Thursday, January 6, 2011

Im back to Colorado

Wat up peoples, I am back to western civilazationa after a lot of last minute decision making and a whole lot of, not that type of action...i mean taking action in my life to make changes swift and smmoth for my coming home, or should I just say, returning to the west.
I was about a week into this month long buddhist philosophy course in Nepal when I immediatley and rather clearly decided that it was time for miss sonia to come home.  Why?  well to be honest about every reason in the book came up but the emphasis was actually on taking a break on so much travelling and having some stable environment to regenerate.  Travelling is exhausting people, especially if you a re a sensitive one like me!  And I just came to a very lucid point where, with tact, I swiftly decided and recognized that this trip is least for now.  And the truth is I learned an enormous amount of things and also at the same time feel as though I closed my eyes for a second, had a fantasy, and then opened them again to find myself back in good old boulder.  I dont know how to explain what has happened over my trip abroad or even how to explain what I'm feeling now because I am still adjusting to the fact that I actually went out there and did and I did it on my own.  I guess thats one of the hardest things to recognize in one sel with out turning it into a big ego escapade, to simply acknowledge that I did something that I could only imagine myself doing last year, and that travelling alone isnt at all what you think, but more of what you make it.

-Things i'm adjusting to now are basically building some sort of regular schedule for myself...thats the biggie because I literally had no plan what so ever when I arrived in Thailand, went to India and ended in Nepal, I had no clue when my trip was going to end until the thought arose in my mind and felt right...
-The other thing I'm adjusting right now is my over all health because to tell you the truth people, I gained some travel weight and now have a pleasantly plump appearance, which is not so bad and has been slowly built over time through self gorging of foreign and delicious delicasies, but lets be honest here people, I dont plan on staying like this forever.  Diet and exercise are slowly getting in check and over time body will find homeostasis.
-So these are the things Im adjusting to, overall, a light hand of discipline and moderation is being instilled in order to be able to function at a proper level.

Arriving in the US was interesting...NYC blew my mind and immediatley I wasnted to run out the airport, bum a cigarette from some sexy luggage worker and run to visit my friends over wine and beer, go back to acting, seeing shows, so many sexy people, diversity off the chains, style glitz, glammer...and then my fantasy ended as I ran with every ounce of weak muscle I had in my body to be the last person on the plain to go to Maine to visit my lovely mother.

What can I say about Maine?   Boring!  Okay i am totally not kidding, but it is also an incredibly cute east coast state with delicious sea food to give you enough efa's to have your health set straight for a year.  The nature is magnificient and the best thing is that it is...quiet...yes... Wow! what a great place to spend for a week or so when you have been living in the chaotic atmosphere of over population and horn honking every 5-10 seconds,  Another adjustment though, and that is why I say boring.  I was exhausted from my travels and over 23 hours of transit to arrive at my mohers adorable little two bedroom house in the middle of a town that could be the new sitcom on hallmark.  She introduced me to everyone she knew in Boothbay Harbor (aka the smallest town in Maine) which consisted of a total of Four people (hey its a start considering she's single and just moved into this small town).  Everyone was nice and yada yada, and slowly my internal clock began to recognize the sun coming up as morning and the moon coming down as night.  My broseph came in with his girly and it was great to see them too but though my internal clock was at the beginnings of adjustment a slight irritation was still dormant on a counter of an over exposure to....I bet you would never have guessed even though it makes total sense...I was over whelmed by an over exposure to electricity.  The tv was constantly on either for my family or the animals, constant television, media(which is viral for me) and constant edeginess of what to do next for entertainment in this small town...and to be completely honest, if I was ever asked by my family what I would like to do today I would say, lets spend the day in contemplative silence...
Any whoo...that ended rather fast and then BAM! I was shippd back to boulder in a matter of five hours and doing christmas din din at good friend Jenny's house(who by the way's whole family is actually jewish, haha! i know ironic) and I has a deliciously guilt free turkey dinner stuffing my face with all sorts of legit american delicasies such as mashes potates and gravy, string beans with onion rings, gravy by the wine glass and pecan pie for dessert...okay I know I gota little carried away but I have to say, and I never thought I'd say this before but American food is omg delicioso, especially when its coked right.
So yeah, then I arrived in B-town (aka Boulder, CO) and now I am just adjusting to the more subte things like having a stable environment, driving a car, the higher expenses of everything, what homeless means in the US compared to India THailand or Nepal, televeision, media, Gyms, yoga classes, people being able to hold an easy moderate conversation with you in your native language without there being any complicated misunderstandngs ir need to reiterate myself consistentlt to be propoerky understood... the quality of food here is far neyon what I experienced in most places I went too, and of course the simplest two things and best of all that I have experienced(tp reiterate again) are heating indoors and hot water.  Oh also I forgot to mention that the level of privacy we have as just american, as well as the ability to go out into nature and be safe and simply explore with confidence is at a far larger reach compared to my experiences alon as a solo female traveler in the three counrties I explored.
So in a jist, what I am trying to communicate is that as Sonia, a merely labeled person, a femal, who travelled alone in lets just say not the richest of all places, finds the simple but often taken for granted freedoms that all people regardless of age, creed, race etc. we as Americans must take advantage (nad I am now) of these simple things, and truly appresiate what it is we have that for the most part we dont even take into consideration most of the time, the basic comforts of life, and the personal choice and advantage to lead our lives in the way we choose them (regardless of the work entailed to reach our goals), and that with a little bit more of an open mind, life can take us where we want, and it's the little things that we have to be grateful for in order to not get boged down, and of course, remembering that the rest of the world needs us, needs our positive quailities, and that at any time, we should be willing to sacrifice a little bit of personal comfort in order to truly benefit those who are in further need.  Enjoy what it is you have America, but don't forget that at the level of what it is you have, that is at the level of which you can give back, whether it be on a material or purely mental level, give back, and never forget how incredibly well you have, that is either your jewel or bag of's up to you.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ya ya ima gonna sit, listen, learn, breathe, contemplate and ya ya...

Good day people of a rich world filled with toilet seats you can sit on and toilet paper to wipe your preciuos ass with... life is good my friends!  I am preparing to go into a month to a month in a half meditation/buddhist study retreat at Kopan monastery in Nepal...yes NEPAL!!! There are a little over two hundred people attending the month long program and the last two weeks are supposedly taught by an incredible Lama named Lama Zopa Rinpoche.  I am staying at a massive monastary in a cozy dorm room, and next to a nunnery.  I have to say that though the place is a bit overwhelming in size, it is quite beautiful, and you can see almost all of Kathmandu from here when the sun rises.  Now i have only just arrived and explored little of Kathmandu, but it (to me) quite a modern city, but a little mixed with a chaotic china town flare.  There is a lot less poverty here than in the places i visited in India, but equal in terms of constant movement and horn honking!  Honestly i was a little overwhelmed exploring the city for a day because of the amount of stimulation for you senses, but the nice thiong is that it assisted me in a decent night's sleep.  So yes, I am going into retreat and this is my last post for a while.  Who ever is here reading this, please feel free to email and tell me how you are doing, with great and i will get back to you when Im back in the world.  Much love and remember life is short, so enjoy it, and remember the kindness of others...because without it, you would have nothing...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

If I could only get enough sugar!

Holy Canola oil, Deep fried chocolate banana and cinnamon apple samosas with a hint of sweet cake balls, chai chai chai, paneer pizza with a dash of cumin please!  Hello all, I am here on my last night in Rishikesh and finally feel as though i have the energy to write something slightly interesting...key word slightly...So I have made a record of three full body immersions in the holy Ganaga river in order to make sure i rid all my sins from the past...and because the sun was setting and it seemed so romantic.  So yes, Rishikesh is the yoga capital of India, but what that really means is that 30 years or so ago the beatles came to this little town city called rishikesh and stayed at an ashram, and then that attracted more tourists and soon enough the place was booming, yoga ashrams, asana classes, philosophy, etc. began to line up every block and now the culmination is a mix between the western view of yoga as purely a form of exercise and to look healthy, but also the spiritual, genuine roots of yoga are sprinkled atop, depensing where you go.  There are some very traditional places here, dont get me wrong, but many of the classes are tailored to westerners for the purpose of economic survival and material gain.  This guy who's been living in an ashram in Rishikesh since birth told me that the place has really changed, that traditionally the real yogis would get up around 4 or 5am and begin practicing, and it was a spiritual practice to the fullest, the preoccupation wasnt looking good, but self-realization; and now the essence of yoga is still there but people go to class at around 8:30 and the focus is more on the physical rather than the mental.  Now the reason I share this little piece of knowledge is because I feel that this is not only the issue in Rishikesh but with the western view of or should I say method/s of finding happiness, and this is why so many migrate to India, one of the most spiritual places on the earth.  I think as a westerner it is difficult and almost seems completely foreign to practice spirituality in terms of really working with the mind, and that being the priority as opposed to our appearance to the rest of the world.  People go to india or they study something or whatever for the purpose of searching for something larger or with a bigger view then what the currently have, really simply put, happiness...and its not just India, it could be going for the big corporate position or that delicious chocolate cake sitting in the window, and you see that "oh, if I can have this, then I will be really happy", but if you reallydig deep into all the things that you "think" will make you happy, you will see that most of the things that you assume will make you happy are so temporary that you only create more suffering for yourself, further desire to find the next thing that will fulfill your never ending thirst.  So what do you do when you realise that chasing happiness(or what you percieve happiness to be) or leads to dissatisfaction in the end?  You must work with your mind!  How? By being aware that what you truly seek in all your temporary pleasures is ultimate and lasting happiness, and knowing that when you get that corporate position or succulent papaya, that it is pleasurable and delicious for a short time but it is not ultimatley what you are looking for...okay now im going to get a little more intense about it and you can take or leave at it, but make sure you have a big laugh at the end because im just typing a whole bunch of words at you face...remember when you take a bite of that papaya that you are alive!  Remember how thankful you are to be able to enjoy just even one bite of this beautiful fruit because of all of the work others cultivated in order for you to enjoy this moment you have....okay, okay i know intense and i cuold go on and on on what you cuold remember in order to make this moment whatever it may be whther you view it as good or bad based in your perception of what you believe to be true happiness, but all im saying is that you could really get what you want(true happiness) if you cuold simply remind yourself that you are part of a community of beings that without them you could not even enjoy a bite of fruit, because somehow thruogh an uncountable link or causes and conditions, you my friend are alive and able to enjoy, alive, able to remember that you are not alone, but a part of the whole stream of events that led up to this moment, where you have the perfect capability to really see what it is you truly seek: life!  And that, that is yoga, a form of it atleast, so please, if you can stop for even one moment of your day, remind your self of this fact, that you,yourself depend on others for your own happiness and without apprecaition for others and their contributions, you could not experience this thing we call life! Namaste and now I must go eat Italian food in India, love you all and hope that some part of this blabbering was useful...carpe diem!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gangsta Fied!

Okay i am goin to type this with out looking at the screen and you are warned that will be likely typos because I only know how to touch type and the keys on the keyboard are super faded so here we go...I am extremely tired but in a goos way.  I am currently in Rishikesh, the yoga capital of India and I have to say that it is quite the beautiful place, I am right on the GAnga river(which I bathed in fyi) and when the sun is rising and setting, it is the most beautiful thing in the city...I am tired and slightly foggy at the moment becasue I have not been getting much sleep,; see right now it is Diwali, basically like India christmas with lots of candy and fireworks. They light the types of fireworks that are only legal for firemen to light off in the us, and children are doing this in allys and what not.  Holy Shit!  I felt as if I was in a beautiful warzone of flashin lights in the nights sky and massive cannons and bazookas going off right by my ear.  Every stands around when you light the bomb and then runs for there life to here the incredible explosions.  Many people were burned and some caught fire...the festivities go on until the end of tonight the 7th I hope only because I tyhink my ears are shot, haha!  I ate hazelnut chocolate for breakfast and half a bottle of water and then I ate a dosa later on which is a masssive thin savory crepe with whatever filling you would like inside...i got a vegetable dosa and it was tre magnific.  Also I have been eating  lot of Muesli..okay through the subject and level of interest in the topic you can see that my brain is slightly fried and I feel as though the only way I can say what I feel is through what Ive eaten and the fact that I am typing with my sunglasses on, haha!  I will update you later when I have the hutzspa two. n oy I must go, the firewokrs continue to call my name ...adios...and much love and good hugs!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

okay people!

yo yo yo! I am in a mountaneous region full of car horn honkings, cute little old laies walking up the foothills of the himalayas, momos, prayer wheels, wool shawls and buddhism up the wazoo.  Yes i am in northern India, in the home of the Dalai Lama and many Tibetan refugees.  I love this plce, truly, it is a breath of fresh air...again I am typing extraordinarily fast because I am on a time limit and am in between retreats. 
I am just going to freestyle whats goin on in my mind right now because I feel that is really the only way I can communicate what is slightly going on...
Heart beating, silence...achy knees, sitting all day, buddhist teachings, Dalai Lama, Tashi Delek( tibetan), lost, How do I get to Bhagsu Road?  OKay I am totally going to take my vows to become a buddhist, literally promising that I will do my best to not intentionally harm others for the rest of my life...I like him, she's cool, too many people, I was just silent for ten days and then BAM! everyone explodes after retreat, as if they were forced to keep them shut for those ten days of intensive strudy, Karma, everything being made up from caauses and conditions and resulting in positive or negative ways, from beyond this life, from all your past lives...back to the subject, zen style awareness with a cocaine infested language of fear amnd freedom from a feeling of being trapped in silence, key word trapped.  Explosions of noise and meaningful babbling, finally aware of the fact that , wow, these people are human...Searching for the Karmapa, so close to the public seeing of him, right on the steps about to enter the building and , wait, stop, shit, I have to go back into town, 30minute taxi ride, I have to mave into another room for the convenience of the next retreat I have where I am not allowed to be around people from another program and someone needed to move into my room.  Again, cocaine speed with cal and slightly sad concentration emanating from my being.  I express in minimal understable language styles mixed with internal matters that have a touch of poetry to such expressions. 
What I am really trying to say is that again, like everything and everyday of my life, I am in transition, transition from peace into chaos, introverted to extroverted, and always practicing to find some middle ground, some sanity in all the shifting... I had lunch with a friend yeterday, she was walking down the street in Mcleod Ganj, I was on the roof top of this Tibetan Cafe, and I called out to her randomly and tacfully inviting her up to share a meal with me of eggplant and garlic sauce with white rice, with ginger lemon honey tea on the side.  We spent a good couple hours there just chatting about life, chatting about the fact that we just had our brains filled in to the brim with buddhist philosophy, and that now, the world seems much different, not new, not old, just different.  And I bring this up because the main topic that was of our conversation was finding a way to be honest and genuine with your self and pthers in a way that is direct but kind, regardless of the internal fiasco tha is occuring,  and making the decision in how you communicate based on your intention "May I do what is most beneficial". Amd the funny thing was that this was an incredibly juicy toppic because of how much of a temptation comes out of our neurosis to communicate from a place of fear, and sometimes it is so subtle that you dont even realize you are lying to yourseklf or another person and you dont see the future reprucusions of your actions of creating only further delusion.
for example, this could stem from a simple conversation with you friend, you had plans already with your boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever, and you have cancelled so many times with this friend that is calling that you feel that if you cancel again, your friend will feel as thouugh you dont care about the friendship any more, the simple problem is not the friend, or even the lover, but the timing of the situation.  You inclination, habit or instinct is to tell a little lie because you have built up this guilt from previous times of cancelling with this friend. You have the intention, out of fear, to instead of simply telling your freind the truth, that you have plans with your lover, you pretend that you are sick, concocting this idea in your head that somehow lieing to your friend and telling them you are sick is a much more legitamite excuse than sadly turning them down because you have other plans, and even deeper you dont want to even bring up the past times that because of timing and differnt proirities, you chose to spend your time you lie to you friend, and this builds inside of you, because then the next time you friend calls and you happen to be busym you continue to produce the same behavior of being dishonest, and you build up a horrble habit of this delided idea of what it trult means to be a friends, and you totally have forgotten about the intention "may i do what is most beneficial", and a simple act has turned into years of habit, innocently ignorant habit of trying to make you friend happy but making yourself the centralized person in the realtionship because you would rather save face than simply tell your friend the truth, which is truly no ones fault, but simply timing,  and this is (in the conversatuion with my polish friend in the Tibetan Cafe) how problems start, from something as little as a lie, because you were in such a rush to avoid the truth that you didnt even realize that you cause more damage..its simple ignorance, we all have it from ohne degree to another.  I am saying this because I think this is an incredibly important thing to keep in mind when you are communicating with others, just being aware if your speech is coming from a place the will have long term beneficial consequences, not short term, like upsetting you friend, but long term like staying committed and loyal in the relationship with honesty and respect... its the little things that really matter, the big too, but dont forget the little. Try this when you go out into the world or when you are ever face with any decisions...stop for a moment and make the wish, aspiration or question to your self,"May I do what is most beneficial"...just try it, even just once, and think long term, with a sense of utter honesty.  okay I must run to another retreat but I will check back in some time after, I hope you are well and miss you much, who ever you are.  And, thankyou for taking the time to read this, it shows how much patience you have, and that youhave a genuine interest in some sort of truth...chao bella! xoxo.