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Cat Tales: May 2012

Posted on 31 May 2012 by brett

LIfe Back on the Road!

LIfe Back on the Road!

Ahhhhhhh…. back on the road! 

In the rear view, a much needed break was in order after 115 long hot days around Southeast Asia. Although Kevin’s death is hard to accept, it brought together several hundred people. We have a renewed appreciation for life, friends, family, and our world travel plan. 

We’ve read several books this year spanning fantasy, non-fiction, business and spirituality. One special book called A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
was recommended by our friends Jeff & Neda. The book is written by Eckhart Tolle, “the most popular spiritual author in the United States”. For me, his perspectives on the human thought process resonated like no other. The gist is to train yourself to an always conscious “ego-less” state of being.

Awakening our Minds!

Awakening our Minds!

I’ve found myself over-thinking stuff to where unconscious thoughts “hijack” my life. I’d worry about past conversations, interactions, missed opportunities, etc. Then, forge a personal profile (ego) and an unconscious vision of my future. I felt trapped in everything but the present moment. This isn’t to say I haven’t done a decent job enjoying life, because I definitely have! The point is, there is so much more to just experience “being” than one can imagine with the unconscious mind. Basically, the past is the past and the future is completely unconscious thinking. His suggestion for coping with unconscious or stressful moments is to say to yourself, “this too will pass”. Continue Reading

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Jerusalem, the “Holiest City”

Posted on 30 May 2012 by brett

Old City, Jerusalem

Old City, Jerusalem (Israel)

If you haven’t visited Jerusalem, go! I am still hitting myself for not going until 36 years of age. There is a special feeling in Jerusalem hard to describe…. and I’m not saying that because I was raised Jewish. One super interesting discovery (of many) is that Old City is one square kilometer and consists of only 36,000 residents. An astonishing 72% are Muslim (26,000), 6,000 Christians (17%), and 4,000 Jews. Of the Christians, 2,000 are Armenian. The city is divided into four quarters: 1) Muslim 2) Christian 3) Jewish 4) Armenian. We wondered why a country “Armenia” has its own quarter? The answer is that Armenia was granted its space because it’s the only country 100% of one religion, Christianity.

Wailing at the Western Wall

Wailing at the Western Wall

With so many religious types, it’s truly amazing that Jerusalem chugs along in harmony. All we hear on the news is about Israel’s struggles to keep peace with the Islamic world. Our experience in Jerusalem (and Israel) has been nothing but friendly and peaceful. Of course, religious fanatics are there and very serious. The funny thing is that they typically ignore you as a tourist because they are so focused on their religious task at hand. Continue Reading

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A Pilgrimage to Mount Nebo & the Dead Sea

Posted on 17 May 2012 by christie

For religious history buffs Mount Nebo is one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage since B.C. Most importantly it is the place where Moses looked out upon the forbidden promise land of Canaan and here he also died and is thought to be buried. Mount Nebo is an easy 10 km drive west from Mataba, the city of mosaics. The Sanctuary can be visited, including a memorial of Moses, remnants of mosaic floors of the old church as well as a small museum of artifacts. Restoration efforts were underway during our visit.

View from Nebo

View from Mt. Nebo

The summit facing the dead sea overlooking the holy land is one of the most astonishing sights. It’s easy to imagine life during biblical times. The view excited us to spontaneously visit the Dead Sea from the Jordanian side. Next week, we will swim the Dead Sea from the Israeli side after visiting the controversial “capital city” of Jerusalem. The winding desert roads below Mt. Nebo took us through Bedouin villages, abandoned fortresses and villagers herding cattle. We stared and wondered how life can be so simple? Continue Reading

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