Friday, October 3, 2008

No Ordinary Moments...

For the past few weeks, I have been able to bring myself to be more aware of what is going on around me as well as my own reactions. Before I elaborate on certain events that happened last week, there is a necessary back story that led up to said events. As most of you know, I am a Netflix enthusiast. Few months back, I queued a movie called Peaceful Warrior. No one suggested it to me nor had I read the book it was based on. I just stumbled upon it one day, liked the summary, so I put it on my list. It sat on my list for a while, roughly a month or so. Then early last month, I put it on top of the queue and received it a couple days later. However, I didn't watch it right away. It waited in my DVD player for couple more weeks when I finally decided to watch it one Sunday night. I should have been going to bed instead, but you know me when it comes to sleeping. Anyway, it is a good movie, with a decent cast, and a great message. I won't go into the details of the movie because I think everyone can relate to it in their own way if they want to see it. Main thing I got from it was to be within each moment with greater awareness.

During the movie's 2 week stay at my apartment, my wonderful friend Simona was vacationing (on holiday - hehe...) in Greece. I can’t thank her enough for the awesome postcard she sent me, followed by a wonderful surprise phone call (even though it was 6 am on a Saturday, but well worth it), and to top it off, a she bought me a souvenir in Greece that is on its way. So, she returned to London around the same time I returned the movie. We exchanged emails shortly thereafter in which I had referenced something about the movie I had watched. Nothing in great detail, just some references to being in the moment and recognizing everything one can in each moment.

Anyway, she ended up watching the movie as well a few days later, which was last Tuesday to be more specific. So, I come into work Wednesday morning wanting to purchase the book so I can read the "full" version of the story. (This will be added to my long list of "want to read" books - that is whole another issue). I searched for details on the book, and one of the links took me to the author's official webpage. There, I saw a post of his upcoming events. And he was holding a workshop that same day, Wednesday, September 24th, in LONDON from 7 pm - 9:30 pm. What are the chances, right? I am just searching for how much the books costs and where to buy from on the World Wide Web, and I just happen to stumble onto that page. At this point, I hadn’t corresponded with her in any way for about 10 days. So, I decide to text this information to Simona. With the time difference, I was sending this to her around 4 pm London time and not knowing her work schedule, etc. Couple hours later, I get a text from her saying she had just enough time to run home from work, get more details about the event, and that she is heading down there to see if she can get a ticket. About an hour after that, she tells me she found a ticket from a guy (bloke - hehe...) whose friend hadn't shown up and that the workshop was about to begin. So now, I am running through all the events that have lead up to this. Not only from that day, but also from a few months back that started all this. I couldn't help but see the "perfection" within the timeline of these events. I felt connected. The feeling in itself was much more important than what I was connected to. One of those natural highs that people speak of I guess (not the kind Smokey was explaining to Craig). Needless to say, I was feeling quite appreciative and pleased how everything had turned out. But it was still not over. Three hours later, I get a text asking if I will answer my phone if she called me in a few minutes. Thinking she must want to share something real quick about the class, I replied of course. When I answered, she quickly said, "Hang on, I have someone that wants to say say hi..." During the few seconds it took for her to pass her cell (mobyle - hehe...), I thought to myself, who could she possibly be talking about. The next thing I hear is, "Hi Jig. This is Dan Millman and I am here in London-town and wanted to say hi." I greeted him real quick, and he passed the phone back to Simona as he was in the middle of singing copies of his book after the workshop. I expressed how grateful I felt that she would do such a thing. And it's not like I know anything about this author or been a long time fan or anything. I just found out about him and who he was, etc. earlier that day. Later that evening (night for Simona), we had a conversation about what had happened to us both. She shared as much as she could remember from the workshop as she was in a similar state I was in at that point. One thing she did mention was how she had had that movie at her place for a while, and given our recent references to it, she decided to finally watch it.

Now, I know there are plenty of people out there that will write this off as mere coincidences and move on. And some of those might even USE the phrase, "everything happens for a reason" on a regular basis which is laughable irony in itself. Anyway, I was unsure if I wanted to write about all this, but a couple of things made it quite clear that I should. One of the few people I had shared this story with said that her husband was given this book as a birthday gift (pressie - hehe...) earlier this year. Neither of them had enough time to read it yet, but now she feels she has to read the book after hearing my story (by the way, the author's first appearance in 2009 takes place in her hometown in January). The other thing was an email from Simona over the past weekend. She said she found a postcard in her room of the movie which was advertising the author's workshop coming up in September. She thinks she picked it up ages ago at a Body, Mind and Spirit festival she attended. Just as this was all meant to happen, I figure so is this blog. Who knows if or how it may affect someone out there. But all I can do is my part...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Quotes and Lyrics

No, this is not the name of the sequel to the movie, "Music and Lyrics" with Hugh 'I am researching to be Richard Gere's backup in Pretty Woman' Grant & Drew 'I flippin hate MAC' Barrymore.

Most of you know of my affinity for deeper than usual lyrics and/or quotes. I love when I can hear or read something that gets my mind going on a roller coaster of thoughts about life, love, death, etc. The ones that add the missing link which brings all those thoughts together in almost perfect harmony are the best. It almost brings to light something that always seemed, in my head, as being under a fog, not unlike the Bay-Area. I think Jules Winnfield described it best, "I was just sitting here drinking my coffee, eating my muffin, playin' the incident in my head, when I had what alcoholics refer to as a 'moment of clarity'."

As I have aged, my life has become increasingly like a philosophical conversation, usually with a guest list of one. And with that, I have come to appreciate, on a much higher level, meaningful lyrics and short, life-summarizing quotes. So, I thought I would quote some lyrics from different songs that have great meaning behind them. At least to me, they do, but I can bet there are some songs out there that can affect you in the same manner. I decided not to include the song title or the artist name. Mainly because I hope you feel the meaning of these words without knowing the song it comes from. Especially for the readers that would probably never listen to some of this music.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A dying man in a living room
The cold comfort of the in-between
A little less than a human being
A little less than a happy high
A little less than a suicide

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Still I send all the time
My request for relief
Down the dead power lines
Though I'm beyond belief
In the help I require
Just to exist at all
Took a long time to stand
Took an hour to fall

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thinking about your friends
How you maintain all them in a constant state of suspense
For your own protection over their affection
Nobody broke your heart
You broke your own because you can't finish what you start

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Come with me
Stop making it so hard
You can be
Laughing not crying
Nothing’s changed
Just got to recognize
That it’s a game
Of living and dying

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don't feel bad for me
I want you to know
Deep in the cell of my heart
I will feel so glad to go

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Drink up, baby, stay up all night
The things you could do, you won't but you might
The potential you'll be that you'll never see
The promises you'll only make
Drink up with me now and forget all about
The pressure of days, do what I say
And I'll make you okay and drive them away
The images stuck in your head
People you've been before that you don't want around anymore

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You say you mean well, you don't know what you mean
Fucking oughta stay the hell away from things you know nothing about

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Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
Mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs

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Seems like I never get your kick quite right
I was walking slow to a dirty dive
I'm so sick and tired of trying to change your mind
When it's so easy to disconnect mine

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I'm through trying now, it's a big relief
I'll be staying down
Where no one else gonna give me grief

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well I don't know where I'll go now
And I don't really care who follows me there
But I'll burn every bridge that I cross
And find some beautiful place to get lost

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Isolation pushes past self-hatred, guilt, and shame
To a place where suffering is just a game
But everybody's scared of this place, they're staying away
Your little house on
Memory Lane

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Why am I always on a plane or a fast train
Oh what a world my parents gave me
Always travelin' but not in love
Still I think I'm doin' fine
Wouldn't it be a lovely headline
Life is Beautiful on a New York Times

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Think about the lonely people
And think about the day she found you
Or lie to yourself
And see it all dissolve around you

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You don't deserve to be lonely
But those drugs you got won't make you feel better
Pretty soon you'll find it's the only
Little part of your life you're keeping together

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Because your candle burns too bright
Well, I almost forgot it was twilight
Even if I think that you are right
Well, I'm tired of being down, I got no fight

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She appears composed, so she is, I suppose
Who can really tell?
She shows no emotion at all
Stares into space like a dead china doll
I'm never going to know you now
But I'm going to love you anyhow

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We both go together if one falls down
I talk out loud like you're still around

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You know I've seen a lot of what the world can do
And it's breakin' my heart in two
Because I never wanna see you a sad girl
Don't be a bad girl
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there's a lot of bad and beware

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday, June 6, 2008


The picture above illustrates Plato's Allegory of the Cave from his most famous dialogue, The Republic. Basically, this concept was the underlying theme to the Matrix Trilogy. If you haven't seen the films or didn't realize the connection, I suggest watching them. Especially the second film, my favorite, Matrix: Reloaded. There are four amazing scenes/conversations from that movie that I credit to really opening up my mind to think in a much more philosophical manner. Anyhow, I am not here to discuss the movie, but if you have some interesting takes on the trilogy, please share.

Once I realized the connection between the theory of the cave and the films, it was natural to apply both to my own life (to our lives). In the image, the world (prisoners) is witnessing mere shadows of the truth, and the "Ascent to Sunlight" is our way to the "real truth." I feel Plato's Theory of Forms can also be applied within this illustration. The shadows on the wall can be thought of as "representations" of the "real form." For example, if you thought of a chair, you can come up with many different styles, or representations. But all versions would have certain similar characteristics that came from the true form of a chair thus qualifying each style or representation as a chair. I concede that the idea of "real" truths and forms is quite out there especially since we cannot witness this reality "here." I can just imagine what is being said by the ones that follow the "I'll believe it when I see it" approach. However, during recent years and events, I have realized certain patterns that have increased the possibility, at least in my mind, of our reality being very similar to the one in the picture. Furthermore, I think this world has within it, several realities due to the differences in the forms of the same ideas that human kind lives by.

Imagine asking the following question to individuals in any part of this world. "Can you explain how you feel when you think of joy, loss, happiness, pain, or love?" The range of answers would not vary too much from one another, therefore formulating a somewhat "universal" explanation of such feelings. Now, follow this up with the question, "Can you explain what causes you to experience these feelings?" This time, the answers you get will be quite different for a variety of reasons. Realities in this world are different due to the variations of cultures and lifestyles, and thus resulting in very different answers (means) for similar goals (ends). Now, in the specific reality (culture) that we live in, I think we are focusing too much on the differences of the means instead of focusing on the similarities of the ends that we share. And if you apply the theory of forms to those means, it would mean that no one mean is more right than another. Each mean shares a part of the "real" mean in order to accomplish the end. And if you were to analyze the different means, and learn to accept them to a certain extent, I feel you will get a better grasp of the "real" and bigger truth even though the theory says we cannot fully understand that here. And that very well may be true, but I like to believe that we can get closer and closer to the real truth while we live our lives on this earth if we just try.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


It seems fitting to start a blog exactly 365 days after I packed up my car and drove 1700 miles towards the pacific. The topic of this specific blog is just as fitting because less than 2 months from that day, I drove the same route in the opposite direction. As much as I wanted to start a brand new chapter of my life out west, it was very hard leaving my life behind.

I had planned, in my mind what I defined as an exodus, for almost a year before I left for "California." During that time, I just kept imagining a totally different life, different job, different friends, different scenery(no comparison, since Dallas completely lacks in this category), different experiences and lessons. But during my time out there, the correct opportunities never really presented themselves for me to even start the type of life I had been thinking about literally 24/7 for an entire year leading up to that point, and I was forced to come back for many reasons.

When I was coming back, I had so many different feelings and thoughts in my mind. I couldn't believe I was unable to land a single, real interview the whole time I was there. I experienced just a small sample of the great people and places out there, and found it quite "unfair" as I bid them farewell in my rear-view. I had plenty of feelings of failure upon my return. I felt I was taking such huge steps backwards returning to that same situation. But eventually, things started happening. I landed a job on the very first interview I went on, and 2 months after that, I accepted a different offer that I am very happy with. When the calendar flipped to '08, I got the best birthday present I could imagine. My beautiful second niece Maya was born on January 3rd. And in April, I moved into my own place. So now when I think back at that entire time period, only one thing comes to my mind. Timing is everything in life. I still do have wishful thoughts of being at a place with beautiful scenery and weather, and I miss people out there very much. And that won't change. The only way I can make sense of it all, is realize that it wasn't my time to live a life and enjoy everything the west coast has to offer. At least not yet. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful of the blessings that I have received since my return. Most importantly, being around my two nieces. I am so happy being back at this point in their lives. It would have killed me to miss seeing them "grow up."

So...compared to a year ago, I may know a bit more about what "tomorrow" will be like, but we never know what will happen exactly. However, believing that whatever comes my way is happening at the correct time, I have enough confidence that I will come out on top.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all my friends and family that went through these past couple years with me. I appreciate all the support and love you gave me every step of the way...