Awesome Street Art : 3D Optical illusion by Kurt Wenner
A new book collects the 3D street art of Kurt Wenner, a former NASA employee, who uses his mathematical skill to create three-dimensional illusions on pavements across the world.
When viewed from the correct angle, people standing on top of them look like they are floating in thin air, and solid concrete can look like gaping chasms. Kurt has been perfecting his technique since 1982. Now, using the skills he has perfected over 30 years, he is able to create stereoscopic images, such as the one above enabling people to walk along imaginary webs slung by Spiderman.
For 25 years the artist has been using complex calculations from his old job – creating conceptual drawings of extraterrestrial landscapes at NASA – to bring floors and walls to life. Because of the emergence of computer-generated images, he was one of the very last artists to be trained how to mechanically replicate perspectives using pencil and paper and complex equations. But in 1982 he turned his back on space projects and, after selling all his belongings, moved from the USA to Italy where he applied his knowledge to art.
He says: “The pieces look real because they are calculated to be perfectly and mathematically accurate. It’s exactly how they would look if the objects in my paintings were actually there. I use a piece of string to measure fixed points between the viewing location and the painting. This lets me calculate exactly how the perspective should be. It takes me around five to seven days to complete an average sized piece.
This was the first interactive 3D street painting, combining real people with their painted reflections. It was created during a street painting festival for a Swiss-German documentary in 1987 at Grazie Di Curtatone, Italy
A Door to the Caribbean in New York City, April 2011. The pavement in front of the New York Stock Exchange was transformed into a luxury cruise ship, transporting the public to exotic destinations
The three magi bring gifts to the children of Queretaro, Mexico, in December 2010
The Woman Driver in Bahrain, March 2008. This illusion of an F1 racecar had a hole cut out for the public to sit in and pose for pictures.
This work was created in Rome in March 2008 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s arrival in Milan
Cyclist Bradley Wiggins leaves the Southbank for a ride through the rainforest, on a work called A Forest Path, October 2010
Kurt sits on a work called The Armchair Traveller in Waterloo Station, London, in January 2010
The Moneypit in Waterloo Station, October 2008. This image, showing a bank guard standing over a pit of banknotes, was the first stereoscopic work of pavement art ever created with Colorcode glasses.
An early 3D anamorphic work in Lucerne, Switzerland, 1985
This is one of three interactive pavement art pieces commissioned for Buick motor company in 2009 in Herald Square in New York
A model of the Herald Square work. The pavement art was combined with a vertical panel for extra height, to take advantage of the limited space
Aqua Panna at the V Wine Cellars in Napa, California.
A drawing for a piece of 3D art of a dragon in 2010 in Taiwan.
A Million Signatures in Brussels, Belgium, in November 2010. The European Commission was presented with a million signatures requesting further study of genetically modified crops.
NASA astronaut Douglas Wheelock who is currently aboard the International Space Station shares pictures of the Earth he snaps with the world through Twitter. Known to his nearly 68,000 Twitter followers as Astro_Wheels, Wheelock has been posting impressive photos of the Earth and some of his thoughts ever since he moved into the space station in June, five months after it got Internet access. Needless to say, the pictures are stunning.
Here is a small collection of some of his best pictures. If you find these interesting, you should really checkout his Twitter page.
Greek islands on a clear night during our flight over Europe. Athens shine brightly along the Mediterranean Sea. Unreal feeling arises when one sees the beauty of the ancient earth from space.
‘Mystery Island’ …located in the Indian Ocean close to Madagascar. Interesting features on the island and the unusual shape should be enough to help you discover this beautiful place.
Northern lights in the distance in one of the finest nights over Europe. The photo clearly shows the Strait of Dover. Paris is dazzling with the city lights. A little fog over the western part of England, particularly over London.
The moon is breathtaking
Of all the places of our beautiful planet few can rival the beauty and richness of colors in the Bahamas. In this photo, our ship is seen against the backdrop of the Bahamas.
At a speed of 28,163 kilometers per hour (8 kilometers per second), we rotate the Earth’s orbit, making one revolution every 90 minutes, and watch sunsets and sunrises every 45 minutes. So half of our journey is in darkness. For the work we use lights on our helmets.
Every time I look out the window and see our beautiful planet, my soul sings! I see blue skies, white clouds and bright blessed day.
Another spectacular sunset. We see 16 such sunsets each day, and each of them is really valuable.
Beautiful atoll in the Pacific Ocean, photographed using 400mm lens. Approximately 1930 km south of Honolulu.
Perfect reflection of sunlight in the eastern Mediterranean.
Above the center of the Atlantic Ocean, before another stunning sunset. Downstairs in the setting sun visible spiral Hurricane Earl.
A little farther east, we saw a sacred monolith Uluru, better known as Ayers Rock Rock. I have never had the opportunity to visit Australia, but someday I hope that I will stand by this miracle of nature.
Morning over the Andes in South America. I do not know for sure the title of this peak, but was simply amazed by her magic, stretching to the sun and wind tops.
Over the Sahara desert, approaching the ancient lands and thousand-year history. River Nile flows through Egypt by the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo. Further, the Red Sea, Sinai Peninsula, Dead Sea, Jordan River, as well as the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea and Greece on the horizon.
Night view of the River Nile, stretching like a snake through Egypt to the Mediterranean, and Cairo, located in the Delta. Far away in this picture, one can see the Mediterranean Sea.
Our unmanned ‘Progress 39P’ approaches to the ISS for refueling. It is full of food, fuel, spare parts and all necessities for our station. Inside was a real gift – fresh fruit and vegetables. What a miracle after three months of food from a tube!
I wanted to share with you this view from the Dome. We said goodbye to the members of our group Sasha, Misha and Tracy this weekend, and they returned safely back to Earth. In this photo, Tracy quietly dreams of returning home.
Module Union 23C Olympus docked with the ISS . When our work ends here, we go back home to Earth. We fly over the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus. The rising sun is reflected from the Caspian Sea.
The flash of color, movement and life on the canvas of our amazing world. This is part of the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast of Australia, photographed through the lens of 1200 mm.
All the beauty of Italy, a clear summer night. You can see many beautiful islands that adorn the coast – Capri, Sicily and Malta. Naples and Mount Vesuvius are allocated along the coast.
At the southern end of South America lies the pearl of Patagonia. The amazing beauty of rugged mountains, massive glaciers, fjords and seas combined in perfect harmony.
“Dome” on the side of nadir station gives a panoramic view of our beautiful planet. Fedor made the picture from the window of the Russian docking compartment. In this photo I’m sitting in the dome, preparing the camera for our evening flight over Hurricane Earl.
Florida and southeastern U.S. in the evening. A clear autumn evening, the moonlight over the water and sky, dotted with millions of stars.
Clear starry night over the eastern Mediterranean. The ancient land with a thousand years of history stretching from Athens to Cairo. Historical land of fabulous and alluring island … Athens – Crete – Rhodes – Izmir – Ankara – Cyprus – Damascus – Beirut – Haifa – Amman – Tel Aviv – Jerusalem – Cairo – all of them turned into tiny lights in this cool November night.
In this time of year you can enjoy the beauty of the polar mesospheric clouds. With our high-angle illumination, we were able to capture a thin layer of noctilucent clouds at sunset.
Astronaut Douglas Wheelock
Lublin Lovin 7th – 15th March 2011
Note: (…) = censored!
If we friends on Facebook you can see pics @
Monday 7th 2011
Meditate, busses to Brent Cross, McMuffin, Dump, Bus to Airport, Boarding. Review weekend madness… Basically got a Bulgarian couple as housemates. And Pepi decided to have a girls party. Made curtain doors and loads of food etc. I end up joining them coz I won’t be able to sleep with the music next door. Glad Nahom joined too coz it was his last few days here. George joins us late and blows our minds with b-boy moves. Old and quiet dude just after his evening vodka and football normally. I got drunk enough to give away quite a few of my hats and woke up the next day thinking maybe I gave out 2 too many. I think Nahom returned one of them. Anyway… Mp3 Player battery dies so kill time browsing the shops at the gates. Find internet which costs 10 quid a minute! Wasn’t planning to browse just charge my Mp3 player but ended up giving in to 10 minutes of temptation. Sleep through the flight. Land in Warsaw and see my baby Alina and meet her homeboy Tomek. 3 hour drive to Lublin. Get home and I’m glad to see a gym close by. Alina stays on the top floor of her rise so get a good leg workout anyway. Eat ashram food. Cuddle.
Tuesday 8th 2011
Get woken up by my alarm which is the chorus of Kanye West’s Gorgeous. Do our short Kriya and have some interesting horseradish sandwiches. Take a bus to this frozen lake called Zalew Zegrzyński. Folks were ice fishing and we took a long romantic walk till the path got slippery and we got tired. Along the walk there was first play area with watersides and all. Not open in the cold season but one of the slides looked so funny. The pic can explain it best. Then the second play area was more to my liking. It had these ‘rides’ which were more like gyms and the mechanics were so well thought… you use your own body weight to do stuff like bench press, leg press, shoulder press, cross trainer, waist twists, etc. I have a vid of Alina on one of them and she looks so cute on it. Note: Lots and lots of crows around and I noticed Lublin is pretty dry and open spaced. Reminds me of South C, Nairobi.
Rest and take a long walk to her sisters. Alina loves her tea so we had that and I finished all the cheese and whatever else I could get my hands on. Later the sis called her and she was mad… I thought it was about the food but it was about the house. I was too hungry to think of the house. I personally liked it. Their houses are colourful, SPACIOUS, and cheap. So during the day I noticed a lot of flower sellers and folks carrying them around. Aparently it’s like Valentines day for them. Dzień Kobiet/Women’s Day – a tribute to the struggle of victims for gender equality kinda thing. Alina says I’m a phenomenon coz everybody especially old folks were staring at me.
So this drunk dude gets on the bus. I’m sitting opposite the door and he’s standing there facing me and I can feel his eyes. You know how I attract these folks so I was wondering how long it’ll take for him to sit opposite me. He did and started talking to me. Alina was telling him to leave me alone, I’m a visitor and I don’t understand the language. He’d behave for 20 seconds and then start again. So he was like peace and wanted to know where I’m from. Just picture a drunk happy dude mesmerised by this darker skinned dude. Once I told him I’m from Kenya he went nuts. Now I personally don’t mind shaking dirty hands but the rest of the bus was like ‘is this guy for real?’. He kept shaking my hand and I kept giving him the Rasta dap style greeting. He’s like I really wanna go to Kenya etc. When we got of the bus Alina told me she attracts these kinda folks too. Our lives are always interesting thats for sure.
Get a universal plug coz I forgot about European sockets. Alina does massage, reiki, energy stuff so I finally got the decent massage I needed. All the others were too soft. Note: For her size… lady is strong! She even made me sleep on some spikes that felt like fire on my back. Knockout. Felt so good after I wanted to skip the Gong Concert she’s planned for us. And luck would have it… we missed the bus so walk back home. My tooth started acting up so took some powerful painkillers. (…).
Wednesday 9th 2011
Sing Az Yet’s Arrow Through My Heart for my baby to wake up to. ;o))) Yes I’m trippin on love baby! More on that later. Short Kriya. Bus to city and bus to a beautiful place called Nałęczów. Where we went swimming, steaming, saunaing, hot-tubbing and had a mud/clay bath. Which looked and felt so good I wanted to drink it. The pool there was so wicked it had all these different sections with jets of water for your back, another one to sleep on, another section for the feet and my favorite… the waterfall. Rest and have some tea. Eat at this amazing restaurant at Hotel Przepióreczka. Excellent pork dish. Walk around shops and Alina chose a lil present for me. And then we do this salt cave aromatherapy thing. I don’t know if it was the swimming and food before but I knocked out again. Been very meditative so far. This was at the hotel too and it’s called Jaskinia Solna. Pics and vids shall explain. Get back and I wanna rip Alina’s cd’s to mp3s before I leave but have issues with iTunes coz my Polish is not so polished. (…) talk.
Thursday 10th 2011
Can’t remember what song I sang her but the rituals were I sing her songs in the morning and make her tea after every meal. And of course do the dishes coz I just love it so! And no I’m not being sarcastic. I love it so much I even have preference for the sink to be on the right, draining/drying area on the left etc. All she’s missing is the dish drainer. Anyway wake up late. Breakfast in bed. Gym. Spag bol. Get a different kind of energy massage that TOTALLY knocked me the hell out! Tomek picks us up for satsang and Kriya. Jagoda is also in the car and she’s ogling me. I’m told she’s a man hunter lol. Tomek started reminding me of Anup, heartbreaking coz of his wife and boss but heartwarming coz Alina has such and amazing person as a friend … Anup story here (https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=4146916817). The satsang was different… no clapping or clicking. Kriya was good times but funny at one point coz this dog outside started barking and coz it echoed he was like barking at himself. Folks give out biscuits, cakes, and chocolatey yummies!
Staring… we do this a lot on skype too. Getting lost in each others eyes… I’m in love man! Some note about blue? So there’s more uses for olive oil apart from cooking! (…). Then we talk (…) and she said I was like a dentist. So I just said ‘where is my phone’ (to make a note). And that triggered her to laugh for what felt like the whole night. We laughed sooo much she got hungry in the middle of the night so I keep running to the kitchen to feed her sandwiches, avocado, nutella, etc.
Friday 11th 2011
Awkward kriya. Now I had to get my boarding pass printed so Alina gave me a pen drive. I copied the stuff and mailed the pdf to our emails too. But the pen drive I placed on the desk coz we’d be taking it today and Alina saw it there to. It vanished! Buses to city, print boarding pass from email, more people staring. And I was like where are all the Indian, Chinese and African people especially Nigerians. Coz these 3 can be found in any nook and cranny in the world. Finally see some Chinese. Share a meal at Cleopatras… very funky place with related interior design.
Go to the church/cathedral where Alina used to be in the choir – Katedra Matki Bożej Płaczącej. Blew my mind! I was already amazed by the entrance so took a vid and she’s like there’ll be more… I was thinking how much more as in might be a little more. There was a 1000 times more! The pictures don’t do the place justice and I felt dodgy pointing my camera everywhere. The pipe organ looked like a little building itself! After being amazed, I started looking for Freemasonry and Illuminati signs… you’ll see them for yourself in the pics.
I’d been craving Tiramisu so Alina took me to another amazing restaurant… looked more like a community catacomb. So big, so many rooms. We finally decided on a very romantic corner and I don’t know if Alina was tickling me or what but I laughed that laugh were you let our a mini raspberry of fart. Was definitely not sure if were long enough in the relationship for body sounds. As it is my stomach makes noise and when I say noise I mean loud noise so holding in the gas didn’t help the situation. Decide to let some out while she was on the phone and I ended up stuck in the loo coz someone switched off the lights!
Do some shopping for home… Alina wanted to try out some fish and I had to get some sausages for Viv and found Sneakers Cruncher!!! One of my favourite rare chocolates. Busses back. Alina tells me about hand me downs and I was like me too! She tells me other stuff too and I can’t help what I’m feeling. I’m falling for this lady and for once I don’t do it with my guard up or anything. I’m starting to feel mentally and emotionally naked and I don’t care. Rest. Find the pen drive under the mouse mat.
More shopping, more people staring, more chinese people and an Indian or well tanned Italian. Even I was staring at him lol. Reminds me of Russell Peters’ joke about Indians seeing other Indians. Finally get to rip Alina’s cd’s. Have a dance and Alina’s soooo cute… her big beautiful head orbiting around mine side to side. (…), she gets hungry for fruit. More fun, laughs and eating. Laughing fits till…
Saturday 12th 2011
…now. More fruit. Get some beautiful pics of her. Might not share those here. (…). I love the way she meows and does these sound effects. Laugh like crazy with that too. And get a recording later. Go to city and Alina takes me for her yoga class. Now I do that often enough to feel confident enough to do whatever comes my way. OUCH! Advanced yoga man. From the first posture I was like what the flex have I got myself into! We kept doing the downward facing dog and touching toes after most poses but gaaaaad dayum! And when it came to the postures I could do Tom was like I don’t think you can and even if you can I don’t want you to have neck and back pain later. Sheesh! But he was a great instructor. Maybe not the best choice with the dolphin shorts but he took care of me. At one point he was showing us an example of a difficult posture and stretched so much he let one rip. Finish and make our way to get some sweets for Maha Satsang. Note: I love my Lipton iced teas and got to try a new red tea one. Window shop and get stares… then I see 2 indian rudeboys roaming around the shopping centre in vests. Interesting.
I’m telling you man this place is so like Kenya. The streets, buildings, shops, kiosks, markets. Go to the market and Alina gets like 3 cakes and I’m like I wanna take something too so I got some chocolate biscuits. Then she had to meet a teacher that was coming down from elsewhere so she sent me home. (…) roof. Ahem. Get to the Gym and it’s packed today… some filming in the squash courts. And what is a woman doing in the mens changing rooms?! Get home and rest on the floor where we usually rest and do our kriya and start thinking of what Alina told me the other day. I was getting a lump in my throat from so much love. I want to be her hero, I want to leave everything to live with her. And she lives such a simple life, bare necessities, no TV at home. I don’t watch TV anyway but like… this is the one! I took a sankalpa to have a future with her. I AM going to be her hero. I AM her hero! I nearly had tears. Then sleep on the bed and when I wake up it’s late and I’m missing her, I’m worried. I want her back. When she came back I couldn’t tell her in words so I tried in actions… didn’t work so I do what we did when we first met at the ashram. Silence and eyes. (…).
Had to get bread from the shopping centre so even surprised her with a dish drainer. She’s into her blues so got that. I was still pretty tired from gym and yoga so rest while she coordinates the AOL Maha Satsang stuff. New ‘pyjamas’ ;o). (…) yoga poses. (…). The thing is we can talk if we have to say something. We were both too tired so sleep.
Sunday 13th 2011
(…). Make her brekkie while she gets ready for the big day. Coordinate suitcase. Pack for AOL. Taxi to the hotel. Set up. I’m on the Guruji pic, cakes, fruit, curtains, sound, projector, etc. Alina’s on the bigger stuff. After all my cutting, arranging and rearranging and setting up I knew someone would change it and out of everyone it had to be the one person that introduced themselves to me as Ela (kinda reminded me of Jude Law). The rest either didn’t know English too well or we’re busy catching up etc. Ela does the guru puja. Sound guys come in and set up, sound check, etc.
My bootie is in pain, I blame the hard core yoga. We do some more yoga and processes. One process involved a simon says kinda thing where the teach would be like left hand… so everyone touches their left hand with someone else’s left hand. All in Polish so Marzena explained what we roughly have to do. So when the guy said butt… instead of me touching my butt against someone elses I ended up grabbing this dude’s. Luckily it was too fast a game and every time we had to choose a different partner. Funny thing is buttock is one word I did learn in Polish since I am a bootie person and I can’t keep my hands of my baby’s bootie. Note: That’s another thing… I’m doing things I don’t usually do or they’re not me or breaking like my rules. 3 Main ones are – 1: Absolutely no overseas relationships, 2: No relationships with non-english speakers and 3: (…)! So anyway my point is because most couples call each other baby I found it stereotypical and cheesy but I’m doing it myself now!
Back to AOL … do a guided Short Kriya. I was so gone I kept like nearly falling off the chair. Food. Meet a gujarati uncle from Uganda – Rajesh. He ends up lecturing me on not speaking Guju so well so I find an excuse to bail and get my baby dessert and tea. Alina introduces me to Marzena and we talk about assisting in ART Excel and this movie like love story. This girl has so much love in her eyes when she talks about the kids or deep stuff and I feel like she’s gonna break down into tears any moment now. Now everybody all over the world was going to get on skype with Guruji for the Maha Satsang but apparently everyone in the whole of Poland could not get their webcast to work.
Have a satsang. Get the picture of Tomek, Alina and myself that I wanted. Think about Tomek again and this is when I really feel for him and tell Alina about it. Clean up. Rajesh plays a video about Uganda hospital but the connection is not good so just see half the vid. Later he gets a blasting for meddling. Pack and clean. Long Kriya teach drops us. Tell Alina about Anup. Then chill and chat about making a future and what our possibilities are. Back pain like crazy so Alina sorts that out. (…). She’s so fucking sweet and sexy (…) it’s sooooo damn sweet!
Monday 14th 2011
(…). She’s not feeling well so we sleep. Wake up, order pizza, eat, sleep. (…).
Tuesday 15th 2011
Sleep till 1.45am. Yeah I was over excited and booked a flight for 6am instead of pm. Robert picks us and Tomek lent him the nice new car he got his wife. Weird ride… I was between sleep, feeling weird for leaving, trying to stay positive and eating and tea. Robert takes me round some Palace in Warsaw. Police stop him to give him a breathalyzer test. All good. Airport. Now in a way I’m glad we didn’t have a sad goodbye but it sure was funny. Robert was so in my face I felt like he was my partner … mostly being helpful and trying to speak whatever English he knew. I wanted to tell him to go away but poor guy woke up to drive me 3 hours to the airport in the middle of the night. Anyway later I found out Alina lectured him all the way home hahaaaaa… glad I wasn’t on the ride back… well if I was she wouldn’t… ah you know what I mean.
Grrr… this law of attraction/what you resist persist rule is pissing me off man! Be it cinemas, busses, trains, planes… I get some fucking fidgety shit head that can’t sit properly behind me and keeps bumping my seat. Not only did this fool keep doing that the whole flight but he even compromised my legroom by putting his suitcase under my seat. His was the last row so it’s understandable he was pretty squashed but come on! There’s at least a place for the bag overhead! I’m just happy I was too tired to let it get the best of me and slept it off. The landing was scary coz I could feel us getting closer to land and could not see the ground coz of the fog up until we nearly hit ground. One person does the clap after landing thing. Our plane had to wait a long time for some reason before letting us off. Look at my booking for my bus to Brent Cross and see the time… I’m 5 minutes late! How can this be… I plan each step to have at least 45 minutes extra time! My phone says 9am, bus dude says wait 15 minutes and I’ll get you on an earlier one. Then it hit me… I was still on Poland time… I can relax my sphincter. Phew.
Weird though coz in Poland my phone changed time automatically but here it didn’t change back. By the time I get to Walthamstow my bladder is exploding… glad they have loos. This Chinese guy has what looks like a chocolate loaf of bread and he’s munching away. Sits next to a hot chick and says something but she’s like brushing him off. He carries on eating. Which reminds me I better get some food for home and Asda Chocolate Brownies for Neha. They are the best ones I’ve tired so far… moist, soft, melt in your mouth. Unpack, washing, Medal of Honour. Meet new housemate Yuri from Estonia or something… got lots in common… gaming, bunnin… he’s a waiter and he has Adobe CS5!!!! Oh and Alina got me a box of dried prune chocolates from Naleczowska which I nearly finished. Saved like 3 for later. Ended up taking it out of the chocolate brownies… sorry Neha ;oP There’s still half left. Skype with my baby and feel much better. (…). Can’t remember what else… oh yeah… I’m so in love even the cheesy songs are starting to make sense.
The slideshow does not seem to be showing all the pics so just click on it and it’ll open the album.
28th Tuesday 2010
Been falling asleep at 4am so waking up was a mission. Watched some great Google Tech Talks on meditation while packing. Crazy dump. Now I wait for the bus at the stop and was wondering why nobody was standing under the shade so I went there to put my backpack on the bench but it was wet and muddy. I just thought it was some kids standing on them. A minute later a car passes and splashes me totally. It all makes sense now!!!! But at the cost of my fresh combats! Ok can’t worry about this I gotta get to Victoria Station. Get weird looks on the bus but I’m too busy listening to the J. Cole Mixtape Viv had been going on about. Get to Victoria extra early so kill time with a meal, reading and good ol people watching while I wait for Sarojben to give me some parcels for the Ashramites. Get the stuff just in time to board the train… sleep till Three Bridges. Link with Suresh and wait for Katie to pick us up. Get a bad migraine. Gordon had prepared the fire so we keep warm and discuss AOL UK politics. After we had enough of that we get into a great meditation before an even greater meal. I went nuts on the cheeses and that lovely schtalin cake (spelling). I was going nuts with the ghee too on the breads, cakes… whatever I could put it on. Chill and chat before knocking out.
29th Wednesday 2010
Kriya. Katie drops us to Gatwick. Man Suresh had it all planned out… first time I set in the front seat right next to the door. Sleep till landing in Basil. Get busses and trains to Oppenau. Meet with Arian (French/Persian) or something like that halfway through. Shuttle to the ashram and sort out room, do some seva, hang and check out whats new. The internet room has become the fireplace and tea room, very nice and cozy. Lotttssss of people with laptops which I still can’t get used to but I’m glad to see most of those lappys were Apple Macs! Represent! Dinner, satsang… the Latin Americans went on strike with Guruji… they’re like no seva, no food, heaven is closed picketing style… having a tantrum asking Guruji to come to Argentina and places. Sleepy knowledge? (can’t remember). Chill with Justina… we normally chat on FB so first time I hear her voice and she sounds soooo cute man. Sleep. Man my roommate was very docile but a entertaining terror at snoring. I’ve never heard such random snoring… one minute he’s a bubbling brook, then from one animal sound to another… the funny ones kept me awake with laughter, the bad ones kept me awake with dread… like was he turning into a beast or something… what was going on!?
30th Thursday 2010
6am Yoga, brekkie, Kriya, meditation, lunch. Now I was on lunch serving seva so we get to go ahead of the queue to be in places but this A-hole doesn’t let me through… I was like I’m serving man! Then I realized it wasn’t even lunch break lol. But anyway he was an A-hole and over the week folks would be avoiding him like a plague. Even when serving lunch some things we could only give one big spoon till they requeued for seconds so he asked for more and I’m like not till you finish the serving I gave you. So he just stands there in the queue and eats it all then he’s like hmmm that was nice can I have some more. Anyway take a nap. We get back to our techniques and I buddy up with Simon… what a pleasant surprise. We thought the same things, had the same interests like writing and guns and sniping and indifference to football and not being a Gurupie (guru groupie) etc. Then we had the other 10 minute life story and I did that with an Italian German actress and my roommates wife. Man that couple look like twins and they’re both so docile and … special lol. I thought I’d try something different with the life story and try talk about some serious emotion, was hard to admit it but I talked about the love side of things. Dinner. Make friends with this French teen on crutches. I totally forgot to ask about his condition or get his contact. Satsang, knowledge, video, sleepiness. And we start silence! But then I had to break it coz I saw Nikita so catch up real quick… her sis Shivani is still the cutest ever man. Roommate asked if his snoring was bothering me and I was like hell yeah… I forgot my earplugs but will get some tomorrow. He was nice enough to give me his.
31st Friday 2010
Yoga… during the break it bugged me out that all these guys on silence were still using the breaks to go online on their laptops. I myself can’t get enough of the net but it was not hard at all to avoid the computer room. I mean like Enigma – Silence Must Be Heard! Anyway Kriya, book my Ayurvedic consultation. Meditations. Break… during the breaks it was usually the same… get some tea and try to get the best couch spot near the fireplace. So I’m chilling and this lady in a denim jumpsuit kinda outfit catches my eye… we go from glances, to stares, to smile… something interesting unfolds after that but I might censor that bit in the blog. Meditations. New Years eve dinner was a FEAST and sooo much cake and cookies and desserts and all sorts. Wow! And the queue went from dining hall, past the reception, past the tea room, past the corridor, down the stairs to the entrance of the Spring Hall (our meditation, yoga, etc hall). Satsang and skype it with India, party, fireworks (guruji said thats the last time he’s allowing fireworks, the neighbours can still do it but the ashram’s taking more responsibility).
1st Saturday 2011
Usual yoga, kriya routine. Brekkie. Jumpsuit lady gets me a tea ;o) I can’t stop smiling and kinda conflicted so wrote a note to the teach… something along the lines of the good news is I can’t stop smiling but it’s affecting my mental silence. See in one world I’m taught to escallate from look to touch, to hold, embrace… etc. While in AOL it’s to just be so after getting my thoughts together it was … go with the flow. Lots of hollow and empty meditations. With all that lovely food it was hard to feel hollow and empty ;oP Get in the queue for lunch then I realize I’m meant to be serving so get in my place. Seva, more meditations. Guruji sees some of the group and I knew his question would be ‘are you happy’ and then gives you a sweet/chocolate. It’s not like I’m unhappy or anything but I wasn’t gonna let him get away with it this time so I’m like ‘can I have the sweet first because my answer is not yes’. Then I handed him my note. It was a Mumukshatva thing. He’s like I’ll talk to you later but when he did get to talk to me the other group was already sitting in front of him… but anyway I’m gonna try what he said and see what happens. Folks discuss UK course prices being too high. HELLS YEAH! So I’d stopped smiling for a while after that bit and I get a note that brings it back :o) Oh then that A-hole was doing seva cleaning the toilet and he tried to make it look like he was swearing in his language kinda thing. More cakes and chocolates for the new year and some yucky tangy jam… don’t know what that was for. Dinner and washing seva… that made me realize how much folks were just eating and eating and what a huge scale operation running the ashram was… just the trough for the food making machine was crazy. Start satsang with Jumpsuit lady… from here on known as Alina but then I couldn’t sit on the ground too long and I wanted to drum away so move back. The love in this course man! It would anyway be too hard to even explain the love, joy, bliss etc… silence would explain that best ;o))))
2nd Sunday 2011
So many meditations before lunch. Alina requests eye gazing process I was gonna ask her for the same. Indian lady gave me a chocolate at lunch coz while we serve all the good stuff gets taken and I was eyes all the sweeties in the corner… very sweet of her. By now I’d moved my position in the hall and I was right under the drop down projector screen so all I had to do was lie down and see the knowledge cinema style (but in a weird perspective). This time though I slept through the knowledge… I think 1 hours worth. Usually the meditations and knowledge are so deep it happens and quite a few people were concerned that they couldn’t last through the the first 10 minutes of the meditation… but thats the process… meditation is meeting your sleep consciously. Dinner time and I was 2nd in queue so was so excited but then the main seva crew picked the first 3 and we had to help get all the food to the right serving tables etc. When I was in the kitchen I felt an intention to come back for a few weeks or months seva to see this operation and learn and all that. The head chef made this amazing olive bread man like bread with full olives in them and all sorts… genius! Finish up and have an eye gazing date with Alina. While doing it this dude took pictures of us and must have thought we were a couple coz he kept making us pose in different places and near the christmas tree. Alina and I were like we should take a picture while sitting on guruji’s couch. But it would be ‘frowned upon’ lol. Beat that djembe all satsang long… my hands were red! Oh and I did it in a ‘I NEED A BEAT’ T-shirt Viv gave me. Back to the weird snoring… I was in cloud 9 so I was laughing mostly.
3rd Monday 2011
This time we had to do yoga in pairs… it was so awkward especially coz I got a dude that didn’t wanna co-operate and then I see the 2 huge guys next to me in the same predicament. The funniest thing I’ve ever seen but at the same time realized how much the male ego can interfere. In my case I was forcing the guy to do it properly and he was like I’ll do it my way so then I was like fine I’ll just do whatever you do and entertain myself with the intertwining beasts next to me. Go for my Ayurvedic consultation… dude feels my pulse and tells me to stick my tongue out… just for a millisecond and then he’s like my constitution is so and so and just gave me a bunch of material to read and recommended some other treatments and things to buy. 40 euros for a 5 minute thing were I’m told mostly what to read and buy! It’s like some things are so hyped. Back to the processes… do the male, female model… Kevin and Keya or something like that. Go for a walk with Alina up the snowy black forest. This fluffy cat just comes and is sooo friendly… she was purring like Tasha and licking and biting my fingers. Awww moment ;o) Sit on the bench and just take the whole scene in including this angel next to me. Walk further up the hills and see some beautiful houses and trees and like Suresh, I wanna get a house there. Alina has this cute thing she does 3 sniffs in the cold. We get back to the bench to take some pics together and ask this lady to do it but she doesn’t know how to work the camera but turns out she ended up taking tons of pics. We saw some natural snowballs and the track they left forming. Names in the snow and someone didn’t exactly make a snow angel and looked like they had a big butt lol.
More meditations, we get to break the silence temporarily to say one word. Since it would be the first word it should have been significant but some folks said pizza or icecream. Hey thats what they want… I remember a time during Kriya I’d obsess about all the junk food I could eat… and womens. Yo… totally forgot one of the days we did the meditation in motion where we observe the pain and this time round I managed quite far till I cracked up. From where I was sitting I could see everyone and at one point it looked like the YMCA dance was on pose. You’re allowed to scream, cry, laugh, whatever… and boy did we crack. Dinner and some gorgeous dessert! Sit next to Alina with the djembe, the satsang was suprisingly mellow. And one lady was doing the dance class thing. Some amazing Havenu Shalom Alechem Jewish satsong! Photographer again. Now some might know there was a 2.5 million gathering for the 25 year celebrations… well now we have another one in Berlin for the 30 year celebration called World Cultural Festival (check it out http://www.worldculturefestival.org/AboutUs_AOLF.html). Watch those vids and all.
We were told not to totally break silence yet and speak only when needed… I had to speak to Alina and found out she’s not staying at the Ashram but 2km away and that she’s gonna walk alone… I offered to join but she might have taken it the wrong way and said she’s tired. But I’m like wait for a ride man… I want to chill with her and feel those extra soft hands and when she spoke… oh my lawd! Her voice, her Polish, I don’t know and don’t care what she said I just wanna hear it again and again. Chill, chit chat as little as we could and take pics and all.
4th Tuesday 2011 – Long Kriya. Breakfast. Bye Alina. Pack, bed sheets, etc. We were told to write about our experiences so I wrote 4 points. 1 – The best participants ever, 2 – Best food especially that olive bread, 3 – Pain meditation YMCA stuff, 4 – That funny pairing yoga that I never wanna see again lol. And 5 just a note to all that I’ll make a FB group for peeps to add pics and vids and link since we didn’t have enough time out of silence to catch up and chat and all. Then came the time folks are meant to come up in front and share their experiences… the dude with the funny haircut was soooo jokes. Talking about his first time and how he felt he was breathing in a cocktail of toxins that others were exhaling and the torture of being in a gas chamber. Note: I swore to my last silence buddy (Anjana) that I’d go in front but I couldn’t so my excuse is that everyone didn’t get to go coz we were out of time. Do the eye gazing process and dance and stuff. I belong to yous and chit chat. Do some filming for World Cultural Festival… we just had to say a few lines in different tones. It was weird… one director was like are you comfortable and that made me uncomfortable then the other one was like yeah just like that but more this or that. Some more of that gorgeous dessert before we split. Now the drive between the station and ashram has lots of twists and turns through hills and the drivers just zooming around shuttling us… the scary bit was they drive on the right so you’re even more freaked but it was all good. Have a satsang on the train and most folks were already chatting away… I was taking in the scenery and just took in more silence. Another train and Dorota was telling us how their satsangs are not AOL only which is the way fwd but to have that there has to be less course marketing. Get on the other train and these police with guns and all come asking for our passports and I had a mini deportation flashback but not worried at all. Bus to the airport.
Kill time for a delayed flight and we come to the interesting bit. Our cabin crew captain was gay and VERY feminine with the lisps and actions and THE WORKS. Suresh and I were sitting in front again so when the crew are strapped in they sit right opposite us. This guy sat in that cross legged position that I don’t approve of men sitting in… mostly coz I can’t do it as it ‘suffocates’ me. But the way he was sitting, his foot kept kicking me. That was one bit. The flight had 3 seats on either side of the isle. So it was Suresh, myself, french muslim mama, isle, her son or whatever, little girl and little boy. The kids were soooooo damn noisy and the mom kept blasting the dude to keep them quiet. I can’t help make faces at kids so I was making faces at the girl and that made her smile and keep quite for a while… then it did the opposite and she started crying so I just looked away when the guy turned his head to see the source of the tears lol. Back to the gay dude… I wish I recorded his voice or even him himself. So entertaining… reminds me of that gay flight attendant joke. (http://www.parasuniversal.com/2008/09/the-gay-flight-attendant-this-one-is-too-funny-to-not-forward-from-taz/) So while landing I couldn’t help overhear his convo about gay clubbing… apparently there is a word for a girl that attracts all the gays like light to bugs and how she got in a fight with a gay dude both hitting their handbags at each other and then she turns around to him asking him ‘am I winning’? Funny stuff. Land, trains…
5th Wednesday 2011 … busses home. Was soooo tempted to get a Sam’s 2 for 2 but I might as well stay in this space. Couldn’t sleep so watch Osho knowledge and stuff. And now I’m still sooo spaced I am going to have to get some rajasic and tamasic food to come down from this state.
- Second time I’m on an AOL adventure with Suresh and we’re such a good team… like there is no judgement, conflict, politics anything. Do our thing or do stuff together it’s such an amazing space. Seeing him do the seva in the Ashram reminded me of my first 2 times… this time round I just did how much I was supposed to and a bit. Otherwise you become like seva machines… no matter how tired you are you can’t help yourself… like your body feels like it’s tired and should get rest but… just a bit more.
- Apart from that A-hole there was a hoyden in the house too and she was a teacher I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Bullying people for fireplace couches and jumping or stepping over people and all. All the Stephen Clarke French books explain French women just like her… I was like can’t be! Very funny to watch.
- I think I’m gonna make silence an yearly thing now… once every 2 years does not seem enough. Though I’ll mix it with the proper hardcore silence of Vipassana where there is no eye contact, evening satsangs or using notes to communicate.
- It’s hit me that over the years I meet soooo many people that I feel an old connection with… I didn’t realize that till Dorota sorted my registration. She’s never been to London and I don’t think we met anywhere else but I remember her unique talking style and smile. Then that Jack Johnson dude… it’s become so frequent… even this thing were I’ll think of someone out of the blue and I know I’ll either bump into them or hear from them somehow. Serious man I’m not just saying it coz I’ve been on this course… I think a lot of people are feeling that way more.
- What else… ah I better get out of this spaced-ness got bills to pay :oP
Me – You are distracting me.
Me – You look very hot! I try not to look at you otherwise I will break my silence.
Alina – When everybody were singing and dancing I wanted to dance with you!
Me – We can dance after silence. It’s going to be hard for me … we can have a dance after cake. But we have to be serious about silence after wards.
Alina – From which country you come from?
Alina – Could I have a process looking into eyes? With you? I would like you’ll see yourself in my eyes … :)
Me – I was going to ask you the same ;oP When do you want to do it? After dinner in Satsang room.
Alina – You have beautiful smile! You should smile more!
Me – Thank you.
Me (at some point) – If they have satsang now can I have a dance? If not then when we finish the course?