I walked into the jungles of Costa Rica and walked out transformed. Here are some of the lessons I learned.
I recently had the incredible fortune of calling Costa Rica home for a year of my life. My family and I followed a dream and found ourselves surrounded by the most amazing jungle paradise. While my wife was pursuing a Master’s Degree at the United Nations mandated University for Peace, I was pursuing an education of a different kind. Almost every day, I slipped into the jungle, on a quest for a better understanding of the powerful Energy that pulled so strongly at my Spirit. The Jungle was my classroom and its Spirit my teacher. These are some of the lessons I learned.
Want a history lesson? Climb a tree.
On our property we had an old Higueron tree. We called it ‘Monkey Tree’ because its massive size and wide open branches made it a favorite for the local monkeys. As a kid I loved climbing trees, and after a few weeks the call of the jungle was too strong and up the tree I went.
At first, I would climb up for the challenge, pick a spot, get there, then climb back down. But every time I went up it felt more difficult to come back down. You see, the tree didn’t want me to go – it had a story to tell. It was a story of energy, a primal energy that we are all a part of. That tree had been standing there for over 500 years. Its roots reached out and fed all the plants and trees around it. In its branches flowed the lifeblood of the jungle. It taught me about its history, my history, our history.
I was just as much a part of that tree as it was a part of me.
The LESSON was that we are all CONNECTED, SPIRITS connected by the ENERGY that surrounds us.
Monkeys love good vibrations.
We had a breathtaking waterfall on our property. Some days, I would perch myself right at the top of it, close my eyes and breathe. Those were some of the most transformative meditation sessions I’ve ever experienced. And then one day I opened my eyes and found myself surrounded by capuchin monkeys.
Up until then, my experience with the local monkeys had been typical human-monkey interactions: monkey wants food, human wants decent picture, exchange is made, monkeys leave. But on this day, there was no food, no camera, there were just primal creatures sharing an experience.
I have no doubt that they were drawn to my energy, because I could feel the incredible strength of theirs.
My lesson that day was that the Jungle Spirit doesn’t care about names, about species. It sees us all as equals, and will treat us as such so long as we show it the same respect.
Instead of moving forward, we need to start moving backwards.
Since the beginnings of human civilization, we’ve been looking to dominate the natural world, to impose our will on the “savage” ways of the forests and jungles of our planet. We consider what is primal to be uncivilized, and look for ways to make it conform.
What we call progress is actually the opposite. Instead of moving towards harmony, we are moving towards chaos. The more “modernized” our world becomes, the further away from balance we get. We need to walk back into the forest, back into the jungle, and embrace the energy we are working so hard to destroy.
The Jungle Spirit taught me that the further away we move from our primal roots, the harder it becomes to truly be at peace.
Conflict is a part of Peace.
Growing up in eastern Canada, a walk in the forest was rarely a cause for alarm. Chances are the most dangerous creature you’ll encounter is a pissed off squirrel. On my first few trips, that laid back attitude towards nature followed me into the jungle. Mesmerized by its beauty, it was difficult to recognize its danger. Until that first venom-filled viper went slithering away from me when I stepped a little too close to where it was resting. Now that’ll wake you up!
When we think of a peaceful place, we usually think of a care-free environment where nothing can go wrong. So why did I feel so at peace in the jungle, where danger and venom lurked at every step? I believe it’s because every creature in that jungle was also looking for peace, and sometimes conflict is part of achieving that peace. Some animals must die so others can eat. Shrieks and roars are used to send messages.
The Jungle Spirit taught me that conflict must not be avoided, nor should it be created. It will happen when it is needed, and if allowed to run its natural course, balance will be restored.
The Jungle is a beautiful, dangerous, primal sanctuary of incredible Energy and Spirit. It is a reminder of the way things were, or have always been. It has so many lessons to teach us, but most of us are unwilling to listen. So open your mind and allow the jungles, forests and oceans of this amazing planet we call home awaken your spirit. And the next time you have the chance, climb a tree and listen to what it has to say. Peace.
To learn more about the Primal Energy I connected with, come check out my EMPOWER class, Fridays at 12PM Physical Park.