Monday, January 27, 2020

What is the Imperturbable Mind? _- Bahari San!!?

In absolute silence there is music that floats like a gentle breeze kissing your cheeks, in absolute silence the heart eases from pain by floating along with the energy throughout the physical form. In absolute silence, I find peace and comfort of aligning my body, my mind and my spirit. when all is in alignment and equally balanced the middle way is open; The Way of the Imperturbable Mind. What is an Imperturbable Mind, you ask. Good question and I have been searching for the right answer for a very long time now but it has been eluding me, This was the first Zen Koan given to me by first Zen Master, Junpo Dennis Kelly today an Abbot of a Rinzai Branch of Zen school. I remember him looking at me with a serious look and asked me this question several times. I could not answer him, as we drove into Green Gulch Zen Center in his Black BMW.

What is the imperturbable Mind? I understood the question but had no answer  or to even begin to explain what my state of mind was, like this guy is for real! I said to myself. Junpo Kelly had just been ordained a priest from the Daibosatsu Rinzai Zen Monastery in new York and had decided to open his own Zendo in Corte Maderra, in Marin County, California.  I was there to help himas his mother had requested me to for my sake and for his. I took Rossela Kelly's offer trusting her like my own mother telling me I needed to change for the better before i was sunk too deep into Maya. The lady  saved my life by giving me a chance to make the change by connecting me with her eldest son Dennis Kelly. Both Dennis and I were off to a new beginning in our lives, mine uncertain and unsure while his was well packaged and presented in record time and precision of a true Zen Master, or so I thought. This guy really means business, he wants to become a Roshi one day and he will. On the day when the Zendo at 20 magnolia Blvd. in Corte Madeira was officiated our close relationship came to an abrupt end. 

But back to the question or the Koan thrown at me out of the blue while I was enjoying a scenic drive along the Star Route 1, towards Muir Beach  in a BMW! Like wow! Not too bad for who has nothing to look forward to or to look back from as all bridges had been burned behind me when I left Green Bay, Wisconsin sometime in 1983.  Like okaay! What;s up? Like Imperturbable? Like what's this Dude been smoking? I was stuck with the question carrying it around with me  like a ball of fire in my gut always burning for the answer to this simple question of what is the Imperturbable Mind, In Absolute Silence all is the imperturbable mind however even as you open your mouth to say, eh? You have lost it. For the sake of entertaining myself I will try to share my perception of this question, it is not the answer but just a reflection of what could be and answer, just needs better packaging in delivery, Rinzai Zen Tradition. Words that comes to mind in association with the Koan are words like immovable, transcendental, indestructible, impeccable, the essence of Buddha Mind, all words but  words is not the real taste or experience. To experience this sate of Imperturbability it takes more than just a quick witted mind or one has to be smart, the imperturbable  state of mind consciousness happens when all is in alignment and equanimity; the imperturbable mind rests in this state, the absolute Silence or Utter Bliss. all aches and pains vanished and all mental formations dispersed like clouds leaving only the clear blue vastness of space. Complete detachment from being an I; I, am no more! 

In the Rinzai tradition this kind of long winded answer is considered a still childish mind weak and flip floppy. The essence of Rinzai Zen cold and abrupt bolt of lightning that can shoot a shock of current and jarr the brains into being in  the here and now is the way towards awakening and enlightenment. Short of a mental as well as physical shock therapy to get one to grasp the moment and transcend one's deluded existence. It is more masculine in nature, stoic and rigid with dramatic overtones at times, reminds me often of the Samurai Class of Old Japan. The Japanese Samurai class was perhaps the most tight ass, rigid personality and overbearing;  it was their Warrior Way of Zen where life and death depends upon mastery of the sword. When the sword and the owner becomes as one, the universe stands still in silence, Balm! lightning strikes, or a butterfly flips its wings somewhere and the sword and owner comes to life; this too is meditation in action. This action springs from the imperturbable consciousness that which is before all else came into being.    

I have come home...

As the Planet faces yet another potential disaster in the form of a pandemic flu which is rapidly spreading all over the world  and as locusts in the billions threaten to annihilate human existence in parts of Africa and fire ravaged almost the entire continent of Australia, we have to wake up and wake up fast from our sleep of ignorance. And as more and more believe that we create our own environment and existence through our thought projections, as more and more believe that we are the creators and masters of the Universe, let us put it more into action let us shed what light we can afford to over come the looming darkness that is threatening to engulf us. I do not mean to sound like a doomsayer but I feel deeply that we are at a very critical stage in our cross roads and what how we choose to deal with the universal suffering of the palnet and its inhabitants will count on it. What are we willing to sacrifice? Our time? Our Wisdom? our Basic Human Caring?

I write to remind myself more so than to let out how much I know or how far or near am I? No, I write simply because I enjoy doing it as it has become so much a part of me that my fingers are not fast enough to express my thoughts and feelings. It is perhaps much more meaningful to look away with a sense of detachment, to look with bare attention yet removed from being a aprt of what see or hear around me. Detachment begins with letting go of attachment to the sorrows and grief of others but empathize with open heart of Love and Compassion to make this life more tolerable and less of suffering even in the midst of suffering. This the essence manifestation of the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin; Unconditional Love and Compassion. It is said that The Goddess is the manifestation  or Incarnate or Avatar of the Boddhisatva  Avalokiteshvara - the Bodhisattva of infinite Compassion. The Goddess carries a hundred arms and in each is held the tool of Her trade in dealing with this human realm that we all exist in in the present moment of time and space. This is Servitude!." For so long as there be a voice that cries out in suffering in the ocean of life, I swear to return as a Bodhisattva to serve until all is saved and delivered on to the other shore." The Bodhisattva Vow that binds one to keep returning to serve and help to heal the woes of humanity. By skillful means and by whatever manner I will deliver one soul from out of the sixth hell realm from suffering; this is my covenant with my Lord.

Yes i write to remind myself of all the beautiful stories i have read through out my life written by great writers and scholars and that i too have my story to tell. It does not really matter if it read or not, what matter sis that it is written and written with allot of Love and Compassion, sharing with myself my own virtues that are worth salvaging and habits needed to be rid of. I am always on the house keeping duty like they have at the Zen Centers called Soji in Japanese simply cleaning or house keeping. Sweeping the ground you are cleaning your mind of all imperfections; this is why Japanese gardens are immaculate and aesthetically invigorating. Doing soji every morning at the Zen Center I was blessed to have had the experience, a taste of what the essence of the teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni. ...this is meditation in action.

It is in that meditative silence that you express yourself as best you could to convey your story and make it worthwhile reading for lack of better things. I have been telling my story for as long as I can remember mostly to myself as so many issues and doubts and questions arose in my mind to figure out why shit happens. I try to put my thoughts and ideas in writing simply because I love to write, always had wanted to become a writer, but I learned that i had always been impatient and struggle to do  more than necessary like overwork myself; I grew attached to writing and I am happy for how much I have written so far in my Blogging. Nonsense most of them but I do share a little of my inner growth through trials and errors just to make it a more meaningful read and not just reading a story with no intention worthwhile sharing. I taught at a college in Sendai, and gave classes to when invited to do so, but I am not good at being an art teacher, again no patience. So I write as I feel what comes to mind and if words of wisdom flows out effortlessly i am blessed and if i keep writing in circles of the same manufactured truth then it is time to detach from writing itself. Time to  move on away from this computer, from this quiet and peaceful apartment and look for suffering elsewhere.

Dumb idea, but holds some truth this need to be detach from this comfort zone of being entertained by Kitaro on the earphones and waiting for words of wisdom to ooze out from the deep recesses of my mind of past life and experiences or spot out a few real funny jokes with sketches in my sketchbook while i am at it. The need to change one's space and familiar environment is a good practice I find if I am to keep growing in mind, body and spirit. To be stuck and stagnant in one lifestyle is nothing wrong, but to be able to venture out of our comfort zone and touch as much of the world and  its humanity is a boon that I have held very dearly throughout my life; the freedom from being anchored to time space and life, like your feet are nailed to the floor. But such Is! 

Arriving at the campsite along the river bank as evening falls...I have come home!

I Am, is certain - all else is empty.

I have been listening to two great Hindu Sages, Sri Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maha Raj both well regard and have many followers all over the world and both inspires me with an understanding beyond what i used to have of who I am. To go all the way of complete and perfect renunciation or giving up my whole being is something I caught a glimpse of but my heart pops and doubt and hesitation gripped me stopping me from making any rash decision that I might not be able to circumnavigate; I feel I am not yet home. I still need a crutch to hang on to for support in times of need. As much as I wish I can take on the practice as expounded by these two great sages, I must admit that i already am and have been doing so even before I stumbled upon their existence; I met these two Sages on You Tube, and their teachings have moved me off my  axis. The Sri Ramana's teachings is more subtle and gentle and persuasive but it is still me a tall order to carry out and not that i am not trying. This journey of self discovery started sometime in my childhood growing up raised both a Buddhist and Muslim at the same time for twelve years of my life. I was a privileged child and at the same time cursed with having to play hide and seek between two religions. I have told this too many times already, however the point is I told myself it is meant to be as The All Mighty has chosen this path for me, my straight path towards the Lord of Power. 

I cannot outright claim, " I and my Father am One, " I have not arrived at the level of the Saints' understanding and conviction although I have been awakened towards this journey at a very young age when one of my Malay Muslim friend called me a Kafir during my primary school years. I might have been about six or seven. Even as a child I felt the cut went deep into my heart and I feel it till today even as I am thinking about it; it liberated me from being a Muslim and spent more time with the Chinese boys who were mostly Buddhist. I do not feel any remorse or regret about how I had to make a religious choice at a very early age. 

In short my journey began when I decided to take my Lord to the task as He had been taking me and I went way out of any moral or religious control by a long shot. I became a very angry young man and I remember my Mantra was "Rabble without a cause." One might say I slipped into the dark side and lived life according to my will with no holes barred. It was not till I was in college in Wisconsin that my heart was opened as I was slipping into darkness very deeply, you name it I  did it except killing; I took my anger and set my life on fire with it...I set out on the road to find out. I looked for answers mostly out of curiosity and the need to read. I rediscovered myself in Green Bay, Wisconsin at UWGB. 

As the Rishis Sri Ramana and Nisargargaddata Maha Raj had opened the path towards self liberation through direct experience of the self and God is one is not easy to swallow and not because I hold their teachings to be not true but that I am a Muslim first and the rest are Ilmu or Knowledge  that comes your way if and when you are ready to hear it and come to you own conclusion if it is for you or that you might not be well equipped to handle the truth especially when you cannot handle your ego that gets in the way. I have to take slower steps towards my final destination. There is greater desire it is said than the desire to end desire, and desire is the cause of suffering. I need a God, a Divine Spirit, a Higher Consciousness, the Source, The Great Spirit, call It what you may, I call  my Lord by His Name in Islam; Allah Subhana huwaTaala! Lord of the Worlds.

I have been doing more than my share of religious hopping and spiritual window shopping and have found that I can live as a Muslim by faith and a Buddhist in practice. I have learned and understood   mush of the Buddha's teaching and I find it much suitable for me as it allows me the freedom to make choices and come to the conclusion for myself. I have to find the thread that links both religions as the Buddha's way is to attain total liberation from this realm of existence which is practically self annihilation. It is still a tough road to follow, but Buddhism deals with the mind more so than with faith and devotion. The Buddha was a "Poet of the Mind," a title given to Carl Jung for his works. Most of humanity are sick in the mind, like trapped rabbits we run around in the maze looking for that hole. 

The Zen saying, "Before Enlightenmant, cut wood and carry water.
After enlightenment, cut wood and carry water...nothing changes. The blue sky remains blue no matter clouds comes and goes. The small miracles that happens to you every moment are gifts from the Universe, the Source for you to continue performing your journey with greater ease towards the perfection of Spirit. To realize the Holy Spirit in you much purification and initiation has to be done. This ritual is only between you and your Maker, your sustain er, your Lord, your higher consciousness, for your soul has made a covenant with Him before you were sent into your mother's womb. "For I have created man and Jinn alike for nothing else but to worship Me," Worship Me, words that may not entirely explain the whole meaning of this declaration. What is worship to me simply means -servitude. I am a servant of my Master, Teacher, my Guru, my Mentor, my Saviour, my friend. I have been put on the face of this earth to serve Humanity and the Planet Itself in some small way the best I can. In Islam it is said that you are caretakers on this Planet unfortunately we are doing a very poor job about it.

In God's experiment with man we are not doing too good collectively or individually; we are failing to live up to the Divine intention inherent within our hearts. We have not been keeping our covenant with God and worship false idols such as Huwa Wei and McDonald Douglass, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, We have become attached to our external physical reality and lost in the pursuit of happiness.  I am here and being here i am part and parcel of this collective consciousness, however I am awaken to the reality of who I am and am and more detached from the external ephemeral existence but is still in action when it comes to carrying water and chopping wood. The world needs a healing and only you and i can do it through our collective intentions and compassionate hearts. We are put here not to just perform our daily prayers and observe the rituals but to serve wholeheartedly God's Creation, seen and unseen, in the water on land and in the air, we are the legal guardians.  


And Life Goes On with or Without You...

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Have You ever been to Yama Dera?

When you travel in the Tohoku region of Japan you must visit the Yamadera temple Complex the mountain retreat of Zen Buddhism. It is like you are on a pilgrimage.

The famous Zen Priest and Haiku Master. Matsu Basho passed through the region and paid a visit to the Yamadera.
ama-dera (山寺lit. "Mountain Temple"), (山号 宝珠山; Sangō Hōshu-zan) is about a twenty-minute train ride (Senzan Line) northeast of Yamagata City, in Yamagata PrefectureJapan. The temple is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site.[1]
Yama-dera is where the well-known haiku poet Matsuo Bashō wrote his famous haiku "ah this silence / sinking into the rocks / voice of cicada" in 1689. A museum of Basho's writings and paintings and other related art, the Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum, is a short walk up the hill on the opposite side of the steep valley. In 1996, the Ministry of the Environment selected the cicadas of Yama-dera as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.[4]

This age old Japanese landscape with its rustic Japanese temples  situated all over the hillside invoked a sense of surrealism in me as though I have been there before in my previous life. 

As I walked up the hill throughout the temple complex I felt transported to time gone by where the life of discipline and devotion was a way of life and what a beauty it must have been to wander around among the tall pine trees and jagged rocks with wooden temples were built snugged into the mountainous landscape.

The Japanese were master builders in wooden structures and their sense of aesthetic in  making sure that nature and man made structures complements each other is  evident in their design of rock gardens in their environment. The strong contrast between Bronze and wood, rocks and green trees, makes one feels like it was all a work of art.
Yes if you ever get the chance to travel the Tohoku region of Yamagata Prefecture, you must climb the Yamadera Mountain retreat. and if possible make it during the Fall season when the trees changes their colors.
#Yama Dera,# Tohoku,#Yamagata,# Matsuo Basho, #Haiku, #Japan

Friday, January 24, 2020

From Rome to Pompeii. -

In my childhood days one of the movies that stuck to my mind was, "The last Days of Pompeii" It was in Black and White and  I never dreamed that I would one day stand in the ancient street of the City of Pompeii playing a tourist.  

Pompeii was  buried under six feet of ashes in some parts of the City by the sea when the Mount Vesuvius which stands across from the bay. erupted.  The fate of the City and the surrounding areas was an act of Divine retribution for the City's decadent way of life that was comparable to the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. I think it was on the History channel of You Tube.

In this realm, nothing is permanent except memories, and that too fades in time, Those who were buried under the volcanic ashes in their homes and in their beds are reminders of what can happen and why we should have healthy respect towards the powers of Nature.

Here I stood imagining myself as Samson separating two walls in the City of Pompeii, just to feel the energy of the place. he anxieties and traumas that befell the citizens; the fear, agony and the pain. It was said that most of the people were not even aware of what was happening before they died due to the speed by which they were snuffed due to the toxic fumes that came with.   

I like to study the details when I view a scene and my mind would travel back in time to feel the same moment when someone had laid down these cobbled stones. Maybe it is a reconstruction cannot tell but, no harm in letting my mind time travelling with flights of imagination. 
As an artist I am always mesmerized by the great works done by those who had come way before me and left their marks on the walls and halls of ancient structures large or small. They are an inspiration to my spirit knowing that creativity has kept the place alive. 

Every picture tells a story no matter how trivial or insignificant, who had and under what circumstances these fine sculptures were done will live wrapped in the fine works, a testimony of  culture and antiquity.

How old is the wood? Where was it made and by whom? How many hands had touched and handled the form. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Best Weekend of my life.- Rome!

El Maestro! Nino Soprano.  Pianist at St. Peter's Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The Concierge at the  St. Peter's Crowne Plaza Hotel. Made a new friend.

Sculptures everywhere you look.

A city of History.

Can you point me the way to the  best Pizza place please?

Dancing in the streets of Rome!

A Rainy Day at the Colosseum.

Where the Gladiators Reigned!

In the inner sanctum.

Awesome! Is the only word that came to mind. A privilege and honor to be standing in this hall of antiquity. 

When in Rome! Smile!

Friday, January 17, 2020

It felt good to meet your Archetypes.

It is not my intention to promote any particular religion o the world, albeit Islam, Christianity, Hinduism Taoism or Buddhism, (even if it may not be considered a religion, more like a way of living.) I am addressing spiritual issues that has bugged me for most of my life ever since I was confronted by my schoolmates and friends in a negative way about my faith as a child. I have been grappling with the issue through out my life looking for answers that i can truly  believe to be my own truth of the matter. Even to this day at the age of seventy I find myself still time and again being thrown in the dark as to the meaning of it all; it is insane. However it also a baggage that I had allowed to accumulate across my like a crucifix carried by Jesus. I believe most of mankind do this, some worse than others. I have the tendency to blame it on my mind for this conundrum, but this is getting to become an escape and in dealing with the mind one gets trapped into a game of dual thinking, right and wrong, good or bad, a never ending game that leads me to nowhere, like a vicious circle. 

Yesterday evening before I went to bed I sat and as I sat after reciting the few verses of the Quran for safety reasons, I found myself transforming into Lord Shiva with a hooded serpent coiled around my neck and in my left hand I held a trident. I felt my body erect and solid in form like a young warrior radiant with youthful vigor and on top of my heard curled a mountain of hair. I was disturbed initially as i was committing the first of the mortal sin as a Muslim, which is having a second to God. But I did not give in to this 'fear' and continued to observe my state and to justify to myself i decided that this too is God's will, as all is His creation. I felt a smile of understanding happening and continued the feeling of this transformation into this Adi Yogi as I sat across from the Mountains of the Himalayas enjoying the cool breeze. This is perhaps what happens when you watch and listen to too much religious teachings on You Tube.

A thought crossed my mind after a while and it whispered, "If you can sit like the Lord a Shiva you can also sit like the Buddha or the Prophet of Allah in His little cave before He had his revelations, or Jesus as He sat in the desert seeking answers. In other words I can sit and meditate as who I choose to be for as long as I do not attach myself that this is who I am but just manifestations of the highest of spiritual which carries within each and every one their own spiritual identities and wisdom teachings. None of these personages uttered a word nor did I felt like I was a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim or a Buddhist; I was what i chose to experience while sitting. Their wisdom came through as a feeling more than as knowledge and this wisdom I felt was from  all my years of studying and understanding of the teachings of each and every one of these great Beings from the past. All that I truly felt as each one manifest was that I was being told, "It was alright, that All Is One and One Is All."

I felt sad when it was all over and went to sleep dreaming beautiful dreams of meeting great minds and having meaningful conversations about spirituality. I had decided not to write about it when I woke up this morning, but at the same time I felt compelled to as it is time to share the deeper aspects of what is happening in my practice and for those on the same journey as I am, I hope that this will help to further encourage their perseverance towards getting to know they truly are. All the quotes and saying of the ancient are not empty words but handed down but keys that unlock the treasure trove of your subconscious, just as a hashtag does to the workings of the Internet; C.G. Jung  named them the Archetypes.
#Archetypes,#Jung,# Lord Shiva, #Muhammad, #Jesus. 



Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Read at your own peril.

Woke up this morning feeling like my old friend, depression, creeping into my consciousness. I felt all the symptoms of anger, despair, low self esteem and the works seeping into my aching body wondering if I could survive this morning attacks. So I sat. I sat and watched and asked all the pertinent questions as to why I felt so low in form and energy and what was making me feel like I have arrived at an impasse. I watched as the mind slipped from one thought to another often avoiding the real issues or answering to the immediate questions and I had to draw it back towards what was at hand. I kept an 'open mind' or detached from making any judgment calls as thoughts arises and slipped away, taking note of the relevant answers closely related to what I had intentionally asked of myself. Yes my mind likes to play the denial games of avoidance and I have to keep on being aware of gathering it back into focus on the issues ta hand like making a child pay attention to his teacher.

The answers I got after an hour of sitting was nothing worth bragging about except that I realized that I had at least become free from the depressive and negative sway that i had woke up with. I looked at the house plants and     they told me they should be watered and I looked at my two cats and they told me to check if their food and water were made available and I checked my tummy and felt hunger. I found no mind blowing answers but I found that I need no answers other than just taking care of what needed to be done in the here and now. I needed no justifications except to allow for comes next to happen effortlessly: I needed to take a long cold shower.

Yes, I also found out that I need to change the situation that I am in right now but I also learn as from the past that it too will happen and has to happen effortlessly when the time is ripe. This morning I will continue to keep doing my chores and enjoy the quiet and solitary space that i have created for myself and not feel like something is lacking in my life. I learned as i have often learned in the past that there is no escape from these rise and fall of negative thoughts and feelings and that all I have to do is watch them like I would watch clouds come and go in a clear and empty blue sky. In short i have to learn to let go. I learned that i have to make the best of this peace and quiet and allow myself to further explore deep into my inner being, my subconscious. I may not be able to stop the rise and fall of negative or positive thoughts but I can watch and learn and perhaps gain a better insight into the nature of my feelings and perhaps curb my depressive moods in the bud. It is said that we live and learn and sometimes you have to keep on learning over and over till there is nothing left to learn; letting go is never easy once you have attached to the idea that you are who you think you are.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Between me and God.

When you give God a name you have lost a third of humanity in faith and when you give God an image you loose yet another third, when you give God a personal character the whole of humanity is lost. Only in absolute silence can you hear God speak, so the wisdom of age has said and to be in absolute silence you have to make room for silence to happen which simply put empty you heart and mind from all thoughts. God may not speak in words and He may not make you feel of Himself or His presence, but when He does it will be in the sound of silence itself; like the Universal Sound of Om,(I say like). Like an electrical energy vibration the permeates all through your consciousness moving every single subatomic particle within and without in synchronicity shifting your entire spiritual state into a higher level of consciousness like you are being hit by a lightning bolt  and if you survive this experience, some say you have become enlightened, while others may say you have been touched by Divinity and yet others may send you to the lunatic asylum, if you do not survive the experience.

When you are capable of attaining absolute silence and peace of mind, God speaks to you from every corner of the galaxies and every form of sound, and His presence you will feel in taste and touch in all its pure entirety as though you are no more present to the experience, you become the experience itself, you become like God. You become one with God, you return to God. In the flash of a lightning you are God and there is not much difference as being who you truly are. The difference is only you being who you are trying to capture the moment and describe the experience, you are attached to the experience and want to remain so while trapped in this physical reality. Your mind is the next most powerful entity that you worship after God or the Divine. This is your Demigod, the deity in you that governs the reality that you live in. In this state of being, you worship yourself, In this state you strive to become God; herein lies your hubris.

This hubristic pride is man's downfall from his state of grace, it is the ultimate desire of desires. As the Buddha is said to have said, "The very desire to become a Buddha is a desire and desire is the ultimate cause of suffering." Man's hunger for immortality has kept him chained to this cycle of life, death and rebirth and for so long as he clings to this desire, man will never taste immortality or Enlightenment. An immortal is desire-less free from clinging and attachment to the very idea of what is a desire; he is empty, he has shed his mortal soul and free of his spiritual claims: "I, am no more." Even the Vedantic claim of 'Tat vam Asi' or I am that, I am, or I am Brahman, is invalid as only as the Divine claims, I Am That, which is the Tao, the Unborn. In the words of the Buddha, "Suffering Is, none who suffers. Enlightenment is, but none who attains it."  In the teachings of the Buddha, the 'self' does not exist. In Islam man has to attain the state of 'Fana' or absolute annihilation of the self before he can be one with God, for as long as he is identified with a personal being he will remain two, man and God. In essence God is One in the Abrahamic religions, but for so long as man believes that he is an entity separate from God, he will remain as such, a deity worshiping himself while striving to become one with God; this is 'shirk'.
Fanaa (Arabicفناء‎ fanāʾ ) in Sufism is the "passing away" or "annihilation" (of the self).[1] Fana means "to die before one dies", a concept highlighted by famous notable Muslim saints such as Rumi and later by Sultan Bahoo.[2] Fana represents a breaking down of the individual ego and a recognition of the fundamental unity of God, creation, and the individual self.[1] Persons having entered this enlightened state obtain awareness of the intrinsic unity (Tawhid) between Allah and all that exists, including the individual's mind. It is coupled conceptually with baqaa, subsistence, which is the state of pure consciousness of and abidance in God.[3]
In Islamshirk (Arabic: شرك‎ širk) is the sin of practicing idolatry or polytheism, i.e., the deification or worship of anyone or anything besides God, i.e., Allah. Literally, it means ascribing or the establishment of partners placed beside God.   

This is purely my own speculation and am answerable to none others as it is my on going quest for the truth as my very soul depends on it and only God knows the truth. WallahuAllam.
  #fana,#Shirk,#enlightenment,# hubris, 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Beginning Self Discovery - 101

As I mentioned earlier in my post on Thursday entitled "Samadhi  the Movie", the key to know oneself is through the ability to remain in silence. This is easier said then done and there is no doubt about it as a busy mind is incapable of self discovery and our mind is naturally busy all the time mostly about things that has little to do with who we truly are. It is not east to wake up early in the morning much less waking up with a clear head not filled with aches and pains and wondering what to do the rest of the day. This is where one begin to develop some form of self discipline, the most basic of which is to wake up and take notice of the body. The aches and pains from the long sleep and become aware of the whole physical form inside out. Start with the breathing, start by getting rid of all the trapped 'bad' air in the abdomen and work through the whole body as you move from one part to another like you are unwinding the whole form releasing all the aching muscles and cramps one after another; realignment. 

As you go through this motion notice how your mind resists from the effort and work with it by removing gently all the intruding thoughts that stand in your way of doing this simple exercise. By letting go of your thoughts without any effort you will be able to clear your head from migraine headaches and various other physical vexations that you often wake up with; breath is the key. Consciously breathing sooner than later you will come to understand how your mind and body function as the day begins, it is not easy but it is possible and a must if you are truly keen on self healing towards self discovery. This rewinding and realignment of the body and mind will also help to prepare you to take on the rest of the day's activities with a clear head and an able body. The Muslims are fortunate in a sens they automatically wake up at the crack of dawn and perform the morning prayer, but unfortunately for most, they jump right back into bed to continue their slumber. The more diligent ones of them will continue to sit and meditate or do the Zikr or chant of one form or another, this is what the Sufi adepts do. To add to this, some will continue to do basic stretching exercises loosening up their body and minds before leaving the prayer mat. The morning prayer is the shortest of all the five daily prayers which consist of two rakaats or prostrations but the twice recitations of the short surah or verse of the AlFatihah is crucial to the mind as it involves the sense of gratefulness towards the Creator for being alive. Being grateful towards life is one of the key principles of the 'Law of Abundance' which the western mind expounds. When performing the solat or prayer, the mind is brought to a focus or standstill in the presence of the Divine and this is what most Yogic and other forms of meditation attempts to accomplish. The basic physical movements of the body during the prayer helps to regulate the flow of energy and blood throughout the body. Imagine what it is like for those who makes it an effort to travel to the nearby mosques to perform this early morning prayer, what benefits they get  in awakening their body, mind and Spirit, everyday very early in the morning. 

In order to silence the busy mind one has to undoubtedly take on one form or practice or another and it is a must for those who find themselves lost in incessant thoughts haunting their sleep and waking state. It is emphasized by all religions and spiritual practices that it is in the silence of the mind that one gets to discover one's true nature if not God. 
#self discovery, #meditation, #prayer, #Zikr 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

My 3 cents worth - Madame Latifa Koya

As much as my heart and mind resists to make any comment or personal observation with regards to the the ongoing foot dragging trials of the 1MDB involving the former Prime Minister and a host of others along with, I feel like I am no better than those who are living in denial if not blind to the fact that billions of dollars have been siphoned from the country's coffers by the former ruling party members in one way or another. It would seem like those who perpetrated these scams are the untouchables simply because they were  in the seats of power elected there by the very people they rob. Forget the Billions but just watching suitcases filled with expensive items being carried out from the home of the former Prime Minister alone was enough to turn my stomach upside down; such is unjustifiable greed. When the very head of state commits such an act of wanton disregard for common decency, it is sad and it reflects upon the nation as a whole.

Thus when the head of the MACC made public the wiretaps of conversations carried out by the former PM with those who were involved in the scandal, I was both shocked and at same time felt a sense of hope for justice. Here at last is someone who dares to take the bull by the horns and face whatever consequences by revealing what needs to be heard by the public in general to wake us all up to the reality that we have been living in under the guise of rule of law. The public exposure of  these tapes will have repercussions in the court of law as I am sure the lawyers will have field day making sure that the drama will be kept on dragging into a never ending episodes as they still gets their salary paid and the perpetrators runs free while thumping their noses at the justice system and the ordinary people. 

The fact that these tapes were made public, the MACC chief has rattled many cages and blown the case open to the public interest and scrutiny once again, as Malaysians not just Malays. mudah lupa. Even the men chatting in the coffee shops and barber shops now have an idea of what is possible when it comes to Greed and the abuse of power. Right or wrong what the MACC Chief did was a wake up call to All and how this revelation will play out in court will further reveal how reliable is our justice system, It is not just a matter if the former PM and his wife and all those who have their fingers in the pie are guilty of not, it is our justice system that is on trial. Let us all sit and watch as the drama unfolds and live and learn of how our very lives and future are being manipulated left and right by those who swore to uphold the law. 

My deepest respect to the Lady who dared to defy the norm and take the risk upon herself to expose the stench that would have otherwise remained hidden from the general public. What was to stop her from playing along and not jeopardize her career? As a Muslim, I feel she has acted from a higher call for to reveal the truth of our justice and judiciary system that has been plagued by corruption far too long. It is time to wake up and demand that justice be made clear and transparent beyond any reasonable doubt and no more foot dragging. otherwise the potential sacrifice made by the Lady at the MACC would be in vain. I call it a career sacrifice cause that is what she has committed and lawyers on both sides will jump up and down on this issue alone as this is what the Malaysian Judiciary System has amount to; lost in the grey areas, areas only lawyers understand. 
# Latifa Koya,#MACC,#1MDB, 

Friday, January 10, 2020

I miss my son.- Timo

When I look at them from a distance I wonder what their future would be like and I pray inside me that they too will find life as challenging and exciting as i have. A life full of ups and down making full of errors and achievements, a life that is never boring. 
My son Timo was born in Switzerland where his mother was from the country and i met her while i was a Zen student at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. I found out that i had a son when he was seventeen years of age and had discovered who his father is and wanted to know him better. I first met my son in person when I was staying with my first son who lives in Dubai then and still is. In essence we met half way between his father's and mother's country of origin.

I welcomed him to the family and told him that he has an older brother and younger one with a sister and from then on that he is a member four siblings, alone no more. He got along very well with the rest of his brothers and sister as thought they were meant to be.
On his first visit to Malaysia he met my sister, his Malaysian auntie and my family fell in love with him with no questions asked. Perhaps like me he was able to fit in wherever he was and adapt to whatever the circumstances life has to throw at him.
He met my eldest brother and they too got along as though they were meant to be, uncle and nephew.

I took him places where I hung out and met the friends that I have close to me. It was my intention that he experiences people and places that he would not otherwise had been able to touch in his life. it was also my intention to share with him how mush life has to offer in all its beauty.
We visited Awi's Yellow House on Pulau Duyong in Kuala Terengganu where I had spent allot of time with my friend Awi the owner. I had hope that the rustic lifestyle would impress upon him some form of aesthetic impression. 

We visited places and met people who were as friendly and welcoming from all walks of life and races doing their thing in life.
Our visit to the East Coast of the Peninsular was I hope would trigger in him a sense of  what is out there being away from the snow covered mountainous region of the Alps where he had grown up to the Stretches of beaches along the South China Sea.  
In Georgetown He was exposed to the multiracial society which I had hope would help to open his mind and consciousness towards understanding others who are not of his kind. To be at home and comfortable wherever he may be.

Timo is an artist perhaps more so then I am and he is more of a musician who plays the piano and the guitar. However he also draws and paints. Here he sits with his younger brother Karim with whom I feel he is closest to.

In a City that is predominantly Chinese I had hope that he would absorb the feast of cross cultural smorgasbord into his consciousness to broaden his perspective in life. 
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I took him to the Malay Fisherman's jetty, one of my favorite hangouts so that he has a taste  of the rustic environment  of the Malay fisherman's life.  

As Georgetown has been known as the food capital of the world practically, His brother and sister made sure that Timo did not miss out on as much cuisines available at the food stalls.

Making new friends was also one of the key factors that I try to make it happen for him and most of those people who he had time with were impressed of his open mindedness and easy going nature.
Most excited and impressed by him is his sister, Marissa made sure that her brother who was never bored or lack for anything while he was here. 
What lies ahead of them in the lives? Well the picture says it all while they sat in my twin brother's gazebo staring out at the South China Sea.
Yes I miss my son and hope that I will se him again at least once before I kick the bucket and I wish that my eldest son too would one day be here to complete the picture as I miss him the most.