Saturday, July 31, 2010

to get out of bed or not?

this comes to me in meditation today. when my relationship with the inner self is tight and right, the outer life reflects it. indeed, once i know this is what i want everything in life becomes simple. there's only one question to ask. does this take me closer to the inner self? case in point. this morning i have this ancient struggle of 'to get out of bed or not?' the body and mind say, we are tired. yet there's another part of me that says, you know from experience once you get going and stay in the moment you'll be fine. the bottom line is if i get up later i won't be able to meditate. once i realize that the mind snaps awake and the body follows. sure enough once i get into the flow of preparations for meditation i feel steady and fine.

Friday, July 30, 2010

irresistible sweetness of the self

meant to meditate for a little more than an hour today. but the sweetness is irresistible. i just couldn't bear to get myself out of that comfortable posture. i end up sitting for more than two hours. i could have and would have gone on if not for the day ahead. it comes to me that i have a few things to catch up today since there was no internet access for most of the day yesterday. thank you, inner self.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

they run out of momentum unless i feed them

hwubby says, i have this realization. i say, what, what? tell me. he says, i am aware of the moments when i have these anxious, negative thoughts and stuff. but what about the rest of the time when i don't have them? that is what i have to be aware of. that is like an ocean and the anxious moments are little islands. when i am stuck on an island i am not aware of the ocean.

that's so great. and i would attempt to go another step further to suggest that those moments of anxious, negative thoughts and stuff are foam. they look real up till the moment they run out of momentum and dissipate. unless i feed them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

with fellow yogis like these i might just get fully realized:) mmmm.

so happy to be doing the practices with fellow yogis who are committed to know the self, to be with the self, to meditate on the self, and to see the self in each other. hey, it makes it that much juicier to eat great food that is infused with the self of shivaa. honestly, i'm not a big fan of cole slaw and guac but i have no problem swooping up shivaa's cole saw and guac. for the cole slaw she tosses in orange, roasted walnuts and figs. the dressing has orange, ginger and sesame. all this take out the thinness and add some yang to yin. her guac strikes the balance between creamy and textured. the subtle flavor of avocado comes through elegantly against the backdrop of onion and cilantro, which have big and bold flavors in their own right so it's not easy to find the alchemy between them and the delicate avocado. shivaa always hits the sublime spot. scooping it with sweet potato chips completes the entire spectrum of taste profile. a shining example of fullness in simplicity. what about the kitcheri soup? peanuts is a surprise touch. i always like a nice tweak. kitcheri is such a meditator's staple. it's good to grow the list of variations to freshen up the simple combo of mung bean and rice and water and spices.

vito generously provides 'dessert' in the form of a spectacular piece of spiritual teaching. everyone gets a copy. one person reads a paragraph. anyone who wants to say something can do so. it's such a great opportunity to practice listening, listening without judgment and definitely no, no, no to the 'fix it' mode. the writing itself is simple, straightforward. what resonates with me is that staying present in the moment is being in the fullness, abundance of the self. and so the measuring gauge is simple. when i catch myself worrying, that is so obviously off the present moment. rather than go on worrying i choose to return to the present, return to the inner self, who and what i am. i try to articulate all this with inadequate words. my fellow yogis listen with such kindness and patience as if what i am saying is the only thing that matters to them right then. the ever thoughtful and wise laura says, when you do that you open up the space for magic to happen. you nail it, laura.

we are a great group. it never ceases to amaze me how fortunate i am to be in the presence of such great seekers. at moments when i catch myself off the self it's the cumulative support from them and the practices that take me through the speed bumps. my inner self is full and complete but i cannot walk the journey all by myself. with yogis like these even a fool like me can fantasize to get fully realized this lifetime:) hey, why not?!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

steady, sublime sweetness

i go to a full day meditation event with the intention to deepen and strengthen my meditation practice. and so it is. i've been hearing the teaching 'god is within' for 19 years. now i am feeling it. the inner space that dwells within this body, this spectacular, magnificent body that serves me so unconditionally, always there, heart pumping, liver purifying, blood circulating and on and on... this inner space contains all that i want to have. joy. peace. clarity. courage. strength. and so much more. from this place and state i can truly taste the full palate of human experience. above all. the sweetness of the self.

before going into meditation this morning i know from huwbby that there is an email about my mother's health sitting in the inbox. reflex pushes me to check it right away. yet, i decide to do it after meditation because i want to stay away from the knee jerk reaction mode. the pull of the inner self wins.

Monday, July 26, 2010

watching the play of the mind

hwubby says, you smell so nice, like...sweet meditation. indeed. i just come out of meditation. another sweet one. often i wonder what it is like to be fully realized. but afloat in the open, quiet sweetness of the inner self it doesn't matter whether i get to that point in this lifetime. it's sublimely satsifying just to know that i have this place and state within and i know how to get there. in fact i am that place and state. clothed with this understanding and fed by the direct experience i watch the play of the mind like looking at reflections in a mirror.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

disconnected from inner self...a walking dead

the moment my eyelids are down when i sit down for formal meditation i'm entering the inner space while being aware of the external space. for a long, long time i really think this inner space has nothing in it and i don't think i have ever had any meditation experience. this morning something comes to me. just as the outer atmosphere is filled with something invisible called air which holds oxygen, the critical component to sustain human life, this inner space holds something even more magnificent than oxygen. the firmament of my inner self. oxygen fuels the bodily functions. the inner self juices life. disconnecting from the inner self is like a walking dead. i've been there. it's no fun.

Friday, July 23, 2010

sweet, sweet meditation

such a sweet meditation. upswell upon upswell of cool, refreshing, tingling energy from the base of spine. the hands and arms are buoyant balloons. the body is stable and comfortable in the easy lotus posture. the mind is alert. the mood is...simply swell in a quiet and even way. the day is wide open. the tasks are many. and i feel fine about everything, anything.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

let them come. let them go.

just as i can't predict whether i'll dream tonight i can't predict what mental tendency will come up in meditation. this morning it's aversion. i don't like this. i don't like that. i don't like this about hwubby. i don't like that about hwubby. meanwhile the body is in a stable, comfortable easy lotus posture, the breath is flowing in and out with ease. then a teaching that i'm exploring comes to me. i am a mirror. my life is a reflection on the mirror of consciousness. indeed. reflections look real but they are not real. yet they are not far from the reality. after all, i am consciousness, pure consciousness. all these reflections are passing through the body. let them come. let them go. what do i need to do? just watch them come and go from the place of 'i am.' all those reflections are grace that illumine all that which is unnecessary and must burn away.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

sorry, body, i've been stuffing you up.

awake at 3. the body is still. the mind is clear and quiet. and it comes to me that for most of my life thus far i have been not giving due attention to the body. by that i don't mean obsessing with weight. i've been stuffing negative thoughts and emotions into the body. really, when i hold onto fear, anger, resentment, greed where do i think they go? they fester in the mind and the mind dwells within the body. i start to say, i'm sorry, body, i've been abusing and neglecting you. then i fall back asleep. and dream.

hwubby and i are traveling. to canada, i think, to attend a major meditation event with lots of people from all over the world participating. we have a home nearby so i think i have no problem getting ready. lord and behold, when i get to the door i see lines of people. i discover my home has been open to all people to come to get ready for the event. i walk in and see people all over the place. it is a huge place. rooms after rooms. beautiful furnishings. exquisite, vintage pieces. closets upon closets of masterfully made clothes. then i'm upset to see i can't even get into my own bathroom. i turn around and see women wearing my cherished cheongsams, chinese dresses. i look at the clock. 8.50. the event is to start 9.10. i think to myself, there's no way i can get there on time. at that point i wake up from the dream, ready to get up and meditate.

this morning's meditation i experience this sweet and close connection to the body with renewed respect. the spine feels a little bit more upright and stronger. the easy lotus posture is that much more relaxed and solid. i really have this sense that i am living in this body, and 'i am' is the inner self.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

inner self is the best planner

planned to be in tahoe for 3 days. ended up 10 days. i'm not complaining. it's a heavenly place and i made progress with the rewrites. having said that i am aware of the piles of worldly tasks that await. so in this morning's meditation i have to really summon that thing called willpower, which comes from the inner self, to pull back attention from being sucked into worrying and anxious thoughts. after a while i am settled into the flow of the sound of the easy breath while watching the mental activity come and go. the outbreaths are so long and deep and releasing. each exhalation takes away a little more of the worrying tendency that is based in the sense of separateness from the inner self. i emerge from meditation knowing i am in a calm state, my true state. the body is relaxed. i see what task needs to be taken care in this moment. preparations for spiced milk, tea, lamb bone soup. as i am mortaring the spices and chopping ginger i see the essential to-do for the two weeks ahead. solid and clear. this is effortless planning.

i feel much better. thanks so much, my inner self. you're the best planner.

Monday, July 19, 2010

inner self spared me from bear scare

last day in tahoe. awake at 2.59am. part of me says, go back to sleep. another part of me says, get up, meditate and go back to sleep. i follow the latter voice because it is way stronger. the meditation is fine, complete with earplugs.

a few hours later. my fellow yogi who hosts my stay says, we had a pack of bears last night. i say, what? when? she says, first i heard coyote, then there was this rumbling that went around your side of the house before coming to outside my bedroom. i peeked. six of them. a really huge one, another big room and four cubs. i prayed they wouldn't come up the deck. they didn't and trudged to the next house. the guy next door turned on the lights, came out and shooshed them away. i say, i heard nothing. when did all this happen? she says, after 3. ahhh. i had earplugs on all that time. i was spared the scare. thanks so much, my inner self. how intelligent you are. truly awesome.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

calming milk. moon dragon.

last night's sleep has the quality of what remains after running the spiced milk through a fine sieve. actually i would call it medicated milk. it has this calming power. it takes my sleep to a level that is fine and pure.

and the dream. for a long while i am looking at this dragon that has the texture of moon. a chinese dragon with all its majesty and vibrancy. it is against the bright dark night cosmos. the whole vista is truly beautiful.

all this is in my inner self.

the pure and fine quality carries over into meditation. every breath tastes like that calming milk.

Friday, July 16, 2010

tahoe sunset. spiced milk

with feel cool and wet i sit on the tahoe beach amidst an exquisite sunset. for quite a while i am drawn to the sounds of the gentle wave rolling in all the way to the tip of my toes. the tingles are thrilling. i see the incoming waves carrying piles of bubbles with them, much like the surges of mental activity. the bubbles burst as the waves run out their momentum. so unless i feed into the mental activity they are bound to run out their momentum as well. and the mind will return to a tranquil state.

last night a fellow yogi makes spiced milk. hot, aromatic. one sip i already notice a feeling of deep settling in. i sleep better and deeper. this morning's meditation has a pristine quality that is subtle but unmistakable.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

i am big. i am humbled.

is the alpine lake in me? or i am in the alpine lake?

in this morning's meditation, besides enjoying the pristine waterfalls of the breath i re-experience that which i witness in front of the adorable lake of sapphire set around emeralds of soaring pines. i am in awe of the thunderous breath. i am humbled witnessing the wonders within me. how big i am. how vast i am.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

sleeping less, meditating more, writing better

sleeping less in tahoe. no matter when i go to bed, and i go to bed later than when i'm at home, the mind pops awake no later than 3.30, and i would feel this strong pull to get up and meditate. i don't meditate two hours with the intention to get writing guidance. yet i always see clear and direct instructions regarding where to do what or shapes of scenes. thanks so much, inner self. actually the most enjoyable thing is to see the outbreaths becoming longer and longer, more and more powerful, until the belly wall presses against the back. it feels really nice. very releasing from deep within.

then i go into writing with a cup of tea. so far i've finished re-writing the first chapter. hwubby takes a quick read of it, says, 'it's got a lot of good energy.' now i'm re-structuring and sketching chapter 2 and getting ideas for the narrative to come. it's really fun. i feel so supported.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

taking lake tahoe home

diamond-studded alpine lake. thunderous waterfall. cool, cool mountain brook. lovely little church engraved with writings by john muir. i sit down on the front pew and spontaneously go into deep meditation. thank you, nature.  i feel familiar with the pristine quality of the place. it's something i have within. in this way i take lake tahoe home.

Monday, July 12, 2010

universal self has other plans

awake i am 3.30am when i go to bed almost 11.30pm. i can feel part of the body and mind saying, we are tired. but there is a stronger pull, much stronger, saying, get up, meditate, you can always go back to sleep. so i do. the posture feels so comfortable that i end up sitting more than two hours. amidst long, deep breathing i hear the inner voice saying, go home sunday. it feels right. what happens is the plan to return from tahoe today, monday, fell through sunday afternoon. meanwhile i have been getting writing done in a steady fashion. as a matter of fact hwubby said it right from the get go, why don't you stay the whole time. but i really didn't feel like away from him so long. well, as it turns out, the universal self has other plans. hwubby is missing me terribly while being totally supportve and says, yeah, you should definitely stay, i'll arrange to send you what you need for food. how lucky i am.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

ice cream. duck feet.

a tailored retreat for suk wah. meditation. study scriptures, alone and with fellow yogis. walk in the beautiful nature of lake tahoe. chanting the names of the inner self. yum cha. yummy food. here's the 'tailored' aspect. a bowl of chocolate ice cream and a plate of duck feet. i feel i'm that much closer to paradise:)

Friday, July 9, 2010

where do all those lights in the dream come from?

sleeping 7000ft above sea. bright and vibrant dream. lots of laughter, back and forth and activity with my meditation teacher. at several points i am working with a bunch of yogis to mash lots of ripe bananas and mangoes because the teacher says to me with a bright and kind smile, we have to feed a lot of people. so much fun.

i wake up with this question. where do all those lights in the dream come from? my eyes are closed. the room is dark. the lights have to come from within me. i am sleeping but someone is watching and understanding all that unfolding dream drama. who's that? then it occurs to me this is the same one who watches that suk wah being pulled here and there by thoughts and feelings. this is someone who sees and gets it. indeed. i can safely say all that in the external world are some form of dreams. i have so much lights within. beautiful lights. pure lights. happy lights. lights of courage. lights of strength. lights of kindness. lights of generosity. so on and so on. no end to the abundance within.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

going for the sky and beyond.

3 am. doing my oral thing i have this experience of me watching suk wah getting sucked into some negative mental activity. watching suk wah being pulled here and there by this concern and that worry i could't believe i had lived like that for so long.

then in meditation as i sit comfortably in the body for 2 hours i realize i am having this priceless direct knowledge of who i am and who i am not. i am definitely not that one who identifies with the thoughts and feelings. i am the one who watches with great patience and understanding and clarity and strength. physical strength. mental strength. emotional strength.

a few hours later i am on my way to lake tahoe, taking in the spectacular vista of swathes of alpine trees. they all soar straight up going for the sky and beyond. so am i.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

a basketball dream

great dream. a widely watched basketball final game is about to take place. i just finished speaking my mind in a direct and straightforward way to hwubby and muimui, my younger sister who died young. then the captains of both teams come to ask my blessings. i give each man a gemstone, one yellow-gold, one saffron-gold. what happens next in the dream is i find myself on my own getting to the game. i have to go through a long, narrow, dark alleyway of sorts. the moment i step onto the path i see rivers and floods of cockroaches along the wire fence running down the lane as far as eyes can see. the passageway is narrow. i have to get onto the fence, hang onto it with hands and feet and inch forward. out of nowhere wild dogs with sharp teeth get up close on the other side of the fence. but i don't feel like giving up at all. i just keep going. in the final scene i'm outside the ballpark. a nice guy from my university days comes up and says, you'll sit on the uppermost bench but, don't worry, you'll see. i nod but, within myself, i know i have a front row seat waiting for me.

i wake up. a few sparks come, one for a specific sentence, another for adding story to the upcoming plot twist, yet another is how to streamline the first chapter.

i feel really nice. very settling. i think i'm moving into a rhythm.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

try whatever. play. see where it takes you.

i'm having an experience of the law of inertia. it takes a lot to get the action started. i need to do rewrites on the manuscript. i see resistance, fear, frustration, i'm way over my head, this is too much to handle, what am i thinking, the world doesn't need another novel, blah blah blah, popping up like whack-a-mole.

i confide in hwubby. he says, god is with you, i love you, you are great, keep breathing deep into your belly, feel your feet planted into the floor, the chair supporting you, then, this is important, set the timer to a session of 20 to 40 min, dive in, then get up for a 5 min pause, go out into the garden every so often.

so here i am in the beginning of the first session, sipping tea (yum cha), asking my inner self, where should i begin? open a new doc? or make a copy of the first chapter and use the 'tracking changes' feature? response comes quickly. try 'tracking changes'. try whatever. play. see where it takes you.

right away i realize i don't trust myself. in the words of my editor, lacking confidence. it's part and parcel of the old tendency of unworthiness, afraid of making mistakes, fear of getting lost.

enough of this. i've gotta move on. get out of my head and into the body. i know what to do. i'm not starting from a blank slate. i've already got plenty of good stuff. i am a wonderful writer. i'm building on what i have. dig in, suk wah.

Monday, July 5, 2010

have no fear. let the fears come up. bye bye.

be careful what i wish for. i might just get it. and, wo-oh. what's happening is i say to my inner self, i'm ready to let go of these old, old fear. and, in a steady stream, since a few days ago, the mind has been in this whack-a-mole mode. a fear pops up here. i catch it. turn attention to breath flow. a fear pops up there. i catch it. turn attention to breath flow. it's been just like that. only the speed of these popping-up fears has been accelerating. some times it feels like a thousand fear-moles are coming up with just a fraction of an instant between any two of them.

but, you know what? i'm strong enough to deal with this challenge. i really want to be free of the grip of fears. i have the conviction that they are coming up because i'm ready, willing and able to let them go. i don't know how much fears there are in the mental store. i'm just going to clean up shop however long it takes. hwubby says, just remember, god is with you, i love you, and you are great. yay.

okay, i see another one. go. go into the infinite space of the inner self. bye bye.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

we just want to relax

there is a recurring experience in my meditations and it's in the body. the neck, shoulders and upper body would move, sway and twist. i would hear little crackles in the neck and upper back. i would let the rib cage expand and collapse in a long, slow pace, and i would relish in the sweet release in the outbreaths. often all this would be the bulk of what happen in meditations. nothing thunderous nor visionary.

today i sense a message from the inner self. there are body memory lodged deep in the neck and back muscles. keep offer them to the consciousness permeating the inner space. i ask, do i need to know what they are. inner self says, only if it helps you to let it go. then i recall a favorite swami of mine say about dealing with mental activity in meditation. 'it's like sitting by the river, watching the waters flowing by, and then you see stuff being carried along, things like rocks, broken branches, rotting leaves. do you really need to get into the water and dig into them? nope. just stay where you are, relax and let them go.'

that's it. the neck, shoulders and upper back are saying, we want to relax.

Friday, July 2, 2010

the inner self knows what it's doing

the inner self is truly, naturally intelligent. case in point. i have been noticing a couple of interesting things developing in the breathing movement. first. after inhalation, before exhalation begins, there is a brief pause. same with after exhalation and before inhalation. second. the exhalations are longer than the inhalations. i don't know why they are the way they are but they all feel soothing and comforting. it is evident that the body loves it. so i just let them be.

and then i happen to read something a hatha yoga master written about the breath. in his knowledge and experience, there are four part to the breath. the pauses in between exhalations and inhalations are equally important as the exhalations and inhalations themselves. wow. then he says exhalations  remove toxins, not just physical but also mental and emotional. no wonder it feels so good letting out those long, deep outbreaths.

the inner self really knows what it's doing. i just have to stay out of its way.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

let the fears go. go. go.

another teacher dream. teaching dream.

i am assigned a position to directly serve the teacher's mission. day after day i set out on time. yet i have great difficulty just to get there.

at one point i see my teacher passing by while i am doing some preparation. i say, good morning. she says back, good morning. she's wearing a red tailored jacket and black legging and high heels. very clean and chic.

at another point i find myself underneath her chair. i can hear her voice but i can't find my way out from under the chair. actually it is kind of nice under there. i look into the bottom of the chair. it's like looking through the bedcover when i am totally under it. lights are filtering through the yellow parts of the fabric. the other parts are red.

hwubby says, you are working through another phase in your book, you say you are working towards the book you want to write, so it sounds like the dream has to do with the fears coming up in this process.

this morning's meditation has a lot to do with sensing pockets of wordless, irrational fears looming in and coming up. what are they about? fear of getting lost. fear of not up to it. but they are not gripping, nor paralyzing. i just have to keep letting them go and be gentle with myself at the same time.