“It [Jazz] is an art that thrives on what it can do, not so much on what it does.”
Ben Ratliff

Coltrane - The Story of a Sound

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-05-22

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  • "Stupidity is an attempt to iron out all differences, and not to use or value them creatively." Bill Mollison #
  • "once any 1 difference of any sort, even an idea, exists… it creates conditions for … evolution of subsequent events." Bill Mollison #
  • experiment went well: tiny fungi have transformed our milk into yogurt! #
  • "All is stress, or the relief of stress, and that stress and relief is located between existing differences. " Bill Mollison #
  • breath can be refined indefinitely, including long after body naturallydecays – http://bit.ly/ee3CBi #yoga #pranayama #
  • yesterday we finalized the purchase of our land, today heading out 2 start cleaning & spending one night there 🙂 c'ya on the other side 🙂 #
  • an intense first day in our old new house: http://bit.ly/m2Kjri #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-05-15

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  • can't wait to stop pissing in and flushing with drinking water! #
  • The only news show I watch is free, online and in high-definition: http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/ #
  • living in a city without parcitipating in it is emotionally, energetically, spiritually and financially draining … happy 2b leaving it #
  • we just paid what I hope will be our last rent in this lifetime! #
  • @iandstewart @iammattthomas @hugobaeta would b gr8 2 have a WordPress plugin that senses old browsers, alerts and directs 2 browsehappy.com #
  • being a couple makes it ok for one of us to occasionally lose faith since the other keeps faith and holds true to our course #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-05-08

n
  • our Tilia tree is growing beautifully and we hope to soon have an access road to our house: http://bit.ly/ihSSvH #
  • Romanian village eggs topple "internet-guru" : http://bit.ly/jkWJS5 #
  • Who controls your data? http://bit.ly/f2P31e #
  • a beautiful color palette: dark gray clouds and golden rising sun #
  • all set, flying to the UK next weekend to meet with http://www.modece.com/ to learn about and consult on our hemp house project #
  • I have activated Flattr on my blog – now you can click a button and let me know you care: http://bit.ly/lge7zh #
  • most interesting 2me about attack on Sony, even though I don't use any of their products, is that I feel content they are being attacked #
  • I am as untrusting of the hacker culture behind the attack as I am of the corporate culture under attack #
  • corporate culture is to me a threatening parasite and hacker culture is a beneficial parasite that is responding to the threat #
  • Syria: http://bit.ly/mqfpS9 – astounding, given inellectual and spiritual advances, 2 realize what primitive social forces rule the world #
  • take a break with a few beautiful minute: http://bit.ly/iZfuFx #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-05-08

n
  • our Tilia tree is growing beautifully and we hope to soon have an access road to our house: http://bit.ly/ihSSvH #
  • Romanian village eggs topple "internet-guru" : http://bit.ly/jkWJS5 #
  • Who controls your data? http://bit.ly/f2P31e #
  • a beautiful color palette: dark gray clouds and golden rising sun #
  • all set, flying to the UK next weekend to meet with http://www.modece.com/ to learn about and consult on our hemp house project #
  • I have activated Flattr on my blog – now you can click a button and let me know you care: http://bit.ly/lge7zh #
  • most interesting 2me about attack on Sony, even though I don't use any of their products, is that I feel content they are being attacked #
  • I am as untrusting of the hacker culture behind the attack as I am of the corporate culture under attack #
  • corporate culture is to me a threatening parasite and hacker culture is a beneficial parasite that is responding to the threat #
  • Syria: http://bit.ly/mqfpS9 – astounding, given inellectual and spiritual advances, 2 realize what primitive social forces rule the world #
  • take a break with a few beautiful minute: http://bit.ly/iZfuFx #

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Flattr – a “Like” button I Like

n

A few days ago I finally installed and activated Flattr on my website. Flattr has had my attention for numerous months and I am finally happy to have it working on my site.

Flattr is a micropayments service that makes it possible for content consumers to directly show their appreciation to content creators by making a small payment as a token of appreciation. When you sign up with Flattr you can load your account with a monthly sum starting from 2 euros. Then during that month you can flattr content “things” that you encounter online (posts, images, videos, etc.). At the end of the month the sum of money you placed in your account will be divided equally between the things you flattred and transferred to their creators.

I have come to believe that in the world of blogging there can be and often is a misperception of community. The easiest way to sense community (or lack of) is through comments – if you have a regular flow of comments (regardless of quantity) with a few regular commenters it provides a sense of community (alternately, having no comments can leave you feeling lonely). But I believe that blogs can have a much larger community – a silent community of people who simple arrive, consume and appreciate your content. I believe that Flattr can become a wonderful manifestation of such silent communities. With Flattr an anonymous click of a  button becomes a soft and meaningful cheer.

I assume it will take some time for Flattr to become widely known and used but I think it is a beautiful step in a good direction. It is founded by people who care about the Internet in a way I can relate to. One of it’s founders, Peter Sunde, is also a co-founder of the file torrent file sharing site ThePirateBay for which he is being prosecuted as a criminal (the list of law suits filed against ThePirateBay are listed on their website) . To get a sense of the spirit behind Flattr I invite you read his post on Who controls your data? and listen to an interview with him.

If you are a blogger I invite you to have a look at Flattr and if you choose to activate it then please remember to spread the word about it 🙂

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Eggs Topple Guru

n

Bill Cosby once told a great joke about his karate teacher. His teacher taught him to break bricks with his bare hands and explained that it is mind over matter – “when you hit the brick you have to be thinking ‘I am going through the brick'”. Until one day his teacher encountered a brick that was thinking “no you’re not”. With that in mind …

A while back I came across Tim Ferris in a video of a nice talk he gave at WordCamp San Francisco. When I looked a bit more into him I couldn’t find something substantial to relate to. However, I did come across this entertaining video where he shows a neat trick on how to peel hard boiled eggs:

I’ve gotten quite a few laughs from people by doing this. I’ve also been amused that this is what I recieved from this modern-day guru-like figure. Until …

A few days ago we came back from a visit our soon-to-be village with a gift of fresh foods from our soon-to-be neighbors – this included fresh eggs. I boiled some of the eggs and went to apply the Tim Ferris Hard Boild Egg Peeling Technique (TFHBEPT for short) – and I failed miserably with all the eggs. This isn’t the first time it’s happened to me – we’ve had village eggs numerous times- but it’s the first time a big smile came to my face as I realized that the TFHBEPT (pronounced “tee af aich bept”) only works with industrialized eggs not real ones.

If you’ve never encountered real eggs (as I hadn’t for most of my life) then you are missing out on a real treat. They have a rich taste and their yellow is a thick beautiful yellow-orange color. Their shells are thicker and peeling them takes a bit more time … it is more meditative and less entertaining 🙂

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-05-01

n
  • "Fuck You, Pay Me" great presentation that touches on a vast stream of underlying violence I was happy to leave behind when my career ended #
  • @fredwilson reminds me why I am no longer in technology & business "Markets are defined by greed and fear" http://bit.ly/gpiIsk #
  • please excuse darkness of last 2 tweets … tomorrow I hope to write about our wonderful day yesterday – planting a first tree on our land! #
  • today is one of those days where she said "leave the dishes I will do them" and I fell for it … the sink is overflowing 🙂 #
  • it goes without saying that things that are said to go without saying actually do not … go without saying #
  • when I recognize that I am present I am no longer there. "re-cognition" insinuates that being present is without-cognition #
  • funny times we live in: satellite dishes ARE oriented for good reception but houses ARE NOT oriented for passive solar heating #
  • on Saturday we planted a Tilia tree: http://bit.ly/iaajvC #
  • @Shuliji I didn't know that "authentic spiritual teachers [need to] stay happily monogamous or celibate" … bummer 2b authentic 🙁 #
  • quote was taken from book description: http://amzn.to/fG2Pop … there is no room 4 "use" in any context in a teacher-student relationship #
  • so much intellectual masturbation in the world … can be as delusional as a fanatic religion #
  • agitated … really don't like interacting with the bureaucracies of the world around me … painful #
  • a time-travel video through 7 years of evolution – from dirt to a producing food-forest: http://bit.ly/krWJki #
  • I am ill … it's been a very long time since I was ill … #

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Greed & Fear

n

Fred Wilson is one of my last (and of recently fading) respected conscious links to the world of technology and business. Today he wrote something that reminds me why those chapters in my life are fading into my past:

“Markets are defined by greed and fear”

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-24

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  • back from a long weekend in Bucharest with a great car that we drove all the way back home #
  • @lifeinromania thanks 4the headsup on Wizzair – I was trying 2book a flight from Cluj … it disappeared and is now from Targo Mures 🙁 #
  • @lifeinromania thank you very much! I will let her know about it. looks like you are accelarating into the heart of the city's currents 🙂 #
  • A refreshing Shakuhachi performance – change has come: http://bit.ly/hlU0mW #
  • finally leaving OpenOffice and moving forward with LibreOffice: http://bit.ly/hhhJfX #opensource #
  • today: clean house, learning about grey-water systems, delicious vegetable pie & joyful 3d images of our future house #romania #
  • so we got a car … big deal … but it is actually another experience on our super magical growing list of firsts: http://bit.ly/fGF0Oh #
  • I was just reminded of this great video – if you haven't already seen it please do – "You Need To Get Off Facebook": http://bit.ly/eI7XZc #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-24

n
  • back from a long weekend in Bucharest with a great car that we drove all the way back home #
  • @lifeinromania thanks 4the headsup on Wizzair – I was trying 2book a flight from Cluj … it disappeared and is now from Targo Mures 🙁 #
  • @lifeinromania thank you very much! I will let her know about it. looks like you are accelarating into the heart of the city's currents 🙂 #
  • A refreshing Shakuhachi performance – change has come: http://bit.ly/hlU0mW #
  • finally leaving OpenOffice and moving forward with LibreOffice: http://bit.ly/hhhJfX #opensource #
  • today: clean house, learning about grey-water systems, delicious vegetable pie & joyful 3d images of our future house #romania #
  • so we got a car … big deal … but it is actually another experience on our super magical growing list of firsts: http://bit.ly/fGF0Oh #
  • I was just reminded of this great video – if you haven't already seen it please do – "You Need To Get Off Facebook": http://bit.ly/eI7XZc #

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Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice

n

I first ran into LibreOffice a while ago, when it was still in beta and I didn’t have much time to play with it. It has recently resurfaced and I have finally gotten around to installing it.

LibreOffice is an excellent example of open-source stability. Though I have only read superficial information, it seems that Oracle, after acquiring Sun and its vested interests in OpenOffice assets, has signaled that it intends to commercialize and/or terminate support for the project. LibreOffice is a open-source community  response to that. In open-source terminology it is a “fork” of the OpenOffice project. This means that a new group of passionate developers have taken the open-source software code from OpenOffice (which is perfectly legal and normative in the world of open-source licenses) and have begun to change, modify and extend it and offer it as a free open-source alternative under the name LibreOffice.

LibreOffice is still not available through the official Ubuntu repositories so installation requires a bit more effort. I found these installation instructions which are simple and seemed to have worked flawlessly.

… and again I find myself happy to move towards open-source and away from greedy capitalism.

Posted in AltEco, Open Source, outside, Tech Stuff | You are welcome to add your comment

A Refreshing Shakuhachi Video: Change has Come

n

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

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  • 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

n

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

n
  • 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

n

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.

Posted in Pranayama, Pranayama Journal, Yoga | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-03

n
  • A Farm for the Future – how farming can evolve beyond fossil fuel dependency: http://bit.ly/ica1LA #
  • say more, quote less #
  • just came back from the Cluj market – a beautiful celebration of fresh greens – and I've been told it's just getting started! #romania #
  • also came back from (near) the market with goats milk & cheese, buffalo milk … yey #romania #
  • I am not one for superlatives … but I just ate the BEST salad I've ever had my entire life … an undescribable vitality in food #romania #
  • @Johnstevedoe butiful greens (don't know names), carrot, radish, green onion, tomatoe, slightly cooked green lentils, hemp oil & yogurt #
  • we spent a weekend offline and onland at Malin Hermitage where I taught a bit of Yoga and we met with permaculture: http://bit.ly/h2v7Ae #
  • long day on our land, drilling to test 4 foundations, topological mapping, simulating our house … images and more to come soon 🙂 #
  • yes, what I want to go with this tea is a slice of bread with chocolate spread … and so it shall be! #
  • today: looking (online) for a car & calculating hemp/lime quantities we will need 4construction based on initial sketches #
  • I practice to see my life and then make changes in my life to improve my practice #yoga #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-03-27

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-03-27

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Trail of Distractions

n

Almost every time I sit down for meditation I encounter distractions. Sometimes it seems like they are there all the time and that I just notice them when I sit to observe. Sometimes it seems like they arise for no other purpose then to distract me. Be it sounds that come from outside (car engines or birds singing), thoughts that come from inside (fears or blessings) or sensations that come from body (cold hands or pricking needles in my right leg or  a sinking spine) – there seems to be an endless pool of distractions.

Yet every distraction seems to hold a hint of learning in it. In every distraction there is a dual presence. There is naturally a mindful I that gets swept away on the wings of distraction. But there is also an observing I that sees mindful I moving around. Both are present in every distraction and every distraction is an opportunity for them to learn to co-exist. There are moments where mindful I seems to be dominant and “I” feel that this meditation practice isn’t going anywhere. But then there are moments where mindful I seems to be absent and “I” feel settled, quiet and suspended.

In retrospect I am learning to appreciate that when I refrain from being critical of  distractions they cease to be obstacles. When I embrace distractions they turn out to be like breadcrumbs leading me on a trail that’s taking me where I need to go.

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