Seeing with new eyes

by Jill Sockman

I took last week off to get in a 5-day Tantra intensive with my teacher. There was a very small group of us for this training — only 22 — and the training was held in a retreat center on the Baja peninsula — about halfway between Cabo and Todos Santos. For those of you who don’t know the terrain, it’s beautiful desert land along the rugged Pacific coast. There’s a striking beauty to the contrast between the dry scrub and cactus and the wild sea that feels so powerful, so raw.

The center where we stayed (we’ll be taking a retreat/continuing education trip there next year!) was amazing. Completely off grid, no traffic, no noise but the wind and the sea, no light pollution — away from the many distractions of urban life. It was the perfect place to get quiet and experience the expansive states that we often just read about in books or talk about in theory.

After an especially long day, an old friend and I settled onto the rooftop to do a little star gazing and the night sky was spectacular. So far from a city, the stars illuminated the velvet black sky in known and unknown patterns and before long we started to see the shooting stars.

I’ve had this experience once before, but it had been so long, I’d forgotten the magic: the sky is *full* of shooting stars. All the time! But in our backyards, with the lights from the city all around us, we just can’t see them. But they are always there. We just need to step away a little deeper into nature and take the time to look up.

It got me to thinking. What else is around us all the time that we can’t see (and often forget about) until we stop, go to a quiet place and look with new eyes? Quite a lot, I’d say.