Friday, March 29, 2013

My Most Important Gaming Editorial Yet

Namaste readers!

This will be a short and hopefully sweet post. I'm just going to post a link to an editorial I wrote that's very important to me - my stand against the sexism present in the video game industry.

Here it is: A Gamer's Declaration of War on Sexism.

Hope you enjoy it, and if you have feedback, please don't hesitate to leave some in the comments!

Friday, March 15, 2013

We All Do Stupid Things

So yeah, sometimes I do stupid things...we all do. And if you say you never did anything stupid, you'd be lying, and that's stupid too.

But sometimes I have to ask myself...why do I do stupid things? Why am I not perfect?

I guess it has to do with how I sometimes perceive everything bad around me to be my fault, which certainly isn't a healthy mindset. However, it's in an effort to try to be unselfish by being apologetic and considerate...and it usually backfires, making me seem conceited and self-centered.

When it comes to changing myself, however, and making myself better than I am, far I seem to consistently fall short. I guess that's the part I'm really stupid at. I can't seem to motivate myself to change even if my life depended on it...and someday it just might!

I'm just frustrated at being unable to deal with my flaws. Makes me wish I could rewrite my brain or something.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Maha Shivaratri at the Hindu Temple of Rochester

Namaste readers - I figure you would all like to know I have successfully attended the Maha Shivaratri puja at the Hindu Temple of Rochester on Saturday. I even got to be one of the folks who poured milk on the Shivalingam! Unfortunately, even though the event lasted all night I couldn't stay all blood sugar got in the way. Oh well...maybe next year I can pull an all-nighter for this holy day.

Somehow I feel as if I've both deepened my Hindu practice (by pouring milk on the Shivalingam) and missed an opportunity (by not staying all night)...weird, I know. At least I feel I have accomplished something!

Here's a photo of the event that has me in it...there's a lot of people in the photo, but I'm one of the ones in line. (I didn't take the photo, obviously.)

I hope your Maha Shivaratri was just as blessed. :-)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

From the Meditation File: Vision of a Shivalingam

Namaste readers! I don't know if describing my meditation experiences is of interest to you all or not, but since no one has objected yet...I figure I'll share another one. This one's interesting...although when have I not shared interesting meditation experiences? ;-)

This particular experience happened yesterday. I did my usual Ganesha mantra chanting and Sahaj Samadhi meditation as taught to me by the Art of Living. I forget exactly when this happened, but during this session, I saw a Shivalingam very vividly! It was very clear to me, at least as clear as one can see the backs of their eyelids while meditating, meaning in this case it was like a black-and-white photograph of it, sort of...yeah, I'm not being very clear in my description here. But the point is I saw a Shivalingam that was very clear to me.

(For those readers who don't know, a picture of a Shivalingam is in this post.)

After the meditation session, I did remember that Maha Shivaratri, a very important Hindu holiday, is coming up this weekend. I was planning on attending puja at the temple in my area anyway, so maybe this is my mind giving me a reminder. Or maybe it means something more significant than that...I honestly don't know what to think of it. I'm still thinking of it even today, although for today's meditation session, I did not see it again.

I know I have a tendency to assign more meaning to events, even meditation images, than I should. Even if this vision is nothing significant, my mind still wants it to be...maybe I'm being conceited in this case. It's just...well, I was dearly hoping that maybe Lord Shiva had taken an interest in me...

I have this very dear desire to see the God(s) of Hinduism up close and personal. Call it wanting to be...acknowledged by them. That I want them to directly tell me that I have a positive role and place in this universe. I must sound crazy right now. Maybe I am...but...well, we all have flaws, right? Is this such a deep flaw?

Pardon my self-centered ramblings in this post. I've been trying to shake these selfish notions for a long time...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Beauty in Unexpected Places

Sometimes beauty can be found in places you least expect it.

I know the vast majority of my readers don't like metal, and I'm not asking you to. But that doesn't mean that the music I listen to can never be beautiful.

For evidence, I submit this picture from the official Deftones website (I obviously didn't snap this photo, I don't know who did, but I'm just linking to it here, I'm not claiming anything), of the concert the band had here two nights ago at the Rochester, NY Main Street Armory:

I like to think of this photo as evidence that beauty can be found anywhere. Indeed, it can be found everywhere.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Authenticity, Sincerity, and Other Buzzwords

Namaste readers. For those of you who are Hindus, I have a very important question to ask: most of you readers probably don't know me in real life, but regardless, would you readers consider me a real Hindu?

I'm asking because in one other online discussion forum (that shall not be named), my authenticity and sincerity of being a Hindu was called into question...not directly, but it was certainly implied.

To be honest, I don't know how to respond to such implicit accusations. I certainly want to be a Hindu, in both my heart and my mind. But oftentimes my mental maladies keep me from going any deeper than I am now. Thanks to my depression and lack of energy resulting from it, I sometimes find it hard to do things like read scriptures, learn how to do puja at home, or even meditate and do its associated pranayama. I try to go to my local temple as often as possible, but my lack of a car prevents me from going there as often as I should. And as for all the knowledge associated with Sanatana Dharma? I've barely scratched the surface of it, thanks to the two previous facts I've mentioned.

And as others have pointed out, I've made blunders in thinking some of my cultural tastes and preferences were spiritual, and that it was not only futile, but offensive, to try to link those to Hinduism. That certainly doesn't do my reputation any good, and certain online people have added "poser" and "racist" to my list of descriptions as a result. (Again, I don't want to say who. I don't want to pay any more attention to them.)

Of course, there are those who will say I shouldn't pay any attention to such people. They say Hinduism is all about diversity and individuality (in terms of how people worship) after all. But still, the last thing I want to do is defile another culture with my stupidity. What I have seen of India's culture so far, I've fallen in love with. I want to belong to it...but old cultural habits die hard.

I want to believe...but am I too indoctrinated in Western ways to be able to join the culture and faith I truly want to believe in? Am I too far gone?