Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Spin your world again and again...

234 Facebook page likes.... wow. Thank you! -  blog about awakening, yoga and my daily life.

I am Zee, 52 years old, divorced, semi-normal person, of average intelligence. I am an Ashtanga yoga practitioner from Toronto, Canada.

My entire life journey has led me to this very moment in time. I finally arrived at a place where I am okay with the truth that there is no truth.

Everything is fake, "I" sense is an illusion, so whatever we do is also the illusion.

People are always talking about truth. Everybody always knows what the truth is, but what you learn, as you investigate... there is no truth. All there is is false. Layers of it. One layer of falseness on top of another.

Whatever life we have, whatever entertainment we occupy ourselves with, we think that it leads somewhere, moves us toward some desired goal, that there is meaning in it, but the meaning is just a creation of our imagination where everything is real, but nothing is true.

Life is not a serious thing. Nothing is serious.

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. Our 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.

We spend a great deal of effort maintaining the illusion of our life. We work very hard to make it as solid as possible and never venture too close to the meaning of it. Otherwise, we would see right through it and find yourself looking into a mirage. Then we may see our life for what it really is... the great lie.

Now, I've reached a point when I'm happy with small things.

No matter how much we understand about life or don't, we still have to do the living.

Do you want more of life? Do you want to try to catch it with your hands, swallow it raw; make it a part of you? Do you want to be there when it happens? OK then, don't be numb, create opportunities, feel the air on your skin, wake up and run after it, without apologizing. Know what life is, let it spins you around for life is an addiction. Please do, consume the delusions like a drug, because it helps you feel alive, twirl and twirl and get dizzy.

The meaning of all of this is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple.

There is nothing here to be achieved. When your dizziness subsides you'll see that your misery is not fixed. Do yourself a favor, stop worrying. I'm not saying run, there is nowhere to run, I'm saying, things will take care of themselves, so intend the best and spin your world again and again...

It's painful to say, but this should be it. Lets do yoga...

Monday, February 19, 2018

Happy Family Day, the Manufactured Holiday

Monday. Long weekend in Ontario, today is a day off the work. Today is the Family Day Holiday where you celebrate the importance of family life. On the Family Day, you plan and take part in activities aimed at the whole family.

Family Day is a “manufactured holiday”, which means some burnt-out civil, middle aged servant wanting promotion decided to screw with the natural order and create a day for families to “bond” temselves. Sounds great –  in theory. 

I have no family, at least not here in Toronto. I am divorced, my daughter is living with my ex. She came once in a week to visit me and that's all. So I don't really care about this artificial holiday.

Last night I made "beans party" at my place. I prepared beans with smoked meat, I cooked 5 hours in a slow cooker and the meal was delicious. My friends (all of them divorced) came around 7 and we stayed until 12 eating, drinking beer, talking and listening music. It was fun night.

This Family Day holiday is introduced artificially, couple years ago

My first reaction was “wonderful to celebrate families and, hey, an extra day off.” We work hard, long hours in this for-profit world so it is great to have a holiday. But today I wonder what are we actually celebrating? For me, the Family Day is an irony.

This society keep repeating that the family is one of our most precious gifts in life. Family members are here to lend a helping hand, make you laugh, be supportive and cheer you up. They help you overcome challenges and offer guidance. Unfortunately, under the same society, your gift, your family, is deteriorating rapidly by the madness of modern life.

Families seem to have fallen into a WIFI sinkhole. There is no more quality conversation between kids and parents anymore, much less to other relatives. As social media is for parents so children, constant texting and online games creates a really wonderful picture of apparent happy family.

Today's society has become a greedy and selfish. Instead of thinking of others, people only think about themselves. Many individuals put off marriage until they have a successful job, a home and a comfortable lifestyle. Many won't even consider having children until they have reached their desired goal.

The staggering number of divorces granted by the Court last year is a serious cause for concern, that speaks to the current socioeconomic situation and trends. Healthy marriages are good and they are the building block of healthy family. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy family protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems. However, about 50 percent of married couples in Canada divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.

In this world, there is little time for rest and relaxation, so the time has to be introduced artificially, like this Family Day holiday, somehow pushing you to spend time with your loved ones. Thus, your artificial family day is so often identified with anxiety and disappointment. 

Society gives you a false perception of reality, and you fail to realize that you have lost the ability to solve simple problem of your own boredom. Peer pressure, social media and selfish feelings are just a few of the false perceptions you are facing. Every day you are constantly and simultaneously moving in multiple directions so rapidly that you rarely have the opportunity to see your real situation.

Life will not leave you much not even laughter

Blame it on the aimlessness of life. You live this life in a cubicle, nothing to live for, nothing to die for. Are you living your life for the kids? I'm tired of all this crap I have to listen about children. That's all I hear about, everywhere... Raising children is getting entirely too much attention.

Regardless if you're married or divorced, single dads or working moms, who think you're such fucking hero for raising your kids, aren't going to like this, but somebody's have to tell you for your own good: your children are overrated and overvalued, and you've turned your life in a wrong way. Eventually you'll be disappointed...

You live for and instead of your kids, and it's not healthy. Well, you love your kids. So what?! Everybody loves their children; the love doesn't make you special. What I'm talking about is this constant, mindless concerns, this neurotic fixation that suggests that somehow your life has to revolve around the lives of your kids. It's completely insane.

Today's kids are way too soft. For one thing, there's too much emphasis on safety and safety equipment: childproof medicine bottles, fireproof pajamas, child restraints, car seats. And helmets! Bicycle, baseball, skateboard, scooter helmets. Kids have to wear helmets now for everything but jerking off. Grown-ups have taken all the fun out of being a kid.

What's happened is, these baby boomers, these soft, fruity baby boomers, have raised an entire generation of soft, fruity kids who aren't even allowed hazardous toys, for Chrissakes!

    - George Carlin

Dragging kids all over town in search of empty, meaningless activities to kill time: scouts, swimming, soccer, karate, piano, tennis, bale, salsa, and who knows what else. It's absurd. You want to help your kids? Leave them alone!

You are getting older and your kids are escape for facing that fact. The kids can't stop struggle against aging. You fight against nature for years and months without hope to win. Desperate attempts to use creams, start running, going to gym, buying a new car and finding a new, younger woman or man will only prolong the inevitable. As it should.

You had your youth, you had a good days, if you played it bad... so be it!

People have anguish over their 30th birthday and try to hide their 40th, it is with the 50th that most start to actually see themselves as beginning to be old. Why? I'm 53 next month and it comes with that age, marriage, divorce, children and careful observation of our society that I can write these words. Other people writing about you too... read it.

"And for what?" Lisa continues. "This wasn't for a few months or even years. this was our whole life! We were trapped! Fifteen years of it! Isn't that nuts? And for what? To raise kids? That's just an excuse. Anyone can raise kids: you don't have to live in constant soul-crushing servitude to do it. One day I asked DJ what he really wanted out of life and he said he wanted to be a dentist just like daddy. It was like being kicked in the stomach."

She shakes her head sadly. "And you know, it's not just that it's a terrible way to live: it's not really life at all. It's not something you choose, it's what you get when you don't choose. We just marched ourselves into these damned idiotic, impossible lives without ever stopping to think about what we were doing. High school, college, post-grad and then straight into the workforce. Get married, have a kid, borrow money, buy a house, fill it with junk, have another kid, borrow more money, bigger house, more junk. It's completely insane, but that's how everyone I know lived. Affluenza, they call it. like a disease. That's what it is. For the last seven years we've been struggling just to make the minimum payments on our debt."

She laughs bitterly. "Everyone I knew was the same way. Some at a higher income level, some lower, but I think practically everyone we knew was dangerously over-extended in every direction. Money, time, work, responsibilities. We were doing everything right and we didn't really have any misfortune: no tragedies or health issues. We've been members of the local country club for ten years. Yes, we were living the American dream. Exhausted, broke, not good parents, not happy, and now split up."

    -Spiritual Warfare, Jed McKenna

Nobody puts you in bondage except your own imagination. As you think about the world, so will  you see it, as is your conviction so will be your experience.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Marvelous Plank

Plank is my favorite yoga pose. It is a truly fundamental asana. It teaches you to hold yourself together giving you the power you need for other yoga poses. Plank builds abdominal strength; you might even find yourself shaking as you practice it. It can strengthen your arms and keep your wrists healthy.

I love this photo of plank pose

If you practice this pose, over time your upper back and neck posture will improve, and you’ll create support for your lower back as you learn to engage your abdominal. But in order to experience these benefits, it’s important to work toward creating a well-aligned Plank Pose.

Yoga Calssic Plank Pose

Standard Plank

  1. Put the hands directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) like you’re about to do a push-up.
  2. Firm the toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize the body. Your legs should be working in the move too; careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees. 
  3. Look straight into the floor, firm the neck and spine. Your head should be in line with your back.
  4. Hold the position for 10 breaths. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.

They are so many variation of basic plank and I posted the picture for some of them. The plank can even be more difficult by raising a leg. All plank postures build upper and core body strength, lengthen the spine and strengthen the low back muscles.

Reversed Plank

Chaturanga or Half Plank

Elbow Plank

Side Plank

5 Most Common Plank Mistakes

Collapsing the lower back.
Instead of lowering back by dipping the bum, engage the core by imagining your belly button pulling in toward the spine. This will help keep the torso flat, and in turn, the spine safe. 

Reaching the butt to the sky.
Planks aren’t supposed to look like a downward dog. To really get the core working the way it should in the plank position, keep your back flat enough so your abs feel engaged from top to bottom. Just don’t dip the tush too far toward the ground.

Letting the Head Drop
While the focus may be on keeping the hips, butt, and back in the proper position, form isn’t only about the core and the lower body in this move. It’s important to think of the head and neck as an extension of your back. Keep your eyes on the floor, letting them rest about a foot in front of the hands, which will help keep the neck in a neutral position.

Forgetting to breathe.
It’s our nature to hold breath when in a strenuous position for a period of time. But denying yourself oxygen can bring on dizziness or nausea, which are unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst.

Focusing too much on finishing the pose.
Do not watch too much for the number of seconds ticking away when it comes to the plank. When your form begins to suffer, it’s time to call it quits. If the back begins to bow or the shoulders start to sink in, take a break.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

August 2018 - Barcelona and Madrid, Spain

This year in August I'll travel with my girlfriend to visit Barcelona and Madrid. Four days in each city. We will use AirBnb for accommodation. I have already started putting money aside for this trip. Total budget is $5000. I really don't like to travel but I'm looking forward for this trip.

I have a friend who read Eat, Pray, Love, which is a story about a woman’s travels and as soon as she finished the book, she got online and made reservations to go to visit the same countries. I have another friend who read 50 Shades of Gray and as soon as he finished the book, he got online... oh well, that is another story not for this post.

How about my neighbor? He is a wealthy sixty something man, doing a lot of traveling. He spend more time on the airports and hotels in a month than me in a whole year. But if you ask me, he is a completely nut case.

It appears that everyone likes travel. And I’m the only who doesn’t love it which makes me what - a freak, in a way. It’s like hating Christmas (which I admit I do) or weddings (which I despise) or kittens (which I don't hate. Who hates kittens? Fuck!).

It took me a long time to admit that I don't like to travel. In fact, I'm pretty close to saying I hate it. For years I said I liked it without really thinking about it, because I had the vague sense that it was part and parcel of being an educated, intelligent person. Right now I'm pretty sure that I'm not so intelligent so I can freely say if I have to travel, it mostly feels like punishment.

But I do travel, of course. I like seeing my family and friends, and if that involves travel, then fine. I can cope with the horror of flying for the fun of visiting new places. Exactly ten years ago with my family I visit Barcelona for ten days. Until this day, for me, Barcelona is the most beautiful city in the world.

In Barcelona, La Rambla is my favorite. Also called Las Ramblas The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca said about La Rambla, 'It is the only street in the world which I wish would never end.' La Rambla starts at central square Plaza Catalunya and ends at the Columbus monument at the Port Vell marina. La Rambla it is not a spectacular attraction in any way, but very pleasant to stroll down and feel the human heartbeat of Barcelona. If you have not walk on La Rambla, you cannot say you have been in Barcelona.

I liked a lot the medieval city of Barcelona from the middle ages. It grew around the old Roman town of Barcino which is the oldest part of Barcelona. The gothic part of the city has many beautiful churches, plazas, markets and museums and you can see parts of the old Roman walls. We walked through the gothic quarter on foot enjoying peace and quietness so opposite from La Rambla street.

Parc Guell by Antoni Gaudi. Parc Guell i is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to one of Gaudi's most artistic works. Parc Guell is a Barcelona top attraction and must-see. The park is on Carmel hill so seeing this attraction involves a 900m uphill walk.

And the #1 in Barcelona must seen list is the fabulous and still unfinished church of La Sagrada Familia designed by Antoni Gaudi. This unique construction is Barcelona's most famous tourist attraction and most visited. It is also rated as one of the world's top attractions by Tripadvisor users. La Sagrada Familia welcomes 3 million visitors a year.

These photos were taken ten years ago. I was practicing ashtanga yoga for a 8 days at the local Barcelona studio and I went to beautiful beaches at outskirt of the city. I was impressed with the subway lines in Barcelona and we really had feeling being at home.

I am looking forward to visit Barcelona again and I would like to compare it to Madrid. We will travel to Barcelona, stay there 4 nights and then short trip by plane to Madrid and stay there 4 nights. All this will happen in the beginning of August. Yooohooo, I cannot wait. 😘