On one of our last days in Nepal Bhola wants us to experience what it is like to soar through the air like Garuda, the mystical Bird of the North and magical vehicle of Vishnu.
– I better post a link here, so you can find out a bit more who Garuda is:
For this exercise we are to partner up with someone other than our life partner, arrange 2 chairs in such a way, that one person, being Garuda, is leaning far forward over the back rest of the chair in an angle while the other person being the journeyer, sits on another chair but leans way back so as to come to lay on top of Garuda’s back.
Devi and me pair up. Devi wants to be Garuda first. A bit uneasy we arrange our chairs and bodies as instructed. I come to lay right on Devi’s spine. It is not uncomfortable, but as Bhola starts to drum all that is filling my head is: “Oh Please!! do not let me hurt Devi!!!! Oh Please!! do not let me hurt Devi!!!! ….>>”
I am supposed to soar here, but that is all I can think…..
Normally I can journey in any situation; full stomach, empty one, on the floor, standing up, during ritual… never mind….
But always my concern for others comes FIRST!
But here I have to cut it out!!!
Devi will – most likely not crumble beneath my scrawny back and – she signed up for this – carrying a load – of bones – around for a while…
So, Mi-Shell, Stop it…
“Oh Please…. “
I see Lira sitting on the floor. But she has no feathers – not a one!
She looks like a freshly plucked Chicken – and she is all grayish brown – no colour….
Take a deep breath – even on the chance of crushing Devi to death and……
….look into the foggy grey sandstorm sky through which Devi, now a Laaaarge flat-beaked Chicken with remarkable looooong feathers is flying.
Rajasthan… sand storm – all brownish grey……
Breath in the sand that poor Devi/Garuda is breathing out.
It turns to greenish golden fields far below.
That’s better! See, what Devi sees…… Oh, how beautiful….. and private…..
The drum beat fades……..
Devi is still alive and well and, it seems to be, so am I….
Reason enough for Bhola to instruct us to “change roles”
Now I am supposed to be Garuda:
I lean far forward on the chair and Devi lays back on my back.
As the drum starts I spread my wings. I know, I am carrying a golden castle draped with lots of long silk scarves and wish I could find the colours. Again everything is just monochromatic greyish brown and cartoon-like.
The pain sets in.
I have a broken vertebra, that never quite healed and since a few years is dancing with arthritis…..
The pain sears into my legs, which twitch and one goes numb…..
“Come on, be a goooood Garuda for Devi!” it is just 10 minutes…..
The drum beat is not enough for me to maintain the trance. I need a better vehicle to push me through the pain. I will do, what I have always done….. ride away on the pain….
(… as a child, during the horrrrrrible beatings in the orphanage
…. in the dentist’s office, when I can not have the freezing…..
…. on … quite a few other situations……)
Ride the pain…..
Soar above it, with Huuuuuge wings of a white feathered Owl…..
“… NOT supposed to be an Owl but Garuda!!!!” 😦
The feathers change back to monochromatic grey/ brown…… but then Lira, now again fully feathered, lands on my Garuda back behind Devi and digs her sharp claws into my Garuda back. Searing pain!!!! It shoots up like molten lava, spews up into my Garuda head – and turns the scenery below me and the segment of my right Garuda wing, that I can see, into a fantastic kaleidoscope of vibrant succulent colours. A red golden sun glows above us,and alights the green mountainous valleys below…..
As the drum fades away the pain intensifies and the scene turns back to monochromatic greyish brown.
Later in the evening Peter asked me, what I thought of the journey. I told him and let him read my diary notes, that also make up most of this post
He told me, that he and his partner M. also only experienced discomfort during this exercise and had no benefits other than quietly enduring it and waiting until it was over.
That is often the problem in workshops; People do not share, if/ when something does not work for them – because participants do not want to be the “odd person out” and it is seen as criticizing or dis-respecting the teacher…….