Sunset over 2016

sunset_gili

Contemplating the setting sun of 2016 from a little island in the Indian Ocean I am moved to gratitude for the many blessings, both personal and business, that flowed to us this year.

Thanks to all who attended our courses, most of which were full.  Thanks to everyone who read my books: this means so much to me, to be able to share the knowledge and the practices that have changed my life for the better.

Thanks too for the challenges: especially the fire that rendered our workspace unusable for three months in our busiest time, that made us appreciate the space when restored, and to our host Monika at Kentish Town Studio who sorted out the insurance, and to Sasha Hollis and her dad Mike who came to the rescue by providing alternative space at Carlton Primary School.

Thanks, long life and good health to my teachers and inspiration, Master Mantak Chia and Dr Richard Bandler.

Above all, thanks to my beloved partner Anamarta who shares love, life, and work with me.

I look forward to 2017 when the trickster Monkey makes way for the show-off Rooster!

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Mantak and me – Part 13

June 1993 When I left Pattaya after the Fusion week I had been training with Mantak for over a year and pretty much decided that was the way I wanted to go.  It wasn’t just the learning: he seemed to have such a deep store of wisdom, such a kind and witty way of putting it across, combined with a degree of patience, and tolerance I could only envy.  But he was human too, as we shall learn.

The question in my mind at the time was, could I make my living teaching the Tao?  As it turned out, I got lucky.

Planning to go to the instructor training in Poughkeepsie, I needed practice.  Far too many delicious distractions living on Leela beach, so I took myself up the jungle-clad mountain to a little hut overlooking Sunrise Bay.  A friendly snake occupied the palm-thatched roof – sometimes we would get home at the same time and I would see him slither into a sliver of bamboo.  Other neighbors some distance up the path were human, for which I was truly thankful when struck down with dengue fever: they carried me down the mountain, installed me in luxury in Bayshore, and had an orgy in the bathroom.  Too weak to join in, I was nevertheless motivated to recover.

Teaching shiatsu on the beach and attending Tai Chi at Heart of the Dragon, I found a rich source of students and playmates.  With enough practice to feel confident about attempting instructor certification I once again headed for the USA.  There I met The Weasel.  You will hear more about this creature in the future and how he attempted to bring down the Master, but for now I’m taking a break.

Season’s Greetings!  See you next year, Roosters!

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A Prayer for Me

What is in my Heart, let it be clean;

In my head, let it be clear;

In my Body, let it be pure;

In my Spirit, let it be free;

In my Life, let it be open;

In this moment, let it be!

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Mantak and Me – Part 12

8th February 2013  Back in Pattaya, spending our days learning about raising the sexual energy and our nights practicing.  No sex in class, to the disappointment of some and the relief of others, led to such a charged atmosphere it was surprising the whole place did not erupt in a mushroom shaped cloud of ecstasy.  I confess to being among the disappointed.  A perfunctory rub on the front of the trousers when Mantak instructed us to stimulate the energy was no substitute for some good stiff solo cultivation, and ‘imagining gods and goddesses making love’ a poor replacement for remembering the Cuban of the night before or anticipating the Swiss Miss of the night to come.

I had returned to Pattaya via the magical island of Koh Pha Ngan, where a trio of Israelis, two Catalans and Kerry, followers of a tantalisingly tempting tantric cult, had initiated me into the art of sexual ecstasy.  I later learned their Laden-lookalike leader was referred to by HH the DL as a ‘tantric fraud’ (a teeny bit of celibate envy perhaps?) but did freshly-divorced me care, when the table was new-laid for pleasure and I was getting laid on it? No no no noooo!  They were intrigued by Mantak’s stuff and I was very happy to trade initiations.

After Pattaya I returned to the Island with two of my friends excited at the prospect of plundering so many rich niches.  Mr Electric travelled with twentyseven pairs of socks and difficulty sustaining relationships due to his practice, at the point of no return, of adopting the Embracing the Tree posture to recycle his ejaculation leaving the squeeze of the moment both mystified and frustrated.  White Tiger ate crab every day and went on to teach a version of Mantak’s practice that gave his students headaches.  We all need a happy ending from time to time, including – oops, sorry, no gossip!  Not just yet, anyway.

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Next Time – Got Lucky 13

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Mantak and Me – Part 11

Winter 1992/Spring 1993 Back in London it didn’t take me long to realise that wanderlust or just lust had taken me a long way and I wanted to get back, but not to the dreary life in pursuit of profit I had left a year before.  I wanted to get back to Mantak and Maneewan, learn more secrets, make more friends, have more fun.  The marriage I thought I was returning to was over and the next one hadn’t started.

After a few frantic months camping on a friend’s sofa – incidentally and accidentally doing away with their pet hamster who stretched his neck over the edge of the cigar-box just as its lid snapped shut – running about as if my hair were on fire  selling my remaining turquoise, my boat and everything that might hold me back from newly-planned career as wandering Taoist to stroll through life supremely at leisure, with a lewd interlude in Amsterdam watching my basqued-and-suspendered tulip-plucker watch herself at solo cultivation in the looking-glass, and buying an identical hamster for my friend, I bought another round-the-world ticket and headed back to Pattaya.

Mantak was telling the Story of the Secret.  He heard of a Taoist master who kept a rare secret but would divulge it for the right price, being US$10,000 – including a month board and lodging at the Master’s apartment in a Hong Kong high-rise. Must be a very big secret! A few days into the visit Mantak asked when would the secret be revealed. ‘Tomorrow.’  And tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow. On the day he was due to fly home, he was given the secret.  It was one he had already learned, from another ‘Master.’

Would you like to know a secret?  Click here!

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Happy Birthday to Me Me Me

Yes, last week I passed the 76 mark – someone even thought I was born in 76!  So well done Me, for keeping myself alive and relatively well preserved since conception on or about Valentine’s Day 1940: a pure Golden Dragon, born and conceived in the same year.

And what prompts this splurge of self-glorification?  A quote on Faecbook, no less, from the man who was UK Prime Minister for the first few years of my life:

‘When you’re twenty you care what people think about you.  When you’re forty you stop caring what they think about you.  And when you’re sixty you realise nobody was thinking about you in the first place.’ Winston Churchill.

So let me reassure you, and me, that over 200 facebook friends, 190 of whom I have never met, thought about me on my birthday.  Thank you.  And to the remaining 1,750 friends, I thought about you, although I’ve never met you either.  Thought collectively, that is, not individually.

So, let us now get on with the business of life today, remembering and celebrating Judas Maccabaeus recapturing Jerusalem, the Mayflower Compact signed by Pilgrims, Napoleon Bonaparte’s promotion to General, China banning the opium trade, and Thomas Edison announcing his new invention – the phonograph.

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Mantak and Me – Part 10

Pathwork Center August 1992  Mantak did gather interesting people – myself included, having at the age of 51 dropped my career, dispossessed myself of a property portfolio and all belongings apart from a few clothes, a narrowboat and a Moto Guzzi, picked up my rucksack and set off round the world making the most of the mid-life crisis.

Almost falling in love with astonishingly beautiful Marie S, a philosophy professor who, having decided six years before to have children, chose a lover she could be sure would leave her alone after the event, gave birth to a girl and a boy a year apart, saw no doctor or obstetrician, went to no classes, bore each child at home, in the squatting position with only a friend present in case anything went wrong. She cut the cord when it stopped pulsing, which was about an hour. She allows the children to eat what they like and sleep when they want for as long as they want, and taught them at home until they said they wanted to go to school (they’re 4 and 5 now) to be with other kids. From their photographs they look healthy and extremely beautiful. How unusual for someone to take their beliefs all the way!

I learn that actually everyone is interesting once you get past the BS!  But there does seem to be a lot of it about. Sitting at the back of the class with my friend Richard R, scion of a family whose business was supplying wine to royal households, who had dropped out to photograph animals and later found Gene Keys after an encounter with a man in a cave, we listen to the questions Mantak so patiently answers and come to the conclusion that they all have but one meaning: do you love me?!

We’re going into the third week, the second of Chi Nei Tsang and I’m getting more familiar with the politics of the Taoist Court.  A burly guy, big bushy beard, dark glasses and baseball cap, voice like a high-pitched chainsaw, talks in the third person, seems to have influence. Turns out a power broker who helps me with my own coup ten years later.

Meanwhile people are starting to head out, Michael M to Florida to open a scuba school, Gary to somewhere his pendant hovered over on a map of the US, me to New York and a dancer in Harlem.

Before I go, a last deal at Pathworks, trading a few pieces of my fake turquoise – yes, I told them what it was – at the Pathwork Gift Shop for $40 cash and $135 gifts to take home.  Thanks, Mantak – I took your advice and followed the money!

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For what’s happening in the Tao right now – click and find out!

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