If you need some motivation to work out….

Watch this video. I love the commentary. It’s done by a guy who calls himself the Hip Hop Preacher. Imagine what you could accomplish if you wanted it as much as you wanted to breathe and used that desire as motivation.

Here is a link to his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/etthehiphoppreacher

Enjoy everyone! Hope you are out there following your heart and chasing your dreams!

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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 🙂

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.”

 

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/

 

 

Iguazu Falls, Argentina/ Brazil

a section of Iguazu falls

this isn't even all of Iguazu falls

look mama!

So sometimes I can be kind of all or nothing. Lately, obviously with my blog I’ve been nothing. I know that I haven’t had sufficient time to really blog the way I want so I haven’t been blogging at all…but well, I’ve been missing it so I’ll write what i can. So, last week we were in Porto Alegre, Brazil and this week we are in Montevideo, Uruguay.

I don’t know what is going on with me, or if it is me, or if it is just life right now, but I go through rollercoasters of emotions everyday. There are some moments when I feel on top of the world, like I’m exactly where I am suppose to be, I have everything under control and I feel confident, and an hour later I could be thinking god what am I doing here, what did I get myself into, I don’t know what I’m doing.

This whole study abroad experience I challenging me in so many ways…

For one, my inner-child, or my ego, is constantly throwing a FIT. I mean big time. Sometimes it takes all of my mental willpower to keep from screaming and actually throwing a fit, but I mean I’m 22, I’m suppose to act like an adult now, I can’t be seen kicking and screaming in the streets now that would just be wrong. Ok, so you are probably wondering, well gosh what is making her so upset that she wants to scream? Well I’ve ranted about this already a bunch with other people in my program who have similar sentiments, but one big thing that frustrates me is the fact that I am taking classes on economics and politics, two subjects that I have no experience studying whatsoever; I actually tried to avoid them in the past b/c I thought they were boring (I was really just stubborn and close-minded, they are actually quite fasinating and essential parts of our society that should be understood). So, apart from taking classes about subjects in which I have no background knowledge, did I mention the classes are entirely IN spanish? I probably have, but anyway it’s hard.

I am actually using this opportunity to observe myself closely, my reactions and overall use it as an experience to know myself better, how I work and how I can know how to work with myself in these kind of difficult situations so that I can succeed despite the intense obstacles. In reality, I blow things way out of proportion and stress myself out more than neccessary. It is part of the philosophy of this program to push us out of our comfort zones in order to challenge us and motivate us to work harder, and therefore learn more, faster. I know that this is happening, but learning is a process, it is a gradual progression, so it can be hard to recognize that change IS happening.

Lately I have been feeling very frustrated. Just. Stuck. I’ve also been feeling like there is not enough time. Each day ticks slowly by, but all of a sudden the sun is going down and I’ve got to go to sleep so I can try not to nod off in class again tomorrow.

Yeah, my mind and spirit are really getting it right now. I am literally living my dream life, it’s crazy, but of course it never feels like how you imagined it would feel. Once you finally get what you wanted, sometimes you realize that you were happier before. It is all a process though. I’ve really realized that this life is more of a flow than something solidly set, like stone. I just keep reminding myself that these challenging times are my teachers and that I am becoming stronger.

I am building my capacity to deal with life.

I worry about the future sometimes. I worry about others.

Sometimes I feel so out of place, like what am I doing here? Where do I belong? Do I even belong?

It’s crazy how you can feel so alone when there are so many millions of people in this world.

When I feel like this, I’ve found that reaching out to others, even just to ask “how are you doing?” makes me feel a bit better. And I mean, reeeally asking how they are doing, not this “hey, how are you?” “oh i’m good” “yeah? good.” “how are you?”, “good.” kinda crap. I’m talking, looking straight into their eyes and really asking how they are and being there to listen without judgement to whatever they have to say.

I’ve realized, everyone feels these things at times, it’s kind of ironic, in sharing our mutual sentiments of loneliness, we can feel closer to one another.

Anyway, I’m learning a lot of cool academic stuff too in this program but in the moment these things seemed more interesting to write about for me. I just feel like I’ve had a lack of personal expression and I’ve felt like my thoughts and emotions were starting to pop my seams but writing about these things in my blog is really liberating. I feel like for me it is self expression, I also intend for it to be a place where I can rebel. So many influences around me expect me to be so composed and calm. Ugh, that is not life, that is not what it is to be human.

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Sometimes I think, for our spirits, to be so stuck in this flesh; glued to the ground. That can be a hard reality to face when all we really wanna do is fly fly away…

How much effect does your environment make?

I think it is common knowlege that your environment makes a huge impact on who you are. This is an interesting idea for me to contemplate these days as I have been placed in a completely new environment unlike any other I have ever been in before. I mean, yes, I´ve lived in India for four years but that was quite different because I was surrounded by peers who had grown up as Sikhs and was living in a Sikh state. I have yet to meet a Sikh here in Buenos Aires. I know a few and am in contact with them through email but we have yet to meet up.

I am observing myself and how I am changing here. The language is a huge thing that has changed. The culture here is very open, friendly but sometimes too much (it is very common for men to whistle at you on the street or say things like ¨how beautiful!¨) which you just have to ignore. PDA is widely accepted, I mean I come from the states and I am surprised a lot by the make-out seshes people have on the subway and in the streets.

Anywhoo back to my point,

It is my belief that if someone is able to maintain a practice or personal charasteristic despite being in an environment that does not necessarily support it, might even condem it, then the person can know they are a truely ¨whatever they are doing¨ or truly believe in xyz etc….

I mean in soooo many cases, people live a certain way, good or bad, because that is the environment they are in, what about you? What things are you doing  just because it is what your environment (society, culture, friends, family, job, etc.) is telling you to do/ be? If you don´t agree with me, I´d be interested to hear what you have to say on this topic.

I am keeping a journal and documenting things I am realizing and how I am feeling throughout this whole process. I am very interested to go back and read it after my program and see my progression of change. Sometimes I lament choosing to study International Studies only, like I shoulda double majored in Psychology or something, the people and the brain are just so facinating…

As you sow, so shall you reap

Salok, First Mehla: Night is the summer season, and day is the winter season; sexual desire and anger are the two fields planted.

Greed prepares the soil, and the seed of falsehood is planted; attachment and love are the farmer and hired hand.

Contemplation is the plow, and corruption is the harvest; this is what one earns and eats, according to the Hukam of the Lord’s Command.

O Nanak, when one is called to give his account, he will be barren and infertile. ||1||


First Mehla: Make the Fear of God the farm, purity the water, truth and contentment the cows and bulls,

humility the plow, consciousness the plowman, remembrance the preparation of the soil, and union with the Lord the planting time.

Let the Lord’s Name be the seed, and His Forgiving Grace the harvest. Do this, and the whole world will seem false.

O Nanak, if He bestows His Merciful Glance of Grace, then all your separation will be ended. ||2||

Pauree: The self-willed manmukh is trapped in the darkness of emotional attachment; in the love of duality he speaks.

The love of duality brings pain forever; he churns the water endlessly.

The Gurmukh meditates on the Naam, the Name of the Lord; he churns, and obtains the essence of reality.

The Divine Light illuminates his heart deep within; he seeks the Lord, and obtains Him.

He Himself deludes in doubt; no one can comment on this. ||17||

O Nanak, don’t be anxious; the Lord will take care of you.

He created the creatures in water, and He gives them their nourishment.

There are no stores open there, and no one farms there.

No business is ever transacted there, and no one buys or sells.

Animals eat other animals; this is what the Lord has given them as food.

He created them in the oceans, and He provides for them as well.

O Nanak, don’t be anxious; the Lord will take care of you. ||1||

First Mehla: O Nanak, this soul is the fish, and death is the hungry fisherman.

The blind man does not even think of this. And suddenly, the net is cast.

O Nanak, his consciousness is unconscious, and he departs, bound by anxiety.

But if the Lord bestows His Glance of Grace, then He unites the soul with Himself. ||2||

Pauree: They are true, forever true, who drink in the sublime essence of the Lord.

The True Lord abides in the mind of the Gurmukh; He strikes the true bargain.

Everything is in the home of the self within; only the very fortunate obtain it.

The hunger within is conquered and overcome, singing the Glorious Praises of the Lord.

He Himself unites in His Union; He Himself blesses them with understanding. ||18||

Salok, First Mehla: The cotton is ginned, woven and spun;

the cloth is laid out, washed and bleached white.

The tailor cuts it with his scissors, and sews it with his thread.

Thus, the torn and tattered honor is sewn up again, through the Lord’s Praise, O Nanak, and one lives the true life.

Becoming worn, the cloth is torn; with needle and thread it is sewn up again.

It will not last for a month, or even a week. It barely lasts for an hour, or even a moment.

But the Truth does not grow old; and when it is stitched, it is never torn again.

O Nanak, the Lord and Master is the Truest of the True. While we meditate on Him, we see Him. ||1||


Hukham I received when I asked about Argentina.
http://www.sikhitothemax.com/Page.asp?SourceID=G&PageNo=955

It’s amazing

what is happening right now. I sense this surge of excitement, energy, positivity and inspiration coming from all of these amazing people! Everyone seems to be on a similar page, wanting to reach out and uplift others.

I can only smile, and do the same.

There.

is

so

much

hope

in the air.

Sometimes I just feel so much joy I am confused weather I’d rather dance or cry because of the intense beauty of it all.

Swimming in the Willamette

I’m finding joy in the simple pleasures of life, happy bumble bees buzzing in their buds, hugging people I love, and people I don’t. Dancing randomly. Meditating, reminding myself to just BE.

I AM. I AM.

Lately, this is hard to put into words, but, I am scratching the surface of a new understanding of how to live my life, how to relate to others, how to relate to myself. For most of my life I have lived from a very visceral place, satisfying my immediate desires, which is not conducive to spiritual advancement.

Of course, this is very basic stuff. I kind of laugh to myself now, well, with a bit of remorse, but I still laugh at the realization that this is all stuff I’ve been told before in my life by my parents and elders.

They are nice enough to not say, “I told you so”.

These days I am coming up to a wall covered in post-its of these big life questions. It’s like I could follow the wall and find a different route around, just, not deal with it now, or just start with one at a time and go from there. I can’t handle to transgress. I want to deal with my shit! I don’t want it to remain piled up in the back of my head to come back to haunt me later in life. I just have this sense that now is the time to get this tough self-examination out of the way, and I’m sure it never stops, but at least to start. I’m starting. A pile of post-it notes= daunting, 1 post-it note= not so scary, maybe even cute? Just a step at a time. I can do this.

I am understanding the importance of Sant Sipahi (Saint Soldier). I like this translation from SikWiki.org:

“This is a philosophy and a lifestyle which was first endorsed by Guru Hargobind, and later personified in Guru Gobind Singh. The order of the two words is important.

The first word in this phrase is “Sant” and so this has domination and means that the first duty of the Sikh is to be a “Sant” or to be a wise and knowledgeable person... The word is a modified form of the word “Sat” which can simply mean “True” but can also be translated as meaning lasting, real, wise and venerable. Sat or Satya has commonly been used since the Vedic times for the Ever-existent, Unchanging Reality or the Self-existent, Universal Spirit, Brahman or God. The word “Sant” which can be linked to “Sat” is not generally used in a formal sense and is a subjective word which refers to a person who is considered an able and wise. So the common translation of the word “Sant” is a wise, considerate, judicious and knowledgeable person who has a good understanding of Dharam or religion.
The second word in the phrase is “Sapahi”. So this “Sant” should also be a soldier able to fight and engage in warfare. A Sikh who cannot fight cannot be a “Sant-Sapahi” and would be lacking in the required qualities. So the second duty of a Sikh is to be able and ready to fight for a worthy cause and for the protection of righteousness and the weak. So the idea for being a warrior is to protect and defend the weak and oneself from any tyrants and bullies. Sikhs were taught to be kind as well as fearless. However, the Khalsa is forbidden to never engage in a first attack on any person for whatever reason. Only when all means have been exhausted and negotiations have failed can the sword be yielded in defence of a legitimate and worthy cause.”

I’m realizing the importance of conduction myself as a warrior in this life. There is so much that I need to be able to defend myself from. Things that are disguised to make life easier, more fun, exciting. They are there to be helpful, or so they say. I keep coming back to this, this card I picked when I asked what my destiny on this Earth was:

 The Rebel

Zen Tarot Card
The Rebel

People are afraid, very much afraid of those who know themselves. They have a certain power, a certain aura and a certain magnetism, a charisma that can take out alive, young people from the traditional imprisonment….

The enlightened man cannot be enslaved – that is the difficulty – and he cannot be imprisoned…. Every genius who has known something of the inner is bound to be a little difficult to be absorbed; he is going to be an upsetting force. The masses don’t want to be disturbed, even though they may be in misery; they are in misery, but they are accustomed to the misery. And anybody who is not miserable looks like a stranger.

The enlightened man is the greatest stranger in the world; he does not seem to belong to anybody. No organization confines him, no community, no society, no nation.

Osho The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself Chapter 9

Commentary:

The powerful and authoritative figure in this card is clearly the master of his own destiny. On his shoulder is an emblem of the sun, and the torch he holds in his right hand symbolizes the light of his own hard-won truth.

Whether he is wealthy or poor, the Rebel is really an emperor because he has broken the chains of society’s repressive conditioning and opinions. He has formed himself by embracing all the colors of the rainbow, emerging from the dark and formless roots of his unconscious past and growing wings to fly into the sky. His very way of being is rebellious – not because he is fighting against anybody or anything, but because he has discovered his own true nature and is determined to live in accordance with it. The eagle is his spirit animal, a messenger between earth and sky.

The Rebel challenges us to be courageous enough to take responsibility for who we are and to live our truth.

Deh Shiva

by Guru Gobind Singh

“Oh god, grant me this wish, may I never refrain from righteous acts, may I fight without fear all foes in life’s battle with confident courage claiming the victory, may my highest ambition be singing thy praises and may thy glory be enshrined in my mind, when this mortal life reaches its limits, may I die fighting with limitless courage.”