Do you want to have a wonderful relationship?  A relationship where you can enjoy every moment, feel free, loved, and secure?  Do you want a creamy smooth relationship with a variety of flavors melded together in one package?

I think everyone wants some form of this.  The ways we go about it are as diverse as the number of people on the planet.  There are some universal principles that apply to all people around the world. The ego, self worth, suffering, motivation, and desires all have a part to play.

The most important thing that needs to happen before you read what I have to say is identify a relationship.  You have relationships all around you.  There is no need for it to be a romantic relationship for you to work on it. All relationships matter and can be improved.  The relationship is the bowl or cone you will build upon.  It is the empty vessel of desire that craves to be filled.

Before any relationship can be improved it has to have room in the vessel.

When you build a sundae with someone it is important to share what you are putting in it together. There are many flavors you can add, and even give it different textures. Here are a few different ingredients you should be aware of.

Cherries - These are the little things that stick out in a relationship.  They can complete the whole package.  These include personal close, romantic, or intimate moments.

Ice Cream - This makes up the majority of your sundae.  It is the everyday feeling you get with the person.  It is best served smooth, but some do like a little nuts in theirs. Whether you like it smooth or nutty this is one of the most important ingredients.

Chocolate - This is the brown stuff that fulfills your sexual desire. Chocolate is passion.  Passion can be dangerous to add in large quantities and could lead to you mindlessly putting some shit in your sundae as it is very similar in color.

Shit - Very similar to passion and often placed in the sundae by mistake in the absentmindedness and desire that chocolate creates.  Jealousy, suspicion, anger, and hurt are all shit.  They can take over the entire flavor of your sundae so please keep the poo out.

Pineapple preserves - These provide as much sweetness as texture.  There are many such toppings you can put on your sundae that add both flavor and texture.  These are your adventures, vacations, and history with someone.

Bowl - The bowl is the vessel that holds your relationship.  It is your heart.  It starts off empty but must be handled with care.  It is fragile and the more sundae you build into it the more you risk.  You must not fear dropping your bowl.  Handle it like it is precious to you as it will always belong to you.

Unfortunately most people only worry about the status of a relationship when there is a turd in it.  The thing about shit is that when you put it in your ice cream sundae it really messes up the whole flavor.  The cherries even lose their desire after awhile. When there is a turd in your sundae there has to still be desire for the sundae in order to fix it.  When you have a cup of turds there is no point going to therapy to remove them because without any ice cream to add you will just be left with a dirty bowl.
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When you are focused on balancing your chakras it is helpful to know what triggers each of them. Every sense has a vibration that corresponds to that location. Planets associated with these chakras still escape my understanding for I have not explored the astrological study yet. Please feel free to contact me if you understand this correlation.
What's the difference between a slut and a lady? One will tell you she cheated, the other won't tell you that.

To suggest that someone is lying would be the very accusation of deceitful intent where jealousy is born. Is it so bad that someone get attention from more than just you? This feeling and word has no room in our quest for happiness. To say someone cheated and to judge them for such behavior is to cause suffering for yourself and everyone by proxy.

Can't you see how feeling jealous will cause someone not to want to be around you? Then someone bee-bops on in with a smile and makes your love happy. This irritates you because instead of being happy with your love, you somehow managed to screw up the last reminiscence of whatever made you happy with them long ago.

Perhaps the person you are with causes you to be jealous.  If you can not figure out why you are jealous chances are the problem belongs within you, not your partner. The problem has nothing to do with the trustworthiness of your partner.  The problem started with you being jealous.  When you harbor unresolved jealousies, you cause relationship problems. You are raising this dragon by yourself. Your insecurities will not be attractive to your partner, and they will begin to look elsewhere as you insist you are not worthy with your accusations and turmoil.

People can align with jealousy for power. If you are jealous in all your relationships then you must look inside yourself.  If it is, however, aroused in you by a particular individual you must be very cautious. Everyone gets lonely at times.  It is in these lonely times that it can be an exhilarating rush to have others competing for your attention.  You will find men and women alike that discuss using jealousy to arouse passion in their relationship. This is a desperate, and very dangerous way to receive attention. The dragon of jealousy does not show restraint with it's passion.

Furthermore those that succumb to the power of jealousy will continue to do so until they learn better. You will find that by arousing jealousy you will scare away those that are cautious of it and attract those that align with it. This causes chaos.  Dragons like to defeat other dragons and they all get hurt. 

Jealousy is a timid small sweet creature when it is young. Like children, it brings a bond between those that care about it. Its promises to keep your love lasting in its youth. You should never feed jealousy, and like gremlins there's something about midnight. Jealousy grows up quickly, and soon your chasing this dragon around your bedroom in the middle of the night flailing your arms around like an idiot. Nobody gets any sleep, and the safety of your home grows dim like the grey walls of a prison cell. Threatening the safety of yourself, home, children, or pets will certainly be the death of love.

Nobody cheats, nobody owns you. Stop thinking you can control others' hearts because you can't.  Resistance to what is - only causes you suffering. You can promise loyalty and dedication to someone, but if you promise your heart will never change or love another you are starting to lie. Once jealousy grows its wings it takes couples together in pairs, with both claws to its lair. This dragon does not want to destroy you. This dragon wants to keep you both near. It slays your love under the pretense of keeping it alive. This dragon loves you to death, poisoned by its venomous presence. The selfish nature of this dragon brings a bitter taste with ramifications that scar forever. We ought to discourage those that want to keep these dragons as pets. 

If anyone should recognize this dragon it is green with envy, real only to those that find it in the cracks of a relationship, and remains hidden to everyone else. If you ever see this dragon you must face fearing it. When you open your eyes it will have no power. Most of what you worried about never happened. They fly away easily when they are young. Enjoy the increased time in a happy relationship without the bondage to this dragon. 

The cheated and cheaters are the names given to the victims of jealousy. Let jealousy scurry off to other dragons to live happily when it's young. That's the best for everyone. Try to raise one of these and it will try to hatch you like an egg. Also, I do not know any dragon slayers with credible experience.

BTW..   The dragons biggest trick is convincing you, you are not him.
For three years now I have been using Blogger.  I have no reason to go elsewhere.  Since Google has taken ownership there have been no problems as far as I can tell.

As a developer I always had a reason for testing new software and ringing the newest bells.  The one mistake I always made before was mixing my writing with my playground. While I was updating the newest blog software, or messing around in my database, and updating my plugins, my writings have repeatedly succumbed to tragic loss.

Then I went to Blogger and left the programming to the professionals.  Now I could concentrate on my writing.  The time I have had available to write has more than doubled. If you are still interested in my technical analysis, that article can be found here.

My advice was sound though.  Keeping it simple has allowed me to concentrate on what blogging is good for. It is like a car.  If you like taking it apart all the time, you won't have time to go anywhere.

Instead of getting good at installing blog software.  Stick with one and start blogging.
What does glass half empty or full mean anyway?  Every glass is full everywhere.  There is usually variable amounts of air, but nonetheless every glass is full.  However, what you say about this says more about you than you realize.

Let me explain...

Reality is that the glass is always full, unless you live on the cusp of a black hole and half your glass is in it.  It is full of air, water, juice, or whatever cool-aid your drinking today including this philosophical bullshit. It is still full though, and anyone telling you it is not is trying to sell you something for your glass.

In life...

You have not had time for anything more than you already did. You don't get a chance to do it twice.  Your cup is always full.  You put more cool aid in and you lose air.  You know what happens when your brain loses air? You don't die right away, instead you turn into a clumsy, stumbling, walking blueberry.


The cup is overfilling.  It always is.  Air is spilling in and out, and if that cup is sideways you might only have air in your cup.  Make your cup straight and put what you want in it.

I'm sorry, your hard life has only given you half the blessings you deserve.

For heavens sake.. Stop believing there is a void in your cup!
It is inevitable that there are those out there that do not want to be my friend.  I am glad, but sometimes you just don't make it apparent. So that I do not waste time and worry wondering if you are really my friend or not, I wanted to write a quick guide to make it easier for you to show me how I am  your friend.

There are some things that are very important to me in relationships.  One of them is respect.  Disrespect can take many forms.  To make this rather simple I will try to make a bullet point list for quick reference to make sure you show me your relationship intentions clearly.  Successfully done, and I will know that control and power actually mean more to you than listening to and respecting my feelings.
  • Don't appreciate it when I am sharing time with you.  Instead attempt to make me feel guilty for the times I wasn't there for you.  Accuse me of not being a good friend. Tell me how little I value you, and make reference to me throwing away our friendship.  I will realize that engaging in such conversations is a higher emotional toll than I can pay and will find others to bug. 
  • Make sure I hear things I only shared with you from other people.  There is nothing I like better than a person that lets me know right away how much I can trust them.  Do this sooner rather than later. 
  • After you complete the last few task I am less likely to be contacting you. Try and get mutual friends to influence me to talk to you. This is where you call mutual friends and persuade them to discuss this with me. I love to make my personal relationships everyone's business and truly enjoy justifying myself to our mutual friends for not taking your crap. 
  • Make no apologies.  Why should you change a thing.  I am not going to change to enjoy such treatment so why should you for being yourself.  When I explain to you I do not have time, am busy, tired, or otherwise over-extended it is best to really give me some guilt. Tell me about sickness, cancers, death, and drama.  Every moment you wish I was with you and I wasn't should be brought up, this is especially effective if it is a decision I had to make for someone else.  This will show your compassion for the others I love in my life. Completely ignore what I am going through.  Make sure I know that your issues is all your thinking about. 
  • Anger. When you harbor anger because you believe I am not 'doing my job' being your friend this manifest in gloriously fun ways. When passive insults start getting tossed around about me as jokes I instantly understand this. This social manipulation can be used to instigate many negative feelings. You can use tools such as tears, sarcasm, and pity to create powerful divisions among group friends. 
  • Jealousy.  When you feel insecure make sure you question me about everyone else.  Demand your place in my heart. 
Remember, you do not have to be my friend.  I choose my true friends by character. Please do not hesitate to demonstrate what being your friend will be like early on.  The clearer you can make it, the sooner I can establish a quality relationship distance with you.

ISO 100 - 18 mm - f/22 - 1/3 sec 
During Easter weekend I went to Pacific Grove to practice taking photos. The photos below were taken during Blue Hour.

I tried to take slow shutter speed photos during the daylight hours, but without a dark filter on my lens I was not able to get less than 1/8 sec without overexposure.

During the evening hours I returned to Lover's Point Pacific Grove to catch the photos below. 

ISO 100 - 18 mm - f/14 - 5 sec
I started out with a high aperture setting to get everything in focus.  I gradually backed the aperture out to f/8 in the end to gather more light and focus on the rocks. 

All these pictures were taken with a infrared shutter remote and tripod.  It would be impossible to get long shutter speed shots in focus otherwise.  Even still you can see a slight amount of shutter vibration in some of the lower shutter speed photos.

At the end of this photo session I moved down to the beach level for a different angle.
ISO 100 - 18 mm - f/13 - 4 sec
Next time I do a long shutter speed photo session of moving water I will try to make the following preparations.

  • Take a dark filter for daylight photos.
  • Take more photos.
  • Wait till the sun sets more for longer exposure times. 
  • Bring better clothes to keep warm and comfortable. 

ISO 100 - 26 mm - f/8 - 3 sec

ISO 100 - 55 mm - f/13 - 3 sec

ISO 100 - 18 mm - f/8 - 2.5 sec

We are all caught somewhere in the Dao.  Either more on the Yin side or Yang side.  We continually fluctuate throughout our lives between Yin and Yang although through our instincts Yang usually comes more naturally to us. It is Yin that most Zen seekers find for balance. You will notice as you take this quiz many questions you may have answered differently at a different time, and you may answer it differently in the future.  This quiz will let you know where you are at this point in time.  Not which way you are moving. 

Google changed something that broke my code for the quiz so I removed it. Apologies to those that never found out how Zen they are. The quiz was built upon a PDF posted to the internet by Dr Cort Curtis on his website. The quiz was just an adaptation of the manual quiz he posted below.

The PDF can be accessed directly HERE, and has additional information. Alternatively, you can also take this quiz manually by printing out this PDF.