The First Journeys at the New Land Prove to Offer Quite an Adventure
posted by Cynthia Robinson on October 16th, 2014
We have just completed our first Shamanic Permaculture Immersive Practice course at the new Paititi land and are taking the time to ground and integrate with all of the lessons, inspirations and challenges that have come up in this evolutionary endeavor.
The land is wild and alive with powerful ancestral spirit that is reawakening with our intentional receptive presence to honor Mother Nature’s communications.
The immensity of the land (4000 acres) has proven to be overwhelming on one side and full of limitless possibilities on the other. There is a lot of work to be done in order to restore and heal certain areas of the land from the exploitation of several generations of hacienda owners since the times of the conquistadors. Specifically on the upper levels there are areas of damage from overgrazing and cattle in inappropriate areas and on the lowermost part of the land there are about 20 acres where the eco-balance has been disturbed by a mono-crop coffee plantation which is being expressed in the form of many biting yellow gnats. They are not mosquitos, yet can be bothersome at times especially to the newly arrived pioneers.
Simultaneously with that the fertile soil, many unique climate zones, ecological levels and the variety of the different fruit trees, vegetables and tubers that can be grown here is astounding. We have discovered for ourselves many magnificent landscapes higher up on the land, stunningly beautiful and adventurously challenging at the same time. One of those places we explored with the course for 5 days, taking the group approximately 6 hours to get there climbing up the mountain together with a trusted local guide and a kind mule carrying supplies.
While there we all had the opportunity to calibrate with the mountain and discover some of her magic and immensity. One of the highlights being an enchanted spring coming straight out of the roots of a giant Mother tree on the side of the mountain. During our time on the mountain it became clear that there is infinite magic yet to be discovered and at the same time we learned powerful lessons about slowing down and bringing presence, care and good planning deeper into the process.
On one of the “bush-wacking” trips exploring access points to the river one of our participants, although experienced with a machete, cut himself deeply on the knee. Although big enough to require stitches, luckily the wound occurred at a place on the knee where there are not many blood vessels and no ligaments. This was the first serious machete injury we have encountered in the last 4 years of working with machetes a good deal at our previous center.
Our field surgery kit that we had prepared just for such an unexpected case was at the first aid station at our base camp on the other side of the mountain so our local friend and guide agreed to bring it to us. He amazed all of us with his profound connection with the mountain as he made it to our camp in 1 hour and 20 minutes in the dark and fog without a flash light. Unfortunately when he arrived we discovered that he was actually given regular sowing needles and strings rather than the surgery kit…
Our local friend shared that he has often used regular sewing needles and threads on wounds after disinfecting them, however we weren’t quite convinced and since the wound was looking stable and the patient agreed – we decided to bring the proper supplies the next day. Two of our support members volunteered the next morning to bring the kit and by 5pm they were able to make it to the base camp and back with the supplies. The surgery supported by sacred and medicinal plants, acupuncture and many healing intentions was successful. The enchanted spring near the Mother tree where the accident has occurred has been named the ‘healing knee’.
Next came the rescue mission where we had to find a strong enough horse to carry our wounded participant (who happened to be the largest human in our group) around the mountain. After a day for the stitches to set the horse turned up in the morning and the expedition caravan came down to the base camp successfully in a few hours. The helicopter which could come in a case of dire emergency was not needed this time around especially when another one of our local guides demonstrated many years of quite serious machete scars on his legs that he has sown himself while disinfecting the wounds with his urine and climbing down the mountain by himself with no help many times over. Of course locals do have somewhat different standards and yet it was still very inspiring to witness. Giving a day not to disturb the wound and allowing the horse to rest we were then able to complete the retreat with a gratitude ceremony and a traditional Andean offering called Despacho. The hero’s journey came to a completion when we ascended from the base camp the day after to the road where a car was waiting to drive the group of participants back to civilization.
And so all in all it has been a remarkable learning opportunity and an adventure for everyone and especially for our core team to integrate and transmute the flow of the course into the evolutionary learning, being true to the name of this course – Shamanic Permaculture. We have intended to listen to nature instead of pushing our own concepts and expectations into the process and have gotten very direct communications that inevitably invited transformation of consciousness and sustainable development under occasional stress and intensity. Water, access, structure and emergency planning have emerged as our priorities and we are taking the steps to ground a solid foundation for our dreams to manifest.
Life is such that if one lives long enough one discovers that no matter how much one may try it is not possible to be in control of all situations. In reflection, the only thing that one can truly be in control of is the way one deals with those situations and it was truly inspiring to witness the group come together. Seeing the solution inside the problem is a foundational facet of Permaculture. By transcending the habitual tendencies of fear in front of the unknown and recognizing the deeper meaning in every situation and circumstance while developing confidence in the simple intuitive wisdom, a key to resolution of suffering is found. All of us at Paititi are eternally grateful to the shared heart that is opening wider and wider in the world today within our global family and are committed to continue our evolution in the direction of elimination of all the suffering in ourselves and all beings. A dove out of our hearts!!!