March 2016

I Just Completed My PDC at the Panya Project!

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I’m ALIVE! I took a couple of week vacation from blogging and social media during which time I completed my permaculture design course. For my final group project I helped design the layout and phased execution for an ecovillage of self contained naturally built homes, funded and built through volunteer and educational workshops. the entire project is actually based on a real piece of property that one of the other students owns in Chiang Mai (northern Thailand) and if it goes ahead it could provide a good reason to come back to visit. Here’s the full floorplan that I created 🙂

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Permaculture in Northern Thailand

I just arrived at a beautiful place in northern Thailand called the Panya Project where I’ll be undertaking a two week intensive course on permaculture design. First thing tomorrow I’ll begin learning about natural building practices, efficient water systems, alternate energy harvesting and land and soil resource management. It’s cool to already feel my RISD design skills being stoked… I’m surrounded by novel and evolving solutions to immediate challenges. It’s like living in a big hands-on puzzle! Amazingly the people that run Panya are even nicer in person than they are in this video! And as for the students, it’s a diverse group of wonderful spirits, creative problem solvers with open hearts and a desire to be part of the solution to heal our world. I’m also proud to say at least 5 of the 25 are from California! Together we’re growing the revolution, my friends

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Consciousness and Street Art in Penang, Malaysia

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I’ve been having really vivid dreams lately in which I’ve been practicing compassion for abrasive and intolerant people. Haha! I think it’s a result of recently beginning to practice meditative discipline outside of the regular sitting position, like when walking or eating. So since I’m thinking about *how* I’m thinking a lot more it’s coming up without needing much prompting… Like in my dreams! Cool, huh?

I’m in the Kuala Lumpur airport, waiting for my connecting flight back to Chiang Mai and writing a little piece about what consciousness is; if it’s something we can gain and influence, and if so whether it or not universal values can be defined to aid us in this quest. Over spicy noodles! Meanwhile here is some street art from George Town, Penang.

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Graceful Equanimity and the Calm of a Buddha’s Smile

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This would be a great poster to help me to avoid these pitfalls, as sometimes I forget! I’m almost at day 30 of a 30 day Headspace meditation series all about “focus”… and it’s been one of the most powerful exercises yet.

I can’t understate what I’ve put myself through out here and one day I hope to share the full story (much of it in just not appropriate for Facebook without proper context… but suffice to say it’s been a true dance between my shadow and my light. This trip has blown my understanding of myself wide open, and as seems to be the pattern that comes with it, the realization that much of the real work is just getting started. That said, I already feel more patience and compassion with myself than ever before, as well as acceptance for my path and commitment to seeing it through.

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