On the Eve of the New Year

Today, is the new year's eve in the lunar calendar. Tomorrow, we will enter the Year of Monkey.

Tomorrow, is also when the "vows" of the pilgrimage will start to take effect. I am 3 weeks away from the "official" departure date, but would like to start getting serious about it, before it gets serious.

The past few weeks of "getting acclimated" internally have been quite juicy. Much inner stirring and churning. As one holds up a light, the shadows also get a lot starker. The imminent start of the pilgrimage is compressing the wiggle room between what I say and what I do -- between who I'd like to believe I am and who I actually am becoming by each micro-choice I make.


"Journey to the East"

In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.

- Dao De Jing, Ch. 48

For the past seven years, I have been on a "Journey to the West", in pursuit of knowledge -- Reason, Science, Modernity, and Progress. At 17, I headed West from China to Germany. At 18, I went across the Atlantic to college on the East Coast of the US. Four years after that, I moved further West to the San Francisco Bay Area to live and work.

The Journey to the West is not over, nor will it ever. But as this pilgrim of knowledge heads further and further West, he has encountered more and more of the perils and contradictions of this path. At the edge of its logical limit, West turns into East; the "pursuit of knowledge" turns into "the practice of the Tao", into the longing for wisdom, for embodiment, for returning home, for rediscovering what he has left behind at the beginning of the Journey.


Pilgrimage Prep: Gift Ecology and Financial Transparency

Of all that I have learned over the past two years, one of the most important is Gift Ecology. Thus, a key intention of the upcoming pilgrimage (of bicycling around the globe, hereafter referred to as "Pilgrimage") is to deepen into the experiments of Gift Ecology.

Our dear friend and teacher, Nipun, has courageously lived and thoroughly reflected on Gift Ecology for decades. As a toddler on this path, I will just quote that Gift Ecology is "a shift from consumption to contribution, transaction to trust, scarcity to abundance, and isolation to community." Gift Ecology recognizes that there are many forms of "capital", beyond the familiar financial value.

Below, I would like to follow a particular line of inquiry around "financial transparency", within the vast and unfolding world of Gift Ecology, in order the lay the foundation for further living that truth.