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Author Topic: Tranceportation: Intro and first chapter  (Read 983 times)

beachglass

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Re: Tranceportation: Intro and first chapter
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2014, 07:08:33 pm »
Quote from: Kylara;155970
But I tend to do things when he isn't around.  Part of it is that he works so much that I try to be available when he is home to spend time with him.  Part of it is that, even though he has no problem with what I believe, I know that he thinks a lot of it is bunk.  He doesn't teas me or anything like that, but just the knowing of what he thinks inside makes me self-conscious.  It is something I am trying to work on because I feel like it is way more my issue than his.  I don't think he would have a problem with me doing everything out in the open.

 
Yes, this is definitely a factor for me too. We have had a couple of talks about religious/spiritual stuff that have been useful though. He also does yoga, so I asked him what he thought about the yoga teacher referring to prana and such and he said he thought it was a useful metaphor and that he tried to apply it sincerely during practice. So I felt a little better, in that even if he thinks I'm just doing some really fancy metaphorizing, he can see that it could be useful/important to me.

Another time I was discussing a book I was reading and expressed some skepticism about something "fluffy" in it, which I think rather reassured him that I wasn't about to shut off all critical thinking abilities. So while it's still not something I feel really comfortable discussing, and I still like to keep my practice to myself, I think we've made a little bit of a start towards us understanding each other here.
"The further we go, and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."  ~ Robert Smith

Amphibian

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Re: Tranceportation: Intro and first chapter
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2014, 11:57:26 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;154027
Support Systems
Q1. What is your living situation? Do your family or house-mates support your spiritual practice? Will they allow you the privacy in which to practice the exercises? If you are in doubt, negotiate, or find somewhere else to work.
I live with my wife and an assortment of cats. Wife is supportive, cats don't really understand privacy. They'll respect a closed door, though. :)

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Q2. Do you belong to a prayer circle, kindred or coven, or other spiritual group? Does it practice trance work or meditation? If so, what kinds, how often and for what purposes? Are any other group members working with this book? Will your group support your efforts to master these skills?
The group here on TC is 'all' I've got. (I would like to have a local spiritual group, but geographic concerns. Longer rant available on request)

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Q3. Do you already have a power animal or totem? How did you acquire it? How often do you contact it, or how does it contact you?
As one might surmise from my chosen handle, I've got a bit of a Thing for frogs and toads. I'm pretty sure that 'totem' is the wrong description, though, at least partially because of the appropriative problems.

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Q4. Do you have a strong affinity with/devotion to specific god/desses? How did you acquire them? How often do you contact them, or how do they contact you?
There is a trio of deities (at least, I think they're deities?) that showed up in my head back in March.  About the only communication I've had is a general sense that I need to do a lot more prepwork before I can have useful conversations.

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Background

Q1. How do you make a living? What states of consciousness or mental skills do you use in your job, and how did you learn to attain them?
My dayjob is as an electrical engineer and/or computer programmer. In terms of relevance to this course, I refer the reader to this Jargon File entry, which is both a succinct summary and an entry point for a wiki walk.

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Q2. What other work or hobbies occupy your time? What states of consciousness do you use? How did you learn to attain them?
A lot of gaming, both computer and tabletop, as well as substantial amounts of cosplay/costume design.  A heaping dose of visualization, imagination, and a certain nitpicky attention to detail have all been critically important.

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Q3. What is your academic training? What kind of thinking did your department teach?
BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Strong emphasis on logical, ordered trains of thought. Documentation of work, and emphasis on Results.

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Q4. What strengths or skills do you already have that can help you in trance work? What do you think will be hardest to learn?
Focus and concentration, I've got in spades, at least when my brain has decided it's Something Worth Focusing On. The bits I know that I'm going to have trouble with are the...nonphysical-type stuff? Attempting to wrap my head around stuff that isn't at least theoretically tangible has always been very difficult for me.

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Physiology and Psychology

Q1. What is your general state of health?
Generally, quite good. Not as young as I once was (as the song goes), and I'm starting to notice just how much I've lost in muscular endurance from my marching band days, but I still fit handily into the 'able-bodied' category. I've been dealing with a food allergy my whole life, but it's unlikely to have any serious effect on this training.

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Q2. How do you rate your temperament in the following areas? Consider the column on the left to be 1, and the column on the right to be 5. Where do you fall on the continuum?

Calm – -- – Lively : 4 (Rather Lively)

Forceful -- – - Responsive : 3 (Bits of Both)

Robust -- – - Sensitive : 1.5 (Mostly Robust)

Quote
Q3. How do you react to stress?
Better than I used to. The watershed moment came after this wording from a friend (referring to themselves and me):

I think you and I may both have a thing that I've been calling Avalanche Temper for a while. That's the one where I sit and look cool for all sorts of steadily piling on shit, with little grumbles that people who know me recognize as danger signs, but that can be easily missed until WHUMP. Something sets everything off and all the building WOE falls right the fuck on top of whoever or whatever just prodded the wrong place. Which, they should not have been prodding the wrong place when there were Avalanche Danger signs up, but also I am not an actual mountain and I have some control of my temper.

And with that as context, I have been learning to recognize the warning signs and do some preemptive dynamiting when it's not going to hurt the wrong folk. (also because it's easier to deal with an inch of snow than a yard.)

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Q4. Do you have any chronic or cyclical problems or conditions (especially heart, blood pressure, diabetic, menstrual or menopausal symptoms) that affect your mood, energy or focus? Are you on any medications?
No.

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Q5. How do you react to alcohol or drugs?
Alcohol is...more helpful than not, usually. Lets down a couple of my outer barriers and lets the bit of my brain that obsesses over Every Last Word Choice take a night off, as it were. Also tends to make me have NO INDOOR VOICE. ^_^;; Haven't ever drunk enough to get more than Solidly Tipsy, though.

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Q6. How much and what kind of exercise do you get? Are you eating your vegetables?
A sizable chunk of walking over the course of an average day, and bike rides when the mood strikes me. Not as much as I used to.  As for food, yes, I am eating my veggies. And some meat. And as little industrial-processed stuff as I can manage, within reason.

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Q7. Have you ever had a life-threatening accident or illness? Did you have any weird experiences during the crisis? Did it change your attitude toward life?
No.

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Q8. Have you been in counseling? What kind and for what? How did you respond to it?
Singleton sessions for some historical events (which I am not detailing in public), as well as ongoing couples counseling, helping work out how to live more smoothly as a couple. I've found them to be generally useful, but sometimes requiring a lot of Work.

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How would you rate yourself on the following topics? Excellent? Adequate? Willing to learn?


Relaxation: Actively consciously relaxing, pretty terrible. My usual methods for doing so involve doing Something Else and letting the tension work itself out while I'm not looking.

Breath control: Very, very good. Albeit under a different set of goals.

Visualization: Actually pretty good, once I got the defintion fixed. (thanks, Morag!)

Lucid dreaming: I can't 'do' normal dreams! Or at least not in any sort of memorable way.

Self hypnosis: Completely ignorant

Shamanic journeying: Completely ignorant

Sensing and moving energy: Completely ignorant

Divination: I have a woefully inadequate bit of astrology knowledge, and know just how much I don't know.

Folk magic: Completely ignorant

Mythology: I know some of the stories, not nearly enough, and mostly centered in the Greco-Roman pantheons.

Shamanism: Completely ignorant

Jungian psychology: Completely ignorant

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Purpose

What are your goals in beginning this training? Why do you want to learn how to do trance work? Once you have learned it, what do you want to be and do?

As silly as it sounds, one of the main reasons I'm wrangling with this book is because Jenett said it could be useful.  I'm also hoping to figure out how to interact with the worldstuff that isn't quite so amenable to the discrete-subdivisions that I'm used to from engineering and maths. And, as a last note, I opened up the book and started reading and the deities mentioned above swung in in and went 'yep, this is part of the prepwork'. So, there you go. Long post is long.

NiDara

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Re: Tranceportation: Intro and first chapter
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2014, 05:21:00 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;154027
first I thought it might be a good idea to introduce ourselves, where we are spiritually and what if any experience we have had with trance work

Then I thought maybe what are your general thoughts on the intro and first chapter.I currently identify as a pagan who takes influences from pantheism, Druidry, and Celtic polytheism. Being solitary, I don't really have a community to practice with. That's why I was interested in the study group. I've used some meditation techniques from Nimue Brown's Druidry and Meditation, but no trancework. I thought the intro covered a good basis on how trance is achieved in a variety of cultures/spiritual paths.  It lays out a good foundation on cultural perception of trancework as well as the questions that should be considered before doing any such work.

Quote from: Jake_;154027

Support systems


Q1. What is your living situation? Do your family or house-mates support your spiritual practice? Will they allow you the privacy in which to practice the exercises? If you are in doubt, negotiate, or find somewhere else to work.

I live with my parents and assorted pets. They don't care one way or another, so I have sufficient privacy.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q2. Do you belong to a prayer circle, kindred or coven, or other spiritual group? Does it practice trance work or meditation? If so, what kinds, how often and for what purposes? Are any other group members working with this book? Will your group support your efforts to master these skills?

No. The closest thing I have is The Cauldron.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q3. Do you already have a power animal or totem? How did you acquire it? How often do you contact it, or how does it contact you?

No, not that I know of. Also, not really comfortable with the terms.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q4. Do you have a strong affinity with/devotion to specific god/desses? How did you acquire them? How often do you contact them, or how do they contact you?

I currently have a strong affinity with Brighid, with some interest in Manannan MacLir and Lugh. I consider myself to be in a year long dedication to her in an effort to get to know her. They've usually just shown themselves in day to day circumstances, but I believe Brighid to have appeared in a dream. I usually just do divination with tarot cards to contact them.


Background

Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q1. How do you make a living? What states of consciousness or mental skills do you use in your job, and how did you learn to attain them?

I am currently a student. From what I've learned, I am visual/reading learner.

Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q2. What other work or hobbies occupy your time? What states of consciousness do you use? How did you learn to attain them?

I like to read, draw, write, make costumes and other assorted crafts, and roleplay. I think my roleplaying and craft making have given me something of a knack for visualization.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q3. What is your academic training? What kind of thinking did your department teach?

Currently in college, working toward an AA in General Studies and eventually a BA in English. My education has given me skills in critical thinking and knowledge in cultural anthropology and some history.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q4. What strengths or skills do you already have that can help you in trance work? What do you think will be hardest to learn?

 I am a visual thinker and am fond of symbolism, which I'm sure will come in handy. I am a fairly logical person, so I hope that will help to keep myself balanced.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Physiology and Psychology

Q1. What is your general state of health?

Q2. How do you rate your temperament in the following areas? Consider the column on the left to be 1, and the column on the right to be 5. Where do you fall on the continuum?

Calm – -- – Lively 1.5

Forceful -- – - Responsive 4

Robust -- – - Sensitive[/B] 4


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q3. How do you react to stress?

 I tend to unfortunately get rather emotional/anxious when stress occurs, but I'm willing to work on this.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q4. Do you have any chronic or cyclical problems or conditions (especially heart, blood pressure, diabetic, menstrual or menopausal symptoms) that affect your mood, energy or focus? Are you on any medications?

My menstrual cycle can sometimes leave me highly irritable or down. Not on any medications.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q5. How do you react to alcohol or drugs?

 I don't do any drugs. I occasionally drink, but I have a good idea on when I've had enough. It leaves me feeling relaxed.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q6. How much and what kind of exercise do you get? Are you eating your vegetables?

I have slacked off of the exercise, but generally get a decent about of vegetables.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q7. Have you ever had a life-threatening accident or illness? Did you have any weird experiences during the crisis? Did it change your attitude toward life?

No.

Quote from: Jake_;154027
Q8. Have you been in counseling? What kind and for what? How did you respond to it?

No.

Quote from: Jake_;154027
How would you rate yourself on the following topics? Excellent? Adequate? Willing to learn?

Relaxation Willing to Learn

Breath control Willing to Learn

Visualiasation Adequate

Lucid dreaming I've probably experienced, but never really took the reins on the dream.

Self hypnosis No clue

Shamanic journeying Not really comfortable with the term, but willing to learn.

Sensing and moving energy I have no experience in this whatsoever.

Divination Adequate, but willing to improve skills.

Folk magic Willing to Learn.

Mythology  Always been a big mythology buff. Have knowledge of it in various cultures, and always willing to explore.

Shamanism Not really comfortable with this term.

Jungian psychology   I know about the various archetypes and the collective unconscious, but my knowledge on this topic is still rather limited.




Quote from: Jake_;154027
[/B] Purpose

What are your goals in beginning this training? Why do you want to learn how to do trance work? Once you have learned it, what do you want to be and do?

For now, I'd like to learn these skills as a more active way of connecting with the divine. The relaxation skills would generally be beneficial for me.


Quote from: Jake_;154027

Question: Have you ever experienced altered states in any other religious environment?

No.


Quote from: Jake_;154027
Question: what messages have you received from the/your dominant culture on the validity of trance work?

Not sure, but they'd probably be leery of dealing with anything not from a Judeo-Christian background, if not against it altogether.

Quote from: Jake_;154027
Question: do you think the distinction between real and useful in this context is a good one? Why or why not?

I think the distinction between real and useful is appropriate. There's skills presented here that can be useful in many aspects of life, from spiritual to creative aspects.  Whatever my focus is, being grounded is important in spiritual training or everyday life, even if they both might occasionally blend.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2014, 05:25:40 pm by Nic an Dair »

Sisu

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Re: Tranceportation: Intro and first chapter
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2014, 10:38:43 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;154027

This is a discussion we can have over the course of the lunar month and I will kick start the discussion on the next chapter on Monday 25th August

 
Has the thread for the second chapter been posted yet? :D

NiDara

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Re: Tranceportation: Intro and first chapter
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2014, 01:10:33 am »
Quote from: Sisu;158188
Has the thread for the second chapter been posted yet? :D

 
Yes, it's here.

http://ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?10536-Tranceportation-Ch-2

Sisu

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Re: Tranceportation: Intro and first chapter
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2014, 10:42:59 pm »
Quote from: Amber Seal;158198
Yes, it's here.

http://ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?10536-Tranceportation-Ch-2

 
Thanks, somehow I totally missed it.

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