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Mancora, Peru
Welcome! Here you can sign up for the upcoming Yoga/Surfing and Life Balancing retreat in Mancora, Peru. Just click on the Pay Pal cart below to select the Room option that you would like! Any question? You can email me directly at

Yoga Retreat Deposit and Fees

Yoga Retreat Deposits and Fees

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Amazing Temple Website

I will be posting more stories on this in the next few days, but this is the amazing place that I continue to write about, the Shipibo healing center where I work in the Peruvian Amazon...

More soon! L

Saturday, August 14, 2010

the thing that is in the way IS the way

One of the most important teachings of all that i've gotten in the jungle, and the most difficult to integrate: “The thing that is in the way IS the way.” In mediation and conflict resolution work we tell people that there are not actually “conflicts” but only “opportunities”. Time and again I have seen in my own life experience and with all of the people that I am working with, that the thing that seems to be our greatest hindrance is actually our greatest teacher, the stepping stone to our deepest transformation. This means that there is no need to reject any of our life experience, because ALL of it is perfectly placed in our paths to help us to grow. This sounds good on paper but it takes some time put to practice when the “obstacles” arise. The good news is that we will never run out of opportunities to practice.
We can struggle unnecessarily by resisting a certain “obstacle” in our lives and the things that we do not want to look at. When I do recognize myself struggling or resisting, I open myself up to the process by asking myself questions, such as “What am I not accepting here?” o “What am I not wanting to see?" I recommend strongly having someone to accompany you on this process, such as a coach, as they can help us to gain perspective and see our own “blind spots”.
Upon first attempt this may not seem easy, but when the obstacle is great, the freedom that comes from overcoming the obstacle is equally great. It is as though we have created our lives as an entire obstacle course, in order to see what we are truly made of. And what fun it is to discover! If you have ever faced something that you thought you were afraid of and felt how free you were afterwards, you know what I am talking about. For example, I recently told people that the thing that I was most terrified in the world was the free-fall sensation. Within 3 weeks some beautiful friends appeared and offered me the opportunity to go sky-diving in Arizona. The perfect opportunity to look my fear dead in the eye! The feeling of flying from 13,000 feet in the sky is thrilling on its own, but once I had jumped the realization that I had nothing left to be afraid of is utterly exhilarating. With practice going inward and facing our fears, we begin to trust the process more and more and to flow with the current of life, “obstacles” and all.
I find myself more and more surrounded by people who are choosing to look head on at the obstacles that they have been resisting for most of their lives. Since I know how empowering this has been in my own life, there is nothing that inspires me more than helping other people to go inward and reclaim their power from the things that they have felt powerless in the face of. Once we have taken this step, we open ourselves up to entirely new ways of being, and we must integrate these new ways of being into our lives. For this reason I have developed my new Integration Coaching program. I am opening up the pilot phase of this program to people who are going through (or wanting to go through) a process of transformation and integration in their lives, to begin coaching at very low, or even no cost to them. If you feel that this applies to you, or someone that you love, speak with me directly and I will give you the details of how to begin.
Until then, I am off to find the next airplane to jump out of!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Living beyond the boundaries of the rational mind

I went down to the jungle as a continuation of my quest to understand the relationship between healing ourselves as “individuals”, healing our collective wounds that we bear from generations of war, slavery, abuse, etc., and the healing of our connection to nature. We all know intuitively, and now scientists are coming with more and more “proof” that there is little if any separation between the mind/body/spirit that we perceived as separate spheres. Our thoughts are energy and have potential to heal or hurt us, plants and animals can feel the energy of our thoughts and intentions, cancers and chronic health problems have direct relationships to the energy and emotions that we store in our bodies. For many people these are not difficult ideas to swallow, conceptually. However it is an entirely different thing to have a lived experience of that which we cannot explain with our rational minds. And yet even more different to make the leap of living beyond the explanations of the rational mind your entire way of life. I had the realization a month or so after moving down to the Temple, that I had actually grown up and then realized that I was Peter Pan, living in a Never-never land where magical things can happen all of the time.
And what does magic actually mean really? Perhaps it means something different for every person, so I rely on my own definition of magic. In the magic that I am a part of here, things happen which I cannot give a rational explanation to, a healing of people’s deepest wounds and a bringing about of our deepest longing, based on our intentions and commitment to face head-on all of our fears that keep us trapped in the limiting beliefs that we cannot be loved, or whole, or abundant, or healthy. The maestras and maestros are like the most talented surgeons that guide us through the removal of the blockages that have us suffering physical, emotional or mental “dis-ease”. However it is the tremendous courage and commitment that I see from every individual to take responsibility for their own healing and truly for their own lives, that continues to humble and inspire me time and again.
As for the maestros and maestras, one aspect of their “magic” that I have been able to take the most from is that they see to tap into a deep connectedness to each one of us, which allows them to love us so deeply that they truly care about our healing. However the most interesting thing is that this love is not a personal love. While yes, they care about us as individuals and personalities, they also have the ability to invest their heart and soul in helping each one of us to heal, and then get up and walk away, and shake it off. They are masters of the art of humor and being in the present moment in ways that are very similar to children, while their awareness and perceptiveness are off the charts. Many times I have seen one of the maestras, seemingly not paying attention to a conversation about a participant’s illness, and suddenly make a comment which blows everyone’s mind and the participant asks “how did she know that? I never told them that...”
This work has given me a full blown undeniable lived experience that so much of our reality is happening beyond the ability of our so-called 5 senses to detect, and the humbling awareness the “average” human being is using such a small percentage of our real abilities to perceive and work with energy. For myself, I have become aware that I have always been aware, but have been afraid of acknowledging all that I am aware of, because I haven’t known how to understand it all. I refer to things like feeling other people’s thoughts, knowing how to balance or imbalance the energy with a person or group of people, and speaking to people on various levels without needing words. These are not particularly abilities that are unique to me, rather I believe that we all have senses and abilities that are lying dormant because we haven’t figured out how to process and work with them. This is the area that I am most passionate about in my coaching, is to help people to uncover the innate latent abilities that they have and learn how to tap into them and be their fullest expression, which is in the highest interest of all of humanity.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Learning how to follow the flow of life.

What if the purpose of life was simply to find deep meaning and enjoyment in each moment as it arises? Supposing that this were true, how would this change they way that you are living your life right now? Would you perhaps be in less of a hurry to get to wherever it is that you think that you need to be heading? Would the elements yet to be crossed off of your “to-do” list be less of a concern? Would you find yourself doing less of certain things that you believe that you “should” be doing, or that you have little interest in?
One of the greatest lessons that I am learning during my time in the Amazons, is learning to flow more gracefully within the meandering current of life. In contrast to the place where I live and work now, in the society where I was raised, I was socialized to be goal oriented and “achievement” motivated. Since childhood, I already “knew” that there were very important things that I “needed” to accomplish to be a successful adult, and needs that I would have to fill in order to be happy. We think of our life paths in terms of destination, and we seek to find the shortest possible journey to reach our destination. In fact, we are constantly searching for the fastest, most efficient ways to short-cut through life towards our goals. I’m not suggesting that having a goal is a negative thing, or that we should not have a vision of what we want to create in life. What I am learning however, is how to approach the journey towards those goals as an enjoyable adventure, which has a value in and of itself.
The shamans that I work with at the Temple are all in their sixties and seventies, profoundly spiritual beings who work tirelessly to help people to heal from serious physical, mental and emotional afflictions. They take their work very seriously, and I have never yet seen them turn anyone away, no matter how late it is, or how long they have been working. Never for a moment however, do they lose their sense of humor or joyful nature. Even in the midst of working with someone with a serious problem, they will stop to tell a joke, giggle, play a silly prank, or tease one another. There is no sense that enjoyment should cease at any point, no matter what else is going on. Whatever is happening in this moment is an experience to be lived and enjoyed. I do not mean to portray as if they are not human beings with the capacity to get angry, frustrated, annoyed, etc. But I am amazed to witness with them, similar to the way that children often are, when they experience anger, frustration, etc., they will feel it, express it, and very quickly let it go and move on. Life is lived to its fullest expression in the present moment, and that moment is constantly changing.
Watching these shamans the last seven months, I have realized so much about myself. I recognize that I have often been distracted from the enjoyment of that which I am living right now, because I am thinking about where I am “supposed” to be, what I “should” be doing, or what I “could have” done. I recognize that I have ideas of the way that things are supposed to look in my life, and that often the map that I have created is actually limiting my perspective of what is possible. Time and again I find that when I set my goals and allow life to flow in its unexpected and meandering ways, the things that happen are more marvelous and miraculous than what I had ever planned. This is awareness that I continue to have over time, but the practice of this in my daily life requires a childlike faith and a certain level of humility, a “beginners mind” that does not need to control the outcome of life by assuming that I know the best way to make things happen. It requires a tremendous amount of patience as well, another attribute that I am learning from the shamans.

Time, or the illusion of time plays a very important role in the process of learning how to follow the flow of life. So often I hear from people; “I wish I had the time for that”, or “I could never find the time to do…” or “I don’t know where all my time goes.” There is this illusory sense that our time is limited, and a sense of a pressure of time, that we must continue to work faster, harder, smarter, in order to stay ahead of this invisible time pressure. However I continue to find that the more impatience or anxiety that I have about “making” something happen, the more obstacles and “distractions” will arise to delay the manifestation of what I am pushing for. And suddenly, when I’m focused on something else entirely, “poof”, the obstacles will be removed and things begin to flow. The process of trusting the flow of life means that I can soften my sense of trying to “control” time, which is definitely an impossible task. It means softening into life in general, and I find that I am more joyful, more childlike, more intuitive and probably a lot more fun to be around. My mental to-do lists are still several imaginary pages long, but I don’t feel so much anxiety if they have not happened yet, because I know that they, just like me, are a constantly evolving work in progress.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Refining Your Balance: Yoga, Surfing and Life Balancing Retreat

Just as all things in nature are continually growing and developing in order to achieve the ultimate blossoming state, we too as humans are constantly expanding, pruning and adjusting in order to fully allow the authentic expression of who we are in this moment. To live in balance requires a moment to moment practice of awareness and integrity and a commitment to express the inner knowing that each one of us uniquely has to offer.
Right now it is a particularly essential moment to refine our ability to live in balance. Our world seems to be moving and developing at an ever more rapid pace; to find our balance within this world must be a deliberate act of focus and presence. This workshop is specifically designed to empower each participant to find their own unique expression of balance in their lives. Each one of the planned activities provides the tools of creation from which you will craft your balance.
Practicing yoga and meditation help us to find a centered and grounded state from which to make conscious choices about our lives. Surfing is a practice of finding your balance within flow, and the challenge of keeping your balance in a constantly changing environment.
This workshop will help deepen your relationship to the balance in your yoga and surfing practices, by linking the two in a mutually supportive way. Your yoga instructor will guide you through the process of finding balance and growth in your Asana practice, while surfing instructors will help you to find your balance on the board. Using these practices, finding balance in our own bodies, we will then extend this metaphor into the balancing of our own lives.
Lucine, a certified life coach will guide you through exercises that help you to reflect on the areas your life where you may not be in balance, where you may be stuck, or not realizing your full potential, in order to enable you to consciously create a balance that inspires you. She will help you to identify the practices, relationships and patterns in your life that serve you, support you and encourage your growth. This retreat promises not only relaxation and renewal, fitness and health, but also an energy of empowerment that will invigorate you and motivate you to move into new places in your life.

Balance the thrill and adrenaline rush of surfing with relaxing and expansive yoga practice. Balance physical exercise and outdoor adventure with delicious meals and a pampering in the luxurious retreat center, on a beautiful sandy beach of the Pacific. In the loving hands of a highly experienced yoga instructor and certified life coach and several knowledgeable surf instructors, your practice will grow and deepen, no matter what level you are currently at.

Preliminary Workshop Schedule:

Day One:
-Afternoon/evening: Arrival and Orientation/Room assignment
8pm-Guided Meditation

Day Two:
7am: Yoga Practice
9am: Breakfast
10:30: Basic Surf Lesson for All: Beach Learning, Orienting the Body, Hopping Up, etc.
11:30: Surf Class Group 1, Beach Trip or Rest and Free time for all others
1pm: Lunch
2:00: Group Session: The Wheel of Life: Examining Your Balance
3:30: Surf Class Group 2, Beach, Rest and Free time for Others
5:30: Yoga Practice
7:00 Dinner
8:00: Rest and Relaxation

Day Three:
7am: Yoga Practice
9am: Breakfast
11:00: Surf Class Group 1, Beach Trip or Rest and Free time for all others
**Individual Life Balancing/Coaching Sessions Available Per Request
1pm: Lunch
3:30: Surf Class Group 2, Beach, Rest and Free time for Others
**Individual Life Balancing/Coaching Sessions Available Per Request
5:30: Yoga Practice
7:00 Dinner
8:30: Group Session: Practices that Restore: Examining Practices to Rebalance our Lives

Day Four
7am: Yoga Practice
9am: Breakfast
11:00: Optional Trip to Hot Springs and Mud Baths otherwise Beach time, Horseback riding or Free Time
1pm: Lunch for those who remain at center
Beach, Rest and Free time for
3:00-5:30 Partner Yoga/Thai Massage
6:00**Individual Life Balancing/Coaching Sessions Available Per Request
7:00 Dinner
8:00: Optional Group Share/Check In about Workshop Experience
Day Five:
7am: Yoga Practice
9am: Breakfast
11:00: Surf Class Group 1, Beach Trip or Rest and Free time for all others
**Individual Life Balancing/Coaching Sessions Available Per Request
1pm: Lunch
3:30: Surf Class Group 2, Beach, Rest and Free time for Others
**Individual Life Balancing/Coaching Sessions Available Per Request
5:30: Yoga Practice
7:00 Dinner
8:00: Guided Visualization: “The Circle of Excellence” Stepping into my Balanced Self
Day Six:
7am: Yoga Practice
9am: Breakfast
11:00: Surf Class Group 1, Beach Trip or Rest and Free time for all others
**Individual Life Balancing/Coaching Sessions Available Per Request
1pm: Lunch
2:00: Group Session: Letting Go of Obstacles
3:30: Surf Class Group 2, Beach, Rest and Free time for Others
**Individual Life Balancing/Coaching Sessions Available Per Request
5:30: Yoga Practice
7:00 Dinner
8:00: Fire Ceremony
Day Seven
7am: Final Yoga Practice
9am: Breakfast
10:30-12:30: Final Surfing Classes or Open Surfing for those interested/Beach and Relaxation time for others
**Individual Life Balancing/Coaching Sessions Available Per Request
1:00 Lunch
2:00-3:00 Packing
3:00-4:00: Closing Ritual, Integration Circle: Where we are going next:
Goodbyes and Photographs
4:00 Leave the Center for Transportation to Lima/other destinations

About the Instructor
Lucine Eusani is a yoga teacher trained and certified at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lennox MA, and also trained in Vinayasa Flow yoga. She has five and a half years of yoga teaching experience in the USA and internationally, in England, Peru, Denmark and Colombia. The focus of her yoga teaching centers around using the practice as a space of integration and reflection, as a metaphor help people to find stuck places in their lives and move through. She is also trained and certified as a Life Coach, a Motivational Coach , Weight Loss Coach and a Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach, as well as a Neuro-Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner from the Global NLP Training Institute. She currently works as a facilitator in a shamanic healing center in Iquitos, Peru.

About the Center
Samana Chakra’s stunning location, unique tranquil accommodations and spiritual feel, make it an ideal place for Yoga and wellness. The beachfront access to white sands and some of the best waves in South America make it a perfect destination whether an expert surfer or a beach bum! Check out the place at:

Cost of the Workshop
All costs listed here include: Luxury (shared) Accommodations 3 Gourmet Vegetarian Meals (with Fish Options)Daily, 2 Daily Yoga Sessions, One Group Life Coaching Activity Daily, Beach Front Access, Wifi Internet Access, Daily Housekeeping, etc.

Individual Coaching Sessions, Yoga Classes and Surf Lessons are separate expenses and can be arranged by contact the organizer:
Other additional services or activities can be arranged on location such as: massage, Kite surfing lessons, Spanish classes, fishing trips, or horseback riding, for additional fees.

Costs will vary slightly depending on sharing accommodation.
SPECIAL EARLY SIGN-UP DISCOUNT ON ALL RATES: Sign up and pay 50% DEPOSIT in the month of August and RECEIVE $500 OFF any of the rates!!
To receive this discount you must sign up and pay 50% deposit in the month of August.
Double Shared

Double Villa with Garden View $ 1,779, USD price per person **$1,279 for all of August
(Available for up to 6 people)

Double Villa on Ocean front $ 2,079.00 USD ** $1,579 in August
(Available for up to 12 people)

Private Ocean-Front Villas
*With King size bed for couples $3,550.00/couple **$3,050.00/couple in August
(4 private villas available)

To make your deposit over Paypal, and click on the Paypal link at the top right of this blog

Or contact Lucine directly at

By telephone: US: 1 310 439 3119 or Peru:+51 65 965 852 458

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Taking the time to LISTEN

I've received comments from may people about the fact that I have been out of touch with the cyber world for far too long now. I live in the Amazon jungle, surrounded by amazing shamanic teachers and healers of the Shipibo community who have given me so many tremendous life lessons on how to heal and reconnect to our true selves. Every day offers me a new opportunity to learn from these amazing beings, from the plants and animals of the jungle, and from myself.
Working as a life coach, a mediator, and a facilitator of healing workshops, I had always thought of myself as a "good listener". However this time that I am spending in the jungle, living removed from the input (and often distractions) of the modern world and all of its chaos,has been a whole new level, a doctorate course in the art of listening. My job is about listening, to the stories of those who come seeking transformation, healing and growth, and to these healers, and the wisdom that they have to share from living in deep connection to the plants and the earth the likes of which many of us have never known. This lifestyle of listening has taught me infinitely on how to listen to my own guidance as well, to go inward and connect with my intuition. I still have many questions, the difference is that I used to always seek the answers outside of myself. I find that when I give myself the time and space to listen, that all sorts of insights and awareness will naturally arise. When I sit with a question, the answer always arises in the most interesting and unexpected ways. I find this to be true with most people that I meet and work with. So often we are desperately searching for the answer, for something that we are seeking in our lives and look around in the world, everywhere we can possibly find, for a solution that we already KNOW inside of ourselves. Often, I find, an answer may be so obvious that we can tend to overlook it, like the scenery that we pass by every day and fail to notice that it's there.

I have been living in this way of listening and reflecting for a while now, and I feel strongly that these lessons I am learning need to be shared with the world. There are many people who do not have the opportunity that I have been given to spend time in deep relationship to nature, surrounded by these powerful teachers who offer wisdom and profound "knowingness" in the most simple ways of their being. In this moment, when the world seems to be taking on a more and more frenetic pace every day, we find less and less time to do exactly what is most needed. Giving yourself the gift of learning how to slow down precisely when it feels that you need to speed up, can offer invaluable rewards.

I will be taking the time over these next several weeks to share in my blog some of the insights that I have come upon in the time that I am spending in the jungle with these shamans. I will also share some photos and hilarious stories of life in the jungle. I hope that these stories and insights are of use to you or someone that you know.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What the heart loves is the cure

I've been reflecting this past week on what it means to live from Freedom. I notice in my work and conversations with others how so many of us live limited lives, based on what we think is possible, and also based on our own judgments over what we think is right and wrong, better or worse ways to live. All of our choices in life; jobs, partners, the food we eat, the alcohol we ingest or do not ingest, the clothes that we wear, etc. are determined by these judgments. Ironically, often we are unaware that these judgments even exist, they are so internalized that it seem to us to be simply how things ARE. We are familiar with the idea that rules and limitations are often imposed on us through our society, religions, families, and general codes of social conduct and mores. However, the topic that interests me in my work are the judgments we create ourselves, often subconsciously, that limit our own freedom of who we allow ourselves to be.
This of not a new idea. There are many theories around why human beings create our own boxes in which to live. I perceive that we tend to create these perceptions of better/worse and right/wrong in order to delimit the playing field, to give ourselves some sense of order and guidance in order to make a semblance of order from the chaos of unlimited choices. The trick of course, is to remember that these judgments are flexible, self-imposed and that we have the ability to change our perceptions. This is a scary idea for many people; if we take away our perceptions of what is right and wrong, or better and worse, how would we make choices in the world? Would not chaos ensue?

I believe that to live from freedom involves examining critically our own ideas of what is better or worse, even to re-evaluate entirely what I think is possible and to find where there is room for expansion, deconstruction and change. New worlds of possibility emerge. And then the next question ensues: how does one choose??

Listen to the heart's longing.
Beyond the judgments of our rational brain and our abilities to understand intellectually that there is no inherent "better-ness" of one thing over the other, beyond this we have preferences and callings that are rooted from our profound sense of internal guidance. People give this sense a different name; intuition, our sixth sense, the internal guidance system, I don't worry so much about what it is called, as long as I can recognize when it speaks to me.

Of course the next question that arises is, HOW to tune into the guidance and hear our true heart's desire? There are many different processes and tools that I am exploring around how to do this. But I do believe that the first step in any process of finding our authentic expressions is to acknowledge that these exist. There ARE things that feel better to me than others, and that does not make these things inherently better than something else, but perhaps more appropriate to ME and my own life path. That acknowledgment gives me the freedom to make choices, not out of judgment but out of discernment of what feels good to me, and brings me more into my own sense of strength and balance.

Try out the following exercise the next time that you find yourself trying to make a decision about something. Without having to act on your decision, just ask yourself the following questions: What is my heart calling out for right now? What would make me feel most relaxed and at ease? When you have an answer to these questions, notice if there is any part of you that tends to judge your answer. What is the judgment? Does your answer sound selfish, or insignificant to you? Unkind, or unhealthy? What about downright impossible? Notice the ways in which your own judgments about your longings may be limiting your life.
Repeat the exercise various times, and notice if there are similar judgments that occur to you over and again. These judgments, or variations on a theme, may be tied into a particular image or (mis)perception that you have of yourself, that can be limiting your expression of who you really are.
Once we crack these self-judgments and identify the story that we have created, they cannot hold the same power over us, because we recognize them for what they are: a story. By freeing ourselves step by step from our own judgments and limitations, we have the ability to make choices that fulfill our heart's calling and live our lives more and more from a place of freedom.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Have you had enough?

Have you had enough?

I have found myself reflecting recently on the topic which I am calling the ever-expanding realm of enoughness.
In the place where I live and work, someone left a bumper sticker that says; “How would you know if you had enough: money, love, time, food, recognition, etc...?” I reflect on this question often from my viewpoint in my work here in the Amazon.

Do you know anyone who feels a lack of satisfaction in their daily lives? How about the sense of not having enough time, or money, or love in their lives? Anyone who goes to bed feeling like they haven't gotten everything done, worrying about something that they will have to take care of in the future, or with a general sense of anxiety and foreboding about what is to come? There seems to be a cultural dis-ease in the West that prevents so many of us from feeling satisfied and content with what we have, and leaves us striving to have more. We live with stress and frustration under the belief that we do not have enough, have not done enough. How does that affirmation feel to you?

I often reflect on this in my daily life as I watch people arrive to the jungle and settle in at healing center. Almost all of us who come here are from the Western world, of middle class and higher and thus are used to having material and physical comforts at hand. Suddenly, we arrive to a place where there is no running water, or electricity, where there are insects everywhere and generally living conditions are quite simple.
Initially this can be quite a shock for some people upon arrival, but I am amazed to find how quickly people settle in and adjust to this environment, albeit for a temporary period of living here. The irony of this strikes me, as they are clearly living with much less of the comforts and technologies than they have access to in their daily lives, and yet it seems to be perfectly what they need in that moment, perhaps because it is simply all that is available.

This makes me believe that our needs and expectations for “comfort” and “well-being” are a sliding scale that can expand and contract tremendously depending on what we perceive to be available to us in the moment. Of course, if we live in a society where we are told that anything and everything is possible, then how do we determine when we have enough?

It is an interesting question that I will be considering myself in the next week or so, and I invite you to consider this question yourself, and if you like, share with me some of your reflections. I'm interested in hearing your experience of having “enough”.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Realization of Happiness

A friend asked me the other day, “How do you know if you are really happy, or just afraid of being unhappy?” At first I laughed, but the question stayed with me and led to some interesting reflection.

The core values that the United States of America proposes to offer her citizens are “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. This concept came to mind as I considered my friend's question. We are in constant pursuit of happiness, or avoiding being unhappy. And often that happiness seems to hinge on something that we are pursuing; more income, recognition for our work, the love of our beloved, a well-behaved child, more free time, etc. Even while we recognize it as illogical, who among us does not have the thought that once we meet our soul mate, or buy our dream home, we will then feel fulfilled?

However, the more that happiness hinges on something else than what is present here and now, then happiness is inherently outside of you, beyond you. In other words, spoken by Reverend Michael Beckwith “the more that you pursue happiness, the more it will run away from you.” Rather than pursue happiness, he says, we must have a realization of happiness, here and now.

Sound difficult? This is completely within your capacity, if you want to try the following exercise, which you can repeat as often as you need, in order to practice bringing yourself, moment to moment into the realization of happiness. Take a moment to be still, close your eyes and go inward. Focus a moment on the sensation of your own heartbeat and the awareness of your breathing, your awareness that you are alive here and now.

Call into mind a few things that you are grateful for in your life here and now. You could start with your own body, and the fact that you are breathing effortlessly, and then expand outwards to loved ones, home, whatever it may be that you are grateful for. Notice what this sensation of gratitude feels like in your body, especially in your heart. Now try to expand that to fill your whole body. Take a few deep breaths, making a cellular memory of gratitude and happiness.

Happiness is found in moments, such as this one you just experienced. And life is lived from one moment to the next. So how can we realize happiness if we are not able to be in the present moment of our lives? Each day has the potential to hold infinite moments of unexpected pockets of joy and appreciation, and it is my goal to live inside them. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Being The Source

In my short visit to the US a few weeks ago, there were particular aspects of the culture that show up as a great contrast to the lifestyle that I live outside of the reaches of the “modern world”. One thing that struck me particularly is the amount of distractions that we are constantly bombarded with and thus become desensitized to. I was floored by this as I sat in a restaurant, keeping company with other human beings who were engrossed in looking things up on their iphones. I looked around me only to realize that everyone at the surrounding tables also had their iphones and Blackberries out on the table, and a large percentage of them were more engaged with checking their phones than the personal interactions with the live audience that they had in front of them. With this technology, we have access to the virtual world at our fingertips, and can seek the answer to most of our questions yet we we have no access to the most important answers because we have to be quiet enough to listen to our own questions.

During the last several months, I have had the experience of living removed from the stimulus of the modern world, and have found that perhaps for the first time in my life I am understanding what it is like to be present with myself and focus on what is happening in my life here and now.. I can hear my own questions, and the thoughts and emotions that arise are in my face, to be felt and processed with nothing to distract me from experiencing them. Initially this is, in a word, intense. However over time I have realized that the rewards of being present, without distractions, are mighty. I am beginning to hear the answers to the questions that I wasn't aware that I was asking. I feel more grounded than I could have ever imagined, more clear minded and certainly more comfortable with myself than ever before. I have the space to be present this way with others and the joy of engaging deeply with others brings profound levels of connection. With each conversation I find that people are hungering for this depth of connection just as I had been and marvel in the sensation of being “seen” and “heard” perhaps for the first time in a long time.. I have observed in my own experience and with many other people how the process of transformation begins with the ability to be with what is.

The contrast to this was striking in my re-immersion into American multi-tasking culture. It highlights for me the profound depth of connection that has been lost in our society, not just in our relationships with one another but also within ourselves, and our awareness of our own strength and inner guidance.
We are equipped and ready to seek answers to all of our potential questions outside of ourselves, further distancing us from our own resources. Mistrust, alienation, and loneliness, boredom, anxiety, the inability to stay focused and centered all arise from the disconnect from our own grounded alignment with our inner guidance.
Am I suggesting that Americans rise up, throw their Blackberries out the window of their SUVs and move to the Amazon? Some of them perhaps. But of course there is a middle ground in which technology supports us in our deeper connection to ourselves and to others. However in order to find that middle ground, you might have to step away from your channels of distraction and turn to the source within. Be forewarned that the next time that there is a silence, your fingers may start itching to reach for your phone, but if you can hold out off for a few moments and be with yourself, something new and exciting will arise. Try it yourself, and let me know what happens.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Coming home to ourSelves

Do you know the sensation of coming home? The way that your mind, your body, your spirit can relax, knowing that this is where you belong? Can you imagine feeling that way in every moment, with every step you take? How far do you feel from that in this moment?

On the first day of the workshops that we run at the temple where I work ( we sit in a circle and introduce ourselves and each of the participants explains what it is that brings them to the jungle, and what sort of answers they are seeking from the workshop and from ayahuasca. One of the most commonly repeated phrases that I hear from people is, “Since very early on in my life, I knew I was different”, or “I knew that I didn't fit in,” or “I knew there was more out there than what I saw in the world around me”. This leads me to reflect on the idea of “consensus reality”, and the “norm” of human nature. We are indoctrinated with the belief that things like jealousy, greed, competition and other scarcity based behaviors are simply “human nature”. None of these behaviors make us feel good, we are constantly seeking ways to “fix” or heal these attitudes in ourselves, to escape from jobs, relationships, even societies in order to get away from those energies, nevertheless we continue to affirm for ourselves that this is “the norm”. Is there not something a little backwards here?

I realize, listening to these circles, that each time that we say to one another, or to ourselves “ well that's just how people are”, we are strengthening the legitimacy of that belief system that we must act in these ways in order to Survive, or even “get ahead” in the world. We have swallowed this idea that the world “IS” a certain way, and that we must adapt our ways of being to fit into this norm. At the same time, we acknowledge that we create our own realities and the world “IS” the way that we see it.

In this moment of my life, I live in a community that is removed in many ways from the pressures of modern society, and I see this as an opportunity, as though in a laboratory experiment, to create with others in my community the “new norm”. This means that our actions and our interactions are guided by our values and our hearts, rather than the ways that we feel we are “supposed to be”. This is not simply a Utopian ideal, it involves constant self-reflection and evaluation. I find in myself that the layers of fear and mistrust, the beliefs that I must protect myself, and compete with others to get ahead, have been woven deep into my psyche. This type of reevaluation occurs in the most subtle ways, and can show up even as a sense of resignation, of “why bother”, when confronting a situation that feels out of alignment. I recognize that each time that I feel resigned to accept that “that is just the way things are”, I am denying my own power to create the type of relationships, community and life that I believe in.

Unlearning this is of course a process, a daily practice that requires a deep level of faith in my own values, a commitment to living from the heart, and finally a trust and openness to co-creating with others in my community. I have no doubt however, that this is the only way for me to live.

Every time that I move in the world with this trust, speaking from my heart and allowing others to respond from their heart, my body relaxes, my breathing deepens, my awareness and I come closer to home.

Monday, January 4, 2010

new year, new web site

Try this one on for size: I cannot AFFORD one negative thought. My life commands excellence. There is no reason, NO REASON, for me to accept mediocrity.

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