A journey to nature

Who are we? Where are we going? Are we connected with our truest selves and the world that surrounds us? What about the magic and the mystery that pervades every moment of our lives – does it bring fear and anxiety, or wonder and excitement?

Recently I spent some time at a spiritual healing centre in the Amazon jungle and I found my-self thinking deeply about these questions.I often feel that the society in which I was brought up in has very fixed views of what should be considered a success or failure, good or bad, in life. But on a deeper level I have always known that it isn’t for anyone, including my-self, to judge me as a success or failure. I want to accept my-self fully as I am – with all my “strengths” and “weaknesses” – unconditionally. Kindness and compassion toward my-self and others, although difficult, seem important to nurture.

Sitting down with the same souls each day to eat and share

My brother has been living in various different communities over the years that have been developed with permaculture principles at their heart. Humans are part of the natural system and so an important part of permaculture is about looking after ourselves – our minds, our bodies, our hearts. Some, my brother for instance, might prefer to describe ayahuasca retreat centres using permaculture as in fact permaculture sites that specialise in an important aspect of permaculture – human care. This is a subtle but important difference as during my time in the Amazon jungle I felt that a key part of the spiritual healing that I observed came from being in an open and supportive community.

In the jungle I experienced sitting in a circle with others, talking uninterrupted about how I felt in that moment to listening ears, and applying the same courtesy to others; hugging, holding, and supporting; I learnt about what it means to have a simple role and feel appreciated for it; I relished sitting at a table three times a day every day to share a meal with the same beautiful faces; I spent time sitting with my-self free from the need to connect to a virtual world; and I learnt how to be here and now, as much as I was there and then.

However, what I loved doing the most…

…was waking up early in the mornings and, before it got too hot, going to work with my hands alongside my life-long present beauty of a brother. I am grateful beyond words and my heart is open…