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Cenote Rebirth Experience to Start the New Year

I had a beautiful opportunity to start the New Year by participating in a symbolic rebirthing ceremony in the Maya jungle. After a busy end of the year with family commitments and a bout of salmonella, I was gifted with a day off and a much-needed break to recharge and renew in nature.

Invited my friend Taran of Taran Gongs, I drove away from civilization to reach a secluded cenote—a natural sinkhole of clear and refreshing waters—where the only sounds around us were those of tropical birds and wildlife.

Before descending a few stone steps to the natural cave where the cenote is, we were reminded that according to Maya culture, before entering this special place, one must ask for permission from aluxes, small and invisible magical creatures said to be guardians of nature.

I entered the limestone cave, welcomed by the ceremonial smoke of cleansing copal and herbs, and immediately felt a sense of peace and contemplation. Something feels truly sacred in a place like this, and one can do nothing else but surrender to it.

I lit a tealight candle as I set my intention for the ceremony and sat on a cushion next to the water. There, with eyes closed, listening to beautiful chants playing in the background, I felt emotions flowing, entirely at peace, connected with everything around me, causing a few joyful tears to come down.

Taran then guided us in a brief group mediation using Kundalini Breathwork and the sound of a gong to connect deeper with our inner selves. Consciously breathing in and out, we reflected and laughed together, further breaking down blocks to allow ourselves to feel.

Then it was time to go in the water. My first impression was a shock! Icy cold water is out of my comfort zone. Still, I reminded myself of the health benefits of cold plunging—body detoxing, immune system strengthening, decreasing stress hormone cortisol, and antiaging support—and went bravely, forming a circle and holding hands with the other participants.

It wouldn’t be a rebirth experience if we didn’t have to let something go. With my body shaking fiercely in the cold cenote water, I felt a release of stuck energy that I didn’t want to carry with me into the New Year. The vibrations of singing bowls, magnified as they traveled through water, intensified my inner shaking, too. I was letting go of the old to let the new in. And as I did, something incredible happened. Somehow, the cold subsided, and I stopped shaking. A new warmth took over, filling me with an inner calm. It was like an out-of-body experience. Suspended in nothingness for a few moments, eyes closed, feeling an abundance of peace.

Some of the people in the circle started laughing. I sensed others were quietly crying. Emotions flowed freely, reconnecting each of us with our spirit, that inner compass we so often mute as we go through our busy lives—a total gift of renewal.

When the water ceremony was over, none of us was in a rush to get out of the cenote anymore. Our bodies had become one with the water, and we carried the new freshness inside. We gathered again on the ground to share an offering of fruit and nuts and our experiences. It was interesting to confirm how each of us went through a similar release of emotions in the water, shocked by the unexpected cold at the beginning and embraced by a reassuring warmth at the end.

If you have a chance to experience a ceremony like this, I highly recommend it. Contact Taran Gongs for group or one-on-one sound healing sessions in the Mayan Riviera.


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