Solitude & Transformation – 18 days in the forest

I am writing this is Cyprus, detached by time and distance from the original experience in Australia.

It has taken me many years to achieve this, a very limited perspective about what happened in this experience, in time this perspective may also change.

The originator was a frustrating experience which I had allowed to happen where I had given others my love and trust and these were betrayed, instead their misguided ideology that valued no one but themselves, their beliefs, assumptions, projection and fears were the end of us … this experience created a need in me for real solitude .. I had reached a point where all the old ways no longer made sense, I kept hitting a wall – people’s promises and words did not match their actions … I needed to find what was real as mindfulness and meditation although helping weren’t bringing clarity.

I was in a sea of pain, my internal compass was spinning and I had no idea what to do … I was unable to understand the thinking, the beliefs and values of those who had professed their love, then had created this challenge, all emanating from a group that said they lived by Buddhist teachings – a truism being that the basis of all relationships is trust.

I was deep in despair then finally I decided to isolate myself purposefully from all distractions, to try and understand why this challenge had come to me … what was it in me that I had to understand, to face and overcome, I wondered what was I to learn from the experience?

The nurturing environment of nature beckoned, it had always been a wonderful energising and calming experience for me, I would go. …. I took some food, tent etc and went looking for a camp site in the state forest – my past experience in nature automatically kicked in, I set up camp, explored the area, boiled water for a drink, all the time feeling the balance and harmony, the nurturing energy of natured flowed into me, then I began to meditate.

Over the next 18 days, I travelled through transitions – the first four days, were a most unsettling, and confronting experience … illusions came and went … even in a conscious state I found difficulty in understanding the actions of others … my ego screamed out in defiance of my mindfulness but I did not engage and after a while its voice diminished until I eventually found the no mind state … for days I was in a place of wonder … peak experiences came …. some have been repeated since, it was an incredible humbling learning experience where I could see the balance and interconnectivity of life in nature all around me, from the plants, the insects, the birds the animals and myself – we were one.

During my time in the forest I heard an another voice, a voice I had heard before, which I now know is my soul, it asked me did I want to go on? I asked what would happen if I didn’t, the voice said “we will then stop here, but if you go through you can never go back, you are on a new path” … I said let’s go, and here I am.

I have never regretted this decision.

In the forest, after a while I become one with the environment, the forest and all the life it contained … I couldn’t separate myself I couldn’t judge the actions of others for this reason – this extended to my recent challenge … I couldn’t judge, all I could do was to try and empathise in an effort to understand their actions and what beliefs had brought the situation to me – there was nothing in me that enabled me to understand the motivations of the others in this experience, all I could was to accept the situation, forgive those that had betrayed me, let go and move on.

I finally understood the Alan Watts quote: “If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything”

Any action, good or bad that comes with intent, brings Karma … I knew that Karma would handle the situation with those in my past far better than I could, so I let go of the past, forgave it and moved on.

As always this was my experience, it may have some similarities with your own or not. There is no right way for everyone’s journey is their own

Along with a new perspective on the present moment, Peace, Love, detachment, understanding and presence came and has stayed.