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Two years ago today, little miss Chiric Sanango and I found each other in Peru. I honor that day when fate did its magical thing. This furry being has brought so much love and joy into my life. I never knew that this special connection could grow, evolve and continue to offer me endless lessons. While reflecting on that day, I remembered something else that had happened that I’ve never really shared…
Earlier that same day, I experienced an “awakening” or entered an awakened state of consciousness. I don’t write much about these experiences as I am still hesitant to share with such vulnerability, even though it's becoming more common for people to talk about them. And I have a perfectionist in me that wants to thoroughly investigate all possibilities and to “get it right” when sharing so as to not be in conflict with someone else’s explanation of what they think may have happened. But it was my experience, and so I am sharing a piece of it as I know it now, in hopes that we as humanity can talk more about these types of experiences, and learn and grow together in them, celebrate and honor the uniqueness of how awakening unfolds for each and every person. I value the individual and collective awakening experiences, that are bringing us into the next level of life on this planet.
I’d been in other moments of awakening before, mostly meditating in temples in India or in plant medicine ceremonies in Peru or in earlier years, backpacking in the wilderness. In those moments (which often lasted for hours), I didn’t have the language or a map to explain what was happening. I never had a teacher or a guru who had taught me techniques or given me transmissions to access these states of consciousness. I never even had had a conversation or a lecture on the topic of awakening. So when they first started to occur, I didn’t have a context in which to place them. The closest had been Eckart Tolle’s “Power of Now” which I didn’t really understand until I re-read it after I had my first substantial life-changing awakening in 2010. This particular time, 2 years ago, I knew it was happening (helped by the fact that I’d been receiving some basic Buddhist-based meditation teachings and transmissions in the 6 months prior). The small “me” dissolved - both my thoughts and my body disappeared, and all that existed was existence itself. The dream of reality became surreal, the sound vibrations of the jungle floated in and out, time stopped and I was one with everything. I sat in my backyard, waiting for nothing to happen. And it did. It was divinely perfect. Peace, stillness and spaciousness were all that existed.
I had just hiked down the mountain outside Tarapoto, Peru from spending 2 weeks in a traditional plant diet, with a plant named Chiric Sanango. In Amazonian healing traditions, plant diets are a time of drinking a tea brewed of various parts of a plant (or multiple plants), eating simply, and living in the jungle in isolation to heal, learn and grow with the plant and its wisdom. On the hike down, I was reflecting on my experience, letting the lessons from the plant seep in deeper. Chiric Sanango was very much strongly present with me in my consciousness and energy field. What streamed in on the hike down were what I recognized as embodied qualities of the goddess Kali - destroyer of evil, slayer of demons, liberator from maya, and divine protector, among others. I felt her fury and power, a grounded sense of “no more” and an unbending stand for the ultimate truth. I arrived back to my house, and felt the shift continue into another state of consciousness over the next hour or so. I’d also experienced this state in the 2 week diet, but it had either been with the teaching assistance of ayahuasca or was more brief. One particular solo session with ayahuasca had brought me into an awakened state through the appearance of Shiva - pure consciousness, also destroyer, and protector among other revered qualities. My experiences on my Indian pilgrimage from earlier that year were integrating and informing my experiences in the jungle!
As I sat outside in the yard, I realized my mind and its normal density of thoughts were not present, but instead a deep sense of knowing and non-doing anchored in. It was in this non- time/space, that I heard what sounded like puppies crying softly in the distance. I had the thought "soon they will be crawling through the yard." After what seemed like both an eternity and no time at all, I found my way through the house and down the street to the market, to discover that the presence of this stillness didn’t go away as I moved in the world. I and it were one. In fact, I was one with everything I encountered, including the mango I bought, the coconut water I drank and the neighbor who asked where I’d been the last 2 weeks. This wasn’t the first experience of this way of being, but it was the first time I was aware I’d entered another state of consciousness without “doing” anything to get “there” and a context for what “there" actually was. This state lasted for about 6 hours. Before bed, I sat down to meditate, only to remember that my meditation was already happening. I eventually drifted off to sleep, slipping out of the awakened state sometime along the way.
A few hours later, I awoke (this time from sleep) to the sounds of a puppy crying outside my window. I remembered the distant puppy cries I’d heard earlier in the day, and almost fell back to sleep. However, this time the cries were much louder than before, even with ear plugs. I felt something had happened, and decided to go out to see what I could find. I took a flash light and went towards the sound of the cries. We had a deep drainage ditch in the yard along the back fence. With the light, I discovered a tiny black puppy with white and black spots in the ditch lost, disoriented and crying. I went back to grab my shoes and a chair to put down in the ditch, so I could climb down. As I approached the puppy, I was struck at its vulnerability as a tiny, helpless being, while my heart was breaking open and my mind went to worry of “What do I do?” I carefully picked up the delicate being, who was barely bigger than the size of my hand. Both of us were shaking. I held her close to my chest, feeling her warm fuzzy body on my skin as I walked down the ditch shining the light around looking for the mother. On the other side of the ditch, I found her - a black dog suspiciously looking down at me from a higher elevation. I held the puppy up to her nose. She smelled the puppy, and then turned away and walked a few steps back. I was horrified and my heart sank. I had no idea about animal behavior and didn’t know if this was normal or if I had done something wrong by holding the puppy. I found a ledge in the side of the ditch close to where the mother had been and put the puppy there, thinking maybe she would come get her when I wasn’t holding her. The mother turned and walked further away and disappeared into the dark. I was not prepared in any way to follow a stray dog around in the dark hoping she’d take the puppy in her mouth to a safe place or wait and watch until she returned. The puppy continued crying and I knew I had to bring it inside or it probably wouldn’t survive the night alone out there in the ditch. I scooped it back up in my arms, and went inside the house to face the reality of a baby puppy crying for mama’s milk now in my care… <3
Protectress of Mother Earth, Energy Healing, Plant Medicine Integration, Coach, Writer