How To Change What Is In Your Mind
Every year I go on a kind of pilgrimage. My pilgrimage doesn’t involve praying to, or worshiping a deity. It’s a personal one of letting go of baggage and reconnecting with those things sacred to me. What is sacred to me is happiness, love Truth, compassion, and respect for all creations.
Why do I keep going every year? It’s surprising how much emotional baggage we can accumulate over the years. Much of it happening so slowly, while we are busy doing other things that we don’t realize it. We get into habits that become “normal” routines and then don’t see how our life can be different. We get used to thinking of our selves a certain way, and don’t fathom that we could be different. We become afraid or shy of certain things and compensate by sticking to what we are comfortable with. Our strengths become hiding places.
How our body looks becomes a substitute for self worth. Food becomes a substitute for feeling emotions. Pets become substitutes for close relationships. Television becomes a substitute for community. Facebook and technology become a substitute for connection. Habit and routine become the enemy of adventure, learning, and of being awake and feeling alive. Every year I do some seasonal cleaning about this.
We clean everything around us, why not our minds and emotions? We brush our teeth every day to get rid of what has built up. We wash our clothes to get rid of what has built up. We clean our house regularly because of the dirt and dust that gets collected. In a similar way I periodically take my mind and wash out all the thoughts, beliefs, fears, attachments, judgments, and toxic emotions that have accumulated as habits and routines. It’s much more satisfying to me than cleaning my house or car.
I didn’t get everything cleaned up in the first spiritual retreat I did, but I got a lot done. Emotionally I felt, and smelled, a whole lot better, so much so that I did it again and again. Like cleaning house the first time in your life, you won’t get everything done, but it is a whole lot better than not having done it at all. I also got better at cleaning the more I worked at it. These days there isn’t as much baggage to let go of but I still do some cleaning just to be sure. These days I spend most of my time on the Love and Truth part.
What is Teotihuacan
The journey I take is to a special place in Mexico called Teotihuacan. We call it Teo for short. ( pronounced “Tay O” ) I have been going there for almost 20 years now, sometimes multiple times a year. In the beginning it was just for my own personal process. It is special for a number of reasons. One of them is that many of my major personal changes happened there. For that reason it is magical to me because it has changed me so much from the person I used to be.
About 10 years ago I began taking other people and helping facilitate their personal journey as well. It’s a process of letting go of the baggage in our mind that makes us unhappy, and getting in touch with the love inside instead. Sometimes people think of ancient Mexico spirituality and their mind goes to some fearful story of human sacrifice. One day I might write an article or make an audio as to why a person’s mind would go to a dark fear when the opportunity for change is presented, but for now it will suffice to say that there is no death. I’ve come back alive every time. Everyone I have gone with has come back alive. I would say that everyone that has gone on a spiritual intensive like this comes back more alive then when they went.
Teo is like a University of Consciousness that began over 2000 years ago. It is a combination monastery, Zen Center, vision quest, spiritual retreat and city. It was built as a school to move people out of the suffering and illusions of their unhappiness, and to see the love and beauty in the world, and in themselves. When you graduate from this school, you not only know yourself as a force with the power to create love in that human form, but you are masterful at doing it. Most people travel there today as tourists looking at the architecture. I don’t. I travel there to clean up any of the baggage I am carrying around and to renew my commitment to Truth, love, respect, compassion and happiness in my life. This is what I guide people to do that join me Teotihuacan.
Two Journeys in One
A pilgrimage is two journeys in one. In the external journey you need to make time in your life’s schedule, bring a passport, plane ticket, and comfortable shoes. This is an important part because it is declaring a commitment to changing your internal world. Without this commitment, things go along in the same habits, routines, and emotional patterns and priorities of the past. When you don’t put your personal happiness on your “Things to Do” list they don’t’ get done. If you don’t make time for emotional change it doesn’t get done.
In the internal journey you gather up courage to challenge your fears, determination for change, sense of humor, unconditional love and acceptance for your self just the way you are. Then you gather up the baggage in its various forms of fears, self judgments, resentments, and all the false self images you have so you can let them go. The architecture and layout of Teo is designed for processes such as these. Letting go of the baggage from our past is necessary so that there is room for something new. In the second half of the journey we focus on gathering up all the love inside us that we have been holding back and experience what it is like to feel it expressed. Then, with our eyes opened towards love, you begin to see how the whole world is expressing love back to you.
Some common questions people ask about the Spiritual Intensives I guide people on.
Is it worth it? I can’t answer that for everyone. Everyone comes with their own level of clarity on what they want, desire for change, and resistance. I can assure you that the doors of change will be wide open. It is up to each person to step through on their own, in their own way, in their own time. What I can assure you is that the opportunity is there. What I can tell you is that sometimes as many as 50% of the people on the journey have come to previous events, so I’m pretty sure they have found it worth it or they wouldn’t be coming back.
Do I have to share? No. Some people are shy, others are not, but there journey is for themselves. Others are exploring emotions, feelings, and ideas new to them and they are difficult to articulate. I don’t force anyone to share. There is time for sharing if you wish, but it is not required.
Do I challenge people? No, not directly. My approach is not the in your face challenge of your beliefs, but rather a presentation of different ways to look at things and then letting you come to your own conclusions. False beliefs seem to dissipate the fastest when in an environment of love, acceptance, and support while we shed light on them and so I follow that approach.
Is it dangerous? No, because I advise people only to drink bottled water even though the hotel water system is potable. OH! You mean the concerns about violence from the drug wars! No… that’s not a problem. We arrive at Mexico City airport. Airports are known for their security these days. Our driver takes us to the hotel which is in a small village in the country next to the pyramids archaeological site. There are quiet little towns. We’ll sometimes not exactly quiet because they like to celebrate their festivals with fireworks at times late at night. If there is a danger it is of not getting a great nights sleep depending on the festival celebration. Some people solve this problem by going to the party. If I felt there were any real danger I wouldn’t go myself, or take anyone else either. I hope that answers that question.
You can find out more about the Spiritual Retreat to Teotihuacan here:
These videos also give an idea about these retreats.
In this audio you can get a better idea of what some other people have to say after attending events.