By Tobias Lars BS, MBA, Mensa
‘Vegging out Vacation’ or ‘Getting hit with a stick in Buddhist Bhutan’ – is there a 3rd alternative?
We used to go on vacations in order to ‘vacate’, to empty out our built up stress, our ‘backed up’ clogged up energies. We’d plop ourselves on the beach just ‘vegging’ and often using alcohol to force our bodies to relax. This is the old model that we are shifting out of. And then there came an ‘Eco Travel’ trend, or ‘Adventure Travel’ with mountain biking and ‘ziplining’ or white water rafting. All fun and energizing. But we still weren’t able to ‘Be still and know That I Am God’ – we still weren’t able to truly relax and receive. So the pendulum swung from total ‘vacating, vegging out vacations’ to ‘Adventure Activity Vacations’- strenuous physical activity Adventures. As with all polarity paradigms the pendulum swings between the oppo-sites and eventually finds center balance.
Now there is a new balance emerging – the best of all worlds’ type of travel coming forth-
Eco Spiritual Travel – where enjoying, caring, appreciating the Natural World – being in touch with Mother Nature combines with personal Spiritual growth & a rejuvenating, relaxing vacation.
Is it ‘Work’ or ‘Play’?
We also used to have very distinct boundaries between ‘work’ & ‘play’. We had to ‘work’ in order to save up enough $ and time to ‘play’ or ‘take time off’. This model is also starting to melt, blur and merge into something new where work & play are joining into something new.
The new model is becoming more of – just Being. We are working-playing-being-doing all together at once. Perhaps we will outgrow the word ‘work’ and we will come up with a new word – or perhaps no word.
‘No Pain, No Gain’ is the old Model
When we started doing ‘workshops’, retreats, awakening seminars – we were still under the old model of ‘no pain, no gain’. We felt in order to get something out of our ‘workshop’ there had to be some ‘pain’ involved. We had to get up early, spend most of the day in our ‘work’ shop with short breaks for food – and with very little time left over for just fun. These models were the right stepping stones at the time – at least we were ‘working’ on our Selves and not for someone else. But now things are moving towards more merging- unifying ways of being & doing in our lives.
What if we can combine Fun, Relaxing & Play with personal Awakening & Spiritual Growth? And how about we add contributing to the health of the Planet and the Ecosphere to that? This is a ‘light bulb moment’ when we see it -a win-win-win for everyone and everything involved.
The old model of ‘if it’s good for me it tastes bad or is hard and no fun’ or ‘if it’s fun it has to be either illegal, immoral or fattening’ – those days are leaving.
Eco Spiritual Travel – is travel where you go somewhere you really enjoy, can really feel good in body, mind & spirit and enjoying Nature-Mother Earth- the Eco Sphere. Part of your ‘vacation’ may be to lie on the beach in Kona, Hawaii but not for all day for days on end. That’s like eating too much cheesecake! Instead your day might look like this – you may get up leisurely around 8-9am, enjoy the open air restaurant breakfast – an hour after breakfast you join your Spiritual Retreat Seminar being conducted under the palm trees . You do some breathing meditation and learn to feel your Inner Body more fully. After these simple timeless spiritual exercises & some social interaction time with likeminded new friends you have free time to swim with turtles, go into town to shop, or read a book in the hammock, go visit a Kona coffee farm or snorkel on the reef. Then in the late afternoon you meet back up with your retreat group and you go for short drive to a protected bay and swim with wild dolphins carefully respecting the dolphins’ natural boundaries. Then a Sunset meditation at an ancient Heiau – temple area where you can feel the ancient rhythms of true old Hawaii. And back to the resort for evening dinner overlooking the protected lagoons, watching the turtles swim below you. Private time, beach time, group spiritual time, dolphin time, sunset time, food time, hammock time… true en-join-ment.
En-join-ment = the new model is that when we truly en-joy we are ‘In Joy’ – en‘join’ing back up with God, reconnecting with our own Spirit.
The old model is that we can only reach ‘God’, ‘Salvation’, ‘Nirvana’, ‘Enlightenment’ through pain, struggle, sore backs from meditation postures, having to ‘sacrifice’, fighting our minds to be ‘quiet’,
“It’s in our Pleasure we find our Treasure.”
Do flowers not en-joy opening into blooming? Do trees struggle? Does the Ocean have to ‘work’ when its waves move? Do Birds effort and huff and puff when flying? Isn’t this effortless flow perhaps what St. Francis was pointing to when he quotes – “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow – they neither toil nor spin – and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
What is a flow-er? Maybe the Angels of Language left clues for us – a flower is a Flow-er, a flow of God-Spirit Energy erupting into our world to remind us to also surrender to this Flow of God-Source.
Sound too good to be true? To be able to relax, have fun, have pleasure all while Spiritually Awakening, respecting Mother Nature, and contributing financially to a group providing sanctuaries for animals?
It’s happening now. These Eco Spiritual Vacations are a growth segment of travel for the future. They are here and available now. Small, boutique operators are creating truly connecting, spiritual experiences for small groups of travelers all over the world – that feed the travelers and the whole Eco Sphere – Mother Earth at the same time.
“It’s not either/or — it’s both and more!” OSHO
So why not make your next Vacation an ‘Eco Spiritual Travel’ Vacation – and feed your Self, re-connect with your Spirit while en-Joy-ing Nature-Mother Earth-the Eco Sphere.
About the author:
Tobias Lars BS, MBA, Mensa – is a ‘Soul Counselor’ from Sedona, AZ – www.SedonaSoulCounseling.com . He is the author of the book – ‘Listening to The Sun’. After having started 2 international trading companies he now devotes his time to spiritual healing work and Eco Spiritual Travel Adventures with www.SpiriTravel.com