I am le tired. It is monday morning, but here goes:
Goals from last week:
- Eat 100% Organic (except sunday)
- Work on house.
- Hindu learning
- More country research – get at a minimum of 5 countries knocked off my list to research.
- 24 hours without my iphone.
- Sunday seminar.
How did I do?
Eating 100% organic, well, it doesn’t take much to fail this one! I failed. Although all my groceries were organic, I still bought a cheese pie, Jen made some delicious cakes and cupcakes this week, and of course I was forced to fill my face with the sweet sweet goodness. I think I will survive though, overall I did fairly well.
House work. I am pretty much a lumberjack handyman that only wears flannel and smell only of the outdoors and mountain tops. Or at least that is how I felt when I was sanding, cleaning and plastering the holes of the spare room this week. I was away for a bit on the weekend, but this week I will finish up and get it painted up and all done.
Learn me some Hindu. For this, I was hoping to have a good conversation with an old lab mate who is a practicing Hindu, however our schedules didn’t align. I did, however, get a book from the library and massacred it. I’m really really curious and intrigued by Hinduism.
I don’t even know if I would call it a religion. Well, I guess I would. But to me, so far, it seems almost more similar to Buddhism than to the Abrahamic religions, in the sense that it seems more like a philosophy than a religion. One of the reasons that I find it so interesting is that many of its beliefs are congruent with science, from astrophysics to quantum mechanics, it is really something to consider.
It is also extremely peaceful, and is very introspective and internal. It jives quite well with other Western philosophies that I have been exposed to thus far, and also addresses epistemological and metaphysical perspectives that I already share.
One interesting tidbit I would like to share to anyone who reads this, is something that I found quite interesting. It is related to reincarnation, and the ability to maintain your consciousness (and memories) as your soul goes from one body and on to the next. Apparently the Egyptian book of the dead, the Tibetan book of the dead, and some Gnostic ‘Christian’ books as well, had instructions and key phrases to memorize and repeat that would instruct and aid someone through the process of death to maintain their consciousness, such that their consciousness remained through this process, and also through the rebirth of the ‘soul’ into the new body.
Apparently this exists in Hinduism as well, and has been practiced for thousands of years. An example of which would be the repetition of certain words or mantras.
Why is this interesting to me? Well it appears to be alarmingly similar to some of the strategies to become able to perform lucid dreaming. The idea behind lucid dreaming, through questioning yourself if you are awake or not throughout the day (wake/sleep checks), or through wake induced lucid dreaming where you maintain your consciousness and your stream of thought as your body falls asleep is almost EXACTLY congruent with what I have read about the ability to maintain your consciousness/memory as you move from one life to another. Quite interesting.
Anyway, I have found a plethora of truly interesting things so far. Learning about Hinduism is both greatly pleasant, but also intensely stimulating. It is quite an enjoyable experience so far.
Researching countries is hard work!
I did this non stop all week. Pretty much every single week night, once I got home, I was online doing research. I wanted to get 5 countries done, but despite the number of hours I put in, I couldn’t get all 5 done. There is a great reason for this, and that reasons name is…Indonesia!
So I was able to adequately research Papua New Guinea (gonna be bad ass), Malaysia, Philippines, and part of Vietnam (to be finished later). But Indonesia, oh me oh my, that took me forever to do.
For one, I didn’t want the research to end. Every single city, village, town, beach, volcano, jungle trek – I would just picture myself there and keep thinking to myself “I can’t believe this place exists on this planet and I have never given it any thought!” That pretty much sums it up. It is an incredibly diverse place, with over 17,000 islands, a large number of very much so active volcanoes, rain forests, caves, villages, puppet shows, arts and crafts. It is the 4th most populated country on the planet, something I did not know. Oh and it is cheap as frigg! the $25 taxi ride home last night from the bus station to my place would have kept me alive easily for a couple of days in Indonesia.
Feeling naked without my iphone.
24 hours without my phone on me. My god, what bliss! No distractions. No constant texting, twitter checking, fb time wasting, words with friends non-spelling. It was great. If I wasn’t leaving in the early fall on a trip, I would cancel my cell phone and go back to a home phone. I really enjoy being out of grasp and just being able to enjoy what I am doing. It was quite freeing. We think that having all this great technology frees up our life and improves it, but really it holds us down. Instead of having more free time, we just squeeze every second of our day with SOMETHING.
Oh, and for the first time in a long time I didn’t have music to listen to on the bus. I learned that people, especially young people, sadly lack basic intelligence. I don’t mean this to be holier than thou, but the conversations that I overheard from different people, well, it made me scared to think these people have some sort of job somewhere, possibly making decisions, and also have an equal vote. Elitist? Possibly, maybe I am just a stupid person to someone else, that is quite possible. Maybe what I heard wasn’t representative of the actual population. But it was still…not pleasing!
All in all though, awesome stuff! I highly suggest unplugging yourself. At first I really truly really truly really truly felt naked and that something was missing. Almost a bit of anxiety.
How sad is that?
Everybody was kung fu fighting.
I took the bus down to Guelph this weekend to meet Colin Caissie from Caissie Karate. He was hosting a seminar that I was running that was raising organic food for various local Guelph charities. I came into contact with a woman, Anita, who provides food to various Guelph food bank charities. I didn’t count the amount of food, but there were bags and bags and bags of food brought in by the great students at Caissie Karate. It was really great 🙂
Everyone seemed to be quite pleased, and I hope they enjoyed the seminar as much as I did. It was really a pleasure, and a great experience. Colin is a really great guy, and everyone that I met throughout the day was really warm and friendly. I think he has a good thing going in Guelph. I look forward to seeing them all again!
This weeks goals (week 11):
- Trip planning: Finish off Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos
- House work
- Learn about quilting!
- Use my newly attained sewing skills to fix some things that need fixing
- Another 24 hours without my phone
1. Trip Planning.
Again, like last week, just need to get this done. Also, doing the planning is definitely a little h. It is really enjoyable. I hope to get the ‘attractions,sites, things to do and see’ part of the trip planning done by the end of April, that way I can get onto logistics.
2. House work. Enough said.
3. Quilt my face off!
So, I have accumulated an insane amount of clothing over the years. Lots of it is free swag (sponsorships, etc), but I don’t need even like 5% of it. I think I have probably given to charity about 30 or so hoodies in the last year, just from packing my clothes to move from Montreal to Ottawa, and then unpacking in Ottawa, and realizing I don’t need half this stuff.
The problem is, some of the clothes has some sort of sentimental value to me. Some of it is fight related, and my brain has linked seeing those clothes with a certain memory that I enjoy. I am selfish, and want to keep those clothes for the memories, but I still don’t NEED a million shirts and hoodies.
This is where I got the idea to convert the clothes to something epic. A quilt!
I figure I could cut up these pieces of clothing and stitch them together and form an awesomely epic blanket that I could keep forever and ever, and would actually be used, rather than just sitting in my closet taking up space.
So to start this project off, I am gonna have to learn how quilting is done, and all those shenanigans!
So at the risk of sounding like I am turning into a house wife, I am going to do some sewing this week (while I take breaks from learning about quilting). I have some jeans with holes, my rabbit fur hat has a little problem, and Ninja’s harness is torn. All these things are still good, they just need some TLC (sewing)!
A previous version of me would have said those things were no good anymore and thrown them out. How wasteful! I think somehow along the way, we (or at least me) have become extremely wasteful. We feel good about recycling, but what about reducing and reusing, or in this case reusing after re-fixing. Things have become so cheap that it is easier just to replace than to throw away.
I wonder what effects and consequences it has on someones psyche and personality when that sort of mentality becomes pervasive. Does it spread into our human relationships? Instead of working on a problem, solving our problems, is it easier just to give up on a person, a relationship, a marriage, and just find someone new?
5. No phone.
Go away phone! You distract me from living my actual life. Phone you are addictive and when I am on the bus, or anywhere, and I see almost a sea of people with bad posture, hood drooping down, looking at a brightly lit 2.5 x 4 inch device held close to their face, well, I get sad. I’m no better, I do it too. I look at people on the bus, or couples together, or friends together, and they are all just on their phone.
Nobody, myself included, is living in the present. Yet, the present is the only thing that exists. Instead of interacting with all these people that are right there in front of you, we are texting, fb liking or tweeting these e-people, that are somewhere else, who they themselves are surrounded by real life flesh and blood people, but probably ignoring.
I think it is unhealthy, I really really do. Feel free to argue my views at any time, I enjoy hearing peoples perspectives, and offering my own of course.