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102 S Topanga Canyon Blvd
Topanga, CA, 90290
United States

310-497-1899

I-CODA International Centers of Divine Awakening , founded by Swami Premodaya is a spiritual center to promote growth of the individual's innate spirituality. Offerings include public events, online satsang, discourse, all day workshops, and spiritual retreats.

At the Master's Side

LOST IN TRANSLATION

I-CODA

Loud booms and crackles made their way from the streets to our 9th floor hotel room.  It’s Chinese New Year! - Taiwan’s biggest annual holiday.  Besides shops and businesses and banks being closed, the other mode of celebration includes all service providers charging 20% to 40% extra (restaurants, taxis, hotels, doctors, etc.) from January 28th through February 12th.  Hooray.

What Val and I did today:  

1.  Took a stroll to the laundromat;     

2.  Watched the clothes go round and round.  

3.  Worked.

4.  Napped.

Yes, a pretty full day. 

Directly across the street from the Laundromat:   Pizza Hut.  The pizza toppings include octopus, squid, and unidentified.  I’m convinced the crust is made of tater tots but Swamiji thinks they’re croutons.  What’s your guess?

In other news, Premodaya pointed out that we’ve all been washing our hair with ‘shapmoo’ for the past several days (see pic), and that shapmoo is way better than shampoo.  Perhaps it’s some special Taiwanese ancient mystical hair product.   I’m inclined to think it’s true, considering I’m completely recovered health-wise now. Plus my hair isn’t looking too bad either.

All in all, though we’re all very pleased and blessed to have experienced Taipei, especially during this most auspicious time of year, I think we’re ready for our next adventure.

Next stop?  India! 

SEARCHING FOR VEGETABLES IN JAPAN

I-CODA

Kon'nichiwa! 

It's our third day in the city of Kyoto, and it's bitterly cold!  As Val and I are bundled up walking the streets, Premodaya reminds us this is "bathing suit weather" for him, and frequently asks "where is the beach?"  (Swamiji 'runs hot' and therefore really likes cold weather).

Unexpectedly, Japan is a difficult country for vegetarians - meat and/or fish are not only part of every meal, one or the other is used in almost every dish!  So poor Val has been relying primarily on fried cheese and radish salads (he's really burnt out on tofu).

As Premodaya mentioned in the last Satsang, though Kyoto is significantly smaller in population compared to Tokyo, it feels much more congested.  It's not very tourist, foreign visitor, or English language friendly, either.  Finding our way around town, ordering from a menu, or even basic communication with hotel staff, has been a real challenge.

Gurudev and Val explored the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove today (also referred to as the Kyoto Bamboo Forest).  As far as myself, I've been resting at the hotel the last few days.  I came down with a little something, but am feeling much better and more energetic today. 

Jikai made (Until next time),

Aden

 

 

"I'M A LOVER NOT A FIGHTER"

I-CODA

        Swamiji makes friends wherever he goes.  Yesterday Swami was shopping for a traditional men’s Japanese kimono.  We were greeted by an elderly shopkeeper who took an immediate liking to Swami.  He pointed toward Swami and said with a smile “Oh, big belly!”  He then said “Triple-XL!”  We all had a good laugh, including Swamiji.  Premodaya tried on several kimonos and commented that he truly felt Japanese when wearing them.  The shopkeeper assessed Swami after the first kimono was on and exclaimed with glee “Samurai!” Swamiji had our translator and friend tell him “No, I’m a lover not a fighter.”  The man understood and bowed with delight.  Swami was impressed with the quality of the kimonos, but this particular shop didn’t have enough options in size or color, so we moved on.

JapanTemplePDAV-17Jan2017-400px.png

We also visited Sensō-ji, an ancient Buddhist temple located in the Asakusa district.  The sights and sounds were exhilarating! Smoke was billowing in the air from a large incense burner called a jokoro, which was located in the middle of the square as we approached the temple.  Many people gathered around the jokoro, fanning themselves with the smoke, as it's believed to have healing properties.
 
Today we are traveling to the city of Kyoto, which is best known for it’s classical Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and traditional wooden houses.  We are looking forward to being in this city that represents ancient Japan, and in fact was Japan's capital for a thousand years.
 
Stay tuned for much more!
 
Love,
Aden