visions and dreaming of a Toltec Nagual

Posts tagged “Attention

The Sabre-Toothed Tiger of Intent

The Sabre-toothed tiger, for the seers of ancient Mexico, embodies the passion of the warrior-traveller-the navigator in the sea of awareness. The sabre-tooth roamed from the valley of Mexico all the way along the western coast and into southern and central California, the areas from which the magical passes originate. We may think of the sabre-tooth as a creature from another time, a museum piece; and from our linear perspective, this is true. In the view of the seers of don Juan’s lineage, however, the other time of the Sabre-tooth is not the past, but another layer of awareness. They propose that perhaps, in terms of energetic facts, it would be more accurate to say that we are caught in the museum case, and the Sabre-tooth is roaming free, moving from dream to dream. We can adopt the fluid dreaming ability of the Sabre-tooth by practising the magical passes of the form known as the Sabre-toothed Tiger of Intent.The intent of the Sabre-tooth, according to seers, is to dream-to move its assemblage point. This means it embodies pure perception, and fluid, alert action. In adopting the Sabre-tooth’s deep full breathing, we enter new areas of breath, which for seers means new areas of perception. Engaging the muscles in the area of the pelvis and the diaphragm in every motion and breath, as the Sabre-tooth does, can help us to cultivate the guts of steel needed for navigating. The rippling motion of the Sabre-tooth’s shoulders as it walks and moves renders its assemblage point fluid. Its assemblage point doesn’t stay fixed behind the shoulder blades, as with human beings; it moves, giving the Sabre-tooth, and practitioners of its form the possibility of perennially new perceptions.

Practising the Sabre-tooth form can move us out of the static position of contemporary man-slouching in front of a computer screen in an airless room, or hunched over a cell phone-into a more vast and open state of awareness. It can allow us to see our prey-our own habits and routines-on the horizon, and to tear them down, so that we might roam onward to face new challenges, new dreams. Magical Passes: The Sabre-tooth builds its powerful stance: Its palms slide down the fronts of the thighs, over the feet and to the ground with an exhalation. The head is down. The Sabre-tooth pants, squeezing all the muscles of the stomach with each exhalation. It leans forward with an inhalation, putting its weight on its front paws. It leans backward with an exhalation, shifting its weight to its back paws. It inhales, pulling its claws along the ground and up its back paws to its ankles, pausing there to exhale fully. The head is down It inhales again, pulling its claws to its knees, pausing to exhale once more. Its knees remain bent. Its hind legs are firmly on the ground. It inhales again and straightens, rippling its assemblage point. As it straightens, it pulls its claws up the thighs to the waist, straightening the knees only slightly, and bending them again as an exhalation is made, and the bent claws are momentarily opened. The Sabre-tooth’s vision is clear, and its hearing is keen.

It is ready for action…

The pelvis is held straight, tilting neither forward nor backward, so that energy flows through the area of the midsection to the upper body, rather than stopping at the hips. Its stance firmly established, the Sabre-tooth begins to move very silently. It inhales, clawing at the sides of the body, gripping the ground with its paws. It exhales and claws in front of its body, moving slowly from the waist.
The hips remain forward It inhales, clawing one more time. It advances, the opposite arm and leg moving at once. It flexes its claws with fast strokes. It slashes suddenly to the left. (SOUND), stunning its prey. With a quick strike, it turns again. (SOUND) Its claws sweep slowly across the view of the horizon. (SOUND) Then quickly, in short energetic strokes. (SOUNDS) The body turns on. The Sabre-tooth pants, (PANTING) squeezing the entire torso with each exhalation. It claws, (SOUNDS) and pushes the hind legs forward one at a time. (SOUNDS) It claws again (SOUNDS), and strikes with its back legs (SOUNDS). It pauses, then leaps in the opposite direction. It steps forward very fast and retreats [QUICK FORWARD/BACK].

Leaning on its back leg, it curls its paws for a moment, preparing to strike. It advances and strikes. (SOUND) It leans in, seizes its prey, and balanced by the enormous strength of its legs, flings the prey behind it. (SOUND) The Sabre-tooth turns without hesitation, to face another prey. It jumps back, fully alert The Sabre-tooth runs and leaps, grabbing its prey and bringing it down. (SOUND) It steps back. (SOUND) (SOUND) and breathes deeply, crouching quietly in the shadows. It reaches high and claws downward, as its prey takes its last breath. (SOUND)


“The old sorcerers saw that at the moment of death, the dark sea of awareness sucked in, so to speak, through the assemblage point, the awareness of living creatures. They also saw that the dark sea of awareness had a moment’s, let’s say, hesitation when it was faced with sorcerers who had done a recounting of their lives. Unbeknown to them, some had done it so thoroughly that the dark sea of awareness took their awareness in the form of their life experiences, but didn’t touch their life force. Sorcerers had found out a gigantic truth about the forces of the universe: ‘the dark sea of awareness wants only our life experiences, not our life force’.”

The recapitulation is a review of our lives. Among other things, the recapitulation is a technique used to regain energy and awareness and to remove the turmoil caused by interactions with other people. As has been mentioned in Journey to Ixtlan, the thoughts of others can keep us pinned down and affect our lives. The sorcerers claim that every interaction we have with people is an exchange of energy. They say that we leave energy imprints on those we interact with and that foreign energy from those interactions is also left in us. The more emotional the situation the more energy you have lost/left in the situation and in the other person. If you think of the feeling I think all of us are familiar with, of being drained of energy after an argument, or after talking at length with particular people, you can see how this is a verifiable energy loss.

Those sorcerers also say that we only have a few ways of reacting to things that occur in our lives – much less than we might imagine. But we are fooled into thinking that we have a vast and complex repertoire of actions, reactions and thoughts. Yet we merely repeat the same things over and over in different situations for our entire lives.

The recapitulation can break this cycle by allowing us a pause. It allows us to see the way we act from an observers standpoint. That pause can benefit us by giving us the time to change the way we react and not just react in our preset accustomed way. And if our reactions to people and the world around us are changed, our perception of the world is also changed. Our reality is not as real as we thought. And new possibilities appear as if by magic. But there is also another more engulfing reason for the recapitulation.

Sorcerers say that a perfect and complete review of our lives will give us the ultimate freedom – freedom from death. But it doesn’t mean we will still be on this earth and in our human form. At death, all our memories and feelings are consumed by the eagle. There is no escape…. under normal circumstances.

But there is a possibility. Those seers discovered that the eagle/the dark sea of awareness or whatever you want to call it, will accept a perfect replica of our lives in place of our actual lives – The recapitulation. A review of our lives. A perfect replica of every experience and feeling we have had since the moment of birth, given freely to the universe is what is required. Seems like a tough ask. How can we possibly have enough time to remember/review our entire lives? – while still having new experiences to also review, before death takes us. It seems impossible. But those sorcerers say that “Intensity” is the answer. When a warrior/sorcerer has accumulated enough energy and awareness and has honed his recapitulation skills sufficiently, he can review/remember in large chunks – Intensity.

In a recapitulation, we see the same patterns in our lives, repeating themselves over and over. ie. many of them could be seen in the category of Concern for the self. They vary enough to seem different, but anger, sadness, fear, angst, deserving of better, blame, jealousy, greed, etc.. are a concern for the self – aspects of self-importance. The recapitulation is designed to free us from our self. Our flyer’s mind.

Before beginning a recapitulation, it is recommended that you make a list. A list of all the people you have met/interacted with since you were born. The list in itself seems like a monumental task. How can we remember everything? Well, we probably can’t – at least not at first. So the list contains all that we do remember. When we have our list of every person we can possibly remember. We start at the top of the list, working backwards, from the last person we interacted with, to our first memories of interactions with people. It is also recommended to first begin with our sexual interactions, before moving onto the chronological order of our list. They say that sexual interactions are the place where we have lost vital energy. And that recovering that vital sexual energy, gives us the power to proceed with the rest of the recapitulation in a more efficient way.

However, it is not absolutely necessary to do things in this specific order. They say that what matters is to start. So starting with any memory will do. It is my understanding that the very act of beginning a recapitulation will bring the necessary energy to fine tune the way in which we go about it – as we go.

The technique for the recapitulation is called “the magical breath” or “the sweeping breath”

Find a nice quiet and comfortable place to sit, like your bed and sit cross-legged with your back against the wall or bed head. Summon a mental picture of the person and the conversation/interaction you have chosen to review from your list. If there are many, pick one and try to remember all the details of what you said and what the other person said and how it made you feel at the time. The idea is to pull back the precious energy you have left in the interaction and to expel or return the foreign energy that has been left in you by the other person. The intent is that this review, your life experiences, are a gift to the spirit/the universe – infinity.

While sitting comfortably and preferably in a dark or dimly lit room, turn your head to the far right and slowly breath in as your head very slowly moves all the way to your left shoulder. Then slowly breath out while moving your head, again slowly, to the right shoulder. While doing this you are trying to feel that with each breath you are breathing your energy back in and when exhaling, expelling the other persons energy and returning it to them, where it belongs. The more detailed your memories are as you proceed, the more effective it is. Every sentence that was uttered and every feeling that was felt are what you are recapitulating. The breathing in can be done through the mouth or nose but the breathing out is best done through the mouth, like you are very gently blowing out the candles on a birthday cake – as your head moves from your left shoulder to your right. When you have remembered and breathed all you can for a particular scene – do one more left/right movement of your head without breathing and then return your head to be facing straight ahead – and relax. Then move on to the next memory and do the same thing again. You may find that it takes quite a few breaths for reliving just one conversation but that’s as it should be. I believe that the more you do this, the more proficient you become at it.

Quitting the Internal Dialogue

We remember in distinctly different ways. One is with the inventory of the mind our memory. And the other energetically with the whole being.The internal dialogue is said to be the description of the world. The subjective re-enactment of the objective world internalized in our heads (so to speak). One talks to oneself about everything that is ‘done’ in the world (or in connection with ourselves) and this produces an inventory of doing which creates and sustains our reality – our description. This inventory produces our routine and habit – things come round to where you need them again. The internal dialogue is characterized by routine circular thinking. All too often we are dictated to by our thoughts.

Well there is a way to drop anything we want from this inventory at any time, like smoking for instance. One cigarette at a time is the prescribed method for stopping smoking. You take a strategically placed break, skip one from your usual routine, which is said to be an effective method. Normally we are informed by the senses (of the need to smoke) the mind subsequently informs the body to deal with the matter by acting in a specific way. But instead of reaching for a cigarette we occupy our selves with something else in order to stop the craving. In this instance we place a break in the habituation. Which allows us to change our thought processes and to hold off from the associated practice ‘You don’t have the cigarette and you don’t think about it and instead do something else’.

There is a direct correlation between the thoughts we think and the behavior we involve ourselves in. The whole of our lives are run like this. The habituated “I need a cigarette” or “I need to eat now”. In all these instances we are recalling with our minds the learnt behavior. Our senses inform our subconscious thinking that we need, want, or desire something. Our conscious mind is then informed and we think we know. The mind tricking us into believing that it sparked the thought in the first place.

This is the internal dialogue – the mind is the trickster.

Human beings are also capable of remembering energetically, the body remembers. All these memories are in the form of stored/locked up energy.

Every activity or encounter you have by necessity means an exchange of energy, with a person, or with the world (you smoke a cigarette, you ingest its chemicals or you take on it energy so to speak).

So it is with all personal interactions – you gain, lose or trade energy.

These energetic encounters influence our thinking and our being.

Well stopping the internal dialogue is allowing the body to remember. Cutting the thought process is allowing ourselves to become aware. However we achieve this, we are enabling ourselves to free up this energy and to become aligned with our true selves, cutting out the middle man. Becoming aware of the true state of affairs – we no longer need to be informed or inform because we just know and are in control of our behavior.

This is why in generally it is a better an approach in giving up things like smoking, to not try forgetting with the head or even consciously trying to will yourself to give up. But rather to allow the body to be remember how to ‘not-do’ the activity. In this the energy is released and diverted elsewhere.

with the specific example of smoking, the craving we feel is induced by oxygen being cut off from the brain. This only lasts for three minutes. If we can divert our attention elsewhere for this period of time, then the craving will dissipate. Allow us to skip the cigarette and for that period of time not to smoke. In this we take control of our addiction.

This can be repeated and expanded upon until we are no longer smoking.

The main thing to know is to avoid anxiety situations as this is what causes us to crack and reach for the cigarettes again.

The Gaps between the sounds of the World

I had a pivotal experience many years ago of seeing the gaps between the sounds of the world. I was driving to my home town which I was moving back to. I had been reading Castaneda for sometime, and during the drive I was contemplating, whether I was to going to continue following this path that had recently been opened up to me.

When I was not too far from where I was going, I suddenly had the feeling that I should not go straight back home but should instead turn off. It felt like an omen and I didn’t feel as if I could ignore it. This was partly because I almost didn’t want to reach my destination undecided. I got to a slip road and pulled off and ended up at a place where I parked up to stretch my legs.

I had been practising listening to the gaps between the sounds of a world for a while. And I thought this for some reason this was a good opportunity to try. I sat on the bonnet of my car and listened intently. This was a quiet area near a huge suspension bridge. There was just the sounds of the distant cars on the road behind me and the lapping of the waves on the water near by. There I sat and listened to the world. The more I listened the more I could hear the blank areas between the sounds. These gaps opened up and became incredibly clear. The break in the continuity was obvious. The listening started to blur my perception of the world. The gaps themselves became more defined than the sounds. I started to feel a vibration in my ears; something like a silent alarm being triggered. Then I saw wisps of light begin to appear in the night sky. These formed into eight golden rings of light suspended sequentially in the air in front of me….like enormous rings of smoke.

These shapes seemed like a representation of the gaps I had been experiencing – like some sort of physical manifestation. I was unable to maintain the attention needed for distinguishing the gaps; the scene hung there for a moment then disappeared. I felt a calm and returned to my car to continue on my journey. I was now decided on my course of action.

It is obvious to me now that this is a powerful ‘Not-doing’, the activity Don Juan prescribed to Carlos Castaneda for ‘Stopping the world’.  In specific this is the ‘Not-doing’ of ‘listening’. Not-doing is defined as the counter point to things we know well in the world – the ‘Doing’ of the world. In order to ‘Stop the world’ which is to end the description of the world, one must cease ‘Doing’. Stopping the internal dialogue is the means to end this description and the activity of ‘Not-doing’ is the way to achieve it. The most obvious example of ‘Not-doing’ is shadows as compared to the solid objects that creates them, they are that which is unfamiliar to us and unnoticed. Also the twilight is the ‘not-doing’ of the day so to speak. ‘Seeing’ is described as the ‘Not-doing’ of looking, ‘dreaming’ the ‘Not-doing’ of Sleeping and so on…

Quotes from “Journey to Ixtlan”

“The world is the world because you know the doing involved in making it so,” – Don Juan Matus

“Once you know what it is like to stop the world you realize there is a reason for it. You see, one of the arts of the warrior is to collapse the world for a specific reason and then restore it again in order to keep on living.” – Don Juan Matus

When one focuses so intently on the gaps created by the silences between sounds – One is unable to maintain the attention needed to continue with the internal dialogue. The world as such collapses and the description of the world is suspended, enabling the participant to ‘see’ the energetic nature of the world.

Excerpt from “A Separate Reality” by Carlos Castaneda

“(Don Juan said)…that I should focus all my attention on listening to sounds and do my best to find the holes between the sounds… I began to listen and I could distinguish the whistling of birds, the wind rustling the leaves, the buzzing of insects… I was immersed in a strange world of sound, as I had never been in my life… After a moment of attentive listening I thought I understood don Juan’s recommendation to watch for the holes between the sounds. The pattern of noises had spaces in between sounds!… the timing of each sound was a unit in the overall pattern… Thus the spaces or pauses in between sounds were, if I paid attention to them, holes in a structure…

“I shifted my attention from hearing to looking… The silhouette of the hills was arranged in such a way that from the place where I was looking there seemed to be a hole on the side of one of the hills… a space between two hills… It was as if the hole I was looking at was the ‘hole’ in the sound… Then the other sounds began again and their structure of pauses became an extraordinary, almost visual perception. I began seeing the sounds as they created patterns and then all those patterns became superimposed on the environment… I was not looking or hearing as I was accustomed to doing. I was doing something which was entirely different but combined features of both…my attention was focused on the large hole in the hills. I felt I was hearing it and at the same time looking at it.”