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About Thittato

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  1. Art therapy So since I came back to society in 2009 after having been a buddhist monk for 2 years, I've always had some ongoing drawing project, and it has even resulted in some exhibitions and some collaborations, but this whole time, the wall behind my drawing desk where I hang the drawings I'm working on, it has been like this really crazy projection screen where I just pour out all my crazy stuff. Sometimes, when I'm working on something that I get a kick out of, I get into this really narcissistic mood, and perhaps the next day I wake up and I feel ill just looking at the same thing that got me worked into a narcissistic mood the evening before. And it has been like this, like really erratic on and off. In a sense it is good, since the whole thing in many ways started out with some kind of notion about art-therapy. But I'm hoping, at some point, that expressing difficult feelings will eventually turn into something more constructive. The point where healing turn into creation. Would have been so awesome if this frustrating thing actually turned into something that really started to blossom.
  2. Just after I wrote what I wrote yesterday, I made a new drawing that I was actually quite satisfied with, and today I had a coffee with a good friend of mine and he gave me an interesting comparison: Suppose your art-making is only 1 or 2 out of a full potential of 20. And that is really true. It really is just a low boil at 1 or 2, and I have never been able to bring it up further than that. I started getting very curious about what would a 4 (and of course even higher but lets start with 4) look like to me? So I have never been obsessing about music the same way I have about my drawings, so music certainly is just a hobby compared to whatever this is, and I will remove my goals from guitar-playing and say that I'm satisfied having learned those three simple classical guitar solos (I didn't quite get the hang on the 4th and the 5th one) and having learned the 5 pentatonic scale shapes as that gives me plenty to play around with. At the very least this thing with drawing it is definitively some kind of "neurotic charge" that I have to investigate further in order to see where it leads, and at the very best it might be my purpose to be doing this, so I will look into what can be done in order to keep this process more stable. Here is my drawing from yesterday.
  3. Full cycle So whatever that was, since I first started this journal, which was triggered by an ayahuasca ceremony I did in the end of September, that was probably a full cycle of something, and at the end of that cycle, I usually end up where I started, with vulnerability, and it feels like all this manic inspiration I had for psychedelics, or music, or art, or whatever, is just totally stripped away from me, and what remains is just vulnerability and a sense of nakedness towards existence. It is just me and existence her. Not a lot of cool projects in all kinds of directions. And at this point, I usually just conclude with, "Well, I guess I'll just go back to my meditation-practice then" Everything might start up tomorrow again, or in 2 years, or maybe these cycles never return, who know, but anyways, this was just to document that some full cycle of something has just been cycled through.
  4. The most important thing So probably, the most important thing, in this journaling and in my journey, is to get healing for this place of worthlessness, fear, lack of purpose, meaninglessness, vulnerability, emptiness, etc. Because then it wouldn't so much be an escape to become this or that in order to compensate for this inner lack of self-love, but rather, whatever direction my path in life takes, it would probably be much better informed when it comes from self-love. So in this 4th cacao-ceremony, when I prayed for support in opening up my heart, I think here I got the answer to what needs to heal in order for that to happen, so that is a nice clue for continued work, both in gestalttherapy, in my meditation, and with further work with the cacao-spirit. So a nice little full-circle here :-) Hurrah :-)
  5. 2nd Cacao-ceremony (well, actually 4th) What a weekend. We had 8 hours of gestalt group-therapy on friday and 10 hours on saturday. It was pretty cool on friday - we first made a drawing of how our body felt, and then we danced and added the changes the dancing made in our body-feeling to the drawing, and then we split into groups of three rotating between being therapist, client and observer for each other. I was so inspired when I came home that I did a drumming session, meditated and did yoga, and when I woke up I meditated and decided to do a little cacao-ceremony by myself before I went to the 10 hour session. I set the intention to open up my heart, and the whole 10 hour gestalt-session felt like a long heart opening session. I'm sure the cacao was a mild and gentle support throughout the whole session, and I'm glad to have done a 2nd ceremony and to see that it was nice to combine with gestalt-therapy, and that I wasn't any different, but that it was just a mild and gentle support to my process. Actually I've done cacao-ceremonies twice before, but I didn't really pay so much attention to them. First time was a friend dropping by and then we did cacao and smoked a little bit of weed (which I don't do anymore) and sang ayahuasca songs, and 2nd time was at the same yoga studio I just did the recent cacao-ceremony that sparked my interest up again, but then we didn't do it in a ceremonial setting, we just drank a ceremonial dose and socialized, but still the effect was really nice and sweet, but I wasn't so impressed I paid any more attention to it. However I'm a little bit skeptical about doing substances without telling the teacher and therapist for our class about it (even something as mild as cacao) because then it is like I know something that has an effect on my therapy that the therapist doesn't know about, and that sort of contradicts the principle about full disclosure in therapy, so probably I will not do it again in this gestalt-setting, but I was too inspired to not do it this time, and also I was a little bit sick and tired so I did it to get some extra strength (which I got), and now I have more "field rapports" to draw from when I process my experience of cacao. To keep track of these ceremonies, I will call this ceremony my 4th ceremony. And with all the cool things that has happened this weekend (going out with a friend and socializing on saturday evening and a lot of fun happened, and mantra singing with a group of people today and I played the drum throughout one of the songs, which is a step forward because I restrict myself so much when it comes to contributing with instruments in mantra-circles, yes and blablablablabla) yes with all these cool things, at the end of the weekend, I'm here alone, and tired and back to this feeling of lack of purpose and emptiness described before, which I'm sure is only temporarily, but I do freak out a little bit, instead of just relaxing with it and sinking into and embracing the vulnerability. So perhaps when I write the report to my teacher on this weekend, I will go more into describing this emptiness / lack of purpose kind of thing, because I believe there is a lot of gold to be found there when I can find healing for this place in myself. That is where all my worthlessness, fear, etc, is, and sometimes it feels like everything I do is just an escape from this place.
  6. These are the four drawings I've shared here in my journal so far :-)
  7. Social worker, or artist, or both? A 10 year long obsessive quest that never seems to end. Today, wanting to become a visual artist, has been very strong. Gosh. This has lasted for almost 10 years. On the one hand I'm a social worker working in a psychiatric hospital training to become a gestalttherapist, and on the other hand this wanting to make a living out of my drawings and paintings comes up really strong on a pretty frequent basis. This life situation that I'm in right now would be really perfect if only I could settle down with it. My job is the perfect environment to develop my therapeutic skills while I'm training to become a gestalttherapist. Am I a healer, or am I an artist, or both? Haven't really found my purpose, yet. How to figure this out? We're going to have a two day seminar this weekend at the gestalt-training, so consciously or subconsciously I hope to work some more on this aspect of this impasse. Also since I have decided to at least finish this 2nd year of this education (until summer) I have another 6 months to figure out the therapeutic aspect of this since the first two years are just all about ones own therapeutic aspect. I'm also going to journal like crazy to figure this all out. It is very challenging to have a mind like this. Sometimes it feels like I have some kind of syndrome I just have to learn to live with. At the very least I meditated for 45 min today as I woke up in a very challenging state, and after that I went to work feeling so positive and full of good energy, so it is really amazing what meditation can do, and when this trying to sort out my direction in life stuff has been too crazy for too long I usually just surrender to my dedication to meditation practice thinking: "Gosh, I'm just too fucked up to really pursue anything else than meditation, and since I'm able to keep a normal job and help people who are even more fucked up than me, guess I should just surrender to this normal job kind of thing and continue to meditate and stop dreaming about being an artist, or whatever kind of crazy story my chronic sense of wanting to be somewhere else cooks up next time." Here is another one of my drawings while I'm chewing on this.
  8. Vulnerability, emptiness & lack of direction So this day I've been walking around with a feeling of being stripped of everything and the only thing that has remained has been vulnerability, emptiness and lack of purpose, except, when it feels like this, my only purpose at that point is to go into the vulnerability in order to expose myself to it and own it. There has been a sense of panic about all these cool projects that I've been grooving on lately being gone, and sort of like: "damn, nothing is worth it anyways, I better just work on my meditation instead in order to get enlightened, all these things that I groove on, it is just some kind of mania I get into that will quickly change into something else." But that is like my old tendency to go from one extreme to the other. I wish I could just stay with my vulnerability when it gets like this, instead of drawing conclusions like that out of a sense of panic. It is like I desperately seek a position to cling to in the face of life's uncertainties. Like I go from clinging to my identity as a guitarist, for instance, to instead go to clinging to my identity as someone who meditates. So when I feel stuck in vulnerability and lack of purpose,I project that into the future, the same way that I project my mania on guitar into the future. Whatever kind of direction my life takes, I need to really work on all this pain and vulnerability hidden behind my projections into the future. My prayer for tomorrow is: "Let me face my pain and vulnerability, whenever it shows up, with softness and understanding, and let me have the courage to give up my tendency to try to find some fixed position to cling to."
  9. 45 min silent meditation this morning. In the light of the calm I feel today, I'm seeing this whole journaling as riding out the wave of energy and inspiration (and also the other side of that coin which is aversion and repulsion) that psychedelics trigger in me. Whatever kind of sidetrack I temporarily get into, I always return back to silent meditation. Not that that excludes anything else, but it really brings me back to presence and life as it is right now, instead of all these manic fantasies I have a strong tendency to get into.
  10. Woah! I had a really amazing session this morning, all on my meditation cushion: first 20 min of drumming then 25 min of silent meditation then 5 min of playing guitar and singing mantras and then 10 min of freestyle guitar improvisation after that I did yoga for approximately 20 min. It all felt like a very potent and integrated spiritual practice, and now I feel really fresh and VERY enthusiastic about this journaling-project. It felt like a dry-work session related to these solo cacao-ceremonies I'm now preparing for :-)
  11. And of course while I'm writing this, my old guitar-teacher, whose name is also Magnus, sends me an email telling me about some new coaching thing he has going, and that he will only be in Norway one time quite soon now to do this coaching thing before he'll be away again for half a year. Something for me to consider :-)
  12. Holy schmokes. That was too much having all those instruments hanging around in my tiny studio-apartment. So except for one classical guitar and the djembe, I drove the rest up to my brother for some time. I was getting into some stress and mania jumping around between the el-guitar, the keyboard, the ukulele, etc. So now it is perfect. The classical guitar and the djembe is a perfect combo for a while. Funny I just bought the el-guitar and then I'm storing it away, but got to experiment a bit to find the right dose of things. Feels sexier to only have two instruments here. Also I'm storing my weight lifting equipment (a few kettlebells and some dumb-bells) down in my basement instead of having it up here. Been lifting weights for a year now, combining it with yoga, and it was inspiring with some change to my normal yoga-focus, but I think I will go back to focus my exercise routine primarily around yoga again. Stripping things down in order to add depths. Regarding adding depths I have always been very fascinated with chess but never any good at it, but 2 months ago I started playing on and carefully reading a little bit about strategies and tactics here and there. Yesterday I finished watching this lesson from on youtube: All you need to know about chess: The Opening All you need to know about chess: Tactics and Strategy! All you need to know about chess: The Endgame! All you need to know about chess: Bringing It Together! I was sort of stuck in a rut until I saw "Bringing It Together" and realized how fun it is to hear commentators analyze famous chess games on youtube, so that will be my next clue in order to add depths to my chess game as well. Since I play chess every now and then anyways, why not add some more depths to it by investing a little bit more into actual studies of famous games? That is much more fun than just reading theory about it, also... :-) Anyways, this whole stripping things down thing happened after I sat on my meditation cushion this afternoon and had another amazing djembe-session. I realized that finally I've reached one of my goals with drumming, and that is just to be able to sit there for an extended period alone and enjoy it like a meditation or like a solo ceremony, and then I realized my place is just too crammed up with too much of everything, and that it would be much more powerful to go deeper with lesser things. So here is a picture of the two remaining instruments. I'm realizing the guitar has the most feminine qualities of these two, and it was the ayahuasca ceremony which gave me back the inspiration with it, and the djembe, is very masculine, and the peyote really opened my eyes up for the djembe again, and as mentioned above ayahuasca is known for having very feminine qualities and peyote for masculine qualities, so together this picture shows the king and queen in my life right now, also the two most important pieces in chess hehehe :-) Also that last drawing published above here, "The impasse," was also heavily influenced by my interest in chess these days, and even though I don't think impasse is a term used in chess, the definition of impasse: "a situation in which progress is blocked; an insurmountable difficulty; stalemate; deadlock" is a situation that can easily occur in chess, in fact it actually just happened 12 times in a row between the world champion and his challenger before they had to do extra rounds in quicker chess. The world champion Magnus Carlsen (which is a Norwegian just like me) is said to be a more intuitive player, while his challenger Fabiano Caruana is much more analytical, some said it was a competition between man and machine, and Magnus Carlsen easily won when they moved on to quicker game and Fabiano Caruana couldn't use so long time to do "computer analyzing" anymore. And that was what my cacao-ceremony was about, getting more intuitive, because I have the tendency of getting stuck in trying to calculate everything in life. So perhaps my personal impasse, the stalemate, mentioned above, found flow again through intuition. Holy smokes, that was a lot of symbolism. I love to bring all the things in my life together - to create a symbolic meaning for myself like this :-)
  13. Started this day with meditating for 45 min, and then a really nice djembe-session. Feels like I'm back in track regarding my studies to become a gestalt-therapist. I will at least finish this 2nd year, and study as if I'm going along with the program. So that means I will have to start to read the study-material again. I had some sort of crisis that lead me to going back to the ayahuasca circle and asking this plant teacher for guidance on how to deal with this crisis. For instance I was projecting a lot of my father issues on my therapist (transference and perhaps counter-transference) so that I felt rejected by my own therapist and that made me doubt the whole education, but now my relationship with my therapist is re-established and I will at the very least finish this 2nd year as if I'm fully going along with the program, intending to perhaps start the 3rd year, but I will just have to see about that. But at least I need to finish this 2nd year to deal with all these issues that has been active lately. It is a 4-year part-time education where the two first years are only about working on ones own process, while the two last years the focus is on the role of becoming a therapist, so no matter which way it turns out it will be cool to have 2 years of gestalttherapy self and group-processes on my CV when I'm working as a social worker. So doing psychedelics again triggered a lot of extra processes again, especially this creative process, so it was nice to write about it here, and I love both music and art, but for now I think I will continue with it just as a hobby (as it has always been) and continue my training as a therapist as if that is what I intend to become. But I will finish the goals I've established for my guitar-playing here, but it is really nice to not have this rush to get anywhere else again. Basically I think perhaps my goals with both guitar and drawing is to just have them as an integrated and balanced part of my daily life. And that sounds pretty cool to me - to have a normal job working as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital as I do, and then have some really cool hobbies that I really enjoy. Also I'm really glad I discovered cacao, because that is the type of really mild and nice plant teacher I need these days. I have to admit that doing ayahuasca and peyote was a bit irresponsible because my job in the psychiatric hospital is quite demanding and it took me 3 weeks after the ayahuasca and 2 weeks after the peyote to get fully back to my self. But fortunately it turned out very well, and I even had some extra love and inspiration to give to several of my patients in the afterglow. But generally those types of processes are too demanding to my taste. It seems people react very differently to these plant teachers, and perhaps at another point in time my relationship with them will be different, but for now I'm really satisfied with how this lead me to discover cacao :-) Ok, back to the gestalttherapy-books :-)
  14. The awesomeness of this day has just continued. This evening I was at a mantra circle singing Gayatri Mantra 108 times together with 20 people. And now I have just had an awesome conversation on phone with a friend while I was coloring one of my drawings. Played the djembe two more times as well. I'm starting to believe that I can fully heal my emotional wounds and live to my fullest potential every day. The interesting thing is now everything feels perfect in my life. But my pattern is that that can easily change, and probably it will in the course of a few days. While now my art and music and meditation and studies and job all seems to go in the right direction and there is a meaningful unified whole to it, when the switch flips from flow to contraction the same life with exactly the same ingredients will just look like crap with only loose ends diverging in all kinds of contradictory directions. But of course that is how life is bouncing back and forth between emotional/spiritual expansions and contractions. But I do believe this can balance itself out and that I can live grounded, kind and humble awesomeness every day.
  15. Had a really amazing session playing djembe this morning. I'm starting to love this journaling. Felt like it was just craziness only a few days ago, but then I managed to express this impasse very well here I felt, and then I encountered this cacao-ceremony, and suddenly I'm on the track of something new. Cool how this was kick-started by an ayahuasca ceremony, but then I felt that these days ayahuasca (and peyote) is too much for me, and not really what I'm looking for at this point, but still I would love to study with some kind of plant teacher, and then cacao appeared as a really mild and gentle teacher. I also love the aspect of ceremonies and ingesting some kind of sacrament, so I'm glad I've found a sacrament that is what I'm looking for these days. Also music is often a very important part of ceremonies, and since my music interest has been so much triggered by these types of ceremoniel settings, I'm looking forward to see how this journey will continue when I'm doing my own solo-ceremonies with cacao. I'm planning to meditate, sing mantras, play guitar and djembe during these ceremonies, to go into it with an intention that I express in some way, so that will be really exciting. Also I've found inspiration now to at least finish this 2nd year with the education in gestalt-therapy that I'm doing because I really need to get to the roots of this impasse that I've been in. Its not just over by me encountering cacao, even though that will help, but I know I have some really deep wounds that I need to heal, and probably I'm closer than ever to get to the roots of this, so it would be a stupid point to quit this education right now (which I have considered being tormented by doubt as part of this impasse). Part of this journaling is just getting all the stuff out so that I can clear my mind and be present. Doesn't really matter that much which direction this takes as long as my healing journey continues.