Monday, December 10, 2012

POEM | Orfeo by Louise Glück

"J'ai perdu mon Eurydice ..."

I have lost my Eurydice,
I have lost my lover,
and suddenly I am speaking French
and it seems to me I have never been in better voice;
it seems these songs
are songs of a high order.

And it seems one is somehow expected to apologize
for being an artist,
as though it were not entirely human to notice these fine points.
And who knows, perhaps the gods never spoke to me in Dis,
never singled me out,
perhaps it was all illusion.

O Eurydice, you who married me for my singing,
why do you turn on me, wanting human comfort?
Who knows what you'll tell the Furies
when you see them again.

Tell them I have lost my beloved;
I am completely alone now.
Tell them there is no music like this
without real grief.

In Dis, I sang to them; they will remember me.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Would be the Alternative?

The ego always seek to protect, to harden, to defend. Why put yourself in the position to be hurt by rejection? Why?

What would be the alternative? To stay in that place of alienation? To not make effort to mend hurt, to smooth out misunderstanding. You should try, though you do not control the result. This is better than the alternative - to let friendship stay broken because of pride.

Never let someone out of your heart.


I am thankful for my friends, the ones that stayed with me, especially the ones that stayed through my darkest hours, and for the ones no longer here - for the time we shared.

I am thankful that I am here in Cambodia, fulfilling a long time dream of mine.

I am thankful for the quiet time to reflect the past few days.

I am thankful for a heart that remains open in spite of pain. I am thankful for love.

I am have been so blessed my whole life. It took me so long to learn that.

Namaste all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blogging from Cambodia

One of my dream was to travel to Cambodia, to see the temples of Angkor. Somehow I never got around to it, until now. I am tired of just dreaming. What is holding me back? Fear? Procrastination? Nothing is holding me back except myself.

Image of Bayon, taken by me on 19 November 2012. The sky was *that* blue.

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Little Yellow Bicycle

As part of my effort to work out more and to reduce my carbon footprint, I have purchased a bike and will start cycling to work. The fact that my chosen bike is cute and a bright egg yolk yellow, and my helmet is cute and a fun grey and yellow helps.

Now, to install the bell and the safety lights.

I am making positive changes in my life bit by bit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Records for 2012

Books Read 2012
  1. Man's Search for Meaning • Viktor Frankl
  2. The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them • David Richo
  3. Slaughterhouse-Five • Kurt Vonnegut
  4. Up at the Villa • W. Somerset Maugham
  5. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? • Jeanette Winterson
  6. Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change • Pema Chodron
  7. Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself • Rich Roll
  8. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners 101 Inspirational Stories of Energy, Endurance, and Endorphins • Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark & Dean Karnazes
  9. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead • Brene Brown
  10. The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate • Gary Chapman
  11. Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness • Scott Jurek with Steve Friedman
  12. Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living • Allan Lokos
  13. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail • Cheryl Strayed
  14. Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama • Alison Bechdel
  15. Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears • Pema Chodron
  16. Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow • Elizabeth Lesser
  17. Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit • Ana T. Forrest
  18. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do and How to Change • Charles Duhigg

Thursday, November 01, 2012


But what does that word "surrender" mean? As I let myself float that morning, my body fully supported by the warm ebb and flow of the sea, the words of writer Daphne Rose Kingma came to mind: "Surrender is a beautiful movement in which you gracefully, willingly, languidly fall, only to find midway that you have been gathered into some unimaginable embrace. Surrender is letting go, whether or not you believe the embrace will occur. It's trust to the hundredth power--not sticking to your idea of the outcome, but letting go in the faith that even the absence of an outcome will be the perfect solution."

- Finding Ultra, Rich Roll

Monday, October 29, 2012

13 Books to Read 2013 - draft

Time to plan next year's reading list. Reading is about progress, not perfection.

  1. Come, Thief: Poems • Jane Hirshfield
  2. Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita • Ram Dass
  3. Everyday Zen: Love and Work • Charlotte Joko Beck
  4. Nothing Special: Living Zen • Charlotte Joko Beck
  5. Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment • Ezra Bayda
  6. A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life • Jack Kornfield
  7. Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery • Chogyam Trungpa
  8. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism • Chogyam Trungpa
  9. A Year to Live • Stephen Levine

Monday, October 22, 2012

We Are Powerful Beyond Measure

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
- Marianne Williamson

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Someone I cared about told me something about myself a few months ago. She told me, if only I was the person I write about, and she told me I had a lot of potential. Potential, but somehow not yet met.

 It was one of those things that dropped like a stone in your stomach. Deep down inside I have always felt like I wasn't fulfilling my full potential. I talk a lot, I complain a lot - but it always seem hard to put things into action. So much fear within me. So afraid of failing, that I don't even try, or make excuses. 

And it had to come from her. They say some people come into your life for a reason. I would hate it if she came into my life just to say this to me.

Another friend reminded me yesterday that we are close to the end of the year. It is time for introspection. My mind has been foggy these last few years. I need some quiet space to think. I have been putting some things in place the last few months, trying to change things for myself. My life feels like a major detoxification exercise, and I am going through major withdrawal symptoms.

I surrender. Help me through this.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Becoming Real

“What is REAL?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day... "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Remembering wanderlust

Last weekend I was in Kuala Lumpur for a short break. I met up with old friends, was brought around for meals and sight seeing. It was fun. It reminded me how good it feels to be surrounded by good hearted people who are funny. It has been a while since I felt so relaxed among people.

The weekend break also reminded me of how much I miss travelling. I miss the discomfort of having to wait in line at the airport. I miss waking up to a foreign airport, where I don't know what to expect when I go down an escalator. I miss the strangeness of a train route which might be in a language I do not understand. I miss that sense of disorientation, of feeling lost - it wakes me up and makes me feel just that little bit more alive.

I have allowed work and other things to distract me from doing what I love. Reading, travel and quiet time - these things recharge me. Yoga brings me to that quiet space. I deal with stress better.

I have neglected myself.

I told myself that my word for 2012 will be 'alignment'. One of the ways I want to align myself better is the alignment in words and action. I talk a lot about the things I want to do, I often allow other things to distract me from following up with things. Let's start doing things differently.

I will be going to India and Nepal in November. It will be a pilgrimage of a sort, going to the sacred locations in the Buddha's life.

Let's just do it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Wholeheartedness is a precious gift, but no one can actually give it to you. You have to find the path that has heart and then walk it impeccably....It's like someone laughing in your ear, challenging you to figure out what to do when you don't know what to do. It humbles you. It opens your heart. 

~Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form

Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form. Friends are enemies sometimes, and enemies friends.
I was a tiny bug. Now a mountain. I was left behind. Now honored at the head. You healed my wounded hunger and anger, and made me a poet who sings about joy.
If your guidance is your ego, don’t rely on luck for help. you sleep during the day and the nights are short. By the time you wake up your life may be over.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absent-minded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.
Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.
Most people guard against going into the fire, and so end up in it.
My friend, the sufi is the friend of the present moment. To say tomorrow is not our way.
Nightingales are put in cages because their songs give pleasure. Whoever heard of keeping a crow?
No longer a stranger, you listen all day to these crazy love-words. Like a bee you fill hundreds of homes with honey, though yours is a long flight from here.
No mirror ever became iron again; No bread ever became wheat; No ripened grape ever became sour fruit. Mature yourself and be secure from a change for the worse. Become the light.
Only from the heart Can you touch the sky.
Patience is the key to joy.
People of the world don’t look at themselves, and so they blame one another.
Since in order to speak, one must first listen, learn to speak by listening.
That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquility.
The intelligent want self-control; children want candy.
The middle path is the way to wisdom.
The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.
Thirst drove me down to the water where I drank the moon’s reflection.
To praise is to praise how one surrenders to the emptiness.
We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.
We rarely hear the inward music, but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless.
You think the shadow is the substance.
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi (1207-1273) — Turkish Sufi Mystic Poet

Monday, September 03, 2012

Not Till We Are Lost ...

"Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations." ― Henry David Thoreau

I'm putting this here to remind myself to appreciate the journey. I have a tendency to be goal-oriented. Being lost sometimes means a fresh point of view and nothing feels familiar - and that is a great opportunity for learning.

I forget sometimes. A friend of mind reminded me recently, we are not works of perfection, but works in progress - and that felt like so much wisdom.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

All Beings Just Wants to Be Happy

I'm in a kind of mood today. It's a quietude - a little harassed because of work, but still, I sense a stillness within me about some things that used to pain me. I was reading this article on elephantjournal earlier ... and I felt it. It's about pain - it's about acceptance. Everyone who hurts you really just wants to be happy. All the pain they caused, is just a misguided way of trying to be happy. There comes a time, when the pain simmers to a sweetness. You learn maturity - although you may still slip and act up in the future. You learn acceptance, and you see - that the other person is just trying to be happy. And it's ... so human. Forgiveness no longer is an issue then, because you understand. You understand that this is what you do. This is what we do.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Why Twinkies cost more than Carrots?

I have been coming back to cooking my own meals lately. Some of you who read this blog from my early days might remember that I used to be a vegetarian for about six years. I have been eating meat the last three years, and to be honest, I haven't been as healthy as I used to.

It's all water under the bridge, as they say. I can choose to eat healthier any time I want. I just have to make it a priority. Since I returned to my yoga practice, that urge to eat healthier, to add more vegetables to my diet has returned. I just need to find the motivation though. It takes a lot of energy to get up earlier in the morning every day to prepare lunch. Eating out with friends becomes more complicated when I was vegetarian.

But that's digression. What is happening is my thoughts are on food lately. How to cook, what to cook - and what's in our food? I am embarrassed to say I have not read Michael Pollan - I have read about him. But I really respect him for speaking so honestly about food politics as it is. In the video below, he asks a simple question: Why does a package of twinkie cost more than a bunch of carrots? It's all because of government food subsidies. It all goes down to food policies.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Learning Morals through Stories

Coles believes one of the most powerful ways we learn morals is through stories. Literature and poetry bring us deeper knowledge of ourselves, life, and the world. “The whole point of stories is not ‘solutions’ or ‘resolutions,’” he writes in The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination, “but the broadening and even a heightening of our struggles.”

- from Robert Coles and the Moral Life

Sunday, August 12, 2012

From Wild: Fear

It was a deal I'd made with myself months before and the only thing that allowed me to hike alone. I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I ws brave. Nothing could vanquish me. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part, it worked. Every time I heard a sound of unknown origin or felt something horrible cohering in my imagination, I pushed it away. I simply did not let myself becomes afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn't long before I actually wasn't afraid.

- Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

Wait: The Useful Art of Procrastination by Frank Partnoy

Reading this month.

Write up from Brain Pickings here.

Love is Love

This photo of a man holding his dog in the water made its rounds on the internet. I didn't know the full story at first, so it didn't quite stay with me until now. Huffington Post has the story on this.

The dog in the photo, Schoep, has arthritis, a condition that causes him a lot of pain and he has trouble sleeping at night. John Unger, the man in the picture, adopted Schoep when he was just a 2 month old puppy. John realises the buoyancy of the water helps take the pressure off Schoep's arthritic body. This alleviates the dog's pain and helps him sleep. So he brings Schoep out to Lake Superior every day and holds Schoep in the water. There is so much tenderness in this. So much love.

How many people in this world would do this for their dog? How many would do this for another human being?

Love is love. Sometimes I need stories like this to remind me of our human capacity to love another being.

Note from the Photographer:

This 19 year old Shep being cradled in his father’s arms last night in Lake Superior. Shep falls asleep every night when he is carried into the lake. The buoyancy of the water soothes his arthritic bones. Lake Superior is very warm right now, so the temp of the water is perfect.

I was so happy I got to capture this moment for John. By the way, John rescued Shep as an 8 month old puppy, and he’s been by his side through many adventures.

To purchase a print – go here:

If you would like to make a donation to Schoep’s care – you can contact Bay Area Animal Hospital at 715-682-8865 with a credit card number or mail a check to 3601 E Hwy 2 Ashland, WI 54806. All donations are going right into Schoep’s account at the clinic. Thanks!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Just Do Things Differently

"We act out because, ironically, we think it will bring us some relief. We equate it with happiness. Often there is some relief, for the moment. When you have an addiction and you fulfill that addiction, there is a moment in which you feel some relief. Then the nightmare gets worse. So it is with aggression. When you get to tell someone off, you might feel pretty good for a while, but somehow the sense of righteous indignation and hatred grows, and it hurts you. It's as if you pick up hot coals with your bare hands and throw them at your enemy. If the coals happen to hit him he will be hurt. But in the meantime, you are guaranteed to be burned."
- Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron

I am just thinking about how often I act out. Like a child, I act out because of perceived hurt, and I end up damaging the relationships that meant a lot to me. Lately I have been doing better. But you don't always get to go back to undo your mistakes. You just move on and try to do better.

But from time to time, you do look back, and wish things were better, wish you could be allowed a chance to make amends.

Do something different. Continue walking forward, one step at a time. Ignore the distrustful looks, let go of those that remind you of how you screwed up in the past. You cannot undo the past. You can't allow the past to define you. And give up hope of trying to change things. Give up hope that people will see how you have changed and come back in your life.

Just do things differently.

I promise you, it will be worth it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I need this

I find myself slowly falling part today. I am struggling to remember Ani Pema Chodron's teachings, and they came to me, the lojong teachings that I need right now.
Whichever of the two occurs, be patient.
Whatever happens in your life, joyful or painful, do not be swept away by reactivity. Be patient with yourself and don’t lose your sense of perspective.
Train in the three difficulties.
The three difficulties (or, the three difficult practices) are 1) to recognize your neurosis as neurosis, 2) then not to do the habitual thing, but to do something different to interrupt the neurotic habit, and 3) to make this practice a way of life.

Monday, August 06, 2012

How to Keep Good People Close

I was surfing the net last night and came across this blog post by a yoga teacher, on how to keep good people close. This is a subject I have been pondering lately. 2012 has been a transformative year, especially in the areas of my relationship. The post list out a series of practices - because relationships are as much a practice as spirituality:
  1. Use honorifics: Mentally, vocally, written out. I say dear, teacher, darling, etc not for another's benefit but for ME, to sweeten the pot, "to see heaven on earth." Sharon said.
  2. Think/Reflect on the good they have done for others. Dig deep if necessary. Have this in my mind. We cultivate our own perceptions, and choose to perceive the highest around us.
  3. Think/Reflect on the good they have done for ME.
  4. Say "Thank You." Say it mentally, verbally, etc. Acknowledge that someone gave me something. This is all for my own benefit.
  5. Give offerings. Tuition. Gifts. A kind word behind their back. We call this enlightened self-interest. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras say 'When you give, you will never be impoverished."
  6. Take care of things for them anonymously. When we pay attention to others, we'll find many opportunities to make their life a little easier.
  7. Ask your teachers to teach you. Continue to cultivate good seeds with the people who benefit you so they remain in your life. Extend yourself. Don't assume they'll be around forever.
  8. Ask the people you care about to please stay in your life.  Never think another being like them will come along. 
I may not be able to keep those that have left, but let me practice honouring those that are still in my life, and those that will come.

A Reminder To Being

Pain is a great teacher. It sharpens us, so that we truly pay attention to the lessons that need to be learned.

I have always been a do-er, a controller. Someone who has to "fix" things, or have things happen the way I dictate them. In certain context, this has worked for me. In some, it has not.

I am reminded of this song by the Beatles recently, "Let It Be".

The simple task of just "Being" is so painful to me, because I lack trust. I struggle against the flow of life as it comes, because I have difficulty with radical acceptance, with trusting that what I need to know will be unveiled to me when the time is right. My only duty is to show up and do the work - everything else is not my business. Results, the fruit of my labour, is not mine.

I accept the flow of life. I sit with the emotions, and let them be. I am not lost. I am exactly where I am right now, seeing everything with new eyes.

Let It Be.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Gore Vidal and the Greek Book

Gore Vidal's reading list for America. Makes me interested Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War again - a book I keep trying to finish.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Steve McCurry's portraits of reading

Steve McCurry posted a series of photographs of people reading. I love it, and I would totally recommend that you take a look for yourself here. My favourite is the one of Aung San Suu Kyi reading.

Monday, July 16, 2012


“Life is short,
Break the rules.
Forgive quickly,
Kiss slowly,
Love truly.
Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret anything
That makes you smile.”

~ Mark Twain

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to Pema Chodron

14 July is Ani Pema Chodron's birthday. I am grateful to her for her teachings of the dharma. Her teachings carried me through an unpleasant period of my life. It has taught me some things about my delusions about my practice (or my neglect of my practice).

May all beings be happy.

I leave everyone with this little anecdote from Pema Chodron. It's about karma, and every time I struggle through the little difficulties in life, I find this story helpful:

I remember my first interview with my teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche very well because I was hesitant to talk to him about what was really the problem in my life. Instead, I wasted the whole interview chattering. Every once in a while he said, "How's your meditation?" and I said, "Oh, fine," and then just chattered on. When it was almost over I blurted out, in the last half-second, "I'm having this terrible time and I'm full of anger."

Rinpoche walked me to toward the door and said, "Well, what that feels like is a big wave that comes along and knocks you down. You find yourself lying in the bottom of the ocean with your face in the sand, and even though all the sand is going up your nose and into your mouth and your eyes and your ears, you stand up and you begin walking again. The next wave comes and knocks you down. The waves just keep coming, but each time you get knocked down, you stand up and keep walking. After a while, you'll find that the waves appear to be getting smaller."

That's how karma works. If you keep lying there, you'll drown, but you don't even have the privilege of dying. You just live with the sense of drowning all the time. So don't get discouraged and think, "Well, I was feeling depressed and I was hiding under the covers, but then I got out of bed, I took a shower. How come I'm not living in a Disney movie now? I thought I was going to turn into Snow White. How come I'm not living happily ever after?" The waves keep coming and knocking you down, but you stand up again and with some sense of rousing yourself. As Rinpoche said, "After a while, you find that the waves seem to be getting smaller." That's really what happens.

~ From "Wisdom of No Escape", Pema Chodron

Friday, July 13, 2012

Witness Love

My mom has corns on her feet. A few nights ago, I saw my dad prepare a basin of warm water for my mom to soak her feet. IThe warm water softens up the corns, which makes it easier for my dad when he helps cut away the corns on my mom's feet.

It's not the most pleasant thing to talk about, but it's a very raw, human thing to do. We cut out nails, we scratch ourselves, we cut our corns. In its simplicity, it's a very honest moment of being in touch with our humanity.

Why do I share this? Because it’s one of those times when I see what marriage means. What love means. Not the text messages sent over FB or flowers or diamonds. It’s someone you love staying by your side when you are losing your mind. It’s getting down to help you with the icky stuff in life, like helping you with your corns.

I think about how one day my dad might have to help my mom with diapers and other stuff, and it makes me cry – what it means to grow old, and have someone who will stay by your side through it all. I want that.

And yeah, I love my dad.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Someone That I Used to Know

At some points in my life, I kept replaying some songs over a long period, weeks, sometimes months. Then one day, I stop. The interest waned. Or perhaps the soundtrack to my state of mind has changed tracks, and I needed something else instead.

I was in a relationship last year. It started off happy, then grew strange, angry and toxic. I wish I could say I was blameless. I am certain my story isn't going to match hers. Who is to say who has the truer version? Truth is your side, my side, and something in the middle.

Right now, this seems like the soundtrack of the month (s). Gotye got it right with the two sided story of a relationship. Two people that came together, were happy, then it was over, with some bitterness, some cruelty - and blame. Blame is the human instinct to relieve discomfort.

I think about the part sang by Kimbra sometimes:

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
Part of me believing it was always something that I’d done
But I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know…

It is my version as much as it is her. We believe the other party screwed us over. Who is right? I don't know. I will insist I am right, but I know my point of view is biased.

I hope you are at peace and in a good place.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I have just finished reading Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother?. Now - I really enjoyed her last book, Fun Home, which is a memoir of a sort about her dad, a closeted homosexual who possibly killed himself. Are you My Mother? now deals with her relationship with her mother - and it's bloated, and someone uneven. I didn't really enjoy it, although there were some funny moments. Not really going to think too much about it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The 100 Most Celebrated Travel Books

This blog started a lot time ago as my blog about reading. Then I started doing yoga, learning more about the dharma, and the blog became a kind of spiritual exploration through blogging. It's been a long journey since those fine days. I lost myself for a while. Had my heart broken twice. Now I'm starting to come back to myself again. Some things feel familiar. Some things feel different. I need to let go how it is supposed to feel, and just be.

But I do like coming back to the little things that I loved - I guess I still love them. I haven't really had a chance to travel recently - or read. Then I came across this list of The 100 Most Celebrated Travel Books. I might have read it some time back (who knows?) But right here, right now, it made me want to start drawing up a reading list, and working through the list again. I used to do that every year with my 100 Books to Read Lists.

What the hell? Let's just start.

1) A Dragon Apparent, by Norman Lewis
2) A House in Bali, by Colin McPhee
3) A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
4) A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, by Eric Newby
5) A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor
6) A Turn in the South, by V.S. Naipaul
7) A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
8) A Winter in Arabia, by Freya Stark
9) Among the Russians, by Colin Thubron
10) An Area of Darkness, by V.S. Naipaul
11) Arabian Sands, by Wilfred Thesiger
12) Arctic Dreams, by Barry Lopez
13) The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton
14) As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, by Laurie Lee
15) Baghdad Without a Map, by Tony Horwitz
16) Balkan Ghosts, by Robert D. Kaplan
17) Beyond Euphrates, by Freya Stark
18) The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer, by Eric Hansen
19) Bitter Lemons of Cyprus, by Lawrence Durrell
20) Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, by Rebecca West
21) Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin
22) Blue Highways, by William Least Heat-Moon
23) Brazilian Adventure, by Peter Fleming
24) Chasing the Sea, by Tom Bissell
25) City of Djinns, by William Dalrymple
26) Coasting, by Jonathan Raban
27) Coming Into the Country, by John McPhee
28) Dark Star Safari, by Paul Theroux
29) Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey
30) Down the Nile, by Rosemary Mahoney
31) Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
32) The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe
33) Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing
34) Facing the Congo, by Jeffrey Tayler
35) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson
36) Four Corners, by Kira Salak
37) Full Circle, by Michael Palin
38) Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, by Dervla Murphy
39) Golden Earth, by Norman Lewis
40) Great Plains, by Ian Frazier
41) The Great Railway Bazaar, by Paul Theroux
42) Holidays in Hell, by P.J. O’Rourke
43) Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell
44) Hunting Mister Heartbreak, by Jonathan Raban
45) In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson
46) In Patagonia, by Bruce Chatwin
47) In Siberia, by Colin Thubron
48) In Trouble Again, by Redmond O’Hanlon
49) The Innocents Abroad, by Mark Twain
50) Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer
51) Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer
52) Iron and Silk, by Mark Salzman
53) Kon-Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl
54) The Lady and the Monk, by Pico Iyer
55) Life on the Mississippi, by Mark Twain
56) The Log From the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck
57) The Long Walk, by Slavomir Rawicz
58) The Lost Continent, by Bill Bryson
59) Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, by Suketu Mehta
60) The Motorcycle Diaries, by Ernesto “Che” Guevara
61) The Muses Are Heard, by Truman Capote
62) No Mercy, by Redmond O’Hanlon
63) Notes From a Small Island, by Bill Bryson
64) Nothing to Declare, by Mary Morris
65) Old Glory, by Jonathan Raban
66) The Old Patagonian Express, by Paul Theroux
67) Out of Africa, by Isak Dinesen
68) Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard
69) The Pillars of Hercules, by Paul Theroux
70) The Places in Between, by Rory Stewart
71) Riding to the Tigris, by Freya Stark
72) The Rings of Saturn, by W.G. Sebald
73) The River at the Center of the World, by Simon Winchester
74) River Town, by Peter Hessler
75) Road Fever, by Tim Cahill
76) The Road to Oxiana, by Robert Byron
77) Roughing It, by Mark Twain
78) Sea and Sardinia, by D.H. Lawrence
79) Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer
80) The Sex Lives of Cannibals, by J. Maarten Troost
81) The Size of the World, by Jeff Greenwald
82) Slowly Down the Ganges, by Eric Newby
83) The Snow Leopard, by Peter Matthiessen
84) The Soccer War, by Ryszard Kapuscinski
85) The Songlines, by Bruce Chatwin
86) Terra Incognita, by Sara Wheeler
87) Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue, by Paul Bowles
88) Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson
89) Travels With Charley, by John Steinbeck
90) Travels With Myself and Another, by Martha Gellhorn
91) Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere, by Jan Morris
92) Two Towns in Provence, by M.F.K. Fisher
93) Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes
94) Video Night in Kathmandu, by Pico Iyer
95) West With the Night, by Beryl Markham
96) When the Going was Good, by Evelyn Waugh
97) The World of Venice, by Jan Morris
98) The Worst Journey in the World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
99) Wrong About Japan, by Peter Carey
100) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi Nobel Peace Prize Speech

Transcript of her speech here.

"A positive aspect of living in isolation was that I had ample time in which to ruminate over the meaning of words and precepts that I had known and accepted all my life. As a Buddhist, I had heard about dukha, generally translated as suffering, since I was a small child. Almost on a daily basis elderly, and sometimes not so elderly, people around me would murmur “dukha, dukha” when they suffered from aches and pains or when they met with some small, annoying mishaps. However, it was only during my years of house arrest that I got around to investigating the nature of the six great dukha. These are: to be conceived, to age, to sicken, to die, to be parted from those one loves, to be forced to live in propinquity with those one does not love. I examined each of the six great sufferings, not in a religious context but in the context of our ordinary, everyday lives. If suffering were an unavoidable part of our existence, we should try to alleviate it as far as possible in practical, earthly ways. I mulled over the effectiveness of ante- and post-natal programmes and mother and childcare; of adequate facilities for the aging population; of comprehensive health services; of compassionate nursing and hospices. I was particularly intrigued by the last two kinds of suffering: to be parted from those one loves and to be forced to live in propinquity with those one does not love. What experiences might our Lord Buddha have undergone in his own life that he had included these two states among the great sufferings? I thought of prisoners and refugees, of migrant workers and victims of human trafficking, of that great mass of the uprooted of the earth who have been torn away from their homes, parted from families and friends, forced to live out their lives among strangers who are not always welcoming."

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I have been asking around for possible rental places recently. Friends have offered to help me find a new place to stay. I thought a bit more about this, and I realize how much more significant this decision to find a new place meant for me.

Relationship between my dad and I have deteriorated lately. My mom’s early on-set dementia has challenged all of us – but most of all, my dad. I still remember how I was depressed two years ago, because of my mom, and compounded by unemployment. I would wake up in the morning and just couldn’t bring myself out of bed. I am a lot better these days, and I refuse to go back to that dark place.

I have been putting some things in place over the last few months to change things positively in my life. What I have learnt about real change over the years is this: Real change is subtle and we may not always sense that we are changing within until one day, we notice how we are responding differently to certain things.

I am thankful for the positive changes in my life. I recognize that when I started looking for a rental place, it isn’t about escaping the situation in my life. What it really is, is that I have begun to see possibilities in my life. I have stopped seeing myself as powerless against difficult situations. What I am doing is creating space for myself away from the negativity. It is the ultimate compassion I can extend to myself.

I am thankful for this recognition.

I am thankful for this teaching from Pema Chodron, and find something that reaffirms my intention. Just keep moving. Just keep taking care of yourself in a real way. I can see how I am now less concerned about my career, and just working to try my best to learn, to do a good job. I am less concern about what others will think of me. My job is just to do my best, and to love honestly. Whether or not they love me back, while it may hurt sometimes, isn’t important.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chocolate Making Class

I had the opportunity to try my hand at making chocolate today. It was something new, and I am glad I did it.

We worked in teams, and one of my team mates laughed because every time one of the chocolate pieces get mangled or we crush the shell, I just go "Oh well", then I pop it straight into my mouth.

It's a lovely thing, where it's ok to make mistakes. You can just eat it. That's what I love about cooking - it's ok to make mistakes. No one will die. It's not brain surgery. You can just eat your mistakes (most of the time). Every mistake is an opportunity to learn. Yes, this applies everywhere, but let us try to avoid mistakes for brain surgeries, okay?

Our instructor was the lovely Chef Judy, who showed by step by step the different processes of making the chocolates in the photo above. But when I took most from the class, was the story she shared with us.

Chef Judy shared that she helped craft the tallest chocolate sculpture in 2008, with two other chef. One of them, she told us, was a Belgian chef who used to own a shop that sold beautiful artisan chocolates. Her friend would work on each chocolate by hand, pain-stakingly crafting each piece. The sad reality is, when it comes to production, it was difficult to compete with chocolate factories that could mass produce chocolate way faster. While the Belgian chef put in a lot of heart into his chocolate, yet when it comes to market forces, we seem to prefer the soulless mass produced chocolate. The shop isn't around anymore.

This has been something I have always wondered about cooking, or any other kind of art. The handcrafted art versus mass produced copies. What happened to the days when we used to appreciate the heart and soul that goes into making something beautiful? And how sad it is, that we make choices that drive these heart works out of existence. We get what we deserve, if we don't know how to appreciate the finer things in life needs effort, and deserves the time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Don’t try to undo the past or the present, but you just accept where you are and work from there

In human life, if you feel that you have made a mistake, you don’t try to undo the past or the present, but you just accept where you are and work from there. Tremendous openness as to where you are is necessary. This also applies to the practice of meditation, for instance. A person should learn to meditate on the spot, in the given moment, rather than thinking, “. . . When I reach pension age, I’m going to retire and receive a pension, and I’m going to build my house in Hawaii or the middle of India, or maybe the Gobi Desert, and THEN I’m going to enjoy myself. I’ll live a life of solitude and then I’ll really meditate.” Things never happen that way.

— Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Transcending Madness

Monday, June 18, 2012

Everybody's got a story to tell: Keanu Reeves

This guy reading the newspaper on the subway is Keanu Reeves.

He was from a problematic family. His father was arrested when he was 12 for drug dealing and his mother was a stripper. His family moved to Canada and there he had several step dads.

He watched his girlfriend die. They were about to get married, but she died in a car accident. Before that she had lost her baby. Since then Keanu avoids serious relationships and having kids.

He is one of the only Hollywood stars without a mansion. He said: 'I live in a flat, I have everything that I need at anytime, why choose an empty house?'

One of his best friends died by overdose, he was River Phoenix (Joaquin Phoenix's brother). About the same year Keanu's father was arrested again.

His younger sister had leukemia. Today she is cured, and he donated 70% of his gains from the movie Matrix to hospitals that treat leukemia.

On one of his birthdays, he went into a little candy shop, bought himself a cake, and started eating alone. If a fan walked by he would talk to them and offer some of the cake.

He doesn't have bodyguards. He doesn't wear fancy clothes.

When they asked him about 'Sad Keanu', he replied: 'You need to be happy to live, I don't.'"

Everybody's got a story to tell. Sometimes it's a really sad one, like his.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Now Reading: Eat & Run

Now reading: Eat & Run by Scott Jurek with Steve Friedman.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

This Is How We Love Each Other

This Is How We Love Each Other

Line 20 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra reads:

sraddha (faith) virya (energy/strength) smrti (memory) samadhirpajna (integration) purvaka (something preceded by)

Continuity of practice. This is how we love each other. We fail again and again because we can’t love each other unconditionally. We slip, we fall back and forget. But because of our practice, we’re not hard on ourselves. We fail, and our failures are ok. They can also be embraced with space and curiosity.

When difficult feelings surface perhaps you can begin to trust that your practice can take care of what is arising, of what is happening in your life. This faith (sraddha) gives you enthusiasm for this practice, though too much enthusiasm is not the best quality either. You know how you go to parties sometimes and there’s someone demonstrating yoga poses? You don’t need to become that person. Or there’s the person who comes to the sit for the first time, and the next week they arrive with their family in tow.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village is a retreat destination each year for a particular couple, though the woman is not keen to go. The husband says to Thich Nhat Hanh, “My wife doesn’t like being here.” He replies, “I can tell.” The husband continues, “She just wants to be on a beach for her vacation.” Thich Nhat Hanh replies, “I think you should go to the beach.”

When there’s energy and enthusiasm (virya) in your practice you can practice smrti (memory) – to remember what’s important. And together energy, enthusiasm and memory give rise to samadhi: the connective tissue of integration. These five movements are circular. All of this you can watch through your breathing, and through your relations with others.

~ excerpt from How We Love Each Other

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cruel Love

"We are not mad, we are human, we want to love, and someone must forgive us for the paths we take to love, for the paths are many and dark, and we are ardent and cruel in our journey."

~ Leonard Cohen

Sunday, May 27, 2012

"...But you learn to dance with the limp"

“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

― Anne Lamott

Now Reading: Fierce Medicine

Learning to be a spiritual warrior, from Ana Forrest's Fierce Medicine.

Courage to Continue

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
~ Babe Ruth

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
~ Winston Churchill

Pure and simple: I am not perfect. I am human, with my issues and insecurities. But the best part of me isn't that I do no wrong. In fact, I make mistakes, and sometimes I keep making them over and over. But one of the best thing about me is that I get up. I keep trying, sometimes futilely, but I keep trying with my heart, with good intentions. I just need to let go of the results, and just work with good intentions, and right actions.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


“You cannot save people. You can only love them.”

~ Anaïs Nin

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All we need to do is be willing to forgive. The Universe will take care of the hows

"The very person you find it hardest to forgive is the one you need to let go of the most. Forgiveness means letting go. It has nothing to do with condoning behavior, it's just letting the whole thing go. We do not have to know how to forgive. All we need to do is be willing to forgive. The Universe will take care of the hows."

- Louise Hay

Flat Tire is also Part of the Journey

There is a problem in thinking that you are supposed to be advancing in your practice all the time. You don’t have to constantly be on the road. If you have a flat tire, that is also part of the journey. Ambition makes you feel that you are not doing anything. There seems to be a hypnotic quality to ambition and speed, so that you feel that you are standing still just because you want to go so fast. You might actually be getting close to your goal.
~ Chogyam Trungpa

Well, flat tire fixed. Time to move on.

Sometimes - actually, many, many, many times, it feels like I'm not moving anywhere on my practice. In fact, often it feels like I'm going backwards. I don't know if the "flat tire" is really part of the journey, and if I am actually getting close to my goal - if there's any. I just know that I need to continue going in the right direction, no matter how much the people around me mock me. No matter how they tell me I have not changed. I'm not doing this for them, although in a paradoxical way, I am. I am doing this for myself, although paradoxically, it doesn't work if the motivation is selfish.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"Unashamed Desire" by Missy Higgins

New Single from Missy Higgins' new album, The Ol' Razzle Dazzle - "Unashamed Desire"

I've been playing this song on a loop lately. The lyrics captivates me, like a declaration of authenticity - I am real, I will not be ashamed of my desires. I am not afraid to love. I yearn for this proud honesty about certain aspects of my own life.

Empty all my pockets and take what you like
Empty all my pockets if you like
I've got nothing to hide
Empty all my pockets and take what you like
Empty all my pockets if you like
I've got nothing to hide

My unashamed desire
is an open fire
Unashamed desire

Open up my chest and take what you like
Open up my chest if you like
I've got nothing to hide
Cut open my heart and turn on the light
Cut open my heartache if you like
I've got nothing to hide

My unashamed desire
is an open fire
Unashamed desire
And I'm not afraid to love
Not afraid to love
Unashamed desire

We get one sweet moment in the arms of youth
I don't wanna waste time holding down the truth
I've got everything to win and only pain to lose
This is my
Unashamed desire
Unashamed desire
Unashamed desire
Unashamed desire
And I'm not afraid to love
Not afraid to love
Unashamed desire…

The Invitation by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved

Friday, May 18, 2012

Clean Up After Ourselves

Being tidy and meticulous is the Buddhist message—meticulous in cleaning your oryoki bowls, meticulous in how you walk, meticulous in how you treat your clothing and your household articles. We can’t get away with being sloppy; we have to introduce the principle of tidiness more and more into our lives. When economic chaos or family chaos takes place, apart from obvious issues of economic mismanagement, marital problems, or emotional problems, we find that domestic details have not been taken care of. There are cockroaches running all over; there is never enough toilet tissue; the toilet bowls are overflowing; and the dishes are not washed. All those problems come from a careless attitude. It is predictable. But when we clean up after ourselves, according to exactly the same principles we follow in oryoki, we have nothing to blame. When we begin to live our lives in that way, cleaning up after ourselves, what is left is further vision and further openness, which leads to cleaning up the rest of the world.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Article: Power of Intention by Sharon Salzberg

One day as my teacher, John Friend, was demonstrating a pose, he made an awkward-looking movement, then rebalanced. Coming out of it he asked, "What just happened?" One by one, my classmates offered a Sanskrit name for that extra little twist. Finally, John turned to me and repeated his question, "What just happened?" I replied, "To be honest, I think you fell." "You're right," he said. "I fell. Then I started over. That's good yoga."


Sunday, May 13, 2012


Been going through a crisis of faith lately. Trying to see that everything happens for a reason, but a part of me keeps wanting to do something to change things. My habitual patterns are stirring again, I can feel them coming on. I need faith, to believe things fall out of my life for a reason, so that better things can come in.

Sometimes we have enough awareness to catch our patterns, but the challenge remains in coping with them.

My readings are turning more inward these days. Probably less time for fiction. It feels like I have been walking in a fog the last four years, and I only just woke up. I am less sure of myself these days. Not even sure if I am really the good person that I am. I seem to just keep hurting the people I care about. My best laid plans just don't pan out the way I wanted them to.

Start over.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

POEM | Love After Love by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

The last few weeks were spent with friends. Good friends, the kind that you share laughters with. I love them, and they love me too. The strangeness, of being with friends again, that seems to be leading me back to myself. The strangeness of slowly realising, though I have known it for a while, that I had been choosing not to participate in my own life.

Friday, April 06, 2012

POEM | Failing and Flying

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

~ Jack Gilbert

POEM | Orpheus in Greenwich Village Orpheus in Greenwich Village

What if Orpheus,
confident in the hard-
found mastery,
should go down into Hell?
Out of the clean light down?
And then, surrounded
by the closing beasts
and readying his lyre,
should notice, suddenly,
they had no ears?

~ Jack Gilbert

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Aloneness - Audrey Hepburn

"I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel."

~ Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

no help for that / Charles Bukowski

there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled

a space

and even during the
best moments
the greatest

we will know it

we will know it
more than

there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled


we will wait

in that

~ You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense, 1986

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

"What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?"

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine, "What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?"

This was his answer

"To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour."
William Blake

"We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."
~ Carl Sagan

Monday, March 05, 2012

We do not know our own souls

You ever have one of those moments when there's a quote in your head, and you don't know where to find it. But you can't sleep until you find it? Well, this is one of those moments, but thankfully I still have the book where I first found it. From Virginia Woolf, "The Moment" and Other Essays:
"We do not know our own souls, let alone the souls of others. Human beings do not go hand in hand the whole stretch of the way. There is a virgin forest in each; a snowfield where even the print of birds' feet is unknown. Here we go alone, and like it better so. Always to have sympathy, always to be accompanied, always to be understood would be intolerable. But in health the genial pretence must be kept up, and the effort renewed -- to communicate, to civilise, to share, to cultivate the desert, to educate the native, to work together by day and by night to sport. In illness thus make-believe ceases."

I do not know why I was suddenly so obsessed with finding this quote. I know that it has been a while since I have written anything on this blog. However, something major came to a close recently, and while there is great sadness, there is also a sense of relief, like a chapter has been closed somehow.

So the question remains: What now?

It is now time for reflection. I need silence and solitude.


“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip, or you talk with Richard, and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death.”

~ Anais Nin

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

The suffering was the path

We should look at our suffering in such a way that the suffering can become a positive thing. Of course you have made some mistakes. You have been unskillful. All of us are the same. We always make mistakes. We are very often unskillful. But that does not prevent us from improving, from beginning anew, from transforming. The Buddha said that if you have not suffered, there is no way you can learn. If the Buddha has arrived at full enlightenment, that is just because he had suffered a lot. The suffering was the path that helped him to arrive at full enlightenment, at full compassion, at full understanding.

-Thich Nhat Hanh--

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

One of my favourite scene from "Eat, Pray, Love"

It spoke to me during a moment of my life. That it's possible to be hurting, and still allow love.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Instructions for Life by The Dalai Lama

Ask The Dalai Lama a Question
Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
Follow the three R’s:
- Respect for self,
- Respect for others and
- Responsibility for all your actions.
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
Spend some time alone every day.
Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and
think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
Be gentle with the earth.
Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

SPOKEN WORD | Leonard Cohen's A Thousand Kisses Deep

Don’t matter if the road is long
Don’t matter if it’s steep
Don’t matter if the moon is gone
And the darkness is complete
Don’t matter if we lose our way
It’s written that we’ll meet
At least, that’s what I heard you say
A thousand kisses deep

I loved you when you opened
Like a lily to the heat
You see, I’m just another snowman
Standing in the rain and sleet
Who loved you with his frozen love
His second hand physique
With all he is and all he was
A thousand kisses deep

I know you had to lie to me
I know you had to cheat
You learned it on your father’s knee
And at your mother’s feet
But did you have to fight your way
Across the burning street
When all our vital interests lay
A thousand kisses deep

I’m turning tricks
I’m getting fixed
I’m back on boogie street
I’d like to quit the business
But I’m in it, so to speak
The thought of you is peaceful
And the file on you complete
Except what I forgot to do
A thousand kisses deep

Don’t matter if you’re rich and strong
Don’t matter if you’re weak
Don’t matter if you write a song
The nightingales repeat
Don’t matter if it’s nine to five
Or timeless and unique
You ditch your life to stay alive
A thousand kisses deep

The ponies run
The girls are young
The odds are there to beat
You win a while, and then it’s done
Your little winning streak
And summon now to deal with your invincible defeat
You live your life as if it’s real
A thousand kisses deep

I hear their voices in the wine
That sometimes did me seek
The band is playing Auld Lang Syne
But the heart will not retreat
There’s no forsaking what you love
No existential leap
As witnessed here in time and blood
A thousand kisses deep