Day 4: Happy Thanksgiving ye all!

Quarantine Diary:

6:50AM. Fell asleep at 9PM, wide awake at midnight. Cruising Facebook looking at Taipei room ads until it’s time to join a zoom call with Gangaji at 2AM, during which I fall asleep 🙂 LOL! Her soothing voice does the trick. I find that Eckhart, Osho, and Gangaji rank high on the lulling me to sleep voices list. I adore them all. And can easily enter that lovely no-thought-land while listening and drifting off. Some of what is said sticks – come home to yourself. Whatever circumstances you find yourself in, good or bad, worse or better, whatever challenges you face, mentally or emotionally, you can call off your search right now and discover a life-changing truth: “Your natural state is already awake, already free, already that which you seek.”

Yes, it’s that simple 🙂 Thank you!

My friend Kathy responds to yesterday’s post wondering if I’ll get that half-way challenge that so often happens in retreats, where the mind gets tricky… I’m wondering, too, and guess we’ll find out. The difference here is that I live in comfort (luxury) in comparison to Vipassana retreats and am following my own and the body’s schedule/rhythm. And I get to move around the room and lie down a fair bit versus sitting still, watching breath and mind for hours on end. Plus, I can give expression to the mind and keep it engaged with writing, reading, watching the world outside my window, talking to friends on the phone. Let’s check in again on day seven. My daughter Kaya wrote a fun and reflective blog about her Vipassana experience – makes me chuckle every time I read it – check it out here https://kayamaniko.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/patiently-and-persistently/

Eroca calls and we give each other tours of our places. She lives in a tiny home on a farm on Saltspring Island now and I’ve been privy to following the tribulations of getting it there and finishing it over the past year. It’s all coming together beautifully. How else could it be with this artistic creative soul at the helm?!

Fellow quarantine inmates, what are you up to? No voices, music, screaming, yelling, flipping out. Just the sound of water in the plumbing, furniture moving, something heavy being dropped, a door closing, voices of hotel staff in the hallway when food is delivered – that kind of thing. Wondering how and what they’re all doing? Probably similar to me. Rest time. Catch up time. Online work for some, I’m sure.

The outside soundscape however, enters the moment I open the window: traffic, birds, people’s voices, airplanes (the other day some fighter jets droned by), horns beeping, a police whistle at the intersection, trucks unloading, scooters and more scooters, loudspeaker announcements (by car), the hum of air conditioners and other machinery. There are also smells…cooking, car exhaust, a whiff of something perfumed… human life. Now I’m thinking about nature and how different the soundscape is without human activity… buzzing insects, birds, rustling animal sounds, wind in trees, water running by a creek or river, and maybe rumbling and crashing sounds by a volcano or large waterfall; or waves rolling in or crashing on rocks. And silence……………….. Silence can be found here in the middle of the city for moments late at night and in the early morning hours. And of course in deep sleep.

Taroko Gorge, Feb 2020

I’m room hunting. I have a hotel booked after quarantine, but would prefer to find accommodation in a shared flat that can be my base during my time in Taiwan. Or may be rather not? Weighing advantages/disadvantages (mostly of the monetary kind) and waiting for clarity to arise. Meanwhile, I cruise the web sites and evaluate various options. Kaya looks at a couple of places for me – neither are It… One too expensive, the other too dingy. Real estate and rental market in Taipei are pricey, just as any other large city around the world. She sends me an ad for a place in Tamsui, about an hour north of the city centre. Looks fabulous, great views, super nice place, but quite the commute. I feel into it and for now having a more central base makes more sense. To experience Taipei one needs to live in Taipei. Curious to see how this will unfold.

Luke

My phone pings and it’s Luke who is on the street down below. We have a good chat catching up. He and Kaya lived together and recently split up, so I kinda consider him family…we got to know each other a bit last year in Italy and this year in February here. He too has turned toward his passion and is coaching soccer (or football as the Brits say) for a living – good for him! And how sweet of him to visit 🙂 Thank you, Luke 🙂

I take a chance and order some Taiwanese vegan food just from pictures (not everything on Ubereats is translated into English) – it turns out well. This Ubereats thing, folks, something to get hooked to…

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving today and I have dinner with Kaya. Kinda. Of the very physically distanced kind 😉 After waving at each other window to street, she finds a place in the park to sit down for her meal. We talk on the phone for over two hours while eating our Szechuan food, a little spicy and very flavourful. So good! Just as our conversation. I give Big Thanks for having this wonderful young woman in my life, watching her blossom into something she loves doing. And feeling so cared for by her. Very sweet. Check out her latest blog at https://kayamaniko.wordpress.com/2020/10/07/glowing-up-in-taiwan/ and her portfolio at https://writingportfolio421242976.wordpress.com. Budding young writer.

It’s the “Mum, not another photo” look

So grateful to be here this Thanksgiving! So worth all the hassle of getting me here!

What are you giving thanks for today?

6 thoughts on “Day 4: Happy Thanksgiving ye all!

    1. Brilliant! “The seeker cannot get enlightened. There is no way to become what already is. This is a message without any hope at all. And you paid for it.” What’s not to love… Thanks for sharing the talk, Alison. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sending you lotsa luv Schnukkie. We had a Thanksgiving dinner at Chidakash’s combined with Oliie’s birthday and he and Lowis’s farewell as they head of into the wild blue yonder. So much to be thankful for, neh? Glad you are riding the quarantine so gracefully. xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

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