my meditation spot on the roof

Lately I’ve been sad. I’m not really sure, and I think that is how it goes, sometimes you can’t really figure it out. I’m trying to work with myself to be more balanced in my life. Recently I had a few freak outs because of stress which found me kinda crying hysterically and feeling like my life was ending. I seriously thought about buying a bus ticket to Mendoza and disappearing into the Andes…

Just, seeing all my faults lately ya know, getting kinda down on myself, er…a lot down on myself. This is always how it is though, it gets worse before it gets better. Destruction before reconstruction eh?

I basically just am praying. a lot. Like oh dear god please just let me find the strength within to get through these challenges I am facing right now! And I’m also like, ok chop chop you are supposed to take care of me, make it happen! Show me what direction to go in cause I am totally confused…

Oh my dear lord what I would give to be at the Golden Temple right now. It is literally my “happy place”. That and sometimes also the forest. There is really nothing like meditating there during the early early hours of the morning when the city is still quiet.

Every time I travel somewhere and get settled enough to start to love it, it becomes a part of me. Argentina from now on will always have a special place in my heart (awwww). But, I feel so nostalgic already for places when I’m not there, India, US, now Argentina is added to the list. Great. haha. There will be more to add to the list of places to miss within the next few years. I have no doubt in my mind that I am going to be doing much more traveling in the near future.

El Padrino!!!! jajaja

was pretty dumbfounded when I saw this. one of the coolest murals I've seen here. I just stood and stared...

old ladies talking in the park ๐Ÿ™‚

new cafe discovery!

 

one thing I love about cafes here is they all have "liquados" which are smoothies yum and good sandwiches. this one had fresh spinach, tomato, basil, cheese and olive oil and vinegar

 

puppy!!!!!!!!!!

 

park at twilight

 

another cool mural

 

haha ok this picture is kinda funny....well it's not really but it's funny in the way that right after I took this picture, three people who were in front of the kiosk asked me to take a picture of them...

 

They invited me to drink mate with them! it is so funny how mate is treated almost like a drug here. If you have ever been in a circle of people smoking pot, well it’s kind of a similar thing. The mate is passed around in a circle, each person taking a turn to drink the full cup before it is filled up again with water for the next person. A popular subject that always seems to come up is whether I have a boyfriend or not. Everyone dates here and PDA is suuuper common. You always see couples on park benches making out, sitting on each other and… yeah P-D-A and many times T-M-I…

I answer no, and that I’m not looking either and they say “porque no?!” They always ask, oh what do you think of the Argentinian boys? Why don’t you have an Argentinian boyfriend? I just say, yeah not interested… but the guys are definitely muy dulce I say, and then they smile.

 

On another note, there is this adorable little book I bought from a boutique shop in Eugene with a gift card from a friend. “How to be Happy” by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. It has just a bunch of little inspirational tips on different subjects. It also has some meditation techniques in the back.

“We might have big ideas about how we can contribute to world peace, but if we can’t help bring peace in our own family, our own workplace – even our own mind – how can we ever start?”

I appreciate this because it is so easy for me to feel like, gahhh I’m only ONE person, and I have such big aspirations, but how can I ever do what i want to do?! I’m not capable, I can’t…blah blah blah. Well, I can at least start within myself, making myself a positive example and being in a place where I can uplift everyone who comes in contact with me. That is something I CAN do and that does make a difference.

Here are a few others I like,

“Mind is like dough, which means you can mold it into any shape. you can roll it into suffering, or roll it into ultimate happiness. Mind is like a disciple, which means you must strive always to be the guru, always teaching. Mind is like a child, which means you should become like parents, the father and the mother carefully and lovingly watching the child and guiding her. If you too act like the child, believe everything the child says, if you become the child, you create obstacles and life becomes suffering.

Mind is like a boat, and you are the captain; mind is a car and you are the driver. Lean the waters, watch the road, steer the vehicle, follow the map – letting the mind run haphazardly where it will, rudderless, captainless, driverless, is the path to great harm”

“Approach you mind the way a spy approaches his target. Spy on your mind. Get to know everything about it: what it is thinking, planing, acting out, whether it is working for good or causing harm – and carefully work to interfere when the mind is being negative.”

 

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Vain Women and Tango Milonga

hip lady no?

The women here are very funny. It is no surprise that Buenos Aires has so many plastic surgeons. You see so many older women with body parts, lips, noses, eyebrows, boobs that just don’t seem to fit with the rest of their body, their sagging skin. These women are chasing their youth. It just makes me wonder, why they are afraid of getting old when it is something so normal. Why are they trying to be something they are not? I think also though, it can be scary to watch your body age overtime when your spirit inside still feels youthful. Maybe, it doesn’t seem fair?

Went to a milonga last night. One of my friends, Liz is doing her independent study project on tango and machismo in the culture, so she has to do field research…aka party. No no I’m just joking, a tango milonga is quite different than your typical idea of partying. We just sat at a table watching all the couples flowing in and out of the dancefloor with the flow of the music.

some pictures finally

my morning working on my project

one of the buildings for University of Buenos Aires, where I met my advisor this morning

University of Economic Science! They have a cool study space... my advisor was joking about how since they are the school of economics their building is nicer than the social science building of UBA.... hmm...

where i studied for a bit today

my new favorite cafe

Resources

Alrightie, so I have seemingly dropped off the face of the planet lately because my independent study period has begun. I am horrible at compartmentalizing things therefore i am living, eating breathing my project which is good and bad. Sometimes i can also suck at focusing so these two things put together sometimes lead me to stress myself out unnecessarily. Lets just say there have been a lot of tears and I have been seriously tempted to take advantage of my WWOOF Argentina (http://www.wwoofargentina.com/what_is_wwoof.htm) membership and disappear into the countryside….like at least 5 times

It is comforting to think about the grand scheme of things, in two weeks this project will be done. 20-40 pages in spanish and a 20 minute project. I will have it done. I’m writing about the history and development of the Agricultural Industry in Argentina after the 1970s and talking also about alternative forms of development such as small communities who use permaculture. At least it’s interesting…

It’s just so funny though. I was so excited to get through the first few months of the program to get to this point so I would have more free time but now that it’s here, times feels to be moving faster than ever. I hope that someday I could have the opportunity to continue this avenue of study with a more flexible time schedule. It’s tough to have a deadline looming. I feel like Frodo during his long trek to Mordor…the closer he was, the more deranged he became.

Learning a lot about myself as always. I gotta work on compartmentalizing, focusing but also chilling out.

Work hard. Play hard. and leave the past in the past. I have made SOOOOO many mistakes during this project, mis-communications because of the spanish and the pressure is on cause I only have a month (now 2 weeks). I can’t bring back the lost time. Time to buckle down and work.

Yogi Bhajan taught these 5 sutras, or sayings to remember during the Aquarian Age. One that is really good is,

“When the pressure is on, start and the pressure will be off” This article gives a nice ‘lil explanation

http://www.spiritvoyage.com/blog/index.php/the-aquarian-sutras-of-yogi-bhajan-when-the-time-is-on-you/

On another note, here is a resource that my mum actually recommended and am finding quite useful for a beginners guide to econ.

http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-3-exponential-growth

Also while we are on this topic, something somewhat related that everyone should see is this:

http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-broke/

 

 

An Argentinian Update

So I have been very busy late, hence the not writing blog posts since October thing, so embarrassing, gah, also I kinda forgot my password for a while and had to re-set it. Story of my life. I actually almost wrote a blog post last night. I got really inspired after a talk with my host mother and I wanted to write about her, but then I just got to tired. I have been more tired here than I think I ever have been in my entire life. I think it is something about learning a new language, your brain is working extra hard to understand, the spanish IS starting to stick a bit though, people keep telling me my spanish is good, but I just say “what?! you’re crazy…”

Funny note before I talk about my host-mum. There are a TON of words that are very similar to english in spanish that have the same meaning, but others not so much. For example, a word similar to embarrassed in spanish is embarazada, but don’t go saying “estoy embarazada” (estoy=I am) because then you will be telling everyone you are pregnant. Yep. Made that mistake a few times in the beginning…

Another one, exitada. You might think, oh yeah that sounds like excited right? Ok, estoy exitada! Careful with that one, yes you are saying you are excited…but sexually, so right time right place eh?

Ok, so yesterday I talked my host-mother Marcela about her work. She is a psychologist primarily but also can give massage and reiki treatments. She has a cozy room for her office in our apartment with mattresses and pillows on the floor, altars with crystals and candles, a bookshelf with psychology books…anyway it’s super cozy. When someone comes to the door, she greets them warmly, like she is greeting an old friend and welcomes them into her office to sit and joins them shortly after grabbing a new mate to share with them.

(this is something else about Argentinian culture I can talk about more late, but the word “mate” actually refers to the special cup from which you drink the tea, yerba mate, but you can also use it to refer to the act of drinking tea. Whenever I get into a conversation with Argentinians and they see my mate, they say excitedy “te gusta tomar mate?! you like to drink mate!? When you say yerba you are referring to the tea itself…but you could also be referring to marijuana so be careful with that one too cause yerba really just means herb) As you can see, and as you know if you’ve read my blog before, I’m all about the tangents…

So my host mom, she is this short lively lady with shoulder-length curly black hair, a huge smile that is contageous and bright brown eyes. She is very animated and also very caring. I am always hearing lots of laughter coming from her office while she is working. I asked her about that, and she replied that it is better to get her patients to be able to laugh at their situation in life, or more importantly at their egos and be able to say, HAHAHA ego you are so silly that you did that, said that, wanted that… she says that laughter cuts through blocks people can have.

She also acted out for me how she considers that it is like she is encouraging people to pinch their egos on the butt and say hey! what do you think you are doing!? get back here you ego you! Suddenly the ego is surprised and scared and powerless. Imagine this little woman acting out being an ego and pinching her own butt, oh my god I laughed so hard. She also acted out how fear can be for some of her patients. Fear is like big ugly fat man who is eating you up. What you have to do, is turn right around, pinch that fear in the butt and eat it back! The big fat ugly man who is fear will be so surprised he won’t know what to do.

She tells her patients to keep up. Just as I have always been told by my papa, keep up, keep up, just like Yogi Bhajan used to say, she says it too. I don’t know maybe I sound closed-minded but I have to admit that growing up in a very sheltered religious and spiritual community I did sometimes get to thinking like this conscious viewpoint on life is ours.. I used to be a lot more closed to other people who didn’t have the same background as me, scared they wouldn’t understand me, wouldn’t care to, they weren’t on the same “level” as I was. I know god i sound so egotistical. I will admit it, I am, got a lot more butt-pinching-of-the-ego to do in my life. Well,ย  studying abroad here in Argentina I am more on my own than I have ever been in my life and in a completely new culture and country, one that is very friendly and welcoming. I have met so many amazing people who I can relate to.

In spanish I could say, they are an ” amigo mio” my friend, but meaning also like your friend that you identify with, you two have things in common, you get each other. Ahora, tengo muchos amigas mios aca en Buenos Aires. Me encantaria quedar aca por mucho tiempo, pero la vida es como asi, y todos las cosas pasan…

might slightly be showing off my spanish here, and if I make any mistakes all you native spanish speakers, porfavor tu puedes decimi como puedo hacerlo correcto…

so much more to say……………