Archive for the ‘Buddhism’ Category


Besides the round loveliness of the date (and the fact that I guess it’s in binary code), today is the 3rd anniversary of my aliyah.  Yes, 31 minutes remain of my aliyah-versary, the date I “ascended” to the land of Israel.  It was a troubled, bizarre, sad, excited time, and I was sick as a dog with strep throat or similar.  I just thought I would share.

It’s been a crazy three years, and I continued to be stunned with how time flies faster and faster through adulthood.  Often it feels like I’ve done absolutely nothing.  Seriously.  But that’s not quite so.  In the last three years, some of my accomplishments include:

  • Finishing and editing my novel (though it still needs another few rounds)
  • Going to culinary school (and catering one big party – the extent of my formal career to this point)
  • Being published a small handful of times in English-language magazines here in Israel
  • Working at an internet startup
  • Traveling to India, alone, and surviving
  • Traveling to Italy, alone, and surviving
  • Learning to live alone and far from support
  • Creating and inventing and discovering new communities
  • Learning a huge amount about wine and…
  • Getting to work for Israel’s best winery
  • Blogging
  • Discovering Buddhism
  • Learning that being a grownup is the same as being a kid but with less certainty so it’s scarier
  • Understanding that geography is nothing … hell, I live in Israel, and I’m oblivious sometimes to the happenings in my own back yard … and yet, I could probably rattle off more about Haiti and Pakistan and British politics and the Jon Stewart show than most.

I’ll stop here.  So.  Happy 3 years of surviving Israel to me!  Here’s to hoping the next will be … more fruitful and revelatory.  So, according to anniversary tradition – buy me some leather or crystal ware folks!

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Meditation Hall


I’m heading off to a Vipassana retreat, and I won’t be able to make phone calls, check email, write, read, or otherwise speak for a week.  And I am so thrilled!  The problem is in the leaving.  I’m trying to finish off a big work project (procrastinating until the final second), and clean the house, and be kind to my pets (as I’m leaving them alone for almost two days until my sister flies home).  Money.  Do you remember the days of not having to worry about it?  And why did that thought come out?  Probably because September is a slow moneymaking month (holidays), I’m owed some money, and I’m taking a whole week off that I could be working, thus making September less painful.  And as I’m an independent, the amount I make every month varies.  Oh goodness.  I just hope I can unwind quickly enough.  At moments like these I’m embarrassed for myself, as I don’t feel like a self-sufficient productive member of society.  Who are you and what good are your degrees and diplomas and accomplishments if you worry like mad about bills?  And yet, I’m going to Vipassana.  Buddhist teachings have changed my life, but it is so much harder to release and let go than one could possibly imagine.  How do you live every day, consciously, with insight, with grace, kindness, and compassion…and work like a maniac, plan for the future, wash the dishes, date, write, go to school, work, meditate, work, meditate, cook, work, etc, etc, etc?  This is why retreats exist.  To get away.  Refresh.  Relax.  Focus.  Gear up to go back.




OK.  So back to work.  To procrastinating.  To cooking up yet more of the greens in my fridge (yes, I have succeeded in eating nothing but greens and tahini and a few nuts for 4 days now).  To packing.  To not being in the moment so that tomorrow I will receive an even bigger shock when I get to meditate 24/7.  Yippee!

A wonderful Sukkot holiday to all!

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