Posted by: brunoplim | April 14, 2010

Yoga E Massagem Em Portugal

I am now offering yoga classes and massage sessions in Portugal!

At the moment the yoga will just be at the Anandamarga center in Sintra (though there is a possibility of teaching in Lisbon too soon), I am offering the massage sessions at Anandamarga and also at BoulderArea (the climbing gym at Sr. Roubado, near Odivelas) every Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm to 10pm.

The Anandamarga center is a great place, I have been going there for nearly a decade now, and it is located in a gorgeous location in Sintra.

I lead two yoga classes: Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30.  The format of the class is not fixed, the yoga has a Vinyasa base, the focus is on the breath and on the heart, but the postures and sequences will depend on the needs of the participants.

The massage offered will be cranio-sacral, pre and post-natal, deep-tissue, and relaxing (Swedish-Esalen).  Both myself and my wife, Ursula will be offering these massages.  Ursula specializes in work with pregnant women and new mothers, you can find more info about Ursula at her website: Bhaktibirth.

In addition to the yoga classes and massage sessions which I’ll be offering, Anandamarga also has vegetarian cooking classes, 16 week courses on yoga (philosophy, life style, as well as postures), and spiritual retreats.  You can find more info about events at the Anandamarga facebook page.

To book a massage or to get more info about the yoga classes email me at plim.dreaming (at) gmail.com

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Passo a oferecer aulas de yoga e sessões de massagens em Portugal!

Presentement, as aulas de yoga serão só no centro Anandamarga em Sintra (mas existe a possibilidade de ensinar em Lisboa em breve), as massagens serão no Anandamarga e tambêm no BoulderArea (o ginásio de escalada no Sr. Roubado, perto de Odivelas) cada Terça-feira e Quinta-feira das 5pm às 10pm.

O centro Anandamarga é um excelente lugar, já há quase uma decada que lá vou, e está num lugar muito bonito em Sintra.

Vou ter duas aulas semanais de yoga: Terça- e Quinta-feira as 12:30.  O formato não e pre-definido, o yoga tem Vinyasa como base, o foco estará na respiração e no coração, mas as posturas e as sequências vão depender daquilo que os participantes sentirem cada dia.

Os estilos de massagem que vou oferecer são: cranio-sacral, pre e pos-parto, deep-tissue, e relaxante (Swedish-Esalen).  Ambos eu e a minha mulher, Ursula, estaremos a oferecer estas massagens.  A Ursula especializa em trabalho com grávidas e novas mães, podem ver mais informação sobre o trabalho da Ursula na sua página Bhaktibirth.

O centro Anandamarga tambêm oferece aulas de culinária vegetariana, cursos de yoga de 16 semanas (filosofia, estilo de vida, e posturas), e retiros espirituais.  Para mais informações sobre o centro podem ver: a pagina de facebook do Anandamarga.

Para marcar uma sessão de massagem comigo e para saber mais sobre o yoga que ofereço mandem uma mensagem para plim.dreaming (at) gmail.com

Posted by: brunoplim | November 11, 2009

Vipassana, Fixed Gear Bicycles and Training for Climbing

On the first of November I returned home from a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat/course.  I returned filled with new sensations, bodily sensations, with plenty of revelations, insight, and with many questions.

As is costumary, the questions arose hand in hand with the insights and throughout the process I would mentally connect the dots (because no writting or speaking was allowed) and by the end, somehow, the themes: Vipassana Meditation, fixed gear bicycles and training for climbing were the key themes.  Allow me to explain why.

I had really no idea what Vipassana meditation was before going into the course.  I had done a few 2-day retreats back in Gainesville, and also several 1-hour sits but they were not instructional sessions, they were sometimes guided but in a more relaxed way, more intuitive.  The truth is that even if those previous sessions had been guided and in the traditional form I would still return from this experience saying the same thing because a 10-day retreat/pilgrimage/journey has instilled a experiential/somatic knowledge of what Vipassana meditation is for me that one or several two-day or 1-hour sessions could not.

It was a silent retreat.  The first few hours we were allowed to talk with the other people who had signed up, I talked to a couple of people but felt myself already gearing up for the retreat by talking less.  We had a light dinner consisting of soup and bread and then the men headed over to sleep on their side of the building and the women on their side.  The segregation was to be mainted throughout the retreat and was aided by separate dining halls and separate areas of meditation; its function was to make it easier for us, the meditators, in that we would have one less thing to think about (i.e. not thinking about courting, about sex, about flirting).  I would say that measure was about 50-60% effective.

We learned Vipassana meditation as taught by Goenka (a.k.a. Sri Satya Narayan Goenka). The technique behind this was very simple, very straightforward, very devoid of belief structures or cerebral games (such as imagining something, some person, form or deity).  I ressonated very much with this right from the beginning in that it was all centered around developing a heightened awareness of the body.  The technique is, in part (or at its root), noticing the entirity of what the body is sensing at each moment; through that noticing, equanimous noticing, one becomes aware of the games they play and in which they get trapped.  Mind games of craving and aversion which limit juan’s full perception of the world by filtering filtering filtering the incoming information.

That is as far as I’m going to go in describing the technique because that has very little to do with what I experienced, and what I experienced is what I can really write about (or else I would be going around the world teaching the technique myself).

We meditated for 10 hours and watched a 1-hour video of Goenka talking each day.  That is 11 hours of sitting.  Exercise was … minimal.  I stretched every now and then, did a few handstands, walked around the limited area allowed for students and that is all.  We would sit for 1.5 hours and then get a 5-minute break and then another 1-hour or more sitting… and so on and so on.  The first 3 days were the most difficult ones for me.  During those days the sitting was the most painful, as the body was still adapting to the routine, and the thought of staying for 10 days… it felt like a long time, like time was going sooooooo slow.  I say: “the first 3 days” but the truth is that I am generalizing each day, giving an overall impression, what really happened was that during each day I would experience moments when everything seemed sooooo easy and in which I would think to myself: “I could sit like this for hours on end with no effort” and then moments when 5 minutes were AN ETERNITY!!!  Overall, the first 3 days were hard.  Goenka says that the 2nd and 6th days are when students most want to leave the course (and often do, Goenka himself had packed to leave on the second day of his first 10-day course).

Up to, and including, the third day I would wake up, meditate, eat, sleep, meditate, eat, sleep, meditate, snack, meditate, sleep.  But in the fourth day something really shifted.  The sky seemed clearer, things were less foggy inside.  I felt lighter, more expanded, less turmoil.  I started to feel more aligned.  I was feeling so much more awake that I attempted skipping the day-sleeps, day-naps, and though I thought I would become sleepy at the meditations I didn’t, I felt more awake.  Wondering what exactly I was feeling, how to describe it to myself, and what could be the reason for this led me to the memory of the first time I tried a fixed gear bicycle.

Fixed gear bicycles are for crazy people, that was the impression I had before trying them.  I mean, you don’t have brakes!  You can’t just be biking along and then hit the brakes.  Who would want to not have brakes??  The other thing is the uphills, you can’t shift into a different gear when you get close to an uphill or a downhill for that matter, you have to put more effort or less effort the bottom line being that the wheels only move as much as the feet move and the feet move as much as the wheels move.  If you loved to cruise down those steep hills, to raise your arms and close your eyes and feel the breeze in your face then fixed gear bikes are not for you: if your bike starts going fast because of gravity then your feet have to keep up.  So I got on this beautiful, gorgeous fixed gear bike and decided to just give it a small ride around the block; what happened next I can only describe by saying that as soon as I strapped into the bike it became a part of my body.  There is a sense of alignment when I ride a fixie, lightness, there are no extra pieces rattling around, no extra baggage, just the essential and it is working in unison with the body.  It was definitely awkward the first turn that I made but also correct, true; I had to slow down with the whole body in order to slow the bike, not simply grip the brakes.  Furthermore, the bike’s simplicity forces a simplicity in myself, an honesty in my own movement, a heightened awareness of my body.

Wanna know how they brake while going on the downhill? watch this first video:

Nice:

Having Fixie Fun:

So in the Vipassana retreat, around the 4th day onwards, each day I was greeted with a deeper sense of alignment, and with that alignment came a feeling of strength too.  To describe it further: I see my body as a complex, very complex, instrument.  It has so many parts and they are all working together to make the whole.  Many of those parts are so present in my mind, such as the hands since I use them alllll the time; but many of those parts are blind spots, areas that are not really in the forefront of my mind.  When I want to do any action, running, jumping, swimming, sitting, standing, walking, anything I can only do it with those parts that are conscious, the other parts, the blind spots go along for the ride.  Sometimes, the blind spots are so important, however, that they influence the movement of the whole body.  The top notch athlete that after excelling at a sport for years “had” to get a normal 9-5 sitting job and his body changed but when he looks again at the sport he used to do he knows he can still run the 100m in 9.5s but his body (or parts of his body) cannot perform (an perhaps in attempting he injures himself).  I noticed I had more control of the movements I wished to make (a handstand or a stretch for example), like those blind spots were being integrated, like the Vipassana meditation was bringing consciousness to those blind spots and thus they could become part of the conscious whole.

Aside from the other mystical experiences I had during those 10 days (the snake charming, the levitation, the awakening of the kundalini, and so on and so on) I left with a sense of health like no other I had experienced before.  This was the health I have wanted to have through training.  This was the strength and whole-body bliss I have wanted to feel through the exercises.  Here it was.  After 10 days of sitting on my ass for 10-hours a day.  The analytical part of me was very perplexed.

It has now been 10 days since the retreat and I have had time to digest and process the experiences.  I have learned what aspects of my previous lifestyle do not support the presence of that superior state of health, what aspects add baggage to this instrument that is the body-mind and which ones respect it.  I have gone climbing and noticed how much more pleasant it is to climb with such health, such full-body awareness.  I have made love and noticed how much richer lovemaking is when I am more fully present, there is sensation everywhere.  I really notice how large of a role the food that I eat has on my health, the type and the quantity.

Having a curious scientific mind I have conjured up many a theory about this, one such theory is as such:  during my training for climbing, for example, I do exercises on top of exercises, pull-ups, sit-ups, climbing, levers, finger hangs et cetra.  All those exercises are traumatic to the body, it is as if I am trying to shape the body into a certain shape/form that I believe will make it optimal for climbing.  They are also traumatic to the mind for these exercise regiments tend to bring me to a result-level state of mind which removes awareness/acuity of the body senses.  I measure my health, my progress, by how many pull-ups I can do that day, or how many sets, or how much weight is being lifted – that becomes the gauge, the thermometer.  The goal is to do more, to do them more statically perhaps, more controlled, or faster and more controlled.  Patxi Usobiaga, for example, a top climber trains 8 hours a day for months on end with no rest.  Often times that training is simply volume,  1000 moves on the climbing wall for example.  Often times it is power, campusing with weights.  He also receives massage and constant evaluation and so on, no doubt about that, but I question how much introspection he does?  How much time he spends simply sensing his body, as it is when it is quiet, still, without having it do anything or anything done to it.  Maybe he knows that his left bicep can lift less than his right by 2% because his charts tell him so but what does he really sense?  I wonder what is the concept he has of his body.  Chris Sharma, another top climber, spent 2 months working on his new house, I heard he climbed twice or three times during those months, yet he competed amongst the very best and came in … what was it 2nd? 3rd?  I wonder what is the concept he has of his body, his body-mind.  I know that I watch Patxi climb and I feel like I’m watching a machine, precise, and methodical.  Whereas when watching Chris it’s like watching something more natural like a wave in the ocean, very little restricted motion, not much order/rigidity, and Adam Ondra is like watching a ball of fire, pure motivation somehow exhibiting shape/form.  Now what is “healthy”?  I know I came out of those 10-days being able to climb much better yet I couldn’t do 600 pull-ups in an hour anymore; climb better and simply feel better, move better, breath better.

Patxi:

Chris:

Adam:

I again think that that 10-day period was essential because it allowed enough time for me to experiment a different way of life and it gave time for that way of life to sink into a body feeling and then into mental knowledge, which is real knowledge, not knowledge from a book that says to eat this and that in order to be “healthy” but knowledge born from experience, REAL experience which is to say: your own, my own, juan’s own somatic experience.

IMG_5294

Final Note: I already talked to two friends who at some time in their lives also did a similar 10-day Vipassana retreat and their experiences were very different.

Posted by: brunoplim | August 5, 2009

Intention

I couldn’t find the most adequate title for this post.  The words: intention, practice, dedication, motivation, inspiration and others alike floated in and out of thought.  What I’d like to express are some of my feelings and thoughts on living with intention.

I see a lot of conflict in terms of how one talks and how one acts, I see this often in the outside world (outside to myself) and also (but not as frequently, according to my critical eyes) in myself, the internal world.  More specifically I notice lack of interest in ones’ self and in the world.  Or actions that I interpret as evocative of a lack of personal interest, personal endevour, personal dedication.

People read books on self-help but they don’t follow through.  The yearning for something better shows up in people but the action is lacking, they tend to slump, to couch, to navigate, to procrastinate.  I’m trying to understand this impulse, this drive for, perhaps the term is, self-loathing.  Trying to understand why it is preferable (I scratched out the word “easier”) to live in an environment which is disorganized, messy, the dishes all piled up, dirty frying pans on the stove, waking up in a stupor going through the motions of “dealing with” that stupor (but actually just having that stupor as a reference point, an excuse at times), sighing, huffing, making excuses and then going to bed.  Sprinkling that day with just enough instances of above-dog-mind instances such as 5 minutes of conscious deep breaths, or 10 minutes of reading Rumi, enough to feel that some effort has been made for something more, something greater, something more in alignment with one’s “true self”, “higher self” but not enough to actually be a part of that.  Just enough such that those instances are actions being done to the hazy days.  Not enough to actually have those instances be a guiding priority.

Why?

Why isn’t it easier for people to get up and explore the movement that the body allows that morning by doing some stretching, some breathing, some yoga-ing; and savoring the alignment that is there with some minutes of meditation – of sitting quietly letting go of thoughts and bodily movements.  Why not?  Especially since it is known that it feels good and is healthy.

Why isn’t it easier to clean the dishes after the cooking or after the meal so that the kitchen is clean and organized and set for its next use; so that one can enter that space and the mind can go to what the meal is going to be instead of feeling the burdened state of piled-high dishes and dirty frying pans.  Where is the pot?  Oh at the bottom of the pile or in the sink encrusted with yesterdays charred food or still on the stove with leftovers that were not put away.

In a way it isn’t enough to live an aligned life by myself because this affects me in many ways. As I’ve grown older I have noticed the need to align myself more with my ideals.  I’m no longer wanting to randomly hang out with people, I’d rather hang out with people who share a similar intention, core-intention, such as a love for life.  I don’t just want to be on a bicycle I want to be on a bicycle that shares my ideals.  I don’t want to just eat any random food item I want to eat something that is in alignment with my ideals for the world.

There was a time of blissful ignorance where I would want a skateboard and a hamburger and i’d go play tennis for hours.  I couldn’t care less if that skateboard was manufactured by 10 year olds in Indonesia or if the “cows” from which parts of the hamburger came were being forced to grow 10 times faster than a natural/normal cow…

Now I want a fixed speed bicycle because I can feel what I do on the movement that happens.  I want a bicycle to reduce carbon emissions.  I’d rather wake up earlier to bike somewhere that sleep in.  It really bothers me that roads aren’t built with more consideration for people on bicycles!!!

I want to eat local in order to support local farmers, local agriculture, and thus not support the cutting down of the rainforest or the proliferation of animal cruelty in feed lots or the pharmaceutical industry getting rich by pouring their products into animals for the population to eat or the rise and spread of new diseases arising from the unhealthy conditions in which the animals are kept.

I want to have regular bowel movements so I drink plenty of water and do some nice yoga, I want my prostate to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible so I incorporate some more yoga and some kegels and some sexual kung fu.  I want to feel light on my feet when my mind says “let’s go for a walk” or “let’s go for a run”.  I want to be able to touch my toes.

I want to convey the right message to my children and other children so I try to learn nonviolent communication to better understand what really is happening for myself and how to transmit it.   I practice and learn more nonviolent communication because I want to do the same with grown-ups, and to be capable of expressing my needs when the interaction/relationship is not fulfilling them.  I get frustrated if I watch a movie and the actors begin to communicate in a violent, non-beneficial way; it bothers me, enough people!

I don’t even want to return to that blissfull ignorance phase.  I don’t.  I guess I just wish other people wouldn’t want that either.

Intentional living.  Life with a focus, with some guidelines, life with some ethics, some ideals.

Posted by: brunoplim | November 14, 2008

Yoga of Heart

I don’t have much to say as a preamble to this video.  I came across Mark two years ago, we re-met a year ago, and then 5 months ago.  I ressonate with his presence, and with his understanding, and speaking of yoga, of Life.

Enjoy!

http://www.yogamates.com/tv/?v=JTT01C2YO35IL

And for more, visit his site: Heart of Yoga

Posted by: brunoplim | October 21, 2008

Embodied Awakening Conference

I’m excited, yesterday I signed up for the conference:

“Embodied Awakening” – Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy Conference 2008

This will take place in San Francisco, at the California Institue of Integral Studies!!

Check out the program!

Posted by: brunoplim | October 18, 2008

Childbirth

Just a small post on this extraodinary subject and my recent introduction to it.

So midwives, doulas, homebirths, natural births, all have seen an intense hounding in the past century.  This has escalated decade by decade, only seeing a strong revival in the 60’s and 70’s which was rapidly quenched.  But not before managing to set in some roots with the help of pioneers such as Ina May Gaskin.

The importance of being educated around childbirth reveals itself to be so impossible to ignore once one looks into it even just a little bit.

At a glance, this importance, this value, can be seen in two major aspects.  The experience which the mother can have and the experience which the baby can have.  Those are the two main facets which are looked at and I have been thinking about the much less talked about experience of the father, both physically (hormonally), psychologically, and spiritually we’ll see what seeds come out of that.

I am a man, a step-father, I have never seen a human being give birth (other than in movies), I saw my two of my canine loves give birth to 9 and 8 puppies, I have taken a transformative 4 day workshop on craniosacral massage for newborn to 2 year old, and I will not even attempt to say what is “best” or “worse” or even my opinion.  Like a scribe I have accumulated some information which I believe can literally awaken a mother, a father, a person interested in children.  Awaken in the buddhist sense of removing ignorance, removing that non-knowing.  Allow people to see clearer.

I strongly recommend the following:

Ina May Gaskin – Who Is She

The Farm

What Babies Want

The Business of Being Born

Michel Odent

Orgasmic Birth

Joesph Chilton Pearce

And a little humour:

And some humor with quite a bit of sad truth:

Posted by: brunoplim | August 23, 2008

Craniosacral Therapy is for Babies!

So, I recently finished a four-day workshop on craniosacral (CST) “massage” for babies, newborn to 2-years old, and it has been one of the most delicious experiences (and physically painful too) of my life!

I went into this workshop with two expectations:

1- I was going to get to massage babies and

2- that no instructor of CST could compare to Hugh Milne

And, as is so often the case with expectations, both were a negative!

We did not massage babies and the instructor Benjamin Shield….  Let me explain.

The pediatric CST involved descriptions of the techniques which we apply on adults and how those techniques differ for a baby due to their size, to how a baby’s body receives touch and, especially, due to their anatomical differences (mainly the fact that many bones are not yet fused).  The instructor, Benjamin Shield, has a background in dentistry and over 25 years of bodywork, his aproach to the work felt genuine and heartfelt and extremely grounded in a profound knowledge of anatomy.

There would be demos each day as parents came in to the classroom with their child.  The situation would always be unique and it was always a blessing to see Ben give his full attention and respect to the child, honoring them and their parents.

Before and after the demos we would talk a little about the situation the child was presenting and Ben would give several possible outlooks on it; each outlook was grounded in a deep anatomical and emotional base.

I highly recommend this class/workshop to everyone.

In it we watched a movie called “What babies want” website which, also, I highly recommend.

Posted by: brunoplim | August 9, 2008

Studying for Craniosacral Therapy

Frontal, Nasal, Maxilla, Zygomatic, Sphenoid, Mandible

Posted by: brunoplim | August 6, 2008

Two Interesting links

THE BOOK OF NOW.

Funny as it may be, I feel it is really to the point…  i’ve said too much already… anyway:

the book of now

And this site for “Instant Advanced Meditation Course” recommended to me by a good friend.

Enjoy the links and please let me know how they fit into your life.

Posted by: brunoplim | July 29, 2008

Relationships, Marriage, Meeting The Dark Side

An excerpt from the book Meeting the Shadow.  The text is by Michael Ventura.

“Which is the major difference between the expectations of a marriage and a relationship.  My experience of a relationship is two people more or less compulsively playing musical chairs with each other’s selected inner archetypes.  My tough street kid is romancing your honky-tonk angel.  I am your homeless waif and you are my loving mother.  I am your lost father and you are my doting daughter.  I am your worshiper and you are my goddess.  I am your god and you are my priestess.  I am your client and you are my analyst.  I am your intensity and you are my ground.  These are some of the garish of the patterns.  Animus, anima, bopping on a seesaw

These hold up well enough while the archetypal pairings behave.  But when the little boy inside him is looking for the mommy inside her and finds instead on this particular night a sharp-toothed analyst dissecting his guts.  When the little girl inside her is looking for the daddy inside him, and fids instead a pagan worshiper who wants a goddess to lay with, which induces her to become a little girl playacting a goddess to please the daddy who’s really a lecherous worshipper and…little girls can’t come.  Or if a woman is attracted to a macho-man who is secretly looking to be mothered: when a man’s sexual self is in the service of an interior little boy it’s not surprising that he can’t get it up or comes to quick.  Or they’re really not there at all, they’re masturbating, really, men in their little-boy psyches for whom the real woman is just a stand-in; while the woman who happens to be in the same bed, an extension of teir masturbation, is wondering why even though the moves are pretty good she doesn’t really feel slept with.  And why he turns away so quickly when it’s done.

On the other hand, teachers fuck pupils with excitement, analysts fuck clients with abandon, and people seeing each other, in bed, as gods and goddesses light up the sky – bu the psyche is a multiple and a shifting entity, and none of these compatible parirings hold stable for long.  The archetypal mismatches soon begin, and then it’s a disaster of confrontations that can take years not even to sort out (it would be worth years to get it all sorter out) but simply to exhaust itself and fail.  And then the cycle starts all over again with someone else.

My experience of a marriage is that all these same modes are present, but instinctively or consciously it becomes a case of two people running down each other’s inner archetypes, tackling them, seducing them, cajoling them, waiting them out making them talk, ‘fessing up to them, running from them, raping them, falling in love with some, hating others, getting to know some, making friends with some, hanging some in the closet on each other’s hooks — hooks on which hang fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, other loves, idols, fantasies, maybe even past lives, and true mythological consciousnesses that sometimes come to life within one with such force that we feel a thread that goes back thousands of years, even to other realms of being.

All of this is what we “marry” in the other, a process that goes on while we manage to earn a living, go to the movies, watch television, go to the doctor, walk on the Palisades, drive to Texas, follow the election, try to stop drinking, eat too much Haagen-Dazs.”

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