Visit of the Centre of Maya Investigation, Haaltun-Ha, January 2014
Christina and I did not exactly come to Yucatan to study Maya culture. We even had some reservations about it after some funny experiences with Mayan priests in Guatemala some years ago.
We came to Yucatan and Mexico for more joyful reasons and also with the intention to continue writing our books, producing films, and having fun as always.
But being at the Peninsula of Yucatan, we became interested, read some books and texts, visited the ruins of Dzibilchaltun north of Merida, and swam in holy cenotes in very very clear and beautiful waters.
And at some point we were lucky enough to meet Gabriel, a descendent of a Maya priest near Merida, who opened with his openness our inner doors of perception.
Of course, synchronicity!
I had told Karla, our young, charming host in Merida, about my thoughts concerning Maya culture. „I would like to get a personal feeling about it“, I said. „In Christianity, I have heard the message, Love each other. I do not understand until now the message of the Mayan culture.“
Karla is a psychologist, and a dance and yoga teacher with her own studio in the house. She has studied spiritual subjects and is radiating friendliness and love. „I understand“, she said. „I have a friend, Gabriel. He knows a lot about it and is a very nice man. He has built his own Mayan centre. Let‘s go and see him next Sunday.“
So yesterday we drove with Karla and two friends to the village of Nolo. Gabriel‘s place is quite hidden, nearly in the bush. On his land we saw amazing things: His father had erected a replica of the pyramid of Chichen Itza, about half a meter high. He built a meditation stool of stones and a meeting place with a hidden meaning.
Gabrial was not there when we arrived. Karla explained us the meditation stool, and we tried it out. So much power!
Then Gabriel arrived; a man of maybe 40 years. First he asked us to come to the special meeting place.
„Here is the big stone in the middle. It is made for rituals. And around there are nine stones to sit at. They are the nine months of our Mayan calendar.
The middle stone is directed towards North. The North is white, the South is yellow, East is red, and West is black.
East is the rising of the sun, the light. In the west the sun goes down; it is the darkness.“
He told us that his father had held reunions and ceremonies here, and that he was continuing with this tradition.
„We are a council of 25 Maya elders and priests in Yucatan“, he said. „Last December, at the time of winter solstice, there was a meeting of Maya priests from Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Belice here in Mexico.“
He led us to an open house. In its middle we saw a photo of his father who died at the age of 51, 17 years ago.
On the wall, there was a great black and white mural of Mayan mythology. Gabriel explained the meaning of the calendar, of the holy snake Kukulkan, and of the four directions.
„For us, it is Ku-ku ul ka an“, he said. „With the double u it means: Admired god of the infinite. Kukulkan with only one u means the feathered snake. This can only be understood by people who speak the Mayan language.“
„The most important questions in Maya philosophy are the following: Who am I? Where do I come from? Where do I go?“
No, here, a feeling of being at home entered me. This is perennial philosophy. These questions were put – and sometimes answered 🙂 – by philosophers over the ages. The oracle of Delphi, and Deepak Chopra. The Shift Network, and Christina Fleur de Lys.
Then he commented about the four last months of the Mayan Calendar. „They are the month of music, the month of dance, the month of knowledge, and the last month of the Here and Now“, he said. He explained the cosmology and astronomy of these months and said that the last one, the Here and Now, is only 5 days long. These five add to 360 days. „These days were especially celebrated“ he said.
We mentioned the book of Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, but he had not heard about it.
I then told him about our mission and vision of joy, and about the coalition of joy. I said that these four months for me were an expression of joy, because in joy we often dance and sing, and we celebrate the here and now. „This is wonderful“, he said. „And above all, it is a question of knowledge.“
Later we heard that there would be a Mayan celebration a week later with some more elders…in the yoga room of Karla!
„I invite you“, Gabriel said. „There you will meet Vicente. He knows much more than me.“
Of course we said yes.
„Do the people of the village come to your place?“ asked Christina. „No, they don‘t“, he answered. „It seems that places that are near are not so interesting“.
In between, Christina and I talked about the question if we should give him some money, if he charged for his service. We asked Karla, and she said that he did not charge, but that we were free to donate.
So I asked him in the end if he would like a donation.
„I don‘t charge“, he said. „But if you like to contribute to the costs of the place, you are welcome to do it“. So we did.
We parted as friends. When we gave each other a hug, I inspired him to some laughter, and it was beautiful.
After all, I think that the presence of the Mayan ruins and the Mayan traditions give more meaning of life to the people of Yucatan. They are not only tourist attractions, but a subject of study of wonder. There is a Mayan language to learn. Their cosmos is quite complex, with two calendars existing at the same time, with astrological knowledges and studies, with mysteries yet to be solved.
It was inspiring that Gabriel did not charge. So it was a meeting of researchers of truth, of friends, of people who like wisdom – philosophers. (Philosopher means: lover of wisdom)
We met from different cultures and still had the feeling to understand each other.
On the way back, Karla said: „This is my secret place. I go there nearly every Sunday. And I would like to learn the Mayan language.“