Art by Shawnea Brown
Dear Daloy Friends,
As I am writing this, our black cat friend Salem Mae is beside me. He is so sleepy. He is so dark. He is so cute. He came to our doorstep in the last quarter of 2020. He is chunky and also usually has white spots, paint or sugat here and there. We knew that some people and kids from the neighborhood are bullying him for his being black. In Filipino pamahiin or superstition, black cats represent malas. Or bad luck.
But the first time I laid eyes on Salem, I knew that his name is Salem. And that I can’t ever be a legit witch without a black cat. So I secretly named him Salem and fed him cat food. Then a week later, told Chino.. “I think Salem, the black cat who keeps coming to our garden, loves our garden.” Chino smiled at me and said, “Of course mahal. We can adopt him. Pero sa labas lang siya ah. “
After that, Salem had been a part of our quiet, probinsya lives. This January, he started being allowed inside our home. (They are three cats total now. We don’t call them pets. Just cat friends. Because they are all strays and have the freedom to come and go anytime they wish.)
Salem is teaching me that it is ok to just be. You don’t like where or how you are anymore, then change body positions. Change the areas with which you hang out. You don’t like the room tempretature, too hot cause it’s summer? Then lay on the bathroom floor. You are hungry? Ask for food. You are sleepy? Sleep. You are dirty? clean yourself. The covid world is on fire? Just chill the fudge out, and hang out in the spirit world by sleeping.
Sleep, sleep, sleep and all is coming.
But also that, when the situation calls for it, hunt and fight like the lion that you are. I have seen Salem fight other bigger cats to protect his terrotiry. I have seen him stare dogs down. Salem showed me that when threatened, there power in standing your ground, looking the big dog in the eye and saying something like, I get 20 hours of sleep in a day. You don’t want to mess with me.
He also chooses his battles. He knows when to run.
Cats are so present. It’s like they know their place in the world. They know how big and complicated it is. They know that their best bet is to just ‘be’.
Be-ing is something I have been trying to practice. I get so many ideas, get stimulated by so many things and have so much desire for growing, for expanding, for making happen, for becoming, for evolving, that my days get filled with doing, doing, doing, and thinking about what to do next. doing. Now I am including in my daily practice this sweet interest of mine called Tantra. Before you read further, let me clarfify that tantra is commonly associated with sex, but it is not only about sex.
Tantra is really about connection — whether that’s with yourself or between you and a partner. It is derived from the ancient Sanskrit that means “web” or “to weave energy.” For me— It’s about the breath, a state of being fully present, and feeling the weaving in and out of energy through my body. And like yoga, tantra is about physical AND spiritual awareness. It allows me to reach a higher state of mind-body consciousness, while I also create a deeper, more harmonious bond with my own body.
Tantra practice teaches me to:
· Just be.
· Focus on your breath.
•. Send slow, deliberate and conscious, yet effortless breaths to your pelvic floor.
. Feel the energy flow circulating from your root chakra.
· Pay attention.
· Let energy accumulate.
· Don’t release yet.
· Let energy flow and accumulate.
· No need to expend energy out yet.
· Let energy flow accumulate.
· Go slow.
•. Increase attention to all your sense experience.
· Build the moment.
· Milk ‘be’ing in the moment.
· Milk being.
Ooops. I mean, soya milk. Cause I’m plant-based. Hehe. (How to insert pinoy humor in newsletters? Would probably be my next google search. Haha)
Returning to my tantric point. I realized that instead of letting the energy flow out of you, you ground yourself. As you meditate, you let your energy flow downward into the earth, and let that energy build and spread throughout your body, giving you strength. WHILE….
In practicing Tantra with a partner, the basic stuff are:
Let the intensity build. Gaze into each other’s eyes without blinking for as long as possible.
Synchronize your breathing. You can try inhaling and exhaling together, or inhaling as your partner exhales.
Tell your partner what you like. When they touch and play with you, call out what you’re enjoying and ask them to continue. Have your partner do the same.
Set an intention for your practice. Whether it’s to have better sex or to strengthen your relationship, you and your partner should go into the session knowing what you both want out of it.
Why am I sharing all these?
Because my tantric point number two is this---I am trying to look at my projects now as my partners. And it is changing (for the better) my relationship with the future and its natural uncertainty, and the ‘impatience’ that drives all the doing, creating so much anxiety and stress..
(I am open, present, and tantric like a cat.)
I gaze into project’s eyes.
I let the intensity build.
I synchronise our breath.
I tell it what I do like.
I set an intention for our relationship.
I let go of outcomes.
Then next thing I know, the project is making me incredibly happy. (Of course action, work and showing up I still part of the process. But being present and detached to outcomes, make me more available for inspired actions that feel good. Feel right.)
Waiting doesn’t require patience. Waiting is seeing the build-up as the reward on its own. So that we don’t miss our own lives while we try to do, do, do.
There. Thank you for reading this far. All I wanted to say was I have been flirting with all my dreams by being a cat and following some tantric principles.
I send you Love,
These GOODIES below might tickle your fancy!
RITWAL - a grounding Full Moon Gathering via Zoom
Weird and magical and beautiful people will gather this Saturday. To harness the energies of the full moon and set clear intentions for manifestation and good juju for the coming month. There will be a Movement Meditation called Dose of Pleasure, a Cacao Ceremony and a Reiki Healing Meditation. Click here to know more. RITWAL – a Full Moon Gathering is a monthly Daloy-hosted event that uses meditation-mindfulness-movement from special facilitators in the healing arts, for care, connection and community. Click here.
Balancing Day Job and Healing Work
I chatted with long-time collaborator, Anjeline De Dios, and we talked about BALANCING one’s day job with healing work. Anjeline or Jeline, is an academic researcher, writer, vocal performer and meditation facilitator. Watch the 55-min Interview here KALAWAKAN is a free weekly interview with artists, scientists, environmentalists, teachers, healers, mystics, oracles, spirit questors, priestesses, researchers, community-weavers and more, as a way to introduce the Daloy Community to a wide expanse of enlightening and healing topics by getting to know people who are on the journey of EXPANSION through their work.
I am invited to speak at TedX Ateneo de Manila University
The pandemic made me a public speaker. Long story. Will save it for another love letter. This poster on the left was from last year’s Conference on Spirituality. This May 17-22, I am speaking at TedX Ateneo de Manila University. My talk’s theme is” Embodying ‘Daloy’ or flow, and healing through dancing” (More details about the actual event, soon.) Here’s the description: Daloy, Tagalog for 'flow', a movement meditation that gets one into moments of ease and present-moment awareness, Dao/Tao / Flow / Daloy, and through the consciousness and embodiment of the divine feminine energy of intuition and surrender. Reclaiming the Bahala Na (Bathala Na) as a conscious living tradition, and universal wisdom within Philippine pakikipagkapwa. In this talk, Ea explains how through being fully in our bodies, we could experience Trust, and how it could give us more lightness, expansiveness and flow in our daily lives.
Lastly, I have been saying the mantras--- ‘I am open to receiveing love’, for quite some time now. If you feel resonance with Daloy’s workshops and offerings, as well as the online content that I regularly produce, I am open to receiving your love and support via Patreon.
Images are form Pinterest (no copyright infringement intended)