Sausalito – Costa Rica – United Kingdom – Stockholm – Sausalito…
Today, as I have built some sort of relationship with a few of you, I have decided to share part of our (my wife and I) unfolding adventure that has been happening this year. Why?
Because it has been, and still is, utterly crazy.
We left Sausalito, California, last December after a three month stay determined to live there. Amoda secured a publishing deal with a very prestigious company in Berkeley and this year she had to write THE BOOK!
AND she was going to apply for a long visa so we could stop the three month thing and live in place we are both very drawn to…California.
But when we left California in December last year we were homeless. We had given up our rented apartment here in the UK before we left and so suddenly we were nomadic and wandering and she had the most serious book of her life to write. And the visa to apply for. (If you have ever applied for a visa beyond the tourist visa, particularly for America, you will know what this entails…Its a legal case. It is hard core)
We started in Costa Rica for three months. But it was too hot, humid and the sound of cicadas drove us crazy. We were miles from anywhere with no transport and an empty house living in starkness.
It was as though we had been ejected from the Garden of Eden (Sausalito) and became lost in the wilderness. It certainly wasn’t a holiday!
We then returned to the UK and found a one room studio in the place we used to live, in Hastings on the south coast. But Amoda couldn’t write in such cramped conditions so she had to find some writing space. (She writes on delicate matters of non duality and deep spirituality and needs as close to silence to contemplate) Trusted House Sitters provided something close by thank goodness.
And then I got sick. We still don’t know why, and I am still carrying the effects, but something happened, maybe a bite or a scratch or something in Costa Rica but over the months from April till now a rash and skin condition descended upon my body that saw me fully covered, peeling, and unbelievable itching. Now it is whelts and weals on my skin. No fever and no illness. I’m not going to show you pictures I will spare you that!
We spent a month in Stockholm which was a great blessing.
We spent a few weeks north of London which was a great blessing.
And now we have been living in this apartment, sort of, during the last three months or so. It is run down, noisy and in an ugly part of town.
And all the time the book, the book, the book. And all the time the visa, the visa, the visa.
Let me tell you, we are both a couple of sensitive souls. And not young. I’m 57 years old. Doing all this as a young person is one thing. But as an older guy its actually quite tough. And without a base, a foundation, it has been very stressful. It really opened my eyes to what it must be like to have everything taken from you.
Truly, I can only begin to imagine what war must do to people. And the slide into homelessness must be tough.
We have felt like we were swimming across the vast ocean to try and make a dream happen. Some times we felt like we were drowning. We didn’t think we would make it. I have experienced melt down and fear, a kind of existential fear. We had to muster every ounce of strength, trust, persistence and resolve to keep going. But we kept on going.
When you strip yourself down and sacrifice everything, it kind of does something to you. It brings up even more of your stuff. Yes, it triggers you sometimes.
It is a ruthless Zen Teacher. And if you are the kind of person to listen and learn, and one who embraces challenge and life’s instruction, it is so powerful.
My wife, Amoda Maa Jeevan, is a genius. She is the one who has made all this possible. It is her ‘goat like’ tendencies that start and simply keep going, methodically and thoroughly until the end goal is realised.
On my own I’m not like this at all. I’m a creative mess, a feather in the wind. Pisces moon….
And then two weeks ago she actually finished the book!!!!!!!!
And then a week and a half later we were at the US Embassy in London being told, ‘YOU HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR VISA APPLICATION.’!!!!!
And we danced from the Embassy much to everyone’s delight. I don’t think they see many mystic crazy folks there, it’s all very serious. Even the armed guards raised a smile when I showed them my delight.
And now here I sit, surrounded by the debris of our deconstruction, with, get this, only two weeks left before we get on the flight to return to Sausalito in California.
There are a million things we need to sort out, and when we hit the US a million more to sort out, like somewhere to live, a car, money, tax etc etc…
But don’t let anyone ever tell you that it’s too late, too much, too far, or you are too old, too young, too poor or too rich…Nothing is true on this plane of existence except what we make true.
It is all there. The only problem I can see, generally speaking, is one’s own mind.
The adventure continues.
Thanks for reading you lovely people!!!
In my most difficult moments I have found that the only way to peace Is through allowing myself to become porous. I have found that resistance To what is, is a direct route to suffering And if I want freedom From suffering At some point I just have to let it All flow through me like water And be so unattached That I almost disappear. I have tried to fight with what happens And been left deranged I have tried arguing with life As it appears before me And always lost, so I change what I can And the rest I allow, not begrudgingly Or reluctantly, But vibrantly and willingly, There is no room in my world For sulking my way through life.
The pull to fear and shrinkage, to judgment, To retraction and ultimately to suffering Is so strong it forces me To take great mastery of myself And be tuned in to my habitual thoughts Each and every moment, over and over.
Vigilance is my best friend But not the kind of armed vigilance Of a prison guard, fearful of attack, But the benevolent vigilance Of a wise master Who only has my best interest at heart.
Ruthless, compassionate vigilance, That is intolerant of stories Of poor me and oh woe is life.
Mastery takes years And is only achieved one Moment at a time.
Such is the beginners mind.
The path of compassionate vigilance Is a choice. Peace is not guaranteed by an experience Of enlightenment.
You must still walk the path, And fall from grace Dust yourself down And walk on.