Well, yesterday the heatwave abated; you could almost hear the thud: Rumors of winter blowing in with summer solstice, perhaps, chilling as Amazon’s buyout of Whole Foods was to Grocery stocks.
Thursday was a transition as temps spiraled in for a landing and overshot the strip, stirring up all kinds of rain, cloud and light play. Late in the day, I got out before the monsoons broke and enjoyed a short and restorative solitary
Horsetooth Reservoir, drinking in the green. On the ridge above, I seemed to be poised on a threshold between two different days:
Rainclouds loomed heavy over the water to my immediate left:
On my right could have been a gleaming postcard of New Zealand:
Today, it was about 20 degrees cooler. When we learned that Kevin’s (the handsomest fellow in the last post with normal ears) was not able to join us on a drive to Shambhala Mountain Center, Jack and I decided to take the planned drive up to anyway. I’d not been there in years (and they had never been). The Spirits of the land up near Red Feather Lakes are powerful. As we drove out of the Ft. Collins grid and behind the curtain of hills, I began to have a sort of energetic detox. At first, assuming from my perpetual yawning that I was sleepy, Jack offered to drive. Soon those and other symptoms became intense enough that I pulled over, did some physical and non-physical calisthenics to release the pressure, and took him up on that.
As we turned onto CR 68, I had released sufficiently to clamber back into my body, but was still sensitized enough to be hear/feeling thrumming broadcasts from rock formations that even looked like robed and dancing spirits in the magic morning light. This was surely a power spot for first nations ceremony, and a perfect and conducive place for a Grand Stupa anchoring and emanating kindness and compassion.
I wasn’t able to actually snap any pictures of these rock formations until hours later as we drove out, when the sun, the spirits and I were all in different orientation. Minimal magic captured here by the naked, or Nikon, eye.
Walking up to the DharmaKaya Stupa, one passed many “gates” where the path is flanked by tall flag poles; the perpetual breeze whips through them, giving one the sense of being cleansed of any burdens brought from the past.
The silence inside the stupa is profound, and I would have stayed there meditating all day, letting the years’ worth of
vibrating tension in my body shudder and spin itself out. We’d planned on a hike, though, so we moved on, but not before I snapped a fresh photo of the sublime androgyne Buddha before us, whose countenance uncannily brought to mind Cameron Diaz Rinpoche.
They’d offered us lunch, so before any major trail ventures we dined at a table aptly reserved for Mindful Hiking retreatants. I confess it I didn’t eat as mindfully as I could have. We were starving, and I rapturously devoured a piece of vegan, gluten free pizza with fresh basil before you could say OM MANI PADME HUMMMM. I skipped to the Mmmmm part.
Eventually we throttled up the steep hill to Marpa Point, stopping to hang a few Yoga asanas amid at a sacred tangle of prayer flags.
Our hike ended where our day here began: the parking lot, into which were now steadily puttering arrivals for a weekend retreat. I cheerfully ceded my prime shady spot to some lucky winner–Life is not ALL Dukha, my good dharma buddy! And we drove home grateful for a quietly satisfying day.
A final dinner with Kevin, and this morning we have dispersed. I to Indian Hills, where I launch further south tomorrow on a meandering journey toward Santa Fe, via Poncha and other Springs.
This return to Colorado has taught me much, which I am still digesting. Both New Mexico and Colorado are beautiful and varied terrains, and each has a unique spiritual power. I noticed that each promotes clarity and emphasis in different aspects of spiritual experience, and how these ambient influences on Consciousness made me know and relate to others, the land, myself and my Self differently. So it is not so silly that I was called to make this the trip of the Selfie.
And now I will spend a final evening relating to other Selfs: Jim and Shirley Self, the dear friends with whom this whole Selfie-fest aptly started.