November 27, 2010

Flake it til you make it?

I don't know where I'm going to live tomorrow. I don't think I really want to stay in the bay area.

California? Who really cares about it anyway..

Is it a pipe-dream? Am I-- was I California dreaming,

Why am I thinking of Thailand now?

Am I running,...or doing exactly what needs to be done for myself right now., where I'm going to live

What I'm going to do!!?

Well,.. I don't know yet.. I do know, at least right now--I'm a wanderer.

And while I am procrastinating to blog Wandering; The Path of Expansion (pt.2)... I thought I would put up this quote by Jeff Brown... someone I don't even know but caught wind of through a friend... This made me feel better.

"It is important to grant ourselves permission to wander as part of our Soulshaping journey. So often mischaracterized aslostness, there is a kind of immersion in the not knowing that is actually quite focused & necessary if we are going to excavate and identify our divine purpose. So much information can come up when we are looking in no particular direction. A sense of wander, Flake it till you make it.." 

Thanks for that.


November 21, 2010

Housewarming In Oakland

Last night we had a housewarming in the house I'm temporarily living in... There were some other musicians who came and at one point the convergence happened.

Harmonica, guitar, drum, flute and myself on the didg'... We played-people sat and listened, and I realized the power of music.. Again.

Afterwards Yuki said to me that being able to play the didg' is a rights of passage--a coming of age instrument.  Those who can play it, in this case myself... are sent a message that we are ready to step-up in the world...

I really got that.. The didgeridoo is an instrument that I continually give thanks to for being able to play... It is so powerful that sometimes I have to LITERALLY stop playing it b/c its just too much for me.

Then I new that I am supposed to keep playing this instrument. We'll see where it takes me.


November 17, 2010

Intermission Enjoyment

Before 'Wandering, the path towards expansion (pt.2)' comes through here.. I thought I would post a video from my new york city subway concerto days, waaaay back in the summer of 2010...

Someone was just asking to see this SO, I am going to post.

It's the spirit of my wandering, really. For me, to go OUT in the New York City Subway system with all my didg' gear...
  1. Tapestry to sit on
  2. Crystals to display
  3. bamboo bowl for donations
  4. Casio keyboard 
  5. Egg Shaker
... and plop down

    6.  Oh yeah, and my didgeridoos

... and plop down to play in the middle of the platform.. well, for me. That took some cajones (aka, balls).  Then my box expands. See how that works? No!? Ok, then have a look see.. I'm so happy!

Didg'in da' subway from brandon waloff on Vimeo.
This is my second time out in the NYC subway system (broadway/lafayette) playing the didgeridoo. I have here, a mini casio keyboard accompanying me. While I did get circular breathing down, it was difficult to do while playing the keys. No matter, enjoy~


November 15, 2010

Wandering; The Path Towards Expansion (pt.1)

I'm going to take out a snip-it of my manifesto and delve deeper into what it looks like to wander, and why wandering is a pathway to expand your capacity to fully understand your life and connect with others (well, that's actually going to come next time--this is pt.1).

Before we look at my own created inquiry of 'wandering', let's look at what 'wandering' has meant to many in the past (meaning before RIGHT NOW!) and will never be on this blog.
  • To wander, in the sense of the word, is just to stroll around, carefree, aloof and gay. To move about. As some online dictionaries will note (Merriam); 'wandering is similar to strolling around without a fixed course... but later says "to follow a winding course"  Huh. Soo,... does this contradict?  It also says wandering is "going astray morally." Now we're starting to dig... Morally? I'm confused. Leave it to stiff, up-tight English, wanna be noblemen to fuck us over here.
If you're lost you're in good company. Wandering has always meant in the world of agreement to just flail around, daydream, get lost, be aloof, etc... However I am not 100% in disagreement (we're also going to see why the world of agreement really makes no sense,.. next time, next time). 

I think all of this above IS the precursor to an effective wander, what it lacks, HOWEVER.. is a powerful context. So now, let's take a look at what I think 'wandering' is to be with the added umph and intention to expanding who you are,.. got it!? K...
  • Wandering, here- is the act of moving outside of your ‘self prescribed box
    • We are all in a box, so without getting too heady about this now, let's just say that wandering is partly getting lost and feeling all gay-like while you have no intention at all for going anywhere. That, I kinda like.  BUT, like I pointed to earlier,... we need some context. 
    • If you are in everyday comfort-mode--- and aren't challenged by life-you're in a box. And nothing is wrong with that... (Actually, we are always in a box, even when there is expansion a new box is created). So, there is nothing wrong with staying in your box- it just doesn't provide anymore added insight into your life that you may receive through wandering- or continuing to move through the box- or being at your edge…that being said… 
  • Wandering; is being at your edge
    • Being at your edge is feeling risk and adventure. It's doing things you normally don't do. That is important. You don’t have to leave ‘home’ and venture across the globe to wander, you can do it right where you are now,.. I mean, you're always right here, so ya know.. who cares about going somewhere else. "Wherever you go, there you are." -thanks Chevy...and another one... 
  • To Wander is also to look within
    • 'The act of walking, or leaving your home {home is described as your place of comfort} with no intention of getting anywhere AND being willing and open to learning about yourself along the way as you get lost! In fact, wandering is the act of getting lost, lost in yourself… or just plain lost (there will be more on this to come as well).

Now that this has been covered, the question arises-why even care to do this at all?  I promise to delve deeper next post.. 

This was all inspired by the sentence, "all of us are explorers wandering, and we should all be looking into ourselves in order to expand our capacity to love and understand ourselves and others"  in my 'what this blog is about' section.. now entitled, 'The Wanderers Manifesto'


November 14, 2010

We're Switchin' It Up~

My Parents would be proud; I'm doing something with my Judaism--wandering.

I'm not a hedge fund manager, a lawyer, or even a... he-he..or that, someone else filled those shoes. I'm a real, bona fide wandering jew- I may be green, but I'm surely not the plant variety of  the 'Jew that wanders'. No. I'm me, Brandon, Tuvia Simcha, a man on this earth walking around, playing my didgeridoo, practicing being conscious through yoga, dance and movement, meditation and communication,... Looking into and 
e x p l o r i n g ...swimming around with and playing...

juggling the stuff, all the stuff and nothing but the STUFF...

So why did I choose to do this?

A yoga blog was too small for the content I wanted to write about. While I do enjoy being in my practice and experiencing the benefits that a yoga practice gives me, it was just getting a bit boring talking about yoga. Plus, Hello!! I'm over here in California wandering around looking for work, a home, and really noticing that without purpose to why I came out here, life is totally aimless. But not so aimless that it can't be appreciated and learned from. So, I have come to realize that I am a wanderer, and quite enjoy just the process of being IN my wandering.

I think there is a message to send and that people can take the time to explore in life, wander and get lost in themselves, I mean, if you never set foot outside of your own environment how could you really know who you are, or what you're made of, or even more important.. what you're dreams are. You could argue that we become a social construct, thinking we are in control and know who we are, but how can you be so sure. "The unexamined life is a life not worth living." Socrates said that...

So please, please.. sit back and relax, for a minute, while we say, 'pardon our appearance' and completely switch up the context of this blog. Context is the container for which the following content will appear, and without proper context -the message cannot be sent. The Context IS decisive. What's your context?

I invite you to read over the draft of my manifesto, or, as you will find it -- the 'what this blog is about' sidebar section to find my own mission statement for creating the switch-up of this blog.


November 13, 2010

21 In The Hole

Ive been in California for 21 days now! I thought I would play around with this A BIT and highlight some of my experiences throughout all the mishugas that has been my life OFF THE MAT! 
I was hoping for Dhanurasana (bow pose) for the 21st of the 26 Bikram poses to choose, which would be fitting since this blog is, in fact, entitled slow-down-YOUR-asana (Yes, that is why the name of this blog is a yogic variation of sorts on Dhanurasana [pronounced-'dahn-yur-ahs-ahna], b/c it's funny. Get it). 

And that's not even the point I am intending to make here, and neither is Bikram Yoga, which I don't even practice anymore, I was messin with the number 21. 

So, back to it. I have been journeying throughout the land of California for 21 days now. From Berkeley in the bay-- to LA, and tomorrow back up north. In that time I have,

  • Lived, practiced and worked at a buddhist collective in Berekeley
  • Went to the top of a mountain to possibly live with a young, budding kirtan master
  • Eaten lots of roasted duck soup in the aka 'asian ghetto' of Telegraph
  • Practiced Anusara at Kula Yoga
  • Been moving my body and studying my energy and motion as lab, Ecstatic Dance-SF bay
  • Danced for a photographer who shoots energy and motion
  • AND, danced for a filmaker dancer- who films dancers- in a West Oakland skate park
  • Watched the Phillies (fuck!) at Jake's Steak House in SF, a local phillies/eagles nestablishment.
  • Participated in Dia De Los Muertos or Day of The Dead in SF
  • Eaten at Cafe Gratitude, 3 times
  • Worked with The Jewish Partisans Education Fund, non-profit in SF
  • Rode to Los Angeles through Craigslist rideshare
  • Blogged for Leaders Causing Leaders Conference in Long Beach
  • Slept in Marina Del Rey, Venice, Oakland and Berkeley thus far
  • Have been selling Vila Acupressure mats, almost placed in The Sports Basement, come oN!
  • Was hired to sell Kulae yoga mats and apparel by the company, excited!
I'll cap it there and head to bed now.. so much is going on around me and inside me these days.. It's really all about the journey. 


November 08, 2010

It's late BUT...

I really have to say that I like driving in Los Angeles despite popular opinion.. when there isn't traffic. When it flows it flows, feels like a gentle stream guiding me along the inter-stellar arterial.

That and the FM radio here is surprisingly good.

And that is all for now.

Oh, one more thing. I think my dreams are sometimes chaotic in nature with lots of people around me having random conversations b/c I don't manage my conversations in my waking state. Today when I was talking to someone and wasn't really interested in talking, it felt like one of those chaotic dreams. That was a pretty big insight.

Ok, now I'm going to bed! Speaking of dreams....


November 07, 2010

Leaders Causing Leaders

If you really knew me, you would know that I love connecting with people. If you really knew me you would know that dancing probably makes me happier then anything else in the world. And, if you really knew me you would know that when there is no energy in an event, there is no energy present in me!

People from all over LA and beyond (I met a philly resident) are coming in less than droves to the Long Beach Convention Center for the 1st ever Leaders Causing Leaders conference. Where were all the people?

Sure, there were heaps of empties sans fannies in the main auditorium, something that any speaker would notice and perhaps feel disempowered by? As a former Introduction Leader with Landmark Education I would get a little rubbed when there were a few empty seats to the rooms I was leading. However, maybe I should learn a thing or two from these seasoned speakers and leaders.

No one who I witnessed speaking was phased by the lack of attendance. I think the conference was expecting over 2,000 participants to the actual 200 or so that showed up on Saturday, the first of the two day event.

Let's just get the pink elephant out of the way and move on, shall we. Check.

When all that was going on for me The Dutra St. John's came to the stage and floored me for my first blogging assignment. The creators of Challenge Day, a high school program designed to rip students out of their self created boxes took me for surprise when Rich and Yvonne didn't just talk about their work with us at the conference, they did the work with us. I wasn't ready and I didn't want to either.

First thing on Saturday morning I had to find a partner. Ughh.. Bring back my Landmark Education days why don't we, speak of the devil. I noticed I could either resist and have my attitude about the conference or give that up and do what they wanted, aka-being in their world. Up until that point I was a cynic. Nobody was there, the sound was bad and the lighting worse. I chose to shift my context and get in the conference and their exercise. After all we were all going to be with each other for the next two days.

The St. John's were ready to play. Really ready to play. Like, full on ready to go and they weren't gonna cater to our lethargy. A few exercises later of "If you really knew me" with our partners and a few token Oprah clips of their work in action had everyone in tears.

I left open, free and connected to not only my partner, but the conference as a whole. I zigged, zagged and buzzed through the hall meeting people and connecting, something that I do best.

Three cheers to the Dutra St. John's for their work and their commitment in the world.


November 04, 2010

Letting Myself Unwind

Today in meditation I didn't care to stop the thoughts from pouring in. I just let 'em flow. Usually, I will work on listening to my breath and focusing on counting and that gets me to that clear space of nothing that is oh-so-zen. But today, nahh. Today I chose not to.

I think there's a lesson in this too. Have you ever tried to meditate? I'm not even sure what this means. I hear people say they try to meditate all the time but can't b/c 'there's too much chatter' so they give up. Ughh. More backward western thinking? Maybe. But let's stay clear of opening that can of worms for now and focus on meditation.

It's just being with your thoughts. There's nowhere to get to. I think many of us quit b/c we expect meditation to 'look a certain way'. That when people do it there's going to be this amazingly clear and profound space that will erase all karmic debts in their life and everything will change-PRESTO! And when it's not they can't understand why all their shit keeps coming up. So, rather than stick with it, many people avoid those thoughts and all 'their stuff' and turn it in. It's very important (I've been noticing) to have blank spaces in my day. And I'm no expert either; I'll hang out 3 hours online before bed with the best of 'em to avoid just simply being with myself.

Back to today; that was just a hick-up of opinionation on my behalf. Let's talk about our thoughts and what I noticed.

So today I chose not to try and keep a blank space. Instead, I chose the opposite. I chose to let my mind go and wander and daydream and go off on everything that came up. I thought about baseball and I let it rip; the next thing I found myself doing was being a Baseball Tonight analyst explaining why even the stellar Phillies starting rotation was beatable had rough patches against the Giants which coalesced hits when they needed to. I was talking in my mind like John Kruk and Bobby Valentine when examining teams and outcomes. I was there, in studio and I had a job!

This was all during a 6am time slot that found Asher leading a MahaSiddha Dharma Buddhist guided meditation. I wasn't even paying attention. And I really didn't care. It's what was there for me. I am learning to not be so hard on myself anymore in life, just going with what's there for me, with what's coming up. I guess you can call this compassion. Deep.

What I want to share is that after all the baseball analysis and thinking about going to Los Angeles tomorrow, I got tired of thinking. I gave up. Or actually, it gave up. My mind did. It stopped thinking and for the last 45 seconds of the hour or so that I was in the practice room, I had peace of mind. Not bad for not even trying, huh?

So this is the lesson that I learned that I can see in my life right now. I am lettin' it all unwind, uncoil and release, without judgement. I am following my own true nature, and am not trying to fit inside of or become like others want me to. That shit feels good!