Tulum is just below Cancun on the east coast of Mexico, and is the holiday capitol for Americans. It’s my first time in this beautiful place. The beach is average from an Australians point of view. You cannot beat the Aussie beaches, they blow your breath away. The best part of Tulum, from my seven days of being here is the people on Rima and Monica’s retreat. They are the most worldly and adventurous people that I’ve met in a long while. They are in fact human each coming with their own life story, struggles and happiness. We are surrounded by artists, entrepreneurs, yoga teachers, actors, dancers, ayurvedic experts, professionals from various industries, and most importantly mothers.
This is my first retreat, and it is amazing. I’m not the type of person who will hang out at the beach all day getting tanned. For one, i don’t need one and second the adventurer in me constantly wants to explore this new environment. Two classes of yoga with two of the most amazing teachers of our time today take us through a journey of Shantideva’s insights how to undercut the Kleshas (in sanskrit translated as poison or suffering). In a nutshell, the five kleshas (ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion, and fear of death) are the causes of our suffering. These “afflictions” misrepresent our mind and our perceptions effecting how we think, act and feel in everyday life. They are embedded in our daily life, in our psyche and blind us from our true reality of being enlightened beings. These teachings are shaping the dynamics of this amazing group. Rima and Monica give us practical tools to comprehend the kleshas, topics include; slavery – how we are enslaved by these inflictions, welcome – how we welcome these familiar inflictions because its what we know, attentiveness – if we’re not attentive these inflictions will continue to harm us for a long time, befriending our enemy – if you give an inch they will take a mile and finally our heart – if we continue to lodge these inflictions in our heart how will we ever find world peace in our mind, body and with others. A powerful week of self exploration and coming out the other end a little bit wiser and conscious of my own deep rooted inflictions.
Everyone is attached to some if not all of them in any giving situation. Some have shared their emotions, and situations experiencing these kleshas which shape our world as we see it. The mornings are spent exploring these inflictions in-depth, requesting each one of us find our current reoccurring kleshas and demanding us to dissipate them, or become friends with them, so we can begin to be free from the relevant kleshas.
Just before class, there is a group of us who rise each morning to witness the sunrise. The beauty of this moment is captured through the lens of a tribal gathering, with a company of coffee and good conversation, which silences us just before the 6:27am sunrise. As soon as the sun starts to beam its magic on the horizon, everyone is in awe of its power and beauty. Enjoying nature at its best, wishing well to our loved ones and surrendering while intoxicated by its magnificence. The orange circle of life, blesses us with its beauty, whether its hidden behind the veil of clouds or when nature wants us to be empowered by its brightness. The first sign of light is magic, you notice the birds begin to sing, reminding me of Lakshami, blessing us with her abundance of life, blessing us with a beautiful graceful day ahead with great company and adventure. Did you know that Tulum is 8th best destination to witness a sunrise? and we got to see it for seven days without fail. The most spectacular moment is when the sun is on sea level and its light beams straight to your heart, giving you the sensation of feeling Lakshami.
My takeaways from this experience is freedom from my own inflictions, recognising how they torment me because I allow them to, and finding the tools to understand how they creep into my psyche. My own self enslaved by things that trigger either by wanting something that I cannot have, or a situation that I feel was taken away from me sooner than I wanted. If we are present in this moment, you will notice that there are signs and messages from various sources constantly reminding you that these inflictions are illusions of your own stubbornness. The other takeaway is a pool of great new friends bonded by this experience bringing us together where we’ve all learnt so much and i know deep in my heart I will definitely see them again. A big thank you to our teachers, who have taken serious time, negotiating to meet the needs of many as well as teach, talk and connect with each one of us in our own way.