Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cash Cow

There is no such thing as a "cash cow." There are only people stupid enough to spend their precious time and resources on the manipulation of others' propensities, mainly their fear, lust, desire, and vanity. Though they have disrupted nature in their quest for the "bottom line," they stand tall, unaware of the unintended consequences of their actions. At their hands are the suffering of billions of lives (not only human); those who pay the price for the actions of "captains of industry" had no stake in the enterprise in the first place. And yet, the multinational leaders of the world go on with business as usual. They are the most successful criminals in all of history (at least here on Earth; I cannot imagine what sad lives more "advanced" races must live). But everyone is useful...

The citizen must vote with more than his or her dollar, because those with more dollars have more votes, effectively quieting any one person of average socioeconomic status. I cannot say that I blame the wealthy for the disparity we see today. It is not their fault that our culture encourages their irrational behavior. It is, the blame and subsequent responsibility, to be shouldered by every rational citizen of the universe. Like parents correcting our children, we must not punish those who have only done what they thought was right (and most people fall into this category. Only the truly psychopathic/sociopathic people who feel no remorse must be curbed and censured). We must collectively repeal the power of robber barons and insiders, Ponzis and Madoffs, in all spectra of life, be it politics, business, health care, military, infrastructure, etc.

All those people who, while rationally discussing what is most important, choose money or capital or material wealth as their highest goal, must be brought to understand that no finite substance in a finite material plane will ever satisfy our collective desire, as one human race, for limitless, unadulterated Bliss. The chemical high that so many receive (including this author) when we earn (or steal) material wealth/money is short lived, and not only can it not satisfy our unending desire for happiness, but it is easily the most powerful narcotic/stimulant in the world. I have heard it said that no drug would work in our brains unless we didn't already have those chemicals and the ancillary receptors in our brains to begin with. In other words, there is no need for chemical drugs to produce hallucinations, euphoria, sloth, etc. Those chemicals already exist within us. And it is in our nature to place ephemeral, immediate pleasures over long term, rational pleasures.

This immediacy affects both sides of the consumer/producer scheme. The consumer wants whatever shiny, advanced, expensive, trendy item is shoved in front of his face by the awesomely powerful media. And the producer will stop at nothing to amass the most amount of capital he can in the shortest period of time he deems reasonable. Both sides are seeking nothing more than a neurological/chemical/hormonal high which, like in the mind of any addict, will never be as good as the first high.

Psychologists have so far concluded, in studying happiness, that the happiest people are those who have a firm belief in a higher power. In studies of materialism and happiness, materialism is directly, negatively correlated with happiness. This means on average, when materialism increases in a person, happiness decreases, because, for instance, when we watch TV, we are aware of what else we might accomplish in the time we spend soaking in whatever information the people on the other end want us to think, creating displeasure.

I am in no way saying that everyone should drop what he/she is doing and convert to Christianity or shave his/her head and chant "Hare Krishna!" I also think our ideals of freedom, liberty, justice, and individualism should be protected. However, I think we are forgetting our responsibility as one human race to help and protect each other as well. Freedom, liberty, justice, and individualism do not work if everyone is only looking out for him/herself. That sort of selfish ideal is the cause for all suffering in this world. We must take a step back from our rat race and recognize that the balance in the world has been lost. Too few people, with knowledge they do not share, fear of humanity en masse, and too much power make all the major decisions in the world on our behalf, and they are screwing it up royally!

Have none of our leaders heard of the broken window fallacy? Do none of them understand that a world at war is a world that will always come out with a net loss? It is our job now, as citizens of the universe, to reclaim our power as a collective to share our knowledge, our technology, our resources, and our hearts. We were not designed to squirrel away wealth at the expense of each other, our planet, and our fellow species. We were designed (by whatever force you believe in, be it evolution or Jehovah) to shine brighter than the sun, and the effulgent light of our splendid hearts and minds was meant to shine on our brothers and sisters until they were strong enough to shine on their own. We were not meant to deplete everything and everyone we come in contact with, but rather we are meant to replenish this Earth and all its people. That other way is there?

We must systematically change our infrastructure and systems to reflect a more locally based, renewable form of living. We must continue to be a consumer society, but the focus should be shifted away from exploitation of laborers and "cash cows" and towards self-fulfillment and self-realization.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Why do we fill our heads with garbage? I just saw the Hangover 2. Now, I'm not saying that it wasn't a good movie and I'm not saying that it wasn't funny, because it was pretty funny.

What I am saying, is why do we go to the movies in the first place? Socially, it is an excellent way to spend time with others without interacting too much (unless you get there early and talk before the movie). However, for people who know each other pretty well, that is a moot point. They might see the movie simply for the movie. So what can be said of the latter group?

On a spiritual level, there is much that comes into question. Why do we spend that time at the theater enjoying the same movie twice (Hangover 2 was great, but as my friend put it, "they went out of their way to make the exact same movie")? And now, money is losing it's value. At the risk of sounding old, I remember when movies cost like, 8 bucks (I think...)!

What I am really trying to get at is that I believe we are what we eat, and that includes the pabulum we feed our minds. So, accordingly, it is necessary to feed our minds mostly wholesome food, with the occasional dessert. For the most part, I think I fill my mind with good things.

Things I mostly feed my mind (consciously) in no particular order and by no means exhaustively listed:
  • Devotional music
  • Rock music
  • Classical music
  • Comedic music
  • Pornography
  • NPR
  • Other radio stations, mostly classical (rock and the original stuff)
  • Conversations with family, friends
  • Classes at Hofstra University
  • Assignments from class
  • Internship experiences
  • Guitar practice and playing (occasionally playing for meditation groups and retreats)
  • Occasional retreats and meetings with my teacher(s)
  • Spiritual Scripture
  • Inspirational Movies and TV (Kung Fu Panda, Avatar [the TV show, dammit], the Shawshank Redemption, etc.)
  • Comedy movies and TV (ya know, stuff)
  • Exercise (yoga, running, and occasionally Tai Chi or sex)
  • Sex
  • The grace of God
  • Meditation
That's a lot, and it is by no means everything. However, it is meant to show that mostly, I fill my mind with good things (the porn is probably not so great...and let's not overlook NPR...JK guys!...but not about the porn, that's definitely so so). So then as a spiritual aspirant, is it appropriate to stir in a drop of poison in the pure water? Isn't that still poisoned water?

Now, I've been down the path of fanatical fundamentalism, believing very deeply in what I read, and that usually leads to a lot of suffering. Just because I've been told to only have good company, does not mean that I must turn completely from the darkness. If I did, I would miss half of the fun! This world is light and dark, and part of being human is coming to terms with the darkness within us and accepting ourselves fully. We are not pure beings of light, even though we are.

Have your dessert, but remember, enough sugar will give anyone diabetes. Feed your mind mostly good company, inspirational/spiritual teachings/scriptures/TV/movies/music, and acceptance, and every once in a while, I'm sure it's okay to see a movie that isn't so wholesome.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brad Yates and the Dalai Lama

In the coming months I have seemingly endless possibilities to look forward to. The Dalai Lama will be in town and if I can afford to, I'll see him speak in Radio City Music Hall. There are no tickets on the official site, but I've checked stubhub and other scalper (for lack of a better word) sites, and now it's just a matter of affording the cost.

Another VIP, hypnotherapist Brad Yates, will be in NYC in June. I came in contact with his work in California when I volunteered for Ananda Marga. My dear friend, Rebecca, has met him (I think) and followed his work, so I checked him out and found his work rewarding (and free!).

I just came back from a retreat in Plainsfield, MS, and I feel really inspired. I met with my meditation teacher, Acarya' Cirasmita' (that's ah-CHAR-YAH cheer-as-mee-TAH), or just "Didi." She helps me steer my boat straight, as it were. I am aware of a pattern I've created, which is to eat heavy, static foods starting in the dead of winter (stuff like garlic and eggs, maybe fish, but never meat) and by Spring when I meet with Didi I quit it and return to my practices. I also tend to get more and more lax with my practices (e.g. meditation, yoga, mantra chanting and dancing). Now is the time to remember, that I am here for a purpose. Sometimes that vision is clouded but to make it clear: I am here to raise my brethren from the darkness of themselves and to rise with them, into the light of Life, The Truth.

I send my Love and Light to all my brothers and sisters around the world, first, to my friends whom I love the most, next, my family, and then to all people I know, and finally, to all citizens of this universe. We are all Brahma. Let light shed in the darkness, let ego be restrained and harnessed, and let all beings find balance and spiritual victory. Parampitababaki, Jai!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The inspiration for my blog: Amanda. I sort of unconsciously decided, based on public opinion, that blogs were selfish, narcissistic. I now see how important a tool they are! My friend is traveling and moving about A LOT and it's wonderful to read her blog and be able to keep up with her comings and goings.

I want to immerse myself in a foreign culture, specifically a Latin American one, like she is. Maybe Mexico, just ONE. I NEED to learn Spanish fluently and it won't happen reading Spanish for Dummies.

But, for now, I am moving to my girlfriend's apartment in the town of my Alma Mater to work on our life together. It's not perminent, but, at the expense of sounding like a politician, it's a step towards our future.

I just spoke to Amanda from her research base in Costa Rica. She does not feel the pull towards family life I do, nor does she "believe." She is quite skeptical and nomadic and I applaud, no, laud her stamina. I want life simple. She wants life chaotic, unpredictable. One of the many reasons I love her. She is truly my soul-sister, a friend I have known for many generations.

We are karmic family. It's a deep relationship that I wish all people can be blessed with because our day to day lives are so filled with polite, empty banter with people we know nothing about. We absolutely thrive on those deep interdependent relationships. We need to share, as a species, and in today's world, we can't share. Our (western) society is so individualistic that we are without supports. We desperately need Love and Respect. I thank the Will of All Things for my soul-friends, my soul-family, my girlfriend, and for the new people in my life(s).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Long Time Long Time

It's been over a year since I posted, and since last I posted I have been to Missouri and now California, spending the next year as a volunteer for Ananda Marga, A Spiritual/Social Service Organization. My direct superior is a monk named Dada Nabhaniilananda. Say that three times fast. He is a "kiwi" or New Zealander with a british accent. You would think a man wearing orange monk's robes would be very calm and say very mystical things, but Dada is very down-to-earth normal and likes the culture he comes from very much, constantly fighting away American culture.

This past summer I was in Missouri, being trained for my current position. I am called a Local Full Timer (LFT). The training involved the inculcation of the following daily routine:

4:45am - Wake up
5am - morning chants and group meditation
5:30 - 7am - bath and personal meditation
7 - 8am - yoga asanas
8-9am - chanting and group meditation
9-10am - breakfast
10-12pm - philosophy courses
12-1pm - noon meditation (sometimes group, sometimes individual)
1-2pm - lunch
2-3pm - hour of silence
3-5pm - philosophy courses
5-6pm - free time/labor work
6-7pm - chanting and group meditation
7-8pm - yoga asanas
8-9pm - dinner
9-10pm - free time/study hour
10 - 10:30pm - group chanting and meditation
10:30-4:45am - SLEEP

Wow, looking back, we busted our asses! I've since relaxed a little, sometimes waking up as late as 8 or 9 am. But things are starting to solidify here now that I've REALLY accepted my position for the next year. Tomorrow, I start working for the organizations sister business, Nirvana Beads, a wholesale bead selling business. It seems a lot of monastic orders have some business on the side to keep the monks afloat. Back at school, this order of monks outside of town made this really good bread called Monk's Bread. It came in cinammon raisin, maple & brown sugar, etc. So, we sell beads. Yes, hippie shit.

Through all of this, my girlfriend has really been a saint. Sometimes she wines and tells me how much she misses me, but she has become so strong over the past few months. She's opened up in the most magnificent ways. I'm really proud of her. When this is all over, her and I have a house on a lake lined up. I need to find a job while she finishes up her last year of school, and then after that who knows! My hopes is by June 2010 the economy rolls back over and lifts me up to $15-30/hr. I'll need the money; we will need the money.

In any case, I am fighting inner demons and ego trips left and right. My mind has become a battle ground, casualties abound. With the help of Dada, many of those casualties are the enemy.
Fear, lust, jealousy, mistrust, attachment, greed, gluttony, dying helplessly on the field of war. The only problem is they are taking me down with them, for you see, the person I am fighting is none other than myself. The good news is though, that even though fighting the evil within hurts DEARLY at the moment of battle, the result is freedom and a purity that does not compare. Submission to ones selfish desires only perpetuates the pain, for when one eats too much, doesn't the stomach ache. It gets "worse" with meditation, or more to the point, the more you meditate, the more you become aware of the bull shit you put yourself through everyday. Complaining, resenting others, eating too much, watching too many movies, masterbation. Worst of all, if you ignore that very small "voice" within, it's harder to find later. On the flip side, the more you listen to your intuition and control EVERYTHING about yourself, the more REAL happiness you begin to feel. Of course, personally, if my mind starts spewing poetry, I NEVER attempt to control it, just let it flow.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Let the flow go from the mind. I spill endlessly generously a mixture of love and selfishness into the material world which is not the true form. It is not the true form but I'm sure that we are the center of attention, like the newborn in the room full of elderly. Everyone is watching us sentient beings from on high: the angels, the saints, the sages, our forefathers, Jesus, Sophia, Shiva, Buddha, et al. They ascend but only to look back and encourage us to do the same. We swim and swill in the muddy water, so can we ever be truly friends? Truly free?

Can I free myself from my mind? Can I free you from the same? Nothing I write here could ever possibly save you. Save? From what? Listen, there is a small, quiet voice that I've heard about that is deep inside everyone of us. If we listen, we can be free. If we don't then we stay here. We die, and we do it again, making either small amounts of progress, or falling just a little more.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Listen to "Two points for honesty" by Guster followed by "Can't Complain" by Nickel Creek. Those of you who understand this allusion, the whole one of you...let our paths move parallel, friend. I am always here for you. You are a true lover of life, may you live a life of service for all time. May the people forever know your presence, Bodhisattva. ^_^