I’m sitting in a relatively relaxed position on an open air platform at an earthy yoga center located on the Island of Gili Air, Indonesia.
I’m trying to meditate. To say it’s not going very well is an understatement.
From the first moment I landed on the shores of this beautifully picturesque Island, I found the breeze refreshing, the vibe chill but the flies outrageous. One my biggest concerns about traveling here, were the deadly animals that could possibly come out of the bushes and attack me.
This fear has dissipated, however, because even though there are spiders and lizards, they generally keep to themselves and don’t affect everyday life.
The one thing I have put into practice, though, is ducking while walking under low hanging branches, so that spiders, the size of your hand, will not brush against the top of my head.
Confessions of a Yogi
I have officially become mentally challenged with the amount of flies that reside in this area. It’s very difficult to eat, drink, talk, practice yoga or walk around without one of those little fuckers getting in your eyes, nose or heaven forbid…your mouth. Recently I was told that in our life time we swallow approximately eight spiders without knowing it.
As skeptical as I was, I now believe that on this island, if you yawn widely, you better cover your yap, for fear of these poop eating bugs making a direct flight pattern into your body.
So I sit, struggling to focus my mind with all the buzzing and little legs irritatingly tickling me, as they walk on my arms, face and neck.
I do my best to resist the urge to grab a fly swatter and kill each and every one of them. I scream in my head—Ahimsa (non- violence)! And then go back to visualizing the ecstasy of destroying them.
I am not a violent person by nature, but I think I can change.
Our yoga teacher guides us with words of encouragement, “Be absorbed in the breath and to try not to move.”
Seriously? I want to jump out of my skin and run around like a mad woman with bug spray.
I know I have the ability to be peaceful and serene during this process. I want to find the space beyond my mind, where I can be fully absorbed into the Universe. All is one.
I can do this…I will just deep breathe and surrender into the moment; deep inhale (buzzing noise), long exhale (more buzzing), one eye open agitated inhale (buzzzzzzz).
I’m going to lose it!
While I’m here, studying advanced breathing and meditation, I thought something miraculous was going to happen. I figured that I could disconnect from my attachment to insect noises, roosters crowing and the smell of burning garbage infiltrating my nostrils each morning. To my disappointment, I cannot.
Our Sacred Space
Whether I’m traveling abroad or in my home, there are distractions: weird noises, phone calls, emails, “to do” lists and the constant chattering inside my brain.
How we choose to set up our environment for meditation will be the key to unlocking our relaxation and surrender.
I know that it’s possible to dive deep into meditation and stay there with contentment. The first step to our success is to create a sacred space that will give us a better chance of finding this glorious freedom without all the obstacles.
These background noises just give us permission to slip further and further away from attaining something beautiful and real. So whatever your distractions are…take them out of the equation. You’ll be better off for it.
My ideal space would be where I could disconnect from my phone, chatter and any wild environmental issues that are barriers to my inward voyage.
I love being in nature, but there is a limit to what I, apparently, can handle.
Once our peaceful back drop is in place, we can then patiently begin the journey of quietly moving towards the limitless possibilities beyond the mind.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise
Photo: ePi.Longo courtesy Flickr