The hand of Spirit guides my life in such strange and beautiful ways.
The next day, after I led a group into the rainforest, on a 1-day quest, quite unexpectedly I returned to the same spot by myself to spend a couple of nights in solitude.
It is a common practice in many traditions to share the visions received and lessons learned with the rest of the community. In that way, the vision is brought forth into the material world to manifest.
So that is what I’m doing now.
As mentioned in my previous post (Vision Quest), this has been part of my spiritual practice and my life for almost 30 years. Recently it has become even more intense and powerful.
In this case, something unexpected came up that enabled me to take a couple of days to get out of the city and take some time for myself. It was a true blessing.
So I returned to this sacred part of El Yunque that I had been to many times before. It was such short notice, that I did not have time to find a tent, a sleeping bag or even any food. That’s ok though. I am going on a vision quest. I don’t need food or water. I have a blanket and know of a place to give me shelter from the rains, which are common and can be torrential at times.
My good friend Carlos was able to pick me up and take me there. It’s about an hours drive from San Juan, and I arrived at about 8:30pm on Friday night. Don Basilio and his wife Blachie were not home to open the gate for me, so I had to hike up a steep, muddy trail to gain access to the rainforest. Another 25 minutes of hiking brought me to a long abandoned hacienda way up on the mountain, where I had spent many nights before. it looks to have been built in the mid 1900’s, then abandoned perhaps 20 or 30 years ago. It has been gutted and nothing remains but the bunk beds that are fixed to the floor. The jungle is encroaching and slowly reclaiming what was once someones home. The roof is falling in, in places, but there is still a section that has not rusted through and can provide shelter from the tropical rains. This would be my home for the next few nights.
The trail to the Hacienda was overgrown and difficult to find at night, but somehow I managed. By the time I found it, cleared the space and set up camp, it was approaching 10pm, and I was considering just climbing into bed and calling it a night. But this was my vision quest, and there was work to be done.
I had brought my most powerful crystals and stones. Soon the medicine wheel was complete and I was ready to begin my meditation. I always begin with the same core meditation that I have been practicing in some form or another since I was 20 yrs old. Visualizing myself sitting upon the surface of the earth, I use my mind and breath to connect to the core of the earth, draw the powerful life force energy up into my body, filling my chakras, then send it up into a star at the center of our galaxy. I then bring the fire energy down from the star, through my body & chakras, and send it down into the core of the earth, giving the mother an injection of pure pranic energy from the heavens. The stones and crystals of the medicine wheel also help me to bring in the energy from the air and water, which is very pure & potent in a place like El Yunque.
All of that elemental energy comes together in my Hara. My belly Chakra: Svadhisthana. From there, I begin Bhastrika Breath, or Breath of Fire to build the energy. When it is stoked and intensified enough, I engage Maha Bandha the three body locks used commonly in Kundalini Yoga to contain, focus & purify energy in the body. Then I bring all of that concentrated prana from all of the elements up my spine to the Ajna Chakra (3rd eye), and send it out in a series of prayers to the universe:
1) Love, Thanks and Gratitude to every one and every thing in all of creation. Thank you for the part you play in the great web of life.
2) A prayer sending divine love, comfort and healing to everyone I have ever known and ever will know in my existence.
3) Tree of Life Prayer, where I visualize my life as a great tree. My birth is at ground level and the end of my life is at the very top of the tree. My current position is about halfway up. I build the prana in Svadhisthana with bhastrika breath, then send the energy up the trunk, all the way to the top of the tree, to the point where my life on earth ends. In this way I project my consciousness forward in time to the point of my death, which I face with my eyes wide open and heart filled with love and longing to finally be freed of this dense body and reunite with my Divine Beloved. There is no fear whatsoever. Only intense joy and love permeating every cell of my being. But before I depart, I ask one final thing of my maker: to send down a beam of pure love and light down the trunk on my tree, filling my past selves with a great love, comfort and confidence that all will be well, all is well and in perfect divine order. I feel this now in my current self, but also all the times in my past where I struggled in fear and pain. When I was a young man, a teenager, a child and even an infant with so much fear and helplessness. When that wave of divine love washes over me, I cease my struggling, relax, take a deep breath and smile. I feel safe and secure. Wrapped in a warm blanket of love, confident that I will be ok and looking forward to a great future.
This was how my quest began. It only gets better from there.
To be continued…