For years now, they’ve told us that we can’t afford—that the government providing healthcare to all people is just unimaginable; it can’t be done. We don’t have the money to rebuild our infrastructure. We don’t have the money to wipe out poverty. We can’t do it. But all of a sudden, yeah, we do have $700 billion for a bailout of Wall Street.
~ Sen. Bernie Sanders, on Democracy Now!
Dreams are like stars...you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.
A cloud does not know why it moves in such a direction and at such a speed. It feels an impulsion...this is the place to go now. But the sky know the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons..."
~ Richard Bach
Everything I have ever chased, aquired, desired, wanted, or felt I needed...is nothing in comparison to the realness of knowing the Truth. Sometimes, I don't want to know. Just being honest. For, what would that mean? It would mean that I would have to live with the responsibility of IT. Today, that is where I struggle. Why, would I rather hold on to a certain reality knowing full well it is a lie? Why does it scare me? Even though I know full well it will never bring me lasting happiness. There are days, lately, where it makes me angry...angry that I don't seem strong enough to loosen the grip that leaves me immoblized, paralyzed to live my potiental. Whatever that is. The plan isn't entirely my own. Why do I want control...when in the end all it does is hold me back...further and further...into a hole...into someone who becomes unrecognizable?
Yes, this is what happens every month...during my lady's holiday. I used to breeze through these days like a simple hiccup, to now wanting to slip into a depth of nothingness...
Yes. How dramatic of me.
Another typhoon is heading my way for even more dramatic measure. Fun. Fun. Taiwan seems to be a target for scary storms.
We need to lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach--waiting for a gift from the sea.
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Clueless at the moment. About everything. Just when I feel a sense of clarity, there is something that shakes the very foundation of all reason and understanding.
Yeah, I'm weird. So what of it? I truly feel that there is more to all of this than meets the limited vision of our eyes.
The other morning, I awoke...startled, out of a vivid dream. It was about someone, at one time, very close to me. Dunno what to make of it. My heart sank. It was so real. I wonder if I should follow through on a feeling or just let it go, and let it pass like a rainstorm. Dunno.
I'm not so good at these things.
In the end, I've gotten used to being in a state of cluelessness. Clueless. Restless. Uncertain. Unknowing. And...I'm okay with it. Well, I say that NOW. Who knows what it will be tomorrow. Welcome to my world. It's enough to make anyone confused. Haha. But, that's what makes it all the more fun. I'm just about up for anything.
The Hero Path
|We have not even to risk the adventure alone|
|for the heroes of all time have gone before us.|
|The labyrinth is thoroughly known ...|
|we have only to follow the thread of the hero path.|
|And where we had thought to find an abomination|
|we shall find a God.|
|And where we had thought to slay another|
|we shall slay ourselves.|
|Where we had thought to travel outwards|
|we shall come to the center of our own existence.|
|And where we had thought to be alone|
|we shall be with all the world. |
~ Joseph Campbell
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Above are pictures of the Chinese herb shop I go to regularly. Love it. They have the most incredible selection of fresh cut teas, and ready made packages, to prepare a healthy tonic. Beyond having just about every herb, to help with about every aliment known to man, they have an extraordinary restaurant upstairs, where they whip up healthy meals using many of the herbs available. Healthy, and tastes good too. Can't beat it. Lovely, lovely place.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
~ Joesph Campbell
I've received several comments that I must have been Asian in another life.
I've been Indian...and lived in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman times, as well. No doubt. Also, I was a dancer in a pervious lifetime. Just a hunch.
Not too impressed with any yoga skill I may have. Lol. Many are impressed with my chopstick skills. I receive the comment more than anything somewhere after my curly hair...are you sure its real?...YES... the eyelashes...nooo those can't be real...YES, they are (after physically having to pull at them)...my teeth being so white...well, thank you, I owe it to Crest whitestrips...and the fact that I'm left handed. Left handedness is a rarity in Taiwan. Not looked highly upon. I wonder. Do people think I'm even more strange because of it? Dunno. Ok. So back to my chopstick skills. Yes. I'm pretty darn good at eating with them, and it never ceases to be at the amusement of the locals. They love it. Sometimes I feel that Westernes don't enjoy assimilating into another culture all that much when traveling. Well, I've been told that. So, when someone makes the effort, locals totally appreciate it, and enoy it too.
Now, if only I could speak the language better I'd be a hit!!
The only thing is...yes the national language is Mandarian. However, the area where I reside, many speak Taiwanese...AND, some sort of Taiwanese/Mandarian hybrid, and to make things simplier, both languages are in no way realted. Sigh. So, I continue to play a sophisticated game of cherades whenever I venture out by myself to buy something or whatever. Good fun.
Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you...
In the last two months I've been going through a deconstruction, and a rebuilding of my yoga practice, on many levels. For one, I had to reconsider my intention regarding my practice. I mean, its something valuable to revisit from time to time. Why? Because I say so. Kidding. But really, I've had to re-ask. Why do I do this? What is the purpose? Why do I get up at 3:30am to then move, breathe and sweat for two hours? Is is it blind faith? Then, after the litany of questions, the answer becomes pretty darn simple. Does there need to be a point? Maybe, maybe not. Back down the rabbit hole. Shit. Who cares. Practice and all is coming...right? Two, with me diligently addressing the issue with my back, I had to be conscious of whether my practice was adding to my path of healing, or harboring it. Which, I might add, has nothing to do with the practice itself, but simply how I was maneuvering with in it. Three, well...I've found that our practices aren't static things...naturally, with that being said, in the wee hours of the morning, I've been going back to the basics. And, I've really enjoyed it. Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up...
The Doaist master gave me a pretty tall order moving forward. I cringe, because I haven't started yet. Me and my procrastination. Its been an interesting exchange. Even though he doesn't know a lick of English...and, my friend Amber must translate. I get it. I get him...and I don't know why exactly. And, he never seems to hesitate to tell me that I'm very lucky to have met him. Hahaha.
The other day, he told me he would ask I receive a blessing, after he made his daily hike up the mountain where atop sits a Buddhist temple...the place I first met him.
I was touched. Simply touched.
You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait. You need not even wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
~ Franz Kafka, Austrian philosopher
After some discussion, Cindy and Jenny took the liberty to educate me on modern Asian fashion. They enthusiastically displayed the various styles stemming from Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The best way I can describe modern Asian fashion is funky, eclectic, chic, and feminine all wrapped into one...and...I rather like it. The allure began after my trip to Hong Kong. Following much people watching, I became intrigued by the various styles, silhouettes and representations of style. It was interesting to observe. There seems to be a bit more enthusiasm and amusement involved with dressing here. Of course they like their labels too, but I also appreciate how things seem to be thrown together just so...in a fun, sophisticated, carefree way.
With the femininity expressed, there is an understated sexiness displayed that isn't in your face. I also like. Things aren't necessarily skin tight...the stomach doesn't have to be shown for the world to see, and cleavage isn't spilling out...and with that being said, it all comes off as more attractive while still being provocative.
At any rate, I appreciate fashion and style on many levels, and it's something that I've enjoyed since landing in Asia. Not that I've really bought much...with my yoga lifestyle, it has definitely put a limit on things.
When you yield internally, when you surrender, a new dimension of consciousness opens up. If action is possible or necessary, your action will be in alignment with the whole and supported by creative intelligence--the unconditional consciousness which is in a state of inner openness you become one with. Circumstances and people then become helpful, cooperative. If no action is required, you rest in peace and inner stillness that come from surrender. You rest in God.
~ Eckhart Tolle
"I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables--slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war...our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."
~ Fight Club, 1999
I've been sitting in a interesting place recently. Reflective. Solitary. Contemplative. In these moments there has been a feeling of fullness, instead of lack or loneliness. Maybe, more of a sense of ease and relaxation. Calm. I keep remembering what the Doaist said...Be calm. Always.
I've observed places where there is a tendency to resist, and it feels good to let go.
I've taken notice at how unkind I can be with myself, and how everything begins with how I feel about me. Why battle? What's the point? I mean, what standard am I trying to live up too? Isn't what my heart tells me of most importance...even if deemed unpopular with the way of society?
The interesting part is not to look at society as the problem...It is a question of am I willing and open to being different...can I be comfortable with it...can I find comfort IN it?
[I saw that] thought could no longer be trusted, could no longer be master. The previous fear of not knowing was transformed into the joy of not knowing. To not know was the opening of my mind to what could not be perceived by thought...what profound release.
Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity we shall harness the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world man will have discovered fire.
~ Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
The clouds have parted and the sun is out! Yay. Typhoon rains have passed.
I haven't spoken much about teaching. Like to leave a bit of anonymity in that regard. But, I will say, the learning process has been endless...and, I find it interesting that I'm teaching students, who often time, I have to tell them...maybe don't push yourself so hard...take a step back...relax...hmmmmm...amusing.
I've become good friends with a local girl who teaches English in Chiayi. She's been to the U.S. on several occasions and it cracks me up when I get her perspective on Americans. One time we were in a bookstore and she picks up an American magazine and asks me...why are American's so obsessed about dieting, but they are so big? I didn't have an answer for her...hahahaha. Strange. Then she went on...why do American's drive these huge cars but are the only ones in them? I laughed at that one...sad, but true.
Amber, my Taiwanese friend, told me that on her last trip to the U.S. she gained around 11 pounds in 2-3 weeks from eating the food. Mind you though, she wasn't eating at the most healthiest of places. She asked me if I had ever eaten at Carl Jr....I told her...I really don't make a habit of it. In other words it isn't my cup of tea. Blech.
But ohhh how we laugh at everything...We enjoy addressing certain stereotypes making light of it all.
Yeah. Americans are considered big for the most part. But, in Taiwan especially for woman, to be tiny, tiny,tiny is considered beautiful. I guess its all relative to whatever area one resides. I've struggled a bit with some of the younger female students when it comes to teaching them Ashtanga. They don't want strong arms. Even being strong isn't really deemed as attractive. Interesting. However, my female students who are in later middle age don't seem to mind...I guess they're over it...and they kick ass!! They really amaze me.
Let's try an experiment. Pick up a coin. Imagine that it represents the object which you are grasping. Hold it tightly, clutched in your fist and extend your arm, with the palm of your hand facing the ground. Now if you let go or relax your grip, you will lose what you are clinging onto. That's why you hold on.
But there's another possibility. You can let go and yet keep hold of it. With your arm still outstretched, turn your hand over so that it faces the sky. Release your hand and the coin still rests on your open palm. You let go. And the coin is still yours, even with all this space around it.
So there is a way in which we can accept impermanence and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping.
~ Sogyal Rinpoche
To meet everyone and everything through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can give the Universe. I call it stillness, but it is a jewel with many facets: that stillness is also joy, and it is love.
~ Eckhart Tolle
In the last several days I've been held up because of the typhoon rains. And, I can't tell you how great it felt to have a day off. I truly relished it...and I slept extra long too. Felt so nice. Now I feel as if all the sleep I was missing before is being made up, and it feels wonderful.
Unfortunately I was updated on the events of the Ohio State vs. USC game. I'm glad I didn't get to watch the carnage...as my friend Richard would say. Oh well, I still love my buckeyes. And, yes we are highly annoying fans...
Taiwan's fall consists of less humidity, less rain...I'm told...and still warm, but no HOT, hot, hot temps. Should be nice.
Besides that, I've been kinda rebuilding my practice. It's been interesting. With fresh eyes, I've been looking at things in a whole new light. Refreshing.
There are two mistakes one can make along the road of truth--not going all the way, and not starting.
Moon Festival. A traditional Autumn holiday celebrated in East Asia.
However, it's gonna be a damp one in Taiwan...a typhoon moved through, and it's been raining for a solid 18 hours...I think. Anyway, it should be clearing soon...and maybe, just maybe I'll get a view of the moon.
Below is the pummelo. A popular fruit at this time of year. A cross between an orange and a grapefruit...and tastes better than both combined. Love it. Yummy.
So it was that he went into the countryside the people following began to call him Messiah, and worker of miracles; and as they believed, it was so. If a storm passed as he spoke, not a raindrop touched a listener's head; the last of the multitude heard his words as clearly as the first, no matter lightning nor thunder in the sky about. And always he spoke to them in parables.
And he said unto them, "Within each one of us lies the power of consent to health and to sickness, to riches and to poverty, to freedom and to slavery, It is we who control these, and not another."
A mill-man spoke and said, "Easy words for you Master, for you are guided as we are not, and need not toil as we toil. A man has to work for his living in this world."
The Master answered and said:
"Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all - young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going it's own way, knowing only its own crystal self. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learnt from birth.
But one creature said at last, I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging I shall die of boredom.'
The other creatures laughed and said, 'Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!' But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.
Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more. And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, 'See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!'
And the one carried in the current said, ' I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.' But they cried the more, 'Saviour!' all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Saviour."
~ excerpt from Illusions, by Richard Bach
Thats not the beginning of the end
Thats the return to yourself
The return to innocence.
Love - devotion
Feeling - emotion
Love - devotion
Feeling - emotion
Dont be afraid to be weak
Dont be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to innocence
If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry
Be yourself dont hide
Just believe in destiny
Dont care what people say
Just follow your own way
Dont give up and use the chance
To return to innocence
Thats not the beginning of the end
Thats the return to yourself
The return to innocence
Dont care what people say
Follow just your own way
Follow just your own way
Dont give up, dont give up
To return, to return to innocence.
If you want then laugh
If you must then cry
Be yourself dont hide
Just believe in destiny.
I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament.
~ Alanis Morissette
I've continued to learn more about energy and chi. The essential building blocks of life, movement and creation. In practice, I've shifted my focus more on the energy behind the movement and the intention that is set within it. Naturally, coming to my mat daily has evolved into something new and deep.
Beyond the asana the yearning for devotional practice has come through loud and clear. Organically, I've found something that resonates...assisting in letting go... releasing...getting a sense of freedom and connection within. Priceless.
Besides that, the day to day has been fairly simple and easy going. Now that I've been able to get a restful night sleep, after a bout of light insomnia, things feel much better, among other things.
And...my back. Man. I don't know how to explain or put into words...and truthfully, I don't want to. All I can say is something has changed. Maybe the months in Taiwan have gotten to me...but I can now longer deny the mystery behind fate and destiny, and how life unfolds.
Balance. Finding balance...it's getting there...slowly but surly.
However, where I stand in this moment I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all that has transpired. Though it really isn't anything that I can tangibly touch...it being something that isn't possessed outside myself. Where I stand...may waver from time to time. I may even become lost again. But in the end I know that I cannot possibly separate from what I'm made of. I can only fool myself to believe this is so...being blinded by an illusion. How easy is it to forget. How easy is it to remember as well. Sometimes it scares me. Sometimes I feel as if I'm not strong enough. Like my emotions are too wayward, too volatile..too up and down...like large waves...but then again, I guess I need to only learn to ride those waves with a greater sense of ease and knowing. No wonder I want to learn to surf...
Sometimes still, I have a deep feeling of loneliness. That too being an illusion. But also, I realize that only I can walk through it. No one else. No one can do it for me. And the beauty behind that fact is that all the love, compassion, inspiration, and connection experienced supports and comes with...like a guide through times of darkness and uncertainty. It's all part of the dance. No need to learn the steps before hand either...for, from the stillness, all is revealed and known in due time...where a sense of openness, lightness and adventure can be made manifest. No need to always know.
Let go. Release. Freedom. Connection.
" If someone is capable of loving his partner without restrictions, unconditionally, then he is manifesting the love of God. If the love of God becomes manifest, he will love his neighbor. If he loves his neighbor, he will love himself. If he loves himself, then everything returns to its proper place. History changes."
"History will never change because of politics or conquests or theories or wars; that's mere repetition, it's been going on since the beginning of time. History will only change when we are able to use the energy of love, just as we us the energy of the wind, the seas, the atom..."
~ the novel, The Zahir, by Paulo Coehlo
So what happens when chi starts to move by getting unstuck? Well, I'll tell you. After a few sessions, like magic, my upper arms, legs and butt deflated. This happened, mind you, with no change in diet or how much I ate. If you think the whole concept of moving chi seems unreal...so be it. But the change in my body happened literally over night. Surprisingly. It's quite amazing to tell you the truth. I mean, I was just wanting to feel better....but when the Daoist master/healer was adamant about my body having large amounts of chi stuck in the low back, he wasn't joking. Crazy, I tell you. Crazy.
Crazy, good however.
We humans have two great problems: the first is knowing when to begin; the second is knowing when to stop.
~ the novel, The Zahir, by Paulo Coehlo
Yin energy depletion. Yes. We all posses yin and yang energy...and, one will always slightly dominate the other. However, when one is on the verge of total depletion while the other is exploding...then problems begin to arise. I've had to address just that. No biggie. No cause for alarm.
How great is it that I have the tools to find equilibrium.
When I came across the above quote. Yes!! This is something I need to take to heart. Maybe the second part...knowing when to stop...knowing when to stop and just be...is where I need to focus.
The Daoist master expressed of the importance of maintaining a state of calm...Always.
On the outside I may exhibit this. However, on the inside I have the tendency to feel anxious while harboring lots of worry. For whatever reason. By Grace, I've had glimpses of complete peace...and to be able to carry this through in day to day life is of utmost importance. It carries much more weight than completing 3rd series. I mean...really, the mastery of asana is becoming pretty boring...even though I enjoy the process of asana practice...I love movement...I love getting out of my head and into the body. But, the miracles that come with feeling peace...nothing can hold a candle to it.
Now, I'm not diminishing in anyway my daily asana practice. It has significantly changed the course of my life. I like to call it my gateway...my gateway into entering other levels of consciousness and awareness.
Recently, however I've had to take notice of the increased 'yang-ness' of my practice and what it was doing to my body. Thankfully, I was given some tips from the Doaist master. He in no way told me to abandon my practice...but has given me ways to approach and move forward differently. I like it. I like it very much.
Came across this word recently. Sometimes it carries a negative connotation. However, I like the word in regards to being closely observant of myself, and my actions.
I've continued to see my teacher/body-worker/ healer/Daoist master, on a regular basis. He has told me to stay away from ice cold beverages and foods. No ice-cream, slurpees, smoothies, cold-lattes, or leftovers...nothing. Keeping in line with having an open mind, I'm willing to experiment. And, the funny thing is, just days after he told me this my refrigerator broke down. Hmmmmm. Strange stuff like this has been happening to me lately.
Before having an appointment with him I went out to lunch with several yoga students beforehand. Alas, for dessert a small scoop of ice cream was set in front of me. So...I relented and enjoyed the scoop of ice cream. What could it hurt? When he saw me he said..."you've been eating cold stuff". How did he know exactly? Busted!!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) partaking in ice-cold anything is not recommended. Which is interesting. From what I gathered it's connected with energy stagnation in the body. Now, I'm not here to warn anyone away from consuming ice-cold food products. I just enjoy learning various healing traditions and it's something I have never been aware of. Don't mind the simple sacrifice to experiment and observe how it feels the body.
If anything, I enjoy learning...experimenting. I've taken to learning more about Chinese Herbs as well. Fascinating.
I mean there IS something to the longevity and health exhibited here. C'mon...when an 88 year-old is practically skipping past me on a hike...ummmm...you take notice. One of the most unbelievable things I've witnessed since landing here in Taiwan.
There is more to the story however. I've had to become vigilant with maintaining balance. Somehow, I had gotten so used to a state of imbalance that it was feeling normal...but at the same time...not feeling quite right. My practice has to change. Everything. I've known this for a while. Call it denial...call it whatever. I'm still in the process of learning and honoring what is before me.
How wonderful is it to receive just what I need at the right time. All I have to do is be open, be aware...be vigilant.
When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon--do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your heart does not set them up before you.
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would never have set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise have you become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.
Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933)
By Paulo Coelho
When I was very young I discovered that, for me, a journey is the best way to learn. I still have this pilgrim’s soul to this day, and have decided to relate some of the lessons I have learned, in the hopes that they will be useful to other like-minded pilgrims.
1] Avoid museums. This advice may seem absurd, but let us reflect a little together: if you are in a foreign city, isn’t it far more interesting to seek out the present, than the past? Usually, people feel obliged to go to museums, because ever since they were small they have been told that traveling is a search for this type of culture. Of course museums are important, but they require time and objectivity - you need to know what it is you want to see there, otherwise you will come away with the impression that you saw several things which are fundamental to your life, but cannot remember what they were.
2] Frequent bars. Unlike museums, this is where the life of the city can be found. Bars are not discotheques, but places where the people gather to have a drink, pass the time, and are always willing to chat. Buy a newspaper and observe the bustle of people coming and going. If someone speaks to you, strike up a conversation, however banal: one cannot judge the beauty of a path merely by looking at its entrance.
3] Be open and forward. The best tourist guide is someone who lives there, knows everything, but doesn’t work at a travel agency. Go out into the street, choose someone you wish to speak to, and ask him or her for directions (where is such-and-such a cathedral? Where is the post office?) If this bears no fruit, try someone else - I guarantee that in the end you will find excellent company.
4] Try and travel alone, or - if you are married - with your spouse. It will be harder work, no one will be looking after you, but this is the only way of truly leaving your country. Group travel is just a disguised way of pretending to go abroad, where you speak your own language, obey the leader of the pack, and concern yourself more with the internal gossip of the group than with the place you are visiting.
5] Don’t compare. Don’t compare anything - not prices, nor cleanliness, nor quality of life, nor means of transport, nothing! You are not traveling in order to prove you live better than others - your search, in fact, is to find out how others live, what they have to teach, how they view reality and the extraordinary things in life.
6] Understand that everyone understands you. Even if you don’t speak the language, don’t be afraid: I have been in many places in which there was no way of communicating with words, and I always found support, guidance, important suggestions, even girlfriends. Some people think that if you travel alone, you will go out into the street and be lost forever. All you need is the hotel card in your pocket, and - should you find yourself in extreme circumstances - take a taxi and show it to the driver.
7] Don’t buy much. Spend your money on things which you won’t have to carry: good theater, restaurants, walks. Nowadays, with the global market and the Internet, you can have everything you want without having to pay for excess baggage.
8] Don’t try and see the world in a month. It is better to stay in one city for four or five days, that visit five cities in a week. A city is like a capricious woman, who needs time to be seduced and reveal herself completely.
9] A journey is an adventure. Henry Miller said that it is far more important to discover a church no one has heard of, than go to Rome and feel obliged to visit the Sistine Chapel, with two hundred thousand tourists shouting all around you. Go to the Sistine Chapel, but also get lost in the streets, wander down alleyways, feel free to look for something, without knowing what it is. I swear you will find it and that it will change your life.
Article taken from Paulo Coelho's Blog - http://paulocoelhoblog.com
"What is a teacher? I'll tell you: it isn't someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows."
~ the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho
Yes. You can find a teacher in the most unlikely of places.
Recently, I've had to approach the practice in a whole new way. The body worker I've been seeing has opened my eyes.
Was pleasantly surprised by his insights regarding my energy, and some of what he said I've taken to heart and into practice...it's made all the difference miraculously. Like for instance. Believe it or not, I had a huge amount of chi (call it prana or energy) stuck in my low back. If you are coming from a western perspective then it may seem a bit unbelievable. But, I've been there done that. So, at the moment I'm a bit speechless. Once I've gathered the meaning and significance of what I've learned I may share it...or not. But, if I were to try right now it may not make any sense.
It's funny how I had the foresight, but needed the affirmation from someone else. But, when the signs are there, it would be silly not to listen or experiment with approaching things differently. Or continue spinning on the same wheel. Why do that?
If I am to evolve and grow it will be an important part of the process. Sometimes we can get so stuck...by identifying with things that may not be working anymore. So what is more important the identification or the growth?
The Shadow is our dark side, which dictates how we should act and behave. When we try to free ourselves from the Persona, we turn on a light inside us and we see the cobwebs, the cowardice, the meanness. The Shadow is there to stop our progress, and it usually succeeds, and we run back to what we were before we doubted. However, some do survive this encounter with their own cobwebs, saying: "Yes, I have a few faults, but I'm good enough, and I want to go forward."
At this moment, the Shadow disappears and we come into contact with the Soul.
By Soul, Jung didn't mean "soul" in the religious sense; he speaks of a return to the Soul of the World, the source of all knowledge. Instincts become sharper, emotions more radical, the interpretations of signs becomes more important than logic, perceptions of reality grow less rigid. We start to struggle with things to which we are unaccustomed and we start to react in ways that we ourselves find unexpected.
And we discover that if we can channel that continuous flow of energy, we can organize it around a very solid center, what Jung calls the Wise Old Man and the Great Mother for women.
~ the novel, The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho
My camera in NO way did the night view of Hong Kong justice. One of the most breathtaking city views I have ever seen...beautiful. I love this place!!
Hong Kong. Where do I begin? Fascinating. I must go back, and soon. My trip was short. But, I feel lucky to have gotten a taste of this vibrating city.
I must of looked pretty strange walking around by myself in the crazy metropolis they call Hong Kong. I kept looking up. Surprised I didn't get a cramp in my neck. There seemed to be miles of and miles of towering skyscrapers everywhere...massive buildings, exquisite architecture...and the shopping...puh-lease...it's a shopper's dream. I had to keep reminding myself that I didn't make the trip to spend money.
Kept telling myself...wow...can't believe that I'm here...just hanging out...far away from home and loving every minute of it. I seem to feel at home nowhere...but at the same time, at home everywhere...strange. It's my wanderlust talking...it's in my soul.
Freedom, Expansion, Adventure...it is becoming part of the fabric called...my life.
I stayed in the Causeway Bay area on Hong Kong island...kind of in the heart of it all...in the heart of the craziness. Everyone seemed to be walking briskly from point A to point B...knowing exactly the path they were taking. But me...no...I looked like a lost puppy...slowly rambling around the streets...looking, observing...sweating from the city heat...having no clue about anything...just feeling the energy of the place. It was nice. I'm enjoying travel on my own...and even getting lost...can be fun. Always...I find people who are willing to go out of there way to help me...a comforting feeling being far away from what is known.
I love Hong Kong.
Hong Kong buzzes with a kind of energy that is unlike any other place I have been. But that is why I love travel, and experiencing new places...every place has it's own energetic make up...something new to offer...something new to take in and enjoy.
Hong Kong has this hip, colorful, sexy, sophistication to it.