Let's nurture the wanderer & explorer in us
& let it lead us to consciousness expanding adventures
because adventures are good for the Soul
Mildly cranky but mostly excited, I stepped out into the red desert of Arizona in the sweltering heat of August, one morning, and made a short hike of 5 minutes to get to an epic vista.
A gigantic cliff, loomed large and formidable, while the blue-green Colorado river meandered its way alongside this cliff. Canyon walls plunged thousands of feet in a terrifying but sublime fashion & travelers stood by the very edge, taking pictures & breathing into their souls, the transcendence of this place.
I found an isolated spot & sat, gazing at the canyon walls for the better part of an hour. I felt like my consciousness was being turned upside down because a part of me felt a strong impulse to jump off the cliff as if some kind of sublime freedom and a secret dimension of reality existed out here. For a few moments, I would look away, feeling scared that I might actually jump off in a delirious bout of happiness because I felt happy as hell.
A few months later, I connected the dots and realized that the image and the call I felt to jump off, was nature's call to me to surrender my ego, fears & inhibitions to nature and to trust in that what called out to me.
Note to self: Must visit this place yet again.
One summer morning, on a tour to Upper Antelope Canyon, I found myself waiting for the monstrous jeep that would take us into the desert to where the Antelope Canyon stood.
A row of jeeps stood by the edge of the desert and my tour group & I sat in one and we all waited as if there was some kind of competition about to happen as to who would win this race into the desert. One by one, the jeeps with tourists set off and I felt like a child on a treasure hunt. The jeep ride was like riding the back of a dragon, wobbling and hurling, this way and that way. The jeeps cut tracks into the desert & left behind a trailing cloud of sand.
A couple of jeeps got stuck and the drivers expended a fair bit of effort & skill in maneuvering the jeep back onto its normal trajectory. Soon, the jeeps stopped near a narrow cave like opening in a canyon wall. We stepped inside and a surreal world opened up. The canyon walls rose up hundreds of feet, swirling in patterns and waves that resembled the inside of a sea shell. Everywhere, people clicked pictures and gasped in wonder.
Our guide told us that this surreal canyon passage was his childhood playground & he and his friends often came in at midnight and sometimes the moonlight shimmered brilliantly into the canyon. I imagine the desert & the canyon to be unimaginably mysterious and mystical in dark.
This place felt like a powerful shrine of some kind. On our return jeep trip, I gazed in awe and was smiling like an eight year old.
On a beautiful, sunny afternoon, with a bunch of strangers that had turned into friends in a day's time, I stood at a vantage point by the edge of a road & marveled at the surreal beauty of nature's wondrous art.
A red desert of canyons and cliffs and a pale blue artificial lake and a milky sky loomed before me like some kind of fantastic illusion. I jumped in joy and stood watching this therapeutic sight that was beyond surreal and beautiful.
In August of 2016, after years of wanting to visit Bryce Canyon National Park, I finally got the nerve to go solo on a travel tour and it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I met awesome people who were super sweet and super friendly and being on my own gave me total freedom to explore, observe and marvel at my own pace.
A hike through this forest of hoodoos will unleash magic and awe, beauty and wonder, transcendence and adventure. As I walked down the switchbacks carved into the rocks, I was spellbound by the sheer size and the color of the rocks. Everywhere, rocks rose from the ground in splendid shapes, creating a mind boggling & soul stirring jungle that I walked through as slowly as I could.
On the trail, a few pebbles tumbled down and I scurried out of the way, realizing how something so beautiful can turn into something fatal, within seconds.
The entire time, I felt as if I was on Mars or on some dream like world or as if the rocks were some kind of consciousness altering ships.
The air was pleasantly cold and I passed by random travelers, feeling a sense of kinship with these explorers. The adventure, though, was over, way too soon. I had been too happy, being a transcendental monk and an eight year old kid on an epic voyage through an epic land of staggering beauty.
Note to self: Must visit this sublime park, an infinite number of times in this lifetime.
As a child of the 80's, when I was a kid of eight, I would circle the perimeter of a playground near my home, climbing onto the raised platform and holding onto the peculiar fences, going around in circles, imagining I was traveling around the world.
Now, as a child of the 80’s, no longer a kid of eight, I feel I am simply executing the will and the energy of my eight year old gypsy self.