On a recent trip to Peru, to complete my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) along with Life Cosmic teacher Alexander Petrogiani and crew, I experienced the sacred in space and time. The environment of expansive will, of dependence on careful steps and mercy, revealed that life has a purpose even when we don’t know.
Climbing the mountain of Machu Picchu was less of a challenge for the body and more an invitation for the soul: the sacred envelopment of Mother Nature, married with the obvious causation of an eternal and infinite Creator, God the Father, made me less anxious than I thought I would be.
Noticing the softness of the flowers and bushes hugging the outer edges of a nearly 8000 foot drop, I felt nothing but the miraculous, the awe and wonder of the scenery, with only the sound of my rhythmic and reliable breath and the odd butterfly visiting me.
My feet were first shoed, then naked against the cooler stones that once supported the walk of ancient shamans (some buried near the top), and their disciples who still pilgrimage today. I come with a different perspective, but am not untouched by their history and what the sublime meant to them who were so tied to earth and its authority.
I climb with determination, that I will reach the top, and that I can trust in myself and God to keep me going. My ragged breath heaves in and out of my mouth like a woman in labour. It cannot stop my feet, which seem to spring up the giant steps, floating above cliff ledges that no one of faint or fearful constitution should approach.
I am proud of my friend, a nurse with a rare blood disorder, who is also terrified and out of breath, just steps behind me, with her guide tightly wrapped on her arm. The phrase came to me, a reminder not to get too cocky of my progress as I stop for her, as Jesus said,
“The first shall bee last, and the last shall be first.” (Mathew 20:16)
The view was more wonderful than can be described. We all made it. And then we had to climb back down. That was the tricky part. But, it isn’t about the climb, it’s about being there. Yeah, we know. But you really haven’t been there until you climb.