Earthing on the road

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One great motivation for me while traveling is to find good places for me to take my shoes off and touch down with the ground. Poolsides are great, as they tend to have unfinished tiling or paving around them. Trails of dirt or concrete are wonderful because they often give magnificent views of the jungle and mountains. The best are beaches. Salt water with extra conductivity and sand to comfortably walk on barefoot, what more could I ask for?

I haven’t been near the beach as much as I wanted, but the few times we’ve been near or in the ocean have been nirvana. There’s nothing like soaking in the sun and the energy of the earth at a beach. My tensions release and I get down to a level of calm that I don’t often reach in the city environment. It’s easier to take full breaths, easier to feel my heart’s activity, and easier to be in touch with all that’s around me. That’s what earthing is about mostly, for me: to connect with the earth so that I can connect with all that is also in connection with it.

When I pass by someone on the beach who is also barefoot, there’s a connection with them. The same goes with animals; I am much more calm and connected with dogs when I pet them while I’m barefoot. If you’ve ever walked past dogs barefoot, you may have noticed that they feel differently about you. They are just calmer around me, bark less if at all, and look at me differently. As funny as this may be, I’ve felt it time and time again.

Back to the beach, walking past someone who has their shoes on is a different experience. That level of connection just isn’t there. We are on a different level of energy, not just in a cultural sense but I believe in a physiological and electromagnetic sense. I haven’t tried testing this with gauges. It sounds like a great project though, one that I will strive for one day.

So, if it’s not the beach most days, then what do I do? Well, if there’s a courtyard or a pool or a restaurant that I’m stopping by, I will cast away my sandals as soon as appropriate and get my feet on the ground. Most of the time at restaurants I can be sneaky and get away with this. Especially in Southeast Asia, where it’s hot and many people drop their sandals anyway while sitting.

It will get tricky in Thailand, where there is a taboo against the bottom of feet showing. I’ll have to figure out how I’m going to go around barefoot in public places. Shouldn’t be a big problem.

It’s funny, because if you have an electric vehicle, you charge when you bring it home to your garage. The battery gets that influx of current when you plug in the cord. For me, I get the charge more when I’m away from “home”. The moment I touch down on ground I feel the influx of current, a calming sensation, a feeling that I’ve reconnected with my battery.

Live powerfully,


The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

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On time and money and other things after Bali

Coconuts, toasted, grated, milked, creamed, oiled, or in other form, are best not bottled in plastic. The younger ones have delicious juice but not much flesh, the older ones are very fleshy but the juice is thrown away.

Quality in Ubud is measured in terms of purity, simplicity of process, and closeness to the natural form. This is true for food and also all other products. Pricing reflects this quality. Scarcity holds less market power because things that are not readily available in their natural form are not sought.

The Balinese respect Bali and they are proud of Bali. Individual Balinese will look you in the eye and tell you so.

The town of Ubud, Bali’s center of crafts and dance, embraces tourists. They will stand up for a foreigner if something happens. That was a decision by royal leadership. I don’t know if Los Angeles feels that way about tourists.

It’s difficult being an Asian American man from the U.S. traveling in a third-world Asian country. Imagine the implications of someone who looks like you but is not held to the same cultural mores, norms, obligations, and economic limitations. Some men just simply weren’t happy with the contrast. I’m very sensitive to this. By meditating on it, I’m learning to get past the dog stares on the street. And to concentrate on the friendly faces. And to be a friendly face. Traveling is like visiting a home of a friend’s parents. Be your best, roll with it, have a good sense of humor. It is not easy for me.

The closer one gets to poverty, the more explicit the exchange of time for money becomes. You can use a food processor to get spices ground down into paste within ten seconds. The Balinese use knives, mortar and pestle to do it. It takes over an hour. A food processor doesn’t cost much. But the Balinese choose to spend their time to make food in a way that is right. Think of how much we spend on kitchen appliances and tools but how little time we spend cooking. It is possible to have too much money, if it doesn’t complement how you spend your time.

Time is not money. They come from different dimensions. Just like currencies of two different nations, you can exchange one for the other. But sometimes the rate changes. Depending on the wisdom with which you spend either, the rate could be in your favor, or against. Figure it out and you hold the keys to a rich life. I’ve got a lot to learn, join me!

Live powerfully,


The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

A changing perception of time

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Flying, diving, hiking, eating, eating, and more eating in Jakarta and Manado. What a whirlwind of experiences! After the flurry of fun with family, we moved on to Bali.

The vacuum of quiet was a bit overwhelming at first. We were really on our own. No family with us, foreign surroundings, and a stretch of time ahead to do with as we pleased. It was exciting, and it was what we wanted. But I felt a lot of weight on my shoulders. It was up to us now to determine what to do, and how long it should take. Strange how that can actually feel like pressure.

Aside from the initial stall, it was nice to just enjoy the day to day. It’s surprisingly hard to do, though. After eating breakfast and making coffee one morning, I didn’t know what was next. We had no activities planned, no meals to take care of, no one to meet. I felt a bit tired so I just sat in the cool air-conditioned bungalow. When I got bored of that I moved outside into the humid afternoon and sat there. I read from my book, I wrote in my journal, and sipped on my coffee. I allowed myself to get bored, and then to go beyond that. Every time I felt bored, though, I remembered the great tropical fauna and flora that surrounded us.

Trees reach up and out with leaves bigger than my body. When the rain pours over them, the collective pattering is both thunderous and soothing. The sun shines very bright in the morning, flinging straight up above the horizon. Chirps, coos, and cackles from an endless variety of birds fill the warm, breezy air from every possible angle and distance. Roosters crow from dawn until dusk. Geckos burp from the ceilings at night. Motorcycles hum past on the street. Children’s laughs and shouts have a charming hoarseness. It comes from growing up playing outdoors.

Long term travel is a huge playground to exercise a different perspective of time. I practiced taking my time back home. I exercised full immersion in things like walks to the park. The different textures of the sidewalk squares, new flowers on trees and bushes, bugs and birds and lizards that crossed my path or caught my eye. Everything, even in my own neighborhood, day after day, could be interesting and of the utmost importance for at least a moment. I created immortal moments by giving myself to these little things with no reservation. I tuned in to eternal moments by allowing everything to soak into me. It was great practice for this open-ended travel adventure.

No matter how long a traveler is in a place, there’s never a completion point. And on the other hand, there’s no point in thinking that one’s experience is ever incomplete. It simply is what it is. There’s no way and no reason to do it all, and what transpires, no matter how great or small, is the essence of life. Time slows when things are appreciated. And when time slows, life becomes more dense.

Yesterday we moved to a different inn because we couldn’t negotiate a more reasonable price with the owner. We wanted to stay longer since it was such a nice place, but we also wanted to try something new. So we said our goodbyes and moved on to a cheaper, but still very decent, abode. Had we been time starved, though, we might have panicked and either paid the higher price to stay or decided to leave Bali sooner than we really wanted. I don’t think we’re quite ready to hit the hostels.

Walking on a daily basis in Bali has been great. We’ll soon be ready to do some more exploring, but it’s been decompressing to just stay local for several days.

Live powerfully,


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Being in a foreign country makes words special. I’m limited in Bahasa Indonesia, so I have a lot less to say. Since I’m so much more frugal with words, I can’t help but to be more mindful of what I do say. A simple yes, or no, or an effective adjective or noun, suffices most of the time as communication.

In contrast, I realize how much I say in my native tongue that is useless or superfluous. Colloquial expressions, repetitive additions of adjectives or phrases to emphasize a point, nonsense interjections and sounds make me feel comfortable with what I’m saying.

I notice this overexpressiveness with the people around me here, too. It’s not that we are wrong in verbalizing outside of the point; it’s just that we are unaware of it. As I (very) slowly pick up on words, I hear them being used outside of their direct meaning. Sort of how Americans say, “like” and “honestly” beyond their effectiveness. Guilty as charged.

Of course, language involves not just words but how we say them, the expressions of our face and body, and the all the extras we throw into the mix. It helps us to connect and relate with each other on a deep level, one that is hardly noticeable. And unfortunately, we hardly take notice of it.

Being mindful of how we express ourselves and what we verbalize is respectful of those with whom we commune. It gives them a thoughtful message, easier to digest and respond to, or at least more carefully packaged with meaning. It’s when we say what we mean.

Walking through the streets of Bali, where we’ve come to settle into a lower frequency for a bit, I come across nonverbal expression every day:

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These canang sari offerings are made morning and afternoon, set out in doorsteps, sidewalks, and on statues representing gods and demons.

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They are a perpetual, powerful, precious acknowledgment of the Balinese deities. They are set out in silence, and require no words. The offerings carry the message, cut, folded, woven and packaged with utmost care. There is absolute awareness and intention of every flower placed, every leaf positioned, and each color chosen. No mistake can be made about their meaning.

Such is the potential we have with words as well.

Live powerfully,