ENLIGHTENED BY DARKNESS
We tend to find unjustified reasons to change our plans. A raging thunderstorm led me to believe that a full moon meditation at the beach would be canceled. At the very last moment, I decided that if I didn’t give it a chance, then surely it wouldn’t happen. As I was approaching the venue, I realized that the wind was blowing the storm away and the most magical experience ensued.
Approaching the beach on 3rd street, my heart skipped a beat. There it was… hiding behind a column of cumulous clouds, apparently shy but also inviting, the moon was coming up over the horizon, full and alive.
The raging thunderstorm didn’t threaten me anymore since it was headed North, away from us. The sky lighted up exposing the delicate curves of massive clouds. The image of the bolt of lighting stayed fixed on my eyes for several seconds. Goosebumps spread throughout my body; the thrill of being there fueled my journey through the sand.
People scattered on blankets on the other side of the lifeguard station reminded me it would be a full moon meditation. Djordje Ishere introduced himself telling us he worked with 3rd st yoga studio in South Beach. Then, Ash Ruiz stood in front of us dressed in a purple linen shirt, white pants, and a white turban. His warm inviting smile and eager eyes alerted me that he would be guiding the session that night. He communicated words of wisdom with a spectacular backdrop of lightning. The moon disappeared behind the clouds; I wondered, could it be afraid of the storm? I sat mesmerized by the multiple shades of grey that colored the sky. The water and the sky camouflaged themselves into one; I distinguished the horizon thanks to the anchored boats which floated peacefully at a distance.
He asked us to hold our hands out and then rub them together intensely to create heat. The warmth of my hands rapidly increased with the friction and I felt the gentle burn on my palms. Then he told us to shake them. Shake them really hard. He asked us to imagine we were kids with a really big bugger on our fingers. Laughter bursts out around me; an authentic childlike laugh came from deep within me as I imagine the sticky situation. Then, we held our hands still, open to the sky. “Feel the energy that we are”, he encouraged us. I felt like a sorcerer holding a ball of invisible energy in front of me, one which had tremendous weight and undeniable presence.
“Now, imagine you are an alien on this earth. Pick up some sand and enjoy it as if it were the first time you were seeing and touching it in your life”, his instructions were simple. Fine grains trickled smoothly through my fingers, but when I rubbed my hands together I felt it’s roughness on my delicate hands. “Share the sand with the person next to you”, he continued. I turned to the person beside me and I saw his sand fall gently into my hand like water, but it remained on my palm. Then I sprinkled my own handful over his forearm and part of the sand settled on the recently invisible blond hairs. “Share with other people”, he said. I turn to the woman to my right and sprinkled over her toes knowing it would tease her like a tickle. Then I covered my own legs in this special dust.
The sky flashed without warning and I felt like an impressionable child. A majestic roar made us vibrate in the vulnerability of the expansive beach. Even when I closed my eyes, I saw the energy of the night behind my eyelids.
“Hold hands with the people beside you”, he instructed us. Firm hands met mine and I felt the power of connecting to others. As I imagined sharing this moment with a special person in the intimate space of my mind, the breeze picked up and blew my bangs across my face to distract me. I sensed air flowing around my body and since my hands were trapped, I allowed my face to be invaded by my dancing hair. “Just be. Let it be.” I convinced myself.
We chanted om’s, roared, and howled at the moon. It felt divine to be free to express ourselves under this raging sky. Then an African-American woman began to sing with the voice of an angel. Her melody took our spirits high above us and invited us to sway gently with her.
A fun, funny guru. I heard Ash Ruiz’s accent transform as if he were possessed by different personalities. His chuckles were hilarious and I couldn’t avoid breaking out into a contagious laugh… his eyes met mine with serenity and acceptance. He thanked the full moon for giving us the excuse to gather here tonight. “Now I invite you to walk with me to the water’s edge, do your favorite strut in that direction”. As he said this he waltzed towards the moon. I got up and jumped like a ballerina. Then I twirled like a tornado. Watch out!
I stepped into the ocean and the water felt warmer than I expected. “I want everyone to huddle together on the sand, right at the edge of the water. A bit closer. Ok. Even closer now”. We were all gathered in a tight bunch and I was concerned it was hard to breath surrounded by all those bodies. I told that voice in my head to be quiet. He expressed gratitude for everyone’s responsible use of deodorant. More giggles followed. “No biting please!”, I said jokingly staring at the arm stretched out an inch away from my mouth. ‘No licking either”, he replied in a delicious tone. He started singing and we joined him, swaying as if we were the ocean flowing as one. Then it was over. The storm had also passed. Everyone looked alive and peaceful; so connected!
I dug my feet into the cooling sand, just wanting to stand there with the wind caressing my face. I was hypnotized in the now. No reason to go anywhere. I was there. Simply happy to be there.
Love, light, and laughter!