By Nicole Doherty
Peru is stunning – majestic mountains, rural agricultural communities, the rich Amazonian rivers, jungles and mystical shamanic tourism. There are many beautiful ruins to visit, hikes to embark on, jungles to explore, animals to see and healers willing to show us the truth about who we really are. Having just returned from my second trip to Peru in the last three years, I’m always so grateful for its profound teachings in connecting me to God and Gaian Consciousness.
Peru is a powerful energetic vortex. The ancient wisdom of the indigenous tribes of the Andes and the Amazon remind us of the importance of connecting to Mother Earth and all of life. I was on a bus going through the Sacred Valley when a passenger asked the driver, “What is the religion of the people here?” and he replied, “We practice what the Incans believed, we pray to the earth, the sun, the stars, the animals, the plants – all living creatures.”
In traveling and working in Peru, I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing Shamans both male and female who have showed me the power of working with the plants of the Amazon for my own personal healing and with others. There is a vast wealth of information deeply rooted in the Shamanic culture about the nature of the Earth, its ability to heal, and our role as children of this planet. I’ve worked with many types of plants learning their vibrations, their songs and their teachings.
This last visit I spent one week dieting a master healing plant that provides protection and strength for people who do energetic healing work like myself. I had a very limited diet of rice and beans and was not allowed to talk to anyone or see anyone. I could use no technology. I was confined to a small hut, tambo, with only permission to take walks through the jungle, shower, swim, read for a few hours, sing and do art. The shamans could visit me if I needed help, but the point was to be in silence and connect with the Earth. The shamans said after a few days, I might get vivid dreams and begin to feel the power of the plants and receive messages from their spirits. For years, as a Yogi, I’ve talked to people who’ve practiced 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreats and talked about its profundity, so I was looking forward to a similar experience. I got so much more than I ever could have imagined. I was able to tap into the wisdom teachings of the Yoga Sutras and watch the mind in great detail.
The first few days, I battled my fears. The reptilian brain’s survival response was on high alert with all the jungle noises – will a jaguar come into my tambo and attack me or will snakes bite me or a spider sting me? I witnessed the high level of stress that I operate under daily. I became uncomfortable doing nothing because I’m so used to the external nature of my work and the packed schedule I keep. I saw how my mind loves routine and creates unconscious habits. I found myself creating schedules each day that mimicked the day before. In the Sutras, we call habits samskaras, and we try to break them, so I tried to do things differently each day once I noticed what I was doing. I began to listen in and act more instinctually to what I needed. I saw too how I’d fallen victim to circumstances in my life that were driving choices I made that didn’t necessarily feed my soul’s purpose or dharma. I saw deep, old patterns and obstacles,vikalpas that were blocking my deepest intentions, sankalpas, for what I want to create in my life. I was able to feel some emotions that were hidden underneath it all that I was able to dance with and move through the system.
It took me about four full days to rid myself of unwanted behaviors and override the lower mind and move more into the higher mind, buddhi. On day four I dropped in. I began practicing yoga longer, meditating for longer periods of time and found myself just swinging in a hammock gazing at the trees. I was able to listen to the trees and the sounds of the jungle. It became absolutely magical. My fear based dreams and subconscious projections were replaced with vivid dreams of loved ones, plant life, and healers. I was waking up singing devotional chants and songs. I started to feel the vibration of the Earth beneath my feet and my body began tingling with the waves of a juicy, beautiful Savasana throughout the entire day.
The challenges I was facing in the first four days dissipated. I was filling up with an incredible amount of strength and Shakti. I was awakening to my Divine Nature, Prakrati and seeing my Soul, Purusha with great awareness. I became romantic with all that surrounded me. A hummingbird stopped mid flight and shared a few transmissions about joy with me eye to eye. A butterfly landed next to me and we intuitively spoke of transformation. It was incredible what I was feeling come through in the silence of my mind. It was as if someone plugged me into Mother Gaia.
For the next three days, I felt supercharged like I would imagine Neo felt like when he plugged into the Matrix. I was singing non-stop. My memory improved. I was able to learn chants and information easily. It was like all the information I was taking in was already in me and now was just flowing easily and effortlessly from me. It is what we Yogis refer to as Samadhi, Pure Bliss.
I was ignited once again with remembrance of All That Is and all that I AM. I remembered the importance of creating true space and the importance of connecting to Nature, which is what we mirror. I experienced my own vibration and felt the power of my love, my light and my joy. I wrote my dharmic code and saw the vision of my life’s work. I saw the deep traumas of my life as expansive, amazing gifts given to me as tools to help others embody their own strength and courage. I saw the limitless possibilities of life and the infinite nature of the Universe.
In writing this blog, I’m feeling the immense humility for the power of silence. It’s an extraordinary gift to give oneself, especially in the age of technology. There are mountains of evidence that the amount of stress we have created is causing major illness as relates to a crowded mind– heart attacks, strokes, tumors, Altzheimers, cancer, etc. In the Shamanic point of view all illness is a result of trapped emotions and projections of the mind. It’s our job to connect deeply with our unconscious, to transmute dark to light and live in present awareness. We are God Consciousness witnessing itself. We are energy in a state of expansion. We are glorious, incredible beings birthing new endless possibilities. In order to know this and live this, we must get still. We do not need to endure the suffering we are creating for ourselves.
My recommendation is to do a silent retreat if you ever can. Create space for things that nourish your body, mind and spirit. Create silence for your mind. Take technology holidays. Take weekends off every now and again. Create less external distractions and tap into your heart. Find a meditation practice, even if you start with just 5 minutes a day. The keys to the Universe are inside and all around us in the living creatures we share this planet with. Heaven is Earth. Take hikes, swim and walk the beach. Love yourself. Listen to the songs of the plants. Feel the wind on your face. Get yourself to Peru. Illuminate. Breathe in God’s Breath of Life!
Ready to pack your bags? Check out our Retreats directory for upcoming Peru retreats.
Guest writer/blogger Nicole Doherty is a certified yoga instructor and wellness coach.
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love ”Strange Brew,” an overview on the healing properties of Ayahuasca, also by Nicole.
For more information http://wellness.nicolepresents.com/bio/