Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Is this a Holiday?

What do you do with all that vacation time. As Danes we have 5-7 weeks a year if you are a working slob. Way more if you are a student or on the teaching staff. Of course the student group will always bemoan the fact of no money, the time is still there. Time to travel, visit friends and experience something a little out of the ordinary.

Because he had travelled two days in the saddle, Claricles was sore, and wondered aloud to the stranger as they settled for the night, why anyone should travel.
The stranger said,"Some travel because they must, some because they will.
"Some feel a destiny, which is in fact curiosity and recklessness, and of their own accord take long and arduous journeys.
"Some love to live in the whole world, and the whole world often responds by refusing to give them anywhere to call their own.
"And so they wander still; the wood pigeon has a nest, the fox her den, but the wanderer's home is both nowhere and everywhere.
"The wise of every culture have their views about how to travel. It is well said that they know nothing of their homelands who know only their homelands, which implies that to travel is to learn;
"But there are those who travel and learn nothing. It is well said that at the furthest point of our journeyings what we meet is ourselves;
"But there are those who leave themselves behind, and forget themselves enough to err in foreign places, because they believe they are nowhere that matters.
"The wise say, do not travel with a fool. So the fool had better stay at home, because travel will increase his folly.
"When the wise travel they take note of customs, of people, of the way things are done differently.
"By the same token, to receive a traveller in one's home country is an opportunity to hear news and to learn of far places.
"The ideal traveller is he who travels with no baggage but his thoughts, eager to learn, ready to speak of what he has seen.
"But never to speak with exaggeration or falsehood, keeping due respect for all differences and strangeness he has encountered,
"Knowing that he is himself strange to the stranger, and that he seems different to those who are different from himself.
"Such a traveller is never more at home than when far from home. He sees with clearer eyes than the rest of mankind what ruins have been made by man,
"And what works he can be praised for. When he crosses the mountains on his travels, he can see the coming dawn of peace, because he sees further than the rest.
"The good traveller brings the time of peace nearer. He builds bridges across the seas, he draws nations closer together,
"He shows men that there are many ways of living and loving. He teaches them tolerance,
"He humanises them by being a brother to them even though he is a stranger in their midst."

(The Good Book made by A. C. Grayling)

This summer Lino Miele has a retreat in Italy, spend a few weeks with travellers from around the world. Staying in the hills of Marche, a few hours north east of Rome. Enjoy a morning practice, afternoon playgrounds, swimming pool, wonderful locally grown Italian vegetarian food. So many good reasons.

Lino Miele retreat

The dates for the summer retreat are 19th. June - 2nd. July Meeting on the 18th. June
For more details contact Rossana on

This winter and the idea of another Christmas in a traditional setting is losing its charm? Well Southern India calls. Lino Miele has a two month workshop in Kovalam, Kerala. Yoga practice 6 days a week. Quiet traffic free village by the seaside, Ayurvedic treatments, Temples and mountains, tea plantations, sailing on Rice Boats. Kerala is called God's Own Country. It is a lush and rich area, wonderful local kitchen, the state has the highest level of education in India.


The workshop runs from 11th. December to 3rd. February. With the long travel times and change of climate it is best to aim for at least two weeks. 3 weeks is better, anything over that is a bonus.

Guided Class on the rooftop of Peacock Hotel

Lino Guiding the Friday class

Local fishermen

Simon outside Suchindrum Temple with blessing.

Fruit stall


Temple Wagon

It tasted as good as it looks

Ayurvedic treatment (Foot massage)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

In the words of Will

William Shakespeare. "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

The Buddha says a similar thing. "Our life is the creation of our mind."

We are what we think, we create the reality we exist in.
Are we stuck in a reality that we are not enjoying?
Well the science of genetics are saying that we are predisposed to having a negative or positive view on life right from the get go.
Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, fortunately there is a solution!
We can check in and see what our little brains are chattering about. We can change that internal chatter just by being aware of it.
We become more aware of what we are saying to ourselves on that internal chatter.
This internal chatter is then reflected in what we say.
What are we telling ourselves, what are we saying to the society around us?
Is what we are saying true?
Does it really hold up to the light of day?
If it is a continuous run of negative thoughts and speech then there is usually no real basis for this. It is rarely as dark and threatening as we have convinced ourselves our reality is. Have a close look at what you are telling yourself, is it really true, or is this just a reality that habit has created for you.
We are often so involved in the daily chatter of gossip, irrelevant news, worrying about situations and circumstances that we have little influence over. We are bombarded with advertising and images that draw our attention away from any calm centre.
The practice gives us a few moments during the day to calm our minds and go a little towards that centre that is us. As the chatter subsides we become more attuned as to how we can relate with our friends, our enemies, our challenges with negative ideas.
Keep an eye out for what you are telling yourself, check out if what you are saying has any real truth to it. If not discard those ideas for the rubbish that they are. Keep green, tidy up your "house" and remember to chuck out any garbage that is cluttering up the place.
Check out what you are dragging around through life.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Amager in the sun

Today is really the first warm day we have seen this year. On with the sunblock and on my bike. I have been looking for an opportunity to get out and see Bjarke Ingels Figure 8 on the edge of Amager Fælled.
I always enjoy being out on Amager, it is so different to the downtown area of Copenhagen were I usually move around.
Riding out over the southern part of the city it turns high tech industrial. The old industries have now moved out of town to cheaper areas in Denmark (Carlsberg) and many have simply moved production abroad. Sydhavn is now Nokia and Siemens country with their new local headquarters in shiny new buildings, hotels and car salesrooms abound.
Over the bridge and onto the quiet cycle paths running a little away from the main roads, beside the wide drainage ditches that crisscross Amager. Turn down beside Bella Centre with its new Conference hotel and suddenly it is all new for me. the Metro runs just to the left of the road and it is looking very futuristic. When I was a boy the vision of the future was always flying cars, it is a relief that the trains have survived and that most sensible form of local transport, the bicycle has been encouraged.
A few miles down the road and there it is, an amazing structure rears up from the flat grassy landscape of a winter brown Amager. The Figure 8 building, it is just such a stand out structure, sleek and beautiful with its fine Scandinavian simplicity and the wonderful choice of materials. 8 Tallet
I wandered around seriously in awe and grabbed a coffee at the café. The café was large, very busy and seemingly filled with young families, maybe the new residents or just tourists out enjoying the day. The café is in the far corner of the building with two sets of steps going away up the sides of the building. It looks out across a wide water filled area to the grassy scrubland that stretches down to the southern tip of Amager. Good coffee, though a little too busy for my liking and only 3 toilets in the café! That was kind of strange, when there is seating for at least a hundred guests and more outside.
Riding back to town the spires of the city churches guide you in. Amager is such a strange mix, caravans and small allotments. brand new houses next to classic 60's and 70's villas. Suddenly changing to forests and run down workshops. Sandy paths and broken tarmac, it really is an assortment of styles and themes thrown together.
Cycling back I was watching the buildings on my left as I was now coming into town further east. this put Ørestad on my left. Many of the new buildings are well thought out and look appealing to live in. Maybe its a guy thing but they seem to be very masculine in their style, just the kind of place for a leather sofa and a big screen TV. And then there was something else Bjerget (the Mountain) another of Bjarke Ingels structures. It won the world architecture prize last year and is quite outstandingly different. The front is covered in wood (cedar?) forming cosy balconies and what looks like a great feeling of privacy. Cars are parked below the building with stairways rising up around an inner metal open wall.
Riding on I was deep into the older area of Amager and this garden appeared. I am extremely jealous of the persons ability to prune the trees and plants in the garden. My only compensation is that it was a little anal as all the plants had little white markers beside them, saying what they were.

Back across the "new" pedestrian/cycle bridge and into busy city. Everyone seemed to be out walking. The motor bikes were roaring and screaming, carrying delighted owners after a long winter of tinkering, cleaning and quiet times.
Reading the Guardian in the sun, not too shabby.