India

symmetry; the central channel

22 December 2005

[Mark Mothersbaugh](http://www.mutato.com/beautifulmutants/html/gallery/mharper.html) (devo) did a beautiful art show of antique photos that he transforms by digitally making them symmetrical. Seeing a symmetrical face is very strange. His [attached article](http://www.mutato.com/beautifulmutants/statement.html) is well worth reading too. Rorsarch. A study of dancers (in Jamaica) showed that women were attracted to men who showed symmetry in their moves. [BBC](http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4550000.stm) A recent study said that many people still don't really understand how mirrors work. A robot in Japan now has "mirror image cognition" and can ... more...

web2.0, hype and cynicism, pump and dump, craving and aversion

26 October 2005

One of the amazing things I experienced while being in India for 6 months was a complete lack of cynicism. They have evil and greed and stupidity, but cynicism just isn't there. People don't worry about hype cycles or being cool or reacting to (anybody's) success with an immediate pull back (waiting to see when the back lash comes). Coming back to NYC was a total shock. Friends don't make eye contact with each other. People seem to be hiding ... more...

Kashmiri Saffron

22 October 2005

Kashmiri saffron is darker and stronger than most kinds. I bought about a gram in Himachal Pradesh India for a dollar or two, quite cheap. So now I'm making saffron basmati rice, thinking about them sitting up there in trouble. Its bad. The world isn't responding to the earthquake in the same way as they did the Tsunami. Partly because the Tsunami happened in vacation land, and was physically very unusual and bizarre. Also because international people look down on ... more...

Crowded India Cities Face Conflict on Cows - Yahoo! News

31 August 2005

In New Delhi, which 13 million people share with an estimated 28,000 cows, the problems are legion: Wandering cows clog streets and cause road accidents. Herds of cows spread trash and disease as they tear open plastic garbage bags in search of food and leave trails of dung. They sometimes trample people to death. So in early May, the New Delhi high court ordered the removal of stray cattle from the city's streets. more...

plenty of polio in india

9 May 2005

Lately lots of articles about finding some people in Indonesia with polio, but I saw plenty of people in Bihar India with polio. According to FT magazine, it strikes primarily middle class people, the theory being that "low-level infection in societies with poorer hygiene provided immunity at a young age." Strange. One kid I was talking to : spoke good english and told me his parents were dead (or gone somewhere) and his sister had dropped him off in Bodh ... more...

Sadhana Forest in Auroville

10 February 2005

The real Auroville is very much hidden. To be honest, I encountered some really snobby isolationist behavior, even in the bakery. I'm from New York, but this was really bad. Many of them don't want to live with all the tourist traffic, and there is a definite quiet battle going on between people running the guesthouses and people with their private houses tucked back on the trails. The guest houses make private money and strain the city resources. Some people ... more...

Tsunami carried bronze Buddha 1000km across ocean

12 January 2005

By Jan McGirk neewzealand herald In mid-December a little bronze-eyed idol, like so many in rural Myanmar (Burma), was placed in a little decorated kiosk, strapped to a crude bamboo raft and released on to the Irrawaddy river to drift to propitious sites and cast away evil. The 12.5cm figure of a Buddhist sage floated down the delta and then, a week or so later, the Boxing Day tsunami struck. Eight days on, 1000km away, fishermen in Tamil Nadu, India, ... more...

my Tamil Nadu

4 January 2005

About 10 months ago I was wandering happily along the shores of Tamil Nadu. So those Tamil faces I'm seeing this past week are familiar ones, and I can quickly imagine what the chaos was like and what's happening down there now. These pictures are on the beach at Mallampuram and Pondycherry, to give you an idea of normal happy times. Its amazing how many people there were on the beach on any given day. Its always a constant source ... more...

happy new years 2004

3 December 2004

NYE 2004 'Tibettan Restaraunt',Bodh Gaya price: free, donation nice (dj) Timeblind This was about 5 tibettans off their heads dancing and yelling, 5 westerners disucssing which primal scream CD to ask the dj to play, and me (the dj) and my iPod and a decent sized sound system dropping that old skool funk, hip hop, the fresh dancehall hits and of course beyonce (all peoples love that). Although Sean Paul's mega hit on the Diwali riddim is huge, no-one here ... more...

the end

3 December 2004

I was in India from October 2003-March 2004. One night while I was there I dreamed that a man was given a chance to relive a horrible crime he had committed. A goat had bitten him, and this got him angry. Through a chain of events his passion drove him to keep somebody in a basement for years, torturing him by shoving a gun through his neck into the ribcage. Given the chance to relive this, he realized the goat's ... more...

food

3 December 2004

10 hours on a loud bouncey horn blasting bus from Shimla to Dharamsala Cost a mere 190Rs. I haven't had any stomach problems, though the other night I felt a little storm brewing and thought "here we go..." Everyone says I will get sick at some point. Its guaranteed. The bugs build up in your stomach and then one toke over the line sweet jesus... But it passes quite quickly. I fight a hint of a cold (no heating in ... more...

dead laptop

3 December 2004

the laptop is dead. some of you may want to know what possessed me to bring it. 6 months is a long time, and there are many many times when I really want something to do, and I was looking forward to doing some stuff. Sometimes it could sit in the bag, for weeks at a time. But some god has different ideas, and the RAM got unseated, I got kernel panics (Mac OS X cpu 0 Bad Data Access), ... more...

vipassana

3 December 2004

Enough of town life. Today I move out of the house at Tse Chok Ling monastery and go into Vipassana retreat for the next 10 days. I met three people also sitting (errol, his father claude and anna von munich). We have a monkey-brain-fun night jabbering and laughing away. It will be really interesting to see them afterwards. I finish teaching my computer skills class. They learned a lot, but most of it was Word, and they need mostly internet ... more...

varanasi, sewer of shiva

3 December 2004

I'm in varanasi right now which–-sorry to say it—is a pit. People are trying to rip me off constantly and everybody is lying about every little thing. I'm in a very light mood, nothing at all bothers me. I find it humorous, but it just doesn't stop. My mood is ethereal and philosophical and then: "please friend, let me shake your hand" (he wants to try to sell me a hand massage. once I shake his hand he will not ... more...

Trivunamallai, Sri Baba vs. Bhagavan Ramana

3 December 2004

I wanted the real deep south Hindu experience. Temples all over India are happy to have you go in, give (buy) prasad, get ash rubbed on your wisdom eye. Maybe buy the elephant a banana. Hindus don't really operate on a belief-vs-disbelief system. The Gods are fully operational, anyone can feel that. We have created them, we are inseparable from them, and its our duty to keep on creating them. But lots of the temples are pretty dispassionate and work-a-day ... more...

train to calcutta

3 December 2004

I tried to leave Bodh Gaya the day before, but on an impulse went to a famous Tibettan doctor who was on pilgrimage from Switzerland. I can speak German, but he speaks swiss-german and that is a bit rough (even for the Germans). I was expecting some herbs for ringing in the ears -- so much more noticeable in my tranquil state of mind. Instead he suctioned small glasses on my meridians using flaming cotton soaked in alcohol and left ... more...

Akutenpa

3 December 2004

Tashi and Sonam tell us this old Tibettan tale: Akutenpa wanted to fool around with the nuns, so he disguised himself as a nun and snuck into the nunnery. Then he had much sex with the nuns. Eventually the head of the order noticed some nuns getting a "little present" (pregnant), and he figured out that it must be inside job. Akutenpa had tied his thing up with a peice of thread, so of course the lama-nun thought to make ... more...

Auroville - city of the future

3 December 2004

Auroville is a utopian city just outside of Pondicherry. The population is 600 Indians (mostly Tamil), 300 or so French, 300 Germans, 100 Americans, some Russians, and bits of another 40 or so countries. Founded in 1968, it has international recognition and gets outside funding. These are big budget hippies. Its kind of like your local health food store got a little out of control and turned into a city. Some people have built seriously luxurious hideaways deep in the ... more...

beggar bodh gaya

3 December 2004

All along the tourist circuit in northern India, the psychological manipulation by the touts, merchants and beggars is way over the top. So it gets harder and sadder to respond in a human way. Perfectly normal compassionate people find themselves staring blankly at people without limbs, flies caked on their eyes, endless children and mothers with "me baby me baby food fi me baby be baby". The problem is that children are sold because they can make money as beggars. ... more...

bodh gaya

3 December 2004

Ground Zero, where Gautama aka the Buddha split the atom of human experience and realized with a deep and intrinsic wisdom that reality as we know it does not exist. It is inherently only space, and that space is indivisible from the appearances that manifest in it. Actually that's the 2nd and 3rd turnings of the wheel of dharma. Physical and Mental Objects do not inherently exist, and furthermore the Nothingness is inseparable and identical to the Appearances that arise ... more...

calcutta

3 December 2004

This city is great, like a laid back New York with better street food. I can wander around the streets for hours, through endless street markets, polo grounds, spacious parks, on tram lines, busses, ferries on the ganges/houghly. The buildings are taller, modern style but crumbling -- the whole city is like an old pair of jeans. The cabs are yellow and everywhere. Even in the financial district people fry things, cook chai, cut up sugar cane, split wood to ... more...

christmas

3 December 2004

What did I do for Christmas ? Well I spent most of the day walking around trying to find this tibettan recovering heroin addict. He's been doing pretty good, well out of rehab and slowly getting a focus on the next phase of his life, but he keeps losing hope and getting weird thoughts. Then he decided he wawas bored here and he was going back to Delhi. Everybody thought that was a pretty bad idea. Not that he would ... more...

cultural evolution

3 December 2004

Shirish and Zico, two totally cool people, take me out to this bar called Someplace Else. Its like stepping onto the Holodeck in Star Trek. Instantaneously we are in a very nice bar in a normal US city. The woodwork and the marble are very nicely detailed. The talented band is playing 70/80s rock covers. Everybody is dressed like a normal American, has a normal American haircut, drink normal American drinks. Cops and Baywatch are playing on the TV. But ... more...

delhi

3 December 2004

The train to Delhi was quite fun. Lots of conversations. 3 Nigerians looking for investors. An ex-pat German who runs a ayurvedic/western hospital in under-developed Bihar. Two medical equipment engineers and a businessman. With most Indians I get into converstations about Bush, what Americans really think and Kashmir/Pakistan. More on that later. Everybody is happy to hear that I dislike Bush. And actually I've never met a single American who did ! Where are these people ? Well okay, they ... more...

dharamsala

3 December 2004

10 hours in a loud bouncey horn-blasting bus from Shimla to Dharamsala. I'm actually going to McLeod Ganj aka upper dharmasala. The bus guy (the guy with the whistle who collects fares) takes care to tell me to take the bus up the hill (7 Rs) rather than take the taxis (100Rs). When I get out, they swarm around me. "I'm catching the bus". they look a bit dejected "oh right 7Rs. well you have to wait an hour, wait ... more...

dharamsala town life

3 December 2004

Started studying yoga with one Vijay, a very good and warm teacher. Two mornings of this, starting at 8.30 and going for 2 to 3 hours, and my body is pretty sore but broken in. Its said (and its true) that you will make more progress in India in 3 months than you would in a year at home. Going everyday helps. Vijay also has the most amazing chanting voice, this bizarre microtonal swooping intonation that he uses to end ... more...

first impact

3 December 2004

On Thursday I went excitedly to JFK only to find that the ticket was different than the itinerary and the flight actually had left the day before. That was a dramatic shock (I was feeling quite dramatic), but in the end it worked out quite well. I slunk back to NYC, bought a couple of extra things I really needed and burned off more CDs to clear the hard drive. I really needed the extra time. Also discovered I had ... more...

gokarna and goa

3 December 2004

Gokarna is the hippy paradise that Goa used to be: remote beaches where you can chill, practice your little hippy drums, strum guitars and sleep in hammocks. Om beach is reckoned to be the best, so I went there. Its called Om because its shaped like the first letter: somewhat like 3. After all of one day I decided I was already as chilled out as I have ever been in my life and didn't really need to sit in ... more...

greed

3 December 2004

Monlam is a tibettan puja (offering) for world peace. In actual terms, its when large numbers of monks from each of the lineages get together and chant for hours. The first one ended yesterday, and now the mighty Kagyu and then the humongous Nyngma ones will take place. We expect 12000 monks. The town has already doubled in size, and Karmapa arrived today, looking totally like a rock star. Yesterday, as part of Cho (literally 'to cut' the false-Self), we ... more...

hampi

3 December 2004

The best thing about Hampi is the frogs. Layers and layers of chirping, resonant tweaks by some seriously virtuouso creatures. Its amazing and beautiful. The worst thing about Hampi is the unrelenting touts, followed by Hampi itself which is a lame bunch of overpriced tourist shacks. Oh yeah, there are all these amazing rocks everywhere, larger than life, the size of jet planes and trucks. They don't photograph very well (you need that subtle stereoscopic vision to appreciate the unreal ... more...

india

3 December 2004

I am in India for the next 6 months. I will be checking email fairly often (that's what travelers do: sit in cafés and drink chai and check their email). Sometimes I will be out of touch for a week or two. Don't panic. As most of you know, I was headed to Berlin. But I knew this was the perfect time to go to India, when I have no real home and everything is in storage. My goal has ... more...

mamallapuram, tamil nadu

3 December 2004

Welcome Tamil Fuck searchers. Many people come here because they type those words into search engines. That isn't here. Sorry. Chennai reminded me a lot of Memphis (not that I've ever been there). Old fashioned diners with lots of guys in 1950s uniforms; christian nuns. Everybody has dark skin, but hair more like Sammy Davis Jr. Chennai isn't really very nice, its mostly driving and honking. I'm sure there are areas that are much nicer. But the food was good, ... more...

NGO expose

3 December 2004

I talked with an American doctor who has been in Bodh Gaya for a couple of months trying to run a free clinic at Sechen Monastery (tibettan nyingma). The doctors in India are unbelievably poor, he relates, they buy their degrees from dealers -- one in Bodh Gaya didn't even know what side the liver is on. If a needle is dropped on the floor they pick it up, wipe it with their hand and put it in the patient. ... more...

ooty and the villages

3 December 2004

If you are going to go to one hill station in the south, go to Kodai. But you know I was travelling with this Russian girl and she wanted to go to Ooty, so we go to Ooty.  Both Ooty and Kodai are good places to set off into the hills and see the land.  The narrow guage steam train ride up is amazing. We got a recommendation to catch a bus up to the village of Solghur and walk ... more...

pics

3 December 2004

More pics I can't figure out where to put: fuel drying: lunch rush: i take refuge in the sangha (lobsang,pema,gyalther): more...

pondy

3 December 2004

Sorry I haven't written for a while, but everything is way too relaxed and pleasant to bother with computers. I thought I would only be here a couple of days, but like most places, I stay longer. Pondicherry is one of a couple of former French colonial towns in India. The streets (especially close to the sea) are wide and gorgeous, and there's a lot of old french money tucked behind jolie gates, behind pretty walls overflowing with flowers. Like ... more...

rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world ?

3 December 2004

Well maybe I'm some super yoga-swami (no) but the level of most of the yoga around here is pretty basic. I have been to several Advanced classes and it was like the level I classes I did 10 years ago. Today I was asked if I had done yoga, and of course I've done plenty. Then he was surprised that I could do a shoulder stand. None of the people I meet here are serious about yoga, most are just ... more...

shades of dharma

3 December 2004

Hindu Buddhist Reading a lot, studying Tibettan buddhism. there's plenty of so-called westerners doing that. Some of them have a light, first impression of it, and they happily 'take refuge' (in the buddha, the sanga and the dharma), thus making them legit buddhists. Which is good, and will no doubt improve their lives. Some of them here are full on, got the jedi-robes on and the shaved head. A while ago i saw this white lady walking up the hill, ... more...

shimla

3 December 2004

Shimla is the former British summer capital of India. They carted all this crap many many miles up into the mountains and installed a little England smeared on the side of one of them. Now its filled with Indian middle/upper-middle class tourists and some travellers. At first glance it looks to be a high crime area because there is barbed wire on the porches and everybody has bars on the windows. But this is because there are thousands of monkeys ... more...

the enlightenment will not be blogged

3 December 2004

vipassana for 10 days: 4am wake 4.30 observe the breath and body 6 breakfast 8 observe the breath and body 11 lunch 1 observe the breath and body 5 tea 7 observe the breath and body 8 discourse 9 observe the breath and body 10 sleep 10.75 hours a day observing the breath in the breath, the body in the body and the mind in the mind. observing every sensation with as much equanimity as we can muster. all life ... more...

the re-entry phenomena

3 December 2004

New York City. Nobody says anything on the subway, nobody looks up. Some guy comes through selling chocolates from a cart--he politely murmurs 'kit kats, snickers, almond joy...' I want to start telling him all this crazy shit: "in India the train gets invaded at every station by people selling everything. They sing: 'chai-uh chai-uh chai-uh' 'kohii chai-uh kohii chai-uh' 'mumbly mumbly mumbly mumbly...' pakodas, samosas, omlette sandwich, vada, idli. Kids come through and sweep the floor and harass us ... more...

the theory of money

3 December 2004

Money was originally a very clever invention that saved you from dragging all your cows around with you every time you needed to buy some pots and pans. Also, making change is much easier. After that it got much more complicated. I have had this conversation a couple of times with various kinds of people. In Bodh Gaya with a well read and very talkitive shop owner. Money is always being accused of being the root of all evil, but ... more...

tibet

3 December 2004

I was reading a lot about Tibet (ancient and present) before I left, so it was inevitable that I would get into a lot of these issues here. That and the fact that there are Tibettans everywhere you go in India. I'm still in Upper Dharmasala aka McLeod Ganj, home of the Dalai Lama. He came back yesterday, and I waited for half an hour by the road with a couple of Tibettan friends and a bunch of very very ... more...

tibettan night life

3 December 2004

I moved out of Khalsang Guest House down to Tse Chowk Ling Monastery. Tashi and I share a house down at the bottom, just below the actual monastery. Its really really quiet. He has a stove, so he cooks tibettan bread for breakfast and sometimes noodles for dinner. We have a peaceful front lawn to lay out in the sun. The monks blare trumpets and crash metal from time to time. Being up here isn't really India. I kind of ... more...

first impact

30 November 2004

On Thursday I went excitedly to JFK only to find that the ticket was different than the itinerary and actually the flight actually had left the day before. That was a dramatic shock (I was feeling quite dramatic), but in the end it worked out quite well. I slinked back to NYC, bought a couple of extra things I really needed and burned off more CDs to clear the hard drive. I really needed the extra time. Also discovered I ... more...

dehli

30 November 2004

The train to Delhi was quite fun. Lots of conversations. 3 Nigerians looking for investors. An ex-pat German who runs a ayurvedic/western hospital in under-developed Bihar. Two medical equipment engineers and a businessman. With most Indians I get into converstations about Bush, what Americans really think and Kashmir/Pakistan. More on that later. Everybody is happy to hear that I dislike Bush. And actually I've never met a single American who did ! Where are these people ? Well okay, they ... more...

Backwardation : Version 12"
Time dilated by matter : Version 12"