Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I Am an Artist.

Had another vivid dream this morning and woke up with the realization that I am the main obstruction to my own creative as well as productivity. The dream ended with this sense of loss in the effort to make it and participate in a major local Art Show. After struggling through the thick and thin of sleet and snow and falling into drains and so forth I made it to the show where not one person was there but the whole place was littered with art works still in the progress of happening. Stacks of large pieces of papers with sketches on them lay all over the place and some still on the easels, like the artists left them to be continued later. It was an outdoor event and all was wet from rain, it was not a pleasant scene for an outdoor sketching or painting show. I woke p from this depressing dream again as i always did in the past feeling like I have been missing out on my calling; I am an Artist!
No matter how i try to justify or sneak away from my destiny, deep inside i know i was born to paint and draw my hearts out and this i have been denying myself for so long with lame excuses on one kind or another. The blaming trip goes all the way back to my primary school days and through my secondary education and most of what happened has been reiterated in this Blog at one time or another and for now it is no more worth looking back without again being bogged down with more self introspection and fault finding. Suffice to say I realize  now that i am standing in my way of my own artistic prowess as has been told by my one time Professor and Mentor, the late Mr. William Prevetti, when I was a student at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. While viewing a Faculty Art Exhibition, Mr. Prevetti whispered in my ear, "Sam, none of these guys can hold water up to your ability as an artist!" I was shocked and taken aback at what he said; I believed him.
Through the years my life was not geared towards becoming a well established artist like my friend and neighbor mr, Richard  Sigberman from San francisco when I was living on 2nd. Ave. Rich also recognized me for what I am and chastised me for not honing my career as an artist. I got side tracked every so often and always there is a lame excuse of one kind or another that has been th cause of my failure, like not having my own proper art studio to work from or worse yet Art has brought me nothing but sorrow and pain. These has been my excuses and perhaps still is although most are not untrue. I realize my God given talent and I realize too how i have it for granted all these years thinking that I am destined to become rich and famous through some other hidden talents of mine yet to be discovered and thus this self seeking Blogging. 
Who am I? I am an Artist and i am a Master in my own field in line with Rembrandt and Hokusai if i had devoted my time and energy in pursuit of my passion instead of getting sidetracked into self seeking and self discovery trip like I have been for the last ten odd years with this Blogging. I know who I am or at least my call in this life if not my vocation, however I have shoved aside my destined status and opted to take a longer route of trying to figure out who I am and in the process often cut myself to pieces and develop a very low sense of self esteem. It is as though I do not deserve nor belong to the echelons of the Masters of Fine Arts of this world. It is time to make that shift, the change of pace in my mind from seeking to having already found and make full use of what i have in me to become truly exalted in my endeavor as an artist; like my Grand father and Father before me.          

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

And the fasting Must go on.!

The mind is restless from being cooped up in the apartment with time and leisure on hand. So what do i have to do about it? Read C.Jung's "Psychology and the East," and perhaps this quite a heavy reading will keep the mind from getting bored. Listening to the gust of wind blowing through the crack in the window of the living room is something new and the experience simple as it is helps to anchor the mind in the here and now. Making this Blog entry in itself is another way of keeping the mind from straying towards unimportant or mundane thoughts and ideas or worse fantasies. My daughter is taking a nap and i am suppose to wake her up in an hour and take her to work, so this too is in the slate for the mind to look forward to; its a routine not a ritual.
As comfortable as it seems where i am at both mentally and physically except off course for the tooth ache and the physical discomforts due to lack food and drink i am doing fine. What is there to complain about during the Fasting Month of Ramadan? About two more weeks to go and how time drags when you are fasting especially when it gets to the end of the day about an hour before the breaking of the fast. When i look at what is going on around me I must say that the Malay Muslims are to be commended for their devotion towards fulfilling the call to fast during this month. What with the days being hotter than normal and the country's economy is at its lowest performance and despite the uncertainties of the political future, Muslims in Malaysia are going through the fasting month with full vigor.
Hunger and thirst is a small price to pay for the fulfillment of one of Islam's precepts and those who finds it too hard to bear might want to contemplate upon themselves as to how it would be like when comes time when food and water is hard to come by. This is the training of the body to endure hunger and thirst through out the day and it is also the mind to be able to not succumb to its weaknesses. Islam is a demanding religion and is uncompromising when it comes to doing the right thing. For this most Westerners are not able to cope with its tenets and dub it extremism. However underneath all its demands Islam has set a strict route towards the salvation of the soul which in this day and age is in limbo for most of us. 
The detoxification of the body is not the only benefit that comes from fasting, fasting also helps to detoxify the mind in a big way. For whatever it is worth, the fasting Month is a Month of great testing of mind, body and soul; a great test of character. if humanity can fast for the whole month of Ramadan for no matter what reason, it will be an eye opener, a miracle where wars and crimes would be cut down and human compassion towards one another would be embedded into the consciousness of each and everyone of us.When we understand what being hungry or thirsty is like, we become more sensitive towards those who suffer the effects on a daily basis due to poverty.   

Friday, June 09, 2017

I Love Who I am.

 It takes a great deal of nothing to waste life away trying to figure out what it is all about in the end. To most it is a matter of having lived life as profitably as one possibly can and be able to say, "Look at all that i have been able to accumulate. My wealth and my fortune, my good health and my progeny, my fame and my charitable virtues. At the end of the day, if one can claim all these as one's merit in life, perhaps one has lived life far better than most. As for me, all I can say is I have failed at most of these and cannot claim that i have lived life when all these measures are taken into account; I am a disappoint to myself and to others. 
If given another chance to live this life again I most probably would continue making the same errors and end up where i am at and so hopefully this will be the final cut, the last act of living in this realm of existence of mediocrity and wastefulness. I am my worse critic I have been told often enough and i should stop comparing myself to others who I deem as being successful in the ir lives as evident by their accumulations of merits and wealth. I am who I am. I have been up and down this road doing what I can to make the best out of the worse and avoiding from being sucked into the same rut as most has slipped into; I have done my damndest to be different from the rest. I have refused stubbornly to accept what is the norm and taken chances that there is yet another way of looking at life. I have trodden over the years roads less taken and streets that leads to nowhere just to find out, prove to myself that I was capable of getting my fingers dirty when it need be. I have been frowned upon and hated and i have earned my share of love and respect along the way, but there is still an empty hole in my heart that has yet to be filled and this has been aching for a very long time.
Will I be able to find the peace and tranquility that man desires, or will i simply be buried with questions unanswered just like the rest of those who went before me? Have i taken too many wrong turns while on this journey as to not be able to find my way back home? Who am I? What have i accomplished? What good am i to humanity having occupied time and space on this planet for the span of sixty odd years?  Is this all it amounts to, this state of being in limbo at the fall of  the curtain of my life? I can go on and on playing this melodramatic violin concerto and hopefully find myself some form of solace or even the grace of god, but enough  is enough. Like a broken record, i just need to shift the needle out of the groove into the next; i got to get myself out of this rut. This is the mind's favorite rut; the rut that leads to despair.
It is safe to say that in this day and age most of humanity are stuck in this very same rut as enough is never enough and the seeking for more than has become the end game for most of us. What is missing is the act of merciful kindness, the sharing and the giving, the thankfulness and the compassion; what is missing today is genuine unconditional Love. I have little to give or share but my 'ramblings'. I hope that through this never ending twists and turns of thoughts and ideas about who I am or what my feelings are from day to day, moment to moment, i can share a piece of me that in some small way be of significance in someone else's life. I hope that my self exposure will inadvertently help another being to shed some light into his or her own quest for answers. I am good at turning the negative into positive or so i have been told, I have been able to sieve through my thoughts and my mind over the years and perhaps this self digestion has its fruition; a glimpse of my Buddha Nature. It might be my legacy having shared my life with the world in this manner; self expose. 
On looking back, what is wealth? having lived for 21 years in the US and three years in Japan, that was costly by all counts. having tasted the ambience of a few of the most expensive hot spots in Dubai and spent over a year in this sand city, was not a cheap venture.either and having traveled to countries in Europe and  South America, i will not call that a poor man's lot. Hence, what is wealth but how you look at it, it is relative. What are my accomplishments? I have been there and done that which includes being a well respected artist among my peers and i have been credited with quite a few solo exhibitions in different parts of the world. I have worked at so many different jobs that i have lost count and each and everyone was an experience that I have accumulated not only in terms of making a living but also of the human connection and interhuman relationships. I may not be a religious man, but spiritually i have had my share of serious dives and awakenings. I have dared to defy and embrace whatever and whenever the situations call for in order that I may satisfy my conscience and accept the truth. God? Allah? God is always behind me, watching over me and Loving me. My Lord, the God i Love is a God of Love and Compassion and in this is my faith.
My progeny? I leave behind me four great individuals that I have sired through three great ladies, two Americans and one Swiss. How? Read this lengthy Blog to find the answers.


Mind my own mind.

What is really going on in my life at this moment in time? Well i don't really have a clue except that i am feeling like i am struggling against myself. There is nothing out there anymore other than the normal conditions of debt and financial survival, the aches and pains of a creeping in of old age and the lack of energy and enthusiasm or lack of motivation in general. Why? Well, I cannot put my finger on the money exactly but i have the feeling that if i don't shake this lethargic state of being soon enough I will find myself stuck for good in the rut that I am in and might as well get use to it or even begin to enjoy it. Is this what i want? Not exactly, but i cannot seem to get a handle on what i do really want anymore, like everything seem a little too late to go for in terms of 'making it' in this life.
So i woke up at four this morning and decided to sit after having came out of a dream on my childhood days in Sungai Pinang sometime around the early fifties. It was the time when i was adopted by a large family living in a large house across the street from the village i grew up in. In the dream I was being insulted and belittled by one of the daughters of the house of which there were ten girls and two boys  in all if i am not mistaken. It is a tediously long story in all these but suffice to say that my subconscious mind had decided that it is one of the issues that i have to deal with this morning. Why does this happen, why this issue of long past childhood history where the mind is being aroused by a thought,a memory of something that never really happened but involving those that i had grown up with in such a negative manner that it hurts one's feeling at such an early hour of the day? It evokes negative thoughts in a chain reaction inevitably as the mind refused to let it go at that and sitting in meditation did no good to remove the age old memory but instead added more scenarios to it leading on to the present.
Yesterday evening as I stood waiting for the elevator with my daughter there was a Chinese lady waiting with us, she was perhaps in her fifties and had and educated look about her. She also had the look that said, why the hell are you taking the elevator with me, like you do not belong in the same ride with me. I felt agitated by the whole unfriendly scene and told my daughter off handedly, "I look but I don't see you, kind of scenario we are having, " my daughter smiled and nodded and the lady still held her tombstone gaze into oblivion till the elevator door opens. Just as she was about to exit at her floor I look at her close and said, "have a nice day!" and my daughter said to me angrily, why do you even bother dad! 
Yes why do I even bother? Perhaps herein lies my fault, I bother too much. It is as though it is my concern that the people around me are not interactive or friendly enough, like the external world needs to chill out and greet more often so as to make a better day for ourselves. What a dork!
I have the feeling that when I sit and meditate long enough I become overly sensitive towards my surroundings especially towards other beings. i tend to project my own feelings and perceptions into them and these may not be positive all the time. I know and realize that it is not them, it is me, I am the one being not responsive or even negative and just not know it; I was having a bad day, not them. I need to tweak my sensory perceptions, fine tune how I act in public by not trying too hard to make alterations or worse pass unnecessary judgements over others or situations beyond my control; in short to mind my own mind!          

Monday, June 05, 2017

My Mind- My faith.

Looking deep within in silence, unhindered by any thoughts or mental formations, I find some comfort and even an blink of insight into why I am feeling so edgy and restless if not vexed during this fasting month. I am in a sense being shaken by the very roots of the foundation of my faith. I am being placed under a microscope of spiritual magnitude and dissected in order to have the contents of my heart read as to how I feel about God. At my age and in the very circumstance and environment that I am in at present, this is no laughing matter, The experiment that I have subjected myself into has taken me to the brink of becoming an atheist; may the All Mighty spare me such a damnation. I have yet to even understand the very nature of my own being and existence than to have the audacity to declare myself an apostate. My lifetime experiment has not allowed me for a conclusion as yet as I am still in the dark as to my own self discovery; Who am I?
A genuine Muslim has every right to condemn me for blaspheming and as such an infidel destined to find my way into the jaws of hell, So would a Christian or a Jew.; my afterlife is screwed! I need, at the peril of my own soul, to find the truth of the matter as to the nature of my very existence and make my stand and declare; this is who I am! This is my Dharma Position as a Buddhist would declare. I make my stand from this state of consciousness without any doubt, fears or favors, judge me if you must from your understanding, but know that this is where i am coming from. I have gotten here not by simply accepting what is being told me, or  simply because of some scriptures handed down from generations in the past; I got to this position by my own self enquiry and self discovery. When I declare my true faith or my spiritual being it will be  free of doubts and fears, it will be the result of a lifelong quest for the truth; my own original 'Buddha Nature',or that which Is before I was even conceived by my parents.
When my soul has been washed and purified by the blood, sweat and tears of regret and redemption beyond doubt, when i have truly awakened from this sleep of ignorance, perhaps only then can i declare where, to who or what my faith lies in; till then I am still groping my way in darkness towards the seat of the truth. My mind has come a long way in thinking in this manner but it is still not fully convinced, it is still trapped in a monkey's brain loosing its bearing every so often lost in self deluded thoughts; my mind is my best friend and my worse enemy. 

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Still trying to stay awake.

What I feel about the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions today is that, although they all worship the One and the same Great Spirit that they by their own linguistic and cultural tradition calls by different names such as God, Yahweh. or jehovah and Allah or Al-Lah, these three religions of the Holy Books are the most segregated and harbors the most animosity towards one another. Each and every Christian, Jews and Muslim are willing to murder in the name of their Creator...the God of Abraham, of Moses  and Jesus and Muhammad as though this has been sanctioned. For centuries these three religions has been going at it, killing and subverting, condemning  and ridiculing one another and all in  the name of the One true Creator. Ever since i was a child and made aware of my faith, I was indoctrinated into looking at judaism and Christianity with suspicion if not contempt and this is true for most Muslims all over the world today just as it is true for Jews and Christian children alike. Sadly enough in the war torn regions of the Middle East this mutual distrust has become so toxic that it has taken the form of chronic hatred; especially in the hearts of children who lost their parents, brothers and sisters.
The religion of Abraham is a very sick religion today and in need of more than a Miracle to heal. The schism that has been fomenting over the centuries has now become poisonous and is cancerous to every believer in the the three faith all over the world; but most religious soul lives in denial of this dilemma. Most modern religious leaders and thinkers makes all kinds of excuses in defence of the inability and failure to address this issue by attributing it to territorial and political issues as the cause and thus not religion that is responsible. How we have lived in all these centuries telling ourselves these lies is an unholy curse in itself;  the devil or satan has his work cut out for him. We as God fearing children of Adam are sending ourselves and our future generation to hell through our own ignorance, through our arrogance and through our fears; we are the victims of our own self generated apathy.
It is almost a week now the Month of Ramadan has quickly passed by and I find myself haunted by doubts and questions about my own faith. I have now come to the conclusion that i am fasting and observing as closely as I can of the requirements of the fasting month only because i have not realize the whole truth about Islam. it is also because i firmly believe that the fasting Month is the most significant among the practices in Islam as it is demanding in all aspect of discipline. It is also during this Month that my soul is being run through the wringer of my Maker. My soul walks on very thin ice and my mind is being tested to the maximum in more than one way towards my faith; am i a true believer or a doubter?
What is a true believer and who is asking and who do i answer to? Why do i place such great importance in my life over thiese issues for as long as I can remember? I have spent many a dark night of the soul tormenting myself in trying to find answers but what i have learned is that i have wasted a whole lot of energy and time for instead of celebrating and joys of life like I should i have spent most of my life living in the agony of fear and guilt as though my Lord is ever watching and waiting to get a hold of me for every little and major transgressions i have committed in my time. Yet, when i watch and see the state of humanity today,the atrocities and violence man is capable of inflicting on his fellow man, i wonder why I should fear a Creator that has allowed for this to happen. Is this then the illusion. the Cosmic Joke that God is playing on me, like what the Buddha has uncovered; that it is all an illusion. It is all a mental formation of an ignorant mind fast asleep and dreaming and sooner than later this dream will turn into a nightmare. 
Wake up! Wake up! Stay awake!                 

How can we break down the barrier.

If we look down at the world from space, we would not see any demarcation of national boundaries. We would simply see one small Planet, just one. Once we draw a line in the sand we develop the sense of "us" and "them". As this feeling grows it becomes harder to see the reality of the situation. In many countries, in Africa and recently in Eastern European countries such as the former Yugoslavia, there is great narrow minded nationalism,
In a sense the concept of "us' and "them" is almost no longer relevant, as our neighbor's interest are ours as well. Caring for our neighbor's interest is essentially caring for our own future. Today the reality is simple, in harming our enemy, we are harmed. I find that because of the modern technological evolution and our global economy, and as a result of the great increase in population, our world has greatly changed, it has become much smaller. However our perception have not evolved at the same pace; we continue to cling to the old national demarcation and old feelings of "Us' and "Them".
The Dalai Lama - Introduction to his book " An Open Heart" pg. 10

Jedu Krishnamurti, the great Indian Philosopher,whose thoughts I have closely since I was in college , had pointed out to me in many of his works and talks that " You are the world." If and when you have realized it, you become the creator of your own world, you manifest all there is. His thorough study in the workings of the mind, in thoughts and human consciousness is today a beacon to many who has studied his works. We are a whole, each and everyone of us, perfect and complete, only we are blinded by our inability to transcend the conditions we have been led into from the moment we were born. Not many has been able to break free of the shackles of these conditioning albeit, cultural, religious or ideologies. Only those who have the will and the yearning for the truth, those who are awaken from the slumber of ignorance or those who have shattered the mirrors of illusion that surrounds one, stands the chance to become aware of the greatness of the human mind  and how it affects the universe.
The Collective consciousness of the human mind is not something  trivia, it is what moves the atoms and the planets into place, it governs the very nature of our existence; if we could only feel this within us. It takes a total commitment towards self realization by whatever means for it to be possible for the spirit to see itself as the overlord; master of its own environment and circumstances. The ultimate sacrifice is the extermination of the ego, the thought created small or monkey mind. This is what most of us humans are carrying with us throughout our entire lives and most never had even a glimpse of the truth of the fact that we are merely surviving this life and some are surviving better than others. We do this at the expense of others, we do this at the expenses of the planet itself and we become oblivious to the greater purpose and meaning of our life. 
What is unique about aliens as depicted in UFO sightings by the media and so forth is the fact that they all look alike. Is this perhaps the manifestation of 'Collective Consciousness' in a specie? The fact that these alien creatures all look alike is a prerequisite to being an advanced specie that has evolved way beyond individuality and as  such they can act collectively as an entity. Humans takes great pride in being an individual that is unlike any other of his kind preferably better in all aspects such as looks and wealth. We compete against one another and we claim  more for ourselves in the name of survival the fittest; I am smarter and more industrious, I work hard to get where I am. Man can never come close to being an advanced being like those aliens simply because self serving and overly competitive and we take pride in our individuality and our tribalism like our race and culture. perhaps after a few more millennia of evolution we might be able to shed off our skins and good looks and all become boringly alike, perhaps then we might function as an advanced specie of aliens; it might be our final act of survival. 
At the rate man is racing himself towards self annihilation we need an option for our very survival as a humanity and that option is to explore the outer space for possible friendly planet that can replace our own for our future generation. Before our whole specie is wiped out we need to become aliens and start our journey of exploration ..."to boldly go where no man has gone before." Yes it is self fulfilling this prophecy of 'space being the final frontier.' The sooner we can stop racing against one another on who gets there first the better we would have in racing against time itself for at the rate we are moving ahead with our self destructive agenda time is of the essence. If the Super powers of today can by some miracle sit and put their collective minds to work, the possibility of us joining the aliens 'visiting' our skies on an equal footing would not be farfetched. Our human history, our past and present collective minds has been pointing us, warning us to be prepared, to not waste precious time in finding faults against each other, to end the spitting contest of nations against nations and to end our tribal complex, if we are to survive as a specie into the future. 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I see God through my own heart.

The fourth day of the Fasting Month already, lets face it, unlike most of my fellow Muslims I find no spiritual uplifting or any closer to my Lord than I already have been; I am still having my doubts and may He forgive me. Yes I am fasting, but there is no joy in the act except the feeling thirst and hunger with migraine headaches.from lack of food and water. Why? I keep asking this same question most of my life and till today i find no answer and amd about to five up asking anymore but will carry out the obligatory act as ordained by the religion.
The month of the Ramadan will always be my great trial just as it was for my father before me and I will not dwell on this as it will only drag out nothing but pain and discomfort and just what my mind needs right now.  However the issue here is not about being able to fast of not but it is more about being free from the guilt of not performing the Lord's wishes just like everyone else. How does one attain liberation from this cycle of life death and rebirth if one is filled with guilt. No doubt one thing or another has to give and bottom line it is a question of faith, 'Iman',do I believe or don't I? If I believe in Islam and the ways of the Prophet, then I have to abide by the Islamic laws and mandates which are uncompromising in nature.  If I don't than I am an apostate  and I better have some good reasons as to why I do not believe  or why I am deviating from the religion. I am not. Deep down in my heart I am a believer and it because of this deep faith in me that I dare to ask the questions and demand the truth from my Lord; it is of no concern to others. This is a matter between me and my Maker.
I am not an atheist nor will I ever be. I believe in the One Creator of this Universe and as I have often said, call it what you may, by the name you are most comfortable wit as is used by you forefathers and those before them. But for me there is no doubt in my mind that there is a higher order that governs this whole existence and It or He or She works in mysterious ways. Calling the Divine by the name is a matter of geophysical as well as cultural origin. Just as th Hindus call it Brahman, or the Jews calls Yahweh, or Elohim or the Native American calls Waka Tanka - The Great Spirit, call it the Supreme Consciousness, call it what you may, it is still the One that resides within your heart and to this you surrender, you ask and you lay you trust and faith in, for it comes from within you,it is who you are - your original Buddha Nature. 
I am not into rituals no matter what or who propagated such rituals, but i respect the Collective Spirit in observing rituals that holds the 'Whole' together. Yesterday i watched on You Tube a video clip of a small group of Arabs taking 'Selfies' of themselves while within the Kaabah in Mecca. Perhaps it is not real as there ae those who are out to put a damper on the religion in any way they can, however if it is then indeed it puts the whole ritual of the Haj and especially circumambulation of the Kaabah a mockery if not idolatry. This Holy of Holies cubic structure that was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael has become nothing more than a tourist attraction to the Arabs who are entrusted to care for its sanctity. I need not go deeper into what the performance of the Haj has become in terms of economy and political state of the region and the cultural oppression of the Arab that has not changed since the age of ignorance before the Prophet's time; Saudi Arabia is wallowing in the riches that the oil and Holy Land generates. A trip to perform the Haj today is a vacation for most Muslims as all the comforts and amenities are provided by the Saudi Government which in turn draws more pilgrimage and  hence more income for the State.
I can go on making my own personal observation as to why I do not believe in rituals as demanded by the religion, suffice to say it will only drag into arguments that I am justifying myself, perhaps i am but I will net accept what is from the external what is sacred for me; I will abide by my own self discovered conclusion. In the meantime I will worship the One, Lord and Creator in my own way deep within my heart or Heart. 


Monday, May 29, 2017

Stay awake.

 While searching  for something worth to watch and listen to, I came upon a video entitled "The Whole Truth",  presented by  Sevan Bomar on You Tube. After listening to a few tapes and videos on what this young man had to talk about i am very impressed and excited in realizing that here is yet another awakened spirit to take of the mantle of the spiritual journey and benefitting many who follows him. Bomar has the energy and the passion for the mission he has set himself to fulfill and he has the intelligence and the skillful means in delivering what he is delivering. His no hold barred style and simple mode of transmitting his understanding should be a boon to many young minds seeking such similar knowledge of the mysteries of  the Universe through the understanding of religious symbols and the connections that can be made between the ancient and modern take on life itself.  I will look forward to following his works as i am sure he will be revealing more into the future through his intuitions and insights over what he has understood.
The Planet needs more and more younger people to pave the way towards a greater understanding of what we are facing and how we can avoid, or slow down the process of decay that humanity is sucked into. At the very least we can if more of us will get off the gravy train and the comfort zone we find ourselves in and take a walk on the wild side to discover a little more about who we truly are and what we are capable of especially collectively, we might turn around this downward spiralling of humanity and the fate of the planet itself. It is way passed the time for mankind to wake up from his slumber of ignorance and it is never too late to make an effort towards getting on board the healing train and spread the words of wisdom handed down to us from the ancient and the modern minds alike. It is never too late to let our minds be open and receptive and our hearts filled with compassion for the rest of humanity and the planet, to allow for healing to take place.
Sometimes just when you feel like you're barking up at the moon and wasting your voice over nothing, along comes a voice you have never heard before and telling things that you have not heard told in such a manner  that surprises you. This is perhaps that little voice within of the collective spirit of the whole, call it the universal spirit or what you may, like your supreme self, telling you that all is not lost and that you should not give up the quest, the journey the yearn to fulfill your dream of manifesting the truth as you see it. All the years of wandering and wondering that you have been tripping are not all a wasted effort or a pipe dream, it is perhaps you  have just entered the next phase or a new beginning here perhaps you will find even deeper meanings to what it is that you are expecting to find before you call it quit. It is easy to give up and drift right back into living unconsciously like a zombie, but it is never easy to awaken to reality as it knocks on your consciousness and demands your attention.
Liberation does not come easy, it comes at a cost that only your life time experience and your perseverance can keep the door of opportunities open for you; stay awake!    

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Become One with the Whole.

"Chatter in the skull', through excessive thinking you loose the touch with reality. What is reality? No one can say because it is not words, it is just an idea...reality is this...boingg...." Alan Watts.

So how do I keep myself from drowning into the mediocrity of existence living life with the script written for me by all that is around me. How do i free myself from these preconditioned impressions and believe systems handed down for generations an which has yet to solve the problems of this planet that we live on. Education, relationships, religion, science, entertainment and what not.they have filled my head with loads of nothing and i am drowning with knowledge overload. How do i drag my mind out of this quagmire of incessant heap of knowledge and mental formations being downloaded into my mind? There is really nothing that i can do except sit and watch.
This is in essence what the masters are telling or have been telling us about what meditation is, what getting to know who you are and where you are at in this flow of life. It is so simple yet so illusive for most people to grasp as the mind has been from way back when been uploaded with so much information worthwhile or otherwise ever since its inception into being able to think. The influx of images and thoughts and ideas from the external world is never ending and will keep on infecting the mind till the day we expire and the mind comes to a dead end. Still we have to keep on finding ways and means to unload all that has been accumulated throughout one's age and the methods have been pointed out by the ancients and the modern seekers of truth, teachers and Gurus   alike. 
We walk through this life on a beaten path that many has gone before us and those that have the fore sight have often shared with us the secrets towards avoiding the pot holes and the pitfalls along the way. They have left behind words of wisdom and modes of action to be taken as the event of coming up to a blind alley while we are on this path. They have laid out guide posts so we can discover for ourselves a better route, one that is much less fraught with stumbling blocks and vexations. It is up to us to look into these handed down messages and words of wisdom and fit it into our daily routines as best we could in order that we find a smooth sailing while we are on our path.
It is through our own self discovery that we can hope to heal our ailing humanity if not eh planet itself. We have to come to a spiritual realization that we are all running around with a loaded mind that is of no benefit to the whole. We need to find that silence that empty space in between where we can catch a glimpse of what reality truly and act from this moment of insight. We can do this if we allow ourselves to become whole and less individualistic in our approach to life. In discovering who we are at the core of all these, we become one with the whole around us.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Man can only propse, God disposes.-

Dawn is breaking outside and I just had performed my Subh prayer the first in a very long time and by the grace of the All Mighty, I pray it would not be my last. I woke up earlier than the call to prayer that came later after I had sat in meditation which followed by a brief Yoga stretching and then the birds outside came to life from the trees way below my window on the twelfth floor. This particular black bird larger than normal has a long tail and a loud wailing voice, the Malays calls it, Burung kerak nasi, translated to mean, the burnt bottom part of the cooked rice. This bird has a strange connection with me as it is present wherever I go at least its voice and sometimes at odd times of the night which for sometime used to scare me into thinking it to an omen of some kind. Now I am so used to it that it has become a welcome song that reminds me to stay awake from falling asleep in this realm of Maya.
The call to prayer came loud and clear from the speakers of the State Mosque minaret that is visible from my window surrounded by apartment buildings and Chinese temples. It struck a chord in me; to pray or not to pray. My heart moved me to pray and so I got out of bed and took my ablution and laying a clean ‘sarong’ on the floor guessing the general direction of the setting sun where the ‘Qiblat’ should be I prayed following the Imam of the State Mosque as he led the prayer. At the end of the prayer while making my ‘Doa’, or personal communication with the Lord. Which to me is the essence of the whole prayer, I felt at peace. By having performed two ‘rakaats’ or rotation of the ‘subh’ prayer I felt the Divine presence within me. Nothing special, just that feeling of being heard and perhaps forgiven, of hope and completeness of being that only happens when there is the Grace of God being evoked, (it makes your hair stand and your mind silenced). I often wondered how it is to be in the presence of the Divine and truly feel the touch of Grace from this presence and I had come to my own conclusion that only through the genuine emptiness of the mind and an open heart can it happen or perhaps some other miracles beyond my comprehension; not through blind faith alone.
The Lord is a forgiving and merciful Lord and not an entity that is ready to pounce upon his servant for every little transgression or doubts; I can only propose and He will dispose. ( Nam homo proponit, sed Deus disponit.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Last of the Mohicans

Listening to Mooji's Open Satsang in Rishikesh, India, while I start untangle the tangles of my mind as has always been been my ongoing routine daily. My daughter is sewing a dress for her customer, it's a yellow dress and looks pretty already. The Satsang is called "Incubate in the Supreme," I wonder who keeps coming up with these titles for Mooji's Satsang, if it is Mooji himself; they can be catchy. The combination of eastern and Western instrumental music opened the Satsang with a beautiful tune.
Namaste! Mooji!  
First question the relationship between karma, freedom and the self, how do we keep form loosing the freedom gained in the moment. It is a question primarily about karma and the cessation of karma and the state being liberated from this 'hamster wheel' we call life. Time for me to slip away from the satsang before i get sucked into not doing my own thing or end up merely counting someone else's sheep with none to show for myself, for who i truly am; so switch to the theme song for the Last of the Mohicans, my all time background music. "Unto yourself depend O'Ananda, for none can deliver you from Sangsara, but you!" The Buddha uttered this to his cousin just before he left this realm of existence, or so it is said. Yes we need the boat and the paddle to steer across the river but these are just tools and means of getting there, to get there one has to act out of one's own volition, one's own free will. 
The fasting Month of Ramadan is around the corner and as always I have my trepidations about being able to fulfill the whole month of  abstinence from food and various other desires. I have no good excuse for this other than admitting to myself that I have a weak constitution when it comes to spiritual discipline especially when it is mandatory. I find myself balking and regressing  in rebellious if not lackadaisical disregard for being told what to do; or simply put i become weak and lack perseverance. I am far from being proud about this and over the years have been trying to do my best to observe and obey, (just like everyone else). However, what is the use of having spent years of searching and seeking for answers for I truly am if at th end of the day I simply give in to being just like everyone else;a heard of cattle headed for the slaughter house.
Is life. 
Call it pride, call it ego, call it self deception or call it what you may, Having tasted life and as much as it can offer for the past 68 years or so, I have a tough time accepting lock, stock and barrel of what religions and philosophy has to offer, I will accept the truth that has kept me alive ; not the lure of heaven nor the threat of hell, but the simple truth like breathing in and out a breath at a time. I accept the truth that I am the master of my own destiny and I set the course of my existence. I answer to no man nor to any believe or dogma other than what my heart perceives to be the truth. I believe in the simple laws of Karma and karmic consequences, that as I sow, so shall i reap. I believe in the generating of good merits as it will benefit sentient beings as a whole and not just myself. I believe my existence on this planet has got a higher meaning than to just occupy space and time or live out my life in ignominy making no self sacrifice towards the well being of others if not the planet itself. I truly believe in the One Who created me and to whom I shall return when my journey is done; in me is His Presence.  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Riding the Zen train

Not matter how  far or how near I feel towards the understanding of ,Who I am, I still feel like i am truly groping in the dark where life is concern; I am trapped within a belief system of the everyday phenomenal world like what they call, living in the Matrix. I have created yet another routine of 'being who I am' in different episodes of my daily experience. I am playing roles to fit the different case scenarios that takes place for every choice i make in due course of time. I am playing each role to fill up my own emptiness while also fulfilling my vows as a Bodhisatva and that is to serve humanity through deliverance from ignorance and suffering. As i learn more and more about myself through my relationships with the rest of humanity and the individuals that I have close encounters with, I try to share these mini-experiences or what they are worth with those who happen to read my Blog.
Yes I am almost 68 years younger now but I am still groping in the dark as to what it is all about this that we call life or existence. It was Friday yesterday, ( it is past midnight now while i am home making this entry,) ; it is said that nothing is more slippery than your self. Just when you think you got it all figured out and under wraps, you find yourself riding yet another wave of uncertainties.      Perhaps i getting old and tired of playing the same old routine, perhaps I 'm still very much attached to who I think I am or should be. Or worse yet, perhaps this whole trip is getting to become obsession of mind, just another mind tripping, only on a grander scale, this need for true self discovery...who am I? Am i becoming a rouge believer in the disguise of a Bodhisatva, a 'Truth seeker', one looking for a healing of his 'splintered soul'? : am I just a victim of my own mind created events and circumstances and believing I will attain liberation at the end of all this, at the 'end of my days'?
If I die tonight I very much doubt that i will make it anywhere close to 'Syurga' or Heaven, I am a candidate for Neraka or Hell by Muslim standards. I can safely attest to the fact that I am pretty much beyond redemption for all the things that i have done in my past; i have every right to fear the afterlife as a Muslim. This is my own logical conclusion based upon things that cannot reveal that i have committed. I have broken practically all the cardinal sins short of one, the wilfully taking of a human life. In short shaitan has got me by the balls, no argument there, the devil does not even has to present his case. Mara will be at my deathbed smiling away for having won my soul hands down. I can rattle on like a defeatist over my fate but I still have time and the hope that i will still this illusion and transcend this feeling of living in the Matrix.
Who wrote the script of life for me? How did i end up with this deluded mental formations that half the time I have accepted to be some form of truth. I believe in what I an experiencing as day to day to be reality and very often becomes a victim of guilt and doubts making me feel helpless, small and insignificant sometimes. I have become a player in the game of life but have not truly understood my role and character; I feel like a slave than a Ruler in my own  to realm of existence. I have sold myself cheap and often became a pawn in the games that someone else is orchestrating or directing. I am reading someone's script and not my own simply because i have begun to fall asleep and being led down yet another rabbit hole. 
The Second Bodhisatva Vow reads, " Delusions are inexhaustible, I Vow to end them."   
Just as all the previous Sugatas, the Buddhas
Generated the mind of enlightenment
And accomplished all the stages
Of the Bodhisattva training,
So will I too, for the sake of all beings,
Generate the mind of enlightenment
And accomplish all the stages
Of the Bodhisattva training.[1] ---- 
 What if this idea of being a Bodhisatva out to save humanity too is another mental formation? What if this vow that i took while a student at the green Gulch Zen Center in San francisco, is another cosmic delusion the mind has set up for me lead me down as many rabbit holes as there are mental formations along my path through this life? To those who are not aware of what it is, the word Bodhisatva itself has not significance or meaning and yet to me it has held a binding effect ever since I genuinely and with sincerity bowed and uttered these words in the Zendo or meditation hall while facing the altar where sat Manjushri the Bodhisatva of Wisdom and Insight. How did i end up in the Zendo making this vow anyway,  what led me there far from my home here in Malaysia?
This Blog is testimony to how i got on board Suzuki Roshi's Zen train and has not been able to get off ever since.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Work Ethics of Malays

Blog entry 6th’ March 2017 – 2am.
(Some thoughts I had a month ago while getting my Art show set up at the Museum Galleri Tuanku Fauziah-USM)

Twelve thirty, midnight, arrived home from a long day at the Museum Galeri – USM achieving very little about the curating of my works, especially the captions; tedious if not boring. My bad! Then off to Ah Huat to  work my feelings out as I was very angry with the whole situation   and an escape to Ah Huat’s shop helps me to unwind and recuperate my mind and by  the time I left the shop we had emptied two bottles of red wine; Ah Huat was also in the same kind of pissy mood and said screw it all and lets unscrew a bottles.
I told him of the situation at the Museum with the major issues the employees were having between themselves and how laid back and unproductive their days were as I watched them day in day out. Listening to the Imam spilling his guts or being humorous on the You Tube or turn the radio  on loud for the benefit of no one really as the office most of the time is empty. It is very sad indeed when one cannot express one’s feelings because one is not a staff member; I am only a squatter. I have been a squatter for the more than ten years at the Museum doing my own work like writing the Blog or listening Satsangs , or talks and good choice of music to go with.
I have no right to comment on the fact that the misunderstanding between two groups of the Museum staff members is counterproductive if not harmful to the running of the Museum. A Museum Gallery such as this MGTF _ USM is a place where creative energy and passionate expressions should be manifested to draw as many students and adults to learn and be inspired. It should be a place where an inquisitive mind finds a treasure trove of thoughts and ideas that they can emulate and expand upon.  MGTF is becoming another waste of time and money as far as I can see. The place sadly enough although has all the qualities of becoming an attractive venue is slowly becoming an unproductive dead weight. Hardly a handful visits the place each day and there is practically no change in the activities made available for the public.
Sometimes I feel that the Malays especially the government servants have a very poor work ethics. I have held a few positions working in this country and among all the races, those who work under my care and those who work as my superiors. It is hard not to notice that there is a sense of lack of commitment towards duty. The Malays although not in general, I find would rather be served than serve others. Most I find lack a sense of professionalism and genuine caring when they carry out their duties, like they were meant to be paid because they hold a position and not because of what they were paid to do. With higher positions comes not higher responsibility but bigger ego and lack of self discipline and often a sense of arrogance. The pride is in the position and not in the performance.
With this kind of works ethics, it is a wonder how much work is done and to the fullest satisfaction. It took me ten years to get my two children to be naturalized Malaysian citizens and one of my nephews with four children the eldest being 20 years of age, to become a citizen. I wonder if it is in our human nature to be so removed and insensitive towards our fellow beings and their plight simply because they are strangers or anonymous entities that appears as paper works of forms and numbers. Suffice to say that in many government offices and agencies such as the Postal services, the Immigration, the Registration and so forth are practically run by petty tyrants.

The Malays that I grew up with were soft spoken, light hearted and caring people who by virtue of they being Muslims were trustworthy in carrying out their duties. Like the postman who rode his bicycle with a bag full of mails on the handle bars delivering his mail with a big smile on his face and a greeting of peace. There was a whole lot more human connection back then and people really know one another at work and the government agencies were not as foreboding a place to visit. Sometimes in this day and age instead of getting a, “How may I help you?”, you get a “ What the hell you need?!” kind of response with the looks that could kill a horse. Perhaps it’s the times and today most people are too busy to pay attention to little things such as eye contact or an innocent smile to help ease the way; a smile would cost extra. I genuinely hope and pray that the Malays one day will rise above the materialistic, self serving and self aggrandizement habit and become more humane and caring as their forefathers were in carrying out their paid duties towards serving the public.   

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It could end at any time.

Osamu Kitajima's Dragon King -full album on You Tube, provides for the background music this afternoon while i am also eating my lunch of rice and veggies and a piece of lever picked out by mistake. Earlier the guys working for the WiFi installation came over late as usual and when my daughter asked why they said they were at the hospital where one of their friends had just passed away from high blood pressure. The deceased was the one came over to install the unit for our apartment about a month ago,he was 40 odd years old with three children and wife left behind....Such is!
You could almost cook a chick outside without fire and so i am giving myself some time before heading out to Ah Huat's mechanic shop. It is not a hard choice to make between the heat and the cool environment to work from. This my way of making time and space work for me and these spaces are there at no cost for me, provided for by the higher order in life who i do not wish to ask why or where for that I get these little favors.
Here at the MGTF -USM I get to work on my mind, observe it, share it and put it to creative and productive work without too much effort or being coerced into. Simply put i take my own time doing pretty much what i like to do given the circumstances and time. Work is an ugly word to most people as it means having to do specific things and fulfill specific obligations in a timely manner. i am not at meeting  datelines although I cannot remember not being on time in delivering my services in  the past, I still do not like the fact that i am under the pressure of time; I create and utilize my own time in pretty much what i do. What is essential for me is to get things done no matter how fast or how slow it takes to get it done, it is essential to be able to become enthusiastic and creative in whatever needs to be done and produce satisfying result for one and all. 
Work in whatever shape or form is a therapy for those with very active mind like myself. Work helps to bind the mind from wandering aimlessly and creating necessary false flags for the emotions to handle or the external to take hold of one's inner peace of mind and turn it into chaos. Physical work that needs allot of energy will keep the mind focused or collected more so than when the body is not active; it good to sweat the mind and body out as regularly as you can. It would be more beneficial if while achieving this you are also making a good income. That is why great sportsmen. are the most luckiest people on earth as they are making good their life form doing what it is that they enjoy doing. But then again who knows, they too may have their own crap to wake up to in their daily lives. 
The yearn to leave all these behind and roam the country side is still percolating around at the back of the mind and i have not been able to take my trip to the Organic Farm in Sik, Kedah for quite sometime now. I am drifting into the comfort living of the City Lifestyle. This is not too bad in itself for the time being as i am also being there for my daughter who is going through a change in  her life as well. i hope to be able to do a little travelling as soon as she is well adjusted at her present residence. 
Now she is 24 years old!
  Hence, this will my routine for now doing what needs to be done with a minimum effort and no pressure or obligation to fulfill other's needs unless i choose to do so of my own free will. Work is play and play is work either way you look at it it helps to fill up empty spaces and time, it helps to keep the mid from drifting and the heart in tune with what is within and without. Life is unpredictable just like the guy who passed on this morning leaving behind a load of misery for his family.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This too is Me.

"Ban! Ban!, Shamsok, which means , "take your time, Shamsul," in Hokien. This is wishing someone safe journey as they leave your premises. The word 'Samsok' also means the third uncle in Hokien and so I have become the thrid uncle to the guys working at the Huat Huat Auto Airconditioning Center and the motorcycle shop across the street and the the mechanic next door. Ah Seang's Auto Shop. They are all Chines boys young and old. If if I fail to turn up for two or three days, they are concerned and so does some of the customers and frequent visitors to the ares of Sungai Dua near the JPJ Office, Penang. Although a predominantly a Chinese area, most of the customers from way back when are mostly Malays, My friend Mr. Huat is like Jackie Chan, the 'Laughing Buddha" of Kung Fu of the 'Drunken Master' tradition of Chinese Martial Arts; my friend Ah Huat is the Auto Air conditioning Sifu in the George Town Area, especially in the Sungai Dua Area. I am his apprentice, a disciple of the Art of Dismantling Auto Air Cond. parts, a student of human relationship, how to communicate and how to relate, how to not give up or give in, how to maintain your balance on this path of action.
I had just returned form the recycling shop where I had sold 39 Kilogram worth of Aluminium spare parts mostly the cooling generator part. I had been dismantling these discard blocks piece by pieces utilizing tools which i would had never had the chance to handle, like the simple Allen Key. My finger nails are never without a thin black line running all around them, my skin itches from being allergic to the waste black oil that ooazes out of the parts as I tear at them. My arms an my back aches from the strain and my fingers stretches to the maximum every time i try to wrench at the bolts with the Allen key, a slip and game over, you will have to find some other ways to do the job; the anger and frustration, the satisfaction of knowing that i still got it in me; I am an Eclectic I choose only the Best to learn and emulate from; I find my Gurus and they find me.  
At the moment I am writing this, I am sitting in the basement office at MGTF-USM where i have been coming and going form for the past ten odd ears of my life in Georgetown everisnece i came back from my travels all over the country and the world looking for my self. Now i am sitting here listening to Hans Zimmer's Epic Theme of "The Son Of God" the movie. I am here and I am in the Now of Eckhert Tholle and that of Jedu Krishnamurti. Swami Rama,of Ram Dass and Of Allen Watts, of G.I. Guirdjief, Mooji and all the Great Man of the Teachers, my friends, my torch bearers...The Hidayat. Shaikh Abdul kadir Al JIlani, May Allah Protect his Secrets..." my guide, my Saint.  

"IN the beginning there was the Word...and He came into the World....the Word Became Flesh and made His dwelling among us."

I am here looking into myself and what I had been through in the process of getting to this moment in time and space, listening to Hans Zimmer and letting my fingers tap dancing the surface of the key boards. Why do I keep making mistakes when I type these words? My back is killing me! and my shoulders feels like they are carrying a ton of aluminium on my back heading for the recycling center. I am as blissful as i can afford to be for I am in my Lord's presence as i have always bee, for where I am there you will find me. I  am the Master of all circumstances in my life, I am the master of my thoughts and consciousness, and I am the Master of my Body, Speech and Mind...I am That as i am the Word and the Word Is can there be God if i do not exist, at least in this tis moment in time and space.. in this blissful moment of being able to reflect to and fro the passage and times of my life thus far.
"If not Now, When? If not here, where? The master asked.
Satori, Is, none who experience it.
Just as suffering is, None who suffers.
In this Human form waste not Time."
This is in Essence is Enlightenment in the moment in time."

" We thank you Lord by Whose Word everything comes to Be...Amen!"

And this too shall pass....
dedicated to my friends at the Sungai Dua Auto Mechanic Shops area.