Archive for the ‘Karma’ Category

On Being Happy

Posted: 06/11/2012 in Buddhism, Happiness, Karma, Practice

I have no idea what to write. True story. I sat down to my laptop with the intent of writing a new blog post, but my mind is blank.

And that’s a good thing.

I’m not pecking away at the keyboard bitching about the bullshit going on in my life, complaining about finances, work stress, my son’s attitude, etc. Typically this is where I would vent about the pressures and troubles in life, and what I’m doing to get through it by applying Buddhist principles and meditation and shit.

In general, my stress level is pretty low, I’m not worrying so much about everything, and overall I’m one happy motherfucker (thanks in part to having an awesome woman that came into my life 6 months ago). However, the analytical asshole that I am, I wondered what changed, so I’m going to spit-ball a bit on this…

I think in the beginning of following this path, I used Buddhism as an escape from reality, and maybe I’m not alone in that. We get all fired up about this new thing, working toward being awakened, or enlightened, or finding nirvana, yadda yadda yadda, that we lose sight of what is the real deal and think we can meditate our problems away.

Time still passes one second at a time. Life is still happening as soon as we drag our ass off the cushion and the incense dies out, so we don’t have a choice but to deal with the challenges that arise. Realizing that everything is impermanent and applying the Eightfold Path are keys to just being happy. Basic shit, amirite?

Yeah, the bills still show up, people can be dickweeds and everyone on the road is a horrible driver but you. Keep in mind that eventually you will be able to pay that bill, you can’t control how people act, and there is nothing you can do about shitty drivers but keep calm and continue to your destination (oh man, this is the hardest one for me).

This is what I’ve tried to put into action lately: To be happy, practice BEING happy.

Now, enjoy some Deadly Light, video below. And don’t forget, life is short, meditate naked. Peace out! \m/

Cruisin’

Posted: 04/21/2012 in Happiness, Karma, Love

I have sure lost track of time these last few months and I don’t even remember the last time I posted on this here weblog. I’ve been grinding away at work, makin’ that paper and spending any time I can with my girl and hanging with my son on the weekends. The good thing is, even though there is sort of a routine day-to-day, it really doesn’t feel like it. I don’t feel bored and stagnant any longer, like I have in the past.

I will admit I haven’t spent much time on the cushion lately. OK, OK, you got me, I’ve meditated maybe twice since last year. I sometimes read (right now it’s Rebel Buddha by that rockstar Ponlop), but meditation has taken a backseat. When I first started this journey, I think I used mediation as an escape from the stress of the bullshit that was happening in my life. Now things are just going so well since I met this woman, the cruise control is just engaged and I’m enjoying life. I will sit when my head feels cloudy. Am I “doing it wrong?” Dunno…

Good things are happening: the divorce is almost complete, waiting for the judge to sign off on it. I just paid off my truck this morning. Work is going really well and I’m on the right track for advancement. The best part of all is that I met someone who I truly believe is my soul mate. Yeah, it sounds cliche’, but whatever. No woman I’ve been with has ever made me feel as good about myself as she does. Yes, I’ve been in love before, but not like this. I’m just bummed it took 35 years, but at least I will get to spend the next 35+ years with her and her rad daughter.

I guess this is an update entry, stream of consciousness, really. I’m alive, just enjoying waking up every morning and actually looking forward to what the day brings. I missed that feeling.

Later!

Yes, I named this post after a song from that cheesy band Dragonforce, but it was the first song about fire that came to mind. Sue me.

As I was sitting in meditation earlier today, I started to lose focus on the breath and my eyes wandered to the dancing flame of a lit candle. I was mesmerized and it made me think about fire and how it is used can be good or bad, all dependent on the purpose or intention behind it.

We can strike a flame to light a candle, which in turn can light another candle, and so on and so forth, bringing light to darkness, such as in a vigil, fostering community, love, and remembrance.

We can strike a flame to bring warmth to a cold house.

We can strike a flame to cook a meal to provide sustenance to a hungry stomach.

Or on the flipside, an arsonist can strike a flame to burn down a building or cause a forest fire.

I think what it boils down to is the intention behind the striking of the flame. Fire is a dangerous thing. It burns and consumes anything in its path. How it is used determines whether the outcome is good or bad:  a meal to feed the hungry or a burned down house.

It’s the same way with our words. How they are used determines whether the outcome is good or bad: we can give someone hope who otherwise thinks their life sucks or we can use our words to be hurtful and damage their emotions further.

Fire is powerful. Words are powerful. Use them wisely.

Meditate and destroy,

\m/

What the F*@%!

Posted: 09/30/2010 in Karma, Mindfulness

Have you ever had one of those days where you just wonder what the fuck? Stressful situations, like all things, as the Buddha taught, is impermanent. But have you ever wondered when the hell that impermanence will kick in? Well for me, this has been one of those weeks. Here is a short anecdote:

A couple days ago, I went out to leave for work at 4am to find a flat tire on my truck. This isn’t usually an overly stressful situation. However, me being the supervisor at my job, it is a major issue. I was scheduled to be at a jobsite an hour away, where there was a crew of 5-6 people waiting for the information I have in my possession before they could do anything at all. Even worse is that I found my spare was flat too, so I was going nowhere. Long story short, I had to borrow a vehicle and I rolled up to my jobsite a half hour late, and sure as shit I see all these people standing around waiting for me with nothing to do. I was mad because I was late, but I was also mad that my company has to pay these people to stand around and wait for my ass. On the drive there, I had time to think about how I would go about handling the situation, and just had to get through the work day. I tried to keep in mind that it’s a problem, but there is a solution, so there’s no point in worrying about it too much. This is stress that is impermanent. I got through the work day, and rearranged the schedule to get my son so I would be able to handle the issue. The problem got fixed, yet I had to buy a new tire and ended up spending twice the amount of money that day than I made working, extra money I definitely don’t have. But it got taken care of, impermanence kicked in, and I was sort of stress-free after paying the bill.

The next day on a break at work, I noticed a nail in a different tire. It wasn’t flat, but still needed to be fixed. At this point I asked myself when the hell this is going to end, and wondering why can’t a guy just catch a break? Luckily, this one was able to be fixed for free, but I was still pissed and wondering “what the fuck?” What did I do to deserve this, for karma to shit all over me? I actually asked myself (in not so eloquent terms) “when the hell is the impermanence of this stressful situation really supposed to kick in?” Because this just fucking SUCKS. It’s all I can do now to resist the paranoia to walk around my truck to make sure all the tires are inflated before I go anywhere, and if I do that I’m just going to drive myself bat-shit crazy. I’m talking like Mel Gibson crazy.

I just have to focus on this damn principle of impermanence, because in the midst of a stressful experience, no matter how much I ask myself “what the fuck” I know that this too shall pass.

Integrity

Posted: 06/20/2010 in Karma, Social, Spiritual, Truth

One thing that really gets my goat is when my integrity is challenged. I was lucky enough to grow up with a father who instilled in me values like being a man of my word, trustworthiness and honesty. I pride myself (but not too much!) on having integrity. If I say I will do something, I will damn well do it, not lie about it.

Today, my integrity was called into question by someone very close to me. If this person had taken 2 seconds to investigate a little further the facts of the matter, they would have found out the truth. Instead, I was confronted and accused of lying. My blood started to boil (still dealing with anger, of course – hey, it’s a marathon, not a sprint), but I gathered my thoughts before speaking and very calmly explained what really happened in the situation. I was obviously defensive, but did my best to respond in a loving way so as not to cause a dramatic “discussion” and ended up coming off as condescending and the battle lines had been drawn.

So the way I see it is even though it’s not fair when we know we’ve been honest about something and are accused of the opposite – that’s life. And life isn’t fair sometimes. I know in my heart I acted with integrity and that’s good enough for me. We’re the only ones who control how we feel, act, respond and react to any given situation, so we can’t let someone else cause us emotional suffering. If anyone has any thoughts on this as it relates to the Dharma, I would love it if you chimed in!

Photo credit

FML?

Posted: 06/06/2010 in Karma, Negativity, Positivity

http://www.flickr.com/photos/noquedanfotos/3495967586/

Photo: Sabino via FLickr

FML aka Fuck My Life: I wonder if that’s something I should be saying? Here’s a quick anecdote for ya…

This past week has been a rough one. My tank was running on empty due to lack of sleep, and it was a challenge to stay calm and not show any irritability to others around me, because if you’re like me, you may get a little cranky when tired. Then I had something stolen from me at work and was even able to view the security footage, so not only did I find the item stolen, I got to watch it happen 20 minutes later on film. It turns out if I would have come back to my bag 15 seconds earlier, I would have caught the perpetrator in the act. Normally I would be really pissed off,  but I surprised myself by being very calm, and not flying into a rage over it, especially because thievery is one thing that really gets my goat. But then again, maybe I was too tired to be pissed.

Seriously though, I think the reason I was calm is because I looked at it as a karma issue and learned a lesson from it. Earlier in the week, I knew I was scheduled to go into a city that is known as a very high crime area, and I had joked to a couple people saying “hey, I’m going to Oakland on Thursday, maybe I should get a gun!” I kind of think it was karma catching up with me when I vocalized a stereotype, then I had something stolen from me at that very place I joked about.

So that makes me wonder, should I be uttering the words “FML” or “Fuck my life?” That’s really a negative outlook, so based on what I learned this past week, I should be careful joking about certain things. Feeding the stereotype of Oakland being a high crime area by making a joke didn’t work out too well for me since a crime was committed against me while I was there for one day. I basically asked for it, right? I shouldn’t say “fuck my life” because that opens me up subconsciously to negative things happening or at least inviting them to happen.

If you’ve read any of my blog, you will know that I’m new to this, and would love someone to comment and tell me if I am viewing this correctly according to Buddhist principles, or hell, tell me I have it all wrong, I want to know. What I do know is that I won’t be saying “FML” anymore!