Back on U.S. soil this morning with so much moving through me that I could write about: the glory of the Costa Rican land, the gleanings from Medicine Dance, the impact of the wonderful people I met. And yet the last three days I spent at Pacha Mama intrigue me, how can I express the truth about a strangely ambiguous experience?
After Blue Spirit I was invited north to this intentional community by a dance therapist I had been moving with through the week, a transplanted Israeli, raising her family and living her dreams in this enchanted jungle setting. There were stunning things about this place – the gorgeous beach, the tropical setting, the loving people, the diverse transformation and optimal health workshops. And, as synchronicity would have it, people I already knew or had connections with through the rhythms, through the yoga, through California, everyone doing the good work. Everyday I was held in meditation, in yoga, in dance, nourished by clean simple food and vibrantly awake companionship. So much incredible light. But something felt amiss; I was faintly aware, just below-the-belt of looming shadow.
At satsang I listened to the man who brought Osho’s dream to the jungle and it was a stretch to continue to stay open, listen, not jump to judgment. But my instincts were screaming and the talk left me with a disturbing and murky impression. There is a great deal of medicine (drug) ritual woven into some of the experiences in this place: trance dances and journeys with every prescription known to man. There is opulence side-by-side with close to the bone living, a dubious money energy. And how to name this pervasive spacey quality?
I took this opportunity to feel how light and shadow can live side by side, how a twilight undercurrent can seductively feel like brilliant enlightenment. How we long for things to be black and white, right or wrong but how often ambiguity is the truth. How we can actually believe we are relaxed and fluid when we are really quite stuck, even inert. How we can be quite certain we are being clear and precise but deep inside we are locked rigid and clinging to a form that has long since died. How we can think we are free, have let go of everything holding us back when we are really quite confused or doing everything we can to control the situation for some cheap appearance of freedom. How we can mistake blissed out for spaced out and emptiness and universal source connection for drop dead numb.
I took all this in and still it was an awesome experience. Every night I saw the sun disappear into the Pacific and the crescent moon make it’s dip a few hours later. I was drawn to the allure of place, spirit, myth, community and stayed curious about how all this light could co-exist with the shadow. It felt like a preparation for the dance weekend ahead and I invite you to join us for this deep dive: Light & Shadow with Kathy Altman March 23-25. Dancers are enrolled from the east coast and from Canada and it amazes me to have the most senior teacher in the practice other than Gabrielle here in our backyard. Let’s feel together the way the shadow is woven so deeply into our lives, our relationships, our community and what we can learn from this mystery. Our dance focuses our attention, with attention comes discernment, with discernment comes awareness, with awareness comes freedom. Let’s dance/wake up together.
Come to the floor with me this Thursday for yin at noon, 5Rhythms at 6:30 and receive a big dollop of the natural medicine that movement provides. More big medicine at Yoga Seed on Saturday: 3 hours of Letting Go…maybe this is your moment to investigate some essential self care practices. And I will be so grateful to be on the floor with all of you on Sunday when Betty returns to hold us in Sweat Your Prayers.
Feeling it… love, bella