Who’d have thought that in a workshop about Deepening into Love & Community, I’d end up making out with a tree, but that’s exactly what happened for me yesterday.
I’m here in Greece as a Facilitator in Residence at the beautiful Alexandros centre: one of three holistic retreat and educational venues on Mount Pelion that form the Kalikalos community.
And this week I am blessed to also be a participant on a workshop being offered by Achim Ecker and Ina Meyer-Stoll of the Zegg community: an intentional community in Germany with a focus on conscious loving and ecology.
On the first day of the workshop, after a round of introductions, one of the first gentle exercises we dived into was about building trust and opening into a field of deeper awareness.
Coupling up with one other from the group, we took turns to close our eyes and be guided – for 15 minutes – into contact with the outside space.
I loved this!
It was beautiful to surrender into a safely held opportunity to engage with my surroundings from a place of deep inner connection. Without the distraction of sight, my other senses heightened: the breeze on my skin was a delight; the texture of a garden chair fascinating and the sun on my face like a benediction.
Our sighted partners were instructed to stop us a few times during this magical garden tour, orient our heads towards a particular object or view, and then whisper: “open your eyes and look into your mirror.”
The first time I did this, I found myself gazing into the dark green foliage of a tree. What astounded me most about it was the LOVE I felt beaming at me from those leaves. YES! Crazy as it might sound – in that moment, I understood that the tree – and all of nature in fact – is constantly emitting love. Only most of the time, I am too distracted to notice!
In the next moment, I found myself running my fingers along the grainy texture of what turned out to be a hammock, before playfully finding a way to rest my body into it and swing together.
And as my 15 minutes came to an end, my fingers were directed onto the bark of another, smaller tree. As I caressed the rugged bark, the sensitivity in my fingers was so acute and the sensations so delicious, I could only describe it as erotic. I moved into an embrace with the slim bough, tenderly resting my cheek against it with a feeling of being held and supported.
Although it wasn’t framed this way by the facilitators, this exercise was - to my mind -decidedly tantric. There are, in fact, a number of tantric meditations specifically focussed on sensory awareness.
When our awareness expands. When we open to our senses. When we are present in this moment. Then there is the possibility to experience every thing (both animate and inanimate) as divine and to commune with it in love.
And the more frequently we have this type of experience, the more permanent that knowing, and hence our ability to live and relate from it, becomes.
If you’ve never done this kind of exercise or had this type of experience before, I urge you to try it! It’s so simple, can be repeated ad infinitum and will always offer up something new.
And if you’d like to discover more about Tantric Meditation, it’s benefits and gifts to you in terms of a deeper capacity to love and feel connected, then join me on Thursday, September 13th for the first in my 7-part workshop series on Tantric Meditation. Click here for all the details, or message me with your questions.