This Week and Next

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As I have written on my last post, I am going to start doing qigong 3 times a day. The first qigong set I will do is the one from David Carradine which I have been doing for a little over the past month. I have mentioned before that I would occasionally do Lam Kam Chuen’s set from one of his Taiji (Tai Chi) books, that will be set number 2. Set number 3 will be this night time qigong routine from this young lady.

As per usual, I am also doing my readings for the Greatest Salesman Course. I am also reading a passage from Dharma Master Kim Jae Woong as well as the Daily Readings from the Buddha’s Words of Wisdom by Venerable Shravasti Dhammika. At the same time, I chant the Amitabha Buddha’s name as well.

And yes, I am making sure I meditate 15 minutes a day each time I wake up.

That is for this week.

Next week, I am taking a well-needed vacation and going to Vancouver and Seattle. I have a few friends I am going to visit on both sides of the US-Canadian border. What this means is that I won’t be cultivating myself as much as I would like and usually do. Not that I am complaining as one of my Canadian friends is planning a lot for us to do and I am like “F—k yeah! That’s great!”

Og Mandino writes in his book that I don’t have to keep up with the readings while on vacation. I just take my vacation and simply start where I left off when I return. The thing is, I still want to maintain some cultivation efforts while I am out. On the qigong front, it is important to never skip a day.

So on my vacation, I will do the readings at least once a day. Once I get back home I will add another week of the regular thrice daily readings. There is no way I can do qigong three times a day, but I can do that at least once a day. Also, one of my friends in Vancouver is getting into qigong so it might be a case of me trying out her set and then her trying out mine. That I am also excited about.

So if you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks, you know why.

How’s it going 3/9/2022


I know my last post on racism is not the most comfortable thing to read, but the uncomfortable truth is that racism exists. It’s not something I like to talk about, but it is a thing in our lives. Also, how is it I can talk about Buddhism and not address the issues in our society? The whole point of studying Buddhism is to learn how to deal with such problems. All too often, many people who practice and study Buddhism delve into metaphysics and forget that even the Buddha himself eschewed that type of talk.

In fact, there was a story in the Malunkyaputta Sutta in which a monk named Malunkyaputta expressed his dissatisfaction of the Buddha and his teachings. The Buddha asked why and his student went on saying that the Buddha never taught him things like how did life begin, how was the world created, will it be destroyed, and other esoteric questions. The Buddha bluntly told the student that he was not interested in those questions. The Buddha was more interested in understanding the sufferings of our daily existence and how to transcend them.

To this I agree and this is one aspect I love about Theravada teachings over the Mahayana. Metaphysical debates are fine, but in the end all of the teachings of Buddhism should gear towards how to deal with life’s problems. We have relationship problems, problems at work, problems at home or with family, problems with money, problems with our mind, and so on. Racism is one of those problems and, unfortunately, is rarely spoken about in the Buddhist community. I can go on talking about some of the racists issues I have seen over the years, but this would require a longer discussion.

Speaking of my own problems . . . .

I have to admit, that when I wrote about certain people as being toxic White saviors, that perhaps I am seeing things in not the most correct angle and maybe race doesn’t have anything to do with our dynamic. However, I cannot say for certain. At the moment, I will keep the appellation as it is since they did talk to me the way British colonials talked to Indians centuries before; as in how it is unfortunate that we Indians are born as Indians and raised in our backwards Indian ways, that we need the British to civilize us and abandon our culture.

Again, I must emphasize that I don’t think all White people are like this and there are always bad examples in every race. If anything, I feel fortunate that I have friends from different races and ethnic backgrounds as it made life more interesting and fun. Having friends from all walks of life truly makes the world my oyster.

For that matter, I don’t think all British people back then looked down upon us. Hell, there were more than a few who got into Hindu philosophy and yoga before it was cool.

Now that I have wrestled with this revelation of the past conflicts I had with certain people, I am going to do something about it.

This week, I am still writing the signs of what to look out for in terms of someone with a toxic savior complex.

Next week, I plan to restart and actually finish the book Emotional Blackmail by Dr. Susan Forward so that I have the strategies I need to deal with controlling people.

As much as that realization of the problem angered me it has given me a sense of peace. Before then, whenever I got mistreated by certain individuals I was always told it was my fault. Either I was too diffident or too confident. Either I was a nice guy or I come off as too cocksure. Either I am too compliant or that I stand out too much. Ultimately, it has less to do with me and more to do with them. That took a lot of pressure off of me.

I believe very strongly that everyone has the right to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm themselves or others and doesn’t disturb other people. For example, I don’t go around punching others because it harms other people. I don’t play music too loud as it disturbs others. However, if I am in bus and sitting alone doing silent meditation and someone else complains, that’s their issue since I am not bothering anyone.

(Funny enough, that did happen. I was sitting alone in the third row of the bus and the person sat all the way at the end. Yet despite me not making any noise and sitting far from her, she complained constantly of my meditation even though she could simply ignore me and talk to her friends.)

Furthermore, as per Og Mandino’s instructions from last month, every time I think about those with a savior complex who tried to control my every move, I think to myself “__________, I love you.” In Dharma Master Kim Jae Woong’s book, Polishing the Diamond, he advises to say something like “I wish _______________ finds his/her Buddha-nature, so that s/he can serve the Dharma well. Barwon [or perhaps Sadhu?]!”

I am doing that. It is helping me take the edge off of the anger, but I still have to examine how those people acted and read up on how to prevent further manipulation.

Or as someone in the internet once said, “Do no harm, but take no shit.”

I need your help: Reading novels

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Lately I have been faced with an existential question. While reading non-fiction books do help in one’s life and career, why bother reading novels?

I ask this question for lots of reasons. My main reason is: even though I am in a better place when it comes to reading novels, I feel a lot of internal resistance in cracking one open. I do enjoy them, but my inner resistance is stronger than the joy.

Here’s my history when it comes to reading:

I was a voracious reader from high school up until my mid-20s. By then I started working in the office where I had to be on the internet. Not only was I on the internet for work, I was also on the internet at home. Being online almost all the time, except when I was sleeping, really did a number on my attention which affected me for many years.

Although my shortened attention span made it difficult for me to read, I would still collect books hoping to get to them as soon as possible. I would never give them away unless I read them first. Since I have had a hard time reading any of them, my collection grew larger and larger each day. I would usually give those books away if I am moving to another country, otherwise they keep piling up.

This time, living in the US, I had to discipline myself to stop buying anymore books. I am amazed that I have been able to keep myself from doing so.

I am back working in an office job and, for awhile, it has been difficult for me to get back into reading. Nowadays, I somehow have been able to carve more time to read. Yet . . . .

When I have time to read novels I see my computer were I can access any site without a problem. I can go on Youtube, Dailymotion, the Internet Archive, and all other kinds of video sites to watch movies. I have a lot of public domain films downloaded on to my laptop for my enjoyment. Downstairs at the TV room, we have too many channels to choose. We also have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon video, and others with endless movies and TV shows to watch. Laugh at me, if you like, for being a dinosaur but I also have a bunch of DVDs to watch as well.

Let’s not forget video games. When I was a kid, video games were just little pixels that one controls on the screen to move around and shoot things. Nowadays, there are as cinematic as Hollywood films. Why read a Tom Clancy novel when you can act as a lone special forces soldier in “Metal Gear Solid”? Why read a Tolkien novel when you can act as an elven knight in “World of Warcraft”? Why read Stephen King when you can play “Silent Hill” or “Resident Evil”? Granted, games are limited to the technology we have now, but it is vastly improving at an accelerated rate. Watch a video comparing the graphics of Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, and 3 and you will see how the rapidity and evolution of video game graphics. 

There is a cliché that the book is better than the movie. However, I disagree with that statement as there is more nuance to this. Yes, the movie “The Name of the Rose” does not do the novel justice. However, there are other examples that put the hackneyed saying into doubt. “Fight Club” the movie differs from “Fight Club” the novel, yet the author even said he liked the movie version better. What’s the difference between Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons” and its movie adaptation? Almost none and that was why I was so bored watching the movie. What about “Starship Troopers” the novel and the Paul Verhooven film? It all depends on your views on fascism and the military.

There are a couple of reasons that I think reading novels is worth the time and effort.

The first one being is that novels take a lot longer to finish. With that longer finishing time, the reader is compelled to savor the entirety of the story to a point that the story stays within a person’s psyche longer than a movie or even a TV show. Yes that also includes the TV series people binge on Netflix.

The second reason is that novels and its story are limited to one’s imagination and author’s ability to write. Right now I am trying to get through the novel “The Last Empress” by Anchee Min. It is a good book, and the only reason I struggle is because of my existential question that inspired this post. It’s the story of the Empress Cixi as a young woman serving as a concubine to Emperor Xianfeng in Qing dynasty China. I’d imagine that if the novel ever became a movie or TV series, a lot of money had to be spent on creating the Forbidden City in its former glory with all the jade, gold, and many carvings for its opulent settings. The costumes also have to be colorful to reflect the almost extravagant fashion of those in the royal court. Also props had to be made to reflect the times, such as armory of the Qing soldiers as well as the rifles of the invading European forces. With the written word and written word alone, there is no need to think about a budget.

The last reason I can think of is that reading novels is a form of theater of the mind. While the book itself is nothing more than a bunch of scribbles on paper, the actual content is more potent. Everything involves imagination such as how the character looks as well as the setting. More importantly, we as readers also get an understanding the psychological makeup of one or all of the characters in the work. The one example that comes to my mind is the heroine of Wilkie Collin’s underrated novel, “The Law and the Lady”. In the book, the main character’s husband has been marked as a criminal despite his acquittal at a murder trial so the wife endeavors to clear her husband’s name. Throughout the novel, one can see the trepidation that she feels in acting out the amateur lawyer and detective, sometimes having to go to strange and macabre locations in order to prove her husband’s innocence. Despite her fears, she draws strength from her love and turns it into a dogged determination to save her marriage at all costs.

So as you may be able to tell, I usually do love reading novels. At this point, though, it feels like that love for reading is dying and I want to rekindle that flame.

Maybe I am missing something and that’s why I am asking you: why do you love reading novels?

Please write your responses below I’d love to read it. If you are writing a response post, please put the link to your blog down below.

Again, I’d love to hear your thoughts and thank you very much.

Today I begin a new life

Today is the day I start studying Og Mandino’s Greatest Salesman course. In this course, I have to read a scroll 3 times a day for a month before switching to a new one. There are ten in total. The title is the first six words of the first scroll.

I am hoping that this will help me out in changing my life for the better. However, if it doesn’t do a damn thing for me, I will report that in about 10 months so that people like you won’t have to waste your time on this.

10 months is a long commitment and a lot can happen during that time. Before I started this course, I already had a plan on how to go about this scroll reading thing. However, a couple of days ago my boss decided to change my responsibilities. My work schedule might even change because of it. To be fair, though, I am liking the change.

Anyways, I am going to go through with this.

A long time ago, I watched this video by this salesman Elmer Wheeler called “Sell the Sizzle”. It is a funny little documentary about salesmanship. I am no salesman nor do I want a career in sales. However, there is an important point I have learned from this video, salesmanship is a part and parcel to our social make-up. We sell ourselves to get a job, get friends, and even lovers. Politicians sell themselves for elections and try to sell their ideas, such as how Bernie Sanders tries to sell his ideas for Medicare-for-all or Donald Trump with the US-Mexican border wall.

Earl Nightingale once said this in his famous speech, “The Strangest Secret”: To be successful in selling, and remember that each of us succeeds to the extent of his ability to sale; Selling our families on our ideas, selling education in schools, selling our children on the advantages of living the good and honest life, Selling our associates and employees on the importance of being exceptional people; true, of course, to the profession of selling itself.

So yes, salesmanship is a useful tool to move up in society, even if it’s not a part of our career.

This reminds me of something I was thinking about during the time part of the US public were calling for defunding the police.

While the police in the US are considered a scary group of people, Chinese police were much worse. Sure American cops do talk in this rude, tough guy attitude but a Chinese cop will out and out swear and personally attack you. It was so prevalent that when I went to Beijing in 2008 after the Olympics, I was shocked when a policewoman politely asked if she can help me when I was trying to figure out the newly-expanded subway system. Nevertheless, nobody in China likes the police.

One time, while living there, I met this local crime boss at a dinner party. He took a liking to me and wanted to share a few drinks with me. We even went out for lamb shish kabobs to fill our drunken appetites. The one quality that I saw in him was that he was the most charming person I have ever met. He even stood up for me when other Chinese were being rude, which was a rarity. I could easily see that he had friends in from all walks of life. That being said, knowing his background, I kept my distance from him and never trusted the guy.

That’s where I have to note about the dark side of selling: it can also turn into nothing more than pure manipulation. If I am not careful, I can do more harm than good this way.

When I was in college, there was this pyramid scheme going around in the campus. A lot of young men and women were seduced by dreams of money and getting experience in business and they joined in. They also tried to get other people to join in, including myself. A lot people had their lives ruined by this scheme.

Of course, I sometimes write about the Soka Gakkai which is considered a cult by many. Cults use a lot of sales tactics to get people like you to join. Want to make more money? We can help! Want to get married? We can help! Want to be happy? We know how to make you happy!

One time I had a short relationship with this one American woman when I was living in Korea. While I am not lucky in love, I am still on good terms with my other ex-girlfriends. She is the exception. She was very manipulative and controlling. As she only cared for her wants and needs, she loved playing with my mind in order to satisfy her ego trips. Every time I put up boundaries to keep things healthy, she would find ways to destroy them.

These are the reasons why I should always examine my sense of integrity so that I won’t ruin others have others have (or have tried) to ruin me.

Golden rule: Do unto to others as you would have others done unto you. This is number one.

So, my plan here is to read the scrolls and write a report each month on how am I doing. I might write about other things here and there that come to mind. Some of it will be related to this new learning. Some of it, not so much. I might even talk about qigong as part of my reports as well.

You might be wondering, why is it I put up this Hindu painting on this post?

Well according to Hindu mythology, whenever the world is in trouble the god Vishnu incarnates into a being to help humanity deal with its disasters. There are 10 avatars in this one “official” canon, so each month I will put a picture of each avatar and write my thoughts on them.

I’d like to add a little curry to my writing.

What’s Next?

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One the last 15 days or so of finishing my Nichiren Buddhist Last Hurrah, I have been thinking of what I could do next. I could try to get myself back to meditation. The only problem is that I still have family drama and work that will pull me away from that. Plus, my sleeping pattern is quite erratic.

One day I was on E-bay doing some Christmas shopping. I also bought a bunch of books for myself. One title that stood out to me was “The Greatest Secret in the World” by Og Mandino.”  So I decided to buy that book as well.

I know of that book because I had it before. I don’t know what I did with my last. I left it in South Korea, probably donated it at a used bookstore.

The book itself is a rehash of Mandino’s more famous work, “The Greatest Salesman in the World”. The basic premise of the book is this: it takes place in the Holy Land right around the birth of Christ. A merchant wanted to give his business to his son (or son-in-law). Before inheriting the business, the young man was to read a scroll three times a day for a month. After one month, he would be given a different scroll to read three times a day and then a different one next month until he read all ten scrolls.

Those “scrolls” are also included in the books for people like you and me to read.

I was intrigued about this and back in Korea I was thinking of trying this program out. There were a couple of mental obstacles.

First of all, back then I wanted to focus on Zen. Of course, I ranted about how hard it was because of some shady people I dealt with over there so I was never able to practice Zen as fully as I would like.

Secondly, the book calls for reading the scroll during lunch. As I was working as a school teacher, I ate lunch with the faculty and I knew that people would get weirded out by my reading while eating. As it was, those same people got offended that I ate one dish at a time instead of picking each one; first some kimchi, then rice, then soup, then the meat, and so on. Those same people also gave me grief for being single. Conformity is everything in that country.

The last obstacle is my doubt that it works. After all this is a 10 month commitment and who knows if my life would change for the better by trying this. 10 months is a lot of time to waste on BS.

Furthermore, when reading Mandino’s biography on Wikipedia, I got this same feeling that I had from Tony Robbins. Just like Robbins, it seems that Mandino became successful by telling others how to become successful. He did work in insurance before writing these success books, but it seemed to me he wasn’t successful at that. As I have written before, I need a little street cred to see if it works. I need to see a loser becoming a winner through this, or any other, book.

Granted that was also how I felt about the Master Key System. I only did the Master Key System only because there was a time I felt like I couldn’t get into Zen. Funny enough, I got myself back into Zen thanks to the Master Key System. Still, when researching the Master Key System, I never got a good idea whether or not it worked. I never heard of anyone whose lives have changed by reading this book.

And no, I don’t count Bill Gates! The whole story of how he founded Microsoft because of this book is a rumor.

After I was done finishing studying The Master Key System, I can see the value in it. While I never got rich or anything like that, I did get a good study on basic meditation.

This time, in regards to The Greatest Salesman, I had two people that gave me their opinions. One was a successful retired salesman. The other was a manager of a used bookstore where I bought the book for the first time. Both of them loved it.

I do prefer going back to Zen. At the very least I prefer a combination of meditation, qigong, and martial arts practice. However, seeing things as they are now, I cannot guarantee that I can do those things. Every time I plan something to that effect, things change in a moment. One time, I was planning to devote more time to qigong practice when my boss asked me to work an extra two hours because of Thanksgiving. Every weekend I plan to workout only to be told that I have to do more chores at the last minute.

I can guarantee to do these three things: eat, sleep, and wake up.

So it seems to me that I can do what Og Mandino recommends and read those scrolls three times a day: upon awakening, while eating lunch (although I might tweak that a bit), and before I sleep.

Therefore, I will try this “Greatest Secret” out. Can I tough it out for 10 months? Sure. I didn’t think I could have done the Master Key System for as long as I did, but now I have the confidence to try out this new cultivation practice.

My current plan is to first finish my Nichiren Buddhist Last Hurrah. Then I would take a break for 7-10 days. After that, I will get started in my new cultivation study.

Beneficial Brainwashing 3: Faith, Practice, and Study

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I never intended this to be a series of posts, but I am rehashing this one idea: how to brainwash myself into becoming a wiser and more rational human being.

In the past two posts I have written on the subject, I point out that cults are in the business of brainwashing their devotees into accepting alternate realities. According to a proportion of anti-cult activists, mantra chanting is one of many tools for brainwashing.

The last time I wrote a post on this subject, I was thinking of incorporating the Tibetan lojong, a collection of aphorisms. I have yet to do that because I want to test whether or not my liturgy practice will help me overcome or attain my desires.

However, I am somewhat testing this principle out in a different manner.

In Nichiren Buddhism, one often hears the phrase, “Faith, Practice and Study.”

Faith is basically having the belief that practicing Nichiren Buddhism is good and good for you. In my case, I don’t have much faith in Nichiren Buddhism. However, I have enough faith to sit my ass down and practice the liturgy.

Practice is exactly what I am best at. I take the time twice a day to sit in front of the mandala and perform the liturgy. To other Nichiren Buddhists, especially in the Soka Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu, I should also go spread the practice and have others practice with me. I don’t do that because nobody likes being proselytized. If people want to discuss Buddhism with me, sure I can discuss it but I am not going to go and force or manipulate people to practice the way I do. Besides, back when I was in college so many Christian groups tried to get me to change my religion. The same happened in South Korea. Yet, here I am, not a Christian.

Study is my weakest point. According to Nichiren Buddhism, I should read the Lotus Sutra and/or the collection of letters Nichiren wrote to his adherents. The main problem I have reading both is that they are very long and difficult to get through. I’m not acting like a millennial who wants everything in bit-size chunks, I am acting like a millennial who has no time to read because I have a lot work to do! Back when I was jobless during the lockdown I could have studied both, but I focused on Zen practice instead.

Then there is Nichiren’s tone in his writing. He was very in-your-face about his teachings and that you should practice his form of Buddhism or else you will burn in hell. I understand that he felt the world was about to end so that influenced his sense of urgency. However, modern day practitioners take his style of proselytizing at face value and also to try emulate him. That’s why there are so many flame wars on the internet in the Nichiren community.

I had this idea of reading The Dhammapada after every liturgy session. I also had this idea of reading The Enchiridion as well.

The Dhammapada is one of the earliest books in the Buddhist canon. In this book, the Buddha expounds on the importance of keeping mindful of one’s thoughts, words, and actions as well as the beauty of self-discipline. When I returned to the US from South Korea the first time I was teaching there, I felt nothing but anger and bitterness at the world. My anger was so deep that I was seriously thinking of killing myself. This is one of the books that got me to live and change my life for the better. It’s also one book I would recommend to others because the text is very clear in its meaning and the teachings can benefit anyone no matter one’s religion or lack thereof.

Then there is The Enchiridion. The Enchiridion is more of a pamphlet than a book as it has less than 50 pages of text. One hard copy I had was no thicker than 5 mm! Still, good things do come in small packages. This is a book written by a student of the Greek philosopher Epictetus, who was taking notes on the philosopher’s lectures. Just like the Buddha, Epictetus also expounds the importance of self-discipline as a way to total freedom. Epictetus also offers practices to in order to live that Stoic lifestyle.

Thus far, I have been praying this way for a couple of days now. While I have had trouble starting the liturgy sessions, reading those texts ends them quite nicely.

If this goes on quite well, and if I feel myself changing for the better, I might incorporate other Buddhists and Stoic texts. Once I am done with Dhammpada I might start reading the Spell of Emptiness. Once I am done with the Enchiridion, I will start with Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.

As I also have an hour long commute to work (and another hour to get back home), I am also thinking of listening to Earl Nightingale’s audio series, “The Direct Line.” I have listened to the first of the series before and maybe a couple more. They are great and have lots of awesome ideas. The only reason why I have not made a decision in listening is because I want to have as much leisure as possible before I deal with the drudgery of work.

Lately, I have been unearthing my old CDs from high school and find myself enjoying the sound of music, which was something I haven’t done in years. Last night, on the way home, I had a profoundly spiritual experience listening to Led Zeppelin’s Achilles Last Stand.


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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.

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.