“They get too close to the horn with the mikes and don’t give the sound time to travel as they should. Consequently, they don’t get enough of the real timbre and they miss the whole body of the sound. They get the inside of it but not the outside as well.”
John Coltrane

Coltrane - The Story of a Sound

Dear Andy



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Making Stuff


Taking snapshots is not something I do often. This week it happened numerous times.

I am learning Shakuhachi music notation – and I drew these pages which contain the symbol and name of each note. I practice by looking at each one as I play each note separately. It’s coming along nicely.


At the same time, Andreea was creating a model of the female reproductive organs, as she prepares for her departure to Romania this teusday.


It’s getting cooler here, so before the weather gets to harsh, I again harvested of plants we use for brewing tea and hung them out to dry.


Yesterday morning I was mesmerized by this moth resting in the curves of some window drapes.


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Writing About Yoga


I was recently contacted by an individual who also writes on Yoga & Spirituality. This person complimented me on my writing and asked for my opinion on his. I visited his website numerous times and I had a hard time relating to his writing, I couldn’t read a single post all the way through. This is my experience with most of the articles I encounter about Yoga & Spirituality. This time, because of his request, I gave it some thought, and the bottom line is this…. I feel there is too much talk and too little practice.

We live in disturbed and volatile times (dominated by Rajas). We generally have more options, consume more information, make more choices then ever before – and it seems this over-stimulation is still on the rise. It is only natural that people are looking for a way to deal with this. It is only natural that people turn to Yoga for answers. It is only natural that Yoga gets caught up and affected by the prevailing disturbing energy. The popular and available Yoga that survives this process is mostly a disturbed and low potency Yoga.

I try to embrace this state of Yoga (it’s not easy for me). I am hoping and assuming that this is best for now – that people will find Yoga by practicing play-Yoga (as I did), by shopping for Yoga clothes and by drawing inspiration from promises for a better day and toying with ten-step recipes for self-improvement. Some intentions are good, others are abusive. From my vantage point the remains are not even the tip of the iceberg of Yoga – they are a melted residue.

As for me, I know that already there are teachings of Yoga that I will not receive from my teachers, as there are teachings they did not receive from theirs. What I write about Yoga is intended to make the teachings I have received available knowledge available and to give them a bit more reach and longevity. My choice is to focus on practical tools that can be put to action in the hands of people who will, when the time is right, be able to benefit from them by practicing.

Enough said. You can start practicing now! If you’ve never practiced Yoga and don’t have a teacher here is something you can do on your own:

  1. Get familiar with your natural breathing.
  2. Learn to do Ujjayi breathing.
  3. Find your preferred seated position.
  4. Learn about the four parts of your breath.
  5. Learn to count & time your breaths.
  6. Start a simple breathing practice that takes a few minutes and you can every day.

If you did start practicing I’d love to hear about it – please let me know by commenting on this post or contacting me.

Posted in Expanding, inside, Yoga & I, Yoga & Life | You are welcome to read 2 comments and to add yours

Changing Our Information Diet


This morning I  read a well written article by Tim Young titled “Our Changing Information Diet”. As I read it, I felt Tim was on to something, but also that something was missing. So I am going to play it back … backwards…and see what happens.

Activity streams are quickly becoming a dominant form of information delivery on the web. These real-time, ever-flowing rivers of information epitomize the reasoning for being conscious of our information diet. Activity streams provide bite-sized information that is easy to snack on at any time, but it can be potent in calories due to the frequency of updates. In order to maintain a nutritious information diet, we will need tools and features that provide feedback on our consumption habits, as well as smart agents that help us optimize the amount of valuable information consumed per time expended.

Personally, I am eagerly awaiting the day when I discover an activity stream of information that comes complete with “Nutrition Facts” to assist me in making good choices. Not too far down the road, our information consumption will be guided by metrics that help each one of us determine the most valuable people and information sources, creating order in the chaos that has become modern information delivery.

I recall a Yoga lesson in which my teacher offered a fellow student a suggestion for a personal practice. The student replied with an answer containing “If I can find time”, to which my teacher replied “you will never find the time” = you need to make time. For most of the people I’ve taught one-on-one Yoga the greatest challenge was actually practicing (and making the time for it). What if you will never discover “activity stream of information” – because you have to create it (instead of waiting for some startup to make it for you)? I already have mine – a core principle in shaping it is “less” – less information, less real-time, less flow, less disturbance.

Every day, our environment is becoming increasingly complex. As we continue to increase the number of people we follow and the number of feeds we consume, we are all increasing the complexity of our information diet. Some have even begun to label this as “infobesity.” Increasing the complexity and volume of information we ingest can have a similar effect to increasing your daily intake of calories.

Expressions like “every day” & “we are all”, place these claims in error. My environment is getting simpler, I follow less people and consume less feeds (every time these numbers go up I usually make it a point to bring them back down, even lower then they were to start with). Amongst my “onland” social circles I am considered a very technically savvy and “online” person). But, even if it was just my life as an example (and it’s not) – these assumptions are false. They represent a way of life for some people, which despite all the chatter they produce are a small minority. For some reason (maybe many reasons) they assume that their problem is everyone’s problem – they operate in an imagined “global internet”. So they set out to solve the problem on a “global” scale…. and I have a feeling that this causes the problem to spread.

We have been incredibly successful at increasing the number and variety of places where we can forage for information. The convergence of social networks, mobile devices, and real-time activity streams have led to an explosion in the amount of information we can suck in and spit back out. It’s like an ever-growing information buffet – and we’re there for the ‘all you can eat’ meal. At the same time, with an overload of information available to us, our tools for finding, consuming and filtering this information have remained constant in their ability to assist us in making sense of the data. The result is an increasingly complex information environment – one in which we must constantly work to filter the myriad points of data presented to us.

This reminds me of when I learned how Ethernet works. In an Ethernet network (like the one you are most probably connected to now) all the computers are connected and have permission to talk (send packets of information). There are two “rules” a computer is expected to abide by when communicating on an Ethernet network (this is something that network interfaces do for you all the time, without you even knowing about it, kind of like breathing):

  1. Be Polite. If you want to communicate through the network you need to first listen that no one else is talking (the ether is clear). If no-one else is that you are free to send your stuff, otherwise  you wait until the network is silent. But this doesn’t always work, because, for examples, two computers may be waiting to talk, and when the network is silent they both send out information simultaneously. If the computers are far apart on the network this may not be a problem – but many times it is – and a collission occurs – which destroys both packets… for which there is a second rule.
  2. Be Helpful. Always listen to the network so that when a collision happens you can let the others know. When a collision occurs, the computer closest to it on the network (which is now silent – since both packets of information have annihilated each other) is expected to send a packet notifying everyone that a collision occurred (which is especially useful to the computers who’s information packets got lost in the collision) . A funny thing is that there may be two or more computers in the network vicinity of the collision – in which case there may be a collision of collision notifications.

It sounded to me ridiculously simple and wonderous that a system built around “collisions” actually works (and today drives most of the networks in the world). Yet I believe that Ethernet works because of another subtle element, it’s so obvious that it goes without saying – purpose! Ethernet was designed to enable communication. At the time, that was such a revolutionary concept that it was anything but obvious – and every decision in the creation of the Ethernet protocol (a rule which guides how an activity should be performed) was made to support this purpose.

‘We have been incredibly successful at increasing the number and variety of places where we can forage for information”

To what end? Is there purpose? I don’t have numbers to validate this – but I would guess that a tiny fraction of “information technologies” invented or in existence (many have passed out of existence) are quality means for either creating quality information or getting to it. The majority are disturbing technologies invented by disturbed people looking for irrelevant solutions in the wrong places for problems that don’t exist. They lack purpose.

Recently, I have been thinking about how our food consumption and information consumption habits actually closely resemble each other. Just as food is the energy source for our bodies, information is the energy source for our minds. Our body’s health is heavily influenced by the quality of our nutritional habits. Consuming foods high in fat, sugar, and other unhealthy elements can lead to a variety of health problems, causing a deterioration of one’s quality of life. Similarly, if we have a poor information diet (i.e. consistently watching reality TV and internet meme videos), our mind’s performance, clarity, and ability to achieve goals can be severely negatively impacted. Although network TV and comedic YouTube videos are fun, they can also be addicting like a sweet sugary snack. Consume too many of these snacks and you will soon find yourself gasping at the scale in disbelief. However, the rate and ease of access to these sugary information snacks has only increased in recent years.

There is a well known saying “We are what we eat”. Krishnamacharya is quoted as saying that “We eat what we are”. Think about it… if you want to… if you do you may want to check out the title of this post compared to Tim’s original article.

Finally, I wonder what would happen if, for a person who does suffer from “infobesity”, a dream would come true and

“…information consumption will be guided by metrics that help each one of us determine the most valuable people and information sources, creating order in the chaos that has become modern information delivery.”

…I believe the question was better phrased by Sting:

“You may win the war that’s coming, but would you tolerate the peace?”

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-10-11


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WordPress Plugin NoGoogleSideWiki


I’d like to have a WordPress plugin that prevents Google from hijacking my web-pages using their SideWiki technology.

Here is a sample link:
(compliments of a Google employee)

I don’t know what the technical requirements are – but I’d like any request to my web-server that comes from the SideWiki technology to be redirected back to the main Google page (http://www.google.com).

This started from my writing about Courteous Linking

Posted in outside, Tech Stuff, Wordpress | You are welcome to add your comment

Tsuru no Sugomori


Played by Kifu Mitsuhashi

Tsuru no Sugomori from naha Jaja on Vimeo.

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Courteous Linking


My pingbacks & incoming links indiciate that some of my posts have been linked to on other sites. Some of these sites (to be honest, most) are empty shells which usually have very little to do with the actual content on my site. I don’t what their motivation is for linking – I am guessing it has to do with traffic manipulation. I’d rather they didn’t link to me.

I also recently encountered an article by Dave Winer on some invasive technology Google is cooking up. It’s called SideWiki and it enables people to annotate any web-pages (mine and yours included) – it does so in such a way that when other readers (using this sidebar) visit the page – they can view it together with the annotations that other people made. I agree with Dave – my pages are mine and should be kept that way. Other people are welcome to comment on them as I see fit.

This got me thinking about the one-sided dynamics of the internet – anyone can link anywhere else without any … well… courtesy. I’d like to be able to refuse people who link to my pages in a context or fashion that I don’t like. Technologically I can’t prevent them from linking, but from my limited understanding of web-servers, it is definitely possible to turn them away.

I’d love to have a technology that enables me to intervene in this way:

  • I’d like to benefit from services such as Akismet – and to be able to turn away links that are known to be spam.
  • When I indicate that a pingback comment is spam, in addition to being removed, I’d like it be diverted away (redirected).
  • I’d like to have links that are turned away redirected back to where they came from (maybe 10 times – so their servers would pay a penalty).
  • If possible, I’d like this to work retroactively, so that from the second I activate the plugin that does this, all known abusive links, sources in the past will not be able to link to me anymore.

I’d like to be able to turn away people, companies and technologies that are abusive and rude when they visit with me. After all it is my place.

Posted in outside, Tech Stuff, Wordpress | You are welcome to read 10 comments and to add yours

Parting from my first Shakuhachi


I am parting ways with my first 1.8 Shakuhachi, I am putting it up for sale.

[slidepress gallery=’1.8-meditation-shakuhachi’]

When I first purchased it (from Monty Levenson) I was looking to get acquainted with a Shakuhachi – I had no idea then, that it would take on a key role in my daily practices. It has, and I now I play another instrument.

shakuhachimeditation18I am selling it together with all of the accessories I purchased with it:

  • a leather utaguchi cover to protect the sensitive blowing edge
  • a beautiful flute bag – with moisture stabilizing layer to protect the flute from climate changes.
  • a new cleaning cloth
  • interesting written materials that came with the flute

if you are interested – please contact me.

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Caring about health


I am not American and I don’t believe in medicine & doctors but I appreciate hearts challenging a long-standing and misdirected reign of  minds.

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I Shakuhachi – October 8, 2009


This morning I made first recording of a meditation session with my new Shakuhachi. I was inspired to record by yesterday’s discovery of Daniel Johnston. When I first listened to it I got some idea of what a full and projecting sound is (compared to the previous instrument) – I didn’t play any louder or put my effort then the previous recordings – most of the credit goes to the instrument, mother nature and father maker.

click to play shakuhachi recording

Shortly afterward, morning coffee & kanafeh with Andreea and a bright blue day.


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True Love Will Find You In The End


“music is the funnest thing to do, but if everything isn’t right I just can’t write, if there is just one cricket out there making too much noise, I just can’t concentrate.”

Meet Daniel Johnston – I was drawn in and touched… thank you @ronenk and@NaamaSegal, both of whom I forgot to credit because I spent sooooo much time looking & listening, that I forgot how it arrived in my consciousness… see how much time you spend in it…

When he put out his first recordings he didn’t have a way to duplicate the album tapes – so each copy was recorded separately. There’s a wonderful, sincere and moving documentary called The Devil and Daniel Johnston – watch it.

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Blue Gray


This morning as I was counting my way through my Pranayama practice, I was disturbed by a surprising sound of rain. Soon after, as we were having our morning coffee on the balcony, we were met by a stunning sky view. The colors were rich & full and the sky was a live performance of clouds – high white clouds morphed very slowly while lower gray clouds flew beneath them … creating full covers, deep textures, rich blue doorways… brilliant display. So again I ran to get my camera and spent some time looking around and taking it all in.

[slidepress gallery=’blue-gray’]

As I was shooting these images I thought they may make some nice desktop backgrounds. If you’d like one, please send a token payment to my Paypal account (iamronen at iamronen dot com) and let me know: (1) which one (by indicating it’s position in the left-to-right sequence) you’d like me to send you; (2) your screen resolution ratio.

Enjoy 🙂

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More on this wonder-filled experiment here

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Money Driven Medicine


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Resurrecting my old laptop


My old LG (LM50a) laptop has been completely out of commission for a few months.  It took a few hits and in the end the CD drive was slipping out of place (and pushing it in caused the computer to crash) and the power connection was shaky – so the computer was losing power and shutting down (battery is long dead).

I wanted to take it to someone to fix so I can resurrect it as an Ubuntu machine. A few days ago I decided to give it a shot myself. I started by unscrewing the visible screws but quickly hit a wall – so before resorting to violence I did a search and found some tips on how to open the casing. I was elated when I had the computer open AND was able to locate the problem.


As I was staring at it I realized that I needed some kind of map to find my way back to a working computer – so I arranged all the screws in reverse chronological order and that worked out just fine.


The power connector was almost free – the soldering was completely gone. So I borrowed a soldering iron from a neighbor and fixed them.


Then started the journey back: (1) replacing the top cover (and connecting the touch-pad); (2) reconnecting & assembling the screen; (3) reconnecting and replacing the power/controls panel; and (4) finally the keyboard.




Then, with my fingers crossed, I plugged the power in and … it came back on and there I was back with my XP installation.


Next up was a lot of uninstalling, deleting/backing up old files and then defragmenting the drive to prepare it for the Ubuntu installation.


Then came Wubi (Windows Ubuntu Installer), another spectacular example of open-source initiative. It works amazing well and simple – you download an installer from their website and select your preferred language, user interface (I went with Kubuntu in English) – and it does EVERYTHING for you – it partitions the hard drive and installs Ubuntu.When it’s done and you reboot the computer you will be able to choose  between Windows XP & Kubuntu.


The download and installation can take some time – so I left it running and missed most of the show. In the morning I found the computer restarted in XP (which remains the default boot operating system) – so I restarted it and… got a messed up graphic display – in which I could make out a progressing progress bar (looked like it was continuing the installation) and I let it continue its work.


When it was finished, another restart and … YEAH!! it worked. My laptop has been resurrected and is now running Kubuntu.


I still need to figure out how I will be using and synchronizing it with my main PC and stuff on my Ubuntu storage server  … but hey – I’ve got my laptop back 🙂

Some more useful links I found as I was searching around and considering my options:

Posted in Expanding, inside, Open Source, outside, Tech Stuff | You are welcome to read 3 comments and to add yours

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-10-04


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Nadi Sodhana


Nadi Sodhana is a subtle breathing technique, a crown jewel amongst the  Pranayama techniques. In Nadi Sodhana breath control is achieved only through the nostrils – so there is no more switching back and forth between nostril control and throat control (ujjayi).

If you are familiar with Pratiloma Ujjayi – then in a way you’ve already been practicing Nadi Sodhana – all you have to do is take out the parts of the sequence in which Ujjayi is used. Following is the Pratiloma Ujjayi sequence with the Ujjayi parts crossed out:

  1. Inhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).
  2. Exhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  3. Inhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  4. Exhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  5. Inhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  6. Exhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  7. Inhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  8. Exhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).

What you are left with is a technique based on nostril control going from side to side:

  1. Inhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).
  2. Exhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  3. Inhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  4. Exhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).

If your practice includes holds then add them where necessary. Please remember that one round of Nadi Sodhana is made up of two breaths. When practicing, you should always do an even number of breaths – so that the practice remains symmetrical (unless you’ve been given other specific instructions by a qualified teacher).

Here is a practice to get acquainted with Nadi Sodhana. It begins and ends with regular Ujjayi breathing and in the middle the technique is changed to Nadi Sodhana. Find yourself a comfortable seated position and do the following practice sequence :

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x4 – Ujjayi)

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x8 = 4 rounds Nadi Sodhana)

1   –   0   – 1.5 –   0   (x8 = 4 rounds Nadi Sodhana)

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x4 – Ujjayi)

Posted in Breath, Pranayama, Yoga | You are welcome to read 3 comments and to add yours

No Battery


A couple days ago we went to shop for some herbs and spices and on the way to the store we stopped for a walk in a nature reserve where many birds visit as they migrate between Europe & Africa as the seasons change. I took the camera (with a hefty long lens) with me only to find that the battery in it was almost dead and that the spare battery was completely dead (I am not doing much photography these days). So I was left with barely enough juice for a few manual focus shots.

And then, this flock of birds flies in from the north and I begin tracking them, praying that the battery holds out long enough and suddenly I see the rising moon appear in the frame and …


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