Skip to main content

“Cept” is a root word meaning to take or receive.

I love words and enjoy playing with them (even though I nearly failed Linguistics in college!)  Looking at them from different angles sparks my creativity and helps me understand myself. Let’s look at a set of words that all contain the  root “cept” and have important implications for selfcare. We’ll start with the most obvious ones dealing with the physical body, as selfcare is very often equated to care of the physical body or care of the person via the body.

These words all have a place in the realm of yoga, which of course, is one of the main ways I help clients develop their selfcare. How many of them are familiar to you?


Exteroception – awareness of external stimuli, be it temperature or birdsong

Neuroception – ability to feel safe and/or sense threat

Proprioception – awareness of the muscles, joints, and bones and their relationship to each other and to external space

Perception – cognitive/mental sensing

Interoception – internal states and sensory processing

Pranaception – breath awareness


Not all words that include the root of “cept” are related to the body, but the following 4 words still have an important connection to selfcare, but tend not to have a positive or negative charge in and of themselves. When you look at them, what comes to mind in terms of how these words might be impacting your selfcare?


Inception – the beginning or start

Conception – the act of conceiving or creating something; the birth process

Interception – preventing or stopping something in progress

Reception – a welcome, greeting or acceptance

Exception – objection (or criticism which perhaps would take ‘exception’ into our  next category)


Now I share with you a short list of “cept” words which symbolize the energies which we must guard against in our selfcare. As you consider each one, what comes to mind in terms of your own selfcare, perhaps more so on the mental/emotional than physical level:


Deception – acts of falsehood, hiding or distorting the truth

Misconception – a misunderstanding or mistaken notion

Misperception – a false or inaccurate idea or belief

Preconception – an idea or belief made without all the necessary information

Susceptibility  – to be easily affected or swayed by one’s emotions or to succumb without critical thinking


Now consider the following 2 types of ‘ception’ that describe spiritual acuity. Do they have a place in your current selfcare?


Pneumaception and Brahmaception – sense of the spiritual or subtle

Numaception – knowing of the unseen


Words are just words. And yet they are incredibly powerful and can give us tremendous insight into ourselves and our entire belief system. Words are often used to manipulate and control us (think advertising and propaganda). But they can also give us insight into how we operate and areas of our lives that are closed off to our true potentials.

Humans have a funny way of complicating things. Even when we say we’re trying to make life simple, when certain things come too easily or appear overly simple, we tend to discount or ignore them, sensing they are unearned. We want the struggle, the anguish, and the complexity. We want our intricate stories and unique entanglements confirmed by our friends, astrologers, and youtube gurus.

Thankfully, in my own life, the more time that passes, the more simple things become. So at the risk of annoying those who like the struggle, the anguish, and the complexity, I’m about to answer some of life’s burning questions…sure to douse the theatrics and complications. But if you find this all too unsatisfying, trite, or banally oversimplified, feel free to look for better answers. I’ll meet you back here when you’re ready.

What’s my purpose?

To love.

Why is this [misfortune/test] happening to me?

So you learn to love.

Why am I so miserable?

You haven’t learned to love.

Why do I keep attracting the wrong man/woman?

You don’t understand love.

Why am I here? 

To love.

Why does this [thing] keep happening to me?

So you learn to love.

Who am I?

You are love.

How can I find happiness?


Why can’t I find happiness?

Because you keep rejecting and/or denying your nature…love.

And I guess it is now fairly safe to assume that the mind goes directly to the next obvious questions: “How do I do that? How do I learn to love? How do I accept my nature?”

And that, dear reader, is for one thing, a much better set of questions and also the point at which life will really start to change. But don’t expect any easy answers here. Follow your heart!

So have you played with ChaptGPT yet? I was going to avoid it, but then my French teacher suggested I use it in my studies. It’s been an incredibly helpful tool, and I’ve even used it for other research.

A Positive Message for Humanity?

In a Facebook group I am in, someone posted a “positive message for humanity” constructed by the AI ChatGPT. They asked it to ‘create'(I use that term loosely) something as if it had come from an ascended master. The message was indeed positive and outwardly loving, warm, and expounding of human ideals for a better world. Some who read it were even deeply touched or uplifted having read it. Here is a sample of the passage:

Love all, for love is the foundation of all creation. In the eyes of the Universe, there are no exceptions. Every living being is a unique expression of the Divine, deserving of love and respect.

Respect each other’s freedom, for it is a gift from the Universe. Allow each person to walk their own path, to learn their own lessons, and to experience their own journey.

Do not judge or discriminate, for all beings are equal in the eyes of the Universe. Honor the diversity that exists within humanity and celebrate the unique gifts that each individual brings to the world.

Protect and preserve the natural world, for it is a reflection of the Universe’s beauty and grace. Treat all living beings with kindness and compassion, recognizing that they too are expressions of the Divine.

Fascinating! My thought was, though, that perhaps this has implications in tuning one’s intuition for false messages, empty words, and manufactured talking points which is a current plague deeply affecting humanity’s ability to discern truth from the false. It is very easy to simply project our own feelings and meanings onto a technical configuration of words and thus, find it inspiring. Yet this is unfortunately what we do when our preferred politicians, corporations, or celebs give good lip-service blinding us to their true intentions (or lack of them).

I wondered whether people would be able to distinguish between an AI message generated by ChatGPT and an actual teaching from a sage, for example. Would people be able to discern which was which? That would be interesting!

My ChatGPT Experiment

ChatGPT vs. Indian Sage

So I decided to conduct some experiments of my own. What would be the result if I asked ChatGPT to create a teaching in the style of the nondual sages of India such as Ramana and Nisargadatta. This is the result:

Greetings, seekers of truth. I am here to share with you the timeless wisdom of nondual teachings, which have been passed down through the ages by the sages and saints of India.

At the heart of these teachings is the recognition that there is only one ultimate reality, which is pure consciousness or awareness. This consciousness is not something that can be grasped or understood by the mind, for it is the very ground of being, the source of all existence.

To realize this truth, one must turn inward and abide in the silence of the heart. This means letting go of all concepts and beliefs, and simply resting in the awareness that is always present, here and now.

The mind may resist this, for it is accustomed to seeking outside itself for happiness and fulfillment. But the true happiness and peace that we seek can only be found within, in the stillness of our own being.

ChatGPT vs. Rumi

“Greetings, seekers of truth?” This seemed about as deep as a 500-word blog post about…well…any topic. I figured it was far too obviously AI. So then I thought, why not have ChatGPT create a devotional poem in the style of Rumi? Maybe it would be better at that. This was the cheesy, cliched result:

Oh beloved, my heart sings with joy, For in your presence I am whole, You are the light that guides my way, The fire that ignites my soul.

Your love is like a gentle breeze, That soothes and comforts all my fears, It washes over me like a river, And drowns away my doubts and tears.

In your embrace, I find my rest, My worries and my cares dissolve, For you are the one who holds me, The anchor of my heart’s resolve.

Oh how I long to be with you, To bask in your eternal grace, For you are the source of all that is, The giver of love and endless space.

So let me be your humble servant, And sing your praises night and day, For you are the only truth I know, The reason why my heart can say:

“I am yours, and you are mine, Forever bound in love divine, In your embrace I find my home, The place where all my fears are gone.”

ChatGPT vs. Channelling

Anyone familiar with Rumi would likely spot this as a poor imposter. It’s close, but there’s very little nuance. So in one final attempt, I instructed ChatGPT to construct a channelled message as if it came from beings of another dimension. This was the result:

Greetings, dear ones. We come to you from a dimension beyond your own, where the veil between worlds is thin and the boundaries of time and space are fluid.

We are here to offer you a message of love and hope, to remind you that you are not alone in your journey through this reality. We are with you always, watching and guiding, and sending you the energies of light and healing.

The world in which you live is undergoing a profound transformation, as the old structures and systems give way to new ways of being. This can be a challenging and confusing time for many, as the familiar ways of living and thinking are no longer effective.

But know that this is part of a greater plan, a shift in consciousness that is taking place across the universe. You are being called to awaken to your true nature as spiritual beings, to remember your connection to all that is, and to take your place as co-creators of a new reality.

The path before you may be uncertain, but trust that you are being guided towards your highest good. Follow the promptings of your heart, and let go of the fears and doubts that hold you back.

Remember that you are never alone, for we are with you always. We are the ones who whisper to you in the stillness of the night, who guide your footsteps on the path of life, and who hold you in our love and light.

So take heart, dear ones, and know that all is well. The future is bright, and the possibilities are endless. You are loved, you are guided, and you are never alone.

Now, this sounds like just about every other channelled message out there and so I have to say, “Good work, ChatGPT!” I honestly don’t think I’d know the different between this and a message from Kyron for example. But, is it good because it closely simulated an actual channelled message, or was it only successful because most channelled messages are as stiff and lifeless as AI? Which begs the question…where do channelled messages really come from?

One Thing’s for Sure

The evolution of AI is going to reveal a lot to us about ourselves in the years ahead. I just hope we don’t forget that there’s an invisible but uncrossable bridge between the human capacity to create and technology’s capacity to construct.

About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

Insight Timer:

The True Deep State

Sorry to disappoint, but this post isn’t about that psychopathic underbelly of world governments and twisted corruption of unelected elites and their attempts to control the world and all of its resources, including you. But it is about the metaphor of what has become known as “The Deep State”. It’s a meaningful phrase, indeed.

While the deluded controllers do, in fact, exist, they are no more powerful and no less illusionary than any other aspect of the dream we are collectively dreaming; they are a phony deep state. The only real deep state, the only one worthy of our attention, is the one within. And the way we defeat not only “The Deep State” but our suffering is by getting to know this true deep state.

I propose to you three essentials for the age in which we find ourselves:

Overcoming Fear

Stop obsessing over the latest preposterous and onerous plans devised and supposedly incoming for the future of humanity and stop giving your precious attention to mental patients with platforms. Take care of the mental patient in your own head (we’ve ALL got one). When you feel your fear-button pushed, notice it, laugh it off, and turn your attention back to your real life. Keep your focus on what you want, not what “they” want. It’s time to unify to protect the real, not our opinions. Don’t let them confuse you, throw you off, or reshape the building blocks of reality. But how you ask?

Turn It Off!

Well, if you haven’t figured it out yet, stop watching and listening to the bloody media. Those talking heads are a mirror of our distorted, corrupted limited mental capacities. We are in an age where discernment is critical. The mind, with all of its biases and confusions and missing knowledge isn’t going to get you there, period. And not one single media source, professor, astrologer, or guru will get you there either. You have to learn to get quiet. And you have to spend time there. It’s absolutely essential to tune out the noise so you can finally begin to hear the truth again. It is something that will arise from inside. It’s a completely solitary inside job. So prepare yourself for a little battle with loneliness; it’ll have to be faced.


Okay, yes, I know. You hear this suggested as the answer to every illness, stressor, crisis, trauma, and problem. It can feel completely invalidating and condescending to our personal problems. Meditation itself, as a concept, is not the answer to anything. Meditation as a state of being, however…that’s a practice worth finding your way towards. No, the rewards aren’t immediate. Yes, there are all kinds of resistances and progress plateaus to overcome. But somehow, someway, each of us must find what works to get us out of our fragmented heads and into our integrating heart. It’s not about “just sitting there”. It’s about being open and empty. And you have to want to know your Self, the truth of you, more than anything else in the world. 

We are in a new era. It’s time for the deep state to run the world. The question for you is, which deep state will run yours?


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:

The Self-Improvement Juggernaut

There was a time in my life, as there is in many lives who grow up submersed in the Western cultural values of striving and “being better”, that I was obsessed with self-improvement. I read all the books about “how to be a better this” and “how to be better at that”. I went on retreats and took on practices to make myself happier, more productive, more creative, less neurotic, less angry, more abundant and on and on and on all in an effort to prove myself worthy of existence.

When I reached one self-inflicted goal, I immediately set another and another all in the name of becoming a better person and ensuring that I was living up to my potential. It was not only exhausting, it was expensive. And while I may have had some truly valuable experiences and come away with knowledge that indeed made my life a little better, none of it ever satisfied the unquenchable thirst at the root of what was driving me…a sense of not being good enough.

Out from Under the Self-worth Steamroller

It was grace, or quite frankly what felt like hell at the time, that woke me on this hamster wheel. Who exactly was I trying to improve? Why did she need improvement? And would she ever be good enough? From the perspective of “self-improvement”, of course she wouldn’t! I went through a period of realizing it was all useless. I’d never be that perfect self I had to be to accept myself. Somehow, I had to stop resetting the bar and quit the self-improvement race. And I knew I had better find another way to accept myself, “as is”. Slowly, selfcare began to replace self-improvement.

I wanted to heal this bottomless pit of worthlessness, but not with anything external to myself. I let an identity that I had built up go (or to be more accurate, it was ripped out from under me). I even gave this ‘false self’ a little ceremonial burial. I started to focus more on doing things that made me happy…not things that made me look good to others. I began to learn to self-nurture. Just like a plant cannot possibly be expected to thrive if conditions aren’t right, I had to realize that my ability to live up to any potential was not dependent on constant self-improvement, but rather on how well I took really excellent care of me. It was a start.

From Self-Improvement to Selfcare

It’s been many years since and now my focus is quite a bit different. It turns out that even a material sense of worth wasn’t enough for me. I needed something far more wonderous and powerful. This came as not just selfcare, but capital S Selfcare. I am still just beginning to understand that any growth I may experience is not the result of tireless egoic efforts of striving to control or improve some faulty version of myself, nor even the rather the result of receiving proper light, nutrients, and other environmental factors (of both my inner and outer environments) that this being needs to flourish. More than anything, it is a direct consequence of being connected to the truth of Self, my God-given beingness.

Self-acceptance is an ongoing affair, but I do realize that my personality is itself. I can let it be what it is, with all its silly flaws. I belong to something much greater, a force that brought me into this world and a force that will see me through it and then see me out. I decided to the best of my ability, to trust in that nameless love and in that life that courses through my veins. I just have to take tender care of this vessel in which I reside. Everything else just happens. I can let come what comes and let go what goes. At least, that’s my daily practice.

What’s Driving You?

I’m not saying that self-improvement is wrong. Obviously, if you didn’t graduate from high school and return to get a GED, that’s entirely admirable. If you are overweight and you don’t like how it feels and decide to do something about it, that’s great. If you want to learn to be a better communicator, why not? But with any self-improvement endeavour, the question is what’s driving you? Self-hatred? Feeling not good enough? Winning the validation of others? A bottomless pit in your core?

Are you on a never-ending quest of self-improvement? Is it working? Do you love yourself more? Are you kinder towards yourself and others? Or are you always resetting the bar…never quite reaching some idealised version of yourself? When will enough be enough? Maybe it’s time to find a new motivation for doing what you do and let the Light that you are take care of it all.


A straight-forward series of posts on the delicate topic of Death and Dying

Over the last several posts, I’ve shared what I have understood of my recent exposure to the Tibetan Bardos teachings. Today, I present some of the ways we can support those we love who are in transition or who have already passed.

I hope that you understand that we do not need to be experts on these teachings to benefit from them ourselves or to help our loved ones benefit. We just have to have an open mind and of course, be able to recall what we’ve learned at the time it is needed. I came across an article before writing this and I share it here because it speaks more about the importance of our own state of mind in being with those in transition.

When with someone who is transitioning, be affectionate, keeping the person calm and warm. It is most important to control your own emotions around them as these can create strong attachments or fear. Also, it is best to limit distractions (television, lively conversation, all but gentle, lyric-free music) so that they can focus on the work at hand…dying.

We can be of most help to others by pleasing them: honoring their wishes, remaining positive in spirit, surrounding them with cherished memories, and offering our forgiveness and compassion. In so doing, we open them to receiving any guidance we have to share through what we ourselves have learned through the teachings, not as some dogma of which they must be convinced but as an interesting possibility, making it possible for them to be aware and watchful for the experience of it.

This is work that can be done while our loved ones are still with us or even after their passing. It’s never too late. In fact, certain prayers or rituals should only be said and done after physical death and not before.

There are many different kinds of rituals that can be done, at different timings (for example a ritual every seven days starting from day after the 3rd day of outer death), some that address specific Bardo issues and others that are more general. I won’t go into them in any detail here, but I list them as a means to enable one’s further research:

Bardo Rituals

Pacification of Wrathful Energies
Summoning Consciousness
Help for Wandering (Lost) Beings
Help to Move Up the Realms (from hell realm, to hungry ghost, to animal to human…)
Butterlamp or Candle Offerings
Food Offerings (burned)

The last two, mantras and food offerings, I performed on behalf of my brother after his passing many years ago. It felt so loving to prepare some of his favorite foods and send them to his spirit. I will never forget chanting one day with my sisters when a framed photo of him literally shot itself off the mantle and onto the floor. There was no explanation for this…no earthquakes or strong winds. Nothing around it shook. It was clearly intentional. I wasn’t sure if he was asking us to shut up already, but at least I knew he was listening.

While I may continue to write about the subject of death, this is my last post in regard to my training with Choekhortshang Rinpoche, whose name I can now pronounce. He can be followed on Facebook where you can find more about opportunities to learn from him.

I would also like to offer the following resources for further study:

Tibetan Book of the Dead
Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia

May this series be of benefit to all sentient beings who find it, helping us all realize True Nature. And certainly, may it help you prepare for the inevitability of your own encounter with death.



About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:

A straight-forward series of posts on Death and Dying

Last time, I wrote about the most auspicious opportunity to awaken that comes to us in the Emptiness Bardo. The last two means by which one can awaken along the Bardo journey I now present to you here. Though my wish for all sentient beings is that we can take full advantage of Dharmakaya and remain forever free of cyclical existence, it is perhaps in our best interests to keep the following information tucked somewhere in our consciousness, just in case!

2nd Choice State: SAMBHOVAKAYA

In the Clarity (Rigpa) Bardo

In the Bardo of clarity, there is no familiarity. The first experience is the sound of emptiness followed by the light of clarity or rays of unity. If one recognizes even this is yet again just the mind, one can become realized. Any former physical form (or rather, the memory of it) dissolves into light. Those who fail to see the truth or who refuse to accept it might return as spirits to the world they knew. Others will establish a “life” in the Bardo.

3rd Choice State: NIRVANAKAYA

In the Sidpa Bardo (of Becoming)

If one remains heavily self-identified, there is still one last chance to be freed from the Bardo journey. If one can become aware that death has occurred, there is the realization that one must move on. One’s karma plays big part in whether or not this happens and what manifests. (This is, of course, true at every stage.) The forces of resonance and attraction will draw the being toward a new life…hopefully as another sentient being able to continue the path until full awakening can arise.

This state makes me think of the times when I have had to tell spirits that they are dead in order to be free of them in environments they were “haunting”. It always seemed to work. Perhaps they simply needed to be told this truth…they were dead and needed to move on. (Sometimes, even the living need this reminder!) At any rate, it is a simple enough thing to do and may be an act of compassion for those wandering the netherworlds rather than fearing them as hungry ghosts.

Next time, more practical tips on how to help our transitioning loved ones, perhaps the most relevant of the last 7 posts!


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:

A straight-forward series of posts on Death and Dying

According to the Tibetan Bardo teachings, there are three opportunities for full enlightenment after one dies. Dharmakaya is the first and most precious of these, and is considered the ultimate or absolute body, beyond form, substance, concept and even the ideas of existence and nonexistence.

This is probably a topic which I am least qualified to write about and one which I intend to spend more time studying, but I’ll give it a go, as my intention here is two-fold, processing what I’ve learned through writing and writing in service to even one being who would benefit from an introduction to this wisdom.

Below is a brief summary describing Dharmakaya, comprised of three “seconds” (in quotes because the last second itself is comprised of three parts) and how one might recognize it during one’s own transition. I will just say, as much as this information is related in a linear fashion, my sense of it is that it doesn’t necessarily follow our understanding of time.

Dharmakaya - Seconds to AwakenTHE BARDO OF EMPTINESS

The First Precious Second:

This is considered the most fortuitous opportunity for self-realization, when all appearances fall away.

The eyes have rolled and the final breath has been taken. The senses have turned inward. The gross body has dissolved. The energetic body has dissolved as well revealing a subtlety that was always there between mind and body, now revealed. It is all that remains. The illusory world falls away and with it, all appearances.

At this point, one drop of father essence or male bodhisattva seed descends down from the crown into the heart. In that second will come a shining vision or perhaps a feeling akin to a column of smoke rising which pacifies all emotions of the angers, leaving a sense of pleasure in its wake. If one is aware, one can abide in that purity.

The Second Precious Second to Awaken:

Here, one drop of essence of mother or female bodhisattva seed ascends up from the root into the heart. In this moment, there is a flame of a butter lamp burning and a redness that colors everything like a red dream. All afflictions of desire and attachment are pacified, giving a blissful feeling and revealing naked mind. If one is aware of this, one can awaken.

The Third Precious Second (comprised of three) to Awaken:

This final second for enlightenment in this most blessed juncture for awakening is actually followed with two more opportunities at other stages of the Bardo journey, is comprised of three seconds marked as a black, radiant near-attainment of mind. Three drops come from the heart itself back into the heart. All goes dark. It is said to be an experience like a sky full of stars. All ignorance emotions are pacified. Pure mind abides. If you see it, your very own dharmakaya, and if you can stay there, you will be realized.

I should mention that if the being fails to self-realize, then there may follow total unconsciousness and all activity ceases. Decaying back in the physical world starts. Perhaps this explains why certain realized masters or even Christian saints have remained composed and fresh long after death; they realized Dharmakaya. It is so beautiful when wisdom transcends mere religious belief.

But, in case you haven’t already noticed, things tend to happen in threes. So, there are actually two more kayas, Sambhogakaya and Nirvanakaya, in which one can awaken. I’ll talk about those next time.


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:

A straight-forward series of posts on the delicate topic of Death and Dying

Last time, I posted about death as we tend to think of it — a gross physical process. Today, we’ll encounter two additional stages that appear in the Tibetan Bardo teachings.

These next two stages of death are perhaps a little harder for the typical Western mind to grasp. After all, for the majority, if you can’t see it or prove it scientifically, it doesn’t exist, right? (And these days, even if you can see it, that doesn’t mean it’s worthy of belief!) But the Tibetans understand that there is an internal death that must take place; in other words, the energy that is identified with being a person must dissolve. This is what happens at the subtle stage of Inner Death.


Practicing yogis, energy workers, healers and the like will have a much easier time understanding the Inner Death during which the 5 pranas or subtle winds (prana, apana, samana, udana, vyana) and 5 chakras or wheels of energy (as opposed to the 7 of other systems) and their elements collapse down. In other words, the energy channels of the body must also die, not just the gross physical manifestation.

The result of this is collapse is a highly concentrated mind…all that remains of the person we knew. There wouldn’t necessarily be any obvious signs of the Inner Death taking place but the one experiencing it can know it by its visions and lights, that is if that person knew to look out for them. (And now you do!) It’s a mind/body experience without the body…so very like dreaming. It bears similarities to the “light at the end of the tunnel”, which in itself is a pretty fascinating phenomena commonly reported in near-death experiences, giving the Western concepts something in common with Eastern ones.

Different elements are said to give off different lights as they dissolve:

Earth – may see yellow light
Water – may see blue
Fire – may see what appear to be fireflies
Air – lightening visions, red and green (marked by a feeling of tension and grasping)
Space – complete darkness

Unfortunately, at this stage, there is a danger of the mind becoming unconscious, making it impossible to continue one’s journey with awareness.


Finally there is the Secret Death. Secret, to remind you, just means ‘hidden’ from anyone not ready/able to receive them. Here consciousness leaves the body, and though it was not specifically stated, I took this to mean that it returns to the greater mind, the Absolute. This is the real and final death and perhaps the most mysterious of the three because of its hidden nature.

But of course, as any Tibetan will tell you, that isn’t the end! Causes and conditions can lead to other lifetimes or even Buddhahood. In fact, it is said that the best opportunity to become enlightened upon death happens between the Inner and Secret Death stages. One’s lifelong spiritual practices, if they had any, would become most valuable here. I’ll write more about this opportunity in my next post.

A brief mention for the zombie fans out there. If a dead person refuses to leave their body, this can result in the arising of the zombie state. Pulling the hair at the crown, pulling the ears, or shouting in a body’s ear can help nudge the spirit out and guide it to liberation. The question remains, are zombies something we need to fear while we live or after we die and find ourselves traversing the Bardos? Hmm…


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:

A straight-forward series of posts on the delicate topic of Death and Dying

Over the next couple of posts, I’ll be going over what I understand to be the three types of death—outer, inner and secret— as reported in the Tibetan Bardo teachings, and more specifically today, the outer death.

Outer death is the death of the physical form and the way Westerners typically think about death. Our loved one stops breathing. The heart stops. That’s it. Dead, however much we wish they weren’t. However, according to Tibetan traditions, this signifies only one level of the total dying process. Furthermore, there a aspects to this outer death which are only acknowledged in the Tibetan system.

The outer death is a reversal of the creation process I wrote about HERE. So, starting with the element of earth, there is a dissolution of the physical form moving through each of the elements exemplified in the following ways:


  • senses and their cognition get weaker and as earth element decreases
  • the body shrinks
  • feelings of heaviness
  • loss of touch
  • spleen energy dissipates


  • body dissolves back to semen and blood (back to water)
  • kidney/bladder energy dissipates
  • lips dry
  • thirst
  • elimination slows
  • hearing loss


  • liver/bile energy dissipates
  • person gets cold
  • loss of taste
  • mumbling
  • other organs as containers fail


  • lung energy dissipates
  • sense of smell goes
  • breath weakens
  • intestinal control goes


  • heart energy dissolves
  • the power of manifestation/creation leaves

Unless we are in the caring professions and work directly with the dying, we don’t often notice or think about these aspects of dying. Certainly looking at this transitional process through the lens of the elements offers us a deeper understanding (and hopfully allowing of and trusting in) the experience.

It is then that we move onto the more mysterious and subtle inner death, and I’ll describe that process in my next post.

I would like to again mention in thanks that I was the beneficiary of this knowledge as shared by Choekhortshang Rinpoche. If you are fascinated and would like to delve deeper into the Bardo teachings, there will be future opportunities to do so. The description above, indeed this series of posts, is not by any means complete and simply meant to provide a tantalizing introduction to this important wisdom.

May those who would most benefit from reading this, find it. And may the act of writing it be of merit to all beings.


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:

Welcome to the 3rd installment of writings on the Tibetan teachings of the Bardos. You can find the 1st installment HERE and the 2nd HERE.

Coming Into Existence

Today, I will be sharing the Tibetan view on how we come into being. This is important to understand because when we die, we take the reverse path. So understanding one is understanding the other.


First there is simply space. This space contains mind…or perhaps it is more accurate to say that space is mind. Up until receiving this transmission, I had compartmentalized the concept of space from mind. I had a concept of mind, the thing to observe in meditation, as the thing that is always full of thought, ideas, concepts, reasons, etc. Now I understand the mind itself is that purely empty expanse in which all such mental stuffs arise.

Karmic Winds

In that emptiness, the dance of the elements commences starting with a karmic wind or breath that stirs as a result of the grace and compassion of the gods. This breath then becomes fire (passion) which expands and ripples out, becoming water (blood/fluids) which then hardens, turning into earth and becoming flesh or matter.


From there, things become physical as the heart forms as the basis of our internal world, the navel develops our connection to the outer world (think umbilical cord), and each of the elements take their home in our various organs: air in the lungs, fire in the liver, water in the kidneys, and earth in the spleen. The senses develop as doorways between the inner and outer worlds.

This is perhaps a simplification of something far more complex, but you get the poetic idea. There is chain of events and all conditions must be met for life to come into being. It might not be ‘scientific’ according to Western standards, but it does not dismiss the miraculous mystery of life, as science often does, reducing life to a sterile, tiny pocket of limited understanding in the vast spaciousness of the mind.

So next time, we will begin to look at this process in reverse.


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:

A straight-forward series of posts on the delicate topic of Death and Dying

Welcome to another installment on Death & Dying. In this post, we begin our dive into the Tibetan Bardo teachings.

Most would assume that once you die, you’re dead. The Tibetan, however, have a different perspective. They believe first of all that there are, if you will, levels or stages of death:

  1. outer death (that which we typically conceive of as death when the last breath is taken)
  2. inner death (the dissolution of the subtle, energetic body)
  3. secret death, secret simply implying hidden but in so much as someone who isn’t ready won’t be able to understand (when individual consciousness becomes unconscious or transcends).

They also believe that it takes at the very minimum three days for this to occur, or to occur to such an extent that the deceased will be spared from any residual discomfort. In other words, we ought not to bury or cremate our loved ones for at least three days, lest we put them through some kind of torture. Bear in mind this torture is not the physical kind, obviously, but born of the stubborn tethering of the mind to the body and not realizing that one has passed…or in rare cases, not having completely died. In fact, there are instances of those who have been assumed dead, buried even, only to be discovered still alive a short time later to the shock of those doing the discovering!

When I heard that the ‘apparent’ dead might still suffer as if in their bodies, I was a little concerned about my father’s death years ago. When he died, everything happened very fast. He was cremated, if not the next day, then the one following. I remember how sweet our family experience at the funeral home was, full of joyful laughter that probably looked like a total loss of sanity to the funeral director. But Dad (and his sense of humor) was truly present with us as we chose his urn, all five of us pointing at the exact same time to the exact same one among a wall full of different styles. Since it hurts to think of him suffering from a too-quick cremation, I choose to believe he was already very much aware he was not his body and all too happy to have it over quickly. I am also reassured because he was ill for some time and was aware of the gravity of his situation.

Actually, despite this minimum of three days, it is believed that it takes 49 days or seven weeks to move through the entire after-death bardo journey. Therefore, our loved ones remain near during that time (and many of us feel and know they are always around even afterwards in different ways), feeling separated by an unsurpassable boundary, as they process their past, resolve feelings from their most recent life, and consider possible futures. This journey is marked by present confusions and obstacles and the visions that enter the mind that continues to exist after bodily death. The dead must overcome temptations, Bardo beings and illusions, and the various traps that would render them “stuck” in the Bardos, unable to transition to another life or to self-realization altogether.

Therefore, it is of great benefit during this 49 days to offer up prayers, rituals, happy memories, and any offerings to assist the loved one’s transit. I will write more about this perhaps at a future time.

Next time, I’ll go into a little more detail about how we come into and go out of existence according to the teachings. Until then…


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:

A straight-forward series of posts on the delicate topic of Death and Dying

I know. I know. It’s everybody’s favorite topic to avoid. Forget the fact that we’re all dying the minute we’re born. Forget the fact that everyone we know now will be dead in, at best, 100 years. Forget the fact that life has been pushing death in our faces for the last two years (to say nothing of countries that have been facing it on a daily basis for much longer). It’s a disturbing taboo subject. And so naturally, I am enthralled!

In my last post, I began a conversation about death sharing some insights from philosopher Alan Watts as well as a recent dream I had. Over my next few blog posts, I will be sharing what I learned in 2022 having received the transmission of Tibetan Bardo teachings with Choekhortshang Rinpoche. Bardo, if you are unfamiliar with the term, literally means ‘journey between two lives’. It also refers to those opportunities for realization that come during/between the death stages outlined in these teachings.

In the West, we are most familiar with the tantric approach to the dying process or journey between two lives. What I received, however, was the Dzogchen approach. I was humored by Rinpoche’s explanation of the difference which says everything it needs to about Western culture. The tantric approach is like an action adventure movie, full of drama and complexity. The Dzogchen approach is pure simplicity. (That one! I’ll take that one.)

Death was also a confronted aspect in my Toltec studies in which a friendship with the Angel of Death reminds us that everything is on loan to her. Furthermore, a ritual writing of one’s Book of Death helps one along the journey of personal transformation, to confront what must die in order to be free. In that regard, the focus was more of the death that happens before death, the death of the identity and conditioning in which we had no choice. But it, of course, prepares one for the ultimate death, too.

But I see how the Bardo teachings can also apply to the egoic death before physical death as well. In fact, life is not ended in a single death. Life is full of millions of little deaths…of moments, of relationships, of circumstances. And our aversions, attachments, and ignorance (the three poisons according to Buddhist teachings) are what make us suffer each of those little unavoidable deaths. Naturally, when Selfcare is our concern, we are working to minimize our suffering, so this wisdom becomes a very helpful tool.

This is my 3rd exposure to these teachings, the first being a part of Ngondro, the foundational practices of Tibetan Bon Buddhism, the second being Chod, practices for overcoming fear. Each exposure deepens my insight a little more, but I’m obviously far from being any kind of expert. I’m just a student, mostly interested in finding ways to apply ancient teachings to my own modern life. But I’m happy to process my understanding here and share it with you.

So stay tuned…


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:

Introducing a straight-forward series of posts on the delicate topic of
Death and Dying.

I doubt anyone on this globe hasn’t been thinking of their own mortality. If fears of some disease taking hold and killing you and your loved ones didn’t get you, then the life-abolishing threat of nuclear war may very well have. But the subject of death is often deemed unsuitable for discussion and we are left alone with our anxieties.

Since Selfcare, at least the capital S kind, deals with all aspects of life and requires a commitment to facing challenging topics, I thought I would share some of my own explorations on the topic of death. Over a series of posts, I hope to get us all thinking in ways that might reduce or eliminate altogether the anxieties surrounding the 100% eventual loss of everything we ever thought we owned, knew or loved, ultimately including our own life.

Death is a Constant

I was listening to a fabulous satsang, or teaching, by Alan Watts in which he said, “Death is constant”. He’s not exaggerating. We die in every moment to the one that follows. And we are, for our entire lifespan, mysteriously reborn into the next moment. Sometimes, these moments pass with some fanfare and other times, we barely notice a difference. But this is the truth of our physical existence. Death isn’t some end-of-life event. It is happening now, and now. and now.

At least for me, this perspective seems to make the ultimate death somehow less important. It’s just one more little loss in a life that is actually full of such losses.

Look at it this way…

Can you imagine a tree that every Fall started to freak out the dropping of its leaves? This sad little neurotic tree would be giving itself so much anguish over something it had zero control over. It would dread the winter and the thought of all its branches exposed for the world to see. It is no less absurd that we fight against or even try to deny what is a very natural, unavoidable part of life.

A Recent Dream

A few weeks ago, I had a powerful dream. I was outside under a tree on a park bench with my sister. On the table was a plastic cup of some kind full of liquid starting to bubble and fizz. I told my sister we needed to move or back up or something. It kept heating up and went through the container but then it wouldn’t stop. It wasn’t flowing like liquid. It was burning like heat.

The dream scene changed to my old room but the bubble and fizz was still there boring through what surrounded slowly. I realized we needed to move everything out of the room. It was a process of deciding what mattered and what didn’t. We carried stuff out, but that light kept boring, like a white hole. Back and forth with notebooks, stamps, postcards, clothes…

I had a realization of the depth of the situation. That boring wasn’t going to stop. It would take the entire room, then eat away at the next and so on. I was credulous. I thought, “this can’t be happening.” I walked up to a mirror and could see my reflection in it. I said, “Wake up. You’re dreaming.” I lifted my hands to clap, but they were all foggy. I repeated the chant three times trying to clap.

I felt my body drop like a ghostly sack; I felt a second of fear and then felt myself faint from outside my body. In an instant, my consciousness came back to my sleeping body as I woke up.

Waking from the Dream

Maybe that’s all death really is…simply waking up somewhere else. Or, as Alan Watts put it, “Death might be how we wake up from the dream called life.”

Death is not only a constant; it is a certainty. The better we are at dying to moments, the easier it will be to face that final one. Our souls will simply slip out of these containers and that ineffable something that we are will suddenly be elsewhere, the dead self never-the-wiser and the new self ever wiser.


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:


     You name it.



The Meditation Solution to Every Problem

The other day, my husband asked me the common question, “How are you today?” I noticed my mind start to parse through my experience in order to answer that question. In an instant, my mind went to the challenges I was facing, the news headlines I’d seen, and the frustrations of daily life. I caught myself and instead stopped the thoughts and answered, “I’m great if I don’t think.”

Some may think that not thinking is actually an avoidance of life, and it certainly can be. When we fill our lives with external voices, activities, and entertainments, we are definitely avoiding what’s inside. That’s not the kind of “not thinking” I’m referring to. I’m talking about the practice of becoming quiet, frequently referred to as meditation.

This solution to the overwhelming problems the world faces may seem overly simplistic and ineffective against the evils we face. Many may read and dismiss them with a snort, “Yeah, I’ll just meditate the political filth away while the rich get richer and future generations are enslaved.” But that kind of (fear-based) response is because many people are still entirely focused upon and entrenched in externals., disconnected from who they really are. If we only understand life according to the world we see around us, then meditation is an ineffective ritual equivalent to shutting one’s eyes and hiding under the covers.

Meditation Solutions

A Deeper Reality

But there is another world inside. And while it may be subtle and difficult to feel (at least at first) and express due to the limitations of language, that doesn’t make it any less valid. In fact, the more one spends time there, the more one generates grace and the more one realizes that stillness, silence and spaciousness offer a truer reality, allowing us to access the deeper drives creating the world we see around us.

For example, we can often be in a mental state of alarm over something ‘out there’. There certainly is no shortage of threats these days. Our minds may toil to understand according to past experience or find routes of escape or resolution in the future. But if we close our eyes (or even leave them open) and come into the present moment, chances are you’re not being chased by a lion in the immediate. You likely are breathing, heart-beating, clothed, sheltered and possibly even well-fed. There is stillness underneath the rise and fall of your breath. There is silence under that throbbing heart and anxious mind. There is space in which one can float, free from the grip of thought. That’s your reality. And solutions can only arise…well, good solutions…can only arise from that place. Otherwise, decisions are either snap and arising from fight or flight or are overthought, leading to second guessing and paralysis. The habit of doing anything to avoid the fear can even mean trusting people you absolutely shouldn’t. This perpetuates the cycle of suffering.

The Challenges

The challenges to meditation are twofold. One) we have to be willing to sit and be fully present with the fear that is generated by our thoughts. And that is miserably uncomfortable. We may feel the urge to bolt, to get up and get busy, or be led by our minds right back into thought. And two) we have to be willing to go beyond the mind that tells us if we don’t think, if we don’t solve the problems here and now that we’re being irresponsible or bypassing our reality. Going beyond the mind with which we’ve come to greatly identify over our entire lives is no easy task and exchanging what seemed like tangible reality for a less comprehensible one can at times seem like an exercise in futility. But, if we just STAY, we can incrementally or even all at once discover that NOTHING WE THINK IS REAL. It’s simply a narrative of what is real.

Granted, it is exceedingly difficult (if not completely impossible) to meditate when under real threats unless you are some kind of enlightened master already. That’s why you have to start now. Practice, practice, practice. It’s not a quick fix; I’ll give you that. But it is a fix. It’s really the only true and lasting fix.


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram:
❤ Insight Timer:
❤ Youtube:

Today’s world. Not many would argue it’s bizarre. It seems that everyone is trying so hard to distinguish themselves today. We are in an instagram “look at me” revolution.

It seems to me, we’ve been glorifying our differences for far too long, and that it is contributing to our breakdown. Granted there are populations, mostly oppressed for centuries, who still need to be empowered through difference. But in a more encompassing “we’re all human” way, I think there’s a point at which individuation becomes self-obsession.

For example, today, I came across a post in which someone claimed that everybody who isn’t, according to her, “trauma-informed”, is just spiritual bypassing. She went on to recommend certain teachers, many of which I myself sometimes take inspiration from. I didn’t have a problem with her message, in general. There’s no question (well, apparently there IS a question if people still have to bring it up in the first place) that we cannot forego our shadow work and expect to healed.

But there’s another side to that story. “Trauma-informed” can often turn into “victim-enabling”. When we coddle the psychologies of those who have suffered and tip-toe around true responsibility with things like “trigger warnings”, we’re still not doing any favors. That too is a trap as “trappy” as any that will freeze us on our path by spiritually bypassing. It is ironic, is it not, that without fail, the very thing we see in others is always pointing to what we fail to see in ourselves.

Both of these “sides” are valid. Both. It’s not either/or. It’s and. But what is more relevant is “what serves the person NOW?”

Some people aren’t ready to dig into their shadows. (Just take a look around.) Others just need to wallow in their wounds for awhile. (Again, just take a look around). And that’s okay too. But hopefully, at some point, that will be outgrown and something deeper and truer will take hold. What I’ve found, is that people who tend to get stuck in the fear/trauma cycle tend to think those that have moved through it have done so by bypassing. It’s a projection. That’s not to say that spiritual bypassing doesn’t exist. Of course it does. It’s everywhere…even in some very unexpected places. Nor does it imply that victims don’t exist or are the result of their own choices. I too cringe when I hear the spiritually brainwashed claim, “They chose that.” “They” the person, certainly did NOT, even if some more intelligent, higher dimension soul did, and pointing that out is useless and hurtful.

I think as healers, yoga teachers, counselors, guides, lightworkers, we all need to be aware and far more sensitive to the fact that we may resonate with certain messages at certain times and that not everyone can or should join us there. We don’t have to make others wrong to make ourselves right, wise, or enlightened. For a simple example, some people want yoga to be a purely physical instagram challenge. Others want to focus on the embodiment aspects of yoga. Some want to break down movement into more functional use. It’s ALL brilliant! It suits who it suits. We need to remain cognizant of the fact that truths are relative. If we happen to have done a lot of work and can embrace a higher truth, it is essential we not forget what it was like before we could. I personally admit to failing in this arena for most of my life. I often transcended by exclusion instead of inclusion.

But this isn’t just about the various paths that are available. Embracing the “and” also applies to our own inner experiences. I can be totally sad and crying my eyes out AND be grateful for my life. I can absolutely hate myself AND be tender and compassionate toward myself. I can dislike someone AND wish them well. I can detest how someone else lives AND encourage them to live it fully.

I can listen to someone on one side of the political arena and say “you have a point” and turn around and listen to someone on the other side of the arena and say, “you have a point too!”

So in summary, when we can open ourselves to paradox, to dancing when we’re miserable, laughing when we’re grieving, loving when we’re hating, deeper truths are revealed. When we can allow others to be who they are where they are with what they are, we free ourselves to move beyond. To me, that is way more important that being right or different or popular or even visible.

It’s time to start embracing the power of “and”.



Earlier this year, during one of endless lockdowns, when the world seemed to be full of nothing but fear and confusion, I was guided to embark upon a 40-day Bon practice with the “subverter of demons” known as Dorje Drolo, a wrathful manifestation of Padmasambhava, the fully awakened, precious master and patriarch of Tibetan Buddhism.

Dorje Drolo is said to embody insight and compassion beyond logic and convention; in other words, he’s the embodiment of unleashed wisdom. In subduing evil forces, he eliminates all obstacles and leads the practitioner to a state of fearlessness. He also conceals and preserves the secret teachings for future generations.

Similarly to how I entered into the Triple Goddess Practice, with a careful, intentional focus and attention, I read the written practice, mulling over each and every word. This was followed by the recitation of a Dorje Drolo mantra 108 times each night over the 40-day period.

Unfortunately, I’ve not been successful in contacting the author of the tranlsated practice, Rudolph Bauer, but you can find it here. I hope it inspires you to investigate what this practice might hold in store for you.

During the practice, whenever I would get a flash of insight, I would pause and take notes. The following is a representation of the insights and questions that arose during this powerful experience that actually did create a fearlessness within me along with an unwavering commitment to Truth:

  • My mind is corralled in awareness by awareness. Therefore every thought is contained in that vast and borderless field. Focus on the field, not the mental activity.
  • Direct perception is seeing exactly what is free of any interpretation, just as it is. This is luminosity. This is emptiness.
  • Appearances take place within as thoughts, feelings, and memories. They take place without as material phenomena. But it is all appearance with no true substance.
  • Negative states of mind create situations that dull the Light of Truth. The common advice to raise one’s frequency isn’t so much born of the idea of being positive all of the time for it’s own sake, so much as it is born of this deeper truth.
  • If I give none reason to fear me, I myself become free of fear.
  • I am the untouched, the unscathed. In this entire life, never once have I been stained by material existence. Not a single experience or story had marked me. I am simply and always here.
  • You just have to be willing to look. You don’t have to seek out nor confront every evil, every injustice, every darkness. Just be willing to meet what comes and truly see what’s there.
  • Compassion isn’t a bleeding heart. It’s allowing and holding what is as it is. It is spacious illumination.
  • In what ways do we blame if the teachings are misunderstood? Is it the fault of the teachings or the fault of our own misunderstanding?
  • Destructive states of self-negation include denying the self that is Pure Awareness and denying the self that exists in the material plane. We are both human and Divine.
  • Everything that frightens is merely appearance and spaciousness. That’s all there is. In the dissolving and voiding of any and all situations and fear-based emotional states, notice their emptiness and watch as any attaching interpretations go “poof” before one’s eyes.
  • Repetitious reoccupation is what pulls us over and over away from the Light of Truth. This includes endless activity of day to day living and time-wasting.
  • Obstructive spirit consists of lies and confusion and destructive spirit consists of arrogance and certainty.
  • Integrity is an emanation of Primoridal Awareness, an embodiment and action out of Pure Awareness. Integrity isn’t something the self must fight to embody. As soon as the self is relinquished, integrity informs everything.


What is the Triple Goddess?

The Triple Goddess is commonly known as a Pagan concept signified by the Maiden, Mother and Crone archetypes. However, here I am speaking of a different tradition, that of the ancient shamanistic tradition of Tibet that predates (but eventually incorporated) Buddhism by tens of thousands of years, the Bon.

The following practice was one I adopted and adapted from this tradition. While I received actual initiations to first, Yeshe Walmo (The Widsom Protector), and then Sidpe Gyalmo (Queen of the Universe), I felt that the practices were “out of touch” with the reality of my life in 2021 and realized I wanted to develop a practice that would be more meaningful to me personally and which I would be more likely to stick to.

I had my initial reservations about creating this practice, out of reverence for the power of the original teachings. But I also knew that I was highly unlikely to commit to any full practice in its original form. I needed to create something that was more relevant to me and that I was willing and able to stick to for 40 days. I also wanted to include Sherab Chamma (Compassionate Healer).

Therefore, the Triple Goddess as it relates here is comprised of these three Bon Goddesses: Yeshe Walmo, Sidpe Gyalmo, and Sherab Chamma. This is meant to be a modern-day, more accessible practice to the Western practitioner.

I made it a part of my intent to mean absolutely no disrespect in rewriting the teachings. I humbly asked for both forgiveness for my lack of awareness and tradition and for guidance and protection as I proceeded and emphasized my deep wish to serve. This is what resulted.

Then, every night for 40 days, I recited the following, slowly and with deep devotion. I would also journal any insights afterwards. It was an incredibly moving and powerful experience, and so I share it with you now.

Should you choose to adopt it as your own, or rewrite it to make it your own (as I believe there is great benefit in doing so), please do it with humility and reverence. These are very powerful energies that will slap you silly if you misuse them! You will be tested. I was!

But during this 40-day practice, I was also rewarded with rich dreams, a blessing I had waited years to manifest, and a deepening sense of devotion and connection to the gifts of nature. While I had no expectations of such rewards, they came unbidden and as confirmation of the unconditional love of the Divine Feminine.

The Practice

[Call in each of the emanations, imagining they appear and stand before you.]

Namo Guru Sherab Chamma x 3

Peaceful/healer, Sherab Chamma, please grace me with your effulgent presence.

Namo Guru Sipe Gylamo x 3

Wrathful/protector, Sipe Gyalmo, please grace me with your effulgent presence.

Namo Guru Yeshe Walmo x 3

Wisdom/protector, Yeshe Walmo. Please grace me with your effulgent presence.

Sherab Chamma, Compassionate and Peaceful Healer, teach us to offer comfort, guidance and healing to all and to dispel all obstacles such as fear, sickness, sadness or the negative impact of demonic forces. Through you, we can and do realize the grace that illuminates a perfect understanding of the karma and suffering of beings. Your vast heart preserves and feeds the pure energy of all our hopes, dreams and accomplishments. May we trust in that.

Sidpe Gyamlo, Queen of the Universe, you ruthlessly exorcise all evils and heal with ferocious transmutation all negative energies. Free us from illusion and delusion. Reveal our dominion over evil and death. Because of you, we ride in victory triumphing over egoic and emotional affliction, eradicating hostile forces. Through you, we can and do realize cosmic truth and clear light wisdom. May we realize boundless space as Self. May all of our shadow aspects such as arrogance, negativity, and doubt be transmuted into siddhis by your eternal flames of Truth.

Yeshe Walmo, Wisdom Protector, Mother of infinite space, whose dark blue body, studded with the radiant brilliance of the starry sky, and through whom the practitioners are kept safe from fault and persecution, to you, all energies of nature submit. Upon a lotus of light, you carry a flaming thunderbolt sword to subdue our enemies and vase that holds the ever-pouring waters of Life. Truth is forever safe-guarded under your cloak of peacock feathers which transmutes all outer and inner poisons. Through you, may we be purified by the wisdom flame that burns all ignorance.

Sweet and fierce emanations of the Mother, teach us to transmute our poisons, cut away all ignorance, and reveal to us our eternal nature. In so doing, may we be blessed with the power to heal ourselves and the suffering of all beings.

Beloved Triple Mother, whose heart/breast drips with a loving and inexhaustible, heavenly nectar, I recite your mantra from the depths of my heart to yours; through your compassion, liberate the world from negativity and disharmony of all kinds in the three realms and throughout the three times, dispel all obstacles and pacify all evils, and bring everlasting peace, sweetness, and an enduring awareness of our complete perfection.




Dedication Prayer

I dedicate this practice to the attainment of the most supreme and sublime enlightened mind for the benefit of all sentient beings. May all beings be free from suffering. May all beings know peace.

I have been feeling so inspired by the times in which we’re living. Okay, yeah, some days, I want to tie lead weights to my ankles and throw myself into the lake. But when those brief moments of “what kind of a fucked-up planet is this!” pass, I actually feel inspired. That doesn’t mean I’m not greiving over the inhumanity, the waste of creative vision, and the normalcy of dystopia from time to time either. It just means that I bounce back. I’ve learned to be resilient.

Letting Go

Why am I feeling inspired? For starters, I find myself letting go of things that just don’t align anymore; we’re talking some really big things. In some ways, those changes have been imposed upon me, such as not being able to teach yoga indoors, but many I am choosing, such as changing the types of platforms I use to be ones that support open discourse instead of this censorship crap we’re seeing everywhere. I’m feeling my own power to choose to align, and it feels great. I’m getting clearer and clearer on my values and their worth and a deeper commitment to uphold them.

While I’m still on youtube and will remain for the time being, I have set up two channels (1) (2) on Odysee featuring the same content, but separating Awareness of Thinking and Deep Important Shit from the yoga and meditation because that is most likely to be censored from youtube in the future. I’ll only post new related content in those subjects on Odysee, keeping youtube for yoga, meditation and healing work.

I’ve also stopped trying to stuff my giant-ass lightbeing self into the small box in which I’ve been living to avoid scaring the natives. I have been overly careful, hiding really, so as to avoid the lack of acceptance I already felt here. I was so concerned about having (any) clients and competing with the cliques, and not offending or threatening people with who I am, that I allowed my gifts to shrink and virtually disappear into ghosts of their former expression. Frankly, a part of me really likes hiding. It’s easy. Too easy. But I’m finally integrating what it had to teach me, and the energy has shifted. I’m done hiding. Take me or leave me.

A Change of Focus

One of the things I’m going to be letting go of is teaching group yoga on a regular basis. Instead, I’m going to be focusing on teaching, writing and recording guided meditations, for which I’ve received some very positive feedback that warms my heart and encourages me on. My personal “deyoga” practice will re-take center stage for me as I re-transition into the healing work I was doing before I became a yoga teacher, the work that was forsaken when I moved to this difficult learning ground known as Southwestern France.

Let me explain “deyoga”. I’m so over rules, regulations, certifications, right ways and wrong ways. I just wanna move my body, man. I want to forget all the knowledge that was crammed into my head and let my practice become ME. I can no longer cater to what people expect a yoga class to be! Because I truly believe movement needs to be individualized and incorporate the whole being, I will be focusing on private yoga sessions “Dielle style” working with truly commited students who understand yoga is a doorway into Self, not just some exercise plan. So if you’re not afraid of a mantra or two, or sitting still and breathing for an hour if that’s what’s called for, hit me up for a session. But I’ll still teach Wednesday’s Gentle Stretch class on Ompractice; it still gives me pleasure to do so.

Also instead of group yoga, I’ll be offering private restorative yoga energy healing sessions online. It’s what the times call for (it’s what people need whether they know it or not), and it is where my true gifts lie. I am a natural-born healer and it’s time I reclaimed that.

I also plan to write a lot more; in fact, I’ve already been doing so, though very much under the radar, at Substack (with one piece proudly published in the OffGuardian). So much has changed in this world since 2020. I am certainly not the same person I was. There’s no point in pretending to be; we don’t live in an age where ‘not alienating people’ is possible if we’re speaking our truth. And I certainly have no intention of doing anything watered down anymore. Too much is at stake.

I came into this world with the values of Beauty, Freedom and Truth in my DNA. I’m not about to let those ideals parish because of a climate of persecution. There are those who would call me and others like me selfish, but we’re not out to preserve merely our own comforts and freedoms. We want to ensure them for all. So once again, as is the ironic case all too often, he who does the pointing has three fingers pointing back at him. If you too want to be selfish as hell and preserve civil liberties and human rights…

Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.



After completing my 200-hour yoga teacher training, I did what any new professional would do. I headed over to one of several organizations that sets standards for and certifies yoga teachers. For some perfectly legit — and some ridiculous reasons — this world is obsessed with little pieces of paper that often prove very little. As for me, I felt it added some credibility to my “new” profession. I put that in quotes because I have a Masters degree in teaching and have been practicing yoga since the 1990’s. Let’s face it. A doctor can have his degree from a fine institution and still be a completely close-minded bedside moron relying on stimulants to make it through his day. Likewise, someone with zero experience can obtain a piece of paper in weeks online and go out and kick ass in their chosen field (or worse, be completely incompetent…but hey, they have the paper!) Then there’s me…someone with tons of applicable experience that is ignored or discounted because it is too unique to fit an organization’s paradigm.

With my Yoga Alliance renewal pending, I had to stop and think about why I was continuing to give money to an organization that offered little in return where benchmarks failed to account for true experience and trainings seemed to be more about making money. Did they help me find employment? No. Did they help me find practice insurance for my studio? No. Did they have interactive ongoing training that I didn’t have to shell out additional money for? Not exactly. Did they have a list of certified trainers from whom I wanted to shell out additional money for to continue my education? No. Most of the additional training I wanted to take was with independent teachers r/evolutionizing yoga and not part of the Yoga Alliance.

So, I am now calling myself a Sovereign Certified Yoga Teacher. In regards to my yoga training, which excludes extensive experience in other areas including energy work and wisdom traditions. I received my 1st certification through Still Flowing Yoga, who is with the Yoga Alliance. I’ve since received other certifications for trainings that counted for little with Yoga Alliance;  I count them because they make me a more informed, wiser teacher. I keep track of all my trainings along with the number of hours I have been teaching and that information is freely available upon request to any of my prospective students.

I’d like to take a moment to define the word sovereign and how I am using it here. One who is sovereign is not under the authority of another. It is also a word that implies excellence, and I hold myself accountable to my own standard of ethics (not at all divergent from those upheld by the Yoga Alliance). Sovereign also implies self-rule, and this is a quality that I not only value for myself but that I consistently empower my students to embrace. We are, each of us, both guru (meaning teacher or wayshower) and student, all throughout our lives. We progress along our chosen path of wisdom best when we can move fluidly betwixt both without over-identification with one or the other.  Finally, the word sovereign implies responsibility. I alone am responsible for my experience of the world; yoga provides me with the practices to rule my body, mind and heart with wisdom, humility, and grace.

I do have my eye on a new movement called YogaUnify. I will have to see how things progress there to determine whether or not they can avoid all the traps that organizations lead to. My hope is that they can. It would be nice to be part of something greater that aligns with my values and vision of yoga. Time will tell…

A quick word about the logo…

The number you see represents the hours of yoga teacher training I have had to date. I exclude training from other subject areas. I haven’t included every hour but rather will update the logo to reflect 500, 800, and then 1000 hours of training. I’m currently working toward the 500 mark.

The bottom portion of the inner symbol is the Tibetan letter “A”.  A is said to be the original mother, giving birth to all.  In that respect, it is itself the uncreated. It is the symbol of Great Perfection in the nondual practices of Dzogchen in which all phenomena  arise dependent on conditions , fading away when those conditions end. Nothing that arises absolutely exists. What was before and alone remains is the unchanging and eternal.

The syllable is crowned by a lotus, a somewhat typical symbol in esoteric traditions for good reason, depicting rebirth, divinity and enlightenment. It is the very seat of the soul. A lotus rises up from the mud to bloom untouched, a thing of purity and beauty. The chakras, or energetic centers of the body, are often depicted with a lotus and statues of Buddha often set him upon a lotus cushion.

And finally, the lotus itself is crowned with a single pearl. I have always been drawn to the pearl as a symbol of purity, luminescence, and peace. In fact, my mala (prayer beads) is a string of mother-of-pearl chosen for these very qualities. There is also a reference to “pearls of wisdom”, and while an oyster hides the pearl within itself, many of our highest spiritual qualities are often hidden away beneath unprocessed trauma and the various “pressions”: depression, repression, oppression, suppression. One has to look deep within to discover our Divine Nature…and to be able to see it in others.

This logo is meant to remind me of Truth and the ultimate goal in all that is created and offered through me. I hope it communicates that energetically to others as well.