Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Positive Affirmations - Paul Santisi

"I am consciousness! I am Prosperous in everything that i do, I am Aware! I Am confidence, I Am Everything! I Am Feeling better and better all the time, I am Eternal, I am achieving all my dreams , I am excited for the success of others, I am aware to rise above and persevere, I am opportunity, I am the voice, I am waking up! I Am thankful of all the great things in my life, I am aware that I  AM a Champion, I AM a champ;lt; the Best! I Am essence! I Am number One! I AM Energy. I am a part of creation and celebration of Love, I Am aware that the control system does not control me. I AM Aware that *I AM the Universe! I AM amazing! I am aware that I Am Perfect! I Am having a positive impact on the Planet! I AM the reason the World is Bright! I AM the best possible 'Self'. I AM aware the Truth is within me... i Am Magic! I AM vibrating Love! I AM vibrating dynamic health! I AM vibrating Gratitude! I AM vibrating enthusiasm! I Am making  a difference! I AM Perfect! I AM attracting the right people into my life. I AM infinite possibility! I AM from within! I serve Humanity! I AM changing the World! I AM a creative expression of Myself. I AM Destiny! I AM unconditional Love for myself! I AM at Peace!" I AM THAT, I AM!....the I AM Affirmations by Paul Santisi from You Tube.
I have been doing this for as long as i can remember although not with routine regularity but only as often as i can remember. Or as someone said i remember to remember when i remember! Yes from personal experience as an old man it did and still does help to get me out of some ruts and stagnancy every time they threaten to overcome me. I often catch myself forgetting all that I Am and my mind would slip into its downward spiral of doom and gloom often leading to laziness and stupor or as i mentioned time and again despair. When i forget all about my potential as a human being my thoughts will raise old and decayed issues like with my family, my brothers and looking at them with an accusation for my fate, I would succumb to feeling negative about everyone who in the past had played a role in creating the person that i am or so I was making myself believe. I became a total victim of my own mind and my own unconscious ignorance. If i had not taken the steps to get a hold of my own fate in knowing who this guy is truly I would not have made it thus far. I would have fallen by the wayside like a drunk or a drug addict waiting my time of demise. I am thankful that earlier in my life I was given the seed to grow inside my mind to change my perception of who I am, and now i know i am full of seeds of Greatness and i am loving life.
It all takes time though and trials and tribulations that will rip you apart at times and dash you hard against the rocks, but whenever i remember my practice or my own affirmations I would automatically find myself in the presence of my Lord asking Him for His Grace and Protection against my own Ego, (Nafs.). My journey henceforth is getting closer to my Lord, my Creator to Allah subhana huwatala, and it is not by any means trying to make anyone a Muslim who not already is. It just so happens that for me the journey has always be moving towards the Lord of Power as He is also known. What else is there to the meaning of this life now that it is slowly coming to a close, but to become one with that which is One and that from which one has come and to that which one returns? It does not matter what religion or belief system you have you still will at the end of the day return somewhere or into something but what you do not want to happen if to die in ignorance of what or whee you are headed for like all this life you have been through gives you no sense of hope or inkling at all as to your origin.If you are so bound and determined to accept the fact that your are nothing but a dust in the wind or a pigment of your own imagination then you will most probably end up with nothing as your final resting place, however your genetic make up will still have residues of your ancestral faiths and beliefs which will come into play when you are struggling with your last breath as fear has the tendency to stir up hopes and wishes. A drowning man will clutch at the straw if it will save him, he will not say "Gate, Gate Paragate, Parasam Gate, Bodhi Svaha!" Simply because he will not have the time nor the mind to do so when struck with the fear of death, because by then his mind would be clinging on to whatever that comes to mind which he thinks would help him or save him from the clutches if not the pains of death. Lest we loose ourselves like cattle before the slaughter knife it is the human thing to do to at least have a healthy understanding of where you came and where you are headed for afterwards; unless you have attained to Buddha Nature and the mind is totally annihilated at the very moment of death.
Hence we strive to be positive in our words thoughts and deeds so as to ensure that when it is time for us to face the inevitable we be a little more ready and perhaps even feel a little more positive about it. Given that no man goes to his grave laughing with joy and many seem to have a difficulty accepting it, with a little preparation there is perhaps a possibility of making the transition a more positive and even creative process with the mind fully accepting and the souls coming into a state of readiness to move on to the other shore leaving behind all that it has been burdened with as part of his life. Letting go is never an easy task even for the best of us but with some practice and mindfulness approach perhaps the process can be made to happen such that man can give up his life or his final breath with dignity. These positive affirmations that Paul Santisi and the likes of him has been sharing with the general public is one means of achieving such a state of consciousness whereby one is more prepared and even courageous in the face of death. Meanwhile one would also benefit from such affirmations in this life for sure as it helps to set one's mind on a more positive outlook about life with all its possibilities and its abundance of Love and Compassion if and when called upon.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Rashid the Artist.

Whenever  I spend time with my artist friend Rashid, who I consider to be one of the best in the State as a portrait painter, he would talk religion and politics. Sometimes he keeps repeating the same story again and again over the years that i have known him and it is through his tales that i pretty much learn all I need to know about Islam, the politics in Malaysia and last but not least Art. Out of politeness and the need for his company I paid attention to his stories with more and more enthusiasm as I am beginning to realize that my  friend is a genuine scholar in his own right more so than most i know of. He is genuinely sincere in his studies of these topics and spends hours reading over the Internet. All I need to do is ask a question like hit the search button and he is off into the specific time zones and relevant episodes of his life in relation to what was asked. Rashid is an Anwar Ibrahim's man and never get him off on that topic!
This evening as always we had coffee at a shop around the corner from the Malay Art gallery on Chulia Street. This is where we would sit right by the main gate of the Kapitan Kling Mosque which later at night turns into the Nasi Kandar Beratur a most famous place for the local specialty of Nasi Kandar. In the evening usually there is not many customers and so we have the place pretty much to ourselves and Rashid went through his whole narratives covering topics from the times of the Prophet of Allah and the cause for the rift between Shiah and Sunis, the ursenic to kill Anwar ibrahim and how he was privileged to learn all about the psychological warfare from the UMNO political machinery and how he had worked as a customs officer and witnessed the corruption way back when. I have no choice but to believe him simply because of how he repeats these stories time and again and they always were the same. He told me of his days with the Anak Alam group of artist in Kuala Lumpur and how he had known Latiff Mohideen back then and the crazy thing they were doing together. Rashid is the strongest supporter of Anwar Ibrahim the opposition leader who was at one time the deputy prime minister of the country and who toady is still being haunted by his sodomy trials. In this manner i am being kept upsated of the events that i am writing about in my Blog without having to read too much about them, my source of refference knows more details than most.
In return Rashid is the one person I would let all my feelings show, someone i can share all my crap with if and when I get the chance to tell my story because normally i would just listen while he tells his stories. One of the topics that intrigues me in our conversation is the sectarian differences of shiah and Suni and how this came to be and Rashsid has been making this his point of focus of late as he browse the  You Tube on the subject and read all the articles from various Ulama and Ustaz, Sheikh and religious historians from all over the Muslim world. This evening he again talked of how it was that the prophet's wife Aishah was a real duce bag who most shiah believes might have even poisoned the Prophet. he was telling me of how she had been instrumental in the demise of the second and third  Khaliph according to shiah historians.
Islam would have been a more dominant religion had it not been for the sectarian conflict that has haunted the religion for centuries. Today more than evr the religion is at the mercy of  unscrupulous Muslim leaders who exploited the sectarian issue to divide and conquer for their own self interest and all over the Muslim world this division of faith is like a cancerous virus eating away at the Ummah and its Unity.The violent manifestations of such conflict has given Islam its worse image as a terrorist religion among other things. The Christian and western world feeds on this dilemma that Islam faces making the religion seemed aggressive and often violent and unapproachable.But to those who knows the religion and its principles it is a far cry from what the religion is really about, it is a religion of Peace and Unity no matter what its followers may chose to do.There is no doubt that islam is a threat tot Christianity and other religions around the world, but it is not from its violent nature as accused by non muslims but from the teachings and tennets of the religion itself; most westerners convert to Islam because of its principles.

I found that for every question I could raise, Islam had a convincing answer.
My path was through books, I came through the theory. It was a rational choice, not an emotional choice. I looked at the information which was out there, compared and contemplated. Islam was the answer to every question. -By Nourdeen Wildeman
Muslim Revert - The Netherlands

" His voyage to Mecca helped him discover the atoning power of Islam as a means to unity as well as self-respect: “In my thirty-nine years on this earth,” he would write in hisautobiography, “the Holy City of Mecca had been the first time I had ever stood before the Creator of All and felt like a complete human being.” - of Malcolm X

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Haj - Its that Time.

TGIF! Thank God it's Friday! I get to go to the mosque! The Imam talked of the Haj and about sacrifices and about not compromising when it comes to faith and belief and he was a feisty,  fiery preacher! "God said to Abraham, Kill me a son! and Abe said No! and God said then when you see me you better run...Abe said where you want this killing done?: God said Down on Highway 61!" Bob Dylan sand in one of his songs. God is the Great Tester and tests men for his faith and in the days of Abraham it must have been extra hard after living out in the wilds to have a voice telling to him to go kill his first born and him who was having great difficulties in getting a child in the first place and had to marry his servant in order that she may bear him a child and then to make matters worse God decided to give his first wife a child too although she was way past child bearing age, a miracle of God! Oh my Lord Why?! Till this day they argue who Abraham was asked to sacrifice, was it Ismael as the Muslims believe or was is Isaac as the Jews and Christians believe. Why the misconception purposely ordained such that nations war against nations and religions against each other on account of God's Test. Forgive me my Lord I am but a simpleton who is very ignorant of Your ways but I deserve to understand why! Why does Hajjar, the mother of Ismail had to suffer in the desert looking for water to quench her thirst and her child's and what was Abraham doing then?
And the young Imam was threatening with brimstone and fire from the pulpit upon those who has no inclination the ways of the Prophet of Allah when he set to clean up Mekah and Madinah from the worship of idols, like it is the biggest problem Muslim face today The biggest problem Islam faces today is sectarian divisiveness namely the Shia's and the Sunis who are willing to the extent of killing one another in the name of the religion, and to this date of my going to the mosque not a single Imam had talked about this issue.
If the Prophet of Allah were to by some miracle be alive today what would He have to say about the fate of the Muslim world, I wonder! He most probably would hide His face and cry inside the cave where he met Gibrail Alai i Salam. He most probably would have begged to be free from carrying the burden of modern day Muslims to his grave. I do not stand to understand the historical facts that had led to this tragedy among Muslims today it has never been my study but as a professed Muslim it is a great heartache for me to see the wanton and brutal murders of Muslims by fellow Muslims all over the Muslim world and all in the name of Allah! When will we ever wake up from our nightmare of living in denial and face what it is the really threatened our very existence. What are the great Muslim leaders and fiery Ulama doing about his strangle hold of Religious Sectarian conflict that is eating the religion of Allah like a cancer while millions pay with hard earned money to perform the fifth pillar of Islam; the Haj. With all that money generated from the business of performing the Haj you would think that the Islamic world should be free from and form of conflict. But where is all that money generated from millions of Muslims from all over the world? The Keepers of the two Holy Cities of mekah and Madianh is the Saud King with a kingdom already very wealthy with its oil resources and yet where is all that money that my cousin and her husband has worked their entire lives gone to? Perhaps for better infra structure, like five star hotels and escalators so that there is less walking from one site to another or perhaps one day a super dome with air conditioning covering the whole of the Kaabah area.
It is mind boggling when you look into all that goes into this preparation of going to perform the Haj today and the amount of money each and every individual has to dole out regardless as everything is being institutionalized  to make thing easier and to make sure that each and every department involved gets its cut. I was at my niece's house and listening to them talk of the Haj and how they have opened an account for all three of the children ages four, three and not even one yet at the Tabung Haji or the Haj Bank here. My brother's wife was saying and you know what they do not even have any piggy banks for the kids! Oh No! No piggy banks and this is one of the most lucrative banks in the country? Oh ya said my niece, and remember how they swindled billions out of it a few months ago? Oh yeah? Like Wow! The youngest child will be able to go to Mekah in 2075 to do his HaJ! Like Wow! if he lives that long and in the meantime you feed the bank with all the investment, I did not say this to her but i thought about it. here are true Muslims making their sacrifices in order that they can fulfill God's command, "Kill me a son!"The banks are making a killing.
Will I ever go to Mekah? maybe if the Lord decides that i am eligible to visit His home, if not oh well... it is one of life's irony, my son the Pilot lives next door to Mekah in Dubai and I could have hitchhiked to the Holy Cities had i wanted to but...And for those good Muslims who think of jumping on my case for how i see this whole thing, don't get me wrong, I love and fear my Lord just as much as you do and I would like to be able to fulfill all that he ask of me but I have walked a different path from the one you have and how far or how near I am to my Lord, only he will decide and this Bloggin itself is a testimony as to how often I think of life after death. So before you decide to judge me for my faith look deeply at who you are and who I am, are we the same? No, not even if we came out of the same womb.
Allah is in my heart, His abode is within me and wherever I be there He is. I do not need to look elsewhere whether up or down  far or near all I have to do is remember and He is there.  He is my Lord, my Creator and from Him I came and to Him I will return when all is said and done and as for you it is your choice whatever He may be to you or where ever you will find Him.To each his own as we came into this life alone so we will leave it with none to accompany us, that we sow will be what we reap, good seeds, bad seeds, it is all entirely up to each and everyone of us. As for my on my own pilgrimage or performing the Haj or not that is entirely up to Him but I will make my efforts to fulfill this desire as it is although not strictly compulsory, it is the fifth of the Pillars of Islam and I have yet to fulfill the second completely. I do not say this without fear or regret but i say it as it is, I have yet to earn the right to become a true Muslim.When the time comes for me to blow my last breath I sincerely hope and pray to my Lord that He will be there in my hear and soul for as far as submission is concern I have always been His from the day I first heard the Azan from our Surau or Masjid Makhbul one of the oldest suraus in Georgetown, where i first went to my Friday prayers sometime in 1955. The Imam that gave the sermon then had long passed on and many more like him since then, but today I am rarely impressed by the tirades I hear from the pulpit every Friday and I will always pray from the first row of the 'saf' or line of worshipers; I stand directly before Him when I pray.
From my lonely heart of hearts, AllahuAkhbar!  I am getting too deep, time to retreat from this topic.!
The truth is out there it is a matter if you want or not to discover it, the truth is within you if you so incline to take the journey within and see for yourself, the truth to who you truly are, not just words by to actually feel the Living Truth that is God. Truth has nothing to do with Shiah or Suni, this mazhab or that, Truth reveals itself to those who it chose to have the revelation. Truth only gives its glimpses of Satori to those ready.
Suffering is because of Ignorance and Desire, I shall overcome it.
"Ask, and you shall be given! Knock and it shall upon" You have to be the beggar in life before you can experience being the Sultan of Souls in Spirit. The Dharma gates are limitless but i shall enter them! The impermanence of life does allow for me to be choosy but to choose the best of all possibilities; I am Eclectic, Religions of the World are the Collective Consciousness of every nation, cultures and tribal groups on this Planet, they all profess to create The Greater Good, to create Harmony and Peace, Love and Compassion, to be united in Spirit if not in Hearts, to Heal the Planet and our  Conciousness itself. We have to start from within our own Seat of the Soul, Buddha calls it your Dharma Position, that ground of being from which you stand before your Lord when you say ALLAHUAKHBAR! and begin your Solah. When you declare your presence before Him, Lord of the Worlds, you must stand in unity of Body Mind and Spirit, you are the Whole! As you raise your two hands to your ears as though you are about to let out a loud roar, you must be in this state of mind of Emptiness; I stand before You my Lord naked,  Allahuakhbar! I and my Lord is One.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Paul Santisi - I am

I am That, I am, this is an ancient dictum that stems from the Hebrew conception of monotheism that God exists by himself for himself, and is the uncreated Creator who is independent of any conceptforce, or entity; therefore "I am who I am" (ongoing). The Hindu scriptures has a different dictum but with the same connotation,
Tat Tvam Asi (Sanskritतत् त्वम् असि or तत्त्वमसि), a Sanskrit sentence, translated variously as "That art thou," "That thou art," "Thou art that," "You are that," or "That you are," is one of the Mahāvākyas (Grand Pronouncements) in Vedantic Sanatana Dharma. It originally occurs in the Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7
 The meaning of this saying is that the Self - in its original, pure, primordial state - is wholly or partially identifiable or identical with the Ultimate Reality that is the ground and origin of all phenomena.

"...You who know Jalaluddin, You the one in all, say who I am. Say I am you." - Al Rumi

"What then is the truth? The truth is simple: Man was created in the Image of our universal heavenly Father. Man has great divine potential. He may in the course of his life nurture a strong soul within himself, so strong that the soul survives after the death of his physical body..." G.I.Gurdjiuf

I had a moving experience yesterday evening while listening to an audio on You Tube put together in 3D sound by Pail Santisi called 'I AM". affirmations or Re Educate your Soul. I am sure just about everyone but me have had the experience of listening to these Audios and i am just a late comer to this phenomena. Nonetheless for those who have have not had the experience i would highly recommend listening to these audios and who knows how they may be of help to you. So I am actually yelling out loud to my children on this, if they are still reading my Blog, Check It OUt!! However you need to have earphones for this, more better impact for sure.
I felt at home immediately as i have my own self affirmation practices for over forty years now and most of the expressions Paul uses are included in my own phrases for my what i used to call 'auto suggestions' to my brain cells and my mind.and I still do it till this day every time i sit. One of my collection of phrases are  and this i must have mentioned time and again my my earlier entries, " I am whole. Perfect, Strong and Powerful, Loving, Compassionate, Harmonious and Happy! and i can do what I will to do... So help me God or Insha'Allah! So when I listened to all these voices whispering and shouting from one corner of my head to the other for an hour i felt like my practice has taken on a more concrete form, it has manifested itself into this highly technological Audio effort put together as though just for me!. I brought smiles, laughter and tears to my emotions, this I thought was what it meant that our thoughts and consciousness can manifest in time like a fruit ripe and ready. Funny how when i opened the You Tube URL I was tempted to pick on an old Star Trek movie of some Klegon wars or something simply because and I saw this audio with the words "I AM".  Not an easy choice when you mind is on the borderline of boredom and needing a nap. But my curiosity if not my sense of discipline got the better of me and am i glad for such small favors. Thank You Sir, Mr. Santisi!
I highly doubt that most people who are not into this kind of stuff like meditation and self discovery and spiritual tripping would appreciate these audios, but then again who knows? If there is any positive use to the Internet and You Tube in particular it is in the availability of these numerous works, lectures and documentaries by the great minds of our time, if only we put the to use to educate ourselves. I sincerely believe that we have run out of options of saying no one ever told me so, if we know how to use the Internet, be forewarned cause i have the feeling God is going to use this as one of His questions on why we are so stupid. Oh, my Lord! Forgive me! I spent more time watching kinky Japanese and Korean movies and  oh yeah reruns of old Star Treks! The Buddha is said to have said, "In this human form, seek Liberation don't waste time!" or something like that.
It is 5.30 am and i am getting to feel very hungry. I woke up at 3.30 and sat for a while and during my sitting relfected over the experience I had with Paul Santisi's audio again and it ran through my hed like i was at the computer desk and my headphones on, but i was sitting on my bed and my body was sobbing and tears were popping out of my skull. I felt very happy and it has been quite a while that i have felt this feelings before and I raised my hands and thanked my Lord from the silence of my heart, Alhamdullilah Ya Rabbi! Thank You Lord for this revelation I felt a step closer to You. 
Now I am going to listen to the 2nd Audio!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sit like a Mountain.

I am not trying to make converts out of anyone not to Buddhism or Islam, not to any religions that they not already are, I am merely looking at myself and wondering where i stand with regard to my Maker. I am merely looking to find Peace and forgiveness for all my transgressions that some of which only i know, committed in the privacy of my own mind. For these there is only the Divine that can forgive and to beg for forgiveness from my Lord requires i find the real knowledge and understanding of who I am;who is it that is the sinner. Yes,it sometimes seems heavy and sober and makes for boring reading, but this is a very personal journey that started out many years ago as diary of sorts and later turned into a vehicle for catharsis and is turning into a journal or revelation. And Jesus is said to have said, "The Truth shall set you free." What is freedom? Freedom from what? Who holds the keys to the locks and chains that has bound you to this ignorance? The Zen Master is said to have said, "Show me the one that holds you prisoner and I will set you free!" If there is anything i would like to share with those who happen to have read my writings, it is to find their own captors and jailers, their slave masters and petty tyrants and confront these till you have set yourself free, only in freedom can you worship your Lord.
It has taken me a whole lot of bad English and poor spellings, a whole lot of soul searching and fears of being ridicule and frowned upon over these years to arrive at this moment in writing what my heart dictates with more freedom than I have ever felt since. Now i feel like the dam has finally broke loose and the outpouring of  my thoughts and feelings are the outcome of my ever deeper quest into nature of who I am and what my connection is to my Lord. Now, whenever i sit to meditate the moment the thought of my Lord crosses my mind or I say Bissmillah, in the Name of my Lord, I feel intense pouring of energy all over my physical body so much so that sometimes i avoid doing so simply because I wanted to enjoy the quiet sitting rather than entertain uncomfortable flow of intense energy shaking my form like an earthquake.It often leaves me with aches and pain all over and this I can do without so i try not to indulge too much with the spiritual energy when i sit although I would call out whenever i find my mind getting the better of me or some external intrusion is causing a disruption upon my meditation.
I have not regular set of sitting times or a set routine, I find myself sitting everywhere and anywhere regardless if i were in the Mall or the Mosque, while listening to a lecture or watching Captain America on the big screen, I sit. In sitting I find that space within where silence prevails and all thoughts radiates from. In sitting my mind expands into the cosmos without my knowledge and my imagination is ever fueled to allow for creativity to emanate from within with originality. It is through my sitting that I find more about who I am, how far or how near that I am from my Lord and while in this state of complete mindfulness that I feel the presence of Allah and His Loving Kindness, His Blessings and Forgiveness. It is in moments like these that i feel completely free from all attachments and clinging, from all desires and cravings, in moments like these i cease to exist.
Hence whatever it is your belief system may be, whatever it is your religious inclination may be, I have no desire to persuade you otherwise, it is not my intention, I have my own fish to fry and eggs to boil. To you your way to me mine, we are all looking for the same basic things in this life and i hope that we will find them in due course.I only hope that whatever it may be, we will strive towards a universal understanding for peace and prosperity for all. As individuals we can make a whole lot of difference but collectively we can move mountains.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What is "Fana'?

What is action? What can I do to help alleviate the suffering, stop the degeneration that is going on of my society, not in the future but now, in the present moment and action not based on the past. Is there an action that is not conforming to the past or condoning to future action. So what is my responsibility? So what action should i take? What is action? To act according to a formula is no action at all, cause you repeat and that repetition is part of a security and the repetition gives a certain sense of well being, we are stable, we are firm. Is action based on certain memories, certain knowledge, certain past experiences? What is action? What is to act? Not, I will act or I have acted bu to act now!
What shall I  do and realizing the responsibility of it, the greatness of it. So is there an action that is not of the past and conforming to the future.? These are questions that  the late Jedu Krishnamurti ask in one of his talks  and I realized that i had to get off my duff and do something worthwhile for the day, by worthwhile i mean something which would be creative and productive.This is one thing i know i am good at and if i can get myself to start at it i might just jump start myself into the next phase of my practice and that is to put meditation into action. I have been spending a whole lot of time sitting on my butt and practically observing every single though that arises and every form of experiences that i had gone through past present and into the future as I also project my experiences before they happen. How do i bring this practice of mindfulness meditation or Vipassana Insight meditation to my daily actions now that it is time to move on and face the external and all that it has in store.
A meditative state of mind actually does not begin or end once you have discovered its potential, it is only a matter of how intensely one is in tune with one's state of consciousness that changes from moment to moment. There will times when you totally 'loose it' and find yourself right back on square one of mental drudgery and delusions and this is when you find you are in the grips of your inherent neurosis and psychotic tendencies; you are back to being the fool that you are. Then there are times when you feel so heightened that you are capable of manifesting anything your mind desires or whatever you intend to happen. will happen, "Kun faya kun!" "Be, and it Is." This is the states of mindfulness that fluctuates throughout one's daily course of living that is if one's practice is not complete and established. There much yet to be covered in terms of arriving at the liberated stage of one who has gone beyond and these stages are only achievable by those who practice within a cloister of practitioners who with like minded dedication and persistent and perseverance can help one to reach the other shore safely. Without special guidance and instructions from a qualified teacher or Guru, such meditation practices like Vipassan cannot be undertaken without detrimental effects to the practitioner.
Over the years my practice of meditation has evolved very slowly and gradually leading up to this moment when i feel like I have touched its surface and have a little understanding on the workings of my mind and how to contain it whenever it gets carried away like it often does. I have a long time since accepted the fact that my mind is short of being a "mess' since i was a child and i have tried to unraveled as much as i could of the whys and whens and hows in my journals earlier and now in my Blogging. As i might have mentioned year ago in one of my entries that i have tired to commit suicide twice and was asked to confide a shrink while living in San Francisco and i was an alcoholic and a drug addict a great part of my young adult life; I was a lost cause and threw away a few great relationship in the process. So if asked why the hell am I doing all these, my answer is I need to keep my sanity in check and one way this can happen is by exposing all that i can and hope that by so doing I can purify my soul and if nothing else find some peace in me before i die
I also do it with the hope that if by chance i am good at it i might be able to share my discoveries with others. I am no teacher and doubt that i will ever be one when it comes to spiritual practices but i have been through most of the religions in my life and not just through reading and listening but through practice as well and i have found in all i have come to accept Allah and Islam as my faith and religion. I think no less of other faith and respect the beliefs of others without with understanding and as for Buddhism for me it is not a religion but a Way of life. Buddhism is one man's answers to the question of life and the suffering  that man endures in life. No other religion is more thorough and direct in facing the trials and tribulations that man has to go through from cradle to grave. It is the most complete and systematic approach to the the question of how to live this life despite its travails. However Buddhism leads me up the Gate and to step through this gate and beyond I need to have unfailing faith in the All Mighty Creator, Lord of the Worlds and Lord of the Hereafter Allah Subhana huwa Taala. To step into absolute emptiness is unfathomable to this still ignorant mind of mine. Only the Buddha's teachings can lead me to Fana' or emptiness and in the state of Fana' only my Lord exist for I, am no more.

Encyclopedia Article for fana
("to pass away," or "to cease to exist"), the complete denial of self andthe realization of God that is one of the steps taken by the Muslim Sufi(mystic) toward the achievement of union with God. Fana may be attainedby constant meditation and by contemplation on the attributes of God,coupled with the denunciation of human attributes. When the Sufisucceeds in purifying himself entirely of the earthly world and loses himselfin the love of God, it is said that he has "annihilated" his individual will and"passed away" from his own existence to live only in God and with God.

Fanaa is the Sufi term for extinction. It means to annihilate the self, while remaining physically alive. Persons having entered this state are said to have no existence outside of, and be in complete unity with, Allah. Fanaa is equivalent to the concept of nirvana in Buddhism and Hinduism or moksha inHinduism which also aim for annihilation of the self.
Abu Yazid al-Bistami approached the Divine Presence and “knocked on the gate”. He was asked, “Who is there?” “I have come, Oh my Lord”, replied Abu Yazid. He was told: “There isn’t any place here for two. Leave your ego behind and come”. When Abu Yazid once again approached the Divine Presence and was asked who it was, he said: “You, oh Lord”.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I walked into Islam through The Buddha's Teachings.

In this days and age everything is creeping out of the woodwork and all feeding our human minds with never ending mysteries and facts all mixed up till there is not much difference anymore between the two. Conspiracy theories abounds from all sources leading us to believe in the coming of the Anti Christ and the New World Order. How we have been hood winked into believing the Osama Ben Ladin and his Al Qaeda network was responsible for the flattening of the World trade centers and that George Bush was and now Barak Obama is acting under the directions of the Iluminati if not Aliens. We are exposed to demons and possessions and the  most horrifying truth about human trafficking and child prostitution, about the drug cartel and the power that is in the hands of those who would unscrupulously have have human sacrifices  if need be in order to have a good hold on their place of authority and power. Lies, scandals and exploitations, corruptions and is the norm in government agencies everywhere on the planet and it seems like hell and chaos is lurking around the corner and nothing is sacred anymore, not even children's school exams!
So, what gives? What is going on? What's the scam that we are all facing? Why are we bound and determined to self exterminate, have we not enough, what is lacking? It gives one a tremendous migraine whenever one allows for the mind to run free like this with questions like atoms hitting back and forth all over our skull trying to split it. The there are your personal petty issues that seems like a never ending Grimms Fairy tales, or horror about paying the rent and how to get money to get your daughter back home now that she has completed her college and how does one tell the 22 year old that he has to clean his own room or do his own laundry. or how do you try to explain the the son who thinks you are a useless father simply because you cannot solve a problem according to his liking and that you have done the best and you realize your best is never good enough. How do you tell this child of yours that hit happens and sometimes for the best and not all the time for the worse. How do you explain to your son that you really have no clue as to why he is so pissed off at you that he cuts you off totally from even saying hello. Yes and more than this how do you tell yourself that you are not young anymore and the very idea of giving it all up and disappearing into the wild for good is getting to become a thing of the past; there is no escape!
These are only my delusions, my mind going at warp speed  as it is being triggered by lengthy meditation sittings and this is a part of meditation that is often overlooked by practitioners. The fact that there a repercussions as a by product of meditation like a case of withdrawal. The mind resist to the max and will throw in anything and everything into the pot so that you are fully occupied with incessant thinking, sometimes of things that makes no sense head or tails.If you are not fully aware of this you will drift into great depression or even despair and the world is such a terrible place to live and you are a victim of every circumstances and most of all you feel small and insignificant. But you persist, you continue on sitting and face whatever arises and even when you feel the senselessness of it all you still sit, not giving up.and finally when you feel like you can take it no more, that it was all a joke on you, it happens. Out of it all creeps in calmness and peace, and you hardly notice it in the beginning, Then you find yourself drifting in tranquility, your mind has subsided and all that vexations that has been hammering at your brain is gone left only with positive energy, with great words like Peace, Love and Compassion and how you can work things out to the best of your ability and everything is really so simple; poof! migraine gone and you feel light.
My digressions into these mood swings is perhaps because i am practicing alone and without any special guidance or  at the very least someone o talk to to confide with, someone to remind me that I am doing a heavy duty practice and had given up my years of cigarette smoking among other things like my occasional pot smoking and beer drinking and the fact that i have practically be a celibate for the past twenty years of my life. Sometimes it is good to remind oneself of these things just so we can keep things in perspective. If i choose to become a Buddhist i can safely say that i can wear the robes of the mendicant monk and have earned it. As i am a Muslim I maintain a standard practice of taking refuge only in the All Mighty Allah, Lord of the Worlds, Lord of Creation and the rest of it. I am blessed to have been the Buddha's student for i learned  a whole lot about myself from having learn about Buddhism and its Ways. it was the religion i was born and raised with till I was twelve years old before i was converted to Islam and it was the religion of my forefathers before they were converted to Islam. Hence i have no qualms or fears of being dubbed shirik (apostate?) by the Muslims. My Islam comes from my heart through self discovery and not that of being born and raised a Muslim. I walked into Islam through the back door unlike my brothers and sisters. I accepted Islam when I was good and ready, not before and i still am working at becoming a good Muslim.

I chose the sacred path of the Higher Self.- Karma Yoga

The closer you get to the core of your being, like the core of the onion the more you are going to shed your tears and even if you know deep down inside that there is really nothing that lies after you have found the last piece of veil that hides the truth from you, you will still be forced to keep pursuing your objective. In the last few weeks of my practice of Vipassana style of meditation i have been going through some heavy duty challenges to my mind if not my ego. I have been led to feel at my lowest and my sense of neediness is leering at me mocking my efforts at practicing patience and faith in what  i need in order to resolve the financial issues i have; it always boils down to money. Thank goodness sex has taken a back seat for now and anger is quite easily recognized and understood in its rising, staying and disappearing without having to deal with its physical manifestation. It hasn't been easy on the body either as I find myself waking up every day with so much pain all over, especially in my left shoulder and arm, sometimes i scream out loud inside my head from just an excruciating a pain. In this i find doing my exercises helps to relief the pain.
I am not high on discipline and if and when I am able to i try to get by and sometimes i feel like i am not carrying my weight when it comes to works or earning a livelihood. After having gone through some thirty odd jobs i don't know what that is anymore and if i want to work for anyone anymore. I put in an average six to eight hours of painting but that is not "work' by normal standard as it does not guarantee a steady income and even if i have tried to set up a deal with my Chinese Brother and patron LeeKhai to help me financially by the purchase of my works whenever i desperately needs financial help, this is not cut in stone. Sometimes I feel i have worn out my welcome with him which i cannot blame him as I am, it seems always in need of help. So, how does all these works out with a Vipassana Practice? How does all the meditation suppose to help? Naive if not childish questions but legitimate at some level as the mastering of the meditative technique is partly to help one find ways and means of alleviating one's woes.
A few entries back i wrote an entry under the title of the Buddha's Bowl, an experiment in 'The elegant way of begging' for help and i got no takers and my daughter thank goodness can sit for her final exam thanks to her cousin who came forward and helped her out; he has never read my blog. Hence other than making myself a needy fool and a vagrant I now know for sure that "Unto thyself, O Ananda can you depend on for your salvation," These were the words of the Buddha just before he passed on into Parinirvana.I am naive and sometimes i take my life too seriously as my friends often reminded me and this experiment thing they say it all started with having read Mahatma Gandhi, but Gandhi was a lawyer and what am I/ Gandhi can afford to experiment with his life as he got the whole of India to back him and me, who is behind me? So like my Zen instructor used to shout at me, Wake Up! There is more to life out there than humiliating yourself and not getting anywhere!
AH So! this is the side effects of Vipassana meditation and one has to be aware of it as it starts to tear down every fabric of resistance you may have in trying to protect itself(The all mighty ego!). Meditation bring to surface all the crud that sits at the bottom of your well as it stirs the water with mindfulness practice. These bottom sediment of rotting leaves and garbage will being to rise to the surface revealing your hidden weakness and pain, your childhood traumas and mental cravings most of which were suppressed at the bottom of the well of your being. When they surface and manifest themselves in you external life you will find yourself sometimes wishing you were dead, but by recognizing them for what they are you can learn to accept them and understand their inherent nature and let them go. Turn their negative influences in you mind into positive lessons and insights that you can share with others. This too is who I am, but this part of me is no more of use to me I have to move on towards the light of wisdom and compassion and i am not carrying this baggage anymore of feeling needy or guilty or ashamed for being the man that i am.And what is this insight I am talking about?

Karma Yoga
This is the path of self­less work. For the devo­tee, it means to do all ones work as an offer­ing to God and to expect noth­ing per­sonal in return. For the philoso­pher, it means to see that all action is the inter­play between the mind and senses, on the one hand, and sense objects, on the other, and to real­ize that the higher Self is merely the wit­ness. It is to feel that one is not the agent of action. In either case, it means to prac­tice detach­ment and equa­nim­ity with regard to work, and to real­ize that the results of all actions are not in our hands. Through such a prac­tice, the mind becomes puri­fied, and the seeker comes to real­ize his or her true nature.
Vedanta Center, Washington DC.
I give meaning to my life. Not my children, nor my close friends nor my family and relatives. If i walk alone it is only because i chose to do so.When you chose not to give when i ask with genuine need, there is nothing you can give me when i have no more need. Yes i am a beggar and my life seems like I am always low in my self esteem, this too is only because i chose to be so on account of my past pride and arrogance that i had lived catering to my egoic nature. I have chosen the Selfless Journey.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Coming Full Circle.

Today there is so much ways and means of getting oneself tuned into what is going on with your mind and most of it can be found on the You Tube or the Internet. Meditation techniques and mind analysis and control methods can be excised through various schools and institutions to give one some form of practice. Ranging from Zen Buddhist to Hindu Yoga, Chinese Taoist and Muslim Sufi traditions, native American Shamanistic and Tibetan Tantric tradition, it is all there at your finger tips. All you have to do is feel interested to know and make a choice of what you feel most comfortable with, find a Guru or a teacher and spend a few months or years in an Ashram or Zen Monastery or a Sufi retreat and you can well be on your way towards self discovery, getting to know know who you are at a more deeper level and more significant impact. After you have done your spiritual window shopping and found what you are looking for take a time out to reflect carefully if this is what you want to do, because once you have made the commitment you might not be able to get off the train as easy and what you may find up the road may not be to your liking,at least in the beginning.
Most of those i met who had answered this calling in their lives were driven somehow by unnatural forces that had in one way or another plagued them to make them seek this mode of self study or self discovery or whatever you want to call it. Most were individuals with an issue to resolve, a rut in life to get out of or a stagnated existent that was killing them; most were desperately looking for answers, a way out of their dilemma .My first Zen Instructor was a former drug pusher, had spent three years in the Federal Penitentiary and a Hippie until he said enough was enough and took a trip to India and Sri Lanka. Today he is an Abbot of Zen Buddhist community in the United States. While at green Gulch zen Center i met all kinds of individuals from all over the country in the US and some from Europe and Asia and all came with a reason and practiced to find a solution to this reason and today I know many found their answers and are serving the world with their expertise in one way or another. Within my group of 'practice students', those who were successful were those who had real issues and were determined to find the way out or the solution and most who came simply because it was a fad or the thing to do being at a zen monastery never lasted and drifted in and out like window shoppers. The genuine 'Truth Seekers' rode the train to the end of the line, like my first Zen and Yoga teacher.
'The calling" like the Muslims yearning to go to Mekah to perform the Haj does not happen to all and when it does it happens gradually over a period of time where one is put through a period of preparation and purification unknowingly to the one it is happening to. Often one drift into it with no intention or fore knowledge of being led into such an undertaking, but you were called. Sometime, somewhere in your past you had expressed the desire and the call was made and the rest was the journey getting to where you were intended to be, albeit in a Madrasah or a Zen Buddhist monastery, or a Hindu Ashram or a Shaolin temple. Your subconscious mind had been triggered to chart the course of your life towards becoming a wandering Sadhu, a mendicant monk or a Sufi dervish. You have been saved from the normal life that most everyone has the privilege of living from cradle to grave. Yours will be the see saw, roller coaster ride of a life and your life will be filled with turmoil and vexations enough to sometimes makes you want to end it prematurely. Soo when it was most unbearable and you find yourself at the end of the ropes, Bang! You are the at the doorstep of the Monastery in Ladakh or Tassajara or at the gates of an ashram in Poona or Oregon and you are initiated and your final healing process begins. If and when you are successful you leave the place to become a Roshi or a Rishi, but never a Sushi!
I have just laid out my trip pretty much as i found my way from this island of Penang on to The east Coast of Terengganu and later to the United states and Japan and now back and as my blogging has been trying to regurgitate it out, this was how i came to be who I am. It all began one fine day while sitting along the beach facing the calm South China Sea I had wished with all my heart to leave the shore and travel to the other side and find out what lies beyond. Almost forty years now and i am back from where I had began and what I have discovered is pretty much laid out in this Blogging.

“The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end. The extent to which this generation of circles, wheel without wheel, will go, depends on the force or truth of the individual soul.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson