I just dist-upgraded the blog server to jessie. A couple of errors from code with checks for which modules are enabled from .htaccess (deprecated and now obsolete behavior). Nothing all that rocky. Go team Debian!
In my ongoing quest to become a better person, perhaps the most difficult lesson I have or will ever have had to grasp is that I am not responsible for anyone else’s happiness. It is a very difficult thing for me to watch a person needlessly create suffering in their own life, especially when it is so obvious to me how they are doing it and how they could avoid it. this has been an ongoing theme in my life for as long as I can remember, but I must remember that it is far easier to see others creating their own suffering than it is to see oneself. I feel like it is a constant reminder to me that I need to focus on my own consciousness, and cease with the creation of my own suffering, in order to be able to teach anyone anything. I know I am here to help make the world a better place, and my wife keeps telling me that I am an akhourik, (a teacher who does not embody their teachings in order to better illustrate the futility of that course). but I think that on my path I need to become an example of what to be rather than show how not to be so much of the time. Unless I can lead by example it will be nearly impossible for others to take me seriously, even when the point I am making is inarguable. Obviously I am not always right in fact I am more often wrong when it comes to my own life, which is why this lesson is so important…
A few days ago there was a moment of supreme clarity for me during a very long day. It actually started the day before when Rachel asked her spirit guides about a trip to Gunung Agung, a stratovolcano on the island of Bali where we have spent the better part of the last month. Her spirit guides (through a deck of oracle cards) insisted that we make the trek. We wound up at the “mother temple” a truly sacred place, that in the view of Rachel and I was being desecrated by the locals who were using it as a marketplace and trying to scam tourists with “guided tours” for exorbitant fees. As we approached the temple it began to rain, quite hard. When we refused to pay for a guided tour, the scam artist who was offering it told us that if we weren’t going with a member of the temple we had to go up the side stairs and not dare approach the seventh level, so we went around the side. It frustrated the both of us tremendously, and as we walked through the temple our frustration grew because not only were there people trying to sell us stuff all the way through, but there was trash everywhere, and we had a hard time with the fact that the people who were supposed to hold this as their most sacred temple were so willing to disrespect their own gods to that degree. We made offerings in the rain, and sat to pray on the wet ground. I was having a very hard time because the man who was blessing a balinese man in front of the alter and asked if we wanted to pray then sat us on the level below the alter as though we were not worthy of sitting where the Balinese sat even though to our perception we actually seemed to have more respect for the temple than most of them did. there was a great deal of frustration in my heart because of this and I was having a hard time focusing on actually asking for the blessings of the gods. I struggled with this for a few minutes until I realized that (as Lama Tharchin once told me) you cannot change external phenomenon you can only change your perception and that is the key to not suffering. As soon as I remembered that I cleared my heart, pressed my hands together, and asked the gods for the strength to do the work I know I am here to do. The instant I did this an enormous clap of thunder struck directly overhead and roled around us for a long time. My heart felt immensely lighter and I finished giving thanks to the gods and we continued on up through the temple. Somehow we lost count of levels of the temple, I think maybe because they were scattered back and forth across the hillside, but we wound up at the bottom of a set of stairs protected on both sides by long dragons whose heads were at the bottom of the staircase and tails undulated up to the top. the dragons seemed to be beckoning to me and I think to Rachel too because she was ahead of me instead of next to me all of a sudden, we followed a group of Balinese people up the stairs, not realizing that this was the seventh level of the temple, or that we really weren’t (as westerners) expected to approach the top. Once we got to the top it became apparent that there was a lot of Balinese congregating there and that we were kind of being blocked into that area by the crowd. when they ALL pulled out offerings and sat down it became extremely apparent that a ceremony was about to take place so we followed suit and pulled out our own offerings and sat down too, a “Temple Gaurdian” came over to me and asked me if I was there to pray, I assured him that I was and he told me to just do as the Balinese did through the ceremony, I agreed. He removed himself and sat at the back where the other Temple Gaurdians were. He had asked me where I was from and while he was behind us we could hear him repeating the answer over and over as though mocking us, had I not had the experience I had a few minutes earlier this would have probably really frustrated me, as it was I had no feelings about it. We then proceeded to take part in a ceremony usually reserved only for Balinese and I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to take part in it. I still struggle with the lesson the gods handed me at the lower level on a daily basis but I am working toward being a better human being all the time…
Love and light to all sentient beings….
We have been in Bali for about three weeks now, and are so thankful to have this opportunity for personal growth. Bali is an amazing place with beautiful people. Interestingly however, the vast majority of the people we have run into are desperately trying to sell you something, anything, and that has become a bit overwhelming. We so desperately want to help all of them but don’t need any of what they are trying to sell and are rapidly running out of money just trying to be able to have a place to sleep and food in our own bellies. I feel their need so deeply that it is becoming painful, but I am growing tired of being treated like a rich American, which I am not. We came here on faith and trusting people back home to do what they committed to doing, but it seems like in many cases this is too much to expect. There are people we know who committed to nothing who have gone above and beyond just for the sake of friendship and for/to them we are eternally grateful.
Hopeful that something is going to shift financially we are proceeding with our plan to partner with our new friend Smiley, who has been one of the few people we have met that genuinely wants to help people rather than take advantage. He is in the process of building a school in his village for the children (on his family land) and has put together a plastic collection station to cut down on the litter in his area (also on his family land). Obviously he still works hard to make a living for his family, but not at the expense of others well being. He very much believes in karma, works at a resort what most of us would consider overtime, and he and his wife run a small warung (restaurant) that they opened a couple of months back (after saving up for a long time to do so). He also coaches soccer for the children and attends as many of the ceremonies for friends, family and the gods as his work schedule allows. He is truly a beautiful soul, and believes in treating others as he would wish to be treated.
On another note the disparity between the constance of prayer, offerings and spirituality that the people here seem to practice and the incessant attempts to get your money is a little confusing. I understand the need to feed ones family and take care of your responsibilities all too well, but it is difficult for me to wrap my head around how anyone could believe in their Gods so strongly and still be trying to take advantage of of other people every minute of the day. Surprisingly enough the people who are working the hardest seem to be the most content with what they have, in the rice paddies the other day we saw a young man carrying a load larger than he was, he looked up at us and smiled a huge beautiful smile that said “look! see how hard I am able to work! I am so thankful!” right next to him in the sweltering midday sun were an old man and woman working harder than most Americans ever dreamed of, with huge mostly toothless smiles on their faces. People that age in any western country would consider themselves too old to work at all, as would most of the rest of the western world. These two elders (there is no other word except maybe ancient ones) were seemingly perfectly content to be doing this gruelling labour and even thankful for whatever pittance they were given for it… It truly puts into perspective how utterly spoiled we as Americans and most westerners in general are… how can we help to make life better for them? Rachel and I, as some of the founding members of the Free Soles Society have decided that the least we can do is spend the better part of our time to helping people like Smiley and his village to educate their children in as many ways as possible. To that end we will start a charity dedicated to raising awareness and funds to building schools and orphanages intent on providing the means for the children to pass into adulthood with the knowledge base required to maintain their culture while at the same time being qualified to have a successful career in the field of their choice.
That is all for now.
Follow your heart my lovelies.
For review by magistrate or judge. More details as I have time to enter them. Will include link to this post on submitted documents.
Some photos taken during time of recovery included below.
Ten and a half hours until we leave Orcas Island, heading for Vancouver B.C. There we will meet Patrick, (my younger brother) who we will spend the night with and who will bring us to the airport. From there the real adventure begins. Honestly neither Birdie nor myself have any idea what to expect, never having been anywhere like Indonesia before. We will be in Bali until may 17th at which point we will fly to Thailand. We have purchased one way tickets to each of these locations just having faith that life will present the right course for us. Aside from the obvious need to escape the overwhelming disappointment in the direction our society is headed (and the pressures of maintaining a life on an island with a high cost of living and minimal opportunities for getting ahead), we decided to travel because both of us have been taking care of others for as long as we can remember, often to our own detriment. It is time to take care of our own souls and in the process develop the framework for our next grand experiment. Part of the plan for developing our new strategy for life is studying the way spirituality is incorporated into the everyday lives of the people we meet along the way and learning how to reincorporate spirituality into our own lives on a moment to moment basis. Interestingly, even though we are totally sure that we are on the right course, we keep getting handed challenge after challenge. As if the universe were testing our resolve. Well Universe, we’re going, thank you for the numerous ways you have proved beyond doubt that we must undertake this adventure or lose ourselves. Even with the utmost compassion it is sometimes hard to understand why things happen the way they do. The test then becomes the ability to maintain the courage of your convictions, while still being fluid enough to adapt to what life throws at you. I’ve been writing in the midst of a flurry of last minute packing and now have seven and a half hours til our ferry. I think i need to go to sleep. Love to you all.
I’ve invited my dear friend Noah to blog here while he’s traveling the world. I’ve equipped him with one of my old laptops and will drive him to the train station on Thursday. He’s going to have a lot of the fun that I wish I was having. But at least I can live vicariously through him.
I had an enjoyable time last night at Twitter with local MySQL DBAs and developers. We had an attendee who has no experience with SQL or programming at all. She is interested in organizing her collection of recipes and had heard a rumor that MySQL was a good tool to use for this task. She indicated that her desktop runs Windows 7. I think I’m going to encourage her to turn her concept in to a community project, as she is not the first person I’ve met who wants to organize recipes!
We were hosted by Rob at Twitter, who used to work with Lisa back before she retired. He’s a member of the site reliability team and keeps the fail whale from rearing its blubbery head.
Pizza was provided by my dear friend and long-time open source buddy Gerry Narvaja with the assistance of the folks in the kitchen at Zeek’s.
We discussed new techniques in the areas of load balancing and high availability. Five nines is no longer the thing that people talk about, instead it’s six nines. It’s a brave new world out there!
I was not the only person who was excited about one of the latest features in MariaDB / MySQL to come out of HP, the high resolution time data types.
One of the attendees is an old hand at COBOL and was asking if anyone knows where one can get a COBOL runtime environment. I’ve never thought about that before… Let me ask the googs… Looks like there’s an active project called GNU COBOL which is officially part of the GNU project:
I registered a domain that I’ll use for Orcas-local projects such as the Orcas Internet Exchange and various things like that.
Pretty fancy, huh?
Five years ago today, Hannah and I completed all of the forms necessary to stand up our LLC. Okay, alright. Our registered agent actually did all of the hard work. Thanks and happy birthday to you too, Molly!
It’s been one of those nights:
cjac@ubuntu0:/data/apps/prod$ sudo apt-get upgrade Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done Calculating upgrade... Done 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded. cjac@ubuntu0:/data/apps/prod$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done Calculating upgrade... Done 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
All quiet on the Western Front, it seems.