Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Looking In- Looking Out.

As one's daily practice gets deeper and more pronounced with age and time more and more of the mundane daily existence becomes less and less important. More and more relationships slips away into history while the immediate and the now becomes more distinct and transparent. I am beginning to witness my mind slowly slipping away from it incessant ramblings as soon as i begin to sit and do my breathing exercises. I do this three times a day and the most effective time is when i find myself awaken in the early morning hours, like three in the morning. Even as i begin to sit i can feel my whole body aligning itself beginning with the spinal column straightening into a perfect vertical pillar ending with a snap at the lower neck area, like it is locked into position. This would happen without my intervention or involvement it seems to happen on its own accord. Then I could feel my whole chest and abdominal area expanding and contracting to the fullest capacity and there would be followed by the stretching and relaxing of the muscles throughout my physical form; it is like a total alignment of the physical structure. 
My anus region would squeeze shut and this would further stimulate the spinal column to rearrange itself with a wave of motion leading from the coccyx to the top of my skull and again snapping in a locking motion at the lower back of my skull. Silence! Only the sound of my breath is audible and i would drift into a peaceful state of equanimity and balance. This state does not last long but it often ends with my feeling the need to express gratitude towards the Divine and in my case being a Muslim, I would utter in my heart "Alhamdullilahi Rab ul Alamin" or  Thank You, Lord of the Universe. This is when i truly feel the presence of that which i worship in Spirit. In this state of quietude, the need to become over zealous with a sense of power within myself can sometimes be a negative distraction as my small or ego self tends to jump in and makes claims over my state of being in touch with my true nature. 
" I am not the body; I am not even the mind." This has been my 'Mantra' while i sit and breath in and out and this form of exercise is taught by Sad Guru on You Tube. I have been putting it to practice along with all else that i have thus far accumulated in my daily practice and i find it to be very effect in getting my mind to quiet down. I also is beginning to have a significant effect in my daily interpersonal communication with those i come into contact with. I am beginning to feel a little more detached from the external realm and more focused in what I attempt in the present moment. It is like I am beginning to find my physical form as well as my mental states are just mere tools by which if I properly put to use can accomplish more than I am used to in the past. Dropping away most of that which is irrelevant and eclectically utilizing that which can be put to use by skillful means.
The negative effect of this state of mind , If it can be called that, is the fact that i am becoming more sensitive towards others in their personalities and traits, their weaknesses and errors which i find sometimes very distasteful and have to keep reminding myself not to judge and detach form being involved with clear conscience and equanimity. To walk away without any attachment or feeling of needing to detach from as all that I am experiencing in others are merely my own reflections; my own ego nature. I have to learn to let it be and let it go without feeding any of it energy or making more of what is there and taking it for reality. They are all my mental perceptions, impulses and consciousness playing in the realm of the physical as well as the mental states. "I am not the body, I am not even the mind."
Who or what am I? This is the on going quest I am still embarked upon and with the help on my Gurus, teachers and friends from the Spirit realm, the Books and the Internet, I try to put to the test each and every new form of exercise that comes my way which I deem worth my effort. When I first read J. krishnamurti on how one is to investigate each and every thought that passes through the mind in the course of my day, I thought that it was an impossible task to carry out, but now I am finding that it is not so. Now I am beginning to find that these thoughts are the very food that helps me to better understand who I am and where i might make amends and corrections in my way of perceiving what comes from the external and this process helps to me see my own true nature for what it is.
I do not see myself better or worse than the next person, i only see myself still floating along this river of life touching here and there and getting stuck into this and that and events and episodes, often for no apparent need to and for no good reasons. As i begin to notice these traits i have been carrying within me I am able to gradually detach myself from that which is unreal and from this i feel a lightness of being; not as burdened as i used to feel. Letting go is not just a cliche but an actuality whereby the mind gets less and less influenced by unhealthy views and the body becomes less taxed upon; less headaches and migraines. My physical aches and pains comes with the satisfaction knowing that they result from my physical activities like work and exercises, from long sittings and poor sleeping habits. They are less the result of too much mental anguish and concerns over things beyond my control.
As realizations goes these may not seem much for a man my age, but at the very least i am beginning to feel more at peace with myself. It may have taken such a long time for me to even come close to feeling the joys of being peaceful within me and tolerant with the physical world, however, i still am glad that I am able to be conscious of my sense of being at one with the universe even if it be for a split second when it happens. I will strive on towards prolonging this 'mini Satori' in my life and Insha'Allah or God willing, i hope it will become a part and parcel of who I am. 









Monday, August 22, 2016

My Cousin Mario got married yesterday.

I attended a wedding with my daughter and a host of other members of my relatives from my Uncle's side which was held at St. Anne's Church Hall in Bukit Mertajam,yesterday evening. One of my cousins got married in the typical Soutehern Indian marriage ceremony. His name is Mariano @ Mario and his father is my Uncle Ranjan who is younger then me in age but my uncle on account of his father being my grandfather's younger brother. I remember in my childhood days when my grandfather Paul Mariano, would take me for a visit to his younger brother's home which was back then located in the premise of the Penang Methodist Boy's School, of  which my grand uncle was the caretaker for most of his life till the day he died. My grandfather and his younger brother had a fall out of sorts when the elder brother decided to be converted to Islam upon marrying my grandmother. The younger brother Paul Martino remained a Buddhist and later married a Hindu, my grand Auntie we call Minachi, Ranjan's mother. Ranjan is the oldest and then followed by Kamal, Susila and Tsuga Nanda. 
All of these members of the family on my grand uncle's side were there at the wedding which was held in a Church hall attended by an assorted of Indians, Malays and Chinese guests. This is the Malaysia that i was born into and was used to where all the different races often got together to celebrate an occasion without any problem. Our differences were buried from the moment we walked into the ceremonial hall and everyone felt at home and comfortable eating and drinking while witnessing a historical event in the lives of the young couple getting married. The event marked a strong kinship among all those who were a part of the Paul Mariano family tree with the Sri Lankan, Sinhalese Bloodline in them. This is my family heritage laid down by my grand father and his brother when they decided to migrate to this country. It is a pleasure to witness how the family kinship is being kept in line despite the religious and racial differences in the latter group of children and grand children.
I am very sad and disappointed that i know nothing of my father's past and his Sri Lankan heritage. prejudice and bigotry has kept my immediate family from wanting anything to do with this side of my family history as most of my brothers and sisters would sooner forget than dwell into such matters. My remaining elder brothers would be ashamed to be associated with my father's or grand father's past as they are now 'Malays' by marriage and their children have become strangers to this side of our family. Sad to think how much they have missed of their true past simply because the parents are too jaded in their ways. The loss is theirs by any means as the family tree that is so multi racial and multi-religious is in fact a source of pride and not something to be ashamed of. I ask myself often enough, what is so great about calling myself a Malay especially in this day and age when Malays are the cause of the chaos and back sliding that is being perpetuated all over. If the Malays do not wake up to reality as it is soon enough, the country will see a whole lot of pain and suffering. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Celeberating the Hungry Ghost Festival -Ah Huat's Shop.

At the stroke of midnight on the 20th August 2013, the gates of Hell creaks open to unleash the spirits of the dead. On the 7th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar, Chinese folk belief has it that the gates of hell will open to release dead souls who are allowed to roam the streets of the living for one month.

The Chinese believe that throughout this month, children and young toddlers alike should be kept from going out of the house, lest unrested souls lure them to the kingdom of the dead.

Visiting the beach for example, would not be allowed, since many tragedies have taken place in the waters, and evil ghosts may be eager to take more lives. Having a wedding or moving house during this period is considered bad luck and should never be practiced - and God forbid that one should die during this month! 

Another aspect of this celebration among the Chinese community everywhere, would be the stage operas and other musical performances, said to provide entertainment for these dead souls. Such is the grandeur of the occasion and regarded closely by many.
Many Chinese hold the Hungry Ghosts festivities with a mighty significance, and are most superstitious during this period.

The 30th day of the seventh moon is the last day of the festival. At midnight, the ghosts return to Hades and the gates are shut after them.

Paper deities, money, and other goodies are burnt in a giant bonfire as a final gift. With a sense of relief and ease, the Chinese will resume their daily activities after this period, faced with the confidence that they have fulfilled their duties towards their dead ancestors.


I was a guest at the 'Steam Boat Dinner' held by my friends at Huat huat Air Cond Shop at Sungai Dua. The information on the Hungry Ghost festival were adapted from The Tourism Penang. 

The Bodhisatva Vows -are still with me.

:Beings are numberless I vow to awaken with them'.
The first of the Bodhisatva vows that i took when i was a student at the Green Dragon Zen Monastery in Sausalito, Marin County, California. Also known as Green Gulch Zen Center, the monastery sits in a valley that opens out in to the Pacific Ocean or the Ocean of Peace on the one end while on the other it sits atop the edge of the small hill a part of the Mount Tamalpais range and sits the Hope Cottage, built by the former of the range Mr. George Wheelwright. There is very pieces of land more powerful in spirit and sacred in nature than the Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center and this was where i had my awakening experiences.
 Among the few experiences i had was dying in the Pacific Ocean, or at least i experienced the sense of freedom from fear as i floated beneath the surface of the cold waters of the ocean. I felt like I was Lord Vishnu resting on my back floating effortlessly just below the surface of the water a few hundred yards away from the beach where i could barely see my friends waving frantically for me to swim back as i was too far out there already. But i felt happy and contented and not too concerned of where or what i was up to and this was the day after Seven Days Seshin or seven days of deep meditation. 
I remember running as fast as i could and diving into the water and  swimming non stop away from the beach. It was a beautiful day and it s warm but the ocean was still cold and i did not care, i felt exhilarated I kept swimming as far out as i could and when i stopped eventually i could hardly make out the figures on the beach, a few waving at me. Then I felt myself floating on my back and at the same time sinking deeper and deeper into the depths of the ocean. I was not afraid and this was when i thought myself as Lord Vishnu floating in repose in the ocean of the Cosmos. Then from the corners of my eyes in all directions came arrows like icicles aimed directly to the center of my chest and when the points touched the spot on my chest I felt my body arched and with the sound of a snap my whole body jerked upward with my head lifting right out of the water. This was the first time i realized that my whole body was barely below the surface of the water.
The experience left me with the feeling that I was more than I think myself to be. I had enjoyed the feeling of being liberated from clinging to life as i thought it to be. I was willing to let it all go and become one with the vast ocean floating endlessly in the Ocean of Peace.
Then i felt that it was not meant to be just yet, I was not ready to exit this life even if I had tried to. I had unfinished business to take care of and as i swim back towards the shore i began to see many of those on the beach at Muir Beach waving for me to return and i realized my first Bodhisatva vow that there are those who could use my help and support to attain to their realizations. I also realized that taking the Bodhisatva Vows is not something to be taken lightly as i found out later in life how i play a role in many circumstances towards easing the life of others at the right time and in the right moment. I may have attained an insight into what its like to be physically liberated from this realm but spiritually i was still bound to this life by a Vow that i had made to awaken with the rest of humanity no matter how long it takes and where it leads me.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Have a Very happy Birthday- Sir.

I turned 67 today! Happy birthday from all my friends and loved ones thanks to Face Book. Replying to each and everyone is another story as they all deserved to be answered. What does it feel like? Woke up this morning and and decided to sell the bag load of copper wires that was sitting in the back seat of the car for the past two days simply because i needed the cash to take my daughter out for lunch on my birthday for one thing and later to cook my  birthday dinner at my friend Ahuat's workshop, also to buy a few bottles of 100Plus as promised to the employees there. The copper wires weighed about 30 kilograms in all and I made RM338.00 which was a surprise for me. These wires i pulled out of the discarded cooling coil or magnetic coils whatever they are called discarded from the shop, it was not an easy job but very gratifying.
Now i have some cash to celebrate my birthday! Another small miracle that the Universe has arranged to happen in times of my need. Had a good lunch with daughter and now am making my Blog entry while also replying to all the well wishers on face Book.

Sir.. I always wanted to grow up to be just like you,. and I still haven’t changed my mind.. You are my perfect example of strength and love,. and you have aspired me to be that man.. Happy birthday sir.. Am wishing you all the best on your birthday.. May Allah bless you with success,. health,. happiness,. patience and strength.. May all your dreams come true and may you live the life that you have always dreamed of.. May Allah bless you with victory in this life and hereafter..

One of the few moving messages from a friend who is a very active social worker.

Life can be as simple as you want it to be or it can be one long messy drama and you end up trying to disengage yourself from all mess you have created. Taking it as it comes , one step, one episode one happening at at a time as it happens is another form of practice in being in the moment or being present. Do not count or look forward to the results, have no expectations but be in the moment to dance when the music begins and dance till it ends. Try to dance with your partner in mind and make every move counts for both of you for life is also an act in sharing your self with others around you. Frown not if your partner fall out of step but lead on to make amends and sway effortlessly to the music and the Universe dances with you. Don't try too hard but allow for the motion to happen on its own accord for life is like an open sky with clouds drifting in and out and the sky remains. 

I wish myself, Happy Birthday! Today i celebrate 67 years of seeking yet not finding, finding yet not knowing, knowing yet not understanding, not understanding yet seeing, seeing yet still groping in the dark for that which is nothing out there! I love this life of mine!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

There is no escape from being infested with all kinds of external bombardments of input that would find their way in our conscious minds and most find a dwelling place therein in allowed to. From the moment you wake up till you go back to bed at night  your mental perception is being fed with all kinds of episodes and dramas some intense while others simply your normal day to day so called activities. Some are there while others are being invited by you to be there. The moment you open you eyes after your night's sleep your mind kicks in, from what the hell is going on out there to what have i got to do today, who should i avoid or should i go should i not to the movie tonight and on and on. This incessant thoughts that run through you mind are just the beginning before you head on to the bathroom. If you are paid for every thought that runs through your mind you would have been a billionaire by the age of fifty.
All these rumblings that passes through your head as the day passes by comes to an end when you close you eyes and fall into deep sleep, however even in sleep you are not free from thoughts as you experience dreams, all sorts of dreams, some that you would never have dreamed of. This is what you have to come to understand of such that you can bring these thoughts within your control at the very least to get rid off the unwanted and unnecessary and irrelevant ones; this is the first few steps towards enlightenment. En-lighten, letting go of, getting rid of putting away that which is not needed or of no consequence in your life. Unburden yourself from the garbage that you have been collecting day in day out for none of it is real as far as you are concern.
What is the real comes from within you and this can only happen if the mind is quiet and free from any intrusion or vexations. It is in this state of being silent and free from distractions, this meditative state that you can possibly catch a glimpse of the real that which transcends beyond the realm of the mind manifested state of being. It is in this quietude and clarity that you are liable to gain insights into higher understanding of what or who you are and what you are capable of as human being. Knowledge can be learned from books and listening to the wise, but wisdom comes of its own from within. The masters of old and the contemporary teachers of spirituality and philosophy and the scientists in their final analysis are almost all in agreement that the ability to bring the mind to a stand still is pivotal in making a transcendental discovery over the mysteries of the cosmos as well as how to make a great coconut milk shake.
It is never too late to begin the process of bringing the mind to quiet down and eventually stop its rambling; it can start now.
Sit! and watch your breadth, in and out. Know that you are breathing in and breathing out and that is all you got to know for now. For the rest of the instructions on doing 'Zazen', look up in the You Tube or Google it. There are great teachers out there ready to share their knowledge free of charge. It is a matter of wanting it or not, to heal your wearied mind, end living in ignorance and delusions and waking up to what is the Real. To be awakened from the eternal sleep where you are a victim to your senses and at the mercy of the conditioned mental states. I am telling this to myself even as i am writing; it is why I write.


  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

We are getting there.

The human mind is like a parasite that lives off every sight and circumstances, every experiences and in short anything and everything it comes into contact with, the more intense and gruesome the better. This is who or what man has become, at least those who are living unaware of any difference between who they truly are and who they think they are. Who they truly are are what they discover over time after a very thorough study of their background and conditioning, their upbringing and education and so forth, in short they have made a journey of self discovery. Who they think they are are those who have come to accept the life is as it is and that they are subjected to each and every laws and principle laid down for they by the power that be since they were conceived; this is the conditioned mind. This is the mind that has been blinded by the ways of the physical world and has no consciousness of its own unborn Buddha Nature, that which is free from all vexations and affections of the physical or Dharma Realm, ( realm of the phenomenal existence).
From the moment i was awaken this morning or should i say this afternoon as i slept in late simply because i had trouble sleeping at night, my mind has been preoccupied by one vexation after another, most of which I cannot do much about. But being this Dharma realm I have to pay attention to each and every rise and fall of these mental states I am beginning to have the flu with sore throat and the works to begin with and then came my thoughts of my daughter, if she has had lunch and how she is faring out by herself, then the fact that my son came home late last night and left for his apartment when he found the front door was locked. He left even when I called out to him from my window as i heard him leaving, but he just waved and left; how is he doing? Just wanted to say I miss him. Then When I went down stairs for my lunch at the restaurant I sat with one of my uncles and and a nephew and his son talking of their problems at home and the next thing I know I had to leave and do something constructive like what i am doing now.
How does one avoid from getting entangled in the tangles of life? One don't. It is part and parcel of one's Karmic identity AND CAN ONLY BE WASHED OFF BY BEING DIRECTLY INVOLVED FROM THE BEGINNING TILL THE END. (capitalized by accident). 
kar·ma
ˈkärmə/
noun
  1. (in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
    • informal
      destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

  2. I am not trying to write from purely a Buddhist point of view on this matter but I am using what i have understood of the Buddhist perception as my tool for the understanding of thid predicament that I am in when in dealing with my mental states on a daily basis.As a Muslim i am just to leave it all up to my Lord to make the adjustments and deliver be to the other shore from this turmoil all in good faith but I have to be patient as the Lord is not know to be spontaneous in His delivery over these small issues in life, like he too has larger issues to deal with somewhere else.So here I am left on my own as most of us, to deal with our fundamental issues in our everyday life like it or not and as we are seeing more and more, there is a whole lot of suicides and addiction to drugs and alcohol as part of the consequence.
  3. For the most part of humanity there seem to be a rush towards 'making it' in the most easiest and fastest possible ways including exploitation, greed and corruption. Success is spelt in the form of dollars and cents and how much one can have in a single life span irregardless of how the rest of species exist.It is however enlightening to witness that all over the world more and more of us are awakening to the true nature of our being, human and humane.More and more are beginning to realize the cost of not seeing through the nature of our true identity, that we more than who we think we are. It is enlightening to notice the changes made through having understood the more spiritual nature of our being by those who have strive to transcend this phenomenal existence and share their discoveries with those around them.These seekers and disciples of truth are growing in numbers and are making a collective change in the paradigm of our very lives from all over the world and all walks of life.
  4. The teachings and wisdom of the ancient is now being shred more widely so than ever before by great teachers and their voices are being heard all around the globe by many with the help of the Information technology that we have today. Yoga, Zen meditation, spiritual healing, to name a few have become a widespread phenomena and no more a mystery hard to comprehend. The exploration of the human mind and its functions has become a scientific quest among physicists and bio-geneticists an the mind is slowly loosing its hold on the ignorant among us. We are slowly but surely reclaiming our own innate Buddha Nature, our birth right as human beings.    








Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Just bare Attention.

Getting to know one's 'self' is no small effort although it is by right should be the easiest as it is a matter of taking note of who you are. What stands in the way of getting to truly familiar with one self is the influences that the external circumstances has upon our mind. We are constantly being distracted by the forces that are acting all around us whether we call upon them to or not and these forces are not without their attractive ingredients that would captivate th mind into delving deeper into them. What is needed for us to see beyond these distractions is a sense of discipline that would put the mind under close observation so as not to allow it too much freedom of getting trapped by circumstances and experiences that are forever appearing and disappearing all around us. A sense of awareness that would draw the mind back into itself focusing within more so than without 
The practice of 'bare attention' is one of the Vipassana Buddhist form practice that dissuades the mind from getting attached to whatever that it is perceiving or experiencing. Bare attention keeps that reactive mind to a bare minimal state making every reaction nullified by the fact that there is no more than what is actually perceived to the mind. A sensuous female walking by simply is seen as a woman passing by, a sack full of money is just as sack full of money nothing more, the mind has no attraction or attachment to it. It simply observes with bare attention. No story added to and no projections of its own upon what is observed, the mind is trained to become neutral like a mirror; reflecting but not reacting. When the mind thus neutralized and pacified, it becomes a very potent instrument of observation through which all manifestations in the external becomes mere scenarios to the observer like watching a movie on a screen; all seems real but nothing is real.
When the mind is brought under control and becomes more steadfast and focused there is less vexations and necessary distractions that will emerge to distract one from getting to know one's true nature. Through meditation and contemplation one is able to gain better insight into the nature of one's inner being. One's consciousness becomes more lucid and clear as the layers of accumulated obstructions are being lifted from one's vision into the true reality of who you are underneath it all. perhaps it is not a big deal for this to happen in the course of one's practice as it is an on going process and rarely something that happens spontaneously like an inner combustion. One sort of grows into it without realizing this happening if one truly practices the way to get there; most of us don't. Most of us live like a satisfied lot, happy to be able to simply exist in space and time, making the best of what is handed to us and leaving when the time arrives for us to.









Monday, August 08, 2016

Lak'ech Ala Kin or I am another you.

In Mayan tradition, there is a greeting that many people working with Mayan wisdom know of. It is the law of In Lak'ech Ala K'in, which means I am another yourself (A modern day interpretation). It also means I am you, and you are me (A traditional Mayan interpretation). We have come to understand that this Mayan greeting is an honoring for each other. It is a statement of unity and oneness. In Lak'ech Ala K'in mirrors the same sentiment of other beautiful greetings such as Namaste for East India, Wiracocha for the Inca, and Mitakuye Oyasin for the Lakota. It doesn't matter which culture you come from. But when one of these sacred greetings is given, there is always an action of placing the hands over the heart.
In Lak'ech Ala K'in - the Living Code of the Heart
Aluna Joy Yaxkin - www

Asalamualaikum or Peace be with you, or Shalom as in Hebrew, Hey! what'sup as in the United States, Konichiwa as in Japanese and  a host of other greetings in as many different languages, yet in most instances we past by each other with not even a glimpse of recognition in our eyes of our fellow traveler. What is even more sad is to see a frown or an accusing glare from a stranger just because one's eyes happens to fall upon his, like, what the F..k are you looking at?! How to break this habit we have in ourselves and in others. If what is out there is a mirror of who we are inside then perhaps it is possible to change what we perceive by being more conscious with how we greet the world each and every morning day and night; letting it resonate from within the heart itself.
However we are so often all caught up in our own inner turmoils that more often than not they spill out into the open and allow for others to react at what we truly are feeling even as we greet them. Being in touch with our inner feelings and emotions is the key to having a warm or chilled relationship with the external world. We cannot hide who we are even if we try, and many of us do try very hard to disguise what we truly feel and in the effort often sends out  mixed messages. It is in sending out these mixed messages that we  
often sense a negative reaction from those who we are confronted with in everyday lives.
As a Muslim it is a practice to greet a group of strangers or a gathering with the 'Peace be with you' greeting which would automatically nullify any kind of suspicions or animosity that would be present. It also establishes one's position as a fellow Muslim and a brother in Islam. Although even this simple practice is slowly becoming a rare habit among Muslims, it is still being observed by most especially in the rural areas. In approaching a home one is to send out this greeting of Asalamualaikum towards those inside the house to announce one's arrival and it is said that if on the third time the greeting is not being answered one is to leave the premises as it is an indication that the occupants may not be home or are reluctant to invite you in for any obvious reasons.
Lak 'ech Ala Kin or I am another you in the Mayan tradition tells us of how important it is to have  a proper greeting when in relating ourselves to others. That we each belong to the other in ways that we cannot imagine in the scheme of our humanity throughout our human history; we are one. Time and space merely acts as the backdrop for us to be in the presence of each other, but our inner being has connections that binds us together if only we are aware of it. However being too distracted in our daily lives by our mundane pursuit of so called happiness we have lost this sense of kinship that would have healed allot of wounds and stopped a whole lot of bitterness between us.









Saturday, August 06, 2016

I am still the Elegant beggar.

There comes a point in one's life when it all don't seem to matter but still there is that lingering cause for one to contemplate upon whether life as one has lived all these years been worth all the hoopla. All the time spent experimenting with the rights and wrongs the good and bad, the ideas that were well worth it and those that were meant for the bin, were they what life is all about? In the end it all boils down to what there is that you are leaving behind for those that comes after, your kids and their kids. Me, i have left very little in terms of creature comfort or the physical well being for my children and as far as wealth and fame is concern, I am a miserable failure. Am I cutting myself down again? Perhaps. 
This morning I could not afford to take my daughter for breakfast and she was also strapped for cash and so we ate at my cousin's, but i felt the pain in not being able to buy my child a meal when she needed one and had to resort to taking advantage of my relatives. My mother did not tell me that there will be days like these, we never too much communication anyway. My daughter kept a cheerful smile despite knowing the fact that we were both in financial need; she is a fighter. What of my boys? Well, it is my feeling that they have all three of them an ax to grind against the old man and so I have not much too look forward to in terms of a helping hand or a handout from these three; only my daughter have asked me if i have eaten or how are you feeling Dad, every now and then. 
This is Karma and what karmic retribution is all about. For all my past transgressions, my faults and errors my misjudgments and shortsightedness, i am now reaping the harvest; cool! Would not have it any other way. What is the sense of living a laid back lifestyle where all is handed to you while all you have to do is sit and wait for the Fat Lady to Sing the Blues. Nope! It is a blessing in disguise that i still am having to figure out what went wrong and how to remedy the after effects of my flounders. Like what my Chinese auto air conditioner mechanic friend kept telling me, "Shamsul, you are a fighter and you do not die so easily." I spend a good many hours of my time at his shop extracting copper wires from the discarded cooling coils to sell so that I can pay form the car i am driving. What more challenging activity can one ask for at the age of  67? I am sitting on my behind counting my breath while hammering and prying and twisting and pulling out copper wires so my hands and especially my finger become strong while working out a good sweat.
The Universe or God is keeping a good eye on me, that i will not deny as the little surprises or mini miracles keeps popping into my life. As i arrived her and sat to make this entry after dropping off my daughter at her apartment, a friend, a member of the staff at MGTF here came and dropped off a large order of rice with half a salted egg and a large Tandoori type chicken along with a drink of ice tea to go with. As i had my earphones on listening to the Theme from "The Last of the Mohicans, " on You Tube, which i often do when making my Blog entry, I looked at him and made a 'Gasho', putting my palms together and nodding my head with a smile, he smiled and walked away. I have become the image that  H had put into my head sometime ago that I am an elegant beggar in this life. My sense of pride and prejudice has been swept away along the way as i set myself towards the Gates of Liberation.
No doubt I still do have my doubts and lack of confidence in the true dimensions of my own inner being and how it has began to flower into reality through these small miracles that has kept my faith from being worn out beyond redemption. Like, let me relate another recent episode that relates to this. It took place yesterday where I was attending a 'Kenduri' or feast, like a send off party for one of my cousins who was leaving off to perform the Haj. As I approached him at his house and shook his hand and gave a hug I felt ashamed that i did not have any gift in my hand to slip into his palm like is done by everyone else when in this situation; yes i was broke. I spent the whole afternoon brooding over this matter as i watched every gentleman who arrived at the feast slipping into his hand an envelop. Then when it came time for use to leave, my elder sister who came along called me and handed me an envelop and told me to hand it to my cousin. I asked who shall i say gave this, and she said don't say anything, just give.
Yes, The Universe takes care of itself and the Lord is ever full of mini miracles if one is aware and present to what is manifesting every moment of the day. Be thankful, be at peace and believe in your own inner being with patience;" knock, and it shall be opened, ask it shall be given."


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

21st. June is Yoga Day.-.-Reflections of Sat Guru's talk.at the UN.

Work on your Perception and Intelligence to be successful.

You create what you perceive, create beauty.

Transform you self and you transform the World.

You are half of what you are, the other half is living out there.

Transcending the limitation of your physical nature is Yoga.

Look to how to make a difference than how to make a profit.

if you must use the body parts as a difference, )In gender) at least use the brain.

Authority cannot be the truth, truth can be the authority .

*if you call Yoga an Indian thing, then you can call gravity a European thing.

Penang- Another lost paradise.





Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Faith and death.

Bottom line is, until I have filtered out al that is irrelevant, all that is not conducive towards getting to know my true, unborn Buddha nature, that which is the ground from which i call myself "I', there will always be doubts as my mind is incapable of recognizing the true from the false, the real from the ephemeral the permanent form the temporary. The mind if fickle in many ways and will fli flop from one stance to another in the blink of an eye, it is like an uncontrollable tool that sometimes works while most of the times will take its own flight of fancies depending upon the external impetus and influences for the mental images is fed through the five senses and it is the heart that filters what is pure and unadulterated thoughts coming from the external stimuli. For this to happen the heart or one might call the soul, will have to be present at all times and for this to happen it has to be in constant state of mindfulness.
It is a sheer waste of one's humanity to exist without at the very least recognized that which is doing the thinking and that which knows that the thoughts are not the the thinker, there is no thinker, only thoughts. When this is not fully recognized then the thinker and the thoughts are mistaken to be one and the same thus we have right and wrong, good and bad as thoughts are manifested in duality of opposites, in comparison as int his compared to that, or what if this and not that and so forth. What separates man from the rest of sentient beings is that man is capable of seeing the realities beyond what is projected into the external, man is endowed with the ability to choose for better or worse if he so chooses to practice his God given right.
Being human also entails all the frailties of being easily influenced by that which appears more pleasurable than that which seem not so. We are easily attracted to the fantasies of life rather than see life through a more deeper vision of what is 'Being human'. Our inescapable weakness is laziness in making the effort of confronting our what indeed is our true nature. We leave it up to the philosophers and soothsayers, the Gurus and the so called enlightened minds while we are too busy seeking fame and fortune to justify our existence. By the time we arrive at the end of our allotted time of our physical existence we find it too late to even dwell on the subject of spirituality, like what happens after death. Then as our body and mind starts to weaken from age, we try to make some sense of why we were alive in the first place and we find ourselves regretting most of what had transpired throughout our wasted life chasing after material gains.
Here, for a true Muslim, it is well laid out for the believer  of who or what he is in this life after years of worshiping the same One True God, reminded himself five times a day or who he is in the eyes of his Maker and professing his gratefulness for his very existence and being led through the straight path and so forth. The devoted Muslim has in essence been preparing himself for the eventual journey towards his Lord in the after life while his mind has been ingrained with his faith in his Maker. death is a welcome to a Muslim for he has spent his lifetime seeking reunion with his Lord with undying faith having observed all precepts laid out for him through the Holy Book and the words of the Prophet (Pbuh). The Quran becomes his spiritual map while the Ways and teachings of the Prophet of Allah becomes his guide posts and manners in which he overcomes all trials and tribulations in this physical realm. 
I am not advocating the fact that Muslims has the realm of the after life cornered, I am just, in my limited view making an observation of how Islam has been in its won systematic ways, paved the path towards facing the eventual moments of death and what to expect next. By imposing strict mandates on the observations of its precepts, Islam has inculcated all the signs and warnings of pitfalls that man will be faced with in this life and the hereafter. With threats and promises, with persuasions and guidance, the religion of Islam has been aligning man towards better ability to cope with the moments of death and what lies beyond the grave with a spiritual blueprint based upon thousands of years of prophetic revelations. For those who have faith in its teachings, Islam has perfected the method of how to face the wayward human mind in the hour of its demise through Faith in Allah All Mighty; The One.

 And he (i.e. man) presents for Us an example (i.e. attempting to establish the finality of death) and forgets his [own] creation. He says, “Who will give life to bones while they are disintegrated?” Say, “He will give them life who produced them the first time; and He is, of all creation, Knowing.” [It is] He who made for you from the green tree, fire, and then from it you ignite. Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes, [it is so]; and He is the Knowing Creator.  (Quran, 36:78-81)
"Life After Death"...World Assembly of Muslim Youth.  
    

Monday, July 25, 2016

The great Mystery.

After a lapse of a few days I am now back to answer the nagging question about my faith, (in Islam). It happened very early in the morning of the day i wrote my last entry on the subject and it hapened while I was sitting on my bed unable to sleep and deciede to meditate instead. It was a simple matter of truth, nothing big but the answer to my nagging question is that, it isa not aht i have no or lost my faith in the religion or even God, but it is just that i have lost faith in the institution of the religion. The doubts I have been feeling are not from my inner being of a Muslim but my outer being of having complains about the religion itself being manipulated to serve those who consider themselves as Imams, ustaz, gurus and such. I have been making the mistake of letting the external patterns of religious practices influence my true faith in Islam. What I have been doing is making the mistake of taking the container for the content; Islam or the believe in any God or deity in one's life is personal.
I have come a very long way into making the realization of what i believe in and what i accept as my faith has nothing to do with anyone else out there beyond my own consciousness no matter how true or sweet the deals offered may be. Truth for me can never come from without, it cannot be processed or manufactured, thought of or created by anyone, Truth be told is simply Truth as each and every individual perceives it to be. Truth is not something one can read about or come to a conclusion from listening to others. 
"There are two mistakes one can make on the path to Truth, not going all the way and not taking the first step towards it."..The Buddha. The Buddha's entire journey can be sum up as to seek the Truth; about life, death and rebirth and the end of it or the cessation of suffering from it. I am a mortal man struggling my way towards discovering for myself this significant aspect of my existence and i have studied, practiced, prayed and worshiped in order that i may discover what is the truth in all these faiths. I find that there is really nothing to discover more than what one has already found in essence deep within one's heart and have held it to be the truth. As  I grow older and after accumulating so much along the way, I have made almost a complete circle of acknowledging that there is only One and the One is the true Being in existence, I am just speck of entity or atom manifesting the One; call it what you may. When i cease to be in this physical form i return to the One.
"Innalillahi wa'innalillahi Ra'jiun." From Him I originated and to Him do I return. IN Islam refers Him to Allah, the Christians calls Him God, the Scientists perhaps refers to Him as the Unified Whole...The Universe...The native Americans calls Him Waka Tanka or the Great Mystery...what do you see Him as?

"Everything we hear is an opinion not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth..." Marcus Aurellius 







Friday, July 22, 2016

The Perplexing subject of faith.

It is yet another Friday at the front line in the mosque facing the pulpit and receiving the bombardment from the Imam. Everything said from the Imam's mouth felt like a direct affront to my personal being as a non-practicing Muslim, one who does not fulfill the complete requirement at least like praying five times a day and so forth. The main issue talked about was 'Tawakal' or faith as i assume it to be and I am far from not having any doubts in my heart when it comes to having faith especially when i get hit left and right by all kinds of trials and tribulations affecting my mind and spirit. Of late it seems to get worse as i watch around me all the suffering that is manifesting in all kinds of forms and affecting the poor and the down trodden; it seems just not correct and unfair. There must be a caring God somewhere who would not let this planet go to waste as it is headed for.
Yes, i have tried my damnedest to right myself in order that what is around is not futile as it seems to be viewed from a more quieter mind or so they say, but it seems like the more deeply i look within the worse it get without. Detachment from what is the Dharma realm or the realm of the phenomena is something that Buddhism preaches but being detached seems to get more and more of a challenge as one age or so it seems. The question being, what am I leaving behind when it is my time to call it a day? What will the next generation inherit from the likes of my generation? The Imam was adamant on pointing out that most of us are neglecting to perform our obligations and are destined for the realm of hell in the hereafter and especially the younger generation, who have gone lost on their motorcycles riding themselves to death while others were looking forward to Celina Gomez coming to town  and not remembering God.
Tawakkul (Arabicتَوَكُّل‎‎) in the Arabic language, is the word for the Islamic concept of reliance on God or "trusting in God's plan".[1] It is seen as "perfect trust in God and reliance on Him alone."[2] It can also be referred to as God-consciousness.[2] In fact, the Qur'an speaks of the fact that success is only achieved when trust is in God and the believer is steadfast and obeys God's commands.[3]
It has been said that there are three ranks of tawakkul: the trust of the believers, the trust of the select, and the trust of the select of the select.[8]Each of these ranks are achieved through active reformation of the mind and self.[9] The truth of the believers is simply living one day at a time and not worrying what tomorrow will bring you; simply trusting in what God has planned.[8] The trust of the select is trusting God with no motives or desires. It is casting aside all wants.[8] And finally the trust of the select of the select is giving yourself over to God completely so that His desires become yours.[8] In other words, "trust in God is to be satisfied with and rely on God Most High."[7] It is said that because God created everything and therefore everything belongs to him, it is selfish to want anything other than what God wants or not want something God gives to you.[6] Wikepedia.

This Law [Dharma] is inexpressible,
It is beyond the realm of terms;
Among all the other living beings
None can apprehend it
Except the bodhisattvas
Who are firm in the power of faith.[19]-- Faith in Buddhism -Wikpedia.

What is faith with wisdom and understanding, it is blind faith and Islam is not a religion of blind faith
.


   

Monday, July 18, 2016

Living in Limbo.

I have been working on an acrylic painting on a three feet by three feet of the Bodhisatva Kuan Yin and i felt great for a while until my son Karim Turned up at the house to tell me that he needed to go the Clinic for having a very high fever. Then my effort at painting started to decline and i lost the touch. After spending at painting all night long i slept in late and woke up to a call from a debt collector threatening me with all the worse case scenarios of a litigation that would end up if found guilty, I might have to pay over 12000 in court fees and such including being black listed and even my two children's future would be in financial jeopardy. 
I made a business loan sometime in 2001-2 of ten thousand RM and had paid back since slightly more than half until my life took a bad turn with the untimely departure of my wife since 2004 when she had to be laid off for her illness and she later passed away in 2008 in Illinois, USA. I had to put my two children all through their high school years and later into the university and college while renting a place to stay and so forth, barely making ends meet. Till this day i hardly have any money to my name as i still am needed by my two children every now and then to help them out until they are totally on their own. I told all this to the Tekun', ( the Governemnt business loan) officer at their office here in Penang and she was nice enough to have me agree to pay one hundred a month to save my skin. 
No, I have not much to share of life that is extra ordinary of late, I only am going through what most of my countrymen are going through with the very bad economic state the country is in. I am being threatened by an agency of a government that owes fifty odd billion RM to foreign debt. 
Most of my friends have expressed the pressure that they are being faced with in their lives trying to run businesses and put their children through school, while the government is screaming that all is well. Malaysia is slowly becoming worse than a third world country sad to say and it is affecting the quality of life among the middle income earners while tossing the poor to the bins. Yes we are not starving or facing death on the streets as yet like in many other nations, but we are definitely on the way if things do not change for the better soon. We are at present as the former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir said sitting on a time bomb and now not only are we sitting on a political time bomb but we are also sitting on an economic melt down.
There will days when the world 'out there' seem more of a threat than usual and everything we see or do seem to be reflective of the negative rather than happening in the positive way as we expected. Old debts do catch up with us one way or another regardless of our financial status and they will always be haunting us till they are paid up in full. I do not have too many debts in my life except that my late wife's income tax status says that she owes the government some 38000RM to date since 2004, the time she was laid off from work as a lecturer at a college in Terengganu. I keep getting these reminders every now and then and am waiting for the income tax office to take my late wife to court or come after me instead. We need pressures in life but sometimes it gets too much when you are dealing with far away strangers and computer printed information. Just have to dance with it and not let it spoil your day even if you are having a bad one already.