Itâ€šÂ´s late at night. Or, at least, the sun is down and the moon has not yet risen. Which is about as precise as my awareness of time usually goes these days. Iâ€šÂ´m lying on the floor in our simple bamboo hut, and through holes in the ceiling I see the stars above, while through holes in the wall I see the dark waves hit the shore below. Wave after wave after wave, in the seaâ€šÂ´s own rhytmic motion. Meanwhile Sky, an English guy and my current roommate in our lazily patched together shelter, lies stretched out on his back and is playing guitar – inbetween the sounds of the sea I recognize the sound of Pink Floyd; Comfortably Numb.
For a week now Iâ€šÂ´ve lived here in this gathering on the beach, in a small bay on the south coast of Spain. Some days of this week have done justice to the picture many people have of Spain as a hot country – on these days it was comfortable enough for nudism on the beach, even in March. Most days have been rainy and cloudy however, and I spent these wrapped up in two warm sweaters reading some Eckhart Tolle or playing chess under the shelter which is our kitchen.
No matter though if itâ€šÂ´s some abandoned Spanish beach, a mountain top in Poland or some kibbutz in Israel, the places I go to are actually only the superficial layer of my travels. Of much more significance is the personal journey – the journey to get to know myself. My own mind is in the end a lot more important in creating happiness or misery for myself then anything outside can ever be.
And this is one of the things Iâ€šÂ´ve been doing lately. So much time before Iâ€šÂ´ve spent looking outside for happiness. Observing my own mind is, on the other hand, something I always neglected, while it is many, many times more powerful then all these other pursuits Iâ€šÂ´ve ever tried. Itâ€šÂ´s January when I go to spent more time meditating. This time near Girona, in the north of Spain. And since thereâ€šÂ´s no use for a half-hearted approach when youâ€šÂ´re serious about something I stay there a long while; first ten and later forty days in a row. Itâ€šÂ´s already March by the time I find myself back on the road travelling southwards.
In the meanwhile there are lot of confrontations with myself while Iâ€šÂ´m at the centre. Meditating more then ten ours can be quite interesting and very intense, as is the other thing I did in the centre – serving in the tiny kitchen, cooking breakfast and lunch with a quite varied group of people. Somehow I manage though, and with some more wisdom and less ego I go back to the outside world.
It is a long amount of time to spend somewhere, but I can now easily invest this much time, because Iâ€šÂ´ve got plenty. Time really moves differently now. It all started with being liberated from the wrist-watch schedule I used to live on and moved onwards from there. Right now Iâ€šÂ´m using my time to live in a hippiecommunity where already Iâ€šÂ´ve been living on and off since January. The community lies in the Sierra Nevada, and snow-covered mountaintops in the distance show that this name, â€šÂ¨Snowy Mountainsâ€šÂ¨, is not for nothing. The people from this community live spread out over a valley and the sides of some mountains. Allthough rain is usuaully not common here thereâ€šÂ´s still a reasonable amount of green – some pine, some bamboo, some cactuses, and many olive trees in places where once terrasses have been created. A couple of natural springs create mountaincreeks which flow downwards and provide a natural source of water.
In the community there are living about 100 to 200 people. An exact amount is difficult to give, since itâ€šÂ´s a quite loosely knit together and people are coming and going all the time. To walk from the first houses up the east side of the valley to the last houses up the west side would take you something like an hour. And in the meantime there would be lots of different housing styles; tipiâ€šÂ´s, Mongolian yurts, tents for hiking, hand-built stone & clay houses and some other still more creative homes. Iâ€šÂ´ve been living in a tent myself for a while, but found up on the mountain, on a place with a beautiful view and with friendly neighbours, the remains of a house. There some stone walls which I will try and use for building myself a simple shelter. Iâ€šÂ´ll stay here a couple of months. Many people have told me about the unbearable heat of summer, so thatâ€šÂ´s probably when Iâ€šÂ´ll leave and go back to the beach again.
In the meanwhile I stay here to do some more reading of inspiritational books I found on the way and to do some more meditation. What better place then a beautiful and quiet location in the mountains with still friendly and open people around could there be for this?
Ps. One related quote:
â€šÂ¨In the end, the only demons in this world are the ones living inside our hearts, and that is where all our battles ought to be fought.â€šÂ¨