For those who don't know; Holotropic Breathwork is a group event of self-exploration that uses rapid, deep breathing and loud, evocative music (think tribal drumming, instrumentals, ancient chants, nothing has English lyrics) to enter a non-ordinary state of consciousness. It can seem very much like an acid trip, but you aren't under the influence of anything except for your self. After breathwork you draw your experience in a mandala. I can't draw for shit (especially after a 2 1/2 hour Holotropic trip), but I love my mandalas. I even wrote a book about my prior Holotoropic Breathwork experiences because I want more people to know about this process and give it a try.
|Dancing on strings|
As the songs went on, I found myself in this huge underground dance club all carved out of stone. It looked like Stonehenge had been rebuilt as some sort of goth, gay, fetish, dance club. I was like a tourist being shown all around and these huge German muscle men who were dripping in sweat and oil kept coming up to me saying, "We want to oil you up." I laughed out loud each time, because they kept reminding me of the Saturday Night Live characters, Hanz and Franz, saying "We want to pump you up!"
There was a different style of mayhem and debauchery in every corner of this place; it had orgies, hula dancers, African Masai warrior dancers, people pouring hot wax onto each other, and all sorts of scenes out of something like Eyes Wide Shut. It seemed like every culture and every fetish was represented and I just kept laughing at each new sight, each new discovery. The music was cranking, the bass was pumping, lights and glitter were flying everywhere - then the Pope arrived! He was atop the whole scene in an elevated DJ booth. Turns out this secret underground club is beneath the Vatican!
|Pope goes clubbing|
The Pope was going totally sick throwing streamers and glitter all around, loving everyone, reigning over the debauchery and fun. The Germans kept offering to oil me up and tried teaching my different dances. I just laughed and laughed and laughed. Everyone was insanely buff and gorgeous (like when Homer Simpson tells a story and he looks like Hercules in his mind.) I commented to people around me that this was some sort demented Dance Party USA, the Pope yelled out, "No! It's Dance Party Universe!"
The music slowed down a bit and became this amazing, heavy bass riff. I turned to follow a couple German muslceheads into a tunnel. Actually we were all earthworms now and were creating a tunnel through the rock and dirt to leave the Pope's bash. We burrowed and tunneled further and further into the ground, as the bass kept getting louder and deeper, shaking everything around us.
|Hell bass jam|
|Lighter of Light|
Then I entered a very serene and peaceful period. Similar to a very deep state of meditation. It was timeless and blissful. I recall one scene of yelling at my wife, Lori, who wasn't there, "Enough with the raisins!" Every time she comes across food with raisins she goes on and on about how much she hates raisins, and raisins ruin food... Muffins and cookies with raisins were served that day and that all popped into my mind somewhere between Heaven and hell.
I was filled with so much love, peace and joy. I wallowed in those emotions for the remainder of my time. When I opened my eyes about 2 1/2 hours after I'd closed them, I didn't feel out of it or disoriented. I was so ready to get to my mandala, I had been drawing it in my mind all along. Wishing I had the skill the get the amazing scenes in my head onto paper. But alas, I'm still a kindergartener when it comes to marking up paper.
Here is the entire mandala.
|Dance Party Universe!|
At home that night, Lori and I were watching Saturday Night Live and one of my favorite characters, Stefon: showed up again. Stefon is the city correspondent on Weekend Update and I realized that my Dance Party Universe was one of Stefon's clubs. This place has everything...
This breathwork was also special because I introduced a friend to it. At first she was nervous and scared, asking why would anyone do this more than once? Three hours later, it was "I can't wait to do this again!"