Visualizing Afflictive Emotions

I meditate nearly every day – I’m terrible at it, my mind is all over the place flitting here and there, jumping on one thought train after another and as often as I try to focus or direct my intention towards a specific point my mind finds a way to divert itself – and this … Continue reading “Visualizing Afflictive Emotions”

I meditate nearly every day – I’m terrible at it, my mind is all over the place flitting here and there, jumping on one thought train after another and as often as I try to focus or direct my intention towards a specific point my mind finds a way to divert itself – and this in itself has been very instructive. I have learned to watch my mind and my thoughts, to a certain extent I have become aware of my thoughts – not completely, but more than I was before. I have also become more aware of my emotions and the way they work within my mind – don’t get me wrong – I am a beginner at this, so I’m not trying to teach anything here, I’m only sharing something in the hope that it helps me further understand my own emotion- if it should be useful to someone else, wonderful and if someone can offer some insight that will help me, that is wonderful too. So, in any event, I have gained a very new awareness of my emotions – in particular the afflictive emotions – anger, lust, greed, self-righteousness, indignation, envy – you get the point. These are the afflictive emotions – the ones that take us over like a disease and create suffering within us. My internalized thought watching has yielded a surprising bonus – if I am in a state of even partial awareness (which is more often than it used to be, but I am still walking through my days mostly unaware – but working on it)I can actually visualize the afflictive emotions and see from whence they arise. Without going into details, this morning before getting up I was lying in bed with my eyes closed, but exploring my inner space – an external event triggered a bit of anger within me – and because I was present, I actually saw it as a sort of a green yellow spark which lit up in my center. I felt it, I knew what it was, I recognized it and without any judgement – I changed the color and thus, changed the reaction within myself – where I might have in the past let the rage consume me and then ‘woke up on the wrong side of the bed’, had a terrible morning, and perhaps even lashed out at others with no idea why I was doing so – instead, I simply recognized the anger and without judgment – I acknowledged it and shifted it to the side, much like I do with my stray thoughts during meditation. In the place of the green yellow spark, I pictured a blue circle and have gone about my day – it is early yet, but it is a much better day than it would have been. Now, if I can just increase the amount of time that I am present and aware each day…

Afflictive Emotional Response

Afflictive emotional response tends to be a deflection from facing an opportunity for real growth (and growing). If you can – look past your anger, fear, anxiety and see where it is growing from – examine that soil, run it through your fingers, test it, rub it between your palms – and find the opportunity for growth. I say this to me – and hopefully I will listen. If you hear it and can listen, I applaud you.

Blogging Comes Full Circle

I’m not sure what the point of blogging is anymore. For a while, I knew, then it changed and I knew again, then it changed again. Early on, I saw blogging as pointless public journaling online. That’s what it was. That was fine. At the beginning, this blog (under a couple of different names) was for one thing – building an audience for my books and selling books. As I started selling more books ( the blog became more generalized and less focused on tips and tales of living in a van and more focused on sharing news that I found alarming or weird – an audience started finding me and I found a little tiny bit of celebrity in blogging and podcasting- then someone offered to buy my blog for what seemed a great deal of money (at the time) and I sold my name ( and started a couple of new blogs to fill in the void (clownjazeera for creepy clowns, for news, for travel, vagobunny for sexy girls, existensis for religion and philosophy, etc) the guy who bought my blog, loaded it with ads and made quite a bit of money from it – meanwhile, I’d lost my audience with my blog and struggled to make it work – none of my blogs worked except which was focused on travel – so I went all in for that and at one point had one of the top travel blogs in the world – I knew what I was blogging for at that point – it wasn’t for joy, it was for money. Advertisers were paying big to buy links and I started pulling in more money than I’d ever earned – trying to be smart about it – I reinvested it into more travel blogs – at one point I had nearly 70 blogs, was employing 15 writers, a couple of designers, and was also working and travelling non-stop – and that’s when Google pulled the plug. First they suspended my adsense account for click fraud (which I was not guilty of, by the way) and took away nearly $1200/month income. That was okay, my main income was selling links – but it was short lived – Google began penalizing advertisers for link buying – income dropped to less than $1000 a month very quickly, then Google took it up a notch and began penalizing sites with sold links. The entire blogging industry fell into a panic – some were ready, they were earning from different models – I wasn’t. The smart ready ones created travel blogging courses, started hosting trips, wrote eBooks, and created PR companies. I didn’t have the time or the foresight. My portfolio of sites very quickly became worthless. At the same time, what had been blog content was consumed by Pinterest, Instagram, and the ramping up of Facebook, Twitter, and for a short while Google+. I scrambled to stay on the top as an influencer and a social media guru – but it was too late and I was unable to keep up. Between becoming a father, moving my family to the USA, and trying to find a home…my blogging empire fell apart. I was riding pretty high for just less than a year…it allowed me to do some pretty serious travel and gave me the means to make the move to the USA…and then it dried up. My best month I earned close to $8000 – these past three years I’ve been earning right around $1000 a year from my blogs. From close to a hundred – I’m down to four websites. This one,,, and This one is right back to that sort of freeform online journaling about whatever I want, the antiques site is more or less a business card for my shop, is a little community paper I publish, and Vagobond is still a travel blog – but no longer a big world wide site with multiple writers and photographers. The audience for blogs is not what it once was…there are more than 150 million blogs now and people are focused on their social media accounts instead of going to websites…clickbait sites get traffic, but I’ve never wanted to be one of those – but wouldn’t say no to the income. I’m grateful that I was able to earn what I did when I did. I wish I had been able to see the writing on the wall earlier because the money I spent on buying sites, paying writers and developers, SEO, and the time I spent on creating crappy content, creating crappy blogs, and ‘building my brand’ could have been put to much better use – although, I’m happy to say that I bought my name back from the guy who used it to earn during the blogging boom – which is why I have this site again. I’m not sure that blogging here (or on Vagobond) has a purpose anymore beyond expressing my thoughts (here) and sharing my adventures (on Vagobond) – I don’t think that most of my social network friends even bother to click through or read things like this anymore (unless I post them on Facebook) but because they are nice and because they are my friends and because they have lots of content to go through, they like my posts on their network and move on. And that’s okay…that’s what I do too. And I do this…and I’ll probably keep doing it.

More than a dream…

When I was a pre-teen, my grandmother took my sister and I to a seminar workshop run by a guy named Wally Minto – it was a self-empowerment sort of thing that lasted a week and was called ‘Alpha Awareness’ – and it was useful enough that I regret not putting it into practice earlier and with more determination. Instead, the ideas have mostly lay dormant in my brain. One of them was a visualization of a sort of control room where my life was operated from. Last night, I dreamed of going into that control room and on a huge screen on the wall were all of the more troublesome moments of my life, right there with the aid of technology – for me to analyze and work with. I opened one up…and then I awoke…I wanted more time to work with these moments and to re-familiarize myself with the control room.