Learning to Moon

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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What I did
The Moon Course

Flag of Guatemala  , Western Highlands,
Friday, March 16, 2012

Just to be clear the Moon course has absolutely nothing to do with mooning people! I mastered that trick years ago! Nonetheless I thought I'd book in for one week and see how it goes...  

So after one last night of hedonism in San Pedro, Dee bid farewell to Mr Lee and crossed the lake to the hippie haven that is San Marcos. 

Why am I here again? Primarily to learn a few meditation techniques. Solo attempts have inevitably ended up in Dreamland, but pretty damn good sleep! But I figured there must be more to it, like learning to focus, clear my mind and harness my mental power. To reconnect with myself. To delve into the depths of my mind and see what I find. Hopefully nothing too scary! (cue scenes from multiple horror movies)

Prior to entering Las Piramides (the Pyramids) I joked that I'd be away with the fairies. I was masking a real fear of losing touch with this reality by potentially accessing others. The yoga and meditation aspects of the course appeal to me. The metaphysical stuff? Not so much. I guess I need to see it to be believe. But hey! I'll keep an open mind. Open mind! I will keep!

A typical day started with an informal session of Bowen therapy in the medicinal garden led by Guy (France). It basically involves hitting yourself with increasing intensity along specific meridians that each represents a different organ or set of organs. Kinda like doing Shiatsu on yourself. That's how we ensure a "G'Morn!" (Danish for "good morning").
The official start? Yoga at 7am, Metaphysics class at 10:15am and meditation at 5pm. On Sundays we also have a session in a Mayan wood-burning cleansing sauna with medicinal plants. We gather outside the main temple and wait until we're summoned. As you no doubt guessed the temple is pyramid-shaped. 

Inside is impressive yet understated. You enter through a tunnel where you're meant to leave all your crap - jumpers, water bottles, bags - before ascending into the sacred space. Everything is wooden, made from 12 different trees. Each of the four corners contains one of the elements. A candle. A cup of water. A stick of incense. A crystal. We later learnt that they represent the 4 aspects of ourselves. Earth = Physical. Water = Emotional. Air = Mental. Fire = Spiritual. Every week of the Moon course is dedicated to one aspect. Maintaining balance is key.

Right off the bat we were expected to sit cross-legged on a small white mat. Both my legs went completely numb, from my hips all the way to my tippy toes. How am I supposed to concentrate? I'm focused, all right, focused on my pins and needles and wondering if I'll ever regain full feeling again. It got only half-easy with time with only the bottom half of my legs going numb! Thank goodness for the 5 kneeling benches. A few of us near-tripped each other daily to enter the temple first and secure this oh-so-precious commodity. All in good spirits! (pun intended!)

Our main teacher is Chaty, a Guatemala city native. Her English isn't perfect (much better than my Spanish!) yet somehow she makes herself understood with entertaining gestures and wit. She keeps us thoroughly engaged! Her life has been an extraordinary one and she readily shares her astral adventures and lucid dreams helping to bring the lessons to life.
Chaty founded the Pyramids back in 1991 so her two adult daughters grew up in the Pyramids. The younger daughter, Luli, is the Advanced Yoga teacher offering optional classes twice per week. Yoga since age four means she makes all sorts of crazy positions look like a walk in the park!
Instead of peace-signing/hairy-legged/tie-dye-clad hippies, my fellow international Mooners all turned out to be reasonably normal. Or at least as normal as me! Sara (California) and Juliet (Paris) were my first buddies. Both expressed disbelief that we hadn't met before since I looked so familiar to them. A result of astral travel, perhaps? My cynical-voice-of-reason was Brian (NY), my neighbour. Whenever a potentially spiritual experience occured, he rationalised it away and educated me on conspiracy theories (ala Alex Jones) and the evil U.S. government. 

The usual gathering place was the communal kitchen area. With less nice people overt conflict would have arisen during mealtime rush hours and after with some dishes left undone. But somehow we made it work. Given that no meat was allowed (and no Mr Lee was present to cook) I lived off smoothies for breakfast and quickly learned to cook a few vegetarian meals. Ivy (Canada) was particularly educational and inspiring to watch as she worked her magic. Who knew vegetables could be so interesting?
As a last-minute addition to the course, I didn't secure a pyramid-shaped room. Instead mine is part of a converted building. It's tinier than the word "tiny". Nothing more than a room with a bed, really. A bed-room? Yet I have more space to myself than I would in a dorm room. But like a dorm room I can hear my neighbour snore, cough, wheeze and even feel when he rolls over in bed! One night out of frustration I jumped up and down on my bed in a futile attempt to snap my neighbour out of snoring. Little did I know that the other neighbour realised what I was up to! 

Being one floor above the ground meant less 8-legged nocturnal visitors. Another bonus was getting up close and personal with fireflies at eye-level in the bamboo trees just outside my huge windows. One night I even sneakily witnessed a Mayan ceremony next door complete with shaman, colourful headgear and dress, huge fire, medicinal plants, and chants, each repeated 13 times.

This was my sanctuary for the past week... and it will be for the next!

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Teija on

El gusto es mío ;) I really enjoyed your blog, thanks for sharing! Have fun in San Pedro and wherever you might end up ♥

mary on

potentially spiritual exp? veg interesting?more info pls! Also, is it just me or
does Chaty look like Dee in years to come?

Megan Tron on

sounds amazin g:)

thelees on

It's just you! More entries coming soon

thelees on

it was! highly recommended

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