At times I feel like life consists of a series of ‘could-haves’. Keeping this blog updated and stoking the passion fire, being one.
I’ve been home six weeks and feel the stagnant air of complacency taking hold. I’ve seen it manifest itself in my body and mind. Complacency and a lack of passion tends to do that.
So tonight I decided to draw up my Vision List for the next three years. Top of the pops was living a life of passion and purpose. For the moment that may be expressing myself in words, but I am certain it will lead down the yellow brick road.
A Woofing World
Once upon a time, not so far away, a world of Woofing exists. Where Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WOOF) meet to share, live and work in a community focused on sustainable living.
Going against my initial plans to volunteer at an Ayahausca Centre in Iquitos, I decided to volunteer at the Eco Truly Park instead, an hour’s bus ride from Lima.
Five minutes after arriving, I was hell-bent on catching the next taxi out. The place seemed full of sand and swarming with Hari Krshna devotees. Had I mistaken the website promising art, drama & yoga classes for an ashram?
I reluctantly paid my $15 a day donation to be fed vegetarian food, housed and looked after. I was quite convinced I wouldn’t survive past Day 2, not instantaneously warming to the farmy, temple vibe.
How wrong I turned out to be!
24 hours and I was a changed person. The two weeks I spent there was one of the highlights of my Peruvian trip. This is where I met amazing people whom I laughed, shared stories, stole secret trips to the beach, and worked with.
A day in the life of a volunteer at Eco Truly starts with yoga at 7am, a huge brunch breakfast at 8.30 and then a casually arranged work (generally by the volunteers themselves), which may or may not commence at about 10am.
Jobs included cleaning the Eco Toilets (a bucket, saw dust – dumping human excrement onto the compost heap, washing and scrubbing the bins. Light breakfast recommended). More enjoyable jobs included working in the kitchen preparing lunch for the volunteers and devotees, which easily topped 50pax per day. The lunches were prepared in gigantic pots and served in small swimming pools to the hungry masses.
Other enjoyable jobs included planting and weeding. I partook in the Downward Facing Fresa (Spanish for Strawberry) for a few days when I planted row upon row of Strawberries.
The farm is self-sustainable and organic, and the food consumed is grown in the gardens. There is an old weather beaten horse which is used to plough the lands, and a few Quechan speaking Peruvians, that make it even harder to understand what had to be done – a matter which the volunteers happily took into their own hands.
My Hawaiian friend Meredith and I also had a field day(s) working in the bakery preparing cakes for visitors and his Royal Holiness of the Upper Krshna rankings. We ate far too many ‘flops’ – a day’s ration could easily have sufficed for a week (part of the reason we enjoyed our time there so much).
I learnt to knead bread, bake cakes – an entire lifetime’s worth of Finishing School gobbled up in a few days. Learning essential Spanish words like ‘cake flour’, ‘baking soda’ and ‘measuring cup’ significantly helped to cut down the number of flops.
After lunch we were FREE to do whatever we pleased. The languid afternoons were spent going into town, hanging around the Plaza de Armas, e-mailing, eating ice-cream and for the majority of volunteers, perfecting the art of rolling joints.
In the afternoon there were also times when the Peruvians managed to kick into a higher organisational gear, giving us the opportunity to attend Krshna Philosophy courses. Fascinating accounts of Krshna’s mind boggling reincarnations and mischievous tricks were told by Druva, the volunteer coordinator.
There was also temple worship at 7pm, which lasted about two hours. All volunteers were welcome, and the many curious amongst us trudged along to sing Krshna songs and hear the beautiful words of the Bhagavad Gita read to us. Philosophical debates on the readings were held after.
I was blessed to have been part of the big preparation and frenetic cleaning that commenced exactly 48hrs before the highest ranking holy Hari Krshna Swami honoured Eco Truly with his visit. There were songs, dancing, fire ceremonies and a thousand flowers to celebrate.
Unfortunately, I was only present for part of the celebrations, as I had come down with the rancid diarrhea which gripped all new comers on their 4th or 5th day. I did not hear of anyone that had miraculously, escaped its onslaughts. The diarrhea came with fever and required a 24hr loo-gripping confinement to fully recover.
I was sad to leave Eco Truly, having made so many wonderful friends, coming from all walks of life. I myself became part of the hippie tree-hugging brigade and it took a number of weeks to reform to a more Western way of being.
Living on Light
So I left with Hawaiian Meredith in tow to embark on the last leg of my journey – a Fasting Retreat in the magical surrounds of the Sacred Valley near Cusco. This consisted of fasting for a week, liver cleanse (the Epsom salts nearly killed me), massages, steam rooms, another Ayahausca ceremony and a profound meeting with myself and other exceptional people that were there.
We all came for our own reasons, many on a quest for spiritual awakening, enlightenment, to heal their bodies and minds. To escape from life for a while and to reflect on our existence and purpose for being here.
Having been on the go for four solid months, I found it difficult to take time out for me, and to be quiet (without food) for such a prolonged period of time. The thought of subsiding on one glass of juice and one soup broth a day terrified most of us.
Having had the Ayahausca experience on an empty stomach and somewhat cleaner system, was completely different. Received more healing and messages, but decided that the 2nd journey two days later would be too intense, as I felt too weak to deal with another encounter.
Now in retrospect, I know that I was running away from myself, scared of what Mother A had in store for me. She can be pretty brutal in her teachings, however these are the very experiences which turn out to be most profound.
I learnt so much about myself during those seven days – and especially about dismantling ingrained belief systems. This is also where I learnt about Breatharianism.
Breatharianists are also known as Light Eaters, people who are able to tap into the finer powers of the cosmos, and survive solely on Prana (Life Energy).
To the Western world it sounds like a load of bull. It certainly sounded that way to me when I first heard about it. There are certain yogis who are known to practice this way of life and in the book Autobiography of a Yogi,
Paramhansa Yogananda goes into detail about this. His case studies included the likes of highly evolved spiritual souls, having lived a life of quiet solitude and meditation.
For mere, earth-bound Westerners, living on Prana seems an impossible feat. Yet with the planetary consciousness shifting into the 6th Dimension, this realm of existence is becoming more accessible and spoken about.
I believe we have become enslaved by the doctrines of what cannot be done, especially when traditional science has no explanation for it. Being sustained by Life Energy seems like a crazy new-age cult, but there are very real people out there who tap into this.
When one begins dismantling these belief systems of what is possible, of the life we should lead, the commitments we should fulfill, we lose touch with Prana – Life Energy. We forget that we came here on a very Sacred Mission. A mission to fulfill our purpose.
Becoming a Breathanarian is a process yes, and certainly won’t come around when the body is toxic, full of animal products and toxic thoughts. However, should the student be pure of heart and intent, and willing to do the preparation required, they should be granted the gift of living on light.
Seven Days and many belief-shattering experiences later, I realised that perhaps the conditioned systems we buy into, aren’t always built on the cornerstone of Truth, but rather of a collective agreement that has been sustained throughout the ages.
Peru was a life changing experience. It caused me to question many things I had always simply accepted or taken for granted. It caused me to question my beliefs, comfort zone, but above all, my reason for being here.
Peru taught me that being alive on this planet is a miracle. That we are, in essence, spiritual beings having a human experience. And that our life would be utterly wasted if we did not give serious attention to our purpose for being here.
I do believe every one of us knows our heart’s calling, but that it takes unprecedented courage to act on it.
With love and light