Are you brave enough to bare your soul? Can you shatter open your barricaded chest and allow the light to flood your heart center? Can you call feverishly to the wind and command it to carry your every wish to the universe above?
I arrive in a bluster. The trip from home blurring by unexpectedly quick. My drive timeless, distorted by the realm of the looming rain and dull, grey skies. My heartbeat quickens with the whip of my rear tires as they skid on the winding dirt road. A childlike laughter seeps from my lips as a rainbow blooms over the property where my destination resides. Freedom.
One by one, sometimes two, the other women trickle in. Each of us reflecting in each other the charged energy created when excitement and nerves dance together. We settle in, settle down, place our things in their temporary homes. Twelve sets of cat like eyes scanning inquisitively to assess the environment we have stepped into. Delicately, purposefully, intelligently each of us taking inventory from our own perspective. My own being fascinated with the feminine nature – sharp as a knife and somehow equally as soft and inviting…
The property is nothing short of magic. Tucked unobtrusively amongst the boulders, the home sits on its landscape as a welcome neighbor. Art of all variations seeping into every corner, every crevasse exuding careful attention and beauty. My attention follows every detail as my souls greed does its best to absorb it all inch by inch. After niceties are established, I retreat to my tent beyond the home. One other woman and I are set to share a tent similar to those used in summer camps. It sits on a platform and bestows a homey bed with decorative blankets draped in vibrant colors. We vibe easily and work the furnace as a team until the heat of the fire adds weight on our eyelids. I drift to sleep dazed by the light sound of the the rain, disillusioned in the lovely space between sleep and consciousness. I envision the starry night of the desert sky washing us clean as the flames meet the droplets and all is becoming one.
We rise together and make the short walk to the main house with a crisp and biting desert wind on our heels. We eat breakfast with the rest of the twelve women and settle in for meditation, followed by yoga – the cadence which will continue for the rest of our mornings together. We sit cross legged in a tight knit circle by the fire and bundle sage. The Spanish style tile picks up the heat quickly, which I am grateful for. The room is lined with full length windows, the folds of the valley rolling endlessly until they meet the snowy tops of the far off mountains and it all blends into the sky above. A book on the shelf calls to me, “The Wisdom of the Serpent”, I spend my time between the other meals and our evening practice exploring its pages of philosophy. My mind starving for this reawakening.
Our second day begins the same. The routine offering a meditative repetition that feels as warm to the soul as the Mexican blanket feels wrapped around my shoulders. Today when we return to our circle, we gather tobacco in white linens. With intention we hold it against our hearts, a pinch in our left hands to follow native tradition, infusing our desires to the sacrament before binding them for offering. As a group, we share three rounds of Om and disperse in silence to explore the land and turn in. I hike up to the homeowners meditation room, stacked entirely of stone on the highest peak on his acres of land. I find a flat rock at the edge of its looming height and settle in. It is here I stay for some time with the snowy mountains in front of me, the desert encompassing me and the wind gushing through me. I write an entry, read a small excerpt, and chant to Ganesha. Om gam ganapatye namah.
The evening bends its way over the sun and we gather for our meal. The room is coming alive with the warmth of laughter and connection as the women deepen together. Unity building, boundaries dissipating. Our generous host, a desert gypsy drowning in jewels guides us through a tribal style dance – embodying every element as she floats throughout the room. “Your head is full of helium, your spine – a string of pearls.” I sleep heavy and deep.
In numerology, the number three signifies the spiritual self having a human experience. In a suitable fashion, on day three my spirit meets my ego. First, we nourish with breakfast. We soften with yoga and mediation. When the suns work is nearly half over, we journey elsewhere. We arrive at the Integraton, erected in 1959, a otherworldly structure built with the intention of anti-aging, antigravity and time travel. It’s acoustics, a perfect harmony, a meeting of precise mathematics and spirituality. We enter the building, empty other than our own company. Nan, our guide, slinks in without even a subtle energy disturbance. We settle in, lying on our backs as Nan begins her mantras. Disconnect she encourages, be lost amongst space and time. You are safe here. She begins. The power of the crystal bowls as she plays vibrate my entire being, there is no beginning and no end. The journey is out of body and I lose my relation to sense of self. I am me, I am each woman beside me, I am every being in one. Before we leave the space, we gather hand in hand releasing rolling Om’s for an unspoken amount of time. I am essentially floating.
The night is sealed with a drum circle. My soul is on fire, my mind wild and free. When we retire, I tuck myself in bed and lay on my back. One hand resting on my heart, the other on my stomach. My breath is calm and deep. I picture the surrounding hills as Native American chiefs laying with me. Here we release ourselves to the stars in unison. Welcomed in the cleansing of the rain, emptied by the gust of the winds, rebirth from the burn of our inner flame and finally grounded by the support of Mother Earth. Shanti.