8 November 2017

Back to the Lake for another inner deep-dive – Tantric Way and beyond

After being in Costa Rica for some time, it became apparent that the Lake was calling me back. I'd heard a lot about Gaia Ma and her transformational Tantric way course, a 3 week deep-dive into all sorts of interesting topics, so after meditating on it and hearing that some of my earlier San Marcos friends were also joining, I signed up. I am a workshop junkie, I confess. I do self-work all the time, but there is something to be said about these containers where the growth is exponential since there's nowhere to run or hide and you really have time and space to stop, feel and think. And explore, especially on a course that labels itself as tantric.

I purposefully didn't want to read too much info about what was in store for us, as I wanted to take the plunge without building too many expectations. "The Tantric Way is a carefully designed and spontaneous process of awakening. You will transform your relationship with life by learning to cultivate intimacy with yourself, to deepen intimacy with your sexual partners, and to create intimacy among groups." is what Gaia says about it on her website, and there is more info there as well, if you're interested in reading for yourself. I only needed to know that I would finally be able to spend some time in my favourite ashram Mahadevi and to return to the lake for round two of personal growth.

So, after Costa Rica and I were done, I made my way back to San Marcos via Antigua and trying to regulate my post-cleanse diet somewhat in the plentiful temptations Antigua restaurants had to offer. After a week of reigniting my love to the Lake I then packed my bags again and moved to the ashram. 3 weeks of intense work with a group of about 20 people, with all of us living in the ashram and only venturing out briefly in the weekends, might sound hellish to some, but for me it meant having a wonderful chance to really build intimacy, go deep and to experience whatever there would be in a safe container without people going outside to be involved with others too much. And that is exactly what I got.

Workshops like these can't really be described; they must be experienced. Within the three weeks we explored our relationship to ourselves, to our intimate partners and to all fellow humans. We used a wide array of tools and techniques, and everything was steadily and flowingly moving as Gaia lovingly tailored the content to fit this particular set of soulsearchers who were making experiments on themselves. Some examples of the methods and exercises we did were family constellations, breathwork, Osho meditations (revisited my beloved and hated dynamic meditation from the good old Nepal days :D), repatterning our false and hurtful beliefs about ourselves and relationships, exploring our boundaries and comfort zones and supporting one another through the intense emotions that came up. It was beautiful to see how complete strangers became the best of friends, the shyness melted away and everyone moved into a more empowered and confident version of themselves. Even me, who still was somewhat in her "I don't really enjoy the company of others" bubble broke free of it and started socializing again. Oh so good!

 I have slight issues with authority and I tend to be very critical of gurus and teachers, but Gaia was truly something else. Raw, vulnerable and real, she took the leadership position clearly but without setting herself above us in any way. She has also gone through a lot in her life so she can relate to our struggles and stories, staying empathetic but also incorporating a no bullshit attitude while guiding us into facing whatever we need to face to learn from it and move on. I have utmost respect for her and her work and would recommend her to everyone. She has a center Inanitah in Ometepe Nicaragua, so if you're ever around there on the Fire season, go check her out. Or go to her workshop somewhere else (Mahadevi ;)).

After the tantric way some of us continued on to take Gaia's transformational facilitator course. I joined mainly because I really wanted more time with the people, plus I was on a total self-confidence high after the Tantric way and I didn't want to go anywhere just yet. Plus I actually didn't even have any plans for after the course (look at the previous compulsive planner go with the flow!), so procrastinating while continuing to explore was the perfect thing to do. And boy was it worth it! We rented an amazing Airbnb mansion together with 2 other tantricas (love you, Lili and Bobby!) and we proceeded to host amazing gatherings (*cough*, orgies, *cough*...) and continue empowering ourselves and each other. I don't think I've ever felt as liberated and confident, sexually and otherwise, as I did after the second stay in San Marcos. After the much more challenging first encounter, the Lake definitely showered me with much more pleasant gifts and blessings this time. Thank you thank you infinitely.

View from the Airbnb tantra pad balcony and "the usual brunch spread" :D

Even after the extra week I refused to break the spell, so me, Lili and Bobby continued on as our little family to Tikal, and then me and Lili onwards to Mexico via Belize. Tikal was absolutely gorgeous, our guide totally brilliant and exploring the ruins after a sunrise in the Star Wars pyramid with some medicinal plant friends as enhancement was definitely an experience I will never forget. The amazing marriage between nature and man, blending into each other, blurring the borders between built and grown... I don't think I need any more ruins. This was it for me. And the time to visit was perfect, we had the place nearly to ourselves and could really concentrate on feeling what the Mayas had left behind. If you go, I definitely recommend staying in one of the hostels in Tikal, even though they're a bit more pricey than the ones in the nearby Flores where most of the tourists stay. To spend more time so close to the magical ruins gives you a much deeper experience than what could be had by just zooming in on a bus, following a horde of tourists, snapping a few hurried shots and heading back out again for the night. 

So, this was my second helping of Guatemala. And no, I didn't get enough. As I am writing this, months after I actually was there, my heart leaps with joy to know that I will be back in March 2018. So much gratitude and love!

Somewhat illegal sunset spot

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