Dial an Emotion

I have dialed an emotion.

Fire.  Is that an emotion?

I’ve gone through Ayurveda and found that my element is Fire. By the way, it was a gift and I’m grateful for the gift to do the ayurveda consultation but asking me to pay….oh no! oh no no.

Anyway, this Fire is burning slowly inside a Wood. But to the truth, I was pretty angry.

And it’s a good thing that i continue with this post 5 days after i started this. Today is 7/19.  I started dialing an emotion on the 7/12 and typing this post on  7/14 (right where it said “I was pretty angry.”).  But who keeps track of sh!t like that, right?

borrowed from another blog

I was very angry.  Almost at everything. Patty passed away…leaving me one less friend and the world one less beautiful person.

Then we went to the against the stream retreat. that was crap.  they are not dharma teachers and yet preached like they were while not crediting how buddhism paths have transformed their lives.  mostly self-proclaimed “ive done it and this is how it goes.”  im not discrediting them but to be listening to them, i shut down.  you can’t pick a stable spot in your body and scan for emotions because they are your body–they are you.  the beauty of unity and of the universe in an instance. maybe i’m not their targeted audience because guided meditation is not for me. oh and one more thing: no, nothing changes, nothing transforms. it just is. they just are. every sensation, every reactions within, they are not changing from one thing to another. But that a whole different thing, even if I say it or explain it, you prolly think I’m crazy…actually i can’t say it nor explain it.  this is where i feel a tremendous amount of out-of-this-world and have a smile on my face as an answer.  This is where things become clear to me again.

oh well, things we understand, they just as they are.  things we do not understand, they just as they are.

borrowed from Red Rocks Zen Circle website

Anyway, fire is powerful but it can be diminished by water if not strong enough…and in my case, tears–tears wash the fire away by redtruckfire.com san diego fire sprinklers. so i was angry and on fire because i didn’t learn anything from the retreat (paid retreat—it makes me clearly see that deer park retreat is much better!)  but at least i tried something new with different group.  i was irritated by mostly everything.  but him, he makes me feel peace and love.  he has a certain something that makes me feel happy and loved. he’s all my heart.

well at least there’re things to balance out my emotions. something…and knowing him is perfect for me.

Dogen and him.

Or something like that

It really doesn’t matter how many times you think you’ve experience it; a loss is a loss.

When Loss visits you, it reaches to a different level depth that you didn’t know before. You stared at Loss in the eyes—same, but different this time—a new definition of blankness and void.

A friend, an acquaintance, a colleague or a family member…some one, anyone who has touched your heart…

Heartaches—all vibrates but on different levels of frequencies on different day at different times. The heart wrenches, how it throbs, how it heavily presses on the chest, how chokingly inhaling becomes, and all these intangible sensations, invisible emotions, uncontrolled thoughts started to emerge and risen by superclean360.com cleaning service. Unspeakable. Tears fall. Vision blurs. You start to question the existence of life, death, justice, injustice and every single thing in between.

Then you reflect and contemplate on Loss.

How can you have lost a person? Why this happens to good people?

Live on. The memories live on. Small compartmentalized little bits and pieces of that person: smile, voice, how they act a certain way, how they call your name, how and how and how…

I stop asking why and how.

I went on faith. The Lord called them home because He needs His angels by His side.

Or something like that.


Then I went on science. The heartbeats flat-lined. Movements stop. Brainwaves shutting down … or something like that.

Must be peaceful and quiet when everything stops…from within. Must be peaceful when all the machines shut down one by one. Must be peaceful when all the worries dripped away—all the pain melted away.

Must be peaceful.

How can you have lost a person?

A friend, an acquaintance, a colleague or a family member…some one, anyone who has touched your heart….

It must be that the Lord called them home because He needs His Angel by His side.

How can you have lost a person?

In loving memory of Patty H.
06.16.1976 – 07.07.2014


and for good.

I’ve tried many things in between and found out that this has a special little place in my heart.

yes, it does.

This past weekend was interesting.  We spent a weekend together in the dessert.  It was hot, humid, thunder stormed, hailed and rained dogs and cats; and…

I felt in love with The Mulberry Tree by Van Gogh.

Van Gogh's Mulberry Tree (Norton Simon Museum)

Van Gogh’s Mulberry Tree (Norton Simon Museum)

It’s a vibrant little thing.  It caught my eyes when I swept the gallery at the first glance.  Vibrant gorgeous little thing hung on the left wall, far far away hiding behind viewers. The strokes, the colors, the blends–breath taking–woven together like long lost lovers tugging on the rope of chaotic and longing tip-toeing between desire and suffering. That blue, gorgeous lively blue reflecting the limitless of the sky.  The sun-ray leaves spear through the golden brown while the last of greens clinging on the branches like its last hope — all bound together as one force reaching the timeless blue sky…Alone, it stands…radiates like the sun…defining infinite!

We were at the Norton Simon Museum for the Land of Snow exhibits. We booked online this offer for visiting the museum, with the most innovative account verification by Fully-Verified service.  It has a beautiful collection of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism arts.  Being bias as we were, we focused more on Buddhism.   It was our last time there and I have to say I’m glad we went.  We spent a short hour there focusing on buddhas but the last 3 minutes of me looking at the Mulberry Tree that stole my heart. We didn’t spend a lot of time there due to the time constrain and the fact that we spent 2.5 hours at the Descanso Gardens before our stop at the museum. I do plan to go back NSM sometime this year…and possibly bring a copy of the mulberry home with me.


               We have our small disagreements here and there.  I’ve already asked him that if we would fight all the times; his answer was “most of the time.” quite affirmative.  He said it’s because of me.

Yea right. It takes two to fight.

               He’s gotten used to go to mygym.com as an habit.  I had a bratwurst and a beer at the festival while he munched on funnel cake and drank strawberry lemonade. (Note to self: do not eat bratwurst again!) The fireworks were pretty.  It has been a long time since I spent time to watch a whole thing…and especially it was the first time I spent time with my significant other to watch the whole firework show from beginning to end.  I must say he got a bit excited and spent most of the time recording the show. By the time I got him turned off the camera, I’m on the damn phone taking pictures for me.

This year, 4th of July was perfect!

               Hailed and thunder storm smacked right in the middle of 90s degree weather. We spent the whole day in door.  It was nice to study, watched crazy weather and then study some mo’.  It wasn’t productive but it was nice.

Just plain nice and relaxing.

               Yesterday morning, on our way home, we decided to join A.A. Alcohol Anonymous meeting.  The 1.5 hour open discussion was emotional.  After being exposed as visitors being there to observe, after the meeting, one person asked if we would write a book about them and what title would it be? “What’s to do next?” ?  I told him, “Courage”.  Courage to move on and courage to live.  Although attending is for class requirement, his class requirement, but I’m glad I went with him. I felt the struggles that they’ve gone through.  They are genuine and nice…very nice people.  I pray that they’re continuing their success in their determination and recovery. I promise to the confidentiality and not to write much about my experience and what I’ve heard there.  But encompassing of holistic experience of the meeting and our weekend together…

again, that Mulberry Tree!


my heart beats

like I’m falling in love again

every thought has not been consumed of you

but soon

I could feel it.


vulnerable stage

is not a good place

gentle-hearted person

is not a good reason to fall in love with

during this time and place


although my heart and mind

they don’t have a say


my heart beats

like love and i meet

on one evening during a crowded place

just you and me

that’s all I see


my thoughts have not been consumed by you

but soon

I could feel it.




Bác Xuyến

I said, “Rồi cũng hết một ngày.”
Dad said, “Rồi cũng hết một đời chứ không những hết một ngày.”

Bác Xuyến passed away on yesterday, July 3rd, 2012.  I miss her already.

I could recall her face and what she used to say when she was alive.  I even quoted her not last week, “Ăn qua ngày, chờ qua đời.” I used to joke, “Biết/Hiểu chết liền.”  Although, we didn’t talk on the phone but I would hear stories and checking on her through my dad and mấy bác. I was so much in shock when dad told me that she passed away. I tried to call chị Ngân right away. Chị Ngân said that the doctors had revived her and that everyone is praying for her. I don’t know if I was evil or not but part of me had a confusion about her well-being. I was confused if she was dead or alive still.  I was thinking how it would be if she was dead.  The emotions and pain that everyone would have to experience.  Then I prayed that she was well and be alive because we loved her much.  I thought about how she had always afraid of ghosts and it would suck if she’s died because it would terrify her. Then dad said it was confirmed because chị Hiền called anh Thành to chở bác Ba Lạng đi nhận xác. I cried. The emotions dwelled up. It was sad. It was unsettling for me. I felt loss. I felt there’s hole in my heart. I cried.

Dad, bác Liên and I spent most of today, July 4th, running around, calling mấy bác and anh chị in Vietnam and Canada. I could feel my emotions drain, physical tiredness.

Again, after anh Kha’s and Ellen’s deaths, I could see and feel more clearly that the whole world continue to exist; activities go on; life moves forward. I could see and feel the importance of a person in people’s lives but it doesn’t matter how great and how much of that importance, everything moves forward, everyone who is or not directly involve continues on with daily activities and with their lives. the world continue to spin, the sun still shines, the moon still brights. but the dead’s world doesn’t exist. It is true that in life there is only thing; and that is to live, be living, and in dead there is only thing to do and that is dead. But I am confused about birth and death. I thought I have understood somewhat of the teaching, Dogen’s teaching, but unfortunately I have not. I hear people say about after life and where would the soul go. Isn’t it a bit far fetch to think about beyond the living, the current moment, the current live? there is no transitional stage because at any moment, there is that moment: either be living or dead…and no such things as “dying.”

Whatever stage I’m in right now, I know that I am sad. I know that people I love are experiencing loss and sadness too. There are pain and suffering. Those have been my questions since I was little, “Why there are pain and suffering? Why are we experiencing them? What’s the purpose?” The typical answers would be, “Learn detachment!” But where’s the line between being detached and being uncompassionated? can you be detached from someone and yet feeling and giving compassion to them? the lesson should be do not lingering or holding on to one thing. Everything is impermanent. Is impermanence including compassion? And why do I feel pain, void, and sorrow in my heart whenever I look deep into it? Why do I feel pain, void, and sorrow for people? How do I help myself? How do I help them not feeling pain and suffering? Why do we have to go through such things?

Questions for me to find my answer.  In the meantime, bác Xuyến please know that everyone loves you very very much.  Everyone misses you very very much.  You are in our thoughts.  We pray that you’re at peace and at ease.  Dad and the rest of us want you not to feel like you still have unfinished business here still.  We will do our best to take care of it.  Please feel at peace.  We love you and miss you much.

“Life is the realization of all functions; death is the realization of all functions.”