Sep 27, 2016

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"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Racism, the Double Wounding, and Shamanism with Langston Kahn: Part Three

Can contemporary American's transform their consciousness-and unconsciousness- in their engagement with systemic racism? Shamanic practice offers tangible ways we can approach the transformation of our own internalized racism. When we choose to engage powerfully and skillfully on our selves in this moment we become the people who can then transform the system itself. Join host Christina Pratt and her guest Langston Kahn as they continue their exploration of how we can effectively engage the double wounding of racism and the roots of this cultural disease from a shamanic perspective. There are ways to use our shamanic skills to make new medicine for this ancient illness and step up, together as humanity, to shape a social fabric our descendants would be honored to inherit.

This week's guest:
Langston Kahn


Langston Kahn is a shamanic practitioner specializing in emotional clearing and radical transformation. He stands firmly at the crossroads, his practice informed by the western modality of Inner Relationship Focusing, initiations into traditions of the African Diaspora, the contemporary shamanic tradition of The Last Mask Center and the guidance of his helping spirits and ancestors weaving it all together.

Langston has studied and facilitated Inner Relationship Focusing, developed by Ann Weiser Cornell for the last 8 years. He has completed 5 years of training with Christina Pratt in the Cycle of Transformation and also serves on the leadership council for the Last Mask Community, a community of contemporary people striving to live in alignment with ancient shamanic beliefs and principles in a way that answers the unique challenges of our time. Additionally, he holds initiations in several traditions of the African Diaspora.

Langston, who is centered in New York City offers sessions in emotional clearing and shamanic healing and classes both in person and online.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Sep 20, 2016

The Enemy Within the Codependent Heart

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

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BBC America has been celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek by playing full, uncut episodes of the original show. I must confess that it dominated my television screen for an entire weekend. I think I may have even begun to convince my teenage daughter of its genius.

A standout episode for me is "The Enemy Within." Captain Kirk is split in two after a transporter accident. His "strange alter-ego," his dark half, becomes a sentient Kirk look-alike. But, no one sees this Mr. Hyde materialize on the platform moments after a very normal appearing Kirk has left the transporter room. He goes about functioning much as our internal shadow does, with neither Kirk, nor anyone else aware of his existence. Yet, a drunken, rampaging lout, who looks a lot like Captain Kirk, begins acting out his worst impulses.

Kirk's better half seems at first to be in every way the Kirk they all know – the split-off shadow like some foreign monster, "a thoughtless brutal animal" that the apparently normal Kirk would rather live without. But, it rapidly becomes clear that this calm, reasonable Kirk has lost some key components of his personality. He's indecisive. His instincts are dulled. "Good" Kirk is unqualified for command.

Eventually, the disowned shadow does what it will do. It overpowers the weakened, good-natured Kirk and takes command. It takes all that's left of his strength and support from his crew for the saner Kirk to confront and embrace his dark nature and reintegrate it.

"I've seen a part of myself no man should ever see." 
~ Capt. James T. Kirk

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Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Racism, the Double Wounding, and Shamanism with Langston Kahn: Part Two

The poison arrow of racism is a double wound. It is the arrow-the direct injustice inherent in the act that harms the heart and mind. It is the poison-the insidious, creeping awareness that the larger system condones the injustice, righteously maintaining a double standard that has no basis in scientific or spiritual truth. Does shamanism offer contemporary American consciousness a possibility of true transformation? Join host Christina Pratt and her guest Langston Kahn as they explore the double wounding of racism and the roots of this cultural disease from a shamanic perspective. Can we use our shamanic skills to make new medicine for an ancient illness, to lean effectively into our own discomfort, and shape a social fabric our descendants would be honored to inherit?

This week's guest:
Langston Kahn


Langston Kahn is a shamanic practitioner specializing in emotional clearing and radical transformation. He stands firmly at the crossroads, his practice informed by the western modality of Inner Relationship Focusing, initiations into traditions of the African Diaspora, the contemporary shamanic tradition of The Last Mask Center and the guidance of his helping spirits and ancestors weaving it all together.

Langston has studied and facilitated Inner Relationship Focusing, developed by Ann Weiser Cornell for the last 8 years. He has completed 5 years of training with Christina Pratt in the Cycle of Transformation and also serves on the leadership council for the Last Mask Community, a community of contemporary people striving to live in alignment with ancient shamanic beliefs and principles in a way that answers the unique challenges of our time. Additionally, he holds initiations in several traditions of the African Diaspora.

Langston, who is centered in New York City offers sessions in emotional clearing and shamanic healing and classes both in person and online.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Sep 13, 2016

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Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

Racism, the Double Wounding, and Shamanism with Langston Kahn: Part One

The collusive, fearful, racist underbelly of the American culture has been exposed by the hate-filled rhetoric, violence, and lies of the current presidential race. The avoidance of social issues condoned by the 1980's politics of political correctness have done precisely what avoidance does, allow that which we are avoiding to grow unchecked. In this same timeframe shamanism has blossomed into contemporary American consciousness offering a possibility of transformation. Join host Christina Pratt and her guest Langston Kahn as they explore the double wounding of racism and the roots of this cultural disease from a shamanic perspective. Can we use our shamanic skills to make new medicine for an ancient illness, to lean effectively into our own discomfort, and shape a social fabric our descendants would be honored to inherit?

This week's guest:
Langston Kahn

Langston Kahn is a shamanic practitioner specializing in emotional clearing and radical transformation. He stands firmly at the crossroads, his practice informed by the western modality of Inner Relationship Focusing, initiations into traditions of the African Diaspora, the contemporary shamanic tradition of The Last Mask Center and the guidance of his helping spirits and ancestors weaving it all together.

Langston has studied and facilitated Inner Relationship Focusing, developed by Ann Weiser Cornell for the last 8 years. He has completed 5 years of training with Christina Pratt in the Cycle of Transformation and also serves on the leadership council for the Last Mask Community, a community of contemporary people striving to live in alignment with ancient shamanic beliefs and principles in a way that answers the unique challenges of our time. Additionally, he holds initiations in several traditions of the African Diaspora.

Langston, who is centered in New York City offers sessions in emotional clearing and shamanic healing and classes both in person and online.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Sep 6, 2016

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Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Wild Heart in the New World

There has been a great domestication of the heart in America, numbing and dumbing down the voice that should guide us. It is the rare individual today who knows the path of his or her heart, who is fearless in feeling the passionate emotions of a spiritual adult, and who finds the courage of heart, discipline and devotion, day in and day out, to get off the couch, out of the office, or unplug from the Internet and take the steps to make their soul's purpose happen. Loving openly is considered foolish and following the heart considered weak or weak minded. However, if the Story of the People is to change and support us in creating a qualitatively different world, then we must ally ourselves once again with our Wild Hearts. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt as she explores what we must do in our own lives to subvert the need to control that reinforces the lie of separation. The Wild Heart brings us to the intimacy necessary for true nourishment, sustaining pleasure in our connections, and a primary relationship with our True Self.

This show originally aired January 5, 2013

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
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Aug 30, 2016

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Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Power of Blessing

Blessings are the way to give life to that which you value, to give it strength and help it to survive and to thrive. Through blessings we can give life and protection to what is new and uncertain. They are a way to give strength to that which doesn't have strength yet, like a new story for a new world, and to give it time to take shape and build resonance. Blessings can be a formal, complex ritual process or a simple act of love, like calling on the spirits of the family totem to protect a child as she leaves for school. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores the power of blessings and how we can use them with intention to create change in these challenging times. Blessings call on energies of the invisible world, like elementals, nature spirits, and angels, and ask for their participation in our lives in specific ways. Whether simple or grand, our blessings are most powerful when they are an expression of a deep relationship with spirit, one that we have already cultivated with our faith, gratitude, and practice.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Aug 23, 2016

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Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Power of Faith

Faith does not require religion and is often stronger without it. Faith is the power to stand in the Unknown with uncertainty and discomfort and take a new step forward anyway... and then another... and then another. It is the power to do what hasn't been done and what feels impossible. We must cultivate the capacity for faith, barrels of it, or we will not be able to be the change that we seek. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, this week as she explores faith and the need to cultivate faith that does not inspire separation from others via religion, race, or nationality. To rise to the challenges of our time we must know without ever getting proof that we were born to be the medicine for the illness, disease, and unrest of our time. And that it will require faith, again and again, to surrender who we are for who we could become so that we can be that medicine. Faith is power.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Aug 17, 2016

Restoring Integrity: Teal and The Presence Process

If you like Teal Swan, you should probably buy these books.
A couple of months ago, a former follower of Teal's filled me in on an interesting rumor. She had heard that Teal’s Completion Process had been plagiarized from Michael Brown, author of The Presence Process and Alchemy of the Heart. I had been very curious about the true origins of the Completion Process ever since Ma Nithya Swarupapriyanda released a video accusing Teal of plagiarizing her guru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda. The dialogue brought on by Swarupapriya's video led me to discover this post by LaVaughn, which eventually led me to abandon Teal's teachings. My interest in the source of this technique grew when Teal's ex-husband, Sarbdeep, also hinted that the process was plagiarized in this blog post. I decided to investigate. I took one glance at Brown’s website and immediately spotted this incredible...synchronicity.

This is the homepage of Brown's site:


This is from Teal's article, "Spirituality 3.0":



This is from Teal's blog post titled "True or False?":


And this is one of Teal's very own quotes:


Knowing that Teal’s video called “How to Heal the Emotional Body” was an introduction to the Completion Process, I decided to compare its contents to Michael Brown’s book. Immediately, I noticed more parallels. The vocabulary and philosophical underpinnings of both spiritual teachers' work are strikingly similar. Both authors use many of the same words and phrases: “emotional body,” "unconditional presence," “feeling signature,” “authenticity,” and “integration.” According to Teal and Michael Brown, we must be present with our feelings in order to integrate our unresolved pain from childhood, pain that scarred us in the first seven or eight years of life during our emotional development. Both teachers instruct you to journey back to traumatic events in order to rescue your inner children. If you're familiar with Teal's brand of inner child work, this quote from The Presence Process might ring a bell:
"Unless we are prepared to reach back through time and space and rescue our child self by bringing it into the safety of the present moment, where we can give it the unconditional love and attention it is calling for, we as adults will never experience authentic peace." (177)
Eventually, I realized that Teal's theft of Brown's writing wasn't limited to the Completion Process and "How To Heal The Emotional Body." In one case, an entire chapter of The Presence Process had been tweaked and repackaged as an "Ask Teal" video. Quotes from Teal's website and Facebook page, supposedly authored by Teal herself, turned out to be taken directly from Brown's second book, Alchemy of the Heart. After just a few hours of research, I concluded that the core messages of Teal's work for the last two or three years were actually taken from Brown's teachings. Inner child work, shadow work, healing trauma, emotional authenticity, cultivating self-love by accepting our feelings—all of these concepts trace back to Michael Brown's writing.

Instead of taking the time to find passages that Teal has copied word-for-word, I have only done enough research to confirm that Teal stole her ideas from Brown. The Teal fans among you may be quick to dismiss these similarities as mere coincidences. Please keep in mind that this entire post was compiled using my limited memory of Teal's teachings and a search engine. I have no doubt that the extent of the plagiarism far surpasses what I have already uncovered. If I had enough time and energy, I could probably take any sentence from The Presence Process and find, at least, a paraphrased version somewhere among Teal's videos, blogs, or quotes. It's that bad. Without further ado, here is an overview of the similarities I found between Teal's material and Michael Brown's work.

Core Negative Patterns
When I first read through Session Nine of The Presence Process, I knew it seemed oddly familiar to Teal’s video titled “Find Your Negative Imprint, Find Your Life Purpose.” These practices have different goals. Brown’s exercise will help you “restore emotional balance into the quality of [your] life experience,” while Teal’s process promises to help you understand the very meaning of your existence. However, with the exception of Step 3, which Teal glosses over, and Step 5, which she omits completely, these exercises are nearly identical.

Here is a breakdown of the process in Michael Brown’s book:
  1.  How Does it Always Turn Out?
    “The object of Step One is to access a word or a phrase that describes the common denominator to the way all our intimate relationships have generally ended or soured.” (242)

  2. How Am I Feeling?
    The object of Step Two is to find a word or a phrase that describes the common negative emotional outcome of our failed attempts at intimate relationships. This common emotional signature is the key to uncovering the theme of the way all our intimate relationships end. This theme will be ‘our negative pattern’, and this pattern will be our unconscious definition of love.” (243)

  3. How Do I Share This With My Family?
    “If we can see our negative emotional pattern manifesting in some form in the life experiences of our immediate family, then we know that we are on the right track. The reason for this is that our unconscious definition of love is not something that is exclusive to us. It is something we inherited from our parents and that they inherited from theirs.” (244)

  4. What is the Opposite of My Unconscious Definition?
    “Step four is simple but often challenging. It requires that we now take that one word or phrase that describes our unconscious definition of love and ask ourselves what its opposite is.” (244)

  5. Giving is Receiving.
    "This fifth step calls upon us to give the very thing that we seek to receive." (246)
Here is a summary of the process in Teal’s video:
  1. “Once we feel our mind quieting, then we survey all of our previous significant relationships, the ones where you really felt like there was love there. Now I want you to think about these relationships going south…Dive into the experience of these relationships beginning to sour, failing, and ending.”

  2. And I want you to ask yourself this question: ‘What did I feel after they ended?’ Notice that no matter the circumstances or who you were with, the feeling is exactly the same…Then [after being present with the emotion for some times] I want you to ask yourself, ‘How do I feel?’”

  3. “Now, with the knowledge of this negative core imprint, I want you to look back consciously at your life. See how it is the most familiar frequency you’ve experienced in this life…”
  4. 
“…and use that to become aware of it’s opposite.” Teal suggests using a thesaurus to “pinpoint the [word] which feels like the opposite vibration of your core imprint. This opposite Vibration is in fact, your Life’s Purpose.” 
 
In-to-me-see and Real-eyes-ation
This is one of Teal's "original" quotes:


These images are from chapter one of Alchemy of the Heart by Michael Brown:


This is from Teal's article called "The 'Please Love Me' Dynamic":


This is taken from Donna Baker Church's review of Alchemy of the Heart, which was featured on Namaste Publishing's official website until very recently:


I don't have a copy of Alchemy of the Heart just yet, but this quote from Church's review is strong evidence that Teal copied her play on the word "intimacy" from Brown's book.

"Ask Teal" vs. The Presence Process

Breathing
Teal Swan:
Teal tells Blake to close his eyes and “continuously breathe.” She demonstrates. “We want no unnecessary pauses between breaths. This allows our consciousness to come to the present moment." ("How To Heal The Emotional Body," 14:36)
Michael Brown:
"We begin the Presence Process with "consciously connected breathing," which "assist[s] us to consistently gather and maintain present moment awareness..." (133)
"We connect our breathing naturally. In other words, we breathe in and out without pausing between our breaths." (134)
What Distracts Us from the Now
Teal Swan:
"This means you can’t ever be in the Present Moment. You can’t ever be fully present with yourself in the here and now, because the past trauma continues to come up again and again in order to reintegrate itself. It’s asking you to become whole." ("How To Heal The Emotional Body," 7:19)
Michael Brown:
"This Process has repeatedly demonstrated to me that it is our deeply suppressed emotional issues that unconsciously distract us from the present moment of our life experience…In essence, The Presence Process is a pathway that empowers us to release and integrate these emotional blockages." (8)
What Brings Us Back
Teal Swan:
The alternative is to completely embrace your emotions and you feelings, no matter how painful or uncomfortable they may be. The alternative is to completely be present with and to sit with your emotions. It’s to learn from them—to hear what they want you to hear, to see what they want you to see.” ("How To Heal The Emotional Body," 9:00)
Michael Brown:
“We are being invited to overcome a powerful reactive reflex to instinctively run from our physical, mental, and emotional pain and discomfort. Instead, we are being asked to embrace it with our full attention and with our most compassionate intention, to keep our breathing connected, and to gaze deeply into it. Instead of running from it, we are being encouraged to face it and to willingly seek out its center so that we can open ourselves up to insight.” (168)
Emotional Development 
Teal Swan:
“Oftentimes…the memory happened at such a young age that we did not have our cognitive understanding yet. Our brain was not fully formed. We were in the Emotional Self instead of the Mental Self, because the Mental Self begins to kick in around 8 years old.” Teal explains that “you may not get ‘solid’ images in association with a memory” from so early in life, that you may only have emotions to work with. ("How To Heal The Emotional Body," 11:45)
Michael Brown:
Our earliest memories are only available to us as emotional signatures.” (149)
The purely emotional experience that begins for us the moment we leave the womb begins tapering off and in many cases ceases its development when we reach the age of seven…This is why we start our schooling around the age of seven, because this time in our life marks the point at which we exit our emotional body development, our childhood, to place a greater focus on our mental body development.” (42)
Brown’s process teaches "how to metaphorically return to the first Seven-Year Cycle that made up our childhood with an intention of bringing balance by integrating experiences that were first imprinted into our emotional body…” (48)
Reflections 
Teal Swan:
"Anytime you experience something as upsetting or uncomfortable, it is a triggered memory. You are not, in fact, living anything new in your life. You are experiencing nothing but reflections from your childhood. There is no exceptions to this rule." ("How To Heal The Emotional Body," 32:27)
Michael Brown:
"Whenever anything happens that upsets us emotionally, whether it appears to us as an event or as another person's behavior, we are seeing a reflection of our pastUnfortunately, there is no exception to this rule." (148)
Teal Swan:
"…the surface events which cause the conflict in our lives are not just triggers. They are messengers that are enabling us to be conscious of something that is buried and suppressed deeply within us." ("Diving Deep (Shadow Work)," 3:47)
Michael Brown:
"…throughout this journey our Inner Presence will set us up (upset us) by deliberately sending outer 'messengers' (reflections of our past) to assist us to recall the unintegrated childhood memories that we have long since suppressed. Our Inner Presence does this because the use of reflections (or messengers) is the only way for us to 'see' our deeply suppressed past in a way that we can consciously work with it." (149-150)
Mirrors
Teal Swan:
…it’s the same as trying to change the reflection that’s in the mirror by trying to clean the mirror as much as you can. It doesn’t address the causation of the issue, which is your own pain.” ("Parenting 2.0," 3:54)
Michael Brown:
We are not going to clean the mirror in an attempt to remove the blemishes from the face of our life experience. We are going to use the mirror, or our experience of the world, as a means to see our blemishes more clearly.” (Brown 68)
Parenting
Teal Swan:
“If you parent in the same way that your parents parented you, which is the way you’ll parent unless you become more conscious, there is no progression of consciousness. It is a state of endedness. The #1 most important thing we can to for our children is to integrate our own emotional childhood pain. If not, we will pass this wound to our children…” ("Parenting 2.0," 2:27)
Michael Brown:
“…when we have children, unless we have already resolved our own childhood traumas, all our unconscious and unintegrated emotional issues are subsequently imprinted upon them. I told him that until our children are able to integrate what we unconsciously offload upon them, they cannot begin to live their own life experiences. I told him that all troubled children are reflections of their troubled parents.” (307)
Temporary Fixes
Teal Swan:
"When we want to feel better we try to change the surface circumstances of our experience. We end the relationship, we move to a different city, we put ourselves on a diet, we sign up to a gym, we take a medication. But by doing this, and only this, by looking for and taking a physical action to feel better, we can never escape the original conflict for long. It simply resurfaces in the new relationship, in the new city, regardless of how our diet changes, or how much we exercise, or what medication we take. We perpetuate drama in our lives if the changes that we make change the surface symptom of our problems instead of the deep causation of our pain." ("Diving Deep (Shadow Work)," 4:03)
Michael Brown:
"'Getting the message' changes everything because by doing so we realize that the emotional reactions we feel as a consequence of being triggered have nothing to do with our life as an adult. They are the unintegrated emotions that we have been suppressing for years…They deliberately come to our attention as external circumstances and the behavior of others so that we have the opportunity to see, acknowledge, and integrate them. Until we allow ourselves the opportunity to consciously integrate them, they will diligently keep reoccurring in our adult experience in some form or another—often in a manner that seemingly sets out to sabotage our best intentions." (161)
Cause and Effect 
Teal Swan:
"Everything in your life is a byproduct, an effect, of the causality of your childhood trauma." ("Diving Deep (Shadow Work)," 15:22)
Michael Brown:
"It is crucial at this point in The Presence Process that we understand that an unbalanced adult experience is 'an effect', not a cause of anything. It is crucial that we understand this because it is futile tampering with an effect of anything, as it is only at the point of cause that any real change can be initiated. The only value of our adult symptoms of imbalance is that we can use them as clues to successfully navigate our awareness to their childhood causes." (177)
Shooting the Messenger
Teal Swan:
"The reason that we are so reactive…is because we are unwilling to fully be with our Emotional Body, to be with our feeling impressions, and to reintegrate them. So don’t shoot the messenger. These experiences…are messengers from our subconscious.” ("How To Heal The Emotional Body," 32:45)
Michael Brown:
"As we move through our daily life experience, we are now asked…to watch for 'the messengers': those people or circumstances that push our buttons. DO NOT SHOOT THE MESSENGER!" (154)
Healing
Teal Swan:
"The minute you decide that you need to heal something about your emotions, you have now made an enemy of your emotions…The minute you say, “I need to heal,” this implies you have to change or fix something about yourself…" ("How to Heal the Emotional Body," 8:03)
Michael Brown:
"[M]y intention to attempt to heal myself was completely misguided…[T]his natural breathing technique enabled me to integrate that there was a distinct difference between my Self and my experience…I could clearly see that it was my life experience that had become acutely unbalanced and in urgent need of adjusting—not me." (4)
Trust
Teal Swan:
“The most crucial part of doing this process is to trust the process fully, because that’s to trust Yourself to know what it needs to do to reintegrate (which it does).” (How To Heal The Emotional Body," 11:35)
Michael Brown:
“In all circumstances we are encouraged to trust the process. No one has ever been hurt by breathing normally and naturally.” (136) (Brown repeats this phrase several times throughout the book.)
Rescuing Our Inner Children
Lastly, I want to share an excerpt from The Presence Process on rescuing the child-self. I could have identified a similar quote of Teal's to compare with this passage. In fact, I could have found a hundred of them. But anyone remotely familiar with Teal's recent teachings will see the connection.
DURING OUR JOURNEY through The Presence Process, there have already been and are going to be numerous moments when we feel anything but present. During these moments of distraction, we may feel irritable, anxious, annoyed, or even full of fear, rage, and grief. These are the moments when we are being called upon to consciously attend to our child self. These are the moments in which we must strive to remember that the states of imbalance that we are feeling have nothing to do with what is happening right now. They are a call for assistance from a very emotional child-like part of our self that is trapped in a mental concept that we have called "the past"...
We find a quiet and comfortable space or wait until we have an opportunity to be alone and undisturbed. We then close our eyes and imagine our adult self (the person we are now) standing in front of our child self. We then mentally picture the child that we once were going through the exact same level of emotional imbalance that we are presently feeling in our adult experience. This seemingly imagined scenario is quite real because the feelings that presently drive us to distraction are really the surfacing of suppressed memories echoing from our childhood experiences. Symptoms are echoes. Phonetically the word "symptom" when spoken out loud can be heard as "some time". This is what a symptom is: a piece of our unintegrated timeline.
Once we have this imagined scenario in mind, it is then up to us to respond compassionately to our child self as a loving and devoted parent would. We must allow and even encourage our child self in this imagined scenario to express its feelings without any censorship or judgment on our behalf. We must metaphorically take it in our arms and unconditionally love and comfort it. We must do whatever it takes—for heaven's sake. Through this imagined nurturing of our child self, we automatically activate our inner parent and access a state of being called compassion. As its loving parent, we must ask our child self what happened and why it is feeling troubled? We must confidently and sincerely assure it that we will take care of it from this moment onwards and that we will give it all the unconditional love it deserves. Most of all, we must assure our child self that we lived on well beyond the fear it is experiencing. We must tell it about our adult life and invite it to once again become a conscious participant in what we are experiencing from day to day. In this way, we allow it to escape its imprisonment in this mental concept of "the past" and to enter the very real experience of our present circumstances. (180-1, emphasis added) 
The Bigger Picture
As I mentioned, I feel that I've only skimmed the surface here. My research wasn't extensive. I tried to be concise with my writing. And yet, this post is seven pages long. If, somehow, you still aren't convinced, I invite you to read Michael Brown's work, listen to his teachings, and decide for yourself.


So, what does this mean? Not only has Teal heavily copied the work of another spiritual teacher, but she has corrupted it in such a way that puts vulnerable people at risk for retraumatization, false memory syndrome, and, by her own admission, "self-injury and, potentially, suicide." (Skip to 1:49:50 to hear that for yourself.) I wrote "An Open Letter to Teal Tribe" knowing that the Completion Process was a bastardization of another author's work. For those of you who thought my accusations were unfair, I hope that this post has helped you understand my concern by further demonstrating Teal's recklessness and irresponsibility.

In chapter one of The Completion Process Teal writes that the technique enables us to "restore our integrity." Of course, Teal means that we can mend and unify our emotional selves. But I wrote this post because I am interested in restoring a different sort of integrity. If you are a fan of Teal's, I urge you to support Michael Brown's work. If you aren't sure what to think of all this, consider testing out his teachings and learning from him before pre-ordering The Completion Process.

I don't expect perfection from Teal, or any other person, for that matter. But Teal describes herself as a spiritual leader, an exemplar of authenticity and transparency, a woman who is courageous, honest, and real. I believed in and supported this version of Teal for years, but now I am not so sure that she ever existed. Teal, I want to invite you to prove your courage and authenticity. I want to ask you to explain yourself to the fans who have eagerly pre-ordered your book, the facilitators you've trained, and Mr. Brown himself.

Aug 11, 2016

FLDS Still Slippery as Feds Build Case

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

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Five years after its leader was incarcerated for sexually abusing his very young "brides," the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints may finally be in serious trouble. As I wrote here, a federal case was brought against sect leaders for defrauding the food stamp program, while letting the genuinely needy sect membership starve. The case appears to have thrown the FLDS into disarray.

Lyle Jeffs, who was the church's acting leader, used olive oil (presumably paid for with illegal food stamps) to slip out of his ankle monitor and escape. He remains at large – or on a "repentance mission" if communiques from Warren Jeffs are to believed. The fugitive Jeffs was stripped of his authority by the incarcerated Jeffs, and replaced with another Jeffs, Nephi. 

Prosecutors would like to see the key defendants behind bars awaiting trial, as they have all been caught meeting against court order, and illegally carrying out Warren Jeffs's mandates.

Warren Jeffs ordered John Wayman and Seth Jeffs to meet with others in Hildale, Utah, several times in late July, the U.S. Attorney's Office says in a court filing Monday. They were told to make a plan to interview all members of an elite group within the sect known as the "United Order" to determine if they should be re-baptized and re-confirmed as members, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors filed the new evidence in an attempt to persuade a judge to keep Wayman and Seth Jeffs behind bars. They were re-arrested last week for violations of their release provisions.

"The evidence, including the defendants' past conduct, well establishes that when the dictates of their prophet conflict with an order of the court, the defendants will follow their religious leader in contravention of the court's order," prosecutors wrote.

Aug 2, 2016

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Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Power of Joy

Joy touches us when we are accountable to our true selves, even our darkest most challenging selves. If we are willing to be accountable to our true self, no matter what we find there, we are choosing to live in a way that tends the essence of joy. To cultivate a long-term relationship with joy we must reforge that original relationship with sovereignty. We must shape our character, our appetites, and our longings with the wisdom of each of the four bodies: the physical, the heart, the mind, and the spirit. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores joy in these challenging times. When we choose to cultivate joy we accept the energetic reality of our world and become the people who can change the physical reality of it. No matter the circumstances of life, each individual is sovereign and can learn to cultivate joy, allowing it to travel through thoughts, words, and actions into the world.

This show originally aired June 21, 2011.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

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Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

Jul 26, 2016

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Around the Web, Around the World


"Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

The Root of Resiliency

To bring our mature courageous hearts into action in the world we must be resilient. But resiliency is the first casualty in a culture that avoids discomfort through mood altering prescription drugs, escaping through recreational drugs, and learning skills to clear the discomfort away, without ever asking why. The root of resiliency is in the courage to heal the deeps wounds of your past, to risk stepping through fear into a new way of life, and to engage in the mundane daily practices that cultivate a robust inner life. Join host and shaman, Christina Pratt, as she explores why any true path of healing or raising consciousness cultivates resiliency. Living your authentic life is not accomplished by "special snowflakes" who seek to control their environment, but by courageous and resilient, whole-hearted people who aren't afraid to make a mess.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 11:00 AM Pacific

Log on to Listen
Why Shamanism Now? on Co-Creator Network
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-512-772-1938

All episodes are now available in the iTunes Podcast Library.

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