Saturday, September 28, 2013

ALAM GHAIB - The Supernatural Landscape.

                                                    ALAM GHAIB - The Supernatural Realm

I have entered this painting the size of an a 8 by 4 feet plywood board for the Pertadingan Seni Lukis Terbuka Pulau Pinang 2013. The painting is now the property of the museum as I had donated it to them. I had priced the painting at 150000RM while it is being exhibited for the competition as stipulated in the clause with regard to entry, that the painting is up for sale. if sold the amount sold for will go directly to MGTF. I hope that being as such there will not be too many objections raised as to whether the painting qualifies for the competition. If it does then I will have scrap the idea and the painting will return to MGTF to sit on the floor way in the back room where no too many will ever get  chance to view it. Inadvertently it will also makes me think four times in the future about donating my works.
Live and learn as I always say to myself, if you want to make the world shake you have to dance if you are dead on the spot the world will dance around you. All those involve in this scenario I have just instigated will stand to benefit from lessons learned with regard to getting jobs done in a more professional manner and not lay back and let someone else take the initiative and then stepping in to bury the ideas because one in not made aware of 'officially'.
This is the case that is starting to manifest as i am writing this entry. I had my intuition that ti will and there is a part of me that like to take a poke at the tar baby causing a chain reaction that is in the hope that it will stir some energy among the staff members here to think and act like professionals instead of buried in their computers updating their Face Book. My work may not make the show but at least it has done something worthwhile to help reinvigorate the lack of energy and enthusiasm at MGTF; I owe it this much. I also owe it to the Penang State Art gallery to be involve with their undertaking with one of my most recent and best work no less. I do not have to do any of these is the final say and save myself the agony of 'details', dramas and simple bullheaded lack of interest vexations haunt me till it is all over. By skillful means anything can be accomplished and aims and goals fully realized, but through ignorance and self serving lack of passion or interest even the simplest idea is doom to failure.
Acceptance means taking things as according to the law,rules and instructions as demanded by the authority that be and with good understanding one can deduce what can and cannot be challenged; this I accept. These rules and regulations were created with the consent of the majority to serve the masses collectively and this is to be duel observed; I accept this too. Any deviation from the norm is subject to the be scrutinized thoroughly by all parties involved and a verdict is agreed upon such that there will be no future misunderstanding with regard to standards of agreement; it means all parties involved must do their jobs skillfully; I have done all I can to produce a work which by right should receive similar amount of energy for from those who are responsible to make judgement over its eligibility in entering the Penang Annual Art Competition.
I am here (MGTF) on a Saturday afternoon trying to fulfill the same requirement fot entering my 100 feet long painting as my second option in the competition, my back up in case the 'Alam Ghaib is being rejected or I have to withdraw it from the show for some technicality...will see how far I get, the deadline is on Monday, two days. The question that is nagging at the back of my mind is, Why do I do it? Why do I take upon myself so much work that involves a whole lot of energy from Spiritual to the physical manifestation level, my works are a part of my spiritual, mental and physical journey. Yes I am tripping as my friends in the States would call it, I am tripping on my life into the future, justifying, making belief, trying to understand, compromising, making decisions I often regret, feeling lost and lonely whenever I think of God; these are what I express in my works. There is always a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde in all of us and mine I do not even dare to imagine if I allow my ego to dominate my higher self. I am fully aware for myself that as the Old Boy,(Lao tzu once is said to have said, "he who justifies does not convince, no even to himself," I am human and am still attached to these forms and images of good and bad, beauty and ugly...I still posses the dual thinking mind. I am trapped like the rest of us except for the few who have been able to liberate themselves from such attachments, in this circle of life that is going awry by the day.
Now where in the world is so many laws being proposed and propagated than in this country. Laws and amendments are made at the drop of a hat, this is sad because only a kingdom full of criminals deserves so much laws to govern. Malaysia is one of the most well educated nation compared to the rest of her neighbouring countries, this is why we have the problem of 'brain drain'. Most of our intelligent minds migrated not simply they find this country too oppressive towards the growth and well being but they also left because like me it was a necessity, a desire to transcend and change myself, a relocation that can transform who I was, to put myself in an alien land and see what I was capable of doing to survive; 21 years of living in the US was not all fun times or peachy for me; I came one doorstep away from being a homeless in the Streets of San Francisco. I ended up sleeping under a kitchen table through a very dear friend's compassion, this happened on the corner of Haight and Ashbury where 'GAP' store used to be and the AARDVAARK Store sits across the street. Yes I have tasted defeat many times and rebounded to continue the game, climb the next hill and enter a new valley; living to tell my story to the world.
My art is expressions of who I am albeit a small sketch on a napkin paper or done elaborate on a 100 feet long piece of paper, done through my over 60 odd sketchbooks or the hundreds of pictures I have taken in the course of my life and travels. It always been in my mind that I am an artist, sketching, printmaking, painting, these are what I enjoy doing and through these i express myself. later when I found that I can expres my journey in words through Blogging I started writing my Ramblings of the Cheeseburger Buddha. It too became a part of my justification process of my successes and failures as an artist. I discover who I am in the course of gradually becoming more and more involved in doing my works, sharing my thoughts and prejudices, my intuitions and discoveries as I move along; I analyze my life every breath I. move I make and every form it takes.
In one of his utterances, Mahama Ghandi said, "Life is and Experiment, I experiment with my life." I held on to this idea from the moment I read this quote, it made sense to me for what can be more meaningful in life than to discover who or what you are. All the teachings of the great religions were geared towards this journey that one takes towards self discovery, one becomes the observe, the scientist, the artist,..the fisherman or fisher of men. The World is You as Jedu Krishnamurti brought me to understand and you cannot change the world without changing your self. To change one has to understand what is it that needs to change, our mind? mental states/, our spirit or soul? What is Change? Can change happen spontaneously, overnight, or over a period of time? All these questions, aimed at the understanding of the nature of mind and change is being studied and expounded by every great religious teachers, such as the Buddhas, the yogis, the Rishis, Roshis, the tribal medicine man and the Walis or saints (of Allah) throughout human history. Their thoughts and ideas are the guides that I have tried to study and employ as my text in life.
Why do I do It? Why spend so much time and energy in pursuing a course of study that gives my no financial benefit to say the least. Why spend money driving back and forth to this space to write this down? 'Every need has an ego to feed'" Bob Marley sang in one of his songs. What is my need in this commitment towards life, living like I do in the manner that I chose being and artist, and a writer, a spiritual explorer and living hand to mouth like a beggar? My favourite symbol in life is the Alms Bowl that the Buddhist monks carry with them every morning from door to door begging for food. Here the giver and receiver, the act of giving and receiving becomes spiritual. God's greatest gift to man is the beggar at his gate, I heard this said somewhere; I am that beggar, I am that giver.
I might end up having written the longest Blog in Google and that too is okay, the ego needs credit to every effort made, I might become attached to Blogging like I am to smoking cigarette, well, that too is okay, I might find it hard to keep on writing since I am running out of enthusiasm and energy physically and mentally, this too will pass. J.Krishnamurti told his audience in Switzerland that his greatest secret was, "I do not mind what happens."     

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why I feel Melacholy every so often.

                                                       After seven decades of intense living.
When I look back as i always do of how time has flown pass by me and the myriads of moments and spaces I have experienced, the happier and trouble times of my life i cannot help but feel a sense of melancholy deep within me. What have i accomplished, what difference have I made for the better in the lives of others. Sometimes I even get the feeling of being choked up with emotions for no apparent reason as though some repressed issue from the past is just below the surface of my consciousness demanding some form of conciliation. In this blogging I am leaving behind my legacy, my story, my life, imperfect as it is, in it I am also untangling the tangles I have caused in the event of my past experiences. In doing this I may not solve the issues as what is done is done in most cases and cannot be undone, however, I believe in making the effort to fully comprehend what had transpired, what went wrong or what had caused these events albeit positive or negative, I feel a little sense of being relieved, enlightened and sometimes free from the guilt that often comes with the past as Eckhart Tolle termed the 'pain bodies.' Deep rooted Karma, ancient and twisted from time beginningless, I have to sit and gather all my energy in order to set my mind to observe and understand what it is and how far or deep is the cause of my chronic illnesses in all its shapes and forms. Just as I sit and observe the courses of pains occurring in my physical body like the pain in the center of my chest or the nasty migraine that every now and then threatens to split my skull or the minor spasms the runs the length of my arm and the numbness in my left shoulder, I find it possible to make these go away simply by focusing my attention on them through breathing, so i find it easier now than ever to sieve through and heal my heartaches.
As i work more and more on myself I find that most of my vexations, my agitations my sense of being sad ans melancholy originates from my interface with the external, with others. The suffering of others causes me heartaches and pains, their sorrows causes me my sleepless nights, ignoring them is something I find hard to do unless I am drunk or stone to the bone, where my mind is totally dull with euphoric numbness and this is only while it lasts. Under normal circumstances I would be carrying my load every minute of the day making me feel like I am about to sink into the ground I walk on and my shoulders haunched over like a hunchback carrying a load of firewood. Unburdening myself is what i have tried to accomplish, letting go of my baggage, casting off my excesses, cleaning up my closets, emptying my crowded mind...just letting go... but this is never easy, I need the stick on my back or the kick in my ass to wake up from this sleep walking in the world of illusions, Maya. Wake up before I fall asleep for good in ignorance wondering why was i alive in the first place?
" Beings are numberless, I vow to awaken with them,"
The first of the Bodhisattva vows I once took while doing my Mahayana Buddhist Practice and every so often this vow would come to mind and it helps me somewhat to be able to accept the suffering of this world and what my role in it is to be. It helps to make me understand the part of me that sometimes experience the choked up feeling when I meditate in the middle of the night. I fully accept that I cannot change the state of human suffering but i have been told time and again that i can only change myself to accommodate and thus indirectly help to ease the human condition. By acceptance I am able to to deal with my perceptions of the chaos and turmoils that is threatening to engulf humanity in general. I am humanity, I am the suffering and my ignorance is the cause of this suffering. If i can change my perceptions, my consciousness, toward fully understanding this nature of suffering I can help in some small way to bring peace and tranquility into my world. However if I am trapped myself in this world of illusion, then the world is too.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Captain, my Captain!

My son is now officially a Captain with Emirates Airlines so, as any father would be i am very proud of his achievement in his career and if do not mention this in my blog it would not do him justice. I am blessed with having a son who even though has been called the 'Mixed up kid" by his late grandma in Green Bay Wisconsin, has now grown into a full fledged man married to a lovely English lady and is living life in Dubai. He still gets bashed around as a Ice Hockey Goal Keeper and every now and then still throws wild parties for his friends, however he is now settling down to being a good husband and hopefully make me a grandpa. He calls me 'Dork' every now and then and I call him 'Peckerhead' in jest but we feel for each other like father and son even though he grew up missing me most of the time being raised by his mother in Germany after my divorce. Through it all he has grown up into a tough cookie, worthy of being called a captain and...I get to fly first class wherever i go on Emirates, being a father to Captain has its pprivileges.
My son was born in Malaysia at the Asunta Hospital in Petaling Jaya and I was in Penang when he was born and did not get to see him until I arrived from Penang at about ten in the night. One the morning he was born I was working at the office of Hagemeyer Trading Company in Geogetown, Penang while his mother pregnant with him was working in Shah Alam where she was a lecturer at MARA College teaching Business Administration. From the moment I received a phone call from I presume a nurse at the maternity ward informing me that i had a son, it took me the whole day into the night to find my way to the hospital in Petaling Jaya, this was in 1974. It ws the longest day of my life as i discovered that on the same day it was the Chinese Day of Feast for the Dead and all the public transportation were fully booked, not a plane seat or a bus, no train or taxis until I managed to get a taxi which took me half the way to the town of Ipoh in Perak.
I still remember standing by the roadside underneath the street lamp in the drizzling rain with warm tears flowing down my cheeks, beside me were two large suitcases full of baby stuff which my wife had gotten together for the event. As I stood there wondering what to do along came a car, i think it was a Datsun driven by an Indian who asked me where i was headed for and after telling him my plight he told me to hop in and ride with him as he was on the way to KL too. As i sat beside him and to my relief at this God sent angel of mercy, he told me of one stipulation hes has for and that was I had to listen to the cassette tape he plays while driving. It was a 'Puja' or prayer chant to Lord Ganesha, the Elephant headed Deity, saviour od the wayfarers and children, like saint Christopher. At that time i did not realize all these but was willing to listen to the Grateful Dead if i had to for that matter just sol long as i could get to see my wife and child; I was scared in all ways of what might have happened.
My wife was miling her sweetest smile when she saw me enter her room and tears poured freely from her as i hugged her but my son was in the nursery. Fortunately a sympathetic nurse came by and led me to the nursery where she allowed me to enter and hold my son for the first time; I felt the awesomeness of being a father. Four days later with the help of one of my former secondary school math teacher, Mr. Ong Them Loon, I flew the three of us flew back to Penang where we resided at my Auntie's house, the Auntie that had just passed away a couple of weeks ago which I attended in Rawang, Selangor. Four months later we were flying out of Malaysia to Green Bay, Wisconsin. My son was never short of love while he was a child as practically everyone adored him for his serene and quiet demeanour, rarely did he ever complain or raise a ruckus like children do. However even as a child I knew he had a mind of his own and was destined for greater things in life.
After our divorce my wife took my son with her to Germany where whe had a teaching job with the American Military base in Mannheim. I did not see my son for a few years except when his mother brought him back to visit Grandma and me. I made all effort ot meet him wherever I was whenever he was back in the States even when I was living in the Aleutian Ilse, Alaska and later in San Francisco, California. Each of these I made in the effort to see my son is a story in itself, as i had to fly on three flights to get ot Green Bay from Alaska and how I had to Hitch hiked form SF to Green Bay with 67 dollars in my pocket, it took me three days to get to his grandma's house in green Bay. But it was worth all the trials and tribulations I had face getting there and hes was more than surprised to see me as I am sure his mother must have told him to not have high hopes of me being there. Although enstranged, lving apart did not affect our close ties between father and son and thanks to my wife who made every effort to make sure we kept in touch throughout his life. Ironically it made fo a stronger bond between us as a family as my son was able to be and experience more than an average child would; he flew by himself to San francisco when he was 10 or eleven years of age and seemed cool about it when I picked him up at the airport in San Jose, Califonia. I remember him breaking away from the airline stewardess assigned to keep an eye on him and rushed up to me with the same excited look in his face whenever we met  and the Stewardess came up to me and said, "I guesse he is yours!". I jokingly looked over her shoulder and asked. "Is there anymore back there, I don't know about this one!" My son shouted, "Dad!"
It was one of the best visit I had with him. It was during this visit that he had his first helicopter flight over the Golden Gate Bridge where he sat by the pilot in the front seat. Upon his return he did a sketch of the whole Golden Gate and Marin Coastal area bird's eye view showing places like Green Gulch Farm in the distant Muir Beach area and Sausalito.
Later in his life my son did his college studies at the San Jose State University and was living some sixty miles from me in San Francisco and by then he had two more siblings from my late wife Nancy. He came to visit us every weekend and would lavish his younger brother and sister with all kinds of toys and lugged his younger brother all over san Francisco. I would attend his Ice Hockey games and at one time was treated to a San Jose Shark's game where I almost fell asleep and he lost his wallet. I was lving in Sendai Japan by then and had returned to pay him a visit and check out out his lving condition in college; he was living allot better than I was as far as comfort went, thanks to his mom. When he graduated from High School in Berlin Germany, i made a trip there to attend his graduation ceremony where among other things he was to relinquish his position as Battalion Commander for the ROTC or R.O.T.C. is the Reserve Officer Training Corps. Its an officer commisioning program for college students. I watched him as he handed the battalion flag to his successor with a father's pride. yes i told myself this 'Peckerhead' is destined to lead. I stayed with him for ten days while his mother left for Hawaii with her husband. I got a small piece of the Berlin Wall before it was torn down thanks to my son and his buddy for chipping the Wall under the cover of darkness! While I was visiting him he drove me to Lipzig in his mom's Mercedes and had me clinging to my seat on the German Autobahn at breakneck speed and there was a Bulldog slobbering all over the back seat as though it was a lazy Sunday afternoon drive to the Chuech while there I was hanging on to my dear life in the hands of a newly liscenced to drive kid driving his mom's mercedes on a German Autobahn!
I can keep reflecting all the episodes that had forged our relationship over the years and still my son has not ceased to amaze me in his out of the ordinary antics. I know he has a warm heart and most of his friends would testify to this and his one weakness, like his Dad is women! I hope that by being married now all that too is being put to and end and that he will further rise above the ordinary and make of himself someone worthy of being the Captain of the Soul, (Not 'Soul Plane' Captain!) In his hands will be the fate of hundreds of passengers and may God watch over every flight he makes that he takes off and return safely to the ground and that as i always reminded him never to forget the ground he walks on when his head is in the clouds! I love and am proud of of you Nazri Bahari.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Waste Not-Want Not

You are already dead before the battle.
Yesterday I attended two weddings, one in the Kampung where i lie and the other at G-Hotel in the porch area of Gurney Drive. One was for the wedding of a childhood friend's son while the other was for the Son of my twin brother's in law a Chinese doctor married to a Malay. At one wedding it was an outdoor affair underneath three tents in the scorching midday sun while the other was held in a banquet hall of a five star hotel completely air conditioned. Sadly enough for me the food was the same for both venues as i have become lless interested eating, my appetite for food has become overloaded from eating so much varieties of food from day one till today that it will have to be one hell of an extraordinary culinary creation that will get me to raise my eyebrows whenever i eat these days. I would rather prefer to munch on peanuts and sunflower seeds or some crunchy fruits like the Jambu or guava or mangostine, my favorite fruit. I avoid chicken as much as possible and only eat beef occasionally in the form of a Tahi style soup with losts of ginger and black pepper- raises the blood tmperature.
The amount of left over food food at these events is phenomenal and i get a first hand observation of this as my home is also one of the major catering business in the state. Sometimes leftovers can be to the amount that can feed an entire community and most of it especially rice finds its way into the garbage bin and if fortunate enough will later be collected by the Pig Farmer who comes by late at night to sort out and take away what the pigs can eat. But this does not happen if the dump truck gets to it first. It is a sin how we waste especially food where all the ingredients and preparation and distribution from A-Z cost money and manpower. There is hardly or no recycl;ing programme of any kind in this state where food is concern and turning waste biodegradable products into compost or some other use is practically unheard of. I have been making it my effort to distribute leftovers from the catering business to the neighbors every chance i got as I hate to see pots of chicken curry being dump or fifty or sixty kilos of nasi minyak being left by the dumpster. But there is only so much that one can do to combat food wastage and as always the case, it is only when shit hits the fence as in the form of scarcity like during the Japanese occupation that people will wake up to realized what waste is.
If one can figure out as i did what goes into the preparation of a pot (large pot) of chicken curry (Ayam masak Merah) or beef curry ( Dagign Kurma), one can appreciate how much we waste by over doing it. The spices used in itself is phenomenal starting with the amount of cooking oil, then the various spices which in themselves are expensive and as it is becoming more and more hard to get as the world glut for these items are ever on the increase. Turmeric, Annis, Paprika, Nutmeg, to name a few ingredients that is thrown into the boiling oil, then comes the various other ready mixed spices, the Beef curry mis or the Chicken curry mix,followed by the cans of tomato soup and milk and coconut milk and the list goes on and on till the taste is acquired and the amount is enough to feed half a battalion of foot soldiers. It is always in the catering business to make more and avoid not having enough food to go around at the event.whatever the occasion may be. I have seen trays of food being returned untouched for one reason or another.
Will we ever be able to stop this form of wastage in the future? Perhaps, if each and everyone of us can take what is really enough for the stomach and not cater to what the eyes sees and wants. Attending two weddings in one day is a good place to start to learn how to budget our intake and in Malaysia sometimes on a weekend one is invited to four or five weddings on a weekend and every wedding has to outdo the other in terms of food. Makan Kenduri or Feasting is a norm at every occasion such as weddings and open houses during the annual Ethnic celebrations such as Hari Raya and Chinese New Year or Deepavali is a norm in Malaysia, but on the other hand rising in food cost is also a big issue that all of us worry about day to day. Imported food related items is ever on the increase in this country as most arable land is devoted to fuel related items such as the oil palm industry and rubber being the major crops covering thousands of acres of land in Malaysia compared to food related crops. We import beef, chicken, and even fish from neighboring countries when in actuality these items could be found readily available here if the demand of these items were not so huge especially in times of festivities. Being frugal and not over expanding our guests list to such events can help towards curbing wastage whether we have a wedding in a small village or at a five star hotel. Those who attend these events too should be more conscious of how much they can consume and not leave a plate half full of leftovers when we leave the table. Gluttony is not a healthy habit even if there is plenty to eat.    

Friday, September 20, 2013

Regurgitating my past...Comtemplating my Future.

                                               I Love  Japanese Art and Culture. Had lunch at Taman Saadon where my cousin Cik Nab and her husband Cik On (own) has a Masakn Melayu roadside stall and met an old friend from Sungai Pinang whose family was like my own whose younger brother who died at the age of twelve was my closest friend. I visited his mother twice during this years' month month of Ramadan still living but she would hug and kiss me calling me her precious cause i reminded her of her lost son. A little off the track for those who are not familiar with my personal life story of which I occasionally turn away from the the main highway and revisit some old haunts at the back of my mind...stashed away for moments like these.
Also present was his son and one of my nephews who i just learned I have to my pleasant surprise, he is married to my last remaining uncle, Paul Baba also nkown as Ba Selong (Ceylon Ba!) among his friends as he was adopted by my grand father who was Sinhalese Ceylonese. but is known as Ma' Ba to every one or To'Ba to the younger generations; his is a tough act to follow. We talked allot about my late Auntie Ma'Timah Bidan who incidentally delivered both this father and son into the world and they told me they have a video of the father's wedding and in it is my auntie the most busy in the video. The father related to me how my auntie would keep attending to her after birth care with herbal medicinal and massage therapy to help the recover from child delivery...minyak angin ( massage oil) Ma'Timah was a very well sought after remedy that had become a common house words and it was a cure for all from a stomach ache to sprains and twists; most of her services were pro bono, Ex gratis, Free of charge.
Her house was like a social welfare home where anyone and everyone needing a home could use it in transit till they move on, my friend went on telling his son, for this she was not popular with her immediate family, as it was hard on their lives living among so many some of whom she even adopted for good. 'Anak anggkat Ma'Cak ...adopted child of the oldest auntie as they were fondly known.
I write this to remind me or anyone who would edit my blog into a cohesive piece of Rambling can expand more on the subject of my most beloved and feared auntie...Ma Timah Bidan, the Midwife from Sungai Pinang, Kampung Selut. It will also help them to ascertain the source of information's. There i sat having lunch whose mother was delivered by the same midwife who delivered him and his present son! The son is presently a contractor by profession, from what I gather during their conversations. My late auntie had left and indelible mark of her presence during her time in the village and around the Island of Penang.
As i was weaned by her from birth my auntie is also by Muslim belief to be my blood mother and thus sometimes i believe what kept me from going overboard with my life like ending up a drunk or a drug addict, and instead pursuing the course of self discovery towards keeping on the 'right track'i nhtis life is due to her genetical,influence in my blood. In short my acts of caring and love, understanding and sympathy's are all due to having her milk flow into me as an infant being adopted away from my mother who kept my twin brother who was older than me by half an hour.
Such Is...Life!
As I might have said fifty times in the course of my blogging, it is for my children if and they so incline to read, that they will discover bits and pieces of who they are or where their 'roots' grow forth from. my soil runs deep in terms of lineange and genetical combinations of the human DNA and theirs is even further up the line what with their Caucasian mothers' blood lines. My first was of German ancestery and my second was of Swiss, my third was of German/English? She was an adopted child who never knew who her real mother was and had psent a good part of her life while with me looking for her. So my children will have to become conscious as much as possible of their past heritage in bloodlines and genetical spiral. If nothing else it makes for less boring things to do.
Afterall and this too shall pass...for so long as my mind can look back and reflect upon theevents of my past why not enjoy it as there will come a time in the not to distant future that my mind might slip out and refuse to look back or foreward anymore. I could be reading a good novel while letting the Universae pass me by or i could sit here and reach out to the rest of the world with my tedious ramblings. It really matters not which I chose to do but whether while my time away buried in a novel or tell my story in my blog, what matters is that am here breathing and doing what i love to do...ramble.

As a Buddha's disciple, he ought to nurture a mind of compassion and filial piety, always devising expedient means to rescue and protect all beings. If instead, he fails to restrain himself and kills sentient beings without mercy, he commits a Parajika (major) offense.
                                                                                  The Brahma Net Sutra

The First Commandment; Thou Shalt Not Kill.
                                                                 God. through Moses.
All religions ask the same of man, the he obeys s certain code of conduct for his own survival as a specie and it dates way back to the 'Law of Manu' in India, it was said to be the first covenant between God and man...where the Lord had laid down the precepts... for what it is to attain towards being Al Insan Kamil, The Perfect Being, The Awakened being; not the guy half the time in limbo zone or the twilight zone drifting through life in a bubble of ignorance. Don't take life, be loving to your parents, how hard can that be to understand?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Meditation in Action
It does not get any easier as one gets further down the road of life especially when it comes to having the energy to perform something physical or strenuous. The whole body seems to rebel cursing and swearing in the forms of aches and pains from the moment I get out of bed till I am fully aligned through my breathing exercises and stretches.It helps to get all those blogged areas free from energy blockage and i often feel relieved from all the minor aches and pains due to poor condition of sleeping on old mattress with spring about to pierce your back at any given moment in your sleep. The past few days of sleeping irregularly on living room floors and sofa cushions has caught up with me and my back is crying out murder.
The mind too is busy attaching itself to each and every episode that has been experienced while navigating the courses of events of the last  few days in KL. It is the nature of the mind to contemplate every event in the effort to make sense out of all that has transpired, adding and subtracting, judging and formulating what should or could have been or what aught to be. It takes some time to detach from all these events and episodes such that they are dispersed into the non essentials of life. To attain to a clear head again will tkae time and more sitting to strengthen the act of 'Bare Attention'. Hence my one refuge is to continue my work on the 100 feet long painting as you see above (pic).
 The well being of Body and Mind is crucial for a healthy development Clear Intuition and not to mention the act of Ccreativity especially for an artist. Long hours of sitting ang sketching or painting demands for good discipline in being able to remain in the Here and Now. Mind and body has to be synchronized to work together without external or inner pollutions and this can be attained only through Right Mindfulness. Hence to attain to Righ Mindfulness the mind and body has to be quiet as though they are not even there and the action itself of painting or wwriting comes into being. For most people it is most difficult to start on a project, to get both body and mind to become subservient to what needed to be done, the preparation, the setting up, the establishing of the time and space for the action to happen without any interruption or distraction. Herein the reflection upon the teachings of Raja Yoga or King of Yoga practice comes into mind that:
"I am the master of my thoughts and consciousness,
I am the Master of my Body Speach and Mind,
I am the master of my circumstance and environment...and so forth.
If for no other reasons these are reminders for me to bring my body and mind back into the path of Practice. If I am not the master of my thoughts and consciousness, who is? Who dictates what or how I think or act, it may have used to be my teachers and those who knew me better but at my age i need to learn to step over and beyond these crutches. I have to be the master and not the other way round. To be the master of my own destiny i have to learn be to master of every aspect of who I am on a daily, moment to moment basis I have to become fully aware of my ups and downs, my moods and agitations, my external corrupted influences that is dragging my mind into more and more accumulations of negative impulses and consciousness, I will have to maintain a healthy distance from being sucked into the votes of the mundane life and return to my Right Path. it is no big thing but simply waking up from getting too wrapped up in too much thinking.
Real great works are done effortlessly or so it seems as is evident in the Chinese and JJapanese Cculture and the Arts, their works seem to manifest from within spontaneously like it was there all the time and only needed the right time and circumstances to manifest into a work of art. They capture the essence of what is rather than the exact form as it is seen by the untrained eyes. A few simple basic line placed in the right places with the right tones and tensions will become a majestic mountainous scene, with rivers and shrines. A scene so majestic that an average mind on contemplating the work will find itself walking through the thick forest, up the slopes and into the ravines, ride the wooded boats and enter the ancient shrine to drink tea with the master far off into the mountain side; 'clouds hidden whereabouts unknown.'

                       A Landscape by Miyamoto MusashiMiyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵?, c. 1584 – June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku,[1] was a Japanese swordsman and rōnin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age. He was the founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings (五輪の書, Go Rin No Sho?), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.

Better known for his Art of Swordsmanship, Musashi was one of the most sensitive and dexterous in the art of Sumi-e in the history of Japanese Art and Culture; He had understood the practice of Right Minfulnessand and Detachment. The transitory nature of existence is depicted in every aspect ofhis ventures albeit in battle or art. He found the truth in good balance between life and death, Light and dark and his contribution to the Japanese Art and Cultural History is on par with Katsushika Hokusai or Utamaro if not more so for he put his practice to the test at the edge of the Samurai blade.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My final Farewell to Ma'Cik Noni

After the funeral the same evening I was at my cousin Zakaria's home attending an engagement ceremony for his daughter. The theme for the occasion was to be Arabian Night...everyone in the 'Jubah' the men and the ladies and there was even a shisha set up in the driveway. My cousin outdid himself again as is his nature, not to show off but to share wealth in all its forms together with his family, relatives and friends, To be able to do what he did is no small feat not to mention the cost. Kudos for my cousin someone who has always been there for me financially as well as spiritually.
It was a beautiful evening except that the main fuse caught fire and there was a total blackout and it had to happen just when the guests arrived and everyone was taking their stations, the negotiators, the parents, the big guns in the community of friends, just like an Arab gathering. This ironically made it more 'Romatic ' as the ritual went on despite the circuit breaker burning fro an overload. It was a ceremony by candle lights as the Arab doctor ordered! This was the comment made by the bride to be while she was sitting on the dais entertaining picture taking.
Such Is, life goes on with or without you, you r bury one and celebrate the other ALL ON THE SAME DAY. Spending the rest of the sleeping on the carpet in the living room was welcome but a painful break. Sleeping on sofa cushions is getting to be a habit and it causes more pain than rest for my bones especially the neck and the lower back. But... it is a whole lot better than laying on your back day in day out in the hospital staring emptily at the TV or reading over and over the daily News. The next morning I found myself in Senawang, Negeri Sembilan visiting my one of my cousin's elder brother.
Abang Hasan as everyone calls him was at one time a school teacher and taught at Penang Chinese Girls School way back when. Then became a translator for a local shoe company and has ever sine been its employee, his Chinese employer thought highly of his services that his salary is still current even after his retirement and the company is paying for his medical bills. He told all these after I asked him what his first employment was, I asked because looking up from the news paper i was reading I noticed the pain and boredom in his face as he struggled to grab the water from the bedside table. He needed to be distracted from his condition even if just for a moment, I reached out to bring his consciousness back into the Now away from the compressed and congested feeling often leading despair. The reason I am telling this is also because of the comment he went on to make as soon as others came into the room, 'I am being interviewed, ' It is the manner in which that It is said that makes me feel the same feeling whenever I meet this man: condescending. I was almost pushed to say out loud that No, Sir it was just to see if you have become senile yet, your memory is fine still, sir. If your memory is still ok your mind is ok except it has given hope and the desire to survive, so the option is to lay back and enjoy the quiet and the rest with "Amalan" , Practice. if you need a sidetrack check out the nurses every now and then just to raise your blood pressure and get that heart pumping a little bit faster. This was what i wanted to reply but I chose to be the naive interviewer. Such Is!
All in all my trip to KL was an enlightening experience in more than one way. It was a blessing to be able to be with my relatives especially my cousins who had just lost their mother. I can only say to them to accept and move on. Make her proud!
Tawakal kepada Allah, dalam hidup cari keberkatan dan keradhaan Allah, dan jagan lupa bersyukur kepada Allah!  Al Fatihah!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What is Zen -Jamie Yahaya asked.

Zen Is not the Japanese word for Chan which not the Chinese word for Dyana or the Sanskrit word that does not actually mean a Meditative State of Mind...Zen is not getting lost in Kl especially at night Jamie! So pay attention to your driving and get us there in one piece!
"So you wrote about this Bare Attention, please explain... alamak!~ I think I should have taken that exit..."
Great! and what is this about Bare attention? Bare attention is like seeing nice piece passing by and Not having you jaw dropped and tongue hanging like a Doberman. bare attention is not giving forms to what you see or experience more than what it what a pair of jugs!! love those round asses! Shot himself! Why? must be some loans or something and it goes on and on rambling just like it is doing in this blogging; Bare attention is learning to detach one mind from unnecessary attachment to details of everyday experiences, perceptions, impulses and consciousness, in short it helps you to clean up your mind. To create a more spacious and less toxic mental state from which we act.
Bare Attention is like Detached Involvement, sounds like a well worn cliche, but still very relevant if one is serious into self discovery or self healing, or it is sometimes describes as 'Wu Wei! or Inactive Action as Alan Watts talks about this subject. It is 'Effortlessness" as the practice of Zen seeks to master in their practice...the effortlessness to in sitting and standing and walking...otherwise Zen is only a Japanese word for...Chan which they most probably could not say properly and added it  with a forceful flavor to sound more like the samurai way of saying Kiri!!
"Where are we now Jamie? Are we lost yet?!"
"No la! don't worry i am just looking for the mosque then i can turn left!"
You know if i were Jamie I would be practicng 'Being Here Now part of my blog! Like what is it to be here right now and not get lost and miss our already ordered lamb chops! Lamb chops should be eaten fresh off the grill Jamie, not an hour after!
"Here we Are! I think! Ayo! parking four ringgit!..."
"Sorry about your loss Sis! and i am for one very proud of what you have done for your mother, it is by my slandered a textbook item. A story worth telling and i am happy to know that your have found your calling now as a great Toast-Madame. Go tell it on the Mountain Jamie! Yours is the triumph of the spirit. Now let us go and chew into those lamb chops Jamie...never mind what happens next!"


My Mother told me there would be days like these...

A Poor rendition of Joan Miro.
                                                               Juan Miro This is a Catalan name. The first family name is Miró and the second is Ferrà.
Birth name Joan Miró i Ferrà Born (1893-04-20)20 April 1893
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Died 25 December 1983(1983-12-25) (aged 90)
Palma, Majorca, Spain
Spouse Pilar Juncosa Iglesias (1929–1983)
Nationality Spanish
Field Painting, Sculpture, Mural and Ceramics
For those interested in Art I would like to share from time to time some of my favourite Artist of the past. If I am asked to choose one among the many of the Masters whose original works I have seen in the Museums and Galleries in Berlin Chicago, San Francisco, Tokyo, London, Dubai to name a few places I have by the grace of Him I could be there in person: I stood a few inches away staring into the eyes of Vincent Van Gogh from his oil self portrait painting in its original in Chicago, I felt the whole power of the European Creative Mind in its genius form staring back at me; it was like staring into the European Heart and Soul.
Enough about art. my mother"s younger sister passed away and I found this out waking up late as usual on Saturday and I drove my Kancil and me left Georgetown sometime just after eleven. Thank God I still a few hundred left from all the money made and spent in the last few weeks, so I felt comfortable getting there, but it rained sometimes like pour by the buckets with fireworks and thunder and all, so it was a slow driving; just what the doctor ordered because the option is worse for me driving in the scorching hot afternoon. Spent and hour or so looking foot eh house in Rawang and missing the burial. Perhaps it was meant to be that I was there but was not able to see the woman who raised me from birth when I was adopted by my uncle. I was her son till my own family readopted me back into the fold at the age of twelve...that is another long and tedious looking back,k what Eckhart Tolle calls the 'pain bodies'.
She fed me and made sure I went to bed safe and sound beside her and she would scrub my skin with a laundry soap and clothe washing scrubbing brush like they ones they scrub down horses with till there was no more skin left but sheer raw pain especially when you walk out in the burning hot sunshiny day! and this for swimming for hours in the "air passang" or high tide where I spent my childhood days...I loved every minute of it. She was one of the first batch of City Council busses in Georgetown and was ever so humble and one of the most beautiful buss conductress during her time. I will miss her being around as she was the last of the last of C.Paul Mariano's children of which my mother Gayah Binti Talib or Somanawati her original given name, (Its on my birth certificate) was the eldest, then came my uncle Paul Nanda and the last was my auntie Noni as she was known throughout her life. It is with her being gone that i realized my Ceylonese or Sri Lankan lineage has slipped into the past. My auntie was the most devoted of Muslims I have come to live and grew up with. Only she could tell of my struggles in life from the day I was born the younger of the twins till the day she died. I am glad I was able to hold her in my arms for the lastime when I visited her in the hospital and massaged her feet when I visited her at her son's house in Rawang, Selangor.
I am not particularly disappointed if I do not see where or she was buried, I never did see my mother's but only once, after she was buried and i am yet to visit my wife Nancy' resting place in Waterloo, Illinois is it? I was raised and crushed by some of the most awesome women and I am today who I am partly is from learning what I had in dealing with these ladies, my mother, my aunties, my in laws and so on. Women is God's second greatest of His creations next to Life itself. Despite all shortcoming with the opposite sex, I hold women to be indeed beneath whose feet lies heaven. (or Hell).
In the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and the Principle of the Kalachakra Tantra, All Beings in this universe has at one time or another been our Mother, this is why we treat others as though they were. Man is half complete without his companion and this is one of the causes of so much violence created my men. In the Eastern tradition, it is the lack of balance of the Yin and Yang Nature in our minds that is creating so much discord in our lives. This can happen if all forms of manifestations. In yesterday's Daily papers was the story of a police man shooting and killing his wife and father in law and then turning the gun on himself; he was a fine man according to his brother. What happened? To understand this event and many like it that is plaguing our society is the responsibility of Social and Welfare Agencies and the Institutes of Higher learning's dealing in this issues; this is the state of mind that has met its dead end, despair, no sense of Conscience much less Compassion or Love,; what made for such a tragedy? and we are more concerned with who gets to use the word 'Allah!"
When I arrived finally in Rawang the area was practically flooded already and i spent driving back and forth looking for my nephew's house which I had only visited once before at night. I arrived when it was all over and everyone had gathered back at the house after the burial. Oh Well...Such Is! We spent the night at Bukit Beruntung where Jamie and my auntie actually lives. I was driven there by my cousin's husband and I call him 'Brother Ray". Raymond is from England and a permanent resident through marriage here where he has a son we call JJ. His wife my cousin sister we call Zowie, and they make a great couple, a good balance. Ray drove me to the house together with JJ. At the Toll Station ray took the highway South towards Kuala Lumpur instead of going North towards Penang where our destination was only five kilometer iin the next exit. We made a U turn five to ten minutes down the road and had to pay for a few Tolls to get there finally which pissed the Brother more than his English Gentlmanliness refused to let show. Then after unloading the car and settling down for the Manchester United Vs Crystal..something plays, ( I am no Soccer fan) Brother Ray realized that he had misplace his wallet. The fact that Manchester won by two goals had no positive effect on the brother's mood for the rest of the evening and till the next day where police report was made and so much self mortification had taken place i am sure with the Brother whose luck in business has been short of a disaster of late. The wallet was later discovered at the very bottom of my bag which was in the car and into which the Brother had mistakenly stuck his wallet while emptying his car...long story.
I have grave concerns for Brother Ray and i hope his future can change for the brighter of he will have to come to certain terms with himself as to how to accept his 'pain bodies' and move on... the days of Mad dogs and English men are gone today it is being in tune with being here in this moment in time and the acceptance who our own self created reality; I can only say as the eldest in the family that more than ever Ray needs Zowie in order to heal his own pain bodies for reasons only Ray would know. It is best i say it now rather than after the damage is done... seek help if need be for JJ's sake.
Then there is this long time feud, an animosity between Zowie and her younger brother Sham which till this day no one other then themselves knows what which deprives both their children the love and respect from each. Which have other siblings and relatives sad and concerned. Well they will have to come together and iron it out much sooner than later or die sinners in the Lord's eyes; the Breaking or cause to the breaking off 'Silaturahim' is a major sin in Islam, correct me if I am wrong please. I have benn forewarned time and again that Islam is uncompromising as religion when it comes to cardinal sins. READ!~
While Brother Ray was watching the MU vs. Crystal game loud on TV I laid down on my auntie's bed in her small room I sat instead, I am Who I am! My strength and weaknesses my wisdom and follies, my humour and sorrows, I am all of that and more, was all I felt while being in the prescience of my "Mother". Help to heal those who need help Be as you are; was all that I felt like she was telling me. I felt free from constraints and then there was a knock on the door, softly than getting louder and almost desperately loud! I go to see who it was and Brother Ray was obliviously lost in the soccer field some where in England hardly even noticing my going to open the door...relatives! Being here in the moment, in Time and in Space, Being in alignment with what is transpiring within the range and scope of our attention and consciousness is good practice otherwise we unconsciously find our escapes from reality.
The Buddha calls it Right Effort in the line of the Eightfold path practices.
What is Right Effort?
I bid my Mother and Auntie known as MaCik Noni binti Talib a beutiful journey back home as she belongs among the Loved Ones, the Light of Allah! May the Lord take her into His Comfort and Mercy and place her among the familiar faces of her mother and father to welcome her in spirit. I ask my Lord to shower upon her all the feelings of Happiness and Gratitude for having arrived safely upon the other shore without any intervention save that of the Holy Prophet of Allah.
Before I END THIS LONG AND TEDIOUSLY DETAILED RAMBLING, I would like to mention my utter love and respect for my sister Jamie, the pillar of hope and determination, (Big Pillar!). Words do injustice towards how one feels about someone who has triumphed over all odds and delivered a service to her mother for as long as she had remembered. Jamie is the eldest of the three sisters, the next is called Mama by everyone and the next is Zowie then comes Sham; Jamie held them together by acceptance of her role to be the caregiver to her mother. She has me awe and respect and this is not her only accomplishment, she is going to be one of the Judges for a major 'Toastmaster's Event in the City. How can one not respect a lady who ohhwelll... you know Big! Like BIG Big! dare to stand before some hoidy toidy crowd of Toastmasters ...when you look at Jamie, you goo Huh! Huh! Nah! Really?! Why Not? Why Off course! It is Being Jamie! If Opra can do it, why not Jamie! While driving into KL for dinner at Kampung Baru  HR Steak House in her Kancil!, Jamie asked me a 'personal question', What Is Zen?  

Friday, September 13, 2013

                                                                Who Am I?

Got my  two front tyres changed and was told by my friends at the museum it was a rip off and I thought oh...well it was a place recommended by my friend Ah Huat the aircond man and Ah Siang the mechanic, so hey if it is a rip off it is not their fault or mine... I went to a Malay tyre shop. Such Is! Thank God it is is just tyres for a Kancil, and not a MMercedes or BMW! I see it as a goodwill for my fellow Malays who are not many in numbers having a tyre shop in Georgetown.
Its Friday and the Imam gave a prewritten Kuthbah something prepared by JAKIM (Malaysian Islamic Affairs dept.). it was well thought out by whoever prepared it and it touches on the respect for the Constitution of the Country basically the social agreement made by our founding fathers. The need for religious and social tolerance between the racial and ethnic groups that makes up the nation as a whole. It also says that the word Allah is exclusive only for the Muslims and is not for the use of the Christian Faith in their Biblical translations. iT IS THE RESPOSIBILITY OF THE uMMAH TO STAND UP AND DEFEND THE SANCTITY OF THIS WORD; ALLAh! The capitals were an accidental miss press of the Caps Lock key, but I like it and it is approport. However it needs to be done through skillful means and not create a Jihad out of it through fatwas and so forth. It is entirely up to the Muslim Leaders, the Ulama's to put forth an impeccable argument as to why other religions cannot use this word for their purposes of worship in their respective religions.
Next week sometime I have invited myself to join the Bible Study Classes at a Church with Lee and his family, it should be an awakening experience. I have read the Bible in its translation here and there and have high respect for those who are Christians as  much as i have for those who are Hindus or Muslims. The fact that a man or a group of people are will to find the time and take the trouble to find the truth about themselves through the act of spiritual understanding and worship I think they deserve to be respected; only human beings are capable of this act.
"Lakum dinukum wali Adin", You, your way and me, mine... it is written in the Holy Book. at the end of a short verse called Surah AlKafirun - The Disbelievers. No doubt, there is always room to learn and to understand what the other person hold to be his truth or why he too is willing to die for his belief. I have chosen to use the word "Lord" whenever i wish to express myself with regard to Go or Allah. I am the servant of my Lord here on Earth and in the hereafter even if the teachings of the Buddha claims otherwise, that I am to depend on nothing but myself for my own salvation. I am a seeker and i am still seeking for the complete picture the complete puzzle to fall into place and i will with all my will and effort leave no stone unturned in my pursuit. God has no problem, I have, it is up to me to untangle the tangle, unravel the mysteries at least before I exit this life. I am part of the Whole, The One, the Unification of Being in Oneness, as such nothing is right or wrong for me but only the Right Understanding of my own part in being who I am. If I am an artist then it is only who I am by trade or vocation in this life, but who I am in relation to my fellow Muslims or Humanity Itself, is a long journey of awakening for me a journey towards Complete Enlightenment and it with this Complete Enlightenment will I enter the Presence of my Lord. When I, am no more, my Lord Is.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Surah Al Kafirun - The disbelievers

Sitting on the dock of the bay.
Is this short verse of the Quran mandatory to be read while performing the daily solat? I am curious over this matter just as my late friend Pa' Lah Derus used to make it an issue every time we talk of solats.(Mandatory prayer of five times a day.).
The Surah
Sūrat al-Kāfirūn (Arabic: سورة الكافرون‎) is the name of the 109th Sura (chapter) of the Qur'an. Al-Kafirun means "the Unbelievers."

Like many of the shorter Suras, the Sura of the Unbelievers takes the form of an invocation, telling the reader something they must ask for or say aloud. Here, the passage asks one to keep in mind the separation between belief and unbelief both in the past and the present, ending with the often cited line "To you your religion, and to me mine".
It was revealed in Mecca when the Muslims were persecuted by the polytheists of Mecca.
English Translation by Yusuf Ali:

Say : O ye that reject Faith! [1] I worship not that which ye worship, [2] Nor will ye worship that which I worship. [3] And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, [4] Nor will ye worship that which I worship. [5] To you be your Way, and to me mine.
From what i have read it seems that the Prophet applied this verse during his sunat prayers that is the two rakaats before and two after the regular prayer and he was said to have advised that ti should be recited before one goes to sleep to protect against polytheism. The question is, is it a mandatory verse while one is performing a regular prayer/
I can understand why my late friend was not satisfied with this issue as he noted that there were no unbelievers to be addressed in the mosque when we pray our regular prayers and the One we face and ask any question is Allah. How is that we address in such a manner when facing Allah while performing our solats? Ya! Ayuhal Kafirun, O you that reject faith! I must apologize for my ignorance but it seems rather out of place for this surah to used in the regular prayers just from the fact that it addresses the non-believers and yet many times I have heard it being recited when I am in a congregation as though the Imam has ran out of verses to recite. If perhaps there is more to it than meets the eye I stand to be corrected. I ask this in all good faith and the need to know what is right practice.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shaking the Tree of Life.

I Did It My Way!
The first Yahoo headline i read on the Internet was "8 Yr. old bride died of internal bleeding on her wedding night", a very sober awakening for me and here i am rambling on about the state of humanity in this present day and age... and that is not the worse by far as you can often read in our local tabloids like the Metro, we find infants being abandoned by their parents allover like rotten potatoes and we pride ourselves in being civilized. There should set the tone for my rambling on down the road as I sit here back in the basement office of MGTF staff letting my mind do its Breath long and deep with me and let the silence in and the mental images subside into the void that is my subconscious vault of images since the day I was conceived by my parents. Their geneticcal combinations of human strains reaches far back still to countries like Sri Lanka and Sumatra and so was my grand father and grand mother before them. Like your my subconscious vault contains the sum total of all of these external manifestations but deeper yet into my spiritual as well awakening experiences; I have to be aware of all these factors as I evolve; A Muslim, A Buddhist?, A Christian? A Hindu? Who am I?
One day as a child as we were having fun playing hide and seek in the water during a high tide around my village of Kampung Selut, I came upon an infant wrapped in Chinese Newspapers that was floating about where we were. I discovered it was an infant after I had with a force broke through the bundle that was cconstantly rotating in the water even as I tried. I had used an oar that was at hand from a small canoe we had with us. Standing at one end of the canoe I pierced the bundle right the papers and discovered the forehead of a child white from being bleached. It was my initiation into the realm of pain and suffering even as a child for till this day I still carry this image in my mind as a reminder of what we so called humans are capable of when driven to commit what we abhor. Then I realized that for me to survive this insanity called life, I have to practice what today I have learned from many teachings of the practice of 'Bare Attention'. The meaning of what it really is to live life as like a lotus in muddy waters or 'Inactive action' or Detached Involvement... all I discovered along my years of moving from one form of suffering into another as my life matures.
Suffering Is...None who suffers! The Buddha was said to have uttered one time or another, (I read this in a book while sitting outside my apartment in Green Bay, Wisconsin... Eastman Avenue to be exact. Not to say I got good memory but to understand why I got good memory on this particular occasion in time and space; suffering Is...None who suffers! Simply said, for so long as you have an attachment to your 'self', you will suffer or think you are suffering, pain becomes pain and discomfort becomes discomfort... you bitch and moan and tell yourself and this too will pass. Similarly when you are having a good time and life is all hunky dory you think you are having a good time and life is worth living and this too will pass... nothing in time and space is permanent...all is subject to change, to transformation, to evolvement towards a greater or a lesser being accordingly. The human mind is the tool that can lead us into whatever it is that we strongly believe we will become at the end of our days, it is the gift that the Lord has accorded man and none others...the will to choose, Right path, Left path or Middle path... trying not to be trapped into extreme paths.
We cannot heal others but we can help to find the methods towards healing as we have learned and understood how our forefathers had dealt with such similar circumstances in their times. Thus they practiced Yoga, the Raya Yoga, the Hatha Yoga, The Karma Yoga, The Pranayama Yoga. They sat in Zazen and chanted the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra, in its Sanskrit form as well its English translation, this the Heart Sutra as it is known in the Soto Zen School of Japanese Buddhism. They congregate in their houses of the Lord every Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays re affirming their covenant with God, being a apart of the Ummah, the Congregation. For those who have a glimpse of enlightenment and are able to share it with the rest of humanity is more than welcome in this days and age of the decline of the the Dharma, or the approach of The age of Decay and Ddecadence. Chaos and Armageddon. We can use every help we can get so that more can be healed and light can still shine through the apporaxching darkness in human existence. Help to ease the burden of the other guy, play the fool if you have to and act as though you got it all together if that is what it takes to make the other guy feel within, like he is human and is capable of the greater good.
Life is not about yourself or myself it is more like about the Whole, the Complete, the One, the Collective Human Spirit and our connection to It at all levels and every  circumstances, life is about your relationship to the whole, to others, to the environment, the creatures in the waters, on land and in the air, the creatures seen and unseen, be aware that you are never alone! Every words thoughts and deeds you manifest becomes manifest into the whole, some much more so than others but nothing is free from being a part of the Whole; and the Buddha is said to have said, Nothing can save you but who you are, o Ananda!, as such cling not become attached not become infatuated not, become dependant not on the 'Whole' for your salvation; Be an island unto yourself. "If you see the Buddha on the road, Kill Him!",... letting nothing come into your consciousness not even the image of a Buddha. Only you and the AlMIghty, You and Allah! None else and even so you have yet to become only one, you have to submit to the Will of the Devine, you have to give up your 'I"....I Am No More!!" ...The Buddha uttered His last words before he entered PariNirvana...the Cessation of All Being. Unto Thy Hands I command my Spirit, O'Lord, ashes to ahses dust to dust, from Thee I have come, To Thee I return.
If I can in some small way through my ramblings share an insight or two towards Right Understanding of who we are I gladly play the role of the helping in the process of healing through my insights, if it is Right then it belongs to the Davine and if it is in error it is my own ignorance and so be so kind as to forgive if not help to clear the way that i might see a better way. I am reaching a wider range of readers, those who have stumbled upon my Blog and I owe it to them the I am worthy of their time and attention and that i deliver what is the fruit of my own own intuition without fear or favor. This is my way of cleaning up my own mirror and purifying my soul, my journey towards my Lord.
Insha'Allah! By The Grace of my Lord. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fear Is The key - was by Alstair McLain

And then there is Death! And what is in stall for us those who believe in the afterlife...fear! Have I done enough right or have I done more wrongs...Such Is. "Fear Is The Key", the title of a fiction by Dennis Wheatley? Our whole life we avoid fear, being afraid being in the dark being oppressed being exploited, being abused being treated worse than animals, being humbled to the ground...fear that we did not do good enough in the 'Eyes of the Lord'. Out of this fears we commit atrocious, most inhumane acts of violence towards our fellow species, towards our neighbors towards ourselves; fear is our ignorance. We created fear out of our inability to understand the very nature of fear in who we are, or what we understand ourselves to be... we think we are who we are our lives is being run by thoughts and thoughts has to be! J.Krishnamurti, Eckhart Tolle, The Dalaim Lama, Einstein and the rest of them who have walked before us, read understand and practice their thoughts and insights or at least be aware of the fact that you think!
Thinking brought me here! Instead of , talking brought me here , thinking brought me here! I let my mind wander in thoughts and ideas, that are to me still pertinent in the quest to find my way back home, yes I am rambling my way back home... sang the Bodhisattva while on his way to becoming the Buddha, having had enough of His effort thrown into the discovery of the road to Liberation and Enlightenment, has finally decided, enough is enough, no more...I, am NO More! To become free from ignorance, from fear, from being swayed one way or another along the path, good...bad... right or wrong... has led us further into darkness in our human history we are in the dander of becoming extinct at least in our true human forms...worse than Planet of the Apes kind of scenario. Our collective creative minds are constantly creating near to life scenario of what we are to expect in to our future, we have projected ourselves in to the possibility of a global conflict that will consume us as a human race like we grew up values, nor virtues; just pure right and wrong, good or bad...yada...yada!
The Buddha asked what was the reason for us being here, in this sorry state ( in his time) and ours today...what brought me here? Why the suffering? Why so much Fear and Decadence?! Why?! Off course being the Buddha he knew the answers already he was there many times the Sands of Ganges count order that He may evolve to become a Buddha, that a different story. So one day  Prince Gauma Shakya clan, son of one of India's well known kings in his time and in Indian history, asked Himself Why? Who he asked it to or from I never did ask but from this very simple question came the answer in he form of BUddhism.
Breath with me...remember to breath every now and then before you let your mind take you on auto pilot and the ramblings will go on for long as there is no Right Mindfulness, Right Consciousness, Right...this Right that..there will always be minds in need of something.. to cling on to... to apply attachment to to become manifested into in its self preservation; survival. The historical Buddha found out of four of what is known as the Four Noble is readily available on the Internet feel free... Read! Seek! Knock! Hard!! Break your own bonds of ignorance that is holding you down from getting to know your true Nature, the Buddha Nature, the Indwelling Light of God, the Atma Brahman; Ignorance can only be replaced by the development of Understanding, the need to know thw Truth of matters, of Life of death of the significance of being alive, it is hard work! Butt..we can sit back a listen to the recital on the Holy Book on the You Tube and drift off into spiritual revelry at peace with the universe, the road is many but there is only one Way; Which Way? My Way Your Way?
I always like to be the first one to answer Ameen at the mosque of Fridays. As the Imam winds down from the first Surah AlFatihah "Walatt-Daa-linnnn...Ameen! There will always be a pause before the whole congregation decides to answer and I would jump in and set the tone...Yes! Did it again! I get excited about it especially if the tone went off like a song. This is the beauty of solat or the five times a day mandatory prayers performed by every legitimate Muslim all over the earth. And what is contained in the short Surah? Just saying thank You, Lord You the Lord of the universe, Thee we pray to and Thee wa ask of, (in our times of need)...soon. Available in many languages in the Internet ..Read! I cannot say enough! Listen! Learn, get to know want to know, must know! Falling asleep is never an option, stay awake in Mindfulness especially when stand before God and say it in you heart and SoulALLAAH u Akhbarr!! and come to rest, you have to at least become aware of who is doing this; you have Be Present and be in the Presence of that which you worship. Not everyone of us have the save image in our minds when we first 'say our Intention...'Nawaitu' or Niat, and it is in this moment that we present before God who we truly are...a small insignificant wannabe somebody in his rat race world still pissed off cause his neighbor standing next to him had dropped a set of keys and headphones on to the 'sejadah' in front of him like he has come to do business with God; this might be what God is looking at who you are or what you have become...He is All Forgiving and All Compassionate, at least you came to worship Me in my house of Fridays and answering the Ameen after the Surah Al-Fatihah is an added bonus to your good side,so all in all not bad at least you are making an effort of being aware of who you are when you stand before Me.
As you reach out for Me I make it ten fold My effort to reach out to you, it is said somewhere in the Good Books, Great Effort, Right Effort... this is is what is needed in order that we might climb out way out of this jar of ignorance we find ourselves in. Either we wake up and slap ourselves silly to stay awake or fall asleep and never to wake up deep in pickled ignorance.
Breathing in, He knows he is breathing in...Breathing out he knows this that he is breathing out...all else is history. Having the will towards making a Right Effort is a great Great Effort in the path towards self discovery and as the Buddha would it Liberation or Nirvana or as The Jews and Christians and Muslims would have it; Heaven, Paradise, The garden of eden all over again. I have always ahd the neaky feeling that the Buddha opted heaven or Hell and decided to go for the Middle, stepping out of the game or the circle or cycle and merge into the One become One with God or Allah or Yaweh or whoever or whatever that claims itself to be It. That is when he said to himself This Is It! No more, time to seek the Truth of the matter and expose to the world that there are other ways, different forms and skillful means to find your way home and they will all lead you there if your desire is Right kind of desire, one that benefit you and the rest of mankind for example.
I am not trying to sound off smart or knowledgeable in matters pertaining to any of these that i ave been rambling about, but like most addicitons, i find it hard not to let my fingers move as my mind let itself loose. Please forgive me if i sometimes am beginning to sound pretentious over these matters, it is only because i am getting tried and often i keep repeating myself over and over with stories that would help explain better what I mean and if it all makes no or little sense welcome to the club, I am witrh you, just as lost in the limbo of life doing what i am best at, escape the rain when it is pouring outside...has been all day! Had to send my son to school and pick him up later something I have not done for quite sometime now ever since they decided they can handle their own transportation issues. But it is in dealing with these very issues that one catch glimpses of who you truly are if and when you act without any thought in mind other than what is before you like driving along narrow streets in the rain... and so forth well you had better be Mindfully present. Right effort is and integral part of the practice of Mindfulness. Getting to know your mind is like riding the donkey that you are looking for all the time. Stepping back and looking at it from a short distance can give you a greater perspective and this stepping back or detachment from the mind activities is another step in the Mindfulness practice. In the Internet find out what they talk about in 'Bare Attention', the practice of. better than my letting my mind get carried away decided to relate the whole story about bare attention right here and now. That is not my purpose mine is to sit out the rain while letting my mind have a little break from this Vispassana Trip.
About Death, Fear and all that i started off earlier, well they just keeps me remembering things i aught to remember while in this state of mind in the Here and Now. Thank you for sharing the moment with me.

Let It Be...! Let It Be...!- Whispering Words of Wusdom...

Are you still breathing with me, my friend? Are we still together in this wilderness of life? Looking in, you are looking in at me , Looking out, I am looking at myself in you. We have traveled quite a distance having come thus far and it had not been a clean, clear path most of the way, but we have tried, done our damnedest to stay on the path, the 'Siratal Mustakin' The Middle Way, that which has been laid down by those who have departed ahead; I say Asalam u alaikum, Warahmatulllah Hi wabarakatu! Mat the Lord shower His blessings unto all of you ..Peace be with you...Gasho! I bow before that which is within you, your Buddha Nature, Namaste'..I pay tribute to that which is within you The Devine Consciousness.. The God Head. Shalom!...PEACE!
As I watch my tummy rise and fall I know I am breathing and it brings me back slowly to my Being in this moment in time and space letting my fingers do their job and enjoying sharing this with you...Wish you were hERE!! Now! And you are too while in the moment and time you read theses ramblings of a mind addicted to blogging his life away...claiming he is practicing this and that... making believe that he is Mahatma G. or Jedu Krishnamurti or both wrapped into one at times...welcome to my life...'Abandom All Hope, All Ye who Enter! and 'Know Thyself to be the Truth...Yada!...Yada! This is the man who calls himself "The Cheeseburger Buddha", Where angels would not dare to thread, the fools rush in....this is the life of for lack of better words...self discovery...the answers to 'Know Thyself', those letter written over the entrance at the Entrance into the Delphi where the Oracles were being read...Know Thyself can never be over emphasized in its importance to us as human beings, it is where we being our journey back to the Lord, like before we knock at his gates we might be better off if we know who we are rather let Him tell us who we are. The Buddha is laughing at this scenario in the back ground...SUch Is! Such Is!...God! Right this wrong that...Ha! It is all in your dual thinking mind my brother, you think you know who you are but at the end of the day how can you be convinced that God thinks like you or He even thinks at all? That's the Buddha opinion, He was liberated from this round of Life Birth and Death trip some 2500 years ago, one of those smart men... who did not take to accepting answers lightly...without Right Understanding...He was said to have said that Right and Wrong is a Sickness of Your is for you to go figure it out if you so choose to do so Mr. Phelps! Let it be your KOan, YOUR mONDO! to carry about till you come to an insight as to its meanings and implications in your your perception of what your mind is  and where is your 'Dharma Position in your life?
This! Is, who I Am! I Am This! A guy taking a sip of his warm water while it has been raining outside for the past twenty four hours and it is nice in more than one ways, I like rain because for one thing it helps to slow down things, even tempers! I like rain because it keeps all things washed and clean, it slows down constructions, it slows down traffic, it slows down the need to cut into hills and mountain sides to build more roads and it helps to flood an area or two to remain us how fragile we really are. Rain is that way... it sooths your soul if you are in touch with it deeply enough like getting a cool shower over a warm heart. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

"Breath...Breath in the Air...Don't be afraid to care..." Pink Floyd

Low Tide
 There are those who have carved the mountain sides to build their homes those have build their homes out into the sea, all in the name of 'Progress'. Note in the far back ground is the largest dumpsite on the island and it sits right on the water and wonder why our seas are depleting in fish and other marine lives. For so long as there are potential buyers there will be builders, developers, those who benefit from the industry and this includes the politicians and the rest of the machinery of development. But life has to go on and so on we go even for those sidelined by progress and development
I spent the most bautiful day with my brother Lee's fmily and a friend driving around Georgetown and looking at art exhibitions We spent sometime at the E&O Hotel by the Esplanade, one of the oldest colonial era hotel which still preserves the air of dignity and pride in the Hotel Motel Industry. It was the most clearest and sun shiny day with a cool breeze blowing in from the sea where far in the horizon you can see small islands off the land mass.
Later we spent sometime at the China House on Beach Street and had Cheese cake and Chocolate something which my friend the Pastery Chef Carl hade made for the day. We visited the exhibition upstairs and saw some great works by a few Malay Artists. I must admit I felt pleasantly relieved to be able to see the works of young Malay artists and not just Chinese artist like I see everywhere I go to in this town. It is not so much as prejudice sentiment but more of a gladness that the Malay Artist are out there just being as creative as their fellow Chinese artists. Sometimes they just do not get the exposure that they deserves here. Art is not a matter of competition, it has to rise above politics and social prejudices; it is the natural litmus test of meritocracy in creativity. One either does it or one don't and everyone is capable of being an artist but not too many finds the time nor the concern to develop their inner talents even if their sanity depends on it; they usually end up paying the psychiatrist to evaluate their minds or end up in the rehab center wondering what was lacking in their lives.. What is even more sad is that there are those who not only discaurage their young from taking up a form of artistic endeavor, they put a stop to it in favor of what they feel is more important in their academic growth of the young. You do not need art to become a doctor or an engineer, don't need no Picasso to teach you Math, or History or Geography or become a rocket scientist. No sir, art is for those who cannot find anything worth doing  with their lives; It is a waste of time.
And so my mind can go on and on on the subject of 'Art Decadence' in our society but what is the use, we all already are aware of it but are too involved ourselves to do much about it except ramble on..keep knocking and piecing together all the pieces of the puzzle for our own self developmental industry. You cannot change the world without changing who you are and who you are is not who you think you are but what is...occupying space and time while breathing and out putting thoughts on paper... and accepting this too will pass everything is transcient in nature, change occurs with or without you.
On the 5th. last Friday my son flew in from Dubai his first flight to Kuala Lumpur and so Karim and Marrissa decided to surprise him by having all three of us turn up at where he stayed along with Azri, Marissa's friend who did the driving. It all worked out fine with dinner at Bukit Bintng in the company of the Captain of the Emerates plane who flew alongside my son. A  fine gentleman from Malta, Italy and I found out that he is also a very good artist when he showed me his on going painting on the hand phone. My first Son seemed very happy but has lost allot of weight, I hope it is not because of being married..ha! , wife is a physio-therapist and all. I had a great time and only wished that Timo was with us, then I would have had a full deck.. perhaps in Dubai next time...Insha'Allah!
All went well with the very short visit except in the spirit of "and this too will pass." my son Karim and I missed the flight back to Penang due to traffic jams along the highway from KL to KLIA. We missed the gate being closed in no less than two minutes and there was no one there we could approach for help belonging to Air Asia! If I can sit and wait for your delayed flight from Penang to KL why is it that your company cannot afford a few minutes extra to make sure that there no stragglers! Could have been your parents Mr. Tony Fernandez!  Thank God for small favors that we were able to catch the Express bus heade for Penang in Putrajaya and so my son and I spent the next six hours twisitng and turning in the cold all the way back to Penang.
I am just rambling on over things that had past and things that could have been or might have been otherwise, nothing new in this concept of life as we live it day to day while at the same making an all out effort to practice Satipathana or the Hinayan Buddhist concept of Being in the Here and Now Right Understanding of Mindfulness Attention leading on to Right Intuition (Vaipsana). Yes I am just as trapped in the dual thinking mind as everyone else seeking my way towards Right Understanding of who I am. So bear with my lengthy and tedious reflections over what is transpirng in my personal life much that I can share with you those who care enough to visit my Bloggin mind. As they say, this is my story, or they sing as they get older..."I did it my...Wayyy..!" I feel that it would be waste not to enjoy sharing my journey with others, children, my friends, my relatives and the guy sitting in the bush in Kenya or Kathmandu, Green Bay, Wisc. or Japan...I hope they too will enjoy following me on my trip towards knowing who I am.
my mantra has always been: I am Whole, Perfect, Strong and Powerful,
                                            I am Loving, Compassionate, Harmonious and Happy,
                                            I can do What I Will to do,
                                            Insha'Allah, With the Grace of God.
This short mantra came to me through a book called "The Master Key" by Frank Haarnel (?) Ever since I got the book which I took with me from Malaysia to America in 1974 I memorized this short Mantra every time I wake up or before I go to sleep or while I am meditating or when my mind is lost in a limbo or when I forget who I am...created in the Image of My Lord and inspired by His 99 attributes contained in the Hasma' Husna Allah. Ya Karim! (the Bountiful) Ya Ghafur ( The Forgiving) and so on.
Allah's beautiful names, of the 99 the last is Ya Sabur (The Patience). You can chant them (Zikrullah) or you can manifest them as in yourself. The Merciful, The Loving, The Compassionate, The Forgiving... I am this..I am. The Manifestation of God on Earth can save the Planet and that manifestation can only happen if and when we have all been able to manifest Him Collectively in our spirit if not in our Mindfulness of Being.
Just sitting and breathing, Being mindful of sitting and breathing... you too can embark upon the same journey and it is never too late to start.. Be conscious of every and ... out, let the train start rolling down the tracks with you Mindfully on board...every mile is a journey of your self discovery, right understanding of who you are; effortlessly...sit and breath, stand and breath, walk and breath, you will enjoy the rhythm of life as soon as you get the hang of it.; it is free! Breath is a Miracle of life, it is like a swinging door, as the old Zen Roshi once is said to have said, you breath in, it swings in, you breath out, it swings out and you stop breathing , you are dead. How can we not develop the 'Art of Breathing', that which connects us all, breath is the element of air, it is within and without all around our physical form, it sustains life just like water does and through the breath of air we share a common element that the whole Universe shares without which existence itself is not possible.
Air has the element of spaciousness and light- ness of being and with every breath we take in we can feel our body float into the heavens and with every breath we let out we can feel our form sinking into the inner being, the center where it all manifest from... with constant awareness we can stay in touch with that which is the center of our being, that from which it all emanates as who we are. With earnestness we may stay in this state for a little bit longer as we move along in our allotted time and space on this planet. At the very least just before you close you eyes and take last breath you might catch a glimpse of who you truly are, if they stick all the needles and drugs into you to keep you breathing that would be less fortunate way to go as your mind will be in a dead zone already, drugged out. It is my sincere and genuine wish that i too like the masters of old can close my eys and say farewell to my loved ones and take my one step beyond when the right time comes; I would like to die with full consciousness and Right Understanding of who I am.              
This will be my 1000th entry of this blog known as Ramblings of the Cheeseburger Buddha.