Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The showers and toilets were finally ready and Chris performed the opening ceremony all-alone!!
Again, it was a small gathering, but the music and the dance were raging already Friday night. Rain was expected on Saturday, and during the afternoon it fell, mild and refreshing, without stopping the drums.
Sunday the sun was out again and there was still dance classes going on and a small group of drummers even stayed the night over.
I learned a lot of new stuff and enjoyed this gathering very much. I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures, but here are some for your enjoyment:

Ruben, Chris, Adley and Mario


Friday night

The view from my camp


Greg, Diensu, Adley and David

This is not photoshop…

but a trampoline

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I'm going to Dunun Village tomorrow morning and will be outside the net the next four or five days.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I grew up in Europe where we have trains like the ones in Japan, so I am an expert with trains. Brie is not bad at finding her way, but I have been in Japan before and I do know a little more about it.

So, anyway we had gone to Hakone and were caught in a thunderstorm walking to the hostel with our luggage - and no umbrellas. We were soaked and the hostel had mildew in the bathroom. So we moved to the Ra kuun hotel, which was not much better but a lot more expensive. When next morning was grey and foggy we decided to seek other pastures. Kamakura was the place we all had liked. Let’s go there!

We had come by train on the Tokaido line from Yokohama and an hour in a bus. Now we backtracked, but we didn’t have to go all the way back to Yokohama because half way back, in Ofuna, we could change from the Tokaido line to the line for Kamakura.
What we wanted was an express to Ofuna. The panel showing the next trains announced a Tokaido line Express, and there was only three minutes to get to the platform and the train. I urged Tony and Brie to hurry up and we got in just before the train left.

We went through a tunnel, and another tunnel and another.
Did we go through so many tunnels?
I didn’t think so.
I asked Tony and Brie and they said, oh, yes!
Then we stopped at a station that I hadn’t seen before. I didn’t want to believe it, and it was too late now to get out, but we are going the wrong way – away from Ofuna! The mountains are on the right, the ocean on the left, there’s no doubt. Oh, the downfall of expertise!
My fellow travelers took it quite nicely; they didn’t rage against me or stop talking to me, but I had to relinquish all leadership in railway stations hereafter.
In order to stop their snide remarks about my mental abilities, I promised to take them out to lunch in our favorite restaurant as soon as we came to Kamakura. In return I made them swear that they would never, ever mention this again, neither to me nor to anybody else.
So I know that you haven’t heard the story before!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Click to enlarge!

Congress of Birds

Westcliff, Santa Cruz

Colors in the Backyard

Roses faded, Broccoli gone.

For Halloween maybe ?

Napoleon in the shade

My Friends

The empty Chair (I just left…)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


A local line in Kamakura

Looking out front on the Toyoko line

Shinkansen - the bullet train

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


In ‘Be Here Now’ Richard Alpert, aka. Baba Ram Das, told about the young blond sadhu, Bhagavan Das, from America who introduced him to his guru, Neem Karoli Baba.
The first time I went trekking in the Himalayas I met Bhagavan Das. With my fellow travellers I had passed the night in a small settlement; then, in the late morning, a tall figure was spied coming down from the mountains.
“Bhagavan Das”, said my one companion.
One did not often meet fellow Westerners in 1970 on the trek to Mount Everest; it was an occasion, and we sat down to drink tea and exchange news.
Bhagavan Das was fair and broad-shouldered with a crown of dreads wound on his head. I had never seen dreads before on a Westerner; I was captivated. He was such an ideal of what the sixties revolution was about, of freely following the re-spiritualized consciousness.
So he said: “Come and see me.” And he explained where he lived and I recognized Kopan where I had been called to watch the sunset once at the end of an acid-trip.
When I came back from the trek and went to see him, he was not there and before I had a chance to meet him again he was gone.

Ten to twelve years later I met Bhagavan Das in California. An amazing change had occurred. He now had children he had to take care of and he had become a car dealer, a totally straight-looking well-groomed American businessman. We only just saw each other shortly and acknowledged our connection, then again he was gone.

Now, another twenty-five years have passed.
I recently got a new housemate, Leela, and it turns out she is Bhagavan Das’ faithful associate. He has returned to his beginnings and drawn them to a conclusion and there is no trace left of the car dealer! He has for many years now been a travelling sadhu spreading good vibes with his devotional songs. Leela had arranged for a Kirtan in Santa Cruz Saturday night and Bhagavan Das came Friday and stayed in our house for three days. This time we had time to really connect. I played djembe as part of the musical support at the Kirtan and Sunday night we watched Lama Yeshe teach on DVD.

It is amazing how karmic connections manifest and how you can have a deep relation to a person you only meet a few times in a lifetime.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


We had spent the day in Kamakura, a small town that was the capital of Japan from 1185 to 1333 and contained many temples and a huge Buddha statue.
Brie wanted to visit a shrine that was right next to the first stop on our train ride home. She said: “If you guys are too tired you can go on home and I’ll go to the temple alone.” I was tired but not quite sure what I wanted to do.
When our train arrived at Kamakura station there was a first class car – a so called green car - right in front of us and I said: “That’s a green car,” and ran to the car in front, but Brie and Tony didn’t follow me. I wanted to find them before the first stop and when I went into the green car they were there, sitting all alone in the luxurious compartment.

“You can’t stay her,” I said, but Brie said: “Oh, it’s just one stop.” So I sat down with them, but just before our stop a railway lady came in and explained, mostly in Japanese, that we had to pay extra. The train had now stopped and Brie said: “But we get off here!” The lady began to explain again that we had to pay extra, but when Brie insisted: “We get off here!” she relented and said: “You go other car.” We jumped up and ran to the next car and straight to the door out, Brie first, then I, and Tony last. Just as Brie ran out the door it started closing and I stopped, afraid of being caught in it. We were separated. Brie put up a cheerful face and waved goodbye as the train started up and all the Japanese, who are normally so polite, laughed at us.
Tony wanted to go back, but I was too tired to follow and at the next station he left and I continued home.

I had been home nearly two hours when Tony arrived - alone.
“Is Brie not here?” he asked. He had not been able to go back because he didn’t know what train to take. The station was big and trains went off right and left. He waited to see if Brie would come and when she didn’t, he gave up and continued homewards. At the huge Yokohama station he got lost when changing trains, and when he finally found his way he took the express train that didn’t stop at our station.
Thanks to an herbal relaxation we began to see the comical aspect of our adventure, but when Brie arrived half an hour later she was quite mad. She had waited in vain for us to come back, and it didn’t help that we were giggly when recalling the Japanese all laughing at us, but when she understood that Tony had done his best to join her, but was lost, and with a helping of saké, she joined our mood and we all had a good laugh.

Monday, September 03, 2007


From the supermarket




Even the garbage looks tasty !