Archive for June, 2010

It doesn’t matter how different we all seem to be in how we look, or what we do, or in the approaches we undertake, as our Source, of where we come from is the same – the Origin.

Because of the evolution of the mind, there need be a variety of methods/approaches, all serving towards the same goal – for liberation, for love, for peace.

Yet it seems when we all come together, our approaches or somewhat paths are different – it only requires respect, love and appreciation for ourselves and others to bring us all to the space of Oneness. Still, the mind tends to separate what it cannot agree with. The disagreement, Thank the Good Lord, only arises because of lack of understanding. Though that is not really a big issue, but our holding on to our own truth; to mean ideas and views here; is what causes the conflict or further confusion to what is ultimately experienced.

Subtly yet surely, when one is able to truly recognize from the space of a bigger truth – the recognition of the holding on, the holding on releases itself. A conscientious choice of keeping the mind open is hence required despite the multiple judgments which may arise from the new source of information coming towards our way for digestion. If accompanied by righteous attitude, instead of rightful attitude, the disagreement may cause further misery to the already misperceived mind when one is unable to truly decipher the information coming on with clarity.

Our hanging on to our own view is what creates our inner war. It is never about what is outside that does not seem to resonate that irks us. Even if another’s methodology does not reverberate with ours, what makes us so sure that it is not the rightful or appropriate journey for others?  It is our judgment that brings on our own suffering. Judgment and further judgment only begets further agony and in doing that, only enhances the separation between us.

Look at the mechanics of putting a play together, the prop boy is no less important than its actors on stage, or the director off stage. All roles and functions are necessary, each equally important to have the play successful – all for one goal, the same goal. There to be no undermining or judgment of another, for all that is needed comes into fixture, the fittings of a missing jigsaw.

When we are able to recognize that any function that we, or others take on is for our highest purpose, we are already respecting ourselves and others and closing the gap between us. This brings ourselves and others closer to our own hearts, even though we may seem to be doing different things, or treading along different paths.

If we are all serving the same goal, is there any difference or limitations in ways we allow ourselves or others to do so? Moment to moment, we are only asked to surrender and trust, and to be responsible for ourselves, to stand in our own integrity as what my teacher reminds; to have inner authority. There is no differentiation, no separation – just respect, freedom, allowance, grace, love and appreciation for ourselves and others.

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At any one point in time, whenever we are faced with a situation, there are always two things we need to deal with – one, is our inner world and the other, is the outer world. Though it is very much true that the inner world is what projects the outer world when in denial, but the projection merely means, to us, the meanings that we have put on the situation, or rather the perception that we hold on to due to the underlying idea in the mind. The outer world, although could not reflect otherwise, also entails others’ journey – but due to the connection and interlinks with other minds, there is an outer world that we too, need to address.

However, it is important to always remember the priority is to bring clarity to the inner world first; to check the initial intention and to willfully and consciously set the right intention for an outer outcome to reflect. Although what happens to the another; in my own observation, that is; is beyond my control, but it seems to have proven to me time and time again how my perception of the situation or of a person somehow turns things around to a more favorable situation, and here I mean to a more peaceful outcome in my own experience. I cannot speak for others because it is not my business to interfere with others’ business – but when I do my inner work, clearing or rather correcting the misperception I have of the outer world, it would lead me to better respond, instead of react to the outer world.

The other day I had such an experience. There is a very big part of me which practices the belief “there is no one out there”, but at the same time I cannot deny that some bodies are still very real to me due to the attachment of meanings or my missing the mark in overlooking such symbols they represent in my life. In that day’s experience, I felt a sort of uneasiness where I was unsure if I was projecting the situation, or observing the situation with discernment. Although there were validations that my observation was somewhat clear, but the most astonishing fact here was that I was feeling uneasy with this observation – which only meant that I had to do my inner work within myself, before I could proceed with any course of action, that is, if I still felt inspired to do so after my inner work.

As I surrendered and forgive myself for the misperception, it was miraculous to experience a somewhat twist of event. Although there was slight improvement which cannot be of coincidence but through the inner world I had taken responsibility for, it was a call for celebration as it further instilled in me how I am the center of the universe and my state of mind of clarity was important in order for me to respond to a person or a situation of the outer world. When I finally responded to this situation with clarity, understanding and love, I saw my mind much at ease compared to the time of uneasiness, but since there was still some lingering worry-ness, I knew that the error was still in me and not fully resolved, hence the call for further and continuous inner work.

I begin to appreciate myself even more for my own willingness to take responsibility and feel much gratitude for the reminders by spiritual friends to shed light on what I could not see. Although it is still very much a work-in-progress but the resulting inner peace and inner authority allowed me to stand firmer in my own grounds – alone or not.

Surrendering and forgiving our own misperceptions can only come from the space of genuine intention to clear the blocks within us, instead of wanting to fix what is on the outside. Surprisingly, once we take on that role to take care of our minds, the outside changes as well – as the saying goes, ‘what is within, so is without’. I used to tell people that there are many angles to a box, and now I would like to add on that there is no right or wrong in viewing the box at any angles but our holding on to perceptions, especially misperception – which can either bring us to the space of love to respond to others or a situation; or to the space of fear, which can only result in ignorant reaction which brings further pain and hurts to others and ourselves.

If I am unable to bring peace to others then at least let me do that for myself with the right perception. But then again, when I am in peace, so will peace be with others as per my reflection. So when I am in the space of peace, I am able to see things clearly and allow wisdom to set in to set the notion for the right response which will not only empower me, but also others.

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Abandonment is a good old friend of mine and is an ancient pain residing in most of us. Abandonment is experienced through parents leaving children, man leaving woman or vice versa, friends leaving friends and etc, even in death; which most of us, lifetime after lifetime experience in different roles. Ask any persons whom their parents had passed away when they were a child, or a person of whom their lover has left them, abandonment would be what they experienced, although on the surface level, is the face of betrayal. Even through time, when it looks like we’ve gotten over it, but rest assured that abandonment is always lurking at the back of our minds, waiting for us to address it. Like it or not, this idea of abandonment is deeply ingrained in the mind that sometimes, even when this very issue pops out in front of us, we might not recognize it as the lesson behind it.

In my past lessons of abandonment, I merely barked at the wrong tree thinking that it was just time to leave a friend, a lover or whatsoever. Little did I realize that in many scenarios, I had mentally and emotionally ‘left’ the people that I love before they could leave me, all because of a fear of being rejected and abandoned. To deny and escape from that state of abandonment, I turned my back against the people I love (although not really physically), moved away from them and started to shield myself with a thick wall to protect myself. Nobody could understand what happened, except conclude that I am alright, when inside I was hurting badly. But being a survivor, I would start looking out again, for anyone else other than those who carried the verdict of abandoning me – anyone at all who could give me that sense of belonging, that specialness that I long for; so that I could feel safe again, at least until the perception of being abandoned comes up again.

The thing is this – why do I need someone to make me feel belong or special; before being abandoned by them again? The whole scenario has being played out repeatedly like a broken recorder, albeit with different casts with the same lesson in it. And the truth is that no one had ever abandoned me, even in death. It was only in my ignorant misperception that I had needed someone to love me and make me feel special to the point that I am attached and needy of their physical presence in my life. In that clinginess, guess what happens, I couldn’t take it when they would physically leave me even if they were just going overseas for further education for a few years! It was utterly immature, but it is not the matured adult I am talking about here – but that inner child who did not know any better, who needs to be embraced lovingly.

All forms of betrayals, fear of being left out, being rejected and what have you are all subtle indications of the main idea of being abandoned. To dissolve this idea, it seems necessary to dive into it and be with the uneasy hurt feelings until we come to peace with it. That is one form of healing. And in doing so, we will be blessed with clarity and begin to observe that no one has in fact, left us – except for our own ideas or misperception. In truth, no one has come to us or left us. Bodies come together for learning, and by this, I do mean the people that come into our lives, each resonating a symbol that we have yet to reclaim of our essence – something that we thought we have lost, or given out. Until we reclaim that part of us, we will soon realize that we do not need anyone – yes, there is no need of others – and the relationship is rejoiced with freedom and allowance.  We all only come together to help each other move beyond where we are. Even if the physical body has left us so to speak, when we are still within ourselves, we find that everyone else is there with us. It is something beyond the body that stays on with us – it is that part of us in which they carried as the symbol, but have us reclaimed back.

It is essential to acknowledge what has arisen within us in order to dissolve it. And yet, due to the multiple layers of defense that we have created around our vulnerability, it would take time to uncover it. Again, wisdom can pop this misbelief like a bubble, only and only if; the rightful attitude is being cultivated. Being willing to take responsibility, to turn inwards is the first step. That is a conscious choice, a choice that can only be made by us.

Inviting you towards further insights My Choice, My Detriment.

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The other day, I was having a chat with Darling about taking responsibility. Although many masters, articles and teachings have disseminated the secret to us, yet many of us are unwilling to look at it. When I talk to people about taking responsibility, somehow they look back at me innocently and still say, “but it is their fault, it is not my fault!! They are the ones who make me feel miserable!!”

Well, I am not saying that they are doing it on purpose; neither am I not saying that they don’t know what I am talking or sharing about. The truth is that, they know – and they also know, that it is a painful process. Knowing, does not indeed equate to acknowledging. Pain is the very thing we escape from our lives, and yet we try to prove to others and ourselves how much we love ourselves or others through our actions and our words. Seriously, who are we kidding but ourselves? If a couple were to disagree with me on this, then they are exactly looking at themselves in the mirror and can never honestly tell each other, “I love you”. You want to know why? Because each time one’s button is pushed, the other will always be the blame; and if the buttons are pushed too on the one who is blamed, then he or she blames back the one who blamed him or her in the first place. Ask ourselves authentically with honesty, isn’t this the truth? How many times we do sincerely apologize for our errors? Even if we do apologize, are we truly recognizing our errors? Or, merely apologizing to ‘kiss and make up’ to keep the peace?

It is not astonishing to find this vicious cycle repeating itself in our relationships with others. Due to lack of understanding, then maybe we could forgive ourselves for not recognizing our errors made in the first place. But what if, the knowledge has been passed on to us, and yet, we are not willing? Then whose suffering is it except our very own? We think that we can make another suffer by blaming another, but I am sure you have noticed that even if we had felt a little better after the blaming session, the feeling of hurt deep down inside lingers on. If blaming was the rightful thing to do, then surely we must experience peace after that, no? Then how come, how come the hurt and pain is still lurking at the back of the mind? And then comes the next day, we might feel a little better, and we decide that we want to stay ‘present’, ‘in the now’ and forget about what happened yesterday and begin running our errands, going about our daily chores and then that upset is ‘forgotten’ –at least for a while… before and until the same button is being pushed again and I can assure you that this cycle does not take long to replicate itself albeit in different scenarios.

I told Darling that if all it takes for me to do to experience loving and peaceful relationships with people around me is to take responsibility for my own hurts, pain, anger and especially misperception, it is a darn good deal – because all else outside, all relationships, all surroundings, even a lifeless car is just a projection of what is in me. When I fully take responsibility for my own shit, I am taking care of myself and also others. As I nurture myself, so are others nurtured and our relationships cannot reflect otherwise. Now, isn’t that a darn good deal?

Many people ask me, “how to take responsibility?” The first step, is to turn the radar inwards, as in to STOP blaming or pointing fingers to the outside. If we are still trying to fix what is outside, i.e. the projection or effects of the cause in the mind, I can tell you now that we would be wasting our time. And yet, to stop that habit of blaming or pointing fingers at others be it a person or a situation, will mean that we will need to look into our inner world. In words, it doesn’t look scary; but in experience, it can be much more terrifying than Freddy Krueger in Nightmare of Elm’s Street. But you see, my dear friend, that is the road that will lead us to our inner peace and freedom. It may look intimidating, but have courage and willingness. With these two qualities, it is enough to walk through it, and you will find a very beautiful gift awaiting you.

We talk about the relationships we cherish, love and care about often – and yet, this is the only thing we really need to do in order to keep the relationships we claim we treasure, love and care about. We say to our parents, our child, our lover, our friends, “I will do anything for you. I will even die for you.” And here, no one is asking us to do anything or even die – but only to take responsibility of our own pains, only to be willing.

There is no other way to experience relationships with ourselves or others that reflect otherwise except what is in the mind. When we start understanding and remembering that everything that we experience are just ideas running in the mind, projected outwards; we will begin with inquisitiveness and interest to dissolve our blocks. Once the blocks are removed, and this can only be done by taking responsibility being the first step, we will constantly be guided to transcend unuseful ideas which will allow our true state of being with ourselves and the people around us. Now, if that is all we have to do, isn’t that a darned good deal?

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If I want to know whether I am good at something, at par with a certain height, achieved a certain level, or how far do I have to go to arrive at a goal, I would have to compare my being somewhere with something, or someone to ascertain it. Even if I choose not to use something or someone as comparison, I would have reflect back from where I had been at one point of time in my life, and compare with where I am at this moment to assess whether I have become better, improved or grown. Am I not also a ‘someone’ or a ‘somebody’? If this is true, isn’t that too, a comparison with someone, only in this case, is with myself?

In order to compare, judgment is needed. And judgment, is no other than defining other people in accordance with our terms of perception and ideas, inevitably leading to an already unconscious definition or judgment of myself.

Another way to look at this is the concept of duality – where in simplest term, you would have to know sadness to know what happiness is. Though that is a mind state comparison, let’s look at a level of form comparison for example’s sake, someone has to be last in class, in order for the first in class to claim his prize, no? So even if the last in class has obtained 7As in his exams, and yet is the last in class, he is labeled and defined as ‘not such a bright child afterall’. They all require some form of judgments.

The truth is that I have never left anywhere as long as I am still within the swing range of the pendulum from one end to another. Take for example, if I decide that I am good, then I must have left badness; and how would I know that I have left badness unless there is someone there to show me that I am better than another (as in, my judgment of this other person being bad or worse than me), or I would have a set of ideas or perception to tick off in a list to ascertain that I have left badness. Whatever it is, I am still within the range, in a string of measurement; and to measure would mean that even if I am good for now, I could or might be bad for later – as in, the future. It would be like climbing a never-ending ladder, or walking on a path that never ends, asking occasionally, “Am I there yet?” And in the whole process of it, I leave not any judgment towards others or myself.

I am here, why be there? And if I am appreciating where I fully am right here right now, I am good for now, just as I was good then, and will be good later; wherever I am. There is no comparison with any other because there is no one to compare with. What I would term as good, may be a not-good-enough for another; and what I term as a not-good-enough point, might be a darn good place to be for another. There is absolutely no basis for comparison at all! As and when I start to compare, which would require me to have a set of definitive ideas to define others and myself, I am back at square one – haven’t gone anywhere, not arriving anywhere. It is an illusion to think that I am better off today than before or anyone at all. So if I need not compare, judgment need not arise too. The ideas cease to function when I am where I am; which is here; acknowledging and appreciating the Now.

Having said that, we can’t really escape from comparison except to be right here and now. Byron Katie says, God, is What is; and What is, is Reality. I cannot be any better, or any worst off now because this is all that I am, right here, right now. When I start to compare with another, I already start to label others delusionarily to satisfy the ego’s insatiable thirst to be special or unique – as if I am not already special or unique, being with what I am, right here and now. When we start to define, label or to crudely put it, judge others or ourselves, we either have to put  others or ourselves up on the pedestal or down from eye level, enhancing already the existing separation further. Either way, we give away our own sense of self unconsciously and unlovingly. When we don’t love ourselves, seriously, where are we but back at where we were again – opps, is that a judgment, too? Yes, a judgment of self. Do you now see we run around amok in circles, not going anywhere except being pulled by the nose like a bull?

The “I” is always trying to survive and stand out in this dream that we deem so real. We fail to recognize that this is where we are and what we have now and is already the most loving place to be. When I was in Hong Kong, a friend and I took a tram to the peak, arrived there for less than 3 minutes and then took another tram, thinking there was another peak to arrive at before exploring and appreciating where we already were, when in fact, that very second tram that we boarded was actually the tram downhill. My friend said, “shucks, we arrived and didn’t know it; so now we have to go down and go up again.”

Isn’t that true about how we keep thriving ahead, not fully appreciating ourselves at where we are already? And yet, in that appreciation, the gentleness that accompanies lures us to flow along, elevating us to a higher level without our needing to do anything, except to appreciate ourselves for where and what we are here and now. No one else needs to be included in it, you see. There is only me, and me alone. We have already heard – the journey is ours alone to travel, and each is as unique as any sea shell you’d find in the sea? Have you ever come across two sea shells that looks-a-like? Some may look similar, yet different in its own way. And that is what we are, each a unique gem in our own stance, in our own appreciative space.

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Our pessimism about the world is the mirror image of our indictment of ourselves.
If we have not learned to hold our fear compassionately and look without judgment on the shadowy aspects of ourselves, we cannot look at the world with acceptance or compassion.

~ Paul Ferrini ~

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I receive this email about being a passerby to some, and some being passersby to me, occasionally. It is always an email to remind me to appreciate those in my life.

When I sit down quietly to reflect on the people whom I have been blessed with their presence; in the past of whom I seldom or do not meet up with anymore, or in the present of whom I interact with pretty frequently or not, to the point of those who have passed on; my heart swells with appreciation of how I had grown from then and am still being supported now to grow with their accompanying presence of those who are still within the vicinity of sight.

In a Christopher Moon’s workshop I attended last year, he reminded that people who do not serve us anymore in our lives will not appear in our holograms anymore – we either fall out of favor with them (though in this case, in peace), there is just no opportunity to meet up, or they pass on. And they are three kinds of people that we’d meet in our hologram – the individuals who reflect our processes, individuals who give us guidance or shed light on our paths, or individuals who just rope us in on their journey or experiences.

This vindication exactly mirrors the people who come in and out of our lives; which reminds me of another entry I wrote about symbols: In Love with Symbols? You must be Joking! In truth, everyone that comes into our lives represent a symbol or a purpose so to speak in our lives, playing a role for us to learn and understanding qualities of ourselves and to transcend that. I remember that we tell our best friends or even our lovers, “we will be together forever, ok?”; due to ignorance, we hold on to the bodies, instead of acknowledging or deciphering the real meaning of their presence in our lives. We miss the point. It is never up to us on one level of truth, whether we can be together forever or not – and again, that is not the point at all. Nobody knows for sure for how long a person is meant to stay in our lives, and until when. When the person leaves, the person leaves; likewise, when the person comes, the person comes. If we can view every person who comes and goes in our lives who blesses us with lessons to grow and learn, rather than holding on to the body that came and went; we’d appreciate what is right in front of us even more –  a sort of appreciation that does not require attachment.

They are points in time of our lives. There is no judgment of why a person left a group, or how this person has changed and does not fit into the group anymore. There is no expectation and latching on to the person so to allow that person freedom and blessing to grow. When we do that, we are also giving ourselves allowance and freedom to grow, to honor our own tempo, space and lessons; at the same time respecting others and ourselves for it. There is no misunderstanding, grudges or ruling out others’ presence in our lives. We accept them as they come and go. Even if they were to pass on eventually, we respect that and bless their journey onwards – recognizing that their roles in our lives are finally completed. If we feel guilty or bad about their passing on, then that it serves as lessons for us too; and it is still ourselves that we need to resolve this with. No other.

I used to have silly sets of limitation to the ideas of ‘best friend’ and ‘enemy’ as well. Today, I realized that while no one is really my best friend or enemy, everyone is also my best friend and enemy; but the ultimate best friend and enemy to me, is me. The people that come into my life are the blessings – but my perception of them turns me into a best friend, or an enemy towards myself. This is the line drawn between wisdom and ignorance.

And it is at this point in time, when the ignorance can cross over to wisdom; where the enemy can be transcended to a best friend – though self-dependency, and also dependency on the people who are in our lives at that exact point in time – the victimizer or the victim in our lives are exactly our mirrors who shows us precisely how we define ourselves through our judgment towards them; the teachers and guides who shed light and guidance to us for the shift from ignorance to wisdom; and the friends and relatives who simply rope us into the experience for higher observation and learning. Each class of people can allow us go beyond ignorance into the field of wisdom when we are willing.

So the email about how each of us is a passerby to each other and vice versa, is true. Hence the message of the email must continue to serve as a way to remind us – to appreciate those who come and go in our lives, those who stay and pass in our lives – but I would add one more thing to appreciate, that is, to appreciate ourselves and our growth through them, detachingly. We forget no one, we remember us too.

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