Seeking Bodhisattva

My posting activity has started to drop off again. This is partly due to a large workload and traveling schedule. I’m enjoying my work immensely but my blog is neglected as a result. A few weeks ago I even considered shutting this blog down because I feel like I’m like an “old man shouting at clouds.”

I’ve come to realize that my skills are not in coding but in communication.

I know that many people find value in my old RapidMiner tutorials and videos but my heart isn’t in making any new ones. My YouTube channel is also neglected partly because I work for H2O.ai now and because there’s so much free content on Machine Learning and Data Science out there now. I think that’s awesome.

There’s never been a greater time to get into Data Science and Machine Learning than ever before. There are so many ‘rock star’ programmers, Kagglers, and technologists out there now. You can’t NOT be amazed how fast the ‘AI’ space is changing, for better or for worse. I consider myself lucky to have joined near ground zero and love the fact that I’m a part of it now.

BUT.

I’ve come to realize that my skills are not in coding but in communication. Sure I code stuff, mostly to make my life easier and automating the boring stuff (great book BTW), but my expertise is best used elsewhere. Sometimes I don’t even know what this means but I feel alive when I talk to prospects or customers and help them go from a ‘zero level AI person’ to applying ‘AI’ to their problems and helping solve them. I seem to be good at connecting the dots and using tactics and strategies to solve problems. I think that’s the Engineer in me.

Someone scrawled on a wall “Be the Bodhisattva you seek.”

I’ve also become more politically aware and active over the past few years. The reason? Trump. I won’t devolve into right vs left discussions here as I find them useless BUT I’ve always been an environmentalist. This current administration has attacked so many people and groups because of their color of skin, who they love or identify as, and religion. There are so many fights to fight and mine is the environment.

Our entire planet is under assault from climate change, habitat loss, extinction, and pollution. All in name of money. Yet I’ve blogged about trading and investing. I’ve blogged about making money. Am I as complicit as credit card companies that approve gun transactions to a future school shooter?

While technically I’m not cutting down trees or killing baby seals, my recommendations, actions, and investments might support doing just that.

Am I part of the problem? Yes, I believe so.

Many years ago I took a course in world religions. I was most enamored with Buddhism, not in the classical sense but more of the Zen version. I learned about Bodhisattvas and how they chose to “out of compassion, forgo[sic] nirvana in order to save others.” Granted, I’m an atheist but I found Bodhisattvas interesting. Then I read a piece of graffiti that made me question everything. Someone scrawled on a wall “Be the Bodhisattva you seek.”

I can spend hours in flame wars with people on Facebook or Twitter about climate change and not change anyone’s position. I’ve realized that relating and compassion are much more powerful than attacking someone’s position.

I think I can help shape the dialogue in a healthy and sustainable way.

Everyone wants to drink clean water, breathe fresh air, and eat healthy food. It doesn’t matter what your political leanings are, I think this is a universal fact. However, if you tie this to work and jobs, then things get interesting. Let me give you an example:

“I don’t care about some endangered animal, I have my family to feed”

“Climate change is fake news because China wants us to be less competitive and you’ll lose jobs”

“The wind isn’t blowing tonight, so you can’t watch TV”

“There are so many job-killing regulations”

Take your pick or make your own, there are hundreds of these divisive messages out there. Why? Because of money.

As a former Civil Engineer, I can design water and wastewater plants. I’ve designed groundwater recharge systems and wetlands. I fully understand how humans impact the land, sea, and air AND I think I can help stop this onslaught. Armed with Data Science and AI, I think I can make an impact. I think I can help shape the dialogue in a healthy and sustainable way.

What does this mean for the blog? I don’t know yet but I want to become the Bodhisattva I’m seeking.

Emerging Masculine Warrior Spirit

Feminine Warrior Spirit is Calling for You

Influencers talk a lot about it and we see many books around this subject. The shortest example of Warrior Spirit I’ve found is that it’s internal mastery of yourself and often a positive attitude to resolve or avoid conflicts, internal and external. This is my story of how it found me and what it means to me.

Albuquerque, 1995, Summer, Saturday morning. I woke up on my cold linoleum bathroom floor. Dried vomit was caked on my cheek and my head was pounding.

Ms. Tequila dug deep and showed me where my inner wounded boy was hiding.

That Friday evening started as any Friday evening when you’re young, dumb, and have crazy friends. It was lots of laughter, booze, and partying. The weather was divine that night and we had free reign of the complex pool. Good times were had until Ms. Tequila showed up at the party. She came with a friend and introduced herself to me. We made small talk and I went back to being the host of the party.

Somewhere in the middle of the party Ms. Tequila took my hand and led me to a dark corner to have her way with me, and I let her. I was 24, living in a city surrounded by a desert, and until that evening didn’t realize all the unresolved issues I had with my ex-girlfriend. We had broken up the November before and I thought I had processed all the ‘emotions’ associated with that affair. My ‘date’ was good at uncovering my most hidden emotions, and I thank her for that.

Without ripping the lid off this relationship coffin, I will tell you this, our relationship was deep, passionate, and loving. It was the first time I connected with someone on such a deep level and I believe she did too. Our nights were filled with laughter, exploration, and vulnerability. The down part of this relationship was that it was doomed from the start.

We didn’t break up because of cheating or some other form of incompatibility, we broke up because we were young and had our paths to walk in life. We found each other on the same path and walked together for a short time. Then we came to a crossroads and parted, each one of us looking over our shoulders until we couldn’t see each other anymore.

Birds of prey swooped down from imaginary perches and ripped their talons into me.

Ms. Tequila dug deep and showed me where my inner wounded boy was hiding. She opened the door and coaxed him out. We talked and she showed me how deep my feelings still ran for her. This led me to go into full ‘no one loves me’ mode as I began to unpack and mourned love lost.

By the time my guests started to leave, I was sloppy drunk. I took one last shot as the last guest left and sat there in the dark. Ms. Tequila had to leave too but she told me all will be better in the morning. I sat there in my dark living room until the room started to spin. I ran to the toilet and started to purge. I purged and purged and purged.

I purged like no tomorrow and all my sad emotions seemed to stream out of me into that toilet bowl, heave after heave. Then I passed out on the floor and fell into the darkest of blackness ever.

In the pitch darkness of my dreams, I saw something. An enveloping presence came to me. It had no discernible shape and whatever shape I recognized, it became it. At first, I thought it was a worm and then a snake. Then it was a wolf. Then there were many wolves and then vultures.

After all, that’s what we’re taught to do, isn’t it? Don’t cry and be a man?

Birds of prey swooped down from imaginary perches and ripped their talons into me. Even a little mouse appeared and nibbled at my flesh. All these animals surrounded me and ripped my body to shreds. I can still hear their cackles and grunts as they ate everything that was me. It sounded like a nightmare and I should’ve been running in my dream but I felt incredibly at peace. I felt like something good was happening to me.

As soon as the feast was over, they all vomited out my bones and left me in a big pile. In a flash, the enveloping presence put my bones back together again and my body was restored. Then everything went black again till the morning.


The morning after was horrible. I felt like complete shit, but something was different. The night before brought out many unresolved issues from my breakup and I was now ready to address them.

… I have a goal to do better.

Why did it take so long to resolve this inner conflict? Simple. I did what every average man does in our current society. I pushed it deep down inside myself and hid it where no one can see. After all, that’s what we’re taught to do, isn’t it? Don’t cry and be a man?

I realize now, after looking back to that party on that fateful Summer night that my Warrior Spirit had awakened. I believe that spiritually (and physically) I purged out a whole host of hidden issues and trauma that I carried with me to that day.

Was my life a bed of roses afterward? No, certainly not. Did I make mistakes going forward? Yes! Quite a lot.

Am I the perfect man, father, son? Far from it but I have a goal to do better. The Warrior Spirit taught me to work on myself, to do better.

Do better.

Do better in my life. Explore and meditate on things. Do better in my relationship with my wife. Do better in rearing my children. Do better for me. Do better for my community. Do better for the less fortunate.

We no longer honor Feminine Warrior Spirit.

I believe that we all have Warrior Spirit and that Spirit has no real gender. For me, it’s Masculine. Others find it to be Feminine and even others find it to be genderless. It’s energy and connection to the Divine and when we tap into it, we awaken something in ourselves.

It’s a connection to the deepest parts of the cosmic web we call life. It’s an ocean of love that we shouldn’t be afraid to swim in. It’s the tallest mountain that we must climb for ourselves.

But all is not well.

There is an abundance of Feminine Warrior Spirit but the Masculine is lacking. The ranks of brave Masculine Warriors have dwindled over time. Many got lazy and defected to the fleeting distractions of modern society. They got confused and no longer work on themselves. They no longer listen, reflect, and change for the better.

They don’t resolve inner conflicts and treat Feminine Warriors as lesser beings instead of as equal ones. They lost the ability to see their illumination and the ability to tap into their power.

We no longer honor Feminine Warrior Spirit.

They are calling out to us and we ignore them. They are asking for us to come back to the light but we cover our ears and ‘grab women by the pussy’.


Masculine Warrior Spirit is needed to start the healing the world needs, and most importantly now! Our Mother Earth is burning. There is too much violence and too much confusion. Awake Men!

I know that things are changing in the world for us Men and we shouldn’t be afraid. It’s a good thing. We’re at a spiritual crossroads and all life hangs in the balance. Without us, there can be no balance.

A call for help has been sounded by our sisters, mothers, and lovers. Don’t be afraid to let your inner child out of the emotional prison you were taught to build. Let them out into the light and let the Warrior Spirit training begin.

I’ll meet you on the other side.


Special thanks to Yael Wolfe and her I Can’t Live in the World of Man Anymore post for inspiring my post. Thank you.