Finishing Vipassana, Visiting Rajgir, and Ending up in Calcutta 

Day 38

Kolkata, India

Ah… feels good to be back and writing for the blog. A few days ago, I finished my vipassana service in Bodh Gaya. It was one of the most difficult services or sits that I have done since I began meditating over two years ago. A combination of a negatively-energized course manager, extreme 112 degree heat and loud construction was a trying time indeed. One thing I know for sure though is that Dharma will always put in my path exactly what I need to move further. This was certainly true for this case and my meditation has proceeded very well since around half way through the course. Besides the course manager (which was a fluke), I met some very nice people from India and around the world at the course.

After the course was finished, I made one last stop at the Maha Bodhi temple and meditated with some of the new and old students in the temple and under the Bodhi tree. A new student from France that I made a close bond with during the course named Gregory and I decided to go to Rajgir for one night and day of sightseeing of many places that played important roles in the Buddha’s life. It was around a 3-hour bus journey and we eventually arrived around 5 PM.

New friend Gregory from France.

 

We finally found a place to stay at a Bengali temple and our room was quite nice. The next morning we first visited Venuvan, which was the Buddha’s favorite place to go during the monsoon season. Furthermore, after the Buddha passed away it was were the first council was held and the Buddha’s words were compacted into the Tipitaka. It was an extremely serene and peaceful area.

 

 
Next we decided to make a climb up to the caves of Saptaparni, which was a strenuous 30 minute hike in crazy heat. Once we got there it was pretty unbelievable. I had a feeling like I had been looking for these caves for sometime and finally found them. The Buddha supposedly lived there for 8 years and I could see why. You could literally see for miles North in a 180 degree vision and inside the caves were truly amazing.

 

 

When I entered, there were bats and spiders everywhere, but it was like I had no fear. I went in with my flashlight as far as I could go and found a place where he either slept or sat as it was the flattest place around. I entered into a meditation and can’t recall the last time I felt so safe and secure even if it may have seemed to be “scary”. It was perfectly dark and silent except for the bats who I could sense were flying around me and sending there sonar signals in my direction. Even a short meditation there brought great results and clues or tips in proceeding forth.

 

Main entrance to the Saptaparni caves.

 

I walked the long distance up with a heavy weight on my shoulders and came down with a boundless lightness. At the bottom, Gregory and I took a dip in the holy local hot springs and then in the man-made pools built in a classical old-style Indian design. The combination of the caves, hot springs, and cold pool was perhaps one of the most refreshing moments of my life.

Pool where we swam after the caves.

 

I was hoping to visit Nalanda, which was the oldest and largest university for Buddhist monks until the Muslims  invaded India and destroyed nearly everything there in the 12th century. I can see myself coming back to Rajgir and Nalanda in my next trip to India, perhaps with cooler weather.

 

Shanti Stupa on Rajgir hill.

 

After this, we had lunch and then took a horse-cart since our time was dwindling to the Shanti Stupa a little outside of town. There we took a single seat trolley from the bottom of the mountain up to the top where the stupa was located. This is the 3rd Shanti Stupa or “Peace Pagoda” that I have been too now, with the others being in Lumbini and Pokhara. The view was breathtaking and it was nice to share this last experience with my new friend before we had to part ways.

Aerial ropeway coming down from Shanti Stupa.

 

Eventually we had to leave and take the horse-cart back to the Bengali temple, before rushing to the train station for Gregory to leave. Unfortunately, his train had been canceled and so we both went to the bus station and took buses in our own separate ways. Him to Patna and I to Newada and then to Kolkata. My journey went smoothly and I arrived in this major city, 2nd only to Mumbai in population, yesterday morning. After searching a few guesthouses around Sutter Street, I finally found one within my price range at 200 rupees per night. No wifi and no AC, but it will have to do for the next week while I wait for my train to leave for Pondicherry.

I am very happy to be in Calcutta (Kolkata) at the moment. I seem to always do my best work when I am in a comfortable place to myself for a week or longer.  I feel there is a special energy here and it is like Mumbai, but different in some way. I spent a few hours wandering around the city today visiting the Indian Museum, as well as the Mother Theresa Home and Missionaries of Charity headquarters. I am 99% sure I will do some volunteer work with them in the coming days. Hopefully I will get to work with sick or dying people and provide whatever comfort and metta that I can. Reading about her life is a real inspiration for the journey that I am on.

Changes to the Blog

I plan on from this moment forth updating the expense and donations once a week rather than every single post. This will make it easy for me and perhaps my mind can focus more on content and experience.

 
List of daily expenses and donations between May 14th and 29th, 2015:

Total spent on food: $16.05
Room: $6.35
Random: $7.83
Travel: $21.67
Total: $51.89 + 171.18 = $223.07 divided by 38 days = $5.87 per day

Donations given to random strangers = 40 Indian rupees or $.65
Donation to Dhamma Bodhi vipassana center = 1500 rupees or 23.81
Total = $24.43 + 1009.40 = 1033.83 divided by 38 days = $27.20 per day

Expense account = $478.52 – 51.89 = 426.63 (Avg. $5.87 per day will last 73 more days)
Donations account = $140.18 – 24.43 = 115.75 (Avg $27.20 per day will last 5 more days)

Blessed.

Please vote where I should go after India.

Bodh Gaya, India

Day 23

I was going to hold a vote where to go after Bodh Gaya, but to be honest, my options are pretty slim with the coming monsoon season. I believe after the vipassana course I will spend a few weeks in West Bengal as I have heard good things and then after that I’ll escape into the mountains of Sikkim and Darjeeling and then perhaps a jump over to Kashmir and Ladakh.

I would still like people to start voting on where I will go after India. It is probably good to start early and then with one month left in the trip I will start to work on getting the proper visa arrangements etc. I am going to put on the list a few countries that it may not be possible for me to go to, but there may be a chance.  Whatever country receives the top vote, I will try there first and then will go down the list if it doesn’t work out.

I plan on returning to Nepal in November for an extended volunteering reconstruction trip and am welcoming anyone that can hang to come along. Since I was already there this year, I would not get to spend much time there as the most they allow in one year is five months.

Also, all five of these countries are places that I have never been so that will be an added element of the adventure. I’ll close down the voting June 22nd to then start working on visa and travel arrangements.

I will be serving the vipassana course here in Bodh Gaya and sending metta to the people of Nepal, as well as the readers and donors of the blog. I should be back and going strong with the blog May 26th or 27th.

 

My sanctuary for the next two weeks, Dhamma Bodhi.

 

I always say this before I go to sit or serve a vipassana course, but I’ll say it again. Anything can happen.

Blessed.

Edit June 3rd, 2015: The voting is finished! Sri Lanka has won!

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Surviving Vrindaven, Broke-Down Trains, and Finally Reaching Bodh Gaya

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. – Nieztsche

Bodh Gaya, India

Day 22

My time at Vrindaven has come to a close. I will remember it well, although maybe not particularly fondly. This past week has been one of the roughest in recent memory and was a major challenge for me physically, mentally, and spiritually. But I feel I have passed the challenge and have came out a stronger person. 

I am an extremely sensitive person when it comes to “positive” and “negative” energy around specific areas. I am not for sure why, but what I encountered in Vrindaven was a heavily negative energized place. It was easy for me to feel it but also to see it. For one thing, the natural tendency of the merchants here was to rip me off as much as possible. Everywhere I went this was true. Furthermore, I saw maybe 1 in 20 people smiling in the streets and in the temples. Like smiling was against the law or something. Perhaps the true judge of a community is how they treat visitors or outcasts and I didn’t feel quite welcomed here. For someone like me who feeds off of smiles, this was tough, so I did my best just to keep smiling and going on.

I was uncomfortable from the beginning with my surroundings, environment and was physically sick for the majority of the time. It is almost like all of the positive energy within me was just sucked out like a vacuum. The heat and mosquitos were almost too much for me, but slowly I adjusted. I will say again though that I know this is not all bad and not anyone’s “fault.” If it is anyone’s fault, it would have to be mine as there was something wrong with my meditation. If I was truly doing it correctly, there would be no uncomfortability or very little. 
 

Madan Mohan Mandir.
 

I believe that my trip to Vrindaven was very important for this reason and especially before I came to serve this vipassana course. I may have found the missing link in my meditation and perhaps this difficult place was exactly what I needed. I’ll get to test it out during the next two weeks in the meditation center.

 

The infamous ISKCON (International Society of Krishna Consciousness) center where I spent a fair amount of time.

  

Furthermore, I had two major realizations within the past few days that I will slowly contemplate and release when the time is right. One is philosophical and about religion as a whole. It may be a major part of “the puzzle” for me to figure out and teach others. The other is perhaps deep speculation and even “conspiratorial” but something I’m quite positive about. I will be careful about releasing this one and will wait until the proper research is done.
 

Sri Bankey Birari temple.
 
I mentioned earlier that when I have a bad morning I nearly always have a good evening. This can also be true with a bad beginning of a month leading to an awesome end of the month. I just reached Bodh Gaya and something inside of me is yelling with joy that it is going to be exactly what I am expecting, which is awesomeness. We will see.
 
My favorite temple and best energy spot in Vrindaven has to be Prem Mandir. Heavely singing mornings and evenings.
 

I do feel I met a few diamonds in the rough. My friend Mangala is as lovely as ever but she was sick the entire time so we didn’t see each other but once. The young man Mathura, whose ashram I stayed at, has a bright future ahead whatever he ends up eventually doing. It will be hard for him or anyone for that matter to break free of Vrindaven perhaps but he has plans that I can see. If his heart is in the right place, they will come true. The other guys at the ashram were sweet, but it felt like we could never really build a connection because of the language or religious barrier.

The only way I can describe the past week is that it felt like some invisible force was constantly assaulting me and wanted me dead. Even trying to leave was difficult and I couldn’t find a way to get out. Finally I had to book a general boarding ticket on the train (highly not recommended) and then I was able to leave. I was a bit confused about the general boarding ticket and so for the first hour I had to stand in the 2nd class cars, which was slightly tighter than a can of sardines. I’m glad that I got to see how they travel though. Since I was late on, I was basically squashed in the entrance, but it was quite funny and I was laughing with the group of Indian men squashed around me. 

Luckily I made my way up to the sleeper cars and a kind man let me sleep in his family’s compartment. I had to move around a lot over the course of the 19 hours, but this is part of the challenge of this blog. Instead of paying $15 with my own comfy sleeper bed I paid $3.50 and still made it. The train broke down many times though and it constantly felt like something was holding me back from Bodh Gaya. I was able to meditate when it was moving and during the breakdowns so it wasn’t too bad, but a nineteen-hour train journey when planned for twelve is a bit rough. I am here now so that is what matters most.

I am trying not to build this place up to much, but in my mind Bodh Gaya may be the promised land of meditation in India I have been waiting on that is coming exactly at the right time. These next two weeks or so will be very interesting indeed. I look forward to seeing the outcome and sharing everything with all of you. You will be on my mind as I won’t be able to post anything during my time serving in the Vipassana center. I will come out runnin’ and gunnin’ though, you best believe.

“What was that back there?,”he asked himself. 

It felt like something wanted him dead. Like an invisible force that would use any means necessary to stop his existence.

He knew it would always want him dead. He would have to find a way to beat it at its own game. To turn its attention on itself. The snake eating the snakes tail.

He would have to reach inside, thrust his hand into the boiling hot cauldron, pull out what he could find, raise it in the air and declare. “I have the power!” And only then would he feel safe. Only then would he win.

That time was coming.

I am not for sure if I will go to the center tomorrow or the next day. If I do leave tomorrow morning, before I go I will post a map of India and three locations that I am interested in going to with the pros and cons of each place for you all to vote on. I believe that God speaks through every single person and so this will perhaps be the most “precise” method of God telling me where to go 🙂

List of daily expenses and donations for May 12th and 13th, 2015:

Total spent on food: $6.47
Room: $6.36
Random: $2.54
Travel: $6.14
Total: $21.51 + $149.93 == $171.18 divided by 22 days = $7.78per day

Donations given to random strangers =  140 Indian rupees or $2.23
Donations given to sadhus or holy men =  120 INR or $ 1.90

Total = $4.13  + 1005.27 = 1009.40 divided by 22 days = $45.88 per day

Expense account = $500.03 – 21.51 = 478.52 (Avg. $7.78 per day will last 61 more days)
Donations account = $144.31 – 4.13 = 140.18  (Avg 45.88 per day will last 3 more days)

More donations have came into the Nepal relief fund. From this blog we sent in $550, but through direct donations there has been a total of $960. All together making $1510 out of the $1600 owed so that is pretty dang good. There was another 7.4 earthquake that hit today though and so hopefully we can send in more soon.

Blessed.

A Spiritual Revolution Cometh… Part 2

When the mind is free from such pairs of opposites as “this is to be done” and “this is not to be done”, it becomes indifferent to religious merit, worldly prosperity, sensual enjoyment, and liberation. – Astavakra Samhita 16:5

Vrindaven, India

Day 20

In the last post, I described what must be the impetus for a true spiritual revolution to occur. Any type of “manufactured” revolution like we have seen throughout the world the past few decades, brought upon by an external agency, is doomed to failure, especially spiritually. A true “spiritual revolution” must follow the steps that I listed yesterday. It has happened in the past and will happen again in the future. Today I would like to speculate a bit on what might occur after the revolution has begun and specifically within the U.S.A. 

I would like to reemphasize the point once again that “ideas” precede actualities from taking place. Perhaps these new “ideas” are the first time that some have been heard and that after contemplated and aspired towards, can actually happen in the future. Or perhaps these are old ideas that have been forgotten or are no longer considered plausible so are no longer aspired towards. The changes that will occur will be purely because of inspiration. People as well as entire countries will change because they are inspired to do so. There will be a new possible way of life that did not exist before. Changes will happen on their own and they will be “guided” by pure aspirations. 

Meditation Mecca

It is important to understand the difference between a revolution where people are inspired to change their lives, rather than one where people are persuaded or obligated to change. People will be inspired and will request that they have the opportunity to change. The U.S. will slowly transform into a spiritual or meditation Mecca of sorts. When people truly understand the benefits that come from meditation, mentally and physically, centers will begin to pop up across the country at an insanely fast rate. It will be breathtaking to watch it happen so fast. 


Government Reform

I like to consider new possible ways that the government could change in the U.S. and the world. I believe a new form of government will emerge starting in the U.S. that is a combination of libertarian and socialist/communist beliefs. Most will probably read this last sentence and roll their eyes, but wait. We are already living in this sort of paradigm, it is just not official. Two opposite sides of the spectrum are already operating within the government. It is not so far fetched that this will become official in the future.

Perhaps half the population wants some sort of libertarian government where they are left alone. The other half wants the government to take care of them and to provide for their basic necessities. I do not see how either side will ever “win” this argument and will convert the other side. So why not allow both forms to exist, side-by-side, with no strings attached? People can have the right to be left alone and to go about their business without the intrusion of the government or if they like they can accept support from the government in the forms of free food, free housing, free healthcare, free education, free everything for whoever wants it. If you don’t want it that’s perfectly fine. Most will once again roll their eyes at this, but I believe this will happen. 

People can choose to be half-libertarian and half-socialist, accepting limited support and still being free to do as they please. People can go back and forth without being looked down upon by anyone. If you are doing well and do not want to accept help, that is fine. If you are down on your luck and need help, then it will be provided. We have plenty of resources in the U.S. and throughout the world, we have just not learned to properly utilize or distribute them without wastefulness. Once this is taken care of, the sky is the limit.  When fully purified minds are put into leadership or management roles, unimaginable things can be accomplished. This was true for my teacher’s teacher Sayagi U Ba Kin of Burma who at one point was the head of four government departments at the same time because he was so effective.

In a recent study, it was found out that 1/3 of all food is wasted in the world. This percentage is probably higher in the United States. When this comes to a stop, it will be easy to provide free healthy food for whoever would like it. There are millions of empty or abandoned homes in the U.S., and many people own too many homes that are their “vacation homes” or just “investment properties”. There is no reason why their should be so many homeless when we have so many open homes across the country with millions more being built every year. 

I believe there will be a big movement of turning old homes into new modern efficient ones, as well as building new cheap affordable housing for anyone that wants it. A full “tiny” home can now be built for a few thousand dollars. I see no reason why this price couldn’t drop further and anyone that wanted to  own a home could have one. 

This is very important change in my opinion. The obligation to work will be removed. People’s work,  when it is obligated or compelled for whatever reason, is usually a very low quality. People who want to work, on the other hand, their work is a very high quality. The idea that we must have this extremely low unemployment rate will no longer be important. If people want to stay home with family, they can. If people want to work a farm and grow vegetables without worrying about how they are going to make it, they can. If they want to practice meditation or spirituality everyday, they can. If they want to create art, or write, or make films, or play sports, they can. This is true freedom. People should not be obligated or compelled to work if they do not want to. Of course, many people love their work and love to work and so they will be allowed to work. 


Technological and Healthcare Reform

Greed and corruption will eventually be extinguished by inspiration and spiritual purification, which will eventually lead to the natural extinction of a “for-profit” business model.  Technologies that either have been “held back” from society because of their probability of taking market-share and profits from the major corporations will be released into society. Those that have not been thought up yet, will also be discovered as human beings will be thinking “more clearly” than they have before. 

One major technology will be “free energy” that will change the world as we know it. This technology is either known or will be known soon from now, but it has not been allowed to be released because of the ramifications it will have on the energy producers in all fields. People like Elon Musk and others are already challenging the major energy producers by releasing energy cells for home and car use. Huge increases in renewable energy sources like solar and wind are occurring everyday. Furthermore, it is only a matter of time before fusion becomes widely adaptable. Fusion and energy cells equals free energy for all.

One day people will look back at the US healthcare system and think that it was all one big joke. The idea of a “for-profit” business model when it comes to pharmaceutical companies and hospitals is repugnant to me at the moment. People are literally dying just so others can make a few extra dollars for whatever reason. There are cures for every known disease (I believe), but they are not released because it would not make financial sense to the pharmaceutical companies. Anytime they are discovered, they are “held back” by whoever is funding the research and those that try to make them public “disappear” before it can happen. 

They dont make money on cures, they make money on treatments and keeping people sick. It is ridiculous to contemplate. This will change however and people will be cured of their diseases. If the cures are not created yet, they will be soon. Furthermore, meditation has the ability alone to cure nearly any disease, physically or mentally. These combined will radically transform the healthcare system.

As people become healthier and the profit motive drops from healthcare and Big-Pharma, a huge amount of money will be free for other purposes. A visit “from a doctor” and not “to a doctor” will once again become a rare occurrence. These former megalith buildings can be transformed into housing, distribution centers, or meditation teaching centers. The only way for-profit healthcare has survived in the U.S. is because of lobbyists (which will also become extinct) and perhaps inventing new illnesses, whether physically or imaginatively. 

In the future, there will not exist this huge movement to prolong life past certain ages. When people realize that once they die, they are going to “be alright” there will not be this huge attachment for their current body and life. Why hang on to “old clothes” when new ones are waiting for you in the next life? 


Law Reform

One of the main things that I see happening is all laws that have been passed beyond the ones expressly stated in the constitution will be done away with the stroke of a pen. America will once again be the land of the free. 🙂 No strings attached. 

The income tax will be revoked as it is already an illegal tax as it is. The original income tax was passed because it was going to pay for a specific war or project in our past. Now 100% of the income tax goes to pay the interest on our national debt, which is specifically illegal. People will once again keep 100% of their earnings. Production will skyrocket because of this alone. Perhaps excise taxes will still be charged for certain things; aka people who drive pay a gas tax to maintain the roads. Eventually though, all taxes will be unnecessary. I won’t go into exactly why at the time. 

I believe all drugs will be legalized soon after the spiritual revolution occurs. The war on drugs has been a complete failure since it’s inception. When will we realize that if people want drugs they are going to find them? Criminalizing drug possession or usage is one of the greatest failures of the past century. We must treat the underlying causes. There are now very simple methods to purify addiction, whatever it may be for and however strong the case. 

Drugs will first be completely legal and swiftly they will become less and less used until they eventually become extinct. The only reason that the drug war is still going on is two reasons. Pharmaceutical companies have a ton to lose from marijuana and other drugs being legal and there are plenty of people in government who are paid “under-the-table” from the profits that illegal drugs bring in. 

Prison Reform

In the United States, we currently have the greatest prison population that the world has ever seen. There are around 2.5 million prisoners and another 5 million parolees spread across the United States. Furthermore, we have moved into a for-profit prison system where the more prisoners there are, the more someone is actually make money off of them and charging the taxpayers. 

I believe meditation courses will be implemented in all prisons and for parolees as a way to bring down a sentence. This is already happening in the U.S., in India, and other countries around the world. As soon as the higher levels of spirituality are achieved and verified, the prisoners will be rendered unable to perform malicious acts of violence or crime and can then be released back into society with their slates cleaned and records expunged, regardless of past crimes and sentences. They will be treated the same as everyone else. They can and will no longer be threats to society because of the transformations that have taken place within. It’s dharmically impossible. Prisoners will become a rare breed, until they are extinct. The former prisons can also be easily converted into either housing or meditation centers.


Corporation and Financial Reform

I believe corporations will be treated the way that they used to do a hundred years ago or so. Corporations used to not be a permanent part of life. They would come and go when they were necessary for a specific reason. Corporations would have to prove that they were doing something for the common good of the people. They would have to apply for their corporate status once every year and would have to show what they did during the previous year. This is a much better system in my opinion. 

The idea that a corporation can exist just to make money would make our founders roll in their graves. If we went back to the laws that existed before, every single one of the banks and Wall Street companies that are sucking America dry would lose their charters and only the companies which provided specific reasons in helping people would be allowed to stay. We are already starting to see signs of corporations changing back to this paradigm and many are very important for our day-to-day life. 

Competition is perfectly ok when it comes to developing the best product for the best price. It is not ok when we corporations compete to hoard wealth. The market and financial system propagate this world. Competition for who has or can make the most money. Competition over who is the best con men. That is all it is. A big con and everyone is in on it. It’s only a matter of time before it fails. Once it does, it will never be built again and the world will be an infinitely better place. 

The very idea that one can make millions or billions of dollars with a few clicks of a keyboard is a travesty. Anyone that doesn’t feel bad about this ability has little to no objective ability and can’t empathize with those who toil and sweat for their own hard-earned money. I have worked in the financial industry and when I reached a point where I was making “crazy money” I gave it up, realizing that it was just building my ego and separating me from people who actually have to work for their money.  I will say with 100% assuredness the current financial system of trading public stocks, commodities, and bonds will not last for another few decades from now. 

Immigration Reform

I believe the U.S. will be the first country to allow un-restricted visa-free access to every single human being of the world. The free amenities, including food, housing, healthcare, etc. will also be offered to every immigrant. Our country has more land and resources than India or China and yet we have 1 billion less people in our country!  There are literally millions and millions of un-used acres within the U.S. What other reason would they be there then for them to eventually be used for people to spread out and to learn to grow their own food, etc.? 


Military and Law Enforcement Reform


I would be surprised if in 20 years from now our police and military was even 5% the size of what it is now. Hard to believe, but I think it is true. What need when there are no more criminals and no wars to fight? The spiritual revolution will “connect the world” in that we will no longer see other countries as our enemies, but as our brothers and sisters. We will be sorry for the damage and conflict that we have waged for such a long time. The money saved from our military expenditures will be enough to pay countries back for the damages that we have caused.

Furthermore, there will no longer be this cops vs. citizens war that is currently going on. The fear will be removed on both sides.  Crime will cease to exist because of the amount of inspiration that is exuded in every community within the United States. Once again, people will be connected like never before. 


Overall:

Because of the huge amount of money saved from healthcare, protecting our borders, paying for wars and the police state, imprisoning civilians, wasteful and needless bureaucratic expenditures, fighting a “drug war”, money stolen by Wall Street, we will have plenty to pay down the national debt and plenty leftover to use for free food, housing, healthcare, etc. for anyone that comes to the U.S.A. It may seem far-fetched, but something like this will occur.

Some may read this and think I am delusional. I would only ask you to consider these to be “possibilities” that may occur. In the future, I believe the best possibilities are more likely to come true, however likely. If this is true, then these speculations are more then likely to happen. I’d like to apologize at the “unpolishedness” of this post. I’ve been quite sick recently and so my “polishing” skill is not at full capacity. I wanted to get a post like this up before I served the vipassana course though so here it is. I will be back at 100% once the course is finished with plenty of new ideas and realizations to share. 

Have you ever seen a tree or plant waving at you? Occasionally, when I go for walks in nature, I can find trees and plants that seem to be waving at me. To see them, it helps to be a windless day. They are characterized by the entire tree or plant to be relatively still and a single branch or leave shakes profusely and it looks very much like a “wave”. Every time I see them it makes me happy and I always wave back. See if you can find any waving trees!

List of daily expenses and donations for May 10th and 11th, 2015:

Total spent on food: $2.39
Room: $3.18
Random: $.95
Travel: .95
Total: $7.47 + $142.46 = $149.93 divided by 20 days = $7.50 per day

Donations given to random strangers = 70 Indian rupees or $1.11
Donations given to sadhus or holy men = 70 INR or $ 1.11
Donation to Nepal Earthquake rural relief
Total = $52.23 + $954.39 = 1005.27 divided by 20 days = $50.26 per day

Expense account = $507.50 – 7.47 = $500.03 (Avg. $7.50 per day will last 67 more days)
Donations account = $196.54 – $52.23 = $144.31 (Avg $50.26 per day will last 3 more days)

Blessed.

A Spiritual Revolution Cometh… Part 1

Nothing great has ever been accomplished in the world without passion. – Georg Hegel

Vrindaven, India

Day 18

I tend to contemplate a lot about what I believe is coming in the near future. I call it the “Spiritual Revolution”. It’s not so much that I think about it, it has sort of embedded itself into my consciousness or vision of the future and it’s not showing any signs of going anywhere. I thought I would share a bit about what I see as an impetus, as well as what could possibly happen a few years into the “revolution.” 

The details and date are not yet set in stone, but the assuredness that it will happen is quite concrete in my mind. I will do a multi-part series on the topic. To understand me, it may help to understand the world that I see coming. If you like what you read, aspire with me. Combined aspirations bring about change faster especially if the visions and “dreams” are pure.

Objectively, looking at the path that we are on, with meditation, yoga, and other purification techniques spreading across the globe like wildfire, it is hard for me to imagine that it will all be for naught, that there won’t be some sort of momentous culmination or change coming soon. One of the “coolest” things about this revolution is very few people, unless you have similar beliefs as me, will see it coming. It is going to sneak up on us and change our world faster than we can possibly imagine. 

Because of what it entails, who it entails, and the significant ramifications of the events, it will be predictable in some ways and unpredictable in others. Although I may be wrong in certain specifics, I am confident I will not be wrong in generalities. Some may think it will be far in the future, but I am of the belief it is right around the corner.

I’d like to start it with this prediction. A teacher will come along somewhere in the world, it doesn’t matter where. This teacher will have found what was once lost. He or she will have discovered the key to reaching the highest states of the spiritual ladder in a short amount of time. The key to “going home”. And the biggest key of all, to teach others how to reach this level themselves, whoever and wherever they are. This is the key that has been lost. Most believe it takes a lifetime, but I do not believe this is the case. Two things are very important which have been lost; the ability to teach anyone in the world and in a very short amount of time.

The message or “key” that has been lost is that there is a perfect form of meditation and furthermore a perfect way to perform the perfect meditation. When the two are combined, taught by a perfect teacher, transformation can happen extremely rapidly. Once the highest levels are reached, they are permanent and lasting and cannot be undone. 

Through their teachings, they will “create” hundreds or thousands of other teachers with their same capacity without diminishment. These people will then spread out to the four corners of the globe to further spread the “key”. It will be much like a virus, only holy and heavenly. Once the first comes along, it will be impossible to stop it from spreading and there will be no way to bring the revolution to an early and disappointing close. 

The revolution will be characterized by a lack of leadership and hierarchy and those who have reached this level will be “protected” to carry on “the plan” because their karmic loops have been deleted. They will have “no more strings attached” and full “free will” will be their gift to use. This person that is coming and those that are “unlocked” will be characterized by one main attribute: Perfection. I know many people will dismiss this idea, that perfection is impossible, but this idea has been spread by imperfect people. They will exude love, peace, and inspiration wherever they go.

The very fact that “perfect” individuals have existed throughout history should give proof that more will exist in the future. We just have never seen any of them within our lifetimes. I love how Eckart Tolle describes it in The Power of Now. He talks about how millions of years ago there was no such thing as flowers. There were only plants, but eventually one day the first flower came about through evolution. No one was there to appreciate it, but it was there. Eventually there were beautiful flowers covering the globe. This is the same as with humanity. We have seen a few “flowers” here and there throughout history. It is only a matter of time before the “flowers” of humanity cover the entire globe.

The seed of this perfection is equal and existent in every single being, regardless of race, class, gender, or genus. The revolution may be initiated by one, but it will be carried by many. The spirituality of the current moment is just like a “web” trying to catch this single person necessary for it to begin. For the first time in our lives, we will see genuine miracles happening across the world. For the first time, we will have people around who will be flawless in every sense of the word. Many people will for the first time have a true example to look up to and aspire to be like. Many will for the first time have someone to trust. Perhaps, there are some on this earth who have never trusted anyone in their life before. If it is their genuine wish, they will become flawless too and will be carriers of the message to others. The message will be an open book for all to read.

Inspiration has always been the source for change in the world. Inspiration leads to passion. Currently, we have lost our inspiration as a whole. When we find it again, this time in quantities never seen before, it will change the world rapidly in every aspect. Tomorrow I will explain how this inspiration will change the world and present some theories that may or may not come true.

Everyone is waiting on it to come,
especially the ones we cannot see.
Take it from me, if you want to believe,
I can show you a view of the shining sea.

List of daily expenses and donations for May 8th and 9th, 2015:

One donation was sent from a special person in the amount of $50. $25 has been added to the expense and giving accounts.

Total spent on food: $4.64
Room: $3.18
Random: $5.25
Total: $13.07 + 129.39 = 142.46 divided by 18 days = $7.91 per day

Donations given to random strangers = 45 Indian rupees or $.72
Donations given to sadhus or holy men = 40 INR or $ .64
Total = $1.36 + $953.64 = 954.39 divided by 18 days = $53.02 each day

Expense account = $495.57 – 13.07 + 25 = $507.50 (Avg. $7.91 per day will last 64 more days)
Donations account = $172.89 – 1.35 + 25 = $196.54 (Avg $53.02 per day will last 4 more days)

Blessed.


And Happy Mother’s Day!

First Earthquake Supply Drop Successful to Sindhupalchok, Nepal

Vrindaven
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Day 16
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The first supply drop to Sindhupalchok was a complete success. It was very difficult to find transportation because the roads are still very unmanageable, but they were able to find a perfect truck and get the job done without any major problems.
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Anjali and her friends left at 1 pm on Monday the 4th with a huge load of food, tents, and medicine for the people of Irkhu, Sindhupalchok. While staying at the Razzmatazz guesthouse in Kathmandu, I met a very nice guy who was a cook there named Milan. He is from the area that was hit the hardest during the earthquake. It was through him that Anjali found a way to get supplies into the devastated area. He also helped with the transportation of the supplies.
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They reached the village around 6 pm, but not without initial difficulties. Because of the extreme shortage of food in this area, they had people that were trying to “hijack” or steal supplies on the way. They managed to make it though and with the full load of supplies. She said that once they arrived everyone was already waiting for them. They ended up spending the night and distributing everything early the next morning.
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Here is a list of all that was bought:
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As you can see almost 2,200 kilos of rice was brought to their village and another 250 kilos of dal. Hopefully, this will last them a while until they can find a steady source once again.
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They did their best to distribute it evenly for each family in the village with a little extra going to the widows who lost their husbands and families.
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They had the help of the local police,  which was perhaps necessary and allowed everything to go smoothly. Furthermore, they delivered the limited supply of medicines to the lone health worker named Sunil to be used when necessary. Afterwards, they were able to return to Kathmandu a little after noon the same day.
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As you can see  in the list above, the total supply cost and transportation came out to 162,275 rupees which is equivalent to around $1,600. Fortunately, someone fronted them the majority of the supplies if they promised to pay it off within the week. Anjali has received $960, but we are still short an additional $640 for this supply drop. I will direct an additional $100 from the blog to pay down the bill. Furthermore, we hope to be able to send more soon as the supplies are dwindling across the country.
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If anyone can help, please send more support directly to Anjali or to this blog. It is perhaps best to send it straight to her as the transfer fees on Western Union are 0% for one more week.
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Once again, is all you have to do is go to WesternUnion.com and register. Afterwards, click to transfer money to Nepal. In the contact name add “Anjali Maharjan”. Her email is manjeetanjali123@gmail.com and her phone no. is (977) 9843760842 .
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This should be all you need to transfer money from your debit or credit card. If you would like to send a wire transfer, please email me at thisamericansadhu@gmail.com and I will forward you her wiring information.
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Once this is done, you will receive a “code” or number from Western Union. Is all you have to do is to send her an email with this code and she will be able to collect the money anywhere in Nepal.
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Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. I hope that we can give a few more big pushes before the 0% Western Union fee is removed.
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Vrindaven
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So far, I cannot lie, I have been extremely uncomfortable in Vrindaven. I do not take this as a bad sign of Vrindaven or ISKCON but as a personal failure of my meditation. Perhaps it is the extreme heat. Many times this occurs and there are “fallbacks” in meditation, where something is slightly not correct. This is perfectly natural and an important part of the spiritual path. I just have to be “on the lookout” constantly and have enough practice that it is easily recognizable to me.
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It is important for me to realize when it occurs and to change my practice accordingly. If I am constantly in comfortable situations than it is difficult to know when my meditation is slightly off. I have already noticed what I was doing wrong and have begun to “get back on track.” It’s a bit complicated to explain, but I have already noticed the correct change taking place today.
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I walked down the street a bit this morning after my first meditation and found the newly built Prem Mandir temple. Prem means love in Hindi so it is technically the “love temple.” I was lucky to have found a small procession leading into the temple singing a heavenly mantra. The female lead had a voice like an angel, much like my spiritual mother Durga in Pokhara. I will continue to come back here in the mornings and evenings for my meditation.
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Last night, I slept on the roof of this ashram, but my mosquito net was full of holes. This happened to me around 9 months ago in Nepal. Once again, I woke up with bites from head to toe and my face is now fully polka-dotted. The meeting and dinner tonight should be quite funny. Furthermore, somewhere this morning a pen exploded and covered my only pair of pants in bright blue ink. Not the greatest morning, but it could always be worse. Surely another sign that my meditation was not at the right level.
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I have noticed in my travels that almost every time I have a bad morning, it ends up being a great afternoon and evening. I don’t know why this is, but it is true for me. Hopefully it will be true again tonight.
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I have to wait at least another 5-6 days for my debit card to arrive in the mail as I lost it while in Varanasi. This is pretty much a cardinal mistake in traveling, but it will ultimately work itself out.
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Have a wonderful day and evening…
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List of daily expenses and donations for May 7th, 2015:
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Total spent on food: $2.54
Room: $1.59
Random: $.40
Total: $4.53 + $124.86 = 129.39 divided by 16 days = $8.09 per day
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Donations given to random strangers = 130 Indian rupees or $1.68
Donations given to sadhus or holy men = 30 INR or $ .48
Donation to ISKCON = 110 INR or 1.75
Donation to Nepal earthquake village relief = $100
Total = $104.29 + $848.75 = $953.64 divided by 16 days = $59.56 each day
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Expense account = $500.10 – 4.53 = $495.57 (Avg. $8.09 per day will last 61 more days)
Donations account = $277.18 – 104.29 = 172.89 (Avg $59.56 per day will last 3 more days)
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Blessed.

The Joy of Living Non-Sexually

So one, always mindful, should avoid sexual desires. Letting them go, he will cross over the flood like one who, having bailed out the boat, has reached the far shore. – Gotama

Vrindaven

Day 15

When it comes to walking the spiritual path, there are certain prerequisites that make the experience much easier and enjoyable as time goes by. One of the five precepts of morality is to abstain from sexual misconduct. For some this can be difficult.

I love sex and I’ll admit that I have been addicted to sex throughout a large percentage of my life. I love kissing, touching, everything that it entails. But, I have come to love the abstinence of sex as well. They are two separate loves and both are beautiful in their own way. In my current mindset, however, I’m in the “no sex” category and the pleasures that come from it I believe ultimately outweigh the pleasures that come with a consistently sexual life. I thought maybe I could expound this out a bit for those who have not lived both ways.

It seems to me that once people become sexually active in their lives, they feel a need or desire to stay sexually active as they get older and actually it becomes a major “goal” for their life or what they do. They from that point forward judge their own success in life based upon how much sex they have with their own partner or random partners over the course of time. Hopefully, with my life as an example, I can show that this “trap” can be overcome. Perhaps life is more enjoyable now that I know what the taste is and yet still choose to give it up.

They say men think about sex once every 7 seconds and a woman once an hour. What happens when a man or woman thinks about sex not at all or very rarely? It frees up not only a tremendous amount of mental energy but also creates a higher level of social quality. I feel that whatever sex we may be, if sex is constantly on our minds, it hampers our ability to truly connect with half the population and this brings with it a significant disadvantage to the overall quality of life.

There comes a time in my spiritual practice when I no longer crave sex and I no longer think the absence of sex as a bad thing. I enjoy the absence of sex, the absence of thinking about sex, and all that it entails. The Buddha talked about the happiness of the householder life, but also the happiness of one who lives austere, who abstains from sex. I have experienced both happinesses, and at the moment prefer the latter.

Abstaining from sex without a way to purify oneself can be a very perilous journey indeed. Especially if ones whole life has revolved around sex in one way or another, which it tends to be if one is from the U.S. or from many Western countries. Everything we do is to make ourselves more capable of having sex with a higher amount or higher quality of people. We eat healthy, workout, etc. to increase the quality of our sex lives. Our jobs, our cars, our apartments, our cloths, our friends. Everything is considered to be either an addition or a negative to ones own attractive capability for sexual purposes.

What happens when we give it up all together? What happens when we redirect our focus? What happens when we choose to no longer play by the game that society wants us to play? It opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. A whole new chapter in ones life can come about. We can learn to connect with the other half rather that consider them to be our conquests. They can become our friends. Our companions. Our family, in a completely non-sexual way.

It takes a lot of courage and stength to give up sex. The majority of the population do not want to risk social rejection from friends when the choice to become celibate is made. To me celibacy means complete celibacy. Of course many people believe some things are alright and not others. But I am talking about no sex, no touching, no kissing, no masturbation.

I am talking about taking your mind to another place and leaving it there. If we keep dabbling in the realm of sex, the mind can’t reach the other shore. We can’t take control. There is still a chance that we can be overcome if lesser sexual activities exist. The small tastes will be enough to sustain the deeper roots until the full course can be enjoyed. To take full control of the mind, at least for me, I must fully abstain from all actions that “lead me to wanting sex.”

Something changes within and without when a strong determined effort is made to be celibate combined with a spiritual practice to remove the root of sexual urge and craving. When I used to meet someone, many times the natural tendency of my mine was to first think if we were sexually compatible or not, then to start to consider how I could “swing it” or “bed them.” This “sexual” mindset changes my whole attitude and my focus of whatever our conversation or relationship is about. I can’t be the “real me”. I have to put on an act or a role that would give me a higher chance of succeeding in my conquests.

I can’t help it that this is the way that I was, I can only look at myself in the present moment and try to “be a better person” in the future. So far, it is working out. My connection to members of the opposite sex is much stronger and I no longer feel a need to “compete” with other males for sexual supremacy. It changes my whole attitude of life and my focus.

The Buddha considered sex to be the deepest root and craving and what brings us through the cycle of suffering the most. Nearly all desires can be extinguished, but sex is perhaps the deepest one. Perhaps it is more difficult for a person who has never had sex to turn it down from someone extremely attractive then someone who has and has chosen to give it up? I feel 100% certain that at least for the next year, nothing can phase my determination of celibacy. It is a step-by-step process.

I do not feel I am strong enough, not do I want to give up sex for the rest of my life, but I am confident that I can for the next year. This is what it is about, going through periods of celibacy to reach higher qualities of happiness or spiritual realization. Furthermore, it is my belief that there are ultimate goals that can only be reached if celibacy is practiced and maintained but I won’t go much into this topic until a later date.

Can a relationship exist without sex? Can mutual companionship? I believe so, but it must be based on mutual understanding. Both parties have to be on the same page with the same goals. Only then can it happen. True respect then occurs. True love then occurs! Wanting to be with someone for who they are and not for how they make you feel is the basis of true love. Not for the way they look physically. Not for how good or fast they can bring you temporary satisfaction. Loving with zero expectation is true love.

What greater expectation is there than expecting sex, good or bad?  It is a much deeper relationship. On top of that, there are no more worries of infidelity which is one of the biggest issues in relationships. Full trust can be reached because the partners know that the other is not thinking about sex, which is propagated by a sexual relationship in the first place.

Except for a small percentage of the population, it is nigh impossible to “always have amazing sex,” with the same person or even different people for the rest of our lives. If we judge the quality of our relationships and life based upon this factor, which such a large percentage of people do, then it is easy to see why people are unhappy and our divorce rates in the West are over 50%. The grass will always be greener on the other side if sex is the basis for our judgement.

The joy of living non-sexually or celibacy can only be realized if it is practiced. And like I mentioned earlier it is very hard to stay celibate especially when confronted with opportunities unless one has a spiritual practice to remove the roots of sexual desire. Once this occurs however, in my opinion, it is a much happier and simpler existence. I know that if I wanted to I could find a way to satisfy this “want”, because it surely is not a “need” which most consider it to be, but I choose not to for my own longer term happiness and the greater good of everyone I come into contact with.

This ability to to control ourselves, leading ultimately to a higher quality of life, is one of many factors that separate humanity from its animal ancestors. Animals can’t control themselves and are “forced” to fulfill these urges to propagate their species. We can still spread humanity, without sex being the most important things in our lives.

I am not saying that sex is bad. I am not saying I will never do it again. I’m just saying I know that a higher happiness can be reached once I give it up. I’ve experienced it over many courses of time and will continue to do so many times in the future. Hopefully this post will encourage those that are currently celibate, whether by choice or not, that their actuality is greater than the potentiality that sex offers.

Hopefully those that feel “alone” may realize that being “alone” is not such a bad thing and can offer equal and perhaps a greater happiness than being with someone, especially with someone that could bring unnecessary misery into one’s life. I believe we must learn to live independently happy before we can learn to truly live happily with a partner or companion. Otherwise, as is often the case, the relationship may be doomed to fail.


Vrindaven

I have made it to Vrindaven! After a long train ride, a bus trip, an auto-rickshaw and a Tuk-Tuk I’m finally here. I am staying with a friend of a friend at his ashram near the ISKCON center. So far it has been an enjoyable experience and I’m learning their beliefs. I have studied the “Hare Krishnas” (as many people call them) for many years and this is the first time to have an “in-depth” look. Hopefully I’ll be able to relay what I learn and will try my best to truthfully convey my feelings about their religion and spiritual beliefs. I am going to some sort of spiritual meeting of of the high level gurus tomorrow evening followed by a feast of some sorts. Should be interesting.

Supplies to Sindhupalchok

I promise I will get to the report on Sindhupalchok soon. I have not had access to Internet so I haven’t been able to collect the reports from Anjali or the others. I am getting a 1GB internet SIM card to use though and should be able to get it up shortly.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and I am sorry I haven’t been more active the past few days! Missing all of your support and love!!!

List of daily expenses and donations for May 5th and 6th, 2015:

Total spent on food: $6.83
Room: $1.59
Random: $2.78
Travel: $1.74
Total: $12.95 + 111.91 = $124.86 divided by 15 days = $8.32 per day

Donations given to random strangers = 106 Indian rupees or $1.68
Donations given to sadhus or holy men = 200 INR or $3.18
Total = $4.87 + $843.88 divided by 15 days = $56.58 each day

Expense account = $513.05 – 12.95 = $500.10 (Avg. $8.32 per day will last 60 more days)
Donations account = $281.25 – 4.87 = $277.18 (Avg $56.58 per day will last 5 more days)

Blessed.