I was sitting in a tepee, a strangely new tepee made with cream canvas and PVC joints. My floor was foam pads and a faux bearskin. I was supposed to be meditating, but all I could think of was how this felt nothing like I had dreamed in my childhood.
In my head, words passed through: “Find your seat, find your breath.” I took one more look at the brand-new canvas in front of me and vowed to release my judgment and open my mind. I could hear my teacher and teachers past reminding me that the things we hold in our life are nothing more than the intention brought to them. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and intended: Mother Earth’s womb.
It is a funny thing, walking into our own self-awareness. In theory, it is something we all want—to be more connected, to know more about our selves and why we are the way we are. When we have a moment of coming into our selves, of seeing a piece of our true nature, it can be a magical and rejuvenating experience.
The space within a tepee is powerful. It is perfectly balanced, leaving no room for extremes or lies. Whatever you feel will bounce around in the space until you’ve felt all sides of it and come to the center of that truth. But truth can be difficult. For me, it brought fears and regrets, memories of moments, and people I didn’t even know I had forgotten.
I felt myself swing from giddy elation to sobbing in a matter of seconds.
Eventually, my teacher came out and joined me. I felt numb and overwhelmed. Something had been tapped. All I could do was sit in my numbness and listen.
That night, as I arrived home, I couldn’t go in. Instead, I walked out to the riverbank and stood under the stars. The light of the stars glistened on the mud. I pulled my scarf closer and sobbed a hysterical, breath-stealing sob that is usually reserved only for moments in childhood or mourning. The fear and sadness came pouring out and seemed to melt down into the sand.
They say that if you meditate inside a tepee, anything is possible. The lack of corners brings new energies to light, taking away all the darkness within which they would usually hide.
It was days later, as I sat on my apartment floor, staring at the brick wall, that I realized the change. A deep sorrow and fear were gone. In that tepee, I had found them, stared them in the face, and, by doing so, let them go. I found my truth and my fear. That fear I had carried for so long was suddenly in my hands. Under that clear winter sky, it was released. I walked away lighter and ready for more.