Friday, July 31, 2009
i meditate inside a closet. literally. but there was a time, and for quite a long time, i felt embarrassed to tell people i meditate and i love it. so during that time i was, figuratively speaking, a closet meditator. when did i come out? i can't remember a specific moment. it's more a gradual thing. little by little, day by day, i see that the power of meditation keeps me steady and brings me back on track in the roughs and tumbles of life. it's like, this is the force that keeps me going and going good, i ought to feel proud of it. so i come out.
at 6:54 AM
Thursday, July 30, 2009
the best advice to condileeza rice i have heard is from toni morrison. in a public conversation a couple of years back, cornel west asked ms morrison, if you could say one thing to condileeza rice what would that be? ms morrison thought quietly for a moment and said, with great compassion and clarity, i would tell her, get another job.
truly wisdom in action.
at 8:37 AM
in the midst of meditation it becomes clear to me that i'm still tying my self worth with the publishing status of my novel. hey, when and how it might happen, has no bearing on my Self worth. doesn't mean i don't feel frustrated and impatient. but frustration and impatience are emotions and I am the Self. clouds come, clouds go, and the sky is the sky.
at 8:22 AM
36 rounds of aumm and i am right there, deep in my inner world, aloft in the steady rhythm of the breath. it never ceases to amaze me how i can have a sure sense of the body limits while experiencing the vastness of my total being. the outbreaths are long, sending off thin dark veil of residual tendencies. and breath by breath, i feel a little more steeped in my own strength and courage.
at 8:16 AM
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
except when it's food prepared by a seasoned meditator. my spiritual sister, shivaa, is determined to feed us before our group evening meditation. initially i was skeptical. but not anymore. for example, last night, she made this sicilian salad with roasted garlic and eggplant, olives, tomato, lettuce and arugula, paired with a soup of pureed fava beans and pearls of sweet, fresh corn, infused with the aromas of lemongrass and bay leaves. dessert was a big bowl of cherries, figs and watermelon.
how was the meditation? i was quickly in the depths of the ocean of consciousness, quiet, still and satisfied. i let go of the sense of time passing. eventually i began to rise through the waters at a steady pace, returning to regular awareness. by the time i was about to come to the surface i heard shivaa's firm and gentle voicing inviting us to come out of meditation. perfect timing. perfect food. perfect company.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
swells of refreshingly cool currents spring from the lower back, flow into the cheeks and fingertips. outbreaths are long, bringing a nice feeling with it, releasing the tension in some hidden nooks and crannies.
today's flavor of my Self is sweet strength. as i go about taking care of biz affairs it's empowering and reassuring all at once to know that none of that has bearing on my Self worth.
at 9:22 AM
Monday, July 27, 2009
i saw a clip of ms streep as julia child, my auntie julia. i adopted julia child as my aunt after i saw her the first time, eating a hamburger after making one with equally great care and enthusiasm. it's obvious that she was very knowledgeable about food but the curiosity and excitement were fresh. the joy of eating, the delight of cooking, was popping off the screen with irresistible potency. i had no idea of who this elderly lady was. on the spot i fell in love with her. wish i could have been there, biting off that burger, allowing the alchemy of the orchestra of ingredients to blossom into a pool of sensory pleasure.
now, i must say ms streep is, without a doubt, a great actress with amazing skills and talents. but, somehow, from the clip, i had this sense that she doesn't luuu-ve eating and cooking with all the fibers of her being. as far as i am concerned, that luuu-ve is what makes my auntie julia so luuu-vable, so special. sorry, ms streep.
at 4:08 PM
this is one of those days that i have to single-mindedly focus on the bare essentials. being monday doesn't help. at times like this i really appreciate the power of the efforts i've been putting in all these years. it gives me that extra kick i need to lift myself out of the dark whirlpool of inertia and resistance.
36 rounds of aum on my mother-in-law's pearl necklace, may she rest in peace. why 36, why the necklace? because i don't have to count and it guarantees to give me 15 minutes of spiritual tune up.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
i had my travel days. once i roamed 6 months in europe on a first-class eurail pass. i recommend it to anybody, especially the first-class part. it's great and splendid. now i only go to a place if it's necessary. is there any where i want to go? yes, to roam in my inner worlds.
at 7:26 PM
it's not easy. everyday it takes a lot to get to the point of arranging the body into meditation posture. but once i'm there, it feels so nice that more often than not i don't want to get out of it. throughout the day i can see things i couldn't see before, i can connect dots i couldn't connect before, hubby says, you are getting nicer. and so, day by day, little by little, i realize that whatever effort, sweet or sweaty, i have to put in to arrive here it's worth it.
at 10:32 AM
it's getting more and more difficult to find words for my meditation experiences. i don't see lights and visions. no thunder and lightning. day in and day out, it's just sweet quiet, a sense of marvelous contentment, a deep feeling of awe, in a vast, velvety, bright, black space.
wait a sec, isn't this kind of like the outer space? Or, the other way round, the outer space where more than one hundred billion galaxies float is a reflection of my inner space?
it dawns on me that every day when i sit down to meditate, i'm soaring into a space adventure. i'm an astronaut, catapulting into my inner universe. wow, amazing, fantastic. my love of meditation shoots up another couple of notches.
at 9:58 AM
Friday, July 24, 2009
i am aumm-ing 36 rounds (my preamble to meditation) and i just break into huge yawns. at some point, in the midst of one, i feel the jaws are about to break. then i recall. the yogic scriptures say yawning in meditation is a sign that the sahasrar chakra wants to open up. hey, sounds good to me.
i remain alert and conscious throughout the sitting, spine help upright and tall. for a long time, i thought meditation meant falling asleep. well, well, well, it turns out to be the exact opposite.
at 6:46 AM
Thursday, July 23, 2009
after a couple of rocky days i'm back into nice and easeful meditation. when i watched the episode of Planet Earth on the ocean deep i was amazed at the sense of recognition that came up spontaneously within. yes, i have been there before, time and time again, in the depths of ocean. here i am, immersed in the belly of my consciousness. it is silent. it is conscious. it is filled with yet to be explored marvels and mysteries. ah, such is the irresistible allure of my inner worlds.
at 6:55 AM
the moment His Holiness come into my sight in real person, i thought, all these pictures i've seen don't do him justice at all. there's this lightness in his being that photos can't capture. and this sweet spark from his eyes, his smile. and, o yes, his laughter. infectious, splashing with mischief.
the interviewer asked him, what do you remember from your childhood? he smiled and said, they showed me hollywood movies and the ones i liked most were war movies, and imagine, they gave a nobel peace price to someone who like war moves, ha-ha-ha.
his simplicity. stunning. his response to the question, how do you want to be remembered? without any pause, he answered, a simple buddist monk.
someone in the audience asked, do you regret not having family, children? with great compassion and his voice sparkling with humor His Holiness said, i don't have to worry giving them education, i don't have to take care of them when they are sick, i don't have to get up in the middle of the night. then, more of his signature high-pitched, open-hearted laughter.
he's the real thing. it is said that it takes lifetimes of merits to have the great fortune to come into the presence of a saint. have i accumulated lifetimes of merits? i don't know. but, he's definitely a saint. how fortunate i am.
at 4:53 AM
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
but i decided not to. this is the response Jim Lovell, the Apollo 13 astronaut on the repeated question regarding the prospect of unable to return to Earth. wow-ee. so much knowledge and wisdom to unpack in this simple response.
panic is a thought, a mental activity, mental ripple. it's not who and what Lovell is, not who and what i am. so, my job as a human being, a seeker, is to work at not being driven by it. it's okay and natural to have panic and i have the capability to not act under its influence. it doesn't mean it's easy but it's certainly possible and doable.
can this principle be applied to other thoughts? all thoughts? you bet. what about emotions like anger, frustration, greed? absolutely.
at 4:13 PM
today i meditated 16 minutes. a lot less than what i would like. in fact, for a long time, i stopped meditating because i thought if i couldn't meditate for an hour, then what's the point, forget it. finally, i realized meditating is like putting pennies into piggybank. it all adds up. no penny goes to waste. no meditation goes to waste either. indeed, it was with that understanding that i eventually got my meditation practice up to one and a half hour a day. well, except on days like today when i fall off the wagon.
the difference between now and then is that i have absolute confidence that i shall not abandon my meditation practice. i could not meditate for an hour? fine. i would meditate whatever time i could and i refuse to beat myself up about that. i say to myself, suk wah, you did good, you'll do better.
at 8:27 AM
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
i had 2 slices of lemon cream last night. it was heaven. i awoke at 4. it was hell. the road from the bed to the meditation closet was...an impossible journey. i was dead sure i had to sleep more. i did. and i dreamed.
i have forgotten most of the specifics of the dream content. what has really stayed with me is that it is big, bright and bold while suffused with fierce calmness and fiery contentment. i am visiting places with this man, Shiu, whom i had a secret crush on back in the days when i felt worthless inside. way back. in the dream there is nothing but harmony and tenderness between us. simply sweet. at one point, we are looking closely at lovely miniatures of chinese deities in jade and gold. i don't feel small nor big, just equal to what's in front of me. later, he buys me a soft, smooth scarf of wool with an elegant pattern of color squares.
i wake up, lighthearted and rested. hey, does this mean it's okay to binge before going to bed? does this mean it's possible to meditate horizontal?
dream on, suk wah, dream on.
at 9:11 AM
Monday, July 20, 2009
here's the unedited comment from my big, glorious hubby:
"Sweet Wifey...I was just reading your blogpost about the sunglasses.... "2 days later I found the sunglasses..." WHO found the sunglasses??? Your HUBBY found them!! I feel totally unappreciated! Fact is stranger than fiction. I love you! Hubby"
he's absolutely right. why did i not tell the truth as it is? is it the tendency that i don't look good enough if it's not ME who found the sunglasses? probably, i'm not sure yet. Or is it the old habit of compulsive lying? Possible, not sure.
but this much i'm sure. my big and glorious hubby is a reliable, effective ego buster. one day, i'll thank him for training me to be a saint:) meanwhile i love my big, glorious, great, golden huuuub.
at 10:27 AM
Sunday, July 19, 2009
i hear neil armstrong had a recurring dream when he was little. in the dream, he is in a tight space, looking out into some weird landscape through a small opening of some sort while moving gingerly in an unsteady way. it is an intense dream and a silent one. he has no idea what this is all about.
fast forward. he is in the tight space inside the eagle capsule steering it to land on the moon. he is in constant contact with the control on earth when all of a sudden communication breaks down. now he is on his own. in outer space. it is totally silent. all he can see is what is beyond the tiny window in front of him. the moon's surface. the capsule is hovering above it, moving gingerly in an unsteady way.
then he remembers. he recognizes the experience. this is his dream.
ah, the inscrutable knowledge coming to us through dreams, a glimpse of the intelligence of our innermost self. beyond what the mind can wrap around.
at 8:15 PM
i couldn't find my sunglasses. the first thought that came rushing in was, what a mess you are, suk wah, what did you do wrong, how could you lose... the self-bashing didn't go on for long before an opposing force started to creep in with steady ferocity, no, suk wah, you have worked very hard at staying in the present, have faith you took care of what's necessary.
it dawned on me right then and there that the negative thought stream was a residual tendency fermented out of poverty consciousness: i have not done enough, i'm not enough, i don't have enough, nothing i do is good enough.
no, enough is enough. i've had enough of it. i don't want to live in poverty consciousness anymore. i started to bring my attention back to the natural rhythm and pacing in the breath. after a while i was back in the land of calmness and clarity. methodically i began to examine the situation at hand.
2 days later, i found the sunglasses beneath the car seat. i found the way out of the darkness of 'never enough.' i found the way into the light of abundance consciousness.
at 1:44 PM
Saturday, July 18, 2009
i'm taking a pause from taking care of the curve balls life throw my way. i'm munching on a big bowl of fresh pineapples, honeydew and blueberries when...boom...i realize i'm no longer in the grips of depression, low grade or clinical. don't get me wrong. i 'm not saying i'll never have depressive thoughts anymore. all i am saying is i don't identify with them anymore. i see them come. i see them go. in fact, i can say with absolute certainty that they will go away. unless i hold on to them. which was what i did. unconsciously. how do i know that it's meditation that is the cure? because when and if i skip meditation for two days in a row i clearly sense a difference in my attitude towards myself, others and life. then, on the third day, i run to my meditation place for my dear life and, boy o boy, it feels such a sweet relief to be re-connected to that place of calm, confidence and focus. my highest self.
at 3:55 PM
it was a precarious moment. i am just about sitting down, after going to bed late, to meditate when i see a tsunami of habitual tendency rolling in fast: getting up everyday, clean my mouth and then do this and that, if it's not one thing it's another, and then what? and then i die. it's just...so pointless. o yes, i can see the mind going down a slippery slope fast. Just then, another habit kicks in. the habit of meditating regularly. while i am watching this mental activity happening by default, i keep gently bringing my attention back to the sound and movement of my steady breathing. it's not so hard to do it anymore because i've put in so much effort over a long time. in another word, i am no longer caught up in the mental stuff. in stead, the breath takes me to that place in me where sweetness, contentment as well as courage and strength come from.
by the time i come out of meditation i am ready again for another day of joy and challenges.
at 6:56 AM
Friday, July 17, 2009
i got some really nice guidance from...a fellow spiritual student. The truth of the matter is, what she said affirmed what i already knew from within. in this pragmatic way i got to experience and receive knowledge from within. my own knowledge. my very own highest and innermost self. loyal and reliable. someone i can completely count on 24/7. aha. halleluja.
at 4:23 PM
whatever doubt i might still have about the benefits of meditation, i can finally lay it to rest once and for all. check this out. hubby and i went through an irs audit. by the way, we are self-employed and i am the one who's been keeping the books. what's the verdict of the auditor?
we owe zero. not exactly. we should have been billed $8.4. so i can say, we more or less get a refund.
i lose count how many times throughout the painstaking, laborious preparation i watch clouds of frustration and anxiety come and i gather some more patience to persevere by bringing attention back to the steady breathing, surrendering to whatever the outcome is....and the present task at hand, like, creating yet another spreadsheet to document every penny in an expense category chronologically.
having said all this, i must remind myself that all this wonderful and marvelous outcome is not the reason why i meditate. this is just unintended benefit. the real goal of meditation is to know my innermost and highest Self. whatever the outcome of the audit, or any other life situation, doesn't add to nor diminish my inherent Self worth.
at 1:26 PM
should i only write about things about formal sitting meditation? after all, it's called 'a meditator's journal.' but, wait a sec, the goal of meditation is to be able to live in this world while holding the awareness and alertness of the meditative state. so there's really nothing wrong about writing what happens when i am able to carry the meditative state throughout the day-to-day activities. in fact, i realize it is totally essential to write about the times when i catch myself fallen off the wagon, forgetting the meditative state. only then i can let it go.
so, what about the subtitle of the blog? should i have one? if so, what ought it be?
to be contemplated further.
at 11:17 AM
hubby and i are in our daily business meeting and it suddenly dawns on me that we are in a heated back-and-forth about something. what is that 'something?' i can't even recall the specifics. The point is i notice that i am watching myself looking down two paths of action. it is crystal clear to me that one path comes out of the thought 'we'll make more money' whereas the other path may end up us making less money but it will benefit everyone involved in the situation.
so how did i choose?
i quietly take a deep breath in and as breath steadily flows out of me i articulate the above in a calm manner. as i do that i experience a deep sense of contentment and abundance. yes, i have responded out of abundance consciousness and i commend myself for that.
at 8:01 AM
but i have no desire to open my eyes. it's just so nice to hear the steady sound of the breath. it's really like listening in to the ocean. the rhythm is truly soothing. i can stay in it. in fact, i love staying in it. then, i see a thought, should i title the novel 'jews don't eat jelly fish'? o, dear, this is the writer's habit kicking in, i have to, i must, write it down. what the heck, i might as well get up.
at 3:18 AM
Thursday, July 16, 2009
on and off over the years i often wonder what would have happened if i didn't go down this path. the other day, i was looking through a montage of michael jackson (may he rest in peace)'s evolving face.
and i remember.
i didn't like myself back then. i thought, hmmm, if only i could change my face. so i started looking for a face that i would want to have. then, one day, i opened an old magazine, and i saw this face, the face of an indian woman. the first thought that came to me was, i want to have this face. after some searching, i was on the phone with the person who was handling the teaching tour of this meditation master. the question that popped out of me was, why do i want to look like her? the response i got? because we all want to be in her state.
that was 18 years ago.
now i look into the mirror and i see a face i am happy with.
at 1:39 PM
this is a recurring dream from a fellow spiritual student.
'my spiritual teacher gives me a sari, all wrapped up. it looks old, dusty. she says, "unwrap it." well, since it is a sari, it is 6 yard long and it takes a while to unwrap. i feel like i want to give up. she keeps encouraging me, "keep going." finally, in the midst of a pile of stale, dull fabric, a big diamond reveals. my teacher says, "this is you. this is everybody."'
indeed, i have been having the experience that what i am really is a brilliant gem underneath all this mental crap of old sari.
at 1:29 PM
i love meditating and i have a hard time getting out of bed. there, i said it.
at 10:37 AM