While in the past I've aspired to balance, I've come to embrace the imbalance, accepting that balance is found in the wholeness of all that exists, and over time - it doesn't have to exist in every moment I experience. The yin and yang - the mixture of cold and hot, of love and fear, of birth and death - provide a fertile ground for new ideas to be seeded and creative potentials to be discovered.
I see this dynamic in everything that surrounds me, in the death of stars above, and in the death Read more [...]
My PISD - my Post-India Stress Disorder - has been cured!!! Well, at least for the most part, for now.
This post concludes over a month's worth of writings on re-adjusting to life in Sydney post India's turning my worldview up-side-down experience. I feel more humble - with a clearer understanding just how much I don't know and how much I will probably never know. I realise that while I can make a positive impact on the state of our present and future worlds, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
I Read more [...]
"India's chaos was bigger than your ego," said Farhad Azad. "You have to remember we are but drops in the ocean." He was right, India's incomprehensibility had put me back in my place. Somewhere along the line I came across this song, it's pretty funny. By Kimya Dawson:
I like it. "I am a speck of dust inside a giant's eye"
As you can see, over a few rounds of longneck Himalaya (Nepali beer) on two brief occasions, I learned a lot from Farhad. It's amazing how when you are open to Read more [...]
If the pursuit of peace is an attempt to rid the world of violence, we must ask ourselves - “violence” through the eyes of who? Defining violence from the perception of a collective-humanity, is very different form defining it from the perception of each individual:
- If we define violence from the perception of all-humans-together, then are we not opening the doors for evil dictator, idealistic warfare and other devastating forms of violence to be committed on individuals?
- But, if we Read more [...]
While in a recent entry I concluded that I simply need to accept the world as it is, today I wonder, does this mean accepting the projectory of the world's future? If we have the foresight to see that the present path we are on has the potential to destroy humanity-on-earth, do we have a responsibility to pave a new path?
I think yes, we do.
I think that what Deepak is saying is that the uncovering of a new path begins with an acceptance of the past - an acceptance of the inequalities exist Read more [...]
Walking up in the mountains outside Kathmandu I contemplated the connection between the world’s inequalities today, the actions of one’s ancestors, and the idea of karma and reincarnation that I had been reading about in some books on the Eastern Religions.
Be they the ancestors who split from the group to discover new worlds fifty thousand years ago, or be they the innovators of new technologies that won them last century’s battles, the connection is pretty clear... and I wondered, is this Read more [...]
One day a prime minister, the next you’re not. A captain thrown overboard by his crew. Why? Was he really so bad? Was he leading the ship in a direction they didn’t want to go? Was a pirate about to overtake his ship? Was he working his crew too hard? Or is there some other reason they’re not telling us??? Who knows… What I really want to know is if Rudd is out, does that mean we’re saved from the China-inspired Internet censorship proposal? God I hope so.
What is going on at the moment? Read more [...]
We arrived to eat dinner and sip cocktails with a perfect view of this beautiful lake. I had no idea what I was expecting when I left for Pokhara, but I wasn't expecting the quiet little Queenstown-like town it is.
Before long, with more new friends, we ventured to the other side of the lake where the Brits had randomlly found a cute little guesthouse with a family, home grown foods and an even greater view of the lake. (Header picture). Had it been any other time of year, this view would Read more [...]
On the plane from Sydney to Bangkok, a some three weeks ago now, I met Bipeen - a Nepali who has been living in Australia the last couple of years who was on route to visit his family in Kathmandu.
"I'll pick you up at the airport" he wrote me on facebook.
Sure enough he did, and his kind and generous family invited me to stay a night and experience typical family life in the Tibetan area of the city.
Tibet may be in strife but at least Tibetan culture is everywhere!
The view Read more [...]
Counting the days in Mumbai and the Golden Triangle I probably spent a total of one week in what most seasoned travelers would laugh at me for calling raw-India. It was raw enough for me. And I definitely didn't shed a tear as I stepped on the plane.
The overnight train (in first class) was easy, hop on at 1230am, get off at 6am, and in between catch a few tunes on the last of my iphone battery and a few winks of sleep. I'd organised for Mohan, my friend's driver who had hooked me up with the Read more [...]
If you read my last entry you will probably remember it was written in an exhausted and over-it state of mind. But, as we all know, for every down there is an up. You never know what is waiting for you around the next bend. Or who is going to pick you up at the Jaipur train station.
With my pack on my back and three bags in my hands, I stepped down from the half-moving train, and while scrambling to look in my notebook where exactly my meeting point is, a knight in a white turban holding a sign Read more [...]
I have never felt so dirty and disgusted in my entire life. A thick layer of smog and filth covers my skin. My feet are black. My finger nails are blacker. It is definitely one of those all-I-want-is-a-shower-and-bed moments. But my disgust is far deeper than these physical qualities. In the last 24-hours I feel as if I have been lied to and deceived by more people than in 27-years of life.
My tendency to see the best in people is getting the better of me. I was warned by my sister, and even Read more [...]
I say another little prayer from my prime position laying down in the back seat with my eyes closed. It is raining and the same crazy driver who overtook on blind corners on the cliff side on the way up was to drive me back down. The special requests for a safe rather than speedy journey were finally listened to and the driver was easy on me.
At the airport my reward: coookiiiiies!!! Australian cookies!
Two cookies and a small cup of chai tea - 25 rupees (about 50 cents). Yes please! Read more [...]
6am "knock knock" my revolting tasting medicine (of who knows what) arrives at my door... 630 yoga; 730 walk and feed monkeys; 830 breakfast (fruit and random-looking-but-delicious Indian vegetarian goop); 10am reflexology; 1030 continue reading "Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure" (awesome book btw); 1230pm massage (naked - completely naked); 130 vegetarian lunch and more gross medicine; 230 massage (thumped with hot pounds of herbs); 3pm intermediate yoga (soooo hard); 4pm ginger tea; 5pm medicine Read more [...]
“No seatbelt ma’am,” said the driver who picked me up at Coimbatore airport. This is one habit I just can’t shake.
As we drove up through the mountains, toward my retreat, I turned on Deepak Chopra affirmations audio book. The first one seemed appropriate: to accept myself, and accept the world, just as it is. That is exactly what I must do. It isn’t easy to accept that such suffering exists. But it does. And I must accept it.
While I thought the sight of trees and mountains was peaceful, Read more [...]
India is curing what my mentor used to call, my “incurable optimism.” I’m not it’s a good thing, it’s definitely a more depressing state of mind. But hey, the truth hurts. And I’d rather live and be aware of the truth, no matter how painful it may be, than live a lie or an illusion.
In Mumbai I picked up a book someone (sorry, I can’t remember who) recommended: Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald. And it is a god-send, assuring me that the horrors and the emotional rollercoaster Read more [...]
More than any other country I have visited, in India you have to trust your instincts. Look into someone’s eyes and you know. Even if people who should know assure you it is ok – that you can trust this taxi driver and that the driver knows the location of the domestic airport located some ten kilometers away – if you look into the driver’s eyes and see nothing, or have ‘that” feeling. Trust it. And try the next cab that drives past.
When the driver starts taking narrow winding streets, Read more [...]
Don't worry, I'm not writing another book (not planning on committing to that ginormous task again in a hurry...) but the first chapter of my 5 weeks in India/Nepal started out with 4 nights in Mumbai, or Bombay as people tend to still call it.
Right from the beginning, before I had even left Sydney at 9pm on Thursday night, something wasn't right. Well, something wasn't right according to the security people checking my hand baggage. Although I had ensured not to bring my nail file on board, Read more [...]