The Journey Each of Us Take

Though the following are roadsigns to the Himalaya Mountains, yet they remind us of our spiritual journey …

To expect an overnight spiritual awakening of some kind simply to fix what is in our unresolved heart
is only to short live our faith in what we are embarking.

* * *

When we are rash in expecting spiritual awakening as something that can be created by the self,
we can only expect an ego crash.

* * *

Spiritual journey is not some kind of escapism but rather a gradual path of understanding
that leads to awakening. Enjoy the ride rather than thinking of the end.

* * *

Your journey defines your destination. Destination is not a place but rather an end.
Hence what you get at the end is what you have developed in the journey.

* * *

Forget about desiring anything or resisting anything when you step into the spiritual path.
It is not about getting anything or anywhere but on the contrary, dropping everything, including the self.

* * *

Consistently check your mental attitude as that is where fabrications are.
If you don’t, its proliferation will blind you, deluding you into spiritual ego.

* * *

We are all too familiar with ego crash whenever our spiritual expectation is not met –
yet strangely, we repeat it again as if we do not have enough of it!

* * *

When you are not awake to your thoughts, you are dreaming it,
making it real and hence, will surely be frightened by it.

* * *

And so in the end, wakefulness is necessary, for without it
suffering becomes a reality, albeit a dream.

Game of Reflection

a mirror’s job to reflect
the mind’s work a reflection

AWAKE,
recognized,
the mind
merely reflecting
a mirage
an illusion
that never was
never existed
never real

for that
Wisdom or Love
its quality reflected

UNAWAKE,
unrecognized,
drawn into the mind
a reflection no longer is
but now a dream
suck into oblivion
of ideas beginning to form
implicated to knots
and entanglement of sorts
forgetting the beginning
seeing no ending

and hence
stories churn
dramas unfold
comedies turn
miseries untold
a prison indeed it was
and yet a doorless one
where at any moment
once met

bondage was never real
nor is there freedom
except
what was Unconditioned.

Awake, awake
aware it is the mind
the source of the dream
where I, me or mine
a part of the illusion
only real within
but not beyond

Awake to the mirror
the mirror of the mind
awakening to the dream
was where Pristine ever was
never left
never born
never gone
never any of sort
simply Awakened

not you, not me
except in the dream.

A Ghost You Are

a ghost
you are
nastily complaining
of presence
you thought
you are not supposed to be in

a mirage
an apparition
a seemingly body existence
haunting again
of ancient memories
moving along in trails
that has never left

deep in deception
lodged in perplexity
where confusion roams
and dreams made real
you returned
replaying
revisiting
again and again

roaming in places
in familiarity
yet as in dream
waking up
you felt unfamiliar
who am I
who are you
what is real?

Or is reality
merely
a Maya play
embodied
in this so-called
long phantom body?

An Unsung Ancient that Never Was

A gentle reminder it is
of what was ancient brought to Now
of experiences we thought were new
of triggers resulting in retaliations
of pledges prolonging in pain
of expressions living in vain
and of denial repeating again

it may be a hurt
or a so-called love
or an agenda of revenge
or a scheme of lure
a heartache of sort
of unknown cause
yet familiar and yet, unsure

behind the façade
behind the form
away from each storyline
of dramas, comedies and theatricals
of I love you
or I hate you
are merely stage shows, forgotten
figment of imagination,
of perception
brought into reality Now by ignorance

specialness loom from past
of long forgotten feelings
but not forgiven or released
tenaciously clinging-on to be precise
yet unknown of that moment
a link, a bond, created
as strong as anything one has ever seen

coming back one more time
in this life
here in the NOW
meeting, triggering, loving, attracting
a dance of karmic bond
repeating what we have all done in the past
We are all ghosts haunting one another
of storylines yet  to complete
finding our way in the ocean of samsara
simply to fulfill that momentary thirst
of connection
that we have not forgiven or release.

Behold Beloved, behold my dear Enemies
of apparitions
lodged insidiously in perception
churning out projections
which I thought was You

And soon as waking up always does
of dreams disappearing into thin air
of what seems real becomes unreal
unfettered by whatever bondage
the mind finally comes to rest.

A Matter of Opinion, or PERCEPTION

Everyone is a genius – you believe in what the mind perceived and in that reality you can either see yourself or others, as stupid, or, genius. If one knows stupidity is merely a perception of the mind and does not truly defines him, then he is a genius by that token, whereas the other who thinks he is actually a genius without recognizing it was merely perception playing out, is indeed stupidity.

Both stupidity or genius, when the dream is over, is merely a …  perception, personalized only by you. Are you a genius to recognize that?

A fool with a sense of his foolishness
is — at least to that extent — wise.
But a fool who thinks himself wise
really deserves to be called
a fool.

Dhammapada 63

Compromise Uncertainty

I attended the first phase Ascension Workshop last weekend and find their method of addressing defilements, or ‘grooves’ as they put it, interesting and refreshing. Other than the experience of meditation that emphasizes on open and close eyes meditation, not having any particular rigid way of sitting, and yes, also lying down meditation which is much encouraged throughout the day; what etched deeply in my mind is the statement made by the monk at the end of the session which comes in the form of a question – the original question given by the founder, MSI, that inspired many more to take on this journey: Which area in your life have you compromised?

I find the question relevant and profound – in fact, it points towards the direction of human suffering that each of us try to resolve or escape from in our daily basis, if not every moment of our lives, and yet not fully finding a foolproof way of ending suffering that leads to everlasting peace. Normally we tend to relate compromise with sacrifice as in not honouring our hearts but to be subjugated to things we are not happy to do. Yet, strangely, even if there are truly moments of happiness, guilt may appear asunder, throwing us off balance from what we are already enjoying – hence compromising ourselves again. And even if there is no conscious guilt present, the unknowing mind may have compromised in taking on lesser happiness for the higher, simply just to feed the need of what has been repressed or addicted earlier.

It can be a common dilemma of choosing what is good for one’s health over food that we like and making a compromise within not to repeat it again. Or to resign to a situation of conflict that we are not ready to face so as not to stir up the worst in us though we very well know that the best may emerge from it subsequently. There are even situations where we do not have the clarity to choose what is truly best for us, having both equal pros and cons for each possibility, hence bringing us into situations where confusion reigns and regretting later the choices we have made.

What is it that you really, really, want – asked another teacher of mine. And he reiterated further that if one is truly one-minded about it, then guilt or compromise will not surface. But his question is tricky and profound as what we usually want, be it money, relationship, career, health, etc., is constantly about something to cover-up what we do not want – to mean that what we want is to fix what we do not want – though that is not the essence of his question. What I am trying to say is that what we think we really, really want may not be the very root of our want. We only focus on what we don’t want and make demands around it. It is ignorance of what is there and finding ways of not facing it. So a truer question will be – what is it that you are ignoring that makes you compromise on your peace? Do you know?

Just by attending to this one question, or any similar question for that matter that directs one to self-inquiry; the mystery of life’s suffering will see its end – perhaps not when one is not ready on the pursuit for Truth and nothing but the Truth. What is Truth then? Suffering and the end of suffering. Don’t you think compromise is suffering?

It was Never about the Cats

Months ago, an expectant feline found sanctuary at the halfway staircase leading to our cultivation centre and gave birth to four little kittens. This is the second occurrence where another cat came in to give birth. It was simply a gesture of kindness to permit both the feline and its kitties to stay on for no one really knew what to do with them. And since that space is merely a service area, an understood consensus was agreed upon from the point of compassion that they be allowed to stay on until they were able to fend themselves, trusting that they would leave once they were matured enough.

Days passed by quickly and it is kind of interesting just to stand at the doorway upstairs looking down to observe the many reactions toward the cats. Some passersby were oblivious to their presence, and some who were catching their breath from the two storey climb would take the opportunity to look. A few would take moments to lower themselves and stroke the cat and/or the kitties while the others who are obvious cat lovers, would hold them on their palms staying a little longer to play with them. My comrade took the initiative to purchase cat food to make sure that the feline was able to continue the lactation process for her kittens. On my role, whenever I could, I would get a pack of full cream milk which the feline loved very much.

As the kitties grew very quickly and soon were able to move around, we had to take extra care walking along that limited area, manueuvring our way to make sure not to step on them. Many a times the feline just watched quietly, resting majestically on the stairway, ignoring those who have to cross pass her.

Soon the moments came as expected when the stench of their excrement and urine became unbearable – no one thought beforehand of creating a sandbox for them. Prior to that one kitty died and it took much courage of a beloved friend to send it off. And yet another time another kitty caught the flu and the same kindred spirit brought it to the vet to administer its eyes. Nature seems to find its own way of flow, from unconditional love and motherly instinct.

To avoid the stink I fenced the grille and brought the feline and kitties to the first half landing stairway where many a times later, they managed to find their way back to their former birth place somehow. Many of us struggled within on how to address the cats as they grew bigger by each day. One of us offered to bring the cats to be neutered but there was no follow up. There was also enquiry to adopt part of the kittens but felt heart-wrenching in separating them.

Finally came the day where the earlier same kindred spirit took the initiative to send them all to the animal home. Strangely, the very day when she wanted to send them off, one of the kitty went missing. I felt sorry for it and she promised to come back to look for her another day and to reunite the lost kitty with its mother and siblings. I looked within my mind to why I was feeling so and realized it was not about anything concerning the kitty, nor was it about compassion, but rather the ancient feeling of being separated and the meaning of loneliness. Indeed strange how such feelings are deep-seated, missing the reality of what is within and projected outwardly as a sorry state drama. And to avoid and camouflage that pain I saw how the mind created stories of possibilities where a kind person may probably take the lost kitty home and take care of it well. So insidious is the mind, trying ways to repress those feelings and to finally meet it again another time when similar conditions were to arise again.

There were many lessons from these cats’ presence – from the witness and experience of being kind-hearted, courageous and responsible for living beings which can be said, totally unrelated to ourselves without expecting anything back in return; not to mention the camouflage and false appearances of seemingly good thoughts hiding ancient thoughts of pain and shame if there was no integrity and willingness to looked within the mind the moment it surfaced. How true that it is said that there is no current issues but ancient stuff brought into the present to be re-experienced.