Hello, 今日は (こんにちは, konnichi wa), ようこそ (youkoso), and welcome. Taizen here.

I’m putting this special video together to discuss a few important things regarding my recent absence, new considerations for the channel, and the current state of the show.

First, my absence. I want to apologize for disappearing. What I’m about to share with you I do so in hopes that this will help someone. Also, I owe you all an explanation.

See, because of my efforts to help me avoid COVID-19 and having lost all my work when the pandemic hit, it has had a creeping effect on my mental well being. I’ve had an incredibly difficult time finding work and I haven’t been out much at all. After about six months of this, it lead me to some feelings of uselessness and being unwanted, bouts of overeating and undesired weight gain, and I eventually went from being a chronic insomniac to never seemingly getting enough sleep. Things I love doing, like singing, songwriting, voice over auditions, and even streaming (including gaming, teaching, and discussing), I just had no interest in doing. Even meditation, while still helpful, wasn’t nearly as effective for a while. Simply put, by the time October arrived, I took a nosedive into a pit of funk.

I realize that my situation isn’t unique. Many others in this nation face similar struggles. Mental health is very important, just as important as doing everything we can to help stifle the spread of the virus. At least depression can be treated, whether it’s self-help using creative or journaling outlets, talking with people who care for you, meditation, or therapy. Even clinical depression can be treated with the aid of medication. I’ve been fortunate enough to talk a bit about it with friends, family, and local sangha, meditate, and ride it out (and shout out to those in the Crowder Twitch community for checking up on me, I really appreciate it). I’m getting better, though I may still need time. I hope that if any of you out there are feeling depressed during this pandemic, you’ll find a way to treat yourself or seek help. I also hope that my experience has proved helpful to those of you who may need it whether it was for the suggestions or relatability.

On the upside, however, I was just offered a new job which will bring me a lot of relief! It starts soon. This also means scheduling changes for the channel. More on that to follow.

Next, I’ve been juggling an idea or few to expand a little on the content I create. For one, I was thinking of utilizing the YouTube channel more. I was thinking about doing discussion topics on pre-recorded video for YouTube first, then having the actual discussion on Twitch the following Sunday. I’ve also thought about learning more and doing such videos on Japanese culture as we already incorporate some of that a little bit.

I’ve also entertained some thoughts about using one of my nights to stream to YouTube and the Facebook page instead of Twitch to expand on availability. I’m setting up to experiment with this soon.

Lastly, since content has been more than only gaming as I try to incorporate, I may soon change the naming of the channel and social media sites to something more appropriate, like “taizen.tv”, “taizen.streams”, or “taizen.org”. Something to those effects.

One final point on the channel, as I was extended an offer for a new job, this means my streaming schedule will change. This means the stream will start later, specifically 8:00 PM CT. This change is effective immediately.

Lastly, an update on the show. Sadly, because of my status the past couple months, nothing has really moved here. I’m still trying to incorporate as a 501©(3) non-profit organization and I’m looking for funding and a few people to be part of the board. Doing this will allow us to do more with our content, from guest speakers to quality improvements. I’m working toward this and, in time, with enough help, we’ll get there.

Keep an eye out on my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page, and the website, taizen.org, for when I will be online. I’ll be back VERY soon. There’s so much I want to do and I’m looking forward to doing it all with you! I missed spending time with all of you and I look forward to coming back! Thank you all for your understanding and we’ll see you soon.

May all beings be safe, healthy, and joyous. Gassho! 🙏