How’s it going 7/31/21

“Hello, Square 1, nice to see you again.”

That’s the only joke I can make about my current situation. For the most part, this week has been horrible.

I meditated a bit on Sunday and Monday. After that, though, I couldn’t meditate at all. I couldn’t meditate, workout, pray, or anything else. Most of the reasons had to do with work. I have been spending more time working and sleeping than doing anything else. In fact, I woke up late this afternoon. Half my Saturday is gone.

So I think the best thing for me to do is to simply restart the Dynamic Thought Course. I am going to restart the course and, for now, I am going to focus more on meditation. I am also going to focus more on the Nichiren Buddhist liturgy.

The reason being is that they are not physical activities. I don’t need a lot of energy to do both.

I won’t exercise as much. For now I will only do Walter Camp’s Daily Workout since that it doesn’t take me too long. At this point I want to build up a habit, if not a healthy addiction, to exercise so that I want to do more. Right now, I am too stressed out to even think about it.

Once I get myself in the right headspace, I will consider on what else I can do more to improve my life.

Since I am basically restarting this entire course, I probably won’t write about it for a month. I will still blog about things I want to blog about, but I am not going to write about Hamblin’s Dynamic Thought Course for awhile.

Dynamic Thought Course Report Week 1 part 2

Last week, even though I did the meditation almost every day, I decided to take a second week to repeat Week 1’s meditation. In the end, I am glad I did. I am so glad that I think from now on I will take 2 weeks to fulfill one week for each part of the course.

The reason is mainly this:  from Monday to Thursday I would be able to meditate twice a day. From Friday to Sunday, I would be able to meditate once a day, if possible.

In fact, this morning of Sunday July 25, I woke up late and even had a difficult time meditating. I tried to meditate twice but I almost fell asleep. I even tried to take a nap so that I can be more awake for my meditation to no avail.

Because the weekends are rough when it comes to meditation, taking an extra week will help compensate for that lack.

For the most part, I do feel good. I do get a few upsets here and there, but I consider them as growing pains. At the very least the meditation helps bring awareness to the upsets so that I can address them.

Another problem is about finding a different job. I am glad that I can earn some money and have something in resume to show that I am do work, but now I need to find a more high paying job so that I can move out of my parents’ house, either in the US or abroad. The way things are now, I don’t have much of a work-life balance, especially in terms of cultivation.

Right now, I have a “daily” exercise program. The program is all right, but I don’t feel like it really does enough. I also want to read more books, both novels as well as books dealing with self-cultivation.

The biggest problem is my sleeping pattern again. Even now, writing this blog, I find myself struggling to stay awake even though I couldn’t take a nap.

If anything, my excessive sleeping is one of the main reasons why I have little time for anything else.

Anyways, starting tonight or tomorrow I am going to visualize the perfect world and my living in it.

How I fitness 7/20/21

Man, I wish I am handsome as that guy. Photo by Monstera on


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As I have written before, my workout plan was to do Walter Camp’s Daily regimen three sets a day. There were two problems I had with this:

  1. I do love the workout, but I feel it is a bit limited in some respects.
  2. Considering how my life changes day by day, I may not be able able to do the exact workout.

That was when I was thinking of the idea of a minimum and maximum workout.

Basically, the idea goes like this: I have a maximum workout regimen that I should ideally do everyday, however if I don’t have enough time or if I didn’t sleep so well, then I do a minimum workout. Doing the minimum workout won’t probably get me in shape very quickly, but at the least it will help me inch towards my fitness goal. Plus, it helps establish a higher baseline in fitness than doing nothing at all.

Hopefully, if and when I change jobs, if and when I have the time, I can be in better shape to go back into Taekwondo or Wushu training.

So here is the minimum workout:

Walter Camp’s Daily Workout

This short isometric metric workout

This cardio workout from Darebee

10 reps of Lifting the Sky Qigong

For my maximum workout:

Walter Camp’s Daily Workout

Same as above with a pair of 3lb dumbbells

Same as above with a pair of tennis balls

The 5 minute isometric routine

3 sets of the cardio workout from Darebee

The qigong set from David Carradine’s Tai Chi Workout

I do hope I will get in better shape sooner than later.

Redoing Week 1

Although I did reach my target goal for meditating twice a day, at least 6 days a week, I felt like something was a bit off.

So . . .  I am redoing the whole week again. Plus I want to read the lesson for Week 2 very closely.


Until then, here’s a cute cat to help warm your cold hearts.




Dynamic Thought Course Report Week 1

If you need more context in what I am writing about, please click here:

I completed the first week of Henry Thomas Hamblin’s Dynamic Thought Course. I was to meditate and imagine that I possess this unlimited power within myself and that I will now let it free to help me transform my life. Furthermore, I also have to recite an affirmation to affirm that my life has completely changed for the better and that I can leave my past behind.

Before I go on, I must address aspects I don’t like about the course.

First and foremost, it was written in the year 1900. At that time, people were being paid by the word so everything was turgid and wordy. His book was no different. In fact, I am to add an affirmation practice as part of my meditation one and it was also unwieldy.

Secondly, Hamblin doesn’t provide any exact instructions on how I am to meditate my life changing through this unlimited power of mine. He basically wrote a whole speech that I am to memorize and visualize.

Thirdly, it’s hard for a guy like me to meditate twice a day. There are movies to watch, books to read, games to play, and I do like taking walks once in a while.

Now for the good part:

I am glad I did start meditating twice a day. It wasn’t easy, especially since I had to meditate after work and a long commute. It also wasn’t easy that I would wake up feeling miserable. However, as the week went on, the meditation practice started to bear fruit. I was feeling a lot calmer and a lot more tranquil. The world might be going in chaos, but at the least I am in a calmer mood to deal with the chaos than not.

Here and there I would also come up with ideas to help improve my life. I haven’t been able to implement them, but at the very least I have ideas I can try out to make some changes. One of my ideas is to write my cover letters in Chinese so that I can demonstrate future employers that need Chinese speakers or writers that I have what it takes.

The problem is I have to actually try and implement these ideas in some form or fashion.

I have been a bit more disciplined about practicing Buddhism, both Nichiren and Pure Land. Do I practice the liturgy as regularly as possible? Not so much. Part of the problem does stem from inner resistance and then there is one other problem.

That same other problem is also the reason why I am not exercising as much as I want to do so. At this point I have decided to have a new approach to working out, to which I will write about later.

So what is the main reason why I am having trouble working out and keeping up with my Nichiren practice? Lack of stability. Sometimes, thankfully not last week, drama erupts in my family. Other times, especially last week, my work expects me to change my hours at the last minute. In fact, I had to go the office early twice for a meeting and even had to stay late to cover for other people. With the change in hours, I also slept a lot in Friday and Saturday to catch up on my sleep.

Hopefully things will change later this week.

This week I am to imagine a perfect world/country in my mind where I can simply go there and relax. It’s quite similar to another exercise I did practicing the Master Key System.

My next fitness program as of July 2021

Walter Camp’s – The Daily Dozen
The information contained in this site is made available for general information. In no way is this information intended to be medically accurate. Information within this site is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice from qualified health care providers. No representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information in this site is made. No endorsement, promotion, or sponsorship is made by any hypertext link provided within this site. Visitors assume all risks of using information in this site.

As I have stated before, I am giving up the Canadian Air Force program. If I had it my way, I’d still continue or even replace it with a similar program. To me, progressive fitness regimens are the bet because you start small and then incrementally increase the reps or difficulty as time goes on. Obviously, I am talking about the XBX and 5BX programs, but I also include the Hacker’s Diet workout and Henry Wittenberg’s Isometrics program.

Since I can’t work out in a progressive manner as I would like, what should I do to improve my fitness?

I figured I go back into Walter Camp’s Daily Workout. As many readers of my blog know, that is my 2nd favorite workout program.

I do think that doing Camp’s workout once a day is good. It establishes a higher baseline of fitness than not exercising at all. I also think doing this once a day will get sedentary people addicted to exercise.

But doing this daily workout once a day won’t make too much of a dent in fitness in general. When Walter Camp introduced the workout in his book, Keeping Fit All the Way, he recommends that it should be done twice a day with at least 30 minutes of walking.

I wouldn’t mind doing this twice a day, but I don’t want to take a second shower as I sweat very easily. Plus, I don’t think I have 30 minutes to spare taking walks.

So here is what I decided instead, I decided to do the Daily Workout in 3 sets.

The first set will be done just like Camp intended, with my body and body only. No equipment, no apparatus, nothing.

The second set will be done with dumbbells. I have written before that dumbbells back in the early 20th century were light, 3 to 5 lbs each or 1.4 to 2.7 kgs each, and were mainly used for enhancing cardio.

The last set with then be done while holding a tennis ball in each hand. A lot of fitness gurus talk about using grips, but tennis balls are a great alternative. It gives the workout both an isotonic and isometric flavor.

That’s about it. I might add in the (South) Korean National Gymnastics as well, maybe right before I leave the office for my commute home, but I definitely will stick to Camp’s workout for now.

Who knows if I will add in more reps or sets as well.

What I want to do later on, if it is possible, is to add in the 108 bows. It’s more than an exercise. Doing the 108 bows is powerful spiritual practice that can transform one’s life, and Buddha knows my life needs transforming.

A new approach pt. 2

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My last past was obviously a depressing one. My life is not perfect and it feels like it has gotten worse.

Now I want to lift some spirits up a bit in writing about what I plan to do next in terms of self-cultivation.

First, a few preliminaries . . . .

On the fitness front, I will have to give up the Canadian Air Force Workout. It’s a shame to me since I really do believe it could have gotten me up to a high level of fitness. Unfortunately, the lack of stability in my life means I can’t do any exercises that is progressive, such doing 5 push-ups everyday this week and then 7 push-ups everyday next week. Also, I am going to give up the 108 bows for now. This is a shame because I feel that the 108 bows is more than a physical workout, it’s a powerfully spiritual one. So what am I going to do? I will basically stick to Walter Camp’s Daily workout. There is going to be some more to this so I will write more later on the subject.

For qigong, I don’t know if I will get back to it anytime soon. I do have a hard time keeping up with it. The only possibility is to do Eight Pieces of Brocade or the Nine Temple Exercises taught by Marshall Ho’o.

I am also getting back into Nichiren and Pure Land Buddhism. The main reason is basically that they are the only Buddhist practices I can do for now. I will probably write more about this later.

What about meditation? Lord knows I spent a long time studying the Master Key System which has increased my ability to meditate.

Well, here’s the la piece de la resistance!

From the same website where I first encountered the Master Key System, there is another book I have been meaning to try out. It’s called Dynamic Thought by Henry Thomas Hamblin. The premise of the book is almost the same as the Master Key System by Charles Haanel except with a few differences.

First and foremost, Haanel’s course takes 24 weeks to complete whereas Hamblin’s takes 12. Haanel likes to expound his philosophy and then provides the meditation exercise for a week. Hamblin does provide some of his philosophy, but wants to focus more on practice. Haanel’s Master Key study mostly involves meditation and visualization and Hamblin’s Dynamic Thought study also includes affirmation work.

The biggest difference is this: While Haanel recommends meditating once a day, Hamblin recommends meditating twice. I should meditate after waking up and before sleeping.

Just like my Master Key study, in my Dynamic Thought study I will provide a weekly report. Since Hamblin doesn’t expound too much of his philosophy, I won’t be writing commentaries or anything of that sort.

I also must note that even though the Master Key System is supposed to be for 24 weeks, it took me almost 9 months. I suspect it will be the same thing for the Dynamic Thought study

Starting Sunday for the first week of the new course, I will visualize becoming a more ideal version of my myself. That is one of the cultivation practices I shall do out of many.

Gassho, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, and Namu Amituofo!

A new approach pt. 1

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

“No wonder why Zen monks go to the mountains to train, it’s almost impossible to do practice in the middle of civilization.”

I said that myself as I was nursing a 3rd bottle of soju at some HOF (bar-restaurant) in Korea.

At that time, it seemed very possible for me to study Zen by myself there. Of course, since I wanted to go back to its Shaolin roots, I also added qigong and martial arts in the mix. I had my own place to live and no one else to bother me at my home at the time. I was working as a public school English teacher and was the only foreigner there. Which meant I worked only 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Also, since I was working in a school, I had time to read books like Buddhist scriptures.

Yet, I soon found out that it was easier said than done. I wrote a lot about that crazy character Anson and that other crazy character Karen. I never wrote too much about my possessive American ex-girlfriends who likes to start drama for fun. She even called it “Sooooo amusing.” Then there are the Korean friends and coworkers who expect me to accompany them at the drop of a hat for their weeknight drinking parties.

Originally, I never intended to study Korean Zen nor hang out at the temples, but I am glad I did in the end. Those weekends I spent with the monks there proved to be a respite from the daily drama and grind.


“No wonder why Zen monks go to the mountains to train, it’s almost impossible to do practice in the middle of civilization.”

I said that to myself again as I drove back home from the office a couple of weeks ago.

As I have written before, my parents talked me into/demanded that I stop teaching English and start getting a “regular” career; that I start establishing myself and staying in America for the rest of my life.

So I got my old job at the office and got my hours pretty well-established.

Then there is the question of whether or not I can continue my self-cultivation practices: meditation, the Canadian workout with martial arts moves, qigong, and even the 108 bows.

It seemed quite possible to incorporate all of them into my life and I was doing that for the first couple of weeks.

Then there is the one aspect of my life I was hoping that everyone would grow out out of: petty drama.

As I have written before, my family loves to engage in these soap operatic arguments. Everyone likes to make mountains out of molehills so much that it feels abnormal if we’re not fighting or worrying over something.

In fact, it was because of these upsets that I couldn’t cultivate myself at all for the longest time. What’s worse is that I don’t have time to fight over stupid issues. I was very much depressed and frustrated for awhile. I couldn’t work out, meditate, or anything else because as soon as I wake up someone’s got a problem and I have to be involved in it.

Here’s what also gets me flabbergasted, everyone in my family from as far east as India and far west as California want me to stop going off to Asia to teach English. Yet, no one realizes that it’s these attention-seeking antics that make me want to leave!

So anyways, ever since I got back to working in my old job, I have been trying to think of ways to get myself back to some sort of cultivation, even if it isn’t Zen related. It has been easier said than done. Again, my family would start drama out of boredom. I commute for an hour to get to my office. Lately my office would have me change hours at the last minute because of meetings and what-not. Also, I have to do this thing called sleep and my body decides when it wants to sleep and how much.

But as Epictetus once said, “I am prepared for this.” That is to say, I should say that to myself whenever I am dealing with a difficult.

In this case I am. Sure it has been frustrating in getting my thoughts together, but I can confidently I have a plan and I am going to set up it starting Sunday.

The Five Week Meditation Course Module 6: Postgrad Pep Talk

Greetings and salutations!

First of all, I want to congratulate you in going through with this entire course. I know it wasn’t easy at times, and I know how that is like, but you finally did it!

How do you feel now that you have meditated everyday for at least 5 weeks? Feel much better? Feel more alive and at peace? It’s a good idea to take inventory of your emotions.

Anyways, the first thing I have to remind you is that you have just passed the beginning stages of meditation. What happens after that from here on out is up to you. There are many ways you can take your meditation skills further, but it all depends on your wants and needs.

Here is a list of suggestions on what to do next. It is not exhaustive, but it will give you some ideas.

  1. Keep practicing the way you have been for the next 100 days.
  2. Work your way into meditating 20-30 minutes.
  3. Meditate twice a day for 15 minutes each.
  4. Meditate twice a day for 20-30 minutes each.
  5. Study the Master Key System.
  6. Learn about Creative Visualization
  7. Contact your local temple or meditation center and discuss your options
  8. Read up on Buddhist, Hindu, or Daoist meditation
  9. Pick one book on meditation from the bookstore or library and study it exclusively
  10. Do your meditation and then read a philosophical book of your choice
  11. Incorporate writing prompts in a diary or journal
  12. Incorporate painting and coloring as part of your practice

These are some of the ideas that I can think of on the top of my head. Maybe there are more you can come up with.

Either way, whatever you choose I want to say all the best and may you have a wonderful journey ahead of you!

Also, if you find this beginner’s course helpful, please spread the word! If you know of people who want to study please have them go to this page so that they also can try it out.



The Five Week Meditation Course Module 5: Putting it all together

Jigsaw puzzle.

Hello and, as the Aussies say, “G’day mate!”

This is the last week of the meditation course. I hope you have been feeling good practicing this as it much as I feel good writing this course.

As you might have figured out, each exercise truly builds up on the previous one. Each week you are building upon the foundation of the previous week’s work.

So at this point, this week’s exercise will be easy because you are combining everything that you have done so far.

Let’s do it to it!

1) Sit in your usual spot and set your timer for 15 minutes.

2) Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

3) Start counting your breaths (inhale 1, exhale 1, inhale 2, exhale 2) and keep going until you reach 10. Once you reach 10, do it again.

4) Progressively relax every part of your body.

5) Go back to counting your breath until you reach 10 and then keep doing it again until the timer rings.

6) Remember, whenever an intrusive thought pops up, just pretend it’s a ball that you caught and drop it. Also, whenever a negative thought or feeling comes up, just say your special phrase and “watch” that negativity disappear.

7) Keep your mind as clear as possible, concentrating on your breaths until you are finished meditating.

Keep up with this exercise for a week and you are done with the course! Before I let you go, I would like you to come back next week for a “postgraduate” pep talk and give you ideas on other things you can do with your newfound skill in meditation.

Hi everyone! Here is the pep talk I promised you. See you later!

Keep at it!