Reposting from 2011:
Instead of a “bucket list” starting in present time, let’s assume I have my whole life to plan. If I were going to plan an incarnation in the late 20th century, what would I like to do?
First, make sure I’m present for the defining experiences of this generation’s new consciousness: the big civil rights rally in Washington where M.L. King made his “I Have a Dream” speech; the Summer of Love in San Francisco, and Woodstock.
I’d want to experience the most radical and influential approaches to re-visioning the presence of Spirit in the world— not just one “truth” but a range of ideas, from Scientology to Neopaganism to traditional shamanism. I’d want the experience of sitting with traditional masters: Lamas from Tibet, Indian Swamis, Persian Sufis. And the most exciting spiritual “revolutionaries” of my own generation and culture: Starhawk, Otter G’Zell, Timothy Leary and Ram Dass.
And after I’ve had a good dose of wild, let me have a taste of the most impressive and unique civilizations: the remains of Minoans, Acheans, Greeks, Romans, and Mayans; Venice, a complete city built on water; Fez, a medieval walled city virtually unchanged for hundreds of years.
I’d want exposure to every kind of human culture. Art and music of every era and continent. And I could learn to perform Renaissance madrigals and motets, modern jazz, Indian ragas, and all kinds of things in between. I’d want the experience of being present for epoch-making performances by John Coltrane, Ali Akbar Khan, Sun Ra, Meredith Monk, Philip Glass, and playwright Michael McClure.
While I’m at it, maybe I could sit in with some master musicians… they don’t have to be famous. A sufi jam session in Morocco would be ideal. And while we’re in the spirit of cultural immersion, I’d like a shot at dancing in a Greek taverna, in Greece, with Greek musicians.
Does it get any better than this? If I can do all these things in one lifetime, why should I care about what the world calls wealth or success?
Well, let’s see what else we can add. A couple of weeks immersed in traditional shamanic trance work in the Amazon fills in a big missing piece.
Other than that (which I’m about to do next week)… I’ve already done all these things. And I am so grateful.
UPDATE for 2017:
The Amazon immersion experience was everything I hoped it would be. Upping the game a bit. Imagine that this might be my last human incarnation, and I need to load it up with every kind of great experience a human incarnation can enjoy.
soaking up the divine, rare music of the ancient gamelan of central Java; …
trekking to antique Buddhist monateries in Bhutan, …
for contrast, trekking by camel in the Sahara…
To honor the limits of the “incarnation” game, let’s engage in the sacred drama recorded by the ancients, and seek out the underground rivers which hold the secrets of life and death.
So much to be grateful for. Such a feast of experiences and adventures.
Now for dessert…falling madly in love in Thailand. Coming up…