A Butterfly in Starbucks

Here we are, with the obvious activity being to wait. It seems a very comfortable state for me. Nothing expected, no immediate anxieties to overcome. My remaining hours in Cusco are dwindling and I watch them, as everywhere, time does some thing forward.
Yesterday I found place here and saw myself happy. So of course I must go on. It is not my journey to fill the void externally. I am so lucky to wander, as lonesome as I do. What I found yesterday were people who warmed me, understood me, sang to me and pulled me upwards. But I still do not understand me and while my light is no doubt brightening, I have some ways to go. So tonight, I fly and continue to light the way through the vastness beyond. Until then, I wait…

It turns out the butterfly is actually a moth and we relate more than I imagined, as it beats against the window. I am also struggling for inspiration in here. Along with Christmas music in November and a $5 tea, comes this stifled feeling. Did I really need wifi and a North American outlet to charge my phone?

The moth and I can see down into the square, where predictable tourists linger and…wait! Everything changes; A unique and beautiful woman walks this way with purpose. I know her. It was her and partner who guided me in group meditation last night. They were dressed exceptionally for the ceremony, beaming at one another, as she periodically reached for his heart in honesty. We joined around a painting he had created, a flower of gratitude that seemed entirely alive. To start, they flashed fire and feathers along with these smiles and I fell a little bit in love with her glow in the dark. We all were made comfortable, laying on pillows in a circle as they moved through the group creating some thing like music. The sounds and vibrations were intended to lead along a journey within and I was not disappointed. I sensed the path of my soul; abandon, struggle and continual search overcame all. Yet the sound of the ever loving universe was always in the background and really, how I longed to meet it. I never lost hope as things came together and the eventual union was indescribable, yet so familiar. Sounds and voices joined as I vibrated so highly and completely with all that was pure. It was perfect and I am still humming a melody today.

I would have stayed with them forever, if only she had asked me. Upon introduction, she told the group how she had come from Italy 4 years prior and how arriving in Cusco, every thing had changed. No explanation needed but the light in her eyes as she spoke this, there was no doubt. Hard as it is not to covet, I imagined myself staying and coming to shine like her. But no path is truly alike and I have work to do elsewhere; Within, as the obvious start. Yet how incredible our guides and inspirations are to find us when we seek them.

Upon glimpsing her down below, the tea tastes better and the world looks brighter. My heart longed for her to come closer, perhaps inside and up the stairs. But this is not the place for her. To see her in these surroundings might shatter the ideal, far too great a risk. This way I can maintain, that butterflies do not belong in Starbucks.



The air here is so thin and the pressure is palpable. Resting at an elevation of over 1 100 feet, Cusco has an atmosphere sparse in oxygen and dense in pollution. This alone might make a person uneasy.  So, naturally, we acclimatize, and I wonder if there is anything we cannot grow used to. How many of us are gasping from moment to moment, seeking some refuge, complacent in our realities? Even if aware of a better way of being, we are not always nourished along the journey.

I have long since wished to change the things around me, as if I knew better. The life of a dreamer, where everything would be more ideal if only…the list goes on. I know now that there is a working to which all has great role. I get to be a piece of this beautiful and complex puzzle of life and this is what I control; Myself alone, what to take in and what to let go of. Just as one deep and conscious breath, over and over.

Many times today I must have held my breath, seeing and feeling so much, as we delivered essentials to schools and orphanages around the city. Faces have been burned into my being. Some grateful, with hope, many detached and broken. I hardly know how to express the way I was moved by one teenage boy in the instant I saw him. I know him from some place. I know we could be friends and make each other laugh. He could advise me in reality and I could soften the edges his world has so obviously sharpened. I would feel his pain and attempt to ease it as he would encourage me not to be so soft. Maybe we would talk about the world, why things are this way and how we are inspired to move forward. I definitely know we would laugh and it would be nice. Instead, there were these five minutes and that will have to be enough. Verbal communications limited, I tried skipping with a long ribbon one of the younger boys offered me. My friend laughed as I fumbled in my best effort. A small but sincere expression, with a really warm smile. I do not think this happens often in his day. I had to go too soon. A quick goodbye and his friend offered me the cool kid handshake, so we did it too. Also, there will be a group picture that exists some place in which we stand side by side.


Tonight I was informed that this word, sublimation, is not adequately translated from the Spanish to the English language. My speaker chose ‘transcendence’ instead and it is true, it carried more weight. Though after looking up the meaning, I have decided I prefer the former. Sublimation describes that transitional phase of a solid substance to it’s more fluid or gaseous state. In the spiritual sense, this is beautiful.

At the meditation tonight I sensed my soul, trying to climb out of my body. It was sweet really, the struggle. So patience is a virtue I know I am meant to cultivate. Another time, perhaps. Meditation is quite new, and entirely appealing, to me. Naturally, when spotting a sign for Crucial Mediation while wandering around the Plaza des Armas the other day, I knew I would be there. And tonight, I was. I climbed the stairs, grown over with branches, to the Mother Earth Healing Centre and met the Shaman, sweeping the floor. I was early, so he swept and hummed as I read and swayed, mutually enjoying the energetic exchange. I was not completely comfortable but wanted the experience, as it goes. We sat while waiting as he explained the importance of causality; an equal reaction for every action and the connection between all things. How refreshing to hear these ideas mirrored back to me so frequently now, after years of searching for simple truth. He gave so much information in so little time, the marking of a true teacher. All I could think of was my own favourite teacher and the similarities between their ideas, how they might relate. A couple other locals joined and we began. The prayers and chanting were all in Spanish but the meanings were for individual interpretation and I had no problem finding mine. There is a place where we all meet and to this party we bring nothing but our Selves. All these earthly attachments we grasp so tightly hold no weight as we transition to the higher planes. Upon first glance it does seem a lonely journey, but what an illusion this is. Everything is here for us to use in evolution said this Shaman. Play the game completely says my true teacher. I smile. There really is unity where we seek it.

This is why I cherish spiritual gatherings, in whatever sense, so deeply. In essence, we do walk the path alone, but support is everywhere, be it in solid or boundless form. As soon as we start holding our Selves accountable for all actions, this is when the true guidance arrives. The time of division is past as the world begins to unite on all levels. Science continues to support the Divine and we can no longer justify the wager of wars based upon fear and separation.

The meeting tonight was really nice and I was happy to make progress in my meditation. The most impactful scene was upon leaving. After talking with this man and eagerly hearing his message, I noticed what was painted on the wall. In the centre was the symbol of a new mystic emerging in South America to whom he kept referring and surrounding this were painted the symbols of various religions and sectors from around the world, united as one. He told me this mystic had added new words into the Spanish dictionary as some concepts are tough to convey, too vast for previously known words. People want proof and relatability. I do understand the desire to relate, though find proof to be so subjective. Truth is truth and every religion or belief is so obviously united and seeking the same entity.

Explanations aside, some things we just know.

Abandoned Temples

Today I travelled through the Sacred Valley outside of Cusco, Peru. This consists of a huge valley that was once the heartland of the Incan Empire. Here, the Sacred River flows through vast mountains and glaciers. On both end points, near villages Pisac and Ollantaytambo, the Incan ruins are unfathomable. The designs, the sheer size and obvious effort combined with the incorporation and reverence for the natural world…I mean talk about an intelligent and cooperative people. I am completely in awe of this ancient race. Yet, despite the surroundings, I could not get out of my own head for the most part. Though there was one moment looking out of the bus window, where I could feel the grass growing and rock cuts eroding all around as everything blended into one. Also, while settled into the mountainside in hiding, I knew there was no where I would have rather been; so, all was not lost.

Constantly being around people can be so draining. Knowing you are apparently alone and accepting it is one thing but attempting to integrate that being into the general masses is another. Luckily, being in the Andes is a great place to work on grounding my Self within, and I must admit, my balance postures have rarely been more steady. But today, my heart feels hollow. I miss my best friend. He would tell me to find in myself that which I fill through him. He is so annoying sometimes. That is the hard part about finding such an ideal match in another, when they fill the gaps you avoid peering into. When sometimes they take away the Self work, but then of course, really they cannot. I have not heard from him in the week since arriving and I know it is because he wants me to enjoy my trip, not to worry. While my mood has no doubt been irritatingly off since arriving, I have not honestly given him much thought, until today. I wonder if he is awake or asleep. I wonder how bad is the pain. I am curious to know if he still has the will to keep on fighting. And more than anything, I wonder if I want him to. I can be so entirely self(ish/less?) in my love. I know that my heart is not hollow, or how would it ache this way? I also know that this longing I feel is for something far greater than one earthly partner, but for the union with true Self we all so deeply crave.

The bus should arrive back to Cusco soon. Lightening is starting in the distance as the sky darkens. My insides hope for rain, for cleansing. I know back in town, a space awaits me where my mat sits in the windowed sunroom, eager to greet me in practice. Every day, I am so graciously given another chance to meet my mat, connect with my heart and know my home. Maybe it will rain all night…


Why do any of us move at all? Find the point in travel, be it a single step or a journey across the globe. A shift in perspective must be what is equally coveted, with true purpose being to learn. Finding myself here, lacking comfort and familiarity, it is interesting to think these moments were so eagerly anticipated. Peru is not luxurious. Nor is especially relaxing or peaceful. It is, no doubt, eye opening. Now, this is the true desire. To have images burned into the being that serve in the development of highest Self. This is my journey now, that of spiritual evolution.

The days and nights have been passed very closely alongside the one I cannot seem to relate to, yet owe so much…everything really, if I am being entirely honest. This challenge seems indulgent and insignificant compared to all I have been witnessing, yet has been my most frustrating of struggles since she birthed me. While daily I attempt to console the tears of children without mothers to blame, I know I am learning. Working the days with those whom I do not share a language creates barriers. Thankfully I have long since been interested in subtle communication and equally long since, drawn to the muted and most broken of souls. Does it matter why?

Not all here is hopeless…not in the least. Perspective, yes? Love and survival exist inclusively on our earth and there are hardly workings more beautiful. The beauty within the struggle; What more is there than this? Earlier, while fighting my own demons amidst a sea of desperation, I came upon the most majestic of churches, at five minutes to evening mass. Sometimes your feet just know where to take you, and we stumbled right in. The energy was immediately overwhelming in this ancient house. I barely know the language, nor have I yet to learn the countless stories, but God is absolutely universal. Here, for one hour, nothing reached me but the Divine. I hardly know churches, but believe they might all be so special.

So tonight I affirm that wherever we may travel, we are never far from the source. You carry your heart and all it contains regardless, so just keep moving and seeing as it expands towards home.