Sorry about the sound quality. Someone elses' vid from another show. I wanted decent vid of the stage and light rigs. Seriously, when they played "Busy Child", the floor shook so hard that it made my knees weak. This was one of the sickest, most beautiful shows I've ever seen...

...and I danced off two full pounds! Bonus!

...and I can't possibly write about it clearly right now, but it involved a beautiful spirit.

And that's all I have to say about that. ;) throws me a set of interesting curves.

Y'all can make of that what you will.

I know I will...

How shall I a habit break?
As you did that habit make.
As you gathered, you must lose;
As you yielded, now refuse.
Thread by thread, the strands we twist,
Till they bind us neck and wrist.
Thread by thread, the patient hand,
Must untwine ere free we stand.

-John Boyle O'Reilly

What depression brings, and where it comes from.

The first part I know all too well. The second part is still a bit of a mystery, but becomes clearer the older I get, and the deeper I study Zen.

But let's talk about what manifests.

For many years, I've suffered from depression. I know this. It's not as bad as many, but is probably more formidable than I'd like to think, and surely more than I had ever realized as it happened. Unfortunately, even my level of depression can ruin things. From the physical to the physiological, the mental, spiritual and emotional, I now understand all too well what my "moderate" depression has cost me. Jobs. Tens-of-thousands of dollars. Trust. Respect. At times, it's cost me my dignity. At times, I've even wondered about my sanity. And it most certainly punched a gaping hole in the hull of my marriage.

Physical examples of the depression-fostered decay brought into my life, and the lives of those who loved me, is all-too readily apparent. I would leave so many things undone. Things left lying. Rotting. Rusting. Hundreds of starts, and few finishes. Ideas would pop up, I'd start something, then enthusiasm would just peter out, or worse (and plenty likely) I'd suddenly find that I--once again--could not physically meet the challenge I'd laid out for myself.

So yes, a kernel of that depression of mine is that I still feel emasculated by my disability. To make matters worse, that disability has only grown with two things: the adding of weight, and the passage of time. The weight issue and the disability go hand-in-fat-hand, of course, when you talk of depression. Both are fertile ground for the seeds of apathy. But the disability ramps up so quickly as I age. I always knew it would, but I thought I'd deal with it better. But right when I hit about 33 or so, it just became shockingly apparent. Combine that with a weight that at one point was about 335lbs or there-abouts, and uncontrolled high blood-pressure, and it's a wonder I'm here to type this shameful mess. But everything is so damn hard for me to do. Everything. At least it feels that way.

But the apathy... the sudden "whatever, it can wait" that drags on for weeks, months, a year. What the hell is wrong with me? If I feel any shame at all about my marriage, it's that. I know damn well that she resents me for that, and she has every right to. I know I would.

I've been seeing a therapist on-and-off for the past three or four years now. I like her a lot. I wish--I really wish--I could go regularly, but we need to see if Medicare will cover it now. But in the past, when it came to the costs, I always wanted my then-wife to go more regularly than me. If one of us got the regularity of it, it would be her. She hurt so damn badly inside that I could just feel it, and I wanted to make sure that she had the best chance of dealing with her issues. Hers were bigger than mine. My issues, I thought, were just old itchy scabs. And I thought they were just about my weight. That's initially what I went back for. But now I know why I'm there, or hopefully will be able to return soon, Medicare allowing. But I always kept our promise to each-other, to stick with each-other through the garbage as well as the good times, as encouragement that no matter how long it took us to get our respective shit figured out, that the other would either be there when we got through, or trudging behind. But the clock ran out anyway. I knew that she was going much faster than I, and as my investigation into my own psyche deepened, I all-too-quickly learned that these weren't just scabs I had. These were active wounds. Some infected. Some, unfortunately, were fresh. I hadn't anticipated that. More on that in another blog entry.

I tried a few SSRI's. They were terrible. They actually made the apathy worse. I didn't care, and I didn't care that I didn't care, and I was okay with all of that. That is no kind of solution at all. But some time last year, while sitting zazen, I had a realization, and a quick (and mercifully free) consult -via- email with my therapist makes me think that I'm on to something.

I don't think it's "depression".

I think I might be suffering from attention deficit disorder.

And I think I may have been suffering from it my whole fucking life.

That's what a little bit of Zen will do for you. When you actually finally have your defences drawn down by the process, the truth hits you like a keisaku to the back of the head at times, with the lingering words ringing in your head; "This is the truth, and you know it's the truth. Don't bother to run from your shadow. Deal with it..."

I'm trying...

"Take a load off..."

Were it only that easy.

This is really starting to hurt me inside. I've actually been trying. I really have. But the weight's actually been trying harder than I have, apparently. God, how depressing this is.

I'm trying to get a shrink appointment lined up. I really need to go. I haven't seen her since before the divorce, so I have a few things to discuss. Worried about how to pay for it. Medicare is just a morass of bureaucratic BS. It seems that every time I call an agency to ask "what the hell should I be doing?" they tell me to call another agency.

Regardless of that, I can barely even afford life as it currently is. I have about $10 in the bank account right now. This is my first full month out on my own, and even with the $250 stimulus check I got, I'm now with my back up to the wall. Admittedly, I have purchased tickets to four events this month, so that's a big part of it. But it's not going to get easier until November when I can redo my tax withholding on my Soc. Sec. Disability benefits. Then I should have an additional $200 a month, which will definitely help.

But the finances need to be reined in. I made an appointment with a NPO credit and debt counseling agency for June 1st. I'm behind on two cards, and barely keeping ahead of my "important" one. I can't let anything happen to that, or else it impacts my ex's credit, and I can't allow that. Gonna go in and talk with the counseling agency and see what my options are. Were it not for my ex, I'd just declare bankruptcy, but I can't do that to her. We'll see how things shake out.

And frankly, that's sorta gotta be my take on all of it for right now, or else I'd just feel completely overwhelmed. That feeling may not be unfounded, but righteous or not, I can't afford to be overwhelmed at the moment.

The events I spoke of, though pricey, are important to and for me, I believe. I can't allow myself to hermit up. I like going out. I like the events I've been going to: DJ Cheb, Thievery Corporation, Sisters of Mercy: they were a blast. Taking my girlfriend and dancing together feels awesome. Seeing her enjoy herself and dance freely makes me feel good inside. And hell, there's no better exercise in my book than dancing to a pounding beat.

I enjoy going out, and this month's schedule is sorta packed. Tomorrow night she and I go to the ART.SPIRIT.NOW show to see Alex and Alison Grey both lecture AND paint live. Music should be decent (Heavyweight Dub Champion), but we're going more for the Greys. TKW (girlfriend) has a pirate/SCA event in Salem the following day, so she's planning on driving down there Saturday sometime. Then the following Friday is the big night: The Crystal Method @ The Roseland. Taking DW (step-daughter) for her 6-month sobriety anniversary, and decided to take TKW too. They like hanging out together anyways, so it should be a very interesting "family" night 0.o Then the following evening, the final A.S.N event happens. Really looking forward to that. No Alex Grey, but music from Ganga Giri! I've wanted to see him live ever since I discovered his music. Great digge. Huge beats. Lots of glowy fun! So the next week is a bit hectic, true, but should be great. The last show on the line-up happens June 12th, when I finally, finally get to see Shpongle! This will be at the Wonder Ballroom (never been) so that will be interesting. Seems everything TKW and I have seen in the past year has been at the Roseland. I'm curious if this will be a live, partly live, or DJ show by Simon, but at this point, I don't really care.

The only other music things for the summer on my horizon are deciding a) if I can afford to, and b) which to do: The Oracle Gathering or the Beloved Festival. Oracle is more psy-trancy, but features Bluetech & Pitch Black, and is cheaper. Beloved is more hippie-centric, lush and happy trance, but is twice as expensive. It, however, now is confirmed to have Toby Marks (aka BANCO DE GAIA) and that may very well be the deciding factor. I've seen Banco inside: I'd love to see him at a good outdoor fest. But that will require some creative funding. That smells of "employment". I have no idea how that'll go...

...there is still a fine line between righteous indignation and whining, and the last post, however "righteous" it may have been, still smacks a bit too much of whining. I am not--nor have I ever really been--jiggy with whining. So, we're not going out that way today.

I want everyone to be happy. I want everyone to be at ease. I want everyone to be free from suffering. I want all beings to achieve enlightenment, even before I do.

But yeah, me included...

I hate being angry. It's worse when it's anger at someone I care about.

On one hand, I know that I owe this person a great deal in the grand scheme of things. I also know that many times I've failed this person in the past. I know this to be true, and I'll never argue that.

At the same time, though, I feel slighted, ignored, and hurt. More than I ever have before in my life. And I'm beginning to understand why.

I am a rather forgiving person. It's my nature to understand and forgive. Not to lay down like a doormat, but to try and put myself in that person's shoes and understand how things could have happened a certain way. I have always done things this way because I'd want that were they my shoes in question.

But what I'm starting to see is that I probably have done that far too much in my life.

Especially with women.

I have the right to say something. I have the right to be hurt. I have the right to be offended. I have the right to this pain. I know very well that were it anyone else but me feeling it, they would be floored. I bear pain differently that many, but not so wholly differently that I'm impervious to it.

I'm not.

It hurts.

And it has hurt for a LONG time.

There is no witness, and yet, there is witnessing...

Here's a working copy of my newest mix. It's a work in progress. The strange sounds of counting and the woman talking are from something called "Numbers Stations". They are mysterious broadcasts available all over the world to anyone with a shortwave receiver, and are near certainly coded covert communications sent from governments to embedded covert operatives (read: "illegal spies"). Fascinating stuff...

Track mix (so far):
  1. Thievery Corporation: Sound The Alarm (Radio Retaliation)
  2. The Crystal Method: Drown in the Now (Divided By Night)
  3. Younger Brother: I Am A Freak (The Last Days of Gravity)
  4. Logic Bomb: The Third Revelation (The Mystery of the Thirteen Crystal Skulls)
  5. Astral Projection: Anything Is Possible (Amen)
  6. Alien Project: The First Revelation Part One (The Mystery of the Thirteen Crystal Skulls)
  7. Riccicomoto: Q's Department (Scoretuner EP)
  8. Isaak Hypnotizer: Mysterious Abduction (1 Freedom)
Enjoy. Feedback welcome.

Oh, and brownie points to anyone that can identify the little calliope sounding ditty at the beginning...

(added:) This is a mid-quality-encoded file for streaming purposes. If you like what you hear, and want a final high-quality mix, send me a message, and I'll send you a copy of either a 192b MP3, or an ACC enhanced podcast for your IPod that has track markers and album art.

On the way out of the zendo tonight, I was chatting with a Dharma compatriot, and this little exchange helps me dovetail back into Brad, me, chinchillas, etc.

We were discussing people's preconceptions of what happens when you sit for long periods--as in, sesshin long. Now, having never sat formal sesshin with my current sangha, I didn't speak from there. However, having sat extensively in my 20's, I spoke from there with some confidence. We got around to the differences between conception and preconception. Should you "feel different" when you are really down in it? Should you feel "everything fall away", "a great opening", a glorious opening of this or that chakra, and blah, and blah, and...

sa+0ri pr0n, indeed.

How many people are sitting there waiting for "something to happen"? How many people are bringing in all the stuff they read in Tricycle, Shambala Sun, Crooked Cucumber, or something by Ginsberg or Watts? How many are there to "get enlightened"?

Warner, in the aforementioned SG article, covers this really well. And it was this very point that my world-wide web o' Dharma buddies was pinging me on. What did I think about what he said? Essentially, what was my opinion on his opinion? And in addition to that, people wanted to know what's happened with me. What has made me take up this ridiculous Sisyphean task? What was my moment of clarity, my peek into the Universe, the whisper in my ear of the ineffable that I suddenly made out and understood?

The answer to the first question is this:

I give a toss, frankly. Warner says what he says. Being up front, I'll say that the vast majority of it resonated with me. I'll add that as far as Brad's writing goes, it normally does. If it didn't, though, I think I'd still be reading him. Why? Remember a blog or so ago I was talking about the importance of different Dharma voices? I really believe that. I believe that all Dharma voices should be heard. I believe that because a) I'm a hand-wringing Lefty-Liberal who values freedom of speech about as highly as I do my freedom to do just about any other damn thing I can think of, but moreover, I believe b) ALL VOICES ARE DHARMA VOICES. Without exception. End of line.

And, finally, as to my experience, my sa+0ri pr0n story?

I don't have one. All I can claim is a pile of ashes, a burn on my arm, a desperation to connect, and a will to try. The only thing that comes close in words as an example is this:

About a year after I took up Zen "in earnest" after taking a year off of it to figure a few things out, my teacher Hogen sort-of cornered me on something. We were working on getting my intellect out of the way (and still are, what a mess!) "I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere" I moaned. "Then why do you still sit?" he asked. He gave me a look that all of his students refer to as "that Hogen look". I now know that it's a look of true inquisitiveness. I couldn't get away from it. I was silent for a long time, so long that the concern of my taking up other people's sanzen time crept into my mind, but I successfully pushed it out, more than anything because I suddenly understood that I wanted an answer to that as well.

"I sit because after analyzing the entirety of my practice experience up until now, the one constant, the only constant that I can see in the big picture view is that no matter what state or condition I'm in--mental, emotional, physical or spiritual--before I sit, when I get up, I feel better. Everything has improved. Everything. Most likely not a ton, but consistently, I feel better having sat zazen than were I not to have, and that alone is reason enough to come back."

I now know that, in point of fact, very little has quantitatively improved. My blood pressure gets better. That's the majority of it. No problem gets resolved. No great thunderclap of enlightenment happens. No swirly colors erupt from my third eye or any other orifice, for that matter (thank gawd). Very little "improves", except one very tiny thing:


That alone is reason enough to come back...

S'all I gotta say. Matisyahu makes me wanna shukl my toches. That will be happening on the 30th, when I take my girl an my kid to see this craziness live.


So, where was I? Right. Tying the ramble below to Brad Warner n' stuff.

As I said, I believe that numerous dharma voices are not only important, but necessary to the survival and growth of Zen and Buddhism here in the West. Now many would say "You know, I think they're doing fine, thanks. Both have been growing rather steadily the past half a century with little to no help..."


There's been plenty of help. Plenty. A sangha friend of mine sent a message to our sangha listserve (interestingly enough about Brad Warner) that hit the head of the nail; "...the greatest spiritual teachers of all time were by and large 'counter-cultural' for their time and place. It's just that the counter culture often ends up becoming the 'norm'!" Couldn't agree more. Now, to be clear, I'm not saying that Warner's one of the "greatest spiritual teachers of all time" (sorry, Brad). But I believe my friend was right when she said that the greats (whomever they are--J.C, Siddhartha, Zoroaster, Muhammad, Gandhi, MLK, PeeWee Herman, pick one) were all outside the mainstream. They were shit-stirrers, frankly. They incited revolution wherever they went. Not necessarily revolt in the sense of physical violence, but true revolution. It's very easy to get people riled up emotionally and have it explode into uncontrollable boil-over, but true revolution is a change in perception of the here-and-now, a change in the way your mind, body and spirit connect and experience the very moment of now. "Hearts and minds", as the Pentagon and Joint Chiefs like to say.

That ain't so simple.

Anytime something is done for so long that its genesis isn't remembered by living folks, the process is in danger of becoming mystified, mythologized and fictionalized. Be it the birth of Jesus the Nazarene or the development of pinochle, this is dangerous. It often leads to deification of movement leaders while at the same time, a stagnation of the movement itself as focus shifts from the ideas of that movement towards the worship of the leader[s]. There is a less-than-zero chance that this could happen to Zen in the West. It most certainly HAS happened to Buddhism in general.

So, where does this all tie into Brad, me and the cost of tofu in Portland?

For me, the sign of a good teacher (roshi, sensei, guru, kindergarten mistress, etc) is the ability to make you look past your preconception or astigmatism and see something in a new way. That's what Zen is all about; seeing the truth of something and not merely your egos' desire. A good sensei does that like a stick to the back of the head and at times jolts you out of one mode of perception and into another. Often-times, that shift in perception is all that it takes to make a difference. The teacher often pushes you out of your comfort-zone, making you feel like you're standing intellectually naked out on the corner of Main St. This is where the real work happens. This is where you actually make progress. Looking at things in the same old comfortable way never generates growth. All that does is help you feel more comfortable in your jammy-pants and beat-to-hell bathrobe, Dude, and there you stay. But a good teacher will rip it all off of you and say "Deal with it." A good teacher will say "Yeah, I know that the conventional wisdom says this. I know that they've been saying that for two-thousand-plus years. Whatever. Let's look at it this way for a while. Why? Because there are all sorts of people on this globe, and if we're gonna talk of the universality of our prime tenant and all that, we'd damn-well better be willing to look at it any way that the dice tell us to, or else we're just as full of shit as anybody else."

I completely agree that the great teachers of nearly every age all went about things that way. It's the only way to grow. It's the only way to STAY growing. If you don't pick the grapes off, the vine will eventually die. That's why Buddhism has continued its steady growth in the West. Because once or twice in a generation, somebody comes along and flips everybody on their shells.

The wrap-up, when this very special episode of SotW continues, right after this brief message...

So I wake this morning to find not one, or two or even three, but five emails from friends around the world asking me if I'd read Brad Warner's latest SG column, "sa+0ri pr0n". Well, up until this morning I hadn't, no. It's not like I stalk the guy. That's the trouble with affiliations. Everybody (SG peeps mostly) seems to think I am fully up-to-date with his every word. Honestly, even in this day and age with direct 'tube access, I don't follow many people all that closely (unless you're on the Huffington Post). We (Brad and I) corespond via email occasionally, and have been trying to plan a few things together with less-than-grand success. That's my relationship with Brad-san.

But I do read his writing. And I generally respect it, and him. Do I agree with it all? Nope. Do I have certain major issues with some of his positions? Yup. Can he be a pin-head? You bet. Do I think he's an important voice in Western Buddhism and Zen?


That last one is important. I am a believer in the idea that Zen cannot ever "get old". That's like saying "You think 1 plus 1 plus 1 is three? That's sooooo 'old math' of you..." However, having said that, I DO believe that the language used to bring "three" to the world needs to be kept idiomatically, intellectually and culturally contemporary. Anyone who's studied philosophy for a little while knows first-hand how hard it is to gain a true understanding and grasp of a philosophical concept developed in another language. German is notoriously hard to deal with in this regard, and inevitably suffers a dumbing down when being "translated" (read: butchered) into English. Japanese and Chinese are right up there. The old linguist joke is very true for Sino-Japanese languages (as they share phonemes and and characters [kango]); "Etymology is only an 'n' away from 'bugs'!1"

But I (wildly) digress. What does this all have to do with Brad's latest? Well, two things, mainly. First, I believe that people like Brad are very important to zen, and not only to "zen" but to "Zen". There's been talk and argument for decades about "American" Zen--good, bad and indifferent. Are we destroying Zen by "Westernizing" it? Is Zen anachronistic when practiced in LA or NOLA? Is all that sitting really necessary? Is it a waste for people in the here-and-now to be stitching up roksus and wagesas? And--moreover--are they doing so just to give themselves some warm and fuzzy feeling of being so very "zen"? Voices like Brad-san are important to the establishment of real, true and relevant Zen here in the West. When Suzuki-roshi came to America in the middle of the past century, he knew the importance of doing things in a way that would connect Zen to America (so much so that he outright alienated near the entirety of the then-current Japanese-American sangha of the SFZC while doing so). But Suzuki-roshi understood that he was in America, and it would no more do to try and make local residents understand Japanese than he suddenly understand everything American. All understanding comes with time and practice, intellectually, religiously and culturally, and they can inform each-other, but they could never substitute for each-other, at least not at first. And while Suzuki-roshi knew that the understanding and experience he was trying to convey was universal, the manner in which that conveyance happened was dependent upon him. So he chose to do so in as contemporary a way as possible. For his students that grasped Buddhism effectively, and wanted to experience more of the specific nuances of Japanese Zen, he would readily say, essentially; "Then off to Japan you go". There is no Zen babble-fish, Arthur-san.2 In my opinion, Brad serves close to the same purpose, albeit more as a generational and inter-cultural translator.

And secondly, I believe that in order for Buddhism and Zen to really, truly sink roots deep into this ground--in America--it must be as accessible to as many people as possible right here, right now (get on the decks and cue Fatboy on the "1"3). We have a generation right now that is absolutely lost. We have kids who are more apathetic than I believe at any time in America's history. At the same time, they are more self-actualized and self-realizing than ever before. They want something. They don't have a handle on it, but they're longing for connection. People 40 and younger- Generations X, Y & Z--are hot for something to help them as the arthritis and erectile dysfunction sets in. Religion has failed them and split the nation in two. They want answers.

But a not-insignificant portion of those people are not getting it from Tricycle and Shambala Sun. They see contemporary Dharma-rags as nothing more than slick, corporately shaped hippie hold-overs. We are trying to talk to the 'zine generation from the glossy gate-fold of corporate America, and they're not buying it. People like Brad Warner and Noah Levine understand that you must talk in the language that the audience immediately responds to before you start hitting them with sanskrit and wago. Essentially, you must be willing to say shit, piss and fuck when you mean shit, piss and fuck.

I'll connect this all back to me and Brad-san in the next chapter. I have lawn to go fucking mow in the fucking rain...

  1. although that's not strictly true. Bugs require a [-y +o] as well...
  2. Cheers, Douglass. A "poof of logic", indeed...
  3. Again, another contemporary(ish) reference. See how that works, pops?

So, let's talk about feet (or pick a body-part, I suppose) of clay.

Very briefly: every single person who's ever taught, every person that's ever written down a thought, wrote an exposition, poem, article or ditty, every person who's ever stood in front of someone or some few thousands and spoke the most inspiring and stirring word, trod down street (high or low) or ambled through a glade, climbed Everest or rode a bike through Death Valley, every astronaut, president, Pope or Lama. Everyone. Every last blessed one of them.


Flawed to the core.

Weak. Petulant. Insolent. Gullible. Not really worth their own afterbirth, frankly.

Yes. Siddhartha Gautama included.

Don't really have any better handle on things than you do.

'Fraid so.

That, however, is what makes this whole thing--this whole existence--worth it. We are just nothing more than, well... "nothing more than" has two extra words than it needs. "We" are these irritating egos getting in the way of direct experience. And so often our experience latches itself on another mere ego-projection that we somehow allow ourselves to believe has better, or more, answers to questions that we want answers to so desperately. We want so badly to believe that someone else has a better handle on all this than we do. So we look to writers, speakers, "experts", gurus, et al, as a method of allowing us to feel that "the answers will always be out there". We even went so far as to project that ego into the sky, or out in space on some other plane, named it "god" and said "There! Now we feel better!"

But back down to earth. While one could argue that the whole "god invention" is--in fact--the greatest and most dangerous example of misplaced trust, for me, right behind it has to be the horrible misconception that people of cultural or religious note, particularly religious authors, must have some kind of samsaric immunity, and are somehow much closer to "it" than we are. They wrote a book on it! you think to yourself.

Folks, they ain't all that. His Holiness, The Dalai Lama included. Yes, he's closer to enlightenment than you or I, no question. But it's a matter of scale.

Let's say that "0" is the start-point for measuring. "Enlightenment/Nirvana" is 10 million.

He's at 9,999,998, and you're buts-to-nuts with His Holiness.

That's just how close we ALL are to being free.

What a miracle that is...

What if monogamy is simply an artificial construct agreed upon by two people--or a culture or society--whose sole purpose is to satisfy the Ego's desire to "feel special"?

Aren't I special no matter whom I promise to sleep with? Is my special nature defined by who wants to spend time in my life? Am I no longer "special" now that I'm not married?

Any sailor can tell you that a perfectly sound hull still leaks. Unfortunately, there's no bilge pump for broken hearts. My teacher said the closest thing to pitch and pail is chanting.

Om ka ka kabe san ma e sowa ka...

Depression, were I not to have suffered from it my entire life, would surely fascinate me to no end as a course of study. But ask any cook: tasting the same thing over and over and over tends to dull the palate. Ask a bar-band if they still like playing "Stairway to Freebird". And so on.

As a student of Zen, I have the ability to approach things differently now than I did--say--twenty years ago when I didn't have a name for my depression, and it fit me better (all "gothy" 'n stuff back then, yaknow). This difference in approach has, more than anything, lead me to understand something about myself:

I ain't all that.

Now, that in-and-of itself sounds a bit depressing. Everyone likes to think they're at least a little special. But it's my opinion that we tend to take that a bit too far here in the west. We tell our children just how special they are. We tell young people that success is best achieved by striving to set themselves apart; to be an individual, to be unique. We see individuality as the pinacle of expression.

No one ever says "Learn to see just how like everybody else you are!" "Lots and lots of people have experiences just like you." "I've felt like this over someone before." None of those sentences get used with much success when it comes to making someone feel better about "themselves". Yet, what help is it to stoke a person's ego when their ego is the problem?

Lately, I've been feeling slighted. Un-valued. Hurt in ways that I haven't felt in a long time. One of the things that I used to use to help my depression was the value I had in a relationship. That relationship is now gone, and because of that, I'm trying to get my solo sea-legs again. It was easier when I was younger. I had more energy--physical and emotional--and more desire to keep going. It's very tricky, this depression thing. On one hand, I know perfectly well that I'm not all that damn special in the grand scheeme of things. On the other, I know firmly and deeply that the entire Universe revolves around me. Somewhere in between lies the middle, but it's so hard to know where to look. It's like asking the ocean to tell you where it begins and ends. I mean, what part of the ocean isn't the ocean? You either are the ocean, or you're not. You're either Enlightened or your not. You're either depressed or your not.

I'm either right about all this, or I'm not.

What a silly, deluded notion.

Off to sanzen. Maybe I'll ask about it there...

Some of you will no doubt have noticed that I'm going by a different name in a number of places on-line and in social networking sites. There are a couple of reasons for this, but 89% of it is that I'm dealing with a cyber-stalking. It is my "real" name, though. I've used my middle name as my last quite often in life, but really not since 1994. Anyways, just wanted to give you guys a head's up.

Off to enjoy the beautiful day before it all goes to rainy "meh" this weekend.