Author: Our Community

Contest: How Carlos Castaneda’s books Inspired You!

How Carlos Castaneda Inspires You Contest

Dear Community!

We are launching a fun contest to win the participation to our live workshops in Mexico City, England and Moscow! This contest will inspire you to reflect and recapitulate the first time you read Carlos Castaneda’s books. What attracted you? What inspired you? How old you were? Join our contest online on Facebook and post your OWN story here How Carlos Castaneda Inspires You contest.

Below please find samples of stories from our teachers of how they got inspired by the books!

My Introduction to the World of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico

How Carlos Castaneda Inspires You contestBy Tom Reavley

My name is Tom Reavley and I live in the capital city of Guanajuato, Mexico, although I grew up in the United States.  My story is about how I deviated from a conventional career as a lawyer and found my true path with a heart.

I had just returned to California after finishing law school on the East Coast and I was excited about finally beginning my professional career as a lawyer in a large San Francisco firm.  After three years of marriage I was also now honoring my promise to my wife to help her return to finish her undergraduate degree at Stanford University, where we had met. Everything was going so well.  Even living in married student housing was a joy—the winter of 1974 was wet and the Stanford hills, visible from our bed, were a brilliant green.

As much as I was committed to succeeding as a lawyer, there were some things that bothered me about my new life.  I had always hated the idea of being trapped in the world of business and a life controlled by social expectations.  I was particularly concerned about having a long commute every day from Palo Alto to San Francisco. I had to get on a train every day and spend an hour traveling through an urban corridor and then walking a mile past parking lots and city buildings to the 54- story building that housed my law firm.  Some part of me was not happy about the prospect of spending the rest of my life on a treadmill.

One day after work my wife mentioned a book I might be interested in—part of her assigned reading in a course entitled the Psychology of Perception.  The book was The Teachings of Don Juan, and I read it on my daily commute to and from work.  I marveled at the young anthropologist’s courage in undergoing terrifying drug-induced experiences.  Castaneda’s second book, A Separate Reality, had already been published and I read this book even more avidly than the first.  It seemed filled with a practical philosophy that was different from any I had studied that really excited me.  

However, the accounts of Castaneda’s experiences with hallucinogenic plants that filled the first two books put me off.  Although I imagined that I might risk taking such plants if they were available and if I had someone like don Juan to supervise the experience, neither don Juan nor the plants were available to me and, in any event, I couldn’t risk my career as a lawyer by taking an illegal substance.  

Then I read the third book, Journey to Ixtlan, an experience from which I never recovered.  Up to that point in my life, I cannot remember ever having read a book more than once.  Over the next several years I probably read Journey to Ixtan cover to cover at least twenty times.  In the introduction Castaneda explains that he had finally realized that the real lessons were not the drug experiences but the behavioral recommendations that don Juan made—lessons on how to tighten-up one’s life and stop living as if immortal.

 These lessons were so breathtakingly simple and yet beautiful that I just couldn’t get enough of reading them. I wanted to experience this magic for myself. On the other hand, at this stage in my life I had just completed an intense three-year legal training at Harvard, which instilled the value of logic, reason and skepticism.  Nobody was going to make a fool of me.

The challenge became, how do I prove these claims Castaneda is making, at least to myself?  I needed evidence, and I had to accumulate it without any personal contact with don Juan or Carlos Castaneda.  One day after a period of continual practice I suddenly realized that I could maintain the view of everything within my one hundred eighty degree field of vision all at once, without focusing on any one point in particular.  For me this was amazing. It subtly forced my mind into a temporary state of silence.

I read all the other books as they were published and each one gave me a boost of energy and excitement.  One Sunday in February 1995 I was at a seafood restaurant with my extended family. From the other end of the table my younger brother got up to show me a page from the catalog of a spiritual retreat center in New York that described a weekend seminar with Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar, two female apprentices of don Juan and close associates of Carlos Castaneda.

My brother grinned and said that he and my mother had nominated me to attend and check out this event for them.  It was like a jolt of electricity–Castaneda was sponsoring an event for the general public, after 25 years of elaborate efforts to maintain anonymity in his private life!

Intellectually, I maintained a certain amount of distance and doubt—maybe the seminar would reveal that these people were a bunch of charlatans just trying to make some money off of the credulous readers of the books. At an emotional level, I was immediately hooked—I would go to the seminar come hell or high water.  How could I not go, after holding on to the books like a life raft for 20 years?

It was not exactly like my fantasy of Castaneda and don Juan knocking on my door and inviting me to join them. No one came to tell me how great I was or how much I was needed. On the other hand it didn’t seem like a momentous decision. I was just going to a weekend seminar. I had the time and could afford the cost. It was only an experiment with no downside.

Yet a part of me already knew that the game was over, that the illusion of my life’s predictable continuity was about to be shattered.  The seemingly slow and unhurried process of being drawn into “intent” of the shamans of ancient Mexico was accelerating. I could not resist. More importantly, something essential in me did not want to resist. It welcomed this intent with open arms. I was coming home.

How I got acquainted with the works of Carlos Castaneda.

How Carlos Castaneda Inspires You ContestBy Anastasiya Ganich

My name is Anastasiya Ganich and I live in Moscow. I was 24 years old when I broke up with a boyfriend, because his family did not accept me. I had to hear many unpleasant and unfair words about myself. It hurt me and I started to get sick.

My mother took me to a young woman, a healer, so that she restored me energetically. I began attending medical sessions, and this coincided with my long search for energy practice, which I would like to do. After a short time I started learning this technique, achieved certain results, helping my family members, and then other people.

For 5-6 years before, my mother underwent surgery and treatment for breast cancer. She defeated the disease and now continued to seek options for maintaining her health. My stepfather’s nephew was a beginning oncologist, and somehow in a conversation with my mom he told her about the interesting author Carlos Castaneda and advised her to read something from his books.

Mom told me about this and asked me to buy these books for her. Soon I went to the only store of esoteric literature in Moscow “The Path to Yourself.” I bought all the books of Carlos Castaneda available in Russian, published by the publishing house Sofia. These were three voluminous orange books; they are still preserved in my library. My mom read a little and left them to stand on the shelf near the TV.

At one of the meetings with the healer, I asked if she knew anything about Carlos Castaneda and his books. She replied that she had read it, but it did not suit her. And I decided to try it. Soon I picked up the first book “The Teaching of Don Juan”, and did not let go of my hands until I read everything. It was not easy.

The text was rich and complex, the font was small, that I had to strain my eyes, the volumes are heavy. But I carried them with me, continuing to read everywhere, at every opportunity. I was not at all embarrassed that I did not understand the concepts that were presented in the books. Something in the text, in its rhythm, grabbed my attention, and I did not want to stop.

Some time passed and one day I was late for work and nervous, went to the subway and read another book by Carlos Castaneda. I did not notice anything around and completely immersed myself in the text. My reading was interrupted by a young man who leaned toward me and said: “Girl, do not you know that stalkers do not read books on the subway?”

I looked up in surprise and, without remembering his face, stubbornly replied: “I am reading”, and continued reading. This day and this meeting left a deep mark on my life. Since that time, Castaneda’s books have ceased to be an exciting reading for me, they have acquired an emotional depth for me and for years have become the key to deep affection and love. What happened that then was undoubtedly a maneuver of the Spirit, because only through strong emotions and feelings it was possible to catch me.

Six months later, in 2004, I attended my first Tensegrity workshop in Moscow, and the teachings of Don Juan gradually became an element of my spiritual practice.

The next stage of my acquaintance with the wisdom, which was set out in the books of Carlos Castaneda was 2011, when I experienced a strong emotional and physical shock. My world collapsed, and with it me too. That year, Aerin, Miles and their child Axel arrived in Moscow. I visited that first Being energy workshop in Russia. Participation in this seminar saved me, and it’s not just words.

Then followed the modules of the training program and a deep immersion in the practice of Being energy. For me, the next layer became available. Softly and elegantly, the knowledge of seers of Ancient Mexico was introduced and woven into my daily life. It is a long and beautiful path full of unexpected discoveries.

And now, after 7 years, in 2018, I again stand in the doorway. The knowledge and practices that Carlos Castaneda has discovered for us are becoming part of my professional activities. In the summer I will be co-leader of BE workshop in Moscow. It’s incredible, where Path with the heart can lead us.

Unless then, in 2003, could I think about something like this ?! I courageously will enter this door and grab this chance. I feel in myself a vibrating force and will not allow doubts and fears to interfere with me. I believe in myself, ‘I am already given to the power that rules my fate’. I feel deep gratitude for the gift that Carlos Castaneda gave us, inviting through his books to the wonderful world of real life.

How I connected with the Nagual books

how Carlos Castaneda inspires you contestBy Erika Gavin

My name is Erika Gavin, I’m Italian and I’ve been living in Mexico for 22 years. My story is about the time I discovered Carlos Castaneda’s books and talks about how they moved and supported me for the beginning of a great change in my life.

I was enrolled in the first year of the psychology faculty of Padova, after leaving a high school that had directed me towards architecture and could not feel me in my place neither there nor anywhere else. I was not sure that the university at that moment was my way, I felt the cold classes and the knowledge that I had reach did not reach my heart. I lived with my parents, I was 18 years old and there was a lot of tension in the house. My father did not agree with the fact that I studied psychology and my mother gave me some money behind the scenes to support me. I did work when I could, as a waitress or washing cars, until I opened a printing press in partnership with some friends, but that did not work. I felt in a moment of transition where nothing was clear and everything had lost meaning, color and momentum. I asked the spirit, with whom I always communicated in my own way since I was a child, an example of something I could follow and made me feel again excited to be alive and connected to myself, something that would help me find my place.

One day a friend came to see me to bring me the book of “The teachings of Don Juan” by Carlos Castaneda. He said “I brought it to you because I know it’s just for you, it did not convince me much, but I’m sure you’ll understand.” Since childhood I had always been very restless, and I was interested in talking frequently about death, life and existence, questioning everything. I was also very attracted to the mystic and the mystery and magic hidden behind the facade of ordinary things.

The book caught me from the beginning, it made me feel something new, it was as if it were vibrating and had a different energy than what I knew. I had just read several books about the holocaust and felt my spirits wrapped in a black cloud. Reading Castaneda, I experienced the feeling of the desert sun revitalizing me and realized that it was possible to experience the world in a more exciting way than I knew. I felt immediately that there was something there that was the answer to what I had asked for. When I finished the book I looked for the others and I read them one by one as fast as I could. Trip to Ixtlan filled me with astonishment and it echoed deep inside me. It made me feel that it was possible to get home, to this internal place that I longed for; My mind did not understand it completely, but my body knew it in an instant. As I described life, death and the powers that govern this world made me jump the heart, I wanted to feel part of all that and be able to surrender myself to those powers. I felt that the spirit showed me a path to where I had always longed to go. Many concepts and descriptions that I read calmed me down and made me experience deep happiness.

The books gave me a great impulse and aroused my curiosity. I wanted to know and know more and explore that world in some way. I followed my instinct and my desire to travel, I left the faculty of psychology and I prepared myself to go to Mexico. My first trip lasted a few months, but Mexico and its people loved and amazed me, so I came back with the idea of settling there for a while. I am still in Mexico today and I am very grateful for all that I have lived and learned and for finding me transiting a path with a heart.

How I got Acquainted with the Books of Carlos Castaneda

how Carlos Castaneda inspires you contestBy Andrey Petrov 

Hello! My name is Andrey Petrov, I live in Moscow, Russia.

In this short story I want to share with you how I got acquainted with the books of Carlos Castaneda.

Being a child, I always looked for something more that went beyond the world around me.

In the beginning, I literally lived by Russian fairy tales and their magical and omnipotent characters. Becoming a little older, I fell in love with the style of fantasy with its kind and evil wizards, magical transformations and mystical artifacts.

Then the books on Buddhism, yoga and even religion came. Despite the fact that many of the reads were close to me, the overall picture of the “way” still did not add up. Perhaps I was not ready to perceive this knowledge, and maybe the abundance of the unusual and paranormal terminology that is present in these books may have affected. For a while I was also practiced martial arts, but the elements of aggression that came into them did not suit me.

And finally, on the third year of studying at the university, two close friends made me a birthday present. It was the very first book of Carlos Castaneda “Teachings of Don Juan”. This moment coincided with the period when I needed to take the summer session, which I instantly forgot. For several days I did not leave the house, reading the book from early morning until late at night, until I mastered it whole.

From the very first pages it became clear to me that the stories described in the book have a very profound meaning for me. I had a feeling that at last I met my source – everything made a perfect sense and fell into place.

I was happy and thrilled with the knowledge that opened up in Castaneda’s book. However, at that time, I did not realize that this was only the first and perhaps the easiest step in a long, and sometimes dangerous, journey to knowledge and power.

Following the “Teaching of Don Juan”, I read all the other books of Castaneda and his associates, gathering a complete “collection”, issued by the publishing house “Sofia”. At that time, in the late 90s of the last century, books literally had to be hunt – to search for fairs and also to wait for new books that had not yet been published.

Nowadays, I do not read books as often as before. Mostly I address them in those moments when I want to find answers to non-standard questions or solve extraordinary situations. I made an interesting observation that opening the first attracted book in an arbitrary place, I tend to find what I’m looking for, after reading a couple of pages, and often a single paragraph.

Also, compared to the first readings, I began to notice how intense the contents and meaning of all the text written by Castaneda are. For an open reader with a certain level of energy, literally a couple of phrases are enough for a lifeless change in all life.

Concluding my story, I want to express my love and deep gratitude to Carlos Castaneda for his books – an invaluable gift left to all of us, as well as to translators and editors who worked on the first Russian editions.

As one of the priorities of my life, I chose to further transfer this knowledge to interested people in order not to let them get lost in the sea of endless and easily accessible digital information.

The Magical Cocoon – How I Recovered my Relationship With My Daughter

By Tom Reavley

One night I got into a taxi in Mexico City with my daughter and a friend.  We were taking my daughter to see a famous healer in the city.  There was a soft rain outside and the city lights were reflected in the wet streets.  The traffic was calm for Mexico City and we proceeded toward the Coyoacán neighborhood.  I was excited and, at the same time, nervous–this thing of going to see a healer, especially with my daughter, was unknown territory for me.  She was confiding in me but I really didn’t understand anything about what we were doing.  The only thing that sustained me was a sense of magic all around us, the feeling of being in a protective cocoon as we traveled to the appointment.

The story began three months earlier. My whole family thought that my mother was close to dying and we all traveled to her city on the west coast of the United States.  It was the first time I had seen my daughter in six months; she had just graduated from her university and was working far away from where I lived in Mexico.  The emotional link between us remained damaged after the divorce five years earlier.  

We would see each other and talk, but there was a barrier–we were not able to be really honest and present with each other like before.  Nevertheless, when I learned of her health problems and after my mother recovered, I decided to risk feeling foolish and proposed that she goes with me to see the healer in Mexico.  I was almost certain that she would reject the idea.

I probably never would have even mentioned the idea if some unusual things had not occurred pointing me in this direction.  One day I was eating with a group of people in San Luis Potosí.  A woman from Mexico City began to talk about the autobiography of Alejandro Jodorowsky.  I was fascinated by her comments and decided that I would like to read the book if I could find a copy.

 That same night I returned to my apartment in Guanajuato and the young man who shared the apartment and who knew nothing about my conversation earlier that day in San Luis, came into my bedroom and, without any preliminaries, offered to loan me that very book by Jodorowsky.  He had not even read it himself but thought that it might interest me.  I was amazed at the coincidence and read the entire book within a few days.  I enjoyed it immensely, especially the stories about Jodorowsky’s experiences with Doña Pachita, a very well-known healer or curandera in Mexico City.

 Years before, I had read about this same healer in the books of Carlos Castaneda.  Jodorowsky wrote that Pachita had died but that her son continued her healing practice in Paris. A week later I was talking with a close friend in Guanajuato about something else and she mentioned out of the blue that she had been treated by Pachita’s son, who wasn’t in Paris but in Mexico City.  She offered to accompany my daughter to see “El Hermano” (as the being who communicated through the healer was known). She also offered us lodging at her family’s home in Mexico City.

One week after proposing a visit to the healer to my daughter she called me and agreed.  The most surprising thing was that even her mother was also supportive.  I felt that things were arranging themselves and flowing so easily and naturally that the only way to proceed was just to accept it all and let go of my habit of trying to control everything.  

That night in the taxi, I was traveling in a dream–the world was new, almost unknown.  I was amazed at my daughter’s calmness and her courage and, I was so grateful to my friend for having facilitated everything.  She formed an emotional connection with my daughter immediately after meeting her and offered her unconditional maternal support.

The healer recommended that my daughter have a psychic “operation”. Afterwards she had to stay in bed for five days, without getting up except to go to the bathroom.  He prescribed a special diet and some herbal teas.  During those days I looked after my daughter with all my attention and care as if she were a newborn baby.  I made the teas, went to the local market to buy the necessary food and ingredients and I kept her company in her bedroom when she was not sleeping.

With time my daughter’s physical condition improved, but I believe what was even more important was what happened between us.  For the first time since my separation from her mother, we found again the confidence, honesty and love between us that had been lost.

After returning to her home, my daughter wrote to Lilia, our host in Mexico City.  She expressed her gratitude for Lilia’s help in recovering her father.  I also thanked Lilia and her lovely family for having helped me get my daughter back.  Even beyond my thanks to Lilia, her family and the curandero, my gratitude extended to and still touches something more abstract but so real: the energetic soul of this enchanting city, that sent me a messenger to San Luis Potosí and the perfect host for my daughter, and that wrapped us in a healing cocoon, a shared dream that I will never forget. 


Cuicuilco, Where I Reconnect to My Legacy


By Aridana Vasquez

The Mexico Valley has movement and stillness at the same time.

What if when exploring the city, we suddenly find ourselves in this inert space between kaos and stillness? We could enter and leave the city’s labyrinth with a single blink, and thus find our own voice, purpose and legacy; accepting our duality as the flow of light and life that we are and of the stillness, darkness and death that we also are.

cuicuilcoIn the attempt to live my life with awareness, whenever I can, I take a break from work and I take a moment to sort out my thoughts.

I walk towards Cuicuilco, the Mesoamerican archaeological zone of the Preclassic period located in the south-east of the Valley of Mexico. Cuicuilco is translated as the place where songs and dances are made. This city existed long ago in apparent linear time, and at the same time it feels so alive and present. I feel it in full connection with our ancestral spirit. It has been a refuge of ideas, a silent refuge of calm seas. And it is in the middle of the city, near my work!

When arriving to Cuicuilco, I take a deep breath and a collection of old memories send me into that isolated space and stopped in time. I feel that Cuicuilco is calling me, and that it wants to share its secrets with me. I like to feel protected by its lava fields. The volcanic eruptions of Xitle buried and destroyed Cuicuilco. This disaster caused the dispersion of the Cuicuilca culture towards Toluca and Teotihuacán; its inhabitants had to be reborn and strengthened again.

cuicuilcoPerhaps it is the energy of all that space covered in lava, the thousands of vessels and bones that were trapped in the volcanic rock, in containment; Maybe those secrets are covered and trapped in those eruptions of the Xitle where the lava eternalized the moment. As when I’m here standing time is suspended and my thoughts get clear.

Cuicuilco opens up to my eyes like a vigorous core of restorative energy.

Its circular pyramid brings me the memory of the wind that flows without barriers and cleanses my dual being, awakens it.

I sit down with Ernesto Sábato’s book, “Sobre Heroes y Tumbas” and this sentence calls my attention:

“A mysterious event is proceeding in these moments: dusk.”

What would happen if we really saw the days go by, wrapped in mystery? …

What would our lives be like if we were surprised by the complexity of the night?

If we really put all our attention in a single terrestrial rotation, and at the end of the day we found other answers about our species or about our being?

What do I feel about seeing me here, at this moment, in this space of time? “

I have been asking myself these questions since I was very small: I always thought about the duality of life and death. When I felt fear, from one moment to another, the wind would come to calm my spirit … the wind of a night full of mystery.

In Cuicuilco, the wind flows and whistles a music for me inside, and sometimes meets the edges of my thoughts. Its circular pyramid feels flowing, embracing and reconstructing each idea, each thought until its liberation; the roundness of its main pyramid makes it possible.

This is how the song and dance of the place are received, without any obstacle; it just flows and takes flight to new perceptions. My daily worries fade and I dance in silence. My heart opens even more and an impetus to recognize me as part of this mystery that surrounds me.

The wind touches my cheek while reminding me “I’m here, I celebrate my time, my steps, my darkness and my own singing. I am the way where times converge.” My heart grows.

“I am life.”

Hike To The Lake: How the 2016 Schweibenalp Retreat Helped One Woman Connect to the Joy Within

The following is a testimonial written by Barbara Vencelj, who attended our 2016 retreat in Schweibenalp, Switzerland. Barbara shares about how the retreat helped her connect with herself, nature and her community. 

During our six-day retreat in Schweibenalp in October of 2016, we had a wonderful time. We were practicing movements, breathing, witnessing exercises and learning energy passes to activate and open the body and heart and fully express heartfelt intention.

Together, we shared days in a beautiful environment in nature in the mountains above the lake, connected with the universe and earth, and with each other. We shared nourishing meals and glistened with life. My heart was singing in celebration of life. I was filled with joy seeing all the colors and thinking about the abundance that life on earth offers.

 We also shared an unforgettable walk towards the lake in the mountains. It was a bright and clear morning with a crisp, blue sky and white clouds wandering around. Mist hovered above the lake. We walked on meadows above the big lake into the woods. I remember how the sun shone through the trees. The path was nice and smooth. I walked with ease. I felt connected to the mother earth and connected in breath, with my energy body and my physical body.  Silence gently stopped my inner dialogue and I was one with the universe. 


retreatI remember walking with Aerin, holding for hands and chatting like old friends. Oh how we laughed! I was so happy. It’s such a nice feeling to hike with people you love. The air was cold and Aerin was cold. She let me borrow her green gloves! That made me even happier.

Along the path to the lake, there were many friendly wooden sculptures of people and animals that inspired and brought joy to me.

After an hour and a half, we reached the lake, the green eye of the mountain, softly reflecting the mountains and the trees, gathering the heart of the mountain spirits in the silence.

We gathered on the shore of the lake, experiencing the silence and peace. Above the lake mountains, the sun rose high above us and shined down, like a dear friend sending shiny laser-like beams through the clouds. It looked truly magical. We all felt blessed to be a part of nature and the universe so, we sang songs of joy and gratefulness, celebrating this beautiful life. 

retreatIt was truly a beautiful and unforgettable hike, and I am gratefully looking forward to returning to the mountains again.

-Barbara Vencelj

Barbara is a medical doctor, and part of an outdoor emergency rescue team in the mountains of Slovenia


About Our 2017 Retreat In  Schweibenalp, Switzerland

You can experience joy, peace, connection and community in Schweibenalp, Switzerland just like Barbara did. We will return to Schweibenalp for a 4-day retreat October 26th – 29th for another incredible weekend learning to unlock the seven gates to dreaming. Learn more about the retreat here! We cannot wait to connect with you.

The Spiral of My Life – Pablo Baynon on the Path with Heart

The spiral of my life began in a full-blown social uprising. I was in my mother’s womb when the police detained her with others in a protest. My mother also used to sing before I was born; my maternal grandfather played the piano while my grandmother made world maps and took care of a store. My father was a laborer at that time, like my paternal grandfather who was a lathe operator; my grandmother was the daughter of Patagonia farmers. At an early age, I experienced the last military dictatorship in Argentina. My parents tried to keep us away from the horror that they were living, but I remember the fear they expressed with their eyes and my own fear of everyone who seemed menacing.

Fortunately I lived in a neighborhood where a lot of children played. We also drew, sang and performed plays with my siblings and cousins. All of the foregoing shaped my passion and purpose in this world. Another element came in also that passed unnoticed for many years. In the summer school that I attended with other children, one hot afternoon they took us for a walk to a small wooden bridge over a stream. The teachers were chatting among themselves a few yards away when the comments of the little ones caught my attention. I looked toward where they were pointing and saw something that I still cannot distinguish from a dream; in the muddy ravine of the stream, carved in the black earth, was a large face with thick lips, wide nose and two brilliant carmine red stones in the sockets of both eyes. I contemplated the image in silence and heard someone saying to the children that the face was made by the “Indians,” that if a rock were thrown at it, this would bring rain.


I was developing my interest in drawing, sports, making songs and also participation in politics. When I was invited to play in a rock band, I felt that at last I had a place in the world. However, something wasn’t working. Some years later my music friends had children or their work required all their time. It was then that a friend loaned me A Separate Reality by Carlos Castaneda. When I finished the book, I went out to the street like always, but for the first time, I walked in compete silence. And it was while taking such a walk some time afterward that I made the decision to follow the “path with heart.” I understood what it was that wasn’t working for me in relation to music. What I was really looking for was a way to feel safe and recognized. I wanted to be like the famous musicians. In order to follow the new path, I had to make an arrangement: From then on, music would be my traveling companion and I would sing for whoever wanted to listen.

la quemadaTo follow the path with heart, what would be better than to travel to Mexico! Moreover, I would see whether I could take care of myself alone. I corroborated in the land of Mexico the immense heritage of ancient wisdom, still expressed in their infinite culture. However, little by little I lost my impetus to make the trip, and found myself exhausted by daily life and a heartbreak. Walking one afternoon, the idea came to me that I should meet new people. That night I encountered a practitioner of the energy passes, who took me to a practice the next day. There I met my wife.

The energy passes gave me an enormous push and my beloved proposed that we go to Michoacan to live on a farm. But still… I was afraid. I decided to take a walk in the mountains in order to make a big decision. In the train station, a man who was walking beside me gave me a magazine. A sign! But no matter how much I read the copy, I couldn’t find anything that would resolve my doubts. Actually, I didn’t really know what I wanted to make of my life. For several years of ups and downs, I lived this purpose with my companion, but I still had the sensation of doubt. I could have saved myself a lot of unpleasantness and enjoyed that period better if I had paid more attention to the magazine that the mysterious man gave me. I had kept it and looked through it years after: On the inside cover there was an enormous photograph of the monarch butterflies, the symbol of Michoacan!


13147945_10154784442769008_684090214_oThen the farm moved to the province of Cordoba, Argentina. During a stalking exercise, when we were asked to find the stone that we still have in our heart, I closed my eyes and relived the terror of the time of the dictatorship in the country. But I also saw the image of my grandmothers with white handkerchiefs who, with the aid of institutions, achieved the goal that these people who terrorized me received their just reward. I decided to leave this fear behind.

My lineage, the face carved in the muddy ravine, the music, the energy passes, the love for my fellow man, my beloved… everything strung together in the spiral of this life.

The Sword Form, performed by Pablo Baynon

Teaching BE: Sharing Magical Moments

Our Community: Luis Alonso shares his experience of teaching BE

Luis reflects on a Being Energy class he just taught to a group of students.

The experience of transmitting energy passes is very pleasant and mysterious.

I always am in wonder at the vibration generated in the group, as well as the possibility of opening, through practice, a space for inner silence. I remain hopeful that the people who attend my classes achieve that cubic centimeter of chance that don Genaro talked about—that second of silence that allows you to stop the world and change your point of view.

Two hours of class can seem like a short time or a long time. It depends on your perspective.

Luis class standingOne second of intensity may be sufficient to turn the wheel of time. Inevitably, I link my teaching experiences with the Being Energy workshop on the Wheel of Time, which made a big impression on me. This choice of holding or moving body tension, of letting ego control you or finding freedom and relaxation spirit.

I hope that people who attended this class came away with the idea that it is possible to move with consciousness and freedom, that energy passes are not mechanical movements, but life and energy in expression.

A Path Unfolds: Lirio’s Story

Hello. I am Tania Quiroz, known as Lirio Díaz, and I live in Xalapa, in the State of Veracruz, Mexico.

I was born in Mexico City and lived there for many years, which is why it is a place that I love and go back to every chance I get.

I have lived in Xalapa for several years. It is a town that embraced me and allowed me to start building dreams and projects that I had envisioned for a long time, which started growing once I came here. This is a beautiful city that lies among mountains, with plenty of green areas.

Once, when I was a child, I was next to my small bookshelf and I figured that I would love to have lots of books around me. Just picturing this filled me with joy. It made me feel that I had company and shelter. It was one of the first times that I felt the touch of that energy outside of us that enables you to dream, imagine, and that clears the way before you.

Lirio_Xalapa_1Since I was in elementary school, and all the way through high school, I always felt connected with the stories in the books—fiction in particular—and it was easy for me to discuss their contents with others.

It was also in high school that I read Carlos Castaneda’s books, and they had a strong impact on me. It was like saying, “Of course! That’s it!” and feeling relieved and happy about something being proved that you knew inside, but which you could not voice. That something, to me, was to feel that life had a purpose and that it is worth living.

From that moment on, I applied in my daily life what I had understood from the books. I can say that it always brought a sense of more calm and confidence to my actions. When I learned the energy movements, years later, I committed to practicing them with great delight.

Lirio_and_StudentsBack to my dreams and projects, it was thanks to a dear friend, who suggested that I started giving workshops about short stories for children and teenagers, that reading was revealed to me as a means to share with others, as well as a source of income.

I enjoyed teaching workshops for children. I learned much from them; from their innocence, their intelligence, creativity and sense of humor.

I graduated as a psychologist, and wrote a paper about reading as a support tool for teenagers. My idea was to keep offering these workshops in schools, but something did not fit entirely in that plan.

It was then when I attended my first Being Energy workshop in Teotihuacan, and I also took the Module 1 Teacher Training. There I found the energy needed for the project that I really wanted: teaching self-improvement classes in which I included physical movements performed with awareness, reading and psychology. Movement was the missing piece in the puzzle, and once I realized it, I could not imagine a full session without it.

Lirio_MovementThis project is still being nourished by the support network that Being Energy represents. I learned a lot from teaching online classes, and my understanding of the movements and the body was grounded in a deeper way. I also found myself experiencing great physical and emotional well-being.

Taking the leap to the online platform was also a great opportunity, because now there’s a big flow of information going through it, and more people are coming to it. It is the platform that I currently use most to teach my Being Energy and self-improvement classes (via Skype).

Lirio_ThankYouI am very grateful to Aerin and Miles and to the entire Being Energy community for opening this wonderful path of learning, well-being and awareness.

Thank you for reading my story!

A Story of Confidence: Dr. Barbara Vencelj and BE

Note: Barbara will teach with us in Amsterdam! We are grateful to have her join us for our October workshops there, where she will be available to help you integrate your health issues and concerns with the tools you learn in the workshop.

This is my story of confidence. It revealed itself during the BE workshop in Italy this spring and now I am sharing it with you dear reader. I admit to having the same fear and lack of confidence that this story is about while writing this, but when I connect with the earth supporting me and sky inspiring me, I can let the words flow, and the story tell itself.

I am happy to feel aligned with confidence in my life—most of the time. I feel safe to travel around, admire the magical world and connect with other people, animals, water, mountains, trees and things I encounter along the way, and to breathe in and out freely. This feeling of safety and being accepted comes from my family, and I’ve also found it from the earth, as it supports me in every step I make, and the sky and stars that keep drawing out my dreams.

bv_antelopeIf I close my eyes and think of confidence, an image of my father pops out. His working hands—strong brownish hands—and a smile on his face, he seemed able to tackle any task around the house and garden you can imagine. He fixed things with an ease and joy that was contagious. Whenever something broke—car, bike, washing machine, fence, roof, you name it—he could mend it. If there was a mathematical task, if a neighbor, a friend, mum, my brother or I needed a hand, he was there. With a sparkle in his eyes and light around of focused attention, he would accomplished his task, confidently and with sobriety. It was like something bigger supported him. Earth and sky.

I guess some of this confidence and kindness came to me through him.

bv_mountainsI chose to become a medical doctor, not really knowing why. I naturally want to help others in need. When I was a kid, if another kid was injured when we were playing, I cleaned and bandaged the wound and gave them a hug. I could do it with ease and love at the same time. I wasn’t afraid of seeing blood and damaged tissues. I could help with a confidence and calmness I cannot explain. That is why I became an emergency doctor, so that I could help and be with people in the worst moments, to act fast, with sobriety and calm to help a person out of danger. My intent, beyond offering treatment, is to mostly give comfort to others and be present as kind and loving human by their side… to hold their hand, listen, smile, and maybe help take the fear away in the scary environment of an ambulance or helicopter.

After ten years of being an emergency doctor, I realize that this is my deeper purpose…not only to ease pain, treat a wounded body and resuscitate hearts, but to give a smile, hold a person in one of their worst moments, give affection in the dark night and acknowledge and salute the spirit in a wounded or dying body—to see the spirit of a person and be beside them…that is my purpose. Today I feel the support of mother Earth and I know infinity holds me. It is my purpose. I am an expression of infinity, one who helps others to feel better, one who connects with others in a supportive, kind and loving way.

bv_helicopterConfidence: A key of wellbeing. One aspect of this inside of me is the feeling that I can act with sobriety in every situation. I studied and practiced and trained for years to acquire medical knowledge and skills. Most of the books I read are medical books, and I dedicate a lot of time to study. It brings me joy.

About five years, I joined Being Energy. Connecting with Aerin and Miles and the family of BE people, my perspective widened, and my awareness grows. Like a tree, rooted in the earth that listens to the stars, aligned with the intent of infinity. I have found out that my purpose and confidence is not a matter of my ego, but something bigger, living inside and outside of me. I feel that infinity holds and the earth supports me. Being confident is to be aligned with the force that moves the world around us, and to acquiesce to what my come.

Now every time we rush in an ambulance or helicopter to the scene of an accident, I consciously inhale deeply through my feet upward for support from the earth, and open my heart and crown to align with the universe…and I pray to do it right and well and acquiesce and let infinity hold us.

bv_energy_passIts hardest thing of all for me and also for other doctors is to take care of and to resuscitate a seriously ill or injured child. The immense stress and responsibility and fear of losing a child is scary and heavy.

A child is not just a small adult from the medical point of view. A child has a different physiology, different size and weight, different dosage of medicine…and as a doctor, you must be prepared, but there are some things that it isn’t possible to prepare for, and the fear of being responsible for a child’s life is so big that something bigger has to support it. I am here to do the best I know how, to do it in loving way and to be open for support.

It was an early Sunday afternoon on an ordinary busy day in our emergency department, when we got a call that one-and-a-half-year-old toddler had fallen from a second-story window and was laying on the road without signs of life. I felt a shiver go down my spine.

Fear squeezed my heart and brain for a moment… I remember as we were driving to the scene, I started praying for the child. I breathed in the breath from the earth, collecting confidence from the earth and let it travel through my body, through my lover discs to the heart and up to the brain. The breathing brings me to the here and now, and helps me connect to the feeling of trust and confidence. A trust in the universe and in something much bigger and a trust that it all will be ok, as it has to be. As we were driving to the child, something came to calm my mind and heart so that I could easily concentrate on things like calculating the child’s weight, proper dosages of medicine, etc.

bv_emergency_crewWe arrived at the scene, and I jumped out of car to the child lying on the ground. This moment was a moment of heightened awareness; it felt like there was a bubble of silence around me and the child,. I didn’t notice the noise of the crowd gathering around us or anything else; we were in a cocoon of light. The world stopped for the moment, and I saw the child breathing in and out, his heart still beating…he is alive…

Feelings of confidence and affection, acknowledgement of fear and trust all became very present at that moment. In the next minutes as we resuscitated the child, I felt the alignment of the universe and the intent that this child is going to live. We were so present, efficient, and the action went with ease and fluidity… we stabilized the child and took him to the hospital… And the child lived.

Thank you,
Barbara Vencelj

Change, Release and Free Your Story: Teaching on the Path with Heart

As a BE teacher, I often have to face all of my fears and insecurities when I begin to plan a class. I find myself asking: Who am I to be offering instruction to others in something so elusive and difficult to talk about as turning the wheel of time? How do we create a pause in the seemingly unceasing repetition of our own stories? How can I honestly stand before others when I really don’t understand anything myself?

Carlos Castaneda used to say that no one “understands” anything. A real understanding would require going behind or beyond the assumptions on which all attempts at understanding are based—something that we can never do because at the base of everything is pure mystery, the unknowable. It’s like the child who responds to every step of an adult’s explanation with “Why?” until finally his parent has to tell him that there is no “why” for some questions. However, even without understanding anything, we can handle and enjoy life and the world perfectly well; we can function wonderfully.

Tom Detail BE Energy PassWhen I guide Being Energy classes or teach it to others, my only option is to suspend my own story—which includes plenty of self doubts about handling something that can’t be reduced to logic or reason—and let the spirit channel through me, even if only for a while. Under the pressure of my commitment to present something, I have to relax at some point and let ideas flow—what to emphasize, how to express it, what sequences of movements to do—and then connect to the energetic feeling that the movements and practices create. This is especially true when presenting the Code or guiding a recapitulation session. It is a complete mystery why the movements of the Code silence the mind, but I do experience that silence and I feel it as a direct connection between me and those who I am guiding, even when we are on different parts of the globe, communicating by Internet but also through our energetic link.

Recapitulating in a group is even more mysterious. If each one of us is reviewing his own distinct life experiences, what is the value of pursuing this as a group or class activity? For one thing, we are conditioned to the discipline of a schedule and an agreement to meet together, so the class format helps us take that initial step—just do it! Beyond this practical advantage, the group format helps create and reinforce a certain mood—of silence, of courage and determination to face ourselves without judgment. The suspending of judgment also applies to the act of recapitulation itself. Even when nothing comes to us as an experience worthy of recapitulation, we accept this without self-criticism and with a mood of curiosity and wonder. Even the most seemingly mundane experience we happen to remember can lead to discovery and self-knowledge.

Tom TeachingThe challenge of integrating our innermost core, the essence of our being, with our behavior and choices is not a goal against which we judge ourselves as winners or losers. It is a path, a process that continues throughout our lives. Everyone has doubts, and each of us loses the feeling of fluid energy and silence over and over. However, if we have tasted this energy and silence, we know how to find it and keep coming back, trying to go deeper and maintain this position longer.
By deciding to teach, you are committing yourself. You are choosing to put yourself on the line and rally your energy each time you lead others, even though you have no guarantees that you will succeed. When a class approaches and you feel lost, the commitment comes to your aid. It focuses your attention and activates your intent so that you can genuinely connect to the inexhaustible source of life and creativity. You stand before others not knowing exactly what you will say, but with a feeling of certainty that expresses itself in your voice, your eyes and your movements. And in that moment you have changed your story—you are someone or something else, an expression of the infinite.

What a great gift is this opportunity to share beauty of spirit with others!

Tom Reavley

Note: You won’t want to miss Being Energy’s BE Skilled! workshops and training programs this fall. Dive in on September 26th for Turning the Wheel of Time and on November 7th for The Crack Between the Worlds!

Advanced registration required.

We’d love to see you there.

Aerin and Miles

BE in Bulgaria!

Hello Friends,

I am writing to you to let you know about our most recent workshop in Bulgaria. I can say that it was the most successful event led by BE instructors in Bulgaria. We were able to procure a beautiful event site, which served good food at a reasonable price of 45 EUR for the workshop, accommodation and full board. Have you heard of such a price? It is possible here. And half of the price covered the workshop, which was a normal hourly rate for yoga studios here.
We are, of course, just beginning on our path as BE Instructors in Bulgaria, so we did not ask for a higher price. Patience. Our group consisted of 12 practitioners plus the two Being Energy Instructors, Sergey Velev and me.

Let me say a little about the event site. It is a little rustic, but a very pleasant place in a small town with mineral springs. It is actually a small ceramic factory where there is a studio for designing different figures from clay. Every year the factory holds seminars for children, which gives them the opportunity to work with their hands in the studio. They also hold seminars for different kinds of artists—painters, sculptors, etc. There are beautiful pieces of art all around the studio that were made during these seminars.

Participants 1We had the whole place for the weekend, and we ate meals cooked especially for us, based on a menu we provided to them.

The mood was heartfelt and sincere; everybody worked hard and got the best for themselves from the event. There were six newcomers who expressed excitement and happiness to be there.

At the end of the workshop we left some time for everyone to ask questions or just to say how he/she felt. Most people shared that they now had a new vision for their lives. One of the newcomers explained that she was expecting to practice yoga, since we also announced the event through our yoga teacher friends. At first the movements confused her. She was astonished when we spoke about Carlos Castaneda, as she had recently begun reading Castaneda’s books. Upon making that connection, between reading the books and this event, she realized that she was not here by chance.

Participants In Studio 2

The theme of the workshop was “In the flow of Power.” That theme was generated by me and Sergey before hearing about the next Path With Heart series theme! During lunch, I heard a practitioner report about a video clip she had seen on YouTube about a mother duck that led her ducklings across a very busy, 6-lane highway. This story hit me. When, at the end of the event, we redefined for ourselves the meaning of personal power, I wrote in my notebook, “Personal power is to lead your little ducks across a busy six lane highway to get to the other side together.” And, why not through the Unknown?

Participants In Studio 5Can you imagine this bird passing through, flying and killing monsters with her ducklings? What can drive this incredible act? After the workshop, I found the clip and shared it on the Being Energy – Bulgaria Facebook page. You can see it here – A CNN Report.

I even bought a ceramic family of ducks that are in front of the tree house in the forest now, next to where I am writing this blog post to you—a beautiful chain of ducks. And of course it is now my desktop picture.Make_way_for_ducklings_statue

During the preparation of the workshop, I had a very strong feeling that I had to keep certain the intent about the theme and then develop everything around it. It definitely came, but at first I felt my energy was scattered and things didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked. It is a learning process, and I am grateful to my dear teachers, Aerin, Miles and all the incredible beings of the lineage, whom I feel are supporting me, and all of my comrades from BE Skilled!

Pavel Pavlov