Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Do You Like Watching Cooking Shows?

 I have one for you.

This is a YouTube video sent to me from a reader on my https://Travels with Jo.com


It is Roasting a chicken in Borneo.

It starts slowly with a girl riding a moped through the Borneo jungle. Eventually, she comes to a hut where she proceeds to prepare a chicken for the family meal. As the family—a young couple, a boy, grandma—became involved in its preparation, I, from across the globe, became mesmerized. And I wanted to share their experience.  

Borneo roast chicken


(Cut and paste.)


With a Smart Phone we are connected around the world. Not only do we have the ability to call almost anywhere, we have the Internet and a camera in a device small enough to place in our pocket. (And, I remember when calling abroad took about 8 hours from call to connect.)

In my little corner of the world, I sit at my computer and let fly whatever comes to me. You wonderful people are one precipitant of my barrage. I want to share, but not inundate you, for I get about two feet of emails daily. Not fun stuff, though. Basically deletable. But once in a while, something comes through, like a note from one of you guys or from that young girl who sent me a video of her roasting a chicken.

As you search through your emails, I'm hoping Tuesdays with Jo comes up as one of the fun ones.

Like spaghetti thrown at the ceiling, I've been throwing my work, that is, inclinations that come to me, to see if it sticks.

This is what I have been doing this past week:




“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there."--Rumi




Tuesday, March 22, 2022

We Care


Most of this content comes from a blog post I wrote on Feb.1, 2019, then I put it away and virtually forgot about it. Having it come up in my email by a commenter made me curious to see what they found of interest.

That post impacted me so much I had to write about it again.

Here it is: What do you think? Any comments?

 “We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. 

"So, we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

― Buckminster Fuller

 I heard Buckminster Fuller speak in San Diego California, and my mouth dropped open when he said he made $300,000 a year and spent every penny of it. He knew he would make another $300,000 the following year.

 How cool is that!

 That was 30 years ago.

At the time of that blog post, I was taking a course which begun in Portland Oregon, called The Right to Exist. Later it moved to another location and to new writers named Dominika and Cedric. Their course is The Trailblazer.

When I first began following The Right to Exist site, I thought about how people work like slaves, often hate their jobs, go home tired, grumbling, watch television and fall into bed, only to repeat the same procedure the next day.

And working mothers get their three-year-old child up at 7:30 to take her to day-care, drop her off at day care, or later on at school, work for 8 hours, pick up the child, or children, and go home to whatever happens in the evening. Only to begin it all over again the following day. Some young children spend over 40 hours a week in day-care.

And our social system, in giving any financial assistance, keeps the participant at the poverty level, for we have the belief that if a person doesn’t work, they are lazy, and the state/government/whatever social service doesn’t want to support laziness. One must justify their right to exist.

 “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

—Nelson Mandela

 On the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum are individuals who rush to “jobs” they love so much they say, they would do them even without pay. These individuals often make an enormous amount of money, buy jets and such, send cars into space, and are the envy of others sitting at home watching TV.

 Of course, those glorious ones got off their butts and worked for the thing they loved. As a result, some received high financial rewards. However, some have a problem. In their effort to reach the top, they forgot that inner work is required to become a whole human being. They became despondent, couldn’t handle the pressure, their relationships fell into the toilet, they used drugs to calm the savage beast and some ended up killing themselves.

 It’s a dilemma.

 And crap, this will break your heart:

 “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings.” –Nelson Mandela.


We care.


While working my way through The Trailblazer processes, I hit a spot where I questioned what I wanted to do, where my strengths lie and found, that while I thought I knew what I wanted—to write, to blog and to write books. Another possibility came pecking at me.

 I wanted to write my own course, not to copy others those who have gone before me, but my own—to work through it with my participants, for, you know, there is more than the external trappings of life.

 There is also the inner work of how we relate to other human beings and to ourselves. Few of us have escaped life unscathed, and most people feel they aren’t good enough.

 If one’s psychology is 80% of the battle in living the life we choose, then the place to begin is with clearing the path to our greatness.

 I have taken more seminars, workshops, courses, and training programs than you can shake a stick at. (Words of my mother. Although I still don’t know what that means.) It is time to stop soaking up information and to pour some out.

Nelson Mandela said that while in prison, the rocks they were bashing glistened in the sun and hurt their eyes, so he asked the guard if they could have sunglasses. Well, you know the answer/ "No." Later Mandela asked if they could have books, and the guard said, "You are here to have sunglasses and books." So, Mandela and his fellow inmates decided to tell what they knew to one other person. (Reminiscent of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.)

Share what you know. We need to hear it.

 Like spaghetti thrown to the ceiling, I will throw out my information to see if it sticks.

 Thank you for being here. You are awesome!

 So, how was your week?




Panama has declared that nature has ‘the right to exist’ in a groundbreaking new legislation.

After a year of debate, the country's National Assembly, President Laurentino Cortizo signed off on the new ruling last week.

It grants nature the “right to exist, persist and regenerate its life cycles” meaning Panama’s parliament will now have to consider the impact of its laws and policies on the natural world.

The legislative text defines nature as “a unique, indivisible and self-regulating community of living beings, elements and ecosystems interrelated to each other that sustains, contains and reproduces all beings.”

 Panama now joins countries including Colombia, New Zealand, Chile and Mexico which have granted nature legal protection, either through their constitutions or the court system



Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Moon Over India


Once I took a train across a portion of India. The railroad car consisted of a plain wooden box with two platforms attached to the forward and backward wall, with a window between the two. The platforms were hinged and could be folded against the wall or pulled down for seats. With my head and shoulders on one platform and feet on the other across from me, I draped myself beneath the window. My two traveling companions didn’t seem to care that I had commandeered the window. I guess my position didn’t look too comfortable to them. But I loved that train ride, for I had a panoramic view of the Indian countryside played out like a technicolor movie.


At one stop, I watched little boys playing in the railroad’s water supply that was open and spraying like a fire hydrant. On the deck beside the depot, I watched a couple change their toddler’s diaper and use water from a thermos to wash his fanny. Toilet paper is scarce to non-existent in India. Instead, water faucets are installed beside most toilets, even ones that are a simple hole in the ground. You can bet most of our suitcases were filled with toilet paper, as we were forewarned.


As the train rolled along, I occasionally saw a dog with a stained ring around his belly and hind legs. In fact, every dog I saw in that area had the same stained rump. Curious. And then I saw the cause. In the middle of a ginormous mud puddle—more like a shallow pond, sat a dog.


Two friends and I went to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. Hey, we were in India. It was a must, right? I was so na├»ve. I didn’t know it was a mausoleum. In the 1600s, the emperor built the Taj Mahal for his favorite wife, to the tune of, in those days, 32 million dollars. (In 2020, that would be one billion.) The love story between the emperor and his wife is heart rendering. She was so beautiful that he instantly fell in love with her, and although she was not his only wife, she was the “Jewell of the Palace.”  When she died of complications in giving birth to her 14th child, he was so heartbroken he grieved for two years. And then he watched over the building of her mausoleum for another 10.


Upon walking through an archway, we were struck by a shimmering image of the Taj Mahal so brilliant that it appeared to be vibrating. Not only was it made of white marble, but semi-precious stones were precisely inlaid into the marble. The effect was not only exquisite, but gave the structure an ethereal quality. The two towers beside the building are structurally engineered to tilt. Upon viewing the building from a distance, the towers looked straight.


We were required to wear footies over our shoes when we entered the building, which was surprisingly small, a simple marble room with a tomb in the center. And beneath it, another room with another tomb exactly beneath the first. I learned later on the emperor was also buried there. The reflecting pool in front of the Taj Mahal contained no water. They told us it was only filled for special occasions, and since it was about 120 degrees that day, we understood why it was empty. I am not exaggerating about the temperature. However, we weren’t unduly uncomfortable and only learned the following day that we had endured 120 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you can understand why the dogs cooled their heels.


Six of us, led by a couple who regularly made the trek, journeyed to India to see an Indian guru named Sai Baba. We had viewed a film where he supposedly created verbudi, a sacred ash, from his hands. So, it was a bit troubling when we were there to see trinkets sold outside the ashram that looked exactly like the ones he supposedly explicitly created for a devotee in his audience.


What did I learn? That no person is my master. 


I once wrote about a phenomenon I witnessed in India and again in Hawaii. That was the grapevine. This surprised me that people just appeared and offered information when you needed it. One morning as the six of us were having breakfast in the courtyard of the house where we were staying, someone yelled over the board fence—we couldn’t see them, and they couldn’t see us—but the voice told us that Sai Baba had moved from the little town where we were staying to his ashram in Puttaparthi. So, what did we do? We threw our simple mattresses, that we had purchased, onto the roof of a taxi, climbed aboard, and traveled to Puttaparthi. We did have one meal there, but basically, because we were afraid to drink the water and eat the food, instead, we ate toasted cashews sprinkled with cayenne pepper and drank lime soda from a bottle. (And we left the mattresses for the next visitors.)


From the ashram, Florencia, Sherri, and I went to the Taj Mahal. After Sherri got homesick and went home, Florencia and I traveled a bit more—like Copenhagen, “A wonderful gem of a town,” where it was so cold we donned wool sweaters. Florencia had been married to a military sailor who said you could only drink alcohol when the sun was under the yard arm, so at the end of the day, before we had our customary glass of white wine, one of us would ask the other if the sun was under the yardarm. Florencia would say, “Somewhere in the world, it is.” And that would give us permission. Florencia was a perfect traveling companion. She is gone now, but maybe where she is they serve white wine and don’t care where the yardarm is.


What sent me off on this trail? My honey and I watched a documentary the other night titled “I am Salt,” about an extended family that spends 8 mounts every year on a desolate mudflat in India, farming salt. Fascinating. I did not know salt required such hard work. Everybody worked on sitting up camp, digging the pump and hoses out of the mud where they had buried them last year, made ponds, and ran a pump constantly to bring the saltwater buried in the ground to the surface to fill ponds. As the water evaporated, leaving behind the purest white salt, they had to tend their crop, building berms to hold the water, ditches to move it, tamping down the soil, adding grass, so the crystallizing salt had something to grab hold of. It was laborious work. As I watched the momma’s making flatbread, I wondered what they ate besides bread, and I thought of the babies in India. The babies didn’t fuss or squirm as one would expect of an infant. I had observed that fact until our ride back from the Taj Mahal in a First-Class railroad car. Onboard, a young couple had a young child, less than a year old. They looked affluent, immaculately dressed, and the baby acted as one might expect of an infant that age, jumping on their lap, active, squirming, taking in its surroundings.


I concluded that nutrition had a hand in this.


Why did I call this "Moon Over India?" Well, our travel agent said that a visit to the Taj Mahal during a full moon was exquisite, and that we would be there during a full moon. We don't know what it looked like that night for we were wiped out from the day, and languished in a hotel room that night.

That vibrating image was the picture I have carried away. It was enough.


Don't forget that review you've been meaning to write--you can be honest, and remember, adults like children's books too. They are fun, and who doesn't want to know what they would find if Inner Earth really did exist. Please go to Amazon, click on book, scroll WAY DOWN of left side of page, and viola' there is a place to write a review. A click on the book cover will take you there.

  Two in a series, however, each stands alone.