East Flew West

I had forgotten about my father’s statues.  They were in the basement in a box.  I didn’t know what to do with them, so that’s where they ended up.  One day last week, Melissa was cleaning and rearranging the house while I was at work.  When I got home, she had created a Buddhist shrine with these lost statues.

There are 6 of them.  They’re about eight inches tall.  They’re carved of wood and stained a dark cherry color.  Each one is a different character.  One is a man holding two buckets, each suspended from and end of a staff he holds on his shoulders.  One is a man carrying a large grassy pack on his head.  One is a crouching woman grabbing a rice plant in her left hand, her right hand now missing the scythe that is racing down to cut the grain.  One is an old man with a beard and a large hat, sitting.  One is a man holding a huge pack on his back.  The last one is a seated Buddha.

I never heard the story of how and why my father purchased these statues.  He bought them in a market from a local artisan and sent them home to his mother from Korea in 1973.  About 30 years later, my grandmother gave them back to Norman.  When he died, my mother gave them to me.  One day not that long before he died, I asked him about them.  He was a very stoic man, at least to me, so when he spoke, I listened.

We were sitting in the living room of the old house.  The television was loud, a western.  I was just visiting, watching westerns with him.  I remember now it was Petticoat Junction.  What was the fascination with the westerns?  I thought it must’ve been some comfort zone from his childhood.  I got into them with him, and smelled the dust of the tavern.  The thick whiskey smell mixed with horse manure and gunpowder.  We watched a few episodes and then I tried to talk to him.  I had to ease into it.

As long as I can remember, I thought my father knew something I needed to know.  I was very inquisitive with him, even as an adult.  I thought he possessed some arcane spiritual knowledge that had made him quiet and I wanted to know what it was.

I asked him about the statues and he got the faraway look in his eyes.

“I’ll do you one better.  Check this out. ”

He was actually a little exited about whatever he was about to unfold.  His bright blue eyes flashed.

“When I was in Korea, we were forever doing ftx.  Field Training Exercises.  We were always scouting out the countryside.  It was beautiful, Joshua.  All the rice fields and mountains and old gnarled up trees.”

“And the people.  They looked just like those statues, working out in those fields and in the villages.  I mean, they were poor, dirt poor.  But there was something special about them.  They just seemed really happy, especially the poorest ones.”

“There were Buddhist shrines everywhere.  I mean, they were into it.  I remember once, we were out on ftx in the mountains, way up there.  We were walking on a cliff dirt path.  It was really narrow, and off to the right was a deep canyon.  It was scary shit.  And we were carrying our rucksacks full of gear. ”

“But I remember, we kept going on this path and I looked up.  There was this huge, huge, huge Buddha statue, carved right into the side of this mountain.  It had a real weird feel to it.  The whole area was just quiet. Do you know what I’m talking about?”

I don’t know what I said.  I thought this might be one of those moments I was waiting for, but I didn’t know what I was missing.  Something, though, from the look in his eyes.  I did know what he was talking about, but I didn’t know what he wanted to hear or what to say.  he seemed hurt and I thought he might be mad for being dumb enough to open up to me.  We watched another western in silence then it was time to leave.  I gave him a hug, and told him I loved him.

Wherever you are Dad:  Thank you.  I miss you.  I love you.

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We have a Plan to Save the World

The first inkling of a Crystaliscious Occupation

Our Facebook “Word Cartoon”

Melissa Mogan

‎*feck Arab Spring!…it’s a Crystalisclious Spring……who’s in?

Joshua Crawford

We will find a way to distribute quartz crystals to the hands of protestors throughout the occupied cities around the world…

Melissa Mogan

do you think they would be considered ‘weapons’?

Joshua Crawford

this a peaceful and most beneficent merciful occupation Melissa! haven’t you heard?

Melissa Mogan

huh?

Joshua Crawford

we are asking for quartz crystals…the distribution efforts will move forward as planned…

Melissa Mogan

be afraid……be very afraid….

Joshua Crawford

rose quartz and dioptase for occupied libya!

Melissa Mogan

I”ll donate some libyan dessert glass to a few of the protestors…

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Like A Mourning Dove, Egypt Part Two

Islam played a few more songs, all in Arabic.  I remember “Habibi, Habibi,” because he showed me how to play it.  The guitar music sounded Spanish to me.  Once the lyrics commenced however, there was no doubt to it’s Arab-ness.  I liked “Habibi” though, it was easy to play and remember.  It was catchy.  It was a hit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqQZ8FM-YH0

I had no clue how to play any American hit songs.  I played the old folk/plantation song “Freight Train” over and over.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdO-KWjTgPA&feature=related

A Hasidic Jew in Israel had taught me how to play the song about a week prior to this excursion.  The girl who had supplied the muffins starting singing along with this song but she had substituted her own lyrics:  ”Sitting on the Balcony…”  for “When I die Lord, bury me deep.”  She was not much of a lyricist, however.  That’s as far as she went with it.  Maybe the real lyrics were too morbid for her.

She was on vacation, after all.  Her name was Hilda.  She was there with a boy named Bjorn.  They had been here for three days already, and were familiar with the territory.  They were both extremely pale.  She had the weirdest eyes I’ve ever seen. They were blue, and when she moved them, you could see the blue shift around.  It was liquid, jiggling around in there.  She told me that I’m one of the few people who have ever noticed it.  Unbelievable.

They were going to see the Whirling Dervishes.  The Sufi Dancers.  After a few more songs, muffins, and cups of tea (that would later contribute to a case of diarreaha) we headed in that direction.  It was a whole new world traveling with people who knew where they were going.  It’s like my eyes opened up.  The sun was setting and all the people looked beautiful.  They were now enjoying themselves, selling their chickens and petting their goats.  There were wrinkled up elderly women selling beans laid out on a scarf in front of them.  They were smiling.

There was a long line of people to see this show.  We waited in that line for twenty minutes.  It was an extremely crowded auditorium.  The line had grown behind us and people were still filing in.  There were musical instruments set up all over the stage and the men in colorful dresses and hats walking around offstage.  These were the Sufis.

There were also women, each dressed in ornate belly-dancer outfits.  The had tinkling silver bracelets and anklets on as well.  The show began with drummers and picolo players.  The music had a driving rhythm with the hand drums.  There was a hard beat that skipped a measure.  The picolo floated just over those drums.  They gradually introduced more instruments.  Then there was the mournful Koranic verses sung in a male voice off stage.

The center of the stage was taken by the spinning Sufi Dancer.  It was unbelievable.  He just kept going.  The whole time I kept wondering when he was going to fall over.  Not only did he not fall over, his faced looked like he was in an ecstatic trance.  Just like the brochure!

Eventually, there were three of them onstage twirling together.  The belly dancers jiggled their anklets and played the finger-cymbals, dancing circles around the Dervishes.  The Dervishes had circular quilts they lifted up over their heads and flung out to people backstage through centrifugal force.  Their aim was perfect.  Everything was.  This was quite a show.

At the end of it, my head was buzzing.  All that dancing and music had really charged it up in the auditorium.  The music hadn’t been very loud.  There was no electronic amplification.  But my ears were ringing and vibrating.  I was impressed.  I wanted to meet a Sufi dancer face to face.  The Norweigans didn’t want me to.  Dumb Americans.

Once we got outside I saw one of them.  He was backstage, smoking a cigarette.

“Sir, that was incredible.  One of the highlights of my life…”

I reached out to shake his hand, and something weird happened.  I reached around with my other hand to grab his in both of mine.  He yanked his hand away and looked shocked.

“Thank you,” he said, his eyes returning to their brooding and original stance.  He glazed over, sucked down a little more of his cigarette and put his hands together.  As he did this, he bowed.

He said “Thank you,” again, in a way that led me to believe that he didn’t know English.  Or didn’t want to know it.  He made his exit.  The Norweigans weren’t mad.  They were laid back.  But I was worried about Bjorn.  He treated me differently after that.  He knew I was just another dumb American after that.  ”Fat, Loud, and Stupid:” this was our reputation.  I only met two of those; I was also loud.

We went out to eat, Bjorn, Hilda, and I.  On the way back, we stopped by a restaurant Bjorn was specifically looking for.  They talked in their nonsensical Norweigan as they navigated the directions.  They were directional geniuses.  I admire that trait more than most, because I’m kind of a flop in that department.  I tend to just wander around until something happens.

He ordered a plate full of doves.  I said I wasn’t hungry.  I was concerned about parasites.  I read in the “Let’s Go” to Cairo travel book to be wary.  But they both made fun of me, and for the rest of the “over-sanitary, germophobic americans,” I bit the head off of one of Bjorns doves.  I hesitated at first.  It looked like it had flown into a flash fire.  Or like it had almost escaped a nuclear blast.  It looked like a dove-shaped charcoal.  Bjorn got paler after I did that.  I did too.  Those doves were poison and I knew it.

Later he got extremely ill.  I got pretty sick too.  I did not go out the next day, but took trips from the balcony to the disgusting bathroom to my baricks.  Bjorn stayed in bed.  Those damn Doves.

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Viva Las Cairo, Egypt part one.

The plane touched down in the Cairo airport.  I really hadn’t thought this out.  I had looked at a tourist book and all I could remember was the Sufi Dancers, the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and don’t let the cab drivers at the airport overcharge you.  I got out and was intimidated.  There were Egyptians everywhere!  I thought I felt out of place during puberty.  This was outrageous.   I showed my American passport at the airport security.  The man looked at the document, then looked at me, and then examined the document again.  He said something in Arabic and motioned with his head, over his right shoulder.

The guard said, “Come with me.”  He was not happy, nor did he speak English.  We did not speak during our trip to the office.  We navigated long coridors.  I thought I was in trouble.  We arrived.  The man behind the desk was wearing a shirt and tie. He said,

“Please, sit down.”

This was meant to put me at ease.  It did not.

“What is the purpose of your trip to Egypt?”

“Tourism, Sir.  I want to see the pyramids.”

“How long will you be staying in Egypt?”

I answered, “Two weeks, Sir.”

“Do you know where you will be staying?”

“In a hostel in Cairo.  I was hoping the taxi driver could help me find a place.”

“Well Mr. Crawford, not everyone in Egypt speaks English.  You may incur some difficulty in finding suitable lodging without an idea of where you’ll be staying.”

He handed me a brochure and made a few calls.  He circled three different hostels and recommended one.  It was named the Sultan Hostel.  The guard walked me back through the long scary hallways to the security desk.  I had to dump my bag, which I was used to.  In Israel, I had to dump out all my belongings to go into shopping malls.  I learned to travel very light.

I finally made it to the cabs and flagged one down.  He kept saying, “Where to?  Where to?,” and I kept telling him Sultan Hostel.  But he did not understand me.  We got all the way to an  extremely congested, smoggy area.  I opened the door.  He pitched a fit.  He told me how much it was.  About twenty seven dollars.  I paid him and grabbed my big heavy bags and guitar and stepped out into a war zone.

I almost couldn’t breathe the smog was so thick.  There were people everywhere, most were dressed in the Islamic garb:  the men wore dresses (gallibeas) and the women were well covered.  Some had the all black with slits for the eyes.  That really intimidated me.  There were some women dressed in western clothes, and even some very revealing outfits.  There were plenty of men dressed in western attire as well.

I was dumbstruck, and felt stupid.  It was late afternoon, and I had no clue where I was going.  Also, I was quite a spectacle.  I was getting a lot of attention.  I had to act.  I couldn’t believe I had two weeks here.  I felt suffocated by what I smelled and what I saw.  It seemed dirty and mean, and I had to rely on somebody to get me to the Sultan Hostel.  Then I had two weeks.

I walked the streets, averting my eyes from what looked like menacing stares from all directions.  I walked in and out of department stores when finally someone led me to a hotel.  They were booked, he said.  The clerk summoned a malnourished looking boy to take me to the Sultan Hostel.  He said,

“Follow me.”

This boy led me through the streets of Cairo.  There were seas of cars and smog and angry-looking Egyptians.  I relied on this boy.  He was, for the moment, my only hope of salvation.  I already had a plan.  I was so shocked at what I had landed in that I was going to get my room and stay in there for the whole two weeks.  I would venture out for food only.  And bottled water.

This boy actually led me to the right place!  We walked past a bazaar.  There were carcasses hanging, shopkeepers and everybody else yelling, and this placid little boy with dirt on his face.  When I saw the words painted on the side of the building: “Sultan Hostel,” my eyes welled up with tears.  I gave the boy a big bill.  As I did, I said:

“You just don’t know what this means to me.”  I looked straight into his eyes and he said,

“Okay?”

I said, “I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this.”  He said again,

“Okay!”

He didn’t speak English and I knew it but I had to express my gratitude.  I don’t think he cared but when it registered to him the size of the bill I had laid in his hand he asked for more.  I turned toward the stairwell and he got angry, saying Arabic things I couldn’t understand.  I walked, faster and faster.  Past the chicken coops and the pig pens and the incredible-smelling bakery finally to the stairwell.

There was an elevator crashed at the bottom of this starwell, full of trash.  I walked past it, past the point of caring, up the stairs.  As I ascended the stairs, there were open doors.  I could see into people’s living quarters.  People were having dinner.  They looked Egyptian, sitting on a couch having dinner.  There were two women and a man.  They were watching T.V. and didn’t even notice me.  The food was again unbelievable, and I knew for a fact I was hungry.

There were 6 flights of stairs until I reached my destination.  There were bars over the door.  To the right of that barred door was an index card that was taped heavily that read, in English and Arabic:

“Please ring door bell for service.”

I was sitting on the  couch, checking in with the man named Aswan? and paid for the whole two weeks.  Another man who looked much younger started telling me about the tours to the desert, where they found some kind of special desert rock that was worth a lot of money.  His name was Islam and he was very cordial.       He showed me to my room which was very sparse.  The walls were white painted brikko block.  There were four army cots, each against a wall.  There were little dressers for each bed.  It had a definite “army barricks” feel.  I put my bags under the cot.  He said,

“Bring the guitar.”

He showed me the bathroom, which smelled like dirty creekwater.  He showed me the kitchen.  He lit a gas burner, showing me how to turn it on.  We then walked out to the balcony, which overlooked the bakery.  Someone was hoisting up a five gallon bucket on a rope and when it arrived, there were muffins in it.  I almost jumped at them.

Islam introduced me to the crowd.  I sat down for a minute.  He wanted to play my guitar.  I handed it to him.  He was pretty good, playing some Arabic songs on there and singing about

“Habbibi habbibibi ya noor yalein…”

Which was some kind of popular love song of the day.

“Ya Saken Khayali….”

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snake oil to standards – lets do this sh&%

I am currently looking to put together a ‘web-ring’ of crystal healers. I decided a few weeks ago that this would be a good project for the winter, it would be something to focus on inside and it would also give us and all of our clients a new resource that we could all access. The struggle over the parameters of how to determine who is on that page has been much greater then I could have imagined when the project was originally thought up.
Through conversations with Joshua and a few others, I knew that there had to be some kind of requirement of education, however there are thousands of self proclaimed crystal healers out there, ( I wasn’t aware of that until I started doing research for this project), many of who have created their own ‘brand’ of class. I fall into that category as well. I have created my own classes, based on my own research and others. How do we determine what is beneficial and what isn’t? Who is there to judge? Who is there to even say any of us are qualified? There are no regulations on this type of madlaity at this time.
I came across a blog in my research,

http://recursed.blogspot.com/2006/05/debunking-crystal-healing.html

Very interesting reading, this gentleman is really ‘knocking’ the practice of crystal healing. He has many valid points, as do some of the commenters. I commented as well, probably not what you think I commented though.
You see, something that has always bothered me in the metaphysical industry is the lack of standards. Every idea, theory, invention or new way of doing things gets sunk into this category when it cannot be explained by double blind testing, whether because the theory isn’t a viable one or whether the politics of the moment can’t get the funding together to actually do a study that would be accepted within the realms of the allopathic community.
This creates a very ‘muddy’ field when one is trying to push theories into the next step. It is very difficult to determine who is spouting what in this industry and where it comes from! Are we trying to come at ‘healing’ from a scientific view, or from a spiritual view? Is this an art or a science? Is the information that we are basing our theories on, someone elses fantastic unprovable theories ( the Big BangTheory….).
I come from a long period of training in an industry where no one could sneeze unless they were certified to do so. I have seen people literally die, with 8 people standing around watching while waiting on the person certified to use the paddles to get there, we all knew how to use them – but we weren’t about to put our liscenses on the line!
I left that and went into an industry that brought health and wellness to all industries, so I had the opportunity to have a real experience with many different and unique industries. One thing that I noticed is that most of those industries had standards. Those standards were set by those that made up the field. That was facinating to me! In allopathic healthcare the standards are set by the goverment, another entity outside of that industry. But most industries had the majority of control of their own standards, and it was based on consumer interest.
This led me to do some reading, journaling, and research. Why would an industry bow to another industry in having it’s standards set? Well, what I found out is it didn’t, it was forced upon the allopathic healthcare industry. Who forced it? the goverment. Why? Insurance. ahhhhhh….. so we have lived through corporate takeovers, that was an industrial takeover. Impressive huh?
So what all this makes me be a firm believer in is this, we have to have standards as an industry, if we don’t set them then someone else will. I think that if we set them, we will retain more integrity within the industry, I think we will remain to be more in control of how we are able to practice if we take the first step and start looking at bring this industry together with standards.
As I was researching these subjects, the information is all over the board, with very talented and intelligent people getting lost in a sea of ‘snake oil sellers’. I want to take the next step in this industry, I want to see this industry be accepted within the mainstream. That would require that we live up to the standards of expectation by the mainstream. One of those expectations is industry standards, these will open the door into the mainstream like nothing else has for this industry in the past.
After all of this research, I made some decisions on the parameters of the Crystal Healer Web-Ring. There must be some dedication by this practitioner to move the industry forward. If someone just has a crystal healing practice that is not enough, I want a ring of people that are making a difference in the industry in a positive manner, assisting everyone with their own practice.
My thanks to Jeffery, I believe that he and his blog will offer us several challenges that we will need to meet as an industry. I believe that listening to our top critics will show us where to start. I am ready to move this industry into the 21st century ( Crystalisciously of course!). Are you coming with me?
- Melissa

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Junior Varsity

When I was 13, my father got deployed to Korea. Usually that is a lone assignment for a U.S. Army soldier, but because of his rank, we all got to go. It was a land of many strange sights, sounds and smells that we’ll experience together somewhere else. This story is about something another topic: It is the story of how I learned to hate basketball.
I have two brothers. I’m the oldest and still the tallest, but not the most coordinated. They were always better than me in basketball. We spent endless hours playing in the courts at the apartment house down the street. That was back when we lived in Aurora, Colorado, and were occupying a lot of our time with committing small time misdemenors. Reasoning it out, it may have been my parents who strongly encouraged our basketball playing. Maybe in an attempt to keep us out of trouble.
I was never very co-ordinated or fast, but I was tall. That got me chosen in the pick up games. I could shoot a decent three-pointer, but I really belonged posted up near the basket on defense, blocking the sun.
My brothers were fast and co-ordinated and good. They weren’t short, they were just eleven. They were also something I never have been. Competitive. I liked to play, but I didn’t care who won or lost. Or who was better at basketball.
We landed in Taegu, Korea and as a thirteen year-old there was a lot of trouble for me to get into. I had my first beer at a Korean club. The people I was running with had some kind of ties to the Korean Mafia, or at least their parents did. They were the progeny of American Soldiers and Korean Citizens. I guess I was in with a rough crowd. It got so bad my father wouldn’t let me out of the house.
I was not interested in trying out for the basketball team. Baseball was my sport anyway. I was more cerebral and less athletic. My brothers were trying out for the team my father told me I should try out too. I told him I didn’t want to.
So there we were at the tryouts, in the locker room putting up our stuff. They separated us right away into height groups. My group was very small. Koreans are not known for their heighth. My brothers were in the group with all the other shorties and I snickered at them. I felt special to be in the exclusive tall group. My brothers looked dejected.
The name of our school was Taegu American School. I made friends so easily there. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. It was as if they said, “Hey, we know you’re a weirdo. We understand. We are too.” I had never lived on the Army base before. I didn’t even know I was an Army brat.
The basketball team was not like that. The candidates and the coaches were all out for blood. It was very militaristic, and I was not ready for that.
We probably did about 10,000 push-ups each practice. I remember running down the court on my rubbery duck-walked-to-death legs and then someone passed the ball to me. It was coming straight at my head. I tried to raise my arms but they had become lead weights. I almost got my hands up to my shoulders when the basketball struck me right in the eye.
It knocked my contact out and gave me a shiner. And I couldn’t move my arms. I was not allowed to sit out the rest of the practice. Even in my impaired state, they made me play. My contact wass stuck in the northwestern corner of my eye. My whole body was immovable jelly. And I didn’t even know what they were talking about with their positions and drills .
My brothers, on the other hand, were wiz kids. They often looked as though they had been born with a basketball in their hands. Their excellence was fueled by their hatred for eachother, born out of Leonine sibling rivalry. They were gooooood. And full of the perfect, hot blooded jealous rage. I just wanted to get out of there and find some real trouble. When that first practice was over, I celebrated. It was the happiest moment of my life. I just knew I was never going back there again.
When we got home, my brothers were exited and fighting with eachother about who was better and who would make the team. My father enjoyed seeing their competiveness and sporting spirit. It was the stuff dreams are made of. And as for me, I was pitiful. I told him I couldn’t go back.
“They’re trying to kill me, Dad! I can’t even move my arms.”
He laughed with deep satisfaction.
He assured me I would be going back. And I would probably make the team. I went back, as did my brothers. The tryouts were over a three day period. It never got any better for me. I was gangly. I tripped over my own feet. I was uncoordinated and lazy. My brothers were sleek and fast and ON THEIR GAME. But here’s a twist for you: after a three day tryout, I made the team. My brothers didn’t. I think they cried. I did too. I have always wondered how it happened.
As I write this, I believe Command Sergeant Major Crawford, my father, called the school and talked to just the right person who could make it happen. The Joshua problem was solved. I travelled with the team on a bus to Seoul and other places. I even played a little bit. It was miserable. When the season was over, I was grounded again. You wouldn’t have pegged me for a basketball player huh?

-Joshua

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Our Trip To Atlanta

This was my second trip to see Esther Hicks; it was Melissa’s first. We drove down to Atlanta Friday evening and stopped by Phoenix and Dragons. This is the infamous store where Melissa bought her first Vishwavajra (Double Dorje). P & D had assumed mythic proportions years ago to me as a result of Melissa’s often said juicy rendition:
“I walked into a dusty back room where one bare lightbulb hung from a wire in the ceiling…and there, under a pile of random trinkets, lay my dorje…”
That is a Geminian exaggeration of the actual story, but suffice to say, I was anxious to see what all the hubub was about. I can say this much: I found my Shamantabudhri statue. For a reasonable price. Enough said, right?
Just kidding. There was a lot to this store. They had a very eclectic mix of metaphysical items, with an emphasis on stones and eastern mysticism. I was into it. We actually thought of something later we meant to buy but didn’t. I called them monday and that item was shipped to our house on Tuesday. Awesome store.
After our jaunt at Phoenix and Dragons we arrived at our hotel. It was late. We were both tired and hungry. We got room service and it was excellent. The lady who brought our food was strong but pitiful. We tipped her well, as she smartly claimed to be working alone and she was extremely pleasant. I thought later that she may have been lying. Melissa said: “What if all the other waitresses are attending to Abraham?” Her answer was more Abrahamean, so we went with that. And went straight to sleep.
The Abraham show had the place in an uproar. There were little pug dogs everywhere, leftovers from a pug dog convention. There was notably a woman who carried a fine pug dog oil painting on the elevator. I pointed it out to Melissa as I admired it, but she would not laugh. Abraham even worked in a comment about someone “hiding 300 little dogs…” Melissa and I belly laughed for hours about that.
Melissa and I had different experiences at Abraham. During the first part of the show, we were both overcome with emotion. My emotion was of being in the presence of greatness or even holiness…it was how I felt in the presence of a certain Indian Holy Mother Avatar…which I remembered later was a disempowering structural belief. But hanging with Abraham allowed me to wallow in that reverence for a little while. It was bittersweet, not unlike most Coldplay songs.
Melissa was also emotional, primarily from anticipation. And she got to ask her question-it was about her daughter. She believed Abraham would clarify a situation she’s been working on. But Abraham couldn’t or wouldn’t do that. It was strange. We both felt as if her question had been dodged…but after the show was over, and during the breaks, things got stranger.
People kept coming up to Melissa, crying, thanking her for asking her question and telling her how much Abraham’s answer had helped them. There were more than a dozen of them…We’re still a little baffled.
On the way back home we stopped by the Tulles Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. It was formerly the Weiman Mineral Museum, which was another hot spot I had heard a lot about from Melissa. We spent 4 hours with our mouths wide open, amazed at the mineralogical specimens in the gift shop and museum. I got a Rosacite, which is supposed to be supportive of mantra work. Melissa got a specimen of Selenite with Azurite growing right on it. Within the museum, there were ultra high grade stones from meteorites to fluorescent black lit stones to cathedrals you can drive a car through. I really liked the gold nugget case especially. Melissa thought the Dioptase collection was notable. Everything was. If you’re ever down that way…

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An Empowerment

I once attended a Vajrasattva Empowerment at the Nashville Padmasambha Buddhist Center. It was officiated by two authentic Lamas, the Royal Khenpos. These lamas were with the Dalai Lama when he escaped Tibet in 1959. The members of the Sangha (community) had erected a tent in their back yard, flanked by fig trees and prayer flags.
Vajrasattva is the primordial Buddha, the embodiment of mirrorlike awareness. He is often called upon to purify one’s vision and body. At the time, I had never heard of Vajrasattva. Vajra is the dorje, the lightning flash of insight that liberates one’s mind from all hindering identification. Identification with the things in one’s environment and the constructs of one’s mind is the reason for suffering, according to Vajrasattva. Sattva means pure and clean.
There was something eerily familiar about the proceedings from the very start. I kept hearing the original version of the Joni Mitchell song “Woodstock.” The part that kept repeating itself was: “We are stardust, we are golden, caught in the devil’s bargain…and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden…” As I got out of the car and headed for the door to the packed temple house, a man with a New York accent started talking to me about his new farm. He was an enthusiast of the South American Ayuhuasca ritual, and was cultivating the two necessary plants to induce the trip that many purport brings colorful and insightful visions. He was discussing the brain chemistry involved: there’s one vine that has all the active constituents, but it won’t work without the other plant with just the right MAO inhibitor to help the chemicals make it to just the right brain receptor. I asked him if he was on an Ayuhuasca trip right now and he denied it.
There was a small woman, probably about four and a half feet tall, with bright silver hair. She looked extremely familiar to me. There was a distance and detachment behind her smile that reminded me of an alien somehow. As we talked, I thought about it over and over, rolling it around. Why does she remind me of an alien? Finally, as she was telling me about something called “mother and child luminosity,” which I was extremely interested in, when the realization hit. She reminded me of Yoda from Star Wars.
The luminosities are lights that are seen in meditation. The child is the light a human can see, and the mother is the ocean of awareness from which that meditative light proceeds. And that, she said, is what this evening’s session is all about. She then trailed off, distant, and in her own universe. Though we were still in line together: she, I, and the Ayuhuasca farmer, we had all become distracted, which was a bad thing in Buddhism. There were the familiar low growls of the Khenpos reciting mantras while they twirled their Mr. Miagi drums. Those are the small handheld drums with a bead on either side. They were spinning them just right, in perfect rhythm with their chanting. The line was shrinking and we all made it to our seats.
There were about a hundred people packed into this tent. It was filled with the yak dungish smell of their therapeutic Tibetan incense. I was sitting in the front, when the older lama asked for his crystal. One of the sangha members went to his room and retrieved his small quartz stone. He placed it into a brass bowl which was filled with sand. It was at the very center of the ritual. The Khenpos started singing louder and louder, inviting in the proper thought forms and eradicating the superfluous ones. The music reached it’s peak, with the drums, bells, and the mantras, then tapered off. There was a silence then that washed over the crowd. It felt like the bells were still ringing in my ears. Everyone was now in a deep and spontaneous meditative state.
The older Khenpo broke the silence with something in Tibetan, while the younger one translated for him. They were recanting how the meditation would work.
They would be performing a recitation of the ancient text and ceremony that would empower us do do our own Vajrasattva meditation. Each time we did it, they said, we would take tremendous strides towards reaching the ultimate goal of spiritual liberation. This is because the insight gained in meditation would begin to permeate our everyday reality, and we would start to see through the everyday tribulations and find the clean light awareness in them. They spoke often of wisdom and compassion, and that Vajrasattva could teach us both, according to our capacity.
The instructions:
Close your eyes. See a thousand petaled lotus over your head. The lotus is crystal clear and made of light. See rainbow light emanating from each petal, out into the world and the universe. See the Vajrasattva buddha meditating as he sits on the lotus. He, too, is made of light, and emanating the pure clean buddha light in all directions.
Then they started singing. First it was slow, then the song picked up speed until it suddenly stopped. In the midst of that loud silence again, I saw what they wanted me to see. With my eyes closed I saw the buddha on top of my head emanating light, out into infinite space. The light is electric blue, like a halogen streetlamp. They left us there for a while.
Then more instruction:
Now the buddha light will enter into your head, permeating your entire body. Allow this light to fill up your entire body, all the way down to your feet. As it reaches your feet, see all impurities being washed out of the soles. They said to see it as black, tarry residue, scorpions, spiders, and poisons, all leaving through your feet because of the pure, clean clear light Vajrasattva is emanating. We meditated on that for a while. They chanted the mantra: “OM Vajrasattwa Hung, OM Vajrasattwa Hung…over and over. I watched the tar leave my feet. Really.
At this point in the meditation, we were to visualize a dorje made of crystal clear light. The dorje floats in front of your heart, emanating light. See the dorje entering your heart, becoming one with it. Now the dorje emanates light, along with your own heart, out into the universe. The light is clean and clear, with the spectrum of rainbow colors emanating along with it. Now we were to understand that that dorje’s light and our own essence are the same thing. For the benefit of all sentient beings, let the compassionate clear light of our own presence fill the body. Then the city. Then the whole state, country, continent, and the world. See the light engulfing the world with compassion and understanding. Once the world has been filled and is emanating this light, let the light expand out into the universe, into infinite space…
Somehow, all of this visualization was perfectly clear. It was as if it was on a movie screen. They left us in that state for a while then someone struck a bell. The chanting started. There was a strong sound of thunder, then it began to rain. They chanted the hundred syllable mantra of Vajrasattva, and some other words from the text, which they had memorized long ago. Then the ceremony was over, and we were all empowered to perform Vajrasattva meditation and mantra sadhana. The “empowerment” comes from the experience. It’s extremely difficult to show someone what an apple tastes like if they have never tried one. However, once you’ve had a bite of an apple, it’s all very clear. That’s what the Tibetans mean when they use the word empowerment.

Vishvavajra

-Joshua

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See the best, Get the Best

There are many stops along the road for those who wish to make improvements in their lives. Mine have included reiki attunements, mantra work, begging the universe for answers, and even going to foreign lands to find them. Looking to all those people, places and vibrations has always left me empty handed. It was exceedingly disappointing to see that Israel did not hold the key to my enlightenment. That Henry Windfeldt, the Danish Clairvoyant, had just enough talent to be dangerous. That all those people who were sure they had been biblical holy men in former lives were crazy. I began to look within for my answers within. I was starting to see that fufillment of any lasting kind was not going to come from an exterior quest.
Along the way, I spent time and money with energy healers. One told me I had cords from past lives when I was kept in a dungeon for treason. I became dependant on him to fix the problem. After a few months pay and increasing pushiness I finally realized I had been had. I swore off all energy workers, knowing that I would have to do it for myself.
So that’s what I got. I cleaned up my act and if I wasn’t at work, I was at home meditating in some way or another. I would sit in meditation in front of a buddha statue. I would jog four miles while I said mantras. I blissed myself out on an extremely “pure” and sterile lifestyle. It was so good, so positive. Why did I still feel empty inside?
I had met Melissa along the way. She sold stones and I was told she had the stone I needed. That stone was a crystal double dorje. When I walked into her store and began talking to her, I had an old hope revived. I thought, this woman can help me. I didn’t know what I wanted help with, however. Except that I felt all alone no matter where I was or what I was doing. When we started talking, I got it. Melissa was different. There was no judgement. It didn’t matter what I had going on to her. She didn’t see sadness or confusion. She didn’t see my pitiful attempts to protect myself from the psychic onslaught of life. She saw me the way I wanted to be: whole, sane, enlightened.
And I’m telling you I felt like a kid at Christmas morning every time I talked to her. It didn’t take any convincing for me to lie down on her table. And when I did, I started to get it…unless I started to see the best in myself and others, I would make no progress. In Melissa’s world, everyone has value. She claims that her entire life, she has always looked for the good in people. She talked about the importance of picking up compassion and ditching regret. She talked as if she was someone on the other side of all that struggle. She showed me a Joshua that was over there too.
Yes, I have experimented with the most powerful spiritual methods from Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and et-cetera, but the heighth of spirituality has been the practical ease of my experience before, during, and after getting on Melissa’s table.

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Reader or creator?

Many of you know that I have offered crystal readings for a long time. Before that time I also offered tarot readings as well. My interest in people and the energy they brought with them has always been a large part of my life.
The real dichotomy came to me after being introduced to the law of attraction. As I was doing readings I would get a sense of what that person was attracting, that is how I was doing readings all those years. So if the law of Attraction says where your thoughts are that is where your life is, wasn’t I doing a real dis-service to my clients by pointing out what I thought was the energy they were putting out? Could I have possibly ‘projected’ some of these ‘predicitions’, and caused them to happen through the law of attraction? Could my focus on their problem assist in making that bigger for them?
Well, I put down the cards for awhile. I really felt that I had no business helping ‘create’ anyone elses reality, I had enough trouble with mine!
As I contniued through my days without my cards, I started to notice that stones would start giving me impressions of people that I was around, and my interest had to be peaked again! After being shown by Vivien Shapira how to do a ‘Crystal Board Reading’, I decided that it might be fun to try this out for a bit.
I ran into the exact same obstacles as I would do my readings, ( Doesn’t Abraham say ‘you take yourself with you’). Was my focus on the biggest problems in their life causing these problems to continue to grow? I spent many evenings and many conversations coming to my personal philosophy of how I do my readings. They can only be done from the place of source – the vortex thing that Esther is always squaking about. When a reading us done when I am in this state of mind, I don’t see any problems, only the solution is visible. It takes 2 mindsets sometimes – the one with the question and the one with the answer.
So those of you who know me can see the look on my face when I sent out a silly little typo to my entire client base. This typo claimed that I was now doing 10.00 phone readings. Much like bulding the website, it was time for tutorials. However there are no tutorials on how to do the most positive reading possible ( except that the one I am in progress on), so time to suck it up and walk the talk.
It was a month that kept me riding high! The very thing that scared me, was the very thing that people needed to hear. They needed to hear what they were putting out that was causing them to get what they are getting. Many times this is something we just can’t see for ourselves, no matter how ‘psychic’ we are. By identifying where you are energetically we are able to determine where you want to be energetically, I have seen this to be very beneficial process for individuals, couples, or business managers to go through, becaise it brings clarity about where one is going, instead of where we are. These readings have turned into conversation with the stones chiming in about what we should talk about and then the answers just start rolling in. Often times in a very round about way, that we later see was instrumental in coming to our conclusions.
I really love doing readings now, the thrill of the solution is more addictive then the adrenalin of the problem, I am hooked! Every time I have the opportunity to perform a reading for someone, I know that we will both grow in the moments we share. I am fortunate enough to be able to experience all of the shifts and changes that my clients go through and I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of life and all living things.
~ Melissa

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