Mountains and me.

I have always been surrounded by mountains, well, coming from a place like Chile is actually very hard to not be close to one. I always remember that amazing feeling of seeing the Andes after a day of rain in Santiago. In that monster-city that Santiago is, we had only some days a year, maybe only some hours a year, the opportunity to smell the rain in the fresh air and find a ray of light behind the trees, to only realize that the amazing Cordillera was there, in her splendor, shining, huge, like witnessing all our movements from the heights. It was just perfect! Words are not enough when comes to nature.

Here, in Chamonix, I REALLY am surrounded by mountains. They are a little bit different from the Andes though: they are closer and are, at the same time, smaller (objectively) but bigger (from where I am standing perspective), the Alps are sharp mountains, the Andes are more soft. I find the Alps very masculine, the Andes are more feminine (this is a VERY personal thing I guess). There might be many other differences and I am sure that a lot of people around me might know more about this subject but, there is something that doesn’t change and is this feeling that I get when I´m staring at the mountains: I simply become quite. Their beauty, majesty and every-day-changing presence touches my heart deeply and I just love it. I feel extremely grateful for this.

I still don´t get the urge to go up the mountains to explore and conquer them. Maybe in the future, who knows.

Meanwhile I will continue enjoying seeing the majesty of nature, enjoying the quietness of my astonished heart.

All of this is because I wanted to say that I feel that I, in my heart, understand what Kōdo Sawaki, zen master (Taisen Deshimaru´s master), is talking about:

Look! Nature is sublime. I understand the problems people have, yet I have never met somebody worthy of my admiration or submission. But the Takagamine Mountain is always looking down on me saying: Kōdo, Kōdo…

Those are beautiful last words, don´t you think?

Not conquering the mountain. We took a lift to this place. Photo by the amazing Daniel Rönnback.
Not conquering the mountain. We took a lift to this place. Photo by the amazing Daniel Rönnback.
Advertisements

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but Nobody wants to die.

Notre Dame.
Light and Darkness.

In this moment, the concept of darkness is inside my life more than ever before. Even though I´m not able to describe it perfectly, inside of me, darkness it´s related with fear and death (fear of death? Patañjali already talked about this).

I never thought much about death as during the last months. I guess seeing my boyfriend suffering for the death of his closest friends in the mountains putted me in a place I never visited before; a place where death is, literally, constantly, around the corner.

What is Death?

It´s funny, as this amazing song says: Everybody wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die!

Sometimes I feel that we are here to learn how to die. To learn how to let go everything and go deeper into the biggest unknown. Into the real unknown.

I genuinely love life. I never felt how attached I am to life until a few months ago… I loooooove to be able to stand up every morning and go out and share my life with people I love and admire, between these amazing mountains in a place full of inspiration and challenges. I love to breathe and practice every day, I love to call my mom, to see my father, brothers and sister.

But I guess I´m starting to understand that nothing has real value if we don´t understand it´s counterpart that is there creating, what we called, balance.

Samsara: The continuous flow.
Samsara: The continuous flow.

They say the wheel of life takes you in and out, up and down until you’re able to see the movement from outside; until that movement doesn´t touch you anymore.

The Mayas saw life like a spiral where everything comes back over and over, and you are able to realize that you are in a similar place, but now, the situation is a little bit more profound and your understanding of it, deeper.

I guess I was quite happy in my spiral, enjoying everything, feeling happy and bless. I don’t know how I created these significant changes in my life, but I guess that when reality expanded itself in less than the time it takes to blink an eye, these questions started to appear and I discovered that the blink was not the essential part; the essential part is the eye behind it.

Does life have a meaning by itself? It seems that we are filling our lives with meanings that make sense to us. In this moment, for me, death makes life valuable. Death is giving a complete new meaning to my life.

I´m not sure if there´s actually a battle out there between Light and Darkness. I´m not even able to clearly defined Light or Darkness. But this is true: every time that the life/death abyss opens in front of me, naturally, I calm myself down and move into my heart. Even though I´m totally alone there, is the warmest place on earth because, trough my breathing, I can connect with the Light, with the divinity inside of me.

It´s good to know that far away in the past, there already was a battle between Darkness and Light. Half of the world knows who won that battle and they spent the last five days celebrating it. In my heart, I was celebrating with them.

Happy Diwali!

Lakshmi, prosperity, value and recognition
Lakshmi, prosperity, value and recognition

EXTRA: Did you know that Obama made an official Happy Diwali greeting during the week? Quoting the Upanishads, he does a little class about what Diwali is and, somehow it´s at least optimistic –and super symbolic– to see a man that has so much power over most of the tremendous situations that the world is living these days, talking about the triumph of good over evil. Does he believes that?

The Fool.

I feel like I´m new in everything nowadays: A beginner in life or something like that. It´s a pretty honest feeling and sometimes it´s like: “THIS IS AWESOME!!!” but sometimes it´s like “But, come on Ale, I thought you learnt something from the past!!!”

The other day we went to Vågakallen.

It is the biggest mountain around Henningsvaer and after a long walk; you can climb to the summit.

The route we did it wasn´t a difficult climb at all, perfect for me: a super beginner.

When I go with Andreas somewhere in the mountains I always feel like a child, learning from someone who knows A LOT about what he´s talking about.

At the same time, pressure and fear, make my learning process a little slower than I´m used to so I deal with a completely new picture of myself.

Nevertheless, that day we went out and I was thinking all the time: Don´t take this personal, trust yourself, do your best, enjoy.  Like a mantra. Once and again. Breathing consciously (as pranayama taught me), walking as fast as I could and following Andreas´ advices.

Until we came to this place:

Img_1001

Probably between those rocks there is around 1, 1 ½ meters distance. It´s not that much if you think about it.  Andreas went there and jumped like nothing. Without thinking, just like if jumping over 40 or more meters high it´s a normal thing.

And I was like:

No way.

I can´t.

What happens if I fall?

I´m definitely not going to do this.

Andreas was there, waiting for me on the other side, while I was dealing with myself divided between the fear of jumping, the fear of falling and the fear of being trapped for hours on that rock.

Andreas was VERY nice.

He was there trying to communicate me that it wasn´t that dangerous and that I needed to trust my feet and legs.

In my mind, all the time: No way, I can´t.

Andreas took some precautions while I was there thinking and thinking, saying: Ale, you can do this… One, two… NO I CAN´T!

We were there around 15 minutes, (Andreas says it was between 30 minutes and one hour but, for me time flew faster than ever!!!) Anyway, dealing with yourself and your fears it´s not that easy and, in other conditions, definitely, takes more than 30 minutes.

Until I jumped.

And –since I´m writing this- I survived.

That experience was, by far, one of the most important moments in my life: Taking the chance of doing something even though your mind it´s telling you that there is no way you can do it.

Sometimes in yoga it´s like that.  At the beginning it can be the opposite: your mind saying “Of course I can do that, it seems simple”, but then your body don´t answer. After a few years of practice, when you have to do something new, your mind is more like: No way… Until your body achieves it (and your mind, suddenly, silent.)

On the other side of the jump there was Andreas and I realized why I love him so much.  Also I realized how good he is in what he does. And how much I trust him.

I did the jump, yes, but he was there for me.

My brother made me realize how familiar this experience was with the “first” tarot card: The Fool.

In the regular representation of this card we can see a man standing at the edge of something that looks like a mountain with, probably, an abyss in front of him. But he doesn´t seems to be bothered by that.  Innocent and trusting in the universe, in his dog, in his feet or whatever you want, it seems that he will continue walking no matter what.

Actually, the fool is one of the “unnumbered” cards of the deck.

The fool represents the beginning of an important journey.

Maybe feeling like a beginner it´s not that bad after all. Its the fool a fool after all?

Rws_tarot_00_fool1
Tumblr_lrr2czvqv51qauxo9o1_500

Transform yourself and eliminate the bullshit :)

8d91a09a9d468e9fabb98a9d201985

Finding yoga was, for me, the beginning of a transformation that continues until today. Even though I was pretty young, since the first moment I knew I found something significant. At the same time, I knew it needed time, practice and patience to grow up. But the seed was already in my heart.

In a slow rhythm, my practice was something that had this “in crescendo” process. Every day was longer, deeper or more intense.

I don´t know when it happened that the practice started to be a moment of deep connection with myself. I mean it´s not the same type of connection you get during a yoga class or after savasana… It´s something that goes beyond that and that now, after 11 years of practice I can see like a continuous “observing myself transforming” mode.

Observing myself made me feel bad sensations sometimes: I´m not a super self confident kind of person, I have a lot of problems finding the limit between “following the flow” and “going for it” type of attitude, I sometimes just don´t know what I want.

In the other hand, in that observation I, somehow, learnt how to accept myself without many judgments, being aware of my reactions and changes, knowing that them were there teaching me much more about myself than any verbal explanation.

The other day I saw a movie called Riding giants. The movie it´s about big/giant waves surfer and the evolution of the sport since mid ’50s until now.

The movie is about a passion that goes beyond words, a passion for doing something that not just makes you happy but gives meaning to the fact of being alive (or dead).

It´s not rational at all. It´s something that it´s there in your guts or not.

Sometimes something happens in life: Maybe you had an accident, lost your job or someone you loved. Maybe you found a new practice or routine that makes you feel better. Sometimes there´s a breaking point that makes your life upside down and it´s not easy to discover that this is an opportunity to transform yourself. Sometimes its something dramatic, sometimes it comes in waves.

In the movie, Mark Renneker (who is a surfer and a doctor working with cancer patients), said something that touched my heart.

He said: “One of the things I love a about my work as a physician (…) is to see what often takes place which is transformation, they just begin to sort of eliminate the bullshit and they begin to actually live, almost for the first time. Those kinds of life changing events can come from illness, they can come from revelation, they can come for me, in a way, from big wave surfing.”

Eliminating the bullshit is the only way we have to make ourselves lighter. And I think it´s easy to realize that it´s full of bullshit everywhere but most of it, it´s in our heads. Distrust, taboos, the fear of change, our own mental square structures and all the things that are there, stopping us from doing what we want to do.

We can do it in the way we want, Dr. Rekenner found surf, I found yoga but I´m finding new things every day: The sunlight trough my window or the smile of a kid, the moving tail of a dog, the sound of my favorite song or being able to touch the skin of the people I love… I use all of those things as everyday reminders.

You have to have something inside if you want to start to empty yourself. And yes, even though we think there´s nothing, there is always something. No-thing it is Some-thing.

I don´t know what´s the meaning of life. I don´t even know if it has any sense being standing on two legs in this planet moving in the corner of the galaxy but there´s one thing that feels real for me and that it´s this voice in my head telling me: Don´t be afraid, remove the bullshit, make the package lighter and try to find the answers for the questions that you have in your heart.

All the rest will come.