It’s really hard to say when this journey started. Though taking apart a physical home, moving into suitcases and getting on a flight seems like a big shift and change (which it is), it is actually a continuous movement we’ve been making for many years – parts consciously and parts intuitively (sometimes seeming counter-consciousness). Yet this leg of the journey has a clear starting point for me – we were sitting in the plane in Israel and Andreea pulled out a surprise gift – a small bag containing three sonte-crystals. I carefully unwrapped them and spent time with each one. One of them held on to me and I to it – a red Jasper. It preferred my left hand to my right – and as I held it over my abdomen it emanated a deep and embracing warmth. It said “Absolutely, yes, passionately, you are heading in the right direction”.
We carried over with us over 100kg of our posessions – including a hefty collection of stones and crystals, Andreea’s essential oils, my photography gear, christmas tree decorations, a coffee pot and a bag of our favorite coffee. The flight was fine and the connection from Bucharest to Cluj-Napoca was smooth and easy (though it was odd sitting right next to the spinning propellor engine). We got into a large taxi with a friendly taxi driver who brought us to a super-friendly hostel. The weather has been really nice – a mixture of warm sun-shine and an occassional drizzle and always a cool quality in the air, a reminder of the coming of winter.
The first night we went into town to localize our cellular phones, buy some food for the next morning’s breakfast and find a nice pizzeria for dinner. We couldn’t find a pizzeria (which, by the next day seemed to be on every street corner) but we did find a nice restaurant where we found some nice warm cooked food which filled and supported us – including quite a few vegetarian options.
A warm bed and food are so important.
When I visited New Zealand (about 8 or 9 years ago) I had an aerial week which included bungy jumping, gliding, sky-diving and a helicopter flight onto a glacier. Bungy came first – so when I got around to sky-diving it wasn’t really too scary. The one fright I do have from the sky-diving event was from the flight up. I remember sitting on the floor of the plane, strapped to my instructor along with two other jumper/instructor couples, on what seemed like a very long flight up (though it was probably just a few minutes). I thought to myself that this plane is going to land and it’s going to do so without me in it. That troubled me.
Last Friday we left our home and we are staying with my parents until our flight next Monday. Usually when we came to visit my parents it was for a couple of nights and then we went back home – this time we aren’t. There is no going back – this time to get home we have to go forward.
We’ve been on the move for a few weeks now- first taking apart our home, then moving to my parents – and next week off to Romania (this time next week I’ll be waking up for the first time in Romania). I haven’t been able to practice for at least two weeks (except for a little Shakuhachi playing) – I wasn’t able to create practice conditions in the midst of the chaos. The past few days, now that we have settled a little bit (no longer live in a mess – though we did bring some of it with us to my parents place) – my thoughts have been slowly gravitating towards practice.
This morning I sat down for a short breathing practice. I was thankful to my body for remembering how to sit properly. All I did was a little Ujjayi breathing (I did not have access to the quality of breath I am used to in my Pranayama practices). I remembered how magical a simple breathing practice can be. Ujjayi and Pranayama breathing practices are second nature to me – and it takes just a few Ujjayi breaths for me to feel my body remembering and connecting with the experience I have assimilated around them – a kind of quantum leap of the body.
My presence in the practice was steady but definitely pre-occupied. I didn’t make any attempt to still my mind – I simply sat and watched as an endless stream of thought passed through me – going through everything from important to petty issues. It would have been foolish of me to seek quiet and settling when my life is in the eye of a storm. Watching the storm pass through me and carry me was a restorative experience – it created a sense of presence. I was happy to find that there was no pretense or denial – that there was peaceful containment. There was no sense of struggle – as if all that I am has come together to weather this storm and there wasn’t a single voice (mind, body, spirit) of malcontent – I am really leaning into it 🙂