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Week 1: The week before Christmas or why I meditate, karate class, and baking infinite cookies

At the end of this five month trip to Canada, I have come to the revelation that I need to be taking weekly notes about how I spend my days: (a) to remember how I spend my days and (b) for some degree of accountability.

Over last week, I finished Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. The book starts with a young first nations man returning back from World War I, addicted to morphine and his aunt picking him up. They then go on a three day journey in a canoe. The story shifts back and forth between his time in the war with his friend and his aunt’s life. He and his friend do things that they regret in war time and to cope with this start taking morphine. This made me think about my own life, I have done many things in my life, that are wrong, hurt people and in the past turned to alcohol or drugs to deal with it. My consumption of drugs and alcohol was not considered problematic. Like most office workers, I would go out drinking once a week, mostly on the pretext of unwinding after a hard work week. But now instead, I sit cross-legged with my eyes closed for one hour and observe sensations on my body. I do this once a day. When I am sitting and observing sensations on my body, it seems to become harder to do things I regret. Even though I am still very capable of doing things I regret, I am less likely to do it because I would have to sit with myself after that.

Last Wednesday was my third and final Karate class for the year. These classes go on for two hours and I am mostly surrounded by people who have been doing this for years. I am surprised at how much I am enjoying these classes. We warm up for about thirty minutes after which we are partnered off to practice different moves, most involve kicking. My legs have less aim than my hands, so I land my kick about one foot away from where I am supposed and looking way less graceful than the other people kicking there. They seem to tolerate me though (upuchappa-types). I really hope I find some way to stick with this when I head back home to India. Maybe I should join a Kalari class.

Almost every day last week I have been baking cookies with my partner’s mother. There are so many now that we have frozen some of them. This also means the house smells constantly of cookie. We baked Neapolitan, old fashioned shortbread, coconut and cream cheese cookies, orange biscotti with dark chocolate and pistachio, and pretzel-rolos. I usually make the dough and cut cookies and stick them in the oven. But since I still do not have the intuitive cookie baking sense, I need help with the timing of the cookie (which is really the most important part: knowing when to take the cookie out). This coming week is going to be about eating said cookies, I assume.

Here is what I have been reading and watching this past week.

Books read in the past week:
21 lessons for the 21st Century — Yuval Noah Harari
Kindred — Octavia Butler
Three day road- Joseph Boyden

Films watched in the past week:
Sorry to bother you (Dir: Boots Riley)
Roma (Dir: Alfonso Cuaron)
BlacKkKlansmen (Dir: Spike Lee)
Bird Box (Dir: Susanne Bier)



Writing about a deep dive into Vipassana meditation

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Preethi Govindarajan

Preethi Govindarajan

Puttering with data science. Thoughts are mostly derivative.