Secrets at Dawn

I am used to the piercing crow of haughty, splendidly plumed cockerels waking me from my sleep, but this morning, deep in the jungle of the Reserva Biológica Indio-Maiz, it was the the throaty bark of howler monkeys that cut through the thick silence of the early dawn. Continue reading

Spiritual Maraes

Throughout this trip the open-air sanctuaries called “Maraes”, which were once the centre of power and spiritual ceremonies in French Polynesian culture, have been a huge draw for me. Though they often look like a ragged and disorganised pile of stones there is something about the sites that are tranquil and calming. The biggest one on Tahiti is nestled in a large tree lined valley. Continue reading

As It Is, So It Is

The silence in the hall is almost palpable. I breathe in and breathe out imagining my breath is a soothing balm easing my tiredness and frayed nerves. The physicality of the ground and the meditation stool beneath me are reassuringly supportive as too is the silence which acts as a comfortable, comforting cushion of air I can lean in to. Thirty other souls are here too, sitting, breathing, being. Nothing to do and nowhere to go, just sharing a silent space. Continue reading

Indigestible India

I feel sore, full and tired. It’s like heart burn throughout my whole system. I have over eaten at the buffet of India! So much stimulation from the incessant noise, the volume of people and pollution. All my senses, my personal space, my dignity, my tolerance, my values have been challenged day after day. Sometimes these challenges lift me, I feel expanded and content. At other times I feel beaten and bruised and weary at the thought of having to step back in to the ring. Continue reading

Enough Healing

On my first day at “work” I stand at the entrance to the hospital ward, on a threshold between a known world and one that is very different. The formation of beds lined up in rows is familiar, but the number of them in this vast hall, the grubby linen, thin cotton mattresses and spartan nature of it all is new to me. The patients and I survey one another, neither side quite knowing what to do next. Bewildered and uncertain I look for the similarities, but the differences are what stand out. Continue reading