Can I hear all about your minibreak?
Sure you can!
Thursday morning youngest bro picked me up, took me back to my parents house to pick up my martial arts jacket he forgot to bring, drove me to pick up my student that was also attending (here on known as 'Student Y'),drove us halfway to the airport then back to Student Y's to pick up hiswallet that he forgot, then drove us to the airport to catch a flight to Brisbane. On the way we got a call from the student who used to train but now lives in Melbourne and was also coming (here on known as 'Student J')to say that his flight had been cancelled and that he would be arriving at 8pm, so was settling in for an afternoon of drinking alone in the airport (which in turn gave him the courage to chat up one of the attendents and get his sweet self onto the flight landing at 6pm).
Brisbane was lovely and warm, we picked up the car which had been (luckily) upgraded from a Getz to an Accent, took multiple wrong turns to get to our apartment (Charlotte Towers which were just lovely and highly recomended) and hit the shops for some general time killing and to pick up some boxes that we each needed for the retreat part of the weekend. THEN I HAD DINNER.
Dinner was fantastic - Jen picked me up from the front of my hotel just after 6 (luckily, as I was running late!) and took me to the Himalayan cafe where Jey was already waiting out the front. Jac arrived not long after and Deb was a bit later than that, but unfortunately Tokenwoman fell sick and was unable to attend, and Kate just plain old forgot! The food was great, Jen's supply of Moscato and another white were just the bee's bonnet and the badges were trendy to boot! I had a lovely meal, talked and sweated and gesticulated a bit too much and mostly behaved myself. After a farewell to Deb and a near swooping by a bat (ICKY!) we dropped an unwell Jey back at the train station and hit the casino - it is like a maze of pokies and bad carpet, but had spiffy toiletries dispensers, good wedges and frozen daiquiri's and a waiter who didn't seem to like being told to buy some Bepantham for his newly aquired forearm piercing (um, it IS for nappy rash - I'm an idiot!!)
Friday Students Y, J and I drove into Maroochydore and met up with one of the students from Darwin (here on known as 'Student K') who was staying with us, and we hit the shops for groceries and more time killing. After we settled back into the apartment I realised we needed more stuff for lunches for the weekend so I headed back over the road (anyone here know Big Top shopping centre? Weird) and then I got a call from my senior instructor telling me he was coming to visit our room - turns out he also brought two more senior instructors, so you can imagine what my anxiety levels were like as I led them up the lift to our sixth floor apartment (Waves in Maroochydore - also very highly recommended!!) - turns out he just wanted to give us some Mala beads he had bought for us, individualised to what he thought we would like. Special stuff! We headed into the hall and trained for an hour (zomg I was SO freakin sweaty!!) and picked up some curry and cruisers for dinner.
Saturday we were headed into the hall at 9am when it was already 31 degrees! The local students told us that they had hardly broken 30 all summer, so the peack of 43 degrees was not just exhausting for the interstate visitors... although he were only mostly sitting, listening and
taking notes, it was a very sweaty day for all. Sunday followed in a similar vein, but was not as hot and the day was not as long - and ended up at a house in beautiful Maleny where the temperature was a lot cooler and it was 10:30pm dark by 7:30!
I don't know how much of what I learnt on the weekend is for sharing - it was basically a Lama Je-Tsongkapa initiation, which you can read some more about here. To say that it was intersting is a massive understatement -it's taken the internal aspect of the martial arts training I do and
magnified it and built on it and explained it. It interests me in a way that I never felt with my Catholocism and makes me want to learn more about every aspect of it - to me, that is just amazing. It removes the negatives I see within the church (the discrimination and the fear mongering), leaving only the positives (the basic belief in human kindness) and expanding it more on a spiritual side, which is damn near perfect in my eyes. It gives you ways to better yourself, to benefit others, to benefit all living things. Time to stop gushing.
Monday we went to Australia Zoo which I don't recomend - it's $50 for an adult to get in, it's poorly signposted, it doesn't have much variety and they have really high staff turnover. They do, however, have a patting zoo where you can pat piglets, baby sheep, baby cows and baby goats - but I'm sure you can find somewhere to do that for a bit cheaper! We also hit up
the big pineapple which was pretty big I guess, and sold pineapple on a stick for $1 which was super tasty. Monday night we headed in to do some training at 4:30, then Student Y taught from 6 - 7pm and I taught from 7 -8pm. The training session with my senior instructor was fantastic (and it stopped before I felt the need to stop for water to stave off the fainting spells) and gave me some more direction on how I should donig my training and what I should be getting out of it - a good few days of clarification is just what I needed.
Tuesday was the long haul home - a mish mash of sitting around and playing internets in shopping centres and airports, trying to keep my head cool and playing that new Mind Building DS game (which is awesome! I lost 20 years after my first round of tests!).
You're welcome, speak again soon!