The night was heavy with heat and moisture alleviated only by the faint whisper of wind snaking off the Caribbean. The water so blue it illumined turquoise even at night. Even when juxtaposed against an onyx sky, as if the water itself held a light source independent of any celestial body. The breeze was nice. As were the impossible quantity of stars, spattered pell mell, well concealing their genius patterns and whirls. The notes of my flute took flight to meet the rhythm of each incoming wave, and then disappeared as offerings for all things on their journey toward the closing of the cycle. The closing and then the entry into the number 13, the space between the breaths, the death and suspension of one to be shed and reborn like a serpent; more powerful, more alive, more free than ever.
Tulum, the bellybutton of the world, dawn-facing, white sand, green jungle. The land of the Jaguar, and home of the Mayan, was now home to me, as a crucible only can be. That perfect December doorway that heralded a movement into the sensation - and then recognition - of a gift that is partially hidden* and calling in it’s soft, alluring way, to be found again.
Just four days prior, on the eve of my 30th birthday, I sat one of 500 meditators in that liminal space between waking and deep sleep, where the breath slows and the heart rate drops and the mind in all it’s frenzied fluctuations begins to melt into...well, the inconceivable fullness of Being. Four days into a vow of silence the militantly guarded and heavily reinforced doorway into the world of fruitful meditation was finally slacking in its six-year duty just enough to let slip a step or two into the cavern of Spirit - before knocking me back again to waking consciousness. But it was enough. Enough for the whole of me to delight in the ‘more-ness’, into the the secret, into the Rahasya - that reality that is concealed, ordinarily not visible, the unseen space, the esoteric, the great mystery of existence.
No more alive and accessible than through deep meditation.
This was the moment I had been waiting for...needing actually. After years and years of slaking my thirst in non-dual spiritual philosophy and then applying that practice as if it were a user manual with which to effectively navigate life, (that is, applied intellectually), I was finally graced a taste of grounded experience. A world apart from intellect, and at this point in my personal inner journey, a great deal more motivating.
It is true I have had experiences of greater forces at play. Often when dancing, caught up in the ecstasy of motion uninhibited by thought, unburdened by fear, unencumbered by self-critique. Those moments when all falls away but the gasping, pregnant, perfection of Spirit moving through you, as you. I’ve had those moments.
In Nature too when the pattern reveals itself in the formation of technicolor lichen climbing the side of a redwood giant, or the diamond-like shine of a drop of dew off a fern so ancient the records of the known world are held within. The smell of earthy hummus beneath you, composting every malicious thought you’ve ever had, and all the good ones too. Squelching and sucking all things into its dark embrace. And somewhere in the middle of that you open your inner eye to SEE the glory, the profundity and the jaw-dropping intelligence of a system whose desire toward more barrels forward without needing your permission.
There too the mysterious opens itself.
But what had begun to unlock for me that day was the profundity of revelation in a quiet and still posture, sans external stimulant, without outside inspiration. Because what is truly a non-dual and mystical understanding without experience completely independent and unhinged, totally free, and radically autonomous? For everything else, though worth-while and even transformational, carries with it a particular flavor of dependence. I saw this so I felt that, I ate this and I saw that, I danced and so I experienced...etc. etc. In other words, that day, that moment, and through that threshold, I stepped into the first round of reconciliation between what I know to be true, and simply, I AM.
Carried forward into the sacred land of the Yucatán where an entire month in the healing waters became the period at the end of one long fiery, dragon-like sentence. Not without hardship 2012 and all its yong ferocity served in great ways toward forward propulsion. Overt (and sometimes unavoidable opportunities) to really LOOK at all the gunk that calls you into strength. It was a loud year, a public year, and a messy year where the biggest openings directly eclipsed the darkest ignorance. (could it be any other way?) The great inward turn toward the year of the snake, the year of the Goddess, the yin centripetal spiral into the heart of things, and the introspective smoothing away the rough edges of forgetfulness had began. Not with streamers and party poppers, not with fanfare, and not even with apocalypse, but with quietude. Quietude that carries with it the most powerful tool of any time, I am convinced. Meditation.
Paul Muller-Ortega orients deep meditation as a “refinement.” Refinement in that deliciously paradoxical way where softening and silencing becomes an active reclamation of love, of truth, and of Source. And not just in the general sense either. This is scientific, this is specific, this is unique to you and your incarnation in this lifetime. The practice of meditation, I now know, is an excavation of hidden potencies, yogic powers, and a seismic force of creativity ready to be unleashed on the world, in YOUR life, for the benefit of all beings. And so too, it is urgent.
I finished my song on the beach that night, equal parts inward and awake. I played it for my grandmother who had passed that day after visiting me in a series of dreams the previous few nights. The true matriarch of our family, strong and large, both physically and energetically. I played it for the Jaguar, the symbol of the feminine, the occult and the taboo, the piercing eyes that are at home in the dark. I played it for all that had transpired in 2012 that helped me to grow, and for all that is to come in the liminal space of sacred 13; the year of the snake, symbol of wisdom and all the knowledge that is hidden beneath the earth. I played it for the great inward turn deeper into the practices of stillness and silence that will carry us forward with efficacious insight for the healing and interdependent evolution of our planet. May we all see the beauty in the dark, may we not fear the unknown but be awed by it, may we all experience the richness of the inner world.
I opened my eyes, tears falling as offerings, wetting the sand with specks of dark on light. The Mayans say the heart of mother earth unites with the heart of father sky in the heart of a human being. I looked out across the expanse of blue, to the horizon line where water met starlight. A fire sparked in the sky, first small, then growing as it traveled deliberately and without coincidence. Blazing comet, bright light; like wisdom, like wonder, like hope for all that is, and for all that will be.
Serpentine blessings for 2013!
January 4, 2013