My journey in Costa Rica has not extended much past the the beach-side towns of Uvita and Dominican, and further than the South Pacific mountains of Perez Zeledon. Once I arrived I had a little taste of Quepos, but needed to return to our hosts house immediately as he was generously offering his vehicle to all us guests while he worked on completing his stage at Envision Festival.
Even before coming, I sought some sort of getaway just to reset and acculturate to a different environment. I wanted to go right after Envision, which was a nice experience I didn’t have to sleep in a tent for many thanks to my sweet friends.
I knew I needed a cleanse of some type, and envisioned myself in the rainforest surrounded by waterfalls, but little did I know that what I sought after was right up the road. After many searches for a raw food retreat or juice fast that was in my budget and worked date-wise, I stumbled upon La Joya del Sol (vivalaraw.org), which, at $30/night, offered unlimited raw food and plenty of solitude. When I emailed the owner asking about juice cleansing (which ended up being an extra $20/day) he told me there would be retreat happening there if I was interested in joining. I had been looking forwards to some down time, but the retreat was exactly in my interest and price range: raw food, qigong, and tai chi – “The 4 Elements Retreat”. Led by Ophir Bryan, a deeply spiritual and connected teacher, mentor and overall wonderful person, the retreat offered more than I anticipated. By the end of the week, I felt much more focused and balanced. Any wayward energy I may have picked up was gone, and I had connected well with all the unique and exceptional people in the group, as well as Eric Rivken, owner and founder of La Joya del Sol. I learned some new Qigong practices as well as a Tai-Chi practice, and felt fairly cleansed from the raw food diet we were nourished with all week.
Before I left for Costa Rica my teacher, a master of Buddhism, Shamanism,and Jnana Yoga, warned me that spirituality was a bit vapid around this region. I’ve met some truly connected people, but at the same time, the overwhelming practice I hear about is AYAHUASCA. There is an obsession here with plant medicines of all types. This is problematic, because people find themselves looking for a conscious experience which it IS, in terms of experience, but it is not the path to liberation. Taking this regularly in attempt to grow consciously is akin to taking a blood pressure medicine to improve your pulse. You aren’t functioning within the realm of your conscious truth during an experience like this, and thus have no means of sustainably understanding the wizened ablution of karma you need to transform. Even if people take part, there must be a conscious practice to integrate this experience.
Recognizing the overwhelming presence and problematic association with those who administer and hold ceremony – ie, the Israeli psytrance DJ people worship as their Guru because he holds ceremony often despite being kicked out of place after place – I first wanted to escape to India! Take me home! Where are all the seekers?
I closed my eyes and considered the situation.
People want a conscious experience. Many kind souls are seeking a sort of internal revolution, and it’s obvious that ayahuasca is practically being handed out (at a due cost). Where is the other part? Why aren’t I hearing about amazing workshops or classes and why aren’t people interested in learning a practice? Maybe they are, and maybe there is a lack of that here. I am constantly seeing a higher truth, but I do have enough awareness to guide others individually and offer workshops or classes. It’s natural (ie easy) to run to a place where a predominant culture matches one’s lifestyle, but reaching out with a new voice in an area that needs it IS the work which must happen. With this in mind, I see why my intention to come here and teach (which again emerged as a primary reason of being here after the retreat) is necessary. So, this Friday, I get to teach the Movement, Mantra and Meditation class at Casa de Yoga, a new studio that opened on the shore of Domincan.
I’m really delighted for this opportunity, as well as the offer to teach regularly at this studio. I am playing with this right now. Originally I opted to travel and teach workshops as I found spots that felt really grounding and receptive for this type of transmission, however an option to live in a single community for a period of time is something to look at. Let’s see how it goes :).
Pura Vida <3.