Saturday, February 27, 2010

every meditation is going into the unknown. 38m + 24m

here's what's so fascinating about meditation. i cannot predict if i'll dream when i go to sleep. but i'll definitely have an experience when i meditate. i just cannot predict what it will be.

every meditation is going into the unknown.  in this context i can see the impatience, restlessness, agitation, doubt are all extended family of fear of the unknown.

a year and two months of singing and studying aum later i notice that the sacred sound, particularly the extended resonance, has the ability to chip away at the fear of the unknown in all its forms and disguises. of course the inner self knows it. that's why i'm moved to do the buzz after finishing with aum.

this holy buzz is sort of like those smart little mice that somehow can squeeze through a tiny slit, get into a drawer, pierce the plastic and, one by one, munch up the grains.

this humming space is throbbing fearlessness.

Friday, February 26, 2010

the key is to play with it. 45m + 14m

i carry within me everything to work the book into what it ought to be. that is the message that permeates me as i allow the breath to flow a little more easier and deeper. thank you, my inner self.

my editor gives me good guidance and says, and i'm paraphrasing, the key is to play with it, not to be afraid of the unknown, not to get worked up if it doesn't work out the first shot.

i can see it is tough and it's also going to be a lot of fun.
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

grandeur of the universe within. 45m + 15m

it feels really nice to watch the aum sound roll out in high notes, low notes and between. the extended resonance hum and buzz and roam in the boundless universe within when all of a sudden i see this spectacular and wild light show burst into my awareness. i watch in awe the grandeur of the inner universe. i'm kind of like this penguin standing totally still in the deep of the polar winter with swathes, swipes and swirls of gorgeous lights of heavenly hues dance around it against the pitch black cosmos.

i watch the feeling of awesome contentment permeate my entire being which is spacious, open and throbbing with vibrancy. the mind, in silence, reflects all this in a beautifully pure manner.

without a doubt i hold within this body the source of all insights, courage, strength and so much more. it's a fantastic cosmos. and i own it. free and clear. how to keep it? free and simple. i meditate.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

soup of contentment, whole grains of enthusiasm. 48m + 49m

it never ceases to amaze me what triggers an yogic insight and where and how it comes about.

case in point. there i am watching world news with brian williams, and this soldier taking apart a road side bomb. when asked what does it take to do this he said, without missing a beat, absolute clarity.

aaah. there are so many things i thank my meditation practice for. clarity is one of them. clarity in the body. clarity in the mind.

o yes, and clarity in the senses. i love eating. hwubby says, suk wah gets all crazy around food. he's right. i remember people, events, places by food. when we get an invite for something, the first thought i have is, will there be food? and i don't mean cheese and crackers.

i digress. see, i have enough mental clarity to see the thought train is veering off course.

anyhow, hwubby says, you are much better now, you don't just eat everything in sight.

right now, this moment, as i am typing this, it comes to me that i know i don't need to reach out for that huge slice of cheesecake to pacify the seemingly bottomless hunger that's been hammering me for so long in my life.

it is clear to me what i thought was appetite for more food was actually the yearning for soul nutrients, soup of contentment, whole grains of enthusiasm and the main course of joy.

now my favorite food is meditation. the proof is in the pudding. i am so absorbed that i just sit right through the timer beeps. happy eating, suk wah.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

humming to a new fabulous low. 45m + 18m

the extended humming sound is kind of like...a stent. yeah, like a stent opening up a clogged artery. only this hummm is even more fabulous. it opens up inner space. it really makes me have the experience that my inner space has no boundaries.

hey, why should it? there are one hundred billion galaxies in the universe outside of me. there are one hundred billion neurons within me. my inner universe is every bit as grand and splendid as whatever universe there was, is and ever will be.

Monday, February 22, 2010

building the sanctuary and altar within. 38m + 28m

this week's parasha is terumah, essentially, on the surface, the construction manual of the tabernacle.

rabbi asks, who wants to read? up goes my hand. why? i've been really struggling with this portion in the last few years. the mind would be completely adrift. this year i determine to try a little harder to see if i can crack the nut a little bit. well, at least, stay awake.

soon into reading the meticulous, elaborate instructions, something happens within. the splendor and beauty of the materials burn out the fog of agitation. the measurements, placements, step-by-step instructions gather my focus towards the center of my consciousness. i watch my finger move across the line on the page in sync with the sound flowing out of the body.

aaah, in this simple mind, i realize i am having an experience approximating what the kabbalists say, that the body is the sanctuary where the force of healing and transformation dwell.

as i sit comfortably with quiet delight in the lovely sound and movement of the breath it comes to me that a quiet mind is as marvelous an altar as can be.

quite a bit of pure gold are being used in constructing the tabernacle. well, it's also quite a process to extract the dross from the ore in order to get pure gold. i see no difference in extracting the mental dross to make the mind a sparkling mirror reflecting courage, strength, kindness, and a golden altar of pure and free joy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

everybody's birthday. 45m + 18m

7th day chinese new year. happy birthday to me and all.

counting my blessings. i'm so fortunate, so fortunate. an even sense of contentment and gratitude pervade the breath, and flow into all corners of body, mind and consciousness. the sweetness and lightness of being are so tangible. priceless birthday gift.

may all experience abundant peace within.

Friday, February 19, 2010

old tendency in clever disguise. 45m + 28m

fascinating to see how an old tendency comes back in a new way, subtle way.

it goes like this. hmmm. i don't know what to blog about. i don't have any meditation experience.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

i love my inner world. 45m + 50m

i just love the way my inner world is. simple. quiet. spacious. steadily aware of the ocean sound in the easy breath. the body is relaxedly alert and light.

i'm in the beginning phase of a complex project on top of a whole plate of ongoing tasks. i don't feel not up to it. having said that, every now and then during the day i see a veil of old tendency pass through the sky of my consciousness, kind of like the morning fog. o, i can't hold it all together, blah blah blah.

what do i do about it? nothing. i just watch. let time pass and do its thing. meanwhile i focus on the task at hand just like i keep returning to the sweet buzz surfing on the breath.

gee, i love my meditation so much. can't live without it. can't live without remembering i have this phenomenal inner world.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ecstatic, mundane, ecstatic. 45m + 29m

it's just me and my breath holed up in a comfortable easy lotus posture. yet there's nothing else i'd rather have, and do. there's nowhere else i'd rather be than roaming in the inner realm which is none other than my own inner self. all this vastness, all this brightness, all this happy, sweet quiet are mine.

every now and then i see the to-do list looming in the mental horizon. i watch my awareness tempted by tendency to scroll down the list. hmmm, i should move this one up to top priority, what if i can't figure out how to handle that one, what if so-and-so say no to my request, so-and-so doesn't respond to my emails so should i call or email. you get the drift of where and how my mind is conditioned to go.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

doing rudram 3 times on president's day. 45m + 33m

today's meditation is a no-brainer. i'm already in a wonderful and marvelous state before i even sit down. all because of the spectacular celebration yesterday.

in fact i am sure i am there right now.

as clara and i are about to open the front door to shivaa's shining abode i can hear the bright and joyous power of yogis singing sacred syllables from a 5000 year old scripture.

Monday, February 15, 2010

i am the president of my inner country. 45 m + 30 m

my meditation experience on the president's day is...what else but presidential. i actually believe i have a glimpse of what it's like to be an emperess looking out at her queendom. i feel grand and simple all at once. it's a great state to be in.

my fave sabbath after meal song goes like this. the entire world is a narrow bridge but the whole thing is not to fear. my beloved rabbi gives a tweak to it. he sings, the whole thing is not make yourself scared.

so true. it's not that there's not fear anywhere in my inner world but i have the freedom to be not fearful. to be fearful or not to be is something i can control. and as the president of my inner country i hold onto my executive power with dear life. in fact, i resolve to expand it.

happy president's day to me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

hanging out with my own greatness. 45 m + 20 m

hanging out with my inner self. yeah. that's what meditation is about. that's what all my meditation experiences are about.

the only way to cultivate a relationship with my inner self, the source and supply of all my greatness and fabulosity, is through meditation. it's no different from cultivating a friendship, or any relationship. you just have to spend time together.

in fact, the best times hwubby and i have together are in silence, holding each other close.

Friday, February 12, 2010

three mice so far, at least. 45 m + 22 m

here's the latest mouse count. one resting in peace among the roses, one (at least one) scratching crazy behind the steel wool barricaded kitchen cabinets, and one in the house. yes, i saw it while i was putting together a banana bread dough and my chai at 4 am and periodically banging on the counter and cabinet walls attempting to shoo away the scratching one.

how did i feel? initially i felt terrorized. then, a thought surged with phenomenal power. it absorbed my attention. i'm not going to abandon my banana bread and chai. yes, i am scared. no. 'being scared' is not what i am. i see and feel fear but i am not allowing it to stop me from doing what is necessary and important.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

one hundred billion galaxies within. 45 m + 23 m

here's an old, old recurring tendency of mine. it goes like this. i don't have meditation experiences, i don't have good meditations. why? i don't have visions, i don't see lightnings and thunderbolts, and so on and so forth. the most devastating version is something like, man, i can't sit for so many minutes, there's no way i can sit through this.

and so it is today i see a whiff of restlessness passing through my awareness. but no sooner than i catch it i become acutely aware of the steady breathing movement and the response of the chest to it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

thanks to vito. 45 m + 15 m

today's meditation goes to vito, my spiritual practice buddy. he's beginning chemo today. he's not a person who wants to draw attention to himself, always present at the practice with a gentle smile, and enthusiastically gives me a ride to the ashram 5.45 sunday morning. one time he just came by because he wasn't sure if he was supposed to come but he didn't want me to be stranded. that's how sweet he is.

i digress.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

cousin. mouse. 41 m + 28 m

this meditation is for my cousin. she is starting a process to take care of a health situation. so, may healing lights be with her. may all the health care professionals involved in the treatments and procedures are imbued with healing lights. may all the medical instruments and surgical equipment radiate healing lights.

in fact, it is my cousin who asks me the question, what does this whole thing with the mouse teach you?

when did she ask that? let me think, o, yes, it was when we visited her on the way home from asilomar and she treated us to rice noodle. what did i have? pad thai and spicy coconut soup.

Monday, February 8, 2010

what is the mouse teaching me? 40 m + 26 m

my beloved meditation teacher says, and i am paraphrasing her, whatever challenge you face, know this, it is your equal, it is not bigger than you, nor smaller, you are equal to the challenge.

i am equal to the challenge presented to me.

on the outside, i have to do a bunch of things to take care of the house and up the vigilance level, like, the way food and provisions are stored. it is a whole host of small, specific actions that have to be scheduled and performed methodically and meticulously with patience. there are certain things i may have to do more than once in order to get it right. that takes perseverance.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

asilomar. refuge by the sea.

how long did i meditate this morning? about an hour. i didn't want to use the timer because hwubby was still asleep and we are in a room in asilomar, a retreat by the ocean. he was to give a 3 hour talk to the graduating class of a dental school right after breakfast. so the least i can do is to be quiet.

Friday, February 5, 2010

smoking and breathing. 45 m + 29 m

what comes to me when i notice my breath is really lengthening and strengthening, and i just love it? one word. smoking.

i know exactly what it means to me.

i never smoked even when i was around talented, terrific chain-smokers all the time for many years. in fact, as i reflect on that period in my life, i realize what a torture it was for me to take in all that second hand smoke. it smelt terrible. i hated it. how did i cope? i held my breath.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

mouse returns. 42 m + 9 m

watching fear while steeped in the ocean breath and easy lotus posture as the subtle hum, the electric buzz permeate my awareness.

for so long i've wondered what it means to do what's right in spite of fear. now, because of a mouse, or mice, i really don't know, i get to experience it.

i gotta give it to the mouse for its resourcefulness. somehow it manages to return to the same pantry drawer and do its thing after hwubby and i thought we took care of it and checked and double checked.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

have the chutzpah to put tuchas on the table. 38 m + 22 m

the inner self does not mince words, always cuts to the chase. for instance, today, moments after i am into the easy lotus posture i get these words clear and bright: shivaa, pesto, rudram.

here's the genius of the inner self. just as a seed contains the essence of a plant, its bare bone directive holds the key to a complete piece.

but i digress.

let me get back to shivaa, my sis on the spiritual path.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

editing my 598 page novel. 43 m + 26 m

today the pervading sense in meditation is what i've been getting on and off in recent days: make space and hold it clear.

i know what it is about. it's the response to my burning question: how should i prepare to start working with my editor on the 598 page manuscript?

what this illuminating insight means to me is that i need to hold the entire narrative in my consciousness while i am working on the sentence at hand.

my editor says, suk wah, you are a brilliant writer, you write all these beautiful scenes, turn of phrase and the way you write about food is poetic, but nobody is going to read about eating lox and bagel for 30 pages, you've got to have pacing.

and detachment too. whatever is not necessary has to go. whatever is holding up the forward momentum has to go. whatever the american mind doesn't get, because i write from a chinese mind, has to change.

all this comes down to one thing. i have to be able to see and hear the narrative landscape as i navigate through the twists and turns.

can i do that? yes, but not without meditation. the only way i know how to keep the inner world clear and quiet is meditating everyday. the only way i know how to sustain focus is returning, again and again, to the easy and long breath.

hwubby says, and your chai too. okay, okay, i do have my own addiction. what to do?!:)

Monday, February 1, 2010

nib it in the bud. 40 m + 23 m

i watch the residual tendency to compare coming in as i come to awake. it no longer has the control over me the way it used to thanks to all that effort i've been putting in to build up the connection to the inner self. but, like weeds, it has a way to spring a shoot above ground just when i think i've got rid of it once and for all.

i can feel a twitch of restlessness, agitation lurking to slice and dice the mind into a worked up mush.

fortunately i catch it when it is tiny. i can nib it in the bud.

i hold on to the discipline like my dear life. methodically i follow through with all the small, specific actions i've put in place. with every round of easy breath i feel a little more settled.

by the time i get to silently humming and feel the buoyant buzz in the nose, in the forehead, in the vast consciousness that is shining satiny black i'm just watching the tendency weakened to something like a soft mist.

what is really coming through in the ocean sound of the breath is a sense of gratitude. grateful that i am catching it before it becomes a full blown catastrophe. grateful that i have the tools to take care of it. grateful that i have the awareness that the tendency, any tendency for that matter, is just weather, and like any weather, it will go away.