The desire to be happy

A new year just started and man do I have a lot to do this coming year.

Several notebook full of ideas to execute.

A ton of fears to conquer.

And a whole lot of lessons to learn.


I have at least four notebook full of ideas. Some of them good, some of them still need development.

They basically consists of ideas about art, photography, project, marketing, business, buddhism, spirituality, etc.


Come to think of it. If I really did all the parts of my thesis extremely well I would have not this problem of struggling to continue my kite aerial photography practice.

If only I had defined my target market extremely well. If only I had made a more insightful survey form. If I only interview a lot of people than I needed to.

Now it's a lot harder to do them with more feeling and more wisdom because of the scarcity the world brings to new graduates.

Suddenly once you graduate you don't get allowance from your parents. Suddenly your needs are less important than your studying siblings. Suddenly your deplete of resources you once had.

It is understandable but arguably not logical. Because college studies will train but a career will sustain. I don't understand why leave the pups to fend for themselves just when they are starting to get the hang of the hunt. Why all of the sudden put newly trained soldiers in the battlefield without the equipment and provisions they were trained with.

Nevertheless I can make do. That's one of the specialties of Filipinos: making the best out of the available resources.

No money for a jeepney fare I can walk. No money for lunch I can bring "baon". No money for buying drinks I can bring my water bottle. No money for art materials I can recycle the many unused or ugly art boards I already have.


Just recently Mr. Chris Brogan sent out a newsletter about bravery for the year 2013. The e-mail just hit the itch in the back.

For the past months I've been making a million of excuses not to the things I need to do out of fear, ignorance, and more fear.

So instead of doing the things I need to do I spent most of my time studying. Researching the people who are doing what I would like to do. People who are where I want to be. It's been good and fruitful but there is such a thing as information overall. And I just hit that spot.

So 2013 is the year for Bravery. The year to face the fear and all it's companions.


2012 is the year I committed myself to Buddhism. Out of disappointment from the Christian God.

I was angry, depressed and distorted and did not get the help I wanted. To be honest I feel anger towards the Christian God and his sense of arrogant self-righteousness.

But I don't hate my Christian upbringing. I think Buddhism is just a step up of my Christian lessons. Buddhism, for me, offers more practical advice and practice. So it's a choice. Maybe I am weak that's why I can't stay with "Believe in God" message.

I practiced Buddhism in a nearby Ocean Sky Chan Monastery. Which is just a 15 minutes walk from our house. From there I learned the explanations of the four noble truths, touched on some parts of the eight noble path, learned about the amazing Vimalakirti sutra, learn to eat vegetarian food, was able to practice my english, and was able to guesstimate mandarin.

For now I'll stick to my buddhism home study.


I've also been listening to Rob Thurman podcasts. And it's good to hear from him that artists play an important role in Buddhist education.

A few weeks ago I had a discussion-debate with my friend Cheto.

One of the topics we argued about is the here-and-no versus the future way of thinking.

And based from what I've learned after the discussion both views are limiting. The way I learned now is to be holistic. To consider the whole. And by whole I don't just mean the past present and future.

But the whole of time. Millions of years ahead and millions of years in the past.

One of the key things that lead to Guru Shakyamuni's enlightenment is his remembering of his many past lives. In remembering or at least imagining our many past lives we are more able to generate "metta" or loving-kindness to all beings.

Imagining that I have been a very bad demon in my past life makes me more kind towards evil demons whispering thoughts of malice to me. They also make me consider that being such a bad ass demon with a tail and a giant fork ain't really that fun to do, so no need to repeat that mistake. I also imagine that I have been a ant, a cockroach, a drunkard (well that was a bit recent), a worm, a beggar, a rich guy, etc.

In that way I act more kindly. Even unconsciously doing some goody goody acts.

Robert Thurman also expounded on the importance of imagining the future. The importance of not limiting ourselves to what is the norm. Like I will work so I will be able to contribute to our home expenses. But to go beyond that. To conceive the inconceivable, just like children would think of power rangers versus godzilla.

Like the mandala offering practice. Thinking that by putting down grains in the mandala you are offering food to impoverished regions of the universe.

Thinking that every good thought you bring to mind are causes that will bring good effects in the future. Not limiting yourself to just this lifetime. Not limiting yourself to just benefitting your family. Not limiting yourself to just benefitting your neighborhood. Not limiting yourself to just benefitting your city. Not limiting yourself to just benefitting your industry. Not limiting yourself to just benefitting your world. Not limiting yourself to just benefitting your universe. Not limiting yourself to just benefitting your cosmos. Not limiting yourself to just benefitting your timeline. Not limiting yourself to just benefitting your inifinity.

By imagining great things they seem more solid, more reachable, more desirable, more worthy of pursuing. Just like a child dreaming of becoming a pilot. Imagining what it would be like amidst those fluffy clouds. In that altitude looking down. Just like that.

Imagine your inconceivable full potential of being a David Blain/ Dali Lama/ Steve Jobs kind of being.

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