It's my casual observation that most people can take me in only small doses and many simply don't like me or care to hear what I have to say. This is a common self-perception of those like me who are eccentric. But I'm oblivious to this reality as I feel everyone loves me and I love them regardless of how they treat me. That's an eccentric view....

I generally meditate three times a day; before first light, at 4:00 for five hours; then at 12:30 for 45 minutes and again at 21:00 for an hour or so. On occasion, I meditate some minutes here and there when the need arises. I've frequently meditated between courses at a restaurant. When my meditation session ends, I'm awakened, sometimes after a short meditation not knowing where I am or who I am, and energized with a deep appreciation of uniqueness of the simple and mundane, like the current of water coming from the sink faucet as I brush my teeth. I generally meditate in a supine position, though sitting when in a car or restaurant. In meditation I'm completely separated from this world of collectively familiar forms and memories and meanings; much of everything I experience in meditation is abstract, surreal or enigmatic. Most people would call my meditation sleeping and dreaming; perhaps so. Like sleep, meditation is the experience of the space between conscious states of mind, before and after the meditation; like the space between breaths; like the true-present before our mind manifests the true-present as the present-passed. The empty space of meditation is a path to awakening to the light that is the essence of everything....

"When in doubt, do without." Our eyes and ears can persuade us of almost any falsehood. But doubt protects us from making choices whose consequences we may regret....

Saving time is difficult, better to spend it well. That which is convenient saves time, like driving instead of walking or eating fast food instead of preparing our own food. However, time saved now costs us time later for medical attention as our health fails or time lost as our lifespan is shortening. Best to make the most of our time right now....

More than 40 years back I found myself in NYC in a taxi. Talking with the driver, it was clear his English speaking skills were weak. In mock pidgin English, I asked him "how long you here, short time?" He said: "Ten years, I don't know if that's long or short." Ten years is ten years. Long or short are classifications that mean different things to different people which makes classifications often meaningless, as was my question. In a banal conversation between strangers, a seemingly simple taxi driver awakened me with his wisdom....

"Water is the face of fire." By definition, a Zen koan is  paradoxical anecdote or riddle used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment. Some koans are well-known: What was your original face before your mother and father were born? What is the sound of one hand clapping? A simple everyday question can be a powerful koan: Who are you? "Water is the face of fire" is a family motto given to Kanako by a family elder when she was seven. The family dates back to antiquity. The motto essentially is a koan. As with koans generally, there are many ways to interpret it; some conflicting, some supplementary, some complementary. Each interpretation is a spark of insight. Taken together, they form a blinding light on the road to enlightenment....

Happiness is a state of mind characterized by gratitude, optimism and freedom from karmic prisons. As a state of mind, it can be fleeting; sometimes present, sometimes not. Happiness cannot be pursued as pursing something, desire, is the antithesis of happiness. Pursuing happiness is like trying to catch a mouse by chasing after it; seems easy as humans run faster than mice but ultimately it's a fool's errand. Best to sit quietly, like in meditation, with a piece of cheese by our side and have the mouse come to us....

I recently viewed a video captioned "Donald Trump's Concession Speech." The video was a scene from The Wolf of Wall Street movie wherein Leonardo DiCaprio, the CEO of a brokerage firm, defiantly declares to his white salespeople and traders  "I'm not leaving" after he was charged with securities fraud. Perhaps cute to those who view Trump as a defiant crook heading a misogynist racist male cabal. But the video clip is more telling than cute. Brokerage firms have two arms, sales/trading and research. Sales/trading is what the business is about; buying and selling stocks to make money. Research supports sales/trading with investment ideas. Research analysts analyze companies' past performance and prospects, write reports and recommend stocks to buy and sell. Research analysts are highly educated, articulate, well-reasoned and cogent in their analyses. However, while never in doubt about their recommendations, they are often wrong. Moreover, there is a friction between traders/salespeople and analysts. Simply, analysts think traders/salespeople are lowbrows and traders/salespeople feel analysts "don't get it;" that is, analysts don't know how to make money in the markets. However, traders/salespeople and analysts realize that each plays a necessary role in a firm's success. The open question is who is to lead the firm. Analysts think that as they are the more educated and intelligent, they should lead a firm and have traders/salespeople work for them. Traders/salespeople view themselves as working for the customers which are the essence of the business. As to who should be in charge, traders/salespeople believe in the Golden Rule: those who make the gold rule. The presidential election was likewise divided. Many who were anti-Trump (Democratic Party progressives) are like brokerage firm analysts, highly educated and articulate. They described Trump supporters as stupid, immature, greedy, deplorable, misogynists, Fascists, Nazis, etc.; simply, "bad people." Trump supporters said of those who were anti-Trump: "They don't get it," they don't know how a successful economy and liberal society functions. Ultimately, the analysts would throw Trump and other bad boys in prison or otherwise limit their laissez-faire approach to life. But then how will the analysts afford to buy milk and who will make the milk? Returning to the video, it's actually very funny. It answers a question long befuddling the geniuses leading the Democratic Party: "Why do the people, the working class, who stand to most benefit economically from Democratic Party programs don't vote for us?"  Simply, the working class might not know much but they know when the Party leaders are laughing at them, thinking they are stupid, and they don't like it....

Success is fleeting and random; it comes and goes. Best not to bet solely on our own success.  When we derive joy from the success of others, we are hedged; if not celebrating our own success, we can celebrate the success of others. To that end, we are well served helping others succeed. When we celebrate success, whether ours or that of others, we are grateful (great-full, full with great feelings). Moreover, the success of others encourages us to feel that we too have a chance success will come our way. That's optimism. Gratitude and optimism are two of  of the three pillars of happiness....

When future and past are absent, therein lies the present. When not distracted by living in the context of how we view ourselves in the future and unbridled by pre-conceived notions and stories we create from events now passed, we can enjoy the intensely beautiful present moment (present-passed) which is all there is....