Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Cannon Ball tree

The sweetesat smelling flower i have have come across.

Such perfect design only nature can produce.

I have seen much larger fruits than this before.

The structure of the tree itself is quite mind boggling.

What is beauty if it is not permanent?

Fro the roots to the top this tree has character.

A revisit to the Organic farm.

There was so many chnages and developments at the organic farm since i last visited! The vegy garden has bear its fruits!

The place is beginning to pick in style and color with well cared for fields.

Noth9ng is more beautiful than to see acres of rice ready to be harvested,

The mist still hangs in the air in the distant hills,

Has been a long road but I think we are finally getting there.

Many hands has resulted in this vegy garden and they came from all over the planet.

The home away from home for some and a retreat for others.

Take a walk on the wild side every now and then you need it.

Menuai Padi, Rice harvesting.

Add captioIt was the Rice harvesting time when i last visited the Organic farm It was yten days before the end of Ramadan,

It was great to see the boys and girls in action as they wade through he rice field chopping off the rice stalks in bunches.

The rice grains is seperated from the stalk by the shredder.

The boys were having a great time during this fasting month as most were not fasting!

Time out!

Look! There is a white woman going at it too!

I hold life in my hand!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I Am an Artist.

Had another vivid dream this morning and woke up with the realization that I am the main obstruction to my own creative as well as productivity. The dream ended with this sense of loss in the effort to make it and participate in a major local Art Show. After struggling through the thick and thin of sleet and snow and falling into drains and so forth I made it to the show where not one person was there but the whole place was littered with art works still in the progress of happening. Stacks of large pieces of papers with sketches on them lay all over the place and some still on the easels, like the artists left them to be continued later. It was an outdoor event and all was wet from rain, it was not a pleasant scene for an outdoor sketching or painting show. I woke p from this depressing dream again as i always did in the past feeling like I have been missing out on my calling; I am an Artist!
No matter how i try to justify or sneak away from my destiny, deep inside i know i was born to paint and draw my hearts out and this i have been denying myself for so long with lame excuses on one kind or another. The blaming trip goes all the way back to my primary school days and through my secondary education and most of what happened has been reiterated in this Blog at one time or another and for now it is no more worth looking back without again being bogged down with more self introspection and fault finding. Suffice to say I realize  now that i am standing in my way of my own artistic prowess as has been told by my one time Professor and Mentor, the late Mr. William Prevetti, when I was a student at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. While viewing a Faculty Art Exhibition, Mr. Prevetti whispered in my ear, "Sam, none of these guys can hold water up to your ability as an artist!" I was shocked and taken aback at what he said; I believed him.
Through the years my life was not geared towards becoming a well established artist like my friend and neighbor mr, Richard  Sigberman from San francisco when I was living on 2nd. Ave. Rich also recognized me for what I am and chastised me for not honing my career as an artist. I got side tracked every so often and always there is a lame excuse of one kind or another that has been th cause of my failure, like not having my own proper art studio to work from or worse yet Art has brought me nothing but sorrow and pain. These has been my excuses and perhaps still is although most are not untrue. I realize my God given talent and I realize too how i have it for granted all these years thinking that I am destined to become rich and famous through some other hidden talents of mine yet to be discovered and thus this self seeking Blogging. 
Who am I? I am an Artist and i am a Master in my own field in line with Rembrandt and Hokusai if i had devoted my time and energy in pursuit of my passion instead of getting sidetracked into self seeking and self discovery trip like I have been for the last ten odd years with this Blogging. I know who I am or at least my call in this life if not my vocation, however I have shoved aside my destined status and opted to take a longer route of trying to figure out who I am and in the process often cut myself to pieces and develop a very low sense of self esteem. It is as though I do not deserve nor belong to the echelons of the Masters of Fine Arts of this world. It is time to make that shift, the change of pace in my mind from seeking to having already found and make full use of what i have in me to become truly exalted in my endeavor as an artist; like my Grand father and Father before me.          

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

And the fasting Must go on.!

The mind is restless from being cooped up in the apartment with time and leisure on hand. So what do i have to do about it? Read C.Jung's "Psychology and the East," and perhaps this quite a heavy reading will keep the mind from getting bored. Listening to the gust of wind blowing through the crack in the window of the living room is something new and the experience simple as it is helps to anchor the mind in the here and now. Making this Blog entry in itself is another way of keeping the mind from straying towards unimportant or mundane thoughts and ideas or worse fantasies. My daughter is taking a nap and i am suppose to wake her up in an hour and take her to work, so this too is in the slate for the mind to look forward to; its a routine not a ritual.
As comfortable as it seems where i am at both mentally and physically except off course for the tooth ache and the physical discomforts due to lack food and drink i am doing fine. What is there to complain about during the Fasting Month of Ramadan? About two more weeks to go and how time drags when you are fasting especially when it gets to the end of the day about an hour before the breaking of the fast. When i look at what is going on around me I must say that the Malay Muslims are to be commended for their devotion towards fulfilling the call to fast during this month. What with the days being hotter than normal and the country's economy is at its lowest performance and despite the uncertainties of the political future, Muslims in Malaysia are going through the fasting month with full vigor.
Hunger and thirst is a small price to pay for the fulfillment of one of Islam's precepts and those who finds it too hard to bear might want to contemplate upon themselves as to how it would be like when comes time when food and water is hard to come by. This is the training of the body to endure hunger and thirst through out the day and it is also the mind to be able to not succumb to its weaknesses. Islam is a demanding religion and is uncompromising when it comes to doing the right thing. For this most Westerners are not able to cope with its tenets and dub it extremism. However underneath all its demands Islam has set a strict route towards the salvation of the soul which in this day and age is in limbo for most of us. 
The detoxification of the body is not the only benefit that comes from fasting, fasting also helps to detoxify the mind in a big way. For whatever it is worth, the fasting Month is a Month of great testing of mind, body and soul; a great test of character. if humanity can fast for the whole month of Ramadan for no matter what reason, it will be an eye opener, a miracle where wars and crimes would be cut down and human compassion towards one another would be embedded into the consciousness of each and everyone of us.When we understand what being hungry or thirsty is like, we become more sensitive towards those who suffer the effects on a daily basis due to poverty.   

Friday, June 09, 2017

I Love Who I am.

 It takes a great deal of nothing to waste life away trying to figure out what it is all about in the end. To most it is a matter of having lived life as profitably as one possibly can and be able to say, "Look at all that i have been able to accumulate. My wealth and my fortune, my good health and my progeny, my fame and my charitable virtues. At the end of the day, if one can claim all these as one's merit in life, perhaps one has lived life far better than most. As for me, all I can say is I have failed at most of these and cannot claim that i have lived life when all these measures are taken into account; I am a disappoint to myself and to others. 
If given another chance to live this life again I most probably would continue making the same errors and end up where i am at and so hopefully this will be the final cut, the last act of living in this realm of existence of mediocrity and wastefulness. I am my worse critic I have been told often enough and i should stop comparing myself to others who I deem as being successful in the ir lives as evident by their accumulations of merits and wealth. I am who I am. I have been up and down this road doing what I can to make the best out of the worse and avoiding from being sucked into the same rut as most has slipped into; I have done my damndest to be different from the rest. I have refused stubbornly to accept what is the norm and taken chances that there is yet another way of looking at life. I have trodden over the years roads less taken and streets that leads to nowhere just to find out, prove to myself that I was capable of getting my fingers dirty when it need be. I have been frowned upon and hated and i have earned my share of love and respect along the way, but there is still an empty hole in my heart that has yet to be filled and this has been aching for a very long time.
Will I be able to find the peace and tranquility that man desires, or will i simply be buried with questions unanswered just like the rest of those who went before me? Have i taken too many wrong turns while on this journey as to not be able to find my way back home? Who am I? What have i accomplished? What good am i to humanity having occupied time and space on this planet for the span of sixty odd years?  Is this all it amounts to, this state of being in limbo at the fall of  the curtain of my life? I can go on and on playing this melodramatic violin concerto and hopefully find myself some form of solace or even the grace of god, but enough  is enough. Like a broken record, i just need to shift the needle out of the groove into the next; i got to get myself out of this rut. This is the mind's favorite rut; the rut that leads to despair.
It is safe to say that in this day and age most of humanity are stuck in this very same rut as enough is never enough and the seeking for more than has become the end game for most of us. What is missing is the act of merciful kindness, the sharing and the giving, the thankfulness and the compassion; what is missing today is genuine unconditional Love. I have little to give or share but my 'ramblings'. I hope that through this never ending twists and turns of thoughts and ideas about who I am or what my feelings are from day to day, moment to moment, i can share a piece of me that in some small way be of significance in someone else's life. I hope that my self exposure will inadvertently help another being to shed some light into his or her own quest for answers. I am good at turning the negative into positive or so i have been told, I have been able to sieve through my thoughts and my mind over the years and perhaps this self digestion has its fruition; a glimpse of my Buddha Nature. It might be my legacy having shared my life with the world in this manner; self expose. 
On looking back, what is wealth? having lived for 21 years in the US and three years in Japan, that was costly by all counts. having tasted the ambience of a few of the most expensive hot spots in Dubai and spent over a year in this sand city, was not a cheap venture.either and having traveled to countries in Europe and  South America, i will not call that a poor man's lot. Hence, what is wealth but how you look at it, it is relative. What are my accomplishments? I have been there and done that which includes being a well respected artist among my peers and i have been credited with quite a few solo exhibitions in different parts of the world. I have worked at so many different jobs that i have lost count and each and everyone was an experience that I have accumulated not only in terms of making a living but also of the human connection and interhuman relationships. I may not be a religious man, but spiritually i have had my share of serious dives and awakenings. I have dared to defy and embrace whatever and whenever the situations call for in order that I may satisfy my conscience and accept the truth. God? Allah? God is always behind me, watching over me and Loving me. My Lord, the God i Love is a God of Love and Compassion and in this is my faith.
My progeny? I leave behind me four great individuals that I have sired through three great ladies, two Americans and one Swiss. How? Read this lengthy Blog to find the answers.


Mind my own mind.

What is really going on in my life at this moment in time? Well i don't really have a clue except that i am feeling like i am struggling against myself. There is nothing out there anymore other than the normal conditions of debt and financial survival, the aches and pains of a creeping in of old age and the lack of energy and enthusiasm or lack of motivation in general. Why? Well, I cannot put my finger on the money exactly but i have the feeling that if i don't shake this lethargic state of being soon enough I will find myself stuck for good in the rut that I am in and might as well get use to it or even begin to enjoy it. Is this what i want? Not exactly, but i cannot seem to get a handle on what i do really want anymore, like everything seem a little too late to go for in terms of 'making it' in this life.
So i woke up at four this morning and decided to sit after having came out of a dream on my childhood days in Sungai Pinang sometime around the early fifties. It was the time when i was adopted by a large family living in a large house across the street from the village i grew up in. In the dream I was being insulted and belittled by one of the daughters of the house of which there were ten girls and two boys  in all if i am not mistaken. It is a tediously long story in all these but suffice to say that my subconscious mind had decided that it is one of the issues that i have to deal with this morning. Why does this happen, why this issue of long past childhood history where the mind is being aroused by a thought,a memory of something that never really happened but involving those that i had grown up with in such a negative manner that it hurts one's feeling at such an early hour of the day? It evokes negative thoughts in a chain reaction inevitably as the mind refused to let it go at that and sitting in meditation did no good to remove the age old memory but instead added more scenarios to it leading on to the present.
Yesterday evening as I stood waiting for the elevator with my daughter there was a Chinese lady waiting with us, she was perhaps in her fifties and had and educated look about her. She also had the look that said, why the hell are you taking the elevator with me, like you do not belong in the same ride with me. I felt agitated by the whole unfriendly scene and told my daughter off handedly, "I look but I don't see you, kind of scenario we are having, " my daughter smiled and nodded and the lady still held her tombstone gaze into oblivion till the elevator door opens. Just as she was about to exit at her floor I look at her close and said, "have a nice day!" and my daughter said to me angrily, why do you even bother dad! 
Yes why do I even bother? Perhaps herein lies my fault, I bother too much. It is as though it is my concern that the people around me are not interactive or friendly enough, like the external world needs to chill out and greet more often so as to make a better day for ourselves. What a dork!
I have the feeling that when I sit and meditate long enough I become overly sensitive towards my surroundings especially towards other beings. i tend to project my own feelings and perceptions into them and these may not be positive all the time. I know and realize that it is not them, it is me, I am the one being not responsive or even negative and just not know it; I was having a bad day, not them. I need to tweak my sensory perceptions, fine tune how I act in public by not trying too hard to make alterations or worse pass unnecessary judgements over others or situations beyond my control; in short to mind my own mind!          

Monday, June 05, 2017

My Mind- My faith.

Looking deep within in silence, unhindered by any thoughts or mental formations, I find some comfort and even an blink of insight into why I am feeling so edgy and restless if not vexed during this fasting month. I am in a sense being shaken by the very roots of the foundation of my faith. I am being placed under a microscope of spiritual magnitude and dissected in order to have the contents of my heart read as to how I feel about God. At my age and in the very circumstance and environment that I am in at present, this is no laughing matter, The experiment that I have subjected myself into has taken me to the brink of becoming an atheist; may the All Mighty spare me such a damnation. I have yet to even understand the very nature of my own being and existence than to have the audacity to declare myself an apostate. My lifetime experiment has not allowed me for a conclusion as yet as I am still in the dark as to my own self discovery; Who am I?
A genuine Muslim has every right to condemn me for blaspheming and as such an infidel destined to find my way into the jaws of hell, So would a Christian or a Jew.; my afterlife is screwed! I need, at the peril of my own soul, to find the truth of the matter as to the nature of my very existence and make my stand and declare; this is who I am! This is my Dharma Position as a Buddhist would declare. I make my stand from this state of consciousness without any doubt, fears or favors, judge me if you must from your understanding, but know that this is where i am coming from. I have gotten here not by simply accepting what is being told me, or  simply because of some scriptures handed down from generations in the past; I got to this position by my own self enquiry and self discovery. When I declare my true faith or my spiritual being it will be  free of doubts and fears, it will be the result of a lifelong quest for the truth; my own original 'Buddha Nature',or that which Is before I was even conceived by my parents.
When my soul has been washed and purified by the blood, sweat and tears of regret and redemption beyond doubt, when i have truly awakened from this sleep of ignorance, perhaps only then can i declare where, to who or what my faith lies in; till then I am still groping my way in darkness towards the seat of the truth. My mind has come a long way in thinking in this manner but it is still not fully convinced, it is still trapped in a monkey's brain loosing its bearing every so often lost in self deluded thoughts; my mind is my best friend and my worse enemy. 

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Still trying to stay awake.

What I feel about the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions today is that, although they all worship the One and the same Great Spirit that they by their own linguistic and cultural tradition calls by different names such as God, Yahweh. or jehovah and Allah or Al-Lah, these three religions of the Holy Books are the most segregated and harbors the most animosity towards one another. Each and every Christian, Jews and Muslim are willing to murder in the name of their Creator...the God of Abraham, of Moses  and Jesus and Muhammad as though this has been sanctioned. For centuries these three religions has been going at it, killing and subverting, condemning  and ridiculing one another and all in  the name of the One true Creator. Ever since i was a child and made aware of my faith, I was indoctrinated into looking at judaism and Christianity with suspicion if not contempt and this is true for most Muslims all over the world today just as it is true for Jews and Christian children alike. Sadly enough in the war torn regions of the Middle East this mutual distrust has become so toxic that it has taken the form of chronic hatred; especially in the hearts of children who lost their parents, brothers and sisters.
The religion of Abraham is a very sick religion today and in need of more than a Miracle to heal. The schism that has been fomenting over the centuries has now become poisonous and is cancerous to every believer in the the three faith all over the world; but most religious soul lives in denial of this dilemma. Most modern religious leaders and thinkers makes all kinds of excuses in defence of the inability and failure to address this issue by attributing it to territorial and political issues as the cause and thus not religion that is responsible. How we have lived in all these centuries telling ourselves these lies is an unholy curse in itself;  the devil or satan has his work cut out for him. We as God fearing children of Adam are sending ourselves and our future generation to hell through our own ignorance, through our arrogance and through our fears; we are the victims of our own self generated apathy.
It is almost a week now the Month of Ramadan has quickly passed by and I find myself haunted by doubts and questions about my own faith. I have now come to the conclusion that i am fasting and observing as closely as I can of the requirements of the fasting month only because i have not realize the whole truth about Islam. it is also because i firmly believe that the fasting Month is the most significant among the practices in Islam as it is demanding in all aspect of discipline. It is also during this Month that my soul is being run through the wringer of my Maker. My soul walks on very thin ice and my mind is being tested to the maximum in more than one way towards my faith; am i a true believer or a doubter?
What is a true believer and who is asking and who do i answer to? Why do i place such great importance in my life over thiese issues for as long as I can remember? I have spent many a dark night of the soul tormenting myself in trying to find answers but what i have learned is that i have wasted a whole lot of energy and time for instead of celebrating and joys of life like I should i have spent most of my life living in the agony of fear and guilt as though my Lord is ever watching and waiting to get a hold of me for every little and major transgressions i have committed in my time. Yet, when i watch and see the state of humanity today,the atrocities and violence man is capable of inflicting on his fellow man, i wonder why I should fear a Creator that has allowed for this to happen. Is this then the illusion. the Cosmic Joke that God is playing on me, like what the Buddha has uncovered; that it is all an illusion. It is all a mental formation of an ignorant mind fast asleep and dreaming and sooner than later this dream will turn into a nightmare. 
Wake up! Wake up! Stay awake!                 

How can we break down the barrier.

If we look down at the world from space, we would not see any demarcation of national boundaries. We would simply see one small Planet, just one. Once we draw a line in the sand we develop the sense of "us" and "them". As this feeling grows it becomes harder to see the reality of the situation. In many countries, in Africa and recently in Eastern European countries such as the former Yugoslavia, there is great narrow minded nationalism,
In a sense the concept of "us' and "them" is almost no longer relevant, as our neighbor's interest are ours as well. Caring for our neighbor's interest is essentially caring for our own future. Today the reality is simple, in harming our enemy, we are harmed. I find that because of the modern technological evolution and our global economy, and as a result of the great increase in population, our world has greatly changed, it has become much smaller. However our perception have not evolved at the same pace; we continue to cling to the old national demarcation and old feelings of "Us' and "Them".
The Dalai Lama - Introduction to his book " An Open Heart" pg. 10

Jedu Krishnamurti, the great Indian Philosopher,whose thoughts I have closely since I was in college , had pointed out to me in many of his works and talks that " You are the world." If and when you have realized it, you become the creator of your own world, you manifest all there is. His thorough study in the workings of the mind, in thoughts and human consciousness is today a beacon to many who has studied his works. We are a whole, each and everyone of us, perfect and complete, only we are blinded by our inability to transcend the conditions we have been led into from the moment we were born. Not many has been able to break free of the shackles of these conditioning albeit, cultural, religious or ideologies. Only those who have the will and the yearning for the truth, those who are awaken from the slumber of ignorance or those who have shattered the mirrors of illusion that surrounds one, stands the chance to become aware of the greatness of the human mind  and how it affects the universe.
The Collective consciousness of the human mind is not something  trivia, it is what moves the atoms and the planets into place, it governs the very nature of our existence; if we could only feel this within us. It takes a total commitment towards self realization by whatever means for it to be possible for the spirit to see itself as the overlord; master of its own environment and circumstances. The ultimate sacrifice is the extermination of the ego, the thought created small or monkey mind. This is what most of us humans are carrying with us throughout our entire lives and most never had even a glimpse of the truth of the fact that we are merely surviving this life and some are surviving better than others. We do this at the expense of others, we do this at the expenses of the planet itself and we become oblivious to the greater purpose and meaning of our life. 
What is unique about aliens as depicted in UFO sightings by the media and so forth is the fact that they all look alike. Is this perhaps the manifestation of 'Collective Consciousness' in a specie? The fact that these alien creatures all look alike is a prerequisite to being an advanced specie that has evolved way beyond individuality and as  such they can act collectively as an entity. Humans takes great pride in being an individual that is unlike any other of his kind preferably better in all aspects such as looks and wealth. We compete against one another and we claim  more for ourselves in the name of survival the fittest; I am smarter and more industrious, I work hard to get where I am. Man can never come close to being an advanced being like those aliens simply because self serving and overly competitive and we take pride in our individuality and our tribalism like our race and culture. perhaps after a few more millennia of evolution we might be able to shed off our skins and good looks and all become boringly alike, perhaps then we might function as an advanced specie of aliens; it might be our final act of survival. 
At the rate man is racing himself towards self annihilation we need an option for our very survival as a humanity and that option is to explore the outer space for possible friendly planet that can replace our own for our future generation. Before our whole specie is wiped out we need to become aliens and start our journey of exploration ..."to boldly go where no man has gone before." Yes it is self fulfilling this prophecy of 'space being the final frontier.' The sooner we can stop racing against one another on who gets there first the better we would have in racing against time itself for at the rate we are moving ahead with our self destructive agenda time is of the essence. If the Super powers of today can by some miracle sit and put their collective minds to work, the possibility of us joining the aliens 'visiting' our skies on an equal footing would not be farfetched. Our human history, our past and present collective minds has been pointing us, warning us to be prepared, to not waste precious time in finding faults against each other, to end the spitting contest of nations against nations and to end our tribal complex, if we are to survive as a specie into the future.