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Photo by Scott Diekema, Nepal Semester.

Week one : Intimacy with Life Herself

Sitting in the Tibetan cafe outside of a monastery hearing monks chant, eating vegetable fried rice, while gazing at the valley of the Himalayas is just one of the many memories from yesterday’s trek I will remember on my death bed. The diversity of colors, textures, sights, and rich religious celebrations on yesterday’s (day 5 ) trek will be painted into the canvas of my soul- the entire day still feels like a dream. While I felt ineffable gratitude, there was also a dark empty void within my being. I kept comparing my ‘spiritual path’ to everyone else’s. Tears flowed from my eyes while sitting next to the Kali temple. I asked her to help me deepen my devotion, to offer myself to completely, to return to fiery passion for the Beloved.

Shortly after I recited this prayer to Kali we arrived at a Tibetan monastery. I took off my boots to enter the shrine  and my entire sock was drenched in blood- oh how blood is Kali’s thang! My initial response was, ‘What in the world?! Where did this come from? I didn’t even feel myself bleeding or get bit by anything!’ I found out it was a leech bite- a bite that is insidious and painless. This bite was a metaphor of Kali draining the blood which does not serve my highest good- the old blood of believing my path has to look a certain way to feel at one with Creator.

I arrived to Nepal with many intentions but one fundamental goal : To deepen my devotion and fall madly in love with God again. During the hike my devotion didn’t feel ‘alive’ because of all the stories I was witnessing inside- I felt distant from the Divine. I witnessed guilt because so many stories were playing in my mind while being so blessed to have this experience.  Stories kept playing such as ‘who are you to be helping others when you don’t have a ‘path’ a ‘lineage’. You went to Naropa and you don’t know the 101’s of Buddhism. You knew more about the path of yoga years ago. You used to be a A Course in Miracles student but now don’t feel connected to that either. You love the dark feminine archetype but what info do you got on Kali, Lilith, or Magdenline? You suck at spiritual intellectualism. You don’t have a path. You are spirituality homeless. You won’t ever be able to live your dreams. You desire to help people fall in love with themselves- their Divinity- but how are you credible to do that if you don’t have a lineage?’

Since I have been in Nepal I have been so thirsty to discover ‘my lineage’. Maybe the blood was a messenger fiercely whispering, “Stop comparing yourself to other people’s spiritual path and fall in love with my presence- life herself is your path. A particular lineage will arrive in divine timing if need be- enjoy the mystery. I am the mystery and mundaneness of every moment” Shedding blood in front of this holy site was an omen from the Red Lady Beloved reminding me she is ever present. I don’t need to fall in love with some ultimate teaching, deity, or ‘spiritual state of being’- but instead with every intimate moment of life herself. The first week in Nepal has illuminated how I block myself from falling in love because of my attachment to a form. Life is asking me to become more intimate with her every moment as the deepest form of devotion. She is whispering, “Intimacy with gut issues, anxiety, over-stimulation, excitement, and even the blood on your sock is the path itself. You are never distant from me. Even within the distant-ness you can become intimate.Stay intimate with all and you will always feel me.There isn’t a certain way you ‘should’ feel in-order to feel one with me.” (Interesting enough such intense intimacy with the group is my biggest growth edge as well..hmmmm )