Trip Start Jul 19, 2010
Trip End Aug 10, 2010

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Flag of Finland  , Eastern Finland,
Sunday, August 29, 2010

'Has anyone seen my future?' asked one of the Italian jokers walking around the food circle dressed only in boxers , ‘or his past?’ asked his partner in crime - a bemused look on his face. ‘And has anyone seen my now?’ asked the Polish guy. ‘I’m trying to live from the now the now!’

‘What is so great about being present?’ I asked Olivier, a slightly older man with a Merlin style beard oozing wisdom.  ‘It means I can feel’ he replied ‘so that I am free from my ego and all the thoughts which come from my social conditioning. It means I can be myself’

‘Isn’t it obvious?’ replied Andy when I asked him the same thing. ‘It’s fundamental. Thinking about the future and the past is a recipe for anxiety and regret’

Living in the now is central to the ideology here and the longer I stay the more I realise how this philosophy is intertwined into everything.  The day simply evolves and things happen spontaneously without planning and with minimal structure. There are no watches, no electronic equipment and no leaders.  The morning food circle (breakfast) has been called as late as 4pm. Yesterday evening a storm was brewing as we made the circle and people just suddenly started dancing  -  barmitzva style!

Music is also spontaneous. Someone plays, others join in and the tune evolves. I’ve joined in and found that letting go of the conscious thoughts actually improves my (already very remarkable) performance.

"God laughs at plans" is a popular idea I discovered in Israel (see previous blog). I began to wonder if living in the now could affect the way I plan (or shouldn’t plan) my life. One evening I asked Aaron – an inspiring, spiritual kind of a guy who had learned with a rabbi this question, and I received an astonishing answer.
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