Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lessons from the Bamboo Hut.

Throughout my nights of Virgil,(actually hard to sleep), I sat and meditate in my bamboo hut and contemplated upon my past and present status of being who i am. The bamboo floor makes it most uncomfortable to sleep and this actually forced me to stay awake despite my being so tired and worn out from the physical labor that i did during the day time clearing the whole area of the organic farm. The words of The sheikh, Qadir Al-Jilani came to mind as i sat there tossing and turning in my mind, "Secluson and solitude should be viewed as states of both exterior and interior withdrawal. The exterior state of seclusion is when a man decide to withdraw himself from the world, imprisoning himself in a space away from other people, so that people in the world are saved from his undesirable character and existence. he also hopes that in so doing the source of his undesirable existence, his ego and the base desire of his flesh , will be separated from their daily nourishment and the satisfaction of things they are used to. Further he hopes that this isolation will educate his ego and his appetites, permitting the development of his inner spiritual being." These words reminded me of why or what i was attempting to do being where i was. The prophet of Allah was quoted as saying," The faithful is he from whose hand and tongue the other faithful are safe."... FromThe Secret of Secrets, by Hadrat Sheikh Qadir Al-JIlani.
 I finally decided to pray the 'tahajub' or night prayer of two rakaats. After this i found my self in a state of bliss and quietude and my thoughts became more lucid and clear revealing some answers to my inquiries about myself. it came in the form of how Islam and Buddhism has so many connections when one connects the dotted lines. Most significant of all was the fact that in Islam one has to end in a state of emptiness of being in order to unite with Al-Hak, or the Owner, the One that all things return to.
In Buddhism the Buddha expounded the cessation of all, including the idea of having a 'self'. he was said to have uttered" I, Am No More." when He departed this life. The Buddha's teachings was for this Life and how to navigate oneself free from its bondage of ignorance to Liberation from its cycle of life and death. Islam is a religion of Unity of The One, none truly exist but Allah hence one has to become empty or nothing before one can become united with the Creator. 
To be contd;   

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A rwetreat to where the Roosters still Crows at Dawn.

I am back at my retreat at SRI LOVELY, the organic farm for the last few days and have been working my body till I came down with a fever upon waking up this morning. Why I keep coming here and suffer all kinds of physical discomfort is beyond me, but suffice to say that it is much more pleasant to wake up to the call of the creatures of the forest than to the siren of an ambulance or the police making a delivery of the convicts like they always do. I sit a whole lot more here in the middle of the night listening to the frogs and the night birds calling out to whatever that they call out to. I am out in the boonies and it is a pleasant change that I much needed. The air is a whole lot more fresher in comparison to what I left behind and the water allot more natural as it comes right out of the ground except when it rains. The meals comes in from outside through the Captain's wife or brought in bought from local food stalls.
My job primarily is as the grounds keeper and what i do mostly is to chop down and clear all the overgrown weeds and is essence make the place more presentable. Hard sweaty work and my body is being put through the grind and what with sleeping on bamboo floor with a just a thin layer of futon cover for bedding. My physical form went through a tremendous screaming aching pain every time i wake up in the morning or the middle of the night. I sit, and i meditate on my aches and pains until i was able to or forced to lay down due to lower back pain from sitting too long and my mind went for a spin with question and answers wondering what in heaven's name was i doing there in the first place. Sitting in the semi darkness of the hut i contemplate my status in life, i was accompanied by "The Secret of Secrets," a book on the works by the Greatest Sufi mystique of all times, The sheikh, Hadrat Abdul Qadir Al Jilani, ( May Allah Sanctify his secret.)
Ever since I was introduced to His works by my teacher and friend, the late Yusof Ali, I have been brought closer to Islam in its deeper meanings beyond just rituals and blind faith. I do not intend to spend too much time relating his life story here although it makes for one very interesting reading for those interested in Islamic mysticism or Sufism. There is a a great many selection of writers and commentaries on his works on the Internet and it will be an enlightening experience no doubt for those who are seeking the truth in themselves or in their belief and faith. For those who are seeking to understand Islam itself better, the works of Sheikh Qadir Jilani will lift up some veils about the religion that is not found elsewhere and perhaps will shed a new light on the meaning of the word Unity in the religious context of World Religions.  

" When the light from Allah(Who) is the light of the heavens and the earth...begins to shine upon the regions of your heart. the lamp of the heart will be lit...."

I am woken up by the crowing of roosters that were perched on the branches of the trees all over the compound starting with one and answered by the rest announcing the arrival of another new day. This I have heard very rarely if ever living in the city like Georgetown where i would be woken up by the sound of traffic and people preparing food for the restaurant below my window at Sungai Pinang. Not a thing wrong with waking up to the sound of sirens and honking of cars and motorcycles, but waking up to the sounds of roosters and birds seems much more healthier.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Time to take a break.

The subject of human consciousness is now an ever growing subject across the globe and in all walks of life at the very least among those who can excess the Internet and capable of putting together their own thought process. I find it for myself over the years that most of what i thought were just my own fumbling around about this issues that I had over simplified; just abstractions. Today as i view and listen to various thoughts and ideas made available by the Internet via You Tube and so forth, i find the i was not that far off the target and these thoughts and ideas albeit spiritual or scientific echos my very own thoughts and feelings all along, so much so that i feel like i am echoing them. I am glad that this Blog has such a long span of life, more than 10 years of my life since i first began to lay my thoughts down in writing as it proves to me that i was already on the path towards digging for truth before You Tube has been inundated by these very same issues.
I am glad that i had stumbled upon the thoughts and ideas of the likes of Alan Watts and J.Krishnamurti way back since the late 1970s and that i had kept up to date with my own personal life as i get older now reflecting more and more upon what is the nature of Truth. Today with the touch of my finger tip i can excess all that i wish to understand of Einstein's theories of Bohm's, listen to Sad Guru Jagi Dev or Mooji, it is all out there put in myriads of ways. I am very fortunate to have come such a long way in living my life as Mahatma Gandhi had suggested; a life is lived like an experiment. I have put myself through the test tubes and Bunsen burners and i have tasted all that life had to offer from the most expensive restaurants to being a homeless, a good Samaritan to being a charlatan, a charitable person to being a thief; in short i have committed the worse and the best all along and these are my grist for the mill. my motive has always been to discover who I am and what is it all about, this existence and how i fit in with the scheme of things with the whole Universe. 
What I had started off a a form of sharing with my loved ones, my children and theirs has now become an almost worldwide reading for those who have the time and interest. I am still on the road to find out and far from reaching my final destination, perhaps i never will, suffice to say that I have learned a great deal by exposing myself and how i can easily be looked upon as a copy cat or having plagiarized thoughts and ideas from others via the Internet and so forth. Yes i have and no i have not, nothing i can think of is of my own, nor is there anything that i have written comes from what is out there or written by someone else, even as i am typing out these words like i am right now, there is now references in front of me and I can keep on writing for as long as i want to till they closes the office of the Internet shuts down. Yes i wish I had been writing some fantasy novel instead and make myself a fortune. But it was not my intention, i started this process in order that i may learn to heal my splintered soul; know who i truly am. The thought and ideas plagiarized or otherwise are all there buried in my mind just like files to be excess to at my will. I find the only problem I have in writing is to write or not to, is it worth my time anymore sitting here and letting my mind run itself through my fingertips.
Perhaps it is time to wind down and put it all to rest as i have said more than care to of my search for answers; there is no more to share except the final cut when it comes. Hence i will retreat from making any more entries until there is something worth to write about comes along. Time to move no and explore new horizons or different dimensions of my existence. It has been a great experience in sharing with all those who have been reading my blog thus far and I feel honored that you have cared to take the trouble to and i hope it has been helpful in some small ways for you and your search. My love goes out to all of you till then.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Tabula Rasa...

Talk is cheap, bu to put all that I have learned and understood is a whole different game altogether. Hurdles upon hurdles lay in my path especially those that were from the past. Funny how the wrongs that I committed stands out like sore thumbs and comes to surface so readily at the slightest trigger by an image or a thought. We all carry our own crosses whether we believe in crucifixes or not, or better yet we all carry our own baggage on our backs till we bend over in our old age. So how do we unload these burden that has been clinging on to us from the moment of their inception into our consciousness. What is even more tragic is that we carry the burden of others often against our very own will out of love, out of compassion which is not too bad in itself, but out of guilt? How do we liberate our consciousness from these loads of karmic crap?
How do we live day to day moment to moment with a 'tabula rasa' or a clean slate?
ta·bu·la ra·sa
ˈtäbyo͝olə ˈräsə,ˈräzə/
  1. an absence of preconceived ideas or predetermined goals; a clean slate.
    "the team did not have complete freedom and a tabula rasa from which to work"
    • the human mind, especially at birth, viewed as having no innate ideas.

How do we free our mind from being embroiled with past experiences or how do we remain like an empty sky instead of littered with drifting clouds, how do we remain calm as the ocean instead of being thrashed about by waves. In short how do we remain in the here and now, in some form of meditative state that is free from intrusions by external vexations. The simplest response that comes to my mind is to breath and be aware of every single breath that I take, breathing in and breathing out. When asked most individuals would admit that in the course of a day most are not aware that they are breathing; the most crucial activity in our lives we take for granted. The breath is our connection to or the bridge between our consciousness and the rest of the Universe of not our fellow sentient beings.
I have made it an effort to keep in touch with my breathing as much as I possibly can throughout my day and especially when i have an issue to deal with. Most often than not i have come to notice that whenever i take a deep breath while in a state of agitation or confusion my mind will switch from chaotic state to a more calm state of clarity. I call this a step back or a retreat from what is before me. This inadvertently leads on to the practice of patience which often gives one a second look at what is truly present. A clouded mind is the result of not breathing properly which in simple term means there is too much carbon dioxide and less oxygen in your body. Proper breathing also allows for the body to gain proper alignment like sitting up straight instead of slouching, gaining proper weight distribution which makes the body weightless with no pressure being imposed upon one part to compensate for another. The human form is so perfectly constructed that if and when properly utilized it becomes light; the lightness of being.
Pranayama Yoga or the Yoga of breath management is one form of practice that can help to ensure that out breathing process becomes a healing process to the body, mind and spirit. It is the very key to our existence. We function a whole lot better when our breath is in rhythm with that of the Universe and the rest of humanity. It helps to remind us that we breath the same air as much as we drink the same water and feel the heat of the same sun upon our bodies as we consume the same food produced from the very same earth that we live on; in essence we are One.
When all our minds are centered upon this single realization, we can heal the world, we can change the chaotic confusion into an ordered more productive and creative existence. Breathing in unison helps for us to remain focused into the here and now, however it will take conscious practice and awareness for this to happen and as more of us becomes aware the stronger our bonds would be in our effort to heal this troubled Planet. When the individual mental thought processes are being dropped off, the Mind that is present is united with the Whole and become and instrument of Collective Consciousness capable of making great changes in our lives. We were not born politicians, soldiers, scientists and so forth; we were born with a clean slate. We become what we are today through a long process of conditioning, but we can act as born again beings with no preconditions if we only learn to awaken to this reality; this is a part of Liberation of being Free. Only with this state of consciousness can we act Collectively.


Take care of number one.

The Buddha expounded some two thousand five hundred years ago the importance of being born in this life as a human being, for it is in this form of existence that sentient beings have the greater opportunity to be liberated from this circle of life, death and rebirth, "So in this human form do not waste time." These may not be his exact words but safe to say that this was what he meant. Human beings however are today blind to this warning and most live in the so called pursuit of happiness in the material realm of existence thus neglecting the quest for truth and reality as it truly is. Most of us become so entrapped in our quest for wealth and fame and a other forms of creature comforts that we mostly live like the three blind mice. We become so engrossed in our belief that our existence is purely survival of the fittest that we fail to feel the sorrows of those who are not as fortunate, the downtrodden and the destitute. We are so jaded in our ways that we ignore what happens to the environment around us; yes are led by Greed , Hate and Delusions like cattle to the slaughter house.
Liberation does not happen just because we die or cease to exist, liberation is a lifetime process of awakening moment to moment from the deep sleep that most of us are presently encountering. We are most of us in deep slumber and every now and then we awaken when something out of the ordinary hits us in the head for better or worse. A natural disaster, an economic melt down, a death in the family and so forth, then we are rudely awakened to have a glimpse of reality and realize how fragile we all are. Till this moment in time , while everything is moving along as we pretty much expected, there is food on the table, roof on top of our head and a steady income, we are a satisfied lot. Life boils down to the fulfillment of these simple needs, however there are many who are never satisfied with what is enough and crave for more believing that it is their birthright. When enough is never enough, this is when the trouble with humanity begins and it start with each and everyone of us. We are each and everyone of us a member of humanity and we are personally responsible for the making or breaking up of this world of ours. 
Hence when each and everyone of us make it an effort and practice to discover what is the truth for ourselves,all the unanswered questions that has been plaguing us throughout our lives then we will inevitably help to heal the planet and humanity itself. Then we are broken free from the conditioning that the powers that be has imposed upon us, the conditioning that has led us to become like cattle headed for the slaughter house. This is simply because knowing the truth for yourself  shatters all the delusions that has been created around you and in doing so you will view the plight of mankind and the Planet itself as needing the same kind of regenerating form of healing; a revival of the Human Spirit.. "And the Truth shall set you Free!" And the truth is not out there, it resides within and it is for you to awaken to its presence and manifest it in the lives of others as a collective healing process. 
This life of ours does not belong to you and i alone, it belongs to Humanity, to the Universe, it is answerable to the One and the One only by whatever name you may call  It or Him or Her. It is only by the presence of a higher power that that our collective ego will know restrain, until we have come to be able to act or manifest without a hint of our personal ego being involved, we will serve the highest order and heaven and hell becomes reward and punishment, fear and comfort becomes our daily choices. To know who we are is to be free of our egotistical tendencies, our claim of a birthright over others, our lordship in the scheme of things. This is why the Buddha also expounded that in the end there is really no 'Self', When there is no self, there is none to suffer. For so long as there is a you and an i, we will exist like in a dream, or unconsciousness, we become victims of our own ignorance. We become insensitive to the ties we have with the rest of the Universe and we live to merely take care of who we think we are; taking care of number one. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Another Death in the family.

One of my cousin's wife passed away yesterday or brain hemorrhage and I went to Sitiawan, a small town on the west coast al area of the State of Perak where they were living. She was according to the note by her bad 61 years of age or 6 years younger than I am and it made me reflect about my status having lived for the past 67 years, what is it all about? My cousin her husband was devastated by the loss and when i first sat beside him on the floor where he was moaning about being lonely without her and so forth, i told of how i felt having lost my wife and not being able to be by her side when it happened and how I have for the past few years been living and accepting the loss hoping that it help him to feel not so alone. I reminded him of his children and grandchildren who will need him for so long and he is alive, telling him more or less to accept and move on. He is "The Pilot of Lumut" an entry I made in my blog a year or two ago when i followed him on board a Russian vessel "The Eagle", which he piloted out of the Lumut Harbor. 
Witnessing the process of death and dying has always moved me at my deeper levels and still having unanswered questions about who i am or where i am  at this moment in time, my belief, my faith and most of all my understanding about life itself. As i listened to the sermon read by the grave reminding the deceased of what lies ahead no that she is laid in the grave and giving her instructions on how to face the two angels who will question her as soon as everyone has left the cemetery and so forth, I asked myself the same questions. If one needs a miracle in life this is the moment  when one needs it most. If there is any mystery about death and what happens after this is the moment when truth can never be known except by those who have died. Here logic comes into confrontation with faith, fear and confusion is overcome by one's complete surrender to Allah's Will, if one is a True Muslim. My cousin's wife died while still coma or under sedation and thus by all counts she died unconsciously or did she?
Most religions have some form of guidance as to how to face the after death moments or while in transition in the grave from one state into another and Islam has a very thorough revelation on this matter. The Quran and the teachings of the Prophet of Allah has included this instructions for all Muslims. The Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Egyptian Book of the Dead provides similar instructions for their departed souls. For those who holds no belief whatsoever like the Atheist, this would not be problem as for them death is just another passing phase in life. For those who practice the belief in Incarnation or life after life evolution the matter is different from those who accept the reality of Heaven and Hell. The question is still unanswered for most of us especially now that  scientific studies are making discoveries that adds to more questions unanswered.
Whatever the case may be, death is still a dark mystery to most and likewise most of us lives in denial that death will one day put all the questions before us and it is a matter of time. The acknowledgment of the inevitability of death for me is a reality check that makes me feel like i am not altogether in charge of my own existence. That i am here on loan, to serve my time as best i can and be of service to all sentient beings around me, help to ease the burden of others and not add on to the misery that comes with ignorance. As nothing is permanent in this life, death reminds me not to be greedy or cling on to what i have, death reminds me of my own fragility and helplessness. It helps to keep my arrogance and heedlessness in check, it reminds me the true meaning of the idiom... and this too will pass.