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I tend to become thoughtful when I am in Palm Springs. The place is hardly an ashram but there it is. I suppose this stems from being away from the daily grind. This gives me time to reflect. That, and encountering folks who hail from far and near with stories to tell, wayfarers on The Journey, whose ends I will never know. They discuss at breakfast and at happy hour their plans of travel and retirement. It makes me think of where I am going and what I am not doing. Many an ill-fated journey has started with taking no steps. 

This morning I started a book that was on my ‘to read’ shelf for some years. It isn’t the best sort of book to bring by poolside as it is a lofty tome the size of a small carrying case. It is a collection of ‘tools’ given in interviews by ‘successful’ types conveying tidbits of knowledge so one can go and do likewise. Bopping about the book, I came to a story about Siddhartha, a monk, who explained he had three assets:

He could think. He could sort out thoughts from emotions to make the right decisions.

He could wait. He had patience for long term outcomes. 

He could fast. He was able to endure times of little and endure difficulties. 

I thought these commendable and they seemed enough for me I may not need to read the rest of the book. I could do well enough for keeping cognizant of these three items. 

I have two out of three down.

I believe I am a good thinker, considering all the conscious and unconscious matters that go into a situation. Nothing is taken at manifest level; all is analyzed for complexity.  I certainly can wait. All my achievements past and present are the results of waiting, sometimes years, for pay off.  Easy choices; hard life. Hard choices, easy life. 

What I flop at is the fasting. Right now there are many difficulties in my life that cannot be assuaged easily or readily. I need to practice at fasting, whether in a concrete way like the diet I am supposed to be doing or in times of uncertainty and pending doom. If I get ready then I will be ready. 

Fasting seems a funny thing to consider when on holiday, a time of taking pleasure and ‘loosening up’ as it were. It feels a paradox to abstain from things when surrounded by nonstop resources. It would funny too for a week’s holiday not to be revelry but ashram-like in the end.  Maybe once taking no steps is the start of a good-fated Journey.   Fascinating.  

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