First nomadic month – Chapada da Diamantina

Smart Fit subscribers in São Paulo know: it’s perfectly normal to enter and exit the gym without looking at anyone’s face.

For those who come from a small town, I understand that at first, it can be liberating not to share equipment with the son-of-the-bakery-owner-who-betrayed-your-cousin, but after about 2 years it becomes embarrassing not to have anyone to gossip with between repetitions.

On the other hand, we know who the smart fitters from our social networks are.

They are from other units, but they are one of us, even more one of us than those who actually sweat it out on the elliptical next to us, religiously at 17:45 in front of the TV showing “Life is rad” on the off channel.

In the capital, where there is a higher concentration of people per square meter, it seems to require more willingness to interact with those who are in the same space-time as us.

this is one lonely guy - Meme by stingrayfan39 :) Memedroid

The other day I watched the Argentine film “The Delinquents”, there’s a scene where the people are at a waterfall, a guy passes by them and the crowd starts a conversation. They watch him pass and exchange words. They talk to a stranger, just because he is in the same place.

It didn’t occur to anyone that it would be kind of strange to start a conversation out of the blue. They had something in common: the willingness to go there and enjoy that waterfall, which is a coincidence (!), it’s natural to talk to someone who has something in common. Why can’t it be like this at Smart Fit?

At first, I thought it was a 90s thing – the time when the film is set – there were no cell phones, or AirPods, the way was to be present. But we know that this is a myth:

Kids these days and their cellular phones ... : r/funny

I think the problem is the big city itself, a different rhythm.

The urbe is f*cked, you see someone with a cool outfit and you don’t stop to talk to the person, but you go on tiktok to search for the trend “Street Style NYC”, check the brands and trends.

In the movie, for example, they exchange information about the bus schedule, which is normal here in the interior of Bahia where I am, but in São Paulo it was easier to check on the cell phone.

Now I was reminded that it’s not a movie thing, but completely common to put into practice this ancestral communication technique: say anything to meet someone, especially if they have things in common with you like frequenting the same places.

There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s not rude and much less inconvenient, I’m here mourning all the friends I didn’t make at Smart Fit. Or not.


Finally, let me tell you what I did in this first month of travel.

First, I drove from Sampa to here, me, Gabi, Lua, and Jupiter – Gabi’s two dogs. We made two stops, Montes Claros in Minas Gerais, nothing special, and Candiba, the highlight, we stayed in an incredible Airbnb:

in doubt between the biscuit and the landscape, I made this montage with both.

We made a classic “southeasterner” mistake when the host offered to prepare dinner. She asked what we wanted, and we said that any “mineirinha” food would be great – turns out Candiba is already in Bahia, lol.

We should have realized this from the road. In Minas, the reputation matches the reality, the roads are terrible, full of potholes, and poorly signposted…

Whoever knows why, tell me. I’m too lazy to research, but I’m very interested.

Once you cross the border into Bahia, the asphalt is good, it’s amazing. But here in the Vale do Capão, where I am in the Chapada, it’s all dirt roads. The EcoSport does the job, but it seems that the Uninho is the local preference, the most appropriate car for the situation.

No photo description available.

Our current airbnb is perfect, absolutely beautiful, we even closed for another month right in the alice’s cat scheme: for those who don’t know where they are going, any place will do.

this any place here is too good.

The three main trails we went to here in the Caeté-Açu region were:

  • Smoke Waterfall (Cachoeira da Fumaça)
  • Fairy and Gnome Waterfall (Cachoeira Fadas e Doendes)
  • Clear Waters Trail (Águas Claras)

We did each twice, because now at the end of the month we had visitors – my brother, a great friend of mine, and a friend of Gabi’s – and we wanted to show them the ones we liked the most.

Some sections of difficult trails, group travel logistics, people who don’t know each other, me and Gabi also getting to know each other again after years… There were some tensions, but we all came out unscathed, the greatness of nature is too striking, the biggest memory of all. It was great to be away from home, but to have people around who give me the feeling of home.

Now a review of the waterfalls:

Cachoeira da Fumaça

Easy level – 2 and a half hours of trail – Strava flat part – Strava descent

A hell of a climb. At least an hour of intense climbing and then an open plain. There’s no cool place to swim, just some points of the river, but it’s after such an intense climb, any water there is great.

At the top we see the waterfall fall, they say it’s the second largest in Brazil and it’s very worth going even when it’s dry, because, if you’re brave, you can walk where the water flows and enjoy a completely different view:

But the real highlight is when it’s full:

Cachoeira Fadas e Doendes

Medium/difficult level – 2 and a half hours of trail – Strava go – Strava return

Closed trail, without that big sun in the face. On the way we pass by the Angelica and Purification waterfalls, which are the most visited. Fairy and Gnome is a bit more complicated to get to, but it’s a very cute pool.

On the way back, instead of taking the same path, we climbed up to Gerais, which is a part of the Paty trail – until there, there are a lot of stone jumps along the river, some pools to swim, a natural stone slide and the view is very cool.

Águas Claras

Easy level – 2 and a half hours of trail – Strava

My favorite so far, the trail has a beautiful view and is generally flat. The so-called “clear waters” are natural pools, it looks like a little magic garden.

The other day Gabi and I camped there for two days with the dogs and it was really nice, we want to do it again to go up and down the hill anytime.

All these that I mentioned have variations and other sub-trails along the way. In addition to them, we did other smaller ones in the region, also others more distant from caeté-açu/capão, but for today’s newsletter you already got a taste of what it’s like around here 🙂

Especially since I love touring big cities, seeing tall buildings… I’m amazed at the immensity of the natural paradise, it’s been a while since I allowed myself that.

In the delinquents movie, it shows some very cool takes that also portray this smallness of the human being in contrast to the city and nature, very good 10/10, I really recommend it.

Cool Stuff

  • This wonderful extension of stremio has all kinds of movies – including those from MUBI and Los Delinquentes 😉

And that’s all for today!

Thank you for reading and see you later 🙂

Good things to do in 2024 – prioritize art

Last year I didn’t do much, I was kind of a Ricardo Nunes of ideas, the mayor only fulfilled 11 out of the 86 goals he had set for São Paulo – realizing his mistake in April of last year, he changed 27 of them – just like us.

I planned a lot, changed some routes and still delivered little, I confess. But I won’t humiliate myself too much, I said in the last edition that I achieved good things for the long term… as for Nunes, he is so incompetent that he only completed 59 out of the 260 maintenance, recovery, and reinforcement works on bridges and overpasses, small bridges, walkways, and city tunnels. Besides that, he gave up on inaugurating the BRT corridors and the large reservoirs in areas that are affected by floods.

As if the environmental anxiety of dying in a flood was not enough, now we can also live in fear of being randomly buried while walking around the city.

WhatsApp stickers that speak for a thousand long texts

And we want to be so much, I wanted to be so much better than I am, but I am what I can be.

And we want to be so much, I wanted to be so much better than I am, but I am what I can be.

My hole wasn’t so deep, but I identified with the mayor on the culture point: he did not take off the paper the 10 CEUs movie theaters and the 10 educational territories he promised.

I also did not prioritize culture and education in 2023. Which should explain the so-called “constant feeling of anguish and helplessness” that I mentioned in the last text. Art is essential to a well-lived life.

I don’t want to do the Nunes again this year, so 1. I set few, more realistic goals, 2. I continue working on structural things and 3. I will prioritize art. Having said that, I come here to share a little list with the movies, books and shows that I’m dating for 2024 – to disseminate what I like, for you to see if we have things in common and for the pastime, in general, which is the whole idea of this little ritual here.

Before I start, I know I finished the last edition (about meditation) with the promise to continue the subject. But treat this as a conversation, we change the subject, we laugh, then we remember something else, we go back and so on…

I once heard Hebe telling in an interview that she met with her friends to play cards and they continued the topics from the point where they stopped at the last meeting, months ago. This is exactly the energy of this newsletter:

Lucky is the one who gave that little kiss to Hebe
Lucky is the one who gave that little kiss to Hebe

In some next issue I will return to the subject. I’m going to badmouth vipassana meditation, just to convince you to go on a vipassana meditation retreat.

Now, to the cultural desires and plans for the coming months.

Where to find the parties

We know that a thousand things are happening in the city of São Paulo, but it’s archaic to browse several Instagram profiles in search of the perfect party. With that in mind, here are some tips on where to find tips:

In the situation of feeling that you don’t want to go home before 5 in the morning, I like to take a look at the shotgun website, but I generally have the notion that I’m over 30 and another place to find quality parties is boatismo:


Life happens on the dance floor. We are a curation of nightlife (and sometimes daytime) in São Paulo. Our weekly bets arrive in your email every Friday.

It’s also important to check the programming of the best institution in this city: Here the direct link to the concerts page, but we cannot forget the workshops, the very well-curated exhibitions and to praise SESC in general – which, in addition to everything, occasionally provides us with a wonderful international circus festival, I love it so much.

It’s good to keep an eye out because things sell out quickly there, unfortunately I couldn’t buy tickets for 30 years of Pato Fu – if you’re going, enjoy it for me – but I managed to buy the Cornucópia Desvairada show for today and, speaking of which, already in the carnival mood, we can follow this link the programming of the little blocks that are going to happen in the city of São Paulo – or the Rio-São Paulo dashboard version made by card-carrying carnival-goers, here.


Thinking ahead, I tried to buy the Bethânia show (without Caetano 🥲), but it sold out, so I went ahead and bought tickets to see Black Pumas, Robert Glasper and a lot of quality jazz in bank event (aka C6 Fest) in May, I’m excited!

There’s a fire!

Another place to find art is João’s curation, over at “where is the art”:

Where is the Art

Discussing ideas and thoughts about art and literature.

By João Henrique Andrade

I also really enjoy hanging out on Google’s Arts & Culture app, great for getting lost online, you can like your favorite art, revisit them later, read about the artists… much better than making impossible shopping carts.

Where to eat?

Before, when I saw someone posting a delight on Instagram, I would search for the place’s name on Google Maps and I have a list there of “beautiful restaurants” and “hipster cafes”, but I changed this way of saving my curation and now I do it directly on Instagram:

When someone posts, I click on the location of the place and save it (see those blue flags there? those are the saved ones). Also, if I am in a neighborhood-city that I do not know, I enter the Instagram map, click up there “search this area”, then down there, I choose “cafes” for example … the photos are better than Google Maps and everything is much more updated.

Books to Read

For those who are into books, there is the big list of 451 releases, since I am going to do a postgraduate degree in design and city this year, I am keeping an eye on the architecture and urbanism section.

In March, Judith Butler is going to release the book “Who’s Afraid of Gender?”, I have already reserved it. This is a discussion I really like, I get excited with the new generations, who seem to incorporate the fluidity of gender naturally. In March, my friend’s daughter is born and I am already imagining the discomforts and paradigms this little child will make us go through-break.

About the novelties of the last century, there are some classics that I would like to read, the good thing about this category is that you can read without spending a penny – via 🏴‍☠️. Another list to work on is the one you also have, the books I stopped in the middle – if you are an active user on the forgotten network of amazon, add me on goodreads so we can share our list of unfinished.


One of the books I started reading again at the beginning of the year is “I’m happy that my mother died”. I was enjoying the reading for reasons of also being born to someone who shouldn’t have been a mother and we never know what happens inside other people’s houses (in this sick and broken family system in which we live), but I put it aside precisely because it was only embittering me, pointing out the wound, reliving pains… I almost hid the book on the guilty pleasures shelf, until I saw Sofia Copolla recommend 3 books and surprise, surprise, this work by iCarly was among them, so I started reading again.

Movies to watch

February is carnival and it is also my birthday, according to my mother, I continue in the balzaquiana energy, according to my grandmother, I complete the age of Christ: 33 years. The biggest birthday present, finally The Boy and the Heron, the latest film by Miyazaki for Studio Ghibli, will be released in Brazil – there is no exact date yet, but it is something between February and March.


I really like watching movies, more than series, but I don’t study much about it, I throw myself into the curations, now at the end of the year I went back to subscribe to mubi, so it’s half the battle. Apart from that, every year I like to go to the “SP film show” or to the “it’s all true”, documentaries, but my favorite show in the city is the ecofalante, in 2024 it will happen in May, make a note.

In the end

I could suggest some channels on youtube, blogs and other content not so long form, but I only thought about it now that I’ve passed 2k characters, so let’s get to the point. Over time I will learn to write in this format suggesting other things around here. Besides, as Seu Jorge says

“It’s not for nothing, but I’m going to have fun as long as life allows”

See you later 🙂

2023 into 2024

I think I already overshared about 2023 on a previous text, but let’s have a overview of the year here as well.


This year I left my first international job, at WEX, which was not an easy decision, since it is a great company, where I had all the support, but I didn’t want to work solely with UiPath anymore and more opportunities for Python freelancing arose – which ends up the flexibility was also a best fit for my personal life at the moment.

The freelancing world came with big challenges, for the first time, I managed to build a Python automation framework from scratch without a senior supervisor. This was incredibly enriching.

Also, 2023 makes five years that I’ve been officially on the IT job market! By the second half of 2019, I got a job as a trainee for Deloitte, where they sent me to the automations area and I’ve been in the field ever since.

Continuous Learning

  • Urban Planning Bachelor’s degree:

There is only the Macro and Meso Regional Planning Workshop, the Metropolitan Planning and Governance Workshop, and the Undergraduate Thesis left to complete for my diploma. However, due to challenging personal life changes this year, I haven’t made progress on these. The only task I managed to complete was delivering my research.

It focused on the Extraction of built area in satellite image time series Landsat of the city of Santarém – PA – 2012 -2002. The outcome wasn’t as good as I expected, since I decided to explore not with QGIS as we learned in class, but with javascript on google earth platform. Despite this, I learned a lot.

I also managed to attend two conferences with the research team, SBSR (Brazilian Symposium on Remote Sensing) and ENANPUR (The National Meetings of the National Postgraduate and Research in Urban and Regional Planning) – traveling is great, but doing so with academic purpose and cool people is even more fun.

  • Yoga Teacher Training 500hours:

I’m still surfing Yogic Studies world, 50% on my way to complete the Yogic Studies Advanced Certificate Program (YSACP).

My favorite module this year was the one about  The Amṛtasiddhi, Haṭha Yoga’s First Text with professor James Mallinson, rich on medieval alchemy and the basis of yoga powerful bandhas.

Also the one about Women and Gender in Hindu Tantra with professor Sravana Borkataky-Varma from Harvard Divinity School opened my mind to a whole new world about transgenders and religion in India.


I’ve shared this before, but in a nutshell, I became “unpartnered.” How do we navigate discussions about modern couples who cohabit after 30, without the traditional marriage ceremony, yet face a complex web of shared responsibilities, from bill payments to dividing house plants and kitchenware upon separation?

In the midst of this, I relocated to a new neighborhood, my psychologist went on maternity leave, I renovated my new apartment, a tragic death occurred in my family, also a cancer removal on another family member and another loved one came close to death but is now in a rehabilitation clinic. On top of this, after nearly a decade of living independently, I moved to a location right next to my blood relatives.

To say 2023 has been a challenging year would be an understatement.

On the other hand, living close to my family again has been an enlightening experience. It has offered me a deeper understanding of my roots and myself. While it presents its own set of challenges, I find great joy in spending time with my elderly relatives. My regular visits to my nearly 90-year-old grandmother, filled with card games and her life stories, have been particularly rewarding.

About my new neighborhood, it offers a stark contrast to downtown São Paulo. The sense of safety is palpable, allowing me to stroll at night with my phone in hand, a luxury I could not afford before. Yet, I find myself yearning for the familiar hipster vibes, the freedom of cycling at Minhocão, and the weekend breakfasts at TAKKO coffee shop, surrounded by fellow tattooed people.

Nowadays, my daily view is filled with wealthy individuals in gym clothes. The coffee shops, once my go-to spots for a change of scenery while working, are now mostly frequented by retired flâneurs. So, I prefer to stay at home, which led me to overthink my setup, so I bought myself a standing desk—fancy.

On the flip side, I’m a mere 10-minute walk from the indoor climbing gym and a 20-minute stroll from São Paulo’s “Central Park,” Ibirapuera Park. This proximity has significantly boosted my climbing skills and provided me with much-needed nature time.

After the initial tumult of the first semester, I’ve been channeling my energy into establishing new routines, strengthening my social and familial ties, and seeking stability. As I look ahead, I’m optimistic that 2024 will be a year of fewer disruptions and more tranquility.


I lost 7 kilos total and gained 3 kilos of muscle mass this year! Climbing definitely helped, but I’m also consistently going to the gym and applied Huberman’s Lab 3-5 protocol, which I found gave me the most strength I have ever had so far.

  • Squats: 40kg – 50kg
  • Rowing: 30kg – 40kg
  • Shoulder Press: 10kg
  • Chest: 15kg
  • Unilateral deadlift: 14kg
  • Bulgarian split squat: 16kg

You know, people say after 40’s we lose 1% of muscle mass per year by default, so I have 7 years ahead to build more consistent muscles, or “a health savings”

In conclusion

2023 has been the most challenging year of my life, yet it was also a time of great energy and new opportunities. I had the chance to meet new people and acquire a wealth of knowledge.

My life now feels like it’s in a transitional phase, laying the groundwork for something new. This period of change is refreshing and filled with potential, despite the sense of loss and the numerous changes I’ve faced this year. Here’s to a fantastic 2024 for us all. See you around!

Reasons to meditate for 10 days in silence at the Vipassana retreat

Quitting everything and going to meditate seems like something a slacker would do. To go on a meditation retreat, we have to justify ourselves by saying it’s self-care, and we have to use words carefully so people don’t think you just dove into this because you were at your worst.

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly alone in a room*” I really like this phrase, supposedly said by the mathematician, Pascal.

I don’t agree that we will have all of humanity’s problems resolved. I don’t believe in world peace, complete happiness, let alone reversing global warming. However, I believe that, even doomed to defeat, we can indeed imagine these utopias and choose at least one or another unattainable collective goal to put into practice.

I don’t fight to win, I know I will lose. If I don’t fail in this system, it’s because I’ve adhered to it. – Padre Julio Lancellotti, o melhor que temos.

My most ancient personal-collective-utopian battle is meditation. Actually, last month I went to a silent retreat. I confess that I had a pretty shitty year, but that’s not why I went, this is something I’ve been doing for several years, in good times and bad times.

However, I think when Pascal said that phrase, he wasn’t exactly suggesting “to sit quietly and alone” sitting on the ground, meditating more than 5 hours a day, for 10 consecutive days, eating only 2 meals a day, without being able to read, write or even exercise. But that’s exactly what the retreat I went to at the end of the year proposes.

If you want to avoid falling into this trap, the name of the retreat is Vipassana. If you are precisely looking for this type of self-flagellation, the name of the retreat is Vipassana too. According to the nightly classes of the retreat, this is a meditation technique that Buddha himself practiced to enlighten himself, but who can guarantee? Indians love using this marketing technique of “it’s traditional”, “it’s ancient” to shove their ideologies down the world’s throat.

Let’s lower all this possible fiction behind what actually exists:

A free retreat, which has been happening exactly in the same model, for decades, in various countries around the world. And thousands, if not millions of people, have already participated in it.

Meditators seated inside the Global Pagoda dome
cabem 8mil pessoas no maior centro de vipassana do mundo (pensa nessa galera toda em silêncio)

If you go to the Dhamma site, you can find dates to submit to live this experience. There is a center in Santana de Parnaíba, close to São Paulo, but the one I went to is in Miguel Pereira, in the interior of Rio de Janeiro. The rooms are comfortable, the food is tasty, and the shower is hot. The system is very organized and exactly the same, without adding or subtracting: absolute silence, a bit of fasting, and meditation for hours on end.

Despite the fugere urben and basic comforts, it doesn’t seem relaxing, right? In general, it’s not. But it’s worth it.

Facing responsibilities head on

I confess that I am unemployed, I pick up a freelance job here and there, but I no longer have time to manage, nor pair code reviews to do. However, I work in IT, the freelances pay well and I have some flexibility of time and money, but it didn’t seem bad at all to spend 10 days without having to cook, without spending anything and without looking at a screen.

The issue of cooking didn’t weigh so heavily, this year I prepared so many little lunches that I got used to it. I lost 7 kilos and gained 3 kilos of muscle! I also thought long-term in several other areas of life: I saved money, I challenged myself in my career, I was present in social circles even when I wanted to be crying in a corner, I didn’t take it out on food or alcohol… but of course, this mechanical self-care is just damage control, the problem is much deeper.


I did the whole damn thing, meditated, yet in 2023 I maintained a constant feeling of anguish and helplessness in the face of personal and global problems.

In the world, as you already know, end of the year with this global warming banging in our heads, environmental disasters here and there, another war broke out, inflation high up there, artificial intelligence expanding its skills more and more, an uncertain job market for most professions, extreme right-wing caricature political leaders taking power, Lula not delivering much…

On a personal level, I separated, changed houses and neighborhoods, my psychologist went on maternity leave, I renovated, an aunt died tragically, another loved one almost passed away but ended up in a rehabilitation clinic, my mother had cancer removed… besides that, after almost 10 years living away, I moved wall-to-wall with my blood relatives.

Even so, I didn’t run away from any trouble. Quite the contrary, I was patient and fulfilled my obligations, something that seems minimal, but we know it’s not. Maybe I made things a bit harder for myself with this “long-term thinking” attitude, but this year would have been sad anyway, it turned out I just embraced the hardship and maintained a boring and pondered life.

The size of my problems doesn’t matter, what really matters is the size of my butt. The size of my butt eases my problems – for times i embraced Bruna Rotta’s life philosophy to survive.

There are days, weeks, months, and years in life that are like this: made up of hard facts, decisions that require constant discipline. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not morally superior to sustain constant euphoria, but I found it hard to support this against-our-culture position of always dancing, regardless of. In 2024 I’ll dance more.

Alex Castro

Why do I want to be so happy?

Of all the things I could wish for or seek, why exactly “be happy”? What does that say about me? What kind of person am I? In fact, what kind of people are we? (The theme of the Prisons Course for the month of November is the Happiness Prison. Our class, which was going to happen on Thursday, November 30, at 7 pm…

Read more

3 months ago · 9 likes · 1 comment · Alex Castro

Anyway, I paid the bills in advance, sent a message to some contacts so they wouldn’t think I blocked them, and headed to Vipassana in Miguel Pereira –

I went without expecting much.

Disconnect from the world

Even though I went without expectations of becoming happier, finding answers, or becoming another person after the retreat, in other words, without seeking a specific result, I went with the hope that during the retreat I could disconnect a bit from the world.

I spent the year fueled by caffeine and wanted to go to a place where I didn’t need fuel to exist, plan, solve, or direct anything. With this in mind, I went on a delivery to what Mr. Goenka – the man who spread the practice around the world – says is like a mind surgery. Still in his words:

“Vipassana is a science of mind and matterHow the mind is influencing the bodyAnd later, how the body is influencing the mind”

Vipassana is the science of mind and matter. How the mind influences the body and, later, how the body influences the mind. This little snippet of teaching I got from the song “Vipassana”, which has a wonderful lyrics:

I found this song when I came back from my first vipassana retreat, I was 19 and I just wanted more a place away from social pressures to think better about my life choices, kinda like Arnold says

When you set aside time to be alone with your thoughts, you can discover who you want to be; not who your parents want you to be, not who your friends want you to be, and definitely not who some Instagram or TikTok scammer wants you to be.

If in 2010, without a smartphone and tiktok, it was already hard to disconnect from the world, imagine today. There’s so much information, we have less and less space just to breathe – but maybe we increasingly forget that this is possible, or see any value in doing it.

Not seeking to be “a better person”

Having said that I didn’t get into a silence retreat to escape from some summons telegram, I also want to say that I didn’t go to enlighten myself.

My family is made up of esoteric, syncretic and mystic people.

One grandfather materialized crystals with the White Brotherhood of Archangel Michael, the other followed a macrobiotic diet since the 80s and my grandmother had yoga classes with De Rose when he didn’t have a sect yet, he just taught asanas in a garage.

My mother thinks reading Sonia Café’s little angel book is essential for day-to-day life and my father spends hours a week at Mahikari, purifying and passing positive light to people, a type of Reiki – my stepmother even went to Japan to do a higher seminar of this religion.

Thanks to all of them I am quite skeptical – and I will not dwell on this, as almost everything revolves around it. If you want to know more, lose the sparkle in your eyes, and then get it back, subscribe to this newsletter and stay longer.

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So I didn’t go to enlighten myself, find an answer, let alone become a better person.

If by any chance you feel inadequate all the time in pursuit of an unreachable better person, I want to remind you that it’s okay, you’re not missing anything.

You are probably just increasingly undermined by the excess of colonial-digital-capitalist stimuli and, when you want to get rid of it, you seek Eastern philosophies that preach such enlightenment, which is also unattainable and, within the context we are already living in, it is just the same kind of demand under a new guise.

Opening mental spaces

There’s no need to put a mystique into things for them to have some value.

Another good way to justify think about meditation or withdrawal into retreat comes in the form of scientific discourse, which is how I discovered Vipassana, through Sam Harris, a neuroscientist who at the time was somewhat a fugitive, lived in hiding, because he wrote (concise) books against the world’s major religions, such as Christianity, Islam, and American scientific academia.

Today, the handsome one overcame this phase, came back with us here in the ritualistic round dance of capital – get paid instead of getting mad – made a podcast that blew up and recently was in the hand-in-hand circle with his hot famous professional colleague, Huberman:

The interview topics are the same that he has been working on since he was persecuted, but he had a makeover in his speech. For example, he still talks about meditation, but no longer mentions that he sat in various vipassana retreats. If you want the correct scientific explanation about meditation-mind, watch the video. My lame summary is more or less this:

When we always do the same things, the neurons of those functions connect stronger and faster, the synapses of these things get stronger, our hormones start to be governed by an entire chain of the same stimuli.

It’s like re-educating my body and mind not to react to any thought, not to click a button whenever I want to research something, not to call someone whenever I want to talk to her and so many other little things, from the simplest to the most complex ones.

Being in isolation increases this self-training, to stay seated in a room, without being able to read, write or even watch anything, is to let the body naturally regulate the hormones related to stress and reeducate the brain to function in a different way.

Going to a retreat weakens the brain’s synapses. Staying silent, with closed eyes, for hours and days on end, is to drastically reduce the dopaminergic stimuli in the brain. A vipassana retreat is like a dopamine reset.

Perhaps by sitting in Vipassana I would throw out the bathwater with the baby inside, that is, I would also return with my good habits weakened, but I thought it would be worth it.

And, to tell the truth, I am somewhat lazy.

I wanted a bit of fugere urben yes, to see the mountains of Miguel Pereira again, I missed it. The Fran Lebowitzes of life will disagree with me, but getting out of the city chaos is always a blessing.

This is the view – image taken from Google Maps – to untouched mountains that are not a forest reserve, just a farm, really. (hello agrarian reform)

And that’s where all my criticism to Mr. Goenka begins.

Chat to another post.

notas sobre o livro da brigitte vasallo “piensamento monógamo — terror poliamoroso”: não monogamia e reconhecimento

O casal monogamico não é necessariamente definido pela exclusividade sexual, muitos continuam juntos apesar de traições… o mais importante é a hierarquia entre o casal e os outros amantes (amizades, familia etc): apenas uma pessoa é considerada legitima. Há constante competição para alcançar e conservar o “núcleo casal”.

No entanto, mesmo com a pretensão da segurança e eternidade desses relacionamentos, hoje temos monogamias consecutivas (namoros e casamentos curtos) que deixam pra trás muitos cadáveres afetivos e quebra total de relacionamentos em rede.

  • Assim como outros sistemas de controle, a monogamia tambem costuma ser justificada como “natural”, mesmo quando no resto do reino animal não exista como categorizar seres sempre estritamente monogamicos.

A questão do genero binario vem junto no pacote, mas temos diversos casos, como dos amerindios (EUA) em que as comunidades validavam, pelo menos, 5 tipos de generos diferentes em seu grupo. Brigitte também comenta que muitas especies tem individuos que trocam de sexualidade de acordo com a necessidade social do bando.

  • O sistema monogamico foi se formando juntamente com o cercamento de terras, controle populacional… a igreja, que já teve ritos iniciaticos de sexo grupal para gerar maior coesão de grupo, passa a perseguir essas práticas e usar seu poder para fortificar o imaginário da família heterosexual patriarcal.

✨ No seculo XX já não temos memória de outras possibilidades.

  • Hoje a positivação da exclusividade esta relacionada com os mecanismos do consumo e da publicidade: Produtos exclusivos, férias exclusivas, clubes exclusivos, diplomas exclusivos, bairros exclusivos, assentos exclusivos… o que não passa de propagandas para produtos efêmeros, como também acabam sendo os relacionamentos.
Photo by Francesco Labita on Unsplash

O tabú da fidelidade, encobre algo maior e mais importante que são a responsabilidade ou a co-responsabilidade, o compromisso ou a interdependência em comunidade… O medo da solidão atual não é apenas sobre não ter redes, há pessoas que estão sós no abismo de nossas vidas contemporâneas, não porque não tem companhia, mas porque ninguém se preocupa com elas.

Brigitte acredita que é possível fazer da nossa experiência amorosa coletiva uma ferramenta de transformação política, que distribui os direitos e deveres de forma mais equitativa do que a formação jurídica e reprodutiva da “família tradicional”, essa que não necessariamente forma vínculos de comunidade, mas sim torna facilmente identificável quem pertence a quem, inclusive no quesito de privilégios hereditários ou no que diz respeito às nacionalidades…

  • Ela alerta, porém, que romper esse vínculo sexo-afetivo sem abrir outras perspectivas comunitárias também é aventurar-se a solidão que é real no território de desemparo que habitamos de indiferença generalizada…

Na relação poliamorosa, todas as partes se conhecem, sabem da existência umas das outras, por outro lado as redes afetivas não se conformam com o conhecer mas em construir reconhecimento, coletivizando os prazeres e também as dores, tendo o reconhecimento como base da possibilidade de existência comum. Afinal, quando um dos afetos conhece a outra parte, mas não reconhece sua implicação na rede, a rede não existe, só existem

  • Por outro lado, ela reconhece que estamos caminhando para uma sociedade cada vez mais individualizada e ainda androcentrica (pautada no patriarcado, como no caso da ficção das fotos e vídeos de mulheres feitas para “servir” O prazer de “um” só homem) pautada no desenvolvimento de tecnologias que tornam até mesmo o prazer em algo virtual, nos afastando cada vez mais da real intimidade e vulnerabilidade do afeto, nos aproximando cada vez mais de um sistema altamente controlador, cada vez mais preditivo e opressor, transformando até mesmo nosso prazer em algo limitado e mecânico.

Brigitte Vasallo é uma escritora espanhola conhecida especialmente por sua crítica da islamofobia de género, a denúncia do purplewashinge o homonacionalismo, bem como por sua defesa do poliamor nas relações afetivas. (fonte: wikipedia)

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