Daily Prompt Meditation and Living the Good Life


It’s ironic that the day when the title of the Daily Prompt is “Easy Fix”, pingbacks are broken again.  Here’s a little secret I can give you as a 30-year veteran of the software engineering field.  IF IT AIN’T BROKEN DON’T TOUCH IT!

New software engineers have to learn this the hard way.  It’s really easy to get into code and think you’re so smart you can make it better, prettier, easier for others to read.  So you spend the night rewriting this code that is only marginally connected to the one-line fix you were supposed to be doing.  You test it once, and then release it and go to bed.

The next morning you wake up to find out that either the system in some other configuration doesn’t build, or you broke some basic functionality and now the entire project spanning 3 different countries is broken.  People in India are sitting around twiddling their thumbs.  Some kind person working late at home might have caught your mistake and is now backing it out in a process that takes at least one entire 12-hour day.  In the meantime the director is on the phone to ATT explaining to them why they can’t get their one-line fix today and their system has to remain down another day.  Every thread on the project mailing list mentions your name as the culprit for the break, and you might have had one or two nasty flames thrown your way publically while you were snoring away.

The sign of an experienced engineer is someone who knows how to fix the one-liner and then steps away after submitting that fix.  If there’s another bug in the code, it gets treated as a separate bug and submitted separately.

Anyway, all this technobabble is to say, WHO IS TOUCHING THINGS!?

Oh, and don’t mix pot with work!  Has someone on the staff been reading my blog?  I actually have in the past mixed pot with my late night working sessions.  Under certain circumstances pot does a fine job when you’re coding.  Lots of things are tedious.  If you have the code already designed and written, pot can help give you the focus to step through every line of logic and debug it.  I haven’t done that since my 20’s though — at the very beginning of my software engineering career.  I stopped smoking pot simply because it was illegal, I didn’t have contacts to buy pot from, and it wasn’t important enough to hang out with potheads and then have a bunch of people in my life that I didn’t particularly like.  So the rest of my 30-year career was pot-free — until my cancer, and now the legalization of medical marijuana.

I still do my blogging and financial and legal work without pot.  So even in my free-spirited state of living I have boundaries for when I feel like I can safely use it and when I feel more comfortable being straight.

SO WHOEVER IS SMOKING WHILE FIDDLING WITH PINGBACKS, STOP THIS MINUTE!

Oh crap, no one is listening in spite of the caps.  Let’s get on with important blogging.

I was reading a blog post last night where someone reposted an article about why meditation is bad for you.  This article cited people getting OCD and terrible depression and fixations, people ending up in mental hospitals — the whole article shocked me.  I just googled “Why meditation is bad” and discovered a ton of people think it’s bad.

One time, years ago, I was extremely angry about something.  I meditated on my anger thinking about the phrase “face your anger”.  Well, instead of the anger disappearing, I discovered I was seething afterwards.  I’d inflamed my anger.  The lesson I learned from that is, meditation is not just sitting and thinking about anything, it’s sitting and meditating on your breath.  All of your answers to life are in your breath.

When you read dharma books like Eckhard Tolle, Sharon Salzberg, Thomas Merton and the like, they may be saying things that are cryptic, like talking about precepts or lovingkindness and such; but in every single thing they say, there is a fundamental prerequisite which is “Establish a sitting practice.  Listen to the teachings with your internal being and not your external monkey brain.”  I’m the sort of person that needs to really understand step one before I get to step two.  Some teachings seem to rush too much.  To establish a sitting practice and meet that inner person takes a lot of dedication and practice.  I hardly think it’s practical or sensible to rush people through the precepts before they’ve even understood the feeling of joy in emptiness, because they haven’t developed the proper motivation.

Meditation can be good or destructive.  It depends upon whether we’ve had instructions on how to do it properly.  Same goes for pot.  It can be really good or really destructive if you misuse it.  You have a choice when you’re high.  “Do I sit on the couch for the rest of the day eating potato chips and watching Netflix or do I get off my ass and use my high to do productive things with my life?”

The key word in life is choice.  You have a choice.  Be happy or be miserable.  In trying to fix my own misery I’ve made a lot of mistakes through my trial and error methods.  But I know that I have the power of choice in everything I do.  The last time I detox’d from percocet I was on 20 other different antipsychotics and random other drugs to compensate for drug interactions.  I was in so much pain and suffered from side effects which triggered hot flashes and stomach issues.  I was so fucked up I couldn’t even articulate to the doctors what exactly my problems were.  I had constant diarrhea from the Miralax to counteract the constipating effects of the percocet.  I quit everything cold turkey, nearly killing myself in the process.  My main goal right now is exercise, yoga, and meditation on my breath, take a minimum of drugs, keep writing and taking pictures, and hopefully make the rest of my life worth living.  I want to die looking back on my life with a smile, thinking “I’m ready now.”  And perhaps I will have a gravestone that says “And All was Right In the World”.  I would lke that.

Easy Fix

Write a post about any topic you wish, but make sure it ends with “And all was right in the world.”

(Thanks for the prompt suggestion, Timothy Baldwin!)

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Daily Prompt Meditation and Living the Good Life

7 thoughts on “Daily Prompt Meditation and Living the Good Life

  1. Sorry, running to a dinner and could read only the first half! Yess.. my pingbacks are not working either. I don’t think it’s a Swiss thing but anyway. Yes! “SO WHOEVER IS SMOKING WHILE FIDDLING WITH PINGBACKS, STOP THIS MINUTE!”- Hear hear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Read the rest of your post and loved it. We do have a choice, almost always. You are doing an excellent job with your aims in life. Kudos to you! Also, just noticed that pingbacks are not working for anyone now – they’ve been off for me for more than a week now and that’s why I got all excited with the start of the post. My misery needed some company I guess and looks like all of WP just joined in! I didn’t wish it on anyone but oh well at least now I hope they ‘fix’ it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. FCM says:

    This past December I read a book by Nathan Gill, Already Awake. Short book, interesting read. I’m questioning my 10 year zen meditation practice these days. I’m also retarded…umm..err…I mean retired and find myself slipping into aloneness, solitude etc..just as you stated. I get what your saying here.

    Liked by 1 person

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