Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bringing the World Together (with Technology)

Wow! A coworker sent me an extremely moving video: Where the H*$& is Matt? This really touched me, as sentimental as I am. This video brings tears to my eyes, laughter to my belly, love to my heart, and a smile to my face. The world is such a beautiful place filled with marvelous people. I can watch this video over and over again and keep noticing different little details that make it grow and grow in importance to me.

This reminds me of the It’s a Small World Disney attraction. This has a special place in my heart. As a kid, I remember my mother being so in love with this, and us riding it on it during every trip that we took to visit my grandparents in Orlando. When the attraction was launched in 1964, the world was not nearly as connected as it is today, so I imagine that it was really a treat at the time to see all of the costumes and looks. Despite the over-the-top caricatures, the similarities between people and cultures were still quite noticeable. The similarities vastly outweigh the differences. Though the differences provide charm and diversity, the contrasts helps to showcase all of the wonderful things we have in common, rather than driving a wedge between peoples.

Watching this video over and over is now a favorite way cultivate my compassion for the human race. I feel so connected to the world, to the oneness of creation. Many thanks to Matthew Harding and everything else involved for putting this together and sharing. This is awesome in the true and miraculous sense of the word. Seeing each of the places, the different dances in each culture, the little nuances to everyone’s moves, just high-lights how real and individual people are.

Digression: Tech Connection
People who know me know that I’m slightly anachronistic, especially in the technology that I adopt. I don’t have a CD player in my house – I listen to records. They just have soul to me. I seldom watch TV, and don’t have one in my place. I keep an early-model cell phone, it’s just so convenient to have a phone, but I don’t need all of the fancy features of today’s more advanced phones. And I carry a Moleskine around for planning and notes rather than a PDA. Then, on the other side of the coin, I have a laptop connected to the internet via wireless, I have MP3 players for working out and walking around town, and my work is to make it easy for developers to express themselves on parallel processors. I am not into technology for technology's sake; I'm into it for where it powers creative expression.

One example of such an application is Ableton Live, software for music creation and DJ’ing. My whole life I have been interested in music, but have never had the rhythm or control over an instrument to create it. I think there’s something in my wiring making me incapable of creating music using instruments directly. Now, software enables me to create express myself through music. I can compose on loops, hearing things over and over again, and making little tweaks here and there through drawing on the screen. And any theory that I learn can instantly be translated into the software. Ableton itself being written for multi-core processor support means that I can add more and more instruments and complexity to the software. Thanks Ableton, keep up the good work.

It’s a Small World is great fors its time, but the animatronics are just rough exaggerations. The real world as captured in this video is breath-taking. Technology makes all of this possible. The quality of this video, the medium of the internet, and the elegantly simple sharing of social networking technologies all help give this wings. It strengthens my chosen path working in technology. Seeing this helps realize that I’m not just geeking out on technology, fulfilling my brain's desire to play with computers and algorithms. Instead, it reminds me that I create enabling technologies for people to express themselves. That's how I contribute A Pistachio... to the world.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Rat Race or Space Race

“The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” – Lily Tomlin. I somehow stumbled across this quotation when I was in my early teens and have carried it with me every since. It pokes fun at a work-place metaphor that office workers are running around like rats in a maze, scrambling to get a lead on your colleague, and—to mix metaphors—trying to climb the corporate ladder. It gets its power both from being humorous and sourced in truth. The more that I think about this quotation, the more meaning it has for me.

In my previous post on How I Learned to Take a Break From Analyzing and Start Loving Myself, I introduced the layer’s of the human brain as introduced to me in Jon Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis. There are roughly 3 complex parts to the human brain, at the lowest level the reptilian center leads us to the most basic survival instincts, including highly tuned pattern matching to trigger fight-or-flight response keeping us safe from immediate danger. Around this is the mammalian brain structure which has added in layers of nurturing, parent-child bonds, a mating instinct to find the best possible mate, and a status instinct to help mammals make themselves attractive for mating. In animals with more brain capacity, less all-around development actually occurs pre-birth, and more advanced species’ babies are born without the ability to take care of themselves, making the dependence on parents stronger. Parental drives were needed to raise the children to survive on their own, and the mammalian brain began to select for mates that are both capable of passing on good genes and ones capable or nurturing, again fitting into the status selection game. These layers are deeply entrenched in the human brain, with the sophisticated neocortex added to the top. While capable of language, mathematics, and higher reasoning, it is still pretty much a bolt-on addition to the brain, and it cannot often override the deep-seated reptilian and mammalian instincts.

Underlying all of our impressive brain functioning, us humans have a strong drive for more and more status. And there are biological reasons for that. Higher status often maps to better genes and/or better ability to care for the young. It is pure mammalian instinct to scratch and claw (literally) the way to the top of any social structure. Our neocortex merely gives us more complex and subtle ways to do it. So, when Lily Tomlin referred to the “rat race”, this is pretty accurate. The trouble with this is that we’re wired for status, rather than for happiness. Status only makes us happy in very short bursts, but it fades. Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness digs into this pretty well (and it’s funny!). The human mind is incredibly good at attuning to levels of success and quickly gets bored with it, returning to a baseline level of happiness. This rat-race can’t be all there is, right?

Jon Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis which references a work (don’t have it in front of me right now) that people tend to think of their work as either a job, a career, or a calling. The difference in this effects the person’s outlook at work greatly. A job is basically that you’re there from 9-5, collecting the paycheck and punching the clock; in a job, work is just a means to an end. A career is the next step. A person is motivated to work long hours and do well in order to climb the corporate ladder. These are often better employees than the job, because they’re trying to get ahead and will do whatever it takes to get good reviews and more promotions. This is the level of the rat race. People are happy as long as their career is moving forward, but become unhappy when they compare themselves to someone higher in the org or in another org, or if the promotion does not come.

The level above this, and one that can be a source of enjoyment, is the calling. People who look at work as a calling feel that it is their purpose in life. They’re not working for the attention or glamour of the position, and this can be true from everyone including executive, politician, artist, or manual worker. There’s a story about JFK asking a janitor at NASA what he did and the man replied, “helping to put a man on the moon.” That shows a man understanding how the importance of his work translated to a greater vision that he believed in. This way of looking at the world is not dependent on how others perceive you in your job, whether you get that pay raise, or likely not even if there are setbacks in the Apollo missions.

There's nothing wrong with looking at work as a job or a career. If that's where a person is, then that's where a person is. No judgement is necessary. It is possible that your calling is outside of work. Maybe your calling is a child, and you're working in a job to take care of the child. What I am saying, though I also won't discount that there's someone out there really gonzo for janitorial work, is that I suspect that the janitor's feeling of putting a man on the moon is much more satisfying than saying that he mops urine off the restroom floor. (It makes for a better story, too.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How I Learned to Take a Break from Analyzing and Start Loving Myself

A wise woman gave me a homework assignment back in February to list what I love about myself. Thank you, Gaelan! I knew immediately that this would be difficult for me (she knew it, too), but it would be a valuable key once I found it for myself.

Most of my life I have cultivated an analytical mind. There’s evidence to support that this is what American schools train males for, being analytical. This came in handy for mathematics and sciences in school, then for engineering in college, and then a career in computing. Though, this was not much of a help in relationships or in relieving stress. In relationships, when things got tough, I tried to reason through problems... this was obviously not very effective. It is hard to be reasonable when emotions run hot.

Jon Haidt’s “The Happiness Hypothesis” goes into great detail on different ways of looking at “The Divided Mind.” Here, I paraphrase a portion of it and some stuff from later chapters, but there’s really no substitute for this erudite work. Reasoning is controlled by the neocortex (pre-frontal lobe), and this processing center is a v1 compared with the mammalian and reptilian response centers in the brain which are a lot more mature and stabilized. The rawest of emotions are in the reptilian layer, run by the amygdala. This is the organ that pattern matches threats and triggers fight-or-flight responses by dumping adrenaline and cortisol into the body. Once these chemicals are in the body, the neocortex is bypassed. Psychologist Daniel Goleman called this an “amygdala hijack.” Clearly, trying to rationalize through this is futile. After this happens, the egoic mind gets very upset and feels that it is not strong enough. In the past, I’d beat up on myself and avow to get stronger. As in, I thought that I was the processes of my neocortex, that my thoughts = my being. This is the ego speaking to me, trying to get itself a stronger host.

My initial list started with loving that…
… I am unique.
… I have my own sense of style.
… my intelligence.
… that seek out and explore new things.
… that I can make friends easily.

During this week, I also began reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, and this awoke many things in me, including that this was not what I love about myself. It is what my ego loves about itself. What I learned from this list was that I craved being “special” being “unique” at the level of my ego, but I also saw that there was something deeper under there that was really important. I found that I was able to truly love things about myself, and the real list, the satisfying list is easy to create now that I can connect with my Being and look past my ego.

I love that…
… I source my actions in love.
… I can find flow.
… I love.
… I appreciate, seek out, and recognize elegance, truth, and beauty.
… I can easily forgive myself and others.

“I love that I source my actions in love.” These words were offered up by Gaelan, when I told her that I was not quite behind my original: “I love that I find it important to do the right thing.” I like her wording a lot.

“I love that I can find flow.” This is the time when I am completely in the present, not fighting what’s going on and my Being just naturally orchestrates my body and mind. For instance, there have been times during programming where I finished something big only to sit up and realize that I completely skipped breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That I hadn’t left my chair all day. Finding flow brings immense productivity and euphoria.

“I love that I love.” Is there a greater joy?

“I love that I appreciate, seek out, and recognize elegance, truth, and beauty.” Elegance, truth, and beauty as 3 facets to the same gem, very related, if not the same. The character Katsumoto in “The Last Samurai” has a line that really resonates with me: “The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.”

“I love that I can easily forgive myself and others.” This is a blessing that I learned from my parents. In their home, a heated argument is completely forgotten in 5 minutes and everyone is in harmony again. It’s a beautiful thing.

This exercise brought me so much peace and joy. I learned how to love myself and that I can love myself. It helped me to identify and dissolve parts of my ego.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another Lens for the Flying Dutchman

Could you give up everything you know in life and start over? Ian Usher, a man in Perth, Australia selling his life after an undisclosed incident of his marriage ending, is planning just this. Pondering this led me to think of "walking the earth" to find oneself, then to the movie Forrest Gump, in which Forrest dropped everything to run back and forth across the country. Then, I thought about a movie that Gump beat out for the Best Picture Oscar in ‘94 -- Shawshank Redemption. The main character was wrongly imprisoned after his wife and secret lover were murdered, eventually leading him to detach from the world and switch to a life of paradise on a tropical beach. Then Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, came to mind--since his exile from his homeland of Tibet, he has since become a figurehead, author of many books, spiritual role model, and all-around influential person the world over. The idea of taking up root and starting over is simultaneously romantic and scary.

" must wander around the world, on probation, as it were, in search of adventures, so that by bringing some of them to a happy conclusion, one gains such fame and renown that when one does go to some great monarch's court, one is known as a knight by one's deeds..." -Don Quixote

Walking the Earth
"Basically I'm just gonna walk the earth. You know, like Caine in Kung Fu - walk from place to place, meet people, get in adventures." – Jules in Quentin Tarentino's Pulp Fiction

I see a few explanations why people could answer yes to the question posed at the top:

  1. Acute suffering - Some aspect of living the current life has become so distressing that the person wants to start over, just be free from the stressors that bring about the suffering.
  2. Desire to find oneself - A mild version of this is a mid-life crisis, when a portion of your identity is lost, and there's a strong need to understand the self. Desire and fear are ultimately 2 facets of the same gem -- fearing that you don't have what you need is a desire, and desire comes from a quest for status or completion, hence fearing that you're not high enough in status or not whole.
  3. Boredom – “A restless sense of boredom is often what people express they feel when they are trapped but haven't been able to pinpoint the source of the problem. Many people turn to escapism to run from a life they don't know they have the power to change…” Gaelen Billingsley’s “3 Steps to Freedom”
  4. Epiphany - A change in the self so profound that one reaches non-attachment and feels compelled to see the world and share in it.
  5. Non-attachment - You are able to appreciate the life that you lead, but realize that it is not what is truly important, so you are not attached to the structure of it, you do not identify with it, and thus can move on from it.

These reduce to really 2 things: incompleteness (1-3) and perfect completeness (4-5). The incompleteness tracks are chosen when one is so mired in pain that it cannot be coped with under normal circumstances, it’s a coping mechanism or a search for completeness. I wish for everyone that these travails lead to nonattachment rather than detachment.

In the perfect completeness case, it is that the roots in the material have blissfully withered, and the person is free to walk by choice. “Possessions delude the human heart into believing that they provide security and a worry-free existence, but in truth they are the very cause of worry.” [Bonhoeffer] Possessions are prison. Possessions are shackles, and when one is free of the shackles, one is free to roam.

A New Lens: A Gift, Not a Curse
Similar to walking the earth, Wagner's Flying Dutchman trope describes a person forced to wander the world. Similar concepts, the difference is that in the former it is done by choice while the latter is viewed as a curse.

But a curse is just our mind choosing to punish us, to look at the glass as half-empty, or in John Milton’s words: “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.” I am grateful to Gaelen Billingsley for offering me new lenses (great metaphor for a new way to look at a situation) to view struggles that I go through, things that I may have viewed as unfair or curses. One powerful lens is to look at a curse as a growth opportunity. An unfair situation is a precious gift, a chance to learn, to grow, to be free; Albert Camus put this beautifully: “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.” The physical world offers several such metaphors; it reveals the truth to us. A curse is a forge, in which intense heat and pounding can yield a glorious blade. In the heart of a volcano, undisciplined carbon transcends it’s chaotic form to be a diamond.

Post Script - Good luck, Ian Usher! May you find peace and joy on your path.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nonattachment & the most powerful question in the world

In the Balance and Moderation post, I mentioned practicing taiqi and qi gong. The studio that I go to is Embrace the Moon, and a recent posting entitled 100 Days of Practice on the blog, contains a testimony from one of the practitioners, William Wittmann. His voice and learnings are full of power. The post opens with:

This isn’t the most powerful question in the world –Is today a good day to die?

This is –Is today a good day for Suzanne to die?

Holy Poop! If I have any doubt about the nature of life and death, this question will flush it out. If I have any doubt who my wife, Suzanne, truly is, this question will slap me awake.

This brought to mind a quote from buddhism related to nonattachment – “A buddha would not flinch from a piercing sword or shed a tear at the loss of a loved one.” This is a powerful statement and one that I often return to when witnessing my own emotions in action. To a lot of people, this sounds cold and unfeeling, and I can see how it can appear that way. Though, this is the exact opposite of the intent. The intent is that when losing a loved one, you can accept and even rejoice in the freedom of that person’s soul from the form of the body. Death of the body is not a loss for the person dying, it is only a loss for the living people missing the interactions with the person in the body. This merits further explanation… The Sanskrit term buddha is often translated to “the enlightened one” or “the awakened one.” This is not a god or God, and buddhism is not a religion (and the spell check dictionary keeps requiring a little extra effort to un-capitalize these words). A buddha is someone who completely knows the point of life and existence, because a buddha is completely awake to this purpose. When one is complete awake or present, one knows that the loss of the form of the body is not something to be lamented, because lamentation does not add anything. The loss of the body is a fact to be accepted and in some beliefs (mine included) is a cause for celebration and rejoicing … the soul has joined the Oneness of the universe, that person has shed unstable form and awakened to true being, the person has gone to Heaven. I look at it as a selfish (this is not a judgment against selfishness. In fact, I believe that selfishness is a virtue) to mourn the death of a loved one.

I shared the blog link with my friend, with whom I have been having lots of discussions on awakening and being present. Here’s her response:

Thank you -- This does shed some light on the subject. It is a beautiful image, that of his wife appearing in the curve of the earth, the poplar tree and the cherry blossoms.

I want to ask him:
what do you mean "she appeared" each day in a different part of his surroundings? How did you recognize her?

My understanding is that he felt it was a good day for his wife to die because he felt her presence all around him, expanding beyond the form of her body, and thus he felt he could never really lose her. Is that what you thought?

It may be "…because he felt her presence all around him, expanding beyond the form of her body, and thus he felt he could never really lose her. " It may be because he felt connected to everything, including his wife. It may just be confabulation (the conscious mind’s fabricated explanation for something that is only truly known to the unconscious mind), as in his mind coming up with an excuse for something that he felt deep down inside himself that cannot have words, structure, or form and the mind's desire to come up with something. Or, it could be something else entirely. Maybe William will respond to this post and share his thoughts and feelings.

I tend to feel that something like this is so powerful that understanding only gets in the way. Feeling or knowing is more likely to yield truth. As such, it's hard to put into words. I recognize that such statements are unsatisfying, so I fall back on a tool that helps me, a piece of advice that a friend gifted to me from his math professor: "You don't need to understand it, you only need to know it." Understanding is something that the mind—or what Eckhart Tolle refers to as the ego does—knowing and feeling are what a Being or soul or spirit does when it connects with the world spirit or heaven or Oneness or Universe. I give multiple labels not because I feel that these labels are meaningful, but to demonstrate that labels, by their nature, are limiting. The multiple labels are to connect with a concept, rather than the meaning that you may have attached to a single word.

The importance lies in what it means to you individually, where you feel the truth in his words. Words are imperfect, though sometimes allow truth to show through. The message of truth is the key; the words are only the delivery vehicle. An analogy: truth:words::spirit:body. It's like a monarch riding in a broken down carriage. Like the Pope in a jalopy. Like Buddha in a rickshaw.

Balance and Moderation

I have realized the importance in finding balance in things. My father always gave me the advice “moderation is the key, everything in moderation” and when my more ornery side would protest, he amended this to “moderation is the key, everything in moderation, even moderation.” He is wiser than I give him credit for (or maybe I'm giving him credit, now). In this sense moderation is not just avoiding radical positions; it is finding balance in things.

This theme recurs through a lot of cultures. Beginning in Taoism, and extending to other traditions) the concept of yin and yang refer to the polar effects of phenomena. Yin and yang are complementary and form the entire phenomenon together.

Many cultures and new age movements describe the need for balance between mind, body, and spirit, describing them as a tripod that can only be stable and reach its fullest height when all parts of the tripod are developed. The first time that I learned about this was in my 6th grade health glass, where they were described as a 3-legged stool. If all of the legs were not the same length, a glass of water set on the seat of the stool would slide off. It is crucial to balance the stool to achieve stability.

I have come to think of there being mental, physical, and emotional sides to be developed on the outside, and the spiritual aspect on the inside, or perhaps arranged as a tetrahedron with the spiritual on top, or inverted with the spiritual side supporting the other 3. Either way, through the day-to-day stresses of life, or the desire to focus, we are drawn outside of our true inner natures, and tend to focus on one or more of the outside traits. For instance, someone may completely develop in the physical form – either through extensive working out, development of cosmetic beauty, worry about structural deformities, or even taking on diets specific to shape what the body is comprised of. This is all fractal in nature, which we see as we break it down further. There is even balance to be attained in the physical aspect where diet, fitness, appearance, etc. should reach equilibrium in order to maximize physicality. And even things such as fitness can balance between endurance, flexibility, strength, stamina, etc. However you slice it, it continues to break down to more and more areas to balance.

When you expand all of this, in every dimension, you may be overwhelmed. Wow, there are so many things to focus on, to try to balance. This is the obvious mistake that the mind wants to make. Looking within, through meditation / prayer / contemplation (labels get in the way), the spirit guides to a more satisfying truth. These aspects all work and develop together. If we let our spirits guide us, they will naturally lead us to find balance. And in balance lie grace, elegance, beauty, and truth. Things need not be isolated, and building them all individually misses the key points of integration in life.

Realizing this, and relying on my soul to lead me, has recently led me to some changes in my life. These have been wonderful to me, making me feel completely free in time, at peace with myself and the world, and loving toward others. My materialism and vanity have begun to melt away. My habits have changed. My diet no longer contains meats and alcohol, my body just doesn’t want them anymore, I don’t crave them, and I find myself feeling better without them. Though, even this is balanced, and there’s no resolution to not eat meat or drink alcohol… that would be missing the point, and sometimes my body does choose them. In this state of peace, I have noticed that I feel free of obligations and feel like I have lots of free time, though I can also take stock and realize that I do even more than before… though I’m just as content to sit along and do and think nothing. Recently, I have begun to practice taiqi (aka tai chi or taiji) and qi gong (very related to taiqi), arts that focus on balancing and developing these connections. Even just a little experience and research in this provides a wealth of learnings, and I expect that it will be the topic of much writing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Pistachio -or- Ripples in a Pond -or- Butterfly Effect

Everything that we create touches much of the world through ripples, aka butterfly effect. I had a realization over a pistachio one night that made me realize this. I was waiting for my dinner at a restaurant’s bar, snacking from a pint glass full of pistachios. I started off in a typical unconscious fashion: crack, crunch, crack, crunch, crack crunch... opening the shells and stuffing my maw as fast as I could, barely tasting the pistachios, just trying to get full.

I became aware of this, and slowed down my eating to be present with each shell that I opened, tasting each pistachio, chewing it fully before swallowing. Feeling the nutty taste, the salty taste, letting it all linger. Then I would wash it down with a sip of ice water, noticing the weight of the glass, the coolness of it, the chill of the water, the crisp taste of the water, feeling it wet my tongue that was slightly dried and parched from the salt. After each swallow, I would then carefully reach for another pistachio, and carefully start the process over. The awareness or presence in it filled me. It made every bite memorable, important, special. With each pistachio, my awareness deepened. I was able to put full attention into the tactile feel, the smell, the taste. Soon, my mind began to contemplate the path of each pistachio.

I picked up a pistachio, then looked at the glass, and thought about the employee who cleaned the glass, the employee who brought the glass to me, the employee who filled the glass with pistachios. Who opened the bag? Who carried the bag? Who unloaded it from the truck carrying the pistachios? I traced the pistachio back along one possible path, backwards along the truck, to the person who loaded the truck, to the warehouse that originally had the pistachios, all the way back to the plantation where the pistachio grew. Who picked that pistachio? I imagined it was a man and wondered where he lived. Was it in a tropical climate – judging by the spelling of “pistachio”, I guessed the Mediterranean. Since then I’ve looked up that it was likely in the US (the world’s second largest pistachio producer), though it could be from Iran (the world’s largest pistachio producer). That man, where did he get his shirt? Was it cotton, picked in Egypt, woven in China? When he put it in a basket or bin, who made that, an Indonesian woman? Who made her clothes? Every person along the way touched so many other people, were supported by so many other people. Even the pistachio itself, was originally from the region around Iran, Turkmenistan, and Western Afghanistan, how many people were involved in cultivating it to the strain that made it to the first Californian commercial harvest of 1976? When was in bred? Was everyone in the world somehow involved in getting that pistachio into my fingers? How many people touched it directly? Easily 50, I would think. And the indirect connections are innumerable.

That pistachio has had quite an existence, and now, its proteins and minerals are part of this body that I’m in. It nourished me. Everything that I do from now on involves the pistachio. These thoughts may err on the side of overly sentimental, but in some way everything that I do is honoring the many people who bore that pistachio to me. And if you account for every morsel of food that I’ve consumed, have Billions of people touched me indirectly? Am I doing them all justice through my day-to-day actions? We sometimes pride ourselves as being independent and being able to take care of ourselves by ourselves. At some level, this is absurd. With the extremely rare exception of a complete fend-for-oneself hermit, we are all dependent on others and deeply networked. Even if you do not believe in all souls/spirits/beings being connected to the-oneness-of-the-universe (I do feel this to be true), it is clear that we are connected in one way or another.

Aphorism and Egoism, rekindled

After a few years of not posting, I (or "i", a la Mr. Cummings) have been doing a lot of contemplation and want to re-open a channel of mutual sharing. I had considered starting a new blog from scratch, yet the title here seems pretty on the mark with the thoughts that I'd like to share -- and the former posts also align well enough with the new intentions of this blog. It is quite illuminiating to compare my self of now with my memory of self from a few years ago. It shows that while I have on the surface undergone many changes, at my deep levels, there are a lot of the same feelings. The Observer in me has been aware of my search for truth (or Truth hence "aphorism") while also noticing the likelihood of my ego to step in.

Have there been more changes, more insights? or has it mostly been a collection of new tools or a deeper understanding of nature through the melting away of even more ego? These are topics for meditations and sources of learning for me.


My job is a very technical one, and is an exciting part of my life. I work in parallel computing at Microsoft, and have plenty of opportunity to blog about my work's technical aspects at work, so I will not do that here. These are more for my personal explorations. Sometimes there will be some insights that I share here from my work experiences, but I don't expect any code or algorithms to show up here.

The ultimate goals of my work are to make the world a better place through technology. So, I strive to connect with all of the people of the world, including end-users of projects, developers, and my co-workers, with whom I meet on a day-to-day basis. Every change that someone makes that starts with heart, brings love to the rest of the world. We all play a part in delivering pistachios to hungry mouths.