Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What was 2013 like for me?

Here I am about to celebrate the New Year out here almost in the middle of nowhere, a place i am scared to drive in and out of every time i wish to make an entry in my Blog. Yes last year at about this time i was sitting among my son's friends up on the 34th. floor of the Millennium Tower of in Dubai awaiting the fireworks that was done from the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world.

Here I am watching a man build a bamboo bridge across the river so he and his wife can go back and forth to work on their land clearing it for rubber.

Here i am staring at a bug that is said if it stings you it is like being bitten by a cobra, at least it can cause a paralysis if not death.

Here I am in my corner of the Universe seeing the world around as though it was for the first time in my life. So how was the year 2013 for me? It was a year that set my mind wondering if it all is worth it doing what I am doing with my life. The year that has just passed me by was one of the most wasted time in my life where very little happened and what did was mostly in dealing with my relationship with those around me, trying to find some form of justification as to why I am the way I am.

As I always has been, I felt like I was looking in from the periphery of my vision as others went about their business or busyness, as they went about making their living one way or another. I survived yet another year where i have found and daughter in law and lost a son. It has been a year where I have lost the woman who had raised me since birth as her adopted son, my auntie Ma'Cik Noni. It has been a year where my heart has been clouded by lack of understanding of who I am.

It has been a year of back to the basics such as back to the 'Broom Principle', like when in doubt rake the leaves in the forest, the leaves will keep on falling no matter how much you sweep. A gust of wind and the ground is as though it has never been swept. This is how life is I find, that there will always be vexations, there will always be self doubts and there will always be a time to retreat, and this is my retreat from what the year had to offer.. 

The year 2013 was a year that asked of me many questions as a father, a brother and a man, Do I really know what the hell that I am doing? Will these be all that I will leave behind me where i go? Have I missed the boat somewhere that could have sailed me across the ocean of this Samsaric life. Never have i felt self doubt more than I have been through the past year.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dancing in the Mud.

It is said that life is a dance and we are all dancing to the rythm of our own making. As we dance the universe dance along with us. 'We dance to their mothers, we dance to their fathers, we dance to their brothers and we dance to their sisters and they dance along. 

It is said that, that we sow so shall we reap, with loving hands plant our hopes and fears into this earth with all the faith we have had, shall have and always do have in the Lord of Creation. He who nourishes the heavens and earth and by Whose Divine Will have given the man to lord over His Creation: this our planet. 

A father works alongside his son planting seedlings into the soft moist earth legs buried knee deep in mud. "Bapa borik anak rintek" or like father like son. The field has numerous lessons for those who work with her like the sea has many lessons to share with the fishermen. 

And so we dance all over the land spreading love and joy wherever we go, this is my dance and I dance to the song of  He who I have submitted my will to, I dance to His beautiful names and I dance to His Presence within and without, and they dance with me. 

Making his mark on the land he dances with the rake scattering the soft soil and making ripples in the water, he is oblivious to the world around him, only his tune he dances to his Creator. This is his dance towards discovering his path and who he is.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Classroom at SRI LOVELY.

The classroom where it all began.

 When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts he will see the division between the thinker and the thought... the observer and the observed

 Beauty is complete order. But most of us have not that sense of beauty in our lives. We may be great artists, great painters, expert in various things, but in our own daily life, with all the anxieties and miseries, we live, unfortunately, a very disordered life. It is a fact. You may a great scientist, you may be a great expert in a subject, but you have your own problems, struggles, pain, anxieties and the rest of it. We are asking, is it possible to live in complete order within, not impose discipline, control, but to inquire into the nature of this disorder, what are the causes, and to dispel, move away, wash away the cause. Then there is a living order in the universe.
J Krishnamurti quote
The mind has to be empty to see clearly.
J Krishnamurti: The Little Book on Living

When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely - the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears - when you give your whole attention to it.
Quotes Krishnamurti

  1. When one loses the deep intimate relationship with nature, then temples, mosques and churches become important.
    Jiddu Krishnamurti quotes.

Rake Dancing - Raking leaves in the forest.

After instructing a young farmer of 14 years old how to handle my Sony camera, I told him to get wild taking me in action.
As usual when all else fails I pick up the broom or in this case the rake and start to work on my incessantly busy mind wanting to move on  or keep doing what I am doing here. 

Mindfully raking away or sweeping away all the clutter in my mind, this is my practice here and while at it I managed to influence a few to take up the practice. When work is viewed as work it becomes a tedium after a while but when you use work to watch the workings of your mind it becomes an involved effort.  This is meditation in action, this is one way in keeping being present in the moment wherever you are.

In the old days monks would seek out bamboo groves or mango groves in order to create a retreat where one goes to practice in quiet and solitude in order to be less distracted by the busyness of life in the city. Here one aspires to let everything hang out and drop off eventually. In this day and age one has to try to allow for time to step away from one's normal routine and take a walk on the quiet side of the road.

Raking the leaves while in the forest is like weeding your fields where the weeds are never ending and the leaves keeps falling; this is how life is, you just have to keep raking and sweeping in order to stay ahead of your dual thinking mind

Off course I do not share my thoughts on these lines with the local here as it would fly over their heads and accuse me of  being deviant Muslim or some other accusations that the religious department can come up with; he was teaching how to rake minds.  

So, What is the definition of a FARMER? He is the man outstanding in his field! Hee! Hee!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Transplanting - 3

Transplanting - 2

The seedlings were three or four days old, the same ones that the Captain was preparing in the earlier entries of this Blog. Grown with allot of hope and faith in doing what is right for the environment and those who depend on on "unpoisoned" rice for their staple diet. Here in this little tray lies the future in returning to what is natural and healthy in what we eat. 

The field was prepared earlier by my friend Sukardi who did most of the real field prep. An ex- soldier and a very quiet and reserved character. He is one of the backbones of this facility.

A participant leader from Kelantan who is very strong in promoting organic farming and makes her feelings and concerns well heard at the meetings. She has many hurdles to face in promoting organic farming in her own state of Kelantan. It is a challenge that she will overcome in time as this is what organic farming means, the dare to take on those that benefit from chemically controlled farming.

The lines are drawn in the Mud!

So, what are you waiting for lets start planting, my frend the Cikgu or as we call him Pa'Tam who is another one of the most strong believer in organic farming.

 They came in all shapes and sizes and they stooped and placed the seedlings gently into the mud. Those with high qualifications and those who are common farmers.

Hands on study on Organic rice cultivation.

Farmers, studfents and professors arrived for a two days seminar at the farm and on the first they headed for the field.

How serious are these people is yet to be seen but the way things are moving I see a whole lot of potential for this place to become one of the hubs of organic padi growing study facility. I hope people will take interest in what is being done here as it is still in the experimental stage. It has been over four years since its inception and it seems to have gone through many trying changes both in human and environmental challenges. 

Here a great effort is being made to bring a greater awareness towards organic farming as well environmental preservation. More of the younger generation of agriculture students should be made to attend their practical courses here as it has one of the best teachers one could ask for.  

This is where academics meets the farmer and ideas are exchanged at all levels of conversations with regard to the subject of organic farming. I have learned a great deal of it myself by observing what is taking place here.

The backdrop itself is worth the time being here unless those who came are too wrapped in themselves to notice the beauty around them.

What is the defination of a farmer? He is the man 'outstanding' in his field! While others watch he is in the mud draing lines in the mud.

I woke up this morning and took a walk with my camera.

A "Kelulut" is a kind of insect like bees they produce their own kind of honey which to the Malays contains more medicinal properties than that of the honey produced by the bees. They a smaller in size and are black in colour and thy bite but not sting and if you kill one the chances are you better get the hell out of the area but otherwise they do not attack. The little house on the lower left hand corner is their man made hive.

Thousand of baby fishes were freed into the pond last week and they are one of the most sought after fishes loved by the Chinese and are called Ikan Ubi. They nlook like the sucker fish or commonly known as the MPPP fish for their job of cleaning up.

Sometimes in moment like these I do miss the presence of my children and wonder if i will get to see them all together again before I kick the bucket.

While looking at this scene try adding some sounds of wild gibbons and mixtures of birds rising in the background.Also to the sound of the river flowing over the rocks behind those palm trees.

Man can live with nature by not imposing too much of his presence and living within its constraints. The respect for that which has existed for only God knows how long is paramount to our very survival, the will to preserve this respect is our responsibility if what we have is to survive into the future.

It is slowly but gradually becoming more easier to get in touch with who I am when all the traffic and the dramas of work and human existence are not there to wake up to anymore even if it is for a short moment in space and time. This is no paradise but it is a retreat from that which is a rat race.

The glory of God is when the morning sun sheds its light upon the dew covered grass and the greenery of the earth comes to life. Come walk with me and heal your wearied minds.