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The Selfseeds Journal

journal-cover

Fun to get the Selfseeds Journal ready to print. Takao has done an amazing job organizing this journal that will go with both the Selfseeds program and the Selfseeds for the Equestrian program.

Selfseeds for the Equestrian was accepted for presentation at the national convention for the United States Pony Club Inc. We are planning to launch the journal at this event.

Category: Selfseeds, Selfseeds Community
Tag: community, diary, Selfseeds, The Selfseeds Journal

Being To Doing With Horses In Bozeman, Montana

IMG_0335 Bozeman, Montana Early snow IMG_0365   IMG_0354 (short video below)

What are mindfulness and awareness? Probably opening a big topic with lots of different ideas with that question. In the pilot Equine Awareness and Mindfulness Retreat, Selfseeds and Refined Performance Horsemanship were combined to provide structure to the retreat’s focal points of being, doing, and the transitioning between both while executing tasks as individuals and with the horse . Mindfulness and awareness are both useful tools in this inward based training ground.  Selfseeds was used as the self inquiry template for understanding how to observe and work with being and doing as a human.  The personally examined states were then expanded to work with horses on the ground and under saddle while developing discernment for when the rider becomes separated from being present with the “grass eating” state of the horse. The horses are remarkable mirrors for when the rider/handler looses focus by exhibiting nervousness, loss of focus, pulling away, raising the head, increasing breathing, and many other outward behaviors that diminish safety and performance.

The challenge both Karen and I often face as horse riding/handling instructors is how to help the human to focus and “be” at the level the horse requires.  Horse most likely exist at a lower vibrational frequency (prey and herd based instincts) than humans (predator and higher intelligence/reasoning capacity), so horse’s instincts often rely on noticing this inward change.  Two-leggeds evolutionary step into complex civilizations has often diminished the need for sensing awareness.  We decided to try making the entire pilot retreat based around this point of separation between “being in the doing.”  The participants were hand picked for their openness to explore ground-breaking awareness/mindfulness techniques.

The approach was three steps: Selfseeds, ground work exercises with horses developed through Refined Performance Horsemanship, and riding.  The outcome was remarkable to watch, experience, and teach from.  We often examine the practice of stillness-being-presence with a vague knowing of something inward.  How were we going to “capture” the state of being like capturing a rare, nocturnal animal in the thick of the jungle?  We all know there isn’t going to be a concrete, guaranteed outcome, but we may get closer to something that opens the door for more successful communication with the four-legged.  At least that is the motivational endpoint for this retreat.

Using Selfseeds as a menu for recognizably, useful components for “snaring” being, a kinesthetic reference point was created for the riders and handlers as they became distracted or separated from their horse partners. (Thank you Hans Laxholm for the amazing resistance band feedback system you developed for world class ballroom dancers to better understand how to connect the core  through the extremities and into movement with a partner.!!!!!)  It was incredible for both Karen and myself to use the menu of Selfseeds for constant reminder points that were based on feel, timing, alignment, and sensing. We were able to help facilitate more accurate and lasting changes.

On a personal note, at the deepest point of knowing myself, this is where I would like to focus on teaching and can feel an ease to step back in the horse world from this point of view.  The energetic outcome from aligning to this point for 5 days without separation was life altering.  It felt like a functional level of being at the ashram, but in the practice of doing.  People often think that you cannot function effectively from the point of stillness, but it just takes practice.  It is always there, but it is often difficult to reach or unknown.  After 2 and 1/2 intense years of single-pointed focus on inward being, I am at a new starting point.

Looking forward to the next 6 months of  travel to New Zealand, Australia, and Jaipur, India.  In April, Karen and I are looking at continuing this walk together in some capacity, no expectations, no preconceived ideas, just walking and opening to new possibilities.

A big, big thank you to the open and inquiring participants, the generosity of the horse facility owners to open their doors for us, and to Karen for aligning in a way that I didn’t know was possible with another human–no lint was created.)

 

(short video below)

 

Lovely mindfulness read.
Useful tips for developing a meditation practice.
6 Tips for Choosing a Meditation Practice Huffington Post (blog) When I started practicing meditation in 1995, I didn’t tell too many people about it for fear they would think I had joined a cult or turned into some kind of new-aged oddball. If I mention it today, however, I’m more likely to be greeted by comments  See all stories on this topic »
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Walking meditation from my room in Jaipur, India
stillness
Category: Selfseeds, Selfseeds Community
Tag: awareness practice, being, Bozeman, community, doing, Montana, refined performance horsemanship, Selfseeds

Experts Section

Karn, yoga instructor Jaipur

The next addition to the Selfseeds site is the experts section.  We are hoping to grow an international community of professionals who support the ideology behind an individual selfseed or a collection of selfseeds.  When people feel inspired by a selfseed, we want to give them an opportunity to contact a living being who might be able to help support the growth in a desired area–how to plant, nurture, and grow a selfseed.

Usually, I have a 5-10 minute stretching routine that I do every morning.  In the move, I somehow took it off the list and my body was not happy.  My body was like a camel reaching a watering hole when I added it back in.  I am constantly reminded of how important those 5 minutes can be!

Category: Selfseeds
Tag: business, community, experts, information, professional