Sunday, December 05, 2010

Visions of the Sixth Chakra

The Sixth, or brow, Chakra. The 'third eye'. Located at the forehead, just above the place where the eyebrows meet. Related to the eyes, the brain, the pineal gland.

This is the place where visions are formed---our vision of ourselves and of the world around us. These 'pictures' that we have created can influence everything we do, feel, and are--they are the results of the beliefs that we carry around, beliefs that may have been formed when we were children or even before. It is the place of dreams and perceptions.

In my experience teaching classes in energy work, there are some people who seem to be natural clairvoyants--a French word for 'clear seers'. They form pictures in their mind, and can often see the energy of other people in pictures that are formed in their mind. When they come to class, they are frequently just looking for validation for something that they already know how to do.

The other group of people do not consider themselves 'clairvoyant' and don't have a third eye that fills up readily with all kinds of images, but they would like to be.

It has been my experience, that with training, this second group can learn to 'see' with their third eye. But it is frequently a long process. And the second group often has other intuitive gifts--clairsentients who sense rather than see the energy of others, massage therapists whose hands 'just know' where to go, etc.

In some traditions, when 'psychic powers' arise as a result of intensive meditation, it is said to be best to just ignore them. There is wisdom in this--the risk of seeing oneself as 'more special' than others because of intuitive gifts, the risk of losing sight of the ultimate goal of spiritual enlightenment or balanced awareness in the pursuit of 'psychic superpowers'.

I am one of those people who have always had a constant stream of images running like a movie on the screen of my 'third eye' and remember how shocked I was to realize that not everybody has this.

For people with a highly developed sixth chakra, the challenge is usually in grounding these visions in a practical or creative way. Visionaries who don't find a path to the manifestation of their visions can sometimes find themselves feeling like marginalized misfits, dreamers who have nowhere to share their gifts. On an energetic level, the task is to balance and clear the energy in the lower chakras so that the magnificent visions of these people can be actualized.

Cultivating a stronger relationship to earth, body and/or creativity is a good place to start. So, paradoxically, in order for a highly developed sixth chakra to be truly effective, it is the lower chakras that need to be healed.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Speaking True: The Fifth Chakra

Our world and daily lives often require many voices of us; the voice we use at work, the voice we use with our friends and family, the voice we use with ourselves.

If we are clear and balanced, we will be able to speak authentically to ourselves and to others. That's what he fifth chakra, the throat or communication chakra is about. When it is out of balance or blocked, we feel stifled with our communication with ourselves and others, we are not speaking our truth. This can lead either to choked silence and a voice within ourselves that never gets heard, or, on the other extreme, to endless chattering to fill the scary truths that might emerge from a few moments of silence. Listening is as much a part of the fifth chakra as speaking, something that is not often mentioned.

Throat and thyroid problems are often linked to imbalances in fifth chakra energy. In my own life, I have looked at how my thyroid health might relate to the health of my fifth chakra and my abilities to articulate my truth. As a writer, teacher and communicator, my entire life has 'pointed to' the fifth chakra as the one that holds both the most challenges and the most treasures--so it's also not surprising that in my coaching and energy healing practice I have tended to attract and work with people with 'fifth chakra issues'.

Questions that arose in the class: What do you need to say to yourself? What do you need to say to others?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Healing the Heart

This past week's chakra in the class I am teaching has been the heart.

This old organ, overused, underused,
misunderstood, misplaced, mistaken, shaken
strong, not strong enough, still
and always
in the center
steady in listening
to its own
music, tha-rum, tha-rum, tha-rum.

Last week's class felt simple and subtle. One person shifted from trying to do what she thought she should be doing to what her heart already knew how to do.

Issues that arose: Who and what do we love? Who and what are we ready to forgive?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Power of the Third Chakra

Moving on up, we have arrived this week at the third chakra in the chakra course I am teaching.

The third chakra is located at the solar plexus.

This is the 'energy pump' for the rest of the energy body, as well as the place where we experience our individual power. Power is a word that is rife with connotation, some good, some bad, but if we think of the power of the third chakra in a more neutral way, like the power provided by a lightbulb in a dark room, or the power of an engine in a car, we can detach a bit from the 'ego' part of power and still allow ourselves to appreciate our own uniqueness, individuality and the ability to manifest that in the world.

Here is my favorite quote, from Marianne Williamson, about manifesting our own power:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Leonard Breger, Harry Cohen and the Question of Art

We all know that most art is questionable.

So in my latest video of my artist friend Leonard Breger, Leonard and his friend Harry Cohen have some fun making art and asking important art questions. There is also music by Beethoven, a glimpse of Laurel and Hardy, and some sexy legs on San Francisco's Bernal Hill.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Second Chakra: The Passion of Orange

Last week was an orange week. First the flickering orange of Halloween pumpkin light decorating the steps and windows of city buildings, then the Giants winning the World Series and the streets of downtown San Francisco erupting in crowds of fans wearing the orange and black colors of the team, and of course the burnt and brilliant oranges and golds of autumn warming the autumn sky. ( And autumn IS warm in San Francisco--it's our Indian Summer.)

Orange is also the traditional color of the second chakra, which was our focus in the last class. Someone asked me yesterday how the chakras got associated with certain colors. I have no idea. To me it just seems to be a logical progression--the denser lower chakras are associated with the denser, warmer colors and the higher,lighter chakras with the cooler blues and purples. One person I read has an interesting theory about the colors moving from the hot red lava of the center of the earth (first chakra) out through the warm orange and yellow of the second and third to the green of the grass growing on the earth's surface on to the blues and indigos and purples of the sky.

Whatever its origin, orange seems an appropriate color for this chakra having to do with creativity, sexual relationship and emotion. It is traditionally where we hold and express our passion, as well as any conflicts or obstacles associated with areas of our life that we are passionate about. The class, appropriately enough, felt lighter and warmer and more playful than the very grounded first chakra class last week.

Naturally, we all reflected on successes and obstacles associated with our own creativity and to creating meaningful and appropriate relationships. I am always astonished at how quickly, when given a chance, our own intuition can deliver up insight and direction.

In my own meditation, I was offered a gift--a ripe and juicy orange.

It's helpful to remember that this passionate gift of creativity and meaningful relationship is always there, all around us, ready to be peeled and tasted.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The First Chakra and Ganesh

The eight week course on the Chakras that I'm teaching is off to a great start, with a wonderful group of people whose backgrounds include flower essences, dream shamanism, EFT, personal organizing, massage and more. As usual, I am learning much from the people who have brought their gifts to the class.

The first week was an overview of the Chakras, with some energetic, meditative and creative exercises. Last week we worked on the first chakra, which has to do with grounding, support, shelter, finances, the physical body. I am posting this image of Ganesh, who in the Hindu tradition is the deity of the first chakra. Ganesh is also known as the remover of obstacles, and has brought me this past week a great deal of opportunity to reflect on when and how I put my attention on obstacles rather than solutions. The removal of obstacles is often a simple shift or liberation of attention which brings the solution home.

Thank you, Ganesh!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Chakras: Your Seven Core Energies

Image: Ik Ongkar-Chakras, by Ranbassi

I am excited about the new class I will be teaching this month. Here’s the description:

Your 7 Core Energies: Cultivating the Power of the Chakras.

--Enhance your ability to perceive your own energy and the energy of others
- Discover your unique energy gifts
- Clear internal obstacles to relating authentically to others and manifesting your gifts in the world

In this course, we will use the chakras, the ‘spinning wheels of light’ that make up the energy body, to guide us on the journey to our own wisdom. We will combine techniques of meditation and energy perception with practical and creative exercises that allow you to cultivate your abilities in Grounding, Creating, Power, Love, Communication, Seeing, and Knowing. Open to beginners as well as those with some experience in energy healing and the chakra system.

When: Mondays 7-9:30PM, October 18- December 6, 2010
Where: 36th Avenue near Balboa (call for exact location.) San Francisco
Cost: $265

My own studies of the chakra system began when I was thirteen and started meditation practice. These studies were further developed in my training in Reiki and in clairvoyant healing classes in San Francisco.

I initially developed and taught a variation of this course in Cusco, Peru, to tourists and local residents. I am always delighted to see how easily we westerners can come into our own wisdom using this ancient Eastern energy system.

To register, email me at

I look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Leonard Breger Post-Cave Artist

When I first met Leonard a friend who was with us said to me, "Why don't you make a movie?"

So here it is. The first of a series of short videos about my 90 year old "Post-Cave Artist" friend. In it you'll find some extraordinary non-rectangular art, and Leonard will lead you in and out of his experience of the Altamira Cave.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Return of the Dreamspinner

Photography by Arayo

I like it when my fictional characters find new places in the world to see and be seen. So I am happy to report that you can now buy an anthology which contains my story Dreamspinner at a site called Anthology Builder.

Anthology Builder is a unique concept: previously published stories are available to collect in an anthology of your own making. You choose the stories, the title, and the design. You'll find some classics by Edgar Allen Poe, Charlotte Perkins, L. Frank Baum, and Jane Austen, as well as living writers like yours truly.

I have put together a collection called Seeing Around Corners: 15 Fantastic Fictions which contains my story as well as 14 others by dynamic and original writers.

Here's the intro to the anthology:

"A woman who invents a language that sees around corners. The heavy metal return of Crazy Horse. A class full of goblins. Breasts with a mind of their own.

Take a deep breath. Your journey around the corner is about to begin."

You can take the journey here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


After a Cold Morning of Patrol Duty Police Officer Shearer and Chief Allec Enjoy Hot Coffee at Mac's Cafe, 01/1973
Originally uploaded by The U.S. National Archives

Because it's the time of year for spring cleaning, I've decided to do a little spring cleaning on my own body and quit my coffee jones.

I started drinking coffee when I was 13. It had been an old friend for many years, but recently I felt the friendship has gone sour. It had become an annoying and overbearing co-dependant relationship. My coffee 'friend', like all addictions, continued to insist that I stop what I was doing and do instead what it wanted me to do, ie head to the nearest Starbucks, or it wouldn't let me proceed with full attention to the task at hand. And if I tried to ignore its persistent demands, it would punish me with exhaustion, fatigue, and'oh-I-can't-possibly-think-straight-without-my-cuppa-java.'

So I threw the bum out. Just a little over a week ago. Yes, I did have the classic
Coffee Withdrawal Headache, but it was pretty mild. More than anything, I just felt tired, one day sleeping in two- to- four hours shifts for a total of about fourteen hours.

I am replacing it with a decaf green tea Chinese herbal concoction. Already I feel better.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Sidhe Have Visited My Room Again

I was inspired by watching a documentary about the poet Gary Snyder at tonight's San Francisco Film Festival to return to my poetic roots and post a poem instead of prose.

(Originally published as "The Visit" in So To Speak, George Mason University, Winter/Spring, 2002)

The Sidhe have visited

my room again, moved the pieces

of furniture, left footprints

all along my floor and walls.

Petals from a strange and sudden

flower still float on the water

in my sink of dirty dishes.

It is morning and I

press my face against the air

trying to see in. The room is quiet.

My great-grandmother was small

and dark, and nobody knows

where she came from. Learn

from me, she says in her night voice

the web of moon cast

upon the earth. Feel it

trembling in your fingers

like a fisherwoman's net, and pull

the silver fish upon the shore.

They are heavy,but they are all

yours, every one of them speaking

an undiscovered language.

There is singing, the Sidhe said

brushing their lips against my ears.

It is all

Around There is a symphony

of wild sound beneath the surface.

Unmeasured and chaotic, the river

is always longer and wider than

you thought, and the bridge is never

where you expect it to be.

The Sidhe have come and gone.

They have rearranged the night

taken off my skin

and folded the difference

into my bones.

My great-grandmother lays the fish upon the sand

the ones with torn bellies and gaping mouths

the ones with knowing eyes

the ones already turning into flowers

She moves her tongue behind her teeth

and names them, one by one.

It is morning, and I am full

of forgetting. I drain the water

from the sink and begin to wash

the dishes. A single petal clings

to white porcelain. I leave it.

The rushing water sings. And I

in my waking slumber hum

the dim memory of an aching

distant music.

The ocean breaks.

My great-grandmother with her muscled arms

pulls, and hauls the net upon the shore.

Silver scales still luminous in dark waters.

Learn to cast the web of moon upon the sea.

And bring the fishes home, she says.

They are all yours.

---Lisa Gale Garrigues

Image: "Sidhe Queen" by Angie Bowen.