I wanted to resend this note since it went to Spam boxes a lot the first time. Sorry if you are getting this twice!

It’s been about 3 months since my last note like this, so I wanted to send you an update on what’s been happening in Portland.

Portland

View from Angel's Rest Trail in the Multonomah Gorge, 45 minutes outside Portland

View from Angel’s Rest Trail in the Multonomah Gorge, 45 minutes outside Portland

I’ve moved on from living in Airbnbs into longer term apartments. But I’ve discovered in Portland I have all kind of allergies I didn’t know about! Because a lot of the homes here tend to be older construction (early 1900s) there is a large propensity to have dust, mold, other issues.

I have started getting “immunotherapy” shots for allergies, which over time is supposed to cure it. In some ways its a nuisance, but overall I’m glad I discovered it. All this time growing up when I’ve been sneezing on occasion when I thought I just had a “cold”, maybe it was actually an allergies!
I have been trying to get outdoors a bit more, and there are plenty of great hikes within a very close distance. A friend invited me to hike Machu Pichu in November, so now I have some incentive to begin training more!

Silent Meditation Retreat

Meditation Pagoda at the Southwest Vipassana Center in Texas

Meditation Pagoda at the Southwest Vipassana Center in Texas

From August 26 – September 6 I went on a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. This was my second one. It was held in Kaufman, Texas about 30 minutes outside of Dallas.

Some of the basic principles of the retreat:
– no talking to anyone except the meditation instructor (only if you have questions)
– no phone, computer, music internet, reading, writing, or any distraction besides meditating
– vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch. no food for dinner except tea
– wake up around 4:30AM every morning, mostly meditation throughout the day, and lights out at 10pm.

Although it may sound very daunting, I appreciate that is it is a very structured environment that not only teaches you a meditation technique, but also gives you guidance on how to find satisfaction within oneself as opposed to chasing after “external” accomplishments which one has a much harder time controlling.

I felt good after the retreat because i progressed in my meditation practice at level i was happy with. I was happy also happy because I better understood what it means to be equanimous, which is one of the most important parts of wisdom from the Vipassana teachings for me.

It is by many measures an intense experience but also an intensely rewarding experience. I would encourage you to check it out if you haven’t heard of it!

Jehangir Saleh Lecture Series

Jehangir Saleh Lecture Series

In other news, I have been helping with the organization of a lecture series in honor of my cousin Jehangir. He passed away a few years ago from a genetic condition called Cystic Fibrosis. We were only a few months apart in age and he was a very good friend to me, and it made me appreciate the ephemeral nature of life.

In his honor, our family started a lecture series at the Philosophy department of Ryerson University, his alma matter. The first lecture will be held on October 27 in Toronto, Canada on the topic of The Art of Wellbeing: Living with Illness. If you in the Toronto area please come attend!

Even if you cannot attend, I thought I would let you know as we all have loved ones who deal with illness, and finding ways to remember them can be very rewarding. If you’d like to donate to the lecture series click here.

Upcoming Travel Schedule

Marin Software Co-workers

With my Marin Software Portland office co-workers on a hike

Here is a list of places I will be in the next few months. Let me know if we are overlapping and perhaps we can meet up.

Tampa: Oct 9-12
Los Angeles: Oct 15-18
New York: Oct 22-25
Toronto: Oct 26-28
San Francisco: Oct 28-Nov 2
Lima, Peru (Machu Pichu): Nov 23 – Dec 1

Would love to hear from you as always!

Take care,
Imran