Friday, May 30, 2008

Home!

Back into the swing of things at home. Life has been a little disrupted as of late, and I am more frantic than ever. My main goal right now is to get some sleep and then start making decisions.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Up Up and Awaaaaaayyyyyyyy!!!!

A friends' take-off on her paragliding adventure!
video

Special Pic

There is a small park in Bruges with four statues representing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Although they weren't labeled, this one seemed most like Pestilence...so I send this out to my favorite car in the world.

Mountains

Along the bike route from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen


A bird's eye view of Interlaken


Pics

The Eiger

Ceremony
Speed Racer


The Alps


The girls having a little bit of fun

Homeward Bound

After my 21-hour day yesterday and not much sleep last night, I am quite exhausted and ready to be home. I've got an eleven hour train ride to look forward to this afternoon, arriving in the capital of the Palmetto state around 2:00 a.m. This has been a whirlwind of activities over the past ten days and I am looking forward to some peace and quiet when I get home.

And for those of you who have been patiently awaiting the humiliating information, here it goes:

1) Spice Girls' "Wanna Be"
2) Divinyls "I Touch Myself"
3) Cindy Lauper "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"

(I had conveniently forgotten about the last one until so kindly reminded by my singing partner.) Thankfully no videos were taken of me singing either!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

I Am Still Alive!

Per the advice of my bro, I didn't chicken out. I went for it and am soooo glad I did. I "manned up" (sometimes that 97% comes in handy) and went paragliding in the mountains of Interlaken yesterday. I was a little nervous on the way up the mountain and the 'pilots' were teasing me a little bit. We got to the top of this mountain, which had a grassy slope that I was told we'd be running down and eventually off of. Um..yeah. My stomach isn't the most stable of organs and I was a little worried about puking on my poor pilot. Even though he sat behind me, I was sure I'd find some incredibly graceful way to spew on him. Knowing this about myself, I took two Dramamine in hopes to prevent any motion sickness.

Standing atop the grassy knoll, some hang gliders took off before me and I was beginning to get a wee bit nervous. My pilot, Saul (I think) said "Okay, you ready?" in this beautifully thick Bulgarian accent and I thought "oh goodness, can't back out now." So then he said "4, 3, 2, 1--Run Run Run!" And I ran and ran and ran toward the edge of this cliff until my feet left the ground, the parachute opened above me, and we were airborne! It was the single most exhilarating feeling I've ever had--now I sort of understand why people jump out of airplanes. It was incredibly peaceful and beautiful, and I got some great pictures of the city from above. And I got to see the Eiger once again in all its majesty. Quite amazing! And better yet, I lived to tell about all of it!

Now I am in the airport awaiting our flight back to D.C. I have mixed feelings about coming home: in one way, I never wanted to leave Switzerland because it was so beautiful and the people were so nice (although it was insanely expensive and I'd have to sell both kidneys in order to live); but I am ready to see my friends and hang out and return to normalcy for a bit. Enjoy the pictures and yes, yes, I know I look like Speed Racer in the paragliding get up. Don't be jealous! HA!

(Alright, the computer is being weird and won't let me upload any photos. I will try again later possibly or tonight when I get back to the States!)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bruges

This was actually taken in Brussels. The "hidden camera" show of some sort with the guys dressed up like bowling pins. Odd.


Gorgeous church in Bruges (can't remember the name right now--oops!)

Center square in Bruges.


Canals

OH MY GOD, Like there's an ATM!


Wedding Bells

The weather was beyond perfect last night for the outdoor ceremony by the lake. And the wedding did start on time because every church in a 5-mile radius was ringing its bells as K walked down the aisle. Passers-by were stopping and taking pictures and I usually don't cry at weddings but this one got me. What got me was this: everything was simply perfect (the day, her dress, everything) and you can tell that these two people really love each other in the most selfless of ways. When he began reciting his vows, he couldn't even get them out. I've been to a fair amount of weddings, and it's usually the woman who's blubbering and snotting all over the place. She, of course, had tears streaming down her face, but he was so choked up and overcome with emotion, I couldn't help but be moved.

Afterwards we spent the evening at The Swiss House enjoying great company and even better food. (I did break my no-meat policy because I had pre-ordered the rack of lamb. Oh well, we can't be perfect all the time.) Last night was much calmer and more subdued than Friday evening. As you might imagine, we were all still pretty wiped out from Friday night, so sitting around and just talking was a wonderful way to spend the evening.

Today, I am up and moving slowly toward getting ready. I am really unsure about this "adventure." I've been told not to punk out by one of my elder bros, and I should probably heed that advice. You only live once, right? And it's not like I'll be jumping out of an airplane, although that was discussed! In all likelihood my little escapade will be a great story to tell (I mean, who doesn't love a good puke story) and I will be glad I did it.

And I PROMISE to get some pics up soon...it's just been crazy lately.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I GOT TO SEE THE EIGER!

Yesterday morning we all hopped on bikes and travelled about 8 miles from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. It took us about 2 hours because we stopped almost every 100 yards to take pictures or just awe at the scenery. It was simply unbelievable and I have about 150 pictures to prove it. And let me just say that this biking was MOUNTAIN biking. Trails made of gravel and dirt comprised the majority of the trip and as we travelled toward Lauterbrunnen, the grade continually rose. (Lauterbrunnen is about 2,000 feet above Interlaken.) Needless to say, the ride back was a breeze!

We arrived in Lauterbrunnen just before 1 and had lunch at some little (overpriced) cafe with the Eiger rising behind me. Waterfalls and giant peaks littered the surroundings and I felt so relaxed there, despite pure exhaustion from the ride. The Eiger is majestic (even though that sounds so trite) and incredibly impressive.

After we returned the bikes, we sat at a little cafe for a drink with every other American in Interlaken. No, I take that back. We sat at the cafe with every spoiled, rich Americano frat boy and sorority girl in Interlaken. Ugh, it was nauseating. Amusing but nauseating.

We got in the car and drove to Lucerne, where I am now sitting in my hotel room blogging. We arrived later than expected yesterday and had to rush to get ready and make it to dinner by 7. We met up with the rest of the group and the bride and groom, of course, and had a lovely dinner. Then, much to my dismay, someone had the idea that we should all go sing karaoke. Trudging over to the bar down the street, a couple of the guys started out the night with Roxanne, and it only got weirder from there. One guy sang "I'm A Barbie Girl" and it was HYSTERICAL! I almost peed my pants it was so great. Somehow I was roped into performing with the girls (thank God it was a group effort) but I will leave out details. Then, after a few more beers (and a shot of Vodka) I decided to do a duet which turned out to be a lot of fun, but I hope to erase that from my mind very soon! Again, I won't be giving out song titles for fear of being mocked for the rest of my existence.

At 2:00 a.m., the bartender gave us the "you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here" speech, so the girls went one way and the guys went the other. Venturing back to one of the hotels (we're all in various locales), we tried to go to the bar but they were closed as well. We ran into some rich, snotty, 18-year old American boys who are in Switzerland finishing high school and they offered us some of their champagne. So we enjoyed their company for about twenty minutes and decided it was time to go. After that, we just hung out and talked and laughed and K enjoyed her last night as a "free woman."

Tonight is the wedding (5:30 p.m.) and then out for more partying. Tomorrow we're up early to drive back to Interlaken for an adventure. This was an unplanned adventure and I am a little hesitant, but have been talked in to it by everyone else. I'll let you know what it is tomorrow (or Monday) if I go through with it. I've already sort of committed, but we'll see. After the adventure, it's in the car for a long drive to Weisbaden with a stop in Heidelberg. Monday it's up early to drive to Frankfurt and come home!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Brussels to Interlaken, Switzerland

This is going to be brief because we're about to head out for dinner shortly. However, let me just tell you that somehow Google Maps got it ALL wrong. Doing a little research, I determined our journey via car would take about 6 1/2-7 hours from Brussels to Interlaken, Switzerland. We started out great, retracing our route back to Aaachen, Germany and then turned south toward Heidelberg and Stuttgart. We were all really excited and having a great time, playing stupid alphabet games (is there a female's name that starts with a "Q?") and watching the lush green meadows pass us by.

Entering Switzerland we stopped to get a Swiss autobahn pass and then proceeded south through Basel and on toward Bern. This is when it began to get a little tricky. It seemed as if our lovely navigation system was taking us through all the towns possible. I mean, aren't there major highways that bypass cities like in the U.S.? Well, not really knowing where we were or what we were doing or how to operate the nifty navigation system, we trudged on like good little soldiers. I think we circled about 400 round-abouts in various towns and cities. All of them are completely charming, and smelled of goats and cows. (Contrary to others' opinions, this made me want to get out and find some cheese.) After passing through like sixteen of these wonderful olfactory delights, I began to wonder just how much longer those pesky 80 miles were going to take. Yea, quite awhile. Instead of our trip taking 7 hours, it was more like 11. Needless to say, upon arrival the excitement and giddy-ness of the earlier hours had dissipated.

But, I must say that Switzerland's countryside is breathtaking. As we got closer to Interlaken, the Alps slowly emerged from their sleep in the clouds. Snow upon their peaks, I was enthralled and captivated by them. One of the most popular things to do in this area is to climb to the top of one of these giants and paraglide down. We thought about it...and then thought that it's probably not a good way to go.

Well, we're off to eat dinner now. Tomorrow morning is up early again for biking. More later!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Brussels and In Bruges

Rather than just give you a run-down of today's events like some boring itinerary, I will actually regale you with a few stories complete with emotions. :)

We began the day around 1:30--yes, I know that's rather late, but jet-lag is a terribly hideous thing and caused me to sleep until about noon. Once up, we walked over to the area of Brussels known as Le Sablon (don't ask me what it means because I do not know at this moment.) There, we ventured into the Church of Our Lady which is home to healing saints and statues. It was beautiful but simpler than yesterday's cathedral. Here I prayed in front of the Blessed Sacrament for some time and felt a true sense of peace come over me.

From here, we ventured up and down the streets of Le Sablon wandering in and out of antique shops and had some lunch. At the cafe, there was some sort of "Hidden Camera" TV show being filmed in the alley behind me. Two guys dressed as bowling pins were hiding behind this black curtain and whenever someone would walk up the alley, the guys would come out and grab the person's arms. Another guy further up the alley would roll this gigantic bowling ball toward the three-some, and then the bowling pins would fall down! It was hysterical!

Off to Bruges! Unfortunately, no midgets (oops, dwarfs) were spotted and no one tumbled to their death from the bell tower. However, it was a gorgeous, sunny day and the town looked as charming as ever. I think we scoured the entire city, but my favorite place of all was the Chapel of the Holy Blood. It is said that this church contains a piece of cloth gathered by Joseph of Arimathea that has a few droplets of Jesus' blood upon it. It is also said that this dried blood turned to liquid quite frequently until the 15th Century when the miracle ceased. I was moved beyond words and knelt in front of this piece of cloth (although there were no kneelers) in complete and utter awe. I felt so close to God, but didn't feel worthy to be there at all.

After that, we walked around for a few more hours and then drove back to Brussels. Tonight I've got to get to bed so I can get up early tomorrow. We drive to Interlaken (about 6 hours from here) to the Swiss Alps. I am so excited to see the Eiger, but am less than excited about the car trip. Oh well, gotta take the good with the bad, n'est ce pas? Oui!

Update tomorrow night, hopefully!

A Few More Pictures

Statues on the side of the Palais Royal in the Grand Place

Took a brief respite on the steps outside of St. Michel & Gudule. Reclining, I took this picture.
Detail of St. Catherine's

"Jesus Paradise" a Cocktail Bar. Hmmm...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Brussels Day 1/2

I can't call it Day One simply because we didn't spend the whole day here; however, it's been a glorious evening filled with lots of frites and exploring.

After a brief catnap to revitalize a bit, we headed off for the Grand Place. We wandered up and down various cobblestone streets and gauked at numerous stores with displays of chocolate fit for a king. I saw a fountain of chocolate and while I was ready to throw a rock through the window to get to it, others said it looked almost gross. Please tell me how milk chocolate flowing is gross! Maybe they've watched Augustus Gloop fall in one too many times. Anyway...we finally made it to the Grand Place which is home to many beautiful buildings, cafes, markets, and shops.


We strode through the Galleries which includes more shops carrying delicious Belgian chocolates and expensive chic clothing. Upon exiting, I looked up and saw the bell tower of a cathedral and insisted we head over "that way." We turned from behind a building and there stood a beautiful Gothic cathedral, La Cathedrale des Sts. Michel et Gudule. It was simply breathtaking. I went inside to pray (and listen to the organist tune the massive piped instrument) and to take a look around. The church is named after the male and female patron saints of Brussels, and while Michel is more well-known, Gudule is more popular in town. Gudule's symbol is that of a lamp, said to have been extinguished by the devil, but was relit when she prayed. The church has undergone several serious renovations due to the Protestants and the French attacking her and her relics.


Onward back to the Grand Place, we stopped for some frites (YUM!) and relaxed a bit. We meandered through the streets, headed back toward our hotel when we stumbled upon Saint Catherine's, a neo-Gothic church constructed in 1854. It is dilapidated beyond belief, but is home to a 15th Century statue of a Black Madonna said to have been rescued from the Senne after being thrown in by angry Protestants. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, it was too late to go inside and see the statue. Maybe tomorrow.


After that, it was back to the hotel. We're calling it a relatively early evening (it's 10:05 now and finally dark) so we have more energy for a full day tomorrow. Tomorrow's plan is to head back out into Brussels until mid-afternoon and then drive about an hour to Bruges.

Cathedrale des Saintes Michel et Gudule

Grand Place

Baptismal font inside Cathedral

A view from behind the High Altar

Saint Catherine's

UPDATE

Alright, so I was kindly reminded that I WAS, in fact, told about having to pay to pee. My response to the information at the time was "Well, the rest stops better be nice if I have to pay." Guess I am getting old and forgetful!

I hate it when I'm wrong...(and especially when he's right!) :-)

Guten Tag, Goedemorgen, and Bonjour!

The first time I ever heard of the Autobahn, I was intrigued: BMWs and Audis speeding around corners as fast as they desired. Well, today I had my first opportunity to experience the speed, the chaos and the thrill of the Autobahn. We landed in Frankfurt about on time at 7:20 a.m. (that's 1:20 a.m. for you East Coasters), where I first experienced the well-oiled machine that is Germany.

We were seated in row 59 (of 60) on the plane, so I didn't even unbuckle my seatbelt when the plane arrived at the gate. We'd been sitting for seven plus hours, what's another thirty minutes, right? Well, then I felt this huge rush of cold air at my back and lo and behold--they opened the rear door! I didn't think those doors actually opened! :) We rapidly gathered our belongings, deplaned and headed for passport control. We eventually made our way to the baggage claim and then to Hertz for our rental. Much to the dismay of several people, we didn't get a BMW or an Audi...instead we are driving around in a sporty 4-door Renault Laguna. But it does have navigation which is incredibly helpful when not one person in the car has ever driven in Europe!

The beginning of the drive was good...a little giddy from sleep deprivation, we managed to stay focused and enjoy the beautiful country that was unfolding around us. The grass seems greener here, but maybe it's just me. Rolling hills with little town nestled in their valleys lined the Autobahn and I was captivated by its magic.

Herr D had told me about the impeccable cleanliness of the rest stops along the Autobahn, and he is indeed correct. (Although he did forget to tell me it would cost me .50 euros to use said facilities!) After stopping once, we jumped back on the road and cruised at ungodly speeds toward Belgium.

Noticing a sign that said something like "Wilkommen Neiderland" I decided to take a look at the map. Yes, we had in fact crossed into the Netherlands! We were in Holland for about 50 miles or so (at this point, I was beginning to lose focus and drift in and out of sleep.) The countryside looks quite similar to that of Germany (go figure) but was beautiful nonetheless. One particular moment looked like something you'd stop to take a picture of and stick on a postcard--simply gorgeous.

We arrived into Belgium and soon thereafter entered the city of Brussels. We found our hotel instantly (thank you British speaking GPS lady) and are now settled in and ready for a quick rejeuvenating siesta. After our naps, we're headed out to see the town and eat some pomme frites--with mayo, OF COURSE!

So, in the past 17 hours, I have been in 4 countries. Weird. Cool. Exhausting! More soon!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

My bags are packed. I'm ready to go.

Not too much longer then we're headed to Dulles for our (long) flight to Frankfurt. But to be honest, after a 14 hour trip to New Delhi, and the 11 hour trip on the train Saturday, 7 or so hours on a plane should be a piece of cake. Although I do have a sneaking suspicion that I will be in the middle seat--ew. Oh well!

I am taking the computer with me and will try to blog and upload pics as often as possible! I will miss you all!! (All 4 of my blog readers! HA!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Movies Galore

NEXT UP!
I found this movie apropos since I will be in the beautiful city of Bruges next week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Everest Again

Storm Over Everest lived up to all its hype, for me anyway. I thoroughly enjoyed the breathtaking views from the summit and all around the mountain. I think some of my friends with whom I watched it were a little bored, and I can appreciate that. If I hadn't read Into Thin Air, I probably wouldn't have been nearly as interested or captivated. The filming was spectacular and the heroism of the people on the mountain at that time never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Our Lady of Fatima

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
“Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ's proclamation: the Father's love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel” (The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 26, 2000)."

Feeding the Addiction

Michael Pollan's bestseller "The Omnivore's Dilemma" sparked a national conversation about the way we see food, where our meals really come from. Although I've not yet read it, Kili raved about it. I've got way too many books on my "I want to read" list, and I'm currently reading three ("Eiger Dreams" by Jon Krakauer, "Hindu God Christian God" by Francis Clooney, and "Letters to a Young Catholic" by George Wiegel.) BUT--I couldn't pass up the newest book by Michael Pollan, "In Defense of Food," which expands on his ideas in "The Omnivore's Dilemma" about what to eat from the perspective of health. His mantra is simple: "Eat Food. Not too much, mostly plants."

You know, a lot of women splurge on shoes or handbags or jewelry--my vice is definitely books! I've got to stop buying books! But books never go out of style, you can never really grow out of them (with a few exceptions), and you can't lose yourself in a good necklace.

EVEREST!

The day has finally come!!! Storm Over Everest is on tonight--PBS, 9pm--DON'T MISS IT!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Changes...

This time last year when I thought I was going to be moving on to something new and different, I didn't feel any different. This year contrasts that significantly as it seems like there are a million changes happening all around me, and I have been touched by them all. I have friends who have graduated, who are relocating, who are purchasing first-time homes, who are traveling abroad, who are starting new and fascinating programs, and others that are changing in smaller ways, but still morphing nonetheless.

I actually have faith and confidence this time that this is what I am supposed to be doing...it's time for me to dig up my firmly planted roots and move ahead. I've become too complacent here. Life is too easy here. I need to be challenged, I need to feel motivated again. I'm still undecided as to when I will go, but it will probably be sooner than later.

Of course, parts of me are sad and will miss this place I've called home for 9 years tremendously. However, I think I will only figure out what I am supposed to do and who I am supposed to be, by leaving Columbia behind. Things will work out however they are supposed to. I have faith in that.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Travel

One of my favorite things to do is travel. I love seeing new things, tasting new exotic flavors, and experiencing moments of frustration followed by incomparable joy. I was looking around the NY Times' Travel section today and noticed that San Juan, PR is one of their most recommended travel spots. My visit there last June with my bros was an experience: not necessarily good or bad, but it was what it was. The company was great, some of the beaches were gorgeous, and one night in particular did we create lasting memories.

It was our final night in PR, and we decided to go to Old San Juan for dinner and to see the old fort, Castillo San Felipe del Morro. We got there too late to go inside, however the sun was just setting and children were still flying their kites on the massive lawn. We balanced on a ridiculously high wall, with one of my bros constantly threatening to throw me off, took pictures and enjoyed our last night in the old city.


It's a memory I recall when I am sad or just feeling nostalgic. It will always be one of my favorite memories, until I have no more.

At the Top of the World

Olympic torch reaches summit of Everest! Read the story here.

Enlightenment and Agape

Doing a little research here and there on my own, I came across the website of a BC Philosophy professor, Peter Kreeft, who is Catholic and has written several (like 25 or so) books on various topics. He is conservative, orthodox, charismatic and has a writing style that is scholarly, yet not elitist, but accessible. He had written an article discussing the fundamental differences (and few similarities) between Hinduism and Christianity which I'd read before, but enjoyed revisiting.

One of the things I was having difficulty wrapping my mind around was the concept of enlightenment. I understand it from the yogi point of view, but was having trouble really understanding what it means from a Christian p.o.v. I asked a dear friend and though his explanation was perfectly sound, I still didn't "get it." That's not his fault, it's mine. However, in reading the article today, I think I finally understand what he was trying to say:

"Thus the two essential points of Christianity--sin and salvation--are both
missing in the East. If there is no sin, no salvation is needed, only
enlightenment. We need not to be born again; rather, we must merely wake
up to our innate divinity. If I am part of God, I can never really be
alienated from God by sin."

****
Another fascniating, well-written article on the website concerns love and the different types of this misused word. Agape, being the love that Jesus showed and taught, is what we are all called to show and teach even though it's the hardest thing in the world to do (at times). In my own life, most recently, I've had to distinguish between agape and feelings of love. In agape, we give ourselves away selflessly and receive unestimable rewards. Peter Kreeft uses the metaphor "...it's like a ball in a game of catch: throw it and it will come back to you; hold on to it and that ends the game." That seems perfectly right at this time in my life.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Finding God in India and Here

I just read an interesting article by Francis Clooney, SJ. It is a little outdated (written in 1996 while he was still on faculty at Boston College) but overall it's fairly interesting and provided me with a few things to think about. The article is primarily about his journey as a Jesuit in Kathmandu, Nepal as well as Madras, India and how he developed this passion and inexahustable curiousity in comparative theology. A few of my favorite ideas presented that I think will help me ponder where I want to go, what I want to study and how I should be thinking of things:
  • What do these comparative and interreligious questions mean for how I live my life? Where do I find Jesus, how do I live openly, attentively, aware?
  • If I am open to how learned relgious people from far away and long ago rethought the idea of the divine, it can perhaps provide me with a new vantage point to see my own tradition in a new way.
  • How do I understand, get involved see th eworld and God through someone else's tradtion while recollecting my own identity?
  • I am interested in entering a new conversation while keeping old commitments, meeting in new ways the God who has already become known to me.
  • How can God teach me? How can God reach me?
  • I must seek God as He dwells outside the boundaries of my own tradition because He is greater than anything I can understand or imagine.
  • Keep my ears open--for if I can listen, I can see. That is the foundation of dialogue.

I hope to expand myself in new ways, challenge myself to the point of almost giving up, and finding my place among all the chaos in this world. I hope to be open to the possibilities which I encounter, and do so with a smidgen of grace.

Enthusiastic Anticipation

Enthusiasm can color your thoughts, actions, and choices, prompting you to approach your endeavors with an unflappable and joyful determination. Whether you are playing with loved ones or working on a shared project with colleagues, you’ll likely sense that there is promise in your plans and that your efforts will eventually be met with success. This optimism can be intensely encouraging, carrying you forward even when failure looms large on the horizon or you have reached an impasse in your progress. If you stand strong and choose not to shy away from the challenges associated with your efforts today, you may discover that there is little that can prevent you from realizing the goals you have set for yourself.

When we feel enthusiastic about the endeavors in which we participate, we are more apt to do all we can or what is required of us to ensure that our efforts are met with success. Enthusiasm breeds eagerness, providing a foundation for our dedication when we aim for challenging goals or want to test the limits of our mental and physical capabilities. Setbacks cannot trump the excitement and exhilaration we feel when taking part in the activities we deem promising. Our devotion never wavers and our focus is consistently trained on the object of our desires, ensuring that we concentrate on achieving victory by whatever means necessary rather than on all that might go wrong. The optimism you feel today when engaging in pursuits you enjoy will help you make all of your wishes come true.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Veggie Tales

I'm on one of my latest bits of ahimsa, or non-harming, and have given up meat for the time being. I have a tendency to give up meat for awhile and then abandon it and return to my carnivorous ways. I've been reading some interesting stuff about the practice of ahimsa and the philosophy behind it, and it's something I believe in and feel I should participate in more fully.

When thinking about it, it IS unacceptable how much of our livestock is treated and eventually killed purely for our meat-eating enjoyment. I know I have much to learn on the subject and still need help in my discipline, but the main thing is to begin. Isn't learning to pay attention and to reject the unacceptable parts of life what our Christian discipline is about?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Return to Peace

I have been extremely slack in my yoga practice as of late. It's not that I don't want to go or think it won't benefit me, it's just that I haven't made the effort to get there. I don't know why or what is holding me back, but today I have resolved to get back to the studio I love so much. I think it will help me, not only physically but will also give me a chance to slow down, connect with the breath and clear my mind. (It will also help this incredibly sore rhomboid muscle I pulled playing racquetball!)
Tonight, I am going to the Level 2 class at City Yoga--I promise!