The Alchemy of Listening

 Sunrise on Gili Meno, Lombok

Sunrise on Gili Meno, Lombok

I am nearing the apex of my time abroad, three months, which has gracefully had me land in Ubud, Bali; a total homecoming from India's epic kiln of transformation. Two years ago during this week, I was in Bali! It has been a profound mirror of the growth I have made internally and in this walk of life I am projecting my efforts into. I have visited similar sites and many new sacred grounds, which have provided deep reflection for me; soon I will share a particular conversation I had with the ocean as a means of prayer (PachaMama). Today is my last day in Bali and tomorrow I embark into new territory of Vietnam to meet a boulder sushi chef I have befriended over the past five years, Thang & we shall celebrate Vietnamese New Year! Then I will motorbike up the coast with my wizard brother Kiefer! 

 I had a very strong intention to begin this trip: 

to study. To learn. To grow, to evolve myself as a yogi.  

 Water element magnetizing me  

Water element magnetizing me  

These three months of study with Eddie Modestini have come to an end, cultivating a widened lens of what exists in myself and in the world. I am letting the residue of intense study settle into its place in my practice, which I continue to keep while traveling. It consists of a few postures, depending on what my body needs and when I can find a chair to use support. Sitting meditation with chanting of prayers and Yoga Sutras always vibrates me into stillness. Nevertheless, I have recognized a certain level of guilt in my stillness and in my movement being carried by my heart and shoulders. (Oh, how I love to carry the world; sweet boy, rest your hands and arms) . I have looked into myself & in observation as to why I experience unease when someone says to me, "I'm jealous of your experience." I've heard this a lot in my life, which I can express a humble bow of •thank you• for recognizing me- but hey... anything and everything is available to you, you create the magic in your life.

I have - with the help of my tribe. Let's get into this guilt experience and navigate it, see what pierces through....I have felt guilt and wasteful in my past, I have seen shame in my own self realizations from which yoga has brought to the forefront of my awareness. I feel guilt for running away from Boulder. I can tell you a million reasons why I'm traveling for the next four months that produce positive qualities and experiences in my being of transformation. Deep down• I fear growing up. I have seen my fear for over one year that I need to get surgery (and we have April 18th scheduled, baby, and I'm so excited for you to heal) and..... I fear getting a job. I have everything I fear lined up when I get back to Boulder in April and I will face myself with love and compassion. Thankfully lots of my brothers are business owners and I'm stoked to work for my homie Matt Lackey at his new restaurant. 

 Motorbike through rice fields of Western Bali

Motorbike through rice fields of Western Bali

 

Gili Air Island

Too much grace for words.... alas, I have been told to share my experience instead of not. Especially when I asked (with a sarcastic abrasive tone).... "Should I just become an ascetic and go into the hills?"  

I have asked Mother Earth if I may step into her womb of water before walking forward.  

With humility, recalling my inferior size to the power of Prakriti (Nature, Earth, Ocean, Wind, Elements, creative power) that has been produced in my psyche from my past involvement with Psilocybin. (High schools experiencing experiment to find out how to LIVE and be Alive).

In the face of an impending storm passing over the ocean, one cannot help but feel.... small- and connected to the inner landscape of thought that pours in and pierces the soul. This is what happens when we connect with nature. We get clear.  

 

 Holy Water of Tampaksiring

Holy Water of Tampaksiring

Step by step, he walks a football fields distance or more into her membranous waters, where the waves brush no higher than his lower thighs. Hands at side grazing the waters which concoct thought to keep moving, never allowing stagnancy to be present in the face of water's ever moving wisdom. Water waves vibrate pass his body in a focused commotion. Skies stirred with a dark palate of grey, black, white, and holes of deep dark blue, paving the runway of presence to unfold before our very own eyes. 

 

My prayer begins with chants that have become apart of consciousness, invoking the Guru of deities and of myself to reveal the wisdom within. 

"I am Here, I am With You. You are No Different," I hear. 

I said, I want to be a spiritual man, and in my own judgement and minor scoff, I asked myself, what does that mean?  

I wish to be a man of many cultures, religious awareness, interconnected to the universal seam of what connects all of us as sentient and nonsentient beings. To be a man of the world, bound together by love- destined to share and rejoice in the awakening of brothers and sisters, supported and to be a supporter, listener and a talker, giver and receiver- I wish to see. I pray To awaken and help others. 

Ah, the cloud of doubt: 

"what if I'm not worthy? Who am I even? What am I to do to make money and self sustain myself? How will I raise a child one day?"

The wind hit me hard. Slapping me as I almost spiraled into playing a tormenting game of twenty-one questions. She whispered, you look outside for all your answers, go deep into yourself, into the stem of the chord of life and wait there. A Vipassana is coming. Prepare. She spoke more words that traveled to the depths of my root.  

Then I heard the sound of mantra, "I AM." Just as brahma had heard his mantra, LAM, when he discovered the answers were in the stem of his red lotus flower he so meditatively sat upon for thousands of years.

Me: "I am ready for divine love to come, I am here doing my work. I will walk forward alone until we cross paths and ———" 

A wave crashed into my belly, forcing me a few steps back, splashing me in the face •. Interrupting my thought sequence of aloneness...

 Sunset on Gili Air, Lombok

Sunset on Gili Air, Lombok

(aloneness is very important and should be cultivated in relationship with self)

"Look Around...."

 

I looked to my left and my right, water in all directions and I felt an electrical pulse rise up the arches of my feet, through my hands and brighten the pupils in my eyes, raising my antennae of awarensss. I saw all my best friends, brothers and sisters of LOVETRiBE linked in elbows surrounding me. I felt the tether of a tribes love for one - and for all of its members- boundless by time, space, age, or situation; a great affinity for the musical adventure that is friendship shine through every cell of my body. The LOVEtriBE vibe is something I will always have to bring a genuine smile of light to my face.

I blinked •  and spirits strength of all my friends flew into my chest and I was whelmed in the arms of my tribe. 

Standing alone in an ocean churned by The Wind, never have I felt so close to my friends despite being on the other side of the planet. I felt strong and happily alone in my being. Doing my work of strengthening the relationship I have with Alec Vishal Rouben. 

It was humbling to carry a conversation with myself and the water, which served as a reflection for me to gaze towards my highest self- mirror of divinity and universal truth.  

 

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 Burning man Feels while biking through the roads of a Gili Air! )'( 

Burning man Feels while biking through the roads of a Gili Air! )'( 

 

I feel great gratitude to ocean waters for their cleansing qualities - and the fierce truth that comes through. 

i have come across great synchronicity while traveling- and it is something that always shows me I'm on the right path- from something as small as paying attention to numbers that show up throughout the day. 

 

In commentary on my conversation with the call of invoking divine love ---

i have always yearned for love, for partnership. I've had two potent relationships and partners, both which transformed me as a human being and shared with the world what it is like to live from my heart. 2016 was a year for myself- to be alone and not be in relationship, that was for sure and I took it with as much grace and watched the mindful hiccups and stumblings as teachings. It seems to be- I am doing my best to •stop• looking around for the ever mysterious her. After all, I'm a sucker for love💕. I do indeed, want to enjoy this time of being young, single, free, and happy- be open to all that is here and all that is coming my way. Manifesting great synchronistic connection on my travels - and while home - for when I travel deep into my body during surgery healing process. It is a gift to have a daily displined practice, to be able to nourish myself with good food, a massage here and there(love this about Asia!) and each moment more I spend developing my connection to myself- just in its potency, the many She's of my life are doing the same. 

We hear it all the time, before we truly love someone else, we must spend time loving ourselves and getting to know ourselves. I do believe I am doing work on myself while traveling; continuing to seek situations that are out of my comfort zone. 

 

"Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things • Air, Sleep, Dreams, The Sea, The Sky- all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of It." - Cesare Pavese 

 

 

This quote truly sits with me. If you've traveled and you read this a few times, let the experience of No Control of This Situation run into your body (which I'm sure you've felt before If you've crossed over the pond) and these are the things that provide great solace. All things leading towards spirit nature.   

Traveling gets you closer to knowing yourself - watching patterns, tendencies, and growing appreciation for what we have in the world, for what we have within ourselves, which nobody can take away. Although I've felt like I'm running away from something in Boulder- indeed, I was running away from my own fear in myself. Acknowledging this has allowed me to view myself from a different lens, and provides a procession of action to take place. 

 

 And then..... in the glimpse of the sunshine, the most playful part of Alec sprouted out of the Muck of Challengeing thought and said,

 

"YOU be playful, be soft, have fun, LOVE LIFE. You are beautiful and too hard on yourself. Go on, do the thing, be the man, be the boy. You got it" 

 

thoughts concluded. 

Off off to explore my last hours in Bali - peace peace peace for now and off to Vietnam!  

 

 

 

 

 Passport and Fine Whiskey in the airports. A present time favorite :)  (Kentucky homegrown yogi, baby!)  

Passport and Fine Whiskey in the airports. A present time favorite :)  (Kentucky homegrown yogi, baby!)