EuroTrip Day 9: Fear is thought and nothing else

Day 9, Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fear is thought and nothing elseWow, today was supposed to be the easiest of the three day trek, and it turned out to be the most challenging in some ways. First, probably from all the gluten I’ve been eating and lack of sleep the night before I woke up with a bad headache. I drank a lot of water but it didn’t help, so I finally had to break down and borrow some painkillers from Mick.

We took a two-hour drive past Alicante to a beautiful old Medieval Spanish town in the mountains named Bocairent. My headache did not subside until we reached the town.

The original idea was just to roam leisurely around this town, but before we knew it we were walking first way down into a crevice and up toward some high cliffs with what looked like cave dwellings in them. One person in our group who didn’t think she could make it wisely turned back.

We paid a guide to take us into these caves, which, as the brochure says, are “artificial caves with holes like windows, situated in the middle of the vertical rock wall, at 300 m… It has got approximately 50 windows that enter to another 50 rooms. The windows are lined up in three levels but without forming regular ‘floors.’They weren’t kidding about the holes.

The only way to get from one room to the other was to crawl through holes, some of which were barely big enough for a body to get through. Our guide moved through these caves like Spiderman; he was a marvel to watch. It wasn’t so easy for the rest of us.

I was the first one up the first wobbly ladder through a little hole in the ceiling into the first room. I had an uh-oh thought as the hole wasn’t wide enough for me to bend my knees enough to move my legs up to the next rungs of the ladder. But by twisting a little I could finally do it and ended up pushing myself up into this tiny room where I could not stand up. I offered a helping hand to everyone coming up out of the hole. And then I was at the back of the line.

To get to the next rooms we had to hold onto ropes to get in and out. One person in our group, Richard (he gave me permission to use his name here) started to be in fear; he was kind of claustrophobic. But he said if I was doing it he would too.

I thought it was great fun. At one point, however, the guide apparently told people at the front of the line that this was where they could get out if they wanted to because the next place was very challenging. Most of the group bailed out at that point.

About five of us decided to go on, including Richard. He had me tell him about five or six times that fear is only thought, it’s our own creation, fear is thought and nothing else, until it somehow resonated with him and somehow gave him the strength to go through is fear and into the last, difficult hole. But going up into this really difficult section we had to put our foot in a foothole, sit back against the other side of the hole, push our feet into the wall ahead of us and then use our arm strength to push ourselves up high enough to grab onto the floor of that next room.

I had another uh-oh thought. Where did my arm strength go? I couldn’t believe it! Even a few years ago I would not have had any trouble pushing myself up there, but it took every ounce of strength I had to do it. Going back down that same hole was no picnic either.

In one year and a little over a month I will be 70 years old. I decided right then and there with my now very aching arms that I had to start lifting weights or doing something with my arms or I would lose the rest of my strength.

Anyway, other than that, it was tremendous fun. And Richard conquered his fear and felt so exhilarated afterwards. The rest of the time, after walking up the really nice “magic path” back up to village, we simply sat in a wonderful old square and ate a Tapas meal together. It was quite a beautiful feeling; a perfect day.

That night I traded another coaching session with Della, and this time she worked on my arms and upper back, which were much in need. Many of the people from the EPT and the trek, including Karen, now left and a new group started arriving for the next weekend session. Luckily I have two days to myself before that starts.

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EuroTrip Day 8: Another wonderful day in the Costa Blanca

Day 8, Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Another delightful trek. This one was supposed to be easier than the last one, but it seemed harder. My legs certainly suffered more. I’ve learned not to trust anything Mark says about difficulty and about time; I really love giving Mark a hard time. But, beautiful views, wonderful company, exhilarating exercise—hard to beat.

This time before we started I told everyone that if anyone wanted coaching or counseling from me during the hike, that’s one of the things I was here for. So almost for the entire hike this time I was coaching or counseling one person after another. I probably talked with five different people in this way, as we were taking this beautiful hike. Plus, it appeared that I really affected most of these people, which is very gratifying. It also made the time go very quickly.

At one point toward the end I just needed to be by myself in silence for a little while, and just take in the surroundings, which was very rejuvenating. Toward the end we came upon some ruins with a cave where it was apparent people actually lived for a while, and a few of us went in.

I was really tired by the end, especially my legs. Luckily, two people owed me trades and gave my legs a rubdown afterwards–Della is an expert healer and physical therapist and Karen is a friend–which saved me. I definitely earned my keep today on this work/trek. Another wonderful day in Costa Blanca.

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EuroTrip Day 7: Go tell it on the mountain

Day 7, Monday, April 27, 2015

Jack Pransky's European TourHad a really delightful day today on the first day of the work/trek. We climbed a beautiful mountain north of Altea with a mixture of new people and a few of the EPTers.
Yoga Mark organized the trip. He had asked each of us to tell him our favorite song, and he surprised us by putting together a CD of all of them, which he played on the drive to the mountain. So that was a great start.
It was a moderate-hard hike but my legs were definitely feeling it by the time we got back. On the top it had a cave-tunnel that we had to climb through on all fours to get to the other side of the mountain. Gorgeous views on both sides.
I had told people before we left that I wanted this to evolve organically, so if anyone wanted to talk about the Three Principles, they could just walk up to me during the trek and ask me anything, and I would leave that totally up to them. That happened a few times.
At lunch on the mountain I was asked about the story of how I met Syd, so with a little trepidation I told my story of my encounter with Syd Banks in 1993 that changed my life. (This story will be in my next book.) At the end of the day I got leg massage, which saved me.
At dinnertime, I had to say goodbye to a lot of the EPT people who were leaving early the next morning, which was a very warm, fulfilling feeling. I’m going to miss them all very much.

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EuroTrip Day 6: Words can’t express

Day 6, Sunday, April 26, 2015

Jack Pransky enjoying the sunRight now I am so filled up I can barely stand it. My third Extended Professional Training (EPT) in Spain is now over. It was easily my best one yet. I just spent the last hour being showered by accolades. It would be so easy to let this go to my head, but that would sow the seeds of its own destruction and would fly in the face of what people appreciate about me in the first place. So I can’t let that happen. But I am feel like I’ve finally reached the level in this understanding where I have really been helpful to people, and perhaps, as someone said to me today, that I am helping to change the world. I would add, in a very small way, but it is not small to the people whose lives have changed as a result. I can’t think of any better work. I am the luckiest person on earth to have the privilege and opportunity to be of service in this way.
                An interesting thing happened today in light of the feeling that dropped yesterday afternoon. Here I was, stuck with the list that I had asked for about what people wanted to get from the training before they left. What was I going to do? Let them down? Yet how could I not lose the feeling again by going down the list? Last night came to me. I’ll just tackle it head on; I would bring this dilemma right into the training as a facilitator. That in and of itself changed the dynamic. It led to a discussion with the most beautiful feeling.
And then, after the break, I put them into groups of four to get into the feeling of Universal Mind and what it brings us, and to speak about it from the unknown, not from the intellect, only as people get hit by something new, and that led to an even more beautiful feeling.
And then at lunch I started to have a private session with one of the learners and I had the thought, I would love to be doing this in front of the whole group as a demonstration. She agreed and we did the session and it was very moving for everybody.
Then we ended by going around the circle and having people speak from their hearts about what the six months of training meant to them, and I was so touched and humbled. Words cannot express…

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EuroTrip Day 5: The feeling

Day 5, Saturday, April 25, 2015.

Everyone was in such a wonderful feeling this morning in the Extended Professional Training and it felt so deep that when we broke for lunch I was ready to send everybody home. It just seemed like anything we would do after that would take us backwards.
And that’s essentially what happened in the afternoon.
We still had another day and a half to be together; I couldn’t just send them home. So I asked the group what they would like to get from the rest of the training weekend, and all of a sudden I had a list on my hands. I started to go through a couple of the things on the list but the feeling just wasn’t the same as it was that morning, so the feeling of the group dropped a little. Once I saw what was happening I did send them away early. But it was still a very good day.
I later reflected on how tomorrow we might be able to deal with the rest of the list by consolidating it into just a few categories and still maintain the feeling of the morning before. So that is the challenge for tomorrow.
Luckily, most of us are a very nice dinner together at the typical Japanese buffet we seem to go to every time we meet in Albir, and the feeling and spirit felt back to the way it had been. So we shall see. I am completely exhausted right now.

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EuroTrip Day 4: Extended Professional Training resumes

Day 4, Friday, April 23, 2015

I had an even better sleep last night. I had an interesting experience at breakfast this morning. I sat listening to my EPTers having a conversation about things pertaining to health and the Three Principles, and it was really an eye-opener.

First I heard somebody talking out of her beliefs and jumping in on the conversation instead of listening; then I heard people being confused about “free will” vs. “meant to be,” then I heard somebody say about her husband “it’s his nature [to be a certain way].” All of a sudden I realized that this is a whole ‘nother way of seeing people’s cutting edge of the limitations of their own understanding. I was able to hear things I may not have heard if I was either involved in a one-on-one conversation with someone, or engaged in running a training. I wondered how I might incorporate into a training this idea about me observing a conversation about the Three Principles (3Ps), and then even having other people observe conversations of others talking about the 3Ps.

How do I even justify writing this blog, when I have a whole new book to write that has been dying to come out now for about a year. The only way I can justify it is to perhaps steal the good stuff for my book–if there are any.

To the lighthouse

I took another hike up toward the lighthouse, but this time I took another trail way down to the sea below, walking very carefully on the loose rocks and steep cliffs. The sea is like a living breathing organism. I saw this as the aqua-turquoise waves trickled into the cove and meshed with the emerald seaweed stuck to the rocks, waving with each wave. Sitting down by the water away from all crowds, big cliffs way up on either side of me, I am totally at peace. It occurs to me that I guess the trick would be to feel this way no matter what craziness one is surrounded by in life. But since it all comes to us courtesy of our own thinking, it makes sense we’d be able to. It just seems a lot easier when the outside is perfectly aligned with the inside, because the inside itself is peace.

Je t’aime Julie” is written on the rocks. Normally I hate to see something like that, but for some reason this doesn’t even seem like graffiti defacing the pristine rocks here—even though I wish it hadn’t been done—but in this case it just feels like an expression of pure love. I wonder if they are still together…

Ruins make me wonder what it was like back then. Did people have the same kinds of thoughts? What did they get caught up in? In this case it was ruins of an old mine, probably an ocher mine, because there was a cave down there where people used to mine ocher. But the stonework and mortar were really beautiful. Someone or some people really took care.

As I’m walking back down the trail to go back up again, being careful where I stepped because I didn’t want to fall off the cliff into the sea, I spotted a row of ants in single file meters upon meters long. One small one was carrying something literally five times its size. I nearly stepped on one by accident. You can step on an ant, but I wonder how big an ant would have to be for to be a fair fight. My mind thinks some very weird thoughts.

A flower grows in rocksFurther on I see flowers growing out of cracks in the rocks where it looks like nothing could grow. You just can’t stop the life force from coming through. You just can’t stop mind from coming through.

The Extended Professional Training starts

This afternoon our training started. Just sitting in that room again with all these beautiful people studying the three principles warms my heart. There was an automatic good feeling, felt by everyone.

We had met six months before in October, then every month between I gave assignments, they completed them, I gave feedback and we had Skype sessions.

It felt like my best to training yet. In fact it was one of the things that made me decide to do it again, because I never thought I would do it again, because all of the time it takes to make it really successful is really too much time.

This session now was preparation for an evening presentation to new people, hearing about the Principles for the first time. I am so proud of them. They all did such a spectacular job, sticking to their own stories of discovery and being sure their main point came through. When I see how good they are at teaching, it makes me feel like I’m doing something right. People telling me is one thing–my thinking about that feels really good–but when you can actually see the results with your eyes, that’s really something!

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EuroTrip Day 3: Ahhh Albir

Day 3, Thursday, April 22, 2015

AlbirAhhh, Albir, Spain. Mediterranean coast. I just love it here. I felt like I was stepping into peace. I had forced myself to stay awake until it was bedtime last night, because I had learned from experience that that’s the way to lick jetlag from an overseas flight, and I slept like a baby until 4:00 in the morning.

Certainly I woke up earlier than I wanted, but there was no going back to sleep. So I did my morning exercises and ate breakfast and took a beautiful, fairly short hike up to the famed lighthouse on the cliffs overlooking the turquoise-laced sea. I bumped into a Norwegian chiropractor who had spotted a dolphin through one of those telescopes and he had me look through it but I didn’t see it.

Then on my way down I decided to take a trail way down to some old ruins by the sea, which had always intrigued me but I had never hiked on before, and it was really beautiful down there. I sat by the water and became totally mesmerized by the sights and sound of the waves gurgling through the rocks. Instant, natural meditation. No extraneous thoughts. So peaceful. Went back to the hotel, ate lunch, went to the beach and lay down there to read (but fell asleep), went back, took a shower, and by this time many of my EPTers (Extended Professional Training people) had arrived. It was so wonderful to see them. I felt surrounded by love.

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EuroTrip Day 2: The plane ride from hell

Day 2, Wednesday, April 21, 2015

The plane ride from Hell. Sort of. I only got about 45 minutes sleep last night if I was lucky from Boston to Dublin, but that wasn’t the bad flight. I was so looking forward to getting a couple of hours of sleep in on my flight from Dublin to Alicante. But it was booked on Ryanair, perhaps the most cramped airline in the world, with seats that do not recline and no pockets in front of the seat to hold things. The main trouble with this flight, though, was that it was loaded with drunken Dublin women heading to Benidorm to party and a bunch of drunken men on a stag party jaunt. They were all feeling it already when they got on the flight at 10:00 in the morning, and by the time they got off two hours later they were all drunk. In spite of that I fell asleep pretty quickly, before the plane even left the runway, I was so exhausted. Suddenly I felt myself being tapped on the shoulder. The woman sitting next to me needed to pee. So I woke up and stood up to let her out, and again to let her back in. I nodded off again. I got tapped again. The woman next to the window now needed to go. This happened four other times! I couldn’t believe it! Then all at one almost every person on the plane started shouting at once; like this whole gaggle of women shouting across the plane to each other, and the men getting rowdier with each passing kilometer. I put my headphones on to block out the noise and I couldn’t hear my muisc; they were just too loud. Then they were standing in the aisles in a long line to the lavatory, literally leaning over me and yelling over my head to each other. If I had been in a better mood and less exhausted I probably would have gotten caught up in the spirit of it all. But they just kept getting drunker as the plane ride flew on. I needed sleep so bad.  I’d rather pay a lot more money than ever fly Ryanair again, especially from Dublin, on a trip anything over an hour. Finally, an if-you-can’t-lick-‘em-join-‘em thought came to me and (without imbibing, myself) I struck up a conversation with the two 25-year-old women next to me, while they slurped down their vodka and 7-Ups and wine, respectively. They were actually very nice. One of them swears she will read Somebody Should Have Told Us! when she returns from the den of iniquity of Spain called Benidorm. And I believe she will—if she remembers anything.

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