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Acting as an impetus for creative rupture & evolution into a better version of myself!
### Dec 2015 Update: Am in Vancouver, BC, Canada studying Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. ###
In the past I have been a fair gypsy, traversing the world on epic odysseys teaching yoga and studying Buddhism. I love extensive travel by frugal means like hitchhiking combined with massive smiles. +++ Spent the summer of 2012 living in a bus in Europe travelling through Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Slovenia. Then travelled overland from Panama to Mexico after hitchhiking from Salzburg through Prague to Berlin and flying from Germany!
I'm a yoga teacher who is really into breaking down self-created and social barriers and letting love and truth shine through. I'm rather eccentric, practicing contentment in the here and now and cultivating non-attachment/letting go of expectation. 'I' love crazy travel schemes to far-away places by unconventional means and pointing out the absurdity of our existence in this unlikely universe. I enjoy turning awkward social situations into beneficial interaction. I'm into taking responsibility for my own happiness and level of bliss and giving to every person I meet to the best of my ability while learning something from them at the same time. I draw great incentive through the wisdom of yoga which speaks of tolerance and self-discipline, and strive to improve myself in order to better assist/empathize with others.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
First, accept where you are. Second, live it. If you want to see more meditators, meditate. If you want to see more people coming together despite their alleged "differences", be open and accepting yourself ALL THE TIME. This is the way!
Surfed and raged in Singapore (organized a full-power geek board-game pool party), hosted like mad in Melaka, Malaysia, opened up my flats in Boudhanath, Nepal for four years to free-spirits, jugglers, musicians and bakers alike and christened them 'The Chipped Cauldron' and 'The Aquarium' respectively (a sundry mix of every ingredient you want to place in the pot), stayed in Newark, New Jersey with a beat poet and listened to his rhymes under the bridge, talked of the Bolivian death road in the Lower East Side, Manhattan with a violin player and ambitious film maker, travelled in a car with a French hornist who makes it playing Broadway musicals from the Upper West side to Kansas, Nebraska, and then to his artist retreat in Montana to build cabins from recycled material, met his Brazilian girlfriend in San Francisco, ate tamales with a Cantonese ABC from Berkeley and drew each other in a bar on lower Haight, hop scotched with CSers in SOMA, Richmond (Green Apple books), Chinatown, the Castro and the Mission. Jocular veggie potluck and accordion/tin whistle/bass/guitar/harp jam in SF! Surfed on couches in Würzburg, Salzburg and Prague summer 2012 which travelling in a van!
bare feet, time travel, cracking durians, memorizing Chinese herbal formulas, finding hot springs, joyful moments in the sun and on the sand, hitchhiking, sonorous breathing, (death) meditation, introspection, scientific cosmology, astronomy, herb foraging, giving more and expecting less, blueberry smoothies, chia seeds, miso, leafy greens, quinoa + tempeh, laughing for laughter's sake, silence, smiles that pierce the backs of eyes and trickle down into hearts, handstands, writing songs to sing and play with guitar + ukulele, writing poems to break up linearity, writing raps to conduce the peeps to dance, writing novels to articulate feeling that feels better once expressed, manga bookstores, yoga classes, the sound of a reed flute penetrating the mossy forest, impermanence, river bathing, obscure dusty half-forgotten library books, tree-houses, rain forests, unexpected waterfalls, integrity, deep ecology, capturing moments of life on paper in a sketch.
Music, Movies, and Books
Films: Baraka, Buddha's Lost Children, Cherry Blossoms, Dead Man, Departures, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Hedwig & the Angry Inch, Gadjo Dilo, Latcho Drom, Once, The Cove, The Last Unicorn, The Secret of Kells, The 13th Floor, Travelers and Magicians, The Fountain, Saving Face, The Vertical Ray of the Sun, Wardance, Whalerider. ++
Anime: Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tekkonkinkreet, Origin: Spirits of the Past, Paprika, Avatar the Last Airbender (pseudo-anime) & all Hayao Miyazaki's films. ++
Musicians: Beirut, Hope Sandoval, Joanna Newsom, the xx, Buffalo Daughter, The BJM, The Himalayan Lores, Bon Iver, Amadou et Mariam, The Black Keys, Ashit Desai, The Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, Bach, Smashing Pumpkins, Regina Specktor, Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, Nusfrat Fath Ali Khan, Abida Parveen, The Heartstrings, Lucky Ali, Marjan, Badly Drawn Boy, K'Naan, Fleet Foxes, Radiohead, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young. ++
Authors: Shantideva, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tsogknyi Rinpoche, Neil Gaiman, Herman Hesse, Milan Kundera, Douglas Adams, Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Vladimir Nabokov, Charles Bukowski, William Blake, Georg Feuerstein, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Stephen Hawking, Rudyard Kipling, Rumi, NASA.gov, physics.org, Vimalakirti, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dzongskar Khyenste Rinpoche and Chogyam Trunpa.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Organized open mics in Boudhanath, Kathmandu featuring local Tibetans on traditional dramnyen, Nepali bansuri, madal and dance, didgeridoo players from France, Australia & South Africa, flamenco guitarists from Mexico, Nepali orphan choir from the Tashi school, throat-singers, Austrian comedy, spoken word, Dharma rap and dance skits. ++
Climbed the 7200 steps of Mt. Tài Shān in 30 rupee sandals from Haridwar and watched the sunrise above the clouds at 4am. ++
Stayed for 10 days in the Sahara, riding donkeys, eating dates and carrots, belly-dancing, and sketching portraits of children. ++
Met an eccentric Austrian named Hans sleeping in a hammock on an Italian ferry from Venezia to Patra and rode undercover inside his van that was so full I touched the ceiling atop his stuff across the Greek border. ++
Fractured my sacrum and several vertebrae in Austin, TX and after going 100% against the doctor's advice ('lie in bed for 12 wks, guzzle protein and morphine and don't move) recovered in 5 weeks after staying with some hospitalityclub members for 2 weeks, listening to them play piano, and doing as much yoga as possible. Taught the two brothers, their mother and aunt yoga and how to dumpster dive! Fully appreciated the gift of being able to walk after this. ++
Jammed with Berbers in an oasis near Merzouga and the Algerian border with two Muslims from France, traditional bells, drums and guitar. ++
Co-hosted an incredible CS board-game/pool party in Singapore with Samir Rath in his Clark Quay apartment that attracted nearly 100 people! ++
Played tabla and sitar on a houseboat in Alleppey weaving through the Keralan backwaters, rivers and lakes, swam with village boys and ate their mother's kheer inside their mud hut. ++
Drank Mata Ganga-ji at Manikarnika ghat, actually filled up two 2-litre bottles and chugged black water, focusing on the amount of healing energy inside and did not get sick! ++
Swam in the Ganga every day for a month and taught yoga on the opposite sand bank to foreigners and Indians alike, all dove in after! ++
Jammed on the Benares ghats with Rajastani rawanatha players, Japanese djembe-ists, a Swiss-Angolan on cymbals, Jeff the rainbow pirate shakin those dreads, singing with German-Iranian Reza about mutant dolphins and deep-fried lentils. ++
Trekked to Everest with only a guitar on my back. ++
Meditated in ten days of silence at Tushita, Dharmsala and practiced death meditation with ~30 others: Israelis, Europeans, Aussies & Kiwis, North & South Americans. ++
Taught yoga to young monks in Lumbini, birthplace of the Buddha. They can do handstands! ++
Hitchhiked from Saskatoon to Montreal then to NY-PA-MD-VA-TN-GA-AL-MS-LA-TX-NM-CO-WY-NE-SD-ND-and back to Saskatoon in the summer of 2008. ++
Hitchhiked NM-AZ-CA-OR-WA-BC-Saskatoon summer of 2009. ++
Found a secret cave leading into the bowels of the earth, climbing a hill towards the ruins in Amasya, Turkey. ++
Witnessed a solar eclipse March 2005 at the beach rave and climbed the Chimera that night in Olympos, Turkey. ++
Stayed in tents 8 stories up a spiral staircase on the roof in a squat in Barcelona's Gothic quarter. Made fires, cooked food, created collaborative music and drew pictures all week long. ++
Travelled alone through China from Shanghai-Suzhou-Changsha-Zhangjiajie-Guilin-Yangshou-Hongkong summer 2007. I was the only foreigner on the train in Hunan and in the National Forest park. ++
Stayed in Prem Nagar ashram, Haridwar for Vaisakhi harvest festival 2006 when over 10,000 people crowded the ashram from all over India and was 1 of 6 foreigners there, the others being my 2 Canadian friends and 2 mexicans. ++
Received tika from an elephant inside the Sri Meeknakshi temple in Madurai on my 22nd birthday. ++
Meditated in the National Redwood forest on the CA/OR border with a Tibetan Buddhist from Montreal and his two friends that picked me up hitchhiking. ++
Taught yoga at the '08 and '09 Rainbow Gatherings in Wyoming and New Mexico. ++
Saw Beirut, MGMT, Erykah Badhu, The Shins, & Arcade Fire play live to 60 000 people in Golden Gate Park San Francisco...third row for Beirut and dance party like no other for the Arcade Fire!++
Studied and practiced at Kathmandu University's Buddhist studies branch which is essentially a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Boudha for the 4 years, between 2008-2011 attended lectures and seminars with Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Patchok Rinpoche & their students from Malaysia, Russia and all over. ++
Teach, Learn, Share
I will certainly trade you yoga for any of the following: live in a ger/yurt, cook Viet/Indonesian/Thai/Baba Nyonya/Middle Eastern (raw!) vegan style, capoeira, parkour, break dance, acrobatics, violin/fiddle, accordion, sanskrit, hindi, arabic, hebrew, japanese, butoh, kung fu, tai chi, herbology, botany, ayurveda, TCM, acupuncture, tarot, permaculture, natural building, tree-house building, how to shimmy a coconut palm.
What I Can Share with Hosts
Yoga instruction, vegan cooking, Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Palestine, Panama, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Canada, China, Malaysia, Nepal, United Kingdom