Thursday, December 31, 2009

another marvelous dream

waking up at night i find the sound and movement of the natural breath at the driving wheel of the body and mind.

the ocean sound in breath as it comes in and goes out waves through the shores of the mind. the power within sands out all the mental roughness. all the inner eye can see is a deeply smooth lake surface. reminds me of the moonlit expansive water in the dream a couple of nights prior.

as a matter of fact i enter yet another dream as the gentle movement of the breath rocks me like a loving mother would her baby.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

keeping the channel to inner self clear.

as another year of my meditation practice comes to an end i am getting myself ready for yet another great year ahead.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

grand and great dream

i have this dream the night after taking the preparation for a special new-year-day event.

i find hwubby and me living in a big apartment in an ancient stone building. the amenities are simple and primitive but the space is grand, sky-high ceilings, made of huge blocks of beautifully textured stones. kind of dark and dim, though. but i can see the other apartments are much smaller and even more primitive.

Monday, December 28, 2009

this year's meditation on joseph's story. 38 m + 10 m

i ask rabbi lerner, in the prayer invoking ancestors, joseph is not included but in the text his story is in great detail relative to yitzak and yaakov, why is that?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

meditating on idolatry. 38 m + 10 m

at sabbath dinner in rabbi lerner's house hwubby says, rabbi, please tell us about jesus from the neo-hassidic point of view.

o-me-o-my, an explosion of knowledge and opinions ensues.

Friday, December 25, 2009

my meditation practice is the goal in itself. 38 m + 41 m

this is a truly special holy-day gift. this is the gift i want.

no sooner than i began aumming i see with the inner eye that lord buddha is meditating in me. our meditation postures are one. with this vision an opening sensation quietly ripples through the body, synchronizing with the breath, and the mind expands into a serene realm.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

what's the difference between psychotherapy and meditation?

today i have this subtle and marvelous experience in meditation.  my steady and stable easy lotus posture relaxes the body and calms the mind. i realize the posture, while being a fundamental in being able to sit comfortably for an extended period of time, is an attainment in itself. it took a while and some doing to set it in place. worth it? you bet.

as i revel in the relaxing sensation gently massaging the tightness lodged deep in the neck and shoulder i recall something.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

year end spiritual power scrub. 38 m + 9 m

i love a good party too but there's something magical about chanting, meditating, eating and laughing together with a bunch of dedicated yogis.

and it definitely kicks up another notch when there is high quality food like that which shivaa prepares.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

why don't i remember dreams? 38 m + 7 m

i don't remember most of the dreams i have had. in fact for a long time, what i could remember, at best, was the quality of them. stuffed with worry, fear, anxiety, panic, smallness and their extended family.

so when rabbi lerner asks us, why don't we remember dreams, i really perk up my ears because i don't know and i want to know.

Monday, December 21, 2009

meditating on yosef's story. 38 m + 9 m

i still can't get over what a fantastic torah study we have on yosef's story. not only do i have a great teacher in my rabbi learner, i have this bunch of thoughtful and bright congregants (my beyttikkuners, and o-me-o-my they can be so funny too.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

i am a little flea.

on our way home with a belly full of yummy latkes and the mind filled with the brilliance of a fully lit menorah, hwubby says, out of the blue, so i guess there will always be some mystery about life, right?

Friday, December 18, 2009

meditating on chinese mind, american mind, calling mother. 38 m + 6 m

it's been a while since the residuals of guilt, suspicion, distrust, regrets appear in the mind. and here i am, while reveling in the nourishing sound of aum sweetly and kindly reverberating in the steady and easy breath that is irrigating everywhere in the strong and upright meditation posture, i watch these old habitual tendencies misting my consciousness.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

yawning crazy and then...guiding spark

the body goes through a few twists and turns before i could coax it to get up. it is a yawning orgy. yawn to tears, yawn till the body is all stretched out head to toe like a ball of dough rolled into flatbread, yawn like the jaws are about to break, yawn and tremble and uttering sounds shooting up from the base of the guts. not a pretty sight.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

i am. possibility of possibility. probability of probability. 38 m + 13 m

i am...i am..i am... it goes on and on uninterrupted. it is what i hear through a soundless voice as the chest gently bellows in and out, imbuing my body and mind with subtle throbs.

and a realization comes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

i am a perfect moon reflecting the sun. 38 m + 19 m

for the record for future reference, it has taken 3 days after the travel to portland to return to my home meditation practice rhythm. it was like that for the previous trp as well.

this is precious knowledge. now i know there's no cause to worry when, during the first 3 days upon return, i can't get up as early as i'd like. there's nothing wrong with the body not budging. it's taking its time to do its thing. right, my intelligent body? and there's no need to panic when the mind, in the dark winter night, goes, o, i can meditate just as well lying down. it's just some residual habitual tendency. let it come as long as i let it go.

Monday, December 14, 2009

what is the real chanukkah miracle?

on the way home after the best ever chanukkah party with our fellow congregants hwubby says, i think the real miracle is recognizing what we have is enough.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

a new tradition is born. happy chanukkah.

come to the first night of chanukkah after a day of busy airport, full flight, stormy weather. i look at the low, dark sky. i can see the old habitual tendency that drags the body and mind to go down lurking in the periphery of consciousness.

Friday, December 11, 2009

i always have what i need. my inner self.

didn't time today's meditation because hwubby was still asleep. i groped around in a dark hotel room, only did the bare essentials so i could sit in an easy lotus posture.

here's the amazing thing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

thank you, my pragmatic and wise inner self. 38 m + 3 m

i'm sitting in a swivel chair to meditate. the practice of aumming really helps greatly to adapt my home practice into a hotel room setting. the sounds and extended resonance firmly and gently lead my body and mind to settle into the vibrant sweetness circulating in the steady, easy breath.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

meditating on "sounds of silence" 38 m + 13 m

i'm reconstructing today's meditation experience from notes because network was down for most of the morning.

bad? yeah. really? i don't know.

the mind is on a seesaw for a little while and then a laser-sharp prompting cuts through. turn on hbo.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

seeing stars in unexpected places. 38 m + 38 m

hwubby says, go look out the window, the sunrise.

it's frigid outside. who knew we could have a view of sublimely delicate dawn colors from a comfy bed in a nice and warm room?

equally unexpectedly the gray cityscape is dotted with stars. they are lights from several offices. but from this simple eye they are just as twinkly and sparkly.

Monday, December 7, 2009

sharpening discrimination in a hotel room. 45 m

aumming and meditating in a cozy, charming (in real estate vocabulary, these adjectives are for small properties.) hotel room in portland, oregon.

it's a fun challenge to work around a meditating hwubby as i prepare his ginger tea and oatmeal a couple of feet away.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

what are we doing to our kids?

i don't know how long i meditated today because i forgot to turn on the timer. why? i guess my mind is still going through after-shocks after this: i was robbed by 2 girls, claiming they have a gun, in broad daylight on a main street.

they look...just like kids.

Friday, December 4, 2009

afghanistan. obesity. 38 m + 7 m

in my meditation today i see a young, bright, great person who is also obese. now the doctors are saying they have found cancer and surgery is what they recommend.

i know immediately this is related to my thoughts on the president's afghan speech. 2 reasons. he used the word 'cancer' to describe the taliban situation. secondly, but equally if not more important, i've been thinking what it means for the greatest country on the planet and the richest country in the history of mankind having obesity as the most serious health challenge as a people.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

lonely no more. 39 m + 37 m

what's the most awful feeling? for me, it's loneliness. the horrific impact it can have on my state of consciousness sends chills and shudders through me even just faintly remembering it used to control how i lived.

not anymore.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

experiencing intelligence in the body. 39 m + 13 m

i awake. the body is still. it is light, alive. the mind is calm and clear.

i find my whole being filled with the sense that i am experiencing the innate intelligence of the body. the body is sending me a message and it goes, i'm just taking the time to wake up.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

breath is my yellow brick road. 39 m + 13 m

i never know when an answer to my question might come from.

case in point. i went about my day yesterday with a question lingering in consciousness. why is it still so hard to get up in the morning? i made sure the tone didn't carry any trace self-beating. i acknowledged that i had come a long way but it was obvious that there's still work to be done. all i want is to dig deeper, know better so i can do better in the coming mornings.

Monday, November 30, 2009

tendency not yet uprooted. 39 m + 16 m

sitting in the enchanting sound and soothing movement of the breath i am steeped in the certainty that this is more than worth it to get up in the winter mornings.

not so fast, suk wah. what about yesterday? whoops.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

kicking off holiday season with fresh resolve. 38 m + 18 m

i enter this holiday season with a clear eye. i'm not going to beat myself up if i couldn't get up early because i had to stay up late the night prior.

so i am all ready, willing and able to skip today's meditation since i had a big dinner late and didn't go to bed until after 11.

yet. and yet. by the time i catch the meditation space from the corner of my eyes i just couldn't resist it. i know i would have to sit down, be with my inner self, simply because i love it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

a truly chinese american thanksgiving. 38 m + 8 m

hwubby says, you ate a lot of food. i say, really? he says, yeah, i came back to the table after hanging out with the kids and you were eating turkey all over again. i say, you don't understand, my cousin remembered he forgot all about the cranberry chutney he and the kids made together. he chuckles, that's why you have to eat more turkey?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

inner self helps me with costco receipt. 38 m + 10 m

thank you, my inner self. there's nothing too mundane, trivial for you to hold my hand and guide me through it all.

case in point. i'm staring into this bag of trash papers. among a lot of junk mail, unwanted papers of all variety is, i think, a costco receipt. i need it.

how so?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

it puts the demons to sleep 38 m + 10 m

the extended soundless resonance mmm buzz and throb tangibly in the hands and fingers.

i feel vividly the ligaments and tissues that hold the joints together relaxing. a living, breathing, warm sweetness rush into the spaces thus opened up. a gentle, caressing pulse waves through the body. the sense of enoughness is more than enough to marinate the vast field of consciousness into a state of vibrant contentment.

on the way home from our sadhana circle last night, shrileka, ever devoted and steadfast on the yogic path says, yeah, i'm doing all these things that i never had time to do or didn't think i would like to do, i feel so free. i say, sounds like you are not attached to the outcome, you are freed up to enjoy the moment totally.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

i'm all ready for another year of aummm

i've been singing aummm 36 rounds as the preamble to my morning meditation since early january.

initially i thought i was just following through with the designated study focus for this year.

as time goes on i notice marvelous things happening. i don't need any other meditation instructions. singing aummm is the meditation instruction that works magically for me.

before long i am actually in love with the practice of singing aummm.

as the year 2009 is getting closer and closer to a close i find myself thinking again and again, wouldn't be nice to do this for another year.

now i discover that the study focus for 2010 will be...singing aummm.

wow. sometimes i even amaze myself with the power of my thinking:)

Monday, November 23, 2009

the sweetness of torah

from this meditator's simple mind, the structure of torah study is brilliant and wise.

the five books of moses are divided into sections. every week in the year jews across the planet study the same section. if i don't know which parsha we are to study for a particular week, just log on and search and i am connected to the entire people.

for instance, a couple of sundays ago i was hunting in the bargain section in berkeley bowl west when hwubby comes to me and says, there are 2 men doing torah in the cafe.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

yitzak. rivka. yaakov. poverty consciousness

i have the privilege of reading aloud the parsha on yaakov tricking his brother and rivka scheming to have her favorite son inherit more than the other.

in the midst of the thickening plot i watch the entrenched tendency to judge kick into default. come on, yaakov, you don't have enough blessings to go around your children?

no sooner than i am aware of it than i receive the message from within. poverty consciousness, you have that too.

Indeed. i do. i am not enough. i don't have enough. i am not good enough. and they disguise themselves in infinite ways, subtle ways, clever ways.

so, who am i to judge? just sit back, watch and learn from the motherlode of all soap operas.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

don't stick my head into garbage. 38 m + 18 m

as i am arranging the body into the easy-lotus meditation posture i go, whoops, here they are, those residual tendencies.

what are they about? what should i do about them?

Friday, November 20, 2009

thank you, my inner self, thank you. 41 m + 13 m

today i have a new-found awe for my meditation posture.

i sure have come a long way. hwubby says, yeah, you have.

he is not referring to my meditation posture.

i digress.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

no wonder i love to sleep. 39 m + 16 m

for years i would wake up to a mostly torturing state of consciousness. the mind would be noisy, yapping all kinds of negative stuff. not a pretty sight.

so i'm stunned, for a few days in a row now, to come into the waking state hearing nothing but the ocean sound of the flowing breath. the mind is quiet and clear sparkling with sweet smiles. it feels so nice that all i want to do is to stay in it, watch it while the body is taking its time to wake up. it's all right, body, you take the time you need.

i fall back asleep and dream.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

meditating on thanksgiving menu 39 m + 21 m

the moment i received the thanksgiving menu from my cousin chun yu, aka tommy in america, i'm concerned this morning's meditation will be a challenge. here's why.

i look at it and i go, this is a banquet from the ninth heaven of yumm-iosity. check this out.
- Butternut squash, leek & apple soup
- roasted Turkey
- grilled shrimp
- Cranberry, ginger & lemon chutney
- roasted beet, onion, and orange salad
- roasted potato with rosemary and mustard
- pumpkin coconut cake

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

what is grace really? 38 m + 8 m

can't think of a better way to wake up. there's only the soothing sound of the moving breath.

all that i am aware of is, really, there's no bounds to my consciousness. it's quiet, it's vast, it's...alive.

i am alive.

the body is totally still. it feels just right to allow it to move at its own pace in its own time.

the truth of the matter is i don't want to be anywhere else other than being in the nurturing womb of the breath.

as i am preparing for my meditation posture a thought appears in the clear, quiet mind. i know immediately what this is. the solution to a situation that has been hanging around for a while.

Monday, November 16, 2009

bill clinton says. 28 m + 27 m

the pre-dawn cold has a quality of clean and crisp. winter cold. the living and breathing silence within exudes the slow throb of...hibernating.

on one hand i experience the spacious quiet pervading my consciousness. on another hand i also see and hear the remnants of old habits and tendencies trying to pull the mind into worrying, thoughts and emotions related to unworthiness.

unworthiness. will it ever go away, just go away?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

moving to center of seesaw

5 am sunday. hwubby drops me off at the ashram. i'm happy to walk the 15 min but he says, i'm up anyway. isn't he just fabulous?!

no sooner than i put my right foot across the threshold into the meditation hall i experience this sure sense of settling into a world of soothing and vibrant silence. even as i am arranging my meditation set-up i am already deep in meditation, well established in the awareness that i am none other than the inner self. call it soul, spirit. this is the real me.

as i am breathing through this understanding i know my consciousness is being held in the cumulative devotion, dedication, discipline and determination of many, many meditators, seekers, students, yogis who have been meditating, chanting and offering endless selfless service for 30 plus years to keep this holy place in pristine condition. my great good fortune is beyond words.

in this living and breathing silence i see i am moving steadily towards the center of the seesaw. the seesaw of pleasure and pain, ups and downs in the physical universe. my meditation practice is establishing me in the center where i am not tossed around but responding when necessary from a place of relaxed alertness.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

cuddle, huddle and snuggle. a hold-cation

awake to a long, fine exhalation. for as long as it lasts, the ocean sound and subtle motion in the breath is all that is in my consciousness.

aware of the completeness, aliveness that is soundlessly throbbing.

the mind is quiet, resting steady and still in the open heart. 

turn to hwubby. we cuddle, huddle and snuggle. our favorite activity, a hold-cation. a mini one but a hold-cation nonetheless.

our breaths effortlessly synchronize into each other. comforting and restful.

can't think of a better way to spend a saturday morning. the truth is, i'm not thinking. i go back to sleep and mmm. i love my beauty rest:)

Friday, November 13, 2009

priceless resonance. mmm. 38 m + 41 m

i'm really settling into the extended resonance of aum.

the body is a bowl where the beginningless and endless mmmmmm swirls and twirls. the vibrato massages every cell of the body and marinades the entire consciousness.

the sense of comfort and peace is priceless. the mind is quiet, clear and strong.

the stormy situation unfolding over the last few days is beginning to wind down. i'm in a place where i can begin to assess and evaluate my response so far.

i think i am doing a fantastic job of returning again and again to the steady movement and sound of the breath and thereby grounding my mind firmly in the awareness of the self within.

the source of fearlessness and strength. and not to forget lightheartedness. from there i take care of every moment as it is.

the crown jewel is the knowledge that i am this source. i am the source of all this. aummm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

spiritual savings account. 9 m

as i'm in the midst of taking care of a stormy situation i notice the state of consciousness i am in.

it is calm, quiet and clear. i watch my breath flowing in and out in a steady rhythm, unperturbed.

strong too.

how do i know that? because i can clearly experience the mind, attention and awareness being firmly anchored in a concrete foundation of knowing that however the situation unfolds does not add to nor diminish my self worth.

i am grateful for the 24/7 guidance from the self within. i am also grateful for my determined efforts. i have been putting away into the spiritual savings account. this reserve is what is carrying me across now.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

a bunch of drunks, joyous drunks

there we are, 7 of us, singing aum in shivaa's heavenly living room after a sumptuous yet light supper prepared by...shivaa, of course.

that butternut squash soup infused with lemongrass is satisfying and so light. the salad is spectacularly choreographed with roasted walnuts, soy beans, beet, baby greens, pomegrenate and nectarean comice pear. a meal fit for a king.

i digress.

just when i think it cannot get any more awesome i realize i am in a grand ocean of sound, a symphonic universe of sweeping musical arcs sparkling with delicate, exquisite harmonics.

without a doubt i am in a world outside of linear time with no horizons in sight.

then we meditate. every cell of my body is soaked in a rich marinade of resonance. i can just keep sitting like this on and on.

but then i remember banana bread. yes, i bring along my knock-out wheat-free, gluten-no banana bread. nalini says no. she is gorgeous, tall, slender, blonde and so disciplined. but then she gets curious hearing all this ooohs and aaaahs around her. she takes a bite, she says, o my god, and off she goes to help herself to a piece. she says, how do you get it to be so moist, you are a gourmet cook.

well, i am trying not to bloat my ego up but i have to say my banana bread enriches, enhances and expands my state of consciousness.

why do i say that? well, as we chant an evening hymn after dessert i am afloat in sweet bliss. a light and moist sweetness.

laura, always regal and elegant, says, we are a bunch of old drunks. i say, drunk, yes, old, i don't agree, may be ancient, may be timeless:) laura smiles and says, definitely joyous.

a bunch of joyous drunks? i am happy with that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

meditation is a joy in itself. 38 m + 44 m.

i think i can fairly and safely say i can get out of bed by 3.30 and not feeling horrible. on the contrary i feel light and awake and sheltered within. the mind is quiet, basting in a marinade of buzzing contentment.

as i go about getting the whole oats (no, not steel cut, that's so yesterday for me) cooking, grinding chai spices, i see an opening of a couple of minutes. i seize the moment and measure out the dry ingredients for another batch of my knock-out delicio-so gluten-no, wheat-free banana bread. it is fascinating to watch how my state of consciousness is expansive, open while subtle and sensitive, all at the same time, all within me.

sitting meditation has now become a joy in itself. who cares if i don't see thunder and lights and visions?!
together with singing aum, i am flying. i'm ready to rock and roll.

who knew just sitting quietly could be so much fun? i didn't. now i do.

Monday, November 9, 2009

38 m + 27 m. 'aum knows what to do, where to go'

i've been wondering whether i consciously sing aum in different notes. but i really don't think i intentionally started doing it. i like it. that much i am sure of. upon hearing this, my sweet and wise friend shivaa says, aum knows what to do, where to go.

ahha, that feels totally right on. i am watching aum singing whatever note it chooses to sing. while on the one hand its resonance ripples out to all corners of the body and consciousness it is clear that every note has certain body area where it reverberates more, even to the point of buzzing and humming like bumble bees. according to my knowledgeable friend eloise, these sounds balance chakras. sounds good.

aaahhh. every cell of the body has its own frequency. aum is the frequency of the inner self. it makes sense that it holds the frequencies for all the cells. like a perfume holding a whole host of scents.

i have so much more respect for the unfathomable intelligence in aum. so much that when i catch myself immersed in a thought packed with emotion and feeling while singing aum i don't get into the old habit of beating myself up. on the contrary i commend my self for catching the distraction in action, take in an easeful, deep breath, and get back on track with aummming.

what is that thought about? it feels so real when i am immersed in it. a couple of hours later, i don't recollect an iota of its content. hubby says, this is like the joke that the jewish mother leaves a message on her son's machine, start worry, detail to follow.

i say, yeah, the jews like to ask why, i have a chinese version. hubby says, what's that? i say, just worry, don't ask.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

avraham. itzak. what's impossible to man is possible to yhvh

there are many things i like about torah study. this is one of my favorites. i get to revisit a story once a year under supervision (and i have excellent supervision), and i am amazed to discover that i always see something i didn't see before. without exception.

for instance. on avraham and itzak. in my simple mind, avraham is the first documented parent who truly understands that a child doesn't belong to the parent but to yhvh. also, what's impossible to human beings is possible to yhvh.

holding this understanding in my consciousness takes away so much of the tendency rooted in 'this is mine, that is mine.'

from this perspective i aspire to be avraham.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

living power. aum. 38 m + 11 m

this aum looks and sound simple but, o me o my, i find something about it awesome and amazing, and then some, everyday.

for example. the resonance mmm flows into the body in all directions. that i already know from experience before i sit down for today's meditation.

as i relish in the massaging power of the resonance that is riding on the breathing movement it dawns on me that it enlivens wherever it touches.

this aum is a living power. it is mine. i am aum.

my body is saying a resounding yes, yes, yes in all corners as far as i can see and hear. the reverberation throbs and buzzes in every part of my body, my mind, my consciousness.

this reverberation is, in fact, consciousness as close to the origin of life as can be.

direct knowledge is within. this is no longer something i read about. it is now my experience.

the sense of safety and security is truly enlivening as well as empowering. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

face to face with my own self. aum. 38 m + 8 m

each meditation is a face to face encounter with my own inner self.

i am doing nothing hard. i'm actually enjoying my self, relaxing in my hard-earned upright, steady, comfortable posture, allowing the spectrum of sounds in aum to flow to all corners of consciousness.

i am in awe of how vast i am. a open, bright being with no horizon in sight.

every now and then, sparks come to mind, illuminating the way to taking care of a worldly task. by now i am not even worried that i would forget it. i simply keep my attention on the breathing movement and the residual resonance of aum in the body.

the fingertips are like inflated balloons, pumped up with vibrant mmmmmm. feels good.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

38 m + 8 m. i am the sound of the ocean

i get out of bed at 3.30 and discover some last minute changes in hwubby's travel plans. So instead of having a biz meeting at 6 we'll have to meet at 5.

i take care of all that need to be taken care in front of me, one task at a time, while holding unbroken awareness of the steady movement of the breath coming in and going out. i am calm, confident and focused. without a doubt this is the state of my consciousness.

by the time i sit into the easy lotus meditation posture it's a no-brainer. the sound of the breath is right with me. here i am. we are inseparable.

as i relish in the soothing buoyancy suffusing the breathing movement it dawns on me that i am this buoyancy.

i am the sound of the breath. the breath is an ocean. i am the sound of the ocean.

hey, i am the ocean.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

38 m + 18 m, singing aum in different notes

i'm really enjoying singing aum in different notes.

while each aum fills the entire being it is clear that every note imbues a certain area in the body more than the others.

it is going to be fun to discover which body part, what organ, resonate with which note.  

so far, it seems that higher notes reverberates and swirls in the head. the base notes vibrate in the belly and the toes.

broadly speaking, every aum is complete. it feels that way. it brings about a sense of contentment from within.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

38 m + 18 m. 2 truffle balls look into anxious thought.

i awake. no, to be exact, it's the mind that is awake. not the body. no, to be accurate, i can't locate where the body is. i know i should have one. yet my awareness is being held in this place where there is no contours set by the body, or anything.

i know i am not going mad because i turn to hwubby and say, the body is not waking up.

we hold each other. surely this is the best way to wake up: 2 creamy, soft, fragrant truffle balls warming up each other.

hwubby says, do you have anxious thoughts?

his question comes precisely when i watch an anxious thought passing through. right now i can't even recollect what it is about. but here's the deal. in the moment when that anxious thought is the only thing in my mind it really looks and feels like it matters.

yes, indeed. anxious thoughts are ocean foam. they look so real.

i digress. back to hwubby's question. i say, i do, i have one right now.

hwubby says, so what do you do about it?

i say, i breathe, and i take it as the sign that i need to get up to meditate.

hwubby chuckles. we hold each other some more. and get up.

in this morning's meditation, the body in the easy lotus posture comes across as a huge, vast structure with no horizon. a subtle throb pulses through the body in a steady rhythm. sweetness upon sweetness.

Monday, November 2, 2009

38 m + 34 m, hwubby comes to my rescue:)

 frigid cold makes it a little more difficult to convince the body and mind to get out of the warm bed. the short distance to the meditation closet becomes a daunting journey.

this day, hwubby's snoring comes to my rescue. it's one of those occasions that his power snores actually shakes the bed.

i quickly come to the conclusion there's no way i can go back to sleep even with ear plugs.

once i settle into the meditation posture, i'm even more grateful to hwubby. there is this marvelously soothing sensation that spread from somewhere deeper than the bones all the way to the skin from head to toe. and beyond.

this is relaxation as i know it up another few notches. it's like all the cells are having their own personal, top quality masseurs working on them.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

go forth. go into yourself. lech lecha.

in tanakh, the jewish bible, the first words avram heard from yhvh are lech lecha.

rabbi says, in hebrew they mean 'go forth.' but, as in other ancient languages like sanskrit and chinese, they have multi-level of meanings. these 2 words can also mean 'go into yourself.'

together, the sound of the words, the meanings and the unfoldment of avram's story, stir up waves of emotion tossed with realizaations.

this document, preserved and protected with selfless devotion by many, many people over the flow of three thousand years, is speaking to me across time, space, race and gender.

my eyes are warm and wet. in my simple mind, without a doubt, avram's story is also my story.

18 years ago, a few weeks after i met my meditation teacher face to face, an open invitation spread: you are invited to the upcoming birthday celebration in the teacher's hosue in the catskills.

when i hear it in hong kong where i was born and raised my gut reaction is immediate and imminent. it goes everything against how all the mental circuits are wired. the message is direct and crystal clear.

go. and you will never come back.

catskills? sounds like from another planet. meditation? what the heck has it got to do with life? no idea.

scary. difficult. painful. all of that. and then some.

the word 'hebrew' literally means 'passing over', 'crossing boundaries', 'crushing boundaries.'

just scanning and skimming the contours of circumstances and the dynamics of defining developments, i understand. i understand. i understand that in order for me to connect with the divine self within, to become established in who and what i truly am i have to be an ocean and continent away from the boundaries of traditions, culture and family.

the 2 meanings are the wings of a bird. to take flight it needs both.

scary. difficult. painful. all of that. and then some.

a fellow torah study student says, and when avram goes down to canaan as yhvh instructs, what does he find? famine.

wow. and yet avram's faith is unwavering. whenever yhvh calls, his response is always this: here i am.

may i have an iota of the faith of avram. go. keep going.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

38 m+ 27 m, within, all around, all names are one.

sparks of prayers from the home sabbath at robin's place reverberates sweet and clear in my consciousness while i am relishing the ocean sound of the flowing breath.

within. all around. fill the universe. all names are one.

in a quiet way i am having an experience of this truth. a metaphor that my teacher and grand-teacher use on more than one occasion comes to me.

walk into a gold store. look around. everything is made of gold. in all kinds of sizes, shapes. though different in forms, all the objects you see are made of the same stuff. while each is a unique creation all are essentially the same. a translucent gold leaf weighs little whereas a wedding dragon-and-phoenix bracelet weighs heavy around the bride's wrist, they are, really, simply gold. so appreciate the variety while not losing sight of the sameness in all.

aaahhh, this is the underlying connectedness of all creatures and things.  in a subtle way i sense the outgoing breath, that is holding my body steady, merging into the invisible life force upholding all that are around me. a sense of supreme safety and security fills me.

then a question arises with another long and fine exhalation. what is consciousness?

silence pursues. sweet stillness pervades my awareness.

another metaphor from my grand-teacher infuses me through an incoming breath.

it's like the canvas that holds the painting in place. except in this case, the canvas is also the painter.

i can feel this is too much for the mind to wrap around.

then i remember an anecdote about einstein. he was asked during a dinner, what is relative theory? he says, 2 fleas living on the back of an elephant want to describe this place called 'elephant.' they think hard and come up with these: grey as far as their eyes can see and beyond, hard, bumpy...and scary.

and then i am filled with one of my favorite sabbath practice: to locate myself on planet earth. it is about one millionth in size of the sun. it is one of the many planets in a galaxy. now the scientists say there are at least one hundred billion galaxies out there.

wow. my state of consciousness flip into one of amazement, awe and joyous wonder. how fortunate i am to be part of all this, all this and all this. my mind still cannot wrap around it all but i feel fantastic.

soon i feel a distinct lift and leap within. i recognize it for for it is. this is upliftment. my state of consciousness is now a little bit better in holding the infinite vastness and staying grounded at the same time. the old tendency of seized with anguish about life is getting a little weaker.

i feel lightened and totally ready to come out of meditation.

Friday, October 30, 2009

1 hr 10 m, don't block grace, $3 oscar de la renta sweater

the pre-dawn clean, crisp cool spikes. aaahhh, time to pull out my must-have winter meditation gear: the 3 dollar oscar de la renta sweater.

i got it in the goodwill store in kailua. i never expected to get a sweater in hawaii. i never wanted to go shopping in hawaii, not just goodwill. but hwubby really wanted a hawaiian shirt but, let me put it this way, he has couture aesethetics but we are not ready, willing and able to pay for couture.

andrea, our friend-hostess-sage, says, go to goodwill and while you are there you should look at their sweaters.

hey, from our experiences with andrea over the years we know she is the type who rarely dispenses advice uninvited, so when she does we know there's something there.

so off we go.

hwubby finds a shirt he likes and this dark emerald-green soft sweater that has a high stand-up collar that is extra-insulated-and-lined-and-zipped up to my chin.

i say, it's gorgeous but i don't need another sweater. he says, no, you can use it in the mornings when it is cold, it covers your neck and it is soft.

 he's right, i have to use an extra soft cashmere scarf wrapped around the neck in the winter mornings. i take a look at the label and the price. i say, i'll take it.

hwubby shows me the receipt in the car. my jaws drop. 1 dollar for his shirt, 3 dollars for the sweater? hwubby beams and says, it turns out there is some sale going on. sale at goodwill? who knew? what do i know? nothing.

today marks the beginning of yet another winter season. aloha, my meditation companion. you keep me warm and comfy. you show me how we can block grace flowing abundantly into our lives if we limit ourselves with preconceived notions. a big, big thank-you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

55 m, bye-bye anxiety

i have to come up with a creative solution to a marketing situation pretty quickly.

armed with experiences, i say, i'll meditate on it. what i mean by that is i hold the intention of receiving the solution from the self within, pray for the strength and courage to stay open, and then let it go.

by the time i awake this morning i have forgotten all about it. i am simply focusing on getting myself ready for meditation. above all, i am relishing in the sweet and fresh pre-dawn quiet.

i hear it. if not the solution itself outright it is definitely an illuminating clue. it is simple. it feels right.

i am doubly stunned. because the message comes when i am rigorously cleaning my tongue.

i am doubly blessed. because not only do i receive necessary guidance in a timely manner i am bestowed the experience of staying in the present moment while keeping the awareness radar screen in operation.

i need this. because this direct knowledge further weakens the tendency to project into the future, to worry.

bye-bye anxiety.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1 hr 50 m, even fools can meditate in hawaii

when i awake, i can vividly sense the reverberation from the group aumming the evening prior. the 4 of us generate a panorama of resonance and harmonics across the scale.

after a while i lose track of individual sounds. my body is still. the mind is aloft and afloat in an ocean of reverberation. i can't feel a molecule in the body that doesn't revel in it. as far as relaxing goes, this is as good as it gets.

how can i tell the body loves it? there i am lying in the deep dark, the mind is quiet and soothed, the body resting in the gentle, steady reverberation of mmmmm.

eventually the first mental activity arises. it's a memory. something andrea says after i try to put in many words the wonders and marvels of our vacation in her house in hawaii. in a brief sentence she nails it and i could hear the ocean air in her crystal clear cheerful voice, it really keeps you in a meditative state, doesn't it?

that's exactly what hawaii can do to me. and now i remember somebody once tells me what my grand-teacher says, even fools can meditate in hawaii.

so true. with every visit to hawaii, i can tell my meditation is going a little deeper. what a pow-wow place.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1 hr 20 m, how crazy i am around bargain produce

how crazy am i around bargain produce?

here's how.

there i am in the berkeley bowl west, with hwubby. he divides up our tasks, says, you go to the bargain section, i'll take care of the list.

i take the bee line, feeling the excitement, anticipation, o, what's there today, what fabulous finds are there today?

o me o my, i can't believe my eyes, it's just after 10 and there are already several people crowding the L shaped station.

i spot a narrow opening and slide my way through.

what do i see? bags of bananas, $0.59 each. hey, they are the perfect ones for banana bread and hwubby likes them in his morning smoothie too. the upswell of thrills is indescribable.

and there's more. portobello. $0.99. of course, i know they are not in the condition to be grilled naked. but they are great for a stew. in my 2 cent opinion, they have the textured softness on the level of marbled kobe beef.

now i am really beside myself. i grab 2 bags, one in each hand, turn around, eyes searching frantically for hwubby. i want to share the good news with him.

he's at a couple of stations away. i wave him over, bag in hand. i'm ecstatic, i couldn't wait...and, boom, i see someone passing by.

i remember her in a snap. we are in a study circle together. we see each other once every 2 weeks.

and hwubby has never met her. how great, i can introduce her to him.

so i do. i say, this is..., and no name comes to my mind. i scramble crazy inside for a couple of moments and blurt out, lyn, this is lyn. i can see a sort of strange look appearing on her face. still, i am not aware of any boo-boo on my part.

it isn't until hours later when the excited mind calm down a bit before i could hear the voice of the inner self, her name is leanne, not lyn. ooops. that explains the look.

as i contemplate on this experience i can see there is still some residual tendency festered from poverty consciousness affecting my mind.

fortunately in this case i can apologize immediately with a email. not to mention a huge wok of portobello stew and 3 banana breads for under $5:)

maybe i'm just cheap.

Monday, October 26, 2009

1 hr 10 m, don't need an alarm clock anymore

i used to need an alarm clock to make sure i get up by a certain time. i don't need an external device anymore. i come out of sleep and how do i know if i need more sleep or it's time to get up? i lie still, eye closed, pay attention to the sound and movement of the easy breath. if i fall asleep, i...sleep. if i see negative thought appear, i know it's time to get up to meditate. what would happen if i linger around? o, well, those little negative thought, whatever the specifics, they always quickly mushroom into monstrous scale and swallow me up. before i know it i would be caught up in it and forget who and what i truly am, the divine self, and i would be thinking, acting and speaking from a small, closed and dark place. in another word, i block grace. i've made enough mistakes to know not to go down that slippery slope.

the early negative thought is my wake up call.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

cain and abel, god within

my grand-teacher wanted to find god more than anything else. so he searched in all corners, high and low, for a couple of decades. then he was led to his teacher, my great-grand-teacher, and he was shown where to find god. within. through meditation. because of this, many, including me, is benefitting from this. now i have the teachings and the practices to guide me to the diamond of the divine inner self that is the source of joy, courage and strength.

while i am in the meditation intensive hwubby is with the rabbi studying the story of cain and abel. he says, when god says to cain, why are you unhappy that i am giving attention to your brother, you have the good intention, you should be happy, i realize that is the beginning of man forgetting god is within.

not volcano but a supreme sunrise

i'm in the meditation intensive, listening intently to the account of my teacher's teacher's spiritual initiation. a slideshow of sunrise accompanies it. a new slide appears. i immediately recognize it. this is my meditation experience that morning when i almost skip it. so i'm not in an active volcano. it's even better. both my teacher and grand-teacher are bestowing upon me an experience of a supremely sublime spiritual initiation. thought never doubted i have received spiritual initiation, i don't know the exact moment. i've always had the burning desire to know, when and how do i get it? aaahhhh, now i do know precisely how i have my spiritual desire refreshed and reaffirmed. in my simple mind this is equally, if not more important, than the original initiation. because everyone has spiritual longing (whether a person recognizes it for what it is and pursues it in the right direction is a different matter, i certainly didn't for a long, long time.) but i don't think many people put in the necessary time and efforts to live tuning in to it. hey, may be i am wrong. i would be so happy to be wrong.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

45 m, skip or not to skip?

i went to bed pretty sure that i will skip meditation this morning since i will be in meditation intensive most of the day. yet i come out of sleep, without the timer, at 4. the mind kicks into this mode that says, again and again, you need to sleep, it's okay to sleep some more. but i couldn't go back to sleep. i just get more and more awake. worse still, i watch some anxious thoughts that totally project into the future and speculate what goes on in other people's minds. then i make an inner turnaround. no, i'm not going to roll down this mental slippery slope, i'm going to get up and meditate.

i'm glad i follow this through. immersed in the rhythmic inflating and deflating motions of the rib cage i see myself in the center of an active volcano, and i recall what says in the Jewish Bible about the burning bush's impact on moses, it burns but doesn't consume.

Friday, October 23, 2009

how much do i love tandoori chicken?

hwubby says, an indian lady took me to indian food. the first thing that pops out of my mouth? did you have tandoori chicken? what is the first thing that comes to my mind? that my meditation teacher once told a story about this man who loves tandoori chicken. what's the lesson of the story? well, i don't remember. hwubby says, you just love your tandoori chicken, you don't even know what the teacher's talking about. yub:)

1 hr, the right time

after a few rocky days today i feel i am back in a steadier place. i realize it's just that i need a few days to transition from one place and a set of rhythms to another.

there i am meditating away enjoying my comfortable posture, that has taken a long time to attain, and my easeful breath, which i forget from time to time, when i receive the guidance on something i have been considering for a little while: ought i call this person? and when is the right time? yes, and call after the meditation intensive. which is tomorrow. hooooooh. right away i feel a wave of relief and appropriateness gently come over my body and mind. and i know why it feels so right. making a call that is potentially charged with emotions and anxiety is much better to be done when i know i will be in a place of greater clarity, calm and kindness. i will be coming from the place of the innermost self, instead of the ego-self.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

1 hr 5 m, the inner switch in action

i sit down thinking, i would be so happy if i could sit 15 min today. there's a heavy dark cloud hanging in my head. so let me be gentle with myself. hey, i am able to sit in an upright, steady posture, even though it comes with a lot of props and support. i'm letting the breath coming out and going in deep and long at an easeful pace. that is no small matter, well done, suk wah, and keep doing it. just remember, a little something is better than nothing.

 i think i have sit at the most for half an hour and quietly it happens, and subtly too. an inner switch flips. a soundless click nowhere in particular and everywhere in my body. the fogginess is over. just like that. not to mention it comes to me something i've forgotten to follow up and the deadline is coming up in a couple of days. just enough time to take care of what's necessary. thank you, my most dependable inner self.

i open my eyes. it's way more than half an hour. wow, you never know how subtly limiting the mind can be.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1 hr 20 m, boring meditation?

these days whenever i see the tendency to judge my meditation with opinions like,
  1. my meditation is boring, 
  2. nothing's happening in my meditation, 
  3. how come i don't see lights and thunders, 
  4. so-and-so's experience is fantastic, why don't i have experiences like that.
i remind myself of something my meditation teacher says. it goes like this: when i was young, i went through a time when i didn't like my meditations, i thought i was not having any experience. my teacher noticed i was walking around with a long face. he called for me. i went to him. he asked many questions about my meditation practice. then he says, you are so fortunate, you can sit in quiet for a couple of hourse, you are so fortunate. from that day on i look forward to meditate, i meditate with great joy and enthusiasm.

just remembering these words, basking in the sublime loving care passing from generation to generation i experience waves of sweet thrills ripping across my entire being from deep within.

i am so fortunate. i put in so much efforts and hwubby showers me with unconditional support to make sure my meditation practice happen in a sustained manner. i am so fortunate.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

what does aunt julia use for her burger bun?

i forget all about the burger bun. i guess it's because i'm wheat -sensitive. it's good that i remember now. better late than never. the bun is an essential part in a burger. and this burger deserves a better bun.

i wonder what would be strong enough to soak up the meat juice and still retain some texture and not gluey. hmmm, what would my aunt julia use? i do remember her making a burger with jacques pepin and eating it. what does she use? i scratch my head for 2 days. i think it's the bun used in making this french style ham and cheese sandwich. they use gruyere, plenty of butter and then fry both sides. what's the name of the sandwich? my inner voice says, google it. yeah, but what's the question, like, what's the bun that julia child uses for her french style ham and cheese sandwich? i guess so.

1 hr 40 m, daughter of the ocean

sit down to meditate with the mind stuck in a tune from a hong kong tv variety show, enjoy yourself tonight. 'work crazy hard all day, till the time to loosen up and lighten up, after dinner, have to rest and pause, everybody get together happily, we have a good show for you, laughter, shooting breeze, let's keep you company.'

i watch the melody and lyrics play over and over. i realize it's only going to feed into its momentum if i try to yank it out of my mind. what should i do? first, i have to acknowledge that it stands for a certain time in my life, and for quite a while, i totally identify with all that's outside of me. right now this habitual tendency is staging a comeback. fighting it this is like trying to fight the ocean waves and wound up getting thrown around and battered.

the thing i ought to do, and the only thing that comes to mind, when i see the waves rolling in, is to get out of the way and dive into the depths of the ocean of consciousness.

the initial rounds of aum are hard. i keep losing the sound thread. i hold on to the pearl aum beads, keep stumbling along one bead at a time. eventually the grip that the foam of time has around my neck starts loosening, and i, slowly but steadily, little by little, become immersed in the rhythmic sound of the coming out and going in of the breath. every outgoing breath washes out a little bit more of the hard stains of the past.

the cumulative impact eventually reaches a tipping point beyond which my entire physical and mental being settle into a vast place of calm and still waters that gently pulsate warm vitality. every now and then i hear bits and pieces of the show tune murmuring way out there hovering on the periphery of the ocean of consciousness.

i am not the habitual tendency. i am not the waves. i am not the foam. i am the daughter of the ocean, the ocean of consicousness.

Monday, October 19, 2009

contemplating on birthday burger

i say, hwubby, what do you want for your birthday lunch? with his big eyes lit up with wonder, he says, burger. all right, so burger it is. we head straight to where andrea tells us to go. my inner voice says, one is enough for the two of you. i walk through the door, look around, check out the gigantic portions on the tables around us and i know the inner self is right. i gobble up a lot of the fries. well, i just can't say no to a good fry. light, crispy skin; unpeeled and that's good news for me because i love fried potato skin; not greasy which says a lot about the quality of the place; nice and rich potato taste. what about the burger? well-seared surface, juicy middle, flavorful meat. but, in my opinion which is worth not more than 2 cents, the bacon ought not be here. i love a good bacon and this bacon is good, a nice balance of fat and meat. it deserves to have its own spot. i have to eat it separately also for the reason that it won't overpower the delicate tone in the properly grilled burger.

what would have happened if i didn't listen to the guidance from the inner self? i would have overdosed, got myself sick and heavy. instead i sashay my way out, feeling fulfilled and light all at once. is hwubby happy with his birthday burger? ecstatic.

ps, 10/20/09. i forget all about the bun. i guess it's because i'm wheat -sensitive. i just wonder what would be strong enough to soak up the meat juice and still retain some texture and not gluey. hmmm, what would my aunt julia use? i do remember she making a burger with jacques and eating it. what does she use? i think it's the bun that they use for making this french style ham and cheese, they use gruyere, plenty of butter and then fry both sides. what's the name of the sandwich? my inner voice says, google it. yeah, but what's the question, like, what's the bun that julia child uses for her french style ham and cheese sandwich?

twin oceans within

sitting in my meditation closet i hold twin oceans, one in the left hand, one in the right. waves roam into the arms. wind is blowing strong and steady in the sky of the breath. the vibration in aum radiates velvety light shining over the inner sky and oceans. all this while i am aware of the pouring rain in the universe without.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

sleeping on the airport floor

sleeping the night on the airport floor, my head resting on hwubby's chest. his heartbeat is pulsating aum into my cheek as i hear my inner ocean singing aum. two streams of aum blend into one river reverberating in a grand resonance that sounds no different from the aum of the pacific ocean.

it is not announced why our plane is delayed for so long, but then, hey, so are most of the life twists and turns. who knows why this, who knows why that, who knows why nothing is happening the way i like them to be. as my meditation teacher says, people ask why was i born, let's not go that far, let's see what we can do with the life we've been given. so the plane is delayed. so we have to spend the night in the airport. so what? so we are holding each other, reveling in each other's warmth, laughter and silly gibberish. so it is we know we have all that we need and want. so it is we give thanks from the bottom of our hearts to the cabin crew who is drafted from who knows where after working nonstop for 24 hours to make our flight happen in a safe and pleasant way.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

boozed out babe

i receive my first ever kayak invitation, get over the jittery, say yes, put on as little as possible and plenty of sun lotion.

and yet there is this tiny little voice within murmuring periodically, no, no.

i thought, is this the residual tendency of fear to dive into the unknown? or the prescience of the inner self?

indeed, this is the lifelong wrestle of a serious seeker.

fortunately, for this one, it doesn't take long to find out. and....drum roll please...hwubby and i walk into a surprise beachfront celebration at the golden hour.

so there we are, munching yummy dips and cheeses against the backdrop of the pastel blues and pinks of the sky dome, emerald waters and milky sand.

every breath i take is infused with the scent of the fresh flower necklace cloaking my shoulders. together, the creamy tuberose and orange iiima send intoxication everywhere in me.

before i know it i'm saying yes everytime remos, our gracious and generous host, offers the spanish wine my way.

meanwhile petra, our hostess, keeps bringing out goodies from the kitchen...and so i eat and drink and laugh and eat and drink...until hwubby turns to me and goes, o, you are a fire engine.

i couldn't stop giggling.

moments later i hear the tiny whisper of the inner self, you are one step from passing out.

what should i do? tell hwubby.

so i tell hwubby right away and hwubby arranges me to lie down.

i watch him blowing the candle as my whole being swirls like a dervish under the skin.

such a fantastic celebration and, says julianne, the one who cooks up this delightful surprise, here we don't even have to think about what to wear to a party.

and now i'm blogging wearing layers of chiffon made of balmy morning breeze. hail to hawai'i.

Friday, October 16, 2009

a simple sunrise


it begins with a narrow band of matt orange gold smoothly striding across the fish belly white canvas that encompasses the above and below.

a cool, moist chiffon of breeze brings an intense perfume of night blossoms into the body, an exotic boost that reminds me that it looks plain to the eye but it's nothing short of extraordinary.

for a few of rounds of breath i hungrily drink in the intoxicating fragrance.

then something catches the eye.

the bulbous clouds are turning to gold starting with those facing east.

in a short while, dazzling gold nuggets are hanging above a blazing burning ball, so blinding that i have to close my eyes.

when i open them what i see is pure white brilliance pulsating supremely blissful light.

aaahhh, the same light that is ablaze in my own inner self.

the breath is now going out and coming in at an easeful pace, transporting living warmth between the outer and inner universe.

and thus begins a glorious day of double blessings: our wedding anniversary and hwubby's birthday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

the extended resonance in aum is

aummming to the dawning sea...the water mirror takes on a hue of fresh, baby blue, pregnant with a wealth of lovely pinks and young golds. there's no other way to do this but with eyes wide open. i don't want to miss the subtle shifts each one of which is happy and magical. hey, why don't i aum to the panoply of notes across the scale? why not? i set my own destiny. as the wind in my breath powers the sound in all its tones and timbres i realize the extended resonance is none other than the vibration pulsating in the consonant string of yhvh. the recognition gives an extra boost to the electrifying buzz that is steadily building up in the fingertips, hands and arms. eventually the eye lids draw down, guiding attention inward to rest in the ocean within. breathing in, y, breathing out, h, breathing in, v, breathing out, h. the experience of supreme contentment is light and full all at once.

philosopher stone experience

even meditation has to wait until i finish watching the sunrise. the mind is filled with the sound of quiet, the eye is drinking in the fresh, pre-dawn sea, a calm mirror of soft silvery blue. i rest my vision in it and see the sunset prior. the ambience is one of pure gentleness. the entire sky dome is fish belly grey except for a trim of orange gold neatly along the horizon. the soft blue of the sea is exquisite. a whiff of cool breeze heightens the scent infusing the inbreaths and outbreaths. on the spot hwubby says, let's go to the beach, and i go, why not? moments later we are there and are presented with a philosopher stone experience. under our feet and before the waters is 14 k gold. the atmosphere is still infused with gentleness. the quiet is alive. and we are held in awe.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

go forth in order to go within

avraham is the first ever documented householder/mystic.

yes, this is what i hear when i am sitting with my ocean. lekh lekha. even knowing no hebrew, just the look of this string of transliteration radiates a commanding presence, immediacy and, above all, the pure feeling that this is the right thing to do, no other. go forth? to where? get out of here? why? is avram out of his mind? you bet he is. is it the right thing to do? absolutely. until he gets out of his mind that is cluttered with generations worth of habits, conditioning, culture, traditions, beliefs, concepts, notions and their extended family avram can't get to the place within him that is beyond all this, all this, and all this. and so it is he goes, leaving the outer home, so that he can return to the home within, from where he can say, here i am, when called upon wherever he happens to pitch his tent and walks with god. aaahhh, if avram didn't go forth, he couldn't go within. aaahhh, avram is not an exception, he is an example. aaahhh, no wonder i feel so connected with avram. i love avram, and i love my inner avram.

doing nothing but staring at the ocean

hwubby says, what do you want to do today, little dear one? i take a look at the broad spread of liquid regal sapphire outside the floor-to-ceiling windows and i say, i don't know if i need to do anything else...and hwubby finishes my sentence, yeah, you just sit here, look at the sea and chew duck feeties. i beam and squeal, that's right:)

i'm not kidding when i say i meditate here with open eyes. i gaze into the ever transforming waters and i know with absolute conviction that this is what i have within. today the waters are calm, like yesterday. when i was frolicking along the shore, and let me not forget how soothing the silky smooth sand feel on the soles, the stillness in the waters feels awesome all the way to the bone marrow. only then i feel deeply the unseen power of the ocean. yes, i can see the impact of it, like the towering wave, but what about the force itself? and now, when it is totally still, i sense vividly the force within. reflecting the fantastic clouds above, the ocean surface becomes a vintage blue mirror. looking into it, i don't see its limit but my own reflection. and so i just stare into the 24/7 changing ocean and i feel so enough where i am.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

aloft in molten jade sea

i'm listening to the ocean sound suffusing the breathing movement while i am keenly aware of the drone of the outer ocean. auuuming here transfuses an extra buzz into every molecule. there is a sustained image filling my inner world: aloft in the warm, molten jade waters of the pacific. jade is the only gemstone that warms to the skin. that's what i feel and see, both within and without, held within a sea of pristine jade. warm qi stream from within and wash from without. the experience of buoyancy is thrilling and comforting at the same time. i feel uplifted everywhere. pure lightness turn into pure light, inside and outside. i don't feel any difference between the oceans. out of many, one.

i look up from the computer screen and see the morning ocean. now it's shimmering sapphire, all out to dazzle. this is fantastic. i have this too. it's all in me. cool.

Monday, October 12, 2009

aloha, pineapple...

aloha, pineapple. wow-i mau-i papaya. mama-mia honeydew, cantaloupe. what's up with you here? what's the secret? how come you all look sooo much better here? more alive, brighter, absolutely dazzling and luminous. totally alive. the fragrance? i don't have to make any effort to inhale. the intoxicating scent seeps through the entire being by osmosis. each of you are sweet in your own way. all of your juices meld together into nectar, the like of which i can only taste in deep meditation. this is an experience of blissing-out. hwubby takes a glance at my super-duper huge bowl of fruits and says, that looks good, can you make me one?

the ocean teaches me...

i'm looking out into the gentle curve of horizon that brings together the sea and the sky from this wraparound deck perched on a hill. the pristinely brilliant beauty is soaking up my body and mind when it dawns on me vividly that all this, all this and all this is a reflection of the awesome splendor of my own inner self. while beholding the grandeur without i appreciate the grandeur within. gee, i can never get tired of looking into the ocean. it teaches me so much. for instance, right now, i'm remembering this little detail from the hindu tale ramayana:

hanuman, the monkey king, the embodiment of devotion, service and resourcefulness, is given the task to find a ring that dropped into the ocean between what are now india and sri lanka. hanuman dives right in. when he arrives at the ocean floor, what does he see? the ring he's looking for, and ten thousand more identical ones. yes, indeed, what is happening happened before, over and over. truly, there's nothing new under the sun.

lying on the tip of active volcanoes...

there is something in the air in kailua, or probably all over hawaii. there is a massaging quality to it. it's so natural and easy to breathe deeper here. i can feel the balmy breeze stroking all over the skin and the bone marrow goes ooooooossssssh. the gentle, rhythmic waves of relaxation generate this powerful experience of being at ease. i wake up to the sound of quiet, recognizing that i am lying on the tip of active volcanoes in the middle of the biggest ocean on the planet. the greens here take on an extra sheen of aliveness. it's not the first time we are here but as hwubby says, it always put me in a better perspective about where i am in the universe. i'm too preoccupied with gobbling down the heavenly aroma and texture of papaya to say anything but hmmmmm.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

vegging out in obamaland

hwubby and i need a vacation so bad. not we want, but truly we need it. so what happened? andrea calls, i'm going away, no one's in it, can you come and use my car too? well, andrea lives high up on a hill with a wraparound, panoramic view of the beach obama roamed as a boy and it's 5 min walking distance to this long stretch of silky soft sand and molten emerald waters. we'll be vegging out in oabamaland and now we are just a few hours away from it. helleluja, praise the lord, praise andrea, blessed are we to have andrea as a friend. really, anyone should count their fortunes if they have someone like andrea as a friend:)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

44 + 35, beginning a new year of torah study

right before i transition out of the sleeping state i see 2 vivid images: a small mouse coming out from under my bed, and a woman with an elaborate hairdo and hairpieces made of delicate, exquisite flowers the likes of rare orchids. then, moving right along into meditation. it's so real to me that i have only sit for a very short while when my right leg begins to go numb. i gently shift it and massage it and discover i've already roamed in the inner world for almost an hour. all this time i'm keenly aware of the body and the gentle accordion-like movement of the chest. and a sense that there are persistent efforts of cleaning out going on. i emerge from all this, anticipating with great joy the beginning session of a new year round of torah study.

7.28am. okay, so i didn't look closely enough. today we will study the closing chapters of deuteronomy. the finale, the beginning, all part of the unbroken continuum of linear time anyway. well, well, well, now my burning question is answered. what is that? i've been struggling with whether to go to the intensive on 10/24 because i thought that would be the day to study abraham's story. now it turns out to be in the week after. wow, what a relief, now i can have both. amazing, incredible, fantastic.

Friday, October 9, 2009

sea salt crystals in banana bread...

really? really. i never would have thought of it but there i was, in the middle of whipping up another of my, in hubby's words, outstanding gluten-o banana bread. o, by the way, i must congratulate myself for discovering this truly amazing way of using bruised bananas which come in a huge bag for ninety-nine cents at berkeley bowl. to me, it's a waste of money to use those glamorous looking golden yellow ones. why bother, i have to mash them anyway. okay, back to the bind i found myself in. i was shocked that i had everything except half a teaspoon of salt and i was way past the point of no return. what was i to do? ah, i remember the courage of conviction of my aunt julia. yes, in hubby's words, in suk wah's world, jullia child is her aunt. anyhow, my aunt julia says, recipes are not set in stone...when you don't have something on the recipe, use what you have. and what i had was sea salt crystals. i let the dough sit for longer than usual hoping that time would, as always, do the trick. so i thought it did for the first few bites...until a tiny spark of a mysterious taste appeared in my awareness. neither salty, nor sweet, simply wonderful and marvelous. a touch, not intrusive, but, rather, enhancing. it dances delightfully in the senses. whew, you never know, who knew. i hoped for the best and it turned out even greater.

38 + 5, sweep it out, wipe it out, clean it all out...

there is an extra lengthening happening in the outgoing breaths today. and a little bit more sweeping motion. i know exactly why. there was quite a bit of angst and tension buildup from yesterday. the breath is doing its thing. sweep it out, wipe it out, clean it all out. i don't want any pileup. i want a clean, fresh, clear and quiet mind. thank you, my breath, you are doing such a fantastic job. hooooooooooh, i feel a little bit lighter and more at ease. i can't imagine living without you. you are the one right there with me when i inhaled for the first time when i was floating in the waters of the womb and aaalll the way until i exhale the last, and every moment in between. sometimes i don't treat you well, more than sometimes i forget you but you are sooo forgiving, sooo loyal, sooo dependable, always ready to show me the way to my inner self. no wonder the sages say you are the one constant companion a human being could have. thank you, thank you, thank you. i love you.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

43 + 30, mmm is my new best friend

there are many things i love about aumming. at any one moment, for whatever reason, i love one more than the others. right now, i just love the extended resonance after all the vowels and consonants are over. i'm not doing anything, the back of tongue is naturally, slightly touching the ceiling of the throat, and this sweet and lovely resonance keeps streaming into all corners of the skull, and from there, like ripples expanding, touches places as far away as the tip of toes. this little mmmm is so alive to me. i just love being with it, around it, having it, making sound out of it. it's my new best friend. for many years, i had to draw on elaborate meditation instructions just to sit for a few minutes. but with aumming and this little friend mmmm, i don't need any other instruction. i clutch on to the skirt of the resonance and i fly everywhere in the inner universe. now when i look at the gorgeous, spectacular photos from outer space i feel so familiar like i've been there. in fact, a recurring meditation experience is that sense of lightness, weightlessness, free of burden. and all i have to do is just to sit down, close my eyes, start aummmmmmmm, and mmm and i, we have so much fun together. right, mmm?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

cooking 'grass'

claire-marie discovered something phenomenal in front of my house. all these years i didn't know any better. i thought they were just grass. but, listen to claire-marie. she says, suk wah, you have a bumper crop of plantain. i say, what's that? she says, i went to a 7-day survival course, we lived on this, this is what would survive a nuclear bomb, every part of the plant is edible and nutritious, the native-americans scrape off the pollen and use it for baking. i couldn't believe it and i couldn't wait to cook it. i made it into a stew with ginger and salt pork, blended the whole thing. o me o my, it goes so well with beans and rice. since then i look at the front lawn with a fresh eye, a new understanding and total awe.

43 + 55, meditating on peking duck carcass soup

i sit down wide awake for meditation but at the same time i can feel the body craving for rest. i am right because i fall asleep after 43 minutes. and in those 43 minutes i can't shake off the intoxicating aroma of the peking duck carcass soup i made yesterday. it literally shot hubby out of a kind of a down mode. in his words, excellent, incredible, forget your novel, you can sell this. well, how can it be not fantastic with 2 high quality set of bones that have lots of meat on them and expertly seasoned, loads of aromatic vegetable, a head of garlic, and lemon juice? but, wait a sec, i did throw in some special ingredients: ginger and dong quai, enough to infuse fragrance but not the amount necessary for medicinal purpose. anyway, it is really good. i even amaze myself. a truly yummi-yum-yum meditation. o, and don't forget that the carcasses are free and there are enough for 2 meals for both of us and some more to go into the freezer. such abundance. hubby says, great soup, great wify:)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

43 + 22, meditating on shipping and handling

i can't stop marveling at this steady and sweet rhythm generated by the natural, easy breath. it harmonizes with the heatbeat beautifully. the quiet and clear mind pulses gently pumping an exquisite sensation of security through the entire being. the breath contains the sound and movement of the ocean. the incomings and outgoings generate waves washing through the body and mind, clearing out all that i'm no longer holding on to. once, i watched a swami responding to the repeated burning question from a seeker-student about how to let go because it seemed such a daunting task. the swami held up a cushion with a tight clench and then opened the hand wide. the cushion fell from the grasp. the swami said, just like this.

anyhow, i also realize why i so enjoyed the flurry of shipping and handling activity yesterday. i took the time and attention to set up a rhythm, a sequence. as i moved along from task to task i experienced this steady tempo of the outer activity blending into a resonance with the breath. i was filled with harmony. fulfilling the book orders became meditation in action. i love it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

42 + 17, after hubby's book mitzvah

today's meditation is infused with a special sweetness. today is after hubby's book launch, which, in the words of borders emeryville store manager, phenomenally successful, what a crowd and the cash register is happy. anyway, i digress. let me bring myself back to the present. so, today is at the threshold of a new beginning, a new phase. it's a transition. somehow the meditation has an extra boost of resting quality. the outbreaths are long, fine and streaming with an unbroken sense of release. literally. because every outbreath is like a gentle, warm hawaiian beach wave, washing away the tightness and tension deep within, down to the molecular level and massaging the bones and joints. at the same time i'm keenly aware of the day's essential tasks. but there's no anxiety. i surely will take care of that which need to be taken care of. out of the blue, i chuckle because i recall the phrase hubby coins for his book launch, BOOK MITZVAH. i'm so happy to see hubby so happy.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

is there a limit to what the inner self know?

over the course of a couple of weeks, several times i look at this 'empty' tube in the toiletry cabinet wondering if it's time to throw it away. it is exfoliating facial scrub. hubby bought it somewhere years ago thinking it's the kind of things i would like. i do like a good exfoliator but i think this is too expensive. it isn't bad. i just don't think it's worth the price. anyway i finally squeezed all that i could out of it. it couldn't be flattened any more and it had been standing upside down for a long time so gravity has absolutely pulled down whatever it could. and yet, and yet, i just don't feel right to throw it away. not quite yet. so this morning, the clear, direct message received in meditation is 'cut it in half.' i follow through with it. what do i find? the insides is like a find sand beach. each particle is a cluster of who knows how many tiny, tiny beads. i scoop up a few 'sand' particles, massage them over my wet face. wow, amazing, fantastic. the skin is transformed, so smooth and soft, like, in hubby's words, baby bottom. i look at the wealth that i almost trashed. hey, is there a limit to how much the inner self know? i don't think so.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

say no to guilt

a sleepless night. totally worth it. begins with trying to call my mother in hong kong but no answer and ending with actually getting her on the phone. in between i'm lying eyes closed, awake and alert, in california, an ocean away, and ferocious bombs of guilt exploding inside. it's the umpteenth time that this has happened but this time is different. i'm watching this old guilt trying to take a toehold in the inner world instead of gripping me by the throat in an instant before i could have any chance of exercising any free will. what it is doing is attacking on the periphery while my awareness is sheltered safe and sound in a vast inner world of quiet strength.

by the time my mother answers her cellphone as she is walking through a busy, crowded, noisy street in hong kong on the evening of mid-autumn festival, the equivalent of thanksgiving, i'm immersed in this understanding: our interactions are no longer about who is right, who has owed what to whom at how much, who has hurt whom when and how. i greeted her and let her speak. she couldn't hear a word from me anyway, a combination of her poor hearing, the noisy surrounding and her incapacity to listen with an open mind. and, hey, who am i to judge, i'm not the master of listening with an open mind either. anyhow, i gave up any expectation that she would stop any time soon. i didn't interrupt. i didn't correct her when i thought she was inaccurate or wrong. i simply made sounds of acknowledgment periodically...huh....huh...huh. so i was pleasantly surprised when she said, all right, it's enough talk for this time. and in between i actually noticed a gradual shift in her tone, a softening, a gentle sweetness emerging.

i hung up feeling a lightness in my being, something lifted. i realize what had happened. i refused to feel guilty, i was following through with the vow to pay whatever price. i said no to guilt and said yes to dignity and respect, both towards her inner self as well as mine.

Friday, October 2, 2009

10/2/09, 43 + 29, transfer money

no sooner than i sat into the easy lotus posture a simple, direct thought came: transfer money. ahhh, that's right. a certain transaction is coming up in a couple of days and there has to be sufficient funds in the account for it. i have been moving through a tsunami of activity and deadlines and this one has not been able to find a spot in my attention radar. but meditation puts me right back into the quiet, clear place where i see what i need to see. gently and quietly i thank the inner self for the timely reminder, scribble it down, and return to a sweet and soothing meditation.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

is alexander the great 'great?'

my rabbi says, what's so great about alexander the great?

i'm just a simple, ordinary person. i'm not a historian. but i do remember this story, as told by my meditation teacher.

when alexander the great became king, he summoned the best astrologer in the land. he asked one question, when will i die? the astrologer went to work, came back with the chart and replied, your majesty, you will die when the sky turns to iron and the earth turns to gold. what does that mean? here's how alexander the great read it: when the sky turns to iron and the earth turns to gold? it's impossible. that will never happen. that mean i shall never die.

so he went out to conquer and conquer.

one day, he started to feel unwell when he and his army were crossing a desert. he kept going. he felt worse and worse. at some point, alexander said, let's rest here. his minister said, your majesty, this is nowhere to receive a king, let us go a little further. so alexander did. he held on until he just felt so ill that he had to lie down. he stopped his horse and began to get off. his loyal minister immediately removed his own protective garment, a soft vest woven with pure, fine gold threads, and spread it across the sand. alexander didn't see what he was lying on. he went horizontal and closed his eyes. it was midday. alexander's general, out of kindness and devotion, held up his iron shield over alexander's head. after a while, alexander felt a little better. he opened his eyes. what did he see? iron above him and gold below. ah. he remembered the astrologer's findings. he understood. he said, if i knew then what i know now, i would have lived differently, but, it's too late, it's too late. he wept, and he wept, and he wept himself to death.

10/1/09, 42 + 30, turtle and shoe dream

my awareness is in the depths of somewhere within, aloft in the ocean sound flowing through the steady breath. the vibration of aum gently massages the nooks and crannies in the body. then i remember the dream i had the night before.

i'm visiting caroline, an friend who is easy to be with and has great compassion, and her son cona, who just married a Chinese. i discover a turtle moving underneath the table, a huge one. i patiently coax it to come out. when it fully reveals itself, i gasp at its grandeur. the shell is big and round. amber, sapphire embedded in a hexagonal pattern. then the whole turtle changes to a pure sky blue before becoming a wet baby girl, all in front of my eyes.

the next scene i fine myself navigating through a crowded shoe store. i see miu wan, a girl from my secondary school. she was always looking serene and i knew she had a well-to-to, loving family, regularly went to football games with her father. in the dream, she can't find some shoe she likes. i scan the display of gorgeous shoes, all high heels, eye a red bootie, show her, then see some flat, round-toed dark blue shoes in soft leather weave, look comfortable and monastic. i'd rather have them even though all the other pointy shoes look beautiful too.

then i'm in some open space. i realize i forgot my blazer. it's my new school blazer, a green wool thing, now i can't find my way back. there are large crowds and the shop is uphill from where i am now. i try a few times and keep slipping and falling away from a narrow rock path.

i see some stores selling similar green wool jackets. young school girls are flocking to them. now they don't interest me anymore.

that's all i can remember and i find my awareness steadily rising up and then i know i'm ready to come out of meditation.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

9/30/09, 42 + 17, one taste out of many

i'm still feeling the resonance of the sound from our group chanting aum last evening. the harmony is exquisite and rich. it is clear that there are men and women, higher and lower pitch and all kinds of different voices. and yet the sound is one. it is smooth, it is round. within one, many. i wonder is this a taste of oneness? earlier, before chanting began, shivaa fed us with a splendid salad. as i now chew on the vibration of the collective sound i recall the panoply of the salad components: assorted greens of hues of astringency and bitterness, fig, blue goat cheese, grapefruit, pomegranate, roasted walnut. each has its own unique, fantastic flavor. alchemy happens when they are tossed together. a grand taste is born. one taste, out of many. at the same time i can clearly tell which is which on my palate.

somewhere in all this i believe i am doing better in staying grounded in the midst of a constant whirl of worldly opposites.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

is gandhi crazy?

on one hand it breaks my heart, and anybody's heart, to just hear a little bit of the suffering and misery of palestinians in gaza. on another hand it also breaks my heart, and anybody's heart, to just hear the broad strokes of the suffering and misery jews endured for two thousand years. and i must remind myself that just because i put the jews' suffering after that of the palestinians doesn't mean one is less than the other. i wish i could bring them up in one breath. having said all this, i hear the tendency to compare saying, no, suk wah, you're wrong, you don't know anything, one is suffering more than the other.

it's true. what do i know? nothing.

as i see the feeling of helplessness and powerlessness begin to lurk i remember this story of gandhi. the hindus and muslims were killing each other left and right. it looked utterly unstoppable and violence was escalating exponentially and rapidly. then gandhi said, to the effect, i shall not eat and drink until they stop fighting each other. he moved into a violent neighborhood, and a muslim one, and followed through with his vow. after, i think, about 40 days, he was on the point of dying when, total silence infused the city. the only sound was that of the early morning air. gandhi's aide whispered into his ear, all fighting have stopped. a little later, a man burst into where gandhi was staying. he was widely regarded as the most ferocious and feared muslim warrior. he was in blazing fury as he forcefully threw down a loaf of bread (or chapati?) in front of gandhi and roared, eat, i don't want you to die on my hands. gandhi gazed into the man. silence pursued. the invincible warrior broke into sobs and said, they killed my son, my only son. he cried and cried. when his wailing subsided, gandhi said, i have a solution for you, adopt an orphan, a hindu boy, and raise him as your own in his faith. the man was stunned. to gandhi he said, you are crazy. and he ran out.

9/29/09, 26 + 4, to skip meditation or not to skip?

i was so very tempted to skip meditation today and there were a lot of good reasons for it: went to bed late, i need to get enough sleep to take care of a big deadline today, blah blah blah. and yet i could feel something off was lurking within, subtle, kind of like looking at a storm rolling in from the horizon. in the end, with hubby's nudging, o, you need to meditate, you don't need to skip it, you'll get the thing done, i meditated a shorter session, a lot shorter than i would like, but then, hey, something is better than nothing. after a while i clearly sensed a subtle shift within. the tiny sense of off-ness, jittery, murkiness dissipated. very softly and quietly it went away. what remains is a vibrant calm and clarity. now i'm ready for whatever is in front of me. no sooner nor later than i realized that the timer went off.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

9/28/09, at-one-ment, dream

wow, amazing, fantastic. my rabbi says half of the words in the hebrew prayers really come down to these 3 words. wow, amazing, fantastic. no wonder i fell in love with the sounds of the hebrew prayers from the get go. they just make me, amazing, fantstic.

i dream on the eve of yom kippur, after 9 days of doing teshuva. i love what my rabbi says. teshuva is not about guilt, self-beating, powerlessness, and their extended family. what is it then? about reflecting on where and how i missed the mark in the last year and take actions to return to the mark. that sounds and feels so right with me. of course there were, and will be, times when i forget that my true core mark is the inner self and so i acted, spoke, acted differently than if i had stay connected to it. it's so fantastic to have a day set aside to direct my attention to learn from the times when i missed the mark and make the effort to return to it.

o, the dream, i'd better not forget the dream. all i remember are just bits and pieces but what beautiful pieces they are. they all involve flowers, different kinds of flowers in myriad hues, shapes and aroma. elegant colors, cute colors, exotic colors, unnamable colors; exquisite shapes, blooms cluster together in pleasing formations; and the scents, woow. there's one that is extravagantly fruity, a fusion of tree-ripe mango, grapefruit, papaya...i just don't have the right vocabulary to describe it fully. the mystical tradition in judaism says all that in the dream are the different aspects of yourself. hey, i'll take that any time. all these beauty and abundance are part and parcel of me. we are one. we are at one. wow, amazing, fantastic.

all names are one

just an hour away from kol nidre, eve of 'at-one-ment.' i'm so excited about it. the anticipation has been building as the week advances. how do i know? at the beginning of the week i spotted myself singing ki adonai eynod eynod, other than god nothing else, nothing else. for a couple of days it was sporadic, then i was doing it louder and louder while i was jumping up and down on the urban tramboline. in the last couple of days it took another leap. i couldn't stop singing ushemo echad, all names are one. as a matter of fact, ushemo echad caught my eye in my first high holiday service and i immediately asked what it meant. ah, all names are one.

and of course it makes me so happy just to figure out when to cook the food for breaking the fast with a community of people that hubby and i like so much.

happy yom kippur. may we be at one, at one with the inner Self, and from there we can appreciate the same Self in others. may it be so.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

breathing out is not contraction

i've never felt it quite right to associate breathing out with contraction. i've been looking for the right word for it. finally my study buddy claire-marie nails it. she says, float in the outbreath, stay expanded in the expansion triggered and fueled by the inbreath. on the spot we experiment with it. the result is immediate. i experience the momentum of expansion build and build. the direction is clear. it's towards all corners of the universe from the hub of my being. there isn't any interruption in the rhythm of expansion, but, rather, a steady and comfortable tempo guiding it, streaming from the inside. the shift in perception is subtle but the sensation is truly thrilling. claire-marie is a gem.

Friday, September 25, 2009

9/25/09, 41 + 22, i have an ocean

i love the ocean. i don't have to leave my house for it. i just close my eyes, turn my attention to the breathing movement i am, immersed in the ocean deep. as i breathe in, a wave washes gently into the mind, the body. as i breathe out, the foam of tendencies recede. all that remains is a simple quiet, a vibrant silence and a pure sense of fearlessness and enoughness.

i hear the timer go off downstairs. ah, it's time to attend to my chai. perfect timing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

there's nothing else.

i'm running up and down, left and right, here, there and everywhere taking care of one thing after another...and all of a sudden i catch myself singing out loud with exuberance again and again, ki adonai eynod. other than god, nothing else. yes, indeed, other than god, there's nothing else. worry? what's that?

9/24/09, 43 + 51, something wrong with my posture?

it felt like i had only sit for a short while when i felt the right leg beginning to go numb. i wondered what was wrong with the posture. but then i had an inkling of a prompting to check the timer. what did i find out? it's already more than an hour. i didn't even hear the timer go off. no wonder the leg went numb. then i had to take the time to come out of meditation the way a deep water diver has to slowly rise up to the surface. as i was watching the breath coming in deep and going out pieces of dream come to me. i am in a easeful and friendly interaction with this guy i once had a big crush on in my university days. we laugh and chant guru gita in a class situation. very nice feeling.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

9/23/09, 43 + 38, power of duck feet, lox and bagel

it's funny how i find something funny when i didn't think it funny in the moment. there is something about the quiet and clarity that come with roaming in the inner universe. i just couldn't help but chuckle even though i'm supposed to be in formal sitting meditation. what's so funny? i remember yesterday, when, after a long morning of intense going-ons with one twist and turn after another, i was feeling going downhill within. it was getting more and more difficult to see god in myself, see god in hubby, see god in others. i knew i had to do something. what? i had a brilliant idea. i went for the tub of duck feet that hubby got me from chinatown. he was heading for the fridge as well. like me he knew exactly what he was going for. lox and bagel. so there we were, the chinese and the jew, seeking refuge in the way we were wired. thank god for lox and bagel and duck feet.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

9/22/09, 42 + 40, on oneness, closeness

waves of pleasing thrills wash through in a soothing rhythm with a gentle touch. all at once i sense the body, my inner being and all that outside of me as fluid parts that flow both ways into each other. is this the experience of oneness? and then it comes to me that the other recurring experience that is similar to this is when hubby and i hold each other and he is inside me. that sweet closeness.

Monday, September 21, 2009

face to face with my own face

how do i experience god in my own way? this was the guiding question in this year's teshuva workshop in roshashana 2nd day service. instead of figuring out how and where i missed the mark last year and find the way to return i just have to stay focused on the mark. i like it. after stumbling and stuttering for a while as my sharing partners stayed patient with me it dawned on me the intense dislike i had 18 years ago for my own face was really an expression of my longing to connect with something other than this body. and i could only verbalize it in the only way i knew how. and so i shared my experience. lynn, who always have exquisite insights, says, how miraculous, you want to dispense with your face and then you are face to face with the most beautiful part of yourself. yes, indeed. when my eyes first beheld my meditation teacher's picture in an old magazine, i was overcome with this thought, this is the most beautiful face i have ever seen or imagined, i want to have this face. now i know what i saw was the reflection of my own face, the face of the inner Self. what i really meant was, i want to live in her state.

9/21/09, 40 + 41, meditating on 'commandment'

it's now simply effortless to glide into the natural flow of the breath. meditation is a must-have activity in the day and i make sure the daily schedule revolves around it. it is within this context that i have an experience of what the rabbi has been saying again and again, that in Hebrew the word that has been translated into 'command' is also the word for prediction. and so that which moshe brought down from sinai is really a set of predictions. if we stick with our covenant with yhvh, when we love our god with all our heart, all our soul and all our might, then, of course, it is inevitable that we will not murder, we will not steal, and so on and so forth. they are not restrictions that are imposed upon us, but, rather, spontaneous responses springing from within. i wouldn't live my life any other way, just like i cannot imagine living without meditation and the way of living that goes with it.

when i share this with shivaa over sunday morning chai, she says, so it is an invitation. wow, beautiful.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

9/19/09 la shana tova

let the high holidays begin. i love it. yesterday the day consisted of a whirlwind of activity, a lot of which threw my schedule off. yet by and large my inner state wasn't off. every now and then i just felt this upsurge of happy energy and i burst into chanting la shana tova yerushaleyim. hubby beamed and we danced. again and again. i know the notion of reincarnation is not anywhere in torah but, hey, i have chinese in my blood so i absolutely believe i must have been an israeli in some previous life, someone who constantly wrestles with yhvh. in any case i'm definitely an israeli now. my rabbi says you don't have to be a jew in the conventional sense to be an israeli. after all multitudes left egypt, mizraiyim, the narrow land, the limited consciousness, not just descendants of jacob. my rabbi also says, there is the lower jerusalem and the higher jerusalem, the lower jerusalem is a physical location and the higher jerusalem is a state within. the state of peace. hey, i'm all for the higher jerusalem.

Friday, September 18, 2009

meditating on soda tax

as a former soda addict, downing 8 bottles of classic coke a day, i appreciate the controversy around a soda tax. what was i thinking? if i was thinking it wasn't with a clear mind. why did i keep doing that day after day, month after month, year after year? reflecting on it now i can see that i was desperately looking for something soothing and exhilarating at the same time. somehow a bottle of classic coke could give me a brief fleeting while of feeling as close to that as i could imagine. i didn't know any other way to get that. until i found meditation, that is. i no longer have gripping cravings for coke but once in a blue moon, i would give myself a treat: simmer classic coke with fresh ginger and put in a generous splash of lime/lemon before sipping. the point is, the tendency takes time to go completely and i shouldn't beat myself up for that.

9/18/09, 40 + 24, meditating on my tech inadequacy

a lot of heaviness in the breathing movement today. leftover from dealings with email marketing people yesterday. i'm technologically challenged and i work slow, don't get things quickly. and hubby says, you know, you do tend to repeat things, are you afraid you're not heard or understood? well, on that one, i think that has something to do with worthlessness, inadequacy so i feel compelled to say something again and again. moreover i don't realize my voice is getting louder and louder, tighter and tighter, more and more high-pitched to the point of squeaking and squealing. no wonder after a while those tech people (or anyone for that matter, i don't blame them) would say in a cheerful and professional way, can i help you with anything else? can you have a coworker help you? so-and-so is assigned to your account, let me see if he's around, o, he is not, here's his direct line.

on one hand i know i still have a lot of tendencies to get rid of. on another hand i have to commend myself that i am not taking any of it personal. none of it has anything to do with my inherent, unchanging Self worth.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Michael Jackson, my face

i am bouncing up and down on the urban tramboline while watching oprah remembering michael jackson. then something he says stops me in the tracks. '...i look into the mirror, i don't like what i see...' the resonance in me is strong. yes indeed, for most of my life i didn't like my face. it got to a point when i was actively thinking about doing plastic surgery to change from the one i have to some face i like. then i opened an old magazine, saw a face of a person i didn't know and the only thought that came to me was, this is the most beautiful face i have ever seen or imagined, i want this face. when i asked, why do i want to look like this person? this is the response i received: because we all want to live in that state. fast forward 18 years, there are still moments when i look into the mirror and catch myself thinking something like, if only my nose were not as flat. the difference between then and now is that i am aware that this is a thought festered from some deep-seated tendency that has nothing to do with who and what i really am, the inner Self.

9/17/09, 43 + 32, inner being and outer space

as i am arranging the body into easy lotus with tons of support to hold the posture in a steady and upright position it is crystal clear to me what the 2 essential tasks of the day are. i scribble them down. my inner being is spacious, quiet, velvety and bright, really like what the outer space looks like, at least from the lens of the hubbel telescope. yes, i am so fortunate, so grateful that i am aware of the vast universe of the inner Self. with that the first sound of the first aum flows up naturally and spontaneously.