Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FIREWALKING BOOK EXCERPT 1982 San Diego




“No way, no damn way I’m doing this.” I said to Linda as I backed away from the flames, changing my mind about walking. Soon, people I had sat with began walking across the coals with Tony. I thought again as I did when I was trying to get sober and watching other people do it; if they can do it, I can do it. I said out loud, “Okay, God, come on, we’re doing this.” I walked up and stood in line still shaking. Soon, I was standing next to Tony.
“You ready,” he said flashing that enormous smile.
                  “I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be,” I replied. Tony took my hand and we walked across the coals. He told me to repeat the mantra, “cool moss, cool moss,” and look up. We had learned inside that when you look down, you are in your body, but when you look up, you are in your mind. He used the analogy of a person who is sad, looks down at his feet when he walks. Therefore, looking down at the coals, brought reality very close, creating fear and pain. Looking away from the coals aided in the ability to use mind over matter. I took a step out onto the coals. It felt like popcorn under my feet as I gingerly put one foot in front of the other. Two of his helpers stood at the end of the walk. They took my arms and told me to step into a pan of cold water placed at the end of the 12' walk. I did that and then an immense euphoria overcame me, and I was screaming, “I did it, I did it!” 
         
              Walking on fire at this basic level event was 'not so much about overcoming the fear of walking on fire,' as much as it was about destroying the notion that whatever you think is impossible to achieve, is possible. The firewalk is a technique for turning fear into power. Overcoming this fear is presented as a step in restructuring one's mind. For the next couple of years, I spent many weekends assisting Tony, helping others walk the firewalk.

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