Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Four months is a long time to do anything. Since the Covid 19 crisis in March, many of us have created distance from ourselves and our communities. Wisdom teaches that in any one moment, we are right where we a supposed to be and everything teaches, even isolation. In many religious traditions, the "retreat" is an opportunity to reconnect with deeper things and is often defined by a self-imposed seclusion or quarantine; sometimes for weeks or even months. And so, here we are, within a worldwide spiritual opportunity to disconnect from our day-to-day and go into solitude...seclusion...to go inward and reconnect with deeper things. But I get it...all things in balance...this is tough work. Balance; the Yin and the Yang, or to the Buddhist say, the middle way. Too much of a good thing (you know the saying) makes Jack a dull boy...or something like that.
So to embrace or, dare say I, to welcome the current Pandemic situation. To some, this embracing of what is before us is high form, but so too is achieving that balance. Now, I'm going to have to be honest here, I was starting to feel a bit out of balance myself. Keeping a proper social distance has been both difficult and pleasant, but now I am starting to feel the pendulum of life swaying away from the center and into the grey. Balance is a funny thing, it relies on our awareness and our willingness to take action, and so now that I was becoming aware of that "out of balance-ness," I needed to do respond....to be respon...sible.
As I've said, transformative travel does not have to be an overseas trip to Singapore; it can be something as simple as a walk in your backyard. If everything teaches then there must be a teacher. The sublime is everywhere. Reconnection with nature can happen almost anywhere, and I had the perfect one night get away that would set my head straight and center my energy. A short thirty-minute drive to a sand bar on the Sacramento River would do just fine, and when we got there and set up the awning, rolled out the chairs, set up the little coffee table...I knew I was right where I needed to be. Nature started talking to me.
The sun setting, the stars rising, a cold drink in your hand, and your wife and dogs at your side. This is just simply a recipe for my soul to heal. A simple shift to the right and my spirit was back to center. We spent the night sleeping in the back of our time-traveling adventure vehicle. Dreaming with the sound of the Sacramento River rolling slowly over the rocks as she made her way to the Pacific Ocean via the California Delta. My mind was quieting and I was starting to see things more clearly now. I had found my balance again and I was feeling good.
I'm not sure what it is but nature has always healed and inspired me. Today, in Japan, they have this thing called "forest bathing"...have you heard of it? It's a formal measuring of the trans-formative...healing effects of being in the outdoors. They draw blood from individuals before and after walking down a wooded trail and measure the reduction of stress hormones and other nasty things from when they began their walk. Afterwards, they rate the trail and share with others on how beneficially influential that area is for other to enjoy. I think they are onto something, and maybe we should take a few tips from them. Take care of yourselves, everyone. If your Yin has too much Yang then take a moment and go on a spiritual adventure into nature and see what she can do for you. Your spirit will thank you for it. If you would like to see where this really cool location is, check out our Maps page for details.