Eat, Play, Love: Life at Camp 14

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… Spirit is dropping clues all the time …

connecting you to a magical, loving Universe.

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This hub is in my WIP (in my Work In Progress) bin. I will feel free to come to this WIP bin, any time and whatever time I choose, in my own time. This is Everybody's hobby.


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DISCLAIMER: This hub does not need to be identified with the true life author of the quirinus.hubpages.com author. This may contain fiction and purely imagination work referring to places and names. The only real identities on these page are whoever they claim to be, e.g., see credits for quoted materials. In progress: researching the author of my companion book, about 'introversy', if there is such a word a this. Otherwise, my apologies to the honorable Languages that humankind use. Due to lack of time or pure laziness, this hub has not been appropriately researched. Everything as much as possible has been written 'by pure Inspiration'.

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As needed, I am willing to reveal my true identity and sincerely hope whoever I reveal myself to does not become disappointed with my ordinary-ness and the tattered clothes I choose to wear because I cannot afford a new pair of running shoes worth over US$$$ of my favorite brand (?).

Integrity. Such a beautiful word. But no one seems to want to stand for it in the midst of a mob attack when the mob represents status quo.

One day in training, we were presented with the closing spiel (i.e., to introduce the customer survey) that we were supposed to end the call with after talking to the customer. To end the training’s discussion of what the spiel was, we were asked whether we had questions. As I’m won’t to do, when I did have a question or there was something in my mind that needs to be clarified, I did ask a question in response to the trainer’s request for some.

I presented an “alternate” spiel, which added two or three words to the official spiel, to make it a more accurate representation of the fact that the survey questions were actually about the company and not about the phone rep.

The heat of attack. Immediately, my question was met with a violent reaction from the audience. I tried to explain further that in fact the actual survey questions asked the of customer were all about the company and not about the rep while the spiel about the survey implied that the questions were about the rep. For some mysterious reason, no one seemed to understand the disconnect between the presented 'fact' and the truth. Was I speaking in parables?

Or is it the normal human tendency to go with the crowd, accept status quo, swallowing what is taught to be as truth---hook, line and sinker, without question? The normal human tendency to want to not rock the boat? What makes the need to belong so strong that no one would like to stand up for the truth? Integrity is out of fashion.

It seems.

*******

There were so many things happening prior to my out of town trip that were seemingly suggesting to me not to proceed with the trip. For one, due to the bad weather, my daughter had suggested for me to cancel the plan and just stay home. … for the 5-day duration of my 5-month overdue vacation?

Then a few days prior, the weather forecast changed from rainy to showers with light rain. I thought this might be the sign that I’m looking for. Logic had to support intuition. Although I felt good about proceeding with the out of town plan, I needed to have some logical proof that it was safe to go ahead with it. An improved weather forecast for the next three days was all it took.

*******

A few days ahead of the trip, I had thought there should be some structure so as not to waste the precious three-days’ worth of camp time. Yet, I didn’t have the time to sit down to putting into writing any structure for the vacation, even a loose one. It turned out, whatever works really works.

All I did was take along a book with me, just in case I needed to ‘kill’ time since I found myself without the company of someone who was supposedly joining the trip.

At the start of the trip, I knew that meals will automatically decide for some loose structure---the three meals per day. I had in mind that economy was also a consideration so had canned goods in my baggage and allowed for two decent meals, possibly at the camp cafeteria. Not a very appetizing prospect to think of going on canned goods for most of the time but I did have the solace of starting and ending, with the two cafeteria meals, to start and finish up the adventure.

What had these out of town trips been in the past? What did I expect it to be this time around? These had always been about going to the beach and doing silent sitting meditations on the shore, sunrise and sunset every day. This was my way of recharging my energy, rejuvenating the physical and spiritual me, away from the hubbub of the hectic city life.

I couldn’t expect the same opportunity of outdoor sittings this time around since the weather forecast was mostly rain. So again, the book came in handy and sittings can be done indoors albeit without the panoramic ocean view and the sound of wind and waves.

So there was really some structure come to think of it, even without conscious planning. Without thinking. The body knows: the three meals plus the two sittings, then free time in between.

Things turned out somewhat exactly as expected. I was only able to meditate indoors, not quite the usual idyllic experience I have had in the past. Except that having already accepted the indoors as a given even before the trip started, due to the weather forecast, there were additional ‘perks’.

In the dark of the night, lights turned off and on, as power shut down with the power cables outside dangling in the strong winds of what seemed like a storm.

Oh boy. And I’m the type of person with that type of imagination when in the dark. Ha ha. Show-stopper: I had my own flashlight. After the first lights out, I had made sure to have it within reach wherever I went, especially in the john. Luckily I had brought one along after I just so happened to be watching TV when one of network-featured hunks mentioned his style of dealing with contingencies. In line with the tips, I also made sure to pack with me my cell phone charger and of course, the easy-open canned goods that needed no opener, to avoid adding weight to my lightly packed baggage.

I had also planned for the possibly of flooding since I have been told in the past that after I had once visited, the place was inundated with rain and water from the mountains that caused flooding of up to knee high­! I kept the empty plastic bottle of the 6-liter mineral water I had consumed, just in case I needed a floatation device.

It’s getting to feel more like a real adventure trip. I couldn’t have imagined that a journey to self-discovery could actually turn out to be an adventure, with so many highs and lows. It challenged one’s capacity to accept things just as they are, hoping for the best yet preparing for the worst.

The following morning after breakfast and sitting, I had free time. Time for play. I was used to expecting the place to have videoke bars everywhere like it did before. But lo and behold: they’re gone. Banned. I had to travel all the way to town if I still wanted to pursue what for me was considered play---singing. Hmmm. Was it worth it. I took a trike and requested the driver to take me to where he knew there might still be a videoke, but we were told they were no longer in operation. Same with the others I checked out. While walking, however, I met another friendly trike. I thought this being courteous to be a good sign to entrust my care to this person to take me to town.

And he did turn out trustworthy. I realized on my trip going back to camp that what the trustworthy local guy charged was only about half of the normal fare. He was a blessing in disguise. You get this kind of strange but delicious just-so-happen things happening when you can’t help but be helpless. In retrospect, it seems like you have been attended by an angel in disguise. ‘Unaware’ while attended by angels. … attended by angels unaware?

*******

Back in camp, back to my canned meal. Lunch time, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, played on my cell phone. Next after lunch came free time. What to do with so much free time between now and sunset-time indoor silent sitting? “Happy” never felt so right in the privacy of my own quarters. I felt like dancing. And danced anyway.

So this is why my planned companion did not materialize. So this is why I didn’t give in to my craving for a warm, heavy meal smelled, but not tasted, wok-sautéing in buttered garlic. Who could dance ever so gracefully with a full stomach, with somebody watching?

“Life is beautiful.


Dance like no one is watching

Love like you will never get hurt

Sing like no one is listening

Live like it’s heaven on earth


Enjoy this day.”

- www.papemelroti.com

It felt like this trip is about the body being the teacher. It’s hard not to trust when it has taught so many valuable lessons in the past, at least in my experience.

It starts with a gentle swaying … “Happy, happy, happy, happy, …” Then rocking, then … The music takes you over.

As you pay attention to your body, certain parts call out to you. Your elbow maybe? What does it want? Move it forward? Backward? Upward, downward? In circles? How does that feel? Maybe it is about getting in touch with how our body feels.

“Trust the letting go and follow its leading.” – Ray Grigg, #30, “Tao Te Ching”

“All the value lay in that of which Joy was the desiring.” – C. S. Lewis, “Surprised by Joy” (?)

Set your body free. It is a constant Buddy in this life time. It is a best friend to one who reciprocates.

It is most likely to be a different preference depending on the individual. Maybe gracefully rowing the boat on a quiet stream works best? Different strokes for different folks. And for different situations. I know, when I go back to the reality of the hustle and the bustle, I may not have the same opportunity.

The importance of using routine hustle-bustle activities as outlets for the body’s request for conditions for a normal or, better yet, peak metabolism becomes obvious.

You can, if physically able, decide to use the stairs instead of the elevator, as per cardiologist, etc., etc., etc. I wonder at the office why they have shut the stairwells locked all the time until complex technology called it quits---four out of eight elevators on a newly constructed building---forcing them to allow employees to use stairs ways as options?

Stair climbing can be an enjoyable experience with earphones pumping base into your ears to give the beat, but watch out: your eardrums. Everything in balance. Gently allow the body to adjust. It takes time. Forcing is a no-no.

While walking/stair-climbing you may want to observe which beat is most suitable, e.g.; the four-fourths of Jason Mraz “I’m Yours” or the thirds of of “Emperor’s Waltz.” For example, to walk in cadence with the rush hour crowd, I found “Emperor’s Waltz” a match … or was it that somehow “Emperor’s Waltz” discovered the rhythm of the city? (Mraz’s goes with a long or slow stride, that feels more like my Buddy’s taste.)

The depth of the phenomenon that is the “maddening crowd” has somehow taken a gentle meaning.

And by the way, use the landing between plights of stairs to catch your breath, keeping your legs going to the rhythm of the preferred music. Remember that any limitation can be turned into an advantage, when dealt with an open mind.

How time flies. My music player was set to shuffle and repeat. I didn’t notice how long I had been dancing. every Song had beckoned and was reckoned by the Buddy, regardless of the beat. All accounted for.

Silent sitting was up next. What was the question? Why did I come up with this trip? What have I gotten myself into? The question depends on who is asking. I know usually when I sit down to Silence,

I come without a question. Maybe that’s why I don’t remember having obtained any earthshaking insights from that sitting. It may be when your body is busy with something physical that you usually get insights, the same way that noted frontier-pushers, in our midst, developing leading-edge technology did.

The way it goes for me when sitting in silence is to say “thinking” whenever a thought pops up. And let go off the thought by going gently back to focusing on the intake-exhaust of oxygen from the perfect machine that is the body. Focus on breathing, it is the Universe breathing through you. Gently settle down to a relaxed breathing rhythm.

What happens during that silence is that somehow a keyword pops up. I don’t even bother nothing it down (which works for some people), trusting that the keyword will come back to me once the sitting is over. At least, I know that and try not to linger on any popup word. Let go and trust. The same attitude gives me the assurance that everything I need to remember in this hectic life, I will remember.

If it’s something I forget? … I needed to forget for some reason possibly unfathomable as of the moment. But in retrospect … Useless cluttering the mind in this era of information overload and ever-changing technology. Advanced technological design, ideally, is based on the ‘intuitive feel’ criteria. The unlearned consumer should be able to use it without help.

*******

Once over with the sitting, ready to write, ideas just seem to spill over, like living waters (“Let Stillness Lead” - http://quirinus.hubpages.com/hub/Let-Stillness-Lead-A-Poem ), from that single keyword or phrase into the typed page (although some hub keywords originated from dreams, e.g. “Aspect of Time”). True to my character, I no longer remember the words. But the essence remains. Much like Love, as per Van Gogh. Anyone can claim a stake in my authorship, entirely free. It came to me freely, freely it has to be given away.

Anyway. “Whatever really works, really works”, I remember my US-based brother say.

After a meal of half a can of sausages, I noticed it would soon be dark! Meaning bed time, with the wind howling from a storm still raging outside, just like the previous night.

Uh oh. “Brownouts”/power failure again. (I’m not sure whether the word brownout is in the American English; must have been invented by some Filipino engineer; i.e., to mean mass service disruption to a certain extent and “blackout” to refer to those which affect a wider network of power grids. Correct me if I’m wrong. This race seems to have a propensity for mangling even languages, including their own.)

Brownouts again. Flashlight ready, I tried to face my fear.

I went to bed listening to more music, hoping it could ease my fears aways and lull me to sleep. I thought of happy thoughts when me and my beloved (see “Songs and Soul: ... “) went shopping carts full of objects of vanity, which were all of course just a fantasy (*“Fantasy” Earth, Wind and Fire Youtube below). Who said you cannot use your imagination to make happy thoughts? Heaven on Mother Earth, Any One? Disclaimer: as long as you know how not to hurt yourself, not to hurt others, always watching out for what’s good for all … You’re perfectly fine. … ({

Sometimes we need to discern whether others will not be offended with our offer of help though. You will be treading on sensitive territory at times. (Paulo Coelho referred to Mother Mary as a metaphor for Love: “Because she is above wisdom, she does not bother between good and evil.” If I remember correctly. Could this metaphor be extended further to represent the Mother Earth’s psyche? She makes rain for the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ yet she nurtures everyone unconditionally.

You can extend the Mother Image metaphor as far as your imagination can take you. Unless a childhood or life trauma has altered one’s perception of the Great Mother. Mother Earth’s scary raging Storm is her way to restore the delicate Balance against the imbalance that man and laws of nature must follow; her howling Winds, her weeping over her innocent children who are caught in the storms/hurricane/tsunami/flood’s path,

The powers-that-be or think they are super should be warned against tampering with the Laws of Nature, if we care about the innocent victims including ourselves.

Ho hum. This lengthy soliloquy is … ? Fill in the blanks. And on and on, the yakkity-yak. That’s how I feel when someone verbose is nagging me. “To cut the long story short, what do you want me to do?” You don’t need to lose your courtesy in front of the discourteous. It is not necessary.

}) … A paradise of peace in a stormy sea that is Subic Bay?

To cut the long story short, I finally felt asleep (i.e. forgot about the storm outside due to my sleepiness) at 2:30 a.m. Note the use of the word ‘felt’ instead of the usual ‘fell’. Because I knew I was still awake, having managed to look at the cell phone clock time: “2:30”.

Good morning,” said the “camp director” when we met at the camp cafeteria where I had planned on ending my ‘fast’. I was quite surprised by his positive vibes, which seemed incongruent from an expat on a beach in the middle of a typhoon. The locals were usually the ones more at home with this phenomenon called the typhoon. I was somewhat able to manage a very ‘happy,’ “Good morning!” like we were trained in elementary school, as if as auto-response email due to his positive vibes. This, despite having been traumatized by the still-raging storm. Good vibes are contagious. Stay away from negative vibes, People. And if you’re wondering where some negative vibe you are feeling is coming from, trust your body. Trust that there are things beyond our current perception, that will bring insights from a retrospective angel. Learn the unteachable from Retrospect. It is only visible from your own very unique and individual experience.

Back to the ‘good’ in the morning. Really, there isn’t anything good or bad per se. It always only, is ‘good ’ or ‘bad’ (in quotation marks). Note that Quotation marks are used to cite the text as coming from a certain perspective, not representing the entire picture. (See “Labelling, Judging and Identification: … “ - http://quirinus.hubpages.com/hub/Labeling-Judging-and-Identification-Three-Challenges-in-Practicing-the-I-and-the-It-Perspective )

This morning, especially because it seems that I was the only paying guest around, even the entertainment, the cable TV at the cafeteria was off. Management was making every effort to cut down on cost. Also, it was off-peak, typhoon season. The wind howling around through the quiet, almost deserted place made it feel so lonely despite the company of so many a staff, faithful beyond the call of duty.

By impulse, I grabbed my music player and turned the volume up, creating a new playlist (‘Liam’) on-the-fly, of preppy songs as the music played along. Hmmm intuitive technology by creators of Cherry. Happy, I’m Yours, Pussy Cat Dolls’ Bite the Dust, …

The aura of the place lit long enough for when I was there to feel it as a perceptible phenomenon.

Music, in her mysterious ways, has a way of connecting the soul to its heavenly home.

The three-year old cell phone battery lasted long enough for me to finish my social eating. ‘Social’ because in Pilipino ‘sosyal,’ a derivative of the word can have a derogatory meaning, especially depending on who spoke. … When they say one is ‘pa-sosyal, ’ it may mean that one is flaunting, implying as well, living beyond one’s means. Also ‘social’ because we did what we usually do while sharing a happy meal---chitchats, sharing small talk. Meaningless but intimate, with the local staff.

Come to think of it. I should be more than grateful for the management’s allowing me to bring in my canned goods’ equivalent of four meals. In other five-star hotels such as those renting rooms for over 100$ per night, e.g. in Singapore or Australia way way back close to the end of the previous millennium … they will charge you for corkage. And you will pay, if you are honest. You can afford to bring your vintage wine, meaning you can pay the corkage. Unless you’re a plain ‘pa-sosyal.’ There are those who bring five-star hotel linen home, as souvenirs to prove that they’ve been to so-and-so 5-star hotel. Not to judge. Just recalling phenomenon observable, even to this more ‘modern’ generation.

Bus tickets also come in handy for tracking dates of memorable events, … One’s integrity need not be sacrified. You paid for it.

It, breakfast, went cold but my heart came away with a hearty spirit, having lightened up off of the dreary thoughts about the raging storm. The storm and being away from home stayed pretty much in the background of my consciousness, as the foreground focused on the distraction that was the lively chitchat and preppy music.

RECAP

Objective of the camping activity:

= Compliance with regular out of town trip to recharge energy and strengthen spiritual connection (e.g. via nature such as that manifested as Sea, Sand and Wind); journey into Self-Discovery.

= Exercise emotional honesty despite one’s perception that own personality is an introvert-sensitve.

= Enhance LISTENing skills for improved communication. … to the Moment, be DYNAMICALLY Present. Watch out for clues/opportunities that Spirit is manifesting using the material world, e.g. through conversations, songs, music, your body, Mother Nature.

In Short: Stay in Touch. Get down to Mother Earth. Be well grounded .

Foundations of current knowledge:

I am happy to call attention to the fact that Americans mentored my educational system, that I envy the Australians for their being down-to-earth, and the Japanese who were able to bridge the communication gap despite our limited knowledge of the Nihongo language. My family shares a special bond with families whom I worried about when the big tsunami hit the country in the no-so-distant past. Kind of sad to realize, I miss a multitude of friends whose memory seemed to have receded with the passing of time. Thank you, for making me human. I appreciate the pain. Thank you, God, for making me human enough to understand the pain of everyone else going through an earth lifetime. Truly, we cannot imagine how much we are interconnected with each other. The reality is probably beyond even the wildest human imagination.


*******

Post Script:

The printing of the text to credit the source of “Life is beautiful …” has been mutilated by the complexity of the technology/keyboard that I used, as I type this hub.

The short poem is actually referred by this poster as having been sourced from www.papemelroti.com.

The complexity of this keyboard (i.e., ‘hardware’) may have been brought about by damage from normal wear and tear, I think, over the past 10 years.

My faithful keyboard it seems wants to retire from active service. Several keys are no longer, making certain numeric and special characters and navigation by arrow keys, including Home, End, even the editing key Delete only accessible by an ALT + < 3-digit number > combination or another long cut, Insert > from the Menu Bar. It would be fun to write a simple hub about the 5-minute tutorial a precious friend conducted for me regarding certain ALT key combinations. I love ALT+003 best, which produces a heart on the text editor. Surely you know what 3 or 1-2-3 means to some people? As corny and simple as ‘I love you.’ So corny that it’s easy to remember. I like that one best.

As regards to the complexity of setting the right align tab?

… Truly advanced engineering design should only develop user-friendly technology. Mind you, a suggested a company vision statement, if you see my un-copyrighted idea somewhere, you will know,

It is from Quirinus, no matter what the author’s name appears to be. Spirit will be dropping clues everywhere:

“To support a vision of customer Advocacy,

using excellent customer experience

and an advanced product engineering team.”


or a less profound variation.

(Thank you Stephen Covey for your “Self-fulfilling Prophecy”.)

Hmmm. Writing about “Complex Technology” might be worth looking into. Maybe.

A more urgent topic that needs further exploration seems to be regarding grounding exercises for the transitioning spiritual. I remember 15 years ago, somewhere in California, I had attended a conference entitled, “In Praise of the Spiritual”. As if being spiritual was something to be coveted. But wait, there’s more: Eat. Play. Love. In the transition, a very delicate balance needs to be maintained. Grounding exercises become imperative, as per the nun whom I spoke with when starting on my quest. She gave me a concrete (e.g., for Catholics) example of doing a ‘walking rosary’: walking while praying the rosary, observing the movement and the feel of the body as the hips sway with the forward movement of each foot. Left foot forward, swaying hips, right foot forward. Left ..., hips ..., right .... Never be constrained by the words. Focus on the feeling, the right words will flow out on their own if you are sincere. Whatever language, so it seems.

There is something similar to the rosary in the Buddhist tradition.

There are more exercises which can be researched through Google for sure, but including them will exacerbate the length of this hub. The rule of thumb would be to convert ‘thinking thoughts’ to ‘doing thoughts’, doing instead of just being busy with thinking. Move. Get in touch with the immediate physical environment.

A complex keyboard like this that making the task more difficult gives, in my experience, a reality check, a constraint being converted to an advantage, in that it becomes a grounding experience. Once again---‘Never anything ‘good’ or ‘bad’ per se.

… We can always rise to a challenge if we want to …

*******

Thank you, Bill Gates, for inventing CTRL+Z and other CTRL+ combinations. A badly needed app on a faulty keyboard like this.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for the book, “Eat Pray Love” where I derive this hub title.

There are many other good reads:

Thoughts from Heart of the Soul – Gary Zukav and Linda Francis, for developing emotional awareness, which is important in getting in touch with what our soul needs.

The Introvert’s Way – My camp companion. Thanks to Sophia Dembling, for providing inspiration for feasibly another hub, time constraints allowing.

All the known and unknown authors of the Holy Bible:

“He who began a good work in you

Will carry it on to completion

Until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Phil 1:6

The World’s Greatest Comeback – ©1999 International Bible Societys




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Real life pictures found at 'Quirinus' Camp 14', limited edition.

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Quirinus 16 months ago from Sitting on the Rug Author

Guys, Every one, thank You for the positive vibes you have sent my way. It gives the power behind the words on this page.

Please let me know what other questions have been left unanswered. Might be able to come back to this page only when an opportunity arises. Everyone needs to pursue a means of livelihood, striking a balance between Self and Others.

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers, where my inspiration is derived. I really appreciate. ~Quirinus

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