Archive for April, 2013

Some may argue that we are being pulled to the past or future by thoughts and that, thoughts are impersonal. It is true. But can they surface in your consciousness if they are not part of your being? And yes, all of us, if not most of us, seem to be carrying the same stuffs.

What I meant by saying they are part of your being is that there is something in those thoughts that means deeply to us – attachment.

There are some methodologies which apparently helps one such as recognition and even reciting a certain mantra. Perhaps they help to a certain extent. But in my observation and direct experience, the practice itself actually becomes a distraction of the Now moment.  In fact, it can be a form of running away from the thoughts or an experience right here and now itself. Only one who has utilized this methodology would know what I mean. It somehow has a sense of ‘robbing’ away the moment presented to us, Now. Perhaps this can be said to be more of a useful practice when one is meditating in a formal seated posture without distraction.

Before I come closer to sharing what we could actually do with thoughts, I would actually suggest an essential step of non-resistance. I notice, as much as suffering can come from believing in thoughts, it can also come from resisting them. When this propels further, intense emotions tend to come on even stronger because of the ignoring attitude, until one has no choice but to break up in rage, or break down in depression – whichever way, there is no difference in the underlying cause of these emotions aside from the definition of each.

Dealing with thoughts is really facing them. What I mean by facing them, is to really listen attentively or write them down and begin the journey of inquiry of each thought which almost always direct it back to the self. The trick here is to do it with the pure intent of really wanting to know the truth, rather than wanting to reinstate oneself to a feel-good state of mind. I have observed that many fall into the category of the latter and for that, they give up the whole inquiry process altogether only to find that they get upset again when the same category of thoughts arise when similar situations happen. Some even find resistance in this methodology due to some other beliefs that they have earlier acquired in their own practice of awakening. As much as I believe there are many ways to skin a cat, this methodology seems to nail the cause which results in a natural effortless change in a person as opposed to conscious effort to change towards a more favourable concept. The former is a natural shift in beingness, the latter is more a mimicking, or conditioning towards that.

There is a difference in natural shift and conditioning. A natural shift comes about from a true realized state, whereas conditioning is part of what is trained, or made habitual out of repetitive reinforcement. Either way is perfect, except that the natural shift of change, in my personal opinion, is something authentic as it arises naturally whereas the latter is like cloning.

Self inquiry takes a lot of courage and it can be pretty scary because self inquiry takes you into a world away from what you already know through the apparent ‘morbidity’ of your thoughts – into the unknown where no one else can fit into, but you yourself.

While it is true that thoughts causes separation, yet each thought that arises, as long as you are affected by it (and only one knows whether it does or not), you could work towards understanding what they are pointing towards and it always, always comes back to you, and you alone. While some thoughts may be scary, some may hurt, and some even threaten, yet when you sincerely sit down and work with them, is there a possibility to be awaken to what you have been hiding from yourself all these while – your own freedom.

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Dedicated to the Last Leg… well, almost…

I observe that it is hard to break free from the so-called Spiritual or Wisdom Teachers. And the best part is that the so-called Spiritual Teachers don’t really have the heart to encourage that breaking free from them too (Darn strange.. how is that even possible?).

So, it is a game that two or more plays. Maybe the student is not ready (really?), maybe the student needs the teacher (really?) or could it also be possible that the teachers are needing the students to be feeding something else? Well, I don’t know. And none of my business. I am just doing my part here sharing a piece for all those who are still doubting themselves and failing to come to terms with themselves out of their so-called ‘love’ for their so-called Spiritual or Wisdom Teachers (no offence, teachers, just doing my job here), still an external factor.

Forget about Love, Oneness, Compassion or even Wisdom. Seriously. Just simply, Clarity be unto All. Have fun!


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When love is mutual and you and your partner
are surrendered to each other emotionally,
sex is uplifting and sacred.

But when communication in your relationship
becomes careless and shoddy,
when time is not taken for one-to-one intimacy,
your relationship becomes a shell
in which you both hide.

Energy and commitment disappear from your union,
and sex becomes an act of physical betrayal.

It is not surprising then that one or both of you
may look outside the relationship for satisfaction.

Infidelity is a symptom of your emotional disconnection
from each other.

Unfortunately, it involves another person in the dynamics
and makes it more difficult
for healing and reconciliation to take place.

– Paul Ferrini

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When you refuse to move when you are supposed to
Life throws you situations just so you can move.

Really, it’s nothing personal.

It is just the way it works so that you could get moving along with Life, freely.

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I had the privilege to be given a stage two weeks ago to stand in for a friend to conduct a sharing on thoughts. They were a bunch of university students.

Noticing that the crowd was able to grasp what I was sharing on how reality actually works for each of us; similarly and differentiatedly; I took it a step further to introduce the methodology of dissecting thought systems. I invited them to give me their train of thoughts and they gave me pretty relevant ones that were revolving around their current stage of life – exams, assignments, assessments. As I led them to see the meaning that has been put onto each thought, and more – we arrived at the theme thought for that night – failure.

So we worked with ‘failure’, finally recognizing the perception on failure churned out the other superficial thoughts on the surface level. It was expected that all of them perceived failure as an unpreferred circumstance to be in and that it is unacceptable not only to society, but to themselves. It was obvious – fear. Yet to me, fear alone at this juncture was not the ultimate but the ideas of what failure is to each of them; to me too, a long time ago; hence producing fear as effect. As we dissected further on the meaning of failure, they begin to see the other side of failure or rather the potentials that failure of a situation can bring forth. Some nodded their heads in agreement, while some kept silent as if I was about to lure them into the trap of being a failure. Those whom were silent were deep in thought while the class was given a moment to take in what was being shared and conversed. And in a while, one of the participants put his hand up and asked, “If I don’t have a fear of failure, how could I have a goal to be successful? It is because of this fear of being a failure, that I would work hard towards a goal to be successful.” I smiled. It was truly an innocent question.

I did not answer him, but replied him with another question instead.

“Do you have to have a fear of hunger now to know what you would like to eat for lunch tomorrow?”

He seemed a little shocked with that question, at the same time realizing that that question led him back to his own answer, which was “No.”

I went on explaining that we can have a goal and to some extent, even plan the steps towards it. But the trick here is to let go of the plan and come what way. The fear that is seemingly driving us towards the success is actually already telling us that we know what our future is like; and in a thwarted kind of way, we are actually already creating that for ourselves.

Our job is to do or be our best now, for now, and not for some imaginary future because there is none! Of course, it sounds like a swell ‘plan’ and to actually be something like that requires quite a huge amount of courage to surrender to what is, or perhaps, what is to become. The courage has to come beyond from the timidity of being involved in the limited ideas that one has already been conditioned or rather ‘gotten used to’ or ‘resigned to’ as the way of life in the world. Yup, learned through observations of surroundings not to mention the added on elements of being convinced by the people around. And nope, there is nothing wrong with that, too.

A memory now pops up of a conversation I had with a friend who called for counseling last night. She realized that all the decisions that she makes always backfires on her. She already recognized the manifestation of her experiences, or more true, her perceiving of what seemingly happens were related to some self-sabotage and unworthiness patterns. Yet what she wasn’t really seeing is that all her apparent choices were made from the same patterns of which led her to the same thing almost 100% of the time! She wasn’t really ‘moving out’ of the box as she struggles to justify her choices. She was in a merry-go-round chase. You know, like the snake biting its own tail. Perhaps the best thing she ever did ‘out of the box’ was to pick up the phone to dial my number!

Since she was a student of A Course in Miracles; though in my egoic opinion, not a very devoted one; I invited her to invite the *Holy Spirit into her decision making. And she asked a very pertinent question, “How would I know if it was the Holy Spirit’s Guidance to make a particular decision?”

I smiled (and yes, I have been smiling a lot).

“When it is unconditional.” I answered.

“Unconditional? What do you mean?” she asked shockingly, coming from a background of needing to do something for a purpose, a reason (geez, don’t we all?).

“Simply unconditional” I repeated. “When you could not find any reason to why you feel like doing it, do it! And be open to where it takes you!”

She laughed, as if ready for the adventure. Well, I don’t know actually… that was how it sounded like to me.

Any form of goals, decision makings when made out of information and perception of past experiences could never bring you out of where you think you are stuck. As Albert Einstein said, “You can’t solve the problem at the level it was created.” It means to say that you need to ‘get out’ of the problem and when I say that I am in no way implying that you run away from it, but merely move yourself to another level to look at the so-called problem. At that level, you will see the cause and effect of it. When you finally see it, it becomes the end of everything. This is the sense of anew-ness, where clarity, trust and surrender become a prominent pattern in the so-called process of Life.

Of course, you can’t realize one without knowing another. And it is not possible to push or ignore one to pursue another. I’d say that the entire process of disengaging past conditionings moves you backwards – backwards because you have gone way forward in a dream… another word for it is ‘undoing’. Without the undoing, what we all are is simply effects, effects of rotten thought systems. For all you know, when you are ‘done’ with the undoing, perhaps you would still be moved to make the same decisions, except this time, with a fresher perspective which is nearer to what it truly is! Good luck!

*Note: Holy Spirit is merely a terminology used in A Course of Miracle and does not denote any religions connotations. Holy Spirit in this context can be any word so chose by one – for all I care, it can be Wisdom, God, Life, Universe, or perhaps even D-O-G. 


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row, row, row your boat
gently down the stream
merrily merrily merrily merrily
Life is but a D-R-E-A-M…


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I had a meeting with two gentlemen some weeks ago. After the discussion on the initial planned topics, the flow swayed towards meditation and spirituality.

I offered my other name card, sharing the work that I do. They asked me, “How often do you meditate?” I smiled and said, “often enough, even now as I speak to you.”

One of them laughed and another, seemed puzzled. And I could relate to that if my guess on their perception of what meditation was accurate. One of them later shared that he meditates as well and their form of meditation is in form of prayers at a temple, that is, if I heard it accurately.

I smiled. I shared with him, what I am seeming practicing is one form of what is perceived as meditation. He invited me to share more. I shared further that we are observing all the time. We are always watching something except that, more often than not, it is something out there that we are observing, watching or questioning about, rather than our own inner experience relating to what we are apparently observing, watching. I gave him an example – he is people watching, and he sees a man throws rubbish on the floor, and he might feel repelled by that sight and judgment comes to be. He might talk to himself about it, or even to another. And I pointed out, that the attention is usually given to what is right or wrong out there, rather than our own experience in relating to the man who threw the rubbish. He laughed, as if there was some truth in it. Well, there is a lot of truth in it.

This brings me back to a memory where I was in a car ride with a friend quite some time ago and he pointed out his curiosity on a dented divider which in his memory was not there a few days ago. He openly shared his query if there was an accident and asked if I noticed the difference between the divider that day and a few days ago. My answer was I don’t know. He seemed puzzled and asked how could I not know since I have been driving along the same road for the past few days. I pondered a moment on that and shared with him that it was none of my business, or perhaps more true, out of my conscious awareness. To put it another way, because it was out of my conscious awareness, it was none of my business. Feeling in the mood to say more, which I normally do when I am with this particular friend for some strange reason, I shared with him that more often than not, there isn’t much interest or attention on the outer world. I don’t read the newspapers, or listen to the radio for world news or latest fad. To some, I may even sound ignorant and dumb. And perhaps I am. But I don’t really care. Because I have noticed that the experience that arises in me constantly is more real than what is happening out there, and if what is happening out there is beyond my control and has little of my personal interest, there is really not much out there for me, except what is in here.

My friend then commented that if that is the case, how could I be aware of what is happening around me. I shared with him that if it is meant for me to know, or to be aware of it, it will be made known to me. It is not like I am totally oblivious to the world. I have just arrived at a state where if it concerns me, it will be made known to me or find its way to my attention. I gave him an example. Say, I am driving along this road, and a tree fell on the side of the road and is not an obstacle to me or to anyone and there is no thought about it, it is none of my business. The most sane thing to do is actually to continue doing what I am doing, that is, to drive; unless I feel like doing otherwise. But if the tree has fallen right on the path of the road, being an obstacle for me and others to further our journey, that would and will catch my attention (obviously and inevitably) and I would have to get down from the car and decide what I would like to do about that. But that too, ought not to take away my attention or observation of my own inner world, except to extend that attention and awareness to a seeming outside situation that I have got to deal with. It has become my business so to speak, because it has been made known to be, come ‘into’ my awareness, found itself to my attention – whatever you want to call it. So since it is that, then I become moved to do something about it if I can, or not. Depending on what is called upon.

It was the same thing when the new gentlemen asked my thoughts on the US Banks-whatever-incident that happened a few years ago when I shared that I was in the job of an investment banker before. I smiled and answered, “I don’t know”. He laughed and asked how I could not know. Well, my reply to him was that I loved my job and I was doing what I loved to do and it didn’t require me to know what was happening to the US Banks but to get the damn deal that I was working on to its fullest potential. That was all that mattered to me, at least at that time. And I seemed to do a good job then.  I could tell because my bosses loved me. It was a reflection of my own love and joy for the work I was doing. Well, I didn’t know then, but I know now. And that is all that matters.

Some who would read this article may have an inclination towards a kind of selfishness or narcissistic behavior going on. Yet, it is actually a lot more than that. It is not about being self-sufficiency, self-contained or even self-love for we can’t really do that kind of things to ourselves, otherwise it is mimicking an effect that we want and that takes us far further than what is actually true. Yet the doorway to that is right here and not out there.

It is common that attention is constantly outside pondering what is going on there rather than in here where the churning of experience is more real. But yet that too, is untrue as, if the noticing has taken place to notice that the pondering is targeted towards something out there than in here, a kind of noticing is already happening inwardly.

Now, one may ask, so what if I notice? Well, that is when we can finally begin.

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I cannot tell you
what is right
what is wrong

I can only be your voice
asking you in return
what is right
what is wrong

my voice serves as an outer reflection
echoing back your own inquiry
that is all its purpose
not to tell you
what is right
what is wrong

the answer to your question
is your own question to your answer
can you not see the paradox of it
all that comes from it
is all that goes to it

a question cannot be asked
without already knowing the answer
only the answer is hidden
and in remembrance
the question comes to be

don’t be fooled my friend
of what it is to you
your lens still tinted
with apparent wondrous colours
even foggy
if I might add

as long as you think there is still a will
then there must be a you to think

yet the you that you think you are
is just as illusionary as this I that seems to speak

at the end of the day

who wants to know
what, when, where, how
and seriously
who cares…

except ‘you’

ask away anyway
since there is nothing to it
for a smile or even a laugh
that may come to be

without the delusional irony realised
what is there to laugh
so go ahead and ask all you want
and let all its answer
entertain only but you.

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