What do you do when things go bad?

I did a Saturday Zen retreat. I’ll write more on that later. Tonight, I also went to the regular Sunday sitting. They mentioned that meditation training is building up a capacity now so that when things go wrong, you can handle it and not lose your mind.

At the time, I thought this idea seems kind of bleak. Meditation just so when things inevitably go bad you can handle it? This both assumes your current abilities are bad and that bad things will indeed happen. I usually like to stress that meditation makes me able to also enjoy life better.

But tonight, while I was sitting there thinking this, something bad was indeed happening which I will also get into the details maybe later. I’m typing this on my phone though at a friend’s place 2am on a Monday.

And oddly enough, it’s not too distressing. In fact, the suffering I think my friends go through upon hearing the news is almost as bad. Zen says a good situation is a bad situation. A bad situation is a good situation.

I don’t know. The saddest part right now is just not knowing and being unable to know the why and how this occurred. And because of that, I don’t doubt god or life or whatever like I would when I was younger. Instead, I have doubts about my fellow man and woman. Am I too trusting?

I always believed respect given is returned. And for the most part, I’ve been able to get along with almost everyone I meet. But, now, I wonder maybe it’s this was done by one or two people I do know and even helped. And that really hurts. But I probably won’t ever know. And that causes my doubts to be even worse.

See, I believe God, Dao, the universe, or whatever you call it is not fair or unfair. It just follows laws. So my faith in that isn’t shaken. My faith in Man though is.

Money lost can always be made again. But can I continue my RV journey without having to start constantly watch my back? Can I ever so easily trust a stranger?

The statistics of this happening are quite low so I know rationally this is just an emotional reaction. A fear, a defense to make sure this never ever happens again.

But it’s difficult to live that. Like going skydiving and actually getting injuried and then convincing yourself to go again. What’s the chances of it happening twice right?

I don’t know. Zen encourages this natural I don’t know because really that’s the basis of almost everything. But when times are bad…well I don’t know feels kind of bad.

I’m grateful though. The friends I made here the very first weekend in Orlando have helped me out generously. I talked to some of my old friends back home. And my boss was good about things.

I just got to live with it and move on.

It’s really not that bad if it sounds that way. I’m perfectly still in good health, and this shouldn’t have to effect me negatively in the longrun or even right now.

I can say I’m likely leaving Orlando early December. I’d go even sooner, but I already paid rent for Nov. I may return to visit for a while because I did genuinely have a great time again this weekend up to now. And I have meet some great people here in such a short amount of time. But I’ve also had to deal with more stressful situations and people here than anywhere else.

How do you deal with a bad crisis?
Figure out what can recovered.
Do what’s necessary to minimize damage.
Call upon family and friends for support.
Live in the feeliing. Let it air its grievences. But don’t let it become and stay the master.
Remember everything changes, nothing is forever. I’m going to die one day. And this is never that large as it seems.
Do what you can to prevent this. Learn any lessons if they are there.
Move on.

Sign. High peak of weekend of Zen and friends. Low point Sunday night. Maybe, maybe things will pick up when I visit home Wednesday. I feel like the universe owes me.

The first Friday night I was in Orlando was when my car’s ac pressure switch blew up. That was a bad point too because I didn’t know what that was and worried my entire engine might of just gotten seriously damaged. But I went out anyway with this, “i don’t give a shit about anything. This is too ridiculous of a situation. I’m going to enjoy myself.” And that was the night I meet the good friends whom I’m staying with now. Hopefully like that pressure switch, the only real damage will be inconvience and money. I’m really praying this doesn’t become a long term problem I have to constantly address.

September and October 2011 Review

Barebones app for tracking expenses

Today is October 20th, I should have written this post three weeks ago. But, I’m lazy.

Last time, I wrote several goals for September, and boy howdy, did I not do most of them:

Waking Early

Daily Meditation

Good Diet

Weekly Weight Lifting Exercise


Tracking Expenses

Web Design / Web Developer Work

So, I haven’t been doing daily meditation, waking early, or socializing much. I have been attending two meditation groups though. In October, I also got a new roommate who was the #25 or something roommate I’ve had. He’s a good guy, but not the best roommate and made sleeping early or meditation a bit difficulty. I’m also getting a new, replacement roommate next week. This means I will have had a new roommate each month while I’ve lived in Orlando.

I have a good weekend group of friends here so there’s less incentive to meet new people. However, it’s pretty surprising how quickly I established a network here in just 1-3 months whereas in the past, it took much longer. I’m pretty confident now that I could venture into any new city and quickly have a good circle of friends.

I have been eating well and going to the gym weekly. Right now, I weight around 125 pounds, which was the highest I ever had before so I gained back all the lost weight. I’m still hoping over the next 1-2 months I gain an additional 10 pounds. I know, I’m skinny as hell. The downside is that I am constantly hungry. Insatiable. I wake up in the middle of the night with a rumbling stomach and wanting needing to eat another meal. My monthly grocery bill could rival my housing rent money.

I’ve been tracking every penny I spend again. I actually built a webapp with a backend database for the task because paper and excel sheets always get lost. Being conscious spending my money means I’ve been cutting back a lot. No frivolous purchases. I also know that my Pho monthly bill is around $60-$100. Maybe, I’ll publish my expenses online on the sidebar one day.

Finally, my web development work has slowed in October. I just started reading White Space is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating Visually through Graphic, Web and Multimedia Design. I have a few web coding projects in progress, but they’re all in the grind, not fun anymore state. The beginning of every project where I plan and learn new things is the funnest part. Afterward, it’s the grind of the detailed implementation, interface design, and optimization that’s absolutely boring to me.

This Saturday, I’ll be doing a full day Zen retreat including koan interview practice with a Zen teacher. I’ve never done koan practice before so I’m looking forward to it. As a former philosophy student, I’m not sure how my need to rationally figure things out will work with non-rational Zen questions.

Next week, I’ll be flying home for 6 days. I’m really looking forward to it. I miss a lot of my friends back home and trying to hit multiple cities. I’m also coming up specifically this weekend for a full day company meeting and should be interesting to see what our agenda for next year will be. In the Spring, I will have worked at my current company for 7 years!

Chances are I’ll be staying in Orlando until early December. Then I’ll travel back home and see various friends in the South along the way. Recover at home for a while and then figure things out from there.

Once again, I’m heading towards a crossroads except this time it’s much more sharp. I’ve been thinking about two, completely different options.

One is living long term at a Buddhist center as a resident student while working or not. It would actually be cheaper than what I pay now for housing and food, but it would also mean I’d be a vegetarian and basically living a monk-esque life. It’s been a persistent dream of mine. It would only be for several months or years but quite a change of lifestyle.

The other option is transitioning into a full time web developer / entrepreneur working basically ridiculous 60+ hours/week. The startup, entrepreneur culture and lifestyle appeals to me.

Both cases are highly unorthodox, slightly risky but with very high, possible rewards. All I know for sure though is that I want some changes.

I added a Life Lab section to the site. Currently, it doesn’t have much information. In the future, I intend to write longer pieces about the various experiments and habits I’ve attempted and/or integrated into my life.