Tuesday, May 19, 2009

apparently i am not good at keeping a blog

im still in india
i can't believe it's been almost 5 months since i've been here
i'm (almost) tired of travelling
packing my bag going here and there
everyone needs to take a spiritual journey
the world is changing too much too fast
race race money money money go go no time to reflect why it matters anyway
why do anything
why do people want to be happy
everywhere i go, there i am, there i am still i am
i am
who is the i that is speaking
my body my hands my feet
who is this ME that is speaking
discovering this beautiful present moment despite the material disaster everywhere in india
i find stillness in the busiest streets of india
india has incredible energy despite the surroundings
the home of gods gurus and birthplace of religion
no other place has the history that india has
Holy Land
india's not an easy place to travel by yourself
crusts a thick tough layer on the shannyland amusement park
no smiling no responding to strangers, just stand tall and strong
keep walking keep moving go go hold onto my mobile home sitting my back
stone cold hot sun move forward
lusty mandogs' stares ripping through my sari-covered gangly foreigner body
not another dusty half naked child begging me for rupees
i look towards the ground swiftly keep move past the woman rainbow of saris carrying pots on their heads
i step over potholes garbage sleeping dogs and cow poop
why is there so much suffering in the world
the hot sun blazes the hairs off my skin
pumps all the water from inside to outside dripping
im used to being drenched in salted sweat
my heart slams against my outside crumbly wall
pieces of my heart drip out slowly between the cracks
i pray to (Krishna) the source of love to make His footprints in my dripping heart
may i be an instrument of divine love
a hole in the flute the creator plays
saving me from the biggest illusion
that who you are is your body
no longer do i feel crazy from being in the city environment
im back in the serene jungles of costa rica
gazing at the stars hanging high above
its in everyone
deep inside buried underneath the busy mind chatterbox
my souls river flows between the valleys of the Himalayas inside
singing the sweet tune of God's names
nothing makes me higher than chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
there is an answer to end all suffering everywhere
dear humanity
i am your humble servant
for everyone's betterment
i beg you please
you are the eternal blissful spirit soul that lives in your temporary body temple
please try to understand
stop gratifying your senses
it's driving the world to destruction
no more intoxication no meat eating no illicit sex no gambling
and try to figure out what your relationship is with the higher intelligence that is acting
just because i have a cateract in my eye doesn't mean i should pluck out my eye
just because people misuse religion doesn't mean you should reject trying to understand god entirely
clean our minds
i wish i could tell everyone

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I went to Massage school in Thailand! (thailand: jan 11-feb. 23)

my graduating class! notice John B. Funky in the front, and the only other human that's making a silly face is Anna. I wound up living with Anna for the last two weeks of my stay in Thailand. after massage school, John left to go to the thai islands Vietnam, and I stayed with Anna in chiang mai, who nourished me back to health with a free clean place to stay, feeding me raw food and sunshine. (i got a massive infection in my leg, for my mother's interpretation of my hole in the leg shitshow, go here:
My teacher is Dot Po, she's in pink.

It was the facilities at Sunshine Thai Massage school that made use choose this school out of the billion Thai Massage schools in Chiang Mai! I'm a sucker for natural lighting.

anyway, so now in india.... not good at blogging about current events...... too much to say about india now. will write more of that later.
i went to thailand with my friend john to study thai massage. we practiced thai massage on each other back in the USA-- he would learn from yoga mary who actually practices thai massage. then he would practice what he learned from mary, and i would practice back on him, pretty much every friday afternoon of my final year of university. now that i'm becoming indianized, it's weird to think that it's okay to massage men without any sexual risk or danger to myself. john's like family to me. my roadbike is currently living in his basement right now. anyway, he has been keeping a blog about his thailand experience. i'm not there anymore but you can see his blog here http://wingnutsinasia.wordpress.com/page/2/

we joked about how cool it would be to go to thailand to do that. circumstances arised where it could happen! after singapore then india, then back to singapore, grandma didn't need my help going back to the USA because aunt sheila went with her. i actually tried to change my ticket to stay in singapore longer, because i got approached to do modelling, and the opportunity to make a little quick money came up. i also met some nice Hare Krishna devotees in Singapore, after my brother left singapore. Grandma only needed my help traveling to and fro, and there's not much to do around aunt and uncle's house, so I spent a lot of time going to their temple and learning more about their philosophy, which actually satisfies my intellect and my heart. i don't think many people understand what they're all about. i'll talk more about that later. so anyway, i wound up not being able to change my ticket to thailand i bought already, so i flew to thailand. john and i met at the airport. after two weeks of flitzing around bangkok and chiang mait we finally entered massage school. i'll write about my adventures there later, i'm too lazy now. main point is that i'm pursuing massage to sustain myself. hahaa what a serious entry. really i dont take myself so seriously.
i really liked studying massage; i like practicing on people as well. i'm a giver. i feel more suited for healing arts than anything else really. i have my degree in environmental sciences, but jobs i could do with that are structured. people that know me well know i'm not good at showing up places on time. i want to keep freespiriting on my spiritual journey, here in india, so now i'm trying to support myself by practicing massage here in india. there's an ayurvedic masssage teacher in pune i'm going to visit and see what i can learn there.
everywhere i live and go i leave little shannon trails everywhere, forgetting things so i have no more pants to practice massage anymore. now i wear saris everyday. that's all for now. next entry: INDIA! =)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

5 days in india!!??!?! reflections from 1st trip india

got traffic?

water palace, jaipur

animals and humans coexist! aunt sheila and grandma outside fatehpur

construction worker in jaipur

cows are holy, and their poop is really useful too

simple living with Earth homes

making friends with humans everywhere i go

Amber Fort, Jaipur

my grandma is so cool... the best 88 year old traveller ever! took me with her for her journeys, i am so lucky!

poor elephant at the hotel in jaipur. i cry for elephants

made it to Vrindavan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna!!

india (jan 4-jan 10)

sometimes i look around in different sceneries in my life and go, wow, how did i get here again?
am i really doing this right now?
i sit in the front seat of an SUV
5 days in india
drive drive drive new delhi-jaipur-agra-back to delhi
how did i get here again?
me here you there
how did we all get here?
dusty children cooking fires out of trash on the street
what is the meaning of all this anyway?
painted camels leisurely heaving carts
what am i supposed to be doing exactly?
does anyone really know out there?
piles of rubble
baskets hoisted on women's heads
trash trees trucks bikes in out beep beep people people everywhere eeek
i feel an increasingly blissful detachment from everything
one day you're here the next day you're not
so temporary everything is in the material world
never know when we're going to go
enjoy this country here
enjoy that nice dinner there
have that drink
all temporary enjoyment
sense gratification
there's more to life than satisfying the senses
we have the ability to pursue higher consciousness
even though we can make improvements in how we sleep, eat, mate, and defend, this doesn't make us more advanced
the problems of birth death old age disease still exist
this is how we strive for true advancement
when we to look to transcend the mundane material world
and use this human form to
understand spiritual manners
the realm of the internal world
india is a special place
people been pursuing and developing the science of self-realization for thousands and thousands of years here
not new concepts
not new answers

i can't believe the traffic here
markets food piles colors dust ricksaw
dark eyes follow me everywhere
green grass here desert there
disconnection everywhere in the material world
inside the nicest hotel palace lalaland, where green grass grows inside th egate
wind blown sanded women and children beg outside
guarded by gates and scrunched man faces wearing weapons everywhere
sometimes my friends call me shannyland
there's something i have a difficult time communicating
subjects of the soul
has to be experienced, felt from the inside, not through the mind

look all you want, i know i'm different
seeing an ancient civilization is breathtaking
the palaces the large structures
i'm not so impressed with material things
after all, it's humans that built these things
i appreciate the amount of time and energy it took to make these structures
and learning more about this part of the world
what made the mountains ocean forest flowers
what made love where is love born what's a soul where does it come from
i thrust my spirit inwards and upwards beyond the planes of my conditioned mind
searching for truth (truth doesnt change)
all these foundations will crumble
just like my body
like everything in the material world

westerners have a hard time with the poverty here in india
i'm okay with it
knowing that this crazy world is just a reflection of inner madness
how does one understand the sufferings of the world?
how can one solve all the problems?
what can you do?
what can i do?
who am i, anyway?
thank you Vedic scriptures
Srila Prabhupada
teach me
we actually are not these bodies
we are the spirit soul that dwells
without the presence of the spirit soul, the body is totally useless
we're all servants of the Creator
trust in higher power
the material world is our learning ground
all is directed to make us take refuge in the internal world
and bring us back to the spiritual world
not new questions
not new answers
i am so grateful for the opportunity to have the time, privilege, and resources to explore the meaning of life

{to see my aunt's photo album, go here http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLanding.action?c=ukrqfre.bt47oqi&x=0&y=-coqpq&localeid=en_US&cm_mmc=site_email-_-site_share-_-core-_-view_photos_album )

reflections in singapore dec 22-jan 3

come here if you want bars, shops and restaurants

merry christmas crew in singapore, thank you grandma for taking me as your travel companion to singapore for christmas!!! =)


prior to travelling, i hardly had an opinion of singapore, what it's like, or what i would find here. you know how sometimes you have friends that go places and they come back and are like, wow! i went to (_insert place here_)! and it was (_insert adjective here)! i had such a good time, i saw (_name that sight here_).
well, singapore never struck me as a place to visit, and now i know why......

the southeast asian tropical concrete jungle of bars, shops, and restaurants.
the ultimate consumer culture paradise spot.

i made it (30+ hour flight)
88 year old grandma too {thank you grandma for bringing me to asia for christmas}
after i packed all night long and survived the airport shitshow (too long of a story)
i breathe in warm humid air into my lungs
the color green again
it feels so good to finally be friends with nature again
after having to wear too many layers and taking refuge from the bitter cold
i am alive again
i'm more like myself when i'm less restricted by exterior conditions
(aren't we all?)

all the public transit signs are in four language: chinese, malay, english, and tamil (south indian language). accordingly, the country is a mix of these 4 different ethnicities. my favorite parts were the cultural neighborhoods like little malay, chinatown, little india.
i can't believe how clean this city is
no spitting, no littering, no this no that, many rules rules rules
when consciousness expands people need less rules
of course i won't litter
the earth is sacred
there is no "away" in "throw away" anyway
the dark facets of city life hidden from our eyes

dear fresh fresh tasty fruit
i missed you from costa rica
you could grow right here but you don't
you're probably from malaysia or indonesia
except for those gross bright red apples from the US
are city dwellers going to eat concrete and paper money when we can't ship food from everywhere anymore
when fossil fuels run out when the soils are barren and full of too many chemicals and fresh water runs out and can't grow anything anymore
where does food come from
where do we come from
forget about beaches in singapore
a metal cesspool of shipping center

o spiky, stinky, sweet durian, king of the tropical fruits
your pungent nectar creeps through the alleyways
i am so happy to meet you again
dear reader
don't you dare bring our friend durian on any sort of public transportation here
unless you want to be shunned and forced to pay an unreasonable amount of money

something missing about this place
nauseated at all the flash flash go go buy buy vroom vroom shop shop shop
don't these people ever feel crazy too?
my insides quietly scream at me to listen
go meditate! go do some yoga! find quiet somewhere, anywhere!
this place is really hellish
[everywhere cities in some way or another]
do humans remember what life was like before this concrete was here?
too conditioned disillusioned that we have collectively created this madness

patterns of civilization
paving over what Mother Earth made
millions of breathing living beings sharing limited space of our Earthship
all sacrificed in the name of human civilization
flash dazz sparkle and pizzazz eventually becomes trash
humanity too busy to recognize the emptiness under it all
everything material disintegrates
back into the Earth we all must return
my heart breaks
worldwide amnesia
forgotten inner spirit realm
i'm so sick of this material world of temporary
so little people take the time and energy to realize the spirit within

looking for quiet somewhere
overwhelmed by incessant city noise
no escape from it
the sun has gone to sleep for the night
i get off the subway stop by aunt lien and uncle laurence's place
i shuffle down the concrete path
cricket cricket cricket
soothes my sore ears from the city racket
the jungle reveals itself in small patches
the bulldozers missed it somehow
oh how i missed you too, dear rainforest
i can breaaaaaaathe again
my body collapses into the moist ground
totally unafraid if there was a creature (like a snake!) underneath me
whatever, body
i'll shed this one when i don't need it anymore
it's not who i really am anyways
just this piece of Earth home that i am responsible for taking care of
be here now

i close my eyes and remember
the raw jungle night sky
it's not that the stars aren't there right now
they're underneath the light pollution
collectively too clouded in our minds to remember
what's there the whole time
[same with our deepest innermost self]

i lived in you, sweet rich Jungle, for a period of my life
no cars no artificial lights sometimes electricity but not really
where you let these hands pluck the treasures produced from the breathing tree beings
and fed this body with those succulent sun ripened gems
how is it that Mother Earth continues to feed us despite human [her children] abuse
dumping chemicals wasting water monoculture concrete chop chop rainforest
i don't even care about my million bug bites [there, in the jungle]
i'll take a billion more [no malaria please]
in exchange for the missing element
how do i communicate unexplainable experiences
Earth, you are so sacred
providing food and shelter for infinite life forms
the most biodiverse ecosystem on this planet
thank you for giving me air to breathe

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

new beginnings.... i'm trying to keep a blog

i can't believe it's only been a month since i've left the united states. it feels like a lifetime. this always happens when i travel.
keeping a blog is a commitment! i think about writing in here, but i never do. i feel like i spend my time exploring outside and trying to maintain my sanity.
it's been since last may since i've had a stable place to live, the Harvest House, a vegetarian cooperative in Chambana. 14 people lived there, we each take turns cooking each other dinners.
now i'm living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. it's quite a neat place, definitely THE massage mecca of Thailand. It attracts all sorts of healers from all over the world, especially now in the cold winter where all these gringo bingos are from. the sun shines nice long and bright here in Thailand! don't be fooled by the sunshine in the day.... at night it gets cold, as Chiang Mai is right next to the mountains!
i'm travelling with my friend john, and we are attempting to keep a blog of our experiences. i will try to write more, but it's not easy for me right now, since i'm
today i got a thai massage for $6, and that was expensive! john and i found this herbal sauna for less than $4 for an hour, including body scrub, detox herbal tea, and shower! it smells incredible! i'm pretty much committed to going to the sauna now every other day.
tomorrow john and i start a private massage course with a blind massage therapist for only $55 (5 days)!. actually, here in thailand, the blind population has an interesting role. lots of massage therapists, musicians, i've even seen blind people carrying a boombox and dancing down the street. also, at the night market (HUGEEEEE bonanza of where you can buy anything and everything with millions of people) there were about 8 blind musicians in the street, all sitting in a line while people swarm to and fro on their way.
i'm thinking of starting an abdominal detox massage next monday. it works with pressure points, kind of like acupuncture. anyway, healing arts very much interest me, so off i go pursuing!
there's a hip yoga community here in chiang mai, lots of foreigners here to study healing arts and overall people here are all about pursuing healthy lifestyles.
i love it here!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

everyday i think about writing
i want to write here
but i just dictate things in my head
hoping i'll actually remember them when the time comes to regurgitate
i was good at that
that's how i succeeded at university
play the game
doesn't require real intelligence to do well in the material world
just fear
i was motivated by fear
living up to my conditioning
family culture ego
like most everyone in my culture
trapped in a way of looking at the world
what is real intelligence?
the ability to discriminate between spirit and matter
thank you srila prabhupada for making the ancient teachings of india accessible to an ignorant human like me

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

be like the universe.

trapped in this material plane
wanting to liberate my soul back into the complete whole
eyes forever focused upwards towards You
O Great Spirit!
lift us from our nonsense minds
shouting and clouding your essence inside
bring us into everlasting life
for these bodies are only temporary shells for our souls
until we fully realize You
remain we do in these instrumental tools
body mind Iam the Soul
om mani padme hum