As you’ve probably noticed, there is a severe lack of updates here on Precious Metal. 5 years into this blog, I’ve decided, it’s time to officially sign off and move on.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing this blog, and most importantly interacting not only with the readers, but the rest of the Buddhist blogosphere. I’ve hit a point in my life, lately, and have decided the best thing to do, for me, is to close up shop. I am leaving the blog, and all the previous posts, up as an archive.
The past five years have been pivotal to my being the person I have become. Without this blog, and your help, I could not have gotten here. So, thank you for all the support and kind words throughout the years. Many of you know my e-mail address or are on my Facebook. I am happy to stay in contact, and am even happier to have known you in the past, present and future.
Thanks to everyone who has ever commented, guest posted, sent items for review, etc. I appreciate everything!
Onward and upward!!
We all know change is inevitable, by the time this post is finished, even by the time this sentence is finished, change will have happened. There are those inescapable, concrete moments of change, and then there are the one’s we choose to make.
Over the past few months, I’ve come to terms with the unavoidable changes, as a matter of fact I have learned to embrace them. But, one major factor in my life, now, is striving for bigger shifts in attitude specifically.
I’ve always been the type of person the just allowed things to happen organically, to not buck against it and just be content with the inevitability of it all. I would happily just sit on my little raft, floating down the river of complacency expecting things to change, as they always do and just coping with what happened. I’ve learned, recently, that same sense of complacency was not getting me anywhere but the same place I started. Living this cyclical existence has not been enough for me. As I raise my fist in the air, revolting against the very idea that we should just “be” and let this life unfold, I also scream from the bowels of my gut that I refuse to sit on that raft any longer, as a matter of fact I am pushing that raft ashore and setting the damned thing ablaze!!
Life’s too short for that crap. There are so many moments that can be embraced, to make those changes, but we tend to believe those things are too hard or that we can’t accomplish the task so we don’t even bother to put in the effort. I emplore you to put that brain chatter to rest, to flip that raft over, and try. You’d be amazed at the things you can do and accomplish with even the least bit of effort. The only failure is not trying.
I’ve lived my life in the comfort of complacency for to long. If I have an idea, from here on out, I am doing it. If I want to do this, I am doing it. I am setting goals that I was scared of in the past. I refuse to sit idly by and let this life pass without making it meaningful. I resist the implication that we should just be happy with the way things are. To be honest, I am sick and tired of this idea that we should just let go, to somehow coexist in a manner that we have no control of. Pardon the language, but fuck that! Yes, there are things beyond our control, but there are many moments I can, and will, control.
I am the change I want.
I am the man in the mirror.
I will not sit by and let life pass me by!!!
I’ve always had this perspective that folks that go to a gym were “meatheads”. You know, the “Lift things up and put them down” type? Or, that they were all gerbils running round and round on the treadmill, climbing the stairs that never actually go anywhere or were shuffling away on an elliptical without a destination in mind. While I can’t say 100% I was wrong, but I will admit, for the most part, I am dead wrong.
I’ve regularly been going to a gym. It was daunting at first, being all of 140lbs at 5′ 5″. A good cross section of the members dwarfed me in size, but I was/am there for one goal. I am looking to not only get my body in shape, so I feel better physically, but mentally as well. I would love to add a few pounds, maybe, just maybe not worry about what my skinny ass looks like when I go to the beach with my kids in the summer.
Guess what, those “meatheads” and “gerbils” are there to do the same thing! Maybe some of those “meatheads” put off that they have the mental aptitude of a raisin, but that doesn’t mean anything more than they are focused on one thing, building muscle and getting fit. Isn’t that the same thing I’m doing?
Considering some of the statistics on obesity in this country, I think a good section of the people should be awarded for getting their rear ends off the couch. I mean, what are we really projecting out there to the world? How do you want people to view you? Honestly, I don’t care what others think, I’m hard enough on myself, but that’s beside the point I’m trying to make here. The point is, my perspective is changing dramatically, as each day passes. I’ve been rather judgmental my whole life, and am trying to get past that.
I used to look at fit people as being fanatics, a different breed. The fact of the matter is, they are, they are a breed that actually give two shits about their health and are doing something about it. But, they are not only affecting and or inspiring themselves to push on, they are inspiring people like myself. The trickle down is that our children, I hope, see the way we are treating ourselves and might actually mimic that. I know my kids would rather stay home and play the Wii all day, but they need to remain active. What better way than to show them that path?
This past weekend I went to an expo and volunteered some time for the Spartan Race, who had set up a booth. Everyone was getting people into it, talking it up, etc. My boys were passing out info, talking up the fact they were signed up for the Jr Spartan Race, they also hit the deck and were doing burpees. You can easily google that! At the booth we threw out a challenge to those walking by to do as many burpees in 2 minutes and they would win a free race. Anyway… after the race the Street Team Director for the Spartan Race made my boys honorary members of the Street Team, and said they had inspired him to set up an exclusive Street Team just for Jr Spartan Race participants. This made my boys glow, smiles from ear to ear!! It’s the little things.
Maybe someday someone might call me a “gerbil” or “part of the machine”, I doubt they will call me a “meathead” at my size. But, I am ok with that. Because I feel good about myself, my body is no longer crying out for exercise, quite the opposite. It embraces the suck it goes through. It might complain the next day, but it, and I, love every minute of it. See you later, off to the gym now….
A while back I reviewed a great documentary about the Nuns of Tsonkyi Nangchen called “Blessings”. The same production group has been diligently working on another project called “When The Iron Bird Flies”.
WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES: Tibetan Buddhism Arrives in the West is the first feature length documentary to take a comprehensive look at the impact Tibetan Buddhism is having on Western culture. The film creates a vivid portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism as it is manifesting in the West–from the personal experiences and insights of teachers and practitioners to the wide-ranging dialogues taking place between Buddhist teachings and the worlds of science, psychology, and the arts. – excerpt taken from Kickstarter fundraising site
In order to fully fund the project, they are hoping to raise about $30,000. They are in the final stages of editing and the money will be used to cover those expenses. They are almost a third of the way to their goal.
Can you help?
If you can contribute please visit their Kickstarter page at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2107396078/when-the-iron-bird-flies You can also see a teaser of the film at the page. Any donation level is accepted and appreciated!
I posted a quote to my Facebook page today. Some people got the underlying idea that I was trying to convey, while others read into it a bit much and I got some nasty messages about it. So what did I post? Here it is…
“Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.” ~ Tyler Durden
I wasn’t trying to burst anyone’s bubble, or make them feel like their shiny happy life wasn’t filled with rainbows and butterflies. They can keep on believing that all they want, all I say is good luck with that!!
What I was trying to point out was the fact we all open our eyes in the morning, we all close them at night. When we do close them, we all hope we will open them in the morning. Because, to be perfectly honest, you never know when they will stay shut. The happy shiny world you live in can come to an end at any point, and it doesn’t matter what you have that’s going to make it any better.
Yeah, your Ming vase might look nice, maybe it draws a bit of admiration from your friends. Regardless of what the vase is, and what it does for your “status”, guess what? When the worms start feeding they could care less what you had, you and I will taste the same. I’m sure most Ming vase owners are not reading this post, so it is, in a sense, falling on deaf ears.
I guess what I am trying to convey here, in not so many words, is the fact we all suffer the same. I’ve been full of piss and vinegar lately because of my poor life. What makes me think I suffer any less than the rest of the world. For crying out loud, the stuff I got going on pales in comparison to the shit a large percent of the worlds populace is dealing with.
I’m not telling you to live your life in a certain way, I’m telling you how I refuse to live mine. I refuse to mope around crying “poor me” all the damn time. I refuse to play the role of victim and moan about my so called rough life. To tell you the truth, it’s fucking wearing me out man!
This post is inspired by a song I’ve been stuck on lately, for some reason I can’t get this song out of my head. The song, “Get Up”, is a collaboration between the nu-metal band Korn and the dubstep act Skrillex. I know, it’s not death metal, but there’s a message in it that has got me thinking a bit lately. I’ve been kind of a debbie downer because of certain things going on in my life. At first, I really related to the following lyrics…
Times are looking grim these days
Holding on to everything
It’s hard to draw the line
And I, I’m hiding in this empty space
Tortured by my memories
Of what I left behind
I would just mope around, poor me… Why is this happening to me? Boo hoo!
But, after listening to the song, especially the chorus— I realized the message was not about feeling bad for yourself. Those lyrics goes something like…
Shut the f#$k up, get up!
Jonathan Davis, lead singer of Korn, was not just saying it, he was yelling it at the top of his lungs. I could swear he was yelling these words right in my direction.
It felt like he was just grabbing me by the collar and smacking me in the face. Like he was saying “get up… stop feeling sorry for yourself.. get over yourself and do something…”
Looking into the mirror, I don’t see a sorry person.
I look in the mirror and see someone who is strong, resolved and brushing himself off.
There is no time like the here and now to get up, no time like the present to make the changes that need to be made. I can’t sit around hoping and mumbling mantras that somehow the cosmic forces of the universe are going to make it ok. Because, no-one or no thing can make the change, it’s up to me.
So, no more moping, it’s nothing but forward motion from here on out.
Ed. Note: This is a great guest post by my new friend, Allie Brooks. Allie went to the University of Mississippi and earned her degree in biomedical anthropology. She is now enforcing her hard work to field studies regarding the effects of biomedicalization of traditional healing practices in Bolivia. Being an inexperienced yoga dude, I appreciate and thank her for this piece. Hopefully you are inspired by the message.
As The New Year Approaches:
Try something new to have fun and get fit
Every December and January, the same talks get discussed; New Year’s Resolutions. You promise yourself to go to the gym, lose weight, don’t eat chocolate, it’s the same ole same ole. Many of times the reasons why these promises do not get fulfilled is because you get bored half way through and even the sight of a gym makes you turn the other way. That is why you need to adopt a program that is fun, relaxing, and intense. This is why yoga is the perfect solution to any resolution. I know I know, you are thinking, “but I can’t even do the splits” that is why yoga is perfect. There are so many forms of yoga that there is one out there for you. Trust me.