Tribute to the loving man I called Father

In memory of the love my father left behind before leaving this world…………………………

A few months before his death,(June 11th,cannot remember the year, probably more than 30 years ago)I believe my father had a near death experience…….he was found unresponsive by my mother in bed….she panicked and woke up the whole household quite late into the night and called me( I lived not far away)so I ran all the way………when I arrived he came round,he seemed in a daze.I remember he said to us children…..”why are you all here around the bed,go back to sleep,its late!”.He went back to sleep and I went home thinking he was okay.Apparently,the next day, my father told my mother that he saw himself in a beautiful garden filled with bright light and that he had seen his parents and loved ones who had passed long before………………

 

Secretly I liked my father’s story,I did not disbelief him for I knew he wouldnt know how to make up stories like that and besides he used to yell at us children if he thought we were telling lies…..he constantly reminded us not to tell lies…the one thing he detested very strongly!

 

After that late night incident, my father seemed to be more subdued in his demeanor,almost like his personality changed overnight ….he became quieter,softer,reserved almost contemplative and he could be seen holding and reading a prayer book most of the time.

 

It seems that sides had been switched,my mother used to be the quiet one and my father was the ‘yeller’,always jumpy, concerned ,worried,scolding and trying to keep us children in order,yet I loved his good side of kindness,simplicity,prayerfulness and friendliness to all who came to the home.

 

But it appeared that mother now became the one to ‘jump’ and nagged at us children after father turned quiet…….one particular story to relate about the change in my father is………

The story of us two older rascals,my sister Nina, myself and my late ex husband Frank….we enjoyed very much to take short trips away to Tioman Island in Malaysia for snorkelling,sunbathing/swimming,fishing and hiking adventures.One time while we were having a snorkelling fiesta,all three of us almost drowned due to a strong current that came up suddenly,Frank and I managed to swim back to the boat but Nina could still be seen struggling for her life……a lady from the boat threw a buoy to her and jumped in to the water to rescue her….we came home and told each other that we better not tell daddy about this near drowning mishap….all too soon the truth came out……we were surprised to see that it was my mother who went raving mad about the near drowning incident and my father was cool and calm and he told my mother….”as long as they came back safe and sound,thats all that matters”……..wow! we saw the big change in my father,something spiritually mysterious happened to him that night for sure!

 

Another lovely thing I vividly remembered of my father before he was taken to the hospital ICU for congestive heart failure after the ‘near-death’ experience months before was that he began asking for forgiveness from almost everyone who came into his contact,family, friends,acquiantances ,practically anyone he met…….it was a very humbling gesture to witness from my perspective now,but at that time,I didnt see it as a time for him to be humble but saw it as some sort of foolishness on his part..…

 

I see it now as he must have known his time was ending and needed to make peace with everyone.As I write this,I can truly see his good and charitable heart and the legacy he left for us to learn from!

 

I remember while he was in hospital…..I would visit him,sit beside him quietly and we both would not say a word……the silence spoke of my quiet love for him and I believed he knew it!

 

Not long after his hospital discharge, he passed away very suddenly and very peacefully on my mother;s shoulder while preparing food for my brothers before their going to school.
He was very young…..62years,only one year older than me now.

 

Strangely,my father had a premonition that he was going leave us ….as the night before his death,he went round the dining table while we the family were having dinner….he went to each one,touched us on the shoulder and told us to take care of ourselves…to my mother he said to her “I will take care of you”…to which I do believe, my mother was well taken care of after his passing.To my sister in law,Coco,he asked for a dance, he liked to show off his skills at tap dancing.

 

That night he left us with a caring reminder of himself….. the last dinner I had with my father……….

 

I say thank you daddy for the love you left us, a silent love that was well meant .If there was one thing I would do with you if you were alive today will be to sit and say the rosary with you! I know you will definitely love that very much!

 

My father never did see his grandchildren or great-granchildren but knowing his tender heart he would have showered them all with love and spoilt them rotten!
He was a loving man!

 

 

Let Love lead the way!

Every moment of our lives, we can do something beautiful……especially when we feel alone, when we feel down,when we feel restless,we can simply look within ourselves and find one small positive attribute of kindness to give away…….from within …..a smile, a word, a spontaneous act, a small donation to a charity,a walk in nature to see the birds, to hear the leaves rustling and feel that we are blessed.When we kiss our child, our grandchild, when we can embrace ourselves in tenderness to know that we can feel and relate to the suffering of others….when we can caress our pets and know that we can care …….when we can listen to a spiritual word of comfort and know that there are teachers of truth who are available on the internet, thru books…we can open up ourselves to knowledge and ways to find healing for ourselves in courses and therapies…..so we are not alone to deal with our pains and inner difficulties………there is always a friend somewhere to help guide us and be with us …if only we ask, we seek and we knock,perhaps on heaven’s door ……….we also can be humble and grateful for the love we already are Within……….we can always open to love and be loved when we are not afraid to allow love lead the way……….

The Unknown Realm

“we do not have a fear of the unknown,what we fear is giving up the known”

~~~~ Anthony de Mello~~~( Jesuit priest,psychotherapist,spiritual teacher and writer)

 

What is this unknown that we as humans have a tendency to fear?

 

We seem to go on in life thinking that we are fearless, we carry out our duties and respsonsibilities with brazenness,we are doing or think we have done the best we can in our daily living,eg.we think we made through a divorce or two,took on a few heartaches,survived cancer or other health ailments/treatments for ourselves or loved ones,we have a job,we work hard,we might have lost a job we liked,we are successful, invested our monies in the bank,we take care of our family’s present and future welfare,we dared secure ourselves a property, maybe two,enjoyed ourselves partying,travelling and socialising,we maybe living in a ‘happy’/’unhappy’ family situation,coped with difficult family dysfunctionalities and faced many life changing challenges,weathered a few storms,followed through our religious practices and beliefs or even disbeliefs……..etc.etc………………

And we learn to go on simply pursuing the same traits over and over,thinking thats all in life we do or 21616039_10154759316685877_1097151553623287061_ndid and thats good enough and we go on as usual trying to be the same,trying to enjoy and cling onto the same feelings,sensations, escapades and coping mechanisms to survive day to day living.While all of the above are living conditions that we as human beings go through and face on a what seemingly ‘normal’ circumstance…..yes, life can become unsatisfactory and feel meaningless after a short/long while……………..

 

Then sometime,sooner or later we find that life situations are changing or had changed, we suddenly feel like we’ve been hit by a truck,so hard hit,we say to ourselves, we don’t feel the same anymore and the things and people don’t seem the same anymore.We find that we are losing friends,loved ones,people whom we thought were good to us are behaving adversely,we suddenly feel like they don’t like us or we don’t like them,our children leave the home,we no longer can tolerate doing the same things we used to enjoy before.

 

It feels like we are dying?And yes in truth this is a real ‘dying’ sensation within,no more vitality in life,a big void and empty feeling within…..some may resort to suicidal ideation and plans because this feeling of death is poignantly overwhelming!Depression sets in……..drained of energy to function,no motivation to deal or face day to day activities,life becomes moody,volatile and irritable…no matter how much people try to help and be of cheer…there is an ache deep within that cannot seem to be appeased.The call for self attention is dismissed……we keep looking externally for answers,happiness and temporary ephemeral ‘comforts’.

 

What is this dying feeling about? Deep down in our core….we know we need a change but yet have no idea how to change or grow from this ‘deathly’feeling.In truth,we are being called to die to the ego(falseness,past conditions)….the still small voice within is beckoning,the voice of Truth is being stifled and wants to be heard and Love wants to come forth to be nurtured and flourish and utilised and lived openly to its full capacity.The frozen heart wants to be thawed and become warm and beat alive again!But will we let the ice thaw and allow the heart to love fully?When the heart is so frozen,its only natural we feel a death-like sensation,an unable to live feeling!

 

Very often we can get carried away with fear,in the knowing that we need to do something to open up a space in order to be filled with better positive things but that fear freezes us…the fear of change, of letting go of the ‘old’way of living,of dying to stale and unhealthy habitual patterns,of toxic people,of opening new doors to a healthier lifestyle and environment.It feels frightening like jumping into a raging river and swimming against the strong current………..we fear challenges and we fear we don’t have the energy to handle new situations,we fear of the ‘what ifs’,fear of failures and of being ridiculed…..so we continue living in the ‘old skin’…it feels ‘safer’and familiar,although we don’t like it anymore!

 

Yet, we keep coping and struggling and battling our own soul sickness………….Some can go on all their lives pretending and playing martyr and biting their tongues,while others will go on making others lives miserable together with their own.And yet there will be others who will be wise and courageous to acknowledge their dissatisfactions and venture out into the unknown to seek help, change and spiritual growth.

 

We have known all of our lives to run away,to hide from,to escape when things go wrong or when we cannot deal with physical,emotional and life changing dilemmas.So when it becomes difficult we have learned expertly to bury our feelings,numb the mind/emotions,yes we have heard and been told to not cry,to not show our feelings,to get on with life(move on)…so all our buried energies are embedded within us,trapped like a caged animal! We therefore unconsciously learned to put a shield around our hearts,we become colder and colder as the ‘ice’ thickens. We think that by numbing the heart its a way to not feel hurt or be made unhappy or see the guilts and past shames and mistakes?

 

We are so habituated by the known….things we are familiar living with and doing all our lives…..we don’t want to know anything beyond that familiarity and mindset patterns……..we therefore cannot see our own full potential human capacity to live with the open compassionate heart unafraid to love and face any kind of unknown possibilities that might lead to full awakening to self realization and enlightenment…therefore peace and joy to self and others…………..

 

So what is this voice that calls…where does it call from…who is it calling to?Can we hear this voice?

This voice is our innate true original being,the truth that sits within,the pure conscience and consciousness that has not been marred by external distractions and worldly seductions/ disturbances.It is the unfragmented self,untouched by the duality of mind and heart conditions…in other words it is the One Universal Consciousness also called The Soul force, God, Atman,Brahman,Allah,Jehovah,Love and various other names according to religious traditions.

 

It is the voice of Love that calls us to come home Within ourselves,journey inside ourselves,to come taste and experience its wondrous everlasting beauty and brilliance that cannot be compared to the fleeting pleasures of the world….to be not afraid…it is only love, the gentle,tender,commpassionate,understanding and benevolent energies that is inherently waiting for us to utilise and open up to its full potential…..so it already knows us….there is nothing to be afraid of that unknown door within ourselves……………….

 

How do we access that door and listen closely to the call?

 

We come to a quiet,when we can learn to take courage and effort to rest our minds, our bodies and senses.When we can focus on the breath and be aware of our thoughts,our actions, our speech,our feelings/emotions and our intentions……..are they all well meaning for goodness and the betterment of ourselves and others or do we carry resentments,ill-wills, anger and selfishness,greed,lust and subtle hatred for self and others……we don’t need to judge ourselves and think anything bad of ourselves(there is Love in-built already within us,how can we be terrible)….but we can make it better if we strive to change the negative affictive mental,emotional,spiritual and physical outlook into positive attitudes and self growth….we can only nurture and nourish ourselves so Love can flourish!

 

Negative affictions are toxic and wasteful and heavy and burdensome on the psyche,why are we ever so ‘happy’ to hold onto to them?

 

How can Love be the voice we are frightened of…it calls sweetly…yet we resist, we defend,we fight against and deny….yet contradictory,we say we love?

 

How can we learn to be unafraid to enter the unknown door?

 

We can open the door to benevolence,we can make a move to step out of our mundane ordinary lives and living and be attentive to the happenings within and without ourselves,we can do something extra-ordinary for a friend, a stranger,a loved one perhaps even an ‘enemy’and do something ‘radical’ to make them happy for the sake of happiness and not for a selfish motive.

We can open the door of courage to make amends,we can make a call to someone we have been estranged for a long time and say sorry or to forgive or to simply say and see how they are doing.

 

We can visit the sick, donate to the poor, do some charitable act,we open the door of kindness.

 

When we have the tendency to jealousy and pride, we can open the door to being humble and receptive to being friendly and creating healthy friendships.

 

We can open the door to changes by doing something we were hesitant doing,we could join a spiritual group for meditation and prayer to enrich our inner life.We can also take interests and be open to listening to talks and reading books which we never thought we could/would understand, we could also stay open and versatile to others’ religious teachings.

 

When we have the tendency to anger and hatred,we could open the door to being understanding and respectful of life and to feel compassionate tenderness towards self and others.

When we have fears of doing things on our own and dependent on others for help,we could venture out on our own reach out to others and give ourselves access to new ideas and creativity of the heart.

 

In other words, we can open any door that we have always had an inclination to be afraid of….we can give ourselves a chance to act with courage and not be afraid of failures,or taking less or losing or what others might think/feel/do.Thus it helps us jump hurdles and blockages along the path of life and evolve positively forward to healthier lifestyles and spiritual growth.We can learn to simplify our lives in order to find peace and contentment in our daily lives.

 

Opening the door of the unknown helps us overcome our fears and insecurities and pushes us into another step to test, acknowledge and to witness our potential inner strength,fortitude,forbearance,courage and positive capabilities.Of course there is a difference in opening the door to testing ourselves foolishly in childish,reckless and dangerous activities….this is only what we call tempting fate!

I remember years and years ago when I was involved in a car accident I was driving involving family and friends being not too seriously injured….yes initially, I was afraid to be in the driver’s seat…but was told that in order to overcome the fear…I had to hold the wheel and drive again…which I did and regained self confidence.

 

We need to keep opening unknown doors in order to see, listen and walk into ourselves to find our true potential so that we can make a positive difference in this human life to be a living testimony to benefit ourselves and others….to be ambassadors of Peace and Love!

 

All it takes is one small candle to light up a darkened room! Love is the lighted candle we take into the dark unknown room…………..then the unknown will become the known…..fear will leave!

 

 

Prayer along the Path of Life

I said a prayer………………..

May your mind be calm and peaceful

May you always be safe and guided to safety in your human travels

May your path be protected

May you be healed from all affictions

May you find joy and contentment in daily life.

 

Praying is such a simple charity we can offer to ourselves and others……

 

When we are about to sit or undertake an exam…..we might say a prayer asking to pass the test,but if we have not made any effort to prepare and study for that endeavour,how are we to pass the test?….perhaps we might!

There is a saying….’be careful what you pray for,it might come true!”…..why is this said…..can we undertake the commitment and responsibilities of change and making way for the new and keeping our word and integrity to living a renewed life after receiving the favours we prayed for? Eg……in desperation,we pray,ask and promise to change our unhealthy ways if our loved one recovered from an illness……..and if they did recover,will we keep the promise to change?

 

Likewise the Buddha said…..in order to cross a river,we have to find the wood to build a raft first………he also said, once we have crossed the river……we discard the raft,otherwise we would be carrying unnecessary burden dragging the raft along the way!So too is prayer like a raft to help us cross each river, lake and sea on our human journey.

 

To say a prayer is not reserved for people with any traditional religious background, neither do we need to go to a church,temple or mosque to pray.We do not have to be religious or spiritually inclined to pray.The truth is that we all as sentient beings at some point or on a daily basis in our lives do pray,and do pray in earnest.

 

We usually pray when we need something,some boons,when we go thru a difficult time,when we see loved ones struggling with challenges,when we are plagued by obsessions of a disturbed mind,we do pray also for others we do not know who we witness going thru natural disasters of sorts thru the media or by word of mouth.We do hear of people asking for prayers and we do seem to respond.We might even see on the media of the President of a country or a high profile statesman asking for a few minutes of silent prayer for victims of violence and terrorism and natural disasters.So yes,prayer is very much the thing people do in times of crisis.

But do we only pray in times of challenges and difficulties and depressing moments?

 

When we hear of someone’s plight or distress(it could be someone we may not like or even a stranger),we notice,an immediate reaction in our thoughts,in our being and a twinge in our hearts……we find ourselves silently responding with a thoughtful wish for the afflicted person/people to be well.That spontaneous twinge of concern might be a feeling of sadness or a fear,a fear of our own perhaps,that that distress could also be ours in reality?

 

But why do we only seem to go in prayer in times of need and not in happy/joyous moments?Because it seems that prayer is likened to a lighted candle to only help brighten a dark room so as to help us see where we are trudging along…so while we are in elevated mood….prayer doesn’t seem to be necessary or be a given priority.

 

Even when things in life seem to be smooth sailing, we need the constant practise of prayer to keep us focused and aware without being side-tracked and distracted so that we don’t be caught off guard when things take an unpleasant turn around and we loose our balance and fall.

 

Does prayer really work,does it help create miracles/changes…….?

When we pray,it is better to not ask for any favours,or to expect that our prayers be answered but rather pray for the strength and courage to face any given circumstances and to be grateful for whatever outcome…….to accept it to be the greatest good for all to learn,grow and evolve.Yes, when we pray the only miracle we would expect to witness is to see ourselves making positive and healthy changes within and without.

 

When we have offered a prayer intention, we have sent it out to the Universe(God,Higher Power,Allah,Jehovah,etc.)and we learn patience, trust and let it be………..

 

To some people to use the word prayer/ praying might be something shameful or unknown for them to do,for others they feel it doesnt work and totally disbelief in its efficacy.We might often hear people saying these phrases……”I prayed so hard but yet my loved one passed away of…..”…….”I prayed so hard but still lost my job”……..”I prayed and prayed for my child to get out of drugs but he died of an overdose”…..and we will hear more of people who have attested to praying but have not had their prayers answered!And therefore we pray to find strength to accept all circumstances that we don’t and cannot have the power to be in control of……..

 

On the other hand,there are occassions where people have testified that their prayers were answered and it seems like a miracle had happened! But do we continue in sincere devotion to praying or remember to give thanks and strive to make our lives a miracle itself to be a blessing to self and others,or do we very quickly forget the gift and enthusiasm of that miracle and turn cold again and go back to our reckless unwholesome ways?

 

What is prayer/praying about?Prayer is a mental and heartfelt comunication we make either saying out loud or in quietutde.It is a willingness to surrender,to learn to trust,to have faith and be open to whatever may be! It is usually a wish,a good and kindly intention asking for help,comfort and to open the path for hope for ourselves or for others.Prayer is also thought of as a pleading or an intercession from an external Divine source…so that it helps us focus and become reverent and respectful with sublime intentions………

 

How do we pray?…………….yes,we often pray in a quiet manner privately by ourselves forming our own words mentally/heartfully,some may pray in unison with a prayer group(various religious traditons) in order to be of support to each other and find peaceful connections,some pray by means of a text from a religious prayer book or leaflets,some chant mantras and others by using prayer beads and rosaries.Whatever and however we pray,our prayers could be so simple,altruistic and easy.

 

A Prayer when said simply,short and humbly,such as ‘help me’,’give me strength and courage to go through this painful time’,’thank you’,’help me to face the truth’,guide me’,’help so and so’,’may I be safe,may so and so be safe’,’may I find peace’etc….when a prayer is said and repeated like a mantra and easily…it can become a positive affirmation to help oneself gain presence,courage,relief,calmness,clarity and insight to face all difficult events.It helps transform the negative energies into positive ones.

Therefore it is said that a child’s prayer is powerful….due to its purity, simple and unadulterated supplication!

 

In my own example of praying very simply……… When I travelled to the Holyland,Middle-east beginning of the year 1998……I carried my heavily burdened suffering life together with my tormented,wandering/restless mind with me……….in the course of my visiting all those sacred/holy sites,all that could come up in my mind and heart were the 2 words…”help me!”………….I knew I was asking and pleading sincerely.That very end of the same year, I underwent an intense spiritual awakening and transformation!

 

When we sincerely pray for someone else, we are truly praying and blessing ourselves….for the good intentions extended has a boomerang effect to give us strength and courage to witness our benevolence,goodness and the sacredness of all beings.In that praying intention,we have the chance to cultivate compassion and tenderness for ourselves and in return back to others.

 

All form of prayer is truly an invocation,invitation and remembrance to seek the shelter and protection from pain, suffering and also to give thanks…..an opportunity to help remind ourselves to open the heart to seek sincere help and be humble to see oneself in the throes of needing assistance and guidance for direction along the path of our lives.

 

Just as the body needs food and liquids for energy to function in daily life,the inner being(the soul) also need spiritual food for comfort,nurturing,cultivating compassion and loving kindness.With simply saying a prayer we can find some form of relief and alleviation for a broken,painful,grieving and hurting soul.

In his memoir,Eric Clapton: The Autobiography, the musician writes about a rock-bottom moment he had in rehab in 1987:

“I was in complete despair,” wrote Clapton. “In the privacy of my room, I begged for help. I had no notion who I thought I was talking to, I just knew that I had come to the end of my tether . . .  and, getting down on my knees, I surrendered. Within a few days I realized that . . . I had found a place to turn to, a place I’d always known was there but never really wanted, or needed, to believe in. From that day until this, I have never failed to pray in the morning, on my knees, asking for help, and at night, to express gratitude for my life and, most of all, for my sobriety”

There have been scientific research done to prove the efficacy of prayer usually done in a medical setting and there have been positive outcome showing that praying does help with the healing process of sick people rather than those left without any prayerful concern.

Yes, in truth we all have the power to pray,irrespective of having any one particular religious belief,agnostic or atheist,the illiterate or the rich and famous,we all have at one point or other have asked quietly within ourselves for help and guidance, we know our vulnerabilities,weaknesses, uncertainties and limitations.We need the power of prayer to keep our hearts and minds open for help,hope, relief and comfort,not only for ourselves but to also connect us to the hearts and minds of others on this journey through Life.

pra

 

Sharing the human journey

I love you for who you are……..

because who you are is also who I Am…..

When you suffer…..I suffer too,because I recognise my own suffering and weaknesses so I feel compassion and relate to your discomforts and un-ease………

 

When you are happy….I rejoice,because the environment Is joyful and light-hearted and I too have experienced and know what’s its like to feel happiness.

When we behave kindly,joyfully and respectfully,the atmosphere around is blessed,people feel at ease and unburdened…..adversely,people can become jealous and malicious,because they are suffering and don’t like to see or believe in happiness,thus they unconsciously and deliberately sabotage others’happiness and goodness…because they are suffering,they want others to suffer too and the cycle goes on…..hurting begets more hurting……unhappiness creates more unhappiness…………….hatred and anger agitate more hatred and anger……..the wheel cannot seem to stop!

 

When the world suffers in wars,nuclear threats,natural catastrophes,materialism and greed,unjust control of power,bullying/terrorism,abuse and cruelty of sorts to humans,animals and nature,famine/poverty and together with each our own personal unrest at home,with friendships,society,at work,educational places,religious organisations etc………..we are all affected to some degree.

 

We might not realise it but when we look deeply within ourselves we react disturbingly to suffering around.We react through our thoughts/intentions……….we may resent someone(it could be someone we say we care for) and unreasonably get mad,blame,taunt and wish ill-will upon them simply at the way they look,they dress,they laugh,they walk,even when they are sick etc.etc………….

 

We may react adversely to suffering through our words,speech and voice……sometimes we might find ourselves being agitated for no apparent reason,we might pick on someone close and say something harsh,hurtful,sarcastic,offensive,rough,obnoxious and unreasonable without understanding and thinking through.We not only hurt another but resist to soften up to sincere apologies and making amends even after realising the wrongdoing.

 

Another way we react to suffering is through our action or inaction……..we can become bullies,needy and needing to control without even becoming aware of what we are doing to others or even to ourselves.We allow anger and aggression to overcome us,anger and aggression doesnt necessarily have to be physically violent but a subtle violence of witholding care and concern for another and self by way of not wanting to nourish the body,mind and spirit,not wanting to seek help eventhough,life is being more and more miserable and unhappy and depressive.We run away into a world of delusion by way of addictions….anything done obssesively without any care for the well-being of self and others……drugs,alcohol, sexual pleasures,entertainment,fun,work,food,etc.etc….we retreat into a selfish realm of self hatred,hardness and meanness…………

 

We react to suffering through our feelings and emotions…….feeling drained and helpless,life is meaningless,sadness,worst still,we overcome ourselves with self hatred and anger at the suffering we see and hear and than unconsciously we punish ourselves by putting ourselves down,not feeling good about ourselves,treating ourselves and others badly sometimes rudely and inconsiderately for all the guilts and shame and fears we face…and thus we need an outlet……we need to feel good superficially and temporarily……..we need to pretend and generate lies that we are happy,we want others to think that we are busy enjoying life,we are afraid to ask even if we don’t have any idea about the truth,we don’t want to look foolish,we need to be seen as clever.We hide our vulnerabilities and true essence of goodness/kindness and generosity to avoid being taken advantage of.On the other hand,our physical demeanor might appear hardened and tough and rigid/cold,aggressive to appear of being in control/or having control of our lives and to give a feeling that no-one can ‘play the fool’with us.

 

 

We have a heart,we can feel,we can care…..we have a physical heart like everyone which can be afflicted with various medical ailments…..whether with a healthy or unhealthy heart condition,it will stop some day and we will inevitably face death!

 

We have a mind,we can think and reason,we are able to recognise and be cognizant..……. there are millions who are afflicted with mental illnesses…we all might relate to one in particular …..the wandering/restless mind!

 

We have a body,we have sensations,we have some form of physical strength and vitality……………there might be a time when the body gives way to bad health,cancers,diseases of bones and skin,etc…..one in particular,we all share is aging!Some may want to slow the aging process of way of all kinds of chemicals,drugs, surgical implants and operations,but can they?

 

We each have a soul,a sacred space for goodness and a Higher purpose…………..innately within each human is the potential for awakening to the truth of ourselves and enlightenment.Every sentient being has the inherent capacity to unfold the Highest Good within themselves for the benefit of oneself and the whole of humanity…….

 

But we all think we are different from each other …..we may be different in our skin color,our culture,our climate,our gender,our status in family/society,our religious/educational beliefs,our personal,physical,mental and emotional outlook.

In truth….we suffer the same mental/emotional anguish and torments,fearfulness,worries/anxieties,resentments,bitterness,upheavels,depression and lethargy,anger/frustrations,jealousies,selfishness,/greed,need for control/attention, lust and covetousness,excitements and mood swings,unhappiness,addictive behaviours……..underneath all these afflictions….we as sentient beings are craving for love and happiness……..

 

 

What is the root of happiness….it is in the dissolution of ignorance and un-necessary suffering.

 

 

When we become dependent upon external factors for happiness and love,when we are expecting others and various excitements to fulfill our selfish needs and dissatisfactions,we will constantly be going through the wheel of samsara(suffering).But when we strive to see who we truly are within,we witness the truth of our existence and there find our divine essence of love,peace and happiness.

 

Strangely enough,we say we want happiness and love,but yet we do not allow ourselves the courage to change to be creators of love and happiness.We wallow in self doubts and put limitations on ourselves to go beyond our mundane everyday duties and activities.We tend to be judgemental and critical of our own capabilities to do something phenomenal such as opening our hearts to its full potential! And we go about our lives finding faults with everything and everyone else and with ourselves too.What have we got to be afraid of in seeing our own true nature….don’t we want to know who we truly are?What are we doing to make for ourselves and others a happy,peaceful and loving atmosphere?

 

All of us on this human journey are here to be of help and support for each other,to be teachers and students,to learn and to teach till we awaken to our true nature.In life and various living situations,we have been gifted with all kinds of people…….. strangers,people we love, people we don’t care for, people we avoid,people we are inevitably connected to,people who pass us by only once,people who make trouble for us,people, we have a tendency to resent and even hate,people who make us happy and comforting,these are our true teachers on this journey……….we have to face each one and learn from them…we too in return are teaching life lessons back to each one of them.We each are given a chance to be learning and teaching patience,forgiveness,to be generous,kind, humble,courageous,tolerant,trusting,accepting,faithful,compassionate,loving,understanding, respectful,simple and helpful until the heart opens its full capacity to Love without expecting any gains in return…in other words until it becomes unconditional!

 

In truth we cannot change anyone or any traumatic situation around the world,we have only our own self to change first.As the saying goes…..’we cannot change the course and direction of the wind but we can adjust the sails accordingly’,for if we try to go against the wind,the boat will surely capsize!

 

 

No good or positive actions in words, thoughts/intentions,emotions and deeds will be ever be wasted…..the seeds have been planted,we don’t go digging up to see if its taking root or wilting away……..everyone and everything will evolve accordingly to ‘karma’….as the Buddha and Jesus said,we reap what we sow. If we want happiness and peace and love,we have to be the happiness, peace and love!

 

We can begin to sow and cultivate good seeds by starting within ourselves,by taking responsibility to be aware of how we go about our lives and how we interact with others,we can nurture goodness by way of changes to ourselves to all that we do not deem caring and beneficial to ourselves and others…..we have to start with ourselves for no one will come and give us happiness,peace or love…..and even if they did try to,we sabotage its potency with the false perception of our human frailties,unworthiness and unwholesomeness…………we can always make a conscious effort for changes and growth to help ourselves and humanity!

 

We are sharing this journey with others,what is the use of complaining and making life on earth more difficult and harder and tedious and energy draining for all but rather instead use our human potential for positive transformation….we have the breath,the mind and heart to work with to restore harmony within ourselves and towards human life and living……………….the ultimate truth is that we will leave everything we have,we love and possess behind,why not make this human journey a beautiful loving commitment to live by while we walk on this earth……..we can start with our family, our friends,our society, at our workplace,places of fellowship,nature and while we are having fun and pleasantries….we can be aware to not hurt and cause more suffering to ourselves and others!

 

Unnecessary suffering is an option we can consciously choose to do away with,love, happiness and wisdom are inherent within each human being,we can and need to uncover ……enjoy and share them unceasingly………………..

 

Resurrection of the Self!

After the death of the ego-centered self,there comes an arising……

A new consciousness,an awakened state of heightened awareness.The state of waking up 1--sunrise-with-clouds-nattapon-wongweanto the absolute truth.

 

In this state there is the feeling of losing everything,being nothing,being no-one,yet it feels at the same time like having everything and being everything…..the Oneness and totality of existence is experienced.The body,mind and soul have integrated to become One…..there is no fragmentation of thinking and feeling,the mind has been quelled and the heart has regained its purified status and capability of loving without conditions and limitations….it has become Infinite,Eternal…..an end to reincarnation!

 

This is the meditation of Self awakening………..to be reborn….as Jesus says..”unless anyone be born again,he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven”.Here Jesus talks about being born in the Spirit…..in today’s version,its about transformation of the self,a new growth,a shift of consciousness ,a renewed life,death to the old habituated ways of life/living and deluded perceptions.Death to the old-self has occured!

In the dying process,it has emptied and purified itself of all afflictive states……its innate states of love and wisdom are restored!

 

Like a child being born into the light after being in darkness in its mother’s womb for all those months………..

 

Contemplate a child at play….the purity of heart at the way it runs and plays carefree and unburdened,the innocence of the child as it looks at everything in awe and wonder,it laughs and giggles when it sees a butterfly flitting by…it is not afraid to simply be,to trust,to know that it is being taken care of and guarded.It carries no worries or anxieties over what to eat or where to sleep……….

 

So too is the new Self,is child-like(trusting) and pure of heart(sincere) in all endeavours.Like a snake that has undergone the painful process of shedding its old worn out skin,it is triumphant to show the new one.

 

After its rebirth,in stillness the new Self will only live in the Present…it has died to the past and knows that the future is unpredictable,uncertain and unknown……..everything is impermanent……its status is in the constant Now!

 

The new Self does not partake in the influences and chaos of the world,it understands and feels compassion towards it…as Jesus said…..”be in this world but not of it”…………………

 

The tomb is empty…….do not look for the old self there…it has Risen(transcended)!

Forgiving Power

Humility is the key within us that can aid to unleash the courage and strength needed to sincerely bow to the power of forgiveness for ourselves and others……humility doesnt mean we stoop and succumb to the whims and fancies of others..to please,to be taken advantage of,to be bullied,to be needy,to be made foolish,that is humiliation!..…

 

Instead, humility is a tremendously effective powerhouse supply of positive and creative energies helping and guiding with an alive and awakened consciousness leading us to find our way inwards towards the Source of Love where we can access that power to forgive……when the Source is found…….the power can be unleashed and utilised…it is a tender and flexible and soft energy ready to offer mercy and compassion to ourselves and others………….…

 

We claim back our humanity, dignity and integrity through humility………we simply cannot find our way into the Source of Love and Truth with pride and arrogance and self righteousness,sloth,doubts, ill-will and fear……..there will be no direction and surrender to the building of trust and faith to lead the way!

 

Still very early on(sometime December 1998) in my journey of spiritual revelations, I used to spend occassional times with an elderly nun of the Grey sisters…one time ….I poured out some of my past transgressions to her……she asked me if I was willing to put down the heavy load that I was carrying…….without hesitation I said ‘YES’….she then asked if I would like to make a personal confession with her friend, a Monsignor at the chancery office of the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver….I agreed.
I remembered it was December 23rd 1998……..I must have spent more than an hour in confession(it was my last Catholic confession) with Monsignor Smith,crying and terribly remorseful of my past actions…….Monsignor was very humane and understanding towards me…….he pointed to a framed picture on the wall depicting a Jesus throwing a life saving bouy to a drowning man in a perilous sea………..I remembered feeling freed and relief on looking at the picture……………………I walked out of his office and into the Vancouver December rain and felt washed and JOYFUL and the peace gave me the courage to say …..I want to make amends and never be that same person again!!

 

During that confessional time…. I was looking at how my ignorance, selfish desires and anger/hatred had caused suffering upon myself and others and not how others have caused me to suffer…..it is the same….it is a vicious cycle…we get hurt and hurt others in return,unconsciously and deliberately………when we can start with ourselves first in any given situation of difficulty and misunderstandings……..when we can examine our conscience and see where does all these differences arise from…………..…

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From our painful experiences of long standing pains and suffering,we can look deeply into ourselves…and from that looking,if we can try to find just one piece of our own self-inflicted misdeed,regret,flaw,bitterness,resentment and hatred then start from there to try to understand where it came from and why(usually from the past).For many people,it seems very difficult to forgive,especially to forgive ourselves first and to ask for forgiveness.
In our human weaknesses, we learned how to protect our past mistakes, we justify our misdeeds,we exonerate ourselves from responsiblities,we usually harden ourselves to blame the other or the situation and keep spinning stories in our minds to protect our rights and the fear of looking into our faults and vulnerabilities……..unconsciously,we are building a hard-packed ice wall around our hearts and block its power to forgive and find peace and joy and seeing the unconditional Love we are within!
We learned to keep repeating these patterns as though it is our human right to do so and thus forget to see our own faults and flaws and past mistakes and regrets etc……so the vicious cycle continues on and disturbs our inner being…making us feel unworthy,underserving of spiritual growth,feeling devoid of goodness and humane aliveness,we thus feel unable to forgive sincerely and compassionately.

 

Why are we afraid to forgive or ask for forgiveness?We have this tendency to think that forgiveness is a sign of weakness, that we loose ‘face'(our dignity and our rights)….that it will make the other/others feel good and right if we ask for their forgiveness,it will mean that it is our fault.And if we forgive,the other/others might make a mockery of us or reject and hurt back…so we repress and allow the stucked energies to fester within….and all these festering could surface as illnesses and continued hatred/anger which could/would lead to abuse and violence and jealousies and greed and neglect of self and others….like a broken record it spins out of control……..…

 

When we come to understand and realise where our inner conflicts arise from…we can feel a true sadness,remorse and repentance for ourselves……we can allow ourselves to become awashed with that wellspring of mercy and learn to forgive ourselves first and in return others…..it doesnt matter if forgiveness reaches or is accepted by other/others…………its the heart’s true and sincere intentions and effort to purify,make amends and heal that will bring peace and joy to oneself and others.Forgiveness empowers and restores harmony within us.Forgiveness also brings gratitude for the teachings of suffering and the graces to open ourselves to positive changes and healthy lifestyles….beneficial to self and others………………

 

Forgiveness is a pain-reliever….we feel joy and relief,when the pain is lifted,we feel peaceful to function again with renewed vitality and energy,just as when we have body pain and find  great relief on taking an analgesic.We can feel gratitude and joy flowing in………………….

 

We all have made mistakes,so too can others do the same but do we allow ourselves to wallow in the guilt,shame and fears which creates more and more tension within ourselves,we loose sleep over the anxieties and this goes on to be a cause of disruption to being able to live a peaceful life for ourselves and others.Why punish ourselves when we can open the door of our being and let the afflictive emotions drain away by way of forgiveness.We can then create a clean slate to change and start again…………………When we forgive,we can reclaim our sense of well-being and self-worth…to feel whole again!

 

Simple meditation to forgive oneself and others

 

Sit calmly with the back straight up, know we only have this moment….become aware of why we sit…. to allow the free flow of forgiveness to open,bring the focus on the breath,become aware of our breathing through the nostril,feel the air in,note the expansion of the abdomen,hold that breath for a few seconds…”breathing in I am calm”……..slowly breathe out,notice the air releasing,the abdomen flattening……”breathing out,I am letting go of tension”.It is imperative to remain focused on the breathing,very soon the thoughts will come to play……simply be with the breath,when we feel agitation …..bring the focus back on the breath……….train the mind to come back each time it wanders through the breath.We don’t have to practice sitting for a long period of time,start with 3minutes and increase the time when we see our tolerance and adaptation to sitting.No need to be hard on oneself.

 

Emotions might flare up,watch, note it and see what it is trying to say,do,indicate.Note the emotions eg, sadness, unhappiness,anger,resentments,guilts,shame,fears,lust,jealousies,regrets,etc….do not identify with the thoughts or emotions and be caught in its trappings………they are energies within the body needing to surface.Always simply breathe and be with the breath……..when practiced fervently, it will help still the mind.

 

Remenber the breath is the sustainer of life….

 

The body too might become agitated with pain and irritation…discomforts arise, twitching, itchiness,move a little but don’t get caught in its distraction,be mindful only of the breath.Most importantly don’t be hard on oneself.One can start to learn patience and forbearance without being critical or judging anything…….every little ounce of effort we put in and make,we are coming closer to the truth,there is no need for any hard and fast rule to follow………….simply be present and sincere to all that we do…..nobody can heal us or is going to do the healing for us except ourselves……..when we find healing….we can then help others find their way too!

 

When we are ready we can then bring our attention to our inner states.We can start by recognising and acknowledging our pains….we have to be sincere and honest about it,We can see our sufferings,our heartaches,our feelings of self unworthiness,confusions,despair and heaviness.See where within us that carries the most weight in pain, the heart area,the abdominal area,the upper body/facial/head,pelvic area,the lower body/feet area and see how it feels like,can we put a description of it.What disturbances are felt in those areas.We might identify with lots of hatred,self loathing and resentment and anger and regrets for making mistakes and foolishness,for causing hurts to others and ourselves or seeing others hurting us.We might witness a lot of inner conflicts…..we might see our goodness,yet be confused with all the anger and aggressions going on within.Remember always that our true innate states are love,peace,and joy,everything else are afflictive negative energies collected over time which can be eradicated.

 

Don’t identify with anything that surfaces, be with it,it cannot do any harm…..it wants only healing,forgiveness, letting go and to be loved.If we feel an inkling to cry and express remorse,do so,allow the self to feel the movement of remorse to surface.In my own experience, I have cried buckets over doing this meditation in seeing how I have hurt myself and others.Doing this meditation is not about staying down feeling sorry(pity) for ourselves or others but to let go and make amends if possible.If making amends is not possible,do it symbolically….writing a letter to oneself then crushing or burning it,doing small charitable deeds,offerings of prayer or kind intentions for healing for others/oneself,etc…

 

While doing this,we can recite these words,or any words of expression to evoke repentance and to soften the heart…

May I find the strength to forgive myself

May I forgive myself for having hurt others

May I find courage to forgive others who have hurt me

 

In sincere forgiveness,we find ourselves opening up to the softness in our hearts and we experience the self changing for the better,we also see ourselves being aware and trying to not create the same mistakes.We start recognising how others are suffering the same and we develop an understanding and empathy for them,although we don’t condone the hurtful actions of others,we can generate compassion towards them.We will soon learn to love ourselves for being sincere,open to being humble,noble and courageous to participate in the act of contrition.Even if we fall again into temptation,we try not to beat ourselves up but earnestly try again to avoid that which offends….over and over…till it goes away eventually!

 

Stories of forgiveness

 

  • I had read a true story of a mother in India whose very young son was murdered by his friend.At first the mother was suffocated by the pain of intense grief,anger and resentment for the boy who murdered her son but after a while,she could no longer bear the suffering of her pain,she asked to visit the boy in prison….while there,she told the boy….”I am going to kill you with love!”….from that time onwards she started to live what she had said to the boy…..she started to nourish within her forgiveness and compassion toward this boy and visited him regularly.The boy at first resented her and felt unworthy but later adapted to her kindly demeanour and started to develop a respectful relationship with her.Much later,after being released from prison,he went to live with her,the mother adopted and accepted this man as her own son…….

 

  • A story of saint Maria Goretti,the year was in late 1890’s,Italy………..she was eleven years old,her family and another family shared an old house together,while one was living upstairs,the other lived downstairs.Both families, helped the owner of the house mind the fields in exchange for accomodation.One day, while Maria’s mother was tending to the fields,Maria was looking after her very young siblings.Her neighbour Alessandro, a young man of 19years of age,tried to seduce her to sexual acts but Maria refused and told him that it was sinful and that she would not do what he wanted.In a rage, he stabbed her 14 times,she managed to survive all the way to the hospital.While at the hospital bed,she said that she forgives Alessandro before dying.Alessandro was caught and imprisoned but remained hardened and unremorseful about his actions,not until years later when he had a dream of Maria Goretti giving him 14 stalks of flowers each for the wounds he had inflicted upon her,that he felt total repentance.He asked for a visit from Maria’s mother and begged forgiveness from her.She forgave him!They lived to witness Maria’s canonization years later.Upon release from prison,Alessandro spent his last days in a monastery doing menial works for the friars and monks.Pictured is Alessandro in his old age venerating the image of  St.Maria Goretti.
  • Praying

 

  • The greatest story ever told……….the story of Jesus,an enlightened being,simple and a great teacher of Love, humility and peace who wandered the land healing and showing compassion, encouraging peace and brotherly/sisterly love.While he was innocent propagating peace and love,there were religious people who were jealous and angered by the way he was teaching and portraying himself to be.For his innocence he was condemned to die a cruel and shameful death,death on the cross which was meant for criminals and slaves and those against Roman authority.While dying on the cross…….he still managed to breathe his last significant teaching…..forgiveness to his captors, to his friend(Judas) who hastened his capture,to the religious group of people who mocked his credibility,to Pontius Pilate who approved his condemnation to death,to his executioners who nailed him to the cross,and to the jeering crowd who heard him preaching love and peace,Jesus uttered these compassionate words …..”Father forgive them for they do not know what they do”……………………..
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