This application for the 2023 Parallel Perception Scholarship was submitted by Ilyan. To offer your support for Ilyan, please leave a comment at the end of this post.

It is not where you go but how you go there. Any arrival brings change whose expression depends on what is inside – the quality of my awareness.

When I first found out about Lujan – his first book – it was because of his last name and my having read all of Castaneda’s books. The content of The Art of Stalking Parallel Perception was challenging and startling. Many a subject had the effect on hitting a wall in my awareness. “Oh, is that true?”

Like meeting aliens, like they were our Mayan ancestors, like what’s normal sexual practice. I felt vaguely I had been traitoring my wife by having fantasies, not with her; this subject in the book made me feel guilty for hiding so many years and never being fully with her. To this day, it seems I can’t do so.

Shortly after reading The Art of Stalking Parallel Perception, in 2007, I started writing in Parallel Perception Forum. My nature is contemplating; I feel ill at ease expressing myself openly. My attempts to write openly brought changes I cannot describe, happenings in dreams and reality that I never thought could have happened that way.

I learned I am clumsy and covert, that what I usually do or say first I regret moments later, like putting on a sheet a black point, and be able to see only then that light is where the black point is not. This would make me feel ashamed and willing to change, but I discovered change does not happen by wanting.

One of the first practical things I learned in my first private online sessions with Lujan (on plant and star gazing) was to watch my intonation and my words. He stopped me several times, saying there is something in my voice. I could not discover it fully, but today am more able to observe myself.

Lujan’s book Whisperings of the Dragon was of great help in this, but it came years later (also the idea of redirecting the eyes and ears, which I heard in a workshop on Dragon’s Tears in 2014).

I discovered that I often convince myself (and others) that I do great stuff when in fact, I stay put because of my absorption in past events that had locked me in some place. Expressing my state of mind in front of others on the forum led to freeing myself of such burden and a feeling that my heart moves forward and is warmer: to follow what others said was not possible before I made space for them inside and swept away the past.

I could not practice plant or moon-in-water gazing well. I did star gazing several times that did not lead to star disappearance but led to some changes in my life I felt were the result of it.

Only very recently, Lujan released a video about limitations that our circumstances impose, and I listened to it like a mango grove student who had to wait for these words for 13 years. To finish the subject on the effect of star gazing upon me, I am convinced our daughter was born because of it. She is really a sky full of stars. I do not grasp any further, so I prefer to stay silent.

The writing practice on the forum made me inclined to write poetry and short stories. This I do today as well. But after the 2011 earthquake, my practice entered a lull until the Istanbul workshop in 2014. There I met Lujan in person (not online) for the first time and was so surprised at how youthful he is – I would say a man in his late 20s, early 30s. It was an event I enjoyed very much.

Again the practice (I do almost every day since then) seems to not have changed me much, and years went by in which I felt resigned that nothing more will occur for me. Yet I was so happy to read Lujan’s new books and see in my environment simple truths that revealed themselves to be put in verses. Everything is hidden in plain sight, and I need more silence and more beauty to know what I see.

Lujan’s group Spiritual Guidance sessions and generously released videos, and my participation in one of them made me feel even more spacious and silent to observe what is in front of me. Thank you, Lujan, for your words that support us. It is challenging to put into words what I learned from you.

I want to learn more movements. Being in touch with you is to dive in a beautiful, cool pond, a source of magic that revitalizes my core every time.

With Love,

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