Saturday, December 09, 2006


Mark does not believe it. I do. Or I think I do. Only this week I heard about the Nepalese boy, Ram Bahadur Bomjon (pictured above), that was meditating inside the roots of a pipal tree in Bara for 10 months. He disappeared in mid March though, probably seeking for a quieter place for his meditation. The place was getting crowded with tourists and pilgrims, and journalists. His plan was to meditate there for 6 years, but it was not possible in the end.

Some of his followers were claiming that he was a reincarnation of the Buddha himself, but he denied that saying that he was just an austere ascetic. His words were:

"Tell people not to call me the Buddha, I do not have the Buddha's energy, I am only at tapaswi level." Tapaswi being a sage that practices austerities as such.

I also don't believe he is the Buddha's reincarnation either, but somehow I do believe people can achieve these states of mind. It's amazing to see the footages of him meditating. He was filmed for days ininterruptly. You can see him muttering chants (or perhaps talking to himself) and how his hair and skin look intact, not dried up or scarred. By the end his hair was really long and he was getting a bit emaciated. He would also start heating up and sweating all of a sudden, much probably to control his body temperature, since that area tends to get really cold when the night comes.

This technique is called "gtum mo" (or "tummo"), or the "inner heat" yoga technique. I firstly read about it when I was a teen, in the infamous and controversial Lobsang Rampa's book ("The Third Eye"). I got really impressed, in spite of Rampa's credibility of course... Gtum mo is a very intense form of meditation where one is enabled to control his/her body temperature and metabolic rates. Alexandra David-Neel also explains about it in her books, a must-have if you have any interest in Tibetan Buddhism.

Yes, call me a believer, or whatever. The images of that boy will stay with me forever. He looked illuminated. Somehow. And it's just good and comforting to see these things still happening in our crazy days... I wish him to come back.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Personal Trainer, Gym etc...

I am going to the gym, as I may have mentioned before (did I?). I am really appalled by my level of, erm, unfitness and overall stiffness. Sometimes it feels a bit frustrating, of course. But I will try and do my routine exercises, and see how it goes.

The gym is Crunch Fitness here in Dun Laoghaire. It's a very good and very modern space, with a lovely pool, lounge, new equipment and a nice team of instructors.

I had my 1st session with a personal trainer, and I really liked her, for she was all the time with me and gave me lots of new exercises and diet orientation too. She was following my every movement and it was good. She put me on the machines, since she thinks before going into a lot of cardio exercises, I need to strenghten my ligaments and bones a bit, since I am too stiff and the nerves on the back of my thighs were kinda killing me! Of course I need to start with cardio, to warm up, but not 60 minutes as I was trying before. Something like 7 to 10 minutes, then machines, and finally stretchings.

Let's see how it goes. Tomorrow I am going again, and my next session with her is on Wednesday. Can't wait, really.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cool Engrish (Pt. 5)

I have another Cool Engrish of the Day today! It's from my lovely new pair of geta (Japanese clogs). I love using geta at home, there is nothing more comfortable than a woody, anatomic pair of traditional Japanese footwear! Then, I bought this lovely pair on EBay some weeks ago...
It says on the sticker at the bottom:

"Leisure supplies
carefully collisions
pathway slide"

Hhhhhmmm... Does it grip? Does it slip? Frankly, I have no idea! But it doesn't matter, for I will be using them at home, not outside. So, no slippery walks, or any chances to test it against the elements. Let's keep it inside, shall we?

Friday, December 01, 2006

End of an era...

21 days with no posts, that's way too long and I even complain about some of my lazy friends (and Mark too) who don't blog very often... Shame on me! Well, I did not have time, or rather, any will to sit down and write. Some stressful weeks I had...

And the apocalyptic title of this post refers to my last day in SITA, which was yesterday. As I mentioned on a previous post the Dublin office has closed down and most people were made redundant (including myself). As such, it's the end of an era alright: VTI, then Eland Technologies and, lastly, SITA. I was there for 6 and a half years. So, it was strange seeing the office being dismantled, and a bit sad.

Most people were happy though (not everybody, I must say). And most people have new jobs already, which is great. I don't, but this is because I will have a sabbatic year, as Mark and I have decided when we had the news of the imminent redundancy some months ago. Having this career break will be very good for me, for I finally will be able to try and get some control over my health by going to the gym in an attempt to improve my condition (fatigue, and unfitness of course!). If the medications did not work, this would be my last resource, according to the doctors. Abandon the sedentary life and have a go to a more active lifestyle etc...

So, we were in the office yesterday signing the papers and then we all went for lunch in the Purty Kitchen, our local pub-restaurant. It was good. I really enjoyed myself and almost, almost cried. My colleague Ian surprised me with a nice present: a Lord Of The Rings/Royal Mail promotional watch, very pretty. I thought it was very nice of him. And I had funny chats with the guys. Then we all left and said goodbye, although of course we will be keeping in touch. Or so I hope!

It was raining, they went to the Monkstown dart station and I headed home. On the way, I stopped at the little Purty Emporium and they were playing Coldplay's Yellow. Then some tears came to my eyes, and a nostalgic sensation invaded me of a sudden. Somehow this song always touches me, and the situation was, I must say, a bit sad. I don't know. Yes, the end of something, and as people say, the "1st day of the rest of our lives".

That was it. I stopped at the convenience store and had a long chat with the Indian manager (the system was down and I could not buy anything). This has cheered me up, we laughed and talked about India, Brasil and Ireland as real expats do! It was interesting and it also made me stop thinking about "the past", my still very recent past.

That's it. That was it. I am here, and free to start something anew.