Friday, June 30, 2006


The World is wonderful, everything is connected by an unseen Presence that we can only feel, but not see. When you see something you know you share that Presence, that Oneness, with that object. There's only love, no fear, all fear is gone and replaced with an infinite joy and wonder. It's indescribeable.

Yes, Heaven is Now! It's always been the present moment, but most never see it. The mind covers the beauty of the moment in noise and thought and worry. That thinker was who I was, who I sometimes still am if I lapse into unconsciousness, but there was a shift in consciousness yesterday. The World changed for me. Everything seemed fresh and new and I was perfused by a joy I have only glimpsed at certain times. It has never lasted longer than half a day or so.

The World of Man impinges today and interferes with my joy. It wants to insinuate itself back into my focus again. I just wish to be free. Yet, I must accept what is given me. It is no longer good or bad, it just is. My mind insists that all this is bad, but the joy in me says otherwise. The Universe will let me know the outcome in due time. Accept what comes and be in joy from moment to moment. That is all One can do.
If One is unable to enjoy what one is doing, One can at least enjoy Being.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Water, such a simple substance. We take it for granted, but it is as necessary for our survival as air. Its properties underpin our internal biochemistry. I'm talking fresh water here. Seawater kills humans if they drink it, although mice can filter the salt through their kidneys and drink seawater with no problem. We depend upon the sea for fish and other forms of protein. We depend upon rivers and lakes and aquifers for fresh water. As glaciers melt faster, they are lubricated by meltwater that runs between the ice and the ground the glaciers flow over, making them move ever faster towards the sea. More fresh water to be lost to the ocean. More fresh water to affect climate via ocean circulation.

But enough about water. The above are just facts. Should one be water in spirit? Water accepts its lot in life. Water assumes the form of any container it is stored in. Water takes the path of least resistance. It flows effortlessly to the sea. It flows around obstacles, yet erodes any obstacle with an imperceptible certitude. In many ways, Beingness is like water.

Be like water. Accept what you can't change. Give life and love and yourself. Embrace all you meet. Remember too, that water quenches fire, moves earth, displaces air. Flow, embrace, be water.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Death Touches You

Watching a rerun of House, M.D. It was a real tear jerker. A man's wife was pregnant and dying and he had to okay the C-section to save his baby. What a heart wrenching decision. While the answer is obvious, in the heat of the moment, it's absolutely horrifying. You're losing your wife and trying to save your child, but you don't want to lose your wife, and she's dying anyway.

Death is something that happens to elderly people. It's not supposed to take someone so young. When you experience the death of someone you care about, especially when they are young, or the same age as you are, it changes you. The grief is overwhelming. Beliefs don't mean a whole lot when the event happens. They might help later.

When One isn't Mindful

There is a Zen story of a Zen Master who admonished himself for forgetting where he put his umbrella. He berated himself for not being more mindful. Well, I just did that. I composed an email for one person and through habit, I sent it to another person. Just as I clicked on "Send", I realized my mistake. Oops, mea culpa. Mistake made in less than one second due to unconsciousness. While this was a minor error, it's a warning to be more mindful. But you say, "Don't beat yourself up". The whole point of Zen is to practice mindfulness - to walk the razor's edge of the Now. I failed myself by not being mindful. I missed the mark of human existence. What happens when I drive my car and I'm not mindful?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Wheel

Think less, love more.
Love more to Be more.
Be more to love more.
And so the wheel turns.

Monday, June 19, 2006


A mask fell off last night and I discovered that I'm a scared little boy in a 44-year old body. What is that boy afraid of? Nothing substantial it turns out. What disturbs me the most is that that fear has lived so long in me and I am only now addressing it.

I was reading the latest entry in Scott Adam's blog. Here I am laughing so hard tears are in my eyes when he is describing cleaning the cat box is a joy. It's like panning for gold even if the gold is cat poop. His theme was about the best gift to give someone which was laughter.

I realized then that my short list of gifts to give would be love, laughter, compassion, and joy. Money doesn't last. Material gifts are forgotten, break, or lost. Gifts of anger or pain should not be given or accepted. So, the list is fairly short and sweet.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Knowing and Then There's KNOWING

I was chatting with a dear One about knowing. There are two, perhaps three different kinds of "knowing".

1. The first kind of knowing is completely intellectual, textbook knowledge. You read about an experience someone else has had and believe it to be true, but you've never experienced it personally. This is the most common knowing or knowledge and people mistake it for the other forms of knowledge, when it can sometimes be the least reliable.

2. The second kind of knowing is through experience. You gain knowledge through directly experiencing an event whether you wanted the knowledge or not. This is fairly common as well, yet, the experience can be misinterpreted.

To illustrate the pitfalls of the first and second forms of knowing, I offer the following:

In The Fog of War, I witnessed the following exchange in regard to the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The destroyer had been attacked once, but the senior military and civilian leadership had thought that two attacks on separate days had occurred and that the North Vietnamese leadership had delibrately planned the two attacks on the U.S.S. Maddox. This error in judgement over a minor incident by senior officials led to an escalation of the Vietnamese conflict.

Narrator: "We believe what we want to see."
Robert McNamara: "Yes, belief and seeing are often wrong."

3. The third kind of knowing is the most powerful. I call it knowing from the heart, but it could be called intuitive knowledge. It happens when I reconcile or realize a truth profoundly and deeply - when I reconcile what I know to be true in my head with what I know to be true in my heart. The heart is always wins, but it takes time for me to realize the truth consciously. I may know something to be true intellectually, but I don't feel it in my heart. When I know it to be true in my heart, then it is real to me.

Here is an example of the the third form. During the last year of my marriage, I started to hate my wife. I realized that something was wrong if I hated someone I loved. What was I to do? I elected to separate from her. I tried to explain to my wife that while I still loved her, I couldn't be her husband any more. It didn't seem fair to her to remain her husband because I couldn't fully love her as a husband should. I didn't fully understand what had happened for over a year or more, until I was reading The Power of Now and read the chapter about "Enlightened Relationships". True love has no opposite. However, egoic love can transform into its opposite, egoic hate, in an instant. Therefore, egoic love is false or illusory. It was only then after reading those passages that I fully understood what I had been through. What I had intuitively known, but didn't fully understand or grasp intellectually. Many times though, it seems the opposite, I know it intellectually, but it's not sunk in intuitively, although possibly that's just my mind being stubborn. This experience and other insights from Tolle's books that ring true for me are why I prefer to "go down the Tolle-way" - to be a better human being.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Things That Matter

I was reflecting that I've done nothing of note my entire weekend off, and then I realized that:

I shared laughter and meals with good friends.
I comforted a loved one and told her that I loved her.
I cleaned up after a sick cat.
I am content with what I've been given in Life.
I realized that nothing I do will have any lasting effect on the World with the exception of a kind word, a laugh, or a kind act, and even those things will be forgotten in this World.

These are the things that matter none-the-less.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Nasty Side Effect of a Dream

I was awakened early by a car alarm. It's been going off regularly since around 3:30 PM. Went back to sleep immediately. Entered that twilight area of dreaming where I was asleep and dreaming and I knew it, but couldn't do anything about it. The dream turned into a nightmare. I found myself back in a molecular biology lab performing a trivial procedure. I was writing up my notes and then the head of the lab started quizzing me why the procedure went wrong. I believe he was my old postdoctoral advisor from UCLA. My stomach turned into knots and I started to become physically ill. I felt the effects in the dream and finally emerged from the weirdest nightmare I've ever experienced. Now I'm wondering why I had such a dream or suffered such an effect while in it. I started wondering if someone near me I cared about suffered a heart attack or something, as if there was a cause to the negative effect of the dream.

The end of my shift on my "Friday" was strange. Our main monitoring program died around 5:20 A.M. I tried unsuccessfully until 6:00 A.M. to reconnect to it, then started notifying the responsible people. I felt bad at having to call people so early on a Sunday morning, yet a part of me felt glad at waking some up, like the director. He was my former immediate supervisor before he became director and as far as I know still is. I don't know why I felt such emotion (unless it's the unconscious human desire to spread the pain around) since he had no part in the decision to implement this particular application. I have no clue why this app always fails on my shift almost always in the early hours of the morning on Sundays. I'm thinking it's an artifact of a backup routine, but since I have no access to the system or how it was set up, that's just a guess. Luck of the draw I suppose.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Last Battle

I fight my last battle. The opponent is my own mind. The battleground is within my skull. "John" is nearly gone. It is as if everything that happens to this body is happening to someone else. The detachment is eerie, almost mystical.

I went for a jog for exercise and to escape from mind-based activities and distractions. I was bothered because I lost all objectivity with another last night in conversation. Subjectively, I completely identified with the other. It is hard to tell if it was all deception from my mind or something else. I had to remind myself during the jog that the other is a separate human being with a completely different Life Situation, that's how completely lost I was. I am not "John" any more, but something else, something like a "we", but with no resemblance to a couple. It's an intensely spiritual entity. Not even the feeling of my last marriage comes close. After that insight, the jog was almost mystical . There was no abrupt transition, just peace and there was no "John", just an observer observing the air temperature and the brightness of light and the cracks in the sidewalk - taking in the whole scene.

Someone came back to his apartment, but it wasn't the same person who left it a short time earlier.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Wayward Son

I pulled out my Kansas Leftoverture CD the other day and listened to a few songs. I felt instant self-recognition with Carry On Wayward Son .

Once I rose above the noise and confusion
Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion
I was soaring ever higher
But I flew too high

I've done that, felt the bliss and ecstasy as I glimpsed beyond the illusion of this World. But the Bliss didn't last, and I came crashing down as Icarus did after losing his wings and gravity embraced him - as the illusion embraced me again.

Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man
Though my mind could think I still was a mad man

Yes, I am still a blind man and a mad man. This causes me pain because I long to see and be sane.

And if I claim to be a wise man, well
It surely means that I don't know.

I knew who I was when I glimpsed the Truth, but I don't know who I am now.

On a stormy sea of moving emotion
Tossed about I'm like a ship on the ocean
I set a course for winds of fortune

I've been buffeted by the storms of Life. Tossed about by events and emotions beyond my control like a ship in a storm. To believe that I directly control my destiny was one of the worst egoic delusions I believed in.

Carry on, you will always remember
Carry on, nothing equals the splendor

Yes! I remember! No joy comes close except maybe sharing the experience with another.

Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more

This mad world wearies me. I have strived in my own little way to make it a better place, to leave it better than when I came into it. All that has come to naught thus far. (It was folly.) I lay my weary head down every night and try not to cry at my futile efforts and from my own pain. I await the Peace that I know is my reward when I become my True Self, although I would gladly postpone the moment for myself if another I care about as myself were granted that gift at the same time or even before me.

Carry On My Brothers and Sisters.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Emotions of Light and Grayness

Some of us suffer psychologically more than others. We are for the most part normal people, but we suffer mood swings - periods of happiness and periods of deep despair. It's a cyclical process. Supposedly, omega-3 fish oil will alleviate the symptoms. Meditation helps as well. I can only speak from my own experience, but subjectively, it seems that these two things have helped me. Sometimes an event will set me off and I'll get lost in gloom, or elation depending upon the context, but usually these periods happen on their own with no specific cause. I probably should mark on a calendar when these episodes occur in case its a specific environmental sensitivity that is triggering them.

I can hear you saying, "This guy needs lithium". No, this guy doesn't need lithium. My mood swings aren't that severe or crippling. Besides, elation and despair are the same thing. Only time makes them seem separate. Isn't that life, a cyclical process full of ups and downs, just like a sine wave, or waves on the ocean? Yet, the waves are ripples in a deep ocean. Sometimes I can feel the depth inside me and realize that I am not the despair. It's more difficult with the elation. People love joy, but they avoid despair. For me, I must embrace that darkness or grayness. Go into it and explore it. Despair is a time of discovery for me. I don't know why this is, but I reflect deeply during periods of despair.

You ask, "Why are you talking about this now?" I am writing this now because a kindred soul is going through something like this as well. This person despairs and wonders why someone so young has such thoughts and feelings. I don't know why. Genetic predisposition, level of intelligence, who knows? Probably it's more to do with intelligence. Smart people have to work in a world where they are a minority. This minority questions the status quo and ponders how things can be different, and maybe even better. There is an element of frustration when you are smart and run into someone who doesn't "get it", and perhaps pain is the result of that frustration. What about elation? Perhaps that's a response to figuring out the solution to a problem, consciously or subconsciously.

So, what is one to do? Detachment seems to be the best course. Or. maybe it should be aloof attachment. Realize that for whatever reason, these emotions are a part of me. I just shouldn't let myself be taken over completely by them. Embrace them and acknowledge them and use them, but don't get lost completely in them. It is difficult to see someone go through a similar experience that you've already been through, and there's nothing you can do to help that person. (And maybe I'm completely wrong and I don't know what this person is going through?) How do you tell him or her that it will be okay without sounding insincere or trite? A solution will present itself and everything will be OK. Nature and the World are simple. People make it all seem complex, but usually simple solutions appear at the appropriate time, or the problem wasn't a problem in the first place. How does one practice compassionate detachment, or is that an oxymoron?

Everyone is unique. Our minds and experiences flavor and color our Consciousness. Every one's experience will be different. While every life is precious, some are more precious to me than others. Perhaps growing as a person means that no one is more special than another, since everything and everyone is sacred. The greater love is to let someone go if you think you are holding them back, or impeding them in some way. That is just the Golden Rule in action. Enjoy them while they are in your Life. It's the quality of the interaction that counts.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Baker, Soldier, Citizen, Artist

Baker, Soldier, Citizen, Artist (with a nod to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). The story of one man's life and how he's touched the World and is building a future for himself and his family. How he's touched and been touched by others, an intimate sharing of what matters.

At Some Point You Have to Throw Away the Books and Just Do It!

Whether you are an innocent beginner or seasoned adept, you must show some spirit! Don’t vainly memorize other people’s sayings: a little bit of reality is better than a lot of illusion. Otherwise you’ll just go on deceiving yourself.
Yunmen (864-949)

Hiding and Seeking

I know this is false, but what if each person and that person's life is the equivalent of a single thought in the mind of God. Just as our minds spawn thoughts, God's mind spawns forms. The abstract becoming material. Simple thoughts spawning more complex thoughts as the chain of thoughts grow. This is all a lie, though.

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