Today I reflected on the past two months of our journey from Coarsegold, California to Crete in the Greek Isles, to the Sadhana Ashram in the Black Forest of Germany, to a 'new mindset of family' in Lagos, the Algarve, southern Portugal, to another fascinating and challenging working guest situation on Terceira Island in the Azores, middle of the Atlantic.
Ostensibly our journey was motivated by a combination of yearning for more prospects for 'growing' and some underlying wish to find a place of resonance for longer term living.
Although on the surface our journey thus far has been laden with hardship, we have come away from each step of the way with gifts and treasures more immutable than gold.
A reader wrote,
'... You and Kati are the worldly travelers and I am here amidst the chaos on a different journey of my own.'
Yes, at this time we are traveling physically from place to place, and experiencing at times what feels like extreme chaos. I can go into the stillness, the inner peace, to a greater degree than ever before, but am not uninfluenced. It especially pains me to see us breaking down physically, to the point of exhaustion. We are exposing ourselves to too many stressors without having enough balance of personal space for regenerating. Now we are on an island in the middle of the Atlantic, in another 'chaotic' household, with more than enough stressors to test my theories of inner peace. Breakthroughs of sunshine in the storm are always welcomed.
[Writing some hours later...] I feel that chaos is only within a person, not inherently in circumstances, events or settings. This came out pointedly when yesterday events and circumstances were met by us with our chaos of feeling stressed and overwhelmed to an extreme, and yet today the same circumstances and types of events were met by us with equanimity and compassion, and there was no perception of chaos. The change came over a shift in our perception, an expansion of the 'what I am' within the 'who I am.' I write 'us' and 'our' because it involved Kati and me, to varying degrees, but us.
So then I question, is the household we are in really chaotic, or is that just my way of relating to it? What makes chaos? Disorder? Dysfunction? Inability to cope? How can that be measured? Can it ever truly be said that another person's seeming chaos is chaotic to me, or does that become a point of my self responsibility?
Is there chaos in our surroundings?
Or does chaos exist only in the way we meet our surroundings with our minds and emotions?
Are 'disasters' or extreme hardships innately chaotic, or is chaos an interpretation from a perspective?
Can a person meet chaos with such inner peace that to them there is no chaos at all?
Would that be avoiding 'reality' or would it actually be the more real?
I cannot yet write in depth about the treasures, as some are seeds still growing. But I am grateful for all the connections with bright young people who stay in contact, for the crystals of Crete, the Four Directions Moving Meditation of Maria at Sadhana, the step by step development of the Heart Breathing Moving Meditation as we travel from place to place, and the patient and skilled instruction of Peter (here on Terceira) in yoga exercises which add to the practice of Heart Breathing.
This post includes a slide show of photos until now and a video recommended by Peter, 'What About Me?' Soon I will publish the steps of the Heart Breathing Moving Meditation. Thank you for staying tuned.