We all walk various ways on this wonderful planet in our brief moment here and we leave certain footprints. We are not our footprints, though they have helped me step onto stones of boundless expansion. These are some of those footprints.
Footprints from Recent Past
Breath – In 2021 I started practicing nasal breathing at night and breath-holding practices to create an alkaline state of the body with the help of Wim hof method. Which is a simpler version of ancient tibet Tummo breathing.
Meditation (dharana & dhyana) – Growing up in Sri Lanka, entails being very much surrounded by Buddhist teachings and practices. When I came to the US, I let go of those initial cultural aspects in pursuit of Western culture. Tunning back into the practice of meditations again has allowed me to create a powerful inner dimension. When I was little I used to do breathing meditation (anapana sathi) and focus meditation (Dharana). I wake up before everyone and spend some time in this meditation practice after a general Hatha geometric alignment of my body.
Vegetarian Food – Not until I came to US I realized the amazing variety and amount of vegetables Sri Lankans eat. That too I realized only after living in the lack of it. When I came to US I discovered the delicious fatty & salty food manufactured in factories and I ate them just like a Westerner. I embraced the Western life completely only to end up with stomach and health issues after years of eating those food and fitness supplements. I have since switched to eating whole vegetarian foods since November 2019. It has been amazing to eat live food with the spices I used to eat such as asafetida, turmeric, fennugreek, mustard seeds, ceylon cinnamon, fresh ginger roots, coriander, cumin, thunapaha (curry powder) etc. I also eat various grains like: masoor lentils, split mung dal, mung dal, chickpeas, toor dal & urad dal. In the western countries, we are constantly reminded, that you need lots of protein every day from meats and supplements. Living in Sri Lanka, I never heard of the need for protein or the need to lose weight. It is just a big narrative pushed by big supplement and meat companies wanting to make big profits. Vegetables and grains pack just as much or more protein than we need. Two of the biggest animals in the planet, gorillas and elephants eat mostly plants, and they will knock you out with one blow 🙂 We are the sum of what we put into our body. We can not expect harmony and peace when we feed our bodies with animals who died with anger, fear, and sadness. Besides livestock farms generate 50%+ greenhouse gases in the world.
Fermented Food – I have been including fermented food regularly in my diet as a natural way to get pre and pro-biotics. Some of those inclusions are kefir, sourdough bread and paratas (with natural live yeast) and various fermented mixes like salsa, sauerkraut, and pickles. I also make appa or appam (hopers), wade (vada) and thosay (dosa) using fermented dal and rice.
Ayurveda & Plant Medicine – Similar to food, medicine from my roots has been crafted by herbal Ayurveda medicine that treats the whole body and the root cause using medicinal herbs and plants, for thousands of years. Not extracts of sorts. Modern (Newtonian) Pharmaceuticals are great if you get hit by a truck. For everyday health issues, I use Ayurveda and plant herbal medicine. With an unwavering intent, these plant medicine always supports my well-being. Plant medicine I use that are available in the Pacific Northwest are Elderberry, Echinacea, Mullein, Hawthorn, and Yarrow. I also use Ashwagandha, flax seed, Ginseng, and lots of ginger and local honey.
Sustainable Life in Harmony with Nature – In old Sri Lanka, in villages, when a person go to the store, a cashier uses newspaper to put flour or wrap fish and you would bring your containers to refill with oils and such from the store. People used bags and baskets made of pan, thal (palm) or ola leaves. This was just using what they had from nature. There were no plastic bags. Life back then was lived in more harmony with products made from things that eventually decayed back to earth. Then the world found plastic, and here we are today making billions of tons of plastic, using them once and throwing them into the ocean and eating them back up as microplastic particles in fish and water, killing animals and destroying oceans – destroying our source and destroying our bodies when we consume those very microplastic from water and food. We have gone out of our way (for the sake of science, for greater convenience) to discover these technological advancements. But now after consuming those for the past 50-100 years, we are realizing the best way forward is in harmony with nature and not destroying it. We are in oneness with nature and we must protect this planet for us to feed from it and to survive. We have done more harm to this planet in the last 100 years than the millions of years before that. We must take the good things from scientific advancements (align with nature) to the future and create a new version of existence in harmony with nature.
Footprints of Past
I grew up on the wonderful tropical island of Sri Lanka surrounded by nature and rich culture. But we lived closer to Colombo in what was a very busy city. I always loved occasional visits to spend time in my mother’s village in Gorakadeniya, away from city noise. Sri Lanka was a developing poor country and for much of my childhood, I wanted to migrate to a developed country to seek financial abundance. Through a series of miraculous events, my dream became true and I had the opportunity to come to the US to study Finance and Business Management at Purdue University.
After graduating in 2008 during the US financial crisis I had a very difficult time finding the type of job that I thought I wanted to do to earn money in Business. Little did I know, that happened to be one of the best things that ever happened – not being able to get a job in the corporate world. If otherwise, I would be minding someone else’s business today in a cube farm, cutting throats to go up a corporate ladder, while manufacturing stress and ailments working 9-5 like a rat haha.
Because none of that ever happened (thank you universe), through that difficult time I created a website advertising web development and graphic design work with some general coding knowledge I had. As this soon picked up to become regular contract work with big companies, and as I quite enjoyed creating things digitally, I watched specialized videos to learn and improve on my coding experiences like CSS, PHP and JS. At the time, what was seen as not a standard way to earn a living, without a full-time job working in an office, I thoroughly enjoyed doing what I wanted, doing it from wherever I wanted, and when I wanted while earning a living.
In 2011 I developed a WordPress event calendar plugin based on minimal designs that let users own their event data. Later I renamed this amazing plugin as EventON. After being able to help an ever-growing number of customers around the world with EventON, in 2013 I decided to stop all contract work and solely focus on minding my business, minding my EventON.
Looking back at my past footprints, I am very grateful for the difficult period I had in life, which made it possible to realize a way out of it – the missed opportunities and the unimaginable opportunities. It was never the things around and outside me, it was always about how I was inside me. How I am inside me is what helped me rise above unpleasant situations and make something good from them.