“A warrior doesn’t ever leave the island of the tonal. He uses it.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

A Refreshing Shakuhachi Video: Change has Come


I came across this video on Bas’s  Shakuhachi blog and it surprised me. I haven’t heard something simulatetaneously meditative and … well … outgoing in a while. I also loved the title – it seems everyone is looking in vein for change in the future – maybe because it is already here, right under our noses?

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-17

  • yesterday I finally got to see a beautiful, intimate and timeless Romanian countryside: http://bit.ly/fHSW4w #romania #
  • a beautiful cottage built using roundwood timber framing: http://bit.ly/gKOPRs #
  • @raymondpirouz it seems 2me that being mindful (thinking, talking, writing, teaching, explaining, etc.) about creativity is destructive 2 it #
  • once a week I get this update email from LinkedIn telling me about new connections people I know made with other people #
  • new people in my life are not on LinkedIn … that makes me happy … my life is heading in a new direction #
  • 2 half sleepless nights in a row … #
  • @raymondpirouz 🙂 “Getting drunk and picking up bar-ladies and writing metaphysics is a part of life.” Robert Pirsig http://bit.ly/ecCQmh #
  • @ecominimalnick Open Office is great IF you are open to an ecological relationship: embracing and appreciating what it can do #
  • this weekend we'll b travelling to the far south Romania (Constanta – near the ocean) where we plan to buy a car to drive all the way back! #
  • being vegeterian = much food-scraps when cooking, here in the city it's garbage, soon in the village it will be precious compost … yes! #
  • drinking milk cooked with tumeric, cardamon and honey … but this time trying it with creamy buffalo milk … that is one thick drink 🙂 #
  • when I was a kid avocado pits in water grew into new life, not so 2day – genetically modified = systemic discontinuity of propogating life #

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1st Time Traveling in the Romanian Countryside


Yesterday we took a day off and joined Horatiu (friend and architect of our future home) and his family on a day-trip south-west of Cluj. We moved around in between the counties of Cluj and Alba Iulia.

Though we did have long strokes of beautiful sunlight it was a cold day as winter seemed to take another shot at making itself present. We left before noon and when we drove back around 08pm it started to rain, then on the hills south of Cluj-Napoca the rain turned into a surprising snow-storm that came flying at us (another first for me) almost all the way into the city.

This was my first time traveling for leisure in Romania and tasting a beautiful, abundant and raw country-side where time has mostly stood still. It was both beautiful and informative (one of the benefits of traveling with an architect who knows and loves the traditional qualities of his home-land).

Posted in Enjoy, Expanding, inside, Romania | You are welcome to add your comment

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-10

  • as promised, images from the day b4 yesterday – geological testing, topographical mapping and playing-house: http://bit.ly/f7OJ06 #
  • I'm old fashioned – I still use two (sometimes three) characters to type a smile 🙂 #
  • have we finally found a good starting point for agricultural preparations on our land with terraces and raised-beds? http://bit.ly/eyOazu #
  • @servint is there any outlook on the connectivity issue resolution? #
  • today is a "resuming practice" day and I am bit congested, I caught my mind being forceful in my Pranayama practice: http://bit.ly/fh7xVy #
  • @adambn your white balance is messed up ….toooooo blue! check your setting! #
  • beautiful natural swimming pools – no checmical at all – all based on natural life energy: http://bit.ly/ejXinX #
  • heading out to car market – looking for a red nissan x-trail 🙂 #
  • sorry #romania but parents smoking in their childrens faces is an ignorant, primitive and f—ing backwards and lame behavior #
  • this is how I feel #

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Practicing Pranayama with Congestion


The day before yesterday we left very early in the morning to a day filled with traveling and unknowns. I didn’t practice that morning and I didn’t practice yesterday morning because I was too unsettled to enjoy a meaningful practice. Today was a “resuming practice” day.

On such days my nasal passages are usually at least a bit more congested then usual (there are rare days where the congestion is too much to practice anything other then basic ujjayi breathing) and as a result the breath doesn’t flow as consistently and smoothly as I know it can. My breathing capacity is usually full despite my congestion – which means I can still do my entire practice, I just need to be more attentive and patient with the breath.

Here is where things get tricky. A “rough” breath usually coincides with a “rough” mind – a mind that is usually dancing around and is short on patience. On these “resuming practice” days my Pranayama practices are more about mind then about breath.

Today I noticed another subtle trick my mind has been playing with for some time. I’ve been witnessing it  for many years but today, for the first time, I saw through to what was happening – a kind of thing my teacher calls an “escape”. I find myself trying to momentarily push out or pull in a stronger flow of air in an attempt to clear congestion. Somewhere in my consciousness there is a desire to go back to a quality of breath that I know I am capable of – and that translates into an action in the form of a forceful breath – and sometimes it works. But this is a mind in denial.

The present situation is a familiar experience of congestion. It is a congestion of both the breath and the mind. A “flowing” practice in this state is therefore one that includes and accommodates this congestion – it is a bumpy flow. It isn’t the same kind of smooth “flowing” experience that comes after a few continuous days of peaceful living and practice – it can’t be. When my mind pushes the breath to “overcome” my congestion it is actually in denial of the present congested state – it is creating more turbulence in the practice by clinging to a false hope that a little bit of pushing will bring the practice back to familiar grounds.

Even after I noticed this pattern it continued to manifest in my practice. It is a habit I have picked up over the years. It is something I am going to pay more attention to in future practices. I would like to form a more present habit where my mind accepts the congestion and works with it instead of against it. I have faith that I will find my way back to a better and smoother practice. I need to convey that faith softly to my mind so that it too can be patient and present with me.

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