Saturday, October 20, 2018

To become a Buddha in this lifetime.

Why do I do it or why am i doing it still? This self enquiry, self discovery, this effort to answer an age old question that man has been asking himself to no avail; what's the deal here? Have i not wasted so many hours of my time even writing it all down almost daily over the years; why? Have i gained anything out of it? have i made any significant amount of money off of it? Have I made more friends or touched the lives of many significantly through laying it all out in this manner? Perhaps it has become an addiction like most of what i have decided to undertake for myself in the past, I like to drag shit all the way to the end of time and this has been my habitual way. The question of why I am doing it was raised in my meditation at dawn this morning and I decided to let the mind dwell on the answer all out by going through all my old files and antique closets where ancient skeletons still drag their chains along the floor boards demanding release.

The call for the morning prayer came loud and clear from the nearby State Mosque but i did not answer, instead I continued to sit on my bed and dealt with my issues, God has no problem and as far as I am concern God will always reside in my heart and I have  faith in His infinite Grace and Compassion at the end of the day. Praying would only add on to my already convoluted sense of guilt and would raise more questions than answers. I imagine God laughing away at all my ignorance and I take it as a cop out to take refuge in prayer, an escape from having to find out the truth for myself. I had it in my mind that by the time I am called back to my Maker I would have most of the questions i have been grappling with answered and resolved, that i would have lightened myself of my loads of baggage; that i would be en-lightened. Further more had I prayed i would have gone back to sleep immediately after, which i usually do as in the past, taking for granted that God will handle my case; it's how my mind works, unfortunately.

Call it stubbornness, egotistical or call simply dumb and ignorant, but I am bound and determined to see this so call experiment with my life through to the end and for whatever it is worth I hope to be able to keep on my entries as things happens. Its tedious, it often is boring and senseless, but it is my way of keeping a record of my progress or regress as the case may be. I have often said to myself in the past that i would like to fully understand why i was alive in the first place before I die and this I hope will become a reality. I'd hate to think that all my effort had been in vain amounting to nothing and that i would depart this life blind as when i had arrived. What is you heartmost desire i have often been asked and my answer is always to become awakened if not enlightened in this lifetime such that I am able to share the experience with the world like the Buddha did. It is a tall order to be expecting but what else could be a higher goal than to fully come to a realization who you truly are in the course of a lifetime? If you fall short, well, get up and continuing walking what else is there to do? The path the leads to liberation of the spirit is no ordinary path; it is like walking out of a prison you yourself have erected. 


Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Journey towards Enlightenment.

Woke up this morning with the mind unleashed, like the subconscious the strata of my consciousness decided to turn on the release valve and unload loads of toxic fumes that has been accumulating for some time now ever since i decided to take on this solitary retreat. Like bubbles rising from the fermented waste at the bottom of a bog, thoughts rose from out of nowhere to remind me of how bad a boy i was from way back when i realized that my penis has more functions than just to pee and that my hunger and thirst for self satisfaction knew no bounds and all the people that I had stepped and tromp upon and all the actions i had indulged in has caused untold pain and suffering upon others. I was and perhaps still is incorrigible as one of my friends told me. Nothing new really, these uprising of negative vibes and emotions and i have become somewhat okay with them. I pretty much shelf them back where they belong after letting them run their gamut through my sitting meditation; my ancient twisted karma as the Buddha would have called it.

I have been carrying my past negative experiences in my mind like a worn baggage, often ending up with a depression that twice in the past had caused to take my own life and failed. This has been my punitive punishment to myself and if I were a staunch believer of a certain sect of Christianity I would be whipping my with a cat o nine tails bloodied, but I do not believe in self mortification and so that is that. Through my practice and thus through my practice and discipline I have been trying to heal my splintered soul hoping against all hope that I will be able to forgive and love myself without reservation before i die. It has been a long road as long as it had taken me to walk on the dark side of my life before i made the choice to find my way back from being lost for good. I have to die before i can truly find death in this physical realm or I will die still carrying my baggage into the afterlife and God knows what lies beyond for me. It would be comfortable to accept the atheistic stance that nothing would as i would end up simply merged back into the void of non existence, but I have my doubt about that. Unfortunately I feel deep in me that I will have to answer one way or another for my past transgressions.

Who am I? This is who I am as far as my mind goes and it makes sense in as much as logical deductions goes in the realm of the spirit; as you sow, so shall you reap. What I had been sowing was pretty much weeds and hemlocks and thistles, poison ivies and poison oaks. The only way to remove these is to uproot them from my subconscious bed and till the earth thoroughly before regrowing healthy produce that can become my healing diet. This has been my effort throughout my adult life, as life that began when I decided that enough was enough. It all began when i landed at the San Francisco International Airport sometime in 1983 when i left green Bay, Wisconsin with my bag pack and a portfolio of artworks to start a new life; join a Buddhist monastery was the goal. I had left GB with a trail of good relationships that had ended in bad taste and with the money I had on me it was a one way trip. In Islam it is called a Hijrah or a change of venue if not life. I have had several of these moves which began by being moved to the East Coast of Malaysia from Penang where I frew up for 12 years and then to the US at the age of 25,married and with a child. I then moved to Alaska where I lived for two years in the Aleutian Isles, after which I made the error of moving back to Wisconsin for two years before I moved to SF where I settled down for 10 years. I then moved to Japan with my lat wife and two of my children where we lived for 3 years before I decided to return to Malaysia, another error, perhaps. After five year in the East Cost i moved back to Penang where it all began; full circle.

This too is who I am in my physical existence and impermanence has always been the characteristic of my experiences. It came o my realization that no matter where or in what culture or religious back ground i had grown up till now, I am still who I am, asking the same questions and making the same errors but moving step by step towards my destination into the unknown. my mind has not really grown in any significant ways other than that it has become more acute in seeing the ways things have manifested as I had at one time or another envisioned it to be in my distant past; the seeds i had sown are slowly but steadily grown into my own sense of reality. I have achieved many of my goals in life even if they had not really meant much to brag about, but none the less these were thoughts and ideas I have had since i was a child, to travel, to see the world, to become and artist, a writer of sorts, a spiritual mind, a father to children who were conceived, and  through my own choices of women who bore them and to last but not least to heal my own soul from so much stress and challenges; to become and enlightened being will be the crown of my existence on this earth.     

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Voice of God.-OM

Lessons to myself :

Om is the sound the Universe makes when listened to as a collective whole and it permeates all like an energy source in the form of vibration. Everyone knows this already, at least all those who cared to find out or those who has realized that there is more to life than meets the eyes. As a matter of fact there is a whole lot of syllable and words used as chants, verses from the Holy scriptures, all carry vibrational qualities of sound that reverberates throughout the Universe if not the human physical and psychic system. These sounds sends electrical impulses throughout the body and mind creating jolts of impulses and shaking loose stagnated obstructed channels where energy motion is flawed. The Chinese calls this the block of the Chi and applies acupuncture treatment among others to help with the continuing smooth flow of energy force. Om, the ancient Hindu Yogic Mantra used by the masses of devotees Hindus or otherwise today is a reverberating sound that encircles the planet with it energy force like a protective coating or blanket and acts a a protective shield against the onslaught of negative energies and forces that threatens from outside. 

I do not subscribe any meaning to the sound Om other than for what it is, simply a sound vibration originating from within me and with proper understanding and execution the benefit of its powers can be felt to manifest from within its forms least expected varying from one person to another. However the general feeling one gets from meditating on the sound of OM is one of Peace and often leading on to Bliss. Expect the unexpected or simply do not have any expectation whatsoever when one carry out this meditation, just allow for what comes to appear and disappear, arise and subside, remain just the witness. Initially the mind will insist on playing it roll of upsetting the effort one is about to perform, but the Mantra, Om is a formidable mantra not easily swept aside by mental formations or the egoic demands for attention. Mantras of any kind when utilized as a tool for meditation has its main purpose as tot silence the dual thinking mind or remove any obstructions that the ego lays down on the path. It is like a laser beam that cuts through all the veils and walls that obstructs the  meditator from seeing the light beyond. It also acts as a shield that repels all negative energy charges aimed at the meditator's consciousness as he forges forwards into the inner silence of his Being.

If and when you feel boredom or anxiety, frustration of simply negative, put your ear phones on and listen to the Chant of OM on You Tube. Yes we live in an age where there is less and less excuse we can give ourselves for not acting, for not finding ways and means to counter our negative tendencies, when it is all at our fingertips; but it is more effective if you can do it manually. Muslims have numerous words and verses to utilize such as Allah and Ar Rahman, Ar rahim and so forth; if the word Om is too much of a Hindu word. Christians have a host of verses and psalms to utilize from whil Buddhist has chants from the sutras that can be used, the Native American sings out loud while beating on the drums and dancing; man in all his shapes and forms has long since found ways and means to touch the Collective  Universal Sound and Vibration; the Voice of God.    


Saturday, October 13, 2018

The never ending search...

To understand beyond any trace of doubt or suspicion in your heart is Right Understanding and for this to happen one has to dig deep and leave no stone untouched without fear or favor. Even if it challenges your very core of belief systems or your faith, it is imperative that you give it your utmost attention and investigate, learn and unravel any and every mystery that comes your way; it is your Divine right to do so. When your soul is in question especially when you are on your last track of your existence on this planet, it is your inherent duty to realize the truth of who or what you are before you can stand before your Maker and declare that you are a true believer and have done you homework and footwork in order to get to Him. Life is not simply the accumulation of wealth and fame, nor is it to be a blind follower of any religion or faith without having earned to right of passage towards the Divine. To remove yourself form the herd does not imply that you defy the Creator, all it is is that you are purifying your path leading up to His presence. Only in the purification of your being from all doubts and impurities is your worship of the Holy most meaningful.

Only you can purify your soul and it has to come from within you  for truth resides within and not from without. The amount of time and effort you give towards searching for the right answers is your worship and devotion towards your Maker. No amount of knowledge or revelations from the holy scriptures, no amount of reasoning or threats you may face in the quest for answers to your longing for the right way is valid until you have discovered for yourself what  the whole truth is where you are concern; they can only be the guide and the pointer of infinite possibilities that is out there for you to grapple with; the absolute truth is from within you, find it and live with it. All that you are exposed to in the form of religions, of ancient wisdom, or modern sciences are guideposts and signs to help you navigate yourself towards the ultimate truth, the truth that only you can accept as your ultimate consciousness of being who you are or what you are; you are the master of your own destiny.

I have studied almost all the religions and as much philosophies as i can in my lifetime as this Blogging has testified and I am still on the path towards my self discovery; I have laid my soul on the line taking chances that I may be in error but at the end of the day only The Lord will decide. Whether I was created in His image or that the 'I' iself does not exist, is yet to be be fully understood and assimilated, but the journey must go on towards discovering what is. Tat Tvam Asi, That Art Thou as the Vedantic philosophy prescribe and the Buddha insisted that the self does not exist and Islam holds you to fulfilling your covenant with the Lord even before you were born in to this worldly existence, the right choice is mine to make and choose I must that i will not die in vain. What is 'free will' if I allow for others to make my choice for me? Whether I am Christian a Buddhist or a Hindu, whether I am an atheist or a free thinker, I make my own choice and the choice will be ferry me across the river or sink me in the middle along the way, but it will be my choice made through thorough and intense study of who I am and why I am the way I am; life is a long process of learning and it is never too late to start even at seventy: The Divine in me is my true guide.  


Friday, October 12, 2018

Getting to Understand Vedanta.

Advaita Vedanta philosophy points towards each and everyone of us being Brahma or the Ultimate Consciousness of Being or God in Divinity, at least this is my understanding. How we get to this God realization is the teaching of Vedanta in essence and this is achieved primarily through, as the Buddha would have it, Right Understanding, Right Consciousness, Right Impulses and Right Perception. To understand vedanta one has to have a good sense of Insight into what is Being who we are is all about. Who am I, or what is this 'I' that we call ourselves everytime we talk about ourselves. This close identification of I to the self has to be looked into with a clear and perfect understanding before we can identify ourselves with our inherent Divinity. We have to have a clear cognition of the inner workings of our mind and consciousness, how we relate to reality as it is, The question of what is reality immediately pops up and demands explanation and clarification, but I am not going to attempt it here as it is in itself a whole chapter that most of humanity is still grappling with. I will settle for the answer that reality is relative to each and everyone of us and in a simplistic way I for now accept that my reality and someone else's can never come to meet on common ground; only perhaps at the deepest level and it will take a whole of diving to get there.

The Atman or to put it its most simplest translation, the soul, is the key to   the Advaita Vedanta; the Atman is that which Is the Supreme Being, the God Head hidden in the form of man or consciousness. Perhaps through the manifestation of an enlightened soul we can find this Divinity in essence and thus it is most rarely that we get to experience God in a lifetime as the enlightened soul is as rare as the manifestation of a Buddha or a Christ in history. The ancient Vedic and various other teachings has allowed us to catch a glimpse of what it is to become an embodiment of an enlightened soul. These souls have evolved to the point of becoming Gods in the eyes of the masses who worshipped them. The evolution of the soul or spirit through time is a primary believe in most Eastern Religions and spiritual transmigration or incarnations plays a pivotal role in understanding the teachings of Vedanta philosophy in order to make it work; a man does not wake up one day and becomes a Christ or a Buddha, they evolve on the spiritual level.

It is said that there are as many Gods as there are sentient beings, only few realize their true nature as such as most exist in ignorance of even who they are as human beings. Most who made it to a high level of understanding more often than not succumbs to becoming trapped in their self aggrandizement, egotistical self serving tendencies causing them to fail in their final moments to attain to the highest level of divinity. Through lack of faith and determination, through self doubt and lack of commitment, most  of us slides back into this cycle of existence in an effort to make right what went wrong in former lives. It takes eons of lifetime to finally attain Buddhahood or become a Deity,  so it is said and the journey began from beginningless time and the path it takes is littered with pitfalls from which one rises and falls in order to get from one level to the next; it is a journey of purification of the soul. Most of humanity is oblivious to such notions as it is beyond their grasp in understanding. Hence to most of us,  life is more or less a matter of survival, making the best of what is and than die.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The cat that believed she is a butterfly.

Well Firby our cat found out the hard way that she is not a butterly when she fell from the twelve floor to the concrete ground below this morning. She suffered a broken front leg so far that I can tell but will see what the vet says tomorrow. When i found her missing I thought she had disappeared a few floors downstairs but i decided not to look for her to see if she returns. The I decided to leave the apartment to have my lunch and when I was on the ground floor I decided to just look around for her just incase she was splattered somewhere on the ground. I found her cowered  against one of the pillars whimpering and wet and I picked her up gently and took her back to the apartment. When we got into the apartment she slowly walked into my daughter's room and laid down in the far end corner under the bed. I left her alone as i knew she was in pain and perhaps in a shock.

Not wanting to trouble her i decided not to tell my daughter just yet, however a few minutes later my daughter called and told me that she had enough with her employer and was coming home definitely. I told her what had happened with the cat and my daughter's mind was made up that she was coming home this very afternoon. It is early in the morning now and both my daughter and her cat are asleep and I am here putting it all down in writing. Earlier I had decided to sit and meditate on my bed before i fall asleep and as i set I visualize healing the cat from where I was. I imagined her as she had always likes to do and that is sit right in front of me and demand my attention. I would stroke her and she would lay very still and then I would my hand and assume the 'Mudra' with my hands on my lap and she would leave. After sitting in this manner for a while I heard my daughter talking to the cat in her room next to mine and a few minutes later I noticed the cat limping into my roof and with great effort lept on to my bed like she always does only this time she peed on the bed in front of me. This was the first time she ever did so, I guess she was holding it back all this while after her accident having fell twelve floors and survived.


Monday, October 08, 2018

In defend of Ed Brown.

I found out that one of my former teachers at Green Gulch Farm Zen Community has been barred from giving anymore lectures and classes; in short he has been excommunicated from the Zen center. Edward Brown or better known as Ed, the author of several Zen related books like the Tassajara cook book and Greens cook book in which he coauthored, was found guilty of bad language and morally despicable during one of his latest class at green Gulch. I say these in such harsh words only because this is what it would take to remove a long standing ordained priest of Ed's caliber. Ed was my teacher and friend when i was doing my practice at Green Gulch and I was most indebted to him for his friendship and understanding and accepting me as who I was then without any judgement or condemnation as i was never a good student to most others there then.
Ed gave me his old robes which he said were the first he ever wore and i wore them with pride most of the time  was at GG and he invited me to his home where he cooked and entertained me in Inverness a little north of GG along the coast. At one of our Dokusan or one on one chat with the teacher I told Ed that I was a Muslim by birth and have difficult prosterating to the statue of manjushri on the altar in the Zendo. Ed told me that if i consider the statue as some object of worship I have problem, but if I can look beyond the form,at the emptiness, i might get away with it. He also added that if i were to become a member of the club, I  will have to abide by the rules of the game and I did. I survived almost two yeas at GG through his guidance and friendship and mostly his sense of humour. I never found him to be pretentious about being a Zen Master but loved and respect him for his genuine care for others and their well being. He may seemed shallow in his presentations and lectures about Zen and the everyday life but he was never boring. He gave his students a view of Zen with a touch of simplicity that accords with our modern day quirks.

The year that i entered GG Zen Community was the year that the community was recuperating from the Baker Roshi scandal where most of the activities were put on hold and GG was sliding into neglect. With the leadership of Paul Disco and a few others like Lou and Blanch Harman,Peter Rudnick and wife, Wendy Johnson, Norman Fisher and wife Kathy and the practice group of hardy students under Paul set about rebuilding the GG Zen Community. Initially one hardly found any SF Zen Center, or the City Zen Center as we knew them, visited the Gulch. I started seeing them only after we got The Farm up and running and most of those on the Board of Directors today were among those who showed up to make their appearances known. Ed Brown remained throughout our practice period as one of the Practice Teachers. GG if not the SF Zen Center itself, came back to life on account of these individuals i have mentioned, for if it had not been for them the Zen community would have been dragging their feet like Zombies in Black robes moaning and groaning over the fall of Baker Roshi.  

The Prophet of Allah has a saying which said that, when you are pointing in accusation, just remember that the four other fingers are pointing right back at you.  

Friday, October 05, 2018

The Yogic Way.

I must have watched half the videos on You Tube, listened to talks and spiritual teachings, it is like i am am taking a course in school, but mostly I watched movies. For one who is trying to empty my mind I am embarked on a mission of garbage collecting. I am feeding my mind with more junk than it can handle but that too is part of the experiment. Seeing that the mind likes to think so much, I let it take its flight of fancy and see how far it will go, like see if it will ever get overload. On top of making this Blog entries and listening to lectures on just about any given subject, watching all the movies and reading novels and serious literature, I keep in touch with as many fb friends as i can, talk my cat and keep my daughter and son motivated in their ives. I worry over little things and pt my nose where it does not belong often enough, just to see where it will all lead me to at the end of the day. The human mind, how much can it take before it blows a fuse!

However i tell myself sometimes, hey, you are becoming a good writer if nothing else on top of being and artist, of which i have put in the back burner for sometime now just to let the creative ground take a break. Doing nothing is really and actually doing more than I could have if I had kept myself busy trying to do something just to fill the time or justify that i am not lazy; I get to know myself better than I ever did and am able to fulfill a whole lot more responsibility than I thought I could. I know I might not become a Millionaire or famous like most others, but i discover more about myself that i would not have had i been pursuing life just like what is deemed the norm. Call it what you may,but I am and i feel like I am a better person in more than one way, I feel good about myself more than I have ever felt and a whole lot freer than in the past when i was charging around thinking i was free.

Doing nothing and being free from the hooks that had their hold on me mentally and physically has been an eye opener, it woke me up,  now I am ready to do something and what that may be is yet to be seen. My daughter who has been living and working in Kuala Lumpur will be returning to pick up her life where she had left it; perhaps by being away for many months now was part of the plan for my own experiment. By her returning I hope that it will give some time and space to venture out again towards he next horizon on this landscape of my journey. In the old days man venture into the mountains to find peace  and solace, to meditate and contemplate, I found my cave in this apartment living with a cat that constantly demands attention but a good companion none the less. I am glad I had brought her home as a gift for my daughter; she has been a gift for me.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

My own Jihad.

About a year and a half ago when I decided to move in with my daughter into this apartment, I had made a decision not to work for a wage anymore and as a matter of fact to do nothing except whatever chores that needs to be done in and around the house. I cut off most of my relationship outside by not frequenting the places that I would normally visit and hang out and and a few simply fell apart for no apparent reason which I look at as part of the process of what i called non- doing. I realize it sounds lame to most people, an excuse or a cop out from being involved or worse yet earning a livelihood and yes I am being accused by a few who think they have me figured out. But I have persisted and now it has been more than a year as i sit here trying to make some sense out of my experiment;; the Art of Doing Nothing or the lazy man's path to enlightenment.

What i have accomplished can only be testified through my Blogging which is like my report of what had transpired day in day out. Most of what I have written are not worth the time of day but they still reflects my mental state while in dealing with such emotions like loneliness and boredom, guilt feelings and anger leading to depression. The Blog tells of days when I felt like i was losing control over my sanity and how much I wished to leave this comfort zone and become the wandering soul on the road again. On the other hand being in this state also has opened my eyes to my own strength and weaknesses and how I have overcome most without too much difficulty   through continuing my spiritual practice of looking deeper and deeper into my being, Who am I? Who or what are my enemies that stands in my path or threatened to dislodge me from my ground of  being and how do I remove these vexations. Bit by bit I am beginning to recognize the demons and the angels from within me as they play out their roles of building me up or tearing me down. I am beginning to feel a little more lighter as i realize that I am free to be who I chose to be or to become what I chose to become as i allowed for more and more of the garbage that I have accumulated throughout my life to slip away from holding me down. I am beginning to feel a small sense of being able to see through beyond this realm of illusion that my mind has been attached to and making it a reality.

I realize too most importantly that it takes time for an everlasting awakening to happen, at least for me; it happens bit by bit and often without my being aware it is happening. I learn that I have to clarify my expectations and not become greedy for the outcome of my practices. Sitting up straight and breathing is all it is and it is called meditation, nothing special; it helps to watch the mind better, is all it does. Mental formations are the major distraction that one encounters especially when the body is not being fully put to use and so doing a routine of Yoga exercises and working out with the stick and the dumbells, helps to compensate this. It does not only keeps your body in good shape but also keeps the mind from occupying your consciousness for that amount of time taken. The thing is you have to do it and do it without giving in to laziness or distractions. This is the battle you have to wage against your mind, not to give in to negative thoughts and emotions that the mind is ever setting into motion from your subconscious to your external stimuli; anything and everything that arises in your consciousness the mind will attach to it and turn it into a negativity. Being aware of this bit by bit, slowly, one becomes free from mental formations as they arises.

One day I am God and the next, I am the Devil, this is how the mind operates and I just have to be aware of what it is that I am being fed by the mind every single thought of the day. This is the battle that the Prophet of Allah talked about after having won a major battle,"The war that you have to win is the one that is within you, this is your Jihad," something to that effect.
"The best jihad is [by] the one who strives against his own self for Allah, The Mighty and Majestic."

Sunday, September 30, 2018

From the windmills of my mind.

Advaita Vedanta is quite  challenge to hold on to, the path of non-duality, 'Tat tvam asi' - That Thou Art! To behold that I am the ultimate consciousness, the All Being, the Tatagarbha, God, Allah. I heard it and understood it and how do I keep it? Meditating on it I have been doing as much as I could from way back when practicing it in its various forms but in holding it with determination and acceptance challenges my whole spiritual being. I am still hung up on my doubts and shortcomings perhaps products of long conditioning and habitual tendencies. I am still wearing my personality like a mask to hide my true unborn Buddha Nature, my Divinity, Birth Right: masks of anger and fear, jealousy and greed, masks of always being, needy, wanting, grasping, I wear the masks of pride and preservation, Love and Devotion, I wear the mask of being a father and perhaps not such a great one at that, but I wear a mask all the same; a mask of make believe. Behind this masks there me watching and analyzing, judging and discriminating, making amends and giving tips, this is my mind; this is not who I am, I know this for a fact.

I meditate, I prayed, I rebelled and I transgressed just to make a point, to find the truth, to understand how and why it is all like this. I am weary of coming to the ultimate conclusion of this lifelong experiment about who I am; I fear I do not merit the status of an enlightened being or and awakened mind, but I realize deep within me that I am; being enlightened or awakened is not big deal, it is just like waking up from a deep sleep into a nightmare and waking up from the nightmare into being fully awake to what constitutes my reality. I am afraid to take that leap of faith from being stuck in a rut or a cage into the light of liberation. I cling on with fear to my mentally conditioned perception of who I am for self preservation, for security. I am attached to doctrines and religion, to thoughts and philosophy, I am nailed to the floor not able to move from my present state to a much higher state of consciousness to become a Buddha. I am sitting on my ox while out looking for my ox.I cannot se myself as the mirror reflecting all that is or the clear blue sky where clouds comes and goes, I am the ocean that waves rise and fall when there is wind: I am That, I Am. 

“Be aware of yourself without thinking or looking in the mirror”
― Bert McCoy

“Does a man who is acting on the stage in a female part forget that he is a man? Similarly, we too must play our parts on the stage of life, but we must not identify ourselves with those parts.”
― Ramana Maharshi, Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi

Monday, September 24, 2018

Ode to Pink.

I am on the verge of giving up this blogging in the name of self discovery trip, it is becoming a tedious thing that really is not getting e any closer to the Truth of the matter, whatever that may be. I have looked deep and wide so far anyone can go and i have spent hours of my time and dug my brain as deep as i possibly can for any new insight that might still be laying dormant in my subconscious to pop out and give me a boost, an inspiration, anything worth taking note of as to the why or what of this whole trip. I don't even know if I am doing it for myself or for those who have been taking the trouble to read this What exactly am I trying to prove to myself, I have no idea anymore and I am as lost spiritually as i have ever been, still lost and groping in the dark. No doubt that i must have felt this way numerous times in the past as this lengthy Blog would testify.

And this too shall pass, I keep saying to myself, and this too shall pass for nothing last forever and all is impermanence. Not understanding this leads to Samsara, one of the causes, the Buddha said of suffering. Ignorance of which i am most acquainted with throughout my life is the major cause of suffering and most of us are even the smartest among us as we cling to our success and fame in the course of our life. Craving, clinging on to holding on to and not being able to let go, is yet another cause of suffering.  All these i thought I have understood, perhaps i do intellectually but not in practice. In practice I am still the weak minded, frightened and often naive child lost in time and space; a seventy year old behaving and thinking like a seven year old. Where is the wisdom in that. "Frightened by shadows at night and exposed in the light,..Shine on you crazy diamond!" as Pink Floyd sang in one of their albums. " You reach for the secret too soon, and now you cry for the moon...Shine on you crazy diamond!" These words from the album "Wish you were Here," was etched into my mind ever since i was in college and first heard of Pink Floyd.

Music acts as a stimulant in me and sounds a vibrations helps my mind to either stay calm and focused or helps to raise my state of consciousness to an intense level of excitement or agitation depending on the type of vibrations. I never paid much attention to this in the past and perhaps was ignorant of what the effect of sound and vibrations had on a mental state. However now having looked into more closely of the studies made by various sciences on this matter I am beginning to have a better understanding of how effective sounds and vibrations are on my consciousness and how lasting some thoughts and ideas remain in my mind through listening to them in the form of music, well arranged, well written and well presented live on stage; thank you Guys! (Pink Floyd).

Saturday, September 22, 2018

A chat with God - 2

"AH Soh! How should I address you? My Lord? " I asked Him, "and what's with the trishaw puller gig? It is not easy to address someone with a mouth full of rotten teeth and raggedy wardrobe as my 'Lord', if i might add."
" You can dispense with the formality, just call me Mamu, like everyone else, easier that way to communicate, being eternally older than you,calling me uncle will not raise too many eyebrows."
He replied as He mounted the cycle seat making ready to leave. 
"As for the trishaw, well I think it is perfect for us to move around while we chat. I like to check out this old city before they tear it all down for development's sake. Come on, hop on, lets take a ride to the esplanade and the water front Weld Quay area."

I climbed into the passenger's seat and settled myself for ride in the trishaw pedaled by none other than the Good Lord Himself! He wore a straw hat  and had a pair of sunshades making him looked like urban cowboy. A Black T-shirt with a worn out design of a Maori death mask, he had a pair of cutoffs and sandals for his lower body. He seemed fully at home with himself as he pedaled the trishaw in and out of traffic while always keeping the silly grin on his face. 
" The Hungry Ghosts are all over town!" He yelled from behind me as we passed a pile of ashes on the roadside where a huge stage had been erected for the event. Smoke still rises from the burning incense logs, these cannot be called sticks as they were way too large. Straining my neck I looked over my shoulder at Him ans said." You know i don't mind the Hungry Ghosts hanging around and even the loud blaring music that happens every night on stage, what i cannot stand is the disregard for the environment, all that burning, not to mention the smoke, the amount of paper being used to burn at these ceremonies is phenomenal! Do You approve of such rituals, I mean as God?"
"It beats the hell out of watching them kill man women and children all in My name at the very least. Ancestral worship has been going on for thousand of years and it has evolved like all else into what it is today, a business, a means for some to earn a living. The paper money maker, the incense stick maker, the musicians and the rest of it that keeps the celebration going, they all make a living out of this one ritual. As for if it is right or wrong, well it is a matter of faith and belief and that will take a whole lot of explanation to begin with, it is all relative as Einstein's theory."
Einstein's theory? What has that got to do with the Hungry Ghosts, i thought to myself, but i said nothing about it as i know it would be a futile question to ask at the moment. As we arrived at the Esplanade ground He parked under an ancient rain tree and set about rolling his 'rokok daun' while i lit up my John cigarette and stretched my legs while laying my head back on the seat so I can see him. The trishaw puller who was God incarnate lighting up his smoke.
"So! Why all the suffering?" I shot the ultimate question at Him.
" Am I responsible for all the suffering in the world, you are asking," He muttered to himself without looking at me.   
" I created man in my image in the Garden of Eden and all that. I am the Creator, why did I create evil along with it all, why? you ask." 
" Yes, why?" I asked, "it really makes no sense, does it?"
" No it does not, at least n not to an ignorant mind and i did give man the mind to think with as a gift that he can figure it all out for his own understanding, a mind that no other creature on this earth possess and that which place him above all other creatures, I gave him free will, the will to choose from right and wrong and so forth.What has he done with it?"
" Ya, but you also created the bad guys like Satan and Jinn and  evil spirits to throw us off in making our decisions."
" I also created angels and prophets, saints and sages, wise men and teachers to come to your aid if you know how to ask or take refuge in them. I did not create light without darkness, right without its opposite, wrong."
"Ya, but how does a blind man tell the difference if all he sees is darkness?" 
"You who sees through your pair of eyes are blinded by what you see, often mistaking the rope for a snake, you become attached to what you see and often tempted by what you see. Whereas the blind sees with his mind's eyes or his heart and less tempted  by the external visions, he trusts his own heart and his choices comes from within, not like yours that is conditioned from without. You trust your sight while he puts his trust in his heart."



Thursday, September 20, 2018

A chat with God - 1.( A Fiction)

"So, you think you know it all", he asked me.
" No I don't," I replied,"and I don't think i want to either, not everything is worth knowing and some are best left not known."
"So, why do you keep on asking the same bloody questions if you think you already know the answers?" He went on.
" Cause i wish to understand better that which I already know, I don't trust my own mind, it is worse than the coyote or the trickster, making me think I know who I am, for one thing.Do you know who you are?" I fired back a question at him.
"I am God!" He answered without any hesitation. His spontaneity threw me off balance, I was stumped.
"NO! Really?!" I looked at Him with a disappointment, wondering to myself that this guy has flipped, too much of that 'rokok daun', perhaps even even laced with the ganja., or maybe too much of the local brew of 'biak' or ketum.
" I am the omnipotent and all pervading one consciousness, the Lord of the Universe, the Atma Brahman, the All Mighty Allah, the God of Abraham and Isaac, I am the great Spirit Waka Tanka, I am whatever that you see me to be, Tat Tvam Asi, I Am That."
"So if you are God, what are you doing here. now?" The only thing that came to my mind.
"Having a chat with you, if it is okay, if you are not too busy. These days it is not easy to find someone with time on their hand or their mind quiet enough to chat with." He started to roll his rokok as we sat there pondering the ramifications of this moment in time and space and me meeting my Maker. After an eternity of silence, or so it seemed i asked Him.
"What really brought you here?"
"Talking brought me here." He replied almost to himself.
"What brought you here? " I asked again to make sure that i understood what I had heard.
"Talking brought me here." He answered a little louder this time with a silly grin on his face revealing his missing teeth and the black remains of what was once there.
" I do not follow you, please explain."
"You should." He looked at me with the same silly grin and with a twinkle in his worn out eyes, 
" I do not mean it that way.."
"I know what you mean, just playing with you," and He continued after lighting up his smoke, " Let me tell of a story of a hunter whose life was undone,  as he set out into the forest at the break of dawn. I think this line is from a song I once heard a long time ago. Anyway, as he set about sniffing around in the bushes looking for a possible prey he stumbled upon a human skull that must have been there for quite sometime as it was all bleached out almost white to the bone as the say."
"Well, well, well! What have we here?" The hunter asked out loud, "What brought you here?" he went on, all excited in finding a human skull in the middle of nowhere."
"Talking brought me here." a reply came out of nowhere loud and clear. The hunter took a step back and fell on his behind shocked with bewilderment. 
"What brought you Here?!" The hunter eyes wide and spear ready pointed at the skull before him just in case it could do more than just speak, asked again"What brought you hear?!"
"Talking brought me here, you fool! What kind of a hunter are you who is hard at hearing!" 
The hunter beside himself with excitement jumped back and spun around yelling and screaming towards the village, yelling his story at every woodsmen he met along the way and the women who carried the water on their heads headed for the village on their way back from the river. As he approached the village the children ran after him yelling and screaming about finding a talking skull in the forest. Soon the whole village was in an uproar and there was a gathering that gradually build into a frenzy of wanting to know what in heaven's name was going on. The mass of excitement finally woke up the old chief, the village head who had had a busy night entertaining his latest wife, a new addition to his already loaded harem of beautiful ladies.
"Guards! The old Bull yelled out. When two of his bodyguards laid prostrated before him he demanded, "What in the devil's name is going on out there?!" The Chief yelled ad the frightened men shaking his fist full of anger like a lion woken from its nap. 
"Someone found a human skull in th forest, O Great Mamba!" one of the guards answered shivering with fear.
"So!" The old Bull yelled, "what's special about a human skull found the forest?"
" This skull speaks, O Great One!"
" A skull that speaks! This I got to see and it better not be some funny joke that has cost me my beauty sleep and not to mention upsetting my fifteen wives from their sleep!  Gather my warriors,we leave at once."
Outside an excited crowd had gathered  and at the head of the gathering stood the hunter foaming at his mouth, jostled around by those demanding more answers from him. All fell silent as the Old Bull stood before them at the entrance to his domain. His eyes blazed with anger, his hands firmly resting on his broad hips, he stared at his people one by one as though he was about to pick out his breakfast for that morning.
"Who  found this talking skull that is in the forest?!" He asked with a controlled and soft voice like that of a black mamba.
" It, it is I,O Great and August One!" The hunter crawled on his hands and knees towards the Chief, "It is out there and it speaks! This I swear upon my ancestor's graves, may they rest in peace."
" If what you claim is true, take me to see this skull for myself!" The Chief signaled his warriors to lead the way towards the forest with the hunter ahead of them and the whole village behind them. After sometime the whole village came to a halt before a human skull resting in the bushes where the hunter had found it. The bleached bone laid there looking at the crowd through its empty sockets where eyes were once used to be.
"Well?!" Roared the Chief, "Make it speak! I want hear what it has to say!"
The hunter timidly approached the skull and yelled,
"What brought you here?!" and there was no answer from the skull. It just sat there staring back at the crowd through two large holes that used to be where the eye balls were. "What brought you here?!" the hunter repeated himself again and again, louder and louder and more desperate each time as he notice the Chief was getting restless and stomping his feet and shaking his fist. The skull laid there on the ground with its silly grin staring at the hunter, the Chief and the whole village like it was enjoying a private joke inside its empty skull.
" Enough!" The Chief roared at last, "I have been pulled  out of my bed and made a fool of in the forest! Off with his head!" And with tis he returned to the village leaving behind him the hunter's headless form. Where once there was one, now there are two skulls that laid in the forest.



Rambling on.about death and dying...

All that has transpired in my life has thus far been simply grist for the mill, as the saying goes.I am presently sitting and witnessing my past experiences good and bad like thy are karmic displays of things that could have been, should have been and led to become. I am like a cork bouncing on and off the surface of the waves with directions unknown. This has been, or so it seems,how my life is playing itself out, I have become a witness to my own mini series; it is becoming a tedium. The repetition and  irrelevancies of each episode as they replay has become like a broken record with its
needle that is stuck in it's groove and beginning to wear out into a deep rut, and how often have i moaned and groaned like this in the past? The question is how to wrench myself free from this clutch of  stagnation and decadence, how do i get out of this cage I have allowed myself in.  

I keep justifying myself that I am here for my daughter's sake, that she can feel safe and supported while she is going through her career changes and the uncertainties of her future. It is partly the truth as I have promised her and myself that I would be behind her all the way, to be present on hand for her in her times of need as much as in mine. I have always fancied living in an apartment in this country wondering what it would be like and now for the past year and a half I am doing just that  I am living in a Penthouse with a cat, half wild and with a mind of her own. It is not too bad if i can keep myself occupied creative and productively and if i can learn to take on being in the present moment without going ga ga. This is part of growing old I suppose, relinquishing my youthful thirst for more and better. Making sense out of what is not and giving up what cannot be, I am witnessing life with closer details of what is right and what is not; my karmic consequences.

"We straggle behind our years, hugging our childhood as if we could not tear ourselves away. We stop the hands of the clock and imagine that time will stand still. When after some delay we finally reach the summit, there  again, psychologically we settle down to rest, and although we can see ourselves sliding down the other side, we cling, if only with backward glances, to the peak once attained."- C.Jung.

Serves him right! I can hear many of my relatives and friends whispering behind my back and rightfully so as i have squandered my youth along a path that had caused much sorrow and pain to others. Throughout my adult life I have been carrying on my back the feeling of guilt and despondent often leading me into depression and hopelessness. Yet I know it is all my own mind laying it's negative vibes sometimes very subtly upon my consciousness putting me to sleep mentally and physically and to be haunted by nightmares and delusions that are not really there. My mind is my own enemy and often times I am its victim making me feel vulnerable towards self delusion, paranoid, low self esteem and various other inequities. It is my own ignorance that has led me down this path and to overcome this deficiency in character I have tried every form of remedy, some work and most don't.  

I have more than often kept telling myself that i would like to grow old like and elegant beggar and perhaps my wish is being fulfilled and I just do not know how to handle it well. I still cling to my past and keep feeding the hungry ghosts that keeps my mind occupied with the garbage I had accumulated over the years. The realization of having to let go is not enough, I just have to do it, I have become more serious about what my intentions are and keep to the discipline of purifying my thoughts and consciousness no matter how tedious it may be. All my study and practices of self discipline would amount to nothing if I do not put them into action in my daily life. I owe it to myself to become the perfect human being before I meet my Maker, otherwise life has been a waste of time. It may seem like i moan and groan allot, but it is not for nothing, it is my way of  letting go, my way of reflection, my way of conciliation. In writing down my thoughts I am healing my self while also sharing the process with other who takes the trouble to read. 



Sunday, September 16, 2018

Why/ What for? All this.

I am a student of Vedanta with Swami Sarvapriyananda for the last few weeks or so but i have read of Vedanta philosophy way back in my college days. I was and has always been fascinated by the Vedanta teachings and one of the two books that accompanied me to Alaska in the early eighties was a book by Swami Vivekananda if I am not mistaken on Raja Yoga, the other was a book about G.I.Gurdjieff called the Death of Gurdjieff on the foothills of Georgia. I always had interpreted Vedanta to be. The end of Knowledge, where i got that from I cannot recall, but it seemed to me tha Vedanta was aid to be the wrap up of all there is to know about the 'self' with the understanding that, "Tat tvam Asi," Thou Art That.

Tat Tvam Asi (Devanagari: तत्त्वमसि), a Sanskrit phrase, translated variously as "Thou art that," (That thou art, That art thou, You are that, or That you are, or You're it) is one of the Mahāvākyas (Grand Pronouncements) in Vedantic Sanatana Dharma. 

I realized then that all my spiritual search had been the connecting of the dots of religions and philosophies of humanity throughout the ages and it had led to many a blind alley and superhighways. If i were to clock my time and mileage, by now i would have reached heaven or joined Shakyamuni as a Buddha. In actuality I have gotten nowhere but still hanging in limbo as to being awakened or enlightened, at least this is how i often felt of late. This is to be expected as i have time and again found out throughout my self discovering years, it is never permanent, whatever it is; it is as elusive as illusion itself. Admitting myself to be Brahman or God is not a problem in itself, it is the act of being a God that eludes me. My consciousness as i have come to understand it does not allow for me to become all embracing and encompassing especially when i find myself in the midst of a chaotic situation; called life. My human nature takes ahold on me like a boa constrictor choking my ver life the more i struggle to be free the worse it gets. Anger, greed, envy and pride to name a few is still festering my mind and emotional state, often arising at the slightest trigger; someone or something presses the wrong button and Boom! I am back to square one.