Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Three Most Potent Viruses.that we are not aware of

There are three different of viruses much more potent and destructive the any viruses known that had plagued the human specie through our history : Greed, Hate and Ignorance (delusion).
The outcome of their venom has cost untold human suffering throughout the ages and viruses like COVID-19 is just one minor physical manifestation of their negative effect. We all who can think for ourselves knows about this and it do not matter who or what you are creed wise. However it is sad that we choose to ignore this or refuse to have an understanding about the nature of these viruses that we as mankind has inherited from our forefathers, mentally, physically and genetically. Called by Shakyamuni Buddha as the three 'Illnesses', these viruses attack our immune and nervous systems through over indulgence, exaggeration, making small issues turn into a war etc.

Take greed for instance, what is being greedy, never satisfied, insatiable, obsession, enough is never enough, has to be ahead in wealth in this life at any cost; Greed is the main cause of the fall of this Nation, Malaysia as it is in most other nations. Hoarding, grabbing, clinging on to, grasping are some of the nature of greed as well as not being able to share, much less give away what we do not need, this is greed. No matter if you are Chinese, Malay or Indian or a host of other Natives of this country, like me you too are inflicted by this cancerous virus. How do you cure the illness called 'Greed' from your consciousness, how to stop being greedy, to know when to say enough is enough? To not fabricate issues that justify your greed like you are doing it for your children and theirs, or it is simply God's Will. Yes you may have what the Joneses have but you do not have to double or triple your status just to make a point. You can at least recognize and identify the Corona Virus and make a study to find its cure, but greed is much more complicated. convoluted and confusing, only the patient can diagnose his illness and acknowledge if he has this virus and what he should do about it.

Hate is no different a virus from Greed and is usually the result of Greed. Man has been tribal in nature and the desire to acquire the most out of life supersedes compassion and even love for one another. We are blinded by material wealth and forsake spiritual and social connections, man is the most self serving creature to walk the earth. Violence is the product of hate and thus we have armies and policing as a permanent part of our human culture. Domestic violence, street rage, uncontrolled flare up of anger, envy and jealousy, control and exploitation  and abuse of power; all these are part and parcel of what is hate. Hatred is a virus that has killed more than any other in the history of Man; only man kills for no apparent reason.

I feel that ignorance is the most volatile of all the three viruses as it is the cause of most our human negative values which we manifest in our daily life. Out of ignorance evil deeds and erroneous thoughts are being projected into the world and sometimes out of false understanding we commit heinous crimes against our fellow man, our family, relatives and friends and against those we see as a threat to our well being as a whole. The human mind is an elusive and deadly virus if and when not being fully understood as to how it function. Man is given 'free will', as most religion would have us believe, however it is in making the right choices that we often fail in living a life of Peace and Harmony.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Tomorrow is Eid Mubarak - May the Grace of Allah be with you.

According to Dr. James Pennebaker, a psychologist and leading expert in the field of Expressive Writing — a type of journaling that usually involves exploring issues that can literally correct the course of your life — journaling strengthens immune cells called T-lymphocytes and has been shown to be associated with drops in depression, anxiety, and increases in positive mood, social engagement, and quality of close relationships.”

Hmm. I guess I have been on the right track all along. My journal writing started sometime in 1978 with my first, "Travel Journal", or scrap book that i carried with me when I visited London and Wales, England. It was my first such trip that was done as a part of my College project and since then I had kept and ongoing journal of sketches and all sorts of writings and photos, bus tickets and whatever else that I deemed worth keeping for posterity, my posterity. The came the Internet and Blogging became the replacement to keep on keeping the journal alive; or should I say keeping me alive.

It is also reported Ibn ʿAbbās said: “One hour of contemplation is better than a whole night of vigil worship,” while other authorities taught that, “one hour of contemplation is better than a whole year of worship” (Quoted from: Badri, Malik, Introduction; in: Badri, M., Contemplation. An Islamic Psychospiritual Study, London 2000, p. xi.)

Contemplation and meditation are to me the most potent tools that one can have as a practice in life to help one better understand the workings of one's mind and thought processes albeit in dealing with the daily activities or scientific and spiritual ventures one takes. Man is a thinking creature and as such it is imperative that the thinker should fully comprehend the thought process that he has been endowed with so that it can become a positive and productive tool for his very existence that hopefully embodies all the wisdom and integrity of what it is being a human being. For me it has always been the question of who am I? How do i fit into all this so called the realm of existence; the physical as well as the spiritual realm. In seeking for the answer to this simple truth. I have dived to the deepest levels of my being, mu unconscious as well conscious mind guided by numerous Teachers and Gurus, Religious as well Scientific paradigms, however most importantly what my heart points out to me: what my intuition tells me.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Exposed in the Light - Post COVID-19


"When woman’s point of view receives due consideration and woman’s will is allowed adequate expression in the arrangement of social affairs, we may expect great advancement in matters which have often be grievously neglected under the old regime of male dominance—such matters as health, temperance, peace, and regard for the value of the individual life. Improvements in these respects will have very far-reaching and beneficent effects." ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says :—

Another confession I have to add on to my already many others is the fact that as an adolescent i was prone to homosexuality. Never thought that I would come out and say this in this lifetime, however if truth needs to be told then I will tell as it is and after all what is the sense of having a catharsis if there are still skeletons yet lurking in the darkest corner of my unconscious. In my later adult life i became homophobic and when i first arrived in San Francisco one of the first few places i had to stay was with a Gay man in the, ( note, how strange it is that every time i try to write about this matter the name of the most famous Gay Community in SF skips my mind, it will come or I can always Google it if takes too long.) I will see if it will pop up into my mind while I am still writing this post. While I was at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, I witnessed making it out in the Guest House as they did not have the decency to pull shut the curtains. Part of me felt disgusted yet I felt a sense of understanding at better than to judge at what is inherently within me already.  

It popped into my head as i took a break from my posting to tend to the cat's food and water; The Castro District. The man at whose place I was to put up at was Patrick Kelly the younger brother of Dennis Kelly, or Junpo Kelly the Abbot of a Rinzai Zen monastery, the man I was sent to meet by his mother who was a fellow member of the Print Club at the University in Green Bay, Wisconsin, ( another tale another time). The first bar Patrick took me for a drink to was at a place called the Twin Peaks, a Gay Bar and i felt the warning lights turned on in my mind about this man and his intentions, more out of fear than anything else. I did not know for how long i had to stay with Patrick until his older brother Dennis was ready for me, but staying with Patrick was not the most comfortable feeling i had; my phobia, my bad.

When I stumbled upon the quote above from a link that someone had posted on my Face Book it triggered this long time baggage of my sexual preferences and hangups. It has taken a very long time for me to drag this festering baggage out into the open to be air out and disposed off at least before i take my one step beyond. I know there is not much that i can do as what is done is done and what i had experienced cannot be undone as there was no Guru or teacher to turn to, to tell me or knock me on the head and say, "Hey, it is not natural to butt f..k another man. You can love a man for who he is on a higher and deeper sense of the word Love." Perhaps it has always been my own guilt feelings that had cast a dark shadow over my trust in relationship with men.  Carl Jung would have said that the animus in me fears being abused by  those who sense my vulnerability.

I remember an experience I had while hitch hiking in Albuquerque, New Mexico, ( what I was doing there and so forth is too mush to relate), I was picked up by a Latino man and we ended up in his home. He offered me a beer and we sat watching the old Star Trek series made then he started to act sexually interested in me by touching me in places that sets off alarms, like what the heck! I made a mistake of recoiling which sets off the aggression in him, however I was able to reason out with him the fact that I held no judgement for his sexual preferences and as a matter of fact I told him i sympathized as i too suffer the same and he eventually simmered down and apologized and offered to take me to where I needed to go. The experience woke me up in some ways and it told me how we all carry in us this duality of emotional and psychological entities that if not fully understood and balanced out can prove a health and mental hazard. 

Today i have a healthy respect for those who are Gays or Lesbians, not pity or worse, judgement; I have a personal taste of what it is like in me. I have raised my two children since the day they were born more so than just a father, I have been both their mother and father. I have been the Babysitter, the cook and cleaner, the house husband and wife way before my late wife passed on, She was a worker. A part of me felt trapped and angry at having to play the role but there was and perhaps more so today the realization I am in a sense a hermaphrodite but not just sexually but by my inherent nature; my Being, my Consciousness. Instead of putting up a wall, i have inadvertently learned to embrace it before the guilt of shame that has been festering all these years is able to tear me apart; yes as I have always been telling myself, I walk a thin line between sane and insanity.  

   








Sunday, May 17, 2020

And the purge begins.

 The truth I seek has always been right within me and it is an unwavering truth only the seeker wavers from the path as I get side tracked, attached to, entangled with all the 'roadside attractions' that comes my way. Any man worth his salt knows how much time and effort have been wasted over the years by just pandering to wanting to be a Blogger, or an autobiographical writer for no apparent good reason than to fill up empty spaces and moments in time. This Blog has been read I can safely say by more than half a million readers from many parts of the globe and I sincerely hope that it has done some good in some small way for one or two who have read my postings. It is not my intention to be making a living out of it and google has seen to it that I don't claiming that I had not been honest. Not much that I can do there and Google is still carrying out their advertising links from my Blog, so money is out of the question. I have time and again tried to justify why I do so but they are all just just justifications but not convincing enough. So I will let it rest on the reasons why and simply enjoy what it is that matters here and now and that is being occupied with putting down into words what my mind thinks and watch how it has grown over the years this line of thoughts that one man carries around with him as he walks this path we call life.

The truth I seek has never really existed, it is simply an idea that was created to give some form of meaning as to what or how my life has been, still is an will always be; the mind is repetitious in nature like a broken record. it keeps repeating the same lines again and again until someone or something shoves the needle out of the same groove to the next, like you see some angry drunk kicking the jukebox in the tavern. Then there is the mind that is like a pinball machine and all kinds of changes, lights flashing and bells ringing  as the ball rolls downwards according to the will of the player in his effort to stay alive in the game and claims highest points. This too after repetitious playing becomes just that, repetitious and the player will eventually walk away giving up to find a more exciting and challenging game; this too is the truth.

The truth I seek has never really meant anything but just the game that my mind has played all along keeping me thinking I am getting somewhere, achieving something, fulfilling my intentions, in short feeding my needs. Spiritually, I am just as ignorant and bereft of what the truth is and even if it matters if life has any meaning worth pondering for the truth is I and many like me am just trying to give meaning to life as a justification for my existence on the plane of existence having been born out of this Planet; I am a product of my environment, as it is said. If so why the need to seek for the proverbial truth? Am I a truth seeker? Am I truly, genuinely and sincerely out to find out what it is all about, this life of mine? Or am I another smoker of dream pipes and hallucinating my life away instead of raising cattle like my twin brother is successfully doing with his life; what a half an hour difference can make in how your life can turn out to be.

The truth seeker will never discover the truth even if it hit him in the head and knock him out senseless for he is too busy seeking and blinded by the very truth of his own ignorance. He is no more different from Don Quixote De La Mancha who rides all over the countryside charging at windmills taking them to be smoking dragons. I find myself running in circles looking for my tail and never catching up to it throughout my life. I got the answers but they slip away from my consciousness when a new question arises or a new perception takes my fancy, nothing truly comes my way except fleeting thoughts of the past, memories they lingers on until I am shaken and the needle shifts to the next groove where the next line continues with the same old tune. Thus if anyone in their foolish mind would undertake to read my entire Blog entry to this date they will find out how repetitive my narrative has been over the years and this is perhaps the purpose of this Blog, to keep an ongoing record of my mental formations and physical existence as thoroughly and transparently as I honestly could. I am and has been taking the scalpel to my brain, my nerves, my senses, my thoughts and imaginations; I am flaying myself to discover what lies within.

The truth I seek is not the truth but the Demon within that has taken root in me like a parasite leading its host towards insanity if not self destruction and I do not speak of this lightly as the fate my soul is on the line. At the age of 70, my twin brother said that I frightened him when I visited him last year and had to walk out of his house still puzzled as to what I did who i am that frightened him so badly. This is just giving a view of the tip of my psychic iceberg of my unconscious mind. The demon of as Jung would call it, my 'shadow' self, has always been there in my consciousness and perhaps I make it my scapegoat for all the crazy, if not disgusting and frightening things that I have done in my life of which some I could not even come to admit even in a confession before a man of the Cloth; at thirteen I cursed God pointing my finger at Him out of sheer pain and anger. I will never forget this moment in time, the nadir of my life when I hated God and my mother and mostly who I was and i had no one to turn to at the time; least of all God. I think it was from then on that I became the demon and lived my life like one. Nothing was sacred anymore and no one escaped my wrath and lust; I was a very incorrigible, a very angry and vindictive man and along my path I had destroyed many lives through bad relationships, dishonesty and corrupted spirit.

The truth I seek is as a matter of fact is hidden deep within me wrapping its tendrils tight choking my beating heart and sucking the very life out of me and I have been fighting this dark truth ever trying to regain my spirit and soul. I do not hate this demon for it is too late to well upon it and it would only raise more negative energy in the form of anger, but I will keep on exposing the truth of who I am layer by layer until I have exposed the demon to the light and absolve myself of all my sins. Ever since I was awakened to the nature of my status as a human being, when I started to see who I was and what I have become, I have taken the Bodhisattva Vows as my battle cry towards the salvation of my soul. 

DELUSIONS ARE INEXHAUSTIBLE,
I VOW TO END THEM!

This is the second of the four truth of the Bodhisattva vows. It is my intention for better or worse to empty my own shit bucket and clean my closets as thoroughly as I can before I throw in the towel and call it game over. No Church, no Preacher, no Mosques, no Imams, no Temples no Priests, I will walk my own fire and cleanse my own spirit/soul for the truth i seek is nowhere to be found but in me. I can never shake off my shad Itow but i can embrace it and become whole and complete as one and as one I will become a Buddha and as a Buddha it is my intention to approach my Lord for His Mercy and Grace. may not happen in this lifetime but time is on my side for I have learned to suffer time. If and when I die i would I know that I have lived life on my own terms and wrote my own story. 

Insha'Allah! God Willing.


Saturday, May 16, 2020

NETFLIX series - The 100 - My take

Just completed watching the whole series of '100' after about three days of uninterrupted viewing. How the human race fared in the face of extinction of its own making. A brilliant story line that had kept me captivated from the beginning to the end. I am no film critique and so I will not be making any technical comments however as a whole the series is very well done and almost convincing, the cinematography is brilliant in its realism and artistry. However what kept me involved was the story itself that involves the struggle for survival and what it takes to stay alive on a dying planet. An almost prophetic, apocalyptic end to the planet as mankind through its tribal and territorial war mongering from the beginning till the end, revealing all its hubris. frailties and follies in individuals as well as the thirst for power, greed and hatred all in the name of saving the human race from self annihilation. The series left me feeling that mankind is indeed the cancerous parasite that had finally killed its own host and perhaps have found a new host to start it all over when at the end of the series the remaining survivors eventually found a new host or planet to inhabit.

Be it as it may, fiction or otherwise, the series dug deep into the human psychosis and the deep rooted human 'animal instinct for survival; to do what it takes to stay alive which included not only betrayal and brutal social conflict but also leading on to cannibalism. Most of these traits are nothing new to the human race as when push comes to shove, man has proven to himself of what he is capable of and what man is capable of defies even the animal kingdom especially when it come to territorial claims. When it comes to it, trust and integrity, shame and conscience becomes a thing only read about in the books. Although sacrifices were needed to be made most were made out of sheer fear of the alternative being one's own demise or that of ones closest loved one becoming the victim; man will make sacrifice but never willingly or out of a sense of compassion for another. 

The 100 were young adults of juvenile age who had committed a crime on board of the space station where a group of people were given refuge from the catastrophic result of a nuclear holocaust on earth. The 100 were the original sacrifice made to rid the space station of the number of people that it was capable of keeping alive as the resources began to run out for human survival. It was the life of this 100 hundred that became the crux of the story that led to their quest for survival while at the same time learning of the truth and consequences of the actions initiated by their parents on board to space station. Having being unknowingly castrated on to the planet of their ancestors, the 100 discovered that Earth was habitable and that there were other survivors already inhabiting the planet. Chaos, mayhem, treachery, deceit soon followed as the newcomers came to confront the existing hosts and they had to resort to violence as the only solution to their cause for survival. Human history repeats itself now on a micro level however the outcome was just as catastrophic as the last patch of green pasture available was fought for and rendered a wasteland just like the rest of the Planet. The Series is a tribute to human ingenuity at its best when it came to surviving while it also exposed our capacity to being no better than the beasts and demons that we keep locked up within our hearts and souls. These beasts and demons are inherently a part and parcel of who we are and will be manifested when all else fails and only the will to survive matters.



  







Saturday, May 09, 2020

My Flute- Krishna.

Whenever I listen to the theme of the Last Samurai by Hans Zimmer, I immediately feel a sense of melancholy, not in the negative way, but more in the feeling of a sadness of a loss. It tells me a whole of what a good music can do to the emotions and senses especially tunes that were written from the heart and soul of the Master Conductor himself. I can mange to play and sing on the guitar a few oldies, I used to play the flute, metal and bamboo, used to play the recorder, my first musical instrument and the harmonica least but not last; most of all I love to sing. Music and Art in general soothes the soul, reels it back into the consciousness from external pull and push of emotions. Listening to a great music in absolute silence of the mind gives me the sense that i am back on my horse  riding into the next battle.

I once had a metal flute given to me by my lady friend in Green Bay, Wisconsin where I attended the university and she was the Director of International Students Department as well as the assistant Dean of Students when I was student there. We lived together for two years and learned much from each other. Friends called her, 'Barefoot Lizzy.' Liz gave me a birthday present of a second hand flute and I named the flute 'Krishna.' I took it wherever I went and used to blow it as loud as I could when walking all over the Muir Valley, at Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center usually in the evenings when the sun was setting over the Pacific. At dinner hall many would ask, "Where were you? I could hear you echoing all over the hills!" I used to play it in 'the tunnels' at Golden Gate Park where I took my two children on the double stroller for a walk daily; I love the echo chamber effect. 

I had to part company with Krishna when I found myself landed in East LA, after I had hitched a long truck ride from Wisconsin and ended in the nearby area Truck Stop, of East LA. I had no money to my name and had to find my way to San Francisco my final destination; the Zen Center to be exact. I was so desperate that I walked into a bank and went right up to a bank employee and told him my story, the fact that I need about 87 USD to get me a bus ticket all the way to Green Gulch Farm. The funny thing was when I mentioned the Zen Center and G G Farm the gentleman got interested and eventually I managed to sell my flute for the same amount. I felt like i lost a friend and companion that day and how it had actually saved my life perhaps. This was the feeling i got when listening to Hans Zimmer's, Theme form The Last Samurai.
#Hans Zimmer,# The last Samurai,# East LA, #GG Farm

Friday, May 08, 2020

The Lotus out of Muddy Waters.


" May we exist with the purity of lotuses in muddy waters."

A Zen Buddhist chant at every end of a ritual ceremony, like that of the Full Moon ceremony where the Bhodisattvas took and reaffirm their vows to the Seven Buddhas before Buddha. To Shakya Muni Buddha, before the Bodhi Mahaattvas Manjushri, the personification of Infinite Wisdom and clarity of knowledge, before The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, The personification of Ultimate Compassion, Love and Care. Better known as the Goddess of Mercy or Kuan Yin as the Chinese knows  in most Far Eastern Asian countries, and Kanon Daibosatsu to the Japanese who have heard of Buddhism or Zen in this present era of our evolution. In a way I would say the human mind collectively is getting too lazy to think deeper or farther than simply what is needed to survive; we have become myopic in our collective vision as it has been in our personal level. God, Gods, Angels and Demons, those are for the rich  with time on their hand and nothing else better to do.

I started to look into my practice, my ways, my actions, my thoughts, my imaginations, my pride and prejudices, I started to look within. What I find is my God and Gods, Angels and Demons, lurking in every corner of my closets, yes it was and still is a tedious and back breaking trip it has been. Mountains climbed and rivers crossed, but the journey is not over yet for so long as there is Breathing in and breathing out, the journey is in motion...yes, the Show Must Go On! Then there is is third Bodhisattva Mahasattva -Samathabadra, The manifestation of the Infinite Strength and fortitude, in performing his duties, The Practice of the perfection of the act Practicing. In islam I would call it 'Amalan'. In the monastic schools i would call it discipline, like meditation, chopping wood or cooking in the kitchen or simply writing about nothing in particular.

May we exist with the Purity of a Lotus on Muddy Waters. This line i stumbled upon while rummaging around the Green Gulch Zen Center Library registered like a flash of thunder-less lightning, it was photo etched into my consciousness and it keeps on popping in and out every now and then and so this is why I am spending more time with trying to fully comprehend it meaning on far deeper levels of the unconscious. The stem and roots of the lotus reaches downwards to the bottom of the pond where all the dead waste have settled down and despite this state stagnation of death and decay, the lotus planted its roots into the primordial muck and sustain itself to produce the most perfect flower that symbolizes beauty, purity and wisdom. 

In a way I see my life has been somewhat similar to that of the lotus flower as I practically was born in a mangrove swamp home mud skippers and water snakes, monitor lizards, siput lokan, ikan tembakoi, and the belangkas or century crabs. I grew up swimming among flotsam or garbage and human waste almost every time it was a high tide and the sea brought into  the village anything and everything that was not tied down or nailed to the floors. One got use to the stench of dead animals and whatever else that was left behind when the tide receded. I was born like the lotus in virtual muddy waters and thrived on it as a blessing for it was a childhood experience like no other and can never be easily forgotten. Today this environment does not exist anymore and some of the species that thrived back then are probably extinct today. 
A good image of how bad it was is to find a turd sitting on top of your head when you emerge from the depths, but you might not know it as you cannot see or feel it, but others will point it out to you. Then what do you do? In a way it was a great test of wisdom in the Zen tradition, how does one get rid a piece of turd sitting on top of the head while swimming in the water?

The I was forced to move to the East Coast to live with my immediate family due to minor complications in the religious department. But I do not need to go into details anymore about these, God know how often i have written about them. Living on the East Coast as a teenager was an upgrade in my lifestyle in more that one way and I dealt with the challenges accordingly. I found the benefits of change and of adaptability and about being stubborn in not giving in to all kinds of bullying and humiliation; I graduated from High School with no flying colors but an independent spirit free to choose my ways.

My move to the US with a wife and child was the next phase in my growth as a man. It was hell in the beginning, however gradually grew into a very life fulfilling experience. I was free to choose and free to become who or what I wanted, right and wrong was a choice i seldom made but went along with the flow of what life had to offer. I lived life to the best and worse it had to offer, I discovered my true calling and took upon myself to discover the true meaning of my existence, who am I? While living for three years in Japan, I learned many lessons about relationships and cultural differences that has made me more tolerant of others and their ways. While living with my son, the Pilot in Dubai, i tasted the best that life had to offer in terms of material comfort, the life of the rich and famous. I could not have asked for more in terms of how i wanted my life to be as I grew from muddy waters of Kampung Selut to the peak of the Burj Khalifah in Dubai. I grew like a lotus out of muddy waters, so to speak. 





               

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Revisiting old Haunts.

Excuses, excuses! That's all we got to give for what we have no time, nor interest in wanting to knowings that matters that is if one were to truly claim to be a human being, a man, a woman, a Right Understanding of the functioning of our system as a whole, a complete whole- Mind - Body and Spirit (Soul). This keeps repeating itself in my consciousness I know nothing i am saying is new or original, but these are repetitive thoughts that seem to demand attention. So I am going to untangle the tangle, knot by knot till the line is straight again or at least i have been trying to do this for many years of my life now way before the Blogging happened. I have chosen this path as one of the paths towards Right Understanding of who or what i truly am. I feel its dumb too but I am addicted to many things in life and writing my thoughts is one of them. If you are reading this then you are riding the same train as my thinking mind, sometime long and boring and sometimes it can be be inspiring. It is all in how you choose to ride this gravy train, as a winner or a looser, a bum or a man of destiny, a man who chose the path less taken, or a drifter...who are you, I ask. And the answer eludes me time and again, I know and fully realize that there are many instances and moments in my life that things happen and I was baffled and had no explanation to provide and so most of these, I call Satori, or Epiphany or Grace kind of magical moments I have experienced but never talked about as I feel they are too sacred and was and perhaps still is meant for me alone. I might share these 'Mystical moments if and when I find the mind and the right space for it to happen.

Let me relate at least one such moment that i call the 'Magical Moment,' It happened after three hours of weeding with a Japanese hoe on a hot summer afternoon, of rows and rows of baby spinach. It happened at Green Gulch Farm, the Zen Center at Marin County, across the bay from the City of San Francisco. I was working alongside a Japanese man who stopped the farm for R&R after having led a group of Japanese tourists up the Grand Tetons, in Wyoming. He hardly spoke any English and i knew next to nothing about Japanese, but we got along. Laughed and called each other pig and would yell our guts out so it echos through the valley and make s small group of horses stop grazing and held their heads high perhaps wondering, what the devil was going on. Weeding after while became a challenge between us as we raced down one bed after another with not a word between us. The we arrived at the end of the last bed and I was so tired I just dropped the hoe across two beds and I laid down with my head hanging back over the hoe handle, I must have passed out and when I came to i found myself staring up toward the deep blue sky with white clouds passing by at faster than normal speed and all was quiet. My head then dropped to one side and I found myself staring  at tiny baby plants growing out of the ground like you see in a time lapsed movie. I felt blissful and chuckled at the irony before my eyes telling me that the weeds too have to grow, they are part of nature. 
Then I was shocked to my senses by a loud shout or as the Japanese a Kia! "Buta!" or PIG!And i saw my Japanese friend Miyoshi standing with his chin hanging leaning over the end of the hoe and his face a big Grin! I got up and we both marched ourselves right into the Zendo or Meditation Hall and sat; just the two of us. The next morning upon waking up I found a whole complete set of camping equipm, a ent, along with a Gortex Down Jacket, a two man tent, a Gortex Rain gear and Japanese Man's training kimono, like those worn by Samurai warriors while in training. A note said thank you for my hospitality and friendship and hope that our path cross again one day; I found out that he had left for Home.

Perhaps in telling it as it was does not do justice upon the spiritual rush that happened on that day unless one has had the experience of something similar. These moments albeit during the wakeful state or in dreams are mystical moments that bring one into the presence of consciousness itself when the mind finally was silenced and the sensory organs becomes alive; sound I found will be switched off totally and you feel like you are in a vacuum state of presence. There was also a sense of connection between two souls who hardly could communicate in words but touched one another's heart and be moved. Suyoshi  and i were the only two students allowed to hang out with Nakamura Sensei, an over eighty year old Japanese Lady Tea Master in her tea house built by the Rockefeller Foundation built according to the exact way as they would have be built in Japan. Two Japanese tea house construction masters craftsmen were employed from Japan to do the job. Nakamura Sensei and the Tea House were both registered as National Treausures. It was more than a privilege, it was an honor for the two of us sitting in the tea house and chatting with the old lady while she fed us all kinds of expensive sweets that hey had bought for her from downtown San Francisco. We drank expensive Sake and Japanese wine and I kept seeing the old lady turn into a giggling young girl when Tsuyoshi teased her.The mystical or magical moments that some would call Satori or Moksha, or simply spacing out, happened in my past and sometimes still do in the present. 
#San Francisco, #Moksha, # Green Gulch farm, # Zen Practice.


Tuesday, May 05, 2020

The Dog has Buddha Nature- tell him that.

Who or what I am is irrelevant for so long as i am still trapped in this round of life, birth and death and rebirth, this Mayavic realm of the conscious mind, the mind that will never cease to ramble, a mind that is ever restless and demanding, and this is the mind that is laying out my path and the ground rules that goes along with. It is my birth right and God given one to ask the questions and demand the answers before i will submit myself to any authority that seek to hinder my progress in any shape or form, my journey is mine and mine alone and I stand this to the truth of my Dharma Position, the primal ground of my being who I am; as a servant of the Lord of Creation.
And the Lord Is great!
It must be the fasting month spirit that is talking in my head and wishing to be exposed into the light of consciousness,

"The Dharma Gates are Boundless,
I vow to enter it."
This is the second of the Four Vows taken by the Bodhisattva, which deals with the phenomenal, the realm of possibilities and realm of mental formations and delusions called the NirmanaKaya. I am and we are in the Nirmana Kaya realm of existence. We live and abide by the laws of karma, the laws of the Cosmos, the laws of the Gods and the laws of Nature. For so long as I am breathing this air and walking the earth I am subjected to the laws governing this realm of Collective Consciousness, ( or un-Conscious). This is the realm where I am stuck for not being able to shake off this dual thinking mind that I carry around with. The monkey on my back, the nails at my feet, to proceed towards salvation of my spirit and soul, I accept the fact I have to make efforts and sacrifices along the way; I got to do the work! In the Buddhist context, Karma can be affected to change for the better by sheer work, selfless dedicated work with a sense of service. This is like Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of servitude and devotion. This is the essence what a true Bodhisattva is practices in his life; live to serve.

Te sense of servitude is the second major Truth, that i have come to adopt as my  inner engineering practice it is next to Prayer. I am Thy servant O'Lord, forgive me ignorance but I seek to serve You in your myriad forms in this Dharma Realm. In Islam I say to myself this is my will and the Will of my Lord. I may be sounding holy guacamoli about things i barely know of and am taking for granted that I be right as it is in my guts as much as in my mind. My heart however trust in the Truth that I Am, That, I Am. I am not my mind body nor my mind, these are my tools and instruments for living on the plane. They serve me well as i serve them in keeping a somewhat strict routine on maintenance of balance and alignment in accordance with the cost of living today. The body requires the basic elements in well balanced amount and the Chi or energy is to be kept flowing smoothly all through the body without any obstructions, This I do everyday in the form or basic yoga stretches and breathing exercises to keep the physical structure loose and well greased. The mind is kept busy as it is doing now, doing what it enjoys most -rambling.

I will continue my latest Netflix series called The Last Kingdom or something like that, pretty exciting story of old England when Pagans like the Danes were causing a stir to the Christian faith. Good acting and beautiful scenes, what more could a hardworking diligent Bodhisattva ask for in this life. "Eat when hungry, sleep when sleepy, Sit and watch the mind grow." Who Am I? Truly, who am I? The mind is indeed on cloud nine when sharing bits of information for the purpose of 'killing time', during this Fasting Month of Ramadan.  

Just enjoying writing about nothing.

Now writing simply because, I enjoy writing and I write for the sake of getting to know closer as to I truly am given seventy years of walking this earth and breathing the air. Who am I? What am I? This is when the piece where the theme of the "Pirates of the Caribbean reaches its theme crescendo leading to the beginning of the actual theme and followed by the soft haunting Irish song (?) in the tradition only Hans Zimmer is capable of. Now the followed by the slow build up of the theme from The Gladiator, with the sound of tablas and the whole orchestra as the back ground...this is life, this is creativity,the  the creative imagination of an evolved mind and spirit that is able to gather all like passionate minds to present the world with some of the most awe inspiring, spirit raising themes from some of the great movies made in recent years...if I am to drift, I would like to be drifting into the realms the creative passionate and awakened side of my inherent nature; I have had enough of dramas  , the ones I have created and those that I witness and participate with in others in the effort of serve. However i have also come to realize that as much as I am to believe that all these are illusions or Maya, I am still trapped in this reality and really there is nowhere to run to except within through acceptance and total embrace; This is It!!! This is there is all to It, nothing more nothing less! This is the end and beginning the distance, this is the Whole, Complete and Perfect, this is the moment when all becomes clear and yet meaningless a very necessary waste of good human existence, a necessary ground for good and evil, black or white, right or wrong is to be worked out and fully, with Right Understanding, this is the awakened mind and having it, put it to practice as a path in life to ease suffering or the perception of it. This is where I feel reaching the summit of my Mystique Mountain...this too will pass.

Yes the joy of writing about myself is becoming a bad habit but I am beginning to enjoy it after so many years of having doubts that I have what it takes, this lengthy Blog, The Ramblings of the Cheeseburger Buddha, is my testimony to myself that, I am a Blogger! I enjoy writing! After over 2000 entries over almost twelve years, I discover that I can writing anything I choose to! But I will not be overly ambitious and keep to what I like to write about best; Myself. I am and has always often seen myself  an oddball, I the guy that take a poke at the Lion's balls and hide my hand. Every time I thought i have found the answers, life would take a bite at my arse, the unpredictable nature of my existence has been a source of vexation in me in the past, I was young then. Today I sit writing as a sevety year old who have been of the path he has chosen for himself since childhood; the bridges of ignorance are being burned behind him with every step he makes and every breath he takes. He walks his path towards the 'Seat of the Maker', The Throne of the All Compassionate and Loving Lord of the Universe. The theme from the Lion King screams in my head at this very instant in time while i am writing this. Timing! 

On this fasting month of Ramadan, I do solemnly swear that I will not at any moment doubt my abilities, my gifted talents and my awakened spirit, ever again. If and when I do I will make every effort to enter this river again, no matter how deep or shallow, calm or pregnant with swift flowing flood water, I will find my way to cross over. Perhaps this what my dreams has been telling me about how i find so much difficulties and obstacles in trying to find my way home. In my recurring dreams i always find myself lost or often distracted from finding the safe transport to reach my home. I have been running is circles like a chicken without a head, looking for the answers when right before me, the answer is staring back at me. What?! where to next? More writing? More meditating? More trying to find the balance and alignment to attain maximum warp drive discover what is way out there? We have Netflix to transport our minds to a whole new dimension of every time we have had enough of this one. What is Right Living?

The Imam on You Tube said that the best time to make prayer and ask for the Lord's assistance is immediately after performing the Fajhr or Subuh or dawn Prayer. The Lord fulfills every requests made during this time more so than any other times of the five daily prayers. This was posted on my messenger link by my twin brother, I am grateful for his thoughts and intention; I know he worries about my salvation in the afterlife; in this life he treats me like shit pretty much through my life and i never have the guts or the will to tell it to him in his face cause i know if I had done so there would it would end in violence. It is sad to admit this to myself, however i have to exorcise myself of this inferiority complex carrying of my back like sack of rotten potatoes, I am relieved having let it out after listening to the Video he sent, I realized how little we know of each other even though we were born with a half an hour difference between us; how sad! 

I never hated my brother not in my heart and I keep reminding myself of this every time i visited family and friends in the East Coast. I made at least twelve trps often driving through the night in my former car a Kancil, alone; some say it was madness, but i did and the little car took me to and fro with no problem, about a six to eight hour long drive up an over the Main Range  or in Malay the Pergunungan Titiwangsa, of the Peninsular dividing the East from  the West, the East West Highway, where you might have to stop an let a family of elephants or a Tiger just laying there like nothing. I was stupid in more than one sense but I did and every time I made it to Kuala Terengganu I would drop in to say hello to my twin at his home and sometimes I even agreed to spend a few nights at his home. I had some good times and some real bad ones that us close to going at our jugulars. It was dumb! The point is I made an effort to visit him at his home 12 times, my brother has never visited me in my home. The string of "Siratal Rahim" must never be broken, the ties between siblings is sacrosanct, The first thing my elder sisters would ask me when I visited them was and perhaps still, have you gone to your brothers' house? I had recognized this truth and accepted it. The thought that I was play acting a role of wanting this or that as the outcome, a self written drama that has to be played out as my reputation as being the Mr. All round okay guy, deserves a break. I was never at ease visiting my brother and his wife, my bad!

 On that subject, the teenage sibling rivalry of a pair of twins who were raised separately since birth for twelve years of their childhood lives and then later to be rejoined at the age of twelve. We were dubbed the "Corsican Brothers," by the seniors at our Secondary School, we go the same school and thank God never sat in the same class, or did we? Hmm. Anyway it was one way of saying that we would shoot one another rather than shake hands, real bad. On my last visit last year sometime, my twin brother admitted to my friend how he was envious of my talent when we were growing up, and had he offered my friend to buy the painting it was a blessing too much to expect. No i do not hate my twin brother but i am sad for whatever it is worth that we have grown old without having really got to know one another. Perhaps i am being dramatic about it and looking for blames, no and this writing bears witness, that I had never seek to blame or much less hate anyone in my family. And no amount of writing will justify me for blaming anyone else for the course my life has taken. I fall and I rise of my own free will, only sometimes or most of the time fail to see it as such, I kept blaming myself, it was the only thing that made sense, so, I took matters into my owns hands and broke free from my immediate family,  only going home to eat or sleep. I  became incorrigible, I allowed my rampaging ego a free reign to satisfy itself in every shape or form. I became a rebel without a cause, an angry teenager who had been bullied and frowned by fellow Muslim students at his former primary school while growing up in Penang, only back then I never rationalize like i am doing now, back then i simply made it happen it never needed rhyme or reason to happen except to satisfy a desire to be free from constraints and controls and ever sadder, the lack of compassion and the ability for forgiveness among siblings could win me over to have any faith in   me feel    what is said by the Imam, on the video he sent me to listen to, and yes i did listen to this most perfect Arab looking young man who spoke Bahasa Malaysia to perfection, gave a talk about the best time to ask God for what you truly need of desire. I absolutely agree with him, no doubt, but I my own time of day or moment when I talk and ask God's forgiveness for what my think all the time! Astarghfirullah AlAzim! Forgive me Lord for I had thought all that murderous thoughts or all the lascivious thoughts, thoughts that should think of thinking. I talk to my Lord and ask in prayer for Grace and Mercy  form my Lord almost throughout the day and often even when I dreamed. I find the healing comfort from this in my meditation or sitting Zazen practice. I take refuge in the silence of my mind even for a split second and i would be rejuvenated, revitalized, renewed to enter back into the Realm of Dharma that I am in.

"Sentient Beings are numberless,. 
and i vow to awaken with them."

The first of the Sacred vows of the Bodhisattva, he who has returned time and again to further bring forth as many beings as possible across to the other side of this raging river. It is another dumb idea, I know, but it is still an exciting concept to be carrying out as a self discipline practice whether it is valid or otherwise. I bowed and prostrated  myself before an altar where sat an antique wooden Japanese statue of  Lord Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of infinite Wisdom, nine times up and down while reciting the vows.   while living and practicing Zen Buddhist at the Green Dragon Zen Temple or better known as Green Gulch Farm, I was sold with the idea of becoming a Bodhisattva, I believe that i am here on this earth to live out my karmic consequences while helping others to wake up from this drifting state of consciousness. Drifting like a flotsam down this river of un-Consciousness, drifting around is a daze like zombies clinging on to the ephemeral and impermanence of what life has to offer, Most will return to that which they had come from holding on to what they has believed and practice through out their lives. "As you sow,  And so shall you reap."This is the law of Karma. This law too can be broken. It is in how you perceive life to be and in truly coming to an absolute understanding of who you are the you might be able to break the chain in the interconnected karmic events and through acceptance and surrender you free yourself from having lied, cheat or steal, to fornicating and murder, it is all in your hands how far are you willing to take yourself seriously? How closely are you willing to observe and witness your every thought and actions past present and future? Accepting the best ad the worse and being able to ask and forgive yourself for transgressions and being grateful for you blessing. This is contemplation in meditation where issues that rises and falls during a sitting is looked at and fully understood and letting go effortlessly. 

Monday, May 04, 2020

How or where, who can tell?

I pray deep in my heart, when my consciousness is silent, free from any mental formations, I pray to my Lord, I talk to Him, plead for His mercy and grace and thanking Him for all the Blessings that I have received till this moment in time and space of my existence on this Planet. Then i continue on with my journey from one moment to another witnessing, enjoying, aspiring, plotting and planing, dancing with their mothers and killing their fathers all staged from this theater of my mental formations. Thoughts and ideas, impulses and consciousness itself are the manifestations of my own programming. These are like clouds that comes and goes before me and every so often I am attached to one or two at a time and every so often these gets to be over powering till they attach themselves to me and weigh me down,Instead of allowing myself to be drowned in fear of having a stroke or a heart attack, I Pray, I Surrender myself to my my Lord and beg for His Mercy and Grace, reminding myself the, "From Him I had come and to Him I shall return.": and this is my practice of The Lord's Prayer.

It is between two entity, the Creator and the Created, the Master and the servant, the Guru and the disciple, the Father and the son. I meet my Lord not when my mind is busy, only when my mind is quiet, I hear Him speak into my heart, "Not to fear. Accept and Surrender, Embrace Death willingly and lovingly, but not with fear." I have had many 'attacks', that took my breath away and wet my pants and soak my whole body with sweat upon waking up, stroke, hear attacks, but i was never completely out; I prayed and stayed in contact with my breath, counting in and out like and   gaining my full consciousness as i become more aware of my own state  mental formations that was driving me towards fear and panic. The fact of dying does not scare as much as the physical process itself does. The shortness of breath and the free fall feeling into a deep well, loosing consciousness itself has been scary for me several times in my life. The miracle of Prayer for me is that it brings me back to my present moment with a better clarity of what I was going through at the moment and that I was not breathing as i should. More than that, a simple prayer of giving up and surrendering myself  has the effect of freedom and bliss like falling into your mother's arms and no harm could touch you; this is my kind of prayer; my spiritual safety valve, my Lord. Why do I need to give a Name? Yet I call Him Allah (SWT), AlRahman, AlRahim...The Compassionate and the Merciful., and this because I was converted to Islam at the age of twelve. The word itself has been ingrained into my conscious  mind ever since i heard it for the first time as a child growing up in a Muslim home. Had I been born and raised among the Jews, I would probably be calling Him Jehovah or Yahweh, Had i been born and raised a Christian I would be talking to The Lord Jesus or His Father... my consciousness has accept Allah (The God) to be The WORD. That which I address my Lord...God.

"Teach children the danger of anything merely because their parents, religious instructor or someone else say it so." .
 A Conversation with the Devil" - Napoleon Hill. (You Tube).

I am grateful all the lessons i have learned through my parents, my aunts and uncles, my siblings and my cousins, my relatives and friends, I see myself in them and the suffer the same feelings as they do in pain and loss, this i hold to be the truth of my path. I am ever so grateful to the Teachers and Mentors, Spiritual Guides and soul mates that I had had the opportunity to encounter along my path, for these were my guardians and protectors, fellow Bodhisattvas working their way in the plane of our existence. Karma has been made and karma has to be extinguished in one way or another. I am grateful to have been able to transcend all prejudices with regard to faith and belief systems and embrace the Universal Truth, that we are here to fulfill our own destinies collectively as well as personally. How, where and when we do this is entirely up to our personal growth, in mind as well as spirit, how far or how near are we from recognizing and fully understanding the Truth? Ask yourself this, do I even know who I am? 

If I were the Historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, given the scenario of my upbringing, how would he had dealt with it? He most probably say, "Do nothing!" and He would be right in more than one way. "Ever heard of Wu Wei?, Inactive Action?...Taoist thought? Did you not study this, man you have the Internet! What did I have when I set out to discover the truth in my days? I had to travel all over India and the Himalayas and eat sleep ans shit often in the forest Tiger infested and God knows what else, all because i was stubborn and want to discover the Truth for myself...why should there be suffering in life and that was some two thousand five or six hundred years ago, even I cannot remember most of it and I am a Buddha!" Living in the age of Information and remaining ignorant of one's true calling is no excuse for a Bodhisattva of any class." I would agree to the whole spew no doubt, I realize that i am no more like the parrot sitting on my shoulder and calling out words of wisdom to a broken world of body, mind and spirit. A Humnaity that has drifted far from discovering its true Nature that it takes an invisible entity to bring it all crumbling down, their Greed, Hate and Delusions; a virus and that which has been given a name -The COVID-19...The Hammer of Thor, the Thunder Bolt of Zeus, the 'slap stick' at a Zen Buddhist Monastery. A wake up call, call it what you may but it is a wake up call to remain vigil on our humanity and our relationship to the Whole and to each other. That we are no Masters to any but ourselves and non lord over us without our consent , collective or otherwise. Yes, i would totally agree with the Shakyamuni Buddha that there is no comparison to His Way and mine. I have to walk my own path and come to own Right Understanding of the whole scenario that I am in.






Tat Tvam Asi - I Am That I Am.

Almost all the modern day Teachers and Gurus of contemporary spiritual growth expounds the importance of prayers as a crucial part of a practice towards a spiritual growth at the deeper level;  the path of higher consciousness approaching the inner sanctum of one's heart and one's Divine Nature. Prayers comes in as many forms as there are those who chose to pray and no one way is the correct way as it is relative to the one who is doing the praying. I say that prayer is the most personal on a man's sacred attribute only answerable between the man and his object of worship. In the true sense of the Universal Collective Spirit of man, in prayer he is connected to to the 'Whole', he becomes one with that which he prays to. Man becomes the God within him, as "the Temple of the Living God is within, and the Living God is Omnipresent within him. A genuine intention to become one with the All is responded by the manifesting of the inner Being into the external realm through, Art, Music, Dances, Rituals, Poetry, wood working any expression of the Spirit...in words, thought and action. 

Personally, I Love God. The creator,The Merciful , The Ever Loving, Lord of the Universe, Lord of Power, the All Being and Non Being, I Love My Lord and let this posting as I am writing testify to this. I was converted to Islam at the age of 12 and before that I was raised a Buddhist, practicing the Hinanyana form of Buddhism at the Mahindrama Buddhist Temple, in Georgetown, Penang. My Grand Father, whose Singhalese name was Paul Mariano, was commissioned to do the Murals of the whole inner part of the temples walls and ceiling. His works is still as it was when he painted, only the layers of paint that has added to keep the works fresh. I used to sit and gawk at the ceiling, at my grand father's works while listening the Ceylonese Buddhist Monk talk away softly of the life of the Buddha; my mind would drift lost in the images of strange creatures and celestial beings, Buddhas Bodhisatvas and a host of other beings dancing all over the ceiling bathed in bright colors. I learned by heart the Tripple Jewels recited in the original Pali and Homage to the Buddha Shakyamuni, The world and Time Honored One. I remember this till this day and would occasionally recite them to myself while in my state of Samadhi or complete absorption. I would recite the lines with in gratitude for having been given the opportunity to have a glimpse of the Great Teachings of an Enlightened Being, One who found for Himself the Way to Liberation; I do not worship or pray to the Buddha. I Love the Buddha for He had taught me through His life and teachings.

I was too young then in the early fifties to realize that I was destined to lead a challenging psycho- spiritual quest as I grew up. The impact of religious beliefs was very heavy but as a child I took them as innocently as a young mind could handle. In a house where where Aunts and Uncles, cousins and siblings all lived under one roof, My uncle and I were the only Buddhist while the rest were Muslims. I grew up in a typical Malay Muslim home in a typical Malay village, called, Sungai Pinang, Kampung Selut- or pretty much meaning, The Sungai Pinang River  Muddy Village. In the early 50s there were not electricity and the whole village was inundated by the high and low tides of the sea. House were built at least six feet above the ground to avoid sleeping on water beds. In short I grew up having a luggage full of questions as to who I was or who am I?

I was converted to Islam in 1962 while livng with my immediate family in Kuala Terengganu, on the East Coast of the Malay Peninsular, along the South China Sea. I accepted the choice made for me by my family and I said good bye to my adopted father, whose original name was Paul Nanda s/o Paul Mariano and I saw my uncle cried for the first and last time the evening we sat on the sea wall, close to Fort Cornwallis, or commonly called The Esplanade or Padang Kota, fondly called by the locals. His office was nearby where he was a Store Keeper for the Penang Port Commission or commonly known as PPC. At the age of twelve I accepted the inevitable future of my life like I was living a dream or pretty much drifting or sleep walking; perhaps I was too young then to know any better; I did not cry except for the silent scream in my heart.

To transfer from one religion to another was no easy matter and I had to practically blot out any thought of the Buddha and His teachings or my Grand Father's master pieces done in one of the oldest Hinayana Buddhist temples on the Island of Penang. When he passed away I was to find out a few days after and I was not moved or touched or even sad, but within my heart i felt the tear and long silent scream or a loss. To me my grand father was was the epitome of a true of the fine Arts and he died they say while still making animal figurines out of paper mace. His downfall was to alcohol as was my own biological father whose original name was, Simon Bartholomuze, he was a jewelry maker form the old school as practiced in Sri Lanka even till this day. Hes designed his own pieces albeit rings or pendants or necklaces of gold, my father it is with pride i say to myself was a Master Gold Smith, an extraordinary artist, and most of all a very patient and loving man; in him I saw  acceptance in dealing with what life has to dish out to you. He too drowned in alcohol. Living in a devout Muslim  community, my father's need to have his toddy in the evenings was a stigma for my family to live with and felt sorry for my father for i felt the pain that had gone through throughput his life being married to my mother; he remained the frog (prince) for good. But he lived his life according to his choice and no one was to say otherwise and so every evening my father would cycle a total of of twelve miles for his drink. He was however well loved and respected by the community of hard core Muslims of the East Coast back then.

I inherit my father's and my grand father's creative - rebellious genes of an artist and although they were converted to Islam as their religion I felt Buddhism or the teachings of the Buddha remained in their hearts and I am the same. Thus when talk of prayer is raised, I would say it is indeed a very personal matter, not quite explainable and I call this faith. The faith of acceptance of the inevitable of what life has to throw at you in the course of your journey from cradle to grave. Every moment and every thought that passes through you is your journey and every image and every form manifest from you, you create your own life, your world, your faith, your destiny. You can make it fast and exciting, challenging and yet wholesome or you can make it boring as hell. The physical, material world is your canvass and your brushes are in your hand and all you have to do is paint, you manifest yourself. I am writing about it, as i write about my journey to get there, the road I have been led to take and now have chosen to do so out of my own free will: I am who I am, who I choose to be and I know this to be my truth and my faith...Insha'Allah...God willing.

In the Wheel of Life, it is said that you are sometimes up at the very zenith of the wheel or sometimes down at the very bottom, however you have to taste all the in between as you rise and fall. The Buddha freed Himself from being in bondage to this wheel; He broke loose and as He passed on He was said to have uttered, "I, Am No More."The Buddha sat in silence and became the silent witness of what transpires throughout his life and the evolution of his Spirit from one life to another in transmigration and incarnation. He was an evolved souls who came to fully realize that He was and is a fully evolved soul that has transcended this realm of existence and of any other existence in the future. He merged with and into existence itself. "Existence Is, None who Exist, Suffering is, None who Suffers, Enlightenment Is, None who Attains it."

"I am, That I Am!, Tat Tvam Asi."

  

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Solat- The Prayer Five Times a day- Insight.

As has been in the past, fasting during the month of Ramadan is in many ways a blessings to the spirit and soul but a pain in the mental and physical body. Migraine, body aches, mental desperation and then some more of all of the above. I am struggling to put my thoughts in writing as it is, but as I have always reminded myself, the show must go on, I still have to deal with the rise and fall of the insatiable mind towards thinking and dreaming of utter nonsense often thoughts popping out of the blue for no apparent reason of stimulus. It seems somehow it is getting acute more than normal, perhaps has to to do with being thirsty and hungry whole not being able to smoke. Why do I fast? Fear of going to hell for not doing so? Hoping for clemency and forgiveness and heaven when I die? Cause the Good Book says I have and God demands that I do it? No! I fast because I feel it is the right thing to do as a discipline, bodily, mentally and spiritually; God might have something to do with it.

One thing about Islam is that the religion has an answer to just about every situation that we as humans face throughout our lives. Take the solat or five times daily prayer, its mandatory and thus like 80 to 90% of the Muslims world over do it on a daily basis. It is indeed one of the toughest act to follow where discipline is concern. And in performing the Solat there is a prescribed manner which starts off the taking of 'Wudhu' or the ablution or washing in a specified manner that covers the most essential parts of the body. Hence five times a day a Muslim will wash himself as prescribed in order to perform the Solat; automatically he is clean, cool in mind and spirit and focused on the task at hand; five times a day at the critical hours of the day. A Non Muslim aught to try it just to find out how it benefits him or her especially in these days of the virus.
What is the specified manner? You can learn it by googling it.

The prayer itself, more than just to remind oneself of the fact that one has to keep remembering God and be thankful for His mercy and Blessings, it also acts a a break in between one's routine daily activity such as  business or being a jack ass politician or lawyer. One takes a pause from too much self centered activities and recognize that there is a bigger Man and larger picture to life than just being an ass. The prayer is one way of feel gratefulness towards all the blessing one has been showered with throughout the day, and a reminder of one's wrong doing or transgressions towards one's fellow man in the course of the day. It helps for one to be able to subdue one's egotistical tendencies in the form of arrogance and ignorance when submitting one's will to the Will of a Higher Order.

If one is able to perform the Solat with diligence and spiritual commitment consistently, there is no greater practice that will transport you into the realm of the awakened spirits and I am not saying this because I profess to be a Muslim or in any effort to convert you or anyone for that matter to the religion. None of the ancient psycho spiritual practices, like Yoga, Tai Chi, and the rest of it can match the 'Solat' if and when performed accordingly. One does not have to be a Muslim to try it, but the question is, do you have the will and commitment strong enough to do it while fasting and still do your daily routine chores? 

The Solat is the mother of all healers to the human, mind, body and spirit, it keeps a man from drifting into his animal nature and ignorance. It is the doorway to the salvation of the soul from the bondage of this physical realm of materialism. The Solat if the meaning of the verses required to be read is fully understood would show how simple and meaningful it is in every aspect of being grateful, being humble and being free from poor in spirit. This is why most devout Muslims, pray five times a day, some with the realization of the full benefits while most because it is demanded in the Good Book and the fear of Hell.  

    

Monday, April 27, 2020

Yada Yada Uada.!

Now that I have lost most of your attention as i did mine in the last few weeks I will now take another step further into the deep recesses of my unconscious, those hidden closets where the skeletons hide and the secret of secrets lies dormant. Yes dare to a tek this next step where together we will leap into the unknown, over the precipice into the abyss, I dare you, Nah, I challenge you to join our hands and minds and take this leap of faith into liberation of the mind, body, spirit and soul; do not worry it is not a suicide wish, it is only the closing of one chapter and the opening of another. When I talk of Liberation, you might ask, what are we liberating from? And I say     to you nothing so dramatic as the liberation from your conditioned thoughts and consciousness, you greed, hate and ignorance, your sour habits and your attachments to old faded dreams that still raises your flag pole and ejaculate. Yes liberation from you sense of arrogance and pride, you slothfulness and apathy, your indulgences and self aggrandizement. If you are still with, by now you have an idea of what I am talking about when I the idea about Liberation; absolute freedom from this realm of existence, this cycle or Life, Death and Rebirth.

Man, you and I, our feet nailed to the floor from the day we learn how to say Ma, Dada or whatever else that first came to our innocent infant minds. From then on our parents takes over how our future and destiny would be like, then as we get older the neighborhood friends cousins and aunts and uncles chip in with good intentions in order to help us along in becoming a wholesome entity and later yet they were replaced by teachers and schoolmates, the barber and the icecream man, the milkman and the postman and they all chip into shaping your mind to become wise and awakened. And the story of your life expands further into your college and highers education institutions where they drum into your head more and more knowledge till there is no more room up there.

Then one sunny Indian Summer day, as you sit quietly along the shore of Lake Michigan at Green Bay in Wisconsin, lost in a thoughtless state of limbo, you attention is caught by the sight of a dead lake trout, large but with most of its flesh torn away leaving its bones exposed to the light. You had an epiphany, your mind stops, the world around you stops, time stops and even the ripples on the surface of the lake ceases to dance. Life is impermanent and all that is alive will finally decay and die, this is the cause of your suffering, (or one of them). The fact that you know this is bound to happen, that death is imminent is what makes it a great cause of your suffering; this is in effect the price of being a human, we think.

Most  modern minds dispute Descartes's axiom, " I think, therefore I am." This famous phrase is not far from the historical Buddha's utterance, "So long as there is an 'I', life is suffering." Hence the simple logical argument is to remove the 'I' from the picture, but the question is, How? Since the dawn of history man has been grappling with this dilemma, how does one detach from oneself, or that which one thinks as and speak from as the'I'? "I Am That," the God of Moses declared of Himself to the Prophet on Mount Sinai in the appearance of a burning bush. " I Am the Lord, thy God and I Am a Jealous God!" Like hmm.. why would God want to say that? Jealous of what? or whom? Thus began my take on religion, yet another epiphany, some time later in my adult life. Religions offered numerous unanswered questions for me but i abide by their dogmas to be the truth as I am but a part of the whole of the mystery yet to be unraveled, if ever in my lifetime. hence I have often declared to myself, I am spiritual, not religious.

So now that I have a glimpse of an idea at what i am liberating myself from, The next on my agenda has been how to go about it and it has taken me over forty years now give or take and I am yet any closer towards my goal. I am still searching which direction I should be headed as my psychic compass keeps spinning this way and that, now south and then north, just when I am headed East, I find myself looking to the West and not to mention the ups and down of a roller coaster ride of a journey I have been taking all in the name of self discovery, getting to know the truth of who I truly am. Thus whenever I utter the word 'I', I have a pretty good idea of who it is that I am referring to.



Sunday, April 26, 2020

My take on what is Nirvana.

Many are asking the same question as our ancestors had asked themselves, "What is the meaning of life?" My answer has always been that, 'Life has no meaning until we give it one.' The meaning we give our self for our own individual existence makes for the true meaning for own individual existence on this planet living among the rest of humanity and the rest of sentient beings. We each and everyone of us create our own meaning, through our own understanding, perceptions and consciousness which originates from within free of conditioning and preconceived ideas from without. Most of humanity exist as drifters following the course set by others before them or by those they perceive to be their Gurus and teachers, their mentors and guides, which is not wrong or right but still is not of their own self discovered truth which according to their own innate nature. Truth comes from within manifesting from the ground of one's own individual ground of being, one's heart and soul and not from external imports no matter how right it may seem; no two are the same when it comes to the nature of truth. This ground of primordial being resides within in the heart as the essence of who you are before your parents conceive you to be. To discover this living truth you have to be able to unlearn, shed all that has been fed to you as you grow up into maturity for who you think you are is not who you truly are; most ancient teachings has testified this principle of truth. It is entirely up to you to begin your own journey towards elf realization or self discovery and until you come to a definite conclusion of who you truly are, you will be nothing more than just another drifter in the highway of life.

Most of us stare outwards for answers while the truth we are looking for lies within; our own truth. We keep looking for answers like window shopping going from one teaching, one faith one method, one teacher to another never looking within us and trusting what we find there. The great teachers of old had each warned us that the phenomenal world is an illusion, it is Maya, it is fleeting, it is unreal and most of all impermanent, subjected to change and decadence. What is permanent and lasting is who you are and who you are is not the result of what you perceive yourself to be from without it is inherent within you, it is you. o have undoubted faith in yourself takes  a whole lot of 'soul searching', seeking, and right understanding, it is like peeling an onion layer by layer getting rid of the veils of ignorance that you have accumulated to be your truth from external influences, right or wrong. 

Being eclectic in your choices and being able to sit and let go of that which does not bring you any closer to your own inner being, the truth within you is the beginning of your journey of self discovery. A great teacher once said, "Do not take to be the truth that which you read, or taught to you or that which you perceive from the actions of others, but within yourself find truth." Religions,philosophies, science and the whole works that man has manifested over the ages are still not the whole truth, the whole truth is the one that you come to realize for yourself as an unshakable and immovable ground of your own primordial ground -your Dharma Position as the Buddhist calls it. It is upon discovering this state of being that you manifest your truth, this is your Lion's throne from where you express your truth to the universe and the universe will respond to you accordingly. 

What the Buddhist calls enlightenment is this final stage of self -discovery or self realization, that there is none above nor below that is greater than you, for you are the Universe, you are as the Hindu calls it Brahman, you are God; however you lord over no one and nothing for you are no greater than the ant crawling at you feet. To become completely liberated you have to abandon all concepts, big or small, high or low, right or wrong, you cease to be  who you think yourself to be..."you' are no more. This annihilation of your self is Nirvana. In attaining to this state, you have stepped consciously out of the cycle of life , death and rebirth; game over.

"Before Enlightenment,
chop wood, carry water.
After Enlightenment,
carry water chop wood."
#Nirvana,#Enlightenment,#Life and its meaning.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Taking a walk on the dark side...

Woke up from a dream where i was an actor about to perform my show before a very large audience, however i have not even memorized a single line of my act . It was a musical and I was telling myself, no problem, i can wing it but as always as the dream wore on i started loosing confidence and could not even find a decent pair of pants to wear or a transportation to get me to the show. I woke up feeling relieved that I was only dreaming as i was at a lost on how to fulfill my role. If Jung had still been alive i could have written to him for some answers, but as it is, it looks like I am just going to keep figuring it out on my own or I might get lucky and find someone interested in dream analysis and unravel my dreams for me. What is interesting for me is the similar theme of me not being able to complete or fully carry out my goals, often obstructed by my weaknesses and lack. It is also similar to the  recurring dreams i have been having of not being able to get home or reach my destination. It is not that bad when I consider that there was no danger involved and I would often end up with a whole new environment and people in my dreams. One thing I realize for sure thus far is that I have no full powers over my dreams, like I am trapped in uncertainties, unable to take charge or command of any given situation. Whatever is my psychic state while in my dreams, I do feel them in my waking state often, but i always allow for them to manifest themselves without too much attachment to their significance for better or worse. I figure my mind is always in the process of working out something, perhaps from the past or perhaps into the future. Like reading Jung's works I let them slide into their own state of existence, appearing and disappearing like clouds in the empty sky of my own consciousness. I have long ago realized that  getting attached to what arises randomly or otherwise in my consciousness is like falling into a state conscious limbo and accomplish nothing worthwhile. It is best to merely observe their coming and goings with detachment, not getting sucked into identifying with or rejecting of what they embody or manifest. I fully accept the fact that all of these arise from my own consciousness and I am the observer making choices of attachment or detachment to what comes and goes.

Human consciousness is a very deep, wide and unfathomable subject, at least i have come to realize thus far. It covers anything and everything that we experience within and without and then some. Waking consciousness is just the tip of the iceberg while the rest lay boiling and broiling or in some case dormant beneath the surface waiting for some stimulus or flint stone usually in the form of an emotional or psychological outburst to trigger a reaction and unleash a content in the form or anger, chaos, jubilation or even pure insanity. What lies beneath the surface is like the primordial gunk that has been accumulating for eons of our human evolution and existence. From the primitive cave dwelling man to what we are today the human psyche has evolved through its basic instinct for survival and leading to its lordship over its environment  and other sentient beings, to reaching a psychic level that has enable us to reach out for the stars. We no more sit at the cave mouth staring at the skies every night, we have come very close to touching the stars.

This is the journey of the Collective Consciousness of the human spirit (soul), we have left our mother's womb, and the the dark cold cave of our ancestors and now we are a part of a evolving entity reaching further outwards beyond the reach of any ordinary human consciousness in search for answers - to what? This is in itself a mystery of the ages, like what exactly are we looking for? Yes we are looking for more space, more resources more food more this or that for our creature comfort, but deep inside the question is still laying like a burning ball of fire; what it is exactly the we are looking for in this life, thus far? Is there and answer out there that will satisfy us in the end? Or will we as a species drive ourselves to the point of no return, of self annihilation, or perhaps discover a complete and perfect enlightenment of no return to this realm of existence like the Buddhas. The choice is ours to be made, collectively or as individuals, what would we choose to pursue? The freedom from bondage of attachment to the impermanence of or the liberation from this cycle of life, death and rebirth?

From the beginning of our human evolution man has instinctively looked up to the skies like there is a savior up there waiting for him to call upon and liberate him from this life of impermanence and suffering. There are those who however look within themselves instead and discover the the source of this liberation from within, as the"Temple of the Living God, is within." These venture on towards self discovery, looking for answers from within themselves through various forms of age old form and techniques that would help to quiet the wandering and fleeting mind to allow for a direct and clear perception of the inner truth that lies deep within the unconscious, where the primordial data lies like old files waiting to be excess- ed. Only those who are awakened to the truth and free from the conditioning of so called normal life, can penetrate into  this mystery. The door into the unconscious is unfathomable to the lay mind, or the mind that is trapped in blind faith and false hope, in ignorance and blindness.  
    

Vision 2020 - Malaysians are going blind.

The first day of the fasting month of Ramadan begins today and Muslims all over the world are on an even of the deeper lockdown on top of the COVID -19 lockdown. No food or water and no smoking for that matter. My home State of Penang has been doing well with not new cases being reported for the past week, however the lockdown is still in effect and the people are observing it as best they could. I have given up on paying too much attention to who or what or where of the COVID-10 scenario worldwide albeit in the aspect of politics, economics. social, or religious perspective. There is so much take on the pandemic that it has become a tale for the history books to tell in years to come; however the truth will never be told. Like the 911 event in New York, there will be conspiracy theories and cover ups till the day when it all really makes no difference anymore for the damage is done.

On the personal level, I find myself pretty much procrastinating at doing any significant productive venture and  most of my hours are spent wasting away on NETFLIX watching one series after another on top of movies and documentaries, this and hours on fb; I feel sometimes like I am already dead and waiting for the trial to begin. Oh I do have to do house chores like cooking and laundry, feeding the cat and the birds, watering the plants and taking out the garbage, shopping for groceries etc; and off course reading up on Jung and and doing my meditation and yoga exercises, and not to mention doing what i am doing now, posting this Blog entry. In making this entry, boring as it may seem. itis so as to be able to look back and have a good idea what had been during this era of home lockdown and COVID-19. during the fasting month of Ramadan of 2020. 

On the spiritual level if I may call it such, I feel like I am not as drawn towards making any great effort in diving deeper into the uncharted waters of my inner being or my psyche or psychic levels as Jung wold have put it. I am however making an attempt at understanding Jung and his thoughts on the matter through reading his works but with a little more detachment and more or less simply browsing through, picking out what I can make sense of and letting go of what is not relevant. Perhaps I keep reminding myself, I will make another run through in reading the works and slowly get a handle on what Jung is saying to me. Perhaps it is another waste of effort and time in this pursuit to understand a monumental work on psychology, but as far as time is concern what better time then now, when you are trapped in your home and carrying out your devotional duty as a Muslim during this month of Ramadan.

"I am of the opinion that the psyche is the most tremendous fact of human life. Indeed it is the mother of all human facts; civilization and its destroyer, war " - C.G.Jung.

As I read Jung i am beginning to realize more and more of how much I really need to understand my inner works, the relationship of my body, mind and spirit, (soul). It is great to learn the ways of Vedanta and or the teachings of the Buddha in regard to life, however without the understanding of how the human mind actually works from the most scientific and psychological perspective, it can be just as confusing and a touch and go at the most when put to practice. The human consciousness, (unconscious) as is admitted by all schools of the sciences, philosophical as well as religious, is the most mysterious and impenetrable entity to study and fully understand. Yes, on reflecting upon the matter i feel like I am merely crawling while learning how to walk is yet a thing of the future where the human psyche is concern. Yet something tells me that this I need to learn and have good handle on if I were to have a strong and impeccable knowledge of who I truly am.

According to TRT News, Global death toll to date is 190000 and climbing, just for the record on this day of the first day of Ramadan,2020. The aspiring date for the country as a whole, Vision 2020 the brainchild of the former twice PimeMinister, Tun Mahathir Mohammad and what a vision it has turned out to be so far as the country still reeling from the effects of mismanagement and corruption, to down right daylight robbery by the previous governments and the fate of the people dangling in the wind of economic uncertainty, racism  has and is still being used as a political leverage for those who has no agenda to promote in order to gain power; Malaysia's Vision 2020 is turning to be her worse nightmare. Then again what good does it do to moan and groan over spilled milk. nothing happens without a cause, it is said, the Malaysian themselves are the cause of their own demise, or so it seems. 
#C,G,Jung,#COVID-19,#Penang,#Vision 2020.