The Power of Our Voice (and adapting to the world again)
It has been only 3 weeks out of my isolation in the jungle I found so many new challenges and teachings.
As we were talking about the challenges, Magdalena told me about Michael Roach who became a buddhist monk then was asked by his master to go to NY and start a business! He tells the story in his book “the diamond cutter” which I will read as soon as possible.
I see the challenges as opportunities for growth and find my integration back in society and following the dieta for another 9 months much harder than my time in the forest (which I thought would be the hardest but I was wrong).
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It is also for me an opportunity to see if I really changed and what changed in me or has not…
When I was in the container of the remote hut, I wasn’t tempted by anything as there wasn’t much.
I got trapped so many times but saying things that came back hurting me or hurting someone. I am struggling with a huge “need” to share my experience in the jungle, the interest and questions of many friends but also the danger of sharing too much. For example my latest newsletter about addiction did not go very well.
There are so many addictions: working all the time or hyper activity is an addiction most people don’t notice (I had it all my life until I started working on myself), seeking success or outside recognition through social media, alcohol, using our phones constantly (the Internet was forbidden to me there), sex, etc etc. Addiction scares many people and talking about them isn’t okay. I just tried to be honest saying I got rid of all my addictions but came back with a new one with strong natural tobacco. I then shared how I was working on controlling it and how I could control it quite easily. I believe addiction is “just” a matter of controlling my thoughts. I am talking for myself. It’s the same process that makes me not stop a meditation or resist any type of pain or difficult situation. It’s mind training. I received strong criticism for saying that as well as a few comments I since deleted that modern medicine or science did not help as much as learning to control one’s mind.
To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing. – Elbert Hubbard often misattributed to Aristotle
I often talk too much and write too much. I enjoy sharing what I am learning and my challenges and try to do it very honestly. The other risk is to sound crazy or that I completely lost balance or reality. It’s challenging but I will keep sharing. I am trying to share more quantity than quality.
Back to the topic of being “monk like” isolated or in the world. See how it’s much easier? I could tell anything I wanted to my “secret” journal without any consequences but here I am learning as I have never learned the consequences of my words. It is tempting to delete my public writing and posts (and I sometimes do) but I love it so much that I keep going. I also feel -might be my ego too- that I must share some of what I learned, it might help others too. It feels worse to keep all that knowledge for myself than taking the risk of degrading my image or making some people upset, often family members…
My teacher Putanny Yawanawà has incredible words as always in this must watch short video:
“Our weapon is our voice, our love and our humility” - Putanny, first ever woman master of the Yawas
I had two green bananas a day and a glass of water that’s it at the beginning. It was obviously incredibly hard but here now it’s even harder seated at dinner with friends eating sweets or meat. When you do not see it it’s easier. When everything is constantly available it’s much harder. My dieta also includes no sugar or sugar taste liquids and no water. I can only have tea or bitter tasting juices such as pure passion fruit. Better stay home than going to have breakfast somewhere, I am experimenting with green juices I used to not like.
There is one thing that definitely seems gone forever. I see many friends drinking wine in front of me and I don’t even feel like it. I did not drink a drop of alcohol for about 10 months and very little for 1.5 years.
No sugar for one year is the most challenging, like a spoon of honey in my yogurt.
I have always been very social and frankly nearly always social. If I wasn’t with my family I would always be with friends or business friends, they were often the same. I learned to be alone and self-sufficient for the first time in my life in the forest. As I came out after 3 months I craved reconnecting with friends and meeting new ones. This is where I noticed how I changed (maybe temporarily) the most. I have a hard time sitting in a restaurant for two hours. Crowded restaurants when I visited Paris where a constant challenge mostly for the background noise (just people talking normally!) and also their energy after a few drinks. I took as a meditation listening to strangers. I listened for about 30 mins to someone I did not know explaining all the details of his business including his margin, costs and how successful it was. I have to be honest, I was totally uninterested but yet listened carefully to every word and noticing what it was doing inside of me.
Meditating in silence is tough but often easier than some conversations for me currently.
He was also constantly touching me for some reason, putting his hand on my shoulder ever few minutes. In the forest nobody talked to me and I was forbidden to touch or be touched by anyone. I also constantly notice the eye-contact. The indigenous also taught me to avoid eye contact as for them it’s too much incoming data and energy as well as being careful with what “comes out” of my eyes. In other words I am learning -and trying as it’s so tough- to be conscious at all times. I gently told this new friend I did not talk about business for months and wasn’t touched by anyone so it felt weird but he continued anyway.
My ego started thinking “mmm, how can he not be conscious that I am so bored” but then I saw it as a mirror of myself as I am for sure also often talking too much and thinking that what I say is interesting but it might also be totally boring. A new connection in my brain seems to fire-up telling me to also “read” more whomever I am talking to and adapt to this.
I still love connecting to friends and new friends and take these new feelings as a challenge to overcome. I have no intention to isolate myself.
To-do-s and material things
I have lived without a wallet and always offline. I had no passport or id card with me in the forest. I was truly free. There were borders though as I wasn’t allowed to walk outside of the 50m circle around my hut. When I first connected to the Internet two weeks before coming out of the jungle I discovered the crypto and tech-stocks crash and that I had lost -like many- quite a bit especially in Luna for those of you following crypto… Another challenge as I came out so sensitive. I told the Chief. He said “welcome any new challenge as a blessing and a new opportunity for you to become stronger”.
I am fine, not complaining, and I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am in, but it was definitely a strong return to real life.
I also feel like going back to business so I see it as an opportunity to do so now.
I want to be in the world again and very grounded, after flying for so long. I am also curious to see what changed there and how I can apply some of my teachings to daily life and also business activity.
Keeping my spiritual work-
I still meditate an hour a day sometimes two. It is much harder to “find the time” as there are so many things to do here. I learned to sing and pray also play some -still not so good- guitar. I was singing many hours every day there. Here if I am not isolated I feel I disturb others or I get shy (not usual either for me!) so I don’t. I still try to sing a bit every day and say some prayers aloud in ancient Yawanawa or I risk losing them. These songs and prayers really help but I need to “think about” singing and finding the right time and space to do it.
No sex for one year (in any form)-
It is hard, no question. I am about 4 months in. I will write about it one day but I definitely feel the benefits, a huge energy always available. I do the Kundalini Sat Kriya daily, the only practice I kept from one year of Kundalini in San Francisco. It helps moving the sexual energy up among many other benefits and I really love it. I sometimes do the practice for up to 30 minutes.
There are many more changes and challenges I notice but I will keep them for my next newsletter.
Please give me some feedback in the comments about this newsletter. What do you like? What do you not like? How about the frequency of about 3x a week? What topics would you like me to cover if any? Thanks for reading!
update: really good post on “right speech” from a friend.
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