Thursday, December 21, 2006

Missing Links

Link after link after link.... I wonder how can I get from searching web about competencies into a pdf on psychic defense? Time clashes with lines and circles and the day is almost over. Do I full myself thinking that I have learned anything new? I downloaded all the fancy free stuff and put it away into the folders. Just in case - maybe some day I will find it useful. In meantime, Mozilla crashes and links disappear into the cyberspace.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Growth of Awareness

An old samurai warrior knew his time on earth was nearing an end and wished to bequeath his sword to the brightest of his three sons. He designed a test.

He asked a friend to hide just inside his barn, above the doorway, and gave him three small bags of rice. He then invited each son inside, one at a time.

The first son, after feeling the rice bag fall on his head, drew his sword and cut the bag in half before it hit the ground.

The second son halved the bag even before it hit his head.

The third son, sensing something amiss, declined to enter the barn - and so earned his father's sword.

Photos taken November 2005 in Tian Tan, Temple of Heaven, Beijing
Story taken from Body Mind Mastery (Creating Success In Sport and Life), Dan Millman

Monday, December 18, 2006


I've got 6 Seconds calendar for 2007 as a present. Hasty to know what was the artist's good wish for the next year I opened January: Self Awareness.

Recommended movie is Walk the Line - about Johnny Cash who follows the dream and lives the path of self-awareness that is not always bright and happy. Is the path to self awareness always filled with some dark, horror stories? Is there always that little (or big) surprise that shifts the paradigm and moves the behavioural mountains?

Stories are often told that major awareness shifts happen at times of dealing with grief or any difficult situation. Times of 'reaching the bottom', 'hitting the wall', 'holding a straw' are there not to tell us that journey is dangerous but to let us celebrate the learning.

I choose to be free.

There was a story on Internet - The one where Johnny lives in the moment. He chooses to be happy.

Recently I realised that Johny's choice was valuable for any evaluation of success and quality of life.

I choose to be free and happy.

Michael Neil talked about the scale of emotions in his newsletter. The last on the scale is peace. I totally agree.

I choose peace, freedom and happiness.

Images below (Celebrating moments):
1. Settling Mist, taken in Tibet, 2002 - on the way to Kailash. Thin air brought this image of peace and beauty.
2. Zmaj, taken by my sister Anita. The kite was bought in China, flown in the skies of Switzerland. I felt complete sense of freedom and peace when I saw this photo. I imagined my nephew Ivan learning how to 'work' the wind and succeeding to take it high into the clouds. Well done Ivan!
3. On the Top of the Hill - taken in the hills surrounding Beijing. One of K's and mine hikes that gave us amazing sense of freedom, peace and happiness.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Free to fly

Sometimes it just happens so that I feel like a bird - unaware that light is shining right under my feet.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Difference In Perspective

Yesterday on a reality TV show host brought women of various nationalities and asked the audience to say what they think of them based on their appearance. Not long after the comments were shared heated discussion started. There were tears, most women felt insulted and how wouldn't they? Hispanic woman was labeled as The Maid, Iranian woman was perceived to be of use since she must have connections with Taliban (hence can help if terrorist attack), African-American woman was perceived poor... The women were bombarding each other with judgement, prejudice and conviction that the perception was justified since media was projecting it.

Being willingly brain washed is probably the laziest way of using the mind.

Wake up, travel, see different, experience different for you will think, feel and act differently and if there is anything you are not happy in your life with - it is time to change.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happiness comes from harmony

Like a fortune cookie words stare at me stating:

Happiness comes from harmony, not wealth and fame.

Lao Zi

It further explains: In this saying, Lao Zi captures the Taoist attitude toward money and social status. while most people aspire to such goals, imagining them to be a source of happiness, the Taoist masters dismiss them as at best irrelevant and at worst an impediment to well-being.

Yang Zi teaches, "Four desires disturb our peace: The desires for a long life, fame, social prestige, and wealth. Those without these things are given no rest by their dissatisfaction and those with these things live in constant fear of losing them. It is the opposite with those who entrust their lives to destiny."

From the Taoist perspective, the majority of us spend most of our time valuing the wrong things, so it is no surprise that so few people are really happy. Lao Zi teaches, "the wise do not value a huge gemstone as much as a little time. Time is hard to find and easy to lose." If we fail to appreciate fully the gift of life, we are wasting our most precious resource and no amount of fame and gain will ever help us. Yen Zi comments, "If someone neglected his business to wander around aimlessly, people would say he was crazy. Yet those who completely ignore the inevitability of death and obsessively seek wealth and prestige are called sane!"

Happiness is our natural state when we are in harmony with Tao. When we allow our desires for wealth and status to disturb our innate contentedness, they become hindrances to happiness. True happiness lies in changing ourselves on the inside so that we come into harmony with Tao, not accumulating wealth and prestige in the world. Lao Zi explains, "The wise transform the inner to make the outer enjoyable, they don't try to transform the outer to make the inner enjoyable. They experience spontaneous enjoyment within themselves.

The photos above are the closest I got in visually expressing what I just read.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Dying for banana

Yesterday I conversed with my mind and when the question came up: "What is Death?"
It answered promptly: "A waste bin"
A grin and silence requested an explanation.
"It is like a banana peal - you throw it into a waste bin once you ate it. Dying is the peal - life is the act of eating banana. Once you are done you don't regret eating banana and you don't question the peal why you suddenly got it. It just is."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Invisible Ink

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. ~Vladimir Nabakov about writing

I was walking along the streets of Beijing when I saw a quiet group of people dipping their big brushes into icy water to write calligraphy on the pavement. Poems, quotes, words or even a simple character would briefly resist natural laws before they evaporate. Calligraphers, as it seems, remain inspired and fulfilled - otherwise they wouldn't be there every day.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tribute to the signs near the travel-road

I have been thinking about different crossroads I have encountered in my daily decision making.
Abundance of choices, determined action and need to move forward. Sometimes I break through the walls, sometimes I ignore signs that say Stop! Often I look down when the sign is high up in the sky. There are no rules - each place will have own signature surprise. By the time I reach the destination signs make sense.

Look for Respect, Stop-Challenge-Choose, Ask for directions

This is the tribute to the signs near the travel-road

“Between the fear that something would happen and the hope that still it wouldn't, there is much more space than one thinks. On that narrow, hard, bare and dark space a lot of us spend their lives.”
Ivo Andric

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Early morning epifany

I have been resisting early morning practice for two weeks. Sleeping in, enjoying warm bed, resting lazy bones - what a bliss! It is a mental block when none of the practice seems valuable and winter weather is way too cold to comprehend. At the same time I have to be honest: I know I 'd practice again but postponing the start seemed more valuable than dealing with frostbite.

Today was the day to break the spell. I hated every moment of the waking, I questioned my intentions, I rediculed the meaning of practice and was suspicious about Shifu's teachings. I went out anyway - as if I dared myself to check once again why I was so determined to practice in the past and possibly even hoping that I'll find reasons to completely stop practicing afterwards.

In silence I followed K who practiced all this time on her own. And there it was - full moon greeted us while night still resisted early morning call. It is 6AM, occasional joggers, early bus brings constructions workers to their site. I start practicing: I still hate it. I even forgot the most simple excercise. Simply not present. Step by step - after each sequence he double checks how I'm doing.

"I'm hating it", I say.
"Never mind, keep practicing" he says.

Epifany hit me while I was doing 'Dragon Moves Qi' excercise: I realized that I was doing something that was not common, not daily task, not something that everybody could do. Not at all. I felt priviliged to have exposure to secret knowledge, ancient Chinese culture and my humble place in it.

Today I learnt that my practice will not bring any advancement during winter. The only purpose to practice now is to maintain what I have created during Spring, Summer and Autumn. Not a great incentive, not the best combination, but I still decide to practice. It stills my mind and often that is the best part of it all - silence accompanied with the bright moon, like that time in Kailash while camping on 5200m and struggling for breath. Learning about the simplicity and power of the nature.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Unstructured day

Today is one of those days when meetings get cancelled and priorities shift so I get a chance to look at everything I have started once and not quite followed up on. Yesterday I worked on some photos, today is the day of writing and gentle reading, Monday I have coaching session, after that - I really don't know and I am loving it!

This was not an easy path of realisation. I have been resisting my nature for quite a while until signs were so obvious that I could only be blind if I continued doing what was not giving any results - trying to have one profession, work full time for corporate sector. By all means I don't mean that this is wrong thing to do - it was just not right for me!

Besides some obvious metrics and personality tests (Kolbe A Index, Strengths Finder Index, Enneagram), crucial person in my steady focus on what it is that fulfills me is my coach Michael Neill ( You can subscribe to his newsletter on the same website - inspiring.

Inspirational tips for a better life!

In meantime - my blog became visible in China, we got a new puppy and I am learning new ways of happy thoughts. All is well.