“So what do you get to ‘do’ while being in the jungle for two whole weeks?” The lady sitting next to me on the plane that was bringing me back to “civilization” asked in a sarcastic and incredulous way.
I didn’t know how or where to start answering her because as unbelievable as it may seem, I didn’t stopped “doing” at the same that I didn’t stopped “being” during my recent trip to the Peruvian Amazon rain forest, where I reconnected with my real self and brought it back with me to the world that I’ve decided to create in another more “urban” reality where millions just like me, live without even realizing such wild and pristine environment still exists.
Now that I’ve lived this experience, I’ve finally understood that I needed to go back to the “origins” in order for me to grasp the real meaning of human innocence. Yes, innocence as our true essence, where dreams are kept alive, where naïve still is something positive and where one can reconnect to the divine that lives inside and wants us to go toward those dreams and goals that are so easily ignored in the big cities that seem to be intentionally designed to reproduce our forgetfulness.
It is so easy to forget what we have come to live, but in the jungle it is so easy to remember it!
“You’re not gonna believe it,” I said to the lady in the plane, “since the day I arrived until the day I left, I always had fun things and new experiences to live, but I guess it happened to me this way because I was feeling good and positive about it, not bad and negative.”
I spent these last two weeks at a little hidden retreat where there were a few more people like me in search of healing and reconnection. Our bodies are always healing, even when we are too sick to notice, and time for healing is something we should all include as part of our routines if we truly want to expand and grow.
My days and nights revolved around my little “tambo,” the little cabin that served me as my temporary home; a hammock, a small bed covered by a mosquito net, a little table with a kerosene lamp that used to be lit every day at 6 pm, a stool to sit and write, and last but not least, a composting toilet that took me a few days to master I must admit.
When your reality is reduced to such extent and you don’t have as many distractions around you, every single detail that happens magnifies and has so much more meaning…it’s so easy to be grateful for the butterfly passing by or for the rays of sun gleaming through the tropical trees.
A 4-day cleansing diet with porridge at breakfast (once most hated now finally accepted,) steamed vegetables for lunch (one carrot, one beetroot, one potato, one cauliflower stem and one broccoli stem,) no dinner but lots of spring water and herbal teas, were part of the things I looked forward too. A 2-day silent period where I couldn’t talk or even get close to others was also an exciting way of bringing a new perspective into one’s life.
Short walks along the paths surrounded by lush vegetation while hundreds of different birds sang their symphonies of primordial love, flower baths to purify the physical body, meditation, writing time, ceremonies with sacred plants (check the article on my experience with Ayahuasca) that were introduced to me by Don Benigno, a tiny, almost blind and yet so wise shaman and Jim, the owner of the Hummingbird Center who offered me all their care and unconditional love are only a few of the daily events that prove I truly didn’t have to think about boredom and that I was able to cope with the deceleration of my usual fast-paced life.
“I am a new person thanks to the jungle,” I said to the lady in the plane who kept looking at me with eyes of disbelief. “I went to write a book and not only did I find inspiration and wisdom for it but I was also able to reconnect with the origin of self, the fountain that gives life to all things. In that sense, don’t you think such journey has been worth it?” I asked.
“I am too old for things like that, and I don’t have time for them anyway.”
“We’re never too old to bring back nature’s innocence into our lives, and there is always time for the important things we must seek for and experience before it’s too late and life decides that our time is up,” I kindly said.
Perhaps our exchange wouldn’t bring anything new to her life. But I had planted a seed in her mind. It was now her choice to ignore my gift or make it grow. That is all we messengers of change can “do,” but it is more than enough because as Gandhi used to say, all we have to do is “be” the change that we want to see in our world.
Until next time and don’t forget to be love,
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