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Teachings of the Snowy River and Plant Medicine

Hello there Cappa's,

Ti and I are back from our getaway before the baby arrives and in the words of Outkast we’re “So fresh and so clean clean”. Joking aside, we experienced some breathtaking moments, challenges and growth and for that I’m grateful for.

We started off by staying a few nights in Victoria near the white sand beaches of Wilsons Prom. We then headed to Mt. Kosciuszko where the drive was filled with one of the most dazzling sites of wild horses near the Snowy River. If you've never seen horses in their natural habitat, I suggest that you go out looking for some now. We also found ourselves in the Kangaroo Valley. In one night we saw at least 50 Roo's and another 50 Wombats with some amazing birds in between. Oh and I must give a shout out to all the flies that flew directly into our mouths, eyes and food... 😁

The reason for me writing this blog post is to share one memorable moment close to the end of the trip next to the Snowy River. This place was so powerful that you could just telI that the indigenous of this land had performed ceremonies there. I decided that I would sleep out under the stars and go on a journey with one of my plant teachers. I set my intentions to communicate with the ancestors of that land and also to shine light on the areas that I need to work on within myself so I can be the best husband and father that I can be.

I rested in my hammock, looked up into the twinkling stars and said a meaningful prayer from the heart. Once the medicine came on, it immediately blasted my heart open so I could perceive the teachers that were coming into that space. These were energies like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. They were alien looking but also seemed familiar. They were gentle and ready to give me some deep meaningful teachings about the other realms that are available to us. In Buddhism they call them the Bardos. That said, I've spent a lot of time in these areas but the ancestors wanted me to take my time and not blast through them. I had to become aware of the bright vibrant light and the pitfalls of the dim light.

Within each Bardo, there are archetypal situations that can occur. The ones of the lower, earthly realms can distract you and pull you into some difficult places. During this time, I was able to be very present with the mind and how it likes to go towards the dim, familiar light. This can be depicted as thoughts, stories, cravings and etc. They are familiar so we naturally want to go towards them. Within the more vibrant lights, this is where the rest can occur and the analytical part of us is put to rest. I then begin to travel and become more familiar with the higher parts of ourselves.

One of the things I would like to add here is that, it’s ok if we get distracted, so long we know it’s a distraction. Once we stop, become present with that, we begin to pull ourselves out by listening to the teachings of our senses. These lower realms are just as important as the higher ones.

That all said, when I spent enough time in each Bardo, the teachers would tell me. Then I could, well, die into that moment and move onto the next bardo.

A lot of times when I use the word “die”, people get a little fearful because our culture has demonized death. We are to avoid it at all costs. But I'm here to say, the biggest mysteries that we come across in our lives, are explored through going towards death. Once I became brave enough to go into those realms, my everyday life just became more fluid and synchronized.

The only way that I can describe my experience within this ceremony is to learn the ways of an ancient mind and die into what is timeless or if you're into metaphors used by Ram Dass, "Chung Tzu says, The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you’ve gotten the fish, you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit, once you’ve got the rabbit, you can forget the snare." Being taught this allowed me to recognize each time the mind became distracted and then train the mind to come back to the senses. The sounds of nature were always there to help me and then I could pass away until there was no such thing as being present or even existing. Just pure rest and awareness.

I'd like to end this with a gigantic thank you to all the plant medicines and teachers out there. You've given me my whole life back by helping me find my own answers. I've had some dark times and some light times with you, and know my life is dedicated to serving you, mother earth and all the brothers and sisters around me.

Also, thank you for reading about my wild and wacky adventures and I hope that at least one person can take something away from what I wrote. If so, my job is complete.

Love,

Jim


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