In a previous article, three transformative experiences were mentioned that can help recognize the calling in one´s heart. These experiences can take the body and mind to a challenging plane, but tools are provided to balance and allow for a transformative experience.
The first is the cold plunge, the second is the Temazcal Sweat Lodge experience, and the third is an Ayahuasca ceremony (you can experience both the Temazcal Sweat Lodge and Ayahuasca ceremony at Nada Brahma Healing Center):
- Cold Plunge. Cold plunges have been trending in present day from the likes of Wim Hof and his community, as there are believed to be numerous health benefits from experiencing them. The cold plunges range from 38 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit. To the novice they tend to be quite unpleasant and to the seasoned cold plunger, they may still might not like them, but they may have formed an adaptation to them with practice. Given our normal body temperature hovers at or around 98.6 degrees this is not surprising.
- Temazcal Sweat Lodge. First and foremost, the Temescal Sweat Lodge is not a sauna. You don’t just go in and sweat for a little while and head out. It is a ceremony, one that is deeply rooted a spiritual and inward journey that elicits primal feelings, connectedness and vibrations on a plane that requires you to let go and surrender to the experience. The conditions of the Temazcal are hot and steamy, full of lively and loud percussion and chanting. The Sweat Lodge is pitch black with the exception of an amber glow from glistening volcanic lava rocks that have been heated from a roaring fire.
- Ayahuasca Ceremony. For those that have worked other plant medicines before, you are generally aware of the elevated states that are possible across the mind-body connection. Ayahuasca is different. As it was first explained to me years ago, it is the Mount Everest of mind-body experiences. I say that to make you appreciate that this is not a joke. It is not a drug, but rather a potent medicine that will work through your body in ways that may bring psychological challenges and physical discomfort and/or tremendous joy, healing, and spiritual awakening. No matter what you experience you must accept two things. First, you must surrender to the medicine. And two, “It is always perfect,” as Carlos repeatedly tells his retreat participants.
Now that I have identified these three experiences, let’s for a moment reflect on an archer shooting an arrow. To do so effectively and with accuracy, the archer must be calm, focused, and in the moment. With training and preparation one can follow a sequence of steps adjust for environmentals and hit the bullseye with the projectile upon release. The archer may release the arrow and be above the target, and also release the arrow and be below the target, but with each shot, he is calibrating on the target center point. I believe there is a like relationship with each of these three experiences.
The bullseye in these three experiences is not something you can see, but it is something you can know and feel. There are certain bodily conditions that can manifest when you are experiencing the bullseye, and it is not necessarily one specific point. Our breath might be calmed. Our heart rate might be lowered, our vision (external vision or internal vision could be very clear and resolute). Our harmony with the moment could at its highest state. It’s difficult to say for sure what the bullseye truly is for each of us, but if we are careful to observe and listen to ourselves we will know when we are there, or at least when we are making progress towards being there.
The region above and below the bullseye may not seem readily apparent in each of the three experiences. In the case of the cold plunge, it is knowing what it’s like be in a hot environment, at room temperature, or perhaps even what it feels like to have a fever. We know so many of the states that are not being in freezing water, but now we are in the freezing water. It sends shivers through the spine, creates sharp sensations all over our skin, jolts our breathing, and may even prevent us from thinking clearly.
When considering the Temazcal Sweat Lodge experience, the region above or below the bullseye might be the relationship we have with experiencing natural light. It is knowing what it’s like to be awake and close our eyes. It’s knowing what it’s like to breathe easy to breathe air. It’s knowing what it’s like to be in a cold room in winter or a hot room in summer. It’s knowing what it’s like to hear music and chanting. It’s knowing what it’s like to decide to get up and leave a space whenever we want to. These are all conventional experiences, but now, in the Temazcal, the room is nearly pitch black with or without our eyes closed. The sounds and vibrations are flowing through us, and we are also creating sounds and vibrations. The air is thick and difficult to breathe. And if we are to be true to experience, we are committing to the full ceremony whatever the duration.
Lastly when considering the Ayahuasca ceremony and what is outside of the bullseye, we know what it is like to be in our normal conscious state. We know what it is like to be full of energy and tired, to be hungry and full, to be with calm stomach or nauseous. We know what it’s like to be dreaming and awake. We know what it’s like to reflect on the past, present and the future. We know what it’s like to move and have control over our mind and bodies. Again, these are all conventional physical and mental activities. But now in the Ayahuasca ceremony the medicine will affect us in various ways. It will work through us and challenge our preconceived notions of our very consciousness, relationship with reality, notions of physical time and space, our spiritual existence, and even the control we have over our bodies.
In each of these experiences can we be calm and composed? Not for a moment, but can we ease ourselves into the experience and be one with it? Can we surrender? Exploring these transformative experiences can be challenging, but can also lead to powerful personal growth and self-discovery. Whether it is through an Ayahuasca ceremony or a Temazcal Sweat Lodge, these experiences offer an opportunity to connect with the calling in one´s heart and explore the depths of the mind, soul and spirit.
We are here when you feel ready to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery, the Nada Brahma Experience can offer powerful tools for growth and unlock the potential within yourself.
Contact us today!