Local News -Prt III Aug – the job

30 08 2007

It has been two weeks on this job as of yesterday. So far so good. At the last job by this this I was thinking, “OMG” this is not going to be pleasant. The commute, the conditions, the dragon! My commute now is about 30minutes. I go against traffic so it is next to nothing. Coming home I hit a bit of traffic near the home front, but nothing to write home about. The only bummer with the commute is havng to cross the toll bridge. Things could be worse!

my spaceI share a office with one other guy, in the rear of the very cool old building. It gets hot during the afternoons in the summer, but better than the warehouse were I was. Lots of cool spots to have a quiet lunch and no one bothers me…yup unlike the other place. It is nice to interact with other folks besides bosses were you can never be at ease. Also the owners here bring in their dog to hangout. A good dog, quiet German shorthair.

The job itself. I am starting to get an idea what is involved now. I do some in-house tech stuff, the server, networking, etc. I also design the layout of the intranet and develop/maintain, and add to the company photo database , which includes on site Photography at our events. I handle the audio/visual needs stepsfor the shows and events we setup for clients. Also the overall look of the events, backdrops, displays, colors, props, etc. Develop PowerPoint or some other format, presentations, with whatever musical and video enhancement I can come up with. Later to develop some type of interactive DVD to extend the conferences/events, etc beyond the one or two day shows.
So far i”m liking it. Nothing is perfect, and nothing stays the same, but if this stays within comfortable perameters I could see staying here until it is time to head to Japan for the new life.

I’m off to a Heart Zen Retreat this Holiday weekend…how cool is that. Things will crazy busy after I get back. It wil be good to take a break…

Local News – Aug Prt II – Pain & Suffering

27 08 2007


I figured I could deal with sitting without a cushion. It did make things easier with the added height sitting in Zazen and I had done it before. However what I did not take into account was my leg had been getting sore over the last few weeks and today it was more so. I tried to deal with it. I made it through, although most of my sitting was spent trying to by-pass the leg pain. As we had gone through the basic stages of sitting practice, the leader was trying to increase the groups sitting time Another 10 min was not a big deal for me…usually. Today the extra time and the lack of cushion height, I believe took it’s toll on my hip muscles holding the position. For the next week I was in major pain, standing, walking, laying in bed. Everything hurt, I tried all kinds of stuff, changing shoes, adding arch supports, my chinese kung fu liniment, some days it felts a little better some days worse. I had planned on just dealing with it and going to So_Cal anyway to teach my seminar I had set up. I needed the money. Lady Zen was against it. I was hard headed and said, it will be ok.

At work I limped badly, getting up from my chair was brutal. When I was up Icould make do, so I taught my regular classes, but afterwards I got nothing done I needed to. I was burnt out from dealing with pain day and night. Finally after a few days I started taking Tylenol, which I never do, it helped some but it was still bad. By Thursday I had not a full night sleep and decided I needed to do something. I was going to see a Chiropractor because our insurance would cover it, but I wanted to see an acupuncturist, but they were not covered. Great medical system we have here in this country. So finally I canceled my trip and had Lady Z setup a doctor visit.

I told Sisook what was going on, he was against seeing a Bone Doctor, but said it was of course my choice. Lady Z, who I had taken to a acupuncturist for a problem she had was also more for that path. I decided to do some research on my pain problem. I found that it was a somewhat fairly common sport injury from , overuse ( eg: my sitting no cushion) or unbalanced ( my walking with only one heel pad in my shoe for too long). Chiropractic work sometimes helped, western doctors recommend just rest ( 20 weeks) and pain pills. Acupuncturist recommend this that and the other and should get about 4-6 treatments. ok, that did it for me. I setup an appointment for Sat.

I went in to this acupuncturist who turns out to me near our place and had a reasonable cost. She was nice ( and cute) my treatment took about 30 min . By that evening I was feeling 75% better. Way less pain, small limp. On Sunday I decided to just rest and not go sailing as I had planned. I did do some misc home stuff and organizing of our storage space. I still had a small limp but was much better, I could stand and sit with out much discomfort, and I had sleep that night with only mild discomfort. Life was starting to feel good again. Today Monday, I had next to no limp, no pain last night in bed, I can stand with no problem, and get out of my car like a regular person,not a handicapped person. Sweet!

I am set to go to the weekend Zen retreat this coming holiday weekend. Hopefully I will be able to sit in lotus, I will bring my cushion and just sit in a chair if I feel uncomfortable. It was a painful lesson on body balance

The local news – Aug part I

27 08 2007

It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted. I have had the time but not the real desire. I was suppose to be heading to LA this weekend to teach a Tai Chi seminar. I canceled it. I’m injured 😦

For the last week I’ve been having major hip pain. I’m off to the acupuncturist tomorrow.

So let back up and check on our hero two weeks ago…

Weds Morning I reported for work. I was not nervous per say, I was however unsure. I did not know what to expect…

new gigThe guy who was leaving, I was to take over part of his duties, so I had to learn most of what he knew in 2.5 days. He handled all the technical parts of the company, the server, website upgrades, internet phone system, computer network, remote on-site audio and visual. He was a good technical guy, and had things, very organized. I listened & took notes. Some of it I knew, some I learned, some where new things, some I noted where to reference later. It was alot.

On the second day, the owners to everyone to lunch and paid. It was a going away party for the old guy. It was good to see everyone in a relaxed state. Everyone seems nice, and sad to see the old guy leave, everyone had a good relationship with him. It was a good sign on the energy of the group. I found out the next week, that the two other guys were both new to the company. One was also from Hawaii, like one of the girls and the other, the president’s husband in charge of finance was also fairly new. He I found out is a sailor. They own a forty something footer cement hull boat. He and her also lived in Hawaii at one point. So that is four people out of 8 at that office who have lived in Hawaii. Aloha Brah.

So moving on. Friday I worked half a day. I had promised the band, I would be there to help do a live TV show for the local Santa Cruz Cable. Some thing on the line of Wayne’s world, but serious without all the talking. I was not all that jazzed about doing this. I was only doing harp and maybe flute, driving for 1.5 hours possible in traffic, to play for 30 min, with no pay, missing a half day work. Not prime. However I did give my word, so the “zen” way would be to do the best fully in the moment, so that was the plan. I got there on time. The instructions said we needed be there at 5:30, however, it was not the case, that was only for certain people. 😦

We were not to start until, 7:30…ok, deal with it…It was interesting to see how things run in a TV studio. I watch the guy who was on before us on the control panel monitors seeing all the different angles was cool. Finally it was our turn, we sounded pretty good. Everyone was smooth. It was the biggest audience I had ever played for, it occurred to me later when hearing that they had some several thousand viewers. It went well, when over, I was on the road again.

Sat was to be a full day…

Sat, morning, Lady Z and I head off to our Zen session. We stop in Alameda and pickup my cuz ad are on the road. We switch cars at the last minute and I forget to bring my cushion…be mistake!…

The day before…something new

15 08 2007

Today was the last of my free week days off before starting my new path. Yesterday I cleaned the lanai garden. Today I planned on tending to some last errands and going for a sail. Those who read know when I say I had planned, that means things change. Life is funny like that, but it is also the Taoist way to stay in harmony with the flow.

It was fairly hot today, at least inland, when I went outside. I am so happy I have the Zencycle to zip around town on. Great way to save energy!

I head over to Sisook’s only to find he was not there. He was in Oakland having lunch with Simo. I was surprised! I called and checked in with him. We compared schedules for the next few days.


Next I went off to visit a close friend. We have a lot of history and connection, although on different paths now. We are still friends. I went by her work which is a garden center /living museum of sorts. LOTS of Cati plants and native plants.catus

Interesting place. Giant Catus and little tiny ones. Some in flower. There was one in bloom that is going to be a big event because they do not flower but every so many years, like some are 100 some are less.

lily pond

I took a few shots of the couple I liked and the lily pond.

Next I’m off to lunch. I stopped by my favorite Thai place. I do not get to go there much these days. Changing jobs I am no longer in the area for lunch. I figured I’d treat myself today the day before the new path. Another surprise, it had been sold a couple of weeks before and there were new owners. I got my regular green curry dish, and read some, enjoying the coolness of the a/c and the Thai Ice tea.

Off to the marina, I head afterward. Lady Zen had made some repairs to the side weather panel, made a new BBQ grill cover and wrinch cover. I installed them all. However after getting that all done. I decided enjoying the boat does not alway mean I have to go out.

patio 2

I was enjoying the fullness of the moment. So rather than look else where for pleasure I choose to be fully in that moment and just enjoy where I was, rather than going to someplace else, looking to feel as good as I was already. I setup the hammock. I read, I napped, I meditated and lived fully in that space.

kickn it

It was a good day. Weds, the new adventure begins…

Yesterday’s story…

13 08 2007

It was a great day weather wise. I was scheduled to teach the sailing class for the City of Oakland. The 1st time in years I worked on Watashi no tanjobe. It a way it was good because money was getting tighter.

I was up early trying a new routine, a bit of Chi Gung, situps, then some yoga, then do Zazen. instead of just a few basic chi gung breathing then Zazen.

After getting a light breakfast of yogurt and a sandwich for lunch, I was off to Jack London Aqua center for the class.

I got a surprise when I arrived as the dock had been broken into and the boat I was taking out for class. Another boat as well had been victimized. This was the second time in a month. The placed had been robbed. I figured it was the same folks. What a shame! Anyway one boat which also had an outboard I was able to use since they did not take, also some misc safety items I was able to collect and do the class.

As this was the last day of the class there was a test. I gave the students the test and went an practiced my Tai chi and tai chi sword. It was a peaceful time after I got thing s settled and back on track.

zen tai chi

The rest of the day was spend sailing. With lunch spent at Jack London Square. It was farmers market day, so it was pretty busy. A one man band played the Tanjobe song, I took it for me as a good omen.

tanjobe player


flowers at the market

After finishing up the class. It was home time. Lady Zen was already there. She had taken a sick day off, and baked a cake. Sweet!

After a change of clothes we headed off to Jo’s Sushi Bar for a small celebration dinner and a couple of drinks. Jo’s is our favorite local place. We had not been in awhile due to our budget cuts backs. So it was nice to get out.


It was a great meal, with a little sake for me and a Sapporo beer ( according to Mike of Gaijin-in-Japan.com the best bear around. I dislike beer) for her.

ban gohan

I decided to be adventurous and try eel. The taste was not as I thought, but I’m not sure if I would get it again…


The day After yesterday… this is my 1st one of two days I’ll have off midweek for a while so I’m catching up on house stuff and misc things. This blog is one. The other I am cleaning up our patio garden which I have let go into disarray with the changing of times. This is my chance to get it in order again. It is good timing with the Lady Zen’s mother coming for a visit next month. This will be her first time going anywhere outside Japan.


I had a break from my housework as the ladies from my old dept. long term job took me out to lunch. Again to Jo’s. I did not mind going again as I can always try something different. Today I had, a sushi roll and tried a jalapeno tempura appetizer…it was different, hot, but to too hot, at least until you ate a seed, then it was HOT! I doubt if I will order than again, once was enough even though I do like hot foods.

So teaching my Kung Fu class tonight, then a bunch of stuff to do & learn for Sisook’s website. Tomorrow earrands and I want to get a afternoon midweek sail in. My last day before back to the 9-5.

I got an invite today for a luncheon going away party for the guy who is leaving my new company. I will be taking over part of his work and other tasks. It willl be a good chance to see how the energy of these folks are on a social level. The fact that there is a going away party for one of the members suggests there is a good relationship among the group.

I’m feeling ok about this, nervous with the newness but ok…

たんじょべおめでと ふたろ

13 08 2007

Kyo wa watashi no tanjobe. Atrashi shigotoga atte yokatta mo


Honto Arigato Kami sama.

I-Ching revisited…a new path

10 08 2007

I-chingIt has been just over a month since the door closed on the job from hell. Things have been very unsettled and a challenge to my “wa”. EDD ( better known as Unemployment Dept) has been lets say, less than helpful and I am still waiting to hear about my check. grrrrrrr. totally messed up system.

I have been turning in many many resumes without any luck yet trying to remain centered. It is a test of one’s spirit and faith during these times. There was one hope, which was only a spark and never went to flame.

This week, Monday in fact I went to a new interview. I was pleased to get it, but did not expect much from it. It was in another direction from where most of the companies I expected to work for were located, and therefore required crossing a bridge daily adding to the commute cost. The good part was it was opposite the traffic flow. However as I did not expect it to pan out I did not give it much thought.

I went to the interview, relaxed and centered. The place was not as I expected, not a corporate feel at all. Located in an old officers quarters on an ex-military island. It was a different feeling place. Wood floors, spiral staircase, fireplaces, big kitchen, dining room, high ceilings. Interesting.

I wait for the people. After a while the person who contacted me comes down stairs, we chat a bit, then the president shows up and we start the formal stuff. They have a prepared list of questions we go through. Kind of different but business related. Afterward the standard thanks and we’ll call you …

I was unsure what I was feeling. The interview went well. The position and the place sounded good. However I was unsure that I was feeling I would get the job, or I wanted it or I was just being hopeful about it. The Zen sense was saying yes and no, so I was just going to block it all and be neutral, and keep on looking. Expecting it to be just another practice interview.

Thursday, I can not help but do a bit of wishful thinking that …perhaps it was time. Yet keep telling myself, do not get your hopes up.

Thursday morning I figured, what the heck I’ll check the I-Ching…just for the heck of it.

question “The Status of my working for this company”

I read the hexagram wrong order and thought it was Reunited #59-52. In which case I was sure it was not going anywhere & it really did not make sense. I figured not going to happen and settled it in my mind at that, so much for that…onward…so I thought…

Off I went to Sisook’s shop for work. While I am there he gets a call. It is a reference check from the company. I’m surprised. I think oh, that is a good sign, but does not mean I’m in. I let it go.

Later I return home, there is a message from the President of the company, saying things that I could not quite understand as the message was garbled. I was able to get, impressed with the interview, alternate position, call me. Wow, hmmm ! I think, what is this.

I call we talk. I am offered a position different from what I applied for, it is a new position, she just thought of after talking with me. Some design but covering more than design, more of visual communications director. Am I interested she asks. It is a bit more money and reporting directly to her, I make of the job what I want. Whaoo I think!! HECK YEAH ( TO MYSELF) , I say, it sounds interesting, and challenging, I would be interested I like the idea of expanding my parameters. I would like to think it over tonight and speak with the Lady Z about it and confirm with you tomorrow. She says of course!

Oh Snap! this is a surprise!!

I go back and read the I-ching again. I see my mistake.

THE SOURCE #48 – Meditation 52

question: “The Status of my working for this company”

#48 The Source, The location may change, but not the Source. Again and again one can tap the Source, But if the connection is not not made or the vessel is weak, there will be misfortune.

Profound penetration forms the condition for the Source. An enlighten person, therefore, encourges those around him with advice and assistance

#52 Meditation, is to turn one’s back so there is no consciousness of the Self. Should he go into the courtyard without noticing anyone it is not a mistake .

Those who know the I-Ching, know there are certain changing lines within the hexagram that pin point the answer. I will not go into that other than this top one which is similar to the others supporting it:

You can now share with others, good dependable advice and exceptional fulfillment. There will be supreme good fortune in your life.

So I’m thinking. Dayamnn!

Ok, so that was what is was really saying this morning. hmmm

ok, so lets see now to double check.

question: What if I take this job (notice these are not yes or no questions)

This one is more complex:

Repair (#18) can bring exceptional progress. It is advantageous to experience the collective flow. Before starting, examine the future ( 3 days).

The penetrating (wind) moves below the perverse forming the condition for Repair. An enlightened person, therefore, arouses others to action while cultivating his own virtues.

(basic- work hard do not be afraid to take assertive action. You have the power to change your current state of disrepair)

Cosmic Order (#50) There will be exceptional good fortune and progress.

A word of explanation. The first hexagram is the present condition, the second is the future condition.

So, it sounds good, feels scary because of the newness. However I am ready for a change. I had been thinking of working on some other skills off the design foundation. This will be perfect. Some web, print, video, IT, photography, Internet, maybe some travel. Nice! I’ll need to do some study & research to step up my skills, but I like it.

A new path has appeared, through the mist.




Update, I start on Weds.

I’m thinking the title of “VP of Creative Visual & Audio Communincation” sounds good 🙂


Heart Ch’an – 6 of 6

5 08 2007


Today was the final session of the 6 basic lessons. It was another good day. We had a couple of meditation sessions, during the the afternoon, rather than one long one. We learned a new breathing drill to help build chi for the meditations. Today our second of the two meditation sessions was pretty amazing. It felt like everyone was in senq. The quiet and the amount of chi that filled the room was thick.

Shrxiang’s talk to day was on on being thankful and appreciation and how that was such an important part of being “zen” Thankful to God, to Buddha, to those who help us in life, to our parents, (expression/connections from the heart). Also how the navel chakara’s importance goes beyond just giving us good health it is our connection to our mother, to our parents. That is were we gathered nourishment. Through our navel chakara we maintain a spiritual connection to our parents, their parents and so on. Showing family respect is a big deal in Chinese culture.

Today was another day of breaking into groups and just talking about our experiences, or thoughts or ways of improvement on the sessions. I felt a better understanding of the group shangha experience. I have gone to these sessions since April never have a felt one vibe that cause me to wonder about the sincerity of heart these people. That my cousin and lady Z feel the same during their visits, gives me faith in the path. I have come to work this meditation not only into my daily life practice , but into my Kung Fu/Tai Chi class as well. It is the Yin to the Yang of the movements of the body/mind. Now that the basic sessions are over, I will no longer continue to post about the future sessions unless they are of note or I am able to attend the retreat in Sept.

It was announced today that we will, for those interested be continuing to have these Ch’an meetings there at the Tawain American Center. The bad news was, it was now going to cost us… The center wanted us to help with the rent. so the charge for the future sessions is going to be…$2.00 a person!!!

dayamn 🙂