The Scott Shaw Blog

Be Positive

The Scott Shaw Blog

Scott Shaw
Welcome to the Scott Shaw Blog

Here you will find some new thoughts and writings plus some of the Greatest Hits from previous blogs.

To catch up on previous blogs check out: Scott Shaw Blog Books.


If all you want is one specific thing, why should you own anything else?


Have you ever noticed that the people who are the most opinionated hold opinions that no one should listen to?

The Status of Your Status

How do you feel about your life? How do you feel about you? How do you feel about where you have found yourself in life? How do you feel about your feelings and what you feel on a day-to-day basis?

In everybody's life, there are ups and there are downs. There are happy times and there are sad times. This is simply a condition of life. But, how do you feel on a daily basis? Are you happy, are you content, or are you frustrated, unhappy, and angry? Are you doing what you want to do; living the life that you hoped for? Or, are you in a constant state of agitation, anger, dissatisfaction, and unhappiness?

If you are dissatisfied, if you are unhappy, if your life is based in anger, what fault do you hold in all of this? Most people never look at the, “Me Factor.” They never look at themselves. They simply prefer to look outwards. They simply prefer to blame that someone or that something else. That makes their unhappy everything so much easily to justify and explain.

Truly look at your life. Are you happy? If you are great! That means that you have done something right.

Truly look at your life. Are you unhappy? If you are, what caused you to arrive at this life placement? What did
you do that caused you to arrive at a place of unhappiness and dissatisfaction?

If you cannot blame yourself, who else is actually to blame? Yes, some people do some very messed up things that hurt the life of others and they are wrong for doing those things. There is no doubt about that. But, if you choose to interact with that person who has driven you towards pain and unhappiness then aren’t you at least partially to blame?

If you find yourself in a negative unhappy place in life, Right Now, take a long hard look at yourself. Do not focus your attention or your blame on anyone else. What did you do to arrive at this place in your life? What did you do to other people? What did you do to yourself? What choices have you made that cast you to this destiny?

If you are not happy, it is very-very important that you contemplate these questions and come to a very clear and definitive answer based on YOU. Because if you don’t, if you don’t look at and define your participation in the creation of where you find yourself in life, then nothing in your life will ever get any better.


Happiness is a choice. Forgiveness is a choice. Acceptance, anger, desire, love…all choices. Your time. Your choice. Scott Shaw

A Reiki center quoted this piece on Twitter the other day. Thanks! I think it's from my book, About Peace.

Removing the Bad Element AKA It’s Not All About You

I had this one upside-down catfish in my aquarium… Well, I actually had two. Now, these guys are big. They are like eight inches long. The one was very docile. The other one aggressive, always chasing after the other upside-down catfish. I spoke about him (or her) in a blog not that long ago.

Anyway, I did a clean up and rearrange of the aquarium and the aggressive catfish just went nuts. All night I was hearing the splashing of him chasing after the other fish. I have long thought what to do about him as I liked him. But, by liking him I was allowing him to be a bully. I was enabling him. You should never enable a bully! I knew he had to go. Finally, I found this aquarium shop that would adopt him and now he is out of the aquarium. All is well with the world. No more splashing. Just everyone getting along.

You know, that upside-down catfish is a lot like the ways of the world. There are all these bullies out there. Maybe it is due to their size, maybe it is due to their voice, maybe it is due to their money, maybe it is due to their position of power, maybe it is due to their gang, maybe it is due to whatever, but they bully and they bully and they bully; truly hurting the life of one or more people and they get away with it until someone or something kicks them out of the mix.

I think we have all encountered people who have bullied others or ourselves via various methods as we have passed through life. It really suck, because while they are in our life/while they are in anybodies life, everything is not good, calm, happy, productive, and/or peaceful.

The problem is, how do we get them out? I guess that’s one of the universal questions, because a lot of times, like my other upside-down catfish and the other fish in my aquarium, sometimes your are trapped in a space where you (personally) have no way out and no way to get them out. You want to be out, you want them out, but you don’t know how to get out.

On a similar subject, I was in one of my local pet shops and there was this lady not wearing a protective mask. To put this is time perspective, right now, at least here in L.A. County, due to the coronavirus, it is required that all people wear masks indoors.

You know, for a moment, a few months deep, for those of us who were vaccinated, we felt free indoors as we were vaxed and felt protected from COVID-19. We didn’t have to wear masks. Then came the Delta Variant and the vaccines, though still very effective, proved to not be one hundred percent protective against break-through cases. So, the masks came back on. I remember when this happened I was going into a Starbucks and this one lady was saying to her friend, “I threw all my masks away.”

But, here’s the thing, the mask is not so much to protect you, it is to protect the other person from you. You may have the coronavirus, not know it, and pass it on to someone else. But, there she was, that lady in the pet shop. Maybe she was vaxed, maybe she wasn’t—an anti-vaxer; who knows? But, what she was doing was putting the life of other people at risk. Just like my upside-down catfish, she was only thinking about herself.
But, it’s not all about you. That is a very selfish perspective. Just like my big, bully catfish, there are many ways that people throw their assumed power around in an attempt to take and hold control and make themself feel all-powerful or all-something. Think how many ways people attempt to express their life opinion and in doing so hurt someone else. What if that lady spread the disease to someone in the pet shop and they died simply because she was not willing to do something so simple as wearing a mask?

We all have our opinions about this coronavirus pandemic. I’ve written about mine over the past year and a half or so in this blog. That’s life. We all have our opinions. But, if you are not willing to take one for the team and do all you can to keep other people safe, what does that make you? Answer: A selfish bully. Because here and now even your breathing on another person could kill them. Get vaxed. Wear a mask. From this, maybe in the not too distant future we can get back to some semblance of normality.

So, what are we left with? We are left with the hopes that all of us have to live a healthily, happy, positive, productive, and non-attacked life. None of us want obstacles placed in our road by someone else. None of us want to be bullied by however that bulling may present itself.

What can we do? Not bully. Care. Care more about that other person that you do not even know. Care about them enough to do some small things like wearing a mask. It’s not all about you! Wearing a mask is not that big of a deal. Believe what you believe, that is your right. But, in all that you believe, care about that other person first. That is the only way to be an anti-bully.


When you make a mistake how much focused energy do you put in to trying to correct that mistake?

Do you attempt to fix and/or correct that mistake at all or do you simply live in denial and make excuses for creating that mistake?

Outside Anger

Though anger is an internal feeling, it is driven by external circumstances. If you feel anger, what are you feeling that anger towards? Think about it. Most likely it is focused on some external something; be it a person or a situation. That thing is out there but it is you that is feeling it inside of your being.

As you pass through life there will be those people or those situations that cause you to feel anger. The fact is, some people do things in order to get the feeling of anger to rise in someone else. It is their way of taking control over that person; whether they are conscious enough to realize that or not. There are also people who base their entire life upon finding something to be angry about. Anger is an intense, adrenaline filled feeling; it causes the blood to race and the blood pressure to rise. As it is an elevated feeling, some people become addicted to it.

If you look around at life, you will see anger is all over the place. Drive down any busy street and you will hear the horns honking, see the hand gestures, and view the clinched faces after just a few minutes. You don’t have to look too far to see anger on the internet. There are people writing statements, there are protesting in the street, there are those people who create and churn up the anger in others for any number of reason but anger is a wholly internal process. If you allow it to enter you, and yes it is your choice if you allow it to enter or not, you may become controlled by it.

Think about something or someone you were angry at a year ago or maybe ten years ago. Do you still feel that anger. Most likely, though you may still not like that person or that situation, you no longer hold any anger towards them or it. Think about a time when somebody did something stupid while you were driving and it really caused anger to rise in you. Do you even remember that incident? Probably not.

Then, there is the other side of the anger issue, those times when your anger causes you to react and to do something. And, as that action is driven by anger, that action is most probably negative. It is done in order to lash out and/or hurt that someone or that something else that you are angry at.

Think about something you have done caused by anger. Did you hurt that person or thing you were angry at? If you did, what were the consequences to them/it and/or to you? Did doing that reactive something make anything any better or did it simply cause you to do something bad that set a whole new plethora of karma, created by you, into motion.

Most people never think about the reactive nature of the actions they take driven by anger. They just do. The problem with living life from this perspective is that you are not basing your life as defined by you. You are allowing that something Out There to cause you act and react. You are allowing that Outside Something to set your next set of life experiences into motion. And, in some case, what you do, based in anger, can cause a lot of badness to be brought into your life.

Some people feel empowered by the anger-filled actions they take. Some people feel empowered by causing others to become angry. But, in all cases of anger, if you are feeling anger, you are allowing some external something to take control over your mind and your emotions and control you and what you do. Is that how you wish to live your life?

Most/many people never attempt to control their anger. When they are lost in that moment of anger, it is all encompassing. But, it does not have to be that way. You can choose to control that emotion in you if you choose to. Do you choose to? Do you allow yourself to have the power of self-control to take control over your mind and not allow the doings of that someone/something else to take and hold control over your emotions and your motivation for your reactions?

Here’s a simple practice: Next time you find yourself becoming angry, control it. Turn it off. Don’t let yourself be angry. Certainly, do not let yourself do something reactive based on that anger. By doing this, you will witness the magic and the power of self-control you will encounter when you do not allow that external something to exercise more control over you than you have over yourself.

Most people never realize this fact… Most people never practice that fact… But, you do not have to be angry if you do not want to be angry. You can take the control away from that something outside of you and you can control you. Try it. You may be able to live an entirely better life, never controlled by that something outside of yourself.


How many excuses do you make?


How many lies have you told to get to where you are today?

Two Sides of the Same Story

There have been a number of people who have attempted to present the same story from two different points of view in novels and in film. For the novelist, this process is a bit more cumbersome and in my opinion not as easily consumed. In a film, however, you can see the two different points of view evolve in front of your eyes. First there is the story told from the perspective of one person and then the other.

Whenever you are living whatever it is you are living, that involves another person, do you ever take the time to realize and understand that the person you are living that life moment with may have a completely different understanding of that moment than yourself? I believe most people don’t do this. They just live what they live what they live driven by what is in their own mind. They never take the time to realize that what is in their mind is not necessarily what is in the mind of that someone else.

This is very evident when life activities lead to arguments. Why do people argue? Because they do not like what another person is saying or doing. That other person is saying or doing something—they said or did something that you do not like. Thus, confrontation is given birth to.

In an actual argument, the two sides of the story are verbally presented. One person is saying or yelling out their point of view while the other person is doing the same with their. With this, the two differing points of view and the motivation(s), leading to the action(s), that lead to the argument, can be heard. Life isn’t always like this, however. Some times/many times people keep their point of view locked into their own mind. Then, why they did what they did can never truly be known. This does not mean that they did not do what they did for some self-motivate, foolish, or possibly even not-thinking reason. Yet, it is kept to themselves; lost to the knowing of all others forever.

So, what does this leave us with? Answer: There is what you think, there is what motivates you to say and do what you do, but there is also what that someone else thinks, there is also what motivates them to say and do what they do. If you don’t take this into consideration all you are is lost in your own mind game. All you are is a selfish individual saying, doing, and being driven to reactions based upon nothing more than what is defined by your own mind.

In life, everybody has a reason. That does not necessarily make their reason right or just; but it is nonetheless their reason. You have yours, they have theirs. Only the desired ultimate outcome, which is defined by each individual individually, can ever be the deciding factor for who was ultimately right and who was universally wrong.

You need to always remember there are other factors at play, in all life interactions, other than simply your own. And, no matter how you want any life situation to culminating, it is only you that is laying down that definition. But remember there are always at least two minds at play in everything life involved. Maybe you desire the same outcome as that someone else, maybe you don’t. But, no matter what you are thinking, you can be assured that any person living any life event with you is assuredly thinking something else. Remember this. It may make you a more understating individual.

The Reality of the Reality

I often speak and write about each of us living the reality of our reality. …Being as absolutely truthful as possible in order for us to be our best/truest self in order personally grow in a positive manner and to help the all of humanity in the best way that we can.

This being said, I was flipping through the music video channels last night, before I went to bed, as I often tend to do. I watched this music video, “Hard Feelings,” by what I thought was a female singer, Miquela. My lady asked a question about her that I could not answer so I grabbed my phone to look up more information about her. As it turns out, she is not a she at all. She is a “Fictional Character,” a “Digital Avatar,” a “Virtual CGI Influencer.” This really surprised me as she appeared to be so real in the video. Anyway… She is not real. She is not a real person. She is not a real singer. She is a computer construct.

Now, I don’t know how they do that. She looked so real. I’m sure some of you people out there know way more about all of that than I. There is apparently not even a person behind the scenes signing the song; like say in The Archies or Milli Vanilli. The singing is all also constructed. …Don’t know how they do it but it sounds pretty good.

In checking a bit deeper, her creators even gave her a gap between her front teeth and some freckles to show that she has imperfections to make her more appealing. ??? Okay, I used to have a gap between my two front teeth. Somehow/somewhere along the line of my life it closed by itself, however. I guess my teeth shifted. I guess that makes me less appealing. Happy

As far as Miquela goes, think how many young boys and men hold her in the realms of fantasy and possibility in their minds. I know when I was young I had hopes to meet girls like that. I remember I had a fantasy about Laurie Partridge, (Susan Dey), of the TV show, the Partridge Family. I mean, she was only a couple of years older than me and as I lived in L.A. where it was not/is not uncommon to see celebrities all the time, I thought/hoped I may bump into her. Awh, the foolish dreams of a child… Anyway, but all the people pumping fantasy towards Miquela; where do those fantasies go?

Life always changes. The reality of the reality of life always changes. Now, it changes fairly rapidly. This is particularly true since we entered first the computer age and later the digital age where all things can be fabricated, even people.

So, here we are. The reality is no longer the reality. It all has become maya, illusion. We are now presented with the falsity of reality all of the time. What can/what should we do?

All we can do is hold tightly to our own truth. We need to keep the REAL as real as possible. For now there is all of these artificial constructs out there. And yes, I’m sure there will be more.

There will always be the lies that are told that are presented as the truth. But, the truth is the truth is the truth. Sometimes, you just have to dig deep to find it out.

So be true to you. Be true to others. Tell yourself the truth. Tell others the truth. Let them know what is real to you and keep your reality as real as possible. For there are a lot of illusions out there that will try to suck you into their realms of fantasy. But remember, a fantasy is only that; a fantasy. A lie is only a lie no matter how pretty it is packaged. But, the truth, what is real in this here and this now, can never be altered. As long as you live in the reality of the reality, your reality will be true and you can be/become the best you that you can be. And yes, abiding in the truth of reality, you may even be able to help someone else along on their path.

Providing fantasy is never the pathway to reality. Truly embracing your reality is the only way of fundamentally experiencing and living the truth.


Until you realize and admit that it is all your fault there is no chance for self-actualization or self-realization.

All Life is Suffering

In certain Theravada Buddhist sects it is taught that, “All Life is suffering.” If you look to the Pali Canons you will see that, “Dukha,” “Suffering,” is one of primary elements in understanding life. …That as long as you possess any desires, as we all do, your life will be bound by a lack of fulfillment, equaling suffering.

If you look to your life, take a moment and define a time or the times when you felt you were really suffering. If you look to these moments, most likely you will find that the reason your felt so bad was that you were not getting what you wanted: whether this was the love you wanted, the possession you wanted, the position you wanted, or the respect you felt you deserved. Or that someone or something was or is doing something to you or did something to you that you do/did not like. This tells us that it is very easy to understand the cause of our suffering. But, how few are the people who are willing to consciously realize this truth.

You want, you desire, you don’t get, you suffer.

In life, we are all bound by death. Death is one of the most painful experiences there is. There is the pain in losing someone you love. There is also the ultimate pain of you dying. Thus, you are no more. But, though this is a central reality to living, how few are the people who ever allow themselves to face this fact and accept the consequences of this living reality? All things are going to die.

Though the truth of the cause of suffering is very evident, all people seem to hope to chart a path away from it. Some live in denial. Some take drugs. And, there are many forms of drugs other than simple intoxicants. There are people who fall into love over and over again. There are people who fall into lust over and over again. There are people lost into the stimulation of their job. There are the thrill seekers. There are people seeking to buy that whatever and then when they have that whatever they must have something more. There are some who embrace a constant sense of anger; looking for trouble. And, the list goes on and on. But, no matter how one seeks to avoid the fact of the fact, in each person’s life suffering is an inevitable reality.

But, here’s the catch, you do not have to allow suffering to control you. You can take control of it. Now, I get it, this is very easy for someone to say when they are not the one embroiled in the sense of suffering. But, for most of us, we do not have to look too deeply into our lives to remember when we were suffering. The difference is, how one/how you defines, prepares for, and embraces that suffering.

The fact is, when you hurt you hurt. That’s the end of the story. That is you suffering. But, can you take control of your consciousness, of your thought patterns, and find a new way of encountering that unfortunate reality? Thus, finding meaning instead of only pain.

Where all this begins is in how you encounter your life. For example, when you are living your day-to-day life how much time do you spent feeling the okay-ness of it all. When you are laying in bed, do you ever take the time to think, “Wow, this feels okay. I am warm, I am comfortable, life is not too bad.” When you are driving down the street and a good song comes on the radio do you ever just sit back into the perfection of the moment and truly enjoy that music driven experience and allow yourself to consciously feel the subtle goodness of that moment?

You see, this is where people begin to set the stage of their life and how they will encounter and define the not so good times. You must take the time to realize, embellish, and consciously encounter it when that good is happening. In fact, you must train your mind to allow yourself to feel the goodness as simple as that goodness may be.

Think about how many times you were living some moment, (that felt pretty good), and you didn’t even take notice of it until that experience was over? It was only then that you realized that what you had lived was really nice. Think about if you had been fully in that moment—if you have been consciously aware, think how much more you could have truly lived, truly experienced in that time in your life.

You really need to train your mind to appreciate your moment.

All life is defined by time. It is define by the time that we have to be what we are and live what we live. The problem in most people lives is, they do not take notice of the moment(s) of okay. Then, when they are hit with the sucker punch of the not okay they have no goodness to fall back on. Thus, they become wholly lost in their suffering.

So yes, there is suffering in life. There’s no way around it. But, it is your developed array of the memories of goodness that can hold you through those times of hurt. You can allow the suffering to define your life or you can have developed enough memories of goodness that they will guide you through even the most painful of times.

Realize there is suffering in life. And yes, you will feel it someday. But, embrace—bring in all the goodness that you can as you pass through your days—then, at least, you will know that there is also grand goddess and feel-goodness in this world/in your life.


What happens when you've done something good but no one knows you did it?


How bad do you feel when something bad happens to someone who did something bad to you?

Do Your Research

It’s kind of funny… I got this email this morning from a guy pitching a script to me. Of course, the guy states, that it has a great plot and could be made into sequel after sequel. Okay…

Hello. I’m a Zen Filmmaker!!! Do your research!!! I don’t use scripts!!! And, do I look like the kind of guy that could finance your project? I shoot my movies for like $300.00. Now, if you want to talk about financing one of my films, that’s another story. Happy

You know, I always find it funny—this whole film game thing… There are all these people, writing all these scripts, trying to get them financed and produced. And yes, some of them are brought up. But, for anyone who is actually in the middle of the film game and you go to an agency that handles screenwriters, it is scary the stacks upon stacks upon stacks upon stacks of scripts that are out there—screenplays that will never get made.

I wonder if there is a heaven for dead screenplays?

You know, it’s not that the screenplays are necessary bad. It’s that they will never make their way into the right hands that could/can do something with them. I mean, think how many bad movies you’ve seen where you’re just shaking your head about the poor or unrealistic story development and/or the ridiculous dialogue. That movie got written, got financed, and got made.

Hell, back in the day, I used to write scripts. …Until I realized that art can never be memorized, it can only be lived.

You know, every now and then, over these past many-many years of being in the film game, someone hits me up to finance the making of their film. I guess that’s okay… Thanks for thinking about me. But, to take this to a deeper level of life, what is actually going on here? Is it someone thinking about someone else? Is it someone trying to help someone else? Or, is someone trying to help themselves? I think the answer is obvious.

…Promising how much money a movie based on a screenplay you wrote could make is ego-fueled speculation at best. Every screenwriter thinks their script is the best script ever written. Find flaws in it, tell them it’s not that good; that it’s just rehashing the same story that’s been told a thousand times before and look out! They will call you a liar and hate you.

You know, when people have come to me offering me roles in films, music videos, commercials, and stuff like that, I appreciate it. They are reaching out to me and at least trying to offer
me something. But, most of Hollywood is not like that. They are all about their ME.

Don Jackson used to go into this rant as everyone used to come at him trying to get him to give them money to get their movie made. He would scream, “Me, me, me, me, me, me!” I think I actually put one of those rants into one of the docs I made about him. …He used to love to have himself filmed all the time so after he passed I was left with a lot of very useable footage. Anyway…

What it all boils down to is people want something from someone else. They want them to finance their dream. And, I get it, Hollywood is an ego drive game. But, the moment any of that happens, art is gone. Then it becomes nothing more than someone trying to getting something for themselves.

So, people… Here’s the paradox… The Zen koan, if you will… “What happens when you pitch a screenplay to a filmmaker that doesn’t use screenplays?”

The answer is…

Cog in the Wheel

Cog in the wheel… I always thought that was a weird expression. I mean, what does it actually mean? Sure, we all kinda know what it is supposed to mean; someone who is a supportive element to the overall movement of a whatever… But, that term… I don’t know? Just weird…

It’s not used very much anymore. So, I guess, like so many things life, it will eventually fade away. But, all this being said, when it comes to you/to me, what does it really mean? How do you function in relation to the overall whole?

I think most people don’t really think about this. For most it is more about doing their job, whatever that job may be. Some love their job. Many hate their job. Others are somewhere in between. But, for pretty much everyone (me included) they have hopes and dreams of that greater whatever.

Some act to achieve those dreams. I know I do. I try. Others just hold them in their head. But, the reality of the reality of the reality is, we are all held captive by our circumstance; be that mental, physical, or whatever… And though we can try, and some will achieve, we are all, nonetheless, left to being nothing more than a cog in the wheel.

For me, I have watched this process very closely as I have passed through my life. I’ve met a lot of people who wanted that grand something, but for that whatever reason they could never achieve it; which has left some very bitter. For example, I watched this one old guy for maybe thirty years now. Once upon a time he was a nice, kind, very giving person. I truly thought he had lived a good life. As his life progressed and what he had envisioned for his life never came to materialize, he became this massive liar, telling these grand tales about worldwide espionage; giant tales like you read in a spy novel or see in a film. He was/is not happy having simply been a cog in the wheel. He desired more and when more never materialized he made up his more in his head and he now tells his stories to anyone who will listen.

As someone who has spent a good portion of my life in the film game, I have watched the process of desire verses reality a lot. Like one of the first things I always pose to my students whenever I teach a class, “What is the number one rule of filmmaking?” Answer, “Everybody lies.” …They all have grand tales of what they’ve done, who they’ve done it with, and where they will end up.

I think back to this one dinner I had with a filmmaking friend, my lady, and this guy I had put in a few films as an actor. When we sat down it was like this unbelievable pouring out of bullshit from this guy’s mouth. I mean, it was scary! Dropping names. Saying what he was going to do, who he was going to do it with, and what grand reality was coming his direction. My friend and I played it cool. My lady, on the other, the minute this guy got up to go to the bathroom, she loudly exclaims, “What a bunch of bullshit!” I know he heard her statement as he was just a couple of feet away. I gave her the, shuuuu. But, the guy came back for more.

This all raises the question, if you project a false reality does it make it true? Of course not. But, for someone who may believe you, then they believe you. Thus, in their mind what you have said is true. So???

Again, everybody, well at least most, want to be that grand something. As a filmmaker I have watched and witnessed how important every member of the filmmaking team is on the set. Especially on the larger production films. Everybody has a purpose. And yes, some of the jobs may be less glorious than others—some may be easier than others, but they are all necessary. All of the people that are there are all a cog in the wheel.

Like on the lower budget sets, like my films… You always need to have a Capitan of the Ship. But, your production can either sail or sink by how strong your 1st Mate is. I’ve worked with some people who were a great benefit to the production. I’ve also worked with people who are just the opposite. Me, I’ve been in both positions. When I was the 1st Mate, I put my ego in check, and I did my upmost to make the production as good as it could be. Not everyone is like that, however. Ego and desire play a big part in all things life, especially when they are attached to a person who is in a position of power—however large or small that power may be. But, ego and desire do not get the job done. Doing the job gets the job done. And, if you don’t do it, nothing gets done.

So, what does this tell us? Where does this leave us? It tells us that we are all cogs in the wheel, no matter where we find ourselves in life. We must focus on what we can do—what we can get done and then do it. Ego, desire, and even lying are projected all the time but what do they equal? Not very much. But, if you can find yourself where you are, do what you can do, you can live a proud, good life understanding that you move this ALL reality forward by being the best you, you can be and by doing the best job you can do defined by wherever you find yourself in life.

We all have desires and fantasies to be great and grand. But, you cannot let those things keep you from doing what you actually can do.

Do what you can do. Be what you can be. If you’re just a cog in the wheel; great! At least at the end of your days you’ll know you contributed—you did something as opposed to nothing.


The years of your life will pass away. What are you going to do to with them to make your time have meant something?


Sometimes you just have to live with the choices you've made.

The Spiritual Mask

Pretty much the moment anyone claims to be a spiritual anything that pretty much means they are not.

Throughout my years of walking on this spiritual path, I have met many a person who proclaimed a Spiritual Something. And yes, some of them were very famous and a couple did appear to have various forms of siddha, “Spiritual Powers.” Most, however, were/are simply self-proclaimed nothings, that just defined themselves as, “Spiritual.” But, all a person like that does is to leave a wake of broken people who once believed but were taken advantage of.

I think back to when I taught my very first class on yoga that was not done at an ashram. It was via the California State University, Northridge Experimental College. If you feel like it, you can see the ad for that class on the Sundries page of this website. Me, I was like twenty years old.

My class was on the various aspects of yoga; meaning the various branches and how one could practice and use the various techniques. There was another person teaching a class on Kundalini Yoga at the same time. He was just your average white guy who had taken Sikh initiation via Yogi Bahjan. There were a lot of Caucasian Sikhs around at that time: wearing their turbans and growing their beards.

Anyway, this guy required that all of his students bring him flowers before each class. When two of my students asked me if they needed to bring me flowers, I just smiled and said, “No.” My thought was, however, “Who is this guy, self-believing that he is in a position to deserve flowers simply because he is teaching something that he learned from someone else?” Anyway… That’s just one example.

Certainly, I spent a lot of time with Swami Satchidanada. A lot of time with him and a lot more time with his other disciples. He was always great to me. I think he was amused at how young I was when I joined the ranks. But, in his later years, he had his detractors. Women who claimed he did what he did with them. This, when he was claiming to be celibate and telling all of us, his disciples, to do the same. I’ve written about this subject in several places in the past and what I think about it. But, more importantly, I have also long stated that if a teacher can’t be more than his or her students, then what does that leave the students with?

A teacher should be more than their students. A teacher should set the ideal example. This fact, has caused me to turn away from several teachers throughout my lifetime.

Were they fakes? This is for the individual to judge. But, if you don’t lead by example, then what are you actually teaching?

I won’t go into some of the very hardcore fakes I’ve encountered. As I have written about them in the past. But remember, simply because someone claims to be a Spiritual Something that does not mean that is what they truly are.

If you look to people like Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, there is an example of a person who lives what he teaches. Though Tibetan tradition places him in an exalted position, he never relishes in that. He is just a cordial, joking man who simply lives the life that karma gave him. J. Krishnamurti was very much the same. The Buddha himself when asked if he was teacher he said, “I'm just a man.” But, how few are the teachers that do not relish in their position—that do not take advantage and attempted to live an embellished lifestyle due to them being what
they claim to be? And, this goes on throughout all teachings and religions; throughout time.

What am I saying here? If you are drawn to the spiritual path you really need to become hyper aware and keep your eyes open. There are a lot of people who are claiming what they claim that are only driven by self-defined ego. Do you really want to learn from a teacher like that?

Mind Watching

Throughout the centuries meditation techniques have been developed in order to calm the mind of the individual and cause them to enter into a refined state of consciousness where they may encounter a deeper wisdom and possibly even god-consciousness. The thing is, very few people ever practice any of these techniques of meditation. How about you? Some people may poke at them for a moment at the end of a yoga or martial art class, a few may even sit down and try to meditate for a moment here or there but very-very few ever take meditation on as a life course where they actually follow the path of meditation allowing it to reveal the indescribable things that can only be known when they are known.

This is not bad or good. This is just the way it is. Though pretty much everyone known about meditation, very few people try its practice.

This being said, there is a technique that does not take a lifetime of practice for it to be revealing of the True Individual Self. I refer to this technique as Mind Watching. It’s very easy.

Here we go…

You can do this now but it is better to perform when you are in a mentally passive state of mind; perhaps when you are going to sleep, maybe when you have just woken up, or maybe when you have relaxed as you are sitting by a stream or the ocean or wherever. It’s best done when you are in a clam state of mind.

Close your eyes. Feel the calmness in your being. Allow your mind to be silent. Don’t try to force this like people do in meditation. Simply allow your thoughts to be your thoughts with no forced definition.

Now, take your consciousness to that place where you can look at your mind—that place where you can watch your thoughts. There is that place in all of us, where we can see and view ourself. Some people call this, The Witness.

To do this technique you simply need to remain in that state of observational calmness for a moment or a long as you feel comfortable doing it.

Look deeply into you. See who you really are. You can do this by following your thoughts. Why are you thinking what you are thinking? Why do you think what you think? Or, you can simply allowing this witnessing mind to look deep into the core of your inner being. Who are you? What are you? Why are you?

There is no right or wrong way to do this techniques. Just as there is no right or wrong answer(s) you will find. All there is, is you. Allow this technique to reveal who and what you truly are.

The only thing you want to be careful of is not allowing your ego to drive you. You don’t want that grand or false thing that you believe you are to be the captain of your ship for all that will lead you to is folly. In other words, be humble and truthful in your mental quest.

Assuredly, your focused mind will be called away by your random racing thoughts relatively quickly. You can call your mind back to the focus of this techniques as many times as you wish or your can simply allow your thoughts to drag you away. Your choice. But, this is a very simply technique that has the potential to reveal all kinds of stuff about you. You can practice it once or your can do it whenever you feel like.

Give is a try. You never know what you may find out about yourself.


Is your life defined by what you have done or what someone else has done to you?


You can't tell someone to care about their karma when they don't care about their karma.

They will only realize the implications of their actions when they are slapped across the face with them.

Death Should Not Be a Game

I was waiting for the new episode of The Walking Dead to come on last night so I was flipping channels. I came upon the premiere of this new show following the police of Louisiana that handle the wild life patrol.

First of all, let me state, I used to really enjoy shows like COPS and Live PD. In fact, COPS was one of my biggest influences when I entered the filmmaking game. I loved that style of raw cinematography and reality. But, then came this age of… I don’t even know what to call it. I guess, “Political Correctness.” And, they took shows like Live PD and COPS off the air. Once upon a time you could pretty much find an episode of COPS playing somewhere on some channel day or night. Now, nada. What has remained is a couple of shows that feature Game Wardens and the like. Not nearly as intense but… It is a minor fix if you want a dose of reality policing TV.

So, I’m watching that show and this one female officer was lamenting about how they may have to take this six year old boys first kill of a deer away form him. She was sad as she had killed her first deer when she was six. Then, the show went to another officer talking to another father who was so proud of his young son’s kill of a deer. Wow…

Now, I get it, I’m a city kid and you people from rural America and other places grow up with a different set of standards than I did. But, when I see a deer, I just think how pure and beautiful it is. I love to watch it move and live its life. I never think about killing it. I mean, isn’t it understood that people that grow up to be psycho killers begin by killing animals when they are young. Now, I’m not saying that about these kids, but it seems like they are being skilled to kill. Then, when they do kill, their actions are applauded. I don’t know… I just don’t see that as right.

I have never gone hunting. I never would. They only experience I ever had with hunting was when I was about twelve or thirteen and my mother, who was originally from the mid-west, and I visited her hometown this one time. My distant cousin, via marriage, was going hunting. He invited me. I didn’t want to go. I was all into Eastern spirituality and such. But, my mother insisted. We’re out there in the woods and this guy goes nuts. He goes on a rampage killing every raccoon he could find. It was horrible! I write a longer, more in-depth, piece about this experience in my book, Zen: Tales for the Journey, if you’re interested. Everything about that experience was repulsive. It was truly traumatizing.

Why does anyone want to kill poor wild animals like deers and raccoons or any other helpless animal that has no chance against a gun? Everything about that process just seems wrong!

I guess it all come down to the question, what reality are you living? What reality were you taught to live? What reality do you teach your children to live? And, how does that reality shape the mind of society? How does it shape the all and the everything? Should killing ever be a game? And, where is your TRUTH if you kill for sport?

I’m sorry, killing on any level is just not right. And, if you kill for sport, if you use a gun against a helpless animals, what does that make you? A sportsman? I don’t think so. I believe the definition of you and your actions should be much more critical.

Think before you ever consider the killing of anything. And, I mean anything. Death is death and once something is dead it is never coming back. The killing of any life should never be something that you take pride in.


What do you do when you find out you were wrong?

Try This

Try This:

Do something nice for someone you don't really like today.

Don't make a big deal about it, don't tell them about it, don't think you're going to get some good karma for doing it; just do it.

Watch how the world becomes just a little bit better.

Try This:

Do something nice for someone you do really like today.

Don't make a big deal about it, don't tell them about it, don't think you're going to get some good karma for doing it; just do it.

Watch how the world becomes just a little bit better.

Every time you do something nice for someone everything becomes just a little bit better.


Why does everyone need something to worship?


What can you do today that will make your tomorrow better?

What can you do today that will make someone else's tomorrow better?

What can you do today that will make everybody's tomorrow better?

No Ultimate Outcome

I know people who have lived a very spiritual lifestyle for over the past fifty years. They entered the Eastern tradition of spirituality and never left. In some cases these people follow the monastic path and they are still living it today. Some have taught the various aspects of yoga and meditation for all of these years. Most refrained from the pursuit of ego and simply lived a very humble existence. Though I am sure they made their friends along the way and they may have helped some people, how did what they offered, what they lived, change anything? Though they lived a tried and true life, there was no ultimate outcome to all that they did.

Like I have long believed, and have stated many times in many places, the most contributive martial artists I have known were those teachers who ran a small school, did not care about rank or prestige, never claimed, "My Kung Fu is better than your Kung Fu," and simply taught their students their understandings of these ancient systems of self-defense. What they taught their students is something that will stay with that person throughout a lifetime. This is why I always suggest, to the all and the everyone, that they study the martial arts, at least for a time, because it truly will give you something that will accompany you throughout your life.

With that example, we have have someone who does have an ultimate outcome. With the previous example, we find someone who is seemingly walking an ideal path in life but not actually contributing a lot to the overall evolution of anyone or anything. What does this tell us? Do you ever contemplate how what one person does or does not do will affect the all and the everything?

Perhaps the better question is, what will what you are doing with your life ultimately equal? What will be the ultimate outcome of your life contribution?

Most people fall into a pattern of doing. They live through their childhood, they go to school, then they get a job. Maybe they get married. Maybe they have a family. They live through the various trials and the tribulations that we all encounter. But, at the end of their days what was their ultimate outcome?

Most people do not seem to posses the desire or the focus to look at the bigger picture as they pass through their life. They only live their moment. And, though living in the moment has been taught to be a supreme state of consciousness; is it? Or, is it simply an excuse—a way to make your time pass without looking too deeply into what is actually going on with your life?

So, ask yourself this question, what will be the ultimate outcome of your life if you stay on the path that you are walking? There’s no right or wrong answer, there is just you being/becoming honest with yourself.

Take the time to truly ponder this question. It may cause you to take a long hard look at your existence and possibly change your pathway, if necessary.


How many bits of supposed ancient wisdom has someone quoted, that you believed, but those words were never spoken by a venerable sage?

How many things have you been told happen that did not actually happen but you believed what you were told to be true?

How many things did someone claim they saw but they never saw yet you believed what they claimed to have witnessed?

How many things have you believed that simply were not true?

The Choices That You Choose

Your life is defined by the choices that you make. Each next step that you encounter in your life is predicated upon that last choice that you made.

Some believe that their life was set on a course of events based upon where they grew up, how they grew up, and what they did or did not have when they were growing up. Others believe that their choices are not their own. They are forced to make their choices by the predicaments they are given due to the actions of someone else. As true as those two ideas may be, the ultimate definition of your life comes down to the choices that you make in each life situation no matter where, how, or by whom you arrived at the need to make that choice.

We are all defined by the choices we are allowed to make. What gives us our next set of life choices? The choices we previously made defines where we find ourselves in this here and this now.

Some of the choices you make are very memorable. You made that choice and it changed the entire direction of your life. Other choices you make are so small that they are forgotten pretty much the moment you made them. They were made, you did what you did, lived what you lived, and then you moved on to make your next choice. No matter the size or the scale of that choice you made, it is that choice that defines your next choice, which then defines your next choice after that and so on. We are all defined by the last choice that we made.

How much time do you spend contemplating the choices that you make? Are you one of those people that just goes for it—never really thinks too deeply about the impact of your choices and then either basks in the rewards or suffers the consequences? Or, are you someone who thinks out with precision every choice you make—you ponder the ramifications of every choice before that choice is made?

How often do you regret the choices that you have made? How often do you feel bad about a choice you made that negativity affected the life of someone else? How often do you lie to try to redefine the choices that you have made? If this is the case with any of your choices, do you ever truly ask yourself what caused you to make that choice in the first place?

Just as other peoples choices have an impact on you and the next set of choices you will be presented with, your choices can and will affect the next set of choices another person or persons will be presented with. How much time do you spend contemplating how your choices are going to affect that someone else? Do you contemplate this and/or question it at all? Or, are all your choices simply defined by the selfishness of your own mind?

A choice is the defining factor of all of our lives. Shouldn’t this be one of the most hallowed elements of life that each person undertakes? But, is it? How deeply do you contemplate your choices? Do you truly question how that next choice you will make is going to affect your life, the life of anyone else involved, and how it will create your next choice?

Choice is the defining factor of your life. It is the one thing that no on else can truly control because it is you who ultimately decides what choice you will make. What choice are you going to make next? Your life, your choice?


How long can you sit in silence?


Who is going to love you after you die?

The Many Levels of Consciousness

In Sanskrit, there are many words that describe the understanding of Consciousness. Perhaps the most universally used word is, “Chit,” but many other words are employed to define the various levels of consciousness, such as, “Sajñāna,” “Sajñananā,” “Caitanya,” and, “Bodha.” In fact, there are many more. In English, however, we are left with only one primary word describing, “Consciousness.” It is a blanket term devised to be individually interrupted.

The more clear, highly defined definition in Sanskrit is perhaps a better way of understanding the many levels of consciousness. But, as Sanskrit is a dying language, and so few speak it, what we are left with is what we are left with.

Take a moment right now. Ask yourself, “How do you define consciousness?” “What does consciousness mean to you?” Is it simply your state of being; you are alive? Or, is it something more profound; you progressing and transcending into a higher realm of Self Awareness?

Continue this thought process for a moment more and ponder, “How much time do you spend in rising your consciousness each day?” Is it a just a passing thought, whenever that thought passes, is it a moment, a minute, an hour, or not at all?

Most people don’t think too much about consciousness; particularly raising their consciousness. They are too busy thinking about all of their Life Stuff. But, what does it mean to ponder higher consciousness? What does it mean to you? And, if you do ever think about it, what do you do to make yourself a more conscious individual?

Take a few moments and think about it. You may come up with some interesting realizations.

Accused of Telling a Lie AKA Roll with the Punches

It’s kind of funny… Well, funny in that very sad sort of way…

Anyway, I got this four page handwritten letter today. Wow, I have not received a handwritten letter in I can’t tell you when… But, it’s been decades.

Wait! Thinking about it… The last handwritten letter I received was from Dr. Wayne Dyer in the early 1990s. It was a FU letter that really showed his true nature. Not the calm spiritual guy that he portrayed to the world. I used to have an essay with a copy of our correspondence and that letter up on this website. But, when he passed away I took it down. Don’t speak ill of the dead and all that…

Anyway, the letter I got today was from that guy who hit and totaled my car a few weeks ago.

To refresh all you Blog Reader’s memories… A guy went jamming down the wrong side of the street in his junky old Ford pickup to get to the open median area of the street due to a traffic jam and he sideswiped my car killing it. Sad, I really liked that car. Still haven’t got another car yet. Apparently, due to the pandemic the new car dealerships have no inventory and the used car prices are sky high. So??? Though he jammed off from the scene of the crime he did return about fifteen minutes later. He probably thought I snapped a photo of his license plate or something, which I did. The guy didn’t have insurance. Anyway, I guess my insurance company contacted him and when they were talking to him he threatened to sue me. And now, today, I get this handwritten letter, obviously written for the eyes of the reader, claiming it was all my fault; completely turning the truth about what happened into some projected fantasy. Like most people who damage or hurt the life of someone else he never apologized for his actions or tried to make anything right. He even wrote, either I or my insurance company representative is lying. Of course, he says if he doesn’t hear from me he’s going to take me to court. Okay… I’ve got photos, dude! That’s my proof of whose at fault. And, all you had to have was insurance and none of this nonsense would be going on.

You know, I learned a long time ago, when I first got into the film industry, that you never threaten to sue someone. You either sue them or you don’t. I also learned that you really have to want to sue someone because it costs a lot of money. Money you may never get back because what do people do when they lose a big lawsuit? They go bankrupt. Equalling no money, no matter who wins. And, if you do sue someone they are most certainly going to sue you back. So, threatening to sue someone is just stupid.

I think back to early ’92 when a guy hit me from behind when I was on my Harley. It killed my Harley. Again, the guy had no insurance. I was really going through a lot at that moment of my life. I had just gotten majorly fucked over, financially and otherwise, by the Executive Producer of The Roller Blade Seven and my Porsche had blown its transmission. So, I just didn’t need that to happen. The difference with him and the guy who hit me with his truck was that the guy who hit my Harley had a sister who was a lawyer. In-house counsel and all that. He got away with it. I was left with my fully customized Harley in a dead heap. The guy who customized it gave me $2,000.00 for the remaining parts. That’s it! Again, the driver lied about what happened but he had a sister lawyer willing to say or do whatever it took to win for the sake of her brother.

Like I have discussed in the past, a liar always lies. And, they will lie and deny, until their dying day, that they are a liar. Then, they are the first one to turn it all around and call someone else a liar even when that other person is telling the truth. Have you ever met anyone like that? Lairs are a bad breed.

We all make mistakes or have accidents in life. Sure, they suck. But, you really need to own it. Not lie about it. Because if you lie, all that makes you is a liar. And, no one wants to be known as a liar.

You know, it seems like the shit always hits the fan when you just don’t need it. I mean, I’m dealing with the loss of my cat a couple of days ago. Just really sad. That guy killed my car a couple of weeks ago. Now, I’ve got to figure out where I can get another car and maybe another Persian cat, as my other cat is now all bummed out and lonely—he lived with her his entire life. Anyone know any breeders?

Anyway, I just don’t need it! I don’t need to get a handwritten letter from that guy trying to turn the story around. I don’t need any of it!

It reminds me of this other time, way back in the way back when… I had brought this guy into the film game. He had taken a few of my classes and he seemed like a nice guy who really wanted to get his feet wet in the industry. I was happy to help. I never really understood why he got pissed at me, but I guess I had made a joke or something that put him off??? (I tend to be a bit of a joker). Anyway, my father-in-law, who I was very close to, (my last drinkin’ buddy), was on his way out. He asked his daughter and I to come down to the OC, where he lived, and help him get to the hospitable. As I was driving my pager started blowing up. I was getting voice mail after voice mail from that guy just going off on me. He had my mobil number but he didn’t want to call it. Why, I don’t know? When I called him, he hung up on me. I guess he didn’t want to discuss and/or hear my side of the goings-on… Then, he started calling all the cast of the film we were shooting, telling them what a fucked up human being I was. (What kind of person does something like that?) Thus, they all started calling me on my voice mail, wondering what was up. Wow… It was just crazy. If you have something to say, say it directly to the person. All this while I was trying to focus on the last hours of my father-in-laws life.

It always seems that’s how life goes… When it comes at you, it comes at you.

But, here’s the facts… When it does come at you, who cares? Only you. It’s you, it’s not them. Think about all the pain that is going on all over the world right now. Think about all of the major catastrophes and the small things where just one individual is involved. Think about the last time you were in pain. Who was there for you? Who stopped the attackers? Who took your pain away? Who helped you? Where’s the god equation in any of this?

And, all liars do is try to blame the someone else.

It comes down to not only how you deal with a situation but also how any other person involved deals with that situation. It comes down to who is willing to step from the shadows and help you.

Me, I always try to be as upfront and honest as I can. Yeah, I have my perspective but I always try to understand the other person’s perspective. When that guy finally came back to the scene of the crime, he seemed like a nice enough guy. I was very cordial to him. I didn’t go off on him at all. I was nice even though my car sat there in the middle of the street completely unmovable—never to drive again.

Maybe I was wrong. Me being wrong about people is not uncommon. My problem is, I care. But, I don’t have a sister who is a lawyer and no lawyer is revealing themselves from the grand abyss to protect me from anything—not even handwritten letters. So, I guess I just have to deal with it all myself.

Probably most of us have been in a position like this, once upon a time or two in our life; have you? Not fun. In fact, it’s just stupid. But, this is life. Not everyone is nice and honest; true and god fearing. Most are just in it for themselves. How about you? How much do you care about anyone but you? And, if you do care, what do you do about that caring? Who do you help: why and when?

How Much Do You Think About What I Think About?

In life, we are each damned to the condition of being locked into our own mind. Meaning, we are who we are. We think what we think. Though time, life, study, and experiences we each become a unique personification of what we could or should become but are we ever allowed to move free from our own mind?

Some people, particularly when they are in love, truly think about that other person. They listen to what they have to say. They try to embody their suggestions. And, they do all they can to make that other person’s life better. But, how few are the people who behave like this? How few are the people that ever step outside of themselves—outside of their own mind to actually focus their thoughts on that someone else? Mostly, all life is defined by a person who is locked into their own mind and only thinking what they think and doing for themselves.

For each of us, we listen and we learn from the people we choose to listen to and learn from. Okay… But, how does that change anything for anyone except the person doing the listening and the learning?

Most people are very willing to take. They are willing to take the knowledge someone else speaks, as long as they like what they have to say. They are willing to receive any gifts that are offered but what are they willing to give? Most people never think about any of this. Why? Because they are so lost in their own mind that they never take the time to step outside of that mind. They never take the time to question what they can give back. What this leaves us with is the world as the world is. …A world lost in the individual mind.

Throughout the East and even in some Western philosophic traditions it is spoken about that, “We are all one.” But, are we? No. We are all our individual mind. Yes, some people care more about others than someone else. Yes, some people take other people’s feelings and thoughts more into consideration than do others. But, that is just them doing what their mind wants them to do.

So, what does this leave us with? It leaves us with you. What do you think about? Who do you think about? What do you do for those people and things that you think about? Or, is all that you do focused upon you?

I say it all time, this is world is created by you. You could make it a better place. You could help and do positive things for the people and things that you think about. But, will you?


If you don't care more about the people you've hurt than the people you've helped your thoughts are focused in the wrong direction.


If you never personally read a book how can you know what actually was written?

You Should’ve

For each of us in life there are those things that we get the idea to do. In some cases we only think and dream of that doing. In other cases we actually look into it. But, for whatever reason, we never follow through. Then, maybe a day, a week, a month, a year, or many years later we really realize that we should have done that thing as it would have made our life so much better—it would have made us that so much more.

There are many reason that we do not do that do. Maybe it’s money. We didn’t have enough. Money, or the lack thereof, always seems to be one of the biggest deterrents in life. Maybe it was that we didn’t have the focus. Maybe it was that someone talked us out of doing it. Maybe it is we just got sacred or we came to believe that we couldn’t do it. Whatever the case, we are left with the definition of our life defined by that thing we didn’t do.

As this COVID-19 pandemic came upon us and most of us found ourselves in lock down, many people set about learning that something new. But, how many of those people followed through and completed that learning process? Many started, few finished.

I saw this interview with Charlie Sheen on one of those entertainment shows a couple of months back. He talked about how he planned to learn how to play an instrument or learn a new language during the pandemic. But, as he concluded, “Nothing. I didn’t do anything.” And, that’s the case of many people in life. They have the desire, they have the idea, but they do not follow through.

Sometimes we interact with people who want to tell us how we should have lived our life. “You should’ve done that. You should’ve followed through with that.” None of us what to hear that kind of stuff. We all know what we should’ve done but didn’t.

For some, that what they didn’t do becomes the definition of their life. They realize it and they allow it to control their thoughts. They allow regret to become the definition of their life. But, is that healthy?

We are all defined by what we did do and what we didn’t do. The thing about what you didn’t do is that you didn’t do it. So, you can never truly know what your life would have been like if you did do it. Yes, you may have the idealized image of what your life would have been like if you had followed through. But, you will never truly know. At best, that is simply a projected fantasy.

So, what did you want to do that you didn’t do? Is it possible for you to do it now? Are you still defined by the limitations of what kept you from doing it in the first place: both in the physical realm of reality and/or in your mind? Or, can you now do it? Mostly, do you choose to? Do you choose to take that step that you didn’t take in the past and finally do that thing that You Should’ve?

What is the Price of Tears?

As we have lived through this Age of the Pandemic I believe it has caused us all to rethink life. Yes, yes, as always, there are those oblivious people who just don’t give a shit and they pass through their life in a cloud of selfish oblivion. But, most of us are not like that. We think, we study, we learn, we try.

So much has changed and is still changing since this pandemic hit the world. I have spoken and written about the causation for this pandemic and my beliefs on the subject in the past, so I won’t do it here. And, in fact, that is not even the point… We have all been struck by a life changing blow, some of us have been hit hard and hurt. But, just like all things life, others have used it to their own advantage.

I think to this news story that was broadcast last week here on L.A. TV. Many people lost their jobs due to the pandemic so they, the powers-that-be, had the great idea to not allow landlords to evict their tenants if they got behind in their rent. Great for the tenant. Free Rent. Very bad for the landlords. How can they pay their mortgage on the building?

Anyway, this one lady was speaking about how this one man, apparently an actor, just stopped paying his rent. On social media he bragged how he had shot ten or eleven commercials during the pandemic and he posted photos of his trips to Paris and other European destinations. All this while the building owner struggles to find a way to survive. How fucked up is that? He didn’t have to pay rent, or maybe better put, he didn’t choose to pay rent, “So fuck it. Fuck the landlord. I got what I want. I’m living my best life. And, I’m getting free rent. I can use all my money to travel the world.” This, while the landlord cannot pay her mortgage. Not right. But, that is how some of the peoples of the world behave in these situations. How about you? How much do you take and never think about the impact that taking is having on someone else? How much do you take and never think about repayment?

There has been a lot of pain throughout this pandemic. And, for all you anti-vaxxers out there, you are partially to blame. Did you get the measles vaccine when you were a kid? Like most of us, you probably did. Did you get the measles? Probably not. Yet, you believe bullshit stories, made up by WHO, and you don’t get vaxxed helping to allow this virus to mutate. Do you know how and why viruses mutate? Why don’t you read up on that.

Think how many people in the world, in developing country, wish they could get the vaccine but can’t. Yet, there are those where the vaccine is abundant and they are too selfish and too stubborn to take it. Get a clue!

For people like myself, who have lost close family members to this virus, we understand what this virus can do. Yet, there are those who won’t get vaxxed; helping, at least in part, in keeping this pandemic going and literally killing people. What do you think the karma for that is? What is the karma if you transmit this virus to someone and they get sick and/or die? What will your karma be? You anti-vaxxer, you are at least in part to blame for this ongoing pandemic. But, do you own it? Do you care? Fuck any supposed side effects that may occur somewhere (maybe) down the lie. You are killing people. Maybe yourself. Freedom isn’t free. Pay the price!

So many levels of life have been affected by this pandemic. And, though most of the businesses, that didn’t go out of business, have reopened, all things are different.

For example, as least here in the U.S., a lot of people adopted pets during the pandemic. That was/is a good thing as these people gave those poor shelter animals, who may have been put to death, a new chance at life. They are people too! The problem is, now the veterinarians can’t keep up with demand. An appointment with my vet is two months deep. And, for those clinic that don’t require an appointment, there are lines of people waiting outside hoping to see a vet for their sick animal. It’s really crazy.

One of my cats died around midnight on Saturday night because we couldn’t get her in to see a vet. We had a new vet, (not the one who knew my cat), but one that we paid over two thousands dollars to, a week or two before, just to treat her. Of course, they didn’t feel like coming into work on Saturday—take the money and run and all that… So, we could not get my cat the help she needed when we noticed her taking a turn for the worse. Maybe it was already too late, I don’t know? But, at least my lady and myself could be there with her as she breathed her last breaths telling her we loved her. But, she is gone. Like the great Austrian Zen Filmmaker, Wolf Morrison, commented when I posted her photo on Instagram, “Losing a pet is like losing a family member.” So true. They are a family member. So, I/we are obviously devastated. She was a great cat. She was with us for twelve years.

That’s just one example… That’s just me… How about you? How has this pandemic affected your life: both in a negative and possibly a positive way? You should really take the time to consciously chart this out. You may have some new and deep realization(s) by studying you, your life, and your life reactions in this Age of the Pandemic.

You know, in all life events—all life joys and all life catastrophes we can learn, we can become better people. Or, we can do like that renter did and is doing; not giving a shit about who he hurts as long as his life is okay—as long as he is getting free rent.

Some of us/many of us have paid a very high price due to this pandemic, while others have taken a free ride. It’s what you do with what you are given that makes you the person you are and will define what you will encounter tomorrow.

So, what are you going to do today? Who are you going to help? We are still deep in this pandemic and it doesn’t look like it is going to be over anytime soon. But, what you choose to do does not have to hurt someone else just so you can make your whatever better. You can choose to step outside of self-definitions and self-selfishness and get out there and try to make a positive difference.

When you only help yourself, you hurt someone else. Maybe it’s time to stop only thinking about you.


How often do you pray for forgiveness?

How often do you ask for forgiveness?

How often do you think you need forgiveness?

How often do you try to repair and undo any hurt or damage you have created?

If you never do any of this, what does that say about the person you are?

You Have to Want it

Like I always say, you have to want it or it just isn’t going to happen for you or matter to you. For example, if someone gave you a rare First Edition but you don’t care about the subject or the author, that gift isn’t going to mean anything to you. If someone gave you an expensive Swiss watch but you only check the time on your phone, the craftsmanship and the precision of that watch is not going to matter to you. If someone gave you a ’58 Les Paul but you don’t play guitar, you wouldn’t know or care about the value of that guitar. It’s like my lady says, “A guitar is just a piece of wood with strings on it.” But, you give me that book, I would cherish it. If you gave me that watch, I would wear it. If you gave me that ’58 Les Paul, I would make musical magic with. Again, you have to want it to want it.

People want things all the time. In fact, most people spend a good percentage of their life in fantasy. But, if you don’t work towards getting that something then you will most likely never have it.

I taught the martial arts professionally for years. Every student who came through my doors went away with a skill set. As long as they wanted it, they tried and they trained, thus they became. But, that is a physical and mental sport. Though some would certainly do certain aspects of it better than others, all can find their own Best Self if they want it.

For the multitude of people who attempt to enter things like the film industry, it is almost impossible to embrace that dream that so many possess of stardom. But, if you are willing to alter your dream, accept less, you can Become. But, to Become anything, to get anything, you have to try, you have to want it.

I was sitting in the courtyard of a temple, enjoy a tea with this monk I know. This young woman walks by and he jokingly says, “I wish that girl with the earrings would take me away from all this.” To describe the woman, she was youngish, had short hair, and had numerous earrings in each ear. For that moment, the monk wished for something else. We both smiled and continued our discussion about metaphysical matters and the drinking of tea.

After this, I did not see him for a time when I visited the temple. He had apparently been put in Lock Down. I never said anything about what he said and no one else was close enough to us to hear his statement so he must have reported himself. He wanted his monkshood more than he desired a life of the world and that girl. So, he took the penance and refocused his energy, alienating the world of desire for a time.

People want things all the time. As stated by the Buddha, certainly, “Desire is the cause of suffering.” You want, you don’t have, thus that not having becomes the definition of your life. But, does wanting and not having have to be your end point? Where is the magic in your pursuit?

Everybody wants something. The primary premise of this world is that it is based in desire. But, wanting does not have to be a cataclysmic event in your life. It does not have to be your End All. If you let it control you, then it controls you. But, if you control it, then you control it. Just like the monk, you can have a momentary want, but it does not have to change the trajectory of your life.

The problem that most people have, in relation to their wanting, is that they let it control their life. They allow it to control their mind, thereby controlling their actions. People do all kinds of bad things to get what they want. They do it to others and they do it to themselves. But, those are people who are doing what they are doing based solely on desire without a clear perspective of their personal reality.

It was like when I was teaching the martial arts I had this one student who had been struck by a car when he was very young leaving him with physical and brain damage. Nice guy. Really enjoyed training. But, due to his condition, he could not do some of the physical movements to the level of someone who had not undergone his trauma. But, he knew it. He told me his whole story the moment he signed up. That did not stop him from training hard. He trained with all of his ability defined by the definition of his ability.

This is something that everyone needs to think about in the pursuit of what they/you want. You must define your parameters. You must know you strengths, your possibilities, and your limitations. You must not let your undefined, unattainable desires over power your reality. For if you do, your life will be defined by nothing more than agony brought about by your lack of fulfillment.

Know what you want. Work towards its obtainment, if that’s what you want. But, know who you are and what you are. Define what you want by what you can have. It will make your life so much simpler and more fulfilling.

In Review of Life

I was cruising over to PetSmart today because I needed a new filter for my aquarium. The streets have become like Mr. Toads Wild Ride. It’s crazy out there. Ever since the pandemic shut downs opened up, everybody only thinks of themselves—like they are the only one on the road and they drive like shit. It’s really nuts.

Me, ever since I got my car totaled a week or two ago, by some guy jamming down the wrong side of the street to get to an open median where he could pass some of the traffic jam, I have become hyper-aware.

Interesting, the guy apparently didn’t have any insurance, which is illegal, at least here in California. So, when my insurance company contacted him he said he was going to sue me. Sue me, for him hitting my car. Awl life… I’m glad I took the photos I did on the scene to prove the culprit in this manner. But, all of the any of this kind of life stuff does is to add to the unhappy-making. Get insurance people! Then, the powers-that-be can resolve it/anything among themselves.

Anyway, as I was driving I was listening to this rather long-winded interview on the NPR affiliate KCRW with this female author who had written a book about her life and her affair with this well-known crime novelist. She discussed that she left her husband for this guy and did all kind of the whatever due to her bad childhood where she developed abandonment issues. All I could think was, “Oh, boo hoo.” She grew up in a rich, famous family. She got caught shoplift in L.A. so they sent her to London where she got caught shoplifting again so then they sent her to one of the best boarding schools in the country where she had sex with a teacher and was kicked out.

Just a side note here… She sounds like she is around my age and the fact of the fact is, students having sex with teachers was not that uncommon when I was coming up. Anyway…

It made me think about how people react to the reaction. It made me think about how the only thing I ever stole in my life was a small meat cleaver from a super market, when I was about twelve years old, that I used to carry in my back pocket because where I grew up was so violent that I felt I needed it to aid in my protection. Again, we all have our reasons for doing what we do but when people do things that not only hurts the life and the livelihood of others but themselves for some bullshit, self-described psychological reasonings, all I can say is, “Get a clue.”

You know, we all have our lives. We live them as best as we can. But, when people who come from wealth and circumstance complain it really brings out the critic in me. Believe me, if you look at my life and the lives of a number of my contemporaries who I grew up with, you would know what abandonment actually is. But, I don’t let it define me. I don’t blame it.

Listening to her speaking of the novelist got me to thinking about how many great movies were created via that man’s writings. It got me to pondering how one of the movies that was based on a novel by this author got panned by some critics. Which led me to thinking, (once again), “Who are these critics? Have they ever made a real film?” And, to my longstanding statement, “What is a film critics? With very few exceptions, it is someone who doesn’t have the talent or the dedication to actually make a movie.”

Of course, I always need to state, that is except for Peter Bogdanovich. I mean, Bogdanovich is a GREAT filmmaker! He made some incredible films! Even some of his lesser known works like Saint Jack and They All Laughed are hidden gems of cinema. For some reason he fell from grace from the industry. I don’t know why? But, at least when he writes a review about a film he truly understands the entire process. This is a knowledge that most film critics do not possess.

All this started me to thinking about the fact of, if I were to critique a film, how would I go about it? I mean, I have been on all sides of the film industry both in the no and the high budget arenas. When I see a film I look for the lights; how it was lighted and where are the lights. I study the placement of the characters in association with background, the camera angles, the pans, the tilts, the zooms, the lenses used, the placement of focus, etc., etc., etc… And this is not coming from a place of ego on any level. It is just based on my experience.

When I see the reviews that most reviewers create, all they are doing is going over the most superficial and obvious elements of a film; they are just spouting out their ideas or opinions about what they like or don't like in a movie. But, what they are saying is not based in any true experiential knowledge of actual FILM MAKING. Sure, video is all the craze and has taken the filmmaking game by storm. And sure, I use it too. But, let's see you make a movie actually on film!

Just because you are a Video Maker does not make you a Film Maker.

That’s why I and most other filmmakers state to the reviewers, “Let’s see what you can do.” But, they don’t. All they can do is talk about someone else’s work. That seems fairly indolent, don't you think?

The problem is, at best, most filmmakers are simply mimics. They do what they’ve seen done before. They write scripts that have already been written a hundred times before. There is no inspiration. There is nothing NEW, unique, artistic, or revolutionary.

To sidebar here: I was having lunch today at a little boutique pizzeria. There’s this crazy guy who lives in my neighborhood. I believe he is of Korean decent. When you look at him you would swear he’s homeless because his skin is dirty and his clothing are so old and so dirty. But, I believe he is just insane because if he were homeless I am certain the local constables would guide him out of the neighborhood. (There’s medicine for that people!) Sometimes you’ll see him on the street with his dick in his hand. No joke. Sometimes he pulls his dick out on the street. Why? Who knows?

Anyway, we had just begun to eat our pizzas on the patio of this restaurant. Up walks this guy and he plants himself right behind me. I mean, right behind my chair.

Now, I’ve talked about this in the past… Animals, children, and crazy people all seem to love me. Why? I don’t know. But, we are still in a pandemic and this guys was standing just behind me. I blurt out, “Are you fucking kidding me! Are you fucking kidding me!” Then, I go into how this is the guy who pulls his dick out in public… I could just imagine him pulling his dick out while we were eating.

I’m told I can be a very intense person. Mostly, I don’t mean to be but in this case I did. Finally, the guy took the hint and walked away and found a seat at a table several feet away from us where he pulls out a cell phone and lighted up a cigarette. Which is totally forboden in California—smoking in restaurants. Again, I get agitated. I was thinking of just getting up and leaving. Fuck the pizza.

Amazingly, this young, maybe sixteen year old, restaurant worker comes out and told the guy if he, “Did that,” he would have to leave. That was a ballsy move, I thought. I imagine they have had problems with this guy before.

The guy put out the cigarette and sat there playing with his cell phone, which may or may not actually be working, while I ate my lunch, with my lady, vowing to her to never go to that restaurant again. It was her idea…

You know, they have these new RayBan glasses that were just released this week that have a camera in them. I imagine you could get some great POV and natural footage if you had a pair of those. They’re not even that expensive, like three hundred bucks. …You could get footage of a homeless looking/crazy guy, dressed in rags, playing with his cell phone, with trendy people sitting around, staring at him and wondering what the fuck he is doing sitting at an outdoor table at this restaurant without ordering anything. That would make a great scene, I think. I wonder what the critics would say about that movie? They would probably critique the acting of the star player, (the crazy homeless looking guy), believe that his character was too contrived and that he did not dig deep enough into his character’s development.

Welcome to Life…


There's no reason to fight when there's nothing worth fighting for.


If you don't get it done, it doesn't get done.

Then what?


If you lie about the truth what does the truth become?


If you set about on a path of getting revenge all your life is defined by is what someone else did to you.


Life is a slow process of realization.

If you're not looking for the new understandings you will never find them.


If you work everyday on making things just a little bit better before you know it everything will be better.

If All You Are Doing is Caring About Yourself Then All You Are Doing is Caring About Yourself

When you wake up in the morning what is your first thought? Does it involve you or is it focused on someone else?

When you go into a store, who are you thinking about? Why are you going in there? Are you thinking about what you want to buy or are you thinking about what you will buy for the greater whole of humanity—for people you do not even know?

When someone cuts you off as you drive or bumps into you as you are walking, do you blame them or do you blame yourself for being in the same space as they are?

Truly, how much do you think about yourself: your needs and your wants and how much do you think about someone/anyone else—particularly someone that you do not know?

If you look at yourself and if you are honest with yourself, most probably you will see that you think about you above all others. Yes/sure you think about that person you are infatuate with or in love with. You may even claim that you think about them and do things for them more than you. But, is that true? I don’t know think so. All you are doing is doing something to buy their love. You are behaving in a manner that will make them love you—that will make them want to stay with you. So, your actions are about you, it is not about them.

When something negative happens, who do you blame? Most people blame the other person. It can’t be your fault; right? Even if it is your fault, most people will do all they can to shift the blame onto the other person. They will lie and they will deny. Some are so blinded by their own self-involvement that they will not even admit the truth to themselves when something is, in fact, their fault. In the public eye, forget about it. The gloves are off and no action is too far out to be employed to win any meaningless battle.

But, why is this? Is this simply the human condition? Do you ever take the time to ponder how you interact with the world? Do you ever ask yourself who you think about first and why? Most people don’t. They are very satisfied to focus on themselves and maybe even claim they help other people via donations and other giving. But, this is all a lie. What is giving? Isn’t giving simply something that a specific person wants to do? What do they give? They give what they want to give. So, how is that a true act of selflessness in any way?

You can choose to not only think about yourself. The problem is, most people don’t. Thus, what we are left with is a world full of selfish people, doing whatever they need to do to get over and get what they want. They take no personal responsibility for anything as long as they can keep the life focus on themselves.

It doesn’t have to be this way but it is this way. But remember, all change begins with you. You can be a better, less self-involved person. But, will you?

In the Presence of Your Enemy

For those of you who know me, or have been reading me, (or for those of you just reading this now), you know I have been an aquarium enthusiast for… Well, pretty much forever… I have long focused on the freshwater fish of the African variety. Particularly Cichlids have been my primary focus through the years. The problem with Cichlid is, however, they tend to be very aggressive. The aquarium community will be fine for a time and then one day one decides to get all bad ass and starts killing his (or her) tank mates. More recently, my focus has shifted to African Leaf Fish. Of the same variety as Cichlids but far less aggressive. Thus, no murder.

So, that’s all fine and good but then I added an Upside Down Catfish. A few months later, I added another. When they were small all was well with the world—their world. Now, they are like eight inches long and the one is a total bully over the other one. The smaller/newer one has to spend his (or her) life in hiding as the moment he (or she) reveals itself the other one goes on the attack. This has left me very perplexed as to what to do. And, it has been like this for a couple of years.

I actually bought the second one so the first one would have a friend. But, as many good intentions go, all it did was create havoc and chaos, especially for the life of the smaller fish.

I’ve had cats for the past three decades plus of my life. The first two I bought very close to the same time. They were kittens and they loved each other throughout their life. So much so that when one died many-many years later, the other one was so devastated she too die shorty there after. But, it hasn’t always been like that. In some cases, some of my cats really disliked each other. But, there they were, they were put together and forced to live in the same space. Living in constant conflict and most probably unhappiness about having to be in cohabitation with that other Persian Cat.

I never had much of a family—being an only child and all. In fact, I really had no family, so I can’t attest to exactly how this is. But, I have known some people who have brothers and sisters that they really hate. They really don’t get along. But, there they are, (at least when they are young), they have to live in the same small space. What does this cause? I guess, a lot of very negative emotions and probably some dastardly deeds.

I know sometimes when people work in a specific environment they are forced to interact with people they don’t really like. But, they need that pay check, so what can they do? They have to, at least, play nice or simply avoid that other person as much as possible.

Why does life have to be like this? I guess, for many it is not. Some can simply separate from those they do not like—they can walk away. But, in other circumstances, like the case of my Upside Down Catfish, they are cast to living a life defined by the distasteful attacking actions of that someone else that they have no way to run away from.

From a philosophic perspective, one could argue that it is simply your self-perception, your projected-definition, your desire for people to be the way you want them to be that causes you to like or dislike anyone in the first place. Sure! That may be true. But, there are a lot of people who simply do not care what you feel, why you feel, or what their doing does to your life. Thus, if you are forces to interact or even live with them what are you left with? A life defined by conflict: internally, psychologically, and possibly even physically.

I can say, as most anyone would, leave those situations if you can. But, like my fish and some of the cases of my cats in the past, sometimes there is just no way out. Then what?

The only answer is, understand your definitions.

All of your life is a projection of your interpretation of this moment and/or that person. If you love hell it becomes heaven.

I used to play this mental game with girls that I would meet when I was young. Maybe I liked them, maybe I didn’t, but I would turn this switch on, inside my brain, and I would decided to love them. I would actually allow My Self to feel that feeling of love. What I realized is that you can, if you choose to, actually turn that emotion of love on and off. Meaning, if you can turn that emotion on and off, you can turn any emotion on and off. Thus, even if you do not like the person you are forced to interact with, you can consciously choose to change the emotion you have towards them.

Now, this is not a technique for everybody. But, it is a technique that anyone can employee if they choose to.

You can decide how you feel about anyone. You do not have to let their actions and/or the who they are be the only defining factor in your love or your hate relationship.

So, next time you find yourself trapped with a person that you do not really like, instead of allowing that interaction to churn up all kinds of negative emotions in you, turn it around, take control, decide how you feel and make yourself feel the way you want to feel.

This may not ultimately change who a person is and what a person does but at least you will have the control over yourself to not let them be the only deciding factor for your life.


When you're young you think about all of the things you will accomplish.

When you're old you think about all of the things you haven't accomplished.

The Illusionary Self

The Illusionary Self… I could talk with you about his all day long. …About how what you think you are almost never is what you truly are and what you think about: who, what, when, where, and why is almost universally false. It is all just a self-projected illusion.

All this is one of the core foundations of Hinduism and Buddhism.

I could talk to you about this subject but I generally don’t because I want to bring people together. I hope to give them a new set of parameters on which they can rethink and rebuild a better Self. And, the fact of the matter is, most people do not care about this level of metaphysical mind stuff.

But, think about it, you and I live a completely different life in a completely different world. Even my friends who are out there reading this, though we may share similar interests, we are completely different people.

When you walk into a book store what section do you go to? That section may be very different from the section I would travel to. When you look out onto the cityscape, what do you see? What catches your eye? The things that you look for most probably are very different from what I look for. What catches my eye is most probably something you may never even see unless I point it out. We are each very different people and this is just one illustration of the illusion that people embrace each day of their life believing that they are different yet the same.

This is why I always caution people about attempting to understand or describe another individual. This is especially the case when they don’t personally know that person. At best, all you are doing is judging them. And, what is judgment? It is simply you attempting to place your own life understandings and life definitions onto that individual. But, how can you do that? You don’t them. You will never know. So, how can you pretend you understand them on any level?

Again, this is just another simply illustration of the illusion of life and how people fall prey to it.

Here’s the fact, most people don’t care about any of this. If they hear about it they will simply dismiss it. All this is something that they never even contemplate. All they think about is their life: what they think, what they want, what they feel, and what they must do on a daily basis. The mind of most people is constantly locked into a pattern of useless thought driven only by the life and the lifestyle they are living. They never attempt to rise themselves to any new level of understanding. They just think as they think as they think.

Again, the is another, more precise, illustration of how people fall prey to the Illusionary Self.

No one is better or worse than any other person in this world. Yes, there are people who do bad things: they hurt, they steal, and they lie. And, that’s just a few of the most obvious crimes of a bad person. But, how a person thinks does not make them a bad person. What a person thinks about does not make them a bad person. Higher and Lower Self are simply a byproduct of the judging mind which, again, is simply an illustration of the Illusionary Self.

So, here’s the question(s): How much do you think you know about life? How much do you think you know about you? How much do you think you know about me? How much do you think you know about anyone? What do you think about? Why do you think about it? And, perhaps more importantly, who controls your thoughts? Why do you believe what you believe?

When you look at life, what do you see? Do you see the projection of your own reality? Or, do you see through the illusion? Do you understand that life is nothing more that a process of you passing from birth to death based solely upon your desires and how you believe things to be?

If all you see is what you see, you do not see the illusion. If all you feel is what you feel, you do not take the time to understand your participation in the fact that what is occurring to your life and why it is occurring to your life is all due to your Life Projection. Your today occurs based on what you did yesterday. How you feel today is based upon what you have decided is good and what you have decided is bad. But, the fact of the fact is, all of this means nothing. It’s just you projecting your Illusionary Self into your mind and onto the reality of all those you encounter.

Try seeing the illusion. Try stepping back from what you think is right and real. Try understanding that not everything you believe is true and you may find a new understanding that causes you to step away from your Illusionary Self if even for a moment.

Try it if you feel like it. You never know what you may find.

It’s What You Do With What You Do

So, what do you do when you do it? And, why do you do it?

In life, we are each presented with life events. Some of these events are joyous and happy making, others are just the opposite. What do you do with them? And, why do you do it?

When good things and happiness comes your way, how do you react? What do you do with that gift?

When something negative happens to you, how do you react? What do you do with that circumstance?

If you look to the life of other people, if you study their reactions, the way they behave is how they behave. People change very little throughout their Life Time. For most, when good things happen they relish in that good. When bad things happen they lash out. But, is that the only way it can be—is that the only way you can be?

Think about a time when you received a gift that you really wanted. How did you react to that gift? Really think about it. How did that gift make you feel? What did it do for your life? Did possessing it bring you all that you believed it would bring to your life?

How about your reaction to the person who gave it to you? How did you react to them? What did you feel, what did you say, what did you do? Did you truly appreciate what they gave you or did you simply feel you deserved it?

Think about a time when you were expecting to receive something but you did not. You thought you would get that something but that did not come to pass. Maybe you were given something else—something that you considered lessor. How did you react to that gift? Really think about it. How did that gift make you feel? How did you react to that lessor gift? And, how did you react to the person who gave you that lessor gift?

Now, turn this around. Think about a time when you gave someone a gift that you believed they wanted. How did you feel giving it to them? What did that giving make you feel? How did you feel about the way they reacted to that gift? How did you feel about the way that reacted to you? Did you actually give them what they wanted? Or, did you give them something that they considered a lessor gift? How did that giving alter your relationship?

Really think these things though and chart this out. It will provide you with a lot of insight into you and human behavior in general.

There’s also the other side of this issue. Those times when you are deal a bad hand. Those times when something bad happens to you. Maybe it was the other person’s fault. Maybe it was your fault. Maybe the fault lies somewhere in between. How do you act when something bad happens? How do you treat the other person or persons involved? Do you ever take any time to chart your reaction before you unleash those reactions or do you just do what you do, say what you say, and believe you have the right to do just that? Do you intentionally set out to hurt that other person? Or, do you possess the humility to forgive and to turn the other cheek?

The reason all of these questions must be acutely pondered by you is that life is an interactive process. Life is you receiving and giving. Life is you reacting to life events both good and bad. If you do not possess a clear understanding of the YOU that is YOU, if you do not hold a clear knowledge of what you will do when you will do it, all your life becomes is a reactive nothing. If you simply behave by liking what you like, not liking what you don’t like, and behaving in a manner that is expressive of those very low level emotional outbursts, what does that make you? Answer: a person with no self control and no higher purpose.

We all receive gifts from time to time. Sometimes they are Some Thing other times they are far more abstract. We all encounter life events that we do not like. We all encounter people who do bad things and they are not very nice. But, all of your life ultimately boils down to what you do with what you do. In very life event you have the choice in how you will react. You can be the bigger, better, stronger, more actualized and enlightened individual or you can be the angered, hurtful, bully with no sense of greater purpose than fulfilling your own needs so you lash out.

Take some time, view your past life events. Chart out who and what you truly are and who and what you hope to be. Decide what you do with what you do. Ultimately, decided to be more than any momentary life event.

The Unknown

I have a couple of cats. One of my cats hurt herself. How she did that I have no idea. But, she did. The Vet put her in one of those cone things that animals wear around the neck protecting their head. She has to wear it for like a month. It is obviously freaking her out.

If you slip and fall and break your arm or something, the doctor is going to put you in a cast. Sure, you’re not going to like it and it may annoy you. But, it is going to be explained to you. You are going to understand it. For a cat, you can talk and talk to them, trying to explain, but they will not, they cannot understand. For them, all that is happening is some strange thing is wrapped around their neck and going out over their head and it is really messing with their life, their lifestyle, and all that is known. What is being lived is being it experienced but it based in the unknown. They do not know why it is happening.

In life, in your life, how many times have you encountered some unexpected, unexplained life experience and you question, “Why is this happening to me?” You know that it happened. You experienced it. But, it came out of nowhere and you don’t know why. All you are left with is dealing with the aftermath. What do you do then?

How Do You Pay Them Back?

I was just watching a presentation on BBC about how a large, beautiful, highly forested park has been put in and a large apartment structure has been constructed on the site where thousands of Jews were slaughter by the Nazis in the Ukraine. There are only a couple of people who survived that onslaught left alive. They were children at the time.

Nazis slaughtered Jews across Europe. Compared to the number that were left alive, only a small percentage survived.

For those of us with a conscience that style of behavior is disgusting. Yet, look at the Middle East today. Speak with many a Muslim, even those who live in the Western World, and they wish to erase Israel. Whenever I have interacted with and mentioned to the people I know of Muslim, Middle Eastern descent that I love Israel, a look of disgust comes over their face. Meaning, this style of genocidal behavior is not left to the past. It is very close at hand and could reoccur in a flash.

Look to what the Japanese did to Korea and the Koreans. Look to what the invading Europeans did to the Indigenous Americans. Look to the Slave Trade. Look to Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge. Look to the recent genocide in Syria. Look to the Russian and the Uyghur. Look to the kid on the street corner who is attacked by a gang. Unconscionable behavior has been a corner stone of human reality but that does not make it right. How do we pay these people back? Really, how do we pay these people back?

Many people dismiss this behavior. They say it was all in the past or it is the problem of some other country, somewhere else in the world. “I didn’t do it, so why should I care?” But, if you don’t care, you don’t care. If you don’t care, you can set nothing right.

I always believed that paying tributes to the slain does not change their reality nor does it change the reality of those who loved them. Just like when they give some person an award posthumously. Sure, that is great to remember their contribution. But, they are not here to appreciate it. So, what is the point? Why didn’t you give it to them when they were alive?

This being said, entire cultures have been attacked and there have been attempts to eliminate them. THIS IS WRONG! Every person is a human being. They may not be of your race, they may not be of your religion, they may not be the same color as your skin, but they are a person. You should never hate a person that you do not know simply because they are not of your racial or religious stock.

There is no really good answer as to how we can pay these people back. But, if we don’t try than nothing is accomplished. At the least, what you need to do is to reach out a hand of friendship and of help to those who have been injured—and I mean anyone. This does not have to be a grand scale of genocidal injury. It can be helping anyone person-to-person. But, more than that, you need to be the person who hurts no one. You need to be the person that causes no pain. Because if you are causing any person any pain you are no different that someone who participated in a large scale genocide.

The main thing we can do is help. Be pure in your mind and accept each person from each race, culture, and religion as a human being. Never judge them. Never judge anyone! Reach out as much as you can with that helping hand. Always make someone/anyone’s anything better than when you first met them.

The better world all starts with you. What are you going to do to help?


People always make excuses for god.

Looking to the Future Past and Other People’s Karma

I was having a joking little sit down over coffee with this sweet young thing of an actress/filmmaker friend of mine and we were discussing the past few years of life. Mostly, we were talking about pre-pandemic because now everybody’s everything got fucked especially in terms of creativity in the realms of things like filmmaking. Anyway, she made a few jokes about this blog and asked me why didn’t I just write an autobiography because so much of this blog is about the goings-on of my life. “That would take all of the fun out of the moment,” was my answer. But yeah, thinking about it, I guess someone could put together a fairly well researched biography of my life if they read all of the entries of this blog. …I think I’ve been writing it since 2011.

For anyone who writes a blog or does a vlog or writes novels or poetry or does whatever creative whatever they will understand that it is a very personal experience. How personal you make it is up to you but as it is an expression of a specific level of consciousness. But, the good news, (or the bad news), depending on how you want to look at it is, very few people take this blog back to its beginning. Yes, I know some of you have been reading it since it’s inception but for most, they pick it up here or there, maybe they read it for a day, a week, or maybe even month, it gives them some food for thought: they like it, they hate it, they think I’m right, they think I’m wrong, or whatever, and then they are gone. All good. Each person’s choice is each person’s choice. But, for those who actually care, this blog is all out there—all the entires are in book form. But, the mind of today seems to live only in the moment and the seeking out the What’s Free. Why buy or pay for anything if you don’t have to?

I was recently re-reading the final autobiography of Ram Dass, Being Ram Dass, that he composed shortly before he moved away from his physical life. It’s interesting… It’s interesting especial for those of us who know about his life; listened to him throughout the years and read his previous works. Ram Dass always told stories of his own life and his own life experiences. That was one of the things that drew me, (and many others), to him. That book tells many of the same stories that he had told before but it tells them from a slightly different perspective. It’s new but it’s also old. It’s kind of like when Marguerite Duras rewrote her seminal book, The Lover, and recomposed the story as the, The North China Lover. Both incredible books. The same but different.

Sometimes one needs to rethink a life story through the perspective of time. Sometimes one comes to new conclusions and new realizations about something that happened way back in the way back when. And, with that new understanding comes a new interpretation of life events.

It’s kind of like when people move on from relationships… Which was also something my friend and I were discussing. You know… I have known some people, mostly women, (but one man), who came from humble circumstances. They got into a relationship, it ended. But, what they came away with was an entirely new and better life and/or lifestyle. They got to keep a grand house. Something they could never have personally afforded. They got a lot of money and in some cases an ongoing supply of money. They got pushed into a new life which was so much better than the life they originally came from. They got handed a new lifestyle simply because they were in a relationship for a time, it ended, and they got to keep what they got; earned and paid for by the other member of that relationship’s money.

I wondered, as we were discussing, how many of those people actually give thanks to the person who gave them all of that? I would doubt that they do. When a relationship goes bad, they generally go very bad; and negativity is all that is felt. At least that is the words that are spoken by the people I know who have ended up on the other end of this equation. Yet, there that person is, living in a grand home, driving a nice car, being provided with a monthly allowance, simply because they could not keep their relationship together.

I don’t know??? Something just seems wrong in all of that. It seems like that person who ends up with Life-Betterment, based on leaving a relationship, while forever taking from that other person, is on the wrong side of karma.

It’s like all the people who get by taking. However they take is almost not even important. What is important is simply the fact that they do take. Think about life around you. Think about the people around you. How many people do you know who take something that was not given to them? Do you ever even question their actions? If you don’t, you should. How about you, do you do that? What is the karma for that?

Then, there is all of these people out there, like me, who work to survive. But, what do the takers give to me? What do they give to us?

And, I’m just using me as an example. Talking goes on all over the place, all the time. But, when someone is getting something they want, by whatever means they are getting it, they never seem to care about the karma of their taking. They never give their taking any thought.

This is why I always feel it is so important for people to say something—say something when you see something going wrong. When someone is doing, saying, or writing something negative; intercede, stop them, change the course of the conversation. Say or write something positive to countermand their actions. Make them realize that what they are doing, what they are saying is not right or righteous. Because silent is one of the most evil villains. Whether it is in Real Life, a conversation, on the internet, wherever… Meet that negativity with positivity. But again, people are willing to take but there are all of these excuses why they do not give. So, they do nothing.

The takers never like to hear that they are doing something wrong. They are getting what they want. Why should they care? But, they should be alerted to the fact that what they are doing is wrong. Who better to do that than you? Again, silent is one of the most evil villains. And, it lets people get away with a lot of bad doings.

I see the taking and the not giving all the time across the internet. If you don’t see it, you’re not looking. But again, most people don’t want to know. Most people don’t want to hear this. They just want to hear what they want to hear. They don’t want to think about the karma of their actions. They don’t want to think about what affect what they are doing is having on someone else.

I also have seen the giving. People give money to girls on the internet all the time; in all kinds of ways. Since the birth of the internet, it has been this way. Like I recently mentioned in this blog, men are based in this fantasy world and if they can hold a fantasy about a woman, if that woman provides them with something to fantasize about, then the wallet is open. But, that level of give and take is all based in illusion. And, all illusion leads to is eventual hurt.

The reason I bring all of this up is my friend, who as stated is young and I would say very pretty, gets all kinds of inappropriate stuff all the time sent her direction simply for the reason of taking. So much so that she has pulled back her internet presence. But again, it all goes to the taking and the not giving. It all goes to the creativity and artistry verses the unenlightened. It all goes to time: loving now and spanning back through the past. It all goes to caring about who you care about and what do you do for them? But, what do you give them? Do you only take what they have to give? Do you make excuses for your taking? Do you ever even contemplate the fact that you are taking? Or, do you care enough to give something in return?

Life is this complicated thing. It is completed because most people don’t want to open their eyes and their minds and understand the truth. Life is interaction. Life is give but it should not only be take. Life is caring. Life is caring enough to care about the person you interact with and/or get something/anything from. So, give before you take give. Give, especially if you take or you get.

As for this blog… I don’t charge a, “Member’s Only,” price to get into the secret realms of this website to read this blog like some people do. It’s available to the world. I don’t have ads running all over this website like some people do. I just find those so distracting. Does anyone ever even click on those ads? I don't have a Patreon account. I'm not trying to be an Influencer and advertise and sell you stuff you don't want or need. I don't try to get people to pay for my Zen Films on GoFundMe, Indiegogo, or any other crowd funding platform. But remember, this blog is not just this moment, all of the Scott Shaw Zen Blogs, throughout time and space, are out there. If you want to know what I knew then, if you want to know what I lived then—what I was thinking then and peer into all factors of my life and my history you can, just pick up a book.

Wow… That’s a lot of stuff on a several subjects but it all goes back to the basis of my friend and my conversation. To begin where I started, life is a projected interpretation of your experiences. My experiences are present here (and via the blog books) based on this HERE or the Now of Then. You can find out about my life and my life interpretations of life if you want to. Just like you can take if you want to—take but not give. But, if you take without giving what does that make you? Your life, your answer.


If you're rich you don't have to tell anyone you're rich.

If you're smart you don't have to tell anyone you're smart.

If you're beautiful you don't have to tell anyone you're beautiful.

If you're good you don't have to tell anyone you're good.

Because they would already know.


If you ponder the fact that more than likely this moment of your life is going to be entirely forgotten then what does this moment actually mean?


I have two clocks in my bedroom. The time on these clocks are both set via a satellite. When I initially set up the second clock I noticed that the time on it was four minutes different from the time on the other clock which caused me to question, “Which one is right and which one is wrong?” As time has moved along the difference in the time on these two clocks has continued to expand. Now, they are like ten minutes apart. This leads me question, “I wonder if time is actually shifting?”

The Subconscious Mind and the Projection of Your Reality

Ever since Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, G.I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, Pamahansa Yogananada, Aleister Crowley, Abraham Harold Maslow, Norman Vincent Peals, onto all the little known or unknown philosophers and psychologists who have tried to paint a picture that there is a different reality out there and in that reality one may capture and harness what they want through their mind, people have been taught to believe that via their mind they can find a pathway to life fulfillment via the process of thought. But, just what is thought? And, how does it affect who and what you become and what you may or may not possess?

Certainly, we all realize that if you think about negative things; if you think about hurtful things, if your mind focuses on taking and hurting then the process of your life is going to be defined by those thoughts. This is the same if you think about positive and helpful things. If you try to find a pathway of being focused only the positive and the good, you will (hopefully) encounter that reality. But, virtually all, or a least most of, the people who focus on teaching techniques of the mind becoming a pathway to living the reality that you want to live never detail the reality of the
other person. Meaning, not only is your life defined by what is on your mind but it is also defined by what is on the mind of that other person. Here is where many of the problem of life arise, especially in terms of Mind Science.

Even since the dawning of the New Age, there has been countless people who have spoken and written about how you can project your thoughts to get what you want. They teach that if you focus your mind you can what you desire. Sure, if you seek you will find. If you are focusing on, looking for, and developing a pathway to get that abstract something, you may well get it. But, that is a Thing. That is not a Life.

Many teacher also claim that you can project your desires onto other people, as well. They teach that if you focus your mind on someone you can get that someone to do what you want them to do. But, for anyone who has tried this technique, you quickly come to realize that unless the person you are focusing your attentions upon is of a like mind, and wants the same things as you, it just ain’t gonna happen.

But, more than that, why do you want that someone else to behave in the manner that you want them to behave in the first place? Why do you want them to do what you want them to do? On an even deeper level, what gives you the right to try to command them to do anything? Isn’t that a very selfish framework from which to operate your life?

This is where all of the problems with Mind Science begin and, in fact, are put into practice. All of this Mind Stuff is focused on the Self. It is focused on one person either trying to get what they want or getting someone else to do what they want. Certainly, the practice of psychoanalysis and psychology cannot be condemned when it is focused on helping to correct the hurt mind of an individual. But, the reality of the reality is, people do not only base these practices on helping. Many attempt to use these tools, via redevelopment, to make them a something that one person can use against another person or perhaps even better put as a tool to get what one person wants from that other person.

Ask yourself, what do you want? Do you ask yourself that question each time you encounter a new person? Do you ask that question each time you encounter a person you already know?

The entire process of, “Getting,” is based on your, “Wanting.” Because some people do not have what they want in their life—because they are not able to get it or achieve it by normal means, some seek out a pathway with promised techniques in order to obtain it. But, how selfish is that? You want what you want, you can’t get it by normal means, so you seek out some psychological or magical spell in order to obtain it?

What all this boils down to is the fact that people who base their life upon the obtainment of their desires set about on a course that
never takes the other person into consideration. They simply want what they want and seek out a method of its achievement. But, is that path ever defined by purity and or a god-conscience mindset? No. It is based in Self. And, only Self.

I could detail the fact that if you wish to follow a True Life Path then you should seek out a pathway that focuses on the immersive nothing of Life Reality via a school that does not focus solely on the Betterment of the Mind-Full YOU. A path that is not solely focused upon you getting what you want. But, how many people even care about that life and/or lifestyle? Look at all the people who claim spiritually out there. They too are full of Self and are on a pathway of getting what they want, even if what they want is supposedly based in some form of spirituality. But, is any pathway where one person comes to the forefront of getting what they want based on a pure and spiritual consciousness? Answer: No.

So, what does this leave us with? It leaves us with YOU. It leaves us with the YOU that interacts with the world. It leaves us with the YOU that wants what YOU want. It leaves us with what is the YOU who wants what YOU want and what YOU are willing to do to get it?

You can want. You can set about on a path of achievement focused on YOU. But, how much time do you spend thinking about how what YOU want is going to affect the life of someone/anyone else? If you don’t think about this, who are YOU? What are YOU? Are you a person following a pathway to the Greater Good of Life and Humanity or are YOU only a selfish, unthinking/uncaring YOU?

You can make this world a better place via your desires. But, following a pathway that is only forced on YOU and YOU getting what YOU want is never that pathway.

The Definition of Your Life and The Projection of Your Reality

Have you ever bought one of those pieces of furniture that you had to put together from a store like Ikea or something. Sometimes the pieces are so precise that you have to get them in the exact spot that they were intended or they will not fit together?

Think about your life; how well do your pieces fit together? How well do you fit into your life? For some, life is very simply, they find their placement, they fit into it, and they move through it with little concern. For others, it is just the opposite. They do not/cannot find a place to place themselves where they meet that perfect fit. But, why is this? Is fit based upon where you are supposed to be or is it based upon where you relinquish control and simply allow yourself to exist?

Think about your own life. Truly take a moment. How well do you fit into it? If you do fit well into your life, why is that? What is the reasoning for your fit? Is it the fact that you were dealt a good hand of cards, where you got what you wanted? Or, is it due to the fact that you simply accepted your reality?

What about if you feel that you are not well suited for the life you find yourself living? Why is that? What is missing from your life that would allow you to thrive?

If you look across the globe, if you look back through time, there were and are a good percentage of the world’s peoples, in fact most of the world’s population, who live defined by very meager circumstances. Are they living their Best Life?

From the perspective of those who live in the developed world, where opportunities are abundant, one may question, how could that be? But, isn’t all life defined by your perspective of that life? One person sees one thing the way they see it, while another individual views it from an entirely different perspective. Moreover, you only know what you know. If you don’t know, you can never know.

This brings us back to the question of Life Fit. If you feel that you are well fitted to your life, how much time do you spend contemplating, “Why?” Sure, for those who have found success, they may relish in the possessions they own or the position that they have. On the other side of the coin, for those who have not achieved what they desired, they may constantly think about what they want but they do not have. Yes, many make all kinds of plans in their mind about what they would do if they did have what they wanted, living the life that they wished they lived. Like many, you may even set a course for that life attainment. You may work hard to get it. You may even lie, cheat, steal, and hurt others to move towards that dream. But, do you ever stop to contemplate that Life Fit is based mostly upon an acceptance of your reality rather than simply the pursuit of that illusive something?

Some people are designed to fit into a specific mold. Yet, they desire to be that Some Thing Else so they spend their time pursing that whatever. But, if you look to those who do achieve—if you look closely, there are many who never truly fit into the role they have achieved. They have simply forced themselves into a Life Place and from this they live an existence defined by conflict, chaos, and the constant need to prove themselves; ultimately leading to a life with no Peace or Suchness.

Predominately due to the internet, this modern world allows a lot of people, from all parts of the globe and the global reality, to raise themselves to the eye-line of the all and the everybody. It has provided opportunities that never existed before; especially in terms of chasing that Thing, that Persona, that is Out There. All that is good. But, that does not change the fact of fitting into your Life Fit. Yes, it may give birth to a million more desires. It may even give birth to a million more temporary celebrities. But, it does not/it cannot change the essence of who a person truly is. Fame and/or success does not necessarily equal a True You.

Moreover, if you can’t achieve what you want to achieve doesn’t that mean that you shouldn’t have it? Doesn’t that mean that it is not the True You?

So, who are you? What are you? Where do you fit? You can have all of the desires that you want. If you want to allow your entire life to be controlled by ever-evolving new desires, that is your choice. If you wish to have all kinds of delusions of grandeur, that is your choice, as well. But, if you wish to find the true fit in your life, then you must come into contact with that true inner you. Because no matter what you achieve in a world where you do not truly fit, it will all equal nothing if you cannot live a life defined by an embraced well-being and the knowledge about and the experience of you living a life where you truly are who and what you are in the place where you truly fit.

What Do You Do After It Is Done?

Life is an interplay of thoughts leading to action leading to what those actions create in the world around you. Life is any interplay of what you think, leading to what you do, leading to how what you do impacts the life of other people. But, how much thought do you put into the what you do? How much time do you spend analyzing the possible reactions to your action and how it will impact the life of those people that may be affected? Do you ever spend any time thinking about any of this or do you just do guided by whatever inner motivation you feel you are guided by?

The fact of this life is, most people do not contemplate their reality and how their reality has the potential to affect the all and the everything. All they think about is what they think about and they give very little, if any, thought to anything else. How about you? How much time do you spend analyzing how the impact of what you do may impact the life of someone/anyone else? Do you just do or do you think about what you do?

There is a great ancient text that I often recommend people read called, Vicekachudamanai, The Crest Jewel of Discrimination, written by the Hindu Sage, Adi Shankaracharya. You can find it online. The reason I recommend this book is that, first of all, it was written in a time, a place, based upon a religion and a culture when the mindset of humanity was framed much differently. That alone makes it interesting. But, beyond that, if you can take the time to read between the lines, which is at the essence of all true understanding, you can gain a framework to make you question your reality, your motivations for action, which may allow you come to understand your life from a new and more refined point of view.

Okay… But, how many of you are willing to do that? I imagine that the people who read this blog are, yes, much more willing to choose to expand their mind and find a new and better framework from which to operate from. But, is that you? Is that the person standing next to you? Is that the person down the street? Is that other person on-line who is focused on the whatever else?

You see, in life we all do what we do, motivated by whatever we are motivate by. But, how many people do anything from a framework of true consciousness? How many people do anything without the hope for some return? And, this is where all of the problems in life arise, which brings us to the point of the piece, what do you do after it is done?

We all do what we do. Most do what they do based simply upon their desire for a desired outcome or they don’t really think it through at all. If you point this out to a person they will either justify their actions or make excuses for them. But, what does any of that equal? Answer: Unconscious selfishness. Yes, in any given moment, with any given action, what a person chooses to do may achieve the end result they desired but what about the anyone else, what about the anything else?

You see this all the time, people get an idea and based upon that idea they do what they do. But, they do what they do without any clear planning for the effects or the reactions. If they are satisfied with the results, all is well with their world. But, what about the person who is on the other end of their results? What about the people who are negatively affected? What about the world in general? If what one person does is only beneficial to them and/or those who like, love, or support them but it hurts someone/anyone else or something/anything else, then should that action have been performed? The answer is obvious but how many people ever take any of this into consideration?

So, let’s get down to it… How often do you contemplate the reaction(s) to your actions(s)? How much do you think about this before you do? How much do you even care? Do you only care when you don’t like what occurs to you due to what you have done? And/or do you ever even think about the feelings and/or the impact of what you have done to life of others; especially when the outcomes benefits you?

You see, most people live in an illusionary world. If nothing really big or bad happens to them, they think everything is okay. If something good happens to them, even better. The problem with this illusionary world is that there are other people in it; both the seen and the unseen. And, just because you do not see the negative reactions that you actions may have had on the life of someone else that does not make those actions any less impactful?

Do you ever think about any of this?

I think we have all been in those situations where someone has done something truly messed up that has hurt our life. Then, you feel. Then, you care. Then, you think about the impact of what someone else can do to your life.

Turn this around… You’ve done something really messed up to someone else… How much time did you spend undoing your doing? For most, the answer is very little if at all.

In many situations in life, you really need to take things to the personal level to truly understand the impact of action. For most, they can only understand when something is happening to them. This is not necessarily right, this is simply the way that it is. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You could be the one with discretion. You can be the one who analyses your actions. You could be the one who cares. You could be the one who cares enough about the feelings of that someone out there, that you do not and will never know, who may be impacted by what you are thinking about doing.

So, what are you going to do after it is done?

One Minute Later and a Kind Word is Always Better Than a Growl

If you think about the random/flash traumatic events that take place in your life, there is one thing that becomes very clear, if only you had left home one minute later then everything would have been different and you probably would not be living what you were forced to live. Those car accidents, if you had left home one minute later, you would not have been where you were and the two cars would not have collided. Those negative chance encounters with people, if you had left home one minute later, the two of you would never have crossed paths.

Of course, this goes towards positive events, as well. Had you not left when you left then that positive whatever would not have occurred. If you had left home one minute later then you would not have witnessed that beautiful butterfly, bumped into an old friend, watched some act of giving kindness of one person helping another, or met that special person who came into your life. But, you did leave when you left, and it did occur. So, negative or positive, much of your life comes to be defined by the moment that you choose to do anything and had you waited one minute more then that life event would not have occurred.

Much of, in fact the most of, my life was defined by this fact. And, I guess, this is where my understanding of this understanding first came into play.

As some of you know, I had a very serious motorcycle accident when I was twenty-one. It was a Sunday. I was actually in the process of moving from one apartment to another one in a nearby building but, as I tended to do, I got on my motorcycle and was headed to my mother’s apartment in Hollywood to have Sunday dinner. BAM a car didn’t see me, hit me, sent me flying through the air, fracturing my skull in numerous places, and broke, cut, tore, and messed up a whole lot of other areas of my body. They, the doctors, barely saved my life. But, I was never really the same. All this was all based upon when I left home. Had I left one minute later, the car would not have hit me. And, that was not the only time some car hit me on my motorcycle over the years. But, for sure, that was the most life changing.

This same, one minute later philosophy, came into play in my life last week. As I alluded to in this blog a few days ago, someone totaled my car. What happened is that I had come upon the first movie I had ever written. Yes, written… You know, Zen Filmmaking not using scripts and all… But, it was the first movie I wrote, directed, and acted in. I have not seen that film in over thirty years. So, I was heading over to a transfer house to move it to a formate that is viewable by today’s standards. If it’s any good I’ll put it up on YouTube. Anyway, there was this big traffic jam due to the fact that there was road construction up ahead. Like I say, you just can’t get anywhere in L.A. anymore. I was sitting there stuck. This junky old pickup truck decided to jump the traffic line. He goes down the wrong side of the street heading for the open median to pass up the line of stuck cars. But, in doing so, he clips my car. SMASH, you know that terrible sound of metal on metal. He doesn't stop. He drives on. Fuck Me!

It wasn’t that he hit me so hard but what happened was due to the angle of the impact, he literally ripped out my front wheel from its whatever. And, this being a front wheel drive car, it’s gone…

It’s sad, I really loved that car. Yeah, it’s like eleven years old. But, it was in really good shape and ran really well. It was very reliable. Except for the fact that it probably needed a good vacuuming, as I tend to eat an Everything Bagel from Starbucks several mornings of the week… But, other than that… But now, it’s gone. Sure, the insurance company will give me some money for it but, you know how it goes, it’s never enough to actually replace the car. Plus, I have to deal with all the dealing with—tying to find another car and all that. All based upon the fact, that had I just left home one minute later everything would have been different. The crash would not have happened. Maybe that guy would have hit someone else but it would not have been me.

So, there I was, standing in the sun, waiting for a AAA tow truck. Of course, AAA messed up the call and I had to wait for an hour longer than they promised. What else is new???

Anyway, while most of the people were giving me a scowl as my car sat there in the lane blocking traffic. There was nothing I could do people! The car wouldn’t move. But, this one guy, as he was passing by… He was one of those clean cut, nice guys. If I were to play in the world of stereotypes, I would call him, “A good Christian man.” Anyway, he rolls down his window and exclaims, “Are you okay? Is there anything I can do to help?” I told him what happened. “I’m so sorry to hear that. Are you sure I can’t help?” “Nope, just waiting for AAA. But, thanks!”

So, there’s the other side of all this… Yes, all things happen defined by where you place yourself in life—when you decided to walk out of the door, but then there is what happens in the after effect—what you do with what you can do.

You can meet your trials and your tribulations with anger and frustration or you can accept that it was all based upon what it was based upon. But, more than all that, when you see someone else’s something, defined by when they walked out the door, (one minute too soon or one minute too late), you can try to understand their dilemma and lend a smile and/or a helping hand. Truly, it really makes everyone ’s everything just a little bit better.

No matter what happens to you, bad or good, it all ultimately becomes defined by how you react to it. No matter what happens to the everyone else, whether you know them or not, it is all defined by how you react to them. You can get pissed that someone ran into the car, so the car and the person are standing there lost in the abyss, waiting for the AAA tow truck. Or, you can smile, offer a helping hand, and try to make their anything/everything just a little bit better.

Life is defined by the minute that you walked out of your door. Then comes your decision how to handle that experience. So, what are you going to do when you should have left one minute later?

You Can Only Control the Things You Can Control

How many things upset you in the Out There? How many things do you see on the news, online, or see or hear in real life that causes you to get that feeling of dissatisfaction running through your veins? We all have those things. For each of us those things are different. But, it is what you do, based upon those feelings, that will come to be the definition of your life.

The fact of the fact is, you can only control the things you can control. But, most people don’t realize this. Most people don’t understand this. They allow that negative emotion of intense dissatisfaction to take control over them. They allow those feelings to control their actions. Most never question why.

Think about something that upsets you or something that has recently upset you. Why did it upset you? Take a moment and really chart out the whole situation in your mind. What was it? Why was it? What happened? Who did what? Why did they do it? And, most importantly, how did it affect you?

Many people become upset at something that does not truly affect them. They see something or they hear something that is based in the Out There—something that truly has very little to do with them. Yet, they allow that SOME THING to take control over them. But, why?

If you truly analyze something that upsets you, particularly in the moment it is upsetting you, you may very well find that that SOME THING has very little to do with you. Yeah, you may not like it. Yeah, it may make you angry. Yeah, it may frustrate you. But, in actually, it does not actually affect your life. So, why let it control you?

Many people do many things based in their dissatisfaction in a SOME THING that has very little to do with them. But, the problem is, negativity only equals further negativity and negativity will only come to cause further negativity to come your direction.

Here’s the thing… We all feel what we feel. Certain things, certain actions, taken by others, touch that place in us where we just don’t like what they are doing. But, they are doing it. Why should you let their DOING take control over what you do? Because, if you allow them and their actions to take control over how you think, feel, and act then you have given them control over YOU. They become the controlling factor of YOU. Is that what you want? Do you want someone who does something that makes you angry to hold control over you?

People do all kinds of messed up things all the time. Some of them you witness and you do not like. But, if you wish to remain whole in yourself and maintain your control over yourself and not relinquish your control of YOU to them, then you just have to see what you see, hear what you hear, love it or hate it, but never let the actions of others take control over how you think, feel, or act because the fact of the fact is, no matter how much you allow the actions of someone else to control you, there will always be very little you can actually do to change anything and if you try to change it, your attempts may come back to hurt your own existence.

You can only control the things you can control.


How long does it take you to forgive?


How often do you say Nothing when you could say Something?

Selfless Service

In virtually all forms of advance spiritual practice it is taught that Selfless Service is one of the greatest goods. …That giving is always better than taking. But, what exactly is Selfless Service? Selfless Service is you giving/you helping even when it takes away from your own life.

Here is where a lot of the confusion of Selfless Service arises. Many doctors, nursers, ministers, or teachers will believe that what they do/what they have to give is Selfless Service. But, it is not. Sure, what they are doing may be considered a, “Higher Calling,” but what they are doing is something that they want to do. What they are doing is something that they gain ego gratification from. What they are doing is something that they are, most probably, being paid for. Thus, it is not Selfless Service.

Selfless Service comes from a mindset of surrender. It comes from helping someone or something who needs help even when it will cost you something very big to give that help. Selfless Service is you turning off any sense of reward or desire or any hope of any compensation, on any level, and helping—doing for that person or persons, (that whatever), simply because they need your help—they need you to do what you can do.

Think about it, with this as the definition, throughout your life, how many times have you truly preformed Selfless Service? How many times have you turned off the YOU and did what needed to be done to help that someone/something else; leaving behind all of your plans, no matter what it cost the what you thought was supposed to happen next? My guess is, you have done this very few times, if any, throughout your entire life.

The fact is, most people could care less about Selfless Service. They care about Self-full Service. They want what they want and if they go out of their way to help someone out they expect some sort of a reward—even if that reward is understood to be simply Good Karma coming their way.

Think about the times you have been helped in your life. It felt pretty good didn’t it; those times when someone unexpectedly came to your aid? Now, think about a time when someone helped you in your life and you were very thankful but then you found out they expected something in return. I imagine that changed your entire perception of the experience and that individual.

Think about the last time something unexpected occurred and you dropped everything, gave up all of your plans, and truly came to the aid of that someone/something else. How many times in your life can you say that truly happened? Very few, I would imagine. This is the thing about Selfless Service, few people practice it. Fewer yet are willing to practice it. Most people simply remove them “Less,” from,“Selfless,” leaving only, “Self.”

You cannot really plan to practice Selfless Service because when it is needed it will happen in an instant. What you can do is be willing to practice Selfless Service the moment it is needed. You can be willing to turn the YOU off and be willing to truly give.

Selfless Service is not easy. But, think about how much better the entire world would be if it were more frequently practiced.

A better world beings with you. What are you going to do next?


When someone asks you, "What do you do," how do you answer?

How you answer says a lot about who and what you truly are.

I Hate to Hear Children Cry

Whenever I hear a child crying it always makes me very sad. When a baby cries it is so much more primal. But, when a child is crying, they are actually crying about something. There is something that they need that they don’t have. There is something that they want that they believe they really need. There is always a something. Though their parents may not think that they need it or may not be willing to give it to them, when a child cries there is a reason.

If you think back to your young childhood, think about the times that you were truly driven to tears. If you do, you will understand that there was a reason for those tears. Maybe now, years upon years later, you may be able to rationalize why your need(s) were not met but that does not change the level of true pain that you felt back then.

For most of us, as a child, we are trained not to cry when our needs are not being met. Like when my father used to hit me over something I did that he deemed inappropriate and I started to cry, “If you cry I will give you something to cry about,” would always be his statement. I was trained not to cry.

Then, there is all of the male machoism that is placed upon men. They are not supposed to cry. So, culture itself keeps one from expressing emotion.

But, a chid, their tears comes from a very primordial space. It is so pure in its emotional expression. I don’t understand why parents do not answer their child’s need when they hear their child crying?

My neighbors have a couple of kids. You can tell that they are kids raised in the mindset of giving. They get what they want and need. I believe their parents are trying to provide them with a good life. Every now and then, however, I will hear one of those young children truly crying. It just makes me sad. Something must be very wrong in what is happening to them for them to cry with that intensity.

I have a nice and nephew… Well, I have a few, but there are two from one particular family-structure. They too are children that are being provided for. I don’t know that I have ever seen either one of them truly cry. They are being taken care of. How great of a childhood is that?

For many of us, at least those of us who had a less than ideal childhood, we can think back to the intensity of our tears. There were those times when what took place really hurt. And, though we may have been told not to cry or we shouldn’t be feeling the way we are feeling, that did not change the loss or the pain of what we were feeling. Those moments are what come to define our life.

When a child cries they are crying for a reason. If you’re going to choose to be a parent, it’s really important to give a child a life where they don’t need to cry. If a child is crying, you really need to find a way to take those tears away.

Saga of Guns of El Chupacabra and the Art of Zen Filmmaking

I came upon this ancient screen pull I grabbed from the website of Donald G. Jackson many years ago where he posted this article I wrote. You may find it interesting.

Below is an article written by Scott Shaw concerning his experience working with me making a 16/35mm Motion Picture shot entirely without a screenplay, a technique of "spontaneous creation."

"Guns of El Chupacabra"
the Art of Zen Film Making

This article appeared in issue #32 of Draculina Magazine.

by Scott Shaw Ph.D.
DATELINE FEBRUARY 1997: Don Jackson calls me up, he had been on-line and found that the Chupacabra was one of the hottest topics on the web.

The Chupacabra is the Latin equivalent to the Big Foot of North America, Yeti (Abdominal Snowman) of the Himalayas, or the Lockness Monster of Scotland; in other words, a mythical creature which wreaks havoc and basically kicks butt. The word Chupacabra literally translated from Spanish means, Goat Sucker. The legend of the Chupacabra first arose in Puerto Rico and then spread throughout the Latin American countries about this creature which would suck the blood from farm animals, leaving their rotting corpses in the fields. Hell, even the X-Files did an episode on the subject.

Jackson and I met that evening at Golden Apple, a comic book store on Melrose Avenue in L.A., and the stage was set for us to go full throttle into the project.
PRE-PRODUCTION: Giving into the fact that the previous summer Don and I had gone through Hell attempting to cast suitable talent for a few feature films we made, we decided not to go through all of that again and, instead, bring only film-family members into this project, people we could trust and rely on. From this, we would be allowed to keep all of our energy locked into this project and not let it get dispersed by all of the problems associated with the wanta-be actors and actresses of Hollywood who just do not have a clue: "I can't be in a movie today because I have an acting class to go to." "I have to leave the set because I have an audition." "You'll have to talk to my agent." "I can't be in a movie that doesn't have a script." Etc. and so on...

Our initial central cast was composed of CONRAD BROOKS (the last remaining Ed Wood confident), ROBERT Z'DAR (Maniac Cop), JULIE LUNAR STROM (a girl which our friend ERIC BRUMMER introduced us to when we were making GHOST TAXI), JOE HAGGERTY, JEFFREY HUTCHINSON, SAM MANN, and myself.

The concept for the film was to make a movie within a movie, within a movie. There is a documentary film crew out interviewing people and collecting news footage on the remains left by the Chupacabra, government agents hunting it down, and then there is my character, JACK B. QUICK - SPACE SHERIFF, who is fighting the various foes who released the Chupacabra. As the plot unfolds, it is detailed that the origin of the Chupacabra is unclear, it could be a mutated earthly creature, a genetic experiment gone bad, or even an alien. What it actually turns out to be will be revealed at the first theatrical screening.
DAY ONE: The first shot of the movie was staged at Vasquez Rocks. We had Conrad looking for his lost dog, Whitney. Immediately, he was killed by the Chupacabra.

The great thing about allowing the spontaneous Zen energy to guide us to initially shooting at Vasquez Rocks that day was there was a major film crew at the same location, thus, the Park Rangers did not kick us out for not possessing a filming permit, obviously assuming we were second unit. In addition, seeing our opportunity, we took some production stills by the lighting trucks and lines of anvil cases which we could send to our investor and let him see where all of his money was going. Conrad, on the other hand, chose to go up and grab a bite at the production's craft service table.
Make all unpredicted situations work to your advantage.
LOCATION TWO: We go to the Mizrahi Movie Ranch in close proximity to Vasquez Rocks. BOB MIZRAHI lives in this great old house up in a canyon about an hour outside of L.A., which used to be inhabited by HOYT AXTON. On the property, for some unexplained reason, there are numerous old deserted bulldozers, trailers, cars, and various other metallic objects. A great set for filming.
Don't waste time, money, and energy attempting to create your sets when you don't have to. Instead, travel to them and allow their natural aesthetics to become a part of your film.
On the ranch we filmed Z-MAN LORD INVADER'S (Z'Dar) capture of the news reporter (Strom) who had been documenting the Chupacabra attacks and JACK B. QUICK - SPACE SHERIFF'S (Shaw) encountering with Z-MAN, ultimately leading to the chase by the TEXON FIVE, who my character eventually disposed of.

From the inception of this film it was Don and my concept to make it a shoot 'em up movie, reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah's THE WILD BUNCH. The style of the feature would mirror the intent, though not the content, of the 1971 film ZACHARIAH. That film was billed as the first Electric Western, our would be the first Zen Space Western. Thus, there was going to be a lot of gun play.

One of the interesting paradoxes of the California film industry is, anyone who is twenty-one years old can go in and by bullets with no questions asked, but you can only buy blanks if you have a permit. As our production team possessed no permits, we bought real bullets. Thus, all the semi automatic pistols, AR 15's, AK 47's, and shotguns which are used in this film are loaded with live rounds. Hey, blanks mess up the barrels of guns anyway...

Our filming continued forward and followed the path of spontaneous creation, "Scripts are for sissies," up until the American Film Market.
THE 1997 AMERICAN FILM MARKET: For AFM we created a poster in direct reference to EL MARIACHI and edited a six minute work-print trailer for the film, then titled, EL CHUPACABRA.

At AFM the two films Don and I had created the previous year, TOAD WARRIOR (Hell Comes to Frogtown III) and SHOTGUN BLVD. sold very well; virtually all of Asia, South America, and much of Europe purchased these films. This international interest was in direct contrast to the reviews many U.S. magazines gave these movies, not understanding that they were created as a visually moving comic book and should not be compared to much higher budget films.

From the moment the market open, EL CHUPACABRA was such a hit that virtually every territory desired to buy it solely on the trailer alone. This made Don and I realize that we really had something and we should pull it back until we had completed the film and could take it theatrical, at least on a limited level.
SHOOTING CONTINUES: At the end of AFM we decided to have DAVID HEAVENER (Twisted Justice, Fugitive X) do a cameo in the film. He had done a cameo in Don's KILL KILL OVERKILL and was a long time friend. Though a lot of bad things have been spoken and printed about HEAVENER in the film industry, his previous over the top type of performances were perfect for this film. We plugged him in as a cohort of JACK B. QUICK. In addition, we met and added a needed Latino actor named, HERVEY ESTRADA. He played the masked Mexican wrestler, THE SANTIAGO KID.

Over the next few months we shot predominately on weekends to accommodate people's schedules, creating the storyline as we proceeded. We used the O.J. civil trail, with all of its news crews as a backdrop, we had fight scenes with actors in full monster make-up at the Los Angles Union Station. We had them run up and down the long futuristic halls and escalators of the Metro Link where TOTAL RECALL was filmed, we even did a scene in the highly secured lobby and elevators of the Bonaventure Hotel where TRUE LIES filmed. When, and if, the police ever showed up, we would simply tell them that we were filming a birthday video. We even had our reporter (Strom) abducted at the Cinco De Mayo festivities at Olivera Street.

Just do it. 99% of the time you can get away with it. If the police stop you, never tell them you are making a movie, because no matter how small your crew is, they will assume you have money and can fine you.
SEPTEMBER 1997: GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA was the new title. We edited the film. It was all we had expected with the continual gun play, martial art fights, and comic book storyline. There was, however, something missing.

When we had began the film we were going for the PG crowd, no nudity and only stylized violence. When the first edit was complete, we realized that this film had become much more than we had realized it would be. It was so artistic, in fact, that we knew we had to take it to the next and final level. We decided to shoot some more footage.

Never let your storyline dominate your artistic vision. Too many would be filmmakers attempt to write what they believe is a "Good" script and then try to film it. Without an unlimited budget it is virtually impossible to get what is on the page upon the stage.


JULIE STRAIN: Out of the blue, JULIE STRAIN called Don. She had done a few movies with him earlier in her career, QUEEN OF LOST ISLAND and BIG SISTER 2000 and was just phoning to say, "Hi." We asked, "Would you like to be in THE GUNS OF EL CHUPACABRA?" "Sure, can my husband KEVIN (EASTMAN) be in it too?." "Of course."
Friends are good, especially if their husband is the creator of THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and Editor/Publisher of Heavy Metal Magazine.
Julie and Kevin showed up at our castle/warehouse stage. With them came the nationally syndicated television show STRANGE UNIVERSE, who not only interviewed them, but Don and myself, as well. Great publicity for the film.

Julie played the role of QUEEN B and Kevin was KING ALLMEDIA. Julie and Kevin are really good people. Kevin is the nicest multi millionaire you will ever want to meet. He sat in his full metal armor costume, under the lights, the whole time we did his scenes where Julie and him send out my character on the mission to save the Earth from the Chupacabra and then knight me the REVERENT DOCTOR SAINT FRANCIS BLADE upon my return. He even did his whole STRANGE UNIVERSE interview in his costume. There is only the best things to say about both of them.
RAP: Shooting completed. Well, that's a rap. The film is now in its final stages of Post. It will be initially screened at the DGA (Director's Guild of America) here in L.A. and then onto the world market at the 1998 AFM.
Zen Film Making is a spontaneous process. Just as the Zen understanding of enlightenment teaching that though you may meditate for years it is not until the moment when you step beyond your thinking mind and realize that you are already enlightened that you achieve Satori. Thus, if you acutely plan your productions, with screenplays, storyboards, and locations, there is no room for the instantaneousness of film making enlightenment to occur and you will always be lost between the way your mind desired the scene to be and the way it actually turns out.

In Zen Film Making nothing is desired and, thus, all outcomes are perfect.

Zen Film Making teaches the concept of the Anti-Story. The stories have all been told. As such, attempting to retell them is a waste of everyone's time. This is especially the case of low budget, independent film making. Why try to retell a story and compete with a production which had a million times your budget? Create your own instantaneous art and it will be what it is. Fuck the story! Who cares?

If you believe that you are going to be the next Scorsese and what ever project you are working on is going to launch you to that level, you will be continually be disappointed. As the Buddha said, "The cause of suffering is desire." Just allow your film to be what it is, pure and artistic in its own right.

Art is art and that is how it should be viewed. If you imitate, you are compared. If you create, some people may not like it, but they will have an emotion about it and this is the essence of art.

In Zen Film Making, embracing the spontaneous storyline does not mean that you let your actors improvise their dialogue. If you do this they will talk about so many things that have nothing to do with anything, that any concept you have for the film will be lost in meaningless dribbling dialogue.

The problem with most actors is that they believe acting is solely related to talking. It is not! To this end, you need to control the patterns of dialogue, if you choose to use any at all. Thus, Zen Film Making teaches that you create and feed actors their lines just prior to shooting the scene.

In Zen Film Making one action or situation will mystically lead you onto the next and the next. Get your elements in place at the location: which cast members are there, what props you have, and the present energy will direct you into what type of scene you will shoot. Let spontaneous creativity flow.

Zen Film Making allows you to be you. Your vision, your understanding, your creation. This is where art is born, and enlightenment given birth to.

Copyright 1997 All Rights Reserved

The Placement of Your Priorities

In life, what do you commonly think about? For most, they think about what they are feeling in a particular moment, what they want, what they think about someone or something else, how can they get what or who they want, or maybe just a whole lot of random nothing. In life, the thought process is commonly pretty normal; you think the way you think and that is what you think about. Then, something unexpected happens. Maybe you get sick. Maybe you get in a car accident. Maybe you slip and hurt yourself. Maybe someone does some big something that really hurts you or makes you very angry. Whatever it is, something big happens and then all your thoughts are forced to think about that.

Think about it… Think about a time when everything you think changed all of sudden and your thoughts were forced to be thinking about something that you probably didn’t want to be thinking about. We’ve all had those moments. What did you do when yours occurred?

Now, think about someone else’s something—something when they were forced to think about something. Me, right now, I think about (I remember) this one girl who had gotten into a car accident. That always sucks. You are forced to deal with all of that stuff that you really don’t want to deal with. Your thoughts and your emotions are forced to focus on a place that your mind would rather not be. Wouldn’t you rather be thinking about that stuff you normally think about?

Anyway, the girl because she was a girl, and having somewhat of an internet presence, she put it out there that someone had smashed into her car, totaling it, so she needed a new car. She offered to do things like send people signed photos if they sent her some money. I sent her some money. Happy to do it. …Nothing wrong with that. It was kind of like barter; I give you something for something you give me. For her, she may have known that her being who she was, she could gain some sort of… …I’ll use the word sympathy for a lack of a better term. So, she got money. And, that’s great.

Her thought process was she needs something—money to buy a new car. She reached out to the world and the world responded. But, why?

For example, if someone ran into and totaled my car, (which actually recently happened), and I needed money, I seriously doubt if I put it out there to the world anyone would respond. How about you? If you put it out there, who, if anyone, would respond? The last time you were forced into thinking about Something Big in your life who else cared?

You see, there’s this whole weird play of consciousness that people fall prey to and never truly analyze. Girls, particularly internet girls, have this vast advantage because they are locked into the realms of fantasy. …Something that dominates the minds of most males. These men, (or sometimes women), see a passageway to some sort of undefined something with that seemly knowable person in the realms of cyberspace. But, no matter the reason their focus is drawn to a particular individual, it gives them something (more than the nothing) to think about. If they can help that person, even better. Then, they have a purpose.

But, think about this, we are all drawn to what and to whom we are drawn to, but why are we drawn to them? When you are drawn to a particular person, do you ever truly analyze the reason for your attraction—particularly in the case of someone you will most probably never meet in person and if you do it will only be on the most superficial of levels? Probably not. Why? Because the fantasy is the fantasy and in fantasy all realms of possibly are possible. It give you something to think about.

So, think about this… How much of your thoughts are based upon what is not cast to true reality? How much of your thoughts are based upon the possibilities only seen in your own mind? How much of what you do is based upon your thinking about the abstract compared to how much of what you think about is based upon hardened reality?

Again, this brings us back to the point, when something intense occurs that is what you think about. You are forced to think about it. But, most of life is not like that; though some people do seek out that intensity because then it provides them with a reason to truly feel. But, that’s a wholly separate subject…

All that being whatever, your life is your life and your life is defined by what you think and why you think it. So, what do you think and why do you think it? Do you ever take the time to truly analyze this process within yourself. Most people don’t. In fact, at best, most people lie to themselves about what they think and why they think it. But, if you do not know why you think what you think (even in moments of intensity) you cannot get down to the essence of who you truly are and why you are where you are in life.

Think about it…


You can't stay in the same place forever because if you stay in the same place forever you stay in the same place forever.

Talent in the Context of History

You know how every now and then you’re driving along and a set of really good songs comes on the radio. That happened to me this AM. First was Ed Sheeran, Bad Habits, then Harry Styles, Golden, then Machine Gun Kelly, My Ex’s Best Friend, and finally, Jonas Brothers and Marshmallow, Leave Before You Love Me. It got me to thinking about the new season of American Horror Story, “Double Feature.” What’s going on is that it revolves around this black pill that if people with talent take it they get super successful and if you just think you have talent and take it you loose all your hair and turn into this blood sucking vampire-style creatures. My lady jokes with me and tells me if I took it I would go bald and suck blood. Maybe she’s right… Happy

But fame, fortune, and success is this illusive master. Like I have long said, some of the best guitar players I have known never became successful. …And, I knew and was friends with some of the most well-known players, particularly of the 1980s. Just like in acting and filmmaking, it always seems to be more defined by luck than talent.

I was in Venice over the weekend and there is this one guy, (an old-guy), who sings pop songs on the boardwalk. A few months ago, when the homeless problem on the boardwalk had gotten totally out of control, before the sheriffs stepped in, there was this news footage of one of the homeless men just beating the crap out of that old guy. Now, I’m not saying what this guy sings is necessarily bad, (to each their own), but I can imagine if someone had to listen to it on and on and on—like if someone had their tent set up right by where he sings, it may get a bit nerve-racking. My lady made the comment as we walked past the singing minstrel, he would totally turn into a vampire if he took the pill.

For some reason, all this set me thinking back in time—at least back in time for me. …You know, how one thought leads you to the next and the next and the next. I thought of this one guy that I had not thought of in years. He had this magnificent voice. It was pure opera. I met him through the Sufi Order and whenever we would sing or chant his voice just rose above all of the rest. Pure talent!

Now, this all goes to and can only be defined by the context of history. Back then, for those of us who walked the spiritual path, (and a lot of others), we all, (both men and women), let our hair grow, we didn’t shave; all attempting to live a more natural/purer lifestyle. The guy, probably a decade or so older than, (I was only sixteen or maybe seventeen), had one of those grand beards and he just fit the part of what you would imagine of that era in time with long hair and a long beard.

There was this girl that came around what were then titled, the Sufi Dances. Beautiful young jewish girl dressed as the era and the lifestyle dictated in long skirts, Birkenstocks, and the like. I had eyes for her and so did my friend. She was a couple of years old than I and she gave into the advances of that guy. I understood… He was totally in love with her.

His voice got him noticed by the Sufi Choir, which was group of Sufis located on the East Coast that sang, recorded, and did performances based upon a modern interpretation of the spiritual tradition of Sufism. Though formed in San Francisco in 1969 under the tillage of Murshid Sam, they were by this point situated on the East Coast. Thus, he had to leave L.A. if he wanted to follow his dream. He invited the girl to go along but she refused. He left broken hearted.

Now, I could go into the story (stories) of how the girl then shifted her attentions to me. But, that has never been who I am. I hold friendships dear to my heart and I don’t step over the line. But, that’s a whole other issue. Eventually, the girl moved away from the order. As for the guy, the Sufi Choir disbanded a few years later—the times they were a-changing…

This brings me to the point—the entire question of true talent and what does it actually mean? The example was that guy; incredible singer. He sang but his songs were forgotten. The Sufi Choir disbanded. Plus, he lost the girl he loved based on his pursue of his talent. Just like all the great guitar players I have known who played their music to no one else’s ears but their own. Was their talent any the less? But, what did it equal if no one else heard it?

So, what is talent? Is it only defined by someone who becomes successful based upon what they do? Or, is it something much deeper than all of that?

We all love to hear the music we love to hear. That great song comes on the radio and we turn it up. Somehow, someway the music of those people who are played on the radio got to embrace their talent, for however long their fame is appreciated. But, is that the only definition of talent? Fame? I don’t know, maybe it is. You have to answer that for yourself.

As for me, I have known so many people that I have considered truly talented but most never rose to the public eye. On the other side of the isle, I have witnessed a lot of others who did become truly famous but it was/is hard to define their talent. Again, what does this tell us? What does this leave us with? I don’t know? If there was such a pill, as described on America Horror Story, Double Feature, would you take it? Would you be willing to take that test as to whether or not you have, “True Talent?”

Me, a commercial came on the radio, so instead of waiting to see what would come up next, I clicked over to my phone and called up the band, Khruangbin via on demand. …Thought I’d listen to a band I consider very talented that are a bit more esoteric.

Talent it is a complicated question…


There are many people who breed puppies and kittens to offer them for sale. Do you ever think about the fact that the mother of these puppies and kittens must truly miss their offspring when they are taken away from them?

The Dynamics of Confrontation Leading to the No-Win Scenario

Certainly, in the urban centers around the United States, and across the globe, there are way too many people living in way too small of a space. There are far too many rats in a cage for it to be a healthy environment. Yet, the urban centers continue to populate as the societies where these urban centers are housed find new ways to enclose more and more inhabitants into a too small of a space. It’s really not a good thing. Too many people means too many people’s overlapping problems leading to too many confrontations where no one is any longer allowed to emerge victorious. But, the bigger question is, (or at east should be), should there be a need a for a winner or a loser in the first place?

I was driving to have breakfast the other day. Within just a mile or so I had two situations where a confrontation could have easily followed. I was driving, in front of me was this white Cadillac SUV going very slow in the fast lane, apparently not aware or not caring about the anyone else. What else is new? He (or she) was driving in the fast lane. All of sudden they decide they want to turn right at the next street which was rapidly approaching. Across the lanes they attempt to go with no thought for anyone else. I guess this pissed off the driver of the car in front of me, also an SUV, who decided they wanted to get in their way to stop the progress of the Cadillac. But, to do this, they don’t look, they totally cut me off, almost causing an accident. I honk. I think, “Fucking asshole,” but I move along towards my breakfast.

Just a few moments later, I am again driving towards my destination, when this car, driving parallel to me, in the next lane, decides to change lanes and starts to swerve into my lane. Had I not been aware and, luckily, as there was no car in the lane next to me, I swerve out of the way. Had I not they would have totally sideswiped me. I honk, yell a few choice words at them, and move along. They, I guess become afraid, or whatever, slowed way down and hung way back. It wasn’t like I was going to take it any further. What would be the point? But, a lot of people would have taken it a lot farther. You see it on the news all the time, road rage leading to people getting shot.

In some states, here in the U.S. it is legal to carry guns. I guess, in those states a lot of people do carry a gun. But, why? Why are you so insecure that you need to carry a gun? I’m sure most would answer, “As a means of my personal protection.” But, if you have gun, you can use a gun, and someone can easily die; based upon some small thing like a traffic incident.

Here in California, where carrying a gun is not legal, some people also carry guns. But, look at what that one guy did several months ago on the freeway. A woman flipped him off, he got pissed off, shot at her car, and killed her baby. No gun, no death.

People are out of control. Too many rats in a cage.

If you look to this situation that took place a few days ago, here in the L.A. area, you can witness the rage in people eyes? But, rage over what; to what end and for what ultimate purpose?

So… There is currently a re-call election going on here in California against the governor. The frontrunner Republican candidate was in Venice, doing what candidates do. This man is of African-American heritage. First what happened is that a woman on bicycle, wearing a gorilla mask, threw an egg at him. Personally, I found the symbolism in that very offensive. She missed and his security guards stepped in to protect the candidate. Right away steps up this white man with a shaved head, getting all in the face of this one security guard. You can tell he is one of those guys who has learned that if he gets all bold and scary and yells, he will may win a bout without ever fighting.

Plus, remember people, we are still in a pandemic; screaming in someone face can be a death sentence because I would highly doubt someone like that guy is vaccinated.

Anyway, the security guard pays little mind, but when he turns around the guy sucker punches him in the back of the head. It was a wild punch and did little, if any, damage. The security guard moved along.

Even more than that, I question why there was no police on the scene. They had to know this candidate was going to be there. And, Venice has long been noted for its violence and unruliness.

But, there are so many levels to this and the reason why the dynamics of confrontation leads to nothing good. What if that guy’s sucker punch would have hurt or even knocked out the security guard and the attacker would have been arrested? He would have claimed all kinds of justifiable reasons for why he did what he did. But, all that he actually did was unleash violence proving that he was an out of control individual.

If, on the other hand, the security guard would have turned around and counterpunched the guy, possibly hurting and defeating him, then what? The guy would have played the victim card; sued the security guard and the political campaign. Meaning, you can’t win, lose, or draw as all confrontations lead to a no-win scenario.

If you win, you have won—maybe you have defeated your opponent but then what is left? Hurt, anger, karma, all being directed at you; for which, you will someday pay the price. What if you lose? You are cast to a situation where you look for a rematch. In this world of today that usually means the legal system and suing someone. But, what if there was no confrontation at all? Wouldn’t everything just be better? No one would be hurt. No damage would be done.

As I was driving home after breakfast, this young Latino male, in his customized car, decided to stop in the left turn only lane next to be. I’m guessing he was pretty high. He sticks his blunt out the window and is trying to clear off the ashes. He does this while all the cars behind him are lining up and beginning to honk as he is holding up their progress. They are getting angry. He is high and doesn’t care. He looks at me, as I am right next to him. I look at him. And, just like most things life, it means nothing. He eventually drives on. There was no fights. And, everyone’s life is allowed to move along until the next confrontation can be found.

In life, you can get mad if you want to get mad. If you want to get angry there is always something for you to be mad at. But, what does that make you? Answer: a person who is motivated and guided by the actions of someone else. It makes you someone who is not only controlled by the actions of others but one who has allowed the doings of others to guide what you do. Is that who you want to be? Are you your own person or are you someone who is so out of control of your Self that you look to the actions of others to guide you towards what you will feel and what you will do?

As in all things life, it’s all your choice. But, one choice leads you towards darkness whereas the other choice leads you towards the light.

Bow Down to Me

It seems that recently I've been writing a lot about the martial arts and the various aspects; both mental and physical that come into play with its practice. I guess I need to begin this piece by stating, I have been formally involved with the martial for longer than most practitioners have been alive. Well over fifty years by this stage of my life. In fact, closer to sixty. As these years have passed on, many of my contemporaries have passed on. There are still a few practitioners I know, who are alive and who have been doing the marital arts for longer than I, but as each year passes by, their numbers get fewer and fewer. And, as I have so often said, most of the truly great practitioners I have known, their memory has been lost to the world forever. They were simple practitioners or instructors who practiced and/or operated their school in relative obscurity. But, think how many of their students learned life-long lessons from them that they practice to this day.

I guess this brings us to the point of this piece; as I have been involved with the martial arts for so long, I have encountered so many practitioners, from so many styles, that I have been allowed to not only see the trends in the evolving martial arts but witness or even fall prey to some of the obvious shortcomings.

Some would say that the martial arts are based in physical warfare and from this, this gives birth to the warrior mindset and, as such, some practitioners bring this to all levels of their life. Maybe… But, the modern martial arts are not the formalized military. The modern martial arts are not defined by a regiment. There are not platoons. There are not soldiers sent to fight a specific battle guided by their superior officers. If you learn how to use a samurai sword in the martial arts, most probably you are not training to go and kill an enemy combatant. And, if you do, you are probably going to jail.

Again, the martial arts are not the military. There is no formal rank structure based upon the singular component of protecting one’s country and the interests of that county across the globe. What there is are people, schools, and organizations that are set up to embellish a specific style and/or a specific teacher. From this—from the undefined and undisciplined mindset of many modern advanced practitioners, there has become this sense of a, “Bow down to me,” mentality. Practitioners work to gain rank. Practitioners train to win combat scenarios in the ring. Some work to become prominent organizational leaders. But, how many of them work on truly finding the pathway towards a higher self and humility?

Like I have long said, if you live your life based upon competition, just like in the movies based on the Old West, you may win a bout or two but you will always eventually encounter the gun fighter who is faster than you. But, what if you were not competing, who would gun you down?

As I have been involved in the martial arts for so many years, I constantly physically train and I am forever revising my mental understanding of practices, techniques, and situations in my mind. I imagine that is the case of most long-standing martial artists. But, where/why does ego come into play in any of this? The only reason ego is allowed to enter this process, at all, is due to the fact that someone wants to be seen as something more—someone wants to be something more than you.

When one begins training in the martial arts it is not uncommon that the student develops a sense of admiration for their instructor and what they can do that the student can not yet do. That’s natural. As one’s maturity in the martial arts continues to evolve, they come to appreciate those with truly good techniques. That too is natural. But, where is the necessity for ego in any of this? Why does criticism and the, “I am more than you,” mentality come into play? Why does the, “Bow down to me,” ideology come to be actualized? Answer: It is just ego.

In what ancient manuscript is it written that ego should be one of the primary components of the martial arts? In what ago-old text is it written that one should bow down to anyone who is a self-proclaimed whatever who has found some way to gain some rank from some organization that did not exist a decade or a century ago? Where is it written that a person’s personal desire to be seen as a something, “More,” should become integrated into the true truth and understanding of the martial arts? Yet, this is what is going on all of the time. I say that the people who are following this path are missing the true point of the martial arts.

Think about it, if there was no rank in the martial arts then the only reason anyone would have a reason to practice would be for the betterment of their body and their mind. Practice would never be based upon ego. No one could ever expect to be respected simply because of their rank. With this, the martial arts could return to embracing their true essence and purpose.

Training to become, “Better,” (in anything), is one of the primary components in the evolution of anyone’s life. But, there are very few professions, like the martial arts, where one is allow to command people to, “Bow down to me,” and get away with it.

As I have said so many times in so many places, the best martial arts I have known are the one’s who are humble and silent. They teach courtesy and they teach respect in association with the physical and the mental techniques that are the cornerstone of the martial arts. They don’t attack other practitioners. They don’t claim to be better or more advanced than any other practitioner. They don’t broadcast their accomplishment to the world. They simply live a simple life, teaching their chosen vocation. For isn’t that the ultimate expression of a good and whole life? Isn’t that the definition of a good and whole person? Isn’t that the definition of a true martial artist?

Just think if all of the ego and condemnation was erased from the martial arts… Wouldn’t everybody’s everything become just a little bit better?

The martial art should be a pathway to physical and mental realization. It should not be a pathway to self-fulfilling ego stimulation.

Life is all based upon what path you choose and what you do with what is available to you. If you choose the martial arts as one of your primary pathway to the betterment of your life, then, as in all things good, whole, spiritual, and natural, that path should be free from ego. Even for you non-martial artists out there; think about it…

When the Past Comes Back to Haunt You

Back in the 1980s, I was living in this place in Hermosa Beach and I used to paint these very large (and I mean very large) paintings. I would staple gun the canvas to the walls and work. Then, I move to this smaller apartment right on the water in Redondo and I used an easel on my patio or I would work on this drafting table I had. Throughout that time period I had this (then) very cool yellow Sony AM/FM cassette player that I moved between locations to bring along my music when my stereo wasn’t an option. Time went along and I began doing The Roller Blade Seven with Don Jackson. Our offices, at the Hollywood Center Building on Hollywood Blvd., needed some music so I brought along that cassette deck. Don really loved it as he was all into that late ‘80s military look. Somewhere along the line, I gave it to him. He literally used that deck until the very late stages of his life as his in-car cassette deck. He took it with him everywhere. He used to play me new finds and the music he liked on it all the time.

Today, I was doing a Low-Con transfer of one of his films. I’m going to upload it to YouTube as it never really sold or rented very well back in the days of the Video Tape. I don’t think it even sold one DVD copy when I later released it in that new-fangled format. In fact, I black-n-whited it as the Hi-8 Analogue color just looked so bad to give the movie an air of somewhat of a something. Plus, the audio is scratchy as he used the on-board camera audio as his sound source.

Anyway… As I did a quick scan of the transfer this AM, I came upon a scene and there it was, that yellow Sony cassette deck. It was playing dance music for a couple of people to dance to in a scene. It made me smile, remembering the way back when…

So, think about this… Think about that Some Thing that you gave to that Some One…

Have you ever given something to someone that they cherish it for years to come? If you have, what is that/why is that? What did it mean to them and what did it mean to you by your giving it to them? Did they ever tell you how much they appreciate the gift? Or, did their gratitude remain silent?

Has someone ever given you something that you cherished for years? If they have, what is it? Why have you cherished it? What did it mean to you by getting it and what did it mean to them by giving it you? Did you ever tell them how much that gift meant to you? Or, did you just take it and run?

In life, we all give things to other people. Some/most of these gifts are giving because we have to. In other cases, we give something to someone because they really want it or, like in the case of that Sony cassette deck, they love that some thing.

How many of the gifts you have given have been truly appreciated? How many of the gifts you have given have been discarded and not cared about?

Giving is one of the greatest things you can do in life. Most of the gifts you give, however, probably don’t find a loving home. But, does that change the act of giving?

It’s a complicated question, leading to a complicated answer. You can give and that gift may be loved. You can give and that gift may not be appreciated. But, if you don’t give, then no one gets and what does that leave life looking like?

Why don’t you give a gift to someone today and watch the outcome. Maybe it will make their existence all kinds of better. Maybe it will be something that they will cherish for years to come.

Is This Your Awake Day?

For anyone who has ever had a cat as a life-partner. …I don’t really like to use the word, “Pet,” as that has so many connotations of dominance and ownership that aren’t really true. …At least not true for anyone who actually loves and respects those who live with them.

Anyway back to the subject… For anyone who has ever had a cat in their life. And, I guess I must preface this with stating an, “Indoor Cat.” …Don’t let your cats roam outside people, all they do is get into trouble and live a much shorter life.

Again, back to the point… For anyone who has ever lived with a cat you know that they sleep a lot. Most days they spend a good percentage of it asleep. That’s just who they are. But then, about once a week, they have their, “Awake Day.” A day when, yes, they may nap a bit, but they are awake and doing what they do for most of that day.

I guess you have to be a cat psychologist/veterinarian or something like that to actually know why this is. But, that is how they are. They have an Awake Day.

How about you? How often do you have an Awake Day? How much of your time to you spend sleeping in a dream-state and how much of your time are you Wholly Present?

There is no right or wrong answer for this. …To each their own and all that… But, think about it, how much of your time, per day, do you spend expanding your consciousness, taking it
all in: viewing, studying, witnessing, growing and evolving?

For most, I think, they never even think about this. They just live their life to whatever degree they live their life; doing whatever it is they do. But, actually contemplate this, what if you became Hyper Aware all of the time, think how much more of the All and the Everything you would/could understand.

There’s no real technique to make this happen. You simply have to make a choice. Do you want to make that choice? Do you want to become Super Awake? If you want to, you can. Then, the sky’s the limit. Who knows what you will discover.

Wake up! Make this your Awake Day.


If you don't document every day of your life then every day of your life goes by without documentation.


When was the last time you tried something different?


How much do you do without thinking about what your doing is doing to others?

Letting Go Verses Not Letting Go

There are moments in each of our lives that come to shape who we are. Maybe those moments only last for a second or a minute or two but they are events that cause us to feel and experience life in a very exaggerated fashion. Though those moments come to be very focused in our own mind, the person or persons we are experiencing them with my not feel the same way about them at all. To them, it was just a momentary life-happening; here and then gone. Though this may be the case to them, for us (for you) that lived situation comes to be something that your mind returns to and returns to for days, weeks, months, years, or even your entire lifetime.

Take a moment right now, think about one of those situations that occurred in your life, that continually comes to your mind. Maybe it was an event, maybe it was a conversation, maybe it was a fight, maybe it was a love; it can be anything—for each person these life moments are defined differently. Think about that thing. Bring it clearly into your mind. Was it a good moment? Was it a bad moment? Whatever it was, think about it and try to come to a conclusion as to why it has become something that your mind frequently returns to when you have lived so many other moments in your life.

In many psychological traditions, the soothsayer says to let go of all memories that do not help your life. Many religious teachers, influenced by these psychological schools of thought, echo this ideology. But, if you were not re-thinking and re-living that moment for some reason, known only to your inner mind, why would it continually come to your thinking mind? Again, grab one of these moments, bring it to mind, analyze it, and try to come to some understanding about why it continues to be relived in your mind and how that moment came to shape your life.

For many, these intense moments are based upon an exaggerated moment of feeling; be that feeling good or bad, happy or sad, ecstatic or embarrassing. But, think about this for a moment, the people who embrace these thoughts, and allow them to be rethought throughout their life, live a very common pattern of behavior. Be this pattern based upon goodness or badness, positivity or negativity; what they seek, whether knowingly or not, is what they seek. They continue to encounter the same type of life-situations, time after time, defined only by the difference of the person or the persons they are living that moment with.

For example, have you ever had someone get mad at you for something you’ve done—something you’ve done that you did not even realize you were doing anything wrong? You may possibly understand their anger once it was explained to you but their interpretation of that moment was not the way it played out in your mind. Or, have you ever had someone accuse you of some type of bad behavior but later you found out the person, doing the accusing, did the same thing to others or perhaps they did something even worse, based upon the same style of behavior they were accusing you of unleashing?

If you look to this person’s life, you will find that they do this type of
thing all the time. That is how they encounter relationships—that is how they interact with people—that is how they live their life. And, though they may deny this fact, that does not change the truth of the truth of what they are truly living. Meaning, what they accuse you of doing they have either personally instigated or they have lived those style of relationships many times in the past.

It’s important to note that not all of the people who follow a common pattern of behavior do so based in negativity. Some do this based upon love. Some go from one relationship to another, as short-lived as some of those relationships may be, but they do this to encounter a specific feeling that will trigger a sensation that will cause them to hold a memory in place—a moment that they will relive and relive and relive in their mind’s eye.

So, here’s the thing… Each of us has moments that we have lived in our life that comes to our mind more frequently than others. In fact, most moments of our life are simply forgotten. But, the ones that do come to mind, come to mind for a reason. If you do not know what that reason is then you can never truly understand the lessons that could/should have been learned in that moment. So, the next time one of these recurring memories comes to mind, take the time to truly analyze that memory; figure out what you were feeling and why. Contemplate what lead you to living that moment. Analyze what part you had in creating that moment. Mostly, take the time to truly study that moment to the degree where you come to the deeper understanding of that moment and how it came to shape your life. From this, that memory may be allowed to fade into the realms of all of the other memories of your life, where you lived them, you can remember them if you want to, but they do not reemerge into your mind taking control of your thoughts and your emotions.


If your life was constantly being monitored what elements of your life would you have to hide?


If deception leads to your success what does your success actually mean?

Crimes That Are Never Punished

As we are coming up on the twentieth anniversary of the 911 attacks, where aircraft were flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center of New York and the Pentagon, and the aftermath of those attacks, the networks have been showing some interesting features. CNN is running the 911 documentary that was created by two French filmmakers who were actually doing a documentary about a young New York City firefighter at the time and ended right at the center of the Twin Towers when they came down. HBO is showing the Spike Lee Joint on 911. Plus, the new film, The Mauritanian, starring Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, and Shailene Woodley, has just been released on Showtime. Combine this with the debacle that was unleashed by the Biden administration with the evacuation of U.S. citizens and allies from Afghanistan, (which was initially based on the 911 attacks), that has been on all the news channels, and one truly gets to view an exactingly profile of what happens to people’s lives when bad things are done to good people.

Certainly, when the 911 attack occurred, I was glued to the TV. I watched live as the second tower was hit and, like those on the ground and those watching across the globe, I witnessed the hands of destruction in real time. Lives were lost and for what reason?

Watching the end to the war in Afghanistan on the news and the impact that took place on 911 and then to view a theatrical portrayal of events of the aftermath of 911 in, The Mauritanian, one can truly witnesses the bad things that people do and what occurs from these actions. But, how many bad things are done where the person who did them received no punishment? Yes, the terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon died along with the crew and the passengers on that flight. But, what punishment was that? They made a choice and were promised to enter a glorious heaven as a martyr. The crew and passengers made no such deal! Yeah, Osama bin Laden was eventually tracked down and killed but what punishment is a rapid death?

Then, you look to what the U.S. did to the prisoner, Mohamedou Ould Slahi, (and others) as portrayed in, The Mauritanian, and you see that even political entities that are purported to do the, “Right Thing,” are very vicious in their applications.

I had read the book, Guantánamo Diary, written by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, when it was first released. Then, like now, (watching the film loosely based on that book), I was ashamed at what the U.S. is capable of doing. What the Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney power structure did with their enhanced interrogations, that was nothing less than torture, was (or at least should be) below all that the United States stands for. This torture is what occurred to Mohamedou Ould Slahi and countless others at Gitmo and, at least to some degree, is still going on. Mohamedou Ould Slahi was held for many years without ever being able to see a judge, then, when he was found not guilty, the Obama administration fought his freedom for three years. WRONG!

When you watch the film, The Mauritanian, you see, in some small part, the way a gang attacks an individual. In this case, the gang was the U.S.military and its associates like the CIA. These attacks are always based in one person or a group knowing that they have the advantage over another person or persons. Meaning, it is never a fair fight. I saw this kind of activity all the time growing up. In some cases, a person who I thought was a friend, completely changed their stripes and went on the attack the moment they were with an undefeatable power structure. That’s what the U.S. military did at Gitmo.

I mean, look around you… Who attacks who? Isn’t it always the person with the advantage? Isn’t it always the person who knows they can’t be counter punched in self-defense. Meaning, the people who do this kind of stuff are cowards.

We all hated what occurred on 911. It was wrong! But, those who attacked possessed a belief that they were fighting back against an undefeatable bully. Isn’t that what Gorilla Warfare is based upon? But, what they did, as wrong as it was, should not have been met with individualize torture focused on one person. How does that change anything? How does a gang attacking a defenseless (eventually proven innocent) person equal just punishment or the righting of a wrong on any level?

Today, we can look at the catastrophe taking place in Afghanistan, brought about the poor decisions of a bully-power and a Commander-in-Chief who did not stand up for what was right. People are being killing and their lives are being destroyed simply due to a president who wishes to wash his hands of a problem that he had a large part in creating. That’s the problem with a position of power. They are
in a position of power. They are a bully. They can do whatever they want. Even when what they want and what they command be done is wrong.

In the Spike Lee Joint on 911 you get to see a lot of people who stepped up to the plate and did the right thing. That is the
right thing. Do the right thing. When someone needs help, help. Even when that help does nothing for you.

Just as what is right is right, what is wrong is wrong. A lot of people do a lot of wrong things and they get away with it while others, the small components in the extravaganza, get tortured.

A country is only a good as its worst doings. A religion is only as good as its worse doings. You are only as good as your worst doings. Do you support the bad? Do you turn and look away when the gang you are in is doing something bad? Or, do you stop the hurting and stand up for the right?

There are a lot of people who have done a lot of bad things throughout the history of humanity. But, it all begins with one person suggesting one thing and then the all-powerful gang following through with that idea.

All bad begins with one idea. All bad-doing begins with one person doing one bad thing. You can make a choice. You can stop the bad which then equals the good.

Good begins with you and it never involves attacking, hurting, or torturing someone who had nothing to do with anything.


Are you thinking about and living someone else's something or are you living your own?

Can You Remain Sane While Living with a Crazy Person?

It has long been noted that who you associate with will come to be a dominate factor in the things that you will do and where your life will end up. For this reason, people are often reminded that they should not hang out with a certain type of individual. In fact, there are many cases when people are told not to associate with a specific individual. Though this is the case, think about how many people end up hanging out with, being with, and even living with someone who is not of a positive or sound mind. How about you?

People come together for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes someone is attracted to another individual. Sometimes it is the, “Bad Boy,” or the “Bad Girl,” persona that draws a person in. Sometimes it is simply a fact a life; you have a family member or someone you must associate with and/or live with to make ends meet. Whatever the case, some people end up being in the company of another person or persons who is simply insane. They do crazy or bad things and then the person who is in their company comes to be influenced and under the control of their actions.

Think about your own life, have you ever associated with someone who did bad things? Do you do bad things? Think about your own life, have you ever associated with a person who is notably, “Not Normal,” and does things that are against the accepted ways of the world. How about you? Are you like that?

The fact is, we can all feel sympathy for people who have a mental illness. Some people seek out and receive the help they need to at least come to control this condition, while others do not. They are allowed to live a less than normal lifestyle oftentimes at least accepted, if not enabled, by the person or persons they are living with?

Again, how about you? Do you fit into this calculation on any level? And, if you do, are you honest with yourself about the role you play?

The thing is, the people we associate with come to be one of the most guiding factors in our life. Whether we hang out with a person intentionally or not is almost not even the defining factor. What is the defining factor is that they are in our life.

Take a moment and think this through. Think about someone who came into your life and sent you down a pathway that you later regretted or caused you to do something that you wish you had not done. Why did that happen? Answer: Because that person was in your life. If they were not then that, “Whatever,” would not have occurred.

Here’s the thing, if you surround yourself with negative or mentally ill people that will come to be the definition of your life. Why? Because they will not only be the person who is causing you to do what you do but they will be the one causing you to feel a specific set of emotions that you would not be feeling if they were not in your life. Thus, they come to be the defining factor of your life.

Here’s the question, “Can you remain sane while living with a crazy person?” The answer, “No, you cannot.”

Whomever you surround yourself with comes to be the defining factor of your life, it is as simple as that. They will be the one who causes you to do what you do and feel what you feel. So, what are you going to do about this?

Most of us are not defined by living with a person who is dominated by mental instability. Most of us are not defined by living with a person who is dominated by hurtful negativity. But, there are a lot of people out there who are.

As in all cases, life is a choice we make. For the mentally ill, they can realize their condition and work to get the help they need or they cannot. Their choice. For those in association with that level of person, they can choose to be in association with them or not. Their choice.

Life is a choice. And, you do have to make a decision. You can be insane, you be in association with those who are insane, or you can be/become mentally healthy. What are you going to do? What style of life will you live? And, who are you going to choose to associate with? Your life, your sanity…


What are you planning to do today about the negative words someone else has or is speaking? What are you planning to do today about the negative words you have or are speaking? If you don't do anything then nothing is done.

The Things That You Will Never Figure Out

Life is a pathway of realization based upon the fact the you will never be able to figure it all out. There are all of the things that you strive to know but many things will forever remain a mystery. Some people spend their entire lifetime attempting to find the answers. Others do not even care to try. But, no matter how or why you come at it, you will never know what you cannot know.

From the Hindu understanding of reality, all life is an illusion. It is all, “Maya.” This philosophy has sent many down the road to peel back the layers of illusion in an attempt to find the truth. But, the reality of the reality is, the greatest illusion is that there is no illusion at all. What is, is and it is a simple as that. But, to arrive at this realization takes a lifetime of study.

The easiest way to take yourself to the place where you realize that you do not and you cannot know everything is simple, just contemplate something you do not understand. This can be some grand mathematic calculation or it can be something very simple. But, think about something that you do not understand. Now, try to find the pathway to its understanding. Here’s the trick, most people never even try. They see what they see, they think they know what they think they know, but they never truly try to come to an absolute understanding of what they don’t know. Why don’t they know? What don’t you know? What are you going to do about it?

Where I live, I can see this parking lot. Cars come and go all the time as they have done for years. Recently, there has been two cars meeting in the corner of this parking lot every early morning and every evening. There are two people in these cars: one man and one woman. I have jokingly labeled them, “Part-time Lovers,” referring the great Stevie Wonder song from the 1980s.

This couple arrive every AM and every PM. In the evening sometimes they bring fold out chairs and sit in front of their cars. Mostly, they just disappear into the one car, which is an SUV. My estimation is that they are both married and they find a way to pull away from their spouses in the morning and the evening. For, if they were a legitimate couple, why would they meet in the parking lot every morning and night? But, I don’t know. I’m just guessing. And, though it is kind of fun for me to take notice of this couple and ponder why they are doing what they are doing; I will never truly know their reason why.

How much of life is like that? How much of your life is like that? How many things do you observe but you will never truly know the answer? Yes, you can speculate. Yes, you can think you know they answer. But, will you ever truly know the answer? No.

This is an ideal example of life; the part-time lovers. They are doing what they are doing. And, they do it religiously. They are doing what they are doing with an absolute pattern. It is observable. But, the answer to their, “Why,” is only known to them.

This is the truth of the truth. You can think you know. You can speculate about your knowing. You can even write a paper (like this) about your observation(s) but you will never truly know anything because all of life is unknowable except to the person or persons who are living what they are living and feeling what they are feeling.

Answer: There is none. You can never know what you do not know. You can spend your lifetime trying to find out an answer but, at the end of the game, the only realization you will come to is that you really did not know anything. Think about it…


Is the world a better place because of your existence?

Mind Wipe

How often do you spend thinking? How often do you spend not thinking? For most, the answer is very simple, they think all the time.

Thinking has long been touted as the pathway to success—in however you define success. And, this is undoubtedly true; at least in the ways of the world. But, think how many people think too much. Their thinking drives them to emotional distress, anxiety, unhappiness, frustration, paranoia, and even mental breakdowns. Therefore, though thinking may be the pathway to accomplishment, it is also the road to mental pain.

Throughout history, particularly in the realms of Eastern understanding, turning off the mind has been propagated as an avenue to mental wellness. But, what is this process? For some, this pathway is prayer. For others, it is meditation. But, what occurs in both of these processes is that the mind is thinking. Yes, in prayer the thought process is directed towards God, (by however one defines that concept), for others who follow the realms of meditation, it involves doing things like reciting a mantra or observing the breath. But, are any of these techniques Not Thinking? No, they are simply a tool of replacing a single thought for the random thoughts that commonly exist in the mind of mankind. But, that is
not Not Thinking. Thus, though the mind may be conditioned to focus, these practices do not remove the process of thought from the mind.

In many spiritual traditions, the zealot is taught to sit down and pray or to meditate at a very specific time each day. For many, of this modern era, they do things like go to something like a yoga or a martial art class and then at the end of that class they are told to meditate. But, for most, whenever they try to turn off the thinking mind, they are met with the never-ending occurrence of the attack of random thoughts. Thus, they come to believe that they cannot truly turn off their mind. So, they no longer even try.

In truth, most people do not wish to follow the path of mental awareness. They want to think about the things of the world and the elements affecting their life. Most people, never even try to meditate and completely dismiss the process. Others feel it is for someone else but themselves. So, they make excuses. But, the fact of the fact is; yes, you can live your life without ever meditating but then all that occurs is that you have relinquished the power of your existence over to the All and the Everything that is Out There—to that whomever or whatever that forces their way into your mind by whatever means necessary. Thus, you have lived a life with no personal control.

As stated, formalized meditation is a process of causing the mind to think about one thing. Many find this hard. But, what about simply wiping the mind. Letting go of all thoughts, if even for a moment. This is much more doable and you may find it very freeing.

So… Here’s the technique. Right now, as soon as you finish reading this, try this: close your eyes, embrace the darkness and the lack of light and simply wipe the thoughts from your mind. Don’t think about it! Just do it.

What you will experience is a moment of divine thoughtlessness.

You many be able to do this technique for a few seconds or a few minutes. Each person is different. But, try it and and you will certainly feel how freeing it.

If you want, once the thoughts come back to your mind, do it again; wipe the thoughts from your mind and feel the peace.

Mental Peace is out there if your desire to feel it. And, you don’t have to do much to embrace it. Simply wipe your mind.

The Bad Things That People Do

I was sitting in the outdoor patio area of this local restaurant this morning having breakfast. I have a friend who owns a restaurant just across the street. Into his small parking lot this guy pulls his car into one of the only three parking spots, gets out, and walks across the street to the restaurant I’m eating at, where he goes inside and plants himself down with his laptop, planning to sit for who knows how long? He parked right in front of the sign, “For customer parking only,” without a thought. I gave him a cold hard stare as he walked by but what does any of that mean? I could see my friend setting up for his morning opening across the street, but missing one of his parking spot, which is very important to his business. All equaling, the bad things that people do.

Now, I get it, this is a very small issue among all of the larger bad things that are going on across the planet right now. And, when it comes right down to it, it is really none of my business. But, I like the guy—the restaurant owner. And, this pandemic has caused him to struggle just like so many other small business owners. But, here was that guy, not giving a fuck about anyone but himself and his getting a free parking spot. This, when there was a metered spot, on the street, right in front of where he parked.

Maybe it is that I don’t operate from that Life Perspective. I really try to do the right thing. But, think about how many people don’t. They just want to get what they want to get and they want to get it for free no matter who’s life it messes up. How about you? Do you behave like that?

There was a part of me that wanted to say something to that guy. I thought about it… There was part of me that wanted to go across the street and tell my friend where the guy, who was parking in his lot could be found, so he could say something. But, he’s a laid back guy. And, though he gets frustrated and angry, just like all of us, he probably wouldn’t want the confrontation.

But, what that guy did was wrong. No matter how small of an issue it was. Wrong is wrong and that is that. If you do wrong you are doing wrong no matter what your motivation. You are hurting someone’s something.

This is just something to think about as you pass through life. There is right and there is wrong. End of story. If you do something that is wrong, someone else gets negatively affected. Then, be prepared, because people will treat you the way you have treaded them.

It's Not All About You!

I had walked into this store today and entering just behind me was an African-American man who was not wearing a mask.

To place all of this is terms of time perspective, here in the Los Angeles area, masks are currently required for all indoor locations. For a time, the mask mandate was removed if you were vaccinated, but we are experiencing a large resurgence of COVID-19, via the Delta Variant, and, as such, masks are once again required. In fact, right now, more people are being hospitalized and dying in the U.S. since the early stages of the pandemic. So, the wearing of masks seems like a small price to pay to help keep everyone more healthy.

Anyway, I start to go about my shopping. The manager informs the man that a mask is required to shop in the store. He goes off. One thing leads to another… He claims to have a medical condition. The manger asks to see his medical documents. “I don’t need no fucking medical documents!” On and on, he yells, “What you are doing is illegal. Call the mother fucking police! I’ll have YOU arrested. I have lawyers and I make a lot of money from assholes like you! I’m feeling threatened by you!” It goes on and on and on… He was having a total Karen moment.

I’ve seen these situations on the news, since the onset of the pandemic, but I had never witnessed this level of confrontation in person. I thought to pull out my phone and record the altercation, but there is all this White-Black stuff going on right now and I didn’t want to be the source of further controversy.

The manger was not letting up. She wanted him to put on a mask or leave the store. Had she been a small woman, I would have been more worried for her. But, she was big. I would guess about 6’2” and maybe two hundred pounds. She was, in fact, taller and bulkier then the man without a mask.

Finally, an African-American man, who
was recording the situation, went up to talk to the guy and things seems to calm down. Me, I left the store. I hate confrontations.

Okay, but lets’ get down to the get down. Life is not all about you! Life is not all about the way that man choose to behave! You MUST think about the other person!

This is one of the biggest problems that has occurred since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. A lot of people only think about themselves. They don’t want to get vaccinated. But, by not being vaccinated maybe you have the virus, do not even know you have it, but spread it someone who will become very sick and possible die from you giving it to them. If that occurred, who would be at fault for their death? YOU!

Just like that woman who intentionally coughed on that bus driver before there were mask mandates and vaccines. He died! That lady should have been prosecuted for murder!

Some people don’t want to wear masks. I get it. They’re not fun. But, right now, at least here in L.A., they are required. Why are they required? To help keep other people safe. Again, it’s not all about you!

Just like the bodybuilder, actor, and politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger said in regard to the anti-mask, anti-vaxxers who claimed their freedoms were being encroached upon, “Screw your freedom. Because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities.”

You know, this all goes to the bigger level of life. Do you only think about yourself? Do you only care about yourself? How much do you care about that person who may be shopping next to you that you will never even know?

If you don’t care about them, where is your humanity? If you don’t care about anyone/everyone else, where is your conscience? You really need to care about the other person!

The world is still engulfed in the COVID-19 Pandemic. But, if you don’t take the necessary precautions, like wearing a mask and getting vaccinated, you are the one who keeps this pandemic flourishing.

I don’t know, maybe this pandemic will bring about the end of the human race? It keeps altering and changing and people keep dying. But, no matter when you enter or when you exit your life, if you do not consciously care about the other person, (all other people), then all that makes you is a selfish individual. Is that who you are?

Life is not all about you!

Zen and the Outside of the Inside

To catch up the previous blogs and thoughts written over the past few months check out the latest book based on the Scott Shaw Blog, Zen and the Outside of the Inside.

Humbleness Verse Prestige in the Martial Arts

This piece may be a little too acutely focused for the non-martial artists out there but I hope all can hopefully gain a few new ideas from the understandings presented.

I earned my black belt in Hapkido 1969 when I was eleven years old. I had worked towards in since I was six. I had a Korean instructor and when it came my time for promotion he simply removed my red belt, tied the black belt around my waist, and shook my hand. I was, of course, ecstatic. There was no big ceremony, no certificate, or anything like that given to me. It was just the belt and the knowledge that my instructor believed I deserved it.

My father, who earned his black belt in jujitsu during his military service in World War II, also never had a certificate. At least none that I knew about.

What I am saying is that times were different back then. A student studied, learned, progressed through the ranks, and was awarded a belt based upon their developed understandings. It was based upon an instructor to student relationship.

When I was studying the martial arts as a young boy, through adolescent, and onto becoming a young man, none of my instructors, (who were all of Asian descent), ever asked to be called, “Master.” Yes, it was a formal relationship but the students simply referred to them as, Mr. (Whatever their family name was). This idea of, “Master,” was not a part of the equation. From this, I and my contemporaries, were taught and learned to respect the teacher without being forced to place an idealized image upon who and/or what they truly were.

It wasn’t until the time when a large number of Koreans began to immigrate to the U.S., in the early 1970s, that things begin to change. With the large number of newly opened Taekwondo schools, that was taking place, somewhere/somehow this ideology that your instructor was a, “Master,” came into play.

It must be noted, that my first Taekwondo instructor, who was also a newly arrived Korean immigrant himself, (that I began studying from when I was about twelve), never asked to be referred to as, “Master.” Mr. Kim was fine with him.

But again, somewhere along the way, the newly arrived Korean teachers, particularly those out of the schools of Taekwondo in South Korea, decided they should be referred to as, “Master,” or the Korean equivalent of the word. With this delineation, everything in the modern martial arts began to change.

I always would downplay this titling to being more akin to British English, where a school teacher is sometimes referred to as, “Master.” This being said, this was not what was in the minds of these martial arts instructors. To them, they were a, “Master,” and they deserved that labeling.

As the U.S. is where these people relocated and opened their schools, their primary students were Westerners. Through time, and rank advancement, these Westerners rose up through the ranks and became the next generation of instructors. Thus, they too took on the title of, “Master.” But, were they/are they? Or, are they simply perpetuating an ideology based upon ego but not accomplishment? In fact, what actually constitutes a master?

Having been at the source point of a lot of the evolution that took place with the Korean-based martial arts in the U.S., and being located at one of the central cities involved in the expansion of these Korean martial arts, I witnessed a lot of the hidden undercurrent of what was taking place among these new schools of self-defense and the people who owned and taught at them. And, a lot of it was not pretty, honest, or honorable. There was a lot of lies being told, and a lot of deceptions put into place, which have now become solidified and believed truths due to the fact that these fabrications were spoken so many years ago. The fact is, these newly arrived instructors needed to earn money so they found a way to do so, oftentimes this was at the expense of their students.

As Western martial artist rose through the ranks, became instructors, and opened their own schools, many of these, less than ideal, trends of school ownership and the need for external validation came to be the hallmark of these expanding systems of self-defense. As some of these Westerners decided that they were, “Good Enough,” and no longer needed the support of their Asian instructors or organizations, they founded their own associations. As many of these instructors also believed that they were progressing faster in their understanding of the arts than their instructors believed, they looked for ways to accelerate their movement up through the ranks outside of their original student to instructor relationship. From this, from this belief in the Self, the rank structure of the modern martial arts became so convoluted that everyone began questioning everyone. But, it shouldn’t be this way.

Rank is nothing more than Ego. It is a name and a number on a piece of paper. But, what does that even mean? What does it mean when so many people are claiming so many things and so many organizations have arisen giving recognition to someone who simply believes that they should be referred to as, “Master?” From this forced evolution, no matter where or whom that certificate comes from, it no longer has any absolute meaning as there is no solidified standard for rank promotion.

My primary focus, through my many years of involvement with the martial arts, has been the Korean systems of self-defense. This being said, as I have spend a lot of my life in Japan, I have been lucky enough to have also trained in the Japanese arts. No one there, none of my instructors, ever asked to be called, “Master.” “Sensei,” which means, “Teacher,” is the respectful title which was assigned. And, that was that.

One could argue that this goes to the cultural identity of Koreans verses the Japanese. And, that may be the case. But, like I have long said, “If you are referring to yourself as a Master that probably means that you are not.”

First there was, “Master,” then there became, “Grand Master.” But, what do any of these titles actually mean? What makes a person a, “Master,” or a, “Grand Master?” Isn’t it simply a name and a number on a piece of paper?

I fully understand that there are a lot of Asian and Westerners that have devoted their life to the study and the teaching of the martial arts. I applaud all of these people. But, how many of those people have forgotten the primary principle of the martial arts; humbleness?

If you feel that you must proclaim what you are, then what are you? If you feel that you must be referred to by an exalted title, who are you? Where is your humbleness and is what you are doing, (studying and teaching the martial arts), truly based upon helping others and making this world a better place or is it simply a means for you to fill an internal lacking within yourself?

As for myself, yes, I did earn some certificates. As I say, “I thank all of the instructors and the organizations who found me worthy.” And, even I, when I was younger, fell prey to the ego of being, “That Something,” when I was teaching the martial arts on a full-time basis. Thankfully, I caught myself and woke up. Now, my certificates are all in a brief case in my storage unit. At least I think they are? I haven’t looked at them in years. When I am teaching seminars, I only have the students refer to me as, “Scott.” I know this sometimes upsets the school owners who have invited me. But, I refuse to be dominated by a title that has become so convoluted in this modern era.

In closing, I believe for all of the true marital artists out there, we really need to return to a simpler, less ego-filled time, when the martial arts were an instructor teaching a student in the refined levels of physical and mental awareness without the need for all of the glorifications.

Humbleness should be at the heart of all martial art training. Isn’t that what all of the ancient sages have taught us?


Forgetfulness is the biggest form of denial.


We are all limited by what is available to us.


If there is a heaven, by its very definition, the people who are there do not deserve to be there.


How much of what you think about only matters to you?


We all learn from the mistakes we make. Many times we learn to never do what we did again. The problem is, once you've done something it cannot be undone. For this reason, you must be very careful with everything that you do because what you do, even once, can set an entire course of events into motion in your life.

No Footprints in the Sand

As you pass through your life, it is defined by doing. Your life is defined by what you have done, what you hope to do, what you are currently doing, and the impact your doing has had on others.

If you look backwards onto your pathway, what have you done? Hindsight is 20/20, so seeing the things you have done is much easier that anticipating what you will do.

What have you done? Do you ever take the time to study the path you have walked?

Many people are so focused on the dreams of their future they never look to what they have left in their wake.

Many people are so lost into the drug of the moment of doing; whatever it is they are doing: loving it or hating it, that they never study the imprinted trail that they have fashioned.

Most people live in a state of oblivion. Yes, they may love or they may hate what they are living at any given moment of their life, but they are not doing anything that they do consciously—nor are they thinking anything that they are thinking consciously. They are simply in a state of objectifying their moment with no thought of how that moment is truly being lived.

Think about your own life, how much of each moment do you truly experience? How much of what you do in each moment is a pathway to a suchness of understanding and helping and how much of what you do is simply an action designed to fulfill what you hope to accomplish, what you hope to become, or how you hope to be perceived?

Every step you take in your life leaves an imprint in the sand. Every thought you think, every word you speak, every act you complete not only affects your own life, your own karma, your own destiny, but it also affects all of the individuals it affects and they thereby affect the person they affect by what they do based upon the waves you have instigated. Thus, as I always say, every person possesses the ability to affect the entire world by what they do; from one person onto the next and the next. But, few ever contemplate this. They just do what they do to get whatever it is they want at any specific moment; at any specific point in their life. How about you?

You have a choice in life; you can do what you do with a very deliberate, defined, and righteous purpose or you can just do what you for yourself defined by whatever whim you are experiencing.

The pathway you carve in life can always be well perceived by anyone who chooses to have the eyes to see it. But, most people simply look the other way. How about you?

All life is your choice. All action you do shapes a pathway. At the end of your days, what will the pathway you are currently living say about you?


La vida es un proceso paso a paso. Antes no sabias lo que sabes ahora porque entonces no estabas preparado para saberlo. Mira tu vida como un trayecto global. No mires atrás con remordimiento, porque no puedes hacer nada para cambiar el pasado. No vivas pensando en el futuro. Haz algo o no lo hagas. Vive las cosas cuando lleguen... "El pequeño libro del Tiempo"


Sin esa experiencia negativa inicial, no habrías avanzado nunca hacia algo positivo.


Ama todo lo que existe en este momento y serás libre.

Doing Nothing Verses Experiencing Nothingness

The term, “Mu,” is used in both Japanese and Korean. The term, “Wu,” is used in Chinese. This term is used in association with the Buddhist understanding of, “Nothingness.” But, what is Nothingness? Is it having nothing? Is it doing nothing? Or, is it something much more profound?

In life, most everyone wants to do something. They wish to accomplish somethingness. But, how many of those people who Want to Do actually do anything? Most of the dreams that people hold are expressed only in the fantasies in their mind or in their conversations. People can think and talk a lot about what they want but few take the steps in achieving anything. Fewer still follow through to actualizing their end goal.

Why is this? The fact is, thinking, hoping, and believing is easy, whereas achievement is very hard. This is especially the case when one must have other people either help in their goal of achievement or approve them for the level of achievement they desire.

This is the thing about life and the reality of the reality of life; all things, “Life,” requires the doing and the approval of so many people. Many times these people are unknown to the desirer of achievement. Thus, doing becomes a competition of a single person against the reality of life. This is why those who do actually
do achieve are so well thought of. They have fought against the tides of life and have won.

But, what does winning, what does achieving actually equal? Does it provide true happiness? Does it provide the perfect life and lifestyle? Does it remove all unhappiness? Does is give the all and the everyone in the world something they actually need? Maybe, but most probably not. Why? Because, “Doing,” is based in someone’s wanting. They desire that achievement and they set out to accomplish it. By the very definition of this process, all that is known to provide an individual with spiritual emancipation is gone. All that is fulfilled, at best, is the achievement of a desired desire. Thus, all that is given birth to is ego. Is ego helpful to anyone but the person who is feeling it? No. Therefore, by basing your life on, “Doing,” you may achieve something, you may even become noted for that achievement, but what truly occurs is that you are ultimately and permanently removed from the higher understanding of the No-Self.

There are those who consciously choose to leave the world and all of its desire(s) behind and focus their attention on the embracing, Mu. There is one problem in this process, however. That problem is, if the achievement of Conscious Nothingness becomes a goal, then it can never truly be experienced. Thus, the basis of its true understanding is lost. It is for this reason that walking the path of desire, no matter how spiritual that pathway may sound to the naïve ears of the uninitiated, if any step that is taken is taken with a goal in mind, the true essence of Nothingness is lost.

All people want. Most people want to achieve. Many people spend their entire life attempting to succeed. But, this is one of the ultimate illusions of life. Accomplishment is never whole and complete onto itself. No matter what you
do, no matter what you do accomplish, it will only lead to you wanting/desiring something more.

So, where does this leave us? It leaves us with the understanding that doing can be done; doing may even lead to accomplishment for the life of a very few, but doing can never lead to true peace, true happiness, and divine understanding.

Do you wish to live your life forever unfulfilled? Do you wish to live your life constantly chasing? Do you wish to live your life hoping for and dreaming of something that you may never achieve? If you do, then
do. If you don’t, if you want that illusive understanding of true inner tranquility, then seek out, Mu. It is there that all of the wants are fulfilled without ever doing anything.


There is a couple of way to translate the word, “Discipline,” from English into Sanskrit, depending on how it is to be used. A couple of the most common words are, “Abhyāsa,” “Niyana,” “Anunaya,” “Vinaya,” or, “Manovinayana.” Perhaps the most direct way of translating this concept into English is the word, “Caryācaraa,” which refers to the practice of self-discipline.

Yoga is a pathway of discipline. Whereas most people when they hear the term, “Yoga,” simply think of it as the physical postures that people perform. This, however, is a very small part of the overall understanding of yoga. The Sanskrit term, “Yoga,” literally translates as, “Union with God.” But, what does this actually mean?

The thing that many practitioners of modern yoga do not understand is that the yoga they do in their classes is properly defined as, “Hatha Yoga.” This yoga is a small part of the greater overall understand of, Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga is a pathway of mental and physical disciple that leads the practitioner towards communion with God. But again, what does this actually mean?

Yoga is a practice based in Hinduism. Though many people wish to disassociate the physical postures they preform in their classes from this fact, this is the fact. Yoga is a Hindu-based practice of mental and physical purification. I cannot tell you how many devoutly practicing Christians, who practice Hatha Yoga, I have mentioned this to and they go into complete denial about this fact. They make up all kinds of mental excuses. But, there is no denying the birthplace, the evolution, and the true meaning of yoga. It is based in the Hindu understanding of reality.

This is not a good or a bad thing. This is just a thing. But, for so many people who base their entire reality upon their Western-based religion, such as Christianity, the path they walk by preforming yoga, is in direct conflict with their chosen beliefs.

For the most part, Christians do not base their life upon following a disciplined existence. Thus, the concept of focusing their existence on the concept of restraint is alien to them. But, discipline is at the heart of all practices and all forms of yoga. Even the Tantric Yogis of Khajuraho perform their techniques based upon self-discipline.

kāra,” translates as, “Self-discipline.” This understanding is at the heart of all yoga practices. But, how many people who perform the modern applications of Hatha Yoga or pranayama, “Breath Control,” ever even contemplate the root of what they are doing? They just do. And, here lies the problem with the modern, undisciplined practice of yoga. It entirely misses the point.

You can go to any exercise class and hopefully get your body in better shape. The Western purveyors of modern, “Yoga,” make all kinds of claims about its benefits. And yes, there are many. But, if the essence of, “Yoga,” is not embraced and understood how can there be any true internal growth via its practice? If people live in denial about what, “Yoga,” truly is, how can they actually live what it has to offer.

Yoga is based in discipline. It is based in self-discipline. It is based in a prescribed control of the body and the mind designed to bring the practitioner closer to physical understanding leading to spiritual awareness. Is yoga a practice based in Christianity or any other Western religion? No, it is not. It is based in an understanding formulated in India thousands of years ago.

Can yoga be adapted to practitioners of other religions? The answer to that is yes and no. Yes, the physical postures can be performed and maybe they will help the health of the practitioner. But, without a true emersion into what, “Yoga,” truly is, the absolute essence of this religious-based practice is lost. Thus, the answer is also, no.

Yoga is a religion. It is a part of a religion designed to guide the practitioner towards spiritual growth via discipline. If you are not willing to see, “Yoga,” for what it truly is and accept is foundations, then, at best, all you are doing when you practice, “Hatha Yoga,” is getting your body more stretched while living in denial about what you are actually doing.

The essence of yoga is, “Union with God.” How do you achieve that? Discipline. How do you
not achieve that? Pretending that you are doing something while not understanding what is actually taking place.

Don’t lie to yourself. Yoga is a religion. It is a religion based in Hinduism. If you’re not willing to become a Hindu then you can’t really practice true, “Yoga.”

The Liars Have All the Answers

Way back in the way back when I had met this girl. We met via my involvement with Swami Satchidananda and the Integral Yoga Institute. She had come to take a class. Me, I was young, and veering away from the Bramacharya mindset. Her, she was pretty. We began to hang out which all turned out to be a big mistake but that is an entirely different story.

At the time, I was living in the Valley and going to college. She was living down in the O.C.

Like many people of the era, she was seeking spiritual understanding. Also, like many people of the era, she moved between teachers attempting to find the path that best suited her.

One night, she invited me to visit this one teacher she had been working with. He was a Caucasian guy who operated a yoga studio out of an upstairs unit in what may best be described as a strip mall. I believe, forty years or so later, he is still there.

Anyway, he went by this holy sounding Sanskrit name. When I entered the room and sat down he came up to me, as he could see I was new, to introduce himself. He asked about me and I told him I was a student of Swami Satchidananda. I could immediately tell this struck him as disconcerting as he now had someone within his ranks who must know his stuff. All the others were just those people seeking a route to the promised enlightenment of the era or a father figure. Both of these were a very gullible type. When I told him what I told him, he began to laugh and laugh and laugh. It was so contrived. I could immediately see this was one of those ploys to throw someone off their game. But, I have always been the wrong person to play mind games with, even back when I was young.

The evening went on. The man gave his lecture. We did the meditation session, etc… We left. I, of course, never returned.

There are so many people full of so much bullshit that it is almost hard to believe. They gather borrowed knowledge from this book, that lecture, that whatever, and then dish it out as if it is their own. Some, like this guy, added orange robes and a Sanskrit name to the equation, just to provide more apparent authenticity. But, all of that never changes the bullshit.

I have encountered a lot of people like that throughout the years. Certainly, far more back in the 1970s than today but truly little has changed. And, that is the problem with seeking. The people who seek want to be given something—they want to be provided with that some imagined something. But, due to the illusive nature of that abstract something what they are given can never be proven or disproven. That/this is why so many people fall prey to the manipulative words and hands of the liar.

A couple of years later, I think I was twenty-one. I was at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore one day, which was then the mecca for spiritual knowledge in L.A., and I noticed that this Eastern Yogi was going to give a lecture. I had always enjoyed listening to what different teachers had to say, so I decided to go. When I got there, I found that the lecture was to be given in this very rundown section of Hollywood, in this old street front business. Whatever… I went inside and there were like three people in attendance. The guy walked in. He was a true Eastern Yogi. Even though there were only a few people there, he gave his talk. It was completely uninspired. Nonetheless, after the lecture, I went up to meet him. Nice guy. A true believer/a true liver. What was the difference between this man and the aforementioned individual? Heritage and purpose. He wasn’t making excuses for doing the things that a true yogi should not be doing, whereas the other man was. One was in it as a business; the other was in it as a life and a lifestyle.

So, here’s the thing… You can claim to be something. You can read and study all of the books on the subject. You can even change your name to something grand and auspicious, and maybe even get a diploma or a proclamation, but you cannot change the essence of your being—you cannot change who and what you truly are. Whenever you go to any teacher, you really need to remember that. Are they doing what they are doing as a business? Or, are they giving what they know to you for free? If they’re a business, then they’re a businessperson. If they are true to whom they are and what they have to teach, then they will give it to you for free.

The problem is, the world is full of liars. Most teachers are liars. This is especially the case when they are not at an accredited institution like a place of higher education. These people can say whatever they want. They can claim whatever they want. They tell each person what they think they want to hear in order to get their money, their body, their loyal, their whatever… But, at the root of all truth, at the heart of each true teacher, is the person who is truly themselves—the person who has no need to lie or develop students or clientele. If a teacher is looking to get more students then they are lost in the mindset of conquest. How can any individual who is on a quest to get more of something or someone in their life be a true person—how can they be trusted? If a person seeks nothing and gaining no one more, then why would they need to claim to be anything? Why would they need to lie?

The truth of a person is self-evident. How do you know a person is a true person that can be trust? They claim nothing.

Remember, the liars have all the answers. If someone is telling you what you want to hear, if someone is promising you anything, be very weary of that person because they are obviously hoping to gain something for themselves.

You Own Them Everything

I was having lunch with a friend of mine when an interesting situation occurred. But, before I get into all of that let me give you a little bit of the backstory.

I am writing this during the time of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. At least here in California, the restaurants have all been ordered to close. They are not allowed to offer indoor dining. During this time period they are only allowed to offer take-out. One of the ways some restaurants have been getting around this is that, previously they were allowed to offer outdoor dining. From this, many restaurants set up, in some cases, elaborate parking lot tent facilities and/or in some cities they have actually taken away the street parking allowing restaurants to set up their tables and their chairs in the streets; bounded by makeshift walls, of course. Though they are not currently supposed to do this, in order to keep business coming in, some restaurants have put their tables back up and allowed patrons to sit at them as long as they buy their food to-go.

With all that out of the way, back to the storyline…

Anyway, my friend and I had picked up some food and we were on our way back to her place to eat it. As we walked past, there were two aging Korean men sitting at one of those tables that aren’t really supposed to be used. They both had coffees in to-go cups and one of them was even smoking which is totally verboden in association with all California dining establishments. But, you know how Korean men can be… (Maybe you don’t?)

Anyway… The one guy was wiping down his phone with one of those single use packaged wipe things that look kind of like a Handi Wipe. He had a couple more of the packets lying on the table. As we walked by my friend surprisingly asked the guy, “Can I have one of those?” He looked at her. He looked at me. He looked at his friend. He said something under his breath to his friend in Korean. And, then he handed her one. “Thank you,” my friend exclaimed in all of her youthful exuberance. I observed as the two men both watched her walk away with her long legs extending below her short skirt. You know the kind of look I’m taking about.

She grabbed my hand and we were back on our way. She was happy, she got one of those whip things as she felt her phone needed it. I smiled and I explained to her, “Now, you own that man everything.”

The thing about life is, and a thing that very few people ever contemplate is, that whenever you take something from someone, (given willingly or not), you owe that person. If you take something from them without their freewill of giving, forget about it, you really owe them. But, in life, most people simply want what they want and, small or large, as long as they get it, all is well with their world. But, they never think about the, (for lack of a better term), karma that is invoked by the act of taking.

Think about your taking… Think about how you feel when you get. It probably feels pretty good; right? You have gotten what you want.

Now, think about the act of giving. Giving may also feel good or it may feel bad. But, whatever the case, when you give, that personally costs you something. If you give something that means you had to get something. In most cases, getting means you had to earn the money to buy it. What did that earning cost your life? How much time did it take? How much work did it take? What did it do to your life?

Giving, whether it is in the form of something physical or something mental, first requires the getting. The getting always cost the giver something. This getting is never free. And, if you get, you owe the giver.

Again, most people never think about this. They just want. They just ask. They just take. They dismiss what that giving cost the giver because they are now content in what they have received.

If you wish to live a conscious life, you really need to be careful of your taking. For
taking always sets the need of owing into motion. No matter how willingly anything is given to you, if you take you own that giver something. Maybe, you owe them everything.

The Claim of Destiny

Depending on how the term is intended to be used, the most common Sanskrit words utilized to express the concept of destiny are, “Daiva,” or, “Adrishta.”

Destiny is this strange undefined thing that people put into play when something either happens to their life in a positive or a negative manner. “That was just your destiny…” Or, “This is my was destiny…” But, what is destiny and what does it truly mean?

For each of, we seek to find a definition to the happenings in our life and the lives of others. We seek someone or something to blame. When good things happen, some but not all of us, give thanks. But, who is that thanks given to? …Some mystical, undefined, Out There being. When negative things occur, we seek someone to blame. But, who is to blame? Is it that same mystical, undefined, Out There being or is it simply ourselves for placing ourselves where a specific type of events may happen to us?

Rarely, do people take full responsibility for the happenings in their life. They prefer to claim, “It was a gift from god,” or, “Destiny sent me down this road.” But, what does any of this actually mean? What is destiny and why do people relinquish control of their life over to such an abstract concept?

We all understand what destiny is intended to mean. It is that something that was meant to happen to us that we have little or no control over. But, think about your life… What don’t you have control over? Sure, you can decide to walk a path of goodness or you can decide to walk a path of badness. You can choose to help or you can choose to hurt. You can choose to go to the left or you can choose to go to the right. You can choose to associate with a certain person or a specific type of people, but is any of that destiny? No, that is simply what you choose to do based upon the choices you are allowed to make.

People lie to themselves all the time about the happenings in their life. They give thanks or they blame others. Why do most people do this? They do this either because they don’t want to take personal responsibility for their actions or they have been programmed into feeling that they are not worthy of holding control over their own life. But, you are in control! What you do is what you choose to do. What happened to you is not destiny it is simply a reaction to your action of making a choice.

Where you place yourself in life comes to define what happens to your life. What you choose to do in each situation that occurs in your life, defined by where you have chosen to place yourself in your life, is what occurred by where you choose to be and what you choose to do.

Destiny is an excuse. Take responsibility for your own choices.

Other People’s Knowledge

I was having a discussion about Japan, Korea history and the evolution of the Japanese martial arts with one of my colleagues the other day. He mentioned that he had read this Master’s Thesis on the subject where the author had referenced one of my books. He pulled it up and showed me the segment. It was interesting to read how one person had interpreted my writings. What he did was to take my research on a subject and then put his own spin on it. Certainly, all that is part and particle of the academic world. People find the research previously composed on a subject and then draw their own collusions based upon the amalgamation of their research and the writings of others.

For anyone who has walked down the path of academia you will understand that it takes time to find previously composed research on a subject, study it, and then find works that help present your own point of view and conclusions. In fact, the more previously composed works you sight in your paper, or in this case Thesis, the more likely it is that your instructor or Thesis Committee Members will find your work compelling.

I truly suggest that anyone out there take a class where research and writing is required and then really take the time to deeply research a subject and compose a documented paper. It truly opens up an entirely new realm of life-understanding as it causes you to be forced to explore the understandings of others.

There is a problem in all of this, however. And, this was one of the subjects of my colleague and my discussion. That problem is, perceived and presented rationalizations. The fact is, people want to present any understanding that they believe they understand from their own point of view. In fact, that is what the composition of a Thesis or a Dissertation actually entails; the study of previously composed documentation on a specific subject combined with individualized research into order to present a new and unique understanding about a topic defined and rationalized by the mind of the student. The key premise in all of this is, however, an individual’s personal point of view. One person studying what has previously been documented and then finding the appropriate texts to support their own point of view.

But, what is a point of view? Is a point of view fact or is it personal perception? If one truly contemplates this subject, the answer is obvious. Yet, there it is, all of this information being present in a Thesis as fact, based upon all of the previously prepared research, that was also presented as fact, that has been published in books, and then conglomerated by the student hoping to present the topic in the way they perceive the subject.

One of the things I do in life is critique the writings presented to publishers from authors in hopes of acquiring a book deal. I think back to this one manuscript I was asked to read by this one publisher. It was a book on the history of the Korean martial arts. Just as my colleague and I were discussing, you cannot understand the Japanese or the Korean martial arts without understanding the history and the evolution of both of these cultures and ancient systems of combat.

The manuscript I was given was full of quotes from other previously published books and writings, including my own, on the subject. But, what overpowered all of this author’s research was personal opinions leading to, in some cases, false conclusions. This is where the problem arises in not only academic document creation but in the works of all authors, including myself.

As an author, specificity in the realms of non-fiction, you are asked to present a specific subject in a specific manner that then may be consumed by the reader. In many cases, you are asked to present the subject in a manner that was prescribed by an editor. Thus, you must meet their requirements if you hope to have the book published. This is the same in the world of academia, what you write must be written in a manner that will be accepted by those people judging your writings. What does this all lead to? What it leads to is expected and acceptable conclusions.

All writing, by all people, whether they are academically trained or not, is defined by a point of view. That point of view may or may not be based upon a very prescribed set of parameters, dictated by someone other than the author or not. But, whatever the case, there is a set of rules that must be followed either in the publishing or the academic world.

What does this leave us with? It leaves us with a world of writings based upon a prescribed set of expected standards combined with a person’s personal opinion. Meaning, all things that you read must be understood to be less than one-hundred truthful and valid as they are composed by the mind of one or more individuals presenting a specific subject from a prescribed point of view.

The person’s Thesis that I just mentioned interpreted my writings to suit his own needs. Were his quotes of my work construed as I had meant them to be understood? No, they were not. They were his interpretations of my research. They were him defining my writings (as others) based upon his own individualize perception. Thus, though his Thesis was a work of supposed history, was it? Or, was it simply his decided upon perception of history?

All life is defined by what you think. All life is defined by what the person next to you thinks. Do you think the same thing? Probably not. Moreover, what do you base your thinking upon? Is it true research that you personally investigated? Or, is it simply opinion with documentation, presented as fact, composed by the mind of a person with a prescribed point of view to present?

One really needs to question anyone’s presentation of knowledge. Because is what they are saying truth or is what they are saying simply their interpretation of someone else’s opinion based upon the previously composed research of someone else who is also presenting the subject based upon their own point of view?

Purpose Verse Intent and the Why a Person Does What They Do

The Sanskrit word, “Varta,” is the translation of the English word, “Purpose.” More exactly, “Varta,” describes someone with a firm purpose as to what they hope to achieve. The Sanskrit word, “Kardatha,” defies someone having a very specific or highly defined goal.

If we look to the world, if you look to yourself, how many people have a very specific goal—a very designated endpoint that they hope to achieve? Yes, most everyone has a daydream, “Divasvapna,” that something that they wish they could achieve, but how few are the people that set a clear path to its achievement?

Though there are several words that can be used to translate the English word, “Purpose,” into the Sanskrit language, perhaps the most commonly used word is, “Azaya.”

A person’s purpose is why they are attempting to make something happen in their life and/or the life of other people. Now, this is where one of the primarily elements of Life Accomplishment comes into play and how it affects the overall evolution of the individual. Why is a person doing what they are doing? What do they hope to achieve?

If we look to the person who is centered onto themselves, and if they possess a clear purpose, they hope to achieve something to make themselves that something more—they hope to achieve and become that something that they consider better. Though one may argue that this style of, “Purpose,” is based in ego and therefore by that very definition it removes a person from following the Higher Path of consciousness, it is nonetheless a clear purpose. Thus, they hold a clear intent.

Many people in this world place their focus outside of themselves. They define their life by what and who is outside of them. They do not focus on making themselves that something more—becoming that better, more accomplished, and fulfilled individual, instead they want to do something that affects the life of someone else. Some people do this a mean of helping others, while others do it as a mean to hurt others. Though one of these pathways is obviously of the higher calling, they both have one primary foundational element; they cause a person to place their focus outside of themselves. Thus, all that is done will not and cannot cause that person to find a Higher State of Self. At best, all any of their actions can do is to provide that person with a sense of elation. Therefore, all they are ultimately doing is taking a drug. The drug of doing something to or for someone else that makes them feel a specific kind of sensation.

Each individual has the choice to make about what they do with their life. Some people set a clear goal at becoming the best person that they can be. Others hope to become revered in the eyes of others. While still others hope to influence the life of people outside of themselves in either a positive or a negative manner. The question that few people ask themselves, however, is why are they doing what they are doing; what is their purpose and what is their internet?

To truly understand life, to truly understand your life, and to truly come to a clear conclusion about why you are living what you are living and why you have encountered what you have encountered as you have passed through your life, you must come to understand your self-proclaimed purpose and your self-defined intent.

Take a moment right now and think about it. Clearly bring into your mind what is your purpose and what is your intent. Why have you done what you have done? Why are you about to do what you are about to do?

Whatever your answer is that is your answer. There are no right or wrong answers. But, if you have truly investigated your motivational pathway not only will you have done something that few people ever take the time to understand but you will also have come to a much clearer conclusion about who you are, why you are, and what you can expect to happen next in your life.

Each person is defined by their purpose and their intent. What are yours?


Be positive.

Be good.

Be caring.


Do good things.

Hurt no one.

Help everyone you can.

System of Belief

Everybody believes in something. Even the people who do not believe in a greater power have a belief. The belief of nothing. Some people keep their beliefs to themselves. Others project their beliefs out to anyone who will listen. No matter the case, one thing is true; belief is only belief, it is not necessarily fact.

Here lies the problem; most people cannot differentiate the difference between belief and fact. Thus, they present their beliefs as fact and as most people do not possess the level of discrimination to differentiate between the two, life becomes a convoluted mess of varying beliefs affecting the lives of the all and the everyone.

Think about the people who believe in Christianity; they hold their set of core beliefs based upon what is written in the Bible. Think about the people who are followers of Islam; they hold their set of core beliefs based upon what is written in the Koran. These are two religions that both claim to hold the truth. Millions upon millions of people believe in both of these religions. Are they same? No. They each possess varying teachings and they each teach that one should rebuke the nonbeliever. So, which religion is right?

You see, here lies the essence of belief; it is based upon an accepted concept in the mind of the believer. Is it right or is it wrong? Who can say because it is solely based upon what one believes? Who can be the actual judge?

In life, some people loudly proclaim what they believe. From a psychological perspective, the reason the people who proclaim their beliefs the most loudly is based upon the fact that they hope to be viewed as a, “Knower.” But, what do they actually know? All they know is what they believe but if what they believe is based upon nothing more than what they think they know then by that very definition their belief is flawed as it is nothing more than an opinion and an opinion is nothing more than a personal belief based upon self-defined assumptions.

To take this to a more personal perspective, every now and then I will see someone on Facebook or some other social platform posting how he or she is going to clean house of the people that are negative or spouting something they do not like or believe in. Frequently, you hear about people facing online bullying, being trolled, or being attacked by some entity out there in cyber space based upon someone not liking a person, what that person creates, what they say, or what they stand for. During the recent election season, here in the U.S., which was very divisive, I have seen so many people posting very negative, very biased, opinions based solely upon belief—based solely upon what they heard from someone else that propped up what they already believed. In fact, some people I observed were actually banned from Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms for posting things that apparently were not permitted. But, the problem is,
everything is based upon belief. The only problem arises when someone decided to broadcast that belief and someone else does not like it. But, if most things are based upon what an individual personally believes, and not based upon fact, who should hold the power to judge what is right and what is wrong?

From a person perspective, as a creative person, (for lack of a better term), my work and myself have been the subject of some people’s beliefs. Not always, but sometimes, what people have said or written about my work or myself was complete wrong. It was totally false. Yet, due to their belief, which was not based upon fact, only opinion, they put what they thought out there to the world. From this, others have believed what they concocted. Not fact. Just belief. Yet, it is present for the world to see. This behavior is the sourcepoint for one of the modern world’s great problems.

I imagine we have all experienced situations such as this to varying degrees. For some of you out there, reading this, I imagine that you are one of the vocal ones, presenting your belief(s) to others or to the entire world as a whole. For those of you who do this, either on a small or a large scale, do you ever contemplate the fact that what you are thinking, equaling what you are saying, is nothing more that a belief that originated in your own mind? And, if you do understand this fact, do you predicate what you are proclaiming with a statement to that affect? Do you tell people what you are saying is just an opinion? Or, do you state what you state as if it were based in fact when all that is being said is simply an assessment concocted in your own mind?

Most people never take a look at their beliefs. Most people never study what was the impetus or the causation factor for their beliefs. They just believe that they know what they know. But, if you don’t know why you know what you know, if you don’t know why you present your sometimes false-opinion(s) as fact then you are not only doing a disservice to yourself but you are doing a disservice to the entire world because you are desecrating truth and replacing it with nothing more than your personalized system of belief.


You can always tell the people who are insecure, unfulfilled, and unaccomplished. They say negative things about other people.

You can always tell the people who are secure, fulfilled, and accomplished. They say positive things about other people.


Mindfulness, or as I like to spell it out, Mind Fullness is one of the essential elements of causing your body and your mind to rise to a level of enhanced awareness, self actualization, and, dare I say, enlightenment. But, how many people even contemplate mindfulness as they pass through their day? How many people take note of any element of how they are feeling or how they are experiencing life unless they are thrown into a moment a chaos by spraining their ankle, having something stolen, or experiencing someone breaking their heart? Then, the experience is all about them. It is all about feeling what they are feeling. But, is that mindfulness? No. That is simply being forced into encountering an emotion. Mindfulness occurs from a much more pure and focus state of mind.

When you are washing your hands do you contemplate the temperature of the water? Sure, if it is very cold or very hot you are forced to think about it. But, what about when it is lukewarm? …When it is just average? …When it is the way you always expect it to be? Do you experience the water, how it feels on your hands, how the soap feels and smells? Do you ever contemplate any of this? Probably not. Few people do. But, here lies the source of the problem of why so few people understand the concept of mindfulness.

In traditions like the martial arts, one is taught to train the body and their mind and bring them into an acute harmony so that they can exactly perform physical techniques. Yes, this is a style of enhanced physical and mental training that few people truly embrace. For most martial artists, however, they never transcend beyond the physicality of the martial arts. They are happy and proud to demonstrate how well they can perform a technique or how many boards they can break. But, this is nothing more than exhibitionism. For all of the martial artists out there, ask yourself, how often did your instructor teach you how to truly encounter your moment both in terms of internal feelings and external stimuli? For most, the answer is never. Why? Because the instructors were never taught nor did they seek out the pathway to true mindfulness.

Mindfulness is you truly experiencing your moment. Wherever you are, whatever it is you are doing, it is you allowing your being to truly feel all that is around you and then stepping deeply within yourself and coming to terms with how you are an interactive part of the entire process.

In Tantra Yoga, one is taught to truly embrace their partner while engaged in an intimate relationship. Whereas most people enter into these occurrences via desire and seeking that good feeling that arises from a sexual encounter, the Tantra Yogi is taught how train their body and their mind to step beyond the physicality of the act itself and, by truly moving deeply it the transcendence of the act by truly merging with the experience via the partner, they can gain a glimpse of Satori. Again, how many people follow this pathway? How many people even ponder following the pathway of Tantra? Very few.

Is mindfulness a complicated process? Yes and no. The true answer is, no. It is extremely easy to allow yourself to become consciously mindful of all of the things that you do. You just have to do it. The problem is, very few people have ever trained their mind to become mindful. They are just taught to do what they do until they are on to doing the next thing. Sure, they may love or they may hate what they are doing. Sure, what they are doing may make them feel good or feel bad. But, none of that is mindfulness. That’s simply responding to stimuli. Mindfulness is choosing to become aware of all that you are doing, all that is being done to you, removing your process of thoughts and definitions and transcending to the essence of the experience. It is there that a true understanding of life—your life may be encountered.

Right now, STOP, take a moment, shut off your thoughts, emotions, judgments, and predetermined notions. STOP and feel. STOP and experience. What are you feeling? What does your life experience feel like? How does your body feel? How are your emotions feeling? What are they causing you to feel?

Take some time and feel what you are feeling. Take some time to come to terms with why you are feeling what you are feeling. Take some time and analyze how what you are doing, what you did, is causing other people to feel.

Feel, experience, transcend. Find where you are and why. Meet mindfulness.


You can believe anything that you want to believe but just because you believe something does not make it the truth.

You Can Make Things Better

You can make things better.

If you've hurt someone, do something good for them, say something nice about them.

If you are feeling overwhelmed step outside, intentionally step away from the chaos. Turn off your mind. Take a walk.

If you are focusing on the negative and/or hating your life. Stop it! Turn it around. See the positivity in the negativity. Appreciate what you have.

If you are lonely, go outside; internationally introduce yourself to someone.

If you are unhappy; you can trace that unhappiness to its root and eliminate it if you have the time. If not, just stop it! You have the power. Go and do something you like. Go exercise. Replace the unhappiness with positive activity and the unhappiness will fade.

Just as negativity begins with you, so does positivity. You can choose to make things better.

Your yesterday does not have to be your today.

Be nice to people. Reach out to people. Do good things for people. Say good things about people. Do good things for yourself. Do this, and everything will become better.


How many times has your guardian angel saved you from disaster and you didn't even know it?

The Goodness Directive

Assignment for the Day:

Do something good today.

Do something positive that helps someone.

Say something nice about someone—maybe somebody you don't even like.

Say something nice to someone. Compliment them.

Give someone a gift.

If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or find yourself about to say something negative or mean; catch yourself. Turn it around and say something nice.

Take today and do something nice, good, and positive.

You can do this everyday if you want. That's a great way to live your life. But, if nothing else, start with today.

Make this a day that you base in goodness, doing something good, saying nice things, giving, and making everyone's life just a little bit more positive.

Make today a day of positivity.

Most People Don’t Give Back

Right now, today, what are your plans for giving anything to anybody? When you woke up this morning did you have a game plan in place for what you were going to do for someone today? Yesterday, what did you do for someone? The day before that, what did you do for anybody?

Most people are very centered on themselves. They think about themselves and maybe those people they care about. They think about what they want, how they are feeling, and how people are reacting to them, but they spend very little of their Life Time turning off Self Thought and actually doing something for someone else.

Think about it, who have you helped lately? Who did you think about, who did you decide needed some help, and who did you actually provide that help to?

If you did provide help, how did that helping help you? Was your helping actually given from a pure perspective of caring or was your giving motivated by what you would receive?

Think about your life… Think about your Right Now… What plan do you have to help anyone? Are you planning to help anyone?

Sure, you may be having all kinds of problems in your life. Sure, you may be very busy. Sure, you may be working hard to make ends meet. All of these are common excuses. But, excuses are just excuses. They arise from a very self-centered perspective.

All of those excuses, being as they are, who are you going to help? Who are you planning to give to? What are you planning to do for anyone but yourself?

There are a lot of people who need help out there. What are you going to do about it?

Sure, helping can be big. It can be giving someone some money; buying them something that they need. It can be giving them a place to stay when they have no roof over their head. It can be giving them a job. It can be helping them move. It can be buying them a meal. Or, it can be holding their hand when their heart is broken. Helping can also be small. It can be saying a nice word when someone else is saying something negative. It can be smiling at a person. It can be telling something that you appreciate that they exist, that you are happy that they are in your life. Helping can be anything but to help, “Helping,” has to be actualized. It has to be you stepping outside of your Self Involvement and actually doing something for someone else.

Try it, help someone, and watch everything become just a little bit better.

Telling the Truth

Let’s fact facts, a lot of people lie. A lot of people disguise the truth. A lot of people hide the truth. A lot of people stretch the truth. A lot of people make up a lot of things.

There is really no reason to go into why people lie because each person who lies has their own reason for doing so. Whether that reason is also a lie is a whole other issue but I think we can leave it to say, a lot of people lie about a whole lot of things. Some even fight to get their lies to be believed.

The problem with people lying is, because they are a liar, most of those liars think everyone else is lying as well. They know they don’t tell the truth, so they assume and accuse other people of lying just as they do. Some even accuse other people of lying to cover up the lies that they have told.

Have you ever lied? Why did you lie? How did that lie come to define and affect your life?

How do you feel about the lies that you've told? Do those lies bother you? Do you ever think or care about how those lies have affected the lives of other people? If you don't, what does that say about you as a human being?

Once you lied were you afraid of getting caught in your lie? Did you get caught in your lie? If you did, how did that affect your life?

Some people never get caught in the lies they have told. They live their entire existence based upon a lie they told years and years ago. They get away with it. But, simply because a person gets away with telling a lie—and even if that lie comes to be believed, does that change the fact that it was not the truth? And, if a person basis their life upon a lie—if they succeed because of a lie, what does that say about the foundation of their life and any success they may have achieved? Moreover, what does that say about all of the people who came to believe their lie?

Most people want to believe what another person is saying. This is why some people are allowed to define their entire life based upon a lie.

Some people believe the lies that they tell other people. But, simply because someone has come to believe the lie they originated does it ever become the truth?

The truth is easy. It may not be pretty, it may not be eloquent, but it is the truth.

A lie is messy. A lie is forever a problem because a lie is never the truth and there is always the possibility that the truth will be revealed.

We can all understand that all people should only speak the truth but that will probably never happen as people want to be seen as more, people want to have achieved more, and people want what they want and they are willing to lie to get what they want.

What does this tell us about life? It tells us that as long as we base our life upon the truth, as long as we always speak the truth, at least our part of life will remain honest.

It’s important to note that telling the truth is not you telling someone what you think about them for all that kind of mind stuff is simply based in judgment, emotions, and ego. The truth of the truth goes much deeper than all of that, “What you think and feel,” kind of stuff. The truth is what you have actually done, what you have actually lived, what you truly are and who you truly are. The truth is you being true about yourself and to yourself.

A person can lie about who they are all they want. They can lie about what they truly do and what they have truly done. A person can live their entire life based upon the falsehoods of self-imagination, self-projection, and self-proclamation but if they do that, at the end of their days, they will never know the truth as their life has been an expression of a lie.

So, next time you think about lying, catch yourself, and don’t do it. For there is nothing that you will truly gain by lying. The next time someone lies to you, smile, know that what they are saying is emanation from a lower level being who is lost in their own self-projection of a false reality and walk away. You don’t have to call them a liar; you just do not have to believe them.

If you live the truth, then you are the truth, as plain, as simply, and as boring as that truth may be. If you live the truth, though you may never be seen as some great, grand, representation of someone who lives at the pinnacle of all that is desired but, at least, you will never be known as a liar.


To understand what someone is actually attempting to communicate you must have a mind developed to the degree that you can comprehend what they are presenting.

Take Some Time in the Morning

When you wake up in the morning what do you do?

Are you woken by an alarm clock each morning?

Or, are you allowed to wake up slowly, roll around, think the thoughts that the new day brings, and finally decide to get out of bed when you feel that it is time to get out of bed?

Most people do not address a new day with any sense of consciousness. Many/most are woken up by an alarm clock, at a specific time, because they are expected to get up, get ready, and go to work. Many/most spend most of their life behaving in this fashion. Then, the weekend or the day off arrives and the person is typically too emotional strained and drained to do much else but wake up and restlessly roll around in bed, at about the same time as they are forced to wake up everyday, due to their biological clock taking control over their mind.

Even the person who lives in the ashram or the monastery is expected to wake up at a very specific time. They are then required to get up and meditate or pray.

For the people who wait for the weekend, they too often force themselves out of bed in the morning with little or no forethought, at a specific time, because they have, “Plans,” for the weekend—things that they want to do that they can’t do during the workweek.

Though this is the status of most people lives, I believe that we all can see that there is something missing in this process. That, “Something missing,” is waking up and embracing the day with any sense of awareness or consciousness.

In each of our lives there is time when we naturally wake up. For each of us, this is somewhat different, but for each of us there is an internally natural time frame when our body and our mind knows that it is time to sleep and knows when it is time to wake. For most, however, this naturalness of sleep and wake is never allowed to guide the life process as the requirements of modern life are allowed to be in control.

The fact is, there is very little most of us can do about this fact. As an adult, or even as a young student, we are generally required to get up when we are expected to get up as we must make money to survive and/or go to school so that we can prepare ourselves to make money to survive. So, what does this tell us about life, what does this tell us about sleep, what does this tell us about waking up, and how can we do anything about any of it?

Here is the fact; most people do not attempt to live a conscious life. Most people never try to take emotional, psychological, or spiritual control over their life. They simply are dominated by their expected life and they live this way until they die. Though this is the commonality of a common life, it is does not have to be like that. You can consciously take control of your mind and your life patterns and bring them to a point where there is a greater state of expansive awareness.

To begin to do this, in regard to sleep and waking up, the next time you wake up take the time to consciously embrace the day—spend some time doing nothing; not jumping out of bed, not falling back to sleep, simply witnessing your mind, following your thoughts, studying your emotions and your expectations about the day, and coming to know what your waking up is truly about.

For each of us, when we wake up, the factors of the night of sleep are most with us. This is when we remember what we were dreaming, how those dreams made us feel, and what those dreams lead us to think about and realize. When we wake up, the emotions and the expectations of the day are most clearly in our mind. This is the time when we can study what we are feeling and why we are feeling it. We can even possibly clearly conclude, from a state of a clear and rested mind, what we should do next in our life to bring our existence to a better state of being.

Many/most people waste much of their life. They miss the opportunity that human existence is designed to provide. Waking up is one of those things that many/most people never take advantage of.

Even if you must be awoken by an alarm clock each day so you can get to work on time, choose an alarm that wakes you to the sound of the waves, birds chirping, or the wind in the forest. Don’t force your self to embrace the day in a flash and get out of bed immediately. Wake slowly, naturally, take a moment and let your self meet the day with a sense of consciousness. From this, you may be allowed to embrace who you truly are and you may gain enhanced insight into what you should do to become who you can ultimately become.

Interpretative Reality

What are you thinking about right now? Do you ever think about what you are thinking about? Do you ever control what you are thinking about or do you simply let your thoughts guide your mind and control your emotions?

What did you think about when you woke up this morning? What did you think about the movie or the TV show you saw last night? What did you think about the sporting event you watched on TV last week? What do you think about the people that you see in the supermarket?

Right now, take a look outside your window. What do you see? What do you think about what you are seeing?

Though people see the same things, each person interprets that reality in their own unique manner. For many, they believe their interpretation is the only valid interpretation. They never look beyond their own mind for a definition of reality. For others, they believe all what someone else has to say about life and life actions. As their own mind frame is not critically defined, they instantly believe what anyone else is saying. Others look for substantiation for what they think. They look for someone else who thinks the same way as they think. Thereby, they can claim mutual validity for their thought process. But, is any of this true? Is any of this the truth? Is any of this actual fact? Or, is it simply interpersonal interpretation of life and this life space?

What do you think when someone thinks something different from you? What do you think when you disagree with what someone else is thinking? Do you fight for your rightness and their wrongness? Or, do you simply let those rising emotions flow through your being understanding that thought, no matter who is thinking it, is simply an interpretation of reality and it is not the whole and the actual true truth?

Some people fight for what they believe. This is where many of the problems of the world begin. Some people diminish others for what they believe. This is where hurtful behavior arises. Some people are so locked into the belief that what they think is the only belief that is right that they attempt to spread what they believe onto others. This is where prejudices and global pain begins.

Are you mentally aware enough to understand that what you think is simply what you think and what you think is not an absolute truth? Are you internally complete enough to not attempt to force your interpretation of reality onto other people? Can you be integrally wise enough to let reality be as each person understands it or must your force your interpretations onto other people?

Do you live in a reality of judgment? Do you live in a reality defined by your judgments? Are you hurt or hindered by the judgments of others? Or, are you free of judgment, understanding that each person reality is a creation of their own mind?


How long is your forever?


You can run as fast and as far as you can but if you don't know where you're going you will never get there.


The next time you encounter somebody saying or doing something negative, override their actions by saying or doing something positive. Observe the response.

The next time you are thinking something negative about a person, take control of your mind and think something positive about the person. Observe the response.

The next time you are about to do something negative to a person, stop yourself and do something positive. Observe the response.


Always question who is saying what and why.

All Beings Are Bound by Karma

One of the primary Buddhist concepts, and the first of the Four Nobel Truths is the understanding that, all beings are bound by Karma. Though the word, "Karma," is constantly thrown around in modern society, few people actually comprehend this understanding. Here's a little background for you…

The Sanskrit word, “Karma,” literally translated, means “Action.” This word represents the law of cause and effect, “As you sew, so shall you reap.”

Karma is one of the most complicated and profoundly philosophical issues each person must deal with in understanding Zen Buddhism and, in fact, life. This is because of the fact, right and wrong, good or bad, are not universally defined in this physical world. Not only does each culture possesses a somewhat differing view of right and wrong but each person holds their own values and individual perceptions of good and bad. Certainly, there are distinct wrongs: hurting someone unnecessarily, forcefully taking something from another person, behaving selfishly, and so on. But beyond these obvious instances, the precise definition becomes lost. For example, what about when you hurt someone unintentionally? Or, while pursuing the spiritual path you must leave someone behind, thus, causing him or her to suffer at your absence?

The question of Karma is amplified when people justify the wrongs they are performing for what they believe to be a just cause. For example, how many people have died in wars on this Earth motivated by religious idealism?

Perhaps even more disconcerting is the case of individuals who continually cause physical and emotional pain to other people. Yet, somehow their life seems to continue forward in an unhindered path of success and acquisition. When justifying their negative Karmic actions these people oftentimes allude to the fact that they had a bad childhood, are getting back at the world for what was done to them, or due to negative peer influence they were guided down the wrong road. Though these may be psychologically valid rationalizations, none-the-less, negative actions have taken place, often times injuring good people.

On the other side of the issue, there are those individuals who continually provide a positive service to the world. Yet, they are confounded by continued negative encounters. Why should adverse experiences happen to these people if they are expounding good to humanity?

The philosophic debate on the nuances of Karma has gone on for centuries. And, it will continue. In ancient Vedic scriptures, three levels of Karma are defined which may provide some insight into the various types of Karmic actions.

The three levels of Karma are:
1. Sanchita Karma, “Accumulated Karma.”
2. Prarabdha Karma, “Actions which create Karma.”
3. Kriyamana Karma, “Current actions.”

Sanchita Karma
Sanchita or “Accumulated Karma” is the Karma that you have previously substantiated. Sanchita Karma, not only defines actions that you have taken in this life, but also actions that you performed in previous incarnations. Many believe that this is one of the primary components that go into the formation of an individual’s personality—as they are acting out a life style and mindset that they substantiated in a previous life.

The understanding of Sanchita Karma is also used to define why seemingly good people encounter negative events in their life. It is understood that though they may now be very good, in a previous existence they must have created adverse Karma. Thus, they suffer in this lifetime.

Certainly, in the Western world, the concept of paying for sins from a previous life strikes an adverse chord in many people. This is because of the fact that they believe that their current body is their only body and even if they do accept the theory of reincarnation, why should they have to pay the price for an existence that they no longer have any control over? This is where the belief systems indoctrinated by religion comes into play in the definition of Karma. For example, a Buddhist would simply let go of philosophic questioning and relinquish him or herself to accepting the understanding of Sanchita Karma as fact. Thus, any life occurrence, be it positive or negative, is quickly rationalized and accepted as Karma.

Prarabdha Karma
Prarabdha Karma is the Karma that has come into existence due to past actions. Illustrative of this type of Karma is the individual who performs negative acts, for what ever physical, emotional, or psychological rational, and then later in their life they encounter unfavorable situations. These events may take place in the next life, the distant future, or may happen almost instantaneously. This understanding provides some solace to people who have been wronged by others, as they know, sooner or later, that unjust individuals will have to pay the price for their actions.

It is additionally understood, at this level of Karmic understanding, if one’s Karmic debt is paid up, then any Karmic retribution for a negative act will be incurred relatively quickly, as there is not a long backlog of wrongs waiting to be repaid.

Prarabdha Karma not only details the events that occur as a result of adverse Karma but it is also equally applicable to positive Karma, as well. This can explain why the rare case of a truly negative person, in this life, continually encounters seemingly positive experiences; they were a very good person in a past life.

Kriyamana Karma
Kriyamana Karma is the actions you take that lay the foundations for either positive or negative Karma in the future.

Some people were born into economically poor living conditions, dysfunctional families, or have had a childhood corrupted by bad influences and occurrences. Others have experienced a relatively positive childhood only to be impacted by negative situations, as they have grown older. For decades, Sociologists and Psychologists have attempted to draw conclusions to why an individual follows a particular path in life based in their foundational attributes. Though there is, no doubt, quantitative validity to some of their findings, it must be ultimately understood that we each are the masters of our own destiny. At any point in life, be it before you instigate any adverse Karma or post having unleashed a plethora of negativity, you can take back your life and choose to consciously move forward—doing good things for the world, creating good Karma, even while you suffer the inevitable repercussions for actions you have taken in the past.

Certainly, most of us have encountered influences in our lives that were not of the purest content. Additionally, due to innumerable psychological factors we have all walked down impure paths with people we should not have. Under these influences most of us have all performed acts that we now can see as, “Bad Karma.” Knowing this, you have two options in your life. One, you can hold on to those experiences and allow them to set a pattern for the rest of your life. Two, you can consciously let go of the past and move forward into a world where you will never allow negative people or situations to guide you again. With this more positive approach, you allow yourself to live each new moment of life in a positive fashion; following the path to self-realization while you do good things for all those you encounter.

Creators of Karma

From ancient Vedic scriptures we learn that once one’s personality is initially set in motion by Sanchita Karma, the individual then moves forward into life choosing to act out one of three types of Karma: Sattva, Rajas, or Tamasa. These three types of Karma parallel the understanding, known in Sanskrit as Gunas, or “The Three States of Consciousness.”

Sattva is the pure state. Rajas, is the active, passionate state. Tamas is the dark, overripe state.

The Sanskrit word, “Karman.” is used to describe an individual who is creating a specific type of Karma. Thus, an individual is a Sattva Karman, Rajas Karman, or a Tamas Karman.

The Sattva Karman’s actions are pure, precise, and directed towards a higher good, each step of their life. A Rajas Karman’s actions are all performed from a sense of ego—everything is done for the betterment of him or herself. A Tamas Karman’s actions are performed from a dark, deluded, and confused state of mind—serving no one and no thing.

Karma and the Human Being
Existing in a human body means that everyone, no matter how holy, is bound by Karma. It must be ultimately understood that no act is wholly good and bad. What may benefit one may cause pain to another. Thus, as we are bound by the complexities of human existence and good and bad will remain an individual’s perception.

The Zen Buddhist does all that he or she can do to create a positive world: forgiving those who have hurt him or her, helping those who need help, guiding those who need guidance. Any action is attempted from only the most pure of motivations. Understanding that, ultimately, each person is their own person, with their own emotions, desires—cultural and psychological influences.

You cannot make everyone happy. Thus, the Zen Buddhist walks their path, embracing life and attempting to do the most possible good each step of the way.


It is easy to lie when nobody knows the truth.

Higher Consciousness and Why So Few People Achieve It

Does doing anything bad—does saying anything bad ever achieve anything good? Your answer to this question defines whether or not you are currently able to achieve higher consciousness.

Does acting on your impulses ever achieve anything towards the greater good? Your answer to this question defines whether or not you are currently able to achieve higher consciousness.

Does basing your life upon personal judgment—about what you think about another person ever achieve anything good? Your answer to this question defines whether or not you are currently able to achieve higher consciousness.

Does hurting anyone for any reason ever achieve anything good? Your answer to this question defines whether or not you are currently able to achieve higher consciousness.

Right now, take a look at your life. Take a look at the life you have lived. For each of us, we do what we do based upon how we have learned how to behave towards other people, society, and the greater whole. We have learned how to behave based upon the way other people have treated us. The question that must be asked at this juncture is, are you in control of the way you behave or are you simply reacting to the way you have been treated, thus giving birth to the way you act towards others and the way you treat others?

It is an easy thing to see in life; the people who are the most judgmental are the people who have been judged this harshest. In some cases, one or more people who have been judged harshly, thus giving birth to low self-esteem, congregate. From this, a group of people that judges others assembles and forms a cohesive unit. You can point out this fact to them, you can tell them that this is not the best way to act and live their life, yet this is how they behave and from group consciousness they rationalize their behavior. Thus, as long as they partake of the poison of judgment, they cannot reach higher consciousness.

To take this mindset up a notch, we find the people who physically hurt other people, whether through verbal or physical violence, are the people who have encountered this style of behavior directed towards them in the past. Thus, they act and react in the way they were schooled to behave. It is what they have experienced and thus this is what they know, therefore it is what they do. These people also sometimes congregate into groups and form a large-scale consciousness. From this, hurt and damage are unleashed. Telling them that what they are doing is wrong will only bring out further acts of anger and retribution. The point to keep in mind is that though you were probably not the person who inflicted the initial pain on them, if you point out what they are doing and/or why, you may become the focus of their hostility. Thus, through ongoing negative acts they too cannot reach higher consciousness unless they have a profound realization and begin to change their frame of mind, their life, and their life actions.

Do people who operate on this these lower levels of human interaction care about the hurt and the damage they leave in their wake? No. In fact, some relish in any hurt they can unleash. Why? Because they are not clear enough in their own understanding of human reality to comprehend that hurt only induces more hurt and thus the pattern of ongoing damage is never halted.

These people operate from a very low level of human awareness. But, look around you; you will see it all the time. Maybe it is you who behaves in this fashion. Maybe it is someone that you know. But, hurt only equals more hurt, not only to the person whom you are attempting to hurt, but to your own life and all life on the whole, as well. Why? Because what goes around comes around and if you are unleashing judgment, hurt, or damage, for any reason, all you are doing is instigating the type of behavior that will find you again and again and again. Thus, moving towards higher consciousness is impossible.

So, what does this tell us about individual awareness and higher consciousness? Ask yourself; do you even care about higher consciousness? Do you care about helping others reach higher consciousness? Do you care about helping those people who need help or those people who appear to need no help? Do you care about anything other than yourself, who and what you like or love, and whatever emotions you have motivated yourself to feel in any given moment? If all you base your life experience upon is your own personal self-defined projection of reality, you do not possess compassion. If you do not possess compassion, you can never encounter higher consciousness.

Hurting always hurts. Look at yourself—look at your life; how do you felt when you have been hurt? Helping always helps. How do you feel when someone has reached out a hand to you and helped? Obviously, one is better than the other. And, this points us towards direct understanding of the pathway to higher consciousness and why so few people achieve it.

The reason I speak about human psychology and human interaction when discussing higher consciousness is because all life is defined by human interaction. All karma, good or bad, is created due to the choices you make while interacting. You can remove yourself from human interaction and do nothing but meditate in a cave but, as all life is based upon human interaction, from your inception onwards, human contact and what you do with and because of that human contact becomes the ultimate definition of your life. Thus, it defines your pathway towards self-realization.

The all and the everything begins with you. It begins with what you think. It begins with what you do. It begins with how you act towards others and how you interact with life. But, if you do not understand why you think what you think and you are not in control of what you think and you do not understand and knowingly control what you do, then what you do only creates chaos and that is what rains throughout your life and the life of all those you encounter. Thus, if you do not know yourself, you cannot comprehend and you cannot care about individual awareness and higher consciousness. If you create hurt, no matter what your self-motivated logic for doing so is; you hurt your own chances at living a whole, complete, and good life. You loose the chance to experience higher consciousness and you can never truly understand the essence of life.

If you present this fact to those people who live their life at a very negative level, they will immediately say they don’t care—that they could care less about advanced awareness. Okay, right there, that very thought is the essence of self-destruction and that is where the motivation for the hurting of other people is born. Thus, that is what keeps them from obtaining higher consciousness.

Life begins with you. Life begins with what you do. What you do is based upon the understanding and the control you have over your own mind. Those who say and do hurtful things, do not care about other people’s feelings, thus they are doing what they do based upon lower, not higher consciousness.

The essential fact to understand in all of this is, being spiritual or being on the path of seeking higher awareness does not make someone special and/or better in and of itself. What does makes someone a superior human being is someone who leaves behind a life defined solely by personal judgments and the seeking of fulfillment as a means to an end. What makes someone a good and whole person, which leads to living a life defined by a higher understanding, is someone who cares about other people first. Thus, they do not unleash hurt for any reason. Moreover, it is defined by someone who encounters any negativity they witness with a positive word or action. This does not mean that the positive person attempts to fight and overcome the negative person, because then things just become a battle of the mind. They never instigate a clash. What it does mean is that when someone who is walking the path of consciousness encounters negativity they insert a positive word or a positive action in order to countermand what negativity has already been unleashed. Thus, setting a more positive pathway for the ever-growing enlightenment of humanity.

It is you who defines your own reality as well as the reality of those people you bring into your life. A true life, a good life, is one that is heralded by a person who intentionally and consciously walks the road of ever-evolving human awareness leading to higher consciousness.

You can be anything you want to be in life. You can live your life and do the things you want to do. But, if all you do is hurt, if all you do brings the life one person or a large number of people down, you have defeated the entire purpose of personal choice in life. If your choice(s) do not create personal understanding leading to universal betterment, how can you believe that you will ever find advanced human understanding?

Higher consciousness is haveable. Even if you don’t desire it, there is the obvious benefit to living a good life based upon doing good things that help but hurt no one.

Begin with yourself. Find an enhanced personal understanding. Help other people. Do good things. And then, whether you are seeking higher consciousness or not, it will find you and you will understand why it has been one of the most sought after goals throughout the existence of humanity.

They Never Say, “I’m Sorry.”

I think for most of us we have encountered situations in our lives where somebody has done something to us that has hurt us. Maybe these were small annoyance or maybe they were larger, life-altering events. For some people, this is the norm in the way they behave. They do things that hurt people and they do not care. For most, however, they may do something without truly calculating or thinking about the affect that what they do will have on the other person. In either case, how many of these people acknowledge what they have done, once they have done it, and set about on a course to rectify or repair what they have done and say, “I’m sorry?” Very few.

Why is this? There is one root cause in all of this; selfishness. A person did what they did because they didn’t think about the other person. Then, they do not care to fix what they did because they don’t care about the other person.

Life is an interplay of all of the people in the world. There are billions. Most, you will never meet. Some, you will see only for a passing, unnoticed, glance. Others, you will be forced to interact with. Maybe this is through accident, chance, or a calculated effort on the part of one person but not the other. Still others, you will choose to let into your life. Whatever the causation, people interacting with people is where the concept of, “I’m sorry,” is born.

People do things to people. People do things that affect other people. It is as simple that. Sometimes what a person does hurts another person. It is what happens next that set all of life into motion.

Now, think about your life. Think about a time when someone did something to you that hurt you in some way, shape, or form. How did that person react to you once they did what they did? I imagine, like in the case of most of us, if that person apologized and tried to make things right, forgiveness of them was much easier than if they did not apologize. Did they apologize? If they did, what was the next step in your interactive interaction? If they did not, what then?

Now, think about your own life from the perspective of you. Think about a person you have hurt with your words or actions. Once you knew you hurt them, how did that make you feel? Did you feel guilt, sadness, or regret? Or, did you feel empowered over your ability to control and hurt another person? The answer to this question says a lot about who you truly are.

In life, most people think about themselves. They think about themselves until they are forced to think about someone else. How about you? Who do you think about? Is your life only about you and you getting over? Or, is your life about you in association with the all and the everybody?

Selfish action is easy. Selfish, unthinking action is easily done. Caring enough to fix what you have done takes a person who possesses a certain enchased character. Who are you? Do you say you’re sorry? Or, do you simply dismiss any pain you’ve caused?

Who do you associate with? People that cause another person pain? Then, when and if they do, how do you behave? Do you allow them to hurt and feel they have the right to hurt? If you do, then be prepared for the pain they will unleash on you. Be prepared to never hear, “I’m sorry.”

All life is born from your interaction with another person. All life is born form how you treat anyone/everyone. Can you care enough about what you have done to say, “I’m sorry?” Or, do all you care about is you?


If you haven't lived what another person has lived you have no way of understanding their reality.


Do you ever question your reality?

When You Believe a Lie

When you hear someone saying something do you ever question who is saying what and why or do you simply believe what you hear? Simply believing what you hear, with no thought, has lead to some of the biggest disasters that this world has witnessed.

Do people lie intentionally? Yes. Do people lie unintentionally? Yes. In either case, what they are saying is not based in the truth and from this a falsehood is spread outwards from one person to the next and onto the next.

People tell lies for all kinds of reasons. Everybody has a reason for saying what he or she is saying. Some people believe they know the facts. Some people want to make their facts, (the facts that only exist in their own mind), a reality. Some people want to cast a judgment and either rise up or diminish another person and to do this they choose words that others listen to and believe.

Why do people lie? There are many reasons for this. Some people are simply pathological liars. They either want to be liked, are liked and want to remained liked, or want to control the thought patterns of other people so they say words that will guide people in this direction.

Some people find an empowerment in altering the facts to suit their own needs. They embrace the sense that people are turning to them for guidance and they find that by created a world dominated by what they think, be it factual or false, they are able to control the thought patterns of other people.

Some people are simply ashamed of what they have lived, what they have done, and from this they are instinctively guided to telling lies. They want to hide the truth.

The people who speak the loudest are generally the liars. The people who talk the most are generally the lairs. The people who talk about other people, but rarely about themselves, are generally the lairs. The people who boast are generally the lairs. The people who tell people what they think are generally the liars.

Have you ever had someone tell a lie about you? Have you ever had someone alter the facts of reality so it affected your life advancement? What happened to you because of their telling a lie? What happened to them because of their telling a lie?

Have you ever told a lie about someone? Have you ever altered the facts about the truth of a situation in order to affect the life advancement of someone else? If you have you understand the motivation for concocting a lie. What did that concoction result in? Did you gain what you wanted? If you did, what was the price to the life of the other people? What was the price to your life evolution? And, do you care?

Telling the truth is a conscious choice. Telling the truth is not always pretty. Telling the truth may help everyone. Telling the truth may help someone else while it hurts you. But, if you do not tell the truth then the all of your everything is only based in a lie. If your life is based in a lie, you can never be whole. You can never not worry that someone will find out the truth. If you live in this space—if you have to argue to make others believe your truth then you hold no truth.

Question who is saying what and why. Know the truth.


Does saying something negative about another person make you a better person?

Does saying something negative about another person make them a worse person?

We should all define our lives by what makes us, other people, and the whole world better.

Negativity never achieves that goal.

The Good That You Do

Everybody knows what is good. When you see it, when you hear it, when you experience it, you know that it is good. It makes whomever it encounters better.

Some people try to do good. Some people strive to do good. Some people turn off their egos and go out of their way to do good. Do you?

Just as everyone immediately know what it is good; everyone immediately knows what is bad. Hurting anyone or anything for any reason is bad.

But, there is commonly a place where the definition of good and bad becomes convoluted. Though they should not, they do. Why do they? Because some people become motivated by their own desired outcome and from this they place their own definition and rational upon their actions. Though their actions may, in fact, be bad and/or harmful, they are presented as being good.

The definition of bad is obvious. But, do you think about this definition before you decide to do what you do or say what you say? Judgment or criticism are two of the most obvious and commonplace forms of badness that are presented and believed to be good. But, they hurt people, so by their very definition they are bad.

Projecting personal beliefs onto a particular subject or person is also oftentimes presented as being good when it is anything but. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Who is believing what you are believing? Is it everyone or is it simply you having concocted an ideology in your own mind which causes you to present it to the world with the hopes that others will believe as you do?” Again, as this behavior has the potential of negatively affecting the lives of other people, there is no goodness in your actions.

All good things and all bad things boil down to what one person does. What do you do? Do you allow your ego, your cultural programing, and your projected desires to guide you to do what you do? If you do, then how can what you are doing be universally seen as being good?

Doing good helps one person or it helps everyone. Doing bad hurts one person or it hurts everyone. Can you be whole enough to always do good? If you can—if no one is hurt by your actions, then everything, everywhere becomes just a little bit better.

Strive to do good.

Who Are You Going To Help Today?

Most people spend their days doing things for themselves. Or, they spend their days doing things because they have to, like going to school or going to work. How often do you wake up with the thought, “Who am I going to help today?”

In life, a person’s thoughts are obviously focused on Self. And, that’s fine. That's just life. But, though your thoughts can be focused on you, they can also be focused on you helping other people. You should try it.

Try this: Turn what you currently want and what you’re thinking off for a second. Who would you like to help? Who could you help?

Helping does not have to be some grandiose thing. Helping can be small. Maybe it is giving a homeless person a dollar. Maybe it is buying them a meal or a new pair of shoes or an outfit, if you can afford it. Maybe it is helping the preverbal old lady across the street. Maybe it is just smiling at someone and saying something nice to them. All of these things help people.

If you want to take it to a bigger scale, you can. That’s great! You can go and feed the homeless at a shelter. You can go and pick up trash and clean up the environment. The list is really endless. But, helping people is always a good thing.

Some people come at this ideology the totally wrong way. They attack others and they somehow translate that into helping. It is not. Negativity, on any level, only hurt. For example, there is this new show on TV set on the East Side of L.A. One of the characters is really down on the gentrification of the area and she does things like go and spray paint, “Fuck White Art,” on the windows of a gallery owned by a white person in the historically Latin neighbor. Though that is funny on TV, that is never the right pathway to take, as damage, of any kind, never equals helping.

All life begins with you. What you encounter next begins by what you say and what you do today. If you hurt anyone or anything, that is what you will next encounter, no matter what your motivation. But, if you help, the exact opposite is the case. You will encounter positivity.

Think about your life. How does it feel when someone smiles at you? How does it feel when someone lends you a helping hand? It probably feels pretty good. You can do that! You can be that person.

Your assignment: Who are you going to help today? When you wake up tomorrow, who are you are going to help tomorrow?

If you make this a life practice, everything gets better


At the end of everyday day you should question, "Have I made my life better?'

At the end of everyday day you should question, "Have I made anyone else's life better?"

At the end of everyday day you should question, "Have I hurt anyone?"

At the end of everyday day you should question, "Have I repaired any damage that I may have created?"

At the end of everyday day you should question, "What am I going to do tomorrow to make the world a better place?'

The Fact of the Facts and Do You Even Care?

For each of us, we interpret reality in our own unique manner. Though there is a wide-spanning agreement as to what is taking place over the greater all of our experience—post that, each of us sees life and interprets what we are presented with in life by our own unique definition and standards.

For example, have you ever explained something to someone and though you believed you provided them with a very clear and pinpointed definition they completely misinterpreted what you said and took the subject off onto their own tangent? Was it that they did not listen? Was it that they did not hear you? Was it that they did not care what you said? Or, was it that due to their own personal life-interpretation and the way they want to read reality that this mindset guided them to the space where they heard what you said but did what they wanted to do anyway?

Everybody has a reason for believing what he or she believes. Just as everybody can explain why they do what they do. But, life is based upon human interaction. Therefore, it is expected that to have a conscious interactive process of communication, you must listen to what the other person says and then come to define your mutual interactive reality based upon both points of view.

How many people do that? There are some, yes. But, many completely dismiss what the other person is saying, what the other person is doing, what the other person is feeling or thinking, and simply walk down their own path based upon what they feel, what they want, and what they believe reality to be. As disingenuous as this is, why do you think there are so many lies spoken about other people? Why do you think so many people are hurt by the actions of other people? Why? Because many/most people are not listening and/or do not care what another person is saying. How about you?

So, as we pass through life we are all going to encounter this type of interpersonal interaction. We are all going to say something, expect that we were heard, and then be surprised to find out that the person we were speaking with did not hear, listen to, or even care about what we said at all; as they just continued to walk down their own road based upon their own interpretation of reality. Sad but true.

What can we do about it? We can re-express our feelings. We can yell, scream, and fight. We can take revenge. Or, we can simply accept that this is a condition of mind that those who are locked into the mindset of self-selfishness are not big enough to overcome and move along. Moving along is the path of least resistance. But yes, that does not mean that in moving along we are not left injured by the actions of a person who does not care enough to truly listen.


People Never Say Thank You

It is so rare in life that we find people saying, “Thank you,” to anyone. We live in an era of SELF and from SELF comes the concept that no one is owed anything for doing anything. “I did it. It was me,” is the common statement. This is very sad I believe, as so many people go into the doing of anything. Yet, very few people appreciate or acknowledge this fact.

Though it may have been you that had the inspiration, the courage, or the force of will to achieve and/or do what you have done in your life, you would be nowhere without all of those around you who inspired you, guided you, taught you, supported you; providing you with the determination to follow through with what you have accomplished. Did you thank them?

More than simply the people who liked, loved, and cared about you, there have been those people that you did not like or did not like what they instigated but from them you also learned. You learned what you don’t like. You learned what not to do. Did you thank them?

In life, most people only see the all and the everything based upon what they are thinking and what they are feeling. But, why are you thinking and feeling anything? Who guided you towards those life conclusions? Did you thank them?

It is essential that we each periodically step outside of ourselves, study where we find ourselves in life, and define how we have arrived here. Then, once these understandings are reached we really need to take the time to step beyond our own selfishness and self-centeredness and speak up and say, “Thank you,” to those who have helped us arrive at our currently life location.

To all the people who have inspired me, “Thank you.” To all the people who meet negativity with positivity, “Thank you.” To all the people who have helped me, “Thank you.” To all the people who have supported my vision and what I do, “Thank you.” I really mean it, “Thank you!”


Your heart is only going to beat so many times.


Everybody has an excuse.

The World of Judgement

Many people live in a world of judgment. They judge everyone and everything. Some may say that they judge based upon the way that they were judged. Other would say that their judgment is based upon a sense of entitlement, arrogance, and all-knowingness. Wherever an individual’s mindset of judgement comes from, what it sets into motion is a world where someone is right, someone is wrong, and personal expression and emancipation are not allowed.

As one travels through life, you can witness as a person gets older, whether or not their mind becomes more refined or more embedded with a sense of their own righteousness. In some cases, people who were once judgmental evolve and become more understanding of the fact that each individual operates from a perspective of their own state of mind and life understanding. In other cases, people simply become more and more harsh and more rooted in their sense of they know what is right, wrong; good or bad.

How a person views the world is the defining factor of all they will encounter in the world. How a person views and judges other people is what sets the process for their personal life evolution and advancement into motion.

From a perspective of refined consciousness, it is commonly understood that being judgmental is not only a detriment to one’s self but to the overall expanding evolution of life, as well. For if one is living their life from a space of being judgmental, they are not only hindering the forward movement of interpersonal learning within themselves but they also hinder the expansion of knowledge to all those they encounter who listen to their evaluation of other people and other life situations that they provide.

So, where do you find yourself in life? Are you a person who immediately believes they know what they know before they ever allow a person or a situation to simply be who and/or what they are? Or, are you silent and take the time to understand that each person operates from their own level of understanding, based upon what they have been given in life, and from this allow each person to make their own unique contribution to life without the need to predicate that contribution upon the basis of whether or not you do or do not like it.

The Guy Who Never Made a Movie/The Guy Who Never Wrote a Book

I find it rather interesting/amusing that every now and then someone will heads-up me to the fact that this one guy is out there attempting to cast shade on me as a filmmaker—criticizing my films and/or my life in one derogatory way or the other. The funny thing is, and the thing that anybody who reads his posts does not realize, is that it was like ten years ago or so that this guy first contacted me directly saying something negative and telling me he could and has made a better movie than I ever could. I gave him my address and told him to send me a copy. Of course, he never did as he has never made a film. Yet, there he is, still out there all these years later, throwing around negativity focused at me and I imagine other people, as well. But, who is he really angry at? Me, for making movies or himself for never making one?

Maybe twenty years, when my first book on Hapkido came out, I was contacted by this school owner telling me how terrible the book was. I suggested that he write one. He told me, of course he would, and it would be so much better than mine. Great, I told him, I look forward to reading it. But, that book was never created. I guess he either never wrote the book or he found out how impossible it is to actually get a deal with an established publishing company. All these years later, still no book on Hapkido from him…

In the same vain of the martial arts, every now and then I will read how someone is trying to alter the facts and make me or some other established martial artist look bad. As I have long discussed, this is really an epidemic among modern, low-level martial artists who have found an outlet for their frustrations via the internet. But, why is that? The martial arts should be all about personal growth and positive empowerment. But, for those who have not truly achieved, they find solace in embracing negativity to cover-up for their own lack of personal accomplishment.

As we all can understand, there are the people out there in cyberspace just trying to cast shade on others by altering facts or just pointing any reader with a mind geared towards negativity in that direction. For some reason, some people are not secure within themselves and thereby have to attempt to find fault in others. The point being, in life, the negative musings of others can come at you from people across the spectrum of life: all backgrounds, all occupations. But, words are just words. The question one must always keep in mind is, "Why is that person saying what they are saying?"

You know, when I first began putting the formalized foundations for Zen Filmmaking together; the words I spoke, the classes I taught, and the writing that were published were all designed to help the person who may be having a problem getting his or her film actually done. The teachings were put together as an inspiration. This is still the case. But, back then, all the so-called, know-it-all, wanta-be filmmakers were saying Zen Filmmaking was all wrong. A film could never be made without a script. But, that was never the point. The point was, JUST DO IT! Simplify and get it done! Since that time, I have still received the same words of criticism. Sure, there are a lot of people who have made a lot of indie films since I first came up with Zen Filmmaking almost thirty years ago. But, there are also a lot more who have failed. …Failed for whatever reason. Mostly, as I have said so many times, the reason people fail in their filmmaking process is their expectations. They want their movie to look like a several million-dollar production when all they have is a few hundred dollars. Or, they wait and wait, hoping that big break will come their direction but it never does. But, if you let go of your expectation, if you let go and allow yourself to be free in your vision, you can actually get something done. You can actually make a movie or create anything else that you want to create and you can do it with your own personal style.

This is the same with all things in life. Maybe you have a vision. Maybe you even dislike what someone else has created and want to do it better. But, until you have shown what you can actually do and put it on the same chopping block of public opinion—exposing it to the same damnation, then all you are is voicing words that holds no true validly.

Maybe you don’t want to make a movie. Maybe you don’t want to write a book. And, that’s great. That’s who you are. But, if you do, then do it. Sitting around telling someone else how bad they are, how bad what they are doing is, means you are doing nothing.

Don’t You Feel Bad When You Get It Wrong?

There are so many people saying so many things and so much of what they say is so not true.

Every now and then I cannot help but take note about all of the false information that people spread across the span of human existence. Though everyone in the Free World certainly has a right to their opinion; an opinion is not a fact as I so often point out. Yet, everyone states what they state, believing what they believe, but if a belief is not based upon a truth than what is the purpose of that belief? It becomes only a tool for a person to use to substantiate their placement in society and to attempt to influence the minds of others.

A belief is a projected ideology used as a replacement for the truth. Thus, it has no absolute meaning. Yet, how many people are intelligent and ideologically coherent enough to realize that fact? Very few. Instead, they take what they have heard, they take what they think, and then they package it and release it as if it were a gift but it is not. It is simply a falsity presented with a bow.

From an academic perspective, people do their research. They find their evidence. Then they present their revelations to a board of other researchers who check and cross-check this data. Beliefs are never just thrown out there claiming to be substantiated facts. They are only accepted as a fact after a long process of assessment and evaluation.

People, however, find excuses for the falsities they present. They find justifications. They claim free speech. But, if someone is claiming free speech that in and of itself is a sign that what they are presenting has gone through no process of reevaluation by others who possess the qualifications to provide validation and approval. Thus, you must always be weary of what you hear if someone is justifying what they are saying. You must ponder, why are they saying it.

Moreover, do you feel bad when you get something wrong? Do you have any sense of remorse when you have stated something that, through further evaluation, turned out to be wrong? If you don’t, what does that say about you?

Life is lived by what we learn. If what we hear, leading to what we learn, is not true, our entire life became a false, baseless existence. If you are contributing to that epidemic, your whole existence becomes the flash point for the demise of not only the other people who have listened to what you have had to say but to the ongoing betterment and evolution of the human race, as well.

A lie is never the truth. A belief that is only believed, is never a fact. Thus, be conscious of what you say and what you put out there, for a false belief you hold, equally a lie you tell, has the potential to not only define your entire existence but the lives of those who have listened to you, as well.

Hey, YouTube Star, What Are You Doing to Save the World?

Ever since people found a way to find their celebrity on the internet, it has become a platform for publicity. Though this is not in the exact order of occurrences but first there came websites like Naked News, then personal/explicit website came to be at the forefront of media discussions. The first incarnation of MySpace was a big catalysis for this style of personality driven stardom. Now, sites like YouTube offer a pathway for people to find their fame. But, at the root of this celebrity is one person finding their pathway to recognizable notoriety. Okay… But, the question must be asked. “Hey, YouTube star, what are you doing to save the world?”

People forever find a reason to accentuate their life and to make it better. Some people are, by their nature, very outgoing and driven and they seek to be the center of attention. From this, if they have something that the internet masses desire, they may find a pathway to celebrity.

Now, there is nothing wrong in all of this. Throughout modern history some people have desired fame. But, how many people who desire fame ever think about anybody but themselves? How much time do they spend consciously giving back to the world? Sure, most of these people will have an excuse. “I make people laugh.” “People like to look at my naked body.” “I tell people what I think and they seem to like it.” Of course, the list goes on. But, how does any of that make this world a better place? How does any of that help the person who is homeless and does not even own a computer or a smartphone? How does that help the people who are devastated by weather or by war? How does that do anything to save the world?

Certainly, there have been celebrities through this modern era who actually stop looking in the mirror, step up to the plate, and go out there and do something that matters—something that truly helps people. How many YouTube celebrities are like that? How many of them get out there, get their hands dirty, and actually help the people in need?

Here are the questions you must ask yourself as you pass through life: “What am I doing to make the world a better place? What am I doing to help those in need? What am I doing for anyone but myself?” If you don’t have an answer to these questions then the answer is obvious; you are doing nothing. If you are doing nothing, you are doing nothing. You are not trying to help those less fortunate than yourself. If this is the case, why do you feel you deserve any celebrity what so ever?

If you are not doing anything to save the world—if you are not actually trying to help those in need, what does that say about you?

If you want to be famous, be famous for helping people. Then your life will have actually meant something.

The Helping Hand

I frequently ask people the question, “What are you going to do today that will help somebody other than yourself?” Right now, answer that question.

For most, they do not have an answer to that question because they do not think of other people, they only think about themselves. For others, the ones that actually pretend to care, they may attempt to come up with a suitable sounding answer. But, is that actually a real answer? Have they actually preplanned to do something for someone else?

As we pass through life, the
something in most everyone’s life is themselves. That something is based upon what they want and how they want to feel. If someone else enters into that calculation, equaling something that they want or someone who makes them feel the way they want to feel, then that person is the person they may considering doing something for. But, is that, “Doing,” in its purest sense? Or, again, is that just doing for yourself? I believe the answer to that question is clear.

The other factor in this equation is that people are quick to dismiss, "That person doesn't need my help or there is nothing that I could do to help them." Dismissal is easy. But, dismissal is just as the definition of the term implies, it is you not even caring enough to care or you not trying hard enough to try. Dismissal is easy. Trying takes caring focus. It takes effort.

So, again, we come to the place where the question must be asked, “What are you going to do today that will help somebody other than yourself?” Can you shake your mind out of its commonality of self-thought and actually care enough to do?

As we all can view our own lives as a basis for understanding, I frequently pose this question to myself. I do this to: 1) shake my mind free of self-absorption and 2) to make sure that I am caring enough to care at all junctures of my life. So, right now, ask yourself, "What can you do that will make someone’s life just a little bit better and are you willing to do it?"

As we can look to our own life as a basis for understanding, every now and then I take stock of what people have done for me. When someone does something nice for me and it comes my direction out of the unexpected nowhere I always extend my sincerest appreciation. Other times, I question why does no one cares enough to care—to say or do something nice? It is at those times when I (when we) should study our own pathway and first of all remove the self-motivated desires which equal obstacles. For if we open our eyes we may see that if all we are desiring is the only thing that we will believe is a, “Doing,” than we may miss the fact that there are people out there caring about us, and doing things for us, in their own small way.

At the end of our days, our life will not be measured by what we did for ourselves. It will be judged by what we did for others. So, “What are you going to do today that will help somebody other than yourself?” Right now, answer that question. Right now, go and do something for someone you know, someone you don’t know, someone you like, or someone you hate. Caring and doing good is always the best thing to do!


How many of your facts do you know that you know?

How many of your facts do you confirm?

How many things do you repeat simply because you heard it somewhere from someone?

Does it bother you that you don't check your facts?

Does it bother you when you say something that turns out to not be true?

What do you do about the false knowledge that you spread?

What do you think the false knowledge you spread does to the world as a whole?

The Bigger Question is, Why Do You Care?

People spend a lot of time thinking and talking about things outside of themselves. Whether it is discussing what they think about a particular person, a sport’s team, a music group, a movie, or a religious figurehead, whenever this style of dialogue occurs the discussion is moved away from Self. When the discussion is moved away from Self, the individual does not have to study who they are, what they are, and why they behave the way the behave. Thus, all sense of rising interpersonal human consciousness is lost to the mundane.

At the heart of all advancing mindfulness is a person’s ability to study themselves. From this study, they are allowed the opportunity to raise their level of awareness, take control over their mind, and guide themselves towards become a better, more whole, human being. For those who spend their time disregarding this fact and losing themselves to monotonous patterns of thinking, they lose any chance they have of rising above the commonplace and moving themselves towards a deeper understanding of Self and universal knowledge.

Taking control over one’s self is not easy. In fact, it is one of the hardest things that any person can accomplish. Removing one’s self from this task is easy, however, as there are a million things out there to distract you. There are a million people, saying a million things, all designed to keep you from looking within. Everywhere you turn you will find someone attempting to drag you into the discussion of the mundane and keeping you from turning within, developing a highly defined mind, and moving yourself towards the higher mind and the betterment of all instead of simply focusing on what somebody thinks about some one or some thing.

This is your life. You are the only person who can take control over it and decide to make yourself something more. So, why do you care about something that does not truly effect your overall evolution? Why do you waste your time thinking about it? Why do you waste your time discussing it?


It's easy to voice your opinion when the person you are voicing your opinion about has no way to respond.


What are you going to do today that helps someone other than yourself?

How Choice Equals Your Everything

As we pass through our life we each make choices. In many incidences these choices are something that we have chosen to do in the moment with little forethought. Whether they ultimately turn out to be a good, positive choice or a bad, negative choice, the ramifications from that choice are lived but then we are allowed to move on, leaving our past behind. This is not always the case, however. In some cases, these choices come to define much of the rest of our life. This is certainly the case when someone commits a crime and is caught and legally punished for it. This is also the case when someone meets someone, has a child with them, comes to truly dislike that person, but they are forced to deal with that person, due to the child, for much of the rest of their life.

The previous examples are two of the very obvious ones. There are understandably other actions that people choose to make that binds them to a specific period of their life and a specific person in their life. In many cases, they do this without ever thinking about the larger ramifications of the choice(s) they make on their life and to the life of the person or persons who are affected by the choice that they made. But, whether the action was a conscious choice or not, they bind themselves to that specific choice and/or a specific person. Thus, they become defined by a definable point in their past throughout the rest of their life.

Take a look at your life. Think to the things that define your life. Who are you, what are you? Who are the people around you and why are they there? Now, focus on the things that caused you to become that person. Then, trace this back to the choices you made that caused you to emerge to the point where you find yourself in life. What can you conclude? There is no right or wrong answer, this is simply a prescribed pathway which allows you to see how you have become the person whom you have become.

Once you have a clear perspective of yourself, take a few moments and look to the people whom you’ve interacted with throughout your life. Now, think to the people you have positively touched as you passed through life. What did you do to make them have that affirmative experience? Next, think about the people whose life you have damaged as you made the choices that you made as you have lived your life. What did you do to hurt them and why did you make that choice?

It is essential to note that the karmic ramification of someone you have hurt are always far stronger than someone you have helped? Why is that? Because pain, (physical, emotional, or otherwise), is long-lasting, especially when you have done nothing to undo the damage. Thus, that person is continually thinking about what you have done and this will forever become a defining factor to your existence in their mind. Thus, the two of you are bound together, via a negative experience, forever.

Think to the people that have been bound to you by the actions you have taken based upon the choices you have made. Define in your mind, the type of relationship that developed between the two of you based upon the choices you have made leading to the actions you have taken. Do you care about the way they feel or how their life has become defined by what you have chosen to do?

For a person with a conscience and a clear awareness of morality they do care. This is what defines them, their relationships, and the choices that they make throughout time. But, there are others out there who do not care. Though you may wish for them to care, you may tell them to care, but again they make their own choices which sets their interactive destiny into motion and if they are a person who does not possess a conscience there is little you or anyone else can do to make them refine and cultivate their mind.

So, what does this leave us with? It leaves us with the fact that not only your life but the life of all those you interact with, as you pass through your life, is defined by the choices you make. It is then further defined based upon the next level of choices you make delineated by the choices you previously made.

What choices will you make today that will define your future? What choices will you make today that will remedy the choices you have made in the past? Your life, your choice.

Speaking Your Mind Verse Mindful Speaking

One of the primary tenets of Buddhism is Right Speech. It is an essential part of the Eightfold Path.

In the modern world, especially in the Free World, people have the belief that they can say whatever it is they want to say with impunity. Perhaps this is true from a governmental perspective but is what is allowed by society the only true definition of human consciousness? No. Just because you think something, that does not make it true. Just because you are allowed to say whatever it is you want to say, that does not make it right. On the path of rising human consciousness the individual should make a cognizant decision to formulate their speech from a more profound perspective then simply letting their thought and beliefs run away with their thinking mind, thereby creating the words they are speaking. That is what sets the person walking the spiritual path in a different direction than the average person; they consciously formulate every aspect of what they do and what they say in order to leave the least amount of impactful devastation in their wake.

Right Speech is based initially upon the Buddhist concept of Right Thought. For, where do your words arise from? They are instigated by what you think. But, why do you think what you think? This goes to the source of whom you associate with. Thus, the Buddhist understanding of Right Association is brought into play. Whom you associate with equals what you think, equals what you say.

As sentient beings we all feel we are whole and compete onto ourselves. This is also the sourcepoint for where the human ego comes into play. As we are whole and complete beings, many feel that gives them the right to do and say whatever it is they want. But, again, this goes back to the sourcepoint for personal thought. Why do you choose to think what you think? What was your inspiration? Why do you feel you have the right to spread what you think out to to the world via your words? What made you believe that it was acceptable to do that?

At the heart of all rising human consciousness is the person who chooses to take control over themselves. They do this realizing that they are not the All Powerful, All Knowing Being that the ego has allowed many to embrace. They understand that they are simply a cog in the wheel and, as such, what they do has an ever-rippling effect onto the rest of world. From this understanding, they choose to take control over their mind and the actions unleashed by their thoughts so that the world becomes a better, less traumatized place. Thus, they choose mindful speaking over speaking their mind.

Where do you place yourself in the spectrum of the existence that you find yourself currently living? Do you feel that you have the God-given-right to expound your beliefs to all those who will listen? If you do believe this, where did that belief arise? And, do you not believe that everything you say possesses an impact on the lives of not only those you speak about but those who listen to your words? Do you not believe that you are creating your own karma by saying what you are saying?

It takes a strong person to put their ego in check. It takes a strong person to not be dominated by what they think and what they believe. It takes a strong person to understand that mindful words are the sourcepoint for making the world a better place as opposed to making it a more damaged place on both the interpersonal and universal level.

Can you be strong enough to choose Right Speech? This is a question that you can only answer yourself. But, be advised, your words equal your karma and your words equal your destiny. What kind of life do you want to live? What kind of impact do you wish to invoke?


Goed of slecht is enkel een zienswijze. Als je van de hel houdt wordt het een hemel.


Hoe vrij zou je zijn als het je niet uitmaakt wat anderen over je zouden denken?




Csak akkor érezheted úgy, hogy becsaptak, ha elvársz valamit. Elvárások híján csalódásoktól sem kell tartanod. Minél kevesebbet vársz, annál szabadabb lehetsz, s annál kevésbé az idő rabja. Miért? Mert elfogadod azt, ami van. Az elfogadás felszabadít.


Mindannyiunknak vannak személyes kedvteléseink, preferenciáink - bizonyos dolgokat szeretünk, másokat nem. Az életben mindig van két választási lehetőséged: az egyik, hogy úgy döntesz, élvezed az éppen aktuális eseményt, és tanulsz belőle - még ha nem is olyan dolog, amit szeretsz. A másik lehetőség, hogy végigküzdöd-küszködöd az élményt, közben folyamatosan hibáztatva érte mindent és mindenkit magad körül. Mi lenne, ha minden kedvezőtlen eseményt új megvilágításban szemlélnél? Mi volna, ha egyszerűen elfogadnád a tapasztalatot, mint átmeneti állapotot, és tanulnál belőle, amit csak lehet? Gondold csak el, milyen békéssé válna ezzel az élményed! Ha szereted a Poklot, azzal Mennyországgá változtatod. Az érzéseiddel döntesz - válassz hát körültekintően!


Hányszor történt veled valami olyasmi, amit nem szerettél? És hányszor volt, hogy a kezdeti negatív tapasztalat gazdagabbá tett téged, új lehetőségeket kínált:

- erősebbé tett
- megismertetett új emberekkel
- lehetővé tette, hogy tisztábban lásd az emberi természetet
- képessé tett rá, hogy mélyebben megértsd a saját létedet.

A helyzetek és körülmények nem rosszak. A döntéseid, ahogy azokat kezeled, irányítást biztosítanak a számodra, és lehetővé teszik, hogy megszabadulj minden negatív dologtól. A békéhez vezető úton ne hagyd, hogy látszólag negatív események átvegyék fölötted az irányítást, és uralni kezdjék a gondolkodásodat. Ehelyett inkább arra figyelj, hogyan fejlődhetnél tudatosan a tapasztalat által!


La felicidad es una emoción. Eres tú quien decide ser feliz o infeliz en una momento dado.


Tu aquí y ahora está solo dominado por la complejidad de la vida que te has creado tu mismo.


La valoración que haga otra persona de ti, ¿es más importante para ti que tu propio conocimiento de ti mismo?


Despierta y siente un nuevo día. Vive y siente una nueva vida. Mira con ojos nuevos y experimenta todas las posibilidades.


Perdona y serás libre. Olvida y serás todavía más libre.


Sin esa experiencia negativa inicial, no habrías avanzado nunca hacia algo positivo.


Olvídate de intentar comprender todos los acontecimientos de la vida y serás mil veces más feliz.


All negative behavior comes from a place of unanswered pain.


Your life is defined by whom you have hurt.

The Scott Shaw Zen Filmmaking Documentary: The Truth Be Told

Like I always say, “You know you're famous when people you've never met say things about you that aren't true.”

I am sitting here at my studio this afternoon, waiting to run a class with a few of my advanced students/friends and a couple of people have contacted me about the fact that Allison Pregler AKA Obscurus Lupa has put her so-called reedited documentary about me up on YouTube. This makes me smile, kinda. I remember when she first released that documentary and all of a sudden I was getting tons-and-tons of hate email. Hate email for a guy like me… That was a first… Believe me when I tell you, I’m a nice guy. Just ask anyone who actually knows me.

Anyway, as I have a little bit of time before my class, I just took a moment to glance at YouTube and to read some of the comments regarding this supposed Scott Shaw Zen Filmmaking documentary and, as the internet promises, her documentary is once again provoking a lot of negativity being sent my direction. In fact, my web guy, who handles all my emails, told me I have already received a couple of very negative comments and one death threat over the past week since the piece has been up. Not cool… But, I am trying to stay positive.

Regarding the negative YouTube comments… Most everything, everyone is saying is not true! Just like in Allison's piece, the interpretation of me, who I am, how I feel, and what I think is totally wrong. And, this is the problem when somebody creates a documentary like this. It invokes negativity. And, negativity is never, under any circumstance, a good thing. 

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way for those of you who may not know… In a very short period of time, about five or six years ago, Allison did a couple of things, regarding me, without ever contacting me or speaking with me. In fact, to this day, she has never met or spoken with me. So, how can she know anything about me? But, to the point…

1. She stole ASCAP Registered, Copyrighted music I had created and used it to soundtrack a film her boyfriend, (I think his name is Phelous), and she created. Had she just asked if she could use it, I probably would have said, “Yes.” But, she did not. I didn’t even know who she was and I still wouldn't if she hadn't forced her way into my life. The fact is, I had worked long and hard to create that music. Have you ever created something and had someone steal it from you? If you have, you will know what I’m speaking about and why it was a problem for me. 

2. She made the aforementioned FU documentary about me and used footage from my films that were under U.S. Copyright Protection to illustrate it. This, in association with her Trademark Infringement as she confiscated and used Zen Filmmaking in her title to gain notoriety for the piece. If you are going to create an FU documentary at least have the decency to film your own footage like Joe DeMott and Jeff Kreines did when they created the documentary about Donald G. Jackson, Demon Lover Diary. Here’s the thing, and the truth about her so-called Scott Shaw documentary, she takes a word here or a passage there from what I have written and makes it all sound very negative, like I’m a total asshole. I am not. If you read the books she took those words from, Zen Filmmaking and Independent Filmmaking: Secrets of the Craft or anything else I have written about filmmaking, they are all designed to help the indie filmmaker. But, by using limited passages and putting her own spin on it, all she does is invoke a big misunderstanding about my philosophy; how I think and what I do. That is just not cool! How many budding independent filmmakers has she hurt by turning them off to what I have to teach?  

3. She did a highly footage heavy review of Max Hell Frog Warrior, (which she has also uploaded to YouTube). Due to the amount of footage used, my lawyer documented that her review damaged the sales of the movie and its ability to be further marketed. But personally, I thought it was marginally amusing, even though, like in her documentary, she does get several facts wrong. In fact, as I am not a big fan of that movie, when she removed the footage and added her created images to her presentation, I thought it was actually more interesting than when she was only using the film's footage that was protected under U.S. Copyright Law.

It is important to note, believing that she was simply a young woman who did not understand the ramifications of her actions, I personally stopped my attorney, who was also the CEO of my Production Company, from suing her in Federal and Civil Court (he had the papers all drawn up). This action caused us to have a major falling out which ultimately ended our business partnership and cost me a lot of money. But, did Allison thank me for that? Nope. Thus, lesson learned…

In fact, one of her minions posted a highly distorted discourse on what took place between her and I, with Max Hell Frog Warrior, on a website that does not allow rebuttals. Did she do anything about that? Not a thing. It is still up there to this day.

As it was a total hatchet piece and his facts were totally wrong and speculation at best, he also damaged my reputation. Yet, here she is again, re-releasing the documentary and creating all this negative energy being sent my direction. For someone like myself who is all about helping people, this is just not cool.

Ultimately, one must question, what is the point? So she can make a little bit of money off of her YouTube Channel and develop a few more fans? This, while she hurts the career and reputation of another person. Again, not cool!

Keep in mind, I am not the only person this has happened to. Alison has apparently made an entire career based upon stealing the creative film work of other people and then placing her opinions upon those movies. This, without ever gaining the legally required permission to use copyrighted material and/or paying the creators of the films one cent for the use of their footage. From a moral perspective, that is just not right. And, as we all understand, that is one of the main reasons that there are copyright laws in the first place, so people can't just steal the intellectual or creative property of someone else and make money off of it. But, there she is, doing just that. At least she took the footage from my movies out of the YouTube re-release of her so-called documentary.

Loving or hating my films is fine, that's personal opinion. Not understating what I'm doing or why I'm doing it is not a problem, that's just the human condition. But, making money and a name for yourself off of misrepresenting who and what I am and what Zen Filmmaking is all about is just wrong. 

From a personal perspective, I find her misplaced interpretation of my life and my philosophy and her altered dissemination of my writings almost amusing. But, being on the receiving end of what she is saying I also understand the negative ramifications of what she has invoked. Ask yourself, how would you feel if you began receiving hate mail and even death threats because of a highly bias so-called documentary somebody made about you? I thought with the demise of a few years ago, where her presentations were originally posted, all this melodrama was over, but now it has begun again. 

Furthermore, here’s a fact that you may find interesting in regard to this matter… As stated, in the documentary Allison quoted from two of my books on filmmaking. I guess at some point she got pissed off at me and took those books and some of my films and sold them to a local used bookshop. A university student who was into what I do noticed the transaction, alerted me to it, and I own the aforementioned books. Looking at them it was very enlightening in that I could see what passages Allison had highlighted in yellow. Again, those books were designed to help the independent filmmaker but what she had done was to remove passages from the greater text, which not only made me look bad but completely distorted Zen Filmmaking and what I was hoping to present in those writings. Looking at her highlights, I could totally see what she was doing. She was not reading the book(s) as a method to learn new knowledge or to be helped in the practice of filmmaking but as a means to find a method to use my own words to make her preconceived notions about me a reality and to make me look bad. Not cool! But, it was/is truly interesting to witness how her mind works. 

I imagine Allison may post a slanted rebuttal, stealing more of my words, to this piece somewhere, as that is what she has done in the past; justifying her actions. But, I didn't ask to be dragged into any of this. Allison, you should really choose to be more than someone who creates and inflames negative situations.

As I always discuss in this blog and elsewhere, "If you are doing anything that creates negativity in the life of anybody, what do you think the ultimate result of that chosen action will be on your life and the lives of others?” And, as I always say, “Put your personal judgments in check and only say and do positive things! That is the key to living a good life!”

And, to all you naysayers out there, at least find out who I truly am and what I am actually about before you cast your judgment. Read the books if you want to understand what I actually wrote.

That’s the story… It is so stupid to be put through this again. But, what can I do? I just hope those of you who read this will add a little truth and positivity to a negative situation that I had nothing to do with creating. 

Anyway, I have to go teach a class.

As always, get out there and meet negativity with positivity.

Be Positive and Smile! Happy

Follow-up: Somebody asked me an interesting question this morning. They asked, “Why did I mention Allison's name and her Scott Shaw Zen Filmmaking documentary in this blog, as didn't that just give her and it more publicity?” 

The answer: Because one of the things that I do in this blog is detail my life experiences, how they affect me, how I feel about them, and how I react to them. From this, I hope it provides the reader with a deeper insight into life and human behavior—perhaps even giving them some new insight into how they should interact with other people as they pass through their life. Certainly, I would have preferred to never be made part and parcel to any of this. And though I rarely mention names in this blog, but if she or anyone else gets some publicity from what I write; great—good for them!

Ultimately, do I care what Allison or anybody else thinks about me? Absolutely not. My life accomplishments speak for themselves. If they didn't, people like Allison would not be making documentaries about me in the first place.

At the end of the day I am just a very simple person. I hope to keep my family and friends safe and happy and hopefully make this world just a little bit better place with everything that I do. Hope that answers the question and gives everyone else a bit more insight into Scott Shaw, Zen Filmmaking, and the Scott Shaw Zen Blog.

This is Life.
This is Zen.
This is Scott Shaw Signing Out.

God Bless!


A saint in one faith is a sinner in another.


When the destination no longer exists there is no right way or wrong way to get there.


For every bad situation that occurs in your life if you look back through time you will realizing that it began by one choice being made and most often that choice was made by you.


Do all of the good deeds you do today erase that one bad thing you did way back when?


You getting revenge is only you setting yourself up for further karmic repercussions.

One Minute Later

Have you ever been in a car or a motorcycle accident? How did that accident affect your life? For most, these events are a negative experience—negative, especially if you were hurt or your car or motorcycle was badly damaged.

Now, think about this… What if you had left home one minute later that day. One minute later or one minute earlier and you would not have been at that intersection, at that point in time, where that accident took place. Thus, you would have never been in that accident.

This goes to show you how your life is dominated by simple movements—movements that can change your everything. A choice to leave, when you choose to leave, and everything in your life is changed forever.

I have been in a few serious accidents in my life. Going back to my childhood, when I was maybe two or three, (I remember very far back in my life), a car hit my father late at night. This was my first accident experience. My father, at the time, own a restaurant near the USC campus and we were driving home at maybe one or two AM; whenever the restaurant closed. I was sitting on my mother’s lap. This was long before child car seats or even seat belts. The car hit us. I apparently smacked my head on the dash due to the impact. Though I don’t remember that part. My father, obviously pissed off due to this fact, gets out and the black guy that hit us pulls a knife on my father. …Things were sketchy back then too. My father, a petty savvy fighter, knocked him out. The cops soon showed up and the guy was arrested.

But, think about it… Had we left the restaurant just a few minutes sooner or a few minutes later, none of that melodrama would have happened.

When I was ten, I was driving in a car near Valentine, Arizona with my uncle. It was the winter. We were driving on Route 66. I so clearly remember as this pickup truck drives up next to us, looks at us, and passes us very quickly. I took notice as the two people in the truck were long haired Native Americans. As this was 1968 you took notice of a man’s hair length. Instead of just passing us, however, they intentionally cut us off, causing my uncle to react and, due to the fact the road was icy, we swerved off the road and flipped the car. Why they did this, I don’t know. Drunk? Maybe. Because we had California license plates? Maybe. Or, just to fuck with us. I don’t know… But, it was quite an experience. One that should never have happened. It was the first time that I believed I was going to die—in one of those seconds that seems to last for an eternity. I let go of life. But, I lived and I was okay. Okay, but never the same.

I have been hit while driving my motorcycle a few times. Two of those times were very serious. My life was never the same… Hell, my friend even ran into me with his motorcycle as we were driving down the Sunset Strip back in the late 70s. He was trying to pick up on these two girls in a car and wasn’t paying attention. He hit my bike, we both hit the payment. The girls laughed and drove off. Life…

I’ve been in a few smaller accidents, as well, but the one thing that any one who has even been in an accident, large or small, will tell you is that they are not fun. They are an occurrence that comes out of the blue—an occurrence that you wish never happened. An occurrence that can truly change your life.

But, any of those accidents—they did not have to happen. All I had to do was leave a minute earlier or a moment later. But, I did not. Why not?

Accidents also go to the situations when you meet a new person by chance. You are there, they are there and, for whatever reason, you begin a conversation. This conversation may equal great things in your life. It may also equal devastation. A chance meeting, by accident, yet your life is altered forever. Had you not been there, had they not been there, none of the anything would have ever happened. But, you were there, they were there, and now your life has come to be defined by this interaction. An accidental meeting, yet it comes to define you.

Some would say that all things that happen to you are god’s will. Others would call up the karma card. Still others will say it was destiny. Maybe… It could be anyone one of those things if you choose to be a believer. But, life is random. Life happens. Different things, different experiences, happen to all of us. From them, we become who we are.

Some people want to find a reason for no reason. Some people wish to attribute logic and a causation factor to everything so that they may feel like there is something bigger going on—that god has a purpose for them. But, this is all mental masturbation. It is simply people looking for a reason why when there is no reason why.

Life happens. You are here. You do things. You make choices when to do things. From this, your life becomes defined by the experiences you have when you are doing the things you choose to do when you choose to do them.

Reason, logic, justification, they are only there if you believe they are there. But, what does the other person who was part of the accident believe? Probably something totally different from what you are believing. Thus, there is no fact—only supposition.

Life… Though we all wish we could find a reason why, there is no reason why.

Do Something Special Every Day

Life goes by in the blink of an eye. When you are young you don't think about this. When you are old it is too late to think about this. One day you are young; the next day years have gone by but you never saw them going. You never see the passing of time until that time has past. You can only look back and remember your life experiences. Yes, during your life there are good times and there are bad times but while you are living them, you are locked into them. Thus, they are only judged through the passage of time.

Many people choose to live a very mundane existence. The do the same thing everyday. Some like what they do and they are content in their mundane. That is a good thing. Most people, however, are not like this. And, that is bad thing.

Many people feel trapped by their life-definitions. They feel they must do what they must do. But, if what they must do brings them no joy, their entire life passes by with not only a sense of angst and regret but also with a longing to have lived something else. From this is born all of the internal anger perpetuated out to the world by the words and the deeds of the unhappy and the unfulfilled individual.

For many, their life is defined by a sense of necessity. They must do what they must do to survive and/or to feed their family. Again, this goes back to the core principle of life; some people love or at least accept the cards life has dealt them; making the best out of them, while others are regretful and become bitter and angry.

Though there are spiritually based metaphysical methods to teach a person how to rethink and reencounter their life; this takes training. A training that many do not wish to undergo. Thus, what can a person do if they find that they are living a life that they wish was different? The answer, “Do something special everyday.”

Many people adequate, “Special,” with something big. A trip to Hawaii, a new car, a new lover, a new and better job. But, “Special,” doesn’t have to be that. Special can be something very small but very personal. If you like to take a walk, take a walk everyday. Go have a cappuccino. Join a gym. You never know who you will meet. Take a class in something that you are interested in. Go do some hatha yoga. You name it… Special is anything that takes you away from the forced and the mundane in your life. Special is anything that takes your mind off of all the stuff you normally think about. Special is something that makes you feel special. Special does not have to cost money. Special is taking a moment, talking yourself out of any drudgery that you may be encountering, and altering you mind to a place where new and happy realization and life experiences may be born.

Do something special every day.


Who has to die so your secrets will be hidden?

Demons Among Us

There are demons that walk among us. People who pretend to be one thing but are completely the opposite. People who lie about who they and what they are to get what they want. People who have some form of mental illness and either hide it from the world or are too mentally ill to even realize the fact that they are flat out nuts. In each and all of these cases, the demons come into the life of someone else and completely destroy it. Caring not about who they are, what they are, or what they have done, they move through their entire lifetime doing nothing but damaging the lives of all those they encounter. There are demons among us.

In most case, it is only after our life has been damaged by one of these demons that we actually realize who and what they are. Initially, we only see the facade.

Most of us believe in people—we want to believe that people are good, kindhearted, and are doing good things while acting in a positive manner. This is where we are taken in by the demon. From believing in the goodness of people, demons find an open door.

In some cases, we can see the demons among us. Are you ever out in public and you see someone talking to themselves? This is the obvious, early stages of mental illness. Thus, they are on the road to demonhood. Some people are just nuts. They are yelling and screaming wherever they find themselves. Demon… But, then there are those who have the ability to hide who and what they truly are. They may do this through lying, they may do this through pretending. Whatever the guise, what they do is hide from the world what they have the potential of unleashing once one allows them into their life.

Sometimes, at a distance, we can hear a person yelling, screaming, and raging in anger. These people are controlled by their demons within. If we can hear them, we know to stay away from them. The problem is, most of these people are masters of deception; they lie and they hide who they are and what they do. They do this so most of the people they encounter do not know who they truly are until it is too late.

This is the same with people lost to the realms of distorted relationships. Some people perform very misdirected and unconscious acts within the realms of a relationship. Sometimes the other participant is a willing participant. Other times, they were simply indoctrinated into whatever levels of wrongness is taking place. Knowing nothing else, they do not question what is going on or why. Still others are lied to by these demonic personages. They are deceived into thinking the person is one thing when they are the complete opposite. This is where the true and absolute damage to a person’s life can occur. They were lied to thus all levels of damnation may occur to them and they may have no way out. Thus, all hope and all life is lost.

At the root of the demons who walk among us is deception. They lie. Whether that lie is a conscious action attempting to gain what they want from other people or if it is simply a reaction; hoping to keep their demonic condition in the shadows, these lies have the potential to destroy lives. We can all say that this person should not have the ability to behave in their demonic manner. And, we can say that we hope we never encounter these type of people. But, they are everywhere. It is only through a very discerning eye and a developed understanding of what traits to look for that any of us can keep our lives free from being invaded by a demon.

Liar are everywhere; don’t allow them in your life. People who hurt people are everywhere; don’t allow them in your life. People who deceive other people about who and what they truly are, are everywhere; don’t let them into your life.

Study anyone and everyone you meet—any person you encounter. Don’t let a pretty face fool you. Don’t let someone who you think is smart fool you. Don’t let someone who you think will be the answer to your desires control you. Know everyone you encounter before you ever let them close enough to demonize your life.


Just because you believe something to be true does not make it true.


No one wants to admit their own sins but everyone wants to call out the sins of others.


You can deny your actions, you can justify what you have done—your friends and your family can support your deeds but if what you have set in motion damages the life of another person then you are the source of that destruction and no words or rationalizations can save you from what will eventually befall you.


What happens if no one believed in God?


Do you try to fix any damage that you have created or do you try to find a reason to justify your actions?


Everybody has a reason for doing what they do but most of these reasons are simply excuses.

Inspiration from the Obscene

In each of our lives there comes a time when somebody enters our existence and they really mess things up. Sometime these encounters only last for a moment. In other cases, these interactions have the potential to define many years of our life. In either case, we don’t want the negative experiences brought on by our interactions with this individual to have ever happened but, this is life, and at times we all encounter negative life experiences delivered to us by someone else.

In some cases, we invite these individuals into our life. We meet them, they may seem nice or appear as if they have something to give to our life that we desire. In other cases, they force their way into our lives in a way that we never hoped-for, desired, or have any responsibility for. These forced interactions can come from any number of causes: another employee at the workplace, someone moves into your neighborhood, an unconscious driver smashes into you with their car, and the list goes on. But, at the root of any of these defining factors is the element that the person enters your existence and things are never the same—they are worse.

Once this person enters your life and they mess things up, it is common to harbor a lot of frustration, dissatisfaction, and anger towards this person. They came in, they messed things up, and you are the one left dealing with the consequences. Commonly, a person who unleashes negativity is so lost to the true realms of higher consciousness and reality that they do not even care who they have hurt and never set about on a course to make it right. In fact, they may even blame you. Wrong, but it is seen as right in their distorted mind.

So, what can you do?

The fact is, there is no hard answer for what you can do as once these encounters take place each person’s life is damaged in a different way. Though you may want revenge, as a conscious individual you will probably never pursue that path. This being said, the one thing that you can do is gain inspiration from the obscene. The first thing you must establish is the villain in the equation. And, if you have personally made the mistake of letting that person into your life, you must draw the boundaries; stop the interaction(s) if you can or, at least, limit the interactions if they are, for example, a coworker or a neighbor. Then, you must study that person: watch them, listen to them, remember their actions; what they did and did not do; what they said and how they behaved. Once you have done this, you, as a conscious person, who truly wishes to make you and the world a better place, must then take what you have witnessed in this person and use it to guide you to never do what they have done.

Never let your actions hurt anyone else. And, if you have intentionally or accidentally hurt someone in your past do all that you can do to undo what you have done and fix what you have broken.

The mark of a caring conscious individual is caring enough to care.

The Process of Realization

Most people never take the time to study why they behave the way they behave. They simply pass through their life giving no thought to the process of personal realization.

Commonly, people know they have a personality and that they feel a certain way or behave in a particular manner when they are reacting to the various stimuli they encounter in life but they never take the time to study why they behave in this manner. At best, they simply write it off to the excuse, “That’s just who I am.”

But, why are you who you are? Why do you behave the way you behave, do the things you do, and act out in the manner in which you act out? If you do not know the answers to these questions you are living your life from a place where no personal realization can ever be had. You are living in a place where your emotions control your every move and can lead you down the road to alienating other people, damaging the lives of others and your own.

When some are confronted with these certainties they write it off to the fact that they do not care about truly knowing themselves — they do care about inner knowledge, all they care about is feeling okay a much of the time as possible and when they do not then their reactions, however hurtful or antisocial they may be, are called for. But, this is simply an excuse not a conscious realization.

This is the place in life that defines who a person truly is and what they can give back to others. For if a person does not care enough to define their own inner motivations they have no possibility of ever gaining control over them and raising to the higher levels of human understanding.

The world begins with you. The world begins with how you interact with the world. Your encounters, relationships, and ultimate life accomplishment are defined by how you act, react, and behave in the presence of others. If you do not take the time to know who you are and why, life simply becomes a random mess of chance encountered dominated by whatever emotion you are feeling at the moment.

Your life. Your choice. It all begins with you. But, it only truly begins when you understand who you actually are.

Where Does Your Empowerment Come From?

Each person wants to exist in a world where they are liked, loved, well thought of, and even respected. They want to be cared about and they want to have their life mean something. To achieve this, people go to all kinds of lengths. The problem is, these lengths are commonly defined by less than ideal actions. From this, though a person may, at least temporarily, gain some of the something they desire, it eventually falls away because it was not a life constructed upon consciousness, thinking of others first, and caring about humanity more than one cares about themselves. 

Take a moment and think about the various things you have wanted for your life. Look at what you want now. What are you doing to receive it?  But, more importantly, think back to what you wanted one year ago, five years ago, ten years ago. Did you receive those life-things? If so what was the price of you getting them? How did you getting them affect others? And, once you got them did they truly make you a better, more whole individual?

This is thing abut time, it allows us to gain perspective. 

In life, there is one common problem. That problem is, most people think about themselves first. They only care about other people in so much as they effect them. Obviously, this is a vey selfish mindset.  But, it how most of the world operates. 

Think about this, how many times has someone only been thinking about themselves and your life or your life evolution was negatively effected by their behavior? Yet, how many times have you hurt someone else’s life by you thinking only about yourself and you did not even care?

Right now, take a moment. Think back one day, one month, one year, or five years — think about another person that you interacted with. Focus on them instead of yourself. Think about how your self-involved, selfishness affected them. You probably didn’t care then. Do you care now?

If you live your entire life based in a space of self-absorption you exist in a very selfish realm of consciousness. The fact is, many people don’t care.  They justify their actions. “I am doing this to get that.” “People have hurt me so I have the right to hurt them.” But, more then these mentally verbalized excuses, most people are so lost into the realms of the selfish-self that they do not even take the time to take others into consideration. They do what they do. They do what they do and at best make up justifications and/or excuses for their actions. But, the fact is, the moment another person has entered your life, either by choice or fate, you are forever intertwined with them. Anything you do that affects them, effects you. And, though you may gain what you want for your life in any given moment by exhibiting bad or selfish behavior, it is that behavior itself that will eventually cause you to lose it and to not achieve your greater dreams.

Think about life. Think about the people in your life. Think about the people that you actually know; not someone that you have heard about. Think about these people because by looking at them you know what you know; it is not some abstract rumor, thought, or impression.  Think about these people. How many of them are truly happy, truly fulfilled, have truly obtained what they have wanted from and for their life? For most of us, when we actually take the time to take a conscious look we will see that most people are unfilled and have not achieved their whole and compete dreams. This is simply a fact of life.

Now, again, look at these people. What have the done to get where they wanted to be? In their process who did they damage in a small or a large way? 

From any damage comes further damage. The damaged go on to damaging others. Why? Because they have been hurt. From this hurt they feel they have the right and/or the need to hurt others. “It’s been done to me.” But, this is biggest excuse that many people employee and the entirely wrong space to live your life from. This is a space of expounding the negative in life; not the positive. If you consciously set about on a path to hurt, say bad things, do bad things to any other person, your life will forever be defined by those actions. This is why most people never live their life dream. They are held back by their thoughts, words, deeds, and actions. 

Many people, however, do not knowingly set out to damage the life of other people. They do not take conscious action. They simply do what they do without conscious thought. Is this style of behavior then forgivable because it was not consciously set in motion? No, it is not. For if you go through life lost in your self, locked in your own mind, then by that very thought process you have committed the ultimate sin — you only thought about yourself instead of the great whole.

People lie. People cheat. People steal. People deceive. People hurt other people, whether consciously or not. People lie to themselves about what they have done. People do all of these things to get what they want. But, if getting what you want involves the damage of anyone or anything you will never truly get what you want. If you do, it will only be very short-lived. And then, you will have had it but will suffer from the losing of it.

If you are not thinking about others first, if you are not putting other people first, you are living your life from a very selfish mind-space. From this, all that is born is disaster. Be more. Care about the other person first. From this, a whole new world of internal achievement is given birth to.

Try it out.  See how it feels.

The Holder of Your Secrets

In each of our lives we do what we do. Some of these, “Done Things,” we are very proud of and want the world to know about them; others—not so much. Some things we do are private; we want to keep them a secret.

Many of these, “Secrets,” are sealed. As no one saw or heard them so they are locked only into our mind and/or the mind of the person we performed them with. This is life…

There is the other side of the issue, however. Sometimes are secrets are found out. …Someone else saw them, heard them, or researched them. From this, at the discretion of
another, they can be released to the world.

There have been tape recorders and cameras forever. Video tape cameras have been around for a long while. Now, everyone carries all three of them on their phone. From this, personal secrets have become very hard to keep.

Most people do not set out to capture your secrets. Unless you are doing something bad to someone or something, your secrets are never sought out, as no one cares. In other cases, it is happenstance. You do something bad (something you want to keep a secret from the world) and what you say or do is so loud your secret is accidentally captured. Then what?

The fact is, people only keep secrets because they wish to hide who they truly are from other people. …They wish to hide what they truly do from others. Why? Because, in most cases, they wish to be seen a certain way by certain people. They wish to be seen as something they are not. They wish to be perceived in a specific light by a specific group of people. Whether this group is large or small is unimportant, it is simply defined by the mind of the individual who wishes others to not know who they truly are and what they truly do.

But, why is this? This mindset exists because people are not truthful about themselves — they are not truthful to themselves; for if they were there would be no need for secrets. If a person would not be attempting to project a persona, if they would simply be who and what they are, then there would be no need to hide anything.

Some people want to reveal and spread the secrets of another person. Some people make this their life quest. Some people lie about other people, pretending that they are telling someone’s secrets when all they are doing is telling a lie.

The fact is, finding out someone’s secrets is invigorating. …You know what you’re not suppose to know. You know what someone didn’t want you know. From this, you feel empowered. You feel you have power over that person. Think about how many negative life events have been set into motion by those who possess this mindset?

In this modern world, your secret(s) may now be easily captured. But, what if you have no secretes? Then, who would care?

Secrets are you hiding the truth about you from someone/anyone. If you existing in a space of being one-hundred percent yourself—one hundred percent honest about yourself, then what secrets would your life hold? You would be free.

Stop lying about who you truly are. Stop hiding who you truly are. Stop doing bad things. Then, you are free as you have no secrets. From this, not only does your world become freer are but the entire world becomes just a little bit better.

Life and Living with Others

I imagine that we each have had people come into our lives and really mess things up for us. Had we invited them in, then it would have been our own fault and there would be no one to blame but ourselves. But, this is not commonly the case for once we know of a person’s prediction for negativity, lying, deceiving, cheating, uncontrolled behavior, and doing other bad things; we very consciously shun them. But then, there is the other life-scenario—there is the case when someone intrudes his or her way into our life, forces their way in, and then by their deeds and actions all we are left with is the life damage and life destruction that they have created.

Hopefully, these experiences will be few and far between in one’s life. But, the fact of the matter is, no matter how few or how far better these life interactions are, once they have occurred, all we are left with is the never ending memory of the damage another person has caused us.

Most people do not set out to hurt others. Though some are of this mindset and intentionally devise a scheme to harm others, they are the worst of the worst; all of their acts are criminal and eventually they pay the price for them. But, more often then not, the people that damage our lives are those who are too unconscious, too self-centered, too unaware, too full of themselves, too much in self-denial and self-deceit and possessing too much unjustified self-importance to even fully comprehend or care about what they are doing. Once they have done what they have done, they lie, they deny, they live in a state of self-imposed superiority so that they will not have to accept that they are truly a bad person, doing wrong things to the lives of others.

In fact, have you ever encountered the situation where a person did a really bad thing to your life and then they tried to turn it around on you and blame you for your reactions based upon their negative actions? This is one of the prime examples of a person who is completely out of touch with the reality of what they are doing to the life of another person. But, people like this are everywhere; lost in their own self-deception and hoping to damage further the life of a person that they already damaged.

Truthfully, it is very sad… Sad, because the lives of the people they negatively affected are affected forever. The person’s life experience, their life chances, and their next level of life opportunities are damaged forever. But, what does the person who instigated the damage do to correct anything that they have done? Commonly, the answer to that is nothing. They lie and they deny. They run away from the truth about who and what they are. And, as previously stated, in some cases, they even attempt to blame the victim for their own actions of instigation. These people are simply bad and nothing that they can say or do will ever change this fact. They cannot change this fact unless they choose to go to source of their problem and undo all the negativity they have unleashed. But commonly, they are too egomaniacal to even attempt this feat.

And, here lies the ultimate definition of a person’s life; does that individual try to fix what they have broken?

In life, most people are good. They try to do good things and attempt to exist in space of harming no one. They are not locked into a mindset of self-deception where they tell themselves that are something that they are not. If they do unintentionally damage the life of another person, they turn their ego off and they do whatever it takes to repair that damage, for they know that damage will haunt their evolution forever if they do not correct it.

The good are truthful to themselves and others. The bad live in a space of denial and self-deception, not caring about others.

In life, though we all want what we want, we all want to do what we want to do, it is essential that we think about our environment and others first before we do anything. For is we do not, our words, our deeds, and our actions can hurt others because we did not take
others into consideration before we performed said actions.

Others are the fact of life. There are others all around us, all of the time. We must think of others first, before we think of ourselves if we hope to live a good life.

In some cases, some people are too self-absorbed to hear or comprehend these words. They believe that it is okay to do whatever it is they are doing, as it is their means to their ends. It may get them money, notoriety, physiological release, or psychological empowerment. But, the root and the heart of the problem, in thinking about life in that fashion, is that it is all based upon the concept of ME. And ME, is a very selfish place to live at.

Others are the key to life as it will be others who define your life.

What have you done to others? Did you hurt others? No matter what your justification for doing what you did may have been, did you undo any hurtful action, did you fix the damage you created, or did you simply live in a web of self-deceit? The answer to that question will define your entire existence.

Others define your life. How did you treat others?

You Are a Liar

Not only am I often asked to speak and write about the subject of truth, I am quite frequently confounded with the realities of life when someone lies to me. To begin this discussion I must state that ever since I was a very young boy I had this uncanny ability to know when someone was lying to me. In my early years I used to confront people with this fact, “You are a liar,” or, “You are lying.” I quickly came to understand that this was not the best method to keep any conversation or relationship moving forward. So, since then, I pretty much just let people keep talking — even if I know that they are lying to me.

At the central core of all that is right and good with life is the truth. But, what is the truth? The truth is not something big, grand, or abstract, the truth is the essence of who we each are. Where does truth come from? It comes from us. We are each the source or the truth or the lies. From truth, goodness is given birth to. From lies, all badness emulates.

People lie for all kinds of reasons. They lie to be seen as something more than they actually are. They lie to get something that they desire. They lie to protect themselves. And, the list goes on… But, at the central core of who and what a person truly is, the question must be raised, “Are they a liar?” Are you? Do you lie? It does not matter the reason or your reasoning? Are you a liar? If you are, all that you will ever be is a liar. For all things that you do and say set the next evolution of life into motion; not only for your life but also for all of those whom interact with you. If anything that you say or do is instigate from a lie, then there can never be truth. For without a basis in truth there can never be a greater good. A lie never equals the truth.

Most people, when they are confronted with the fact that they have lied will either re-lie, attempting to cover up their initial lie, or they will make all kinds of excuses for why they lied — providing all kinds of justifications for their action. But, again, this is not the truth. This is only exaggerating any lie that they already told.

If a person lies to you, they can never be trusted because they were willing to lie to you in the first place. If a person is willing to lie to you, (and justify their actions either to themselves or to you), they are not an honest person. A dishonest person is a liar, no matter what justification they are providing themselves with for doing what they are doing and saying what they are saying.

Life is a very simple place. The truth is the sole defining factor of all interpersonal relationships and with a person’s individual ability to achieve higher consciousness. Think about this, if a person lies to others, if a person lies to himself or herself, do you think they have the ability to obtain higher consciousness? No, they do not. A lie is never the truth, no matter what. If you lie you have tied yourself to the lower level of desire-filled human consciousness and you will never obtain what you hope to achieve for you have poisoned your own well.

As is always the case, the world begins with you. All you say and do affects the all and the everything of the further evolution of this place we call life. If you are lying, for any reason, that means that you are personally responsible for damaging the greater good.

I understand that most people don’t want to hear this and that many people do not even care. But, if you care about humanity, if you care about the greater good, if you care about your own self and your ultimate life-legacy, do not lie. For all lying does is create a world based upon falsehoods and deception. Stop making excuses to yourself for lying and become more. By you become more, via the truth, the entire world becomes better.

The truth is the ultimate defining factor for life. If you lie, stop it. If you have lied, undo your lies. Mostly, stop lying to yourself that your lying is justified. Stop being a liar!

Hidden Behind the Excuse of Mental Illness

When a person sees an individual with a physical illness, injury, or deformity the common emotion is sympathy. When a person encounters an individual suffering from a mental illness, however, the common emotion is to stay away from that person. This course of action is taken due to the fact that the person is most likely behaving irrationally and saying or doing inappropriate things. From this, the common course of action is to keep your distance. In fact, this is not a bad form of behavior or the wrong course of action as a person with a mental illness is unpredictable and they can lead any person who interacts with them down a road that they would have never traveled had they not encountered that individual.

As human understanding, medications, and psychoanalytical treatments have advanced over time many people have become much more accepting of those who suffer from the various forms of mental illness — both of the severe and the less severe. From this, there has become a more wide reaching acceptance of allowing certain individuals to act out and exhibit less than ideal human behavior. In times gone past, a person who behaved irrationally or presented an overabundance of uncontrolled emotion were commonly shunned or sent to a hospitable facility where it was believed they would be helped. Today, whereas those who suffer from the more severe forms of mental illness are generally treated in a hospitable and then only released once they are indoctrinated into the proper medication regiment, those with the less severe forms of mental illness are allowed to walk the streets, do what they do, and as long as their behavior does not become criminal they are allowed to live their life as the see fit. From this, those with these less severe forms of mental illness have been allowed to negatively affect they lives of those people around them. Here is where the root problem of either undiagnosed or hidden mental illness arises for the world on the whole.

Psychotherapy, which has many-many flaws, most commonly the fact that a person only tells their therapist what they want them to know and presents their life-facts through a very filtered perception, is the most common course of action for those with the more minor forms of mental illness. That is to say, it is the common course of self-imposed action for those who are self-aware enough to realize that they are behaving, acting, and reacting in an unacceptable manner to go and see a psychotherapist. Though a psychotherapist may guide their patient down the road to a more controlled life-existence, for the most part, they cannot remove the mental illness from their patient. This is particularly the case with a mental illness like bipolar disorder.

In the situation of bipolar disorder, one of the common symptoms is that of the lack of ability to control the sufferer’s emotional outburst. In fact, many a person with bipolar disorder, in this modern era, passes through their entire life without medical care as they are simply categorized as being very, “Emotional.” As such, they can commonly function to the degree that they can live among society without serious consequences. Though medication and psychotherapy may well help the sufferer of bipolar disorder, many who suffer from this mental illness are never alerted to this fact. This is most commonly due to the fact that many who possess this condition, and other relatively functional psychological disorders, are either not consciously aware of their inappropriate interaction with society or are simply in denial of the altered manner in which they encounter life.

For those of us who have encountered those with bipolar disorder, whether diagnosed or not, we have seen how a person with this condition can truly come to negatively affect the lives of all those around them. As they cannot control their emotions, they are prone to undefined outburst when there is no need for them. From this, not only are relationships damages but also verbal and physical altercations are instigated and lives may be sent down the pathway of unexpected and undesired occurrences due to the course of event set into motion by the person who possess this mental illness.

One of the key components of mental illness, that has come to be very prominent in this current timeframe, is that the sufferer has been feed the elixir that they are not responsible for their behavior; they are ill, they are trying to be better, thus, they should not hold themselves responsible for their behavior or their actions.

At the root or all mental illnesses is the sense of denial held by the person who suffers from the disease. From the modern psychological perspective, and via the words of a psychotherapist who makes their living by keeping each of their patients under their control for as long as possible so they can pay their rent, the sufferer of the disease is provided with a long list of excuses that what they are doing is not their fault, as such, they can continue down the road of negatively affecting the lives of those they encounter with no physical, emotional, or karmic consequences.

For any of us who have had any type of illness, from the most minor cold on up to breaking bones and beyond, we realize that we did not want it to happen to us. This too is the case with those who suffer from mental illness. This being stated, it is the individual’s responsibility, once they witness the problems they create and are diagnosed with a specific condition, that they do all they can to treat themselves for their illness. In the case of biologically based mental illnesses like schizophrenia, psychoses, or bipolar disorder, that means that the individual must seek help, stay medicated, and come to understand that though it may not be their choice to suffer from mental illness, they are the one who must take responsibility for their condition and continue to effectively deal with it. They must stop making excuses for their actions and tying to remedy themselves through self-medication, self-denial, self-deception, lies to others, and mediocre attempts to fix any interpersonal damage that they have created in their relationships. This is perhaps the hardest element to process for those with mental illness, for more often than not, that individual is so used to lying to get themselves though life, that they have lived in denial for so long and have hidden their condition from the world and perhaps even themselves that they are only indoctrinated into living a life based upon deception.

At the heart of all life is the individual. At the root of human interaction is how a person behaves and the patterns of good or bad they expound onto life by their actions and their behavior. Thus, each person must own up to the fact that the truth or the deceptions of life begins with them—the goodness or the badness in human interaction begins with them. Any person, possessing any understanding of mental consciousness and awareness must understand that they are the source for all that is taking place around them. Lies, excuses, and deceptions should be removed and a person’s true being placed out in front of all and any human interaction. From this, other people can come to define who a person truly is, why they are whom they are, and why they behave in the manner they behave. From this, an individual not only becomes true to himself or herself but the complexities of human consciousness can be better understood by all.

Was Your Life Better a Year Ago?

"Was your life better a year ago?" This is a question that I believe each person should ask himself or herself.

I think that we all know people; we have all met people who the first things they talk about is what they are going through and how things are bad or a least not as good as they were back then. What they are doing is comparing their life now to how their life was then. And, that’s fine. Verbalizing what you feel to friends and family is all-good as long as it doesn’t bring everybody down. Maybe this is you. But, though many people feel what they feel about what is going on in their life, few people ever take the time to study the reason why. Few people have the ability to truly look in the mirror and give themselves a true appraisal of what is going on in their life and why. They may justify their actions, they may blame others, they may attribute their current, less than perfect circumstances, to any number of reasons but what they rarely do is blame themselves.

All of your life is based upon what you have done. If you hurt others, you are a fault. If you damage things, you are at fault. If you lie, cheat, deceive, steal, you are at fault. Even if you believe you have a right to do the things you have done, if your life was better a year ago from where it is today, you must have done something wrong.

This is not about karma, self-guilt, or anything like that. For, the fact of the matter is, most people feel no guilt for what they have done—they could care less if they hurt or damage people or things. They feel they are entitled to do what they do when they do it and that is that. Again, few people possess the ability to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror.

If your life is not on the path you desire; if your life is not fulfilled and abundant, if you are not living the way you want, then who else is to blame but you? You did what you did. You set a course of events into motion. Thus, you have ended up where you have ended up solely based upon what you have done.

Some people are not as selfish, unconscious, or as self-serving as the greater whole. Some people actually care enough to care. But, these people also, at times, find themselves living a life that is not ideal. But, why is this? Why is this if a person tries to give back? Commonly this occurs, in a giving person, due to the fact that they are giving from a space of ego. “I am this.” “I am giving to you.” “It is I who has this to give to you.” “I am doing this for you.” The central precept here is, “I.” “I” is about ego. “I” is not about giving. The true giver has no sense of, “I,” in anything they do.

So, if you are at a stage of your life where you are not happy and fulfilled, if you can look back a year ago and realize life was better then, it is time to make a change. The essential thing to keep in mind is that change is not about anybody else. Change is about you. Change is not about blaming anyone or anything else. Change needs to be based upon you looking at you. Change needs to be based upon you stop doing things that hurt people or things—even if those things are justified in your own mind. Things that you may have told yourself are right but you know, deep down in inside, that you would not want them done to you. Mostly, change needs to be based upon you being a conduit of giving, not taking. Giving with no sense of self or ego. Giving good and positive things. Giving in silence.

Give it a try. Then, in a year, again take another look at your life. I imagine it will be better.

Do You Think That You Don’t Have to Pay for Your Karma?

The question that must be asked is, “Do you think that you don’t have to pay for your karma?”

Most people dance thru life, doing what they do, with little thought about the effect they are having on others. But, as they are doing what they are doing, with little thought, they are creating tons of karma. Then what?

If you are impacting the life of another person or persons, what are the ramifications? Do you think that you do not have to pay the piper?

Many people do not. They are all about getting over—doing what they do, when they want to do it. And, if doing what they want to do makes them feel okay, even for a moment, then all is well with the world. But, what if what you are doing is damaging the life of another person? Then what? What are the consequences to you and what are the ramifications to your life?

There are so many people out there who do not care. They take and they take, they do and they do. They may even think, “Why care about anyone else?”

Some people wake up; they see what they have done. They realize that they have hurt the life of someone else. But, then what? If you have come to understand that you have messed with the life of another person, are you going to fix what you have broken or are you simply going to sit in the realization that you have done someone wrong?

The fact of the matter is, you can stop doing what you are doing that is damaging other people or this life-space but if you do not fix what you have broken what does your realization prove? You must ask yourself, “What have I done to fix or undo my previous actions?”

You see, this is the ultimate flux point in life. Most people don’t care, until they are forced to have a reason to care. They only care, when what they have done has caught up with them and has begun to affect their own life in some negative way. Then, they wake up. But, waking up is not correcting what you have done. Correcting what you have done is correcting what you have done. So, what is it you are going to do to recreate life and fix the karma you have unleashed?

There is, no doubt, that this is a complicated question. But, if you actually care about the other people on this earth and if you actual care about the damage you have created, it is a question you must ask yourself. And, it is question that you must find an answer to. For if you do not fix the negative karma you have created all it does is to perpetuate itself and keep spreading out across this life-space. And, as you are the sourcepoint, who do you think it will ultimately affect the most?

Negative only equals negative, just as positive only equals positive. What are you going to do to fix the bad karma that you have created?

Even if you come to the conclusion that you only care about yourself, it is essentially important that you think about the effect your actions have on others and stop them before you unleash them and/or fix them if they have already been unleashed. Because if you don’t, what do you think will happen to you, your dreams, your life, and your life’s legacy?

You want a good life? It begins with what your do.

The Price of Enlightenment

It forever perplexes me why people turn to modern spiritual teachers who claim to be conduits of spiritual knowledge when all they do is reiterate the words that have been said a thousand times before. Sure, many people are seekers of truth, knowledge, and a better life, but all these false profits do is to capitalize upon this seeking and this desire for a more enlightened and spiritual life to make a living and gain ego gratification for themselves.

Oftentimes, these people speak of, “Energy,” how and why an individual should live a certain way and how by doing so All-Things will be better for them and for the world. But, they do not speak about this subject from a space of pure knowledge. They speak from the place of ego, or “I am teaching and you are learning.” Mostly, they speak to people who will pay to hear them speak. 

This is not true spirituality! If a person is not an ideal conduit of what they are saying, they are a false profit. Investigate whom you are listening to. 

Let’s examine this a bit further…

About a month ago I was asked to speak at a symposium. As I took the stage the announcer said, “Here’s Scott Shaw the author of many best-selling books and a spiritual teacher.” I immediately interrupted him, “I am not a spiritual teacher, I am just a guy you asked to come here and speak.” He was a bit taken back. The crowd all laughed. The lecture went on.

You can call me a martial arts instructor. I have the certifications. You can call me a professor. I have the degrees and I teach at the universities. But, I never refer to myself as a, "Spiritual teacher." Anyone who does is false unless they are truly living the life.

For example, when I was Swami Satchidananda’s soundman, I would travel with him and at every venue he spoke there would be hundreds of people in attendance. Sometimes thousands. He lived what he taught and people understood that. That’s why he was so sought after as a speaker. 

Now, I am not saying he was perfect. I have discussed him in other writings. But, I will say, he was who he was and he did not pretend to be anything else.

A funny story relating to this occurred at the Los Angeles Integral Yoga Institute. A few of the Swamis were complaining about one of the disciples preparing and drinking coffee in the morning. They asked Gurudev about this. He joking answered, “No coffee in the ashrams. That’s why I don’t live in the ashram because I like to drink coffee.”

That is truth. That is honesty. That is true spirituality.

He was not some fake, pretending to hold knowledge that he did not possess, while attempting to lure people under his spell to make money, live high on the hog, and make a name for himself teaching regurgitated words. He was who he was: whole and honest.

Here we arrive at one of the biggest problems of modern spirituality and those who teach it — the people who are doing it, and doing it wrongly, operate themselves and what they teach like a business. Spiritual truth and enlightenment are not a business. It should not be run like one. Yet, these so-called teachers run a publicity and marketing campaign like one would put in place for a business. They knowingly try to lure in more clients.
That is simply wrong. If you speak the truth, truth seekers will find their way to you. You do not need to say or do anything to get them to listen. 

This is my problem, (and it should be yours), with modern spiritual teachers. If someone is charging you for the knowledge they have to offer, there is something wrong in the equation. Knowledge, truth, and enlightenment are free. You should not have to extend any of your money, (or anything else), in order to receive spiritual teachings.

So why do these so-called teachers charge for their services? Because they are simply selling you their ego. 

As mentioned earlier, many of these fakes turn to the subject of, “Energy.” Energy has been one of the common focal points of spirituality since the New Age arrived. They will state, “Your energy is this. Your energy is that. You need to change your energy. You need to focus your energy.” But, what is energy? It is one of those nondescript things that anyone can call up and put their own unique definition upon. As it is not defined, it is one of the biggest factors of deception on the spiritual path. If someone is talking about your energy or cosmic energy they are simply using long spoken of false tactics to guide you in the direction they want you to go. And, moreover, energy is one of those things that they can blame when a person does not achieve what they had hoped, “You didn’t put enough energy into it.” Or, “Your energy was not pure and focused enough.” Nonsense!

Let’s look at this process from a bit of a different perspective…

If you want to look to a successful teacher of this modern era and veer away from specifically eastern knowledge for a moment, Anthony Robbins is an ideal personage. He came from a relatively middle-class background and now owns mansions, islands, and all the trapping of pure success. He accomplished this by studying human consciousness and then packaging his studies into a highly defined method that could actual help people move forward and rise up in their life. 

I must state, I am not a fan of him or his teaching, but he does provide an ideal example of a success story based upon helping to raise human consciousness and what can be achieved. 

There are people like myself who knowingly attempt to live a humble life in a reserved manner. Then, there are people like Tony Robbins who exist on a grand scale. The problem is, there are a plethora of false teachers who claim knowledge, yet they cannot even focus this knowledge to the degree to live at that higher financial level embraced by people like Tony Robbins or Deepak Chopra, yet they aspire to it. Therefore, what does that say about what a modern teacher has to offer you if it isn’t even precise enough to cause such a financial income that they can live on the large scale they desire? What it says is that they are trying to use hype and your desire to know more to get you to pay for what they have to offer so they can climb the ladder. But, that style of teaching and the foundational elements that go into it are just not right. Thus, they will never succeed in their aspiration but may damage the lives of a lot of people while they try. 

If a teacher is not an ideal expression of what they are teaching, if a teacher is repeating words that can be heard everywhere else, if a teacher is not a true embodiment of the energy they guide their students to embrace, they are a false profit. 

Don’t follow false prophet.

Do Dreams Know the Stories That They Tell?

I believe for all of us dreams are a unique element of our life. It is us in there, yet it is a different life. “You only live twice,” as the lyrics to the James Bond movie theme go.

Dreams have been debated forever. A person’s dreams are investigated when they go into psychotherapy. They are discussed in religious and philosophic texts. And, there have been tons of books written about the interpretation of dreams and what a dream actually means.

When I was around ten or eleven my mother and I purchased a book that, like a dictionary, supposedly broke down what each element of each dream meant. Every morning I would wake up and look to the book to see what the definition of my dream was and what I could expect for the day ahead. I did that until I realized that the book was generally wrong in its interpretations. Happy

Some people, in the morning, write all of their dreams in a journal. That’s chill if you can do it, I guess? But me, I have too much going on. When I wake up I like to jump out of bed and get busy.

Some people base novels, poems, and screenplays upon a dream they had. I tired to do that, but dragging myself out of bed in the middle of the night just to write down the storyline from a cool dream I had became too counterproductive to my life.

But overall, the writing down of your dreams is a good thing, I suppose... Good, if you desire to keep documentation for that part of your life—because, as stated, it is another completely different life that you live in there. And, as we all know, dreams are generally quickly forgotten.

For me, dreams were always a curious reality. From the time I was a very young boy forward, I began to have dreams of the future. I would be living my life and then, all of a sudden, I would be experiencing what I had previous witnessed in a dream. I would know exactly what was about to happen next. It was like watching a rerun of a TV show.

Many times, when I would encounter this experience, the outcome or certain actions of the participants would be slightly different from what I witnessed in my dream. Eventually, I begin to understand that this was do to the karmic life actions and personal choices that had taken place between the time of my dream and the now.

As I got older, I consciously stopped my mind from doing this. Me, I don’t want to know the future. I want to live the now, in the now.

But, all of this begs the question, “Do dreams know the stories they tell?” For if you can see the future in your dreams, if dreams are an integral and orchestrated part of your reality and your psychology, if dreams foretell things to come in your life, then they must serve some higher, more rational purpose, than simply a dance in a different reality.

No one really knows the answer. So, the question I ask is moot. Some people claim to know. But, as we have all witnessed, those who claim knowledge rarely, if ever, truly possess it. But, if nothing else, dreams are fun and I am sure they have some other purpose than just to live a new, different, strange, bizarre, limitless, reality.

Paying For Your Crimes

Whenever somebody is sent to jail for doing something that has been deemed wrong by society, it is stated, “They are paying for their crime.” Or, when they get out, people say, “They paid for their crime.” But, whom did they pay?

When criminals set about on a path to steal something or harm someone they know exactly what they are doing. They are setting about on a course that has a desired end result and they do not care who they hurt in the process. In fact, they generally do not even think about the impact that their actions may have on other people. They are simply thinking about themselves; what they want, want they need, and how they want to feel.

In fact, many people who commit crimes do not even view their actions as criminal and deny their culpability to the bitter end. Or, they deny both publicly and internally that they did anything wrong and try to gather a following of people to support and proclaim their innocence.

If you ever watch the shows that chronicle the time before a criminal is sentenced or the time they are spending in prison, little thought is ever given to the victims of the crime. Even if the victim or the families of the victim are allowed to speak at their trail, this changes nothing. What was stolen is rarely returned and the physical and mental injuries that are incurred by the victim can never truly be repaired. Ask someone who has been victimized by a criminal if their life was ever the same and most certainly they will answer, “No, it was not.”

Criminals do what they do motivated by whatever distorted logic they may possess. What is left after their actions is the damaged life of their victims.

Societies set up laws to deter criminals from committing crimes. Yet, this does not stop them. Courts hand out prison sentences that are felt applicable for specific crimes. Yet, that does not stop them. Religions allow people to find redemption for their crimes by confession their sin. That is just bullshit.

Like I have long said, if I was going to be a Christian I would definitely be a Catholic. In that branch of Christianity you simply go confess your sins to a priest, they give you a few Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers to do and you are good with god. Sounds great but what about the victims? Again, I call, “Bullshit.”

Have you ever been a victim of a crime? If you have then you know what I speak about. How has whatever happened to the perpetrator of the crime given you back the innocence you possessed before it happened to you? Yes, you may be glad they were sent to prison and are suffering while doing time but it does not give you back the you that you were before they did what they did to you.

It is the same scenario for people who damage our lives and cry out, “I didn’t know.” Yet, the damage still remains. So, that is no excuse.

There are some who claim, “Let’s go out and get an eye- for-an-eye.” I have known a few who have walked down that road, but then they too became criminals in the eyes of society. And, in a couple of those cases they ended doing jail time and encountering all of the bad things that are known to go on in those environments.

The answer? I don’t have one. I wish people would stop doing bad things but they probably won’t. I do know that all life begins with you and with me. Meaning, we must think of others before we do things that can knowingly or unknowingly hurt someone else or their life space. We must set an example of how people should behave by doing good things. But other than that, let’s just please stop saying and believing, “They paid for their crime.” Because they haven’t paid for, replaced, or fixed anything; at least not to the person it matters most to, the victim.

A Choice Lasts Forever

Right here, right now there area million choices you could make. Most people don’t realize this. Most people feel that they are stuck—locked into doing what they are doing. Most people follow a pattern. They live the same script over-and-over again. But, every one of us can make a choice.

Choices are everywhere. You can get up right now, go outside, stay inside, go and do something else. This, “Something else,” can be very spontaneous. It can mean going and taking a walk, going for a drive, calling somebody up, anything… But, there is one rule that applies to all choices we make. That rule is; a choice lasts forever.

Why does a choice last forever? Because whatever we choose to do sets our next set of available life circumstances into motion. Whatever we do, whatever choice we make, affects our lives. If we choose to do something with someone else, or to someone else, then karma is set in motion.

There is no choice that is free onto itself. There is no choice that does not come with a price to pay.

Some people set out to make positive choices in their life. Some people make choices that mess with other people’s lives. Both of these are choices. But, the ultimate outcome is very obvious. If you make good choices, try to do good things; the chances that good things are going to come to you are substantially better. If, on the other hand, you do bad things and mess with other people’s lives, than bad things are probably going to come to you from the choices you have made.

All of life is based upon choice.

What are you doing with your life right now? Do you have a job? If you do, how did you get that job? Probably, you needed to make some money to survive and pay your bills and pay your rent. Whatever the cause, you made a decision to go out there, apply for the job, and then you decided to make the choice to accept it, if and when it was offered. What course of events did that choice set in motion in your life? For each person it is different. Some love and some hate their jobs. Some see a job as a life-experience; others see it as a life-waste of time. But, it is what it is. You made a choice and now you are living it. Most people, never even try to reevaluate their choices. They lock themselves into them and they stay stuck.

Are you in a committed relationship? If you are that means that you chose to go out there and seek a companion. That also means that you chose to enter into that relationship. As most of us have found out, some relationships go very bad. But, it was our choice to enter into them in the first place. So, who is to blame? No one but ourselves. Other relationships, however, define our lives in a very positive manner. Again, all based upon choice.

From whatever you have previously chosen to do, bases upon whatever choices you have made in the past; here you are, this is your life. Your previous choices have defined where you find yourself now.

This is your life. You can choose to do anything based upon your life circumstance and the choices you have previously made that set your life-course in motion.

Choice is everywhere. Choice is everything. What do you choose to do now that you understand, a choice lasts forever?

Have You Hurt Somebody?

Have you hurt someone? Is what you are doing today going to hurt someone tomorrow? Did you hurt someone yesterday and is it still hurting them today?

Life begins with you. The world begins with you. Karma begins with you.

I forever find it very curious when somebody does something bad to another person and they don’t care. They continue down their path without even thinking or caring about what they have done. Some never question, “How did I damage that person’s life by what I did?” By not caring enough to ponder this, it illustrates that they do not possess the mindset to attempt to try fix what they have damaged. This is where all of the problems of the world begin.

Did hurting someone make you feel good? Did it make you feel powerful? Whatever your answer, think about this, "How has it felt when someone hurt you?"

My belief is that most people are good. They try to say and do good things and they try to help people when they see someone in need. There is another breed of person, however. They are the ones who do what they do and never even stop to think if they are hurting someone’s life by what they have done. Then, if presented with the facts that they have hurt someone, they simply justify their actions.

This is the paradox of life. Most people who hurt people and then ignore or justify their actions are either too blank or too self-involved to even care what they have done. This is a very sad state of life.

You have to decide who you are in life because what you do today sets your next set of available circumstances in motion. If you hurt someone today and you do not care, what do you think your tomorrow will look like?

One of the most important things to realize in life is that the things you have broken can be fixed if you take the time to try. Repairing what you have broken makes everything better.

The beauty or the ugliness of the world begins with you. My belief is that you should make the world more beautiful.

The Earth Still Spins

Whenever something traumatic or all-encompassing happens to you or something you care about, all of your attention is focused upon THAT. You are sad, you are upset, you are angry; you may even want to get revenge. What has happened has caused you to become very One-Pointed. But, no matter how much something that has happened to you or someone or something you care about may emotionally affect and control you, the earth still spins — the rest of the world goes on and no one else knows or even cares about how you feel.

This is one of the main things that you have to realize in life if you hope to pass through it with any level of refined consciousness. You have to understand that no matter how big the tragedy; other things are happening all across the globe that probably dwarf whatever happened to you.

Even in the case when some large catastrophe has occurred, most of the world still does not have a T.V or the Internet so even if they do hear about it, they cannot take the time to care, because they are surround by famine, by poverty, by violence, by war, or simply they need to go to work everyday to make ends meet. Thus, they cannot take the time to care.

People really get locked into their own head when they do not like what has happened to them or to someone whom they may care about. But, people can only behave in that manner, when they have the time, the money, and the emotional support to do so. They can only care when they do not have to worry about their own survival. They can only care when they have nothing better to do.

Think about this, if you have to focus on your own everyday survival would you care about the small things that you care about? Could you care about those things if you have no place to live, no food to eat, and no one to care that you care?

It really is a simply equation. And, you need to think about this before you spend the time and the emotional energy to be dominated by anything that is not Life-Essential.

Life is life. We pass though it. Things happen that we do not like to all of us.

Are you and your actions defined by those things? Or, are you more than that? Do they control you or do you control them?

Life and consciously living life on this planet is more than simply defined by how you feel about some event in the life of one person.

Seek something bigger than being focused upon you. That is the Greater Pathway.

How You Measure Time

Each of us has a moment that we call our Life-Time. In that timeframe we do what we do and then WE are gone. Much of life is spent taking care of the necessities: putting a roof over our heads, feeding our loved ones and ourselves, and taking care of business. Some of us are lucky, we like what we are doing while we are taking care of the necessities. For others, this is not the case. But, at the end of the day, how we spend our Life-Time is how we spent our Life-Time. Love it, hate it, when it is over it is over and that is that. Though we may be remembered, WE are gone. So, all that takes place after our physical existence doesn’t really matter—at least not to US.

I have discussed TIME is several places, most notability my book, Zen O’clock: Time to Be. Time and how we live it is a very interesting subject. Take, for example, a café’ that you go into all the time. The staff knows you. Then, you are gone for a month or more, you come back and they greet you as if you were never away. Why is this? Because they are locked into the time and space of the reality of the cafe, all they do is based upon that denominator. They know you from there. They see you there. Time passes and they take no notice of the time passing or your away-ness. When you return, they are simply seeing you THERE again. Thus, you were never gone.

We each want to life our Life-Time in a certain manner. We each want to make our Life-Time count. We want to live it well—be fulfilled, be happy, and exist in our own suchness. Most people are not afforded this luxury, however. They are dominated by culture, they give into the daily grind, and they go through their days in a daze; thinking of the promises of the Some-Times and the Some-Days. Thus, they are lost to True Reality and their TIME simply goes by. Others get what they want—at least so they think. But what they WANT ultimately robs their time and at the end of their days their time was gone just as everyone else’s but because they believed their needs were being answered, it took them too long to realize the lie of their own Life-Time — that getting what you want never answers the true desire of forever fulfilled time.

So, what is left? How can you live your Life-Time. How can you live your short moment of life to the fullest? How can you be HERE in the NOW? The ultimate answer is you can’t. Your human form defines you. Your are defined by the length of your Life-Time and the opportunities and availabilities presented to you in that space of reality. You are defined by where you find yourself in time, space, and culture. Thus, you are never wholly you. You are, at best, what you convince yourself to be or, more than likely, what you pretend to be.

Happy or sad… Those are temporal emotions. Fulfillment is simply having your momentary desires met. Fulfillment is not True Understanding.

Life is an illusion defined by time. When your time is up, your illusion will end.

I’m Glad You Received Your Karma For What You Did But How Does That Help Me?

As I’ve been involved with Eastern Mysticism for virtually my whole life, the subject and the study of karma has often been brought up as a source-point of conversation. I’ve written several pieces on this subject and spoken on it often. And, I can tell you, if there is one thing that everybody across the globe thinks about, no matter what religion they come from, it is the subject of karma.

Now, I am not going to go into the fact that I believe most people really do not understand the subtle levels of karma. But, I will say, think about it before you really try to apply it as a Life-Science, because it I complicated.

That being said, I believe that each of us who has been wronged by somebody thinks, (either out loud or to our self), “Just wait. You’ll get yours…” And, generally people who are selfishly motivated or do bad things have their karma catch up with them. That’s just the way life works.

Now, once I again, I could go into all kinds of discourse about who or what is actually wrong — because, (in many, if not most cases), good or bad is only a point of view. But, I think we can all agree that BAD is beyond just what one person thinks it is. BAD is done by someone who is only thinking about themselves and not caring about the affect or effect they are having on others. For example, stealing something is BAD. Hurting someone is BAD. Breaking someone’s something is BAD. And, no matter what your motivation or excuse for doing what you do, we can all agree that certain things are agreed upon as BAD.

So, we get to the central subject of this discourse. That person did something BAD. They got what was coming to them. But, then what? Yeah, they may be hurting from receiving their karma. But, did them getting hurt give you back what was stolen from you? Did it replace what you lost? Did it fix what was broken in your life? Probably not. Maybe it strokes your ego or your intellect to think, “They got theirs.” But, does that make your life any better? At best, that is simply Mind-Stuff. It does not take you back in time and fix what that person took from your life.

This is the whole thing about karma, (and the misinterpretation thereof), people may get what’s coming to them but that doesn’t fix what they broke.

Mad At Yourself Equals Mad At Them

Have you ever found yourself mad at something that you did? …Angry that you did something that did not turn out the way you had hoped?
Have you ever been mad at Life? Mad at your life-circumstances? Mad at the cards life has dealt you?
In these cases, many people do not get angry with themselves and state, “I really screwed up!” Instead, they get mad at god, another person who interacted with them in the situation… Or, in some case, they get mad at whatever person is sitting next to them — a person who had nothing to do with anything. But, they are closest one at hand, so they receive the brunt of the anger. Have you ever done this?

There are a lot of frustrating things that happen in life. I could go into a very long list of them here, but I will not. We all know what they are and that they are unique to where each of us finds ourselves in life. Some are small. Some are big. Some last only a moment, while others come to define our entire existence.

The thing about anger and dissatisfaction is that, it is a constant in life. If you want your life to be a certain way, if you want certain things, if you want people to behave in a specific manner, even if you want everything to be better; then, life is going to throw you curve balls. 

We could go into the whole spiritual perspective here… “If you don’t desire than you are free.” “If you let go than all is perfect.” "If you don’t do anything then nothing is left undone." And, stuff like that… But, most of life is not like that. Even a person who is considered to be very spiritual, desires their life to unfold in a, “Desired,” pattern. When it does not, dissatisfaction occurs.

But now, let’s look at what you do with dissatisfaction… 

Sometimes when you are face-to-face with the person or persons you considered caused the dissatisfaction, you lash out. You tell them how you feel. You blame them. It is their fault. So, you feel justified in whatever actions you take.

Then, there is the other case… You are mad! You are mad at life. You are mad at your situation. You are mad at the fact that you did what you did. You are mad that you don’t know how to change or to fix the place in life you find yourself in. Maybe you feel it was your family, your friends, or eve god who set all of this in motion. Maybe you even realize that it was you who made a choice that set the circumstance in motion. But, there you are. Someone is there next to you, and BAM, you lash out. You get mad. Maybe you yell. Maybe you scream. Maybe you break things, punch a hole in a wall, throw a tantrum. These are all reactions that take place every day, across the globe. 

The primary element in all of this is that it is you. It is you who is angry for whatever reason. As it is you, it can only be you who defines the reason why. As such, it is only you chart a course for what you do with this anger.

What is the answer? Well, this perhaps is the biggest problem. Life is an interactive place. But, the interactions in life are all defined by the people you interact with. Some people possess even-keeled temperaments.  Some people are reactive. 

We could go into all kinds of childhood and personalities studies to determine why people behave the way that do. But, at the end of the day, how they act and how they act-out is how they do what they do. How you do, is what you. 

To find any kind of an answer… And, I don’t know that there really is an absolute answer… We must go to the source. What that sourcepoint is, “Caring.” Not, “Caring,” in a positive way. But, caring that things are not going the way you want them to go. 

You, “Care,” around something. You want something to be a certain way. They, “Care,” about something. All the people you interact with want something to be a certain way. 

Now, I could say, “Don’t care,” and that would solve everything. And, some people can turning their caring off. But, the fact is, we all care what we care about. So, that is not going to work. At eats not for most of us… 

Thus, the answer comes from a much deeper place. A place where we must earn to take control over ourselves. For some, this is not an easy place to find. As most people in this modern world have passed through their entire life with no sense of discipline. They have felt what they have felt, they have done what they have done, and that is that. But, are you that person? Can you be more than that type of person?

That’s the ultimate question? Can you be more? Can you control you? 

It takes practice…

So, here’s the deal, we all want what we want. We all get dissatisfied when we don’t get what we want. Large or small, we, as human beings, all feel the same thing. How we react to what we feel is what defines us as a person. 

You can yell and scream, you take things out on other people. You can get mad at yourself an punch the wall. You can do whatever you decide to do. Or, you see mistakes, you can view the undesired life results, you can take the curve balls that life throws us all and instead of exploding use them as a means to do something else, do something new. 

Yeah, your life may be a mess because of it. But, it is still you life. NO matter where you find yourself, you can still do something. …Something to make your life and the life of those around you better. You can choose to become more than emotion you are feeling right now. 

Each of us is responsible for our own actions. Even if it was someone else who set a course of events in motion in our lives, it is each of us who decides how to react. Yeah, sometimes things are pretty messed up. Yeah, sometimes we have that innate desire to lash out. But, this is where personal control equaling refined consciousness comes into play. We must decide to be MORE/BETTER than any negative situation we find ourselves in.

What If You Didn't Know

Whenever you are upset about something, (no matter what that something is), there is one common denominator to the equation; you know.

Think about this, what if you didn’t know?

If you didn’t know then you would not be upset about whatever it is you are upset about. And, the only reason you are upset is because you know about something that makes you angry, unhappy, sad, depressed, or whatever. Something OUT THERE is causing you to lose your peace.

How many times in your life has something been going on for a day, a week, a month, a year and you didn’t know about it? Through all that time, your life was fine. Then, you found out about it and you became enraged. Though it was already going on, you didn’t know, so you didn’t care.

It is an obvious expression of life for us to be unhappy about something that we are unhappy about. But, the main point is, all life is based on you. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean that the person next to you will not like it. Just as because something makes you angry does not mean that the same thing would make anyone else angry.

That being said, there are things that anger us all. But, it is essential to note that your life and your emotions are defined by you. How you decide to feel about any particular issues is also defined by you. There are obvious things that would make any of us mad if that THING was directed in our direction. But, how we choose to deal with that anger makes us who we are. This choice of dealing is also how we each set the next set of events into motion in our lives and the lives of others involved with us or involved with the issue.

Anger only equals so much. Understanding this, how you deal with your anger is what defines you as a person.

Do you internalize and simply sit around mad? That is understood to not be psychologically good for a person.

Do you react and take over-exaggerated reactions? Meaning, do you do something destructive when you get mad? That’s not good either because that type of reactive action can have devastating effects upon your life.

Do you take concise positive action to undo the negative or destructive actions of others? That’s probably the best action to take, if you decided to take action at all. But, that’s not easy. Most people who do something that will make you angry do not care how you feel or they would not have done it in the first place.

If they cared, they would care about you. If someone doesn’t care about the effect of what they are doing may be having on another person, or the greater scheme of things, that means they only care about themselves. And sadly, this is one of the biggest faults of the human condition; selfishness and not caring.

So here, we get back to the main point—what if you didn’t know?

Is there a way to erase your knowing? I think if this were possible, most of us would erase a lot of the things that have happened to us or the horrible things we have seen, heard about, or have lived. But, I do not think that it is doable, at least not in this day or age. So, we are stuck. We can pretend that we don’t know, but that is only pretending—we still know.

Ultimately, all we can do is do what we can do, as consciously as possible, and then let it go. Though letting go is, “Not knowing.” But, if we can let it go long enough maybe the bad things or the bad people that have made us angry will fade away, captured by their own negative actions.

People Don't Want to Know the Truth

People don’t want to know the truth. They want to believe what they want to believe.

People don’t investigate the truth. They make up their mind and then follow a course that allows them to hold on to and not diminish their beliefs.

How many times have you heard a person say, “I was wrong in my beliefs and I am sorry that I spread the falsehood.” How many times have you heard a person exclaim, “Sorry, I believed the wrong thing and I did something to hurt you. How can I fix that?” Probably not very many.

People don’t do it. They enter a subject based on their programing, what they have been told to believe, their hope to impress someone with their beliefs, and the desired outcome based upon their beliefs. That’s how it is. But, that does not make anyone’s beliefs valid.

The joke comedian George Carlin used to tell, “How many Catholics have gone to hell because they ate meat on Friday,” provides a good view into belief. For those of you who may not know, it was a Catholic tradition to not eat red meat on Fridays. In fact, it was considered a sin. Then, that tradition was overturned.

If traditions can be overturned by something as established as the Catholic Church, what does that say about your personal beliefs about a subject, a person, a religion, a politician, a war, a sporting event, a whatever?

Do you want to know the truth or do you want to believe based in your perceived reality? If you truly want to know the truth you must let go of your beliefs.

Momentary Reality

I always find it interesting in life how WE get so locked into the momentary reality of our lives. And, not in a good way. Not in the spiritual way of being in a natural state in the NOW. No, it is much more emotion and ego based.

Periodically in life, most people enter into a space that is overwhelmingly based in emotion. This is commonly due to the fact that either something great has happened so they are filled with an overwhelming sense of self-worth or something they don’t like has occurred and they are all encompassed with being upset.

This is a condition of life. Most people do.

In fact, when these sources of emotional life occur one of two events commonly rise out from it.

1. The person who is feeling it attempts to drag as many people into their life-situation as possible. From this, they experience a sense of power and command over others, as they are directing their action.

2. In other cases, people who aren’t even the person that is actually experiencing what is happening choose to become engulfed with the feelings and the sensations of the other person simple so that they get that adrenal rush. From this, the two or more of them can keep escalating their feelings be they positive or negative by bouncing their perspectives back and forth.

Though this is a common condition of life, this is where the path of consciousness comes into play. Because those who choose to walk the path of consciousness, the spiritual path if you will, at least try to not be guided and defined by emotion. The reason for this is that emotions, particularly strong ones, are very temporary. Though they are temporary, they are very addictive. This is why you see people out there who are continually falling in and out of love, attempting to argue and cause controversy wherever they go, and so on. They do this, because they have come to find that when something extremely positive or negative is going on, they feel ALIVE — they feel they have power, they feel they have a purpose.

Another factor related to this is that power, like emotion, is temporary. Power, like emotion, is based in ego. Therefore any situation based in the power of emotion is ruled and defined by one specific mindset, one person. Therefore they are the one in control. And, if they are in control, they are the one to set the tone of the moment. So, other’s are simply following their lead. They are not being in control of their own life and life-time. This is where mod mentality is born — being a part of something to get a boost of that adrenalized energy. And, we have all see the bad things that rise from mob mentality.

Ultimately, emotion is based in a specific person’s appraisal of a specific situation in a given moment in time. For example, what may make one person feel great will make another person feel very bad. So, there is no commonality to emotion. Why? Because emotion is based in personal definition. Emotion is based in ego. Emotion is based in like and dislike. I am, you are not. You are, I am not. I like this, you do not. You like that, I do not.

The problem with emotion is that people do a lot of bad things based in it. All anyone has to do is look, not only at themselves, but at the whole evolution of human and view the things that were done, based in emotion, that later people were very sorry about.

Though action(s) taken in a moment of emotion may seem very right and empowering in that moment — actions enacted due to emotion are the ones that most commonly will later be seen to have actually damaged the evolution of your life.

The ultimate understanding is, Reality is Momentary. What you feel now, you will not feel in a few moments. The things you think are all so important now, will not matter in a few days or weeks. Who you see yourself as now, will change. The things that empowered you now and you take action on, may very well come back to haunt you later in life. With this as a basis of understanding, it can be concluded, it is far better to let the emotions of the moment be noticed, even experienced, but never allowed to control who and what you truly are.

Ultimately tomorrow is based upon what you do today. If you seek a life defined by emotional upheaval, then you will always be chasing the high of emotion. If you seek a life based in peace, and a future not defined by things down yesterday, you choose to not be dominated and control by your emotions and the emotions of others. From this, you become free, because emotions will not dominate you. You will see any emotion for what it is, Momentary Reality.

The Road You're On

The road you’re on is obvious. What you’re doing while you’re on that road is obvious. What you have to do to stay on that road is obvious. Where that road will lead you is also obvious. Though this is fact, many people pretend that is not the case.

In life, it is very obvious that what you are doing now will lead you to your next set of available circumstances. Many people avoid this fact, which is why so many people end up in a place where they never wanted to exist. Because of this fact, you must ask yourself, “Is the road you’re on leading you to where you want to be?”

When you ask yourself where you want to ultimately end-up, this is where things get a little bit complicated. Why? Because we all want something from our life. We all want to end-up somewhere. We all want to do what we ultimately what to do. And to get there, we have to take certain actions. But, there is a very big difference between being guided down our life road by ego, desire, and thirst for power, over that of choosing to consciously enter a path and then follow through with what it take to obtain our end-goal.

This is why so many lives become corrupted or end unfulfilled. This is also why so many people are injured by people who do not care what about the affect they are having on others as they are only focused upon their own end-goal.

The fact of life is, if all you are thinking about is yourself and/or how you feel, you road will forever be troubled as you will injure others on your path to self-attainment.

Ask yourself. “Does what you are doing help me, help others, or both?” Now, turn off your ego and re-ask yourself the same question. With the ego turned off, the true answer is always self-evident.

Remember, just because you want something does not mean you can or should have it. Wanting is the way of the world. Knowing what you should have is the path of consciousness.

Listen To How You Walk

If you ever want to gain immediate insight into an individual's personality, listen to how they walk. Are their steps quiet and precise or do they stomp across the floor? This tells you a lot about a person.

How do you walk?

Have you ever even taken the time to ponder that question?

If you walk quietly, you are confident and secure within yourself. If, on the other hand, you stomp up stairs and stomp across the floor, you are attempting to bring attention to yourself. Here, look at me! I need your attention.

In the martial arts, practitioners are trained in the ability of exact footing placement. As each move you make, each technique you perform, must be very exact—all step are made very consciously.

Walking softly is refinement. Walking hard and deliberate, is not.

Who are you? What do you want to portray?

You're Either Doing Something Positive or You're Doing Something Negative. But, Which is Which?

The fact of life is, we each set our destinies on a course and we are either going to do something positive or we are going to do something negative with our lives. Certainly, there are a million variants within both of those extremes. And, we each do both positive and negative things in our Life-Time. But, there is the course, either positive or negative, that we set ourselves upon and then we continually return to that path. That path, which is decided upon totally by you, is what defines who you are and how you will be remembered in this place we call, "Life."

There is a lot of negativity in the world. Sometimes it is very obvious. Other times it is much more subtle. There are those people who hate and criticize everything. Yet, they do nothing positive or creative with their own life.

There is also the arm-chair quarterback. It is very easy to sit and watch T.V. and believe that you could play the football game better than the players and judge it better than the referee. But, you do nothing to get on the field and actually prove that you can play the game.

It is kind of like the German term, "Schadenfreude," where people take pleasure in other people's misery. Do you do that? A lot of people do.

You know what is or isn't negative. The simple equitation is, "Is what you are doing or saying taking something away from another person or is what you are doing or saying going to affect another person or person(s) in a negative manner?"

The other side of the issue is those who thrive on positivity. They see the best in everyone and everything. Though people who embrace this mindset sometimes come off as naive. Who would you rather be around?

Negativity, criticism, hating the world, or whatever you want to call it, is a developed trait. Yes, we are each born with a personality, then we are shaped by our socioeconomic and cultural environment, but then it is us who chooses to do what we do with those formative factors.

The problem is, so many people are so dissatisfied with their own lives that they are attracted to the dark side. They prefer to embrace the negativity rather than working towards making their own life and the world a better place. This attitude is the sourcepoint for those who follow cult leaders who preach death and destruction, (and/or anything else negative).

It is very simple to make the choice to be positive. If you catch yourself being critical or negative; stop it! Don't make excuses for why you are doing what you are doing. Negative is negative.

Though being positive may take a little more work — especially in this crazy modern world we live in where we are bombarded by the power hungry people attempting to overpower us at every turn. You can be positive.

If you make positivity a part of you. If you catch yourself and shift your mindset whenever you are feeling critical or negative. If you stop making excuses for doing what you do — positivity will emerge.

A previous asked, "Who would you rather be around?" A person who is passionate about positivity or a negative being? The answer is pretty obvious. BE the person you would like to BE around.

This is Reality

Reality is very simple. What you see is what you get. Though it is very simple, religions and superstitions attempt to feed all kinds of nonsense into it.

Religious and superstitions tell you all kinds of things about all kinds of altered states. They speak about this equals that. And, if you do this you get that. They detail that if this happens, it means that will occur.

Then, there are book written about religions and superstitions to make everything that is stated it them some kind of holy proclamation. From the writing of these books, those of later generations can quote them and claim that what they are speaking is the truth, based upon what holy knowledge has been written in the past.

Some people want to/need to believe all this nonsense. They are, in fact, programmed into believing it from the time of their birth. But, what is the difference between superstation and religion?

One person’s superstition is another person’s religion.

Think about how easy and free life would be if you just let all of this nonsense go and experience reality the way reality actually is; what you see is what you get…

Make Things Better

I am commonly asked the question, “Hey Scott, what do you think I should do?” My answer is always the same. And, it is always quite simple. “Make things better.”

What does this mean? Well, just like the answer, it is very simple. Wherever you go, what ever you do — do what you can to make things better.

Now, I am not talking about some selfish act that makes your own life better. Nor am I saying do something based on some stupid religious ideology that your preacher told you was the way of god. What I am saying is that if you see something that needs fixing, fix it. If you see someone that needs help, help them.

For example, if you are in a store and one of the pieces of clothing has fallen on the floor, pick it up, put it back on its hanger, and put it back on the rack. If something has fallen off of a shelf, put it back in its place. If you are walking down the street and someone has dropped something, pick it up off of the ground for them. And, these are just a couple of examples.

Situations occur in each of our lives where we see things that we can do to make things better. Do them. It is as simple as that.

“Hey Scott, what do you think I should do?”

“I think you should make things better.”

Human Beings Are Very Self-Centered Creatures

The reality of life is, human beings are a very self-centered creature. They only think about themselves. When they do think about others, they do it to equal their own desired ends.

Now, I do not mean to sound cynical here. Because, in fact, I am not. But, the truth be told, the only concern most people have is about themselves and those they have direct feelings for.

Why do they care about people they have feelings for? Because the see them as their possessions. And, they do not want their possession to become damaged.

Let’s think about this for a moment… Remember the last time that the injury somebody incurred really moved you. Maybe you saw it on the news or read about it. You felt really sorry for the person. But, then a week, a month, a year passes — do you ever think about that person’s injuries anymore? Probably not. If the memory does arise in your mind, it is only for a moment and it does not touch you the way it once did.

With the earthquake and tsunami that recently occurred in Japan fresh in our minds, attention has gone to the Japanese people. It is discussed how there is no looting taking place, as is commonly the case in western and middle eastern societies the moment something goes awry. There is no looting because they are a group-orientated people. This may be true. We are all indoctrinated by our cultures. But, the reality is, it has already been proven that the company responsible for the nuclear reactors has lied and has sent its workers into the plants, to attempt to control the leakage, without the proper equipment to even monitor the levels of radiation they are encountering. How, “Group orientated,” is that? And, who knows what other falsehood they have spued? Only time will tell.

Why have they done this? Because they only care about themselves. They only care about the image of their company and the image of Japan on the world stage. And, I will not even go into the amount of lies that comes out of the mouths of government officials.

Religious leaders are no better. They do all kinds of things to stir up the pot and create disharmony directed against other religious or other sects within their own religion. They do this, in the name of God. I mean, God is on our side; right? Our side and nobody else’s… I could go on-and-on about this, but the news does it for me. So, I will not.

On an interpersonal level, think about the people you have met in your life. How many of them were out for themselves? Out for themselves to get ahead, get what they wanted; and they do not care about the cost their actions have on others? I think a good percentage of the people, we have each met in our lives, have been like that.

Some people seem very good. They teach for small money, simply to help the children. They donate their time to animal shelters. The give blood to help the injured. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera… But, why are they doing it?

Do you think that the teacher who earns far less wage than they deserve is not receiving some sort of reward for teaching? Does teaching not put them in a position of power over students? Are they not told by all their friends, what a good job they are doing — truly helping society. And, so on.

People who help the less fortunate in developing countries, ghettos, the reservation, get to feel that they are doing something for the greater good. That they are helping humanity.

And, this list can go on and on.

Even people who appear to be doing something good for no reason, have a reason. You may not know the reason. But, if you look below the surface, it can be seen.

For better or for worse, this is simply the reality of life, human beings are a very self-centered creature.

Why do you do what you do?

Trapped By Circumstance

In 1983, when I was in graduate school, they had re-released the movie, Last Tango in Paris. As I had never seen the movie upon its original release, (I was too young as it was rated X), I decided to go and see it as it had become a modern classic. It was playing at only a few theaters around L.A. One of them was on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills.

I had a few hours to kill this one early afternoon before my classes were to begin in the evening. I remember I invited my girlfriend but she was mad at me about something. I had probably done something she didn’t like. In any case, I went by myself.

I saw the movie and was on my way out when the man who took my ticket at the door, asked, “Are you Scott?”

As it turns out, he was a guy I went to high school with. In fact, in high school, we were friends. We often walked to school together.

In high school, he was one of those really smart people. I mean, you could just sense his intelligence. I really felt the guy was going to go far.

Me, on the other hand, I was anything but a good student. My mind was far more fixated upon my work with the Sufi Order, the Integral Yoga Institute, playing music, traveling up and down the coast, and following a few other abstract roads to spirituality that most people did not understand.

When we were in high school, he lived in a bungalow apartment with his parents a few blocks from where I lived. His father was a longhaired projectionist at a movie theater in Hollywood. That seemed like a pretty cool job back then. Plus, he had long hair, which was more than unusual among parents of that era. It meant that he, “Understood,” and that he was cool.

But, more than that, his father owned one of the first synthesizers in the home that I had ever seen. He was pursing a career as an electronic musician.

I had long been enthralled with electronic music since its birth. His father was a true inspiration to me. Wow, I thought, you could actually have your own synthesizer in the 1970s. As soon as I could afford it, I bought one. My first synthesizer was a Roland SH 3.

In the lobby of the theater that day, after we got reacquainted for a moment or two, he asked me what I was doing in life. I told him I had spent some time in India, was in graduate school, was teaching the martial arts, was writing, pursing music, and so on. I had no intention of creating this affect but I could see his face drop. He, in fact, made the common, “You’re doing all that and I just work here at a theater.” I guess it didn’t help, but I explained to him I thought that he would go on to college after high school and do something big. “There’s still time, man!” I exclaimed. I mean, we were only twenty-four years old.

For those of you who may not know, here in California, in the 1970s, up to the early 1980, the community colleges were virtually free to attend if you were a California resident and had a high school diploma. All you had to do was buy your books. Anybody could and should go. I did.

I mean look at me, the bad student, who was far more focused on other aspects of living life. I went through the community college system, transferred to a university, and had ended up in graduate school. But, my one time friend never choose that path. He had followed in his father’s footsteps.

Now, this may be a bit hard to understand for you who grew up in other places. But, in Hollywood, there were the haves and the have not’s. There were those who lived in the Hollywood Hills, some of them in virtual palatial mansions. And then, there were those of us who lived south of Hollywood Blvd. Like my friend and I. We were the ones born of the working class. Not the children of producers, directors, industry moguls, rock stars, deejays, and movie stars.

“The Haves,” whether they were smart, talented, or not, seemed to be presented with a path paved in gold. The others of us… Well, we were not.

Except in one case… A situation that truly motived me in life.

Back when I was in school, junior high was three years: seventh through ninth grade and high school was three years: tenth through twelfth grade. So, our first year at Hollywood High was tenth grade. I know it has changed since then...

The first year, there was this guy, who lived up in the hills, who scored with a couple of the prettiest freak girls on campus. We referred to ourselves as, “Freaks,” back then because we had long hair and were more or less ostracized from society. You know, we were the drugies and the etc…

This guy dropped out in the beginning of eleventh grade. One day, early in the twelfth grade, I see the guy. His long locks are gone and he is wearing a green jumpsuit. He had become a janitor at our school.

Now, certainly there is nothing wrong with being a janitor. It is a needed profession. But, not only did this guy come from money, his future could have been joyous, if he had only played the game. He didn’t. Thus, the guy who had it all in tenth grade, by the twelfth grade, his road to the stars was over.

Now, believe me, being who I was and involved in the numerous off campus activities that I was, I had many times pondered dropping out of high school. Seeing this guy, however, sealed the deal. I would finish high school and do something with my life.

But back to the main subject... After we spoke for a few minutes, I left the theatre. I never saw my one time friend again. At least not yet...

I really felt for the guy, however, because he was a good dude that could have truly succeeded in life. But, he was trapped by circumstance. I’m sure he needed to get a job after high school to help pay the bills. There was probably no time for college or pursing whatever dreams he had.

In my life, I taught yoga and the martial arts. So, I could make money while remaining more or less free to pursue my life goals. Sadly, it is not this way for everybody. They are trapped by circumstance.

I believe that we need to think about this whenever we question why someone has ended up where they have ended up.

Locked Into Your Own Mind

Let's face facts. People live in their own heads—their own minds. You think the way you think. I think the way I think. And, we each think things that only we can understand.

Moreover, each person thinks and experiences you differently than any other person. I mean, how many times have people described you to other people and they were completely wrong? They didn't get YOU at all. Yet, that is how they perceive you. But, another person will hold a completely different impression about you.

Why is this? It is because people base their opinions upon their own perception of reality.

Furthermore, think about how many times you have projected a reality onto something that you expected to happen. You planned to say this, do that, you thought a particular situation would unfold, but the situation never materialized. It was all in your head.

These mind-things are not right or wrong. They are simply the way it is.

But, what this style of mind-stuff behavior does cause in life, is problems. Why? Because each person thinks and they experience life differently—even if they are living in the same place, at the same point in time. From these individualized perceptions, conflict is born.

This may be the reality of life. But, it is a reality that you do not have to take part in or be defined by if you do not choose to be. Why? Because that's the point, your life and your mind is defined by you.

For example, how many times have people asked you, “What did you mean by that?” When you thought you were very clear in your statement. Or, how many times have they wondered if you have had an ulterior motive for what you said, and they have thought-and-thought about your words in order to try and figure out their meaning? They did this when you meant exactly what you said or you meant nothing at all. You just said something.

This goes to the perception of reality, as well. Due to our undying mind-stuff, we each perceive the events that shape our reality in unique manner. Though we may be living at the same point in history, we each are who we are, we each have our own mind. Thus, what happens in our time and space reality is perceived, contemplated, and understood in a manner that is only wholly defined by ourselves.

The fact is, some people are highly delineated by the perceptions that they hold in their mind and they are
very locked into their own thought process. They define life by how they see things, what they feel about them, and the definitions that they place upon these perceptions. These people are very locked into their own mind and their own thought process. These are usually individuals who either live a very solitaire life or those who have developed the mindset that they are somehow superior to other people.

There are others, however, who are more open and decide not to be dominated by how they see or perceive life-things, because they understand the transient-ness of life, emotions, desires, and ideologies. In either of these cases, an individual’s personality and how they consciously choose to live their life defines their reality.

So, what is the point of this? How locked into your own mind are you? And, how does this effect and affect your reality? It's your mind. Only you can answer this question. How do you want to experience your life?