Yamabushi Monks

Meet the Yamabushi Monks, Who Commune with Nature to Find Themselves

via kottke.org

Watching this felt like a peaceful mini-retreat to the mountains.

It’s been years since I’ve done a retreat and this also reminds me how much I could use one.

At one time, I remember Dawn worrying that my mid-life crisis wouldn’t be a convertible sports car, or an expensive new something-or-other, but that I’d want to walk off and become a monk. I reassured her that wasn’t happening in this life – I enjoy being a husband and father. That said being away from the hustle & bustle of life for a few days would be good for me right about now. Not permanently, but some downtime would be healthy. Think I’ll make that a goal for the coming months.

The Good, The Bad, and The Year Ahead

This year has been an interesting one.

The first part of the year wasn’t great. Dawn was sick and that was the only important thing we needed to get through. She’s much better now, which is really what matters.

The second part of the year was pretty great. The biggest reason being, WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!

Seeing Dawn and Ian happy, in our own home is something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember. Help from some amazing people made it possible and I’m forever grateful.

And our wonderful adopted state of Oregon is where we want to be. Let’s be honest – have you seen a place as beautiful as this? I haven’t.

I was also able to a lot of volunteer hours with my friends at work. FreeGeek, Children’s Book Bank, Girls Inc. are a few of the local organizations I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time with. Looking forward to a lot more of this in the coming years.

Now on to some personal goals I have for the coming year.


  • Write more.
    • So a while back I migrated my blog to Medium. It’s a nice interface for writing, but let’s be honest; they have continued to ruin the platform by changing the way the app displays your feed. (algorithm hell). Plus, I don’t ‘own my data’ if I’m there. I’m deciding on either WordPress, or Ghost currently. Both have positives and negatives.
  • Use Facebook owned properties a lot less.
    • The algorithms suck; plain and simple. Tons of other reasons as well – most related to privacy and trust.
  • Explore, and use the decentralized internet more.
  • Build our home gym.
    • Now that we have our house, it’s time to build our gym. I’ve already started by purchasing a new power rack from Titan Fitness. Now I just need the rest of it. Having a home gym will make it a lot more accessible for Dawn and Ian to exercise with me; which is going to be a lot of fun. I think I’ll also be able to dedicate more time to my training again now as well. Planning to get some strongman equipment as well – we have a large yard so I have no excuse!
  • Continue to work on our house.
    • Luckily, none of the projects are urgent, but I would like to build a nice privacy fence in the back, plant something tall (10-12 ft) to add to that privacy, build some shelving here and there, and of course, grow food.
  • Read more.
    • I came nowhere near my goal for this year in number of books read, but plan on fixing that in 2019. I mean, I ride public transportation almost daily so no excuse.
  • Cook more.
    • Explore new recipes. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Save money.
  • Find a local Sangha.
    • Hsi Lai will always be my Dharma home, and I do remain consistent with my daily meditation, but I do need to find a local place to practice. I have a place in mind, but need to go give it a try and see if it’s the right fit.
  • Saunter in the mountains more often.
    • Get outside at least a few times a month. As you can see in the picture above, there are some gorgeous sites to see.
  • Travel
    • We’re hoping to take at least one trip to somewhere new this year.
  • Spend as much time as possible with my wife and son.

Thanks for reading.

Glitch

Sometimes a glitch just says it all, doesn’t it? This beauty happened during upload to one of my cloud backups; it looks like a few different shots I took at the OMSI ‘Robot Revolution’ exhibit. Looks like a robot outline over a shot of the robot repair center.