Welcome Back – 2009 news

I’m back after a long delay in posting. Hope you all had a great Holiday season. We did.

In old news, here was our Christmas palm tree and presents before we opened them:

christmas-tree-2008

I also wish you all the best for 2009.

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We’ve been busy here.

Our webdesign business is going great – we have more jobs than anticipated which is always a good thing.

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Over the Christmas break I got to see three excellent movies: Valkyrie, Slumdog Millionaire, and Doubt. All very good and well worth the time and money to go see.

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My kids are back in school and getting ready for finals week.

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A lot is happening in the news.

We were all outrageously shocked to hear the news out of Oakland about the unarmed and handcuffed man who was shot in the back and murdered New Years night by the Oakland police. This was caught on video and witnessed by a number of people. The videos are horrible to watch. You can go check it out on youtube if you want to see them. What’s amazing is that we did not even hear about it until a couple days ago. Even more amazing is the cop was not arrested on the spot by his obviously shocked fellow officers. The family now suing for 25 million in restitution should be asking for more. Here’s a picture of the ensuing riots:

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The weather here is all over the place. 80 degrees F one day and in the forties the next. I don’t remember these kinds of fluctuations before.  Always you wonder whether it is global warming related. Here is my hibiscus blooming in the middle of winter:

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I learned about how some people think jellyfish are the canary in the coalmine as far as global warming. It seems that jellyfish do better in unhealthy water that other things die in. Somebody put together a chronogical listing of some news stories from 2008 that are showing more and more jellyfish swarms (or whatever it’s called when it’s jellyfish) all over the world.  By themselves these kinds of stories seems weird and far-fetched, but there are so many weird and far-fetched environmental problems that altogether it’s a little scary.

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All the presidents still alive met at the White House. The news commentators said they did not know what they talked about except for that Clinton liked the carpet. I read someplace an analysis of the way they all are standing: Bush senior has his hands in his pockets and so has something to hide; Obama has his hands in prayer position; Bush junior is standing with the backs of his hands forward which no one does and no one knows why; Clinton clasps his hands behind his back which shows guilt and hiding; and Carter stands normally in an open and casual manner showing nothing to hide and an easy conscience.

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In other news: Tennessee is drowning in a sea of toxic sludge. Obama continues on his steady march to the White House – only 10 more days – while John Howard, the ex-Australian prime minister that nobody likes gets to stay in Blair House (a house with 110 rooms and 33 bathrooms). Keith Olbermann and the other news guys that thrived during the Bush years are struggling for something to say (that is my opinion, not an offical news story). The price of cruise ship vacations is down exponentially so book your trip now. About 550,000 more people lost their jobs in December.

Meanwhile, I still continue to be inspired by my yoga practice. Currently I am reading a book from Ramana Maharishi. He never wrote anything himself, but he had students who wrote as he spoke and the book is a compilation of some of his teachings.

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The question posed to him is, “Is Mukti the same as realisation?”

He answers:

Mukti or liberation is our nature. It is another name for us. Our wanting mukti is a very funny thing. It is like a man who is in the shade, voluntarily leaving the shade, going into the sun, feeling the severity of the heat there, making great efforts to get back into the shade and then rejoicing, ‘How sweet is the shade! I have reached the shade at last!’ We are all doing exactly the same. We are not different from the reality. We imagine we are different, that is we create the bheda bhava [the feeling of difference] and then undergo great sadhana [spiritual practices] to get rid of the bheda bhava and realize the oneness. Why imagine or create bheda bhava and then destroy it?

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