By electra | December 21, 2011
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
Roy and Electra are at a 10-day silent meditation retreat from Dec 22, 2011 until Jan 2, 2012 and will not have internet or phones. Feel free to email or leave a voicemail to contact either of us if it is not an emergency, and we will respond when we return the first Monday in January 2012.
If there is an emergency, you can contact the organizers of the retreat via the location (Cedar Ridge Retreat & Conference Center) at (503) 429-2801 and they will forward your message to us. Please refrain from doing this unless it involves life/dire illness/death situations or something that requires our immediate action.
Cedar Ridge phone (for use the day the course begins (12/22/2011) and for emergencies during the course): (503) 429-2801
Organizers email: email@example.com
Oregon Vipassana Association
Some might wonder why we’re disappearing into silent self-reflection instead of gathering with loved ones. It’s important to know that Roy and I have been trying to find a structured way to learn mindfulness meditation for some time now. The mindfulness and self-awareness that we cultivate helps us to be better counselors and doctors, and so it’s very important to our professional development. It also helps us to be better family members and friends, so hopefully our absence this year will be a blessing in years to come.
Here’s a little more info about Vipassana mindfulness from practitioners of it: Practicing Vipassana: Meditator Experiences
To learn it properly requires guidance and no distractions (much like doing Yoga for the first times), and it requires about 10 days of no interruption to practice it enough to make it stick. Organizations like the Oregon Vipassana Association and Dhamma Kuñja in Washington provide the guidance, time and place for that training.
The only consecutive 10-days of intersecting schedules between these training organizations, Roy’s work schedule, and my school schedule was this one, so it’s either commit to this one or wait another full year or more.
So! Wish us luck on our journey into ourselves! It will be challenging and maybe harrowing, but it will be so worth it!
By electra | February 14, 2011
Roy went with me to my first medical school dance!
By electra | August 2, 2010
We have safely arrived in Portland, OR and are ensconced in Kat & Hans’ house. Yay!
By electra | June 30, 2010
We have no credit card debt!
By electra | June 8, 2010
We are obtaining tickets home for Aug. 2nd. Due to the magical Date Line, we will be both leaving Sapporo, Japan and arriving in Portland, Oregon, USA on the same day. Woo!
By electra | March 25, 2010
I recieved my letter of acceptance to NCNM today! Yahoo! I’m gonna be a doctor!
By electra | February 16, 2010
You may proceed to bite fingernails in sympathetic worry. I (Electra) have submitted my application to ★NCNM★. I have received their reply indicating that the application is complete, including letters of recommendation.
Now I can do nothing but wait….
… and complete the FAFSA. Aaah, tax forms. How I’ve missed you. (¬.¬)
By electra | January 2, 2010
written by Electra
Roy and I joined forces with my cousin Kat and her hubby Hans to go to Thailand for Christmas and New Years and then some. It has been a nice level of adventure thus far.
By royhuggins | September 24, 2009
Remember how we failed the 2級 (level 2 Japanese language test)? Well we took it again in July and it was way killer the second time. They changed the format, added way more reading, and generally made it to have a greater level of suckitude. There’s no way we passed it. Except…
We did! Somehow we both managed to pass by the skin of our teeth. Our proud teacher, Sagara-sensei, even laminated our proof-of-passing cards. It’s a huge relief to have that accomplished.
So you might be wondering what this means. The Japanese Language Proficiency Exam (日本語能力試験) currently has 4 levels. The highest is level 1. You could say it’s like getting your black belt. Levels 4 and 3 are largely useless as work credentials but make wonderful study goals. Level 2 is where you start qualifying for bilingual jobs (but note that working as a translator is usually a better-than-blackbelt job). Concretely, level 2 requires about 1000 Chinese characters (kanji) and 6000 vocabulary words. We don’t know all that vocabulary but we do largely know the 1000 characters. Those 1000 comprise the vast majority of written Japanese one sees unless one is reading a book, newspaper, etc. (although I am often able to understand the main points of newspaper articles). So it’s a very functional reading level.
So Electra and I are like Japanese language red belts, getting very close to our brown belts. We are good enough to make our way around Japan easily, make Japanese friends, and even do some kinds of work that require both languages. We’re pretty stoked to be at this level since we’ve been working very hard for a long time to get here!
By electra | September 20, 2009
Kuma went with a nice gal named Victoria to his new home with her and Steve today. No more Kuma with us.
We already miss him a lot.