Thursday, May 6, 2010

"a job can bring happiness"...misleading

Why the no posts? I've actually been thinking about it a lot. Honestly it seemed too big headed to continue. I don't want to have a big ego and if I do have I sure don't want to feed it. Why am I back then, eh? I figure that this is part of my learning and if anything else good comes from it-I wasn't my doing anyway :)

I posted this to a friend on facebook and thought I would enhance it and bring it over. He was asking about careers and finding fulfillment.

I posted:
its all about balance. Job, family, lifestyle, hobbies (add in the spouse's and kid's lifestyle and hobbies)
We can't be happy with poor balance. Too much on one and life gets bad fast. Since the job is the least flexible, I recommend finding the one that will bring most fulfillment with the least drain on the family, lifestyles and hobbies. (hobbies are important to keep us sane and they can flex when callings or emergencies come)

me... See More
Job: teacher for now (I only plan for 3-5 years down the road and keep reevaluating) stable, I dig music and it puts me in with students when they are most impressionable and hearts/minds are open. Jr high is the front lines of character building-makes the pain worthwhile
Spouse: stay at home.
Lifestyle: mom at home, therefore tight $ but its vital for Marianne. Location's not important to us, so Vegas for job security, opportunity and better pay
Hobbies: Tai chi- the meditation helps my personal balance and betters myself to the family's benefits.
Anything else is gravy. (jobs are what you do until something important comes along. a great job puts you in the path of the important. However, how do define important? How do you define success?)

Remember jobs and degrees don't define you. You define you. Define what makes you most happy (thats hard hard and don't try to impress anybody including yourself :) and you live with everything else :)

don't stress with making the balance perfect right away, by its nature is will need reconsidered periodically.
In 4 weeks, I'll reconsider myself. I have to finish the school year and let my mind settle. It reminds in of after you do Wild horse parts it mane and you sink, roll back and collect. I'm excited I'll graduate in a week, but I'm really looking that collecting and seeing what will come.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

life's imperfections

I'm been so frustrated. My thesis has been delayed for a semester for what I believe is mostly ticky tack stuff. (But hey, I'll fix it---ugh.) Nothing like being told your hard work is ugly for the old ego though.
So tonight I was thinking about life and its frustrations and opened the Book of Mormon at random and read a verse. (I've done this quiet often and it always has been right on)
Mormon 8:12 (with life replacing the noun)

12. And whoso receiveth this life, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of Greater Lifes than this.

I can do that, eh? :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Life comes in Chapters

I finished reading "The Chronicles of Tao" today. Great book: interesting to just read and even better insights available. (Do I exist? Why/why not?)(releasing control and the importance of self-discipline)(the dangers of over-mercy-ing someone)(fighting for your dreams and wants)
I was also impressed with the variety of his life. Rich kid, monk, operatic performer, boxer, gorilla warfare commander, teacher, politician--each easily could have been its own book or movie.
Marianne figured this out long ago. That life comes in chapters-extremly different in their purpose and their devotions. She as a student studied her percussion religiously so much that she won awards and awards. She cultivated a great talent. Then she became a mom. The chapter ended and a new one began. It can cause an identity crisis because not only are you switching what you daily perform but you also have to switch what it most important or vital. Suddenly in your God-given mission you are transferred from "become a professional _____" to "nurture this little child."
For me the upcoming future is similar, yet even more vague. "study and learn to be at a professional level" to "?????". A great jr high teacher? High school? College? Try to go Pro? I don't know. I feel I could really dig in to whatever the call would be, but I feel like Saihung in Philidelpha: I know I supposed to be here, so I'm here. Why I am here?
The meaning will come. It started to come to him two years later (maybe not until 20 years later). (if you knew the purpose of your life, would it ruin it?)
Life comes in Chapters. Not book chapters that have to relate. Wildly different and confounding chapters---otherwise how would there be any adventures?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thesis and 1 Nephi 1

I present my thesis this week-Wednesday. I hope it goes smoothly. You never quite know with UNLV. But I think its pretty good so I'm not too concerned.
Its a transcription on Dvorak's Czech lied call Biblical Songs. He wrote it when he was teaching in New York City.
Marianne's mom and Daune brought a pick up of furniture. I even got a desk! My very own space! And to celebrate I even read my scriptures at my desk this morning. 1 Nephi chapter 1.
I liked how he said it was by his own hand. It showed that it was important enough not to delegate and that he had to personally work diligently on it. One of my favorite zen sayings it:
Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water
After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water

Not only does it show the value of work. But I think that work is not only a gateway to enlightenment/inspiration but also a key to hold open the doors as long as possible. (and that is from a color code strictly yellow! and proud of it!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

yin, yang and control

Nowadays, the yin and yang are used in all kinds of scenarios. People in general understand the two opposites idea: night-day, push-pull, yield-strike, man-woman, fire-water, heaven-earth, life-death. The yin and the yang are the tao, the wheel of life.

Side note: I did not put good-bad or evil-righteous. In the tao, the circling or cycling is what makes it good. As in: every time has a season-you know the scripture just think it real quick...

ok thanks. Less typing the stuff we know right?

Being a teacher for me is all about helping young people through a tough, pivotal and influential part of their lives. Changing lives through music (for you Brother Nelsen fans) is my mantra and junior high is the front lines of when lives change. This philosophy keeps me dodging and weaving through the weeks.

Then last week, I lost a student. Not to schedule changes, failing core classes, just not digging orchestra or moving-seen plenty of all of those. He committed suicide. He was a second year cello student. I actually kind of yelled at him that day to fix his posture, but honestly I got in his face every other week about his posture. His mom and me actually emailed each other that day.

I kind of feel like I failed the changing lives through music. I know I couldn't of done much. Everyone agrees it came out of nowhere. I honestly don't blame myself. But its still a shame. I am the rocks and metal that shape the water and here I am drowning in powerlessness.

I take control. I act and will not be a victim that is acted upon. But if there is a yang, there must be a yin. If I can take control, I must be able to relinquish. I must accept being acted upon.

With the death of the student, I can't do much about it (pray, help the impacted students...that's about it). Its done. I accept its done. It will wash over me until it decides that its done also.

However, both the yin and the yang are good and correct at the appropriate times. One of my sacred memories of my dad was when he would begin to get angry and then think and decide not to get mad. His changes working in a negative situation became a real positive to me.

If I can deal with this situation this with grace, it will be using the negative situation's energy against itself.

After I yield (hopefully not too long, eh?), the wheel of life will continue to turn. Life and light will be tightly treasured---and rightfully so.

Zions 2009

Marianne loves camping. This summer we finally went to Zions. Note: don't go on memorial weekend. Baby Neva really likes camping as well and doesn't mind sleeping in her car seat in the tent.
Marcellus is doing great at kindergarden and loves his teacher. He only seems to get in trouble when he doesn't feel like he got enough time tok do his drawings. (Marcellus takes around 15-30 minutes on most pictures.) He'll come home and proclaim in frustration:
"They did it AGAIN! School gave me paper with lines on it!" This took a while to figure out as we thought it meant the lined paper for writing letters. Nope paper with lines is when you color in the picture of the clown instead of drawing the clown.
Ah isn't family great!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Zen and the influence of the Holy Ghost

I enjoys studying about Zen. Below is an excerpt from "Zen in the Art of Archery" by Eugen Herrigel. Its about a German who move to Japan to understand the concepts behind Zen. Zen is not an action but a method. So it did not matter what he studied (painting, music, cooking, martial arts, chopping wood, whatever) but the mind set during and through the action was the important thing. I think it relates to what we call the workings of the Holy Ghost. In the church, we talk about what the Holy Ghost and its power to open our eyes in sacred and deeply meaningful ways. We believe that the Holy Ghost can be with us always unless we offend it, therefore it should be with us when we paint, cook, clean (ugh), chop wood, etc. How do accomplish that though? My attitude and mind set are often very different when I am reading the scriptures, fasting or at the temple compared to when I teach jr high, work on the yard and fill out lame paperwork. I think I know a lot more about getting the spirit that I know about keeping it actively with me (so then I go and get it again! Increasing my understanding on the getting side and slacking on my keeping side-not very tao of me, eh?) I think the attitude of Zen has helped and the Tai Chi philosophy of yielding is helping to understand how to hold on to the Holy Ghost more securely. These relate to the "Be still and know that I am God." Wait and act with the spirit-don't rush it let your actions flow like a water wheel and grow like an oak.

So to the book, I'll plug in more gospel-like word that could fill in for the Zen words. He starts by talking about why Zen (the Spirit) is so hard to teach or communicate fully.
No reasonable person would expect the Zen (Holy Ghost, spiritually) adept to do more than hint at the experiences which have liberated and changed him, or to attempt to describe the unimahinable and ineffable "Truth" by which he now lives...Unless we enter into mystic (spiritual) experiences by direct paricipation, we remain outside, turn and twist as we may....Zen (the workings of the Spirit) can nonly be understood by one who is himself a mystic (spiritualist) and is therefore not tempted to gain by underhand methods what the...experience withholds from him.
Yet the man who is transformed by Zen (the Spirit), and who has passed through the "fire of truth" (baptism of fire), leads far too convincing a life for it to be overlooked. So it is not asking to much if, driven by a feeling of spiritual affinity, and desirous of finding a way to the...power which can work such miracles-for the merely curious have no right to demand anything-we expect the Zen (Spiritually) adept at least to describe the way that leads to the goal....How often is he tormented on the way by the desolate feeling that he is attempting the impossible! And yet this impossible will one day have become possible and even self-evident. Is there not room for the hope, then that a careful description of this long and difficult road will allow us at least one thing: to ask whether we wish to travel it?
[When talking about his Master]...No less decisive is the fact that his experiences, his conquests and spiritual transformations, so long as they still remain "his," must be conquered and transformed again and again until everything "his" is annihilated. Only i n this way can he attain a basis for experiences which , as the " all embracing Truth," rouse him to a life that is no longer his everyday personal life. He lives, but what lives is no longer himself.

I don't think its a big stretch to see the gospel (eternal truths) in this Zen text. Worth pondering :)