OK.  Finally I have done every thing that needs to be done before I hit the dusty trail.  The plan is to hobo around Europe for 3 weeks mit packed out 4×4 and tent.  I have a very loose plan, but mainly plan to play it by ear and see what happens.  On the list of countries to visit are:

The Netherlands
Belgium
Luxembourg
Germany
Czech Republic
Hungary
Italy
Liechtenstein
Switzerland

Apart from Hungary and Germany, it’s been at least 15 years since I last visited these countries. The first time around I was a brand new wet behind the ears 2nd Lieutenant Infantry officer serving with the Black Knights (3rd of the 5th Cavalry Regiment).  My fascination with Europe was born of my love of history.  I found it extra-ordinary to be visiting countries I had only read about in my youth and in my studies as a history major at university.

This time around I am going back a little older, a little wiser.  The question I am holding in my mind as I travel this time is: how do you have an authentic spiritual experience in a society that values materialism over the soul? Kind of a heavy question for what’s meant to be a vacation.  But it’s a working vacation.  Besides as the saying goes, “If you love what you do and do what you love; you’ll never work another day in your life.”

I do hope to update the blog from time to time while I am on the road. We’ll see how I get on.

Imagine me now, standing out my back door and howling to the moon.  Howling a joyous howl of freedom, power, and connection…a primal howl of a beast roaming the plains, embracing life as one should embrace life with total abandon.

One last thing before I sign off, last night I gave a talk on mandalas for the Kent and East Sussex NLP Practice Group. I received some superb feedback from many of the attendees, which is nice high note to finish on before holiday.

The time for our trip is growing closer. I can feel the pull of the open road. My mind has already begun to dissolve the ordinary world. I am now in that twilight period where I am neither here nor there.

I am becoming more aware of the wisdom contained in the phrase, “The more you know, the less you understand,” which of course is from the wisest of wise books, The Tao Te Ching.

Lao Tzu wrote a wonderful book called the Tao Te Ching, the Book of the Way.  In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu expounds upon the teachings of the Tao, the universal force that governs all things.  Technically speaking, one cannot be taught the Tao directly because as Lao Tzu writes:

The Tao that can be told
is not the erternal Tao

You come to know the Tao by letting go of small-mind think and allowing yourself to experience the flow of the Tao through your mind, body, spirit, and soul.

Today’s reflections is taken from chapter 3 of the Book of the Way:

If you over esteem great men,
people become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.

The master leads
by emptying people’s minds
and filling their cores
by weakening their ambitions
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think they know.

Practice not-doing
and everything will fall into place.

*translated by Stephen Mitchell

may the road rise to meet you
may the wind be always at your back
may the sun shine warm upon your face
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again, may God
hold you in the hollow of his hand

I’m in Newcastle for the next couple of days. This is my first visit. I’m not quite sure what to make of the place yet. It’s been less than a day so I’ll reserve my opinion until later.

How do you get to know a city?

Hold that question because I didn’t get a chance to answer it before I got distracted with this question: how do you develop a champion mindset?

Well according to an article in Think Big, potency of desire is one. Apparently high achievers know what they want and have a deep desire to achieve it. They have a ‘do or die’ attitude toward their goals.

High achievers also have a clear vision that they will succeed no matter what. More often than not, they can even see the steps they need to take that will lead them to their success.

A third characteristic of a champion mindset is comfort with taking high risks. High achievers have the courage to take on tasks that are beyond their skill level. They the capacity to believe in their ideas without proof, and they have no doubt they can accomplish what they set their minds too.

Your mindset shapes you belief and your beliefs determine your destiny

I decided to go for an early morning walk.  I like to watch a city wake up.  Even at 5am London is alive and pulsing.  Workers are turning up to the big department stores to clean them and stock shelves.  McDonalds is serving coffee.  A call girl is on her way home after a night’s work.  I wanted to see the Marble Arch.  I would have taken a few pictures, but there was so much construction around it, the photo would have been ruined.