No Pain, No Gain, Idiot!

On New Year’s Day 2024, I found myself in my favorite bookstore, the Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino. As I leafed through a new book about the famous battle between the eco-activists and the logging companies in the Humboldt Redwood forests, my wife held a book in front of my face: Novelist as a Vocation by Haruki Murakami.  “I thought you might like this,” she said with an expectant smile. I don’t really buy books on writing books, but something told me to get this one. Turns out it was meant to be. Thirty-five pages into it, I was sold on Murakami. When I

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Deprive Yourself and Thrive!

“Look, I got a package!” I’m standing by the open parcel box on the edge of our ashram‘s property, holding up a small cardboard package for my wife to see. My eyes sparkle at the prospect of a surprise gift. I pull out a pocketknife (you can’t live on a farm without one) from my belt holster and quickly slit open the box. The sparkle in my eyes dims in a flash. “Oh… It’s the supplements.” I had forgotten about my recurring subscription. Vrindaranya chuckles and says empathetically, “I think you are a little deprived.” “I am, I am!” I agree wholeheartedly

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Happily Alone on Christmas

Christmas of 2006 was the first I didn’t celebrate. I had already been in the ashram for two years, but I went back to Finland for Christmas the first year—a profoundly confusing experience for a freshly minted monk. On December 24, 2006 (the Scandinavian Christmas), however, I was solidly in Northern California, in the middle of the redwoods with a handful of other “weirdos.” I wrote the following entry in my online journal: Our Christmas started at 8:30 AM when Dave pulled up in his truck with 60 bales of straw and hay. It took us more than two hours to

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Let’s take a walk.

  Hey there, And welcome to my blog.  When visualizing the mood of this blog, I see myself taking a leisurely stroll with my readers—with you—in the serene redwoods of Northern California, where I live, and having a lively conversation about the things that matter most in life. I envision friends sharing their realizations, aspirations, struggles, and victories with each other with no ego or need to prove anything; Just a sincere attempt to understand more and live better. So, what types of conversation topics can you expect from me on the forest path? What I’m truly interested in life is elevating

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