The Day of the Tonal

Day of the TonalIt’s 1975. I’m sitting in the Zocalo in Oaxaca, Mexico.

It’s a good day to be there. The sun is out. People are walking casually through the square. I’m content to just sit and watch.

For some reason, I’m thinking about Toltec shamanic training. In that training, there is something called The Day of the Tonal.

It’s a day when the teacher focuses only on what they refer to as the Island of the Tonal. The tonal represents everything a person is aware of in their world. It is the counterpoint to what is called the nagual. The nagual represents the great mystery that lies outside of normal day-to-day reality.

Typically, the Day of the Tonal happens outside in a public place. It is a time when the student is taught to see the quality of people’s tonal. And it is considered very auspicious when someone with a well-tuned tonal acknowledges them on this day.

A person with a well-tuned tonal is someone who has cleared away all, or at least a good portion, of the unnecessary ‘stuff’ on their island. This makes room for the power and potential of the mystery that is the nagual to act in their life.

On this particular day, I’m enjoying the sunshine and watching people.

After about an hour, I spot a middle-aged man walking along with a younger man. At the same time I get a funny sensation in my midsection. It’s a pulling sensation. I’ve never had this experience before.

I wonder if it has to do with the two men who, by the looks of it, are about to walk by in front of me. I laugh at myself for thinking this must be the Day of the Tonal for the young man. “How dramatic of me,” I think to myself.

At the same time, I somehow feel certain that this is, in fact, this young man’s day for learning about the tonal. The pulling sensation gets stronger as they approach along the path in front of me.

As they pass, I have an almost irresistible urge to look them in the eyes. For some reason, I decide to see if I can resist the urge. It’s difficult, but I avoid eye contact.

They walk on by and turn right, proceeding along a path that leads back from where I’m facing. I’m astonished at the strength of the experience I’ve just had. And I’m becoming convinced that this was the young man’s tonal day.

I decide I need to look back towards where they headed. I turn my head, only to see that the two men have stopped and turned back towards me. The older man is pointing towards me and saying something. Our eyes meet for just a few seconds.

I get chills as I realize that I am doing the right thing for this young man by turning to look. And he gets the acknowledgement he’s seeking on this special day.

All the best for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

Liked this post? Share it!