Journeys from the Fire


Parvathy 3 Bauls


I sit by the fire, the earth by my side, water in my hand, breath in my lungs, space in my being. I inhale, I exhale. I identify the elements in myself and guide them with my breath and conscious mind; I anchor my form and presence to the elements, and by doing so, I coalesce into all that is and lose definition. I expand into the ether and lose sense of where I begin and end. Infinite, I realize the truth professed by the Bon*; I understand that integration of the elements results in surrender to the infinite cosmos, and therefore surrender of Self, to the Self.

The spaces between us, within us, the synaptic connections that define our relativities, form and movement, are the same as those which govern the infinite universe. In balance, we reveal our natural order, and align with not only the material environment, but also with the structure of the universe, with all energy and matter. From this alignment we expand, like an extension of our limbs, we begin to experience the shapeless, formless, That, in which we exist. We gain cognitive experience of what it is to be infinite in being and understand the meaning of so many scriptures that profess our conscious unity with all That is.

One need not be a saint or sage to experience such bliss, for we live in an age where pathways to the Divine are left like open books, for us to access with our minds and bodies. However, these pathways require discipline, courage and humility, and ultimately, the willingness to surrender ego – the final frontier of fear. How strong is your faith in Self, to surrender the reins? To allow yourself to have no control, and therefore align with your natural state?

Sometimes when I hear these melodies, churned by voices and breath, by string and palm rhythms, I feel my body seize, trying to contain that which moves me, whilst simultaneously trying to harness the movement into myself. The force is so strong, I am afraid of what would happen if I were to surrender completely. Will I go mad? Will I ever return to this world?

The only thing that scares me more, is the thought of dying without ever knowing.

Gently, I dip my toe into the ocean of such existentialism. It beckons to me through the music, through the wind and the trees, the sun and the stars; it streams to me through the blood in my veins. It seeks me out as I take coy glances towards its beauty. Like lovers lost, we begin to find each other. And in moments of peace, when I least expect, it cascades through me, leaving me exhilarated and hushed by the magnificence of such great love.


* “Bon is Tibet’s oldest spiritual tradition. It includes teachings and practices applicable to all parts of life, including our relationship with the elemental qualities of nature; our ethical and moral behavior; the development of love, compassion, joy and equanimity; and Bon’s highest teachings of the “Great Perfection,” dzogchen” –





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