At home the monks are on Sadhu Paksha. We just passed through a 3-day retreat. Periodically each of the kulam groups goes to stay by the ocean for a day or so to take a break. Watching the sun rise on the eastern ocean horizon is always an uplifting experience.
On another retreat outing we visited a noni farm near on the north eastern coast. At the edge of the farm, just a few feet from the drop-off to the ocean, huge albatrosses are nesting.
These birds have a wing span of nearly 6 feet. They have no fear of humans as their only known predator are sharks and if you are not a shark then they don’t fear you. This led to the near decimation of the species when dogs were brought to Hawaii and the dogs ate many of the birds who did not see them as predators. Later the birds were protected and their population is increasing again.
If you thought your parenting logistics were challenging, consider this: the main staple of these birds are a form of squid that they can only eat off the coasts of Alaska. But to breed they must have warm weather. So Mom and Dad fly to Hawaii, where their eggs are warm and protected. While Mom sits on the eggs, Dad takes a 3-day flight to Alaska, eats his fill and returns to Kauai. Then he sits on the eggs and Mom takes the 3 day journey to Alaska, has lunch, and flies back to Kauai!
Focus on being a soul, not the body, mind and emotions. When we think of ourselves as a soul we're able to move forward and get closer and closer to Siva. That's the whole idea of Saiva Siddhanta. A negative self-concept is an obstacle. We can change our self-concept through applying Gurudeva's teachings, affirming every day that we are a divine being. Vasana daha tantra: Going back and understanding experiences; clearing up the reactions to the past.