Breathing in the Sacred

Breathing in the Sacred

Last week a friend and I went to Tikal, a large Mayan archeological site in Peten, Guatemala. Since I had been there before and he often leads tours through the site, we decided to go near the end of the day when the crowds and the heat had lessened. Specifically, we wanted to watch the sun set from one of the pyramids. It also happened to be a full moon that day, and we were hoping that we could also watch the moon rise.

There were only a few dozen people at the site when we got there, and they all seemed to have the same intent. My friend and I stood on the platform at the top of the Temple of the Masks, where we had a stunning view of the Grand Plaza and all the buildings and stellae to the east and the setting sun to the west.

I had felt the energy of the ancient site the last time I was there, but I felt it even stronger this time. There is something magical about twilight, the time between sunset and moonrise. The energy stills, as if pausing between two deep breaths, and there is a quiet, expectant air within the site.

The tallest buildings continued to vibrate with the rosy colors of the setting sun, while on the ground, in the jungle, it was already dark. Fireflies came out and lit up small areas of the darkness.

And deep within me, I felt my energy slow down and match the energy of the site. A feeling of peaceful expectation washed over me, and I closed my eyes to savor it more. In this moment, I knew that anything was possible, and I breathed in the sacredness of it.

One by one, the stars came out in the darkening sky, and then the full moon began to rise. We watched it come up from behind the Temple of the Grand Jaguar and illuminate the entire Grand Plaza. It was so bright that we could clearly see every building as we slowly made our way out of the park and to our car.


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