I’m thinking now “what have I learned today?” because it feels that I haven’t learned anything, that I’m merely letting you know I’m just happy. But on second thought I realize that I am harvesting now. I have said before that happines is not something we should strive for, it is a side effect caused by living from the heart. So I guess I’m letting you know that now and then everything falls into place and meditation, writing, yoga, being honest and trying to serve as good as one can lead to having a very beautiful day. And I wish to thank you for that. Because without you, the Universe would be incomplete.
We are about to leave Lebongan and packing our bags. Mostly, we just had a lazy time, but with beautiful moments and nice conversation. When we left Scallywags (best restaurant in Lebongan, do not go to Indiana’s, the self-proclaimed 3 Michelin star chef is an imposter) we just knew that it was time to move on. I always find that an interesting phenomenon: that we just know when a conversation or phone call had ended. How do we know that? Anyway, this was something similar. We will be heading to our next destination in a couple of hours.
Just a couple of moments ago she walked up my balcony and give me a long and warm hug. She shared with me tht she went to a spa this morning where she had a massage. During this massage she had started crying. She hadn’t cried in over a year. Now she came over to thank me. She also told me she that it felt scary and dislodging but also real and right. Her eys were softer and her breathing relaxed and deep. She felt that this was only the beginning. But she told me she knew what to do: to surrender.
She just made my day. I love these little miracles. Thank you.
These are the first words that I type but you will probably not find them in the beginning of this post. I’m trying to fulfill the special request of my best buddy B. to not start with the introduction of – what he calls – a ‘problem’, followed by some sort of resolution and ends with a conclusion. It was the word ‘problem’ that triggered me to write this post. There is some judgment there, and dividing the world in right and wrong, good and bad, positive and negative is exactly how we create and maintain the illusion we are living in.
For some reason the trip turns out way more luxurious than I expected, partly because of Mike’s illness (that demanded hygiene, cleanliness and availability of Western medical needs), partly because of the standard of living of the people we hang out with. Everything is beautiful, five star level, stunning and great but it makes me feel very much like a consumer. The feeling that comes up is that I’m not experiencing the ‘real’ Bali (or Lebowan). What I realize is that this is very much the reality of 2011t: traditional ways of living have been replaced by a cult around tourism. Locals live from the scraps and left overs from what the toursists bring in. My role here is to consume the views, foods, clubs and scenery and to spend, buy and rent from businesses that are mostly Western owned but hire (many) local staff. I cannot expect the locals to treat me as their buddy because I have a preference for feeling more equal.
I heard my American friend Luke say on Twitter that when we die people don’t remember what we said or what we did but how they felt in our presence. Tonight I told Mike the story of how I finally was able to forgive my father. I might write about that some other day. But what the conversation made me remember was a very early insight that marked the beginning of my path. I think I was somewhere halfway my twenties and in my first serious relationship. Naturally I was having a tough time. I believe that I became aware of the fact that I had the same age as when my parents got divorced and that I saw that being a kid from divorced parents is not exactly the ideal foundation for becoming a future partner. Seeing my parents as young struggling people my own age who had parents that must have been challenged in some way as well made me realize that we pass on these destructive patterns from generation to generation. What became superclear was that I would not allow myself to remain a victim of passed events. I would not become a jerk to the women in my life because my grandfather was beaten heavily by his father and my grandmother was sexually abused by clergymen. No way. The buck stops here.
We find our truth in our hearts. In the beginning it’s a bit hard to find because thoughts are distracting us. But if you sit upright and concentrate on your breathing for a couple of moments and just observe the breath flowing in and out you will probably find a sense of ok-ness, of acceptance, of relaxation. What you are experiencing is not the effect of a technique, there is nothing artificial about it. What you are experiencing is the real you, you are experiencing yourself as a source of acceptance and relaxation. You are the source! The mind clutter is the fabrication, and obeying the mind clutter is what makes you artificial. How about that for a paradigm shift? Do you now see why every wisdom tradition encourages some sort of meditation? Otherwise we stay stuck in the realm of thoughts and thinking. We need to go beyond.
I’m intrigued by the words ‘”how to make impermanence your friend”. I am offered an opportunity ‘’to free myself from false notions of security’. That sounds good. It also means there is nothing to count on. I can’t count on my body, health or strenght (not even Mike, who now lies passed out beside me), I can’t count on relationships to last forever nor on my ‘’true love’ to wait for me. The only thing I can do is surrender to this very moment and appreciate what it has to offer me. Right now I’m learning what it feels like to be weak. It’s quite beautiful actually. It feels tender and vulnerable.
If you are hedonistic or even narcissistic, maybe a bit insecure or have some false feelings of superiority about this or that and you want to leave it that way, then I have some advice for you: don’t go traveling with somebody who is a professional personal trainer who takes his job very serious. Yes, even when on holidays. “But where does this advice come from?” you ask. Well, as a matter of fact I’m making this mistake as we speak. Ok, I learn a lot. But that is about the only upside there is. Let me give you few examples about the hardships I go through.