Wisdom Arises Through Understanding

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Willing to Love ?

There are times when we are feeling out of sorts and its like the world is upside down..... nothing seem to be joyful to do. All that is there to feel is listlessness, stuck and unhappy. So what to do when in such state? Battle it out ? Swear ? Blame others? Scream?

When in this state, it just feels like the spiritual journey is a difficult journey because of the knowing that whatever is happening is just effect of a cause which at the moment is not visible to me yet. So while still experiencing the effects, there are a lot of uncertainty on what is the best way to handle it.

 Of course applying the "Do Nothing" approach is a good one because whatever I choose to do from this type of energy would be disastrous. For now, I choose to be aware of all the uncomfortable feeling and thoughts. At the same time wondering what it is all about.

I had a conversation with TL about it and he mentioned that its may be some old issues that has cropped up and it seems that I'm tolerating it therefore making it hard to gain understanding about it. I can see there is a lot of truth about what TL said because when issues come up, its normally an uncomfortable time and there is always a wanting to get rid of it instead of loving what has come up.

For me this is the hard part..... Would I be willing to love the part of me that seemed so unlovable? Would I be willing to be gentle with myself and also with what is coming up? This calling to be willing to love what is unlovable is really a paradox because normally, things that are unlovable are just fragmented or cut of from our view..... sort of like shutting it away in a dark dungeon.

The uncomfortableness of loving an uncomfortable part of ourselves is really something interesting because it require a lot of willingness to constantly be aware of the changes that is happening. At times, it seemed to easy to love the unlovable part and at times,it seems like there is no way to love the unlovable part because of the extreme swing in the emotions. I remembered in a scene in the movie "Matrix" where one of the person on Neo's team met with Agent Smith and requested to be plugged back into the matrix because being in "Reality" was really difficult and he wish to go back to the "Dream" world.

Though it looks like life is easier just by being mindless, in actual case its not because somehow or rather, I have to take responsibility for whatever that is happening and work with it to gain understanding for my higher good.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mega Sale and the Mind

For the last few days, I was observing feelings of being out of sorts, like spinning out of my axis. As I reviewed what I'm doing the past few days, they were things that were not done normally by me like spending hours at a shopping mall and in spaces where there is a lot of people. If I was not in these situations, I would not have seen how the mind works in a mega sale situation.

Anyway, I must admit that I'm a bargain hunter, spending hours at end in shopping malls or shops or online trying to get the best deal. This time around, I was observing the mind and saw that the mind that wishes to get a bargain is actually a mind that is also trying not to lose out.So if I got a bargain, then I win, if not, I lose.  For instance, if I'm shopping with my mother and we managed to get things at a bargain, we would feel very happy but if not, we felt cheated. But who is to say I win or lose? The funny thing is that it is I who says it based on the perception I have. Because of this perception, there is always a doubt lingering in the mind after a purchase and this can really be very disconcerting because the experience does not seem to end.

I have also pondered why is it that high end malls can exist and why is there people who choose to spend loads of money on branded stuff when the money can be put to better use...... Just looking at this trend of thinking, it is very clear that there are still abundance issues in me because I'm viewing the world from the point of scarcity and moralistic judgement.

I was having a conversation with SS about this and mentioned to him, even if I had a windfall of money and has a free hand to spend all the money, there will be a lot of guilt there because of the old program I have of being thrifty and afraid of being cheated. So how can I spend money without guilt, fear and envy? This is an interesting question that I posed to myself.

I was quite surprised when I had this understanding that I was actually evaluating each experience instead of being in the experience. And what is it about being in the experience ? .... its about giving myself the chance to touch and feel the product, its also about giving the sales person a chance to do his sales pitch, its also about allowing me the chance to ask question and clarify doubts about the product. And throughout the experience, be mindful of the mind that is constantly drawing conclusion about the experience. I realised that whether I bought the product or not was not the main thing, it was the way I'm choosing to experience the experience was the main thing. And strangely, nowadays whether I buy or don't buy the product, there is still an appreciation of what the experience brought.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Being Communicative

Recently I made an interesting observation while watching 2 person communicating with each other. We humans communicate all the time either verbally or non verbally. Because of the meaning we put into the word and action, we will respond accordingly. Interestingly, while we think we are communicating with another person, in reality, we are only communicating with ourselves.

This is because we interpret whatever the person is saying or doing through our own paradigm/filters/perception. If so happen that the perception of both parties seemed the same, then the communication is then has an agreeable outcome in the eyes and ears of both parties.

However, if what the person says is seen as disagreeable to our perception of how things should be, then an unpleasant situation will occur. So, if we never took the time to investigate what is triggering us and hence start to see the perception we hold, then we would constantly be reacting to the triggers and blaming the other person. We would hold on to our view that the other person is a monster, uncaring, stupid, moron, etc. The normal tendency is to give up in communicating with the other person all together. And if we do still need to communicate with the other person, the communication will carry the energy that the person feels for the other person. The result is even more mis-communication.
I realised that is just so so so easy to stay in our perceptions because it makes us right but it does not give us peace. Like Byron Katie says "Would you rather be right or be free?". Most of us in moment of non conflict will say that we choose to be free but when a conflict happens and if we were unconscious, we would choose to be right.

Making to choice to be right, automatically puts us in a reactive mode as well and gives us tunnel vision. I've seen how a relative choose to be right in his communication and each time he ended up feeling angry, victimised, misunderstood and blames the other person for being stubborn, unkind etc. What a painful way to live life. 

I wonder is the satisfaction of being right so great that it totally obliterate the possibility of seeing a situation or person in another light.... and hence a way out from pain ?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Being in Integrity

I have been having lessons on integrity coming up in my life lately. There were situations that I had to express to someone a definite "NO" for their request because it is not what I would want to be involved in. Hard though it was to stand in integrity but it was a relief to express out the truth of the matter rather than avoiding it.

Another incident was also in the recent training I was conducting and I told the participants that I would like them to come back in time after the breaks because I would like to fulfill the time allocated for the training as promised to the organiser. Interestingly, when I have integrity about time, the participants were almost always on time.

So I wondered why is integrity so important? In my pondering, I realised that having integrity is not about being stubborn but being clear about what resonates with our inner being and what does not. And the best part is there is no faking it because integrity comes from a space of honouring ourselves and not selling ourselves short.

Many a times in the past, I would have easily given in to others because I wish to appear as a nice person or am afraid of not being approved by the other person, but I realised when I do that, I'm only hurting myself because it chips away a part of me.

Another incident that clearly I remember is when D called me up to chat with me about the problems D was having in the office. He told me about subordinate who went on leave without informing him first and then left a load of work for him to complete. Through out my conversation with him, I noticed that I was being triggered by what was happening though at the beginning I was neutral. I wondered why was I triggered. The answer that came to me was that there were still areas that I am not standing in my own integrity resulting in me being pulled into the drama of the other person.

If someone were to ask me if I was standing in full integrity.... I can safely say "NO".... I am still on the journey

Monday, October 18, 2010

Have I Grown ??

I had a call from a friend last night and she was asking me an interesting question ..... "How do I know that I've grown spiritually?" She mentioned that for the past few years, she has noticed that she speaks out more, is more calm, more grounded and happy. But she had an experience with friends telling her that she has not done enough.

Her question made me think and ponder. I realised that we can always ask other people and they can only give us an answer based on their perception and what is their perception made of ......... its made up of comparing the person they know now with the person they know in the past and from there, if there were any difference, then that would be the thing that they will put it as evidence of the person's growth. Though getting other's opinion is part of the fact finding process, I notice that another very powerful approach is to observe ourselves to see what is happening to ourselves and also use the world we are in, to gauge.... sort of like looking into our reflection and see what its telling me.

So, I asked the friend a question "when someone makes a remark about you, were you triggered ? " she mentioned that not as badly as last time. So, I told her that everytime we work on ourselves and we wish to find out if we had made progress, just see what people around us are showing or telling. If they are saying something to us and we are as badly triggered as before.... this most probably mean that we still have inner work to do.But each time they say the same thing and we are less and less triggered and one day we can just have a good laugh.....then wisdom has grown because we are at peace as its no longer our issue.

Its quite wonderful if we see our outside world as helping to show our progress in our life journey. For a lot of people, the outside world is just a scary place. I remembered TL mentioned that J mentioned before that, we have created this world as our amusement park but along the way we get frightened by what we created and cannot face it.

The more and more observant we are about what is happening, the more we are able to gauge our progress.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Judgement: The Effect of

Each person make judgements continuously day in and day out. I guess the only time we stop judging is when we are in deep sleep. If we had a dream, most likely there will be judgement being made there too.
We judge so unconsciously that it does not ring any warning bell in us. When we speak and when we are for or against a certain topic, it shows our judgement and idea behind what we are saying.

Surprisingly, even when we do not speak, there is an indication of our judgement on a certain matter. When we show an action, its also an indication of our judgement too...... so we are never free from it.

Today, I had an interesting experience when I went to a shop to buy some rice. As there was no one around, the shop owner chatted with me. He normally weigh the container I give him and then proceed to fill it with 1 kg of rice for me. Today, he weighed the container and then proceed to fill it to the container to the brim and then weighed and it was about 200 gms more. He closed the lid and told me that he is giving me extra because I'm a Tree Hugger (a day earlier, he mentioned that he should hug trees more and I mentioned to him that Clove&Clive has already did a book on Tree Widsom which the centre theme of the photos were tree hugging).

I wanted to protest but resisted the temptation because I could see the idea behind my protest was that I am taking advantage of him. Then also immediately, I could see that from what he said, he has a judgement made that I was a "good" person therefore its OK to treat me nice. I smiled when I realised this.

Then he got chatty and asked me a personal question that goes something like this " I notice that you seemed more fierce than your husband".   When I observe the mind, there was arising of some agitation but curiosity got a better of me because I could see he is making another judgement/comparison about me and my husband. Out of fun, I said "Yes"..... I could see he was happy because to him, his judgement is validated. His next sentence was to build on his judgement saying " I can see that your husband is more gentle and allowing". Again I said "Yes". He seemed even happier. Then he proceed to said that his wife is more fierce than him. Again I just said, "Is that so?" and this time he said "Yes"... again he is validating his own judgement about his wife.

I viewed the whole episode with him as very interesting as I was seeing judgement in action in terms of speech and behaviour.  So in the end, because I just said yes to his questions, he has in a way concluded his view of me and hubby and will carry that throughout his life and will treat me according to the judgement he has made. In a way, he is not really seeing me at all.

So I pondered, how can I be aware of these judgements? In my analysis,  first be aware of the idea/judgement I have and then consciously change the way I ask a person about something I'm curious about. For example, instead of saying " I notice that you seemed more fierce than your husband". Even if I have that idea of wife is more fierce than husband, I can ask in a more open way, allowing the judgement to be confirmed or changed based on the person's answer. For example, the question could be like this...."Between your husband and you, who is more fierce?" I notice this keep the mind in suspense and open and not make a conclusion. If the person said the wife is, I can ask another question to check his meaning of it and so on and so forth until the judgement is investigated.

However, while I was walking home, I pondered (and its my idea) that if every person is conscious of the ideas and judgements that are running their lives, there will be more acceptance.

Friday, October 8, 2010

How Do We Grow?

I always pondered on why as I got older, though I may said that I like to grow spiritually but there is at the back of the mind, that wants the growth to be easy so as I do not have to deal with so much pain. In fact, I would like to have answers given to me so that I need not bang my head against the wall so much. Another very strong desire is to have someone "rescue" me and make everything right for me. Its sort of like taking the express lane to enlightenment.

However, I realised that growing in wisdom is not always an easy road to walk : ). Sometimes its like taking 2 steps forward and 10 steps backwards..... Sometimes I feel like I've grown a lot spiritually.... and sometimes I feel like I've not moved at all ..... sometimes its like I'm back to square one and moving backwards.

One thing I know is that growing in any area of life requires some challenges. If there was no challenges, we would not be able to stretch our boundaries or to see what we are capable or not capable of.

Interestingly, as a baby, we are hardly afraid to grow... if we fell down when learning to walk.... we did not say, its too hard, I'll just sit here.... we just get up and try again. During this growing process, even when we fall and if it hurts, we cry but there are many times, that we just laugh when we are able to stand a second longer etc.

Recently after a dramatic sharing with SS about how I'm not handling life well and whatever growth I think I have achieve has all came to  a "ZERO", In the midst of the dramatic sharing, I could see a soft and gentle mind also present with the anguish mind. Strangely, just being able to recognised the presences of the soft and gentle mind, it was enough to put an end to the drama and to be awakened again to the fact that the spiritual journey is not a 100m dash but a marathon. And of course... wherever I am, there I am. So I guess, I am growing if the drama of life can be seen for what it is quickly and not takes days to regain consciousness again. For that I'm grateful for I can the boundaries expanding.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Simple or Complicated !!!

Looking at things negatively has been a common trademark for many people I know and I'm no different too. When something happens, before we even know the whole story, the fear, worry, imagining the worse comes in. Why is that so ?..... Its because I already have an expectation of the way things should be or I want things to be a certain way. In a funny way, this means that I would like to live a sanitized life. Accepting each event that comes our way just as it is seems like a far fetched idea if we are not mindful.

When we put the "I" very prominently in the picture, there will always be a holding on, a resisting, an expectation, loads of controlling because we want the blueprint of our lives to be totally laid out for ourselves so that we will always be sure of the next step in life. In an paradoxical way, the thought of regretting something or making a mistake seems to be such a tragedy. But will I truly know what is the next step in life?...... up till now ... I experience hits and misses and still can't seem to get the formula of life right ... so it seems to be futile to be planning a whole life ahead when I have only just today to be concerned about. Its quite funny to see how we trip ourselves up by being in a future orientation.In fact, we complicate our lives and then complain about it. A friend of mine said it well, " Life is actually simple.....just know what you want" ... How many of us know what we truly want ??

Staying Simple

Be blessed
in the basic awareness
of knowing
you do not know
the answers,

In this humbleness
is strength
guiding all
toward their own true nature,

Not the weakness
of complicated cleverness
that disguises the ego
as the master,

Be willing
to blend peacefully
into common-place cycles of life
with sensible precaution
of the silent destiny
always at work,
regardless of your particular opinion,

There lies comforting understanding,
within faithful surrender to the unknown,
invisible, inevitable presence,
that a clearer pattern exists,

Containing the joy
of simply being
amidst the unforced process
of the Tao.

By Gordon Neumann

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Blocks to Veracity

For quite sometime, a friend H has told me that I was choosing to be nice more than choosing to tell the truth. Because of this, I would hardly argue with people as peace is important to me.

Recently, I was having a discussion with 2 friends and what started to be an innocent topic took a turn to where there was differing view. The mind was getting more and more frustrated during the process and there were thoughts of being unappreciated, victimised and also helpless. It was also a rare occasion that I stuck to my opinion. But as the discussion got on longer, there was as sense that we were all looking at the same topic but from different perspective. The interesting thing for me was that, I realised that at that moment, the mind was really interested in understanding the process rather than the content of what we were talking about. Suddenly the word Veracity popped up in the mind. What is veracity?
Well from a definition from the Egonomic book, "veracity is the habitual pursuit of and adherence to truth. It helps make the undiscussable discussable and closes the gap between what we think is going on and what's really gong on "

I was at a point really fascinated with what was happening and also why we are not seeing things from each other's point of view. Then when the realisation came to me that I was too busy holding on to my position, there was no way I could see their position. I had to laugh when the realisation came. It was like I could see the issues I have that held me in my position .... there were issues of wanting to be appreciated, approved, unworthiness and wanting to be right.

So, I was experiencing the whole discussion from the filters and also from my past experience. However, when I observed what was going on and I choose to put veracity as a priority...... it was much easier to see things in a more detached manner, resulting in more clarity.

Though at the end of the discussion, there was still discomfort over the emotions displayed... I could see that something has shifted in our relationship and it was for the better. It was like we are 3 individuals who feel safe enough to express ourselves because we know there is unconditional love. What we are seeking is just the truth. This in our common goal. There is no need to try and look good in front of each other.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Body Mind Connection

I was travelling with hubby yesterday and decided not to switch on the air conditioning of the car... why I did that ? At first it was an egoic game I wanted to play with him as to see who will feel hot first.

It was a very funny experiment as he is quite adaptable to heat and as for me, I'm less tolerant to heat. I could observe the ego actually wanted to see him switch on the the air con instead of me and if he did.... this means I win ..... In hind sight.... it was rather funny and I could see that he was wondering what I was up to when I asked him if he is ok every few minutes in my bid to influence him to feel hot

I realised that I could never understand how he tolerate or not tolerate heat and any other things in life.

Interestingly, half way through the journey, the mind switched to seeing itself instead of focusing on hubby....

When I was focusing on hubby.... I could feel that I'm getting warmer and warmer and this is because of the desire to be right and to influence him to feel hot. Strangely, when I just observe the heat in the body and not on winning.... I noticed that the body did not feel so hot and strangely, the body felt some coolness. I was wondering if there was a window opened but they were not. Its like when the mind holds on/wanted something and its not getting it, a lot of energy is expanded in trying to get it. But when the mind is relaxed, the body actually feel less agitated and not so warm.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Beginnings

Recently a friend got a job offer and decided to return to the workforce after 2 years of not working. In our chats, she was experiencing mixed feelings regarding the change that is about to happen in her life.

I pondered that change does bring out a myriad of feelings and thoughts because what's ahead is unknown.... For many the unknown is fearful and its better to stick to status quo. I'm also one who likes status quo because in it there is a certain safety and surety...... but then again in safety and surety there is also fear that it would change and more work is put into ensuring that things stays the same.....I find this now rather funny because if something don't end then where is the new beginning? Imagine a person is in a nightmare and it does not end.... what a horror that would be.

I've come to a conclusion that change is going to happen anyway, I might as well learn to accept it..... again its easier said than done because of the judgements that I would have put into the changes that is happening . According to an article written by Christopher Moon, he mentioned that judgement is the glue that sticks us to the reality that we are in. Only in true acceptance and appreciation,we are able to deflate the energy around a situation we are experiencing and then we will be able to experience new realities. And thus giving us new beginnings. If not its the same old story going around and around again.

Another strange insight I gathered is that it takes wisdom for a person to recognise that a change is happening and also recognise all the myriads of feeling and thoughts that is accompanying the change. This recognition is what helps us not to be engulfed by the torrents of emotions and thoughts that will naturally happen when things change. If I'm engulfed in the emotions and thoughts.....then I'm in the thick of the action and definately in this state of mind, I'm no different from a boat without oars or rudder. My teacher has said to me several times that just being able to recognise is good enough..... I'm still learning to appreciate that its good enough to recognise things that is happening in the mind without wanting to fix it.

I think if I can see an ending of something in my life with grace (meaning with recognition, acceptance and appreciation), then I'm allowing myself to see new beginnings with grace too....... wouldn't that be beautiful ?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mind Your Own Business

I had a long conversation with GG just now and something she said really struck my mind and it was a good reminder. She was saying something in this effect .....

When we mind our own business we are taking care of ourselves and this gives others the chance to take care of themselves.
When we mind other's business.... we are over extending ourselves and this increases our own burden and we are not doing the other person any favours because we deprived the person the opportunity to learn

Its been a lifelong training that I have to support others and if I said NO to a request, I always felt guilty because it would seem that I'm selfish. Lately, I have the realisation that people can make request for me to mind their business but its up to me to decide whether I would like to say Yes or No. I realised that if I agreed to something without first checking with myself, I'm not honouring my ownself. Then I'll end up performing the request begrudgingly.... which in the end result, takes more time to complete and its completed without joy.

I realised that when I mind my own business meaning that I check with myself, I am able to make clearer decisions and when I chose to extend help/support others..... it comes from a genuine space. Some people has said that minding my own business is such a selfish act. Now I am of the perspective that I have to be selfish wisely so as not to overextend myself. A friend has mentioned to me that we seem to see "selfish" as not good but we need to learn to be "selfish" in a wise way.... I think now... I agree with this statement. Having the component of wisdom in our actions will ensure that there is a balance in the way we live and complete tasks in our daily life. We can be selfish in an unselfish way !!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mirrors in Our Life

I received this lovely message from a friend as a new year wish which i thought was really nice and meaningful.

"May what you see in your mirrors delight you
And what others see in you delight them
May everyone love you enough to forgive your faults
Be blind to your blemishes  and appreciate your virtues"

Our world outside is our mirror of what is happening inside of us. What prompted me to write this is because recently I've been observing that quite a number of people were telling me how bad things are..... complain can be about anything from  the government, the neighbours, the road condition to the food. At the end of their complaints were that the things they were complaining about needs to be changed. Who to change it ..... no one knows.

I find it rather funny because if they just changed their perception of things then things would look totally different. For example, there is a neighbour that would honk each time they come in front of their mother's house to signal to the maid there to send the children out or to come take the children. For me, I hardly hear the honking and when I do, the sound was gone after 2 seconds. I have no story attached to the honking. However for the person who stays opposite the house, each time she hears the honking by the neighbour.... she gets very worked up and saying that the honking is disturbing her peace. She wants them to stop honking and even came up with an idea to buy a device that makes loud sound so that each time she hears them honk, she would press the device and make a loud sound too.. I had a good laugh because the story of a 2 second honk has become a whole soap opera of getting back at the other person.

If only the person looked within. If the honking irritated her..... what is it showing about her? It must be mirroring that internally she is not feeling peaceful and there is a lot of anger. If the person takes the time to resolve those unhappiness within maybe ... just maybe the honking, when it happens would not be heard at all.

The mirror out there is showing us areas that we need to work on and not for us to create more and more stories around it until we are totally upset and identified with this illusionary world. Changing our perspective in seeing the things outside will turn them into our teachers instead of our prison guards.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Right & Wrong Mind Training

I was pondering just awhile ago about the importance of building the right mental muscles or right mind muscle. As in body building, if we do not do it gradually and in the right way, we may damage our body beyond repair.

Sad to say the same goes with training the mind to build the right mind muscle. For many years in my own life, the mind has been given both right and wrong muscle training. The wrong mind muscle training just leads me to more delusion like I can train the mind to believe that my misery is caused by someone out there or my happiness depends on having certain criteria met or showing weakness is a no-no etc.  With this type of wrong mind muscle training, what can happen is a lot of unnecessary drama in life resulting in guilt, anger, remorse, blame, coercion, pain etc. The mind constantly experience life in the Victim ..... Rescuer ... and Persecutor prison.

If a mind receives the right mind training whereby the right kind of information is input into the mind and life is lived according to the right information...... each life experience becomes an opportunity to practice, to observe the mind, to be curious about things that happen, to gain understanding and wisdom. This type of mind stands unwavering in facing every crazy, wonderful, sad, funny, angry and confused moment in life. It finds solace not in others but in itself. This I believe is called Freedom and Peace.

I remember LF asking participants in her class which picture they would prefer ...... the picture of a perfectly still and calm lake with a clear reflection .... or the picture of dark clouds, raining with lightning and somewhere in the crack of the mountain you see a nest where a mother bird and her babies nestle there warmly and comfortably.

I personally choose the 2nd picture because life is not going to be calm and hunky-dory all the time. Life is full of ups and downs and to be able to go through it with still a smile on my face, compassion in my heart and wisdom in my mind..... then I would know that the mind has received the right training.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wishes Come True

I always thought that when i got all my wishes granted ..... I'll be happy.....but lately.... i think its not so true now.....
I met a wise person and he said if he could grant all my wishes.... what would I want?

I could not believe that at the moment, I drew a blank on what I wanted. I thought I should be jumping up and down and blabbing out my long list of wishes.....

I realised that there is not much that I want because I feel a lot of gratefulness for what I have now.Also there is a knowing that any material goods that I want would only make a difference for a short while.

The wise person laughed and said that I actually do not know what I want and only know what I don't want.. ... Again the truth prevails..... Most of the time I notice in myself and also in others, there is a tendency to state what we don't want and not what we want. Indicating what we want is sometimes seen as being greedy and aggressive. I pondered that there were other reasons that I hardly indicate what I want is because of a feeling of being unworthy of having what I want and also fear of wastage.......

This can be seen in not getting the pair of shoe I want though the current shoe sole is slippery already or not postponing the haircut or ordering food based on price rather that suitability etc  This is a pattern that I've been observing about myself a lot and have to consciously stop myself from getting into the runaway train of unworthiness. When there is consciousness, then there is sound evaluation rather than just based on the program of unworthiness.

So, do I still want my wishes granted ?? Ha ha .... after listening to a story of a person wishing for psychic powers and regreting about it later ..... I think I'll just be very careful if I were to make a wish and be conscious of what I don't want and if I were to make a wish it must be from the space of clarity.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fixation on Results

I was observing that there is a fixation through out my life towards results. The eyes and the mind is turned towards results so much that the whole existence seemed to be about getting the results, for instance the position in class, the status at work, the amount of money in the bank account, how much material goods amassed etc. The other thing that the mind is fixated in terms of results are feelings be it feelings like happy, sad, joyful, angry, upset, tired etc. Because of this fixation, life seemed to be lived in a state of holding on to a result or avoiding a result or supressing a result or expanding a result or duplicating a result. There seem to be no peace, only an ongoing struggle.

Why this fixation when all these are result of a cause that had already taken place? There is no way NOW to change the bank book balance that reflects less money that I expected or to say I am NOT angry/upset/happy etc when I'm experiencing the feelings now. Being fixated seems to be irrational but the ego mind does not seem to know otherwise. Because of this, life is lived kind of like backwards putting the cart before the horse.

I remember my teacher saying that its unwise to be focused on result when its the cause that we should be working on because when we change a cause, the results changes. Such simple logic but the ego mind seem to be able to comprehend it in theory but not in practical. In the past, when I was training people in problem solving techniques, I observed that people were very caught up with the symptoms of a problem. There seem to be difficulty in differentiating the symptoms from the causes. Only when a person has a clear mind that they can tell the difference between the two and only then the investigation for the true cause of a problem can start.

So, its the same for me, when the mind is cluttered and mindless, there is a fixation to the wrong thing which is the results instead of causes. When there is mindfulness, the mind is able to observe the result for what they are and then work on the cause. A healer, Mr Hari had mentioned before that when we don't like the results... its ok.... we need not hang on to it,  we just need to change or create a new cause so that what is experienced is a new result.....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blessings of a Good Teacher

I had the opportunity to be around my meditation teacher who came for a 1 week trip. During the time, I played the role of host and also helper. In the 1 week of interaction, I could clearly see how a person who has wisdom and mindfulness live. He was authentic in his expression and seem to see things from a perspective that is very different from me. He was not concerned on how people view him and is ever willing to share his teachings.

For the whole week, I had the chance to ask him questions, listen to him giving instructions, participate in guided meditation sessions and also listen to how he responds to questions from the audience.

In listening to him, I realised that seeds information which he calls Right View are implanted into the mind that will germinate and assist in my journey of mindfulness and understanding. A few things that I clearly remember is :-
a. Thoughts and feelings are seemed strong because there is a like or a dislike
b. Understanding cannot be forced, we need to practice and wisdom will arise naturally
c. Natural awareness does not need any forcing or focusing. All it needs is to remember to be aware. How hard could that be ??? well harder than I thought
d. Only with the awareness of cessation of something, do we see the arising of another..... I thought this was profound because if I am not aware of cessation, I would have the concept of permanence and also there would be a gap in the awareness.
e. When in doubt..... do nothing first.
f. We don't have to control anything but be aware of all that that is happening
g. When I think I've lost it ..... just start again... no need for guilt

I am counting my blessing to have this experience because from the movie "Inception", I learnt that all it takes is for us to believe a tiny idea and with strong emotions about it, the idea will take root in the mind and steer our lives. This can happen with a good or bad idea. So I feel blessed because a mind that has Right View and attitude is just going to make life better and better, freer and freer, more and more balanced and equanimous.
This is the blessing of having a good teacher. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Loss of Mindfulness

This week has been an unordinary week as my teacher SUT is here to conduct a tour reteat. The concept of the tour retreat is about maintaining natural awareness throughout the day. As we are going out enjoying the sights, there must be a constant reminder to maintain awareness of the 6 sense doors - sight, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting and the mind.

From the teacher's explanation it seem easy but when it comes to practice, its not as easy as I thought. Mindfulness can be lost at the blink of an eye. I notice in myself, I'm less mindful when I'm tired. The teacher gave a very good advice which is when we are tired, its good to be aware of what is happening within us and not to put attention on the outside world so much because this will further draw away or deplete our energy further. We can observe the irritation in the mind, the blame or unhappy thoughts, the discomforts in the body and of course watch this with a gentle attitude. Doing this will prevent a person from acting out from tiredness and it could help a person to gain clarity of mind thus making wise decision and doing wise actions.

During the trip, there was one evening that I felt really tired and I could sense that the scope of the awareness was not wide.... it would like I was in safe mode just being aware of minimal things. I also notice that the mind is rather one track. One funny incident was when I went to collect teacher's clothes to be laundered before I went out with the group for dinner, the mind was tired and after collecting the clothes, I invited the teacher to dinner without the awareness that teacher only eats 2 meals a day. When he looked surprise, I saw the mind feeling irritated as to why the teacher is not making a move. Then when the teacher said that he do not eat dinner, suddenly the mind woke up. It was rather funny to see the mind stuck in a perception and experiencing a suddenly awakening of the mind.  

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fear and Its Gifts

Today is the last day of my rice fasting. This is the day I've been waiting for since I started this. Throughout this journey of just eating rice for every meal in a day, I've gone through many experiences.

In the first few days, as the body adjust to the change in diet, a lot of fear thoughts we on "Can i make it through the whole thing and its still so many days away" At this point the mind was very clear that an intention was already set to go through it. With clear intention, there was also clear resolute.

But as the days goes by.... the mind starts to count the days closely and thinking of ways to speed up the process etc. Just watching this was quite funny because the mind is thinking of ways to go back to a comfortable position. The mind do not like changes because it disturbs status quo.

When I passed the half way mark (in the mind there is a half way mark), there was a new type of fear thoughts emerging.... "I've come so far.... what if I fail now" . I notice there were hardly any positive thoughts at this point. To avoid thinking of the negative thoughts, many a times I deployed distraction strategies like watching television, reading, cooking, etc. All this while, there was also a tiny thought that holds the mind steady "See the day as a day. Be present". I see this thought as a wisdom because I cannot be anywhere else but where I am at that moment.

As I neared the 9th days, uncomfortable feelings start to emerge and more thought like " Oh no.... I'm going to fail". In fact, I called R about the uncomfortable hoping to hear that "Don't worry, everything will be ok", instead I hear him say that normally, people feel uncomfortable the first few days and then the rest of the days will be ok. But since my discomfort started so late, I'll have a difficult time......Whoa... that was not what I want to hear...... Strangely.... after hearing this.... there was an even greater clarity to stay in the moment and not project to the future..... the next day all the discomfort disappeared.

As I neared the last 3 days....... there were some paranoia about telling people that I was almost near completion because of fear again about failing at the last minute.....

The whole journey has been an interesting one watching the various forms of fear but I believe it all boils down to fear of losing face and having to repeat something which in turn spells failure. I have pondered that for the longest time, fear has always lead the way but it need not be so. What is the gift behind all this fear? For every fear that presents itself to me..... it is a call to see the gift it bring. What are the gifts I got ?? Its the gift of perseverence, the gift of patience, the gift of gentleness, the gift of intention and the gift support.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Getting Clearer and Clearer

I was having a frank discussion with TL recently and we were talking of how at every turn in our daily experiences the ego is there to egg us on. I was describing to him my understanding of the progress and process in gaining understanding from situations we encounter.

I described that at the beginning when I did not have much wisdom cultivate, I would react based on a default program/idea that is unconscious to me. In fact I would not have any thoughts of questioning the program but point to the outside world as the cause of any unhappiness.

When the practice of remembering to be mindful becomes more constant and consistent, I would start to observe what happens as an observer, observing the thoughts and feeling. I could still be embroiled in the drama around the situation but the stickiness to the drama will be shorter.

When mindfulness becomes a default program, the mind not only sees the thoughts and feelings but also can start to ask questions and find out the ideas that is powering the thoughts and feeling. At this point in our discussion, I told TL that when the defilement is perceived to be bigger than whatever wisdom I have at the moment.... I would normally go into a distraction strategy where I'll do other things while occasionally give attention to the thoughts and feelings until the mind has some clarity to identify the idea behind.

TL then brought up a new and interesting dimension to our discussion by asking Why is there a need to see a defilement as big or small ? He asked, "What if, when something happens and we are feeling dis-ease from it, we accept that it is happening now, we immediately face it and identify the idea behind it. Wouldn't that clear the whole situation quickly?" I agree with this idea and it seem to be what people like Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle does. This means a person can do it when they are constantly present and mindful moment to moment.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Being Appreciated & Supported

The weekend workshop I organised completed today quite smoothly and I was told that the participants were happy with the workshop. I was feeling quite happy and when TL related to me about the workshop and what happened there, I was rejoicing. He told me that I must appreciate the work I put into organising the workshop and to reward myself with a higher program manager fee.

When he said that, I was feeling a bit sheepish about rewarding myself but I noticed an interesting feeling popped up... I was enjoying the fact that someone appreciated me.... That feeling... no money could buy. I also reflected that I felt really good and motivated these few days with TL & LF supporting me verbally and physically on my journey of rice fasting. This feeling seemed to buoyed me and motivated me further to continue.

I guess this is human nature and countless studies have been made to proof that when a person is appreciated and supported, they shine, they grow, they do things beyond expectation etc. I raised a question to the mind on " What would happen if there was no appreciation for things that you do?". The answer that I got was that I am not at the level where I'm not affected by appreciation or criticism. I still have a journey of learning to be equanimous and accepting things as it is. There is no sadness in it when the answer came to me because this is where I am now. I admit that there is still a liking for appreciation and support and a dislike for criticism and things that do not go my way.

Because of the awareness of this liking and disliking, it sort of makes the emotional swing of feeling good/high and feeling negative/low not so wider. In a way, there is a sense of goundedness and not be too carried away to each end of the continuum. Maybe if the swing of emotion get smaller and smaller, the closer to the middle path a person would be.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Making Sense of Senses

During these few days of rice fasting, I had  interesting experiences with the sense of taste, smell and sight.

When someone is cooking something and the nose picks up the smell.... I experienced a lot of joy and inhaled the smell deeply and I observed the mind to see if there is a desire to eat.... strangely there was no desire present except the enjoyment of the smell.

When I see the food being cooked, I just experienced the look of the food. And found that the food looked really beautiful.
I started to wonder ..... where is the desire ? Was I enjoying sight for just what it is?

So I experimented with having the rice in my mouth and smelling and looking at the food.... All I experienced that they were all distinct doing their own function and I could enjoy their function as it is. It was indeed an interesting experience because I could let others enjoy the food while I eat my rice. There was no thoughts of "poor me"

Then I pondered, if I enjoyed the sight and smell of the food though I'm not participating in the eating, would this enjoyment mean that there is still desire?? I have not found out the answer to this question yet. I guess more observation is needed.

I realised that I normally connect the 3 senses as one package, when the eye picks up a sight, and the nose picks up a scent, the mouth start to salivate, imagining how the food will taste like. This is the start of the wanting if the imagination was a delicious one. On the other hand, if the sight and smell were undesirable, there will be a major turn off.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pseudo Abundance

I have been told that Abundance is a feeling not how much we have in terms of the car, house, bank account, children etc. I always thought I understood this and is genuinely feeling abundant. Until...... one day I had to make payments for many items and as I checked through my bank account to ensure I do not bounce any cheques, I made a mental note that, after making all the payments, I should have an amount left to use for next month. Unfortunately, when I check again the next week, the amount left was way below the amount I estimated and immediately panic set in with thoughts of how I could have miscalcuated.

Immediately, I could sense the feeling of unabundance which to me was rather odd because its not the end of the world and also I know that I will receive a cheque soon for some work done but the mind was really persistent in wanting to keep that thought, hence the feeling of unabundance continued. Logically, I know that the thought is not true but seems that there was no convincing the mind otherwise.

From this experience, I had a wake up call that all this while my understanding and feelings of abundance are really faux feelings. I've unconsciously tagged abundance to a figure in the bank account and also this means that if I had more than that figure, I'm abundant  Ha ha ....what a joke on myself...... So its back to the drawing board......appreciating everything

In TL's new book "Love Wisdom" he mentioned that

" Abundance is an attribute, not a gain. It is a perspective you undertake, appreciating everything in hand, irrespective of whatsoever vicissitudes of life. Appreciation brings richness to each experience, trusting where the flow of nature is leading you. When you appreciate, you accept the reality of the experience exactly as it is with the clarity to respond instead of the usual automated way of reacting, thus freeing yourself from the bondage of ego. Abundance is your ability to appreciate and accept life with fullness"

Who Is In Pain ?

 I was attending a workshop on Sunday and it was also the day I started rice fasting. Before going home,  I went to visit my mom carrying my rice pot along. I told my mom and Atun that I'll be fasting for 16 days on rice. They asked me if its just rice and I said Yes...... I could see them wince and pull a face. They started to say "Poor you" and asked me why I was doing it and why I was torturing myself. Though I told them my reason, they still looked sceptical.

I find it rather funny because its me who is doing the fasting not them but clearly they are feeling a certain feeling of pain about it. Strangely, I do not have any feelings of pain around doing this fasting (at least not on the first day). Seeing their reaction, I realised that we never do feel others pain. When someone is suffering and describe the suffering to me, what is happening in me is my own perception and idea about the suffering the person is experiencing. I will not be able to feel the other person's pain actually but I'm feeling my perception of the type of pain the person is experience. Which may be totally off the mark just like in my case.

I observed that if I am experiencing something totally new and I'm not sure how to respond to it, I could do three things :
1. I will ask for others opinion or observe others behavior in similar situation and hence I can buy their perception to be my own and now my response will be based on this newly purchased perception. So, in my case if I was to buy into my mom's perception that fasting is a torture, then I'll start to see myself as a "poor thing"

2. In another scenario, I may ask a few people and sort of window shop for differing perception and then I may end up not buying or buying into one of the perceptions or form a synthesized perception.

3. Just think on my own and create a perception based on any closest past experience.

Whatever method I gain a perception, its still a perception and I will always be operating from a perception in whatever I do and in whatever interaction. Interestingly, this means that I would not be able to really show compassion to others. Byron Katie mentioned " What does compassion look like ? At a funeral, just eat the cake. You don't have to know what to do. Its revealed to you. Someone comes into your arms, and the kind words speak themselves; you are not doing it. Compassion is not a doing"

So being mindful of the thoughts and actions that is going on is important because it will be an indicator of the perception that is behind it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fear of What ?

Yesterday I went with TL & AC to a university town in Perak to give a talk for a special event that is organised for the students there. When the students filed into the hall, I could see that there were all young adult about 18 and above. Most of them when they came in, they came in 2s, 3s or 4s and when they choose a place to sit, it was with their friends.

When I started the session with something light just to warm them up, the students were open and tried out the activities that I gave them. In the activity, the highlight was to get them to see how they seem to do things in a certain way and the reason is their mindset.

When it was TL's turn to speak, he started to get the students to do activities that require them to look at another person and also observe self. I could see the level of discomfort increased in the students..... most looked away from their friend, some gave sheepish smiles and all seem uncomfortable.

When he asked the students to change place and work with other people that they do not normally interact with, quite a number choose not to follow the instruction and for those that did, it was very visible that they had never done such activities before.

It was quite an interesting observation for me on how they (and me too if I were in their shoes) use different strategies (and it seem unconscious to them) to avoid having to face their fear of interacting with someone new. Some of the strategies were to hold their knapsack/file/book in front of them, look with downcast eyes when others are looking at them, play with their handphone, try and make conversation with the other person, look around instead of their buddy, turn to a friend near by and strike a conversation, cross their arms in front of their chest, nervous smiles and also shuffling of feet.

This got me to thinking of how I have numerous time tried some of the strategies above to hide my nervousness when I'm interacting with new people or in an unfamiliar place..... This sort of confirm what TL said the "the mind is in fear most of the time". This underlining fear is something that causes me to act "funny" or laugh too loudly etc. I realised that when I am not mindful, the strategies take over automatically but if there was some measure of mindfulness, the observer can observe that the mind wish to undertake the strategies and this gives the opportunity to choose a more appropriate respond. I realised that the thinking of the fear is always bigger than the actual fear itself.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Story Telling

Story telling is a very ancient form of communication in our civilization. Stories are used to teach, to create a culture, to get buy in, to have fun, to gain rapport, to communicate, to instill fear, to instill courage and etc.

I always thought that not everyone can be story teller but after observing myself and others, I realised that everyone is a story teller be it verbally, non verbally or just in the mind. Many great teachers used stories well to help people change perception and gain clarity. Being someone who can speak well, I noticed many instances in the past, I have used story telling (normally about what has happened to me) to get people to buy into my side hence making me the rightful party or to influence someone's decision in favour of me or to tell a person I'm pissed of with them

Recently, I noticed that when I wish to tell a story, the thought that pop into the mind, is "Why are you telling this story?" I found this interesting because when I try to answer this question, the intention is always less than honourable.......I wondered if there is a way to tell a story or to relate something to others without the intention of inflluencing their mentally to be in my favour? Sadly so far, I found that the answer is "NO".
So sometimes, when I'm aware that I'm launching into a story with the intention of gaining someone's favour, I cut the story short. Other times, when I'm mindless, the story can go on for quite a bit. :p

I find that the story that goes on in the mind is the most hardest to ignore. In fact, I observed that the mind is constantly telling story to itself to convince that "I" about something or another.It could be a story that boost my confidence and self esteem or a story that makes me question my abilities, self worth etc. Of course, its quite easier to swallow the stories that boost self esteem than those that puncture it. But whatever it is, I notice that questioning the mind needs to be practiced so as to see the truth of the stories being told.

Recently, I observed a loved one rehashing a story of an incident that happened a few days ago and as I listened to the story being retold, I observed the feelings increased making the incident very, very real and it cements the person's views and perception. I remembered TL telling me that we are like children playing a game but we are so identified with the game that we forget its a game and got frightened by it.

I can see I have created many stories in my life that now frightens and mislead me. It would be interesting to revisit the stories now from the point of the observer and maybe just maybe there will be a happy ending like in the fairy tales : )

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Power of Intention

I had just finished a fasting of 7 days yesterday. When I first started the fasting a week ago, there was a clear intention that I am committed to the fast and will stop eating and drinking from 5.30am - 7.30pm. With this intention, dutifully I woke up at 4am plus to prepare and have my meals,went back to sleep and carried on my usual chores as best as I can. Strangely, through out the whole 1 week, there was very little hunger pangs but there was thirst pangs. With the hunger pangs, I asked the question, "Is the mind hungry ?" or "Is the body hungry?". Just with this differentiation, it was easier to observe the bodily sensation and not associate it with the mind. In fact, I realised that the mind seemed to be able to project more hunger than the body can :).

As for the thirst, the questions did not work so well but because of the intention set, the mind could keep seeing the protest and also the stories about being dehydrated etc. The interesting things is that the mind was quite willing to settle down.

In the 7 days, I observed an underlying feeling of fear which I guess is about fear of failing to complete the 7 days fast successfully and having to do it again. I notice because of the intention, the mind was again pretty stable to watch the feelings and thoughts that surround that gently.

Today is the first day of non fasting and because the intention of fasting is no longer there, I notice that hunger pangs was experienced several times during the day and also the mind seem to be a bit more busy looking for food to eat. Strangely though, I kept forgetting to drink water. What a strange turn of events.

What I know from this experience is that there is really a difference in the state of mind with clear intention and a mind that is without clear intention. So, I guess it proofed to me that how I experience an event or situation is based on what intention I've set in the beginning.  I came to an interim conclusion that for the times that I do not consciously set an intention, then default intention (which comes from past conditioning)will be leading the experience.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Craving for Specialness

Recently I've been observing myself on how much I wish to be special to someone or to be seen as special.
I observed that when there is a wanting to be special, a lot of energy and actions are taken to have that craving fulfilled. For instance, I'll dress in a certain way, say things in a certain way, act a certain way, laugh in a certain way, use certain words, walk in certain ways etc. In fact, to make me feel special about myself, I try to accomplish many things in a day. Because with accomplishments, this means I am productive, important and special. Sometimes this pattern of "doing things" is quite exhausting because its driven by ego. When I listen to the body, it tired and needs to rest but becuase of this need to achieve, the need for rest is pushed aside in favour of achievement and thus feel special.
I recalled the times that I felt that I was special to loved ones, friends or even strangers (like at the bank or department stores), there were feelings of happiness, power and lightness. I observed that I was more chatty, there was a certain "air" about me.

Recently, I noticed many instance thoughts popped in the mind that sort of say " When I do this, this person will be appreciating me" or "I'm here so now this person should pay attention to me now". And when the person does not.... there was feeling of disappointment. Even the hearing of accomplishment or specialness of others also brings out envy and jealous feelings and questions of why I don't have such gifts popped up. (Even if I not necessarily want such gifts, there is still a wanting)

I realised when these thoughts come, its an indication of the desire to be seen as special.... I was quite intrigue because its quite easily to entertain or to buy into the thought. When I start to recognise these thought.... I felt depressed because it sort of show me how incessant this craving for specialness is. Its easy to go downhill from here and label myself as a failure. I remembered my teacher asking me the question, "Did you recognise that this is happening in your mind ? " "If you can recognise it, it is a good start .... just keep being aware of it."  Ha ha ... easier said than done but I'm game to keep going to be mindful of this craving for specialness. Maybe I'm consoling myself but I think the journey of mindfulness has no finishing point just need to persevere and be patient.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alone or Lonely

I am in Port Dickson for the past 4.5 days teaching a program for a group of government servant.
It has been a long time since I am away on my own on a training assignment.....I wondered if I would be bored and feel lonely when I took up the assignment.

Strangely when I arrived at the venue, I found out that the WiFi system here is not working and also it was difficult for me to get a clear line for my mobile phone..... The first feelings that came up was frustration because I wanted to stay connected. I started to question investigate my thought as to why I was so hard up to have connection........Strangely the thought that came was that I wanted to avoid feeling lonely. I asked myself, which  was it that I am uncomfortable with.... feeling lonely or being alone ?

I noticed that I did several things because I believed that I did not want to be alone or lonely. I tried to persuade get my husband to come stay with me for one of the nights and I asked my friend also when my husband turned me down. I looked for a place to put my phone in the room so that I could get signal for my handphone. Got a bit pissed off when the signal is unstable. I switched on the TV to have sound even when I'm in the bathroom.

This happened for the first 2 days.... Later I started to observe that I was feeling quite relaxed with my own company..... I took time to do what I wanted to do, I walked on the beach, enjoyed the evening sea breeze, had slow and enjoyable dinner with the participants, explored the resort a bit...... In fact.... the experience was that being alone is interesting and not a lonely experience. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. The feeling of being lonely has a form craving for companionship and wanting to be validated by another person. The feeling of being alone has a sense of freedom and the mind is very interested in how the body and mind is interacting with what is happening in and around them. Its quite an interesting experience. Something I do not experience a lot because normally there is people around me.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Different Second Time Around

I was listening to a recording of my meditation teacher's instructions and interviews just today to refresh my memory. While listening to it there were several "aha" moments because some of the things he said seem to ring true for me now. There was a deeper understanding of what he is saying. So i pondered. I actually heard this recording several times but each time I hear it after a lapse of some time, there is new understanding.

I told TL about it and he said.... Wisdom has grown... I joked and said its either that or I was deaf when I hear the last few times. But I know I was not deaf because I have been practicing mindfulness for some time. And in the practice if I am curious and interested in the practice continuously..... some understanding is sure to arose. I had to laugh when I came to this conclusion because later I heard this sentence in his recording of how he answered a yogis question about keeping the practice interesting.

The interest in something, be it meditation, work, play, cooking, laundry.... anything for that matter is a right attitude to have as I may experience an event that I can judge as the same as yesterday but if I put in some interest, the event will unfold something else that I missed the first time around. I was ironing clothes just now.... a weekly ritual.. I observed that as I ironed with interest and curiosity, I noticed the smell of freshly laundered clothes, the feeling of happiness to see the creases straightened, the desire to fold the clothes beautifully.... all this experience unfolded on its own and there was no anxiety to finish ironing the clothes. In fact, there was an enjoyment in the chore. A few weeks back, the experience of ironing was totally different, all I wanted to do was to beat the clock and finish the chore as soon as possible. In this experience, where there was lack of interest, a lot of unpleasant feelings and resentment was felt.

SS has wisely prompted me several times in the past when I mentioned that I was bored doing something... he would say, "Boredom only comes from lack of interest.... If you are interested in something, it will be fun" ... So a good reminder for me now is....."Show some interest and see what unfolds"


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Complaining and Its Effects on the "I"

Recently, I listened to a talk by Eckhart Tolle and one point that stuck to the mind is what he said about complaining. Complaining is a mechanism that the ego has built in to perpetuate itself. I did not see it like that before but after doing some observation, its interesting how that works.

I was with a loved one and the moment she woke up she started to look for things to complain like the maid is not doing this or that correctly, who should not say this or that etc. As I observed it, I could see that the person felt "injured" when things do not go the way she wanted. Of course, I know that its the ego that felt injured and diminished if it did not managed to convince others of their existence.

Though I was observing her, I was observing myself too. What is going on in me when I hear complaints. I realised that 2 things happens. If I identified with the complaint, I would go along with it and this boost my ego with a "thou is more superior" attitude or "poor me" situation. That means we have a ego party together. I noticed that having complaining party does make me feel good sometimes but its a short term feel good. In the long term it erodes my integrity and self responsibility.

However, I noticed when I hear a complaint and I keep quiet, smile and allow the person to continue, the complaining session is shortened for the person. Maybe its no longer fun to complain to someone who does not add fuel to the complain. I observed that as the other person complains, there are complaints happening in the mind at the same time.Sometimes its easy just to be the observer Sometimes, when the complaint was something that hit home so to speak... feelings of defensiveness arose....... if I was not mindful... this is usually the trigger to react but if mindful, its a time to be even more mindful.... Sometimes... its like playing Russian roulette. I notice that there is still a liking or desire to complain so its still work in progress.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Is This What You Want ?

I came across a saying that "we will never get what we want" . Is that true ? Most of the time, we get what we don't want. : ) My teacher mentioned that people are not happy when they get what they want and what they don't want because when we get what we wanted, we have fear of losing it. When we don't get what we want, we get upset and angry........ So I pondered that its so easy to want because as a human, I have many desires. I may be wrong, but I think Wants comes from desire for quick fixes and short term thinking.

I remembered I was in the car with a relative and she said that she saw in the newspaper that the price of Genting shares has dropped and though she has only half a lot, she was bemoaning her loss of fortune. I found it very funny and I asked her what does she want ? She said, "I want my shares to go up so that I can make money".... So I asked, what would make Genting shares go up ? Well, the answer was, when their casino, hotel etc business do well. So in other words, if Genting only has casinos and more people goes and gamble and lose their money, the business is seen to be doing well, right ?..... but what about the rise in gambling?
Another example would be pharmaceutical companies, when people get sick and need medicine, their shares goes up because their drugs sells very well.

Anyway, what I realise is that when we want something to go our way.... normally it does not go for the other party. Like in a relationship, if i want my husband to kiss me goodnight but that is not what he wants..... I can insist and get my way but the kiss would not come from love, it comes from coersion. It would be a terrible kiss : D

I was reading Byron Katie and she said, we would only get what we NEED. So if i was sitting in a traffic jam, that is what i need at that moment. I have been putting it to practice and realise that there is less tension when I come across incidents I don't want or like.  Still experimenting

Friday, May 21, 2010

Distancing of Self from Others

A bunch of my friends started to do fasting recently and it seems that I was not jumping into the bandwagon. At first I thought it was funny that I was not enthusiastic to jump on but I allowed myself the space to see what was happening. Was is fear ? Was it defiance ? After letting the feeling simmer for awhile, it was clear that it was not time for me to embark on this journey.

I could sense it was a time to journey alone for awhile at least, doing something different from the group who I've been doing so many things together for the last 3 years. I felt strange and one evening I observed a strong sense of loneliness and desolatedness and the mind gathered evidence that my phone was not ringing, no one called met etc.....I saw thru this evidence gathering activity of the mind and also observed the mind drawing a conclusion that I'm no longer belong. When the mind drew the conclusion, my whole world became smaller.

I realised that for many people, when things change in a group that they belong to or when they start to do other things which the group is not doing or vice versa, they start to distance themselves from the group because it is seen that their specialness in the group is no longer there. As time goes by if this thought is not investigated, the person will start to avoid the group all together. This will further perpetuate the distance and minimise the chance of ever having a relationship with the group. After some time, it would seem that there is no point to establish anymore contact with the group because we perceive we are left so far behind in the development of the group, we will no longer be comfortable in the group. All these are based on fear of rejection and also not wanting to be vulnerable.

On the other hand also, if none of the group members takes the time to establish connection with this person, then all is lost.I observed this happening with my friends from Secondary school when we get together during CNY .For most times, I don't know what they are talking about. Its very easy to withdraw into my own shell.

BUT is the distancing real ? Its real in our mind, and because its real in our mind, then is is created in our world making us believe in it. As long as the thought or idea exist in the mind, there will always be a distance. Who would I be without the thought that I'm lonely and people are distancing from me? I would be someone who will be excited and thrilled to see what unfolds when I journey alone. Looking to learn from what I am experiencing. There will be no loneliness.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Treasuring Those Around Us

Last Sunday SS & myself hosted a steamboat dinner at our house with many people contributing food, fruits, desserts, cake etc to make it a feast. All those who came were people who are actively helping at CnC and the dinner was an opportunity to get together and to celebrate TL and YF's birthday too.

As I look at the band of friends I have in this group of people, I honestly must say, I would not have the opportunity to meet them if not for CnC. I made a joke about what binds us together is our recognition of suffering. TL added that its also the desire for wisdom. So true. I reflected that people band together for so many reasons from food, sports, fashion, disease, addiction etc. I think is pretty unique for people to band together to journey to freedom.
For that, I am thankful to have all of them as walking mates though they cannot walk in my shoes but they can walk beside of me, in front of me, behind of me or all over me : ).

Recently, I also have a friend whose mother died from a stroke. I realise we will never know how long a parent, partner, sibling, spiritual friends, colleagues etc will be with us because the moment they are gone, they are gone from the face of the earth but they will live in the hearts and minds of those who remember them.So, what is the point of keeping grudges, right ??. So, let us treasure those around us for they come into our space to teach us something whether we like it or not.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How I See It

Recently, there was a lot of dramatic experiences that were really calling for attention on how I will respond to the experiences. I and a few CnC friends are involved in organising a project of bringing my Meditation teacher from Myanmar and then conducting a new format tour retreat with 24 people in Langkawi. In paper, this grand plan looked really good... in executing, there were quite a bit of bumps.

Each time a bump is experienced like the visa cannot be done early but nearer to the date and some airtickets were booked wrongly resulting in extra charges, there are a lot of emotions attached to it, drama so to speak, that call each and everyone of us involved in this to do their own inner work.

I realised that everyone experience different lessons though we are working on the same project and each bumpy experience leads us to feel powerless, limited and upset. However, as I watch how the others and myself in the team go past the initial feeling, we are are learning to see the impermanent/illusionary nature of what is happening. (though I must qualify that my observation of others are based on my perception only, so I may not be 100% correct about their experiences) . We are seeing issues in us that are calling for attention like unworthiness, lack of faith, focusing on money, not trusting etc.

These issues will come so long as we have not gained understanding about them but I notice each time the same issue come and we work on it, the response is different and the feelings that arise from the issue are less heavy. I guess this is can be called progression. But the issue is not about progression because its not a race to the finishing line. For me, its about the journey into authenticity and connection with wisdom. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

I The Control Freak

Every human being wants to be loved and respected. Is this true ? It seems to be because in the seeking of love and respect,we do many things; some of them sneaky, weird, hilarious, dangerous and some bordering on insanity.

I was observing how the mind reacted to just a simple SMS from a friend to remind me something. And the first thing that popped into mind was  "Someone is trying to control me", "I'm not respected", "You are so smart, do it yourself". With these, comes many unpleasant feelings. And the actions that were recommended by such a mind was," Don't bother to answer", "Say NO". Anyway the recommended actions were all from spite.  A friend told me, let just look at what needs to be done and do it, no need to get embroiled in the feelings. But the feelings are strong and its definately felt.

I know for sure, pushing it away is not the answer. Just to apply some Non Violent communication technique on dealing with strong emotions, I actually verbalise out all the feelings, saying it out loud so that I can hear them. Just by doing this, I noticed that something interesting happened.... the next experience that popped up was no longer anger but a sad feeling of confusion.

Just being with this new experience allowed me to see that actually, the resentment arose is because I Wanted to be In Control of the situation and do things MY WAY but in actuality, I don't know what to do and there are things that are not in my control.

I started to laugh because in wanting  to feel good and safe, I want to make sure I do everything right but I don't know what is Right but the other person seem to know......... I actually stress myself up and not seeing others good intentions.

I realised most of the time for me new experiences are hardly welcome with open arms, joy and curiosity though in the head I know otherwise. So before I can call another person a control freak, I think i need to see the control freak in me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

To Fix It or Not To Fix It

Recently a situation happened at home between 2 persons. When i heard about it, a lot of frustration and resentment arised in my mind, speech and behaviour. Normally, I would want to be a rescuer to sort out the problem quickly.

This time I choose to do nothing, in fact I followed SS to Melaka. I remembered what my teacher said, when there is no clarity, do nothing. During this time, I entertained the frustration and also resentment by being aware of it. I must admit, at some point, I wish to run away and avoid the whole thing altogether.

Other member of the family called and asked if I am doing anything about the situation and my reply was that "not now since I'm away and its good to let people cool down as words that were expressed during anger are just meant to get a pound of flesh from the other person" .Actually, in all honesty, I think, I would not have handled the situation well when i was having all the frustration and resentment. It was an opportunity for me to cool down too : )

With that I just kept being aware of the play of wanting to solve the problem and wanting to get upset. And I did get upset when thinking took over and clarity was weak but luckily I managed to expressed it out to a close buddy and the energy around it was dispursed.

While not doing anything on the outside, I realised I was doing a lot on the inside. there was the mindfulness of  concepts and ideas, there was repeated expressionof forgiveness,  there was putting the mind to doing other productive work and there was setting intention on the outcome I would like to experience or create.

Anyway, I don't know what worked but when I got back from Melaka, I called the aggrieved person, to my surprise I could sense a relaxed atmosphere.Things were no longer tense...... hmmmmm.... Maybe doing nothing is something worth doing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Anger and for all its worth

I read the newspaper the other day about how a road rage incident ended in a death.I thought that the rage must be really huge to go to the extend of killing someone. I realised that Anger's nature is destructive with very little or no logic. Its like experiencing a total loss of control and the only thought an angry person has is to have satisfaction. After the satisfaction, then what ?? I think not many people see beyond that because all that is in front of them is to obtain the satisfaction (This satisfaction can be from seeing another person hurt, verbal attack, etc)

Today I was talking to someone and as she was relating the injustice that she perceived had happened to her, she had so much anger. Throughout the conversation, I could heard so many "shoulds", "how could they", "they are ungrateful". As I was listening to it, I felt a great sense of sadness and at the same time gratefulness.

Sadness because I could see how the person's holding on to the thoughts and stories are hurting her more than anyone ever could. I could tell the person this but until she chooses to see all that she is going through is her stories of being treated unfairly, she will always be in the prison created by her ownself.  Who would she be without all these stories ??? I bet a happier person who can see that she can not expect people to be the way she wants.

Grateful because at least I can discern that though I feel sadden by what is happening, I cannot change the person because this person has her own journey to walk in this life.All  I can  work on is how I am experiencing the interaction with this person, my desire to fix things and the ideas i have.

The Spiritual Life

Spiritual life is not about becoming someone special but
discovering a greatness of heart within us and every being.
Its and invitation to inwardly drop our opinions, our views, our ideas,
our thoughts, our whole sense of time and ourselves, 
and come to rest in no fixed position 

by Jack Kornfield