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Does anyone or has anyone ever felt this?

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sharkdiver:
      First of all I want to say that this forum is a wonderful thing, especially this Long term Survivor thread. I have always felt a little isolated from others from being a gay youth in a small town, to a poz adolescent in a small town, to a poz adult in the "gay community" in the 80's (boy, sometimes I think gay men at that point in time were the cruelest), to a long term Thriver (as I like to think of it). Now I feel a little more connected to a community that might understand.
      I have been poz more than half my life, I was fifteen now I'm 40 (you do the math  ;)) I don't remember or have any concept of what it was like to not live with it since it was present (with all of the crap associated with it) during my formative years. I never let it stop me pursue my educational and vocational goals. My experiences have influenced my avocation which is choreography and dance. 
      Although I have been really sick (although my Dr. says it wasn't related to HIV, whatever) a couple of times during my life,
I chose not to suffer the emotional and psychological pain. In fact it has lead me to a deeper spiritual connection. I guess a long time ago, I chose not to give the virus any "power." over me. I was in Nepal a year ago, studying with the Tamang, Magar, and Tibetan shamans and I had a vision during a trance induced state about how I should relate to HIV. So I did it. WOW !  I often do this meditation where I visualize a scenario of surrendering or sacrificing myself to an embodiment of HIV. I let myself be taken, eaten up, until there is nothing left of me. It was scary at first, but, damn afterward I felt so different, so alive. Each time I did this I visualized myself being reborn.
      I know this is a bit odd, different, over the top to most people. But I just wanted to reach out and share this experience.

Belssings,
Sharkdiver  (yes a I do scuba with sharks along with bungee jumping, fire eating, and soon.. walking across hot coals! not with sharks of coarse  lol)




aztecan:
Hey Sharkdiver,

In a manner of speaking, I have had similar feelings. I was reared Catholic, but did not find the church's teachings particularly relevant to a gay man in the 70s, or thereafter.

After some exploration, I found myself drawn to a more spiritual existence, what most folks call the neopagan path.

I have walked that path for many years now and have found it has freed me from some of the negativity I had incorporated into myself during my Catholic/Xristian upbringing.

While I don't practice the particular meditation you mentioned, I do have my spiritual time when I release the negative I encounter and try to absorb or enhance the positive.

I have found it to be a very meaningful and therapeutic practice.

HUGS,

Mark

JeffreyM:
Hi Sharkdiver, Wow, what a wonderful opportunity for you to study with the Shamens!  I'm glad you're here in the forums. Hey, Keep Dancing! 

sharkdiver:
Thanks guys.

I'm actually wanting to put a group together for HIV+ men to learn how to do shamanic drumming and"journeying." I've apprenticed with someone here in the Sacramento Region for about 6 years and it's time I branched out. I've been involved with a 6 month Self-Healing circle where a small group of us meet once a week for 6 months and explore the issues and affects of disease or trauma that we've experienced. I'm seeing now that there needs to be some adaptations to the course work that would fit the needs of us who are HIV+. I might be asking you guys later for ideas about that.


Sharkdiver

mudman8:
Great to hear of someone exploring a spiritual path. I had a traditional Protestant upbringing and then tense Baptist period in college.   I did a lot when I was in my 30s, reading meditating, men's encounter groups. It was all worth it broadening my perspective, I feel I have a relaxed but personal connection with life. I often say my prayers and count my blessings at night when I go to bed.

In one encounter group the leader unexpectedly started channeling information to group members. He told me I was pushing too hard. Later I asked him what he meant and he siad i wanted it all right then and life was a path to follow with it's ups and downs. It has to unfold like a flower a little bit at a time. so I try not to push. Wonderful events have happened to me that I don't think are coincidences.

One day at a time.

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