Friday, October 30, 2009


Since India I've already been abroad again. Bish and I had a wonderful long weekend in Barcelona. We went on one of these Israeli deals. Excellent price, good central hotel B&B, transport from and to airport, good weather. And Barcelona is so lovely.

This was our first real holiday abroad together for years and years. You'll remember Bish hates flying.

No photos. Bish hasn't downloaded them yet. Grrrrr.

And now Bish is back studying, so it's no more holidays for a while. But now foreign parts are an option, I'm already scheming for his next summer break.

So shoot me

I know I promised a continuation of the India story, but I don't really want to go there right now. It is said that the best teachers are people you have difficulty with, because they teach you important things about yourself. In that respect the India trip meditation teacher was an excellent teacher.

But I also have to credit him for getting me back into my Buddhist practice in a big way. That's why i don't seem to have much to say lately. You may have noticed. Infact. you may so much have noticed that you are probably reading this in about five months time, thinking "I wonder if Imshin is still alive" and popping in to see. (I'm still alive now. Don't know about in five months time, let alone this afternoon)

Soooo, it appears I am once again a non-leftie, non-pacifist Joo Boo. One of the elite few. I think. This might possibly even be a group with one member. We don't advertise ourselves, being such tiny downtrodden minority.

Hang on, I do know another one. Phew.

Hey, maybe I should change the name of the blog. How about "The Errant Joo Boo (struggling with the first precept, provincially)"?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Friday, September 11, 2009

Slow and careful landing

I don't think Dad actually had India in mind when he suggested I go somewhere nice after he was gone. He was probably thinking of New Zealand or New England. You know, somewhere civilized. But there you are.

Anyway, seeing as he was really the responsible party for my so-called much-acclaimed spiritual journey in the first place, he probably wouldn't really have been all that surprised.

It was a book. He had bought it, but hadn't likes it, so he had passed it on to me, thinking it might be more my cup of tea than his.

Was that before he got prostate cancer, or after? I can't remember. I can remember it gathering dust on my bedside table for a long long time before I finally got round to reading it. Care of the Soul, by Thomas More. What's it about? No idea. Can't remember. But it changed my life.


So here I was, 13 years later, on a plane to India with two people I didn't know. One I had met before, sort of. He had led a meditation retreat I had been to about two years previously, but to tell you the truth I hardly remembered him. I did remember being very impressed with his co-teacher, who wasn't even a meditation teacher, but some sort of alternative sight therapist who had taken us through all sorts of interesting and eyeopening (literally) experiments of visual perception.

The other person coming with me on our trip was a complete unknown, a woman with whom I would be sharing a room, often even a bed, for the next fortnight. This could be heaven, as the song goes, or this could be hell.

It wasn't long after take-off that I realized what a risk I had taken. The teacher guy was reading Haaretz. He commented on a story he was reading. A very opinionated emotional comment. A very political comment. A left wing political comment. Very far left wing.

My initial reaction was amazement. Hey, wait a minute. You're meant to be like this spritual teacher. Should you be splurting all this political stuff? Shouldn't you be leaving my mind open to take the Middle Road? Shouldn't your every word be wise and wonderful, and specially designed to put me on the track to enlightenment, not make me want to punch you in the nose?

My second reation was "OMG, I'm on plane to the Black Hole of Calcutta with a raving neo-Marxist. Help! Help! Let me out!"

(To be continued)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Still alive in India

Finally sitting in an Internet Cafe in Leh, capital of Ladakh in North India, so I thought I'd say hi. This place is amazing. I promise photos when I get home. I might even manage to get some stories written.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Still alive

I seem to have lost the need to share my thoughts, etc.

In the meantime, Eldest graduated from high school. She's scheduled to go into the army in February.

I'm going to India tomorrow for a fortnight, during most of which I will be way up in Ladakh.

See ya.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shoosha is leaving us today

Shoosha has never been a very happy cat. We tried to give her the best home we could, but we had no experience and didn't do a very good job. Things got worse and worse, even after the behavioral counselling. Her aggressive behavior, mainly towards Bish, has made life increasingly unbearable for him and she has to go.

We are lucky that the wonderful people at the Girgurim cat sanctuary are willing to take her in. The girls and I will be taking her over there this afternoon. A sad day for us (but not for Bish who is relieved).

Girgurim are looking for a loving home for her - it has to be people with experience with cats, no kids and no babies, and who are willing to be assisted with behavioral counselling for her, and possibly daily medical treatment as well. Please ask any big-hearted cat lovers you know.
I will miss her company and our little chats, even though they tended to be rather onesided. It will bw most difficult for Eldest, who was always her favorite human. But even she realized that there was no choice.

We hope she will find a nice home, and be happier. And even if she has to stay at the sanctuary, maybe she will be happy there.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Some personal news

My father has passed away.

I started blogging in June 2002 when my mother was very ill. Among other things it was a means of coping with what was happening. The intensity of obssessive blogging was good for muffling the feelings I couldn't cope with. She died in November 2002.

This time around I couldn't cope with blogging at all. Funny that, isn't it? My mother's illness got me chattering and my father's - shut me up. But then, I have changed a lot from then to now. Changed and not changed.

One day about a fortnight or so ago, I was with my father and he was at his computer. Even checking up on his mail had become far too confusing for him, this man who had always been so capable, independent and sharp. And he wouldn't let me help.

Suddenly he was in my blog. But he was just staring at the screen blankly. He obviously couldn't make the words out, or couldn't remember what he was doing. It broke my heart.

Please whoever is reading this take care and be well.