Once upon a time the was a powerful demon terrorizing the earth. Its name was Rakta Bija. Every time someone would try to kill it, each drop of blood that spilled out became another Rakta Bija. In very quick time, there were many, many Rakta Bija causing a lot of destruction.
The word for “demon” in Sanskrit is rakshasa, which translates as “protected one”. Demons are protected in the sense that they cannot be destroyed.
For this reason, Kali, the goddess of destruction, was called to deal with Rakta Bija. The first thing Kali tried to do was to kill Rakta Bija. Just like us, whenever there’s a challenge or conflict that we’re up against, the first impulse is to get rid of it or destroy it.
But the teaching of Rakta Bija is that this doesn’t really work. If you try to fight against the demon, you will just create more demons. The harder Kali tried to destroy Rakta Bija the more plentiful he became. In a moment of insight, Kali accepted the challenge and courageously rolled out her huge tongue. She swept up and swallowed all of the Rakta Bijas, giving the protected ones a place inside Herself. In this way they were assimilated and transformed into Kali’s self-nourishment and wisdom.
In Buddhist teachings, demons are not exotic beings like those seen in mystic scroll paintings. They are not bloodthirsty zombies waiting in dark places to scare us. They reside within us and are a part of us. They are the issues and emotional reactivity of our own lives. They are our chronic illnesses or common problems like depression, anxiety and addictions.
From this perspective “swallowing our demons” will require an extra-ordinary practice of self-acceptance and kindness. It will also invite you to question the old paradigm that light and darkness, health and diseases are fighting against each other.
The practice of self-acceptance is an alternative response to dis-ease and an effective path to healing, because it uncovers the understanding that we do not deny the experience of disease or any problem in life (or, our demons), we simply recognize them for what they are: the gaining of a new awareness and perhaps, a deeper understanding.
This practice becomes no longer blindly rejecting or resisting a “inappropriate” part of what we are, any emotion or impulse or feeling or memory. As a result, mindlessly judging others and oneself falls away along with the impulse to construct a self-image on the basis of negatively charged experiences. Slowly the breath can move more deeply and freely.
The Life Sciences and BodyTalk are complementary and integrative systems where each seminar enhances the other. Mindscape, Breakthrough, and FreeFall – like any of the BodyTalk classes – are considered part of the total BodyTalk System that works with the bodymind’s healing force.
In the FreeFall method, the catalyst of the self-acceptance is the undressing of clothes. And if the act of undressing is the scariest thing that comes to your mind when you hear about FreeFall, perhaps you need to think a little deeper than that.
Rinpoche CHOGYAM TRAMGPA says: “We defend our ignorance because we are terrified to be honest with ourselves. To practice self-honesty is to honor yourself, your body, your soul, your heart, your mind. There is an exquisite freedom when you live your nakedness and there are very few people that can appreciate that, because we learn since very young in life to be embarrassed and/or disgusted with our own selves. To be honest with yourself is to be naked with yourself. And this is profoundly liberating.”
This sacred honesty requires the unclothing of the mind and the heart, as well as the body. It requires the courage and the vulnerability to embrace it all – your light as well as your darkness. And many of us are terrified to feel vulnerable, in a global perspective. Many of us are terrified to expose what we believe is our “ugliness”, our “ignorance”. Perhaps we all share an unconsciously a belief that if we show what we think of as our weaknesses we will not be accepted or loved.
But the question about undressing is still hanging in the air. Why undressing?
Did you ever hear or read something like: “every challenging event in life is a blessing in disguise”? It may be true that all events in our lives contain potential blessings. Bioenergetics affirms that the more intense the event, the more potential healing energy it contains.
Under this point of view, events that we call “painful” or “challenging” could be more accurately called “events that require more work to extract their blessings, or their healing energy”. Can the undressing intensify the challenge? Yes, as well the blessings.
In all these years studying and facilitating FF, I don’t know anyone that walked out the class because of being invited to stand without clothes.
According to neuroscience, when you are not paying attention, being critical and judgmental of oneself and others is the default (natural?) state of the brain. Therefore, nothing is more confronting than being kind and loving with yourself and others. That’s why I believe that the main experience that you will take from a FF class is firstly, to give you permission to be kinder with yourself.
And what being kind and loving with yourself mean? Loving-kindness is taught in many ways by different teachers. Ultimately it is the harmonizer and an antidote to self-hatred, aversion and dis-ease. Loving-kindness is oriented by the heart’s balancer to insight and mindfulness. If you study the Buddhist word for kindness, which is Metta, you discover other translations as: care, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, compassion.
Besides the default of our brain to be so critical, we’re a culture that is in perpetual pursuit of the perfect image. Image becomes more important than substance. As every television commercial we see reminds us, we’re not tall, or thin, or attractive or healthy enough. Our computer isn’t fast enough. Our iPhone isn’t new enough. And when you’re bombarded with messages constantly telling you, from different angles, that you’re not enough, it’s hard not to absorb it — that there is an image of what the ideal should be, and that definitively is not you.
So perhaps this transcendent journey in life requires more of undressing and freefalling within. More important than learning another program or method, FreeFall invites you to actually explore what it is that you believe is your self-image.
Which makes me wonder about this new paradigm in the world, that if we learn one more set of tools, we will be a more solid, more successful, more special, better person/practitioner. Could that be a mask for an underlying belief that what we are, at this moment, is not enough? And then there is over-studying, over-working, over-pleasing, over-dieting, or over-ignoring . . . the variations are endless. And it is exhausting.
The belief of “not being …. (you complete the dots) enough” is even more seductive than we realize. Because it is usually accompanied by rigid expectations that undermine one’s self-love. Every time we or others don’t acknowledge our specialness, it catalyzes insecurity and more self-criticism which is NOT loving or kind.
Do you know anyone who simultaneously thinks they’re very special and yet they are also filled by self-hatred and insecurity? Of course, you do. It’s the epidemic of our time.
Perhaps, this is the reason the stresses in this world are mounting. Peoples’ health is being affected because there is less acceptance and kindness in dealing with life issues.
And despite the many fears of the thinking mind that can easily limit self-love, FF invites you to remember that your consciousness has the innate capacity for unconditioned and unlimited love.
A love that embraces everything and excludes nothing.
Treatment investment: $150 (We accept credit cards)
Distant sessions on the phone/skype are also offered regularly.