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Finding my spirituality… Even if it kills me.

So, I’m still here in Arambol, hanging with the alternative lifestyle people. It’s been something like five weeks that I have been here. Whew, I’m lazy. Actually, I take that back, I have been staying fairly busy and doing some life style changes.

Just an update to the cast of characters as a big reason for why I have stayed so long was that we have had a very good base of people who have stayed in the 6 room guest house.

Let’s see, we started with the original bunch (you can read about them on my last post.)

A couple of Israeli girls, but they really weren’t much of a factor as they left after a few days. In their place we got Andy, a retired English guy who has been coming to Goa for the last 20 years. He brings experience and a jolly attitude as he looks like Santa Claus on vacation. He is staying on for even a few more weeks.

Replacing Juliet we got Sareeda a part Indian part Singaporean, stripper, dancer, yoga instructor, musician, and singer. She gave me my first Yoga lesson. She was an excellent singer who accompanied with Raj the musician also staying here we had a lot of jam sessions and even got to see them in one of the clubs.

After a couple of weeks Sareeda left and was replaced by Helmut, another Austrian old timer who was having some dental work done and is staying here rather than trying to commute from Gokarna. He also has been coming to India from the old Hippie days. Very knowledgeable guy about India. He is very hooked up with the old time Hippies around so we are allowed to carouse with them because of him.

Replacing Myra we got a couple with one being Israeli and the other Australian. They are traveling around selling the jewelry that they make. She is a professional singer, guitarist and flutist. He is excellent on the Didjareedo and the hand drums/Tabla. Some more excellent jam sessions. She plays regularly at the local clubs. They make more upscale style jewelry with gem stones and colored twine.

Once Raj left to go back home, I moved into his little room where I now pay $2.50 a night. In my place we now have a French girl who is living in Italy, and a girl from Switzerland. They are fairly new and a bit quirky so I haven’t quite got a handle on them yet. At least I get to practice my now forgotten French.

We also have Phil and Wayne some ex-Trance DJ’s and radio personalities whom Johan had known from the party circuit in Austria. They have both been coming to India for more than fifteen years and are well versed in the party and drug scene. They have both just bought Enfield Motorcycles and are going to go tour the north.

This week it look like half the house is leaving as Johan and Helmut are going to head down to Gokarna while I will be going to Hampi.

It was a really good vibe going on in the guest house and everybody was really pleased how well everybody fit. We have a decent size balcony which is our common meeting area so there is always someone around to hang out with. We are one house row behind the main road so it is very quiet. We are surrounded by animals as there is a lot of yards surrounding us. There are some big trees out front that shade the patio, but yet we have this small open patch through the trees where we can see the busy little market on the other side of the street, it’s kind of like watching a soap opera. The Market sells brownies for 10 Rupees and we keep them constantly out of stock. We also are surrounded by some of the best restaurants on the strip. There is a local cat that comes around and meows a lot. It has adopted me for some reason even though I am allergic to cats. The owners are very nice and cover three generations. They have a little boy who we all like to play with. There are quite a few rats, mice, and squirrels that run about.

Now, to my Spirituality. Well, I did Yoga. It was a really good experience and got me kick-started into getting in shape. In my point of view, Yoga is a great way of slowly working your way into shape, as well as to help either getting toned up or getting slimmed down. I guess it is really like Tai Chi in that it is a lot of self control and posture building which in turn tones your muscles. I really got a lot out of the breathing and meditation that comes with doing a session. I however decided against taking formal classes as I don’t think long term it is for me. The reasons are that there are so many poses as each targets a certain area. For me, I knew that I couldn’t maintain a constant workout for a couple of hours a day. Secondly, my priorities were to get my abs in shape as well as to gain not lose a lot of weight. Yoga for me is a great way to warm up, but I prefer the workout program that I developed.

One of the draws to Goa is the amount of Spirituality guidance that is on offer. Ten different types of Yoga, including hanging from a tree, all sorts of metaphysical and emotional systems, and of course my favorite, Colon cleansing. It is to a point that it is like any fruitcake with some odd perspective can sell it. That is also a kind of reason why I decided to do my own work out. Jedi Yoga with Steve. Find the Force within you. Now that would piss off the local gurus.

I have returned to sleeping on the ground which really helped as a motivation factor as I wake up and I can go right into stretching and working out rather than getting distracted with the other draws of the day. I start out with Surya Namaskar, Tadasana, Vrikshasana, Utkatasana, Natarajasana, Ardha Chakrasana, Trikonasana, etc. From there it is more high school gym class stretching which is a little bit more bouncy and I find gets me warmed up faster. From there it is my grueling gut work out. I do sets of 30, full sit-ups, ab crunches, side crunches, kick outs, leg lifts, bicycles, and then follow it up with which ever abdominal exercise I feel like until I get a cramp. Once that is over, I do Sarvangasana, Baddha Konasana, and finish in one of the meditative postitions for 10-15 minutes. Once that is completed, I can start my day. I try to do two more mini ab workouts and yoga stretches sometime throughout the day. Johan is taking a daily roof class so he keeps me informed on new forms as well as bringing study guides. I am not sure yet if I will pick up a yoga mat.

A side part of being spiritual, and also because of such a high level of artistic vibe in the guest house, I have been doing a lot of little art projects myself. Some of the stuff has really come out rather well and have garnered high praise from everyone, especially my rat trap. (Photos to come.)

My day. After the above said exercises and hygienic rituals, it is off to Mama’s (not the real name but it was easier for us to call it that,) for some beans, egg, and toast. On the way back I stop at Mama 2 for my six bananas which I eat five and use one for rat bait. Back at the house it is a couple of hours of chatting and art work. That is followed by a quickie workout and either a nap or a early lunch. Depending on the day it could be a walk down to Sweet Lake for a dip and some sun or just more hanging out. Since the new law requires the clubs to shut down the music at 10pm, we head out a bit early to listen to some music and have dinner. The rest of the time is spent at either ours or Phils place for some jam sessions and down time before heading to bed around one.

I bought another laptop. A guy had a laptop that was messed up and he didn’t know how to fix it so I bought it for $250US. It basically had a unregisterable Windows on it so it was just about to lock up. Also, it was a sort of custom built Korean Samsung Version so it had a bunch of different gaming/multi-media components that needed special drivers. I spent around twelve hours on the net just researching the drivers. The landlords internet café had all the other software I needed, so I now have a very nice system that has kick ass graphics and an excellent sound system. Phil was carrying his DJ hard drive so I got about 10 gigs of music and a dozen movies as well as five years worth of Scrubs. Part of the movies is all six of the Star Wars series. Because of that, my personal workout style has been dubbed Jedi Yoga. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to find Counter Strike. As soon as I do, my Spirituality will meet its pinnacle. The negative part is that it is a 15.4” wide screen and weighs 3.6 Kilos. To put it into perspective, my entire backpack comes in at 7 kilos. I am tossing even more of my clothes as well as all of my books with the exception of the Lonely Planet guide book. That should get me down by about 2 kilos, so net it is a gain. Oh well, it will be worth it when I get Counter Strike.

Food. I am about as close to a Vegetarian as I will ever come. So far in the prior five weeks, I have eaten a total of three steaks, three fish, and two chicken plates. The rest of my meals, straight Vegetarian. I am not sure about how healthy it is, but it is all part of getting/staying fit, so it has been worth it. Having such a huge number of tasty vegetarian options has made it all very seamless. So far my favorite option is mashed potatoes with Dal Fry (lentils). Some amazing stuff. Also, I am off of the Caffeine Sodas like Coca Cola and Pepsi. I have weaned myself down to one Sprite a day. I was doing Tea as well, but it was requiring lots of sugar, plus they use lots of milk, so I have cut that pretty much off as well except when we go to clubs and I don’t want to eat.

The plan. A couple of more days here then I will head to the southern beaches around the capital city of Margao. I need to arrange a train to my next destination from there so I can hang out in a hut on the beach until it is time to go.



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4 responses to “Finding my spirituality… Even if it kills me.”

  1. Marisa says:

    Sounds like a wonderful vacation. Glad to hear you’re taking care of yourself physically and spiritually. I’m hoping my trip to India comes through for the fall.

  2. Nitesh says:

    hey,,,m a mba student frm mumbai…wl b visiting arambol in a couple of days….read ur blog…seems dat ur havin a lot of fun ther…wish to join ur grp if u dont mind…nd also let me knw abt the guest house stuff…lukin frwd to ur reply

    nik 🙂

  3. Catherine says:

    Excellent blog.

    Nice, nice sled. I had an old BMW. 500. It purred. Actualy sounded like a sewing machine… kick start…sweet.

    Don’t get me started.

    If you are looking for enlightenment, go to Ganeshpuri. It’s about 3 hours north east of Mumbai. A Shaktipat Guru, Muktananda has an Ashram there. He is the embodiment of compassion. Actually, better check it out online 1st because I think you now have to make an application to go there.

    His Guru was Bade Baba (Grandfather) Nityananda. Just intensely beautiful energy.

    No one gets to India by accident, my friend.

    Those colored powders? They used to be made from flowers. Now they are synthetic and pretty gross. That God that looks like a monkey? His name is Hanuman. He’s actually a way cool God, but the statues seem very “Planet of the Apes”, no?

    India is a trip and a half.

    Enjoy.

  4. Jorge Macon says:

    It took setbacks for me to learn also, and think its the case for a lot of people, its a marathon not a sprint.

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