“Take me to the river
And wash me down
Won’t you cleanse my soul
Put my feet on the ground”

Al Green – Take Me To The River

This past weekend, I ventured out of Chiang Mai and into the countryside. I rode an elephant and visited a rural village filled with children, scarves, pigs and chickens and surrounded by pastoral rice fields. We hiked a ways from the village to a secluded waterfall throwing off mist and rainbows in the air. After lunch we headed out for our final activity, which was described to me as white water rafting. I immediately envisioned Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon barreling down the rapids. As you can see from the photo, this was not the case at all.

No, instead four of us, a wonderful German family of three and the lone American, boarded our ship. Our captain was a young Thai man, early twenties, who with the use of a large stick guided us around rocks and fellow rafters. Once we boarded the raft, we sat down. The shock of the cold water on our behinds was immediate. As we pulled away from the shore, more water filled my swimsuit, creating another shock to the system. I noticed everyone had pulled their legs up, so that only their behinds and feet could get wet (See Mom and Dad in the photo). I instinctively knew to drop my legs and let everything get wet as quickly as possible. I knew to surrender to the cold, for certainly more was coming my way.

As we moseyed down the river, the rapids got bigger, and larger waves of water enveloped us. After about 5 minutes, my legs had adjusted to the temperature and the water started to feel warm. Suddenly everything shifted. The rafting portion of our adventure had become a glorious dive into oneness, a transformation from cold and unknown to warmth and communion. I had experienced this before, so I had an idea of what to expect.

There I was, a floating orb of light, feeling the warmth of a late afternoon as I was effortlessly carried down river. The raft was a womb and I was the perfectly vulnerable and ecstatic passenger. The sunlight danced in and out through the trees, while butterflies of all colors mingled in and out of my Technicolor dream. Sometimes, and this may happen to you as well, I have the experience of being exactly where I am suppose to be, and everything, absolutely everything is perfect and in no need of a change or fix.

At one point, the mother asked the father, “this is nice, isn’t it?” to which the father begrudgingly said “it’s all right.” I heard his response and realized in that moment the profound impact that our perception has on the quality of our experiences in life. In the most general terms, the more perceptive you are, the more you will experience and the more coherent will be your own philosophy of life. In this case, if I were living in a place of constant judgment of my experiences, I would have robbed myself of the transcendental journey I had the privilege to experience.

Certainly I would assert that as one increases his or her powers of perception, there is a logical understanding of the value of letting go rather than clenching and holding tight. Increased perception lead to an opening to life. It is for this reason that many of my weekend events (like The Bridge) focus on processes to aid in increasing perception, and stretch our understanding of different realms of reality. It is my observation that there are few things more exuberant than realizing you are now perceiving the world is a new and previously unrealized way. It is like walking out of a darkened room into the sunlight.

Take me to the river. I had an ayahuasca type experience without the aya. Colors were popping. Butterflies were flirting with me. The water had a conversation with me. I flew through the trees, and saw me back on the raft. Everyone on the shore smiled at me like they were all in on it. It’s like that. Call it the zone. Call it Samadhi. Call it connecting with nature. Call it returning home. For me, it was experiencing my true nature with and not apart from anything. Thank you Thailand for your wonderful and mystical land. It has been an honor to walk your soil and float on your water.

About the Author

Jay Cradeur Jay Cradeur is an author, blogger, internet marketer, world traveler, and coach. Jay has helped thousands to achieve their dreams of financial independence. As an internet marketing coach with a focus on personal development, Jay may be able to assist you in reaching your goals. You can work with Jay for a 100% refundable fee of $49 by clicking on this link and committing to your future. Work with Coach Jay.