Posted in Liz Rice-Sosne, Photo Essay, Poems/Poetry, Shamanism, Teachers

Traveling to Macchu Pichu

There is something truly wonderful about travel.  I have been blessed in the past to be able to visit a number of other countries.  I have been to Egypt, France, England, China, Mexico, Switzerland, Bolivia, Peru, Spain and I lived in Okinawa for a year.  The Okinawa year was when I was quite young and with a former husband, not a really, really great experience.   David and I never really traveled as Americans.  We have always been aware of the “ugly American syndrome” and truly did not wish to participate in it.   We did not make any reservations other than airline.  Although to be honest, I brought that sort of travel to an end in 1996 when we arrived in Seville without Hotel reservations after having driven from Madrid.  I was 50, it was hot, we were dirty and very tired.  Exhausted, looking for a hotel while driving down streets no wider than the car was not my idea of fun.  But we survived and we were introduced to Tapas.

Travel, if you allow it to do so will open your mind to the rest of the world.  You will see people other than those to whom you are accustomed.  You will see things through their lens.  When visiting ancient cities or ruins should you take the time you can see things through the lens of those who once were.  I believe that travel builds compassion, empathy, sensitivity, mercy and tolerance towards others within the individual traveler.  Traveling is about real connection with another culture.  Visiting Machu Picchu was something that I wished to do since I was 8 years old.  I did not grow up with a television but instead had a subscription to National Geographic Magazine.  How I loved it.  It opened up for me new vistas and made me aware of the world that was “out there.”  I had my first yearnings to connect with others, different from myself.

It is difficult to select a favorite trip.  I remember incredible aspects of each country that we have visited.  Below is a poem and  a few photos from one of my favorite trips:  Machu Picchu, Peru.  I was privileged to be able to engage a native shaman while on my trip to Peru.  At Machu Picchu my husband went one way and I another to do ceremony with the shaman.  Later we met up and navigated the mountain.  One of the important things that happened to me while there was that I lost my rapidly growing fear of heights.  The only way up the mountain was by bus.  The road was one bus-wide.  Looking out my window straight down the  mountain face was frightening.   Really frightening!  It was at that point that I said to myself, enough!  I will no longer be afraid of heights!  By the time that I was on top of the mountain my fear was gone.  I knew that this was true when I walked up to the edge of of the plateau and dangled my foot over the edge.  I was so grateful for that loss, it was life changing.

Still, stillness now

Quiet, center … centered now
Go deeply within
Slowwwwww … ly
Deeply quiet.
Deep within
Space consummation.
Not hurtling … no, not hurtling towards the void.  But slowly advancing.
Slowwwwly … condense all thought.
Become nothing.
your place
your opening
mo v  v v v e  slowly towards
your opening.  Be still.
the tunnel.
LAND.  Quietly.
Summon … your Power.
Summon your … Animal.
Let him/her
Now take you into the void.  Void.  VOID.
CIRCLE … find what you need.
bring it back.  BLOW.
Rattle … feather.
Return now … open, open, open … your … eyes.
6uv MP
The rocks carved to mimic the mountains in the foreground.
6u MP
Surrounded by the Andes.
One could quite literally reach out and grab the clouds.
One of the two mountains on top of Machu Picchu.
Another view as the day moved forward and the mists lifted.
Unique perspectives!
An ancient alter.
A view of the terracing.
MP 1
Looking down, no longer afraid!
Doing ceremony with the Peruvian shaman.
This is one of my favorite photos.  Rain was upon us.  We took cover in one of the nooks and crannies looking up at the sky covering us all.

– Liz Rice-Sosne

© 2013, essay and photographs, Liz Rice-Stone, All rights reserved

unnamed-2LIZ RICE-SOSNE a.k.a. Raven Spirit (noh where), perhaps the oldest friend to Bardo, is the newest member of The Bardo Group Core Team. She is also our new Voices for Peace project outreach coordinator and our go-to person for all things related to haiku.  She says she “writes for no reason at all. It is simply a pleasure.” Blogging, mostly poetry, has produced numerous friends for whom she has a great appreciation. Liz is an experienced blogger, photographer and a trained shaman. We think her middle name should be “adventure.”


Old, crafty, stylish, shape shifter, loyal, kind, takes no prisoners nor any B.S. But sometimes, just feels old! Still in love with her best friend to whom she has been married for 38 years and known for 43. But now he is sorta grumpy.

12 thoughts on “Traveling to Macchu Pichu

  1. HI Liz,
    These are really beautiful photos–you have a great eye. We love to travel, for all the reasons you mention, but our trip to Machu Picchu last summer was really special, and it was so good to revisit it with you. Thank you for sharing.


  2. Inspiring post. We’ve begun to “plan” a trip to Tibet, and the question of “why?” is central. To be changed, to pilgrim, to lose some habit, to gain perspective, to stand on the other side of the planet and feel at one with the rest of the world….all this and more.


  3. Scillagrace – your words: “feel at one with the rest of the world,” are mighty. They are powerful. That “feeling” when you actually feel it is one of the most powerful feelings in the world. Thank you. I look forward to hearing about your trip to Tibet. I think that the place that I most felt the feeling of “being one with the world,” was in China. I won’t ever forget that feeling.


  4. Thanks Naomi. I know you love to travel. I always love your photos from around the world. David has been “down” with terrible pain for close to a year now – with no relief or help. We always wished to travel when he retired. Now neither of us knows if this will be possible.


  5. I think there’s a kind of traveler who can view things through a different lens in a new place (I like to think I’m one of them) but I’ve also been saddened to run into a lot of people who travel to foreign places and are so unable to let go of the expectation that everyone should live life their way that they never open to new experience. I’m so impressed that you were able to use the sense of adventure to overcome a great fear!


  6. Oh, I remember too how exciting it was when the National Geographic came in. That in itself was an eye-opening: there are more ways to do, see, or be. How freeing, as is travel I would imagine, though I haven’t had that opportunity … A fine meditation and wonderful photographs. Thanks, Liz, for a fabulous share.


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