The Heart Chakra of the Earth? Or Just the Heart of Hungarian Spirituality? I arrived at Dobogókő where i spent the night (sort of) in a yurt and dined on traditional Hungarian soup and not so traditional Hungarian Vegetarian bread with vegetable pate and sprouts as opposed to duck liver pate and onions–but the veggie fat was sprinkled heavily with salt. The vendéglő, or restaurant, connected to this yurt hotel and lodge (the Zsindelyes vendéghaz – guesthouse) is supposed to be one of the only restaurants offering vegetarian food because, i assume, of this healthy energy location.

The yurts are clean enough as far as mattresses, bedding and floors, but there was mildew in mine–the fabric walls are streaked with it–and it was, to me, a strong presence. I tried airing it out a bit by leaving the door open. The top of the yurt stayed open to the sky and the little hobbit door gives a nice cross ventilation, but it was closed when i arrived and it feels bad when closed up. There were supposed to be thuderstorms so i had to close the top with the vinyl, so it was not open to fresh air. The door had to stay closed all night because I was told there is a fox in the area that sometimes sniffs around for food.

The yurt has five mattresses and mine was the only one laid out. I had a key that opened my door and opened the bathroom doors for showering and using the toilet. There was a separate building nearby with a WC, or toilet in a closet, and outside of that a sink and mirror, and two showers. Later that became my sanctuary, as I tried sleeping sitting up in there–which didn’t last. A light is over the bed and one is by the door. At night there are automatic lights that go on if you are walking to the bathrooms along the gravel path, which was helpful to me in my dilemma.

Why come here? From what I understand this is the heart chakra of the earth, Dobogókõ. The energy is supposed to be healing and spiritual. Shamans come here, but so do other seekers of spiritual inspiration and connection. In fact, by the bus stop, there is a statue of Sri Chinmoy, “Dreamer of World Peace,” the plaque says. I suppose this place is a vortex. Krisztina, the English-speaking woman who works there, told me that for 1500 years, only Kings and Priests were permitted to go to that area. Even a queen who saw visions was not permitted to go. It was open to the public only 100 years ago.

Dobogó means to beat as in a rhythm, I was told. This is where the heart beat is said to be heard or felt. Krisztina said if you meditate you can feel it. Some other guests, one who speaks a bit of English–Anna Marie–and her friend, Elén, took me on a short trail–the St. Marie trail, that has a dedication to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and a wall in which people write their requests, prayers, a letter, and leave it in a hole in the wall. Plaques hang in memory of the dead. Also on that trail is the most stunning panoramic view from this high point above the Danube. Several hilltops are visible, and Laci said that three are pyramids covered with trees and grass so they blend in with the hills.The pyramids are from the time when this was a restricted area.

Right now, while spirituality seekers frequent the area, including priests of the Pálos order (guards of the mountain), many who come are hikers, bikers, and people seeking isolation or renewal. The owner of the Vendéglő, Laci, wants to rebrand his place as a spiritual center. He does two-hour tours talking about the large stones that represent the seven chakras, and the history of the kings and priests. He sells herbal tinctures and cures, and offers treatments to adjust chakra alignment. A special container, that seemed to hold rocks or stones in a small central cylinder, held cleaned (tiszta) water, and was about 25 cents per deciliter. A flyer advertised other spiritual practitioners and an astrologer that were available to guests.

As much as I was stressed out about the mildew in the yurt–which they told me was not the problem, rather it was my chakra energy in my throat and chest and head and sacral areas–and the fact that the energy in the area can be too strong for some people–in the morning, the quiet of the grass and trees and the beauty of the sunrise were soothing, and I felt better once I got some fresh air. However, I did spend a good deal of time in the bathroom at night, to avoid sleeping in the yurt. Without a car, there are no taxis or buses to take you out of the area if you decide you don’t want to stay in the yurt, though there is a place, like a lodge, down the road by the bus stop, which I did not know about. It might be worth checking out if making the connection to nature and the spiritual experiences are a draw.

As I was waiting for the bus to return to Budapest, a van pulled up to a parking lot nearby, with an English speaking driver/tour guide, who was bringing a group to the area for a tour. That is another option for communing with nature there.

Whether or not it was my chakras (which, I don’t discount totally that I have throat and lung sensitivities, but mold I think is a stretch in my opinion), or if the energy of the location was too much for me–well I did not personally feel the energy the other guests said they felt– that was enhancing their health. I did feel uncomfortable even before going, and I’m not sure why. Whether it was being in such an isolated place, or not really being sure of what it would be like and not having a way to change course, there definitely was a disconnect for me, even though I am into the New Age and chakra/meditation mindset. I even had my crystals and stones with me. All I know is, I will never stay in a yurt again.

Photos above: The Zsindelyes Vendeglo, my yurt outside, my yurt inside, the general area with several yurts, a place for bonfires, the panoramic view from the St. Marie trail, the statue of Sri Chinmoy near the bus stop, the wall dedicated to Mary, Vegetarian fat on bread, and hand carved seats in the Vendeglo restaurant area.