Travel and friends in Europe

image
The call of adventure springs upon me again. Heading to Europe for what was going to be a week road trip around Iceland has turned once again into a friend visiting escapade. The joke in Europe is to invite people in neighboring countries to visit because it is so close, but they never come because the distance is too far. Well in the states, an 8 hour drive is a small road trip and with Iceland only a few hours flight away, I accept a friends polite invitation to Germany. Word gets out quick and friends in Paris and Ibiza soon find destinations on my itinerary while only missing an extra trip to London. A fresh reminder of enjoying friends and food and adventure.
image
imageSunny and vibrantly green southern Germany is my first destination. Lahmo and Abhivan, dear path of love friends from India, invite me to share their beautiful life in Lindau. Amazing musicians and artisans as well as meditators, my arrival ends up starting a mini vacation from work and enjoying each day by the lake. Lindau is a small island of tourist envy, enjoyed for its history and lake views. Escaping WW2 bombing completely for aiding Switzerland in food delivery, Lindau is architecturally stunning with a vibrant waterfront. We spend our days with local friends playing music, picnicking, light sports, swimming, and playing with the children.
image
I get to visit Austria and Abhivans cabin, see a sailboat race, dance wildly in public and practice tai chi. I saw many beautiful green spaces, the view from the mountains, ate cheese spaetzle, saw a hand of God sunset, and tried to change social stereotypes by getting Germans to dance in the street to the live music being played. It was a beautiful week of enjoying the outdoors, conversations with people I love, and a remembrance of how simple and enjoyable life can be settled down in one place.
 10991161_10100365725046161_1109179794297495560_n
I fly off into the midnight sun, Venus and Jupiter glowing brightly out of my window seat, to enjoy a night layover in Oslo. I am heading to Iceland to participate in an impromptu road trip. After having visited Iceland at the beginning of my world tour I vowed to return to the most beautiful place on earth and do it right. Shane, my long time roommate and fellow world traveler is starting his 1 year around the world tour and Iceland is the kick off. Once declared he was going, our friend Jlynn jumped aboard, and in similar fashion to our south east Asia travels I had to attend as this would be a major reunion. Oh twist my arm universe, lets do Iceland!
image
Arriving to a radically colder environment I get my layers on and adjust to the beautiful landscape. Rolling up in the rental from a visit to blue lagoon my friends scoop me, hugs and hellos and land ourselves in Reykjavik. We are relying on my expert travel skills and knowledge of Iceland to get us by. It serves us perfectly and helps Shane learn the ropes of traveling in this day and age of smart phones and wifi. We settle in, take a small tour and prepare for our early morning hike by having drastically different adventures. Jlynn and myself retire early and end up making friends with our hostel mates receiving free wine, while in true Shane style he parties all night with local friendly Icelanders. Arriving just in time for a short nap before we head out for our longest day of exploring Iceland.
imageTouring Iceland by car is the only way to really see it. Everything is conveniently off the one ring road that circles the island and breathtaking views come right to you. Every 10 minutes the landscape somehow changes drastically from mossy rocks, to shrubs, black sand beaches and grassy sheep farms, to volcanic steam, all dotted with more waterfalls than you can shake a stick at. Bring extra space for all the photos you will take, being overwhelmed by so much beauty.
image
We find moderately priced but memorable accommodations along the way. Sleeping in a 100 year old hospital, two farm houses, a marina warehouse, and a couchsurfer to boot; everything was cozy and inviting. Seeing as the sun never sets, you get a sundip rather than a sunset, your body always wants to be awake. Many late nights were had wandering the twilight hours of Iceland playing guitar and meeting locals.
image
Some highlights of Iceland, to be explained fully in its own post, were to walk on my first glacier, visit a crashed airplane from WW2, hot spring cave, volcanic Mars landscape, snow capped fjords, waterfalls you can walk behind, eating fermented shark, picking up hitch hikers, many hot spring baths, jumping into the North Sea, and the many jokes and antics of spending days driving around with best friends rocking to music.
image
Iceland was an overwhelmingly beautiful spectacle shared with dear friends and new ones. A good reminder that traveling with friends is hilariously fun and vastly different than traveling alone. Playing off each persons unique personalities and energies creates a new dynamic environment that being with only yourself cannot possibly experience. I am happy for that and all the laughter.
image
One long day of driving and fly off to Paris, which seems to now be my old stomping grounds and most comfortable city for me to visit. I know the ropes and speak enough French to sail easily into the heart of this beautiful city and meet up with Robin. He is figuring out professional life of an international lawyer living in Paris. Long hours but delicious food and a city that seems different from the time spent in school here.
11704834_10100386033158541_6839197437481616338_n
I readjust to the perfect weather and stroll around these familiar streets eating familiar foods. It’s like being at home in many ways. I’ve been to Paris now perhaps 10 different times and know what I want to see and eat with the little time I have. I enjoy my time with Robin catching up and sharing our lives and art. Pastries and walks and poetry is how one absorbs Paris in pieces.
11403129_10100386033363131_8248747803957907546_n
We thankfully are in Paris for summer solstice which means that everyone comes out to play music to celebrate summer. It seems on every corner there are buskers and performance groups. From marching bands to ethnic song and dance you can barely turn a corner without some new cacophony assaulting your ears. We dance to soul gospel and Brazilian, teenage bands and accordion players, and finish with a major performance by Ibrahim maalouf the trumpet player and his band. Mind blown with the amount of energy and big band music he brought to the palais royal.
image
That was a pretty great farewell party as I head to Ibiza Spain. The world famous island for electronic music and parties, as well as a collection of meditative and conscious people living in the north of the island. It is in the more laid back and less drunk group that I find my friends Adam and Kim, also path of love friends, who open their home and life to me. Beautiful blue waters and sandy beaches greet me in this Spanish countryside of purple flowers and white washed walls.
image
Adam is my dear soul brother from PoL and spending any time with him is like looking at myself in the mirror. We share on all topics of the heart while enjoying the never ending sun and sea of Ibiza. The atmosphere is light and jovial with people enjoying themselves and the idea of siesta has never been more real to me in the mid day heat.
11755248_10100386035753341_3475246653470722356_n
We enjoy local paella, the hippie markets, and a wonderful night of ecstatic dance. Walking around for long strolls in the perfect evening weather, life is well rounded and easy going. I suppose I could enjoy myself in these easy days of friends and ocean play. Not sure what I would do with my time that is of much importance to me but a beautiful place to visit. Adam and I share our connection and love in many ways and remind ourselves of the beauty of the world and our connection with Osho.
11760256_10100386035903041_7664820224894716780_n
We share a special connection in this world of being of the same soul stuff. I say this because never before have either one of us found someone who is exactly like our inner selves. This boggles my mind as we think and experience the world in the same way. Never before have I so truly seen two people cut from the same cloth. For this reason we share and connect on a special level that makes us brothers in every sense that matters.
 image
Flying out of Barcelona, there is one last gift for me. My dear friend Tate and Ashley happen to be in the airport, in my very wing, at the exact same time on their way to China. We have enough time for hugs and photos before flying off in different directions. I am heading back to the states for an unknown adventure and they are off to the orient. Florida and family here I come.

  

Path of Love: PachaMama

image
Welcome to the jungle!

 

Wild beasts, strange noises, burning heat, lethargy, fear, exploration of the unknown, sweat, tears, and breakthroughs. Yes I am talking about the inner landscape of the mind, which is strikingly similar to this beautiful Costa Rican backdrop. Another group of hungry seekers have descended upon PachaMama, an intentional spiritual community, to participate in The Path of Love. I have left the Asian tropics for the Central American tropics to staff this process and remind myself of the love and beautiful essence I carry in myself. Barely having time to integrate all the realizations I carry from my process in January, I am jumping into a strong remembering of the truth I hold so dear.
 image
Having gotten a little lost in Bali and wishing to return to the truth of my essence, without the minds filtering and lies and masks, I have come to Costa Rica to touch that space again. I carry this truth with me, along with the presence of my ego, which seems to have grown several sizes since my PoL. It hasn’t really grown any bigger, just my awareness of its true size has become apparent. This is my challenge and my mastery: To overcome this harshest of critics and live my life from a place of love and gratitude. At times this takes an extreme physical effort to realize that not listening to the lies of the ego and comfortable habit patterns is the only way to continue moving forward and to inhabit all the beautiful joys of my life. Only this one barrier is left and could be with me in its many ways and forms and subtleties, quite possibly my whole life. I wish to find pleasure in not feeding my ego any more attention and to begin mastering the expansion of my life. This means facing my fears each day, being proactive rather than reactive, no excuses for laziness, and to find the passion for my life each day no matter how I feel or what I think. Choosing to move forward despite every anxiety and fear is the only choice that can heal this wound we all carry.
 imageimage
*Our beautiful group room & a sample of our vegan diet

 

Having the loving support of PoL members in which to share and deepen your search is the gift of being a staff or participant. The daily reminder of connecting and growing with a beautiful support system helps master the egos presence, which opens the space to find the courage to live your life according to your truth. Often times this very simple issue gets glossed over by the ego and the small truths that should be spoken are left silent. The compliments you wish to give, the hurts you wish to acknowledge, the small risks you could take, and all the times you could step out and be seen for who you are, are simply passed over and the opportunity to grow is missed. It is the courage to know and live your truth, moment to moment, no matter the costs that lets your unique light shine. So many things get in the way of this, particularly old habit patterns and the rules of society and politeness, but the truth is no less real. My whole work this week with the Path of Love came down to these two things. Stay awake, alive, juicy, and passionately on fire for my life while not listening to that liar of an inner judge called the ego. Practicing this, despite all the difficulties and unknowns, I can stay with my passionate self.
11008580_957261414296597_5749228584421882230_n

Courtesy of PachaMana and Ankati Day

I gleaned many wonderful experiences as a staff member, where our main job is to hold the space and be present for all the participants. This presence becomes a prayer and I know what angels must feel like. To silently watch a human being struggle through life, and lovingly remind them unceasingly and with great love that they are watched over, loved, taken care of, and going in the right direction. As I practiced this I had to laugh at the perfectness of this situation in reverse. I am always watched over, loved, guided, and cared for. Just as I couldn’t interfere with the participants directly, my Angels cannot interfere in my life. I must make my own choices, but I can trust. In that trust I can know God and silence and be happy without knowing where my journey ends. Choosing to live with ever present guidance rather than despair, struggle, or fear is certainly a more powerful choice to improve how I feel about facing the struggles and challenges of each day.
imageimage

 

I once again have made many deep friendships and connections from across the world. New inspirations and resources in the quest to build a sustainable meditation community and hope that I can manifest it with loving effort. My partner Lindsay during the process became a dear friend and close confidant. She is on a similar path and is starting a small retreat center focusing on yoga, healing, and detox called Samara Soul Adventures. This was such a synchronicity and inspiration to me that I feel my idea is not so overwhelming, but that only the first step is the hardest. I found so much love and support from the staff and community in which we were living. PachaMama is a community based on self development, meditation, and sustainability, and living here has only added to my experience and trust in my own future. Many people here have their own retreat centers or healing practices and the more I travel the more I feel this idea I carry is spreading. One day small centers will just blossom around the world and everyone will be able to enjoy their local sustainable communities and transformational processes without traveling so far.
 image
11244908_955436714479067_8278918785253743336_n

Courtesy of PachaMana

The finishing touch of this adventure was an all night forest fairy party. Tyohar, the spiritual leader of PachaMama, is also an accomplished DJ and nature photographer who wowed us for 17 hours of amazing rock music while the whole community danced and brought the jungle to life. Dressed as forest creatures, from children to well advanced souls, everyone dug deep and found the blissful energy to dance all through the night and into the next day. I personally had to find the energy and commitment to have fun rather than listen to my ego who clearly said we need sleep and to retreat from this environment because that’s what we do every other night. Of course I ignored it firmly and managed not only to stay awake for the party, but found so much energy that I continued on for many more hours, 36 in all before a nice night of sleep and arising again at 5 am with the sun for my morning routine of stretching and meditation. New friends were made this night and other relationships deepened. The connections of community and oneness were shared amongst all, in the spirit of dance and love. I can’t imagine a more amazing experience to finish this already powerful process.
 image
I leave PachaMama with a full heart. One of deep gratitude and joy, but also sadness and longing. To honor the sadness of leaving such deep connections is just as real as the joy of having met in the first place. Thankfully we live in an international world with the convenience of technology and ease of travel. Deepening into the heart, I only find more and more to love in this world and those with whom to share it. May you find your own path of love or just enjoy this wonderful process for all the jewels it can bestow into your life. May Gods blessing and the passion of life be with you always.

 

2820240_300x300

 

Visit PachaMana yourself and experience the transformation firsthand!
They have many different programs and classes to choose from, including Path of Love.

 

Finding Balance In Bali

image

Swooping into Bali on the eve of Nyepi, Balinese new year and day of silence, the streets are packed with revelers, smiling faces, singing and loud noise crackers. Crews from local temples have hoisted large daemon statues into the air and are parading on every street corner. For the typically laid back, relaxed Balinese people I would come to know, this was quite the extraordinary celebration. Waking up the next day and being legally required to stay in your home compound and relax, I slowly tasted this new setting.

 

It’s a strange feeling to arrive in the tropical paradise of Bali and receive the knowing that after two years of spiritual journeying the desire to travel is finished. The universe has been mysteriously pulling me towards Bali for over a year now, without a promise of why, but a knowing that something was waiting for me. I have arrived and suddenly I want to run away, I am anxious and scared, and beginning an existential crisis. I want solitude and warm clothes and a cup of hot tea. That is not your typical response to landing in the lush garden of Bali, but for me will be a critical turning point in my inner world.
image
After the solid support of India’s meditation, and meeting daily with enlightened masters, I find myself adrift in the laid back waters of this tropical paradise. With smiles and yoga, raw juice and food, techno nomads and water sports at every turn, I find this life of leisure a boring routine after so many months on the road. It’s a beautiful picture of a daily world, but I am lost and must be found. My ego must answer a new question that has been building in me: “Who am I and what am I going to do in this life?” Suddenly the question of practical life has reared it’s head in asking the most fundamental questions. What do I want to do to support myself? What skills do I actually have? Can I take my dreams and ideas and do something practical about them?
f5bc9a68_original
I am living in a beautiful villa courtesy of my new friend Salvador. The wildly charismatic, successful, Ashtonga yogi, and restaurant builder from Los Angeles whom I met in India. He is living a perfect balance of work and play, and is an example to me in this difficult time. After slowing down an 80 hour a week restaurant life to balance his spiritual practice and work, he is flowing in the universal juices more than ever. Watching him navigate new business ideas and deals from conception to reality, making friends with yogis and strangers in cafés, and absorbing the meditation world of Osho, I’ve seen levels of synchronicity I’ve forgotten existed. It’s all just a reminder to trust more deeply, that energy flows, to live a life that you love, and embrace yourself in the mystery of existence.
10431667_10100324487596341_7907335649558984020_n
It’s hard to know the full impact my new mentor in business will make on my life, but I know that my ego took a rough couple weeks of beating before I found my balance. It’s safe to say that I’ve been living a life focused only on my inner work for the last two years. Suddenly living in this new energy of business, practical life, meditation, and creation begged me to answer the question of what do I really want to build in my life and can I overcome the fear to actually do it? The rhetoric answer has always been my sustainable meditation community and my mind fed this back to me in one hundred different ways. Despite the fact that I don’t think I have the skills needed at this moment to accomplish this entire task, I was counting on my desire and inner knowing to pull me through. I was trying to answer the question of how to do this all in my head. Plans, figures and resources needed, locations and promotional success and again and again I was driving myself into a hole of pressure and trying to answer a question that couldn’t be answered without action.

 

This is the quality of the ego my friends. It will take you to the depths of despair, uncertainty, and fear so that it can maintain it’s power and keep you from living the fullness of your life. Despite battling this exact scenario and foe on many occasions, it still gets the better of me from time to time. You have to let it all go. You have to trust yourself and life. And above all else you have to stop trying to answer unanswerable questions. There is an answer of course in your heart, but never in the vicious circle in your own mind.
image
I finally managed with the help of some outside observers and patient support to settle down and put these mental questions aside. I began slowly to focus on the present moment and support myself with positive self talk, meditation, and simple daily goals. Most importantly I just stopped trying to answer these very dear and important questions when they popped up. Wouldn’t you know that a few days later I was calmed down. I could see the beauty of Bali and I could enjoy my life again. I could find my center and my authentic longing to live life once again. I could find my prayer, and my love, so that I could express my unique presence in each activity I did no matter how small. From this place, all those important questions seem so easy and simple. A matter of one foot In front of the other and remembering this is the most important remembering one can have.
image
I see many people wrestling with this one issue of trying to answer some deep inner question and never finding the answer. Osho has taught me that there is no answer, but the task is to take away the question. The heart deals with how to love and express and experience life. From this place there are no problematic questions as such. There are questions like how can I be in more gratitude, how can I feel the depths and heights of this human life, how can I better serve humanity, how can I be one with the universe, God, and love? These are also unanswerable questions, but the quality is instead a deepening and expanding of the life force. It makes you feel good to wonder these things. Alternatively trying to answer, what to do, am I good enough, and can I trust I’ll be taken care of deplete this vital source of happiness and energy to the point we fall asleep in life and forget the beauty that surrounds us.
image
As I woke up myself, I woke up to Bali. The food was better tasting, the people more loving, the whole situation was a pleasure to find myself in. I promptly took a vacation to the beach to surf and scuba for a few days. Out of the hustle of Ubud and the entrepreneurs, I finally relaxed into beach life and the beautiful meditation that is scuba diving. Spending my mornings exploring a vast, mesmerizing, alien world while floating in three dimensions is nothing short of meditation. Breath in, breath out, float up, float down, repeat. In those depths I found myself again and my efforts of centering were only growing more and more. I suddenly had three days left in Bali and the beauty had just found my heart.
603807_10153356796181282_6299275285401792825_n
*Courtesy of Carolyn McDonough
Perhaps it is knowing that something is going to end that helps make it all the more beautiful. We could cling instead to what is departing and suffer the inevitable outcome or embrace the fleeting beauty of experience. My ego has a pattern that has become quite familiar to me when it is time to leave a place. It tries to have every good experience again squeezed into just the final days. This is most often expressed by trying to eat every delicious food I know of. Such a silly idea because you just create a belly ache and then none of the food tastes good anymore. This is the egos way of trying to have everything, and in reality keeping you from accomplishing anything.  I’ve settled on going completely against this notion and try to have an entirely new day of experiences on my last day. New experiences are ultimately the only kind of experience we can have and any attempt at repeating one is met sadly with lackluster results.
11091354_10100324487526481_3683126616439728794_n
Salvador, Maria, new friend Jamie, and myself took a beautiful morning ride through Bali’s rice fields and palm trees to say goodbye to beloved yogi friends and master teachers. Followed by a trip to puri nugong kawi to sample the meditation caves of monks long past. Our real goal was the secret waterfall behind the temple where we plunge into the cold waters on this bright morning and feel the power of nature and come alive in her magnificence.
1484237_10100324490370781_7161442142874365195_n
My favorite experience it turns out is the Balinese water temple. You take a prayer Into the waters and before the twelve holy spouts you dunk your head and cleanse your heart. With each successful cleansing the prayer gets deeper and deeper. More longing and truth come out and you end up with the most beautiful process of cleansing your heart and knowing you are one with God. All the things you want, all that you are grateful for, all the love you wish to experience has been felt in that cold rush of holy water. Cold and wet, but perfectly happy, I can feel why ceremony is so important to the Balinese lifestyle.
image
We finish this spectacular last day with a long planned visit to mosaic. The most expensive restaurant on Bali and one of the best restaurants of south east Asia. While only moderately priced for western standards, this meal blows me away. Over 40 people have a hand in each dish, with expert execution and an emphasis on local flavors, this is easily one of the best meals of my life. Each plate has so many perfectly balanced elements to delight the senses I am in awe of how much effort went into each plate and there will be ten of them, for each of us, depending on our dietary preferences.
image
During this meal a strange thing occurred, but of course was orchestrated by the universe for my benefit. Having 12 people, we were split into two tables and my preference was to sit with my new friends and a particularly interesting gentleman with sufi background that I wished to know better. As such, it turned out I would sit with Maria, Sal, and three new friends, two of whom are from Kansas City. Small talk was polite and semi interesting, but the bomb came when Maria and I finally had a talk about our time spent here and the energetic issues we could never quite talk about with any depth. Often times you need a friend or even stranger to help you see the patterns which are obvious to an outsider yet oblivious to yourself. Thus the crux of my reason for being in Bali was made known to me.

 

I don’t know what the center of my power and identity of self is. Maria, thankfully a master in her own sense of identity, let the axe fall so to speak and gave me a strong dose of truth. It takes a strong person to deliver that kind of truth and be comfortable doing so. It is true that when I arrived in Bali I could not find my support, the base on which I could stand and be relaxed in my self. In India, Osho holds that place of support which I now understand more fully why I feel so comfortable there. This lesson is about being out in the world and finding my own inner support that doesn’t waver. Maria needed support as well and when we turned to each other in Bali and couldn’t support the other, problems arose. Our mutual support turned out to be Salvador who was a rock of joy and enthusiasm for living life each day in paradise. While I was struggling to find myself and battling my ego I did learn a few things.
image
Trying to answer a question in your head, for example brooding about something, is useless as the answer cannot exist there. If it did, you would have answered it, but since it isn’t, that is the egos way of running you in a circle to assert its importance and generally just tire you out. Remedy; put aside that thought entirely and replace it with action or positive self talk or prayer.

 

Laziness comes in many forms. If you cannot constantly apply yourself in your own life, slowly a type of sleep begins to master parts of your life. I was living more in thoughts and dreams than being active in creating the life I wanted. I needed to be more myself and take some risks. For fear of upsetting another person or some imagined status quo, I lazily placated myself and everyone by being “the good boy”. Sometimes you just have to stir the pot and be a bit crazy; upset some people, say something daring, be exciting. There is no need to be mean, but without poking people or yourself at times, you become lazy to your own growth and fall asleep.
image
What is your base of support and are you in control of it? I mean, is your base located inside or outside of yourself. Mine has been an external support, that of meditation and community. To bring that locus of control inside, to an internal support is a self growth exercise. Finding out what you can stand on is vital to branching out while being in your authentic power. This is where the confidence to support yourself, emotionally, spiritually, and materially comes into play. With that deep knowing, you are able to rest in your natural self and apply yourself in any endeavor.

 

I have struggled with this area of personal identity. With so much meditation and letting go of attachments, my cunning ego also found ways to exist with this new spiritual mindset. When you let go of excitement, curiosity, wonder, preferences, new ideas, and expansion, you begin to live a flat life, not a real life of non-attachment. Non attachment is a very positive state, you can delight in all things, especially the small things. Somewhere I forgot this state of being. The spiritual journey is full of dangers without any guarantee of being found. Which makes the process of being found such a wonderful experience. The more I wake up to the fact I was sleeping, the more I enjoy my own process of waking up.
image
That is the whole trick I believe. Once you start on the road of waking up one step at a time, everything will find its own place. Allow the beauty to be your focus and put all the concerns of the mind to the side. Bali was a wake up call, ripe with hidden teachers and lessons. It doesn’t take traveling halfway across the planet to learn these lessons, you can wake up to your life right where you are. It takes a little focus, it takes a little effort, and in the end you keep taking it one step at a time.
image
Bali was about finding balance between the internal and the external. It started a new dialogue that will move me along the path. I am thankful to all the teachers and strangers who stepped on my path to show me the way. Those that help remind me to keep waking up, to keep moving forward, to keep shining my own beautiful light, because one day I will realize myself and that will make all the difference.

 

Many blessings to you and your journey. May you find your way happily.

 

Life with the masters in Rishikesh

      image

 

Leaving an Osho community is always a strange and powerful experience that one must inevitably conclude their trip with. Whether you jump right back into what you knew as life before or simply move to another experience on your journey, the shift can be quite surprising. Thankfully this year I have a more balanced plan of action. I will take a pause from life inside the resort to learn Ayurvedic energy massage while still visiting once a week, followed by a trip to the beach in Goa, then to be continued with a month in Rishikesh sitting with enlightened masters in satsang. This feels like it might be enough of a step down to mellow out the sharp effects of leaving the Osho community this year.
 10325383_10100278487765371_6932414394961748009_n
*Got to do a little advertising with my face

 

I take my high on life energy from completing the Path of Love course and gently turn its open heart energies into learning hands on massage. From the first day, first lesson, first touch, I am in love with this practice. I have known my teacher for only a year now, but his presence and energy was overwhelming from the very first meeting. The beauty of Shikha’s massage technique, besides being completely relaxing, is to take the recipient into their own space of inner silence. The first time he laid his hands on me in the middle of the massage and suddenly dropped into a deep space of “I don’t know where I am anymore”, I was hooked. When I asked what he did at that point he only smiled as if to say, “isn’t that magical?”

 

The method of this massage is using Ayurveda to touch the energetic and emotional blocks in the body and gently dissolve them. I felt that I wasn’t really receiving instructions so much as directly receiving the information from the body and wisdom directly from the heart of the master. On quite a few occasions deep energy blocks were touched an healed with accompanying tears, laughter, shouting, or other surprises. The depth of our attention and intention was the most important factor in this learning, as if we were just becoming channels for the healing energies through our bodies and hands. I know that often two hours of time would just disappear into massaging my partner and I would finish with more energy and love than I had begun with. I have found massage to be a healing outlet for my hands in which I can share all my talents in both giving and receiving. Wrapping up training with many compliments and love all around, and after a wonderful day of happy goodbyes at Osho, I left for the beach with a song in my heart and a dance in my step
 image

 

Goa rushed into my experience in the dawn light of waves crashing on cliffs. I found accommodation as one does, and began running into familiar faces from my first 10 minutes. Goa is filled with sandy beaches, lively hippies, Russian families, artists and musicians, as well as the yoga and meditation crowd. I ran into my good friends Kimberli and Ben on the main road on a whim. They were meeting me in India for the first time from Europe and of course just bumped into each other on the street. We spent our days watching the waves crash onto the rocks, reading books, mid day siestas, walking the beach at sunset, and long conversations over dinner right on the beach. Somehow nine days disappeared into memory so quickly, but we all had a small issue with the energy here.
 image

 

My mornings were the best, waking before the sun and greeting it with my daily stretching. Meditation followed and from here the day went downhill, ending with sleeping the middle of the day away and slowly coming back to enjoy sunset and dinner. I thought this was perhaps my issue having just left Osho, but both my friends were similarly affected. Granted it was hot in the middle of the day, but our energies were just depleted in this lifestyle. There are many people who enjoy the daily pace of drinking, mingling, and generally having less direction as beach culture usually dictates. For me, this was pure torture and I could never settle into aimless beach life. I tried some of the classes there, but only my circus arts, dancing, and good conversation carried the day. I came to the conclusion that the energy of Goa is such that it is very surface oriented. The depth is missing, and for me, the quest for depth is all that matters. I could have continued to live out some more days in this easy life, but that underlying pressure I couldn’t identify just kept derailing me. So a few days early we decided to jump ship and travel north to Rishikesh, my next and final destination in India; the birthplace of yoga and hub of enlightened masters giving daily teachings on walking the path to enlightenment.

 

We took the train. The 48 hour train. Sitting in general seating sometimes, but otherwise getting a real taste of Indian culture. From cramming people in train cars like we were escaping a war zone, to the lack of public sanitation, making friends and being invited over for dinner along the way, we experienced it all. It could have been done faster, but we booked all our tickets last minute and were lucky in this sense. We only had to sit in over packed general seating for 8 hours, sneak 3 people into two bunks for 12 hours, and besides sharing our paid for seats with loads of free riders, chai whallas, and train performers we enjoyed our long journey.
 17893_10100312678427011_1050096910801933418_n

 

We witnessed an interesting event of Mumbai guards forcing Indian passengers to queue for the train. Normally in India people have never heard of a line. If you can make your way to the front then you do so. Sort of an external affirmation of getting ahead in life. This also happens to be the most common excuse for why everyone tries to cheat you with a loving smile. So watching these poor people stand in line and board one by one, the agonizing pain in their faces of waiting, the desperate bid to push the guy in front of you, or cut line when no one was looking; just to get seated a bit faster and feel you accomplished something was the most interesting cultural experience.
 image

 

We arrived in Rishikesh on a drizzly evening and I knew at once I had arrived home. The beautiful Ganga river splits the colorful village of Laxman Jhula in half with a back drop of tree filled mountains. We crossed the foot bridge and stopping into every place of accommodation managed to locate acceptably unacceptable lodging for the first night. We located a wonderful bakery which became our standard daily haunt and with warm ginger-lemon-honey drinks, breathed a sigh of relief.
 image

 

Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga, was holding an international festival to this now popular method of self discovery. Besides being home at this time to enlightened masters such as Mooji, Prem baba, Shantimaya, and Swami Atmanada, I felt quite blessed to be surrounded by such a collection of people with dedication and insight into the nature of being human. I would settle into a comfortable schedule of sitting with the masters and listening to discourse, discussions with friends, and enjoying the local food and scenery. I have taken it as a good sign of being in your place when you happily rise with the sun and are energized to begin your day with yoga, meditation, a cup of tea, or any other ritual that brings a smile to your face and heart about the coming day.
 image

*The real holi festival, celebrating the colors of the heart

It is here, surrounded by many friends from around the world and Osho, that I feel most at home energetically in a long time. I have a purpose in meeting the masters each day. I have found the wonderful practice of kirtan, chanting holy mantras or devotional songs, and often cry with gratitude singing from my heart. The crisp mountain air, the pale blue waters, and the easy life in Rishikesh all appeal to me and is now my home outside of Osho. It feels somehow cleaner here and that may have to do with the mountain air or the recycling programs which were started not to long ago. No one hustles you into their shop, instead allowing you to peruse at your own speed which ironically leads you to purchasing something. There are waterfalls and beautiful hikes to explore and yoga classes everywhere.

 

I came here to spend time with the masters and experience what being in the presence of an enlightened being is like. I wanted to know what it felt like to be near such a person and what their message was. I found out quickly that my expectation was far off the mark, as an enlightened person is as normal a person as anyone. They ride scooters, go shopping, talk with people and share their breakfast table with you when the restaurant is full, as happened with Mooji and myself. They also speak to a handful or thousands of people a day to share one message of unity. Each has their own way of sharing this message that is colored by the life they have lived. Not everyone speaks the same way and I feel that is a wonderful blessing. Just as there are many ways to the truth so are there many teachers who’s message will appeal to certain people. I’ve heard this message, I know this message, Its good to hear it again, but I also know all that is left to me is to find a master to devote myself to and to practice the message each day. I will share a few bits of wisdom gained in my time here, but one incident is worth pointing out.
 poster

 

Darshan, or meeting with the master, often happens after the discourse is finished. People line up to be touched by the master, or to give thanks, or receive a blessing of some sort. On my first day in Rishikesh I managed to meet Mooji in such a line. His eyes were sparkling, moving gracefully and slowly through this ever thickening crowd, I wondered if he would see me one row back when he turned right to me, placed his hand full on my forehead and then over to my cheek and moved on down the line. I was a bit dumbstruck at my good fortune, but more by the presence of his touch. There was a weight to his touch and hand that conveyed his message as much as his words. He seemed to touch everything, either with his gaze or touch, with the compassion that you were of the utmost importance and worthy of the full attention of the universe. It filled me with the wish that I could touch everything in my life with such a presence, such totality. It was a great gift and reminder of the power of presence and attention mixed with pure love. It was worth the whole trip.
 13506_10100313108659821_6136602528945947386_n

 

Most of the teachings I listened to, Mooji and swami atmananda, were of the Advaita school of non duality. A process of self inquiry into the nature of the self to discover the unity of consciousness through awareness. Asking “Who am I?” or “Who is having this thought/experience/feeling?” is a good way to begin this process. If some object can be seen or some experience felt then something must witness it and thus you are not what is seen. This witness is ever present and the realization of such a state is the liberation of the self. These kinds of discourses were somewhat belonging to the mental realm, but effective in their goal. Other methods such as bhakti (love), which focus on loving devotional practices like kirtan, prayer, dance, and pure devotional ceremonies was a new and wonderful experience for me. Embracing my new moniker of Premraj (ruled by love), I found the bhakti practices deeply touching and a straight connection to the divine. I suppose one needs balance even in the way of meditation.

 

Here are a few quotes from my time in Rishikesh along with quotes from Osho whom I was also reading.

 

“The seed cannot relax, only the flower can relax. The seed is trembling, whether it will become actual, will it find the right soil, right climate, right sky, or will it simply die without being born?” – Osho

 

“Your mind wants enlightenment and to feel the experience of it. Enlightenment isn’t a feeling. It is the self before the mind existed and thus can never be experienced or grasped by the mind.” – Swami Atmananda

 

“Lack of attention dies up the personality like a plant with no water. Naturally.” – Mooji

 

“You need nothing to be happy, you need something to be sad. Make space to be happy for no reason.” – Mooji

 

“After a state of tasting the honey of life comes a change and suddenly the taste is gone. Now you must become the honey without the taste of honey. Let go of the desire to experience and taste, just become the awareness. It is a growth. The flower isn’t attached to its own smell. The peace you felt may be gone, but you are that peace itself. If there is one that is still enjoying the experience, even with full awareness, then there is still duality. Try to move to the pure awareness and become that awareness only.” – Swami Atmananda

 

“The bee of life is not attached to any flower. It simply moves where the flower invites it. It has freedom.” – Osho

 

“Surrender and effort. When you see that all effort is in fact an acknowledgement of duality, then non doing happens and surrender begins as the way to inhabit the presence.” – Swami Atmananda

 

“To abide in the heart, the presence, the watcher. If you find a way there, keep it and keep practicing it. No need to keep searching for another method.” Swami Atmananda

 

“Be together with her, the commitment is towards love, not the woman. When happiness is gone say thank you and move on. The moment something is no longer appealing, has lost the quality of allurement, of enchantment, is no longer magnetic, then don’t cling to it. Feel grateful for the past and move on.” – Osho

 

“There are two birds sitting in a tree. The first bird is very busy building a nest. The second bird is above on a branch watching the first bird be so busy. This is the mind and the meditative watcher. Then there is a presence which isn’t a bird at all, watching the whole scene unfold. That is your unified essence, your pure consciousness.” – Mooji

 

“Even once enlightenment has occurred, it can still take time to drop the mind, personality, and habits. You see them as powerless as each arises, but still they arise until full integration happens.” – Swami Atmananda
 1551734_10100312674360161_4789144927813296294_n

 

These were just a few samples of comments that struck me. Listening to the masters is like constantly being reminded there is more in life and you already have it. There is nothing to do because you are already that which you seek. Only recognizing is possible, only realization of this truth. That is not to say that effort isn’t needed to create the situation where realization can occur, but no work is needed or can be done on your ultimate self. These satsang helped center me each day on the remembrance that I am not my environment, thoughts, feelings, and problems. I am the essence behind all that watching it unfold. Watching is certainly the right word, for when you can watch yourself move through the ups and downs of life and really just watch it happen as if to somebody else, there is a contentment and happiness that arises which cannot be taken away.

 

Abide in the heart and experience the truth. You are the force of love, in this moment and always. Finding and being reminded of the way and truth will always bring a clam knowing that you can walk your path. Rishikesh was a wonderful culmination of spiritual traditions and practice among friends and strangers all drawn to this wonderful community. It has become a must stop on the road to enlightenment with so much packed into such a small shining city. May you be fortunate enough to taste the essence of a living master who can help show you a way to truth.
Blessings on your journey.
premraj

Finding myself in The Path of Love

Beloveds,

I have something to share with you

path-of-love-2

I am a self-critical, judgmental, angry, emotionally repressed, pretender. I have lived my life with a mask of being a good boy, peaceful, spiritual, grown up, with an air of having it all together in an effort to keep everyone happy and slightly removed so I would not have to feel any real emotion, commitment, or fear; to live life all on my own without any support. I lived as if this was the truth, that my mind had all the answers, that I didn’t need to change and I conveniently pushed all this to the side and kept it hidden from my consciousness. Until now; the ego can’t live forever after all.

Stepping back in time a moment, we can watch a beautiful process unfold of the universe stepping into my life to shine light on these wonderfully true aspects of myself, then stepping into the space of love, and being reborn into the beautiful essence I have always been, while dropping this mask of a personality.

osho

I find myself once again in India, at the Osho International Meditation Resort, working as part of the staff to extend my visit. I am struggling again slightly with the money and bureaucracy issues while enjoying tremendously the meditation community of people and self-development. I am having special difficulty and insights about this thing called mind. For the first time I can clearly see the mind as a separate entity, completely it’s own thing, and wildly the most insane, ADD child, I have ever met. It picks up anything it can get its hands on, plays with it for two seconds and throws it in the corner the instant it sees something new. Not only is this really annoying, it is getting in the way of everything I love because I have no control over this tiny monkey.

Flash forward a month and a half into my experience here: I am in a high stress job, feeling burnt out on working, missing out on connecting with many friends due to no time, missing out on opportunities, and I am putting a smile on everything because that’s what I do. Suddenly, Sambhavo walks into my office, a group facilitator and friend who says:

Sambhavo: “I’ve been looking for you”

Me: “I know, you need to pay for your program”

S: “No, no, no, I am holding a spot for you in the Path of Love”

M: shocked a bit

M: “Why did you just say that to me?”

S: “I don’t know why, it just came out!”

My mind was absent, or in shock, and suddenly there were just a few steps before me. The universe just quietly pushed me along without any resistance; check the program costs, check the requirements, see if they will let me off work, fill out the paperwork, have an interview, pack up my room, find a new place to live, get cash, pay, take a breath and jump into a 7 day intensive, super secretive, most money I’ve ever spent on myself in one go process called The Path of Love.

11037550_10100312673591701_6555552505413103855_n

*That’s what commitment looks like

Leading up to this huge, yet deceptively easy decision were many friends approaching me and sharing their own stories about Path of Love. I hadn’t been inquiring mind you, but many people in just a few days told me how transforming and wonderful the process was. A few good friends of mine were also going to staff on this PoL and shared their input. Somehow the universe just prepared me, without my awareness, so that when the moment came I couldn’t think about it, but rather just act out of instinct. It became the most important decision of my life and I didn’t really have to decide very much.

When you look back at your life, all the most important decisions and events aren’t planned; they just happen. It’s hard to see it at the time, but hindsight is pretty good. I felt in the moment that if I thought about what I was doing I would talk myself out of it. Instead I just walked the path laid before me with trust and knowing it felt right. 7 days later I walked out into the sunlight a new person, quite literally.

contact_1

While I cannot talk about the process itself, I can share all of my realizations; the biggest being the birth of my heart centered self. Through the work I came quickly to the understanding that I have been wearing a mask my whole life. A pretenders mask of being the “good boy”, so that I might hide my authentic emotions of being angry or sad, for fear of upsetting others and not knowing their reactions. A mask aimed to keep the status quo and people at an emotionally safe distance so that I wouldn’t have to feel any pain of separation, aloneness or any of my self judgement/criticism. My biggest question going into this process was a distinction between non attachment and being shut off emotionally. I could never find a concrete answer to this difference until this course. I realized that I have lived my whole life without awareness of the depth of my emotions. Surely they exist and I experience them as I am not a robot, but my experience of them, being overpowered by them, using them, allowing them to the surface, really tasting each emotion, was completely shut down. This started as my coping mechanism from 6 years old when my parents divorced. I decided right then and there to be a grown up, to solve any problems that arose, to be a good boy and cause no trouble, not to ask for anything, and to take care of myself. Well all those things are backwards, as no child or even adult knows how to do all that, and yet I lived with this belief and strategy for 24 years, strengthening it each moment.

There came an experience in this process where after accepting these facts at a deep level and understanding how and why I behave like I do, the mask suddenly dropped. I saw myself for the first time without pretending to be something. My face was radiantly alive with joy and tears. My tension was gone. I felt as if I finally saw myself like God sees me; as a perfect creation, alive, good, full of love and peace, and that there has never been anything wrong with me ever. In that moment I knew the mask known as Torey was finished and my pure essence had begun it’s new life. I jumped into a state of newborn ecstacy, where every look, touch, taste, and thought was new. I explored everything with an aliveness and newness I’ve never known. It was so beautiful and transforming to know this energy exists in me always, along with every range of emotion, and that this is what it means to be embodied and what a gift that truly is.

10455399_10100312323109071_5082462772233876514_n

Through a deep sense of longing and prayer, I also knew it was time to dedicate myself to walking this path of truth. Before, being spiritual was easy, a few meditations, reading some books, acting good and nice, and spouting off whatever lessons I had learned. Walking the path is much more difficult actually. It is a constant re-commitment to truth. To finding out who you are and how to let the divine into you. It is so much effort and courage, to burn with a passion and longing to always know the truth. The mind’s whole effort is to make life easy by putting us into the sleep of comfort. Walking the path is a constant stirring of the pot so that in fact no comfort exists for the mind, no room to take control and become master again. The heart, feeling, and pure essence are king here and the mind a tool to be used surely, but not ruler of the kingdom. To recommit yourself everyday is a true effort, using the intensity of your physical, emotional, and spiritual practices, but one I am happy to make now that I have seen the difference.

osho4

For this reason I decided to take and was given sannyas on the last day of this process to anchor this knowing. Sannyas for me was always a dedication to walking the path of truth, mediation, and awareness, but contained a special emphasis on letting go of the old and starting a new commitment. PoL gave me exactly that experience, as the personality I had carried for so long died, and my essence was born as Premraj. This new name, meaning “king of love” or “ruled by love”, serves as a constant reminder of my true essence, a guide post that will always be a reminder when I do fall asleep, to keep my heart awake, alive, and full of love. To feel the radiant spectrum of emotions that exists in me and keep digging deeper and deeper to awaken the Buddha in me. Both prem, meaning love, and raj, meaning king, would never have been names I took for myself. When I was given this name though, it was like music being played on my heart. I was given this name by someone who could see into my essence and called forth what I am. A wise and just leader, who is strong yet merciful, one who has great treasures to share, and is able to balance himself and the kingdom he overlooks with ease and with love.

10952371_10100312673611661_5425078061275375699_n

*Pre Path of Love photo

After being out of the process for a few weeks I came to a new understanding of what I really gained. I’ll have to be honest first; coming back to the world from this depth of being with oneself was at once explosively amazing and slightly crushing. I exited my silence and confinement into a world of friends and loved ones who immediately saw a deep transformation in me. My presence, feeling, hugs, power, sexual energy, masculine energy, and open eyes blew everyone away. Sometimes it was too much for them, and sometimes too much for me to take a whole person so totally into my being. The very next day I had my sannyas celebration before the whole community. The crowd to hug and support me was the most anyone has seen in a long while. I had to be lifted onto the shoulders of my dear friend Adam and really feeling like a king, accept all this love and joy, to honor who I have become. This was the high followed by the low of retreating back into myself and my own space. With each new encounter, I was able to explore how I responded to the world and people. What I found, what changed in me, turned out to be only one thing. I learned how to trust myself. Suddenly I found that the fear of living life was gone. Situations where I normally would have avoided, or shut off emotionally, I could face head on without feeling scared. I could step into that space with my power and emotions intact and experience it. All my pretending and avoidance was gone and each time I kept surprising myself by doing something new.

11050296_10100312673636611_4541827391342452855_n

*Post Path of Love photo

This truly was the gift I received. To trust myself, trust the guidance of the universe, to trust love and the support of all human beings who want only my highest good. A strong realization came to me during PoL, we all have fears, hurts, longings, desires, hopes, needs and while the story might be a little different we really are all the same in essence. The fact that as a species we aren’t openly talking about how we really feel is perhaps the saddest thing I have ever come to know. Such a simple, yet terrifying effort to expose ones true self, and the whole world would come to know that your neighbor is the same as you. That everyone is just as scared as you, as hurt as you, as hopeful as you, as longing for love and support as you. I look now at everyone with such compassion because I know everyone has a deep wound that they carry, and they may not know anything about it, but I do, and I can interact with them in such a way as to share great love and caring and hold a space of compassion for their being.

To be seen is what every human being really wants. To be seen with eyes of truth and be accepted for who you really are is a foundation of love. To see a person at their core and accept them for their humanness and in turn be accepted, contains all the spiritual effort one needs to practice. I saw into people and ended up making lasting friendships because nothing can shake the truth of what was witnessed. We may all slip back into being the personality we have carried for our lives, but nothing can take away the truth of seeing another clearly.

maxresdefault

The depth of being that was experienced, the limitless amount of energy, the overwhelming support of the staff and growth in love was enough to turn me in a new direction. Understanding that this inner place of truth can be called out and touched, I want to dedicate my work to helping bring it out in myself and others. This is what holds value between human beings and has touched me as it touches every PoL participant. The effort is ongoing and once the taste of the possibilities are known, your life is changed forever. May clear communication and love flower amongst the hearts of all, until we realize we are all one essence. Love and blessings on your personal journey.

love-so-this-is-love

Check out the Path of Love for yourself:

http://www.pathoflove.net/

Transformation of the Self: when life has lost its juice

buddha face

Beloveds,

Have you ever woken up one day to find your interest in life lackluster? Have you looked around and found the feeling that there is nothing worth living for? No passion to do anything, no life force left to fight, a numbness blanketing everything and a burning question of what and why is this happening to me again?

Personal development isn’t always the bright light we find at the end of the journey. Often the biggest changes and growth come through the pain of resistance. We long for a change to come, even understanding sometimes what is blocked, but for the strangest reason some piece of our being just won’t let go and move into love. I have always been interested in this process because it affects me so often and somehow I never remember what’s happening to me until I remember what’s happening. I hope you may benefit by my experience, sparking a remembering and alignment, in your time of need.

Pressure. Overwhelming pressure. Blocked. Strained. Drained. Resistance. Lethargy. Lost. Up, down, and sideways. Confusion. Depressed. Feeling no juice in life and that it may never be bright again. No reason or energy to do anything. Just plain dead, before death. Hopeless.

Take a deep breath, you have been through this before and even though it feels like the first time, like it won’t end, like you will never find anything worth living for, you still know, at least intellectually, that it will pass and you will be better for it. The feeling however is very real and no self talk, cheering up or distractions are going to fix this immediately. To quote rumi:

“Hold me in the fire,
And although I die,

I know for whom and why”

This is the physical transformation experience. After the decision to change was made deep inside. After the conceptual ideas and feelings about change happened. We have reached the last step, the slowest and most dense plane, the physical body, which now must catch up with the faster energetic plane. These changes may have been from months ago which explains the disconnect from your thoughts and the physical changes taking place. The need for the mind to understand what is happening is so strong, but so useless, that we fight this process to the bitter end and wonder why this misery has befallen us.

This is the epitome of spiritual practice, and a perfect time, in light of this formidable resistance, to discover more about yourself and your ability to transform. This is the moment when all those spiritual self help books and blogs are needed most, but least likely to be heard. The question is “can I embrace and make friends (become neutral, resistance free, dis-identified) with this pressure, this anxiety, this fear, and ultimately a feeling I don’t want to be experiencing?”

This is time for trust, for patience, for deep breathing. Ultimately this is out of your control, like a roller coaster that just crested the top of the main climb, there is no turning back; only how much you want to fight the ride. Once you realize you are on a ride, at least you can stop wondering whats going on. Try to find that comforting, because at least you are no longer lost.  Like birth, you decided many months ago to bear a child and now on one day this incredible pressure and feeling is in you. You must finish this decision for there is no turning back. In an instant a transformation of self will be and everything will change. You will give birth to your new self, but you must go through the trial first.

It is this very trail by fire we call suffering. Human nature is to suffer, but we don’t have to get upset about it. Once this process has happened a few times, it is likely that you know at some point it will pass, as all things must, but of course the immediate feeling is something we humans dislike greatly and depending on your inner level of calmness, perhaps hate and rage against. You can literally fight this transformation process until it finally finishes and suffer greatly or in an instant of true realization help the transformation take place and viola! You pop through the other side.

The steps for this process are generally similar, starting with your inner awareness and communication. The feeling that shows up is generally the same but a different scenario each time and thus confuses us greatly until we identify what is happening. The first few days something just feels off. Perhaps less energy, an un-explainable lethargy while feeling physically fine, accompanied by a growing desire to know and figure out just “what” about this feeling is off. If you are coming up with continual new ideas of what It could be and not settling on one, it is probable you are in the middle of a transformation process. Another signal could be a slight nagging somewhere in your body with a sore point, like an ache, to which no physical counterpart actually exists. This signal is often the clearest yet most misunderstood device. Something from your unconscious depths is rising to the surface looking for the light of day. Often a knot in your back, shoulders, chest or neck, although it can show up anywhere. You may rub this point as much as you like but it never eases the source. At this point you can begin to make the connection. This is energetic, something trapped inside is ready to release and is climbing the metaphorical hill to ride the roller coaster. Whether you catch on here or when you crest the hill, you will only realize when you realize this transformation process is what’s happening to you.

The next step is to acknowledge the pressure, energy, stuck-ness, and make friends with it. This is where all the spiritual self help comes in handy. How to see this unwanted feeling and be friendly with it? We don’t question joy when it visits us; asking why has it come and when it will kindly be on its way. But for pain and suffering this is the only question we repeat over and over. What did I do, why is this happening, how can I fix this, how do I get rid of this, okay if you go away I’ll do this, if I could just figure this out ill be okay! But none of these questions will ever resolve it, but only make it stick around because it is not a question and there is no answer. You are fighting with your self, your ego, and that is a circle that can continue for as long as you have energy to fight. We have become so identified with the physical feeling that we have forgotten a simple truth: we are not this feeling. We are the inner awareness that is watching this feeling and process unfold. Being friendly means stepping back into our centered awareness and just watching the feeling be there until it leaves on its own; rather than madly questioning why we have become this overwhelming feeling.

“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”  – Rumi

A different approach must be taken. This is tricky because human beings want to be cunning and cleaver at this moment. We devise some method of bargaining to alleviate the pain. A this for that strategy which is really telling your unconscious I don’t have any power, but please be merciful as I still fight you. We have one recourse, friendliness, non attachment, neutrality, let go, compassion for the self. These are all the same thing in respect to this phenomenon so choose what feels best. We acknowledge that this feeling is present. Perhaps with playfulness say “Oh, isn’t that interesting. Look what showed up today”. Tell it that it is a welcome guest as long as it likes and to do whatever it needs, because we know at the end of their stay our life and feeling will be better for it. To do this truthfully is the only thing you ever need to learn. This is the same knack in every spiritual practice on earth. To honestly befriend the reality of life with no restraint, no cunningness, no bargaining and just let it be there with you. To watch with awareness while not becoming identified with the feeling. In that exact moment, a switch flips and you are on the other side. Pressure gone or on its way out. You are transformed.

Learning how to truly let go, to be honest, is very difficult and yet the simplest thing. It happens all the time, but to participate with it knowingly is a different task altogether. You can’t deceive your own inner self. Next time you can’t just say “oh let’s be friends”, I’ve done this before and don’t have time for you now, and wonder why it didn’t resolve itself and get upset. The true let go is a subtle and fine art of embracing the suffering and even finding joy in the process because conceptually we know it’s for the best even when everything tells us we feel like we might be dying.

Even if you honestly let go early on in the process you may need to ride the metaphorical bus for the duration and reach the destination. Of course it will be an interesting ride all the same, but as we ride that bus from the beginning to the end many aspects of your inner being will try to drive the bus. I like to have my spirit as the conductor. He knows the destination and will lead me there gently and without delay. However when my fear gets a hold of the wheel, this bus be rocking left and right as fear tries to flip the bus over, turn it around, or do anything to not reach the destination. It is in this moment, when some aspect wants to hold us back that we kindly acknowledge that we have a new driver and ask our spirit, or whoever you like driving your bus of transformation, to step back in and take over. Trust once again that we are headed to a destination of our choosing and that we will reach there without that other idiot crashing the bus.

Coming out of the transformation process is a beautiful thing. Either suddenly or gradually you begin to see beauty again in the world, a passion and energy for living again. You begin to wonder why you ever felt life to be so dull and lifeless when this new thirst for feeling alive is growing. Just as you can’t see the beauty from the depths of resistance, you can’t see the dullness from the energy of being alive. We go back and forth as humans on this pendulum, unless we learn how to stop in the middle; which is enlightenment. Try at this point to remember that just recently you felt so alone, so tired, so out of juice and that life was almost not worth living anymore. So when it visits you again you know how to come out of it quicker and easier.

To truly take the time to invest in your self development, and grow your awareness of yourself around the healing/growing process is a sincere undertaking. It means putting everything aside, sometimes utterly stopping your world, to address the most important and life changing experience that is happening. Waiting is utter foolishness, for in the end, postponement is to continue to suffer. It’s often a challenge to pit the importance of our inner world against that of the outer world and it’s requirements or distractions. At the end of the day though we will still be living in our bodies and every moment given to cleaning house will lessen that anxiety and ultimately lead to a more joyful life experience. I wish upon everyone the awareness to watch this process when next it springs upon you and to traverse it with grace. Make friends with your new strange guests and they may just leave you with the greatest gifts of all.

The Essential Man, Watching Your Life Unfold

osho4105

Greetings beloveds,
I’ve recently found myself living in a state of continued joy and wish to share many realizations about being in this state of vibration and alignment.

“All private goals are neurotic. The essential man comes to know, to feel, “I am not separate from the whole, and there is no need to seek and search for any destiny on my own. Things are happening, the world is moving -call it God…he is doing things. They are happening of their own accord. There is no need for me to make any struggle, any effort; there is no need for me to fight for anything. I can relax and be. ” the essential man is not a doer. The accidental man is a doer. The accidental man is, of course, then in anxiety, tension, stress, anguish, continuously sitting on a volcano. It can erupt any moment, because he lives in a world of uncertainty and believes as if it is certain. This creates tension in his being: he knows deeps down that noting is certain. ” – Osho

What is the essential man? How does one move in the world without struggle, without doing, without wanting something for oneself? I have read this quote on many occasions referring to many different situations. It was not until recently that I experienced acutely the essence and the meaning was finally clear. The difference between an essential man and an accidental man is between watching your life unfold and trying to unfold it yourself. Watching your life unfold is like watching a movie, many things happen in the movie, but you are watching from the theater, along for the ride, knowing perhaps the direction of the story, but not actually what will happen. Trying to unfold your life is watching that same movie and trying to help change the plot and in so doing, losing sight of the overall direction. Yelling at the screen, throwing popcorn, and getting all in a huff over a simple story. Our lives are those simple stories, beautiful and special, being played out on the biggest screen we call reality. We are the actors as well as the watcher in the theater; like the movie star watching his own films. If one is relaxed while watching it unfold, enjoying whatever experience is coming, painful or joyful, then one is an essential man, in harmony with the world and oneself. An accidental man is a fighter, trying to change the script in mid sentence, upset to find out that life doesn’t work at that speed. The scene is set, the actors in place, please remember your role and try to enjoy whatever movie you find yourself in. This is the essence of peace and harmony.

I have been living in a special place since arriving in Japan just a short time ago. Before arriving, I was reintroduced to watching my own movie with a smile. I was upset because my story was going slow, so I tried to make it different and was failing miserably. I was moving frantically about trying to think my way out of my own situation. Wondering why each day I didn’t feel my best, why were the good feelings and understanding of my path I usually experienced not present with me now? Feeling lost in my direction, I wanted to do anything to get back on track or shift my experience of feeling lost. I would DO anything to have my life feel better, to release the fear and anxiety of not knowing why, except just accept the fact I was living a story and be okay with that. I had an energy reading and thankfully that nudged me back into place and my ability to see my own movie became clear to me again. How can each of us be reminded of this simple fact – to spend our energy watching our movie rather than trying to change it? Meditation has always helped me step back and see what is and be at peace with that. This time my reminder came from an energy reading which can be highly helpful. Other ways can be a change of environment or having a great conversation with a friend in a time of confusion. Taking a retreat into nature, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, a relaxing bath, exercise, or getting body work are all ways to help create a gap in our tunnel vision of trying to actively change our lives.

This is the essential point of being an essential man or woman; don’t do, try, or struggle to make your life experience that which you think you want it to be. First this indicates that what you are experiencing isn’t what you would like. This means the mind is actively trying to change the script, something is off from our general understanding of joy in our life. Deep down we are lacking in trust, fearful for our direction, because we feel we are not in control. So what to ‘do’ when doing is the wrong action? The goal is to reach a state of being where suddenly you can see that your life is just a story playing out from decisions made before hand. You want it to be different? That is perfectly okay and within your power. We have to stop the fighting of ‘doing’ because it will never change the script. The script is like the direction of your life, point yourself in the right direction and the script writes itself. This is the law of cause and effect, manifestation, and intentions. The script is your current state of affairs and to change that, you must change your direction before hand. The essential man decides his direction and then watches the movie play out. This is the essential difference, knowing and being your direction versus trying to change the experience of the moment. When you know where your movie is heading, the process of watching it unfold is fun and the joy of life. Even if your movie is heading towards a cliff, at least you can relax into the direction and like every movie you have seen before, you watch the movie star go over the cliff. You are no longer trying desperately to skip the scene with the cliff, you can even be excited about that cliff, even if your death is coming with it. Nothing is going to change the script in the short hand so we should relax and just be. Things are happening and there is no need for us to do anything.

1551562_10100252778202541_598133549791555948_n

This doesn’t mean just sitting on the couch all day. Like the actor, you still need to respond to your life story as it is happening. Non-doing, responding, is participating in life, whatever shows up, while doing is trying to be the director. The truth is that in each moment you know who you are and will make the best decisions available to your awareness in that moment. There is no need to plan, to do, to prepare for what is coming. Live what is coming right in the moment. Try to see when you desire something to be different and again relax, and experience what is. Thinking about what to do, is exactly the opposite of the essential man. I am in fact promoting not thinking about your life or future. Thinking is using the mind to decide before hand what you want and how you want it. Responding, is using your entire essence of being to apply yourself to the situation at hand.

I recently had this hit home deeply for me. I have been enjoying Japan each day for the new experiences it brings me and simply letting show up what has been scripted for me, by my own desires and my guidance. My new direction of volunteering in a cafe with a Japanese host, has to be, simply put the most amazing experience of my life. In the small town of Yaizu there is a special community of friends that fuel a wide range of daily experiences, including my personal experience of watching life unfold where each day feels like blissful eternity, daily realizations about my own nature, feeling content with every aspect of my existence, and the special feelings growing in me for my host. Letting each day happen and accepting whatever new experiences were offered is being an essential man. The moment that I, the accidental man, decided he wanted to develop a relationship with my host on his own timescale rather than enjoying each day which had been happening with such delight, came the crash and this realization.

When you have your own private goals, something off script, secret, held back, you become and accidental man, trying to make what isn’t, so. Something as subtle as this, deciding to make a relationship happen, when before it was already happening of its own accord, took me completely out of the space of grace. How often has some simple private goal, some desire unexpressed, kept me from the relaxation of watching my life unfold? This is the real lesson of the quote above, can you distinguish when an aspect of you, ego or mind perhaps, has jumped in and started to fight the existing script rather than watching it unfold. It is such a soft difference that I never saw until now that this was the whole point. Letting go of all goals, all desires, all attachment and only setting the direction your life, is the control we actually have and should exercise. You want to have that relationship? No problem, but please watch the script unfold and don’t make any effort to create one yourself or rush to the scene where a relationship fits in perfectly. Please do set the intention and direction of your life so that a relationship is included in your movie, but leave all the actors and extras and surprises to the director of the universe. As the saying goes, let go and let God.

10347628_10100252777933081_7316649442507602022_n

The feeling of letting go of worry and control is one of deep relaxation and contentment. It is such a paradoxical idea the mind has trouble ever doing it for long periods of time. However, just like speaking and listening are different aspects of the same energy so is doing and watching. When you are speaking, you only say what you know, and when listening you can learn something new. This state of allowing something new, allowing creation to happen is the essence of watching. When you do, you are trying to make what is known continue to be known, effectively using it as a barrier to new experiences and the unknown, uncertainties of life. When we watch our life unfold, new things happen, as if by magic, and our innocence and childlike joy can run free in this type of environment. If you can have even one taste of what true watching feels like instead of doing, the whole pattern becomes clear. Once you know the essence you can always find it again. When you see that everything you want will come to you exactly when you stop trying to make it happen, the wonderful paradoxical nature of our universe opens to you.

“For once, relax a little and simply become an audience to your mind’s play.
Just look with a little detachment. Observe for a bit, but don’t spend too long in that cinema.
Then at some point, you may just come to recognize that you have watched the show many times before, and so there is no longer a need to spend any more time and money there. You will forget about it entirely.
And quite unexpectedly, you may find yourself walking along a path of unchanging joy, light and wisdom.” – Mooji

I am here to tell you as many have before me, that everything you want in life is reached when you can develop a level of awareness, in such that you know when you are watching and when you are doing. All mystics and enlightened beings continually preach awareness for this reason. They have understood that the more awareness you allow in your experience, the more you will be able to notice the essential truths of life. Practice everyday some awareness, be constantly vigilant, and without fail you will see clearly, all in one instant, the difference between watching and doing, your essential nature and the mind. When that happens, a joy will be yours that cannot be taken away, a playfulness will enter your life, a deep relaxation that all is well and taken care of. This essence is what all human being seek and often times call happiness among many other positive attributes. To participate in the unfolding of your life is the greatest freedom and yours by the nature of existence.
May you come swiftly and easily to this understanding.

May all being be happy and free.
Blessings and love,
The Wandering Monk, Scripted by the Universe

An Invitation With My Guides

image

From the first moments I knew I was in uncharted territory. I have just had an Akashic record reading, an energetic storyline of my life, being told to me by a very talented, albeit kind stranger.  I am no stranger myself to the unseen energies and mysteries of the divine world, but being human, I still get expectations that someone can hand me the definitive keys to my life and I’ll feel safe and secure. This reading pretty much handed me the next step in my life and I am feeling a level of contentment rarely experienced. I received exactly what I needed too, with clarifications on expected answers and the surprising information which has delivered a state of grace into my life. Such is the mystery of a stranger clearly explaining your life to you.

“What are the elements, practices, and places that support the experience of my greatest joy, in manifesting an integrated experience of my life’s purpose, including the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects, and what does that look like in daily life, to bring it quickly and joyously into continued physical manifestation”

This was my question I wanted answered and just reading it is a doozie. This question stems from a lack of concrete movement in the direction I know my life is heading. Basically, like most people I feel a bit lost and coincidentally I have the ability to go anywhere and do anything practically on the planet and that just makes it harder to choose anything. So I was looking for the answers of where to be, what to do, and how to go about it in such a way that I feel fulfilled and happy as it manifests. This question was asked to a wonderful woman who reads the Akashic records. Like all non-local information systems this one contains all the information, in a giant book per-se, about every life, past, present, and future. So you ask a question, and you can get very direct or even surprising answers. You have free will of course to do as you like, but knowing the why and perhaps the how is very comforting. I work in these records myself and wanted as a sub question to know how to get better and clearer information for myself and others. The answers I got were thankfully much what I was expecting, meaning my own intuition and feeling about my life was correct, but I also received some interesting tidbits that have changed my life fundamentally for the best I hope.

“You are experiencing where you are because you have lived two similar lifetimes, while being very talented in the physical world, couldn’t bring your spiritual purpose into your life experience and the difficulty of that caused you to leave the planet early, oddly enough at age 29.”

This was the first statement made and set the context for the rest of the reading. As my current life experience was spelled out to me, I knew that this downturn I’ve experienced over the last months fits this storyline. I’ve always known what I wanted to do in this life and was wondering why I felt such a lack of movement towards pursuing it. The depressive pull from these past lives has been so strong that of course I am going to feel a bit out of place, directionless, with a bit of my joy diminished, but after the dust clears and I reach 30 the jets are on and the work of living my purpose really begins. In short, I am here to help raise the consciousness of myself and anyone truly interested in that endeavor. I’ve known this was going to come in the shape of a meditation community which was confirmed and thus the direction for action was set. I was given some time frames and a bit about how this will begin to unfold, but like all things, I must choose what to do and then follow the energy through. I am to begin with what I have and who I know, to get the energy started and moving, and then the rest of the steps will easily follow. So expect a happy house of meditation with beautiful friends and lifestyle to come in a relatively near future.
 image
I have some personal development to work on as well of course, particularly around my healing work and putting myself out into the world. I had the choice to be a monk and retreat, but that ship sailed, I am here to be in the world and help people live life with a higher consciousness. Specifically I have three things to work on, feeling inadequate, taking on others responsibilities, and wondering am I good enough? This accurately sums up my internal world of trying to justify and legitimize my own knowing, abilities, and wake of transformation I cut in the world. Putting yourself out in the world, to be vulnerable, to do great works and also to be humbled when you fail or falter, is self work everyone can understand and embark upon. It’s scary and transformative and much needed, but having your personal guides step in and lovingly explain it really changes your perspective of actually doing it. So I’ll follow the advice and start doing my healing work in earnest with friends and those seeking guidance. I’ll bring the information which is my responsibility, and let the outcome be the recipients responsibility, and leave the doubt and worry up to my guides and masters. I was given practices to begin and I’ll enjoy that process as my communication gets louder, clearer, and more helpful.

I have an amazing 6 months of experiences ahead of me as I head to Japan, Bali, and India to receive new gifts waiting for me in each place. I will begin to wake up in new ways and expand my own consciousness, love, and healing. Letting go of the worry about my direction and trusting my guides who said that I never need to worry about that again has already opened me up to living in the moment more fully. I am excited and calmed in knowing that all is well, and while I felt lost and directionless, it was all part of a plan and the why has been delivered. That why and storyline puts our human minds at ease so we can best get on with the real work of living joyously. I need to go through these kinds of dilemmas so in my own service to the planet I can better help those receive the healing and alignment of knowing the storyline and thus being at ease.

I find it awe inspiring that I am being guided to Bali for some major transformation work. This also completes my Eat, Pray, Love journey and like Liz Gilbert I too may have a major expansion of love force brought into my life. Not a romantic partner, but continuing the wonderful expansion of opening my heart to ultimate compassion seems to be part of the culture of Bali, of which I’ve never experienced. Bali is the only place on the planet right now I can say I am definitely being guided too. It is like a bright light in the distance and although Japan and India also glow currently, this is like a moth to a flame. I eagerly await this new experience and look forward to the realizations and transformations I can write about after having visited.
 image
Sometimes it takes a direct line to your higher self and guides to get the message through, and sometimes just some courage to do what you know in your heart to be true. I hope I can help bring more resources and information to people interested in getting aligned in their life. When you are feeling a bit lost, the comfort of knowing all is well, just makes life worth living in utter joy.

The surprise gift came actually after the reading was over. Over the rest of my day and the next, this overwhelming sense of relief was present. A sense of non-worry, because for the first time in a long time I was letting my direction unfold, instead of trying to make it happen and fighting against the motionlessness of my dream. Suddenly I knew where I was going, how it was coming about and that I just needed to watch it happen. This is the essence of non-attachment, non-doing, just being. I will unravel this delicious thought more in a following post, but to let what is just be, and to truly be comfortable with that, is a gift. This is something I have experienced many times before, but when you forget, you just forget. Having my guides near to me and having delivered this wonderfully calming information has given me the sense of purpose and clarity I was really seeking and didn’t even know was missing. For this one thing I am the most grateful; to be content with the unfolding of my life rather than trying to make it happen. Love exists when you let go of all the effort and playfully participate in creation.

Wishing everyone the experience of such contentment and calm knowing. Life is a present to be unwrapped slowly.

The wandering monk, wandering hand in hand.

I will more formally announce my upcoming offer to work with others in a clear and distinct way, but for questions or contact information about others who do this work currently you can privately contact me if interested.

Workaway Round 2: Japan

10338687_10100226658336961_6487626720708170609_n My success with workaway experiences is beyond my imagination, and there are still so many opportunities available. It might be a little premature, but based on my track record, workaway attracts a certain kind of individual, both host and guest, that epitomizes the essence of traveling and trying new experiences. I find volunteering while traveling a highlight of every adventure, just like couchsurfing, you are instantly introduced into a new culture with friends and a network that often bring you fabulous new experiences. This time I am helping in a Japanese/Vietnamese cafe a few hours train ride from Tokyo, Japan. Yaizu is a small town in which it would never have crossed my mind to visit, but it isn’t the local attractions that grab your attention, its the wealth of open minded and well traveled Japanese people that will end up making this stay memorable.
image
I happen to have hit the traveling jackpot, being dropped into work at a little cafe in which the owner and clientele form a well rounded network of interested Japanese who wish to share various kinds of experiences with me, the foreigner.  Oddly enough, I have met a fair amount of foreigners already in this small town, mostly of the ilk who have married into Japan and now live here as their primary residence. It may just be that I am 8 years older than my last visit to Japan, but everyone seems to take my presence as quite normal, often starting off in perfect Japanese as I should be expected to know the language.  This is quite a difference from the last visit, where being a foreigner was more of a rare experience, and perhaps has to do with a maturity level that shows clearly on my face. This grouping of people however, mostly speak at least two languages if not four, and have traveled about as well as I have. The feeling about the place is like a grouping of friends living the small town life, but each bringing something interesting to the table.
 image
I recall saying an interesting thing in regards to work versus play when quitting my job two years ago; I would be happy to sling noodles in Japan and not call it work, because it is a new experience for me, and that is play. It’s strange little thoughts and desires like that, which you might only be saying off hand, which the universe always finds an interesting way to answer. I find myself laughing because each day the number one dish being served is pho; Vietnamese noodle soup. While not what I imagined, it is what I asked for.  As for other kitchen skills, I am now a master of spring rolls after having done well over 100 of them. No more the sloppy, lightly rolled behemoths I started with, they are well shaped, firm and dainty.
 10690320_10100226659015601_3078135424604756071_n
While the learning curve for Vietnamese food isn’t very strenuous, due to my love of food and working in the kitchen, the language curve is. Thankfully my host intuitively understands how to speak Japanese to me and also speaks much better English than my level of Japanese. She has me interacting with customers from day one, and after I release my fears of speaking English or messy Japanese, I am getting along quite well. Every day a new friend comes into the cafe for lunch and I get to introduce myself and use as much communication as is possible, mostly listening, but answering when I can. Of the many friends who visit, a few expand my experience by taking me out for various things.
 image
One day, I got to attend a tea ceremony practice session, kimono dress up and all. Watching a tea ceremony is great, as long as your legs don’t hurt too badly from sitting on them, but watching a teacher instruct students on the proper movements and etiquette is well worth attending.
10348994_10100226658975681_1627777168010576150_n
I was able to attend an after school program for the ubiquitous experience of playing with a bunch of over interested kids, wearing me out playing soccer and tag.  There was a house party where everyone got to make okonomiyaki, the Osaka famous pancake. There was a ramen fest going on in the next city, Shizuoka, and I sampled these delicious variations.
image
I visited a yoga studio for a free class and my first kirtan, complete with a harmonium for the real Indian musical feel. Oddly enough I never experienced kirtan in India, the joyous chanting of Sanskrit, something I feel a bit remiss about and will remedy soon. Along the musical avenue, I was also fortunate to be in town for a djembe concert put on by the owners of the yoga studio.26c7bee0_original
*Photo by Dai via Air BnB, Visit Here
I was also fortunate enough to meet a new friend, Dai, who owns a traditional Japanese home over 90 years old.  Dai is also a world traveler and English speaker, who uses air bnb to rent out half his property to entertain excited guests, and also works in the numerous bamboo forests, cutting 50 foot tall stalks. I was happy to visit his home and experience the beauty of this traditional cabin, if I may use that word. We were also so like minded that we surprised each other by stating we will be visiting Mooji in Rishikesh at the same time this February for the wonderful experience of darshan.
 10407714_10100223946641221_7894786128945930962_n
I was also lucky enough to be here at the right season for something wonderfully fall, and close to every Japanese heart; Inekari, the fall rice harvest. Once the rice has gone through the laborious process of being sprouted and planted, the mature plant is then cut down and hung over bamboo to dry. Traditionally this was done by hand which I experienced, but modern technology has produced the combine which goes to town cutting and bundling together the rice while you walk behind it.  Its a family fun event which makes the work a lot easier with friends. There are all kind of bugs whose homes we are destroying so the kids have plenty to do when helping is no longer fun. Catching frogs, grasshoppers, and playing in the mud seems to be fond memories of many children in this country. With the help of about 15 people we finished two small fields which each produce about 120kg of rice. Each field is enough to feed two people for a year when only eating rice, or perhaps 3 now with bread and noodles included in the diet. It was a beautiful day that truly felt like fall to me and an experience I am grateful for.
 10653340_10100223947334831_3153665144975335890_n
I would be remiss if I didn’t share my honest experience which has made this workaway something truly special. While everything I have done as part of my volunteer experience has been everything a workaway experience could be, I have been gifted something more. There is a special energy about this particular cafe, and in truth, stems from the owner.  Haru-san, my wonderful host, has a special energy about her, one of tremendous joy and mirth, laughing constantly all day with many smiles, even while working long hours.  This is slightly askew from the typical Japanese personality, but like everyone I’ve met through this cafe, people are a bit more open and ready to share themselves. I find myself overwhelmingly excited to wake up each day, not knowing what new experience will be offered to me today, but certain that much laughter, dancing, and smiles will accompany it.  It is this overwhelmingly simple joy that surprisingly catches us both off guard and from which we begin our relationship.
 10624898_587397588032073_2042458606624081625_n
*Haru is on the right
Having been a couchsurfing host for over 200 people, I am well aware of my feelings about this type of thing in a host/guest type relationship. It has always been my private understanding that as a host I never initiate anything because that would violate the unspoken rules of providing an emotionally safe space for my guest. I am also aware that many hosts and guests end up together for various reasons which rely heavily on their mutual feelings, something I have not experienced till now. However, a guest is free to do as they please and honoring my own beliefs, shared my feelings with my host because they were honest and I would have done so no matter the outcome. Strangely enough this wonderful and busy woman, whom for her own reasons has not had time or inclination to start a relationship in recent years, surprises herself and says yes to me. This obviously changes my workaway experience in quite large terms, but I honor the ways in which the universe works and for the opportunities in which new experiences of all kinds may enter my life.
 image
Traveling is exactly this experience. Setting your intention to go somewhere and then allowing the experience to unfold before your very eyes. It includes all those little voices of desire in your mind, and with hindsight, find that what you had asked for, was neatly wrapped up in a joyous experience you could not have planned or predicted, because originality is the joy of being surprised. As its been often said, letting new experiences happen is the key to joy. Anyone can plan a perfectly well organized vacation and pull it off, but you won’t really experience something new and worthwhile. This is key for your life lesson, let go of control, be vulnerable, and trust in yourself that whatever happens you can respond with your whole being and it will work out for the best.
image
Wandering into uncharted territory; the foreign relationship.
For your very own adventure please visit http://www.workaway.info and check back for more experiences soon.
10425091_10100223947544411_1080257335121595467_n

A short update

IMG_1039.JPG

Greetings. I just wanted to update any readers that new posts are coming. I had an interesting hiatus from life as I had to come to terms with what living outside of your own truth and energy feels like. That was a nice 6 month adventure and start of year 29, but ultimately worth the experience to find oneself again and of course learn many valuable lessons. I highlighted this deviation in my last posts about making a fundamental choice to follow a plan of the mind rather than living in the moment and responding to WHAT IS. 

With that little life lesson under my belt, I have stepped back into grace, with the help of many along the way and life is better than ever. Life always comes round if you have eyes to see it happen. Anicca: all things are impermanent and subject to change. 

So a new round of travels is upon me and many insights have been gleaned from this last period of self discovery. While I generally post in order of occurance, I find some of my topics still to be on going and thus a little out of order posting is about to happen, but will be based on theme. All travel related posts will continue to be in order of occurance so never fear that my travels are out of order. 

I hope that this new line of posts will be very helpful to all on the journey of self discovery and bring some peace to your path. In love and blessings to all. 

The wandering monk