This unforgettable 7-day training occurred at the threshold of the global pandemic. It was the last event before the International
School of Temple Arts declared a global pause on all physical events.
The experience was equally extraordinary as it was confronting to the core. We adjusted the curriculum to meet the needs of the current crisis. We started by exploring the depths of the flight, flight, freeze responses in our nervous systems as well as dialoguing with the virus itself and running numerous tools to feel and release the transpersonal fear spasms.
Throughout the journey, our courageous organizer took participants’ temperatures, stayed connected to world affairs, updated us on scientific developments on the virus and kept us up to date on the changing international travel bans.
I’m not exaggerating when I say Bali was hard to leave. Not only did I fall in love with the land and the people, but the head-of-state issued an announcement that the entire island would soon close its borders to all international travel.
I’m so impressed by the empowered and responsible souls who came together to co-create this transformative journey. The bonding power was surpassed only by respect for diversity and sovereignty within the tribe. Each individual had to make difficult decisions each day and some moved heaven and earth to make it home, while others have yet to go home. Fortunately, the visionary venue owner offered a safe and beautiful sanctuary for 11 participants who are now quarantined together in an ashram setting where they can practice daily dynamic meditation on beachfront property.
Meanwhile, in Guatemala, there are 17 ISTA Participants quarantined together not allowed to leave while the surrounding village has gone into lockdown.
On a personal note, my original plan was to stay until the end of the month for a poly vacation with my lovers Stacy, James, Sharmila, Michael, and Taina.
Sensibly, James and Sharmila felt it safer to stay home and desperately urged us not to go. Stacy’s flight from SF aborted and she wasn’t able to join the facilitation team. Despite it all, Michael still hoped to fly out with Devin to quarantine in paradise, but the airline canceled their flight.
That’s when Sharmilla started scrambling to get us home. She spent 20 something hours flexing her travel agent skills to change our flight path from Taipae to Melbourne to…Jakarta to Tokyo to Hawaii…In total, we spent 53 hours in transit but made it back to San Diego by the grace of God… (and Sharmilas persistence!)
I am now grateful to be home quarantined with Devin (age 13) who is finishing the 7th grade with online distance learning. Taina and Michael are still able to date since she is observing similar quarantine protocols. Michael and I still jog to the beach daily to do yoga, even though the boardwalk and pier are closed.
The greatest harvest from my ISTA journey in Bali is that it is essential to continuously move our emotions. The year 2020 has been a quantum leap into the unknown. There may be untold gifts that come from this crisis, but In order to embrace the mystery without freezing, we must remain vibrating and sensitive. We must give ourselves permission to feel it all:
The staggering death toll demands to be mourned.
The collapse of both economic and political systems is cause for outrage.
While the invisible and unpredictable nature of this virus gives us all something to fear.
The more we allow ourselves to feel the dark dense emotions, the more we will be able to vibrate through to the light. Beyond our collective grief, anger, and fear, there is hope. There will be healing. And there is love. At the ground of our being, there is always love.
For a list of future scheduled events, check out the events page!