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2nd session with Susan.

July 16, 2014

This post is about my second session with Susan Qualls, a.. well, I guess I could call her a holistic personal trainer. She not only knows how to do the usual physical trainer exercise stuff, but is a spiritual personal trainer too. She mainly practices Buddhism and Shamanism, but knows a lot about Hinduism and Wicca as well.

I met Susan through a friend of mine. I was telling him about some serious stuff I’ve been going through, and he told me about Susan, said I should giver her a call. I’ve had two sessions with her so far. I wrote about the first session in an earlier post.

Last session I talked with Susan and told her about my issues. She told me the best thing to do is start with meditation.This session, we talked quite a bit about Buddhism and meditation. She then showed me some stretching exercises. Here is what we talked about in more detail..

I told her about how much trouble I’d been having, but that I’d like to meditate twice a day, two 15 minute sessions.

She showed me some stretching exercises which she wrote down on a piece of paper and gave to me. We tried out the stretches.. some challenging, but not terribly challenging.

I asked her if she practiced wicca. She said no. Said it was a great religion, wonderful people, but she didn’t practice wicca. I said, then what are you? She identifies as Buddhist, but is also into shamanism, believes in a spiritual world, and animism.

She doesn’t practice wicca. Interesting. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t learn wicca from her. She could probably teach me, but she’s not into it.

We have some similar spiritual views, except I know not much at all about shamanism and am not sure what to think about the spiritual world. But I’d like to learn about shamanism, talk about the spiritual world, animism, etc.

Susan said she doesn’t believe in a supreme being, but I don’t know what she thinks of little “g” gods. I’ll ask next time.

She really likes Buddhism. She said her favorite thing to talk about is Buddhism.

She was wearing an interesting necklace.. an ohm logo and a little feather charm. Indian.. both dots and feathers. Appropriate, since she is into both eastern religions and shamanism.

She said the altar I described in the post about our first session is for shamanism. Why have a dagger, crystals, and an earth goddess statue? I’ll ask about that later.

I told her a bit about the owl in the backyard. (Scroll down for the post about the owl, including some videos). She had already seen it on my youtube channel. I told her I wrote about the owl on my blog, and told her how to find the blog. She wrote it down.

First time she has ever advised this, she said, but told me it would be best to not read any more spiritual books for awhile. I don’t know if I should stop reading “man seeks god.” I’m on the taoist chapter now, the next one is wiccan. I think maybe it will be ok to finish this one. But not read any more books on the subject. This will be difficult though. I deal with compulsions to jump into other books.

Told me the Buddhist house on fire story, which is very similar to the arrow story. House on fire.. don’t need to speculate on how the fire was started or who was coming to the rescue, just get out of the fire. And I said just like the arrow story, man gets shot with arrow, doesn’t need to know who made the arrow and things like that, just needs to pull the arrow out.

Said many translations of Buddhist teachings have been poorly translated.

I brought up the Tibetan monk in “man seeks god” saying nothing is real.

She said that’s not what Buddha meant. He meant that how we perceive things is not how things actually are. She used the example of us watching the sun come up, travel across the sky, and sink. It sure looks like the sun revolves around the earth. But, we know this is not true. Meditation helps us know true reality.

I get hung up on thinking about whatever “true reality” is, but I didn’t tell her that. We were running out of time.

We talked about the four noble truths. Her take on it was..

1. There is a lot of suffering in life.. not “all is suffering,” like I’ve at times read.

2. (Not clear about the “all” part) Suffering is caused by negative cravings, not “all suffering is caused by desire. We discussed how some desires are good. But cravings.. coveting.. that is bad.

3. The third noble truth tends to be translated like this.. “eliminating all desire is the way to stop suffering.” But, we both agreed that not all desires are bad. In fact, in order to pursue a spiritual path, like Buddhism, one must first have the desire to do so. It’s negative cravings.. bad desires.. that are bad.

4. the noble 8 fold path is a guide.. that’s how I’ve thought about it too. Number 4 usually reads something like.. the way to eliminate desire and stop suffering is to follow the noble eight fold path. She said that the noble 8 fold path is a good guide. I told her I’ve thought that for years.

We talked about duality and non-duality, but didn’t come to a firm conclusion on that.

Om mani padme hum. She said something very slightly different from “hail to the jewel in the lotus,” but same meaning. She said the jewel is like the jewel Chinese dragons hold in their mouths. The jewel is the wish fulfilling jewel, which brings enlightenment. I had a bit of a problem with it being called the “wish fulfilling jewel,” because people wish for all sorts of things, but didn’t bring this up. I guess I can see this jewel is the enlightenment wish fulfilling jewel.

For a moment, I understood her explanation of “hail to the jewel in the lotus.” It was a good explanation, but I forgot it.

She didn’t say how many times I should use the mantra.

As I was driving home, I remembered that I’d written about her and our first session on this blog. I put that post on private setting as soon as I got home, just in case she didn’t want to be written about.  Then, I sent an email to her about the blog, put the entire post on the first session in the email, and asked if she’d be ok with me putting that post back on public setting, and if she’d be alright with me writing about future sessions.

I got an email back from Susan, and she said that she didn’t mind at all if I wrote about our sessions and mentioned her in my posts.

She said she’d like it if I would post her website. I’m having trouble with wordpress right now, and not able to copy and paste her website link, so I will just type it out here..www.

If you live in the Boise area, and are interested in a spiritual, holistic approach to health and personal training, please check out Susan’s website. She might be just the kind of teacher you need.


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