Last week was one of the most poignant in my life. It started with the harvest moon of the Autumn equinox and ended with a life changing transformation.
It was also the 4th year anniversary of my NDE (near death experience) and I was leaving my wife for an intensive week of a unique body-mind-spirit martial arts training called Taochan Lishi Baijiquan. This retreat was located in Angel Valley, a place in Sedona, Arizona known for being uniquely situated between and within several vortices of cosmic earth energy exchange.
Driving to Sedona from my home in Tempe, AZ last Sunday afternoon for the 2-1/2 hour drive felt like a pilgrimage of sorts. Rather than traveling to a traditional, designated place of historical importance and meaning for masses of people, this one was highly personal. And I knew it was going to be an experience that would affect me deep to the core of my being.
The turn off from the freeway onto a road with a sign that said “Primitive Road” started what would be a chain of metaphorical experiences of synchronicity. I initially shuddered at the thought of what this road might do to my Corvette. Two miles of rocks, rubble, deep ridges and potholes by cliffs and sharp turns intensified my thoughts of ruining my car and getting stuck. Then I started to soften my body and my mind then I smiled and even chuckled at what was happening as I drove 3 miles per hour downhill to Angel Valley. “No matter what happens, it will be worth it”, I said to myself.
Entering the lodging office, I was met by one of the owners, Michael, who had intensely blue eyes and beaming energy. His kind welcoming words and directions to my cabin made me feel that I belonged here and I settled in.
Without going into much detail, suffice it to say that each day of the Baiji retreat was immensely rewarding. The strenuous physical training of each day was balanced with learning about the rich historical context of a unique and complete martial art lineage from a reclusive monk living in one of the high mountains of China. All this was combined with my daily effort to walk several labyrinths located in, on and between natural vortices of energy in an environment of extraordinary physical beauty. Hiking to the summit of a high mountain was done to contrast and balance my transcendental walks in the valley.
Day 1 ended with a special Harvest Moon event. Each of us began at the entry to the great labyrinth by getting ‘smudged’ with sage before entering the meditative walk of the circular maze. Amayra, the other owner with truly beautiful energy, was sitting in the middle playing her harp while didgeridoos echoed on the outsides of the labyrinth. Each of us took a seat in silence in the center, then waited for the moon to rise in the cloudy sky, the ethereal sounds of the harp being the only sound. After Amayra stopped playing the harp a pause was followed by a cool, gentle breeze then more harp playing but softer, maybe what rain would sound like in musical tones. When I gazed over to look at her, her hands were by her side. “The angels are playing the harp now”, is all she said.
When the harp stopped, the moon played ‘peek-a-boo’ in between the clouds and then a guitar started playing in the darkness that surrounded us between glowing shafts of light. The player started singing in “light language”, speaking words from a civilization of a different time and space than ours. It sounded soothing and exquisitely pleasant, like the cooing of some kind of Polynesian language. I melted into the experience as I stared alternatively between the now full, bright moon and the constellation above, behind and all around my head.
I was the last one to walk out back through the entire labyrinth again but this time feeling the beginnings of a personal transformation bubbling up from a very deep and buried place. Feeling more in the present than I’ve ever been and knowing at that moment that my life was about to change in a very big positive way, I remembered that this journey started with the first step.
The next days were a very satisfying mixture of cumulative growth and magical spontaneous events. A woman walking in the dark of night appeared as I sat chatting with a wonderful couple attending the retreat. She was welcomed to join us and she began to explain that she was here in Angel Valley because a spirit of light told her to come. That was only the beginning of a deeply interwoven personal story of her challenging life. The take away for me was that as she listened to and followed her heart and spirit, radical and rapid changes were occurring in a way that didn't seem to make sense at first. It turned out, that was a good thing.
As she got more comfortable getting to know all of us, she mixed ‘light language’ within the questions and answers that she directed to us individually. I immediately started thinking of the women of Salem who were burned at the stake, being labeled ‘witches’ for speaking unintelligible languages and other non-Puritanical behaviors. Then I immediately deleted that image in an effort to keep my mind and heart non-judgmental and open to this experience. At the end of our chats and as I headed back to my cabin, this experience sank in. She communicated compelling truths that bridged past and present for each one of us and what she said about the future deeply resonated as well. That night I started lucid dreaming.
The day before all this, I had in depth conversations with a fellow who, about 14 years earlier, had been brought by his mother to Angel Valley. He was an 18 year old that had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and was told by his medical team to prepare for a life in a wheel chair. Fast forward to now, he told me that with intensive changes in personal outlook, changing beliefs to what is possible, ignoring the prophecies of his physicians, and going deeply into a unique yoga practice not generally found in the USA, he completely cured himself of MS within a year. However the single, most powerful element in this remarkable recovery was attributed to his daily practice of lucid dreaming.
All this – the engrossing interactions from the people I was meeting and the deep, honest, heartfelt conversations that I was having – all this had a deeply stirring effect on me. Among other things, it made me share my near death experience several times with different people that I didn’t know but that I trusted. This had an immediate cathartic effect, which then catalyzed my ability to lucid dream. And lucid dreaming enabled me to see more clearly than ever before what my life purpose and therefore life journey is all about.
Now is the time for me to join and align with my wife in an even bigger way than ever before to bring more healing, joy, resonance, vibration and excitement to everyone we touch through our unique abilities made possible through our work, our writing and transformative interactions with so may wonderful souls.
Through my words I hope to have inspired you to take action now to follow your heart and spirit without hesitation. What comes out of that decision and experience will be your true-life path and not what you may think it should be with your ‘logical mind’. As soon as you take action and remain humble and hungry for living your life as it is meant to be, all that you need will be provided.