Orcas Island, Tom Kenyon, Tibetan Wizards and The Total Lunar Eclipse

Some of you may have noticed a flurry of nature photos on my Facebook page over the last five days. Water, moons, horses, trees- all of this adds up to an explanation.

I was set free into the wilderness of the San Juan Islands to seek out the sound shaman, Tom Kenyon and a Tibetan healing wizard simply known as Amchi-La.

A bit more detail, please?

But of course.

Every Autumn, it seems that I find myself on a personal pilgrimage to reclaim the singular experience of life as me. Just me, not in relationship to or identifying as, anything other than Jaime. Not Jaime the mom. Not Jaime the wife. Not Jaime the Mathis. Just gloriously anonymous, completely undefined, moi.

Usually this involves some kind of travel and learning, since that's what fires up my imagination.

And this particular Fall, my pilgrimage retreat took me to the misty isles of the San Juans and the particularly winning, Orcas Island.

Fate was conspiring with me.

Last year at this time, I found myself hunting for a medicine person who could facilitate a deep healing of my body from the effects of childhood chemotherapy and a subsequent systemic tendency to fatigue.

I found him at Tanaduk Clinic of Tibetan Medicine and immediately began a protocol to balance my body at a profound depth.

Around that time I also stumbled across the work of a sound healer named Tom Kenyon who had written a book called The Magdalen Manuscript which spoke of ancient Egyptian alchemy and the nature of Christ and Mary Magdalen's relationship. Tres' interesant, I promise you.

Both were a match to dry tinder.

Fast forward to this summer. Tom Kenyon has been on sabbatical almost a year. I know this because I had immediately tracked him down, post completion of The Magdalen Manuscript, with the intent of experiencing this witchery in person.

Enter Fate. It appears that Tom is back on the workshop docket with an event dedicated to the Siddhis.
     def. advanced spiritual powers like levitation, bilocation, teleportation etc.

As a recently graduated yoga teacher and long time fan of Paramahansa Yogananda, I was sold at Siddhis.

Just so happened to be on Orcas Island. Which rang a bell.

I looked at Tanaduk Clinic of Tibetan Medicine's location.
Also on Orcas.

Oooh. Yes, I felt the magic too. Clearly, I was meant to go here. Also, wanted to go here.

Tobias and Espen, as always, waved me off joyfully for five days of meditation and medicine of a particularly rare sort.

I drove north, paying close attention to my sinuses. Why?

Because I had been nursing Espen back to health from an insidious bout of croup for the last four days.

The northwest corner of Washington is particularly distracting. With the massive trees in the Olympic rain forest and the mist shrouded islands of the San Juans, it's easy to conjure any number of mythic creatures and sirens as you drive.

You can see what I mean.

That, combined with an increasing pressure in my sinuses, procured a titration of surreality and wonder that I rarely experience.

For the next five days, I wandered back and forth across the island between meetings with the Tibetan Wizard to sound baths with Tom Kenyon. In the midst of this, the moon managed to be full and eclipsed for the fourth time in a row this year.

I watched such happenings in the evenings after full days of lying in the sun, sucking down Tibetan herbs for my burgeoning sinuses and wallowing in the epic noises emanating from the unprepossessing Tom Kenyon- who dresses like my father in Hawaiian shirts and rattlesnake boots. (actually, dad doesn't have any rattlesnake boots, but around Hawaiian shirts, he's covered.)

Now it may be a symptom of an extreme cold, but the whole time I was on island, it was like floating around on a cloud. Nothing seemed quite solid. Including my habits, such as not picking up hitchhikers. (I picked up at least one per day).

Amchi-La, aka Tibetan Wizard, informed me that every time a visiting lama or rinpoche has arrived on the island, they always comment on the intensely feminine aspect of the land. And yet, it's very masculine too, having the highest peak in the San Juan Islands. (Mt. Constitution for the detail oriented, or extremely patriotic)

Feminine to me often means mysterious and unfathomably dusky. As in, you just step into the mist with a hope that you'll end up in a benevolent place, and surrender to the twists and turns that pull you along the path.

Stay tuned for Part II- The Revelations


  1. Thanks for sharing! Yea for saying YES! You're good at that. xoxox-Kristin


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