Zen can only be experienced solo. Zen is about being totally aware of now – who you are, what you feel in the present. The past and the future don’t matter. Neither do others outside yourself. Whether you are traveling with people or not, Zen travel is solo travel.
I have a mind that dances from one thought to the next very quickly. To keep it in the moment is almost impossible. On my recent trip to the Riviera Maya and the Hacienda Tres Rios resort (a big thank you to them for sponsoring this trip), I traveled both to the present (life was going in far too many directions before I left) and in the present. Two very unique activities offered as part of this all-inclusive resort made this possible in very different ways.
The Sense Adventure Tour
The trip I was on included seven other bloggers. All of us did the Sense Adventure Tour and our response to it ranged dramatically. One person really hated it. Two others didn’t mind it but it wasn’t there thing. A few found it transporting in a meditative way. Me? I found Zen, the present, in childlike delight.
The Sense Adventure Tour is changed for each group but the basic idea is the same. You are led blindfolded through a series of experiences that draw on your sense of touch, sight and sound. You experience earth, water wind and fire through your senses other than taste and sight. I found it magical. Never knowing what was going to happen next I released myself to the process and lived in the present. Zen.
Snorkeling the Cenote
Snorkeling is almost the opposite of the senses tour. Instead of shutting off sight, you shut off sound. With your ears underwater you see what’s not seen as we live on land. The fish, crabs, the fallen trees, flora… this magical look into another world is mesmerizing. We snorkeled 800 meters (2400 feet) down river, floating with the river’s current, trusting that, without any thought, we would end up in the right place. Between trusting the river and being a voyeur on its world, my thoughts were stilled, I lived the present — Zen travel.
For a completely different take on the experience read Landloper’s “The Ancient Art of Lentil Torture in Mexico’s Riviera Maya“.