Friday, January 11, 2019

Bye Bye - See you later in the month

I'm off to a Vipassana retreat at Brahmavihara Arama (BVA) in Singaraja regency. It's led by a nun, bhikkhuni we say here but she uses ayya instead. Ayya Santini. She's from Java and was ordained at BVA by the founder, Girirakkhito, from Bali. Here's an article on her and here's an interview: Reviving the Bhikkhuni Sangha in IndonesiaShe's somewhat controversial because she's taking a lead where women are supposed to just follow. The other three Vipassana retreats I've done at BVA have been led by monks from Myanmar. And all practice a type of Vipassana meditation like the temple's founder that is compatible with zazen, emphasizing the hara though they don't use that word. 

Take care. DC

Wednesday, January 9, 2019


Boring day to day stuff in Denpasar follows.

Lipan Lipan

Another time we were at Genius on the beach here in Sanur, again drinking coconut water from coconuts sitting on one of their outdoor couches or sofa's, this one under the roof and next to the kitchen which is outside with us. I had my computer as we'd come for longer. We could put valuables in a locker but we ordered the drinks and I went out for the swim while she sat with our stuff. Then when I came back she was free to go out. She was back and we were sitting their doing what we do with those computing contraptions and I felt something on my arm - agh! a centipede and I'd brushed it away before I could think. It was small - maybe an inch and a little - and yellow. Back to digitopia and all was peaceful till - what's that? Agh! another one my knee. Lightning fast brush it off. Later there was one on Katrinka then one on my arm again. Nice they didn't bite. At the cashier I told two employees there were lipan lipan (that's how they make plurals) in our sofa, maybe a nest of little ones coming out to discover the world. On the way walking home ran into a friend and chatted a sec. Said where we'd been. Mentioned we don't go there as often now. Had to complain though, but not about the centipedes, about the awful music they play. I will not bring that up again having divested myself through these last three posts.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Like Monks practicing Austerities

Katrinka and had just been walking and swimming at the beach with dogette Bandita who always runs into the water first to wade around a bit - not a swimmer. I go in and backstroke out till I get to water deep enough to do the crawl. I used to swim way out and then back and meet them when they were back from walking and Kat would get in for a bit and we'd go home. But there's a nice current going down the beach now that I can swim with and keep up or almost keep up with her walking so I go way down with her and we walk back after she's been in a while.  Usually we bring nothing and can't get anything but today she brought some money so she could get a massage from one of the ladies with tables in the shade. So before I went home with Bandi we sat on a couch in front of Genius and had coconut water from coconuts with bio-degradable straws. Lovely view, great weather, quenching kelapa mudah (young coconut as they call the drink), and their noise pollution music. No music would be so great but that was not to be and I didn't let it bother me, thought of it as an austerity practice like that of Saint Francis who'd put ashes in his food.  

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Awful Music

One problem I have living here in south Bali is with music. There's music everywhere. There's a lot of good music well done of many types - good jazz, original new music, rhythm and blues, reggae, latin, and so on - but not always where I happen to be. I don't go out to hear music unless Katrinka is doing so and I go with her. If we're out in the commercial area at night walking down the street, we pass place after place with rock n roll standards being played. Used to be Hotel California was played a lot wherever one traveled but these days only now and then. That stuff's alright though it gets boring because of the same stuff over and over. Me and Bobby McGee. Hey Jude.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Almond Milk

Finally started making our own almond milk. We've been getting it delivered fresh for a few years and I kept saying I'd try making it motivated by curiosity and financial considerations. Almonds are expensive here and so is almond milk. So I did some research and found a site with a how-to video I liked best, one reason being she didn't peel the skins off. One cup almonds soak 12 hours in fridge overnight, blend, squeeze through cloth bag like we'd used for squeezing grapes - I see them called nut-milk bags online, and use. That's it. It was great. We loved it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Demolition men

Katrinka came back from yoga saying I should go see what's happening at the beach - they're tearing down all the shacks, thirty cops to make sure there's no interference. Took dogette Bandita and a 100k rupiah bill to pay debt to fruit lady intending to give it to her on the way and get the change on way back. Walked through the wide open space that's been not impassibly jungled up because obviously they're going to build another luxury hotel there even though there are too many already. It's been wonderful having it to walk through on the way to the beach for the last half year or so - rare South Bali open space! As soon as I entered I could see all the way to the water where there had been a row of shacks, functional shacks - stores, a a cheap little restaurant that did pretty good business with locals and bule (whites) (see image), a sculptor's studio, surfer hang out spot. Climbed over the least threatening looking rubble to the brick walkway that runs along the beach. Watched the backhoe hoe back stuff. I hadn't understood why people were taking down parts of their own places yesterday - saving materials.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year 2019!!!

It's night now January 1st, 2019 here in Sanur. So far it's been a good year. Last night we walked over to Genius Cafe on the beach and met our Malay friend, Lai Mun who'd been at the Power of Now yoga studio nearby meditating. She's been visiting us from Kuala Lumpur. Dogette Bandita joined us under the table. I'd not had quite enough activity during the day, having followed the usual indulgence of working on whatever it is I do, and thus, after sipping half a coconut of it's delicious water that I would surely miss if not in coconut land since the packaged variety does not suffice, I disrobed at our table down to swim trunks - it's a nice place but that's not outside the dress code - and went toward the darkness where the water met the sand. Bandi naturally followed. Lai Mun loves Bandi and was concerned. I was wondering why Bandi hadn't already run ahead and waded in, turned to find Lai Mun with Bandi's leash in hand. We leave Bandi's leash on when out. Lai Mun wouldn't hear of the little canine going down there with me, refused to let go. It's a little spooky swimming out into the dark, not totally dark as there are lights on shore. Not much moon though. There's a reef out there that breaks up the waves and usually there are still some small ones, but not last night, only small ripples, the water somewhat shinny and smooth. After a few hundred strokes, some floating and turning around to admire the 360 as I always do, walked back up the sand terrace to our table under the roof - not all of them are - only a wall on one side. Katrinka handed me a sarong and suggested I not put my pants over the wet suit so I went and changed. Back at the table I told her Lai Mun wouldn't let Bandi go in the water. Lai Mun said it's a Chinese custom not to get in cold water at night, can lead to rheumatism. I said it wasn't really cold. She said it would be cold to her and maybe Chinese bones are more susceptible to cold wet at night but she was sort of joking. Later she asked how was my salad - my New Year's Eve Feast - and I said, "Good, but I'm feeling a little rheumatic. Bandi however is not feeling rheumatic thanks to you." She went back to KL today. The holidays are coming to a close.