BACK TO MY LIFE--IN PERU AGAIN, Arequipa & Calama
Wow, how could I have let so much time pass since I blogged??? Once again my life took on a life of its own!
So, I left off in Tucson realizing that my decisions and my attitude about those decisions were creating turmoil in my life. PYRT had taught me so much about myself and my shortcomings. I needed to focus on my strengths and figure out how to be metaphysical and spiritual while living in the real world.
I forgot to mention that when I first got back to Tucson I needed follow-ups on the meditation training and someone recommended a very wise fellow. He had spent many years in the Transcendental Meditation society and had subsequently left. He felt, as I had before learning in Peru, that the organization charged too much for this important modality. He gave me my two follow-ups and charged me much less than the going rate. But more than that, he taught me that it’s all right to charge less for something so important. After getting myself established with yoga classes, I made the decision to teach meditation at the beginning of every class and am still doing so. I believe something so important and life changing (and simple) should be free.
Those four years were a wonderful learning experience as I found my stride and ability to teach just about anything I put my mind to. But I still had much doubt about my other spiritual abilities. I met a wonderful young woman and took Reiki I and II from her. I went to workshops about just about everything spiritually related. I was like a sponge soaking up as much knowledge as I could and loving every minute of it. I bought Richard Sutphen’s video series Bushido Training and my learning curve got steeper. There was so much practical advice on how to “be” and I resonated with every word. I was putting into practice all that I was learning, much to Russell’s chagrin. Life was very interesting!
After four years, Russell was offered another job in Peru and we happily packed up and went back to a place I know I left a piece of my heart.
I wasn’t thrilled with the altitude of 8000 ft., but I loved living in Arequipa. I made some wonderful new friends there and reconnected with my “sister” Tochy. I taught a little yoga, kept reading voraciously, and ate too much great Arequipa food. After a year and a half, life tossed another curve. I had to leave this beautiful place and friends and move to Calama, Chile, in the high Atacama Desert. I was devastated! I had not learned yet that when one door closes, another better one opens.
After getting over the shock, I fell in love with this small, charming desert town. Within a few months I had a yoga class 3 times a week and had made more new friends. Most of my students were Chilean women and we had a blast, my bad Spanish, their hesitant yoga/meditation. We grew together and my language skills quickly improved.
I came across an opportunity to do a Sampoorna Yoga teacher’s training in Florida and jumped on it. Two weeks in Yogi Hari and Leela Mata’s home ashram with 20 other men and women. I and one of the men were about the same age and became the parent figures. We meditated, chanted, did yoga, and learned about karma yoga—housecleaning. I suffered the first week getting up at 5am to meditate and always needed a towel because I was so cold. But after a week of Ayurvedic cooking, my body temp changed and I was very warm. (I would have saved myself a lot of literal pain if I had kept eating that kind of food.) Mid way through the second week some of the younger students began to melt-down. Yogi Hari is wonderful, but still human and some had difficulty with his techniques. My parenting skills were put to use helping to calm down a couple of young women who were ready to leave. I also had an opportunity to put my Reiki training to use when a woman slammed into a closed glass sliding door and hit straight on with her nose. The Reiki treatments kept her from going home with two black eyes. It was definitely an interesting couple of weeks and tested my learning curve even more.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned from Yogi Hari was that yoga is life. He had a wife and family and was still a yogi. I knew I had found what I needed to hear about being spiritual and living in the real world.
During the time in Calama, I found a Reiki Master in Santiago and spent a weekend with her geting my Reiki III/Master upgrade and began teaching Reiki courses.
I also had the opportunity to take Richard Sutphen's Past Life Regression Hypnosis course and launched into doing sessions with any willing body available. I promised myself I would do 100 sessions for free before I began to charge and made and huge dent in that number before we left Calama
It seems, looking back, that those two years in Calama gave me time to expand my learning curve and a willing pool of guinea pigs to help me gain so much experience in the techniques that I use today.
One of my favorite places in Chile is San Pedro de Atacama. I went there frequently with friends or just alone to get away. It’s a beautiful little town near Valle de la Luna and the geysers of Tatio and the restaurants have delicious food. On the way is Hierba Buena with very strange petro glyphs. Most look like yogis sitting crossed-legged with hands in yoga positions and light rays coming from their heads. No one knows what they mean, but it was a wonderful place to take the yoga group for meditation.