Thailand 2005 - February
Space is my canvas, light is my paint...
A night of creative expression most enjoyed.
I am realizing some of the factors that make being here such a different reality.
1) Time: there seems to be more of it, but it goes by faster. (see below)
2) Everyone here is young, tan, relatively healthy, and on vacation.
3) The general attitude is calm, relaxed and one of celebration.
3) There are no cars, streets, telephones or TV's. What a concept!
4) There is no cold weather, and I am surrounded in beauty.
5) I don't have any bills to pay, or car to maintain.
6) I never have to cook, do dishes or laundry.
This life is open to everyone. Just imagine...
I have a theory about
First of all, it's an illusion, upheld by the limitations of our linear mind. Our experience of time is flexible. The slower you move, (ie. taking it easy here) the faster you perceive time to pass. The faster you move (ie running around all day) the slower you perceive time to pass.
To experience this, you can do an experiment: Have someone time you for 60 seconds, 3 different times with a few minutes in between, like when you are trying to clean the house. First move as slowly as possible, then for the next one, move as quickly as possible, then for the third one, don't move at all. Note your experience of time.
This theory carries
into the time space continuum:
The more space you pass through (ie. flying across the globe in 1 day), the more time seems to pass. For example, arriving in Thailand after a 24 hr. journey, one cant possibly imagine that only yesterday you were back in your shoes and socks at the point where you left. I have only been gone about 3 weeks, but it feels like Santa Cruz is only a distant dream.
So the question remains:
Are you and I perceiving the same present moment, or is there a gap.
Yes, because ultimately there is only 1 eternal moment where all things happen. This is where we meet...
(assuming you free yourself from the illusion and withdraw your perspective from the mental past and future.)
Can you tell that Daniella and I are deeply connected? This is probably part of what she is learning at her meditation retreat. I am looking forward to her return...
Echkart Tolle has been a great inspiration for living in the moment.
I have really enjoyed
hanging out with my new friend Shawn from Eugene Oregon.
He just finished the 7 day complete cleanse and feels amazing.
It’s been awhile. I have really been enjoying time to myself to just come home after work and do nothing. I never had the time to do that in Santa Cruz. I came here to work with people more and I am to the point where I don't want to be around people after work, with the exception of one special person. I am really looking forward to Daniela’s return. And to hear about her experience. This time has really given me the space to realize just how much I appreciate her. (Hopefully she is feeling the same). On Valentines Day we will celebrate 3 years of living together.
I am having a real resistance to doing any web design work at the moment.
I am just trying to find the balance at the Wellness Center. It’s set up in such a way that everyone who goes through the program has the same questions which I am answering over and over. I am in the process of creating better print material that contains all the answers to the general questions. For those of you who know it, we are using the Arise and Shine program. That will leave me more time to here about everyone’s specific health questions and emotional elements to the cleanse.
Yesterday was the most stressful day here so far. We ran out of water so we had to cancel all the morning colonics, and had a hard time washing the dishes. It is now dry season and the last wet season wasn't very wet. Luckily we have a well, but need to run the pump at key times as to not make too much noise. 4 people came in from a distance just to do colonics. (I show people how to use the equipment, but it is self administered). They weren't too happy that we had no water. Someplace near by there was some kind of temporary sewage leak, which made quite a stink. (its fixed now). Then there is 25 people (which is max capacity) asking me to design the colors of their poop. Did I mention that 2 of our 7 staff left at short notice for a week? Its a bit crazy. Things should be better today.
Forest and I did a little fire show on the rocks next to one of the most popular restaurants the other night. (Bamboo hut) It was fun, but a bit challenging on the rough slanted rocks. Of course it’s not the same with out Bella. The crowd seemed to enjoy it. We are scheduled to perform at a wedding here at the sanctuary in March.
New Years Eve Photos: I just finally uploaded a photo gallery from this last new years party in San Francisco where Daniella and Samantha danced beautifully on the main stage while our friends Mystic Vibration played and Matt painted. There must have been a few thousand people at the party. What a goddess! Here is Matts Art site that I created.
Daniella: (you may have got this in an e-mail, photos coming soon):
Hello beautiful people.....
So about on month ago I returned from my first 10 day Vipassana Meditation Experience at a Buddist Monastery on the mainland of southern Thailand. I have finally finished journaling my retreat experience and I am feeling so at peace and inspired. For those of you who may not know, Vipassana means "insight" literally translated to mean "clear seeing". The entire retreat is done in silence and meditating instruction and doing lots of meditation in beautiful place surrounded by nature and all it's wonder and mystery is how I lived for 10 days.
We got two veggetarian meals a day (breakfast and lunch) and tea for dinner.
Got up before dawn at 4am and started meditating at 4:30 with the group of about 160 people, then off to do some yoga....yes yoga...usually this isn't part of a Vipassana Retreat but they gave us about 1hour and15 minutes every morning to move our bodies(this was a big seller for me!) This was done at 5:15 every morning and I wasn't sure how I would do getting up so early every day but It was the highlight for me! Right when yoga finished, I would quietly walk back to the meditation hall as the beautiful orange and red orb of light would rise above the trees greeting us with it's raise of warmth as all the beautiful and most intriguing sounds of the jungle would sing as if in a huge orchestra celebrating together the birth of a new day.
I really enjoyed getting up before the sun...a very very magical time of day...and I had the most amazing yoga sessions with myself.....
The various meditation practices we used were concentration meditation where you focus on one object to meditate on(the breath), Loving Kindness Meditation(this really resonated hugely for me) and meditating on "Impermanence of all things" (this was also very powerful)
So living at a Buddist Monastery we had to observe and follow some general guidelines...for instance...being covered from the shoulders to the knees wearing loose fitting clothing, no jewelry, no make-up(not hard for me...-ok except maybe my glitter), men and women were gender segregated in two separate dormitories, in the dining hall and in meditation hall. We were allowed to make eye contact, smiling was encouraged, and walking and standing meditation were part of our daily practice. We had darma talks and meditation instruction every day by the monks who lived there as well as some of the western people who volunteered who have been a part of the monastery for years.
So there's some of the logistics of my stay...now here's the real juice of what went on inside of me.....
Initially I was excited to be there as it has been something I have wanted to do for some time now but that excitement quickly changed into what I would say as one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life as well as one of the BEST. I am one who has always been independant and love to find time alone and just hang out with myself and do my own thing so I thought this aspect of myself would make things easier.
It was an ego shattering, humbling experience to begin with as I have been teaching meditation practices in my yoga classes from my training at Mount Madonna but had not done alot myself to really know what it was really about...I quickly learned how difficult it is to sit and try to quiet the mind....what a mess...I got to really see how active and absolutely all over the place it is! I had an awareness already of how busy my mind was previously but so was my body and my life so it made sense to me why I was "thinking" so much. But when you take away all obligations, possesions, and put yourself in nature and relax your body and your life...your mind just keeps going at the same crazy speed and you get to watch a show of all the drama the mind loves to create, the drama it loves to create, and how easily it gets bored, attached to pleasure, people, places, material objects....the list goes on and on....
And you can't run away....you think about leaving about 5 times a day and think to yourself this is hell...I felt way better before I came here...but the truth of the matter is...if you leave you are only running away from yourself..all your shit and all your so called problems will folllow...it's like trying to run away from your shadow....impossible.
So I was left to sit and face it all....experiencing very painful and difficult moments mixed in with trying to surrender and let go intermingled with periods, however brief, of sheer and utter bliss and a grounded and peaceful sense of being.
Meditation is the work of controling the mind rather than running around being controlled by the mind.....it's a practice our western culture does not implement and so imbarking on meditating is like any other activity we have no practice in....it's an untrained muscle...so to speak..just like you can't really expect someone trying yoga for the first time to contort their body into crazy positions...it's untrained...so is the mind...so practicing meditation is exercising and untrained part of us...not easy.....at all....but! amazingly, transformative work...
I felt the potential of so much peace and less suffering from this 10 day retreat that I have kept my medtation practice up ever since...getting up early starting my day with pranayama then some meditation and then asana...it is such a wonderful way for me to start my days....
So would I do it again? Absolutely....thinking about is sooner than later actually....they say the second time is much different...we'll have to see....
On my way back to my island life riding buses and boats I saw monks walking along the city streets dressed in their orange robes walking so peacefully so present. I felt I understood them more or at least regard them now differently than I had before.I have a clearer understanding of where they are coming from whereas before they were more mysterious beings wandering around the streets, draped in golden cloth holding empty silver bowls in their hands waiting patiently for someone to fill it with food and walked with such profound presence as they treaded lightly on the earth.
I have a deep deep respect for the path they have chosen to follow. It is not an easy path and a path most would never dream of taking. I admire their dedication to spiritual life and courage to leave behind everything in this world that the majority of us depend on and attach to...
So there's my nutshell experience....hope all is well with everyone...I think of you all and miss you very much!!!
Lots of love love love to you all....
Sweet folks - Shane and Mora
We did a liver/gall stone purge cleanse for the 4th time in our lives. Still had some stones to get rid of. Its painless, but still a challenging cleanse. Here is the .doc info file if you want to try it. Its the best thing you can do for your body. Below are the gall stones that we are no longer carrying. They photos are different scales. Bella's and my stones were about the same size (like kidney beans). Her's were beautiful.
Bella's beautiful iris before the cleanse. Note the stress rings... those should be gone soon.
The advanture continues in March...
Here is our address in thailand: