Sunday, August 06, 2006

I Return From The Jungle

Allow me to introduce Martín. This little Marmoset adopted the very small camp of Onanyan Shobo (literal translation means Shaman’s House) where my friend and I stayed for 10 days. He would repeatedly visit our hut to kill bugs. He peed on my backpack before we left.

We also had the occasional bat.

It was a truly profound and enlightening experience that I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to show up for. We were among the indigenous Shipibo people, who are the most generous, kind and affectionate people I have encountered in years. Not to mention gorgeous. I have said many times over the years that I needed to get away to a place where I was fed and watered and had nothing around me to contribute to the everyday stress of life. This was certainly the place.

The following list is of a few of the things we lived without for the duration – not necessarily listed in order of importance:

flushing toilets
hot showers
tiled bathrooms
air conditioning
multi-thread count sheets
fluffy pillows
bubbly water
sourdough bread
soy milk
peanut butter
facial scrub
hair product
blow dryer
stable toilet seat
dryness of any kind
bug-repellant free skin
our loved ones
machine washed clothes
chemically treated bathing water
rude people
sales calls
people wanting things
gas prices
blueberry scones
olive oil

The day started at sunrise around 6 a.m. and ended when the forest became pitch black at about 6:15 p.m. There are more stars than the eye can take in. With nothing much to do after sundown, we went to sleep around 8 p.m. The sounds of the jungle are relatively quiet during the day because most of the animals, birds and insects are nocturnal, so at night the chorus was incredible – and sounded like any movie you have ever seen with the sounds of jungle in the background.

The spiritual healing ceremonies were profound, as were some of the day-to-day experiences, but to try to explain would sound nuts to anyone who wasn’t there. Suffice it to say, we were among a culture of people who live in a world where the physical world and the spiritual world exist on the same plane and things happen that cannot be explained – which they explain with frankness as it is part of the everyday world they live in and just the way it is.

I ate piranha and swam in the Amazon River. How cool is that?

There will be more pictures forthcoming over the next few blogs. It’s good to be home, but I do feel that I left part of myself there to make a home for part of my spirit.


Blogger Catharine said...

You did without CHOCOLATE?

Oh, God... the inhumanity... I can't even bring myself to imagine.

Thank God you're back. The Hershey's with Almonds is in the mail.


06 August, 2006 14:12  
Blogger I.M. Dedd said...

You did without a stable toilet seat? Why, didn't our forefathers die for that?

Seriously, it somes too cool to be believed. Glad you had an incredible time; and glad you are back.

07 August, 2006 14:09  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

You ate a piranha? That sounds like a man-bites-dog story.

That really sounds like a great adventure you had; a very deep experience. Western civilization has taken away a lot of the richness and realness of life. It's too bad our culture can't retain more of that depth and meaning. Welcome back.

07 August, 2006 14:51  
Blogger R said...

I just want the little critter. I love him. Except for the peeing part, but I'm sure he didn't mean it personally.

08 August, 2006 08:52  
Blogger Laura said...

WOW wow wow wow, and wow. I'm green with envy but also feel more peaceful just reading about your experience. While you were communing with indigenous people and nature, I was adjusting to yet a new corporate cubicle situation (the world of on-line school counseling). Kind of light years away from what you were doing and definitely not as cool, but oh well. I live vicariously through you so keep posting.

08 August, 2006 17:11  
Blogger Seamus said...

My skin was literaly tingling reading your list of "did withouts"! What a magnificent adventure Mille. The spiritual component alone is a huge draw!

31 August, 2006 01:09  

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