“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:16-18
Because of the shortages in Nepal of food and supplies, I thought it may be a good idea to present an option to those who practice meditation and/or yoga and are in Nepal at the moment. This is specifically for those that practice vipassana meditation or Kriya yoga with pranayama as the emphasis. Both of these practices can help to alleviate one’s own hunger, increase energy levels, and can raise one’s own “metta” or “positivity” levels which can create a beneficial atmosphere to the surrounding area. Furthermore, many people do not know these techniques and will benefit from the extra food that will be freed from those who can. If you are in a position where you are not using a lot of energy, this may work for you. Do not force yourself to do this. If you are hungry, eat. If you can though, let the Dharma sustain you.
If you are used to eating three times a day, with these practices it is easy to eat twice a day. If you are used to eating twice a day, it’s possible to eat only once. For those with fasting or semi-fasting experience, try to fast once every few days until more resources arrive or if you are evacuated from Nepal. Nepal is a very spiritual country and there are a large amount of vipassana meditators and Kriya yoga/pranayama practitioners within the affected population, foreign and domestic.
Even a slight reduction in the consumption of food and a slight increase in the amount of “metta” and “positive vibrations” can have a noticeable effect in an ongoing crisis with no end in sight. If you don’t practice meditation or yoga, please pass this on to others who you may know that do. Perhaps the idea hasn’t came to them yet, but if they hear it they will know what to do.
To show my own support for this idea, I will be fasting once a week and will be limiting my own meals to once a day with the hope that some of the food that I will not be eating will make it to Nepal. Since I am not far from Nepal, perhaps this food will somehow make it’s way there. I will be primarily focusing on my meditation and yoga practice, not necessarily to take my mind off of Nepal, but to gather strength while fully assessing my own situation.
I have received so much support from friends and loved ones recently and I am tremendously moved by all of it. The main emphasis from everyone seems to be patient and not to act too hastily. Whenever I don’t know what exactly I should do, I meditate. I will continue with this until I do know exactly what I should do and how to proceed.
On the positive side of things, I moved into an amazing place near Pandey Ghat right on the water called Kumiko House. Experiencing the sunrise this morning on my face while sitting on the roof meditating is something hard to describe. Like I am being fed with love and energy to continue on. I will continue doing this everyday for at least the next week and hopefully guidance will come to me.
The couple that own the guesthouse are in their 70s and are extremely special people. Kumiko is from Japan. She met her Indian husband Shanti when he was a student in Tokyo in the 1960s. I made him some coffee yesterday and we talked for sometime while he mended my broken sandals. Thank you for answering this small prayer and bringing me to this wonderful place.
My room is a large dormitory on the top floor that I share with a young Japanese man. It looks much like an old prison cell turned into a dorm but with poems, drawings, and paintings covering the walls from former travelers. Most people may see the pictures and think it is a trash, but you know how the saying goes: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” To me, this place is a treasure and I feel very lucky to have found it.
Many times I contemplate that perhaps I created a place either in the past or the future for my present self to enjoy and this feels like one of those places. It’s extremely special and the vibes are extraordinary. The rooftop is enchanting and monkey proof if need be. Shanti repeatedly reminds me that if I do not close the doors behind me, monkeys or bandits will break in to cause havoc. It seems he likes to exaggerate, but I am sure he has seen a lot here in the past fifty years. To top it off, the dorm costs only 100 rupees per night or around $1.50. If I can find a good dormitory, I always prefer it to a single room as the people that I meet make up for the lack of privacy.
I met a nice baba on the ghats near the Kumiko house named Mama Marish. Tomorrow he is leaving for Rishikesh to “escape the heat and mosquitos”. He spoke nearly perfect English and I felt we had an instant connection. He gave me a special rudra with six sides, rather than the normal five and claimed it was very powerful and would bring me strength. I don’t take these things lightly and so I humbly accepted it and added it to my mini-collection of trinkets that people have given me over the past year. We talked about Nepal and sang mantras together to bring protection and goodwill to Nepal.
He showed me his journal and it appeared that a few people had written some poetry about him so I decided to copy and share it. I added my own poetry but didn’t write it down so the next person can find it somewhere down the line.
I hope everyone has a good day and will continue to send prayers and support to Nepal in it’s time of need.
I promise that the sun will rise again.
List of daily expenses and donations for April 27th, 2015:
Total spent on travel: .48
Total spent on food: $5.49
Total spent on room: $1.59
Total: $8.41 + 47.75 = $56.16 divided by 6 days = $9.36 each day.
Donations given to 10 random strangers = 130 Indian rupees or $2.07
Donations given to 10 sadhus or holy men = 100 INR or $1.59
Total = $267.44 – 3.66 = 278.91 divided by six days = $45.19 each day
Expense account = $502.25 – 8.41 $493.84 (Avg $9.36 each day will last 53 more days)
Donations account = $282.57 – 3.66 = 278.91 (Avg $45.19 each day will last 6 more days)
If you built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. – Henry David Thoreau
Taya Ta Om Muni Muni Maha Munai Om mantra: http://chirb.it/McMLh2