Thursday, September 3, 2015

Me? Not so!



OMG it is hot outside. 32 C it feels like 38. Yesterday was the warmest day of the year, with highs around 33 C in town, but it felt like 40 C due to humidity. I don't like this hot weather but Lady Di likes it. She came yesterday around 7:30 pm and she slept over at my place. She did not want to turn on the air-conditioning in my apartment. It was hot night in any regard and I did not sleep well. So this morning I did not do yoga practice. I woke up at 8 am and I had coffee on the balcony contemplating my current situation.

So this week I have 3 practices in 4 days. Not bad, I will resume the practice tomorrow and a long weekend is coming. Monday is off. So there will be days for practice without need to look at the time. 

I was surprised that Lady Di spent entire night at my place. She did not even ask me if she can stay. To be quite honest I did not like that. First, I was tired from my practice, hot day and work, second it was too hot and she does not like air-conditioning, third we were together on Saturday so there is no need to meet every third day.

I can say that there is no definite, set rule for how many times per week we should see each other. It simply depends on how much time I want to spend with her. A total personal preference. My only warning is to be careful as to not spend every single day with her because in such case I feel that I am losing my freedom. 

It's not that I don't love her, because well I don't! But every time she even hints about spending more time with her or sleeping at her place, I feel cold and sick to my heart. I start wondering should I escape this relationship. It’s hard to believe that I would leave my freedom of being single for commitment being with her.

Let me tell you plainly my dear readers, I do like her and we are a great couple. But I don't want to make the same mistake with her as I did with my other girlfriends. I don't want to promise anything. Let go slowly and see where we will end up. I just received her message and as you can see she is so enthusiastic about last night. Me? Not so.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

People inspire you, or drain you



Last night I left to sleep at 9 pm. I got good rest but I woke up in a bad mood. I was having some dreams and I woke up sad. I find it fascinating just how much dreams can affect me emotionally, even after I wake up. Logically, I know it's just a dream and not real, but I can't stop my self from reacting emotionally as if it were real.

Generally I believe that dreams appear to alert me to things that I should adjust or resolve emotionally. Sadness is not usually valued as something good. Self-help books promote the benefits of positive thinking, positive attitude, and positive behaviors, labeling sadness as a problematic emotion that needs to be kept at bay or eliminated. 

Everyone wants happiness but sometimes it’s important to consider that sadness must be accepted too. I should embrace it, it is an important indication of my current life. So, though I may seek ways to increase happiness, I don’t  push away my sadness. No doubt, it’s there for good reason.

So what is the reason of my sadness?

It is simple realization that I am not doing anything at all. Nothing depends from me. I fell tired during a day because all my strength, acquired at night during my sleep and my morning yoga, is used up in daily interaction with people. People around me talk too much. My colleagues at work usually ask me how my weekend went, and before I could utter a word they start telling me about everything they had done. That use up all of my attention.

I see that my colleagues talk out of insecurity and nervousness. It seems to me that they feel it is their obligation to fill any silence with gibberish – because what they talk about it is mostly meaningless and just for the sake of it.

Also, my new relationship is taking so much energy too. Lady Di is nice but I have no patience for text messages and phone calls. It all comes down to explain why I am doing what I am doing. Talking about myself and my activities is the biggest drain of energy. I think I should not have any close relationship at all.

This morning I did the second practice of this week. I was dripping wet and the practice was one of the best in the last couple of months. I felt energy surge through my body, I was strong and flexible. This is the result of going to bed early. Nice.

It is the 1st of September and the end of summer is coming. This month I will go on vacation. I'm going to visit my father, be on my niece's wedding and I should look forward to something. However, the vacation will cost me a lot and I have to pay the 4th year of my daughter university. I see now, I will go again into debt. I'll need couple of months to financially recover from this September.

Oh well...

Monday, August 31, 2015

Interview with George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff




Ladies and Gentlemen, 

it is my great pleasure to introduce you to the greatest mystic of 20th century - George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff

He was a spiritual teacher of what came to be called The Fourth Way or simply the Work, in which he taught people how to increase and focus their attention and energy through various awareness exercises. According to his teachings, such inner development is the beginning of a possible further process of change, and spiritual evolution.

Are there any preconditions for work on our self, our consciousness?

- There are no conditions of any kind and there cannot be any. Our starting point is that man does not know himself, that he is not, that is, he is not what he can and what he should be. For this reason he cannot make any agreements or assume any obligations. He can decide nothing in regard to the future. Today he is one person and tomorrow another.   

Can that be changed?

- It is impossible to do anything. A man must first of all understand certain things. He has thousands of false ideas and false conceptions, chiefly about himself, and he must get rid of some of them before beginning to acquire anything new. Otherwise the new will be built on a wrong foundation and the result will be worse than before.

How can one get rid of false ideas?

- Man's chief delusion is his conviction that he can do. All people think that they can do, all people want to do, and the first question all people ask is what they are to do. But actually nobody does anything and nobody can do anything. This is the first thing that must be understood.Everything happens. All that befalls a man, all that is done by him, all that comes from him—all this happens. And it happens in exactly the same way as rain falls as a result of a change in the temperature in the higher regions of the atmosphere or the surrounding clouds, as snow melts under the rays of the sun, as dust rises with the wind.

- Man is a machine. All his deeds, actions, words, thoughts, feelings, convictions, opinions, and habits are the results of external influences, external impressions. Out of himself a man cannot produce a single thought, a single action. Everything he says, does, thinks, feels—all this happens. Man cannot discover anything, invent anything. It all happens.

- To establish this fact for oneself, to understand it, to be convinced of its truth, means getting rid of a thousand illusions about man, about his being creative and consciously organizing his own life, and so on. There is nothing of this kind.

- Everything happens — popular movements, wars, revolutions, changes of government, all this happens. And it happens in exactly the same way as everything happens in the life of individual man. Man is born, lives, dies, builds houses, writes books, not as he wants to, but as it happens. Everything happens. Man does not love, hate, desire — all this happens.

- But no one will ever believe you if you tell him he can do nothing. This is the most offensive and the most unpleasant thing you can tell people. It is particularly unpleasant and offensive because it is the truth, and nobody wants to know the truth.

- When you understand this it will be easier for us to talk. But it is one thing to understand with the mind and another thing to feel it with one's "whole mass,' to be really convinced that it is so and never forget it. 

So there is no "doing" at all?

- With this question of doing, yet another thing is connected. It always seems to people that others invariably do things wrongly, not in the way they should be done. Everybody always thinks he could do it better. They do not understand, and do not want to understand, that what is being done, and particularly what has already been done in one way, cannot be, and could not have been, done in another way. 

Is there nothing, absolutely nothing, that can be done?

- Absolutely nothing.

And can nobody do anything?

- That is another question. In order to do it is necessary to be. And it is necessary first to understand what "to be" means. If we continue our talks you will see that we use a special language and that, in order to talk with us, it is necessary to learn this language. It is not worth while talking in ordinary language because, in that language, it is impossible to understand one another. This also, at the moment, seems strange to you. But it is true. In order to understand it is necessary to learn another language. In the language which people speak they cannot understand one another. You will see later on why this is so.

- Then one must learn to speak the truth. This also appears strange to you. You do not realize that one has to learn to speak the truth. It seems to you that it is enough to wish or to decide to do so. And I tell you that people comparatively rarely tell a deliberate lie. In most cases they think they speak the truth. And yet they lie all the time, both when they wish to lie and when they wish to speak the truth. They lie all the time, both to themselves and to others. 

- Therefore nobody ever understands either himself or anyone else. Think — could there be such discord, such deep misunderstanding, and such hatred towards the views and opinions of others, if people were able to understand one another? But they cannot understand because they cannot help lying. 

- To speak the truth is the most difficult thing in the world; and one must study a great deal and for a long time in order to be able to speak the truth. The wish alone is not enough. To speak the truth one must know what the truth is and what a lie is, and first of all in oneself. And this nobody wants to know.

Thank you Mr. Gurdjieff.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Something is Happening Over There



I am tired. Last night with my friends I went to Fregata club, stayed there until 12:30 and then we went to Dirty Martini and stayed until 2:30 am. I went to bed around 3:15 am. Of course, I could not wake up in the morning. When I got up it was almost 1 pm. 

I didn't do my practice today. When I got up, I had 2 cups of espresso and I needed considerate time to get to my usual self. I felt under-sleep and morose.

On Friday night I went to sleep after 1 am, and yesterday after 3 am. Tonight I am going to visit Lady Di, she will prepare dinner, I'll bring a bottle of wine and I know, I'll stay very late at her place. Instead to be at home yesterday evening I went out an now I am so tired.

I wonder why I went out yesterday when I’d rather be at home, when being at home would be so much more cheaper and comforting. And I wonder why I stayed so late, I did not approach any woman at the club, neither I had any wish to talk to anyone. 

At home, no one is going to talk to me and disappoint me. At clubs it is so easy to get disappointed. The wine is not cheap. Every woman thinks she is the best one. With my friends I have the same conversation I had last week. I am not after anyone and not looking to find a girl of my dreams. Why did I go out? My father never goes out. His emotional life is absolutely event less. He is a deeply rational person. Am I?

For many years I have asked myself, Why do I spend time with other people? but I never really attempted to come up with an answer. I always believed I was asking myself a theoretical question, but recently I see that this question deserves to be answered.

And I think I know why I go out, simply I feel less conscious of myself when I'm going out. I criticize myself less. But recently I stopped enjoying the parties. I look around a party thinking, What a fool — why did I come — I should have stayed at home.

To answer “Why go out?”I just need to turn around and look at last night. Around 6 pm I felt so bored and I put the book down, stand up from bed and started walking like in the cage. I texted my friends where are we going tonight and that's it. 

It is my desire, for sex, love, companionship, laughter, whatever, that brings motion of boredom. Then comes my curiosity, something is happening out there and I need to find out and be part of it.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Follow your dreams. Really?



Lady Di just left to work. We spent a wonderful evening and night together.The things are going well...

It is Saturday morning, around 10:30 am, outside is gray, cloudy day, it is full moon so no practice today. I am relaxed and happy. I bought a new coffee machine - Bosch and this morning I had a fresh espresso. It was delicious. 

I am happy for small things. I don't have a big dreams to became something, to advance in career, to have expensive car or to change my way of living. I am satisfied with what I have.

When I hear a motivational talk I always say "fuck it, today is the day, not tomorrow". I don't like motivational speakers and their motivational gibberish.

I go to sleep early, and I get up at 6:00, have a coffee, do yoga practice, take a shower, make my bed and by 9:00 I'm ready to go to work. 

And what's next? 

The void. The busyness, anxiety, worries and misery. 

And that's the life. I accept it for what it is and I move on.

But motivational speakers wants me to believe in something else. All talks give more anxiety and self-shame. This speakers, in my opinion, are as good as telling an alcoholic to go for all inclusive vacation. 

If you actually have motivation issues, check your dreams and expectations, or  just a good friend that can force you do get shit done and be tough when needed. But stay away from motivational bullshit. It is not only useless, it can be harmful... 

I am literally sick of "Follow your heart" and "Follow your dreams" and other phrases. One of the most commonly held beliefs about dreams is that you must achieve them. Our society is full of reminders of the importance of achieving goals.

These catch phrases come in addition to the self-motivational bullshit on Facebook status pages and other media, quotes are flying around and people like it, motivational songs in popular music, and preachers on television... Everywhere I look, I'm bombarded by overexcited motivational freaks prompting me to get my goals fulfilled.

It is ridiculous.

My stand is simple. Move with the life as it is, move the fuck on. Giving up, aka quitting dreaming, is the best start to flow with the life. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ashtanga yoga home practice

It is Friday August 28, 2015. The end of the month, and the end of the summer. Yes, true, there is still 3 weeks to the official end of summer but the weather is changed. Nights are cooler and days are shorter.

Yesterday my daughter visited me. We made dinner and she stay until 9 pm. I went to bed when she left. I woke up at 6 am. Had a coffee and I am ready to do my yoga practice now. Tomorrow is full moon so there will be a rest day. 

I don’t practice ashtanga yoga because I like to. I do it because I must. I'm 50 years old and I want to be stronger. I’m closer than ever before to the age of sickness and tiredness. So I must practice. I take my practice as a pretty good indication of physical strength and emotional balance.

I’m sorry to say that if you’re looking for fancy yoga photos, you won’t find it on my blog, and you’ll probably be bored. I started to practice ashtanga yoga in May of 2006, almost 9 years ago.

At the beginning of my practice I did it 3 to 4 times per week and I went regularly to yoga studio for early morning ashtanga yoga classes. They were half primary lead classes and I like it a lot. Right now I still do half primary every day and sometimes (a long time ago) I do full primary lead class at the local studio.

I practice ashtanga yoga with the help of Sharat's DVD. I turn it on, do prayer and then follow the breath count. Sharat leads me in the practice. It is very fast lead practice and I rush from pose to pose. But I like it, 45 minutes and the half primary is over.

Today around 7 pm, the Lady Di will come to my place. I haven't seen her for a week. We'll probably go out for a walk on Bloor street... 

Now I am going to do my practice. I wish you happy Friday.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Yoga is so f***ing expensive?


There she was just'a walking down the street... singing... Doo Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do!!!


You’ve all heard it, you’ve all seen it. Yoga studio charges $18-$25 for a single yoga class. Compared to most other types of exercise or physical training, yoga became extremely expensive. 

It's really sad, because a lot of people cannot afford more stress in their lives, students, those working shitty jobs just to get by, single moms, etc. can't afford these classes. 

I stopped going to yoga studio. While I don't agree with a lot of the spiritual dogma in yoga classes I do feel the price of classes makes yoga appear to be an upper middle class hobby more than something approachable to everyone, which is sad.

Six years ago, I paid $25/month for unlimited practice at an ashtanga studio in Toronto. Today, $150/month. I blame the spike in bad yoga studio management more than the overhead market. I can join a gym for $30/month and attend their yoga classes but you all know those classes are not so good. 

Yoga means anything that you want it. It is a Lululemon paradise with clothes and mats very expensive if you choose them to be. It is a lifestyle, said one middle aged yoga practitioner. But it is interesting, once you're deep into yoga, you should become a little less interested in wastefulness and a little more interested in awareness and consciousness. Unfortunately it does not happen so often.

You’ve read about the benefits of yoga — more flexibility, strength, energy, and vitality, and less anxiety, stress, and injury. But even with all this good stuff, I'm concerned with the price tag. 

So my advise is, once you have a solid, safe foundation for your practice, there’s enormous value in just unrolling your mat at your living room, and moving through poses with the guidance of DVD. If you listen to your body carefully, you’ll realize you have a lot more to teach yourself than you expected. And, of course, that sort of learning is completely free!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I don't like to travel



Am I the only one? 

When I read the match.com profiles there is always "love to travel!" sentence. It is in every single profile. The women searching for a perfect date really love to travel. 

It took me a long time to admit that I don't like to travel. In fact, I'm pretty close to saying I hate it. For years I said I liked it without really thinking about it, because I had the vague sense that it was part and parcel of being an educated, intelligent person. Right now I'm pretty sure that I'm not so intelligent so I can freely say if I have to travel, it mostly feels like punishment. 

I can't stand air flights? It is just WAITING. First you wait to give your suitcases and to get a boarding pass. Then you wait to enter the plane, then you wait for take off. Then you sit in dirty plane smelling farts and dirty socks of passengers, looking at the small screen until your eyes hurt you. 

When you arrive, you wait to get out of the plane, then you wait border control and your suitcases. If all is without any problems you were waited almost 10 hours from Toronto to Amsterdam. 

I've found that it often shocks people when I come out and I say I don't like it. Please tell me I am not alone!

I do travel, of course. I enjoy things like seeing family and friends, and if that involves travel, then fine. I can cope with the horror of flying for the fun of visiting my home country.

I also manage to get out of the house. I like day trips and walking because I am so happy to be back in my own home at night. I don't like overnight trips - two days of activities and one night in a strange bed. I can't stand it. It completely ruins my daily schedule and morning yoga practice.

I see no excitement seeing new places especially cities. I have never been and I'll never be in London, Paris, Rome, New York etc.. Exploring streets, wandering though city, checking out the restaurants, museums, zoos... it's all bullshit for me. That said, I have to admit it's always nice to go to Caribbean resort and make it feel like home.

For people who do like to travel, how do you feel about people who don't? 

Is this my character flaw, or just a personal preference? In any case I don't give a damn.