Finding Still Center

 

Stillness is inside me. This silence has been waiting a lifetime, but the door has been closed. Too busy, too distracted, why would I open the door or even pay attention? Usually I don’t, but a part of me longs for emptiness that masquerades as silence. Silence hovers in the background, often rising on a wave of tears or terror, energetic keys that open the door. Then I drop in, into a stillness that is home, and rest there.

At the beach amidst a gray landscape of water and clouds, I settled into soft sand with my back cradled by a log. And then quiet unfolded. A space opened, called out by ocean waves lapping against rocks at the shore and the light wind touching my face. My insides relaxed, words evaporating like the light mist that surrounded me. On that day I returned to myself, to quiet spaciousness, an ancient silence waiting to be acknowledged.

A voice said “this is who I am”. Which surprised me. This IS who I am! The spacious, still center has been endlessly receding, stepping backwards as words and relationship, the busyness of being human takes over. I hide the parts of me that love sensation and the simplicity of breathing. This place is more nature than human, like the Gray Wolf loping across the ice on Lake Huron last week or the Bald Eagle startled from its perch by my passing. I imagine animals live from stillness, with action emerging in response to what they receive from their senses.

Stillness stays with me. I have been exploring it, tasting how it fits into my life and where it leads. In the midst of turmoil like the world has never known, I tack back into silence, until I am pulled out again by the pain and horror delivered on a daily basis to my newsfeed. Loving and welcoming stillness, I discover my life is geared away from that place. In fact, there is discomfort for the still center that is the core of who I am. Somehow it is shameful to be so empty!

This still place is what I am? It is what I am. I am ashamed and cover it up at every opportunity. Who would respect such emptiness? Who would want to know me, be a friend, a client, join me here? I want people to see me, to admire and respect my work, my writing, and my ability to distill information and create new ways of perceiving. Some of this doing arises to cover deep shame that I am a still, perceiving center moving through space. The stillness we are born with is something to deny, to leave and to abhor, because silence has no value.

Imagine an infant resting in quiet sensation until something emerges that needs attention; hunger, sleep, discomfort, the desire to lift her head, meet the gaze of another or touch a hanging object. She is surrounded by people talking, questioning, encouraging her to be more, do more, to leave her still, pulsating experience. The message? Quiet sensation, our true home, is not acceptable and is something to be embarrassed by.

Instead accomplishment is emphasized. Stand, walk, “say momma”, “don’t just lay there”, each success followed by praise. The seeds are planted, endless striving to be more, do more, be seen and valued for what we do and not for being. This process of acculturation is where our true nature is left behind, where we become societies definition of human.

The training of the infant and child takes the focus away from inside and what arises, toward the outside. Action ceases to be anchored in our home inside the body, and becomes attached to others, to their opinions and needs. Unfortunately, what returns from outside is often conditional. We cannot know another’s needs and reality. Without a connection to the guidance of our inner experience, attachment to another is insecure. We step onto a volatile roller coaster of drama in human relationship and in the world. Action becomes manipulation to get needs met, needs based on sustaining an identity that for many covers up self-hatred and fear.

Our consensus reality world is built on escaping our true nature. Buried beneath accomplishment and saving others, covered up by addictions in so many forms; screen time, information, people, substances, work, obsessions, all of these take away from our inner truth that aligns with the natural world. Seeking outward becomes addictive. Like gambling, random reinforcement intervals are the hardest behaviors to extinguish. Addictions take us away from ourselves, and are often fueled by fear of the emptiness we are born into.

An external focus, where we view ourselves from the outside, is sheer drama. Unless we can hold our still center as a compass pointing true, we enter chaos when we default to another’s viewpoint. How can we know the other or step into their body and feelings? When we try, we enter the polarities of the unconscious; hopes and fears projected outward.

The silence at my core creates cohesion of action and being that is beyond imagining. When events pull me into the drama of others, or myself through the eyes of others, then chaos overwhelms. Now I can tack back into center where I rest in silence, a quiet big enough to contain rogue presidents and threats of global disintegration. When I fall outside of myself again (this tacking back and forth is endless and somehow necessary, a dance of relationship, of titration for a new state of being) I explore the world of the collective unconscious, polarities unleashed in a global dance of frightening proportions.

Stillness calls me to settle inside, into the circle of being that is my body. From there I can view the world, from there I can interact with integrity. The gift of a secure attachment to me, to this body and experience, is profound and freeing. It arises from the silent comfort of home, of being here in this body. And it is new to me! I know few people who live and move from this place.

Imagine if our leaders could embrace stillness long enough for right action to arise. Manipulating and directing what unfolds so it fits the idea of the rational mind for what is “right” is often disconnected from Nature, and more in line with covering up fear, shame and self-hatred. What if action arises from a mind resting in silence? What if we welcomed stillness as our ground and taught this? What if this was the basis for governing our selves and the world?

My biggest letting go in this dance is the rational mind. Maybe it can rise and return to the eye of god, like the sun that emerged brilliant “inside” the clouds yesterday. I can welcome this thinking brain back when it has found its rightful place as a compassionate steward of silence. Through the frightening disintegration of letting go, thinking finds a new way of being human, where my nature as stillness is welcomed, where I am grounded in myself, where essential stillness joins the sentient world.

We are Nature. We deny and move away from this truth endlessly, wanting to be more than nature, more than still selves weaving sensation and awareness into movement. The world is stillness in endless motion. Rising, falling, moving toward and away, stillness is endlessly and effortlessly in motion. This is our world, bodies in endless motion.

Silence is not just for me. The world itself, perhaps the universe, calls us back. Part of a planetary evolution, this pulsing, passionate resting place we call our body wants us home to welcome our true nature, to join Nature and the earth in these next steps. In order for this to happen, the structure, as we know it, cracks open. What has been no longer works. What is to come, none of us can know. It is beyond our capacity in this moment. Even imagining what comes will not reveal its form, for what emerges now is created moment-by-moment, breath-by-breath.

I don’t know the answers. All I know is me and what speaks to me. Each moment I remember to return to stillness, its power grows. I write from that place, closing my eyes and feeling silence as words rise. This is different. The gratitude I feel is immense. If I could share it with you I would. Take a moment, breath and relax. Welcome an empty mind; embrace silence spreading outward into space, joining nature. Take a moment to Be, empty space opening to stillness.

My world has changed. Home is inside. I am not reaching out to another through my eyes, through my heart, endlessly seeking myself in them. I am the sense of myself. I am. That’s it. I am, regardless of what others think and do, I am. And I will continue to be until “I am” transforms into something that “I” at this point won’t recognize. I tasted that recently in meditation and it moved me to tears. The realization of this may be coming on a wave of overwhelm for many in the upcoming years.

New years day I walked the beach, the home beach at Point Hudson on Admiralty Inlet. The light played over the snowy peaks of the Cascades, Needles and the Three Fingers illuminated in the golden glow of late afternoon. They called to me, called to that silent place, oh so beautifully they called. My being trembled, knowing in that moment that all are called! It is not just the Volcanoes, Mount Rainer and Mount Baker, that enter this next rising, where silence enters Being. It is all the mountains; it is all of us that are called to join the mountains unfolding the next steps upon this Earth. Called to being like a mountain, called to resting inside.

I feel it as I type. Tears flow down my cheeks to think that we are called to join the mountains and creatures of the sentient world in embracing silence. Where we stay inside and don’t leave ourselves, where we join mountains. We become strong, fierce and immovable to the winds of change that buffet this world as it transitions from chaos and disintegration to the possibilities of a new way. Where power unfolds itself through us and through the earth we inhabit. We break from frozen traumas that keep us locked in self-hatred, and welcome our true nature. Melting, breaking, leaving behind brokenness as our point of reference, we welcome what lies underneath to guide us on this unfathomable journey home.

Lisa Marks 2017 Sentientbody.com

 

Moving Mountains

Moving Mountains

My partners surround me. Walking the beaches of the Puget Sound, Mount Baker stands before me, while Mount Rainier leans in to my right. Behind are the Olympic Mountains and to the North, the San Juan Islands nestle in their basin, rising from the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

These are my partners on the journey, as are all of you.  I have walked these beaches in the company of mountains for the last 30 years. But this year something changed. The mountains stepped forward, or maybe I stepped in to meet them? I don’t know how the shift occurred but this wild, surreal stepping in has startled me out of my understanding of what is “real”.

The movement of mountains is real! So real I can taste and touch it. I can dive into their presence, into Communion, True Communion, which I have never known with humans, let alone with mountains.  Mountains become earth partners.  And the eagle that just flew by, trilling its call to something beyond view, is an earth partner. They join a larger dance that unfolds without thinking, without goals. This dance, like a movement symphony, is the source of all creation, like the sweet undulations of waves and trees as the wind moves through.

This winter delivered the gift of communion and a connection with my self, which is its core and foundation.  It did not happen easily. In fact, it took the kitchen roof collapsing on a flood of El Nino rains to shake me from the idea of myself as human and enter a global perspective.

The roof collapsing, collapsed my notion of self, opening me to chaos as the normal order evaporated. This event, accompanied by serious health impacts from mold and dust, was more than I could bear.  Energy had to be pulled inward, concentrated on my core and survival. From this I learned that the root of communion is a solid grounding, a deep settling into Self. So deep as to be unflappable, so nothing and no one can pull me out.

Yes, the root of communion is the Self.  Like a tree standing strong in me and mine, I defend my core as truth and beloved, without giving away the essential self for connection or the needs of others.  The call is to come from center, move outward from there.

In this powerful act, I discovered the core of being that I call me is ecstatic! Shock waves ripple through my life as the reality of my passionate, pulsating energy becomes home.  The more I welcome it the more it enters.

My life has been an abandonment of this ecstatic reality for relationship. Over and over, I leave my deep self to be here with you, or there with her, or with all of them. My eyes pull me out of myself and into your world, and this incredible reality that is home is gone.  Shut down for whatever reason, because it is too much for you or for me or for this earth?  It doesn’t matter why it gets put away for another time, maybe another life time, but it gets packed up on a regular basis and  buried beneath the tasks on the to do list. A lifetime of tasks! Creating an image to stand in the world ensures that the river of pulsating energy that is home does not make it into this reality.

Until the roof falls down! In this I discover communion. During a pause in the cleaning and organizing of contractors to repair what had unfolded, I took a walk. I stayed in my space, in my body.  Too exhausted to go out toward others, to glance around and explore, awareness was concentrated within. Fists clenched tightly at my side helped hold the space of me and mine, allowing the essence of Lisa to emerge behind closed doors.

What a gift! I let go of responsibility for you and everything that crossed my path, the trees and houses, the deer grazing on the neighbor’s roses, the cat sitting on the porch rail. And in that moment the trees leaned in to meet me. I understood communion.

Communion is not when we reach out to another, join them in their space, dump the contents of our soul and lose ourselves. Communion is holding so strongly to the self that we are concentrated essence moving through space. From this place we receive the other. We receive what rolls in, trees, clouds, whatever steps in. We don’t leave for another; when we are fully present the other steps in to meets us. Communion is without effort, without giving away essential parts, without losing what is precious.

Practicing holding center, firm boundaries and embodied essence of self, I explore Communion.  On the beaches of the Puget Sound, holding the truth of an ecstatic core moving through space, awareness guides me. What a yummy experience that is!!! Movement calls me into relationship, a cedar swaying, a seagull in flight, even the line of rising waves moving down the beach to crash on shore is communication.  These experiences step into communion with me.

One day, exploring the shores of Admiralty Inlet, I committed to being present 1,000 percent. Standing, fists at my side, I committed 1,000 percent to this ecstatic body on an ecstatic planet. That was when the Mountains stepped in.  We began a communion dance. They rose somehow taller and fuller; their presence filled my vision with shimmering undulations. Truly magic! Mount Baker came alive and Mount Rainer stepped in to meet us.

We are connected, equal partners on a magical journey.  The world will never be the same. Mountains are alive, earth partners in a dance of communion and ecstatic embodiment. This is the symphony of creation that leads our way through dark and light. With the language and gift of embodiment we enter communion with one another and the earth partners waiting to join. Lisa Marks

 

Sentient Body in Santa Fe

IMG_7165The Sentient Body went to Santa Fe!  2 classes at the Santa Fe School of Massage… The  6 hour Practitioners Guide was full and some people took classes both days.  It was a great experience to share this work with Massage Therapists who have a unique understanding and embodiment of the Sentient Body. Conversations and questions were amazing, and the movement experiences profound. Once again the feedback was that this was one of the more powerful classes they have taken and as one person said, “This is a mind bender and changes how I view the world.”

Above is the coyote who came to morning tea in El Dorado, 3 mornings in a row! There were 5 that walked by.  Then up to Lama Mountain for retreat time. IMG_7237

The Earth’s Call

What if the collective field impacts us personally? Carried within us as subtle energy experiences, we find it below the threshold of consciousness. Through sentient awareness, we interact with these energies in a non-local manner; across time and space we join other sentient beings as our personal reality enters the collective. With the capacity to feel the experience of so-called “other” beings within our bodies, the more conscious we are, the more we may find the other, all of the others, within ourselves. Entering sentience deeply, we encounter a fundamental cellular attunement; this is the self-organizing intelligence of matter.

Sentience is a direct path to our personal divine nature; we are not separate from the divine nature of the Earth and the cosmos. We came to this planet to have a physical experience, to be embodied. The gift of the body is its extraordinary capacity to connect with the mass of wiggling, jiggling electrons, the spiritual backdrop to the world of matter. Bodies are exquisitely attuned to the vibrations, frequencies and cycles of the essence level and the Earth. Bringing our experience in bodies into relationship with the mind, we encounter a sacred relationship; the body and mind as equal partners are ingredients for an amazing experience of embodiment. Together, they take us through the crack into the Dreaming world.

We are called here into relationship with the Earth. Repeatedly we talk about the evolution of human consciousness and awareness, but consider this. Maybe the conversation should be more about the Earth’s evolution and consciousness. We are small players in the realms of the Universe and its assortment of galaxies and solar systems; if we look through other eyes we may find that this story is not our own, it is the Earth’s story.

Our presence allows us a spiritual experience, an opportunity and commitment to evolve with the Earth through the personal landscape of our bodies. A living system evoking the sacred within us, the Earth is our partner in consciousness. Conscious evolution calls us to embrace a larger perspective; realizing the relatedness of the seen and unseen realms we experience the reciprocity that exists between them. When we consider that the Earth is a sentient being like us, with connections to infinity allowing a fundamental attunement with everything continuously at a cellular level, we rewrite our definition of ourselves as human beings and of reality.

I feel the Earth calling us, and imagine that each of us embodied in flesh knows her call. Perhaps this could be the moment for the Earth to enter our conversations and our concerns, to assume her rightful place as the center of our world. I deeply hope now is the time. Without this awareness, this honor and connection with our source and our support, we will continue to destroy what makes it possible for us to exist. Consider these words an invitation to open the door to a relationship that could be the most passionate and fulfilling experience you may experience, a relationship with the Earth and her emissary, your body.

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Lisa Marks, Sentient Body, Sentient Earth

I say Yes!

It is time to say yes! Polarities are strong, humanity is almost a caricature of itself. Chaos is present. The Earth is in crisis and we are in crisis. It is time. Time to say yes to love; to love one another, to love ourselves, our soft vulnerable inside selves. It is time to make space for the Body and the Earth, to unfold their truth that is dying to be on this planet.

Sometimes it is too painful to be in a body. When I become numb or obsess on the news and what other people are thinking, feelings have been left behind. My mind takes over, vainly attempting to control the body’s emotional experience which feels out of control and chaotic. Recent experiences have distanced me from myself. They seem to be symptoms of a world on fire, of humanity standing at the edge, looking into an abyss so deep and wide we dare not leap.

The news burns my heart. Black people are shot, killed by police because they are black, and military veterans are shooting policemen. People are blowing up themselves and others across the world, men rape and abuse women and get away with it. Our brothers and sisters in their despair decide that someone has to die, their fellow countrymen, the other religious sect, any other who stands in the way of righteousness.

I stand at Search Bay, holding these thoughts in my mind while my body escapes, dull and leaden beneath the weight of its burdens. Now is the time to go inside and feel. When my body leaves the only door in is movement. It asks to dance the self free, to return to the truth of prayers woven into reality through subtle gesture and feeling.

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So I begin. Music is in the sound of waves and wind as clouds move with me, joined by birds calling in the forest and over the waters. Trees bow gracefully before the elements. Prayer longs for presence, moving through layers of pain to rise into this dense world of matter that prides itself on appearances, and me and mine. Tears and deep anguish surface, riding the tail of hands molding space with their eloquence. Body weaves to the right and rolls to the left while sinking down and rising up as feet caress the ground.

Now the body leads, with each tear shed, with each contraction of grief the body steps into feeling and freedom. It knows somehow that what truly is, is not this painful separateness, this struggle to rise into power that is removed from the greater good. The body knows, what emerges from within is something we cannot contain or control.

We stand at the edge of an awareness revolution. Where the past, our heritage as human beings committed to tribes and survival burns in these fires to become a unity of being, a global unfolding. I can’t tell you what that means, but standing on the shores of Search Bay, a place that called my presence to its wild empty beaches, I know. We are poised to leap…to enter a reality where we know ourselves as one being, an unfolding of unbroken wholeness. Where we will look at the other and see ourselves in an ongoing struggle for love and acceptance.

We will know we are there when we see Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and recognize ourselves. Or we look at the man who drove the truck through the streets of Nice as one who suffers. When I am the black man stopped in traffic by police and then dead and I am the policeman shooting in terror. I am the woman who goes to a party and wakes up raped in a hospital. We are all refugees, whether in a camp in South Sudan without hope or as Syrians driven from their homes and lives.

This is no one’s fault. We endlessly assign blame and hate those who are responsible, which perpetuates the trauma that continues our story of survival against other. We have choices. We can change and experience compassion and feeling for “other”. We can welcome others as ourselves, we can welcome into love.

It is time! The planet is calling through horrors and polarities that lie on top of the chaos we fear as we are asked to open to this bigger picture. Where we are no longer in control , where we learn to follow. Underneath is love, endless unfathomable overwhelming love. It lives inside our bodies, waiting for discovery if we make space to slow down and drop in. This home, this body is intimately connected with the Earth. If we let the body out of its box and into our worlds… if we leave words and communicate through movement and presence, then we might find home together here, embodying love on this planet.

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I stand on the shores of Lake Huron and move. It is beautiful. The body is so relieved to welcome me home. I sink deeply into its truth, for a moment. The body’s truth is amazing; I can barely stay present with its world as it opens doors to what lies behind this dense reality we claim. The intelligence orchestrating all we experience asks me to let go of Self, to become a fluid center, like the waters that roll endlessly in and caress the beach where I stand. This request is so big, so anxiety provoking, so chaotic that I retreat before I can step forward.

To join the larches and birch, cedars and pine, sand hill cranes and bald eagles, the endless chorus of sea gulls diving overhead. How to let go of me and become this? My body knows! Once the layers of pain and burdens of responsibility are shed, it happens. I leave behind a skin so tight that it is killing all that I know.

I become prayer. I join the waters and Earth offering prayers for a planet standing at the edge. We each have to choose whether to burn or leap, it doesn’t really matter what choice we make. Whatever we choose serves unbroken wholeness. It loves and accommodates all.

I choose love. I don’t know how to love as deeply as I am called to. Maybe if I show up, returning again and again to this body, and follow movement into prayer, presence and communion, I can join the revolution at hand. A revolution of awareness and welcome into a reality so large it can’t be held by the mind.

But the body, ah the body! The body rejoices to immerse itself in love, relieved to be included, excited to lead this journey home.

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Lisa Marks July 22nd, 2016

From Paris to Columbia, Beirut to Selma

Today, I hear about the dead in Paris,
innocence at a concert, the soccer game, sitting in local cafes.
Yesterday, I heard about Beirut
and the ones who died at the market.
Last week there were suicide bombings in Iraq.

So many die, as I sit in pine-paneled bars
where TV’s bring stories into our evening
on this remote shore of Lake Huron.
No one notices, and when I express horror
they turn and shrug,
these stories far from the truth of their lives.

Last night I watched the movie Selma,
reminded that those who hate rabidly are here too.
In Columbia, Missouri some have been harassing
black people who share the campus, fellow students.
Instead of teammates rooting together,
they are an “us” and “them”.
Pain arises because policemen
look at young black men
with fear instead of promise,
and kill too often without reason.

My heart cracks on these tears,
wondering if there is no end
to vulnerable and afraid turning hard and hateful.
Helplessness wants to destroy, to kill,
to disappear anything that is “other”
so there will be nothing to defend against.

What is being defended so valiantly,
with bullets and blood, bombs and hatred,
and even they say love, is a mystery to me.
When we sink deeply we find
the same tender pulsing flesh,
always vulnerable to death
and the end of this thing we call “I”.

This is where equality begins!
We are born together into a slow march
or a quick run to our deaths.
We all belong to this dance on a planet,
some of us denied hope for futures and basic rights
while others stand upon our shoulders
pretending to keep this common end at bay.

But really we all love.
Even when it sours into hatred,
the seed begins with love.

Today, I want to welcome all.
The hard hatreds grown from seeds planted in despair,
the hopelessness of ones who have no future,
others who blame and can’t step through the door
that opens hearts to the wonder of flesh
pulsing with breath and blood.

This too is me on this planet!
I am every person who stands here,
all born to plant our seeds,
shallow or deep, in hope or despair.

Today, there is no other.
No hatred inside for the ones who are privileged
or the ones who kill in their hunger
for power in a chaotic world.

This dance between us is power full,
cracking the box that holds us tight,
a world locked in definitions of
dark and light, us and them, hatred and love.
There is no you without me, no light without dark,
no love without hatred.
There is no either/or.

The future is both/and.
Each of us called to step forward, to open our hearts
to each “other” as our own.
These words are what I offer
to the pain, to the horror,
to the incredible joy and privilege
of being human,
this gift of love.

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Lisa Marks
11/13/2015

A New Mexico Welcome

IMG_5410Many thanks to the friends and community in New Mexico who welcomed the Sentient Body work! Reconnecting with old friends and beloved landscapes during this time was a gift, both in Taos and Santa Fe.

Ann-Marie McKelvey, founder and director of the Mindfulness Coaching School interviewed me during the Monthly Monday Mindfulness coaching call which was a rich dialogue with folks around the country. What a treat to fluidly explore this work during a teleconference, complete with demo! Thank you Ann-Marie for facilitating such a delightful exchange.  And for encouraging people to join the workshop in Taos!

Cathy Black and the Santa Fe School of Massage sponsored the “Practitioners Guide to the Sentient Body”, a 6 hour CEU workshop in Taos at TaoSatva. There was an amazing group of Massage and Mental Health Practitioners gathered there!  The comfort and explorations of this group as we worked with the Sentient Body was a powerful experience. Our conversations brought forward some of the challenges that we experience trying to incorporate the subtle vague messages that the Sentient world delivers to awareness into our work. We returned, both personally and professionally, to the sweetness and importance of opening to these messages as gifts for ourselves and our clients. The role of awareness as a healing modality of it’s own was acknowledged repeatedly.

The feedback from participants included requests for more!  TaoSatva is a beautiful and welcoming space to gather and I look forward to returning there at some point in the future.

The day closed with a sunset walk at the Rio Grande Gorge to gift what unfolded back to the Earth and the Sentient World. I am excited to return to New Mexico for more classes and community.

With gratitude and love, Lisa Marks

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Port Townsend Sentient Body Series Thank You!

IMG_0930Spanning the full moon to the new moon, we gathered for 3 classes to explore the Sentient Body and it’s connection to the dreaming  happening all the time.  Following the threads unraveled how Essence level sentient flirts and flickering signals enter Dreamland to appear in fantasies, daydreams, intuitions, symptoms, night dreams and relationship issues.  And when we miss necessary energies, they can surprise us with events in Consensus Reality!  Perhaps these things happening to us, whether in our bodies or the dreaming or our daily lives, can be gifts from the underlying intelligence calling us closer to our soul’s path? As co-creators, we get to chart our course, and the Sentient world makes sure it serves our greatest good and the worlds.

This amazing series started on Good Friday, the full moon and lunar eclipse, often called a blood moon, and ended with the new moon 2 weeks later. The body is powerful and I was surprised, as always, at the wisdom and integrity of the body to deliver its message.  Participants reported strong experiences listening to this companion that is connected with the dreaming universe.  The body delivered guidance and support over and over.  Admittedly some of what it “said” is still to be understood since we are learning its language!

Thank you to the participants who explored this material together, adding their thoughts and experiences to the development of the Sentient Body work.  I look forward to more classes!  Watch for classes in September, including an “Introduction to the Sentient Body Class” in Port Townsend and Eugene,  and a 3 class 1.5 hour evening series in Port Townsend on “Creating a Sentient Body Practice.”  Also, in December I hope to share a new class “Exploring our Mythic Path through the Sentient Body.” Hope to see you soon!

Lisa Marks

Fighting for the Sentient Body

This weeks Introduction to the Sentient Body was again an amazing class.  Honored to explore this work with people from Port Townsend, Portland, Eugene and Ecuador; bodies and what unfolds from  following them touched me deeply.  Feedback from participants spoke to the power and transformation following this level of communion.

I was reminded later of the Sentient Body’s amazing capacity to connect non-locally and be the seed from which events unfold. In class I shared the fighter in me that I lost when I was 12 years old.  A 16 year old boy broke my nose as I tried to protect my younger brother from being dunked underwater. The boy punched me, shattering nose and cheekbone, sending me to the hospital for a week.  I pushed away the fighting part of my self then, losing my voice and ability to protect what was dear, and have only recently recovered this fierce aspect. We laughed as I shared my fighter and its commitment to protect the sentient world.  But I wasn’t laughing later when I returned home.

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Cats are the most languid sentient animals I know.  Whenever I work on the Sentient Body material I dream of cats.  And we share our homes with cats! In Port Townsend, Boots, a couch surfing homeless cat often comes for food and a cuddle.  Sometimes she stays for days or just an evening.  Lately she has remained with another neighbor because of a coyote problem in our small town of houses on 50×100 foot lots.   We worry for her crossing the street. Coyotes travel regularly up and down our road looking for a meal for themselves and the pups in their dens.

I returned home from class to a message that Boots had gone missing.  Calling her name, I walked the neighborhood  and did not find her.  I left the window open so she could come in if she needed to. When I returned an hour later she was not there.  But 2 big coyotes were casually strolling up the street.  I was mad! Imagining them just finishing a Boots meal, I ran at them yelling, “git, get out of here, git” for about 3 blocks.  They were not intimidated, and would come back toward me when I stopped so I kept running and yelling until they disappeared into the night. That fighter was strongly engaged, defending beloved Sentient beings.

The phone was flashing a blinking red light when I entered, and there was the neighbor’s message that Boots was asleep on her bed.  The sentient world delivered a consensus reality opportunity to exercise my fighter in the world and anchor the strength of my commitment.  I was and am willing to stand strong and fight for the precious underpinnings of reality that we discover through subtle, vague experiences we normally overlook.  I am committed to the body and it’s ability to surf the background night sky, bringing this message into the world of matter.  And to Boots!  And the coyotes…

Lisa Marks 3/10/15

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Dancing with the Dead

Dancing with the Dead

Olympic Mountains strong to the West,
Cascades anchor the East.
We walk the sliver of sand
separating ocean waters from humanity
leaning into a backbone of rock and soil.

The lama I have never met joins;
task at hand so large requires
the wisdom of ones who have passed.
This can’t be done any other way,
but to merge forces with the unseen.

As I write, I am accompanied
by mother, father, aunts and uncles,
beloved teachers gone before.

The client yesterday shared
the dead in her living room
as she danced her way to ecstasy.
In Warsaw my friends uncover
wounds long past, so healing continues,
recalling the dead from unloved graves.

Once again, in the light of day,
we find the touch of each other
as we turn to face
rivers of rock reflecting sunlight.

Mountains circle, holding in their embrace
this town, its beauty and tragedy
a well sung Aria.

The dead dance in our circle
with gifts of understanding,
support for the rivers of light
flowing through us.

Not just you and me!
But each one of us,
standing upon soil, rock and bone,
across a planet purging horrors
in exchange for spaciousness and
a different way.

Lisa Marks 5/2/14