I Didn’t Talk for 10 Days, and I loved it!

When I received an invitation to attend Quepasana — a ten day silent meditation course practicing the meditation style of vipassana — I knew by the tears that began streaming down my cheeks and the fire in my belly that I had to be there.

The course is completely volunteer led, financially supported by donations and the founder Jorge Yant. This means that attending is completely free. All you have to do is commit to show up and follow the rules, which include handing in all electronics as well as practicing noble silence for ten days.

Jorge Yant, photo by Carli Grau

Noble silence is the practice of pretending as if you are completely alone even if you are surrounded by 50 other people. All speech among guests is forbidden. Eye contact is discouraged. If you have a need then you can write a note to one of the course leaders and they in turn may allow you to speak with them.

Despite working my way through anxiety the days leading up to my arrival, when I made it to the Quepasana property I was greeted with so much warmth that I immediately felt safe. The first day was spent settling in and getting to know the people I would be sharing the next 10 days with. After lunch we had our first meditation and I found my nerves relax as I had begun tapping into the peaceful place inside of me.

My days began at 4:30am, awoke from a dream state by the ritualistic bell ringing throughout the property. I slept in a large canvas tent on a cozy air mattress, sitting atop the hill in a lightly wooded area. While the stars were at their brightest I made my way to the Shala for some awakening yoga and then our first hour of seated meditation. A couple times I saw the moon set over the ocean like a salmon colored orb sinking beneath the horizon. One morning I paused before entering the Shala to look up at the heavens and saw a shooting star, giving me a little boost of strength for that day.

After morning meditation I typically scrambled to get dressed for the beach and then quickly ate breakfast so I made it to the truck in time to climb in the back with a dozen other silent people. I carried the meditative state in my heart as I became one with the morning wind on my face. No matter how dry my towel felt in the midday sun of yesterday it still felt moist and cold around my shoulders from spending a night in the tent with me on tropical Maui, a long way from my desert home.

A trip to Little Beach where we run naked into the waves is not typical of a traditional vipassana course, yet I certainly was grateful for the intimate connection to the clear blue waters and smooth sand. The sun began to peek over the trees and I floated, one with the elements. There were a couple days when I skipped the beach trip and went back to bed instead, those days were deeply divine as well. Rest is powerful work.

In the afternoons we had yin yoga. Yin yoga was a precious deviation from sitting upright. With peaceful and uplifting music holding us in our poses I let go on cellular level. When the Shala grew so hot that almost thought I couldn’t bear it it was then that I would hear the continuous spray of the yin angels coming closer to me. I felt so thankful to receive a refreshing spray of water and cooling essential oils on my skin. Other times the servers would assist me in a pose or offer massage and energy work. The love I felt from their hands would make me melt into tears; my eye pillow often had two round wet spots when I took it off to switch poses.

Early afternoon was the time of day we most often were gifted with rain. The slow pitter patters would tap on the tent roof and soon a downpour would come to wash away what had surfaced in my heart. the coolness that came from the rain was welcome, and I would slip into a place of completely letting go.

Quepasana November 2019

Being so in my own world despite being around many people revealed to me how much of my story is projection. Thoughts can sway from love to judgment in an instant, wether towards myself or others, and in a moment I can switch right back. Meditation is the practice of coming back to center. I will sway, that is the beauty of life, and still I return to center again and again.

Many different emotions came up during the ten days, and I found that I had not much else to do than sit with and feel everything that came up. Traumas from years ago resurfaced like crashing waves onto my shore. Other times tears bubbled over me during a sit and I let my body rock with the storm, finding comfort in the sweet rhythm.

Now that I have been home for a couple weeks I can see which changes have stuck. Particularly with my emotions it seems that I feel them in a deeper place, which allows them to be safely looked at and felt. I feel a sensitivity from all parts of myself have increased, creating a gentle approach to life. Walls that I had become so used to melted in the safe arms of Quepasana and now I can move freely.

I have known for a while the power of meditation, and have benefitted from it greatly. This experience was a high dose of meditation medicine. It is really special to have a place to go where I can be taken care of while I do the magical work of being present with myself.

I am lit up with passion for this work and so I am launching a 30 day meditation course to help us create and support a regular meditation practice. Learn more here.

Is Helping Helpful?

I think about other people a lot. Especially those closest to me. I think it is natural that we have collectively learned that wanting to support our loved ones comes from a caring place.

I dug beneath my personal desires to help and have found a similar pattern.

In seeking to connect with someone else I am ultimately looking to fill a desire or need inside of myself. Knowing this, I now ask myself:

“Do I believe that the person I want to help is fully capable of taking care of themselves?

Do I believe that the person I want to help will ask me if they need or want anything from me?”

I believe that I can almost always answer yes to these questions. I believe that everyone has everything they need even if one of their needs is to speak up and ask for help. When someone asks for help the person being asked then has the option to say yes or no. If they say yes then an open flow of giving and receiving has been in initiated.

The more that I focus on myself the more my world seems to blossom, both my inner world and my outer world. When I attune my energy to myself and not to others I find it easier to meet my own needs, and my desires to feel fulfilled by others versus actual needs for support hold greater distinction.

If you would like to join me in turning the questions inward, let’s see how it feels to focus on ourselves:

“Do I believe that I am fully capable of taking care of myself?

Do I believe that I will ask for help if I need or want anything?”

Personally my answer to both questions is YES!

If your answer is less certain, that is okay! Think about these questions as you go throughout your day and focus on where you are giving your power. Is it to someone else, or is it grounded inside of yourself?

To get myself feeling more in my personal power I like to move my body through dancing or singing, and expressing myself through writing or talking.

Rich in Love

I felt my heart open.

This morning I wondered what to do with my time…

And then my heart opened.

It felt like love.

It felt like a waterfall.

It felt like the purpose that I’ve scrambled around to find.

It felt like my best friend.

Sometimes this feeling pops up from a spiritual practice, sometimes a downright childish behavior. I am not ashamed of what brings me joy.

I do not seek protection for there is no thing to fear.

I do not seek guidance for there is no way but the way.

I do not ask for love for I am love.

You Are the Key

I see people asking every day about ways to protect themselves, ways to stay energetically clear, ways to manage their emotions, ways to foster abundance, ways to ground, ways to find purpose and a will to live, and the list goes on.

Regardless of what is going on in one’s life, I know who wants to change and who doesn’t based on their willingness and ability to tap into their own soul.

Yes, I’m talking about meditation.

Sit down for five minutes.

JUST BREATHE

Repeat every day, extending the time if desired.

Now I’m not trying to white wash anyone’s struggle. Life can get pretty maddening and external forces can put a lot of pressure on us.

The one thing you always have, until the day your body passes and the soul transitions, is your body and your breath. This is your source of power.

Sitting, breathing, and feeling your own soul is a key to breakthrough. It is a key to overcoming unhealthy ways of thinking. It is a key to processing trauma and complex emotions. Let me rephrase this, YOU are the key to understanding yourself!

Taking a moment to check in with the deeper parts of ourselves can become a ritual of bliss. If you haven’t gotten there yet, it may be because things start coming up when you start to enter meditation. Listen to your heart and treat yourself like a child who needs help. Go to ceremony, see a therapist, talk to someone you trust and bounce your experiences off them, but remember, no one can save you but yourself. This is a good thing! This means that you have the power to free yourself of the struggles of past beliefs and patterns.

Reset. Take a minute to close your eyes, count your breath, and listen to your heart.💛

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Krista Ray is a holistic therapist assisting others in revealing their empowered selves one session at a time.✨

You Have Been Let Go

Yes. The position is no longer needed at this time…

Worrying about what other people think, take the day off.

Being bothered by other people’s process, you don’t have to think about it anymore.

Letting concerns for how other people feel take up your time and energy, clock out.

It isn’t your job anymore, think about what you can do with all your spare time now! The ease of letting your mind wander, coming up with creative and funny ideas.

You get to enjoy being yourself, doing things that make you happy and shine.

Now you have the energy to notice the beauty of life around you. Nature is singing, slow down and you can hear it.

You might find that since retiring from your old job that your relationships are more fulfilling, and you might even care to listen deeper.

You don’t have to make up a story about anything. Now you get to relax and let your own purpose develop naturally.

Congratulations on your new life!✨

Inclusive Spiritual Speak

In many spiritual communities terms such as sister, brother, goddess and priestess are used frequently among friends and clients.

While some embrace these titles, I ask that you remember the non binary and queer people in your circles. I have chosen a few examples of gender neutral spiritual slang that is safe for all audiences and relationships:

Family

Beloved

Blessed Being

Cosmic Light

Powerful Being

Divine One

Sacred Soul

Love Manifest

Remember to ask (don’t assume) people’s pronouns. Using words that respect someone’s identity is a huge part of loving them.💖

Can You Believe It?

Here I am, raw and unfiltered: I need to tell you something.

I am filled with so much love and joy right now that it’s exploding out of me. I can’t help but look at how far I have come, and how much work and sacrifice I put into building a life that makes my souls sing.

I have so much passion for sharing this joy that often I become overwhelmed with finding the words to share. I am a holistic therapist, it is my job to make the intangible truths not just understandable but practical. I am here to lovingly push people forward into their most empowered selves.

Yet, I know that many of my personal practices seem trivial when there are people struggling to buy food, facing addictions and mental health concerns every day.

Who am I to say anything about abundance when I sit in a seat of privilege.

Sure I have seen my dose of struggle. I’ve been abused, controlled, pushed down literally and figuratively, I’ve been in jail and on psych meds. These experiences don’t define me, but they do empower me.

I refuse to be a victim to anything or anyone. I am my own master, and so I choose the path of least resistance. Don’t misunderstand, there is much battle to be faught in the quest for person power. There is a cost, but with great sacrifice comes great reward.

What greater treasure is there in this life but the unveiling of our true soul. I firmly believe that you, YOU, are stronger than you think and braver than you believe! Stay strong, ask for help, and never give up!

I can’t help everyone, but I can stay strong and continue to grow every day, I can help those around me, I can set an example and I can make a difference.

One of the biggest lessons I learned in the past year is patience and consistency. Whatever it is in your life that you want to change, stay on the course. Results can sometimes take time; growth sometimes feels like failure. Remember that everything is a gift to help you learn and grow.

I know this because somehow even when I didn’t want to live anymore I kept going.

Repeat this mantra throughout the day: I believe in myself.

Four Element Clearing

When I feel the need to reset I like to remember the four main elements as a way to check in with myself and find my center. This technique can be used by anyone at any time. Especially powerful times are during bleeding or a life shift.

Take four days and focus each day on the elements: one at a time. This practice uses the traditional four as the elements, feel free to incorporate other elements if you wish. Day one the focus is on fire, day two air, day three water, ending on day four with a focus on earth. Another option is to do one of each at any time for a quick balancing.

On each day begin in prayer focusing on the element of the day. Let everything you do drip with love. Choose which practices from the days element you wish you use.

Fire

  • Cook over fire
  • Light candle
  • Burn sage
  • Smoke herbs
  • Burn written intentions

Air

  • Self Reiki
  • Rapé ceremony
  • Draw with charcoal
  • Pranayama
  • Dance

Water

  • Bathe
  • Meditate with shell
  • Make fresh juice
  • Pray at natural waters
  • Collect rainwater and anoint chakras

Earth

  • Meditate with crystals
  • Mud/clay/chocolate face mask
  • Hug a tree
  • Lay on the ground
  • Plant seeds
  • Cut hair

What you sow you will reap. The power of your intentions will be supported by this ritual, so be sure to have strong intentions, a flowing heart, and meditative mind as you move through your practice.

Comment below if you have any other suggestions for elemental clearing.

Magic for the Self

Magic and manifestation have been increasing in popularity, and I have people asking me about how to use their gifts to help themselves and others. When realizing we all have power to create and manipulate reality, I think it’s important to begin with the self.

Burn a candle for self forgiveness.

Write down and let go of beliefs around shame.

Release inner judgments.

Reprogram negative thinking with affirmations.

Have compassion towards your process.

Remind your heart that it is safe to be open and flowing with love.

Use herbs and natural medicine to cleanse and revive the body.

Manifest a decalcified pineal gland.

Release trauma and generational pain by observing your karma.

Use meditation to clear your energetic field.

When you find yourself feeling empowered and abundant then sharing these gifts with others comes naturally.