Moving to the unknown

Moving to the Unknown

January 1991……..my 6 weeks vacation in British Columbia,Canada.I had just gone thru for the 2nd time around……a heartbreaking divorce.I knew it was not something drastic that would make my life crumble and wither away but instead a painful situation that I had to go thru in order to better myself…

So at the constant invitations and beckoning from my sister Angela and her then husband Iain(who both have become Canadian citizens and live in British Columbia at that time)…….I took the courage to take some time off work(mostly unpaid leave)from nursing at the emergency department in a Singapore hospital and fly to this far away land for a long holiday where I thought I could try to regain my strength and inner vitality after struggling thru the broken-ness and betrayal of somebody I thought I had invested my life and so called love in…………….I was going thru mental and emotional torments/anguish.…as what could be called the roller-coaster effect….ups and downs,highs and lows.Despite my active social and ‘fun’living life at the time to drown the pains….there was an inner fire as I will always remember being felt within me…….I would find myself enjoying the comforting quietness of an empty church,sitting in silence and allowing myself to mentally speak of finding relief for all the pains of my life and asking for guidance and strength ………..

I have come to the crossroads of my life,a time for deep reflection and adjusting to life’s directions.I was filled with fear but knew there was fearlessness existing inside of me….something I knew I had to exercise in order to overcome this ‘bad’time.

 

While on this holiday in British Columbia,I went with my sister and Iain to the world famous ski resort of Whistler/Blackcomb mountain where they have a time share cabin………..on the way up there,I heard this popular song playing…”From a distance”by Bette Midler……my heart was beginning to open to its words,I was being moved,being touched,being called.A picture of me standing on top of Blackcomb……..I felt on top of the world surrounded by these glorious,majestic mountains…my mind was singing with the Bette Midler’s song,playing over and over,especially so the words….”from a distance,God is watching me”…”there is hope,there is harmony,there is peace.”

‘YES’….I said to myself…..I said yes to the calling to come and live in BC,Canada and felt a surge of relieve swell in me at that moment,I  knew I would make all efforts to take a big step for transition to move in this direction.More than a year later………in May 1992……I was in BC,a chance for new environment to begin my life…unknown challenges,openings and opportunities …..ahead to face!

 

Prior to my moving to this beautiful new land,Canada……I was plagued by fear,fear of the unknown,fear of my own insecurities,fear of leaving all those who are close and dear to me, my family, my friends,fear of leaving familiar surroundings,life and living,fear of adapting to a new climate and way of life….fear of not being to enjoy my favourite Asian foods….fear,fear,fear of almost everything…..and of course the fear of failure……………….I had to make a decision….do I drop the whole idea and plan to move or take up the challenge to move and start anew.It was heavy on my mind and heart!I was crying out for help to make a decision.

 

One very early in the morning before dawn,while still dark……I took a walk to the beach close to where I lived……I sat on the sand while the sun was coming up…..the sea was so still and everything seemed so quiet,I was in reflective contemplation of my decision to move…….I felt so loved,so blessed and with a stick I picked up I wrote so boldly and hugely on the sand……the word…”GOD”and beamed with joy and walked back home.That very night,I had a significant dream pertaining to my decision………..in that dream,I remember……..I had to make a decision,there were 2 doors and I was to open the right one,if I opened the wrong door,I would be blown into bits…….so in my dream,I felt so scared too and chose to open the door on the right with feelings of trepidations,felt even while in my dream……as I opened the door….it felt good and relieving and I went thru……I got up and immediately I knew I had to move to Canada without a doubt….and here I am in Canada still today 25 years later…after so much excitements,adventures and life changing challenges….the door opens and we walk in and experience each realm ……there is no failure or success……its all about the experiences,lessons to learn and teach and grow from and to be of help!

 

We all have stories to share,we all face challenges,we can choose to allow challenges to disable us trapped in our fears or we can choose to transcend all sufferings and be of help to others who might be quietly or openly seeking for affirmations and encouragements on each our life journey…..

 

Fear of the unknown is a genuine fear….when we dare to face it….we overcome fear itself,we experience courage and find it within ourselves,no one can give it to us………………………..

 

The Queen’s bed

The queen’s bed

…….there is a story of a servant girl in ancient India who cleaned the queen’s room…one day she wanted to feel what it was like to lie on the queen’s bed which looked very comfortable and grand……….so she climbed onto the bed and fell asleep.The queen came into the room to find the girl asleep on her royal bed………she was furious!”how dare this servant girl sleep on my bed!”.The queen took the girl’s broom and started beating her…….at first the maid cried and screamed in pain from the blows………after a few beatings,the girl started to laugh…the queen stopped beating and was puzzled….she asked the girl why was she laughing instead of crying…..the maid answered……..”I only slept in your bed for a few minutes and I got several blows,I laughed because I thought how many blows you must have suffered sleeping on this bed for years!”………….

The ‘blows/beatings’we all suffer in life are the same for everyone….the rich and poor,the ugly and beautiful,the clever and ignorant,the good and bad..etc.Whether we sleep on a fancy expensive mattress or a cheap simple mattress,whether we enjoy the extravagance of riches or the lack in poverty,no one escapes the inner states of suffering….worries, anxiety,envy,torments,fears,guilts,shames,desires and attachments.When we can have a true understanding of our inner self and strive to see the beauteous Within ourselves….there can be no envy or hatred or anger or judging or misunderstanding of another…when we know ourselves,we know the other.True happiness comes from the wisdom of knowing the Self!

 

Blockades on the path to peace of mind and heart!

Blockades on the path to peace of mind and heart

 

“peace comes from within,do not seek it without”

~~~~ Buddha ~~~

 

 

The uncontrolled mind/ego

 

Unless the mind becomes still and fully absorbed in the Present moment in meditation,it will remain in chaos, disturbed and in the agony of wandering,unattended and defiled.It cannot focus and will be unclear and languid.There will be no clarity of vivid understandings and deeper insights of the truth of the nature of life.The realizations of unconditional Love and wisdom will be difficult to pierce into,it will remain only on the outer periphery waiting continuously for stillness of mind to commence.

 

When the mind lacks attentiveness and stillness, it runs ‘wild’,there is no attention span,there is no discipline….it goes berserk, it gets out of control with thoughts,thoughts,thoughts….no presence! The mind in continuous mode of chatterings and wasteful dispersal of thoughts will be become tired and drained,the body soon becomes lethargic and lacks enthusiasm…..depression/joylessness(undetected) set in.So for some people they start building up body vitality by way of exercises and other physical prowess………this is only a temporary regiment to keep the mind in control,for others,the looking for temporary reliefs in external stimuli…………enjoyments, amusements,activities,work and staying busy,busy,busy(this is where addictive behaviours tend to develop)…………when we are constantly keeping ourselves occupied,we might find we tend to be easily agitated,frustrated,exhausted,and a feeling of ‘worn-out’and meaninglessness ensue…then the cycle repeats in a selfish adaptation of needing attention for ourselves incessantly…………………thus we cannot be there,present,we can become unhappy doing anything for ourselves and others!

 

Have we taken any notice that while we can be in the company of someone or at a party enjoying ourselves,the mind is wandering, thoughts run to thinking about work tomorow,what to wear to work,what to bring for lunch to work,etc.etc.Then while we are work, the mind seems to be replaying pictures/sensations of the previous night rendezvous with our partner or the unfinished angst of an ‘ugly quarell we had with someone.Even while we might appear to be praying, in church/temple/mosque,or at home, do we find our minds running loosely,thinking of what to cook, to eat,the children’s needs,my hair is in need of a haircut etc.etc…………………..the influence of the world of multitasking,being efficient and more productive,puts more stressors on our already chaotic mind state……..

 

And if we bother to become further aware of the mind and its erratic ways, we find it will always swing back and forth between past activities(hurts,regrets, anger,disappointments,happy times,etc.etc.)to future endeavours(in need of another home,bigger car,latest techno gadget,etc.etc.)

……..the mind does not seem to stay present where we are,who we are with or whatever situation we are in,although,we may seem that we are doing so……………….The mind tends to get stucked in stories of past guilts and fears and shames and regrets and illusory happiness and then gets caught in anxiety and worries of future desires, fantasies/dreams and undertakings.

 

The mind can be the agitator as well as the platform for peace……….which will we allow it to be?Notice how the mind can be triggered to agitation,eg.when we see a zit/pimple on our face….what is our reaction?……we might hate the way we feel about ourselves at that time and might also throw a tantrum with something so trivial as seeing a pimple on our face…….how more ‘dangerous’ the mind becomes when we don’t get what we want in a more demanding or serious situation of life?

 

So to add fuel and more chaos to the already distracted mind,the ego-centered entity comes into play to annoy our lives further……the ego is that small,lower self( that unawakened/unaware consciousness within) with a limited,conditioned mind-set based on fear.It is that part of us that is stubborn,constantly putting up a barrier,defensive and retaliative.It might act boisterously to cover up its fear mode or act ‘demurely’to show goodness(the pretender).It is that part of us that is the attention seeker,a part that is needy,wanting to be right and recognised,to be made important…. in truth it is that insecure part of us that wants to be in control.It is that selfish persona that is all about the ‘I’,’me’,and ‘mine’………..we do things not for a higher selfless purpose but out of conditions and false motivations to feed our selfish needs and behaviours……….we tend to identify with what we think(the chatterings of the mind).For example,look at how we react when someone turns us down to go have fun,go for a drink or travel,etc.etc. see how quick we get upset,how we judge without any clue of understanding/respect for another and think that person ‘useless’ and unfriendly leading to an unnecessary falling-out of a relationship.

 

There is a saying…..’starve the ego and feed the soul!’……..in other words,nourish the being with goodness and loving, kind intentions, deeds and speech.See how it feels when we do something benevolent without the need of approval or needing anything back!Allow kind actions to soften and open the heart………………..

 

A Zen story

 

A student went to visit his zen master for spiritual teachings.While there,the student kept questioning and asking the master for answers,the master quietly served the student with tea and kept pouring the tea in the student’s cup until it overflowed………the student yelled for the master to stop pouring as it was overflowing.The master replied…..”how can I teach you unless you first empty your cup”…………………….(in other words to be humble and willing to make the effort to be taught)

 

If we don’t admit mistakes and in need of help,how will we learn to find healing and learn the truth and how can the heart be open to love unconditionally?

 

In order for the mind to be stilled we have to acknowledge and be aware of our disturbed mind and how it is creating unhappiness and unease in our lives(we might be in denial and think that we are absolutely happy in our lives).We can learn mindfulness practice of watching our thoughts,actions,speech and feelings.The breath is another tool to help keep the mind in harmony…………………….to be in the Now………..