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My First Jaguar Encounter in Manu Park

by Jason on August 2, 2012

Today has been by far the best day at Cocha Cashu yet. I had my first jaguar encounter today. And I also had my most powerful lesson yet thanks to the jaguar.

Last night I was speaking with Oliver, a French guy who has lived in Manu Park for two decades driving boats. Oliver is at one with the jungle. Oliver was helping the French people with logistics for their movie moving goods around.

One of the entymologists was frustrated because they were on the last day of filming and they still hadn’t seen an arco iris snake, which they needed for their film. So they asked Oliver to help.

Oliver began by taking this woman out walking on the trail at night, where they would have the best opportunity to view the snake. Before they went out, Oliver followed his routine of speaking directly to Mother Nature asking her for permission to enter. He asked for safety and showed respect by thanking Her. He also pleaded for help with the movie project saying they really needed to encounter an arco iris snake. The entymologist also asked for a jaguar. So he asked for a jaguar as well.

Within thirty minutes they had seen a jaguar and a handful of other animals as well. A few hours passed and they still hadn’t seen the arco iris. Oliver could tell the lady was exasperated and just wanted to get back to camp so she could go to bed. He told her to be patient, and said she was the one who had asked him to see the snake. So she better follow along with what he was doing.

Now it was 1:30 am, and they had been out on the trail for more than three hours. They were twenty minutes from arriving at camp. And right then, they saw the arco iris. The lady was so overcome with emotion. She just couldn’t believe it. Everything she had asked for had come true.

As Oliver shared this with me, the story really struck me. I had stayed at Cocha Cashu for almost one month now, and I still hadn’t seen a jaguar. I’ve wanted to see a jaguar for eight years now. Almost everyone else at Cashu has seen jaguars multiple times. The French guys saw the jaguar multiple times within the space of a month. Why I hadn’t I seen one? I realized that I had not once followed Oliver’s routine.

So the following morning, today, I gave it a try. I spoke to directly to Mother Nature. I thanked Her all of the wonderful experiences I’d had at Cocha Cashu and for what She had taught me so far. I asked Her for knowledge and wisdom. I asked Her specifically for wisdom in understanding what I needed to know about power that I lacked — around creation and manifestation. I also asked her specifically to encounter a peccary, because I had really wanted to experience peccaries. I also asked her specifically to encounter a jaguar — from a safe distance — and to be able to experience the power of the jaguar for more than one minute, to be able to really get a feel for the jaguar.

I also felt good about today’s odds, because my group had seen peccaries in this area last year where they had set up the camera traps and because we were passing through swamps where peccaries like to stay.

We bushwhacked for seven hours today setting up all three camera traps. We passed by swamps. We saw a motelo, which is a land turtle. We saw a bird’s nest with three baby birds. We saw a few other small animals as well. We finally arrived back at the river after seven hours finished with our hiking for the day — but no peccary and no jaguar.

We sat down on the river bank waiting for the other group to arrive by boat to take us back to camp. Within five minutes, I heard the unmistakable roar of the jaguar. I swiveled my head towards the sound, and I saw not one, but two jaguars appear on the other side of the river from the bushes.

(see if you can spot the second jaguar)

Both jaguars headed onto the sand bar underneath some bushes to rest in the sun. I started snapping as many photos as I could. After I was done, both jaguars remained where they were at. One stood up and walked around so I could take better pictures. They snarled and growled at each other a bit, so I could hear their magnificent sounds.

After a minute had passed, I heard a motor off in the distance. I thought it must be the sound of our boat. No! I wanted to experience the jaguar longer. As the boat approached, it did not slow down. I looked closer and saw Oliver driving the boat as he passed on by in between me and the jaguars. What timing, I thought.

For the next ten minutes, I gazed on from across the river marveling at both of these jaguars. After eight years, my dream had finally come true. I was experiencing two jaguars in the wild with my own eyes.

I could feel their power. I could feel their dominance of the jungle. I saw their beautiful skin coats with black spots. I saw their powerful muscles. I heard their roar. Their muscles and their power amazed me. The jaguar is built like a boxer and is excessively strong compared to the other big cats. Every time I saw the jaguar move or make a sound, I couldn’t stop smiling in awe like a little kid experiencing Disney World for the first time.

After ten minutes, the boat finally finally came to pick us up. The jaguars stayed for a minute longer before we finally left. As we motored away, I couldn’t believe I had just seen two jaguars in their natural habitat, and for more than ten minutes.

No sooner than I could begin marveling at the jaguar, someone shouted “huangana!” which is Spanish for peccary. I looked toward the river bank, but I didn’t seen the peccary. A few seconds later, I saw the peccary right underneath my nose swimming in the river right at us.

The peccary passed within feet of the boat, so close I could almost touch the wild boar. A few seconds later, the peccary reached the shore, and I saw the pig from head to toe. He scurried off into the bushes.

No sooner than I could begin to marvel at everything that had just happened, we then saw a family of howler monkeys alongside the river banks as well. Wow. What a day. Oliver, driving by in his boat, stood at the forefront of my mind.

I remembered I had asked Mother Nature what I needed to know about power. And then I got what I had been missing in my life. A light bulb went off in my head. My power does not come from within. In fact, I have no power that is generated from within that can grow.

I gazed at the jungle, and I had an experience similar to Neo in the Matrix where all of a sudden he began to see the numbers and the Matrix coursing through everything surrounding him. He saw what was underneath and behind everything that was created in his world.

I felt like I was seeing and experiencing the same thing. I could see underneath the jungle and see the power, the life, the force, coursing through every living thing surrounding me. I saw that there was no power in any one of those living things. The power is a field. Power and life are everywhere, and they run in and through every living thing.

We have access to power, but it does not come from within. Power is everywhere, just like light. And it fuels every living thing. We have infinite access to power, as much of it as we want at any time. As much as we choose to have. Power is limitless, abundant, and everywhere available to us at all time.

I know this to be true, because I could see power in action in the jungle. Every living creature was sustained by power, by life, by the force. Before that moment, I had experienced my own personal power as something like a battery where I could store and build up my own power. Today I saw it was all a lie.

Today I saw I have no power, but that power lies all around me. I saw that I have infinite access to power. I experienced through the jaguars, through Oliver, and through the peccary that I have access to as much power as I possibly want — if I ask, if I take action, and if I am aligned with the purpose of the “Force.”

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