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.

My Nichiren Buddhist Last Hurrah: Day 75.5

So I have been a bit of a wet blanket for the past couple of weeks, maybe even a month. With family life and job pulling me in all sorts of directions, I have been feeling like a puppet without any control over my life. Bitterness has been growing in my heart for quite a long time.

A couple of nights ago, I couldn’t sleep due to the bitterness as well as worry. I was thinking of changing my Buddhist practice after I am done with my “last hurrah” and decided to see what happens if I chanted the Pure Land manta aka nembutsu aka nian fo.

I chanted the mantra in Mandarin Chinese 108 times and . . . . I felt peace and happiness!

I was blown away! Minutes before I chanted the Nichiren mantra for a couple of minutes I felt stuck and hopeless. Yet chanting the Pure Land mantra changed my mood almost immediately!

Last night, as I was working in my office I watched a video by late Taiwanese Zen Master Sheng Yen in which he gives a lecture about the effects of mantra chanting. He was talking about how they embody certain Buddhists deities and creatures within the cosmology and yadda yadda yadda he said something about how the effect of the mantra depends of different factors, such as concentration, attitude, and (yes) even faith.

The main “function” of the Pure Land mantra is enable the practitioner to call Amitabha Buddha to help us go into the Western Heaven once we die. The main reason why Pure Land believers constantly practice this mantra is so that in the hour of our death, our when consciousness is about the evaporate from our being, we keep on chanting the mantra so that the Buddha of the Western Heaven can send someone to take us there before we reincarnate into a different realm or body.

Here’s the thing: I don’t believe in such an existence of the Western Heaven. I am open to believing it and I am sure will find out when I am dead. However, why did I feel joy in practicing such a mantra?

Furthermore, it has only been recently that I had any affinity for the Pure Land practice.

When Nichiren was alive, he hated Pure Land Buddhism and railed against it for the entirety of his existence. I heard nothing but bad things about Pure Land when I was part of the Soka Gakkai. When I left Soka Gakkai and went into Zen, my main text was the Complete Book of Zen by Master Wong Kiew Kit. While Master Wong never really said anything bad about Pure Land, he said that it is ideal to reach Buddhahood while alive as a human being. Why? Because if we go to the Pure Land, we would be so damn happy that we would not care to become a Buddha even though it is quite easy to do so.

So why is it that I felt happy chanting the Pure Land mantra?

The only answer I can come up with is that I conditioned myself to love the mantra back when I was studying the Master Key System.

When I was studying the Master Key System, Charles Haanel instructs us to find a way to let go of any negative emotions that arise during meditation. That week, I decided to tell myself that every time a negative emotion came up, I would chant the Pure Land mantra and watch it dissipate and disappear.

After a week of hypnotizing and conditioning myself to do this, I found it worked. There was a time I would chant the Pure Land mantra and felt nothing but happiness fill up my heart.

So why not try that the Nichiren mantra? Why not condition myself to love and enjoy chanting the mantra so that it can make me happy every time I chant it?

Starting tomorrow, I am going to start doing that. I am going to meditate and give my subconscious mind a suggestion that whenever I chant the Nichiren mantra, negative emotions will disappear and happier ones will replace it.

Part of what makes me happy about this endeavor is that I will go back to meditating. Lord knows I miss it.

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

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“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.

Let the Wookie win

Now that I am fully vaccinated, I was given the talk: get a job!

I agreed with that.

Here’s also what they said: Get a job in America and don’t go back to Asia!

That’s where we disagreed.

Tempers flared up, we fought and we also kept out of each others’ way for a whole week. Unfortunately, I came to realize I have no choice but to do as they say: stay in this country whether I like it or not.

Before you nationalists give me problems, America is an okay country but I prefer living over in Asia a lot more. There is a lot more life in the streets and the people there are a lot friendlier, especially in Thailand. Sure there are somethings I did miss about the US, such as being able to access old books and the varieties of pizza, but for the most part I enjoyed the romance and adventure that Asian travel has to offer.

By the way I know a lot of Americans, Canadians, Brits, Aussies, and Kiwis who are established in Asia and are having the time of their lives. At this point, it doesn’t seem like I am destined for that happy existence.

To be honest, one of the reasons why I felt depressed is that I feel like staying here in the US is the equivalent of purgatory or limbo: I am working my days away while waiting to die. Back in Thailand, I would go on my scooter and speed around the countryside. In Korea, I would take a bus and hike trails in the mountain and visit remote shrines and temples. In China, I would practice some kung-fu with some friends and have a beer afterwards. I am sure I would do something exciting in Taiwan. What would I do here in the US? Basically work and then kill time watching TV, that’s how it feels for me.

Considering how much I love Thailand, I was going to get myself established there. If not, I heard Taiwan is a pretty awesome place to live as well and it also helps that I can speak a fair amount of Mandarin Chinese. In both cases, unfortunately, this stupid pandemic got in the way.

However, here is one little point of optimism that is keeping me going and that got me out of my week-long funk, at the very least I can use my newfound meditation skills to get myself living a more fulfilling life. I will try to use my meditation skills to help me get better work over in Thailand or Taiwan, even if that means staying as an English teacher. If I am to be stuck here in the US until I die, at least I will also try to make the best of my life here.

Either way, at least I can show how meditation can help out with these things.

I am also going back to a Zen practice as well. For the longest time I have been wanting to practice Zen outlined in Master Wong Kiew Kit’s book, The Complete Book of Zen. I don’t think that way is practicable for me at this point. Instead, I will do the one proposed by Ven. Pomnyun.

In one of Ven. Pomnyun’s books, and I forget which one, he proposes that each morning we do the 108 bows and each evening we do a liturgy practice.

So I figure, why not go down this route? I would wake up in the morning, do some calisthenics and isometric exercises and then go into the 108 bows and cool down with some qigong. In the evening, I would start with some qigong, do the liturgy practice and then finish with meditation.

I do hope to see some changes within 4 months of consistent practice, so I think would spend each Friday or Saturday writing of my progress (or lack thereof) on my blog. So I will consider this new leg of my journey a new12 week challenge.

Will I continue my Canadian Air Force Workout? I don’t know, but more likely not. Will I keep this schedule going? It all depends. If I get a stable 9-5 job, then sure, since the hours won’t change. If I get my old job back, or something else like it, where my hours change almost every 2 weeks then definitely no.

As one of my friends likes say: Here’s to hoping.

Index of most of my Master Key writings

Hello everyone.

One of my readers gave me the idea of indexing all of my Master Key writings for easier access and I agreed with it. The reason being is that all of us have different views and experiences that will influence and color any endeavor, including the Master Key Study. Therefore by sharing them, or really mine, I am hoping this would help give more clarity when someone else will take on this personal quest.

What I mean by this is two fold. 1) If what I write is agreeable and make sense, then please use whatever you learned from me to your benefit and 2) If you don’t agree with whatever I agree, then ask yourself what it is that you agree with and why? The latter part is a lot more “enlightening”.

Normally I would write a commentary piece on the lesson of the week and followed by a “report” which documents my experiences after practicing a certain meditation technique for a week or two. I will put in some other relevant stuff, such as my changes in meditation and so on.

There are other posts in which I would “do-over” but that’s mainly due to family drama that would blow up and pull me in. So be aware some drama in your life will also distract you from your self-cultivation. The best thing to do is to take an extra week in meditation practice. It will benefit you more in the end.

All the best!

Beginning declaration; Issues prior to starting

Week 1: Commentary Report

Week 2: Commentary Report

Week 3: Commentary Report

Week 4: Commentary Report

Week 5: Commentary Report

Week 6: Commentary Report

Week 7: Commentary Report

Week 8: Commentary Report

Week 9: Commentary Report

Week 10: Commentary Report

Week 11: Commentary Meditation Change Report

Week 12: Commentary Report

Week 13: Commentary Meditation Change Report

Week 14: Commentary Report

Week 15: Commentary Report

Week 16: Commentary Report

Week 17: Commentary Meditation Change Non-report Report

Week 18: Commentary Report

Week 19: Commentary Report

Week 20: Commentary Report

Week 21: Commentary Report

Week 22: Commentary Meditation Change 1 Meditation Change 2 Report

Week 23: Commentary Report

Week 24: Commentary Report

Final Review

My actual review of the Master Key System

So I have gotten through the entirety of the Master Key System, it took me a long time, but it’s finally done. I am very glad at this point to be able to give an honest review of the course. I know there are people out there who read about it, or find that random PDF in the internet, and wonder what’s it all about.

The Master Key System is a meditation and visualization course written by businessman Charles F. Haanel in the early 20th century. It was first a mail-order correspondence course before it was compiled into book form. The course is comprised of 24 lessons to read with a corresponding meditation exercise to be done for an entire week. In my case, I would take longer because there were times I could not commit to meditating everyday, so I would start over.

Okay, that’s the blurb of the Master Key System. That’s something you would see at the back of the book or some advertisement, except for the whole “It took me longer than 24 weeks” part.

The question you might have in mind is, “Is this worth doing? Does this work?” After all, if you plan to study the Master Key System, you will have to commit to it for at least 24 weeks.

The short of it is Yes and No.

Let’s start with the “No” part. My life has not changed materially in the entire time I have studied the System. For what it is worth, everything has been the same for me. It’s the pandemic and I’m stuck in my parents house. I also lost my job because of it. It’s not like I became a senator and spend my days sitting in front of a palatial mansion while my wife or girlfriend dances in a bikini.

I can always dream, can I not?

However, here is the “yes” part, I came to learn new skills that I can use for life and career. All of these skills stem from the meditation practices that one learns while studying the Master Key System. The most powerful skill that I have developed is that I have been able to have more control over my thinking which means more control over my actions. Oftentimes, people act in ways they don’t understand and many times to their detriment. Through the meditation practice, people can understand their cognition and change it accordingly.

I often think of my life before I did the Master Key System. I am surprised at how calmer and more self-possessed I am. I would even reflect on moments of my past and thought of ways on how I could have used my meditation in certain situations at work and at home. I would have been able to come up with ideas in enriching my life. I would have been able to use creative visualization more often to get myself workout or study harder. I could have at least used my meditation practice to unwind after a stressful day.

That was all in the past, but now that I have a lot more tools and abilities at my disposal, my future will certainly be different.

In the book (or course), Haanel writes his philosophy and thoughts about various subjects. My advice is to read his writings with a critical mind. His writings are not always well-thought out, but he was not wrong as well. So when reading the lessons for each week, embrace what you find applicable and reasonable and discard what you think is useless. Sometimes he has some good ideas and other times they are BS. He also takes for granted that you, the reader, is a Christian. If you are not one, like myself, simply use what is applicable in your situation.

In summary, studying the Master Key System won’t get you a mansion or a high paying job, but it will help you develop the techniques to acquire them in at least an incremental manner. You won’t live a life of love or adventure by studying the Master Key System alone, but after studying it you will have more clarity on how to live that kind of life. With new abilities comes new opportunities and you will find new ones after studying this course. So, yes I do think it is worth spending at least 24 weeks. It’s not the most perfect course and it does bear rewriting, but it will make you see the world around you in a new light.

You can buy this book on any bookstore available. However, if you are cheap and/or skeptical at the utility of this course you can easily find a pdf anywhere online. I actually read the entire book on Psitek.

If you ever decide to start studying the Master Key System, I wish you all the best!

Week 24 Report

I am finally done with the Master Key System! It took me a long time, more than 24 weeks due to lots of things, but I am finally done.

Right now, I want to focus on this week’s meditation and lesson as well as what’s going on in my life. Next week, I want to write an actual review of the entire course since I have been through the whole thing.

This week I was to meditate on the concept that the world is perfect, except we are not making it so. This goes back to the philosophical argument of “Are human beings basically good or evil?” The most famous debate on this was between Confucius and Han Feizi. Confucius always thought as human beings being basically good, but need slight corrections towards goodness. He also advocated each and every one of us, especially people in government, to be a positive role model and serve as an example in the family and the community. Han Feizi, on the other hand, thinks human beings are basically evil and can only be reformed through strict rules and punishment. No infraction is too small for retribution. Even though Confucius disagreed with one another, modern Confucianism absorbed Han Feizi’s Legalism.

I am inclined to agree that we are all goodhearted and that we basically screw things up through bad choices. Most of those choices are through fear-based egotistical emotions. I think of how I and other people succumbed to conflict because something in our being tells us that friendship, love, and even happiness is a scarce commodity. We could live better lives if we choose to do so. The first thing one must do is to establish a daily habit of contemplation. It doesn’t have to be meditation, just a daily habit of thinking over oneself and the actions one takes.

That’s my take from the meditation.

Now for what will happen from here on out.

I am still going to do the Canadian Air Force Workout, I have been skipping on kata practice but I will eventually get back to it whenever I can. Qigong is doing well. I am also adding a new exercise each week, to get myself back to doing the set from Carradine.

I will also keep on meditating. Since I will longer do the Master Key study for some time, I will simply focus on meditation. Speaking of which, I am in the process of writing my free course.

At this point, I have no idea what I will do next in terms of philosophical and spiritual study. I can read other books by Haanel, another 5 of them that he wrote. I could simply do a 100 day meditation challenge to which I simply meditate everyday without skipping. I could, as Master Key vlogger Helmar Rudolph once said, go back and start the Study all over again—that one I am not too keen upon.

The thing is, though, there is a lot going to happen. I have a family get-together. Next week I have to take my last dose of the vaccine. I don’t know how to effects will be. I will start looking for jobs in the US, Taiwan, and Thailand. I might also see, if I ever decide to work abroad again, if I need to drive around for paperwork such as a criminal record check or an apostille on my degree and transcripts.

So I will take at least month to decide what is next for me. Until then, I will write some posts that I have not gotten to writing about due to trying to keep a schedule on my Study. One time Haanel wrote that one should avoid challenges and I have been wanting to write a rebuttal for a long time. I also want to write my thoughts on the nature of belief, since the Law of Attraction and New Thought communities are all about that. I also want to write about the novels I am reading just for fun.

One interesting thing that has been happening lately, I finally got myself to read the “Analects of Confucius” which is the primary text of Confucian thinking. For the most part, I never really liked the institution of Confucianism. I would always see it as very oppressive and stifling, especially from what I have seen in both China and South Korea. At the same time, though, I am inspired by his philosophy of self-discipline and kindness to all.

It’s the same old story. The philosopher has good ideas, but other people warp and pervert them.

In all my Master Key reports, I put in pictures of Korean historical figures and what-not. That’s because I decided to make a weird little reference to the ITF style of Taekwondo. Each kata (or they say patterns) that one performs for each level represents an aspect of Korean culture.

For example, Week 1 has the picture of Cheon-ji lake in Mt. Baekdu. That’s also the name of the first ITF Taekwondo kata. Week 4 is a picture of Won-Hyo, another Korean figure with his own Taekwondo kata and so on. The last one that I put is obviously the Yin-Yang Taiji symbol as well as the United Korea flag. The name of the last Taekwondo form in the ITF organization is called “Tong-il” aka Reunification. Of course, in the Korean context, it’s about reunification of both North and South Korea. In my personal interpretation, it’s the unification of one’s conscious and subconscious mind, one’s light and shadow, and one’s yin and yang.

 

Week 24 Commentary

Here is my commentary for Week 24 of Charles Haanel’s Master Key System. In order to understand the context of what I am writing about, please read the actual lesson at: https://www.psitek.net/pages/PsiTekTMKS49.html

What can I say? This is probably one of the most beautiful chapters in this entire book. I plowed through this entire section because it’s so inspiring to read.

First, I’d like to address one issue that I disagree with. Haanel still preaches that we can manifest anything we want as long as we understand the “universal truth” that mind is everything. I still question that because there are physical laws outside of our cognition that we can’t bend just because we want them to.

Bringing up an old example: I can desire, meditate, and visualize myself being married to Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung all I want, but there is no way it’s gonna happen. We’re in different parts of the world, have different ways of living, and are of different income brackets. Maybe if I was a Hollywood actor, I would have a chance. But as a regular Joe Schmoe, you got to be kidding me.

One of the abilities I have always wanted to do as a kid was fly like Peter Pan and Superman. I would still love to do that, especially since I could go to New York in 30 minutes for the pizza or Boston for its bread bowl soup. Again, laws of physics don’t allow us to fly like that.

So exactly what is meditation good for? Why do I advocate everyone to try it out, regardless of religious background?

Let me first bring up the concept of karma. In the cultural appropriated Western viewpoint, karma is a form of retribution. If you lie to, cheat, or steal from someone God, the Universe, or whatever will punish you for it. However, speaking as an Indian-American, there is another part of the equation that is missing—–if you do good for others and help them in any which way you can, then you shall be rewarded in some form or fashion. Doing more good brings about greater luck and happiness aka “good karma”.

If you ask me, too many people focus on “not doing evil” and less on “doing good”. It doesn’t have to be donating millions of dollars to an orphanage, although that’s nice. It can be picking up litter in the park, donating your unwanted books and other materials to charities. It could also be spending time writing a nice letter or email to a friend. If you want more ideas on building good karma, I recommend “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” by Dr. Richard Carlson.

What is it that brings about good karma? Good actions. What about bad karma? Bad actions. What is it that brings about the actions we perform? Our thinking. That’s what is one benefit of meditation. Once we meditate, we start understanding how and why we think and act. Through our meditation, we can monitor our cognition and change it accordingly.

You may not believe in karma, and of course not all good or bad actions bring about good or bad results, but all of our actions do have consequences. As human beings, it is in our best interest to bring about as many good consequences as possible.

Does that mean meditation is required? Not any more required than physical exercise, study, or eating vegetables. You won’t get into trouble for not doing these things, but it will help if you do.

There is a lot more to meditation than just simply understanding one’s thinking, as awesome of an ability as it is. As many have written before, creative visualization is a good way to navigate one’s life towards a certain goal. The more you will visualize attaining a certain goal, the more likely you will work towards it.

But let’s say you are still working towards your goals or you don’t really have one. Meditation still helps as well.

When you relax into a meditative state, there are times that you will come up with these amazing thoughts and ideas to try out. This is nothing mystical. Commonly this phenomena is known as “shower thoughts” as this happens when we are completely relaxed, like taking a shower. This is when your subconscious mind is processing all the input that you give it and then coming up with a new thought. Those inputs can range from what you see and feel to what you think and desire.

One of my favorite meditation techniques is the one I tried on Week 17. It’s not from Charles Haanel but from Earl Nightingale. It is a good exercise in brainstorming. Please click the link and try the technique. It feels all sorts of magical.

Even then, one of the greatest pandemics of the modern world is not COVID-19 as much as it is stress. We’ve been so used to stress that it feels really normal. Meditation is a great way to de-stress oneself after a busy day. Once we can de-stress ourselves, we can have a lot more energy in our lives to more things. We can also get a good night’s sleep if we meditate before bedtime.

If you ask me, one of the main reasons why a lot of people don’t exercise or work on their own goals is because they are too damn stressed to do so!

The best thing about meditation is that you can finally learn how to be free by controlling yourself. Many of us have been conditioned to let outside circumstances control us. We would feel happy if someone flatters us, but feel sad if someone insults us. If we are in need of a job or of a relationship, we’d feel powerless. If we have a job or a relationship, sometimes it feel precarious. Therefore, after a decent amount of practice of meditation, we will realize within the very fiber of our being that we can control our lives once we put control over ourselves. Once we control ourselves, we control our own destiny.

I believe in the utility of meditation so much that I will actually write an online course for free distribution. I know I say this for lots of things, but I will make this online meditation course a priority. I want to make it simplified–free of all theory, drama, and doctrine–for everyone to try.

If this course benefits at least one person, then I will be happy enough.

Week 23 Report

Well well well, another week done!

How was the meditation this week? Well, for one thing, it was difficult. For the first couple of days, I had a hard time sitting still and concentrating but it got easier over the week. I figured that was all due to the week before in which I got vaccinated and spent 2-3 days sleeping due to the side effects. Then I was still too tired to do anything else.

So let that be a lesson, I need to keep meditating as much as I can.

This week I was to meditate on the concept of money.

Most people think money as a way to exchange for good and services, which is true enough. However, there is a deeper meaning to money in the late 20th and early 21st century: it is the lifeblood of civilization.

I write this now as my computer is being plugged to the wall and my fan is spinning. Common sense says electricity powers both machines. However, so does money. If no one pays the bills, no one can use the electric appliances, the plumbing, or even the heat. As it is, I am against this idea, we still have to pay property taxes in order to keep our house. So we need money in order to keep a roof over our heads as well.

More importantly, our money is the oil to the “machine” of modern living. Why do we have to pay money for electricity, water, and heat? It’s so the people can go to work and maintain the systems that make our lives comfortable. Same thing with food. We pay money for food so that the grocery staff, delivery trucks, and farmers can work. What happens when they receive money from us? Simple, they use that money to pay others to help them live.

The electric worker receives money for his job of maintaining the grid. He then buys food to feed his family. That money goes to the grocery store as well as the farmer. Then the grocery store owner and the farmer pays money to help maintain electricity in their homes and place of business which goes back to the electrical worker. This is a simplified version, since the economy is a lot more complex.

It is interesting to realize that the money we use enable others to work. Maybe if the US government does something about offshore bank accounts, the trickle down economy might help us out.

I am also reminded of South Korean president Park Chung-Hee. He is still considered a controversial figure in South Korean history, mainly because he ran his country like a dictatorship just like his northern neighbor, Kim Il-Sung. However, he also helped overhaul South Korea’s infrastructure to make sure it has the best railroads, roads, telephone, electrical, and plumbing system in Asia. It’s through his policy that the South Korean government included the internet as an important part of the infrastructure.

As a result, South Korea went from being a third world nation to one of the richest in the world. For all the flaws of the late President Park, he knew that good infrastructure helps money flow from every corner of the country. Once that happens, people’s lives will improve for the better.

It’s too bad most American presidents in my lifetime have yet to grasp this concept.

However, there is one last issue to address: Universal Basic Income. While Andrew Yang has been credited with popularizing the concept, lots of others have predicted this as well. The first person that comes to mind is Kurt Vonnegut Jr. He used to work for General Electric in Schenectady, NY before becoming an author. He used his experiences working there in his first book, “Player Piano” which is about a fully automated society where only those with doctorate degrees can work.

Yes, we are now heading in a direction which only the highly educated can work. More and more unskilled jobs are being replaced by robots. There are certain restaurants where there is no cashier help. The customer just pushes some buttons and the workers in the kitchen make the food. There might be a time when we won’t have actual people working the kitchen. Someone invented a robot that can make pizza, by the way.

So the Universal Basic Income concept does seem plausible. If there are no jobs available, people can’t live. If only the top 10% can earn any type of living . . . heads are going to roll and it will be “viva la revolución” or even “ПРОЛЕТАРИИ ВСЕХ СТРАН, СОЕДИНЯЙТЕСЬ!” So people getting free money might mitigate this possible disaster.

That’s all I can think about in terms of money. I should read up more on economics and see what else I can learn.

So what else has been going on?

On the fitness front, not bad at all. As I have written in my last post, I am adding kata practice on top of my usual workout. Because I am lacking in foot work, I plan to focus on four main kata until I can move better. Funny enough, this reminds of a story in which a karate master only learned one kata and was considered the toughest fighter in all of Japan and Okinawa. So quality does beat quantity.

I do want to get back into Taiji training, but I’m not a huge fan of slow movements. I think what I will do instead is slowly build up my qigong routine to the one I used to practice in conjunction with Taiji, which is based on one of David Carradine’s books.

I’m still holding off on the job front. Again, I want to finish the Master Key System first. There was a time I was exploring options about working in Taiwan. Then I had a Thai friend trying to get me back to Thailand, which isn’t hard since I am in love with that country. Now, on Facebook, I am seeing lots of warehouse positions being opened. There is a lot of jobs being opened and companies want to fill them all up by yesterday. To me, Thailand is a land of smiles and happiness. On the other hand, though, American dollars can do a lot more for me than the Thai baht.

Next week should be my last week in the Master Key Study. I might take an extra week as usual, but I hope not.

These are the instructions by Haanel:

31. This week, try to realize that this is truly a wonderful world in which we live, that you are a wonderful being that many are awakening to a knowledge of the Truth, and as fast as they awake and come into a knowledge of the “things which have been prepared for them” they, too, realize that “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man,” the splendors which exist for those who find themselves in the Promised Land. They have crossed the river of judgment and have arrived at the point of discrimination between the true and the false, and have found that all they ever willed or dreamed was but a faint concept of the dazzling reality.

I think this will be pretty easy for me to do.