Wisdom Arises Through Understanding

Monday, January 31, 2011

Weather n Mood

Its been raining for two days and at first it was quite pleasant but I noticed as the rain continued and the sky is downcast, I started 2 notice a feeling of uneasines creeping in. Why?
Naturally as humans we r affected by our environment and the funny thing is that we are never satisfied....we can only be comfortable only 2 a certain extend and if the weather become colder or hotter or more wet or more dry than we expect, the mind starts 2 complain.
I pondered if I can't accept what is with regards to the weather which is just nature at work.... How easy would I accept other experiences as it is?

In my drive to Melaka just now I was just observing how the mind was having the same nature like how I perceived the weather. I perceived the weather as gloomy n I don't like it and the mental state started to be gloomy too....after wallowing in it unconsciously for a bit, some wisdom kicked in or maybe holy spirit was present , a question popped in the mind "see things as it is" and suddenly its like the veil of gloom lifted. Interesting experience. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nuggets of Wisdom from Retreat : Action without/with Wisdom

There was an interesting incident while I was in the retreat where I observed that there is a tendency for everyone to just follow the actions of others without really questioning it because the mind is not alert enough to question the wholesomeness of the action. Its like the saying " Monkey see, monkey do". This comment is not to degrade anyone because I noticed that it applies very much to how I just follow others without questioning too.

The incident that popped this insight is when I observed that there were some people following the teacher around on his alms round in the village. While the teacher was receiving the alms from the villagers, some of those following were giving out sweets or biscuits or corn to the village children. I can see that the giving can come from the perspective that these villagers do not have much and they should be helped. On the surface level, it seemed all innocent and perfectly compassionate because its a good deed. I do question in the mind on "What could be wrong with this action?". I did not see the other side of the situation until it was pointed out to me that the people in the village comes out to give alms to the teacher when he goes round their village out of their faith in the teachings.

But when we follow and give to the children food constantly without the permission of their parents, it seems that we are teaching the children that when they see foreigners, there is expectation of receiving some form of goodies from them. Hence their attention is no longer in the alms round but on the expectation of goodies.

From this, I pondered deeply that there are many occasions that I do things because "I" think its correct and wholesome in my perspective and not even bothered to question or look on a wider perpective. Sometimes, I know this is because the wisdom in the mind is not present and also because there is not enough information or just too driven by the desire to do good.

From here, I realised that its important for me to know my intention when I wish to do a good deed and see if the intention is from wisdom or ignorance.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nuggets of Wisdom from Retreat : Experience is just Experience

I have always put a lot of attention on an experience I am experiencing seeing that as the most important thing in the world at the moment for me.

However, in this recent retreat there is a shift in understanding that actually experience should be treated as just an experience, there is no need to personalise the experience to oneself. I remembered I've read or heard something that Byron Katie said that if a person were to hit her, its over. However, because of thinking in the mind, we hit ourself over and over again though the actual hit was just once. This is because we give so much priority to the experience, be it good or bad and hardly give attention to the workings of the mind who experiences the experience .

Just with this foundational information to see all experiences as just experiences, which the teacher mentioned that we have to constantly remind ourself of it, there was a loosening of the grip towards overly identifying with an experience.There was an incident that I had a conversation with a fellow yogi and she was making nice comments and being very grateful for my help in translating her needs to the office people as she did not speak English. I observed that there was feelings of happiness listening to the comments. Normally, the mind would hold on to this nice feelings and play the comments over in the mind in later time. This time after saying good bye to the yogi, I turned to walk to where I wish to go and I observed that the mind was not thinking of the incident and all I could sense was a residue of the happy feeling. It was truly experiencing the experience as just an experience. And once its over its over. It was quite interesting because the mind was stable and clear and knows that there is no need to hold on to the incident and that it was over. This is truly wisdom at work.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nuggets of Wisdom from Retreat : Judgement and feelings

I was away for a retreat for the whole month of December 2010. This is the longest retreat so far I allowed myself to experience. At first the days seemed to passed slowly but in a blink of an eye, one month had passed and I'm back home again.

I realise I came away from this retreat with a lot of learning experiences. In this retreat, it was very clear that when an experience happens, there will be feeling and thoughts of like and dislike. Normally, there is a tendency to get carried away with the like or dislike. And this makes them grow into more desire or more aversion.

As I was meditating, there was an awareness the each time something happens and a dislike takes place, it was easy to get carried away if a person awareness is weak. But if the awareness is strong coupled with the right attitude in observing  what is happening, the feeling of like and dislike did not seemed to grow, in fact, there is a tendency of it not staying very long. This result in a more balance view. Every time there is a judgement or strong feeling, I would turn the attention inwards to be aware of the feelings and thoughts. I find that sometimes, just the mere act of accepting that something unpleasant or pleasant has happened, the mind do not stick to the experience so much.

I have always dislike being bitten by mosquitoes when meditating. So each time the sound of the mosquito buzzing around, there was anxiety and irritation and of course the thought was " please don't come near".
I must admit that I took a swipe at a few mosquitoes in anger and secretly, there was a feeling of happiness, if they got whacked. However, one day I changed tactic, when I hear a mosquito buzzing around, immediate, the radar was turned inwards to be aware of the feelings ans thoughts....... the mosquito then landed on the arm and started to have its meal. Though out the whole experience, the awareness was on the feeling and thought. In about 1 minute, the mosquito flew off and I just dab the bitten area with some saliva and continued to meditate. Strangely, there was no itchiness from the bitten spot and very soon the whole experience was forgotten.

So, the mere practice of acknowleging the feeling and thoughts, I was more relaxed during the sitting meditation and was not bother with the mosquitoes and insects . I also practiced this with unexplained sensation that the body sometimes experiences. This practice, helps me not to get too carried away by the feelings and judgement/thoughts.