Koh Phangan Adventures: Visiting Sacred with Raaman
In life we meet people who match our crazy and we hold them hostage as friends. Our talking pets to come with us on this ride we call life. If you are lucky, you can have these people your whole life, of course at times life’s dynamic rhythm can cause these people to leave your side, or you them. More often than not, these people are still unfinished paintings when you split ways and you are robbed the opportunity to see the finished product.
If you are lucky, your paths may meet again later in life. When this happens, you usually find, the other person is more complete. And they are slowly growing and evolving into the amazing human they are meant to be. Luckily, I have been able to see many of my friends as they moved, changed and their portraits became clearer.
In my eyes, my friend Naved has been the embodiment of this experience. When we first met he was a dude, a smart, spiritually in tune dude, but in most ways very much a dude. However, you could always see light coming from him. You could almost see the color as his portrait was slowly filling in. So I was very excited to see him as we made our way to meet him. We met an almost completed portrait on Koh Phangan. He radiated light the way someone who has found their purpose in life would.
A little jarring at first, but I couldn’t be happier to see him as such. He was fully himself, and joyfully so.
I had kept track of his movements over time as he moved from living in Korea to studying in Costa Rica to the time he spent in Nepal and finally Thailand. To summarize his journey into an idea, it was the search for happiness, but not only for himself but for others. His need to help people spiritually and to connect the universe had always been his driving force. And now, here he was on an island that screamed dichotomy between spiritual and earthly life, following his life’s purpose. Not to mention rocking a new name, Muira Sadhana.
Muira lived on the yoga side, not unexpected. He had become vegan, unexpected.
Koh Phangan is one of the Thai islands. It sports all the features of a Thai island, the parties, the food, and of course the hippy foreigners who are into various things. The island has about 12,000 people and is sorta, kinda, almost divided down the middle. One side has the clubbing, boozing and alleged drug-ing, while the other side is all yoga, vegans and healthy “clean” living.
Muira lived on the yoga side, not unexpected. He had become vegan unexpected ( I mean, he wasn’t carnivorous back in the day, but he liked a good steak.) Also, he is now absolutely alcohol and cigarette free. So there went our cigar and whisky days, but he had gained something bigger and better than the simple anesthesia of these temporary narcotics.
What was he doing?
He is now part of a collective of spiritual healers who work on the island but are not tied to the island. The name of the collective is S.A.C.R.E.D. with Raaman. Spirituality now regiments his life. Regiment conjures images of being forced to do stuff or forced to forego others. However, this just isn’t the case here. He does all of these things and doesn’t do others because he wants to, because he has found a part of himself and the divine which makes his routine, in a word, contentment.
At first I was cautiously skeptical, yet I had always had a connection with the universe, even if it had its rocky moments. I was titillated at the thought of being guided through a spiritual healing session by someone I trust.
But before we get there let’s do some housekeeping.
We spent about 2 weeks in Koh Phangan. Muira helped us book a nice little house in the middle of the woods with some help. We also got a nice little scooter to get around the island. The island is beautiful and has some truly fantastic beaches and restaurants, definitely worth the visit.
While exploring, we got lost at some point. And what was supposed to be a 20-minute ride home on a relatively even stretch of road, turned into a two-hour mad dash through the mountain in the dark with us fitfully hoping the gas wouldn’t run out. Thankfully we found a place to get gas, but the darkness was getting intense. Worse, I was still nervous after my little tumble in Vietnam a few years earlier. Thankfully people were kind and gave us directions, one lady even went so far as to drive 10 minutes out of her way just to show us the correct turn off to get home.
Muira had mentioned his aversion to alcohol and other poisons. In fact, he had gotten so sensitive that around me he sometimes felt a little light-headed. I don’t blame him though, most countries’ alcohol consumption goes up a percentage point the moment I enter the country. (Ok that is clearly an exaggeration but you get the point. Also, if any whisky producers are reading this, make me an ambassador, please please please!!!) Anyway back to the most important part…
We were able to spend some time together, or rather as much time as our schedules would allow. He offered to give us a short consultation, to demonstrate his life’s work.
The consultation was in the early morning. He gave us strict instructions not to smoke or drink the night before and definitely not in the morning, so no breakfast. Loose clothing was key and of course a tranquil mind. I think he didn’t need to request a tranquil mind. Tides of tranquility beat on you the moment you enter the yard. I like to think of it as the interaction of energies in the area. Maybe I imagined it, but I felt uncomfortable at first. The house is sparse, airy and very chilled. (seriously there are no better words to describe it, well sacrosanct and sacred but best you to go see it for yourself and then you can call it that).
The consultation involved using “release statements” at specific times to free internal energy blockages. These statements bring awareness of pain, trauma and patterns one has. The sentence pulls us into awareness of a particular pain. This is a very simple learning by doing methodology. It was Muira’s role to tap into the universe, divine or whatever name you choose to use and guide us through the process. The process varies depending on your need, openness to the process, experience levels, teacher etc. Kaina and I sat cross legged with Muira opposite us and he led us through a very basic session.
Anyway do not judge my cracks and breaks too harshly, I came by them honestly.
For those who do not know me well, my biggest hurdle is connecting emotionally to people and things. I tend to take a very logical approach to feelings. And when I do connect with someone or something, it’s intense. This is especially true when I decide to fall in trust with someone. Of course the opposite is also true, I have had to cut whole swathes of my family off because they betrayed me. Some people may call this “either or” way of doing things unhealthy. I desperately hope it isn’t. Anyway do not judge my cracks and breaks too harshly, I came by them honestly. This particular crack has manifested itself as an inability to accept others’ faults or to explain and express my own pain and emotions. After the consultation, I was able to see this for what it was.
Before the consultation, I couldn’t explain that my heart was raw with the pain of constant rejection. That although I thought everything I do and have done have been in contempt and in defiance of him; my way of saying “Look I can do this better than you. I am yours, but I am not your mistakes.”
Everything I did was about him including marrying too young and staying in an unhappy marriage. And even rejoicing when I realized I was getting paid more, than he had been paid when we lived together. I have come to realize that was in fact was more “look father, I can make you proud” rather than contempt. I couldn’t let go of the idea that everything my family had been through because of the divorce was some kind of a test of my loyalty. A means to see if I am a good son or not.
helped me to let go of some of this contempt.
My consultation with Muira helped me to let go of some of this contempt. And to finally accept my father for who he is. A great man, flawed, but still great. His greatness does not absolve him of his faults but his faults do not diminish his greatness either and by extension my own. We are both just humans swimming in the thick of it, trying our best to keep our heads above water as we go for our goals.
That is not to say the session was a magic pill that clears out all your junk in one go. No, it takes time, introspection and meditation on self with guidance from practitioners like those who work at S.A.C.R.E.D. This was something I really needed and had to do. Had we stayed in Thailand, I think I would have gone to more sessions.