Saturday, October 31, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

silence pursues. sweet stillness pervades my awareness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 30, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

so off we go.

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

55 m, bye-bye anxiety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bye-bye anxiety.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1 hr 50 m, even fools can meditate in hawaii

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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

how crazy am i around bargain produce?

here's how.

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

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

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

i spot a narrow opening and slide my way through.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

maybe i'm just cheap.

Monday, October 26, 2009

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

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

the early negative thought is my wake up call.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

cain and abel, god within

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

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

not volcano but a supreme sunrise

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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

45 m, skip or not to skip?

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

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

Friday, October 23, 2009

how much do i love tandoori chicken?

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

1 hr, the right time

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

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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

1 hr 5 m, the inner switch in action

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1 hr 20 m, boring meditation?

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

what does aunt julia use for her burger bun?

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

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

1 hr 40 m, daughter of the ocean

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 19, 2009

contemplating on birthday burger

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

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

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

twin oceans within

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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

sleeping on the airport floor

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

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

boozed out babe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

i couldn't stop giggling.

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

what should i do? tell hwubby.

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

a simple sunrise


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

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

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

then something catches the eye.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

the extended resonance in aum is

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

philosopher stone experience

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

go forth in order to go within

avraham is the first ever documented householder/mystic.

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

doing nothing but staring at the ocean

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

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

aloft in molten jade sea

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

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

Monday, October 12, 2009

aloha, pineapple...

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

the ocean teaches me...

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

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

lying on the tip of active volcanoes...

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

Sunday, October 11, 2009

vegging out in obamaland

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

Saturday, October 10, 2009

44 + 35, beginning a new year of torah study

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

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

Friday, October 9, 2009

sea salt crystals in banana bread...

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

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

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

Thursday, October 8, 2009

43 + 30, mmm is my new best friend

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

cooking 'grass'

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

43 + 55, meditating on peking duck carcass soup

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

43 + 22, meditating on shipping and handling

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

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

Monday, October 5, 2009

42 + 17, after hubby's book mitzvah

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

Sunday, October 4, 2009

is there a limit to what the inner self know?

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

Saturday, October 3, 2009

say no to guilt

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

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

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

Friday, October 2, 2009

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

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

Thursday, October 1, 2009

is alexander the great 'great?'

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

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

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

so he went out to conquer and conquer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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