Taray

I’ve moved to this little village just outside Pisac – Taray. The moment I saw a signpost I  knew it’s my place. Tara is in the Tibetan Buddhism the Goddess of Love & Compassion, The Mother Creator. She is a female Buddha, an enlightened one that has attained the highest wisdom, capability and compassion. I could not imagine a better place to live!

It’s a small village mainly with the locals and few gringos like me. No coffee shops to hang out, no supermarket, just few tiendas, main plaza with a church and pretty much during a day nothing is going on there. My new place is very comfortable (with a gas shower not an electric “suicide shower”this time), located by the river with a huge garden where Sufi (have I mentioned I have a dog?) is spending most of her time. Perfect!

The locals probably have never heard about the Goddess Tara, but they do worship the Virgin Mary. The weekend when I moved in there was a fiesta de Virgen de Rosario (Matka Boża Różańcowa, no idea what is an english equivalent). I have never seen anything like this! No, it was not a spiritual experience, Virgen de Rosario was only an excuse for 4 days of full on fiesta with live bands, private parties (cargos), processions, spectacles, bull fight in the plaza!, feasts and lots, lots I mean lots of beer. It looked like this event was sponsored by some brewery as people were constantly carried boxes of beer. That’s how I find out about the cargo system.

Cargo system is like a social system, confirmation of social hierarchy. The key families in the village ‘show’ their devotion to the Virgin by organising the cargo -a party in their house providing a band, dancers, food and drinks to all participants. Apparently it’s a privilege, confirmation of the status and the way to ascend in the local social hierarchies. It cost a little fortune but in return their generosity is blessed by Grace of the Virgen de Rosario…Whatever rocks your boat me thinks

Here are few pictures from this colourful, extremely loud, the whole day long celebration of Divine Famine😉

 

 

 

 

Let go

I’ve been dropped, fired, let go, or just removed from the schedule. Either way I’m not teaching there. At least for the time being.

I have not even started. God only knows what I was thinking when I said yes… I said yes to cover a morning vinyasa class in the popular studio in the city.  Me being thrown into a proper studio format, trying to be more a power yoga teacher than still was a ready recipe for a disaster. Now I know. I’m taking full responsibility for this. Lesson learned.
The reaction was strong. An anger was trown at me. My teaching skills questioned. There is sadness of course, but at the same time a deep feeling that this shake up was needed. Perhaps this experience was a huge shout from the Universe to focus more on physicality and not only the mind/spirit side of the practise. Perhaps it was a huge shout from the Universe that yoga is not my path and I should put all energy only into meditation? Perhaps  it was a huge shout from the Universe to stop trying to fit in but just be ME, to stop trying to do things under other people’s umbrella, but finally start my own project . I’m sure there is a lesson for me to learn here. I will take time to understand it deeper.
Peru continues to challenge me. The cycle of change is short here. The moment I feel comfortable with something, BOOM a hit from above. Nope Miss Gosia, you are not meant to be in “the comfort zone” seat , your seat is in the “challenge” section. I have no idea why I attract challenges so much. Just in the couple of weeks I found and lost the house, I found and lost the job, I found and lost friends, constant change, constant come and go and as my heart is open the joy is mixed with sadness constantly. Rumi said:
“Love is best when mixed with anguish.
In our town, we won’t call you a Lover if you escape the pain.
Look for Love in this way, welcome it to your soul, 
and watch your spirit fly away in ecstasy.”
This morning my reflection on the way to Cusco was one: I’m so blessed. I’m so blessed. I’m so blessed. I never had less than I have now but I feel rich. I never has less security than now and I feel safe. I never had my heart broken so many times in such short period of time and I feel love. I continue to have time and space to just be. My beloved Ramana said: “Your only duty is to be, not to be this and that.” I keep forgetting that, but perhaps the constant life challenges keep reminding me to drop the story, to drop the egoic-mind, to drop the joy or sadness and just BE before any of these rise. Perhaps Life wants me to learn this lesson and I keep refusing and keep trying to be something, not just BE.
I do my best. That’s all I can do so its good …“Have faith in God and in yourself; that will cure all. Hope for the best, expect the best, toil for the best and everything will come right for you in the end” – Ramana Maharshi
A bit of Cusco through my eyes❤

I am here

I am here. In Peru.

I said to my friend here today “I have a strong feeling I’m going to die here”. Initially I took it as a good omen. In spirituality the feeling of going crazy or dying can be interpreted as a death of ego. The egoic mind who was a single ruler of your world is suddenly challenged, is left behind and is loosing its position hence this feeling of going crazy, or dying. The last form of defence of ego before the next layer of conditioning collapse. This process is called spiritual growth.

Well, all good but now I’m thinking I’m going to die physically here. Few reasons for that:

A scorpion visited me twice in the last few days. Again scorpion is a symbol of transformation so it’s a good sign, but when it suddenly appears next to your bed just a second before you are about to put your head on a pillow you don’t think about all the spiritual messages the scorpion might bring. You run to catch him and throw it as far as possible from the house:)

Or when I’m taking a shower  – “electric shower” or “suicide shower” as I heard it once. It looks like in Peru electrically heated showers are everywhere. Don’t get me wIMG_8727rong I know nothing about electricity, but I know electricity and water does not mix well! So when I see exposed wires hanging just next to the shower head I’m a bit concerned. Not too much just a bit. However when I’m touching the knob during my shower and feel a slight vibration that is definitely not pleasurable I’m out. I’m out to the shop to buy more isolation tape to cover the knob. No electro-vibrating pleasures under my shower. No, thanks😉

It’s just funny and it continue to amaze me how one minute you’re somewhere, and then the next you’re taken by life to a completely different place, a different world. I like my new world. I really do. It’s different, but good different.When I was recently in Poland I remembered very clearly my mind set when I lived there permanently. Gdansk, the city I’m from, was my entire world. I could not imagine living anywhere else. These days I continue to move around and wherever I go it feels natural. My sense of security does not come form a place anymore and that gave me a sense of freedom and confidence that I can live anywhere.

Pisac is a cute place. It’s relatively small town but there are tourists, lots of gringos staying for longer so I feel I’m gonna like it here. My new place it’s a modest and basic. I’m ok with simplicity and after few days of fun with Clorox, smudge, incest and putting my own stamp on it it feels like home. I have a chill out zone, terrace and the best view in Pisac. I’m content!

And here are the pictures from my recent hiking trip to the ruins of Pisac. We took a backstage pass and tried to get there without buying a ticket. We almost made it to the top when the security guy said to come back where we came from. Just like the teaching of great sage Ramana Maharshi.

He asked by the student “Swami having a great desire for moksha (liberation) and anxious to know the way there to, I have read all sorts of books on Vedanta. They all describe it, each in a different way. I have also visited a number of learned people and when I asked them, each recommended a different path. I got puzzled and have come to you; please tell me which path to take”.

With a smile on his face, Bhagavan said, “All right, then, go the way you came”. we all felt amused at this. The poor young man did not know what to say. He waited until Bhagavan left the hall and then with a depressed look turned to the others there appealingly, and said: “Gentlemen, I have come a long way with great hope and with no regard for the expenses or discomfort, out of my ardent desire to know the way to moksha; is it fair to tell me to go the way I came. Is this such a huge joke?” Thereupon one of them said, “No Sir. It is no joke. It is the most appropriate reply to your question. Bhagavan’s teaching is that the enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ is the easiest path to moksha. You asked him which way ‘I’ should go, and his saying, ‘Go the way you came,’ meant that if you investigate and pursue the path from which that ‘I’ came, you will attain moksha.

Go back the way you came. Go back to your Heart❤

 

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Welcome back!

It’s been a while.

I guess I needed a break.

Some people call it integration. I honestly cannot explain where I was for the past year.

Perhaps trying to BE more than DO, but still do things. Trying to make a use of myself and help other beings when they ask for help, trying to teach awareness, trying to become a marketing guru and market ‘stillness’ as a product until I realised it’s a big task and I’m not willing to put enough time & energy to make it happen, at least not in London. Trying to find a regular job when I realised all of that. Trying to find my place in society, trying to be aware, authentic and true to myself, trying to be grateful, enjoy my new/old friends, allowing people to help me, looking after my health, be with my family in Poland, be with my newly adopted family here in London. Trying to learn how to use my resources, trying to trust, trying to not worry about money, trying to not worry at all,  trying to stop doubting myself, trying to fully believe I deserve all of that,  trying to smile a lot, trying to share my smile with others, trying to keep myself open, just… live, feel and explore I guess

I was just reading my previous post from November and tears came to my eyes. So much purity and exposure of such intimate space within me. Yes, I’ve forgotten all about that. Mind took me on the journey…good few months journey.

I awaken again. Partially:)

Last few weeks been absolutely crazy. I run out of ideas what to do, where I belong, do I have to belong, how do I sustain myself, where am I going to live, what am I going to do? I surrendered. I meditate a lot, I was saying ‘thank you’ a lot and just keept myself open. That’s all I could possibly do

A few doors closed, a few doors opened

One in particular opened so wide that I could not possibly say no to this opportunity.

I got a job!

In Peru!!!!!

An opportunity came up to lead monthly meditation retreats. Picture an island on Lake Titicaca at an altitude of 4000m. Mediators heaven me thinks!!!

I cannot really afford to take this job, but at the same time I cannot afford to NOT take this job. It’s a great opportunity for the first time to teach a retreat, share the silence an environment I love the most, possibly help others and gain experience as a teacher. What more can I ask for? This money thing is scary, I’m not going to lie. I meant to go back to a regular job to gain some funds for my next adventure. Looks like I’m starting an adventure without necessary funds. It brings an element of determination that I guess I was missing in Europe. I was too comfortable here. I have passion, I have drive but this final push was missing. There, on the other side of the world I won’t have a choice. It’s make it or break for me. At least that’s how it feels in this present moment.

My head is spinning, my body is numb. I guess my brain is protecting me from over-thinking!

10th of August it will all start again so…

Fasten your seatbelts, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy unfolding❤

Love & endless Gratitude for this Gift called Life

 

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Born to be free

I don’t think I ever been so confused about life

I don’t have answers, I do have lots of questions

I do my best to stay calm and just go through until clarity naturally come. I will write then

Freedom seems to be a topic. An urge for freedom, longing for freedom. The conscious choice to be free. I was telling this story yesterday and then I understood the significance. I was born in Gdansk. Place where anti-communist social movement of Solidarity was born just few months after I came into this world. The place where the fall of communist regime in Eastern Europe has started.  Where in 1980 in Gdansk shipyard 17,000 workers went on mass strike, where my Dad was one of them, where they barricaded themselves within the plant to fight for freedom, show resistance to government, to the way of living. People  died, people have been prisoned that year and before in Gdansk, in whole Poland. Recently I visited Solidarity museum for the first time. There was a room with a huge wall with white-red logo of Solidarity. The wall was made out of tiny little cards left by visitors with little messages. One card said “Thank you that I can be whoever I want and listen Nirvana” other “Born free” other “Thank you for freedom”. Reflection came yesterday.

My generation don’t have to fight for physical freedom anymore. I was born free. I took it for granted. The physical freedom, freedom to be whoever I want, freedom to be where I want. I do use my freedom in that sense since 2 years now. I know it’s a privilege. I know I’m lucky. I know I deserve it and I know I’m using it wisely. Gratitude.

What I’m longing for now is a different kind of freedom. Freedom from the mind. Freedom from the limitation of the mind. Not a practical mind but the psychological mind. Freedom from the all the concepts that are hardwired in the mind. From the limiting beliefs that like right now are holding me back to blossom. Freedom from the frames that mind is putting on “I”. Freedom from the fear that creates that frames . Freedom from suffering that the mind is causing us day by day. Self-doubts, self-hater, self-abuse. All self-inflicted, all hurting us to the depths of our being. You might say oh I don’t have any problems, I’m fine. Really? Really?… Really? Does love rule your world or the fear?

When I came back from Mexico I was shining this freedom through. Many said about my lightness back then and now I finally understood what was giving me this lightness. Not travelling, not experiences, not people I surrounded myself with, not yoga, not meditation. The lightness was coming from within. What has happened then? With time the old habits took their toll. The mind restored his position. The walls have been putted back. I went into confusion world. Fear has started to rule my world. I’ve compromised my freedom in order to fit, to be accepted, to please others. Not intentionally, not consciously, not that I had to. Just day by day one, choice after choice, one thought after other, one word after other, in very subtle way I compromised “I”.

My intuition is telling me that ever single day we’re making hundreds of little choices to be or not to be free, to act from the place of freedom/love, or the place of fear. I’ve forgotten about that.

I had a strong need to write this post. Once again to give “I” a strong voice. Use this post as affirmation, reminder, anchor that I can come back to. I know I will forget this urge in few weeks. It’s natural, it’s a journey, I know though it’s my duty as a human being to search for this freedom. Equally its my gift as a human being to live this freedom. Many don’t understand, many completely don’t get it. It does not matter.

I choose this freedom It’s an urge. It’s a strong pull. It’s not anymore a desire to be a better person, to improve Gosia or overcome some old drama. It’s like breathing. I cannot live any other way now. I cannot compromise my being. I chose to be free.

Born to be free. Period

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Here I am, at the airport again. My last flight for the time being at least….one way ticket to Poland.

It’s a New Moon today so the new beginning. What a funny “coincidence” life has town at me. I have no clue what am I going to do there, how long am I going to stay, if I’m staying. I have no plan. Friend of mine email me “Hope all is working wonderfully in your no-plan plan”. Let’s see
It’s quite emotional as well. I’m about to cry. It’s been almost two years. It’s a long time, but at the same time no time at all. When you’re back to your familiar environment it feels like you’ve only been away for the weekend. You just slip back to where you left really. Not fully as some things cannot remain the same. My teacher would very often say “the real transformation is irreversible”
I’ve truly enjoyed my landing in Europe. My friends made it so easy. Mooji says that the only real wealth is gratitude. I’m really, really grateful. Wonderful people are crossing my path and it does not matter if it’s in North, Central America or in Europe.  When you’re enjoying yourself the place does not matter anymore. It’s all inside. I am one lucky girl!
Cuba!!!!
I thought I will share some pictures from Havana. Cuba was definitely a good idea. It’s probably the last standing communist country and me being from Poland the post-comunistic country made this experience even more colourful. There are two currencies in Cuba. Both are closed currencies which means that you cannot buy them outside the country. There are convertible pesos which are mainly for tourists and 1 peso = 1 US dollar, and national pesos for locals. As a tourist if you stay in convertible pesos zone Cuba is not cheap, when you move to pesos it’s deadly cheap. The problem is that there is not much to buy in pesos zone just like in Poland in 70-80s. We also had two kinds of shops. One where there was nothing, and other where there was everything, but only available if you have an american dollars. Similar situation in Cuba in 2015. Very interesting to watch from an outside.
Havana looks like it’s just about to fall apart. First I felt like I’m in bad neighbourhood in New York or some other big city. Once I get used to and realised that pretty much the whole city looks like this I opened myself to the beauty of this place. It has a unique charm and watching people it’s the best thing to do there.
It was also interesting to travel for the first time in the place where there was no internet access. It’s just shown how much we dependent on the modern technology. I went with the flow and it paid out a big time. I had a wonderful time there and this “no wifi” zone was the best preparation for the busy West!
Here you go. La Habana through my eyes
I’m not sure if this blog will continue or not. For me the traveling part is not over. It does not matter if I’m in Mazunte or Gdansk I connect with people the same way, I look in their eyes the same way, I see the same beauty and the same magic.
Magic! I know somebody who’s laughing right now seeing this word. Yes, magic is everywhere and the magic is called love. You just need to have eyes to see this magic. That’s all
love you all x
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A first step

My Dad messaged me yesterday “to start a journey of thousands miles you have to take a first step“. What a wise man he is. So i did. I left my paradise yesterday and started a journey back to Europe

Actually the words “leaving” and “coming back” are confusing for me at the moment. I don’t understand the real meaning of these words. How I can come back if I never left? Places, people are constantly present in my heart. I never left, so how can I come back? What? Because physically I am/was not there? What kind of excuse is that? So being somewhere physically means more than holding a place or a person in your heart? How can you even compare it?

The mind cannot grasp what is happening. I just don’t understand why am I “leaving” this place? Why?

All my needs are met here, I can stay and teach until end of August. Teaching is such a blessing. It brings so much joy, it’s when the magic happens. When Gosia disappears and the teaching itself just flow through. Coordinating the retreats are also source of so many lessons for me. Why am I “leaving” this place then? I don’t understand. I don’t understand this feeling that I know it’s time. It’s time to go. I accumulated so much goodness. Life is so generous to me, so generous…

The first lecture I did as a teacher was about non-attachment, ability to let go, not holding to. There was an example in our booklet to see the breath as a teacher. You inhale all the goodness and you exhale because you trust that life will bring what you need over and over again. That there is no need to hold to even to the most beautiful, the most nourishing experiences, places, people. You trust that with the next breath it will be still there, and even more…you just let go, let go, let go over and over again “practice the muscle of letting go”. More you let go, more will flow…

So I’m letting go of something that was without a doubt the most precious year of my life. A year of connecting with the heart, with inner wisdom, a year of constant learning, a year of Grace.

I trust

Friend of mine asked me if I have to name one thing what would be the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt here and I answered – a lesson what love is. Different flavours of love, Definition of love I used to have has been totally tore apart and with really baby steps build up again. I now see love in totally different light. Self-love, love to others, love to life, love in everything

Even the recent retreat was about this love. Love as acceptance and freedom. I’ve noticed how much I want people to behave the way “I” want and “I” think is right for them. Me, me, me… I think it was a day 5 when I looked through the window and I saw Nina, our school dog. I’ve just opened my eyes after meditation and there she was holding a dead chicken in her mouth. I looked at her and the clarity came. I’ve written in my journal “It’s nature of Nina to eat a dead bird. It’s nature of human to have own will. I can give my love but that’s it. I cannot force anyone to do what I think is right or wrong, what action is right or wrong. It’s about giving others freedom to be as they want without judging, need for control, need to change it. That is to love. That’s what coordinating the retreat taught me.” 

This year was about universality of love, not about personal love, romantic love. I’ve learnt to allow love to flow into my life from every single experience. I’ve learnt to see love in every moment. Just to be love.

Gratitude for having eyes to see this love, for having the mind calm enough to contemplate this beauty. This is a gift and the only response is thank you

“If the only prayer you ever say in life is thank you, that would enough” Meister Eckhart

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