Perfection in the Imperfection

Heaven?

Imagine for a moment a place where everything is perfect and there’s nothing to be accomplished.

In order to be happy in such a place we would have to be radically different beings than the ones we are now, beings with no desires or goals, otherwise, after a short while we would be bored beyond belief.

Given our current fabric and way of thinking, in order to feel good we need a non-perfect place that requires our contribution, a place where we can put to good use the capacity to create that the Creator gave us.

Maybe Heaven is here, a place where we can strive not only to consciously transform our own imperfect selves into more perfect beings, but also to transform the world into a better place for all.

If Heaven is an imperfect place inhabited by imperfect beings, a place where we can use our creative powers to transform ourselves and alleviate the suffering of others, then this planet has everything we need to experience Heaven.

This imperfect world is perfect, and its perfection resides in its imperfection.

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Freedom of Simplicity

I have great admiration for the Peace Pilgrim. I put her together with with Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, Thich Nhat Hanh, and other great teachers of humanity.

If you are free, I recommend a hiking trip on a wilderness footpath.

How inspiring it is to walk all day in the sunshine and sleep all night under the stars.

What a wonderful experience in simple, natural living.

Since you carry your food, sleeping equipment, etc., on your back, you learn quickly that unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens.

You soon realize what the essentials of life are–such as warmth when you are cold, a dry spot on a rainy day, the simplest food when you are hungry, pure cool water when you are thirsty.

You soon put material things in their proper place, realizing that they are there for use, but relinquishing them when they are not useful.

You soon experience and learn to appreciate the great freedom of simplicity.

(Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Works in Her Own Words – Pg.54)

http://www.peacepilgrim.org/ap_trail.htm

Simplify - the Silent Peace Walk Bell

In 1952, the year before she began the pilgrimage, Peace Pilgrim, then known as Mildred Norman Ryder, set out on another memorable journey.

On April 26 of that year Mildred began the 2050 mile walk north from Mt. Oglethorp in Georgia toward Mt. Katahdin, in northern Maine.

Mildred’s passion for walking and her deep love for the beauty, inspiration, and peace she found in the natural world had lured her to the trail.

By the time she completed the journey in October of that year she would become the first woman to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one season.

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Travel Light

This week I will be going through all the stuff I have put aside and decide what goes and what stays.

I will travel light and carry only what is absolutely necessary. Nothing worse than a heavy load to ruin a good ride.

While researching in the Internet I found a site with an interesting suggestion on how to fold clothes together. I have never seem this before. Apparently it reduces the space necessary for the clothing items thus allowing travel with smaller bags. Check the diagram on their site

http://www.onebag.com/popups/bundle.html

It seems like a good idea, and I may try it on a future trip, but on this one. I don’t think that having all pieces of clothing bundled together will work for me, especially during a sudden change of weather in the middle of the road.

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Bicycle On Its Way

As you may remember, I was debating if I should buy a brand new bike or use Steve’s on the journey.

Well, decision made: Steve’s bike is on its way to Oregon.

Let's go!

I took it to Jim’s Bicycles where they boxed it for me ($53) .

FEDEX charged me $135 (*) and will deliver the bike to Bikes & Beyond, in Astoria, OR, where they will assemble it for me.

So this has been taken care of.

Now it’s time to pack.

D-Day is approaching, and I am excited!

///

(*) I was somewhat surprised with the FEDEX charge. I thought it would be less. My wife thinks that if I had shipped the bike to Portland, a big city, it would cost less, but because I am shipping it to Astoria, a more remote location, FEDEX charges more. O, well! It’s done! And I am happy with the adventure! All smiles.

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Love Actually

“Experience! Experience! Experience!”

That was the mandate.

Steve told me, “You spend too much time in the realm of ideas. It is difficult to connect with you… and you are the one who is making it difficult.” He told me that my obsession with philosophical themes was pushing people away. I was, unintentionally, isolating myself.

“You are interacting with other people only because you are interested in their ideas, in having new insights. Have you ever considered how selfish this is? Instead of focusing on what you can get from other people, focus on what you can give them. Move the focus away from you and put the spotlight on them. Show genuine interest for their lives.”

Instead of silence and solitude, he ordered me to remain open, pay attention, and connect. “Stop thinking and start feeling. Less ideas and more emotions. Experience! Experience! Experience!”

“Love Actually” is our preferred movie. Every year, we — the whole family — sit and watch it together.

Why?

Affection.

///

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport. General opinion started to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy but it’s always there. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge, they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling, you’ll find that love actually is all around.” – Scene #1 – Love Actually

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Silence and Solitude

My plans? Not a lot planned… I am going to go out there and see how I feel.

Yes, there is a commitment, sort of… I am going to ride a bike from Astoria to San Francisco in 20 days or so… or not. Who knows?

I have it clear that I am doing this for my own growth and enjoyment. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. So, no fixed daily goals, no pressure, no stress. I remain open to whatever the Forces of the Universe may bring.

So, if the tent and the sleeping bag don’t treat me kindly, I will find a nice hotel with a comfy bed. And if the bike is mean to me, I will ship it back, and maybe walk from there on, or ride a mule, or rent a car, who knows?

I am free! I can do whatever I want… isn’t this a great feeling?

What do I want to get out of it? 

For me this is a kind of pilgrimage. There is a spiritual component to it. I am looking forward the moments of silence and solitude.

I think it is going to be great!

Silence and Solitude

“Everyone can practice contemplative living. Everyone can practice to listen to one’s life in silence and solitude. Everyone can practice to surrender, to be receptive, to be open. If we live in contemplative consciousness, we will be able to see beyond what we see. We will be in Heaven, right here, right now!”

“In solitude we are not alone. In solitude we commune deeply with the world. Contemplation leads to the awareness of our oneness.”

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Jupiter

Still practicing. Getting ready for the bike journey on the Pacific Coast by riding the bicycle on the Atlantic Coast.

The ride today took me from North Palm Beach  to Hobe Sound, and back (36 miles).

I rode through Juno Beach, Jupiter and Jupiter Island. Just beautiful!

Yes, it hurts, but I will get used to it.

Pain is temporary.

A bicycle seat is not supposed to be as comfortable as my couch.


View Larger Map

Beautiful views of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.


 

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Winds of Generosity

Strong winds today. The bike was fully loaded (I was carrying the tent, sleeping bag, clothes, etc.) and the crosswind made handling the bike quite difficult. But the headwind is the one that leaves its mark. It really slows you down. You feel you are putting a lot more effort and energy on those pedals but the bike barely moves. It is a strange feeling, but, on the other hand, it surely is a good workout for the quads, no doubt about it!

Overall, it was a gorgeous day. Just the right temperature and humidity. I am feeling more comfortable with cars and trucks, and it was a great opportunity to practice riding a fully loaded bike in windy conditions.

I rode from Deerfield Beach to Boynton Beach, and back (+/- 30 miles)


View Larger Map

Yes, it was a gorgeous day! Nothing to complain about.

I am alive, healthy, doing what I like, and having fun. What more can I ask for?

I realize how fortunate I am to have a friend like Steve in my life. I wouldn’t be embarking on this journey if it wasn’t for him. He not only inspired me to be more adventurous, but he also generously lent me the bike and the equipment for the journey. I am so grateful!

I am happy!

Life is good!

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Tent

During my upcoming trip I will be using Steve’s REI Passage 2 tent.
Today I practiced assembling and disassembling it. It’s really easy… well, I was doing it on my driveway, without any wind or rain… I guess ample, unobstructed space and perfect weather conditions make it a lot easier to set any tent up.
Tent up in 5 to 10 minutes
REI Passage 2

 

Tent components

It looks like an excellent tent; light, easy to set up, and roomy. I will let you know my impressions after using it a couple of times.

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Master of my Fate

I am taking off to ride a bike in the Northwest for a month. For many, this is not a big deal, but for others it is.

When I reveal what I am going to do, what strikes many individuals is not so much the fact that I have chosen to do something that they consider out of the ordinary and unexpected. What hits them, more than anything else, is the fact that I can take one month off.

When I tell people what I am going to do, their reaction is a mix of astonishment and envy. They don’t appear to be overly concerned about the challenges I may face during my solo bike ride. More than anything else, they seem to be shocked by the fact that I have decided to take time for myself to do what I want.

“How can you do it?”

“There’s no way I could do it.”

“I wish I could do something like this.”

I hear those comments, and, for some reason, I feel alive, free, and powerful. I feel that I am the master of my fate. I feel that I am the captain of my soul.

“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) is a poem made famous by Nelson Mandela, the man who stood up for what was right: the end of discrimination, oppression and segregation.

He paid a huge personal price – he spent 27 years of his life in prison — but his thoughts, words and actions finally brought up the beginning of freedom and equality to all South Africans, and inspired all human beings to see one another as brothers and sisters, as members of the same family.

Nelson Mandela, a great man.

Cameron meets Nelson Mandela

Here’s “Invictus.”

 

Out of the night that covers me,

      Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

      I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

      Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

      How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

      I am the captain of my soul.

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No Time Left

“Why is it?” I asked Steve.

“What are you talking about?” he replied.

“I’m sorry. Why is it that you are telling me that you missed your call?” I clarified.

“I guess that’s what we do when we are dying: we look back at our lives, don’t we?”

“And what do you regret you haven’t done?”

“I should have traveled more, lived a life with more adventure and fun, and helped more people than I did.”

“And why haven’t you?”

“It is the same old story, and you know it. I listened to too many people and not enough to myself. I did what was expected of me, and not what I wanted to do. I did not pay enough attention to the voice within me.”

He remained silent for a while.

“Looking back now, it saddens me to remember how many times during my life I paid attention to voices that were telling me that I wasn’t good enough to accomplish my dreams, or that I should wait because it wasn’t the right time.”

He paused again.

“I deeply regret when I surrendered to those voices and decided to wait or play it safe. Great opportunities passed by and they never came back. And here I am now, dying without having done what I should and could; dying without having given my greatest contribution to the world. I deeply regret this. I should have been truer to myself. I should have cleared my head, listened to my most courageous inner voice, and allowed my highest and most authentic self to come out. I lived a fearful and timid life, and I regret this immensely.”

1992 - 1989 - 1953 - 1927

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