Riffs about the glory of journals, diaries, notebooks full of musings and importance of turning off inner-critic and not overthinking while savoring the process of transcription, curation and further creative wonderment from Kura barn in provincial Japan. With evidence with my own process.
Finally, I read straight from some barely legible poetry scribbles with meanderings about sensory depravation chambers, menthol smokes with Leonard Cohen, Pan Am flights with Zeus, Buddha, Glen Canyon, and solving algorithms with nuclear fusion.
With special thanks to all who bravely step out with creative endeavors and extra for following along with my projects and what have you.
Namechecks for: Rogério De Freitas José Naranja Jason Emde Austin Kleon Gord Downie Henry David Thoreau James Joyce
Ambient video version of a Postcards from Gravelly Beach podcast “Nepal Stupa Choruses” with a cycle of poems written on a lake heading towards a temple and tea in shadow of Annapurna – the audio in the *actual pod* is much better but just happened to film whilst recording and added a few snaps from the journey for amusement and colour, so here we are, in my kura barn studio in provincial Japan, ergo:
“Washing dishes and busted spectacles lead to rowing a lake in Nepal figuring out deity, enlightenment, peace and power with choruses fresh from diaries – plus Royal hospitals, poetic devices and question mark eyebrows. Your turn Buddha, your turn.”
Memo: What follows comes from my erstwhile “Healing Journal” – written/compiled on a foggy meandering journey to various countries (Pacifica, Phitsanulok, Cochin, Pokhara, Dikwella/Galle…) visiting all manner of hospitals, clinics and exploring various healing modalities and techniques.
Shared here more-or-less unedited for posterity (whatever that is) and to shed light to those struggling who might come across this riff. Please watch the “Healing Ramble Introduction” video for context on this series.
Along my healing journey, I received treatment had the most wonderful Ayurveda Health Home in Pokhara, Nepal.
This company operates two facilities, one in Kathmandu and one in Pokhara where i did my treatment [update: subsequently built a 3rd clinic which looks like a wonderful mix of the 2 and maybe this one is no longer operating?].
The hospitals are part of a German-Nepal partnership. As such, the facility ran on a very prompt German-like schedule, but with exceptionally diligent Ayurvedic practitioners, including several full-time doctor/medical officers.
The chief amongst their practitioners is the world-famous Dr. Rishi [update: RIP] – a most elegant and graceful man who emanated healing energy and power. While he is primarily based at the Kathmandu facility, he flew to Pokhara for my intake for which I was very grateful.
He had thoroughly reviewed my medical file in advance (including notes from Dr. Veena’s Ayurveda and my tests in Phitsanulok), and the intake was several hours long starting with a long discussion about my symptoms, background and objectives, followed by a massage, then an *extremely thorough* physical inspection.
I should mention that I had originally intended to go back to India and Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra but for some strange reason, my Indian Visa was declined creating a rapid change of travel plans which became *a little bit expensive* and complicated but I worked through it all by adding in a wander through Malaysia after more hospital tests and treatment in Thailand, OK carry-on…
The days were very busy, but very well organized. I would receive very complete instructions, hands-on, for each of the different treatments, which I would later self-administer.
These included various mouth cleanings, nose cleanings, eye cleanings, eye exercises, meditation, and so on. I also received a series of instructional sessions about the overarching concepts of Ayurveda – the history, background, purposes and information about doshas and the importance of the mind/spirit/body connection.
I also participated on one-on-one yoga sessions. The yoga was very gentle and suited for my body and condition. Rather than complicated poses, started with very simple joint rotations and was very calm rather than stressful experience. (Note: it seems strange to call yoga “stressful“ but doing complicated poses and rapid movement is very difficult for me – as i found later at Peacock Ayurveda Garden).
I received dozens of different kinds of massage, with different oils, different techniques, sometimes two practitioners working on me at once, herbal poultices, salt poultices…
I also went through an extensive series of enemas (don’t freak out)… some to cleanse and some to fortify. It was pretty intense to say the least but I was extremely well supported through the process, and my diet gradually build back up from thin rice porridge and herbal tea, to more substantial food, before I would rejoin the rest of the group for more standard meals.
While in Pokhara, Nepal in 2017 for extended Ayurveda treatment, i generally, wasn’t able to go out and explore aside from a haircut/beard trim (all the oils from the treatment or a little unwieldy so I switched to a great mustache) and another time to get this magnificent custom-made, hundred percent hemp outfit made at Sabitri Hemp Shop (map).
I sort of explained all the advocacy work I’ve done for commercial applications of hemp cannabis over the years with Hempenroad film, dozens of articles especially about hemp in Japan, the “Practical Guide to Cannabis” for policymakers”, but really, *this wasn’t my gig* rather i was there to enjoy and support.
The owner was a jovial friendly sort and i had a good time explaining what i wanted and being measured.
Specifically, ordered a short sleeve collared shirt with a trim fit made to wear untucked, and a pair of trousers with the waistband finished like I like it and back pockets with buttons and all the little details.
Memo: What follows comes from my erstwhile “Healing Journal” – written/compiled on a foggy meandering journey to various countries visiting all manner of hospitals, clinics and exploring various healing modalities and techniques.
Shared here more-or-less unedited for posterity (whatever that is) and to shed light to those struggling who might come across this riff. Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series.
(also riffs already from Thailand, India etc + tips about pros/cons and how-to logistics coming…)
Visits to a few wonderful, unique, intelligent clinic/hospitals in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka played the most critical role in bringing me “back to life” from MECFS – no, i’m not healed but i manage. Anyhow…
In this dispatch, i’ll introduce Ayurveda Health Home in Nepal – they operate clinics in Kathmandu and Pokhara where I did my panchakarma 3 week treatment cycle. [Update: now another facility] and are a German-Nepal partnership company and bring the best of both cultures into the operation.
The facilities were fantastic – simple and sincere and functional, the staff was next level skilled & diligent, and the skill of the key medical officers – led by the brilliant, international reknowned Dr Rishi & my lead (the coolest and kindest) Dr. Rumee – empathetic, knowledgable & superb.
My heart aches at this shocking news. Dear Dr. Rishi was such an instrumental part in changing my life for which I will be forever grateful. In his presence, I felt a very rare and powerful and graceful energy which I will always remember.
His credentials and accomplishments are endless as he travelled the world bridging cultures and sharing his knowledge of Ayurveda as well as other healing modalities with scholars and practitioners. He kept up quite a schedule but also was the chief medical man of this highly efficient and effective group of clinics in Nepal.
I remember sitting with him at lunch as he gently ate and kindly answered my questions (building about the differences between traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, and the importance of being present and doing the most minor activities with intention – including eating and cleaning.
Importantly for my healing journey though, he travelled from Katmandu to Pokhara specifically for my intake at the hospital – along with his luminescent colleague Dr Rumee. After *losing* so many years of my life to chronic and complex illness I was so discouraged as doctors never seem to take the time to listen to me and thoroughly examine and inspect me. He listen to all aspects of my life, physical, emotional, spiritual and so on with a deep well of empathy and acknowledgment.
Wishing every blessing my wee heart can muster for his family, friends, colleagues and other patients. I will light incense in your honour from Japan and remember you always so very fondly.
In gracious remembrance of a wonderful human.
Note: much more to share about my time to Ayurveda Health Home in Pokhara and later a visit with Dr Rishi in Kathmandu.
Kind of nervous about this project but somehow it feels like a good (or important) idea so here we go… &/or just watch :).
I deal with #MECFS a complicated complex and chronic disease (see below).
After diagnosis eight years ago (2013), I was kinda ground-up by then-local (Vancouver, Canada) medical system through challenging and ill-advised therapies, a litany of dangerous medications and laborious uneventful tests. Plus my entire life seemed to fall apart… ugh. As such I set out on a meandering journey seeking to figure out what was up with my body and brain and try to find a way forward. Continue reading Healing Ramble: #MECFS journey to Thailand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and onwards→
Years ago when I was at an Ayurveda Health Home in Pokhara, Nepal (which was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, especially in this “healing journey”) the kind doctor suggested I use turmeric daily.
When I asked her what was the best form/way to purchase this, she said “grow your own” and I explained it was difficult because I had no home, no prospects of getting one, and was rambling and rather lost so a garden was not really possible.
Now. Three years later, I have a life, a home, a garden, and turmeric which is now made into things daily.
Note: many good things about this plant especially anti-inflammatory properties.
Also, in this photo is gorgeous ginger, again freshly harvested.￼
Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).