Sooooo many good things happened in Mexico that I developed a new habit phrase that seemed to be on constant loop in my mind and all I could say over and over again was: “pretty great:)”
It was fitting and true for almost every moment in Puerto Escondido from luxurious beach house living in quiet Los Naranjos to the pure local style hang time in a house in La Punta so fitting I almost moved in for good.
Retreating with the people who make Downward Dog
one of the most enjoyable places to practice in Canada, was a true honor. They couldn’t have made it feel more right for me to be there practicing in paradise with the teachers that I admire most. Claudia of Cruda Cafe
deserves a shout out as well as she fed me exactly what I needed to support a good cleanse.
On this trip, a practice that often comes up for me time and time again continued to show face in a way that could not be ignored: The Art of Letting Go… and where better to drop it all off then into the sand, water and clear blue skies of Mexico. Okay, maybe I did a little shedding on my new best friend and fellow retreater Nikki’s bed as well but she’s a Reiki master so she had the crystals to deal with all the residue.
I could write forever about all the magic that tickled me bright on this trip: Diane’s primal movement workshop in the sand, Ron’s (mexican name: Rinaldo) powerful guidance through pranayama and morning Mysore, Marla’s voice, David’s dowels, hot springs, holding hands with my new friends, surfing, learning the Spanish word for everything that grew in Pablo’s garden, the hammocks, riding in “The Thing” and discovering Tlayuda…but you don’t have time for all that.
What I do want to share is the most profound experience, rooted in the theme of letting go and allowing the greater influence to guide, that I have ever come to know. There was a 7.4 Richter earthquake in Puerto while we we
re retreating. An earth shattering and potentially nauseating quake that lasted for what felt to me like 20 minutes. A true test for my Vipassana meditation practice to say the least. This is what I wrote home:
To my loved ones,
Today the most incredible thing happened. It was our last class of an incredibly dreamy retreat and we were very comfortable set up under the palapa roof at Casa Don Juan in Los Naranjos; Puerto Escondido, Mexico. We were facing the roaring ocean, just coming out of final relaxation and ready to sit for a few minutes of meditation…when something happened that shook everything up. I was slowly collecting myself towards upright from being very comfortably horizontal and once I found an appropriate seat to settle into, the earth began to dance. It started with a smooth rumble right under my seat, sending elaborate vibrations through my body and trembling everything around us. Diane Bruni was our guide and I don’t know if I can think of anyone more fit to have led us through it all so beautifully. In a calm and soothing way she created the space for us to allow ourselves to really feel what was happening it in a relaxed manner, encouraging us not to react. I felt an undoubted commitment to her instructions and her instinct to keep us there, simply feeling and relaxing was to be nothing but fully trusted. There was a tiny moment when it was clear that she contemplated taking action but that quickly dissolved and her knowing that the earth will soon settle was contagious. I closed my eyes through it all (except the parts when it jerked enough for me to check in with my teacher) and I was determined to stay tuned in to my breath. Soon enough, it was effortless to be there and know that it will soon pass. I enjoyed the feeling of my entire body undulating as the earth’s shifts moved right through me. It felt like a dream on drugs. Actually, it’s an amazing reality that moments before all of this, during savasana, I had an incredible dream. It began with a clear observation that the ocean’s volume was increasing and a reminder of how giant this force in front of me really was. I imagined what it would be like if we had a tsunami until it turned into a dream. I saw the force of water come up the sand and into our beach house. I felt it sweep me up and take me away. After floating for some time, I slowly began drowning . I knew in that moment that I could do one of two things; panic or give in. I chose the later and it felt right. I was very peaceful in it. I watched and felt myself letting go and giving way to a force so much greater than I. It was quite beautiful, shiny and sparkly….
And this was only moments before we were asked to slowly make our way from the floor to a comfortable seat in a pretty familiar way; “begin to move your finger tips and toes…”
I made my way up in my usually milked-out manner and I took a few breaths to organize myself in my seat and…well, you know the rest of it.
I am safe if you worried and if not, I’m happy…because I didn’t either.