Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Listening to 'TOTO"(Live in Amsterdam)

It rained a little last night but not enough to wipe out the haze and today the skies are cloudy with a promise of more rain but still waiting to see. I have been working with water color on my 100 feet long painting which I started since 2008 and is still in the process of transforming into a full fledged painting from basic sketching format. it has become the one painting that I use as my meditative piece which helps to ground my mind to what is the present moment and lessen the stuff of life that has been encroaching in to my consciousness lately. I am enjoying the work as it happens as it begins to surprise me with so much unexpected new discoveries and improvements.
Art is my food  for the soul needless to say but it is, I helps and has been helping me find my center, my 'Dharma position in my life, that from which I express my Being. While working on my pieces i am able to stay focus and effortlessly flow through time ans space with expressions direct from within. No doubt there will always be intrusions and vexations that the ego would try to impose on my sanctity of being in this state of creativity, but i find it a whole easier now to revert back to being in the here and Now and thanks to having read and practiced  from great teachers past and present. I do not feel  easily misled by thoughts and unconsciousness like I used to. Yes it takes a long time to heal the splintered soul and it is far from an easy road to take but now as i am starting to feel its fruits ripening and falling to the ground I am more settled and the act creativiity comes a whole lot more fluidly.
I am thankful indeed, Alhamdullilah, shukur bagi Allah, thank you Lord, Arigato Gozaimasu' O Kami Sama, Om Sahnti Om! for giving these few blessed moments of calm and tranqulity especially when I sit outside my home among tables and chairs of the restaurant in the wee early morning hours when hardly any traffic passes by to disrupt my consciousness. I talked to my Lord! After such a long spell of crying out for help and solace, i am finally hearing God in my heart telling me to chill, that all is well as well can be for me and for the Universe. The haze, the murders the robberies the unexpected deaths of loved ones and the state of suffering in the war torn countiries in the Middle east and elsewhere on earth, the starvation and the destitution of countries in Africa. the floods and bruening that is claiming untold lives and destruction; it is all part and parcel of my existence and i accept it all willingly.
Yes i am far from 'cured', but i am on the road to recovery, I am approaching my own final cut into the unknown, my leap of faith into that which is beyond my thoughts and imagination and i celebrate this feeling with all those who read this blog. yes  as my friend Jason would remind me, and this too will pass no doubt. But in the meantime i will reap the harvest of this Grace with as much positive as well creative expression that I can share with the world as i can, (am most probaly missing an important appointment somewhere- says the ego), but hey like my son Karim found out, Shit happens! Karim found out that he missed his important exam by one day and thus has to wait another year to take it again! All he had to say on Face Book was . "Shit happens!" Way to go boy! You have learned a littlebit of your Dad's Ways. Live and learn, learn the easy and smart way or the hard and painful way, but learn you must from all your errors and foulups. Rebound, get up and try even harder with greater effortlessness and the will to accomplish the unaccomplishable, reach out for that which is far beyond your grasp but remember even if you fail to attain your goals at least you tried, you gave it all you got and never once looked back with regret.
All is vain, all is impermanent all is fleeting and evernescent, life itself is a total illusion where the external manifestation are concern and if you do not understand this it is ok for it is not somehting one learn but what one discovers through Being. Being is something that humanity has lost, most of us exist in space and time like zombies succumbing to the fate and follies of so called life's incessant vexations and dramas. If we can take that step to leave the vicious cxircle of this stagnant state of unconsciousness we each and everyone of us might just be able to heal ourselves and help to heal the world; We are the caretakers, we are the visgerent, we are the guardians of this dimesion of existance as elected by Allah in His Good Book the AlQuran Nur Karim. So let us be one and act like it, if not we are no better than the creatures of the earth and the seas and the skies, seen and unseen, or worse.
We are here primarily to celebrate life, it is our destiny to make a heaven out of this place we call home, but instead we are the cause of suffering, untold suffering of our fellow creatures and if sentient beings on this planet other tha humans could express their minds we mankind would be in the deepest hell at present. We are no better than parasites eating away at our host not because we are hungery but because we have become insatiable gluttons. We have fallen into the deepest of slumber which is awaiting the nightmare to wake up to and wake up to it we will as is already happening all over this planet. We worship the three gods of Greed, Hate and Ignorance and we are buliding ornate and exquisite temples and mosques, churches and synagogues to worship them in and we call these the House 0f God! O'Man! Will we ever awaken from this deep slumber before it is the end of our days.

Have you ever listened to'TOTO'?! (Live in Amsterdam). This entry was written listeing tot he concert on the earphones, so do not think I am into such a serious mind trip no Sir, I am into 'Toto' at this moment in time and so should you. Life is short even if you feel at times time drags along day to day. No Sir, Time waits for no one and the sooner we learn this simple wisdom the better we are off to be. You make time time do not make you.

 "Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in."
Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.”

- Bonaparte

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's a Hazy Dazy Afternoon.

"Last week, environmental non- profit group Greenpeace said commercial plantations control half of the land where the biggest fires are burning, and much of it is on deep peat, which is off limits under the moratorium. Forest campaigner Bustar Maitar at Greenpeace in Indonesia says it becomes like "petrol in the forest", and can burn for weeks."

"Some of the biggest companies operating in Indonesia - Wilmar International, Sinar Mas Group and Asia Pacific Resources International - are based in Singapore or Malaysia. All have issued statements saying they abide by strict no-burn policies, although Wilmar has reportedly told Singapore media that it "cannot prevent local practices of slash-and-burn for agricultural and other purposes".

"But the barb-trading over the haze, an annual annoyance that often strains relations between Singapore and Indonesia, overlooks one of the major causes of the burning - corruption."

And so the finger pointing and cry foul over the worsening haze situation has begun and like the haze itself it will lead on to accusations and worse unnecessary insults between people whose job description actually amounts to taking care of the situation as it is. Now the Indons have accused its neighbors of blowing the issue of haze globally to discredit Indonesia. Hard to see how this can be stopped in this day and age when anyone in the Congo can learn about the haze problem here so long as he or she has excess to Internet. Then there are those making demands for this and that to be done in order to punish the culprits who are responsible for the open burning that is the cause of the this haze and how long would this take? With the cross border laws still not in place properly with regard to this type of natural or man made disasters, taking legal action is the last thing that should be on the minds of law makers, the focus is on how to put out the fires.
As i said earlier this will take collective effort and lending a helping hand towards thy neighbor will be of more benefit than pointing your fingers at him. And the 'accused', will have to lower its defensive stance and pride by allowing for easy excess towards any offer for collective effort to rectify the situation by all means and this to be done with no more delay.
Three or four helicopters flying water bombing over thousand of acres of pit fire areas is a drop in the bucket, what is needed is a massive assault by humans resources as well as equipments that can combat this kind of fire. Gotong Royong or collective effort on a global scale if not a regional scale is impending.There is no excuse for not taking immediate pro-active measures to date and depending on the Indonesian government effort alone is not an option, this is a global disaster affecting lives in three or four countries with millions of people subjected to a dangerous level of health hazard. Shit happens! But we can rectify the situation and minimize its effect by taking on the challenge collectively, this cannot be emphasize enough.

“The government is deploying two Bolco helicopters and one Colibri helicopter to contain hotspots in Riau. The efforts through land have been ineffective,” he said.

“To be honest, I think Riau was quite slow in anticipating this from the beginning. But there’s no need to play the blame game. Let’s just [work] to overcome the haze and fires immediately,” he said.
                                                                                   Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
                                                                                     25th June 2013.

Right at this moment we can all sit and pray that rain comes or the fires would abate on its own; learn to accept and move on as best we could. It is up to the powers that be to step up and make the necessary appeals and delivery of help from all those that have means to do so, countries like Australia,  New Zealand and not to mention Singapore and Malaysia can and should provide assistance to Indonesia in combating this issue; and again, the culprits will foot the bill when they are brought to justice.
I am wearing out myself on this subject and I think I have moan and groan enough over the matter. As a concern citizen of this planet I have voiced my thoughts and feelings and whether they are worth pondering upon is another matter.
At the moment my blog is experiencing an error which simply means i cannot upload this piece; I wonder why.
And then again, this too will pass...

Monday, June 24, 2013

And what can the UN do?

What the United Nations organization can do about the problem of the Haze that is blanketing almost the entire western coastal areas from Singapore to Penang and possibly beyond is to create a task force to combat fire. This task force will operate with the best of tools and equipments available from all concerned countries and the cost will be borne by all the entities that are found guilty of this phenomena by the international court of Justice. This is worse than a military invasion, for it affects everyone and everything; not to mention human sanity itself; putting it in a nutshell.
The time for action is Now! The time for prosecution will follow or we are all doomed to dragging out tails behind our backs while life becomes more and more hazardous. The number one cause of suffering is physical pain, illnesses, from tooth ache to a major shift in the respiratory department; pain is a sin, someone once said, pain from any form of external affects will cause a major disruption among humans if not physically, mentally or even spiritually; it challenges our sanity to survive. The haze that is clouding our skies and penetrating our homes is causing a major shift in the collective human consciousness in this entire region or millions of lives living in ain due to one health reason or another; the greatest cause of anxiety is watching helplessly as everything around you is covered with smoke.You cannot give up smoking.
Not everyone has the privilege living in an air conditioned environment!! Look out your window and you will feel the heat and the people sweating just getting form one spot to another; we have to wake up to reality sooner than reality waking us up. If we pussyfoot and drag along this issue without active measures, we all of us living unfortunately below the shadows of Lake Toba across from the Straits of Sumatra will have to bear the discomfort of living with that choked up feeling.
The UN will need to create an emergency response unit like a fire fighting unit to combat wild fires all over the globe which will happen more and more frequently as time moves on. Blame it on global warming. Instead of giving lips service in the form of ultimatums, the UN will enforce action spontaneously to tackle the problem and only later will the lips service comes; even the United States cannot handle all its wild fires and it has one of the most well trained forest fire jumpers in the world. Fire spells destruction, period. Man cannot stand by and allow this to happen and keep on happening without acting, and the collective conscious screams for action not liturgies and lame excuses. What did they do when the oilfields of Iraq went up in flames, they sent in the experts to put it out, vested interest maybe but the job got done and the planet was saved from one of the worse air pollution catastrophe.

Marty admitted that the government had not ratified the ASEAN trans-boundary haze pollution treaty, which was signed some 12 years ago. He said it was still undergoing a legislative process at the House of Representatives.
This is only the beginning of the stumbling blocks that can crop up every step of the way towards immediate actions. The UN must act Now! Not after moe damage is done while waiting for more crap to appear n the way of action.

The Malaysian Government and the Singapore governments can spearhead the initial actions being affected by the haze, send all available manpower and technical assistance to affected areas and Indonesian will be under the direct order by the UN to allow for such aids the proceed with the Indonesian government full cooperation. Look at it as a very good opportunity to study and provide training for the personnel's, the chopper pilots the Fire Bombers and the host of other tools and equipments that will used to combat the hazards. Everyone wins and the cost will come form those executed for having anything to do with the cause of the fires.

“The approach must be one of collaboration and partnership, not one of apportioning blame here and there. Let’s focus on putting the fires out,” Marty told a press conference."
                                                              Marty Natalegawa, Indonesioan Foreign Mnister

Hopefully this offer for cooperation will be taken advantage of and not wasted through poor political expediencies. The door has been opened and before something said or done pisses off the Indonesian Government, we would wish we had been more conscious and less rigid in our protocols. Like the Minister said, lets take care of the fires first, then we can talk. This should be a green light for the UN to move into action through the governments of Malaysia and Singapore and the Philippines if the so desire to take part as it would be a good training ground for fire fighters and mergency response teams working together from around the globe., all paid for. Shit has hit the fence and not for the first time and this will continue into the future untill drastic changes are made; we have to awaken! Wake up!

"If the balance between male and female energies had not been destroyed on our planet, the ego's growth would have been greatly curtailed. We would not have declared war on nature, we would not be so completely alienated from our Being."
                                                     Eckhart Tolle. - A New Earth.
 And  it seems like Acceptance is our only choice for now. Like the Jinns we will enjoy the smoke or at least get used to it! We may even get high without the need to smoke, who knows what kind of vegetation is getting burned up over there. Do we care?!

It is SAD, so Sad - The Haze!

My friend and fellow artist, considered as one of the pioneers of Malaysian Art, a man who does not mince his words nor accept authority without blindly and one who had lived his life as he chose to, Has passed away.
Alfatihah! Inna lillahhi, wa'inna lillahhi Raujiuu! From Him you came to Him you Return. My friend Ismail Hashim has been taken from this realm by a bad accident the detail's of which I do not know and neither do I wish to, as he was immediately laid to rest the same night which meant that hes was seriously injured. Muslims bury those seriously injured as soon as possible especially when the bleeding cannot be stopped. Must be allot of Hadiths written on this matter. Good bye my friend, your photos will be a sweet reminder of your presence with us, in you we have lost another great creative mind and spirit.
Who is Ismail Hashim? read my blog on him a few months ago, got his pictures even. He was at one time the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at University Sains Malaysia. He was a very good and dedicated art teacher and he made allot of contributions towards what Being an Artist is among fellow artists here. He was comical, sometimes cynical, always cheerful when conversed with, and most of all he was a storage of wisdom, of this and of the after. He was enlightened.

Driving to the University along the TanSri Lim Chong Eu Expressway, or what formerly called the Jelutong Freeway, I felt the impact of the Jerebu - Haze hit me; I cannot see my favorite Bridge!. I felt very sad deep within me sad of the fact that so much lives of insects and animals, birds and even fish must have been lost. If only the creatures could say one word collectively in protest of this wanton killingswhat would it be?!! Most of us forget that we are not the only thinking habitants dwelling on this planet; off course the hard core, jaded non- believer is exceptional. But those of us who grew up among spirits and guardians, jinns and demons, we who are unfortunate enough to have been exposed to weird stuff on growing up in a swamp. What is happening to their homes ;the forest. We have become so callous in our pursuit of wealth and so called happiness we pollute the air to the extent that it consumes other countries. We are the diggers of our own graves, that is an accepted fact of our life, but we have no right to infringe our desire for more upon those that exist alongside us and whose very existence we feed on in one form or another. We are destroying the very thing we depend on in our food, medicine and spiritual well being.We have become the deadliest parasite on earth! Everyone of us must be made to watch the movie 'Avatar" at least once in our lifetime.

Attended the Artist Favorite 2 dinner on Frdiay evening at Cititel Hotel and met up with most o my fellow artist Chinese and Malays. The Chief Minister Mr. Lim Guan Eng made a very inspiring speech about the virtues of having a strong art community in Penang. He stated three factors as his line of approach towards moving the State forward and that being  a) Engagement  b) Letting Go  c) Sharing. A little bit of Chan or Zen approach which was a pleasant surprise coming from a Chief Minister; what has he been drinking?
The most pleasanr surprise of the evening was the entertainment which was presented by a Malay group from Selangor called "Dendang Anak." All the guys were longhaired with a red bandana tied to tied around their heads and they wore red and gold 'Sampins' and they looked fammiliar, too fammiliar! I found out that two of the musicians was from Terengganu, nd one was the son of Raja Kamarul Baharin now a full fledged Senator from Terenggnau Sybas!; Raja Baharin and I grew up together in the Palace Grounds og Istana Badariah playing cowbys and Indians. He is a great architect who designed the Masjid Terapong and the Museum Negeri in Terengganu. He has always been a down to earth humble giant of a man. I look forward to see him in action in the Malaysian Parliament!
The other musician i practically watched him grw up in front of me from a mixed up kid into a married man whose drifted from one thing to another and now found his calling. Effendi was like my little brother as so was hs brother in law, Izsm, who own the No.19 Restaurant in the Batu Burok Food square along the Beach area in Kuala terenggnau. What a small world as they say and what a pleasant surprise to be entertained by the very band that had started from sitting on the sidewalk and jamming to now a proffesional well sought after band of traditional Malay Group; their sound and lyrics are out of this world enough to bring tears to your eyes. One other pleasent surpirse for me that evening was receiving a winning numbe which earned me a hamper basket! Wow and my brother Lee Khai presented it to me on the stage what a bonus! And Simon Tan dragged me up front to dance to the band playing traditional Malay songs so I 'Joget!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Dentist!

Got my teeth looked into and probed and scraped, drilled and filled by a beautiful young dentist who is about to have her baby in August. She happens to be the daughter of  my original dentist, but seeing that her father is off playing golf (not true), I had the pleasure of being tortured by the daughter. When was your last dental check up Mr. Bahari? Oh maybe it was in 2008? Cannot remember exactly sorry. This was off course followed by a load of nagging from the lovely doctor who treated me more like she would her father telling me to better care for my teeth even if or especially when I am at my age. Thank you doctor, I will take better care of my teeth as of now. Your next appointment is in six months, don't forget to come in please. When I see my friends who has few rotten teeth left in their mouth I feel fortunate for having mostly intact and the fact that i can still chew my food from the toughest chunk of meat to young green mangoes, I give my thanks to my Lord.
MInor aches and pains are starting to creep into my physical form, joints, muscles even pains in the bones like I am having arthritis here and there. These are part of my ageing process just being tired more often than before while doing my work, chest pains are a little worrying but i work on healing myself through being in tune with what and where the problem is; I meditate on my aches and pains by breathing new life into the area. Re-charge, Re -vitalize, Re-new, Re - rejuvenate, I would send in commands such as these to all my physical form, , the atoms and molecules, the four elements of earth, wind, fire and water and my organs the heart, the  pancreas, the liver and the rest. I command all these to heal through alignment with the whole. This achieved throughout the meditation by breathing in and out or Pranayama Yoga. I have been doing this for as long as i can remember and today I feel fortunate to have been enlightened into these practices.

" I am whole, perfect, strong and powerful, loving compassionate, harmonious and happy.
I can do what I, will to do; So help me God, (Insha'Allah)..'; My personal daily mantra."

If and when every cell in my body and my brain can be tuned in to conform with this 'auto-suggestion' I feel self healing can happen from within. The physical genetically make up of the human form needs to be informed, taught and persuaded about the reality of its own physical attributes; the fact every nerves and cells, bones and muscles have a role to perform to the best of its ability, nothing is randomly left to its own devices, all is a part of the whole. Being aware and conscious of my body has allowed me to become more sensitive towards the changes that occurs within me whether I am about to get sick in my tummy or I am about to have a heart attack.

I am the Master of my thoughts and consciousness, not the other way round.
I am the master of my Body, Speech and Mind,
I am the master of my circumstances and environment,
I am the master of my own personal destiny.
I am the captain of my vessel, Insha'Allah.

I adopted these lines, (with some additions) from a book I was given while travelling in Alaska, it was a book called, "Raja Yoga" or Yoga of the Mind. I repeat these lines almost daily upon waking up and before laying down to sleep, usually after having sat in meditation and contemplation for half an hour or so. If you ask me what is more valuable than learning about your physical body i would have to say,  learning all you can about how the mind works. And if you ask me what is more valuable than learning about how the mind works I would say learning about who you truly are, (in relation tot he Whole).. The rest of life or the act of living are simply details.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

More Justifications.

I feel I have been spilling away as though I am a Rishi or Roshi or something, I am not, i am merely reflecting what goes through my mind and based upon my past experiences and my love of study in the Spiritual side of life has made me susceptible towards becoming just another parrot repeating what others have said and said it well. The question is what i have learned about who I am or what am I? According to all these ancient teachings and religions, I am this or that relative to what I believe in myself. If i am a Muslim I look at life from the perspective of one who believes in the Oneness of God, if I am Christian my faith and belief is in the Christ, The Father, If i am a Buddhst my faith will be in understanding the Buddhadharma, if I am a Hindu, well I can pick my choices as there as many one can attribute one's faith in.
I am entertaining my mind and watching and learning all the time about how my mind functions,(even when I take a crap). Perhaps i have an over imaginative mind with its creative tendencies to destroy what it creates given the chance to do so, its called, anger. The flip side of creativity is destructiveness and they both coexist in one's inner being; I like to keep an eye the fluctuations between the two positive and negative state so that the highs and the lows stay in good balance. Like in the Yin and Yang cosmic symbol's principle suggests, when there is too much fun, shit happens! When there is too much shit, fun (things) happens. I agree, it is very poor use of the Cosmic Symbol as an imagery, sounds good though!
My original intention has always been 'Self discovery' using the common term for it. I believe I have what the Buddhists would call .deep rooted karmas, those past negative actions that were significantly heave in nature, whether psychological, emotional or spiritual; I am a splintered soul. I seek to become whole, to know who I am and what is the meaning to my existence. Through the years of my semi- insane lifestyle, I made small progress towards seeing what is for what it is not. I became more and more absorbed into being an observer, a chronicler of life, one who looks in from the fringe of life; I felt like i have at one point in my life 'stepped out of my preconceived self into my present self, but still a thought created self
Is mind created self that is me typing this down or is it yet another observer watching from further behind making the move to record what transpires as the mind expresses itself, is this me? Is this who I am? When someone ask me casually , hey what's up Sam? I would mumble o myself like, just waiting to die..." It came quite  naturally out of me but not is a serious note. What i would mean in those days was I need to move on, change, Hijrah, evolve of die: I chose evolution. Sometime back in my blog I must have told the time and experience I had in Central City Colorado maybe in 1979-80. This was where i had a vivid dream about being an 'Ecclectic." I woke up and wrote down the word spelling it a close as i could to how it sounded in the my dream. Later on reading a rare, "Book of Secrets" (which was published only 87 copies in all) I discovered the meaning of Eclecticism.: I am an eclectic. I pick and chose the best in all possibilities negative or positive and boils it all down to what has it got to offer that is worth keeping.
Having lived for 21 years  of my life in the United States, I went round the bend where my thoughts and consciousness were laid bare from who i was before and what I became after.I think more like an American than a Malaysian, I have made my life a study instead of living it, I am experimenting with my life like Mr. Ghandi. I take it back, not true really, as i lived my life like an American too and that, not too many Malaysians can sing about as most went overseas to study, I was there to live life to the fullest...and Yes, I did it My way>>.
Yes, at times I do write a whole lot of nonsense, but the non sense too is a part and parcel of who I think I am. It is only in the silence in between the previous state to the next is where I am at, that is the space that paused to think what to say next, that silence is where it all originates from and the fingers jsut keeps on typing. I am not a Guru or even a wise man, but I am one who seeks to become who he truly is, what is my Buddha nature? What am I before my parents conceived of me? These are not my personal questions but the questions asked by those of the past, Great Rishis and Roshis, the Mahatmas and Saints, the sheikhs and Maulanas and is still being asked by the likes of me.
We are all ships passing in the night, seeking shelter from the storms, when we meet let us rejoice and celebrate each other's triumphs and success in having survived what life has to offer and if and when we can afford to let us return to life what we have taken from it in the form of servitude: I am Ram Dass, I am the servant of God. This is why I do art, entertain children with my art and teach a thing or two through my being an Artist. Some enjoy my stories, some my artworks and I enjoy along with them.

Peeking through the Veil.

I pre-wrote this while sitting in front of the Museum under the tent while it drizzled outside in the parking lot.

The more we try to stop our minds from excessive thinking the aggressively thoughts will manifest in our minds, perhaps because in our efforts to slow down thinking we are also creating 'Gaps' or spaces for more thoughts to rush in and fill it up. Soon we lose track of reality as it is in the here and now, we stray into unconscious delusions state of being, like sleep walking or better yet the Zombies. creating more vexations as we go along. The world becomes a miserable place when just about the whole planet is overrun by humanoid Zombies preying upon one another to sustain life.
The mind cannot be stopped but it can be silenced by gradual practice of any form of Meditation or martial Arts, Painting, Poetry, Bonzai collecting, or even Rock collecting; the mind can be slowed down to a halt by being in the space and time of the here and now; being the flower or the sunset, being the buttefly or the sparrow, being the sounds that permeates everything and the wind that sooth your worried mind. This is acceptance through 'skillfull means' and understanding of the nature of the 'Dual thinking mind."
For there to be a Peak, there has to be a valley.
For there to be sorrow there is much happiness to seek for,
For there to be darkness let there be light!

Journeying into the unknown landscapes of the mind is like walking in the valley of death, there is no-thingness, there is only the state of being in the moment in timelessness and what lies further down the road is a matter for no concern, (Krishnamutrit's secret applies itself well here- I don't mind what happens..) It is not a matter of denial but one of admitting to an enlightening insight about who he was and living by it to become a great teacher of the human nature. But his path and so is Eckhart Tolle's contemporay philosophical thinking are no an easy path to follow as they evolved into who the were through living the experience day by day observing the mind and its mental activities.
Baba Ram Dass, (Prof. Richard Alpert) wrote a whole book on the subject of, "Be Here NOw" and it was more than a national best Seller as more Hippies lived by it like their Instant karmic Bible. Eckhart Tolle wrote his 'The Power of NOW" and got the travellers and seekers all over the world up in an uproar of something meditating upon especially now that the effects O Ram Dass's ideas have just about washed off from human consciousness just like the Hippie movement itself, Tolle's insightful discoveries is a spiritual gift to humanity; Human Collective Consciousness. Just how to spread the knowledge is our collective effort for those who see 'it' happening. In being and Artist, in being a seamstress, a baker a gardener or a computer programmer, we create, we deliver our expertise whole heartedly with only perfection in mind;: just as we would serve God. Servitude towards my fellow creatures is the most satisfying endeavor I find myself in being; every effort is my prayer to the Lord in the hope that it will ease my doubtful mind.
Being an artist I become more and more aware of how my thinking mind keeps imposing itself into my consciousness with ideas such as how others would admire my ability, or how someday it will be sold at some glamorous auction in Hong Kong and be bought by a tycoon who know shit about art. When this happens I am off the mark, i make errors and what was once a potential winner can become a mess of confused thoughts and feeling trying to express itself while engaged in mental masturbation's. Lately I am beginning to catch myself doing it more easily enough to do some twenty over sketches that would normally toke me forever or never happen as they are tedious some of them. I find sketching without any particular concern for what gives makes the creative process much more fluid and joyful. Just like the Sushi Chef must know his knives so must i understand what charcoal pencil can do when it wants to express itself.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Reminding myself of my Path

Immaturity lies only in total ignorance of self

The question of whether or not there is a God or truth or reality, or whatever you like to call it, can never be answered by books, by priests, philosophers or saviours. Nobody and nothing can answer the question but you yourself and that is why you must know yourself. Immaturity lies only in total ignorance of self. To understand yourself is the beginning of wisdom.
Freedom from the Known,12
Most of us will not venture too far into making it our life effort when it comes to understanding who we really are. We tend to take for granted and often forget to keep reminding ourselves that we are not really who we think we are and we become a thought created entity existing in space and time. We live our lives in a thought and time dominated existence falling victims to pressures and stress due to the unnecessary need to conform to these elements; we live for tomorrow, the future. I am guilty of this ignorance just as most are and often times I would try to steer myself back into the present moment and be in this present state of Being. Be here Now! The teachers of old and new keeps reminding us to not stray from Being in the moment, being in the presence state of mind where nothing and everything takes place, but most of us, my self especially, is easily dissuaded from being in the here and Now. Distractions comes in many forms and the most common of these distractions are the day to day vexations which keeps the mind unnecessarily busy and occupied.
We are most busy when are doing nothing and the mind becomes restless and agitated from lack of activity. Hence even when I am not doing anything in particular I feel tired from thinking what i should be doing. To be totally free from thoughts is a great effort for many, however, having the knowledge and understanding of achieving this is real freedom. The freedom to Be, to Act, to Function with effortlessness can only be achieved through the absence of the thinking mind. We cannot develop a non-thinking mind but it has to happen through total awareness of what it takes to silence the mind. It usually takes a very simple effort like taking a deep breath or looking at nature with bare-attention, or listening to the sounds manifesting all around you without any particular reason or attachment. The mind can be stopped when consciousness takes over the present moment and the state of just Being manifest itself.

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

― Stephen Hawking

To some,'Ignorance is bliss', while to most of us humans ignorance can mean living is darkness while being blind. We would rather accept our lot as dust in the winds of time and space while we are present on the face of this planet- just occupying space, making little or no difference towards the betterment of ourselves and our society or the world at large. And God asked me, what have you accomplished with the lifespan I have endowed you with? and I would answer, if i could, 'My Lord, I have written a lengthy blog in my effort discover who I really am and in the process of doing this I have lived my life such that my blog is made more interesting to read for those who seek knowledge and understanding. I made mistakes and took chances, gambled and squandered, and I have served my fellow man, women and child to the best of my ability whenever I can. As I have been granted the talent of being and artist I have done my best to Be and Artist.
J.Krishnamurti was not advocating the non existence of 'Whatever', to my understanding he was trying to make me see for myself that in order to see the Universe as itself, as a whole i will have to stop my thinking mind, the mind that grasp, cling on to, and the mind that identifies with whatever that it encounters in all shapes and form. The Unknown is not known through what the mind sees but through the absence of mind itself. One, Ahad, that which truly exist is One, when the "you' cease to exist, the Universe Is, God Is....I am, that I am.
One has to remain always at the 'Ground Zero" to appreciate the impact, at the heart of the flames to feel its heat; total consciousness, absolute presence, Being  in the eye of a Hurricane, this is liberation from forms and the 'one step beyond' into awakening  of wisdom. When the state of Satori expresses itself one is not there to enjoy it; One is it. No teacher dealt with the state of mind is so much depth as Krishnamurti who took almost his entire life to be able to utter his one secret to an audience in Switzerland, 'I don't mind what happens." That's it, that was all he uttered what his life's secret was, according to Eckhart Tolle in his book 'A New Earth."  This simple admission of accepting life as it is, ( to my understanding), is liberation itself. The Buddhas of old would have agreed with this simple truth, just as the Muslim scholars would, that in understanding the nature of the mind and the thought dominated our existence we can unclock or unlock our cage of ignorance.
Words! "What is needed is more Lightning in the hand and less thunder in the Mouth," the Old Chief said. It takes some effort and gets easier as soon as you begin the journey of self discovery, it becomes one of your practices in life. Something you can identify with as a point of reference to get back to whenever you find yourself drifting too far away from what is Real; that quality of, Being Human. The truth no matter how great or small lies within you, God wants you to discover from within yourself who He Is; there is no greater meaning to life than Being in the presence of the Lord in every moment of one's life. I Am, That,I Am.

Ink & wash sketches

 What I observe while doing my art is the fact that my mind willstart to wander from my doing with thoughts and ideas about how my works will sell orhow they would be apprecaited by others and such. Soon I find myself straying from what i am doing and often enough ends up in making errors and worse becomes a mess.
Call it the interference of the ego giving itself credit for what is being done even before it is completed. This interference is one of the most unproductive effect the ego can have over my efforts as i loose focus and conentration. Drawing or sketching or doing anyting else for that matter demands totl absorbtion into what one is doing and when this happens, time stood still and the go becomes non existent and thus stands out of the way from the act of creativity.
The ego likes to give itself credit and demands recognition incessently no matter what one is into; it is always this is me, mine and my accomplishments, I am great. The ego hates to be left out or ignored. The act creativity when in total concentration does not include the ego and thus the ego becomes extra active during these moments to create a distraction.
When an art piece is done through spontaneous absorbtion the work will reflect fluidity and grace, it will reflect the inner being of the artist as it is the outcome of this state of no-mind.
A controlled effort is not spontaneous and often it will reflect rigidity and allot of effort where spontaneous act reflect effortlessness, this is when the fun of making an art piece happens.
Spontaneous creativity happens when the mind -eye has captured and fully comprehend what it intends to create and then with no effort at all execute the motions to create. The eyes sees, the subconscious mind digest and creative expression happens with every effortless brush strokes.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I am Dancing with their Children and they dance along...

The melting of cultures and traditions happens along the roadside where cyclists, mostly Chinese, meets the Malay Kampung Boys.
Children loves making music, it adds rythm to their lives and beats the hell out of fiddling with a video game.
There is always pride in performances with a group and it is imperative that children be exposed to being a part of the whole.
My part in the whole dance of life is to give all I can towards promoting creativity among the younger generation. To instill in them the will to create and be creative.
My swingin of the bamboo stick just to pose for the pictures with the head gear of a Malay warior on top of my head.. Yes i did my stick swing sessions years ago and even taught some groups of students in Terengganu how to do it.
The Chinese calls it 'Wu Shu', the malays calls it Gayong kayu or Main kayu. To me it is one of the best form of exerises for alignment of the body.for
The 'Tok Guru" and his assistant playing the 'Kompang", originated from the Middle East, the Kompang is one of the most powerful instrument in terms of drums.
When we stop being curious or we stop dreaming, we stop being children.

What did I do this Weekend?

I have spent two weekends at Balik Pulau where they had a programe called 'Busana Melayu', most of which is the cutktural heritage event in the effort to bring back to life the tradtional Malay Costumes  for men
especially those that were used for ceremonial purposes. The event was the effort dne by MGTF - USM in collaborations with various other groups from saveral different Staes in the country.
 The traditional Malay costume is mad up of primarily the 'Sampen' or the Malay 'Baju' and pants which usually goes together. This is wrapped around the waist by a 'Sarong' usually made from  woven silk called the 'Sampen'. Different states and regions in the malay Archipelago has different designs of these basic costume.
The Malay traditional wear is greatly influenced by the Indonesian and the other countries aurrounding the malay Archipelago called in Malay' The Nusantara, Countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philipines, Thailand, makes up the Nusantara group.
Traditional martial arts called 'Silat' or 'Gayong' is performed wearing these traditional wear to enhance the beauty and gracefulness of the art.
Most Malay men are proud to dorn the traditional wear but fewer and fewer are keen to take the trouble to do it as it involves allot of dos and donts, styles and etiquetes or costume wearing.
The 'Kris' is the weapon of Malay choice when wearing the traditional costume, it caps the whole wear.
I was asked to dorn this headgear or 'Tanjak' that was presented to my friend as a token of recognition by the Indonesian Sultanate. This 'Tanjak is usually worn by aggressive warriors well known for their martial arts exploits in serving their king and country, it came with the brooch that is hanging on the Major's (retired) chest.

 I am the  Art Warrior, Pandlima Seni in this event.
My close friend Izuan who made it all happen one weekend at Balik Pulau, Penang.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My friend Mr. Muthu passed away- May he R.I.P.

Mr, Muthu left the estates somewhere in the Bukit Mertajam area and decided to seek his fortune in the Georgetown, Penang area. He stumbled into the notorious Sungai Pinang, Kampung Selut area where i grew up as a kid. He worked at a construction site where they were building a Waste management Facility which was the first of its kind back when and off course it had to place right smack on the main street and next to the Local club house, the BAFC (Baharol Alam Football Club), our childhood pride and joy where we hung out as we grew older and more wild.Both these buildings still stand there today a testimony to cultural and racial, not to mention religious insensitivity on the part of the MPPP or whoever went about building this 'shit house' in my neighborhood and where Mr. Muthu found his life's calling. He was your average Indian surviver who made it through mud and redicule to live in the area till yesterday.
He was the little Indian gentleman who never failed to have a cheroot (curut) hanging from the corner of his mouth and walks around in his white skirt (dhoti?) and would refuse to wear a shirt in the evenings. His forehead is never without Lord Shiva's cigar ashes, ( I always teased him this and that). I would yell out at him for ringing the bell at the wrong time of the evening when the Malays all around are doing their Maghrid solat., and the sweet smell of Indian incense floating all over the neighborhood what did he think it was, we live in a perfume garden/ But i loved him for it, for every evening when Mr.Muthu tends to his small shrine temple within his courtyard I felt like a piece of history is slowly but surely fading into oblivion; who notices these little episodes anymore when we are too busy making decisions about who is more of a crook the Government or the Opposition.
As I looked down into his casket for my final farewell sharing of consciousness on this plain pf existence i noticed that he had the most restful look on his face, I almost felt like he would crack up the cheeky toothless smile of his wink at me then fall back to sleep. Vanakam! Mr. Muthu, Via con Dios, Go with God and find more stuff to recycle up there, teach them there that they can survive life by recycling alone, the cans and bottles , the card board boxes and the scrap metals you collected kept your family alive and I for one bow to your and am honored to have known you. I know there many who would miss you too around this village.

Friday, June 14, 2013

My 'Sil's -Certificate of Appreciations from USM

Thank God it's Friday, again!? Already? What did the Imam had to say at the Khutbah? Oh, he talked about the storm we had last evening, the storm that knocked UMNO's Telcom Tower down on to Mc Calister Road killing one? sitting in his truck loaded with cooking gas tanks. Missed the Pakistan mosque by saveral feet and created a traffic nightmare not to mention a major headache for the Chief Minister and the MPPP. (The Penang City Council) Strong winds and rain has been hitting the island for several days now and still to continue for the next couple of days. The Imam talked about who is really the Big Boss when it comes to running the show and right now He is not too happy with the way we are treating our environment and forgetting that shit can happen and will happen, not in those terms but close enough. God in the form of mother nature is striking back here and there to bring man out of his unconsciousness, out of his sleep. The floods in Europe and the fires in United States, God is not too happy with the way we are exploiting nature for our own self benefit, craving ever for more when enough is more than enough; Our Greed.
What did my friend Rosli Bakoi at the pondok has to say about the storm?
"Alah, ni semua ujian la, ni sikit saja belum lagi besak macam Tsunami dulu! ", this is small matter, God is testing us, at least it is notr as serious as the Tsunami incidents.
"Depa tebang habih pokok pokok, bukit pun depan kikih, apa mau lagi? Bilat dia angin ujan siap lah!", They cut down trees and even carve out hills what can we expect when it pours wind and rain?
" Tu pon depa ta' sedak!", and they still don't wake up!
Sounds pretty familiar whoever you talk to whether a doctor or a fisher man or a coffee shop cronies, we are screwing up out own habitat, like a cancerous vermin, sure, blame it on the rats! We want to alter the environment to suit our personal as well as nation's needs well and good , we need to but do we have to be so greedy and scourge the earth just to satisfy our egos? Lie, cheat, steal, rob and even kill just to have that little bit more than we already need. One car, not enough, three! One house not enough, three! One wife not enough, four! Then we cannot stand those who look beyond material wealth and live just enough to survive free from any form of vexations, especially the elderly and the destitute; and we aspire to become a compassionate society! Are we aspiring to become a caring society? or are we merely aspiring just for the sake of aspiring. To have the longest, the tallest the stiffest dicks on the planet, because we simply can afford to. When we are buried six feet under the place two tones at each end of our grave to tell who lies there, the most expensive they would erect a mausoleum to house our remains so that others will look in awe; Malaysia has the Twin Towers.
The silver lining behind these catastrophe's happening in Penang is the fact that the Penang State Government will take heed of their thirst for development, keep on building higher, till there is no more room up there. I hope that the people of Penang will like wise awaken from their sleep and start being more aware and in tune with what is wrong with the picture here, what are they doing about it or what can they do to slow down the steamroller of , Greed ; more than need. The drainage system in and around the state is in need of upgrading which includes the river, (Sungai Pinang).  Basic engineering will tell you that if you build on reclaimed land you better have good system of run offs. When water rush to the sea it starts to change the coastline according to its ability to find ways to escape into the sea, coastal erosion is a factor due to lack of proper drainage system especially hazardous during rainy season. Water rushing down from the hills will find less and less Resistance and will seek the shortest way to the sea and what happens when the sea is at high tide when this happens?;Floods! Jalan P.Ramlee, Counter Hall areas suffers. Symbolic of how bad the drainage mangement in Penang is,! There is a relatively large drain across from where I live that has stopped being a drain many years ago and has now become a swimming track for all kinds of filth and bugs. Does the MPPP care about this? I remember writng to the Star at one time about it...but.This stretch of a non- drain stretch from the junct at Sungai Pinang Road at one end to the small river at the junctin of Patani Road and River Road.(For the benefit of locals and the CM reading this nonsense.).
 Just one small example about caring in our society is the fact that this in the long run will create for a better more cleaner and healthier society that may not be so sophisticated as Hong Kong or Singapore, but a better place to live with less people hating each other due to stress and anxiety, due to economic imbalance and lack of compassion towards those who belong here right from the start; the True Penang Born. The State Government owes their loyalty to these people and none others no matter how much money they plan on dumping on to the Island.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Daily reflections

From The Secret Daily Teachings

"There is no past or future for the law of attraction, only the present, so stop referring to your life in the past as very difficult, or full of hardship and pain, or in any other negative way.
Remember that the law only operates in the present, so when you speak of your past life negatively the law is receiving your words and sending those things back to you NOW."

There are many reference points that i have often enough reflected in relationship to my present situations and i do this almost spontaneously and this present quote appeared in my email today as it does everyday from the author of the book "The Secret". As can be seen from yesterday's entry it almost chastised me for my regression from my immediate practice. I have no problem in accepting the fact that the collective spirit talks to me through various of my chosen references such as books and daily personal experiences.
I just deposited 300RM into my daughter's account to make payment for her fees and the money came from my good friend Mamu Non (Kueh0 who last night while we sat chatting had asked how my daughter is doing. I told him my predicament and he offered to loan me the money. That small gesture has eased two minds from the financial pressure that was approaching a deadline crisis. However it still does not remove the fact that i did not have to make these loans had the money coming for me been expedited with less time consuming hurdles. Just before I left my house I sat and talked to a Chinese gentleman about the same age as me, he is a daily customer and he is slightly handicapped with a bad hip deformation making walking a pain just to watch. He seemed down and I asked him why and he told me that his motorcycle broke down and he had no financial means of getting it fixed/ He came to the restaurant to see if he could ask for help from my cousin the restaurant owner,. I watched and I was sick inside as I watch my cousin mad small matter of this man's plight and I doubt the Chinese gentleman got what he needed. It was in times like these that I look at myself and say Alhamdullilah for my needs being met even if it is in the form of a loan. It was in times like these that I wished I had the means to take care of this elderly gentleman who made his living through having the motorcycle to deliver goods. It was not for me to tell my cousin what to do or not but I wish he had listened more consciously to the plight of the man  instead of brushing him off; Sad!
I realize too that i am in the same boat as the Chinese gentleman but I have better means to cope with my issues. This is my lesson in relationship to the Whole and in understanding the laws that governs this lesson like the above 'Law of Attraction." Three days ago i gave my close friend Mamu  Kueh a reproduction of one of my paintings which his daughter saw and liked. That gift was given with no other intention than the fact that Mamu has been a very close friend over the years showing more than concern over my affairs. The law states that the more you give the more you get, basically. Looking at life with close analysis is not a wise way to live unless you make it your practice, just as you would attempt to watch every single thought and feelings you have for every moment of the day, it is not easy but no impossible and through right practice and understanding one might even get to write it all down in the effort to make some sense out of it all. In writing it down it helps for me to see better and moor clearer of the ebb and flow of my life,; how things and events manifest themselves and why. It helps to keep a track on what is reality in my own perception and what is illusion, what is permanent and what is temporal, what is pure baggage and what is pure necessity. It also helps to bring out the best out of the worse, that every piece of action has to offer.

".Only in relationship can you know yourself, not in abstraction and certainly not in isolation. The movement of behavior is the sure guide to yourself. It's the mirror of your consciousness: this mirror will reveal its content, the images, the attachments, the fears, the loneliness, the joys and sorrow. Poverty lies in running away from this, either in its sublimations or its identities."

.Begin where you are. Read every word, every phrase, every paragraph of the mind, as it operates through thought.

Jiddu Krishnamurti to Jawaharlal Nehru when the later came to meet him after World War II


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Happy Father's Day? When is it?

This is the kind of blogging I hate writing as it is not positive and has a little bit of and anger thrown into it, but write I must otherwise to keep to the truth of how i am faring with life's tribulations would not be complete. For the past month and a half i have been waiting for a cheque for five thousand Rinngit for the sales of my art piece to the Penang State Art gallery and it is with the hope that this amount would be able to cover my children's need to cover their school expenses. This morning i called the Gallery and the first call was not answered and then a call to the Curator (the Boss) and i got the same excuses that was given to me by two other staff members the fact that the Dato' 9 the bigger boss) who was to sign the cheques was on vacation and so...
Time and again i am faced with the predicament of timing, I miss my dateline to have the much needed money until it is too late or does not matter anymore whether i got it or not. my daughter is expected to pay here fees by this week, hopefully the end of the week and my son whose lap top was stolen is in need of a computer for his class works and i am penniless at the present moment. Yes i should be stirring the pots for my cousin and his catering business, yes i could become a security guard at some institution and yest i could join the victims that took a leap of having no faith over the Penang Bridge. But all these would be the easy way out and would only cause me more anger and depression at being a failure.
When I took my artworks to the State Art gallery it was because i needed the money so bad and I thought i could sell it cheaply to one of the staff who is aspiring to become an art collector and one of the pieces i was donating to the Gallery in answer to a call made by the CM for donations.. It was this staff member who told me that i should send in my work for the Gallery Ccommittee meeting at which they are planning on buying some artworks with the money given by the State Govt. I was pleasantly surprised.  So I sent my work in for a possible sale and I was told that the committee wanted to see some other better works of mine and i complied by sending them ten pieces of a series done of my brother who spent some time in hospital and i was there to care for him and while doing this i sketched what i saw. They accepted these and so the waiting began.
So far the blame has been laid on the Dato' who has not signed the cheques but this was not true as each staff i talked to has told me a different story. I don't mind what happens and if it had not been for my children I would not give a damn about how they run their offices, their sense of integrity yada! yada!. But the institution that my daughter has to deal with is not as forgiving where time lines are concerned, they want their money and they want it now! My daughter needs to live on some and she needs it now! So a friend here loaned me RM60 and I sent here RM40 just to tie her over while i wait. Off course i could got to a loan shark(Along- as they are famously called here), and make a fast loan with interest that would kill me, but that too would really piss me off than than I really am.
I have rich brothers and nephews and nieces all over the country from whom i could ask for help and i did, no replies, can't get my phone number, all the lame excuses one can come up with and the worse off course is "Padan muka!", or serves him right. So I gave up looking for help from my kith and kin it has become too degrading and painful, perhaps still, good for my ego. Excuses! Excuses!, justifications which absolutely does not convince even to myself anymore. The irony is that here is a man who just received letters of Appreciation for having donated RM93000 worth of his artworks to the University Gallery and Museum. What a laugh! What a life!
The final solution is again i have to bow before my brother the Chinese lawyer and ask him for his help of which I am sick of doing and I am sure he too is no more thrilled at. We had made a gentleman's agreement that i keep painting and giving it to him and he pays me when I needed it most. he has been a gentleman about it all these while including giving me one thousand to got to KL for my nephew's wedding, had he not it would not have been a happy occasion for me; not going then would have been an even worse drama situation with the family, but no a single person in my family or relatives asked if i could afford the trip, just ask out of compassion if nothing else. Lord!, I am so fortunate to have joined the human race.
There, I got it off my chest! even if , I dont mind what happens (for myself).

Happy Father's Day Bahari!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Georgetown Retro- B&W Pics of 1964.

Georgetown is now a hive for carpet beggars who sees only opportunities for investments and the possibility of creating a home for those who are not too happy with their orriginal homes; penang is becoming a second home to foreigners who has money to splurge at the expense of the locals.
The original Penangites, those who etched the street corners with their hard work and the will to survive are  gradually being displaced by the impossible cost of ths standard of lving here. Most of these including many locals from the various malay kampungs are being squeezed out of the state to migrate to the mainland and that if they can afford to.. 

There are those who through their own ingenuity and business savy managed to sell the island's heritage and culture by importing foreign entertainers and artists as thought the Island itself lacks its own; at what cost and whose expense?

The Penang that i grew up in may not be as sophisticated as it is cracked up to be today but it was much more genuine in care and comfort for  everyone of its mixed cultural groups. Today one can feel the negative energy vibrating even among those who are able to sit back and accept their fate. Today Penang is slowly being converted into another Hong Kong or Singapore and the poor is marginalised not only physically but mentally as well as spiritually.

The shanty like roadside attractions of old may not last too much longer as past of the 'New Penang', but the epople who had survived them are still struggling to stay in the loop of the invading carpet beggars and opportunists who for the most part are selling the Island piece by piece from under the locals feet.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Georgetown Retro - water color -ink wash. -1964

The following water color and ink wash sketches were done from black and white pictures taken in 1964 of various street corners and roadside stalls in the area of Georgetown, Penang.
It is beginning to feel good doing these sketches as i get more and more into it.
This was the Penang i grew up wiht, it was not any better than it is today but sure as hell a whole cheaper and much more friendly.

Most people travel by busses to get around Georgetown and bus stops can be anywhere wherever there is a lamp post with a colored paint on it to signify the bus route.

Both these shops are still operating but much up graded from their past.

My sketching technique or style varies mostly depending on my mood and the tool I was using.

This scene of the Jelutong road was  taken in 1964, like the rest of these pictures, I was in secondary school thenand in 1964 I was studying at the Sek. Mengh. Sulatan Sulaiman, in Kuala Terengganu.