Thursday, August 13, 2009

Belden to Etna- fast forward through Naked bathing country!

We are in Etna! Wow, what a rush. It was only a few days back that we passed the half way point South of Chester, CA. Had a little sense of being fast forwarded, since we hitch hiked around the Old Station Burney complex fire, about 180 trail miles! Now we have only a hundred miles or so to the Oregon border and little over 1,000 miles of trail left till Canada! The hike is going excellently well. Since we've dropped out of the Sierras the streams and lakes have become much warmer. Whenever we have time we stop and bath our dusty tired bodies.

The photo of Jen (Lionheart) with a very large sugar pine cone was taken just outside of Belden, CA. What a great find! Not long after this great cone find, we hit a sweet little cold bathing spot. This pool was very cold. I couldn't stay in for long and relished sunbathing on the warm rocks for a good while.

The Feather River photo was taken near Belden as well. It was along this stretch of river that I got to skinny dip for several days, as it was right across the road from where we were staying! The water was almost too warm, but still refreshing when the day got well into the 90's and beyond. Our small river section had a delightful little beach where we could lay out. The water was deep and mostly slow moving in long pools.

Have been reading about Buddha and Buddhism for the last week. The book Awakening the Buddha Within has been very captivating so far, and I'm nearly half way through the book. Surya Das really challenges a lot of the common "western" misconceptions about Buddhism. For example, I had long believed that all Buddhists believed that life was suffering, painful, miserable.. not worth living. This was after reading a translation of the first noble truth "Life is suffering." Surya Das gives several alternate translations, such as "frustrating" or "difficult". The way he described it made much more sense to me.

Ok, I can agree life can sometimes be frustrating or difficult... but I just couldn't swallow that all life was about is suffering! There are so many beautiful wonderful and joyous moments to life! He talks about how much Buddhism really focuses on the positive joyous moments.. and of course enlightenment itself! I have a very different improved perspective now, thanks to Surya Das. I look forward to reading more about Buddhism; if any of you readers have anythng to reccomend related to Buddhism please leave me a message!

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