God Grant Me...

Om and happy holidays. I am finding that as I settle into my heart path, studying yoga, ayurveda, vedanta, sanskrit, and getting our "nest" set up in Ubud (now that we have our own digs), that my desire to intellectualize the experiences I am having has waned. I find myself really "sinking in" to this reality: Baking, cooking, grinding grains, making ghee, and washing laundry by hand. There is something cellularly pleasing by it all.

At home, we have no television, no internet, and no phone. The conversations we hear outside our windows are not in our mother tongue, and sound more like the chirping of birds, or the chorus of frogs than "language. Because of this, my mind doesn't pop off "thinking" and instead the conversations of the locals around us sound more like music than words.

To top it off, once a week there is a scheduled rolling blackout. All electricity in our village ceases at 6 pm, so as it gets dark, we get ready for bed, with the rhythms of nature. We find ourselves smiling about this, in part because where else in the world would it be so tolerable? And second of all, it happens to occur in our village every Saturday night. This past blackout was extra special because we heard bounds of giggling coming from outside our family compound. Not wanting to miss something good, we carried candles down the stairs and out to the street and sat with the Balinese women, men, and children as they kids lit off small fireworks and "oohed" and "ahhed" just like at home. Laughter, excitement, sweaty bodies, and candy swarmed around the 20+ kids giggling in the dark streets. I was nestled right in with the balinese women on the stoop and Eelu, a Balinese friend I have made, held my hand and tried to explain to me what was going on. The one word in English that I caught was "happy" as she pointed to the kids. Simple. Simple and happy.

So, it's the "holidays", yes? I must say, the holidays almost haven't hit me, except for the two pumpkin pies I have managed to bake in my Electrolux toaster oven. :) Christmas Eve was quiet, with friend from London via Japan and Larry. And on Christmas day we went to our friend Charley's house and I baked my Grandma's coffee cake and a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I felt so grateful as we lovingly devoured a fusion of Indian, Indonesian, and American/English food... listening to word music, with people from across the globe... on a tropical island.

As the "new year" approaches, I realize that I will make some sort of conscious resolve, as I tend to do this time of year. And as I incubate my intentions, one of my teachers shared with us a version of the Serenity Prayer, with a bit of Vedic, Yogic insight....you might recognize it, with the vedantic twists...


Oh Lord, infinite intelligent being, who is not separate from myself,
please bestow upon me the inner peace and serenity to accept gracefully all that I cannot change...
Like the past, other people, anything that has been said or done to me.
And may I have the strength and courage to change what I can change.
What is within my power to do so... such as certain habits, or what I say in each moment, my words... and what I do.
And may I understand and see clearly.
May I have the wisdom to recognize what I am able to change, and what I am not able to change, so that I do not waste my will... so that I do not waste my energy... or the energy of another... trying to change what I cannot.
Om Shanthi. Shanthi. Shanthi.


Caffeine: The Final Rights

A sign reading "escape sling", meaning unknown, hangs on a glass door, and I know that I do not want to eat at the restaurant that translates into "Gruhl", but this is not Portland.  Indeed, this is Taipai. And we are almost to Bali!!!

It is somewhere around 3:20 pm Thursday in the U.S.  It is 7:20 am as I sit here in the Taipai airport.... the U.S. influence is overwhelming.  One story renditions of Nicole Kidman, Elizabeth Hurley, Charlize Theron, and Antonio Banderas tower over us as I bumble around on marble everything, trying to determine if it is my day or my night or why I even bother wondering.
Oddly for me, Starbucks called my name, not because I ever succumb when I am home, but because I have made this commitment that once I get to Bali, I will not drink caffeine while I am there, except for the seldom social green tea or medicinal Ayurvedic chai.  There is also this subconscious part of me that is like a homing pigeon, constantly on the lookout for stuff from the U.S.  Starbucks is unfortunately one of those things, like it or not.   So, I buckled for the Latte, my first one in years, and my last one most certainly for years.   I got the little size and imagine I will take a few sips and mark it off my list of "things I will convince myself I will miss while in Bali."

As I sit here, I feel "fuzzy".  I can't believe we are doing this for six months.  I can't believe that I won't experience the warmth of my friends and students the same way I have come to know, I won't take an indoor shower, won't have screens on my windows, or tune into NPR in my car for six whopping months.   

I imagine that when we arrive in Sayan Village today, we will say our hello's to our Balinese family, Nuadi and Nyoman, and then settle into a moment of planning for how we would like to create our daily ritual.  I know that we will rise earlier than the sun, with the first rooster's call, meditate, do our yoga, eat a fresh tropical fruit breakfast with herbal tea, and then I will launch into my Ayurvedic studies.  Once I get a sense of what my days will look like, I will share the journey with you, and invite you to participate from where you are, to the degree you are moved to do so.

We must catch our connecting flight so I must go for now.

I will share with you a prayer I have transcribed into my Kamala Journal (the dream retreat center you are helping me manifest on the upper left hand corner of the BloomLetter Blog).

Whatever my appointed role may be, it was selected by the voice of the Divine, whose function is to speak for me as well.  Seeing my strengths exactly as they are, and equally aware of where they can best be applied, for what, to whom, & when.  God chooses and accepts my part for me, and does not work without my consent.  I become aware at last there is one voice in me.  And that one voice appoints my function, and relays it to me, giving me the strength to understand it, do what it entails, and succeed in everything I do that is related to it.

What I know for certain is that I am here to taste the divine nectar.  To listen to the quiet whisper that tells me what is best, and to exercise the strength and will to make that manifest.  I wish for you, dear friends, the same wherever you are planted.

Until Bali.