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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

remember to breathe

i'm working so very intensely on this email marketing thing when i suddenly feel my eyes bulging and heart about to burst. it dawns on me that i've been holding my breath. and i think i am remembering so good. well, i've come a long way but there's still some residual tendency around, totally fear based. immediately post up a sign at eye level: breathe in deep, breathe out long.

screaming in sleep

the night before was rough. i had to make do with a much shorter meditation. later in the day hubby said, you were screaming in your sleep, i couldn't wake you up, you scared me so bad. only then memory of a dream swelled up. a big black cat stood on my chest. it is thumping on my sternum with its right front paw. but there was no audible sound even though i shouted and yelled. i tried to move the body but it didn't respond. at some point, i heard hubby calling me and i glided into the murky zone between sleeping and waking for a while before falling back asleep.

apple store, meditation

i walk into the gorgeous apple store for my appointment at the genius bar. every object around me is bright and beautiful and dazzling. yet very quickly my eye is drawn to the brazz aum pendant around this young guy working at the ipod station. i can't help but tell him how gorgeous it is and then show him my little golden aum above my computer screen. a couple of sentences later i discover we have the same guru. he says, yeah, i wake up every morning, focus on clearing the mind, repeating the mantra. i couldn't get over how fun this is while reveling in the fresh, young joy pouring forth from him.

and then more fun. i walk up to the genius bar and what is greeting me? the beaming face of my dear friend gale. and yes, o, yes, we have the same guru as well. she says, the genius was working on my iphone, i looked up and saw suk wah bernstein on the appointments monitor, i thought, there could only be one suk wah bernstein, i have to wait around to see her.

absolutely, as hubby says, the one and only:)

whitney houston, ted kennedy

whitney houston says, yes, there were days i wouldn't leave a room, just doing drugs and listening to gospels.

ted kennedy believes his action, or, rather, inaction, in the chappaquidick incident hastened his father's death. and, all his life, his dedicated efforts in fighting for the poor, sick and vulnerable is rooted in the scriptures.

another 2 examples of human beings as spiritual beings going through human experiences. no different than me.

9/16/09, 39 + 41

a couple of observatons. i notice a lengthening in the a and u. secondly there is an extra hint of sweetness in m. lastly but not the least is this: the toes resonate with a subtle vibration.

before i go into meditation, hubby says, can i tell you something? sure. i just realize when i wake up from sleep, the first experience i have is this body is a case and the soul is this quiet, clear, open...for the lack of a better, it is never tired.

yes, indeed, it's the body and mind that get tired after tossing around in the stormy sea of the physical world.

Monday, September 14, 2009

9/14/09, 40 + 55, aumming is tune-up

as the resonance of the last aum gently massages my body, waves of buzzing thrills flow through me. in the midst of the steady humming sound of the moving breath, a realization comes. just as the steinway piano bequeathed from hubby's beloved grandma bea needs a tune-up regularly by a professional, aumming is tuning-up the body and mind, restoring me to the frequency it should be, that of the Self.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

computer worm

posting on hubby'scomputer. airport in mine is off. what happened? in the midst of researching on the web, gliding from one site to another when a window pops up, says something to the effect that my computer is critically affected by virus and i have to download this anti-virus thing. in the background a big screen with blinking words like 'critical', 'worms.' the shock and horror freezes the mind into a blank. at the same time i feel this heightened alertness of the breath coming in and going out on its own without me doing anything. i am sure i am not doing anything to breathe because i am frozen in the body and in the mind. anyway, there is this upsurge of calm and clarity spreading through my whole being. instantaneously. really, really powerful. i am acutely aware that i am looking at panic and anxiety attack on the one hand, and calm and courage on the other. without a doubt i know i have the power to choose. i look down the road of worrying and projecting. the decision is clear. i'm not going there. i gather my attention and laser it into the calm. and the insight comes: there is a solution within every situation. yes, i can handle this. whatever it takes to take care of it, i'll do it with calm and ease. i'll do the best with what i have right where i am. i am within this spacious quiet subtly pulsating aliveness and possibilities.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

9/12/09, 40 + 28, everything i do become meditation

today i did something before i meditated. hubby, just returned after away for most of the week, and i held each other. it's one of my top fave things to do, holding him in the pre-dawn hours, reveling in his warmth and love amidst strobelight streaks of lightning, rolling thunder and night rain. at the same time i saw a little concern in the horizon of the mind, i don't want to miss meditation. i took a couple of rounds of deep breaths when hubby said, on the plane back i got the idea how to do it. i knew immediately what he was talking about. a huge grant he's resolved to work at. i felt an inner turnaround, an upsurge of attention directing towards him. then for a little while i had no thought but to listen to him. periodically i felt moved to respond. there was an easeful rhythm in the gentle momentum before it gently slowed and faded, all in a natural manner. silence ensued for a couple of moments. i knew, and i knew he knew, it's time to get up and move on.

i was a little concerned that today's meditation might be more difficult what if the 'disruption.' on the contrary, there was a special resonance in aummming coming from deep within the belly. as a matter of fact, i found myself immersed in a deep silence when i discovered that i was only part way through the 36 rounds. for a tiny fraction of an instant, i watched the tendency to beat myself up whiff through and then i picked up aumming where i left off, sailed through it, and glided into a smooth and open sea. all in all, it didn't feel like an hour but just a short, sweet while.

indeed, with the intention to meditate, every thing i do become meditation.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11/09, 39 + 43 letting off steam

i'm watching steam fiercely pushing out around the pot cover rim of the boiling whole oats. it's 4.30am. i lift the pot cover a little and billows of steam rush out. in that moment i realize why every so often i have to skip meditation a day or two. i'm meditating regularly and intensely. tremendous meditation energy is building up. a lot of habitual tendencies are being pulled up, weakened and pulled out. it's a lot of work. enormous heat is generated. so every now and then i need to cool it off a little bit. i don't have to worry that i would slacken and not return to meditation. i've past the point of no return. i'm so in love with meditation i can't imagine living without it for more than a couple of days in a row. if anyone said to me 20 years ago, one day you would feel satisfied and at peace just sitting quietly with your eyes closed i would have said, that's impossible.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

obama dream

i'm outside obama's office. he's waiting for me. we hug big time. he says, who do you really go to for advice? we hug again. then we are in a hotel room with twin beds. we shower and rest, each in our own bed. his smile is soothingly warm as the morning sun. it all feels bright and natural, the way it should be.

9/10/09, 39 + 35 m, where are the data and panic?

i go into meditation with a cloud hanging over my head: all the computer notebooks have disappeared and so are all but one of the excel sheets. i fully expect there should be at least some worry, upsetness, anxiety, beating up myself of some sort. but to my surprise, there is none. i look and look, open eyes and then closed eyes. all i see is a vast sense of calm and peace, and a firm conviction that whatever the situation is i can handle it. if necessary i can recreate the data. i have not lost that which i don't need. the data is not me. at the end of the day i am the Self. that's the data that truly matters, never changes, ever refreshes, renews, updates, and always with me.

ps. as i was writing this post, it came to me to look up my chart. and there it is...'around 9/18...very tricky with computer...very easy to lose information.' weeeeellll.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9/9/09, 38 + 50, within belly

there is a chinese proverb 'heaven and earth hidden inside the belly.' i heard of it since little. i remember seeing a black ink drawing depicting a laughing buddha with clouds and temple inside his huge belly. i never knew where this idea came from and what it meant. this morning i remember it in meditation and i understand it because i have an experience of it. yes, the heaven and earth within is as real as the one without. with this understanding, i kick up my fearlessness another notch.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

medicare, meditation

i'm an immigrant citizen. the first time i heard the word 'medicare' was when great aunt sarah went into the hospital. she was in her late nineties, beautiful, funny, witty, generous. it turned out she was dehydrated and found practically passed out. why? she adamantly refused to wear diapers. i often overheard hubby talking to her on the phone. they were always delightful and affectionate conversations. he would find a moment to sweetly plead her to drink and she would chuckle it off. meanwhile, back to the hospital, everyone loved her, treated her royally, hydrated her and after a few days of wonderful care, they sent her back to her apartment, and the family all felt relieved and happy. i asked, who paid for her hospital bill? medicare, i was told. oh. somehow i was left with the impression that medicare was one of sarah's friends who loved her so much that he or she wrote her into the will. (honest to god, it wasn't until this healthcare reform debate that i have a better understanding of this medicare situation.)

a few months went by. rachel was back in the hospital again. dehydration, of course. she sprang back to life after a stay of lovingly marvelous care. by the way, she was so irresistible, likable, it is impossible not to treat her like a dowager. this cycle went on for several years. at some point, i thought to myself, this medicare is going to be in trouble at some point. of course i dared not bring this up to anyone. meanwhile rachel's adventures had provided the family with a trove of delightful memories. her strong personality became stuff of family legend.

aunt sarah passed away 3 days before her 106 birthday, two weeks after a stroke.

as a family of course we cherish and welcome all the good times sarah gifted us. meanwhile, as a people, as a country, i know we have a long and difficult road ahead to figure out how and what to do about medicare.

as a meditator, i learn to look at the body as a vehicle. a beautiful, capable vehicle and like all vehicles, it will wear out. i take good care of it so it will probably last a long while. but i also know, like a car, at some point, the bender may fall off, the battery dies... will i be able to embrace the situation as it unfolds? will i be able to live in accordance with the understanding that i am still what i am no matter what happens to the body? that totally depends on how firmly anchored i will be in the Self.

9/8/09, 38 m + 1 hr 5 m, to know god

after 2 days away from formal sitting meditation i don't what to expect and i let go of all and any expectation. i say, i would be happy just to be able to sit. and what do i feel? like i'm returning to a place i love like no other. once i'm there i don't want to leave. i just sit and sit, let my attention ride on the wind of the easy and natural breath. i sail into the open sea within. i recall the dream i had last night. in part of it, i am given a pair of exquisite beautiful peep-toe flats before walking through a door into a cavernous space. i can't see the ceiling nor the floor. i think to myself, truly this is what it means by sky is the limit. i fly around leisurely at my own pace, pausing every so often at the beings meditating in spaces jutting out of the ancient tree trunks and branches. some look spectacularly outrageous, other look simple and ordinary. the sensation of flying is so marvelous and familiar all at once. i try to look for a space to sit down to meditate but i see poop smear in the unoccupied spots. i'm hesitating when an elaborately dressed woman is called to the front by a voice. then i watch the voice performing some sort of a ritual on her. she falls into a trance, her garments beginning to come apart revealing fair skin. meanwhile i feel a sensation of opening and relaxing in the vagina. the wonderful, soothing feeling suffuses every particle of my being like tea imbuing water. in a quiet way i realize what i truly want to do for my life. to know god. and i ve found the way. thank you, god, for meditation.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

9/5/09, 38 + 28, ted kennedy, ocean and meditation

senator kennedy has this deep connection to the ocean and sailing. apparently in the last months of his life he goes to sailing everyday even if he has to go in a wheelchair. i totally get it. it resonates with me. everyday i have to take a voyage into my inner sea. singing aum is setting up sail. i glide into the wind in the breath. and off i go into the open sky and sea within. there i experience a sense of peace and bliss. no matter what storm and thunder the mind stir up i know they come and go, and in the end, all that efforts i put in to stay in is worth it. the sweetness of courage and perseverance is incomparable.

yes, indeed, sailing in the sea is the senator's meditation.

Friday, September 4, 2009

30 + 9, horizontal meditation

the world of the mind is ever changing. today it is a stormy ocean. i have learned enough by now not to fight against it. it would be exhausting, not to say depressing. i quickly figure out what are the absolute essential tasks i have to take care of today and then i go horizontal, deliberately direct my attention to the breath flowing in and out, to the humming sound suffusing it. i fall back asleep and dream.

tom cruise comes to me, looking stressed out, asks me if he could join me for meals. it is obvious to me he is going through some inner struggle. i say yes. we sit next to each other, he to my left, at a big round table with other guests i have invited. the atmosphere is easeful and relaxed. he and i are having a heart-warming, genuine interaction, a lot of trust. as the meal unfolds tom gets more and more comfortable. he keeps heaving long and deep sighs of relief. at some point, someone comes to the door. it's ko-yan, a woman classmate from hong kong university. she's a devout catholic, kind, smart, very nice to me. but in the dream she is all worked up, only wants to hang around tom. i pull her aside, gently and firmly, and talk to her. i handle the whole situation unfluttered. the atmosphere stays harmonic.

i wake up from the dream, prepare for a shorter meditation and then launch into the day's affairs with calm, confidence and focus.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

9/3/09, 42 + 29, group aummming

be strong, be strong, be strengthened. we say these words when we come to the end of each of the five books of moses. i feel the same way about singing aum as a group. the choral sound of aaa, uuu, mmma and the nasal resonance that expands into the nooks and crannies of the head ebb and flow like ocean waves. it drowns out the rocks and boulders of tendencies and habits that hold me back. it becomes so easy to release into the symphonic resonance because it feels so utterly safe and natural to do so. and then all that's left is a sense of vast spaciousness and openness in my own being. the humming in the flowing breath fill up every particle and molecule with a buzzing aliveness all the way to the fingertips and crown of head. there's a subtle sweetness moisturizing the back of tongue and throat. it's evident that even the sweetness found in the best chocolate and tree-ripened mango do not come close. no wonder the long-held craving is gone.

i'm so, so, so grateful that shivaa has embraced me in her group aummming because i have no doubt that it has strengthened my connection to the sound of aum, it has deepened my conviction in the power of aum and therefore solidified my bond to meditation. now, sitting on my own i can call up with confidence and conviction the sound within myself knowing that i can enter the experience without difficulty. with this understanding there is no other way but to look at whatever that has to be taken care of with a fresh eye and bright joy all well tossed with a dressing of 'let's go at it and see what happens.'

for full disclosure, i have to confess shivaa's yummy-yumyum cooking is a big factor in me going back again and again too..hmmm that refreshing, exotic lemongrass fragrance gurgling off the butternut squash soup makes it that much easier to enter the inner world:)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

9/2/09, 38 + 12, the world's a narrow bridge

took 3 hrs to get out of bed. woke up at 3 overcome with tiredness and the thought 'i can't do this, i have to sleep.' so i did. awoke again around 5, and was convinced i wouldn't be able to get through the day if i didn't sleep more. but at the same time i could sense something different was going on inside me. it's kind of like being on a roller coaster ride at high speed and a big turnaround is coming up. i just knew from the depths of my being that i was not going to skip meditation. i could see the mind was on the cusp of snowballing: maybe i meditate shorter today? maybe i'll skip making chai? maybe...just then i heard hubby say, i have to leave the house no later than 8.30, and we have to have a biz meeting, so let's meet at 7.30. wo-wo-wo, the inner turnaround was immediate and dramatic. my attention was scooped up and lifted high out of the quagmire of inertia and resistance. just like that i was awake. truly the world is a narrow bridge. it's so easy to be thrown off balance and fall off course. as a matter of fact, the yogis put it even more bluntly. this life is walking across a tumultuous ocean on a double-edged sword.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

9/1/09, 40 + 40, not to fear at all

2 am. a fascinating state. not sleepy enough to go back to sleep but no desire to get out of bed either. all i want is just to keep the eyes closed and revel in this roaring quiet rumbling through me. the fingers and toes are one beating heart, pong, pong, pong. at one point there is this tiny thought, i am not having a heart attack, am i? but there is no fear, no fear at all, only a sense of vastness, spaciousness.

eventually i sleep a little more before waking to find myself singing a little song over and over: the entire world is a narrow bridge, the whole point is not to fear, not to fear at all. the great hassidic sage bal sham tov wrote it. and now across time and space his wisdom, courage and strength fills me up through the hauntingly beautiful melody and simple words. on its own and by itself the song swirls and dances in me.