24 March 2006
Wear this potte (bindi, dot on forehead)
You should wear it. Here, I’ll put it on for you.
No, Get away from me.
You really should wear it, you know. You have to.
No, I said No!
I don’t like it. (well i actually do, but i dont like that it’s lost it’s meaning and has become just make-up instead of protection of the spiritual power of that chakra, and i don’t like that it separates hindus from muslims, i just don’t like taking part in that kind of thing)
That, folks, is a possible description of a meeting between folks like Ankurbhaiya or myself and the Largeness we call Mangolandia.
How to say Yes to this Mangolandia?
So I called bhaiya, because he’s getting pretty good at this Living Yes and all.
There was music in the background. Like, human music this time, not buffaloes. He was at a mandir (temple) at the town where Gandhiji took a rest day. When he first got in, no-one had offered him a place to stay along the way (that happens sometimes) so he went to the town hall and it was closed and there were these dudes who work (work?) at the town hall sitting across from it. That’s how it always is, apparently. So he laid it down, and they were like, eh. So he could have shown them the news report that came out a few days after he started. It’s like a credit card, he says, and they would have been like, please sir can we wash your feet, or something a little less obsequious but still hospitable. So he didn’t. He waited till he got to the mandir that they vaguely pointed at and found some cooler guys there, and chatted with them awhile and THEN showed them the credit card, which was now no longer cash money bling bling, but was just love, and sharing, because they were already interested and cool with this whole gandhi shindig. Ya dig?
Today is rest day on the schedule, and it’s a good thing, because bhaiya didn’t sleep much last night what with mosquitos and heat and all. I would say I know how he feels because that’s just because I’m refusing to turn the fan on and i haven’t lit the mosquito smoke thing yet. I actually have no idea how he feels, today on the 13th day of the 76 anniversary of the Namak Satyagraha. Damn.
21 March 2006
he finished telling me the river crossing story that we couldn’t finish last time because there aren’t cell phone towers EVERYwhere yet:
to follow gandhiji’s route he had to cross a river after this one town. this one town had lots of nice people offering him respect and lodging and whatnot, but everybody wanted him to go around the river. by car. sorry folks, that’s not so much going to happen as not going to happen, said bhaiya. he was prepared to walk the 50k around, but he’d rather pray and trust and cross. yeah, but still, no-one was telling him how.
he left the house before his hosts woke up and headed for the river. he prayed. he trusted. he reached a canyon of wilderness and water running wide. there was a temple somewhere. there was an old lady. she said, You want to cross the river. Follow me. Now that’s the kind of authoritarianism we want here, hell’s yeah!
there were muddy parts and watery parts and rocky parts and then there was the part where he almost would have died if he had tried to cross except the guy that helped him a while back came running back and basically manifested a boat to take bhaiya across and when he arrived on the other side he believed in god so much he was maybe the most religious person he knew.
he’s reading gandhiji. it’s not to be taken politically and rationally, he says. it is to be taken as Jesus. and it is wonderful, he says.
he has not been asking people for food and drink and shelter. he stopped in a shop and asked for water from the jug that he saw sitting there and had an hour-long conversation with the shopkeeper. but mostly he takes what they give, or sometimes doesnt, if it’s not gandhian, like the MJ that a nice old man and his nephew spent the afternoon with yesterday.
14 March 2006
11 March 2006
from my trip to namita and mali, towards south india
from this hip bigode style restaurant in ahmedabad
from the train to porbander and the osho ashram in madhavpur
from my trip to kutch with mom and cousin meeta
www.somethingconstructive.net | mangolandia.blogspot.com
please send letters to
83 Tapovan Society
Gujarat 380 015
any letters sent to jamnagar or the other address will be fine as
well. it's quite literally all good.
i recharged the matrix phone and it works. if you get someone in hindi
just call again in a few minutes.
+91 99241 94890
i will be taking calls and affection on the walk.
www.somethingconstructive.net | mangolandia.blogspot.com
it's saturday and i'm in ahmedabad. the big polluted capital of
gujarat and i weirdly love it. the place is overrun by strange ngos,
gandhiphiles, and classical music. i saw posters today at the bus
"localise resistance to imperalist globalisation"
so, you know, something other than amway is happening here.
a brief summary of some inspiration. ive been working for the past
couple days at manav sadhana, the nonprofit housed in gandhi's
sabarmati ashram. everyone there is One and amazing. i love it.
they're helping me with my current project and i got to help a little
there's a group which calls itself "friends without borders". they
collected over 10,000 letters from indian school children, written to
nameless pakistani counterparts. next week the organizers are going to
amritsar, walking the 27 km across the border, and delivering the
letters to schools in pakistan.
it's so beautiful. it's hard to explain. these kids are just so
beautiful and naive and full of love and malapropisms. i read a few
dozen of them while sticking mailing labels on the pack of a few
"the recipe for friendship is 1 part sharing, 1 part caring, and 3
parts forgiveness. mix everything together and enjoy."
"i dont know you but you are my best friends. lets our countries not fight."
and so on. i couldnt stop laughing or crying the whole time.
anyhow. support these people anyway you can. they're awesome.
theyre all somehow associated with what i felt and i havent put
together how. people have told me many stories, however, about a
couple of indians who walked for months through gujarat on nothing a
day and somehow kept a blog about it.
it might be here:
anyhow. this is all relevant to me because im going to start walking
in about twelve hours. i came to india to follow gandhiji's footsteps
from ahmedabad to dandi and tomorow is the beginning of the
the walk is 380 kilometers and should take about 26 days. i have the
route gandhi took as well as the stopping points and will try to
follow it; the pace should be slow and allow me plenty of time to
"shut up and listen to the is", as it were.
i want to see what i can build with gandhi's spirit, memory, and
words. i'm not going to take much money and see what krishna and the
indian people offer me in terms of food and shelter. i'm really
the point of all this, i guess, is i won't be checking email for a
while and it doesn't mean i don't love you. i'll try to keep in
contact with mali and give her some rigorous analysis of the one love
www.somethingconstructive.net | mangolandia.blogspot.com
08 March 2006
so i went to an ashram in madhavpur gujarat maybe three weeks ago. it was there i got the Mensajem to go see mali in the south and etc. and there's a lot that went down in those three days and ive not even tried to condense it but here's a scrap of paper i found and typed up.
i didn't know anything about osho except he's a cult hero or something. like donnie darko. turns out he's actually some enlightened master (like jesus) who is also a cult hero (like jesus, but kind of dirtier in some way). people associate him with sex and power and corruption at the end of things and i know nothing about that but regardless of whatever else you say about him, know that everyone at the ashram said "Osho is the Master" and everyone at the ashram was right.
so this may seem a little strange if you read it not while tripping (on wine, virtue, poetry, whatever, selon baudelaire) but try to see each line as a metaphysical truth worth all kinds of exposition. we can get into the exposition later but i just found this and i still feel it to be true. deeply.
2nd night at the Osho Ashram in Madhavpur
This much is clear:
It's all one.
Everything is the same.
Nothing is anythinh else.
Everything / Anything can be loving.
Amazon is not love, but Loving.
Osho is the Master.
I am Master (I mean to write (?) I am Osho.
Osho is very, very, intelligent.
The Osho Meditation Resort in Pune is a must see for Amazon/Spectacle aficionados.
Trees are our parents/protectors.
Everything is as sacred as you let it.
Everything is loving energy.
Resistance is ultimately futile.
We as Ego are resistance. A definition, as it were.
Being Love is about ceasing resistance.
Being Love, Loving, being loving is the only game in town.
There is nothing to learn.
There is a world to forget.
Much of what we have learned may be termed Resistance.
We are born yogis.
Without resistance, blockage, firmness, we dissolve into Amazon, Love, Pure Flowing.
mataji is a goddess. i don't know much about her but she has ten arms and many of them have weapons. the paintining his basement shrine, which i had plenty of time to study, features her trampling the dead bodies of two slain foes, making touching her feet in respect slightly more difficult than usual. a super-size garland of flowers adorns the super-size painting (think church doorway) and a sheated sword covers most of the altar. there's a lot of incense going -- the points i would have been "on the verge of tears" at any other ritual i was actually crying at this one.
homeboy, ashwinbhai, is a devotee of mataji and has received a special gift from her. he can tell the future (or some version of it, i guess) and he can see in the distant. he knows where you live and what your house looks like and can tell you some of what goes on there.
the beautiful social part of this whole affair is that everybody comes to this guy with their little and big problems and he publicly questions them, offers advice, jokes, and generally makes everyone relax. he's one of the best-natured gujarati's i've met. totally chill. i guess a gift from god will do that for you.
imagined conversation with an american #1
ank: ... his gift from god
imam: do you believe it?
ank: what's there to believe?
imam: that he has a gift from god.
ank: well, that's what they call it.
imam: well how do you know?
ank: i dont. he does. its not my gift, dude.
but now i do know. worried parents approach (everyone is seated, they scoot forward when young couple leaves) and ask about their babu (son). it's exam time, so everyone in india is stressed.
"we're worried about our son's studies".
homebody has a little pile of whole grain wheat and a white sheet in front of him. he plays with the wheat, throwing it and collecting it over and over on the sheet. stares into the distance.
he lives in a hostel
"yes" look of shock and smile
on the third floor
"yes" further shock surprise
his exam today went very well. stop worrying. pray to mataji
and so on. my mom had told me. she came last month and he described our house in sequim. big mountains and trees and barn and the whole bit. she came with my cousin who is occassionally depressed or otherwise down. he looks at her and says "you do puja with the wick vertical. why? it's causing you problems. stop"
she's shocked. she's never told anyone how she does the puja. everyone in the family/caste does it with the wick horizontal. she decides to change.
another couple comes. they talk about money or property and are about to leave. before they get up he addresss the woman. "a while ago you used oil for your puja instead of ghee, to save money. it's a bad idea" she turns bright red. they leave.
a man asks about two hundred thousand points a muslim owes him in surat. it was four years ago. will he get the money. ashwinbhai asks "gorandur road?" no, he says, he used to live in XXX and now i dont know. ashwin repeats "gorandur road." no, he says, i dont kn.... "gorandur road". he stares into the wheat. "is where he is. you'll get half the money. dont try for all"
the point is my mom took me to see my future because, well, she's a litle worried about my future. so i get up there and im like, i have nothing to ask (mr. senator) but that's fine they'll ask for me. ajaymama (uncle) introduces me. this is my sister's son
"the one who travels everywhere with just one bag." yes, yes, my sister's son. she wants to know if he'll settle down...
so my mom asks if i'll marry, settle down, where, who, etc. and homeboy says i will settle down in india. he says the stars are good for my marriage right now and for the next six months. if i marry i will marry an indian girl. after six months (diwwali season) if i'm not married i will likely become a saddhu.
a saddhu is a sort of holy man. he can be taking care of a temple or wandering the ruas moreias at dawn or making webpages for an ashram. he's taken some vows and not others, lives simply and has no restrictions on facial hair. most saddhus you find are devotees of shiva, stoned, and shoeless. they seem pretty psyched about life.
so that's my future, apparently. my own understanding of spacetime leads me to see it as a possible future among many that i and you together are constantly creating for ourselves. but i guess it's good to know. i didnt ask anything because i didnt want to know.
unfrountely, that was just part one. part two is twenty-four hours later after dinner in ajaymama's house when these five indian adults descend upon me like the eastern inquisition about whether im thinking about finding a girl and who should they start lookig and how id better get serious about settling down. i made the disastrous mistake of not ignoring them, involved myself in conversation, and only the promise of ice cream and meditation kept me afloat during the ensuing melee.
but im okay, still single, not quite indian, and planning on walking 380 km, from ahmedabad to dandi, starting sunday.
06 March 2006
"i believe i found a miracle in you"
this morning i took a bus from jamnagar back to ahmedaba, was woken up by military propoganda pelicula at two in the morning (no fat burger in sight; the other half of the films are dual love stories), fell black asleep and off the bus at nehunagar circle. a supplementary four hours of morning sleep ritual supplanted the atypical-typical yoga and meditation and i woke up talking to my mom.
my nice, minty, is in the evolving stages of an arranged marriage process. she is twenty and smart and pretty and has a shirt that says "denim beauty". a few days ago her family went to bhavanagar (city of love) to meet the diamond merchant family (same caste, even same last name, no relation in the narrow spectacular sense) and every body had a capital time. so now they're talking on the phone and it looks like she's a lucky girl and going to get married sometime soon.
this is interesting to me on a number of spaceship levels, most immediate of which is that i'm her mama (maternal uncle) and i volunteered some time ago (mr. anderson) to be the mama who gives her away and otherwise plays various important roles in the marriage. which i can't do from, say, brasil or the astral plane or whatnot. at this point.
on another level i'm kind of shocked that a young "denim beauty" jean-clad educating twenty-year old girl would be into the arrange ("introduced", better said) marriage idea. i would think the younger generation would be westernized enough to engage with (fall for) one of the primary application of the western myth/cult (i dont mean that in a pejorative sense, at all) of personal freedom: falling in love. as in, i will fall in love with The Right Person and it will be awesome.
my mom explained to me that India is much deeper than speaking english or wearing blue jeans and whatever westernizations and amerikanizations i see are primarily going to be superficial. these kids pick and choose: they eat shity pizza and curry on white bread (soak-toast/ed with lots of butter) but are still vegetarian, love their parents, etc. and introduced marriages are basically no work for the kids and gets rid of a lot of stress. dating seems to be the most stressful thing in india after school exams (which are tearing this country apart and together simultaneous: more on them later), i think because dating here is very largely in the shadow of marriage. there's no dating qua dating as such, just the young clueless bachelor's responsibility (instead of his clued-in family's) to get a wife who will satisfy The Royal Infinite Indian Everyone.
at some point the particularities broke down in my mind to the notion that whoever we are we tend to live within and follow our cultural norms. for the vast majority of people, how you're raised is you how you live and who you-in-the-world is (as opposed to the heading-towards-paramatan of the you-as-yourself). and for some reason the crystals hardened in my mind and i told my mind what i had never told myself before:
a: mom. i think this might help us understand what i'm doing. most people live their lives in obeyance of time and space, as a response to the accidents and contigencies of their existence. i ...
mom: don't give me your mumbo-jumbo
a: um, okay.
a: mom. i'm trying to live outside of spacetime.
the conversation slightly improved from their and we got to a point where she kind of acknowledged i would never "shape-up" and the i that i am was going to be the i that i would be. she accepted it to a degree and spent a good amount of time complaining about my "filthy appearance" and how i should shave and how i never washed my clothes. so i tried to tell her that i washed my clothes every day, just not with any kind of skill, but there's really no point in justifying anyhow. still learning that.
at least or myself, i realized that what i'm trying to do -- and i know and i fucking LOVE knowing i am not alone in this, that i have friends and brothers and lovers and sisters who are on this path, and perhaps even BESTER, that i have friends and brothers and lovers and sisters who are NOT -- is trying to live outside the accidents of my existence. describing this simple truth is fraught with metaphysical dangers and i know i'm not clear or precise enough to avoid them all. but whatever. there is a one love truth manifest in myriad form. there have been heroes and heroines throughout recorded and mythical history who have transcended their societies' social norms and particularities towards the apprenhension of the one love. each states it differently according to their residual self-image: those aspects of their incarnation, selfhood, ego, or history they chose to retain.
one of the lovely aspects of all this for me is the incredible compassion of the Teachers. imagine that jesus buddha ken wilber osho whoever acheives enlightenment for a moment. enlightenment as i understand it -- from the accidents of my education -- is a probability space and doesn't imply one is there all the time or is above owning a rolex watch here and there. somehow. so maybe they have this decision to play in the noumenal realm for another moment (all the yugas) or to back, to descend, and to teach and to demonstrate for the love of the masses. and its only this magnificent compassion that brings buddha back to the ficus tree, that keeps his smile on and his skin dark. its only this magnificent compassion that allows us to differentiate osho from krishnamurti and distinguish the enlightened masters from eachother (jesus is more loving than osho, osho is smarter than jesus). they have to choose some form to reenter the matrix and so they do knowing its all illusion but accepting out of love for you and me. its like the whole "dude, they died for your sins" argument except its "dude, they relived for your sins". either way, respect.
and maybe -- this is pure judgement and speculation now because i dont truly amazon-style understand any of what i'm talking about -- its this decision of descent and compassion which allows them to fall prey to the pitfalls of the spectacle, the love of the money and the weird collections of rolls royces that sai baba had and krishnamurti's affair and all of it. or maybe nothing is a sin or "wrong" anyhow and once you're There you can see that and have as much orange marmelade in the morning as you Damn Well Please.
the point is that the last three days since coming back from malavika in bangalore have been fraught with magical coincidence revolving around meditation its various shapes and colors. i have seen the future and manifested it. i have consistently had dreams that came true, whims that were immeditately gratified, and random people approach me and tell me i was on the right path.
even my family has been somewhat supportive. naturally after i made a conscious decision and meditation to give up all expectation of being understood -- as malavika and st. francis recommend -- and focus instead on understanding. my uncle told me when i came to india i looked like a hippie, now he feels i have learned something and look like a seeker of truth. my aunt says i look like a rishi and have finally come to the right track. they like the cookbook. they want the cocktail version (its all you, uz and kevin). my flute guru told me something very special and kind (in a language i didn't quite understand) and basically everything i'm here for is coming together like that brasilian tapioca breakfast.
it involves the thread from cooking through ayurved through reiki back to dungeons and dragons and the paladin curing two hit points per level with his hands. that's basically what i'm headed towards and the two primary methodologies are quite obviously the flute and the mediation. both are based in the breath -- this tenuous and permanent connection across time and space, across will and reflex, bridging the narrow and broad versions of the 'i'.
okay i ate a couple of neilu's usa-mailed cookies an hour ago and lunch will shortly be served. thank you neilu. thank you krishna. most of all, thank you to the dolphins. one day i'll meet k+d and i can thank them as well.
i'm doing well.