To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question. Parents raising their indigo children and travelers visiting third-world countries are posing the question that just 25-odd years ago never even came up.
My parents vaccinated me and I’m normal (mostly), so I’m not mad at them. Plus, my mother points out that she herself saw crippling cases of polio as a child that just plain don’t exist now. It is possible that natural parents today are afforded the option to not vaccinate their children because all of us got our shots. While getting mad at the system, we should also be thankful that vaccinations worked so well. German measles, mumps, polio—we are blessed to not know what these diseases even entail.
As children, you and I did not get to choose if we wanted to be vaccinated. With a dripping, three-inch needle aimed at our buttocks, which of us would have decided in the affirmative?! So as an adult, I’m taking satisfaction in knowing that this time, I get to choose. And for that reason alone, darn it, I’m going to.
I checked out what these vaccines really are. In my perspective, they are comparable to homeopathic medicine in concept: “Like cures like.” A sample of the virus (live or dead) is weakened or diluted, then injected into the body so that it builds its own antibodies and immunity to the virus. In homeopathy, however, the weakening and dilution is accomplished in water, while in traditional vaccines, the weakening is done by repeatedly passing the virus through monkey tissue, chicken embryos or (cover your eyes, sensitive ones) the aborted remains of human fetuses. Traditional vaccines are then stabilized with ingredients such as formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, aluminum and thimerosal, a mercury derivative. That three-inch needle suddenly seems like the least of my concerns.
The credible and educational Travelers’ Health section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website recommends that travelers to Thailand vaccinate for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid and Japanese encephalitis. As an avid eco-traveler, doing volunteer work in rural areas with endangered Asian elephants in the jungles of this developing country, I take health warnings very seriously. I know first-hand how easy it is to be bedridden from drinking water parasites in a foreign country (oh, how I know), and it scares me to think it might be that easy to walk away with typhoid as well. At the same time, my vegan lifestyle does not savor the vaccine machine’s animal-cruelty practices, nor do I consider embalming fluid a part of a living foodist’s (or living person’s) healthy menu.
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? While there are no guarantees either way, the good news is that my destination, in this case Thailand, allows travelers to make these decisions for themselves. I have not yet been to Africa to volunteer with the wild elephants there—even though I desperately want to—because vaccination is required for a visa. And I am not ready to make that decision yet. I personally have survived though two volunteer trips to Thailand, exploring rural Brazil and numerous undeveloped South Caribbean islands and remain vaccine-free. Which is a big response-ability—one I have chosen to educate myself about and activate my behavior to reflect. I am grateful for the option of vaccine-free travel.
I refuse to spray DEET or other insecticides or insect repellents on my precious skin. Or stand next to you while you’re spraying it. People, what are you thinking? The labels have warnings, but we all should already know: DEET is a neurotoxin that “may cause” mental confusion, mood disturbances, seizures, loss of muscular control, paralysis and death by asphyxiation—which is why it’s used as a pesticide. If you are trying to eat and grow organically, then why would you spray pesticides directly on your skin? Or next to someone you love? So what does a natural girl, who doesn’t want to be bitten by mosquitoes in the great outdoors, do? Here’s my guide to keeping insects at bay without harming yourself or the Earth.
Think Like a Mosquito “If I were a mosquito, I’d feed… here.” I’d hang out where my eggs would thrive and hatch: near standing water. Mosquitoes like water—especially still water that also provides shelter. They won’t so much be at the flowing, wide river’s edge, with no grasses or trees for coverage. But watch out for the stagnant puddle, pond, sink or flower pot. Or the underside of damp vegetation—mosquitoes relish anything wet and safe for hiding.
Timing Is Everything How many mosquitoes do you fend off in the heat of day? Just a few, if any, and only when they are near the damp and shade—protected by the cool cover of grasses. Mosquitoes thrive in the cool, wet nights. So if I want to avoid being bitten by a bugger, I won’t go romping through the grass naked after dark. I’ll just go to bed under my net when the sun sets and wake up with a stretch when the sun rises. Mosquitoes are nocturnal—so be the opposite.
Know the Triggers “If I were a mosquito, I’d wait for movement or odor for signs of blood-sucking potential.” If you were to lie in the grass without moving as the sun set around you, the ants might find you before the mosquitoes smelled the carbon dioxide on your breath. But if you rustle up every vine and bush in the area, well, it’s a dead giveaway that some big, bloody creature is nearby. Every mozzie for miles is will search for a movement’s source. And a perfume’s source, too. This means you, if you are scented by chemical shampoos or soaps or ridiculous foods. Eventually I, as a mosquito, will smell your breath though, no matter how still you are and scent-free your laundry detergent. Apply no scents, remain still and hold your breath.
Common Sense Mosquitoes bite what? Your skin. They don’t bite your jacket. So, wear a jacket. They don’t bite long pants. So wear long pants. Cover your body with loose, light-colored clothing. The looseness keeps them even further away from your skin, so they have no hopes of biting through. And light colors are cooler in temperature and give the appearance of a non-warm-blooded creature to the seeking insect.
Other Tips Try taking B1 vitamins several days before you arrive in mozzie country and for the entire duration of your visit, if you wish to discourage their attention. Eat a clove of raw garlic twice a day. Consume brewer’s yeast. Both garlic and brewer’s yeast are quite unattractive to the mosquito’s pheromone detectors. And my favorite: If bananas grow in the area, eat the local bananas. Works like a charm!
If You Insist Of course, some of us will be bent on donning our favorite Speedo and tramping through the low-hanging vines at the edge of the stagnant swamp to attend the pool party set for midnight. If you must venture directly into mozzie land at mozzie time with some part of your skin exposed, you can make an all-natural insect repellent out of essential oils, clean water and a small spray bottle. I prefer mine simple:
2 oz. clean water 10 drops eucalyptus oil 10 drops lavender oil 10 drops basil oil 10 drops cedarwood oil 20 drops lemongrass oil
A water-based spritz made of these ingredients is refreshingly indulgent—I put these same oils in my baths! But because this spray is so safe for human application, it must be applied every hour. It soaks into your body, after all. So enjoy spraying your exposed ankles, neck, hair and face every hour. It’s actually quite nice.
If you want a spray that will last a little longer, and you are willing to accept that it will leave a bit of oil on your skin and possibly clothing, replace the 2 ounces of water in the recipe above with 1.5 ounces of water and ½ ounce of base oil (grapeseed, almond, jojoba, whichever is your favorite) and shake it well before spraying as needed.
Other insect-repelling essential oils that can be mixed to make your individually scented and repelling insect spray are:
tea tree oil geranium oil pennyroyal oil thyme oil peppermint oil
Take into consideration whether or not you will be using this spritz in the sunlight. If you are creating a repellent for the daytime, avoid photosensitizing oils like lavender, cedarwood and lemongrass as they could increase your sensitivity to sunlight, causing early skin darkening or even burns. Use an online resource to research your particular oil if you want to make sure. And with all essential oils, patch test one drop of each oil at different times on the soft part of your elbow’s inner crease to make sure you and that plant’s oil get along. You’ll know within the hour if there is an issue if you see any spots or bumps—or experience any irritation.
When traveling, I take a 2-ounce capped-glass spritzer bottle and five or six essential oils of my choice to make up a fresh batch of insect repellent as needed. The essential oils—along with Band-Aids, anti-inflammatories and New Skin—act as my exclusive first-aid kit. I use lavender oil to hand sanitize, diluted tea tree for deep cuts, chamomile on my temples to chill out, basil for physical pain relief, rosemary for muscular recuperation and small muscular strains, and carrot seed for facial-skin nourishment at night. This is the only kind of first-aid kit you actually look forward to using. It works for me. It will for you, too.
I shovel turds the size of cantaloupes from the elephants’ dirt floor, tossing them, two at a time, over the rails of a tractor-drawn trailer. One potato, two potato, three potato, four—the trailer drives away to some distant compost heap in heaven and returns, empty and thirsty for more sweat and backbreaking work.
I’m no pansy volunteer. I embrace the manual labor at the Elephant Nature Park. I discard my Crocks and squish squash barefoot into the slimy, knee-deep mud pit composed of dark dirt, elephant spray and water buffalo pee. I attack the task of scooping all the liquid out of the mud pit—the elephants’ playground… with a tiny bucket. I relent not a whit when I notice that no matter how far I throw that bucket of liquid, it just drains back.
So what?!? I kick ass! I’m the Queen of the Thailand Jungle! I’m here to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of Asian elephants, as an endangered species and as individuals. I will give everything I’ve got—you can’t stop me now. The heat may exhaust me, the blisters may distract me, the spiders may creep me out, but there is no poop I won’t scoop, there are no logs I won’t load, there’s absolutely nothing I won’t do for the elephants.
Except spray that can of DEET on my precious skin.
Or stand next to you while you’re spraying it.
Of all who volunteer, it should be me who is obsessive about avoiding mosquito bites. I’m not all that put off by annoying itches and bumps, but I am put off by Malaria and Japanese encephalitis, which we are recommended to immunize against before visiting areas like this, specifically in Thailand. But if you read my Vaccine-Free Traveler piece, you’ll know that I’m not the type who looks to vaccines to prevent an inauspicious disease. I am the type who looks to nature.
So what does a natural girl, who doesn’t want to be bitten by mosquitoes in the jungle while claiming the title of Queen of Poop Scooping in northern Thailand, do? I include all of my tips and formulas in my article entitled Natural Insect Repellent—Safe for You and the Earth. Check it out. Then see you in the jungle!
Here’s my final tip on how to drop tourism and really travel:
Tip 6: Give Something Back The single most important thing you can do to distinguish yourself as a traveler and not a tourist is to give something of yourself. I had been a lifestyle traveler for more than a decade before I discovered a little traveler’s secret called volunteer tourism. You can offer your time, energy and manual labor to all sorts of short- to long-term projects run by locals benefiting their wildlife, environment and communities. And please note that volunteering for a preexisting local organization is very different than bringing your (foreign) organization’s objectives and volunteering to force them on another culture. I recommend searching the Global Vision International website for wildlife, environmental and cultural volunteer opportunities in the region of the world you are planning to visit.
I have volunteered at Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park, working hands-on with an endangered species, the Asian elephant. I worked my little ass off in the fields, building fences and planting corn. I got heat exhaustion, dysentery and was bitten by every flying insect known to man. But it was all worth it to get the chance each day to bathe Medo the elephant, for whom I developed a great fondness and respect. I saw her eyes laugh as I scrubbed her pachyderm skin with a wire brush. I enjoyed watching as she dunked her whole head underwater, breathing through her trunk like a snorkel.
When I sat at the feet of the village shaman who welcomed us volunteers through a Thai calling-back-the-spirit ceremony, I knew that I could never sit in a chlorinated deep-end again and think I had actually traveled. It was as if I was the Grinch Who Stole Christmas all my life before my volunteer tourism began. I knew my Grinch heart had just grown three sizes larger and I would have to grow to accommodate its new size after I retired beneath my mosquito net in a bamboo room built by the hands of other volunteers just like me, was woken up by the infantile squeaks of an endangered baby Asian elephant—probably comically scared of a mouse scurrying by her giant feet—and then smoked a hand-rolled cigarette with the Burmese refugee turned elephant mahout, garnering him pride, pay and (at least temporary) safety from his country’s genocide.
These are the reasons we travel. These are the experiences that develop more than a good photo—they develop character. If I had children, these are the moments I would wish to provide their upbringing. Because when I respect my world this way, I return home and appreciate the diversity, the landscape, the local transportation, the fresh fruits and the rich culture of my own community all the more.
Ultimately, everywhere on this Earth and in life itself, I am but a traveler, just passing through. I will not separate myself from the world, but immerse myself in it. I am not a tourist of life, but a connoisseur—well-traveled and well-trained to drink every sweet drop of goodness it has to offer… with the ravenous, generous traveler’s open mind… leaving footprints so light that, wherever I go, they are washed away by the next tide pulling out.
Here are two more ways to help you drop tourism and really travel:
Tip 4: Seek Out Cultural Arts, Sites and Ritual The community theatre production I attended on Grand Bahama Island was just as rich in entertainment and cultural appreciation as the Ballet Folklorico performance I attended in San Salvador. You do not have to pay to participate in many cultural events, but if you have a few extra dollars, experiencing a Japanese tea ceremony or Bunraku performance while in Japan will awaken an understanding of the culture that remedies any desire to Think You Know Better.
In Kaua’i this week I donated the small amount of $10 to walk through the Kaua’i Cultural Museum and learn about the arts, tools and origins of this magnificent island before it was forced into being a US territory with no voting rights for 60 years—all before becoming an actual state.
In Thailand I taught dance at a village school. In Kyoto, I participated in the ancestry/death rituals called Obon Ceremonies.
In Ireland I reverently visited Newgrange, happened upon many ancient bee hive structures on the Dingle Peninsula and stood at holy wells in County Kells. I also bused across the island to the ancient Puck Fair, where a wild goat is caught by competing mountain men, ritually adorned and then literally crowned king for five days to reign over the festival. It is a celebration filled with Bonny Babies, busking, real gypsy wagons and oodles of drink toasts before 9 am, all continuing raucously along until the king goat is released back into the wild.
When we experience precious cultural arts, sites and rituals like this first hand, it is very difficult to imagine that our customs, belief systems and fast-food restaurants are really needed worldwide.
Tip 5: Get Out Into Nature I firmly believe that the roots of culture lie not only in its social history but also, and primarily, in its climate and geography. The Turks and Caicos Island inhabitants exhibited a laid back, easygoing nature like most tropical islanders do. Scotland, Ireland and Alaska residents all embodied a heartiness and indestructibility found in almost all hard winter climates.
The more I travel, the more I recognize the geography, the climate and the food that grows there to be the inescapable starting point to the entire culture’s disposition. But thumbing through travel leaflets, guidebooks and photo forums do not complete this circle. One must crawl through the caverns, hike the mountains, swim the rivers and hug the trees to understand it. One must bury his or her feet in the monsoon season mud or take shelter from the decimating hurricane to truly understand why the people are the way they are and why your geographical ways can’t be expected to apply.
Next week I’ll share one final and very important way to help you drop tourism and really travel.
She slid down, her bare back against the ceremic, and said “Do you know how much muscle tension a hot bath up to your neck relieves?”
I closed the door behind me and contemplated physical relief, “How much,” through the patchouli infused steam.
“You must spend 24 days in a country named Costa Rica to know – how. much. muscle tension a hot. bath. up to your neck relieves.”
My Full Activism & Travel Photo Album here.
Last week I shared the first of six ways to help you drop tourism and really travel. Here are my second and third tips:
Tip 2: Step Away From the Rental Car I’ve found hitchhiking to be completely appropriate in some countries and not so much in others (like Los Angeles—that’s a foreign country, right?). Renting a bicycle is an extraordinary way to burn off some of those extra vacation calories; so too is walking when you are in a city. When I need to cover more vast areas, however, I take public transportation.
Nothing beats the adventure of discovering the Shinkansen (bullet train) out of Tokyo, navigating London’s outstanding subway system, catching a privately owned boat to Morro de São Paulo, or hiring a local driver in Jamaica. Public transport supports the community by investing in the transportation systems that the community itself utilizes. It also keeps your individual travel carbon emissions low, and introduces you to real-life community members—like no air-conditioned, subcompact, weekly-rate rental car can.
In Kaua’i, Hawaii, just about a year and a half ago, I waited at the bus stop next to a 70-year-old Hawaiian elder who told me all about her property’s beautiful and bountiful fruit trees and the best time of day to start my Alakai Swamp hike. She walked (fine) with a cane and I carried her groceries onto the bus for her. Her eyes sparkled with the aloha spirit, something I surely would have missed—along with her very helpful and timely swamp-hiking advice—had I been whizzing by at 50 mph in a private car trying to keep my vacation time all to myself.
Tip 3: Bypass the Supermarket and Explore the Farmers Market I take care of my health while traveling the same way I would at home. That’s just one of the reasons the local farmers market is my first planned destination upon any arrival. Not only does eating the fresh, in-season fare reduce your jet lag/time-zone adjustment period, but it educates you about what the land is doing right now and puts you in the universal center of community gossip—if you can understand the local language. If you can’t understand it, there is a good chance you are the subject of the town gossip that day!
In the only true paradise I’ve ever visited, the Commonwealth of Dominica, I walked two miles to the country’s main farmers market where, again, I was the only light-skinned person (but not the only person with dreadlocks!) to be seen.
The farmers market on this tiny island—with no military whatsoever and a population of just 60,000—was more like a daily social meet-up than a legitimate consumer’s market. After all, in paradise why charge for the bananas you picked when your neighbor has six ripe banana trees herself? The locals socialized, traded fruits and filled each other’s reused liquor bottles with fresh cane juice or coconut water.
I was flabbergasted to find pile after pile of the freshest, deepest purple cacao beans I have ever seen in my raw vegan life on their tables. When I asked if I could try one and put it in my mouth raw, the woman vendor shrieked with laughter, and pointed and gathered her friends. I was suddenly the white, dreadlocked chick doing what must have appeared a freak-show stunt by eating these cacao beans raw. I discovered that, culturally, they think the cacao bean is quite disgusting unless melted down with milk and sugar into a cacao tea. No matter how hard I tried to convince them that in Hollywood, raw cacao beans go for a grand price, I was in their territory now and was just “crazy!”
These are the kinds of precious traveling moments that happen spontaneously at local farmers markets. Like the time at the Chiang Mia farmers market in Thailand when I stopped at a stand and picked up a guava as the older women started to giggle profusely. Apparently, in Thai the word for guava and white people is the same: farang. So I was a farang eating afarang. And wasn’t that just absolutely silly!?
Next week I’ll share two more ways to help you become a traveler instead of a tourist.
Ayahuasca was beautiful. That wasn’t my first time and it won’t be the last. However, after journeying ayahuasca, sleeping a mere hour and a half, drinking the water of two coconuts from the estate, spooning an entire property papaya and making love to a local aguacate, I moved on to commune with the King of the Desert (a cactus that is commonly used by Native American shaman in the United States south west) and the sacred tobacco plant (which they call jungle tobacco down here. cool.).
I and ritual are cousins from the way back. You know the cousin that not only gets why you are hiding beneath the dessert table at family gatherings, but even joins you there – to swipe a tiny handful of candies, avoid the loud group and have a more meaningful hidden one on one instead. Ritual is that cousin for me. My little blonde Midwest cousin with blue eyes like dolls the next door neighbor girl plays with – with blue eyes like mine. Deep in the eyes, even as children, recognizing discomfort in groups; the start of a lifetime questioning authority and reality.
Ritual and I go way back and I’ve certainly practiced sweat lodge ritual with my pagan family in the past. I have to be honest; a mouse freaked out once and ran up the inside of the blanketed dome and fell right on my head. The women gasped but I took it as exceptional fortune that the critter chose my nog. The mouse made it out of the steaming ceremony and so did I within the first 15 min – I wither in heat like a mason jar of alfalfa sprouts set in August afternoon Sun, anyone whom truly knows me will confirm. I embarrassingly also have a case of energetic claustrophobia.
Must. Be. Free.
I heard the frame drum, an elegant urging, beating time in the forest. By the time I arrived, the chiseled capoeistra man was attending the small earth altar, the tall man had others talking and laughing and the others seemed truly happy I’d joined. We circled and our Israeli Priest warmed up the space vocally and with casual simplicity explained that the desert is a temple and mustn’t be abused, but treated with respect. The desert is an intelligent, generous ecosystem we would connect with through consuming the peyote cactus today. From rain forest to desert in one afternoon. Beautiful intention.
Palming a small baggie, the Priest deposited a little or a lot in my cupped palms. As soon as the blue crystalline cactus touched my skin I felt it’s power and was confident I would receive this plant well. I’m fortunate to have sensitivity training as a long time raw vegan and have intentionally dieted many plants; eating one, two or three doses of each every day for three months, six months – sometimes permanently if it’s a good relationship. I’m sensitized to feel and smell extra information now, (especially from plants) and peyote felt good when I chewed – the giant crystals cracking between my front teeth into dust, mixing with saliva, beccomming wet with enzyme and life again, then so thoroughly and thoughtfully swallowed.
Wine wants to be ritualized for consumption this way, too, really.
A non-inhaled hit or five of sacred tobacco to liberate the truth spirit of the smoke by blowing it back on bug bitten skins, stomachs, arms – and into the air: we are being honest. A final smudge with sage. A kiss to the rich clay soil. A welcome, voluntary deosil entry to the the blanketed hand-built lodge.
The frame was low, so I used all my thigh strength to move around the pit, empty for now, hand shaped and smoothed inside. It was tight – I’m not gonna lie. It was knee to knee – girls opposite boys. Meanwhile, a man bowed strong back hoisting pitchfork to stir and lift from ritual fire a giant volcanic rock, glowing red with heat. Another stocky rhythmic and very physical male slapped fire stone with a branch of leaves to dust off embers. One by one, the rocks, sparkling like ignited charcoal, were deposited in the cramped dome’s central pit to the words spoken and responded with by all each time, “to all my relations”.
And when the blanket door was closed behind the final ritualist, I meditated like a guru right though that claustrophobic hyperventilation panic attack by recalling my hot yoga training: a daily lesson of mental control over physical responses like heart rate and breathing depth. Plus the majestic ability to surrender to prolonged, intense sweat. I slowed my heart rate, I chose the appropriate breath control. I created a new neuro-pathway and eliminated an unuseful panic response habit in that very moment. I could not have worked in the sweat lodge had I not learned to communicate with the automatic systems of my body through daily hot yoga.
Cobalt resin, like chalk, was traced across the rocks to bless them and move our journey through scent. Mountain water was slapped on the glowing rocks and the steam erupted, the heat spiked, the pressure built – my lungs burned. The Priest sang songs of eagles and freedom while beating that glorious frame drum. The ritualists joined in shaking rattles and seed pods. Somehow I knew the words, too, and sang with a yet undiscovered ancient tone to my song. The sound stayed inside the heated dome and vibrated through us – losing vision, gaining visions, breathing deeply, sharing the same air. Useless habits and outdated ways of being dropped away like layers of winter coats no longer needed for protection. Clothing dropped away and the muscular men silently united in a singular prostrate bow – foreheads to earth – across the burning floor from we women, stretching our legs, circling our rib cages, grounding our palms, surrendering so well.
How many sessions I do not know before we busted out as a widderchynnes circle into liberated, cool air. As a tribe we ran down the jungle hill for a leap and full submersion into a frigid mountain pool. Alive. Awake. Purged. Affected. Clearer than I’ve ever been in my life.
Sol Circle, Costa Rica Moksha Yoga, Los Angeles
I wake to the sound of my name being called from the temple. It is time to begin circle.
All in white we gather in the rain forest, in a grove of tropical trees, with a grand roof structure that lets moonlight, but not precipitation, through.
In Santo Daime traiditon, there is singing of what I call devotionals – though if they are animistic, pagan, Christian or Rastafarian, I can not denomenate. After the community mind is established we one by one approach the altar to receive a shot glass of a what chocolate soil must ferment into. Many purge. We continue simple synchronized step dancing, men on one side, women on the other – building energy by twisting/pulling our gender polarity. Song raises energy. Priest plays guitar. Priestess holds space. I’m remembering songs from some paralell reality where music is monarch, as if I’ve always known the words to these Portuguese incantations. This is ayahuasca.
There are two tents with five of the familys’ children sleeping, sometimes rousing, from within. There is a newborn in circle sitting between her chanting mother and father. There is a fire on the perimeter if we need space, fresh air or a quick transformation. There are mats, mattresses and blankets covering the floor, suggesting that one or many might at some point later in the evening, prefer to lay the fuck down.
Singing and dancing go on forever and my body soon ripples with internal earthquakes, though for me, the first glass of aya is mild, bright and enjoyable. After what might have been three hours or days, the altar bar serves a second round and this time the shot glass is a spoonful of dirt soup – a viscious scrape from the bottom; thick like mud and similarly palatable. Immediately I feel I will purge. I wish I could. Most have.
The ritual songs continue and my focus is wholly on the discomfort in my gut. A tall man bounces. A baby nurses. A young woman drums. And the rest of us are soon pulled to mats by the intensity of the medicine’s voice. I no more than touch eyelids together and rotating geometric visions of deer antlers and bird plumage replace waking vision. I could spend hours navigating the bells and whistles of vision, but as a magickian I choose to work. First, I effortlessly I project myself out of body through space and time to choice family and friends offering astral embraces, encompassing love or sending specific messages I have for them (one friend has confirmed his simultaneous vision of me). Next, I work with my ritual intentions (alignment, inspiration, receptivity and beauty) by placing the ideas into the ether and allowing each to morph and reveal it’s internal psychological process, not all of which is very pretty. Finally, the medicine slows and a relaxing and enjoyable meditation blankets me until dawn.
Dew condensates, children stir and never does the community song relent. The Priest strums, the initiates chant, the Priestess smudges the perimeter again. We rise with half energy – one eye open to the mountain side, one still scrying the other side, and we sing together again. Ayahuasca has whispered, shaken and touched us all. Lifetimes more potent than any chemical I’ve experienced and a million times more gentle. Without pain I great the new day. Tired and changed.
Sol Circle, Costa Rica