiscoFern wallpaper from the walls of a bathroom in NE Portland, the old glue softening off with putty knife and sponge.

That Maypole was magical, a renaissance of the old energies of land, calling back to the tradition of the folk copulating in the fields to ensure a fertile season. The month of May a randy one, and the call of old tradition is deep and lively in the bones. My people and his people, gathered to dance in the face of death. We were fresh and full of life, and later when the sun passed south we pulled a nest of blankets up into the treehouse cradled in the pear tree and offered our histories to each other, our present selves. When dawn came through the gingham curtains, it found us curled together, snug fit.

After a week in Belize on the edge of revolution, where the palm trees lit the night like smudge sticks lining the roadsides as farmers burned their fields to prepare for the rains; that night in Mexico was magical too. We were restless, back in town after so many hot days with only a village river for distraction, and seeking life. We found the travelers cafe, a pulse beneath the skin of the tourist veneer, and they pointed us down the road toward a tiny open air nightclub with a serious sound system and a disco ball. We danced when the power was on, and when it cut out we talked by candlelight to the beautiful motley mix of locals.

The smell of the rains came first into that crackling eve, and I went out into the street to stand and sniff as the first drops reached ground. We hightailed it back to the cabanas as the winds picked up, and out on the coast three storms were colliding. The sky turned green like an electric bruise and I took my shoes off and danced on the dampening ground.

Mostly there was the wide grin – nothing sweet and playful like the potluck back at the Oasis after the Maypole dance, with wine and family and guitars on the side deck of the communal home – this was the Qi charged sea and sky in combat with the land. There was no fear in it; like rough copulation, this essential act of a season changing from dry to wet, fertility returned with the crackling flare of lightning from roiling clouds, touching ground.

All week in the village hut I had been so angry. It leaked from me like sweat, and all there was to cool me down – the slow-turning fan and the river idling past – could only dim the torporous rage. When the storm came I unleashed it to greet the elements and it flowed through me steadily, a faucet opened into the sea. I let the rage of last year’s sour dream drain and I let the storm in to wash me clean. A plow, furrowing the channels of heart, searing them clean, laying the ground fertile for what life was to begin from this moment on,
and this one, and this one.

And this one, which is many worlds away from all the hoopla of celebrations and storms, where the kernel of joy comes from technique of steamer, putty knife, and sponge. The splashy shiny silver green and brown 70s fern designs leave a stringy film of backing, and beneath that layer lie patches of gummy adhesive. The steamer is slow but potent, and in time the wall comes smooth and clean, back to its drywall bones.

I miss the magic. The radio is tuned in to a “first wave” station and all morning the songs I loved in junior high come back to greet me from a less moving and painful place. The words are still stored in my head somewhere, and if I open my mouth, the singing begins itself and some part of me still 13 years old is finding her first salvation and flirting with her own demise. Not all that much has changed – although from each year to the next is a whole different story.

A Long Way from the Queen of May

Check back in a day or so for a short story of this same name, but in the meantime – if you’ve ever had any interest in indigenous medicine, please peruse the cliff notes I created from a weeklong Apprenticeship with Mayan Healer Mz. Beatrice last April in Belize. The pages are still in the works, and feature lots of good information on women’s health, with only a minimum of ironic personal commentary. It’s been a long year since then, chock full of change. More to come on that front too.

What If they Held an Expo and Nobody Came?

Some good marketing lessons this weekend, from the trade show frontlines of alternative health care. As part of my new identity as C.A. [Chiropractic Assistant], I am venturing into the wacky world of convention centers to explore the labyrinth of booths. Cell phone chips to stop radiation, African safaris, the Nia Technique, death and taxes, new windows, retirement plans, acupuncture and magnet therapy – all these options available for the Baby Boomer this weekend at the convention center.

Last weekend’s Pet Companion Show was a two-tiered world of tails and noses stopping distracted “owners” at every conceivable corner. We put up a little sign saying “Human” on the Free Spinal Screening banner, so that people wouldn’t try putting their labradors on the SAM unit scales. It was fun and festive in the expo center – people are more open when their pets are around, and the chaos was full of fur and barking.

There’s a new doctor at the clinic where I work, and he’s pulled the old-school practice building cards: trade shows and going door-to-door. I’ve got backup duty, moral support, and I’m keeping my ear out for marketing gems among the many opinions that people inveitably develop when networking. It is much easier to be in this world of self-promotion when it isn’t my practice in particular that I’m building. This may be true in the same way that it is much easier to deal with organizing other people’s stuff than your own.

Nobody built much business of any kind this weekend, however, as exactly Nobody showed up on a sunny spring weekend to the Convention Center for a poorly-named and poorly-advertised Baby Boomer expo called B.R.E.W. [Boomer Resources Exhibition and Workshop] A few people did show up for microbeers, but they were sorely disappointed. There were maybe 60 people in the aisles during the talk from a charismatic scientist with Oasis Life Sciences. The Oasis folks, who are into regeneration on the level of DNA and who offer “a gift” of condensed packets of live organic greens and aloe from international farms, sound like they have made pyramid marketing work yet again.

Saturday was full of vendor networking, but by Sunday a third of the booths were empty and there were murmurs of mutiny, with the goodhearted exception of the woman in gold lame, who dressed up to “help everybody” and wandered the aisles with her aging smile, a longtime veteran of the world of self -promotion. A former PT whose career ruined her spine and her hands and was now selling life insurance suggested that we all leave our stalls and gather at the stage and each spend five minute marketing our position or offering. Not a bad plan, but the lethargy of an empty hall was contagious, and it was hard to imagine organizing anybody into a fervor of anything. All these vendors – people who thrive on connection – were starving for attention and playing imaginary russian roulette with each passing hour.

Into this calm pit of despair walked the woman in the blue and white flowered dress. The shoulder pads were military style, and she halted in her beige heels at our corner and stared intently at the SAM machine.
“Takes 2 minutes and its painless” I said by way of greeting, “Would you like to have your spine checked?”
She was intent also in her reply: “Yes.”
I asked her to fill out the top box on our form. She was as vague as possible. I asked her about her chiropractic history – vague again: “In the past.”
The young doctor came over to greet her and offered his hand. She returned his handshake and sent it back for changes: “Too soft,” she said “it feels fishy.”
Oh the control of a lone consumer at an empty trade show – oh the power. She asked me to shake her hand and pronounced my grip firm. The doctor tried to explain himself in terms of gentleness, but she wasn’t having it. She put him through the ringer. A man with a huge belly and an intriguing stone around his neck came up and I let the blue-flowered commander to her hazing of the new doc. So much for my role as moral support…

The big-bellied guy was very calm. His stone came from a trip to Peru about 7 years ago. We began to trade machu picchu stories while the doc stood the matron up on the scales and aligned the strips with her head shoulders and hips. He was solicitous, as he worked, asking respectfully if he could touch the top of her shoulders, her blue-flowered hips.
“Yes” she said, intent again. Then she stepped down and consulted the findings – the unusual distribution of weight across her feet, the tilting of spine and retilting to compensate. She believed the lines, if not the doctor informing her. I was deep in Peru conversation so the loud SMACK of her hand hitting the doc came out of the blue and at first I wondered if she had taken a sudden offense to his prognosis.
Both the the big-bellied guy and I looked up out the corners of our eyes at the moment that the Fly she had apparently killed with her sudden slap at the doctor’s shoulder, rebounded down the blouse of her dress. Such was the velocity of the killing blow, and such was the moment of surreal calm when she asked the doctor to retrieve the fly from its resting place. Nobody looked directly at the extraction, which was handled smoothly and quickly and without further incident. There was laughing and the doctor somewhat goodnaturedly gave her his card in case she should wish for future chiropractic help.


Oregon Public Broadcasting program Weekend America did a wonderful piece on the sounds of New Orleans and what Mardi Gras feels like this year. And scroll down to the Sounds of Katrina with DJ Spooky for more. This is resonating strongly in the context of a piece of writing my friend Daniel did for grad school in England, called A Mytho-poetic Tale for the Development Age.