I’ve been back in Perth, Australia for over two weeks now. I’m living at my Mother’s house and seeing my siblings and their families often. The weather is fine and cool. It is great weather in fact. Perth is so clean and tidy, all the infrastructure is so well maintained and so convenient… except that everything is so spread out and there seem to be few people. Australians are fortunate to have such good living conditions.
I’ve applied for many jobs already and will continue to apply until I am employed again. My main job market is government service and university administration. My expertise is public policy analysis and project management. I’ll get something soon, I have good qualifications and experience.
I went to Murdoch University campus for the first time since 1992. There are many new buildings and modifications to older buildings. I’ve also joined Murdoch University Alumni, thinking this is another network and such networks can be helpful. Following their advice, I joined the Murdoch University Library as a Community Member with the usual $99 annual fee waived. I also got a “green zone” parking sticker for free. The annual fee is usually $137 for staff or $74 for students. The friendly Alumni office staff also gave me an attractive aluminum covered notepad with pen and a special tube of Alumni sunscreen lotion. I first went to Murdoch in 1979 which wasn’t long after it opened. I was a full-time student there for six years. Now I’m considering options for doing a postgraduate diploma there next year in part-time mode. I’m not sure yet.
I don’t have a big network of friends in Perth because I lived most of the past 18 years in Canberra and traveled overseas. It is easy to make new friends though. Australians tend to move a lot. I’m not sure if any studies have been done on how often people move house or even relocate to different towns and states but feel confident that Australians move more than other nationalities. I’m generalising of course.
Since I left Na Uyana Aranya, Sri Lanka I done much meditation. I have spent a lot of time on my Mother’s computer surfing the Internet as well as writing job applications. While I was in Asian meditation centres I was unable to keep up with news or do research by “following my nose”. Now I have time and opportunity…
I prepared a schedule in Google Calendar for an ideal way to manage my time and this includes sitting meditation for one hour in the morning (4:30 AM start) and one hour before sleeping. However, I confess that so far, I haven’t got into the routine. Sometimes, I follow my nose on the Internet and two or three hours pass in subjective minutes.
Even so I still chant every morning and evening and do a little loving-kindness and recollection of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. I also read a little Dhamma each day and some days read a lot. During day when I drive the car, or walk somewhere, instead of letting the mind wander I often focus on the breath touching the upper lip. It feels good and centres me straight away. I note the good feeling and try to focus on the touch sensation. I even do this kind of short meditation when waiting in queues or walking around shops.