Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2010

I was invited to take photographs for a charitable event today. It was the first time I maxed out my memory card and took approximately 700 odd photographs in a span of 6 hours. I didn’t really think of taking splendid pictures, but merely just doing the little that I could offer in conjunction with the event which I have identified with meaningful.

In the midst of the event, I play backed the pictures on my camera to check out the photos which I had taken earlier in the morning. I noticed that some shots weren’t very perfect. Well, actually they were as perfect as they were only that I had expectations that they should or could have been done better if I’d shot at a certain angle, if I’d stood in a position where there was more or less light, or perhaps if the object(s) just wasn’t or weren’t moving that much and etc. At that moment, I was somewhat disappointed with the outcome of the photographs and didn’t know what to do. I was the only photographer there, and the pictures that I had taken and would take further will be the only tangible thing for those who participated in this event to reminisce this day (other than the videography) and I thought how disappointed they’d be if they saw these crappy pictures. Eventually, I decided that these participants, or more rightly kids, deserved beautiful pictures and even though I wasn’t a photo-editing person, I would do it for the sake of the kids, so that they would love their own photos. They do have very lovely smiles.

Surprisingly, when I came home after a tired hot day, coupled with my not feeling too well since last night, I began to blame myself for my inadequate skills for the photographs that I’d taken as I looked through the pictures again; deemed to be of no standard. And the thought arose again, “it’s ok, I am going to edit them anyway”. Suddenly it dawned on me how my mental state and my thereafter intention would determine my direct experience with whatever I was about to get my hands on. The mental state where I wanted to edit the pictures when I got home was coming from an intention of not wanting to be judged or to look bad for taking lousy photographs; and this mental state differed from the earlier mental state during the day where the thought of the kids deserving beautiful photographs of themselves came as priority.

Remembering the innocence, laughter and smiles of the children, I derive joy from the whole effort of my accepting the invitation to play the role of the photographer as it was for them i.e. the photography session, the editing. Staying in my self-judgment state that I did badly and had no professional skills which included a whole series of self bashing up moments thereafter, I would have edited those photos with an attitude of wanting to seek approval from the people who had invited me to participate in the event, even if they were just kids. Yet nothing changes, as the organizers and the kids will get to see what they want to see which is totally irrelevant to my experience. Yet, my experience will be determined by my buying into any current mental state and my conscious or unconscious intentions to pursue whatever that I am about to do. Irrelevant the experience I allow myself, the editing will be and has to be done.

It is indeed important to be aware of my own mental state before proceeding any form of conscious doing; otherwise I’d just be fighting with myself an inner battle within created solely for myself. It may seem as if it has much to do with something or someone out there i.e. the photos or the kids which I could easily point at to put as cause of the ‘war’ within myself, but the truth is what I experience in the moment has nothing to do with anything or anyone. It is wholly my own mind game.

As I went through the pictures again, with the intention to bring out the best of those photographs, their smiles brought a kind of warmth to my heart that there was no way that I could ruin the pictures. If I could feel so much just looking at them in the pictures I took, it would not be possible that they did not feel the same. I would have them hold these pictures dearly to remember the fun moments they had this very day and where Love was experienced. And this would be my experience – serving them, and this brings me joy. And, that is enough for the moment. Editing 700 odd pictures is no joke. The eyes can go bonkers staring at the screen for a long period of time. But the delight derived from merely bringing out the beauty in those pictures am I gratified. Not so because of the photo taking though that is part of it, but simply for being part of that experience, part of their experience at least for that few hours in a day and throughout…

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Many people have this idea that forgiveness means to excuse another or oneself of an act perceived to have been wronged, unfavorable, guilty or hurtful. That, to what Gary Renard and his ascended masters, and now to me too, is an old fashioned way of forgiveness which does not work at all. This kind of forgiveness is to acknowledge that sin is possible, that we can be hurt, or that we can hurt others. But let’s take the common analogy, which is acknowledged by many – no one can make me feel what I don’t want to feel; then wherein lay the opportunity for that kind of forgiveness?

So most of us to a certain great extend agree that no one can make us feel bad or angry or guilty unless we allow it; yet in practicality, we are triggered left, right, center, front and back non-stop. But if we are truly buying into the idea of ‘no one can make me feel anything unless I allow’, then how is it possible that we get triggered? It is like telling people, ‘I don’t want to be angry’ when anger has already arisen! When we ‘don’t want to be angry’, we are already not being true to ourselves and thus pushing away the anger into the abyss of the mind, sweeping it under the carpet which is probably already full of other emotions waiting for us to address.

Yes, yes… we all don’t like to feel unpleasant feelings; while it is wise to choose to feel better to elevate those unpleasant feelings, can we at least be honest with our own feelings and understand what happened here?

Choosing to feel better by suppressing unpleasant feelings is not wise. It is a camouflaged state of ignorance and escapism. We will realize that we are triggered again and again until to the point where we cannot take it anymore, we then proceed with very childish ways to either get back at another, or to cut ties with the other. If we have not already done that, we are just like a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode; and I am sure, deep down inside, it will not be a pretty sight.

Forgiveness, in its true sense, is to forgive our perception that something actually happened and at the same time, acknowledging that nothing really happened. While it seems astonishing to most that such statement could ever been made – nothing really happened; it is indeed a very true statement. Let’s give an example, if someone calls me stupid, and I am already assured to the core of my being that I am not stupid, what this person says to me or about me will not even touch me; but if I am triggered, even in a subtle sense, wouldn’t that mean that there is a part of me that truly believes that I am stupid and that this person was only pointing out to me a false belief I secretly believe about myself? And for that, it is gratitude towards this person; wherein the anger, hatred and resentment? And if this person is merely acting out to show me what I secretly believed about myself, is it not true that nothing has happened here?

To elaborate further on the forgiveness of our misperception that something really happened here, it is to acknowledge that we had projected out our unconscious guilt onto another or a situation that we are not willing to look at. Thus if we are forgiving another person, or a situation, it seems to have a subtle sense of superiority of ‘I am greater than you’ whether in terms of compassion or greatness. That itself is to put another or the situation small. But the truth is this – we are triggered, and that superiority or greatness is not going to make us feel any better though it seems to work for a short period of time. What we are achieving here is to un-root the cause that makes us feel this way, since we already very well know no one out there can make us feel the way we do. It is not about switching thoughts but undoing the cause of which produces such thoughts; at least, until we truly see the meaninglessness of such thoughts.

One faint form of attack is self-blame. Blaming exist in the very nature of the mind that has not come to understand that there is no sin. So, even when we don’t blame someone out there, the tendency of self-blame is strong since now, the apparent attention is given back to the ‘cause’. But we ourselves (as in the bodies) are not the source of the cause. The bodies or identities that we associate with are too, effects. So what we are dealing with now is the causal effects in the mind; and therein is the opportunity to switch the course of experience for any one of us.

It takes a quality to beget a similar quality in another; such is the law of attraction. So to work with one another with the true meaning of forgiveness is indeed an opportunity to correct oneself of his or her perceptions and the result is experiences of freedom and much loving moments with another, be it a parental relationship, partnership, friendship or what have you.

Each triggered moment is a call back to ourselves to understand and correct what we had mistakenly thought of ourselves. The storyline of how it leads us there is not important. The most important is that we continuously remember that forgiveness (the true way) is introduced to nullify the unconscious guilt that is held in the mind. And here is where it is assured, the opportunity of peace to finally arise.

Read Full Post »

We are constantly unconsciously putting meaning and value onto the world – the external materialism and people whom we come in contact with. And the meaning we give unto them is how we experience our relationship with them.

I was chatting with a loved one online today and he mentioned how he realised he is now able to identify which friends stand him up, and those who stand by him. When we eventually discussed on the subject where a friend was to borrow money from us, his point of view was that it depends on the ‘storyline’ the other is able to come up with and that will determine if he wishes to lend money to the other. While that is indeed the practice of most, many fail to see the intention or motivation behind such action. It is common for people to reason that they will loan money to friends because of ‘friendship’. Unfortunately, while that seems true, the truth is we loan money to friends because of guilt and pity.

If a request has been made, why the need to justify why the money is to be given? All kinds of concepts come into the picture – it’s my money, are you worth the amount of money I am about to give you?, will I get my money back and etc etc. If that is such a case, it is a clear case in the mind that one doesn’t wish to comply with such request. But what happens next is that we will proceed to ask probing questions like – why you need the money, when can you pay me back, how will you pay me back. Seldom do we question why the need for justifications of loaning or giving away money in order to change our minds. Likewise, if we are truly giving the money to someone, why is it that there is a feeling of incompleteness until this person pays us back the money, or at least acknowledge that we have done a good deed for him?

So some say that the amount of money must be within vicinity of their means, which again will serve as verdict whether or not the money is to be given or lent to friends. A Ringgit or a million Ringgit, what is the difference, except for the meaning we give to the amount and also to the friend? In that, value is ascertain if a friend is ‘worth’ that amount of money that we are about to give up! If it was our loved ones in trouble, we’d probably go to the extent of borrowing from someone else or selling our assets just to free our loved ones from such worries. Please don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with either or. Only, we seldom consider that all these arise because of the meanings we give to a friend, a loved one, money or anything else in the world. And that ascertains the extent we would do for someone or something.

Attention is constantly given to the external world; the difference is the level of attention focused on the objects. For instance, I may put more attention to my parents because I have this idea that they gave me life, they brought me up and nurtured me, I love them and it is my duty to put them in priority; but for a touch and go friend, I might not put so much of my attention onto him because this person doesn’t ‘mean’ so much to me and there the derivation of meanings I give to each of them thus creating the experience of how I relate to them each. But consider again, what difference is anything or anyone in the world except the meanings, thus value that I give to them?

It is indeed of wonderment to those who have seen this. I myself was also marvelled at my own recent experiences. The other day, someone blurted out jokingly, “give me a hundred Ringgit”. Without qualms, I took out a hundred from my purse and gave it to him. He was somewhat shocked before shyly accepting the money. He said, “I will pay you back” and I told him that if the money was meant to come back to me, it will. End of story. And another day, a girlfriend text me and asked me to loan her twenty dollars urgently. It was only twenty dollars, but the whole request didn’t feel true to me so she did not receive the twenty dollars from me. End of story. But if I were to go on expecting that the money to be given back to me, or to justify why I ought to lend the money to my girlfriend e.g. it was only twenty dollars and I didn’t do it, I might as well be on the fastest train straight to a self created hell. Is there a difference between the two people who asked me for money? There was none, except my experience at that point in time.

First, we give meaning to the world then we are restricted by the meanings we perceive the world gives us which is in truth, also another meaning we give. And then we feel guilty and try to find an external reason to cover up the guilt. It is like I created this game of my own in the mind, and then I run away from it. How absurd!

Sin has no real existence, it is you yourselves who create it when, as in the nature of adultery, you are unfaithful to your true nature and act within the habit of your corrupt nature. – J

Lest you realise the meaning you have given to the world, you will find the meaning you have given to yourself. And there you find all sins, which in turn is not a single sin at all.

Read Full Post »

Qualifications

Today, after the free movie sharing at the centre, someone new approached me and asked what I did for a living. I told her that I was retired. She looked shocked and asked me if that was why I was conducting courses at the centre full time. I was a little surprised at her questioning but smiled and replied ‘part time’, as I do not really consider myself as conducting a course or courses there by merely sharing, or facilitating sessions. Could it be my perception of the meaning of courses and sessions that I seemed to have the impression that she had misunderstood my role at the centre?

She later asked me what qualifications I possessed where again; I did not really understand her question. She then explained in a questioning manner, “Masters? Degree?” “Oh…” I went, for I did not really know how to answer her. So I told her honestly, that my experiences are my qualifications. She shook her head and said, “no, no… where did you learn all these things from?” I looked at her with amazement, for surely she was looking for a direction or rather a teacher to learn from. So I pointed to my teachers’ picture pasted on the sliding door and said, “them.” And she proceeded to ask me more details about them.

I began to ponder on my own answer to her – that my experiences were my qualifications. I could have very well boasted that I was some degree holder from some established university, or even my old position working in a bank; but that was all it was – labels, titles; and as much as I am grateful for the teachings shared with me by my teachers or whatever materials or resources made available for my learning; but truly, my qualification to share during a session, or any other sessions which were presented to me was from my own experiences and not from mimicking some teaching from some great gurus. Information available provided a basis for learning, but without application and experiencing them, I would be no different from a robot executing orders mindlessly. If I hadn’t understood them from my own experiences, I would not be able to lay out examples. I might as well just call myself a sound recorder repeating the words my teachers used without any originality or authenticity.

Of course, this is reflective of a spiritual journey. But consider the same for those working. Students study so hard to pass their exams, to get distinctions so that they can be the cream of the class and be selected by reputation corporations to secure a stable job; yet how much that they study were applied directly in their working environment or even daily life? Even a doctor, who is expected to have medical knowledge at the tip of his finger, may not be confident to facilitate a minor operation without much practice!

All of us are qualified to share from our experiences, which may facilitate some form of learning for others; but yet if I was sharing merely from the space of intellectual knowing or by memorizing, I’d just be an empty shell hiding behind a face painted full of make-up. What is the point of looking good on the outside when my tank within is empty? The other day, an old teacher was giving me advice on my spiritual journey, that I shouldn’t memorise all those knowledge shared by others or be influenced by them as I am married, have a kid and a whole list of responsibilities to fulfil in this world. It was quite strange to me as the spiritual journey is everything encompassing – being married, a mom and the list of responsibilities to the world! It was indeed an interesting experience for me – which again, becomes yet an additional qualification for me when I learnt what was meant for my learning then. This incident becomes an additional quality to me providing me an expanded platform to share what is true to me. Having said that, what is true to me, may not be true to anyone else; yet there is this truth, that no one can really argue with, when one is willing to be truthful and honest.

We need not seek any papers or validation for any qualification, and there is too, no need to judge or enquire what qualifications another has. Through an open conversation with a person, it would not be difficult to decipher what we are able to observe and learn from the experience we derive from each and every situation. And doesn’t that become our asset by itself, though an intangible one that enriches not only us, but also others who are willing to listen?

 

Read Full Post »

I saw watching this cartoon series with my little one of this mouse who dreams of being a ballerina. She moves into a new town and goes to a new dancing school. On her first day of class, she was thrilled as she was looking forward to perfect some new steps that she has been practicing, expecting her new class the same as it would be the previous. However, to her surprise the class was not as she had expected. Her teacher warmed up to jazz music (it is a ballet class) instead of her ex-teacher’s classical and she was introduced to moves which were different from the usual classical moves of ballet. She practically did not enjoy the class and did badly in class, hence labeled herself as a failure. Soon, her new teacher came forward to talk to her, advising her to let go of her old concept of ballet, and to remain open the new ideas.

I was thinking to myself then, how brilliant to instill these kinds of ideas to kids at such a tender age, and couldn’t agree more on how we are always hanging on to old ideas that limit us.

These old ideas served as new ideas once, and we liked those ideas and it is naturally to hang on to them, for that is nature. But considering that hanging on to that old idea is limiting our experiences of joy and creativity, which is our birth right, then would the old idea be serving us, or be restricting our experiences in the world?

Hanging on to ideas to the point that it is hard to let go has usually a stint of identification with it – the false self. And the false self is one who is most of the time not in acceptance with the way things are, as in the way it is. There are thoughts of, it should be, it should not be – always thriving for things to be different – a bigger house, a smaller bag, a sportier car, a big figure in the bank account. These thoughts leave nothing out. They (the thoughts) constantly find fault with reality, with the way things are.

Acceptance is one thing most misunderstood by most, too. They say, since it is like that, I have no choice but to accept it, and these kinds of acceptance usually is accompanied with a sense of resignation, giving up. A loved one said, “aiya… give me time la… I am already accepting what…” and until the right understanding comes in, the acceptance is experienced with a sense of anger, disappointment and grudge, either targeting at someone else or himself.

True acceptance is peace. While it does take time due to the un-ripening of insights, the process has to go on until the new idea is wholly accepted into the system. We can’t mimic acceptance or peace. It is there or it is not no matter how hard we try to put up a front.

At least, take the first step of letting go. As much as the letting go takes some time and can be difficult, but the initial intention of willingness is the first step anyone can take consciously, to allow the engine to start heading towards that direction.

Hang on to ideas that brings freedom, and not of those which consequences in a closed up world. There we’d find experiences that enrich us, without needing anything else to be different.

Read Full Post »

The mind is constantly in search for pleasure over pain, as if there is a preference. When there is pleasure through an experience, it will want more of it, become addicted to it and yearn for it. It will be soon when the planning, scheming and manipulation starts coming into play to prey for what it wants; and when it doesn’t get what it wants, it gets weary, disappointed and down. The blaming happens without delay of a single instant. It is either someone out there who is wronged, or back to itself that it crucifies. But what difference is another or its own, as if it diminishes any pain.

What is opposite of pleasure, but pain itself? And this is factual of such duality. The pain may not come directly from another but through a situation or thing, but storylines are not important as the result of it is still pain.

It is not from pleasure that pain is experienced. It is the greed for pleasure that consequences pain. The addiction to pleasure is the attachment to the experience of pleasure, and that addiction results in greed. The greed creates the wanting to have more thus the scheming and manipulation comes into place. Scheming and manipulation comes from the space of defilement, and hence its outcome cannot be of joy. Even if the plan is successful once in a while, it can be almost guaranteed that it is for short term and will not last for very long. And since addiction and greed is constantly hovering, the suffering intensifies and thus prolonged.

We shun pain away because it hurts. We avoid it at all costs because we have been taught that it is not pretty. But what could be the difference between pleasure and pain but our judgment on them when they are indeed one and have never been separated.

Yet if we don’t judge pain and welcome it as they come, together with it comes multiple possible experiences. And when we dwell in pain because of these experiences, what difference does it make from our previous attachment to pleasure? Still, is it possible that one drowns in pain when the world comes to rescue when she feels like but a victim? For this she would choose her pain, and does it not equates to the nature of greed?

Call pleasure pain, and it will hurt. Call pain a pleasure, and the pain behind the pleasure will be felt no more. Sin’s witnesses but shift from name to name, as one steps forward and another back. Yet which is foremost makes no difference. Sin’s witnesses hear but the call of death. – A Course in Miracles.

Detachment is the key, and another word for it is letting go. But since detachment or letting go cannot be practiced, then let understanding be the key to peace. It can be through inquiry, it can be through reading – anything that the heart calls to – that is the path it leads. Yet what is required is much willingness and honesty, thus soon understanding and realization will then knock its door. An open mind is the doorway, and the will for truth is the drive; what would you have your peace traded for, when all you are asked of is only your honesty and surrender?   

When they visit, let them come. Embrace them without appraisal or condemnation; then let them go when they go. There is nothing to it, it is not personal.

Equanimity is the ultimate state, where there is no preference of pleasure nor pain; for it finally recognizes that all is only nature, all impermanent as they come and go; that there is nothing at all to hang on to, now if that is not peace, then what is?

Read Full Post »

The world reflects my inner world.

When I am sad, the world cries with me. It can be a person who appears to be sad, crying for the same reason that I am crying for or even the skies which pours down gloomily; grieving and mourning in tandem my mental state.

And when I am wise, there will be wisdom in the world. It is my judgment or misperception of the world, forgetting that they are merely reflecting my inner state of what I think or do not think of myself. And when I am dumb, the world dumbs with me; yet when I recognize the mirrors, the response and reactions given me; without judgment or hanging on; I am free to choose again what is it I want; instead of responding or reacting to my mirrors. And even as I choose to respond or react, it will be just an experience, of what is wished to be experienced. A beginning and an ending – the unconditional moment – without expectations, without clinging, without condemnation, without suffering.

When I am in love, the aspects of myself which I think I am worthy of being in love of within myself will come into my life. But when I think it is the mirror that I am in love with, or that the mirror is in love with me; I am once again pulled back as a drop in the ocean. Am I the drop or am I the ocean? When I hang on to the drop as a drop, then I am the drop, forgetting that I am the ocean. Yet, as a drop, even if that is what I think I am at that moment in time, it does not cease the truth that I am the ocean and that the ocean is me. When I perceive that a drop is mine, I am acknowledging that I am no longer the ocean and the ocean will not allow that; for that is not truth.

What is outer is inner, and what is inner creates what is outer. An action, a person, a situation, a thing; they are of no difference except the meanings I have given them and thus create stories to justify my hanging on. And all stories created by me will exactly validate it, because I am the creator and that is what I want to hear. The truth will intercept, not allowing me to go far, as if a gentle nudge though I will take a hard fall, to remind me once again, of whom I am and reinstate truth.

Why hang on to a toy, when they are merely toys. Watch them play as how I pull my strings without my doing. They will move and stand as I will them to be, so when they start to attack or hurt me, that is exactly how I had wish them to play with me too. Only I don’t remember, only I don’t recall; and even when I do, I might not want to let it go. What would propel me in this indulgence of lie, it is when I am still asleep, when truth and honesty if not what I am ready to receive.

Releasing them all, I become the One.  I am once again the Ocean, or even beyond that. What would make me deny what I cannot contain? Trivial, trivial ignorance and unconscious moments; yet an important insight for evolution. For the world is me, and I am the world – to think so otherwise, I would have missed the point.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »