Latihan, Mystics and Holy Fools to the Rescue!


Human Drama Syndrome

I recently put myself into a crazed funk about all things political. 

I lost all perspective on what is real and what is not.  I so depleted my energy and optimism that I actually wondered if I was losing every shred of balance that I have earned through therapy, coaching, nature’s healing, and hard won practices learned to “suck the yuck” from my brain circuitry!

It happened as I sat at my favorite “java haunt”on Whidbey Island, having obsessed over news blogs and rancorous videos of DC’s government shenanigans, for the umpteenth day in a row, I might add. 

I knew this was the way to lose my soul and fall head over heels into the drama of other people’s messes.

 I drove home, asking the ethers how to shift my focus and hopefully see more clearly. 

Usually my default habits are to read something uplifting, take a walk, escape into a movie or lose myself in a carb-induced stupor!

This time, I broke with tradition!

I decided to go down an Alice-like rabbit hole seeking other dimensions within myself rather than scanning the landscape out there for relief… and that brings me to the spiritual practice called Latihan.

I had never heard of Latihan until a year ago when a friend mentioned it in conversation; the hairs stood up on my arms, a sure sign of truth or recognition, and I said to her: “tell me more” and she did.

In essence, Latihan is a practice of release, emptying, making room for the god-stuff (however you see that) to fill you, replacing everyday nonsense, one’s own and that absorbed from the collective, with a surrender beyond mind and beyond the personal “I gotta be me” self.

 It is a practice, not a religion.

The mystic would say that it takes the particles of your being and reorders them, sort of  like a cosmic reboot! 

And, surrender fuels “the way out of  the out there”, where the constant thrum of human drama scatters, divides, and confuses us, most of the time.

Latihan is practiced solo and in groups. I describe it as people coming together in a stew pot, each person adding their own surrender to that of others, allowing something beyond the contrived or expected to come through.

So, still reeling from the mind mess I had allowed to overtake me, I practiced Latihan alone in my living room.

I moved, I murmured, I took deep breaths hoping to shift.

“Not so fast!”, said my mind, stepping in, as if on cue, with frantic efforts to control the whole thing.

Nevertheless, I persisted……murmuring, moving, breathing and then… something began to change. 

Words flew in and around my mind and entered the room. I knew the mystics were afoot!

Sensing a crack in my armor, the bliss of irrational thought rushed in before I could regroup and take command.

First came Francis (of Assisi, that is) and his familiar words. I spoke them aloud:

“I hung upside down, I hung upside down, I hung upside down….

and then… I saw the world as it really is!”  

(Over and over I repeated it, eyes closed and body moving in sympathy with the delight of it.) 

 Holy Fool, the upside down and backward reveler in truth came next:

“I rode the horse backward, I rode the horse backward, I rode the horse backward

and then.. I saw the world as it really is.” 

 More words flying from my mouth…my feet turning me in expanded circles:

“I whirled like a dervish, I whirled like a dervish, I whirled like a dervish!…

and now… I see the world as it really is!”

I was laughing, a lightness of being taking me over. I felt like Hildegard of Bingen’s “feather on the breath of god”.

But then… full stop… the personal “I gotta be me” of me freaked out, endeavoring to regain control: 

YOU are going OUT of your mind, you are going out of your MIND!”

Delighted to be so accused and feeling it to be true, I nodded giddily to the walls and windows:

Yes, Yes, I am going OUT of my MIND!

Thank you!  Thank you!

I AM going out of my mind.

and…NOW, I see the world as it really is!”


It is so easy to get caught up in the unreal of human dramas. I make drama. You make drama. And when we humans all get together in politics and countries and the thousands of “isms”, we really make drama.

It all becomes sacred cows that we treat as believable, the truth and worthy of our emotional energy and life focus.  Unplugging is a necessity, but many times the “hey wait a minute, what am I buying into here?” takes awhile to sink in.

cow resting

Obviously, the mystics work for me!

And you, what brings you out of the crazed funks and the drama of human messes?







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