Friday, July 27, 2007

What is Om?

"I am the syllable Om." (Bhagavad Gita 7:8)
Om is the sound of existence. When one focuses his attention on the sensation of existing or "being" without an accompying cognitive aknowledgement (or thought about it or anytthing else) through meditation, yoga, pure love, prayer; one still recieves input, experiences sensation and the only way to describe the input of plain existence is by the sound "om" becuase the reception has a subtle vibration (remember sound is a vibration) which can be interpreted as the sound "AHHHHHH-MMMMMMMMMM". This input of "pure existence" is likewise called God, Allah, Brahman, Christ Consciousness in other spiritual traditions which may emphasize awareness of plain existence. Like water and the sun same thing, many different names dependent on culture.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

back in the states

im back in Howard county at my parents house badly bent but not broken. Israel, its natural and historical wonders was amazing but between the sun and the desert hikes my body is savoring the much deserved rest before I go further overseas to move to Taiwan. That leaves three weeks to lick my wounds and pack for a year or more in Asia which I am super-stoked for. However Im at a loss at how to pack for a year, i guess ill just bring a whole lot of Tie Dyes and a suit (haha).

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mr Dave goes to the Holy Land

I hope this message finds everyone happy and healthy. I know its been
a while since you heard from me and you probably think I'm stepping in
front of tanks in Gaza Strip or something, but the schedule here has
been so jam-packed that we have had no free time at all to wander
about. but here I am in Tel Aviv having the absolute time of my life
on a free trip to Israel. This has been one of the most physically
demanding trips of my life which has really put my yogi physique to
the test (not to mention the leprosy-esque poison ivy that once
covered my arms but has since cleared up). Upon our arrival and not
sleeping for a few days, we went straight to the Sea of Galilee/Jordan
River area to go on a water hike in the jordan river swamp jungle,
which was amazing. Then we stayed in Tiberias, a beautiful ancient
roman bath-spa town on the giant freshwater galilee with the Mt of
Beatitudes (where Jesus gave his Sermon of the Mount) overlooking.
The water was electric and I felt revived by the history and intensity
of the place. On Friday we went to Tzfat, the hometown of Kaballah
and Jewish mysticism, which was like being in another time and place
with more payos (jewish curly locks) and beards about than Warsaw.
Also Tzfat has a huge artist colony and is located in the galilee
mountains which adds to the ancient and holy mystique of the place.
Then we went rafting in the river jordan, which was great. Saturday we
hung out in Tiberias ( it being the much deserved day of rest). On
Sunday we went to a Vineyard in the Golan Heights in the morning
(being a teetotaller in a vineyard is a true test of self control).
Then we went hiking in a canyon in the Golan Heights, which was one of
hte most exotic things I have ever done, becuase at the top of hte
mountain it is like a desert with an ancient Syrian Village and at the
bottom in the canyon is a tropical exotic Jungle climate which we
hiked through for a few miles (and rappeled down a water fall in the
After hiking in the Golan Heights we took a bus to Tel Aviv last night
and went to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial this morning. I felt like
they put a lot more thought, creativity into the Museum which made it
a lot more Interesting than the the Holocaust Museum in DC. This
evening we are going to the nightlife district of Tel Aviv, where I am
meeting up with my old best-friend-turned-Hasid JJ whom I am very
excited to see.

Overall my impressions and thoughts of Israel have been many and deep,
as I have been very reflective concerning my own experience as a Jew
and how my own culture has manifested (and not) in this country.
First, it being a relatively new country, I feel like there is a very
grassroots-communal-summer-camp feel to it, as if all these jews are
here trying to pull this thing off together, or so my first
impressions go. For example, seeing Jewish kids who look like they
are going through their hippy-phase and might as well go to Hebrew
school with me - carrying machine guns in a soldiers uniform- but
no-less lackluster. I also see a whole lot of Utopian intentions, with
the kibbutzes and the incredible agricultural and technological
advances adapted to the desert climate. I feel like everything is
thought out a whole lot more than other nations but at the same time
there is a also more of a casual flow to everything. Also there are
artistic murals on everything from telephone and cable boxes to Power
cable towers. Last, everyone looks like they could be one of my
uncles and half the time I feel like I'm at a Bar Mitzvah (especially
at the hotel buffets where I have no problem being a vegetrian with
all the fresh foods and mediterranean salads). All of the people in
my group have been super nice and mature and a pleasure to get to
know. The Israeli girls are incredibly beautiful, so tan and many have
a more natural aesthetic - my incentive for marrying a Jewish girl
has increased a thousandfold since ive been here.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Laughing yoga man

Poison Ivy, Packing Israel

So my trip down south was traumatically cut short by a severe outbreak of a rash to poison ivy. On July 4th, after camping out at the rainbow gathering in Arkansas I broke out with horrible poison ivy blisters and rashes, super itchy and uncomftorable; and ended up only spending a night at the Yoga retreat where I was planning on spending the whole week. The heat in Missouri was unbearable on my poison ivy rash, so I drove all the way home (15 hours) to my parents house in Clarksville July 4th and 5th, stopping at a days inn in Western Kentucky overnight. The next few days were spent in air-conditioned isolation with the fnas blasting and just literally chilling out and recovering at home over the weekend. Today I spend the morning trying to get a Visa for Taiwan in NW DC, then I had my last lunch at the Maryland Food Co-op...Spent the evening packing up for Israel tomorrow. Tomorrow Im visiting my Aunt in NYC then flying out from JFK to Israel on Thursday....