Monday, August 31, 2009

calling out to yhvh

hubby says, i know the next level of my work has to do with research and now i have 3 opportunities for that. i say, that's because you know what you need, you put the word out there, you call out and the forces in the universe respond. as i say this, it dawns on me big time what the jews did after in slavery for 400 years: they called out to yhvh. yhvh hears the call and responds and the rest is exodus. it's not the call of any particular individual but the one voice out of many. the hassidim way of reading torah is that the story is all about the different aspects of ourselves. so as hubby calls out as a whole being, the sacred power that suffuses the universe responds. so says the torah. so be it. so it is.

40 + 39, the ocean within

singing aum is taking the submercible which takes me to the depths of the ocean within. vast, open, quiet, a place of infinite mysteries and wonders waiting patiently for me to explore and revel in. when i was watching the episode 'ocean deep' of the spectacular series 'planet earth' i immediately was struck with a sense of recognition. ahhh, i know this realm, i've been there before, and it is my direct experience that i carry it within and i have found the way to go there and freely roam.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

5.15am, the torah within

5.15, getting ready for sunday morning chant and meditation. absolutely the highlight of my week although i would say sabbat torah study in rabbi's house is just as much anticipated. my editor is not someone who is into making me feel good and she is not into mincing words: you've got to get that cleverness of your mind that comes up with these great lines to turn it into storyline. she's exactly right. that's why i want to study the torah because it is the motherlode of all storylines. with meditation i strive to get the mind to be in a quiet, open mode to receive the story. the torah within.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

41 + 33, crazy horse

you are a crazy horse, my editor says, and this is a woman who knows what she is talking about and not exactly a mainstream, 'normal', 'regular' person herself. so i guess i have to really embrace my 'craziness'. to start with, i kind of have this recurring feeling that, even with the beautiful life i have, i am living from one meditation to the next. yet, for the most part, i don't have words for my meditation experiences. whatever words i come up with i just know that they are, at best, approximate what actually takes place in the meditation. like today. there i am, sitting still, doing nothing but breathing in deep and breathing out long. the inbreaths keep getting a little deeper and the outbreaths keep getting a little longer. and then this thought arises on its own: now i know why so many writers smoke. at least i know one of the reasons. it involves drawing long deep breaths. is this a crazy thought? probably. but who cares?! but in a 'crazy' way it explains why i somehow believe i don't need to smoke in order to write.

hey, i didn't think i had a word to write about today's meditation. look what happened.

Friday, August 28, 2009

41 + 59, inner quiet

just me and my inner quiet. i never thought i woud live to this day when i am convinced that all cravings are gone and all that i experience is this constant, roaring desire to be with my inner quiet.

i'm at the point of getting back into the manuscript after 2 years, preparing to do some revisions and i'm utterly certain that i must get up, preferably 3, meditate before writing. the subtly buzzing quiet in the house of my Self is where words emerge and enjoin. i don't smoke, i don't drink, i don't do drug. meditation is my ticket to writing. the inner quiet is the source of all plot twists and turns. go there and roam.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

40 + 33, alert and stable

notice a streak of tightness and soreness in the left back of the neck. rigorously rub the hands, gently place them a little bit above the sore spot, distinctly sense a shield of warmth emitting from the hands. i am clearly aware that there is a really subtle throb spreading over the neck and soon the tightness eases and soreness subsides. also it dawns on me that the lingering discomfort in the inside of right knee has mostly gone. all this while i am sitting comfortably in a posture that has a stable foundation and a supple structure where the natural breath roams freely. a truly great feeling, a secure feeling, the feeling that i can take any blow without being thrown off. then just like that i hear a sound from within, ho ho mei. i know right away what this is. i need to come up with a better name for some integral ingredient in the novel. this is it. so i write it down, let it go, and keep meditating.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

39 + 45, sense of spaciousness

i come to awake in the night. amidst the quiet and still it dawns on me that the gripping tight knot of anguish and angst is gone. the solar plexus is relaxed and easeful. there's just this sense of spaciousness pervading my whole being. just curious, i try to get myself worked up about something. you know, there's always something to worry about and i used to have no problem doing that. but now, i can't give any teeth to any of them. it's like this software of getting worked up about anything and nothing has been erased from the hardware of the mind. later, as i meditate in my solid and stable posture i immediately see that it is in the meditation practice that the mental softwares are being replaced. every natural and easeful breath contributes towards restocking the repertoire of the mental applications. cool.

the fingers and hands buzz with roaring aliveness sending the residual tendency to get anxious and worried out even further.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

it's always the food

i remember people, places by food. for instance, i love studying torah in the rabbi's house but as hubby points out, you go because of the food. well, he's right. there's this fabulous potluck after every study. every time the menu would work out perfectly. since i am wheat-sensitive so i have to stay away from the cakes and cookies. but i don't feel deprived in any way because, for me, the sweetest and best part of the meal comes at the end. the after-meal songs and blessings. i don't know the hebrew or yiddish but the sounds of the syllables, folded into the melodies, never fail to stir up yummy-yummyum sweetness. i can taste it on my tongue as i am recollecting now. just listen to the refrain of this one, 'have no fear, g-d is with you.' often i find myself come to awake in the night and the resonance of the refrain swirling in my head.

that means, of course, i would go back to the next study and eat some more. i can never get enough of the sweetness of fearlessness.

39 + 48, still and alive

i admire my own inner being a little more each day. so bright, so alive while quiet and still. a steady humming sound suffuses the breath as it moves with ease in and out of the body. i am aware of the contours of sturdy posture but at the same time it is evident that my inner being knows no bounds. out of the blue i realize i am having an experience of what the psalm says, mercy is with me all the days of my life and i dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Monday, August 24, 2009

iphone or no iphone

i want to keep my life as simple as possible. and the modus operandi of our household is 'buy in cash if we can't live without it.' so the impulse is to say no to iphone. just then i remember something. i have a tendency to go all or nothing, all-in or all-out. as i pull my attention back to my breathing movement and consciously adjust it to deeper inbreaths and longer outbreaths i realize the former might be reckless, irresponsible and the latter might be fear-based. how to find out whether i am making a decision in a fearless yet balanced manner? take a pause, get a little distance, make sure i am anchored in clear-headed calm, examine together with hubby the numbers and our needs. we'll figure out a way if there is a strong case for it. somewhere along this contemplation i catch sight of the weekly horoscope: one-day-at-a-time, stay positive, be direct and...allow the situation to patient.

aaaah. as long as i am in the house of the Self, guidance can come in all forms and from all directions.

40 + 9, building a house?

it dawns on me that i am building a house through meditation. a strong, spacious, bright shelter in which attention and awareness dwell. i see all kinds of weather come and go outside the clear windows. stormy rage, gales of inadequate feelings, whirlwinds of resistance, lightnings of fear. but i am watching all of that from within the house of the Self, watching them come and go, knowing that they are not who and what i really am.

hey, i just realize i am not building a house. i'm restoring the house to its inherent splendor. the great splendor of the Self is always within me. all i need to do is to get rid of the dust and stain and cobwebs that cover over it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

country or no country

do i need to belong to a country? here's what i know for sure. i want to be in a place where i am free to worship the divinity within and without in a way that suits me. in fact, i believe that's how this country was born in the first place. a bunch of men and women left a familiar realm, crossed the ocean, settled into unchartered territory, worked hard to build a life from scratch just for this purpose. i, too, left where i was born and raised, crossed an even bigger and wider ocean, arrived at a foreign place where i was taught and shown the way to connect with my innermost and highest Self, and from there, strive to experience the same divine power in all people and all things. for this i am eternally grateful to the sacred intention of these brave and devoted men and women. they planted the seed. a couple of hundred of years later i am reaping the benefit.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

39 + 48, inner universe

another successful space travel. so vast is my inner universe. so much is still unknown to me. it still amazes me what a difference it is in the state of the mind before and after meditation. this morning, it is a little shaky. the tendency to compare lurks. it is kind of near and real. by the time i finish uttering the last aum i'm watching it receding into the far horizon of my spacious and quiet inner being. when i leave the meditation space the notion of comparing with others is as far away as the one hundred billionth galaxy in the outer space.

Friday, August 21, 2009

39+1 hr 5min, sense of security

here's the deal. i notice i come out of meditation feeling a little more secure. why is that? what happens during meditation? it is evident that i feel a little more enough within myself with each meditation. what's amazing is my capability for enjoyments actually grows. it takes very little for me to laugh. one unexpected thing happens after another. i watch myself take them in like a strong boat staying even-keeled in rocky waters. it is a great feeling.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

39+35, i love this posture of mine

everyday i admire my posture a little more. it is a beautiful house with good bones, a sturdy structure standing upright and tall on a strong foundation. it gives shelter to the organs. what about the mind and the Self? that too. it is well-configured so that the breath can flow freely through. it is calm and comfortable and the mind loves it. i discover so much treasure in it, courage, strength, smartness, just to name a few. hubby says, don't forget you are beautiful. he's right:) as far as hardware goes, nothing else tops this, a total integration of form and function. from sensual to sacred, seamless. chewing duck feet and aummming at the same time? sure.

i enjoy sitting in my posture and i sure enjoy living in this marvelous body. thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

breath, israel

i never thought i would have a discovery of this kind, let alone while i am watching hubby showing me a video on youtube, his very first one concerning his new book. he's excited and it is exciting. we are laughing when all of a sudden this experience comes to me: breathing in, yud. breathing out, hay. breathing in, vav. breathing out, hay. the unpronounceable name of adonai, elohim, hashem is right here with me 24/7, quietly infusing me.

indeed, i am an israeli.

39+52, in love

no word can describe how much i'm in love with the sound and rhythm of my own breath. it moves in and out of the body like a dancer with natural ease and regal grace. the flow is gentle and pulsing with buzz. i notice that every day the inbreath grows a little deeper and the outbreath a little longer. the yummi-yum feeling of relief and release stirs up swells of gratitude. and then i remember another thing. my breath is unconditionally reliable. it's my constant companion. it never fails me. once i ask someone who became a dog parent after living by herself for a long time. she says, you can't imagine the joy to have someone coming to the door to greet you with so much love day after day. well, that's kind of what i feel about my breath. even though i keep forgetting that it is truly my lifeline it keeps serving me with such sweetness and generosity. it's totally forgiving. thank you, my breath, i love you so, so much.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

a little deeper

i'm thumbing through a pile of papers in the midst of taking care of a challenging, difficult situation, and what catches my eye? a clipping from hubby, my horoscope for this week. a few words jump out at me. 'serious challenges to your calm behavior.' hey, it nails my day in the bull's eye. the pithy advice says, maintain your cool by refusing to engage in negativity of any kind, be positive and you will stay that way.

it is solid advice, no question about it. but i would dig a little deeper, go a step further. i don't need to refuse. all i have to do is watch it, knowing that it will go away unless i hang on to it. in a sense, 'refusing to engage' is already being sucked into the negativity. in my own experience, it can be exhausting just to refuse to engage, kind of like climbing uphill against a wild snowstorm. 'watching' is not like 'a deer caught in the headlight'. 'paying attention' is not the same as 'reacting' to emotions and thoughts. rather, i find it's like staying in the present while being aware of the negativity, or positivity, playing out through me. really it's the same blueprint as meditating, continue to sit quietly while all kinds of mental ripples and foam are tumbling through. truly speaking, good thoughts are as distracting as bad thoughts. i can't remember how many times i got lost in pleasurable projections and came out of meditation exhausted.

also, not that being positive is not good...but i don't want to be a pollyanna either. i'd rather be sitting stable and steady in the middle of the seesaw of good and bad, taking care of what need to be taken care of in a cool and balanced manner. in it but not caught up in it. it's a big difference, subtle too.

39+28 unperturbed

i'm scratching my head wondering, what is my meditation experience today? no word, nothing comes to mind. but i did sit quietly for more than an hour. as i am sipping chai wondering what this is about...ooooommm, i remember something. i was in the kitchen grinding spices a little while before meditating when all of a sudden i saw a little mouse darting out from a crack between the dishwasher and cabinet. just when my mind registered that i had horrific childhood experiences with mice the little thing already disappeared back into the darkness beyond the crack. what did i do then? i folded up a grocery bag, stuffed up the crack, went upstairs, pulled out the home warranty, read the fine print, and then i prepared for meditation.

indeed, the quiet within my being is secure, safe...and unperturbed. i did see a trace of fear. it passed outside the stillness. what about the imprint left by the trauma? gone. kind of like a horror movie sprang up in the mind, i watched it and left the moviehouse fully knowing that it's but a movie. it's not me. i'm not that scared child anymore.

Monday, August 17, 2009


i just realize another thing about the wonder of group meditation. it's not 1+1=2. it's nuclear. when streams of meditation energies come together a nuclear reaction takes place. a mushroom cloud of energy is released, exponentially bigger and greater than the individual energies.


there is no word to describe how crushed i was when the ayurvedic doctor said, stop eating wheat, you can't digest it. i loved pasta, tons of it. i love noodle, bowl after bowl of it. i love fresh bread, i love croissant, cake, cookie, all of that. but i trusted this doctor. why? simple. he looks and sounds very healthy himself. so i decided to give it a try. almost immediately i could tell the difference. the morning sluggishness gone, lingering migranes gone, mental fogginess gone, mood swings gone. in came steady energy, better meditation, stable lightheartedness. it's not been an easy adjustment. it's costlier too. but, hey, i am now able to make yummy-yum wheat-free choc chip cookie, ginger snap, banana bread and the repertoire is still expanding; i have lost the ten pounds that i had not been able to shed for three decades.

this wheat-sensitive thing turns out to be a total blessing in disguise.

39 + 29, haaapy enough

for many years i didn't think much of my meditation experiences. especially when i heard other people were seeing lights, elaborate visions...and mine? they were so boring, there's nothing in it that is even remotely comparable to others' fabulous experiences. now? i'm just happy enough reveling in the alive stillness within my own being. yes, i own it. it is the most precious gemstone i can ever dream to possess. with this understanding from my own recurring meditation experiences i cut off the habitual tendency to attach my happiness to anything external. and then a truly amazing thing happens. i find my capacity for the enjoyments of life become finer and juicer. why? because i don't need any of it to be happy. i AM happy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

39 + 34, empowering

so it is when i am afloat in the sweet peace and quiet contentment with the body in a sturdy, upright and comfortable posture that i recognize what an empowering force meditation generates.

while my attention is anchored firmly in the sound and movement of the breath i become aware of a little video playing across the vast screen of the open mind. i watch the narrative unfold. it involves me learning the ropes of how to tackle sales and use tax. in this particular scene that is being replayed within my being i'm in a conversation with a person who is regarded as knowledgeable in these matters. in the moment i begin to spot discomforts in the solar plexus and i recognize what it is right away. i see that this person, while experienced in many areas, is, shall i use hubby's words, not up to speed in web marketing. in fact, through the research and study i have conducted, i can already see the answers to my own questions simply by making the efforts to articulate them clearly. at several points in the interaction, this person insist, suk wah, listen to me, you are wrong, just do what i tell you to. very soon i catch my voice taking a higher and higher pitch and the mind was wobbling. just then i feel a steady surge of confidence. i turn my attention to deepening and lengthening the breath. just like that. it isn't hard to do. then a wonderful thing happens. the voices relaxes into an even tone. the mind calms down. in a clear and concise manner i continue the conversation anchored in what i really am. the Self, alive, still and the source of all potentials and possibilities. therefore i don't feel the need to be defensive. i don't feel i have to come out on top. whatever this person says or doesn't say does not affect my true worth. from that point on it is 2 equals working together to resolve a situation. no more. no less.

it has taken so many words to examine the 'video'. but the actual play really took place in a split second. contemplating the experience i realize the power accumulated through my meditation practice lift me up in the moment when i need it and take me across the tumultuous mental waters.

and so it is i happily return to reveling in the sweet peace and quiet contentment within my own being. i keep meditating.

eve med benefit

second night into it i am already reaping great benefit from a short meditation before going to bed. firstly i notice there is restlessness built up in the body after a day of activity. it's subtle. it eases up a little bit more with every long and fine outbreath. but the truly amazing thing happens in the middle of the night. it is clear that the mind is less shaky than previous nights. i'll find out more in the days and nights to come.

Friday, August 14, 2009

39 + 43 + eve med

begins meditating before going to bed as well. it's a totally different experience than morning meditation. i can feel the body gently throbbing as a whole the moment i gather the body into the easy lotus posture. it's evident that the body is pulsating as one heart.

morning med. outbreaths are getting ever more longer and finer, to the point i feel the front abdomen firmly pressing against the back. it's a soothing feeling, like taking a deep sigh of relief.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

39 + 27, space explorer

there is dora the explorer, here is suk wah the inner space explorer. it comes to me in meditation. really. through meditation i enter the realm that is quiet, still, vast and open. it is free from all sounds, all names, all forms. now if i recollect correctly, that's kind of what astronauts describe what they see and hear in outer space. i believe it because it's the impression i get from the gorgeous and grand images they take back with them.

many, many bright, educated people spend billions of dollars and years of hard work to send a few to the outer space. all i do is sit on my asana in an easy posture, close my eyes, turn my attention to the breathing movement and the aum sound suffusing in the background, and there i am. actually, it's here i am. wow, how fortunate i am.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

meditating on group meditation

i'm so in love with meditating with fellow dedicated meditators. i could have just kept sitting in my being of bright peace in the company of experienced meditators, whom i can proudly call my dear friends, if it were not for the spectacular cake that Shivaa, my spiritual sister, lovingly made with phenomenal skills, is serving up.

nalini, my yogi/meditator/friend says there are groups of hundreds of people meditating for world peace. i have tremendous respect for that. having said that i also believe everytime i meditate i contribute a little bit to peace out there. it's like putting a penny a day into piggybank. it adds up.

i also discover i sleep better after these evening group meditations. i think i am going to start meditating before i go to bed.

39 + 26, respect

my respect for meditation is growing by the day. how long does it take for the body reactions to the credit freeze to subside? within 2 days, i'm now sensing the tendency to worry and project into the future hanging around the distant horizons of my vast being, way out there. my attention is well sheltered within a calm and clear open space. from here i see subtle pointers, clues, signs that i would have missed had i been engulfed in panic.

in fact, i realize the credit freeze has no bearing on my Self worth, doesn't diminish it, doesn't add to it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

credit freeze, 39 + 19

face to face with a sudden, substantial credit freeze, hubby says, i'm totally energized.

this is no small challenge for a small business, particularly so when we are working hard to market his book.

yet i amaze myself. i find myself watching what goes through the body. the mind? yes, i see thunderstorm and tsunami of worry and anxiety lurking and looming, eager to take over, like so many times before. but now it feels not difficult at all to tie my attention firmly to the rhythmic sound and movement of the easeful and natural breath. as for the body, waves of cold wash through. hands and fingertips feel icy. throat gripped by nauseousness. yes, i observe all this from a place of steady calm deep within. the truly incredible thing is i don't feel the impulse to jump into some senseless, desperate action.

by the time i sit down to meditate, i can clearly see the first task at hand to embark on the path of taking care of the consequences. i know i am big enough for the challenge. and so is hubby. i couldn't describe it better than hubby. yes, i am energized.

Monday, August 10, 2009

mental hacker

sporadic mental shakes and swirls in the last few days. that's a nice way to say the mind that i thought had been stabilized and strengthened has been on and off hijacked. there have been times when i watch, during meditations, strings of words that are put together randomly across the inner screen. on sunday morning i keep losing it chanting a hymn from the vedas. i can barely keep up with a few syllables and when i manage to get back into the flow of the mantra again 2 and a half pages have gone by already.

yet all the while i watch my mood help up in an easeful and lighthearted tone. i realize the mind is kind of like this computer. i can install all kinds of softwares. in fact i can name more than a few that are outdated and some are outright non-productive. the good news is i can de-stall any i want.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

feeling crummy

hubby walks through the door, after a long and hard day. i can hear it in his voice from the first syllable, hi. he is not in a good state. all he would be willing to say is...and i'm paraphrasing in 3 words...i feel crummy.

right away i can see the options. i can go down the mental slippery slope, triggering each other into a giant snowstorm. couples have divorced for less. but i didn't choose that. i look at him, nod, say, ah, you are feeling bad. in those few moments i am already filled with gratitude for the fruit of meditation, cultivating witnessing consciousness. i know hubby is not those bad feelings. i know those bad feelings have nothing to do with me. i have the capability not to react to those feelings. i don't push them away. i don't ignore them. there's nothing wrong with him having mental weather. it will go away unless he holds onto it. and sure enough, he doesn't.

as a matter of fact, he goes one step further, he realizes he has to nib negativities in the bud.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

hubby home really soon

i miss my huuuubby. i know, i know, he's having good meditations, good insights, very beneficial. still, i'm soooo happy he's on his way home. it's so nice to have someone to love when i love myself. i can give and i can receive. a safe feeling.

39 + 22

i'm hanging out with the delightful quiet and stillness within my own being when i notice the strength and stability in my posture. and so it is that i realize i'm alert and aware and i don't depend on anything or anyone outside for peace, strength and clarity.

then a truly amazing thing happens. in a tranquil way inside my own vast black velvety space i see exactly how i ought to record sales tax in a spreadsheet. i take the notepad next to my seat, write it down, and return to meditation. the insight comes, i make note, the insight goes, i return to meditation, the idea is gone like sea foam landing on sand.

i watch all of this in awe. thank you, my meditation goddess.

Friday, August 7, 2009

39 + 47

i'm just totaally in love with the rhythm and sound of the breathing movement. puts me in such a relaxing place and relaxed state. then, just like that, i hear something and i'm filled with awe and wonder. i believe i hear 'hay' in the fine outgoing breath. i immediately realize what it is. alertly and quietly i follow the thread and listen. inbreath, yud. outbreath, hay. inbreath, vav. outbreath, hay.

here in my own breath, i have found hashem, elohim, the force of healing and transformation. fantastic.

hubby says...

insight from hubby in a week-long retreat: it's so much better to meditate for a longer time. how long? an hour. it really holds the vibration for the day. at home, i meditate like 20 min. it's better than nothing, but...

hubby's right. couldn't agree more. having said that, 20 min is something. it all adds up. it's like putting a penny in the piggy everyday. you'll see.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

whole, steel cut

everything is perfect as it is but there's always room for improvement. true. just as i think i can't do any better with with making oatmeal, i discover whole oats, thanks to a trip to the new berkeley bowls. for those who love al dente, i have halleluya news, wait till you taste whole oats, and, mind you, i'm still in the beginning phase of perfecting it. this is revelatory for someone who has been a noodle-maniac all her life and then diagnosed with wheat-sensitivity. should i soak it overnight, bring it to boil and turn it off before going to meditate, and then cook some more after chai? wow, so many experimenting opportunities. i'm so excited.

installing a new, habit

now i'm on this narrow bridge of finding the point between a miserable but healthy lukewarm and exhilarating but possibly cancer-causing hot chai. not to mention the scrubbing and brushing afterwards. let's see how long it will take for the habit to set in place and the unpleasantness and frustration dissipate.


2 words for today's meditation experience. buzzingly sweet.

pleasure to pain

do all pleasures turn to pain eventually? i don't know about 'all'. i do have experience about some. for instance, eating is such an indescribable joy but over-eat can eventually lead to overweight. okay, let's not even go that far. what about my chai and oatmeal? the hygienist works her butt off and overtime to scurb off the chai stains particularly those nooks and crannies i can't see. meanwhile i feel my jaws are about to go numb and break. it is unpleasant and uncomfortable. she asks me afterwards, do you drink chai all day? no, just once, in the morning. do you rinse after drinking? ahh...sort of...kind of. then, with kindness and unmistakable authority she instructs, rinse, use a brush and go between the teeth.

a little while later, my dentist gives me yet another piece of depressing news, suk wah, i read that drinking and eating too hot can increase the chance of having mouth cancer by 20%, don't eat your oatmeal scalding hot, let it cool off a bit. what about my chai? chai too, don't drink too hot. should i try to explain to her how lukewarm it feels to drink lukewarm chai? i don't think so particularly since it has suddenly elevated into a life and death matter.

what a pain.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

teenie weenie

here's how i just gave myself a teenie weenie retreat. i slept and slept, got up, never mind the time and timer, and meditated.

how would i change my lifestyle if i were to have lots and lots of money? i would make my life around meditating whenever i want to and for as long as i want to. just the thought of it makes me want to sing and dance to my favorite jewish brother tevye's signature tune, if i were a rich man, yeidadeidadeidadeidadeidadeidadeidadei...all day long i'd yeidadeididai...if i were a wealthy man...and i could study the holy books with the scholars eight hours every day and that would be the sweetest thing of all....oooooh, if i were a rich man....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

what's the purpose?

what is the purpose of studying torah? the rabbis say there are 4 levels. what is the highest purpose? sweetness.

i find it applicable with meditation too. i don't see thunder and lightning. day after day i'm drawn back to it. why? it's sweet. the amazing thing is, i no longer have an unsatiable appetite for sweets. the craving is gone. just like that. in a quiet and natural way.

39 + 46

a gush of worrying thoughts before sitting into easy sidasana. then watch the thunderstorm of mental activity slow down and thin out as i ease into the soothing rhythm of the breath. now i could see what i couldn't while caught up in the mental thicket. wow, it's so simple, how come i didn't see it before. the last trace of worry dissipates and i continue the journey along the river of ease. it's 46 min over but it feels a lot shorter.

Monday, August 3, 2009

simple life

yes, my life is simple. for instance, all i want in the morning is a cup of chai and a bowl of oatmeal. but i have particular needs. chai has to be made from scratch (no, i don't grow the spices, i'm not that particular. not yet.) fresh, of course. and has to be hot enough. piping hot. a lukewarm chai is unhappy chai. oatmeal has to be steel cut, if not whole. rolled oats doesn't cut. instant oatmeal. don't even bring it up.

one recent sunday morning, in the ashram, i was fine-tuning the temperature of my chai at the microwave, 10 sec at a time, when i spotted an indian guy standing a few feet behind me, mug in hand. our eyes met. he said, it has to be just right, or else it's miserable.

i couldn't agree more and returned to my, hopefully, final adjustment. hmmm, no, give it 5 more sec.

see what happens

for most of my adult life and before i could put a strong meditation practice in place i was in constant anguish, desperately wishing for some solution that could put my whole life firmly in place down to the dots and tees once and for all.

during that time, one of the phrases that i heard people throw around that really, really bothered me was : see what happens. i was like, i don't want to see what happens, i want to know what will happen, RIGHT NOW.

i have finally found the cure, anchoring in that place of ease and fearlessness within as i take care of the uncertainties of life, one moment at a time and...see what happens.

group power

aumming and meditating with fellow dedicated meditators is like traveling to outer space on a super duper power rocket with a top notch flight crew that have poured in years of determined, focused efforts to become a seamless crew. we sing the primordial sound in a whole variety of pitches, tones, rhythms and pacings. all with a common goal: to arrive at that inner space that is the source of ease and fearlessness, shimmering with joy.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

what's so special about moses

how come nobody since moses could have a face-to-face with YHVH? even the prophets. why? what about moses that makes him so awesomely special? not that i don't think parting waters is not phenomenal. but, somehow, i don't think that is it. this has been one of those burning questions bugging me. until i began to study the book of numbers and deuteronomy with my rabbi. this is a man, plucked out of comforts, wealth, wife and family, commanded to lead a stiffneck people out of a devil they knew (slavery) to a devil they didn't know (wilderness). i mean, think about it, they even complained about mannas, they were bored of it. what a hard life moses was given. to top it all, YHVH told him in his face, you are not going into the promised land, forget it, in your dreams, but you are going to lead them to it.

what would i do if i were moses? i would be angry. well, moses was angry. i would, in one way or another, refuse to follow through with YHVH's command. but not moses. even in the depths of his anger and disappointment and frustration he never forgot his life purpose, to make sure the people would have unabiding faith for generations to come.

i pray i would be like moses in times of anger, disappointment and frustration. what a hard act to follow. but it is possible. thank you, moses.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

you are (fill in the blank) and i am the Self

i read this line from yogic scriptures. here's how it works, e.g. you are the craving for haagen daz and i am the Self. hey, i get it. i can choose to have it, i don't have to be consumed by the impulse. or this. you are a thought and i am the Self. then it becomes a no-brainer, of course, a thought is a thought, not me. then i can examine it at my own pace and decide if i want to act on it. the thought doesn't control me by default.

i'm so excited, i can go on and on. you are the impulse to shop and i am the Self. i don't have to go with it. you are anger and i am the Self. you are disappointment and i am the Self.

now, that's freedom.

buzzing roaring qi

38 + 58. i was fully expected to meditate 38 min and ended up 58 min over. what a sweet surprise treat. weeell, actually, about 20-30 min was for coming out of meditation. there was a time when i thought i should be able to snap out of meditation. why the mind would have that thought? i don't know. but it makes total sense. i have to take time to get into meditation, why would i not have to take time to return? no brainer.

anyway, it was really sweet, to be immersed in swell after swell of buzzing, roaing qi filling up everywhere in my being. by the time i am back i can look at the day's challenges with confidence and composure.