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Earlier I thought of an appropriate response as some esoteric act that only cats, lamas and other enlightened beings were capable of. This notion has been evolving with time and I see it now as showing up for a situation, seeing what it asks for and acting from that place. There is no separation between the self and the situation. Then I simply know what to do, how to react and leave the rational mind out of it. Most of the time the appropriate response is not what I think it should be (surprise!) and I can end up doing what seems like the right thing but still something doesn’t feel right. Possibly because trying to figure out appropriate response outside the context of the situation is as meaningful as trying to bottle the air. In many Zen stories a teacher gives different advice to different students in the same situation.

Can someone but me know what my appropriate response is? Above all, how do I know?

I stopped eating meat a few years ago and when I did it seemed the most natural thing to do, at least to me. I sort of promised myself to not make a religion out of it and so far it never has been an issue. Even when on one particular occasion I actually did eat meat.

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I am not a football/soccer person but every time I come to Asha in summer my dad and I go see the local football team in action. I like the feeling of belonging with the other supporters perched on the wooden benches, a bottle of cold beer in hand, on this cosy stadium surrounded by covered in green mountains.

Not to forget these sharp comments from the enthusiastic supporters who apparently know exactly how things should be done and are ready to share it with the players and the referee. They know each player by name and God forbid one of the guys decides to shirk. The insulted fans do not keep their breath responding with the comments that will make unaccustomed ears burn. Let us say it can get very personal. At first this kind of language and attitude threw me off but soon I realised it was a somewhat bizarre expression of love.

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A few pictures from the same vintage point, different directions.

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It hadn’t rained in Asha for two months by the time I got there so I climbed up one of the mountains and offer a desperate-for-rain dance to the local gods.

The smoking chimneys on the other side of the river that at that point almost completely dried out belong to the local Metallurgical Plant. It was a relief to finally see the town I had been born in thriving thanks to the revival of the factory. Way to go, Asha!

The rain started when I was leaving my old hometown to go back to my present home. The gods did like the dance, it seems.

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In my new space

All the major work is done, time to lie back and look around. I like this new home of mine but hardly had any time to settle into it. The question that I am tuning into is: “What does this place ask of me?”. One of my favourite places to be these days is… the bathtub. Every other night I find myself diving into the white foamy mass, thinking that I might as well decide to never get out and simply stay in, listening to the soft sounds of explosions somewhere in the midst of the floating constrictions, myself drifting almost thought-less, almost weight-less, almost book-less. Nothing or no one is missing here right now. The feeling of content is temporary, I know that but for the moment it will do.

night.jpg

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