Monday, September 26, 2016

A Stroll in the Park on a Sunday Afternoon.

Two Roti Canais and a Coconut later...

When life gets you down, look up and touch the leaves and soak in the Sun.

 Life is all about posing!

Les you forget to smell the ferns and what shapes and designs nature has.

Yep! Life is definitely about Posing!

Aps! Aps! Aps! when am I going to finish my Assignment? Leave your dog home and take your daughter for a walk. Life is too short to waste on dogs alone.


Whe you find yourself with too much thoughts, close your eyes and take a deep breath, then listen to the sounds around you,

Just being who are is the joy in life for me.- a life well lived and worth living.

"Small in Size Big in Role" -Solo Exhibition.

I met up with a Face Book friend who was curating an Art show at MGTF.

 Another Artist character in my life who never seizes to amaze me. Growing old in an elegant Artist Way.

A very close friend who had been there for me on many occasion.

THe Artist - Jayshree. who finds beauty in 'Bugs'

The subtleties and luminescent effect she has mastered in her works captured my admiration.

The Paintings are a breath of fresh air for me as I have just about given up on works of Art  having any impact on me anymore.

The Passionate and patient handling of the medium tells me the artist has found herself in her paintings.

In this day and age the younger generation of artist are to easily sucked into what is called modern or abstract art and not having the ground to stand from when it comes to the basics.

A Medium when well understood can become a tool of expression that at the hand of a Master will mesmerize even the painter herself.

Art is a Potent healing form if and when discovered will heal the Heart and warm the Soul. Children  found this and adults lost them.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Holy Spirit.

Yesterday came and went and it was yet another Friday where is at still like a stone Buddha before the pulpit at the mosque listening to the Imam deliver his sermon. The whole morning started off with getting off from the wrong side of the bed as my son came in and asked for some cash to cover his bus fare which was about three ringgit or RM3 which is about less than a US dollar. I told him i had two sitting on the table that he can have and two more in my wallet and that was all i had to my name. I was sicker than a dog from the flu with coughing out phloem and the whole works so much so the my chest cavity hurts like they were being torn apart. 
I got up and took a shower , it helped a little to clear my head and decided to take a drive to where i do my work which where i am right now and then when i am done here head on to the mechanic shop to see what i can get my hands into. I hate hanging around at home with the restaurant outside full of customers and me feeling not so hot. I needed to get away but at the back of my mind I also knew it was Friday and I M COMMITED TO GO TO THE fRIDAY pRAYER. I will let this typo error be, as it might be some form of subliminal message from you know who. But i still told myself the heck if I care about God or whoever at the time and so i headed for the car; it wont start! Later found out the battery was dead. 
So to the mosque i went instead and I knew then that I had committed more than just your average sin in the All Mighty's eyes and even if The Lord is all forgiving I still belong to the special team who most probably will do the toilet cleaning job in heaven if I even get there. So there i sat an hour earlier than usual meditating on the front line like i always do in the past Fridays. Watched my mind do its thing of self mutilation and mortification before God and the whole drama of why I am not worthy to be there and so forth. "I am not the body nor am I the mind!" a meditative technique came to mind and i tried to put it all together as to how they all fit and off course they don't as i sat there with the All Mighty right before me, (as it should be as i am in His Home), but i just sat with my eyes closed watching my mind dance its monkey dances until the Imam came to the 'mimbar' or the pulpit.
As my eyes had remained closed, the man sitting next to me nudged me to bring my attention to the donation box that was sitting in front of me. I reached in my pocket and found RM2 there from my previous week's and slipped them into the box and slid it to the next guy down the line. The sermon hit me right on the head as it was on the topic of The devil or Satan and the battle between the Creator and His self created nemesis. It was on how the devil works his wiles on us through very subtle means which we are too ignorant to even identify much less defend ourselves against and what is worse according to the Imam, most of humanity today do not even care one way of the other as they have become so enamored in their material pursuits. Yes the sermon from the Genesis in the Bible and the Surah Albukharah in the Quran rang a warning bell somewhere deep in me waking me up to yet another dimension of reality in my psychic existence. Something that i too had become too busy with my self indulgence to take note of. In this Universe of possibilities all must be taken into consideration and some are to be taken even more so seriously while one is still on the path. 
The sermon is as old as the time of Abraham and Moses and the warning goes all the way back to Adam and Eve, but today more than in the past it is a sermon so relevant that the very sanity of humanity hangs in a balance for neglecting to pay heed to its warnings. Satan is Mara in Buddhism, and in the individual it is the ego or nafs. When  one does not recognized one's own true nature then one is easily led astray by all kinds of delusions set up by the mind through the influences of one's ego, the darker side of one's polluted nature. Throughout one's life we are subjected to all sorts of pollution from within and without and these pollution causes our mental faculty to become erroneous and weak. Through conditioning from the day we were born to the present moment while we are grappling with who we truly are at our matured life, we find a scapegoat to hang our fault on to. Satan is the Judeo -Christian and Islamic scape goat. It is not denying that Satan exist as told in the Biblical, Quranic revelations, it is acknowledging that in order to remove Satan from the equation, I have to discover my own true nature, my Ruhul Kudus. my 'Holy Spirit."
Ruhul Qudus @ Roh Kudus/Suci (bahasa InggerisHoly Spiritbahasa Ibrani: רוח הקודש; bahasa Arab: الروح القدس), kadangkala dirujuk juga sebagai Holy Ghost, adalah makhluk suci yanXDDg telah disebutkan di dalam seluruh Agama Ibrahim yakni IslamAgama Yahudi dan Kristian.
In Buddhism it to realize one's "Unborn Buddha's Nautre."
It can safely be said today that the devil has his work cut out for him as humanity for the most of it has no more concern for such folk tales as the devil or the angels for that matter. God is worshiped on Sundays and Fridays or five times a day as a ritualistic performance for the benefit of a brighter afterlife, however in practice in daily life mankind is far from being pious as the opposite is often more true in most cases. Greed, Hate and Ignorance, still rule supreme in all religions of the world only the awakened ones catch a glimpse of this reality. Self serving, self gratifying self fulfilling ambitious pursuits is the code of ethics we wear in this our modern day society, often if the garb of a holy man of God. 







Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In Memory of Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin

Listening to Anoushka Shankar & Essemble playing Indian Classical Music with special guest Patricia Kopatchinskaha in tribute to Yehudi Menuhin in Berlin; a change of taste and pace. I used to listen to the late Ravi Shankar, (the father) and Yehudi Menuhin a great deal when i was living at the dilapidated farm house on Humboldt Road while attending college at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay. My Landlord a Mr. Lee Lodl was a connoisseur of jazz and classical music and a great lady's gentleman from whom I learned a great deal of what being a gentleman was all about. All the way from the taste of wine to the making of good steak and fried mushroom and asparagus which grew in the surrounding fields on the farm. In summer the whole area is turned into a sea of cornfield that stretches as far as the eyes can see  while in winter it was a majestic landscape of white blanket of snow that would chill your bones and warm you soul.
The dance of the three instruments primarily, the sitar the violin and the tabla was flawless and took me as it had always did in the past with classical Indian music to a high intense climax especially with the violin and the sitar being pitted one and another, like it used to happen when Yehudi Menuhin played alongside Ravi Shankar in the past. This is when music or the powerful sounds of instruments in the hands of the masters can transport you to the height of your spiritual awakening even if it was for a split second in time. In moments like this it reminds one of the higher aspirations in life that man is destined to strive for for the benefit of his fellow man. Life is more than just a matter survival, it is also a celebration of the human spirit through creativity and receptivity despite the course of negative environment that we are traversing. Man has the capacity to uplift his own spirit midst all the trials and tribulations he faces in this life and all it takes is a little sense of willingness to perform one's best for the masses.
Not everyone is endowed with a 'God given talent' that can entertain or even purify the human soul with this talents. Those who have it in themselves such abilities aught to share these talents as a source of inspiration for the generations coming at the very least to foster the human spirit at a higher level of spiritual attainment than merely the act of survival alone. In this day and age whereby not much is out there for the lay man to reflect upon to lift up his spirit in the course of a day, sometimes a simple act of being creative and out of the ordinary can turn a man's sorrowful day into a bright sun shiny day. A smile from you can turn a gloomy experience into a happy one for another and what does it cost to smile at a stranger or to acknowledge a smile from another? 

   

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I take refuge in Myself.

"Life is a Gift, wake up everyday and realize that." The first thought i found on You Tube this morning when i ventured into the link... Miracle tone B52 Hz, Awaken the crystal Clear Intuition Now. It is an intuitive find if I might say so myself as i always look for something soft or mellow to listen to while i make my blog entry. On my way to the 'Copper Mine', my friend Ah Huat's work shop and decided to make a pit stop here at USM Museum Gallery to do my usual stuff. The office is deserted except for a three year old sitting at a computer all by himself watching some kid's animation on You Tube. The dad must be off somewhere in the gallery doing his thing. Alot of powerful images from this Video entitled meditation Solfeggio Music.
We are exposed to all kinds of noises day in day out and most are fit for the audio garbage bin like the sound of the traffic outside my window or my cousin shouting and screaming at his employees getting the catering deliveries ready on time. Then we are exposed to sounds from our inner voices making comments and passing judgments over anything and everything that the senses are exposed to as soon as we wake up, a never ending story we call life's experiences that affects our minds and consciousness every second of our daily lives. So every chance i get i listen to the beautiful sounds of well crafted music that sooth the spirit and calms the wayward mind. I am now listening to the Theme from The Pacific, an all time favorite next to "The Last of the Mohicans," a mesmerizing piece of composition that has a strong impact on me when i write. Gone are the days of Pink Floyd and Kitaro, and this is the day and age of Hans Zimmer and the likes.
As i travel deeper into my inner domain, my inherent consciousness I feel like i am drifting further from the externals as my sense of attachment to external phenomena becomes less and less and i find myself turning more so easily inwards watching my mind doing its thing. I feel like a schizoid being divided between what is out there and what is in Here and Now, i feel like a mirror just reflecting what is going on in front of me but getting less and less sucked into being involved psychologically or emotionally like i used to not so long ago. It does gives me a sense of peacefulness somewhat although on a very short term basis. Like what my friend Ah Huat the mechanic mentioned, i seemed allot more lighter now than I used to be when we first knew each other. Now it seems like the pain is out there, removed somewhat from being in here up close and personal. The suffering of others has become mere reflections, acknowledgments and recognition; no more something that need to be resolved or saved by me. 
Although I still feel melancholic and often depressed over how or what my life has turned into, I am beginning to find the truth and beauty that has eluded me over the years. In looking for happiness without I have lost sight of my own inner being of who I am and what I am capable of. I often carried the cross of others pains and sorrows on my back making believe that it was the Way of the Bodhisatva, but I am now beginning to find that in realizing my own inner nature I am serving those around me. The closer i get to my true nature the lighter i feel and the more receptive I find others have towards me and i do not have to make any offer other than just this; the truth of who I am.
I have given a whole lot of my time in investigating and experimenting my way in life in the effort of self discovery, in getting to the bottom of the barrel of what or who it is that is presently making these comments, the whys and hows of getting to come to recognize my true nature and often i have fallen by the way regretting and despair over my past actions, but I am beginning to feel like it was all as it should be; grist for the mill. Perhaps i am finally on the road to redemption having gone through so much doubts and delusions, having broken all taboos and transgressed numerous precepts that by and large is beyond redemption. I have time and again admitted to myself that I am a sinner who has committed all manners of transgressions throughout my life; I was and perhaps still is a very angry and incorrigible spirit. However and God Willing, I hope my egoic mind has finally been subdued with Loving kindness and Faith in the Mercy and Grace of my Lord ; Insha'Allah.
Now i will head to the ' Copper Mine!' 
Hasta luego! 


Thursday, September 15, 2016

What else to do?

Truth hurts, at least four rotten teeth, a nagging back ache, migraine headaches off and on, eyes getting blurry every now and then and the never ending psycho-emotional feedback from my boys which is rather sad of late. it is great to deal with detachment and rejections as part of my getting to know who I am at this late in my life, but it is a part of the so called mind created reality. For every step forward I am being pulled back by one form of lacking or another, like there is bad luck riding on my back. At this juncture in my life it is useless to cry over spilled milk, what is done is done and not a thing can be changed where karma is concern except full acceptance and moving forward a breath at a time till there is no more breathing to think about. 
Meanwhile i keep painting

All doom and gloom, or so it seems and so how does one make that move towards re-energizing and revitalizing the whole state of being and not succumb to yet another depression? Turning the negative into the positive, rebound and recoup from what is to fail and become a success even in the midst of all the trials and errors. How do i make it all happen just like i had been envisioning all through these years. Am I really creating a grand delusion that has led me and is still leading me towards my final demise not with the elegance that i had in mind but in dire need and destitution. No, i am not allowing for this to happen not in this round of my existence, i have sowed all the bad seeds the good part of my youth and have been making all the atonement in my later adult life and these may not suffice but it is what i have been consciously doing and and not with a whole lot of sacrifices made. Hence, for so lang as this body holds together and this mind still function at an optimal rating as a decent human being, i will keep on making amends and atonement through my work and practice.
Ongoing work of Lotus fields.

Letting go of past experiences is never easy and especially those events in one's life that has affected others in some negative ways; I have a very good share of these in my past life. I try not to look back too much as it does not help to be burdened by what has been done as the milk is spilled so i take it as water under the bridge. However as what the Buddhist call 'deep rooted Karma are not so easy to be laid to rest, they have to be rooted out and dealt with at least to the best of my ability. As an painter there are a few ways i can overcome these errors i have made in the past and one of them is to paint over them as though they did not exist. The other way is to work it out such that they become something new as a part of the whole painting assimilating and accepting. Then there is the enhancing their presence and making them my focal points such they become an attraction rather than rejection. By highlighting an event or a negative episode i turn it around and make it a form of lesson to be learned by those who share my thoughts; as in there is a silver lining behind every dark cloud.
Art Recycling.

All that is and all that ever was in my life was meant to become food and fodder for what i am becoming. I gather them all in a pile and turn them into a compost to feed the new seedlings that i am sowing for the benefit of all Beings in the six realms and the ten directions. What else is there to do? As all that is alive will soon be dead why not recycle what is wasted and revitalize what is just being created. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Living day to day and dying with every experiencing.

Yesterday morning my car went totally dead, simply refuses to start and so i had to call my friend Ah Huat for help and he came through by sending one his boys Ah Boon to look into the matter. Ah Boon could not get it started either and so it was put on hold for the rest of the evening until there was time to spare by the boys at the shop. Sometime at eight thirty in the evening four of us drove from the Auto shop to my house where my car was and along the way Ah Huat gave us a dinner treat at the roadside Nasi Kandar shop in Jelutong, a place famous among locals mostly and open in the evening till three or four in the morning. Nasi Kandar is the most popular food of rice and curry in Penang which is turn famous for it. It has however over time been taken over by larger companies especially those sponsored by Indians from India, the quality has somewhat diminishes as well as the service. Most of us born and bred on the Island know what the original Nasi kandar taste like and are picky when it comes to choosing the stalls we frequent. Today there are a few authentic NS stalls left in and around the City of Georgetown.
When we finally made it to my car i found that i had left the keys at the shop and so two of the boys had to make a U-turn to retrieve the keys, I was not happy at this carelessness or more like forgetfulness, another ailment signifying old age and decadence. My friend Ah Huat was as cool as can be about the whole thing and as a matter of fact he seemed to enjoy this breakaway from the norm of his normal routine and he kept me from getting all riled up for being such a numskull. While the boys were on their way back to the shop he decided that the two of us should do some shopping at the mini-mall next door to my home which was having an anniversary sale. When the boys finally returned with the key the first try on the ignition got the car running! It was like the car was playing a trick on me telling me to not forget the Friday Prayer as it was Friday.
Yes, I have been neglecting or perhaps dealing with the religious issues where prayers are concern of late and I find it less and less appealing going to the mosque especially not where i have been going to the one near my home. I pray to The Lord in my own ways every time i think of Him but i find organized religion less and less appealing for my taste. s millions are performing their Haj in Mecca i am not as thrilled about it if i do or don't get invited to the Lord's Holy Land. The amount of money involve alone is enough to turn me off, not to mention all the crap that goes on involving those who profit from this whole business, I hear horror stories from those who returned. Perhaps i am not meant to become a haji for what it is worth and i have known allot of those who have still peddling their old habits of con men and shysters in their everyday dealings, not missing a trick in making others pays while they wear their white skull caps and don the long Arab pajamas.
So if i am a little slack in my responsibility towards carrying out the religious precepts of late it is only because i am still tossing and turning in my sleep over issues that I find rather hard to swallow whole. It is not a matter of doubt of disbelieve, but it is about not having to buy into the whole ball of wax that has been laid down from days gone by and till this day have not really helped mankind to become human. Of late religions have become a major cause in the breakdown of Humanity as a whole. Under the name of religion lives are lost in the thousands each day around the Planet and I need not have to go deeper into it, read! Hence my trip with my Lord is between Him and Me. I say this with all due respect and yes with a whole lot of trepidation, but I say it with full conviction too. Of death i worry before i die, not after. But before i die too, I would love some concrete answers to what in the hell is this life all about for me personally.


Thursday, September 08, 2016

"My head is under water but I'm breathing fine...."

So long as I am alive shit happens and there is no end to it or so it seems. This morning I received a final warning letter to pay up my loan in two weeks or I will be dragged before the court and crucified in every which way they could think of. Then my friend Ah Huat the auto air cond. mechanic received a speeding ticket letter for the car I am driving which is still in his name. The first loan is for RM5700 and the ticket is for about RM300.and i have about RM40 ib the bank account to my name. My son Karim has just started working at a new job and is running on empty till his first pay cheque and my daughter is still living on her own surviving day to day for food. But ther is no doubt a silver lining behind all these tribulations which includes my back ache acting up, perhaps as a sympathetic symptom to what I am dealing with.
 Looking on the brighter side, I did create a few pieces of artwork done on discarded gas tanks that was used by Ah Huat at his workshop. These tanks were turned into piggy banks and hopefully will sell. I also made RM563 selling the copper wires that i had spent time extracting from discarded auto air cond. compressors. Most of the money will go to paying for the loan and the traffic ticket.


The Love of my life.
I also got to spend a little time with my daughter taking a slow drive around the Island of  Penang. Simple pleasures in life does not have to cost much, just enough to see you through from the beginning to the end is all you need. The more important thing is to have that time and make the effort to make things happen despite all the crap you have to or are facing. In this short span of time we have on this earth, making the best out of the worse of situations is still all that is worth going for. When you are down, rebound and make it a higher and a longer leap towards the glory that is yours no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. To be able to make someone else happy is how you tell the world that you care. That all is not lost or there is no hope or any silver lining behind those dark clouds; if only we would have a little faith in who we are. We  are able and capable of making things happen and all it takes is the will to do so..."I can do, whaT I WILL TODO!" i will leave the typo error as it is. When you fall flat on your back, there is only the sky to look up to.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Eye Doctor and the dentist can wait; I can't afford them yet.

My eyes are getting to a point where they start to cause me to have to stop along the road while driving because I have a double blurry vision and cannot focus, happened this morning on the way here to the USM. It is not an important news to most who still read my Blog but it is for me a cause for concern watching my vision slowly break down like this. Yes i should have seem the optometrist years ago and the last one I had was when my son in Dubai took me to one there. I have a blurry vision and have trouble seeing long distance, however i suspect there is more to it than just seeing problem as the problem I experienced was followed by q nagging migraine. High blood pressure? Hmm...such is.
Self healing , is it what it cracks up to be? Perhaps it is all a hokkus pokkus that is simply a par of a delusional mind thinking itself mightier than the natural course of phenomena. But as a 'self seeking' or 'Way seeking mind'. I have to put it to the test,; no outside help, no doctors, no physicians. Not that i do not have any faith in the medical profession but what is the use of going on an experimental journey if every time one is ill or something is not right with any part of the physical body, one runs to the man in the white coveralls, or swallow a dozen or so different colored pills. As a part of my meditation practice i have always emphasized to myself that, " I am the master of my body, speech and mind! and this have been doing for as long as i can remember, someone called it ;auto suggestion. I think on the whole it does seem to work as i last saw the doctor about over a year ago and that was after I have not seen one for God knows how long. 
I know that self healing works if it is genuinely and determinedly put to practice, not of faith alone but more so on belief in the fact that what is one's understanding is in fact to be the truth. The laws of nature works without discrimination, as one sows, so shall you reap. Bad Karma, Good karma, it all boils down to your understanding of the nature of the Laws of Attraction, the laws of Abundance, the laws Love and Compassion and how they affect not only your spiritual but your physical well being as well. These laws are not something man made, hey are inherent within all santietn beings, that, all that lives shall one day die is the ultimate Law of cause and effect.Believe in what gods you may want to or worship whatever deity as you see fit, but none can defy this immovable Law of Impermanence of things.
At 67 and on looking back to all the good and bad experiences in my life, the errors and the right i have manifested, I strongly believe that I am the master of my own Destiny. I write my own thesis and i pay my own price for the consequences i have incurred in this life. I am not the body, nor am i the mind, I am That I AM. Decay and decadence is part and parcel of my whole being and there is nothing in this world that can make it any more or less than what it is. I have tried to put my faith in so many different forms of Gods and deities, in my so called friendship and and in gurus and teachers, saints and philosophers in the course of my 'self seeking journey throughout my adult life, but thus far i only find that i have not put a strong enough unconditional faith in who I AM.
"Na'uzubillah!" or God forbids, if i were to go blind ihn this physical form anytime in the near future i would welcome it with and open heart and perhaps even with pleasure as i would have to learn how to cope with living in darkness. I would be free from the burden of having to cope with looking and seeing the chaos and the sadness that is sprouting ever on the increase around me. I would be deprived of the beauty and the attractions that me sense of sight is used, but i have seen more than my share and and as an artist have captured most in my mind's eye. Loosing my sight will be a minor inconvenience only in the fact that i would cause concern over those who love and care for my well being. It would be a good time to join a Buddhist monastery if one would have me.
"O' Sariputra, Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form, that which is Form is Emptiness, that which is emptiness is, indeed, form, The same is true with thoughts, feelings, perceptions, impulses and even consciousness..." So says the Heart Sutra of the Buddha.
"Seek not in others for what is your own salvation, but be true to who you are and discover that which is your own Buddha Nature, that which is before even you were conceived by your parents." I understand this to be the essence of the teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha; know who you truly are and take charge.  

   

Thursday, September 01, 2016

MASKS -

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. Jim Morrison

Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

“There are people in this world who can wear whale masks and people who cannot, and the wise know to which group they belong.” 
― Tom RobbinsJitterbug Perfume

There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served. Jane Jacobs
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/janejacobs183478.html?src=t_mask

t's a terrible thing to be alone - yes it is - it is - but don't lower your mask until you have another mask prepared beneath - as terrible as you like - but a mask. Katherine Mansfield

We all have a social mask, right? We put it on, we go out, put our best foot forward, our best image. But behind that social mask is a personal truth, what we really, really believe about who we are and what we're capable of. Phil McGraw 

Cyber bullies can hide behind a mask of anonymity online, and do not need direct physical access to their victims to do unimaginable harm. Anna Maria Chavez
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/annamariac520052.html?src=t_mask

“Seven times have I despised my soul: The sixth time when she despised the ugliness of a face, and knew not that it was one of her own masks.” 
― Kahlil Gibran

“Masked, I advance.” 
― René Descartes

“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” 
― André Berthiaume

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” 
― Nathaniel HawthorneThe Scarlet Letter

Some Sketches done in Japan.

Kinkasan Island.

Sendai

Kinkasan island

Kyoto


Kyoto Older strucuterwes.

Hanabi matsuri.

Matsushima scattered islands.

KInkasan Island, Hill Trak.

Kyoto Tea Garden

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Living to the fullest.

Why do I still feel like something is missing, not quite right, unfulfilled, like a nagging headaches that seems to lurk at the back of my mind? Perhaps the answer lies in my paying too much attention to others who perhaps matters a little more than usual in my life like my daughter and my son and their situation, or perhaps simply my feeling of discontent has to do with my not being able to makes things happen as i would like them to; like the wish of most people, a smooth sailing. I do not and will not claim to have a full understanding of life or at least even my mind and i know i am far from being able to claim that i am an completely enlightened being, but i seem to flip flop from realization and ignorance. I keep telling myself the fact that i am not my body and not even my mind, that i am that which is present as consciousness, the witness of events and circumstances in the course of my day to day living. However i am easily swayed by the slightest shift in what happens before me or around me leading me to become perplexed and flustered all wrapped into one coil of anxiety, fear and confusion.
Yes, i may be able to write all these nonsense about self discovery and how to,but at the end of the day i find myself sucked into the same old trap of getting involved.
My latest work space.

Perhaps it is the nature of my being to still be easily attracted to the events and side shows that occur in the external world. The question is still how does i remain detached from these vexations while still having to involved on account of my practice as a wanna be Bodhisatva? Detached involvement, someone once said or Wu Wei as the ancient Chinese master is said to have said. Plucking the lotus without wetting the fingers and so on. When it comes to putting it to action in the course of my daily life all these seems to drop off as though they are just intellectual or verbal diarrhea. It is adi that with the change of our breath we can change any thoughts or even ideas, change our focus from one state to another, I tried and it works but not all the time. I also try to remove myself from being in any spot where i know i have need to be even if it means being a socially responsible thing to do. I attempt at keeping my silence and not say anything or offer an opinion where and when I find it not relevant to, thus saving myself from becoming directly involved, but it seems like a cop out, not a Bodhisatva thing to do.
Mining for copper to make ends meet.
Whatever the reason may be I know deep within me that what i have learned, what i have experienced and what i have discovered in the course of my journey towards knowing who I truly am, I know that i am not far nor am i any near to who or what I am; I just have to let it happen on its own a breath at a time. There is no more to seek and none to experience that would bring me any closer and there no more practice or discipline that would make me any stronger, there is only to live to the fullest of my life day to day.











Make hay while the sun shine

Life is mostly about relationship, that of one's self to the rest of the Universe no matter what form or color, what creed or status. Life is about loving what is the God given Planet in all its entirety without condition; unconditional Love. Life is about 'kindly bending to ease the pain and discomfort of others', not judging right or wrong towards what one experience in the outer world but simply acting accordingly with skillful means that is latent in one's capacity as a human being; being human. Life is sharing whatever one can afford to share with those in need, the destitute and the down trodden and not hoarding one's wealth as a monument suggesting one's success in life. Life is not demanding what is not rightfully yours and taking what is not given, life is giving and taking within reason and not causing pain or discomfort towards others. Life is not judging others for their errors and frailties, life is about giving support where support is needed such that the other person can move on with his or her life with ease and knowing that there is help around the corner when asked for.
Life is all about the simple things of knowing what is true and what is no so true, what is real and what is an illusion, what is everlasting and permanent from what is fleeting and impermanent. Life is about feeling the sense of freedom from within and letting it be shared without. life is about knowing where or when to quit before it is over done, where or when to say enough is enough before greed becomes a habit. Life is about giving back what has been given to propagate growth for the rest as a whole, it is not about holding back just for the sake of accumulating and hoarding wealth. Life is in not becoming a hypocrite and saying what is not meant and practicing what is not believed to be true simply for the sake of pacifying the majority, or wanting to be accepted by the masses. Life is being true to yourself and above all knowing who you truly are in the scheme of things that is part and parcel called Life.
It might take a lifetime effort to get to know the meaning of life or it might take a split second of enlightenment, but in either case Life is still the allotted time and space we are all given such that we may journey towards our own self discovery and become a fully enlightened being or as the Muslim would call it, 'Al Insan Kamil' or the Perfect Man. As most of mankind trudge along this path of life living day to day oblivious towards it higher virtues, we get sucked into ignorance of who or where we are at, lost in a limbo of thought driven lifestyle that is living at the surface of existence itself. Like flotsam on the surface of the ocean, we drift from one place to another until we come to rest when there is no more room to float around anymore and then we settle down. In this stagnated state we begin to ferment and eventually rot into becoming the part of the sediment that settles at the bottom of the ocean. Most of mankind are destined for the slaughter house after living a life that is prefabricated by those who have the insight and ingenuity to control and the destiny of this human race. What is being shred on the Internet via You Tube and so forth are not far from the truth if carefully observed and studied. We as human are being manipulated by the powers that be in all sorts of forms, ways and means possible such that we live our lives according to the dictates of more powerful groups of people at the top of the food chain.
Conspiracy theorists are making great efforts to raise our consciousness towards the global threats that mankind is facing but not enough is paying attention and our educational system shy away from such 'Doomsday' prophecies without even the slightest interest in what the messages are about. Our Air, water and earth is being polluted and infected on a daily basis by man made chemicals and our health is being threatened by newer and more potent viruses some of which are man made and we live on as though nothing is the matter with us. We live in abject denial of the threat we are facing as a whole specie and what is happening to our environment subjected to all kinds of degradation.
Philosophers of old and contemporary, Religions and spiritualists from way back when and scientists of the past and present have been warning us throughout history that we in the danger of becoming the cancer virus that will consume our own Planet, we are still living in ignorance of it or simply in denial. They say we are each and everyone of us responsible for what happens to us as a whole and that one man matters, yet we are too wrapped up in our so called survival mode that we fail to grasp the truth of what is being warned. How many of us are making the effort to even care for what is being shared by the enlightened ones of the past and present, in percentage hardly a drop in the human population. The rest are living life as though there is nothing to it but simply eat, sleep and die and while we at it ,'make hay while the sun shine.'   






  

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.