Monday, May 02, 2011

Going inside

I have been on a journey. I put it out in public at the start of the year that I was lacking a spiritual practice in my life. I needed to find some form of expression. Pretty soon afterwards the person I said it to, invited me to come to a sweat lodge in  village about an hour from here. I had never done a sweat lodge before but I was familiar with the physical idea of people stitting in a hut in the dark with roasting hot stones in the centre. I had heard of this in many 'indigenous' cultures. So I jumped at the chance.

I had little or no idea what I was letting myself in for. I still don't. I asked questions but got no answers. I did get a message to contact a guy and do what they call a vision quest. When this was first suggested, I loved the idea. It was finacially impractical, logistically difficult and I let it drop.

I went 4 times and sweated . Each time I got this same talking to. The last time I thought I better really pay attention.  So I sent an email and was told I should go to Paris and be seen.

I was anxious about things like Personality Cults, and new age wackos and all sorts of things that could be wrong, but it seemed to open up before me once I decided to go.

To make a long story short. I found myself in Paris this weekend, on the outskirts in a village next to a forest. I knew no one. I arrived. I involved myself in the journey to cut young trees and collect stones. A hut was constructed. People introduced themselves one by one.
I am not really saying anything here. I have skimmed over all the details and only given a brief outline of the experience. Suffice to say I react to people on a feeling level. When I meet someone for the first time, I look in their eyes, but even before that, I feel. I have always been like this. I feel energy and I react accordingly, or I respond to that energy, with my own baggage I suppose, my own energy. So some people I was instantly in touch with, others required that I waited. So I did. Sometimes I don't.

For many people it was their first time. There was in total I guess about 20 of us. The shamin was a swiss guy who looked nothing like a shamin. But he had studied theology and then later studied with the Lakota people, and then also studied with shamins in I think Malaysia. The fire keeper was German, tatooed quiet, we communicated a bit.

I had the most fun I have had in a long time. I was taken by fits of laughter, bouts of tears, I was burned by the sun and the steam of the sweat lodge, I was touched by peoples stories.....not always expressed through words... I could feel things. Yeah I know some of it was in me, but for sure some of it was in them.

The shaman accepted me. I will now do a vision quest in June 9-16. I have long thought about this. I have to make a little sac of tobacco for every month of my life. and string them together, I have to clean up my act, get my house in order, say goodbye, and go have my vision.  I don't know what will happen. I don't know if this person writing will come back. But I will go inside, deeper than I have ever been before... it's scary but it is fun, but by god it's scary.

Think of me!


Bandersnatchi said...

Okay, so, first thing - was this fireside smoke-inhalation, group-hug, personal-exploration done in the nude?
Well, then I guess you're all right.

I used to be a Boy Scout. We did stuff like that - you know, sat around a campfire, swapped stories, bonded, all with our clothes on of course.

Callie, I'm worried about you needing to go on a "spiritual journey." I thought that was what triathlon was for? Get out on the bike in the fresh air, clear your mind, let the fatigue, and the build-up of lactic acid alter your consciousness, and then get a good night's sleep. Works for me.
But then again I write poetry and novels and shit too. heh.

Writing is my catharsis, that way I don't have to put up with bugs and smoke in my eyes anymore.

as long as the boys are happy,
that's my motto, so keep blogging about the new experiences.


Warrior said...

Geoff I am delighted to read your comment and may I say it was one of the better comments I have had the joy to read. I have something wrong in my foot, so there is no triathlon. I am getting a scan Friday to see if it's broken. It's been a chain of problems, clearly related to posture and vitamins and some ignorance.
The spirit stuff.....well I find myself not being able to write, not being able to run and not being able to bike, and I get clogged up. The sitting around is like the lakota indians did. We did it in our swimsuits....yeah I was boyscout too it was nothing like that. No inhalations...just vibes water rocks heat dirt...and good humour..beautiful. Thank you for stopping by. I didn't think I had many visitors anymore.

Robin said...

Awesome. I will light some sage and think of you during your quest. I have a good friend here who leads Vision Quests into the wilderness. It is quite an experience.

Warrior said...

Now see Robin, that just blows me away...thanks hun. We should talk :-)

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