Spring Cleaning

This post is also available in: Japanese

clean sink

The spiritual teacher Don Juan says that there are two worlds – one that we perceive with our five senses, and one that is outside of this sensual reality. The former, which we are all familiar with, is called the Tonal, while the latter, which almost no one can perceive is called the Nagual. Our home, work, exercise, belief system, our relationship with others – these are all part of the Tonal. The power of creation, true knowledge, the “Infinite Source” resides in the Nagual. According to Don Juan, in order to perceive the Nagual we must keep our Tonal perfectly clean.

Regularly “sweeping” our Tonal is extremely important. We should clean it every day, but music, cooking and other projects are just so much more interesting, so things inevitably pile up. And so large clean-ups become necessary a few times every year.

With a blue belt baby on the way, I really need to get my Spring Clean done. Right now here’s what I am working on on the home front:

– sell, give away, or throw out unused items
– set up baby room and move Billbob’s house back inside
– clean hard drive / free up space
– reply to mails and clean mailbox
– do good deeds so I don’t have to participate in Christmas

On the first point, here are some tips for those living in Tokyo from my experience:

Craigslist – easily sell or give away items. Pros: simple, if it’s free someone will most likely take it regardless of condition, you can earn money, if the buyer lives nearby he will come pick it up from you. Cons: only in English, no guarantee the person will really buy/pay for item (though I have never had a problem). Here are a couple of my current advertisements:

clist imac ad clist chairs ad

Yahoo Auction – sell by auction. Pros: many users, sale/payment guaranteed. Cons: Japanese only, sellers have to pay a monthly fee, very detailed so it takes time to post, usually have to deliver. I use Yahoo Auction here to buy goods but not to sell.
Salvation Army Japan – give away clothes, furniture, electronics. Pros: if you live in Tokyo someone will come to pick up, get rid of a lot of stuff in one go, since Salvation Army will sell the items at its bazaar you know they won’t go to waste. Cons: Japanese only, they accept only relatively new goods in decent condition, pickup only applicable for certain areas of Tokyo, can’t earn money. My friends have used this and say it is very easy. See here for more details.
NeighborGoods – a sharing service available in America. For example I have a power drill that I use only occasionally. So when I’m not using it someone living nearby could borrow it. This doesn’t appear to be available in Japan yet, but if someone started a similar service it could be a good business idea.

But cleaning house is only one part of Tonal sweeping. Projects also have a way of piling up. You can’t cook when the sink is full of dirty dishes. In the same way you can’t work when you accumulate too many unfinished projects. Every week I have been posting a new thought piece with the Blue Belt Weekly, and it has been an interesting learning experience. But my sink is now full. Before I begin another new project I will finish all of the ones I have already started. I’ll try to get through the below list as quickly as possible, and weeklies going forward will serve as progress updates:

1) Ginza Farmers Market interviews: Higurashi-san, Akiko-san, Hiro-san, Maeda-san, and Yoshi-san
2) Publish “Trading for Survival” book on trading
3) Natto Man video
4) Recipes: homemade vegetarian curry udon, kinpira gobo, vegan palak paneer
5) Article series: Blue Belt Diet, Why Ashtanga?
6) “Stir to Sleep” musical pre-bed meditation tutorial
7) How to economize your cell phone in Japan

As for other site changes, as much as possible I will strive to make the site bilingual. The information I am sharing is largely available on English-language websites, books, podcasts, etc. On top of that I am living in Japan, so I should communicate this information in Japanese. I will write articles first in Japanese and then translate into English. Each English sentence will correspond exactly to each Japanese sentence, so people studying either language can also use this blog as a study tool. If anyone would like to correct my broken Japanese I would be forever grateful!

OK, that’s it for this week – time to get cracking on these projects. Have a productive week ahead!