Animal Play in Costa Rica

Travel messes with you. My vacation in Costa Rica has moved on from a week long retreat centered around the ancient Chinese study of energy flow, known as qigong, to the family-fun-at-the-beach portion of this wonderful time. Yet here I am complaining because I’m now finding it hard to find a time and place to be alone. I’m staying at a rental house on a cliff overlooking the pounding surf, surrounded by the rain forest, with five other family members who constitute the people on this earth about whom I care the most deeply. Yet, I need to get away for a few minutes every day, to practice qigong and to feel the solitude. That’s just who I am.

Psychedelic 8I’ve started taking my quiet time at dusk out by the swimming pool. I sneak out like a teenager going for a smoke, and start my routine. Soon I have moved into the portion of my meditation that involves free movement and letting go of inhibitions. In it’s milder form it is known as swaying willow, but at its more expressive it is referred to as five animal play. I’m feeling pretty expressive today.

I hear an odd noise close by in the bushes. We’ve been told that there are howler monkeys nearby, and we have seen and heard them in the distance. I recognize their sound. This lone monkey cannot be more than a few dozen feet away from me but even though I open my eyes and stare into the forest, I cannot see him. They are small and harmless, so I go on. As I ease back into my meditation, the wilder my movements become the more noises he makes. Are we communicating? Does he like what I am doing? Can he feel the sheer joy of it? I roll his sounds into my own exuberance and finish the session with a grin on my face. I think to myself that this creature and I have shared something special on a primitive level.

The next morning I find myself in the pool with a cup of coffee. My son joins me, and we are both startled by what appears to be a small snake near the far edge of the pool. He goes to investigate, and laughs. “Definitely animal shit,” he says. “Monkey shit, if I had to guess.”

The neat little pile of excrement is roughly where I stood doing my qigong last night. Great. Did I maybe misunderstand his noises and he hated what I was doing? Then again, he could have been indifferent to me, making sounds for reasons of his own. Maybe this is a random dropping from another creature all together. Or maybe, just maybe, leaving this little bit of himself here where I stood was his way of saying hello. Who knows. There are some puzzles in life that you simply cannot solve.

For more on my own personal story of my Costa Rica qigong experiences please see
1. Embracing the Yin in Costa Rica,
2. Finding Forgiveness in Costa Rica
3. Many Paths in Costa Rica  and
4. Breathing Deeply in Costa Rica

If you would like to know more about qigong, please visit Flowing Zen

Also please drop by the Facebook page of Psychedelic Adventure and drop off a like for the great image above.

A Simple Lesson

I’ve taken a bit of break from blogging for a lot of good reasons. Finishing my fifth novel, d4, turned out to be more of an overwhelming experience than I expected, and the timing overlapped with producing a mild rewrite of my first novel x0. I’m proud of all my efforts but, as I keep learning the hard way, you can only do so much.

hippiepeace9If you try to do more, you are likely to not get enough sleep, grow frustrated with everyone you care about, and eventually with everyone you don’t. Pretty soon you are honking at random strangers because they have dared to slow you down for two seconds and you realize that you’ve become the very person you hate. It’s time to stop glaring at the people ahead of you in the check out line and let go of something.

So for over a month I let go of my blogging, which I love, and Facebook and reading other people’s blogs and almost every online activity I enjoy. For the last month I have been focused, very focused and even that still wasn’t quite enough for me to go back to being as pleasant a person as I would like to be. But it was close.

The novel d4 is now in the hands of my first beta reader, and the new and improved x0 is available everywhere that the old one once was. I’m on vacation. A real vacation, where I can stare out at mountains and I’m not on a computer all day working. Where I can write on my blogs just because I want to and most of all where I can remind myself that life is good and that I just need to calm down and get through the crazy times because good ones always follow. It’s such a simple lesson. I hope that I remember it next time.

(Please drop by and give the fine folks at Hippie Peace Freaks a like on their Facebook page for the great image above.)