Monday, November 30, 2009

tendency not yet uprooted. 39 m + 16 m

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

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

Saturday, November 28, 2009

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 27, 2009

a truly chinese american thanksgiving. 38 m + 8 m

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

Thursday, November 26, 2009

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

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

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

how so?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

it puts the demons to sleep 38 m + 10 m

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

i'm all ready for another year of aummm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 23, 2009

the sweetness of torah

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

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

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

Sunday, November 22, 2009

yitzak. rivka. yaakov. poverty consciousness

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

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

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

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

Friday, November 20, 2009

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

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

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

he is not referring to my meditation posture.

i digress.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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

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

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

i fall back asleep and dream.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

meditating on thanksgiving menu 39 m + 21 m

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

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

what is grace really? 38 m + 8 m

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

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

i am alive.

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

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

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

Monday, November 16, 2009

bill clinton says. 28 m + 27 m

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

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

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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

moving to center of seesaw

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 14, 2009

cuddle, huddle and snuggle. a hold-cation

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

aware of the completeness, aliveness that is soundlessly throbbing.

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 13, 2009

priceless resonance. mmm. 38 m + 41 m

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 12, 2009

spiritual savings account. 9 m

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

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

strong too.

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

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


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

a bunch of drunks, joyous drunks

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

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

i digress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 9, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 8, 2009

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

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

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

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

from this perspective i aspire to be avraham.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

living power. aum. 38 m + 11 m

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 6, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 5, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

hey, i am the ocean.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

38 m + 18 m, singing aum in different notes

i'm really enjoying singing aum in different notes.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

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

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

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

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

hwubby says, do you have anxious thoughts?

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

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

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

hwubby says, so what do you do about it?

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

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

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

Monday, November 2, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 1, 2009

go forth. go into yourself. lech lecha.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

go. and you will never come back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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