Oh So Zen

I’m reading a book on meditation currently, Wherever You Go, There You Are – by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  I talked about my alignment with the eastern philosophies, in particular Buddhism, and this book certainly explores that concept in depth.  It comes with tapes to help meditate and exercises every few pages to get you in the correct mindset.  There are also quite a few passages from other “zen-like” authors, so there’s some tranquility if you will, in the pages.

I do find that it takes wild swings of the pendulum mind you.  There are sections that deal with nirvana, or simply emptiness and yet others than focus more on being mindful of your surroundings.  The latter seem to be much more approachable than the former, at least given the culture in the west.  It’s not that I think it isn’t a noble goal, just that in 2015, I think we may have moved beyond that now.  Being mindful, living in the present – and I mean truly living in the present – that’s something I’ve been trying to do for a long time.

As is clear, I’m very analytical, which in turn has me looking forward a lot, living in the future.  Instead of appreciating the moment, I’m often thinking about what’s next.  It’s a sort of hunger inside of me that I’m not quite sure how to handle.  So I have to make a conscious effort to be present.  This is less difficult with my kids, and slightly more challenging with my wife.  It’s a significant challenge in the workplace, given the type of job I do.

More of the Farm

It might sound odd, but I’m still learning more about how to play a monk, even after it being my primary character since 2012.  There are certain patterns in play that really make a difference in achieving success with less fuss.  The U6/EP build I’m using is different on TX than on all other levels, due to my damage output.  Everywhere else, I just mash a button and things explode.  (Aside – I have a great dislike for Belial.  I spent 2 nights trying to clear that guy when the game came out.  Now it’s 1 hit in T8. Boom.)  On TX, I need to group them up a lot more, so that the damage spreads across a group.  It’s quite a visceral feeling when the screen just blows up mind you, then you have 40+ enemies down at the same time.

While TX is dandy for legendaries, with still yet no luck on any upgrades, I am taking a different approach to upgrading through bounties.  I mentioned in another post how I have a dislike for Act 5 bounties and any bounty that asks you to clear level 2.  When those two are combined…and you end up chasing tiny rats in a corner… it is not pleasant.

After quite a few runs, I’ve noticed where my monk shines and where other classes are much more appropriate.  Any zone that requires movement around things is a monk’s forte.  Acts 1 & 3 are full of such places, with stairs and pits and so on.   Dashing around is fairly easy as monk, and I guess as a Wizard as well.  The big open zones are better suited for other classes, where they can move in a straight line through things fairly easily.  This means that the “clear level 2” bounties are near always better suited for those classes.  Monks are also tremendously good at boss fights.  1-2 hits and they go down.

So the final run I made last night, I focused solely on the ones where a monk excels in terms of speed.  In our group of 4, I ended up clearing 11 of the bounties (where the average is 6).  It isn’t that I should do more or less, it’s that I should do the ones I’m good at, which in turn helps the entire team complete all the bounties that much faster.

Though, I’m always looking for the Belial bounty.  That guy still owes me.

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