Bali – Island of the Gods

Gunung Kawi - 11th Century Tombs carved into a mountain.

I’ve waited a long time to write about my three months in Bali (August – October 2011), that magical island of the gods – the only Hindu island in all of Indonesia. Perhaps I needed that much time to process the many transformations that took place for me there. Bali was the place where I started to believe in magic again – the kind of magic you believed in as a kid, both good and bad. In Bali I felt more bliss and relaxation for longer than I can ever remember – weeks, no months on end. The beauty of that place is like a drug that lulls you into a dream world – absolutely blissful, but a bit scary at the same time. Read more »

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Poetry from India

Crimson Furoshiki Blessing – March 31, 2011

The gift of your crimson Furoshiki (1)
cradles Hibiscus blossoms -
food for the sacred Mother Ganga (2).
The morning sun sparkles her grey beach -
a universe of stars hiding in the sands.
I carefully unwrap my offerings
embrace them in my steepled hands,
and offer a prayer of gratitude as I set them adrift -
red-petaled ships beginning their journey
in the smoky emerald waters -
a Blessing for you.

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Love at First Sight – Everybody meet Jhuli!

 

That’s right. I’ve fallen in love with an Indian girl named Jhuli! Jhuli’s from Ram Jhula, India, a small town near the ashram where I was teaching meditation. We met in town one day in the parking lot after my yoga class. Jhuli isn’t really into yoga, but that’s ok with me. I remember the day I first laid eyes on her. I was immediately taken by her big, dark eyes and her long succulent eyelashes that take the maybe out of Maybelline. Her shiny chestnut hair was absolutely stunning. “She has to be a supermodel,” I thought to myself. I knew that I had to go up and talk to her, but I was so nervous. My palms started to sweat, but I knew I’d never forgive myself if I let her get away. As it turns out she was really friendly, and we hit it off immediately. Read more »

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India Photo Gallery 2011

The Best Pictures and Videos from Sailing Smitty’s India Adventure

February 15, 2011 – July 15, 2011

(Click on a photo to see the slideshow in a larger format in Picasa Web Albums)

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The Secret to Real Happiness

This MUST be the secret to real happiness.

If having a life full of more happiness and freedom is our ultimate goal, then it is important to acknowledge up front that these treasures do not come from our outer circumstances, but from within. This wisdom may sound cliche, but it is all too easily forgotten in the throws of daily life. We say, “yeah, yeah, happiness comes from within,” and then rush off to go consume, do or experience something. We rush off to anything (even riding on pink scooters with cows!) that is not sitting still with ourselves and finding and exploring the real reasons for our own happiness and unhappiness. What kind of pain, fear, boredom, peace and bliss might we find there, and what might happen if we actually feel them? Most people never stop long enough to find out. Read more »

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