Twenty minutes in my foot falls asleep. This is the pattern, I have a clear understanding of the time based on when my foot falls asleep. I know that at twenty minutes we are nearing the end and if I can just readjust my legs and get some blood flowing that foot Ill be fine for the homestretch. At this point Ive given up on my focus and Im into survival mode, Im not sure how long your foot can stay asleep but at some point in needs blood, right. I mean what happens if you dont get blood, how long do you have until you lose a toe, all your toes, the whole foot. I need that foot, I use it daily. So i dont mind cheating and sending some blood there in place of positive thoughts. Im not sure this is how the great gurus of history have envisioned their students meditating but it is the reality for me.
Once Ive gotten some blood back to my foot, my mind is lost and my meditation is all but done. I will hold out for the rest of the time repeating over and over "hit that gong" in my head, praying that our teacher realizes we have been in this position for far too long and it is time to give this up. I send my vibes to her trying to beg her to end this session as quickly as possible. I doubt this is how you reach spiritual enlightenment but im sure that ive heard somewhere at somepoint that we all take our own paths and mine just involves some inner complaining.
For some of you, you must be wondering how I got here. How did I get 40 minutes into an hour long meditation inside a pyramid shaped temple with twelve other soul searchers. Well long story short Lindsey and Andy met a couple on one of their travels who told them all about Los Pyramides and they thought it seemed like an interesting place to spend a week, and i having decided to try just about anything people suggest tagged along for the week.
So on sunday we packed up our stuff and headed off for San Marcos, a tiny little laguna town on Lake Atitlan. After a pretty standard shuttle bus trip and a choppy boat ride we ended up in san marcos. We arrived at los pyramides and it was what you could best describe as a ghost town. Everyone was in a silent meditation and the only people that we encountered were people who were in part of a month long silence, and came across as jerks. I would learn that there is a nice way do your silence and the jerkway.
The pyramides looks like your a pretty typical summer camp except that all of the cabins are shaped like pyramids. Other than that you have your communal bathroom and kitchen(vegetarian only) and your cabin is full of spiders, mean disgusting spiders who played extras in Arachnophobia. After an interesting night of sleep we were off to start our week.
Yoga in the morning
Every morning began with Yoga. We were up early and with a pretty solid bedhead going ready to stretch it out with some intense yoga. It was pretty fast that i realized i might be out of place with my basketball shorts and sweatshirt, when the teacher was clad in an all white yoga suit that i thought only existed in movies where they mock yoga teachers. Right off the bat i knew i was in trouble, i have never been able to touch my toes not ever, in the presidential physical fitness test the toe touching was my nightmare and yoga seemed like it would continue. Our first teacher was a relaxed british guy(ithink) who ran you through some intense yoga drills and rolled his eyes at those of us who struggle like the goofy goofy tall bastards we are. The other teacher was great though, super encouraging and positive. She would come over and tell me that i was doing perfect except that you need to fix these 5 things. Im not sure she understands the definition of perfect. Her positive encouragement did help me get through some pretty ridiculous sessions of yoga. One of our final yoga sessions also finished with andy and I giving each other back massages, where andy critiqued my massage style the entire time.
After breakfast of cornflakes, or in my case choco zucaritas(choco frosted flakes, which would also be my dinner several times) we heaeded off to metaphysics class. Coming in the middle of a session(the run a weekly schedule on the moon, wed-wed) we were headfirst into classes on lucid dreaming and astral travel. We spent the week learning techniques on controlling your dreams and using your mind to change your dreams and the locations of your body, in order to have out of body experiences. We learned about traveling outside of your body to other countries or down to the bottom of the lake where you can find a temple and you are more than welcome to come down and pray late at night. Overall the classes were interesting and a little kooky but in the best possible way.
***A special note to those of you who indulge in illegal substances. They are apparently destroying your aura causing rifts and holes to develop that will make you tired and more run down. There is a remedy though, and I will be kind enough to help you all out at this point. You will need to run a hot bath and create a mixture of several natural plants and herbs. You will need rosemary, mint, basil, chamomile, lavender, sage and red roses. If they are fresh and natural you are better off but if you dont have the option you can use any form. The mixture should make up the size of a fist and for god sakes you need to check to see if you have allergies to any of these, you dont want to jump into a tub of aura purifying substances only to learn that you break out from lavender, thats bad news. If it doesnt work the first time, well you are probably a big pothead(you know if im talking to you), and need to do this for a consistent 7 day period every month until you feel invigorated again. Good luck my friends, and youre welcome!***
After metaphysics we were given several hours to hang out and do whatever we want. So I spent the week reading way too many books ranging from the motorcycle diaries and tom sawyer to books on coping with death and a guidebook on lucid dreaming. At 5 though we headed back to the temple for our meditation class.
*quick note on the temple here. The temple is a giant pyramid that is actually really awesome once you are inside. You need to crawl down a staircase and tunnel before you can enter the temple. In the hall of the tunnel there are pictures of different religious figures from ancient pharaohs to buddah and jesus. Andy felt like the jesus picture looked like a dad who knew his son had done something wrong but was letting the son explain himself and weave a tail of lies even though daddy jesus knew the truth, so in reality jesus was wearing one of those give me a break, oh really faces. My view was that jesus was a tv or radio talk show host listening to a particular messed up story, and he was making front of being concerned when really he was thinking "good lord thats awful, good luck with all that," face. The debate rages on. The temple inside has a giant pyramid in the center with a crystal globe that represents the world and they put a silk sheet over it when we are not meditating or focusing on it. other than that we all sit on mats or wooden blocks for our meditation or classes.*
Most of the meditations were painful exercises. I already described the process of pain a little but let me tell you it flat out killed. When we finished and had to change positions i had to manually move my legs with my hands and struggle through the pain to get them straight.
Guided meditation had to be my favorite part of the week though. The first night we worked on an exercise where we visualized a garden, a pond, a house, animals a boat and other things. All were metaphoric and represented something in your house. The garden was how complicated your life is the pond represented how you approach new situations(i only dipped my toes and sat on the edge so reading into that its pretty accurate, im a toe dipper in social situations), the animals represented my fears and though i saw giraffes, polar bears and dogs i totally approached them and tried to pet them all. My biggest issues came with the house and the boat. My house was the lake house from the bodyguard with kevin costner, the house represents my soul so i have no idea what that says about me. I was afraid to get on the boat because i am afraid of boats in general, the boat represented my future so i guess either im going to die or im really afraid of my future, great.
Other exercises involved thanking our loved ones and friends, so thank you if you didnt get the message on tuesday, visualizing points in our past and focusing on our life mission. If youd like to know more about my life mission feel free to ask, its long detailed and still a little cloudy.
I went into the week with a precaution but interest. Many people were skeptical of me going to meditation camp, not taking my interest in the spiritual world seriously, they didnt realize that i once made my mom buy me incense and a tape on Gregorian chants to practice relaxation and meditation(the outcome being that i realized i was allergic to incense and just sneezed alot), and my interest in spiritual matters has always been deep. This week solidified that i have an interest but im not willing to fully commit to any one belief and need to keep working on making my perfect spiritual practices.