Wisdom Arises Through Understanding

Friday, April 30, 2010

Effects - Boon or Bane ?

I have observed for quite a while my fixation on things that happened to me. I would spend a lot of time analysing, questioning, worrying, lamenting, rehashing, regretting and being remorseful about something that has already taken place and I could no longer do anything to change it. Of course, this pattern is not only mine, it is happening for everyone. Because of this, the soap operas on TV can churn up so many episodes.

This fixation on the effects of things seldom brings pleasant feelings but it does help to waste time in life. I often wondered why the fixation on the effect? I was listening to a friend telling me about something that has happened to her and I could see that as the story unfolds, she was at a different position in each part of the story. I could see that when she took on the position of a victim, the feelings expressed were different than from when she took on the position of a rescuer and persecutor. However, in the whole situation, I could see that its like there was no way out that would be from harmony and peace. In a way if I see effects as something I need to quickly fix so that I can move on, I’m actually missing the mark all together and the feeling of being trapped would just be perpetuated. In a way, it seems like I’m so engrossed with the storyline that I forgot to see beyond that and what its trying to tell me.

I’m beginning to see that the effects I’m experiencing are just a feedback system for me to see what is happening inside of me. Of course its easy to see pleasant effects but the hardest is to see unpleasant effect. We seldom like the mirrors that call us to see the unpleasant. Most of the time, we would just do try to find a quick fix so that we can be spared from looking at the effect for too long. In the conventional world, effects we experience are called mistakes and we should not be making mistakes. But from my personal observation, the effects are actually just showing to me the areas that mis-takes had happened. It could be in the area of my relationships, with money or with work. Showing me the mis-takes (though it may be seen as unpleasant) is actually a loving call for me to give attention to that area that is calling out to be healed, accepted and loved.

I heard again and again that, “don’t look at the effect, work on the cause and the effect will change”. This I believe is true.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dancing With Anger

I have been told many times by my teacher that anger is just nature, its not mine per se. In my mind...I questioned what my teacher said because whenever there is anger, i felt it personally, in fact i took it personally.

Today due to some fear about a condition in the body, I could see that the mind was not happy and wanted things (in this case, the body) to be well. From here anger started to creep up and before I know it, full blown anger and everything is just seen as not right. When i see the anger as my anger..... I sense so much constriction, restriction and total preoccupation with it. In other words, the mind was on fire !

When i was reading about non violent communication... it was said that anger is just the first layer. Behind anger is just a need that is not met. The need may be respect, love, appreciation etc. When our needs are not met, anger is the result. But how many of us took the time to investigate the need... we are too busy dancing with the anger. 

This anger has been with me for many years and I had lovingly nurture it since young. At the beginning, anger got me what I wanted and I also learnt from a score of people from childhood to adulthood, that anger bears results. Whenever, I get angry I get what I wanted either from myself or others. If I'm angry and frustrated, i give myself ice cream to pacify myself and feel good. If there were others involved, I make it known in terms of speech and action about my displeasure and anger. In another word, inevitably .... someone must pay....

Today I saw that when I want to make someone pay... I'm paying too. So for today I choose to keep quiet and just be withe the anger when I'm cutting vegetables, chopping garlic, cooking soup, cooking rice, doing laundry, sending out email etc. I could see that ever so often the mind has thoughts of expressing it so that i can release it to another person and trigger their pain body. I know from experience, if another person's pain body is triggered, this would make my own painbody feel better. I choose not to do that today but I think the energy of it can be felt though I kept quiet.

For today whenever I felt and observe the anger getting stronger, i checked my attitude.. am i watching anger with anger ??? With just this, it goes back to simmering mode.....The constant question that I asked myself is "Where is the mind now? How is the observing mind now ?. Just by this practice of constant awareness.... i start to experience that the anger will do its work but I will do my work of staying present and mindful. I experience several times, that I am not this anger, its nature. When I'm in this space, I feel like I'm doing the graceful waltz. Other times, I experience, this anger is mine....and here I feel like I'm doing the intensely passionate Tango. I believe when I can one day fully see that anger is just nature.... I will no longer be in the dance for the music would stop.

The Here and Now

Yesterday SS and myself was invited to dinner by his cousin. So we all met at Rebung, which is a quaint Malay restaurant near Bangsar. At the dinner were SS's cousins. It was the first time I had dinner with them and to SS it was also a first for him as his cousins hardly meet over meals.

During the meal, we talked about everything under the sun from recent happenings, doing charity work, meditation practice, politics, etc. As I was observing, I was the only one in the group that had only known them for a short while. When they started to talk about how their grandfathers were connected and several versions of the story came about. The best thing is that their memories were stories that they heard from their parents.

I realise that as I listened to them I also now have in my memory bank the stories they have. Now the strange thing is that there was no door at my ears that I could close and say that this bit of information I don't want or open the ear when i want to hear something. So in other words, all our senses do not have doors and they act as a gateway for data to flow in. Once a data enters the senses, the mind very quickly start to make a judgement i.e liking or disliking, holding on or resisting. From here we start to create a reality that defines us as who we are and how we are in this reality.

Another examples is taste, we tried 3 types of dessert , Pengat pisang, bubur kacang hijau and pengat durian.
I noticed that everyone started to categorise the 3 desserts into the most delicious to least delicious. So with this, if we ever goes to the restaurant again, automatically we would go straight to the most delicious one. In one hand, it saves time but in the other hand, we had just cornered ourselves and gave ourselves less choices.

So if I was to observe myself, I would always prefer something over other things or someone and until I'm aware that I'm doing that, I will be constantly putting myself in a box, defining my reality from the my past conditioning. As TL said, the way out of our conditioning, is to be mindful of it. So being mindful is not an exception now its becoming the rule if I want to get out of the box.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I am here only to be truly helpful

I am here to represent Buddha's Wisdom 
which I am strongly connected to

I do not have to worry about what to say or do 
because  Buddha's Wisdom will direct and guide me

I am content to be wherever this wisdom takes me, 
knowing it goes there with me 

I am healed as I let this wisdom teach me to heal

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Willing To Explore

Today I followed SS to Melaka. Just the last weekend we saw a newpaper writeup about interesting places to eat in Melaka within walking distance of the major tourist attraction in town. So... being curious, we took the writeup with us to check out 1 eating place behing Jonker Street. Alas.... it was closed. So we decided to try another one which is called Jonker 88. There we had a lovely bowl of Cendol. Not too sweet.

Since we still had parking left, we decided to walked a bit on Jonker street. SS pointed out toy for me to see and said that it was a childhood toy.... I realised I actually don't know how to play the toy because it was the first time i saw this type of toy.....So I bought 2 for my nieces.

We then turned off a street near the beginning of Jonker Walk. I have never walked there before and was surprised to find a lovely shop displaying gorgeous handpainted T-Shirt. I am not sure why but I just walked in and started to browse. I fell in love with a few of the T-shirt design and decided to buy one for my niece. I just choose the design and asked the person to handpaint her name on it. I was mindful that through out the time I was in the shop, choosing the T-shirt and conversing with the 2 owners... I was just having fun. When the T-shirt was done, only then I asked for the price of the T-shirt. It was RM40

I was then I realised that I had not used my old programming of buying things. Normally, when i walked into the shop and see something I like, I will ask for the price or check out the price tag then decide to buy or not. Then if the decision is yes, then I'll proceed to choose the design I like. This time around, I just choose the design I like, felt very joyous and appreciative when the person said he could handpaint my niece's name on it and waited for the person to complete the work before asking for the price. Of course, I was mildly surprised with the price but I could sense the appreciation I had for the time and effort taken to create the beautiful T-shirt. Only after paying for the shirt that I was told they soak and wash the T-shirt 5 times before starting to draw the patterns and normally it takes 3 days to complete a T-shirt. I could sense the labour of love that goes into the production of the shirt.

And to me, I really appreciated myself for having this experience. All this comes when I'm willing to just explore

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"You Complete Me" ..... Ha Ha Ha

I always hear that life is a paradox. What I think is true now is not true later. What I think will lead me to happiness lead me instead to pain. What is to be held onto needs to be let go for peace and wisdom to arise. Life's lessons never cease to amaze me to show what the ego crafted out to be true is actually an untrue.

For example, what is expounded in the world through movies, advertisement, cartoons and soap operas is that we need to be loved by another person to live happily ever after. I loved the scene from the movie Jerry McGuire when he said "You Complete Me" when i first saw the movie. When I became a married woman, I waited for the part that someone "completes" me. Wow... I had a great journey to discover that no one, not even my husband can "complete" me. It is very easy in any relationship that when a partner realises that their partner cannot complete them, they move on to another partner but the whole cycle repeats itself. I guess when people buy into the "truth" that is taught in the movies, advertisement etc .... they will continue to look outside for completion

The true completion I believe comes from within ourselves. It is personal responsibility to look into areas of my own life that I feel a need to be "completed" and start to observe the thought and feeling patterns that lead to the conclusion. Only with understanding that I complete myself. If 2 persons in a relationship works on "completing" themselves instead of expecting another person to do it for them, I believe that is where a true partnership or a true marriage is born where each person brings themselves to their relationship and not expect to be on the receiving end all the time. This type of relationship is based on the foundation of mutual respect, honesty, independence and interdependence at the same time.

I realised even with this understanding, its very easy to fall back into old pattern of wanting to be "completed".
As the saying goes, its the journey not the destination that is important.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Who is Hurting Me More ?

I was having a conversation with SS while we were going downtown yesterday as we are both reading Byron Katie's book and both of us were very intrigued by the clarity that is presented in her books.

I especially like what she said that "when we argue with reality, we lose 100% of the time". I was observing a family member relating to me how someone has wronged her and throughout the conversation, this person was telling me the act that she deemed wrong and unfair to her in great detail. As I was listening, I realised that the incident happened a few days ago but the anger that was displayed seems like that it had just happened.

As i see this happening, I could not help but reflect how I do the same thing. Whenever I experience an unpleasant incident, I'll tell a friend about the incident not leaving out any details and I am hoping that my friend will be on my side and agree that I was a victim. When she agrees, i feel good as it confirms that I'm a victim and should be pitied. I could relate the incident to a few more persons to gather more evidence against the other person. I realized that when i relate the incident again and again to different people, I feel wronged again and again. This sort of nailed the nail to the coffin because I had convinced myself I am a victim and the other person is a monster.

But the funny thing is that the person had only said something nasty to me ONE time but I said the nasty thing to myself numerous times.... so who is the monster here ?? I realised that I was actually doing a disservice to myself because I'm holding on to the event and continue to give life to it. In other words, the other person is free while I've put myself in bondage.....what a silly thing to do. I'm hurting myself more than anyone ever could.

And I think because of this, the ego is maintained and nourished. I've given my freedom away because I choose to be Right rather than be Free.  Its so easy to forget what we really want and to succumb to our old habits.

I was telling SS that if we want an apple tree but we keep on planting mango trees, when would the apple come?. Never in a million years. So the same is the mind, if I was to cultivate anger each day, the first thing that will come up when an incident occurs is anger because I've not bothered to cultivate peace and calm though this is what I really wanted.

So, being ever vigilant about what I'm cultivating is getting to be more urgent if its peace I want and to stop the self hurting situation I unconsciously put myself into.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mindful and Mindless Travelling

Yesterday I went on a trip with TL, GG, YM to Ipoh . I realised that during the whole trip we talked, laughed, shared, questioned, clarified, kept quiet to contemplate and laughed again... It was a totally relaxing trip.

I was observing my mind as much as I could during the whole trip and also the interpretations that comes up in the mind about what I hear and see. I was surprised that When I remember to be aware of what's happening within me as I was interacting with others, the quality of interaction is really much more wonderful because I am putting my own happiness of being with others in my own hands. I am seeing what comes up in me when i see and hear others and I can constantly make a choice to agree, disagree, keep quiet, ponder etc in a space that is in line with my integrity and not so much to keep up appearances or to try to fit into the group's topic or trying to appear smart.

I remembered my sister in law mentioning that she does not enjoy going on trips with people who finds things to complain about during a holiday or blames others when things are not happening as in the itinerary. She mentioned that it was such a pain to be in such situations and around such people. I could not agree more because I guess people complain and blame because they feel victimised or thinks there is no way to change the situation.  What I'm acutely aware is that no matter where I go, I can go mindlessly or go mindfully.
Since its not possible to leave the mind behind while I go on holiday though I wish I could... ha ha ...

So what I currently believe is that, going on holiday mindfully makes the trip more enjoyable not only for me but also for those I'm with. ; ).