The problem with our culture, or society in general, is that people want you to smile. So, everyday, we paint our faces with pleasantry and take a hike into our cities, pueblos, communities, or even groups of friends, hiding our true emotions. It’s a rough game to play, since on one hand, we can’t upset the neighborhood with our sadness, frustration, anger, guilt, agony, repent, or the current whirlwind of an emotional ballgame we’re experiencing. On the other hand, the opportunity to be real and vulnerable with others is a huge release, and might end up helping breakdown the facade others are experiencing. As someone put it, ‘when you show up fully, it allows me to show up’.
If a group of people are hanging out watching a band but no one’s dancing, and it’s clear people kind of want to dance, one person getting up and freely expressing themselves usually opens the portal for anyone whose antsy to move to join them! This is a common thing in our lives, known as Birds of a Feather. It’s a group mentality, when people do what they actually suppress their longings in order to cooperate with an unspoken decision a crowd has determined to fit in and be ‘like-minded’. But truly, there’s much more freedom and joy when people express authentically!
I am a pretty gosh darn pleasant person to be around most of the time, so when I’m going through an intense period of life that basically makes me feel like I’m losing all identity, all sturcture and routine, and crumbling into nothing, I want to be allowed to do it. Usually, I keep to myself during these epochs, knowing that life is a constant cycle of death and rebirth, and whatever it is (which is often undefinable) is just part of letting go of the aspects of myself I cling to which made me feel safe. However, the past two ‘breakdowns’ I’ve had, which were highly warranted if i told you all about what led up to them, I’ve been around people.
Anyone who’s worked with people on an emotional level, be it a psychological or spiritual level, knows that if someone’s crying or having a moment, it’s important to let them have it…it’s a beautiful opportunity to release much of the emotion we’ve held in our bodies for however long, and eventually, the tears will flow into softness. And, really, it’s kind of a gift to be in that space where we can just let it out. Some people can cry when the affected situation torments them, but usually, we’re in a public sphere, where it feels inappropriate to cry or react, so we swallow those emotions and keep them inside. This builds and builds, and will eventually explode through an external situation, or release through a sort of body-mind modality – or a good party. But the worst, is when someone cuts into your experience by telling you to shut it off.
Don’t cry. Man up. Smile. Everything’s going to be okay, you’ll see. Don’t do this to yourself. Step up!
….You know, I really am NOT in a space that feels that way.
I feel like my world is falling apart. I feel like I’m crumbling into no one. I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t even know if it’s about me….
So P L E A S E, JUST LET ME HAVE MY BREAKDOWN!
A friend of my refers to this as a ‘shamanic death’, an interesting way to say it which i really understand. It’s like a forest fire burning the land to make room for new growth. In its path may be houses, may be people, may be animals, and there is suffering that relentlessy shakes the life which burns. Indubitable loss, but after all that, life. If you are able to see that what feels like a complete breakdown is an opportunity to deeply surrender into what is waiting to grow within you, then you can full on ride the wave down to the bottom – with little effort to curtail its trajectory. I know that after many of these cycles, a newness and renewal awakens, which is actually better than the me I knew before.
I know we want to support our friends or people we meet, and the tendency to comfort them or lessen their sufffering comes naturally. But truly, personal relief comes most simply from another’s presence. This term we know in the spiritual terrain as ‘holding space’. Literally, the listener connects with heartspace, or offers their ear empathically, without interrupting or giving advice or in any way curtailing an experience the person is relieving – up to a certain point. Another person can definitely honor a space, but also recognize the member in crisis is cycling into a memory or emotion so hard like it’s an unstoppable thing that isn’t being helped with their vanity. But, by asking or noticing if the person is triggered or having a particular experience that in the moment, just letting it happen lends vital aid to a ‘healing crisis’. It’s valuable to recognize that doing ‘nothing’ is the most profound support we can offer. Cutting our friends off insinuates that it’s not okay to be vulnerable in their peers’ presence. When we hold it in, we know that a serious crisis is a possibility in the long-run. Just be there.
For those of you experiencing this breakdown right now, know we are together in it. There are things that affect global consciousness that are very painful, and which most of us actually experience whether or not we know. Speaking up about what you’re going through may help alleviate someone else’s suffering as well, and opens the door for a conversation where we can come together to work through the current ocean of mixed madness. Be kind to yourself, and honor where you are, without trying to surpress your emotions. This way, you’ll move through it more quickly! Maybe find a friend and spend time together, go into nature, and be creative. Dance, write, paint, cut wood, or do listen to music. Just love yourself in the ways you best know how, without trying to escape your own experience. There’s a lesson for you in there. This too will pass if you let it without guilt or shame. 💘🌻⭐️
“So let go
And jump in
Oh well whatcha waiting for
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
(So let go) yeah let go
And just get in
Oh it’s so amazing here
It’s all right
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown”
In this world, from the moment most of us see the light, we ironically start to disconnect from the Light within. This light, which governs our very soul – the essence of our primordial nature, the nature of the Universe – radiates from our baby hips, our baby lips, our baby thighs and mouth, but is slowly creased out of us with each folded pant leg as we grow old.
It’s unfortunate that we aren’t encouraged to explore our Inner Being as we let go of babyhood into youth, but it’s the way of the the world in most cases. Yet, this pant-splitting, know-it-all voice of our forebearers causes serious disonance with our inner voice, making living in this world a sometimes very ethereal or too physical reality – at least that’s the wall I tend to run into over the years. Drinking up that heavenly medicine until I’m nearly out of my body, and then grounding energy so intensly I get lost and nearly chanined by my own consequential reality in the obseqiousness of 3D Life.
I can’t tell you the feeling of knowing you’re doing it to yourself, and contiuning to chase your own tail because it’s the practical, easier, safer, or more navigable way of life.
I’ve been raised with a LOT of discipline. So, when I feel passionate or naturally inspired and move forward into a creative agenda, this very masculine, must-do role overwhelms the love I feel for the instrinsic act or very essence of whatever it might be, and I become Paralyzed. Frozen between Passion and Discpline. Wanting to Rest in the Womb of Creation, but Acting REBELLIOUS towards that shadowy voice of doom that says, Do This, Do That, and in That Order. And then, I sink clawing into a hole of neglect and abandonment for aspects of my being, one over another, at different times. Lot of hours are wasted spinning where I could be producing, inspired, focused, learning, or creating in many ways.
If a seed becomes a flower, the life inside the bursting bundle of what is to be a unique expression of many is largely left to its own devices. Human hands may tend to it this way, or that way, a little support when it’s small, a bit of care-taking as it grows, a degree of maintanence once it reaches its peak – but no instructions are imparted; it’s very independent in finding its full blossom. How now did a fear develop of humans being so inadequately able to conquer their own independent role as a vital and uniquely integrated aspect of the whole, that they were largely punished and whipped by the dogma of society from basically Day 1?
Yes, yes, I know over the years people and groups of power have PURPOSELY forbidden many secret documents, teachings, and rituals containing sacred information from the People. But I’m speaking on a larger and more INTIMIATE context, concerning our own PERSONAL growth in confrontation with the consorts of our OWN reality. I’m speaking about the one we bind ourselves in, day after day, year after year, and life after life – until we make a change.
I’m speaking out at this particular time because this past Full Moon is really giving me the karmic loop syndrome of revisiting this old game: I have HAD IT with all this effort only to end up in such a pigeonholed place! It’s been a real challenge balancing being ground AND walking in the Light of my spirit. Like many yogis, I loved the magic of living in the Spirit realm, being in the Bhav, and staying connected with practices to a thread of vital essence that really is the link between spirit and body – the meaning of the word SunSum entirely. But after many years, I started to feel this disconnect between the world I was living and the world around me, and I felt quite estranged from reality! Not only that, but my body wasn’t working correctly for YEARS – often low temperature, losing hair, no menstration OR interest in sexuality, instability with parents, fear of survival: namely a severe imbalance in my lower chakras. I was convinced all that mattered was my mind – or not my mind – a spectrum within but beyond/through my mind under the encapsulating lure of meditation. It wasn’t until the ‘ultimate’ advanced program in the ashram – 4 years after I started my yoga teacher training – that I finally understand the incredible possibilities offered by the body as well to explore the Within, the Beyond, and the ultimate Surrender. But, despite that localized knowledge, being in an environment that is crafted and created to illuminate us beyond the boundaries is a secluded and remote to immersion in Society. Ultimately, I recognized my life was calling for an immersion in the world, not a separation. And so began the strong and intentional work of grounding – which has been and will probably always be a greatest challenge in the realm of all things.
I came here, to Costa Rica, because I was invited and needed to use up some miles that were about to expire. I had no plans of living here initially, and also had no IDEA that my growth would become so profound by remaining and exploring the depths of my soul in this place. In India, I was not soul searching, nor was I grounding. I was 100% focused and commited to my yogic practices, and spent 3-5 hours each morning in Asanas, Kriyas, Meditation, and often Mantras. I was so intent on perfecting my ritual that I left little room for my soul essence to grow or be nurtured – I just wanted to experience the peaks of bliss and cast away the valleys of sorrow that had slept beside me and chained me to my youth. I was learning from other ascended beings or enlightened persons – and that was my quest as well. My misperception of grounding was to be REGULAR, not to experience the soliliqies of meditation, the intensity of sadhana, and the magic yoga can create inside. I was so perplexed by being in a world filled with Physicallity – inclusive of my own self – if all this work was meant to trasncend form. But I still so loved the things in life that make it tasty, beautiful, delicious, fresh, exciting, unusual – everything that we DO experience through our five senses, and a beyondness which is palpable sometimes of the other dimensions. This dissonance within myself, of wanting to be freed from this body, but enjoying what I had experienced in its dimensions, created a rift in my understanding of life and initiation in thePROCESS – obscuring my clarity, without a doubt.
In a ceremony a few months ago, a friend I had recently met and I happened to be partners for this parituclar exercise. We sat across from each other and after sometime with the exercise, started to share what was streaming through our conscious minds. This beautiful girl has just spent 3 months in the jungles of Peru, learning plant medicine with an ancient Abuela, and is also a bit of the clairvoyent sort. First, she was surprised by how much ‘forrest energy’ i have – like my whole inner-being gleaned with the light of tall reaching trees. I am a bit of a fairy type, and often dance in the forrests and within the trees, which is not a practice most people see. Next, she mentioned something that both horrified and astounded me, and which I am still trying to allow into my conscious life this very minute. Discpline, she said, is written in your every cell, and in your every breath – stop planning what you are doing and what you think you need to do, and just follow the flow of your heart- you’ll get everything you need done without all the rules!
Shocking!! How can I let go of the discipline I have come to know as the stucture which holds my life?? How can I trust my feelings and surrender to the emotions which cause me to do one thing or another, all while justifying it under the umbrella art of practicality and a responsible lifestyle? There was a time when I could not trust my emotions. When my mind was etched with deep struggle of surrending to my soul’s kneading yearings, but confronting reality and all its demons in a hamonious way. I felt totally overwhelmed in relationships with partners, family, friends, society, but most of all – myself. But I have to let all that go – because I did my work, and am still doing it, but I already let go the biggest parts of myself that were keeping me from being me! So now it’s just my mind, imprinted with these patterns, these grooves, of disharmony – looking over my shoulder and judging my every step. I am realizing that I am mean to me! I honor and respect my family, ancestors, students, teachers, all of society let’s say (in a rudiementary way) often more than I love and accredit myself.
Isn’t this true with most of us? We are such an interesting breed – positioned to be forcefully happy but always struggling inside with out desires, our wants and our needs, our tantrums and our stampedes of money, partners, travel, land, business, creativity, hearing, expressing, loving, being loved, internally a mix of anything but harmony. *Sratch scratch*
What is going on here? Why aren’t we all able to find what we need, to listen to ourselves, to respect our bodies and tailor our minds so – with all due respect – they listen to our hearts and sync up under the confines of life to find liberty, for health’s sake! Which brings me back – back to the body, to being fit and healthy and able to RECIEVE life’s gifts for our wants and needs and yearnings at a SOUL LEVEL. Let us abandon our negligent thoughts and patterns and open up to Love, not expect boundaries to tighten our belts or hamper or way. In time, indefinitely, we can find what we seek, but the seeking must be active. Magic is not glorified, because each one finds it within his or her own power. Magic is not relevant, to those never reeling at the disatisfaction or intrigue of their heart and soul and eternal being. And that’s just fine.
But for me, Costa Rica has brought me more into my magic, thanks to the Earth and the final recognition of MY Earth that is my body. Wow, it took me a long time, and I have died and died again to allow it – and am still dying as I continually recongnize and uncover the past, not to mention dark forces at play that often meddle and try to comandeer me. But, how to see and transcend these problems that arise? For that, you listen to a voice inside you which FEELS instead of TELLS, a dialogue of your inner soul etched between each breath that rises and falls, like the sun and moon rises and sets, offering you the opportunity to renew, to act upon a directon which calls you in this moment. Being present – it’s all we have. Trusting our insights, listening to our instinct, observing our emotions and reactions, and witnessing the play of life around us. It always time and time again comes down to trust, surrender, listening, and moving forward in that direction – not the one we’ve done time and time before that brought us back to the same place we are now. That’s not working for us anymore. We’re different now. And we have to honor that. For One nation, One body, and One breath, I challenge you to let go of your ideas, and act spontaneously as your soul calls for you to do. Had I not done that just now, you wouldn’t be reading this post 😉.
So let’s commit to it – a lifestyle challenge. But in this one, we offer our minds to our bodies, and let our intentions written deep in our soul reveal themselves in every breath. In this way we can maybe find what life is asking us to offer – to ourselves, to others, and of course, back to the Earth itself.
For my sisters and brothers and to all my relations – Mitakuye Oyasin. Blessings to walk in peace, love, and great intensinty on your grand endeavors. We are all with you, we are all One. Live in empowerment! Life awaits.
Part 1: Arrival
I love living in the jungle, don’t get me wrong. The jungle isn’t to blame for my recent frustrations and feelings of intense rumination. HOWEVER, the jungle DEMANDS a high amount of intesity and activity just to survive, which isn’t easy if you’re a single woman living alone in the mountain with no transportation of her own!
But 1) That wasn’t the original intention, and 2) I’m not the only one! The women of Puerto Viejo are tough, independent, beautiful, and edgy because of the valiant lifestyle we lead. So, feeling a little PRESSED with the timelessness – feasbily unmeasurable next to peers and age itself – I’m going to expound on the grim, dirty, and unforseeable means in which we lurk within our neverendingly enchanting rainforest – do or die trying.
Let’s start with the basics we’re all involved with on some level:
Food, Laundry, Mobility, Cleaning
And then the sort of implied, but nevertheless differential outliers:
Jungle life makes you work your @ss off for each and every endeavor – leading, of course, to more appreciation and a more selective life. I was initally drawn to this part of Costa Rica partly because most people use bikes as their main source of transport, and after 10 months of relying on my feet and the bus schedule, I was really up for more independence.
Buying a bike was fairly easy, and biking was a joy for the first few months — then it became a bit tiring. Physically, it’s a lot of energy to exert during “summertime” – hot and steamy days of quality sun. During the 4th month here, biking became burdensome, with my hips constanly tight, my low back always aching. I was spending way too much time in the morning working my yoga postures just to undue the pain from the previous day’s ride.
Biking is fine for vacation, but when you need to do regular things, without having exercise being the main energy-draining activity, it becomes trying. I was searching for normally priced, comfrotable place to live long-term during HIGH season in one of the most popular vacation spots in the country. Because tourists will pay so much more, this was a serious challenge. Over 3 months, I creatively searched and messaged countless people, and at the end of it all, found about 8 places availalbe. All these places, I had to visit on my bike.
Like many people, I generally prefer to leave home once the afternoon crawls past 2’oclock onwards – a bit more cooler and manageable. Unless I wanted to get up extra early and forgo my morings – involing yoga, meditation, and space in silence, the crux of my job and involvement being here – I have a 3-4 hour window available for all out-of-the-house needs, including my appoinments. Stretched along the ocean, Puerto Viejo extends both directions, and instead of being able to visit different places like you easily would in a vehicle, you essentially have to choose which direction you’re going for the day to make it feasible.
Three months after I began my search, I finally found a clean, normal-priced, and homey place to live for 9 months, thank god! My new home was up the mountain – not as hilly as the initial place i lived – but the couple who was renting it to me had a moto to get around. Living here at this point for 14 months, I planned to find a used scooter to make it possible for me to stay at this wonderful space. I needed a break from biking! I had tripped the week before, twisting my ankle – and had to stop biking. I pushed through the pain until walking was equally bad. Moving my stuff on my poor, disjointed ankle was a STRONG message that I needed to rest and go deeper into my body.
I spent the first 9 days in my jungle abode juicing, cleansing, resting, and listening. No worries – Pura Vida – this was a time to recalibrate and rejuvinate for the next step. Except for the fact that I was totally alone, in the jungle, no mobility, and completely uncertain of what I would do next. I was in no position to do anything other than tune-in and discover what the jungle offered.
It’s never clear what’s going to happen a day in our lives. We may wish or plan for something, but for it to happen it might take a certain strategy better than the one we had before, and that takes effort – how do you maintain your brain? It’s unsatisfying to play the same old role, especially if it depends on others who won’t help you open your perosnal doors to lifexploration and let reality untold unfold in your direction when it feels good. It’s just not sensical to let life go on in ways that make you feel insane or trapped without reason!
If you’re going to go insane or be trapped, it better be for a cause you believe in so deeply, whose precoess will allow you a new opening once the shit is gone. But to lie mercilessly to yourself on the same point over and over, a way out is going to be a solemn listless answer. Come hell or high water, why not just get out? It sometimes instigates a little purge (or a big one) that can really turn your life around.
When it comes down to our bare instincts, we were made to survive. This mode is one that acts on instinct or in the case of fear, desperation. But what is instinct? Instinct is that moment you know, what suddenly feels right in the moment, unflitered and uncompressed. Our moments of instinctual intellect lead to discovery. Intellect of instinct is an awareness that grows with each situation where you allow yourself to trust and be guided by the flow. The flow is what empowers every moment, every breath and every step, and is really what life’s about.
The flow is not about letting things happen as they come or having no direction. It’s about being fully conscious of our movements though this life with a willingness to bend when things don’t happen ‘as they’re supposed to’ or as we hoped they would. Things going differently present us with an opportunity to engage with this instinct of letting go of formality, and find what’s best for our next move in the moment itself based on all circumstances, and what we know. It’s about undefining the greater part of the question and engaging with the unformidable unknowingness of life itself. It’s in this sweet, pure, innocent state of complete surrender that we find the answer, or see the sign. Often, we are so congested in our own minds, and cannot trust a seperation from the thought process for one sigh of ‘i give up!’, in which life itself presents an opportunity which changes our mind from Lost to Found.
In these coming days, we will be presented with a myraid of opportunity expressed around sound, and it is up to us to listen. If you’re doing for yourself, see how you can expand that intention or idea to reach a larger community . If you’re already doing for the greater good, prepare to hold hands and make ties on many projects that will come to grow as you loosen your projections that you never worked through or failed to remember. Just observe without feeling the need of conquer any tests.
Most importantly, start telling people around you who care deeply for you and who you also feel close to where you feel blessed by their support. If you feel comforted, confident, inspired, loved, and helped in their presece – let them know! An attitude of compassion and recognizition of others’ light will also help bring out the light in you and help both of you grow. This is not a good time to dawdle or play games with yourself or in relationships, especially if you really want to KNOW. Knowingness comes from looking within to our needs and commitments, not harboring avarice towards or holding onto others’ advice as we wind swifly down this road. Tune into your OWN needs. This is not a time to be rude or play mindgames, because it won’t enhance our creativity, which is how we really create fresh opportunity to grow in a DIFFERENT way. Stay open and commint to whatevercomes into your path when it feels like what you’ve been waiting for. Hint: if it feels right. Sometimes, often, it won’t look how we imaged, but our imagination merely relies upon the past for information and isn’t always favorable when it’s time to grow.
Let youself be if you need to be, and go if you need to go – but honor your dreams at the start of this new season! Don’t be afriad to not know what’s coming, because if your intentions are pure and your heart truly seeks to become empty of all hate so it might flower into a spiral of love, you will be kissed by the divine in all the right places. You are here to grow, but it’s essential to fine-tune what you know and admit what you don’t! In this way you can engage, empower, and benefit from what you already know, and let yourself be free of the fear or overwrought conclusions in arenas where you don’t.
So bow down, kiss the Earth, and remember – She, our Mother, has what you need to neccesitate and grow! Searching too much outside yourself will only be a formidable ride on a carousel. You will become confused and lie empty after it all fades away when the night is over. Don’t let your dreams become frustrations… Allow and offer, live and love, bestow and wander.
With grace and sweet stillness,
The question I hear most often when I enter a store –
‘Que busca, muchacha?’ Or ‘What are you searching for, miss?’
– feels adept to turn towards myself.
Every evening, reflexively, the thought pops into my mind.
Que busca muchacha?
At first I found it a sweet amusing supplement to my post-day reflections, but I realized that it comes into my evening as a sort of sunset to ponder upon – something to ask myself. Why am I here in Costa Rica? What is it I search for, that I won’t find elsewhere?
My current living space might begin to offer insight to that. Up a long dirt road in the jungle, a house powered by solar energy with an open floor plan that gives it the feel of an upscale tree-house. The wooden windows and siding all open up onto a wrap-around porch, and well-built – without any sour notes of shackdom stressed upon it. Down below, my neighbors, kind of loud and yet, kind and compassionate – the father often belowing an amazing sound that is somewhere between a laugh and a sigh, never failing to make me smile. All around us? Pure, unadulterated, jungle.
I feel so at home it’s strange – and yet, all my imagination as a child was filled with jungle and tropical places, so it’s only the reality of having arrived that has shoes to fill.
All that bothered me wherever else I’ve lived in Costa Rica is manageable here. I am able to deal with it whereas before it was too much. Thanks to nature, of course, blocking and absorping the energy which would otherwise make it impossible to not feel like I wanted to run away or worse, fight back. That’s been a big part of my journey here actually – standing up for myself when people try to take advantage or are disrespectful uneccesarily. Very freeing, knowing when to speak up, to say NO, to speak what feels right and express without any any concern whatsoever the feelings which the other person is only asking recieve.
Do I really feel like I’m searching? Well, not really. I’m here because I already have the inner-knowing inside. It’s my guide. I was brought here by a friend, with no plans and no expectations – and always a quest. Before I left, I wondered why and what, but I didn’t have any time after I landed to even think about THOSE sorts of quandries – immediately, I was swept into a major thing and the rest moved along, until now. Those 9 first months brought me into karmic situations with so many people, including myself and my family – it was intense. Along with this work, everything that had ever occured in ill-health erupted like the many volcanoes embracing this very place, leaving me totally depleted in a way which required my total focus and attention every day. Then, I paid a visit all the way home, to wrap up whatever of all that remained to be addressed.
And now, I’m again here, a much lighter person in many respects, and thoughtfully pondering all that occured with new clarity. New visions have emerged, and a deeper observance of ‘myself’ – as we refer to our mental-emtional and reactional states – is very prominent and obvious. The reasons for being here are more purified, and after going through so much, it’s easier for me to understand a way of living that before I took with more strain, less ease and adaptability. I feel extremely connected here, and also grounded. I’m so used to this lifestyle: this simplicity has only freed me from a formerly over mentalized way of living, illuminating a thoughtlessness unbound in any way by the influences of people, places, or namely, society. My body is no longer punished, abandoned, or undervalued as I used to do unconsciouslly thinking my mind was important, more important I mean. I see my mind needs security and wants to roll a certain way, so I observe it but always allow for insight and feeling, no longer letting judgement and intense scrunity manifest the next move, and the next.
No. I’m slowly, slowly, and even more slowly, learning what it is to let go – to let the inner-being EMERGE! In this I find joy, peace, and most importantly, my life’s purpose. True I have my desires and my little ways, but I love them all without judgement, and I’m not going to let the aspects which feel greedy or negligent govern whatever direction is meant to be – I just know that would be unpleasant in the long run.
If I answer the question, Que busca muchaha?, it would not be too wrong to say that I’m searching through nature’s precious manifestions for a greater knowing and peace. I want more of my gifts to manifest so that I am able to peer more deeply into the truth, but also be a valuable aid and expression for the sake of all beings. Love – 100% that. 🌄❣🙏🏼🌻🌈. OM
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.