Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fall 2016 Newsletter - Missing Beloved Krishna



Fall 2016 Newsletter


Happy Autumn Beloveds!

I'm sitting in the warm autumn breeze out back looking over my private yard here in the middle of Timonium. A little white 


butterfly dances past in the breeze, leaves and acorns scattered by my feet. One last bloom of the summer graces the 

Rose of Sharon nearby as a few red roses decorate the bush by my grape vine shaded patio. Fall has arrived with its 

late summer feeling. Blue skies and wispy white clouds overhead. Looking up I see lacy oak leaves lit by the sun, 

glittering like diamonds. Breathing in this beautiful moment! I hope your fall season is full of lovely moments. I'd love to 

hear about them!



In contrast, my end of summer brought unexpected grief. My beautiful young friend Krishna Naidu left this planet near 

the end of August. He was one of my Tantra teachers, a Tantric lover and a dear dear friend. I met him in 2008. He
would travel through and stay with me as he crossed the country offering sessions and Tantric teachings. In the last few 

years he'd moved out to Washington State and wasn't traveling east much. We had only talked a few times in the last 

couple years, sadly. Such a sweet loving and gifted soul he was. His epilepsy took his life as he had often feared it 

would. He was only 37. I'm heartbroken and slowly recovering from the shock of this loss.


Krishna taught me to savor life, to slow down and really enjoy each precious moment in all its splendor. He taught me how to be present with the energy of our bodies and the energy of the foods we put in them. I learned how to eat a blueberry properly. How you may ask? Well, you first select the perfect washed berry. Then gaze at it in your hand, smell it, feel it's texture. You gently put it on your tongue or, better yet, have your lover place it in on your tongue. Feel it inside your mouth with your eyes closed. Begin to roll it around gently feeling the shape and texture of the berry's skin against your tongue and mouth. After the berry is warmed and softened you slowly press it with your tongue until the berry splits and the sweet juice pours out. Play with the texture of the split berry a bit before you begin to chew it slowly. Savor each change of the fruit as you are nourished by its offering to you. If there is a seed, bite down on it and see if you can feel the energy of the seed explode in your mouth. That's how to eat a blueberry!
One of my favorite memories of Krishna is from a dinner out at an area restaurant. He consciously poured over the menu, finally selecting a Cobb salad. Here's the photo of him deliberating over the menu.



When the meal came he savored each bite as he combined different flavors together and then, beaming and grinning, fed me each of his delicious creations. Thank you, Beloved, for coming into my life. It is indeed much richer filled with memories of your deep silence, ecstatic chanting and sacred Tantric gifts. You will live in my heart forever. I look forward to your visits from spirit!
So many changes move through our lives! Fall is a great reminder of letting go with change. I work to fully feel each changing moment while letting them go. Our emotions well up to be embraced and felt fully. If we do fully feel them and can be present with their depth they usually subside like a wave in the water. See them as your children and hold them, comfort them, receive them. You'll be amazed how quickly they transition into peace or even joy when you do this. Our minds can become the trickster in the mix. It puts things on replay, often because we push away or rejected the truth of what is or has happened. See what happens when you embrace 'what is' like you would embrace a crying child needing your comfort. Let me know what happens.
I'm sending much love and many blessings your way as you and I move through the many changes here now and ahead of us.
I love you!
Sherry

Saturday, August 13, 2016

My Shadow Story



My Shadow Story

Wrestling with my shadow...my failures, my laziness, my resistance to change and the truth of now.  Trying to buy a new place and realizing my limitations.  Angry and resentful at my circumstances.  Victim is rising up big time.  Angry victim.  Hello Beloved Ego.  Here you are again.  I love you!

Sometimes it's the smallest things that trigger me and sometimes it's about taxes. (LOL!)  I've resisted doing 2015 taxes for the usual "I don't wanna" reasons to the underlying pain of not doing them in my beautiful old dining room.   Grief rises up and I'm angry at myself for not still living there.  Angry victim still visiting today.  I forgot where the 2014 tax papers were and looked in the wrong spot were all the other taxes are stored.  I asked spirit to help and immediately remembered where I put them.  That was a lovely gift.  More of that help seems to be showing up these days!

Then I watched myself angrily respond to a Facebook Papaji message about dropping the illusion.  FUCK illusion!  This shit is real!  My angry child is feeling cornered and terrified.
"You want to kill me off.  You hate me.  I hate you too!"  says my ego.
I respond;.  "I'm so sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.  I love you."  Not sure if that helped.
Oh my!  I'd like to have less misery and still enjoy my emotions.  Still enjoy all of this human ride.  It's been a challenging and miserable one recently.

I've watched myself be angry about toilet paper.  Repeatedly.  Such an important topic, toilet paper, to be upset about.  Do they think we don't notice that the rolls are not as wide and the center hole is wider?  Please!   I miss gallons of ice cream too.  OY!  These important issues I'm upset about.  LOL!  It does distract me from the ugly election and rising shadow of racism in this country, not to mention the horrifying violence in the world.  I guess I prefer to be upset about toilet paper.

It's been a long time since I posted on this blog so let me catch you up on the many changes in my life.  I sold my beautiful big home on Cowpens and rented a little Timonium rancher.  Let me begin with the shadow side of the story.  I'm still grieving the loss of that beautiful home.  It feels like so many losses in the last year and a half.  Losing Beloved Malcolm, letting go of my house and losing the trust in a good friend all beat me down and bit me in the ass.  Most recently  a month long flu weaken me greatly and added to the physical limitation of this body.  Ego field day!  Misery central.

 Letting go of the comfort of that home has taken a part of my pride away. It was just the way I liked it and had created it.  It showed off the prosperity and heritage that I had come from.   Gone now!  Oh, how the mighty Sherry has fallen!    Matt Kahn told me humility was my life's theme.  Seems I'm getting some big lessons in humility right now if I can stay out of the pity victim party.  I may not seem so arrogant on the outside (I hope) but inside my head I'm an arrogant bitch.  I catch myself and just roll my eyes; "Really Sherry?!?"    

I'm always thinking I know when the real truth is I know nothing.  I congratulate myself on the wisdom of not knowing, of course.  LOL!  Still I have this underlying sense I really know, that I've lived so many lives and am this wise old soul.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  My thinking I know so much has been a great opening for naive gullibility.  I've started to catch myself and ask if I really know that is true.  Thank you Byron Katie! 

This lesson in humility has brought shadow feelings to the surface.  I've told myself many stories of disaster and ending.  "I'm such a failure. I've failed at everything."  "My life is over and I've failed."  "I'm not good enough to teach."  "What the fuck do I know."    Oh, that's right, nothing! 

Part of me wants to run and hide or hide this from you as I write it.  Wow!  This big shadow journey has really sucked!  I like to also give myself some credit for surviving all these changes and watching the rise and fall of thoughts and emotions around all of it.  What a ride!  Now, hopefully, things are turning around.  I probably wouldn't be writing if they weren't turning around.  I'm finally over the long lasting virus and getting back to swimming.  My body already feels stronger.  Yeah!  I've started to teach again and that feels great. 

There are other stories of triumph though the last months that I've left out because I've been in the half empty glass story here.  The fact I did successfully move after 18 years all my possessions from one place to another and weed out so many is a big success story.  My many loving friends helped me and supported me through the move and I am incredibly grateful for all they did!  I'm so very blessed!  Wow!  Although not entirely out of debt I am in a much better place and living more affordably now.   Losing Malcolm has opened me for another intimate love to come into my life as I let myself grieve, cry, let go and then laugh and move on.  The loss of trust in my friend made me take more responsibility and stand up more on my own.  When things have been very dark I've remembered "this too shall pass" and found support and love when needed. 

So my life is not over and I'm not such a failure.  Yes, I've failed for sure and will again.  And I have also succeeded.  I've had so many loving friends and students remind me that I am worthy and good enough.  I've received  beautiful praise from many.  The arrogant one in me is looking down on me for needing that recognition.  'Fuck off, oh great arrogant one.'   I am grateful, very grateful for the love and support of the Beloved Other!   

This move gave me permission to stop for a while and assess what I'm doing with this life of mine.  Good news/bad news obviously.  I'm happy to be coming into the half (or more)full feeling now.  I've started teaching again and will be posting upcoming classes on my Meetup  at www.meetup.com/Body-Beloved-A-Tantric-Journey/and on my newly redesigned website: www.body-beloved.com.  Would love to hear what you think of it.  Feedback is welcome!

I am interested in how your shadow is treating you these days?  Are you sitting with the darkness and having a contemplative cup of tea or running and hiding from it with Ben and Jerry's.  A little of both like me?  Can you open your arms to the discomfort and love that shadow part of you even though it is stinky and bad mannered?  Have you figured out a way to cast out the shadow?  Does it come back anyway?  Mine usually does.    

I send deep love to you and to your shadow as we grow and learn how to live these challenging lives!  
Many Joy Filled Blessings!

Giving it to the fire! 

Friday, April 3, 2015

As I heal through this grief and open to a state of more ease, Rumi speaks well of how I'm unfolding or enfolding...


Learn the alchemy true human beings know. The moment you accept what troubles you've been given, the door will open. Welcome difficulty as a familiar comrade. Joke with torment brought by the friend. Sorrows are the rags of old clothes and jackets that serve to cover, then are taken off. That undressing and the beautiful naked body underneath is the sweetness that comes after grief.

The hurt you embrace becomes joy. Call it to your arms where it can change. A silkworm eating leaves makes a cocoon. Each of us weaves a chamber of leaves and sticks. Silkworms begin to truly exist as they disappear inside that room. Without legs we fly. When I stop speaking, this poem will close and open its silent wings. ~ Rumi

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Grieving Malcolm                                                                      3/18/2015

Voicing my grief, from sighs to moaning to crying and howling.  Letting it all out.
Why did you have to leave us Beloved?
Never to touch that beautiful laughing face again..
 the warmth of your skin against mine..
the irresistible erotic fire that exploded between us
the power of you thrusting body
such sexual ecstasy and laughter in bed...   'Ssssmith'
Howl!
You were suppose to come back!!!  Damn you!  I don't really mean that...you were damned enough here.
I wish I could have recorded some of the passionate things you said to me.  They took my breath away and slipped from memory almost immediately...
but the impact of the passion inside the words remains.
EROS
How could Thanatos win?
It always does sooner or later...why not much later?!
I would have run from the dysfunction again. The drugs and the meanness that rose up in our last round together.  I feared the erotic draw would pull me back into the consuming drama of your addictions. 
No worries now.
Just grief.
I love you.
I miss you!
I miss the vessel that held your amazing soul!
Howl!
Yes...I know the spirit is near me
you're safe to be near me now.
tears to laughter
oh..my head hurts now.
LOL
My Immortal Pan is dead...how can that be!?!
How can that be?


3/18/15
In a text responding to 'hang on to the good memories Sherry and try to let go of the sadness' I wrote back:
I'm one of those 'embrace it all' kinda girls...rollin with all of it but workin on clinging to none...one moment at a time!  What a ride!!!
Malcolm left me with lots of good and a number of bad memories.  I learned from all of it.  His loss is the last teaching...unless he has some to share from spirit...likely!


I told Malcolm back in 2011 that I had come back only after deciding  that I could watch him die.  It was a choice to be involved in the drama of his damaged and creative life.  I do not regret it at all. 
I love you, my Beloved Malcolm!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nude Photos, Oh My!



Nude Photos, Oh My!

I wrote this post about a week before I got a message from Blogger that they had changed policies and any nude photo they felt was not artistic would shut down my blog. They said my blog was targeted as a possible violator of their new policy.  I had one nude of myself in a recent post.  Instead of fighting about its artistic value I removed it.  Timing is interesting.  Now it may be time to find another blog host that is more liberal with their policies.  Suggestions are welcome!
Just an update...shortly after I posted this Blogger changed their minds.   So I now have included one of my favorite nudes for you.  Hurray!

Having gone from my 20's Hippie nudist freedom, to in my early 50's being afraid to put a picture of my face on a real estate business card, to now having nude pictures of myself on my website, I've run the gamut of responses to exposure or nudity.  Growing up in the 1950s I still catch myself judging people who want to be nude.   New students often ask me if my Tantra classes are in the nude.  I hear fear in the women's voices and desire in the men's voices.   I immediately assume the men that ask are 'up to no good.'   Why?  I'm programmed that way.  Sex and bodies have been made wrong for so long we have strange perverted reactions to it.  I interpret the men's desire to being nude as a desire to leer or grope nude women.  I'm troubled by men's erotic desire that only involves their genitals and not their hearts, normal and even healthy as that may be.  Certainly some of this discomfort is appropriate in a society that has such a high degree of sexual assault and abuse.  What would our world look like if we had never made consenting sex wrong?  I can't even imagine.  Meanwhile I continue to be challenged by some of the nudity questions about my class offerings.  This could be because the first thing you see on my website is a beautiful nude painting of your truly by Susan Singer.  Yeah...that could do it.  LOL!  Check out Susan's amazing work at susansinger.com.  See if you can find all 4 paintings of me.  ;)

I've mostly gotten positive responses about my nude painting and photos on my site but occasionally I get a rather nasty response.  Why am I putting myself out there nude, you may wonder.  I'm a very large older woman and have been shamed about my size since I was normal sized in my teens.  Twiggy was 'in' then.  I've felt shamed by Hollywood stereotypes to spiritual teachers; all making me wrong that I have this large body.  Now I feel at home, loving and fully accepting of this body even in the face of some attempts to shame me.  I'd still like to be smaller for health reasons but having put myself out there nude at the age of 58 (I'm now 64) I've healed a part of myself. Both women and men who struggle with being large have told me my example has helped them as well.  The beautiful large painting of me at the top of my website called 'The Bliss of It All' was on display in Susan's show 'Sacred Flesh' in a downtown Richmond, Virgina gallery. The owner of the gallery told me a large woman had come in and burst into tears seeing the painting.  She'd never seen such a beautiful representation of a large woman before.  She was overwhelmed with gratitude.  This story is one reason why my business is named Body Beloved.  Teaching others to accept all of who you are in this precious temporary vessel is a joy of mine.  I want to pass on the love, comfort and awareness I've finally found.

So what is your reaction to seeing aging sagging nude bodies and/or large obese ones?  With me you can combine those two things.  It's rare to have a sexual response to those nude bodies...or so I thought until I posted my photos.  I was surprised by the positive and erotic reactions they received.  I confess I did post the less wrinkly ones!  It seems many folks have an aversion to such a sight. Maybe they fear their own aging and mortality or fear weight gain when seeing the realities of large and/or aging nudes.  God knows you'll likely be shamed by some friend, family member, or doctor if you do gain weight.  Just watch an average evening of TV, like one of my favorite programs, The Big Bang Theory.  Think of all the jokes around aging and large bodies.  Welcome to social programming 101!

This programming makes us unkind and unaccepting of our aging or large bodies.  Aging is inevitable even with plastic surgery attempting to hide it and obesity is more and more prevalent here in the US.  I'm not a proponent of gaining or holding excess weight! I do challenge what the definition of excess is.  Healthy weight is different for all of us.  I'm nowhere near a healthy weight as I continue to struggle with letting go of things like processed sugars and white flour products. I feel the consequences of holding this much weight in an aging body and they are not pleasant.  Yet in the midst of that challenge and failure I continue to love myself.  I spend more and more time at ease and in joy just as I am.  Hallelujah!

 Learning to unconditionally love yourself as you are now is the first step to health and well being.   Self loathing only deepens whatever disease or dis - ease you have.  Love yourself and take the next loving healthy step.  If you fail, love the one that failed and begin again.  The love you give yourself and allow in from the Divine will lift you up to the place you've always wanted.  It's the place you thought you could only achieve through something outside of yourself.  Nothing outside is necessary. You truly are that which you are seeking.  Find some quiet and stillness and see for yourself.  You are the love and joy you seek.  Such a curious species we are, playing hide and go seek with ourselves!  What will we think of next?  Oh my!

Thanks for spending time with me reading my blog.  I'd love to hear your feeling and thoughts!  Sending you my love!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Intimate Communion



Intimate Communion

Greetings Beloveds.  I submitted this article for the on-line magazine On the Path Holiday Edition's November/December 2014 Sex and Sensuality Column.  See it on line here at:  http://joom.ag/LjAb

Over the past 6 years I've learned practices to ignite and enliven my life through my study of Tantra. Tantra is an ancient spiritual practice embracing all of life as Divine unfolding.  It teaches that each element of our lives can be used to awaken to our True Nature.  There seem to be many Tantric paths and traditions stemming from Hindu and Buddhist origins.  All have the primary practice of White Tantra, the meditation practices, as well as Red Tantra, sexual practices, to help us awaken. In both Red and White Tantra conscious breathing and breath practices are central. Many associate Tantra primarily with sexuality due to Hollywood references and some Neo-Tantra traditions developed through a teacher named Osho in the last 30 years.  Red Tantra practices deepen and extend the sexual experience as it raises you into Bliss, opening the door to Enlightenment.  Unlike most spiritual traditions, Tantra fully embraces our sexual natures and uses them to open our bodies and minds to Spirit.  
While Red Tantra practices are just one very small part of the huge body of Tantra, they are often over emphasized  due to our curiosity and preoccupation with sex.  This preoccupation is the result of centuries of societies and religions making sex wrong.  I was part of the sexual revolution of the 1960s/70s and it's refreshing to have a spiritual practice fully embrace sexuality.  Blending my sexual and spiritual nature has been truly liberating for me.  Some of the rituals and practices offered in Tantra transform sex into worship infusing the experience with the sacred.  It also brings consciousness to our erotic and wild animal nature. Most if not all Red Tantra practices can be done solo through self pleasure and/or energy meditations. 
Focusing on the 5th Chakra for this issue, I want to share some Tantric practices related to the voice and throat.  Self expression, communication and creativity are linked to this chakra and all of these qualities relate to a healthy sensual/sexual expression.  Finding and speaking your truth is key to a healthy 5th Chakra and a healthy sex life.  We have to unmask and become vulnerable to experience real intimacy and deep sexual pleasure.  Through speaking the truth of what we need and desire sensually and sexually we not only free ourselves, we free our lovers to do the same. 
So much shame has been built around our sensual and sexual natures that you may need to practice speaking your needs out loud alone first and then share them with your lover(s).  I realized I was so afraid to hear 'no' to my sexual needs that I just never asked.  Obviously my needs never got met. I robbed myself and my partners the opportunity to please me.  After an event where we practiced saying and hearing both 'yes' and 'no' to requests, I was willing and able to ask for what I wanted.  And I was not afraid to hear no...or yes!   Intimate Communication is key to a deep and successful sexual life.  Learning to ask for what you want and describe in detail the kind of touch you like will add to your intimate interaction.  I'm someone who loves my sexual connection to just flow without words but adding clarity through direct, kind and clear communication has deepened my delight and certainly increased my pleasure.
Here's something you can try that's very healing and enlivening.  Tantric practices use sound to stimulate vibration in the body and open the body/mind to deeper consciousness.  Toning and vocalizing your pleasure adds spice and delight to your sexual connection. Experiment with different sounds.  One practice is to tone directly into your partner's Chakras.  Experiment and find out what tone awakens and arouses.  Do try the tone associated with each Chakra. They are, from the 1st to the 7th: Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, Sham, Om.  They're pronounced Lum, Vum, Rum, Yum, Hum, Sham, OM.  YouTube has several examples you can listen to.  Have some fun trying new things.  As they say, 'if you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you've always gotten.' 
With all of these practices, using conscious breathing will deepen your presence in the moment.  Experiment with the way you breathe through your intimate encounters and throughout your everyday routines. These Tantric practices are life changing and can lead you to Bliss!   May you enjoy deepening your intimate communion with them. If you intend it, your experiment may open the doors to your True Self.  Much Love to you!  Namaste!