Jan 022018

Another year begins with the usual hopefulness of what possibilities lay ahead.

As I look back on all that I had laid out last year when time was my frenemy and naivety was embraced with the fervor of those who have no idea what is in store for them.

Although I still owe the story of what transpired in the middle of last year (and it will come eventually), its events changed my worldview a bit. Some truths came to light for me.

  • Asking for help is a humbling experience that allows the heart to be opened in unexpected ways.
  • Sharing crisis moments with others reveals true characters – a spectrum of ignoring, offering ‘good lucks’, asking for updates, offering help, and taking action.
  • My love runs far deeper than I realized and left me incapacitated when I did not know how to take action.
  • Timing is everything, and
  • Truly everything works out in the end.

My faith in God and belief in the workings of the Universe strengthened as well over the latter half of the year.

An example is my unknown sense that I should refresh my Japanese by teaching beginner level to Emiratis and taking on a Japanese student for English with some Japanese language exchange. Also, I visited Japan earlier in the year for a possible job that didn’t work out but began turning the wheels of possibilities.

So, while the attempt at a balanced life in my 2017 Reflections did not quite pan out exactly as I had planned, I think that overall we are in a better place than we could have expected a year ago.

Therefore, with less time on my hands I have made some personal and financial goals for this year with a more relaxed sense of expectation as I know that what I put forth into the world will return to me/us twofold.

With that in mind I am looking forward to what 2018 has in store as I work on focusing my mind more on creativity and stability.

~T 😀

Oct 232017

I seem destined to a few times a week routine at the moment. I am not going to complain about that as it is definitely better than nothing at all. 😀

Monday (Oct 16)

  • Meditation 16 minutes
  • Vjnana Manual Monday practice (25mins)

Tuesday (Oct 17)

  • Mindfulness reading (15mins)

Thursday (Oct 19)

  • Meditation (Sam Harris on YouTube) 30 minutes
  • Yoga (30mins)

Friday (Oct 20)

  • Meditation (11mins)

Hopefully I will find a more stable routine in the week to come.

~T 😀

Oct 212017

It’s the middle of the night as I write this. Despite falling asleep around 10ish, which is our usual weekend bedtime, I jolted awake feeling overheated and paranoid about the mosquito loose somewhere in the room even though M “locked it” in the closet. If I know there is a mosquito, I will not sleep as I could swear that I also heard buzzing in my ear. With no way to turn on the light or possibly kill it, I gave up on sleeping for now….

My fingers are crossed that the buzzing in my head will stop by the end of the weekend or early next week. It is hard to explain what it feels like, but sometimes I wonder if this is how patients feel after an electrical shock treatment. It occasionally makes me dizzy and definitely challenges any desire to walk around or move my head at all. If I really thought about it long enough, I am sure there are some yoga poses I could do to help the situation, but it is hard enough for me to focus my mind on one thing long enough to remember what it is I am doing….

I have noticed a massive mood disruption. My people tolerance has gone down – I didn’t even know that was possible…! M and I have had small quibbles and one big one of late. Old response are hard to break…. Although I am aware of these things after some thought, in the moment I am suddenly unable to pause and control what comes out of my mouth. The fuse is shorter at the moment.

Hopefully, this is just part of the stabilizing process and reconnection with my own control over my responses to others. Clearly I need to do more serious meditation and exercise to counteract whatever is currently going on with my mental faculties.

Anyway, step 1 is knowing. Step 2 is accepting. Step 3 is action….

~T 😀

Oct 182017

Day 4 – chemical free with the help of a break from the grey and falling spit from the sky.

Yesterday was foggy both in my mind and in the weather. It continues to get colder day-by-day, but with the sun in the sky my heart warms today. It is not clear whether it is the lifting of the fog in my head or the fall climate that is affecting me, but really it does not matter – my own mind is returning.

I can definitely feel the difference. It actually makes me happy to know that my mood is no longer being controlled by chemical aid. While I sense the ups and downs happening much more acutely than before, I am actually reveling in the ‘crazy’. 😛

Actually, it gives me a chance to reflect on myself again and to get a new handle on how to control my impulses. The good news is that the fog is lifting inside even if it only worsens outside. 😀

~T 😀

Oct 162017

Well, this week turned out a little bit better than last. I can definitely feel the difference, so that is good news! 😀

Tuesday (Oct 10)

  • Meditation for 30minutes
  • Vjnana Manual Sunday practice (40mins)

Wednesday (Oct 11)

  • Mindfulness Reading for 20minutes

Thursday (Oct 12)

  • Meditation for 12minutes
  • Free practice (20mins)

Friday (Oct 13)

  • Meditation for 26minutes
  • Vjnana Manual Friday practice (34mins)

~T 😀

Oct 042017

Although I have been quiet here with my up and down pattern of writing or promising to write regularly again, I did manage to get an article written last month for April Magazine.

This is the beginning of a series that I will be writing on Spiritual Wellbeing.

In some ways it is rather ironic given my life has gone topsy-turvy lately, but then again perhaps it is just the perspective I need to be able to write something worthwhile for readers. It also seems to be a good catalyst for getting me back on track so that I am not a writing hypocrite. 😛

In any case, it’s a new month. Fall has arrived and I am coming to terms with the concept of ‘cool’ and ‘cold’ that does not involve a blasting AC system. 😉

Still much ahead and the wheels continue to turn in my head with ideas and more ideas and more ideas!!!

~T 😀

Apr 032017

In Japan, the best seasons are the fall and spring. These are the times of the year when you can be outside and enjoy all that the flora can offer around town. Or, many people take special trips around this time. 

The spring offers views of the famous cherry blossoms where you can see people sitting under trees having picnics or drinking parties. This is known as hanami – looking at flowers. While there are many flowers to look at, THE flower is sakura or cherry blossoms

My hope this year was to get the timing right for the sakura, but due to the lingering cooler temperatures, they aren’t quite in full bloom yet. 

As today is my last full day of my visit, I made sure to take some photos where I could. 

Here are some from the weekend as well. 

Will keep these handy as I return to the beige desert sands – though the warmth will be nice. 😉

~T 😀

Mar 312017

Our last half-day in Kyoto was a cold and wet one. We put on our Oregonian minds and endured the rain drops enough to do the short walk along the Philosophers’ Path (哲学の道哲学の道) where we reminisced about the old days when J and I created our own pronunciation of philosophize to philoSOPHisize because we had trouble saying it correctly. Now, it will never be said properly…. 🤣😂

The Path leads to the Silver Pavilion (銀閣寺) which is J’s favorite place. I think I had a new appreciation for it this time around, perhaps because the rain enhanced the “silver-ness” of the place.

Normally, it is meant to be a place of calm and zen. When I visited the first time as an exchange student I remember being told it was a place for contemplation and to be respectful to other visitors by keeping  as quiet as possible. Well…the tourists of today no longer have received this message or perhaps do not care. We had a few moments with some of the other Asian country tourists, but worked hard not to let it ruin our mood and enjoyment of what the historical space offers. 😍

Overall, it was a lovely way to end our visit, though it was not quite a long enough trip. Next time, we will try to make it a longer one especially since I also did not have the chance to catch up with friends there….😪😓

~T 😀





Mar 302017

Nearly another 20,000 steps saw us with a “lighter” touristy day…. We decided to head out to Arashiyama since J had never been out there and it had been quite a while since I went out that way. It is not far outside of the downtown area and E was super excited about the train as it is some kind of special one – afraid it was lost on me. 😉

Arashiyama is more popular during the fall season for the changing colors of the leaves, but it was still rather popular and busy. The highlight definitely had to be the gardens of Tenryu-ji Zen Temple. We also hit a couple of the coffee shops that were listed in our guidebook at the hotel and were definitely not disappointed.

The first was % Arabica Coffee, which has a Hawaiian blend, but was started in Kyoto. We were surprised to find that it has become a chain in countries around the world. The simple branding of it makes sense why it was so popular that lines were consistently formed outside of it throughout the time we were there and probably the whole open hours. We were satisfied with our wait for it too.

The second coffee stop was at Togetsu Cafe on the other side of the bridge. It was less crowded and had a nice modern feel to it. The coffee was also nice, though probably average in taste. Still, coffee breaks are always wonderful.

Our other main pastime aside from cafes and walking to enjoy the scenery is eating. For two nights in a row we have managed to wait in line for dinner. Last night’s was a bit over the top with a nearly two-hour wait at a ramen shop – run by a cute older couple who are making a killing thanks to TripAdvisor. Tonight was just under an hour. Of the two, tonight’s was definitely more worth the wait – though both delicious.

So, aside from putting on about 5kilos this mini trip alone, we have definitely been enjoying our time! 😀

~T 😀


Mar 292017

It’s been many years since I made a visit to Kyoto again after living there for three years in 2001-2004. 

Sometime ago I made a short visit as my first time back since my divorce. I wanted to remember my love for the city outside of the time being unhappily married during those years. 

Now, I am back again wishing my new hubby was with us, but loving the trip down memory lane with my BFF and godson – who is experiencing it for the first time at 11 years old. 

Our first day was pretty full on especially since we were all up at 4:30am to get ready to leave and catch our 6:50am bullet train from Tokyo station. 

Twenty-three thousand plus steps later, we had toured my favorite part of the city:  Chionin Temple to Yasaka Shrine Park to Kodaiji along the Sannenzaka path which leads up to Kiyomizu Temple. Sadly, Kiyomizu was under construction so we did not go in, but we thoroughly enjoyed our walk stopping in the shops, eating and remarking on the new “kimono experience” craze by so many tourists. 

Overall, despite being exhausted we had a great first day in the old capital city of  Japan 🇯🇵! 

~T 😀