After ten days of travel, I arrived back in Puerto Viejo on Monday afternoon.
My meditation retreat went well. It was a retreat organised by a local Brahma Kumaris group and took place in the small mountain town of San Cristobal Norte. The facility used was an old school building operated by a catholic church, which was next door. I don’t know about you, but I had this quaint notion that small-town churches have bells that toll with pastoral gentility on Sunday morning to summon believers to serene contemplation of the saviour. However, on Saturday morning at slightly past dawn, a cacaphony was launched that sounded like one of those new electronic fire alarms that save you from burning but deafen you for eternity. I leapt out of bed and shouted “Jesus Christ!”, but I was focussed only on the possibility of an air raid. I’m not sure if they do that every Saturday moning, or just when the school has been rented by misguided heathens who invoke images of Brahma Baba and burn incense in the collection basket.
Attending a retreat of this nature was a bit of challenge for me, as I have a pretty active anti-cult reaction to anything that mentions “god” in even the most innocuous manner. However, a wise friend had encouraged me to trust that turning down my “bullshit meter” would still protect me from being turned into a stark-raving moonie while allowing me to try out potentially mind expanding, soul-enriching activities. As it turned out, I had a great time. I met some really interesting, peaceful and kind people, and at the end I felt more relaxed and calm than I have felt in a number of years.
While I was away, I also meditated on my satisfaction with living in Puerto Viejo. I have been gradually becoming less enchanted with life here, and I needed to consider whether there is a future in it, without feeling like I am giving up on it too easily. In the end, I decided that I would move on to new opportunities elsewhere. I’m not sure what those are going to be, yet, but I’ve made plans to wrap up things here and depart.
On June 05, I will fly out of San Jose, and land in New York City. At the moment, my plans are to spend June and July on a cycling trip circling around the north-east United States (New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and maybe Vermont), and eastern Canada (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick), but how much I will actually cover remains to be revealed through planning, chance, and budget. I’m not yet sure whether I will have my hybrid bike shipped out from Vancouver, or buy a new touring bike in New York or Boston. If anyone has any great economical shipping suggestions, I’d be happy to hear about them.
At the end of the cycling portion of the trip I’ll spend a week in retreat in upstate New York, check out the big city for a few days (to which I have never been), and then fly to Vancouver. After that? Who knows.