Monday, June 17, 2013

The Cafe Rouge ascension technique

Berkeley, California

We need to learn to grow visions of bright possibility so strong that they want to manifest in the physical world. And we want to learn to use locales in ordinary reality as gateways to other worlds. Here's a small example, involving a theme that is anything but small: how an idea for a portal to a higher self became a physical locale on Fourth Street in Berkeley at lunchtime on Sunday.
    Spiritual guides and teachers can take many forms. For me, over many years, one of the most important teachers has been a being on a level above my present self that I think of as the Double on the Balcony. He is no stranger. He observes my present life and can see many things that are veiled from me when I am caught up in the hurry and distraction of my world. When I go looking for him, I often find him on a kind of observation deck that often resembles a roof garden or a terrace cafe with sweeping views. Sometimes he is sipping a drink the color of moonlight. Hence my pet name for him, the Double on the Balcony.

    He is a witness self. He is able to remind me of things that I forget. When I am in danger of making serious mistakes, he sometimes intervenes to offer course correction. I wrote a poem about him, "The Double on the Balcony" that is  in my new collection Here, Everything Is Dreaming:

You are not my shadow.
You stand closer to the sun.
Of all my doubles, you are the most interesting.
You are watching when I forget you.
You are with me when I don’t notice.
You are not my judge, or my guardian angel.
You are the one who remembers.
You are my witness on the balcony above the world.

I wanted to give the very lively and creative group that gathered for my weekend workshop in Berkeley an opportunity to encounter a second self of this kind, on an accessible level, and to rev-vision their life issues from his perspective. I am always experimenting with new portals for group adventures and shamanic journeys. After walking Fourth Street in Berkeley a few times, and having meals and coffee at a couple of pleasant cafes, I thought it might be fun to suggest to the group that during my drumming, they would enjoy themselves walking that street - in their second bodies - and picking a building, perhaps a restaurant, that could offer a gateway to the Double on the Balcony. Once inside the building, they would make their way to a level above the street, perhaps an upper floor in a restaurant that they had not previously known to be there. From here, they would discover means of ascent to higher levels - stairs (regular or spiral), an elevator, or a skylight. I was having fun rehearsing the way I would introduce this colloquial script for a journey of ascent to a (slightly) higher self before we took our lunch break.
    I had already decided to go to the Cafe Rouge, where I had enjoyed an excellent dinner the evening before, roasted salmon drenched in olive oil, and burrata on a bed of white nectarines, basil and toasted almonds. When I reached the cafe with several of my workshop participants, I was escorted up a staircase to an upper level of the restaurant I had not known was there. "You are taking us to a higher level," I joked with the hostess.
When I sat down, I enjoyed the soft play of sunlight through a skylight overhead. I looked up, and saw that the skylight was framed by stars, inviting an excellent journey to a much higher level.
    The cafe had become the portal I had imagined. The worlds were joined. I had no doubt but that we would have excellent experiences in the group journey I had planned, to meet our personal versions of the Double on the Balcony and receive life guidance from his or her perspective. And so we did.

Photos of Cafe Rouge in Berkeley (c) Robert Moss


Susan Morgan said...

What a wonderful adventure!!! It also inspires me to paint stars on the skylight in my kitchen in a similar manner as the photo.

Kemberly Loyd said...

A place with skylight will always be ideal! A skylight alone is captivating, what more with that wonderful star frame? It feels relaxing to just sit there, and stare at that skylight and enjoy the night sky.

-Kemberly Loyd @ Patriot Roofing

Arthur Bryant said...

I like the idea that the skylight was framed by stars. You look up there and when the stars hide behind the clouds, there'll always be the stars around the skylights. :) I guess, you can still imagine a lot of wonderful things even if it's just a visual. Hehe!

Arthur Bryant @ Contractor Express

valerie said...

I painted blue sky and stars on my Christmas card this year and as a mural painter have done skylights like this with clouds, stars, moon , and the universe .Last night just before sleep I watched the old movie the THING and it ended with the words the skys!! Something I love to do! Thanks for sharing.