Wednesday, April 8, 2020

A Journey within; the only kind of travel itinerary during the Covid 19 lockdown

It started with our Summer vacation to Turkey getting cancelled as a contagious virus was doing its rounds , and very soon domestic flights got cancelled and even getting out of our own houses to take a walk around the neighbourhood was fraught with dangers of contracting Covid 19.
Since all roads leading outwards were closed, I decided to take my wanderlust to the next level, I decided to take the Journey Within. I had heard marvellous tales of how it looked, the galaxies of the soul, the ocean of treasures waiting to be discovered. I was excited!

But how does one take that journey within? There wasn’t a flight or a train schedule I could refer to. There were, however, multiple travel agents, waiting to take me on this wondrous journey.
First I tried the easiest route to self discovery; sleep. It was a journey I had taken many times before, and with a few expert tips from the sleep experts via Ted Talks and articles on the ‘power of sleep’, I was sure to unlock the secrets of the soul through sleep. The secret, they said, lay in the deep sleep, and the slow spindle sleep, and the REM sleep, and it was a matter of tapping into the Theta and Delta waves, to ride the journey to Neverland. So, I started sleeping with Binaural beats. Binaural means related to both ears. when music of two different frequencies is played in either ear, for example a 200 hz, and a 210 hz, a new frequency is created within the inferior colliculus , at 10 Hz. This frequency is not actually heard in the music, but is created within the body and the brain, due to the disparity in the frequency. Binaural beats are supposed to cure everything from anxiety to insomnia, and promote a sense of bliss.

the journey within, quarantined travel blogger

Youtube, my preferred travel planner, next suggested, I try Chakra healing.Chakras are the centers of life force or energy within the body .We have 7 Chakras in our body, starting from the root chakra meant for grounding and safety, to the highest chakra which was a direct connection to the universal spirit. There were multiple ways of balancing the Chakras, from guided meditation, to visualising the colours red, orange, yellow, green, sky blue and purple for each of the chakras, to listening to singing bowls and meditating with crystals, and intentional chanting. Words like ‘I am safe, I am life, I am will, I am compassion, I am creation, I am awake and I am .’ Chakra meditations on Youtube were as short as 7 minutes with 1 minute for each chakra, to ones which were 7 hours long with 1 hour each for each Chakra. I found the 35 minutes a day, spending 5 minutes per chakra was the most sustainable practice for me.

colourful vistas, on my journey within

From a journey which required me to sleep, to a journey within which required me to sit still, I then moved to a soul-travel option which required me to actually move.
The idea was to move from your mind and brain to a more visceral, more intuitive energy, which required the body to take over. Shamanic shaking ,or quaking was the exact opposite of thecalm relaxation of the previous two,, here words like ‘ecstatic expression’ and ‘heightened arousal’ were used. It was more difficult than the others, I realised, since here, it expected me to do something. I saw that my mind wandered less. There was no scope of the mid to wander, when your arms were flapping like a bird, your hips gyrating and your feet stomping to a primal African beat. I pranced like a monkey on sugar high, and all things considered , while I am not sure what insights I got about me, I felt elated.More reading suggested that shaking has been a form of connecting with a higher being, among Oshoites, Caribbean shakers, bushmen, shamans, Australian aborigines, Japanese Seiki Jutsu.  
From the ancient Indian wisdom of balancing Chakras, I decided to try the ancient Chinese wisdom of balancing my masculine and feminine energies, namely my Yin and Yang. Yin the feminine powers and the Yang ,masculine powers, reside in each one of us. it is a dynamic equilibrium, never still, sometimes we are the receiver, sometimes the giver, sometimes the intuitive , other times the logical. I relised, just like the chakras, if the Yin Yang energies are not in balance, then it leads to discord in the physical and mental state of the person, but also discord in the relationships with the outside world. Balancing yin yang meant doing a lot of internal questioning, journaling, some qigong exercises, and nutrition.

balancing the masculine and feminine 

I know at this point you are wondering if I found my Moksha in the times of Covid 19 quarantine. What I do realise is that going on a spiritual journey, is about the actual practice. Just the way you cannot travel to Italy, via a food and travel show on Tv, or via scrolling through your instagram. In the same way, your journey within, will look and feel different from the journey of other holistic healers.

From all of these I also realised , that the journey within, like all other travels, is not about the destination, it is about the journey. With no end goal, infact with no idea what the final destination looked like, I had merely decided to try various lanes, and tracks and wooded pathways ; all leading inwards. How much deeper could I go? Which path seemed the best one? Which one would take me there? How would the outside world look once I reached my final destination of soul searching? I didn’t know all the answers, and maybe tour guides in the form of gurus and masters might help me get there faster, but to find your own path, as Robert Frost said, might make all the difference. One thing is for sure, there is not just one way to the destination, and the journey too is as beautiful as the destination.

Which ones do I still do  now? I do them all, I have found that each of the different meditative states, whether it is sitting in stillness, or listening to music beats, chants, or movement based meditation, or even meditation in sleep, each of them brought either calm, or insight or elation or relaxation. And each have a place in my life. Also, we are still in lockdown phase, and I have decided to keep searching for new eclectic pathways to the Journey within.