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Presence (#1, Ecuador, 2013)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

My place of residence with Adelaida and her daughter Amrita (my god daughter) is about 15 minutes southeast of Otavalo, heading toward the town of Cotacachi. For reference, Ibarra is about 35 minutes northeast of Otavalo.

I am more and more deeply aware in my life of the importance of PRESENCE as I live it out, and who better to encapsulate what that means than a favorite Irish poet, John O'Donohue.

John O'Donohue, 1 January 1956 - 4 January 2008, was an Irish poet, author, priest, and Hegelian philosopher. He was a native Irish speaker, and as an author is best known for popularizing Celtic spirituality.


Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to
follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek
no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.

I arrived to Ecuador in time to celebrate Amrita's 13th birthday on Dec 30 and to bring in the new year. There is a tradition here to create a dummy/puppet character named "Old Year" out of clothes and other things one is ready to release. This is the version we created. Here I am with Mr. Old Year and Adelaida, as well as her wonderful ex-pat American neighbor, Casandra from Georgia (her lovely husband Julian is taking the photo). You can see Adelaida's wood frame house in the background and to the left. of Julian and Casandra's terra cotta home. My little bedroom is on the second floor.

Here's Julian with Sr. Ano Viejo

Dec 31, burning the old, making way for the new

Dec 30, Amrita's birthday party. Just a couple shots, because I can't download my camera. About 50 friends, young and old, came to their home and lots of good vibes and good food were shared. The "birthday girl" Amrita is behind me in purple.

Marion is a physician who is also adept at massage and other therapies. Poor Adelaida was experiencing lots of neck and shoulder pain, and got a wonderful massage.


Sunday Cotacachi Organic Market

So, I hope with this little glimpse that you've felt a bit of the presence.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
FLORIDASUN 3/24/2013 9:53AM

    OHHHHH the pure joy and bliss of a TOTAL organic market! The birthday girl got a beautiful gift in having her godmother there to celebrate! Such a beautiful climate filled with loving and good people! Hugs to you my beautiful deserved this trip and I'm so happy you are sharing it with us! emoticon

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ME_HERE_NOW 1/23/2013 1:58PM

    look at that market! happy adventuring! :D

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/21/2013 12:50PM

    Fantastic! I love these pictures!


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SHANTISHANTI 1/18/2013 1:12PM

    I love that poem Maha, thanks for posting it.

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JUST_BREATHE08 1/15/2013 5:33PM

    Absolutely Awesome...Thank You Maha so much for sharing. The pictures are so Beautiful!! emoticon

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SIRIRADHA1 1/9/2013 11:08AM

    I'd like to be at a mass where Fr. John gives the final blessing!

So many great pictures! Thanks, Maha! Did Adelaida like her necklace?

P.S. I'm back on SP and lost almost 8 pounds first week (water weight, I'm sure!)

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SLASALLE 1/8/2013 5:47PM

    You both look and sound so very happy there. This makes me happy, my friend. Glad you made it safe and sound, despite some false starts!! As always, thanks for sharing the pictures.

With love,

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MTRACHEL 1/7/2013 7:58PM

    Lovely to see your journey. What a wonderful tradition, to make a body of the old year and then send it on it's way.

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FRANCESCANAZ 1/7/2013 10:41AM

    So happy that you are enjoying your New Year with old friends. Love the pictures, especially al the fruits! Be blessed amiga. emoticon

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BILL60 1/7/2013 9:41AM

    Very nice. Brings back memories of my years living in Peru.

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JESPAH 1/7/2013 9:31AM

    I just want to pick up an orange and sniff it. :)

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KALIGIRL 1/7/2013 8:27AM

    emoticon for a WONDERFUL glimpse!

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BILLB000 1/6/2013 11:48PM

    I love John O Donahue's writings and this poem. Thank you for that.

Your photos and words are wonderful. I so appreciate the culture of Central America and South America. Having travelled to and around Guatemala numerous times I look forward to the day I will return.

I appreciate your sharing perspectives from your travels.

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ZORAHGAIL 1/6/2013 6:45PM

    Great blog! One of my 2013 intentions is to Practice Presence, so that poem was lovely. Thank you.

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ABURRIS2 1/6/2013 6:45PM

    Thank you for sharing some of your own quiet immensity, my friend. Warm wishes as you follow what beckons. ~a

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SAVOY1 1/6/2013 5:47PM

    Maha I am so happy it looks like you are having a great time. The poem and sentiment are delightful and I enjoyed the pictures especially, as of course my young gun is off to that neck of the woods in March and it's fun to see glimpses of real life in Ecuador. Thanks for sharing emoticon

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GOANNA2 1/6/2013 4:49PM

    Thank you Maha. I always feel your presence. Love
the poem. Thanks for sharing the pictures and telling
us of the traditions. good times ahead for you all. emoticon emoticon

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CARRAND 1/6/2013 4:38PM

    Lovely poem. Thank you.

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BECOMINGONE 1/6/2013 4:26PM

    Hi Maha,

I always enjoy your presence -- both physical and metaphysical in the sense of relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses. Your blog captures your presence ...


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HIPPICHICK1 1/6/2013 4:00PM

    I love the poem!
In the pagan tradition the Wheel of the Year turns and the "new year" which as you likely know begins on Samhain or Halloween and celebrated with costuming and resolutions. For example, if one decided on needing more strength one might wish to dress up like a bear for Samhain. Need more cash? Dress as royalty.
I love rituals and traditions.
Happy New Year Maha!

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DAISY443 1/6/2013 3:36PM

    Through your eyes, I felt the presence!

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SNOWSNAKE 1/6/2013 3:26PM

    Your poem and lesson on "Presence" was a great start to my day. Thank you for opening my mind just a little bit more, such an old soul you are! Happy New Year to you and yours, ***SNOW*** emoticon

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COSMIC_ENERGY 1/6/2013 3:12PM

    The presence of your friendship is enriching!

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DDOORN 1/6/2013 2:49PM

    LOVE the pics! AND Donohue's blessings as well.

What a beautiful place the people and land of Otavalo are...great landscape pic.

I see it is only 100 km from Quito the capitol.

Enjoy, enjoy! :-)


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MISS_VIV 1/6/2013 2:25PM

    i am so happy to see the pictures of taking out the OLD YEAR.. and of course the area where you are staying. I can't blame you for being so in love with Ecuador. It is totally awesome... thanks so much
Much love

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MAUIMA 1/6/2013 2:14PM

    I too loved the poem. :)
Thank you for the new year's message.

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HARMONIUM 1/6/2013 2:10PM

    Thank you for a marvelously rich blog! I love the poem, the photographs and most of all your reflective words!

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WATERMELLEN 1/6/2013 2:07PM

    Thanks for locating your "presence" for us geographically and visually (I like imagining you living there!) and thanks for the wonderful poem!

You beam out a powerful presence.

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CASSIOEPIA 1/6/2013 1:54PM

    What a fun tradition!

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