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Harvest of Collective Alchemy Practice Circles—7 May 2021

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE NAVIGATING THE ERA SHIFT TOGETHER?

In liminality, all boundaries that provide structure and security have dropped, there is no sense in searching for the clear signals of where to go. There is no obvious difference between past and future, or left and right. There only is the present.

As we sink deeper into this liminality, fully accepting its gifts of not-knowing, we sink deeper into our own presence, sensing: what is living within us, beneath the threshold of our conscious perception, but nevertheless enacted in our moods and behaviour?

As we drop deeper below the structure-less liminal, into the sub-liminal, we can sense the subtle signals.

On this next stage of our journey together, we find ourselves underground, in a cavernous space, echoing with the boom of cascading water throwing up clouds of mist, with rays of golden light and rainbows filtering through. Gathered around the basin, we are wet, raw, and alive, captivated by the power of the subliminal silence that holds the water’s roar, that drives out discursive thought and pins us in the acute poignancy of the present moment, filling the heart and mind with awe.

The play of mist, steam and light evokes dreamlike, ephemeral images: gifts from the mystery to inform our collective dreaming. Let us grasp this precious opportunity—away from the all-pervading and numbing narratives of our civilisation that take us away from the now and keep us trapped in worry and fear—to bask together in the aliveness, the silence and ultra-high-frequency, pure, crystalline power of the present moment, grounded and embodied in the energies coursing through our bodies..

As soon as we submerge into silence, subtlety opens up for our senses: ears, eyes, inner vision, bodily, tactile, smell, …

Silence is the subliminal matrix that holds us / our field. And once you’re in it, it’s like being in the cave pictured in the invitation: the silence initially is deafening and then opens up your ears, the darkness is blinding at first and then you observe what you’ve never see before. All senses are heightened. You almost physically sense the connection with other creatures around you. All within silence. Your Body.

IMAGINE THIS STATE OF ACTIVE, AROUSED STILLNESS AS OUR NATURAL WAY OF BEING:
WHAT CHOICES DO WE MAKE FROM THIS STATE THAT TRANSFORM OUR LIVED EXPERIENCE, MOMENT-TO-MOMENT?

(Early call)

Learning to understand what that active, raw stillness is.
Then I remembered the darkness, as our eyes grow accustomed
to seeing something more.
From that natural way of being,
there is no need to make choices.
The aliveness will be there anyway, regardless of what I choose.
Am I really choosing when I’m not being still?
When I’m in that trance of planning and doing?
My lived experience is so genuine
when coming from that still place inside of me,
that I cannot even imagine how much that would transform me,
how big that experience would be.

A flow of energy,
the body as the centre of that flow,
but also outside of it.
A portal of energy.
How the presence, with that energy flow
of seeing, knowing and understanding the energy.
Recognising patterns, recognising the new,
experiencing that brings about some knowing,
brings about any choice that there might be.
An emergence of choice in the moment.

Writing down the question,
my fingers stopped at “Choices”.
Close and personal;
close in time – not looking far ahead;
close in space—in my local community;
personal to me, and meaningful to those close to me.
I start to question, wonder,
I no longer know anything about my capacity
to organise and structure.
What is the value of that,
at the scale at which I apply them.
Do I even need or want to apply them
to my close and personal.
What shows up when I choose not to?
I feel more density in my outreach,
closer to me, coming from closer within me.
That causes a ripple effect
that I can already pre-sence.
Touching people close to me
in a dense meaningful manner,
and them then touching the next layer.
Instead of me trying to take my impact directly to scale.

In the silence I notice
a flickering of consciousness,
very rapid, like quarks
winking in and out of the quantum plenum,
I shift between presence
and narrative,
between direct experience of here and now
and the story of me, my life, and my world.
My body experiences this as a teetering
between numbness and bliss;
tantalising, like being on the brink
of an elusive orgasm,
or awakening from a dream.
Is this the human condition?
I can feel with my sensors
that something else is possible:
a whole new way of being,
seamlessly interpenetrating
the living Kosmos that I am part of,
participating without premeditation.
Bringing this awareness
into contact with the current context
of my life, as our civilisation
slides ever deeper into this era shift,
I find myself choosing to turn away from society,
and to immerse myself in the living truth
of the place where I live,
within a small pocket of human-friendly,
communicative, co-creative nature.
Choosing then to practice living, intentionally,
choosing to be in touch with that subliminal silence,
the vast presence in which I don’t need to know anything.
Any knowing I need will arise in the moment I need it.
My sense of identity is atrophying from lack of use.
And somehow, that also makes me immune
to the identities that others project on me
They don’t stick, they slide away.
It’s a choice to be nobody in particular.

I have always seen silence as no sound.
In a cave with a waterfall,
it’s a deafening sound.
Nature, my sanctuary,
is never silent,
but it gives me inner silence.
Silence now has a new quality
it’s acting from an energy from within.
There are so few times I’m in that energy:
it’s a practice—due diligence.
You can’t just be in it,
you must choose to cultivate it.
I was blocking on the word “choice”:
when we ‘have’ to make a choice,
I’m bad at choosing.
I can’t make informed choices
because the information means nothing
to my essential me.
I always thought I was just sitting on the fence.
Now I realise it is something else
that I wasn’t aware of.
Choices are a limiting belief: it’s either this or that.
It makes living hard in this world,
if you don’t make the choices you’re almost forced to make
many times a day.
How do I consciously enter that practice,
that place that I can feel,
that feels familiar (I’ve been there before)?
How do I prevent myself
spending time back in the circus,
with almost no moments of dropping in,
no aroused inner silence
even when I’m alone?
It’s a reminder:
I could have stayed in bed this morning,
but being here is part of my practice.
I won’t blame myself for not practicing enough,
but I NEED MORE PRACTICE!
It’s a place from which I want to act
—not make choices—
but live.
I keep thinking of the birds…
they are quiet now.

New words, juxtaposed.
The aroused stillness.
I do know the experience of descending into a cave
and feeling sensations that are kind and beautiful,
welcoming and safe.
Aroused stillness suggests some kind of movement,
connected to that word “choice”.
I feel strongly the responsibility to be vigilant when choosing.
The outside world can be frenetic.
During our co-sensing, things in my world were full
of commotion, confusion and noise.
I couldn’t align, to begin with, with the sensing of silence and stillness.
Being in the space together allows for a transformation,
moving from an unsettled place
to a safe and comfortable one.
It may be an awakening for me to recognise
the importance of being still,
living in a liminal space where silence is OK,
just to experience what I need to experience to feel fulfilled.
Then I can be more poised, able and ready,
to work with the collective,
to make the changes we need in our world.

I have been negotiating with presence
for some time.
My time here in retreat
has been for practicing presence,
unplugging from the circus,
not participating in that frenzy.
For the first time, in these last eight days,
I have been able to acknowledge the difficulty
of staying in presence,
and accepting that has been an opening for me.
Otherwise the narrative in my head
is badgering me for failing to tick the boxes
of stillness and presence.
Writing the question:
“aroused stillness” brings up something inexpressible.
To see my negotiation of silence and stillness
coming into connection with this circle
is an indication of the work before me.
Living from that place as a natural way of being:
is that even possible,
It feels like too much, to be in that state
of intense, aroused stillness.
But maybe that’s where we’re all headed, collectively
and that feels empowering.
When I think of how this would transform my life,
I feel flow. The duality of choice doesn’t exist.
In stillness you are just a channel, flow.

Choice”is a multi-level notion:
within the ‘mainstream narrative’,
“do I choose to be vaccinated or not?”
is one kind of choice.
But cultivating stillness, moment by moment,
is also a choice.
Many people are not aware that we can choose
how to direct our attention.
Once we have the awareness that that choice is possible
we become aware of the different dimensions of choice
available to us.
There is always a moment when choice is possible,
and ultimately, every moment we are choosing,
whether we know it or not.

The cave is a very rich place:
a great calming,
allowing the body to make its choices
as part of the earth.
To feel and sense the impulses to movement,
and a real shedding from the mental realm,
which seems to contain much of that circus!
The emotional realm as that thundering torrent
passing through the cave of stillness and presence.
The power of that,
and the relief of being able to allow it to pass through
without being destabilised by it.
Experiencing it as a clearing, a cleansing,
as it thunders through.
Amidst the moments of horror, sometimes,
at how things are playing out for so many people,
there’s a relief in this cave space
that allows that torrent to thunder through without
taking me with it.
There’s still a resistance to rest,
in this transition phase between modes of being,
from permanent call-to-action,
through slowing down into this intense presence,
where there’s a deep listening,
a spaciousness resting in that cave,
that allows a dreaming to arise,
impulses —like the shafts of light, illuminating—
and a strong sense of the close and personal.
The impulses are there,
are starting to materialise into what might be
a way of negotiating a completely new reality.
The choice is this fine-tuning: when do I step?
Where is the way out of the cave?
Do I find my coracle in the cave, to ride the torrent,
or is there an opening?
What is on my doorstep,
immediately there?
This immediacy of current surroundings and circumstances
in every moment.
I’m also aware of change in my body.
This morning, a real sense of my digestive system
asking for something different
to enable me to be something different.
There’s a physical metamorphosis going on,
within that cave.
Little cave-creatures in the water,
with a magical quality of transmutation.
I don’t know what form I’m going to take
when I come out of that cave.
I’m getting a strong message from my body
that patterning around consumption—eating—is up for change
to allow me/us to emerge from the cave
and be part of a new reality,
if I can allow myself to make the enabling choices
that allow all of that to happen.
(Making an initial foray and then returning to the cave)
Having a stall at the farmers market…
then returning to the womb-like space of the cave
with the water flooding through.
In tiny steps, the more I allow that space, and listen to
my body as part of the earth,
the more the external aligns
with the dreaming, the impulses that are coming through.

Silence and stillness
describe how I have started to feel.
An inner stillness, like an enveloping sheet.
Without needing to isolate myself.
This is new.
I no longer start my day with a to-do list.
Instead I just plug in and go with the flow.
Some integration between my higher self
and my human self.
Before I would need to practice, tuning
between the two,
now it’s becoming more natural.
I feel many shifts in my physical body:
I’m being given the choice to cleanse and purge;
what to consume and how.
I’m no longer getting caught up in the stories of
“if… then…”
That brings a freedom.

I’ve been orbiting around the “we”.
Our natural way of being,
the choices we make.
Today I have felt like I’ve been waking for hours,
tuning into our co-sensing circle,
this gathering and this focus.
Consciously sending a signal
to the people coming into my awareness.
There is something about the act
of being in conscious, connected, collective community
that is essential for our navigation
as a species and as a wider community of beings.
The lived experience of taking groups into cave systems
has been the most transformative form
of outdoor education.
That and cooking!
The space that was least known,
with fewest stories.
The newness and the need to trust one another.
Listening to those who had some knowing of that terrain.
When coming into a cave through a waterfall,
it’s important to leave through an opening
that leads out, not deeper in!
That’s part of the reality of our times:
we can go to the level of extinction.
Do we act as if that may be?
What practices allow us to stay together?
Tracking the knowing and the movement,
so that when we do reconnect,
all of our practices allow us to be together
so fully in the newness of this moment,
and then to move back out into our own lives.
Tuning in, allows us to offer our own aspect
into that which we all drank from,
which resources our systems and our ability
to move out in ways that are relevant for each of us.

(Late call)

Building on something that arose for me this morning,
noticing a flickering of my consciousness,
a rapid blinking between two very different states:
between presence and immediate experience,
and narrative—a numbing down to a more habitual state
full of stories about me, and my life and my world.
Recognising that I have a real, deep longing
to choose that immediacy,
so immediate that it blasts away identity.
(Identity is just part of the story.)
Recognising that my nervous system
might shy away from that degree of intensity
because it doesn’t want to get fried!
On the one hand,
there’s an evolutionary urge towards this immediacy of presence,
this seamless quality of being that is interpenetrative with the cosmos,
that merges the figure and the ground.
On the other hand,
there’s this survival wiring that means I enter that state,
I sample it with my body, and step back out of it,
to allow my body to assimilate and adapt.
Hopefully each time I re-enter, I can take more of it.
This also has to do with the fact that
our Earth and our solar system are now traveling
through a different area of space,
with lower protection.
Moving into the photon belt,
being bombarded with more cosmic energies than we’re used to,
with less magnetic field protection.
So we could actually be physically evolving,
as we live in these days and months and years,
to be able to handle higher frequencies of energy.
That conceptual notion boils down
into the lived experience of this extraordinary aliveness,
this active, aroused stillness,
as a new default state of being.
There’s something deep inside me that WANTS that!

From this place of active aroused stillness,
what choices do we make?
For me that means, choices that aren’t going along
with the mainstream narrative;
with what everyone is doing all around me,
wanting to go back to the way it was, have fun again, be free.
From that deepest place in me,
there’s something about that that’s not really true.
These are hard times and hard choices.
I honour that each of us makes what choice is right for us
in any given circumstance,
and in some way good for the whole.

My experience now is different
from this morning.
As I went into the cave and wrote down the question,
I resisted writing “lived experience, moment-to-moment”
I wanted to write “Life”.
A rejection of the now,
wanting to make it much bigger.
That moment-to-moment conscious choice
does affect my whole life.
They go hand in hand.
In that cave, young people were staring at me,
calling me out on my responsibilities and capabilities.
I felt anger, and a will to purposeful action,
climbing out the waterfall,
to go into rebellious action.
Why worry with subtle signals
when there are so many obvious ones?!
This is not acting from stillness.
I returned to the cave,
and sensed that the system has other exits,
all too narrow for me.
Scared!

I feel the cave is like a meditative place,
where this aroused stillness can be felt in its fullness.
All restrictions drop off, even the restrictions on my body.
I can feel that the yearning in my heart to merge with that water
gets met. The separation drops.
I am the water.
I can listen beyond, into that water.
I can even communicate with the rock walls of the cave.
The aroused stillness takes me to a place of
exploding possibilities.
My whole body, my spine, my skull, my crown,
everything’s radiating, merging with my surroundings,
I can’t contain it in this body, there’s more than this body.
This place within the cave is a place where I can really belong.
A world in itself.
To step out from here is very unknown,
and I can flow with the water,
I can move with the wind,
change shape and move through the narrow openings
to be in the outside world.
How will I be,
knowing that there are always endless possibilities?
Will my brain, body, spine,
feel like a vestigial organ? Useless?
As if I know only how to operate from them,
when everything is just bursting with choices.
My barometer is the state of stillness…
to choose from there.

The frequency that we’re now in,
evolving and alive.
Last night I thought of going to bed early,
but the night part of my day is who I am.
It would not be true for me to arrive this morning
without having experienced the wee hours.
I wouldn’t be bringing all of myself to this call.
What I saw last night was the aliveness in the world,
both in suffering and nobility.
I appreciate having the sense of evolution taking place.
During the stillness:
not having to make anything up.
Just going with the rawness of seeing things as they are.
Merging is a human urge.
People love each other so much, and it’s so unable to be expressed,
somehow it can turn into war.
Dropping into the unmanifest,
the quantum realm of endless possibilities.
The unmanifest manifests through each of us.
What is our real power? What can our thoughts manifest?
It seems really important, with what’s around us
that can seem negative (my sense of doom),
to put out a different frequency.
I feel I’m available for that, in the simplicity of my life.

In our call last time (April 23)
we were in the willingness to learn the ways of the liminal,
now here we are in the subliminal.
There is something in this transit,
that opens our energy field, individually and collectively
to be entrained.
What does it mean to be open to be entrained to these higher frequencies?
It’s like being in an orchestra, being tuned up.
Playing your instrument out of tune in the collective
creates cacophony.
There’s an element of the collective alchemising
of the entraining field.
This is a recurring theme, with another level of power.
Can we be open to the possibility of having higher frequencies
streaming as a way of being?
The arousal state holds a key to that.

In this moment,
the choice I’m making is to pick up the piece
and share, without knowing what it means, what I’m saying.
Meaning-making usually comes easily to me.
It’s weird for me to be as quiet
as I have been in this space!
My experience in the silence—it was still, not silent!
(with a baby crying in the background)
I was noticing the aliveness.
How we need each other for aliveness,
because we are each other.
We are each other’s portals to aliveness.
The grandmother’s aliveness because of the suffering of the baby.
In different circumstances,
I would have needed to step in to act.
I couldn’t have observed from a space of stillness.
Where do we put our attention? How do we make that choice?
Upstream or downstream?
I’m present to the multiple realities alive and present in any given moment
in the same space,
all the time.
It’s a collective experience,
and our attention goes to different places
according to our choice points,
through endless possibilities.
Another choice is how we relate to whatever is there.
Positive and negative are relative.
It will naturally come from how we have related to it
in the past.
So our conditioning stories become important.

I’m surprised that it takes so long,
this birthing.
I’ve been in a cave, today and yesterday.
A headache. It can’t be a 2-day hangover.
Why does it take so long?
It started a year ago, and it’s still NOT OVER.
Also, it takes a long time
for the old stuff to leave.
IT’s all coming out now: from boxes
moved from Brussels.
I cannot decide what to keep and what to let go of.
Some stuff can still serve, I need to process it differently.
Memories, emotions, past states
—high states I haven’t had for all those intervening years.
Deciding will take more time.
It’s easier with the good stuff.
Stuff I didn’t sort through before my move
I have to sort through now.
Downstairs is a crystal store. Heaven.
High vibrations packed into 20 square metres.
Sometimes we need help from the outside
to get to those high frequencies.
Replace those inactive old paintings on my walls
with a big wooden buddha?
What inertia blocks me from raising my vibrations?
Do I need that outside help?
We must decide each time
what is right in the moment.
When I know it feels right, I’m not impatient.
Less head and more guts.
Parts of my body and brain just need more time
to align.
How can I be this trust for others,
when I can’t yet be it for myself?

I have spent the past 18 months
going into really dark corners of my heart.
I have seen and experienced darkness
that I didn’t know existed.
I can’t recall how many hours, and days I’ve spent
feeling paralysed and confused.
I have always had a lot of fire in me:
when I put my mind to something,
I have a clear knowing of what I’m supposed to do
in any given moment.
In the past 18 months I lost that,
and I allowed myself to be
in this space of not knowing.
After all that, I realised
I was washing away things that weren’t essentially me.
Whenever I feel insecure
(It’s my first time here, I don’t know if I have anything to contribute!)
I realise that’s not really me.
I’m not here as my ego.
All I need to do is wash away what’s not true
and let the truth come.
Accept and surrender to the knowing
that I am just an instrument.

I see, outside the cave,
there are many facts.
Facts are used to tell stories
—opposing stories.
Facts never tell the whole story.
To make meaning, we need something more as humans.
I cannot name what that ‘more’ is.
Deeper stories.
Cosmic stories, perhaps.
Stories that cannot be proven,
that aren’t based just on facts.
These deeper stories have the potential
to transcend what divides us in using our facts.
They can reveal the hidden unity
that science is providing with its facts.
They also enable me to face the wisdom
that each of us bears.
Wisdom is also dark knowledge;
not bad but hidden.
I have spent today taking bread out of the oven.
From the dark, full of light.
Lifting the bucket from the well,
bringing light from the dark.
The myth of the angel of the lip (philtrum):
we all came to this world with something unique,
even before birth.
This deep body of knowledge that we bring,
is sealed on our lip by the angel’s finger print.
It’s right under our nose, where we cannot see it.
It takes a leap of vertical imagination
to drop into the cave and seek
what I’ve been born with
to offer to this world.

The portal between the morning and evening calls,
is a precious holding space for reflection
all day long.
This cave is a safe place, where I can thrive and nurture myself,
in vibrancy and light in the darkness.
Allowing for the stillness as a natural way of being:
can I maintain that stillness in the ‘real world’?
That quiet place where I can sense and feel,
where my heart can guide and lead?
It’s going to take some practice
for me to find myself there all the time!
I know that my best self
is not only good for myself and good for others
if I can maintain that stillness.
It’s more than a wanting or a wishing,
it’s work!
To believe that there are others that are
working through the same issues and problems,
supports me in this.
That is the power of the collective.
I take this invitation as a personal challenge for myself.

So much has shifted since this morning.
Connecting to what was emerging in the most tangible way.
The entire day my nervous system was being fried and electrified.
Now here I am in the feeling that we’re in this together.
I really feel that now it makes sense,
what used to take ten years now takes ten minutes.
That moment when things are falling apart,
social change feels like a sprint right now,
not the marathon.
Even inside the cave, with the dream-like mist and light,
the desire and inkling that moves me towards action,
knowing what is truly wanting to manifest
and what will fry my nervous system?
Sitting with that possibility soup.
Trusting that the new consciousness has more earthing and grounding,
and that we can do …
(art)
After what feels like months of stillness,
action and connection energy is showing up.
Bringing a lot of fear.
This is still a liminal space,
a time of clearing out the old,
uncertainty as to how to move forward.
Needing to wait, trust, find ways to care for myself
knowing that what needs to show up will arrive.

Check-out: What gem of newness have I discovered in the cave?

Choices can be conscious or unconscious. Heart v Mind.
Heightened awareness of gratitude of being invited to be fully me, fully here,
to experience how everyone is. This cave is a protected space we have created.
Sense of being part of the collective, a strong, intense feeling of connectedness.
Get out of bed and do the work, that’s when the transformation comes.
The notion of free will, with its different levels.
Choice is about this gift: the power of exercising free will at different levels of consciousness.
Continued missing of time! The collective itself is to be rediscovered in a new way.
Maybe I’m always in the cave, even in those moments when I’m judging myself
for stepping away from stillness and peace. Allowing.
This state of intense presence is there, the bedrock of my existence.
There’s a sense of real relief and gratitude to myself and to all of us
for carrying forth this space that we share.
I have yet to understand the nature of the gem I’m seeing.
It’s multifaceted. Seeing the light play through the prism that silence allows
has yet to be understood.
Presencing has been a solitary journey until now.
Presencing together in an agendaless space feels inviting and exciting and new.
I’m curious to continue to step in.
This stillness is full of observation of unconscious things.
Rather than being nobody, I feel like I’m everybody.
New faces, souls, life sparks!
The gem of conscious practice, over and over, in every new moment.
We are not alone! I am not alone! Tuning into the energetic connection
also takes practice!
Although I am deep into the journey, my journey has just begun.
Night bus: I’m not alone.
I still like being in the cave!
Power to influence, affect, choose in the world, with others.
We are the portals of each other’s aliveness!
Most things are born in darkness and return to darkness,
experiencing light in the liminal. What’s so bad about that?
What if the liminal is reality and everything else is fiction?
Are there things that we aren’t making up?
Awareness of how hard it is for me to let go of certain things.
In the cave feels like home – a call for patience and humility.
A new place of comfort with the non-transition between what is and what will be.
Re-newness of the importance of practice that brings us closer to creation.
Radiation. My body feels like something’s ended.
A newfound respect for my nervous system!
The power and necessity for authenticity, and the tension I feel: I’m in process!
I don’t want to unplug from the field – is that even possible?
CA is transformative and intentional and important!

Who showed up

Deepah Kamath, Daniela Tablado, Wini Condic Begov, Louise Carpenter, Ruchi Bhimani, An van Damme, Aarthi, Patricia Hunt Perry, Judy Wallace, Madeline Snow, Hailey Chang, Jenny Hegland, Madeleine Schwab, Saparna Jain, Ursula Hillbrand, Pieter Deceuninck, Marie-José d’Aprile, Aakanksha Singh, Georgios Kastrinos, Molly Whiteley, Sarah Whiteley, Helen Titchen Beeth.

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Invitation Page

Our invitation to practice Collective Alchemy continues 7 May 2021

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE NAVIGATING THE ERA SHIFT TOGETHER? Since March we have been on a journey of discovery with the above question as our guiding star. Our exploratory co-sensing has brought us into a liminal space, where the guiding star, for now, appears stationary. We spent the last two portal waves in the liminal space, learning to appreciate the gifts of not-knowing, slowing down and stillness. Now we are invited not to

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