This American Sadhu Update: What’s Going on in the USA? New Video Series Ep. 1

What up old friends? Been meaning to write an update for a while… Thought I may try something new and put out a video series… Writing will come in time. Hope you all are well!!! Exciting times we are living in… Hope you like the video!

Moonwalking to the Rhythm of the Ocean and Stars

Day 18 (104 Overall)

Kandamodara, Sri Lanka

The rhythm of the waves of the ocean are hypnotically healing. It can bring us back into tune as the waves of the ocean are in one way or the other connected to the waves that are within us all. Can the ocean ever reach stillness or must it always sway? Can we, or is it merely a dream?

I ask myself every morning How do I feel today? As of recently, I have felt very good. At peace. At peace to continue on at my own pace. No need to hurry. No need to go slow. At my own pace. Can there be any other way to proceed onwards? As I continue, I thank everyone and everything that has led me to where I am today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

As I proceed to the climax of my own spiritual journey, whether in this life or the next, I wonder how many lives I have hoped for and wished to be where I currently am. With the knowledge that a “goal” exist and a method to get there; two keys. Would my past lives tell me to slow down or to speed up? Perhaps just to go the same pace that I currently am. How do I know it is coming to an end sooner rather then later? It is just something inside. Like they say, “When you know, you just know.” It is hard to explain it more than that.

Something I have talked about with others before is that the relative contemplation of the journey, the relative culmination of the work that has been done, whether hard or easy, is fascinating to personally witness. I do not know what lies in store for me, and yet I believe I am heading for certainty. My goal long ago was to reach certainty about what I am supposed to do. Where I am supposed to go. And this is what is special to me, to expect it to come, even though I know it is “impossible” for spiritual progress to occur with expectation. This is the “uniqueness of the situation” as I like to say. The great paradox.

I don’t know if it happens often, being able to expect spiritual culmination and it actually happening. Sure, tons of people expect it to happen and it doesn’t. How often do they expect it and it does? Perhaps, people in the past had no idea what was coming so how could they expect anything? I have many historical examples to draw from, plus my own spiritual experiences from the past, so there is something for me to expect towards, whether I like it or not. But, the strength of the meditation is such that it is possible to relatively expect in real life, and still “make it” to the goal; I abide in the mantra “I do not care what has come or will come.”

The shore is on the horizon and as it draws near, I continually reassure myself that I am doing what I am supposed to do. And yet the question rears itself once again, “To be or not to be”; that is the only question. “To be” is the aim of the ego. “Not to be” is the aim of the soul. In truth, it is a sacrifice, but one that must be made, with trust that it is the right way. I will surely be a different person once all is said and done, but what type of person? This is the trust that I speak about. With no living guru to lead me, I must trust myself, my intuitions, and the guidance of all the gurus before me, whether real or fictional, to lead me to where It wants me to go.

We stand at a precipice. To go the same way we have been going or to forge a new direction. I am surely not cut out to continue in the direction that we have been going, but I feel I may have the skills to help us if we decide to go on a new path. This can only be done when my own path is complete and that is what I am trying for or about to do. Most will not believe or understand until they see with their own eyes, and so when the time comes, I will show them either in person or online.

I always thought people will be drawn to spirituality when they see the “powers” that it brings, but perhaps these powers will just be used in the forms of whatever creative outlets we already have; music, art, writing, etc. When people see and hear the “divine” influential difference, this will make others follow. The difference will not be trivial.

The power of the blog would make past writers kings. The saying, “I’m doing this,” has much more sway than “I did this.” Not hiding their plans, but to show all openly. Those combined with spiritual guidance would naturally have been just as fearless, untouchable unless their karma allowed harm, but of course our history would have been different, which would have taken away the point of it all. It happened how it was supposed to and now we are here, together, ready to move forward, ready to cast aside our old clothes and don the new ones that we must trust will fit.

I have discovered one of my favorite new things is to sit on the deserted beach around 8 PM before the moon rises but still pitch dark, facing the south, watching the stars, and listening to the ocean. Eventually the moon rises and the light on the water at a sight degree is just unbelievable. It may be one of the most pleasant things I get to experience every night here. What is a star but a sun at a distance? Or just the rays of a sun that has already passed?

I saw a very funny sight yesterday. A young white tourist man was walking down the beach from the hotel nearby. As he approached the beach in front of our house, the dogs came out to greet him with their barks. He thought they were going to bite him or what not and he turned around and ran faster than a leopard back. It was quite funny as these were the harmless dogs. All bark and no bite, at least I think.

A truly beautiful salt-water crystal clear lagoon near where I live. Behind me 30 meters is the ocean.
A truly beautiful salt-water crystal clear lagoon near where I live. Behind me 30 meters is the ocean.

The Rule of Evil

Evil is like the waves of a rough coast. One can only go so far into the water before it will sweep them away. As long as one can still touch ground and they know how far they can go, the water cannot harm them. But as soon as they go too far, it can take everything away. This is the rule of evil.

The Dogs

On the prowl.
On the prowl.

My relationship with the dogs has progressed thoroughly. I have become one of their pack now, I feel, and they see me as one of their own, whether walking, eating, swimming, or lounging. I have reached this short term goal through love, rather than fear. Nature always holds the answer to the most vexing questions, one being whether to rule through love or fear. Through fear, I may have the slightest worry that they could turn on me at any point. Through love, my only worry is that they turn on someone else thinking I am in trouble, through their own love for me.

The dog can teach us much about what is important in life. Family, friendship, relaxing, enjoying life. They are certainly in no hurry. And neither am I. I will not slow down, nor speed up, but let the waves pull me in until the stillness settles.

Straight loungin'
Straight loungin’

There are as many psychological differences between dogs as their are humans. Just as it easy for me to see transitions of weakness to strength in humans, I can see it in the dogs. They are not all alike. Some are shy, some are scared, some are full of hatred, some are not trusting. On the other side, some are full of love, some are confident, some are trusting, some are just happy to be. The transitions can and do take place in dogs, as well as humans. In their next lives, they will carry the victories of their transitions or the defeats wherever Dharma sends them next.

The soul has neither beginning nor end. [They] come into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of their previous lives. – Origen

Can you believe it? 104 days have passed in the sadhu journey. It feels great, like a feeling that even occasionally if I’m doing nothing, I’m still doing something. I may not have much to do, but I have my IPad full of books. Not just any books, but the best books ever written. That’s pretty cool to say. We all have access to the best books ever written. Throughout history! Movies and music are babies compared to the written word. And, we can see similarities and differences with our ancestors through the books that have been preserved for us to read and enjoy! It connects us to them. Hopefully, one day, my books will do the same. Enshallah.

It’s a miracle to me,
That the sun we see,
And the moon are of the same size
And yet I know,
It’s just a show,
The moon with its wise disguise.

Could this be the same,
As our current law or game,
Of good and it’s mirror evil.
It seems they are balanced,
Could there be malice,
If good didn’t deceive the people?

Just like the moonlight,
That reflects from the sun,
The evil could not exist,
If good’s will was not done.

Blessed.

A word from our sponsor, Hunter S. Thompson not giving a F.
A word from our sponsor, Hunter S. Thompson not giving a F.

Taking Care of Dogs, Walking Along the Beach, and Loving Life in Sri Lanka

Journey to Ixtlan

Day 10

Kandamodara, Sri Lanka

A half-complete castle-church I live in.
A half-complete castle-church I live in.
I am sitting here in a balcony overlooking the most enchanting ocean, beach, and palm trees I have ever seen, with only $12.36 in the expense account thinking that I am perfectly happy with the way things have turned out thus far in the sadhu journey. I have made it to the destination that I have been “aspiring” towards for sometime now, not knowing it’s full potential until now. It was hard work, but I have somehow made it here. An aspiration such as this is a combination of little aspirations all rolled into one, and to me it is better than I could have planned. Furthermore, I now get to show you an example of how to continuing traveling and “living” on truly no money. The accounts are so low there would not be much I can do with them at the time. How does one live on such little? The key is to find your sanctuary. I believe I have found my own, for the time being.

Overlooking the balcony.
Overlooking the balcony.
I have found a place where I will not need to worry what I plan on doing next week, or next month which is a huge relief over what I have been doing the past 3 months and even past 16 months of traveling. When we can find these sanctuaries, and so much more if our room and board will be taken care of, it can be seen as a relative “goal” to shoot for when traveling; perhaps a result that could only be when combined with a spiritual journey. Especially ones in such pristine conditions as this. Things may be a little rough around the edges, but when have I ever shied away from this in the past? More or less, the pros of this place far outweigh whatever little cons I can find. The method of my living the past three months has made it to where even in slightly uncomfortable rooms or situation, I can find my solace and do what I need to do.

Pathway to Freedom
Pathway to Freedom
Through the spiritual path, occasionally times like this occur on a basis of manifesting the desire that is wanted for spiritual development. This places seems to be a direct manifestation of all the things I would want in a sanctuary and where spiritual development can occur in solitude. This is huge. I feel something inside me, either consciously or unconsciously, wanted it for myself to proceed forwards and so I am ready to take that step. My meditation is perfectly on track and beyond what I could imagine it to be at this point. The absolute silence except for waves is extremely beneficial for the path to continue.

Wide open beaches into solitude.
Wide open beaches into solitude.
I have never seen such a beautiful and secluded beach in all of my life. It is really unreal to me and feels like I am dreaming, walking, sitting, laying on the beach in either the day or the night. I walk with the dogs down the beach and come back hours later and still the only foot prints left are mine and the dogs. The waves are absolutely extraordinary and ravishing, perhaps 5-7 meters high at times. The red flags are constantly out and so I have only taken a few dips thus far.

Magnicent gardens surround the whole property.
Magnicent gardens surround the whole property.
The dogs. The dogs, how can I explain about these magnificent dogs? A story will be told over the coming months. I imagine that they will be the main characters in the unfolding story as most of my attention will be with them. When I was offered the job, the woman who explained things to me said is all you have to do is love my dogs and I thought to myself, ok I can do that. The catch being is that there are 17 dogs here and 3 monkeys. They are not all on good terms so there are sort of gangs of dogs.

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Here are the breakups:

There is sort of a group of “good” dogs and “bad” dogs and the monkeys live in the middle, constantly provoking or aggrandizing the dogs to fight. There is furthermore another group of six rogue dogs who live on the beach, but are very defensive. This makes 23 dogs total. Out of the “good” dogs they are lead by a wonderful female golden labrador retriever named Sara who is around 10 years old. She is getting older, but still in good shape and just loves life.

Ole Sara the sweety.
Ole Sara the sweety.
Her “companion” is a miniature or crippled German Shepherd named, get this, Rex, the name of my 100 year old grandpa. So cool. Surrounding these two dogs is a gang of around 8 good dogs. Slowly I hope to show them all and explain who they are and their strengths and weaknesses.

Rex the champ.
Rex the champ.
On the “bad” side, there are about 6-7 dogs mostly of black and white color who live sort of behind the monkey cage in a big open field that opens up for the dogs to run around in. I have not got to know their names or backgrounds yet, but there is a pretty aggressive one who likes to jump on me and bite at my arms gently. There is a single fence that separates the two gangs, but there are also plenty of openings in the fence so things sometimes get a bit out of hand, but they are just having fun it looks like so far.

The monkeys live in the middle. One is a bit atrocious and likes to antagonize the dogs.

Shookee... he is mean looking.
Shookee… he is mean looking.
One of the cool things about where I am is that the dogs have absolute freedom to do whatever they please. It is literally a huge area surrounded purely by nature that they can run around in. Since they are nearly always in a pack or with a friend, they have nothing to worry about. It is an absolute paradise for them. A human paradise automatically leads itself to a dog’s paradise, especially if the dogs are treated so well as they are here. It is going to be an amazing time. I have came up with a little corresponding theory that has to do with this job and will be interesting to see in progression.

Animal Karma Theory

A question has been roaming around in my mind for some time and I think I am starting to get an image of an answer. It seems like a good time to expunge it a bit as it has to do with the next leg of the journey I am embarking on now. The question is how do animals gain karma to eventually be reborn into the human existence when they live purely by instinct, by reaction, and the programming that is within their own DNA? My theory is that animals have received karma throughout history based upon the “interference” of man, either consciously or unconsciously. In essence, we can change the fate or karma of animals by utilizing them for multiple purposes.

Either through food, or production, or protection, or by receiving love from them which can be tangentially felt from animal to human. A karmic cycle or loop can start where a human receives karma for providing the opportunity for animals to earn karma on an extended “drawn out” basis. Just from “mingling” with animals, we give them the chance to “love” and even “change” into a loving animal from an angry or frightened one.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” – Genesis 1:26

I think this scripture is stating the same as this theory, but it is not explaining it in depth or properly. Many people throughout history might have thought this meant that man has the ability to do whatever it wants to animals as they are “higher” on a spiritual level or imaginary “food chain”, but in actuality it just means that we are in charge of giving animals the opportunity to earn karma as they have no ability to unless human interaction takes place. This could have unconsciously being taken place since the inception of human-animal interaction. A deeper question is who are the one’s that gave pre-humans their karma to become human through evolution? Something to speculate upon.

This theory corresponds to what I am about to start doing. I will give them the opportunity to love and protect me just with long walks on the beach and I will love them in return, a la the karmic loop will be implemented. I don’t see them really as “animals”, but beings just like you or me just in an animal body at the time. Any of them could have been my family, friends, or teachers from past lives. 

Chickens can give eggs, food, fertilizer, and perhaps love. Cows give plenty of milk, fertilizer or an energy source as they burn manure to cook food in many countries, food, and love. Dogs can go one step further and provide protection and lots of love which can be more tangentially felt. I feel very fortunate to have grown up around dogs nearly all of my life and would go far as to say that perhaps I may not even be alive if it were not for the unconditional love that animals and dogs specifically provide. They heal through love. They give you an opportunity to earn karma in return for giving them the opportunity to earn karma. That is the basis of this theory and something I plan on watching take place over the next few months.

I hope I can tell the story for all to read, understand, and love for it should be a fun one to take part in and watch. My internet capabilities are currently adapting and I should be able to get a constant source of internet soon which should allow the content to proceed punctually and rapidly. But perhaps not…

——-

The only groups of people I have met thus far on the beach are staying West about 200 meters at a posh 4 star hotel. Mostly British, German, and Russian tourists they explained to me. They invited me in and showed me all around. Crazy pool, bars, restaurants, etc. The guys on the beach know the woman I am working for. They are nice and I will look forward to talking to them occasionally throughout the time.

East of us is a group of fisherman who have their boats tied there constantly. I was told to be careful of them and so I am. Nonetheless, I met a few of them and they seemed to be nice at first meeting. He showed me a boat full of 8-9 craps and smiled. I usually walk by them at least once a day when walking the dogs.

I am now staying in the tower of this house with another older Sri Lankan man who occasionally stays there and other times in Tangelle. He explained he had been coming there for a long time and his children were married there. The other younger boy who lives on the property is Kasun. He came and picked me up from the Tangelle bus station on my first day and is sort of the do-it-all guy at the moment. We have so far developed a very good relationship. Lastly there are a few Tuk-tuk drivers who work here a little and drive Kasun around if he needs to pick up any supplies because it is quite a long tuk-tuk ride to where one wants to buy something. Going to the market yesterday was quite interesting, but successful.

The tower of power.
The tower of power.
So that is all that I will write about the situation thus far. More or less, I have no more expense or personal money to use and will be happy writing, meditating, walking on the beach with wonderful dogs for the upcoming future. Perhaps even just giving love and compassion to animals or dogs can give the little extra push we need to go spiritually; we may need to fill up the jars just a little fuller to get to where we want to go. I hope you will enjoy the ride!

List of daily expenses and donations between July 16th and July 24th 2015:

New for Sri Lanka:
Flight from India: $48.91
Visa: $30
Travel (bus): $5.70
Food: $48.25
Room: $27.65
Random: $8.46
SIM Card: $18.69
Total: $187.67

Total: $187.67 divided by 9 days = $20.85 per day

Donation to random stranger= $.90

Total = $1149.90 – .90 divided by 95 days = $12.11 per day

Expense account = $200.03 – $187.67 (Avg. $20.85 per day will last 1 more day)
Donations account = $14.68 – .90 = $13.38 (Avg $12.11 per day will last 1 more day)

Blessed.

Don’t They Know The War is Over?

Day 90

Negombo Beach, Sri Lanka

Don’t they know?

Don’t they know the war is over?
That we all have won and no one has lost?
Don’t they know there is enough for us all to be happy?
That there always will be?
That the idea that what we need is running out is the grand illusion of capitalism?
Don’t they know that a good idea that can and will help everyone can never be stopped?
Don’t they know this is what they actually want?
Don’t they know that they are not to blame?
Don’t they know that they have a right to change?
Don’t they know that freedom is around the corner?
Not the superficial freedom that we have learned to accept, but true freedom as in “doing anything one can possibly imagine?”
Don’t they know that this freedom comes with a price?
That the price is their unhappiness and suffering?
Don’t they know that sacrifices are only skin-deep?
Don’t they know they will always be ok?
That nothing in the universe can hurt them or anyone for that matter?
Don’t they know they are already forgiven?
Don’t they know that even they can give and receive love?
Don’t they know what is actually inside of us is all the same?
That nothing external can ever replace what is internal?
Or are they just waiting until they are told?
Well, let’s tell ’em.

India Journey Accomplished: Spending $5.40 a day, with $1150 Donated over Three Months

Day 87

Negombo Beach, Sri Lanka

My trip through India and the first leg of this journey has come to an end. What a wonderful trip it has been. I met so many amazing people and new friends, especially in the last month. It is amazing to me how lifelong friends can be made in such a short time period, completely randomly, and I can’t imagine not knowing these new people. Perhaps any longer and I would have been too attached to leave. I look forward to seeing them all again one day and I know our friendships have just begun.

When I started this journey I set a goal of only spending $10 a day or less for my expenses and I am happy to say that it was nearly half that at $5.40 a day. I was attempting to show how cheap it can be to travel in India and furthermore throughout the world. Anyone who can save $5.40 a day can also travel the same way that I have, at least in India, for I have attempted to show the path. Furthermore, we were able to donate a total of $1149.90 over the course of the trip or $13.37 per day, which is great in itself. It is impossible to know the exact repercussions of these donations, but it is possible to say that they all went to someone who was in need at the time.

Overview of My Trip Through India

My journey began in one of my favorite cities, Varanasi, where I swam in the Ganges and had a spectacular time at the Kumiko guesthouse, making friends with many wonderful souls.

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From there I proceeded to Vrindaven, which was a special place even though it was rough physically and spiritually. I salute Mathura and Mangala for taking care of me during this time.

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After this I found my way to the place of the Buddha’s supreme enlightenment at Bodh Gaya where I volunteered at a vipassana course for 14 days. It was hot as hades and challenging, but it was also a very special part of the trip.

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Heading out, we went through Raj Gir and then to Kolkata. Kolkata was unexpectedly a highlight of the trip and I enjoyed this week tremendously working with the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity at the Kalighat hospice.

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Lastly, I came down to Pondicherry and Auroville after debating going into the monsoon (which never came) without any definite plans and it all worked out ten times better than I could have imagined. It was just a blessed experience all around. It was for sure one of those experiences that I feel that I somehow designed for myself in a separate existence or a past or future life. I have a new-found love for South India and will surely spend more time there in the future.

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My last two weeks I spent with a few wonderful people at the Magic House, a den of fellow wanderers working on building a sustainable permaculture village. Shoutouts to the Georgian Brian Newhouse of Permaville fame and Rwandan Mr. Sammy. What a fun time we had in such a short time frame! Below is the Magic House kitchen; the whole place felt like the setting of the movie “The Beach”, an all-time favorite of mine.

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Volunteering at Chola Gardens

When I came to Chola Gardens I had no idea what to expect. I was sort of just leaving it in God’s hands to send me to the place that I was supposed to be at. Surely that is what happened and it was a remarkable one month experience. I feel that I made a new family and will always feel connected to these wonderful people. We worked very hard on building them a new home for whatever reason that they choose to use it for in the future. Although it was not completed, a lot of the grunt work of building the foundation has been accomplished.

The stone for the foundation is nearly used up and they will soon have to move forward with the cob and adobe work. However long it takes, these first steps were very crucial to getting the ball rolling and the fire lit. It really began to feel like a sculptural artwork that we all were contributing to, as I hope the pictures will show.

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Outside shots of the foundation.

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Selvi and her wonderful mother posing at work.

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Trip to Madurai

I only spent one day in Madurai and did not get to see too much, but what I saw was worth it. The Meenakshi Temple is a sprawling complex in the center of Madurai and supposedly the largest temple in India. I could not take pictures inside and there were a few inner chambers where I could not go because I was white or not officially Hindu, but it was very mysterious (although once I flashed my Ganesh tattoo and a guy let me through. I thought this was pretty cool).

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It really felt like an Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider movie, with some of the most amazing stone carvings I have ever seen. The ceilings were at least 10 meters high being supported by huge carved pillars of the Gods and deities. There was a meditation hall that was gated off, but I snuck in and had a wonderful meditation there, even if the security guards interrupted me half way through, which I had to talk my way out of.

The next morning I took the bus from Madurai to the airport and hopped on a plane to good ole Sri Lanka! The plane ticket cost me 3,100 rupees or around $50 and the corresponding one month visa cost $30. I am in super wandering mode at the moment and am just buying some time until I figure exactly where to go again. I think I know, but am not 100%. The expense account is dipping into the double-digits soon so this is no time to mess around.

I am very much looking forward to Sri Lanka, even if I will not be able to spend as extravagantly as I did in India, which may sound like a joke but it isn’t. There is just enough money in the expense account to buy my plane ticket, visa, and a few days of lodging before I find out my next destination. I plan on finding another volunteer job to conserve what is left in the expense account so the show can go on. This is perhaps the only way for the project to continue to function properly. I believe is what I need at this moment is a place of solitude, away from distractions and potential sidetracks, where I can write but also perform volunteer work. I think I have found the perfect place and will know for sure in the coming days.

While I wait, I seemed to have walked into a bit of a tourist trap in Negombo Beach as can happen when wandering is taking place, but I found a quaint little place for a little over $5 a day and am buying cheap bread and fruit in the marketplace until I can find another job. There is fast free wifi though, which I am not used to, so I plan on putting it to good use while I am here. There are not many people in the resorts, but it is a quite built up area. I wonder if the lack of tourists is because of the season or because of the remnants of the war that ended semi-recently.

The waves were huge yesterday and I was hesitant to go swimming, but I did it anyway. The water was warm and there was a bit of trash floating ashore, but any beach is beautiful to me.  I am confident where I am heading next will not be this way, but will be crystal clear water, which is what I am seeking, inside and out.

All in all, I am happy to have absolute freedom again, without having to check up with anyone and can come and go as I please. Once again nobody knows my name and I am a man without a history… just the way I like it.

India was an absolute blast and totally different than my first trip there two years ago, which I expected it would be. Coming to Sri Lanka, I have zero expectations though and am looking forward to all it has to offer. The truck is moving forward and the train is heading to its destination of destinationlessness soon enough. Thanks to you all for sticking with me, following the journey, and supporting me through your reading, commenting, and donating! I surely could not do it without all of you!

The air was cool and crisp as he stepped off the plane. What did this newfound country have to offer? Much like the explorers before, who blazed the path for such a journey to take place, he was unaware of the treasures and hazards that lay ahead. But who cares? Freedom is what is at stake. The freedom to find the truly unexpected.

As he walked out of the airport, past the touts and tuktuks, he could notice the change in the air from India. What was it? The climate? The people? The feeling? Perhaps a little bit of each. Something was different, but exactly what remains to be seen.

With absolutely no idea where to go, he hopped on a bus heading for a place called Negombo Beach. “Beach” is the only word that mattered here and he knew that would offer a place of shelter until the light shined upon the new path to be taken.

Seeing guesthouses or “lodges” as they call them here and restaurants, he decided this was as good a place as any. Without the bus even coming to a complete stop he jumped onto the curbside, without too much trouble.

“Be careful!”, a nearby tuktuk driver shouted. “You are going to break a leg doing that!”, laughing with his friend.

“It’s all good brother! Don’t worry,” responded the man. With little luggage, jumping off moving transit was doable although perhaps not necessary. “Where can I find a cheap place to stay?”, he asked the two men.

“Check down this way, maybe you can find a place for around 1000 rupees a night,” responded the driver. “Ah, but that is a little high. Anywhere cheaper?” said the man. “Perhaps, but you will need some luck!” Smilingly, the man said “Luck? That is about all I have these days!”

And off he went into the wild blue yonder.

List of daily expenses and donations between July 11th and 16th 2015:

1st donation added in two months! $30 from a wonderful friend! $15 into each account.

Total spent on food: $6.67
Room: $5.52
Random: $.66
Travel $9.27
Total: $22.28

Total: $441.97 + 22.28 = $464.25 divided by 86 days = $5.40 per day

Donation to random stranger= $.32

Total = $1149.58 + .32 = $1149.90 divided by 86 days = $13.37 per day

Expense account = $207.31 + $15 – 22.28 = $200.03 (Avg. $5.40 per day will last 37 more days)
Donations account = 0 + $15 – .32 = $14.68 (Avg $13.37 per day will last 1 more days)

Blessed.

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India Trip Coming to a Close, Sri Lanka Up Next, and a little Poetry

July 11th, 2015

Kuilapalayam, India

This past week has been pretty easy-going. I am never that great at a strong finish; I’m much more of a strong or even head start type of volunteer/worker. We have got some good work done though, but it has been hot with little rain. I have made a lot of very nice friends and acquaintances recently who I’ve been spending some time with when I am free. Friendship on the road can be a blessing if good friends come along. When it happens, and you are aware of it, sometimes it can be worth it to just go with their flow.

On the adobe house, we have built up the stone foundation and turned it into the lower walls. This was quite difficult with the angles that we were working with as you can see below. Nonetheless they are coming out nicely and will work well when the earth is added above. It has been a truly wonderful time working and living here at Chola Gardens and I’m 100% sure that I will be coming back again. Before I came on this trip through India I prayed that God would put me into contact with only good people and this has surely been the case the last few months. Below are a few pictures from the build site.

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View from inside the entrance.

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The curved wall sloping down and around. The next step will be to cob the walls to a flat level for adobe to be placed.

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Selvi and Kamelraj working on building the wall with smiles!

In the featured image; Having a snack with friends from the Magic House.

Look at what is behind what’s in front of you.

One day I was sitting at home playing a videogame,
I thought to myself, what are you doing, this is a crying shame.
It’s beautiful outside, go and take a look,
Maybe toss the pigskin around or even read a book?

A book about what you say?
How about Nietzche or Dostoevsky?
Or Orwell or Huxley, there’s a couple of chaps,
Pick whatever I can find and that will be thats.

Yes the sun you see,
Is good making the mind empty.
To calm down the thoughts,
And clean out the ghats,
Sit in the sun and sip from the UV pots.

They say that when the stillness speaks,
It speaks in tones and creaks.
It says clear off this dust,
And learn to fully utilize me,
That will be good for everything.

Think to myself,
What do I got?
Don’t got much,
To keep me in a spot.

Why not move around a little?
See some new sites?
Try and see the world,
One place at a time.

Don’t have no family,
No job and no car.
No house and no payments.
No money or bar.

All I carry is little,
Fits in a bag,
No I don’t need much,
You’d probably laugh.

Going from a world where you can order anything,
To a world where you can order nothing.
Is not such an easy thing you see,
It can change a man,
And make him learn to live thrifty.

But sometimes the splurge must occur,
For to hold back would be against the nature.
A pizza here, a pasta there,
Iced tea and a fair dessert share.

Sometimes I fall off my horse,
But I always get back on again.
Sometimes I fall off my boat,
And then I learn to swim again.

I’m fixin to move on,
Pack up my things,
Only take me a minute,
And I’m ready to leave.

It’s been a good show,
Ending with the best.
Thank you Tamil Nadu,
And all of the rest.

Much much respect to all of the wonderful people I have met at Chola Gardens, Geoff, Selvi, Kamelraj, Ahalia, Bala, Kalki, Harry, Ama V, and everyone else, as well as everyone at Magic House and the surrounding hangouts. Too many to mention.

In the next few days I will leave this place for Madurai for one day and then hop on a plane to Columbo, Sri Lanka. Where I go after that is a little vague, but I will tempt you with this. A beautiful home on crystal clear waters of South Sri Lanka awaits, but with a pretty big twist. Dogs and lots of them. For an indefinite amount of time and semi-solitude. Hopefully it all works out but we shall surely see!

And this may be important for us to remember one day!

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How to use a compost toilet, Fertile, Auroville.

List of daily expenses and donations between July 4th and 10th 2015:

Total spent on food: $16.70
Room: $2.37
Random: $.66
Total: $19.73

Total: $422.24 + 19.73 divided by 80 days = $5.52 per day

Donation to random stranger= $.46

Total = $1149.97 + .46 divided by 80 days = $14.32 per day

Expense account = $227.04 – 19.73 = 207.31 (Avg. $5.52 per day will last 38 more days)
Donations account = $.46 – .46 = 0 (Avg $14.32 per day will last 0 more days)

Blessed.

Adobe House Update, New Poetry, and Philosophical Conversations about God or the Lack Thereof

Day 67

Kuilapalayam, India

This past week has been full of action. Reading, writing, working, fraternizing, philosophizing, eating, sleeping, and swimming in the ocean: pretty much all the best things in life. After two weeks of construction at Chola Garden, we are picking up steam on the adobe house, making large strides with the foundation and bricks. Slowly, but surely, we are making progress and everything is coming into shape. Below you can see some pictures of what we have been up to.

image Here is the finalized design that Geoff drew for the building. image And he made a wonderful model on the foundation and structure. image The foundation slowly taking shape. image Geoff is the lead of stone transportation as well. His ingenious stone puller in use. Tally ho Comrade! image We use a wheelbarrow to mix up cement to lay the rocks. image As you can see the design is coming from an idea in the mind, to a vision on paper, to actualization quite quickly; which is aspiration in action. As the week goes by, we shall surely finish the foundation and begin with the walls. Although it will perhaps not be completed by the time I am gone, we should have enough done where it can be completed without my assistance. Hopefully, I will be back and can help out on any future projects as well.

New Weekly Poetry

Realizing that It’s All for Fun – Link Here

Chaos and the Perfect Accident – Link Here

The 100 Year Old Song – Coming later. Edit- Link Here

image A beautiful but gloomy sunset over the Bay of Bengal.

Conversations about God and the Ability or Inability to Change One’s Mind

I believe the idea of God is all about semantics. Some use the term “God” and some use other words to describe characteristics of what I call God. To me, neither are right or wrong. I just don’t have an aversion to any term that is used or not used, whereas some may. I’d like to clarify some things about my own belief. I don’t believe in some old wise man sitting up in the clouds watching over us. I don’t believe that there is a God who intervenes in “our” affairs. I don’t believe exactly that there is a God who created everything. I believe in the Oneness, that there is ultimately only one essence that all is connected to or a part of. Every person, place, and thing, big and small; this is God to me. Everything. I believe there are rules and laws to the universe, I see this as God. I see perfection in all things because I don’t see the world in terms of good or bad like most. Of course, relatively things aren’t “perfect” as the idea of “perfection” is subjective in itself, but ultimately, they are.

I have been having lots of conversations and debates about God recently. It is a little strange to me how some may honestly praise me for who I am or what I’m doing and say things like “whatever you are doing, keep doing it”, but then criticize me for my spiritual and religious beliefs, thinking that I somehow got to where I am without them. Like somehow through sheer will and intellect I could be who I am at this moment without my belief in God and a reason for our existence. Asking me to stop believing or talking about God now would be like asking me to take the foundations out from underneath the house that has been built. It is an impossibility. It is who I am, and being anything else would be me merely acting and not being myself.

I know what I was like before I became spiritual and I know what I am like now; I don’t have any particular desire to go back to the way I was before, nor do I believe that I could “combine” the two and do what I am currently doing with the same atheistic or “non-spiritual” mindset that I had before. I consider myself to be a “true believer” because what I believe I was not taught, what I believe is based upon my own experience, which is impossible to convey with accuracy. If it seems that I am a “strong” person, it is because there is a “strong cornerstone” of which my house has been built. Not on blind faith, but on experiential truth. Rarely do I take things from religion and add them to what I believe. It is actually the other way around. I believe certain things and then I notice in certain religions that their beliefs correspond to mine. Then I am able to relate with the religion and with others who believe the same thing.

I mentioned that if I am happy and am make others happy, which I seem to do, why should I change? I have 100% Faith in what I am doing and it would be impossible for someone to convince me otherwise, unless a new and more convincing argument came along. Only I could convince myself to change at this point. How can we change or override what our mind believes? If it is what the mind considers true, how can we override it and furthermore when there is no desire to “control” the direction of the mind? If something makes sense to our mind, how can we override it unless something comes along that makes more sense? If there is only condemnation and not a valid replacement theory or content how can the mind change what makes sense to it?

Does the person condemning believe that I have not heard every other possible argument or theory before and that some “new” info will change my mind? Do they believe that somehow they may “know something” for certain that I should also know for certain? If I don’t believe that one can be certain of anything (unless extraordinary spiritual states have been achieved), then how could I ever be convinced of anything besides what I already believe or what currently makes the most sense to me?

I see the basis of religion as evangelization, or trying to convince others that you are right and they are wrong and that they should “join” you in their belief. I don’t necessarily think it has to do with God. Even “atheism” has become a religion, where atheists try to convert people to their own belief. In these regards, I feel that I am extremely non-religious. I don’t consciously try to convert anyone to believe in what I believe. What I believe may come out in my actions or conversation, but this is only because it is engrained into who I am, not because I have some ulterior motive for changing someone into someone like me. The one thing I am certain of is that I am uncertain and I will not claim to be unless I am certain, which is not true at the moment. I am also certain that I doubt anyone who claims to be certain that they are certain; for to be certain is a much bigger accomplishment than is immediately recognizable.

Anyways, this is what we have been talking about recently. All debate and conversation is good and necessary to self-development. It strengthens our own belief and chisels away at ideas or beliefs that are arbitrary and don’t matter so much to future conversations. We are all here to teach each other and if we were all certain, what would be the point?

List of daily expenses and donations between June 20th and June 26th 2015:

Total spent on food: $10.44

Room: $2.37

Random: $1.58

Total: $14.38

Total: $14.38 + 393.91 = $408.29 divided by 66 days = $6.19 per day

Donation to Eco-Village building project = $71.76

Total = $71.76 + $1074.21 = $1145.97 divided by 66 days = $17.36 per day

Expense account = $255.37 – 14.38 = $240.99 (Avg. $6.19 per day will last 39 more days)

Donations account = $75.37 – 71.76 = $3.61 (Avg $17.36 per day will last 0 more days)

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Blessed.