Friday, April 29, 2005

Worship At The Shrine Of Ikea

Hey Bodhi, this one's for you. :-)

[For the back story, check out Bodhi's Ikea tirade here.]

Deja Whatsit

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something about this blog and even this blog that seems oddly familiar to me...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Good Things, Small Packages - You Get The Idea.

I live in quite a small little cottage, but some of the teeny tiny apartments in the Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest over at Apartment Therapy have to be seen to be believed. A list of all the apartment entries is here, and as of writing this there were 30 in the contest.

Not surprisingly, shopping at Ikea seems to be a prerequisite for most apartment dwellers. You know, not that I have the Ikea catalogue memorised or anything...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Ji Wallace. Medallist, Hottie, Queer.

Australian Olympic trampoline silver medalist [on the right, in the photo] at Sydney 2000 (and gold medal cutie pie) Ji Wallace has come out as gay. To his credit, he stated that he had always been comfortable with his sexuality and that it really wasn't that big a deal. How wonderful, and if only one young person sees him saying 'this is who I am and it isn't a bad thing' then he has done a very good thing in my opinion.

I do understand that there is PR exercise in all this too, in getting his name back into the papers at a time when he is seeking sponsorship. However, that in and of itself is positive in that he doesn't particulary see this as a handicap to sponsorship.

I remember watching his performance at the Sydney Olympics and being impressed with his performance as well as having lust in my heart for his trim, compact cuteness, and thinking 'you know, I think he might be'. Now if only other certain Australian Olympic athletes would do the same...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

My Return

Hey y'all, I'm back.

I just had the singularly hardest and most rewarding experience of my life. It was incredible. On top of the meditation experience the venue was also absolutely beautiful. Deep inside native bushland on the border of one of the National Parks, where the only sounds were nature and the very occasional distant airplane. Coming back to the city with all senses heightened and raw from a week of deep and intensive meditation was a jangling experience. It has taken a little while to settle back in and get my head around everyday matters like the new job I started today.

I'll post a proper write-up of the week sometime in the next few days, at the moment I'm still processing the experience and going through the bucket load of photos I took before and after the actual retreat part of the week. I also have to resolve my computer 'issues', but hopefully that'll happen in the next few days.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Big Long Think

Well I'm off in the morning on my 8 day meditation retreat. 8 days of mindfullness at a retreat hermitage in a beautifull bushland setting. I'm really looking forward to it, especially to what it might mean in terms of strenghtening and deepening my meditation practice.

Back after the 24th... with posts and links, and everything! Be happy and well until then.

Stop The War!

I just bit the bullet and rang the marine construction company to tell them I had accepted the job offer with the share plan advisors and would have to turn down their offer. (See my previous entry) I felt really bad because those guys were so good to me while I was temping with them, and literally offered to have me back and invent a position for me. I really needed to resolve this whole bidding war issue though before I went on retreat this weekend, waaaaay to distracting! It didn't feel right to leave them hanging for an answer either.

I think I have made the right decision though, in terms of career possibilities, income and working environment I think this current job will be hard to beat. Today we are off to lunch to celebrate my joining the firm, and I can say I am now in 100%.

How times change. Just 4 months ago I left my old job after months of wanting to leave and not having the courage to just pack it in. I was feeling under appreciated and certainly under paid, and a bit beaten down by the whole experience. So things are on the upswing. I'm not ego-ing out on the whole bidding war thing, but it has given the portion of my self-esteem which relates to work a boost. It's nice to be appreciated.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Oh My Giddy Aunt!

Hi internets, sorry you haven't heard from me for a while! Here's a quick recap of the state of play.

I finished my contract job at the marine construction company (boo!) and went straight into another temp assignment (yay!) for a couple of weeks, only to have the construction company tell me that they want me back for about three months once I have finished this current temp assignment (more yay!). Towards the end of my first week at this new job, they offered me a permanent position (yay!) on a substantial sum of money - about a 33% increase from my temp salary (YAY!!). I rang the construction company and told them I wasn't coming back (boo!) because I had a permanent job offer, but they rang me with a counter offer. Yes folks, I'm the subject of a bidding war.

Still with me? Good.

My computer died (BOO!). There is no (Yay!) in this part of the story...

Two good friends of mine who were married recently are in the process of splitting up (Boo!), and by all accounts he is being a real prick about it (BOO!!). Oh, and as they are my landlords... well who knows what that'll mean in the division of assets (potential boo!).

On the Buddhism front, I leave this weekend for an 8 day meditiation retreat (yay!) in silence (---!), which I am really looking forward to. Expect a flurry of posts after the 25th, as I have been starved for communication all that time. I resigned my volunteer job as the Buddhist centre care manager as the position of running the bookshop became vacant (yay!). So know I'm ordering like a mad thing so that we have enough books for the big events that are coming up in our calendar over the next few months. But hey, it's shopping, so I'm more than fine with that.

So, phew. The upshot is that in the near future my ongoing financial stress will ease and I'm really pleased that I have the position at the Buddhist centre that I wanted. Tough times are ahead for my married friends, but we'll see what happens. As to the dead computer, that's in the lap of the gods (and my techie room-mate).

Monday, April 04, 2005

Farewell To A Spiritual Teacher

A disciple with sense should not accept as his spiritual teacher someone who lacks compassion or who is angersome, vicious or arrogant, possessive, undisciplined or boasts of his knowledge.

(A spiritual teacher should be) stable (in his actions), wise, patient and honest. He should neither conceal his short-comings nor pretend to possess qualities he lacks. He should be an expert in the meanings (of the tantra) and its ritual procedures (of medicine and turning back obstacles). Also he should have loving compassion and a knowledge of the scriptures.

Excerpt: Fifty Stanzas on the Spiritual Teacher
Aryashura, 1st Century BC.

Almost every Monday night since July last year I have been attending my local Buddhist centre to take part in a two year Buddhist studies course. Tonight was the last night of the current module of the course, The Spiritual Teacher. This is a big and important topic in the particular tradition of Tibetan Buddhism I am involved in (and much bigger than any blog post), but tonight as we discussed the importance of the spiritual teacher we also touched on its importance in other faiths, not just in Buddhism.

A faith other than my own lost an important spiritual teacher this week with the death of Pope John Paul II, a man who was shepherd, guide and spiritual 'father' to millions of people around the world. I am not a Christian and so don't personally follow (or sometimes agree) with his point of view, however I have come to understand the importance he played in the spiritual lives of many millions of Christians. Importantly, especially from a Buddhist perspective, his willingness to show his suffering and to not shy away even from televising images of his body after death (as he requested) should encourage us all to appreciate that we have this the 'human condition' in common.