Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Interview with Zee Mark

I have taken the time to interview myself. You may think I sound crazy, but that’s already the fact, so lets move on.

Why this interview? Well, asking myself questions brings me closer to you - my readers. In writing this, there has been no new things, I just repeated what I already said on these pages but, if you first time read my blog, my answers may surprise you...

Why did you put this photo of yourself when you look tired and sleepless?

I don't know. I like the photo, it is me early in the morning. I look cute here. I like to look like a military man. I am straightforward and honest, but there’s something that I just can’t accept, something that makes me want to vomit, it is in the moment when I am called a nice guy.

I feel more freedom not being a nice guy. While most of women do want a nice, kind and loving man, they only want him to a point. Simply, when a man is too nice, too kind or too giving, women sense a bullshit. No one is nice all of the time except for bullshiters.

Don't get me wrong, some women want a bullshiter, the one who is too willing to compromise and never pushes back. You know him very well, the one who bends over backwards for his woman while stepping on his own self-respect. The woman tells him - Oh you look so nice on this photo, you are so nice guy, but that's just makes no sense.

Do you post your photos and generally write this blog in order to attract women in your life?

After divorce, 5 years ago, I thought I had nothing to give the world. What do I have to give? I know nothing about life. I thought life was merely a bunch of responsibilities, work, bills, kids, occasional sex and endless fight for who-will-control-who. I thought the best part of my life was what I experienced in my student years and now I was in for a boring and depressing future.

The truth of my divorce is... my heart was crying out for more life. More love, passion, adventure and definitely more craziness, but I didn't know what that meant or how to fulfill the urge for the freedom. All I knew is that I was married but alone.

My girlfriend was reading my blog before we met and she decided to introduce me. So we met for dinner and we started dating on July 29th 2016, I liked her from the first moment I've seen her. I was tired of bad relationships and she return aliveness into my life...

Are you happy with your girlfriend, you have deleted all posts about her?

I have decided not to write about her anymore. We broke up so many times and I described that on my blog. But every time that happened we saw that we love each other and there is no point to pretend otherwise. My only logical action was to delete the all posts about her. Eventually we will finally break up but until then...

You seems to be an existential nihilist. Are you happy with your life?

I don't like the optimism, you know, hoping that something better will come. Nothing better will come, getting old sucks big way. Whoever told you that with age you will become smarter lied to you. You were young and stupid and then you are not young anymore.

I really don't like optimism, on another hand, I am not a pessimist either. I don't expect bad outcomes, I am not gloomy, joyless and unhopeful. Well, scratch unhopeful. I'm not a pessimist, I'm not an optimist, I am a realist.

The attitude is the thing. I'm a realist, and I'm here to set the record straight. Forget those glasses that can be half empty or half full, the glass could be filled to the brim or emptied to the last drop, it depends how thirsty you are.

In life there is nothing to be happy or unhappy about. Life is not a serious thing. It seems to me that the way most people go on living, they think that the world is supposed to be a logical and consistent place. Well, that is not the case. All misery comes from our idea that the world is true.

We assume that if the world is true then we are also true. This self-importance is the main reason for the feelings of depression, sadness, emptiness, and anxiety. No matter how much we understand about life or don’t, we still have to do the living. I've reached a point when I’m happy with small things. I have no more expectations from life.

It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. The meaning of all of life is just to be alive. There is nothing here to be happy or unhappy about so I stopped worrying. Things take care of themselves, so I intend the best and live my life as it comes...

Ashtanga yoga is a main part of your life?

I am doing Ashtanga yoga for the last 12 years. I am 53 and I still do daily half primary series. For how long I don't know. I am not an advanced practitioner, far from it. I do struggle a lot in my practice. There is no easy way to say this so let me just say it - Ashtanga Yoga is really hard. The half primary version of this practice is still quite challenging. It takes on average 45 minutes to complete.

The longer you practice the more you notice how hard it really is. It is utterly intimidating and defeating endeavor. In any sport by training it you gain strength and you increase the practice just like running or swimming for example... but that doesn't apply for Ashtanga Yoga.

There's no end game in Ashtanga Yoga; no big "accomplished day,” nothing specific you’re training for, nothing to achieve. It’s a constant hard work in progress, you can always go deeper into a pose, extending your ligaments and stretching muscles further to make the pose more challenging.

Practicing daily ashtanga yoga is boring, dull and hard, it does not allow any creativity and wishful thinking. It calls for a complete and total surrender. It is the practice of hopelessness which says that there is no way out... Asana, breath, drishti and vynasas are taking me away from myself... and that is most important.

Do you think your readers understand what are you writing here?

It depends in which category post belongs. All people know what I am talking about in DAILY NEWS, DATING, YOGA etc... but very few understand AWAKENING category. I do post those articles on Spiritual Consciousness Google + group but even there I do not find understanding.

Writing a blog today is not easy. Everything is already written and all ideas are out there. The google search just about anything imaginable will reveal thousands of articles. It can be confusing at a time. So I stick to my own message that I want to convey to my readers and I repeat the same words in different ways...

For example, when I say that people are taking the life too seriously, I mean that they're turning everyday situations into problems, constantly on the lookout for shit to complain about and worry about a bunch of things that simply do not matter. Our bare needs are a place to sleep, something to wear and to have two meals a day. Everything else is luxury to please our vanity.

The perception of the world is distorted by our beliefs about what it is and what it should be. And yes, the world plays around our excessive pride in our appearance, qualities, abilities and achievements. And I don't blame no one! People were lied to their entire life. They must investigate and find out the truth for themselves.

What is Truth?

Truth is... everything in this world, including our sense of ourselves, is FAKE. We are false, our world, aspirations and desires, our family, friends, neighbors, teachers, idols... our country, our job, our interests, striving, hopes and everything else... are just layers of bullshit, the one on the top of another.

We live our life just for one reason - to see through this pile of shit, to see falseness of everything. Instead we make our life serious by setting all kinds of goals - to finish prestigious university, to visit Paris, to see the Eiffel Tower, to complete this asana, to run a marathon, to swim with dolphins, to become rich, to be our own boss, to own a mansion, to drive a Corvette, to find true love - the list, mostly mundane and predictable, is endless.

We are trapped, this is what society wants from us. We live the life where goals, timelines, and deadlines are normal thing. Society tells us that setting and achieving is the only way to lead a fulfilling life, and thus the only way to be truly happy, and they say, we also need to enjoy the process in between - the “journey,” they call it.

We're on the journey following "Work Hard, Dream Big" so we have no time for introspection of our life, no time to think what do we really need and to see our real position.

Is this the main reason for writing this blog?

I'm not here to open eyes to anyone. I am writing because I am straight-forward. There is nothing here to be understood. With my articles, I'm NOT trying to set anyone free.

I'm only telling to my readers that their life is a lie, and they should see it for themselves. If I'm not so convincing, so what? They will continue living their wonderful life just as they did before.

Monday, April 15, 2019


You create your own reality. Ever heard of it? Probably. It’s a common phrase for many spiritual teachers, yoga gurus, and wellness coaches these days. The expression itself is easy enough to understand but let me tell you in plain words, you don't quite get it. I say that because I see how you live.

73% of all working adults in Canada, aged 20 to 64, report stress as the main problem at their job. According to Statistics Canada from 2018, 23 per cent of people over the age of 15 report that most days are “quite a bit” or “extremely” stressful, and that number rises to 30 per cent among the 35 to 54 age group.

There are worries about being educated and not being able to find a job; concerns about cost of living and debt that’s causing them to live with their parents longer. All this translates to more stress. And we know that 70 per cent of mental health problems are onset in younger years.  - Dr. Katy Kamkar, a clinical psychologist at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Do you remember, you've been told since childhood that being a grown-up is awesome? And maybe now that you're an adult, you're still waiting for the awesome part... Well, you're missing it. You create your own reality has been part of our culture for thousands of years now, from The Buddha to the present...

What you dwell upon you become. - The Buddha
It is done unto you as you believe. - Jesus Christ
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are. - Talmud
We become what we think about all day long. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve. - Napoleon Hill
Change your thoughts and you change your world. - Norman Vincent Peale

But let get this thing straight. You do not create your own reality by merely wishing something! Period. Your thoughts do not create anything. The positive thinking does not manifest things in front of your eyes, your visualization and dreaming are not going to get you what you want.

We’re all fools, all the time. It’s just we’re a different kind each day. We think I’m not a fool today. I’ve learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a fool then too. – Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man

The world is really weird. It gives you all kinds of experiences. Your intent supports the universe which you experience as your reality. Distinction is critical, and far too often it’s ignored in favor of the far more attractive idea of being in control of reality by the power of thoughts.

For you, the world is weird because if you're not bored with it, you're at odds with it. Actually, the world is weird because it does not exist, it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable... but without reality. You must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous, vanishing, fading world, in this marvelous time.

Realize that you are not at the mercy of the universe, that you are not at the mercy of the world, anything or anyone. All events are neutral, you give them meaning and by doing so you create your experience, your reality. Giving the meaning and interpreting the events is intent.

Intent is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the warrior's indulgence. Intent is what makes him invulnerable. Intent is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, to infinity. - Carlos Castaneda

You are your greatest enemy! You doubt, complicate life, cloud your mind with unimportant thoughts and negativity, you punish yourself, hate yourself and then feel sorry for yourself because you create the experience that your life is a living hell.

Fuck it, life is tough for everyone. The richest of the rich have problems. The poorest of the poor have problems. When there is no desire to satisfy yourself, there is no stress. Because there is no rush to achieve, you can afford to relax. Because you can afford to relax, you can afford to keep company with yourself, you can afford to love yourself, to be friend with yourself. To be a friend with yourself is to be a master of the universe.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Ashtanga Yoga Authorized Teachers - The Overstretched and Underpaid Folks

An Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher
to lead the Mysore practice

We are looking for an Authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher, (authorized by Sharath's himself) with at least 10 years experience practicing Ashtanga Yoga, who doesn’t mind teaching 4 hours in the early morning. The ideal candidate is the one who is working on their continuing "ashtanga" education. The candidate must be a gentle but firm, with the heart and soul, the one who love people and it is truly committed, dedicated and humble. We pay $3.99 per head, eg. per number of practitioners who show up in Mysore room.

This is a current situation in yoga business. If you're qualified, you don't need to apply. I just want to show how difficult is to be yoga teacher in today's yoga market.

If you are unfamiliar with how to become an Authorized Ashtanga Teacher you should know that you need to practice, practice and practice more. Somewhere around 10 to 15 years in most cases. You have to make multiple trips to KPJAYI in Mysore so that Sharath can remember you.

Then, when the boss feels good, at some unknown day, at some unknown point, he may grant you Authorization to teach Ashtanga Yoga. There’s Authorization Level I which means you can teach Primary Series and there is Authorization Level II which means you can teach both the Primary and Intermediate Series. Don't bother about level 2, most people in western world can work only on primary series.

Once you became the authorized teacher your name appears on the Sharath's list on KPJAYI website. In order to stay there, you need to  maintain a yoga room or shala to allow for daily, preferably morning, Mysore-style practice and you should honor tradition of Ashtanga Yoga, and of course you should continue going to Mysore, India for continuing study with the boss.

For some, the practice of ashtanga yoga is a spiritual calling for others it is just an exercise routine but for Authorized Ashtanga Teachers it is a lifestyle choice. They do not like referring their professional teaching of ashtanga yoga as a yoga job, but it is what it is, a job. It’s just a job that happens not to pay very well.

Do your practice and all is coming taken out of context can lead to unhappiness, it can lead to injury and the bankruptcy. Practicing without mindfulness does not count, really, our body takes the path of least resistance so injuries come. Being an ashtanga authorized teacher without a detailed business plan of teaching yoga will make you just overstretched and underpaid.

At the end of the day, the technical aspects of Primary Series are not enough. You cannot maintain dissent financial life doing a fancy Bhujapidasana, no matter how perfect it is. It’s just not gonna happen. You have to explore the psyche of your customers. And asana in that regard is a very limited.

Asana is just a stepping stone. At some point, you have to make decision are you going to work on your own practice or you want to be paid for your knowledge. You have to make a choice. That requires a deeper understanding of yourself and your surroundings. Good luck.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

I'm going to explain you about life, buddy!

Well the thing about life is... after 50 things get weird.

In 20s you hope something will come. Whatever life you have, in 30s you are always talking about truth. Whatever entertainment you occupy yourself with, you think that it leads somewhere, moves you toward some desired goal, that there is meaning in it. When you rich 40s, you already know so many truths, like it were toilet paper or something and you got a supply in the closet.

But what you learn, as you go beyond 50, is there ain't no truth. You clearly see that the meaning, once you cherished so preciously, is just a creation of your imagination where everything is real... real, but not true.

You are no longer certain what your outer purpose is. What drives you in the 30s and 40s no longer drives you in 50s. Seeing the madness of your world so clearly, you may feel somewhat alienated from the culture around you.

Yup, all there is is bullshit, pardon my vulgarity here. Layers of it. One layer of bullshit on top of another. And what you do in life after 50, you pick the layer of bullshit that you prefer and that's your bullshit, so to speak.

Do not believe a word I say. Experiment on yourself. You do not have to go anywhere. Just where you are right now, begin to spend time diving within yourself, watching your life, witnessing your own bullshit.

Think for yourself and figure out what is true.

If you make yourself deprived of your illusions, imagination and all that prevents you from seeing your real situation - if you are deprived of your interests, your cares, expectations and hopes - your world would collapse, you would become empty, hopeless and alone.

This would be the death of "you", the death of everything it consisted of, the destruction of all your bullshit collected through ignorance and inexperience. All experiences will remain in you merely as material, but subject to evaluation. Then you will be able to choose for yourself and not have imposed on you what others like. You will have the conscious choice.

...and this is what you need to know.

Being empty of all mental content, of all imagination and effort, will cause your life to rush in. When you demand nothing of the world when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then LIFE will come to you uninvited and unexpected.

The life is a dream, your dream, your show. It is your world. There is no one else here, just you, and nothing is being withheld from you. You are completely on your own. Everything is available to you.

No one else has anything you need. No one else can lead you, pull you, push you or carry you. No one else is necessary to your success.

The life is your dream because you are asleep and you can wake up. If you understand that, you will understand that I am giving you the best news you could possibly receive.

You are welcome 😉

Monday, April 8, 2019

I am not scared of getting old

In my life I am having simple goals - yoga practice, living healthy and saving money. Right now I am in the spring cleaning - the period of change. Only constant thing is ashtanga half primary series practice. I mean, what else I have? Something more important going? Like what? My plans? What plans? I have no plans, neither short term nor long term. My career? I have no interest improving myself...

I have no big aspirations, I just want to be healthy and look good. Yoga is all that I have to keep me in a good physical and mental condition. Also, with spring coming I have started long walks across High Park and Bloor street.

The majority of the people of my age are overweight, busy with their work, under all kinds of stress, very serious and sarcastic. They follow sports and politics, they watch TV and news at 11 PM... The confidence goes down after hitting 50 and by age of 60, they are inactive and very likely to have some kind of sickness. I have decided not to count myself in this general population of men. Except for the age, I have nothing in common with any of them.

I hate to say this but the more I look at people of my age the more ashamed I am part of this 50-something generation. I'm not buying it. Those, barbecue parties, kids education stories, big houses, big cars, laziness and sluggishness. Simple, I'm not buying their frustrations and  lifestyle.

What to say about the women of my age? Not much. They are not going out at all, I don't see them in the clubs and pubs. I think women over 45 need a special lifestyle change plan. Women need to go out more often and eat fewer calories and they need a lot of sex. The lack of sex, the hormonal changes and menopause make them edgy and mentally unstable.

People see life like a mere roller coaster of ups and downs, chronic search for happiness, dissatisfaction, always pretending they are happy and successful. They slip into their life the way a foot slip in the shoe. They decide nothing, there is no choice, they live this by default. They don't know any better, and they don't know the reason why they don't know any better.

I am trying to be aware, to hold onto I AM, to observe myself, I believe that we create the experience of our own reality. We look at the world through the glasses of our own thoughts. So thoughts must be known. Daily retrospective, quiet periods of simple awareness, the presence is needed. I don't say meditation but some quiet, alone time is necessary for healthy life.

I have come to the point of understanding and I openly say - Hey, wait a minute, this life is nuts! I want to get out of this merry-go-round circle of daily waking up, working and sleeping again. Work is not everything in our life, it brings money, that's it. I work as much as I need to pay my bills. I have no debt although I spent a lot going out and paying for drinks.

Unfortunately, if you don't know which road to take, you don't pay attention to the crossroads...  the un-examined life, said Socrates, is not worth living. That is a serious shit. People are offended by that. They rather like watching life of others, reading biographies, documentaries and various garbage on the internet.

Socrates meant that the stagnated, home-work-home, repetitive life is not worth living. He is saying that most people's lives are not worth the bother. They don't understand, the universe is an interactive game, it will give them whatever they want. That is how it works. It can't be otherwise. They don't have to be worthy, but they have to know what it is that they want.

I'm not an advanced yoga practitioner, a fitness teacher, or a healthy diet guru, not even a great blog writer. I write here what I'm interested in at present moment. I have no advice for you. Do whatever fuck you want to do. As for myself, I will continue to take care of the present...

When the inevitable truth of aging confronts us in the mirror we don’t react well. "Oh, you don’t look your age!" became a great compliment. I say, fuck that! I am not scared of getting old.