Three weeks ago, I flew home from Mexico at the end of a three month stay. It was a night flight, and because I fell asleep soon after take off, when I woke up six hours later to land in Montreal, I found myself entering a completely different world.
Although it was officially spring, the trees were still bare and patches of snow could be seen on the frozen ground. It is only now that the bluebells and apple blossoms are beginning to come out and the trees are finally budding. If you allow yourself to feel attuned to the promise of new life after a long cold winter, there is something soft and soothing about the spring. Everyone loves a fresh start.
In contrast, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern Mexico, the heat and the sunlight are intense, even during the winter months. The heat actually penetrates the body, so one becomes much more aware of one’s body and, consequently, feels that much more alive. In that particular part of the world, it’s as if the earth has an entirely different vibration and emits a kind of primal energy that can be empowering and intoxicating. Mexico does have its magic.
Aside from the beautiful beaches and the fresh food, in the early mornings, I enjoyed practicing yoga inside a palata. It’s the next best thing to being outdoors. Staring up at the thatched roof made from dried palm leaves and listening to the birds happily greeting the day became a source of inspiration. I felt I was in paradise.
One evening I attended a meditation session with live music, mostly bells and drums as well as chanting. After about an hour, the chanting became much deeper and the drumming intensified. I imagined these were the voices of the ancestors, lamenting what was happening to the earth. There was a sense of urgency in their cries, even anger, urging us to do something and soon. But what is to be done?
Shortly after getting home, I read a strange and fascinating book by the Sufi mystic Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Alchemy of Light: Working with the Primal Energies of Life. Vaughn-Lee fears that we and our beautiful planet may lose our soul. He urges us to awaken to the spiritual dimension of life and to recognize that we are all one. For those of you who prefer a more scientific approach, the neuroscientist Daniel J. Siegel, MD, has the very same message. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute.
It seems that more and more people are opening up to the scared dimension of life, the realization that we and every living being on the planet are connected. Yesterday I listened to a talk by Eckhart Tolle on the power of presence, by which he means learning to be present in our bodies. He mentioned that he had 150,000 people who had signed up to hear his talk. As far as he was concerned, this was good news and he suggested we pay less attention to the mainstream media, as it focuses almost entirely on those who remain unconscious. It is hard to imagine CNN announcing a new consciousness is emerging, isn’t it? But let’s not give up hope.
Well, I’ve resumed my yoga and am now taking a course in Yoga Qi Gong. It incorporates aspects of Tai Chi and much of the practice involves working with energies. The room where we practice is quite different from the palapa I came to love in Mexico; it’s the meeting room of a large and modern condominium. One side of the room consists of glass doors that stretch from the floor to the ceiling and provide a view of the grounds. I noticed yesterday that the grass has grown quite long and swayed in the wind. Perhaps when it gets warmer, we’ll be able to open the doors.