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Intro & Inquiry
Answer
10/21/18 1:46 PM
Hey friends,

I'm a 31 y.o. male in Boulder, CO who is just starting to read Daniel's book. I've been interested in integral theory/practice for 13 years and recently got a master's in counseling from Naropa University. I've been working at a mental health agency here for 5 years, but need to move on. I'm curious about living in an ecovillage/intentional community or going on year long (or longer) retreat or continuing in the mental health field with a different company. 

My path included coming in very "hot" (witnessing consciousness throughout deep dreamless sleep up until around age 7 and a kensho at age 12). These experiences and others contributed to a psychotic break at age 19 and then another one at age 24. I got into the mental health field because of my own challenges, but now I question if I actually want to/enjoy helping people in that way. 

My current practice looks like making at least 30 min. to sit each day and taking long baths and just lying in bed while awake. Unreleased tension/trauma in my abdomen that is still lingering from when I was 18 makes it difficult to relax in an upright posture for extended periods of time. 

I'd like to learn more about alternative lifestyles/communities and how to transition into them. 

Thanks!

RE: Intro & Inquiry
Answer
10/21/18 10:21 PM as a reply to Skribblebumpkins.
Are you thinking of monasteries?

RE: Intro & Inquiry
Answer
10/22/18 5:47 PM as a reply to Skribblebumpkins.
Skribblebumpkins:
Hey friends,

I'm a 31 y.o. male in Boulder, CO who is just starting to read Daniel's book. I've been interested in integral theory/practice for 13 years and recently got a master's in counseling from Naropa University. I've been working at a mental health agency here for 5 years, but need to move on. I'm curious about living in an ecovillage/intentional community or going on year long (or longer) retreat or continuing in the mental health field with a different company. 

My path included coming in very "hot" (witnessing consciousness throughout deep dreamless sleep up until around age 7 and a kensho at age 12). These experiences and others contributed to a psychotic break at age 19 and then another one at age 24. I got into the mental health field because of my own challenges, but now I question if I actually want to/enjoy helping people in that way. 

My current practice looks like making at least 30 min. to sit each day and taking long baths and just lying in bed while awake. Unreleased tension/trauma in my abdomen that is still lingering from when I was 18 makes it difficult to relax in an upright posture for extended periods of time. 

I'd like to learn more about alternative lifestyles/communities and how to transition into them. 

Thanks!
aloha bump,

   You might consider ocean view, hawaii. You might say it is an alternative community. Land can be bought for as little as  $5000 for a quite private acre of land, and building without codes and living off-grid is standard. Most of us buy ice and have a small generator and/or solar outfit or windmill to charge 12v batteries. We know all the low power tricks and conserve every watt. We haul our water from the public tap in a wide variety of containers (I use food grade plastic garbage cans). I have a macbook air, smart fone and ipad, and a hotspot, and I conserve every gigabyte of bandwidth, every minute of fone time. That is the ocean view lifestyle in the world's largest subdivision, visible from space.

   Are you interested in real life or are you looking for a buffer zone in the midst of bedlam? (Perhaps there is little difference.) If you want to live in a spiritual group you should consider starting from scratch. Find a good spot to hunker down free of distractions (like making a living, vs real work) and let them come to you. If they don't then solitude may serve.

   Lots of people here need mental help. The town with the highest suicide rate in hawaii nei is just down the road from ocean view, a little hawaiian fishing village called milolii, built on hawaiian homelands so you know it is basically unsuitable for people to live on. They are also unchurched and irreligious, like anyone else. It doesn't suit them, at all. Missionaries to china, india or africa can go thirty years and make two or three converts. When the missionaries came to hawaii they converted the entire population in a decade, and made them 90% literate in two decades, so as to read the bible, which they did. It turns out the old testament begats are a ringer for hawaiian genealogy chants. Many real hawaiians have a sonorous, old testament ponderousness about their speech which suits them very well. They also have a modesty and dislike of vulgarity that gives them unusual dignity. They don't skinny dip and avoid beaches where young people preen and strut. Hawaiian style the older folks sit on the beach in the shade and have a luau and talk story while watching da boyz show off their surfing skills while the young girls practice the hula. (Haoles surf their whole lives but locals tend to quit at age twenty or so, no matter how skilled. Old haole surfers often hurt themselves while da boyz never do. My sons both grtaduated high school in kohala and surfing the big break at lighthouse was a rite of passage.)

   Speaking of the hula, I sell my hand made jewelry (fabricated using sheets and wires of sterling silver) at the sunday kona pure market at amy greenwell's ethnobotanical garden in kealakekua. I drove up from my shop in ocean view and my wife drove down from hawi with the jewelry, which she sells also at the hawi saturday farmer's market. Kona pure market has musical acts from nine until two, and I go over to the music stand each sunday and put a fiver in the guitar case. So, yesterday it happened some of the players were also hula kumu and their star pupil was preparing to perform in front of an audience of perhaps a dozen, mostly tourists. When I saw rhyan faith ano'i demello, seven years old with a gap in her baby teeth, smiling the way hula dancers are taught to, and with a perfectly conditioned little body dressed in a brief grass skirt and two coconut shells, I was already charmed. When I saw her dance I was astounded. I sat about eight feet directly in front of her and it was perhaps the most powerful individual performance in any art thatI have ever seen. The following video seriously does not even compare to what this little girl can do. Absolutely amazing. So beautiful she breaks your heart; and then she dances.

https://www.khon2.com/news/local-news/7-year-old-hula-dancer-wins-title-and-the-hearts-of-viewers-across-hawaii/1527405210

   So besides the abandoned cars and other evidences of human despair and poverty, there are gems to be discovered in ocean view. Not to mention the rest of the big island.

   I'm not selling this to anyone. "The way up and the way down are one and the same" - heraclitus. But if someone arrived here, I  could show them around. No guarantees on the spirituality of the place but an "alternative life style" it surely is, relative to anything on the mainland or elsewhere.

   It could be a "holiday by the seashore." Experience teaches that people who come to hawaii generally bring far more baggage with them than a couple of suitcases. The ties that bind lose none of their power due to distance, any more; there are no distances.


terry
   

ps thirty minutes a day isn't much... I find that I can "wait out" thirty minutes and avoid deep concentration, whereas as 45 minutes is long enough to where my mind gives up trying to wait it out and goes back to sincerely looking into the void, dropping body (easy enough) and mind (much more difficult)...I try to do it twice a day and thus rarely miss doing it at least once a day...if I can't sit right I don't sit...

RE: Intro & Inquiry
Answer
10/23/18 10:21 AM as a reply to terry.
aloha terry! thanks, fun read. my favorite vacations growing up were always in hawaii. i heard that hawaiians can be racist against white people though? i may be looking for a slightly more glamorous alternative lifestyle. i used to sit for an hour a day (and did this morning) and did notice a difference but its hard to maintain interest in that. i like how daniel talks about "gamifying" the experince and maybe his book will help me do that. the thing i always find at least an hour to do a day is video games because they give me a sense of fun and adventure and progression. maybe my practice could do the same....

RE: Intro & Inquiry
Answer
10/23/18 10:23 AM as a reply to J C.
J C:
Are you thinking of monasteries?


yeah, are there any you recommend checking out? maybe i'll need to nail down my orientation first.... i like zen, mahamudra, dzogchen, integral, shambhalla, and other approaches.... 

RE: Intro & Inquiry
Answer
10/23/18 1:10 PM as a reply to Skribblebumpkins.
Skribblebumpkins:
aloha terry! thanks, fun read. my favorite vacations growing up were always in hawaii. i heard that hawaiians can be racist against white people though? i may be looking for a slightly more glamorous alternative lifestyle. i used to sit for an hour a day (and did this morning) and did notice a difference but its hard to maintain interest in that. i like how daniel talks about "gamifying" the experince and maybe his book will help me do that. the thing i always find at least an hour to do a day is video games because they give me a sense of fun and adventure and progression. maybe my practice could do the same....

aloha bump,

   Perhaps they will make a vido game where by winning one can attain liberation. As opposed to the excitement of first person shooters.

  As for racism in hawaii, it is complicated. No one is more aware of race than people here, but generally it is expressed as an inclusiveness and humor we call "aloha." I have lived for decades in a social environment over 90% "hawaiian, asian and pacific islander" (aka local). White people who live here are usually deeply tanned. We joke about fishbelly white folks who glow in the dark, but in reality tourists do tend to look a bit like the pillsbury dough boy.

   White people are called "haoles" in hawaii, an unusual word in that it is commonly used and yet somewhat derogatory. It means foreigner, and generally refers to the long history of white domination and exploitation in the islands, so very evident even today, where many locals are poor and most haoles well off. When I first moved to kauai in 1989, my wife taught at kekaha elementary and my sons attended school there. One of blake's friends, 8 year old erika, "hated" haoles (though blake was fine, he spoke perfect pidgin and wasn't a "real" haole, like me). I asked her why she hated haoles and she answered up readily enough: "I hate haoles because they are sassy, pushy, and have no respect for local culture." White people who live here as part of the culture accept this judgment, and try to be respectful and accomodating to a culture which in all honesty has to deal with exploitation on a daily basis. Some haole whose great pride was selling more insurance in the tri-city area than any other person comes here and his money is as good as a hotel maid's hard-earned pittance. If you are in the trenches with regular folk doing the same as they do, acceptance is readily given. Hawaii has two appelations: "the aloha state" and "the rainbow state" (in hawi we have been having multiple stunning rainbows every day lately). We are generally proud of our toleration and multi-ethnicity.

   It takes quite awhile to really adjust to the culture here, its subtleties and nuances. Most haoles are transient, and most locals are not; this is a basic dynamic here. People who move here with needed skills, a respect for the aina and local culture, and a willingness to share in the social life of the local population are welcomed with a warmth you will be unlikely to find anywhere else. Haoles who live in rich enclaves, and they are legion, are just tourists who have overstayed.

   There is glamor here as well, my friend; maui is glamorous, and oahu is our urban center and replete with all manner of diversions, and half the crime rate of your average american city. You are right though, "glamor" is not what I am speaking about; far from it.


terry


aloha 'oe
(queen liliuolokalani)

Proudly swept the rain cloud by the cliffs, 
As on it glided through the trees 
Still following ever the "liko" 
The "Ahihi lehua" of the vale
Farewell to thee, 
Farewell to thee, 
Thou charming one who dwellst among the bow'rs. 
One fond embrace, 
Before I now depart, 
Until we meet again.
Thus sweet memories come back to me, 
Bringing fresh remembrance of the past 
Dearest one, yes, thou art mine own, 
From thee, true love shall ne'er depart.
Farewell to thee, 
Farewell to thee, 
Thou charming one who dwellst among the bow'rs. 
One fond embrace, 
Before I now depart, 
Until we meet again.
I have seen and watched thy loveliness, 
Thou sweet Rose of Maunawili, 
And 'tis there the birds oft love to dwell 
And sip the honey from thy lips.

RE: Intro & Inquiry
Answer
10/27/18 4:48 PM as a reply to terry.
aloha,

   Speaking of the long history of white domination in hawaii - even the (wasp) missionaries proverbially "came to hawaii to do good and they did very well" - I have another metaphor.

   My son gave me his hbo codes the other day and I looked at a show called westworld. Another brutal depiction of white capitalist culture exploiting brown would be socialists. Westworld is hawaii, among other places.

   Whatever face we show the tourists, there is a indeed a bitter reality involving a struggle for money and power between local politics and white money operating as blind will to power. A conflict ongoing and unresolved.  Consistent culture and healthy social interaction distorted and weighed down by the white belly fat of greed, avarice and utter lack of scruples defined as "good business." Those who struggle with it directly are corrupted by it.

   "The wind blows and the grass bends" (confucius). Most of us find life very pleasant here and we have no trouble smiling at each other and the tourists quite equably. Hawaii has retained its language and culture (which also has become a stock in trade for exploitation) and still has a fighting chance, while most non-white cultures in the pacific basin were destroyed, often resulting in cargo cults.

terry



LOOK WHAT THEY'VE DONE
(BROTHER NOLAND)

Come down with me
Have you ever tripped through reality
Come down with me
Come down and see
See what they've done to Waikiki
And ask me why
Won't you open your eyes
Can't you see we lost our paradise
There's too many people
Not enough sand
Can't they see we want our land
And why do I grumble
'Cause of concrete jungles
In a place where people were once humble
Too much one way signs
You know I think they're blind
They can't even recognize a don't walk sign
Too much hotels
God it looks like hell
No more Hawaiian style

So come down with me
Have you ever tripped through reality
Come down with me
Come down and see
See what they've done to Waikiki
And ask me why
Damn it open your eyes
Can't you see we lost our paradise
There's too many people
Not enough sand
Can't they see we want our land
And why do I grumble
'Cause of concrete jungles
In a place where people were once humble
Too much one way signs
You know I think they're blind
They can't even recognize a don't walk sign
Too much hotels
God it looks like hell
No more Hawaiian style
 

RE: Intro & Inquiry
Answer
11/6/18 1:30 PM as a reply to terry.
Mahalos all around for the info and songs, terry! Funny you mention the pillsbury doughboy....the only reacurring nightmare i ever had as a child was of that white, doughy, ticklish boy holding a bloody knife in one hand and the severed head of my parent in the other...hah! 

RE: Intro & Inquiry
Answer
11/7/18 10:47 AM as a reply to Skribblebumpkins.
Skribblebumpkins:
Mahalos all around for the info and songs, terry! Funny you mention the pillsbury doughboy....the only reacurring nightmare i ever had as a child was of that white, doughy, ticklish boy holding a bloody knife in one hand and the severed head of my parent in the other...hah! 

dreams present us with insights our conscious minds cannot formulate otherwise...

t