“… a warrior could not avoid pain and grief but only the indulging in them...”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

Charles Eisenstein: The Power of Attention


“The power of attention is much greater than the force of self-restraint.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: The Fix


“Our addictions and superficial pleasures aren’t only substitutes for something else – they are also glimpses of that something, promises. Shopping does give many people a fleeting experience of abundance or connection. Sugar does give many people a feeling of loving themselves. Cocaine offers a moment of knowing oneself as a capable, powerful being. Heroin offers a brief surcease from the pain that one had experienced as omnipresent. A soap opera produces the feeling of belonging, which properly comes from being enmeshed in the stories of the people one sees every day … Over time, their palliative efficacy diminishes while their destructive side effects grow. The drug stops working. We up the dose. Eventually that doesn’t work either.

The same dynamic currently afflicts our civilization. We constantly up the dose of technology, of laws and regulations, of social controls, of medical interventions. In the beginning, it seemed, these measures brought great improvements, but now they barely suffice to maintain normality and keep the pain at bay …

In both cases, the personal and collective, the fix masks an underlying malady. In both cases, when the fix stops working, the underlying condition comes to the surface, and there is no choice but to confront it. That is what is happening to our society today.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Yoga On the Mat Practice: Winter 2013/2014


Shortly after my previous on-the-mat update I asked my teacher to take my practice a step forward. To my understanding, the direction he took was changing from a langhana to a langhana-somewhat-brahmana practice. The previous practice was a healing practice, this practice has been a continuation of that healing togather with a sense of renewed vitality.

After I was given the practice I had a period of ~2 weeks of undisturbed practice. Then almost a month (a two week visit by Annelieke and then recovering from illness) of disturbed practice followd by almost daily practice (there was a 2nd visit by Annelieke with some, though less disturbance to my practice).

ronen-november-2013Followed by the following pranayama sequence – using Anuloma Ujjayi:   x8 x8   x8

and then a short counter-posture sequence.

Some clarifications:

  • asana#1: front & sides
  • asana#2: 3 times with only exhale + 3 times with mild B.K. (hold after the exhale)
  • asana#3: 2 times open + 2 times twist + 2 times open
  • asana#14: 2 times exhale longer than inhale + 2 times with added B.K.

Physical Reflections

#1: I was intrigued to find how subtle variation effected me. I started by practicing alternating front and side (up side, down front, up font, down side, etc.) – and it anoyed me. I changed it to only up side (preferring to raise my arms on the side as a continuation of the movement generated by the breath), down front and I felt much better with it. In recent weeks I changed to 3 times up-side, down-front and then 3 times up-front, down side … which felt like a smoother connection to the 2nd posture.

#2: at first there was stifness, but I quickly found myself returning to (a) past movement range; (b) variety in range depending on my general well-being.

#3: At first the open twist seemed to continue the work I’d been doing in the previous practice in opening and softening the shoulders/shoulder bladed. Similar pains appeared at first … though not for long. I think I have arrived at an unprecedented relationship with trikonasana (both open and twisted).

#4: I was surprised to find physical strength, most of the development has been in the breath.

#6: The part of me that still likes and dislikes, dislikes downward facing dog very much. There is a kind of mini-trauma for me with this asana. My arms don’t straighten fully, which means they never arrive at a place where I can benefit from skeletal support, which means I have to rely heavily on muscles. This demands all of my attention. If I divert any attention away from my arms and shoulders I feel like I am going to collapse. So I have never (in all my years of practice) have  really experienced a sense of settling in the posture. Having said that I started this practice barely holding 4 breaths of ~ and am now holding 4 breaths of ~ peacefully.

#8: Surprised to find I still had this range. Experiencing for the first time with such stark clarity an interplay between strength and flexibility.

#9: Again, surprised I had the core strength to contain this asana with quality.

#11: I moved savasana to after the raised leg postures where I needed it  (I did not need it after lying twists). I’ve been needing it less and less as my breath is redeveloping.

#10: Subtle yet clear development – finding consistently more range regardless of general well-being. Previously tight-life directly manifested in this posture and limited my range. Also breath has become more peaceful.

#14: Reconnected with past range of movement. I started with two blocks and am now practicing with just one.

There is an overall sense of improved strength and vitality, though vitality is still very much linked to general well-being. There are few days when my general being is not well and I either do not practice or practice only partially.


Breath has really developed over this period of practice.

The most challenging postures have been: utkatasana (4), downard facing dog (6) and raised legs  (9). In all three there is much less forcefulness in my breath after the sequence and a much shorter recuperation period.

In recent weeks I have reconnected with a softness that comes from aiming to complete these three postures with a settled breath. I began this journey coarsly by shortening the breath from a typical ~ to ~ … and I find the breath is gradually expanding again (though also with sensitivity to my general vitality and well being).

I have re-connected with a softer and more peaceful presence in B.K.


The pranayama practice has been fine though initially the ratio was surprising. Now it is fine and even welcome.

Generally when I began with this pranayama sequence I felt like my energy channels were dead. The only sensation available to me was the flowing air out of my nostrils – it wasn’t connected to anything inside. I would describe the place I am currently at in this relationship as “undead” … not quite dead and not yet alive.

The illness with which I met the new calendar year manifested in my mouth: no eating, no talking, etc. The healing period after the illness had the typical coughing that lasted two+ weeks. However during this healing period I had for a couple of days clear nostrils like I have not experienced in many years. This did not last long. I believe that my nostrils may be slightly clearer then they were a few months ago, though not categorically different.

I’m surprised to find that even though it is a short pranayama sequence that I still experience some discomfort in the raised (nostril controlling) arm.


There is an overall sense of steadiness though of-course diversion and wonderings are there.

However there has been a noticeable change at the end of the practice. During the previous practice I’d arrived at an ending that felt meditative. This period has brought me to an ending where I, though steady, want to move on to a doing … not escaping, not agitated … more ready to move on … less ready for stillness.


As I’ve been practicing I found my body wanting to go places that are not yet in the practice. Rather then speculating where my teacher will guide me next, I thought to make a note of the wishes that my body has expressed and then see how those wishes align with how my practice will evolve. I have given a little thought to these wishes and I could reflect on their qualities and relationship to my perception of the practice evolution, but I have mostly opted to receive them as direct expression and wisdom of the body.

  • Extend kumbhaka from 2-3 seconds to 3-4 seconds
  • Add stays in the standing twists
  • Continue into shoulder-stand after raised leg sequence
  • Extend stretch in lying twists by extending one (top) leg
  • Add lying back-bends
  • Add mid-range movement/stay into seated forward bends
  • Refine stay in pranayma


I usually start my practice with some Shakuhachi. I always go through some series of “technique” practices focused on quality of breath and sound. Sometimes, when I feel an invitation to do so, I venture into playing exploration.

It was at this junction that I first realized something that then seemed to be present on the mat and off it. For me to play something there needs to be an active wanting. The technique practices do not require this. For playing I need to want to express myself, to speak-out … to say something, if there is nothing I want to say, there is nothing for me to play … there is silence.

I think this describes a general change in my quality of energy. I am more alert, more looking for doing, more wanting. It is a delicate place for me given where I am. Though spring is here and physical work is available and inviting my inclinations of doing point in other directions … to places I do not yet have access to.

So on the one hand I welcome the vitality, on the other hand I do not enjoy the unfulfilled temptations it brings with it. For the time being I am able to feed this energy with physical work that is available to me. I have also been able to resume some website work … though it is expressive work … I feel it is not a healthy doing for me.

Stable Instability

During the last few weeks (3 or 4) I have been experiencing a two-day cycle. One day of vitality and then a day that starts well but then crashes by mid-day … the crashes are unpleasant and I basically wait for the day to end.

Over the last week the crashes have been softer and generally coming later in the day. I’ve been able to sometimes softly go through them and rise again … delicately and patiently. I have surrendered to a short nap when it comes on (I used to avoid mid-day napping, because I could never quite resume sharpness afterwards).

When reflecting on this I also realized that is may be associated with another two-day cycle. Ffor a long time (I don’t remember how long) my cleansing cycle – bowel movements – have also been on a steady two-day cycle instead of once a day. This has been disrupted marginally during the last few months … but for the most part has remained a steady pattern.

I should say that this is  noticeable time of change. The days are getting longer (by ~30 minutes every week). Winter is making room for an early spring. The longer days combined with more activity require more food. Very powerful winds. Much is shifting. Spring is a time of change and I seem to be half a beat behind the tune … so somewhat out of tune … in a constant catching up. Hoping, over the coming years, to find more internal resiliency which will manifest as a more stable external connection.

Yet overall this has been a period of very regular practice … I’d say 95% of the days … compared to ~80% during the previous practice period.

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Cory Doctorow on Privacy


excellent talk on technology, design and privacy:

via Pietro

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stay at least until you hear “please” for the first time


update: that one word “please”, every time I hear it moves energy from my head down to my heart space

Joy, joy is the giving
Give to everybody

War, war is the ego
Of man’s repressed libido

Feel, the love
Hear, the love
See the love


Love, love is the mother
God, god is the human
You, the generator

Peace, peace is the giving
A piece for everybody

Feel, you love
Hear, you love
See you love

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Charles Eisenstein: Evidence and Logic


“Evidence and logic are tools we use to justify and flesh out our beliefs, but we are deceiving ourselves to think that they are the source of our beliefs.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: Technology


“At the present juncture, the primary importance of the technologies of interbeing isn’t in what they can do. It is that they puncture the reality bubble in which we have lived, showing us that neither we nor the world is what we thought.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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I just discovered FairPhone – a phone that is designed with care for the environment and the people who produce it. Exciting.

It’s a fascinating story of a mixed bag of community effort and business development. 25,000 phones have been sold in the first batch and a 2nd batch is on the way with almost 40,000 more people who have shown an interest in buying a phone. The result is a self-sustaining entity that produces competitive phones to the big destructive players. When 60,000 people take interest in such a phone I can’t help but feel that change is here.

Unfortunately at the core of the phone is a very unfair operating system – the heavily Google leaning Android. However in reading through the site it seems that somewhere down the line the phone may support FirefoxOS and Ubuntu for Phones. When that happens I may finally consider(!) a smartphone for a few little comforts it may offer. And when that happens I will be hugely relieved to know that there is an alternative to the mainstream monstrosities.

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Charles Eisenstein: Receive a Vision


“We must learn to see the world through the eyes of the gift …

it is not ours to decide what is true or possible. Some teachings ask us to start by creating a vision, but this is mistaken; the proper way to start is to receive a vision … The second step is to heal the wounds and doubts that that vision illuminates … The third step is to bow into service to that which wants to be born …

… A leader is the holder of a story, someone whose experience of its reality is deep enough so that she can hold the belief on behalf of others …

The deeper our service to that which wants to be born, the more it is able to arrange the synchronistic encounters and fortuitous events that allow us to accomplish that which lies beyond our understanding …

This whole process of cocreating change starts not with faith but with honesty… to believe in a true vision that contradicts the consensus view of what is possible or worthwhile … To trust a moment of clarity and carry it forward, to translate it into belief and act from it amid all the voices that say it is crazy or impossible, is no trivial matter.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: Obviously, a gift


“Things have to happen that we don’t know how to make happen. If you don’t ‘make’ it happen, and it happens, then how does it happen? Obviously, it happens as a gift.

How and why does this happen? If we could some how master the technology of being in the right place in the right time, if we could learn to ride the flow of synchronicity, then we would have accessed a power greater than anything the world of force is capable of”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: No Map


“When we have a map from A to B, we can just follow the directions. Now is not that time. The calculable results are not enough. We need miracles. We have caught a glimpse of our destination, the destination that hope foretells, but we have no idea how to get there. We walk an invisible path with no map and cannot see where any turning will lead.

… It is not going to help you to make choices from the calculating mind, But it will provide a logical framework within which our heart-based choices make a lot more sense.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: Our House is on Fire


“Specifically, when are the methods of ‘practicality’ appropriate? Quite simply, they are appropriate when we know how to do something from within our current understanding of causality. If your stove is on fire and you have a fire extinguisher, then of course you use the fire extinguisher. You don’t ignore it and pray for a miracle.

But by the same token, if your house is a roaring inferno and all you have is a puny fire extinguisher that you know is far insufficient to the task, you shouldn’t just wave it in front of the flames in a posture of heroism.

The latter situation is a good description of our current predicament. Yes, it is true, our house is on fire … But what should we do about it? Or more to the point, what should you do about it? What, according to the conventional notions of causality that nearly everyone in modern society has deeply internalized, can you do that is practical. Nothing. Therefore, we must learn to follow another kind of guidance, one that leads to an expanded realm of what is possible.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: Futility of Control


“The ideology of control says that if we can only identify the “cause”, we can control climate change. Fine, but what if the cause is everything? Economy, politics, emissions, agriculture, medicine … all the way to religion, psychology, our basic stories through which we apprehend the world? We face then the futility of control and the necessity for transformation.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Hover Boards … for real


via Nora Kirkpatrick

turns out to be a good hoax 🙂

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Charles Eisenstein: Mentality of War


“… I am a bit wary of the conventional narrative about global warming, in which reducing CO2 and other greenhouse emissions is the top environmental priority. This narrative lends itself too easily to centralized solutions and the mentality of maximizing (or minimizing) a number. It subordinates all the small, local things we need to do to create a more beautiful world to a single cause for which all else must be sacrificed. This is the mentality of war, in which an all-important end trumps any compunctions about the means and justifies any sacrifice. We as a society are addicted to this mindset …

The mentality of war … is also the mentality of usury … As society becomes increasingly monetized, its members accept that money is the key to the fulfillment of any need or desire. Money, the universal means, becomes therefore a universal end as well … The pursuit of it subsumes the small or unquantifiable acts and relationships that make life truly rich, but that the numbers cannot justify. When money is the goal, everything that cannot be translated into its terms gets squeezed out.

… Environmentalism is reduced to a numbers game. We as a society are comfortable with that, but I think the shift we must make is deeper. We need to come into a direct, caring, sensuous relationship with this forest, this mountain, this river, this tiny plot of land, and protect them for their own sake rather than for an ulterior end. That is not to deny the dangers of greenhouse gases, but ultimately our salvation must come from recovering a direct relationship to what’s alive in front of us.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Soul & Soil


Just noticed how close the words “soul” and “soil” seem to be.

In Hebrew the root word for man is אדמ “adam”.

The feminine version of that word is אדמה “adama” which means earth.

Unlike english the word for soul נפש “newfesh” does not seem to be directly related.

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Retreat Manifested


Years ago, for some years I had an escapist wish … to retreat from life.


Andreea lives in Cluj and is immersed in a life she is creating there on her own.  While her intentions, which I experience as sincere, are to be a part of Bhudeva, her actions put her somewhere else.

So , for the most part, I am physically alone.


It is winter, and money is in short supply.

There are two incomes streams in the life I made with Andreea here in Romania. One is Cutia Taranului, which is practically dormant in winter (though this year there is a trickle, which is more than last year). There is also much less need for money in winter months at Bhudeva. The other is Andreea’s work … clinic, births, teaching, etc. That stream is, for the time being, not flowing into Bhudeva and being consumed by Andreea in the city.

In the last 2 years we’ve witnessed a precious change … our income streams covered our expenses (not withstanding sudden, large and unplanned expenses). Andreea’s departure from Bhudeva has set that process back … so though there is money in the bank, I am trying to live frugally so as to gravitate back to income covering expenses.

There are things I’d like to start doing (building a woodshed, reconnecting the hot water solar panel and building an insulated cover for nights so that I can start using it earlier in the sesason) which need a little money … but money is not available now. I can chop fire-wood, build some small things with wood that is stored, etc … but I am limited in what I can do outside.

So I spend more time inside.


Creating online is a tricky form of expression. I always have ongoing WordPress related work to do, mostly coding. There is also always potential to improve the information system that drives Cutia Taranului (all coding).

On the one hand it doesn’t cost me money to work online. On the other hand I don’t really enjoy doing it (coding). To be able to do it I need an inspiring and vital context that overcomes my objection to coding.

But, our internet connectivity is poor. And though I code on a computer server at home I depend on online reference resources – especially since I am in a constant learning curve (because I don’t code much). So when internet connectivity is interrupted or unpredictable (as it often is), so is my flow of work (which is already not smooth to begin with). So at best it is disruptive work which I have, for many months, tended to avoid.

My motivation to write is also diminished (due to other factors) though slowly re-awakening, but the poor connectivity doesn’t help that either. As I write these words there is a worried voice in the back of my mind thinking about copying this text to a local file for backup … because who knows what the connectivity will be like when I click save or publish

So, no online creating.


I am left with a day that is built around preparing myself for practice (feeding myself, resting, recurring chores … fire-for-warmth related tasks, animals, humanure, etc.) and practicing.

When the days were winter-short this was easy … as it practically filled the days. But now as the days grow long again, I awake earlier and there is more wanting-to-do coming to the surface … and more time.


… is a surprising twist in this period of my life, her visits here disrupt my retreat (though we are both consciously nourishing a core stability that I don’t want to disrupt and she wants to partake in) … and soon me visiting her will bring new information and vibrations into the mix … both leaving my solitary retreat and immersing myself in her rich and diverse world.


I feel that retreat is part of my nature … almost a defining quality of who I am … though I also feel that something is missing for a complete manifestation … the quality of me in retreat shines forth outside of retreat … when I am with others …

I wonder, though, about the nature of the place I have arrived at …
is it balanced?
does if nourish me or does it limit me?
will it be a long term quality or a temporary transition?

I feel I am at a junction of consciousness. I have a yearning to partake in and act in the world, yet at the present am very limited in my ability to do so.
Is the present a dysfunctional manifestation of my longstanding wish?
Is it protecting me?
Is it preparing me for things to come?

One thing is clear … retreat has manifested.

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Klemens Torggler – Evolution Doors


See for yourself:


Klemens Torggler Website

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Cradle to Grave Jobs


From Nafta Turns 20:

“NAFTA, which was enacted Jan. 1, 1994, is a trade agreement signed by the United States, Canada and Mexico that served to lower trade and investment barriers among the three nations …

The act was promoted as a way of stimulating the economies of all three countries — and creating jobs — by allowing easier trades …

A vocal minority voiced concern that the agreement would encourage U.S. manufacturers to move their plants — and their jobs to Mexico — where they would not be required to pay fair wages and would not be held to the same environmental standards …”

which is what happened … the agreement is aptly named … it benefits those who trade not those who make.

“These were very good jobs that we lost. Jobs that would allow home ownership. Most of these women didn’t see a point in attending college or even finishing high school because these jobs were so good,” Hossfeld said. “These were supposed to be cradle-to-grave jobs.”

Cradle to Grave Jobs – that really caught my attention and send shivers down my spine. That is a sign of past times … and of amazing progress … one or two generations ago that would have been a blessing, now, for me, and many others this notion is a curse.

A few days later I came across this … though not a complete view, in my opinion, it is facing in a direction I subscribe to:



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Ted Ligety – Grand Slalom Technique


Apline skiing is the only sport I follow. I don’t know much about skiing (have tasted 3 weeks altogether, and that was a long time ago) so I can’t really appreciate technique. This is beautifully shot and presented presentation of Ted Ligety and his approach to grand slalom – much more then strength and force (click on the image to go the presentation).

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