Thursday, April 26, 2018

Prolonging the impermanent.

Lower back pain has been acting up on me of late and a little unease with a shortness of breath, something to worry about? Yes, perhaps at 69 one cannot swipe it off as to be expected and take no action. So stretching the extension chord across the living room I have moove to the dining table where instead of sitting at the edge of the sofa and bending over to type I am sitting more comfortable, maybe help ti ease my back.  Yep, getting up there in age means a whole lot of being aware of the need for good postures and alignment of the body, it becomes an essential part of the routine. It is also essential to monitor more closely the intake of food and drinks naturally along with watching what comes out so as to make sure that the engine is recycling itself properly. Never too late to look into these taken for granted daily habits, such as doing a little bit of yoga stretching and deep breathing through arms swinging and a few weight lifting workout with the dumbbells. All these morning routine helps to ease the lower back and make for better breathing, not to mention shape the body up a little especially around the waist.

Self motivation is a tough act to follow as there is no one to hit you with a stick or coax you with a carrot, you are your own taskmaster. In the effort to keep my mind mind occupied with higher goals and ideals, in order to have a sense of greater purpose added to my daily life, I have purservered in keeping this ongoing journal adding a paragraph almost daily and to what purpose? Self discovery, self mastery, self understanding, self reflections, self healing; yes I have been doing it all for my 'self'. As I have time and again mentioned in the past, as I approach death, I would at the very least, like to understand why was I alive in the first place. Was there a purpose to all these years of falling and rising, crawling and running, crying and laughing; or is it all for nothing.

My daughter Marissa's first fortune cookie

All that life has to offer is out there for you to partake in and how or what you partake in is entirely up to you, but words to the wise is, take it all in, in moderation. know when enough is enough and be charitable in letting go of what you don't really need so that others too can enjoy what you have earned. Laws of Abundance aside, giving is a great virtue by all counts. Blessing comes in many forms and is recognized in one, and that is in giving, when you give the blessing falls on both the giver and the receiver; it is a sign of gratefulness.

Being thankful for what we have and being grateful for what has been given to us is another form of healing as it awakens us to the fact that we as a human specie are interdependent upon one another. We cannot escape from the fact that we are the result of all that we have come into contact with as we walk through this life, we touch others as they touch us. It took numerous minds and hands to create this lap top and same goes to the breakfast i just had and the sarong I am wearing. I am grateful to all in making my temporary stay on this planet more bearable by their participation in creative spirit. The farmers that grow the vegies and the fishermen that brought home the catch, put lunch on my table. I lived benefitting from this chain of interdependence and for this I am eternally grateful to the whole.

The ground I walk on, the air I breath, the fire that gives me heat and the water that quench my thirst, all these elements are equally essential to my existence and I am constantly aware of how I should keep the balance of these elements within me. I am made from all these elements aligned together in good proportion to create this physical body in which I am at home, it is the only vehicle I have to manifest my inner nature to the external world. Hence, care for it I must, I have to, to make it last and productive before it all comes apart and no amount of attention can reverse its process of decadence. 







 
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The 3rd. Act - Jane Fonda

A bowl of homemade salad of Iceberg lettuce, aging tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion and small red chilis, dressed with olive oil, lemon squeeze, apple cider and black pepper with a little salt; Dinner is served! How the stomach is going to hold this spicy hot, sour and leafy rabbit food is yet to look forward to. It is past 5pm., another day is slipping by with very little accomplished except for sharing good will on FB and getting some thoughts down into this Blog entry. Most of time was spent listening to Sadhguru talks on You Tube while also falling asleep half way one of the talks and so the Guru was talking to my subconscious, which is okay by me. I know that whatever was said will be stored into the memory bank and can be accessed whenever needed to.

Someone posted Jane Fonda's TED Talks, 'Life's Third  Act,' on FB and it got my attention. It was an enlightening experience listening this lady of Holly Wood legend at here age of eighty?, still looking worth a million dollars, a few mil I should say. But her thoughts and ideas about aging throws a whole new light upon my own and as usual if I had heard her before I would feel like I have plagiarized her thoughts; not that it matters. She along with Barbara Streisand, and Whoopi Goldberg are among my favorite actresses when I was growing up. Personality aside, what Jane Fonda shared of her ideas about life especially in the final third stage, that is the next 30 odd years if one lives to be 90 or 100, is what I have been doing with my Blogging all these years and  not fully realizing it.

 I have been untangling the tangles of my past experiences, making sense out of non-sense, turning the negative into positive wherever and whenever possible. I think my journey towards self discovery and self healing began when an elderly lady by the name of Mrs. Rosella Kelly, told me to move on from the life I was leading at the
University of Wisconsin,  Printmaking Art studio, one summer day. I must have related this story a dozen of time in this Blog before but, it is a pivotal point in my life at the time and it mandates a retelling a little bit.

It so happened that Rosella and I were both polishing our copper plates at the cleaning table at the printmaking studio, we were part of a small group of printmakers who had formed a club. As we both were busy quietly polishing our plates Rosella nudged me with her elbow and said softly to me," Sam, it is time for you to move on." I was caught off guard and before I could react she went on, "My eldest son is being ordained a Zen priest in New York and wishes to open up his own school, why don't you go and work with him, his name is Dennis Kelly." Later that night I got a call from Rosella informing me that her son has decided to open his Zen school in the San Francisco Bay Area instead of New York; change of plan!

After saying farewell to all my friends and loved ones in Green Bay, I left for San Francisco; my journey began when I landed at the SF International Airport, with a phone number and an address to the SF, Zen Center on Page Street in case I needed a place to stay; this was  in 1982-3?  In Islam it is called making the Hijrah or relocation. I had not the slightest idea what laid in front of me and I burned my bridge behind me, I was on the road just like I was on my journey to Alaska; no looking back. I think I had about 200 dollars in my wallet and that gave me some comfort for at least I was not going to be hungry for a few days. As I left the SF Airport, my life began as a resident of the Bay Area which lasted 10 years more or less.

Buddhist studies and Zen training led me down the road towards self discovery, I went all out in the effort to understand and fit in with the lifestyle of the Marin County Residents where I ended up. I spent two years more or less at the Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center and Dennis Kelly went to become an abbot at his own Zen school called the Hollow Bones Zen, or something like that; its all on You Tube if you care to look into it. At Green Gulch, I had the opportunity to study under teachers like, Reb Anderson, Norman Fischer, Blanch Hartman and visiting teachers like Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield. The rest is history and has been told many times in the Blog.




















    

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

When is Knowledge Power.?

 I must have read thousand of books, novels and serious stuff included, whatever i could and can lay my hands on. A few weeks back on visiting my eldest brother in Kuala Terengganu, on the east coast, I asked for one of his novels from his vast collection of fictions sitting on the shelf collecting dust. My brother was if not still is the most advert reader I have known in my life and his habit has rubbed off on many including his younger brothers and an elder sister.Too bad we never got beyond just reading these novels, had we been sharing our thoughts on what we read, we could have shared our thoughts on what we read. Books has always been my companion along with my sketch book and a camera if available. This is all i enjoy keeping with me wherever I go.

I am forever indebted to the great writers such as Henry Miller and James Michener, Aldous Huxley and John Steinbeck, whose novels had filled my childhood mind with so much dreams and adventures. I was introduced to America through the works of  such writers like Mark Twain and later by a more contemporary writers such as Harold Robins and Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy. I grew up thanks to my brother, feeding my mind on such suspense novels written by John Grisham and Steven King. I am fortunate to have been exposed to the thrills of reading and to this date I am still a book worm, just for the hell of it. The best way to develop an imaginative mind for children is to encourage them to read. Once a child is hooked on reading, he or she is off to never, never land of imagination and their mind takes off into a whole world of new experiences.

One way to understand  the collective consciousness is to explore  every nook and cranny for possibilities, for exposures, for revelations, for thoughts and ideas that you would never have dreamed of.Open your doors  and windows into your inner being and allow for the free flow of creative energies to permeate your entiren psyche and allow for them to ferment and merge into your very own subconscious mind space. Allow for Krishna to play his flute and Nataraja to dance the cosmic dance, allow for Muhammad to lead His people out of Mecca to Madinah and for the Buddha to sit under the Bo tree and contemplate life. Allow for the Big Bang theorists to speculate and deliberate, the quantum physicists to keep splitting  until there is no more to split out there; we are a part of this whole collective consciousness, like it or not. It is in how aware we are of this, is what separates the awakened from the sleepwalkers. It is not in how much you know, but in how you use what you know,  after all this is the age of information they say; knowledge is power. 


  






     











In the Windmill of my mind.

I am Whole. What exactly does it mean, I am Whole? I am the Unified Truth of all there is and all that will ever be. I am the ultimate collective consciousness of the Universe, I am Complete  and Perfect, I am not born nor am I ever deceased, I am Strong and Powerful. Loving and Compassionate, Harmonious and Happy : I can do what I will to do... Insha Allah...God willing.
I am That...I Am. 

A thing or two I learned from the Abbot, Tenshin Reb Anderson during the early eighties  that comes to mind is about the tendency to exaggerate one's  Dharma position to the outside world. Well he did not say exactly in this words, but it impressed  as a good lesson to not forget. Who was Reb Anderson? Well google it. San Francisco Zen Center Web Page etc. A story he told about himself growing up in the Bay Area was when he found a gun while jogging in the Golden Gate Park.  Was there a body too, can't remember, but, he kept it! Did not turn it in to the cops, but, just kept the darn thing and it haunted him, until he met Shunryu Suzuki Roshi who helped him to become who he was when i sat and listened to his Dharma talk at the Wheelwright Center of the Green Gulch Zen Center in 1983-4, can't remember. 

For those who have been following this blog over the years would understand better of what I had so far written. The first opening paragraph was my long time mantra, affirmations I had been reciting to myself since I learned about it at the age of 25. What I just written if taken out of context or misunderstood can cause a great deal of backlash for me as a Muslim; it is blasphemous. The very reason it closes with God Willing, is to allay any sense of attachment to the ego making the claim to be God. This is the exaggeration that Abbot of the SF, Zen Center was talking about to my understanding. The 'auto suggestion' or the mantra I have been hammering into my conscious and subconscious mind sounds like an exaggeration in an effort to hone the mind into a very sharp instrument of dissection and penetration, of analysis omnipresent, and omni science. In other words, scatter your wealth just because you have it; hold back some, be thrifty in sharing your knowledge, lest you be frowned upon as a braggart. 

Your intentions may be good, but your skillful means has yet to be worked upon; your delivery system has to be perfected for an impeccable sharing of your insights into the nature of who you truly are.You cannot go outside and claim, "Hey! I am the Buddha!, The enlightened One, The One who has broken free from this round of Birth-Death and Rebirth, I am The Awakened One! No Sir, you definitely don't want to yell it on the mountain to let your people go! No, it is not cool  in this day and age, Zen or otherwise. This would definitely be construed as an exaggeration. Too much drama and becoming a cliche, too many Gurus and self claimed Roshis floating around on the Zafutan already. Everyone is giving Satsangs and Dharma talks, meditation and yoga retreats, it's  business is booming out there..write a book about it! You publish one or two books on the subject and you become the sought after Roshi. I am just drifting, letting my mind explore all the possibilities and probabilities  as to who I am and where or what I have been or will become for that matter. Where will these all leads to or where my final destination will be is yet still to be envisioned and formalized into a reality. I am still riding the buffalo  while looking for it as being lost, 

In my short nap a few hours ago I dreamed that I sat before a hosts of Teachers and Roshi from the past present and maybe one or two from time yet to happen. Mooji and Satguru, Ram Dass and Neem Karoli Baba was present, Alan Watts and Krishnamurti was present. I was sitting before my Mentors and Zen Teachers; my Malay, Chinese and Indian school teachers, everyone was present or so I felt. I felt gratefulness and special to have had so many great
Beings in my life that had lighted my path all along. especially through my darkest moments. Whether it was through books or an interpersonal level, whether it was through the yoga lessons or the TED Talks, I have been blessed to have opportunity to be present to learn whatever relevant lessons I could and add on to my personal enquiries of where or who or what I am.This is my Koan, my Mondo as some calls it, my search for the truth, reality or what have you. This is what it is like in the Windmill of my mind.
    






  








     

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Heaven can wait...

 Listening to Vengelis, "The Chariots of Fire" at 2;45 am having just returned from my 'port' , where i hang out with a few guys who slightly younger than I am. I have  hung out there for the past ten years or so. It is my role as a Malay and staying in touch with realities of this dimension of my life, being  raised most of my life among Malays. I cannot recall when my mind stopped thinking in Malay, perhaps along my primary school years when I started reading all I could lay my hands on but only in English. The day my eldest brother returned from England after his studies he brought two children story books for his twin kid brothers. One was Robin Hood and the other was, 'Grimms Fairy Tales' as I had the first choice, I picked the latter. I was  one of the highest English scorer in my entire school for my level. I say this not to brag only because it is pertinent to knowing yet another piece of me. A piece of the puzzle that is crucial to my identity as a whole. 

The past will always visit you at any given moment, triggered by
 the slightest hint of a related subject, image or mental formations and phenomena that we encounter daily or moment to moment. It is in how we digest and come to a right understanding of their significance or lack of, that matters as this can help to lay these memories and past experiences to come to a permanent rest and visit us no more. Thoughts will rise and fall, it is for the disciple to be aware of their movement without getting lost in them; this is meditation. Watching thoughts rise and fall with bare attention will bring the rise and fall  of thoughts to a slow diminishing state and results in the eventual removal of them. You can never remove thoughts or any form of mental formations by suppression or denial, or simply ignoring them, they will keep on recurring. By meditative observation method and conscious awareness of their movements, the cause and the length of time and what removes it from the mind is the standard Buddhist way of dealing with thoughts. The Japanese Zen school of meditation practice cuts to the chase in this matter by  strictly focussing on the breath alone while in deep meditation. 

To have a good understanding of the workings of the mind and thoughts in particular, I listen to Jedu Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, Mooji Baba, I read Jung and several others. Knowledge are wings by which we fly to heaven, someone once told me and it got stuck on me to seek knowledge high and low, not because i am aiming to go to heaven, but because, it made sense. As is said, heaven can wait, I am still trying to understand I am here in the first place. 
   












Thursday, April 19, 2018

What next?

Can the mind be freed from thoughts?
This, Krishnamurti's Zen Koan or mondo.
This, the burning ball of fire you carry in your belly,
When I stand and face my Maker during my solats and declare my intention,
This is the veil that stands between me and Him. 
Can the Mind be free of thoughts?

All these years of Blogging is nothing more than looking an answer to this mind boggling  yet simple question depending on how much interest one have in such matters as Zen Koans and mind boggling and so forth. This mind tripper is practiced in many forms all over the world from the time of man; it is a form of meditation practice. The Master taps his disciple's bald head and yelled at him out of the blue, the poor disciple jarred out of his wits almost threw him off the cushion where he was nodding off into la la land. The Master tripped the discople's wandering mind into returning to the here and now. This takes place during a one on one meeting with the Roshi happens. It could take minutes, hours or days, depending on the Roshi's mood.
There is never the right answer, nor the wrong, there is nothing to grasp on to that right or wrong;it is a sickness of the mind. Sometimes during a period of sitting meditation in the Zendo or meditation hall, a priest would be walking silently behind you, in his hands he grips a long flat stick like a Kaishakunin standing behind ready to take your head off. The purpose of having this discipline is not only to keep meditators awake but also to change the channel in the sitter's mind. It is also a means to awaken the senses back into the now as the sheering pain from the whack of th e stick when delivered with expertise and loving kindness can send shockwaves of electrical  energies to various vital organ throughout the body. The body that has been sitting motionless for hours is given a rude awakening and all thoughts of pain and pleasure evaporates and the poor sod is back into his empty space; the silence of the Mind.





Revisiting Awi's Yellow House

Awi's Yellow House is located on the Trengganu River at Pulau Duyung in Kuala Terengganu; it is a group of chalets built practically by the owner himself from bottoms up. Awi's yellow House is most frequented by matured travellers most of whom are regulars staying for long periods of time. They come  from all over the world east and west and they each has his or her own tale share. If Hemingway  were alive or Huxley, this would be one of their pit stops, Gauguin would have fit right at home here or it used to be at one time not so long ago.

Married to a French lady, my friend Awi or as we call him 'Aboh', meaning Dad! or Pops! as the Duyung kids calls him, they feared him, if not steer clear of him out of respect. That was the Awi that I once knew , the Awi today, oh well, as the saying goes, every dog has his day, with no disrespect to my friend. Last we saw each other was quite awhile now, I heard he has become Malaysian' s Ambassador to France, or so I heard, according to his brother Hashim he is looking to become a Dato'! (They don't see eye to eye)
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Awi was never a boat builder he wheels and deals in buying and selling boats, he is good at what he does; The whole beauty of the Yellow House is the fact that it was the creation of one man, with a little help now and then when he could not do it alone. It is a whole piece of an Environmental Art that turns a mangrove grove into a "falling star", lodging. And they have been comiming ever , since, like the movie, Field of Dreams, well not that famous yet, but it will one day, when my main s being appointed the Malaysian Ambassador to France.Perhaps make a movie of his life call it, The Yellow House Rock! or something like that, at least while he is still around. Well anyone brave enough to do it at least might take up the challenge.

Behind every great men is an iron lady and Puan Rohani reminds me very much of a Margret Mead kind of character. They were meant for each other an awesome complement of Yin and Yang forces, the French Lady and the Malay lanun (or pirate.) The Madame is a storehouse of knowledge encompassing the Arts and Culture of the Terengganu Malays, but also the very lifestyle and religious practice of people, a cultural anthropologist, one might call her. She also is a very highly skilled  botanist and has done many research on herbology through a French Institute funding. She lived her married life on Pulau Duyong raising kids and 
 grandkids and I think, great grand kids too. What a life for this 'odd' couple.



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My four cents worth.- Rafizi Ramli

Rafizi Ramli in his address at the final fundraising dinner for Invoke Malaysia, ( You Tube video), revealed some of the fears that is faced by the multi-racial society of Malaysia. Rafizi is one of those minds that this country is fortunate to have and be kept alive as a force to be reckoned with by all pros and cons alike; he is a smoking gun and he shoots from the hip. Off course he is now imprisoned for trying to highlight a scandal involving a politician in the Najib's camp. I do not need to waste my time and effort looking into the details as it is out there for all to learn. I have followed Rafizi's works and political career more so than most of late and have come to accept that with the likes of this man, Malaysia still stands a chance to be salvaged from the quagmire that that the country is definitely sinking into.

Perhaps it is fated that Rafizi should spend these election festivities in prison where he would be safe and can find peace and quiet to contemplate his future as a leader in this country. Like heroes of the past, Gandhi, Mandela and our own Anwar Ibrahim, spending one's time in prison is mandatory as a purification rite. In his address Rafizi touched upon the rights of all the different races to stand be accounted for and recognized as true Malaysians and that we all stand on equal footing where the fate of the nation is concern. It is these messages the I feel should be made to be understood by all including those who are illiterate and easily swayed by the false and enticing   promises of the politicians for their own self serving interest. The lay people, those who are made victims through their own ignorance must be made aware by those of us who are awakened to the realities of the state we are in as a whole.

As he mentioned, never in history are we in the position to exact change where change is sorely needed as we are in today. The upcoming GE is perhaps the one and last chance we have to make amends to what has been wrong with the management of this country by those who have held office far too long and become a liability than an asset for us all. The Malays have a saying,"Harapkan pagar, pagar yang memakan padi," we depended upon the fence to protect but instead it is the fence that destroyed. Power corrupts and absolute power is absolute corruption, Rafizi began his address, and it is a call to the rest of the nation to rally to this call to put an end to corruption that has run out of control like a cancerous virus eating away at our very core of decency.

My five cents worth on politics.

The Straits Times.
Malaysia Elections- Self- Interest and Strange bedfellows.
by...
•Wong Chun Wai is the Star Media Group's managing director/chief executive officer

After reading the above article I feel my sentiments about the upcoming election has been  well spelled out. I am glad that there is someone with great wisdom  can sum up the election so eloquently and I hope and wish that as many Malaysians  will read this article and understand where we stand. It is for each and everyone of us to make sense out of all the non-sense we are faced with today. This article has shed a light upon the whole scenario of the election, the who and the whys and wherefore. Before making our final commitment towards casting our vote it is wise to ponder deeply into this scenario as it is an unbiased article written to help us know what we are up against. 

As more and more worms are being let out from the cans on both sides we the public become more confused and disillusioned as to who or what to believe. Yes, change is much needed and perhaps inevitably so, but a change for the better is a bleak prospect seeing the choices we have. The lesser of two evils? We are stuck between the devil and the deep and very little room to work with, but we still have an obligation to ourselves and the society to keep; we have to cast our vote. To make a wise choice is paramount; the future of this country is at stake no less. 

Hence regardless of who we are, if we claim to be a Malaysian at heart, we have a very serious commitment to make and this will have to originate from our hearts and not our self interest, nor our communal or racial preferences. The Unity of Parties formed by the opposition party is an indication of this dire need for a new and clearer mindset that will inherit the future of this nation.We need to break the ice and become free from the old mindset of 'sticks and carrots', we need to become more responsible as to who or what we put into the seat at the Parliament. We cannot afford to have howling monkeys any more making a mockery of the House of Parliament and its sanctity. We need to choose those who can speak and delver our interest and not air out the stench of personal laundry at our expense in time and money. We need to make it mandatory that all be present in their seats whenever the Parliament is in session unless a legitimate excuse is given. The protocol and decorum of the Parliament is to strictly adhered to and is non negotiable in its mandates. The Speaker s to be a bipartisan, non-party member professional who is well versed in the art of his service. Yes, if we are to educate our young to behave in schools, we as responsible adults must set the mould. The House of Parliament is not a fish market nor a gambling den. 







Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My another two cents worth.

And so the out going Nasional with UMNO leading the pack is out to woo the people with all kinds of cookies and candies, while the opposition while the opposition parties counters with similar offers but different packaging. The people meanwhile are taking in all the baits with a spoon full of salt choking and gagging trying to swallow the truth. But a great majority of the people are awaken to the reality as it is, that very little will change in the long run, most have accepted the fact that the politics in this country stinks worse than the sewage drains on a hot sunny day. The rhetoric delivered from both sides of the divide is nothing new, a whole lot of hot air and empty promises that even the village folks in Ulu Terengganu can tell the difference. It is indeed a sad event for this Nation to endure, an event that will be yet another blemish in her history

As an ordinary citizen i feel compelled to share my views, my reservations, concern and even my fears for what is happening. and how it will affect the future of my country, my fellow countrymen,my family and friends. Nothing is more disgusting that to feel like one is being led like a fool by a bunch of scalawags and shysters, schemers and manipulators disguised as politicians. To be made a fool of by group of families that has lined their pockets to the brim at the expense of the people still some living in abject poverty. Greed has ruled this Nation in all its guises, the people is being kept in ignorance for a very long time by the powers that be. Through threats and punishment the voices of conscience is being sealed to silence and those that dare to stand up in protest are  being haunted and ridiculed.  Most of us live in denial and for so long as our personal interest is not affected  our family welfare is cared for, we pretend like all is well and no change is necessary. Rich and poor alike we live a life of make  believe, we live is fear of loosing whatever we have accumulated, we live in hope and faith that our God or Gods will deliver us through these trying times like it has done before.

I am aware and I am crying out foul! Mine is a voice of discontent and let it be known that there are many like me with the same thoughts and feelings about the upcoming election in this country.



   








My two cents worth of Politic in Malaysia

And how about the Malaysian Political scene, how do I as an elderly citizen feel about it? Well into becoming a mega circus like everyone is helplessly hoping not to. Most apparently is the mud-slinging against each other at the highest level. The word kleptocracy has become a common word to mean the dirtiest of actions taken by the out going ruling party; especially by the former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir who accuses the exiting PM as being a thief, a swindler among other even worse  who sounding in Malay. This is to me not very professional even for a politician and especially one who the Nation revered as a former Prime. Then the attack on Mahathir's past trying to discredit the old doctor of his Nationality as though it matters to the old man anymore at his age. It is a mockery and it defies intelligence. Like I said, shit is about to hit the fan as the circus has begun- just send in the clowns.

If the trend persist more dramas will be played out and no man women or child escapes its repercussions. Malaysians can expect to witness a wave of change for better or for worse, Whichever side wins it will be a loss for the country as a whole, the damage has already begun at all levels and into the very fabric of the nation's  faith and trust in itself. The way I see it Malaysian political leaders has a great deal of soul searching to do when they run for office in the upcoming election. One of which the issue of ethics and integrity, who can truly be trusted to to manage this country's affairs and bring her back on track at least economically. The more you accuse and point your fingers the less effective and convincing you become; who can we trust to do a professional job; the country need experts not clowns and crowd pleasers and smart manipulators; we ask of an oyou to prove your credentials and mantle before you take an oath of office; the ship is sinking, we need good sailors. What else can I say about the political scene h 
ere, perhaps it is not all the gloomy, perhaps we Malaysians are more smarter than we look. Perhaps we have it within us to call collectively, young and old from all walks of life, in solidarity to awaken our potential candidates from both sides to make a ,covenant with the people  an oath to serve and not be served?    






         

Friday, April 13, 2018

My message to the nation.

Most of us, if not all of us wants nothing more than a peaceful and prosperous life to live with in this country where all is as fair as fair can be. There is not an issue  or a problem that cannot be resolved through honesty and integrity, through trust and faith. This country of ours, Malaysia, is a wealthy country with almost every form of resources readily available albeit material or human resources. We are a nation that can be proud of multi-diversity of culture and traditions and have survived this diversity as a unified country  despite differences. So why is it not working? Why is the country reeling with economic downturn and racial and religious bigotry making their negative impact on the society as a whole? 

Is it Greed? Hate? or pure Ignorance that is robbing us of our sanity, dignity and driving us towards the brink of self destruction. Yes, I sense with trepidation that the upcoming General Election might result in violence as has happened before in 1969 when racial riots tore the country apart. I hope and pray that  the May 13th. incident of 1969 will not repeat itself as it will throw us as a nation back into darkness leaving behind a broken dream for our children and theirs. We each and every single able thinking individuals regardless of our color or faith from every walk of life, must look deep within us and ask, what is it that we want to achieve for the upcoming election; peace and prosperity or chaos and travesty. We will be observed by the world as we make our choices for we have been in the limelight of international governance. The fate of our nation, our future generation, our own individual destiny lies in our hands.

It is time for us to rise for the occasion and meet our task with an unshakable commitment in making the right choices that our hearts believe in for the benefit of the whole.d. Let us choose our leaders that will lead this nation out of its rut and place it back upon the pedestal that it once belonged in the political arena of the world. We owe it to our future generation to achieve the impossible or we are doomed to fail and suffer the indignation for years to come. It is not too late to make amends and sacrifices will have to be made by many who holds sway the power to rule;  let your hearts  dictate your choices and your faith in God be your guide. God Bless us all and God Bless Malaysia.

    

It's the General Elections Again!

Both the state and the federal cafallbinets has been dissolved and everyone in the country is geared up for the General Election which will fall on the 9th. o next month. As is to be expected this will be a decisive event that will shake the history of this country as the ruling party that has been in power since independence over sixty years ago is the verge of being wiped out. I sense there will be some violence to look forward to as there has been already heated war of words from both sides of the divide and the majority of those who cares about the fate of the nation is up and awaken thanks to the Media especially the Internet. This GE will see more involvement of the younger generation of voters as a result of the exposure of direct information through the online media. Practically nothing is sacred nor secret anymore as all is out in the open.

As always, the racial prejudices and fear cards are being played to the maximum by all parties in the bid to garner support and bribes of all kinds are being offered sometimes blatantly out in the open.The opposition parties, a coalition of parties led by the former prime minister Tun Mahathir among others is all out to topple the ruling party led by Najib Tun Razak, the incumbent prime minister. Najib was Mahathir's mea culpa, an error that has cost the nation a whole lot of grief especially economically. The government under Najib has nothing but shame to the nation in the eyes of the world says Mahathir through so many unresolved scandals and mismanagement. Now the king maker is out to destroy his protege one way or another. The former prime minister of 22 years is planning to do this with the backing of all his former enemies and friends alike as the opposition bloc is made up of the primarily non Malay parties of the predominantly Chinese DAP and other minority groups.

Like most, politics is never my cup of tea and thus far I have voted in three GE in my life ever since I returned to this country. It was not that i had no interest whatsoever as to what happens in the governing of my country, it was more of a disgust at the manner of the politicians taking advantage and never keeping their words of promises to the nation after being elected. Most acted with impunity as though they are above the law; some are evidently. I grew up in a house that was the headquarters for ruling party way back in the fifties and sixties and even as a child it turned my stomach to watch the politicians maneuver and manipulate the others to their advantage. I always thought the politicians were no better than prostitutes or worse. Hence I steered clear of politics and having left the country for a long time, it never caught a hold of my attention until I returned to Terengganu. It was in Kuala Terengganu that I was persuaded to register as a voter by an elderly lady, my next door neighbor.

When the former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim gave a talk in 1998, just before he was arrested for his infamous sodomy chargers, I was there among the crowd sitting on a wall fence of a nearby house getting all riled up with the man. The talk was held at a residence located along the beach area at Batu Buruk as he was not welcomed to give any speech anywhere legal by the state government. I was a witness by chance as i was eating at one of the stalls nearby and was told that the man was going to give a speech at the nearby location. I never knew the man except by reading about him now and then in the News overseas. I bought a book him once, I think it was," The Malay Renaissance ' or something like that and donated it to the public library at the Sendai International Center, in Sendai Japan and this was in 1996-7. Beyond that I had no interest in who he was. However his oratory power got to me and moved me to take the political scene of my country more seriously.

Politics is a necessary evil just as money is and they walk hand in hand, I had the opportunity to attend several rallies organized in Anwar's favor ever since and was impressed by his charisma. I once wrote to him about doing a clean up job on the Sungai Pinang River in Penang while I was still living in Japan and got a reply through his secretary. The letter was addressed to the then Chief Minister of Penang demanding that the CM office reply my request and have as carbon copy of the reply sent to his office, that of the deputy prime minister of Malaysia. I never received any reply from the CM until my return to Malaysia and made a phone call from my nephew's office in KL demanding what happened and was told by his secretary that the CM was drafting the reply to my letter and will mail it soon. This was after months of silence and after I told her not to bother mailing it to Japan as i was going to personally pick it up when I return to Penang I got the reply almost the same day by courier from Penang to KL: my faith in politicians again took a dive.










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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Can the mind be free of thought?- J. Krishnamurti

"Know thyself or seek the seeker," -. Ramana Maharshi

"We are the past, never the present". -J.Krishnamurti.

"Can the mind be free of thought?" - J.Krishnamurti

The mind is thought, it is a thought's projection of itself in the form of you and me, in the form of the whole structure of existence itself, not thought no mind; no mind no Buddha. having a mind is a prerequisite to being in the present as a human being or being human. though it is as according to one's perception of what a Mind really is or what a thought really is for that matter. 

On matter of the mind and th physical form as whole or what it is like being a human being and living on this Planet is concern I like taking the Buddha's point of views and in this case the "Wisdom beyond Wisdom Heart Sutra," comes to mind...

"Oh Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness and emptiness does not differ from form, that which is emptiness is form, the same it true with feelings, perceptions and impulses and consciousness...no eyes, no nose...no body no mind."

In this heart Sutra of the  Buddha the human mind is fully obliterated, annihilated and even the observer or witness of this event is gone, gone , beyond the concept of the word gone.Total  and complete enlightenme is a state of non duality, 'the merging of all differences in unity'. Complete perfect enlightenment is the outcome of having understood fully the nature of being and non being, The self is no more the observer or the witness, the self is dissolved into a state of nothingness where all forms becomes empty of their own being and I am pretty much quoting the Sutras here and there, not my own thoughts and ideas entirely. I am just connecting the dots again. 

The question was, "Can mind be free of thought?" and the answer is yes it can and no, it cannot. tI can if the mind can purely exist without any attachment to the external thought manifested formations- free of any relationships or dependencies, freey form of ultimately from any  of self identification - no self. Perhaps then it might be possible for the mind to be free from thought. being free from thought simply implies that one exist purely as pure consciousness not affected by time or change. Nothing to change and none to observe the difference made before or after. This in essence is my own perception on the matter and is based upon the teachings of the Buddha as contained in the Maha prajna paramita sutra or the 'Wisdom beyond wisdom heart sutra,' which is practiced by the Soto Zen schools of which I was once a student.
.Krishnamurti may vehemently differ to my views no doubt especially when i am eliciting the teachings of the Buddha and not my own personal perceptions. K is quick to put down anything and anyone who does not fit into his cut and dry directions and just as quick to deny any connection to the past great minds such as Gautama or Krishna or Lao Tzu or Chuang Tzu, Christ or Muhammad even, as he never reads others or so he often impressed upon us; he may be right but he was not infallible. In his fervor to establish his stand over issues, K. often trample upon others and their views, he was merciless when it comes to making his point be well received and often rightfully so as he was authentically different as a thinker. 

For anyone who has taken upon themselves to understand the human mind in its entirety it is the ultimate challenge in understanding who we truly are. The mind is part and parcel of who we are but it is not the whole package; it is a convenience for us to exist as we are here and now. For those who makes it their vocation to self discovery, to understand fully the workings of the mind is crucial beyond doubt. Questions such as what is the subconscious mind, the dual thinking mind, what is mindfulness and mindlessness and so forth needs thorough investigation and right understanding and thus we often turn to the likes of K. and Jung and Alan Watts and Mooj and Satguru and the hosts of other great minds and thinkers throughout time, like Shri Ramana Maharshi. They have wrestled the devil within and left us their discoveries  which often may not be complete but they are a piece of the dot that we can use in order to complete our own understanding. I am n o hero or Guru worshipper and i have the tendency to knock down anyone I deem insults my intelligence with the notion that heirs is the only truth and so forth. I value and appreciate great wisdom that comes from within and as a result of a lifelong investigation. .

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

It is not out there - it is in here.

After my fajr or morning prayer I listened to J.Krishnamurti's audio book on You Tube and as usual the old man has his way of getting me to the core of the matter when it comes to knowing the self or the workings of the mind. By right after having been so much influenced by his thoughts and ideas over the years i should by now have openly declared myself an atheist; I am a coward, I need to believe in God. In which case I am a believer out of fear and not out of genuine faith; I am still harboring doubts and not absolutely surrendered in my will to the will of my Lord. Not a good state to be in at my age, but as one who is on the road towards the ultimate truth, whatever that may be at the end of my days. I am determined to keep prying and digging into these issues of faith and beliefs, of  truth and consequences, perhaps to the very end  

It all boils down to the mind and thoughts in particular, the fundamental question of the self or the true nature of being, is tied up simultaneously to the nature of thoughts and thinking, of identification and assumption. As much as  would like to adopt K's thoughts and ideas about life, i still have much reservations with it like it is not the whole truth, it lacks a sense of balance in making a complete whole, like where spirituality and science meets in complement and not in diametrical opposites to each other. Philosophy is not to obliterate faith but to help with a better understanding of it, and religion has its moral virtues in maintaining a sense of order to the masses of humanity and whether if God exist or not is of a personal nature to each and every individual and this is the essence of self discovery; there is no right or wrong ways about it, it simply Is. To try to solve the mysteries of the human nature in its entirety with one or two thought provoking ideas or principles is as futile as trying to eat a durian fruit without removing its skin.

Despite all the knowledge and exposures of what is true or otherwise, reality is as elusive and slippery as an eel and to catch a glimpse of it every now and then does not constitute as the answers to all. Like the shifting sands of the desert, or the impermanent nature of thoughts, nothing can be held on to as reality or the truth; one simply has to keep on digging into what is not in order to find what is. For so long as one is breathing and looking for an answer to satisfy one's heart and soul, to this question of, Who or what am I, one is compelled to leave no stone unturned and no doubts lingering as to one's final stand on one's 'dharma position', or that primal ground from which one professes oneself to a human being and make the declaration if there is God or not  where one's personal understanding is concern;'and the truth shall set you free.'

The truth is not according to J.Krishnamurti nor is it in the words of the Christ or the Bhagavad Gita, it is not in Holy scriptures nor in the teachings of the Buddha or the Hadiths of the Prophet of Allah; the truth is in all these, it is hidden among them to be discovered by one who seeks for it. Not Mooji Baba nor Sai Baba, not Ekhart Tolle nor Carl Jung, not Einstein nor Deepak Chopra or Michio Kaku has the final say about the whole absolute truth; the truth will only reveal itself from within your own heart where it has been residing since the beginning; look within and discover that which is you and only you will recognize that which Is. Abandoning all hope, thoughts and ideas, knock on the gate of your inner sanctum and enter, therein ask and you shall be given that which is truly yours; that which has always been and will always be, who you truly are.  











  

Monday, April 09, 2018

Digging my own grave.

After airing out the most cruddiest portion of my childhood life, I felt like i have done a marathon run across the 12 km. Penang Bridge and back. Well, at least my mind has been left with a vacuum state that makes me feel like a fish out of the water gasping for air in order that it may still have something to survive on for the next few days. I could not get myself to write and everytime i tried all the guilts came pouring out like worms out of a can that has long been left fermenting.I  have dug the deepest into my past as i dared to and share most of what i could afford to, the rest are too incriminating or sensitive and will most probably be buried with me when this is all over with. My intention is to come clean as clean as possible with myself before i have to come clean with my Maker. If i cannot make sense of my life as it has been all along how can i make sense when the game is over.

This what is meant by creating Karma to destroy karma, it is a revision of all that has been in order to pass the final exam when the time comes; a reassessment of your identity. It is also a process of unloading my excess baggage, uprooting my deep rooted karmas, in the effort to make sense out of nonsense. This process has been going on ever since I have decided to look within me instead of finding the answers without and i am not claiming that it has been the most successful thus far. Anyone who has been following this Blog would by now come to realize that it is more like a broken record that  keeps repeating itself, the needle having been stuck in one groove and needs to be nudged every now and then to move along with the songs. However it can also be observed that each repeating circle, evolution or events and dramas becomes more acute and more wider in range and depth, like an archeology dig that keeps discovering larger cities beneath the first layer.

It is said that as one keeps peeling the onion layer upon layer, one keeps shedding more and more bitter tears and at the end one discovers nothing is left to discover or cry about; it was all for nothing. However to keep peeling one must in order that the truth to this nothingness can be revealed, for so long as there are hidden layers yet to be unveiled there will always be lingering doubt making the truth incomplete. Hence if one has to cut open the belly and pour out one;s guts like committing sepuku or hara kiri, then one has to in order that the truth one seeks is impeccable and completely a pure truth and nothing but. This is indeed a tall order as tall as the Samurai warrior's choice to die by his own hands rather than admit total defeat and dishonor. A true journey of self discovery is not for the faint hearted nor for one who is not committed; it is a journey or self annihilation,

Last night I watched a Hindi movie downloaded by my son called, 'Hotel Salvation', if i am not mistaken. It was about an elderly man who realized that his time to die had arrived and wanted to die on the banks of the River Ganges in Varanasi where it is considered the holiest place in India. He urged his son to make the trip with him, his son a salary man busy with his work and constantly on the phone like most salary men. It is a story of their journey together where they came to discover about life and death and about themselves and their relationship as father and son and with others. It was indeed food for thought for me as the elderly father was about my age and his son who was about as old as my number one and much the same in character. I cannot imagine asking my first born to accompany me to Mecca to die, he would flip! Not in this lifetime ,Dad! Funny what a marriage can do to one, it seems to rob one out of one's intelligence and turns an intelligent man into a dork, to use one of my son's favorite name when he calls me out.


   






    

Friday, April 06, 2018

Where it all began...

Catching your thought is the greatest spiritual discipline. Spirituality stems from self realization, from first hand experiences and not from quotes and narratives of scriptures. Just performed my morning  or ajr prayer and am now listening to a Ravi Shankar raga on You Tube while writing this entry. The sunrise is happening outside my window illuminating the distant horizon of haze overed cityscape of Georgetown, Penang. What s a 'raga?', it sounds like someone is tuning up the sitar and building up into what is hoped into an awesome musical composition after half an hour later or it could sound like someone whining away about some unsettled business and slowly gathering momentum to higher level accompanied by the vinar and the tabla; it is one of the highest form of meditative music.

This is how my morning begins, a cup of coffee and a bowl of quaker oats and I am on the lap top prying my mind to let itself come out and play. Fed the cat and did the dishes from the night before and most probably will get up from time to time to sweep the floor and do the laundry as the morning progresses. All in good time and accordingly, no hurry and no planning but just doing one thing at a time as i feel like doing. It is Friday and so at the back of my mind I know that I will go to the mosque by noon to perform my obligatory Friday prayer, this is the closest to any indication of planning in my schedule of no schedule; even then it might not happen if i decide to take a morning nap instead. Even as I am reflecting these mundane thoughts, my mind is insisting that i compare my 'waste of precious time in these moment' to how my two remaining elder brothers are most probably occupying their time wisely and productively at their homes in the East Coast. My seldest is most probably already out and about in his garden and my twin brother is on his way to his cattle farm; I should feel guilt no doubt for not having such fulfilling activities to my schedule.

This is how my mind works and has been doing so for the most part of my adult life, comparing and measuring up to my two elder brothers for no apparent reason but to cut myself down.They are there almost at every activity I undertake, if i paint, my twin brother is constantly looking over my shoulder and making negative comments to his wife about how inferior my works are to his wife; they are both great artists. If i am writing, my eldest brother who was at one time my English secondary school teacher comes hovering over my shoulder with the frown of sad disdain on his face that makes me cringe everytime i look at him. Yes, i have been avoiding confronting these two petty tyrants that have been haunting my mind for the most part of my life and for the most part have been the reason i have removed myself from anywhere near them as much as i could to the point of leaving my home and country to seek my own fortune elsewhere far away.

These are the demons in my closet that have been making me feel like nothing I do in this life can amount to any good and which has contributed to my very low self esteem throughout my life. This morning for no apparent reason and out of the blue the dam has broken and the sewage is let loose, God have mercy on them and me. I am unshackling myself once and for all from this bondage that started from the day i was readopted into my own family after haing been raised for twelve years of my life by my uncle in Penang from the day I was born. After  years of looking deeply and thoroughly into the matter i must say i can only blame my own father for this, his negligence of duty as a father has led to my family's decadence; my father was a drunk all the time I had known him and the best memory I have of him is the smell of his drunkenness. My eldest brother has his favorite story to tell of our father, how he watched one evening our father on his way home had stood and peed along the roadside and this had shamed my brother to no end.

The question that i have asked myself all these years as to why was my father a drunk has  been answered at least for me and that being; my mother. my mother was as much as i hate myself to say this was a bitch. She was the most strikingly beautiful lady to look at when she was young and it made me proud to walk beside her to the Hindi movies when I was a child but my mother never loved my father; I felt this and later i knew this. My parents were brought together through a forced marriage by my grandfather who wanted to have a Ceylonese or Sri lankan like him for a son in law and it was a bad mismarriage if there ever was one. How do I know all these? My mother's elder sister, my auntie who was the midwife who delivered my twin and I was my source of information on matters concerning my immediate family. In all my years of living with my parents and the rest of my siblings, after being taken back into the family, I never saw a single moment of true love and devotion between my parents that I can cherish as a child; never!

Yes, we all have our excuses and our blames for how we have evolved to become who we are and more often than not we chose to hide our shame and in the name of decency and fear try to hide what we most abhor about who we are. My birth was mistake according to my auntie even from the beginning as she was not expecting another child after my twin brother was delivered, 
" You almost drowned in your mother's blood had i not realized that you were in there!" Perhaps it would been more merciful if i had been, i always thought to myself.
" Your mother hated being pregnant and having more children and then you have to come and it made it too much for her to accept you." Yes, I felt this even as i was growing up in Terengganu in all my teen years, as hard as i try to remember i had never heard a kind or gentle words from my mother that would touch my heart till today; never. There was a moment when my eldest brother slapped me so hard that i almost slammed to the floor but for the nob at the bottom of the stairs that caught my arm and my mother watched this and for an instant i saw a sense of satisfaction in her eyes that hurt me more than the slap. In my years growing up a teenager in the East Coast, my eldest brother slapped my face three times and he was a body builder and athlete and disciplinary master at my school; he was also my English teacher; how i hated school! I realize that i most probably well deserved these punishments but I also realize that they were delivered out of anger and hatred more so than to teach me a lesson in life. I ran away from home twice and headed back to Penang on my own, hitchhiking. Till this day I still find it hard to forgive my eldest brother for the pain and humiliation he had caused me, try as i may.

Don't get me wrong, i love my eldest brother. He has been there when i needed them especially for my care and wellbeing growing up, an added burden though i was to his meagre budget as a school teacher, he was responsible for the family's survival and for this I am forever indebted to him like it or not; I say this because he had a choice of not taking me back into the family and i would have been well off with my uncle in Penang.The only fault with being raised by my uncle was that i was being raised as a Buddhist while the rest of the family had converted to islam! Not out of love or blood ties, but religion! To save face and perhaps my soul from damnation being a Buddhist; i hated being converted to Islam by force and my having no say whatsoever in the matter. No one thought much f it in those years especially my eldest brother who figured he was doing the right thing and that I was incapable of  any understanding of what was going on. There was a moment in the middle of the night as i was sitting and crying by myself on the verandah of our house because of the pain in my crotch that was covered with sores of herpes and in anguish and frustration I raised my fist to the sky and cursed God for my life, ( the middle finger wa not in style those days.), but i did say fuck you! The more painful thing was I had no one to turn to to share my pain or at least find a cure; I hated being alive.

Oh yes, there are many many more mini dramas or real major ones that I cannot share here but suffice to say I lived a living hell at home among my siblings so much so that i stayed away from home every chance i got. When my mother passed away I was away from home in Penang and my eldest brother called me at work and told me the news and he told me that my mother had asked him to tell me that she forgave me and that according to my brother i need not return for the funeral for obvious reasons of work and travel and so forth. ut my mother's younger sister, my auntie insisted that she and I make the trip to the east Coast and we did. I never got to see my mother as she was laid to rest in the ground already and so i visited her grave and that was the first and last time i did so.

I am beyond hating anyone especially not my parents nor my siblings; it is not worth my time nor my well being, but i have been carrying this rap like the herpes that infest my crotch as a teenager for far too long and it is time to let it all go. I saw my eldest brother a week or so ago when i visited the East Coast and he seemed more friendly this time although I still barely was able to say more than, hi, how are you, much less  let him know how I truly feel about him. It was okay, I touched base with him as is mandated in Islam that I must not severe a blood relationship no matter what. I was not able to visit my twin as he was unavailable then but that too was fine; some bad blood are best left as such.     





Wednesday, April 04, 2018

It also okay to chill out now and then.

As often as possible try to remember who you once were at any given time in your past, it helps me doing this in a way that it makes any heavy mind boggling, thought provoking present that i am indulging in as far as my 'soul searching' goes more realistic and somewhat safe. The temporary tattoo post yesterday is one of those moments in my past that i almost forgot until it was triggered by Karim, my son's insisting that i listened to Red Hot Chili Peppers than to Hans Zimmer, like my choice of music. Most of us realize how we can easily get sucked into too much too heavy discussions about anything and it is good practice to just skip out of the mould and chill every now and then to remind oneself that life is about being light and easy.

This retracing of one's past experiences is also a means of reminding one's self that there were times when you were able to kick off your shoes and do the unexpected, create a stir or cause a commotion, jump out of the box or break away from the norm; these were moments that were acted out in spontaneity with no intentions nor expectations in mind. If you smoke pot and someone is telling you it is bad for you, you smoke it anyway simply because it is said to be bad for you; you refuse to accept an opinion without discovering what's bad or not for you. This is in essence what delf discovery is, it is the refusal to take someone else's word for something you need to do or not. However, being a practitioner on the road to find out, you are equipped with a sense of feeling that, an awareness that some things are good while others are not so for your own personal well being. You are an observer, a witness, an experimenter of life; you refuse being sucked into life's roadside attractions, the dramas, the prejudices and the hopes and aspirations to constantly aim at becoming something else other than who you truly are. Yes, it sounds like I am nagging to myself over things that are what considered to be the norm in this life.

This is the outcome of being in constant reflection of your mental formations, the activities of the mind from moment to moment, episode to episode as one make a move from where one is to the next event like from sitting here to going to pick up your son from his work place or going to find something to eat as you are hungry or hanging out your clothes to dry and so forth. Every single action you make each individual you meet or interact with, warrants a series of thoughts related to the event and not to mention the things, the stuff that the mind pick up along the way to getting there. But, if you are like everyone else who don't give two hoot about self discovery and looking for the truth and so forth, then you have no problem. For you things are as they should be, no need to keep an account of what is or what is not, what should or what should not for you. ignorance is indeed bliss.

   
















   

My Temporary Tattoos salesman days.

Allis Cooper had his temporary tattoo.



Watching and listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers on the large screen with Karim who refused my request for Hans Zimmer music. So here i am watching a group of young adults with tattoos all over their bodies running and jumping all over while I try to make my Blog entry. Oh, yes, you most probably must have caught on that all I am also doing is keeping and ongoing diary of my daily boring lifestyle and now the guys are singing for inside a garbage can from the video of 'Can't Stop', Incidentally I had the chance to catch their live show at the Shoreline Amphitheater, in San Francisco, California. I was selling temporary tattoos at the shows for my friend Joshua Bowes along with his mother in law who was in charge of selling trinkets from Thailand.
My Buddy Josh and I at his home on Haight and Ashbury, SF,
My Buddies Joshua and Bo in Josh's kitchen smoking a doobie.


Temporary tattoos were a hit at these outdoor shows those years like in the early nineties and i was in need of a job and so there i was pasting tattoos all over the human bodies that were at the shows. They came from all over and most either half drunk or stoned by the time they passed through the gates. The women were more into i prompted by their drunk or stoned husbands and boyfriends, There i was applying temporary tattoos on women's breasts and butts, necks and tummies all evening while being cheered on by Rock fans, perhaps because I was neither too black nor too white, I got away with it with a whole lot of laughter and event tips sometimes. On top of having a ball making money, I got to listen to live bands including, Aerosmith, Steve Miller Band, The Beach Boys, and singers like Rod Steward, Sade, Barry Manilow and others of the time.
A Roaster of upcoming shows at the Amphitheater.







  

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

On April Fool's Day, on Easter Sunday, On the Chinese Ancestral Worship Day.

April Fool's Day was played on me by being made to turn around and headed for home after i was stopped by a congested traffic at the very first street junction from my apartment. I called my son, Karim and told him that i cannot give him a ride to work as it was impossible to leave the area here. The traffic jam was caused by the Chinese day of visiting the dear departed and near where i live is the largest Chinese cemetery on the island. So they came from all over the country to say hello to their loved ones who has gone over to the other side. It was also Easter Sunday here and so it was a good day to chill at home and not ad on to the congestion already happening out there So, April Fool son, get your own transport to work, like Uber or Grab it for the day.

Another April Fool prank I got on Sunday was to watch Mooji Baba, the Man who likes talking, does a silent sitting retreat commemorating Easter Sunday! There goes another channel for me to choose from in order to feed this hungry mind on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Such Is, and you believe the mind has no sense of humor? Well it left me with the next choice of escape and that is to read Carl Jung's works on The Archetypes and the Collective Consciousness, or watch David Carradine's old movies on You Tube; I chose Jung and found the connecting dots to what I had written in my last entry of my Blog. Yes, Mooji talked even in his silent sitting Satsang, the mind cannot resist what is habitual for so long as there are minds to feed; it is not unlike putting babies to sleep, the pacifier is still the tool of choice.

" Every need has an ego to feed." - Bob Marley.

Perhaps playing with Jung's Jungian ideas is a little too much for most especially when the player himself has avague grasp on the ideas. However in Jung's works I find a whole lot of meat in what understanding oneself is all about when it comes down to it; it does involves allot of careful reading no doubt, but worth it. Like Jedu Krishnamurti, Jung was a master at his field of choice and dedicated his whole life towards the understanding of the human psyche, just as Krishnamurti did with the human mind. Where Jung embraced most of the eastern religious icons and symbols, Gods and deities as potential archetypes, Krishnamurti shattered them to pieces and treated them as purely mental formations and nothing more. Both are equally valid and are forces to be considered with when one is on the journey of self discovery.








  

Sunday, April 01, 2018

You are looking foe answers - Are you?

How often you hear yourself or others complaining that, sometimes there is like a whole group of people debating on an issue in your head. Where do they come from? Not to worry biologist, behavioral scientists and neurologists and especially psychiatrists, will have an explanation for you in one form or another; it's normal most common folks say. Don't think too much, you got to sleep better, you are overworking yourself, take a vacation or do meditation, these are among the advice you can get free of charge if you develop such similar problem; too many voices in the head. yes, and which one am i to listen to and who is the one making the final say? Sometimes  it feels like you are running a boarding house in your skull and there seems to be little or nothing you can do about it but accept it as everyone else as a natural phenomena.

Time to wake up! Yes, time to take stock of who is who doing what up there.Taking for granted that things are kosher and going about your daily life as though this is the way it should be or has to be is not and option. You have to get rid of some of your unwanted guests especially those that seems like they are running your show for you. It is time for a housekeeping and spring cleaning of your psyche; do it Do not allow for illegal aliens and unwanted guests to reside in your inner sanctum, your sacred domain, your home. Of course most of these interlopers in our head are put there ourselves knowing or unknowingly, through our five senses we are like a sponge or a magnet attracting anything and everything that passes by in this river of consciousness and the more attractive the thing is the more we are stuck to it that eventually it becomes a part of who we think we are. Comes a time when we wonder why is our head so cluttered with all these thoughts and imaginations and our sleep is so infested with weird dreams.

But who really cares or pay attention to these petty issues that cannot be resolved in its entirety anyway. We will just shove it all under the rug of our subconscious and let it all hide there like forgotten files to be activated if and when needed or make believe that they are forever gone from our scanner. Well, they are there and will make their appearances  like it or not at the least expected moments in our daily lives. Oops, where did that come from? Did i said all those things. Nah! It can't be me, why would  I want to kill the guy just because he cut me off in the traffic? I am not a potentially violent person, am I? Hmm...

" All man's strivings have therefore been directed towards the consolidation of consciousness. This was the purpose of rite and dogma; they were dams and walls  to keep back the dangers of the unconscious, the "perils of the soul." Primitive rites consist accordingly in the exorcising of spirits, the lifting of the spells, and the averting of the evil omen, propitiation, purification, and the production by sympathetic magic of helpful occurrences."
C,G. Jung -pg.22 -47

As is often said, ignorance is bliss even if it might turn us unwittingly into zombies or the walking dead or worse yet cannibals that is bound and determined to gnaw into our own specie's innards out of sheer ignorance.' Man's ultimate desire is for peace, yet every nation is preparing for war.'