Thoughts of the world raged, speeding by dangerously like the frenetic cars and trucks on their long journey along interstate 10. Most seemed to be heading to a home far away, Texas, New York, after an extended holiday vacation. I was on a pilgrimage to one of my spiritual homes: Essence of Tranquility, a hot springs lodge in the shadow of the mighty Mount Graham, sometimes called Dzil Nchaa Si An by the Apache of this land [for more on this sacred mountain, be sure to read my book due out later this year].
Arriving, my mind was like a deadly missile shot down and plummeting, robbed of all destructive power, landing on the scratchy grass next to the small luke-warm pond at the center of the resort. Deflated, I sought to rebuild – to reawaken my soul, and recreate myself once again at this place that transcends the modern world. Utilizing a ritual method I’d learned from spiritual teacher Malidoma Some, I laid face-down on the earth and allowed the trapped energy to slowly leak into the soil, mirroring the steaming fountain that fed the nearby pool. My mind began to dial in a familiar frequency – healing, calm and content, but too subtle and complex to possibly describe. In time, the psychic memory grew stronger: the rainbow octave of my body’s chakras ascended, reaching to the sky where once I’d looked up in awe as the owner’s mother Doris had described her voyages upon starships and offered us guidance from her star-being allies. You just don’t get memories like that from the Marriot.
Clarity, context, acceptance were the gifts slowly flowing over me as I took one soak after another in the esoteric tubs – the Atlantis, the Daoist, the “love tub” since redecorated with sculptures of stringed instruments and drums, music notes, quaint but without conceit. I felt as if my chakras were reorganized, harmonized, strengthened. And everywhere, a circling tribe of exquisite cats held space, greeting me with a far-off gaze and knowing countenance. These divine felines help me to remember who I am.
As the noise of the world abates and the human constructs devolve into their constituent elements, I feel like I’m meeting myself again after an eon. My sense of self is so faint that during a meditation in the tub, I imagine I have a completely different body. It startles me back to the realization of my earthly identity – what I have cultivated, what I have garnered through efforts to be honest and diligent. For a moment I see how a blue-lit new world order of technocratic, grandiose fantasies of the privileged has made me a passive consumer, of not just digital hucksterism, but of life itself. My schema is contaminated by pretty people doing perfectly crafted things, a production more than a world – and the real people are hidden behind masks made either of blue polymer or of existential dread, or sometimes the false hopes of the inflated ego.
Here I am naked, divested of both my clothes and my persona, sunken and enveloped by the eternal, dynamic truth – the confluence of Mother Earth and Water, Father Air and Fire. Like the kitties, they remind me who I am: their love child, their hope for the future, a warrior whose mission is to convince his tribe to stop killing the Earth and desacralizing the soul.