During my last update in India - I set of for a month of meditation and peace. Eventually with the help of Tibetan hipsters, I ended up in Rishikesh. I spent my days mediating by the river Ganges, engaging my bones in morning yoga and my mind by attended some interesting lectures based on Buddhism, Christianity,Gandhi, Hinduism and Jesus.
Faith was kind to me, because a couple weeks prior I gave all my money to a Mother Teresa's project. So I spent a good chunk of my time starving and I only had $75 to live on for the whole entire month and it was seriously ONE of the best months of my life.
I was constantly starving and weak, but I continually kept giving all my possession away - at one point my only meal for the day was a watermelon that I could only afford at the nite market. I usually shared this meal with my amazing neighbours in the ashram.
When I returned to Kolkata 4 weeks later - my friends didn't recognize me and even the nuns I worked with for 4 summers thought I was a homeless Kolkatan.
My blog for June tells some really cool stories.
During this time I learnt more about food and my life than anything that was thrown at me in the past 6 years+
2. Tea, Lhasa :: Tibet :: The nunnery
Tibet changed my life. I was very blessed to spend 3 weeks in Lhasa. During this time I got an apartment [the former HH - teacher's pad], purchased an ass-bike, took Tibetan classes at the university and spent every afternoon at the nunnery [see pic below] hanging out with nuns. I heart Tibetan nuns and every afternoon I practiced my Tibetan with everyone in the cafe - it was amazing to witness a row of elderly people showing me how to count to 10 and teaching me customs for eating. Most importantly I learnt to share every meal and every cup of tea with EVERYONE in the cafe and this became an automatic part of my life. As soon as your glass is empty you automatically fill it for another person, it was a great sign of respect.
Pics are here::
3. Media :: Youtube
It's kinda funny to be off the grid for a couple months - no tv, no magazines and no hipsters... then I come back home to the west and see the new fads. Last year Youtube shocked me and then online video journals shocked me. I have been doing this since 2001. now I am all camera shy...
Facebook: "A stalker's wet dream" [and the C.I.A] I am very sure that I will have to join facebook before the end of the school semester, because even my teacher uses it for networking and I am constantly left out of class events. Does anyone know who owns facebook?
Music: My left ear is currently listening to Indie band "Miracle Fortress" My right ear has " Kevin Drew" and for some bizarre reason M.I.A is making my feet move.
Tuesday Night is date nite: It started off as let's-see-how-well-we-can-get-to-know-each-other-date. Then it progressed into a weekly event and now it's my goal to introduce everyone to her. So here I go... Pushing Daises is now my biggest crush and it's easily the most magical hour of television.
The writing is soo good [un like my blog] that I usually watch it twice just to get the in jokes. Move over Feist - Anna Friel is slowly becoming my new crush. [LL you should work on this show and you ARE chuck]
4. Toronto :: Dishwasher/Pre-Chef
Simple living it's been a process of the past 5 years to build up this point, but the constant struggle of need vs want has to be put through the grinder every couple years in order to keep life interesting. After my return to Toronto last summer I really wanted a different life. So I decided to got a job that ends at 4pm - no extra hours and no unnecessary stress. I applied to wash dishes in a neighbourhood restaurant [believe it or not this is one of my dream jobs] and 3 days later found myself promoted to prep chef as well. It was soooooo aweome to learn how to cook some really creative meals and work in an industry that I knew absolutely nothing about - I found it riveting and exhasuting.
I also got a very simple aparment - and decided to live life very simple. I got 2knives, 2 forks , 2 plates etc & I decided to built almost all of my own furniture and kept it neatly bohmenian. Community living was amazing - I had tabs in all the local hotspots,[even had keys to local pub!] and would only purchase goods from the community - if it wasn't from the East End then I would think long and hard if I ever actually needed it. This was an extremely hard season for me, but I really wanted to know if I could take 8 years of travel experience and international work and bring that lifestyle to Toronto.
5. Best Email:
I hope all is well with you in Nepal and thank you for inviting me on the
trip and taking me under your wing. It's been amazing. I don't even know
what to say. Just know that the path my life takes it is in part due to the
influence you had in it:)
This email rocked my world. I hired my former CWY participant to be my co-leader for the India trip last summer and we just kicked ass this summer for working together. It's kinda crazy that the person who has seen every side of me and who I have spent the most time with in the past 2 years is a 19 year old girl who lives in Calgary. Her boyfriend must be jealous.
FreedomizeIndia:: I am sooo blessed to go to India five seasons in a row. I feel even more blessed to take 2 groups this year - the first trip was easily one the best trip that I have ever been a part of...people got the vision and just rolled with it - it's been 6 months and people are still serving in Kolkata.
I simple stand back in awe every year and think of how much India, Mother Teresa and the people that I meet have changed my life. It's the constant struggle and joy to push myself + faith that makes it all possible.
I hope all is well with everyone and if you don't want to be on this list - please eletter me and I will fix it up.
Have a great day everyone!
peace and blessings