Sunday, August 28, 2011

Up the hill and about Wanaka town, and keeping a balance and awareness

Once again I have to report, or admit too, being up at the Snow Farm for the weekend.

Kite skiing is really "taking off" up there. They're becoming like butterflies...

But anyway kites aside on the Sat. I helped in a minor way with the last of the Winter Games events up there - a triathlon. It was a ton of fun and I've uploaded almost 30 images on my winter mirror blog ... more>>

But on this post I have a story I want to tell...

Two years ago or more I developed some teeth problems and while there are all sorts of theories about bacteria having an infectious party, after the problem was finally fixed about 9 months ago, I got to thinking about stress and how to balance [or not] the factors that can often cause levels too high in life. And just what in our emotions can manifest in the teeth?

Loving oneself takes skills and these need to be learnt. One skill being that of self observation, and it's a hard one! Maybe just as hard is taking on board the observations and advice of others [being aware in yet another way, that the odd person may have agendas other than loving] - our egos seem to get well and truly in the way, and again we can be oblivious to this aspect that is riddled with self destructive illusions!

[Not?] seeing the wood for the trees...

It's really a case of building the skills with the help of others. In fact without them it's a delusion created by our ego selves to think we can do it alone. We need others just as they need us.

Economy aside the physical sort of building never appears to stop in this town...

Anyway back to the teeth: I had to have one removed about ten days ago, but it was no surprise - it was weak, loose and undercut and I hardly miss it. However nerves in the area took about a week to settle down, and I was glad at one point to have the knowingness that I was healing.

But then a surprise: on cross country skiing again afterwards I found my balance quite wobbly! Possibly the anesthetic [a type new to me - no numb face], or one of those nerves having a connection to the inner ear, or was it the emotional aspects of teeth pulling? But the point is it was subtle - if I'd not gone skiing I'd never have known.

It seems to be coming right, but I'm left with the thought of how we can so easily be out of balance in any of the many aspects in life and not know it!

Life serves up many experiences that can cause imbalances and leave scars. Some incidents leave visible scars, but as a close friend said to me recently, while I was with him in the A and E of the Dunedin Hospital just after he'd chopped the end off his finger, it's the emotional scars that we don't see that are the horrendous ones [and I'd say the harder ones to identify and to eventually heal].

Much can be learnt from children, if only that we're born more-often-than-not in a pristine state with no scars or damage visible - they come soon enough though as we learn about falling, experience heat etc. ...

And so too, in I'd say all of our cases, they're accompanied by experiences we can't handle as kids, and so they get stored in us in various places, to manifest later in our lives, but as per above do we always know what the causes are when they do, and that many are karmic!? Understanding karma alone can be profound.

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional...

[credit to above image to the Wanaka Beautification Society - I've always admired their porcelain plaque on Lismore St., so photographed and then cropped out the writing. All other images were taken in the last week too. The B and W image is of our local kanuka, the portrait is of Josh, son of a good friend. Guess I was having a "be aware week!"]

My winter mirror blog >>


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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Winter wanderings at the Snow Farm

It's so much fun up at my local cross country skiing area, the Snow Farm, that I've really just been eating, sleeping, skiing and working for some weeks now.

As some of you know I'm running a sort of mirror blog on events there of late such as the New Zealand 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games at, but this Sunday I've posted a few different images here of the landscape up there.

With the current settled weather many farmers have begun the spring burn off of bracken fern [aids new growth and grasses - a quite short term solution to the dense cover of the fern. Actually if done too often soil quality suffers and erosion occurs]. While the haze really upsets many locals, it does make for some different perspectives of scenes common to me...

I've been on some longer tours of late and really enjoying a breather at this the Bob Lee hut, as it give great views of the Southern Alps. Nearly always Mt Aspiring, but also occasionally a very far away Mt Cook. Some days sitting here in the sun and out of the wind there is nary a soul goes by, but yesterday it got quite social...

Meanwhile back at the Snow Farm it's "all go" with Olympians and World Cup athletes scooting about all over the place training away. I took a picture of the Russian Cross Country Ski Team, with my good friend Alexei [on the right], and after doing so their coach insisted he make this image with my camera. So that's me, the bulky person on the left. Since these people are sort of the rock stars in the Northern Hemisphere I felt quite touched by their consideration...

And on top of a memorable day on Saturday, the sunset way-laid me for an hour or so in the evening, as I waited for shape and light to approximate some visualisations I've had of late on how to handle this landscape I've photographed so often, in yet another way...

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

The 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games 2011 beginnings at The Snow Farm

It's been hard getting up at 5 am to help set up all the wiring and flags for both days this weekend to help with the Winter Games at the Snow Farm, but it's been really worth it, and I had far more fun than I imagined was possible.


I've got another blog site to help punt along a nordic skiing web site I sponsor, and you can see two posts about the weekend if you go to it at

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Great conditions for the upcoming Pure New Zealand Winter Games 2011

The weather is looking good on the Met VUW 5 day forecast and the recent snow-fall Gods have co-operated fully for the Pure New Zealand Winter Games 2011 that start on the coming weekend 13th August 2011, at the Snow Farm.

The Russian Ski Team is here too and has: one Olympic Champion from recent Winter Olympics held at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and one silver and two bronze... and they will all be competing at the Winter Games.

More news on the Winter Games at the Snow Farm will be appearing regularly on a very vaguely mirror site I'm posting to

A spectacular 20,000 ft high lenticular cloud east of the Snow Farm and Pisa Range in the foreground ~ evening 8th August 2011...

The Snow Farm Lodge ~ mission control and venue for the Nordic Sports component of the games...

Currently there is lots of good quality snow on all the trails at the Snow Farm...#alttext#

The view north west of the Snow Farm Lodge car-park ~ Mt Aspiring on the left, in the Mount Aspiring National Park...
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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Southern wanderings and thoughts from on the road

As I post here once again, this time, well I have writer's block I think it's called.

Maybe too many things to say! So here goes with a selection of many thoughts while meditating / driving a few days ago on a recent roadie through parts of Southland...

I've got a selection of photos too of how I've seen what I've seen.

And you know, they bring to mind the fascinating topic of how we all see things differently.

Riverton Beach...

Extreme examples would be a 5 year old will perceive a scene or event quite differently to a 75 year old, and male verses female could be different again depending on the context learnt from experience, and a long serving recidivist criminal/convict may not be able to describe what he/she witnessed at a crime scene the same as a long standing Buddhist monk blest with a quiet mind earned through years of meditation.

Upper Mavora Lake...

So it gets hard in any event or scene for anyone to be able to state definitively they know the reality, the truth.

Te Waewae Bay is a very exposed and westernmost of three large bays lying on the Foveaux Strait coast of Southland, New Zealand...

This makes a strong case to be on our guard against being judgmental. Humility in face of the fact that we don't know what we don't know seems a good strategy.

Oreti Beach Invercargill, immortalised by the film about Burt Munro, The World's Fastest Indian...

In society these days I often hear many say they're fed up with political correctness.

Gulls on Riverton Rocks...

Closer examination then seems to reveal that we're becoming more tolerant of everything that represent the extremes in society, or more pointedly behaviours and beliefs that on closer examination maybe be based on anything but the truth. The sad thing we can add to this, is an ignorance of history, and how we often fail to learn from lessons hard learnt recently or otherwise.

The Kingston Flyer...

Tolerance of everything sadly includes tolerance of intolerance!

Lower Mavora Lake...

When I experience a group of people with extreme views, I begin to wonder if tolerance could be a quiet pervasive non selective experience that eventually gift's members a wider vision, and then they may quietly withdraw from the group.

I'm going to discuss all this, and my trip, with Tigor over coffee and a muffin in a few days time...

But the bad news here is that then in many instances those left become even more extreme, e.g. groups with a particular racism or religious bent, as they probably feel threatened and alone, yet when in this situation ourselves we don't seem aware of this.

Kingston Flyer economy class...

Hang on though, too much of what I write here could be taken to be descriptions of a number of static states that do alter, and often, just like how light changes on a landscape!


Last week I wrote about the states of emotional availability and un-availability. And did you know that it's thought that when we have dreams featuring water it's symbolic of our emotional state. Watch this space!

Lake Manapouri...

Lower Mavora Lake...

Then there are the Takitimu Mountains, named after the ancient Maori migration waka (canoe) Takitimu. To me they have much mana [for some reason in my head the name also seems to mean chief or king], just like the nearby Mavora Lakes...

The mauri [life force] of the two Mavora lakes represents the essence that binds the physical and spiritual elements of all things together, generating and upholding life... ... more on a previous post >>
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Monday, August 1, 2011

The hidden things in life

Writing here raises some questions, like who reads this and since I only know a fraction of the answer of this, then who do I write for?

It can be self, and even the manifest ego of same, but it could also be to just pick a topic and "go for it"! To reveal more of self or not, is a very good question too. There is risk in this, but also inherent honesty.

But where is the truth in any given situation? I find I sometimes get to it by blundering into situations, where, as they say "angels would fear to tread".

And on reflection often I reckon I've a good bunch of very pretty guardian angels that literally facilitate "exiting" from these situations in a reasonably elegant manner with little damage to self.

The price I pay shines through though as an increasing willingness to take emotional and even spiritual risks, and thus the only constant is change, along with an ever growing sense of wonder and humility - because I know so little about not very much!

If I could photograph my angels I fancy their demeanour would be as portrayed in this dreamy photo. And who is to say these two souls are not angels. I simply assume they're not, but doubt creeps in because I'm sure I never expected this result on pressing the shutter. It could be a camera never lies...

The problem or inconsistency surely arises often when we function from the ego - when we fail to discern the nature of reality...

Or it can be all about context too! We assume here the leaf landed after the ice formed, but what if we'd never experienced an autumn or a winter...

And then there is history. We may not be at a crossroads, but simply out early on the dawn of a winter's day...
For myself I'll often take in a comment such as made recently by my friend Bob McKerrow "..somehow, I don't think the Crusades are over", and inadvertently file it in my subconscious.

And on that occasion my contextualisation was in relation to trouble spots of the world.

But on more recently examining something seemingly unrelated on the home front, namely research on prayer ministry organisations in New Zealand, I unexpectedly learnt from yet another learned and unrelated source, ".. prayer ministry!!!! That's where the crusades do come from".

Google itself says it fails to index deep knowledge, so you won't find that sort of comment idly surfing the web.

Thus quietly as if by stealth medieval thinking pervades through generations, ingraining intolerance under the guise of compassion, to be present right at my back door!

Now I can't prove or disprove the above, and I may stir up a hornet's nest and ruffle the feathers of some of my readers as I shine light on what it seems many would prefer darkness presides over. But I'm "over it" - yet another type of injustice, because primairily a little more research revealed, again from a professional, that psychotherapy techniques based on medieval concepts actually cause more problems than they solve in rehab. institutions.

Yet, I believe prayer does work, and far from wishing to be negative about the above I offer an alternative: a proven 10-15 step programme type of prayer:
God grant me the courage to change the things I can..
the serenity to accept the things I cannot..
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Alcoholics Anonymous etc. mantra

It seems we need an honesty in application like AA employs, based on knowing the origination of an organisation or action or teaching. It is not enough to be well meaning.

From an AA web site:

1] We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2] Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3] Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4] Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5] Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6] Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7] Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8] Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9] Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10] Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11] Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12] Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

... I love it as it has such a high vibration and lightness about it, and has been so successful it's now employed as a technique to aid the cure of every addiction or dependency malaise under the sun [gambling being one of the toughest].

More on the Twelve-Step Program set of guiding principles that has worked for millions of people >>

So how often do we fail to see the wood for the trees...

And are we all emotionally available? If we're not we're not only limiting our possibilities, but can cause untold grief totally unaware we are doing so, clinically or otherwise!

Mea Culpa - I have at times in my life been emotionally unavailable!

Ignorance is never an excuse either, and to counteract it we need constant vigilance, for this is the cornerstone of freedom.

So don't take up arms, but observe self and find discernment that can be trusted residing within. It takes reflection and work. For me, a life's work.
...often helped by standing alone facing the winds of the world...

Independence from Social Programming

Safeguards against being programmed by society are:

1] emotional detachment in which all information is viewed as provisional, 2] awareness that ordinary mentalization is unable to discern perception from essence, 3] knowing that the wolf in sheep's clothing often hides beneath sheep's clothing. This suspension of belief is the practical application of the basic dictum to "wear the world like a light garment" is a mode of attention that nonetheless still allows spontaneous interaction and function in society.

Reality, Spirituality and Modern Man
David R. Hawkins.
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