The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

The Scott Shaw Blog

Scott Shaw Blog
Welcome to the Scott Shaw Blog

Here you will find some new thoughts and writings plus some of the Greatest Hits from previous blogs.
Zen adn the Psychology of the Spiritual Something
To catch up on previous blogs check out: Scott Shaw Blog Books.

Where’s My Photo Credit?

Kinda funny, it that not so funny sort of way…
To tell the story…. I’ve been a photographer way longer than I’ve been a filmmaker. I shot photograph all over the world long before I ever picked up a movie camera. So, when it came time for me to start making movies, it would generally be me on the set taking most of the Production Stills. Okay… No big deal. Never thought that much about it. That’s just something I do.
The other day, this guy asked me to sign an old magazine where they had done an article on a film that Donald G. Jackson and I had made. I flipped through the pages and there were tons of my photographs. What was missing, any photo credit. I mean, the guy who wrote the article got named credit and I imagine got paid to write the article. But, all but one of the photographs that accompanied that article, one that I was in, was taken by me. And, I remember that photograph with me in it was taken by one of our cinematographers, with me guiding him, using my Nikon. But, I received no credit. Didn’t anyone in the editorial office of that magazine question, “Who took those photographs?”
I think in a lot of way, that’s what happens in life. People get cheated out of the credit they deserve. Or, in some cases, other people steal the credit someone else is due.
The publisher of that magazine sold who knows how many copies of that issue. At least part of those sales were based upon photographs I took but was not given credit for. Is that right?
So, what does this tell us? I don’t know, what do you think? I mean, we all do what we do. We do it for whatever reason we do it. Some of us get good at some things. But, whether what we do is considered good or bad, it almost doesn’t even matter. We did it. Shouldn’t we be the one credited with doing it?
I guess this all goes to the overall reality of life. I know, in the past, people who work in the nine-to-five have talked to me about how their boss is always taking credit for what they’ve done. They were the actual one to do it, but their boss gets all the credit for the accomplishment. How is that right? Has that ever happened to you?
I don’t know that there is an easy answer for this. I guess it goes on all the time. But, I believe it is we, each of us, who must never been duped by the illusion. If we see something like a photograph, we should question, “Who took that picture?” Even if it isn’t stated, someone created that something, we need to find out and know who it was.
Always let the person who did the deed get the credit.
Me, after looking through the mag, I smiled and signed it for the guy.
Beyond all of this, I’ve long thought I could do a grand book of all of the Productions Still I’ve taken through the many years I’ve been making movies. It would be a big job to scan them and to put them all together, however, as many of them/most of them were taken in the days of films… Remember film? But, I believe it would be a fun viewing experience.
Anyway… Think about what you may not think about when you view, read, or hear whatever it is you are viewing, reading, or hearing. Don’t just let it go by without a thought. Find out and know who created that whatever. Don’t they deserve the credit?

Stay Wild While You Can

Hopped over onto Facebook this morning and the statement, “Stay wild while you can,” was one of the first headings that came up. …Provided by the account of The SoapGirls. They’re a band fronted by two sisters. They travel the club scenes of the world doing some really good, “Wild,” stuff.
The next thing to pop up was a photo of REM when they were young and obviously rockin’ a nightclub way back in the way back when. It was obviously a very, “Wild,” scene; the band going crazy and everyone dancing.
Some people are stagnant their entire life. They never/they refuse to let loose. I’ve known people like that. I’ve watched them from young to old and they hold fast to not being, “Wild.” Other people, once wild and free, allow themselves to become frigid and stagnant. But some, they stay wild their whole life. Though I must add the statement I coined a long-long time ago to this segment, “Nobody wants to see an old person dance.”  
…But, somewhere in between all of that, there can be the freedom to, “Stay wild while you can,” no matter how young or old you are. It’s a good life motto. You can live your life to the fullest, to the, “Wildest,” and embrace each reality as a new reality, while you are embracing all of your experiences to the maximum.

Stay wild while you can!


Can a liar ever be trusted to tell the truth?

The Message in the Music

I was walking through one of my local thrift stores this late AM. Just as I was about to leave, I pass by the LP section and right in the front I notice this LP from a relatively obscure band from the late 1970s, early 1980s. In fact, back in the day, they were one of my favorite bands to go and see in the L.A. Club Circuit. I can’t tell you how many times I saw them, but it was a lot.
This sighting, of course, drew my attention and I made a b-line for the LPs. Checking it out, the album was in great shape. Naturally, I own a couple of copies of the LP, but, as I discuss all the time, I am constantly seeking the sublet realities of sound. And, as particularly in the case of music on vinyl, each album possesses a very unique element of sound, even if it was printed millions of times.
I looked further through the thrift store LP offerings, but there was nothing else from the era. Strange, I thought… Usually if you find one piece from a time period you will find more.
Speaking of time, once upon a time, you could go into a thrift shop and it was not uncommon to find great collections of music from a specific era or a singular artist. But then, everybody got into reselling on eBay and stuff like that, and now, today, in this day and age, it is rare to find anything of interest.
But, that is what I love about thrift stores, most of the time you find nothing, but every now and then you discover that gem.
Of course, I purchased the album.
The guys in the band were older than me. They must be fairly old by now. They came to L.A. from Tulsa on the heels of Dwight Twilley, who pasted away a little over a month ago. I know they eventually left L.A. and moved to places like Austin and Nashville and opened recording studios and stuff like that way back in the ‘80s.  
Every now and then, way back in the way back when, I would hear about them playing live somewhere like at South by Southwest and places like that. They were a really good Power Pop band that rose in the era of New Wave.
Back when email was in its early stages, I communicated with the singer/bass player of the band for a while. But, that was a long-long time ago.
Me, I’m not one of those people to be lost in an era of music. I have friends and family members whose minds never left the ‘70s and particularly the ‘80s. But, that’s not me. This being said, I do appreciate music that holds its own through time. This band is like that.
The other side of this, and me being who I am, I wonder what is this telling me? Me, finding this album all alone, the only piece of an era? What is it signaling? What secrets should I be looking for? What does this mean to the reality of Scott Shaw??? Any ideas?
The album I’m speaking of is by the band 20/20. It was their second release, Look Out. Though I am a bigger fan of their first album, this one does remain an interesting element in the evolution of the L.A. Music Scene. Here’s a link to the first song on the album,
Nuclear Boy. Check it out if you feel like it.
Me, I’m here at the keyboard, listening to the LP in the background, wondering what does finding this LP mean to my reality?

Seeking Financing AKA Free is Free

Kinda funny… I received this email today from Indiegogo:
Hello Scott,
Would You Like to Start Raising Money?
It’s been a while since you’ve visited Indiegogo. We are a platform that helps you raise money for your ideas — whether entrepreneurial, creative, or cause-related.
Start your campaign whenever you’re ready!
GLOBAL: Receive contributions from around the world.
CUSTOMER HAPPINESS: Get fast answers to your questions from real people.
Over the last 90 days we have had thousands of people contribute to campaigns on our site. You could be raising money right now to turn your dream into reality.
Start your campaign
Looking for inspiration? Check out our
currently funding projects.
To learn more about Indiegogo, check out our
Customer Happiness Center.
Sincerely, The Indiegogo Team
The letter and the fonts were all big and colorful, with links and stuff. I’ve just given you the basic basic here. But, you get the idea…
Now, first of all, I’ve never tried to raise money on Indiegogo or any other crowd funding site. I don’t have a Patreon page set up or anything like that. I have given money to a few films that were seeking financing on Indiegogo. What happened with that money or those films??? Never heard from or about them again.  Hummm???
As someone who has been in the film game for a lot of years, I understand very clearly about getting outside money to make your projects happen. Once upon a time, in the long ago and the far-far away, people used to court investors in all kinds of ways. I was at a number of those meetings. But, that was all physical, face-to-face stuff. And, I am sure that still goes on today. Everyone wants to be a part of Hollywood, right?
I’ve known people that have taken money from investors on crowd funding sites, and elsewhere, and never made the movie they promised. The one that always comes to my mind is this very established filmmaker who needed surgery but didn’t have health insurance. He put it out there he was going to make this movie with some known actors. It all sounds very good and BIG. He got the money, had the surgery, and then started the dodge; making excuses about the film left and right. Finally, and because he was such an established filmmaker, everyone was asking, “Where’s the movie?” They were all expecting something big as was promised. I guess he had no choice but to make the movie or give back the money. In any case, he shot something in one or two days on video that was very-very bad, very-very short, and he never even tried to do anything with it. I thought that was so messed up!
I’ve also known people, this one guy in particular, that gave his whole life-savings to this one filmmaker to finish the piece he was initially in as an actor.  The filmmaker’s previous movie got tons of press and went big. So, he got this guy to believe. The guy’s money gone. The movie went no where. Welcome to Hollywood.
As an instructor of filmmaking, particularly back in the
‘90s and early 2000s, I used to point my students to the industry mags where, in the back pages, there were people actually offering money for certain types of projects. Those were legit deals though. They weren’t anything in the world sketchy.
For those of you who know me, or know of me, you know, I never, personally, take money from investors to make my films. It all comes out of my own pocket. Why? Because if you take other people’s money, it all gets so complicated.
I, of course, have worked with people who got outside money. The problem then becomes, it all becomes such a mess of power tripping and egos and lies and unfulfilled desires. People expect to make millions from their investment. But, there is no money to make! The film game has forever been such a crooked industry. And, this has been the case since its inception. Then, as first the video age and then the digital age dawned, everybody became a filmmaker. It got even worse. The stories I could tell you… There is no money to be made!
So, sure, it would be great to have someone, or a lot of people, give me money to make a movie. But, the funny thing or interesting or whatever about my filmmaking career has seemed to be, people are happy to talk all kinds of shit about my films. They make docs about me and presentations about my movies. They write reviews. Talk shit about me and my films on Reddit and places like that. They do podcasts, whatever… The fact is, all they do is to take from me and my films. But, what do they give me? Nothing, nada.
I’ve had a lot of people, over the years, since sites like Indiegogo came into existence, ask me why I don’t make another one of this movie or that and finance it with crowd funding. But, the fact is, no one would contribute. Would you give me the kind of money it would take to make a Zen Film? Probably not. Sure, you may buy a copy of one of my films. Thanks!  Sure, you may watch them on YouTube. Thanks! But, that all is free or, at least, very cheap. How much would you be willing to give me to make my kind of ART happen? Probably nothing.
The brings us to the fact of the fact of this piece… Everybody wants everything for free. Each person has a million reasons why they can’t or won’t contribute. But, nonetheless, they are very willing to take. How about you? How much do you give, verses how much do you expect to get for free? When you do get something for free, do you even consider that you are getting it for free? Or, do you simply take and think nothing about what it took to create that whatever?

Free is free. Everything else costs money. What do you contribute?

Think about it…

Time in a Bottle

Whenever I see an junky old car driving down the street driving down the street, I always think, “Once upon a time that was a new, very desirable automobile.” It’s kind of like when I see a very old person walking with difficulty, I think, “Once upon a time that was a young, attractive individual.” The fact is, time goes by. It catches up with all of us.
I heard an interesting adage the other day, “When you are seven, your life moves at seven miles an hour. But, when you are seventy, your life moves at seventy miles an hour.” So true.
As has been spoken about forever, it seems the older you get, the faster times goes by. It’s just a fact. There’s nothing you can do about it.
Think about it, when you were young, didn’t days, weeks, months seem like forever. Now, BAM, in the blink of an eye they are gone.
It’s like Christmas is coming up and my lady and I were discussing what gifts we are going get for certain family members. I reminded her how we had bought this one gift for our niece and that was a year ago. “Didn’t that just seem like yesterday,” I asked. She agreed, it did. Time goes by so quickly.
A lot of people have philosophized about time. Me too. In my book, Zen O’clock: Time to Be, I discuss the realities and the Zen of time. Here’s the catch, I wrote that book like forty years ago. That’s a long-long time ago.
With time, lives are lost. Have you lost anyone you really cared about. I mean, death is the reality of life. It is the ultimate gaging of time. Some people live a very long time but no matter how long they live, they too pass from this life space. And, for those of us still living, who care(d) about them, that’s hard.
There have been so many movies, TV Shows, and novels created around time travel. The Christopher Reeves, Jane Seymour film, “Somewhere in Time,” was one of the best. In it, Reeves travels back in time, meets Jane Seymour, falls in love, but then goes back to his own time. There, he finds that she has waited for him for all of those years, but now she is very-very old. Real tearjerker.
But, it’s not real! You can’t travel through time. You can’t go back. That’s all just fictionalization. All we have is the reality we live. All we have is the time we live. Then, we are gone.
I have watch several of my friends pass away over the years. I knew some of them for fifty years or more. Very sad. But, that’s the reality of the reality. Other people I know have grown very old. I knew them when they were young and for some, when I have not seen them for a time, I don’t even recognize them as they got so old.  “Hey Scott, it’s me…” Again, just the reality of life.
So, what does this leave us with? It leaves us with the time we have left. However long that time may be. This is why I have said forever, “You really need to do something special every day.” That something special does not have to be something grand or expensive or anything like that, it can be something very simple. But, if you do not allow yourself those special moments, (and pile on as many of them as you can in your Life-Time), what will the time of your life have meant?


The longer you leave a light bulb turned on the sooner it is going to burn out.

Lingerie Kickboxer: The Promise and the Paradox

The Zen Film, Lingerie Kickboxer, has an interesting evolution in the realms of the Zen Filmmaking Archives. It is one of those films that should, could, and actually was/is something very unique in the dominions of artistic cinema but someway/somehow it sadly got lost in its own pathway of creation.
For myself, as a filmmaker, I always fully intend to follow through and to make any film I create a finished product. I know that should sound like an obvious statement, but that is not always the case. This is especially true in the realms of independent cinema. A lot of films go up, but the reality is, only a small percentage of them find their way to completion.
I have spoken and written so much about the caution factor(s) for this in my many years of creating cinema, teaching courses on filmmaking, and documenting the film industry, that I won’t go into it here. But, that’s a fact of the fact. In fact, my Zen Filmmaking Brother, Donald G. Jackson, who was the co-creator of Lingerie Kickboxer, was notorious in this pattern of behavior. He or I would get an idea, we would go out and film some footage, but then he would lose interest, hide the footage away, and no matter how many hours of a film was filmed, he never went back to complete it. Like I have said for a long time, the best thing that happened to DGJ’s filmmaking career is him passing away because, just before he left this life, he gave me all of the footage, and I spent the next couple of years, while continuing to create my own Zen Films, completing the films we/he had begun but did not finish.
LKB has a little bit of a different evolution, however…  
It’s interesting, I believe, and the fact is, I don’t really think about this film very much. But, this being stated, LKB is one of the films that I am continually asked questions about. Generally, a couple of times a week, someone wants to know something about the whys and the wherefores about this movie and why it will never be seen.
In all truth, I have been offered a lot of money to release the film. I would sometimes make the joke, pay me fifty thousand dollars and I will set up a screening room and you can see it. I say this as I possess one of the only two Master copies of the film which is stashed away in my film vault over at one of the major studios…. I’m not going to tell you which one. But, so far no takers… Happy And, that’s probably a good thing. They probably would have big-time buyer’s remorse if they actually did pay that much to see the film. But, more to the point, I wouldn’t do that anyway, as I will explain in a moment.
Just an FYI: There’s a page on this site devoted to the film,
Lingerie Kickboxer. There you can see some of the production stills I took. Plus, find out some information about the foundations and the evolution of the movie.
Here’s the written bit that on that page:
The concept for Lingerie Kickboxer was conceived by Scott Shaw. The story was developed by Scott Shaw and Donald G. Jackson several years before it was actually filmed in 1998. The team had planned to make the film the story of a female secret agent who hid behind the guise of a professional kickboxer. Scott Shaw had the story written out and it was planned to go up several times. Each time, however, something happened, and the film was pushed back. Perhaps the most interesting example of this occurred when Scott Shaw and Donald G. Jackson had planned to shoot the entire movie on 35mm film in only twenty-four hours. They planned to do this for many reasons—mostly to prove that an entire 35mm action-adventure could actually be filmed in this short amount of time. Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, the L.A. Times, and other news sources were scheduled to meet the team at various shooting locations around Los Angeles during that day of filming. The cast and crew were scheduled to meet at 5:30 AM on Saturday morning at the offices of Shaw and Jackson in North Hollywood. At 4:30 AM Shaw received a telephone call from the actress who was scheduled to play the lead role. She told Shaw that she could not make the shoot due to the fact that her boyfriend was having a family reunion in Fresno, California and she had to attend. Due to this girl’s actions the shoot for that day had to be shut down. This illustrates how so many people have the chance to make it in Hollywood and throw it away.
Julie Strain and her then husband Kevin Eastman (Co-Creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) began a close association with Scott Shaw and Donald G. Jackson in 1997. They did several films together. Due to the fact that Kevin was a practicing kickboxer and had access to a kickboxing studio and Julie had a number of friends who were well-known in the adult industry, the feature was finally filmed in 1998. Upon completion Shaw edited the movie a copy of it was given to Kevin and Julie. Though Scott and Don loved the bizarreness of the finished product, Kevin came up with a list of fixes he wanted to add to the film. But, due to various scheduling conflicts, the additional scenes were never filmed.  
Currently, Lingerie Kickboxer is lost in Hollywood Never-Never-Land.
That’s the nuts and the bolts of the background and what happened to this film, but there is a deeper truth that is not spelled out on that page. Here goes…
Julie and Kevin, well actually Kevin, as it was all his money, were the financial backers of this film. Julie, of course, was a well-known component of the exotic industry and had titled herself, Queen of the B-Movies. She had a very high-end publicist at the time, and they got Entertainment Tonight to come onto the set. They did a piece on Julie as the director and star of the film. When it showed on TV, a couple of weeks later, Don completely freaked out, as he or I were not mentioned at all. If you look hard you can kind of see us in the background of the piece but that’s it. And, I will say, that was not very cool on the part of Julie for letting that happen when the entire concept for the film belonged to Don and more precisely, myself.
With Don freaking out, he asked me to contact Entertainment Tonight, and tell them the true what’s-what. I did. But, as the segment had already been broadcast, and ET wasn’t going to do a re-do, I never heard anything back from them.  Nonetheless, the process of the film’s evolution continued…
After we completed principal photography, I edited the movie. I tend to be a very fast editor. It took me two-days. Don and I had rented the equipment, and I did the cut in our production offices. When the cut was done, we, of course, knew that it needed to be M&E’d and have some Special Effects added, which were not that easy or cheap to do back then as editing on a computer really wasn’t a viable thing as of yet. We drove a copy of the film over to The Turtle Mansion, as we titled the home of Kevin and Julie, and they liked what they saw.
Kevin had his friend, Simon Bizley do the poster for the film. He initially had my name as one of the cast members, as I do a big fight scene in the film, in the ring, with a professional Masked Mexican Wrestler named Sergio, Jr. But, I asked that my name, as a cast member, be removed, which it was. Though if you look at the poster you can see my character wearing that metal mask. …Thus, just leaving my name on the poster as one of the filmmakers: Written, Produced, and Directed by Julie Strain, Donald G. Jackson, Scott Shaw.
The production poster was completed, printed, and released very quickly. Soon it was being sold in comic book shops like Golden Apple, (the original store) on Melrose.
Kind of a funny sidebar here… When I saw it being offered for sale, and noticing that Kevin and Julie had signed the poster, I asked the clerk at Golden Apple if he wanted me to sign it, as well, as I was Scott Shaw. But, as you may know, there’s a very famous comic book artist also named, Scott Shaw. The guy assumed it was that Scott Shaw and not me. He refused to let me sign. Happy
As stated in the piece from the website, Kevin had some ideas to do a re-shoot. He wrote them all out and they sounded great. They were all very big money items, however. Though Don and I were happy to play along, but they never happened.
The film sat around for a while as Don and I moved on to do other features. A little bit later, the American Film Market was coming up. Julie had the idea that she wanted to take named control as Director of the film, removing Don and my names. This, even though I was the only one who had actually done any real directing on this film, as well as most of the story development, fight choreography, and much of the camera work. Don was just kind of a stand-around, non-participant on this movie and Julie, except for when ET was there and she was pretending to direct, did little more than sit around and talk to her friends or smoke dope when we were shooting at the Turtle Mansion.

In any case, her plan, as she stated it, was to sell the movie to Troma Entertainment. Don and I thought that was strange in that Lloyd Kaufman, the owner of Troma, never paid anyone for their films. He would take them on for free, distribute them, and make all of the money from their sales. But, he never paid anyone for their movie.
Julie’s offer actually happened at a very ideal time, at least for me. My ’64 Porsche 356 SC had been in the shop. That car was not cheap to fix. The job had just been competed, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to come up with the three thousand dollars to pay for the repairs. That same day, Don called me, and that was exactly the amount Julie was offering to buy the rights to the film from Don and I for, three-thousand dollars a piece.
The fact of the matter was, I was a bit surprised Don even told me about this deal. He could be a little underhanded; especially when it came to money. There was more than a couple of times when he snaked me out of money I was owed. But, it was my film more than his, and I guess Julie wanted/needed and directly asked for my face-to-face approval. We went over, she wrote us the checks, we took them to her bank in Beverly Hills, where we bumped into Little Richard, (that was cool), cashed them, and that was that. I drove off and paid for my Porsche repairs. Though I held the copyright on the film, maintaining my ability to shoot another version, Julie had bought the rights to this particular movie.
Both Don and I always expected to hear something else about the film; either to do the re-shoots or something??? But, we never did. Me, I haven’t watched the film since I originally edited it. But, via all the questions I receive, I know interest has remained high with this film.
Time went on and Don had kind of fucked me over with Julie. He liked to do that kind of stuff. He made it sound like I was taking some trash about her behind her back, which I was not. Kevin and I were great—always happy to see one another. But, whenever I would see Julie, after that, she kind of gave me the cold shoulder. I always thought that was sad as I really liked her. But, that’s the kind of shit that Don was known for doing.
Sadly, Julie and Kevin eventually got divorced. Julie moved out to Temecula, California. Kevin sold his ownership in the Teenage Mutant Turtles, moved down to San Diego, and got remarried.  
Maybe a year or so before Julie died, a journalist contacted me and interviewed me about her. He had heard that she was on her way out due to advanced dementia and wanted to do a piece on her before she was gone. He also asked me about LKB. I told him what I knew. At the end of the interview I also pointed him in the direction of some of Julie’s friends and family so he could speak to them, as well. I don’t know what ever became of that interview??? If you know, let me know.

About six years ago, I came across some behind-the-scenes footage from Lingerie Kickboxer. I edited it and put it up on YouTube. You can check it out if you feel like it. That Zen Documentary may provide you with a bit more insight into what actually went on:
Lingerie Kickboxer: Behind the Scenes.
That’s the story of Lingerie Kickboxer, at least the crib note version of it. Probably most of the people who contact me about the film don’t read this blog, so the questions will most likely keep coming. But, that’s okay. Ask away…
But, if you wanted to know, now you know…

The Silent Mind

I often ask people, “What do you think about when you’re not thinking about anything,” when I am discussing meditation with them. The thing is, many people who meditate are not really meditating. They are not entering a space of the Silent Mind. They are simply attempting to force the thoughts from their mind and think about the thought of nothing.
Meditation is not an easy process. Though it has been laid down from time immemorial as an ideal state of mind, those few people, throughout the many centuries who have tried to meditate, have not found the process easy.
There are a million ways to meditate. Many of the Eastern Cultures have devised various methods of meditation, each reflecting factors that define their culture’s placement in the reality of the worldscape. The primary goal of mediation, however, by whatever method one uses, is to come to place of a Silent Mind. But, just what is the Silent Mind?
In Japanese, the term, “Mushin,” is used to define the state of, “Empty Mind.” In Zen, it is the entire goal of the understanding to reach a place of Mindful Nothingness. But, what does that that actually mean? Is the practitioner simply attempting to have nothing in their mind.
In life, many people, throughout the eons, have attempted to run from what it is in their mind. They have used various drugs and other methods to silence their racing mind. But, did it work? Did it cause them to become that better more refined individual? No. When the drug wore off, then what?
This is why ingesting external substances never ultimately works in attempting to find the Silent Mind.
Many people, as they get older, experience the disease that is now commonly referred to dementia. Dementia is a wide spanning disease with several overreaching symptoms. But, the most definitive one is that a person loses their definition of Self. They follow a progressive path of cognitive impairment until the person they become, remembers little, if anything, of whom and what they were. By the very definition of meditation and overreaching spiritual awareness, isn’t that the end goal?
I have known people who have succumb to dementia. One was only fifty-nine years old. Very Sad. When this disease attacks, the results, no matter how long they prolonged the life of the patient, leads to the individual’s demise in a state where they no longer recognize themselves.
The point being, when one seeks the Silent Mind, it is the process that they undertake to achieve that state of mind, that defines the reality of what the individual ultimately encounters.
Have you attempted to meditate? How successful were you in the process? Did you find your Silent Mind?
Do you meditate? If you do, how often are you able to encounter your Silent Mind?
The fact is, most of the world’s population, even if they may attempt meditation, do not follow this practice on a regular basis. Even if they do meditate for a time, they generally leave the technique behind as they are called into the world by more pressing and invigorating issues. How about you?
Here we arrive at the crux of this question. Do you want a Silent Mind? If so, why?
If you do desire a Silent Mind, why do you desire it? What to you hope to find?
All life is defined by desire. Even the various realms of spirituality are defined by desire. This, even though those walking that path attempt to run from it.
If you try to not think, all you are doing is thinking about not thinking. Is that the Silent Mind?
If all you can do is think about not thinking, how can you truly encounter The Silent Mind. If this is the case, what does seeking the Silent Mind actually equal?
Question, “What do you think about when you’re not thinking about anything?”

Your Truth, My Truth, No Truth

I was watching the new docuseries, The Garden: Commune or Cult on HBO Max last night. I’m not really sure how REAL the show is as they are intentionally introducing new people to the group from different backgrounds. It is all kind of contrived. But, isn’t that what Reality TV is all about?  
Mostly, what I find interesting about the show is that there is this group of people, living off the grid and embracing a semi-spiritual/natural lifestyle. I mean, most of the men (and women) don’t shave their various parts, their hair is long and dreadlocked or matted. It is all the world that I came into adulthood within. So, I am very drawn to that style of people. Or am I?
It’s like of like back in the ‘60s or the ‘70s, if you were walking that path and you saw a guy with long hair or a woman walking a natural/spiritual path via their hair or their clothing you kind of felt like you were part of the same tribe. But, though this was my case for a time, soon I began to realize that just because a guy had long hair that did not make him a good person. Meaning, outward appearances are deceiving.  …As they always were, as they always will be. Nonetheless, I see those men, and particularly those women on the show, and it hits that spot in me—remembrances of a time gone past.
This all leads us to the truth of the truth, or at least my perception of it. These people dumpster dive for food. Is that a way to live? For them, maybe??? But, there’s a lot of all kinds of bad whatever in that process.
The (NON) leader of this group, he says his parents met at the Rainbow Festival in ’83. He grew up in the woods, living a life and lifestyle based upon the philosophy of the Rainbow Family.
If you don’t know about it, The Rainbow Festival is a gathering that takes place generally once a year, where thousands of hippies and holies gather at one location. Each year, it’s in a different spot. I went to it in the ‘70s. …Had a horrible experience!
To tell the story, I used to get very severe migraines known as ocular, visual, or migraine with aura, that would progress into temporary aphasia, where I could not speak for a time. Though my thoughts were very normal in my brain, I could not articulate words. This happened to me there.
Just a note: this was years before I knew what was happening to me. So, it was really scary. I had no idea what was taking place.
Anyway, the setting was all these people had arrived long before me. Back then, some wanted to get there way early and never leave. I went there because Ram Dass was attending that year’s event.  Anyway, when we got there, it was so crowded, there was no place for my girlfriend and I to set up our tent. Plus, I couldn’t speak to her—only in the most rudimentary words. She had no idea what was going on with me. I was afraid. Feeling terrible with my vision completely blocked by the migraine, my brain vibrating with pain, and feeling very nauseous—all symptoms of an intense ocular/visual migraine. All, as we were trying to find a place to set up our tent. In other words, it was a horrible experience!
Finally, I said, “Fuck it.” I got enough words together to tell her we had to leave, and we did. Which equaled us hiking up this horrible and steep muddy trail that we had walked in upon. Bad, bad, bad!  So, that’s my one experience with the Rainbow Family and the Rainbow Festival.
The point of this discourse being, some people/most people live by a certain set of standards. Others do not. Though there is the accepted norm, is that norm the reality of all reality? Is it your reality? Is my reality your reality. Is your reality my reality?
The people in this aforementioned Reality Show are very consciously attempting to change the reality of the greater reality. …To live by a different set of standards.  But, how different is their different if they dumpster dive for food. Aren’t they simply taking what the greater reality of reality has to offer; but just taking it for free?
It’s kind of like this morning, I had won an auction for a grouping of books on eBay. I didn’t hear anything from the people selling the books for like a week, though they had very good feedback, so I was kind of surprised. I contacted them. Nothing… I contacted them again and they finally got back to me telling me that they had accidentally double listed the books and had given them to the other buyer. Okay… That’s not how eBay words. But… Though I’m generally not about leaving negative feedback, I thought that was kind of messed up. So, I stated my case via the feedback section on eBay. Within a few minutes they messaged me, totally trying to turn it around on me, like it was my fault. WHAT! They even called me a liar and said, “How Zen or Enlightened is that?” You see, this brings me to the problem of being Scott Shaw. I can’t even speak because people demand I behave a certain way. If I don’t, even like in this case of these people making a mistake, they want to take it out on me. But, it was them who cheated me out of the books!
PS: The person they sold the books to bid on them three days after I had won the initial auction and they paid $100.00 plus more in that auction than the auction I had won. Hummm… Wonder why they sent the books to that bidder and not me???
Lord knows, via my books, my movies, my whatever, I’ve experienced my share of criticism. Add to this, I’m not allowed to state my option or, if I do, people will look up my stuff and criticize my whatever creation as a means of getting back at me or talk shit about me online. But, no one ever goes out of their way to write positive stuff about me when I leave positive feedback. It’s hard being Scott Shaw. Happy
The point in all of this is, what is your reality and how does your reality affect the world around you? You can be as counterculture as you want to be, but how does you doing what you do affect the greater reality of the all and the everything? Moreover, how does you living your reality draw from any other reality you may despise? Do you dumpster dive to eat? If you do, isn’t that’s just taking from someone else. Taking from someone else’s reality. Taking but not giving?  
In addition, when you make a mistake, (as we all do sometimes), who do you blame for that mistake? Yourself or the person you made the mistake against? What do you do when you make a mistake? Do you say, “Sorry,” and try to correct that mistake or do you turn it around on the other individual?
Your reality is your reality. But, all reality is interactive. You can want to live your life by any means you want. But, all action leads to reaction. What is your action? How does your desired reality create your action. And, what do your actions mean to the life of other people? Mostly, how much do you care about anyone but yourself?

PS: The Garden is not a cult as each individual owns their own possessions, they are not required to donate them to the greater ALL, and they can leave whenever they want.

About Peace

Just found out that one of my books About Peace has been translated into Arabic. Here's one of the passages:

السعادة هي اختيار. الغفران هو الاختيار. القبول، الغضب، الرغبة، الحب... كل الخيارات. وقتك. اختيارك

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

Knowing What You Think is Right

When you make up your mind about something how flexible are you in understanding that you may be wrong? Some people make up their mind and that is that. They know they are right. They believe they are right, even if they are wrong.
But, what is right and what is wrong? Isn’t that simply a perspective?
Have you ever had to make a choice? I’m sure you have. We all have. Have you ever pondered that choice over-and-over attempting to make the right one? I know I have. Being a Libra, I’m terrible with hard and fast decisions. I’m all over the place weighting the possible outcomes. How about you?
Some choices are obvious. At least they seem to be obvious. But, the problem always exists—the problem few people consider is that one things always leads to another. One choice leads to your next set of choices and the next and the next. One choice lead to your next set of availability. So, any choice you make holds wide spanning implications.
This is why some people live a happy and fulfilled life, while others do not. They have made choices that lead to a good set of next available options.
This all comes down the source of the choice(s) you make. What makes you make those choices. Aren’t the choices you make based upon what you believe to be right? But, why do you believe what you believe to be right? Is it what someone told you? Is it something you heard on T.V.? Is it something you read on social media? What? Why?  How often to you ponder this question?
The problem with belief is that it is only that; belief. The problem with choice is that it is only that; choice. You believe, you choose, you do what you do based on those beliefs and those choices. But, then what? Answer: You must live with the consequences.

Listen to Your Sounds

Do you ever listen to the sounds that you make? Do you ever study the impact of how the sounds you make impacts the environment around you? Whether it is the words you speak, the steps you take, the coughs you coughs, the sneezes you sneeze, anything… Do you ever listen to the sounds you create?
The fact is, most people do not. They simply pass through their life creating all this reverberating havoc and they never pay attention to any noises they make. But, here’s the truth, the sounds you make affects other people. Do you ever consider this before you make a sound.
Certainly, on the most obvious of levels, there are those people who are loud and rude in their speech. Their talking invades the environment of all who may encounter them. They are loud in their apartments, loud in a restaurant, loud in a museum, disruptive of any environment they enter via the words that they speak and the volume they express them.
From a psychological perspective, people who behave in this manner do so from a level of consciousness based upon insecurity. They desire to be heard. The wish to be seen. So, they must forcefully draw other people’s attention to themselves. Of course, they do this with no level of awareness as to what they are doing. They just do it.
This is the same with people who walk loudly. They stomp their way across any environment they enter. What they are unconsciously doing is saying, “Here, look at me.” This is the same with people who slam doors behind them.  They live their life from a very unconscious level of seeking the acknowledgment of others, while possessing no sense of true self-awareness.
The sounds you make are your signature to the world. They are what defines you. What signature do you leave?
If we take this understanding another step further, we can see that the sounds you make are a direct reflection of who you truly are. They are what exhibits your being onto the world. By understanding this, this is a means to take control over the sounds you make and how you wish to be viewed and understood by those outside of yourself. In fact, you can and should make the sounds you make your meditation. This is a very pure and direct form of meditation. All you have to do is to listen. But, will you? Can you take control over your physical actions and make them a true representation of the inner-you and create a person that enhances the betterment of the world with every sound you make?
The very simple technique of this meditation is to just listen. What sounds are you making right now? What sounds did you make to get you to this space where you find yourself in right now? What sounds will you make next?
The fact is, you can control the sounds you make.
How do you want the sounds you make to represent you to the world? From now on, make that your mantra. Be acutely aware of the sounds you make. Control the sounds you make. Make the sounds you make, make everyone’s world a better place.

When You Realize That Somebody Just Doesn’t Care

I believe we have all been in relationships where someone cares about us. At least I hope that’s the case. Maybe they are your family or your friends or your lover or your whomever. But, they care. They listen to you, and they do what they can to make your life better.
There is the other side of this issue, however. There is the case when we, all of sudden, realize that the other person we are dancing with just does not care about us at all. For whatever reason, they are in our life, but, at the end of the day, they do not truly care about us. Lord knows I have found myself in more than a few of those situations.
Life, your life, is defined by the relationships you are given, you find, you created, and you cultivated. Who are you in those relationships? What do you bring to the table? Do you truly care about the person you are in that relationship with? Or, do they simply serve some purpose in the ever-expanding definition of your Self? Do you give to them as much as they give to you? Truly, ask yourself that question.
No one can ever say that life-relationships are easy. Sure, some are. But, most are not. There is a lot of interweaving and adapting and accepting for many/most of them.
Most people give something back to those they are in a relationship with. But, some do not. They only take. Or, though you have given to them in their time of need—you have stood by them and supported and helped them, but when it came time for them to do the same for you, they were not there.  Then what?
The problem is, when push to comes to shove in many a relationship, the other person is only ultimately out for themselves. They will save themselves but let you drown. Sad but true. That’s reality.
So, what can we do with all of this factual information. The fact is, there is little you can do. I mean, all you have to do is look to how many personal relationships go south. One minute they are all in love and the next minute they hate each other and are trying to get the most they can out of their divorce. I have known more than a couple men who lost the house they paid for to the ex-wife in their divorce or have had to pay them alimony forever. Is that right? I’ve also observed just the opposite within my own extended family, where the man got to keep the house and the ex-wife had to pay him palimony. That’s just all kinds of wrong!
Have you ever listened to a person who is on the winning end of the downfall of their relationship? The live in a state of glee. They think they won. They believe they deserve it. How wrong is that?
Most relationships are not that complicated and life-spanning, however. Most happen in the moment, however long that moment may be. But, whatever the length of the relationship, there is the fact of the fact, most people are only in it for themselves.
We can try to be careful with those with whom we associate. That’s obvious. But, it’s the subtle realization when you expect someone to be there but they are not there that is the most revealing—the most devastating.
It’s not a nice thought but you must protect yourself. You must careful. You must study all those you associate with. You must prepare yourself for the reality of the reality that most people are only in it for themselves, no matter what they claim with their words.


You can't find it if you don't look for it.


There are a few interesting documentaries being broadcast right now about some of the Off To One Side of Reality Cults out there and the effects they bring to their followers. HBO is currently showing one about this small group that followed a woman who they considered God. There is another one about the Krishna Consciousness movement and how they promoted certain individuals up to, “Guru,” status and one of those promoted men was molesting young boys. LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE!
Certainly, we have all headed about all of the goings-on in the Catholic Church which, as far as I can tell, is just a very large cult. There was a good doc they did on Netflix, not that long ago, about the inner-working of the church called, Vatican Girl. Interesting…
The thing is, at the central heart of all these docs, and the generalized factor of most cults in general, is God, and the listening to or the working for one figure in a position of authority that messes up everything for all those who follow. Though many/most who follow never question the directions they were given.
The fact is, that could have been me. I was all-involved in all of that kind of stuff in my younger years: finding deeper meaning, seeking out the, “Truth,” turning away from the constrains of modern society, and all of that. I guess I was lucky. Though I moved in those circles, I never had any bad experiences. Like I have said before, in all the years I was with Swami Satchidananda, and following his teachings, I donated a total of ten dollars. Yes, ten dollars. That was a donation to help pay for a new blanket for his room at the Los Angeles Ashram. Sure, I gave the group a lot of my hours. I was his soundman and I helped in all kinds of other ways. But, they were all my friends. I was spending time with my friends. I was having fun. The main thing is, when it came time for me to walk away, no one held me back, they simply apologized for the reason I left which was one of the Swami’s, from a different city, power tripping me. I’ve written about all of that elsewhere.

I do get it though. I mean, once you’re in, you’re in, and how do you get out? It’s like when Stephen (Gaskin) had set up, “The Farm,” down in Tennessee, I did think about moving there. When he was in L.A. I asked him what would happen to my car if I moved down there, (as I owned my own car). He told me, they, “The Farm,” would take possession of it. This led me to thinking, “What if I changed my mind farther down the line? How could I get home?” And, that’s the thing, these groups take control over all of your possessions. Thus, leaving you trapped with nothing but what they choose to give you. Did Stephen, his teachings, his commune farm, or anyone else mean that much to me? Enough for me to give them my everything? Enough for me to give them my tomorrow? At least for me, the answer was, “No.”
Though I believe Stephen could be called an exception, as he operated from a fairly refined and honest state of mind, most teachers are not like that. And, this brings us to the point of all of this, at least this piece. The reason there are cults, the reason some of them lead a person down a dark road, is that one person rises to the top, either through promotion or via their own egocentric mindset—someone who does not possess the mental development to be in that position.
This doesn’t just happen in spiritual circles. I have witnessed this in the martial arts, as well. Like I have said and written about many times, when I was coming up through the ranks, in my early years, a person was promoted by their teacher. This was a very truthful and organic relationship. Then arose the era of vast organizations. From this, people were promoted to high ranks via less than rational and/or deserved methods. Not to mention all the people who created their own organizations so they could promote themselves and other people. Thus, putting themselves in the position of authority. From this, everything became so convoluted. …The nonsense that went on due to all of this nonsense, by undeserving people, Oh My God! Me, I turned my back on all of that.   
Again, this all goes to the fact that one person is at the head of the table, telling other people what they should or should not do, while believing they possess the authority to do just that. And, they are making their followers believe what they are doing is for some greater good. A great good like god. Yet, they do this without possess the mental framework do operate from a pure and purely positive state of mind.
You know, when you watch these docs, you want to tell these people, “Take a look at what’s going on!” You want to question them, “Why would anyone believe that bullshit? Look at what you are believing! Look at who you are listening to!” But, once that person is in deep, they are in deep. The fact is, some people simply want to BELIEVE.
So, as in all categorizes of life, you really need to question what you are believing and why are you believing it? Who are you following and why? If you don’t ask yourselves these questions, if you do not have the mental will to walk away, then are you in control of your own life? If you seek deeper meaning, promised to you by one person telling you how you should feel and why you should feel it, and what you should do, what does that say about your own mental development, your own free will, your own self-worth? I get it, some people are damaged. They seek out help. They desire guidance. Be all that as it may, at the end of the day, if all you do is follow, if all you do is believe, then you have no mind of your own.
I am certain that most of the people who read this blog have never fallen prey to the exploits of a religious teacher. But, some of the people who guide one down the dark road are sublet. You may never see it coming. Maybe you just believe you are in love, and you are doing whatever it is you are doing for the sake of love. Look at what just occurred with Ditty and his one-time girlfriend and the horrific claims she has made that were immediately silenced by him, “Settling,” for an, “Undisclosed amount.” Power and control over you and your mind can come at you from very abstract directions. You have to be vigilant. You really need to be careful.
The only suggestion I can make in all of this is, keep your eyes and your ears open. Don’t allow yourself to buy into the bullshit.  If anyone is asking for anything that you are not willing to give, the answer is, “No.” Always have the strength to walk away.

Is That Any Reason Not to Treat Them with Respect?

Every now and then I hear someone speaking about someone they don’t like. The thing that confounds me the most when I am encountering one of these discussions is when they are discussing someone that they do not like when they do not personally know that individual. I mean, I always want to question, “What kind of ego are you rockin’ when you believe you have the right to judge someone that you don’t even know on a personal level?” But, as we all understand, that kind of stuff goes on all the time.
More common, I guess, is when someone does not like someone they personally know. I get it, some people you just do not like. At least when you know them, face-to-face, you can draw your assessments from lived experience.
For me, if there is someone I don’t like, I simply let that emotions be as it may. If I can, I just move my life away from theirs. If, on the other hand, I must continue to deal with them on some level, I don’t allow that feeling to cloud my actions towards them. I simply let them exist in their own space of reality as I exist in mine. From this, nothing negative is ever created. The life of each of us is simply lived as best as it can be lived.
From a personal level, I believe pretty much anyone who has ever actually known me, likes me. And, I like them. Isn’t liking someone better than disliking them and generating all of those negative emotions that arise from that judgement?
As someone who has been in the public eye for a good portion of life, via writing, music, and filmmaking, I have occasional encountered the words and the writings of those who claim they do not like me. But, I always question, “They don’t know me, how do they come to the conclusion that they don’t like me? Isn’t that operating from a very egocentric, judgmental state of mind?”
Whenever I hear someone saying, they don’t like someone, I always ask them, “But, is that any reason not to treat them with respect?” I mean, here’s the thing, just because you decide you don’t like someone, that does not define anyone else’s reality but your own.
If you don’t like someone, doesn’t that simply mean that you are coming at them from a space of judgement about their life, their actions, their life choices, their whatever? And, what is judgment? Isn’t that just simply one of the lowest levels of human consciousness?
So… This is life. Maybe you don’t like someone. Okay… But, that does not mean that you should not treat them with respect. Just because you don’t like them, that does not make them wrong. It simply makes you judgmental.
Always, treat everyone with respect.


A miracle for you may be just the opposite for me.


If you watch the sun until it is just about to set on the horizon and then you close your eyes for a moment when you open them the sun will be gone. Then what?


Do you appreciate art for what it is or do you simply used art as a means to express your opinion about art?


If you're trying to prove something about yourself to someone else, that means that you have not fully actualized who you are.


When you are not thinking about anything, what are you thinking about?

The Last Thing That They’ll Remember

People forever seem to be locked into their moment, whatever that moment may be. They also seem to be lost in what they are feeling. Though they may believe that they have a very specific reason for feeling what they are feeling. Or, they might just be flying off the handle, screaming out whatever their momentary emotion may be. Whatever the case, one way or the other, a lot of people say and do a lot of things that the person they are doing it to will hold in their mind forever.
Think about something negative that someone said to you the last time you saw them. How deeply do you hold those words in the recesses of your mind? When you think of that person isn’t that the thought that comes to your mind? Isn’t that how you define that individual?
Now, turn this around. Think about something really positive a person said to you the last time you saw them. Isn’t that what reverberates in your mind when you think of them? Aren’t those words the way in which you define that individual.
I imagine that we all have had people say some really messed up stuff to us a various times throughout our life. I know I have. In fact, I have this one person, in my extended family, who it seems every time I am ever at any family function with her, she comes after me for some reason out of the blue. Now, me being me, and realizing it is never a good thing for a man to come back at a woman, I just let it go. That doesn’t mean there isn’t something I could say to her. That doesn’t mean that I could not defend myself. But, it is just better for a gentleman to stay silent in regard to women when they are on the attack.  Yet, my entire definition of her is characterized by the fact that she is always looking for a reason to attack me. What’s her problem with me? Who knows? I’ve never been anything but nice to her. And, here’s the thing, people who possess an unrefined mind express themselves from a very animalistic place of consciousness. They do not focus on a refined sense of mindfulness. Thus, they only unleash words and actions from an extremely low level of human existence. Where do you find yourself in this equation?  
If we look at this a little bit deeper, what happens if those harsh words are the last thing you ever hear from the mouth of that person? Answer, that is how they will forever be defined in your mind.
Now question, how are you defined in the minds of other people? What have you said, what have you done to people that has been less than nice? If you have hurt someone with your words or your actions, how do you think they think about you? Moreover, if anyone thinks adverse things about you, based upon what you have said or done, how do you believe that defines you in the grand scheme of life?
People can be harsh. That’s a choice. Just as people can be nice. That’s also a choice.
Who are you? What do you say and why do you say it?
If you say hurtful negative things, how are you defined in the minds of others?
Ask yourself this question before you ever say or do anything to anyone, because if those words or those actions are the last interaction you ever have with that person, that is how you will be defined in their mind forever.
Say good things. Do good things. If you have said or done anything bad to anyone, fix it. Because if you don’t, that is how you will forever be defined.
How do you want to be remembered?

In Your Own Moment

I came upon this piece that I composed when I was first writing the Scott Shaw Zen Blog back in 2011. I believe it’s also published in the book, Scribbles on the Restroom Wall. I thought you may enjoy it.
Since the dawning of the New Age one of the key teachings has been, that of, Getting into the Moment. Terms such as, Be Here Now, Get into Your Moment, and Feel Your Now, have been essential components.
This ideology and these terms are meant to describe a sort of superior consciousness, where the individual is feeling some nondescript enhanced sense of their life—something that the average person does not feel.
In is common that when asked, “What does getting into the Now mean?” Or, “What does getting into the Now feel like?” It will commonly be described by the pundits as becoming childlike—experiencing everything for the first time.
But, what does this mean? And, what are the benefits? 
Somehow, in New Age Spiritual Circles, it has become a type of goal to revert to a childlike mind. A mind of innocence, naiveté, and trust.
From certain perspectives these may sound like ideal qualities but there is also another side to this. These are the same factors that cause the child, and the child-like, to become victims of people and society.
But, more importantly, reverting in any way, is both an impossibility and an impractical desired end-goal. The reality is, each experience we have lived, each bit of knowledge that we have taken in, has contributed to who we have become. Good or bad, all experiences have made us who we are. To some, these experiences have lead to seeking out a spiritual mindset. Which has guided them to seek out the understanding of living in the now.
So, what is living in the Now? And, how can this be achieved?
From a philosophic perspective, living in the Now means embracing each moment as a new moment. Okay, don’t we all do that anyway?
Let’s think about this. How are you feeling right now? To answer for you, how you are feeling right now is how you are feeling. Thus, you are already living in your Now.
Many spiritual teachers and traditions believe, however, that a person should get away from their emotions; their feelings. They should be removed from them because they are somehow based in an animalistic level of human consciousness. But, are they?
As human beings one of the essential components of our make up is emotion. Thus, emotions are a natural state. We feel! It’s as simple as that.
You can try to hide from emotions. But, they will not go away.
No matter how spiritual a person claims to be, they too have emotions. As they are human, there is no way to hide themselves from emotions entirely.
This is one of the big problems when people follow teachers who are no longer alive. A dead teacher is a perfect teacher. Why? Because you will never see or experience their faults or shortcomings.  All you will do is to read or hear about their superior consciousness. So, basically all you are exposed to is an enhanced description of their existence. Or, simply a lie. Because all living people have faults, just as they all have emotions.
Some people: the insane, the sociopathic, the selfish, the power hungry, the emotionally out of control, and the religious zealots are driven by very negative emotions that are in complete disregard to those around them. They do not care whom they harm to reach their own end-goal. But, these are not the emotions based in a normal individual.
Most of us feel happy, sad, embarrassed, frustrated, bored, in love, in anger, and all of the common emotions that are experienced throughout humanity. In terms of, “The Now,” these are the emotions that bring us into the Now.
Think about how much of your life has passed by and you did not even notice it. Every time you ate breakfast, dinner, walked to school when you were young, drove to work, and all of the nondescript activity that make up modern life; you lived those moments, but they are gone.
Think about this, how many dinners do you remember when the food was really good (or bad), the company you were with that made you laugh and feel good (or angry), and all those times when you were really brought to an expanded emotional level. Those are the times you remember. Every time your emotions were turned-up, those are the times that truly stand out in your mind. Those are the times when you are truly in your now.
As detailed, some gurus may tell their students to rebuke emotions and live in a state of placid, meditative abyss. But, what comes from this? What comes from this is a life lived with no memories—as everything experienced is the same. Just like the boring drive to work, day-after-day, life all becomes a blur.
Some teachers say this non-involved emotionless mentality leads to the higher-mind. But, does it? For here is one of the ultimate illusion on the spiritual path, “Doing nothing leads to something; enlightenment.” “A silent mind is nirvana.” This is all the mumbo-jumbo of teachers who have not lived. …Teachers who have framed their teachings upon the Borrowed Knowledge of those who have walked the path before them. …Teachers who want to control their flock and keep them silent and mindless. Think about this, one of the key components of Zen is to become Mind-Less for only there can some level of enlightened knowledge be lived and experienced. But, all of those who teach this make excuses for themselves as to why they have not personally experienced this ultimately level of human consciousness.
It is all nonsense. It is all playing to the minds and the wallets of those on the spiritual path that seek some sort of allusive esotericism that cannot actually be had, except by the most holy. But, who is the most holy? Usually those who are dead or those whom you are not allowed to live with and see that they too actual have flaws.
Stop believing the illusion. You are living the Now, right now! What you are feeling is your Now. When you are hating your job, that is your Now. When you are happy. When you are sad. That is your Now. When you are taking your boring drive to work. That is you Now. When you are making love. That is your Now. When you are doing whatever it is you are doing. That is your Now.
Stop trying to make, “The Now,” some allusive entity that you have to perform spiritual exercises to find. This is your Now. What are you going to do with it?

One Red Sock

I was having a conversation with my lady this morning. We got on the subject of 1980’s fashion. I reminisced about the fact how some people, back then, would wear two different color Chuck’s. …You know, Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star high-tops. I always thought that was kinda weird. But, to each their own…
You know how one subject leads to the next and the next when you’re having one of those random conversations… Out of nowhere it came to my mind, and I mentioned the fact to her, about how there was a period of time when my friend Donald G. Jackson would always wear one red sock. For him, it was kind of a signature thing. When he had his 1962 Plymouth Belvedere restored, he had the driver seat lined in red and he had one red rim on the driver’s side of the car with no hubcap. Why he did that, I truly have no idea. And, I spent years hanging out and making movies with the man. But??? We even referenced this fact in one of the climatic scenes of The Roller Blade Seven when I lift my pant leg, reveal that I am wearing one red sock, and say, “You see, I have not forsaken my sacred vows.” …Just did that for fun…
I got to hang out with my Zen Filmmaking Brother, Joe Estevez for a moment or two a couple of days ago. Always good to see. He’s really a great guy! We used to hang out all the time, but not so much anymore.
As he’s always out there acting in movies and willing to do an interview with pretty much anybody… In fact, I believe by this point in his career, he’s probably acted in more films than any other actor in history. Good for him! Me, I’m much more of a recluse. And, I rarely do interviews anymore. I pretty much turn down all the offers. But anyway, a lot of people speak with him about The Roller Blade Seven. But, the fact is, he was only on the set for two days. In fact, that’s when Don and I had first met him… …The first time we met him is when he showed up on our set at The Hollywood Center Building. So certainly, he has his thoughts and his opinions about the film, but he wasn’t on the inside of the process. He doesn’t know what really went on. Yet, I’ve watched interviews with him where people ask him questions about the movie like he holds all the answers. He does not.
The reason I bring this up, and the reason I discuss the story of the one red sock, is in all of the reviews, discourses, interviews, and whatever I have read and/or watched on or about The Roller Blade Seven no one even mentions that Red Sock Scene. Though it is one of the most pivotal moments of the film and it goes to the essence of what Zen Filmmaking is all about. Namely, taking the inner workings of the filmmaker, or in this case the filmmakers, and placing that Abstract Something of Suchness on the screen But, the critics and the evaluators have totally overlooked this.
Just like it has constantly been questioned, who were the Roller Blade Seven, as there was never a formalized Roller Blade Seven on the screen. But, I have answered that question in several places. …Even on the
Roller Blade Seven page of this website. And, the Character of Reverend Donaldo explained it in Return of the Roller Blade Seven. But, no one listens. No one seeks out the subtitles. Everyone just bases their existence on the obvious. But, in Art, (any form of Art), the obvious is never truly obvious.
In closing, what I would suggest, is that you should never become lost in the obvious. The obvious is just way too obvious. Study the subtitles, for that’s where the essence of existence truly exists.

The Criminal Never Considers Their Victims

Would you like to have something stolen from you? Would you like to be physical or verbally attacked? Do you want to have someone hurt you? Do you want someone to damage what is yours? The answer to all of these questions is obvious, no one want to be hurt in any manner. Yet, think about, does the criminal ever take the feelings of their victim into consideration? The answer is no.
In many ways, it is much easier to be a perpetrator than it is to be a victim. The perpetrator attacks, they hurt, they take what is not theirs. They knowingly, and many times with much forethought, go after their unsuspecting victim. The victim, on the other hand, generally does not see it coming. They are hit from behind, sucker punched if you will, and though they may try to defend themselves, they are left in the position of disadvantage, because they were most probably not expecting any form of attack to come their way.
From a moral perspective, all of you reading this, understand that stealing, hurting, or damaging anyone in anyway is simply wrong. But, look around you, how often is it taking place? Maybe something like this has happened to you. Maybe you have done something like this.
Recently, here in L.A., there was this man who was followed home by a couple of thugs who were planning to attack and rob him. As could be seen in his home surveillance, when they made their move in his doorway, he pulls out his Glock and starts shooting. They had guns, as well, and fired back. Thankfully, nobody got shot, and the criminals ran away, but how often is that the outcome? More often than not, all we see or hear about is the fact of the damage a criminal has left behind.
Did those thugs care about the harm they may do to that man’s life. Obviously not. And, here lies the problem, people do not take the other person into consideration. Do you?
Hurt, damage, theft, attack, and all of that kind of stuff is instigated and actualized by a person or persons wanting to take something from or do damage to that other individual. They do this without caring about the ramifications of their actions. Look to your own life. Have you ever taken something that wasn’t yours from someone? Have you ever intentionally hurt someone? Did you think about the damage you were going to do to that other person’s life before you did what you did? If you didn’t, or if you didn’t care, what kind of a person are you?
If you hurt, if you steal, if you do anything negative to anyone else, that’s a bad thing; right?  Knowing that, why would you do it?
Most people try to be good. Most people strive to never hurt anyone. Yet, hurt happens all the time. Who’s doing it? The answer is obvious, the person who does not care about their victim.
So, what can we do about this? The answer to this question is complicated. We can try to protect ourselves as best as we can. We can try to keep ourselves from being vulnerable. Mostly, we can strive to be the best person we can be—someone who focuses their life upon only doing good things. Though this is assuredly not an absolute method of protection but at least if we strive to be the best person we can be, hurting no one, hopefully the attackers will leave us alone.
The key to living a good life is to never hurt anyone, to never steal from anyone, to never damage anyone’s life in any way. No matter what reason you can justify in your mind, if you victimize anyone, for any reason, you are the one at fault. Then what?

What the Buddha Said

Throughout the many years I have been walking what may loosely be described as, “The Spiritual Path,” what I have continually noticed is that people rarely study the foundations of their belief. They just believe. From this comes a lack of understanding of what they are actually believing in and/or why they are believing it. For me, that was never good enough. I always wanted to seek the essence of anything that called my attention.
Certainly, Zen Buddhism has played a big part in my life’s evolution. Thus, as with other religions, I have studied and written a lot about the foundations of this system of belief.  
I’m guessing, but probably many of you Scott Shaw Blog Readers out there don’t really check out the articles I have on this site, or the other sites where there are some of my articles, like Blogger and WordPress. Here are the links to my main page on Blogger where you get to my various blogs on that site, and my two blogs on WordPress: Blogger, The Scott Shaw Blog on WordPress and Scott Shaw Zen Filmmaking on WordPress. …If you feel like it…

Anyway… I thought I would put this article on some of the foundational aspects about The Buddha and Buddhism up here on the blog. …An article that was originally published many years. I hope it may provide you with a bit more insight into the foundations of Buddhism.  

…If you feel like, you can also read it here on the site at,
What the Buddha Said.
What the Buddha Said
Historically, little is of absolute certainty regarding the life of the being who has become commonly referred to as, The Buddha. Throughout history, however, his life has been chronicled in legend.
Siddharta Guatama
Siddhartha Guatama, the Sakyamuni Buddha, “Buddha from the Kingdom of Sakya,” is generally agreed to have lived from 563 to 483 B.C.E. Legend states that he was a Prince who lived a very sheltered life. Upon witnessing poverty, illness, and death for the first time, he lost faith in all that was material and left behind his Royal Lifestyle, his wife, and his newborn child in pursuit of the ultimate truth of human existence.
What is historically established is that during the lifetime of The Buddha a revolution was taking place in South Asia. Iron had recently been introduced to the Indian Subcontinent from China. This led to many rapid advancements in society—agriculture was vastly improved and landscapes could be readily cultivated. No longer were the forests the daunting obstacles they had once been. Now, they could be cleared so crops could be harvested within their once impenetrable boundaries. New structures, particularly palaces, were constructed in a much more substantial fashion. And perhaps most definitive of the era, the tool of warfare were vastly improved. So much so that near the end of his life The Buddha’s own kingdom of Sakya fell to the neighboring Kingdom of Kosala. Within a century of his lifetime, the entire region of what is now Northern India and Nepal would be united as the Magadha Empire.
The prominent religion of this historic era was Vedic Brahanism. This religion can trace its roots back a thousand years prior to the life of The Buddha. Its scriptures, known as The Vedas, began to be composed in 1500 B.C.E. This religion is the basis for modern Hinduism.
The highest practitioners of this religion were the Brahmans. They were identified as the highest cast and obviously the wealthiest of this ancient society. From this, they claimed privileges not afforded to the average individual.
As formalized power, secular wealth, and religious privilege rose in this region, dissatisfaction among the populous also escalated. This gave birth to a group of ascetics who were known as Sramana. The Sramana shunned society, renounced material possessions, and became wandering holy men following an undefined path to enlightenment. This group laid the foundation for what has become more commonly known as the Sadhu. The mindset of this group, undoubtedly, influenced the path the young Siddhartha Guatama as he would ultimately follow.
The Buddha’s path to enlightenment is historically unclear. It is believed that he studied with two primary teachers, Arada Kalama, who taught Akimcanya Ayatana, “The experience of nothingness” and, Udraka Ramaputra, who taught Naiva Samjna Asamjna Ayatana, “The experience of conscious unconsciousness.”
The legend persists in China that Lao Tzu, the Great Sage who is credited as the author of The Tao Te Ching, upon becoming disheartened with Chinese society and leaving his royal post, actually entered what is modern day Nepal and also became one of The Buddha’s teachers. As romantic as the pairing of these great souls appears, there is no historic evidence to provide factual substantiation to this claim.
The Enlightenment of the Buddha
Legend states that The Buddha dissatisfied with not obtaining the ultimate understanding of life from his two teachers or following the path of a wandering holy man, sat down under a Bodhi Tree and swore he would not rise until he became enlightened. Though many legends have been written about what The Buddha experienced during this period of intensive meditation, it is known that he did, in fact, emerge an enlightened being.
The Buddha, upon his realization, gave his first enlightened discourse at what is now Bodh Gaya, near Varanasi, India. This talk is known as, “The First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma.”
It cannot be established, with absolute certainly, what The Buddha actually said during this discourse, however. All that is written, claiming him as the source, was done so years, and in some cases centuries, after his physical death.
The Pali Canon
The Theravada tradition of Buddhism claims that the language of the Buddha was Pali, and thus, their collections of scriptures, known as, The Pali Canon, is the most accurate. This, however, has proven to be linguistically incorrect, as Pali came into existence after the time of The Buddha—who left his body near the city of Kusinagra, when he was eighty years old.
Thus, his spoken words, though possibly initially recorded in his native dialect, most probably, Magadhi, were handed down from disciple to disciple for an undefined period before they finally found their way into scriptural form.
The Buddhist Religion
With the end of Buddha’s life came the Buddhist religion. But, The Buddha did not invent the concept of enlightenment, nor was he the first or the last, being to reach this highest level of conscious evolution. Throughout the centuries, the followers of Buddhism have come to idealize his life and his teachings to the degree that it was impossible for them to reach their own Buddhahood, due to the extensive set of parameters they have assigned to the advancement of human consciousness.
There is an elemental problem with this mindset, however. Was the Buddha a Buddhist? No, he was not. He was a Hindu. Did the Buddha ask for worship? No, he did not. In fact, legend states that when he was asked, “Are you an Avatar,” he answered, “No, just a man.” When asked, “Then, are you a Guru?” He answered, “No, just a man.”
This is the portrait of the true, perfectly enlightened teacher, who achieved the highest level of human consciousness. Yet, he did not seek admiration due to his realization.
It is the unenlightened mind of humanity that has forgotten this simple truth and chosen to make him a deity of worship and his teachings the basis for a religion. From this mindset has come centuries of Buddhist that have been unable to encounter the realms of Nirvana—solely due to the fact that they project such an orchestrated, idealized image of what enlightenment is supposed to be. This problem is amplified by the fact that many Buddhists hold fast to the belief that the teachings of their sect of Buddhism or their individual teachers hold the only great truth and the purest pathway to higher consciousness. They miss the point...
The teaching laid down by The Buddha are absent from formalized religion. Formalized religion employs ritual. Ritual, though beautiful to watch, is based in physical actions. Physical actions only leads to physical reactions. Thus, Karma is set in motion—not enlightenment.
If enlightenment is the core teaching of The Buddha and it is understood that it is possible for each individual to achieve this level of consciousness, then why do anything other than become enlightened? Arguing that my school or my teacher is the best and yours is wrong does not produce enlightenment. Only enlightenment produces enlightenment.
Be enlightened.

The Things That Matter To No One But You

I keep this toolbox under my kitchen sink. Yeah, I guess that may be a little weird but in it I keep all the tools that I may need to use around the house. When I need them, I can easily pull it out, and there they are.
Just for the record, this is a vintage metal Craftsman toolbox; I’ve had it forever. For whatever reason, I’ve always preferred metal toolboxes. Call me, “Old School…”.
So, as the story goes, I was putting this wall hanging thing together for my lady and I needed some tools. I go to grab my handy-dandy toolbox and when I pulled it out something had happened. Somehow/someway a bunch of water had gotten under the toolbox. I guess??? And, the bottom and up the sides of the toolbox had complete rusted out. I checked and there were no leaks in the pipes or anything like that under the sink. So, I don’t know how it happened??? What I do know is that my toolbox is destroyed. I really liked that toolbox!
Getting another toolbox is easy, I get it. But, these vintage Craftsman toolboxes, in, what was, perfect condition, are very-very expensive; if you can even find them. So, what can I do?
This brings us to the point of all this… In the grand scheme of life, does my destroyed toolbox really matter? No. Do you care about it and my feelings about it? No. Does anybody care? Nope, they all have all of their own Life Stuff going on.
In life, there are things that matter to no one but you. Maybe these things are big or maybe they are small. But, no matter how big or how small, they only matter to you.
When things are lost, destroyed, stolen, taken from you, broken, or whatever, you feel that loss. You feel it, but no one else does. Most probably, no one else even cares. But, does that change the way you feel? No, it does not.
What does this tell us? It tells us that we feel, we care, we cherish certain things in our own life. But, our own life is only that, our own life. Though we wish other people would care. Though we may even hope that other people will come to our aid, that probably will not happen. So, what are we left with? What are you going to do with this fact?
The main thing to understand is that it is doubtful that anyone cares about what you care about. If they do, GREAT! You are lucky that someone cares enough about you or enough about what you care about to CARE. But, that’s rare. Even people close to you generally do not or cannot choose to understand and embrace your feelings about those things you care about.   
You can try to track down and pay top dollar for that rare vintage metal Craftsman toolbox or you can understand the reality of life; nothing lasts forever. Though neither of these things absolutely helps your situation. Nothing will truly bring back what you lost. But, if you allow yourself to be lost in what was lost, then how can you ever move forward and find that something new that you may care about even more?

Flash Point Zen

Flash Point Zen
To catch up on the previous blogs and aphorisms written over the past few months check out the latest book based on the Scott Shaw Zen Blog:
Flash Point Zen


You can't threaten a person with death if they believe that when they die they are going to go to paradise.


How many times have you walked down the same road?


Isn't it better to be friends than enemies?

Repair your relationships.


How much of what you are planning to do today is for the greater good of the All compared to how much of what you are planning to do today is for the greater good of You?


When you're the one to blame, who else can you blame?

What Happens When You Overpay for Your Karma?

To begin with, pretty much everyone knows about the concept of karma. It is the whole, “As ye sew so shall ye reap,” premise.
I have written a lot about karma throughout the years; from a metaphysical perspective onto a historical basis. The one thing that I can say, and this is something I have always said, few people truly understand the subtleties of the hypothesis of karma.
This being stated, karma is the promised remedy for those who have done you wrong. Whenever anyone hurts you or me, steals from us, or does something that damages our life, the common thread of hope is that, “They will get theirs.”
Sometimes this comes to be the case. Sometimes we witness it or, at least, hear about it. Other times, it seems like they get away with it—whatever that, “It,” may be. But, it is the passed along belief and understanding that if you do something that hurts someone, you will pay the price. It is for this reason that all
good people strive to inflict no pain on anyone. They work to unleash no negative karma.
Let’s look at this from another angle… Okay, you’ve done something wrong. You know you’ve done something wrong. You understand you hurt someone. And, no matter what your motivation may have been, when someone is hurt, they are hurt, and thus, you are destined to receive your negative karma of your chosen actions.
If you are a conscience human being, you may even acknowledge that you’ve done something wrong. Then, when you are hit with the consequences, you understand why. You know it. You feel it. You understand that whatever is happening is occurring because of what you have done to that someone else. You may even believe, “With this, I have paid my karma.” But, what about when those negative occurrences keep coming at you? You are hit again and again and again. “Didn’t I pay my karma,” you may question?
Like all things associated with karma, there is no easy answer for this. But, the question you must ask yourself, if you hope any negative repercussions to cease is, “Is what I did, that negatively affected the life of that someone else, still hurting and/or damaging their life.” If the answer is yes, then you have your answer. What you did unleashed long-term pain and as long as it is still hurting the life of that other person you will continue to receive your negative karma. Simple as that.
On the other hand, maybe what you did was a small thing. Maybe what you did seemingly went away, and the other person is no longer affected by it. Then, the question you must ask yourself is, “What did my actions set into motion?”
Here’s the thing, everything you do—everything you choose to do, sets a course of events into motion. If that course of events is positive, all is good. If, however, that course is negative, or hurts anyone, what you have set in motion will equal you eventually receiving the negative karma for what you instigated as it initially affected one person, then the next person, and the next, and the next.
So, next time you get hit by some unexpected negative something, instead of looking outside of yourself for the causation factor, instead of asking god, “Why,” look to what you have chosen to do. Generally, if you are truthful with yourself, you will understand it is you who is to blame. Now what?

The Essence of Zen Buddhism

Ask any person on the street, “What is the essence of Zen Buddhism,” and they will most probably not have an answer. Maybe they’ll say something like, “A bald guy sitting and meditating.” Ask any practicing Buddhist, “What is the essence of Zen Buddhism,” and each person will give you a different answer based upon what tradition they are involved with. Even ask the internet, “What is the essence of Zen Buddhism,” and you will see numerous answers based upon different concepts, teachings, or schools of Zen Buddhism. So, what is the essence of Zen Buddhism?
If you ask a Christian, “What is the essence of Christianity,” though they may provide you with slightly varying answers, the commonality of those answers will be very similar. Christianity is easy to define as its proclamations and its goals are very clear. This is not the case with Zen Buddhism.
There are some primary elements of Zen Buddhism that one can easily trace. Certainly, Zazen, or seated meditation, is one of the elemental ones. Because, as can easily be understood, if an individual does not possess a quiet mind, and the ability to control their racing thoughts, any level of higher consciousness is impossible to achieve. Again, though this is one of the primary concepts, seated meditation is not where meditation ends in Zen Buddhism; meditation goes much farther than that by its various practitioners. There is Kinhin, walking meditation, Kyūdō, Zen Archery, the Zen tea ceremony, most commonly referred to in Japanese as, Chanoyu, and the list goes on. In fact, there is virtually no area of life that is not defined by a meditation practice in Zen Buddhism.
Though there are the obvious levels of meditation associated with Zen Buddhism, depending upon the school, the understanding of the basis for meditation goes much deeper than this. For example, in some traditions of Zen Buddhism meditation is broken down into three varying elements:  Samatha meditation, which is designed to calm the mind, Vipassana meditation, which is deigned to provide the mind with insight, and Mettabhavana meditation which is developed to remove negative thoughts and thus negative action leaving the practitioner in state where they do not create negative karma and thereby they are guided away from rebirth.
Those are just a couple of examples of the complexity of the various schools of Zen Buddhism. I could speak to you about the varying aspects of the different traditions for hours. It can all gets very complicated.
Certainly, Nirvana, (enlightenment), is the at the apex of Zen Buddhism. But, as enlightenment, by its very nature, is such an abstract concept, and though people have attempted to define it and reach it throughout the centuries, the pathway to it is as vast and unchartable as the mind of each individual practitioner.
So, what is the essence of Zen Buddhism? Here lies the hidden and most deep understanding of this school of religious thought. Answer: It is unknown. It is undefined. Yes many, throughout the millennia, have attempt to cast their definition onto the concept. But, that is all that it is, individual interpretations.
The essence of Zen is as abstract as the entire concept of Zen. There is no definition. Thus, its essence is left in the shadows only to be defined by those who choose to lose all concept of the concept. This is why so few people have truly understood Zen. They tried to make it a something when, in fact, it is a nothing. It is simply a label placed upon an abstract school of thought where the few individuals who choose to walk the path of Zen ultimately understand that it, like them, is nothing.

Who Are You Going to Help Today?

Who are you going to help today? This is a question I ask myself each morning when I wake up. This is also a question I ask other people when I find that they are all locked up within themselves in some form of obsessional selfishness.
Truly, who are you going to help today?
In some ways, you can plan ahead in answer to this question. There are those cases when you know what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. More commonly, however, your ability to help someone will come at you in the moment. You will see something or someone, there will be a need, and then you jump into the response. The caveat here is that you must be willing to do it. You must be willing to step up to the plate and help that someone or something out, even if you don’t feel like doing it. Are you willing?
Some people set their entire life up in order to help others. They are the teachers, the medical professionals, the police officers, the firemen, and even the baristas or the food servers in a restaurant. They each provide a very necessary service which is a way of helping others. But help, and the planning to help, goes much deeper than just that. Helping is a mindset that must occupy your thoughts each day. If you truly wish to be a helpful person, which is a higher calling, you must make this an essential element to your everyday thinking.
Some people believe helping someone may occur by hurting or attacking someone else. This is never the case, however. That’s all just mind junk based in ego, desire, and power tripping. It is not helping.
Helping, by its very nature, arises from a state of mental purity and caring. It is done to make someone else’s something better, easier, more happy-feeling, equaling a better life for that someone else, if even for a moment.

So, ask yourself, who are you going to help today? What’s your answer?


If you live in a world of normality, you will encounter normal things.

If you live in a world of strangeness, weird things will find you.

Dream Yoga

Have you ever had a dream of someone that you would rather not remember or even think about? I imagine that most of us have had one (or more) of those dreams. Have you ever had a dream that was really intense, totally overwhelming, and you really wish, while you were in the midst of it, that is was not happening? I imagine that most of us have had one (or more) of those dreams. The thing about life is that every time we sleep, we dream. And, though there have been contemplations, lectures given, books written, and scientific studies performed about dreams there still is no absolute answer as to what they truly are or what they actually mean.
In Japanese, the word, “Yume,” is used to describe a dream. It’s direct meaning is, “Eyes in sleep.” I think that’s a pretty good definition as though, in our dreams, our bodies are removed from the physical world of actuality, we are living a complete reality.

Think about it. Think about how real your dreams truly feel. You are living a complete storyline in all its completeness. You move, you feel, you act, you react, you interact, and a story is constructed and told. When you are in that dream is your reality any less real than it is when you are awake? But, that story ultimately means nothing, because when you wake up, it is gone. There is no action or reaction or karma or anything.
Some/many believe that dreams are the foretelling of what is to come. But, what is to come? Is not what is coming based upon you deciding to do what you have done in the past, leading to what you will encounter in the future? Isn’t what is to come based upon what you decide to do right now? So, any prophecy may be a prophecy, but a prophecy is only ultimately defined by the choice(s) you make in any given moment.
In Tibetan Buddhism and various sects of Hinduism there is actually a Yoga developed to embrace dreams. It is known as, “Svapnadarśana Yoga,” The Yoga of the Dream State. Without going too much into detail, as that would take volumes, Dream Yoga is based on the theory of, “Bardo,” in Tibetan Buddhism, which refers to transitional states in human consciousness. “Milam Bardo,” is the stage of Dream Yoga when one works to use dreams as a pathway towards greater realization.
From this teaching, and numerous other schools of thought, people have attempted to control their dreams and the direction they travel and the things they experience within them. Some even claim that they can. But, have you ever attempted to control your dream and change its direction once you were deeply inside of it? As dreams completely overtake your sleeping body and mind, this is virtually impossible as you are so lost and/or control by the mechanism of the dream. Thus, those claims are simply the proclamations made by persons who wish to appear more than all who follow them. …Just like all of those unlikely claims that no one else (that you) can never seem to be able to accomplish. It’s all just gibberish.
So, where does this leave us? It comes back to the
fact of life that so many people attempt to fight; life is life, reality is reality, and that is all we have. Dreams are a reality that we are given and must live with.
In Zen, it is understood that though it may be human nature to fight the obvious; the clearest, purist truth of reality is that the simplest is the most pure and true. Though there may be all these implied definitions placed upon why you dream. Though there may be all of these techniques that claim you can control your dreams and use them for some greater good/goal in your life, that is all just the promise of illusion. It is all maya. For at its simplest most pure understanding, dreams are just what they are; dreams. No matter how hard you attempt to alter the reality of your dreams, your dreams exist in a separate plane of existence where physical choice and mental selection is highly removed from the equation. You are just living what you are living.
In awake life, there are choices to be made. These choices not only set up what you will encounter next, but they can affect the life of you, your loved ones, your friends, and maybe even everyone else on the whole planet. Thus, your choice is the defining factor of your karma and what is to happen next in your life. Dream, on the other hand, exist in a place of no karma. They exist on a plane of reality that is not bound by physical reality. Thus, you may love the dream you have, you may hate the dream you have, you may live all kinds of weird storylines in your dreams, you may even spend your whole life trying to control your dreams, but that does not make them holy. But, if you release, if you let all things simply be as they are with no judgement or attempt at control, than all things in your dreams and, thus, your life, become perfect. At least as perfect as the Zen of Acceptance can lead you to.

Zen and Enlightenment

The purpose of Zen is to obtain enlightenment. It is as simple as that. End of story. Yet, throughout the centuries, people have placed all kinds of definitions, schools, practices, and products that are attributed to Zen. Are any of this THINGS a pathway to enlightenment? If they are not, then they are not Zen.
Since the birth of Zen, that evolved from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Sakyamuni Buddha, enlightenment has been the primary focus of this teaching. Yet, for most, it has become an unachievable goal. Like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it is so close at hand but never obtainable.
The main problem(s) that arises in the pursuit of enlightenment are based in concept. For the few people who actually do choose to devote their life to encountering enlightenment, they each follow a path defined by concept. They are taught the teachings of their teacher and their school. They read the scriptures that have been laid down throughout the centuries. Though all of these things may be understood to be a guide, by their very nature they go against the true understanding of Zen, which is, we all are already enlightened—it is in our ultimate nature. It is only for us to peel back the layers of delusion and illusion for us to perceive this fact. Yet, every word and every teaching, as good intentioned as they may be, do the exact opposite of this. Instead, they add more pieces to the puzzle and make the end goal that much harder to obtain.
There are many facets to Zen that come to the mind of the zealot and the researcher: Zazen or meditation, Dōkyō or reading scriptures, Samu or everyday work done with a spiritual focus, Koan or piecing through the veil and finding the meaning hidden beneath abstract word constructions, and Dentō the passing of enlightenment from teacher to disciple. These, and many more practices, all define the pathway of Zen. But, they are all just THINGS. And things, by their very nature, keep one from encountering enlightenment. Meaning, hand-in-hand with the essence of Zen, there have intentional roadblocks put up to keep one from obtaining that which is the most easy to obtain if one simply lets go of all of the materializations of the practices.  
In Zen, the understanding of, “Kensho,” is often explained to be the pathway to nirvana. Kensho means, “Opening,” or better explained opening up to the true nature of the Self—that place that is enlightenment. Though some Zen Buddhist sects teach that enlightenment must come via a gradual process following an ever-expanding process of steps and obstacles, this is actually a misunderstanding of the entire truth of Zen. For even if one walks down the road towards finding enlightenment, it is only in that moment when nirvana overcomes the individual where all time and practice is lost to the realms of pure understanding. For once one embraces enlightenment, there is no longer any frame of reference for the pathway that got the individual to that point. All simply is.
For those who walk the pathway of Zen, yes, they are embracing a higher calling. But, just as all inner truths and deep wisdom are hidden behind the veil of illusion, as long as one prefers walking the path to actually obtaining the end goal, there will forever be the need for texts, scriptures, teachers, and schools, that are designed to guide the devotee. But, the truth of the truth of Zen is, that its pinnacle needs no teacher or teaching to obtain. All one has to do is to embrace the pure essence of Zen, located at the root of its teaching and instantly all the schooled stuff become unnecessary. For it is at the point, which by its very definition is the simplest to obtain, enlightenment is known.
If you wish to know about Zen, you can read the books. There are a lot of them out there detailing the understandings of this philosophy. If you want to be called a practitioner of Zen you can go to a temple and be initiated into the sect by a monk. But, if you want to live Zen, then discard all of the physical manifestation and embrace enlightenment, for that is the only true heart of Zen.


Just because you don't get it does not mean that it can't be understood.

No Mind Verses Some Mind

In Zen Buddhism, the state of Mushin or No Mind is the sought-after space of existence. From meditation, to art, to the martial arts, onto living wholly and consciously in everyday life, the seeker of absolute awareness focuses on traveling to the place where they may exist in Mushin.
Why is this the desired state of consciousness? Because it is only in this place one can free themselves from all wordily constrains and encounter a state of absolute freedom in thought, movement, and action.
For the artist, they concentrate on this mindset to gain a perfection in each brush stroke. For the martial arts, they focus on obtaining this state so that their movements become the perfect form of meditation as they are not guided by any external hopes or desires. For the meditator, this state is sought so that they remove all limitations of desire, leading to karma, and thus are free to exist in the space of Pure Mind where all is set to the natural experience of Zen.
For thousands of years there have been those who pursue Mushin. Throughout those thousands of years, however, those number have been minuscule in comparison to those who seek a wordily existence. Where do you find yourself in this pursuit? Do you seek a silent mind or do you seek all that the world has to offer?
Most, seek the world. Some, seek at least some level of deeper consciousness. Very few devote their life to finding No Mind. Why is this? Because the benefits are not obvious. What do you gain by encountered Mushin? If you cannot even understand the concept, how can you come up with an answer to that question?
This is why so few pursue Deep Mind. This is why the world lives in a state of ongoing chaos. This is why you are happy, sad, elated, depressed, fat, skinny, broke, in-debt, drunk, high, angry, hurtful, selfish, and self-centered. You seek what is Out There but not what is In Here. In Japanese, this state of mind is known as, Ushin, the opposite of Mushin.
There is the old saying, “You can live in the world but not of the world.” We all must find a way to survive. But, that does not mean that we have to do it in such a manner where we create negative karma.
Everyone knows what selfish and hurtful actions are. Yet, think about it, how many people know those definitions but do those things anyway? How many people applaud those who live in that state of mind? How about you?
There is another side to all of this. You can live in the world but not of the world. This is where Mushin may be encountered. You can do what you need to do to survive but you can do it from a space of Pure Mind. You can operate in the realm of the rejection of being called into external life-play. You can consciously be conscious. How do you do that? You just do that. It is a simple as that.
People confuse things like meditation, the arts, the martial arts, and living a spiritual lifestyle as doing something. But then, it becomes a, “Thing.” It becomes something that you must strive to do to perfection. But, think about it, if you allow all things to be perfect within themselves, doesn’t everything find its own space of flawlessness?  If you don’t try, you don’t have to try. You can just let things be as they are. With no desire, aren’t you free? That is the essence and the pathway to Mushin. Let go.
Finding No Mind is as easy as letting go of your Known Mind.


Does a thief feel guilty about stealing?

No, or they would not steal.

Does a liar feel guilty about lying?

No, or they would not lie.

Roller Blade Warriors Taken by Force

I thought I would take a few moments and explain a little bit about Donald G. Jackson’s feelings about his film, Roller Blade Warriors, as I am periodically asked questions about this movie and as this was the predecessor to The Roller Blade Seven.
Since his passing in 2003, I have watched as concentration on the films of Donald G. Jackson has swayed from interest to the lack thereof and back again. Due to the fact of the bizarre nature of most of his films, some of these features have remained under discussion by those who enjoy viewing cinematic creations such as these, while others have not. As my promise to him, in his dying days went, I have strived to keep his filmmaking legacy alive. But, the reality of the reality is, times change as do the minds and the tastes of people. This being detailed, and as a foundation for what I am about to say next, don’t you believe that if one is to truly honor the filmmaking legacy of a filmmaker one should follow their direction in how they wished to be remembered?
Donald G. Jackson was a complicated, most would say, psychologically disturbed individual. This being stated, he did what he did with a passion. This passion, however, lead him into doing and saying things that others certainly disliked and even he often regretted. This too was the case with many of his films. He would often describe his films, once they were completed, as just another piece of crap on the shit pile. This was especially his feelings about Roller Blade Warrior.
If you watch the documentary I put together on the first film we attempted to make together, Roller Blade 3: The Movie That Never Was, you will see him reference his films Roller Blade and Roller Blade Warrior as not very good. But, the film he was then making, Roller Blade 3: Samurai Sisters, as a would-be good film. Of course, this did not come to be the case. Nonetheless, his distaste for Roller Blade Warriors goes much deeper than this.
Don certainly was a lover of women. Though he was married for decades, he bedded many of his starlets. He was no saint. This changed, however, as he moved towards his later years. He had a strong religious re-conversion, re-embracing his Christian faith. Though he would tell me he never liked the physical violence perpetrated against the female characters in Roller Blade Warrior, blaming it on the screenwriter, as he neared his later days, he truly was disgusted by what takes place in that film. Of all his films, he would tell me, that was the film he wished he had never made; at least not created with the storyline that was presented.
That was his feeling, as simple as that. He asked me to do all I could to bury this film after his passing. Following his wishes, I have done all I could to do just that.
As we all understand, with the internet came uncontrollable movie distribution. Though in the early years, after Don’s passing, it seemed interest faded in Roller Blade Warriors, then, people with no rights to distribute the movie, attempted to release it via various methods. For most, this was a means to make money, and, I suppose, for others it was due to the fact that they enjoyed the movie. But, you must question, why would someone enjoy watching a movie where women are brutalized?
With no other method, and becoming tired of paying my attorney a lot of money to halt people who had no rights to the movie from distribution it, my distribution company released it on DVD as a means of substantiating the ownership of the only person who held the rights to this film and to maintain control over its distribution. There was minimal interest in the release of this film and that, I believe, would have been what Don would have wanted.
So, for your fans of Roller Blade Warriors out there… For you distributors who are circulating this movie with no rights to do so… For you admirers of Donald G. Jackson, who are you providing a service to when you disseminate this film? Donald G. Jackson? No. Yourself? Maybe. But, if you care about a filmmaker, you should care about their wishes, whether they are alive or no longer with us. Isn’t that the best way to pay tribute to their filmmaking legacy?
And, to all you filmmakers out there who create works of cinema where women, or anyone, is brutalized, who does that help and how does that make any level of life any better? For all you viewers of cinema where women, or anyone is abused, how does that make any level of life any better?
Truthfully, I really hate to even discuss this movie, as it, and the way Don felt about it, is so negative.
This really brings us to a question of life and something that each of us must consider as we live through our days, is what you are doing setting the stage for the betterment of the world or is what you are doing glorifying the bad elements of life? Moreover, is what you are doing going to be regretted in future times?  Think before you do.
My advice. and my hope for the world, is that we should all only do things that expands positivity to all who encounter our anything.

This article is also up on this site at: Roller Blade Warriors: Taken by Force


What do you dream about when you're sleeping in heaven?


If you are saying anything negative about anybody for any reason you are NOT making anything any better.


If no one told you about God, you would not know about God.


Just because you believe you've paid your karmic debt for doing what you know you have done, that does not mean that the person you hurt believes you've paid your karmic debt.

It Doesn’t Really Matter to Anyone But Me

I know I’ve discussed this subject in this blog a while back, but I still find it interesting…
Several years ago, I made a statement and titled a blog, something to the effect, “No One Remembers My Father But Me.” This statement was based in the fact that he passed on in 1968, I was an only child, all the family quickly dispersed after his passing, and I now know none of them, etc… I am the last man standing. I held on to this belief until earlier this year when I came upon a blog dedicated to the history of USC, (University of Southern California), where the historian, who runs that blog, began to speak of my father and even my grandmother. WOW! That was a surprise. Then, a couple of other people chimed in and spoke of their memories of my father and the USC themed restaurant he owned way back when.
I imagine the historian is not that old and did not personally know my father. From his entries, it reads more like a historical quest for the people that shaped the USC lifestyle. Which is very cool. He must love USC. And, he is doing what no one else is doing. But, for those people who actually interacted with my father, they must be very-very old by now.
The point being, I guess I was wrong. I am not the only person who remembers my father.
All this being said, and the point of this piece being, does any of this really matter to anyone but me? For those reading that man’s blog, do they really care about my father? Sure, a mention of a man, and there are a lot of USC orientated historical figures mentioned in the man’s research and writings, may make a person marginally intrigued. But, do they truly care? I don’t think so.
This is the important thing to keep in mind as you pass through your life. Who really cares? Who cares about you? Who cares about what you care about? And, who will care about what you provided to the world, ten, twenty, or a hundred years down the line?
Most people exist in a space of selfishness. They only care about who and what they care about until they care about them/it no more. So truly, what will your life have meant when you are no more?
Below, I am going to copy and paste the writings the man has collected about my father in the order they were published. Don’t worry, it's not that much stuff. I don’t know, you may find it interesting??? Or maybe, it may just kill a moment or two of your Life Time if you don’t have anything better to do. There’s also a link to the man’s blog. It’s really a big one.
Anyway… Think about it… Who cares about you? Who cares about me? And, who cares about what you and I care about?  
Inside USC with Scott Wolf
May 14, 2021
Does anyone remember Stubby Shaw?
He opened the Trojan Barrel bar in 1955 that eventually turned into Julie’s Trojan Barrel in 1975, which was not to be confused with Julie’s Restaurant on Flower St., which was opened in 1941. Those were owned by the legendary Julie Kohl.
But back to Shaw. He was a fixture to students in the 1950’s and would sponsor intramural basketball teams that featured actual players like Jim Kaufman and Danny Rogers.
If Shaw was well known, so was his mother. Known to dental students as “Mrs. Shaw,” she was fixture at the dental school from 1931-62.
Mrs. Shaw (born Maude Frances Mashburn) worked with more than 3,000 dental students, the “little white haired lady who signs (the) state board examination card indicating the culmination of formal dental training.”
Some would say this was a time period back when USC was known for having family atmosphere.
May 17, 2021
As so often happens when I write about USC history, after initially writing about a subject I learn more through readers and more research.
I asked if anyone remembered Stubby Shaw on Friday.
In 1955, Shaw opened “Stubby’s Trojan Barrel” bar near USC. Many students simply called it “Stubby’s.”
Around 1965, it was purchased by Marlin and Mike McKeever. I’m not sure how long the McKeevers owned it, but in 1975 Julie Kohl purchased the bar and it became “Julie’s Trojan Barrel.”
“It was so dark, you couldn’t see yourself,” a reader who went to Stubby’s in the 1950’s told me.

Frankly, that’s what I remember about going there when it was “Julie’s Trojan Barrel.” You could walk in for lunch and it was like walking into a cave.
A USC alum told me Friday he thought Shaw might have played for the L.A. Dons football team.
Over the weekend, I came across a photo from 1956-57 of Stubby’s and on the far right is Shaw himself. Now you know why he was nicknamed Stubby.
July 30, 2021
And now for some history:
I heard a great story this week regarding Stubby Shaw, the owner of Stubby’s Trojan Barrel, which later became Julie’s Trojan Barrel.
In the early 1960’s, an underage USC student walked in Stubby’s.
“Whaddya drinking?” Stubby growled.
“I’ll . . . have . . . a . . . water,” the terrified student said.
“Water?” Stubby said incredulously. “If you want water, go to the Union 76 across the street. We drink beer in here.”
August 6, 2021
Here’s another story on Stubby Shaw, who owned Stubby’s Trojan Barrel, which later became Julie’s Trojan Barrel.
“He had a real red face, he was always red,” said a USC student from the early 1960’s. “He looked like a football player. I think he played for the L.A. Dons (the first pro team to play in the Coliseum from 1946-49). He really kept the place in order. The McKeever twins really wanted the place and eventually bought it from him.”
January 21, 2022
Here’s a 1948 photo of a game between the L.A. Dons and Cleveland Browns. The Browns defensive player who ran into the goal post, Tony Adamle, is the father of former NFL player/NBC Sports announcer Mike Adamle.
Remember, the infamous Stubby Shaw played for the L.A. Dons.
But the main reason I ran this photo is the clean look of the Peristyle, free of all the bric-a-brac USC stuck there over the years.
April 15, 2022
And now for some history:
Stubby Shaw (right) at his bar on Figueroa and 37th street circa 1956-57.
One of the things I love writing about USC history is the way I stumble across more stories. I’ve written before about Stubby Shaw, who opened “Stubby’s Trojan Barrel” in 1955. Around 1965, Shaw sold it to Marlin and Mike McKeever and in 1975 it was bought by Julie Kohl and became “Julie’s Trojan Barrel.”
This story came from an alum:
One night, in the early 1960’s, a customer kept giving Shaw a hard time, making rude comments and threats. As the customer prepared to leave, Shaw ran out the back entrance of the bar and went to the front entrance, which had two swinging doors like a Western saloon in the movies.
When the customer exited, Shaw punched him so hard, he flew back into the bar through the swinging doors. “Don’t ever come back here again!” Shaw growled.
If you look at the photo, I’m not sure why anyone would antagonize Shaw.
April 22, 2022
Last week I told the story of Stubby Shaw punching one of his customers through the swinging doors at his bar on Figueroa and 37th street. He was also a fixture to students in the 1950’s and would sponsor intramural basketball teams that featured actual players like Jim Kaufman and Danny Rogers.
In conclusion… As a small child, I spend many-many hours at the Trojan Barrel. I’ve told some of the stories I lived in novels and in other writings. As referenced in that blog by that onlooker, I too witnessed my father punch more than one guy in the face. It was a college bar okay… It could be a ruckus place, especially after a game. Though he wouldn’t take any shit, mostly my father was a good guy. He liked to hang out behind the bar, always with a cigarette in his hand, pulling beers from the beer tap, and talking to his patrons. I drank my first beer there at a very young age. Plus, I have a photo of me, pulling beer, when I could not yet even walk. So, as all fathers are, and in some cases their jobs, that place was a formative part of my early existence.
But again, back to the truth of the truth… Does any of that matter to you? Probably not. So, when you and I are gone, who will care about what you and I cared about? Keep that in mind.

PS: Just for the record, I didn’t go to USC. I paid my own way through college and I couldn’t afford a school like that. Though, in reading this man’s blog, I guess I wish I could have. Happy


When is a sin forgiven?


People often make the claim that when they pass away they will see a lost loved one in heaven. But, what if that lost loved one wants to reconnect with someone else in heaven—someone that you don’t like? Doesn’t that mean that you will be locked into eternity with a person you hoped you would never encounter again?
Is heaven the way you want it to be or is heaven the way someone else wants it to be?


You can never gain any wisdom from a book that was never read.


You only ask for forgiveness when you know you've done something wrong.

How many people have done something wrong but never even consider asking for forgiveness?

Who’s to Blame for Your Failure?

I used to live in this apartment. Downstairs from me, this couple who were both MMA fighters, moved in. This was in the early days of professional MMA. Every now and then I would hear them arguing when one of them would lose a fight. One would yell at the other one that they didn’t train hard enough, or that they didn’t listen to their corner, or that they didn’t anticipate the other fighter’s moves. While one was yelling, the other one would always make one excuse or the other. But, at the end of the day, they had lost a bout. Who was to blame?
Whenever someone loses a confrontational anything: whether it is a fight, a court battle, an argument, a whatever, they always look outside of themselves for someone to blame. Rarely, will you ever hear anyone saying, “I just messed up.”
Think about your own life. Think about the battles that you have lost, be they large or small. What happened and why? Was it your fault? Or, do you blame someone else?  If you do blame someone else, was it only their fault, or did you have some participation in your loss?
People, by the very nature of most, do not want to take responsibility for their losses. Even if it is them who instigated the battle, if they lose, they want to shift the blame to some external something. How about you? Really think about this.
Why do people do this? Because then they do not have to acknowledge the impact of their responsibility in the loss or the fact that they did something wrong. Even many criminals, when they get convicted, they blame the victim, the jury, or their lawyer for not getting them off. But, if they hadn’t done the crime in the first place, they would never have gotten arrested.  
There are two levels to life. There is the level where you live your life in the most peaceful, wholesome, non-desire-filled manner possible and then there is the life of conflict. Of course, even for those who seek peace, confrontation may find its way into an individual’s life. But, by not seeking it, by consciously steering clear of it, one is far more protected than the person who goes out looking for a fight or spends their life defined by living in a world of competition.
Most people, in their life, will encounter loss at some point. This, whether they choose to enter into the competition or not. As long as you shift the blame from you onto whomever or whatever else, when and if this occurs, there is never a place where you will encounter and possibly learn how to be able to correct your failings.
Blaming is much easier than taking responsible for your own choices and actions that lead you to where you find yourself in life. But, by blaming, you never meet the true you. You never take responsibly for what you have created. Thus, you are lost to living a life defined by denial.  
You can blame someone else all you want. But, as long as you blame, you will never find the true you. Thus, you can never learn from your mistakes and not make them again.


How long do you need to look at something before you can see what it really is?


Saw this quote on Facebook today. Thought it is a good one.

"You’ll never be criticized by someone who is doing more than you. You’ll always be criticized by someone doing less. Remember that." Denzel Washington


There's a difference between pleading not guilty and being not guilty.

The Cost of Your Karma

Recently, I’ve been writing a lot about human personal interaction and the way it affects the condition of a person’s life. Because really, isn’t that all we have? Our life. What we live. How we live. And, who comes into our life.
Each person brings with them a certain set of lived reality. For some, that reality is defined by goodness, caring, and the desire to help. For others, that reality is desired by wanting. In either case, who we meet and what they do once we meet them comes to not only affect our life, the choices we are presented with, but ultimately what we do with what that other person has brought into our life.
We all know the various types of people. There are those who want to give us something and those who want to take something from us. Of course, most life interactions are not that cut and dry as most people exist somewhere in between these two extremes. But, no matter the cause or the case, what a person first desires and then chooses to do is what sets the entire rest of their life into motion and it directly affects all those who are affected by their desires and their choices.
Throughout history, this is why some people have chosen to retreat to places like monasteries. It is believed that the farther you remove yourself from the world, the less internal conflict you will encounter. Of course, this is true. This is why many people retreat to whatever safe hiding place they can find. The less you do, the fewer people you interact with, the number of your life problem substantially diminishes.
Over the past couple of decades, life and life interaction has changed drastically due to the development of the internet. People live, work, buy, sell, and interact on a scale that was impossible just a few years ago. For some, they find this appealing. For others, however, all kinds of life interaction comes at them in ways they never imagined that they do not want or appreciate. Today, the fact is, virtually no one is not affected by this human construct that has taken on its own identity in many ways.  It has become virtually impossible to retreat. From this, the pathway of human existence has drastically been altered. One may argue that this factor has not changed the true personality of a person. Though this may be true, it has given everyone a new set of tools to live their life by if they wish to partake of them.
From this and because of this, what a person chooses to do with their life has the potential to affect others in not only so many previously unknown ways but also to direct a person’s life down an either positive or negative pathway.
This is where life gets complicated. This is where life has always gotten complicated. What are you going to do with the tools at your disposal? Are you going to use them to get what you want? Are you going to use them to give someone else what they want? Are you going to use them to fulfill your own desires? Or, are you going to employee them to give to someone and/or remove the hurt from someone else’s life? Are you going to help or are your going to hurt?
Most people do not take the time to truly understand why they are doing what they are doing and what effect it will have on that someone else that they might not even know. But, hurt anyone and everyone is hurt. One hurt has the potential to move from your single action and go on to hurt a multitude of other people. This is also the case if you help one person. This positive action has the potential to move outwards and create a great world of giving.
But, why are you doing what you are doing? This is a question few people as themselves. Few people ask themselves this question because they do not want to know the answer. They may possess a million rationalizations. And, even if they believe what they are doing is being done for someone else, it is them who is instigating the desire to do what they are doing. Thus, the truth be told, all they are doing is doing something for themselves.  Some people are fine with this fact. But, if they are, (if you are), then what does that say about that person. It says, they do not care about anybody but themselves and all they are doing is being done with only themselves and their own set of wants and desires in their mind. How can that be a good thing?
In Buddhism, it is understood that all life actions are defined by the Sanskrit word, “Cetanā.” This word means, “Intention.” Your intention is what sets your actions into motion and your intention is what will ultimatly defines what your actions will equal—not only to your life but to the life of all those affected by what you choose to do.
In the Satipatthana Sutta the condition known as, “Mindfulness,” or, “Sati,” in Sanskrit is explained. It details how one can consciously encounter life. But, you don’t have to read a sutra to understand what is right or wrong and how you can behave in a conscious manner in your life. You simply must be willing to view the possible consequences of your actions on a grander scale than simply how what you are going to do will affect you. You must reach outwards from self-consciousness to view the grand scale of all humanity and see how what you do will affect that next one person and may spread outwards to affect numerous others.
Doing right is always a very obvious choice. Justifying your doing something that will hurt someone/anyone else is always the wrong choice. It’s really very simply. That is mindfulness. Caring enough to choose not to hurt the life of anyone but to put whatever desire you have away and help.
What you do with your life is your choice. But, as in all things life, there will always be consequences, both good and bad. If you help, you have helped. That will spread outwards. If you hurt, you have hurt. That too will spread outwards. Whether you help or hurt one person or millions, that will come to be the definition of your life and will either cost your life a lot or you will be rewarded in goodness.

Ask yourself these simple questions before you do anything, “Is what I am about to do going to make me smile? Is what I am about to do going to make the person I am doing it to smile?” Your answer will tell you what you should or should not do.

Your life is your choice. But know, for everything you do, there will always be a price to pay. If not today, someday.

Choose mindfulness over desire. Choose to care more about that someone else than yourself. That is true enlightenment.


Constructive criticism is still just criticism.

What is criticism? It is you deciding that you know what is better for another person than what they know is best for themselves.

The Diminishing Peak Experience

For anyone who has walked down the Spiritual Path, they understand that the Peak Experience is a by-product of that journey. But, just what is the Peak Experience? In brief, it is one of those moments where all things align and your mind and your body move to a level of new peace, joy, and cosmic understanding. It may exist for only a moment in time but in that short time period all is as it should be.

A common name for the Peak Experience in Japanese is, “Satori.” This term describes momentary and instantaneous enlightenment.

In Hinduism, enlightenment or, “Samadhi,” is broken up into several categories defining the various level of Samadhi. In brief, these levels are: Savikalpa Samadhi, Nirvikalpa Samadhi, Dharmamegha Samadhi, and Sahaja Samadhi. But, as in all things based in Hinduism, this categorization makes the understanding very complicated.

Whether you walk on the Spiritual Path or not, have you ever experienced one of those moments where everything just feels so awe inspired and perfect? Commonly, these occurrences occur, much more commonly and freely when you are young. This is a time space where life is new and your mind has not become confined by programming and expected expectations.

Certainly, love has the potential to drive one towards a Peak Experience. When love is felt, and especially when it is returned, there is that grand feeling of all-right-ness.

Though love may be used as an example of the feeling of the Peak Experience, the Peak Experience itself does not need to be motivated or instigated by any one event. …Though it may be. The Peak Experience simply comes over you, and in that moment of knowing, one feels the grand glory of goodness and perfection that can be experienced in life. But, almost as soon as it arrives, the Peak Experience dissipates.

The problem with the Peak Experience, (if you want to refer to it as a problem), is that once it is felt, it is known, and from this, the Feel-er hopes to feel it again. Like a drug invoking the perfect experience, it too can become an addictive focus.

In some schools of spiritual practice, they discourage people from seeking out the Peak Experience. Or, when it is felt, the zealot is taught to rebuke it. But, what it is the fun in that? So much of life is held back by the reality of living in reality that when goodness arrives, via any flavor, don’t you think it should be embraced and relished?

Think about a time in your life when you had one of those experiences—that feeling of All Goodness. Maybe it only lasted for a second but in that second all things felt so good.

Maybe you were doing something that motivated it. Maybe it was someone who caused you to feel it. Maybe it just happened. However it occurred, remember that feeling.

As we get older in life, these feelings of overall expansive goodness seemingly do not appear as frequently. There is any number of psychological reason for this, but does that have to be the case? Or, is it simply you not allowing yourself to be free enough to embrace the perfection of your reality?

So here, try this experiment. Just STOP right now. Close your eyes and let go of the all and the everything that you are thinking and feeling that is making you feel all of the non-perfect things you may be perceiving. Just let it all go.

Now, find that place in you that is the essence of feeling good and whole-life connected. It’s in there. Maybe you have not allowed yourself to feel it for a long time but it is there. Look for it. Touch it. Feel it. Don’t make excuses why you can’t feel it, just let it overtake you.

Here’s the thing about life, as you grow older, more and more things become expected. More and more things become known. As you know them, they are not new—they are not experiential. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Next time you are doing anything, experiencing that anything as if it is the first time you have ever done it. With this, everything becomes new. Everything feels fresh. Everything can be your pathway to the Peak Experience.

Let go, be free, allow yourself to encounter the Peak Experience.


If all you have is what you had then you have nothing.


Once you realize you've missed your train there's no more reason to rush to get to the train station.


You can't go somewhere that no longer exists.


How many people are asking god for help right now?

Next time you ask god for help consider who else is asking for help at that moment and why?

Then consider, do you deserve god's help?


The minute you think you're right and someone else is wrong all of the problems of the world begin.


Just because the liquid is clear and looks like water does not mean that it is water.


If you didn't know what day your birthday was on you wouldn't expect anyone to wish you a happy birthday.


You can fill your cup until it runs over the top but that does not make your cup any more full.


You can't buy something that isn't for sale.

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.


Life is a slow process of realization.

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

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?

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?


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.


Is the world a better place because of your existence?

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 in 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,” then “Supreme 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 Owe 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 wipe 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.

Liars 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 up 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 is 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 impact 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 than that.

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 really don’t like has occurred and they are all-encompassed with being upset.

This is one of conditions of life that most people experience, at one time or another, and that is just the way it is. In fact, when these places 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(s).

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 can get that adrenal rush. From this, the two or more of them can keep escalating their feelings, be they based in positivity or negativity, 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 and one person. Therefore, they are the one in control. And, if they are in control, they are the one to sets 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 mob 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 may 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 upon 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 done 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.

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.

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?