Spiritual excursion through the Path of the Dharma

Milka Bustamante @milkabustamante
· October 2018 · 5 min read · Venezuela · #venezuela

Calm! This isn't a religious post, I'm just going to talk about how through our philosophy of life we can transform common places into sublime spaces, like this place.

What I know about the creation of the Path of the Dharma is little, I only know that it is one of the sections in the back of El Morro hill.

This has stones of various sizes stacked on top of each other on the sides of the road, where you can connect with yourself and with that magical environment just closing your eyes.

It isn't a known tourist attraction but it is an obligatory step when you visit the hill in order to take a tour around it, since it is the only way in the area to go to the front of the place or return to the back.

The Path of the Dharma is composed, in addition to the stones stacked, by a sign that indicates the name of the road, and by species of seats made with trunks supported by rocks.

I don't know exactly how long ago they formed the path or who started it, what I know is that now represents a place of spiritual connection thanks to its location.

This is a narrow passage between the rock wall of the hill and the sea, where only the breeze and the waves crashing against the stones break the silence but generate peace.

💫 Transforming beliefs

In Anzoategui isn't common to stack stones, even this is the only public place I know where they have done it, and that is one of the reasons that makes the Path of the Dharma in such an attractive place, the other is its meaning .

At first glance it seems that its purpose is only to serve as ornament, but who began to balance these stones surely knew that more than an ornament, this activity has a spiritual and ancestral origin.

Both the name of this path and the practice of balancing stones were promoted through the Dharmic religions, all those philosophies born in India, which subsequently spread throughout the planet.

I understand that the word Dharma doesn't have a specific translation, each religion translates it differently.

Although basically it has the same meaning in all: it is the philosophy to assume the duty that must be fulfilled in life, and through of their practice to achieve "protection" from suffering.

Rock stacking also has different meanings in each culture. It mainly represents an encounter with the internal balance, while in other cultures they are used as offerings in exchange for protection, as road guides, for the travelers a way to say "I was here", and nowadays as an artistic activity in which there are techniques and modalities for stacking them.

And in the end all these practices have something in common: a positive effect on the human being, because even if you don't know its meaning, just by being among these eccentric stones in that incredible place, you can already perceive its magic.

Perhaps most of the people who travel through the Path of the Dharma don't know its meaning but still use it to establish a closer relationship with itself and with the environment.

We already know what this incredible place denotes, but if we detail what connotes we find that it literally suggests us to go down a path of harmony.

And there it becomes incredible how the creativity and faith of the human transforms their beliefs into special palpable means for those who only see with their eyes but have a bit more trouble with the soul.

🌱 Ecological impact

"Everything in excess is bad", that phrase applies to everything in life, even that which seems very good: as in this case balancing rocks.

When I saw them for the first time I never thought that this activity could be harmful to nature, even when I learned about its explanation.

I read some articles by ecologists that indicate that this practice can alter ecosystems if the stones are removed constantly.

They agree that various organisms live and feed on the rocks, and that when they are raised, their home is destroyed. On the other hand, when these stacks are excessive prevents the flora grows freely.

However, the stones balanced in El Morro are small, they are only distributed through this sector, so I don't think that in this case the ecosystem is being altered.

Perhaps the fact that the Dharma Path doesn't receive many tourists is what keeps it among the places little affected by human activity.

I mention all this just to generate a bit of awareness, so that the next time we stack stones we will not leave any living being homeless. If you are a traveler, the best way to leave your mark there is respecting nature.

If you ever make an excursion through the Dharma Path please take a few minutes to sit on one of the wooden benches or on the rocks, close your eyes and feel! Feel! Feel! The energy of this place is unparalleled.

📷 All the photographs are of my authorship and were captured with a Canon Rebel EOS T2i camera.

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