Discover more from Don't Forget Yoga with Derek Pashupa Goodwin
Cosmic Fire and Medicine
I was already there before i took the mushroom. The soft hairs on my skin were bristling to the invisible pull of the future, there was a subtle energy running through me. I could not see the future but I could feel it; something was about to come over me, like watching a storm move across the ocean, perched on a column of stones being misted by waves that thrust against the shore.
I had always imagined that I would have to memorize thousands of pages of my own writings to understand myself. The universe whispers, it leaves signs and traces. I have known for some time that I am more than me. I have waited for the manifestation of my higher self. Thoughts flow through me like water, from a spring eternal. I have read and forgotten scriptures, buried them in me like dead sea scrolls. The god that can be remembered is not the true one. There is nothing we can hold on to.
I find the trouble with writing any miracle down is I. I is ego. Where to put I in the midst of the miraculous? I wants to be the miracle. I wants to say “I am the one who manifests this!” Yet the miracle dissolves as soon as it is described. I believe that last night I channeled the divine. I ingested a hearty dose of medicine and the universe poured into my being. Or perhaps i just imagined it did.
The COSM fire was beautiful, with mushroom sculptures burning inside of a perfect sheath of flames, beckoning the autumnul equinox. It was a fire that drew me to it before it was lit. When i was unable to find a ride I decided to rent a zipcar so that I could be beside it. I drove two and a half hours bristling with energy. Something deep was running through me.
For some time I just sat with the flame, a little closer than anyone else. Where normally I would have been extremely uncomfortable from the heat I instead felt nourished by it. Crossing my legs i moved closer to the flames.
Soon the asanas began to work through my body. Mudras shaped my hands and fingers. I began to sing. this sound that has come to me before. Deya. Deya. I found that I could stare into the intensity of the fire without blinking. I could feel my eyes healing themselves. My shoulders that had been aching and damaged for years began to heal. I twisted myself into shapes that helped me heal. I sang for everyone there, to heal them too.
There was a bottle of water next to me but felt no thirst. I found that I could breathe or not breathe for long moments as I chose. The circle of souls around the fire saw me, enraptured in whatever it was that was coming through me. I sat beside myself, feeling the divine. I closed my eyes and sang. I could feel the entire universe.
I feel the path has chosen me. The years of practicing hot yoga. The years of purification through veganism and whole foods. The fearlessness i have for ingesting quantities of medicine that most people don’t trust their consciousness to endure. The fire sign, aries, that i was born unto. The practice of ahimsa, so strong and deep.
COSM is a sanctuary on a sacred ground. Nearby there are other sacred sites. The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. Right down the road from there is the home and ashram of Jivamukti founders Sharon Gannon and David Life, who I was recently blessed to meet. This trinity of places and people, my heart and destiny belongs to all three.
There are really no words. Words just grasp at truth. I am often dissolving, feeling things I can not quite comprehend or describe. I feel a unity between all creation. Beyond all our fear there is something profound that binds us.
I cherish this divine in the other. This spark we all share. Felicia, who came to offer me water and suggest that perhaps i was too close to the flames. Another man came to draw me away, and I hugged him and told him it was ok. When i was ready to retreat from the fire the universe brought Jason to escort me. My face today is as red as if i was in the sun all night. My eyes today glow like embers. The spark is everything.
There is of course the possibility I dreamed the whole thing. In this dream I move a bit closer to believing some of those stories of the sages and gurus of India, pulling jewelry from thin air, infusing objects with fragrances, walking over coals. Yet I resonate more with Thic Nhat Hanh’s quote “the miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” That we are here, breathing and conscious, is so beautiful and strange.
Our consciousness and our biology are rooted in the dream we dream. They evolve by the will of our whims. We can all find the way to dissolve the boundaries that limit our imaginations. There are sacred plants all around us. There is wisdom in the soil. We are woven into the fabric of an everything reacting to even the fluttering wings of a butterfly. How delicious the mango that we let ripen! How wonderful are the teachers all around us! With merely our minds we can turn particles to waves in an endless sea of possibility.
Just as the everyday is truly miraculous, so the miraculous is the everyday. There are those who doubt that the human race will ever lose our violence. There are those who doubt that the world can ever know ahimsa. They chant mantras of “free range” and “humane meat” to keep truth at bay. Deep in our hearts we know these words are illusions attempting to conceal violence. This is the time for us to evolve beyond the I and towards the us. We can share a vision of the future. Abhaya. Anicca. Ahimsa. Deya!