Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ireland - 5 days is not enough

Glendalough monastery_3, originally uploaded by veggy.

What can i say about Ireland that has not already been said? A country full of strife, immense history, and natural beauty. You can get lost in any variation of its background or foreground. I just came to observe and i have liked what i have seen. Ireland is still catching up in some senses and have been screwed over by the current banks, the churches (will i go to hell for saying that?), and the good ole british, oh and the vikings! But the Irish still have a great sense of humor if you can understand their beautiful accent, that may come hand in hand with a drinking problem. Pub culture and life is everywhere and has been passed down for some time now. I am happy to report that the food i have eaten here has been delicious. I have only once seen ham, and the rest has been delicious vegetarian and vegan options.
I don't think Ireland is place you want to rush around and visit, it seems like a place where you want to take the time to get to know the place.. maybe because there is so much to learn!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

From Germany with love

regensburg, originally uploaded by veggy. In 1135–1146 a bridge across the Danube, the Steinerne Brücke, was built. This stone bridge opened major international trade routes between Northern Europe and Venice, and this started Regensburg's golden age as a city of wealthy trading families. Regensburg became the cultural centre of southern Germany and was celebrated for its gold work and fabric.

I have arrived in the old city of Regensburg ,which is 100km from Munich, situated in Bavarian region of Germany. The Danube river runs through this city that has history that dates back to the stone age and in 90AD the Romans built a fort here. Now it is a world unesco hertiage sight and a stop for popular river cruises. Quiet and quaint is not understated, or maybe just in comparison to the chaotic and noisy Nepal.

There is no shortage of bavarian beer houses and snitzel. The bread and cake here is to die for, and very much evident on the waistlines of the locals.
Efficiency at its best, bike lanes, paths, trails, and highways create little traffic jams.
Half my family history resides here in this picturesque university town, a place that has more history then all of Canada!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bandipur - the land where people do good

bandipur - THE VIEW, originally uploaded by veggy.
Sitting in the town of Bandipur where the time stays still. Old men walk slowly through the streets, and hundreds of children run, play, and joke with each other as they head to school. They are even more excited because at the end of the day they have two weeks off for Dasain, one of the biggest festivals of the year. Before the fog set in the valley the northern view of the Himilayas that hide behind clouds most of the day days take your breath away. Something so majestic hiding behind clouds.. how is that possible?! Ahh but that is weather an the natural pattern that best serves this nature and area. Global warming is changing the climate patterns here as well. Newari archtiecture is everywhere here, short doors with dim lighting, with women sewing school uniforms. You would barely see them if you didn't step closer.
I stayed in a old Newari style place where you have to watch your head to enter or else you will smack it. Most Nepalis have no problem with this as they are naturally short. There are so many people doing good in this town. I met a young man who is helps run the Old Bandipur Inn (a beautiful hotel, with a stunning view that costs $30/night). He also assists on treks in the Everest region. He supports 20 kids himself by buying them the supplies they need to go to school. In a world where people you meet tend to hord their money and use it soley for themselves you can also find people who give a lot. The owner of my hotel would feed one blind man and talk to everyone, this is what happens in smaller towns. Meanwhile this hotel is full (which means 8 rooms), of people from Austria who are helping to survey land for a 150 student school 25 minutes down the road. A older swiss guy named Hanz is the man in charge of building this school and said that instead of playing golf he is building this school. A worthy hobby i would say so myself...if only more people had these hobbies! It was interesting to see the Austrian and Swiss German man really crack the whip on the Nepalese who tend to do things very, very slowly. I was told, and i have seen it also in many of the restaurants i visit that it often takes around 3 Nepalese to do the job of one western worker, of course this is not true for everyone, and it could be said the other way as well. I see skinny, older women hauling massive loads on their heads, wondering how is that possible! Another german guy is there for 4 months teaching english, and shares his stories about the differences between the public and private school kids. Teachers often don't show up for classes, because they are either lazy or have other teaching jobs because it doesn't pay that well. Meanwhile if a student is late for class he gets smacked hard with a stick, but if a teacher is late their are no consequences . I recently watched the award winning documentary "Waiting for Superman" which focused on the American public school system and the corrupt School teachers union where teachers cannot be fired ever . The documentary correlated the difference between having good teachers and having bad teachers, and the same can be seen here. Good and bad education/teachers is a universal issue.
I also met 5 americans who are here for the year, are fluent in Nepali, and working with the locals on proper agricultural systems. I was reading in the local paper that Monsanto is trying to seduce the government here into introducing gmo crops. This is obviously something the local people don't want after seeing how it has destroyed and taken over crops in neighbouring India. It will be interesting to see what happens, if corruption will prevail or if the reality of frankenfood and big money will win.
Nepal is full of interesting people doing good work. It warms my heart to see this so if someone is looking to do something good, this would be a great place to come. Help is needed and goes a long way.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Meditation, Yoga and discussions from Nepal

i got to participate in a 3 day weekend retreat at the Ganden Yiga Chopen meditation centre in Pokhara. It is a sister monastery to the well known Kopan monastery in Kathmandu. Our schedule consisted of wake up, meditation, yoga, breakfast, teachings with the monk, lunch, break, questions for the monk or discussion, yoga, dinner, and meditation, followed by silence. This is a cake walk compared to Vipassana meditation retreats. In my group i was the only one who had completed a Vipassana sitting, and it was looked upon seriously by the monk Yeshe. Yeshe is an american who has been teaching Buddhist theory for over 30 years. He has been in Pokhara teaching for over 4 years. He was a great teacher asking us questions like: "What did you live for when you where 6, 17, and now? and what has changed?" Also, "Who are you?" which he warned would stress some of us out, and i was glad that i have had this question before in yoga because it is a tough one. How does one define themselves? A lot of us define ourselves by our careers, this is usually the last thing i bring up in a conversation. I find it uncreative. Who i am, it is not what i do to pay the bills. Some people think i have been humble in the past, amazed that i am not bragging about one career path i chose, but it truly wasn't who i am.
I am a being, on the path, seeking, learning, absorbing, and giving back as much as possible. I am constantly changing. You don't see it day to day because we are not aware of the changing, but skin cells are dying and regrowing, brain cells are doing the same thing. I can't quantify what i am either and because science changes constantly, so what i know could be totally false, but i am ok with that.
A fellow student on the course who has come to Nepal to learn how to take care of himself better asked me on the last day "Do you consider yourself a buddhist?"
It was a tough question because i have never liked to conform to titles that would define me. The more i learn about Buddhism, the more i would like to say yes to this question. Buddhism is not a religion but very basic principles which i have unknowingly gravitated to without that much thought.
Buddhism believes in the idea of Karma, something that was discussed heavily in the course, mainly because we misuse this term quite a bit. If someone steals my computer it doesn't mean it is a direct result of my karma in this life (even though at the time i thought it did). The fact that i even have a computer in the first place means i have been born with good karma, unlike most of the people in this world. If something really bad happens to me it can be because of something that has happened in a past life. Buddhism believes we are reborn many, many times, and thus believes in not harming any being intentionally. Of course we may kill bugs by accident, or someones pet, or even a human, that your soul is pure during this action is what matters. If you have the intention of harming someone, this is the where the karma comes into play. There was a bit of debate on the buying of meat for our consumption and how easy it is to get it, and technically you are asking for this animal to be slaughtered but because of mass consumption you don't need to ask anymore, the animal is already slaughtered and in the grocery stores waiting for you. In this sense Tibetan Buddhist have rationalized or maybe not that this is ok and you karma is pure in this because you don't have to ask for it to be slaughtered. I question this theory, mainly because it doesn't make sense to me.
This course is a great beginner course. The yoga teaching was very questionable, and not in a good way. I am not to sure where Nepalis get their training or if it is even considered training, but we did multiple poses i have never seen or heard of before, and many things that could result in both short or long term injury, or turn a beginner off of yoga for a long time.
I was warned about doing yoga in Nepal, but i didn't really understand why. Now i do. A lot of it feels made up and still costs around $7usd (which is expensive for Nepal), which is fine if you are stretching safely, but usually you are not. I have only had two different yoga experiences so far so don't get me wrong, their could be some good teachers out there. The course i am attending with Yogi Nomad is an organization that is part of the Yoga Alliance which from my experience seems to follow a very systematic and strong practice, and outputs amazing teachers.
I have read a few articles over the years where the Indian teachers give western teachers a hard time because they are not following the practice as it has been passed down, and from what i have read (mainly from Iyengar), what i have seen is that the western teachers are more in line with origins of yoga then that of the whishy washy east where anyone can be a teacher.
My experience is limited so i can only speak from that, but if you want to come to Asia and do yoga, make sure it is a reputable organization. If you want to come here to practice yoga, just ask around, but sadly you won't like what you hear. I am missing doing a good practice with my community, but in less than a week i start my 6 week intensive training. I am very excited for this new chapter in my learning, and meeting everyone.
last sunset in Pokhara

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sarangot - sunrise

Sarangot - sunrise, originally uploaded by veggy.

Continuing to live by the seat of my pants i hitched a ride up to Sarangot with the paragliders, not to para glide at 100 euros a ride, but to spend the night and watch the sunrise over the Annapurna mountain range. It has been cloudy the whole time i have been in the Pokhara valley, but for some reason i knew it was going to clear. I spent the night in the Mountain view hotel whose owners had 4 daughters and one baby boy. WOW was the view amazing when the clouds parted the next morning. I spent two hours sitting with people from all over the world watching as the clouds blew away, planes took off to Jomson, and ultralights buzzed by.

Some things i have learned while talking with the local:
School is free for children in Nepal, but you still have to buy them the uniform. I have noticed an abundance of girls going to school which contradicts some of what i have read about girls being the first to have to quit school because they need to help support their families. Education is now seen as a way to get a better job, and in turn be in less poverty. Girls and boys are both valued, but i am sure that the age long impression of having a boy is more important to a family is still alive.

I visited the Hijan Tibetan settlement outside Pokhara for the afternoon chanting, a magical experience in itself. I was able to get some video before i realized i wasn't able to record. Repitive chants continued for an hour and a half that cumulated with banging of drums, blowing of horns and clanging of symbols. Small monks (boys), sat in front of us and joked and played while some of the more serious ones tried to keep up with the prayers.
I learned that Tibetan women are allowed to have more then one husband. She will take a husband who is farmer and busy in the fields most of the time, a soldier who is away serving most of the time, and a business man and collects all the money, and works out a schedule for them. Often brothers will share a wife when there has been shortages of women in the pat, but rarely anymore. Tibetan women are smart business women, working hard themselves and selling their beautiful trinkets for tourists all over town. Women are known to work harder then men, and you will often see them hauling heavy bags and baskets of dirt or rocks in bags that wrap around their heads and down their backs. Obviously this work is not preferred but if you want to eat you will do it.
Another thing i learned is that 15% of the world goes to bed hungry every night, another 35% goes to bed hungry a few nights a week. These people who work so hard look like they go hungry often. So skinny, often dirty, struggling in a culture that gives some people no opportunity to get out it. Their options are limited if your children don't get a good education and help to support you. I met one women who invited me to her home and showed me all her childrens photos. Her daughter got a good education and moved to NYC and married there as well. Her son was studying in India on a scholarship. In her home she had all the things she needed, thanks to children. Her husband on the other hand was not welcome back in her home for cheating on her. So it happens everywhere. Suffering from attachments, lack of basic nutrition, and other ailments.

There are many people who are doing good things here though, more to come on that later.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Tibetan settlement - Hijan - flag, originally uploaded by veggy.

The deep, resonant Om is all sound and silence throughout time, the roar of eternity and also the great stillness of pure being... The Mani is the "adamantine diamond" of the Void--the primordial, pure and indestructible essence of existence... Padme is the world of phenomena, samsara, unfolding with spiritual progress to reveal beneath the leaves of delusion the jewel of nirvana. Hum has no literal meaning... Perhaps it is simply a rhythmic exhortation completing the mantra.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quantam Physics and Intuition

Quantum communication 2/9 by motioncrapper

I recommend watching this documentary on Quantum physics and communication. When i named my blog "listen intuition" a few years ago it a subtle reminder to myself and maybe one day others that all we have to do is listen. I used to always wish i had a crystal ball where i could have the answers. I don't guess anything anymore, i know them. It is nice to see that science is backing me up on this, and even Einstein was tapping into this later in his life. It is crazy to think so much is hidden from us. Even within our education system we aren't taught consciousness, mediation, awareness, or yoga. Such important things in a world programmed only for a few to succeed as we see so drastically as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Of course we are discovering these things ourselves now, making the world clearer and clearer. Did you know that the only thing the majority Physics students study now in university is Quantum Physics?


Well if there isn't a time to get superstitious and pray to some sort of god, then i better get started. Firstly, Indra the god of thunder and rain is quite busy with his monsoon. The monsoon is a bit of downer because with it, it brings extreme heat (hotter than the Amazon rain forest) and crazy, drenching rains which usually only happen in the evening, today was the exception. The monsoon also makes trekking difficult, with slippery trails and clouded in valleys. Those beautiful vistas i have seen so many photos of are all hidden from me right now. I now understand why people don't travel during this time.

Secondly, a 6.9 earthquake! The biggest in 78 years according to the local paper. The fault line that brought this region the stunning Himalayas is still jamming itself higher and higher. Earthquakes are not to shocking to me coming from Vancouver and living on the San Adreas fault line. This was a good rattler though. The fear with earthquakes here is that nothing is built to code. Earthquake proof buildings don't exist. I was luckily only under a sheet metal roof enjoying the company of a fellow couch surfer who is here hanging out writing a book. Other people i met who where in Kathmandu told me that they where inside the hotel and when the earth started moving all the employees ran outside. There is no 'duck and cover' here, it's RUN! Collapsing buildings and mudslides are what resulted in 60+ deaths across India, Nepal, and Tibet so far. There is no earthquake preparedness which is complained about heavily in the newspapers.

Thirdly, a scooter crash! Thanks to the monsoon rains and the one day i decide to rent a scooter and go out the Bengas Tal, a less touristy, beautiful lake. I picked up the scooter which looked like a hunk of junk, which thank god it was because after i crashed it, it barely looked any different. Almost dying a few times at the hands of other Nepali drivers on the road, and random dogs haphazardly running into the street. The slick street was no match for me with a deaf man who didn't hear my horn and didn't move. Luckily i wasn't going to fast but my bald tires, and locked breaks where a combination for disaster, if the road was dry i would have been able to stop in time. Off i slid, luckily not badly at all. As soon as i hit the ground i had about 25 people picking up the scooter, helping me up, women brushing off my pants, checking my hands. Meanwhile the deaf man was still walking in the middle of the road and was oblivious and i was warned to avoid him. Police were there in 30 seconds to help me and take me to the local hospital which wasn't necessary. My right arm and thumb feel a little wonky but i am sure i will shake it off. A nice scratch along my leg but nothing really that bad. Good luck or bad luck? Who's to say. Good luck for it not being worse. Bad luck for bailing. My track record for scooters is actually pretty bad so i think i will stick to walking, biking, and buses.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pokhara to the Peace Pagoda, an adventure and a half

Today started with monsoon clouds enveloping the Pokhara valley. I knew they would burn off so i decided to start my day early. I started my stroll down the main strip and stopped to purchase a really low quality North face rain jacket for $20usd (which has since been a blessing), and a fresh pomegranate juice. I tried to follow the directions in the Lonely Planet book on how to do the scenic hike to the Peace Pagoda and managed to meet two very interesting girls. One from China, the other from Bhutan. The girl from Bhutan is actually the duchess of Bhutan and wise and calm beyond her 19 years. Either that or she's secretly recruiting for the sex slave trade. She has accomplished a civil engineering degree she started when she was only 16 in Kathmandu. As we weaved along the Dam, through rice patties, and people homes, we started our ascent through the jungle. I don't know why i thought Nepal was going to be a cooler climate, it definitely wasn't cool today. It is supposedly the end of the monsoon, when people say its the end that doesn't mean is a gradual cool off, it means it's still happening. From the bucket loads of Indian novels i have read over the years, supposedly one day the monsoon will end and it won't come back and you can tell by the relief in the air. There is no spring or fall like in Canada, just monsoon or no monsoon. Dripping in sweat from the heat, we climbed up the hill, until we realized leeches were attaching themselves to our feet. They even made their way through my running shoes cloth through teeny tiny holes into my shoes. After removing my socks and going through my shoes i couldn't find them though, i still don't know where they went. My chinese friend was loosing it because she worse open toe sandals and the leeches had easy access to her feet. At that point we where almost running up the hill. I was able to ask many interesting questions of my new friend from Bhutan. She loves Nepal because she is able to enjoy a real life here. In Bhutan she has security guards a little access to the public because of the 'celebrity' status that comes with being in a monarchy. She invited me to join her in Bhutan and she would be able to take me across the border without a visa because of her monarch powers. I would be her guest, and than she would bring me back to Kathmandu (a 36 hour bus ride each way). I would LOVE to go to Bhutan but 72 hours of bus in one week is really not attractive enough to me. Plus we would have to cross India and i don't have a visa for that either. After many freak outs from the leeches, mosquitoes, falling on the wet washed out ground, and hiking uphill for 3 hours (Lonely planet says it takes 2 hours?!) we made it to the top where the views are stunning. We relaxed and realized that we just had an adventure of a lifetime together. We also had one pissed off bull almost charge us which i haven't had happen before. Dirty, sweaty, and seemingly not covered in leeches! Hurrah! Then comes the decent that says it takes 20 minutes in the Lonely Planet book for the quick route. It took 45 minutes and we took steeper shortcuts. This walk isn't for the unfit, and not reachable by vehicle. I was surprised that motorcycles didn't offer their services because it seems like this would be a good business, even though the 'shorter' road is rough. In the 45 minute walk down i managed to give myself the worst sunburn i have had in years. Usually i cover up, but when i left it was cloudy and so unassuming. On returning i visited the Olive Cafe which was recommended to me by my friends Jen and Jon who where here recently. I indulged in the ice coffee which was so refreshing (or i was just dehydrated), i even ate the ice cubes as well. Now it's time to relax and meet up with some couch surfing friends. What a day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Nepal vs. Buddha

As my eyes begin to cross from barely sleeping over the 21 hour journey to get to Kathmandu, i am forcing myself to stay awake to get onto this 12 hour time change as soon as possible. It's hard to begin when you come to a place like Kathmandu. It's a city with it's typical Asian smells, touting selling and guides, and packs of street dogs but there is something so obviously different about Nepal. Buddhism prevails with it's imagery, monasteries, and followers. Buddha was born in a town named Lumbini in Nepal near the Indian border, he didn't stay here but the energy of mindfulness has been left behind. One thing i don't understand are the rituals though. Buddha never believed in blind faith per say, yet there are so many rituals here. Today i should have good luck forever and never have bad teeth (that's a hindu blessing actually). Lighting candles, giving food to monkeys will bring you "more". Buddha would say that is foolish but this is what 'religion' becomes unfortunately over time. Buddha never wanted to be idealized, turned into a religion, gurufied or cast in gold thousands of times and be bent down too. So Nepal and it's beliefs aren't perfect, but what country is?
Ever since i did Vippassanna (mediation) i am not attracted to big cities, i see things and people a little to clearly.. so i am leaving Kathmandu after one whole day and taking the 7 hour bus ride to Pokhara, a lake town, closer to nature, but also the starting point for a few stunning treks in the Annapurna region of the Himalayas. It also seems like a place where i can get to know some locals.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

double rainbow

double rainbow, originally uploaded by veggy.

Every day, God gives us, as well as the Sun,
a moment when it is possible to chance anything
that is causing us unhappiness.
The magic moment when a “yes” or a “no”
can change our whole existence.
Every day we try to pretend
that we do not see that moment,
that is does not exist,
that today is the same as yesterday
and that tomorrow will be the same too.
However, anyone who pays close attention
to his day will discover the magic moment,
It might be hidden in the instant
that we put the key in the door in the morning,
in the moment of silence after supper,
in the thousand and one things
that appear to us to be the same,
This moment exists,
a moment in which all the strength of the stars
flows through us
and allows us to perform miracles.

-Paolo Coelho

Friday, August 26, 2011

smaller town vs a bigger town

Kelowna kids_2, originally uploaded by veggy.

I have spent most of my life in the 'big' city of Vancouver. 2.7 million people isn't considered that big in the grand world of HUGE cities, but it's still bigger then the one i am in now. I am spending some time in Kelowna whose population explodes in the summer due to it's hot, dry heat and beautiful surrounding. Even there is a massive increase of people from all over BC and Alberta, there is something humbling about this space. People smile and say hi on the bike paths, stranger immediately introduce themselves at yoga studios, neighbors join in on conversations in the back ally's, mutual enjoyment of the small beach starts conversations, and then there's the farmer's market with its abundance of amazing local vegetables, fruits and treats. Don't get me wrong, you do get these things in the big city, but not as much. In the city people avoid eye contact, rarely smile or start conversations or do things with your neighbors. I have met more neighbors here in a month then i met in years living in condos. So as you can see i am enjoying this community living, and i challenge you to get more involved with your neighbors and say hi to people on the bike paths. A smile goes a long way.. oh and make sure to take a dip in the ocean or lake :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

lynn log

lynn log, originally uploaded by veggy.

Lynn Canyon in hidden gem in North Vancouver. With a handful of trails that interconnect and loop, or just take you along the river or across the suspension bridge. I am living in North Vancouver for a few weeks and i spend 3 nights a week in this valley.

The sun is sets through the evening sky and it casts this magical light that makes you think it can't be real. The first few hikes i didn't take my camera out of laziness but now i take it every time now. There are an abundance of decapitated trees and looking at them makes you wonder how different the forest was when they stood tall. It is a truly a beautiful place.

Friday, August 12, 2011


In one month i leave for Kathmandu, Nepal. A place i have been before only for a few days when the booking agent in Varnasi, India said 3 days was enough for a visit. Three days is not enough for a visit to Nepal, it's enough to walk around, rent a bike, eat, and see how different it is from India. It was a breath of fresh air in terms of attention. But that was 12 years ago when i was 20 years old and now i am embracing Nepal for a minimum of 2 month and doing a 6 week Yoga teacher training and Thai massage in the outskirts of Kathmandu with Yogi Nomad. It's like a dream come true and made possible by many wonderful people who i don't know, and some who i know well.
To be able to study in the birth place of Hatha Yoga seems only natural to me. It feels like the right spot for me in my life right now. I am now researching some treks since i will 16 days to explore Nepal on my own and take as many photographs as i can.

I read this quote the other day that is ringing true to me right now: When you truly feel equal love for all beings, when your heart has expanded so much that it embraces the whole of creation, you will certainly not feel like giving up this or that. You will simply drop off from secular life as a ripe fruit drops from the branch of a tree. You will feel that whole world is your home.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

over pass

over pass, originally uploaded by veggy.

Who benefits and who is harmed by my purchases? Who benefits and who is harmed by my investments? In my daily work, have i become an agent of destruction? We should be making responsible decisions as consumers, we should refuse to invest in companies that profit from death or damage of the earth. We should not choose careers in destructive industries. It's starts with you, and me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

vancouver riot

vancouver riot 1, originally uploaded by veggy.

I intuitively didn't want to go downtown last night. I was tired of hockey, i was tired of uber aggressive people professing to be 'fans' of hockey yelling at me "Go Canucks Go" and honking horns like making obnoxious noise as if this was a way of communicating happiness. Most of the people downtown were not even watching the game, so they were definitely not fans even though they spent hundreds of dollars to dress up like fans (rampant consumerism links to lack of morals?).

There is something wrong with our young men and women from the suburbs. Products of unwanted procreation, lack of knowledge, education, respect, consciousness and morals. I am not a psychologist but i knew this was going to happen ever since i was downtown for a game 5 win. Never in my life had i been scared in my city until i was surrounded by a large pack of buffoons yelling there spontaneous angry canucks slogans. You can look at the faces and eyes of supposed humans and see that there is something missing. There is something missing in our society if this is what it creates. Apes running wild, mashing, grabbing, jumping, acting so much like our wild relatives of far off jungles. I am trying hard to be compassionate, trying hard to swallow the fact that we surely do live among animals who cannot be trusted when grouped together. The taming, medicating, and dumbing down of our society via media, by so many conveniences that we even can't make our own food anymore make it to easy to walk into someones beautiful back yard and trash it to pieces.

I got called a cunt, told i had nice titties, and given the finger among other things, all for being alone on the street last night trying to get to the Canada Line so i could get home. Listening to people brag and saying "Fuck Boston", like Boston did something wrong. These men do not even know what they are saying because if they did they wouldn't be saying it. I also saw a Mexican man saying "Riot!" over and over again. How dare he (and the thousands of others i heard chanting in a group from my friends apartment balcony).

Funnily i could pick any of these pick any of these upright walking monkeys out of crowd. I don't want these people in my city ever again. I want them to do a full year of community service. I want them to know this is not right.

Many thanks and gratitude to the VPD, fire, medics, and wonderful volunteers that had time to go clean up today. This is what our city is actually made up of, people that selflessly and willingly take time to clean up other people's horrifying destruction. Vancouverites i love you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Far away friends.

Crater Walkers Gunung Bromo, originally uploaded by Hueystar.

Nothing warms my heart more then knowing i have some of the best friends in the world. I am lucky to know and have more then just one, and don't ask me to pick just one as my favourite either. Each individual is unique and beautiful in their own way. They do all have some important traits in commen though. Honesty, yes brutal honesty, even when you don't want to hear it or are not ready to hear. They may talk behind your back about things but they will also tell you to your face. The truth sometimes stings but our friends can see things that we sometimes don't see or don't want to see. I may curse them for a couple of days, but nothing is richer then someone who can tell you like it is.
Being there is another one, it doesn't help if your friend isn't there emotionally for you when things are rough, or if you want to have a good laugh. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are there 24/7, but the ability to check in with you via skype, email, tea breaks, or parties. Spending quality time and reaffirming your care for each other in good conversation makes me feel like i will already live longer then most people (that's what science says!).
And lastly, balance. A balance in the relationship where you can listen and not judge, if you don't listen and only judge.. then it get's really one sided. We are all not perfect in our relationships but a real friend will have these traits, and if they don't then we can forgive them when they realize they may not be living to their true potential.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The population dilemma

Mother_trailer from Tiroir A Films on Vimeo.

I had just finished reading American novelist Jonathan Franzen 's newer book "Freedom", and then interestingly i came upon this documentary that deals with population growth as environmental and educational issue, which is something that the book's main character tries to champion passionately, yet not so successfully. The correlation between education and how many children we have hopefully decide to have is something that is easily proven through out the world. The connection between more people and the destruction of the earth by needing more 'things', is also something we can see very plainly. It will be interesting to see if this issue will become an environmental, or even a government platform in the next decade.
It is in our nature to procreate, but it is also in our nature to take care of our children and not destroy our mother earth. The balance of all life is key. How is this sensitive issue going to be addressed?

Friday, April 29, 2011

One day it will look like this

One day it will look like this, originally uploaded by veggy.

People used to think i was crazy when 12 years ago i announced that i was going to stop eatting meat. I got lots of questions and lot's of " I could never do that", and ultimately i thought i couldn' do it either. As the years have gone, and the public consciousness has shifted our awareness has grown. People don't think i am crazy anymore, people are realizing that knowing where there food comes from, and what they put into there bodies is as important as many other issues facing us.
As humans in a North American culture of a 'gotta have it" attitude our livilhood stems from so many sources. Having grown up playing in the wooded area of West Coast of Vancouver Canada, i have known my whole life that everything is ultimately connected. Going on road trips through some of the old growth forrests only to be heart broken and bewildered even as a child to pass by the huge clear cuts. Even as a child i felt violated. From the forrests come the circulation of all life: carbon, nitrogen, water, hydrogen, and on and on. The layers of life, and light are unending and mystifying. Yet even with this deep understanding, we flip through newspapers, sit in our beautiful homes, and eat sushi with chopsticks not even aware of this connection. Ideally the more we are aware, the more we interact with this nature and appreciate it for what it is and what it gives us, the better we can just leave it as it is. One of the main reasons the city i live in get's voted the most beautiful or the best city to live in the world is because of the amount of green space and forest, yet it get's little credit or honor. People are quick to clear out areas where trees grow or get in the way. The city takes another victim, and in the far away places that most of don't see, they take victims constantly with hopes we don't notice. Well we notice, and want that to change.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Every day is Earth Day

sigh, originally uploaded by veggy.

There was a time when i would wake up way to early and breath in the fresh (usually a bit to cold!) air, load up the plane, and cross the mountains. What an amazing life i have led! To encapture the feeling of flight through man made ways. If only there wa sa way to do it and not harm the enviroment. Tomorrow is earth day, which is kind of weird thing to celebrate because i consider everyday earth day. Earth has always been one of best friends, even though i do still harm her everday. My horse and buggy is on order, and my days of travelling to far of lands are numbered but that's ok. The choices we make are changing, because inherintantly we know now that every little bit counts.
Do you know your toilet paper rolls can be recycled? So often i see them in the garbage, it's paper, so recycle it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Holding on

Holding on, originally uploaded by algo.

I keep thinking about meditation. I guess because it's such a simple thing, yet sometimes the hardest thing to do. City life leaves little space for the calm, centred time where you can reflect and connect with you inner most spirit. Getting to a yoga class is usually the hardest part of my day.. but now meditation. I have lost count of the amount of people that have come up to me and have said " you look so great" , "you look so calm" , "you sound so calm". Some of these people don't know i have been away meditating or am continuing to meditate. But these comments alone are proof that something is happening. I know i feel it, but the reassurance (dam you ego!) makes it feel even better. Who doesn't want to be a better person? A calmer person? A less stressed person? I think meditation could be the magic something that everyone is searching for and can't seem to find. I was shocked to find out the ages of the people i was working with at the meditation retreat. Everyone looked way younger then i thought. Naturally, less stress equals less aging. This of course is a pretty vain reason to meditate, it's just one of the after effects of all sorts of wonderful of things. I attended a meditation at my local yoga studio yesterday and what i loved most of all, was that people were asking questions, and having tea and conversations after. Already one mediation and we are talking about freeing and enjoying ourselves rather then running out the door to our next appointment. May you all be happy.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Meditation and Menstrual Cramps

Fotohikari - Ethereal #2 Dao, originally uploaded by Cwithe.

I just returned from my second summit into Vipassanna land. I decided to serve the course and ended up working in the kitchen, make fabulous food full of metta for 50 meditators, two of which were my parents. I have decided to join and sit in a local group on Vancouver to keep up my practice, but i had an added challenge on my last sit.

The joy of being a women and having my uterus contract as it removes it's lining isn't something that i would consider fun. But i have done an amazing job of being present and watching the sensations in my body as they arise and then watching them fade away. Like waves on the ocean during a storm, the storm passes. It actually has been a great tool, and who knew! To remain equanimous and not react and curl up in a ball. To not be vocal and add attachments to verbal negativities was the hardest. How does complaining about it, make it better? It doesn't! I know this isn't something that half of you can relate to, but this month it's become a tool. Peace and Metta to you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The moon

moon, atcama desert, originally uploaded by veggy.

This week i blamed everything on the Super moon, which happens twice a year. During the full moon on March 19th 2011 the moon was only 221,565 miles (356,575 kilometres) away. The closest it’s been in almost 20 years. It appeared 14 percent bigger and 30% brighter than usual. I have been intensely irritated till the moon decided to rise in the sky this evening. I am finally feeling ok. The moon pulls our tides, sync's our menstrual periods (if your not using contraception), among many other things. I feel very effected by it, among many other things, because it is constantly syncing my body every month. One of the biggest earthquakes in Japan is also correlated with it, and same with Christ Church and Haiti are all associated with full moons. Nature will always win no matter how hard we try. In sadness and loss, comes rebirth and gratitude. We have the choice to live now, and change those things that naturally don't serve us. Talks and actual leaks of radiation created by Uranium dug up in our own back yard in Canada is saddening. To be contributing to this as a Canadian is heart breaking. The fact that we are harnessing such a horribly toxic mode of energy seems archaic and ridiculous. We are so much more advanced then this yet business dictates idiocy and quick money making.. that's what they teach in the top schools around the world.

My irritation has been fuelled this week by ignorance and in hopes that one day everyone will live in the light and do what is best for our earth, and not for their pocketbook.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Public Market, originally uploaded by veggy.

My west coast neighbour happens to be an American. The funny thing about the west coast of North America is that we are breed of our own. We have more similarities then differences. Sharing the Pacific Ocean, and the gorgeous eco systems of green and rain. Crossing the border you feel the difference immediately from cheaper gas, and the onslaught of fast food, and the never ending highways. Trying to find a quiet place in Seattle is very challenging. We tried to grab a 'french' baguette at the Public market (a nicer looking shopping mall for tourists) and some fresh organic jalepeno cheese, and finding a place to over look the water and not be assaulted by the noises was impossible. With planes on approach for Seatac flying over the city, sirens from another cop on a mission, and highways! highways! highways! Seattle is not an bicycle friendly city, but it's trying to be by adding lanes around the downtown core much to every car owners nightmare. As far as i am concerned it is much needed. There is ample bicycle parking and yet i have only seen one person on a bike. In this sense we are ahead of our neighbours in forward thinking. We know the oil is going to run dry, and as the age of Aquarian comes forth (2050) it wouldn't be crazy to say our assets of water will be needed as well.
A bigger population, massive commercialism inter wined with local businesses, and the craziest yoga studios i have ever seen but still with a west coast feel. People are as friendly as they want to be and carry on their ways just like us except with more fried chicken, and happy hours!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Declaration of Interdependence

This we know

We are the earth, through the plants and animals that nourish us.
We are the rains and the oceans that flow through our veins.
We are the breath of the forests of the land, and the plants of the sea.
We are human animals, related to all other life as descendants of the firstborn cell.
We share with these kin a common history, written in our genes.
We share a common present, filled with uncertainty.
And we share a common future, as yet untold.
We humans are but one of thirty million species weaving the thin layer of life enveloping the world.
The stability of communities of living things depends upon this diversity.
Linked in that web, we are interconnected — using, cleansing, sharing and replenishing the fundamental elements of life.
Our home, planet Earth, is finite; all life shares its resources and the energy from the sun, and therefore has limits to growth.
For the first time, we have touched those limits.
When we compromise the air, the water, the soil and the variety of life, we steal from the endless future to serve the fleeting present.

This we believe

Humans have become so numerous and our tools so powerful that we have driven fellow creatures to extinction, dammed the great rivers, torn down ancient forests, poisoned the earth, rain and wind, and ripped holes in the sky.
Our science has brought pain as well as joy; our comfort is paid for by the suffering of millions.
We are learning from our mistakes, we are mourning our vanished kin, and we now build a new politics of hope.
We respect and uphold the absolute need for clean air, water and soil.
We see that economic activities that benefit the few while shrinking the inheritance of many are wrong.
And since environmental degradation erodes biological capital forever, full ecological and social cost must enter all equations of development.
We are one brief generation in the long march of time; the future is not ours to erase.
So where knowledge is limited, we will remember all those who will walk after us, and err on the side of caution.

This we resolve

All this that we know and believe must now become the foundation of the way we live.
At this turning point in our relationship with Earth, we work for an evolution: from dominance to partnership; from fragmentation to connection; from insecurity, to interdependence.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Venice, originally uploaded by veggy.

"Sat" is sanksrit means "reality" or "what is." Satya is the moral guidepost of truth, honesty, and the power of the word.
I have found i am being challenged constantly by the power of people's words. The truth which equals loves, and the compassion i am trying to have for people who don't speak the truth.
I cannot help but forgive people that feel the need to create this misery in their lives and attempt to do the same in mine. But what is the truth?
I am guided by the law of nature. Every untruthful action will have an equal reaction. And in that sense i feel compassion for my friends who are wrongly guided because they are already paying the ultimate price. I have paid those prices as well so i cannot judge anyone. We all learn, and we are all on our own path.
May you all experience your own path of Satya.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

That's how long snow lasts here

That's how long snow lasts here, originally uploaded by veggy.

There is something about Vancouver that makes snow special. It's has to do with the fact that we are the warmest city in Canada in winter. Most people stereotype us and think we live in the permafrost of winter, but nope not us on the normally wet west coast! When it snows here we turn back into children. It's a novelty, and an excuse to get outside because it's not wet. Last night we went tobogganing in a hill in Kitslano at midnight. We were joined by other people whom also had toboggans stored away for this very moment that rarely happens. The joy of sitting on your ass and riding down a hill at a rip roaring speed, and going over a bump which gives you air is something we don't get to explore enough. I was enveloped with laughter, not only for my own experience but watching others experience the same thing. I remember doing the same thing as a child with my brothers and neighbours. Looking up into the sky and seeing the giant flakes feather their way down to the earth. But as quickly as it comes, as quickly as it goes. The sound of slush, and rivers of melting white fluff get washed away. I dream of more days like this.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The city

Vancouver sunset, originally uploaded by veggy.

The haze. The buses. The cross walks. The road blocks. The unhappy down turned faces.
The city isn't the same.
Where is the pulse? Where is the gratitude ?
It's gone with the youth. With the collective clicking. The distractions we all face. The reality is that society is lost.
So what should we do? What should i do?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The curve of your back

The curve of your back, originally uploaded by veggy.

To love someone whom you like is insignificant.

To love someone because they love you is of no consequence.

To love someone whom you do not like means you have learned a lesson in life.

To love someone who blames you for no reason shows that you have learned the art of living.

Friday, January 21, 2011

ruffled feathers

ruffled feathers, originally uploaded by veggy.

My goals for 2011:

*Get a great job by February
*Take a Photoshop and Architecture Photo Class in Feb
*Research and Find a local or international Yoga teacher training to attend by the end of the year (Nepal, Bali, Costa Rica, or India). Get a scholarship!
*Keep up the 30 min of cardio or 1 hour of walking 5 x a week
* Keep up the 5-7 of yoga a week
* Volunteer 1 day a week in the DTES
* Attend and Serve at a Vippassanna meditation retreat
*Visit my friends in Montreal & Boston
*Visit my sweet Grandma in Germany this year
*Be graceful
* Have a place to call home with a garden

*Sleep under the stars

* Do 2 wedding shoots this summer
*Start shooting photos for real estate
* Bike more

*2012 Goal:

*work in London for the Olympics

* Teach yoga to everyone. No matter the financial situation.

* Keep taking amazing photos

Compassion every day, all day, for you and me both :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sun Salutation

Sun Salutation, originally uploaded by NamWizard.

Be Grateful:

“Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach
you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.”

**spread some warm energy and share this with your friends ... Namaste