Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Getting Settled

Our group has 17 people from all over the U.S. and Canada. There are folks from Texas, Florida, California, South Carolina and Hawaii. Three are from Canada. I'm the only one from Massachusetts. We are many races, nationalities and religions. We discussed basic things so far, such as how we got here, but not why we are here or what our particular challenges might be. We each had to write a short list of what we want from this trip (1 - 4 things) but no one asks each other about that. For those with wheelchairs or walkers, I assume they are here for something physical, though I've learned that isn't always the case. And those of us who look "normal," well, sometimes those interior challenges are even stronger than the physical. So who knows?

Everyone is in good cheer and loving and seems to know much about a variety of spiritual topics, so I'm learning alot even from that. And I'm learning more about how I am in a new group.

Last night, we took a quick tour of the Casa, which is like the headquarters of John of God. Our pousada is about 2 buildings away - insanely close, and I love that. Before we entered the gates, our guide set the context, and reminded us that we are not here alone, the we each bring spirits with us, loved relatives and friends who have passed, and spirits who are "hangers-on" who will be released during this journey. Suddenly, our little circle felt a bit crowded.

I will give more details on the Casa as I experience more of it, but for now: There are seats in various places, a small shop that sells crystals and triangles, up-to-date bathrooms (well, women's. men's is still old), a kitchen area, the building where there are healing rooms, and benches in front of an amazing view of the hills.

After that tour, we got a tour of the town where we are staying. The town is divided by a highway, and our side is tiny, one street long, with a few shops. There is a little pizza place, a juice bar (YES! A JUICE bar!!!), a place that sells natural ointments made from local herbs, and a few little shops that sell white women's clothing and some jewelry. There is an internet cafe and some dirt fields, so when the wind blows, the dirt flies.

The pizza place, where you can also drop off your laundry

Frutti's, the local juice bar and what will become my regular hangout spot

The weather has been like an LA winter - a bit chilly in the morning and evening, but warm in the daytime sun. The days are shorter because it is winter here - I miss the evening light!

This morning, I went with another member of our group to the Casa to help with soup preparation. We picked up some gloves, a peeler, a knife, a bucket of squash, and a brief demonstration from someone regarding what to do. Then we pulled up a bench and got to work.

It was like preparing for Dia de los Muertos at Tania's - BUCKETS full of vegetables to be peeled and cut, and groups of people speaking so many different languages. Next to us, for example, was a lovely group of about 10 folks from France. We were peeling and cutting outside in the fresh air and sunshine. I love that I could contribute something that I know I can do, and so much better in such a comfortable group!

After that, I sat in the meditation area facing the hills for a bit, and had the weirdest, nicest feelings in my lungs / ribs. It was a calm fullness. That is the best description I can give. Maybe I would add the word smooth.

I'm off to get some juice at the juice bar and then back to the Casa. I will post pictures after I return to the States. I remembered my camera but not the attachment to download the photos!

Love to you.

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