What is more important than what someone is about?
This About Page has 3 sections.
Because I am almost always left wanting when I go to a website’s About page to learn “about” the people behind the product or service. I want to know that there’s a real human being behind it all, who cares more for my well-being than the dollars I represent.
So here’s my best attempt at it so far.
Excerpts from Jetpack Customer Stories interview I did in 2021.
But Mark-Andrew is unequivocally loyal to something: skateboarding and the open source community. He values experiences over things, people over profits, and community over corporations.
It’s this mindset that’s drawn him to be such a strong supporter of open source, “Open source is kind of like skateboarding,” he says, “It’s not about the money involved — people are doing it for a reason.”
If you could pinpoint a goal, Mark-Andrew’s would be to provide independence to skateboarders everywhere. As he travels and meets new people each day, he shares how he’s achieved a lifestyle that allows him to be a full-time skateboarder without giving in to commercialism.
Mark has *created a website that shows other skaters what can be done with tools like WordPress, Jetpack, WooCommerce, and Pressable.” *that’s this website you’re on right now. 😉
Ethical conduct (sila) is built on the vast conception of universal love and compassion for all living beings, on which the Buddha’s teaching is based.
Right speech means abstention (1) from telling lies, (2) from backbiting and slander and talk that may bring about hatred, enmity, disunity, and disharmony among individuals or groups of people, (3) from harsh, rude, impolite, malicious, and abusive language, and (4) from idle and…useless gossip.
I attempt to talk not much and listen intently. I feel every human being is deserving of compassion and empathy, including those that have wronged me or I may disagree with. I choose my words carefully. Even in disagreement I wish for my words to convey understanding and love. I use my words to speak up for others who may not be able to do so for themselves for whatever reason.
Right action aims at promoting moral, honorable, and peaceful conduct.
I always attempt to do no harm. All of my days are filled in the pursuit of helping others be as joyous as they can be. I believe every human is exactly that, a human being. While we all come from different places, with different stories, and different hurdles, we all deserve safety, empathy, and compassion.
Right livelihood means that one should abstain from making one’s living through a profession that brings harm to others.
I make WordPress websites for free that others charge thousands of dollars for. Not because I love websites, although I do.
I make websites for good humans because I believe wholeheartedly that owning our own content, our own space, our own energy, is the answer to getting out of the paradigm we are currently stuck in.
That paradigm being a world in which a huge swath of humanity goes to their graves wishing they had made different choices. That they had worked less. That they had loved more. That they had taken so much more time to just sit and just breath.
So how do you make that next step forward when you need to get out of a hole first? My best answer so far is to give freely and frequently with no expectations.
In the Buddhist tradition, these parts fall under “mental discipline”. I prefer the term “mental health” as it denotes my belief that our mental well-being is something that needs to be exercised.
Right effort is the energetic will (1) to prevent evil states of mind from arising, and (2) to get rid of such evil and unwholesome states that have already arisen within a person, and also (3) to produce, to cause to arise, good, and wholesome states of mind not yet arisen, and (4) to develop and bring to perfection the good and wholesome states of mind already present in a person.
I classify evil as anything which brings about suffering to others. I classify good and wholesome states as anything that brings about joy and pleasure without harming others.
Right mindfulness is to be diligently aware, mindful, and attentive with regard to (1) the activities of the body (kaya), (2) sensations or feelings (vedana), (3) the activities of the mind (citta) and (4) ideas, thoughts, conceptions, and things (dhamma).
This is mediation in all it’s forms. Focusing on the breath, the body, feelings, or attempting to just gently let go of it all.
My normal days consists of anywhere between 2 to 12 hours of meditation or Magick. Most people find this either hard to believe or amazing to accomplish. But I feel amazed that more people don’t spend their time this way!
Physical and emotional pain activate the exact same regions of our brains. We know objectively that mindfulness and meditation practices relieve pain and improve our happiness. We know subjectively that the paradigm in which we are currently living is broken for most of us.
The solution I came up with is to spend all of my time doing only the things that fill me with joy, revitalize my energy, and adds to the well-being of everyone.
The third and last factor of mental discipline is right concentration, leading to the four stages of Dhyana, generally called trance or recueillement.
Right Concentration is the path of detaching oneself from clinging to feelings and emotions. At its highest level that includes joy and pleasure.
The goal is equanimity. It is not a denial of feelings. It is the recognition that laughter will occur when it does, and it will disappear on its own accord as well. We neither cling nor crave an outcome.
We enjoy the laughter wholeheartedly when it is there. We enjoy the silence when it is gone.
Right thought denotes the thoughts of selfless renunciation or detachment, thoughts of love and thoughts of non-violence, which are extended to all beings.
I’ve let go of material things. Everything I own in the world added up weighs less than 7 lb, including the backpack it travels in, a tent, and a sleeping quilt.
I believe completely in non-violence. I believe guns should be outlawed, armies should be disbanded, and no one should ever physically touch someone in a way that wasn’t explicitly asked for.
I believe that every human being is exactly that, a human, irregardless of the color of your skin, where you are from, or any orientation you may hold.
I don’t like labels and try very hard not to use them for myself, as I’ve found throughout my life that most of the labels placed on me were wildly wrong. (You’re probably incorrect about my ethnicity, my sexual orientation, and my upbringing.)
But I also respect any label anyone else chooses to use, and I will stand with them on their right to do so. I feel being aware of more labels when I was growing up would have helped me out immeasurably. Often, one of the only things scarier than just being a teenager, is being a teenager who feels they are alone.
Right understanding is the understanding of things as they are, and it is the four noble truths that explain things as they really are.
This is recognizing that: Life is suffering → because of our wants (clinging to all emotions) → we have the ability to change this → spending our time tending to ourselves and every living thing with empathetic compassion is the solution. ❤️ #w
Like my life, this is a work in progress.
- Initial page written in one sitting on February 3rd, 2023
- February 14th, 2023